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** opinion or judgment, that strikes, and produces some agreeable * or uneasy emotion." (P. 479, 4to edit.) Mr Hume, on the other hand, sometimes employs (after the example of the French metaphysicians) sentiment as synonymous withfeeling; an use of the word quite unprecedented in our tongue. In ascertaining the propriety of our vernacular expressions, it is a rule with me never to appeal from the practice of our own standard authors to etymological considerations, or to the use which is made, in other languages, either ancient or modern, of the corresponding derivatives from the same root. In the present instance, accordingly, I pay no regard to the definitions given of the word sentiment in French dictionaries ; although I readily acknowledge, that it was from that country we origiually borrowed it : And I am much fortified in my doubts with respect to the competency of foreign tribunals to decide any such questions, by the variety of senses attached to this very word, in the different languages of modern Europe. On this point l willingly borrow a few remarks from a very ingenious and judicious critic. ** Le mot sentiment, dérivé du primitif Latin sentire, a passé * dans les langues modernes, mais avec des nuances d'acception * particulières à chacune d'elles. En Italien, sentimento exprime * deux idées différentes ; 1. l'opinion qu'on a sur un objet, ou * sur une question ; 2 la faculté de sentir. En Anglois, sentiment ** n'a que le premier de ces deux sens. En Espagnol, sentimiento o signifie souffrance, acception que le mot primitif a quelquefois ** en Latin. * En François, sentiment a les deux acceptions de l'Italien, ** mais avec cette difiérence, que dans la dernière il a beaucoup ** d'extension. Non seulement il designe généralement en Fran* çois toutes les aflcctions de l'âme, mais il exprime plus partio culièrement la passion de l'amour. En voici un example ; son * sENTIMENT est si profond que rien au monde ne peut la distraire o des oljets qui servent à le nourrir. Si l'on traduit cette phrase ** dans toute autre langue, en conservant le mot sentiment, on fera ** un Gallicisme. On en fera également un, en employant ce mot ** dans la traduction des phrases suivantes : c'est un homme à sEN** TIMENT ; voilà du sENTIMENT ; il y a du sENTIMENT dans cette * piece ; il est tout âme, tout sENTIMENT ;-parce qu'il y est pris ** dans une acception vague, pour tout ce qui tient à la faculté de ** sentir. Aussi STERNE en a-t-il fait un en donnant à son voyage ** le titre de sentimental; mot que les François n'ont pas manqué * de réclamer, et de fairè passer dans leur langue, parce qu'il est * parfaitement analogue à l'acception qu'ils ont donnée au mot * sentiment."—Dissertation sur les Gallicismes, par M. Suard. It does not appear to me that Sterne can be justly charged with •a Gallicism, in the title which he has given to his book ; the adjective sentimental, although little used before his time, being
strictly conformable in its meaning to the true English import of the substantive on which it is formed. On the contrary, I think, that, in adopting the adjective sentimental, as well as the phrase Aomme à sentiment, the French have imitated the English idiom. In applying, indeed, the word sentiment to the passion of love, they must be allowed to have led the way: Nor do I know that their example has been yet followed by any good writer in this country.—M. Suard was probably misled, in this criticism on Sterne, by Johnson's Dictionary. They who are aware of the frequent use of this word, which has been lately made by our moral writers, will not blame me for the length of this note; more especially, when they consider what a source of misapprehension it has been between English and French philosophers. How oddly does the following sentence sound in our ears “Les nouveaux philosophes veulent que la ** couleur soit un sentiment de l'ame.”
Note (F.) p. 117.
