Imatges de pàgina

which he illuftrates from the Words of Pherecydes, Socrates, Cicero, Horace, and the Declarations of Auguftine and St. Thomas. From all which our Author concludes, that Nature and good Sense is preferable to Science; and one good Argument or Reason is of greater Weight to clear a Point in Queftion, than the Authority of all the Doctors in the Universe.

The fecond Differtation contains our Author's Thoughts upon Logick. He tells us, that he is not alone, in contemning as ufelefs and trifling, this Science, as it is contain'd in Syftems of Logick given by the Schoolmen: Many of the greatest Philofophers have declar'd themselves of the fame Opinion; Gaffendus reckons it of no Ufe at all, and will not confent to its being call'd a Part of Philofophy; Des Cartes fays that it ferves to direct us how to communicate to others what we know, and to talk without Judgment about what we know not; and that it spoils and corrupts good Senfe more than it improves it. Our Author heartily joins with these and other great Men, in the Cenfures they pass upon this Art, or Science, as it was firft taught by Ariftotle, and improv'd, or rather further spoil'd, by Scotus and Aquinas, and as it is ordinarily taught in the Colleges, and us'd by the Monks, who are juftly called gens pafta Chimeris. But he thinks that Logick, if purg'd from the Trash and Subtilties of Schoolmen, would not be altogether ufelefs; and therefore in the following Sections he lays down a very plain and short Syftem of it, without taking any great Notice of the fubtil Notions of the Schoclmen, or even of the general and particular Rules of Syllogifms, and what is ordinarily delivered in Syftems of this kind about Sophifms. After giving the ordinary Definition and Divifion of Logick, and fome Account of the Nature and Objects of Ideas, he comes to confider the Origin of them; and though he is of Opinion that the Mind of Man is originally as a Tabula rafa, and that all our Ideas arife from Senfation and Reflection, yet, after fetting the Arguments that are ordinarily


us'd to fupport this Opinion, and thofe the Cartefians ufually employ against it, in Oppofition to one another; he finds the latter fo ftrong, that he cannot be positive in his Judgment, nor pretend to Certainty in the Matter. Having faid all he defign'd upon Ideas, he proceeds to confider the Nature of Propofitions and Syllogifms; and after explaining the feveral kinds of thefe logical Methods of Reafoning, he endeavours to prove, in Section 15. that they are of no Use or Advantage in our Enquiries after Truth, or in communicating our Sentiments to others: Because, if we take Notice of the Actings of our own Minds, we shall find that we reafon better, and more diftinctly, when we confider only the Connection of Ideas, without reducing our Thoughts to any Rules or Forms of Syllogifms: And were there no juft or true Reasoning but in the fyllogiftick Way, then Reafon and Truth would be the Property of a few Pedants, who had never any confiderable Knowledge of either. Again, if this were the true or beft Method of Reafoning, it is not to be queftion'd but Princes would put their Counsellors and Ministers of State upon learning to form Syllogifms of all kinds, because the Safety of their Perfons and Kingdoms depend upon the Measures they take, and the Counfels they follow: But as this is never their Way, so we have good Ground to be perfuaded that the greateft Statefmen, and the best Reafoners, are not always the best Logicians.

The third Reflection treats of general Phyficks, or Natural Philofophy, as far as it is not fupported by Experiments. Here we are told, that though the Principles of this kind of Philofophy were more uncertain than thofe of Logick, yet it would be a more pleafant Study; and if we fhould lofe much Time in it, we fhould at least have the Satisfaction of being entertained with agreeable and amufing Dreams. In this View our Author confiders the Difputes about a Vacuum, the Divifibility and Effence of Matter, with many other Questions which have employ'd the


