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Philosophy 2203E
Charles Middleton

READING TWO OF IDEAS IN GENERAL AND THEIR ORIGINAL  Experience in that all our knowledge is founded and from that it ultimately derives itself  External sensible objects or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking  Our senses do convey into the mind several distinct perceptions of things  We come by those ideas and all those which we call sensible qualities they from external objects convey into the mind that produces there those perceptions  This great source of most of the ideas we have depending wholly upon our senses and derived by them to the understanding I call sensation  This source of ideas every man has wholly in himself  Internal sense so I call this reflection the ideas it affords being such only as the mind gets by reflecting on its own operations within itself  Notice which the mind takes its own operations  The term operations here I use in a large sense, as comprehending not barely the actions of the mind about its ideas but some sort of passions arising sometimes from them  External objects furnish the mind with the ideas of sensible qualities which are all those different perceptions they produce in us and the mind furnishes the understanding with ideas of its own operations  Considered as objects of his reflection  He that attentively considers the state of a child will have little reason to think him stored with plenty of ideas that are to be the matter of his future knowledge  But all that are born into the world being surrounded with bodies that perpetually and diversly affect them variety of ideas, whether care be taken of it or not are imprinted on the minds of children  For though he that contemplates the operations of his mind cannot but have plain and clear ideas of them yet unless he turns his thoughts that way  And considers them attentively he will no more have clear and distinct ideas of all the operations of his mind  They pass there continually yet like floating visions they make not deep impressions enough to leave in their mind clear distinct lasting ideas till the understanding turns inward upon itself, reflects its own operations and makes them the objects of its own contemplation  Having ideas and perception being the same thing  By this account the soul and its ideas as body and its extension will begin to exist both at the same time  The perception of ideas being to the soul what motion is to the body not its essence but one of its operations  Yet it is not necessary to suppose that it should be always thinking always in action  There is something in us that has a power to think  To say that actual thinking is essential to the soul and inseparable from it is to beg what is in question and not to prove it by reason  Men in love with their opinions may not only suppose what is in question but allege wrong matter of fact  He cannot think at any time, waking or sleeping without being sensible of it  For to be happy or miserable withou
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