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my life, not its cause. We could never have learned that we bad eyes but by the process of seeing; yet having seen we know that the eyes must have pre-existed in order to render the process of sight possible. Let us cross-examine Hartley's scheme under the guidance of this distinction ; and we shall discover, that contemporaneity, (Leibnitz's Lex Continui,) is the limit and condition of the laws of mind, itself being rather a law of matter, at least of phænomena considered as material. At the utmost, it is to thought the same, as the law of gravitation is to loco-motion. In every voluntary movement we first counteract gravitation, in order to avail ourselves of it. It must exist, that there may be a something to be counteracted, and which, by its re-action, may aid the force that is exerted to resist it. Let us consider what we do when we leap. We first resist the gravitating power by an act purely voluntary, and then by another act, voluntary in part, we yield to it in order to alight on the spot, which we had previously proposed to ourselves. Now let a man watch his mind while he is composing; or, to take a still more common case, while he is trying to recollect a name; and he will find the process completely analogous. Most of my readers will have observed a small water-insect on the surface of rivulets, which throws a cinque-spotted shadow fringed with prismatic colours on the sunny bottom of the brook ; and will have noticed, how the little animal wins its way up against the stream, by alternate pulses of active and passive motion, now resisting the current, and now yielding to it in order to gather strength and a momentary fulcrum for a further propulsion. This is no unapt emblem of the mind's self-experience in the act of thinking. There are evidently two powers at work, which relatively to each other are active and passive; and this is not possible without an intermediate faculty, which is at once both active and passive. In philosophical language, we must denominate this intermediate faculty in all its degrees and determinations, the IMAGINATION. But, in common language, and especially on the subject of poetry, we appropriate the name to a superior degree of the faculty, joined to a superior voluntary control over it.
Contemporaneity, then, being the common condition of all the laws of association, and a component element in the materia subjecta, the parts of which are to be associated, must needs be co-present with all. Nothing, therefore, can
be more easy than to pass off on an incautious mind this constant companion of each, for the essential substance of all. But if we appeal to our own consciousness, we shall find that even time itself, as the cause of a particular act of association, is distinct from contemporaneity, as the condition of all association. Seeing a mackerel, it may happen, that I immediately think of gooseberries, because I at the same time ate mackerel with gooseberries as the sauce. The first syllable of the latter word, being that which had coexisted with the image of the bird so called, I may then think of a goose.
In the next moment the image of a swan may arise before me, though I had never seen the two birds together. In the first two instances, I am conscious that their co-existence in time was the circumstance, that enabled me to recollect them; and equally conscious am I that the latter was recalled to me by the joint operation of likeness and contrast. So it is with cause and effect: so too with order. So I am able to distinguish whether it was proximity in time, or continuity in space, that occasioned me to recall B. on the mention of A. They cannot be indeed separated from contemporaneity; for that would be to separate them from the mind itself. The act of consciousness is indeed identical with time considered in its essence.
I mean time per se, as contra-distinguished from our notion of time; for this is always blended with the idea of space, which, as the opposite of time, is therefore its measure. Nevertheless the accident of seeing two objects at the same moment, and the accident of seeing them in the same place are two distinct or distinguishable causes: and the true practical general law of association is this; that whatever makes certain parts of a total impression more vivid or distinct than the rest, will determine the mind to recall these in preference to others equally linked together by the common condition of contemporaneity, or (wha: I deem a more appropriate and philosophical term) of continuity. But the will itself by confining and intensifying the attention may arbitrarily give vividness
1 l am aware, that this word occurs neither in Johnson's Dictionary nor in any classical writer. But the word, to intend, which Newton and others before him employ in this sense, is now so completely
appropriated to another meaning, that I could not use it without ambiguity : wbile to paraphrase the sense, as by render intense, would often break up the sentence and destroy that harmony of the position of the words with the logical position of the thoughts, which is a beauty in all composition, and more especially desirable in a close philosophical investigation. I have therefore bazarded the word, intensify: though, I confess, it sounds uncouth to my own car.
or distinctness to any object whatsoever; and from hence we may deduce the uselessness, if not the absurdity, of certain recent schemes which promise an artificial memory, but which in reality can only produce a confusion and debasement of the fancy. Sound logic, as the habitual subordination of the individual to the species, and of the species to the genus; philosophical knowledge of facts under the relation of cause and effect; a cheerful and communicative temper disposing us to notice the similarities and contrasts of things, that we may be able to illustrate the one by the other; a quiet conscience; a condition free from anxieties; sound health, and above all (as far as relates to passive remembrance) a healthy digestion; these are the best, these are the only Arts of Memory.
