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these ideas by sensation and reflection, they may be excited afresh by the use of names, words, signs, or by any thing else that has been connected with them in our thoughts; for when two or more ideas have been associated together, whether it be by custom or accident, or design, the one presently brings the other to mind.


III. Besides these two which we have named, there is a third sort of ideas, which are commonly called abstracted ideas, because though the original ground or occasion of them may be sensation, or reflection, or both; yet these ideas are framed by another act of the mind, which we usually call abstraction. Now the word abstraction signifies a withdrawing some parts of an idea from other parts of it, by which means such abstracted ideas are formed, as neither represent any thing corporeal or spiritual, that is, any thing peculiar or proper to mind or body. Now these are of two kinds.

Some of these abstracted ideas are the most absolute, ge neral and universal conceptions of things considered in themselves, without respect to others, such as entity or being, and not-being, essence, existence, act, power, substance, mode, accident, &c.

The other sort of abstracted idea is relative, as when we compare several things together, and consider merely the rela tions of one thing to another, entirely dropping the subject of those relations, whether they be corporeal or spiritual; such are our ideas of cause, effect, likeness, unlikeness, subject, object, identity, or sameness, and contrariety, order, and other things which are treated of in ontology.

Most of the terms of art, in several sciences may be ranked under this head of abstracted ideas, as noun, pronoun, verb, in grammar, and the several particles of speech, as wherefore, therefore, when, how, although, howsoever, &c. so connections, transitions, similitudes, tropes, and their various forms in rhetoric.

These abstracted ideas, whether absolute or relative, cannot so properly be said to derive their immediate complete and distinct original, either from sensation, or reflection, (1.) Because the nature and the actions both of body and spirit give us occasion to frame exactly the same ideas of essence, mode, cause, effect, likeness, contrariety, &c. Therefore these cannot be called either sensible or spiritual ideas, for they are not exact representations either of the peculiar qualities or actions of spirit or body: but seem to be a distinct kind of idea framed in the mind, to represent our most general conceptions of things, or their relations to one another, without any regard to their natures, whether they be corporeal or spiritual. And, (2.) The same general ideas of cause, and effect, likeness, &c. may be transferred to a thousand

other kinds of being, whether bodily or spiritual, besides those from whence we first derived them even those abstracted ideas, which might be first occasioned by bodies, may be as properly afterward attributed to spirits.

Now, though Mr. Locke supposes sensation and reflection to be the only two springs of all ideas, and that these two are sufficient to furnish our minds with all that rich variety of ideas which we have; yet abstraction is certainly a different act of the mind, whence these abstracted ideas have their original; though perhaps sensation or reflection may furnish us with all the first objects and occasions whence these abstracted ideas are excited and derived. Nor in this sense and view of things, can I think Mr. Locke himself would deny my representation of the original of abstracted ideas, nor forbid them to stand for a distinct species.

Note, Though we have divided ideas in this chapter into three sorts, namely, sensible, spiritual, and abstracted; yet it may not be amiss just to notice here, that a man may be called a compound substance, being made of body and mind, and the modes which arise from this composition are called mixed modes, such as sensation, passion, discourse, &c. so the ideas of this substance, or being called man, and of these mixed modes may be called mixed ideas, for they are not properly and strictly spiritual, sensible, or abstracted. See a much larger account of every part of this chapter in the Philosophical Essays, by I. W. Ess. 3, 4, &c.

SECT. II. Of simple and complex, compound and collective


IDEAS considered in their nature, are either simple or complex.

A simple idea is one uniform idea which cannot be divided or distinguished by the mind into two or more ideas; such are a multitude of our sensations, as the idea of sweet, bitter, cold, heat, white, red, blue, hard, soft, motion, rest, and perhaps extension and duration: such are also many of our spiritual ideas; such as thought, will, wish, knowledge, &c.


A complex idea, is made by joining two or more simple ideas together; as a square, a triangle, a cube, a pen, a table, reading, writing, truth, falsehood, a body, a man, a horse, an angel, a heavy body, a swift horse, &c. every thing that can be divided by the miud into two or more ideas is called complex. Complex ideas are often considered as single and distinct beings, though they be made up of several simple ideas; so a body, a spirit, a house, a tree, a flower. But when several of these ideas of a different kind are joined together, which are wont to be considered, as distinct single beings, this is called a

compound idea, whether these united ideas be simple or com plex. So a man is compounded of body and spirit, so mithridate is a compound medicine, because it is made of many different ingredients: this I have shewn under the doctrine of substances. And modes also may be compounded; harmony is a compound idea made up of different sounds united; so several different virtues must be united to make up the compounded idea or cha racter, either of a hero, or a saint.


