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Extension ^ is true» tne ^ea o^ extension
being inse- joins itself so inseparably with all visible, parable and most tangible qualities, that it suffers from body, us to see no one, or feel very few external thesame"01 Ejects, without taking in impressions of extension too. This readiness of extension to make itself be taken notice of so constantly with other ideas, has been the occasion, I guess, that some have made the whole essence of body to consist in extension; which is not much to be wondered at, since some have had their minds, by their eyes and touch (the busiest of all our senses) so filled with the idea of extension, and as it were wholly possessed with it, that they allowed no existence to any thing that had not extension. I shall not now argue with those men, who take the measure and possibility of all being, only from their narrow and gross imaginations: but having here to do only with those who conclude the essence of body to be extension, because they say they cannot imagine any sensible quality of any body without extension; I shall desire them to consider, that had they reflected on their ideas of tastes and smells, as much as on those of sight and touch; nay, had they examined their ideas of hunger and thirst, and several other pains, they would have found, that they included in them no idea of extension at all; which is but an affection of body, as well as the rest, discoverable by our senses, which are scarce acute enough to look into the pure essences of things.
§. 26. If those ideas, which are constantly joined to all others, must therefore be concluded to be the essence of those things which have constantly those ideas joined to them, and are inseparable from them; then unity is without doubt the essence of every thing. For there is not any object of sensation or reflection, which does not carry with it the idea of one: but the weakness of this kind of argument we have already shown sufficiently. Ideas of §• 27. To conclude, whatever men shall space and think concerning the existence of a vacuum, solidity dis- this is plain to me, that we have as clear tmtt. an jjea Ql. Space distinct from solidity, as we have of solidity distinct from motion, or motion from space. We have not any two more distinct ideas, and we can as easily conceive space without solidity, as we can conceive body or space without motion; though it be ever so certain, that neither body nor motion can exist without space. But whether any one will take space to be only a relation resulting from the existence of other beings at a distance, or whether they will think the words of the most knowing king Solomon, " The "heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain "theeor those more emphatical ones of the inspired philosopher St. Paul, "In him we live, move, "and have our being" are to be understood in a literal sense, I leave every one to consider: only our idea of space is, I think, such as I have mentioned, and distinct from that of body. For whether we consider in matter itself the distance of its coherent solid parts, and call it, in respect of those solid parts, extension; or whether, considering it as lying between the extremities of any body in its several dimensions, we call it length, breadth, and thickness; or else considering it as lying between any two bodies, or positive beings, without any consideration whether there be any matter or no between, we call it distance; however named or considered, it is always the same uniform simple idea of space, taken from objects about which our senses have been conversant; whereof having settled ideas in our minds, we can revive, repeat and add them one to another as often as we will, and consider the space or distance so imagined, either as filled with solid parts, so that another body cannot come there, without displacing and thrusting out the body that was there before; or else as void of solidity, so that a body of equal dimensions to that empty or pure space may be placed in it, without the removing or expulsion of any thing that was there. But, to avoid confusion in discourses concerning this matter, it were possibly to be wished that the name extension were applied only to matter, or the distance of the extremities of particular bodies; and the term expansion to space in general, with or without solid matter possessing it, so as to say
space is expanded, and body extended. But in this every one has liberty: I propose it only for the more clear and distinct way of speaking.
