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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

Secondine - series,   pp. 41-60 PDF (19.9 MB)

Page 54

Steep, when the Nerves are in a State of Relaxation
the Soul does not then receive any new Senifation. Bu
if the Nerves happen to be agitated in the Brain, b+
the Courfe of the Animal Spirits,. or any other Caufe; ith
Soul perceives fomething, though the Parts of tho4i
Nerves, that are out of the Brain, diffufed through thi
feveral Parts of the Body, remain at perfe& Reft: as like
wife is frequently the Cafe in Sleep.  Lafily, obferve, by
the way, that Experience tells us, we may fometimesfee,
Pain in Parts of the Body that have been entirely Cu
off; by reafon the Fibres in the Brain correfponding tf
them, being agitated in the fame Manner as if they wert
really hurt i the Soul feels a real Pain in thofe imaginar3
Parts. All thefe Things {hew evidently, that the Soul
tefides immediately in that Part of the Brain wherein the
Nerves of all the Organs of Senfe terminate: we mean
'tis there it perceives all the Changes that happer
with regard to the Objects that caule them, or thai
have been ufed to caufe them; and, that it only
perceives what pafes out of this Part, by the Me-
diation of the Fibres terminating in it. See NERVEI
FIiaRE,  c.
Thefe Things premifed, 'twill not be difficult to ex-
plain how Sen;fation is perform'd; the Manner whereof
may be conceiv'd from what follows. When the Point
of a Needle, for Inflance, is preffed againft the Hand,
that Point flirs and Separates the Fibres of the Flefh;
which Fibres are extended from that Place to the Brain,
and when we are awake, are in fuch a Degree of Ten-
fion as that they cannot be flirr'd without Making thofe
of the Brain. If then, the Motion of the Fibres of the
Hand be gentle, that of the Fibres of the Brain will be
fo too; and if the firft be violent enough to break any
thing in the Hand, the laft will be fironger and more
violent in Proportion. In like Manner, if the Hand be
held to the Fire ; the little Particles of the Wood it
throws off in great Numbers, and with a great deal of
Violence, firiking againfi thefe Fibres, and communica-
ting a Part of their Agitation thereto; if the Aaion be
moderate, that of the Extremities of the Fibres of the
Brain corresponding to thofe of the Hand, will be mode-
rate likewife: If it be violent enough to feparate any
of the Parts of the Hand, as it happens in Burning; the
Motion of the Fibres in the Brain will be proportionably
more violent. This is what befals the Body, when Ob-
jeas flrike upon it. We are now to confider how the
Mind is affeaed.
The Mind, we have obferv'd, refides principally, if we
may be allow'd to fay fo, in that Part of the Brain
where all the Fibres of the Nerves terminate. It -at-
tends here, as its Senfory, or Office, to look to the Pre-
fervation of all the Parts of the Body; and, of confe-
quence, mudl be here advertised of all the Changes that
happen, and   mull be   able to diftinguiih between
thofe agreeable to the Conflitution of the Body, and
thofe hurtful thereto.  Any other, abfolute Knowledge,
without a Relation to the Body, were uielefs. Thus,
though all the Changes in our Fibres, do, in Reality,
confifl in Motions, which ordinarily only differ as to
more and lefs; 'tis neceffary the Soul Should look on
them as Changes effentially different; for though in
themfelves they differ but very little, yet, with regard to
Prefervaiion of the Body, they are to be look'd on as
effentially different.
The Motion, for Inflance, which caufes Pain, frequent-
ly differs exceedingly little from that which occafions
Titillation: 'Tis not neceffary there fhould be an Effen-
tial Difference between thofe two Motions, but 'tis ne-
cefary there be an Effential Difference between the
Pain and the Tickling thofe two Motions occafion in
the Soul; for the Agitation of the Fibres, which accom-
panies the Titillation, informs the Soul of the good
State of the Body, that it is able to refift the Im-
preffion of the Objecls, and that it need not apprehend
its being hurt: But the Motion, which occafions Pain,
being fomewhat more violent, is capable of breaking
fome of the Fibres of the Body ; wherefore 'tis neceffa-
ry the Soul be advertized hereof by fume difagreeable
Senfation, that it may provide againrc it. Thus, though
all the Motions which pafs in the Body only differ in
themfelves, as to more or lefs, yet, when confidered, with
regard to the Prefervation of Life, they may be faid to be
elfentiaily different: For this Reafbn it is, that the Soul
does ntiperceive the Shakes, or Motions themfelves, which
Obje&s excite in the Fibres of the Flefh: It would be
ufelefs to perceive them; and the would never be able,
thence, to learn whether the Objeas were capable of
doing Hurt or Good. But the perceives herfelf affecled
vwith Seii/ations, which differ effenrially, and which fhew-
