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immediate presence of these types, than 'tis possible for us to do, merely by an intellectual view and contemplation. Sensible objects have always a greater influence on the fancy than any other; and this influence they readily convey to those ideas, to which they are related, and which they resemble. I shall only infer from these practices, and this reasoning, that the effect of resemblance in enlivening the ideas is very common; and as in every case a resemblance and a present imprefsion must concur, we are abundantly supplied with experiments to prove the reality of the foregoing principle.
We may add force to these experiments by others of a different kind, in confi. dering the effects of contiguity as well as of resemblance. 'Tis certain that distance diminishes the force of every idea, and that upon our approach to any object; tho' it does not discover itself to our senses ; it operates upon the mind with an influence, which imitates an immediate impression. The thinking on any object readily transports the mind to what is contiguous; but 'cis only the actual presence of an object, that transports it with a superior vivacity. When I am a few miles from home, whatever relates to it touches me more nearly than when I am two hundred leagues distant; tho' even at that distance the reflecting on any thing in the neighborhood of my friends or family naturally produces an idea of them. But as in this latter case, both the objects of the mind are ideas; notwithstanding there is an easy transition betwixt them; that transition alone is not able to give a superior vivacity to any of the ideas, for want of some immediate impression
No one can doubt but causation has the same influence as the other two relations of resemblance and contiguity. Superstitious people are fond of the relicts of saints and holy men, for the same reason, that they seek after types or images, in order to enliven their devotion, and give them a more intimate and strong conception of those exemplary lives, which they desire to imitate. Now 'tis evident, that one of the best relicts, which a devotee could procure, would be the handywork of a saint ; and if his cloaths and furniture are ever to be considered in this light, 'tis because they were once at his disposal, and were moved and affected by him; in which respect they are to be considered as imperfect effects, and as connected with him by a shorter chain of consequences than any of those, by which we learn the reality of his existence.
SUPPOSE, that the son of a friend, who had been long dead or absent were presented to us; 'tis evident, that this object would instantly revive its correlative idea, and recal to our thoughts all past intimacies and familiarities in more lively
any of the cts, and wed by him:
1“ Naturane nobis, inquit, datum dicam, an “ XENOCRATES, hic ejus audi'or POTEMO; cu. “ errore quodam, ut, cum ea loca videamus, in qui. “ jus ipsa illa sellio fuit, quam videamus. Equidem “ bus memoria dignos viros acceperimus multum “ etiam curiam noftram, Hostiliam dico, non « esse versatos, magis moveamur, quam fiquando « hanc novam, quæ mihi minor effe videtur post“ eorum ipso um aut facta audiamus aut scriptum “ quam est major, folebam intuens, SCIPIONEM, “ aliquod legamus ? Velut ego nunc moveor. “ Čaronem, LÆLIUM, noftrum vero in pri. “ Venit enim mihi PLATONIS in mentem, quem " mis avum cogitare. Tanta vis admonitionis " accepimus primum hîc disputare folitum : Cu. “ eft in locis ; ut non fine causa ex his memoriæ “ jus etiam illi ho tuli propinqui non memoriam " deducta fit difciplina. CICERO de Finibus, « folum mihi afferunt, sed ipfum videntur in con- Lib. 5. " spectu meo hic ponere, Hic SpeUSIPPUS, hic
colors than they would otherwife have appeared to us. This is another phænomepon, which seems to prove the principle above-mentioned.
We may observe, that in thefe phænomena che belief of the correlative object is always pre-supposed; without which the relation could have no effect in enlivening the idea. The influence of the picture supposes, that we believe our friend to have once exifted. Contiguity to home can never excite our ideas of home, unless we believe that it really exists. Now I affert, that this belief, where it reaches beyond the memory or senses, is of a similar nature, and arises from similar cautes, with the transition of thought and vivacity of conception here explained. When I throw a piece of dry wood into a fire, my mind is immediately carried to conceive, that it augments, not extinguishes the flame. This transition of thought from the cause to the effect proceeds not from reason. It derives its origin altogether from custom and experience. And as it first begins from an object, prefent to the senfes, it renders the idea or conception of fame more ftrong and lively than any loose, floating reverie of the imagination. That idea arifes immediately. The thought moves instantly towards it, and conveys to it all that force of conception, which is derived from the impression present to the senses. When a sword is levelled at my breaft, does not the idea of wound and pain ftrike me more strongly, than when a glass of wine is prefented to me, even tho' by accident this idea fhould occur after the appearance of the latter object? But what is there in this whole matcer to cause fuch a Atrong conception, except only a present object and customary transition to the idea of another object, which we have been accustomed to conjoin with the fornier? This is the whole operation of the mind in all our conclusions concerning matter of fact and existence; and 'tis a fatisfaction to find some analogies, by which it may be explained: The transition from a prefent object does in all cases give strength and folidity to the related idea.
