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upon the first evidence of any error in it; yet this I must own, that I have not had the good luck to receive any light from those exceptions I have met with in print against any part of my book; nor have, from any thing that has been urged against it, found reason to alter my sense,
any of the points which have been questioned. Whether the subject I have in hand requires often more thought and attention, than cursory readers, at least such as are prepossessed, are willing to allow : or whether any obscurity in my expressions casts a cloud over it, and these notions are made difficult to others' apprehensions in my way of treating them : so it is, that my meaning, I find, is often mistaken, and I have not the good luck to be every where rightly understood. There are so many instances of this, that I think it justice to my reader and myself, to conclude, that either my book is plainly enough written to be rightly understood by those who peruse it with that attention and indifferency, which every one, who will give himself the pains to read, ought to employ in reading; or else, that I have writ mine so obscurely, that it is vain to go about to mend it. Which ever of these be the truth, it is myself only am affected thereby, and therefore I shall be far from troubling my reader with what I think might be said, in answer to those several objections I have met with, to passages here and there of my book : since I persuade myself, that he who thinks them of moment enough to be concerned whether they are true or false, will be able to see, that what is said is either not well founded, or else not contrary to my doctrine, when I and my opposer come both to be well understood.
If any, careful that none of their good thoughts should be lost, have published their censures of my
Essay, with this honor done to it, that they will not suffer it
to be an Essay ; I leave it to the public to value the ob
; ligation they have to their critical pens, and shall not waste my reader's time in so idle or ill-natured an employment of mine, as to lessen the satisfaction any one has in himself, or gives to others, in so hasty a confutation of what I have written.
The booksellers preparing for the fourth edition of my Essay, gave me notice of it, that I might, if I had leisure, make any additions or alterations I should think
I fit. Whereupon I thought it convenient to advertise the reader, that besides several corrections I had made here and there, there was one alteration which it was necessary to mention, because it ran through the whole book, and is of consequence to be rightly understood. What I thereupon said was this :
Clear and distinct ideas are terms, which, though familiar and frequent in men's mouths, I have reason to think every one, who uses, does not perfectly understand. And possibly it is but here and there one, who gives himself the trouble to consider them so far as to know what he himself or others precisely mean by them : I have therefore in most places chose to put determinate or determined, instead of clear and distinct, as more likely to direct men's thoughts to my meaning in this matter. By those denominations, I mean some object in the mind, and consequently determined, i. e. such as it is there seen and perceived to be. This, I think, may fitly be called a determinate or determined idea, when such as it is at any time objectively in the mind, and so determined there, it is annexed, and without variation determined to a name or articulate sound, which is to be steadily the sign of that very same object of the mind, or determinate idea.
To explain this a little more particularly. By deter. minate, when applied to a simple idea, I mean that simple appearance which the mind has in its view, or perceives
in itself, when that idea is said to be in it: by determined,
I know there are not words enough in any language,
Upon this ground I have thought determined ideas a
distinct from the sound it uses as a sign of it. 2. That
Besides this, the bookseller will think it necessary I
In the sixth edition, there is very little added or al-
OF INNATE NOTIONS.
15, 16 The steps by which the mind
attains several truths.
17 Afsenting as soon as proposed and
ing, pleasant and useful.
18 If such an affent be a mark of
innate, then that one and two
ness is not bitterness; and a thou-
state and concerns, to discover things 19 Such less general propositions
known before these universal
21 These maxims not being known
sometimes till proposed, proves
them not innate.
22 Implicitly known before propos-
ing, signifies, that the mind is ca-
else fignifies nothing.
any knowledge, sufficient to prove hearing, is upon a false supposition
of no precedent teaching.
sally affented to.
26 And so not innate.
fible for the same thing to be, and least, where what is innate shows
No innate practical principles.
they come to the use of reason, 1 No moral principles so clear and
so generally received, as the fore-
would not prove them innate. 2 Faith and justice not owned as
3 Obj. Though men deny them in
not the time we come to know in their thoughts, answered.
4 Moral rules need a proof, ergo not
from other knowable truths. 5 Instance in keeping compacts.
were the time of their discovery, because innate, but because profit.