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A S S SSOCIATION, the act of associating, or consti
tuting a society, or partnership, in order to carry on some scheme or affair with more advantage.—The word is Latin, associatio; and compounded of ad, to, and socio, to join. Association of Ideas, is where two or more ideas constantly and immediately follow or succeed one another in the mind, so that one shall almost infallibly produce the other, whether there be any natural relation between them or not. See METAPHYsics. Where there is a real affinity or connexion in ideas, it is the excellency of the mind, to be able to collect, compare, and range them in order, in its inquiries: but where there is none, nor any cause to be assigned for their accompanying each other, but what is owing to mere accident or habit, this unnatural association becomes a great imperfection, and is, generally speaking, a main cause of error, or wrong deductions in reasoning. Thus the idea of goblins and sprights, it has been observed, has really no more affinity with darkness than with light ; and yet let a foolish maid inculcate these ideas often on the mind of a child, and raise them there together, it is possible he shall never be able to separate them again so long as he lives, but darkness shall ever bring with it, those frightful ideas. With regard to this instance, however, it must at the same time be observed, that the connection alluded to appears far from being either unnatural or absurd. See the article APPARITION. Such wrong combinations of ideas, Mr Locke shows, are a great cause of the irreconcileable opposition between the different sects of philosophy and religion: for we cannot imagine, that all who hold tenets different from, and sometimes even contradictory to, one another, should wilfully and knowingly impose upon themselves, and refuse truth offered by plain reason: but some loose, and independent ideas are, by education, custom, and the constant din of their party, so coupled in their minds, that they always appear there together: these they can no more separate in their thoughts, than if they were but one idea, and they operate as if they were so. This gives sense to jargon, demonstration to absurdities, consistency to nonsense, and is the foundation of the greatest, and almost of all the errors in the world. Association forms a principal part of Dr Hartley's mechanical theory of the mind. He distinguishes it into synchronous and successive; and ascribes our simple
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and complex ideas to the influence of this principle Association. Particular sensations result from previous `YT"
or habit. vibrations conveyed through the nerves to the medullary substance of the brain; and these are so intimately associated together, that any one of them, when impressed alone, shall be able to excite in the mind the ideas of all the rest. Thus we derive the ideas of natural bodies from the association of the several sensible qualities with the names that express them, and with each other. The sight of part of a large building suggests the idea of the rest instantaneously, by a synchronous association of the parts; and the sound of the words, which begin a familiar sentence, brings to remembrance the remaining parts, in order, by successive association. Dr Hartley maintains, that simple ideas run into complex ones by association; and apprehends, that by pursuing and perfecting this doctrine, we may some time or other be enabled to analyze those complex ideas, that are commonly called the ideas of reflection, or intellectual ideas, into their several component parts, i. e. into the simple ideas of sensation of which they consist; and that this doctrine may be of considerable use in the art of logic, and in explaining the various phenomena of the human mind. Association of Parliament. In the reign of King William III. the parliament entered into a solemn association to defend his Majesty's person and government against all plots and conspiracies; and all persons bearing offices civil or military, were enjoined to subscribe the association to stand by King William, on pain of forfeitures and penalties, &c. by stat. 7 and 8 W. III. C. 27. *wurns, African. This is an institution which was formed in the year 1788, for the purpose of promoting discoveries in the interior parts of Africa. Out of the number of the members, of which this society consists, five are elected for the management of its funds and correspondence, and for the appointment of persons to whom the missions are assigned. Mr. Ledyard was the first who was sent out, for accomplishing the object of the society. He undertook the adventurous task, of traversing from east to west, the widest part of the African continent, in the latitude which was ascribed to the Niger; and with this view he arrived at Cairo in August 1788. But before his projected journey commenced, he died, and the hopes that were entertained of this enterprising and persevering traveller were disappointed. Mr Lucas was next chosen by the A committee,