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questions, which he has yet sagacity enough to make-that the principle within us, which thinks, should ask itself in vain, what it is which constitutes its thought, and that this thought, which sees so many things, so distant, should yet not be able to see itself, which is so near,—that self, which it is notwithstanding always striving to see and to know-these are contradictions, which, even in the very pride of our reasoning, cannot fail to surprise and confound us."

All that remains for us, in that impossibility which nature has imposed on us of attaining a more intimate knowledge of the essence and constitution either of mind or of matter, is to attend to the phenomena which they present, analyzing whatever is complex, and tracing the order of every sequence. By attentive reflection on the phenomena themselves, and on all the circumstances which precede or follow them, we shall be able to discover the relations which they mutually bear, and to distinguish their casual coincidence, or succession, from those invariable relations which nature has established among them as causes and effects. This, humble as it may seem, is, as I have said, the true philosophy of man; because it is all of which man is capable. To inquire, as may be thought, more deeply into the essences of things, or the nature of certain supposed bonds by which they are connected, is to show, not that we have advanced far in the progress of science, but that we have gone far astray; not that we know more than philosophers of humbler views and pretensions, but that we know less ; since it proves that we are unacquainted with the limits within which nature has bounded our prospect, and have not attained that prime knowledge, which consists in knowing how little can be known.

If the philosophy, not of mind only, but of the universe, is to be found, as Hobbes has boldly said, within ourselves, in the same manner as the perfect statue is to be found in the rude block of the quarry, when all the superfluous mass, that adheres to it, has been removed,-in no respect can it more justly be said to be in our own minds than in this, that it is only by knowing the true extent, and consequently the limits, of our intellectual powers, that we can form any rational system of philosophic investigation. Then, indeed, Philosophy may be truly said, in his strong figurative language, to be Human Reason herself, hovering over all created things, and proclaiming their order, their causes, and effects. "Philosophiam noli credere eam esse, per quam fiunt lapides philosophici, neque illam quam ostentant codices. metaphysici; sed Rationem Humanum naturalem per omnes res creatas sedulo volitantem, et de earum ordine, causis, et effectibus, ea quæ vera sunt renuntiantem. Mentis ergo tuæ, et totius mundi filia philosophia in te ipso est; nondum fortasse figurata, sed genitori mundo qualis erat in principio informi similes. Faciendum ergo tibi est quod faciunt statuarii, qui materiam exculpentes supervacaneam, imaginem non faciunt sed inveniunt."*

After these remarks on physical inquiry in general, and its particular ap plication to our own science, I trust that we shall now proceed to observe, and analyze, and arrange the mental phenomena, with clearer views, both of the materials on which we have to operate, and of the nature of the operations which we have to perform. We may consider the mind as now lying open before us, presenting to us all its phenomena, but presenting them in assemblages, which it is to be our labour to separate and arrange. In this separation and arrangement, there are difficulties, I confess, of no slight kind. • Ad Lectorem.-A note prefixed to the Elementa Philosophiæ. 4to. Amstelod. 1668.

But I trust that you have the spirit, which delights in overcoming difficulties, and which, even if its most strenuous exertion should fail, delights in the very strenuousness of the endeavour. In what admits our analysis, and in what transcends it, we shall always find much that is truly wonderful in itself, and deserving of our profoundest admiration; and, even in the obscurest parts of the great field of mind, though we may see only dimly, and must, therefore, be cautious in inquiring, and fearful of pronouncing, we may yet, perhaps, be opening paths that are to lead to discovery, and, in the very darkness of our search, may perceive some gleams of that light, which, though now only dawning upon us, is to brighten on the inquirers of other ages.

In proceeding to examine and compare the mental phenomena, the first circumstance that strikes us, prior to any attempt to arrange them in classes, is, that the mind which exhibits these is susceptible of a variety of feelings, every new feeling being a change of its state; and, indeed, it is by such changes alone that it manifests itself, either in our own consciousness, or in the actions of our fellow men. If it could exist only in one everlasting state, -such as now constitutes the feeling of any particular moment,-it is quite superfluous to say, that it could not reason upon this state, for this very reasoning would itself imply the change, which is supposed to be impossible; and as little could this one unchanged and unchangeable feeling be an object of reasoning to others, even if there were any mode of its becoming manifest to them, which there evidently could not be. It is, perhaps, even not too extravagant an assertion of Hobbes, who supposes a mind so constituted as to perceive only one colour, and to perceive this constantly, and affirms, that, in that case, it would be absurd to say that it had any perception at all, being rather, as he expresses it, stupified than seeing. "Attonitum esse et fortasse aspectare eum, sed stupentem dicerem, videre non dicerem; adeo sentire semper idem, et non sentire ad idem recidunt."

