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perties, because they are endless, it is plain, that the Idea made after this fashion by this Archetype, will be always inadequate.

. 48. But this is not all, it would alfo follow, that the Names of Subftances Their Ideas, would not only have (as in truth they have) but would alfo be fuppos'd to have imperfect, and therefore different Significations, as us'd by different Men, which would very much cumber various. the ufe of Language. For if every diftinct Quality, that were discover'd in any Matter by any one, were fuppos'd to make a neceffary part of the complex Idea, fignify'd by the common Name given it, it must follow, that Men muft fuppofe the fame word to fignify different Things in different Men; fince they cannot doubt but different Men may have difcover'd feveral Qualities in Subftances of the fame Denomination, which others know nothing of.

§. 49. To avoid this therefore, they have fuppos'd a real Effence belonging to Therefore to Every Species, from which thefe Properties all flow, and would have their Name fix their Speof the Species ftand for that. But they not having any Idea of that real Ef- cies, a real Effence is fence in Subftances, and their Words fignifying nothing but the Ideas they Juppos'd. have, that which is done by this Attempt, is only to put the Name or Sound in the place and ftead of the thing having that real Effence, without knowing what the real Effence is; and this is that which Men do, when they speak of Species of Things, as fuppofing them made by Nature, and distinguish'd by

real Effences.

§. 50. For let us confider, when we affirm, that all Gold is fix'd, either it Which Suppomeans that Fixednefs is a part of the Definition, part of the nominal Effence fition is of no use. the word Gold ftands for; and fo this Affirmation, all Gold is fix'd, contains nothing but the fignification of the Term Gold. Or efe it means, that Fixednefs not being a part of the Definition of the word Gold, is 2 Property of that Subftance it felf: In which cafe, it is plain, that the word Gold ftands in the place of a Subftance, having the real Effence of a Species of Things made by Nature. In which way of Subftitution it has fo confus'd and uncertain a fignification, that tho' this Propofition, Gold is fix'd, be in that fenfe an Affirmation of fomething real, yet 'tis a Truth will always fail us in its particular Application, and fo is of no real Ufe nor Certainty. For let it be ever fo true that all Gold i. e. all that has the real Effence of Gold, is fix'd, what ferves this for, whilft we know not in this fenfe what is or is not Gold? For if we know not the real Effence of Gold, 'tis impoffible we should know what parcel of Matter has that Effence, and fo whether it be true Gold or no.

S. 51. To conclude: What liberty Adam had at first to make any complex Conclusion. Ideas of mix'd modes, by no other Pattern but by his own Thoughts, the fame have all Men ever fince had. And the fame neceffity of conforming his Ideas of Subftances to Things without him, as to Archetypes made by Nature, that Adam was under, if he would not wilfully impofe upon himself, the fame are all Men ever fince under too. The fame Liberty alfo that Adam had of affixing any new Name to any Idea, the fame has any one ftill (especially the Beginners of Languages, if we can imagine any fuch) but only with this difference, that in Places where Men in Society have already eftablifh'd a Language amongst them, the fignification of words are very warily and fparingly to be alter'd: Because Men being furnifh'd already with Names for their Ideas, and common Ufe having appropriated known Names to certain Ideas, an affected Mifapplication of them cannot but be very ridiculous. He that hath new Notions, will, perhaps, venture fometimes on the coining new Terms to exprefs them: But Men think it a Boldness, and 'tis uncertain whether common Ufe will ever make them pafs for current. But in Communication with others, it is neceffary, that we conform the Ideas we make the vulgar Words of any Language ftand for, to their known proper Significations (which I have explain'd at large already) or elfe to make known that new Signification we apply them to.


nec Parts, or


Of Particles.

ESIDES Words, which are Names of Ideas in the Mind, there are a

Particles con great many others that are made ufe of, to fignify the Connection that

whole Sentences together.

the Mind gives to Ideas, or Propofitions one with another. The Mind, in communicating its Thought to others, does not only need Signs of the Ideas it has then before it, but others alfo, to fhew or intimate fome particular Action of its own, at that time, relating to those Ideas. This it does feveral ways; as Is, and Is not, are the general Marks of the Mind, affirming or denying, But befides Affirmation or Negation, without which there is in Words no Truth or Falfhood, the Mind does, in declaring its Sentiments to others, connect not only the Parts of Propofitions, but whole Sentences one to another, with their feveral Relations and Dependencies, to make a coherent Difcourfe.

