Page images
PDF
EPUB

tastes, smells, and tangible qualities, with distinction from extension, number, motion, pleasure and pain, which make impressions on the mind, and introduce their ideas by more senses than one.

§ 17. Sixthly, The names of simple ideas, substances, and mixed modes, have also this difference; that those of mixed modes stand for ideas perfectly arbitrary; those of substances are not perfectly so, but refer to a pattern, though with some latitude; and those of simple ideas are perfectly taken from the existence of things, and are not arbitrary at all. Which, what difference it makes in the significations of their names, we shall see in the following chapters.

The names of simple modes differ little from those of simple ideas.

6. Names of simple ideas

not at all arbitrary.

CHAPTER V.

Of the Names of mixed Modes and Relations.

§ 1. THE names of mixed modes being general, they stand, as has been shown, for sorts or species of things, each of which has its peculiar essence. The essences of these species also, as has been showed, are nothing but the abstract ideas in the mind, to which the name is annexed. Thus far the names and essences of mixed modes have nothing but what is common to them with other ideas: but if we take a little nearer survey of them, we shall find that they have something peculiar, which perhaps may deserve our attention.

They stand for abstract ideas, as

other general names.

§ 2. The first particularity I shall observe in them is, that the abstract ideas, or, if you please, the essences of the several species of mixed modes are made by derstanding. the understanding, wherein they differ

by the un

1. The ideas they stand

for are made

from those of simple ideas: in which sort the mind has no power to make any one, but only receives such as are presented to it by the real existence of things operating upon it.

§ 3. In the next place, these essences of the species of mixed modes are not only made by the mind, but made very arbipatterns. trarily, made without patterns, or reference to any real existence. Wherein they differ from those of substances, which carry with them the supposition of some real being, from which they are taken, and to which they are conformable. But in its complex ideas of mixed modes, the mind takes a liberty not to follow the existence of things exactly. It unites and retains certain collections, as so many distinct specific ideas, whilst others, that as often occur in nature, and are as plainly suggested by outward things, pass neglected, without particular names or specifications. Nor does the mind, in these of mixed modes, as in the complex idea of substances, examine them by the real existence of things; or verify them by patterns, containing such peculiar compositions in nature. To know whether his idea of adultery or incest be right, will a man seek it any where amongst things existing? Or is it true, because any one has been witness to such an action? No: but it suffices here, that men have put together such a collection into one complex idea, that makes the archetype and specific idea, whether ever any such action were committed in rerum natura or no.

2. Made arbitrarily, and without

done.

How this is § 4. To understand this right, we must consider wherein this making of these complex ideas consists; and that is not in the making any new idea, but putting together those which the mind had before. Wherein the mind does these three things; first, it chooses a certain number; secondly, it gives them connexion, and makes them into one idea; thirdly, it ties them together by a name. If we examine how the mind proceeds. in these, and what

liberty it takes in them, we shall easily observe how these essences of the species of mixed modes are the workmanship of the mind; and consequently, that the species themselves are of men's making. § 5. Nobody can doubt, but that these ideas of mixed modes are made by a voluntary collection of ideas put together in the mind, independent from any original patterns in nature, who will but reflect that this sort of complex ideas may be made, abstracted, and have names given them, and so a species be constituted, before any one individual of that species ever existed. Who can doubt but the ideas of sacrilege or adultery might be framed in the minds of men, and have names given them; and so these species of mixed modes be constituted, before either of them was ever committed; and might be as well discoursed of and reasoned about, and as certain truths discovered of them, whilst yet they had no being but in the understanding, as well as now, that they have but too frequently a real existence? Whereby it is plain, how much the sorts of mixed modes are the creatures of the understanding where they have a being as subservient to all the ends of real truth and knowledge, as when they really exist: and we cannot doubt but law-makers have often made laws about species of actions, which were only the creatures of their own understandings; beings that had no other existence but in their own minds. And I think nobody can deny, but that the resurrection was a species of mixed modes in the mind before it really existed.

Evidently arbitrary, in that the idea is often be

fore the existence.

§ 6. To see how arbitrarily these essences of mixed modes are made by the mind, we need but take a view of almost any of them. A little looking into them will satisfy us, that it is the mind that combines several scattered independent ideas into one complex one, and, by the common name it gives them, makes them

Instances;

murder, in

cest, stab

bing.

the essence of a certain species, without regulating itself by any connexion they have in nature. For what greater connexion in nature has the idea of a man, than the idea of a sheep, with killing; that this is made a particular species of action, signified by the word murder, and the other not? Or what union is there in nature between the idea of the relation of a father, with killing, than that of a son, or neighbour; that those are combined into one complex idea, and thereby made the essence of the distinct species parricide, whilst the other make no distinct species at all? But though they have made killing a man's father, or mother, a distinct species from killing his son, or daughter; yet, in some other cases, son and daughter are taken in too, as well as father and mother; and they are all equally comprehended in the same species, as in that of incest. Thus the mind in mixed modes arbitrarily unites into complex ideas such as it finds convenient; whilst others, that have altogether as much union in nature, are left loose, and never combined into one idea, because they have no need of one name. It is evident, then, that the mind by its free choice gives a connexion to a certain number of ideas, which in nature have no more union with one another, than others that it leaves out why else is the part of the weapon, the beginning of the wound is made with, taken notice of to make the distinct species called stabbing, and the figure and matter of the weapon left out? I do not say this is done without reason, as we shall see more by and by; but this I say, that it is done by the free choice of the mind, pursuing its own ends; and that therefore these species of mixed modes are the workmanship of the understanding; and there is nothing more evident, than that, for the most part, in the framing these ideas the mind searches not its patterns in nature, nor refers the ideas it makes to the real existence of things; but puts such together, as may best serve its own purposes, without tying

itself to a precise imitation of any thing that really exists.

§ 7. But though these complex ideas, or essences of mixed modes, depend on the mind, and are made by it with great to the end of liberty; yet they are not made at ran- language. dom, and jumbled together without any reason at all. Though these complex ideas be not always copied from nature, yet they are always suited to the end for which abstract ideas are made: and though they be combinations made of ideas that are loose enough, and have as little union in themselves, as several other to which the mind never gives a connexion that combines them into one idea; yet they are always made for the convenience of communication, which is the chief end of language. The use of language is by short sounds to signify with ease and despatch general conceptions; wherein not only abundance of particulars may be contained, but also a great variety of independent ideas collected into one complex one. In the making therefore of the species of mixed modes, men have had regard only to such combinations as they had occasion to mention one to another. Those they have combined into distinct complex ideas, and given names to; whilst others, that in nature have as near an union, are left loose and unregarded. For to go no farther than human actions themselves, if they would make distinct abstract ideas of all the varieties might be observed in them, the number must be infinite, and the memory confounded with the plenty, as well as overcharged to little purpose. It suffices, that men make and name so many complex ideas of these mixed modes, as they find they have occasion to have names for, in the ordinary occurrence of their affairs. If they join to the idea of killing the idea of father, or mother, and so make a distinct species from killing a man's son or neighbour, it is because of the different heinousness of the crime, and the distinct punishment is due to the

But still

subservient

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »