Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

thoughts are spontaneously presented follows thus; “ quæ simul sunt a phantasia comprehensa, si alterutrum occurrat, solet secum alterum representare. To time, therefore, he subordinates all the other exciting causes of association. The soul proceeds causa ad effectum, ab hoc ad instrumentum, a parte ad totum ;' thence to the place, from place to person, and from this to what. ever preceded or followed, all as being parts of a total impression, each of which may recall the other. The apparent springs, “ saltus vel transitus etiam longissimos, ,!!! he explains by the same thought having been a component part of two or more total im. pressions. Thus “er Scipione venio in cogitationem potentia Tur. cica, propter victorias ejus de Asia, in qua regnabat Antiochus."'!6

But from Vives I pass at once to the source of his doctrines, and (as far as we can judge from the remains yet extant of Greek philosophy), as to the first, so to the fullest and most per. fect enunciation of the associative principle, namely, to the writings of Aristotle ; and of these in particular to the treatises De Anima, and " De Memoria,” which last belongs to the series of essays entitled in the old translations Parva Naturalia.? In tasia conjungit et disjungit ea, quæ singula' et simpliciter, acceperat imaginatio. Imagination, according to Vives, says Maasz, is the capability of perceiving an impression. S. C.]

13 De Anima, i., sect. d., cited by Maasz in a note, ibid. Vives proceeds thusunde sedes illæ existunt in artificio memoriæ, quippe ad aspectum loci de eo venit in mentem, quod in loco scimus evenisse, aut situm esse : quando etiam cum voce aut sono aliquo quippiam contingit latum, eodem sono audito delectamur : si triste tristamur. Quod in brutis quoque est annotare : quæ si quo sono vocata gratum aliquid accipiunt, rursum ad eundem sonum facile ac libenter accurrunt : sin cædantur, sonitum , eundem deinceps reformidant, ex plagarum recordatione.--Lib. ii., Opera, tom. ii., p. 519. S. C.]

14 [De Anima, ii., sect. d., mem, et record.-Cited by Maasz in a note, ibid. SC.]

15 (Iord.--ibid. See Maasz, pp. 345-6. That the springs are only “apparent” is explained by Maasz, commenting on the words of Vives, Sunt (in phantasia) transitus quidam longissimi, immo saltus. S. C.)

16 [Cited by Maasz from the same place, p. 346. S. C.]

17 [This collection, rà perpå kaloipera Quniká, which is connected with the treatise in three books on the Soul (as Trendelenburg distinctly shows in the freface to his elaborate commentary on that work of Aristotle), contains the books On Sense and Things Sensible, On Memory and Recol.

As much as later writers have either deviated from, or added to his doctrines, they appear to me to have introduced either error or groundless supposition.

In the first place it is to be observed, that Aristotle's positions on this subject are unmixed with fiction.18 The wise Stagy rite speaks of no successive particles propagating motion like billiard balls, as Hobbes ;19 nor of nervous or animal spirits, where inanimate and irrational solids are thawed down, and distilled, or filtrated by ascension, into living and intelligent fluids, that etch and re-etch engravings on the brain, as the followers of Des Cartes, and the humoral pathologists in general ; nor of an os. cillating ether which was to effect the same service for the nerves of the brain considered as solid fibres, as the animal spirits perform for them under the notion of hollow tubes, as Hartley teaches-nor finally (with yet more recent dreamers), of chemical compositions by elective affinity, or of an electric light at once the immediate object and the ultimate organ of inward vision, which rises to the brain like an Aurora Borealis, and there, disporting in various shapes,—as the balance of plus and minus, or negative and positive, is destroyed or re-established,

lection, On Sleep, On Dreams, On Divination in Sleep (va@órvov), On Length and Shortness of Life, On Youth and Old Age, On Respiration, and On Life and Death. S. C.]

18 [Maasz has also said (p. 345), speaking of Vives, that, though he set forth correctly the theory of association, he yet did not exhibit it with such entire purity as Aristotle. Mr. Coleridge, however, is comparing the wise Stagyrite with Hobbes, Des Cartes, Hartley, and others—Maasz is comparing him with Vives—observing that this' author not only came after Aristotle in perceiving and expressing the general law of imagination, but, what is the principal thing, did not state the theory of association so consistently and purely as the former, because he made exceptions to the same, which are such in appearance only: though he thinks it may be assumed in his favor, that his language is incorrect rather than his conception of the subject. Mr. Coleridge, on the other hand, is objecting to the physical dreams, which modern metaphysicians introduced into the survey of psychological facts delivered by the sager ancient. He imputes to them an error in principle, while Maasz remarks upon a statement at variance with a law correctly laid down. S. C.]

