Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes - HTML preview
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magnitude; and which may be divided into parts; nor that any thing is all in this place, and all
in another place at the same time; nor that two, or more things can be in one, and the same
place at once: For none of these things ever have, or can be incident to Sense; but are absurd
speeches, taken upon credit (without any signification at all,) from deceived Philosophers, and
deceived, or deceiving Schoolemen.
Originall of Speech.
THE Invention of Printing, though ingenious, compared with the invention of Letters, is no great matter. But who was the first that found the use of Letters, is not known. He that first
brought them into Greece, men say was Cadmus, the sonne of Agenor, King of Phænicia. A profitable Invention for continuing the memory of time past, and the conjunction of mankind,
dispersed into so many, and distant regions of the Earth; and with all difficult, as proceeding
from a watchfull observation of the divers motions of the Tongue, Palat, Lips, and other organs
of Speech; whereby to make as many differences of characters, to remember them. But the
most noble and profitable invention of all other, was that of SPEECH, consisting of Names or Appellations, and their Connexion; whereby men register their Thoughts; recall them when
they are past; and also declare them one to another for mutuall utility and conversation;
without which, there had been amongst men, neither Common-wealth, nor Society, nor
Contract, nor Peace, no more than amongst Lyons, Bears, and Wolves. The first author of
Speech was God himself, that instructed Adam how to name such creatures as he presented to his sight; For the Scripture goeth no further in this matter. But this was sufficient to direct him
to adde more names, as the experience and use of the creatures should give him occasion; and
to joyn them in such manner by degrees, as to make himself understood; and so by succession
of time, so much language might be gotten, as he had found use for; though not so copious, as
an Orator or Philosopher has need of. For I do not find any thing in the Scripture, out of which,
directly or by consequence can be gathered, that Adam was taught the names of all Figures,
Numbers, Measures, Colours, Sounds, Fancies, Relations; much less the names of Words and
Speech, as Generall, Speciall, Affirmative, Negative, Interrogative, Optative, Infinitive, all which are usefull; and least of all, of Entity, Intentionality, Quiddity, and other insignificant words of the School.
But all this language gotten, and augmented by Adam and his posterity, was again lost at the tower of Babel, when by the hand of God, every man was stricken for his rebellion, with an
oblivion of his former language. And being hereby forced to disperse themselves into severall
parts of the world, it must needs be, that the diversity of Tongues that now is, proceeded by
degrees from them, in such manner, as need (the mother of all inventions) taught them; and
in tract of time grew every where more copious.
The use of Speech.
The generall use of Speech, is to transferre our Mentall Discourse, into Verbal; or the Trayne of
our Thoughts, into a Trayne of Words; and that for two commodities; whereof one is, the
Registring of the Consequences of our Thoughts; which being apt to slip out of our memory,
and put us to a new labour, may again be recalled, by such words as they were marked by. So
that the first use of names, is to serve for Markes, or Notes of remembrance. Another is, when many use the same words, to signifie (by their connexion and order,) one to another, what
they conceive, or think of each matter; and also what they desire, feare, or have any other
passion for. And for this use they are called Signes. Speciall uses of Speech are these; First, to Register, what by cogitation, wee find to be the cause of any thing, present or past; and what
we find things present or past may produce, or effect: which in summe, is acquiring of Arts.
Secondly, to shew to others that knowledge which we have attained; which is, to Counsell, and
Teach one another. Thirdly, to make known to others our wills, and purposes, that we may
have the mutuall help of one another. Fourthly, to please and delight our selves, and others,
by playing with our words, for pleasure or ornament, innocently.
Abuses of Speech.
To these Uses, there are also foure correspondent Abuses. First, when men register their
thoughts wrong, by the inconstancy of the signification of their words; by which they register
for their conceptions, that which they never conceived; and so deceive themselves. Secondly,
when they use words metaphorically; that is, in other sense than that they are ordained for;
and thereby deceive others. Thirdly, when by words they declare that to be their will, which is
not. Fourthly, when they use them to grieve one another: for seeing nature hath armed living
creatures, some with teeth, some with horns, and some with hands, to grieve an enemy, it is
but an abuse of Speech, to grieve him with the tongue, unlesse it be one whom wee are
obliged to govern; and then it is not to grieve, but to correct and amend.
