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portant remarks, (though expreffed in a form different from that which modern philofophers have introduced, and, perhaps, not altogether fo precife and accurate,) are to be found in the Difcourfes of Epictetus, and in the Meditations of Antoninus.* This doctrine of the Stoical school, Dr. Akenfide has in view in the following paffage :
"Action treads the path
"In which Opinion says he follows good,
* See what Epictetus has remarked on the χρησις δια δεῖ φαντασιών. (Arrian, l. i. c. 12.) Οια ἂν πολλακις φαντασθης, τοιαύτη σοι εσται ἡ διανοια. βάπτεται γαρ ὑπο των φαντασίων ή ψυχη. βαπτε 8ι αντην, τη συνεχεια των τοιύτων φαντασίων, &c. &c. ānton, l. v. c
+ Pleasures of Imagination, b iii.
General Remarks on the Subjects treated in the foregoing Sections of this Chapter.
IN perusing the foregoing Sections of this Chapter, I am aware, that fome of my readers may be apt to think that many of the obfervations which I have made, might eafily be refolved into more general principles. I am alfo aware, that, to the followers of Dr. Hartley, a fimilar objection will occur against all the other parts of this work; and that it will appear to them the effect of inexcufable prejudice, that I should stop short fo frequently in the explanation of phenomena; when he has accounted in fo fatiffactory a manner, by means of the affociation of ideas, for all the appearances which human nature exhibits.
To this objection, I fhall not feel myfelf much interested to reply, provided it be granted that my obfervations are candidly and accurately ftated fo far as they reach. Suppofing that in fome cafes I may have stopped fhort too foon, my fpeculations, although they may be cenfured as imperfect, cannot be confidered as ftanding in oppofition to the conclufions of more fuccefsful inquirers.
May I be allowed farther to obferve, that fuch views of the human mind as are contained in this work, (even fuppofing the objection to be wellfounded,) are, in my opinion, indifpenfably neceffary, in order to prepare the way for thofe very general and comprehenfive theories concerning it, which fome eminent writers of the prefent age have been ambitious to form. ?
Concerning the merit of these theories, I shall not prefume to give any judgment. I fhall only remark,
that, in all the other sciences, the progrefs of difcovery has been gradual, from the lefs general to the more general laws of nature; and that it would be fingular, indeed, if, in the Philofophy of the Human Mind, a fcience, which but a few years ago was confeffedly in its infancy, and which certainly labours under many difadvantages peculiar to itself, a step should, all at once, be made to a fingle principle comprehending all the particular phenomena which we know.
Suppofing fuch a theory to be completely established, it would ftill be proper to lead the minds of ftudents to it by gradual steps. One of the most important uses of theory, is to give the memory a permanent hold, and a prompt command, of the particular facts which we were previously acquainted with; and no theory can be completely underftood, unless the mind be led to it nearly in the or der of investigation.
It is more particularly useful, in conducting the Studies of others, to familiarise their minds, as completely as poffible, with thofe laws of nature for which we have the direct evidence of sense, or of consciousness, before directing their inquiries to the more abftruse and refined generalizations of speculative curiosity. In natural philofophy, fuppofing the theory of Bofcovich to be true, it would ftill be proper, or rather indeed abfolutely neceffary, to accuftom ftudents, in the firft ftage of their physical edu. cation, to dwell on thofe general phyfical facts which fall under our actual obfervation, and about which all the practical arts of life are converfant. In like manner, in the philofophy of mind, there are many general facts for which we have the direct evidence of consciousness. The words Attention, Conception, Memory, Abftraction, Imagination, Curiofity, Ambition, Compaffion, Refentment, express powers and principles of our nature, which
every man may ftudy by reflecting on his own in-. ternal operations. Words correfponding to thefe, are to be found in all languages, and may be confidered as forming the first attempt towards a philophical claffification of intellectual and moral phenomena. Such a claffification, however imperfect and indistinct, we may be affured, muft have fome foundation in nature; and it is at leaft prudent, for a philofopher to keep it in view as the ground-work of his own arrangement. It not only directs our attention to thofe facts in the human conftitution, on which every folid theory in this branch of fcience must be founded; but to the facts, which, in all ages, have appeared to the common fenfe of mankind, to be the most striking and important; and of which it ought to be the great object of theorists, not to fupercede, but to facilitate the ftudy.
There is indeed good reafon for believing, that many of the facts which our confcioufnefs would lead us to confider, upon a superficial view, as últimate facts are refolvable into other principles ftill more general. "Long before we are capable of "reflection," (fays Dr. Reid) "the original per"ceptions and notions of the mind are fo mixed, "compounded and decompounded, by habits, affo"ciations, and abstractions, that it is extremely "difficult for the mind to return upon its own
footsteps, and trace back thofe operations which "have employed it fince it first began to think "and to act." The fame author remarks, that, "if we could obtain a diftinct and full history " of all that hath paffed in the mind of a child, from "the beginning of life and fenfation, till it grows up " to the use of reason; how its infant faculties be
gan to work, and how they brought forth and ripened all the various notions, opinions, and fenti"ments, which we find in ourselves when we come to "be capable of reflection; this would be a treasure of
"Natural History, which would probably give more light into the human faculties, than all the fyftems "of philofophers about them, fince the beginning of "the world." To accomplish an analysis of these complicated phenomena into the fimple and original principles of our conftitution, is the great object of this branch of philofophy; but, in order to fucceed, it is neceffary to ascertain facts before we begin to reason, and to avoid generalizing, in any inftance, till we have completely fecured the ground that we have gained. Such a caution, which is neceffary in all the fciences, is, in à more peculiar manner, neceffary here, where the very facts from which all our inferences must be drawn, are to be ascertained only by the moit patient attention; and, where almost all of them are, to a great degree, disguised: partly by the inaccuracies of popular language, and partly by the mistaken theories of philofophers.
I have only to add, that, although I have retained the phrase of the Affociation of Ideas, in compliance with common language, I am far from being completely fatisfied with this mode of expreffion. I have retained it, chiefly that I might not expofe myself to the cenfure of delivering old doctrines in a new form.
As I have endeavored to employ it with caution, I hope that it has not often mifled me in my reafonings. At the fame time, I am more and more convinced of the advantages to be derived from a reformation of the common language, in moft of the branches of fcience. How much fuch a reformation has effected in Chemiftry is well known; and it is evidently much more neceffary in the Philofophy of Mind, where the prevailing language adds to the common inaccuracies of popular expreffions, the peculiar difadvantage of being all fuggefted by the analogy of matter. Often, in the compofition of this