Biographia Literaria, Or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, Vol. 1: Part II (Classic Reprint)
Fb&c Limited, Mar 14, 2017 - 266 pages
Excerpt from Biographia Literaria, or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, Vol. 1: Part II
From a hundred possible confutations let one suﬂice. According to this system the idea or vibration a from the external object A becomes associable with the idea or vibration m from the external object M, because the oscillation a propagated itself so as to reproduce the oscillation m. But the original impression from M was essentially different from the impression A unless therefore different causes may produce the same effect, the vibration a could never produce the vibra tion m: and this therefore could never be the means, by which a and m are associated.' To understand this, the attentive reader need only be reminded, that the ideas are themselves, in Hartley's system, nothing more than their appropriate configurative vibrations. It is a mere delusion of the fancy to conceive the pre existence of the ideas, in any chain of association, as so many differently coloured billiard-balls in contabt, so that when an object, the billiard-stick, strikes the first or white ball, the same motion propagates itself through the red, green, blue and black, and sets the whole in motion. N 0! We must suppose the very same force, which constitutes the white ball, to consti tute the red or black; or the idea of a circle to consti tute the idea of a triangle; which is impossible.
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