« AnteriorContinuar »
IV. Memoir. Concerning the Observations of Wind. By (the late) M. LAMBERT. V. Mem. Concerning the Conductors designed to preserve Buildings from the Effects of Thunder and Lightning. By M. Castillon.
VI. Mem. New Experiments relative to the dangerous Effects, which the Exhalations of a North American Plant produce upon the human Body. By M GleDITCH. The Plant here considered is the Rhus Toxicodendron. VII. Mem. Goncerning a very singular Case, of which there is no Example, as yet known, in the Practice of Midwifery. By M. HENCKEL. This is the case of a young healthy woman, who, after having contracted, by unskilful treatment in childbirth, a schirrosity that straitened the vagina to a very great degree, became again pregnant. The fymptoms were alarming, and the ordinary method of delivery impoffible; the head of the child had descended behind the vaginá as far down as the perinæum, and the inteftinum rectum was so violently diftended that it was ready to break. In this deplorable case, M HENCKEL performed the Cæsarean section (i. e. the operatio inferior), and here describes, circumstantially, his manner of proceeding, with its successful issue.
VIII. Memoir. An Extract of the Meteorological Observations made at Berlin in the Year 1717. By M. BEGUELIN. IX. Mem. A particular Account of an Aurora Borealis, observed on the 3d of December, 1777, at Berlin, and read to the Royal Academy of Sciences, &c. By M. SCHULZE.
Μ Α Τ Η Ε Μ Α Τ Ι C 6. 1. Memoir. Researches concerning the Determination of the Number of imaginary Roots in literal Equations. By M. de la GRANGE. II. Mem. Concerning fome analytical Problems of Diophantes. By the same. III. Mem. General Remarks on the Motion of several Bodies, which attract each other reciprocally in an inverse Ratio of the Squares of their Distances. By the same. IV. Mem. Reflexions on Regulation,-in which the fame Academia cian considers the Mechanism by which the Action of the Weight, or of the main Spring in a Watch, is regulated and modified by the Action of the Pendulum ór of the Balance. V. Mem Emer. fions of the two first Satellites of Jupiter observed in the Years 1776 and 1777 ; together with a new Elay on the Difference of the Meridians between Paris and Berlin By M. John BERNOULLI. VI. Mem. Astronomical Observations made in the Course of the Year 1777, at the Royal Observatory. By M. Schulze. VII. Mem. Concerning the Means of fixing or verifying the Position of an Observatory. By the same.
VIII. Mem. An Application of the exponential Algorithm to the seeking of Factors of Numbers of the Form 20 +i. By M. BEGUELIN. IX. Mem. A new and more compendious Method of finding Divisors of Numbers of
the Form 4P + 3 and the first Numbers of that Form. By the same.
SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY. II. Memoir. Concerning the Immortality of the Soul, considered on the Principles of Natural Philosophy. By the late M. SULZER. These are the last productions of that excellent man, whose name will shine, with unfading lustre, in the annals of true philosophy, when those of many tinsel sophists, who make at present a mighty noise, shall be buried in oblivion. From the former Memoirs of M. SULZER on this important subject, some may perhaps have entertained a suspicion that he was verging towards materialism; but this suspicion is entirely groundless. M. Sulzer told us positively, in his first Memoir, and he repeats the advertisement in those now before us, that he speaks here as a natural philosopher, and only means to exhibic the arguments, which ought to convince even a materialist of the immortality of his being. If, says he, in the execution of this plan I speak the language of a materialist, it must not be concluded from hence, that I adopt his ideas, which I look upon as entirely false. I am so far from embracing the opinion of the Materialists, that I would rather deny the corporeal essence of matter, than attribute materiality to the soul. I will even go so far as to affirm, without any sort of hesitation, that we have much more reason to be persuaded of the immateriality and fima plicity of thinking beings, than of the materiality of the elements of bodies. In effect, we have the testimony of consciousness, of internal feeling in favour of the fimplicity of our being, while we have nothing to allege in favour of the materialism of corporeal elements, but inductions, founded an the external senses; and this latter testimony is so uncertain, with respect to the true nature of sensible and external objects, that it is astonishing to see philosophers establishing their systems upon proofs of this kind.' This surely is very plain and categorical language, every way adapted to secure the name of M. Sulzer against a place in the class of materialists.
This celebrated academician had shewn, in his preceding Memoirs (of which our Readers have had ample extracts *), that the animated molecule (the epithet he gives to the soul, confidered physically) when separated from the gross body, by the dissolution of the latter, does not remain confounded or blended with the general mass of matter, but follows the particular laws of the substances of its own kind, in order to arrive at the place for which it is destined. In the present Memoirs he undertakes to prove, that a similar procedure 'takes place with respect to the first germs of plants and animals, organised me
See Rev. vol. lviii. p. 521, and vol. lx. p. 520. App, Rev. Vol. lxiv.
lecules of a particular kind: these are diffused and dispersed everywhere ;--they arrive at the place of their deftination, and consequently our Author attributes nothing to the animated molecule that is not analogous to what really and evidently takes place in nature.-M. Sulzer obferves farther, that the soul, after its separation from the body, which it had animated, will be united to a new body, by the means of which, it will recover its knowledge of the material world, and begin a new life.
