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All that proves the materiality of the mind, all that proves that however spiritualized, it is yet but spirit, or ether, or any subtiller substance, if there is any, is in direct opposition to Dr. Reid's theory. And therefore we think it of importance to observe.
Thirdly, That Dr. Reid's philosophy necessarily presup poses the immateriality of the foul. This is indeed the great foundation of a theory which raises the mind at once above all the laws of matter, all the natural conceptions of men who feel nothing within them not clothed, however lightly, in bodily form, and the universal concurrence of all philoso phers before the present day. It is on this principle that Dr. Reid ascribes such omnipotency to the mind, as to grasp and comprehend objects as they really are in their intimate na ture and essence, without the intervention of contact or presfure of any kind : and to determine itself; in its choice of obz jects and course of conduct freely, without preponderancy of motive, and by its own internal divine energy. Here too, we observe that Dr. Reid who reasons on the principles of com. mon sense, flies in the face of that tribunal to which he appeals. For can any thing appear more thockingly absurd to the eye of common sense, than to affirm that the mind may exist though it exists no where? and that the ubi the category of space has nothing to do with spiritual existence? Does not the constitution of nature lead us to believe that nothing exifts that is immaterial? Do we not then oppose this dictate of nature when we affirm that a principle exists in its nature and operations not subject to the laws of matter? and, with regard to the fense of liberty, is it not an axiom that çvery action must have a motive, and every effect a cause? We'thus find Dr. Reid adopting or departing from the principles of conimon sense, according as his adherence or departure suits his purpose. On this subject it is proper to be more particular; and to illustrate still farther the inconsistency of our most learned and acute professor,
The doctor among his first principles of contingent truths, principles which he places on an equal footing of clearness and certainty with the moft felf-evident metaphpsical vi mathematical'axiom, reckons a “ sense of liberty."" Another first principle, I think is, that we have some degree of power over our actions, and the determinations of our will it is not more evident that mankind have a conviction of the ex. istence of a material world, than that they have the convic. tion of some degree of power in themselves and others; every one over his own actions, and the determinations of his will." [See Essay VI.] This axiom is thus opposed to the axiom that every effect must have a cause:-Here we see that the deci
fions of common sense, if this be one of them, are fometimes fallacious. Another first principle Dr. Reid takes to be, 16 that certain features of the countenance, founds of the “ voice, and gestures of the body, indicate certain thoughts " and dispositions of the mind."-And another first principle appears to him to be “ that there is a certain regard due to human testimony in matters of fact, and cven to human authority in matters of opinion”-Is it not possible then to give any kind of analyfis of the language of natural signs? or of our proness to give credit to teftimony! Dr. Reid might as well affirm that there is a natural and necessary connexion between the fight or appearance of a lizard or toad, or other loathsome or noxious animal, and our abhorrence of them. Yet there are men, and nation's of men, that stroak and caress toads and lizards, and think them very beautiful creatures. Undoubtedly, were smiles uniformly accompanied or followed by mischief, and frown's accompanied or followed as uniformly by acts of tenderness and beneficence, the child would foon learn, what indeed in advanced years he has some reason to do, to put more trust in the latter than the former. But if there be a natural dif position in mankind to be soothed and pleased by smiles and Toft tones; and to be discomposed and alarmed, at frowns, and harsh sounds, and threatening gestures: that disposition may be accounted for by the connexion that we perceive between certain inward feelings and paffions in ourfelves, and our countenance, voice, and gestures. Being conscious of this connection in ourselves, we naturally suppose, that such a connection also takes' place in others. -A like account can also be given of our proneness to give credit to human testimony. The author of our nature has implanted in us a dif. position to express fincerely every emotion and passion of our mind, and by expreffing them to invite the fympathy of our fellow-men whether to enliven or to foothe and allay our feelings. Conscious of this disposition in ourselves we readily transfer it to others. Therefore these two lait mentioned first principles of Dr. Reid's are not in reality first principles, but are clearly resolvable into principles more general. Did our bounds permit, we might analize in like manner, many more of Dr. Reid's firft principles. On the whole.it appears to us, that Dr. Reid's fondness for first principles has led him to extend the province of what he calls intuitive judgment very widely over the province of reasoning in a train, and the habitual association of ideas. And also, that some of his first principles are fallacious, and inconsistent with each other.-Dr. Reid very justly observes "tlrat opinions which
contradi& first principles are distinguished from other errors by this; that they are not only false, but absurd: And that, to discountenance absurdity, nature hath given us a particu-, lar emotion, to wit, that of ridicule.” Now we appeal to our readers, and to our author himself, whether, among his first principles in general, his first principles of contingent, and his first principles of necessary truth, there are not any, whether there be not a great number, 'nay, whether the most of them are not of such a nature that their contraries can be conceived without the least emotion of ridicule.-By thus developing, and extending, and exemplifying his principles of cominon sense or intuitive judgment, which he makes synonimous, the Doctor has greatly weakened our reverence for, their authority. For when we have discovered their usurpa- , tion in some instances, we are led to suspect it in others. But it, is reasonable to check this prejudice, and to examine whether intuitive judgment, or common sense, suggests any thing, counts for any thing, or confirms any thing concerning which : the philosophical world was before perplexed or at a loss.
And, here we observe fourthly, that Dr. Reid's general theory: of intuitive judgment and common sense, does not appear to us to suggest any thing, or to account for any thing, or to confirm any thing concerning which the philosophical world was before perplexed and at a loss. And as this is the grand question concerning Dr. Reid's philosophy, we shall enter into it as much as the limits of this monthly publica-, tion will admit.
