— 438 —
Chapter VI

Of the Names of Substances.
The common names of Substances stand for sorts.       §1. The common Names of Substances, as well as other general
Terms, stand for Sorts: which is nothing else but the being made
signs of such complex Ideas, wherein several particular Substances
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do, or might agree, by virtue of which, they are capable to be
comprehended in one common Conception, and be signified by one
Name. I say, do or might agree: for though there be but one Sun
existing in the World, yet the Idea of it being abstracted, so that
more Substances (if there were several) might each agree in it; it is
as much a Sort, as if there were as many Suns, as there are Stars.
They want not their Reasons, who think there are, and that each
fixed Star, would answer the Idea the name Sun stands for, to one
who were placed in a due distance; which, by the way, may shew
us how much the Sorts, or, if you please, Genera and Species of
Things (for those Latin Terms signify to me, no more than the
English word Sort) depend on such Collections of Ideas, as Men have
made; and not on the real Nature of Things: since ’tis not impossible,
but that in propriety of Speech, that might be a Sun to one, which
is a Star to another.
Locke Hum III, 6, §1, pp. 438-439