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Brutes have Memory.       §10. This faculty of laying up, and retaining the Ideas, that are
brought into the Mind, several other Animals seem to have, to a great
degree, as well as Man. For to pass by other Instances, Birds learn-
ing of Tunes, and the endeavours one may observe in them, to hit
the Notes right, put it past doubt with me, that they have Per-
ception, and retain Ideas in their Memories, and use them for
Patterns. For it seems to me impossible, that they should endeavour
to conform their Voices to Notes (as ’tis plain they do) of which they
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had no Ideas. For though I should grant Sound may mechanically
cause a certain motion of the animal Spirits, in the Brains of those
Birds, whilst the Tune is actually playing; and that motion may be
continued on to the Muscles of the Wings, and so the Bird mechani-
cally be driven away by certain noises, because this may tend to the
Birds Preservation: yet that can never be supposed a Reason, why
it should cause mechanically, either whilst the Tune was playing,
much less after it has ceased, such a motion in the Organs of the
Bird’s Voice, as should conform it to the Notes of a foreign Sound,
which imitation can be of no use to the Bird’s Preservation. But
which is more, it cannot with any appearance of Reason, be sup-
posed (much less proved) that Birds, without Sense and Memory,
can approach their Notes, nearer and nearer by degrees, to a Tune
play’d yesterday; which if they have no Idea of in their Memory, is
now no-where, nor can be a Pattern for them to imitate, or which
any repeated Essays can bring them nearer to. Since there is no
reason why the sound of a Pipe should leave traces in their Brains,
which not at first, but by their after-endeavours, should produce the
like Sounds; and why the Sounds they make themselves, should not
make traces which they should follow, as well as those of the Pipe,
is impossible to conceive.
Locke Hum II, 10, §10, pp. 154-155