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part iv: Early Writings: Philosophical Theses - Gershom Carmichael, Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Writings of Gershom Carmichael 
Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Writings of Gershom Carmichael, ed. James Moore and Michael Silverthorne (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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Early Writings: Philosophical Theses
Philosopical Theses were presented to students as a graduation exercise to be defended (in Latin) in the presence of distinguished guests, other professors, and students. In the regenting system, in use at the University of Glasgow until 1727, this exercise took place at the end of the fourth year of study. Carmichael chose to publish the theses he assigned his students in 1699 and 1707. It will be evident that the second set of theses may be read as a sequel to the first set presented here. In both Philosophical Theses (and occasionally elsewhere) the editors have divided sections of the original text into paragraphs.
The full text of Carmichael’s
Which, under the Guidance of Almighty God,
Students of the renowned University of Glasgow,
Scholars and Gentlemen,
Who are Candidates for the Degree of Master,
will submit to Public Examination by Learned Men
On the 3rd. of May
Under the Presidency of Gershom Carmichael
Printed by Robert Sanders, Printer to the King and University,
The majority of men are so careless and unreasonable that they make no distinction between the word of God and that of man when they are joined together; as a result, they fall into error by approving them together, or into impiety by indiscriminately condemning them.
(Nicolas Malebranche, The Search after Truth, bk. II, pt. 2, ch. 8)1
To the high and noble Lord,
[Basil Hamilton of Baldon,]
the most worthy Son
of illustrious and noble Parents,
Leaders of their Country in Peace and War,
Duke William and
Anne Duchess of Hamilton,
As remarkably distinguished by the splendour of their Birth
as by Virtues worthy of that Eminence,
Generous Benefactors of the Muses,
these Philosophical Theses are dedicated and devoted
in Honour of his Patron2
and in witness of his devotion and everlasting respect
Gershom Carmichael, President,
all the Candidates
who have submitted their names for examination for the
degree of Master at this time: to add the names of others,
not on the list, even though they may have completed
their course of studies, is not permitted by the
Rules of our University.
Philosophical Theses, 1699
I. It is universally acknowledged that reason is the highest prerogative of human nature above any other part of the visible world. Accordingly, it has been repeated ad nauseam in the schools of philosophy that man is a rational animal. Nothing more is meant here by the term reason than the power or faculty of thinking (cogitandi), i.e., of understanding, willing, and initiating actions with self-awareness (conscientia) and self-approval (complacentia). But it is clear from the very notion of reason that man should not simply rest in this essential characteristic of his worth, but on the contrary, since every power is intended to be realized in act, he should put all his effort into the single aim of making right use of his rational faculty by aspiring to happiness. One aspires to happiness by aspiring to knowledge and love of the true and the good, however manifested, and such happiness is the proper perfection of thinking things.
Although the human mind has been miserably vitiated by original sin and thus rendered incapable by itself of making right use of its faculties so that only supernatural grace can effectively redeem this fall, yet there are certain natural means which in conjunction with the rational nature of the mind can give considerable help toward uncovering a good many truths both speculative and practical. Of these means some are in our power, others not. But the vulgar so confound these two kinds that they seem to attribute much more to the former and much less to the latter than they should. The aids to the right use of reason which are beyond our power are either internal, for example, intelligence, retentiveness of memory, etc., or external, such as a liberal education, the company of good and learned men, books, experience, and the like.
Internal factors have less importance in either intellectual or moral activity than is commonly thought, whether they are taken to be based on some natural difference between souls or (as is far more probable) on the actual arrangement of the brain and of the organs subordinate to it (which the goodness of God has made more naturally able in some men than in others). This is partly because those who consider themselves superior in the endowments of nature too often do too little work, but mostly because a natural ineptitude to carry out one function of reason is usually compensated by a greater aptitude for another, and vice versa. Consequently one may say with confidence that only a very small proportion of the errors into which men fall have their origin in any natural dullness or defect of intelligence.
As for external aids to cultivating reason, help from other people may be very useful in suggesting appropriate ideas and guiding the mind by an appropriate method; and many subjects that deserve to be investigated can only be known by external and elaborate experiments. Yet one must agree that the knowledge of what each man must know to secure his own safety and carry out the duties of social life is not dependent on the authority of precepts or books (with the exception of the divine pronouncements) or on difficult and elaborate experiments. On the contrary such knowledge (insofar as it is natural) is derivable by each man from the observation of himself and of the things he sees all round him and by the accurate comparison with each other of the ideas he gathers from his environment.
II. Thus the natural assistance which is most valuable for making a right use of reason, and whose lack is the source of most errors, is within our own power. It is clear that it consists in just one thing: in weighing all our thoughts with unfailing attention, and at the same time in striving to direct our minds along the most suitable and direct road to the knowledge of truth.
III. The attention required for successfully discerning truth and thus for duly controlling our inclinations and passions (so far as they depend on the knowledge of practical truths) has to be exercised both in the formation of ideas and in their comparison with each other. There is certainly a need for attention in forming ideas. Admittedly we cannot be deceived in the bare perception, whether simple or complex, of an object viewed in itself. But in abstracting ideas, in combining them together and in storing them in the mind stamped with definite names (all of which pertains to their formation in the wider sense), we often go wrong in various ways which commonly obscure our path in the pursuit of truth. First then we must be careful that each and every idea which is to be compared in our judgments and reasoning is as clear as it can be made, i.e., that it is quite vivid to the mind; this is the best way to ensure that it is distinct, i.e., that it is not confused with any other idea. This is not because the mind which is properly aware of all its thoughts ever takes one idea for two or two for one in inspecting its own ideas. It is because in thinking as well as in speaking men often lose track of their ideas, particularly if they are quite complex and have little natural affinity with the images depicted in the brain, and substitute words or other image-signs which because they have no natural connection with the ideas to which they are attached, may easily, without the closest attention, badly confuse the ideas which they are employed to distinguish. Sometimes a word is used now for one idea, now for another, without any awareness of a difference between them; sometimes two words which are supposed to express different ideas, are used for the same idea because of tiredness. Hence it is clear that we cannot really be too careful to ensure that every word we use in silent thought or talk or writing have a fixed and definite meaning for us.
IV. This is more difficult to achieve than is commonly thought, as will be shown by considering separately the various classes of ideas which may enter our thoughts. Singular ideas are less liable to this confusion; for proper names have a closer connection with the objective or material thing signified than with any idea by which it may be represented; and their signification is grasped with sufficient precision, if the singular object to which they refer is understood, whatever the singular idea by which it is distinguished from others. But we do not need to take much notice here of singular ideas, since almost all the terms of the different branches of knowledge are universal.
Of universal ideas some are simple, others complex. And the former too are not simply one class, for some can quite easily be accurately attached to their own names, others with considerable difficulty. But however precisely all names intended to express complex ideas are supposed to be understood, yet there may still remain a serious difficulty about the names of complex ideas, whether they are ideas of modes or of substances. In the case of modes, the reason is the frequently large number of simple ideas, variously arranged, which have no definite corresponding exemplar in nature. In the case of substances the reason is ignorance of the innermost essences of the substances to which they are related and the different accounts given by different individuals of the properties which are substituted for them.
V. To deal with this confusion of ideas, and to give to words that denote complex ideas a definite and fixed meaning for ourselves and our interlocutors, the most useful tool is definition. Definition is an utterance by which the simpler ideas involved in expressing a complex idea by some given name are unfolded in an individual and orderly fashion by means of several words.3 And since in this and no other sense definition, as it is commonly used, is rightly said to explain the essence of a thing, it follows that philosophers are wrong to allege some real definition beyond the nominal definition. Indeed in defining modes, it is not self-evident that any real essence distinct from the nominal is in view at all. And we cannot penetrate the absolute essences of substances nor enumerate all, or even perhaps the most noticeable, relative properties which proceed from them; consequently we cannot rightly be said to deliver the real definitions of them.
It is indeed true that in these ideas of substances which we fashion for ourselves, we normally assemble the most noticeable of the properties which fall under our observation. But apart from the fact that this method of making a definition does not come up to the magnificent promises of the philosophers who offer real definitions, this approach is inappropriate except in the case of substances which are designated by reference to a singular exemplar. For if the definition (as is usually the case) is attached to a specific name, either the idea to be explicated by definition is understood to this extent to underlie the name, in which case it is superfluous to offer a definition, or the meaning of the proposed name is uncertain and vague, in which case it will not be possible to get a fixed and definite sense out of the utterance which purports to give the real definition of the objects signified by that name. For the common method of distinguishing different kinds of substances is by reference to some individual objects of each kind which someone has at some time seen or come to know individually in one way or another. And while this method is valuable for everyday use, it is by no means accurate enough to satisfy the rigorous requirements of philosophy, since it only goes as far as giving standard names to a few of the most obvious properties. Hence arises the need to employ definition to explicate the names of substances no less than of modes, although we will not deny that, to designate some of their more sensible qualities, it is useful to point to the things themselves or to pictures of them.
VI. We have restricted the use of definition to names signifying complex ideas, for it is quite clear from the very notion of it that simple ideas cannot be explicated by definitions, since they do not admit of resolution into a number of ideas. Hence the names by which such ideas are to be expressed should be explicated by indicating the subject to which they belong, in conjunction with certain other circumstances. Those who seek definitions here find a continually increasing obscurity rather than clarity. An excellent example of this (to pass over many others which occur often in philosophical texts) is furnished by the simplest and most general of all the ideas which our mind can form, namely the idea of being or of existing or of something (for we do not doubt that one and the same idea is expressed by these three terms). The metaphysicians make absurd efforts to define this idea, and in so doing destroy the universal significance clearly distinguished by these general words.
