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The results 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, occasions by Fusion in simple Earths, Metals, metallic Calxes, and saline Subflances.- By the fame.
Mem. IX. Experiments made in treating sedative Salt by the dry Method, with Metals, Earths, and metallic Calxes. By the fame.
-It appears from these experiments, that sedative salt, all whose properties, as also its manner of acting on other bodies, are not yet known, poffefes, in a very eminent degree, the property of fusing and vitrifying earthy substances. Hence we learn how borax, in whose composition sedative salt is an ingredieni, contributes so much to facilitate vitrification.
MATHEMATICS. Mcm. I. Concerning different analytical Questions relative to the Theory of particular Integers. By M. DE LA GRANGE.
Mem. II, and III. Concerning the Construction of Geographical Maps. By the same. It is well known that the spherical, or, rather, spheroidical form of the earth, renders it impoffible to represent, on a plane, any part of its surface without altering the respective fituations and distances of different places; and that the greatest perfection of a geographical map must consist in the smallest possible alteration of these distances. The various kinds of projections bitherto employed for this purpose, are fufficiently known; but they are all defective, by altering more or less the magnitude and figure of the different countries that are represented on the map. The late M. Lambert considered 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 such a manner only, that all the angles on the plane of the map should be equal to the corresponding angles on the surface of the globe. This problem was successively folved by himn and M. Euler ; but these two eminent men went no farther than to fhew, that the known theories of the stereographic projection, and of reduced charis, are comprehended in their folution of the problem ; and no one has hitherto attempted giving these theories all the extent of which they are susceptible, by determining all the cases in which the solution, in question, can furnish circles for the meridians and parallels. This curious research, which is interesting, 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 solves the
problem, in question, by a method different from that of Messrs. Lambert and Euler, and which is more simple, and also more general in some respects. He then applies the general solution of it to the particular case, in which it is supposed that the meridians and parallels are circles, which are the only curves that can be employed with facility in the construction of geographical charts: and he afterwards solves other questions relative to this object, from whence several useful consequences refult. These iwo memoirs are masterly in the highest degree.
Mem. IV. and V. An Ejay relative to a new Method of determining the secular Diminution of the Obliquity of the Ecliptic, by the Polar Star. By M. JOHN BERNOUILI.
Mem. VI. Concerning the Irregularities that take place in the motion of Saturn. By (the late) M. LAMBERT. – Mem. VII. Concerning the Irregula’ities of the Notion of Jupiter. By the fame.-These two elaborate memoirs, which rectify the tables of Halley, correct many errors in astronomical calculations, and are ftriking proofs of the labor improbus, that their ingenious and extraordinary author was capable of employing on an intricate and difficult subject, are not susceptible of an abridge ment.
Mem. VIII. Concerning a moving Globe, which represents the Motions of the Earth. By M. CASTILLON. The particular description here given of this curious machine, would not be intelligible to our readers without the use of the figures. that accompany it. This sphere, which is the invention of M. Catel, a merchant of Berlin, is an automaton most ingenivusly conirived, and happily executed. It is no more than half a foot in diameter. It reprelents all the motions of the earth, its diurnal motion directly, its annual motion indirectly; and it indicates the parallelism 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.
SPECULATVIE PHILOSOPHY. Mem. I. Concerning Physical Unities. By M. BEGUELIN. Second memoir. We were so glad to get quit of the long and indecei minable contest between material atoms, and the infinite divisibility of matter, that we faw with some pleasure a new hypothefis coming forth, hoping that it might give our wearied imagination a more easy resting-place than the fairy-tale of Monades, the dream of Idealism, and the late phantom of cohea fion Accordingly, in our last Appendix, we made a civil phiJolophical bow to the primitive automata or physical unities, which M. BEGUELIN introduced to us as the true elements of the universe. They were so well dressed, and looked so 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 sparingly to strangers, so that we still look at these unities with a suspicious eye. We have yet a secret apprehension that they are Monades, in a new coat; at lead they have a great affinity to that family. And are we wrong in thinking so, since our author told us plainly, in his former memoir, that our idea of matter, as an extended and impenetrable substance, had no real object beyond our abstract conceptions ? Beside, M. Beguelin is a most reducing writer, and has such a bewitching knack at dressing up an hypothesis with an elegant fimplicity, that we cannot be blamed for being on our guard, and imagining sometimes, that the coat makes the man, though the old proverb says otherwise.
