— 211 —
Our Idea of Space boundless.       §4. This, I think, is the way, whereby the Mind gets the Idea of
infinite Space. ’Tis a quite different Consideration to examine, whether
the Mind has the Idea of such a boundless Space actually existing, since
our Ideas are not always Proofs of the Existence of Things; but yet,
since this comes here in our way, I suppose I may say, that we are
apt to think, that Space in it self is actually boundless, to which
Imagination, the Idea of Space or Expansion of it self naturally leads
us. For it being considered by us, either as the Extension of Body,
or as existing by it self, without any solid Matter taking it up, (for
of such a void Space, we have not only the Idea, but I have proved,
as I think, from the Motion of Body, its necessary existence,) it is
impossible the Mind should be ever able to find or suppose any end
of it, or be stopp’d any where in its progress in this Space, how far
soever it extends its Thoughts. Any Bounds made with Body, even
Adamantine Walls, are so far from putting a stop to the Mind in its
farther progress in Space and Extension, that it rather facilitates and
enlarges it: For so far as that Body reaches, so far no one can doubt of
Extension; and when we are come to the utmost extremity of Body,
what is there, that can there put a stop, and satisfie the Mind, that it
is at the end of Space, when it perceives it is not; nay, when it is
satisfied that Body it self can move into it? For if it be necessary for
the motion of Body, that there should be an empty Space, though
never so little, here amongst Bodies; and it be possible for Body to
move in or through that empty Space; nay, it is impossible for any
particle of Matter to move but into an empty Space, the same
possibility of a Body’s moving into a void Space, beyond the utmost
Bounds of Body, as well as into a void Space interspersed amongst
— 212 —
Bodies, will always remain clear and evident, the Idea of empty pure
Space, whether within, or beyond the confines of all Bodies, being
exactly the same, differing not in Nature, though in Bulk; and there
being nothing to hinder Body from moving into it: So that where-
ever the Mind places it self by any thought, either amongst, or
remote from all Bodies, it can, in this uniform Idea of Space, no-
where find any bounds, any end; and so must necessarily conclude
it by the very Nature and Idea of each part of it, to be actually
infinite.
Locke Hum II, 17, §4, pp. 211-212