VII. Not only do we habitually attach ideas which we abstract or combine in our minds to certain names, we also assume that they more or less conform with the ideas which others have attached to the same names, and often also with actual objects existing in nature (which is particularly appropriate with ideas of substances). Hence we must be careful here to ensure that they do conform, as we assume they do, on both counts. For if they are deficient on the first count, we will not be able to understand others or be understood by them; if on the latter, the science which is meant to investigate the properties of things existing in nature will just be chasing chimaeras.
VIII. But it is not enough to have attached clear and distinct ideas, conforming to the nature of things, to definite names in accordance with common usage. For our minds would achieve no sense of completion from this unless they also made judgments, i.e., unless they gave opinions on ideas in comparison to each other, with regard to the identity or nonidentity of the objects represented by them. Any other relationship that some persist in seeking among the given terms of any question may be reduced to this one relationship among the proposed ideas. In investigating this relation we must pay the most careful attention, so that it will not impose falsehood upon us in the guise of truth. The opinion which we give of the identity of the objects represented by two ideas has regard either to the identity which they are assumed to have, or not to have, on the basis of a real difference of time, past, present, or future; or to the identity which they would have, or would not have, on the basis of a possible time in which they might exist; the former may be called absolute, the latter hypothetical, judgments. And hence we infer (since every idea, which can be predicated of another idea, involves the idea of a being or of an existing thing) that nothing can be truly affirmed of things impossible; and nothing can be absolutely affirmed of things purely possible. If this had been properly noticed, the usual course of metaphysics could have been shortened by half (by cutting out the part which is occupied with what are called nonentities).
IX. In the case of both kinds of judgment, some are immediate, others mediate. In direct judgments the relation between the two proposed ideas becomes known by comparing the one with the other without the interposition of a third idea. In mediate judgments the relation of the two extreme ideas is inferred from the relation which connects both of them with a third idea. It is an agreement if both concur with the third in clearly designating in both cases at least one object which is the same; and a disagreement, if under the same condition one concurs with the third but the other does not. But it is not required that both extreme ideas be directly compared with the same middle term; it is enough if one of the extremes is directly compared with a middle term, and this is compared with another, and so on, until one arrives at the other extreme idea, provided that each of the middle terms, as it is repeated, clearly designates on both occasions at least one object which is the same, and provided that there is not more than one negative conjunction; if there is, the conjunction of the extremes will also be negative.
Hence we may infer in passing that in every piece of reasoning, the number of principles, that is, of propositions that are assumed to be known of themselves, exceeds the number of middle terms by one. Hence the attempt to deduce all knowable truths from one or the other principle will never succeed. Furthermore the common rules of syllogisms may easily be demonstrated from our account. But as virtually no intelligent person (except those who have learned the common rules but have never penetrated to their foundations and cling to the husks of the words) would allow himself to be deceived by a viciously formulated argument, we have to admit that the majority by far of the errors into which we fall every day have their origin in false principles which we accept as true, because we are carried away by the heat of the passions or other people’s authority or some other foolishness.
X. Propositions which are to be considered as principles become known in different ways depending on whether they are absolute or hypothetical. In order that the absolute existence of any thing may become known to us without proof, it must be intimately present to our mind and give a sense of itself; this is the way the mind observes its own existence and that of its thoughts. But the hypothetical connection or conflict of abstract ideas, i.e., the identity or nonidentity of objects which would be represented by them if they existed, becomes known from the mere comparison of such ideas despite the absence of the things themselves. On premises of the former kind depend all absolute propositions, which we also come to know by the use of reasoning. This includes propositions which are concerned with the existence of singular objects, and many also concerning the coexistence of properties which enter into specific ideas of substances and which are for the most part either singular or particular. But all propositions which are purely conditional, being concerned with the relation of abstract ideas, are free of that dependence. Countless universal propositions about the relations of modes in mathematics and the moral disciplines are like this; since they are free of all regard to this or that time and to the contingent existence in time of a created thing, and could not be distinctly conceived to be otherwise, they are rightly said to be in the most rigorous sense necessary. Hence one may incidentally infer the logicians’ fourth predicable in the modes; and that the fifth is particularly appropriate in the case of substances. And in these too, especially in the more general types of them, a necessary connection or conflict of attributes may sometimes be quite clearly detected by the abstract use of reason. The first three predicables, however, are either trivially predicated or yield only explications of words.
XI. In all these judgments, whether absolute or hypothetical, whether direct or indirect, due attention requires us to avoid all rashness and precipitancy and not to accept anything as certain and indubitable in which the splendor of truth does not flash out and compel the mind intent on tracking it down to give its full assent, even in spite of its own reluctance. So far as we observe this rule, so far and no further shall we assure ourselves of immunity from error. It is no objection that many people, in clinging obstinately to errors, display complete certainty and firm mental acquiescence in their opinions as true, whether by words or by anything else that one can offer as a sign of a true and certain judgment. For all that we may legitimately infer from this is that the criterion by which truth so manifests itself to our minds as to exclude all suspicion of falsity does not lie in the external profession or forms of speech which vain and dogmatic men may use, but is to be sought in the quiet recesses of the mind itself and in the innermost depths of our thought. Here everyone who refuses to cast himself headlong into hopeless skepticism must admit that some criterion of this kind is present when we assent to certain truths (or rather to any matters of which we can say that we are certainly convinced), and this cannot coexist with false assent.
XII. To achieve the requisite attention in the formation and comparison of ideas, we must partly remove obstacles and partly use them to help us. First, there are vivid sensations and images which engage both body and mind together and are apt to divert the mind’s gaze and draw its attention away from the purely intelligible. We must therefore avoid objects which strike the mind with such overly vivid sensations or images. But in our present state of union the human mind cannot avoid being strongly affected by things which affect the body, hence it should use those modes of perception in such a way that they conduce to a more distinct understanding of things. This will happen if we connect a specific sensible or imageable sign with each intellectual idea,4 and constantly preserve the connection; this is especially true of any sign that has a natural affinity with the intellectual idea itself. This has been the remarkable privilege of geometry, both to ensure that the truths which it demonstrates by itself were easily perceived and to throw a brilliant light on the sciences which it is employed to illustrate. But if we cannot find such suitably simple natural signs, we may profitably make use of other arbitrary signs which not only get attention, particularly if they are very simple, but also may be substituted for more complex ideas and lessen the difficulty that the mind has with these and augment its capacity. The more violent emotions also put another obstacle in the way of attentive contemplation of abstract things; these too we must silence if we wish to make successful progress in this area. Here too we must make a virtue of necessity, and fight the harmful passions with more useful ones, such as the desire to know the truth, the desire to successfully perform the duties which depend on knowledge of truth, etc.
XIII. It may be further established from what has been said, that the genuine method of discovering truth turns on these two cardinal points. First, we must collect for ourselves ideas of the things we intend to reason about that are clear, distinct, and conforming to their originals. Second, in connecting a series of several truths with each other, we start from those that are simpler and easier (i.e., those which are known by themselves and those which are close to being so, or even those which, other things being equal, have simpler terms), and not only grasp their unshakeable truth but also spend some time on them before we take the step toward more composite and difficult truths (those which need a longer chain of arguments or are composed of more complex terms). However, it is not the more general truths which we should immediately regard as simpler. For just as it is far from being the case that the most general ideas are the first to take their places in our minds, so their relation is not always especially obvious to the intellect. It is true that in teaching certain abstract disciplines, especially mathematics, it proves useful to begin with some rather general axioms which dispose the mind to give assent to more particular truths, because they are few in number and contain within themselves many other propositions which have been rendered familiar by use. Yet these very sciences (which are taught in this manner today) could not have been discovered by that method. And there are certain other disciplines (such as pneumatology and physics) which cannot be rightly taught by the same method. Since they investigate the actual existence of things and the properties which experience alone teaches belong to them, they require us to proceed from the singular and less universal to the more universal.
XIV. Among all the absolute truths, none becomes known to the mind earlier or more easily than the existence of oneself and one’s thoughts; and therefore the famous phrase of the celebrated Descartes, I thinking exist,5 does nothing to demonstrate abstract truths and should certainly not be laid down as their absolutely first principle; yet it may without absurdity be assigned the first place (first in the order of our knowledge, that is) in the class of propositions which are concerned with the actual existence of things. This at least is clear, that no physical object’s existence is knowable by us with such ease and certainty. For whether a physical thing which sensation leads me to believe exists, actually does exist or not, yet I cannot have doubts about the fact that there is such a sensation in me. For this purpose it does not matter whether the thinking thing which is in me (or rather which I myself am) is distinct from all matter (as we shall demonstrate below) or whether it is merely modified matter. For likewise the truth of our assertion is sound that the existence of our mind as a thinking substance becomes known to us earlier, more easily, and more certainly than the existence of any physical thing.
XV. However the absolute essence of our mind does not become manifest to us in the same manner as its existence does. For in forming a positive idea of itself, it can scarcely itself ascend higher, since it knows about itself by primary intuition and apprehends by inner awareness that it is itself a thinking thing, i.e., a thing which perceives, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, etc. And since these individual modes of thinking are only accidental perfections of the mind, one succeeding the other in a continual stream, it is clear that they must in no way be confused with the essence of the mind, even though we conceive of it somehow or other in relation to them. Of general and permanent thought (in which certain celebrated authors locate the essence of mind)6 the mind itself has neither awareness nor idea; especially since that kind of thought is defined by its patrons as an awareness of all that goes on in the mind. For awareness is either concerned with the particular thoughts of which there is awareness or presupposes particular thoughts; certainly it cannot be taken as a subject of thought. Thus the mind knows itself only in relation to its modes, and they are such that the mind itself only imperfectly conceives what relation they bear to their own subject. We should therefore abandon the vain hope of tracking down the absolute essence of mind and be content that the mind should look within where the way is open and reflect on the various modes of thinking in which it engages and their order and dependence; especially since each act of thought which it performs, though it does not lead to an absolute grasp of its being (entitas) as it is in itself, yet discloses an essential aspect of it, namely, its ability to perform such an act.
