Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ES SA Y IX.

Of the REASON of ANIMALS.

LL our reasonings concerning matter of fact

are founded on a species of ANALOGY, which leads us to expect from any cause the same events, which we have observ'd to result from similar causes. Where the causes are entirely similar, the analogy is perfect, and the inference, drawn from it, is regarded as certain and conclusive ; nor does any man ever entertain a doubt where he sees a piece of iron, that it will have weight and cohesion of parts ; as in all other instances, which have ever fallen under his observation. But where the objects have not so exact a fimilarity, the analogy is less perfect, and

the

the inference is less conclufive ; tho' still it has some - force, in proportion to the degrees of fimilarity and resemblance. The anatomical observations, formd upon one animal, are, by this species of reasoning, extended to all animals ; and 'tis certain, that when the circulation of the blood, for instance, is prov'd clearly to have place in one creature, as a frog or fish, it forms a strong presumption, that the fame principle has place in all. These analogical ob. fervations may be carry'd farther, even to this fcience, of which we are now treating ; and any theory, by which we explain the operations of the understanding of the origin and connexion of the paffions, in man, will acquire additional authority, if we find, that the same theory is requisite to explain the same phænomena, in all other animals. We fhall make trial of this, with regard to the hypothesis, by which, in the foregoing effays, we have. endeavour'd to account for all experimental reafonings; and 'tis hop'd, that this new point of view. will serve to confirm all our former observations.

Firft, It seems evident, that animals, as well as men, learn many things from experience, and infer, that the fame events will always follow from the fame caufes. By this principle, they become acquainted with the more obvious properties of external objects, and gradually, from their birth, treasure.

up

up a knowlege of the nature of fire, water, earth, stones, heights, depths, &c. and of the effects, which result from their operation. The ignorance and inexperience of the young are here plainly distinguishable from the cunning and fagacity of the old, who have learnt, by long observation, to avoid what hurt them, and to pursue what gave ease or pleafure. A horse, that has been accustom'd to the feld, becomes acquainted with the proper height, which he can leap, and will never attempt what exceeds his force and ability. An old greyhound will trust the more fatiguing part of the chace to the younger, and will place himself so as to meet the hare in her doubles ; nor are the conje&tures, which he forms on this occasion, founded in any thing but bis observation and experience.

· This is still more evident from the effects of dif. cipline and education on animals, who, by the proper application of rewards and punishments, may be taught any course of action, the most contrary to their natural instincts and propensities. Is it not experience, which renders a dog apprehensive of pain, when you menace him, or lift up the whip to beat him ? Is it not even experience, which makes him answer to his name, and infer, from such an arbitrary found, that you mean him, rather than any of his fellows, and intend to call him, when you pro..

Lot Dounce

[ocr errors]

the infere
force, in
resemblan
upon one
extended
the circul:
clearly to
filh, it for:
principle 1
fervations
Science, of
theory, by w
understanding
paffions, in mar

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

we find, that th
the fame phæno
kall make trial of
thefis, by which in

[ocr errors]

endeavour'd to accou fonings; and 'tis hop's will serve to confirm all.

* Dider Firi, It seems evident, men, learn many things from dinary s that the fame events will alv” fame caufes. By this principl quainted with the more obvious i nal objects, and gradually, from ti.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

of hu. rhaps,

expei comduet of line or to our. Sted by

as are ». Tho s, which as that, he art of order of

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »