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19. Marginalia in Thomas Burnet’s Third Remarks (1699-c. 1700)

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Third Remarks, p. 3: ‘Sir, I have not yet receiv’d the Favour of your Answer to my Second Letter or Second Remarks upon your Essay about Humane Understanding. (…) You best know the reason of your Silence; but as it will be understood in several ways, so, it may be subject to that Construction among others, That you could not satisfie those Objections or Queries, without exposing your Principles more than you had a Mind they should be exposed.’

Locke: ‘He that reads my booke with a fair minde could not make such a construction’

Third Remarks, p. 4: ‘Conscience, you say, is nothing else but our own Opinion of our own Actions. But of what sort of Actions, I pray; and in reference to what rule or distinction of our Actions?’

Locke: ‘ An ingeneous and fair reader cannot doubt but that I there meant Opinion of their morality.’

Third Remarks, p. 5: ‘But the Question is, what Laws those are that we ought to obey, or how we can know them without Revelation, unless you take in natural Conscience for a distinction of Good and Evil…’

Locke: ‘It is not conscience that makes the distinction of good and evil conscience only judgeing of an action by that which it takes to be the rule of good and evil acquits or condems it’

Third Remarks, p. 6: ‘If they [Noah and Job] had no other Guide or Motive to Vertue and Piety, than your Idea of God and of the Soul, with an arbitrary difference of Good and Evil, I wonder how they could attain to such a degree of Righteousness as would bear that eminent Character, from God and his Prophets.’

Locke: ‘This author makes great professions to write only for truths sake. I think it does not very well agree with that Character to impute to me what is not mine. For where is it I so much as mention much lesse assert an arbitrary difference of good and evil. Fair writers never fail to quote the words that they would charge as blamable in them selves or consequences. I desire he would quote the words from whence he insinuates here as if I excluded out of the Idea of god all other Ideas but Eternity omnipotence and omniscience. To judg of the fainesse of our Author in this point I desire the Reader to consider what I say B II. C XXIII §33-35. And if he thinks that what I say B IV. C. X. §6 be not true, that an eternal omnipotent omniscient being being once established the other attributes of god cannot be made out I desire him to say so, and then to make them out some other way.’

Third Remarks, p.6: ‘Lastly, As to Providence, we cannot tell, from your Principles, how far it will extend. We see Provision is made for the Subsistence of Creatures here, that the World may be kept upon the Wheels, and still going: But as to their Happiness, as we see it uncertain here, so we cannot prove, from the bare Power and Knowledge of their Maker, what it will be hereafter.’ [Burnet denies Locke’s assertion that from the basic attributes of enternity, omnipotency and omniscience all the other attributes of God can be derived.]

Locke: ‘This author blames my principles not for falshood but deficiency because he cannot make out all, and just soe much as he would by them. If they are true I am glad, noe thing I am sure but truth will follow from truth. If they will not serve this Authors turne I should be glad he would lay down such as would that we might see them. For truly I am not at leisure to draw for every one all those consequences from mine which he would have made out to him. And soe to fall to worke for his satisfaction as often as any one requires me to prove this or prove that from my principles. For whose sake my Essay was writ my Epistle to the reader tells.And if it has been acceptable to them I have my end. If it has been of any use to others I am glad too. Those findei<ng it> deficient will doe wisely to seeke how to supply themselves better: but they will doe what neither becomes men or Christians if they make sinister or malitious interpretations of my not haveing enterd into all the particulars they would have me. when they cannot disprove the truth of anything I have hand<led>’

Third Remarks, p. 7: ‘Does any one assert that there are such express Idea’s, express Propositions in the Mind of Man, and an express discernment of their connexion or inconnexion before the use of Reason, or as much before it as after it? I say, as much before it as after it; for the fullest, clearest, and most distinct Knowledge that we have after the use of Reason, cannot be more amply express’d, than to say it is imprinted or engraven upon the Mind, in fair and indeleble Characters.’

Locke: ‘Pray say plainly what is innate and imprinted and how far and then it will be seen how far you and I disagree’

Third Remarks, p. 7: ‘When a Child feels the difference of bitter and sweet, he knows and understands that difference in some kind or degree; for it hath its Consequences, and becomes a Principle of Action to him. Now, whether you please to call this Principle, Knowledge, or Sense, or Instinct, or by any other Name, it still hath the effect of Knowledge of some sort or other; and that before this Child hath the Name of Bitter of Sweet, Pleasant or Unpleasant: much less can he define what either of them is.’ [Burnet seems to imply that a vague notion of bitter and sweet is innate to the child before he knows the names of these qualities]

Locke: ‘But has the child the Ideas of bitter and sweet innate. And has the child that has the Ideas of bitter and sweet the Ideas of Moral good and moral evill’

Third Remarks, pp. 7-8: ‘…I understand by Natural Conscience, a Natural Sagacity to distinguish Moral Good and Evil, or a different perception and sense of them, with a different affection of the Mind arising from it; and this so immediate as to prevent and anticipate all External Laws, and all Ratiocination.’

Locke: ‘What is this affection of the minde from conscience antecedent to all external laws and ratiocination?’

Third Remarks, p. 8: ‘You will not say, I believe, That if there was such a Natural Principle in the Soul of Man, Infants or young Children would be able to distinguish Moral Good and Evil: For you might as well expect, that in a Seed, there should be Leaves, Flowers, and Fruit; or that in the rudiments of an Embryo there should be all the Parts and Members of a compleat Body, distinctly represented; which, in continuance, are fashioned and brought to perfection.’

Locke: ‘If moral Ideas or moral rules (which are the moral principles I deny to be innate) are innate I say children must know them as well as men. If by moral principles you mean a faculty to finde out in time the moral difference of actions. Besides that this is an improper way of speaking to cal<l> a power principles: I never denyd such a power to be innate, but that which I denyd was that any Ideas or connection of Ideas was innate.’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘This shews us, that there may be a power in the Soul of distinguishing one thing from another, without Ratiocination (...) As our Outward Senses are sufficient (without distinct Idea’s and Propositions) to give us notice of what is convenient or inconvenient to the Body: So those Inward Sensations were design’d to direct us as to what is agreeable or disagreeable, good or hurtful to the Soul.’

Locke: ‘Such an inward distinguishing sensation antecedent to all sense or supposition of an external moral rule should be proved, till then the supposeing of it is but laying down a foundation for Enthusiasme.’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘… this principle of discerning Good and Evil, is at first obscure, and rises by degrees into a clearer light; and according to the Improvement that is made of it, into a fuller sense of those Moral Differences. Now, if this Account of Natural Conscience, or what you call Practical Principles, be true; there are, in my opinion, in your Third Chapter, mention’d before, several Defective Reasonings, or Ill-grounded Suppositions.’

Locke: ‘I call not conscience practical principles. produce the place where I soe represent it. He who confounds the Judgment made with the Rule or law upon which it is made, as the Author doth here, may perhaps talke soe’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘You say your self, I deny not that there are Natural Tendencies imprinted on the Minds of men; and that from the very first instances of Sense and Perception, there are some things that are grateful, and others unwelcome to them; some things that they encline to, and others that they flie. Grant us in the Soul such a like Principle, which we name Natural Conscience, as a Spring and Motive of our Actions (…) in reference to Moral Good and Evil…’

Locke: ‘Men have a natural tendency to what delights and from what pains them. This universal observation has established past doubt. That the soul has such a tendency to what is moraly good and from what is morally evil and has not fallen under my observation, and therefor I cannot grant it for askeing.

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘…You seem to make account, that if Conscience was an Innate Principle, it should be invincible and inextinguishable, and universally received without doubt or question.’