In them con§. 2. The Words, whereby it fignifies what Connection it gives to the fevefifts the Art of ral Affirmations and Negations, that it unites in one continu'd Reasoning or Wellspeaking. Narration, are generally call'd Particles; and 'tis in the right ufe of thefe, that more particularly confifts the clearness and beauty of a good Stile. To think well, it is not enough that a Man has Ideas clear and diftinct in his Thoughts, nor that he observes the Agreement or Difagreement of fome of them; but he muft think in train, and obferve the dependence of his Thoughts and Reasonings one upon another. And to exprefs well fuch methodical and rational Thoughts, he must have words to fhew what Connection, Restriction, Diftinction, Oppofition, Emphafis, &c. he gives to each refpective Part of his Difcourfe. To mistake in any of thefe, is to puzzle, inftead of informing his Hearer; and therefore it is that those words, which are not truly by themselves the Names of any Ideas, are of fuch conftant and indifpenfible ufe in Language, and do much contribute to Mens well expreffing themfelves.

gives to its

They fhew §. 3. This part of Grammar has been perhaps as much neglected, as fome owhat Relation thers over-diligently cultivated. 'Tis eafy for Men to write, one after another, the Mind of Cafes and Genders, Moods and Tenfes, Gerunds and Supines. In these, and the own Thoughts. like, there has been great Diligence us'd; and Particles themselves, in fome Languages, have been, with great fhew of Exactnefs, rank'd into their feveral Orders. But tho' Prepofitions and Conjunctions, &c. are Names well known in Grammar, and the Particles, contain'd under them carefully rank'd into their diftin&t Subdivifiors; yet he who would fhew the right ufe of Particles, and what fignificancy and force they have, muft take a little more Pains, enter into his own. Thoughts, and obferve nicely the feveral Poftures of his Mind in difcourfing.

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4. Neither is it enough, for the explaining of thefe Words, to render them, as is ufually in Dictionaries, by words of another Tongue which came nearest to their fignification: For what is meant by them, is commonly as hard to be understood in one, as another Language. They are all Marks of fome Action, or Intimation of the Mind; and therefore to understand them rightly, the feveral Views, Poftures, Stands, Turns, Limitations and Exceptions, and feveral other Thoughts of the Mind, for which we have either none, or very deficient Names, are diligently to be study'd. Of these there are a great variety, much exceeding the number of Particles, that moft Languages have to express them by; and therefore it is not to be wonder'd that most of these Particles have divers, and fometimes almoft oppofite fignifications. In the Hebrew Tongue there is a Particle confifting but of one fingle Letter, of which there are reckon❜d up, as I remember, feventy, I am fure above fifty feveral fignifi


9. 5. BUT is a Particle, none more familiar in our Language; and he that fays it is a difcretive Conjun&tion, and that it anfwers Sed in Latin, or Mais in French, thinks he has fufficiently explain'd it. But it seems to me to intimate feveral Relations, the Mind gives to the feveral Propofitions or Parts of them, which it joins by this Monofyllable. Firft

First, BUT to Say no more: Here it intimates a ftop of the Mind in the course it was going, before it came to the end of it.

Secondly, I faw BUT two Plants: Here it fhews, that the Mind limits the fenfe to what is exprefs'd, with a Negation of all other.

Thirdly, You pray; BUT it is not that GOD would bring you to the true Religion.

Fourthly, BUT that he would confirm you in your own. The first of these BUTS intimates a Suppofition in the Mind of fomething otherwise than it fhould be; the latter fhews, that the Mind makes a dire& oppofition between that, and what goes before it.

Fifthly, All Animals have Sense; BUT à Dog is an Animal: Here it fignifies little more, but that the latter Propofition is join'd to the former, as the Minor of a Syllogifm.

§. 6. To thefe, I doubt not, might be added a great many other Significations of this Particle, if it were my bufinefs to examine it in its full latitude, and confider it in all the places it is to be found: which if one fhould do, I doubt, whether in all thofe manners it is made ufe of, it would deferve the Title of Difcretive, which Grammarians give to it. But I intend not here a full Explication of this fort of Signs. The Inftances I have given in this one, may give occafion to reflect upon their ufe and force in Language, and lead us into the contemplation of feveral Actions of our Minds in difcourfing, which it has found a way to intimate to others by these Particles; fome whereof conftantly, and others in certain conftru&tions, have the Senfe of a whole Sentence contain'd in them.

6. I.



Of Abstract and Concrete Terms.


