A Treatise of Human Nature HTML version

In order to decide this question, let us consider, that there is evidently the same relation of
ideas, and derived from the same causes, in the minds of animals as in those of men. A
dog, that has hid a bone, often forgets the place; but when brought to it, his thought
passes easily to what he formerly concealed, by means of the contiguity, which produces
a relation among his ideas. In like manner, when he has been heartily beat in any place,
he will tremble on his approach to it, even though he discover no signs of any present
danger. The effects of resemblance are not so remarkable; but as that relation makes a
considerable ingredient in causation, of which all animals shew so evident a judgment,
we may conclude that the three relations of resemblance, contiguity and causation operate
in the same manner upon beasts as upon human creatures.
There are also instances of the relation of impressions, sufficient to convince us, that
there is an union of certain affections with each other in the inferior species of creatures
as well as in the superior, and that their minds are frequently conveyed through a series of
connected emotions. A dog, when elevated with joy, runs naturally into love and
kindness, whether of his master or of the sex. In like manner, when full of pain and
sorrow, he becomes quarrelsome and illnatured; and that passion; which at first was grief,
is by the smallest occasion converted into anger.
Thus all the internal principles, that are necessary in us to produce either pride or
humility, are commcm to all creaturn; and since the causes, which excite these passions,
are likewise the same, we may justly conclude, that these causes operate after the same
manner through the whole animal creation. My hypothesis Is so simple, and supposes so
little reflection and judgment, that it is applicable to every sensible creature; which must
not only be allowed to be a convincing proof of its veracity, but, I am confident, will be
found an objection to every other system.