« 이전계속 »
(2). Another source of false judgment is flotb, which avoids labour, and is attentive to nothing but what may serve to excuse its inactivi. ty. To avoid the trouble of inquiry it supposes and establishes to itself perfe&t resemblances or differences on some few different or resembling strokes, and being regardless of all the rest is hurry'd into a wrong judgment.
3. A third ground is temperament, which sets things in a light exactly favourable to itself. A person of a mild and gentle character is for pardoning every thing, one of a severe and rigid temper would have none pardon'd.
4. Vanity and presumption. A vain perfon decides and pronounces without examining, or but very slightly, into the merits of the cause. A desire to pass for universally learned, and expert in every branch of science has given him a superficial acquaintance with every thing, but a thorough knowledge of nothing.
5. Levity and inconfiancy of spirit. Those who labour under this defect are continually kipping from one object to another, and from one idea to another, judging by chance upon the first appearances, and by being too curious to know every thing, come to know nothing.
6. Prejudice or prevention ; this is one of the most ordinary and fruitful sources of false judgment. We know the effects of prejudices in all orders and nations, which are often such as will not let a person see any thing but what tends to support an established and favourite opinion. We see multitudes of a bright understanding live and die in oppofite sentiments, as well about things indifferent, as in points of the highest importance.
7. Cuftom. When the mind has been for a long time habituated, and as it were warp'd and bent to a set of ideas of common and received use, it is with much difficulty that its views are diverted to others perhaps of a contrary fort. Besides, no person is willing to have been in an error, and a change of sentiments would cost too dear.
8. Novelty is a source of error. We are eager after happiness, which not being attainable in our ordinary pursuits, we embrace every thing new which offers, in hopes of finding in it that felicity which is our principal concern.
9: The senses and imagination. Those strong impressions which are made upon the imagination and outward senses, fix the mind upon what Aatters and pleases it. The imagination being captivated brings in subjection the mind, which judges out of complaisance, without exa- .
Because a person speaks, writes, represents matters after an agreeable, lively, affecting manner, we believe him, and love to wander out of the way in his company.
10. Love. We find, by daily experience, those who are beloved by ns have merit in proportion to our love. It is enough if love shews a person in a favourable light, he is then an excellent subject, and por. Jessed of all the good qualities we can delire. Self-love is a fruitful source of prejudice and self-deceit. For what reason do we generally prefer the science we have study'd to all others ? Self-love is in the fault. We are pleas'd, when we think that the object of our cares
and pains best deserves them ; such a thought is to us a proof of our discernment.
11. Hatred. We hate an object because it displeases us, and refufe attention to it; or if we apply ourselves to consider it, we set it in the most disadvantageous light, meerly that we may have some pretence to despise and condemn it; we open our eyes to its defects, but wink at its excellencies. Persons whom we hate are faulty in proportion to our hatred; it is enough if this passion can spy out a weakness in any person to render him disagreeable.
12. The Paffions are a source of false judgment. The paffions fix the mind upon an object, but it is only on the favourable side while these are predominant; if an object displays itself to the very bottom, it lasts but for a moment, we have scarce a glance before we lose fight of it.
13. The sources of wrong judgment may sometimes be found in ex. ternal bleflings, as riches, nobleness, pomp, and splendor ; these outward advantages, by dazzling and ravishing the senses, fix the mind on those glittering appearances, and the mind while under attachment to the surface of things, without inquiring any farther, easily fuffers it. felf to be surprised. · These then are the principal sources of our errors ; and the general preservative against these forts of infirmities of the human mind is a Sincére zeal for truth. A view to truth moderates impatience, and animates Noth. Is the temperament or humors the cause of our mistakes? let it serioufly be asked whether a blind inclination, an unreasonable bent, which leads us into so many follies, be qualify'd to be our guide. Is vanity the source of error: let us oppose thereto the same which accompanies the wrong decision of a precipitate judgment. Is it leving or a defultary temper? think how degrading it is for a man to be like a butterfly, perpetually roving from one object to another. Is it prejudice? reflect how common it is for persons to be deceived in their firft judgments, which serve as a foundation on which they build others equally false. Are our mistakes to be ascribed to casiom? To one who is the least acquainted with history and travels, and reflects on the advantages and inconveniences of custom, it undoubtedly appears to be a great fund of errors. Is it a talte for antiquity, or for novelties that deceives as ? let us consider that to fuffer fancy and the senses to carry all before them where reason ought to rule, is a shame to reason and humanity. Is it love, hatred, or any of the paffions ? let us reflect how ridiculous we make ourselves in judging by paffion, and suspend our judgment till that passion be over. In general, we pass a safe and sound judgment, when knowing how to discern the motives which follicit our sentence, we are so far masters of ourselves as not to be fway'd by faint and confus'd notions, but by the clear and well-grounded dictates of the understanding.
