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Knowledge of it, by resolving it into its first Principles or component Parts, whether Species or Individuals, and describes the Natures and Properties of each of them separately; and thus you obtain the Knowledge of the Whole compleatly. This Method has place in teaching the Where used. Philological Sciences, as Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Metaphysics, Poetry, Philosophy, &c. as also in Anatomy, Algebra, &c. And indeed in many Cafes both the Synthetic and Analytic are conjoin'd, the better to find out Truth, and to communicate it.
The Rules of good Method, whether Ana- The Rules of lytic or Synthetic, are comprised under the fol- good Methoá. lowing Heads. (1.) It must be safe, your Propositions firm and well grounded in every Respect, that so they may be secure from Error. (2.) It should be plain and easy, that so it may exhibit a clear and comprehensive View of the whole Scheme and Design. (3.) It should be distinct, and free from all perplexing Mixture of Things which ought to be kept separate, that so Confusion may be evited. (4.) It should be plenary or full, so that nothing may be wanting that is proper and necessary. (5.) It should be port, or without Superfluity, and the Whole conducted with a well-concerted Brevity. (6.) It should be proper to the Subječt in hand, to the present Design, as well as to the Age and Place wherein you live. (7.) The Parts of the Difcourse should be well conneEted, dependent, and cohering by proper and graceful Transitions ; by which means the Reader is so insensibly entertain'd, and led on, that he knows not how to leave off till he hath arrived at the End,
Of METAPHYSICS or
ONTOLOGY, or the Science
NTOLOGY is a Science which ONTOLOGY
which is the Business of Physics or
Being, Entity, and Existence are all Syr:ony- Being, Entity, mous Words, and only signify the State of that and Existence, which is or doth exijt, purely as existing ; info- what. much that all particular Ideas, of Body, Form or Quality, are excluded, since Being is the absolute original State, and primary Property necessary to all of them.
But the same Words Being, Entity, Existence, The same ir a when used in a more restrain'd Sense, do also sig-resirain'd nify Things themselves which do exist, but then Senfe. it is simply and purely with regard to them as fucb, i. e, as Things existing only, without any Reference to Modes or Qualities inherent in them. As when we say, The Planets may
be inhabited by some Sort of Beings: The Fairies are not real buit imaginary Beings, &c. Tho' the Word
Beings is more commonly used than Entities, and Existence never in the Plural, and seldom
in the Singular to express the Thing existing. The Subje&t of In this Sense, Being or Entity is the Object Ontology. of this Science, which occafion'd'it to be call'd
Ontology by the Greeks, that Word with them importing the Do&trine of Beings abstractedly consider'd; and since the Notion of Being or Entity in the Abstract is the very Scul of this Science, it will be neceffary to explain in the next Place, what Abstračtion is, and what is meant by Being
in the Abstract. Abftraction ABSTRACTION, then, is that Faculty of what. the Mind, whereby we consider, and contem
plate the various Relations, Properties, and Qualities of Bodies, alone, or as they are in them. selves, and not as they are in the Bodies. By this Act of the Mind, we as it were separate and withdraw it from the Body and all other Modes and Relations, and view it in itself ; and thus (to speak with the Schools) we deduce a
Thing from a singular to an universal State. Ab1s of tivo straction is of two kinds, viz. Precisive and NeKinds. gative. Of Precipue
Precisive Abstraction is when we consider those Ábfiraction. Things apart, which cannot really exist apart ;
as when we consider a Mode or Property apart from the Subject, or one essential Mode without another. Thus I can consider that which we call white in a Wall, but in my Mind I can abstract this from its fingular State, in its Subject the Wall, and consider it in a more universal State, as a Quality which I call Whiteness ; and find it may be attributed to a great Variety of Subjects, as Milk, Snow, Chalk, Eggs, &c. Thus the round Shape of a Globe, I abstractedly consider as a Quality, and find it, as such, in several other Subjects, and of different
Kinds ; as the Roundness of a Circle, the Roundness of a Cylinder, &c. Also Whiteness and Roundness may be consider'd apart, not only from the Subjects the Wall and the Globe, but distinctly from all other Modes and Relntions belonging to them, as Height; Solidity, Weight, &c.
Negative Abstraction is when we consider one of Negative Thing separate from another, which may also Abftraction. exist without it. As when we conceive of a Subject without regarding its accidental Modes and Relations; or when we conceive of one Acci. dent without thinking of another. As when I conceive the Idea of a Needle, without the Idea of its Sharpness, it is a Negative Abstraction ;, and it is the same when I think of a Book, without the Idea of Reading or Writing; or when I think of reading without considering the Manner, whether Vocally or Mentally.
THINGS thus conceived of, or represented When Things apart from the Subject, in the Manner as above are said to be described, are said to be in the Abstract ; but
in the Abstract
or Concrete. when they are particularly consider'd with or inherent in their Subjects, they are then said to be consider'd in the Concrete or Subject. Or thus, we say, white, round, toll
, witty, weighty, lively, dead, mortal, &c. in the Concrete ; but, in the Abstract, we say, Whiteness, Roundness, Tallness, Wittiness, Weightiness, Liveliness, Deadness, Mertality, &c.
Having thus distinguish'd or specified the Manner of Conception of Being or Existence in our Minds; I shall next enumerate the kinds of Being, and then the peculiar Properties belonging thereto, and which distinguish them from one another.
I think all Being in the Universe may be di- of the Kinds stributed into two General Kirds, viz. (1.) Ma
of Being, fube
ftantial and Q3