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heavy, and fusible, it takes that complex idea to be the complete idea of gold, when yet its peculiar fixedness and solubility in aqua regia are as inseparable from those other ideas or qualities of that body, as they are from one


§. 24. 4. When judged to represent the real essence.

Fourthly, the mistake is yet greater, when I judge, that this complex idea contains in it the real essence of any body existing, when at least it contains but some few of those properties which flow from its real essence and constitution. I say, only some few of those properties; for those properties consisting mostly in the active and passive powers it has, in reference to other things, all that are vulgarly known of any one body of which the complex idea of that kind of things is usually made, are but a very few, in comparison of what a man, that has several ways tried and examined it, knows of that one sort of things: and all that the most expert man knows are but a few, in comparison of what are really in that body, and depends on its internal or essential constitution. The essence of a triangle lies in a very little compass, consists in a very few ideas: three lines including a space make up that essence: but the properties that flow from this essence are more than can be easily known or enumerated. So I imagine it is in substances, their real essences lie in a little compass, though the properties flowing from that internal constitution are endless.

§. 25. Ideas, when false.

To conclude, a man having no notion of any thing without him, but by the idea he has of it in his mind (which idea he has a power to call by what name he pleases) he may indeed make an idea neither answering the reason of things, nor agreeing to the idea commonly signified by other people's words; but cannot make a wrong or false idea of a thing, which is no otherwise known to him but by the idea he has of it: v. g. when I frame an idea of the legs, arms, and body of a man, and join to this a horse's head and neck, I do not make a false idea of any thing; because it represents nothing without me. But when I call it a man or Tartar, and imagine it to represent some real being without me, or to be the same idea that others call by the same name: in either of these cases I may err.And upon this account it is, that it comes to be termed a false idea; though indeed the falsehood lies not in the idea,

but in that tacit mental proposition, wherein a conformity and resemblance is attributed to it, which it has not. But yet, if having framed such an idea in my mind, without thinking either that existence, or the name man or Tartar, belongs to it, I will call it man or Tartar, I may be justly thought fantastical in the naming, but not erroneous in my judgment; nor the idea any way false.

$. 26. More properly to be called right or wrong. Upon the whole matter, I think that our ideas, as they are considered by the mind, either in reference to the proper signification of their names, or in reference to the reality of things, may very fitly be called right or wrong ideas, according as they agree or disagree to those patterns to which they are referred. But if any one had rather call them true or false, it is fit he use a liberty which every one has, to call things by those names he thinks best; though, in propriety of speech, truth or falsehood will, I think, scarce agree to them, but as they, some way or other, virtually contain in them some mental proposi tion. The ideas that are in a man's mind, simply considered, cannot be wrong, unless complex ones, wherein inconsistent parts are jumbled together. All other ideas are in themselves right, and the knowledge about them right and true knowledge: but when we come to refer them to any thing, as to their patterns and archetypes, then they are capable of being wrong, as far they disagree with such archetypes.




§. 1. Something unreasonable in most men. THERE is scarce any one that does not observe something that seems odd to him, and is in itself really extravagant in the opinions, reasonings, and actions of other The least flaw of this kind, if at all different from his own, every one is quick-sighted enough to espy in another, and will by the authority of reason forwardly condemn, though he be guilty of much greater unreasonableness in his own tenets and conduct, which he never perceives, and will very hardly, if at all, be convinced of

§. 2. Not wholly from self-love.

This proceeds not wholly from self-love, though that has often a great hand in it. Men of fair minds, and not given up to the over-weening of self flattery, are frequently guilty of it; and in many cases one with amazement hears the arguings, and is astonished at the obstinacy of a worthy man, who yields not to the evidence of reason, though laid before him as clear as day-light.

§. 3. Not from education.

This sort of unreasonableness is usually imputed to education and prejudice, and for the most part truly enough, though that reaches not the bottom of the disease, nor shows distinctly enough whence it rises, or wherein it lies. Education is often rightly assigned for the cause, and prejudice is a good general name for the thing itself: but yet, I think, he ought to look a little farther, who would trace this sort of madness to the root it springs from, and so explain it, as to show whence this flaw has its original in very sober and rational minds, and wherein it consists.

§. 4. A degree of madness.