XVI. Here sensation first offers itself to our consideration. Sensation is a perception in the mind excited by the occasion7 of something physical being present and moving the organs of our body. And we are so intimately aware within ourselves that sensation resides in the same mind as the rest of our thoughts, that it seems extraordinary that there have been philosophers who taught that the sentient mind of man is different from the rational mind; nor on the other hand do the other philosophers seem to make sense who refuse to classify sensations as thoughts (notwithstanding the manifest self-awareness which they have in themselves). Nevertheless sensations do not represent any objects (properly so called), nor is there anything like them among external objects nor anything which bears a greater resemblance to them than motion or figure to thought or the body itself to mind. Hence the only account which can be given of the connection between our sensations and the properties of the bodies which arouse them is the will of the creator, who has so closely united substances of such different natures and established such a correspondence between the modifications of both, that the sensations aroused in the mind in the presence of physical things serve to tell it what it should pursue or avoid for the preservation of animal life. We do not however deny that the senses are useful for the investigation of truth, provided that we derive this conception not from the sensation itself but from the intellectual idea which naturally takes it up, and provided that we attend carefully to the various cases in which that idea normally designates, faithfully or otherwise, the condition of an object.
XVII. We experience perceptions similar to those described in the last thesis not only when an external object exists to arouse them but also in the absence of objects, except that these (which are commonly called imaginations) are noticeably less vigorous than the former and usually depend more on the determination of our will. When we dream we take them for sensations; for then we lack the sensations themselves, and there are no witnesses to correct the error of the imagination, nor do we have access to the greater clarity which would show up the obscurity of the imagination by comparison. In both these respects the cases of the dreamer and of the man caught in persistent error are neatly parallel to each other; nor is there a sharper distinction between the former and the waking man than between the latter and one who truly knows. But the primary use of the imagination is not only to retain what we have learned by sense, but also to implant other ideas more deeply in the memory and to save them from confusion; this has been shown in thesis 12.
XVIII. Besides the perceptions so far mentioned (which we usually claim to share with the animals) our mind has other perceptions of a completely different kind (which are usually called pure intellections). No one can be ignorant of these who is not too much a stranger in his own home; for only intellectual ideas make contact even lightly with thinking things. Only intellectual ideas are so general that they can stretch to include objects which present themselves to the senses in different guises; on the other hand they alone are so accurate that they distinguish between objects which are offered to the senses in the same guise (for example, a circle and an ellipse, one of whose diameters is imperceptibly longer than the other’s). Finally only intellectual ideas represent objects other than themselves or can be predicated of them; for when the names given for the purpose of distinguishing our sensations are applied to external objects, they import no more than an aptitude for exciting such sensations in us, and since the notion of this aptitude is relative, it is certainly represented not by the sensation itself but only by a pure intellection.
XIX. It is abundantly clear therefore that there are pure intellections in our minds. But the question of their nature and even more of their origin, has always been considered a difficult one, and rightly so. For although we seem to be intimately aware that they are directly produced by the mind itself and do not, when viewed materially (as they say), contain anything in themselves which should be reckoned beyond its powers, nevertheless the further question remains as to where our minds learned that variety of forms by which they can adapt their notions to represent the almost infinite variety of external things so exactly. Experience hardly allows us to believe that the earliest exemplars of all our intellectual notions were cocreated with the mind from its very origin (as one part of the learned world contends). For experience teaches us that our minds form singular notions earlier and more easily than universal notions and, even more, abstract notions (though these, if any, ought to be immediately aroused by exemplars innate to the mind). Experience also teaches that each person’s mind is stocked with more notions and more perfect notions, the more they are provided by familiarity with things and by a richer supply of objects, and the more apt the structure of his organs is for perceiving them.
We can at least infer from this that the furniture of knowledge which is actually found today in the human mind suggests an origin quite other than that which these authors propose. In forming a conjecture on this question, no one seems to us to come nearer the truth than those who take the view that the exemplars of all our original notions owe their origin to the actual presence of the objects represented through them. I say original because there is no doubt that from the singular notion which the mind has itself formed by the occasion of a present object and which includes several obvious features of it, the mind can abstract various simpler notions which are contained in it, and in turn combine these abstract notions in a new order among themselves; but in such a way that the mind owes the material of all its natural notions (for we are not speaking of those which are suggested supernaturally) to the actual presence of objects.
Since therefore physical objects, though present, do not come to our notice except by the mediation of sensations, we safely conclude that notions of corporeal things take their origin from sensation; there are however particular reasons for hesitation about the means by which our minds are equipped to form notions of spiritual things. But if we observe ourselves, if we carefully consider the objects which are most familiar to us, by whose means the rest become more or less amenable to conceptualization, they will all be seen to urge the mind to advance from contemplation of itself to form notions of the supreme deity and of other spirits. The mind will also be seen to be aroused to reflect on itself precisely so far as it is directed to some particular thought by another object (i.e., an external object). In thinking this thought it finds itself in action, and in reflecting on it it acquires, by a supervening act, a more explicit knowledge of itself and of its powers. At any rate we will not find a trace of any other origin or process in all the notions which our minds naturally perform. And so we do not doubt that the primary furniture of all our natural knowledge may be deduced, in all likelihood, from sensation and reflection.8
XX. Now since we are not able with any appearance of truth to claim for ourselves or concede to external objects (even though it is attributed to them in common usage) a truly active power of producing those first exemplars of our notions, it must be fully admitted that they are produced in the mind by God at the presence of objects. Since in this and many other respects God alone is rightly said to illuminate us and to be the cause of all our knowledge, there is no reason at all why, with the celebrated Malebranche, we should have recourse to what he calls intelligible entities (unintelligible though they may be) which exist in God as the immediate objects of all our notions.9 For if we contemplated all other things in God, God would necessarily be the most familiar object of our perception, and we would not be able to conceive any other objects whatever except by analogy with him; which flatly contradicts experience. Nor is anything to be gained by the observation of that celebrated thinker about the general idea of being circulating continuously in our minds; for this idea is aroused by any object whatsoever, and has no more in common with the idea of God (unless the notions of infinity and independence are also added, which are not at all ordinary notions) than with the idea of a creature.
XXI. But our minds can not only form, abstract, and combine notions or ideas (for we use these terms interchangeably)* but can also compare them with each other (as we have suggested in the eighth thesis) so as to yield an opinion whether and to what extent they are representative of the same object. On this topic there is just one point to be added at this time, namely that certain celebrated authors do not seem to us to explain its nature with sufficient accuracy by locating the judgment, partly in the perception, which they credit to the intellect, of a relation occurring between two ideas, and partly in the assent or acquiescence of the will. They do this despite the fact that to anyone who pays attention, it is quite obvious that the act of affirming or denying, in which lies truth or falsehood, differs totally both from perception and from volition. In fact it is so far from having affinity with either of these acts that the dispute between the Aristotelians and the Cartesians, as to whether judgment is an act of the intellect or of the will, is beside the point, since judgment cannot be reduced to either of them without one of the two terms being rendered equivocal.10
XXII. Now among all the thoughts that we have of every kind, some please us by flooding the mind with pleasure or delight, others are unpleasing, irksome, and painful. The mind naturally loves pleasing thoughts, and any things which tend to bring them to us or shut out unpleasing thoughts (to which we tend to give the general name of goods for ourselves); it pursues them and desires to have them present. But it hates, avoids, and longs to be free of unpleasing thoughts, and any thing which tends to bring them on or drive out pleasing thoughts (and such things are commonly called evils). The former act has usually been called volition, the latter nolition; either act in scholastic language is an act of will. And since the mind perpetually aspires not to this or that particular good, but to supreme happiness, i.e., the most exquisite pleasure and the most absolute freedom from pain, it cannot fail to pursue by its will every particular object which, considered in conjunction with all its circumstances, it believes will contribute in some way toward attaining that most desirable state. Hence the celebrated Locke seems on this topic to have parted unnecessarily from the common opinion of philosophers which was at one time his own, when he contends that the will is not always determined by a judgment passed on the goodness of the object but by desire for it as requisite to man’s happiness.11 For these coincide, since we always desire as pertaining to our happiness what we judge to be best, after we have taken into account not only the value of the object itself but also the toil and danger we must undergo to get it. We freely admit however that in conducting this examination, the mind is often led badly astray, as what is present to the mind has more influence with it than what is absent, and what we sense by immediate perception has more influence than what comes to us only in the form of abstract ideas, and indeed the tendency to avoid pain has greater influence than the desire to enjoy positive pleasure: these are the sources of most of the most dangerous errors in human life.
