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research, so it will be difficult to find suitable forms of expression, to denote these respective mental phenomena. It is also clear, that different analogies will suggest different modes of expression, as the mind may be said to contain within itself a seed, a root, a fountain, a spark, a light, a rudiment, a germ, an idea or image. It is remarkable that every one of these things, except the last, refers essentially to something naturally engendered and figuratively in the mind itself; but the word idea or image is well chosen for that system, which considers the mind like a dark room or a white sheet of paper, and which makes the resemblances of outward things to constitute the chief materials of intellectual operations and intellectual expansion. How mere images or forms should enlarge a mental faculty, is as inconceivable, as that immaterial conceptions should expand any bodily organ. In the case of the brain this is said to be possible: but the degree and the mode are equally unknown; and there is clearly a limit,-a very straitened expansion, if the fact should be admitted.
Leaving, however, this discussion for the present, as I hope to resume it in a more proper place, I may observe that the extracts from the writings of Boyle, Sir Matthew Hale, and Cudworth, will perhaps be open to animadversion when they are judged according to the standard of expression in modern metaphysical works; and may be thought by some obsolete on this account. But although the phraseology may be uncouth, yet if we can understand what the
mean, and can gather important truths or facts in the philosophy of the human mind from their writings, the end will be sufficiently answered. It would seem, indeed, that the clearest metaphysical heads are liable to some degree of obscurity on this point: because most of them differ in expression, if they do not in opinion. Though Locke introduced a greater precision of language than had been known before his time, yet his use of the word Idea in so general a sense as he employed it, has drawn a sort of apology from himself, and has given rise to very strange if not absurd conclusions, perhaps logically deduced, from others, as Hume and Berkley. Dugald Stewart seems to be fully aware of this verbal ambiguity, and passes some just remarks on the "Common Sense" of Beattie and Reid, which appears to have been used by these writers in by far too general a signification. A volume might be written in pointing out the different meanings in which words in most common use relative to mental principles, powers, capacities, and operations, are employed by different authors. But it would be a discouraging circumstance, if amidst all this variety, we could not come at some general truths acknowledged by all. With respect to the word Instinct, as applicable to the original tendencies of the human mind, and especially as applicable to the first movements or elements of intellectual and moral power, it may be liable to some objection. Yet it is desirable to have some words as
* See Introduction to Essay on Human Understanding.
remote as possible from objects of sense, to denote the inherent and original workings of the mind itself: and Instinct may be one of these. For, it is clear, that objects of sense are only the occasion, remote or immediate, they are not the instruments, of the mind's operations; they are the exciting causes, but not the state of excitement or operation itself. The excitement and the instruments or faculties belong intrinsically to the mind. Impressions from outward objects may affect the mind with what are called Ideas, as, to employ a coarse analogy, outward food may excite the animal system, and rouse the animal functions. But it is its own labour upon these ideas, by its own inherent vigour, with its own innate powers, that can convert them to its use, and enlarge the various faculties, according to the quality of the impressions received; as it is by the powers of digestion and assimilation, that the aliment is appropriated to the several bodily orgaus. Hence human knowledge, whether it consists in the acquirement of art or science, or literature, or in the growth and enlargement of our best affections, by the exercise of different mental capacities, is not something without the mind; any more than food appropriated to bone, vessel, gland, muscle, by the action of different organs, is something without the body. But what is true of the profound and elaborately deduced logical proposition or mathematical theorem, is true also of the primary elements of the proposition. They belong essentially to the mind and education cannot, in the true sense
of the word, or absolutely, impart them, though it may enable the mind to draw them forth, as the word implies, and to recognize them as something congenial to its own nature-in fact, as truth, commanding its implicit assent, immediately they are fairly brought under its notice.
Of the primary elements of Reasoning.
From the preceding considerations, it will follow, that all enlargement of the mind, all improvement of its capacities, all real knowledge, must consist, and can only consist, in the evolution of its own powers, as these are severally acted upon by external things, or by external qualities of mind in others. For as external material things have a congruity to the natural senses, and vice versa, the eye to light, the ear to sounds, the tongue to sweets, the smell to per fumes; so the qualities or manifestations of mind in our fellow creatures, as gratitude, humanity, justice, honesty, sincerity, temperance, modesty, and their opposites, have a congruity to certain innate powers in us, affecting us with pleasure or pain, love or aversion, the sense of good or ill desert, and many other feelings common to our nature. But it is a low and degrading idea to suppose that the cultiva
tion of mental power consists in the mind being as it were mechanically filled with its thoughts or emotions from without, as jewels are placed in a casket; or in its being ornamented with outward resemblances and images, as figures are represented in a looking-glass. This analogy may at first sight appear plausible, for on abstruse subjects we are willing to lay hold of any analogy that may seem calculated to explain even part of the difficulty; but, if it is examined, it will be found not to have one particle of the analogy of nature; and therefore to be false and to lead to erroneous conclusions. Knowledge has no relation whatever either on the one hand to empty shadows, or, on the other, to the gross materials of a cabinet. For, real substantial knowledge in the mind, must be as unlike any thing received from without, or discovered without, except in the minds of others; as a piece of bread is unlike a living muscular fibre, or as air, earth, and water, are, in themselves, unlike the living organized system of a plant. What is communicated from without, may, indeed, be assimilated by intellectual labour, till it constitute effective and substantial truth or knowledge; as air, earth, and water, with the aid of heat and light, may be subdued and assimilated by the power of vegetation to the very nature and substance of the plant. Neither perception, nor memory can do this. The mere act of treasuring ideas in the memory does not add a single iota to the real in tellectual power of the mind.