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lines, that they may be prolonged for ever without meeting. These are specimens of a large class of truths, which the mind perceives to be true, and necessarily true. There are logical truths—such as that whatever is predicated of a class may be predicated of all the members of the class, and moral truths-such as that sin is deserving of reprobation, which are also necessary
and universal. But if the mind may-as I maintain that it can and does-rise to the discovery of such truths, it must be by native laws, the expression of which will give us metaphysical science, just as the expression of the laws which material phenomena obey gives us physical science. But it will be said that we discover all this by experi
. We are not at this stage of inquiry in circumstances to have the relation between intuition and experience definitively pointed out. But
(5.) It may be stated, as a fifth position, that the very acquisition of experience implies native laws or principles. So far from experience being able to account for innate principles, innate principles are required to account for the treasures of experience. For how is it that man is enabled to gather experience? How is he different in this respect from the stock or the stone, from the vegetable or the brute, which can acquire no experience, at least no such experience ? Plainly because he is endowed with capacities for this end; and these faculties must have some law or principle on which they proceed. Experience, in the narrow sense, must mean, what we have personally noticed. Even in noticing this, there must be faculties, with principles involved in them, at work. But a personal experience would of itself be valueless to man; it would not and could not enable him to rise from the known to the unknown, to argue from the past to the future. But man can from the known discover the unknown, from the past he can anticipate the future; and
when he does so, he must proceed on some principle which is capable of exposition, and ought to be expressed. And if man be capable, as I maintain he is, of reaching necessary and universal truth, he must proceed on principles which can never be derived from experience. Twenty times have we tried, and found that two straight lines do not enclose a space : this does not authorize us to affirm that they never can enclose a space, otherwise we might argue that, because we had seen a judge and his wig twenty times together, they must therefore be together through all eternity. A hundred times have I seen a spark kindle gunpowder : this does not entitle me to declare that it will do so the thousandth or the millionth time, or wherever the spark and the gunpowder are found.
The gathered knowledge and wisdom of man, and his power of prediction, thus imply more than experience : they presuppose faculties to enable him to gather experience, and in some cases involve necessary principles which enable him, and justify him, as he acts on his ability, to rise from a limited experience to an unlimited and necessary law.
But it may be urged that we reach these results by reasoning. I reply that
(6.) A sixth position may be established, that reasoning proceeds on principles which cannot be proved by reasoning, but must be assumed, and assumed as seen intuitively to be true. In all ratiocination there must be something from which we argue. That from which we argue is the premiss, in the Aristotelian analysis of argument, it is the two premisses. But as we go back and back, we must at length come to something which cannot be proven. That which cannot be proven must be assumed, but surely not assumed capriciously; if assumed capriciously, it can yield no proper foundation, and if not assumed arbitrarily, it must be according to some rule
or principle which should be expounded and stated by the metaphysician. How can we reason but from what we know ? and in going back we come to truths which we know directly, that is, by intuition, and the law of this intuition should be evolved. It might further be shown that there must be a mental principle involved it is the Dictum in the Aristotelian account of reasoning
-in the process by which we connect the conclusion with the premisses; for were there no such principle, the ratiocination would be arbitrary, and it would be vain for any man to endeavour to convince his neighbour, or even to try to keep himself consistent. Such considerations as these show that at the foundation of argument, and at every stage of the superstructure, there are mental principles involved which are either intuitive or depend on principles which are intuitive.
Sect. II. THE NATIVE CONVICTIONS OF THE MIND ARE OF
THE NATURE OF PERCEPTIONS OR INTUITIONS.
In some cases there are external objects presented; the mind looks upon them, and the conviction at once springs up. Thus it is that it knows immediately this particular body, this paper or table, as occupying space. In other cases it is something within the mind that is contemplated; it is self in some particular exercise, -say thinking or feeling In many instances the object presented in the mind is the result of a prior mental pro
process. Thus, having at a former time seen two straight lines, we now, in our thinking moods, image or represent them; and the mind, on the contemplation, proclaims at once that they cannot enclose a space. Or we have occasion to consider some particular voluntary sentiment of a fellow-man, say his cherishing malice against another man, and we proclaim it to be evil, condemnable. In this last instance the act contemplated is not, properly speaking, under our immediate view, for it is in the breast of a neighbour, but it is represented to us in our minds, and looking on this representation the mind pronounces a decision. In every case these convictions seem to be of the nature of perceptions, that is, something is presented to us, and the cognition, belief, or judgment is formed. It is on this account that I have, in the title of this Treatise, chosen to call them Intuitions. As we advance, we shall find other distinctive characters, the expression of which yields other epithets; but the term Intuitions, that is, perceptions formed by looking in upon objects, seems to bring out the original quality of the native convictions of the mind.
SECT. III. INTUITIVE CONVICTIONS RISE ON THE CONTEM
PLATION OF OBJECTS PRESENTED OR REPRESENTED TO THE
Metaphysicians have often given such an account of them as to leave the impression that the mind creates them independent of objects, or that, at the utmost, experience furnishes merely the occasion, on the occurrence of which the mind fashions them by its own inherent power.
I shall have occasion to show that the relation between the intuitive powers and objects is of a much closer and more dependent character than this account would lead us to suppose. In intuition we look into the object, we discover something in it, or belonging to it, or we discover a relation between it and some other object. Were the object taken away, the perception would be meaningless, indeed it would altogether cease.
Intuition is a perception of an object, and of something in it or pertaining to it. Perception, without something looked into, would be as contradictory as vision without an object seen, or touch without an object felt. In our cognitions we know objects, or qualities of objects, we know self as thinking, or body as extended. In belief we entertain a trust regarding certain objects that they are so and so,-of time, for example, that it can come to no end. In judgment we discover certain relations between two or more objects, as that a mode implies a substance. Our intuitive convictions are thus not ideas, notions, judgments, formed apart from objects, but are in fact discoveries of something in objects, or relating to
SECT. IV. THE INTUITIONS OF THE MIND ARE PRIMARILY
DIRECTED TO INDIVIDUAL OBJECTS.
I shall have occasion to show, when I come to distinguish and classify the intuitions, that some are of the nature of cognitions and beliefs, while others are of the nature of judgments. But whatever be their distinctive nature, these objects as individuals. If I know, or believe in anything, it is an existing thing, that is, as singular. If I form an intuitive judgment, that is, make a comparison, it is still in regard to two or more objects considered as singulars; and so far as we pass beyond this, there is always, as I shall endeavour to show, a discursive process involved.
A very different account is often given, if not formally, at least implicitly, of intuition or of intuitive reason. Man is represented as gazing immediately on the true, the beautiful, the good, meaning in the abstract, or in the general. It is admitted that there must be some sort of experience, some individual object presented as the occasion, but the “ind, being thus roused into activity, is represented as contemplating, by direct vision, such things as space and time, substance and quality, cause and effect, the infinite, and moral good. I hope to be able to
* Locke laid strong hold of the features specified in this Section and the last; see infra, Part I. Book II. Chap. III.