XXIII. Whenever the good or evil things which seem to make for the conservation or injury of the natural composite of mind and body are considered in the light of their presence or absence, they tend to arouse powerful determinations of the will accompanied by noticeable bodily agitation, and these are commonly called passions. The number of the passions is differently given by different thinkers. To us the most accurate computation seems to be that of the learned Malebranche, who allows only three primary passions: desire, happiness, and sadness.12
XXIV. We also experience that the will to produce certain bodily movements initiates the execution of these movements, whether our minds truly produce them by some activity of their own whose mode of operation it cannot detect, or (as seems equally probable) the first cause truly produces these motions in accordance with the conditions of union which it has itself ordained, taking its occasion from our will. So far as man has it in his power for these movements to be begun, continued, and suspended according to the determination of his will, he is declared free in respect to them. It is also true that many of our thoughts often depend on the determination of the will in the same way, but in their case the dependence is not so constant nor equally noticeable for another reason, namely that all the internal actions of our minds involve both implicit self-awareness and self-approval, and for this reason all thought may be said to be in some sense free, i.e., it has to be voluntarily initiated by us. Since only actions which are free in this way are essentially free, and consequently (as necessarily flows from created liberty) subject to the rule of morals, it follows that these alone are the measures of both the liberty and the morality which are to be attributed to external acts. Those who have insinuated into the doctrine of liberty the notion of indifference, which has nothing to do with it (and which, strictly understood, cannot occur in an agent), have introduced great obscurity into a subject which is in itself easy enough.
XXV. There is nothing which the mind observes more frequently in itself than the remembrance of past thoughts and its ability later to reproduce similar or related thoughts in various circumstances. This experience hardly allows us to doubt that definite traces remain in the mind of individual thoughts, but their nature is most obscure. All the same if we look at the simple nature of the mind and meanwhile reflect on the variety which it continually undergoes in the way of habits and acts, perhaps we shall not be able to explain it without admitting entities in the mind which are fairly distinct from it however dependent they may be on its substance. We submit therefore to deeper examination by learned men the question whether the real accidents of the Aristotelians, as explained by Reformed writers, must necessarily be retained in the intellectual world though eliminated from the material world.13
XXVI. From our previous explanation of the functions of the human mind, it is abundantly made out that mind is a different substance from matter, seeing that it acts by itself and in an indivisible mode. For every mode of a composite thing (such as every material object) is composite with regard to its subject, and thus divisible; so that one part of it belongs to one part of the subject and another to another. But this cannot be claimed about thought with respect to the mind. For in that case every mind would contain in itself innumerable others, each one equipped with its own portion of thought. On the contrary, since the principle of thought which is in us is intimately aware that it and its thought are a unity so that it conceives that if any part of it is removed, nothing at all survives. For the sake of brevity we pass over the other reasons which the most learned authors give to confirm the same truth, though they are quite forceful (at least in the opinion of those who derive all the differences among bodies from mechanical properties). We merely point out that the argument we have given quite overthrows that absurd figment of Master Henry More’s, in which he claimed that extension is a universal attribute of being and that it belongs to spirits though in its penetrable form.14 For extension, whether impenetrable or penetrable (if we can accept this notion), necessarily involves a multitude of parts, which we have proved does not belong at all to that which is cogitative.
XXVII. It necessarily flows from the simplicity of mind just demonstrated, that it could not be produced from a preexisting seed whether physical or spiritual, and cannot be resolved into the same, and so is by its nature ingenerable and incorruptible. Granted this, the celebrated Poiret’s conjecture will not seem at all likely that every single mind (also every single particle of matter) is endowed with a certain essential fertility by which it can produce others like it. For there is not the slightest evidence in nature for attributing an influence of this kind to any created cause (i.e., an influence by which a completely new substance begins to exist).15
XXVIII. But whether the cogitative principle which is found in us is said to be empty of all matter, as we have just proved, or whether it is composed of material parts, as the atheists would like, it is in either case certain, from the multiple defects which it daily experiences in itself, that it could not exist by itself. For just as the perfection of any effect depends upon either the power or the will of the producing cause, so the perfection of an independent thing can only be what is best for itself, i.e., a supreme and infinite perfection. Since our mind therefore is aware in itself of multiple ignorance, weakness, and other imperfections, it must necessarily derive its existence not from itself but from another superior cause, and one which is cogitative and immaterial. This last point admits of no doubt on the supposition that our mind is immaterial; and it must also be conceded by supporters of the opposite view. In fact, the less perfection we claim for the elements of our nature, the more excellent we are forced to infer is the architect who has constructed so excellent a fabric from such poor material. Since matter is the poorest of all things and has perfection of the lowest order, it is far removed from the highest eminence of perfection involved in independent and necessary existence, and hence presupposes a superior cause. But besides this, given matter’s existence, it still cannot be put into motion, of which it does not have the principle within itself, without the influence of an external and superior cause, since by its nature it is indifferent with regard to motion or rest; and in any case thought does not belong essentially to matter whether at rest or in motion. Matter therefore requires a further influence of a superior principle, and of a principle which is essentially cogitative, in order that it may be raised to so great a perfection which is not essentially due to itself.
But the atheists say (though nothing is more absurd) that there are certain combinations of matter, which, whenever they occur, necessarily bring thought with them. Since the combination of movements required for such a singular effect is (as they themselves admit) so delicate that barely one or two of an infinite number of equally possible combinations is adequate for this effect, it will certainly seem strange that, despite this, the combination happens so frequently, is so constantly and regularly maintained, and rises to such noble effects. Certainly if thinking agents produce such things as this, which it would be absurd to claim were fabricated fortuitously and without design, how much less should we suppose that the very power of deliberation from which such wonderful effects flow arises from a fortuitous concourse of atoms without the design of a superior cause? Whatever therefore we suppose the mind to be in its inmost constitution, it does presuppose some intelligent cause, one which is far more perfect than itself. More than this it must be a cause which, essentially and indeed independently, involves thought and all the other perfections which are essentially found (to whatever extent) in our minds. It is quite obvious that every total cause which is superior in a direct line to any effect has to contain all its simple perfections, and that a first cause of this kind possesses them all essentially, independently, and without defect.
That there is a first cause for any effect, and that an infinite series of subordinate causes cannot be admitted, is clear from the fact that the influence by virtue of which any given effect exists has necessarily to be transmitted through all superior causes in a straight line, though no influence can be transmitted through an infinite series of causes since infinity cannot be traversed. The force of this argument will appear more clearly if we reflect that the series of which we are speaking here must be understood not as a series of successive causes, but as a series of causes which have influence at one and the same time, since every effect (i.e., a thing not sufficient to itself for existence) must depend, so long as it exists, on some cause which necessarily influences it now.
Moreover, the necessity of recognizing some first and independent cause also becomes obvious from the fact that a cause may be sought not only for every dependent thing taken individually, but also for the whole collection of them. Grant this, and you also grant what we seek, an independent cause, since it is exempt from the whole sum of dependent things; but if it is not granted, then the whole sum of dependent things is independent, than which nothing is more absurd.
XXIX. Our mind therefore gives evidence of a supreme cause of itself, which contains within itself, essentially and without defect and independently, all pure perfections, not only those which we dimly see in our own minds but (because of the connection between independence and supreme perfection which we noted above) all other possible perfections whatsoever, absolutely free of every imperfection; this is the great and good God himself. From the notion of God so established, one may infer by easy reasoning various attributes of Deity, both individually and in relation to the primary idea of him. We will mention only a few of them. It manifestly follows that God is one, since he contains every absolute perfection in himself and that he is most simple, so that he is not composed of several things, and cannot be composed with several things. It also follows that he is immutable, since he does not have parts or components by means of which he could change, for either of these would indicate dependence; and that he is eternal and immense, i.e., that he exists always and everywhere, without either succession or extension on his part; and that he is also incomprehensible to every intellect except his own. It likewise follows that we should attribute to God the common perfections of mind with a certain special eminence and prerogative; this means that he is cogitative not successively and variably like us, but by one utterly simple act which is identical with his essence. Still more particularly, he does not apprehend a limited number of things, he apprehends all things, and not by abstract and inadequate ideas but by intuitive and perfect ideas which are not drawn from outside but contained in the plenitude of his own nature. It also follows that he makes judgments but never strays from truth, never wavers, and is never ignorant of anything; hence he needs no discursive thought nor depends on drawing knowledge from outside, and never changes his mind; but at one and the same time he has all truths of all kinds before him in their archetypes, truths which are hypothetical in his power but absolute in his will. Hence it also follows that God wills, not rashly or inconstantly like us, not with a hesitant or ineffective willing nor determined by external things, but by his most wise, most absolute, most free, and most efficacious will, he disposes all things as is most congruous with supreme reason and most fit to illustrate his infinite glory. It also follows that God is powerful, i.e., his will is efficacious in disposing external things as he wishes; nor does his efficacy merely extend (as ours does) to a few things put in his power by the influence of another cause, or which could be obstructed by another cause; rather it extends to absolutely all possible effects, independently and irresistibly. And in his full awareness and approval of his own perfection, without the intervention of any external possession at all, he is supremely and necessarily happy. Finally from these foundations it is safely inferred that God is the first and universal cause of all things that exist in nature, whether spiritual or corporeal, not only of permanent substances but also of their successive alterations and modifications. For all other things result from his eternal and efficacious will, each with its own times and other circumstances defined by that will.