§. 28. The knowing precisely what our Men differ worc|s stand for, would, I imagine, ift
simple ideas. tnis ^ we'' as a #reat many other cases, quickly end the dispute. For I am apt to think that men, when they come to examine them, find their simple ideas all generally to agree, though in discourse with one another they perhaps confound one another with different names. I imagine that men who abstract their thoughts, and do well examine the ideas of their own minds, cannot much differ in thinking; however they may perplex themselves with words, according to the way of speaking of the several schools or sects they have been bred up in: though amongst unthinking men, who examine not scrupulously and carefully their own ideas, and strip them not from the marks men use for them, but confound them with words, there must be endless dispute, wrangling, and jargon; especially if they be learned bookish men, devoted to some sect, and accustomed to the language of it, and have learned to talk after others. But if it should happen, that any two thinking men should really have different ideas, I do not see how they could discourse or argue one with another. Here I must not be mistaken, to think that every floating imagination in men's brains, is presently of that sort of ideas I speak of. It is not easy for the mind to put off those confused notions and prejudices it has imbibed'from custom, inadvertency, and common conversation: It requires pains and assiduity to examine its ideas, till it resolves them into those clear and distinct simple ones, out of which they are compounded; and to see which, amongst its simple ones, have or have not a necessary connexion and dependence one upon another. Till a man doth this in the primary and original notion of things, he builds upon floating and uncertain principles, and will often find himself at a loss. - tsa
. Duration, and its simple Modes.
1. THERE is another sort of distance . .or length, the idea whereof we get not De"^10^! from the permanent parts of space, but tension! from the fleeting and perpetually perishing parts of succession. This we call duration, the simple modes whereof are any different lengths of it, whereof we have distinct ideas, as hours, days, years, &c, time^ and eternity. .' •. „ ' ,i . . ij, <o i '. ;i
. §.2. The answer of a great man, to one ifcideafros* who asked what time was, " Si non rogas reflection on •< intelligo," (which amounts to this j the *e^a^iofmore I set myself to think of it, the less I 0UT1 ea*'";understand it) might perhaps persuade one, that time, which reveals all other things, is itself not to be 4|?r covered. Duration, time, and eternity, are not wit^hr out reason thought to have something very absfruge jja their nature. But however remote these may seem from our comprehension, yet if we trace (hem rjght to. their originals, I doubt not but one of those sources of our knowledge, viz. sensation and reflection, w^ll b^ able to furnish us«wjth these ideas, as clear,wd distinct as many other which are thought much less obscure^ and we shall find, that the idea of eteripity itself if rived from the same common original with the rest of
par idea*. .> . tt.. ..-i.<>:> .iC4
-.;-§;!"&. ^ understand time and eternity aright, we ought with attention to consider what idea it is we have of duration, and how we came by it. It is (evident to any one, who will but observe what passes in his owin mind, that there is a train of ideas which constantly succeed one another in his understanding, as lop<g $p he is awake. Reflection on these appearances of several ideas, one after another, in our minds, is that which furnishes us with the idea of succession; andthe distance between any parts of that succession, or between the appearance of any two ideas in our minds, is that we call duration. For whilst we are thinking, or whilst we receive successively several ideas in our minds, we know that we do exist; and so we call the existence, or the continuation of the existence of ourselves, or any thing else, commensurate to the succession of any ideas in our minds, the duration of ourselves, or any such other thing coexistent with our thinking.
§. 4. That we have our notion of succession and duration from this original, viz. from reflection on the train of ideas which we find to appear one after another in our own minds, seems plain to me, in that we have no perception of duration, but by considering the train of ideas that take their turns in our understandings. When that succession of ideas ceases, our perception of duration ceases with it; which every one clearly experiments in himself, whilst he sleeps soundly, whether an hour or a day, a month or a year: of which duration of things, while he sleeps or thinks not, he has no perception at all, but it is quite lost to him; and the moment wherein he leaves off to think, till the moment he begins to think again, seems to him to have no distance. And so I doubt notNit would be to a waking man, if it were possible for him to keep only one idea in his mind, without variation and the succession of others. And we see, that one who fixes his thoughts very intently on one thing, so as to take but little notice of the succession of ideas that pass in his mind, whilst he is taken up with that earnest contemplation, lets slip out of his account a good part of that duration, and thinks that time shorter than it* M But if sleep commonly unites the distant parts of duration, it is because during that time we have no succession of ideas in our minds. For if a man, during his sleep, dreams, and variety of ideas make themselves perceptible in his mind one after another; he hath then, during such dreaming, a sense of duration, and of the length of it. By which it is to me very clear, that men derive their ideas of duration from their reflections on the train of the ideas they observe to succeed one another in their own understandings;