The two sorts of matter from the proper object of our mind

Our idea of matter is, in effect, the last thing we could see if our vision was sharp enough. For example, I can see the width of a hair pretty easily, and if I just increased my visual powers by about six orders of magnitude I could see carbon atoms about as distinctly. If I could go on increasing my visual powers without limit, the last thing I saw would be matter, pure and simple. The Ancient/ Medieval idea of matter also considered something seen, but not as seen but as a thing. We therefore do not get closer to this idea of matter by introducing greater precision into our visual powers but by introducing greater precision into the power that sees things, that is, the subject of the visual appearance. There is a distinction in our proper object into what is properly sensed and what is not, and this gives rise to two senses of matter: the modern and Ancient-Medieval, respectively.


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