A "thoughtless, senseless, lifeless Soul" is the "Carcase of a Soul"

— Burnet, Thomas (c.1635-1715)

Place of Publication
Printed for M. Wotton, [etc.]
A "thoughtless, senseless, lifeless Soul" is the "Carcase of a Soul"
Metaphor in Context
I proceed now to another Difficulty in your Doctrine of the Soul, which I mentioned formerly. You think the Soul, when we are asleep, is without Thoughts or Perceptions. I am still at a loss, I confess, how to frame any Idea of a thoughtless, senseless, lifeless Soul. This Carcase of a Soul I cannot understand: If it neither have Cogitation, nor Extension, as you suppose, what Being or manner of Being it hath, I am not able to comprehend. It must be a Substance, and a particular finite Substance, and yet without any Mode. If you say you have no idea of it, why then do you affirm to introduce a new and unintelligible State of the Soul, whereof neither you, nor others, can have any Conception? However, you ought to tell us, how you bring the Soul out of this unintelligible State. What Cause can you assign able to produce the first Thought at the end of this Sleep and Silence, in a total Ecclipse and intermission of Thinking? Upon your Supposition That all our Thoughts perish in sound Sleep, and all Cogitation is extinct, we seem to have a new Soul every Morning. If a Flame be extinct, the same cannot return, but a new one may be made. If a Body cease to move, and come to perfect rest, the Motion it had cannot be restor'd, but a new Motion may be produc'd. If all Cogitation be extinct, all our Ideas are extinct, so far as they are Cogitations, and seated in the Soul: So we must have them new imprest; we are, as it were, new born and begin the World again. If you say, the Ideas remain in the Soul, in that State of Silence and Insensibility, and need only a new Excitation; Why then, say I, may not Infants have innate Ideas (which you so much oppose) that want only Objects and Occasions to excite and actuate them, with a fit disposition of the Brain.
(pp. 16-7)
Reading Burnet's three Remarks
Burnet, Thomas; Locke, John, and Porter, Noah. Remarks Upon an Essay Concerning Humane Understanding: Five Tracts. Garland Publishing, Inc. New York and London, 1984.
Lockean Philosophy
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.