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The refults of the experiments it contains are exhibited in tables which occupy fixteen pages.
Mem. VII. Experiments relative to the Vitrification of Animal and Vegetable Earth, mixed, in different proportion, with metallic Calxes. By the fame.-Tables in abundance.
Mem. VIII. Concerning the Changes which the Earths, contained in the Fluor or Spar, which is volatilized by Acids, occafions by Fufion in fimple Earths, Metals, metallic Calxes, and Jaline SubStances. By the fame.
Mem. IX. Experiments made in treating fedative Salt by the dry Method, with Metals, Earths, and metallic Calxes. By the fame. -It appears from these experiments, that fedative salt, all whofe properties, as alfo its manner of acting on other bodies, are not yet known, poffeffes, in a very eminent degree, the property of fufing and vitrifying earthy fubftances. Hence we learn how borax, in whofe compofition fedative falt is an ingredient, contributes fo much to facilitate vitrification. MATHEMATICS.
Mem. I. Concerning different analytical Questions relative to the Theory of particular Integers. By M. DE LA GRANGE.
Mem. II. and III. Concerning the Conftruction of Geographical Maps. By the fame.-It is well known that the spherical, or, rather, fpheroidical form of the earth, renders it impoffible to reprefent, on a plane, any part of its furface without altering the respective fituations and diftances of different places; and that the greatest perfection of a geographical map must confift in the smalleft poffible alteration of thefe diftances. The various kinds of projections hitherto employed for this purpose, are fufficiently known; but they are all defective, by altering more or lefs the magnitude and figure of the different countries that are represented on the map. The late M. Lambert confidered the theory of maps under a new and general point of view, and formed the idea of determining the lines of the meridians and parallels in fuch a manner only, that all the angles on the plane of the map fhould be equal to the corresponding angles on the furface of the globe. This problem was fucceffively folved by him and M. Euler; but these two eminent men went no farther than to fhew, that the known theories of the ftereographic projection, and of reduced charts, are comprehended in their folution of the problem; and no one has hitherto attempted giving thefe theories all the extent of which they are fufceptible, by determining all the cafes in which the folution, in queftion, can furnifh circles for the meridians and parallels. This curious research, which is interefting, both by the analytical operations it requires, and the utility of which it may be to the improvement of maps, employs our learned academician in this and a following memoir. He first folves the
problem, in queftion, by a method different from that of Meffrs. Lambert and Euler, and which is more fimple, and alfo more general in fome refpects. He then applies the general folution of it to the particular cafe, in which it is fuppofed that the meridians and parallels are circles, which are the only curves that can be employed with facility in the conftruction of geographical charts: and he afterwards folves other questions relative to this object, from whence several useful confequences refult. These two memoirs are masterly in the highest degree.
Mem. IV. and V. An Essay relative to a new Method of determining the fecular Diminution of the Obliquity of the Ecliptic, by the Polar Star. By M. JOHN BERNOULLI.
Mem. VI. Concerning the Irregularities that take place in the motion of Saturn. By (the late) M. LAMBERT. Mem. VII. Concerning the Irregularities of the Motion of Jupiter. By the fame. These two elaborate memoirs, which rectify the tables of Halley, correct many errors in aftronomical calculations, and are ftriking proofs of the labor improbus, that their ingenious and extraordinary author was capable of employing on an intricate and difficult fubject, are not fufceptible of an abridg
Mem. VIII. Concerning a moving Globe, which represents the Motions of the Earth. By M. CASTILLON. The particular defcription here given of this curious machine, would not be intelligible to our readers without the use of the figures. that accompany it. This fphere, which is the invention of M. CATEL, a merchant of Berlin, is an automaton most ingenioufly contrived, and happily executed. It is no more than half a foot in diameter. It reprefents all the motions. of the earth, its diurnal motion directly, its annual motion indirectly; and it indicates the parallelifm of the earth's axis, which is the refult of the earth's double motion round the fun and its own axis. It goes by clock-work, and is wound. up every eight days.
Mem. I. Concerning Phyfical Unities. By M. BEGUELIN.Second memoir. We were fo glad to get quit of the long and indeterminable contest between material atoms, and the infinite divifibility of matter, that we faw with fome pleasure a new hypothefis coming forth, hoping that it might give our wearied. imagination a more eafy refting-place than the fairy-tale of Monades, the dream of Idealism, and the late phantom of cohefion Accordingly, in our laft Appendix, we made a civil philofophical bow to the primitive automata or phyfical unities, which M. BEGUELIN introduced to us as the true elements of the universe. They were fo well dreffed, and looked fo plaufible, that we introduced them to the acquaintance of our Read
ers. We know not how they have been received; for our own part, experience has taught us to open the arms of our confidence but fparingly to ftrangers, fo that we ftill look at thefe unities with a fufpicious eye. We have yet a fecret apprehenfion that they are Monades, in a new coat; at leaf they have a great affinity to that family. And are we wrong thinking fo, fince our author told us plainly, in his former memoir, that our idea of matter, as an extended and impenetrable fubftance, had no real object beyond our abstract conceptions? Befide, M. BEGUELIN is a moft feducing writer, and has fuch a bewitching knack at dreffing up an hypothefis with an elegant fimplicity, that we cannot be blamed for being on our guard, and imagining fometimes, that the coat makes the man, though the old proverb fays otherwise.
Be this as it may-Our academician goes on. We fhall follow him for a moment, and give our readers fome glimpse of his farther proceedings. In his former memoir he proposed to himself eleven queftions relative to these unities, and we gave his answers, fo far at least as they affirmed or denied, and fometimes with an account of the reafons annexed. We fhall do the fame with the farther queftions contained in the memoir now before us.
