페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

CHA P. XXIV.

Of collective Ideas of Substances.
1.
BES
ESIDES these complex ideas of

One idea, several single substances, as of man, horse, gold, violet, apple, &c. the mind hath also complex collective ideas of substances; which I so call, because such ideas are made up of many particular substances considered together, as united into one idea, and which so joined are looked on as one; v.g. the idea of such a collection of men as make an army, though consisting of a great number of distinct substances, is as much one idea, as the idea of a man: and the great collective idea of all bodies whatsoever, signified by the name world, is as much one idea, as the idea of any the least particle of matter in it; it sufficing to the unity of any idea, that it be considered as one representation or picture, though made up of ever so many particulars.

$. 2. These collective ideas of substances Made by the the inind makes by its power of composi- power of tion, and uniting severally either simple or

composing

. complex ideas into one, as it does by the in the mind. same faculty make the complex ideas of particular substances, consisting of an aggregate of divers simple ideas, united in one substance: and as the mind, by putting together the repeated ideas of unity, makes the collective mode, or complex idea of any number, as a score, or a gross, &c, so by putting together several particular substances, it makes collective ideas of substances, as a troop, an army, a swarm, a city, a fleet; each of which, every one finds, that he represents to his own mind by one idea, in one view; and so under that notion considers those several things as perfectly one, as one ship or one atom. Nor is it harder to conceive, how an army of ten thousand men should make one idea, than how a man should make one idea; it being As easy to the mind to unite into one the idea of a great YOL, II,

D

pymber

number of men, and consider it as one, as it is to unite into one particular all the distinct ideas that make up the composition of a man, and consider them all together as one. All artificial

§. 3. Amongst such kind of collective things are ideas, are to be counted most part of articollective ficial things, at least such of them as are ideas.

made up of distinct substances : and, in truth, if we consider all these collective ideas aright, as army, constellation, universe, as they are united into so many single ideas, they are but the artificial draughts of the mind; bringing things very remote, and independent on one another, into one view, the better to contemplate and discourse of them, united into one conception, and signified by one name.

For there are no things so remote, nor so contrary, which the mind cannot, by this art of composition, bring into one idea ; as is visible in that signified by the name universe.

[blocks in formation]

. 1. Relation BE

ESIDES the ideas, whether simwhat.

ple or complex, that the mind

has of things, as they are in themselves, there are others it gets from their comparison one with another. The understanding, in the consideration of any thing, is not confined to that precise object : it can carry any idea as it were beyond itself, or at least look beyond it, to see how it stands in conformity to

When the mind so considers one thing, that it does as it were bring it to and set it by another, and carry its view from one to the other: this is, as the words import, relation and respect; and the denominations given to positive things, intimating that respect, and serving as marks to lead the thoughts beyond the subject itself denominated to something distinct from it, are what we call relatives; and the things so brought

together,

any other.

together, related. Thus, when the mind considers Caius as such a positive being, it takes nothing into that idea, but what really exists in Caius ; v. g. when I consider him as a man, I have nothing in my mind but the complex idea of the species, man. So likewise, when I say Caius is a white man, I have nothing but the bare consideration of a man who hath that white colour. But when I give Caius the name husband, I intimate some other person : ‘and when I give him the name whiter, I intimate some other thing : in both cases my thought is led to something beyond Caius, and there are two things brought into consideration. And since any idea, whether simple or complex, may be the occasion why the mind thus brings two things together, and as it were takes a view of them at once, though still considered as distinct; therefore any of our ideas may be the foundation of relation. As in the above-mentioned instance, the contract aud ceremony of marriage with Sempronia is the occasion of the denomination or relation of husband; and the colour white the occasion why he is said to be whiter than free-stone. §. 2. These, and the like relations, ex

