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9. THIS HIS science explains the nature of the se
veral powers or faculties of the human mind. By the faculties of the mind, I understand those capacities which it has of exerting itself in perceiving, thinking, remembering, imagining, &c.; and by the mind itself, or soul, or spirit,* of man, I mean that part of the human constitution which is capable of perceiving, thinking, and beginning motion, and without which our body would be a senseless, motionless, and lifeless thing. These
* These words are not strictly synonymous; but it is neede less to be more explicit in this place. VOL. I.
faculties were long ago divided into those of PERCeption and those of voLITION; and the divi. sion, though not accurate, may be adopted here. By the perceptive powers we are supposed to acquire knowledge ; and by the powers of volition, or will, we are said to exert ourselves in action.
THE PERCEPTIVE FACULTIES.
10. These may perhaps be reduced to nine. i. External sensation, by which we acquire the knowledge of bodies and their qualities. 2. Consciousness, by which we attend to the thoughts of our minds, and which is also called reflection. 3. Memory. 4. Imagination. 5. Dreaming. 6. The faculty of speech, whereby we discover what is passing in the minds of one another. 7. Abstraction, a thing to be explained by and by. 8. Reason, judgment, or understanding, by which we perceive the difference between truth and falsehood. 9. Conscience, or the moral faculty, whereby we distinguish between virtue and vice, between what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.
11. Whether this distribution of our perceptive
powers be accurate, or sufficiently comprehensive, will perhaps appear afterwards; at present we need not stop to inquire. I shall consider them, not in the order in which I have just now named them, but in that order that shall seem the most convenient. And I begin with the faculty of speech : that subject being connected with some others that my hearers are already acquainted with, and therefore likely to be attended with little difficulty, even to those who are not much accustomed to abstract inquiry; to which it will, for that reason, serve as a proper and easy introduction. But, before I proceed to it, a few remarks must be premised for the purpose of explaining some words which will frequently occur in the course of these inquiries.
12. THAT we exist, and are continually employed about a variety of things, is certain and self-evident. Sometimes we perceive things themselves; and this happens when they are so far present with us as to affect our organs or powers of sensation: thus we just now perceive light, and the other things around us. Sometimes we think of things when they are not in this sense present with us. Thus at midnight, or when our eyes are shut, we can think of light, and the other things we have seen or heard during the day. When we thus think of that which we do not perceive, that is, which does not affect our powers of sensation or perception, we are said, in the language of modern philosophy, to have an idea or a motion of it. Habere notionem rei alicujus, is a Latin phrase of like import. 13. The word idea has been applied to many purposes; and, from the inaccurate manner in which some writers have used it, has proved the occasion of many errors. It has been used to denote opinion, as when we speak of the ideas of Aristotle, meaning his opinions or doctrines: but this sense of the word is rather French than English. Sometimes it means one's particular way of conceiving or comprehending a thing; as when we say, the Epicurean philosophy, according to Cicero's idea of it, was very unfriendly to virtue. It was long used to signify an imaginary thing, by the intervention of which we were supposed to perceive external things, or bodies. For many ancient and modern philosophers fancied, that the soul could perceive nothing but what was contiguous to it, or in the same place with it; and, as the bodies we perceive without us are not in the same place with the soul, (for, if they were, they would all be within the human body), it was said that we did not perceive those bodies themselves, but only ideas or unsubstantial images of them, which proceeded from them, and, penetrating the human body, might be in the same place with the soul, or contiguous to it. All this is not only fiction, but unintelligible. We perceive bodies themselves; and can as easily understand how the soul should perceive what is distant, as how it should perceive what is contiguous or near. 14. In the Platonic, and perhaps too in the Pythagorean philosophy, ideas are those external, self-existent, and uncreated models, prototypes, or patterns, according to which the Deity made all things of an eternal and uncreated matter; and which, while he employs himself in creation, he continually looks upon ; whence it is supposed that the word 'ez (from elow, to see or behold) is derived. Cicero gives two Latin terms corresponding to idea, in this sense of the word; and those are species and forma. The first (derived from the old Latin verb speciv, I behold) is more according to analogy; but is inconvenient, because those oblique cases in the plural specierum and speciebus cannot be admitted into good Latin; and therefore our author prefers the other word forma, to whose plural cases there can be no objection. Of these self-existent ideas Plato was, as Cicero says, marvellously fond ; supposing that there was something divine in their nature. The word idea, in this sense of it, we shall not often have occasion to repeat. 15. The same word has still another meaning among philosophers; having been used to denote a thought of the mind, which may be expressed