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The pursuit of truth is no less pleasant than the pursuit of any other good *.
Our knowledge of what is agreeable and disagreeable in objects is derived from the fenfe of beauty, handled in Elements of Criticism. Our knowledge of right and wrong in actions, is derived from the moral fenfe, to be handled in the fketch immediately following. Our knowledge of truth and error is derived from various fources.
Our external fenfes are one fource of knowledge they lay open to us external fubjects, their qualities, their actions, with events produced by these actions. The internal fenfes are another fource of knowledge they lay open to us things paffing in the mind; thinking, for example, deliberating, inclining, refolving, willing, confenting, and other acts; and they alfo lay open to us our emotions and paffions. There is a fenfe by which we perceive the truth of many propofitions; fuch as, That every thing which begins
* It has been wifely obferved, that truth is the fame to the understanding that mufic is to the ear, or beauty to the eye.
manufactures, the two nations differed widely in Mexico, arts and manufactures were carried to a furprising height, confidering the tools they had to work with in Peru, they had made no progrefs; every man, as among mere favages, providing the neceffaries of life for himfelf. As the world goes at prefent, our multiplied wants require fuch numbers, that not above one of a hundred can be fpared for war. In ancient times, when thefe wants were few and not much enlarged beyond nature, it is computed that an eighth part could be fpared for war: and hence the numerous armies we read of in the hiftory of ancient nations. The Peruvians had it in their power to go ftill farther it was poffible to arm the whole. males capable of fervice: leaving the women to fupply the few neceffaries that might be wanted during a fhort campaign; and accordingly we find that the Incas were great conquerors.
The religion of the Peruvians, confidered in a political light, was excellent. The veneration they paid their fovereign upon , a falfe religious principle, was their only fuperftition; and that fuperftition contri
buted greatly to improve their morals and their manners : on the other hand, the religion of Mexico was execrable.
Upon the whole, there never was a country deftitute of iron, where arts feem to have been carried higher than in Mexico: and, bating their religion, there ne-、 ver was a country deftitute of writing, where government feems to have been more perfect. I except not the government of Peru, which, not being founded on political principles, but on fuperftition, might be more mild, but was far from being fo folidly founded.
to exist must have a caufe; That every effect adapted to fome end or purpose, proceeds from a designing caufe; and, That every effect adapted to a good end or purpofe, proceeds from a defigning and benevolent caufe. A multitude of axioms in every science, particularly in mathematics, are equally perceived to be true. By a peculiar fenfe, of which afterward, we know that there is a Deity. There is a fenfe by which we know, that the external figns of paffion are the fame in all men; that animals of the fame external appearance, are of the fame fpecies; and that animals of the fame fpecies, have the fame properties (a). There is a fenfe that dives into futurity: we know that the fun will rife to-morrow; that the earth will perform its wonted courfe round the fun; that winter and fummer will follow each other in fucceffion; that a ftone dropt from the hand will fall to the ground; and a thousand other fuch propofitions.
There are many propofitions, the truth of which is not fo apparent: a process of
(a) Preliminary Difcourfe.
reafoning is neceffary, of which afterward.
Human teftimony is another fource of knowledge. So framed we are by nature, as to rely on human teftimony; by which we are informed of beings, attributes, and events, that never came under any of our fenfes.
The knowledge that is derived from the fources mentioned, is of different kinds. In fome cafes, our knowledge includes abfolute certainty, and produces the highest degree of conviction: in other cafes, probability comes in place of certainty, and the conviction is inferior in degree. Knowledge of the latter kind is diftinguished into belief, which concerns facts and opinion, which concerns relations, and other things that fall not under the denomination of facts. In contradiftinction to opinion and belief, that fort of knowledge which includes abfolute certainty and produces the highest degree of conviction, retains its proper name. To explain what is here faid, I enter into particulars.
The sense of seeing, with very few exceptions, affords knowledge properly fo