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sential modes and properties of it: so body in its comprehension takes iu solidity, figure, quantity, mobility, &c. So a bowl in its comprehension includes roundness, volubility, &c.
The extension of an universal idea regards all the particular kiuds and single beings that are coutainel under it. So a body in its extension includes sun, moon, star, wood, iron, plant, animal, &c. which are several species, or individuals, under the general name of body. So a bowl, in its extension, includes a wooden bowl, a brass bowl, a white and black bowl, a heavy bowl, &c. and all kinds of bowls, together with all the particular individual bowls in the world.
Note. The comprehension of an idea is sometimes taken in so large a sense, as not only to include the essential attributes, but all the properties, modes, and relations whatsoever, that belong to any being, as will appear, chap. VI.
This account of genus and species is part of that famous doctrine of universals, which is taught in the schools, with divers other formalities belonging to it; for it is in this place that they introduce difference, which is the primary essential mode, and perty, or the secondary essential mode, and accident, or the accidental mode: and these they call the five predicables, because every thing that is affirmed concern. ing any being must be either the genus, the species, the difference, some property, some accident: but what farther is necessary to be said coucerning these things will be mentioned when we treat of definition.
Having finished the doctriue of universal aud particular ideas, I should take notice of another division of them, wbich also hath respect to their objects; and that is, they are either real or imaginary:
Real ideas are such as have a just foundation in nature, and bave real objects, or cxemplars, which did, or do, or may actually exist, according to the present state and nature of things; such are all our ideas of long, broad, swift, slow, wood, iron, men, horses, thoughts, spirits, a cruel master, a proud beggar, a man seven feet higb.
Imaginary ideas, which are also called fantastical,
or chimerical, are such as are made by enlarging, diminishing, uniting, dividing real ideas in the mind, in such a manner as no objects or exemplars did or ever will exist, according to the present course of nature, though the several parts of these ideas are borrowed from real objects; such are the conceptions we have of a centaur, a satyr, a golden mountain, a flying horse, a dog without a head, a bull less than a mouse, or a mouse as big as a bull, and a man twenty feet bigh.
Some of these fantastical ideas are possible, that is, they are not utterly inconsistent in the nature of things, and therefore it is within the reach of divine power to make such objects ; such are most of the instances already given; but impossiblưs carry an utter inconsistence in the ideas which are joined; such are self-active matter, and infinite or eternal men, a pious man without honesty, and heaven without holiness.
SECT. IV.-The division of Ideas, with regard to their
Qualilies. Ideas, with regard to their qualities, afford us these several divisions of them. 1. They are either clear and distinct, or obscure and confused. 2. They are vulgar or learned. 3. They are perfect or imperfect. 4. They are true or false.
I. Our ideas are either clear and distinct, or obscure and confused.
Several writers bave distinguished the clear idea from those that are distinct ; and the confused idea from those that are obscure; and it must be acknowledged, there may be some difference between them, for it is the clearness of ideas for the most part makes them distinct; and the obscurity of ideas is one tbing that will always bring a sort of confusion into them. Yet when these writers come to taik largely upon this subject, and to explain and adjust their meaning with great nicety, I have generally found that they did not keep up the distinction they first designed, but they confound the one with the other. I shall therefore treat of clear or distinct ideas, as oue
and the same sort, and obscure or confused ideas as another.
A clear and distinct idea is that which represents the object of the mind with full evidence and strength, and plainly distinguishes it from all other objects whatsoever.
An obscure and confused idea represents the object either so faintly, so imperfectly, or so mingled with other ideas, that the object of it doth not appear plain to the mind, nor purely in its own nature, nor sufficiently distinguished from other things.
When we see the sea and sky nearer at hand, we have a clear and distinct idea of each; but when we look far toward the horizon, especially in a misty day, our ideas of both are but obscure and confused; for we know not which is sea and which is sky. So when we look at the colours of the rainbow, we have a clear idea of the red, the blue, the green, in the middle of their several arches; and a distinct idea too, while the eye fixes there; but when we cousider the border of those colours, they so run into one another, that it renders their ideas confused and ob
So the idea which we have of our brother, or our friend, whom we see daily, is clear and distinct; but when the absence of many years has injured the idea, it becomes obscure and confused.
