— 425 —
The contrary shewed in complex Ideas by instances of a Statue and Rainbow.       §12. The case is quite otherwise in complex Ideas; which consist-
ing of several simple ones, it is in the power of Words, standing for
the several Ideas, that make that Composition, to imprint complex
Ideas in the Mind, which were never there before, and so make their
Names be understood. In such Collections of Ideas, passing under
one name, Definitions, or the teaching the signification of one word,
by several others, has place, and may make us understand the Names of
Things, which never came within the reach of our Senses; and frame
— 426 —
Ideas suitable to those in other Men’s Minds, when they use those
Names: provided that none of the terms of the Definition stand for
any such simple Ideas, which he to whom the Explication is made,
has never yet had in his Thoughts. Thus the word Statue may be
explained to a blind Man by other words, when Picture cannot, his
Senses having given him the Idea of Figure, but not of Colours,
which therefore Words cannot excite in him. This gain’d the Prize
to the Painter, against the Statuary; each of which contending for
the excellency of his Art, and the Statuary bragging, that his was
to be preferred, because it reached farther, and even those who had
lost their Eyes, could yet perceive the excellency of it. The Painter
agreed to refer himself to the Judgment of a blind Man; who being
brought where there was a Statue made by the one, and a Picture
drawn by the other; he was first led to the Statue, in which he
traced with his Hands, all the Lineaments of the Face and Body;
and with great admiration, applauded the Skill of the Work-man.
But being led to the Picture, and having his Hands laid upon it, was
told, That now he touched the Head, and then the Forehead, Eyes,
nose, etc. as his Hand moved over the parts of the Picture on the
Cloth, without finding any the least distinction: Whereupon he
cried out, that certainly that must needs be a very admirable and
divine piece of Workmanship, which could represent to them all
those Parts, where he could neither feel nor perceive any thing.
Locke Hum III, 4, §12, pp. 425-426