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Index for Chapter VI

Of the Names of Substances

1. The common names of substances stand for sorts.
2. The essence of each sort of substance is our abstract idea to which the name is annexed.
3. The nominal and real essence different.
4. Nothing essential to individuals.
5. The only essences perceived by us in individual substances are those qualities which entitle them to receive their names.
6. Even the real essences of individual substances imply potential sorts.
7. The nominal essence bounds the species for us.
8. The nature of species, as formed by us.
9. Not the real essence, or texture of parts, which we know not.
10. Not the substantial form, which we know less.
11. That the nominal essence is that only whereby we distinguish species of substances, further evident, from our ideas of finite spirits and of God.
12. Of finite spirits there are probably numberless species, in a continuous series or gradation.
13. The nominal essence that of the species, as conceived by us, proved from water and ice.
14. Difficulties in the supposition of a certain number of real essences.
15. A crude supposition.
16. Monstrous births.
17. Are monsters really a distinct species?
18. Men can have no ideas of real essences.
19. Our nominal essences of substances not perfect collections of the properties that flow from their real essences.
20. Hence names independent of real essences.
21. But stand for such a collection of simple substances, as we have made the name stand for.
22. Our abstract ideas are to us the measures of the species we make:
23. Species in animals not distinguished by generation.
24. Not by substantial forms.
25. The specific essences that are commonly made by men.
26. Therefore very various and uncertain in the ideas of different men.
27. Nominal essences of particular substances are undetermined by nature, and therefore various as men vary.
28. But not so arbitrary as mixed modes.
29. Our nominal essences of substances usually consist of a few obvious qualities observed in things.
30. Yet, imperfect as they thus are, they serve for common converse.
31. Essences of species under the same name very different in different minds.
32. The more general our ideas of substances are, the more incomplete and partial they are.
33. This all accommodated to the end of speech.
34. Instance in Cassowaries.
35. Men determine the sorts of substances, which may be sorted variously.
36. Nature makes the similitudes of substances.
37. The manner of sorting particular beings the work of fallible men, though nature makes things alike.
38. Each abstract idea, with a name to it, makes a nominal essence.
39. How genera and species are related to naming.
40. Species of artificial things less confused than natural.
41. Artificial things of distinct species.
42. Substances alone, of all our several sorts of ideas, have proper names.
43. Difficult to lead another by words into the thoughts of things stripped of those abstract ideas we give them.
44. Instances of mixed modes named kinneah and niouph.
45. These words, kinneah and niouph, by degrees grew into common use, and then the case was somewhat altered.
46. Instances of a species of substance named Zahab.
47. This piece of matter, thus denominated zahab by Adam, being quite different from any he had seen before, nobody, I think, will deny to be a distinct species, and to have its peculiar essence:
48. The abstract ideas of substances always imperfect, and therefore various.
49. Therefore to fix their nominal species, a real essense is supposed.
50. Which supposition is of no use.
51. Conclusion.


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