ing preafely the Qualities of the Obje&s, as they regard
the Body, make her perceive, diflinaly, whether or no
dudObje~s are capable of hurting it.
4IN 1   S EAN  I
,I  j
,    in E~eff, romn a flri&t Ex% aination o f
r Senfes, it appears, that jenfiblc Objeas aft
y  upon the Body, for the producing of Senfiom
exciting 4 Change in the extreme Srface of
¢ of the NerveS. . The Qpality of which Chanj
e  on the Figure, Bulk, Hardnef., and Motion of tl
fo that apcording to all Appearances, the mof
y  Objefs, *hich Jhould agre in thefe Four Ciro
l would produce the fame Snfatito. From the vA
tirp. tueo thenv.a..t OUb - he  Lfei J .f  4flCr
o the different Fabric of the Or!gan of Senfe.5 the dit
o  Place in the MeduIla of the Brain, where the bI
VL Iguruthu, wUrcEwitk
i the Aaion df the Objecl is applied, arife .various Senfy
tions, and Ideas, in the Mind: none of whichlrepreetI
any thing in the Aion of the Objed, or in the Paio
of the Organ. And yet the fame Aftion of the fame
t Objec&, on the fame Organ, always produce the fame
y Senfars or. Idea: And the fame Ideas neceffarily follo*
. the famne Difpoftion of the fame fenfible Organ, in the
lame manneras if the Idea perceiv'd, were the natural
and neceffary Efte&  of the Aation on the Organ. See
E   SENSE, a Faculty of the Soul, whereby it perceives
external Objecs, by means of fome A&ion or Impreflion
made on certain Parts of the Body, called Oirgns of
;Sene, and propagated by them to the Snfory.
Some uf the Word Senfe in a greater Latitude; and
define it a Faculty whereby the Soul perceives Ideas or
Images of Objeis, either convey'd to it from withouto
by the Impreffion  of Objecs themfelves, or excited
within by fome Effort of the Soul on the Senfory it felfi
Under this Notion, Senf becomes diffinguilhible into
two Kinds, External and hzternal ; correfponding to the
two feveral Manners wherein the Images of the Objeag
perceiv'd, either are occafiion'd,andprefented to the Mind,
' Viz. immediately from without, orfrom withini thatis,
either by what we commonly call the FiveExternval Senfer,
Hearing, Seeing, Fec. or by the Internal ones, Imaginati-
on, Memory, and Attenticn i to which fome add Hunger and
Thirfi. But as thefe Internal Senfes are not ordinarily
confider'd in the Notion of Senies, nor implied under
the Word Senfe;i but are thus only denominated from Ana-
logy5 we lhall wave them to be further, confider'd, under
their refpective Articles IMAGINATION, MEMORY, &C.
External Senfes, or, limply, 27ze Senfes, in their general
Signification, are the Means whereby the Soul apprehends,
or takes Cognizance of External Objecis; the Mvleans, we
mean, both on the Part of the Mind, and of the Body.
The Means, on the Part of the Mind, are always the
famee; it being one and the fame Faculty, whereby we
See, Hear, &ex. The Means, on the Part of the Body,
are different- as different as are the Obje&s we are con-
cern'd to perceive: For the Being, and Well-being of
the Animal, being the End, Nature had in View in
giving him any Perception of external Bodies; by this,
the Meafure and Manner of that Perception is regulated
and we have fo many Ways of perceiving, and of per-
ceiving fo many Things, as the Relation we bear to
external Bodies renders neceffary for the Prefervation, fc.
of our Being. Hence thofe feveral Organs of Senfle
call'd Eye, Ear, Nofe, Palate, and the uniyerfal one Cutis;
each of which is fo difpofed as to give it fome Repre-
fentation and Report to the Mind, of the State of exter-
nal Things, the Nearnefs, Convenience, Hurtfulnefs, and
other Habitudes; and each of them a different one, ac-
cording to the Degree, and Immediatenefs, &c. of the
Danger, or Conveniency. And hence the feveral Exercifes
of rhofie Organs, Hearing, Seeing, Smelling,  leafting, and
For the general Manner wherein our Senfes a&; or,
more properly, the Manner wherein we become Senfil',
that is, perceive external Objels; See SENSATION.
For the particular Senfes, or, more properly, the parti-
cular Manners, wherein we become fenfible, by the parti-
cular Organs of Senfe; See HEARING, SEEING, SMEL-
LING, siC.
For the feveral Organs of Senre, minifiring to the Af-
veral Manners of Sen/ation; See EYE, EAR, NOSE, UC.
Pliny obferves, That of all the Sen/es, Feeling and
Tafling are what Man has in the greateft Perfefion: As
to Seeing he is excelled by the Eagle, &)c. as to Smel-
ling, by the Vulture, Tec. and as to Hearing, by the MGole,
even when hid under Ground. Nat. HiR. itib. io. The
Senfes have been Sometimes found greatdy harpsned and
improved by Difeafes. Mr. Boyle mentions a Gentle-
man, who, during a Diflemper he had in his Eyes, had
his Organs of Sight brought to be fo tenderthatwh
he waked in the Night, he could, for a  whi pn
fee and diftinguifh Colours, and other Objets; a  the
fame Author gives an Inflance of  another Perl , thff  #
after getting half-fuddled with Claret, if he waked in

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