Locke: ‘This Author mistakes what I say B. I. C III § 9 which is that moral rules are not innate for if they were they would be in all men and if they were in the minds of men they could not without all touch of conscience be transformed as many instances show they are’

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘In the meantime, Sir, as your Plea is weak, in my opinion, so methinks you have an ungrateful Office, To rake up all the dirt and filth you can from barbarous People, to throw in the face of Humane Nature. This, some will think an Indignity cast upon Mankind, and a piece of Ingratitude to our Maker.’ [Burnet refers to Locke’s argument that, if certain principles are innate, these principles should be shared also by foreign cultures.]

Locke: ‘And what is it in those who give us such discussions as are to be found of the heathen world immoral in Idolatry and corruption?’

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘…But seeing Man is made up of various Principles, and such as often interfere one with another, what wonder is it to see some following this, some that, some better, some a worse. There is a Law of the Members, as well as of the Mind, and these are at war; and sometimes one gets the victory, sometimes the other.’

Locke: ‘The question is not whether the event will be of several inclinations (for that is it which the Author here cal<l>s principles) drawing several ways. But whether the law being present in the mind (as it must be if it be innate) a man can transgresse it without judging him self guilty.’

Third Remarks, pp. 10-11: ‘Now if you say further, That there are not only rude and barbarous People, but also civiliz’d Nations that have had Practices and Customs contrary to what are call’d the Laws of Nature, or Natural Conscience; I think this also is no sufficient Argument against that Principle.’

Locke: ‘Conscience is not the law of Nature. but judging by that which is taken to be the law’

Third Remarks, p. 11: ‘Exorbitant Practises against Natural Conscience, are no Proof that there is no such Principle: As a wicked Rebellion in a Kingdom or State, is no good Proof that there are no Laws against it.’

Locke: ‘Practise without touch of conscience shows the law transgressed not to be in the minde as a rule.’

Third Remarks, p. 11: ‘As on the other hand, It is a strong Proof of Natural Conscience, as the Supreme Law, if we find Instances and Actions in those Heathen States you mention, the Greeks and the Romans, transcendent or contrary to the Interest of State, and yet receiv’d with general Applause and Approbation.’

Locke: ‘Conscience is the judg not the law.’

Third Remarks, p. 11: [Burnet refers to the Athenian statesman Aristides (fl. fifth century BC) and the Roman general G. Lucius Fabricius (fl. third century BC), who both turned down a profitable but immoral offer.]

Locke: ‘Because Aristides and Fabricius owned the rule of right in those cases of justice ergo that rule of not murdering, or preserveing their children was innate or moved in the mindes of those who without remorse of conscience broke it. A very good argument.’

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘As it is no sufficient argument [against Natural Conscience] that there is no Sun in the Firmament, because his Light is obscured in Cloudy Days, or does not appear in Foggy Regions. ’Tis enough to prove there is such a Luminary, if he shine clearer in other Climates, or by fits, though he be subject to Clouds and Eclipses as well as the Light of Nature.’

Locke: ‘This Author abounds much in similes which have the ill luck when brought to the paralel to be against him. As here though the sun be in heaven yet those that are in the darke who manifestly doe not guide their steps by it show that his light is not innate.

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘So I do not see any necessity of Universal Consent, or Universal Uniformity, to declare a Principle to be Natural.’

Locke: ‘What this Author has to say about natural principles I know not. That which I deny is that practical principles or rules are innate’

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘…I think, no Man will deny the Sense of Musick to be Natural to Mankind, without Ratiocination. So also, for Beauty. I do not mean that of Faces only, or Colour, but of Order, Proportion, Uniformity, or Regularity in general. (...) who does not think that some Notion or Idea of Order and Regularity, and of their Difference from Confusion or Disorder, is Natural to us?’

Locke: ‘Prove the distinguishing sense of vertue and vice to be natural to mankinde before they have learnt the measures of vertue and vice from something besides that sense and you will have proved something’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘I wish that may not be the Supposition that lies at the bottom of your Philosophy, That the Soul of Man is no distinct Substance from God or the Body: but either a Divine Influence, or the Power of the Body.’

Locke: ‘This Author to bring in a very well naturd suggestion sticks not to contradict himself for in the foregoing period he questions whether I allow any innate powers and here he supposes I make the soule to be the power of the body which power is certainly innate’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘To proceed a little further, you have an odd Exception in your 12th. Paragraph, to show that the Dictates of natural Conscience are not Truths, because they are not form’d into Propositions: And to make them capable of being assented to as Truths, they must have the word Duty join’d to them. [Burnet considers this as ‘Chicanry about words’]

Locke: ‘As odd as it is it is true that there is noe truth or falshood but in a verbal or mental proposition’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘But, say you, what duty is cannot be understood, without a Law: nor a Law be known or supposed without a Law-maker, or without Rewards and Punishments. (...) But let us see how far these things make for you or against you; Do we not preserve our selves, Do we not make use of Reason, without the formality of a Law, telling us, ’Tis our Duty to do these things?’

Locke: ‘Yes we may doe it without the formality of a law. But conscience can not acquit or condemn us for what we doe without a law telling us it is our duty to doe or forbear’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘Or in the case of natural Conscience, have we not the Marks and Sense of our Duty, and of the Will of our Maker from an inward Testimony, approving or disapproving our Actions, according as we obey or disobey that Principle in the distinction of Moral God and Evil? On the one hand, Occultum quatiente animo tortore flagellum. On the other, --- Hic murus aheneus esto,/ Nil conscire sibi. These were both the Sayings of Heathens, that had no other Law than the Law of natural Conscience.’

Locke: ‘that had noe other law but the law of nature to guid their conscience To expresse it right soe it should be.’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘When you offer a Child Bitter instead of Sweet, he turns away his Head and makes grimaces, when he has no Law or Duty prescrib’d to him: nor any other Logick than what was born with him, or what he suck’t from the Breasts of his Mother. Then as to Punishments and Rewards, there is a Presage of them from natural Conscience, and they are futhermore deducible from the Nature of God, if you allow him Moral Attributes, as we do.’

Locke: ‘shew such an avertion in children to all immorality as soon as they are capable of moral actions and that will be something to the purpuse. Are Rewards and punishments deducible from the nature of god by any one without Ratiotination. But ’tis without Ratiotination that you contend Natural conscience works’

Third Remarks, p. 13-14: ‘Indeed in your way, upon your Idea of God, and your uncertainty of the Immortality of the Soul, I do not see how possibly you can prove future Rewards and Punishments without a Revelation: nor consequently give us a Foundation for Morality and natural Religion.’

Locke: ‘If you doe not see how from my Idea of God how I can prove future rewards and punishments what ever be the cause of your want of sight in the case I shall not examin. But if you have another Idea of god. than I have and can prove the existence of such a god from other principles than mine I shall thank you for supplying this defect in my Essay’

Third Remarks, p. 14: ‘You say, it is impossible that men should without shame or fear confidently break a Rule, which they could not but evidently know that God had set up, and would certainly punish the breach of, (Which they must if it were innate; Put in this place, Which they must if they were Christians) to a degree to make it a very ill Bargain, to the Transgressor.’

Locke: ‘Is it possible then that men in whom the Gospel is the principle of Action to break the rules of it without shame or fear?’

Third Remarks, p. 14 (immediately follows previous passage): ‘Does not this hit the Christians as well and as manifestly, as those that abuse natural Conscience?’

Locke: ‘It hits some that are called not those that realy are Christians’

Third Remarks, p. 14: ‘You instance in Duels and bloody Wars, &c. amongst Christians. You might have applied all these things particularly to Christians; but still we should have thought it no good Proof that there is no Christian Law, no more than it is, that there is no Natural Conscience.’

