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Philosophy 2203E
Charles Middleton

READINGS THREE OF SIMPLE IDEAS  Though the qualities that affect our senses are so united and blended that there is no separation no distance between them  There is nothing can be plainer to a man than the clear and distinct perception he has of those simple ideas  Simple ideas, the materials of all our knowledge are suggested and furnished to the mind only by those two ways above mentioned viz sensation and reflection  When the understanding is once stored with these simple ideas it has the power to repeat compare and unite them even to an almost infinite variety and so can make at pleasure new complex ideas  Nor can any force of he understanding destroy those that are there  But can do nothing towards the making the least particle of new matter or destroying one atom of what is already being  That a blind man hath ideas of colours and a deaf man true distinct notions of sounds  Yet I think it is not possible for any man to imagine any other qualities in bodies whereby they can be taken notice of visible and tangible qualities FUTHER CONSIDERATIONS  Concerning the simple ideas of sensation it is to be considered that whatsoever is so constituted in nature as to be able by affecting our senses to cause any perception in the mind doth thereby produce in the understanding a simple idea  Thus the ideas of heat and cold are equally clear and positive ideas in the mind some of the causes which produce them are barely privations in those subjects from whence our senses derive those ideas  But to the nature of the things existing without us, it being one thing to perceive and know the idea of white or black and quite another to examine what kind of particles they must be  We may have the ideas when we are ignorant of their physical causes  All sensation being produced in us only by different degrees and modes of motion in our animal spirits variously agitated by external objects  Negative names need not be meaningless  We have negative names to which there be no positive ideas but they consist wholly in negation of some certain ideas, as silence, invisible but these signify not any ideas in the mind but their absence  The privative causes i have here assigned of positive ideas are according to the common opinion but in truth it will be hard to determine whether there be really any ideas from a privative case whether the rest be any more a privation than motion  Ideas or perceptions in our minds as they are modifications of matter in the bodies that cause such perceptions in us  Whatsoever the mind perceives in itself or is the immediate object of perception thought or understanding that I call idea and the power to produce any ide
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