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we cannot form an idea. For, as all our reasonings
concerning existence are derived from causation, and as Of
all our reasonings concerning causation are derived from knowledge
the experienced conjunction of objects, not from any reaprobability.
soning or reflection, the same experience must give us a notion of these objects, and must remove all mystery from our conclusions. This is so evident that 'twould scarce have merited our attention, were it not to obviate certain objections of this kind which might arise against the following reasonings concerning matter and substance. I need not observe, that a full knowledge of the object is not requisite, but only of those qualities of it which we believe to exist.
RULES BY WHICH TO JUDGE OF CAUSES AND EFFECTS.
According to the precedent doctrine, there are no objects which, by the mere survey, without consulting experience, we can determine to be the causes of any other; and no objects which we can certainly determine in the same manner not to be the causes. Any thing may produce any thing. Creation, annihilation, motion, reason, volition ; all these may arise from one another, or from any other object we can imagine. Nor will this appear strange if we compare two principles explained above, that the constant conjunction of objects determines their causation, * and that, properly speaking, no objects are contrary to each other but exis
Part I. Sect. 5.
tence and non-existence. Where objects are not con- SECT. trary, nothing hinders them from having that constant conjunction on which the relation of cause and effect
by which totally depends.
judge of Since, therefore, 'tis possible for all objects to be
effects. come causes or effects to each other, it be
may proper to fix some general rules by which we may know when they really are so.
1. The cause and effect must be contiguous in space and time.
2. The cause must be prior to the effect.
3. There must be a constant union betwixt the cause and effect. 'Tis chiefly this quality that constitutes the relation.
4. The same cause always produces the same effect, and the same effect never arises but from the same
This principle we derive from experience, and is the source of most of our philosophical reasonings. For when by any clear experiment we have discovered the causes or effects of any phenomenon, we immediately extend our observation to every phenomenon of the same kind, without waiting for that constant repetition, from which the first idea of this relation is derived.
5. There is another principle which hangs upon this, viz. that where several different objects produce the same effect, it must be by means of some quality which we discover to be common amongst them. For as like effects imply like causes, we must always ascribe the causation to the circumstance wherein we discover the resemblance.
6. The following principle is founded on the same reason. The difference in the effects of two resembling objects must proceed from that particular in which they
PART differ. For as like causes always produce like effects, III.
when in any instance we find our expectation to be dis
appointed, we must conclude that this irregularity proknowledge
and ceeds from some difference in the causes. probability.
7. When any object increases or diminishes with the increase or diminution of its cause, 'tis to be regarded as a compounded effect, derived from the union of the several different effects which arise from the several different parts of the cause.
The absence or presence of one part of the cause is here supposed to be always attended with the absence or presence of a proportionable part of the effect. This constant conjunction sufficiently proves that the one part is the cause of the other. We must, however, beware not to draw such a conclusion from a few experiments. A certain degree of heat gives pleasure ; if you diminisha that heat, the pleasure diminishes; but it does not folJow, that if you augment it beyond a certain degree, the pleasure will likewise augment; for we find that it degenerates into pain.
8. The eighth and last rule I shall take notice of is, that an object, which exists for any time in its full perfection without any effect, is not the sole cause of that effect, but requires to be assisted by some other principle, which may forward its influence and operation. For as like effects necessarily follow from like causes, and in a contiguous time and place, their separation for a moment shows that these causes are not complete ones.
Here is all the logic I think proper to employ in my reasoning; and perhaps even this was not very necessary, but might have been supplied by the natural principles of our understanding. Our scholastic headpieces and logicians show no such superiority above
the mere vulgar in their reason and ability, as to SECT. give us any inclination to imitate them in delivering a long system of rules and precepts to direct our judg- by which ment in philosophy. All the rules of this nature are
judge of very easy in their invention, but extremely difficult in causes and
effects. their application; and even experimental philosophy, which seems the most natural and simple of any, requires the utmost stretch of human judgment. There is no phenomenon in nature but what is compounded and modified by so many different circumstances, that, in order to arrive at the decisive point, we must carefully separate whatever is superfluous, and inquire, by new experiments, if every particular circumstance of the first experiment was essential to it. These new experiments are liable to a discussion of the same kind; so that the utmost constancy is required to make us persevere in our inquiry, and the utmost sagacity to chuse the right way among so many that present themselves. If this be the case even in natural philosophy, how much more in moral, where there is a much greater complication of circumstances, and where those views and sentiments, which are essential to any action of the mind, are so implicit and obscure, that they often escape our strictest attention, and are not only unaccountable in their causes, but even unknown in their existence? I am much afraid, lest the small success I meet with in my inquiries, will make this observation bear the air of an apology rather than of boasting.
If any thing can give me security in this particular, 'twill be the enlarging the sphere of my experiments as much as possible ; for which reason, it may be proper, in this place, to examine the reasoning faculty of brutes, as well as that of human creatures,
OF THE REASON OF ANIMALS.
Next to the ridicule of denying an evident truth, is
that of taking much pains to defend it; and no truth Of
appears to me more evident, than that the beasts are knowledge
and endowed with thought and reason as well as men. The probability
arguments are in this case so obvious, that they never escape the most stupid and ignorant.
We are conscious, that we ourselves, in adapting means to ends, are guided by reason and design, and that 'tis not ignorantly nor casually we perform those actions which tend to self-preservation, to the obtaining pleasure, and avoiding pain.' When, therefore, we see other creatures, in millions of instances, perform like actions, and direct them to like ends, all our principles of reason and probability carry us with an invincible force to believe the existence of a like cause. 'Tis needless, in my opinion, to illustrate this argument by the enumeration of particulars. The smallest attention will supply us with more than are requisite. The resemblance betwixt the actions of animals and those of men is so entire, in this respect, that the very first action of the first animal we shall please to pitch on, will afford us an incontestable argument for the present doctrine.
This doctrine is as useful as it is obvious, and furnishes us with a kind of touchstone, by which we may try every system in this species of philosophy. 'Tis