The acts of the mind, wherein it exerts its power over simple ideas, are chiefly these three:
1. Combining several simple ideas into one compound one, and thus all complex ideas are made.
2. The second is bringing two ideas, whether simple or complex, together, and setting them by one another so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them into one, by which it gets all its ideas of relations.
3. The third is separating them from all other ideas that accompany them in their real existence: this is called abstraction, and thus all its general ideas are made.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
John Locke (1690)
(Found in epigraph to the book Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs )
In Book II of the Essay, Locke gives his positive account of how we acquire the materials of knowledge. Locke distinguishes a variety of different kinds of ideas in Book II. Locke holds that the mind is a tabula rasa or blank sheet until experience in the form of sensation and reflection provide the basic materials—simple ideas—out of which most of our more complex knowledge is constructed. While the mind may be a blank slate in regard to content, it is plain that Locke thinks we are born with a variety of faculties to receive and abilities to manipulate or process the content once we acquire it. Thus, for example, the mind can engage in three different types of action in putting simple ideas together. The first of these kinds of action is to combine them into complex ideas. Complex ideas are of two kinds, ideas of substances and ideas of modes. Substances are independent existences. Beings that count as substances include God, angels, humans, animals, plants and a variety of constructed things. Modes are dependent existences. These include mathematical and moral ideas, and all the conventional language of religion, politics and culture. The second action which the mind performs is the bringing of two ideas, whether simple or complex, by one another so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them. This gives us our ideas of relations (II.12.1, N: 163). The third act of the mind is the production of our general ideas by abstraction from particulars, leaving out the particular circumstances of time and place, which would limit the application of an idea to a particular individual. In addition to these abilities, there are such faculties as memory which allow for the storing of ideas.
WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – Thousands of abortion rights supporters rallied across the United States on Saturday, angered by the prospect that the Supreme Court may soon overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide a half century ago.
The protests kicked off what organizers predict will be a “summer of rage” ignited by the May 2 disclosure of a draft opinion showing the court’s conservative majority ready to reverse the 1973 ruling that established a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy.
The court’s final ruling, which could return the power to ban abortion to state legislatures, is expected in June. About half of the 50 states are poised to ban or severely restrict abortion almost immediately should Roe be struck down. read more
“If you can’t choose whether you want to have a baby, if that’s not a fundamental right, then I don’t know what is,” said Brita Van Rossum, 62, a landscape designer who traveled from suburban Philadelphia to join the abortion-rights rally in the nation’s capital, her first ever.
But the salient feature of the absurd age I was at – an age which for all its alleged awkwardness, is prodigiously rich – is that reason is not its guide, and the most insignificant attributes of other people always appear to be consubstantial with their personality. One lives among monsters and gods, a stranger to peace of mind. There is scarcely a single one of our acts from that time which we would not prefer to abolish later on. But all we should lament is the loss of the spontaneity that urged them upon us. In later life, we see things with a more practical eye, one we share with the rest of society; but adolescence was the only time when we ever learned anything.
When the petition to get James Hong a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame began, the response was immediate and overwhelming. Recognizing the groundbreaking body of work from the 93-year-old actor, who has more than 650 credits to his name, actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim started a crowdfunding campaign in 2020 to raise the $55,000 necessary for the star. The goal was met within four days.
The only person who didn’t respond right away was Hong himself. “In actuality, I didn’t hear a thing,” Hong says with a laugh. “Somehow the internet wasn’t quite working or I didn’t get the email. The next thing I hear, they had the money already.”
Hong, who will receive his star in a ceremony on May 10, is still somewhat overwhelmed by the honor. “I want to thank all the fans and friends who donated their money. It boggles my mind to think that there’s enough people out there who would do that,” he says. “And I don’t know who they are, so I’ll just have to thank them through your article.”
Justin Cobb: I just came here for a checkup.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Really? Justin, I’m sorry if I contributed to any feelings of shame you may have about your thumb. I’ve been reading up on it. Medically, psychologically, there’s nothing really wrong with thumb sucking.
Justin Cobb: I don’t think I can agree with that.
Dr. Perry Lyman: No, really. Look. Justin… there was nothing wrong with you.
Justin Cobb: It felt like everything was wrong with me.
Dr. Perry Lyman: That’s ’cause we all wanna be problemless. To fix ourselves. We look for some magic solution to make us all better, but none of us really know what we’re doing. And why is that so bad? That’s all we humans can do. Guess. Try. Hope. But, Justin, just pray you don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve got the answer. Because that’s bullshit. The trick is living without an answer. I think.
[both chuckle and laugh]
Dr. Perry Lyman: [Dr. Perry chuckles and lights another cigarette] I think.