The manner how Speech serveth to the remembrance of the consequence of causes and
effects, consisteth in the imposing of Names, and the Connexion of them.
Names Proper & Common./Universall.
Of Names, some are Proper, and singular to one onely thing; as Peter, John, This man, this Tree: and some are Common to many things; as Man, Horse, Tree; every of which though but one Name, is nevertheless the name of divers particular things; in respect of all which
together, it is called an Universall; there being nothing in the world Universall but Names; for the things named, are every one of them Individuall and Singular.
One Universall name is imposed on many things, for their similitude in some quality, or other
accident: And wheras a Proper Name bringeth to mind one thing onely; Universals recall any
one of those many.
And of Names Universall, some are of more, and some of lesse extent; the larger
comprehending the less large: and some again of equall extent, comprehending each other
reciprocally. As for example, the Name Body is of larger signification than the word Man, and comprehendeth it; and the names Man and Rationall, are of equall extent, comprehending mutually one another. But here wee must take notice, that by a Name is not alwayes
understood, as in Grammar, one onely Word; but sometimes by circumlocution many words
together. For all these words, Hee that in his actions observeth the Lawes of his Country, make but one Name, equivalent to this one word, Just.
By this imposition of Names, some of larger, some of stricter signification, we turn the
reckoning of the consequences of things imagined in the mind, into a reckoning of the
consequences of Appellations. For example, a man that hath no use of Speech at all, (such, as
is born and remains perfectly deafe and dumb,) if he set before his eyes a triangle, and by it
two right angles, (such as are the corners of a square figure,) he may by meditation compare
and find, that the three angles of that triangle, are equall to those two right angles that stand
by it. But if another triangle be shewn him different in shape from the former, he cannot know
without a new labour, whether the three angles of that also be equall to the same. But he that
hath the use of words, when he observes, that such equality was consequent, not to the length
of the sides, nor to any other particular thing in his triangle; but onely to this, that the sides
were straight, and the angles three; and that that was all, for which he named it a Triangle;
will boldly conclude Universally, that such equality of angles is in all triangles whatsoever; and
register his invention in these generall termes, Every triangle hath its three angles equall to
two right angles. And thus the consequence found in one particular, comes to be registred and remembred, as an Universall rule; and discharges our mentall reckoning, of time and place;
and delivers us from all labour of the mind, saving the first; and makes that which was found
true here, and now, to be true in all times and places.
But the use of words in registring our thoughts, is in nothing so evident as in Numbring. A
naturall foole that could never learn by heart the order of numerall words, as one, two, and three, may observe every stroak of the Clock, and nod to it, or say one, one, one; but can
never know what houre it strikes. And it seems, there was a time when those names of number
were not in use; and men were fayn to apply their fingers of one or both hands, to those things
they desired to keep account of; and that thence it proceeded, that now our numerall words
are but ten, in any Nation, and in some but five, and then they begin again. And he that can
tell ten, if he recite them out of order, will lose himselfe, and not know when he has done:
Much lesse will he be able to adde, and substract, and performe all other operations of
Arithmetique. So that without words, there is no possibility of reckoning of Numbers; much
lesse of Magnitudes, of Swiftnesse, of Force, and other things, the reckonings whereof are
necessary to the being, or well-being of man-kind.
When two Names are joyned together into a Consequence, or Affirmation; as thus, A man is a
living creature; or thus, if he be a man, he is a living creature, If the later name Living creature, signifie all that the former name Man signifieth, then the affirmation, or consequence is true; otherwise false. For True and False are attributes of Speech, not of Things. And where Speech is not, there is neither Truth nor Falshood. Errour there may be, as when wee expect that which shall not be; or suspect what has not been: but in neither case can a man be
charged with Untruth.
Necessity of Definitions.
Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth, had need to remember what every name he uses stands for; and to
place it accordingly; or else he will find himselfe entangled in words, as a bird in lime-twiggs;
the more he struggles, the more belimed. And therefore in Geometry, (which is the onely
Science that it hath pleased God hitherto to bestow on mankind,) men begin at settling the
significations of their words; which settling of significations, they call Definitions; and place them in the beginning of their reckoning.
