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I. OF INTUITIVE EVIDENCE.
71. The most important, if not all the different species of intuitive evidence, may be comprehended under the three following heads :
(1.) The evidence of axioms. [Mathematical and Metaphysical.]
(2.) The evidence of consciousness, of perception, and of memory.
(3.) The evidence of those fundamental laws of human belief, which form an essential part of our constitution; and of which our entire conviction is implied, not only in all speculative reasonings, but in all our conduct as acting beings.—Of this class, is the evidence for our own personal identity; for the existence of the material world ; for the continuance of those laws which have been found, in the course of our past experience, to regulate the succession of phenomena. Such truths no man ever thinks of stating to himself in the form of propositions;
but all our conduct, and all our reasonings, proceed on the supposition that they are admitted. The belief of them is necessary for the preservation of our animal existence; and it is accordingly coeval with the first operations of the intellect.
72. The attacks of modern sceptics have been chiefly directed against this last description of intuitive truths. They have been called Principles of Common Sense, by some late writers who have undertaken to vindicate their authority. The conclusions of these writers are, on the whole, solid and important: but the vagueness of the expression, Common Sense, which is generally employed in ordinary discourse, in a sense considerably different from that in which it was at first introduced into this controversy, has furnished to their opponents the means of a specious misrepresentation of the doctrine in question; as an
*[The preceding sentence Mr. Stew- called metaphysical axioms. Some late art, in the second edition, replaces by writers, who have undertaken to vindithe following clause :-"truths; with cate their authority, have comprehended which both they and their antagonists
them under the title of Principles of have very frequently confounded those Common Sense."] necessary truths whi h I have already
attempt to shelter popular prejudices from a free examination, and to institute an appeal from the decisions of philosophy to the voice of the multitude.
II. OF DEDUCTIVE EVIDENCE,
73. Notwithstanding the commonly received doctrine concerning the radical distinction between Intuition and Reasoning, it may be doubted if the one of these powers be not implied in the other. If it be true, that a perfect demonstration is constituted by a chain of reasoning, in which all the links are connected by intuitive evidence, it will follow that the power of reasoning pre-supposes the power of intuition. On the other hand, are not the powers of intuition and of memory sufficient to account for those processes of thought which conduct the mind, by a series of consequences, from premises to a conclusion?
74. When the mind,” says Locke,“ perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas immediately by themselves, without the intervention of any other, its knowledge may be called intuitive. When it cannot so bring its ideas together, as by their immediate comparison, and, as it were, juxtaposition, or application one to another, to perceive their agreement or disagreement, it is fain, by the intervention of other ideas, (one, or more, as it happens,) to discover the agreement or disagreement which it searches, and this is what we call Reasoning.”—According to these definitions, supposing the equality of two lines A and B to be perceived immediately, in consequence of their coincidence, the judgment of the mind is intuitive. Supposing A to coincide with B, and B with C, the relation between A and C is perceived by reasoning.
75. This is certainly not agreeable to common language. The truth of mathematical axioms has always been supposed to be intuitively obvious; and the first of these, according to Euclid's enumeration, affirms that if A be equal to C, and B to C; A and C are equal.
76. Admitting, however, Locke's definition to be just, it might easily be shewn that the faculty which perceives the relation between A and C is the same with the faculty which perceives the relation between A and B, and between B and C. When the relation of equality between A and B has once been perceived, A and B become different names for the same thing
77. That the power of reasoning (or, as it has been sometimes called, the Discursive Faculty) is implied in the powers of intuition and memory, appears also from an examination of the structure of syllogisms. It is impossible to conceive an understanding so formed as to perceive the truth of the major and minor propositions, and not to perceive the truth of the conclusion. Indeed, as in this mode of stating an argument the mind is led from universals to particulars, the truth of the conclusion must have been known before the major proposition is formed.
78. Deductive evidence is of two kinds, Demonstrative and Probable. The former relates to necessary, the latter to contingent truths. An accurate examination and comparison of these are of great consequence to all who engage in moral inquiries, but the subject is too extensive to be introduced here.
79. The process of the mind, in discovering media of proof for establishing the truth of doubtful propositions; and also the process by which we bring new truths to light, is properly called Invention. In this power remarkable inequalities are observable among different individuals. In a capacity of understanding the reasonings of others, all men seem to be nearly on a level.
80. The word Logic is used by modern writers in two very different senses :- 1. To express the scholastic art of syllogizing, which is commonly referred to Aristotle for its inventor. 2. To express that branch of the philosophy of the human mind, which has for its object to guard us against the various errors to which we are liable in the exercise of our reasoning powers; and to assist and direct the inventive faculty in the investigation of truth. The general aiin of these two sorts of logic is the same, and they differ only in the justness of the principles on which they proceed. The inutility of the former is now pretty generally acknowledged ; and it deserves our attention chiefly as a curious article in the history of science. The other is still in its infancy; but many important .views have already been opened into the subject by Lord Bacon and others.
SECT. X. -OF INTELLECTUAL POWERS OR CAPACITIES FORMED BY
PARTICULAR HABITS OF STUDY OR OF BUSINESS.
81. The varieties of intellectual character among men, result from the various possible combinations and modifications of faculties, which, in greater or less degrees, are common to the whole species. Supposing these faculties to be originally the same in every individual, infinite diversities of genius would necessarily arise from the different situations into which men are thrown by the accidents of human life.
82. The intellectual habits that are formed by the pursuits of science or of literature, are widely different from those which are produced by the active engagements of business. There are other peculiarities of a more delicate nature, which originate from particular studies, and which distinguish the different classes of literary men from each other. The metaphysician, the mathematician, the antiquary, the poet, the critic, strengthen by their respective pursuits particular faculties and principles, while they suffer others to remain without due cultivation.
83. An examination of the effects produced on the understanding by different sciences, and by different active professions, would suggest many important rules for the improvement and enlargement of the mind, and for preserving all its various powers in that just proportion to each other which constitutes the perfection of our intellectual nature.
84. Quickness, Acuteness, Penetration, Presence of Mind, Good Sense, Sagacity, Comprehension, Profoundness, -all express particular characteristics of intellect by which individuals are distinguished from each other; and which present a subject of observation and study, not more interesting to the philosopher, than to those who take an active concern in the business of the world.-The mental defects to which these qualities are respectively opposed, are no less deserving of attention.
85. Nearly connected with these last speculations, are those philosophical inquiries which have for their object, to analyze into their constituent principles, the different kinds of intellectual ability which are displayed in the different sciences and arts. Such inquiries not only open a curious and interesting field of disquisition, but have an obvious tendency to lessen that blind admiration of original genius, which is one of the chief obstacles to the improvement of the arts, and to the progress of knowledge.
86. Among the intellectual powers, gradually formed by a particular application of our original faculties, the power of Taste is one of the most important. It was formerly treated by metaphysicians as a simple and uncompounded principle of our constitution; and, notwithstanding the ingenious attempts lately made to analyze it into its component elements, it continues still to be considered by some as an ultimate fact in the constitution of the human mind. The extensive influence it possesses in such a state of society as ours, not only over the pursuits of those who devote themselves to the study of Literature and of the Fine Arts, but over the enjoyments of every individual who partakes of the general refinement of manners, might justify the allotment of a separate article to an illustration of the intellectual process by which it is formed. Such a digression, however, would necessarily encroach on other discussions still more closely connected with the object of this First part of the Course; and the intimate relation between the Power of Taste and our Moral Principles will furnish another and a more convenient opportunity of resuming the speculation.
87. It is sufficient, at present, to remark, that although the groundwork of Taste must be laid in the original qualities of the mind, yet this power is the slow result of experience,