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bodies that are, or may be conceived to be; or of PART 1. bodies, the properties that are, or may be feigned to be ; or words and speech.

There be also other names, called negative, Negative which are notes to signify that a word is not the their uses. name of the thing in question ; as these words, nothing, no man, infinite, indocible, three want four, and the like ; which are nevertheless of use in reckoning, or in correcting of reckoning, and call to mind our past cogitations, though they be not names of any thing, because they make us refuse to admit of names not rightly used. All other names are but insignificant sounds ; Words

insignificaut. and those of two sorts. One when they are new, and yet their meaning not explained by definition ; whereof there have been abundance coined by schoolmen, and puzzled philosophers.

Another, when men make a name of two names, whose significations are contradictory and inconsistent; as this name, an incorporeal body, or, which is all one, an incorporeal substance, and a great number more. For whensoever any affirmation is false, the two names of which it is composed, put together and made one, signify nothing at all. For example, if it be a false affirmation to say a quadrangle is round, the word round quadrangle signifies nothing, but is a mere sound. So likewise, if it be false to say that virtue can be poured, or blown up and down, the words inpoured virtue, inblown virtue, are as absurd and insignificant as a round quadrangle. And therefore you shall hardly meet with a senseless and insignificant word, that is not made up of some Latin or Greek names. A Frenchman seldom hears our



Saviour called by the name of parole, but by the name of verbe often ; yet verbe and parole differ

no more, but that one is Latin, the other French. Understanding When a man, upon the hearing of any speech,

hath those thoughts which the words of that speech and their connexion were ordained and constituted to signify, then he is said to understand it; understanding being nothing else but conception caused by speech. And therefore if speech be peculiar to man, as for aught I know it is, then is understanding peculiar to him also. And therefore of absurd and false affirmations, in case they be universal, there can be no understanding; though many think they understand then, when they do but repeat the words softly, or con them in their mind.

What kinds of speeches signify the appetites, aversions, and passions of man's mind; and of their use and abuse, I shall speak when I have spoken of the passions.

The names of such things as affect us, that is, which please and displease us, because all men be not alike affected with the same thing, nor the same man at all times, are in the common discourses of men of inconstant signification. For seeing all names are imposed to signify our conceptions, and all our affections are but conceptions, when we conceive the same things differently, we can hardly avoid different naming of them. For though the nature of that we conceive, be the same ; yet the diversity of our reception of it, in respect of different constitutions of body, and prejudices of opinion, gives every thing a tincture of our different passions. And therefore in reasoning a man must take heed of words; which besides the signi

Inconstant names.


fication of what we imagine of their nature, have PART I. a signification also of the nature, disposition, and interest of the speaker ; such as are the names of virtues and vices; for one man calleth wisdom, what another calleth fear; and one cruelty, what another justice ; one prodigality, what another magnanimity; and one gravity, what another stupidity, &c. And therefore such names can never be true grounds of any ratiocination. No more can metaphors, and tropes of speech ; but these are less dangerous, because they profess their inconstancy; which the other do not.



When a man reasoneth, he does nothing else but Reason, conceive a sum total, from addition of parcels; or conceive a remainder, from subtraction of one sum from another; which, if it be done by words, is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole and one part, to the name of the other part. And though in some things, as in numbers, besides adding and subtracting, men name other operations, as multiplying and dividing, yet they are the same; for multiplication, is but adding together of things equal; and division, but subtracting of one thing, as often as we can. These operations are not incident to numbers only, but to all manner of things that can be added together, and taken one out of another.

what it is.

For as



arithmeticians teach to add and subtract in numbers ; so the geometricians teach the same in lines, figures, solid and superficial, angles, proportions, times, degrees of swiftness, force, power, and the like; the logicians teach the same in consequences of words ; adding together two names to make an affirmation, and two affirmations to make a syllogism; and many syllogisms to make a demonstration; and from the sum, or conclusion of a syllogism, they subtract one proposition to find the other. Writers of politics add together pactions to find men's duties ; and lawyers, laws and facts, to find what is right and wrong in the actions of private men. In sum, in what matter soever there is place for addition and subtraction, there also is place for reason ; and where these have no place, there reason has nothing at all to do.

Out of all which we may define, that is to say defined. determine, what that is, which is meant by this

word reason, when we reckon it amongst the faculties of the mind. For REASON, in this sense, is nothing but reckoning, that is adding and subtracting, of the consequences of general names agreed upon for the marking and signifying of our thoughts ; I say marking them when we reckon by ourselves, and signifying, when we demonstrate or

approve our reckonings to other men. Right reason, And, as in arithmetic, unpractised men must,

and professors themselves may often, err, and cast up false ; so also in any other subject of reasoning, he ablest, most attentive, and most practised men

deceive themselves, and infer false conclu15; not but that reason itself is always right son, as well as arithmetic is a certain and infal






lible art : but no one man's reason, nor the reason of any one number of men, makes the certainty ; no more than an account is therefore well cast up, because a great many men have unanimously approved it. And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up, for right reason, the reason of some arbitrator, or judge, to whose sentence they will both stand, or their controversy must either come to blows, or be undecided, for want of a right reason constituted by nature ; so is it also in all debates of what kind soever. And when men that think themselves wiser than all others, clamour and demand right reason for judge, yet seek no more, but that things should be determined, by no other men's reason but their own, it is as intolerable in the society of men, as it is in play after trump is turned, to use for trump on every occasion, that suite whereof they have most in their hand. For they do nothing else, that will have every of their passions, as it comes to bear sway in them, to be taken for right reason, and that in their own controversies : bewraying their want of right reason, by the claim they lay to it.

The use and end of reason, is not the finding of The use of the sum and truth of one, or a few consequences, remote from the first definitions, and settled significations of names, but to begin at these, and proceed from one consequence to another. For there can be no certainty of the last conclusion, without a certainty of all those affirmations and negations, on which it was grounded and inferred. As when a master of a family, in taking an account, casteth up the sums of all the bills of expense into one sum,


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