Be this as it may-Our academician goes on. We shall follow him for a moment, and give our readers some glimpse of his farther proceedings. In his former memoir he proposed to himself eleven questions relative to these unities, and we gave his answers, so far at least as they affirmed or denied, and sometimes with an account of the reasons annexed. We mall do the same with the farther questions contained in the memoir now before us. . . . Ques. XII. Have the Unities of Nature, which are endowed with Perceptions, the Power of perceiving in Consequence of their Organization? or do they derive this power from fome external Cause 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 sure that this is the case with respect to the divine automata, or phyfical unities. Ques. XIII. Are the Unities of Nature all bemogeneous ? Or in what does their individual Diversity confort ? Without denying that there may be some of thele unities entirely fimilar in their first origin, he thinks it evident, from the contemplation of the universe, that the greatest 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 most imperfect, to those in which it is the most 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 diftin&t Perception of their personality? This is undoubtçdly a crabbed question; whatever hypothelis we adopt with re
• We pass over some of these questions for the sake of brevity, and other reasons,
fpeét to the nature of the soul, and we are here, as in a multitude of other cases, obliged to grant the fact, without being able to explain it distinctly. If (lays our author) any organization be necessary to constitute memory, which ascertains our personal identity, it is more natural to place it in the me, than elsewhere, and to consider the brain and the other grofler organs as auxiliaries, destined to facilitate the first develope. ments of the activity of the primitive automaton. It may be so. Ques. Do the Unities of Nature always preserve the Consciousness of their Personality? There are excellent philoso. phical views in M. B's answer, to chis question, views that an. nounce and prove immortality ; but we do not think them less applicable to the ordinary hypothesis concerning the nature of the soul, than to his notion of it, as the primitive and predominant unity in man. He answers the question in the affirmative, seeing no reason why death, or the decomposition of gross and visible organs, should occafion the decomposition of that more refined and intimate organization, which may have belonged to the primitive automaton before its entrance into actual life, or destroy that original activity which will give it imprelfions and perceptions of the objects that surround it, in whatever scene it may be placed. Astonishment, admiration, and embarrassment muft naturally, indeed, be supposed to be produced by its entrance on a new scene; but there, as our author ingeniously observes, are proofs of its personality ;-they supe pole it. A man who, during a long and deep sleep, is con veyed to a place which he never saw before, will find himself, on awaking, in a situation of mind analogous to that of the soul, which survives its body; he will be a stranger to every object but to himself. Ques. XIX. On the Hypothesis of primitive Urities, 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 susceptible of Liberty in their moral Artions ? Why not? We must not judge of these divine machines to which the Deity has communicated intelligence and volitions, as if they resem. bled the gross compofitions of human industry, which works with quite different materials. Ques. XXII. What is the State of the Soul after the Destruction of the Body which it ania mated? The answer to this question (whether we adopt or re. ject the hypothesis of M. BEGUELIN) is excellent and masterly; and though it is expreffed in a language peculiar to this hypothesis, it opens some views which we believe to be as true as they are ingeniously and happily presented. He considers the mind, when disengaged from the system of organical machines to which it was united, as having lost its telescope, and the inftruments of its operations; and he examines the effects
which may naturally be supposed to result from this loss. We cannot follow him in this conjectural discussion. We must, however, observe, that his hypothesis secures to the primitive predominant unity in man, a communication with the material world even after the telescope is lost. The objects, indeed, will be perceived somewhat otherwise, but still they will be perceived. Thus, for example, when the external organ of fight and the optic nerve are destroyed, the rays will act immediately upon the primitive and indestructible automaton, and probably excitej each, a sensation similar to that which it formerly excited by the assistance of the optic nerve : he thinks that, as the predominant unities (commonly called souls) are automata, they may contain in their structure organs corresponding and analogous to those organs of sense that belong to the gross corporeal vehicle, just as the eye is correspondent and analogous to our artificial telescopes. They may contain not only our five senses, but a multitude of other senses of which hitherto we have no idea. Our author deduces very agreeable and ingenious conjectures from this suppofition. He, however, honestly warns us, that his whole Memoir turns upon a mere bypothesis : he gives it as such, and only means to thew its plau. fibility and advantages. Its advantages, at least, are evident; it plucks up, by the root, many weeds from the field of metaphysical controversy ; it removes many bones of contention : it is, in fort, a kind of philosopher's phone in the sphere of me. taphysics, and it want: nothing but to be really found. There is certainly no hypothesis more adapted to remove all difficulties, than that which seems to represent the physical unities as neither material nor fpiritual, and yet both the one and the other. With such an hypothesis we may face successively adversities of all complexions.
Mem. III. Concerning the Problem of Molyneaux. By. M. MERIAN. VIlth Memoir * This problem has been whipo about like a top, in a strange manner. They have been all at it, and a out it, and very busy indeed. This Memoir brings again the Abbé de Condillac on the scene, retracting in his Treatise of Sensations what he had affirmed in a preceding work to and agrecing with Dr. Berkley in the effential parts of the cheory, by which he explains this famous problem. M. Bonnet, the excellent philosopher of Geneva, is also cailed up to give his account of the matter : his opinion coincides with that of the Irish and French philosopher; and he puts a negative on the question; Will the man born blind distinguish by sight (when.
• See our former Appendixes.