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Genera and Species are in order to naming.       §39. How much the making of Species and Genera is in order to
general names, and how much general Names are necessary, if not to
the Being, yet at least to the completing of a Species, and making it
pass for such, will appear, besides what has been said above con-
cerning Ice and Water, in a very familiar Example. A silent and a
striking Watch, are but one Species, to those who have but one name
for them: but he that has the name Watch for one, and Clock for the
other, and distinct complex Ideas, to which those names belong,
to him they are different Species. It will be said, perhaps, that the
inward contrivance and constitution is different between these two,
which the Watch-maker has a clear Idea of. And yet, ’tis plain, they
are but one Species to him, when he has but one name for them. For
what is sufficient in the inward Contrivance, to make a new Species?
There are some Watches, that are made with four Wheels, others
with five: Is this a specifick difference to the Workman? Some have
Strings and Physies, and others none; some have the Balance loose,
and others regulated by a spiral Spring, and others by Hogs
Bristles: Are any, or all of these enough to make a specifick differ-
ence to the Workman, that knows each of these, and several other
different contrivances, in the internal Constitutions of Watches?
’Tis certain, each of these hath a real difference from the rest: But
whether it be an essential, a specifick difference or no, relates only
to the complex Idea, to which the name Watch is given: as long as
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they all agree in the Idea which that name stands for, and that name
does not as a generical name comprehend different Species under it,
they are not essentially nor specifically different. But if any one will
make minuter Divisions from Differences, that he knows in the
internal frame of Watches; and to such precise complex Ideas, give
Names, that shall prevail, they will then be new Species to them, who
have those Ideas with names to them; and can, by those differences,
distinguish Watches into these several sorts, and then Watch will
be a generical name. But yet they would be no distinct Species to
Men, ignorant of Clock-work, and the inward Contrivances of
Watches, who had no other Idea, but the outward shape and Bulk,
with the marking of the Hours by the Hand. For to them, all those
other Names would be but synonymous Terms for the same Idea,
and signifie no more, nor no other thing but a Watch. Just thus, I
think, it is in natural Things. No body will doubt, that the Wheels,
or Springs (if I may so say) within, are different in a rational Man,
and a Changeling, no more than that there is a difference in the frame
between a Drill and a Changeling. But whether one, or both these
differences be essential, or specifical, is only to be known to us, by
their agreement, or disagreement with the complex Idea that the
name Man stands for: For by that alone can it be determined,
whether one, or both, or neither of those be a Man, or no.
Locke Hum III, 6, §39, pp. 463-464