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Via E. : To me it seems, that a man may know, whe. ther he perceives a Thing or no; and if he perceives it, whether it be immediately or mediately, and if mediately, whether by means of something like or unlike, necessarily or arbitrarily connected with it.
A. It seems fo.
E, And is it not certain, that Distance is perceived only by Experience, if it be neither perceived im. mediately by itself nor by means of any Image, nor of any Lines and Angles, which are like it, or have a necellary Connexion with it?
A. It is. . E. Doth it not seem to follow, from what hath been said, and allowed by you; that before all Experience a Man would not imagine the Things he saw were at any Distance from hiin?
A. How ! let me see.
E. The Littleness or Faintness of Appearance, or any other Idea or Sensation not necessarily comected with or resembling Distance, can no more fuggelt diffetent Degrees of Diltance, or any Distance at all, 10 the Mind, which hath not experienced a Connexion of the Things lignifying and fignified , than Wows can ļuggest Notions before, a Man hath learned the language,
A. I allow this to be true,
E. Will it not thence follow, that a Man born blind, and made to see, would, upon first receiving his fight, take the Things he saw, not to be at any Disi tance froin him, but in his Eye or rather in his Mind?
d. I must own it seems so, and yet, on the other hand, I can hardly persuade myself, that, if I were in
- such a State, I should think those Objects, which I now see at fo great Distance, to be at no Distance at all.
E. ' It seems then, that you now think the Objects of Sight are at a great Distance from you. A. Doubtless I do.
Can any one question but yonder Castle is at a great Distance?
E. Tell one Alciphron, can you discern the Doors, Windows, and Battlements of that same Castle ?
A. I cannot. At this Distance, it seems only 4 small round Tower.
E. But I, who have been at it, know that it is no small round Tower, but a large square Building, with Battlements and Turrets, which it seeins you do
A. What will you infer from thence?
E. I would infer, that the very Object, which you strictly and properly perceive by fight, is not that Thing which is several Miles diftant.
A. Why so?
E. Because a little round Object is one Thing, and a great Tquare Object is another, Is it not?
A. I cannot deny it. )
E. Tell me, is not the visible Appearance alone the proper Object of Sight?
A. It is. What think you then"(fáid Euphranor pointing towards Heavens) of the visible appearance of yonder Planet? · Is it not, a round luminous Flat, no bigger than a sixpence ?
Á. What then?
E. Tell me then, what you think of the Planet itself. Do you not conceive it to be a van 'opa.
que Globe, with several unequal Rilings and Vallies?
A. I do.
E. How can you therefore conclude, 'that the proper Object of your Sight exists at a Distance?
A. I confess I know not.
E. For your farther Conviction, do but consider
A." By no means. I should perceive only a dark
E. Is it not plain, therefore, that neither the
A. What am I to think then? Do we fee any thing at all, or is it altogether Fancy and Illusion?
E. Upon the whole, it seems the proper Objects of Sight are Light and Colour, with their several shades and Degrees, all which, being infinitely diversified and combined, do form a language wonderfully adapted to suggest and exhibit to us the Distances, Figures, Situations, Dimensions, and various Qualities of tangible Objects; not by Similitude, nor yet by the arbitrary Imposition of Providence, just as Words suggest the Things fignified by them.
A. How! Do we not, strictly speaking, perceive
E. We do, indeed, perceive or apprehend those
from thence, that they are the proper and immediate Objects of Hearing, which are signified by the Help of Words or Sounds ?'
A. You would have us think then, that Light, Shades, and Colours, variously combined, answer to the several Articulations of Sounds in Language, and that by means thereof all sorts of Objects are suggested to tlie Mind through the Eye in the fame manner as they are suggested by Words or Sounds through the Ear; that is, neither from necessary Deduction to the Judg. ment, nor from Similitude to the Fancy, but purely and solely from Experience, Custom and Habit.
E. I would not have you think any thing more, than the Nature of Things obliges you to think, nor fubinit in the least to my Judgment, but only to the Force of Truth, which is an Imposition, that I suppose the freeft Thinkers will not pretend to be exempt from.
A. You have let me, it seems Step by Step, till I am got, I know not where. But I shall try to get out again, if not by the Way I caine, yet, by some other of my own finding.
James barris, Eff., ein Schweftersohn des Grafen von Shaftesbury, deffen Gelehrsamkeit, Geschmack und Scharffian fein Erbtheil geworden zu seyn scheint. Geb. 1709; gef. 1780. Am berühmtesten hat ihn sein Hermes, or a Philosophical En quiry concerning Universal Grammar gemacht, ein Werf, wels ches Bischof Lowrly mit Recht das schönste und vollkommenfte Mufter der Analysis, feit der Zeit des Aristoteles, nennt. Uud in seinen Philosophical Arrangements' und Philological įnquiries findet man überaus viel Belehrung, und einen durch tiefes Studium der Straffifer, vornehmlich der Griechen, gebildeten Schriftfteller. Fråber, als alle diese Schriften, erschienen seine Dialogen über Stunst, Mufik, Mahlerei, Poesie und Glückseligs keit, von denen man auch eine deutsche Uebersekung hat. Er nennt fie Treatises; und fie find auch, der zufälligen dialogischen Form ungeachtet, wirkliche Abhandlungen; gleich den Dialogen des Cicero eingeleitet, und nicht dramatisiet. Die manier der Ideenentwickelung darin ift indeß ganz sokratisch; und ich habe daher folgende Stelle aus dem Gespräch über Gludseligkeit lies ber als eigentlichen Dialog ausgezogen, um sie nicht durch das beständige: faid I, replied I,' find he, continued he, ju unters
A. Every Being on this our terrestrial dwelling exists encompassed with infinite objects; exists among aniinals tame, and animals wild; ainong plants and vegetables of a thousand different qualities; among heats and colds, tempests and calıns, the friendships and discords of heterogeneous elements. What say you? Are all these things exactly the same to it, or do they differ, think you, in their effects and consequences ?
B. They differ widely.