QUES. XII. Have the Unities of Nature, which are endowed with Perceptions, the Power of perceiving in Confequence of their Organization? or do they derive this Power from fome external Caufe prior to this Organization?-He does not know. He inclines to the latter, however; but as this inclination is only owing to the total non-existence of any analogy between machines of human invention and perception, he is not quite fure that this is the cafe with refpect to the divine automata, or phyfical unities.QUES. XIII. Are the Unities of Nature all bomogeneous? Or in what does their individual Diversity confift?— Without denying that there may be fome of these unities entirely fimilar in their firft origin, he thinks it evident, from the contemplation of the univerfe, that the greateft part of these primitive elements differ exceedingly from each other, and that this difference encreases gradually, from the machines in which the organization is the moft imperfect, to thofe in which it is the moft perfect. QUES. XIV. Have all the Unities of Nature always Perceptions? Yes. And here, methinks, the Monades peep out.-QUES. XVI. How can the primitive Unities of Nature acquire a diftinct Perception of their Perfonality? This is undoubtedly a crabbed queftion; whatever hypothefis we adopt with re
We pafs over fome of thefe queftions for the fake of brevity, and other reasons.
fpect to the nature of the foul, and we are here, as in a multitude of other cafes, obliged to grant the fact, without being able to explain it diftinctly. If (fays our author) any orga nization be neceffary to conftitute memory, which ascertains our perfonal identity, it is more natural to place it in the me, than elsewhere, and to confider the brain and the other groffer organs as auxiliaries, deftined to facilitate the first developements of the activity of the primitive automaton. It may be fo. QUES. Do the Unities of Nature always preferve the Confciousness of their Perfonality? There are excellent philofo phical views in M. B's anfwer, to this question,-views that announce and prove immortality; but we do not think them lefs applicable to the ordinary hypothefis concerning the nature of the foul, than to his notion of it, as the primitive and predominant unity in man. He answers the queftion in the affirmative, feeing no reafon why death, or the decompofition of grofs and vifible organs, fhould occafion the decompofition of that more refined and intimate organization, which may have belonged to the primitive automaton before its entrance into actual life, or deftroy that original activity which will give it impreffions and perceptions of the objects that furround it, in whatever scene it may be placed. Astonishment, admiration, and embarraffment muft naturally, indeed, be fuppofed to be produced by its entrance on a new scene; but thefe, as our author ingenioufly obferves, are proofs of its perfonality;—they fuppose it. A man who, during a long and deep fleep, is con veyed to a place which he never faw before, will find himself, on awaking, in a fituation of mind analogous to that of the foul, which furvives its body; he will be a ftranger to every object but to himself. QUES. XIX. On the Hypothefis of primitive Uxities, whence comes the Propagation of the Species ? Read our author and he will tell you; but we do not well understand him on this point.- QUES. XX. Are the Unities of Nature fufceptible of Liberty in their moral Actions? Why not? We must not judge of thefe divine machines to which the Deity has communicated intelligence and volitions, as if they refem bled the grofs compofitions of human induftry, which works with quite different materials.QUES. XXII. What is the State of the Soul after the Destruction of the Body which it animated? The answer to this queftion (whether we adopt or reject the hypothefis of M. BEGUELIN) is excellent and masterly; and though it is expreffed in a language peculiar to this hypothefis, it opens fome views which we believe to be as true as they are ingenioufly and happily prefented. He confiders the mind, when difengaged from the fyftem of organical machines to which it was united, as having loft its telescope, and the inftruments of its operations; and he examines the effects
which may naturally be fuppofed to refult from this lofs. We cannot follow him in this conjectural difcuffion. We muft, however, obferve, that his hypothefis fecures to the primitive predominant unity in man, a communication with the material world even after the telescope is loft. The objects, indeed, will be perceived fomewhat otherwife, but ftill they will be perceived. Thus, for example, when the external organ of fight and the optic nerve are deftroyed, the rays will act immediately upon the primitive and indeftructible automaton, and probably exciter each, a fenfation fimilar to that which it formerly excited by the affiftance of the optic nerve: he thinks that, as the predominant unities (commonly called fouls) are automata, they may contain in their structure organs corresponding and analogous to thofe organs of fenfe that belong to the grofs corporeal vehicle, juft as the eye is correfpondent and analogous to our artificial telescopes. They may contain not only our five fenfes, but a multitude of other fenfes of which hitherto we have no idea. Our author deduces very agreeable and ingenious conjectures from this fuppofition. He, however, honeftly warns us, that his whole Memoir turns upon a mere hypothefis he gives it as fuch, and only means to fhew its plaufibility and advantages. Its advantages, at least, are evident; it plucks up, by the root, many weeds from the field of metaphyfical controverfy; it removes many bones of contention: it is, in short, a kind of philofopher's fone in the sphere of metaphyfics, and it wants nothing but to be really found. There is certainly no hypothefis more adapted to remove all difficulties, than that which feems to reprefent the physical unities as neither material nor fpiritual, and yet both the one and the other. With fuch an hypothefis we may face fucceffively adverfities of all complexions.
Mem. III. Concerning the Problem of Molyneaux. By. M. MERIAN. VIlth Memoir *. This problem has been whipt about like a top, in a strange manner. They have been all at it, and a out it, and very bufy indeed. This Memoir brings again the Abbé de Condillac on the fcene, retracting in his Treatife of Senfations what he had affirmed in a preceding work †, and agreeing with Dr. Berkley in the effential parts of the theory, by which he explains this famous problem. M. Bonnet, the excellent philofopher of Geneva, is alfo cailed up to give his account of the matter: his opinion coincides with that of the Irish and French philofopher; and he puts a negative on the question; Will the man born blind diftinguish by SIGHT (when
See our former Appendixes.
+ In his Traite de l'origine des Connoiffances Humaines.