« السابقةمتابعة »
produce in myself both pleasure and pain, which is one great concernment of my present state. This is certain, the confidence that our faculties do not herein deceive us is the greatest assurance we are capable of, concerning the existence of material beings. For we cannot act any thing, but by our faculties; nor talk of knowledge itself, but by the helps of those faculties, which are fitted to apprehend even what knowledge is. But besides the assurance we have from our senses themselves, that they do not err in the information they give us, of the existence of things without us, when they are affected by them, we are
ther confirmed in this assurance by other concurrent reasons.
§ 4. First, it is plain those perceptions 1. Because
are produced in us by exterior causes have them affecting our senses; because those that but by the want the
any sense never can inlet of the
have the ideas belonging to that sense
produced in their minds. This is too evident to be doubted: and therefore we cannot but be assured that they come in by the organs of that sense, and no other way. The organs themselves, it is plain, do not produce them; for then the eyes of a man in the dark would produce colours, and his nose smell roses in the winter: but we see nobody gets the relish of a pine-apple till he goes to the Indies, where it is, and tastes it. 2. Because $ 5. Secondly, because sometimes I find an idea from
that I cannot avoid the having those ideas actual sen- produced in my mind. For though when sation, and
my eyes are shut, or windows fast. I can from me.
at pleasure recal to my mind the ideas of mory, are light, or the sun, which former sensations
had lodged in my memory; so I can at perceptions.
pleasure lay by that idea, and take into my
view that of the smell of a rose, or taste of sugar. But, if I turn my eyes at noon towards the sun, I cannot avoid the ideas, which the light, or sun, then
his 18 18 rein eof
, ? We
talk ml nom
from de IN hings e are oncur
Stions causes e that
produces in me. So that there is a manifest difference between the ideas laid up in my memory (over which, if they were there only, I should have constantly the same power to dispose of them, and lay them by at pleasure, and those which force themselves upon me, and I cannot avoid having. And therefore it must needs be some exterior cause, and the brisk acting of some objects without me, whose efficacy I cannot resist, that produces those ideas in my mind, whether I will or no,
Besides, there is nobody who doth not perceive the difference in himself between contemplating the sun, as he hath the idea of it in his memory, and actually looking upon it; of which two' his perception is so distinct, that few of his ideas are more distinguishable one from another. And therefore he hath certain knowledge, that they are not both memory, or the actions of his mind, and fancies only within him; but that actual seeing hath a cause without.
$ 6. Thirdly, add to this, that many of 3. Pleasure those ideas are produced in us with pain, or pain which afterwards we remember without
which acthie least offence. Thus the pain of heat companies
actual senor cold, when the idea of it is revivedsation, acin our minds, gives us no disturbance; companies which, when felt, was very troublesome, not the reand is again, when actually repeated; those ideas which is occasioned by the disorder the without the external object causes in our bodies when applied to it. And we remember the pains objects: of hunger, thirst, or the head-ache, without any pain at all, which would either never disturb us, or else constantly do it, as often as we thought of it, were there nothing more but ideas floating in our minds, and appearances entertaining our fancies, without the real existence of things affecting us from abroad. The same may be said of pleasure, accompanying several actual sensations : and though mathematical demonstrations depend not upon sense, yet the ex
is too ot but of that (res
328 ition an af into
igar in /
amining them by diagrams gives great credit to the evidence of our sight, and seems to give it a certainty approaching to that of demonstration itself.
For it would be very strange that a man should : allow it for an undeniable truth, that two angles of a
figure, which he measures by lines and angles of a diagram, should be bigger one than the other; and yet
doubt of the existence of those lines and angles, which by looking on he makes use of to measure that by
§ 7. Fourthly, our senses in many cases 4.Our senses assist one
bear witness to the truth of each other's another's report, concerning the existence of sentestimony of sible things without us.
He that sees a fire if he doubt whether it be any
may, ward things. thing more than a bare fancy, feel it too';
and be convinced, by putting his hand in it: which certainly could never be put into such exquisite pain by a bare idea or phantom, unless that the pain be a fancy too; which yet he cannot, when the burn is well, by raising the idea of it, bring upon himself again.
Thus I see, whilst I write this, I can change the appearance of the paper: and by designing the letters tell beforehand what new idea it shall exhibit the very next moment, by barely drawing my pen over it: which will neither appear (let me fancy as much as
I will) if my hands stand still; or though I move my pen, if my eyes be shut: nor, when those characters are once made on the paper, can I choose afterwards but see them as they are; that is, have the ideas of such letters as I have made. Whence it is manifest, that they are not barely the sport and play of my own imagination, when I find that the characters, that were made at the pleasure of my own thought, do not obey them; nor yet cease to be, whenever I shall fancy it; but continue to affect the senses constantly and regularly, according to the figures I made them. To which if we will add, that the sight of those shall, from another man, draw such sounds as I beforehand design they shall stand for; there will be little reason left to doubt that those words I write do really exist without me, when they cause a long series of regular sounds to affect my ears, which could not be the effect of my imagination, nor could my memory retain them in that order. $ 8. But yet, if after all this any one
This cerwill be so sceptical as to distrust his tainty is as senses, and to affirm that all we see and great as our hear, feel and taste, think and do, during
needs, our whole being, is but the series and deluding appearances of a long dream, whereof there is no reality; and therefore will question the existence of all things, or our knowledge of any thing ; I must desire him to consider, that, if all be a dream, then he doth but dream that he makes the question; and so it is not much matter that a waking man should answer him. But yet, if he pleases, he may dream that I make him this answer, that the certainty of things existing in rerum natura, when we have the testimony of our senses for it, is not only as great as our frame can attain to, but as our condition needs. For our faculties being suited not to the full extent of being, nor to a perfect, clear, comprehensive knowledge of things free from all doubt and scruple; but to the preservation of us, in whom they are, and accommodated to the use of life; they serve to our purpose well enough, if they will but give us certain notice of those things which are convenient or inconvenient to
For he that sees a candle burning, and hath experimented the force of its flame, by putting his finger in it, will little doubt that this is something existing without him, which does him harm, and puts him to great pain : which is assurance enough, when no man requires greater certainty to govern his actions by than what is as certain as his actions themselves. And if our dreamer pleases to try whether the glowing heat of a glass furnace be barely a wandering imagination
in a drowsy man's fancy; by putting his hand into it
actually convey into our understandings than actual
any idea, we cannot but be satisfied that sensation.
there doth something at that time really exist without us, which doth affect our senses, and by them give notice of itself to our apprehensive faculties, and actually produce that idea which we then perceive: and we cannot so far distrust their testimony as to doubt, that such collections of simple ideas, as we have observed by our senses to be united together, do really exist together. But this knowledge extends as far as the present testimony of our senses, employed about particular objects that do then affect them, and no farther. For if I saw such a collection of simple ideas, as is wont to be called man, existing together one minute since, and am now alone, I cannot be certain that the same man exists now, since there is no necessary connexion of his existence a minute'since with his existence now: by a thousand ways
may cease to be, since I had the testimony of my senses for his existence. And if I cannot be certain that the man I saw last to-day is now in being, I can less be certain that he is so who hath been longer removed from my senses, and I have not seen since yesterday, or since the last year: and much less can I be certain of the existence of men that I never saw. And therefore though it be highly probable