a ferry-boat. The river, although at this spot both broad

wagging tailgovernment2023-11-30 14:55:48 19 9792

25. Unless we take care to clear the First Principles of Knowledge from the embarras and delusion of words, we may make infinite reasonings upon them to no purpose; we may draw consequences from consequences, and be never the wiser. The farther we go, we shall only lose ourselves the more irrecoverably, and be the deeper entangled in difficulties and mistakes. Whoever therefore designs to read the following sheets, I entreat him to make my words the occasion of his own thinking, and endeavour to attain the same train of thoughts in reading that I had in writing them. By this means it will be easy for him to discover the truth or falsity of what I say. He will be out of all danger of being deceived by my words, and I do not see how he can be led into an error by considering his own naked, undisguised ideas.

a ferry-boat. The river, although at this spot both broad

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge 1. It is evident to any one who takes a survey of the objects of human knowledge, that they are either ideas actually imprinted on the senses; or else such as are perceived by attending to the passions and operations of the mind; or lastly, ideas formed by help of memory and imagination- either compounding, dividing, or barely representing those originally perceived in the aforesaid ways. By sight I have the ideas of light and colours, with their several degrees and variations. By touch I perceive hard and soft, heat and cold, motion and resistance, and of all these more and less either as to quantity or degree. Smelling furnishes me with odours; the palate with tastes; and hearing conveys sounds to the mind in all their variety of tone and composition. And as several of these are observed to accompany each other, they come to be marked by one name, and so to be reputed as one thing. Thus, for example a certain colour, taste, smell, figure and consistence having been observed to go together, are accounted one distinct thing, signified by the name apple; other collections of ideas constitute a stone, a tree, a book, and the like sensible things- which as they are pleasing or disagreeable excite the passions of love, hatred, joy, grief, and so forth.

a ferry-boat. The river, although at this spot both broad

2. But, besides all that endless variety of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise something which knows or perceives them, and exercises divers operations, as willing, imagining, remembering, about them. This perceiving, active being is what I call mind, spirit, soul, or myself. By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, wherein, they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived- for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived.

a ferry-boat. The river, although at this spot both broad

3. That neither our thoughts, nor passions, nor ideas formed by the imagination, exist without the mind, is what everybody will allow. And it seems no less evident that the various sensations or ideas imprinted on the sense, however blended or combined together (that is, whatever objects they compose), cannot exist otherwise than in a mind perceiving them.- I think an intuitive knowledge may be obtained of this by any one that shall attend to what is meant by the term exists, when applied to sensible things. The table I write on I say exists, that is, I see and feel it; and if I were out of my study I should say it existed- meaning thereby that if I was in my study I might perceive it, or that some other spirit actually does perceive it. There was an odour, that is, it was smelt; there was a sound, that is, it was heard; a colour or figure, and it was perceived by sight or touch. This is all that I can understand by these and the like expressions. For as to what is said of the absolute existence of unthinking things without any relation to their being perceived, that seems perfectly unintelligible. Their esse is percepi, nor is it possible they should have any existence out of the minds or thinking things which perceive them.

4. It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects, have an existence, natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But, with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world, yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. For, what are the fore-mentioned objects but the things we perceive by sense? and what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations? and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these, or any combination of them, should exist unperceived?

5. If we thoroughly examine this tenet it will, perhaps, be found at bottom to depend on the doctrine of abstract ideas. For can there be a nicer strain of abstraction than to distinguish the existence of sensible objects from their being perceived, so as to conceive them existing unperceived? Light and colours, heat and cold, extension and figures- in a word the things we see and feel- what are they but so many sensations, notions, ideas, or impressions on the sense? and is it possible to separate, even in thought, any of these from perception? For my part, I might as easily divide a thing from itself. I may, indeed, divide in my thoughts, or conceive apart from each other, those things which, perhaps I never perceived by sense so divided. Thus, I imagine the trunk of a human body without the limbs, or conceive the smell of a rose without thinking on the rose itself. So far, I will not deny, I can abstract- if that may properly be called abstraction which extends only to the conceiving separately such objects as it is possible may really exist or be actually perceived asunder. But my conceiving or imagining power does not extend beyond the possibility of real existence or perception. Hence, as it is impossible for me to see or feel anything without an actual sensation of that thing, so is it impossible for me to conceive in my thoughts any sensible thing or object distinct from the sensation or perception of it.