The principal steps of Berkeley's reasoning, in support of his scheme of idealism, are expressed in the following propositions, which are stated nearly in his own words:
“We are percipient of nothing but our own perceptions and “ ideas.”—“It is evident to any one who takes a survey of the “objects of human knowledge, that they are either ideas actually “imprinted on the senses; or else such as are perceived by at“tending to the passions and operations of the mind; or lastly, “ideas formed by help of memory and imagination, either com“ pounding, dividing, or barely representing those originally per“ ceived in the foresaid ways.” “Light and colours, heat “ and cold, extension and figure; in a word, the things we see “ and feel, what are they but so many sensations, notions, ideas, “ or impressions on the sense; and is it possible to separate, even “in thought, any of these from perception ? For my own part, “I might as easily divide a thing from itself. As for our “senses, by them we have the knowledge only of our sensa“tions, ideas, or those things that are immediately perceived by “sense, call them what you will : But they do not inform us, “ that things exist without a mind, or unperceived—like to those “which are perceived.—As there can be uo notion or thought * but in a thinking being, so there can be no sensation, but in a “sentient being : it is the act or feeling of a sentient being ; its * very essence consists in being felt. Nothing can resemble a ** sensation, but a similar sensation in the same, or in some other “mind. To think that any quality in a thing inanimate can re“semble a sensation is absurd, and a contradiction in terms.”
This argument of Berkeley is very clearly and concisely put by Reid. “If we have any knowledge of a material world, it must
“casions. For you will now have these material parts of bodies “work upon the outward organs of the senses, and, passing “ through them, mingle themselves with the spirits, and so to the “brain. These little parts must needs get in at the doors of our “bodies, and mingle themselves with the spirits in the nerves, and, “ of necessity, must make some motion in the brain. Doubtless, “if this be true, there must needs be an incredible motion in the “brain; for, if the atoms of two armies fighting should rush in“to your brain by the eye, they will make a greater motion than ** Minerva did in Jupiter's brain. You would call for a Vulcan “ to cleave your head, and let out those armed men, who would “cause a greater struggling in your head than the twins did in “Rebecca's womb : For I do not think these little myrmidons “would lie so quiet in your brain, as the Grecians did in the “Trojan horse. But, if the material atoms of the object pierce “the organ; as, for example, of a horse; then tell us, how many “ atoms must meet to make up a little horse; and how can that “horse, being bridled and saddled, pierce your eye without hurt“ing it, especially if you should see mounted on his back such a “gallant as St George, armed with a long sharp lance; or Bel“lerophon on Pegassus 2 And if a thousand eyes should look at “one time upon that object, will it not be much lessened, by “losing so many atoms and parts, as enter into so many eyes 2– “Or can the object inultiply itself by diminution, as the five “ loaves did in the gospel ?–Or, suppose you should see as many “horses at a time as were in Xerxes his army, would there be “stable-room enough in your brain to contain them all 2–Or, if “you should see a thousand horses, one after another, doth the “coming in of the latter drive out the former ?–Which way do “they come out?—The same way they went in 2–Or some other “way —Or do they stable altogether there 2–Or do they die in “ the brain –Will they not perish the brain, and poison your “optic spirits, with which you say they are mingled 2–Or, sup“ pose you should see, in a looking-glass, a horse; doth the “atoms of that horse pierce first the glass to get in, and then break “ through the glass again to get into your eye Sure, if this be “your new philosophy, you are likely to have but few sectaries “ of these deambulatory wise men, whom you call vulgar philo“sophers." Is it not easier, and more cousonant to reason, that “ the image or representation of the olject be received into the “sense, which reception we call sensation, that is to say, that the “very material parts which you call atoms should pierce the or“gan for then the same object must be both one and many ; “ and so, if all the inhabitants of either hemisphere should look “at once on the moon, there must be as many moons as beholders.
* Compare this with Dr Beattie's attempts at pleasantry on the very theory which Alexander Ross considered as indisputable.
