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reader to the first essay among the Philosophical Essays by I. W. published 1733,
Now, if we seclude space out of our cousideration, there will remain but two sorts of substances in the world, that is, matter and mind; or, as we otherwise call them, body and spirit; at least we have no ideas of any other substance but these*.
• Because men have different ideas and notions of substance, I thought it not proper entirely to omit all accounts of them, and therefore have thrown them into the margin.
Some philosophers suppose that our acquaintance with matter or mind reaches no farther than the mere properties of them, and that there is a sort of unknown biing, which is the sub. stance or the subject by which these properties of solid exten. sion and of cogitation are supported, and in which these properties inhere or exist. But perhaps this notion arises only from our turning the mere abstracted, or logical notion of substance or self-subsisting, into the notion of a distinct, physical, or natural being, 'without any necessity. Solid extension seems to me to be the very substance of matter, or of all bodies; and a power of thinking, wlich is always in act, seems to be the very substance of all spirits; for God himself is an intelligent al. mighty power; uor is there any need to seek for any other secret and unknown being, or abstracted substance entirely distinct from these, in order to support the several inodes or properties of maiter or mind : for these two ideas are sufficient for that purpose; therefore I rather think these are substances,
It must be confessed, when we say spirit is a thinking suli. stance, and matter is an extended solid substance, we are some. times ready to imagine, that extension and solidity are but mere modes and properties of a certain unknown substance or subject which supports them, and which we call body; and that a power of thinking is but a mere mode and property of some un. known substance or subject which supports it, and which we call spirit; but I rather take this to be a mere mistake which we are led into by the grammatical form and use of words; and perhaps our logical way of thinking by substances and modes, as well as our grammatical way of talking by substantives and adjectives, help to delude us into the supposition.
However, that I may not be wanting to any of my readers, I would let them know Mr. Lucke's opinion, which has obtained much in the present age, and it is this: " That our idea of any "particular substance is only such a combination of simple ideas
as represents that thing as subsisting by itself, in which the “ supposed or confused idea of substance (such as it is) is always “ ready to offer itself. It is a conjunction of ideas co-existing " in such a cause of their union, and makes the whole subject “i subsist by itself, though the cause of their union beunkuown; " and our general idea of substance arises from the self-sub"i sistence of this collection of ideas."
1 Among substances, some are called simple, some are compound, whether the words be taken in a philosophical or a vulgar sense.
Simple substances, in a philosophical sense, are either spirits which bave no manner of composition in them, and in this sense God is called a simple being; or they are the first principles of bodies, which are usually called elements, of which all other bodies are compounded: elements are such substances as cannot be resolved or reduced into two or more substances of different kinds.
The various sects of philosophers have attributed the honour of this name to various things. The Peripateticks, or followers of Aristotle, made fire, air, earth, and water, to be the four elements of which all earthly things were compounded; and they supposed the heavens to be a quintessence, or a fifth sort of body, distinct from all these; but since experimental philosophy and mathematics have been better understood, this doctrine has been abundautly refuted. The chemists make spirit, salt, sulphur, water, aud earth, to be their five elements, because they can re
Now if this notion or substance res: bere, and be considered merely as an unknown cause of the union of properties, it is much more easy to be admitted, but if we proceed to support a sort of real, substantial, distinct being, different from solid quantity or extension in bodies, and different from a power of thinking in spirits, in my opinion it is the introduction of a ucedless, scholastical notion into the real nature of things, and then fancying it to liave a real existence.
Mr. Locke, in his Essay of Humau Understanding, Book IT, chap. 22, sect. 2, seems to ridicule this common idea of sub. stance, which men have generally supposed to be a sort of sub., stratum, distinct from all properties whatsoever, and to be the support of all properties. Yei, in Book IV. chap. 3, sect. 6, he seems to suppose there may be some such urknown substratum, which may be capable of receiving the properties both of matter and of mind, viz extension, solidity, and cogitation; for lie supposes it possible for God to add cogitation to that substance which is corporeal, and thus to cause malter to think, If this be true, then spirits (for ought we know) may be corporeal beiugs or thinking bodies, which is a doctrine too favourable to the mortality of the soul. But I leave these debates to the phi. losophers of the age, and will not be too positive in my opinion of this abstruse subject.
See more of this argument in Philosophical Essays, before cited, Essay 11,
duce all terrestrial things to these five. This seems to come nearer the truth, though they are not all agreed in this enumeration of elements. In short, our modern philosphers generally suppose matter or body to be one simple principle or solid extension, which being diversified by its various shapes, quan. tities, motions, and situations, makes all the varieties that are found in the universe, and therefore they make little use of the word element.
