— 349 —
Natural.       §2. Secondly, Another occasion of comparing Things together, or
considering one thing, so as to include in that Consideration some
other thing, is the Circumstances of their origin or beginning;
which being not afterwards to be altered, make the Relations,
depending thereon, as lasting as the Subjects to which they belong;
v.g. Father and Son, Brothers, Cousin-Germans, etc. which have their
Relations by one Community of Blood, wherein they partake in
several degrees; Country-men, i.e. those who were born in the same
Country, or Tract of Ground; and these I call natural Relations:
Wherein we may observe, that Mankind have fitted their Notions
and Words to the use of common Life, and not to the truth and
extent of Things. For ’tis certain, that in reality, the Relation
is the same, betwixt the Begetter, and the Begotten, in the several
Races of other Animals, as well as Men: But yet ’tis seldom said,
This Bull is the Grandfather of such a Calf; or that two Pidgeons
are Cousin-Germains. It is very convenient, that by distinct
Names, these Relations should be observed, and marked out in
Mankind, there being occasion, both in Laws, and other Com-
munications one with another, to mention and take notice of Men,
under these Relations: From whence also arise the Obligations of
several Duties amongst Men: Whereas in Brutes, Men having very
little or no cause to mind these Relations, they have not thought
fit to give them distinct and peculiar Names. This, by the way, may
give us some light into the different state and growth of Languages,
which being suited only to the convenience of Communication, are
proportioned to the Notions Men have, and the commerce of
Thoughts familiar amongst them; and not to the reality or extent
of Things, nor to the various Respects might be found among them;
— 350 —
nor the different abstract Considerations might be framed about
them. Where they had no philosophical Notions, there they had no
Terms to express them: And ’tis no wonder Men should have
framed no Names for those Things, they found no occasion to dis-
course of. From whence it is easy to imagine, why, as in some
Countries, they may not have so much as the Name for a Horse;
and in others, where they are more careful of the Pedigrees of their
Horses, than of their own, that there they may have not only
Names for particular Horses, but also of their several Relations of
Kindred one to another.
Locke Hum II, 28, §2, pp. 349-350