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have been sufficient to produce it, without any such proximity of the direct images themselves.

In all these ways, it is very easy to perceive how, in considering every simple suggestion, our thoughts should be continually turned to the past, and the suggestion itself, therefore, be converted into association ; the exceptions being forgotten, or receiving a different name, that we might satisfy ourselves with a general law, though exceptions so important, and so innumerable, might themselves have served for a proof that the general law was inaccurate.

After these remarks, then, I trust that you will not merely have seen the reasons which led me to prefer to the use of the ambiguous phrase association, the substitution of the simpler term suggestion, but that you will be disposed also to admit the justness of that distinction, on which the substitution was founded. The importance of the distinction, however, you will perceive more fully, in the applications that are afterwards to be made, of it, in reducing under simple suggestion, phenomena ascribed by philosophers to many different intellectual powers.

To this I shall proceed in my next Lecture.

85

LECTURE XLI.

REDUCTION OF CERTAIN SUPPOSED PACULTIES TO SIMPLE

SUGGESTION, I. CONCEPTION,– II. MEMORY.

GENTLEMEN, my last Lecture was employed in considering the nature of that tendency of the mind, by which it exists, successively in the states which constitute the variety of our conceptions, in our trains of thought; my object being to ascertain whether this tendency depend on any previous intellectual process, constituting what has been termed a union or association of ideas, or, simply on the relations of the conceptions themselves, at the moment of suggestion, without any previous union or association whatever of the idea or other feeling which suggests, with the idea or other feeling which is suggested. I explained to you the reasons which seem to lead us, in every case, in which conception follows conception, in trains that have a sort of wild regularity, to look back to the past, for some mysterious associations of our ideas, by which this regular confusion of their successions may be explained ; though, in the phenomena themselves, there is no evidence of any such association, or earlier connecting process of any kind, all of which we are conscious being merely the original perception and the subsequent suggestion.

It is, in a great measure, I remarked, in consequence of obscure notions, entertained with respect to this supposed assoCIATION of ideas, as something prior and necessary to the actual operation of the simple principle of spontaneous sugges. tion, that the phenomena of this simple principle of the mind have been referred to various intellectual powers, from the impossibility of finding, in many cases, any source of prior association, and the consequent necessity of inventing some new power for the producing of phenomena, which seemed not to be reducible to suggestion, or to differ from its common forms, merely because we had encumbered the simple process of suggestion, with unnecessary and false conditions.

My next object, then, will be to show, how truly that variety of powers, thus unnecessarily, and, therefore, unphilosophically devised, are reducible to the principle of simple suggestion; or, at least, to this simple principle, in combination with some of those other principles, which I pointed out, as parts of our mental constitution, in my arrangement of the phenomena of the mind.

It will be of advantage, however, previously to take a slight retrospect of the principal points, which may be considered as established, with respect to simple suggestion; that we may see more clearly what it is, from which the other supposed powers are said to be different.

In the first place, we can have no doubt of the general fact of suggestion, that conception follows conception, in our trains of thought, without any recurrence of the external objects, which as perceived, originally gave occasion to them.

As little can we doubt that these conceptions, as internal states of the mind, independent of any immediate influence of external things, do not follow each other loosely, but according to a certain general relation, or number of relations, which constitute what I have termed the primary laws of suggestion, and which exercise their influence variously, in different persons, and at different times, according to circumstances, which, as modifying the former, I have denominated secondary laws of suggestion.

In the third place, we have seen, that they do not follow each other merely, the suggesting idea giving immediate place to the suggested; but that various conceptions, which arise at different moments, may coexist, and form one compound feeling, in the same manner as various perceptions, that arise together, or at different moments may coexist, and form one compound feeling of another species,-all that complexity of forms and colours, for example, which gives a whole world of wonders at once to our vision, or those choral sounds which flow mingled from innumerable vibrations that exist together, without confusion, in the small aperture of the ear, and in a single moment, fill the soul with a thousand harmonies, as if, in the perception of so many coexisting sounds, it had a separate sense for every separate voice, and could exist with a strange diffusive consciousness, in a simultaneous variety of

Lastly, we have seen that no previous association, or former connecting process, of any kind is necessary for suggestion, that we have no conciousness of any intermediate process between the primary perception and the subsequent suggestion, and that we are not merely without the slightest consciousness of a process, which is thus gratuitously supposed, but that there re innumerable phenomena which it is not very easy to re

states.

concile with the supposition, on any view of it, and which certainly, at least, cannot be reconciled with it, on that view of the primary laws of suggestion, which the assertors of a distinct specific Faculty of Association have been accustomed to take.