But when many ideas of the same kind are joined together, and united in one name, or under one view, it is called a collective idea, so an army, or a parliament, is a collection of men'; a dictionary, or nomenclatura, is a collection of words; a Hock is a collection of sheep; a forest, or grove, a collection of trees; a heap is a collection of sand, or corn, or dust, &c. a city is a collection of houses; a nose-gay is a collection of flowers; a month, or a year, is a collection of days; and a thousand is a

collection of units.

The precise difference between a compound and collective idea is this, that a compound idea unites things of a different kind, but a collective idea things of the same kind: though this distinction in some cases is not accurately observed, and custom oftentimes uses the word compound for collective.

SECT. III. Of universal and particular Ideas, real and imaginary.


IDEAS, according to their objects, may first be divided into particular or universal.

A particular idea is that which represents one thing only.

Sometimes the one thing is represented in a loose and indeterminate manner, as when we say, some man, any man, one man, another man; some horse, any horse; one city, or another, which is called by the schools individuum vagum.

Sometimes the particular idea represents one thing in a determinate manner, and then it is called a singular idea; such as Bucephalus, or Alexander's horse, Cicero, the orator, Peter the apostle, the palace of Versailles, this book, that river, the new forest, or the city of London; that idea which represents one particular determinate thing to me, is called a singular idea, whether it be simple, or complex, or compound.

The object of any particular idea, as well as the idea itself, is sometimes called an individual: so Peter is an individual man, London is an individual city. So this book, one horse, another horse, are all individuals; though the word individual is more usually limited to one singular, certain, and determined object.


An universal idea is that which represents a coinmon nalure agreeing to several particular things, so a horse, a man, or

a book, are called universal ideas because they agree to all horses, men, or books.

And I think it not amiss to intimate in this place, that these universal ideas are formed by that act of the mind which is called abstraction, that is, a withdrawing some part of an idea from other parts of it: for when singular ideas are first let into the mind by sensation or reflection, then, in order to make them universal, we leave out, or drop all those peculiar and determinate characters, qualities, modes, or circumstances, which belong merely to any particular individual being, and by which it differs from other beings; and we only contemplate those properties of it, wherein it agrees with other beings.

Though it must be confessed, that the name of abstracted ideas is sometimes attributed to universal ideas, both sensible or spiritual, yet this abstraction is not so great, as when we drop out of our idea every sensible or spiritual representation, and retain nothing but the most general and absolute conceptions of things, or their mere relations to one another, without any regard to their particular natures, whether they be sensible or spiritual. And it is to this kind of conceptions, we more properly give the name of abstracted ideas, as in the first section of this chapter.

An universal idea is either general or special.

A general idea is called by the schools a genus; and it is one common nature agreeing to several other common natures. So animal is a genus, because it agrees to a horse, lion, whale, butterfly, which are also common ideas; so fish is a genus, because it agrees to trout, herring, crab, which are common natures also.

A special idea is called by the schools a species: it is one common nature that agrees to several singular individual beings; so horse, is a special idea, or a species, because it agrees to Bucephalus, Trott, and Snowball. City is a special idea, for it agrees to London, Paris, Bristol.

Note, I. Some of these universals are genuses, if compared with less common natures; and they are species, if compared with natures more common. So bird is a genus, if compared with eagle, sparrow, raven, which are also common natures: but it is a species, if compared with the more general nature, animal. The same may be said of fish, beast, &c.

This sort of universal ideas, which may either be considered as but the highest genus, which is never a species, is called the most general; and the lowest species, which is never a genus, is called the most special.

a genus, or a species, is called subalternmost ge



It may be observed here also, that, that general nature or property wherein one thing agrees with

most other things is


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called its more remote genus: so substance is the remote genus of bird or beast, because it agrees not only to all kinds of animals, but also to things inanimate, as sun, stars, clouds, metals, stones, air, water, &c. but animal, is the proximate or nearest genus: of bird, because it agrees to fewer other things. Those goneral natures which stand between the nearest and most remote: are called intermediate.

Note, II. In universal ideas it is proper to consider their comprehension and their extension.*

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The comprehension of an idea regards all the essential modes and properties of it; so body in its comprehension takes in solidity, figure, quantitity, mobility, &c. So a bowl, in its comprehension, includes roundness, volubility, &c.

The extension of an universal idea regards all the particular kinds and single beings that are contained 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 property, or the secondary essential mode, and accident or the accidental mode; and these they call the five predicables, because, every thing that is affirmed concerning any being must be either the genus, the species, the difference, some property, some accident: but what farther is necessary to be said concerning these things will be mentioned when we treat of definition.


Having finished the doctrine of universal and particular. ideas, I should take notice of another division of them, which 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 have real objects or examples, 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 high.

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* Note, The word “extension" bere is taken în a mere "logical” dense,''' and not in a .. 46 physical and methematical, sener.


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