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motion can produce nothing but motion, (as like- PROP. wise it is evident that figure and all its possible compositions can produce nothing but figure,) therefore in us also the perceptions of these sensible qualities are nothing but different motions. If, then, the phantasm, that is, the image of the object made in the brain by figure and motion, be (as he says,) the sensation itself, is not sensation bare figure and motion ? and are not all the forementioned absurdities unavoidable consequences of his opinion ?
Mr Hobbes (as I have elsewhere observed,) seems, indeed, not to have been altogether unaware of this insuperable difficulty, but he industriously endeavours to conceal it from his readers, and to impose upon them by the ambiguity of the word phantasm. Yet for a reserve, in case he should be too hard pressed, * he gives us a hint, that possibly sensation may be something more, viz. a power of perception or consciousness naturally and essentially inherent in all matter, only that it wants the organs and memory of animals to express its sensation ;t and that, as a
* Scio fuisse philosophos quosdam, eosdemque viros doctos, qui corpora omnia sensu prædita esse sustinuerunt. Nec video, si natura sensionis in reactione sola collocaretur, quomodo refutari possint. Sed etsi, ex reactione etiam corporum aliorum, phantasma aliquod nasceretur, illud tamen, remoto objecto, statim cessaret. Nam nisi ad retinendum motum impressum, etiam remoto objecto, apta habeant organa, ut habent animalia ; ita tantum sentient, ut nunquam sensisse se recordentur.
-Sensioni ergo, quæ vulgo ita appellatur, necessario adhæret memoria aliqua, &c.—Hobbes' Physic. cap. 24, sec. 5. See also No. 2 and 11 of the Appendix to a collection of papers
which passed between Mr Leibnitz and Dr Clarke. + Itaque et sensioni adhæret proprie dictæ, ut ei aliqua insita sit perpetua phantasmatum varietas ; ita ut aliud ab alio discerni possit. Si supponemus enim esse hominem, oculis quidem claris, cæterisque videndi organis recte se habentibus compositum, nullo autem alio sensu præditum, eumque ad eandem rem eodem semper colore et specie sine ulla vel minima varietate apparentem obversum esse; mihi certe, quicquid dicant alii, non videre videretur.--Attonitum esse, et fortasse aspectare eum, sed stupentem dicerem, videre non dicerem. Adeo sentire semper idem, et non sentire, ad idem recidunt. --Id. Ibid.
PROP. man, if he were supposed to have no other sense but
seeing, and that so ordered as that his eyes were always immoveably fixed upon one and the same object, and that also unchangeable and without any the least variety, such a man could not properly be said to see, but only to be under an unintelligible kind of amazement: So all unorganized bodies may possibly have sensation or perception; but, because for want of organs there is no variety in it, neither any memory or means of expressing that sensation, therefore to us it seems as if they had no such thing at all. This opinion, I say, Mr Hobbes mentions as possible, but he does it with such hesitancy,diffidence, and sparingness, as shows plainly that he meant it only as a last subterfuge to recur to, when he should be pressed with the fore-mentioned absurdities, unavoidably consequent upon the supposition of sensation being only figure and motion. And, indeed, well might he be sparing, and, as it were, ashamed of this subterfuge. For it is a thing altogether as absurd as even the other opinion itself, of thought being mere motion; for what can be more ridiculous than to imagine that matter is as essentially conscious as it is extended ? Will it not follow from that supposition, that every piece of matter being made up of endlessly separable parts, (that is, of parts which are as really distinct beings, notwithstanding their contiguity, as if they had been at never so great a distance one from another,) is made up also of innumerable consciousnesses and infinite confusion ? But it is a shame to trouble the reader with so much as the mention of any of the numberless absurdities following from that monstrous supposition. Others, therefore, who would make thinking to be an affection of matter, and yet are ashamed to use either of the fore-mentioned ways, contend that God, by his almighty and supreme power, indues certain systems of matter with a faculty of thinking, according to his own good pleasure. But this also amounts to nothing; for (besides the
absurdity of supposing God to make an innumerable PROP. company of distinct beings, such as the particles of every system of matter necessarily are, to be at the same time one individual conscious being; besides this, I say,) either our idea of matter is a true and distinct idea, or it is not : If it be a true and distinct idea, that is, if our idea (not of the substance of matter, for of simple substance we have no idea, but if our idea of the properties which essentially distinguish and denominate the substance,) be a right idea, viz. that matter is nothing but a solid substance, capable only of division, figure, and motion, with all the possible effects of their several compositions, as to us it appears to be, upon the best examination we are able to make of it, and the greatest part of our adversaries themselves readily allow; then it is absolutely impossible for thinking to belong to