Compound substances are made up of two or more simple substances; so every thing in this whole material creation that can be reduced by the art of man into two or more different principles or substances, is a compound body in the philosophical sense.
But if we take the words simple and compound ja a vulgar sense, then all those are simple substances which are generally esteemed uniform in their natures. So every herb is called a simple; and every metal and mineral, though the chemist perhaps may find all his several elements in each of them. So a needle is a simple body, being only made of steel; but a sword or a knife is a compound, because its haft, or handle, is made of materials different from the blade. So the bark of Peru, or the juice of sorrel, is a simple medicine; but when the apothecary's art has mingled several simples together, it becomes a compound, as diascordium or mithradite.
The terms of pure and mixt, when applied to bodies, are much akin to simple and compound. So a guinea is pure gold, if it has nothing but gold in it, without any alloy or baser metal : but if any other miireral, or metal, be mingled with it, it is called a mixed substance or body.
Substances are also divided into animate and inani. mate. Animate substauces are either animal or vegetable*.
Some of the animated substances have various organical or instrumental parts, fitted for a variety of
Vegetables, as well as animals, have gotten the name of animated substances, because some of the ancients supposed herbs and plants, heasts and birds, &c. to have a sort of souls distinct from matter or body.
motions from place to place, and a spring of life witbin themselves, as beasts, birds, fishes, and in. sects; these are called animals. Other animated substances are called vegetables, which have within themselves the principies of another sort of life and growth, and of various productions of leaves, flowers, and fruit, such as we see in plants, herbs, and trees.
And there are other substances, which are called inanimate, becanse they have no sort of life in them, as eartb, stone, air, water, &c.
There is also one sort of substance or being, which is compounded of body and mind, or a rational spirit united to an animal; such is mankind. Augels, or any other beings of the spiritnal and invisible world, who have assumed visible shapes for a season, can bardly be reckoned among this order of compounded beings; because they drop their bodies, and divest themselves of those visible shapes, when their particular message is performed, and thereby shew that these bodies do not belong to their natures. Sect. III.- Of Modes, and their carious kinds, and
first of essential and accidental Modes. The next sort of objects which are represented in our ideas are called modes, or manners of being*
A mode is that which cannot subsist in and of itself, but is always esteemed as belonging to, and subsisting by the help of sume substance, which, for that reason, is called its subject. A mode must depend on that substance for its very existence and being; and that not as a being depends on its cause, (for so substances themselves depend on God their creator), but the very being of a mode depends on some substance for its subject, in which it is, or to which it belongs ; so motion, shape, quantity, weight, are modes of the body; knowledge, wit, folly, love, doubting, judging,
The terni Mode is by some authors applied chefiy to the relations, or relative manners of being; but, in logical treatises. it is often used in a larger sense, and extends to all attributes whatsoever, and includes the most esseutial and inward pro. perties, as well as outward respects and relations, and reaches to actious themselves as well as manncrs of action.
are modes of the mind; for the one cannot subsist without body, and the other cannot subsist without mind.
Modes have their several divisions, as well as substances.
I. Modes are either essential or accidental.
An essential mode or attribute is that which beJongs to the very nature or essence of the subject wherein it is; and the subject can never have the same nature without it. Such is roundness in a bowl, hardness in a stone, softness in water, vital motion in an animal, solidity in matter, thinking in a spirit; for though that piece of wood which is now a bowi may be made square, yet if roundness be taken away it is no longer a bowl; so that very flesh and hones, which is now an animal, may be without life or inward motion, but if all motion be entirely gone, it is no longer an animal but a carcase; so if a body or matter be divested of solidity, it is a mere void space or nothing; and if spirit be entirely without thinking, I have no idea of any thing that is left in it; therefore, so far as I am able to judge, consciousness must be its esseutial attribute*; thus all the perfections of God are called his attributes, for he cannot be without them.
An essential mode is either primary or secondary.
A primary essential mode is the first or chief thing that constitutes any being in its particular essence or nature, and makes it to be that which it is, and dis. tinguishes it from all other beings: this is called the difference in the definition of things, of which here. after: so rounduess is the primary essential mode or difference of a bowl: the meeting of two lines is the primary essential mode, or the difference of an angle: the perpendicularity of these lines to each other is
# When I call solid extension an essential mode or attribute of matter, and a power of thinking an essential mode or attribute of a spirit, I do it in compliance with common forms of speech; but perhaps in reality these are the very essences or substances themselves, and the most substantial ideas that we cap frame of body and spirit, and have no need of any (we know uot what) substratum, or unintelligible substance, to support them in their existence or being,