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raro) loquuti videantur; apud quos sensim inolevit mos sic loquendi. Sed antiquiores Græci plane contrarium (grave reputantes in alto et acutum in imo.) Quod etiam ad Boethii tempora continuatum est, qui in schematismis suis, grave semper in summo ponit, et acutum in imo."— David Gregory, in Præfat. ad edit. suam Euclid. Op. Oxon. 1703.
The association to which, in modern times, we are habituated from our infancy, between the ideas of acute and high, and between those of grave and low, is accounted for by Dr. Smith, in his Harmonics, from the formation of the voice in singing, which Aristides Quintilianus thus describes :-"rivstau di spis Bepóris, κάτωθεν αναφερομένου του πνεύματος, ή δ' οξύτης επιτολής προιεμένου, &c. Et quidem gravitas fit, si ex inferiore parte (gutturis) spiritus sursum feratur, acumen vero, si per summam partem prorumpat," (as Meibomius translates it in his notes.)-See Smith's Harmonics, p. 3.
Dr. Beattie, in his ingenious Essay on Poetry and Music, says, it is probable that the deepest or gravest sound was called summa by the Romans, and the shrillest or acutest ima: and he conjectures, that “this might have been owing to the construction of their instruments; the string that sounded the former being perhaps highest in place, and that which sounded the latter lowest.” If this conjecture could be verified, it would afford a proof from the fact, how liable the mind is to be influenced in this respect by casual combinations.
Note R, p. 341.- Association. (Part 11. As to Jlental Habits. $ 3.) The difference between the effects of Association and of Imagination, (in the sense in which I employ these words,) in heightening the pleasure or the pain produced on the mind by external objects, will appear from the following remarks :
1. As far as the association of ideas operates in heightening pleasure or pain, the mind is passive: and accordingly, where such associations are a source of incon. venience, they are seldom to be cured by an effort of our volition, or even by reasoning, but by the gradual formation of contrary associations. Imagination is an active exertion of the mind; and although it may often be difficult to restrain it, it is plainly distinguishable in theory from the associations now nuentioned.
2. In every case in which the association of ideas operates, it is implied that some pleasure or pain is recalled which was felt by the mind before. I visit, for example, a scene where I have been once happy; and the sight of it affects me, on that account, with a degree of pleasure, which I should not have received from any other scene equally beautiful. I shall not inquire, whether, in such cases, the associated pleasure arises immedia'ely upon the sight of the object, and without the intervention of any train of thought; or whether it is produced by the recollection and conception of former occurrences which the perception recalls. On neither supposition does it imply the exercise of that creative power of the mind to which we have given the name of Imagination. It is true, that commonly, on such oecasions, imagination is busy; and our pleasure is much heightened by the colouring which she gives to the objects of memory. But the difference between the effects which arise from the operation of this faculty, and those which result from association, is not, on that account, the less real.
The influence of imagination on happiness is chiefly felt by cultivated minds. That of association extends to all ranks of men, and furnishes the chief instrument of education; insomuch that whoever has the regulation of the associations of another from early infancy, is, to a great degree, the arbiter of his happiness or misery.
Some very ingenious writers have employed the word association in so extensive a sense, as to comprehend, not only imagination, but all the other faculties of the mind. Wherever the pleasing or the painful effect of an object does not depend solely on the object itself, but arises either wholly or in part from some mental operation to which the perception of it gives rise, the effect is referred to association. And, undoubtedly, this language may be employed with propriety, if the word association be applied to all the ideas and feelings which may arise in the mind, in consequence of the exercise which the sight of the object may give to the imagination, to the reasoning powers, and to the other principles of our nature. But in this work, and particularly in the second part of chap. v., I employ the word Association in a much more limited sense; to express the effect which an object derives from ideas, or from feelings which it does not necessarily suggest, but which it uniformly recalls to the mind, in consequence of early and long-continued habits.?
NOTE S, p. 355.- Memory. ( 1.) The following passage from Malebranche will be a sufficient specimen of the common theories with respect to memory.
In order to give explanation of memory, it should be called to mind that all our different perceptions are affixed to the changes which happen to the fibres of the principal parts of the brain, wherein the soul particularly resides.
“ This supposition being laid down, the nature of the memory is explained: for as the branches of a tree, which have continued for some time bent after a particular manner, preserve a readiness and facility of being bent afresh in the same manner; so the fibres of the brain, having once received certain impressions from the current of the animal spirits, and from the action of the objects upon them, retain for a considerable time some facility of receiving the same dispositions. Now, the memory consists only in that promptness or facility, since a man thinks upon the same things, whenever the brain receives the same impressions.”
