But though in this view of things we can’t refuse to condemn the materialists, who conjoin all thought with •an extended body, a little thought will show us an equally strong reason for blaming their opponents, who conjoin all thought with •a simple and indivisible substance. The plainest and most down-to-earth philosophy informs us that an external object can’t make itself known to the mind immediately; it has to appear through the interposition of an image or perception. The table that appears to me right now is only a perception, and all its qualities are qualities of a perception. Now, the most obvious of all its qualities is extendedness. The perception consists of parts. These parts are arranged in such a way as to give us the notion of distance and closeness, of length, width, and thickness. The termini of these three dimensions create what we call shape. This shape is movable, separate, and divisible. Mobility and divisibility are the distinguishing properties of extended objects. And to cut short all disputes, the very idea of extendedness is copied from nothing but an impression, with which it must therefore perfectly agree. To say that the idea of extension ‘agrees with’ something is to say that the ‘something’ is extended.
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