Let us now, then, apply the knowledge which we have thus acquired, and proceed to consider some of those forms of suggestion, which have been ranked as distinct intellectual powers.

That which its greater simplicity leads me to consider first, is what has been termed by philosophers the Power of Conception, which has been defined, the power that enables us to form a notion of an absent object of perception, or of some previous feeling of the mind. The definition of the supposed power is sufficiently intelligible ; but is there reason to add the power thus defined, to our other mental functions, as a distinct and peculiar faculty?

That we have a certain mental power, or susceptibility, by which, in accordance with this definition, the perception of one object may excite the notion of some absent object, is unquestionably true. But this is the very function which is meant by the power of suggestion itself, when stripped of the illusion as to prior association; and if the conception be separated from the suggestion, nothing will remain to constitute the power of suggestion, which is only another name for the same power. I enter, for example, an apartment in my friend's house during his long absence from home; I see his Aute, or the work of some favourite author, lying on his table. The mere sight of either of these, awakes instantly my conception of my friend, though at the moment, he might have been ab, sent from my thought. I see him again present. If I look at the volume, I almost think that I hear him arguing strenuously for the merits of his favourite, as in those evenings of so-, cial contention, when we have brought poets and philosopher to war against poets and philosophers. If I look at the flute, I feel instantly a similar illusion. I hear him again animating it with his very touch, --breathing into it what might almost, without a metaphor, be said to be the breath of life,and giving it not utterance merely, but eloquence. In these cases of simple suggestion, it is said the successive mental states which constitute the notions of my friend himself, of the arguments which I again seem to hear and combat, of the melodies that silently enchant me,-are conceptions indicating, therefore, a power of the mind from which they arise, that in reference to the effects produced by it, may be called the power

of conception. But, if they arise from a peculiar power of conception,--and if there be a power of association or suggestion, which is also concerned, how are these powers to be distinguished, and what part of the process is it which we owe to this latter power? If there were no suggestion of my friend, it is very evident that there could be no conception of my friend ; and if there were no conception of him, it would be absurd to speak of a suggestion, in which nothing was suggested. Whether we use the term suggestion, or association, in this case, is of no consequence. Nothing more can be accurately meant by either term, in reference to the example which I have used, than the tendency of my mind, after existing in the state which constitutes the perception of the flute or volume, and of the room in which I observe it, to exist immediately afterwards in that different state which constitutes the conception of my friend. The laws of suggestion or association are merely the general circumstances, according to which conceptions, or certain other feelings, arise. There is not, in any case of suggestion, both a suggestion and a conception, more than there is in any case of vision, both a vision and a sight. What one glance is to the capacity of vision, one conception is to the capacity of suggestion. We inay see innumerable objects in succession ; we may conceive innumerable objects in succession. But we see them, because we are succeptible of vision : we conceive them, because we have that susceptibility of spontaneous suggestion, by which conceptions arise after each other in regular trains.

This duplication of a single power, to account for the production of a single state of mind, appears to me a very

striking example of the influence of that misconception, with res. pect to association, which I occupied so much of your time in attempting to dissipate. If association and suggestion had been considered as exactly synonymous, implying merely the succession of one state of mind to another state of mind,-without any mysterious process of union of the two feelings prior to the suggestion, the attention of inquirers would, in this just and simple view, have been fixed on the single moment of the suggestion itself ;-and I cannot think that any philosopher would, in this case, have contended for two powers, as operating together at the very same moment, in the production of the very same conception ; but that one capacity would have been regarded as sufficient for this one simple effect, whether it were termed, with more immediate reference to the secondary feeling that is the effect, the power of conception, or with more immediate reference to the primary feeling which precedes it as its cause, the power of suggestion or association.

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