Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

as mechanical inftruments, howfoever exquifitely framed, or nicely 
adjlifted, can be fuppofed endued with, muft be vain and fruitlefs : 
for as well might we pretend that the eye fees. objects, and the ear 
hears founds, purely by virtue of their being material organs, as 
imagine the motions of animal fibres from a ßimulus, to be owing 
folely to their mechanical ftrudlure, or to the peculiar difpofition 
of their parts. 
5*. Some may be of opinion, that the all-wife Author of nature 
hath endued the mufcular fibres of animals with certain active 
powers, far fuperior to thofe of common matter, and that to thefe 
the motions of irritated mufcles are owing. And indeed we can¬ 
not but acknowledge, that he has animated all the mufcles 
and fibres of animals, with an adtive fentient principle united 
to their bodies, and that, to the agency of this principle are ow¬ 
ing the contractions of ftimulated mufcles. But if it be ima¬ 
gined that he has given to animal fibres a power of fenfation, and 
of generating motion, without fuperadding or uniting to them an 
adlive principle, as the Subject and cause of thefe, we prefume 
to fay, that a fuppofition of this kind ought not to be admitted ; 
fince, to fuppofe that matter may, of itfelf, by any modification of 
its parts, be rendered capable of fenfation, or of generating motion, 
feems to be as unreafonable as to afcribe to it a power of thinking. 
Matter, as far as we can judge by its known properties, appears to 
be incapable either of fenfation or thought : and the whole appear¬ 
ances of the mere material world fhew, that it adts invariably ac¬ 
cording to laws prefcribed to it, and without any feeling, inclina¬ 
tion, or choice of its own ; nor is there any thing refembling will, 
felf-determination, or real adtive power in the moft refined and fub- 
tile parts of matter, more than in the moft grofs and fluggilh. 
If then the efiedls ofßimuli upon the mufcular fibres of animals, 
cannot be deduced from any property or powers belonging to them, 
as mere material organs, it remains, that they are owing to an ac¬ 
tive fentient principle animating thofe fibres. But this will 
jnore evidently appear from the following confiderations. 
i. Stimuli


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