By this it appears how necessary it is for any man that aspires to true Knowledge, to examine
the befinitions of former Authors; and either to correct them, where they are negligently set
down; or to make them himselfe. For the errours of Definitions multiply themselves, according
as the reckoning proceeds; and lead men into absurdities, which at last they see, but cannot
avoyd, without reckoning anew from the beginning; in which lyes the foundation of their
errours. From whence it happens, that they which trust to books, do as they that cast up many
little summs into a greater, without considering whether those little summes were rightly cast
up or not; and at last finding the errour visible, and not mistrusting their first grounds, know
not which way to cleere themselves; but spend time in fluttering over their bookes; as birds
that entring by the chimney, and finding themselves inclosed in a chamber, flutter at the false
light of a glasse window, for want of wit to consider which way they came in. So that in the
right Definition of Names, lyes the first use of Speech; which is the Acquisition of Science: And
in wrong, or no Definitions, lyes the first abuse; from which proceed all false and senslesse
Tenets; which make those men that take their instruction from the authority of books, and not
from their own meditation, to be as much below the condition of ignorant men, as men endued
with true Science are above it. For between true Science, and erroneous Doctrines, Ignorance
is in the middle. Naturall sense and imagination, are not subject to absurdity. Nature it selfe
cannot erre: and as men abound in copiousnesse of language; so they become more wise, or
more mad than ordinary. Nor is it possible without Letters for any man to become either
excellently wise, or (unless his memory be hurt by disease, or ill constitution of organs)
excellently foolish. For words are wise mens counters, they do but reckon by them: but they
are the mony of fooles, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other Doctor whatsoever, if but a man.
Subject to Names.
Subject to Names, is whatsoever can enter into, or be considered in an account; and be added one to another to make a summe; or substracted one from another, and leave a remainder.
The Latines called Accounts of mony Rationes, and accounting, Ratiocinatio: and that which we in bills or books of account call Items, they called Nomina; that is, Names: and thence it seems to proceed, that they extended the word Ratio, to the faculty of Reckoning in all other things.
The Greeks have but one word
, for both Speech and Reason; not that they thought
there was no Speech without Reason; but no Reasoning without Speech: And the act of
reasoning they called Syllogisme; which signifieth summing up of the consequences of one
saying to another. And because the same things may enter into account for divers accidents;
their names are (to shew that diversity) diversly wrested, and diversified. This diversity of
names may be reduced to foure generall heads.
First, a thing may enter into account for Matter, or Body; as living, sensible, rationall, hot, cold, moved, quiet; with all which names the word Matter, or Body is understood; all such, being names of Matter.
Secondly, it may enter into account, or be considered, for some accident or quality, which we
conceive to be in it; as for being moved, for being so long, for being hot, &c; and then, of the name of the thing it selfe, by a little change or wresting, wee make a name for that accident,
which we consider; and for living put into the account life; for moved, motion; for hot, heat; for long, length, and the like: And all such Names, are the names of the accidents and
properties, by which one Matter, and Body is distinguished from another. These are called
names Abstract; because severed (not from Matter, but) from the account of Matter.
Thirdly, we bring into account, the Properties of our own bodies, whereby we make such
distinction: as when any thing is Seen by us, we reckon not the thing it selfe; but the sight, the Colour, the Idea of it in the fancy: and when any thing is heard, wee reckon it not; but the hearing, or sound onely, which is our fancy or conception of it by the Eare: and such are names of fancies.
Use of Names Positive.
Fourthly, we bring into account, consider, and give names, to Names themselves, and to
Speeches: For, generall, universall, speciall, œquivocall, are names of Names. And Affirmation, Interrogation, Commandement, Narration, Syllogisme, Sermon, Oration, and many other such,
are names of Speeches. And this is all the variety of Names Positive; which are put to mark
somewhat which is in Nature, or may be feigned by the mind of man, as Bodies that are, or
may be conceived to be; or of bodies, the Properties that are, or may be feigned to be; or
Words and Speech.
Negative Names with their Uses.
There be also other Names, called Negative; which are notes to signifie that a word is not the name of the thing in question; as these words Nothing, no man, infinite, indocible, three want
foure, 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; and those of two sorts. One, when they are new,
and yet their meaning not explained by Definition; whereof there have been aboundance
coyned by Schoole-men, and pusled Philosophers.
