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Well," fays he, did I prophecy right? At the time I ⚫ was upon earth mankind began to think they did not think deep enough, however, to comprehend, and embrace, the truths I pointed out. But I thought I faw very plainly, they would do fo before it was long. How is it?, hath knowlege banished their prejudices? What do they think at this time of day, of Thomas Campanella ? What they always did,' anfwered our Voyager,' and what they probably always will, of a man who attributed thought to ftocks and ftones; and fuppofed a lump of iron to reafon with a piece of fteel that filed it. Do you think the world is more difpofed now than formerly, to believe, that the earth, planets, and ftars, are fo many animals? and that the universe itself is only a larger one, containing the reft < in its belly?'

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You are pleafed to rally,' returned Campanella; philofophically speaking, my arguments are all reduced to this; that it is actually certain, that Matter is poffeffed of a capacity of thinking. I am fure, I have been told, that this is an opinion adopted at prefent by most of the learn ed; and, therefore, I flattered myfelf, the world had begun to do me juftice, as the Author of it.

It is true,' replies our Traveller, that many of our modern Philofophers are of that opinion; but the greater part admit it only under infinite limitations; whereas, you extend it univerfally. They maintain, indeed, that Matter thinks; but not all Matter indefinitely. In order for Matfter to be capable of thinking, it is neceffary, fay they, that it fhould be arranged in a particular manner, in the formation of organized bodies. Even the followers of Epicurus themfelves, who have attributed fo much to Matter, never thought otherwife.'

Miftaken notions, all thefe,' fays Campanella. • Either 5 the primary elements, the atoms themselves, think, or < Matter in any fhape cannot think at all. If an organized • body hath perceptions, the elements that compofe it, muft have them too. For thofe elements do not change their < nature, by their combination; nor will they do it by their decompofition. They are in every cafe the fame; and are, and will be, capable to think. How! do your Philofophers pretend that Matter, in order to perceive, fhould be < organized? What, pray, is Organization, but a particu lar arrangement of parts? and do fimple unthinking ele⚫ments become capable of thinking, in proportion as they are disposed in this, or that, peculiar manner? This is



as much as to fay, that an atom, which cannot think while it remains on the left-hand of another, may be rendered capable of thinking, by being placed on the right: Believe me, either bodies of no kind whatever are capable to think, or fingle atoms are fo too."

A great defect in this work, as we have already hinted, is the uncertainty the Reader is frequently left in, as to the Au thor's real fentiments. By his putting this laft argument into the mouth of Campanella, one would imagine he intended to reprefent it as ridiculous: but it is, in fact, the principal one he himself makes use of, in his Effay on the Nature of the Soul; in which he appears to be profoundly serious.

Elements, fays he, whether separate or combined, are ef fentially the fame; and, if they cannot think feparately, they cannot form a thinking Being, in confequence of any combination.

This plea our Author makes ufe of to prove the immateriality of the Soul; and that no capacity of thinking can be fuperadded to Matter, as our great English Philofopher, Mr. Locke, had fuppofed. His method of argumentation, however, is extreamly fallacious. In the firft place, he takes for grant ed, what will not be allowed him, in previously fuppofing, that If material elements do think, motion muft neceffari. ly accompany their thought; for thinking is an action in "the thinking Being, and we cannot conceive that any body "can act without being in fome kind of motion."


But, perhaps, Thinking is not more an action than a paf fion in the thinking Being. Is our Author very certain, that the thinking Being is not fometimes entirely paffive in the operation of thought? It is pretty plain, that fimple ideas depend immediately on the action of external objects, or the impreffions made by them, and the intervening medium, og the fenfes. In its capacity of perception, then, the thinking Being appears to be paffive, and if whatever be capable of perceiving objects, be allowed to poffefs ideas of those objects, the perceiving Being may, for any thing we can fee to the contrary, be quite paffive in the operation of thinking; unlefs, indeed, perception, and the capacity of entertaining ideas are not allowed to amount to, what is called Thinking.

Befides this, the term Action is here very indiftinctly and improperly applied by our Author. Action, in a mechanical fente, as applicable to material bodies, is very different from what we understand by Action in a metaphyfical one. By


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Action, in the latter fenfe, is meant indefinitely the effort of any cause producing an allowed effect, or the means whereby fuch effect was produced by its caufe: the caufe being faid to act in fuch production. Now this action is, in every cafe, confeffedly indefinite and uninveftigable, and is very different from that which our Author fays, is inconceivable without motion. This latter is mechanical, being univerfally allowed to be the confequence of fome prior action; fo that, metaphyfically fpeaking, fimple Matter never can be faid to act at all, but rather to be acted on, by the cause that puts it in


It is true, compound mechanical machines, whofe feveral parts are primarily acted on by fome general first mover, are commonly faid to act: but, in this cafe, the action of the whole is always known to be the confequence of the motion of the parts, which are confeffedly paffive.

