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tion, fhould produce in the mind the ideas of blue or yellow, &c. But in the other cafe, in the operations of bodies, changing the qualities one of another, we plainly discover, that the quality produced hath commonly no resemblance with any thing in the thing producing it; wherefore we look on it as a bare effect of power. For though receiving the idea of heat, or light, from the fun, we are apt to think it is a perception and refemblance of fuch a quality in the fun; yet when we fee wax, or a fair face, receive change of colour from the fun, we cannot imagine that to be the reception or refemblance of any thing in the fun, because we find not thofe different colours in the fun itself. For our fenfes being able to obferve a likeness or unlikeness of fenfible qualities in two different external objects, we forwardly enough conclude the production of any fenfible quality in any fubject to be an effect of bare power, and not the communication of any quality, which was really in the efficient, when we find no fuch fenfible quality in the thing that produced it. But our fenfes not being able to difcover any unlikeness between the idea produced in us, and the quality of the object producing it; we are apt to imagine, that our ideas are refemblances of fomething in the objects, and not the effects of certain powers placed in the modification of their primary qualities; with which primary qualities the ideas produced in us have no refemblance. Secondary qualities twofold; first, immediately perceivable; fecondly, mediately per

§. 26. To conclude, befide those beforementioned primary qualitics in bodies, viz. bulk, figure, extenfion, number, and motion of their folid parts; all the rest whereby we take notice of bodies, and diftinguish them one from another, are nothing elfe ceivable. but feveral powers in them depending on thofe primary qualities; whereby they are fitted, either by immediately operating on our bodies, to produce feveral different ideas in us; or elfe by operating on other bodies, fo to change their primary qualities, as to render them capable of producing ideas in us, different

ferent from what before they did. The former of these, I think, may be called fecondary qualities, immediately perceivable: the latter, fecondary qualities, mediately perceivable.

§. I.



Of Perception.

Perception the firft fimple idea of reflection.

ERCEPTION, as it is the first faculty of the mind, exercised about our ideas; fo it is the first and fimplest idea we have from reflection, and is by fome called thinking in general. Though thinking, in the propriety of the English tongue, fignifies that fort of operation in the mind about its ideas, wherein the mind is active; where it, with fome degree of voluntary attention, confiders, any thing. For in bare naked perception, the mind is, for the most part, only paffive; and what it perceives, it cannot avoid ceiving.


Is only when the mind re

ceives the


§. 2. What perception is, every one will know better by reflecting on what he does himself, what he fees, hears, feels, &c. or thinks, than by any difcourfe of mine. Whoever reflects on what passes in his own mind, cannot mifs it and if he does not reflect, all the words in the world cannot make him have any notion of it.

§. 3. This is certain, that whatever alterations are made in the body, if they reach not the mind; whatever impreffions are made on the outward parts, if they are not taken notice of within; there is no perception. Fire may burn our bodies, with no other effect, than it does a billet, unless the motion be continued to the brain, and there the fenfe of heat, or idea of pain, be produced in the mind, wherein confifts actual perception.

§. 4. How

§. 4. How often may a man obferve in himself, that whilft his mind is intently employed in the contemplation of fome objects, and curiously furveying fome ideas that are there, it takes no notice of impreffions of founding bodies made upon the organ of hearing, with the fame alteration that ufes to be for the producing the idea of found? A fufficient impulfe there may be on the organ; but if not reaching the obfervation of the mind, there follows n perception: and though the motion that ufes to produce the idea of found be made in the ear, yet no found is heard. Want of fenfation, in this cafe, is not through any defect in the organ, or that the man's ears are lefs affected than at other times when he does hear: but that which ufes to produce the idea, though conveyed in by the ufual organ, not being taken notice of in the understanding, and fo imprinting no idea in the mind, there follows no fenfation. So that wherever there is fenfe, or perception, there fome idea is actually produced, and prefent in the understanding.

Children, though they Irave ideas in the womb, have none innate.

