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thoughts of men; yet, I think, they may be all reduced under these three heads: 1. Modes. 2. Substances. 3. Relations.
§. 4. First, Modes I call such complex Modes ideas, which, however compounded, contain not in them the supposition of subsisting by themselves, but are considered as dependences on or affecttions of substances; such as are ideas signified by the words triangle, gratitude, murder, &c. And if in this I use the word mode in somewhat a different sense from its ordinary signification, I beg pardon; it being unavoidable in discourses, differing from the ordinary received notions, either to make new words, or to use old words in somewhat a new signification: the latter whereof, in our present case, is perhaps the more tolerable of the two.
§. 5. Of these modes, there are two simple and sorts which deserve distinct consideration, mixed First, there are some which are only va- modes, nations, or different combinations of the same simple idea, without the mixture of any other; as a dozen or score; which are nothing but the ideas of so many distinct units added together: and these I call simple modes, as being contained within the bounds of one simple idea. \
Secondly, there are others compounded of simple ideas of several kinds, put together to make one complex one; v. g. beauty, consisting of a certain composition of colour and figure, causing delight in the beholder; theft, which being the concealed change of the possession of any thing, without the consent of the proprietor, contains, as is visible, a combination of several ideas of several kinds: and these I call mixed modes. •.,
§. 6. Secondly, the ideas of substances are such combinations of simple ideas, as Substances are taken to represent distinct particular Coiiective. things subsisting by themselves; in which the supposed or confused idea of substance, such as it is, is always the first and chief. Thus if to substance be joined the simple idea of a certain dull whitish co
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lour, with* c'e'rtiin degrees of weight, hardness, ductility, and fusibility, we have the idea of lead, and a combination of the ideas of a certain sort of figure, with the powers of motion. Thought and reasoning, joined to substance, make the ordinary idea of a man. Now of substances also, there are two sorts of ideas; one of single' s'tobstdriceSy as they exist separately, as of a man or a sheep; the other of several of those put together, as an army of men, or flock of sheep: which collective ideas of several Substances thus put together, are as much each of them one single idea, as that of a man, or an
Relation §. ^' Thirdly, the last sort of complex ideas, is that we call relation, which con^ ststsin the consideration and comparing one idea with another. Of these several kinds we shall treat in their order;
Theabstru- 8. If we trace the progress of our
»est ideas minds, and with attention observe how from the jt repeat;S a^s together, and unites its
two sources. .. ... ...' ., . °, -' ....
simple ideas received from sensation or re* flection, it will lead us farther than at first perhaps we should have imagined. And I believe we shall find, if we warily observe the originals of our notions, that even the most abstruse ideas, how remote soever they may seem from sense, or from any operations of our own minds, are yet only such as the understanding frames to itself, by repeating and joining together ideas, that it had either from objects of sense, or from its own operations about them: so that those even large and abstract ideas are derived from sensation or reflection, being no other than what the mind, by the ordi* hary use of its own faculties, employed about ideas received from objects of sense, or from the operations it observes in itself about them, may and does attain unto. This I shall endeavour to show in the ideas we have of space, time, and infinity, and some few others, that seem the most remote from those originals.
Of Simple Modes, and first of the Simple Modes of Space.
§. 1. THOUGH in the foregoing part I Simple have often mentioned simple ideas, which Modes. are truly the materials of all our knowledge; yet having treated of them there, rather in the way that they come into the mind, than as distinguished from others more compounded, it will not be perhaps amiss to take a view of some of them again under this consideration, and examine those different modifications of the same idea: which the mind either finds in things existing, or is able to make within itself, without the help of any extrinsical object, or any foreign suggestion.
Those modifications of any one simple idea (which, as has been said, I call simple modes) are as perfectly different and distinct ideas in the mind, as those of the greatest distance or contrariety. For the idea of two is as distinct from that of one, as blueness from heat, or either of them from any number: and yet it is made up only of that simple idea of an unit repeated; and repetitions of this kind joined together, make those distinct simple modes, of a dozen, a gross, a million.
2, I shall begin with the simple idea of space. I have showed above, chap. 4. that we get the idea of space, both by our sight and touch ; which, I think, is so evident, that it would be as needless to goto prove that men perceive, by their sight, a distance between bodies of different colours, or between the parts of the same body, as that they see colours themselves; nor is it less obvious, that they can do so in the dark by feeling and touch.
4, 3. This space considered barely in length between any two beings, without extension, considering any thing else between them,
is called distance; if considered in length, breadth, and thickness, I think it may be called capacity. The term extension is usually applied to it in what manner soever considered.
Immensity. §. ^-acn different distance is a different modification of space; and each idea of any different distance, or space, is a simple mode of this idea. Men for the use, and by the custom of measuring, settle in their minds the ideas of certain stated lengths, such as are an inch, foot, yard, fathom, mile, diameter of the earth, &c. which are so many distinct ideas made up only of space. When any such stated lengths or measures of space are made familiar to men's thoughts, they can in their minds repeat them as often as they will without mixing or joining to them the idea of body, or any thing else; and frame to themselves the ideas of long, square, or cubic, feet, yards, or fathoms, here amongst the bodies of the universe, or else beyond the utmost bounds of all bodies; and by adding these still one to another, enlarge their ideas of space as much as they please. The power of repeating, or doubling any idea we have of any distance, and adding it to the former as often as we will, without being ever able to come to any stop or stint, let us enlarge it as much as we will, is that which gives us the idea of immensity.
Figure §. There is another modification of
this idea, which is nothing but the relation which the parts of the termination of extension, or circumscribed space, have amongst themselves. This the touch discovers in sensible bodies, whose extremities come within our reach; and the eye takes both from bodies and colours, whose boundaries are within its view; where observing how the extremities terminate either in straight lines, which meet at discernible angles; or in crooked lines, wherein no angles can be perceived; by considering these as they relate to one another, in all parts of the extremities of any body or space, it has that idea we call figure, which affords to the mind infinite variety. For besides the vast number of different figures, that do really exist in the coherent masses of matter, the stock that the mind has in its power, by varying the idea of space, and thereby making still new compositions, by repeating its own ideas, and joining them as it pleases, is perfectly inexhaustible; and so it can multiply figures in infinitum. . .- ,
§. 6. For the mind having a power to Figure. repeat the idea of any length directly stretched out, and join it to another in the same direction, which is to double the length of that straight line, or else join another with what inclination it thinks fit, and so make what sort of angle it pleases; and being able also to shorten any line it imagines, by taking from it one half, or one fourth, or what part it pleases, without being able to come to an end of any such divisions, it can make an angle of any bigness: so also the lines that are its sides, of what length it pleases; which joining again to other lines of different lengths, and at different angles, till it has wholly inclosed any space, it is evident, that it can multiply figures both in their shape and capacity, in infinitum; all which are but so many different simple modes of space. The same that it can do with straight lines, it can also do with crooked, or crooked and straight together; and the same it can do in lines, it can also in superficies: by which we may be led into farther thoughts of the endless variety of figures, that the mind has a power to make, and thereby to multiply the simple modes of space.
§. 7. Another idea coming under this piace. head, and belonging to this tribe, is that we call place. As in simple space, we consider the relation of distance between any two bodies or points; so in our idea of place, we consider the relation of distance betwixt any thing, and any two or more points, which are considered as keeping the same distance one with another, and so considered as at rest: for when we find any thing at the same distance now, which it was yesterday, from any two or more points, which have not since changed their distance one with another, and with which we then compared it, we say it hath kept