An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume I: Book II, Chapter XXX.by@johnlocke
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An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume I: Book II, Chapter XXX.

by John Locke5mAugust 3rd, 2022
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1. Ideas considered in reference to their Archetypes. Besides what we have already mentioned concerning ideas, other considerations belong to them, in reference to THINGS FROM WHENCE THEY ARE TAKEN, or WHICH THEY MAY BE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT; and thus, I think, they may come under a threefold distinction, and are:—First, either real or fantastical; Secondly, adequate or inadequate; Thirdly, true or false. First, by REAL IDEAS, I mean such as have a foundation in nature; such as have a conformity with the real being and existence of things, or with their archetypes. FANTASTICAL or CHIMERICAL, I call such as have no foundation in nature, nor have any conformity with that reality of being to which they are tacitly referred, as to their archetypes. If we examine the several sorts of ideas before mentioned, we shall find that, 2. Simple Ideas are all real appearances of things. First, Our SIMPLE IDEAS are all real, all agree to the reality of things: not that they are all of them the images or representations of what does exist; the contrary whereof, in all but the primary qualities of bodies, hath been already shown. But, though whiteness and coldness are no more in snow than pain is; yet those ideas of whiteness and coldness, pain, &c., being in us the effects of powers in things without us, ordained by our Maker to produce in us such sensations; they are real ideas in us, whereby we distinguish the qualities that are really in things themselves. For, these several appearances being designed to be the mark whereby we are to know and distinguish things which we have to do with, our ideas do as well serve us to that purpose, and are as real distinguishing characters, whether they be only CONSTANT EFFECTS, or else EXACT RESEMBLANCES of something in the things themselves: the reality lying in that steady correspondence they have with the distinct constitutions of real beings. But whether they answer to those constitutions, as to causes or patterns, it matters not; it suffices that they are constantly produced by them. And thus our simple ideas are all real and true, because they answer and agree to those powers of things which produce them on our minds; that being all that is requisite to make them real, and not fictions at pleasure. For in simple ideas (as has been shown) the mind is wholly confined to the operation of things upon it, and can make to itself no simple idea, more than what it was received.

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English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers

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John Locke@johnlocke
English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers

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