— 124 —
Distinct from Space.       §3. This Resistance, whereby it keeps other Bodies out of the
space which it possesses, is so great, That no force, how great
soever, can surmount it. All the Bodies in the World, pressing a drop
of Water on all sides, will never be able to overcome the Resistance,
which it will make, as soft as it is, to their approaching one another,
till it be removed out of their way: whereby our Idea of Solidity is
distinguished both from pure space, which is capable neither of Resist-
ance nor Motion; and from the ordinary Idea of Hardness. For a Man
may conceive two Bodies at a distance, so as they may approach
one another, without touching or displacing any solid thing, till
their Superficies come to meet: whereby, I think, we have the clear
Idea of Space without Solidity. For (not to go so far as annihilation of
any particular Body) I ask, Whether a Man cannot have the Idea of
the motion of one single Body alone, without any other succeeding
immediately into its Place? I think, ’tis evident he can: the Idea of
Motion in one Body, no more including the Idea of Motion in
another, than the Idea of a square Figure in one Body includes the
Idea of a square Figure in another. I do not ask, Whether Bodies do
so exist, that the motion of one Body cannot really be without the
motion of another. To determine this either way, is to beg the
Question for, or against a Vacuum. But my Question is, Whether
one cannot have the Idea of one Body moved, whilst others are at
rest? And, I think, this no one will deny: If so, then the Place it
deserted, gives us the Idea of pure Space without Solidity, whereinto
another Body may enter, without either Resistance or Protrusion
of any thing. When the Sucker in a Pump is drawn, the space it
filled in the Tube is certainly the same, whether any other Body
follows the motion of the Sucker or no: nor does it imply a contra-
diction, That upon the motion of one Body, another, that is only
contiguous to it, should not follow it. The necessity of such a motion,
is built only on the Supposition, That the World is full; but not on
the distinct Ideas of Space and Solidity: which are as different, as
Resistance and not Resistance, Protrusion and not Protrusion. And
that Men have Ideas of Space without Body, their very Disputes
about a Vacuum plainly demonstrate, as is shewed in another
Place.
Locke Hum II, 4, §3, p. 124