Locke: ‘Doe you prove that there is a natural conscience in your sense and the question will be decided But false or invidious consequences that reach not the case will not doe it. They show only the good will not the good cause of such a talker’

Locke [second remark on the same passage]: ‘It is I think a good proof that there is no Christian law setled in the mind as a natural principle of action in those that doe soe without touch of conscience which is the case of those I mention.’

Third Remarks, pp. 14-15: ‘Do we not see Men, every day, in spite of Laws, External or Internal, Divine or Humane, pursue their Lusts, Passions, and vitious Inclinations? Though they have not only the Terrors of another Life to keep them in awe and order, but see before their eyes, Gaols, Gibbets, Irons, Whips, Racks, and Torturing Engines; Examples also of miserable Creatures suffering actually for those very Crimes.’

Locke: ‘What? Whilst they have the terrors of those things as unavoidable for that action before their eyes’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘If all these united Forces and Restraints [the terrors of an afterlife in hell as well as the pains of earthly punishment] cannot keep them from extravagant Evils, can we think it strange, that the single Principle of Natural Conscience should be suppress’d or suffocated by the Stupidity or Vices incident to Humane Nature.’

Locke: ‘Natural conscience supposed an innate principle suffocated by the Stupidity or vice is a pretty thing’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘In your next Section, you call for a List of the Laws or Principles of Conscience: And so the Papists do for a Catalogue of Fundamentals.’

Locke: ‘Of those who say there are a set of fundamental propositions necessary to be believed by every one for salvation it is reasonable to aske a list of them. And Of those who say there are innate laws or rules of right or wrong tis reasonable to demand a list of them and he that cannot produce what he soe talks of tis plain folly.’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘As to the Dictates (1) or Principles of Natural Conscience, (call them Laws of Nature, or what you please) we say, in general, that they are for the distinction of Moral Good and Evil: But the Cases are innumerable (2), (as in other Cases of Conscience), wherein there may be occasion for their Exercise.’

Locke (1): ‘conscience dictates not but acquits or condemns upon the dictates of a superior power’

Locke (2): ‘Though the objects be innumerable that please or displease yet sense can immediately upon the application of every one of them distinguish which delights or which offendes. Has conscience such a discerning sense of Moral good and evil in every action?’

Third Remarks, p.16: [Burnet refers to Locke, Essay, I.iii.20, pp. 80-81: ‘But concerning innnate Principles, I desire these Men to say, whether they can, or cannot, by Education and Custom, be blurr’d and blotted out: If they cannot, we must find them in all Mankind alike, and they must be clear in every bode…’ Burnet suggest in different phrasing of this passage.] ‘So the Sentence will run thus; But concerning this Power or Principle of Reasoning, I desire these Men to say, whether it can, or cannot, by Education and Custom, (or contrary Principles; for that we must take in, if we speak of Natural Conscience) be blurr’d or blotted out. If they cannot, says he, they must be alike in all Men. If they can, they must be clearest in Children before they are corrupted. We say, neither of these will follow: These Powers may be weak in Children, and may be blurr’d or blotted in several Persons, and yet be Natural Principles; as we see it is in the Principle of Reason or Reasoning.’

Locke: ‘Natural powers may be improved by exercise and afterwards weakend again by neglect and soe all the knowledg got by the exercise of those powers. But innate Ideas or propositions imprinted on the mind I doe not see how they can be improved or efaced’

Locke [second remark on the same passage]: ‘Define Principle’ [Burnet does not clearly distinguish between ‘powers’ and ‘principles’; Locke does not claim that we have no innate powers, only that we have no innate principles or ideas.]

Third Remarks, p. 16: ‘I see this word Innate is still a Stumbling-stone: And we must ask again, whether you allow any Powers to be Innate to Mankind?’

Locke: ‘I think noe body but the Author who ever read my book could doubt that I spoke only of innate ideas. for my subject was the understanding and not of innate powers and therefor there must be some very particular reason for our Authors soe understanding me if he does soe understand me’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘I do not willingly dispute about what is Possible or Impossible to God, (for we cannot comprehend an Infinite Nature) but rather what is Conceivable or Unconceivable to us. And I will not assert any thing Possible, that is Unconceivable, unless I have positive Assurance, Divine or Humane, that it is Possible.’

Locke: ‘Can you then conceive an unextended created substance? Can you conceive an unextended and unsolid substance moveing or moved by matter? Can you conceive Ideas or thought produced by the motion of matter?’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘Now you bring no positive Evidence of this Possibility of Cogitation in Matter; and I think it unconceivable, according to our Faculties and Conceptions, that Matter should be capable of Cogitation, as a power of Matter, either Innate or Impress’d.’

Locke: ‘The positive proofs of the one side and the other should be ballanced’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘My reasons [against the possibility of thinking matter] are these; That Unity we find in our Perceptions, is such an Unity, as, in my judgment, is incompetent to Matter, by reason of the Division or Distinction of its Parts. All our Perceptions, whether of Sense, Passions, Reason, or any other Faculty, are carried to one Common Percipient, or one common Conscious Principle.’

Locke: ‘This argument of unity if it has any force in it supposes all our perceptions of sense to be made in a point which cannot be unlesse all our nerves terminate in a point’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘Pray then tell us, what part of the Body is that, which you make the Common Percipient [the place where all perceptions come together]: Or, if that be too much, tell us how any one part of the Body may or can be so.’

Locke: ‘I make noe part of the body soe. But how any part of the body may or can be soe I will undertake to tell when you shall tell how any created substance may or can be so’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘…’Tis impossible that any one part or particle should know the Cogitations of any other Parts or Particles, or the whole know the Cogitations of every particular.’ [How can matter have a conscious centre?]

Locke: ‘Twould be impossible if it were supposed to be in matter as matter. But if god gives it to a certain systeme of matter soe disposed it is then in that systeme’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘…Simple Apprehension, Judgment, Ratiocination, must all lie under the Prospect, Intuition and Correction of some one Common Principle; and that must be a Principle of such a perfect unity and simplicity, as the Body, any part of the Body, or any particle of Matter is not capable of.’

Locke: ‘If an inability to explain how any system of matter can thinke be an argument against a material soule the inability to explain how body by motion can affect an immaterial being will be an argument against an immaterial soule. But such arguments raise great trophies from the ignorance of others but think them selves sage in their own. Where both sides are equally ignorant I think noe advantage can be made of it on either side.’

Third Remarks, p. 18: [Burnet lists a number of reasons against the conceivability of a material substance that thinks or exhibits free will.]

Locek: ‘All the same difficulties are against the conceiving how an immaterial created substance can begin change or stop its owne motions or thoughts or give any motion or determination to body’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘’Twere an odd thing, to fansie that a piece of Matter should have Free Will, and an absolute Power like a little Emperor on his Throne, to command, as his Slaves about him, all other Parts of Matter.’

Locke: ‘But where is it I have said body has these powers when you have demonstrated humane soules to be immaterial and explaind how these powers are in them. you have said some thing against me and shall finde me your glad convert. If arguments from our shortsightednesse be good and that any principles or systeme is false because it removes not all difficulties. Lay down yours and see whether it will not be liable to as strong objections of defect, and as invidious inferency, if it be the way of lovers of truth to make them.’

Third Remarks, p. 19: ‘…you must fix this Self-moving Faculty [of a free will] to some one part of that System (for every part hath not that Power and Free Will, upon any Supposition) and when you have assign’d that Divine Self-moving Part or Particle of the Body, we shall examine the Powers and Capacities of it.’

Locke: ‘you too must fix that self moveing substance to some part of the body and when you have assigned the part or particle of the body it is fixed to we shall examine its operations’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘…If it can deliberate, consult, chuse or refuse, then Matter is capable of Vertue and Vice, Duty and Religion, Merit and Demerit, and also of Punishments and Rewards; Which Hypothesis about the Powers of Matter, as to the Will, would pervert all our rules in Moral Philosophy: as the former about the Understanding, all in Natural.’