Relations pressed by relative terms, that have others

without coranswering them, with a reciprocal intima- relative tion, as father and son, bigger and less, cause and effect, are very obvious to every ceived. one, and every body at first sight perceives the relation. For father and son, husband and wife, and such other correlative terms, seem so nearly to belong one to another, and through custom do so readily chime and answer one another in people's memories, that, upon the naming of either of them, the thoughts are presently carried beyond the thing so named; and no-body overlooks or doubts of a relation, where it is so plainly intimated. But where languages have failed to give correlative names, there, the relation is not always so easily taken notice of. Concubine is, 'no doubt, a relative name, as well as wife: but in languages where this, and the like words, have not a correlative term, there people are not so apt to take them

terms nut

easily per

lute terms contain rela. tions.

to be so, as wanting that evident mark of relation which is between correlatives, which seem to explain one another, and not to be able to exist, but together. Hence it is, that many of those names which, duly considered, do include evident relations, have been called external denominations. But all names, that are more than empty sounds, must signify some idea, which is either in the thing to which the name is applied; and then it is positive, and is looked on as united to, and existing in the thing to which the denomination is given: or else it arises from the respect the mind finds in it to something distinct from it, with which it considers it; and then it includes a relation. Some seem

$. 3. Another sort of relative terms there ingly abso- is, which are not looked on to be either

relative, or so much as external denominations; which yet, under the form and ap

pearance of signifying something absolute in the subject, do conceal a tacit, though less observable relation. Such are the seemingly positive terms of old, great, imperfect, &c. whereof I shall have occasion to speak more at large in the following chapters, Relation dif- §. 4. This farther may be observed, that ferent from the ideas of relation may be the same in the thingsre- men who have far different ideas of the lated.

things that are related, or that are thus compared ; v.g. those who have far different ideas of a man, may yet agree in the notion of a father: which is a notion superinduced to the substance, or man, and refers only to an act of that thing called man, whereby he contributed to the generation of one of his own kind, let man be what it will. Change of §. 5. The nature. therefore of relation

consists in the referring or comparing two be without

things one to another; from which comany change

parison, one or both comes to be denomiject. nated. And if either of those things be Teinoved or cease to be, the relation ceases, and the denomination consequent to it, though the other receive in itself no alteration at all: v. g. Caius, whom I consider to-day as a father, ceases to be so to-morrow, only

by

relation may

in the sub

Relation

by the death of his son, without any alteration made in himself. Nay, barely by the mind's changing the object to which it compares any thing, the same thing is capable of having contrary denominations at the same time: v. g. Caius, compared to several persons, may truly be said to be older and younger, stronger, and weaker, &c.

$. 6. Whatsoever doth or can exist, or be considered as one thing, is positive; and only betwixt so not only simple ideas and substances, but two things. modes also, are positive beings : though the parts of which they consist, are very often relative one to another ; but the whole together considered as one thing, and producing in us the complex idea of one thing, which idea is in our minds as one picture, though an aggregate of divers parts, and under one name, it is a positive or absolute thing, or idea. Thus a triangle, though the parts thereof compared one to another be relative, yet the idea of the whole is a positive absolute idea. The same may be said of a family, a tune, &c. for there can be no relation, but betwixt two things considered as two things. There must always be in relation two ideas, or things, either in themselves really separate, or considered as distinct, and then a ground or occasion for their comparison. §. 7. Concerning relation in general, these

All things things may be considered :

capable of First, that there is no one thing, whe- relation. ther simple idea, substance, mode, or relation, or name of either of them, which is not capable of almost an infinite number of considerations, in reference to other things; and therefore this makes no small part of men's thoughts and words : v. g. one single man may at once be concerned in, and sustain all these following relations, and many more, viz. father, brother, son, grandfather, grandson, father-in-law, son-inlaw, husband, friend, enemy, subject, general, judge, patron, client, professor, European, Englishman, islander, servant, master, possessor, captain, superior, inferior, bigger, less, older, younger, contemporary, like, unlike, &c. to an almost infinite number: he being ca-.

pable

D 3

« 이전계속 »