“Again, we distinguish that which you confound, to wit, first, “ the organ which is called sensorium : secondly, the sensitive ** faculty, which resides in the spirits: thirdly, the act of sensa“tion, which is caused by the object: fourthly, the object itself “ which causeth sensation, but not the sense or faculty itself: “ fifthly, the species which is the image of the object: sixthly, the “medium, which is air, water, &c.; seventhly, the sensitive soul, “actuating the organ, and in it judging and perceiving the ob. “ject, which diffuses and sends its species, or spiritual and inten“tional qualities, both into the medium and the sensorium; and “ this is no more impossible than for the war to receive the im“pressions or figure of the seal, without any of its matter.”*
From this precious relic of scholastic subtility we learn, 1st, that the author conceived the species by means of which perception is obtained to be really images or representations of external objects ; 2d, that he conceived these species to be altogether unembodied; 3d, that the chief ground of difference between him and his opponent consisted in this, that while the one supposed the species to be immaterial, the other fancied them to be composed of atoms which enter by the organs of sense, and “make some mo“tion in the brain.” In this respect, Sir Kenelm Digby's hypothesis seems to be merely a revival of the old Epicurean doctrine with respect to the tenuia rerum simulacra; which Lucretius plainly considered as images or resemblances of sensible qualities; perfectly analogous to the species of the Peripatetics in every particular but this, that they were supposed to partake of the matter as well as of the form of their respective archetypes.
In the present state of science, when the phraseology of the schoolmen is universally laid aside; and more especially, since the time that the absurdity of their theory of perception has been so fully exposed by Dr Reid, it is very easy to argue from this absurdity against the probability that the theory was ever matter of general and serious belief. It is easy, for example, to ask what notion it was possible to annex to the words image or representation, when applied to the sensible species, by which we perceive hardness or softness, roughness or smoothness, heat or cold 2 The question is surely a very pertinent one, and, to all appearance, sufficiently obvious; but it does not therefore follow, that it was ever asked, or that it would have produced much impression, if it had been asked, during the scholastic ages. Such is the influence of words upon the most acute understandings, that when the language of a sect has once acquired a systematical coherence and consistency, the imposing plausibility of the dress in which
* The Philosophical Touchstone, or Observations upon Sir Keuelm Digby's Discourses of the Nature of Bodies, and of the Rational Soul. By Alexander Ross, London, 1945.
their doctrines are exhibited, is not only likely to draw a veil, impenetrable to most eyes, over many of the inconsistencies of thought which they may involve, but to give a dexterous advocate infinite advantages in defending and vindicating these inconsistencies, if they should be brought under discussion.—When, on the other hand, this technical language has been supplanted by a different phraseology, and when the particular dogmas which it was employed to support come to be examined in separate and unconnected detail, error and absurdity carry along with them the materials of their own refutation; and the mysterious garb, under which they formerly escaped detection, serves only to expose them to additional ridicule. Such has, in fact, been the case with the scholastic theory of perception, which, after maintaining its ground, without any dispute, during a succession of centuries, is now represented as an extravagance of too great a magnitude, to have been ever understood by its abettors in the literal sense which their words convey. It would be happy for science, if some of those who have lately expressed themselves in this manner, did not conceal from superficial readers, and probably from themselves also, under a different, but equally hypothetical form of words, the very same fundamental mistake which revolts their judgment so strongly, when presented to them in terms to which they have not been accustomed. The theory of Digby, too, when contrasted with that of his antagonist, is a historical document of considerable importance; exhibiting a specimen of the first attacks made on the system of the schoolmen, by the partisans of the new philosophy. The substitution of material images, instead of the ambiguous and mysterious species of Aristotle, by forcing the Peripatetics to speak out their meaning a little more explicitly, did more to bring them into discredit than the most acute and conclusive arguments of their opponents. Much about the same time, Dr Hooke expressed himself not less decidedly about the materiality of ideas or images ; employing a mode of speaking on this subject not very unlike that of Dr Darwin. Priestley's language is somewhat different from this, being faithfully modelled after the hypothesis of his master, Dr Hartley. “If,” says he, “as Hartley supposes, “ the nerves and brain be a vibrating substance, all sensations and “ideas are vibrations in that substance; and all that is properly “ unknown in the business, is the power of the mind to perceive “ or be affected with these vibrations.” In what manner Dr Priestley would have reconciled this inference with what I have already quoted from him with respect to the idea of extension, I presume not to conjecture, As a further illustration of the notions which were prevalent with respect to the nature of sensible species, and that little more than a century ago, I shall quote a passage from a treatise, which,