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intuition determine things to stand related to one another as cause and effect which are not so related, is gratuitously to suppose a system of falsehood and delusion to be interwoven in our very nature; than which nothing can be more revolting, as well to common sense, as to the only really philosophical account of the origin of our being. We conclude, therefore, that the notion of cause and effect could never be obtained by mere sensation under any possible modification of it.*
Yet it seems to be an original law of our nature—an instinct or propensity interwoven with our mental constitution-that the mind expects like consequents to follow like antecedents. An infant that has but once sucked the breast may be observed to turn its head into the position in which it enjoyed that pleasant sensation, and to form its lips into a round aperture, as when they enclosed the nipple, evidently expecting that the same posture would be followed by the same enjoyment, or, more generally, that the same antecedents would be followed by the same consequents; and it may be observed to express its disappointment, by signs of displeasure, when the expected result of its feeble exertions does not follow. It then discovers that something more is necessary to obtain the gratification than the position of
It has been asserted that every change necessarily implies a cause, so that we cannot even conceive of a change without a cause. The first part of the proposition we are not disposed to dispute, that every change must have a cause, at least when applied to created beings. But in regard to our necessarily inferring from every change that it must have a cause, we apprehend that such influence is derived from experience. Every change in material objects is produced by some cause, mental or material; every change in our own mind we can trace to some cause, and our constantly witnessing changes produced by causes begets a persuasion, which we cannot shake, that every change must have its cause. But in a mind circumstanced as we have supposed, destitute of the means of forming the conception of any object external to itself, any change within itself could be referred only to some cause within itself; and all changes within itself being alike involuntary, it possessing no power over them, we cannot imagine to what internal cause it could ascribe the changes of which it was conscious, or how it could obtain the notion of cause from them.
the head and lips. That something else is supplied by the nipple being put into its mouth. If on another similar occasion the finger be put into the mouth, it will appear satisfied for a moment, and begin to suck it; but soon finding that it gets no milk, it again shows signs of disappointment, till after several trials it ceases to expect milk from the finger; and if it be intent on getting its natural food, it rejects it at once. Now here is a history antecedent to all experience, of that instinct or innate propensity that accompanies us through life, and by which much of our life is regulated, first confidently to expect the same consequents to follow the same antecedents, and afterwards gradually to disentangle by experience the necessary antecedent from unnecessary concomitants, and to distinguish the true antecedent from resemblances to it. A more advanced child makes a noise by striking a spoon on the table. He afterwards strikes it on a cushion, expecting to produce the same sound, but is disappointed. He tries it on the table again, and succeeds; and thus one error is corrected, and one part of the true antecedent is discovered; but his expectation that the same result will follow if he keep by the same means of obtaining it, is never for a moment weakened. A man makes a pump, and succeeds in drawing up water by it. He makes another, and fails. He immediately infers that there must be some difference between the second pump and the first, and sets himself to discover it, never doubting that if he made the second exactly like the first, and put it in the same circumstances, the same effect will be produced by it. This is an instinct, or intuitive propensity, in perfect accordance with the truth, which can never lead us into error, but which conducts us with absolute certainty, so far as we follow it up, to a true knowledge of all the objects to which we have access. It is common to us and to all the inferior animals, so far as their instincts have been observed: it is the great general
principle on which our lives are regulated; it is the guide to all discoveries, and the germ of all true philosophy.
MEMORY necessarily implies the power of observing similarities and diversities in our sensations. There could be no such laws of suggestion as we have described, if all sensations appeared alike when suggested. It can only be by observing wherein succeeding sensations are similar to one another, or wherein they differ, that the mind can recognise them as repetitions of the same sensation, or discover them to be new sensations. If, in remembering sensations, the mind could not distinguish a sight from a sound, or one sight from another, or one sound from another, there could be no suggestion.
This observation leads us to notice another power the mind, namely, the power of observing similarities and differences in its successive sensations, either original or suggested, or another phenomenon of the mind, that it in fact does notice resemblances and differences in its successive sensations or remembrances of sensations. This power of the mind may be called discernment or discrimination; or, as it is called by some writers, judgment. It can scarcely be regarded as a distinct power from memory, for the comparing of successive sensations implies memory; for, as we have seen, there could be no memory without it: yet, as a peculiar element in memory, it will require a separate consideration.
DISCERNMENT, DISCRIMINATION, OR JUDGMENT, AS
THE power designated by any one of these three names is, we have said, the power of discerning or judging of the resemblances or differences between an original sensation and a suggested one; or between two or more suggested sensations. For we apprehend there can be no comparison between two strictly contemporaneous sensations. To compare, the attention must be directed to both, and it can be directed to only one at a time; that is, it must compare by examining them alternately. The alternation may be exceedingly rapid, still it must alternate. When any one endeavours accurately to discern the difference between two sounds, as when he tunes a musical instrument, or between colours, as when he is endeavouring to match any colour, his attention is not directed to both of the sounds or of the colours at the same moment, but is continually passing from the one to the other, comparing the actual or original sensation of the one, with the suggested or remembered sensation of the other.
We use the words resemblances, or similarities, and differences, with the utmost latitude that the words will bear similarities and differences in colour, smell, taste, sound, form, position, quantity, duration, number, and innumerable others. The nature and varieties of resemblances and differences which a mind situated as we have supposed would be capable of discerning, would be such as the following.
It might not at once, but would, perhaps, taught by experience, distinguish sensations affecting it through the different organs of sense, sounds from sights, and
* See note C. Appendix.
both from feelings, or tastes, or smells. We are not sure that it would mark the distinction at once. The commonly reported case, indeed, of a blind man comparing red colours to the sound of a trumpet, was obviously derived from his connecting in his mind soldiers with red colour, having been told that their dress was red; and with the sound of a trumpet, that being a soldier's instrument. Had he been a Frenchman, he would probably have compared a blue colour to it, or if an Austrian, white. We remember a case more in point. A little boy was taken to a place of worship where the congregation joined with a loud voice in the psalmody. When they began to sing, he instantly turned his eyes to the door of the church, and when asked why he did so, replied that he thought it was a great A coming in at the door. He had been taught the sound of the letter A, which seemed to him to resemble 'the sound made in singing, and the loudness of it he mistook for the largeness of the letter. Here was a manifest confounding of a sensation of hearing with a sensation of sight.
Again, the mind would discriminate between many different sensations of the same organ-different sounds, shrill and deep, harsh and pleasing, loud and gentle; between different sights, light and darkness, various degrees of light, different colours, the diversities occasioned by different figures presented to the eye, or the same figure at different distances and in different positions; points, lines, straight or crooked, circles, ellipses, squares, triangles; different sensations of touch, hot, cold, hard, soft, light, heavy; feelings occasioned by rough or smooth bodies passed over the skin, sharp or blunt instruments applied to it. We question whether it would be able to distinguish sensation occasioned by the prick of a sharp point from that occasioned by a drop of scalding water, or the touch of fire or of caustic. It would also distinguish different tastes,-sour, sweet,