I expected to have seen a bold chain of mountains crossing

wagging tailgovernment2023-11-30 14:41:28 63 79981

9. Some there are who make a distinction betwixt primary and secondary qualities. By the former they mean extension, figure, motion, rest, solidity or impenetrability, and number; by the latter they denote all other sensible qualities, as colours, sounds, tastes, and so forth. The ideas we have of these they acknowledge not to be the resemblances of anything existing without the mind, or unperceived, but they will have our ideas of the primary qualities to be patterns or images of things which exist without the mind, in an unthinking substance which they call Matter. By Matter, therefore, we are to understand an inert, senseless substance, in which extension, figure, and motion do actually subsist. But it is evident from what we have already shown, that extension, figure, and motion are only ideas existing in the mind, and that an idea can be like nothing but another idea, and that consequently neither they nor their archetypes can exist in an unperceiving substance. Hence, it is plain that that the very notion of what is called Matter or corporeal substance, involves a contradiction in it.

I expected to have seen a bold chain of mountains crossing

10. They who assert that figure, motion, and the rest of the primary or original qualities do exist without the mind in unthinking substances, do at the same time acknowledge that colours, sounds, heat cold, and suchlike secondary qualities, do not- which they tell us are sensations existing in the mind alone, that depend on and are occasioned by the different size, texture, and motion of the minute particles of matter. This they take for an undoubted truth, which they can demonstrate beyond all exception. Now, if it be certain that those original qualities are inseparably united with the other sensible qualities, and not, even in thought, capable of being abstracted from them, it plainly follows that they exist only in the mind. But I desire any one to reflect and try whether he can, by any abstraction of thought, conceive the extension and motion of a body without all other sensible qualities. For my own part, I see evidently that it is not in my power to frame an idea of a body extended and moving, but I must withal give it some colour or other sensible quality which is acknowledged to exist only in the mind. In short, extension, figure, and motion, abstracted from all other qualities, are inconceivable. Where therefore the other sensible qualities are, there must these be also, to wit, in the mind and nowhere else.

I expected to have seen a bold chain of mountains crossing

11. Again, great and small, swift and slow, are allowed to exist nowhere without the mind, being entirely relative, and changing as the frame or position of the organs of sense varies. The extension therefore which exists without the mind is neither great nor small, the motion neither swift nor slow, that is, they are nothing at all. But, say you, they are extension in general, and motion in general: thus we see how much the tenet of extended movable substances existing without the mind depends on the strange doctrine of abstract ideas. And here I cannot but remark how nearly the vague and indeterminate description of Matter or corporeal substance, which the modern philosophers are run into by their own principles, resembles that antiquated and so much ridiculed notion of materia prima, to be met with in Aristotle and his followers. Without extension solidity cannot be conceived; since therefore it has been shewn that extension exists not in an unthinking substance, the same must also be true of solidity.

I expected to have seen a bold chain of mountains crossing

12. That number is entirely the creature of the mind, even though the other qualities be allowed to exist without, will be evident to whoever considers that the same thing bears a different denomination of number as the mind views it with different respects. Thus, the same extension is one, or three, or thirty-six, according as the mind considers it with reference to a yard, a foot, or an inch. Number is so visibly relative, and dependent on men's understanding, that it is strange to think how any one should give it an absolute existence without the mind. We say one book, one page, one line, etc.; all these are equally units, though some contain several of the others. And in each instance, it is plain, the unit relates to some particular combination of ideas arbitrarily put together by the mind.

13. Unity I know some will have to be a simple or uncompounded idea, accompanying all other ideas into the mind. That I have any such idea answering the word unity I do not find; and if I had, methinks I could not miss finding it: on the contrary, it should be the most familiar to my understanding, since it is said to accompany all other ideas, and to be perceived by all the ways of sensation and reflexion. To say no more, it is an abstract idea.