Here is a kind of pre-established harmony betwixt the course of nature and the succession of our ideas; and tho' the powers and forces, by which the former is governed, be wholly unknown to us; yet our choughts and conceptions have still, we find, gone on in the fame train with the other works of nature. Custom is that admirable principle, by which this correfpondence has been effected ; lo necessary to the subsistence of our fpecies, and the regulation of our conduct, in every circumstance and occurrence of human life. Had not the presence of an object inftantly excited the idea of those objects, commonly conjoined with it, all our knowjege must have been limited to the narrow sphere of our memory and senses; and we should never have been able to adjuft means to ends, nor employ our natural powers, either to the producing of good, or avoiding of evil. Those, who delight in the discovery and contemplation of final causes, have here ample subject on employ their wonder and admiracion.
I SHALL add, for a further confirmation of the foregoing theory, that as this cperation of the mind, by which we infer like effects from like causes, and vice verla, is so efTential to the subsistence of all human creatures, it is not probable that it could be trusted to the fallacious deductions of our reason, which is now in its operations ; appears not, in any degree, during the first years of infancy; and at best is, in every age and period of human life, extremely liable to error and mia stake. 'Tis more conformable to the ordinary wisdom of nature to fecure so neceffary an act of the mind, by some instinct or mechanical tendency, which may be infallible in its operations, may discover itself at the first appearance of life and thought, and may be independent of all the labored deductions of the understand. ing. As nature has taught us the use of our limbs, without giving us the knowlege of the muscles and nerves, by which they are actuated; so has she implanted in us an instinct, which carries forward the thought in a correspondent course to that which she has established among external objects"; tho' we are ignorant of those powers and forces, on which this regular course and fuccefsion of objects totally depends.
his receives a p in which we Cots on four would be more
THOthere be no fuch thing as Cbance in the world; our ignorance of the
I real cause of any event has the same influence on the understanding, and begets a like species of belief or opinion. i .
There is certainly a probability, which arises from a superiority of chances on any fide; and according as this superiority encreases, and surpasses the opposite chances, the probability receives a proporcionable encrease, and begets still a higher degree of belief or afsent to that fide, in which we discover the superiority. If a dye were marked with one figure or number of spots on four sides, and with another figure or number of spots on the two remaining sides, it would be more probable, that the former should turn up than the latter; tho' if it had a thousand sides marked in the same manner, and only one fide different, the probability would be much higher, and our belief or expectation of the event more steady and secure. This process of the thought or reasoning may seem trivial and obvious; but to those, who consider it more narrowly, it may, perhaps, afford matter for very curious speculations. . .
It seems evident, that when the mind looks forward to discover the event, which may result from the throw of such a dye, it considers the turning up of each particular side as alike probable; and this is the very nature of chance, to render all the particular events, comprehended in it, entirely equal. But finding a greater number of sides concur in the one event than in the other, the mind is carried more frequently to that event, and meets it oftener, in revolving the va, rious possibilities or chances, on which the ultimate result depends. This concurrence of several views in one particular event begets immediately, by an inexplicable contrivance of nature, the sentiment of belief, and gives that event the advantage over its antagonist, which is supported by a smaller number of views, and recurs less frequently to the mind. If we allow, that belief is nothing but a
* Mr. Locke divides all arguments into de. vide arguments into demonftrations, proofs, and monstrative and probable. In this view, we must probabilities. By proofs meaning such arguments say, that 'tis only probable all men muft die, or from experience as leave no room for doubt or that the sun will rise to morrow. But to conform opposition. our language more to common use, we Mould di
firmer firmer and stronger conception of an object than what attends the mere fictions of the imagination, this operation may, perhaps, in fome measure, be accounted for. The concurrence of these several views or glimpses imprints its idea more strongly on the imagination ; gives it superior force and vigor ; renders its influence on the passions and affections more sensible ; and in a word, begets that reliance or security, which conttitutes the nature of belief and opinion.
