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instance and illustration of the law. A child who with its eyes bandaged had lost several of his fingers by amputation, continued to complain for many days successively of pains, now in his joint and now in that of the very fingers which had been cut off. Des Cartes was led by this incident to reflect on the uncertainty with which we attribute any particular place to any inward pain or uneasiness, and proceeded after long consideration to establish it as a general law; that contemporaneous impressions, whether images or sensations, recal each other mechanically. On this principle, as a ground work, he built up the whole system of human language, as one continued process of association. He showed, in what sense not only general terms, but generic images (under the name of abstract ideas) actually existed, and in what consists their nature and power. As one word may become the general exponent of many, so by association a simple image may represent a whole class. But in truth Hobbs himself makes no claims to any discovery, and introduces this law of association, or (in his own language) discursûs mentalis, as an admitted fact, in the solution alone of which, this by causes purely physiological, he arrogates any originality. His system is briefly this ; whenever the senses are impinged on by external objects, whether by the rays of light reflected

from them, or by effluxes of their finer particles, there results a correspondent motion of the innermost and subtlest organs. This motion constitutes a representation, and there remains an impression of the same, or a certain disposition to repeat the same motion. Whenever we feel several objects at the same time, the impressions that are left (or in the language of Mr. Hume, the ideas) are linked together. Whenever therefore any one of the movements, which constitute a complex impression, are renewed through the senses, the others succeed mechanically. It follows of necessity therefore that Hobbs, as well as Hartley and all others who derive association from the connection and interdependence of the supposed matter, the movements of which constitute our thoughts, must have reduced all its forms to the one law of time. But even the merit of announcing this law with philosophic precision cannot be fairly conceded to him. For the objects of any two ideas* need not have co-existed in the same

* I here use the word “idea" in Mr. Hume's sense on account of its general currency among the English metaphysicians ; though against my own judgement, for I believe that the vague use of this word has been the cause of much error and more confusion. The word, Idsa, in its original sense as used by Pindar, Aristophanes, and in the gospel of Matthew, represented the visual abstraction of a distant object, when we see the whole without distinguishing its parts. Plato adopted it as a technical term, and as the antithesis to Esdana, or sensuous images; the transient and perishable


sensation in order to become mutually associa-
ble. The same result will follow when one
only of the two ideas has been represented by
the senses, and the other by the memory.

Long however before either Hobbs or Des
Cartes the law of association had been defined,

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emblems, or mental words, of ideas. The ideas themselves he
considered as mysterious powers, living, seminal, formative,
and exempt from time. In this sense the word became the pro-
perty of the Platonic school; and it seldom occurs in Aristotle,
without some such phrase annexed to it, as according to Plato,
or as Plato says. Our English writers to the end of Charles
2nd's reign, or somewhat later, employed it either in the origi-
nal sense, or platonically, or in a sense nearly correspondent
to our present use of the substantive, Ideal, always however
opposing it, more or less, to image, whether of present or ab-
sent objects. The reader will not be displeased with the
following interesting exemplification from Bishop Jeremy
Taylor.“ St. Lewis the King sent Ivo Bishop of Chartres
on an embassy, and he told, that he met a grave and stately
matron on the way with a censor of fire in one hand, and a
vessel of water in the other; and observing her to have a
melancholy, religious, and phantastic deportment and look, he
asked her what those symbols meant, and what she meant to
do with her fire and water; she answered, my purpose is with
the fire to burn paradise, and with my water to quench the
flames of hell, that men may serve God purely for the love
of God. But we rarely meet with such spirits which love
virtue so metaphysically as to abstract her from all sensible
compositions, and love the purity of the idea." Des Cartes
having introduced into his philosophy the fanciful hypothesis
of material ideas, or certain configurations of the brain,
which were as so many moulds to the influxes of the external
world ; Mr. Lock adopted the term, but extended its signi-
fication to whatever is the immediate object of the minds
attention or consciousness. Mr. Hume distinguishing those
representations which are accompanied with a sense of a
present object, from those reproduced by the mind itself,
designated the former by impressions, and confined the word
idea to the latter.

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and its important functions set forth by Melanchthon, Ammerbach, and Ludovicus Vives ; more especially by the last. Phantasia, it is to be noticed, is employed by Vives to express the mental power of comprehension, or the active function of the mind; and imaginatio for the receptivity (vis receptiva) of impressions, or for the passive perception. The power of combination he appropriates to the former :

quæ singula et simpliciter acceperat imaginatio, ea conjungit et disjungit phantasia.” And the law by which the thoughts are spontaneously presented follows thus ; “ quæ simul sunt a phantasia comprehensa si alterutrum occur rat, solet secum alterum representare.” To time therefore he subordinates all the other exciting causes of association. The soul proceeds “a causa ad effectum, ab hoc ad instrumentum, a parte ad totum ;" thence to the place, from place to person, and from this to whatever preceded or followed, all as being parts of a total impression, each of which may recal 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 impressions. Thus

ex Scipione venio in cogitationem potentiæ Turcicæ proper victorias ejus in eâ parte Asiæ in qua regnabat Antiochus.”

But from Vives I pass at once to the source

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of his doctrines, and (as far as we can judge from the remains yet extant of Greek philoso. phy) as to the first, so to the fullest and most perfect enunciation of the associative principle, viz. to the writings of Aristotle ; and of these principally to the books “ De Anima, Memoria,” and that which is entitled in the old translations ~ Parva Naturalia.” In 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. The wise Stagyrite speaks of no successive particles propagating motion like billiard balls (as Hobbs ;) 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 oscillating 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

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