Another, when men make a name of two Names, whose significations are contradictory and
inconsistent; as this name, an incorporeall body, or (which is all one) an incorporeall
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, signifie 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 meere sound. So likewise if it be false, to say that vertue can be powred, or
blown up and down; the words In-powred vertue, In-blown vertue, are as absurd and
insignificant, as a round quadrangle. And therefore you shall hardly meet with a senslesse and insignificant word, that is not made up of some Latin or Greek names. A Frenchman seldome
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.
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 signifie; 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 ought I know it is,) then is Understanding
peculiar to him also. And therefore of absurd and false affirmations, in case they be universall,
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 signifie the Appetites, Aversions, and Passions of mans 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 signifie our conceptions; and all our affections are but conceptions; when we conceive the same things
differently, we can hardly avoyd 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
signification of what we imagine of their nature, have a signification also of the nature,
disposition, and interest of the speaker; such as are the names of Vertues, and Vices; For one
man calleth Wisdome, what another calleth feare; and one cruelty, what another justice; one prodigality, what another magnanimity; and one gravity, what another stupidicy, &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.
Of REASON, and SCIENCE.
Reason what it is.
WHEN a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing else but conceive a summe totall, from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of one summe 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 Substracting, men name other operations, as Multiplying and Dividing; yet they are the same; for Multiplication, is but Adding together of things equall; and Division, but Substracting of one thing, as often as we can.
These operations are not incident to Numbers onely, but to all manner of things that can be
added together, and taken one out of another. For as Arithmeticians teach to adde and
substract in numbers; so the Geometricians teach the same in lines, figures (solid and superficiall,) angles, proportions, times, degrees of swiftnesse, 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 Syllogisme; and many Syllogismes to make a Demonstration; and from the summe, or Conclusion of a Syllogisme, they substract one Proposition, to finde the other. Writers of Politiques, adde together Pactions, to find mens duties; and Lawyers, Lawes, and facts, to find what is right and wrong in the actions of private men. In summe, in what matter soever there is place for addition and substraction, 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 determine,) what that is, which is meant by this
word Reason, when wee reckon it amongst the Faculties of the mind. For REASON, in this
sense, is nothing but Reckoning (that is, Adding and Substracting) of the Consequences of
generall names agreed upon, for the marking and signifying of our thoughts; I say marking them, when we reckon by our selves; and signifying, when we demonstrate, or approve our
reckonings to other men.
Right Reason where.
And as in Arithmetique, unpractised men must, and Professors themselves may often erre, and
cast up false; so also in any other subject of Reasoning, the ablest, most attentive, and most
practised men, may deceive themselves, and inferre false Conclusions; Not but that Reason it
selfe is alwayes Right Reason, as well as Arithmetique is a certain and infallible Art: But no one
mans Reason, nor the Reason of any one number of men, makes the certaintie; 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 controversie must either come to blowes, 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, clamor and demand right Reason
for judge; yet seek no more, but that things should be determined, by no other mens 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 els, 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 claym they lay to it.
The use of Reason.
The Use and End of Reason, is not the finding of the summe, 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
summs of all the bills of expence, into one sum; and not regarding how each bill is summed
up, by those that give them in account; nor what it is he payes for; he advantages himself no
more, than if he allowed the account in grosse, trusting to every of the accountants skill and
honesty: so also in Reasoning of all other things, he that takes up conclusions on the trust of
Authors, and doth not fetch them from the first Items in every Reckoning, (which are the
significations of names settled by definitions), loses his labour; and does not know any thing;
but onely beleeveth.
Of Error and Absurdity.
When a man reckons without the use of words, which may be done in particular things, (as
when upon the sight of any one thing, wee conjecture what was likely to have preceded, or is
likely to follow upon it;) if that which he thought likely to follow, followes not; or that which he thought likely to have preceded it, hath not preceded it, this is called ERROR; to which even
the most prudent men are subject. But when we Reason in Words of generall signification, and
fall upon a generall inference which is false; though it be commonly called Error, it is indeed an ABSURDITY, or senslesse Speech. For Error is but a deception, in presuming that somewhat is
past, or to come; of which, though it were not past, or not to come; yet there was no
impossibility discoverable. But when we make a generall assertion, unlesse it be a true one,
the possibility of it is unconceivable. And words whereby we conceive nothing but the sound,
are those we call Absurd, Insignificant, and Non-sense. And therefore if a man should talk to me of a round Quadrangle; or accidents of Bread in Cheese; or Immateriall Substances; or of A free Subject; A free-Will; or any Free, but free from being hindred by opposition, I should not say he were in an Errour; but that his words were without meaning; that is to say, Absurd.
