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2. Sense is but the offering or presenting of some Object, and a passive Perception grovelling in the Individuals, and is stupidly fixed in the Material Form, for which Reason, it never affirms or denies any thing of its Object. But to know or understand, is actively to comprehend a thing by some abstract, free, and universal Reasonings, being that higher station of the Mind, from whence looking down upon individual Things, it has a commanding view of them, and as it were a priori comprehends or knows them.
3. Sense doth not penetrate into the Profună dity or inward Essence of a Corporeal Substance, being but a flight and superficial Perception of the outside and accidentals of it. For a Body may be changed as to all the several Senses, and remain really the same that it was before. Wherefore though Men are commonly faid to know Things when they see and feel them, yet in Truth by their bodily Senses they perceive nothing but their outsides and external Endowments.
4. The Knowledge and Intellection doth read inward Characters written within it self, and intellectually comprehend its Object within it self, and is the same with it. When the Essence of nothing is reached unto by the Senses looking outward.
5. The sensible Ideas of Things are but urna bratile and evanid Images of the sensible Things, like Shadows projected from them, and so a pofteriori. But Knowledge is a comprehension of a thing Proleptically, and as it were a priori. MARCH 1731.
But this point is very ingeniously and Philofophically handled by Plato in his Theætetus ; where he demonstrates against Protagoras, that Science is not Sense, but there is another Power in the Soul besides that of the Sense or Passion to which Science, Knowledge, and Intellection is to be referred.
And a further Proof that Sense is not Knowledge or Intellection, because the Soul by Sense, doth not perceive the Things themselves, or the absolute Natures of them, but only her own Passions from them, as Sextus the Philosopher took notice of: The Senses do not reach to the Objects that are placed without, but their Passions alone. And this is that which Protagoras fo much infifted on : The Truth of which is fo evident in some instances, that none can possibly gainsay it. For as the famous Monsieur le Clerc obferves also in his Logick, when the Body is either prick'd with a Needle, or wounded with a Sword, no Man can imagine that those Pains that result from thence, were such real and absolute Qualities existing in the Needle or Sword before our Sensation, &c.
In short, the Soul by Sense doth not perceive corporeal Objects, as they are truly, really, and absolutely in themselves, but under fome fantaftical Representations and Disguises; and therefore Sense cannot be Kilowledge, which comprehends a thing as it is.
Many Men besides Protagoras, conceive that the Nature of Sense consists in nothing else but mere seeming or appearance, and there is no Object at all really existing without the Soul. A known and approved Instance whereof we have in those that, after they have their Arms and Legs cut off, have been sensible when they were
awake, of a strong and violent Pain in their Fingers and Toes, though really they had no fuch Members.
The Reason of this is from hence, Because by Sense the Soul doth not suffer immediately from the Objects themselves, but only from its own Body, by reason of that Natural and Vital Sympathy which it has with it ; neither doth it suffer from its own Body in every part of it, or from outward Organs of Sense immediately, as from the Eye when we fee, the Tongue when we taste, &c. but only from the Brain, or from . the Motions of the Spirits there.
The Phantasms and sensible Ideas are really and materially the same thing, both being Passions or Sufferings in the Soul from the Body. Here our Author distinguishes two Cafes in which a Phantasm doth not seem to be a Sensation.
First, when a Phantasm is raised or excited purposely and voluntarily by the mere Command or Empire of our own Wil. For instance, it is in our Power to fancy what corporeal Thing or Person (formerly known to us) we please, tho' it be absent from us. Secondly, Every involuntary Phantasm, or such as the Soul is not consci
ous to it self to have purposely excited or raised i up within it self, doth not seem to be a Sensati
on or Perception of a Thing as existing without us; for there may be straggling Phantasis which come into the Mind we know not how. Now there are two kinds of involuntary Phantasms in the Soul; one, as it is intimated, that proceeds from such Motions of the Spirits as are caused by the Nerves moved from the Objects without : Another, that proceeds from the Spirits of the Brain, otherwise moved than by the Nerves.
The Exorbitancy of these Phantasms either proceed from some Disease in the Body, or the fame thing may proceed originally from some Distemper in the Soul it felf.
Tho our Author is not willing to give an account of those Phänomena of Wizards and Witches vulgarly talked of; but their seeming Transportations in the Air, Nocturnal Conventicles and Junkettings, and other fuch like things as seem plainly contradictory to Philosophy, and unreconcileable to good Sense, may justly be afcrib'd to either of the two Causes just now mention'd; or else let the Ignorance of the vulgar decide the Question.
After the Arguments our Author hitherto alledg’d to prove, that Sense or Palion from corporeal Things existent without the Soul is not Intellection or Knowledge, so that Bodies themselves are not known or understood by Sense, infers, that Knowledge is an inward and active energy of the Mind it self, and that's what Boetius expresses too, Knowledge, says he does not arise from the force and activity of the Thing known from without, upon that which knows, but from the inward power, vigour, and activity of the Mind that knows altively, comprehending the Object within it self.
Now further to prove that Sense is not a mere Paffion, but a passive Perception of the Soul, and a Cogitation, our Author argues thus : If Intellection and Knowledge were mere Passion from without, or the bare reception of extraneous and adventitious Forms, then no Reason cou'd be given at all, why a Mirrour, for inItance, or Looking-glass, shou'd not understand? Whereas it cannot so much as sensibly perceive those Images which it receives and reflects to
us : And therefore Sense of it self is not a mere Passion, but a passive Perception of the Soul, which has something of vital Energy in it, because it is a Cogitation; and really what Reason cou'd be given, says he, why brute Animals that have all the same fenfes that Men have, and some of them more acute, shou'd not have Intellection also, and be as capable of Logick, Mathematicks and Metaphysicks, and have the same Notions of Morality, of a Deity, and Religion, that Men have, were the Intellection and Knowledge, a mere pasive Perception of the Soul from without, and nothing but Sense.
Intellection therefore and Knowledge being not Passion from without, but an active Exertion of the Mind from within it self; hence it comes to pass that the Mind, which is a manner of all things, and a kind of notional or representative World, as it were a Diaphanous and Crystalline Sphere, in which the Ideas and Images of all things existing in the real Universe, may be reflected or represented : Hence it comes, says he, that by knowing that which is exceedingly intelligible, the most Radiant and Illustrious Truths is not debilitated thereby or overpowered, as Sense is in perceiving that which is exceedingly sensible, as the brightness of the Sun, but contrariwise the more invigorated thereby, and the better enabled to comprehend lesser and smaller Truths ; because tho' Sense is Passive and Organical, yet Knowledge is inorganical and active power and strength of the Mind, which the more it is exerted, is the more thereby invigorated and enlarged.
From hence likewise it is agreeable to Aristotle's observation, That those Knowledges which are more abstract and remote from Matter, are