CHAPTER VIII The system of Dualism introduced by Des Cartes-Refined first by
Spinoza and afterwards by Leibnitz into the doctrine of Harmonia præstabilita—Hylozoism-Materialism-None of these systems, or any possible theory of association, supplies or supersedes a theory of
perception, or explains the formation of the associable. To the best of my knowledge Des Cartes was the first philo sopher who introduced the absolute and essential heterogenity of the soul as intelligence, and the body as matter. The assumption, and the form of speaking have remained, though the denial of all other properties to matter but that of extension, on which denial the whole system of Dualism is grounded, has been long exploded. For since impenetrability is intelligible only as a mode of resistance; its admission places the essence of matter in an act or power, which it possesses in common with spirit; and body and spirit are therefore no longer absolutely heterogeneous, but may without any absurdity be supposed to be different modes, or degrees in perfection, of a common substratum. To this possibility, however, it was not the fashion to advert. The soul was a thinking substance, and body a space-filling substance. Yet the apparent action of each on the other pressed heavy on the philosopher on the one hand; and no less heavily on the other hand pressed the evident truth, that the law of causality holds only between homogeneous things, that is, things having some
common property; and cannot extend from one world into another, its contrary. A close analysis evinced it to be no less absurd than the question whether a man's affection for his wife lay North-east, or South-west of the love he bore towards his child. Leibnitz's doctrine of a pre-established harmony; which he certainly borrowed from Spinoza, who had himself taken the hint from Des Cartes's animal machines, was in its common interpretation too strange to survive the inventor—too repugnant to our common sense ; which is not indeed entitled to a judicial voice in the courts of scientific philosophy; but whose whispers still exert a strong secret influence. Even Wolf, the admirer and illustrious systematizer of the Leibnitzian doctrine, contents himself with defending the possibility of the idea, but does not adopt it as a part of the edifice.
The hypothesis of Hylozoism, on the other side, is the death of all rational physiology, and indeed of all physical science; for that requires a limitation of terms, and cannot consist with the arbitrary power of multiplying attributes by occult qualities. Besides, it answers no purpose ; unless, indeed, a difficulty can be solved by multiplying it, or we can acquire a clearer notion of our soul by being told that we have a million of souls, and that every atom of our bodies has a soul of its own. Far more prudent is it to admit the difficulty once for all, and then let it lie at rest. There is a sediment indeed at the bottom of the vessel, but all the water above it is clear and transparent. The Hylozoist only shakes it up, and renders the whole turbid.
But it is not either the nature of man, or the duty of the philosopher to despair concerning any important problem until, as in the squaring of the circle, the impossibility of a solution has been demonstrated. How the esse assumed as originally distinct from the scire, can ever unite itself with it; how being can transform itself into a knowing, becomes conceivable on one only condition; namely, if it can be shown that the vis representativa, or the Sentient, is itself a species of being ; that is, either as a property or attribute, or as an hypostasis or self subsistence. The former, that thinking is a property of matter under particular conditions --is, indeed, the assumption of materialism ; a system which could not but be patronized by the philosopher, if only it actually performed what it promises. But how any affection from
without can metamorphose itself into perception or will, the materialist has hitherto left, not only as incomprehensible as he found it, but has aggravated it into a comprehensible absurdity. For, grant that an object from without could act upon the conscious self, as on a consubstantial object; yet such an affection could only engender something homogeneous with itself. Motion could only propagate motion. Matter has no Inward. We remove one surface, but to meet with another. We can but divide a particle into particles; and each atom comprehends in itself the properties of the material universe. Let any reflecting mind make the experiment of explaining to itself the evidence of our sensuous intuitions, from the hypothesis that in any given perception there is a something which has been communicated to it by an impact, or an impression ab extra. In the first place, by the impact on the percipient, or ens representans, not the object itself, but only its action or effect, will pass into the same.
Not the iron tongue, but its vibrations, pass into the metal of the bell. Now in our immediate perception, it is not the mere power or act of the object, but the object itself, which is immediately present. We might indeed attempt to explain this result by a chain of deductions and conclusions; but that, first, the very faculty of deducing and concluding would equally demand an explanation; and secondly, that there exists in fact no such intermediation by logical notions, such as those of cause and effect. It is the object itself, not the product of a syllogism, which is present to our consciousness. Or would we explain this supervention of the object to the sensation, by a productive faculty set in motion by an impulse ; still the transition, into the percipient, of the object itself, from which the impulse proceeded, assumes a power that can permeate and wholly possess the soul,
And like a God by spiritual art,
Be all in all, and all in every part. And how came the percipient here? And what is become of the wonder-promising Matter, that was to perform all these marvels by force of mere figure, weight and motion? The most consistent proceeding of the dogmatic materialist is to fall back into the common rank of soul-and-bodyists ; to affect the mysterious, and declare the whole process a revelation given, and not to be understood, which it would be