A Treatise of Human Nature HTML version
with respect to beasts there cannot be the least suspicion of mistake; which must be ownd
to be a strong confirmation, or rather an invincible proof of my system.
Nothing shews more the force of habit in reconciling us to any phaenomenoun, than this,
that men are not astonished at the operations of their own reason, at the same time, that
they admire the instinct of animals, and find a difficulty in explaining it, merely because
it cannot be reducd tothe very same principles. To consider the matter aright, reason is
nothing but a wonderful and unintelligible instinct in our souls, which carries us along a
certain train of ideas, and endows them with particular qualities, according to their
particular situations and relations. This instinct, it is true, arises from past observation and
experience; but can any one give the ultimate reason, why past experience and
observation produces such an effect, any more than why nature alone shoud produce it?
Nature may certainly produce whatever can arise from habit: Nay, habit is nothing but
one of the principles of nature, and derives all its force from that origin.