Had our Author, indeed, firft proved thinking to be th action of the thinking Being, it is certain, that if material bodies did really think, their thought must be attended with fome kind of motion: but, while that point is in difpute, the motion of material bodies does not neceffarily follow their being admitted to think: nor doth motion enter into the idea of the action of a thinking Being, unless fuch Being be firft allowed to be a material one.

We will readily grant, however, that the indivifible elements do not think. On which we proceed to examine our Author's above mentioned affertion, viz. That because material Elements do not think feparately, no thought can refult from their combination.

This Propofition he takes much pains to prove, and obviates feveral objections that might be made against it. Among other things, he supposes it might be plaufibly said, that elements are not in themselves alive, and yet, by combination, they form a living animal. But, in answer to this, he fays, life is nothing more than the constant action and re-action of the parts compofing an animal body: Material Elements may conftitute such a body, because they are effentially moveable, and capable of fuch action, and re-action but they cannot form a thinking body, because they are not in themfelves capable to think.

With due deference to this Logician, however, his answer is not fatisfactory


It will be obferved, that by the term Combination, our Author does not confine himself, with Campanella, to the fimple modification, or local difpofition, of the compounding elements he admits of the motion of the combining parts: which being premised, we shall endeavour to point out the deficiency of his reasoning.

He tells us what is Life; it is pity he did not give us a definition of Thought also, in like manner. Perhaps, Thought is nothing more than the action and re-action of the parts of the object perceived, and the object perceiving.

That the Mind of man is an immaterial principle, no Philofopher can call in queftion; but the human mind is capable of much more than receiving and retaining fimple ideas; a capacity which, however fubordinate to the intellectual capacity of man, is with us fufficient to denominate the animal poffeffed of it, a thinking animal: and that this capacity may not arife from the organization of material bodies, or the mechanical action of unthinking elements, is, perhaps, not fo very easy to demonftrate. At leaft, for the argument's fake, it may be worth while to fhew, that in this point our Author's reafoning is inconclufive. To this end, we fhall proceed to afk farther, What is the principal criterion by which any object is judged to be capable or incapable of thinking? Doubtlefs its mode of action. If it be apparently inert or paffive, having only fuch a motion, either totally or in part, as we conceive to be mechanical, we harbour no fufpicion of its entertaining any ideas. But if, on the other hand, it moves in a manner apparently fpontaneous and arbitrary, it is called an animal; and is fuppofed to have fome capacity of thinking. What we term Spontaniety may, however, in fome cafes, be nothing else than mere mechanical neceffity; tho' we are ignorant of the moving caufes: and, if this may be true in any one cafe, it may be fo in a great many others. This criterion, the best we have, therefore, fails us; and it is difficult to determine, while we labour under our prefent ignorance of phyfical causes, what apparentlyfpontaneous moving object is, or is not, really poffeffed of the capacity of thinking.

At the fame time, and for the fame reafon alfo, the like difficulty attends our deciding whether, what we call the effect of thought, in fome animals, be not the effect of the mechanical motion of material elements. Their amazing Inftinct, in the generation and prefervation of their fpecies, can never be confidered as the fagacious refult of profound



reafening, founded on fimple ideas, ftored up in the memory; nor can it be fuppofed the effect of a creative genius or imagination, as in man. - There must be then, a fitnefs in their percipient organs, to receive from external objects fuch an impulfe as directs them to act in this, or that, particular manner, fuitable to the occafion, and agreeably to the defign of their fpecies; in which cafe, either they have no ideas, and do not think at all, or the thought, fucceeding the impulfe given and influencing the action, confequential to fuch impulse, must be confidered as the effect of a mechanical operation.

But, that animals have ideas, feems to be proved from the inftances of their memory; which, in dogs, and fome other quadrupeds, is extremely tenacious; the impreffion remaining with which, after the object of perception is removed, is exprefsly what we term an idea.

A further objection might be made to our Author's argument, by confidering the mode in which ideas are formed. In vifion, for instance, the image of the object is painted on the Retina, by the pencil of rays reflected from fuch object to the eye from fome communication of the optic nerves with the Senforium, this picture, a print or copy of it, is thence transferred to the organs of memory; where, under the name of an idea, it remains, till effaced by a multiplicity of other objects, or fome defect in the remembering organs. For that there are organs of memory, as well as of perception, tho' we cannot diffect, or particularly defcribe them, is plain, from the confequence of certain accidents, whereby the brain is injured; the power of remembrance being thereby frequently loft.

Now, if to have ideas he to think, and, if ideas depend on the mechanical action of external bodies on the organs of fenfe, and of the organs of perception on thofe of the memory, it appears not unreasonable to conclude, that, in fome cafes, a capacity of thinking may be the effect of the combination and motion of unthinking elements; which is fufficient to rescue Mr. Locke's fuppofition from the charge of abfurdity, and to fhew, that our Author's argument is not fo decifive as he imagines.

We cannot difmifs thefe Rhapsodies without remarking an inftance of vanity in the Author, which we are forry a Writer of his ingenuity fhould betray. He infinuates, at the clofe of his Eflay on the Soul, that he has gone as far as metaphy fical enquiry can, or ought to be extended; and that every REV. O. 1759. A a one,

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