After these and the like reflections on judgment, our author proceeds to consider the third and last operation of the mind, which is ratiociration, in two dialogues, one of which relates to ratiocination, the other to the rules by which it ought to be directed. In these difcourses we learn when and upon what grounds a person ratiocinates
aright, aright, á point of which multitudes, tho they reason well enough, are yet ignorant : and indeed it belongs only to a Logician to judge of the justness and force of an argument.
The last thing to be confider'd is method. All that has been yet faid has been concerning ideas, judgment, and ratiocination, according to the natural order of the operations of the mind. But it is not enough to know how to form ideas, and to compound them into propositions, to serve for principles from whence we may draw conclusions. Most subjects which we undertake to examine, being of a compounded nature, require a proper arrangement and concatenation of several ideas, feveral judgments, several ratiocinations, and different kinds of thoughts for the perfect illustration of the question. And that part of logic which furnishes us with lights, reflexions, and the necessary rules for conducting the mind by the easiest and shortest way from truth to trath, till we arrive at our desired point, is what in general we call met bod.
Method is defin'd by our author “a choice of maxims, rules, and “ ways of thinking, proper for the discovery of truth, in order to un“ derstand it ourselves, or make it known to others.” Clearness, brevity and certainty, are the properties of a good method. By the first quality it illustrates a subject, by its brevity it saves our time, and by certainty attains its end. In the use of method for the discovery of truth we sometimes proceed step by step, and as it were by degrees, from fimple and easy things to more complex, embarass’d, and more difficult to be comprehended. We fix our attention first on subjects of a more fimple nature, and afterwards divert it on such as are complex. Not content with examining them fingly and separately, we try to discover the relation between them, and so proceed by sure and certain feps from one discovery to another, omitting nothing, the knowledge of which might enlighten us in our progress. This method is what we call synthesis.
In the method of analysis we proceed from things complex to those of a more simple nature. We make a division of the whole in order to examine the parts separately, that we might the better understand the nature of the whole by an examination of the parts. Here we find examples, in which the author gives us a clear and distinct notion of both these methods. He then enters upon a particular and very inftrative discourse on evidence, and the method we ought to pursue in our search after truth. The rules he prescribes are indeed excellent, but of no use to us, if we take no care to apply them to what we hear or read, and examine our conversations and writings by them.
The moft necessary and essential part is, to unite the theory with the practice. Nothing is eafier than learning to reason justly in the ordinary affairs of life, and in sciences which have nothing very ab. ftsuse, but we soon lose sight of those rules when requir’d to be put in practice. We are blinded by a spirit of party, and enslaved by our passions to fuch a degree that our weak and feeble reason, accustom'd to their yoke, dares not exert itself but about indifferent things. Imprudence talks without knowledge, malice lurks under humour, ha. fred poisons all things, love embellishes them, interest imitates foinetimes love, sometimes hatred, and passion rules the language. Our friends and patrons are modeft, generous, of bright parts, wise, and have reason and justice always on their fide. Our enemies are proud, covetous, brutish, and know not what belongs to justice or reason. In respect of circumstances, as a person happens to be a friend or an enemy, free or interested, rich or poor, melancholy or cheerful, at peace, or in trouble, his views and his speeches are accordingly different. We should be quite otherwise from what we are, were our speech and our conduct but answerable to our lights. NB. We have the favour of a packet from 7. W. Hants, containing
a fort view of Bp Brown's procedure of the humane understanding, and of bis divine analogy, which shall have a place in our next pamphlet. We expect also that some of our correspondents will make remarks on the preceding treatise.
* M, URBAN, HE
much importance, and (at the same time) so irksome ; that an essay to facilitate the work cannot fail of being acceptable to the public: especially as the affair is commonly in the hands of those, who are least able to discover what is best, and often unfit to make use of the helps we have by reason of their ill-contrivance. In confideration hereof I have drawn up some thoughts on the subject; which it may not be amiss to publish in your Miscellaneous Correspondence. The out-lines which I have sketch'd of the design, may posibly stir-up fome person of learning to undertake the work, which would be of more use than is generally imagin'd; or, at least, it may serve to engage the public-spirited to propose such amendments of what is here offer'd, as may lay a better foundation, than has ever yet been thought of, for a quick and easy introduction to good literature.
