"Aristotle, indeed, affirms the Mind to be at first a mere Rasa Tabula; and that these Notions are not ingenite, and imprinted by the Finger of Nature, but by the latter and more languid Impressions of Sense; being only the Reports of Observation, and the Result of so many repeated Experiments."
— South, Robert (1634-1716)
But to this I answer two Things.
(1.) That these Notions are universal; and what is universal must needs proceed from some universal, constant Principle, the [end page 17] same in all Particulars, which here can be nothing else but human Nature.
(2.) These cannot be infused by Observation, because they are the Rules by which Men take their first Apprehensions and Observations of Things, and therefore in Order of Nature must needs precede them: As the Being of the Rule must be before its Application to the thing directed by it. From whence it follows, that these were Notions not descending from us, but born with us; not our Off-spring, but our Brethren; and (as I may so say) such as we were taught without the help of a Teacher.