From what has been said it is clear that in many cases when the attributes of created spirits are analytically distinguished from the imperfections which adhere to them in their combined condition, so that they can be rightly attributed both to the father of spirits and to the spirits created by him, these attributes are still so proper to spirits that they distinguish spirits from bodies, though, on the other side, the properties of bodies cannot be mentally separated from the imperfections which they include, without being converted into the universal attributes of all beings. So there is an easy reason why the great and good God, though he contains in himself the simple perfections of all things, is yet rightly said to be spirit, not body; for spirit is distinguished from body by its (mentally or analytically) pure perfections, but body is not distinguished from spirit in this way. Hence the reason which Jean Le Clerc gives as the chief reason why God is called spirit rather than body, namely that a name is usually derived from the nobler part, is too feeble and indicative of a quite absurd error.16
XXX. The primary aim of all our thinking about God (as of all other things) should be to acknowledge in a spirit of veneration that the creator of the universe, its preserver and ruler, the good, the almighty, is our supreme Lord, and Lord of all things, who directs his works, of every kind, by his own right; and to offer to him as our Lord every kind of worship and obedience in the whole course of our lives. And although it has become more than obvious from what has been said that we have a great obligation to do this, yet we can find another persuasive argument by looking more deeply into the condition of our own minds in comparison with the truths which we have deduced by easy reasoning from introspecting them. For our minds yearn with unbounded and unceasing desire for the highest happiness which we can achieve; so constant is this direction of our minds that we need no other obligation to do or not do anything than the understanding that our happiness in any degree depends on its performance or omission. This is the hinge on which all human deliberation turns. Hence it will complete our task if we show that man cannot better serve his happiness than by worshipping God and conducting himself well toward him. This is not difficult to demonstrate. For since it is certain that the one God, good, almighty, Lord of mankind and of all things, can make us happy or miserable at his discretion, it is obvious that the sum of all the prayers that we make to obtain happiness should be reduced to this, that God may will that we be happy. Consequently any ordering of our actions that has even the remotest connection with the benevolence of the supreme deity toward us should be pursued with every effort at every moment of our lives. It is true that we cannot define by the light of nature the extent to which our happiness can be promoted or our misery averted by any action we may take. Nevertheless it is obvious that the good God almighty, who has arranged all things in the manner most fit to illustrate his glory, and who has adorned man with the most ample abilities to know and love his creator (though he may turn them to neglect or even hatred of him), has so constituted this order of things that the more man gives evidence in his actions of love and veneration toward him, the happier, or at least less miserable, he is; and the more he shows neglect or contempt, the more miserable, or at least less happy. For nothing is more conducive than this order to manifest the supreme excellence of the deity and the dependence of the best creatures, i.e., the rational creatures, upon him. Hence follows the conclusion we set out to demonstrate, that there is no path that every man may follow in every moment of his life equally suited to promote his happiness or avert his misery, than to make himself obedient to the divine law by so ordering his actions that he expresses by them his love and veneration of God.
This may be proved not only from consideration of divine justice and power, but is also confirmed by the fact that in the acts in which the mind is acting most rationally (which are acts which involve the most perfect admiration and love of their object), it experiences the greatest delight and pleasure; in acts of the opposite kind by contrast, it unwillingly suffers pain and remorse, even as it tries to enjoy itself. The obvious conclusion of all this is that every kind of obligation falls upon every rational creature to temper all its actions to the will of God as the supreme legislator. For he has no less good cause to require the liberty of the created will to be curtailed at his discretion than he has power to visit extreme suffering on those who oppose him. It is altogether the gift of his abounding grace that he has sanctioned his laws not only with penalties but also with rewards.
There is a rather more substantial difficulty in determining the duties, so far as they are known by the natural light, which God requires men to show as symbols of love and veneration toward him. But this is less concerned with the actual substance of the precepts (which are mostly not at all obscure) as with the technical method by which they may be set out with the greatest clarity and incontrovertibly demonstrated. For there are two extreme errors into which different authors seem to us to have fallen here. Most philosophers who have professed to teach ethics, taking too loose a way, have multiplied the number of moral precepts which they supposed to be known of themselves to such an extent that they have considerably weakened the force and certainty of that most noble science. But when in our own century certain learned men, the restorers of moral philosophy, noticing the inconveniences that method had caused, took a completely opposite tack, they made too rigid an effort to reduce all the precepts of natural law to some one proposition. Such was the conclusion of the celebrated Pufendorf that every man must cultivate and preserve sociability, so far as he can.17 Most inappropriately, the great man seems to subordinate all our duties (the most important part of which are to be directed toward God himself in direct worship) to the advantages of society (at least so far as they are known by the light of nature). This is why the learned Cumberland gives us a more comprehensive summary of the natural laws, i.e., that, every man is bound to make every effort to promote the common good of the whole system of rational agents, in which his own happiness is included as a part.18 The great man commends this endeavor to us under the name of universal benevolence. But apart from the fact that whenever the words common good and benevolence are applied to God who lacks nothing, they seem to become equivocal, it is even less appropriate to propose to us that the good God almighty (to whom all things should be subordinate) and rational creatures form a single system of rational agents which should be the object of benevolence.
It would be more appropriate to make a distinction here and say that the duties which are taught by the natural law (i.e., the duties which are known19 by the natural light to pertain to the due expression to God of love and veneration) have regard to God himself either directly and immediately, or only indirectly and mediately. Among the former are: the duty to hold correct opinions about God and his perfections; to seek all goods from him; to give praise and glory to him alone for all we possess; and to display these due sentiments toward the deity by suitable external signs. The duties of the latter kind are comprehended in the single rule, that it pertains to the declaration of due sentiment toward the deity that we should promote the perfection of all creatures to the best of our ability, but especially the happiness of rational creatures (so far as this does not conflict, to the best of our knowledge, with manifestation of the divine glory). For veneration toward God is to be expressed by benevolence toward his creatures to the extent that they bear his image and are not opposed to him. The rule of the celebrated Pufendorf which we mentioned above comes to the same thing, and we could give various reasons as to the necessity of observing it, but we will omit them for the sake of brevity.
It cannot be denied without absurdity that the duties just mentioned, with innumerable particular duties which necessarily flow from them (the elaborating of which is the business of moral philosophy), are enjoined by the natural law, i.e., become known to us as duties by the light of nature. But these precepts of natural law are not scrupulously kept by any of us, but are violated daily by each one of us in many ways; and there is no argument that proves that it is possible to arrive at absolute happiness by keeping these or any other precepts. A holier faith, moreover, declares to us other and sublimer precepts than these, and yet teaches that we should not put the hope of our happiness in keeping even them, but place it on another footing. Therefore no sane man should be content with natural religion as a sufficient guide to happiness; and no wise man will deny that natural religion is the proper helpmate of revealed religion and rightly subordinate to it.
I had intended to add to this continuous thread of discourse some particular topics from each of the parts of philosophy. But when I had got this far, I realized that I had already passed the limits both of labor and of time (having taken up this task later than I should have, and still not being able to devote myself to it without interruption because of the teaching duties which my position requires every day and with as yet no intermission). But I also recognized that wide areas of philosophy, both moral and natural, remained untouched. So I laid aside my former design, and in place of what I was originally going to add, I decided to append these short excerpts from two parts of philosophy.
From ethics and politics
The full text of Carmichael’s
Which, with the Corollaries attached,
under the Blessing of Almighty God,
Students of the renowned University of Glasgow,
Scholars and Gentlemen,
Who are Candidates for the Degree of Master,
will submit to Public Examination by Learned Men
on the 27th. of June
at 2 o’clock in the Afternoon,
in the Church by the University
Under the Presidency of Gershom Carmichael
Great is truth and Most Powerful
Printed by Robert Sanders, Printer to the Queen and University,
To the most Noble and Illustrious Lord
Lord Carmichael of the Same, Etc.
Distinguished Head of the Name and Family of Carmichael,
Of the Privy Council of Her Most Serene Majesty
Distinguished Chancellor of the University of Glasgow,
munificent Patron worthy of honours untold,
these Philosophical Theses
are given and dedicated
by Gershom Carmichael, President,
and by the Candidates
Philosophical Theses, 1707
In the previous series of inaugural theses which were defended eight years ago under the same President,1 it was argued that the duties by which Nature itself teaches that indirectly and mediately we are to give evidence of a due sentiment of love and veneration for the supreme being, are appropriately reduced to one general law, and may be deduced from it. This law is that we should promote to the best of our ability the perfection of all creatures, but especially the happiness of rational creatures (in which the perfection of the rest is contained), so far as this does not conflict, to the best of our knowledge, with manifestation of the divine glory.2 So, without further preface, we may proceed to take up the thread of the argument which we broke off at that point, and deduce particular kinds of duties from this principle in accordance with the law of nature.
I. First, therefore, as there is no reason to suspect that the greatest happiness which men can obtain for men can detract in any way from either the illustration of divine glory or the happiness, consistent with it, of rational creatures other than man, we may deduce from the general law just established and at the same time substitute for it the following law (which contains in itself all the duties owed to men and which comes a little closer to demonstrating them): that God wills and requires from men as a sign of reverence due to him, that each man do whatever duties he can to promote the common happiness of the whole human race, and scrupulously avoid the contrary actions.3
II. The universal law about promoting the common good of rational creatures proposed at the beginning does not cease to obligate men, even if we suppose that there are no rational creatures other than men whom men can either help or harm. Similarly the obligation of the law laid down in the previous thesis would still exist for a man who lived so much apart from everyone else that there could be no exchange either of benefit or injury between them. In both cases, he who benefits any one part without harm to the other, increases the resources (so to speak) of the whole system; and the way the solitary man would respect either of the aforesaid laws would be by simply preserving his own safety and by diligently looking out for his own interests. But (with occasional rare exceptions) such a solitary state is more represented by fiction than truly existing in any part of the earth. To the contrary, individuals in general live so intermingled with others that the opportunity cannot long be lacking to share benefits with each other, or to offer harm. Moreover the human condition is so framed that one man’s private benefit is often another’s harm, and vice versa. And therefore it is clear that the law about promoting the common good of men can only be observed by the man who in ordering the whole series of his actions sets before his eyes and prepares consistently to follow what is universally useful rather than what is good for himself without regard for others.