matter, because thinking, as has been before shown, cannot possibly arise from any modification or composition of any or all of these qualities. But if any man will say that our idea of matter is wrong, and that by matter he will not here mean, as in all other cases, a solid substance, capable only of division, figure, and motion, with all the possible effects of their several compositions, but that he means substance in general, capable of thinking and of numberless unknown properties besides ; then he trifles only in putting an ambiguous signification upon the word matter, where he ought to use the word substance. And, in that sense, to suppose thinking, or any other active property, possible to be in matter, as signifying only substance in general, of whose powers and capacities we have no certain idea, would make nothing at all to the present purpose, in our adversaries' advantage, and is at least not a clearer and more intelligible way of talking than to attribute the same properties to an immaterial substance, and keep the idea of matter and its properties clear and distinct. For I affirm,
3dly. That even supposing (in these men's confused way,) that the soul was really not a distinct substance
PR OP. from body, but that thinking and willing could
be, and were indeed only qualities or affections of
matter; yet even this would not at all affect the and willing thinkining present question about liberty, nor prove freedom of were quali
will to be an impossible thing. For, since it has ties of mat- been already demonstrated, that thinking and willneverthe. ing cannot possibly be effects or compositions of fi. less liberty gure and motion, whosoever will make thinking and might be possible.
willing to be qualities or affections of matter must suppose matter capable of certain properties entirely different from figure and motion. And if it be capable of properties entirely different from figure and motion, then it can never be proved, from the effects of figure and motion being all necessary, that the effects of other and totally distinct properties must likewise be necessary.
Mr Hobbes, therefore, and his followers, are guilty ful fallacy of a most shameful fallacy in that very argument,
wherein they place their main and chief strength: for, supposing matter to be capable of thinking
and willing, they contend that the soul is mere matter; and, knowing that the effects of figure and motion must needs be all necessary, they conclude that the operations of the mind must all therefore be necessary; that is, when they would prove the soul to be mere matter, then they suppose matter capable not only of figure and motion, but also of other unknown properties : and, when they would prove the will, and all other operations of the soul to be necessary, then they divest matter again of all its unknown properties, and make it mere solidity, indued only with figure and motion again. Wherefore, distinguishing their ambiguous and confused use of the word matter, they are unavoidably reduced to one of these two concessions : If, by matter, they mean a solid substance indued only with figure and motion, and all the possible effects of the variations and compositions of these qualities, then the soul cannot be mere matter, because, (as Mr. Hobbes himself confesses) figure and motion can never produce
of Mr. Hobbes and his followers.
any thing but figure and motion ;* and consequently PROP. (as hath been before demonstrated,) they can never produce so much as any secondary quality,--sound, colour, and the like,-much less thinking and reasoning; from whence it follows, that the soul being unavoidably a substance immaterial, they have no argument left to prove that it cannot have a power of beginning motion, which is a plain instance of liberty: But if, on the other hand, they will by matter mean substance in general, capable of unknown properties, totally different from figure and motion, then they must no longer argue against the possibility of liberty, from the effects of figure and motion being all unavoidably necessary, because liberty will not consist in the effects of figure and motion, but in those other unknown properties of matter, which these men can no more explain or argue about than about immaterial substances. The truth therefore is, they must needs suppose thinking to be merely an effect or composition of figure and motion, if they will give any strength to their arguments against liberty; and then the question will be, not whether God can make matter think or no, (for in that question they only trifle with a word, abusing the word matter, to signify substance in general,) but the question will be, Whether figure and motion, in any composition or division, can possibly be perception and thought; which (as has been before said) is just such a question as if a man should ask, Whether it be possible that a triangle should be a sound, or a globe a colour. The sum is this, if the soul be an immaterial substance, (as it must needs be, if we have
we have any true idea of the nature and properties of matter ;) then Mr Hobbes'arguments against the possibility of liberty, drawn all from the properties of matter, are vain, and nothing to the purpose; but if our adversaries will be so absurd as to contend that the soul is nothing but mere matter, then, either by matter they
* Motus nihil generat præter motum.—Leviath. cap. 1.