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abstract or abridgment of that work for Le Clerc's Bib'iotheque Universelle, he omitted the whole of the Book on innate ideas.
Furthermore, the whole system of Mr. Locke (and the same may be said of the views of Reid, Stewart, De Ge
rando, and Brown, who cannot be considered in the prom; inent outlines of their doctrines as essentially differing
from him) is an indirect, but conclusive argument against connatural knowledge. If the principles which they advance be right, the doctrine of connatural knowledge is, of course, wrong, and requires no direct refutation. 0 47. Further remarks on the rise of knowledge by means of the sensce.
Considering it, therefore, as settled that there is no con natural knowledge, we recur with increased confidence to the principle which has been laid down in this chapter, that the mind is first brought into action by the inter mediation of the senses, and that the greater part of its earliest knowledge is from an external source.
The considerations that have been adduced in support of this doctrine are obvious and weighty; they account with much probability for the beginnings of thought and feeling, and are entirely decisive of the character of our early acquisitions in general. The subject, however, is still open to reflection, and, if it were needful, might be placed in other lights.
Let us, then, suppose a man entirely cut off from all outward material impressions, or, what is the same thing, with his senses entirely closed. It is very obvious, and the instances already brought forward clearly prove, that he would be entirely deprived of that vast amount of knowledge which has an immediate connexion with the
But this is not all; there are other ideas, whose connexion with the senses is less immediate, of which ne would not fail to be deprived, by being placed in the circunstances supposed. Even if he should possess the idea oi existence, and of himself as a thinking and sentient being (although we cannot well imagine how this should be, independently of some impression on the senses), still we have no reason to believe that he wculd know any thing of space of motion, of the place of objects, of
Now it will be noticed that these are elementary thoughts of great importance; such as are rightly considered essential to the appropriate action of the mind, and to its advancement in knowledge. What could he know of time without a knowledge of day and night, the rising and setting sun, the changes of the seasons, or some other of its measurements! What could he know of motion while utterly unable to form the idea of place! And what could he know of place without the aid of the senses! And, under such circumstances, what reasoning would he be capable of, further than to form the single proposition, that his feelings, whatever they might be, belonged to himself!
Look at the subject as we will, we must at last come to the conclusion, that the connexion of the mind with the material world by means of the senses is the basis, to a great extent at least, of our early mental history, and the only key that can unlock its explanation. A sketch of that part of the mind's history, without a reference to its relation to matter, would infallibly be found vague, imperfect, and false.—Let it suffice, then, to add here, that man is what he is in fact, and what he is designed to be in the present life, only by means of this connexion. He cannot free himself from it if he would ; and if he should succeed in the attempt, it would only result in self-prostration and imbecility. The forms of matter, operating through the senses, press, as it were, on the soul's secret power of harmony, and it sends forth the answer of its thought and feeling. The material creation, where Providence has fixed our dwelling-place, and this earthly tenement of our bodies, form the first scene of the mind's developement, the first theatre of its exercises, where it puts forth and enacts the incipient part in the great drama o its struggles, growth, and triumphs.
$ 49. All sensation is properly and truly in the mind. Sensation is often regarded as something having a position, and as taking place in the body, and particularly in the organ of sense.
The sensation of touch, as we seem to imagine, is in the hand, which is the organ of touch,
Although the opinion that sensation is not in the mind but in the body, is unfounded, it is not, perhaps, surprising that such a belief should have arisen. If the hand be palsied, there is no sensation of touch; if the ear be stopped, there is no sensation of hearing; if the eye
be closed, there is no vision ; hence it happens, that when we have these sensations, we are led to think of the organ or part of the bodily system, with the affection of which they are connected. When we feel a pain arising from an external cause, it is a natural, and often a useful curiosity which endeavours to learn the particular place in the body which is affected. This, which we are generally able to ascertain, always arrests our attention more or less. In this way we gradually form a very strong association, and almost unconsciously transfer the place of the inward sensation to that outward part, with which we have so frequently connected it in our thoughts. Although this is clearly a mere fallacy, the circumstance of its being a plausible and tenacious one renders it the more necessary to guard against it.
Ø 50. Sensations are not images or resemblances of objects. But while we are careful to assign sensations their true place in the mind, and to look upon what is outward in the body as merely the antecedents or causes of them, it is a matter of some consequence to guard against a danger directly the reverse of that which has been remarked on. We are apt to transfer to the sensation, considered as existing in the
mind, some of those qualities which belong to the external object. But, in point of fact, our sensations are by no means copies, pictures, or images of outward objects; nor are they representations of them in any material sense whatever; nor do they possess any of their qualities.
It is true, we often think it otherwise; constantly occupied with external objects, when in the act of contemplation we retire within the mind, we unwarily carry with us the form and qualities of matter, and stamp its likeness on the thought itself. But the thought, whatever it may by the constitution of our nature be the sign of, has no form, and presents no image analogous to what are out