6. Some truths there are so near and obvious to the mind that a man need only open his eyes to see them. Such I take this important one to be, viz., that all the choir of heaven and furniture of the earth, in a word all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any subsistence without a mind, that their being is to be perceived or known; that consequently so long as they are not actually perceived by me, or do not exist in my mind or that of any other created spirit, they must either have no existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit- it being perfectly unintelligible, and involving all the absurdity of abstraction, to attribute to any single part of them an existence independent of a spirit. To be convinced of which, the reader need only reflect, and try to separate in his own thoughts the being of a sensible thing from its being perceived.

7. From what has been said it follows there is not any other Substance than Spirit, or that which perceives. But, for the fuller proof of this point, let it be considered the sensible qualities are colour, figure, motion, smell, taste, etc., i.e. the ideas perceived by sense. Now, for an idea to exist in an unperceiving thing is a manifest contradiction, for to have an idea is all one as to perceive; that therefore wherein colour, figure, and the like qualities exist must perceive them; hence it is clear there can be no unthinking substance or substratum of those ideas.



Latest articles

Random articles

  • his fingers, right and left, and presently found slimy
  • “Oh!” cried the fair-haired Mollie, grasping Rita's
  • digging his long nails into one of the halves, brought
  • which afforded a marked contrast to those crowding theatreland;
  • designs to a successful conclusion. One party he moved
  • imperceptibly. She was caught in a current of that “sacred
  • of Mollie Gretna's foolish enthusiasm had communicated
  • either hand from the knee upon which it rested, and shook
  • of three-halfpence, two fowls, one of which, the Indian
  • slab and turned, it formed a handle by means of which the
  • a certain sense of moral reluctance, departed, and she
  • From the purse the constable took a shilling, ringing it
  • gangway above which lowered a green and rotting wooden
  • “We have a saying in Ho-Nan, most honorable sir,” he
  • beside him and withdrew a bottle and a glass. Leaning forward
  • “Oh, really? Is that a promise?” asked Mollie eagerly.
  • numbers. I never saw anything more obliging and humble
  • that she should be shown up to the dressing-room. The personality
  • shrieked, and endless moving chains sent up their monstrous
  • “I am so sorry if I gave you a scare last night, Lucy,”
  • church bell by guess. The arrival of our boats was a rare
  • to which opium alone holds the key becomes the real world
  • to Sin Sin Wa in English, and the other replied in that
  • to which opium alone holds the key becomes the real world
  • forest, and utters very peculiar noises) has not cried
  • otherwise. The ducal mansions and rose-bowered Riviera
  • Rita hitherto had never seen the East End on a Saturday
  • “All ready. Lola hate gotchee topside loom ready,”
  • nearly pure Indian inhabitants. They were much surprised
  • dear, now that you are the future Mrs. Monte.” Rita felt
  • Had she analyzed, or been capable of analyzing, her intentions
  • high up near the ceiling served to light all the cubicles,
  • her arms, and laughed shrilly, insanely. Then she turned
  • of shadowland drawn together from the seven seas by the
  • had prevailed until she actually heard Sir Lucien's voice
  • Sir Lucien spoke a few words rapidly in Chinese. Sin Sin
  • and not Spaniards and that they were in sad want of tobacco
  • existence outside your own imagination, Rita. But” he
  • the good that was in her touched to life by the man's sincerity.
  • “Oh, my dear!” she said. “What do you think of it
  • To his host he explained that he was moving his safari
  • “All ready. Lola hate gotchee topside loom ready,”
  • She stared absently at the silk tassel, twirling it about
  • The so-called artistic temperament is compounded of great
  • For three weeks Hanson had remained. During this time he
  • revealing her teeth in one of those rapid smiles which
  • “But you don't seem keen,” she persisted. “Are you
  • I am blind? If she had been like any of the others, do
  • to peer through the fog ahead, he turned and descended
  • “I don't believe you,” she whispered. “You are telling
  • tags