— 447 —
The nominal Essence that of the Species, proved from Water and Ice.       §13. But to return to the Species of corporeal Substances. If I
should ask any one, whether Ice and Water were two distinct
Species of Things, I doubt not but I should be answered in the
affirmative: And it cannot be denied, but he that says they are two
distinct Species, is in the right. But if an English-man, bred in Jamaica,
who, perhaps, had never seen nor heard of Ice, coming into England
in the Winter, find, the Water he put in his Bason at night, in a
great part frozen in the morning; and not knowing any peculiar
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name it had, should call it harden’d Water; I ask, Whether this
would be a new Species to him, different from Water? And, I think, it
would be answered here, It would not to him be a new Species, no
more than congealed Gelly, when it is cold, is a distinct Species,
from the same Gelly fluid and warm; or than liquid Gold, in the
Fornace, is a distinct Species from hard Gold in the Hands of a
Workman. And if this be so, ’tis plain, that our distinct Species, are
nothing but distinct complex Ideas, with distinct Names annexed to them.
’Tis true, every Substance that exists, has its peculiar Constitution,
whereon depend those sensible Qualities, and Powers, we observe
in it: But the ranking of Things into Species, which is nothing but
sorting them under several Titles, is done by us, according to the
Ideas that we have of them: Which tho’ sufficient to distinguish
them by Names; so that we may be able to discourse of them, when
we have them not present before us: yet if we suppose it to be done
by their real internal Constitutions, and that Things existing are
distinguished by Nature into Species, by real Essences, according
as we distinguish them into Species by Names, we shall be liable to
great Mistakes.
Locke Hum III, 6, §13, pp. 447-448