Spelling-books (to answer the end they are design'd-for, to the best advantage) jould be modeld on two principles, and distinguisht into two parts. The former part, for initiating, should be as fimple and easy as possible; and therefore (1) It ought to contain only such words as are founded according to the powers of the letters establisht in the primmer ; * and (2) The several lifts of polysyllables should be sorted according to the accent. The second part, for trainingup to the difficulties and accuracies of the art, should confist of such words as are sounded differently from the powers of the letters as laid
down For want of this caution how great an embarasment must it be to be. ginners, when they meet (without any direction for the difference of pronun. ciation) with fuch words as these: leaf, heart, bread, tear, leap, theach, * fheathe, &c.'-NB. This is a reigning fault in all spelling books; and is a grievous plague both co teachers, and learners.
+ This has been done, to good purpose, by several of our late writers : bue, for want of the preceding caution, their books are full of stumbling, blocks; to be cleared of which, they should have all the words cast out of their feve. ral lists, that do not answer to the sound of the letters as festled in the primmer; or ( which is the same thing) in the beginning of their own books, where they give directions for the pronunciation of letters, and syllables.
down in the primmer. And these should be distinguisht into two lifts: (1) Such, whose found may be settled by one observation, in the course of the alphabet || ; and (2) Such as require more than one direction, to ascertain their sound : which therefore may best be learnt by throwing each of them into a short familiar phrase or sentence, such as may lead to the pronunciation of them. $
To these might be added (beside other curious particulars) an appendix of peculiarities, or such words as might be spelt with more propriety, and to better purpose, than (hitherto) they have been.....To give but one infance, the better to explain my meaning; it would be of advantage (notwithstanding the authority of custom to the contrary) to disburden our language of some troublesom superfluities. But, not to run into the wild fancies, that have (hitherto) misled most of our reformers ; the innovations, that may be propos'd, ought to be under proper regulation. The rule (on this occafion) should, I think, be, what Mr Lowe has fix'd (in an appendix to his French grammar) that. No innovations (for the sake of
facilitating the pronunciation, &c.) ought to set-aside an establisht • custom ; if they occasion ambiguity ; render ancient writings ob• scure; or efface the original of words. Without trespassing on these reftriâions, I am apt to believe (to give but one instance) it will generally be allow'd, that, if our', in the termination of words deriv'd from the latin, were spelt-or' (as favor, labor, honor, &c.) such spelling, beside the saying of a letter, would be more agreeable to the sound of the word, and more expressive of the original; and, consequently, preferable.
Upon the whole, I cannot but think, that, upon this plan, a spel. ling- book might be drawn-up, incomparably better (for ease, and expedition, in learning) than any that we are yet provided with $; and
# Thus (for a specimen how to remedy the above-mention's reigning fault of all spelling-books) the sound of.' ea' being supposid to be as in leaf'; -the list of words of the same found (and of no other) ought to be in the former part of the spelling.book; that neither dames, nor their children, may have any doubt, or rub, or puzzle, to encrease their drudgery :-and, in the latrer parc, all the differences of its found may be exhibited in different list', with the explanative leccers at the head of chem, to the following effect: a sounds like (a) in heart, swearing, &c. (e) in head, carnest, &c. (ee) in bear, clearly, &c. (i) in leas, comer, chemistry, &c.
$ Some (in this case) for the readier reading of such words, have exprest them, in oppofic columns, by foch letters, as (in their primmer.powers) an. swer to their found. Thus against daughter, draught'; they give us 'daw.ter, drafe'-But, as that expediert will not always answer precisely (as in 'laughter,' &c.] and is accended with the inconvenience of perplexing the mind about the spelling of the word; the attention being chiefly engag'd on the explicative (which is the wrong) spelling : it would seem much better to lead (more direa'y) to the pronunciation of them, by forming them into shore phrales or sentences; that may (more agreeably) amuse the child, and draw him alo fo into a better acquaintarce with the sense of the word. Thus we might exhibit the afore-mention'd words as follows : ' Is it a lon, or a daughter? • Drink a draught of water.'- And, in this manner, the list of words of like found, and different spelling, might be made more pleasant, and niore instructive; thus: “Now, you may read the book. Don't break the reed. Mr reid told me fu. ., Yesterday we read the news. Is it white, or red'
* How pocely we are provided.for in chis respect, and how prepolcrous