Locke: ‘That knowledge and will placed in a solid substance will more pervert the rules of Moral philosophy than if placed in a substance void of Solidity remains to be proved’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘Neither do I see a Capacity in any Part of the Body for Memory or Remembrance, especially as to some Idea’s.’

Locke: ‘You doe suppose indeed But can you say you see a capacity of remembrance in an immaterial substance? You say 1st Remarks, p. 9 you doe not understand how the soule if she be at any time without thoughts what it is that produces the first thought again. you may if you please apply this and the rest you have there said to Remembrance and see whether you understand memory better.’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘But we have some Idea’s that have no Corporeal Marks in the Brains, as those of Relations, Proportions, universal and abstract Notions; Yet of these and such like, we have both Perception and Memory: And as to those Objects which leave some Impressions upon the Brain, ’tis still unconceivable how those Impressions, whatsoever they are, should be fixt and continue so long as our Memory does: in a piece of fluxile Matter, that wasts, spends, and changes day after day.’

Locke: ‘How do you know that they [Ideas] have noe corporeal marks in the brains? But if memory be in an immaterial substance only pray make me understand how comes it that a disease sometimes blots out all that is in the past memory as I may call it. and yet leave a future memory. i e a power to retain future perceptions.’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘’Tis true, every thing that is possible, is possible to God; but we must also consider the Capacities or Incapacities of the Subject. (…) And what you suppose possible may be suppos’d actual. Possibili posito in actu, nihil sequitur absurdi. Pardon these old Axioms by which you are oblig’d to vindicate the actual existence of such Powers and Properties as we are treating of, from absurdity; and to make them intelligible if you would have them receiv’d.’

Locke: ‘I would not have them received when another hypothesis is produced wherein there are not the like difficulties and things as remote from humane conception. produce such an one and you have me your gratefull scholler. But objections from ignorance and the weaknesse of humane capacity does not this; And such objections invidiously turnd (as I think it is clear yours are) are noe great marks that you ever seriously thought of any such thing. Findeing fault is an eassy businesse and not always of the most elevated understandings. you presse me to a contest ede tua stake too and then it will be seen whether your or my principles are clearest and leave fewest difficulties to humane understanding’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘In Motion, you know properly so call’d besides the change of Situation, there is a Vis movens, which is not the Power of Matter, nor any Modification of it; but the Power of a Superior Agent acting Matter.’

Locke: ‘When you have explaind and helpd us to conceive a vis movensin any created substance yours will be a good objection against it in a solid substance’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘We can distinctly conceive the Mechanical Properties of Matter, and what results from them; but as Cogitation cannot be any of those, nor an effect of any of them, so neither can I any more conceive the Power of Intellection or Ratiocination communicated to certain Systems of matter, than I can conceive Penetration of Dimensions communicated to certain Parts or Systems of Matter; or a Power of being in several places at once; Both which, you know, are by some made communicable to a Body.’

Locke: ‘Pray tell us how you can conceive cogitation in an unsolid created substance It is as hard I confesse to me to be conceived in an unsolid as in a solid substance.’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘If we grant such Arbitrary Powers [e.g. the power of being in several places at once] whereof we have no Idea or Conception, to be communicable to Matter, there will be no end of imputing Powers to Matter, according to every one’s Fancy or Credulity.’

Locke: ‘The objection is as good against finite immaterial substances’

Third Remarks, p. 22: ‘As to the state of that Question, How far Cogitation is communicable to Matter? We allow that a Spirit may act and Cogitate in Matter, and be so united to some Systems of it, that there may be a reciprocation of Actions and Passions betwixt them, according to the Laws of their Union.’ [Burnet argues that matter cannot have the power of thinking, but that spirit has to act and think through matter. Locke replies that both theories are equally problematic.]

Locke: ‘You allow here of suppositions as unconceivable and as unexplicable as any thing in the thinking of matter. For to use your way of arguing. 1st I desire you will help me to conceive an unextended uncreated unsolid substance for that I suppose you mean here by spirit. 2º to conceive how such a substance acts and cogitates in a solid substance. 3º to conceive how it is united to some systems of matter. 4º to conceive how it can act on or suffer from matter etc For to use your own words [Third Remarks], p. 22 It would not be fair nor satisfactory to give us a short answer and tell us every thing is possible to god. and p. 21 If we grant such arbitrary powers of which we have noe Idea norconceptiontherewill be noe end of imputeing powers according to every ones Fancy of Credulity. According to which rule of yours all that is allowed beyond what we can conceive must goe for Fancy and Credulity. And therefore pray let us see that phylosophie of yours bounded by such rules as may keep us from unconceivable suppositions.’

Third Remarks, pp. 24-25: ‘I will mention another Doubt or Dispute, which arises from that Principle, viz. That the Soul is not a Substance distinct from God and Matter. (…) If the Soul be not a Substance distinct from God and Matter, then all our Cogitations are either the Operations of God, or the Operations of Matter; there being no third Substance to be the Subject of them. This being the case, they chuse (as of two inconveniences the less) to make Matter the Subject of them, rather than God; adding this temperament, That Matter hath not this Power or Cogitation from it self, but as impress’d or communicated to it from God. (...) I have noted, those Doctrines, you see, which chiefly relate to the Soul of Man, and are found agreeable to, or consequential upon the Principles of the Deists.’

Locke: ‘When you have demonstrated the soule of man to be immaterial your own hypothesis will be clear of these objections against mine and I shall come over to you and be clear to, if you noe more than I can goe beyond probability that it is soe. All your accusation of Philosophical Deisme let the fault of that be what you please fall upon yourself and own hypothesis.’

Diplomatic

Third Remarks, p. 3: ‘Sir, I have not yet receiv’d the Favour of your Answer to my Second Letter or Second Remarks upon your Essay about Humane Understanding. (…) You best know the reason of your Silence; but as it will be understood in several ways, so, it may be subject to that Construction among others, That you could not satisfie those Objections or Queries, without exposing your Principles more than you had a Mind they should be exposed.’

Locke: ‘He that reads my booke with a fair minde could not make such a construction’

Third Remarks, p. 4: ‘Conscience, you say, is nothing else but our own Opinion of our own Actions. But of what sort of Actions, I pray; and in reference to what rule or distinction of our Actions?’

Locke: ‘........... An ingeneous and fair reader cannot doubt but that the Author I there meant Opinion of their morality.’

Third Remarks, p. 5: ‘But the Question is, what Laws those are that we ought to obey, or how we can know them without Revelation, unless you take in natural Conscience for a distinction of Good and Evil…’

Locke: ‘It is not conscience that makes the distinction of good and evil conscience only judgeing of an action by that which it takes to be the rule of good and evil acquits or condems it’

Third Remarks, p. 6: ‘If they [Noah and Job] had no other Guide or Motive to Vertue and Piety, than your Idea of God and of the Soul, with an arbitrary difference of Good and Evil, I wonder how they could attain to such a degree of Righteousness as would bear that eminent Character, from God and his Prophets.’

Locke: ‘This author makes great professions to write only for truths sake. I think it does not very well agree with that Character to impute to me what is not mine. For where is it I so much as mention much lesse assert an arbitrary difference of good and evil. Fair writers never fail to quote the words that they would charge as blamable in them selves or consequences. I desire he would quote the words from whence he insinuates here as if I would........... excluded out of the Idea of god all other Ideas but Eternity omnipotence and omniscience. To judg of the fainesse of our Author in this point I desire the Reader to consider what I say B II. C XXIII §33-35. And if he thinks that what I say B IV. C. X. §6 be not true, that from an eternal omnipotent omniscient being being once established the other attributes of god cannot be made out I desire him to say so, and then to make them out some other way.’

