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No innate Ideas in the memory.       §20. To which let me add: If there be any innate Ideas, any Ideas,
in the mind, which the mind does not actually think on; they must
be lodg’d in the memory, and from thence must be brought
into view by Remembrance; i.e. must be known, when they are
remembred, to have been perceptions in the mind before, unless
Remembrance can be without Remembrance. For to remember is to
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perceive any thing with memory, or with a consciousness, that it
was known or perceived before: without this, whatever Idea comes
into the mind is new, and not remembred: This consciousness of its
having been in the mind before, being that, which distinguishes
Remembring from all other ways of Thinking. Whatever Idea was
never perceived by the mind, was never in the mind. Whatever Idea
is in the mind, is either an actual perception, or else having been an
actual perception, is so in the mind, that by the memory it can be
made an actual perception again. Whenever there is the actual
perception of an Idea without memory, the Idea appears perfectly
new and unknown before to the Understanding: Whenever the
memory brings any Idea into actual view, it is with a consciousness,
that it had been there before, and was not wholly a Stranger to the
mind. Whether this be not so, I appeal to every ones observation:
And then I desire an instance of an Idea, pretended to be innate,
which (before any impression of it by ways hereafter to be men-
tioned) any one could revive and remember as an Idea, he had
formerly known; without which consciousness of a former percep-
tion there is no remembrance; and whatever Idea comes into the
mind without that consciousness is not remembred, or comes not
out of the memory, nor can be said to be in the mind before that
appearance. For what is not either actually in view, or in the
memory, is in the mind no way at all, and is all one as if it never had
been there. Suppose a Child had the use of his Eyes till he knows
and distinguishes Colours; but then Cataracts shut the Windows,
and he is forty or fifty years perfectly in the dark; and in that time
perfectly loses all memory of the Ideas of colours, he once had. This
was the case of a blind Man I once talked with, who lost his sight by
the small Pox when he was a Child, and had no more notion of
colours, than one born Blind. I ask whether any one can say this
Man had then any Ideas of colours in his mind, any more than one
born Blind? And I think no body will say, that either of them had in
his mind any Idea of colours at all. His cataracts are couch’d, and
then he has the Ideas (which he remembers not) of colours, de novo,
by his restor’d sight, convey’d to his mind, and that without any
consciousness of a former acquaintance. And these now he can
revive, and call to mind in the dark. In this case all these Ideas of
colours, which when out of view can be reviv’d with a consciousness
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of a former acquaintance, being thus in the memory, are said to be
in the mind. The use I make of this is, that whatever Idea being not
actually in view, is in the mind, is there only by being in the mem-
ory; and if it be not in the memory, it is not in the mind; and if it be
in the memory, it cannot by the memory be brought into actual
view, without a perception that it comes out of the memory, which
is this, that it had been known before, and is now remembred. If
therefore there be any innate Ideas, they must be in the memory, or
else no where in the mind; and if they be in the memory, they can
be reviv’d without any impression from without, and whenever
they are brought into the mind, they are remembred, i.e. they
bring with them a perception of their not being wholly new to it.
This being a constant, and distinguishing difference between what
is, and what is not in the memory, or in the mind; that what is not
in the memory, whenever it appears there, appears perfectly new,
and unknown before; and what is in the memory, or in the mind,
whenever it is suggested by the memory, appears not to be new,
but the mind finds it in it self, and knows it was there before. By
this it may be tried, whether there be any innate Ideas in the mind
before impression from Sensation or Reflection. I would fain meet with
the Man, who when he came to the use of reason, or at any other
time remembred any of them: And to whom, after he was born, they
were never new. If any one will say, there are Ideas in the mind,
that are not in the memory; I desire him to explain himself, and
make what he says intelligible.
Locke Hum I, 4, §20, pp. 96-97-98