Thursday, January 11, 2018

Meanings and Likenesses

We find we have in us Meanings; now the Meanings of Words, or (which is the same, taking that word objectively, what's meant by those Words,) are most evidently the same Spiritual Objects as are our Notions, and 'tis Impossible those Meanings should be the same with Ideas or Similitudes, but of a quite different Nature. Let it be as Like the thing as 'tis possible, 'tis not the Likeness of it which we aim at in our Language: For we do not intend or mean when we speak of any thing, to talk or discourse of what's Like that Thing, but of what's the same with it, or rather what that thing itself is; which the meer Similitude of a thing cannot possible be. For a Similitude being Related to the Thing, is so far from being that Thing, or the Same as It is, that it is relatively Opposite to it; that is, quite Distinct from it. Now, that what's essentially and formally Distinct from a Thing, nay Opposite to it, should of it self, and by it self alone, give us the First Knowledge of It, (as they put their Ideas to do;) or that the Meaning of the one should be the Meaning of the other, is utterly Unintelligible, and against Common Sense. Wherefore the Meaning, which is the Immediate and Proper Object of the Mind, and which gives us, or rather is the First Notice of the Thing, must be of a quite different Nature from an Idea or Likeness of it; and since there can be no Middle between Like and the Same; nor any nearer Approach or Step, proceeding from Likeness, towards Unity with the Thing, but if falls into Identity, it must necessarily be more than Like it; that is, the Same with it; which an Idea or Likeness cannot possibly be, as was proved lately.

John Sergeant, Solid Philosophy Asserted, Against the Fancies of the Ideists, Preface sect. 21.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.