Third Remarks, p.6: ‘Lastly, As to Providence, we cannot tell, from your Principles, how far it will extend. We see Provision is made for the Subsistence of Creatures here, that the World may be kept upon the Wheels, and still going: But as to their Happiness, as we see it uncertain here, so we cannot prove, from the bare Power and Knowledge of their Maker, what it will be hereafter.’ [Burnet denies Locke’s assertion that from the basic attributes of enternity, omnipotency and omniscience all the other attributes of God can be derived.]

Locke: ‘This author blames my principles not for falshood but deficiency because he cannot make out all, and just soe much as he would by them. If they are true I am glad, noe thing I am sure but truth will follow from truth. If they will not serve this Authors turne I should be glad he would lay down such as would that we might see them. For truly I am not at leisure to draw all

7

for every one all those consequences from mine which he would have made out to him. And soe to fall to worke for his satisfaction as .... often as any one requires me to prove this or prove that from my principles. For whose sake my Essay was writ my Epistle to the reader tells.And if they it has been

8

acceptable to them I have my end. If it has been of any use to others I am glad too. Those findei<ng it> deficient will doe wisely to seeke how to supply themselves better: but they will doe what neither becomes men or Christians if they make sinister or malitious interpretations of my not haveing enterd into all the particulars they would have me. when they cannot disprove the truth of anything I have hand<led>

Third Remarks, p. 7: ‘Does any one assert that there are such express Idea’s, express Propositions in the Mind of Man, and an express discernment of their connexion or inconnexion before the use of Reason, or as much before it as after it? I say, as much before it as after it; for the fullest, clearest, and most distinct Knowledge that we have after the use of Reason, cannot be more amply express’d, than to say it is imprinted or engraven upon the Mind, in fair and indeleble Characters.’

Locke: ‘Pray say plainly what is innate and imprinted and how far and then it will be seen how far you and I disagree’

Third Remarks, p. 7: ‘When a Child feels the difference of bitter and sweet, he knows and understands that difference in some kind or degree; for it hath its Consequences, and becomes a Principle of Action to him. Now, whether you please to call this Principle, Knowledge, or Sense, or Instinct, or by any other Name, it still hath the effect of Knowledge of some sort or other; and that before this Child hath the Name of Bitter of Sweet, Pleasant or Unpleasant: much less can he define what either of them is.’ [Burnet seems to imply that a vague notion of bitter and sweet is innate to the child before he knows the names of these qualities]

Locke: ‘But has the child the Ideas of bitter and sweet innate. And has the child that has the Ideas of bitter and sweet the Ideas of Moral good and moral evill’

Third Remarks, pp. 7-8: ‘…I understand by Natural Conscience, a Natural Sagacity to distinguish Moral Good and Evil, or a different perception and sense of them, with a different affection of the Mind arising from it; and this so immediate as to prevent and anticipate all External Laws, and all Ratiocination.’

Locke: ‘What is this affection of the minde from conscience antecedent to all external laws and ratiocination?’

Third Remarks, p. 8: ‘You will not say, I believe, That if there was such a Natural Principle in the Soul of Man, Infants or young Children would be able to distinguish Moral Good and Evil: For you might as well expect, that in a Seed, there should be Leaves, Flowers, and Fruit; or that in the rudiments of an Embryo there should be all the Parts and Members of a compleat Body, distinctly represented; which, in continuance, are fashioned and brought to perfection.’

Locke: ‘If moral Ideas or moral rules (which are the moral principles I deny to be innate) are innate I say children must know them as well as men. If by moral principles you mean a faculty to finde out in time the moral difference of actions. Besides that this is an improper way of speaking to cal<l> a power principles: I never denyd such a power to be innate, but that which I denyd was that any Ideas much lesse or connection of Ideas was innate.’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘This shews us, that there may be a power in the Soul of distinguishing one thing from another, without Ratiocination (...) As our Outward Senses are sufficient (without distinct Idea’s and Propositions) to give us notice of what is convenient or inconvenient to the Body: So those Inward Sensations were design’d to direct us as to what is agreeable or disagreeable, good or hurtful to the Soul.’

Locke: ‘Such an inward distinguishing sensation antecedent to all sense or supposition of an external moral rule should be proved, till then the supposeing of it is but laying down a foundation for Enthusiasme.’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘… this principle of discerning Good and Evil, is at first obscure, and rises by degrees into a clearer light; and according to the Improvement that is made of it, into a fuller sense of those Moral Differences. Now, if this Account of Natural Conscience, or what you call Practical Principles, be true; there are, in my opinion, in your Third Chapter, mention’d before, several Defective Reasonings, or Ill-grounded Suppositions.’

Locke: ‘I call not conscience practical principles. He who confounds the Judgment with .....which produce the place where I soe represent it. He who confounds the Judgment made with the Rule or law upon which it is made, as the Author doth here, may perhaps talke soe’

Third Remarks, p. 9: ‘You say your self, I deny not that there are Natural Tendencies imprinted on the Minds of men; and that from the very first instances of Sense and Perception, there are some things that are grateful, and others unwelcome to them; some things that they encline to, and others that they flie. Grant us in the Soul such a like Principle, which we name Natural Conscience, as a Spring and Motive of our Actions (…) in reference to Moral Good and Evil…’

Locke: ‘Men have a natural tendency to and from what delights and from what pains them. This universal observation has established past doubt. That the soul has such a tendency to what is moraly good and from what is morally evil and has not fallen under my observation, and therefor I cannot grant it ...... for askeing.

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘…You seem to make account, that if Conscience was an Innate Principle, it should be invincible and inextinguishable, and universally received without doubt or question.’

Locke: ‘This Author mistakes what I say B. I. C III § 9 which is that ye moral rules are not innate for if they were they would be in all men and if they were in the minds of men they could not without all touch of conscience be transformed as many instances show they are’

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘In the meantime, Sir, as your Plea is weak, in my opinion, so methinks you have an ungrateful Office, To rake up all the dirt and filth you can from barbarous People, to throw in the face of Humane Nature. This, some will think an Indignity cast upon Mankind, and a piece of Ingratitude to our Maker.’ [Burnet refers to Locke’s argument that, if certain principles are innate, these principles should be shared also by foreign cultures.]

Locke: ‘And what is it in those who give us such discussions as are to be found of the heathen world immoral in Idolatry and corruption?’

Third Remarks, p. 10: ‘…But seeing Man is made up of various Principles, and such as often interfere one with another, what wonder is it to see some following this, some that, some better, some a worse. There is a Law of the Members, as well as of the Mind, and these are at war; and sometimes one gets the victory, sometimes the other.’

Locke: ‘The question is not whether the event will be of several inclinations ....... (for that is it which the Author here cal<l>s principles) drawing several ways. But whether the law being present in the mind (as it must be if it be innate) a man can transgresse it without judging him self guilty.’

Third Remarks, pp. 10-11: ‘Now if you say further, That there are not only rude and barbarous People, but also civiliz’d Nations that have had Practices and Customs contrary to what are call’d the Laws of Nature, or Natural Conscience; I think this also is no sufficient Argument against that Principle.’

Locke: ‘Conscience is not the law of Nature. but judging by that which is taken to be the law’

Third Remarks, p. 11: ‘Exorbitant Practises against Natural Conscience, are no Proof that there is no such Principle: As a wicked Rebellion in a Kingdom or State, is no good Proof that there are no Laws against it.’

Locke: ‘Practise without touch of conscience shows the law transgressed not to be in the minde as a rule.’

