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ESSAY V.

ON REASON AND IMAGINATION.

ESSAY V.

ON REASON AND IMAGINATION.

I HATE people who have no notion of any thing but generalities, and forms, and creeds, and naked propositions, even worse than I dislike those who cannot for the soul of them arrive at the comprehension of an abstract idea. There are those (even among philosophers) who, deeming that all truth is contained within certain outlines and common topics, if you proceed to add colour or relief from individuality, protest against the use of rhetoric as an illogical thing; and if you drop a hint of pleasure or pain as ever entering into “ this breathing world,” raise a prodigious outcry against all appeals to the passions.

It is, I confess, strange to me that men who pretend to more than usual accuracy in distinguishing and analysing, should insist that in treating of human nature, of moral good and evil, the nominal differences are alone of any value, or that in describing the feelings and

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motives of men, any thing that conveys the
smallest idea of what those feelings are in any
given circumstances, or can by parity of reason
ever be in any others, is a deliberate attempt at
artifice and delusion--as if a knowledge or
representation of things as they really exist
(rules and definitions apart) was a proportion-
able departure from the truth. They stick to
the table of contents, and never open the volume
of the mind. They are for having maps, not
pictures of the world we live in: as much as to
say that a bird's-eye view of things contains
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth. If you want to look for the situation of
a particular spot, they turn to a pasteboard
globe, on which they fix their wandering gaze;
and because you cannot find the object of your
search in their bald “ abridgements,” tell you
there is no such place, or that it is not worth
inquiring after. They had better confine their
studies to the celestial sphere and the signs
of the zodiac; for there they will meet with
no petty details to boggle at, or contradict
their vague conclusions. Such
make excellent theologians, but are very indif- .
ferent philosophers.—To pursue this geogra-
phical reasoning a little farther. They may say
that the map of a county or shire, for instance,

persons would

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