III. We recognize that those too who are not separated from the company of others should advance the common good of men not only through the duties which men do for each other, but also through the duties by which each individual takes special care of his own safety, cultivates his own mind, and endeavors to fortify himself as strongly as possible against dependence on external things, in accordance with the rule set out in the previous thesis. Yet the nature of men is so made that individuals need the help of others to live decent lives; they are equipped with various gifts of soul and body with which they may do more good to each other than any animal can, and they are well disposed to do so. But equally they may abuse all these prerogatives of their nature by harming one another, and may give in to the assaults of temptation that provoke them to do so. It is therefore obvious that if the human race is to be safe, it must be sociable; that is, men must readily join with their fellows and treat them well in order that, so far as they can, they may win and preserve mutual benevolence and mutual trust; these are the two hinges on which depends the speedy performance of all the mutual duties which relate to either preserving human life, or making it happier. Moreover neither the duties which relate to the immediate worship of God nor those which pertain to each man’s self-cultivation are ever in conflict with the cultivation of sociability among men (as we have just explained it); to the contrary they very much encourage it and make it more sacred and more useful, and vice versa. From this we safely infer a universal obligation to cultivate sociability as the means instituted by God himself for preserving the common safety of the human race and procuring its advantage. From this rule, as well as from the other rule previously given that each man should seek his own interests without harming others, it is easy to deduce (following the law established in the first thesis) all the duties we must perform toward men. From this latter rule follow the duties which we owe to ourselves, so far as they aim at our own intrinsic perfection. And from the sociability rule follow the duties which we must perform to others, and also to ourselves so far as they relate to making us more useful members of human society.
IV. He who wills the end, normally wills also the means necessary to that end. Hence we should infer that everything which conduces to the common happiness of the human race, and especially to the cultivation of sociability among men for the sake of happiness, is prescribed by natural law; and on the other hand that everything that is in conflict with those things is forbidden by the same law. However in neither category are all these things of the same order. Some are duties whose performance in such circumstances is so absolutely essential to the being of society, that anyone who has not obliged himself to do them of his own accord may be rightly compelled to do them. There are other duties, however, where performance should be left to each man’s sense of shame, since they pertain not so much to the being as to the well-being of society, and should not be forced out of the recalcitrant, since it would be foolish to apply a medicine which was far more painful and difficult than the disease itself. Duties of the former kind should be said to be due of perfect right; duties of the latter kind are due of imperfect right. The justice which is related to the former is not inappropriately called by Grotius expletive justice, and to the latter, attributive justice.4
V. This distinction should not be understood in quite the same sense in the natural state as in the civil. For in the natural state we have to decide by our own private judgment what things are owed us on the basis of perfect right and seize them by our own strength or that of our allies; in the civil state, we should claim them by action taken in the courts and with the help of the magistrate’s authority. And in addition to this, the discrimination of perfect and imperfect right does not rest on quite the same foundation in both cases. For just as in the natural state each claims for himself by his own right all and only that which, antecedent to any civil decree, satisfies the above-mentioned condition of due perfect right, and leaves the rest to the humanity and sense of shame of those from whom they are expected, so in civil societies the distinction is to be taken, at least in the first instance, from the civil laws which give or deny an action. Often, for special reasons, the laws make some performances perfectly owed which nature had otherwise left in each man’s judgment; on the other hand they leave to the judgment of individuals (at least so far as external courts are concerned) other performances which nature otherwise had given the right of forcibly exacting. It does not follow from this that these civil laws are in conflict with the natural laws, provided that they follow their footsteps in the heart of the matter and aim at the great goal for which civil societies are formed, which is to preserve, for each and every citizen, so far as possible, his liberty and his property. In taking up these positions, we have before our eyes (as befits philosophers) not the civil laws of any particular nation but only the natural laws.
VI. We indicated just now that some of the duties which, by the fundamental laws established above, each man owes to the human race have direct and immediate regard to the agent himself, and some to other men. With regard to the former, the law laid down in the first thesis, together with the comments about the purpose of the second law, tells us that every man is obliged to put his own advantage after the common happiness of the human race; but as the strength and faculties of each man are finite and not capable of everything all at once, and as each man can contribute more by his labors to protect his own safety and to advance his own interests than anyone else’s, it is certain that every law commends to each man a certain particular care for himself as his own proper province, urging him not only to promote the happiness of the human race, at least in this way, by looking out for himself without harming others but also to make himself fitter to bring advantages to others by duly cultivating his faculties.
VII. Now the care which each man is obliged to spend on himself extends to both parts of a man, but in the first place to the mind. The mind should be furnished with correct opinions about things relevant to duty; it should learn to make correct judgments about the things that arouse human desire; it should get used to controlling its feelings by the norm of reason; and it should be early trained in some honest profession (suited to the individual’s condition and mode of living). As for the body, its life and health should be preserved and its strength improved by all good means; to this end one should make a moderate and timely use of food and labor and avoid excess in either; one should also avoid immoderate passions, since they weaken the body’s strength; and finally one should develop a habitual spirit of courage, in order to fight off the many dangers that threaten to ruin the body.
VIII. A man not only may but should expend care and labor in performing various duties toward God and mankind, which may exhaust his life and conclude its term earlier than if he had lived softly (for life is not to be measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of good actions we do). One is sometimes bound to expose one’s life to a present danger to save others. But it is never right for any man directly to cut off his life nor to hasten his end in any way, even to avoid by death the most grievous temporal ills, nor to neglect for such a reason any decent means that lies in his power to prolong his life.
IX. Due care for the body’s security not only permits but obliges one to defend it by inflicting violent harm on an unjust aggressor, even (if there is no other way) by killing him. This self-protection is circumscribed by completely different laws, according as one lives in the natural state or under civil government, whether we are considering a just cause for doing it or the time when we may start it or the condition of ending it. It is indeed true that in both states the ultimate defense is permitted not only to preserve one’s life but also to maintain the body’s integrity and chastity, which are of course irreparable goods. In the natural state this extends also to external property, unless it is of such little importance that for its sake (in the absence of other persuasive reasons) prudence does not allow us to expose our own lives, nor humanity the lives of others, to danger. But in the civil state it is for the civil laws to define what is permitted for the preservation of property, except that here too there is room for prudence and humanity, especially where the laws rather give permission than a command.
Further, in natural liberty violent defense rightly begins as soon as it is quite clear that another person is engaged in inflicting violence upon us, and there is no hope of turning him from his hostile intention by gentler means. It is rightly continued until not only the actual danger is repelled and losses made good (whether the losses which originally gave rise to the war or the loss we have sustained in the war), but also till a guarantee is given of not doing harm in the future, a guarantee which gives assurance that the enemy has dropped his intention to do harm or has been deprived of opportunity and means. But in the civil state, we must not embark upon a defense that threatens death or grave bodily injury to someone else, until the unjust aggressor has driven us into such a position that we have no opportunity either of running away or of invoking the help of magistrates or citizens, before the assault against which the ultimate defense is here admitted has had its effect. It must not be continued beyond the point at which we have an opportunity to escape after repelling the actual danger. For vengeance for the injury, guarantee for the future, and compensation for loss (if there has been any so far) should be left in this case to the care of the magistrate.
X. In all these cases humanity requires us to look for a safer means of avoiding injury and not to expose ourselves or others to danger without necessity, especially when the cause of the threatened injury is mistake or madness rather than malice. However a man engaged in a lawful and honest activity does not lose the privilege of defending himself even though he could avoid danger by giving it up. But anyone who challenges another to a duel does lose the privilege. (We extend the term “duel” here to any fight which is formally appointed and settled on certain terms, on whose outcome a dispute depends by agreement of the parties.) So does anyone who when challenged offers himself of his own accord, except perhaps in the case where the safety of innocent men or some other quite valuable right of our own or another’s cannot be defended against an unjust aggressor by any other equally suitable means, though in a civil state which is truly civil this hardly seems likely to happen between private individuals. And “wrongs” properly so called (i.e., insults), which are nearly always the reason why fellow citizens engage in duels, would not provide a just cause for extreme violence even in natural liberty, since it is completely contrary to equity and humanity to repel or take vengeance for an insult in that manner. For the compensation for damage to one’s reputation which is commonly said to be afforded by taking so cruel a revenge for such a “wrong” is purely and simply an illusion cherished by conceited fellows who need to be taught that true reputation (which is simply the opinion men have, and particularly upright and judicious men, of one’s excellence) is to be won and preserved by behaving properly and deserving well of human society. The observation of thoroughly wicked customs, which pass among certain ferocious Desperadoes5 as laws of honor, disgrace a man as a man, as a citizen, and most of all as a Christian.
XI. If someone has taken the initiative in causing harm to someone else but then repents and not only stops doing the harm but also satisfies all the obligations he incurred by it, and if the injured party in the bitterness of his soul does not himself cool down, at that point (but only at that point) the first party begins to enjoy the right and privilege of self-defense; and in this case some have rightly said that the just cause has passed from his enemy to himself. Here it is rightly asked whether between equals in the state of nature it is right to inflict a punishment in addition to all that we indicated in Thesis ix is owed by the wrongdoer to his victim. With Grotius and Locke6 we hold that the answer must be “yes” (at least in the case of the more horrible wrongs, maliciously perpetrated), but the injured party, who will still be seething with anger, should not proceed to punish with the same violence he had used in defense of himself or the recovery of his property.