Third Remarks, p. 11: ‘As on the other hand, It is a strong Proof of Natural Conscience, as the Supreme Law, if we find Instances and Actions in those Heathen States you mention, the Greeks and the Romans, transcendent or contrary to the Interest of State, and yet receiv’d with general Applause and Approbation.’

Locke: ‘Conscience is the judg not the law.’

Third Remarks, p. 11: [Burnet refers to the Athenian statesman Aristides (fl. fifth century BC) and the Roman general G. Lucius Fabricius (fl. third century BC), who both turned down a profitable but immoral offer.]

Locke: ‘Because Aristides and Fabricius owned the rule of right in those cases of justice ergo that rule of not murdering, or preserveing their children was ...because........ innate or moved in the mindes of those who without remorse of conscience broke it. A very good argument.’

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘As it is no sufficient argument [against Natural Conscience] that there is no Sun in the Firmament, because his Light is obscured in Cloudy Days, or does not appear in Foggy Regions. ’Tis enough to prove there is such a Luminary, if he shine clearer in other Climates, or by fits, though he be subject to Clouds and Eclipses as well as the Light of Nature.’

Locke: ‘This Author abounds much in similes which have the ill luck when brought to the paralel to be against him. As here though the sun be in heaven yet those that are .......................................... in the darke who manifestly doe not guide their steps by it show that his light is not innate.

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘So I do not see any necessity of Universal Consent, or Universal Uniformity, to declare a Principle to be Natural.’

Locke: ‘What this Author has to say about natural principles I know not. That which I deny is that practical principles or rules are innate’

Third Remarks, p. 12: ‘…I think, no Man will deny the Sense of Musick to be Natural to Mankind, without Ratiocination. So also, for Beauty. I do not mean that of Faces only, or Colour, but of Order, Proportion, Uniformity, or Regularity in general. (...) who does not think that some Notion or Idea of Order and Regularity, and of their Difference from Confusion or Disorder, is Natural to us?’

Locke: ‘Prove the distinguishing sense of vertue and vice to be natural to mankinde before they have learnt the measures of vertue and vice from something besides that sense and you will have proved something’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘I wish that may not be the Supposition that lies at the bottom of your Philosophy, That the Soul of Man is no distinct Substance from God or the Body: but either a Divine Influence, or the Power of the Body.’

Locke: ‘This Author to bring in a very well naturd suggestion sticks not to contradict himself for in the foregoing period he questions whether I allow any innate powers and here he supposes I make the soule to be the power of the body which power is certainly innate’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘To proceed a little further, you have an odd Exception in your 12th. Paragraph, to show that the Dictates of natural Conscience are not Truths, because they are not form’d into Propositions: And to make them capable of being assented to as Truths, they must have the word Duty join’d to them. [Burnet considers this as ‘Chicanry about words’]

Locke: ‘As odd as it is it is true that there is noe truth or falshood without but in a verbal or mental proposition’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘But, say you, what duty is cannot be understood, without a Law: nor a Law be known or supposed without a Law-maker, or without Rewards and Punishments. (...) But let us see how far these things make for you or against you; Do we not preserve our selves, Do we not make use of Reason, without the formality of a Law, telling us, ’Tis our Duty to do these things?’

Locke: ‘Yes we may doe it without the formality of a law. But conscience can ... not acquit or condemn us for what we doe without a law telling us it is our duty to doe or forbear’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘Or in the case of natural Conscience, have we not the Marks and Sense of our Duty, and of the Will of our Maker from an inward Testimony, approving or disapproving our Actions, according as we obey or disobey that Principle in the distinction of Moral God and Evil? On the one hand, Occultum quatiente animo tortore flagellum. On the other, --- Hic murus aheneus esto,/ Nil conscire sibi. These were both the Sayings of Heathens, that had no other Law than the Law of natural Conscience.’

Locke: ‘that had noe other law but the law of nature to guid their conscience To expresse it right ... soe it should be.’

Third Remarks, p. 13: ‘When you offer a Child Bitter instead of Sweet, he turns away his Head and makes grimaces, when he has no Law or Duty prescrib’d to him: nor any other Logick than what was born with him, or what he suck’t from the Breasts of his Mother. Then as to Punishments and Rewards, there is a Presage of them from natural Conscience, and they are futhermore deducible from the Nature of God, if you allow him Moral Attributes, as we do.’

Locke: ‘shew such an avertion in children to all immorality as soon as they are capable of moral actions and that will be something to the purpuse. Are Rewards and punishments deducible from the nature of god by any one without Ratiotination. But ’tis without Ratiotination that you contend Natural conscience works’

Third Remarks, p. 13-14: ‘Indeed in your way, upon your Idea of God, and your uncertainty of the Immortality of the Soul, I do not see how possibly you can prove future Rewards and Punishments without a Revelation: nor consequently give us a Foundation for Morality and natural Religion.’

Locke: ‘If you doe not see how from my Idea of God how I can prove future rewards and punishments what ever be the cause of your want of sight in the case I shall not examin. But if you have prove another Idea of god. than I have and can prove the existence of such a god from other principles than mine I shall thank you for supplying this defect in my Essay’

Third Remarks, p. 14: ‘You say, it is impossible that men should without shame or fear confidently break a Rule, which they could not but evidently know that God had set up, and would certainly punish the breach of, (Which they must if it were innate; Put in this place, Which they must if they were Christians) to a degree to make it a very ill Bargain, to the Transgressor.’

Locke: ‘Is it possible then that men in whom the Gospel is the principle of Action to break the rules of it without shame or fear?’

Third Remarks, p. 14 (immediately follows previous passage): ‘Does not this hit the Christians as well and as manifestly, as those that abuse natural Conscience?’

Locke: ‘It hits some that are called not those that realy are Christians’

Third Remarks, p. 14: ‘You instance in Duels and bloody Wars, &c. amongst Christians. You might have applied all these things particularly to Christians; but still we should have thought it no good Proof that there is no Christian Law, no more than it is, that there is no Natural Conscience.’

Locke: ‘Doe you prove that there is a natural conscience in your sense and the question will be decided But false or invidious consequences that reach not the case will not doe it. They show only the good will not the good cause of such a talker’

Locke [second remark on the same passage]: ‘It is I think a good proof that there is no Christian law setled in the mind as a natural principle of action in those that doe soe without touch of conscience which is the case of those I mention.’

Third Remarks, pp. 14-15: ‘Do we not see Men, every day, in spite of Laws, External or Internal, Divine or Humane, pursue their Lusts, Passions, and vitious Inclinations? Though they have not only the Terrors of another Life to keep them in awe and order, but see before their eyes, Gaols, Gibbets, Irons, Whips, Racks, and Torturing Engines; Examples also of miserable Creatures suffering actually for those very Crimes.’

Locke: ‘What? Whilst they have the terrors of those things as unavoidable for that action before their eyes’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘If all these united Forces and Restraints [the terrors of an afterlife in hell as well as the pains of earthly punishment] cannot keep them from extravagant Evils, can we think it strange, that the single Principle of Natural Conscience should be suppress’d or suffocated by the Stupidity or Vices incident to Humane Nature.’

Locke: ‘Natural conscience supposed an innate principle suffocated by the Stupidity ofr vice is a pretty thing’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘In your next Section, you call for a List of the Laws or Principles of Conscience: And so the Papists do for a Catalogue of Fundamentals.’

Locke: ‘Of those who say there are a set of fundamental propositions necessary to be believed by every one for salvation it is reasonable to aske a list of them. And Of those who say there are innate laws or rules of right or wrong tis reasonable to demand a list of them and he that cannot cannot produce what he soe talks of tis plain folly.’

