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our purpose, and help to give us clearer conceptions about power, if we make our thoughts take a little more exact survey of action. I have said above, that we have ideas but of two sorts of action, viz, motion and thinking. These, in truth, though called and counted actions, yet, if nearly considered, will not be found to be always perfectly so. For, if I mistake not, there are instances of both kinds, which, upon due consideration, will be found rather passions than actions, and consequently so far the effects barely of passive powers in those subjects, which yet on their accounts are thought agents. For in these instances, the substance that hath motion or thought receives the impression, where it is put into that action purely from without, and so acts merely by the capacity it has to receive such an impression from some external agent; and such a power is not properly an active power, but a mere passive capacity in the subject. Sometimes the substance or agent puts itself into action by its own power, and this is properly active power. Whatsoever modification a substance has, whereby it produces any effect, that is called action ; v. g. a solid substance by motion operates on or alters the sensible ideas of another substance, and therefore this modification of motion we call action. But yet this motion in that solid substance is, when rightly considered, but a passion, if it received it only from some external agent. So that the active power of motion is in no substance which cannot begin motion in itself, or in another substance, when at rest. · So likewise in thinking, a power to receive ideas or thoughts, from the operation of any external substance, is called a power of thinking: but this is but a passive power or capacity. But to be able to bring into view ideas out of sight at one's own choice, and to compare which of them one thinks fit, this is an active power. This reflection may be of some use to preserve us from mistakes about powers and actions, which grammar and the common frame of languages
may be apt to lead us into ; since what is signified by verbs that grammarians call active, does not always signify action : v.g. this proposition, I see the moon, or a star, or I feel the heat of the sun, though expressed by a verb active, does not signify any action in me, whereby I operate on those substances ; but the reception of the ideas of light, roundness, and heat, wherein I am not active, but barely passive, and cannot in that position of my eyes or body avoid receiving them. But when I turn my eyes another way, or remove my body out of the sunbeams, I am properly active; because of my own choice, by a power within myself, I put myself into that motion. Such an action is the product of active power.
$ 73. And thus I have, in a short draught, given a view of our original ideas, from whence all the rest are derived, and of which they are made up ; which if I would consider as a philosopher, and examine on what causes they depend, and of what they are made, I believe they all might be reduced to these very few primary and original ones, viz. extension, solidity, mobility, or the power of being moved, which by our senses we receive from body; perceptivity, or the power of perception or thinking; inotivity, or the power of moving; which by reflection we receive from our minds. I crave leave to make use of these two new words, to avoid the danger of being mistaken in the use of those which are equivocal. To which if we add existence, duration, number,—which belong both to the one and the other, we have, perhaps, all the original ideas, on which the rest depend. For by these, I imagine, might be explained the nature of colours, sounds, tastes, smells, and all other ideas we have, if we had but faculties acute enough to perceive the severally modified extensions and motions of these minute bodies, which produce those several sensations in us. But my present purpose being only to inquire into the knowledge the mind has of things, by those ideas and appearances which God has fitted it to receive from them, and how the mind comes by that knowledge, rather than into their causes or manner of production; I shall not, contrary to the design of this essay, set myself to inquire philosophically into the peculiar constitution of bodies, and the configuration of parts, whereby they have the power to produce in us the ideas of their sensible qualities : I shall not enter any farther into that disquisition, it sufficing to my purpose to observe, that gold or saffron has a power to produce in us the idea of yellow, and snow or milk the idea of white, which we can only have by our sight, without examining the texture of the parts of those bodies, or the particular figures or motion of the particles which rebound from them, to cause in us that particular sensation: though when we go beyond the bare ideas in our minds, and would inquire into their causes, we cannot conceive any thing else to be in any sensible object, whereby it produces different ideas in us, but the different bulk, figure, number, texture, and motion of its insensible parts.
Of mixed Modes. $ 1. Having treated of simple modes Mixed modes, in the foregoing chapters, and given se- what. veral instances of some of the most considerable of them, to show what they are, and how we come by them, we are now in the next place to consider those we call mixed modes : such are the complex ideas we mark by the names obligation, drunkenness, a lie, &c. which consisting of several combinations of simple ideas of different kinds, I have called mixed modes, to distinguish them from the more simple modes, which consist only of simple ideas of the same kind. These mixed modes being also such combinations of simple ideas as are not looked upon to be characteristical marks of any real beings that have a steady existence, but scattered and independent ideas put together by the mind, are thereby distinguished from the complex ideas of substances. Made by $ 2. That the mind, in respect of its the mind. simple ideas, is wholly passive, and receives them all from the existence and operations of things, such as sensation or reflection offers them, without being able to make any one idea, experience shows us : but if we attentively consider these ideas I call mixed modes, we are now speaking of, we shall find their original quite different. The mind often exercises an active power in making these several combinations: for it being once furnished with simple ideas, it can put them together in several compositions, and so make variety of complex ideas, without examining whether they exist so together in nature. And hence I think it is that these ideas are called notions, as if they had their original and constant existence more in the thoughts of men than in the reality of things; and to form such ideas, it sufficed that the mind puts the parts of them together, and that they were consistent in the understanding, without considering whether they had any real being: though I do not deny, but several of them might be taken from observation, and the existence of several simple ideas so combined, as they are put together in the understanding. For the man who first framed the idea of hypocrisy might have either taken it at first from the observation of one, who made show of good qualities which he had not, or else have framed that idea in his mind, without having any such pattern to fashion it by: for it is evident, that in the beginning of languages and societies of men, several of those complex ideas, which were consequent to the constitutions established amongst them, must needs have been in the minds of men, before they existed any where else : and that many names that stood for such complex ideas were 8 to him the similac lege or murder
in use, and so those ideas framed, before the combinations they stood for ever existed. · S 3. Indeed, now that languages are Sometimes made, and abound with words standing got by the for such combinations, an usual way of
0 of their getting these complex ideas is by the ex- nar plication of those terms that stand for them: for consisting of a company of simple ideas combined, they may by words, standing for those simple ideas, be represented to the mind of one who understands those words, though that complex combination of simple ideas were never offered to his mind by the real existence of things. Thus a man may come to have the idea of sacrilege or murder, by enumerating to him the simple ideas which these words stand for, without ever seeing either of them committed.
$ 4. Every mixed mode consisting of The name many distinct simple ideas, it seems rea- ties the parts sonable to inquire, “ whence it has its
modes into unity, and how such a precise multitude one idea. comes to make but one idea, since that combination does not always exist together in nature?" To which I answer, it is plain it has its unity from an act of the mind combining those several simple ideas together, and considering them as one complex one, consisting of those parts; and the mark of this union, or that which is looked on generally to complete it, is one name given to that combination. For it is by their names that men commonly regulate their account of their distinct species of mixed modes, seldom allowing or considering any number of simple ideas to make one complex one, but such collections as there be names for. Thus, though the killing of an old man be as fit in nature to be united into one complex idea as the killing a man's father; yet there being no name standing precisely for the one, as there is the name of parricide to mark the other, it is not taken for a particular complex idea, nor a distinct