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      §16. But ’tis the issue of rational Parents, and must therefore be
concluded to have a rational Soul. I know not by what Logick you
must so conclude. I am sure this is a Conclusion, that Men no
where allow of. For if they did, they would not make bold, as every-
where they do, to destroy ill-formed and mis-shaped productions.
Ay, but these are Monsters. Let them be so; What will your drivling,
unintelligent, intractable Changeling be? Shall a defect in the Body
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make a Monster; a defect in the Mind, (the far more Noble, and, in
the common phrase, the far more Essential Part) not? Shall the want
of a Nose, or a Neck, make a Monster, and put such Issue out of the
rank of Men; the want of Reason and Understanding, not? This is
to bring all back again, to what was exploded just now: This is to
place all in the Shape, and to take the measure of a Man only by his
out-side. To shew that according to the ordinary way of Reasoning
in this Matter, People do lay the whole stress on the Figure, and
resolve the whole Essence of the Species of Man (as they make it)
into the outward Shape, how unreasonable soever it be, and how
much soever they disown it, we need but trace their Thoughts and
Practice a little farther, and then it will plainly appear. The well-
shaped Changeling is a Man, has a rational Soul, though it appear
not; this is past doubt, say you. Make the Ears a little longer, and
more pointed, and the Nose a little flatter than ordinary, and then
you begin to boggle: Make the Face yet narrower, flatter, and
longer, and then you are at a stand: Add still more and more of the
likeness of a Brute to it, and let the Head be perfectly that of some
other Animal, then presently ’tis a Monster; and ’tis demonstration
with you, that it hath no rational Soul, and must be destroy’d.
Where now (I ask) shall be the just measure; which the utmost
Bounds of that Shape, that carries with it a rational Soul? For since
there has been humane Foetus’s produced, half Beast, and half Man;
and others three parts one, and one part t’other; and so it is possible
they may be in all the variety of approaches to the one or the other
Shape, and may have several degrees of mixture of the likeness of a
Man, or a Brute, I would gladly know what are those precise
Lineaments, which according to this Hypothesis, are, or are not
capable of a rational Soul to be joined to them. What sort of outside
is the certain sign that there is, or is not such an Inhabitant within?
For till that be done, we talk at random of Man: and shall always, I
fear, do so, as long as we give our selves up to certain Sounds, and
the Imaginations of setled and fixed Species in Nature, we know not
what. But after all, I desire it may be considered, that those who
think they have answered the difficulty, by telling us, that a mis-
shaped Foetus is a Monster, run into the same Fault they are arguing
against, by constituting a Species between Man and Beast. For what
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else, I pray, is their Monster in the case (if the word Monster signi-
fies any thing at all) but something neither Man nor Beast, but
partaking somewhat of either: And just so is the Changeling before-
mentioned. So necessary is it to quit the common notion of Species
and Essences, if we will truly look into the Nature of Things, and
examine them, by what our Faculties can discover in them as they
exist, and not by groundless Fancies, that have been taken up
about them.
Locke Hum IV, 4, §16, pp. 571-572-573