I have said before, (in the second chapter,) that a Man did excell all other Animals in this
faculty, that when he conceived any thing whatsoever, he was apt to enquire the consequences
of it, and what effects he could do with it. And now I adde this other degree of the same
excellence, that he can by words reduce the consequences he findes to generall Rules, called
Theoremes, or Aphorismes; that is, he can Reason, or reckon, not onely in number; but in all other things, whereof one may be added unto, or substracted from another.
But this priviledge, is allayed by another; and that is, by the priviledge of Absurdity; to which
no living creature is subject, but man onely. And of men, those are of all most subject to it,
that professe Philosophy. For it is most true that Cicero sayth of them somewhere; that there can be nothing so absurd, but may be found in the books of Philosophers. And the reason is
manifest. For there is not one of them that begins his ratiocination from the Definitions, or
Explications of the names they are to use; which is a method that hath been used onely in
Geometry; whose Conclusions have thereby been made indisputable.
Causes of absurditie 1.
The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method; in that they begin not
their Ratiocination from Definitions; that is, from settled significations of their words: as if they could cast account, without knowing the value of the numerall words, one, two, and three.
And whereas all bodies enter into account upon divers considerations, (which I have mentioned
in the precedent chapter;) these considerations being diversly named, divers absurdities
proceed from the confusion, and unfit connexion of their names into assertions. And therefore
The second cause of Absurd assertions, I ascribe to the giving of names of bodies, to accidents; or of accidents, to bodies; As they do, that say, Faith is infused, or inspired; when nothing can be powred, or breathed into any thing, but body; and that, extension is body; that phantasmes are spirits, &c.
3. The third I ascribe to the giving of the names of the accidents of bodies without us, to the accidents of our own bodies; as they do that say, the colour is in the body; the sound is in the ayre, &c.
4. The fourth, to the giving of the names of bodies, to names, or speeches; as they do that say, that there be things universall; that a living creature is Genus, or a generall thing, &c.
5. The fifth, to the giving of the names of accidents, to names and speeches; as they do that say, the nature of a thing is its definition; a mans command is his will; and the like.
6. The sixth, to the use of Metaphors, Tropes, and other Rhetoricall figures, in stead of words
proper. For though it be lawfull to say, (for example) in common speech, the way goeth, or
leadeth hither, or thither, The Proverb sayes this or that (whereas wayes cannot go, nor
Proverbs speak;) yet in reckoning, and seeking of truth, such speeches are not to be admitted.
7. The seventh, to names that signifie nothing; but are taken up, and learned by rote from the
Schooles, as hypostatical, transubstantiate, consubstantiate, eternal-Now, and the like canting of Schoolemen.
To him that can avoyd these things, it is not easie to fall into any absurdity, unlesse it be by
the length of an account; wherein he may perhaps forget what went before. For all men by
nature reason alike, and well, when they have good principles. For who is so stupid, as both to
mistake in Geometry, and also to persist in it, when another detects his error to him?
By this it appears that Reason is not as Sense, and Memory, borne with us; nor gotten by
Experience onely, as Prudence is; but attayned by Industry; first in apt imposing of Names;
and secondly by getting a good and orderly Method in proceeding from the Elements, which are
Names, to Assertions made by Connexion of one of them to another; and so to Syllogismes,
which are the Connexions of one Assertion to another, till we come to a knowledge of all the
Consequences of names appertaining to the subject in hand; and that is it, men call SCIENCE.
And whereas Sense and Memory are but knowledge of Fact, which is a thing past, and
irrevocable; Science is the knowledge of Consequences, and dependance of one fact upon
another: by which, out of that we can presently do, we know how to do something else when
we will, or the like, another time: Because when we see how any thing comes about, upon
what causes, and by what manner; when the like causes come into our power, wee see how to
make it produce the like effects.
