« ForrigeFortsæt »
can be directly and properly afirmed of each part, as a bird is an animal, a fish is an animal, Bucephalus is a horse, Peter is a man, then it is a distribution of a.genus into its species, or a species into its individuals : but when the whole cannot be thus directly aflirmed concerning every part, then it is a division of an integral into its several parts or members; as we cannot say the head, the breast, the hand, or the foot is an animal, but we say, the head is a part of the animal, and the foot is another part.
This rule may hold true generally in corporeal beings, or -perhaps in all substances : but when we say the fear of God is wisdom, and so is human civility; criticism is true learning, and so is philosophy: to execute a ipurderer is justice, and to save and defend the innocent is justice too. In these cases it is not so easily determined, whether an integral whole be divided into its parts, or an universal into its species : for the fear of God may be called either one part, or one kind of wisdom ; criticism is one part, or one kind of learning : and the erecution of a murderer may be called a species of justice, as well as a part of it. Nor indeed is it a matter of great importance to determine this controversy.
Sect. XI.--Of an orderly Conception of Things.
THE last rule to direct our conceptions is, that we should rank and place them in a proper method and just order. This is of necessary use to prevent confusion ; for as a trader who never places bis goods in his shop or warehouse in a regular order, nor keeps the accounts of his buying and selling, paying and receiving, in a just method, is in the utmost danger of plunging all bis affairs into confusion and ruin : so a student who is in the search of truth, or an author or teacher who communicates knowledge to others, will very much obstruct his design, and confound his own mind or the minds of his hearers, unless he range his ideas in just order.
If we would therefore become successful learners or teachers, we must not conceive of things in a confused heap, but dispose our ideas in some certain method, which may be most easy and useful both for the understanding and memory; and be suré, as much as may be, to follow the nature of things, for which many rules might be given, paipely :
1. Conceive as much as you can of the essentials of any subject, before you consider its accidentals. 2. Survey the first geperal parts and properties of any subject, before you extend your thoughts to discourse of the particular kinds or species of it.
3. Contemplate things first in their own simple natures, and | afterwards view them in composition with other ihings; unless it
be your present purpose to take a compound being to pieces, in order to find out, or to shew the nature of it, by searching and discovering of what simples it is composed. 4. Consider the absolute modes or affections of any being as it is in itself, before you proceed to consider it relatively, or to survey the various relations in which it stands to other beings, &c.
Note, These rules chiefly belong to the method of instruction which the learned call synthetic.
But in the regulation of our ideas, there is seldlom an absolute necessity that we should place them in this or the other particular method ; it is possible in some cases that many methods may be equally good, that is, may equally assist the understanding and tlie memory; to frame a method exquisitely accurate, according to the strict nature of things, and to maintain this accuracy from the begioning to the end of a treatise, is a most rare and difficult thing, if not impossible. But a larger account of inethod would be very improper in this place, lest we anticipate what belongs to the fourth part of Logic.
Sect. XII.-These five Rules of Conception exemplified.
IT may be useful here to give a specimen of the five special rules to direct our conceptions, which have been the chief subject of this long chapter, and represent them practically at one view,
Suppose the theme of our discourse were the passions of the mind.
1st, To gain a clear and distinct idea of passion, we must define both the name and the thing.
To begin with the definition of the name. We are not here to understand the word passion in its vulgar and inost limited sense, as it signifies merely anger or fury; nor do we take it in 'its most extensive philosophical sense, for the sustaining the action of an agent; but in the more limited philosophical sense, passions signify the various affections of the mind, such as admiration, love, or hatred; this is the definition of the name.
We proceed to the definition of the thing. Passion is defined a sensation of some special commotion in animal nature, occasioned by the mind's perception of some object suited to excite that commotion. *Here the genus, or general nature of passion, is a sensation of some special commotion in animal nature ; and herein it agrees with bunger, thirst, pain, &c. Tlie essential difference of it is, that this commotion arises from a thought or perception of the mind, and hereby it is distinguished from bungero thirst, or pain.
* Since this was wrltten, I have published a short treatise of the passions, wherein I have so far varied from this definition ag to all thea sensible commotions of our wbole nature, both soul and body, occasioned by the mind's perceptions of some objects, &c. I made this alteration in the description of the pas. sions in that book chiefly to include, in a more explicit manner, the passions of desire and aversion, wbich are acts of volition, rather than the sensations. Yet since some commotions of animal nature attend all the passions, and since there is always a sensation of these commotions, I shall not change the definitioa I bave written bere ; for this will agree to all the passions, whether they include any act of volition or not; aor indeed is the matter of any great importance. Nov, 17, 1728,
2dly, We must conceive of it completely, or survey the several parts that compose it. These are (1.) The mind's percep. tion of some object. (2.) The conséquent ruffle, or special com. motion of the nerves, and blood, and animal spirits. And (3.) The sensation of this inward commotion.
