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called intuitive knowledge. Thus we see that red is not green; that the whole is bigger than a part; and that two and two are equal to four.
The truth of these and the like propositions we know by a bare simple intuition of the ideas themselves, without any more ado; and such propositions are called self-evident.
The mediate perception of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas is, when, by the intervention of one or more other ideas, their agreement or disagreement is shown. This is called demonstration, or rational knowledge. For instance, the inequality of the breadth of two windows, or two rivers, or any two bodies that cannot be put together, may be known by the intervention of the same measure applied to them both ; and so it is in our general ideas, whose agreement or disagreement may be often shown by the intervention of some other ideas, so as to produce demonstrative knowledge; where the ideas in question cannot be brought together, and immediately compared, so as to produce intuitive knowledge.
The understanding doth not know only certain truth; but also judges of probability, which consists in the likely agreement or disagreement of ideas.
The assenting to any proposition as probable is called opinion, or belief.
We have hitherto considered the great and visible parts of the universe, and those great masses of matter, the stars, planets, and particularly this our earth, together with the inanimate parts, and animate inhabitants of it; it may what these
be now fit to conside, sensible bodies are made of, and that is of unconceivably small bodies or atoms, out of whose various combinations bigger moleculæ are made : and so, by a greater and greater composition, bigger bodies; and out of these the whole material world is constituted.
By the figure, bulk, texture, and motion, of these small and insensible corpuscles, all the phenomena of bodies may be explained.
TRANSLATED OUT OF THE FRENCH FROM THE SECOND VOLUME
OF THE BIBLIOTHEQUE UNIVERSELLE.
EPISTOLA.] A Letter from Mr. Locke to Mr.
of a Common-place-book, to which an Index of
At length, sir, in obedience to you, I publish my" method of a common-place-book.” I am ashamed that I deferred so long complying with your request; but I esteemed it so mean a thing, as not to deserve publishing, in an age so full of useful inventions as ours is. You may remember, that I freely communicated it to you and several others, to whom I imagined it would not be unacceptable: so that it was not to reserve the sole use of it to myself that I declined publishing it. But the regard I had to the public discouraged me from presenting it with such a trifle. Yet my obligations to you, , and the friendship between us, compel me now to follow your advice. Your last letter has perfectly determined me to it, and I am convinced that I ought not to delay publishing it, when you tell me, that an experience of several years has showed its usefulness, and several of your friends, to whom you have communicated it. There is no need I should tell you how useful it has been to me, after five-and-twenty years' experience, as I told you eight years since, when I had the honour to wait on you at Paris, and when I might have been instructed by your learned and agreeable discourse. What I aim at now, by this letter, is to testify publicly the esteem and respect I have for
Before I enter on my subject, it is fit to acquaint the reader, that this Tract is disposed in the same manner that the Common-place