Mind, then, is capable of existing in various states; an enumeration of the leading classes of which, as I before remarked, is all that constitutes our definition of it. It is that, we say, which perceives, remembers, compares, grieves, rejoices, loves, hates; and though the terms, whatever they may be, that are used by us, in any such enumeration, may be few, we must not forget that the terms are mere inventions of our own for the purpose of classification, and that each of them comprehends a variety of feelings, that are as truly different from each other, as the classes themselves are different. Perception is but a single word; yet, when we consider the number of objects that may act upon our organs of sense, and the number of ways in which their action may be combined, so as to produce one compound effect, different from that which the same objects would produce separately, or in other forms of combination, how many are the feelings which this single word denotes !-so many, indeed, that no arithmetical computation is sufficient to measure their infinity.

Amid all this variety of feelings, with whatever rapidity the changes may succeed each other, and however opposite they may seem, we have still the most undoubting belief, that it is the same individual mind, which is thus affected in various ways. The pleasure, which is felt at one moment, has indeed little apparent relation to the pain that was perhaps felt a few moments before; and the knowledge of a subject, which we possess, after having reflected on it fully, has equally little resemblance to our state of doubt when we began to inquire, or the total ignorance and indifference which preceded

the first doubt that we felt. It is the same individual mind, however, which, in all these instances, is pleased and pained, is ignorant, doubts, reflects, knows. There is something "changed in all, and yet in all the same," which at once constitutes the thoughts and emotions of the hour, and yet outlives them, something, which, from the temporary agitations of passion, rises, unaltered and everlasting, like the pyramid, that lifts still the same point to heaven, amid the sands and whirlwinds of the desert.

The consideration of the mind, as one substance, capable of existing in a variety of states, according as it is variously affected, and constituting, in these different states, all the complex phenomena of thought and feeling, necessarily involves the consideration of consciousness and of personal identity. To the examination of these, accordingly, I now proceed, as essential to all the inquiries and speculations, in which we are afterwards to be engaged; since, whatever powers or susceptibilities we may consider as attributes of the mind, this consideration must always suppose the existence of certain phenomena, of which we are conscious, and the identity of the sentient or thinking principle, in which that consciousness resides, and to which all the varieties of those ever-changing feelings, which form the subjects of our inquiry, are collectively to be referred.

Our first inquiry, then, is into the nature of


In the systems of philosophy, which have been most generally prevalent, especially in this part of the Island, consciousness has always been classed as one of the intellectual powers of the mind, differing from its other powers, as these mutually differ from each other. It is accordingly ranked by Dr. Reid, as separate and distinct, in his Catalogue of the Intellectual Powers; and he says of it, that "it is an operation of the understanding of its own kind, and cannot be logically defined. The objects of it are our present pains, our pleasures, our hopes, our fears, our desires, our doubts, our thoughts of every kind,—in a word, all the passions, and all the actions and operations of our own minds, while they are present." And in various parts of his works, which it would be needless to quote, he alludes to its radical difference from the other powers of the mind, as if it were a point on which there could be no question. To me, however, I must confess, it appears that this attempt to double, as it were, our various feelings, by making them not to constitute our consciousness, but to be the objects of it, as of a distinct intellectual power, is not a faithful statement of the phenomena of the mind, but is founded, partly on a confusion of thought, and still more on a confusion of language. Sensation is not the object of consciousness different from itself, but a particular sensation is the consciousness of the moment; as a particular hope, or fear, or grief, or resentment, or simple remembrance, may be the actual consciousness of the next moment. In short, if the mind of man, and all the changes which take place in it, from the first feeling with which life commenced, to the last with which it closes, could be made visible to any other thinking being, a certain series of feelings alone, that is to say, a certain number of successive states of the mind, would be distinguishable in it, forming, indeed, a variety of sensations, and thoughts, and passions, as momentary states of the mind, but all of them existing individually, and successively to each other. To suppose the mind to exist in two different

states, in the same moment, is a manifest absurdity. To the whole series of states of the mind, then, whatever the individual momentary successive states may be, I give the name of our consciousness,-using that term, not to express any new state additional to the whole series, (for to that, which is already the whole, nothing can be added, and the mind, as I have already said, cannot be conceived to exist at once in two different states,) but merely as a short mode of expressing the wide variety of our feelings; in the same manner, as I use any other generic word, for expressing briefly the individual varieties comprehended under it. There are not sensations, thoughts, passions, and also consciousness, any more than there is quadruped or animal, as a separate being, to be added to the wolves, tigers, elephants, and other living creatures, which I include under those terms.