Mr. Hume, to all our perceptions, and sensations, gives the name of impressions, whether we touch, tafte, smell, hear, see, love, or hatė, or desire, or will. These perceptions and sensations when we recall them to remembrance, and make them objects of reflexion after they are past, Mr. Hume call thoughts or ideas. The whole materials or fur · niture of the mind may be reduced to perceptions or sensations, thoughts or ideas; and the common origin of both is impression. Dr. Reid insists that besides this impression, besides the perception of objects, the mind perceives, knows, judges, and is sensible of their permanent existence: that our perceptions suggest some substratum in which the qualities perceived, inhere, and exift. Now, it appears to us, that all this belief of a substratum and permanent existence of objects, is nothing inore than what is implied or comprehended by, Mr Hume in impreffions and perceptions. In the vivid conception of objects, whether introduced to the mind in the way
of impressions or ideas, there is implied a belief of their existence. That belief Dr. Reid calls a dictate of common,
fenfe, a judgment of nature. Be it so, be it a di&tate of common sense, and a judgment of nature, it is a part of what Mr. Hume calls perception : perception is the foundation on which it rests: and a new name, is not a new discovery. But, this belief, Dr. Reid affirms we ought not to reje&t, but ta rest in the judgment of nature as satisfactory and final, Mr. Hume and all men acknowledge this disposition, or, if you will, judgment of nature, (for what signifies it to dispute about words)? to be fo satisfactory that he cannot reject it, while the impression or perception on which it is involved is present to the mind and lasts. But when no such perception is , present, where is the object? Where it was before, replies, Dr. Reid. True, I believe its existence while by this difpute I recall it to my mind, or by any other principle of alsociation; for then I have an idea of it: and a temporary conception implies a temporary belief of an object, But be-. fides this vivid conception, impressed by perception, recalled hy some association, or anticipated by a customary transition from one object to another, I know not any foundation of belief.-" By an original principle of our conftitution,” says: Dr. Reid in his inquiry, " a certain sensation of touch both,
suggests to the mind the conception of hardness, and creates " the belief of it," Mr. Hume includes belief in the con ception of hardness, Dr. Reid only varies and prolongs the phraseology, when he affirms that this sensation both suga: gests to the mind the conception of hardness, and creates the belief of it. The Doctor on this occasion, and in other parts of his writings, talks mysteriously of natural signs and connections between the sign and the thing signified, which he considers as the interpretation of nature, and seems to place the suggestions of our senses on the same footing with the natural expression of countenance, voice, and gesture, of which wc. have said somethings above: in this there appears to be nothing but what is involved in darkness, mystery, or obscurity.
That Dr. Reid has not in fact madę any discovery, he himself acknowledges when he says, “ All reasoning must be “ from first principles; and for first principles no other rea... " son can be given but this, that by the conftitution of our
nature we are under the necessity of afsenting to them.' Dr. Reid cuts short all reasoning, even on subjects that admit of reasoning by telling you, when your curiosity is excited by
any question concerning the process of the mind in thinking, “ such is the constitution of your nature." And where no other answer can really be given, the doctor of divinity asserts nothing more than is allowed by the sceptic.
But Dr. Reid infifts that “our senses give us a direct and diftin&t notion of the primary qualities, and inform us what they are in themselves: whereas, of the secondary qualities, our senses give us only a relative and obscure notion. They inform us only, that they are qualities that affect us in a cer. tain manner, that is, produce in us a certain sensation; but, a's to what they are in themselves, our senses leave us in the dark.". Let us attend closely to the information that our senses gives us concerning primary qualities. The primary qualities of body are extension, divisibility, figure, motion, solidity, hardness, softness, and fluidity.-Now, says Dr. Reid, '“ The solidity of a body means no more but that it excludes other bodies from occupying the same place at the same time-hardness, softness, and fluidity are different degrees of cohesion in the parts of a body-it is evident, therefore, that of the primary qualities we have a clear and diftinct notion ; we know what they are, though we may be ignorant of their causes.” Solidity then is the cause why any body or substance maintains exclutive poffeffion of a particular space: and secondary qualities are conceived as the " unknown causes or occasions of certain sensations with which we are well acquainted.” But is folidity, a cause better known than any fecondary quality? It is known by its property or effect of exclusively poffefsing a certain portion of space for a certain time, which definition implies in it nothing but relative ideas, and therefore the aggregate of all these ideas of “effect, exclusive poffesfion or occupation, space, time,” the aggregate of all these ideas is itself relative. Primary qualities therefore are not more directly and distinctly conceived as causes, than secondary qualities. And it is only as causes that Dr. Reid pretends to penetrate them. He judges of them only by their effects to excite different ideas of different relations in the mind. “ The folidity of a body means no more, but that it excludes other bodies from occupying the same place at the same time. Hardness, softness, and fluidity are different degrees of cohesion in the parts of a body.”. We submit this definition to be attended to, and analized into its component parts by our readers. By a farther multiplication of words, we might render' our meaniug more obscure: which is, shortly this, that primary qualities, like secondary qualities, are just what they are conceived to be, and no more.
We therefore go on to observe, , fifthly, that while Dr. Reid explains the primary quality of folidity by its relation to fpace; the notion of space itself is originally obtained by the primary qualities of matter them-' felyes, folidity and extension. Therefore this manner of