1a (See Human Nature, chaps. ii. and iii. Hobbes does not use the expressions in which Mr. C. describes his doctrine, but speaks much of motions produced in the brain by objects. S.C]

images out both past and present. Aristotle delivers a just the. ! ory without pretending to an hypothesis ; or in other words a comprehensive survey of the different facts, and of their relations to each other without supposition, that is, a fact placed under a number of facts, as their common support and explanation ; though in the majority of instances these hypotheses or suppositions better deserve the name of útotoonocis, or suffictions. 20 He uses indeed the word kengeis, to express what we.call representations or ideas, but he carefully distinguishes them from material motion, designating the latter always by annexing the words ar τοπω, or κατά τόπον 21

On the contrary in his treatise De Anima, he excludes place and motion from all the operations of thought, whether representations or volitions, as attributes utterly and absurdly heterogeneous.

22

« But some,

21 [The discussion of Maasz on the part performed by Aristotle in explaining the general law of the Imagination extends from p. 319 to p. 335, from sect. 90 to 94 inclusively. S C.)

21 (See Maasz, p. 321. He refers generally to the treatise De Anima, lib. ii., cap. iii., and in particular to the words in 8. 3, 'Evious di apis toutous υπάρχει και το κατά τόπον κινητικόν.

beside these things, have also the faculty of motion according to place.”.

In the third and fourth chapters of the first book the subject of motion, katá rótor, is discussed, and the opinions of other philosophers that it is properly attributable to the soul, refuted. Sections 3 and 4 of Lib. i., cap iii., speak distinctly on this point : and 30 do sections 8-11 of cap. iv. In the latter the philosopher says: “ That the soul cannot possibly be harmony, neither can be turned about in a circle, is manifest from the aforesaid. But that it may be removed per accidens-contingently-may so move itself, even as we have declared, is possible : inasmuch as that, in which it is, is capable of being moved, and that (in which it is) may be moved by the soul: but in no other way is it possible for the soul to be moved according to place.”

Maasz discusses Aristotle's use of the term kıvýpis in sections 91-2, pp. 321-333. He observes that it was not unusual with the Greek philosophers to use the word for the changes of the soul, and that Plato, for example, 5 1ys expressly κίνησης κατά τε ψυχήν και κατά σώμα, in the Theaetetus, 21. (Opera Bekker. Lond. Sumpt. R. Priestley, 1826. Vol. iii., p. 412 S.C.)

22 [Ι. c. 3 in initio. ίσως γάρ ου μόνον ψευδός έστι το την ουσίαν αυτής τοιαύτην είναι, οίαν φασίν οι λέγοντες ψυχήν είναι το κινούν εαυτό, η δυνάμενον κινείν, αλλ' εν τι των αδυνάτων το υπάρχειν αυτή κίνησιν. Cited by Maasz, p. 322. Ed.]

(For perhaps not only it is false that the being of the soul is such as

[ocr errors]

The general law of association, or, more accurately, the common condition under which all exciting causes act, and in which they may be generalized, according to Aristotle, is this.23 • Ideas by having been together acquire a power of recalling each other; or every partial representation awakes the total representation of which it had been a part." In the practical deter

24

[ocr errors]

they suppose, who affirm that it is a thing which moves or is able to move itself; but it may be that it is a thing to which motion cannot possibly belong. Translation. S. C.]

23 [See Maasz, pp. 324-5-6. In proof that Aristotle had a right conception of the common law of Association, though he did not call it by that name, and had not discovered all its fruitfulness, he cites from the treatise De Memoria, cap. ii., the following sentences :-ovpRaivovoi do ai dvauvñgers, επειδή πέφυκεν η κίνησις ήδε μενέσθαι μετά τήνδε-thus translated or paraphrased by Maasz_" The Representations come after one another to the consciousness, when the changes” (or movements) “ of the soul thereto belonging are of such a nature that one arises after the other.” (I believe the stricter rendering to be—Recollections take place because it is the nature of the τηind that its motions follow one another).--ένια ιδόντες & παξ μάλλον μνημονεύομεν, ή έτερα πολλάκις.

