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Chapter

The First Dialogue.docx


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2260F/G
Professor
Charles Middleton

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THE FIRST DIALOGUE
Men who have all ages pretended either to believe nothing at all or to believe the most
extravagant things in the world
More repugnant to common sense or a more manifest piece of scepticism, than to believe there
is no such thing as matter
For such his denial is no more to be esteemed a sceptic than the other
A sceptic was one who doubted of everything, or who denies the reality and truth of things
It were absurd to think God or virtue sensible things
Sensible things you mean those only which can be perceived immediately by sense
Make no inferences deducing therefore of causes or occasions from effects and appearances
If you take away all sensible qualities there remains nothing sensible
To exist is one thing and to be perceived is another
It is a material substance with the sensible qualities inheriting in it
That pain is something distinct from heat and the consequence or effect of it
Sensible pain is nothing distinct from those sensations or ideas
A very violent and painful heat cannot exist without the mind
Intense heat is nothing else but a particular kind of painful sensation; and pain cannot exist but
in a perceiving being, it follows that no intense heat can really exist in an unperceiving corporeal
substance. But this is no reason why we should deny heat in an inferior degree to exist in such a
substance
Degree of heat is a pain exists only in the mind
Indolence it seems to be nothing more than a privation of both pain and pleasure and that such
a quality or state as this may agree to an unthinking substance
That no true principle leads to an absurdity
And acknowledge that heat and cold are only sensations existing in our minds. But there still
remain qualities enough to secure the reality of external things
Qualities as perceived by us are pleasures or pair existing in the external objects, we must not
therefore conclude absolutely that there is no heat in the fire or sweetness in the sugar, but
only that heat or sweetness as perceived by us are not in the fire or sugar
Conclude of smells as of other aforementioned qualities that they cannot exist in any but
perceiving substance or mind
Sounds inhere not in the sonorous bodies is plain from hence must be thought the subject or
sound
Any motion is raised in the air we perceive a sound greater or lesser according to the airs motion
but without some motion in the air we never hear any sound at all
Sound then a sensation, perceived by us it is a particular sensation in the mind
Colours corporeal substances existing without the mind, each visible object hath that colour
which we see in it
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