Some Prapofl- tram bring no inrrraf: ta our


A: Firfl, 1.1m- tiriil Prvpyi-


Book I

our Ideds are not determin’d; and where we ufe Words that are not annex’d to determin’d Idea/I, but fuch as are of a loofe and wandering fignitication, fometimes Pranding for one, and fometimes for another Idea; from which follows Mifiake and Errour, which thefe Maxims (brought as proofs to eflablifh Propofitions, wherein the terms Rand for undetermin’d Idem) do by their Authority confirmand rivet.

Mdxinzr. a

C H A P. VIII. Of Trifling Propzfitionr.

g. 1 . Hether the Maxims treated of in the fore-going Chapter, be of that ufe to real Knowledge, as is generally fup- pos’d, I leave to be confider’d This, I think, may confidently be af- firm’d, That there are Univerfal Propofitions ; that tho’ they be cer- tainly true, yet they add no Light to our Underltandings, bring no in- creafe to our Knowledge. Such are, _ §. 2. Fir/i, All purely identical Propofittons. _ Thefe obvioufly, and at firlt blulh, appear to contain no Inltruction in them. For when we affirm the {aid Term of it felf, whether it be barely verbal, o-r whether it contains any clear and real Idea, it fhews us nothing, but what we mull certainly know before, whether fuch a Propolition be either made by, or propos’d to us. Indeed, that molt general one, W/tdt is, is,

may ferve fometimes to fhew a Man the abfurdity he is guilty of,when' r

by circumlocutiomor equivocal terms, he would,in particular Inliances, deny the fame thing of it felf", becaufe no body will f0 openly bid de- fiance to common Senfe, as t0 afiirm vifible and direct Contradictions in plain Words : Or if he does, a Man is excus’d if he breaks off any far- ther Difcourfe with him. But yet, I think, I may fay,that neither that i"eceiv’d Maximmor any other identical Propofition teaches us any thing : And tho’ in fuch kind of Propolitions, this great and magnified Ma- xim, boafred to be the foundation of Demonflration, may be, and often is made ufe of to confirm them, yet all it proves, amounts to no more than this, That the fame Word may with great certainty be afiirmfi of it felf, without any doubt of the Truth of any fuch Propofition;

and let me add alfo, without any real Knowledge. §. 3. For at this rate, any very ignorant Perfon, who can but make a Propolition, and knows what he means when he fays, A], or N0, may make a million of Propolitions, of whofe truth he may be infallibly cer- tain, and yet not know one thing in the World thereby; "mg. what is a Soul, is a Soul; or d Sou/is ll bot/l; d Spirit i: d Spirit; d Fetiche m; Pktitbe, (m. Thefe all being equivalent to this Propolitionguiz. W hdt a, 2:, i. c. tv/mt [MI/l Ext/fence, hat/J Exzflmce ; or, who [lath a Soul, hat/J d 501d. What is this more than trifling with Words? It is but like a Monkey {hitting his Oyiler from one hand to the other; and had he had but Words, might, no doubt, have faid, Oyfier in right hand is Sdbjeéf, and Oyller in left hand is Predicate: and fo might have made a {elf-evident Propolition of Oyller, z. e. Oyfier i: Qyjier; and yet, with all this, not have been one whit the xvifer, or more knowing: and that way of handling the matter, would much at one have latisfied the Monkey’s Hunger,