XII. Further, the care for self-preservation which nature commends to every man not only permits license against an unjust aggressor, but also allows exceptions to otherwise universal laws in other cases. In this sense necessity knows no law (as they say). This is not because any necessity allows us to violate a law, but because it shows that the present case ought to be understood as excepted in the law. The present case of necessity causes no exception in the general precepts of worshipping God and promoting the advantages of human society but only in the particular precepts derived from these fundamental laws, and ought therefore to be taken as prescribing simply the particular duty which in the given circumstances brings the latter into line with the aim defined by the former.
XIII. Thus the necessity of saving a life gives permission not only to amputate a limb afflicted by an incurable condition, but also to hasten the death, in certain cases, of men who would die in any case, and even more allows us to refuse aid which would slightly prolong someone else’s life, if by giving such aid we would doom ourselves to an early death. But as the outcomes of such things tend to be uncertain, and therefore we often have a reason to be uncertain as to what we owe to our own safety and what to the safety of other people, three particular kinds of reasons, it seems, should be brought into the calculation and balanced against each other, viz., the seriousness of the evils feared on both sides, the probability that they will occur, and the number of persons at risk on both sides; in the last case number may be supplemented by worth in the case of a person who is useful to many, but other things being more or less equal, each man is permitted to favor himself.
XIV. There is even less doubt that one may take by force or stealth property which ordinarily belongs to someone else, in order to save one’s life from threatened death. The provisos are: that the owner himself is not exposed to the same crisis; that the taker cannot get what he manifestly needs to preserve his life by any other means; and that he does not refuse to give whatever compensation may be in his power now or later for what he has taken. For separate ownership of property cannot to be supposed to have been introduced without leaving this particle of primitive community in a case of necessity.
XV. Furthermore, an emergency affecting our property sometimes gives us leave to destroy or spoil articles of relatively low value which belong to others, provided that the danger, which without fault on our part threatens a far more valuable piece of our property, cannot be removed in a more convenient way, and provided that we promptly make up the loss which the other man suffers. This principle of equity is followed and at the same time more clearly defined by the laws of most states in the case of threatened shipwreck, fire, and the like; the same is true, and rightly so, for almost all branches of the law.
XVI. Some of the duties which should be performed toward other men are absolute; since they arise from a common obligation, they should be performed toward all men indifferently. Other such duties are hypothetical; as these derive their origin from the voluntary agreements of men or from some particular adventitious state, they are only owed to those with whom we have an agreement or with whom we share some such state.7
XVII. Among absolute duties, this rightly takes the first place, or perhaps rather embraces all the others, that every man should respect and treat any other man as naturally equal to himself. Such equality not only implies that each man is equally a man and consequently subject to a moral obligation from which no one can exempt him, but also that he has certain rights belonging to him which no one has the right to violate. It also implies that no man may claim for himself in his own right any power over others or a greater share of the things that are available to all, merely because he is better furnished than others by nature with certain gifts of mind or body. On the other hand it also implies that nature distributes to all men in the same manner in accordance with the same laws the acquisition of dominion or government. The same point is also made by the golden and universal rule taught by our Lord: As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.8 This also (to omit other clear consequences) refutes the empty claim of the ancient Greeks that they had been made masters by nature and the barbarians their slaves;9 certain Christians should ask themselves whether their own minds are not possessed by a similarly outrageous opinion.
XVIII. Of the elements of a due recognition of natural equality, the most essential to the practice of social life is: let no man harm another or cause loss to another in any way, whether by harming, spoiling, diminishing, or removing that which is now his; or by intercepting what is due to him by perfect right; or by omitting or refusing the performance of any duty to anyone which he is bound to do on the basis of a perfect obligation. So whatever belongs to anyone by legitimate title (whether as given by nature, or assigned by the agency of a human action or law), this precept forbids it to be taken away from him, or spoiled, or harmed, or removed from his sphere of use in whole or in part.
XIX. From this it follows that if harm is inflicted or loss caused by any means to anyone by another, the man found to be responsible for it must make it good so far as possible: no one’s right is abrogated by another man’s wrongdoing. Relevant to the estimation of loss is not only the thing itself which is harmed, destroyed, or stolen, but also the fruits, whether natural or civil, which would have accrued to the owner if the thing had been saved, after deduction of the expenses which would have been necessary for collecting the fruits. Finally, all that subsequently flows from any act of harm as by natural necessity, is regarded as one loss.
XX. Compensation for loss is due not only from those who have inflicted a loss on another person themselves, but also from those who by act or omission inconsistent with perfect obligation were part of the cause of the loss. Where several men in agreement have conspired in one act causing loss, each individual has an obligation proportional to his influence. However if any one of them is caught and is able to pay, he is obligated for the whole in the absence of the rest; once he has paid, the rest owe nothing to the injured party on the score of compensation. Also obligated is the man who has harmed another not by malice aforethought but through culpable negligence, but not the man who has been the occasion of another’s loss absolutely by chance. On the natural equity of noxal actions and on damage by animals, the candidates will respond in the examination room.10
XXI. One should also include among absolute and general duties the duty that everyone should promote the advantage of another, so far as he conveniently can. Each person owes this duty both in an indefinite manner, to become a more useful member of human society by a proper cultivation of mind and body and (so far as the genius and condition of each man allows) by inventing arts and sciences useful to the human race or by developing them to a more perfect condition, and also in a definite manner by doing good to specific persons as opportunity arises. Anyone who refuses to do services of harmless utility to others can very rightly be accused of churlish ill will, i.e., if he refuses services which help the receiver without cost to the giver. But we should probably not stretch the phrase harmless utility to make it the foundation of a perfect right, unless the ground of necessity is also involved; we have admitted above that necessity lends it considerable strength, and indeed we have recognized above that in an extreme case necessity is enough without harmless utility.
XXII. But it often happens that from extraordinary benevolence we should freely do something for someone which involves expense or hard work, in order to relieve his needs or achieve some outstanding advantage for him. These are the only duties (strictly speaking) which deserve to be called benefits. In conferring benefits with generosity as well as prudence, taking account of the condition of the giver and of the receiver, men have an ample opportunity to win conspicuous praise and to deserve well of others. In return the beneficiary is required to show a grateful spirit, which should be attested by the return of equal or even greater benefits when occasion requires and his condition permits. Neglect of this duty betrays a mind which is all the more disgustingly mean in that no action for simple ingratitude is allowed in the courts nor should it be.
XXIII. One obviously does not satisfy the obligations of natural law merely by observing and performing the duties which it enjoins independent of agreements between men. Furthermore, in order to develop human society with beneficial consequences for the human race, it is necessary for men sometimes to take voluntary obligations on themselves by making promises and agreements about the mutual performance of duties which before that act were at each individual’s discretion but which, once the obligation has been voluntarily contracted, have to be performed by those who have made the promises or agreements. Consequently, it is rightly included among the primary precepts of natural law, that every man should keep his pledged faith.
XXIV. Sometimes we speak of future actions which lie in our power in such a way that we express a merely present intention and not a will to impose any obligation upon ourselves; sometimes we speak in such a way as to indicate a will to obligate ourselves but not to confer a perfect right on someone else to require performance; and sometimes we clearly declare either by words or by other signs our will to give away a small portion of our liberty, so that not only are we obligated on the ground of fidelity but the other party acquires a perfect right to require from us the thing or service promised on the ground that it is owed to him, and to extract it out of us against our will if we do not offer it voluntarily. This will so signified, whether it arises from a mutual agreement or a unilateral promise, provided that no legitimate counterclaim may be brought against it, has no less full strength and force to produce a personal right than the actual alienation of his property by an owner has the force to found a right to property.
XXV. The first requirement of the obligation of promises and agreements is consent, both by the party which undertakes the obligation and by the party for whom it is undertaken, and it must be a consent which has been made manifest by appropriate signs by both parties. But since clear consent to a proposal cannot be either given or declared without the use of reason, it follows that the promises and agreements of those who do not have the capacity to use reason (at least to the extent of understanding the matter of the proposal, so far as it refers to them) entail no obligation directly.
XXVI. But one must not suppose that a man has clearly given his consent, who at the time was persuaded that the matter was otherwise than it actually was, and thought in good faith that the point in which he is deceived was recognized by the other party to be a condition of his consent because of the nature of the transaction, even if he did not explicitly state that. Suppose therefore that the event shows that some circumstance was lacking which it is clear that the promising or agreeing party assumed in good faith as a condition of his act (for a judgment about a thing which is not apparent is the same as a judgment about a thing that does not exist, so far as the external forum is concerned, even in natural liberty). In that case the obligation for him to perform the action is dissolved, so far as it is founded on that assumption; except that if he was negligent in investigating the matter or in expressing his meaning and the other party suffers a loss for that reason, the promisor is obliged to make it good, not directly on the strength of the promise but on the basis of a loss culpably inflicted. We caution therefore that in reciprocal agreements no event is readily understood as a condition, unless it is either expressly stated to be such; or is affirmed by the other party to the transaction truly to exist; or is such that the promise would be manifestly impossible or absurd to perform apart from the condition which it is clear that the promisor was not able to perform; or finally unless it concerns the thing itself or the material which is the subject of the agreement, its valuable qualities, or lack of them. But things not assumed as conditions do not vitiate an act otherwise properly conceived, even though they perhaps disappoint expectation, except so far as the party with whom one is dealing can be held responsible for the error, in which case the obligation would be lifted as a form of compensation.