I shall be pardoned for calling it by so harsh a name as madness, when it is considered, that opposition to reason deserves that name, and is really madness; and there is scarce a man so free from it, but that if he should always, on all occasions, argue or do as in some cases he constantly does, would not be thought fitter for Bedlam than civil conversation. I do not here mean when he is under the power of an unruly passion, but in the steady calm course of his life. That which will yet more apologize for this harsh name, and ungrateful imputation on the greatest part of mankind is, that inquiring a little by the by into the nature of madness, b. ii. c. xi. §. 13. I found it to spring from the very same root, and to depend on the very same cause we are here speaking of. This consideration of the thing itself, at a time when I thought not the least on the subject which I am now treating of, suggested it to me. And if this be a weakness to which all men are so liable; if this be a taint which so universally infects mankind; the greater care should be taken to lay it open under its due name, thereby to excite the greater care in its prevention and cure.

§. 5. From a wrong connection of ideas.

Some of our ideas have a natural correspondence and connexion one with another: it is the office and excellency

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of our reason to trace these, and hold them together in that union and correspondence which is founded in their peculiar beings. Besides this, there is another connexion of ideas wholly owing to chance or custom: ideas, that in themselves are not all of kin, come to be so united in some men's minds, that it is very hard to separate them; they always keep in company, and the one no sooner at any time comes into the understanding, but its associate ap pears with it; and if they are more than two, which are thus united, the whole gang, always inseparable, show themselves together.

§. 6. This connection how made.

This strong combination of ideas, not allied by nature, the mind makes in itself either voluntary or by chance; and hence it comes in different men to be very different, according to their different inclinations, education, interests, &c. Custom settles habits of thinking in the understanding, as well as of determining in the will, and of motions in the body; all which seems to be but trains of motion in the animal spirits, which once set a-going, continue in the same steps they have been used to: which, by of ten treading, are worn into a smooth path, and the motion in it becomes easy, and as it were natural. As far as we can comprehend thinking, thus ideas seem to be produced in our minds; or if they are not, this may serve to explain their following one another in an habitual train, when once they are put into their track, as well as it does to explain such motions of the body. A musician used to any tune will find, that let it but once begin in his head, the ideas of the several notes of it will follow one another orderly in his understanding, without any care or attention, as regularly as his fingers move orderly over the keys of the organ to play out the tune he has begun, though his unattentive thoughts be elsewhere a-wandering. Whether the natural cause of these ideas, as well as of that regular dancing of his fingers, be the motion of his animal spirits, I will not determine, how probable soever, by this instance, it appears to be so: but this may help us little to conceive of intellectual habits, and of the tying together

of ideas.

§. 7. Some antipathies an effect of it.


That there are such associations of them made by custom in the minds of most men I think nobody will question, who has well considered himself or others; and to

this perhaps, might be justly attributed most of the sympathies and antipathies observable in men, which work as strongly, and produce as regular effects as if they were natural; and are therefore called so, though they at first had no other original but the accidental connexion of two ideas, which either the strength of the first impression, or future indulgence so united, that they always afterwards kept company together in that man's mind, as if they were but one idea. I say most of the antipathies, I do not say all, for some of them are truly natural, depend upon our original constitution, and are born with us; but a great part of those which are counted natural, would have been known to be from unheeded, though, perhaps, early impressions, or wanton fancies at first, which would have been acknowledged the original of them, if they had been warily observed. A grown person surfeiting with honey, no sooner hears the name of it, but his fancy immediately carries sickness and qualms to his stomach, and he cannot bear the idea of it; other ideas of dislike and sickness, and vomiting, presently accompany it, and he is disturbed, but he knows from whence to date this weakness, and can tell how he got this indisposition. Had this happened to him by an overdose of honey, when a child, all the same effects would have followed, but the cause would have been mistaken, and the antipathy counted natural.

§. 8.

I mention this not out of any great necessity there is, in this present argument, to distinguish nicely between natural and acquired antipathies; but I take notice of it for another purpose, viz. that those who have children, or the charge of their education, would think it worth their while diligently to watch, and carefully to prevent the undue connexion of ideas in the minds of young people. This is the time most susceptible of lasting impressions: and though those relating to the health of the body are by discreet people minded and fenced against, yet I am apt to doubt, that those which relate more peculiarly to the mind, and terminate in the understanding or passions, have been much less heeded than the thing deserves: nay, those relating purely to the understanding have, as I suspect, been by most men wholly overlooked.

§. 9. A great cause of errors.

This wrong connexion in our minds of ideas in themselves loose and independent of one another, has such an

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