3dly, We must consider it comprehensively, in its various properties. The most essential attributes that make up its nature bave been already mentioned under the foregoing heads. Some of the most considerable properties that remain are these, namely, That passion belongs to all mankind, in greater or lesser degrees; it is not constantly present with us, but upon some certain oecasion ; it is appointed by our Creator for various useful ends and purposes, namely, to give us vigour in the pursuit of what is good and agreeable to us, or in the avoidance of what is hurtful; it is very proper for our state of trial in this world; it is not utterly to be rooted out of our nature, but to be moderated and gãverned according to the rules of virtue and religion, &c.
4thly, We must take cognizance of the various kinds of it, which is called an ertensive conception of it. If the object which the mind perceives be very uncommon. it excites the passion of admiration: If the object appear agreeable, it raises love ; if the agreeable object be absent and attainable. it is desire; if likely to be attained it excites hope; if unattainable despair; if it be present and possessed, it is the passion of joy; if lost, it excites soi row ; if the object be disagreeable, it causes in general hatred, or aversion; if it be absent and yet we are in danger of it, it raises our fear; if it be present, it is sorrow, and sadness, &c.
5thly, All these things, and many more which go to compose a treatise on this subject must be placed in their proper order; a slight specimen of which is exhibited in this short account of passion, and which that admirable author Descartes bas treated of at large; though for want of sufficient experiments and obser. vations in natural philosophy, there are some few mistakes in bis account of animal pature.. Séct. XIII.--Au slustration of these Five Rules by Simi
liludes. THUS we have brought the first part of Logic to a conclu. sion; and it may frot be improper here to represent its excellencies (so far as we have gone) by general hints of its chief design and use, as well as by a various comparison of it to those instru. ments which inankind have invented for their several conveniences and improvements.
The design of Logic is not to furnish us with the perceiving faculty, but only to direct and assist us in the use of it; it doch not give us the objects of our ideas, but ouly casts such a light on those objects which nature furnishes us with, that they may be the more clearly and distinctly known ; it doth not add new parts or properties, to things, but it discovers the various parts, properties, relations aud dependencies of one thing upon another, and by ranking all things under general and special heads, it renders the nature, or any of the properties, powers and uses of a thing, more easy to be found out, when we seek in what rank of beings it lies, and wherein it agrees with, and wherein it differs from others.
If any comparisons would illustrate this, it may be thus represented
I. When Logic assists us to attain a clear and distinct conception of the nature of things by definition, it is like those glasses whereby we behold such objects distinctly, as by reason of their smallness, or their great distance, appear in confusion to the naked eye; so the telescope discovers to us distant wonders in the heavens, and shews the milky way, and the bright cloudy spots in a very dark sky, to be a collection of little stars, which the eye unassisted beholds in mingled confusion. So when bodies are too small for our siglit to survey them distinctly, then the microscope is at hand for our assistance, to shew us all the limbs and features of the most minute animals, with great clearuess and distinction.
II. When we are taught by Logic to view a thing completely in all its parts, by the help of division, it has the use of an anatomical knife which dissects an animal body, and separates the veins, arteries, nerves, muscles, membranes, &c. and shews us the several parts which go to the composition of a complete anjinal.
III. When Logic instructs us to survey an object comprehensively in all the modes, properties, relations, faces, and appearances of it, it is of the same use as a terrestrial globe, which turning round on its axis, represents to us all the variety of lands and seas, kingdoms and nations on the surface of the eartb, in a very short succession of time shews the situations and various relations of them to each other, and gives a comprebensive view of them in miniature.
IV. When this art teaches us to distribute any extensive idea into its different kinds of species, it may be compared to the prismatic glass, tbat receives the sun-beams or rays of light, which seem to be uniform when falling upon it, but it separates and distributes them into their different kinds and colours, and ranks them in their proper succession.
Or if we descend to subdivisions and subordinate ranks of being, then distribution may also be said to form the resemblance of a natural tree, wherein the genus or general ideas stands for the root or stock, and the several kinds, or species, and individuals, are distributed abroad, and represented in their dependence and connection, like the several-boughs, branches, and lesser shoots. For instance, let animal be the root of a logical tree the resemblance is seen by mere inspection though the root be not placed at the bottom of the page.
Caterpillar, &c. The same similitude will serve also to illustrate the division and subdivision of an integral whole, into its several parts.
When Logic directs us to place all our ideas in a proper method, most convenient both for instruction and memory, it doth the same service as the cases of well contrived shelves in a large library, wherein folios, quartos, and octavos, and lesser "volumes, are disposed in such exact order under the particular heads of divinity, history, mathematics, 'ancient and miscellapeous learning, &c. that the student knows where to find every book, and has them all as it were within his command at once, because of the exact order wherein they are placed.
The man who has such assistances as these at hand, in Corder to manage his conceptions and regulate his ideas, is well prepared to improve his knowledge, and to join these ideas together in a regular manoer by judgment, which is the second operation of the unind, and will be the subject of the second part of Logic.