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10. Why the genus is ordinarily made use of in defi


11. General and universal are creatures of the understanding.

12. Abstract ideas are the essences of the genera species.

13. They are the workmanship of the understanding, but have their foundation in the similitnde of things, 14. Each distinct abstract idea is a distinct essence. 15. Real and nominal essence. 16. Constant connexion between the name and nominal essencé. 17. Supposition, that species are distinguished by their real essences, useless. 18. Real and nominal essence the same in simple ideas and modes, different in substances.

19. Essences ingenerable and incorruptible.

20. Recapitulation.


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11. Simple ideas why unde finable further explained.

12, 13 The contrary showed incomplex ideas by instances of a statue and rainbow. 14. The names of complex ideas when to be made intelligible by words. 15. Fourthly, Names of simple ideas least doubtful. 16. Fifthly, Simple ideas have few ascents in linea prædicamentali

17. Sixthly, Names of simple ideas, stand for ideas not at all abitrary.


Of the names of mixed modes and relations.


1. They stand for abstract ideas as other general


2. First, The ideas they
stand for are made by the

3. Secondly, made arbitra-
rily, and without patterns.
4. How this is done.
5. Evidently arbitrary, in
that the idea is often be-
fore the existence.
6. Instances, murther, in-
cest, stabbing.

7. But still subservient to the end of language. 8. Whereof the instranslatable words of divers languages are a proof. 9. This shows species to be made for communication. 10, 11 In mixed modes, it is the name that ties the combination together, and makes it a species.

12. For the originals of mix

ed modes, we look no farther than the mind, which also shows ther to be the workmanship of the understanding.

13. Their being made by the underssanding without

patterns shows the rea son why they are so compounded.

14. Names of mixed modes stand always for their real essences

15. Why their names are usu

ally got before their ideas, 16. Reason of my being so large on this subject.


Of the names of substances.


1. The common names of substances stand for sorts. 2. The essence of each sort

is the abstract idea.

3. The nominal and real es
sence different.

4-6. Nothing essential to individuals.

7, 8. The nominal essence bounds the species.

9. Not the real essence, which we know not. 10. Not substantial forms,

which we know less, 11. That the nominal essence isthat whereby we distin guish species, farther evident from spirits. 12. Whereof there are proba

bly numberlesss species, 13. The nominal essence that of the species proved from water and ice. 14-18. Difficulties against a certain number of real


19. Our nominal essences of

substances, not perfect collections of properties. 21. But such a collection as

our name stands for. 22. Our abstract ideas are to

us the measure of species. Instances in that of man. 23. Species notdistinguished by generation.

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39. Genera and species are
in order to naming. In-
stance, watch.
40. Species of artificial
things lessconfused than

41 Artificial things of dis-
tinct species

42. Substances alone have proper names.

43. Difficulty to treat of words with words. 44, 45, Instances of mixed modes kineah and niouph.

46, 47 Instance of substances in zahab.

48. Their ideas imperfect

and therefore various, 49. Therefore to fix their species, a real essence is supposed.

50 Which supposition is of

no use

51. Conclusion.





§. 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 for its nobleness, worth our labour to enquire 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.

§. 2. Design.

This, therefore, being my purpose, to enquire 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 under.

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standings; 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.

. 3. Method.

It is, therefore, worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain know ledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions. In order whereunto, I shall pursue this following method.

First, I shall enquire into the original of those ideas, notions, or whatever else you please to call them, which a man observes, and is conscious to himself he has in his mind; and the ways, whereby the understanding comes to be furnished with them.

Secondly, I shall endeavour to shew what knowledge the understanding hath by those ideas; and the certainty, evidence, and extent of it.

Thirdly, I shall make some enquiry into the nature and grounds of faith, or opinion; whereby I mean that assent, which we give to any proposition as true, of whose truth yet we have no certain knowledge: and here we shall have occasion to examine the reasons and degrees of assent.

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