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out this principle of expectation, it would be impoffible for us to accommodate our conduct to the eftablished course of nature; and, accordingly, we find that it is a principle coëval with our very existence; and, in some measure, common to man with the lower animals.

It is an obvious consequence of this doctrine, that, although philosophers be accustomed to state what are commonly called the laws of nature, in the form of general propositions, it is by no means neceffary for the practical purposes of life, that we should express them in this manner; or even that we should express them in words at all. The philosopher, for example, may state it as a law of nature, that "fire scorches ; " or that “ heavy bodies, when unsupported, fall downwards :" but, long before the use of artificial signs, and even before the dawn of reason, a child learns to act upon both of these suppositions. In doing so, it is influenced merely by the instinctive principle which has now been mentioned, directed in its operation (as is the case with many other inftincts) by the experience of the individual. If man, therefore, had been destined for no other purposes, than to acquire such an acquaintance with the course of nature, as is necessary for the preservation of his animal existence ; he might bave fulfilled all the ends of his being without the use of language.

pleasure to remark a coincidence of opinion among different philosophers ; particularly among men of original genius, and who have been educated in different philosophical systems. The following passage, in which M. de Condorcet gives an account of some of the metaphysical opinions of the late Mr. Turgot, approaches very nearly to Dr. Reid's. doctrines. “ La mémoire de nos sensations, et la faculté

que nous avons de réfléchir sur ces sensations passées et de les " combiner, sont le seul principe de nos connoissances. La " supposition qu'il existe des loix constantes auxquelles " tous les phénomenes observes sont assujettis de maniere " à reparoitre dans tous les temps, dans toutes les circon

stances, tels qu'ils sont déterminés par ces loix, est le “ seul fondement de la certitude de ces connoissances.

“ Nous avons la conscience d'avoir observé cette constance, et un sentiment involontaire nous force de croire qu'elle continuera de subsister. La probabilité qui en resulte, quelque grande qu'elle soit, n'est pas une certitude. Aucune relation nécessaire ne lie pour nous le

passé à l'avenir, ni la constance de ce que j'ai vu à celle “ de ce que j'aurois continué d'observer si j'étois resté dans " des circonstances semblables ; mais l'impression qui me

porte à regarder comme existant, comme réel ce qui m'a

présenté ce caractere de constance est irrésistible.”_Vie de T'URGO'r, partie ii. p. 56.

“ Quand un François et un Anglois present de même, (says Voltaire, il faut bien qu'ils aient raison.

As we are enabled, by our instinctive anticipation of physical events, to accommodate our conduct to what we foresee is to happen, so we are enabled, in many cases, to increase our power, by employing physical causes as instruments for the accomplishment of our purposes ; nay, we can employ a series of such causes, to as to accomplish very remote effects. We can employ the agency of air, to increase the heat of a furnace; the furnace, to render iron malleable ; and the iron to all the various purposes of the mechanical arts. Now, it appears to me, that all this may be conceived and done without the aid of language : and yet, assuredly, to discover a series of means subservient to a particular end; or, in other words, an effort of mechanical invention ; implies, according to the common doctrines of philosophers, the exercise of our reasoning powers. In this sense, therefore, of the word reasoning, I am inclined to think, that it is not essentially connected with the faculty of generalisation, or with the use of signs.

It is some confirmation of this conclusion, that savages, whose minds are almoit wholly occupied with particulars, and who have neither inclination nor capacity for general speculations, are yet occ3Gionally observed to employ a long train of means for accomplifhing a particular purpose. Even something of this kind, but in a very inferior degree, may, I think, be remarked in the other animals, and that they do not carry it farther, is probably not the effect of their want of generalisation, but of the imperfection of some of those faculties which are common to them with our species ; particularly of their powbers of attention and recollection. The instances which are commonly produced, to prove that they are not deftitute of the power of reasoning, are all examples of that species of contrivance which has been mentioned ; and are perfectly distinct from those intel. lectual processes to which the use of figns is essentially subservient.*

One of the best attested instances which I have met with, of sagacity in the lower animals, is mentioned by M. Bailly, in his Lettre sur les Animaux, addressed to M. Le Roy.

