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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

The preface,   pp. I [i]-xxx PDF (27.2 MB)

Page xvii

The P               E F A C E I                                    xvMI
BUT, Memory, it is to be here noted, deals only in paJZ Things.  It informs
us, that on fuch an Occa-
fion, fuch Means, under fuch Circumifances, prcduced fuch Effects: But its
Notices are merely narrative, or
hiflzoricalf1 and relate only to thofe numerical Means, Occafion, CircurnItances,
&c. which can never harpen
again.  So that Memory fpeaks nothing to the prefent Cafe; nor gives any
Directions how the particular
Purpofe now in view is to be attain'd. Its Language is only this, "
Such Means did produce fuch and fuch
If Effefs." -To make the Application of paft Things to prefent, is the
Office of Reafon; which comes in
where Memory ends; and fubjoins, That " if fuch Means have done fo,
fuch others will now do fo."  And
consequently 'tis Reafon that, in ftrianefs, prescribes the prefent Meafures.
OUR Inquiry now draws towards an Iffue ; and it only remains to fhew, in
what manner Reafon attains this
End, i. e. what farther or higher Means there are, whereby it is enabled
to furniih Meafures for the prefent
Exigent, from the Circumiftances of pafl ones ?-This it effets by certain
Perceptions of Similitvde and Di
litude, Parity and Imparity, Congruity and Incongruity, between former and
prefent Means, Occafions, &c. By
virtue of thefe, the Mind infers, argues, or prefumes, That " inafinuch
as fuch Means were followed by fuch
Effe& ; fuch others, by parity of Reafon, will be followed by fiich others
:" And that " as there are fuch
and fuch Differences between former and prefent Occafions and Circumifances
; there muft be fuch and fuch
other correfpondent Variations in the prefent Meafures, to keep up the Congruity."
 All which refolves into that
comprehenfive Word, Analogy -----Thus it is found, that every Means, every
Step of an Art, includes what
has been already fhewn of the whole Art; and confifts of Matter, furnifh'd
by Memory, from Senfe and Ob-
fervation; and Form, furnifh'd by Reafon, from Comparifon, and Analogy.
AND thus it is Reafon that makes all our hiftorical Knowledge of any fignificancy
to us. 'Tis this that
makes former Cafes fubfervient to the prefent Occafion. We may look upon
this, as the Inrfrument or Faculty
of transferring; whereby the Effecrts of former Times and Places, are brought
over to the prefent ones. Without
this, Senfe would lofe its chief ufe ; and Memory, with all its Copia, be
no other than ufelefi Lumber.--- --'Tis this
Faculty alone that arranges our fenfible Ideas into any thing of Subordinacy.
Memory only prefents 'em, fuch as
they firft appear'd; wholly diftinft all, and independent of each other;
being connected by nothing but their Coin-
prefence, or Co-exiftence in point of Time and Place. The Eflablifhment of
all other Relations is the Work of
Reafon; which, from thefe few fenfible Relations, infers numerous others,
e. g. from the Comprefence of two
Things, in refpea of Time, Place, &c. it concludes that fome new Appearance
perceiv'd in the one, was occa-
fioned by the other; and therefore, that there was fome Power in the latter,
by which this was effeted, &c.
And thus it is we come by the Relations or Perceptions of Caufe, Effef; Aiqjon,
Paf/ion; Property, Quality, &c.
So that, to this Faculty of Reafon, we owe the whole Science of Ph)/icks;
which is no other than the Dodlrine
of Caufes: At leaft, the Form thereof. The Matter, i. e. the Senfations thernfelves,
being furnifhed by Senfe,
conftitute Natural Hi/Jory, the Bafis of all Knowledge whatever.
WE are now got to the Top of all our Natural Faculties, Reafon ; and the
moll refined of all our Science,
Analogy.----It remains to obferve, that with this Natural Reafon, is connefted
Moral Inclination.  In the Cafe,
for inftance, of Good ; to the Voice of Reafon reprefenting a Thing as fuch,
is conneated a Defire or Inclint;z n
towards the fame; which is the Spring or Principle of all human Adtion, or
Operation; and commands a num-
ber of fubordinate ones, the application of all which coniftitutes what we
call the Purfuit of fuch Good.
