Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1850)

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General Books LLC, 2009 - History - 354 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1850 edition. Excerpt: ...of motion, when joined to the last. Having considered the account given by Mr. Locke of the idea of succession, we shall next consider how, from the idea of succession, he derives the idea of duration. " The distance," he says, " between any parts of that succession, or between the appearance of any two ideas in our minds, is that we call duration." To conceive this the more distinctly, let us call the distance between an idea and that which immediately succeeds it, one element of duration; the distance between an idea and the second that succeeds it, two elements, and so on: if ten such elements make duration, then one must make duration, otherwise duration must be made up of parts that have no duration, which is impossible. For, suppose a succession of as many ideas as you please, if none of these ideas have duration, nor any interval of duration be between one and another, then it is perfectly evident there can be no interval of duration between the first and the last, how.great soever their number be. I conclude, therefore, that there must be duration in every single interval or element of which the whole duration is made up. Nothing, indeed, is more certain, than that every elementary part of duration must have duration, as every elementary part of extension must have extension. Now it must be observed, that in these elements of duration, or single intervals of successive ideas, there is no succession of ideas; yet we. must conceive them to have duration: whence we may conclude with certainty, that there is a conception of duration where there is no succession of ideas in the mind. We may measure duration by the succession of thoughts n the mind, as we measure length by inches or feet; but the notion or idea of duration must be antecedent to...

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About the author (2009)

Thomas Reid, lecturer in American history at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, is author of "Spartan Band: Burnett's 13th Texas Cavalry in the Civil War" and articles about the military history of the American Civil War.

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