" The most considerable differences,” says the same author in another passage, " that are found in one and the same person, during his whole life, are in his infancy, in his maturity, and in his old age. The fibres in the brain in a man's childhood are soft, flexible, and delicate; a riper age dries, hardens, and corroborates them; but in old age they grow altogether inflexible, gross, and intermixed with superfluous humours, which the faint and languishing heat of that age is no
*[This explanation of the word association coincides with the very accurate definition of Bruckerus, (Hist. de Ideis, p301,) who has adopted in this instance the phraseology of Hobbes and Locke. Intelligitur per associationem ülearum non quævis naturalis et necessaria earundem conjunctio, sed quæ fortuita est, aut per consuetudinem vel affectuin pro.
ducitur, qua ideæ, quæ nullum naturalem inter se habent nexum, ita copulantur, ut recurrente una, tota earum caterva se conspiciendam intellectui præbeat."}-Since the note at p 484 was written, the author seems to have obtained Brucker De Ideis.-Ed.
? Book ii. chap. 5, page 54 of Taylor's Trunslation)
longer able to disperse : for as we see that the fibres which compose the flesli harden by time, and that the flesh of a young partridge is, without dispute, more tender than that of an old one, so the fibres of the brain of a child, or a young person, must be more soft and delicate than those of persons more advanced in years.
“We shall understand the ground and the occasion of these changes, if we consider that the fibres are continually agitated by the animal spirits, which whirl about them in many different manners: for as the winds parch and dry the earth by their blowing upon it, so the animal spirits, by their perpetual agitation, render by degrees the greatest part of the fibres of a man's brain more dry, more close, and solid ; so that persons more stricken in age must necessarily have them almost more inflexible than those of a lesser standing. And as for those of the same age, drunkards, who for many years together have drunk to excess either wine or other such intoxicating liquors, must needs have them more solid and more inflexible than those who have abstained from the use of such kind of liquors all their lives." 1
[In a similar strain of hypothetical theory, Hobbes philosophizes thus on the same subject. "When a body is once in motion, it moveth (unless something else hindereth it) eternally; and whatsoever hindereth it cannot in an instant, but in time and by degrees, quite extinguish it; and as we see in the water, though the wind cease, the waves give not over rolling for a long time after, so also it happeneth in that motion which is made in the internal part of a man, when he sees, dreams, &c. For, after the object is removed, or the eye shut, we still retain an image of the thing seen, though more obscure than when we see it; and this is it the Latins call Imagination, from the image made in seeing, and apply the same, though improperly, to all the other senses. But the Greeks call it fancy, which signifies apparence, and is as proper to one sense as to another. Imagination is, therefore, nothing but decaying sense, and is found in men and many other living creatures, as well sleeping as waking.
This decaying sense, when we would express the thing itself, we call imagination, as I said before ; but when we wonld express the decay, and signify that the sense is fading, old, and past, it is called memory; so that imagination and memory are but one thing, which, for divers considerations, hath divers names.”—Leviathan, chap. ii. Of Imagination.
The different changes which this power of the mind undergoes in the course of our progress through life, are explained by some other writers by means of the following hypothesis :—“The mind (we are told) is like was, which may be softened too much to retain, or too little to receive an impression. In childhood, the material is too soft, and gives way to impressions, but does not retain them. In old age, it is hard, and retains the impressions formerly made, but does not receive any new ones. In manhood, the consistence is at once proper to receive and to retain the impressions which are made upon it.” I quote the last sentences on the anthority of Dr. Ferguson, (Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, vol. i. p. 102.) as I don't know from what writer they are taken. In the main, the theory here described agrees with that of Aristotle. This last hypothesis, which likens the impressions made on the memory to
1 Book ii. chap. vi. Page 56 of Taylor's Translation. )
those of a seal upon wax, seems to be that which has prevailed most generally both in ancient and modern times. It occurs often in the writings of Cicero, although he does not seem to have given much faith to it. “Quid igitur? an imprimi quasi ceram animum putamus et memoriam esse signatarum rerum in mente vestigia ? quæ possunt verborum, quae rerum ipsarum esse vestigia ? quæ porro tam immensa magnitudo, quæ illa tam multa possit effingere ?»»l The same hypothesis is alluded to by Quintilian in a passage which affords a striking instance of that philosophical good sense which is everywhere conspicuous in his writings. “Non arbitror autem mihi in hoc immorandum, quid sit quod memoriam faciat: quamquam plerique imprimi quædam vestigia nostro animo, quæ velut in ceris annulorum signa serventur, existimant."2 The line between those inquiries, which are confined to the laws of memory, and those speculations which profess to explain in what manner its phenomena are produced, is here strongly and distinctly drawn, and the latter rejected as altogether foreign to the business of education, or to the practical concerns of life.