XXVII. Another frequent question is whether a man who has made a promise or an agreement with someone under the influence of force or fear should be deemed to have given the consent which we said above was requisite to the obligation of promises and agreements. We take it as certain that we cannot validly oppose to the obligation of a promise or agreement either fear inflicted by a third party without collusion with a party to the transaction, nor fear justifiably inflicted by any party, nor the fear that the other party to the transaction will inflict an injury, if this fear is rashly conceived and without serious grounds. Therefore we think that much the safest opinion is given by those who teach that whatever can be legitimately promised for the purpose of saving life or averting serious loss must, after it has been promised, be fully performed on grounds of fidelity, even though the promise was extorted by the most unjustified force on the part of the one who required the promise be given. Admittedly this wrong renders him incapable of obtaining by that act any right which he may legitimately use (not to mention that any claim to perfect right is removed from this case by way of compensation because of the wrong inflicted). Yet the bond of veracity and fidelity is in no way dissolved by this, and that prevents the other party from making use of the counterclaim of force and fear (even though it was quite obvious when he was making the promise).11
XXVIII. Further, the object of promises and pacts has to be within our physical and moral power. We cannot therefore be obliged by any agreement to do things which, literally or morally, we cannot do. But it does not follow from this that every promise of something which is impossible or illegitimate is totally without effect, so as to give rise to no obligation. When the recipient of a promise was invincibly ignorant of the circumstances which would render performance impossible or illegitimate, if the promisor knew of them or fraudulently contrived them after contracting the obligation, there is no doubt that he is obliged to make good all the adverse consequences of his act. It seems the same thing must be said in the case of a reciprocal agreement, if the maker of the agreement ought to have known the impediments to carrying it through or afterward caused them by culpable negligence. But in simple promises, where fault on the part of the promisor alone is involved, all that is required is to make good the loss incurred by the recipient of the promise. Moreover the obligation disappears, if the impediments to legitimately performing what was promised were invincibly concealed from the promisor or supervened afterward by sheer chance, with the proviso that if anything in the agreement has to this point been done by the other party in prospect of the performance now impeded, it must be returned, or if that is impossible, then its equivalent. But one must note that by illegitimate we do not here mean everything which is rashly promised and which would not be performed on the ground of duty if no promises had been made. For in many such cases one must apply this third principle that many things which ought not to be done are valid when done. So by illegitimate things which may not be done by any promise or agreement we simply mean those things which are prohibited by law without exception: such as things by which reverence for the deity is directly violated; things by which extreme disaster will fall upon anyone who does them or requires them; and things which damage a perfect right of a third party. Hence it follows that any promises or agreements we make are void if they concern the property or actions of other men, insofar as they depend not on our own will but on that of another. And the same thing must be said about property or actions of our own which have already been pledged to someone else.
XXIX. We may promise to other men and make agreements with them to take over the promises of others, and in general to transfer or acquire any alienable rights, not only through ourselves but also through a third party whom we have made the interpreter of our will. Whatever he does in good faith in accordance with the procedure of a public mandate (i.e., a mandate declared to the person one is dealing with) obligates the mandator himself.
XXX. To preserve sociability among men, as one should, it is as important that veracity should be scrupulously observed in assertions as fidelity in promises and pacts. It is true that in many cases we are not bound to reveal to others the sense of our mind, to the extent that in such cases we have the choice either to speak or be silent, or perhaps, if we are pressed, to brush off an importunate person by turning the talk in a different direction or by giving some rather general response. Nevertheless the universal law of nature which is superior to every exception is: no one should deceive anyone by words or by any other signs which may rightly be regarded as employed for the purpose of expressing concepts to him—i.e., by employing such signs as he judges that the other will duly interpret as intended to signify something to him which is not in fact true or which is not thought to be true by the speaker. For in making an assertion to another, whatever signs a man uses for that purpose, he is taken to be making a tacit agreement with him to use these signs in the same sense in which he thinks they will be understood by the other person with the aid of reason, i.e., in a normal way and in the sense in which such signs are usually understood in similar cases where no particular convention suggests anything different. Therefore equivocations and mental reservations do not avoid the vice of mendacity; and it is in vain to add the limitation, if he to whom the utterance is addressed has the right to understand. For although not all have the right to understand the sense of our mind on any and every matter, yet this right of not being deceived by false speech is common to all. Without it, the use of speech would be largely banished from human life; it would be pointless to tell anyone anything, and no less pointless to listen to it.
XXXI. An oath is rightly held to give a serious weight to both promises and agreements as well as to assertions. In an oath God is called upon to witness to fidelity in the one case, to truthfulness in the other, and in both cases to avenge any falsehood there may be. But since oaths do not so much produce a materially new obligation as add a kind of supplementary bond to an obligation which is valid in itself, the requisites of the obligation of an oath are all the same conditions which are requisite to the strength and validity of the act to which it is added. However, because of the use of the name of God whom one cannot in fact deceive and whom none can mock without punishment, the effect of oaths is not only that a more drastic penalty is to be feared by one who has broken his sworn faith than unsworn faith, but also that every frivolous interpretation is excluded from acts in which they are employed. For it is indeed rightly presumed that a transaction in which such a grave sanction is used is serious and of great importance.
I planned to treat in a similar compendium the rest of the topics of natural jurisprudence also, especially those which concern the doctrine of ownership or dominion and government, and to give a short account of them; for it seemed to me that nothing I could do would be more opportune than a synopsis of that most noble science which has been taught to these candidates with particular care, as to others before them, following the method of the famous Pufendorf. But as the topics already dealt with have grown quite long enough for this kind of work, I once more break off the thread here. I append however the following points, so that no one may complain that specimens of the other parts of philosophy are altogether wanting.
From logic, ontology, and pneumatology
[1.] Nicolas Malebranche, De la recherche de la vérité où l’on traite de la nature de l’esprit de l’homme et de l’usage qu’il en doit faire pour éviter l’erreur dans la science (1674). Malebranche (1638–1715), following the purpose of the Oratorian order to which he belonged, set out to renew the study of St. Augustine, in the light of Cartesian philosophy. He was influential in Britain in the last years of the seventeenth century, as two contemporary English translations testify: Father Malebranche’s Treatise concerning the Search after Truth, translated by Thomas Taylor (Oxford, 1694), and Malebranche’s Search after Truth. … done out of French from the last edition by Richard Sault, 2 vols. (London, 1694–95). A more recent translation is now available: Nicolas Malebranche, The Search after Truth, translated from the French by Thomas M. Lennon and Paul J. Olscamp (Columbus: Ohio State University Press 1980); all references are to this translation. Carmichael’s 1699 Theses show the influence of Malebranche at several points; his epigraph is at Lennon and Olscamp, pp. 158–59.
[2.] See above, pp. x–xi, on the involvement of the Hamilton family in Carmichael’s appointment at the University of Glasgow.
[3.] See Locke, Essay, III.III.17.
[4.] For intellectual ideas, see Malebranche, Search after Truth, bk. III, pt. 2.
[5.] Ego cogitans existo (Descartes, Meditations, II).
[6.] Descartes, Malebranche, and Arnauld and Nicole.
[7.] This term alludes to the Malebranchian doctrine of occasionalism.
[8.] See Locke, Essay, II.VII.10.
[9.] Carmichael follows Arnauld in rejecting Malebranche’s view that what we actually perceive in our intellectual ideas are the archetypal ideas in the mind of God (Arnauld, Des vraies et des fausses Idées).
[*] Carmichael’s note: The term idea is sometimes used in philosophers for the notion itself or act of apprehending (which is the sense in which it is taken by us here and elsewhere), and sometimes for the exemplary form of the same remaining in the mind (even when it is not actually attending to it). To avoid this equivocation, we have thought it best to abstain from the term idea in the two previous theses where we were treating of their origins).
[10.] See above, pp. 31–32.
[11.] Locke, Essay, II.XXI.35 ff.
[12.] Search after Truth, V.VII, p. 375.
[13.] De Vries, De Natura Dei, pp. 146 ff.
[14.] More, Enchiridion Metaphysicum, pp. 73 ff.
[15.] Poiret, Cogitationes rationales, pp. 146 n., 148 n. His theory of the fertility and productivity of things was elaborated at greater length in The Divine Oeconomy: An Universal System of the works and purposes of God towards men, demonstrated, I, 7 (London, 1713). Robert Wodrow described Poiret’s theology as “a neu and connected systeme of Quietisme, Molinisme, [and] Quakerisme, and the refined mysticall Divinity of the Papists, leading quite off the Protestant doctrine, and the truth as it’s in Jesus” (Analecta, III, p. 473).
[16.] Le Clerc, “Pneumatologia,” in Ontologia, III.III, pp. 152–53.
[17.] On the Duty of Man and Citizen, I.3.9, pp. 35–36; and see above, p. 51.
[18.] Cumberland, Treatise on the Law of Nature, p. 16.
[19.] Amending innotescit to innotescunt.
[1.] The reference is to Carmichael’s Philosophical Theses of 1699.
[2.] See above, p. 349.
[3.] See above, pp. 24–25, Supplement I.10.
[4.] Grotius, Rights of War and Peace, I.I.8; and see above, p. 44.
[5.] Thrasones, named after Thraso, the arrogant and boastful soldier of the Roman playwright Terence’s play Eunuchus, and a stock figure of ancient comedy.
[6.] Grotius, Rights of War and Peace, II.XX, pp. 40 ff.; and Locke, Second Treatise, ch. 2, secs. 7–8; see also above, p. 69.
[7.] Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen, I.9, p. 68. Carmichael came to regard this distinction as unhelpful in the delineation of rights and obligations; see above, p. 77.
[8.] Matthew 7.12; Luke 6.31.
[9.] See the criticism of Aristotle above, p. 74.
[10.] For noxal actions and damage by animals (pauperies), see above, p. 176, n. 3 and p. 177, n. 4.
[11.] See the discussion of promises made under duress above, pp. 85 ff.
[12.] Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis; Gregory, Astronomiae Physicae.