A N D thus we are got to the bottom of all our moral Faculties, Defire or
Inclination. - Hence, as Reafon is
the End of Paffion, or Perception ; Inclination is the Beginning of A6tion:
The one terminating in the Ap-
prehenfion of Good, where the other commences.  And again, as the Perception
of Analogy is the ultimate
Effe& of Science; the Inclination arifing by means hereof, is the Beginning
of Art: the two being join'd, and
as it were, inofculated in fome middle Point. And thus external or phyfical
Things, come to influence or produce
internal, or moral ones; thus the whole Effect of fenfible Nature is applied
to moral Nature.  And thus do
Phyfics take hold of Ethics; God, of Man. -Hence, moral Knowledge may be
confider'd as a kind of Medium
between Perception, and Inclination ; Ation, and Paflion ; Science, and Art:
Accordingly, it poffeffes a middle
Region in the Orb of Knowledge ; as being that by whofe Mediation, a Communication
is made between the
two ; and the Effeets of the one imparted, or handed over to the other.
BUT, to determine the Nature and Origin of Analogy; and fhew how thefe Notices
or Perceptions of Simi-
litude, Parity, &c. by means whereof Reafon makes her Conclufions, are
arrived at ; and whether they arife in
the fame general manner as other Ideas, by the Agency of the divine Being,
(the human Mind remaining wholly
paffive therein) or whether we perceive or difcern 'em immediately, by fome
intuitive Power inherent in the Na-
ture of the Mind ; and fo are adtive therein ----will need a little farther
IT muff be allow'd, then, that thefe Perceptions, Similitude, &c. are
no proper Objeffs of Senfe: They do not
come from without, as any part of the Matter of our Senfations: they are
of no Colour, Figure, Solidity, or the
like. Nor do they feem to arife immediately, and neceffarily, upon any Obje6ts
being prefented; but rather to
require fome A61ion, or Operation of the Mind, to produce and give 'em being.
The Truth is, they are not
any immediate Objec'ts, but refilt from a Comparifon between feveral; which
Comparifon feems to be the Work
of the Mind, bringing one to the other, and confidering their Agreement and
BUT, tho this bids much faireft for Action of any thing yet alledg'd ; yet
will the whole hereof be found to
refolve into Senfe, and Memory.----If, fecing a Sword run thro' a Perfon,
I find he dies upon it; and feeing after-
wards a Spear run in like manner thro' another, I conclude he will likewife
die: Whence is this, but that in the latter
Cafe, fome of the Circumftances of the prefent Tranfaftion, do neceffarily
recal the Memory of the former ones:
Since, fo far as they were alike, they were really the fame ? Confequently,
as the Idea of Death was conneCted to the
former ; it belongs equally to the latter. In effeCt, in two fimilar things,
fo far as I fee a Similitude, fo far I
fee the fame thing in both. Similitude is only a Repetition: and therefore
what agrees to the one, mull, fo far
as their Similitude goes, agree to the other, for the fame Reafon that it
does to either. Hence, if I am paffive
in remembering the Sword, and paffive likewife in feeing the Spear ; and
the one be in fome refpeCts the fame
with the other: I am not active in perceiving that Samenefs : fince 'tis
only the Perception of one thing twice
over. And my knowing it to be the fame now, is only my remembring it to be
what I had feen before; with
this difference, that the Power which firft reprefented it to me abfolutely;
does now represent it with this additio-
nal Circumflance, that I had feen it before.
A GA IN, if I argue or conclude that what agrees to, or arifes from one thing;
will do fo in another thing
fimilar only in frome Circumftances : This is founded wholly on a Prefumption,
that the Agreement reaches to
thofe Points upon which the former EffeCt depended. So that all phyfical
Caufation, in refpecft of us, is mere
Prefumption. Accordingly, the great Regulcz philofophandi efablifhed by Sir
I Newton, that " Effects of the
fame kind, arife from the fame Caufe :" and that " Qtalities which
agree to all the Bodies hitherto known,
agree univerfally to all ;" are at bottom only Prefumptions. Yet are
they juft phyfical Laws ; and the belt
the Subject will allow of.

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