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Chapter

Origin of Ideas.docx


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2500F/G
Professor
Prof

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ORIGIN OF IDEAS
These faculties may mimic or copy the perceptions of the sense but they never can entirely
reach the force and vivacity of the original sentiment
They never can arrive at such a pitch of vivacity as to render these perceptions altogether
undistinguishable
The most lively thought is still inferior to the dullest sensation
A man in a fit of anger is actuated in a very different manner from one who only thinks of that
emotion
I easily understand your meaning and from a just conception of his situation but never can
mistake that conception for the real disorders and agitations of the passion
Divide all the perceptions of the mind into two classes or species
The less forcible and lively are common denominated thoughts or ideas the other species want
a name in our language rank them under a general term or appellation call them impressions
Impressions are distinguished from ideas which are the less lively perceptions of which we are
conscious when we reflect on any of those sensations or movements above mentioned
Nothing, ma seem more unbounded than the thought of man, which not only escapes all human
power and authority but is not even restrained within the limits of nature and reality
Thought seems to possess this unbounded liberty
Creative power of the mind amounts to no more than the faculty of compounding transposing
augmenting or diminishing the materials afforded us by the senses and experience
All the materials of thinking derived either from our outward or inward sentiment
All our ideas or more feeble perceptions are copies of our impressions or more lively ones
First, when we analyze our thoughts or ideas however compounded or sublime we always find
that they resolve themselves into such simple ideas as were copied from a precedent feeling or
sentiment
The idea of God as meaning an infinitely intelligent arises from reflecting on the operations of
our own mind, and augmenting without limit those qualities of goodness and wisdom
Every idea which we examine is copied from a similar impression
A blind man can form no notion of colours a deaf man of sounds, restore either of them that
sense in which he is deficient by opening this new inlet for his sensations, you also open an inlet
for the ideas
Others beings may possess many senses of which we can have no conception
Simple ideas are not always in every instance derived from the correspondent impressions
All ideas especially abstract ones are naturally faint and obscure: the mind has but a slender
hold of them: they are apt to be confounded with other resembling ideas
All impressions, all sensations either outward or inward are strong and vivid: the limits between
them are more exactly determined
By bringing ideas into so clear a light we may be reasonably hope to remove all dispute which
may arise concerning their nature and reality
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