§. 5. Therefore I doubt not but children, by the exercise of their fenfes about objects that affect them in the womb, receive fome few ideas before they are born; as the unavoidable effects, either of the bodies that anviron them, or elfe of thofe wants or difeafes they fuffer: amongst which (if one may conjecture concerning things not very capable of examination) I think the ideas of hunger and warmth are two; which probably are some of the first that children have, and which they scarce ever part with again.


§. 6..But though it be reasonable to imagine that children receive fome ideas before they come into the world, yet thofe fimple ideas are far from those innate principles which fome contend for, and we above have rejected. These here mentioned being the effects of fenfation, are only from fome affections of the body, which happen to them there, and fo depend on fomething exterior to the mind: no otherwife differing in their manner of production from other ideas derived from sense, but only in the precedency of time; whereas


those innate principles are fuppofed to be quite of another nature; not coming into the mind by any accidental alterations in, or operations on the body; but, as it were, original characters impreffed upon it, in the very first moment of its being and conftitution.

Which ideas

first, is not evident.

§. 7. As there are fome ideas which we may reasonably fuppofe may be introduced. into the minds of children in the womb, fubfervient to the neceffities of their life and being there; fo after they are born, thofe ideas are the earliest imprinted, which happen to be the fenfible' qualities which firft occur to them: amongft which, light is not the leaft confiderable, nor of the weakest efficacy. And how covetous the mind is to be furnished with all fuch ideas as have no pain accompanying them, may be a little gucffed, by what is obfervable in children new-born, who always turn their eyes to that part from whence the light comes, lay them how you please. But the ideas that are moft familiar at firft being va-' rious, according to the divers circumftances of children's first entertainment in the world; the order wherein the feveral ideas come at firft into the mind is very various and uncertain alfo; neither is it much material to know it.

Ideas of fenfation often

changed by

the judg


§. 8. We are further to confider concerning perception, that the ideas we receive by fenfation are often in grown people altered by the judgment, without our taking notice of it. When we fet before our eyes a round globe, of any uniform colour, v. g. gold, alabafter, or jet; it is certain that the idea thereby imprinted in our mind, is of a flat circle variously fhadowed, with feveral degrees of light and brightness coming to our eyes. But we having by ufe been accustomed to perceive what kind of appearance convex bodies are wont to make in us, what alterations are made in the reflections of light by the difference of the fenfible figures of bodies; the judgment prefently, by an habitual cuftom, alters the appearances into their causes; fo that from that which is truly variety of fhadow or colour, collecting the figure, it makes it pafs


for a mark of figure, and frames to itself the perception of a convex figure and an uniform colour; when the idea we receive from thence is only a plane variously coloured, as is evident in painting. To which purpofe I fhall here infert a problem of that very ingenious and ftudious promoter of real knowledge, the learned and worthy Mr. Molineaux, which he was pleafed to fend me in a letter fome months fince; and it is this: Suppofe a man born. blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to diftinguish between a cube and a fphere of the fame metal, and nighly of the fame bignefs, fo as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which the fphere. Suppofe then the cube and fphere placed on a table, and the blind man be made to fee: quære, "whether by his fight, before he touched σε them, he could now diffinguifh and tell, which is "the globe, which the cube?" to which the acute and judicious propofer anfwers: Not. For though he has obtained the experience of, how a globe, how a cube affects his touch; yet he has not yet obtained the experience, that what affects his touch fo or so, muft affect his fight fo or fo: or that a protuberant angle in' the cube, that preffed his hand unequally, fhall appear to his eye as it does in the cube. I agree with this thinking gentleman, whom I am proud to call my friend, in his anfwer to this his problem; and am of opinion, that the blind man at first fight, would not be able with certainty to fay which was the globe, which the cube, whilft he only faw them: though he could unerringly name them by his touch, and certainly diftinguish them by the difference of their figures felt. This I have fet down, and leave with my reader, as an occafion for him to confider how much he may be beholden to experience, improvement, and acquired notions, where he thinks he had not the leaft ufe of, or help from them and the rather, becaufe, this obferving gentleman further adds, that having upon the occafion of my book, propofed this to divers very ingenious men, he hardly ever met with one, that at first gave the anfwer to it which he thinks true, till by hearing his reafons they were convinced.

§. 9.


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