What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
able allow answer appear apply arguments assent authority better body bring brought called carry cause clear concerning conclude conduct considered course determined discourse distinct doubt employ enlarge enquiry error evidence examined exercise eyes faculties false fancy farther follow give grounds habit heads helps hold ideas ignorance improvement indifferency judge keep knowledge lead learned least leave ledge light look matter mean men's ment method mind nature never notions objects observe once opinions ourselves pains particular perceive perfect perhaps prejudice present principles proof question reason received religion rest rules sciences SECT sense serve settled shew side sort stand suppose sure taken talk tenets things thoughts tions train true truth turn understanding variety visible wherein whole wholly write
Page 69 - THIS is THAT which I think great readers are apt to be mistaken in. Those who have read of everything are thought to understand everything too; but it is not always so. Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections; unless we chew them over again, they will not give us strength and nourishment.
Page 34 - ... reasoning, which that study necessarily brings the mind to, they might be able to transfer it to other parts of .knowledge, as they shall have occasion. For, in all sorts of reasoning, every single argument should be managed as a mathematical demonstration ; the connexion and dependence of ideas should be followed, till the mind is brought to the source on which it bottoms, and observes the coherence all along, though in proofs of probability one such train is not enough to settle the judgment,...
Page 17 - A middle-aged ploughman will scarce ever be brought to the carriage and language of a gentleman, though his body be as well proportioned, and his joints as supple, and his natural parts not any way inferior. The legs of a dancing-master and the fingers of a musician fall as it were naturally, without thought or pains, into regular and admirable motions.
Page 69 - ... of ideas, so far it is ours; without that it is but so much loose matter floating in our brain. The memory may be stored, but the judgment is little better, and the stock of knowledge not increased, by being able to repeat what others have said or produce the arguments we have found in them.
Page 21 - This being so that defects and weakness in men's understandings, as well as other faculties, come from want of a right use of their own minds, I am apt to think the fault is generally mislaid upon nature, and there is often a complaint of want of parts, when the fault lies in the want of a due improvement of them.
Page 9 - ... with one sort of men, they read but one sort of books, they will not come in the hearing but of one sort of notions: the truth is, they canton out to themselves a little Goshen, in the intellectual world, •where light shines, and as they conclude, day blesses them; but the rest of that vast expansum they give up to night and darkness, and so avoid coming near it.
Page 8 - ... capacity, quickness and penetration : for since no one sees all, and we generally have different prospects of the same thing, according to our different, as I may say, positions to it, it is not incongruous to think nor beneath any man to try, whether another may not have notions of things which have escaped him, and which his reason would make use of if they came into his mind.
Page 20 - Nobody is made any thing by hearing of rules, or laying them up in his memory ; practice must settle the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule ; and you may as well hope to make a good painter, or musician, extempore, by a lecture and instruction in the arts of music and painting, as a coherent thinker, or a strict reasoner, by a set of rules, . showing him wherein right reasoning consists.
Page 2 - Temples have their sacred images, and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind. But in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them, and to these they all universally pay a ready submission.
Page 91 - ... the variety of knowledge, and therefore often stays not long enough on what is before it to look into it as it should, for haste to pursue what is yet out of sight. He that rides post through a country may be able from the transient view to tell how in general the parts lie, and may be able to give some loose description of here a mountain and there a plain, here a morass and there a river, woodland in one part and savannahs in another.