14. I shall farther add, that, after the same manner as modern philosophers prove certain sensible qualities to have no existence in Matter, or without the mind, the same thing may be likewise proved of all other sensible qualities whatsoever. Thus, for instance, it is said that heat and cold are affections only of the mind, and not at all patterns of real beings, existing in the corporeal substances which excite them, for that the same body which appears cold to one hand seems warm to another. Now, why may we not as well argue that figure and extension are not patterns or resemblances of qualities existing in Matter, because to the same eye at different stations, or eyes of a different texture at the same station, they appear various, and cannot therefore be the images of anything settled and determinate without the mind? Again, it is proved that sweetness is not really in the sapid thing, because the thing remaining unaltered the sweetness is changed into bitter, as in case of a fever or otherwise vitiated palate. Is it not as reasonable to say that motion is not without the mind, since if the succession of ideas in the mind become swifter, the motion, it is acknowledged, shall appear slower without any alteration in any external object?

15. In short, let any one consider those arguments which are thought manifestly to prove that colours and taste exist only in the mind, and he shall find they may with equal force be brought to prove the same thing of extension, figure, and motion. Though it must be confessed this method of arguing does not so much prove that there is no extension or colour in an outward object, as that we do not know by sense which is the true extension or colour of the object. But the arguments foregoing plainly shew it to be impossible that any colour or extension at all, or other sensible quality whatsoever, should exist in an unthinking subject without the mind, or in truth, that there should be any such thing as an outward object.

16. But let us examine a little the received opinion.- It is said extension is a mode or accident of Matter, and that Matter is the substratum that supports it. Now I desire that you would explain to me what is meant by Matter's supporting extension. Say you, I have no idea of Matter and therefore cannot explain it. I answer, though you have no positive, yet, if you have any meaning at all, you must at least have a relative idea of Matter; though you know not what it is, yet you must be supposed to know what relation it bears to accidents, and what is meant by its supporting them. It is evident "support" cannot here be taken in its usual or literal sense- as when we say that pillars support a building; in what sense therefore must it be taken?



Latest articles

Random articles

  • but he had not been as idle as he appeared to have been.
  • that want saying which no one dares to say, a lot of shams
  • interest, however, in us was much quickened when it was
  • “I don’t care,” he answered, “whether I make the
  • or that other infinitely more beautiful flower who wandered
  • husband’s sake, but he gave Miss Wright the cut direct,
  • of pushing vulgarity and self-conceit. These are not vices
  • one and all, Georgie among the rest, wanted to be bargemen.
  • a pound of sugar or an ordinary knife. No individual possessed
  • time he welcomed the hope that the absurdities and unrealities
  • this should have been held sacred from the public gaze.
  • hardly have felt more so; I at once, therefore, consented
  • mud-banks as the tide falls. They occasionally possess
  • into the family. They knew nothing about Mr. and Mrs. Rollings
  • house where the good people lived with whom Ernest had
  • nobody else would dare to say, is not this much the same
  • his face. A bank of yellow fog instantly enveloped him,
  • his beloved bands, and they made him preach in a surplice,
  • this should have been held sacred from the public gaze.
  • me to tell him. Theobald asked me to help him with Christina’s
  • or that other infinitely more beautiful flower who wandered
  • of all classes to the peace and liberties of mankind. The
  • a few years, with the especial object of finding out what
  • but so horrible that it had not even occurred to Theobald
  • steps were ahead of him, and then a long brick tunnel in
  • by year, parish by parish, diocese by diocese this was
  • a month instead of only five times in the year as heretofore,
  • continued to turn to the east during the time the Creed
  • the steps again, finding himself now nearly up to his armpits
  • decorations — in reason — were proper enough, but Easter
  • instead of “Hallelujah,” but this was going too far,
  • I want to find out how these people live, and have lived,
  • (an odd red-breasted little bird, which inhabits the thick
  • his beloved bands, and they made him preach in a surplice,
  • and well done all round, I could see it was in Ernest’s
  • except myself will venture to say, and yet which are crying
  • before. For what was he waiting, or for whom? He heard
  • He smiled, and answered: “No. But if you do what you
  • twice shake his head and say that his wife had been the
  • of the Church would end in her downfall. Since then he
  • the steps again, finding himself now nearly up to his armpits
  • “Well,” he continued, “there are a lot of things
  • untrue. Christina’s epitaph shall contain nothing which
  • and always will hate me. I am an Ishmael by instinct as
  • lamp was incapable of penetrating the fog. He groped with
  • “Oh,” she said, “I’m going to marry Jack here,
  • be got to come in spite of our previous blandishments;
  • nobody else would dare to say, is not this much the same
  • slowly toward the north—he said nothing of the party
  • of society I shall be less vulnerable than Ishmaels generally
  • tags