Children therefore are not endued with Reason at all, till they have attained the use of Speech:
but are called Reasonable Creatures, for the possibility apparent of having the use of Reason in
time to come. And the most part of men, though they have the use of Reasoning a little way,
as in numbring to some degree; yet it serves them to little use in common life; in which they
govern themselves, some better, some worse, according to their differences of experience,
quicknesse of memory, and inclinations to severall ends; but specially according to good or
evill fortune, and the errors of one another. For as for Science, or certain rules of their actions, they are so farre from it, that they know not what it is. Geometry they have thought
Conjuring: But for other Sciences, they who have not been taught the beginnings, and some
progresse in them, that they may see how they be acquired and generated, are in this point
like children, that having no thought of generation, are made believe by the women, that their
brothers and sisters are not born, but found in the garden.
But yet they that have no Science, are in better, and nobler condition with their naturall
Prudence; than men, that by mis-reasoning, or by trusting them that reason wrong, fall upon
false and absurd generall rules. For ignorance of causes, and of rules, does not set men so
farre out of their way, as relying on false rules, and taking for causes of what they aspire to,
those that are not so, but rather causes of the contrary.
To conclude, The Light of humane minds is Perspicuous Words, but by exact definitions first
snuffed, and purged from ambiguity; Reason is the pace; Encrease of Science, the way; and the Benefit of man-kind, the end. And on the contrary, Metaphors, and senslesse and
ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them, is wandering amongst
innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention, and sedition, or contempt.
Prudence & Sapience, with their difference.
As, much Experience, is Prudence; so, is much Science, Sapience. For though wee usually have one name of Wisedome for them both; yet the Latines did alwayes distinguish between
Prudentia and Sapientia; ascribing the former to Experience, the later to Science. But to make their difference appeare more cleerly, let us suppose one man endued with an excellent
naturall use, and dexterity in handling his armes; and another to have added to that dexterity,
an acquired Science, of where he can offend, or be offended by his adversarie, in every
possible posture, or guard: The ability of the former, would be to the ability of the later, as
Prudence to Sapience; both usefull; but the later infallible. But they that trusting onely to the
authority of books, follow the blind blindly, are like him that trusting to the false rules of a
master of Fence, ventures præsumptuously upon an adversary, that either kills, or disgraces
Signes of Science.
The signes of Science, are some, certain and infallible; some, uncertain. Certain, when he that
pretendeth the Science of any thing, can teach the same; that is to say, demonstrate the truth
thereof perspicuously to another: Uncertain, when onely some particular events answer to his
pretence, and upon many occasions prove so as he sayes they must. Signes of prudence are all
uncertain; because to observe by experience, and remember all circumstances that may alter
the successe, is impossible. But in any businesse, whereof a man has not infallible Science to
proceed by; to forsake his own naturall judgement, and be guided by generall sentences read
in Authors, and subject to many exceptions, is a signe of folly, and generally scorned by the
name of Pedantry. And even of those men themselves, that in Councells of the Common-
wealth, love to shew their reading of Politiques and History, very few do it in their domestique
affaires, where their particular interest is concerned; having Prudence enough for their private
affaires: but in publique they study more the reputation of their owne wit, than the successe of
Of the Interiour Beginnings of Voluntary Motions; commonly called the
PASSIONS. And the Speeches by which they are expressed.
Motion Vitall and Animal./Endeavour.
THERE be in Animals, two sorts of Motions peculiar to them: One called Vitall; begun in generation, and continued without interruption through their whole life; such as are the course
of the Bloud, the Pulse, the Breathing, the Concoction, Nutrition, Excretion, &c; to which Motions there needs no help of Imagination: The other is Animall motion, otherwise called
Voluntary motion; as to go, to speak, to move any of our limbes, in such manner as is first fancied in our minds. That Sense, is Motion in the organs and interiour parts of mans body,
caused by the action of the things we See, Heare, & c; And that Fancy is but the Reliques of the same Motion, remaining after Sense, has been already sayd in the first and second Chapters.
And because going, speaking, and the like Voluntary motions, depend alwayes upon a
precedent thought of whither, which way, and what; it is evident, that the Imagination is the first internall beginning of all Voluntary Motion. And although unstudied men, doe not conceive
any motion at all to be there, where the thing moved is invisible; or the space it is moved in, is
(for the shortnesse of it) insensible; yet that doth not hinder, but that such Motions are. For let
a space be never so little, that which is moved over a greater space, whereof that little one is
part, must first be moved over that. These small beginnings of Motion, within the body of Man,
before they appear in walking, speaking, striking, and other visible actions, are commonly
Appetite. Desire./Hunger, Thirst./Aversion.
