« PreviousContinue »
age thus fabricated cannot be called a secondary perception, not being derived from an original per. ception: the poverty of language, however, as in the case immediately above mentioned, has occafioned the same term idea to be applied to all. This singular power of fabricating images without any foundation in reality, is distinguished by the name imagination.
20. As ideas are the chief materials employed in reasoning and reflecting, it is of consequence that their nature and differences be understood. It appears now, that ideas may be distinguished into three kinds: first, Ideas derived from original perceptions properly termed ideas of memory ; second, Ideas communicated by language or other figns; and, third, Ideas of imagination. These ideas differ from each other in many respects; but chiefly in respect of their proceeding from different causes : The first kind is derived from real existences that have been objects of our senses : language is the cause of the second, or any other sign that has the same power with language : and a man's imagination is to himself the cause of the third. It is scarce necessary to add, that an idea, originally of imagination being conveyed to others by language or any other vehicle, becomes in their mind an idea of the second kind ; and again, that an idea of this kind, being afterward recalled to the mind, becomes in that cir. cumstance an idea of memory.
21. We are not so constituted as to perceive objects with indifference ; these, with very few exceptions, appear agreeable or disagreeable ; and at the fame time raise in us pleasant or painful emotions. With respect to external objects in particular, we distinguish those which produce organic impressions, from those which affect us froin a distance. When we touch a soft and smooth body, we have a pleasant feeling as at the place of contact ; which feeling we difţinguish not, at least not accurately, from the agreemi ableness of the body itself; and the same holds in general with regard to all organic impressions. It is otherwise in hearing and seeing : a found is perceived as in itself agreeable, and raises in the hearer a pleasant emotion : an object of sight appears in itself agreeable, and raises in the spectator a pleasant emo
These are accurately distinguished: the pleafant emotion is felt as within the mind; the agreeableness of the object is placed upon the object, and is perceived as one of its qualities or properties. The agreeable appearance of an object of sight is termed beauty; and the disagreeable appearance of such an object is termed ugliness.
22. But though beauty and ugliness, in their proper and genuine signification, are confined to objects of fight; yet in a more lax and figurative fignification, they are applied to objects of the other senses : they are sometimes applied even to abstract terms : for it is not unusual to say, a beautiful Theorem, a bcautiful constitution of government. 23.
A line composed by a single rule, is perceived and said to be regular : a straight line, a parabola, a hyperbola, the circumference of a circle, and of an ellipse, are all of them regular lines. A figure composed by a single rule, is perceived, and said to be regular : a circle, a square, a hexagon, an equilateral triangle, are regular figures, being composed by a single rule, that determines the form of each. When the form of a line or of a figure is ascertained by a single rule that leaves nothing arbitrary, the line and the figure are said to be perfectly regular ; which is the case of the figures now mentioned, and the case of a straight line and of the circumfererice of a circle.
A figure and a line that require more than one rule for their construction, or that have any of their parts left arbitrary, are not perfectly regular ; a parallelogram and a rhomb are le!s
regular than a square ; the parallelogram being sube jected to no rule as to the length of fides, other than that the opposite sides be equal ; the rhomb bea ing subjected to no rule as to its angles, other than that the opposite angles be equal: for the same reafon, the circumference of an ellipfe, the form of which is fusceptible of much variety, is less regular than that of a circle.
24. Regularity properly speaking, belongs, like beauty, to objects of light; and, like beauty, it is als so applied figuratively to other objects : thus we say, a regular government, a regular composition of music, and, regular discipline.
25. When two figures are composed of fimilar parts, they are faid to be uniform. Perfect uniform, ity is where the constituent parts of two figures are equal : thus two cubes of the fame dimensions are perfectly uniform in all their parts. Uniformity less perfect is, where the parts mutually correspond, but without being equal : the uniformity is imperfect be. tween two squares or cubes of unequal dimensions ; and still more so between a square and a parallelogram.
26. Uniformity is also applicable to the constituent parts of the same figure. The constituent parts of a square are perfedly
uniform ; its sides are equal and its angles are equal, Wherein then differs
reg. ularity from uniformity ? for a figure composed of uniform parts must undoubtedly be "regular. Regularity is predicated of a figure confidered as a whole composed of uniform parts ; uniformity is predicats ed of these parts as related to each other by resemblance: we say, a square is a regular, not an uniform figure ; but with respect to the constituent parts of a square, we fy not, that they are regular, but that they are uniform.
27. In things destined, for the fame use, as legs, arms, cycs, windows, spoons, we expect uniformity. Proportion ought to govern parts intended for dif.
ferent uses: we require a certain proportion between a leg and an arm ; in the base, the shaft, the capital of a pillar ; and in the .length, the breadth, the height of a room : some proportion is also required in different things intimately connected, as between a dwelling-house, the garden, and the stables ; but we require no proportion among things flightly connected, as between the table a man writes on and the dog that follows him. Proportion and uniformity never coincide : things equal are uniform ; but proportion is never applied to them: the four sides and angles of a square are equal and perfectly uniform ; but we say not that they are proportional. Thus, proportion always implies inequality or difference; but then it implies it to a certain degree only : the most agreeable proportion resembles a maximum in mathematics ; a greater or less inequality or difference is less agreeable.
28. Order regards various particulars. First, in tracing or surveying objects, we are directed by a sense of order : we perceive it to be more orderly, that we should pass from a principal to its accessories, and from a whole to its parts, than in the contrary direction. Next, with respect to the position of things, a sense of order directs us to place together things intimately connected. Thirdly, in placing things that have no natural conne&ion, that order appears the most perfect, where the particulars are made to bear the strongest relation to each other that position can give them. Thus parallelism is the Itrongest relation that position can bestow upon ítraight lines : if they be fo placed as by production to interfe&, the relation is less perfect. A large body in the middle, and two equal bodies of lets lize, one on each side, is an order that produces the Itrongelt relation the bodies are susceptible of by position : the relation between the two equal bodies kould be stronger by juxtaposition; but they would pot both have the same relation to the third.
29. The beauty or agreeableness of a visible ob. ject, is perceived as one of its qualities ; which holds not only in the primary perception, but also in the secondary perception or idea : and hence the pleasure that arises from the idea of a beautiful object. An idea of imagination is also pleasant, though in a lower degree than an idea of memory, where the objects' are of the same kind; for an evident reason, that the former is more distinct and lively than the latter.
But this inferiority in ideas of imagination, is more than compensated by their greatness and variety, which are boundless ; for by the imagination, exerted without control, we can fabricate ideas of finer visible objects, of more noble and heroic actions, of greater wickedness, of more furprising events, than ever in fact existed : and in communicating such ideas by words, painting, sculpture, &c. the influence of the imagination is no less extensive than great.
30. In the nature of every man, there is somewhat original, which distinguishes him from others, which tends to form his character, and to make him meek or fiery, candid or deceitful, resolute or timorous, cheerful or morose. This original bent, termed difposition, must be distinguished from a principle : the latter, signifying a law of human nature, makes part of the common nature of man ; the former makes part of the nature of this or that man. Propensity is a name common to both; for it fignifies a principle as well as a difpofition.
31. Affection, fignifying a settled bent of mind toward a particular being or thing, occupies a middle place between disposition on the one hand, and pasa fion on the other. It is clearly distinguishable from disposition, which, being a branch of one's nature originally, must exist before there can be an opportunity to exert it upon any particular object ; whereas affection can never be original, because, having a Ipecial relation to a particular object, it cannot