“But such a connexion among the changes of the soul, whereby one succeeds another, arises, though it be not necessary, through a kind of custom. For the production of this, however, it is sufficient, if we have only once perceived the objects of the representation together.” (This is a collection from the words of Aristotle rather than their direct sense, which seems to be as follows: “ The sequence of the mental motions is sometimes a necessary one, and this, as is evident, must always take place; sometimes it is one that arises from custom, and this takes place only for the most part. Some men, by once thinking of a thing, acquire a habit, more than others by thinking ever so often. Therefore we remember some things, that we have seen but once, better than other things, that we have seen many a time ")

“ Still plainer perhaps,” says he,“ speaks the place which follows the above; as thus: όταν ούν αναμιμνησκώμεθα, κινούμεθα των προτέρων τινά κινήσεων, los ay kiunowpev, mid' flv ineivn tiwbc.—“A representation is called up (we remember it) as soon as changes of the soul arise, with which that (change or movement) " belonging to said representation has been associated.” S. C.]

24 [See Maasz, p. 326. “Thus, representations which have been together, call forth each other, or : Every partial representation awakens iis total representation."

“ This rule holds good for the succession of representations generally, as well when we reflect upon a thing and strive to remember it, as when that is not the case; it avails, as I have just now expressed, for the voluntary

[ocr errors]

66

mination of this common principle to particular recollections, he admits five agents or occasioning causes : Ist, connexion in time, whether simultaneous, preceding, or successive; 2d, vicinity or connexion in space ; 3d, interdependence or necessary connexion, as cause and effect; 4th, likeness; and 5th, contrast.as As an additional solution of the occasional seeming chasms in the continuity of reproduction he proves, that movements or ideas and involuntary series of imaginations. This Aristotle expressly asserts, and hereby we see, in what universality he had conceived the law of association.” He quotes in support of this the following sentence from the treatise De Memoria, cap. ii. Ζητoύσι μεν ούν ούτω, και μη ζητούντες δ' ούτως αναμιμνήσκονται, όταν μεθ' ετέρων κίνησιν εκείνη γίνεται. In this way men try to recollect, and, when not trying, it is thus they remember; some particular movement (of mind) arising after some other. S. C.]

25 (Maasz (at p. 327) shows that Aristotle gives “four distinct rules for Association ”--that is to say, connexion in time, in space, resemblance, and opposition or contrast-in proof of which he cites the following passage-δια και το εφεξής θηρεύομεν νοήσαντες από του νυν, ή άλλου τινός, και αφ' ομοίου, και, εναντίου, ή του σύνεγγυς. Διά τούτο γίνεται η ανάμνησις. Therefore in trying to remember we search (our minds) in regular order, proceeding from the present or some other time (to the time in which what we want to recollect occurred); or from something like, or directly opposite, or near in place. De Mem., cap. ii.

At pp. 27-8, Maasz writes thus : “ That B. should be really immediately associated with A. it is not necessary that the whole representation B. should have been together with the whole representation A.; if only some mark of A., say M., has been associated with some mark of B., that is sufficient. If then A. being given, m. is consequently represented, n. is likewise associated therewith, because both have been already together; and then with n. are associated the remaining marks belonging to B. because these have been already together with m. in the representation B. Thus the whole representation B. is called up through A.” “ This seems to me a proof,” says Mr. Coleridge in a marginal note on the passage, “that Likeness, as co-ordinate with, but not always subordinate to, Time, exerts an influence per se on the association. Thus too as to Cause and Effect;they cannot of course be separated from Contemporaneity, but yet they act distinctly from it. Thus too, Contrast, and even Order. In short, whatever niakes certain parts of a total impression more vivid or distinct will determine the mind to recall these rather than others. Contemporaneity seems to me the common condition under which all the determining powers act rather than itself the effective law. Maasz sometimes forgets, -as Hartley seems never to have remembered,—that all our images are abstractions, and that in many cases of likeness the association is merely an act of recognition.” MS. note. S. C.]

2

« AnteriorContinuar »