This Endeavour, when it is toward something which causes it, is called APPETITE, or DESIRE;
the later, being the generall name; and the other, often-times restrayned to signifie the Desire
of Food, namely Hunger and Thirst. And when the Endeavour is fromward something, it is generally called AVERSION. These words Appetite, and Aversion we have from the Latines; and they both of them signifie the motions, one of approaching, the other of retiring. So also do the
Greek words for the same, which are
For Nature it selfe does often presse
upon men those truths, which afterwards, when they look for somewhat beyond Nature, they
stumble at. For the Schooles find in meere Appetite to go, or move, no actuall Motion at all:
but because some Motion they must acknowledge, they call it Metaphoricall Motion; which is
but an absurd speech: for though Words may be called metaphoricall; Bodies, and Motions
That which men Desire, they are also sayd to LOVE: and to HATE those things, for which they
have Aversion. So that Desire, and Love, are the same thing; save that by Desire, we alwayes
signifie the Absence of the Object; by Love, most commonly the Presence of the same. So also
by Aversion, we signifie the Absence; and by Hate, the Presence of the Object.
Of Appetites, and Aversions, some are born with men; as Appetite of food, Appetite of
excretion, and exoneration, (which may also and more properly be called Aversions, from
somewhat they feele in their Bodies;) and some other Appetites, not many. The rest, which are
Appetites of particular things, proceed from Experience, and triall of their effects upon
themselves, or other men. For of things wee know not at all, or believe not to be, we can have
no further Desire, than to tast and try. But Aversion wee have for things, not onely which we
know have hurt us; but also that we do not know whether they will hurt us, or not.
Those things which we neither Desire, nor Hate, we are said to Contemne: CONTEMPT being
nothing else but an immobility, or contumacy of the Heart, in resisting the action of certain
things; and proceeding from that the Heart is already moved otherwise, by other more potent
objects; or from want of experience of them.
And because the constitution of a mans Body, is in continuall mutation; it is impossible that all
the same things should alwayes cause in him the same Appetites, and Aversions: much lesse
can all men consent, in the Desire of almost any one and the same Object.
But whatsoever is the object of any mans Appetite or Desire; that is it, which he for his part
calleth Good: And the object of his Hate, and Aversion, Evill; And of his Contempt, Vile and Inconsiderable. For these words of Good, Evill, and Contemptible, are ever used with relation to the person that useth them: There being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common
Rule of Good and Evill, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves; but from the
Person of the man (where there is no Common-wealth;) or, (in a Common-wealth,) from the
Person that representeth it; or from an Arbitrator or judge, whom men disagreeing shall by
consent set up, and make his sentence the Rule thereof.
The Latine Tongue has two words, whose significations approach to those of Good and Evill;
but are not precisely the same; And those are Pulchrum and Turpe. Whereof the former signifies that, which by some apparent signes promiseth Good; and the later, that, which
promiseth Evil. But in our Tongue we have not so generall names to expresse them by. But for
Pulchrum, we say in some things, Fayre; in others, Beautifull, or Handsome; or Gallant, or Honourable, or Comely, or Amiable; and for Turpe, Foule, Deformed, Ugly, Base, Nauseous, and the like, as the subject shall require; All which words, in their proper places signifie
nothing els, but the Mine, or Countenance, that promiseth Good and Evil. So that of Good there be three kinds; Good in the Promise, that is Pulchrum; Good in Effect, as the end desired,
which is called Jucundum, Delightfull; and Good as the Means, which is called Utile, Profitable; and as many of Evill: For Evill, in Promise, is that they call Turpe; Evil in Effect, and End, is Molestum, Unpleasant, Troublesome; and Evill in the Means, Inutile, Unprofitable, Hurtfull.
As, in Sense, that which is really within us, is (as I have sayd before) onely Motion, caused by
the action of externall objects, but in apparence; to the Sight, Light and Colour; to the Eare,
Sound; to the Nostrill, Odour, &c: so, when the action of the same object is continued from the
Eyes, Eares, and other organs to the Heart; the reall effect there is nothing but Motion, or
Endeavour; which consisteth in Appetite, or Aversion, to, or from the object moving. But the