Note here, that some of our ideas may be very clear and distinct in one respect, and very obscure and confused in another. So when we speak of a chiliagonum, or a figure of a thousand angles, we may have a clear and distinct rational idea of the number one thousand angles ; for we can demonstrate various properties concerning it by reason; but the image, or sensible idea, which we have of the figure is but confused and obscure; for we cannot precisely distinguish it by fancy from the image of a figure that has nine hundred angles, or vive hundred and ninety. So when we speak of the infinite divisibility of matter, we always keep in our nivds a very clear and distinct idea of division and divisibility. But after we have made a little progress in dividing, and come to parts that are far tou small for the reach of our senses, then
our ideas, or sensible images of these little bodies, become obscure and indistinct, and the idea of infi. nite is very obscure, imperfect, and confused.
11. Ideas are either vulgar or learned. A vulgar idea represents to us the mosť obvious and sensible appearances that are contained in the object of them; but a learned idea penetrates farther into the nature, properties, reasons, causes, and effects of things. This is best illustrated by some examples.
It is a vulgar idea that we have of a rainbow, when we conceive a large arch in the clouds, made up of various colours parallel to each other; but it is a learned idea which a philosopher has when he conBiders it as the various reflections and refractions of sun-beams in drops of falling rain. So it is a vulgar idea which we have of the eolours of solid bodies, when we perceive them to be, as it were, a red, or blue, or greeu tincture of the surface of those bodies ; but it is a philosophical idea when we consider the various colours to be nothing else but different sensa. tions excited io us by the variously refracted rays of light reflected on our eyes in a different manner, according to the different size or shape, or situation of the particles of which the surfaces of ihose bodies are composed. It is a vulgar idea which we have of a watch or clock, when we conceive of it as a pretty instrument made to shew us the hour of the day; but it is a learned idea which the watchmaker has of it, who knows all the several parts of it, the spring, the balance, the chain, the wheels, their axles, &c. together with the various connexions and adjustments of each part, whence the exact and uniform motion of the index is derived, which points to the minute or the hour. So when a common understanding reads Virgil's Æneid, he has but a vulgar idea of that poem; yet his mind is naturally entertained with the story, and his ears with the verse; but when a critic, or a man who has skill in poesy, reads it, he has a learned idea of its peculiar beauties; he tastes and relishes a superior pleasure ; he ad. mires the Roman poet, and wishes he had known the
Christian theology, which would have furnished bim with nobler materials and machines than all the heathen idols.
It is with a vulgar idea that the world beholds the cartoons of Raphael. at Hampton-court, and every one feels his share of pleasure and entertainment; but a painter contemplates the wonders of that Italian pencil, and sees a thousand beauties in them which the vulgar eye neglected: his learned ideas give bim a transcendent delight, and yet, at the same time, discover the blemishes which the common gazer never observed.
11!. Ideas are either perfect or imperfect, which are otherwise called adequate or inadequate.
Those are adequate ideas which perfectly represent their archetypes or objects. Inadequate ideas are but a partial or incomplete representation of those archetypes to which they are referred.
All our simple ideas are in some sense inadequate or perfect; because simple ideas, considered merely as our first perceptions, have no parts in them; so we may be said to have a perfect idea of white, black, sweet, sour, length, light, motion, rest, &c. We have also a perfect idea of various figures, as a triangle, a square, a cylinder, a cube, a sphere, which are complex ideas; but our idea or image of a figure of a thousand sides, our idea of the city of London, or the powers of a loadstone, are very imperfect, as well as our ideas of infinite length or breadth, infinite power, wisdom, or duration ; for the idea of infinite is endless and ever growing, and can never be completed.
Note ). When we have a perfect idea of any thing in all its parts, it is called a complete idea; when in all its properties, it is called comprehensive. But when we have but an inadequate and imperfect idea, we are only said to apprehend it; therefore use the term apprehension, when we speak of our knowledge of God, who can never be conprehended by his creatures.
Note 2. Though there are a multitude of ideas which may be called perfect or adequate, in a yulgar