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Part One, Section Sixteen

25 September, 2015 - 12:32

But let us examine a little the received opinion.

It is said extension is a mode or accident of Matter, and that Matter is the substratum that supports it. Now I desire that you would explain to me what is meant by Matter’s supporting extension. Say you, I have no idea of Matter and therefore cannot explain it. I answer, though you have no positive, yet, if you have any meaning at all, you must at least have a relative idea of Matter; though you know not what it is, yet you must be supposed to know what relation it bears to accidents, and what is meant by its supporting them. It is evident ‘support’ cannot here be taken in its usual or literal sense—as when we say that pillars support a building; in what sense therefore must it be taken?