— 512 —
Secondly, to have distinct Ideas annexed to them in Modes.
      §9. Secondly, ’Tis not enough a Man uses his Words as signs of
some Ideas; those Ideas he annexes them to, if they be simple must be
— 513 —
clear and distinct; if complex must be determinate, i.e. the precise Collec-
tion of simple Ideas settled in the Mind, with that Sound annexed
to it, as the sign of that precise determined Collection, and no
other. This is very necessary in Names of Modes, and especially
moral Words; which having no settled Objects in Nature, from
whence their Ideas are taken, as from their Original, are apt to be
very confused. Justice is a Word in every Man’s Mouth, but most
commonly with a very undetermined loose signification: Which
will always be so, unless a Man has in his Mind a distinct compre-
hension of the component parts, that complex Idea consists of; and
if it be decompounded, must be able to resolve it still on, till he at
last comes to the simple Ideas, that make it up: And unless this be
done, a Man makes an ill use of the Word, let it be Justice, for
example, or any other. I do not say, a Man needs stand to recollect,
and make this Analysis at large, every time the word Justice comes
in his way: But this, at least, is necessary, that he have so examined
the signification of that Name, and settled the Idea of all its Parts in
his Mind, that he can do it when he pleases. If one, who makes his
complex Idea of Justice, to be such a treatment of the Person or
Goods of another, as is according to Law, hath not a clear and
distinct Idea what Law is, which makes a part of his complex Idea
of Justice, ’tis plain, his Idea of Justice it self, will be confused and
imperfect. This exactness will, perhaps, be judged very trouble-
some: and therefore most Men will think, they may be excused
from settling the complex Ideas of mixed Modes so precisely in their
Minds. But yet I must say, till this be done, it must not be wondred,
that they have a great deal of Obscurity and Confusion in their own
Minds, and a great deal of wrangling in their Discourses with others.
Locke Hum III, 11, §9, pp. 512-513