The fallacy of conceiving consciousness to be something different from the feeling, which is said to be its object, has arisen, in a great measure, from the use of the personal pronoun I, which the conviction of our identity, during the various feelings, or temporary consciousnesses of different moments, has led us to employ, as significant of our permanent self, of that being, which is conscious, and variously conscious, and which continues, after these feelings have ceased, to be the subject of other consciousnesses, as transient as the former. I am conscious of a certain feeling, really means, however, no more than this-I feel in a certain manner, or, in other words, my mind exists in that state which constitutes a certain feeling; the mere existence of that feeling, and not any additional and distinguishable feeling, that is to be termed consciousness, being all which is essential to the state of my mind, at the particular moment of sensation; for a pleasure, or pain, of which we are not conscious, is a pleasure or pain, that, in reference to us at least, has no existence. But when we say, I am conscious of a particular feeling, in the usual paraphrastic phraseology of our language, which has no mode of expressing, in a single word, the mere existence of a feeling, we are apt, from a prejudice of grammar, to separate the sentient I and the feeling as different,-not different, as they really are, merely in this respect, that the feeling is one momentary and changeable state of the permanent substance I, that is, capable of existing also, at other moments, in other states, but so radically different, as to justify our classing the feeling, in the relation of an object, to that sentient principle which we call I,-and an object to it, not in retrospect only, as when the feeling is remembered, or when it is viewed in relation to other remembered feelings, but in the very moment of the primary sensation itself; as if there could truly be two distinct states of the same mind, at that same moment, one of which states is to be termed sensation, and the other different state of the same mind to be termed conscious


To estimate more accurately the effect, which this reference to self produces, let us imagine a human being to be born with his faculties perfect as in mature life, and let us suppose a sensation to arise for the first time in his mind. For the sake of greater simplicity, let us suppose the sensation to be of a kind as little complex as possible; such for example, as that which the fragrance of a rose excites. If, immediately after this first sensation, we imagine the sentient principle to be extinguished, what are we to call that feeling, which filled and constituted the brief moment of life? It was a simple sensation, and nothing more; and if only we say, that the sensation has existed,-whether we say, or do not say, that the mind was conscious

of the sensation, we shall convey precisely the same meaning; the consciousness of the sensation being, in that case, only a tautological expression of the sensation itself. There will be, in this first momentary state, no separation of self and the sensation,-no little proposition formed in the mind, I feel, or I am conscious of a feeling; but the feeling and the sentient I, will, for the moment, be the same. It is this simple feeling, and this alone, which is the whole consciousness of the first moment; and no reference can be made of this to a self, which is independent of the temporary consciousness; because the knowledge of self, as distinct from the particular feeling, implies the remembrance of former feelings,-of feelings, which, together with the present, we ascribe to one thinking principle,-recognising the principle, the self, the one, as the same, amid all its transient diversities of conscious


Let us now, then, instead of supposing life, as in the former case, to be extinguished immediately after the first sensation, suppose another sensation to be excited, as for instance that which is produced by the sound of a flute. The mind either will be completely absorbed in this new sensation, without any subsequent remembrance,-in which case the consciousness of the sensation, as in the case of the fragrance that preceded it, will be only another mere paraphrastic expression of the simple sensation-or the remembrance of the former feeling will arise. If the remembrance of the former feeling arise, and the two different feelings be considered by the mind at once, it will now, by that irresistible law of our nature, which impresses us with the conviction of our identity, conceive the two sensations, which it recognises as different in themselves, to have yet belonged to the same being-that being, to which, when it has the use of language, it gives the name of self, and in relation to which it speaks, as often as it uses the pronoun I.-The notion of self, as the lasting subject of successive transient feelings, being now, and not till now, acquired, through the remembrance of former sensa tions or temporary diversities of consciousness, the mind will often again, when other new sensations may have arisen, go through a similar process, being not merely affected with the particular momentary sensation, but remembering other prior feelings, and identifying it with them, in the general designation of self. In these circumstances the memory of the past will often mingle with and modify the present; and now indeed, to form the verbal proposition, I am conscious of a particular sensation, since the very word I implies that this remembrance and identification has taken place, may be allowed to express something more than the mere existence of the momentary sensation for it expresses also that the mind, which now exists in the state of this particular sensation, has formerly existed in a different state. There is a remembrance of former feelings, and a belief that the present and the past have been states of one substance. But this belief, or in other words, this remembrance of former feelings, is so far from being essential to every thought or sensation, that innumerable feelings every moment arise, without any such identification with the past. They are felt, however, for this is necessarily implied in their existence; but they exist, as transient thoughts or sensations only, and the consciousness, which we have of them, in these circumstances, is nothing more than the thoughts or sensations themselves, which could not be thoughts or sensations if they were not felt.

In the greater number of our successions of momentary feelings, then, when no reference is made to former states of the mind, the consciousness VOL. I.


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