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portant remarks, (though expressed in a form different from that which modern philosophers have introduced, and, perhaps, not altogether fo precise and accurate,) are to be found in the Discourses of Epic. tetus, 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
“ Here vice begins then.”+ * See what Epictetus has remarked on the renois ora dei Partaσιών. (Arrian, 1. i. c. 12.) “Oια αν πολλακις φαντασθης, τοιαυτη σου εσται η διανοια. βαπτεται γαρ υπο των φαντασιων η ψυχη βαπτε 81 αντην, τη συνεχεια των τοιχτων φαντασιων, αο. &c. Anton, 1. ν. ο 16.
+ Pleasures of Imagination, ) 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 some of my readers may be apt to think that many of the observations which I have made, might easily be resolved into more general principles. I am also aware, that, to the followers of Dr. Hartley, a similar objection will occur against all the other parts of this work; and that it will appear to them the effect of inexcusable 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 association of ideas, for all the appearances which human pature exhibits.
To this objection, I shall not feel myself much interested to reply, provided it be granted that my observations are candidly and accurately ftated so far as they reach. Supposing that in some cases I may have stopped short too foon, my speculations, although they may be censured as imperfect, cannot be considered as standing in opposition to the conclufions of more successful inquirers.
May I be allowed farther to observe, that such views of the human mind as are contained in this work, (even fupposing the objection to be wellfounded,) are, in my opinion, indispensably neceffary, in order to prepare the way for those very general and comprehensive theories concerning it, which fome eminent writers of the present age have been ambitious to form.?
Concerning the merit of thele theories, I shall not presume to give any judgment. I shall only remark,
that, in all the other sciences, the progress of discov. ery has been gradual, from the less general to the more general laws of nature; and that it would be singular, indeed, if, in the Philofophy of the Human Mind, a science, which but a few years ago was confessedly in its infancy, and which certainly labours under many disadvantages peculiar to itself, a step should, all at once, be made to a single principle comprehending all the particular phenomena which we know.
Supposing such a theory to be completely established, it would still be proper to lead the minds of students 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 underItood, unless the mind be led to it nearly in the or, der of investigation.
It is more particularly useful, in conducting the Itudies of others, to familiarise their minds, as completely as possible, with those laws of nature for which we have the direct evidence of sense, or of consciousness, before directing their inquiries to the more abstruse and refined generalizations of speculative curioaty. In natural philosophy, supposing the theory of Boscovich to be true, it would still be pro. per, or rather indeed absolutely necessary, to accustom students, in the first stage of their physical edu. cation, to dwell on those general physical facts which fall under our actual observation, and about which all the practical arts of life are conversant. 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, Abstraction, Imagination, Curiosity, Ambition, Compassion, Refentment, express powers and principles of our nature, which every mạn may ftudy by reflecting on his own internal operations. Words corresponding to these, are to be found in all languages, ard may be consid. ered as forming the first
attempt towards a philophical claflification of intellectual and mora! phenomena. Such a classification, however imperfect and indistinct, we may be afsured, must have some foundation in nature; and it is at least prudent, for a philosopher to keep it in view as the ground-work of his own arrangement. It not only directs our attention to those facts in the human constitution, on which every solid theory in this branch of science must be founded ; but to the facts, which, in all ages, have appeared to the common sense 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 reason for believing, that many of the facts which our consciousness would lead us to consider, upon a superficial view, as ultimate facts are resolvable into other principles ftiti more general. “ Long before we are capable of “ reflection," (says Dr. Reid) “ the original per“ ceptions and notions of the mind are so mixed,
compounded and decompounded, by habits, affo“ ciations, and abstractions, that it is extremely 6. difficult for the mind to return upon its own « footsteps, and trace back those operations which “ have employed it since it first began to think " and to act." The same author remarks, that, 66 if we could obtain a distinct and full history " of all that hath passed in the mind of a child, from " the beginning of life and sensation, till it grows up co 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 senti- ments, which we find in ourselves when we come to “ be capable of reflection; this would be a treafure of
“ Natural History, which would probably give more “ light into the human faculties, than all the systems “ of philosophers about them, since the beginning of .“ the world.” To accomplish an analysis of these complicated phenomena into the simple and original principles of our conftitution, is the great object of this branch of philosophy; but, in order to succeed, it is necessary to ascertain facts before we begin to reason, and to avoid generalizing, in any instance, till we have completely secured the ground that we have gained. Such a caution, which is necessary in all the sciences, is, in a more peculiar manner, neces. sary here, where the very facts from which all our inferences must be drawn, are to be ascertained only by the most 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 philosophers.
I have only to add, that, although I have retained the phrase of the Association of Ideas, in compliance with common language, I am far from being completely satisfied with this mode of expression. I have retained it, chiefly that I might not expose myself to the censure of delivering old doctrines in a new form.
As I have endeavored to employ it with caution, I hope that it has not often milled me in my reafonings. At the same time, I am more and more convinced of the advantages to be derived from a reformation of the common language, in most of the branches of science. How much such a reformation has effected in Chemistry is well known; and it is evidently much more necessary in the Philosophy of Mind, where the prevailing language adds to the common inaccuracies of popular expressions, the peculiar disadvantage of being all fuggefted by the a. nalogy of matter. Often, in the composition of this