Third Remarks, p. 15: ‘As to the Dictates (1) or Principles of Natural Conscience, (call them Laws of Nature, or what you please) we say, in general, that they are for the distinction of Moral Good and Evil: But the Cases are innumerable (2), (as in other Cases of Conscience), wherein there may be occasion for their Exercise.’

Locke (1): ‘conscience dictates not but acquits or condemns upon the dictates of a superior power’

Locke (2): ‘Though the objects be innumerable that please or displease yet sense can immediately upon the application of every one of them distinguish which delights or which offendes. Has conscience such a discerning sense of Moral good and evil in every action?’

Third Remarks, p.16: [Burnet refers to Locke, Essay, I.iii.20, pp. 80-81: ‘But concerning innnate Principles, I desire these Men to say, whether they can, or cannot, by Education and Custom, be blurr’d and blotted out: If they cannot, we must find them in all Mankind alike, and they must be clear in every bode…’ Burnet suggest in different phrasing of this passage.] ‘So the Sentence will run thus; But concerning this Power or Principle of Reasoning, I desire these Men to say, whether it can, or cannot, by Education and Custom, (or contrary Principles; for that we must take in, if we speak of Natural Conscience) be blurr’d or blotted out. If they cannot, says he, they must be alike in all Men. If they can, they must be clearest in Children before they are corrupted. We say, neither of these will follow: These Powers may be weak in Children, and may be blurr’d or blotted in several Persons, and yet be Natural Principles; as we see it is in the Principle of Reason or Reasoning.’

Locke: ‘Natural powers may be improved by exercise and afterwards weakend again by neglect and soe all the knowledg got by the exercise of those powers. But innate Ideas or propositions imprinted on the mind I doe not see how they can be improved or lost efaced’

Locke [second remark on the same passage]: ‘Define Principle’ [Burnet does not clearly distinguish between ‘powers’ and ‘principles’; Locke does not claim that we have no innate powers, only that we have no innate principles or ideas.]

Third Remarks, p. 16: ‘I see this word Innate is still a Stumbling-stone: And we must ask again, whether you allow any Powers to be Innate to Mankind?’

Locke: ‘I think noe body but the Author who ever read my book that could doubt that I spoke only of innate ideas. for my subject was the understanding and not of innate powers and therefor there must be some very particular reason for our Authors soe understanding me if he does soe understand me’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘I do not willingly dispute about what is Possible or Impossible to God, (for we cannot comprehend an Infinite Nature) but rather what is Conceivable or Unconceivable to us. And I will not assert any thing Possible, that is Unconceivable, unless I have positive Assurance, Divine or Humane, that it is Possible.’

Locke: ‘Can you then conceive an unextended created substance? Can you conceive an unextended and unsolid substance moveing or moved by matter? Can you conceive Ideas or thought produced by the motion of matter?’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘Now you bring no positive Evidence of this Possibility of Cogitation in Matter; and I think it unconceivable, according to our Faculties and Conceptions, that Matter should be capable of Cogitation, as a power of Matter, either Innate or Impress’d.’

Locke: ‘The positive proofs of the one side and the other should be ballanced’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘My reasons [against the possibility of thinking matter] are these; That Unity we find in our Perceptions, is such an Unity, as, in my judgment, is incompetent to Matter, by reason of the Division or Distinction of its Parts. All our Perceptions, whether of Sense, Passions, Reason, or any other Faculty, are carried to one Common Percipient, or one common Conscious Principle.’

Locke: ‘This unity argument of unity if it has any force in it supposes all our perceptions of sense to be made in a point which cannot be unlesse all our nerves terminate in a point’

Third Remarks, p. 17: ‘Pray then tell us, what part of the Body is that, which you make the Common Percipient [the place where all perceptions come together]: Or, if that be too much, tell us how any one part of the Body may or can be so.’

Locke: ‘I make noe part of the body soe. But how any part of the body may or can be soe I will undertake to tell when you shall tell how any created substance may or can be so’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘…’Tis impossible that any one part or particle should know the Cogitations of any other Parts or Particles, or the whole know the Cogitations of every particular.’ [How can matter have a conscious centre?]

Locke: ‘Twould be impossible if it were supposed to be in matter as matter. But if god gives it to a certain systeme of matter soe disposed it is then in that systeme’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘…Simple Apprehension, Judgment, Ratiocination, must all lie under the Prospect, Intuition and Correction of some one Common Principle; and that must be a Principle of such a perfect unity and simplicity, as the Body, any part of the Body, or any particle of Matter is not capable of.’

Locke: ‘If an inability to explain how any system of matter can thinke be an argument against a material soule the inability to explain how body by motion can affect an immaterial being will be an argument against an immaterial soule. But such arguments raise great trophies from the ignorance of others but think them selves sage in their own. Where both sides are equally ignorant I think noe advantage can be made of it on either side.’

Third Remarks, p. 18: [Burnet lists a number of reasons against the conceivability of a material substance that thinks or exhibits free will.]

Locek: ‘All the same difficulties are against the conceiving how an immaterial created substance can begin change or stop its owne motions or thoughts or give any motion or determination to body’

Third Remarks, p. 18: ‘’Twere an odd thing, to fansie that a piece of Matter should have Free Will, and an absolute Power like a little Emperor on his Throne, to command, as his Slaves about him, all other Parts of Matter.’

Locke: ‘But where is it I have said body has these powers when you have demonstrated them to be im humane soules to be immaterial and explaind how these powers are in them. you have said some thing against me and shall finde me your glad convert. .... If arguments from our shortsightednesse be good and that any principles or systeme is false because it removes not all difficulties. Lay down yours and see whether it will not be liable to as strong objections of defect, and as invidious inferency, if it be the way of lovers of truth to make them.’

Third Remarks, p. 19: ‘…you must fix this Self-moving Faculty [of a free will] to some one part of that System (for every part hath not that Power and Free Will, upon any Supposition) and when you have assign’d that Divine Self-moving Part or Particle of the Body, we shall examine the Powers and Capacities of it.’

Locke: ‘you too must fix that self moveing substance to some part of the body and when you have assigned the self moveing part or particle of the body it is fixed to we shall examine its operations’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘…If it can deliberate, consult, chuse or refuse, then Matter is capable of Vertue and Vice, Duty and Religion, Merit and Demerit, and also of Punishments and Rewards; Which Hypothesis about the Powers of Matter, as to the Will, would pervert all our rules in Moral Philosophy: as the former about the Understanding, all in Natural.’

Locke: ‘That knowledge and will placed in a solid substance will more pervert the rules of Moral philosophy than if placed in a substance void of Solidity remains to be proved’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘Neither do I see a Capacity in any Part of the Body for Memory or Remembrance, especially as to some Idea’s.’

Locke: ‘You doe suppose indeed But can you say you see a capacity of remembrance in an immaterial substance? You say 1st Remarks, p. 9 you doe not understand how the soule if she be at any time without thoughts what it is that produces the first thought again. you may if you please apply this and the rest you have there said to Remembrance and see whether you understand memory better.’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘But we have some Idea’s that have no Corporeal Marks in the Brains, as those of Relations, Proportions, universal and abstract Notions; Yet of these and such like, we have both Perception and Memory: And as to those Objects which leave some Impressions upon the Brain, ’tis still unconceivable how those Impressions, whatsoever they are, should be fixt and continue so long as our Memory does: in a piece of fluxile Matter, that wasts, spends, and changes day after day.’

Locke: ‘How do you know that they [Ideas] have noe corporeal marks in the brains? But if memory be in an immaterial substance only pray tell make me understand how comes it that a disease sometimes blots out all that is in the past memory as I may call it. and yet leave a future memory. i e a power to retain future thoughts and perceptions.’

