Page 180 - It follows, therefore, that the difference between fiction and belief lies in some sentiment or feeling which is annexed to the latter, not to the former, and which depends not on the will, nor can be commanded at pleasure.
Page 176 - It seems evident that men are carried, by a natural instinct or prepossession, to repose faith in their senses ; and that, without any reasoning, or even almost before the use of reason, we always suppose an external universe which depends not on our perception, but would exist though we and every sensible creature were absent or annihilated.
Page 181 - ... imagination to conceive that object which is usually conjoined to it; and this conception is attended with a feeling or sentiment different from the loose reveries of the fancy. In this consists the whole nature of belief. For, as there is no matter of fact which we believe so firmly, that we cannot conceive the contrary, there would be no difference between the conception assented to, and that which is rejected, were it not for some sentiment which distinguishes the one from the other.
Page 181 - Belief is the true and proper name of this feeling ; and no one is ever at a loss to know the meaning of that term, because every man is every moment conscious of the sentiment represented by it.
Page 180 - NOTHING is more free than the imagination of man; and though it cannot exceed that original stock of ideas furnished by the internal and external senses, it has unlimited power of mixing, compounding, separating, and dividing these ideas, in all the varieties of fiction and vision. It can feign a train of events, with all the appearance of reality, ascribe to them a particular time and place, conceive them as existent, and paint them out to itself with every circumstance, that belongs to any historical...
Page 72 - Wilkins' forty Summa Genera, to the head of quantity alone, so as to make Mathematics and Logic, Natural History and Civil History, Natural Philosophy and philosophy of all other kinds, coincide omni ex parte.
Page 181 - I see a billiardball moving towards another on a smooth table, I can easily conceive it to stop upon contact. This conception implies no contradiction ; but still it feels very differently from that conception by which I represent to myself the impulse and the communication of motion from one ball to another.
Page 237 - De plus, par le moyen de l'âme ou de la forme, il ya une véritable unité qui répond à ce qu'on appelle moi en nous ; ce qui ne saurait avoir lieu ni dans les machines de l'art ni dans la simple masse de la matière, quelque organisée qu'elle puisse être, qu'on ne peut considérer que comme une armée ou un troupeau, ou comme un étang plein de poissons, ou comme une montre composée de ressorts et de roues.
Page 180 - We can, in our conception, join the head of a man to the body of a horse ; but it is not in our power to believe that such an animal has ever really existed.