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5. Secondly, All complex ideas, except of substances.

6. Hence the reality of mathematical knowledge.

7. And of moral.

8. Existence not required to make it real.

9. Nor will it be less true or certain, because moral ideas are of our own making and naming.

10. Misnaming disturbs not the certainty of the knowledge.

11. Ideas of substances have their archetypes without us.

12. So far as they agree with those, so far our knowledge concerning them is real.

13. In our inquiries about substances,

we must consider ideas, and not confine our thoughts to names or species supposed set out by names. 14, 15. Objection against a changeling being something between man and beast, answered.

16. Monsters.

17. Words and species.

18. Recapitulation.

CHAPTER V. Of truth in general.

1. What truth is.

2. A right joining or separating of signs; i. e. ideas or words.

3. Which makes mental or verbal propositions.

4. Mental propositions are very hard to be treated of.

5. Being nothing but joining, or separating ideas without words. 6. When mental propositions contain real truth, and when verbal. 7. Objection against verbal truth, that thus it may be all chimerical. 8. Answered, Real truth is about ideas agreeing to things.

9. Falsehood is the joining of names otherwise than their ideas agree. 10. General propositions to be treated of more at large. 11. Moral and metaphysical truth.


Of universal propositions, their truth and certainty.

1. Treating of words, necessary to knowledge.

2. General truths, hardly to be understood, but in verbal propositions. 3. Certainty two-fold, of truth and of knowledge.

4. No proposition can be known to be

true, where the essence of each species mentioned is not known.

5. This more particularly concerns substances.

6. The truth of few universal propositions concerning substances, is to be known.

7. Because coexistence of ideas in few cases is to be known. 8, 9. Instance in gold.

10. As far as any such coexistence can be known, so far universal propositions may be certain. But this will go but a little way, because, 11, 12. The qualities which make our complex ideas of substances depend mostly on external, remote, and unperceived causes.

13. Judgment may reach farther, but that is not knowledge.

14. What is requisite for our knowledge of substances.

15. Whilst our ideas of substances contain not their real constitutions, we can make but few general certain propositions concerning them. 16. Wherein lies the general certainty of propositions.

Of maxims.

1. They are self-evident

2. Wherein that self-evidence consists. 3. Self-evidence not peculiar to received axioms.

4. First, As to identity and diversity, all propositions are equally selfevident.

5. Secondly, In coexistence we have few self-evident propositions.

6. Thirdly, In other relations we may have.

7. Fourthly, Concerning real existence, we have none.

8. These axioms do not much influour other knowledge.

9. Because they are not the truths the first know!!.

10. Because on them the other parts of our knowledge do not depend. 11. What use these general maxims have.

12. Maxims, if care be not taken in the use of words, may prove contradictions.

13. Instance in vacuum.

14. They prove not the existence of things without us.

15. Their application dangerous about complex ideas.

16-18. Instance in man.

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Of the existence of a God.

1. We are capable of knowing certainly that there is a God.

2. Man knows that he himself is. 3. He knows also, that nothing cannot produce a being, therefore something eternal.

4. That eternal Being must be most powerful.

5. And most knowing.

6. And therefore God.

7. Our idea of a most perfect being, not the sole proof of a God.

8. Something from eternity.

9. Two sorts of beings, cogitative and incogitative.

10 Incogitative being cannot produce a cogitative.

11, 12. Therefore, there has been an eternal wisdom.

18. Whether material or no.

14. Not material, First, Because every particle of matter is not cogitative.

15. Secondly, One particle alone of matter cannot be cogitative.

16. Thirdly, A system of incogitative matter cannot be cogitative.

17. Whether in motion or at rest. 18, 19. Matter not coeternal with an eternal mind.


Of the knowledge of the existence of other things.

1. Is to be had only by sensation. 2. Instance-Whiteness of this paper. 3. This, though not so certain as demonstration, yet may be called knowledge, and proves the existence of things without us.

4. First, Because we cannot have them but by the inlets of the senses. 5. Secondly, Because an idea from actual sensation, and another from me. mory, are very distinct perceptions. 6. Thirdly, Pleasure or pain, which accompanies actual sensation, accompanies not the returning of those ideas without the external objects. 7. Fourthly, Our senses assist one another's testimony of the existence of outward things.

8. This certainty is as great as our condition needs.

9. But reaches no farther than actual sensation.

10. Folly to expect demonstration in every thing.


Past existence is known by memory. 12. The existence of spirits not know


13. Particular propositions concerning existence are knowable. 14. And general propositions concerning abstract ideas.

CHAPTER XII. Of the improvement of our knowledge. 1. Knowledge is not from maxims. 2. The occasion of that opinion. 3. But from the comparing clear and distinct ideas.

4. Dangerous to build upon precarious principles.

5. This no certain way to truth. 6. But to compare clear complete ideas under steady names.

7. The true method of advancing knowledge is by considering our abstract ideas.

8. By which morality also may be made clearer.

9. But knowledge of bodies is to be improved only by experience.

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3. The ill consequence of this, if our former judgment were not rightly made.

4. The right use of it is mutual charity and forbearance

5. Probability is either of matter of fact or speculation.

6. The concurrent experience of all other men with ours, produces assurance approaching to knowledge. 7. Unquestionable testimony and experience for the most part produce confidence.

8. Fair testimony, and the nature of the thing indifferent, produces also confident belief.

9. Experience and testimonies clashing, infinitely vary the degrees of probability.



Traditional testimonies, the farther
removed, the less their proof.
Yet history is of great use.

12. In things which sense cannot discover, analogy is the great rule of probability.

CHAPTER XIV. Of judgment.


1. Our knowledge being short, we want something else.

One case where contrary experience lessens not the testimony.

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2. What use to be made of this twilight estate.

3. Judgment supplies the want of knowledge.

4. Judgment is the presuming things to be so, without perceiving it.

CHAPTER XV. Of probability.

1. Probability is the appearance of agreement upon fallible proofs. 2. It is to supply the want of knowledge.

3. Being that which makes us presume things to be true, before we know them to be so.

4. The grounds of probability are two; conformity with our own experience, or the testimony of others' experience.

5. In this all the agreements, pro and con, ought to be examined before we come to a judgment.

6. They being capable of great variety.


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Of the degrees of assent. 1. Our assent ought to be regulated by the grounds of probability. 2. These cannot be always all actually n view, and then we must content ourselves with the remembrance that we once saw ground for such 17. a degree of assent.

To supply the narrowness of this, we have nothing but judgment upon probable reasoning.

Intuition, demonstration, judgment.

18. Consequences of words, and consequences of ideas.

8, 9. Enthusiasm mistaken for seeing and feeling.

19. Four sorts of arguments: first, Ad 10. Enthusiasm how to be discovered.


20. Secondly, Ad ignorantiam.

21. Thirdly, Ad hominem.

22. Fourthly, Ad judicium.

11. Enthusiasm fails of evidence that
the proposition is from God.
12. Firmness of persuasion no proof
that any proposition is from God.

23. Above, contrary, and according to 13. Light in the mind, what.


24. Reason and faith not opposite.


of faith and reason, and their distinct provinces.

1. Necessary to know their boundaries.

2. Faith and reason what, as contradistinguished.

3. No new simple idea can be con

veyed by traditional revelation. 4. Traditional revelation may make

us know propositions knowable also by reason, but not with the same certainty that reason doth.

5. Revelation cannot be admitted

against the clear evidence of reason. 6. Traditional revelation much less. 7. Things above reason.

14. Revelation must be judged of by


15, 16. Belief no proof of revelation.


Of wrong assent, or error.

1. Causes of error.

2. First, Want of proofs.

3. Obj. What shall become of those who want them, answered.

4. People hindered from inquiry. 5. Secondly, Want of skill to use them.

6. Thirdly, Want of will to use them. 7. Fourthly, Wrong measures of probability: whereof.

8-10. First, Doubtful propositions taken from principles.

11. Secondly, Received hypotheses. 12. Thirdly, Predominant passions.

8. Or not contrary to reason, if reveal- 13. The means of evading probabili

ed, are matter of faith.

9. Revelation, in matters where rea-14. son cannot judge, or but probably, ought to be hearkened to.

10. In matters where reason can afford certain knowledge, that is to be hearkened to.

11. If the boundaries be set between faith and reason, no enthusiasm, or extravagancy in religion, can be contradicted.

Of enthusiasm.

1. Love of truth necessary.

2. A forwardness to dictate, whence.

3. Force of enthusiasm.

4. Reason and revelation.

5. Rise of enthusiasm.

6, 7. Enthusiasm.

ties, 1st, Supposed fallacy.

2dly, Supposed arguments for the contrary.



What probabilities determine the


Where it is in our power to suspend it.

17. Fourthly, Authority.


Men not in so many errors as is imagined.


Of the division of the sciences.

1. Three sorts.

2. First, Physica.

3. Secondly, Practica.

4. Thirdly, Enμricetinn.

5. This is the first division of the ob

jects of knowledge.






SECT. 1. An inquiry into the understanding, pleasant and useful.— SINCE it is the understanding that sets man above the rest of sensible beings, and gives him all the advantage and dominion which he has over them; it is certainly a subject, even from its nobleness, worth our labour to inquire into. The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself; and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance, and make it its own object. But whatever be the difficulties that lie in the way of this inquiry, whatever it be that keeps us so much in the dark to ourselves, sure I am, that all the light we can let in upon our own minds, all the acquaintance we can make with our own understandings, will not only be very pleasant, but bring us great advantage, in directing our thoughts in the search of other things.

SECT. 2. Design.-This, therefore, being my purpose, to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge, together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent; I shall not at present meddle with the physical consideration of the mind, or trouble myself to examine wherein its essence consists, or by what motions of our spirits, or alterations of our bodies, we come to have any sensation by our organs, or any ideas in our understandings; and whether those ideas do, in their formation, any, or all of them, depend on matter or no: these are speculations, which, however curious and entertaining, I shall decline, as lying out of my way, in the design I am now upon. It shall suffice to my present purpose, to consider the discerning faculties of a man, as they are employed about the objects which they have to do with: and I shall imagine I have not wholly misemployed myself in the thoughts I shall have on this occasion, if, in this historical, plain method, I can give any account of the ways whereby our understandings come to attain those notions of things we have, and can set down any measures of the certainty of our knowledge, or the grounds of those persuasions, which are to be found amongst men, so various, different, and wholly contradictory; and yet asserted somewhere or other with such assurance and confidence, that he that shall take a view of the opinions of mankind, observe their opposition, and at the same time consider the fondness and devotion wherewith they are embraced, the resolution and eagerness wherewith they are maintained, may perhaps have reason to suspect, that either there is no such thing as truth at all, or that mankind hath no sufficient means to attain a certain knowledge of it.


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