Third Remarks, p. 20: ‘’Tis true, every thing that is possible, is possible to God; but we must also consider the Capacities or Incapacities of the Subject. (…) And what you suppose possible may be suppos’d actual. Possibili posito in actu, nihil sequitur absurdi. Pardon these old Axioms by which you are oblig’d to vindicate the actual existence of such Powers and Properties as we are treating of, from absurdity; and to make them intelligible if you would have them receiv’d.’

Locke: ‘I would not have them received when another hypothesis is produced wherein there are not the like and as difficulties and things as remote from humane conception. produce such an one and you have me your gratefull scholler. But arguments objections from my ignorance does not this. And the mind and the weaknesse of humane capacity does not this; And such objections invidiously turnd (as I think it is clear yours are) are noe great marks that you ever seriously thought of any such thing. Findeing fault is an eassy businesse and not always of the ..... most elevated understandings. you desire............................................ presse me to a contest ede tua stake too and then it will be seen whether your or my principles are clearest and leave fewest difficulties to the humane understanding’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘In Motion, you know properly so call’d besides the change of Situation, there is a Vis movens, which is not the Power of Matter, nor any Modification of it; but the Power of a Superior Agent acting Matter.’

Locke: ‘When you have explaind and helpd us to conceive a vis movensin any . created substance yours will be a good objection against it in a solid substance’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘We can distinctly conceive the Mechanical Properties of Matter, and what results from them; but as Cogitation cannot be any of those, nor an effect of any of them, so neither can I any more conceive the Power of Intellection or Ratiocination communicated to certain Systems of matter, than I can conceive Penetration of Dimensions communicated to certain Parts or Systems of Matter; or a Power of being in several places at once; Both which, you know, are by some made communicable to a Body.’

Locke: ‘Pray tell us how you can conceive cogitation in an unsolid created substance It is as hard I confesse to me to be conceived in an unsolid as in a solid substance.’

Third Remarks, p. 21: ‘If we grant such Arbitrary Powers [e.g. the power of being in several places at once] whereof we have no Idea or Conception, to be communicable to Matter, there will be no end of imputing Powers to Matter, according to every one’s Fancy or Credulity.’

Locke: ‘The objection is as good against finite immaterial substances’

Third Remarks, p. 22: ‘As to the state of that Question, How far Cogitation is communicable to Matter? We allow that a Spirit may act and Cogitate in Matter, and be so united to some Systems of it, that there may be a reciprocation of Actions and Passions betwixt them, according to the Laws of their Union.’ [Burnet argues that matter cannot have the power of thinking, but that spirit has to act and think through matter. Locke replies that both theories are equally problematic.]

Locke: ‘You allow here of suppositions as unintelligible unconceivable and as unexplicable as any thing in the thinking of matter. For to use your way of arguing. 1st I desire you will help me to conceive an unextended uncreated unsolid substance for that I suppose you mean here by spirit. 2º to conceive how such a substance then acts and cogitates in a solid substance. 3º to conceive how it is united to some systems of matter. 4º to conceive how it can act on or suffer from matter etc For to use your own words it w [Third Remarks], p. 22 It would not be fair nor satisfactory to give us a short answer and tell us every thing is possible to god. and p. 21 If we grant such arbitrary powers of which we have noe Idea norconceptiontheretherewill be noe end of imputeing powers according to every ones Fancy of Credulity. According to which rule of yours all that is allowed beyond what we can conceive must goe for Fancy and Credulity. And therefore pray let us see that phylosophie of yours bounded by such rules as may keep us from unconceivable suppositions.’

Third Remarks, pp. 24-25: ‘I will mention another Doubt or Dispute, which arises from that Principle, viz. That the Soul is not a Substance distinct from God and Matter. (…) If the Soul be not a Substance distinct from God and Matter, then all our Cogitations are either the Operations of God, or the Operations of Matter; there being no third Substance to be the Subject of them. This being the case, they chuse (as of two inconveniences the less) to make Matter the Subject of them, rather than God; adding this temperament, That Matter hath not this Power or Cogitation from it self, but as impress’d or communicated to it from God. (...) I have noted, those Doctrines, you see, which chiefly relate to the Soul of Man, and are found agreeable to, or consequential upon the Principles of the Deists.’

Locke: ‘When you have demonstrated the soule of man to be immaterial your own hypothesis will be clear of these objections against mine and I shall come over to you and be clear to, if you noe more than I can goe beyond probability that it is soe. All your accusation of Philosophical Deisme let the fault of that be what you please fall upon yourself and own hypothesis.’


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See Essay, I.iii.8, p. 70: ‘…many Men (…) come to assent to several Moral Rules (…) which, Perswasion however got, will serve to set Conscience on work, which is nothing else, but our own Opinion or Judgement of the Moral Rectitude or Pravity of our own Actions.’
Locke, Essay, ‘Epistle to the Reader’, p. 8: ‘I pretend not to publish this Essay for the Information of Men of large Thoughts and quick Apprehensions; to such Masters of Knowledge I profess my self a Scholar, and therefore warn them before-hand not to expect any thing here, but what being spun out of my own Thoughts, is fitted to Men of my own size, to whom, perhaps, it will not be unacceptable, that I have taken some Pains, to make plain and familiar to their Thoughts some Truths, which established Prejudice, or the Abstractness of the Ideas themselves, might render difficult.’
Essay, I.iii.3, p. 67.
Essay, I.iii.12, p. 74: ‘For, Parents preserve your Children, is so far from an innate Truth, that it is no Truth at all; it being a Command, and not a Proposition, and so not capable of Truth or Falshood.’
Ibid.
Juvenal, Saturae, XIII. 192-195: ‘cur tamen hos tu / evasisse putes, quos diri conscia facti / mens habet attonitos et surdo verbere caedit / occultum quatiente animo tortore flagellum?’ ‘In any case, what makes you think / they have got away, when the consciousness of their terrible crime / holds them in fear, flogging them raw with a soundless whip, / and the mind is a torturer laying on an invisible lash?’ Juvenal, The sixteen satires, transl. Niall Rudd, pp. 117-118
Horace, Epistles, I. 1: 60-61: ‘hic murus aeneus esto, / nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa.’ ‘Be this our wall of bronze, to have no guilt at heart, no wrongdoing to turn us pale.’ Horace, Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, transl. H. Rushton Faiclough, p. 255.
Locke, Essay, I.iii.13, p. 74.
Locke, Essay, I.iii.14, p. 76: ‘But since no body, that I know, has ventured yet to give a Catalogue of them, they cannot blame those who doubt of these innate Principles…’
[Thomas Burnet&bracketright:, Remarks upon an Essay (London: M. Wotton, 1697).
Martial, Epigrammata, I, 91: ‘Cum tua non edas, carpis mea carmina, Laeli. / carpere vel noli nostra vel ede tua.’ ‘Although you don’t publish your own poems, Laelius, you carp at mine. Either don’t carp at mine or publish your own.’ Martial, Epigrams, ed. and transl. by D.R. Shackleton Bailey (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002).
Note spills over from p. 6 to p. 7, the two parts being connected with the same symbol, a ‘1’ inside a square.
Note spills over from p. 6 to p. 7, the two parts being connected with the same symbol, a ‘2’ inside a square.
Edge of paper frayed.
Letters missing due to frayed edge.
The numbers (1) and (2) were inserted by Locke in the text, and used as points of reference for his two subsequent remarks.
1, 2, 3 Section numbering; hover to see to which system it refers
sample Marginal note in manuscript
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, sample Note on collation of variant readings; click to view
sample Addition in Locke’s manuscript
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<sample> Editorial addition
sample. Editorial stop
sample Deletion in Locke’s manuscript
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sample Editorial deletion
sample Unclear text in Locke’s manuscript
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