Imatges de pÓgina


THAT nothing external is perceived till first it make an impression upon the organ of sense, is an observation that holds equally in every one of the external senses. But there is a

. difference as to our knowledge of that impress sion: in touching, tasting, and smelling, we are sensible of the impression ; that, for example, which is made upon the hand by a stone, upon the palate by an apricot, and upon the nostrils by a rose : it is otherwise in seeing and hearing; for I am not sensible of the impression made upon my eye, when I behold a tree ; nor of the impression made upon my ear, when I listen to a song.* That difference in the manner of perceiving external objects, distinguisheth remarkably hearing and seeing from the other senses; and I am ready to show, that it distinguisheth still more remarkably the feelings of the former from that of the latter ; every feeling, pleasant or painful, must be in the mind"; and yet, because in tasting, touching, and smelling, we are sensible of the impression made upon the organ, we are led to place there also the pleasant or painful feeling caused by that impression ;t

* See the Appendix, § 13.

+ After the utmost efforts, we find it beyond our power to conceive the flavour of a rose to exist in the mind : we are necessarily led to conceive that pleasure as existing in the nostrils along with the impression made by the rose upon that organ. And the same will be the result of experiments with respect to every feeling of taste, touch, and smell. Touch affords the most satisfactory experiments. Were it not that the delusion is detected by philosophy, no person would hesitate to pronounce, that the pleasure arising from touching a smooth, soft, and velvet surface, has its existence at the ends of the fingers, without once dreaming of its exişting any where else.

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