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Schools three thousand Years; and will continue to furnish them with Matter of Difpute to the End of the World. Nor can Philofophers be offended that he gives their famous Difputes fuch a Character, becaule fome of the most confiderable Persons of their own Number have talk'd of them in fuch a Strain ; fuch as Cicero, and others that liv'd in his Time among the Ancients; Gaffendi, Des Cartes, Bernier, Montagne, Locke, and others, among the Moderns. To fet this Matter in a clearer Light, our Author in this Differtation goes through a great many of the most important Queftions which are ordinarily treated of in this Part of Philofophy, and after a juft and full Representation of the Arguments on both Sides, he endeavours to fhew, that in most of them no Certainty or well-grounded Affurance can be obtain❜d. The Argnments for and against the Eternity of the World, he thinks fo ftrong, that if he had liv'd in the Times of the Heathen Philofophers, he should have been at a Lofs which Opinion to chufe, though he imagines he would have had a fecret Inclination to join with those who maintain'd the Affirmative. The Opinion of the Platonifts and Spinoza concerning the Soul of the World, appears to him clogg'd with the greatest Abfurdities, and manifeftly falfe; yet, at the fame time, he judges it beyond the Power of the human Understanding to refolve and clear the Difficulties which feem to have led them into this Error. He reckons thirteen or fourteen Opinions concerning the Elements or firft Principles of Things, without discovering real Solidity in any of them. Though he thinks it probable that there is fuch a Thing as empty Space, yet the Arguments against it are fooner propos'd than anfwer'd. And the Questions concerning the Effence and Divifibility of Matter, &c. as they are useless and trifling, so they cannot be eafily determin'd, with any Fretence of Certainty. He concludes, that God feems to have reserved to himfelf the Knowledge of Nature, and put us in a Condition to attain fuch an experimental Acquaintance

with it, as is fuited to our Exigencies, and proportioned to the Capacities of fuch as will apply to the Study of it with due Diligence and Attention.

The fourth Reflection contains a Differtation upon fuch metayhyfical Speculations as are to be found in the Books of the Schoolmen, and taught in many Colleges. Thefe, our Author tells us, inftead of communicating true Knowledge, fill the Mind with dark and confus'd Ideas, and thereby prove real Obftacles to us in our Searches after Truth: They divert the Attention from Things that are neceffary, and within the Reach of all Capacities, and even ferve to render doubtful thofe Things which are in them, felves most clear and obvious. In the Progress of this Reflection, he adduces a great Variety of Arguments to prove that we have no innate Ideas, and anfwers the Objections that are generally us'd against that Opinion: This done, he employs the greatest Part of what remains of this Reflection, in fhewing that we know very little of the Nature of the Soul; and endeavouring to fhew that Reason furnishes no clear or demonftrative Argument to prove that it is either immaterial or immortal; though he acknowledges that both these Articles are clearly reveal'd in Scripture, and not at all contrary to the Light of Na


This Book having been defign'd for the Use of a Lady who put great Confidence in Judiciary Aftrology, the fifth and laft Reflection contains the Author's Thoughts upon this Science, as fome affect to call it, and upon this Subject he proves, that the Principles of this Art are very ridiculous and vain; that it is impoffible the Influence of the Stars fhould determine the Fate of reasonable Creatures; that Comets are not defigned to portend future Events; and that Aftrologers are among the greatest of Cheats and Impoftors.


A Continuation of M. LE BRUYN's Travels, &c. *


HE fiftieth Chapter of M. Le Bruyn's Travels
is the first of the second Volume: Therein our
Author, after a Narration of the Manner of his De-
parture from Ipahan, gives an Account of the Per-
fian Couriers, and the Bearers of Caljan; of one or
two fine Caravanferais; of fome excellent Bread that
he eat; of the dangerous Roads he pafs'd; and,
in fine, of the Arabian Method of living. The fif-
ty-firft Chapter contains nothing remarkable, but the
fifty-second defcribes the Ruins of the ancient Per-
fepolis, and the Tombs of Naxi-Ruftan.

The first of these are the most famous Antiquity of

all the Eaft. They are, M. Le Bruyn fays, fituated

in a lovely Plain, which extends five Leagues in

Breadth, and in Length near forty: The Inhabitants

pretend that there are on it 880 Villages, and above

1500 in the Circumference that extends around these

Ruins to the Distance of twelve Leagues, including

those which are feated among the Mountains; fome

of which are filled with beautiful Gardens, fhaded

with large Growths of Trees.

*N. B. This Article, comprehending an Abstract of the whole
fecond Volume of M. Le Bruyn's Travels, is the Third upon that
Subject. The two former were inferted in the Republick of Let-
ters for the Months of November and December 1736, pag. 375,

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