Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

energy of a particular active principle united with the body. The 
firft two fuppofitions are indeed poffible, but not probable, as is 
the lafi ; whence it may be inferred, that not only the volun¬ 
tary motions of which we are immediately confcious, but thofe 
aifo which we do not advert to, proceed from that fendent and in¬ 
telligent principle with which the Creator has animated our bodies; 
whofe powers and operations, it mufi be owned, are, in many in- 
fiances, as much above our knowledge as is the nature of its union 
with the body, t>r the manner of their reciprocal action upon each 
Obj. IV. If the vital motions were owing to the mind, they 
Ihould be under its dominion or controul ; and we ought at any 
time to be able to fufpend or vary thefe motions at pieafure. 
Anfwer. * In all allions which are the refult of reafoning and 
deliberation, man evidently appears to be a free agent : for he has 
it in his power, after weighing all motives and circumflances, to 
prefer this or the other action, or to ab (la in from afting altogether. 
But there are addons, towards the performing of which we are not 
determined by reafon, and where the mind is not a free but a ne- 
ceffary agent. Of this kind are the involuntary motions of thoie 
mufcles whofe fibres are affefled by any confiderable ßimuli ; for 
the application of external objects to their proper organs, does not 
more certainly or immediately excite correfponding ideas in the 
mind, than certain uneafy fenlations produce motions of the body. 
As we cannot, therefore, hinder ourfelves from feeing every objeél 
which is painted on the bottom of the eye, nor from hearing every 
found which affeéls the ear ; fo neither can the mind refrain from 
exerting its power of moving a mufcle whofe fenfible fibres are 
ftrongly afiedled by a fiimulus. And as no body denies that it is 
the mind which fees colours and hears founds, (becaufe, whenever 
the external caufes exciting thefe are applied to their proper organs, 
we can, by no effort of the will, prevent ourfelves from feeing or 
hearing, nor can fee and hear objedls or founds different from what 
thefe impreffions naturally reprefent) ; fo it muff be unreafonable 


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