The ideal theory, as taught by the schoolmen, and as adopted by Locke and his followers, tended strongly to encourage philosophical students in indulging this analogical mode of conceiving the phenomena of memory. In this theory, it was assumed, as an incontrovertible principle, that in all our intellectual operations the immediate objects of our thoughts were certain images or resemblances of the things we were thinking about; and still more explicitly, if possible, was it asserted, that all our intercourse with things material (both when they are actually present to our senses, and when they are recalled to our recollection by the power of memory) is carried on by the intervention of images or resemblances of the different qualities of matter. To this hypothesis, however, a variety of objections could not fail to occur to philosophers, as soon as they began to reflect with care on the operations of their own minds; and, accordingly, long before it came to be directly attacked, it seems to have been silently falling into a certain degree of discredit; metaphysical writers, during the greater part of the last century, avoiding, as much as possible, all explanations on the subject, and obviously endeavouring to keep the difficulty out of the view of their readers by the use of a more vague and indefinite phraseology than had been employed by their predecessors. Hence the introduction of the word impressions into the Philosophy of Mind; a word which (since the publication of Mr. Hume's Treatise of Human Nature) has, in a great measure, supplanted the images and ideas of Descartes and Locke. In adopting this new language, philosophers still retain that part of the ancient hypothesis which pretends to account for perception and memory by means of something distinct both from the mind and the external object ; something either existing in the mind itself, or (as their language at other times implies) some impression or trace made in that part of the brain to which the mind is locally present. With respect to this term impression, it is worthy of remark, that, in its primitive sense, it denotes a stamp made on some soft substance, such as wax with a seal; in which acceptation it is plainly liable to the very same objections which apply to image or resemblance. But, since the invention of printing, it more naturally suggests to the fancy the arbitrary signs of thought which are composed of alphabetical characters; and, consequently, does not present so very 1 Tusc. Disput. I. xxv.
? Instit. lib. xi. cap. 1.
revolting an absurdity as the words to which it has succeeded. In some respects the latter theory may perhaps be regarded as a refinement on the former, analogous to that which took place in the art of writing, when conventional marks came to be substituted for the sketches or pictures employed for the same purpose in the ruder periods of society.
The habitual use we make of the arts of printing and of writing in the acquisition and in the preservation of our knowledge, is apt to predispose the understanding in favour of this last theory. We conceive the memory in particular (not unnaturally, I own, upon a superficial view of the subject) to be analogous to a tablet, on which certain traces are left; by recurring to which, the mind can, as it were, read, without any fresh aids from without, the recorded results of its former experience or reflection.
But although the hypothesis of impressions be not so obviously absurd as that of images, it is nevertheless, upon the whole, by far the more puerile and nugatory of the two. To say that we acquire our knowledge of the various qualities of matter by means of copies or resemblances of these qualities existing in our own minds, is at least an attempt to solve the problem about the means by which the mind carries on its intercourse with things external; whereas the substitution of impressions or arbitrary characters on the brain, instead of the images of the schoolmen, while it is equally chargeable with the other on the ground of being a gratuitous assumption, leaves the difficulty in question altogether untouched. If it is inconceivable how the sensations of which we are conscious should, by a law of our nature, suggest to us the notions of qualities to which they bear no resemblance, does it diminish the difficulty to encumber the plain statement of the fact with the additional apparatus of certain indefinite impressions on the brain, or certain vibrations in the particles of its medullary substance ; for the existence of which apparatus we have no evidence whatsoever, but the assertions of philosopliers. Nor is this hypothesis of impressions less nugatory, if it be supposed to have any necessary connexion with the scheme of materialism. Admitting, for a moment, the existence of these impressions, the question still recurs, what is the nature of that thinking and percipient being which reads the impressions, and avails itself of their aid in the exercise of its various faculties? Who taught the mind to interpret their import, and to annex to them notions us foreign to them. selves, as alphabetical characters are to the information which they convey? Even upon this supposition, therefore, the mystery is not less astonishing than if a child, without any instructions, were to read a book the first time it was put into its hands, with a full comprehension of the author's meaning.
But what I wish chiefly to insist on at present, is the obviously illogical inference which so many ingenious men seem to have been disposed to draw from the supposed impressions on the material substance of the brain, against the immateriality of that being (that thinking and percipient 1) which reads and interprets these impressions. If the hypothesis which forms the foundation of this argument be true, all that follows from it is, that in the operations of perception and of niemory, a process is carried on by the mind in the dark recesses of the brain, analogous to what takes place when it reads, by the intervention of the eye, the characters of a book. The question (it ought always to be remembered) is not about the nature of the thing read, but about the nature of the reader. In the