“Un de mes amis, homme d'esprit et digne de confiance, i m'a raconté deux faits dont il a été témoin. Il avoit un

singe très intelligent ; il s'amufoit à lui donner des noix ** dont l'animal étoit très friand ; mais il les plaçoit assez " loin, pour que retenu par sa chaine, le singe ne pût pas les *s atteindre : après bien des efforts inutiles qui ne servent

qu'à préparer l'invention, le singe, voyant passer un do

mestique portant une serviette sous le bras, fe saisit de “ cette serviette, et s'en servit pour atteiodre à la noix et “ l'amener jusqu'à lui. La maniere de casser la noix exi

gea une nouvelle invention ; il en vint à bout, en plaçant " la noix à terre, en y faifant tomber de haut une pierre ou

un caillou pour la briser. Vous voyez, Monsieur, que

sans avoir connu, comme Gallilée, les loix de la chûte des “corps, le singe avoit bien remarqué la force que ces corps " acquigrent par la chûte. Ce moyen cependant se trouva

en défaut. Un jour qu'il avoit plu, la terre étoit molle, " la noix enfonçoit, et la pierre n'avoit plus d'action pour “la briser. Que fie le singe ? Il alla chercher un ruileau,

plaça la noix dessus, et en laissant tomber la pierre il brisa Bi la noix qui n'enfonçoit plus." -Discours et memoires para


Whether that particular species of mechanical contrivance which has now been mentioned, and which consists merely in employing a series of physical caufes to accomplish an effect which we cannot produce immediately, should or should not be dignified with the name of reasoning, I shall not now inquire. It is sufficient for my present purpose to remark, that it is effentially different from those intellectual processes to which the use of signs is indispensibly neceffary. At the same time, I am ready to acknowl. edge, that what I have now faid, is not strictly applicable to those more complicated mechanical inventions, in which a variety of powers are made to conspire at once to produce a particular effect. Such contrivances, perhaps, may be found to involve proceffes of the niind which cannot be carried on with out signs. But these questions will fall more properly under our consideration when we enter on the subject of reasoning.

In general, it may be remarked, that, in so far as our thoughts relate merely to individual objects, or to individual events, which we have actually perceived, and of which we retain a distinct remembrance,* we are not under the necessity of employing words. It frequently, however, happens, that when the subjects of our confideration are particular, our reasoning with respect to them may involve very general notions ; and, in such cafes, although we may conceive, without the use of words, the things about which we reason, yet we must necessarily have recourse to language in carrying on our speculations concerning them. If the subjects of our reasoning be general, (under which description I include all our reasonings, whether more or less comprehensive, which do not relate merely to individuals,) words are the fole objects about which our though employed. According as these words are comprehensive or limited in their signification, the conclufions we form will be inore or less general ; but this accidental circumstance does not in the least affect the nature of the intellectual process; so that it may be laid down as a proposition which holds without any exception, that, in every case, in which we ex

l'Auteur de l'Histoire de l’Astronomie. A Paris, 1790, tome ii. p. 126.

Admiiting these facts to be accurately stated, they still leave an essential distinction between man and brutes ; for in none of the contrivances here mentioned, is there, any thing analogous 10 tose intellectual processes which lead the mind to general conclusions, and which (according to the foregoing doctrine) imply the use of the general terms, Those puwers, therefore, which enable us to classify objects, and to employ signs as an iostrument of thought, are, as far as we can judge, peculiar to the human species.

* I have ihought it proper to add this limitation of the general proposition ; because individual objecis, and individual events, which have not fallen under the examination of our senses cannot possibly be made the subjects of our consideration, but by means of language. The manner in which we think of such objects and events, is accurately described in the following passage of Wollaston ; however unphilosophical the conclusion may be which he deduces from his reasoning.

“ A man is not known ever the more to posterity, because his name is transmitted to them ; he doth not live, because “ his name does. When it is said, Julius Cæsar subdued “Gaul, beat Pompey, changed the Roman commonwealth " into a monarchy, &c. it is the same thing as to say, the

conqueror of Pompey was Cæsar ; that is, Cæsar, and the conqueror of Pompey, are the same thing; and Cæsar is

as much known by the one distinction as the other.“ The amount then is only this : chat the conqueror of “ Pompey conquered Pompev ; or somebody conquered Pompey; or rather, since Pompey is as little known now " as Cæsar, somebody conquered somebody. Such a poor “ business is this boasted iinmortality ; and such, as has been here described, is the ihing called glory among us!"

Religion of Nat. Del. p. 117.



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