HE ordinary Words of Language, and our common Ufe of them, Terms not would have given us light into the nature of our Ideas, if they had predicable one been but confider'd with Attention. The Mind, as has been fhewn, has a power of another, to abftract its Ideas, and fo they become Effences, general Effences, whereby and why. the forts of things are diftinguifh'd. Now each abftract Idea being diftinct, fo that of any two the one can never be the other, the Mind will, by its intuitive Knowledg, perceive their difference; and therefore in Propofitions, no two whole Ideas can ever be affirm'd one of another. This we fee in the common Use of Language, which permits not any two abstract Words, or Names of abstract Ideas, to be affirm'd one of another. For how near of kin foever they may feem to be, and how certain foever it is, that Man is an Animal, or Rational, or White, yet every one at first heating perceives the Falfhood of these Propofitions; Humanity is Animality, or Rationality, or Whiteness: And this is as evident, as any of the most allow'd Maxims. All our Affirmations then are only inconcrete, which is the affirming, not one abstract Idea to be another, but one abftra&t Idea to be join'd to another; which abftract Ideas, in Subftances, may be of any fort; in all the reft, are little elfe but of Relations; and in Subftances, the most frequent are of Powers: v. g. a Man is White, fignifies, that the thing that has the Effence of a Man, has alfo in it the Effence of Whitenefs, which is nothing but a power to produce the Idea of Whiteness in one, whofe Eyes can discover ordinary Obje&s; or a Man is rational, fignifies that the fame thing that hath the Effence of a Man, hath alfo in it the Effence of Rationality, i. e. a Power of Reasoning.

§. 2. This Diftin&tion of Names fhews us alfo the difference of our Ideas: For They fhew the if we observe them, we shall find that our fimple Ideas have all abstract, as well as difference of concrete Names; the one whereof is (to speak the Language of Grammarians) a our Ideas, Subftantive, the other an Adjective; as Whiteness, White, Sweetness, Sweet. The like alfo holds in our Ideas of Modes and Relations; as Juftice, Juft; Equality, Equal; only with this difference, That fome of the concrete Names of Relations, amongft Men chiefly, are Subftantives; as Paternitas, Pater; where

Vol. I.

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of it were easy to render a reafon. But as to our Ideas of Subftances, we have very few or no abftract Names at all. For tho' the Schools have introduc'd Animalitas, Humanitas, Corporietas, and fome others; yet they hold no proportion with that infinite number of Names of Subftances, to which they never were ridiculous enough to attempt the coining of abftract ones: and thofe few that the Schools forg'd, and put into the mouths of their Scholars, could never yet get admittance into common Ufe, or obtain the Licence of publick Approbation. Which feems to me at leaft to intimate the Confeffion of all Mankind, that they have no Ideas of the real Effences of Subftances, fince they have not Names for fuch Ideas which no doubt they would have had, had not their Consciousness to themselves of their ignorance of them, kept them from fo idle an Attempt. And therefore tho' they had Ideas enough to diftinguifh Gold from a Stone, and Metal from Wood; yet they but timorously ventur'd on fuch terms, as Aurietas and Saxietas, Metallietas and Lignietas, or the like Names, which should pretend to fignify the real Effences of thole Subftances, whereof they knew they had no Ideas. And indeed it was only the Doctrine of Jubftantial Forms, and the Confidence of mistaken Pretenders to a Knowledge that they had not, which first coin'd, and then introduc'd Animalitas, and Humanitas, and the like; which yet went very little farther than their own Schools, and could never get to be current amongst understanding Men. Indeed, Humanitas was a Word familiar amongst the Romans, but in a far different fenfe, and ftood not for the abftra& Effence of any Subftance; but was the abftract Name of a Mode, and its concrete Humanus, not Homo.

Words are u- §. 1.

fed for record




Of the Imperfection of Words.

ROM what has been faid in the foregoing Chapters, it is eafy to perceive what Imperfection there is in Language, and how the very Nature of ing and com- Words makes it almoft unavoidable for many of them to be doubtful and unour Thoughts. Certain in their fignifications. To examine the Perfection or Imperfection of Words, it is neceffary first to confider their Ufe and End: For as they are more or less fitted to attain that, fo are they more or lefs perfe&. We have, in the former part of this Difcourfe, often upon occafion mention'd a double Ufe of Words.

First, One for the recording of our own Thoughts.

Secondly, The other for the communicating of our Thoughts to others.

Any Words §. 2. As to the first of these, for the recording our own Thoughts for the help of will ferve for our own Memories, whereby, as it were, we talk to our felves, any Words will recording. ferve the turn. For fince Sounds are voluntary and indifferent figns of any Ideas, a Man may ufe what Words he pleafes, to fignify his own Ideas to himfelf: and there will be no imperfection in them, if he conftantly ufe the fame fign for the fame Idea; for then he cannot fail of having his meaning understood, wherein confifts the right Ufe and Perfection of Language.


tion by Words, Civil or Philofophical.

§. 3. Secondly, As to Communication of Words, that too has a double Ufe.
I. Civil.

II. Philofophical.

First, By their civil Ufe, I mean fuch a Communication of Thoughts and Ideas by Words, as may ferve for the upholding common Converfation and Commerce, about the ordinary Affairs and Conveniences of civil Life, in the Societies of Men one amongst another.

Secondly, By the Philofophical Ufe of Words, I mean fuch an Ufe of them, as may ferve to convey the precife Notions of things, and to exprefs, in general Propofitions, certain and undoubted Truths, which the Mind may reft upon and be fatisfy'd with, in its fearch after true Knowledge. Thefe two Ufes are very diftinct; and a great deal lefs Exactness will ferve in the one than in the other, as we shall fee in what follows.

§. 4. The chief end of Language in Communication being to be understood, The Imper fection of Words ferve not well for that end, neither in Civil nor Philofophical Difcourfe, Words is the when any Word does not excite in the Hearer the fame Idea which it ftands for Doubtfulness in the Mind of the Speaker. Now fince Sounds have no natural Connection of their Sig with our Ideas, but have all their fignification from the arbitrary Impofition of nification Men, the Doubtfulness and Uncertainty of their Signification, which is the Imperfection we here are fpeaking of, has its caufe more in the Ideas they stand for, than in any Incapacity there is in one Sound more than in another, to fignify any Idea for in that regard they are all equally perfect.

That then which makes Doubtfulness and Uncertainty in the Signification of fome more than other Words, is the difference of Ideas they ftand for.

§. 5. Words having naturally no Signification, the Idea which each stands for Causes of their mult be learn'd and retain'd by thofe, who would exchange Thoughts, and hold Imperfections But this is hardest to be intelligible Difcourfe with others in any Language.

done, where,

First, The Ideas they ftand for are very complex, and made up of a great number of Ideas put together.

Secondly, Where the Ideas they ftand for have no certain Connection in Nature; and fo no fettled Standard, any where in Nature exifting, to rectify and adjust them by.

Thirdly, Where the Signification of the Word is refer'd to a Standard, which Standard is not eafy to be known.

Fourthly, Where the Signification of the Word, and the real Effence of the Thing, are not exactly the fame.

Thefe are Difficulties that attend the Signification of feveral Words that are intelligible. Those which are not intelligible at all, fuch as Names standing for any fimple Ideas, which another has not Organs or Faculties to attain; as the Names of Colours to a blind Man, or Sounds to a deaf Man; need not here be mention'd.

In all these cafes we fhall find an Imperfection in Words, which I fhall more at large explain, in their particular application to our feveral forts of Ideas: For if we examine them, we fhall find that the Names of mix'd Modes are most liable to Doubtfulness and Imperfection, for the two firft Reafons; and the Names of Subftances chiefly for the two latter.

§. 6. First, The Names of mix'd Modes are many of them liable to great Un- The Names of certainty and Obfcurity in their Signification.

mix'd Mcdes

First, Because

I. Because of that great Compofition thefe complex Ideas are often made up of doubtful." To make Words ferviceable to the end of Communication, it is neceffary (as the Ideas they has been faid) that they excite in the Hearer exactly the fame Idea they ftand Stand for, are for in the Mind of the Speaker. Without this, Men fill one another's heads fo complex with Noife and Sounds; but convey not thereby their Thoughts, and lay not before one another their Ideas, which is the end of Difcourfe and Language. But when a Word ftands for a very complex Idea that is compounded and decompounded, it is not eafy for Men to form and retain that Idea fo exactly, as to make the Name in common ufe ftand for the fame precife Idea without any the leaft variation. Hence it comes to pafs, that Mens Names of very compound Ideas, fuch as for the moft part are moral Words, have feldom, in two different Men, the fame precife Signification; fince one Man's complex Idea feldom agrees with another's, and often differs from his own, from that which he had yesterday, or wili have to morrow.


6. 7. II. Because the Names of mix'd Modes, for the most part, want Standards Secondly, Be in Nature, whereby Men may rectify and adjust their Significations; therefore caufe they they are very various and doubtful. They are Affemblages of Ideas put toge- have no Stan ther at the pleafure of the Mind, purfuing its own ends of Difcourfe, and fuited to its own Notions; whereby it defigns not to copy any thing really exifting, but to denominate and rank things, as they come to agree, with thofe Archetypes or Forms it has made. He that firft brought the word Sham, Wheedle, or Banter in ufe, put together, as he thought fit, those Ideas he made it ftand for: And as it is with any new Names of Modes, that are now brought into any Language; fo it was with the old ones, when they were firft made use of. Names therefore that ftand for Collections of Ideas which the Mind makes at Ff2

Vol. I.


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