« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Minds of Brutes, which they do in Men; for they have Sense and Perception, and external Objects make the same Impressions upon them... And if the Soul of Man have no more innate Knowledge than the Soul of a Beast, but all Notions and Ideas come from without, and the Beast receives che fame Impresions from without, that Men do'; why should not the same Impressions convey the same Notions to Souls equally void of all natural Ideas?
Whoever observes the Workings of his own Mind, finds that all Notions and Ideas come by Reflection ; that is, by turning our Eyes and Thoughts inward upon ourselves. But why should we consult our own Minds, if there be no Characters of Truth, no Ideas of Things to be found there! If our Notions and Ideas came from without, they would be 'as immediately printed upon the Mind, as the Objects of Sense are; the Soul would be wholly passive in Knowledge, as it is in Senfe ; and all Mens Notions must be as exactly alike as their Sensations are. Whereas we know, that Truth is not discover'd without difficult and laborious Searches: Men turn over their Minds, and examine all the Ideas that they find there, till they hit on such a Train of Thoughts, -as like a Clue leads them into those private and secret:Recesses where such Ideas are to be found : Which is the Reafon why Men differ so much in their Notions of Things ; that some Men are wholly ignorant of the most useful Truths; others fee but a little Part of them; others have distinct and clear Notions, which they affent to without any doubt.
And therefore no Man truly understands any thing, nor is easy and satisfied with any Notions which he reads or hears, till he feels then in his own Mind: "And the most perfect and satisfactory Knowledge we have is Intuition ; when the Mind
sees Truth bright and clear, as the Eye sees Light and Colours ; Sees it, I say, in it felf, not newly put in there, but fees it to be old and eternal Truth, Now if to know and to understand, be to see and to feel Truth, and to see and to feel it. in our Minds, not as we see new Fictions, and the Imagery of Fancy, which we know to be our own Creatures ; but to see and know them to be old and necessary Truths, which we only see, but do not make to be Truths; then it is certain these Notions and Ideas must be connate, and inbred, and interwoven in the very Frame and Contexture, if I may so speak, of a rational Soul.
I shall add but one Thing more ; : Whether these. Men will allow our Passions to be innate? Such as Love and Hatred, Hope and Fear, Defire and Aversation. These Passions are the internal Sense of the Soul; and I suppose they will grant external Objects cannot create Sensation, where there is no inward innate Principle of Sense ; for that is to create Life by external Impressions; and it is certain these internal Passions are not immediately raised by external Objects, but by our own Imaginations and Opinions of Things. · And now lec any Man judge, whether it be reasonable to think that God has implanted in us natural Passions, which have Good and Evil for their Objects, but has implanted no natural Ideas in us of Good and Evil. We may, I think, as reasonably suppose, that God has made Eyes, but made no Light ; that when there is a natural Proportion between the Passion; and the Object, and a natural Relation and Connexion between them; one should be the Work of Nature, but not the other.'
But the better to understand, and to confirm this, let us now briefly examine. Mr. Lock's Arguments against all innate Ideas. And the first, and I think the only general Argument he has against
them, is, That all Children and Idiots have not the
I should not have expected such an Argument as
Mr. Lock feems to have been aware of this Objection; for it is fo obvious, that no thinking Man can miss it. And therefore in what follows, he changes this Affirmative Proposition, That whatever is imprinted on the Mind is perceived, into this Negative one, That no Proposition can be said to be in the Mind, which it never get knece, which
it was never get conscious of. But these are two very different Things; and his altering the State of the Question, without seeming to alter it, has fome Art, but no Plain-dealing in it.
The first Question between us, is, Whether any Notion or Idea can be in the Mind, which the Mind does not actually perceive. That this may be, is plain in Fact ; for no Man actually perceives any Thing, but what he actually thinks of; yet every Man, every Day he lives, has a thousand Things in his Mind, which he does not actually think of, and so many Ideas he has in his Mind, which he does not perceive. And if at any time we can have Ideas in our Mind, which we do not actually perceive ; it can never be a good Arguinent, that any Ideas are not in our Minds, because we do not perceive them.
But the second State of the Question is, Whether we can say, that any Ideas are in our Minds, which we did never perceive? I ask, Why not, if they may be there and not be perceiv'd? Why may not a Child have such Ideas as he never did perceive, as well as a Man have Ideas which he has no actual Perception of? What difference is there between a Child who never had a Perception of his Ideas, and a Man who once had such Perception, but by Sickness or old Age has now utterly lost all Perception of them ? Has this old Man, who was once an admirable Scholar, no Ideas left in his Mind? Is his Soul become a Rafa Tabula again? If not, why may not a Child have Ideas which it never perceiv'd yet, as well as a Man have Ideas which he has lost the Perception of? If there may be Ideas in the Mind without Perception, they may as well be there before they are perceiv'd, as after their Perception is lost.
I suppose Mr. Lock will grant, that such a learned Man, who loses his Understanding by Sickness
or Age, as soon as he is delivered from this Body, will recover all his Notions or Ideas again in the next World with Advantage; which proves that his Soul was not stripp'd of its Ideas when it lost the Perception of them, no more than a Man is when he falls asleep.
But I would gladly know what his Opinion is about the Souls of Infants, who die in a State of Infancy. They, as he says, brought no Ideas into this World with them, and did not live long enough here to get any ; do they then go without all Notions and Ideas into the other World, as perfect Infants as they came into this? Are there then Infant Spirits too? Spirits stripp'd of Body, which must learn to think and to form Ideas of Things? Or do the Souls of Infants, as soon as they are difentangled froin these Bodies, exercise their rational Powers, with the Liberty and Freedom of unbodied Spirits? This it is certain they can never do, unless they carry fome Ideas into the next World with them :' And this they cannot do, except they brought them into this world with them, for they learnt nothing here ; and yet an Infant Spirit is somewhat harder to conceive, than Innate Ideas.
I should have expected from so great a Philosopher, that he would have considered the Soul in its State of Union to an Earthly Body; if he believes the Soul to be an immaterial Spirit, and not mere thinking Matter, (for he does not seem throughly resolv’d as to this point:) But if the Soul and Body are two diftinct Beings, it is evident that the vital Union of the Soul to Matter, must confine its Operations to. Bodily Instruments; and then its native Powers may lie conceal’d, or exert themselves by weak and flow Degrees, as the Body will enable them to act; and therefore we must not conclude that there is nothing in the Soul but what appears through the Body.