THĘ case is the same with the probability of causes, as with that of chance. There are some causes, which are entirely uniform and constant in producing a particular effect ; and no instance has ever yet been found of any failure or irregularity in their operation. Fire has always burnt, and water suffocated every human creature: The production of motion by impulse and gravity is an universal law, which has hitherto admitted of no exception. But there are other causes which have been found more irregular and uncertain ; nor has rhubarb proved always a purge, or opium a soporific to every one, who has taken these medicines. 'Tis true, when any cause fails of producing its usual effect, philosophers ascribe not this to any irregularity in nature ; but suppose, that some secret causes, in the particular structure of parts, have prevented the operation. Our reasonings, however, and conclusions concerning the event are the same as if this principle had no place. Being determined by custom to transfer the past to the future, in all our inferences; where the past has been entirely regular and uniform, we expect the event with the greatest assurance, and leave no room for any contrary supposition. But where different effects have been found to follow from causes, which are to apo pearance exactly similar, all these various effects must occur to the mind in transfering the past to the future, and enter into our consideration, when we determine the probability of the event. Tho' we give the preference to that which has been found most usual, and believe that this effect will exist, we must not overlook the other effects, but must give each of them a particular weight and authority, in proportion as we have found it to be more or less frequent. 'Tis more probable, in every place of EUROPE, that there will be frost sometime in JANUARY, than that the weather will continue open thro'outthat whole month; tho'this probability varies according to the different climates, and approaches to a certainty in the more northern kingdoms. Here then it seems evident, that when we transfer the past to the future, in order to determine the effect, which will result from any cause, we tranf. fer all the different events, in the same proportion as they have appeared in the past, and conceive one to have existed a hundred times, for instance, another ten times, and another once. As a great number of views do here concur in one event, they fortify and confirm it to the imagination, beget that sentiment which we call belief, and give it the preference above its antagonist, which is not supported by an equal number of experiments, and occurs not so frequently to the thought in transferring the past to the future. Let any one try to account for this operation of the mind upon any of the received systems of philofophy, and he will be fenfible of the difficulty. For my part, I shall think it sufficient, if the present hints excite the curiosity of philosophers, and make them sensible how extremely defective all common theories are, in treating of such curious and such sublime subjects.
nce. As exifted a propor
Ś E C TI ON VII. OF THE IDEA OF NECESSARY CONNEXION.
ones of the mind, w of the mind, the operation folves distinct, ealily eica hieet, as often as we
er in themselves all the original is gradually
THE great advantage of the mathematical sciences above the moral consists
1 in this, that the ideas of the former, being sensible, are always clear and determinate, the smallest distinction between them is immediately perceptible, and the fame terms are still expressive of the same ideas, without ambiguity or variation. An oval is never mistaken for a circle, nor an hyperbola for an ellipsis, The isosceles and scalenum are distinguished by boundaries more exact than vice and virtue, right and wrong. If any term be defined in geometry, the mind readily, of itself, substitutes, on all occasions, the definition for the term defined : Or even when no definition is employed, the object itself may be presented to the senses, and by that means be steadily and clearly apprehended. But the finer sentiments of the mind, the operations of the understanding, the various agitations of the passions, tho' really in themselves distinct, easily escape us, when surveyed by reflection ; nor is it in our power to recall the original object, as often as we have occasion to contemplate it. Ambiguity, by this means, is gradually introduced into our reasonings : Similar objects are readily taken to be the same : And the conclusion becomes, at last, very wide of the premises.
· One may safely, however, affirm, that, if we consider these sciences in a proper light, their advantages and disadvantages very nearly compensate each other, and reduce both of them to a state of equality. If the mind with greater facility retains the ideas of geometry clear and determinate, it must carry on a much longer and more intricate chain of reasoning, and compare ideas much wider of each other, in order to reach the abstruser truths of that science. And if moral ideas are apt, without extreme care, to fall into obscurity and confusion, the inferences are always much shorter in these disquisitions, and the intermediate steps, which lead to the conclusion, much fewer than in the sciences, which treat of quantity and number. In reality, there is scarce a proposition of EUCLID so simple as not to consist of more parts, than are to be found in any moral reasoning, which runs not into chimera and conceit. Where we trace the principles of the human mind thro' a few steps, we may be very well fatisfied with our progress; considering how soon nature throws a bar to all our enquiries concerning causes, and reduces us to an acknowlegement of our ignorance. The chief obstacle, therefore, to our improvement in the moral or metaphysical sciences is the obfcurity of the ideas, and ambiguity of the terms. The principal difficulty in the mathematics is the length of inferences and compass of thought, requisite to the forming any conclusion. And perhaps, our progress in natural philosophy is chiefly retarded by the want of proper experiments and phænomena, which often are discovered by chance, and cannot always be found, when requisite, even by the moft diligent and prudent enquiry. As moral philosophy seems hitherto to have received less improve