Mechanism in Thought and Morals: An Address Delivered Before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University, June 29, 1870 with Notes and After Thoughts

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James R. Osgood & Company, 1871 - Mind and body - 101 pages
"This book considers the true mechanical relations of the thinking principle and adds a few hints as to the false mechanical relations which have intruded themselves into the sphere of moral self-determination. The author defines that part of mental and bodily life mechanical which is independent of volition. The flow of thought is, like breathing, essentially mechanical and necessary, but incidentally capable of being modified to a greater or less extent by conscious effort. The more we examine the mechanism of thought, the more we shall see that the automatic, unconscious action of the mind enters largely into all its processes. However, it is in the moral world that materialism has worked the strangest confusion. In various forms, under imposing names and aspects, it has thrust itself into the moral relations, until one hardly knows where to look for any first principles without upsetting every thing in searching for them"--Book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
 

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Page 82 - Cet écoulement ne nous paraît pas seulement impossible, il nous semble même très injuste; car qu'y at-il de plus contraire aux règles de notre misérable justice que de damner éternellement un enfant incapable de volonté, pour un péché où il paraît avoir si peu de part, qu'il est commis six mille ans avant qu'il fût en être...
Page 52 - When I feel my muse beginning to jade, I retire to the solitary fireside of my study, and there commit my effusions to paper; swinging at intervals on the hind legs of my elbow chair, by way of calling forth my own critical strictures, as my pen goes on. Seriously, this, at home, is almost invariably my way.
Page 43 - This dish of meat is too good for any but Anglers, or very honest men ; and I trust, you will prove both, and therefore I have trusted you with this secret.
Page 54 - And what if all of animated nature Be but organic Harps diversely fram'd. That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze. At once the Soul of each, and God of all?
Page 98 - ... man by reasoning could find out God. It would be improper here to enter upon this subject further than to claim an absolute distinction between religious and ordinary belief. I shall be reproached with the weakness of refusing to apply those mental operations which I think good in respect of high things to the very highest. I am content to bear the reproach.
Page 53 - Titanic forces taking birth In divers seasons, divers climes; For we are Ancients of the earth, And in the morning of the times.
Page 85 - if it was not you, it was your father, and that is all one ;' and finishes with the usual practical application. If a created being has no rights which his Creator is bound to respect, there is an end to all moral relations between them. Good Father Abraham thought he had, and did not hesitate to give his opinion. ' Far be it from Thee,
Page 82 - Car il est sans doute qu'il n'ya rien qui choque plus notre raison que de dire que le péché du premier homme ait rendu coupables ceux qui étant si éloignés de cette source semblent incapables d'y participer. Cet écoulement ne nous paraît pas seulement impossible. Il nous semble même très injuste car qu'y a(-t-)il de plus contraire aux règles de notre misérable justice...
Page 37 - He rastled with my finger, the blank little etc. ! " says the hard-swearing but tender-hearted "Kentuck," speaking of the new-born babe whose story Mr. Harte has told so touchingly in " The Luck of Roaring Camp.") Hartley traces this familiar nursery experience onwards, until the original automatic action becomes associated with sensations and ideas, and by and by subject to the will; and shows still further how this and similar actions, by innumerable repetitions, reach another stage, " repassing...
Page 15 - The very spirits of a man prey upon the daily portion of bread and flesh, and every meal is a rescue from one death, and lays up for another ; and while we think a thought, we die; and the clock strikes and reckons on our portion of eternity; we form our words with the breath of our nostrils, we have the less to live upon for every word we speak.

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