The arguments by which he maintains this latter point, are in substance as follows:-ince the smallest molecule of elementary bodies undergoes, as is well known, a prodigious variety of fucceffive modifications, and has a series of innumerable parts to act in nature, much more must the foul, a molecule infinitely more noble, and endowed with powers infinitely more extensive, be deligned to act a perpetual succession of parts in the universe : consequently, after this prefent life, it will be placed on another theatre, to continue its activity, and display its faculties and powers under new modifications. This fuppofition is entirely conformable to the wisdom of the arrangements which we observe in this present world. But the foul must be united to a new body, in order to resume its activity. Granting this true, and indeed it appears to be fo, Where is the difficulty? There is none at all in the case. If human souls (as so many circumstances conspire to perfuade us) are designed to appear upon another theatre after their de: parture from this, the same cause that united them here to mortal bodies, can procure them bodies suited to the new life they are to commence; though we can form oo accurate idea of the means by which this shall be effectuated. There are many palpable facts in nature, analogous to this re-union, which furnish light, fufficient at least, to dispel all our doubts on this head.If it be true (as we think M, Sulzer has abundantly proved it to be), that the foul is not a modification or a result of the gross animal body, but a substance independent of this body with respect to its existence, there must be in nature certain laws by or according to which the union of these two substances is effectuated, unless we suppose perpetual miracles, which is an unphilosophical manner of proceeding: now, if certain laws exist for the first union of the soul with the animal body, why should we doubt of the existence of laws analogous to these, by which the soul, on its separation from the present body may be united to another? Nor is this the only analogy that comes in here to persuade us of the existence of such laws : we find another in the... natural union of the germ, in organized bodies, with the matter of which these bodies are formed. Our Author had be. fore, proved that these germs are pre-exiftent, and really precede the formation of the bodies to which they are united ; that they
Is there any
are diffused throughout the globe ; and that, by established laws, they find their way to the places, where they are to be united to their respective bodies, to the matter destined for the formation of plants and animals. As this case is perfectly analogous to that of the natural re-union of the soul or animated molecule with an organized body, it is evident, thai, in supposing such a re-union after death, we suppose nothing but what is conformable to the known' course of nature, and therefore, at least, highly probable.
III. Meinoir. ADDITION to the Memoir of M. SULZER concerning ieftain Properties of Matter (which was designed as an Examination of ihe System of Materialism), inserted in the New Memoirs (of the Academy at Berlin) for the Year 1771.In this thort Supplement the ingenious academician proves that the motions of animals are spontaneous, of which we never had the least doubt.
IV. Memoir. An Examination of the Question ; whether ALL TRUTHS are fit to be told? By M. FOL MEY. difficulty in the folution of this question ? Is it not natural to answer it directly in the aifirmative ? ---For, although a certain degree of light may be painful, or dazzling to weak eyes, yet it is good, in general, that light should prevail and abound. Men whose eyes are too weak, have only to shut them, or use the means that may tend to render them stronger. The application of this idea to truth, and the mind, is in favour of che afirmative side of the question; for it is the natural property of truth to strengthen the mind.-To render then the queition more or less problematical, it ought to have been proposed under one of the following forms: Are all OPINIONS fit to be published? or,- Is it expedient that every individual foould propagate and defend what HE LOOKS UPON as truth? When the question is thus proposed, we ought, perhaps, to draw in our affirmative. Every real truth is fit to be told, but every opinion that is engendered in the fermentation of a superficial head, with an irregular fancy, may not be fit to be told, however plausible it may be rendered by a tinfel clothing of metaphysical fophitry. One of the best criteria that can be given to distinguish both truth from falsehood and innocent opinions from pernicious cnes, is that laid down by the Model of true wisdom, when teaching his disciples to discern the false and the true prophets he said ; By their fruits ye fall know them.--M. FORMEY certainly propofed the question in the sense it bears, as we have amended it; and he creais it in a marterly manoer. Candour, good intention, and good sense characterise this Memoir; and had he even committed a multitude of philosophical lins in the course of his academical labours, we would cover the greatest part of them, if not the whole, with the piece now before us.-K ka
After having judiciously discussed the question proposed, as far as it relates to those truths which belong to the provinces of the abstract sciences, natural philosophy, natural history, and the arts, our Academician considers it with respect to chofe truths (we would rather say opinions) in which religion, morals, and political society are concerned. He fuppofes, that a thinker, travelling through the vast region of inquiry, finds in his way, afsertions in the taste of Hobbes, Spinoza, Machiavel, and the author of the System of Nature, and that he looks upon these affertions as true, necessary to mankind, and adapted to de. liver enslaved mortals from the yoke of superstition, &c. &c. M. FORMEY addresses himself to this Thinker pretty much in the following manner :- If you love your fellow-creatures, and have their well-being at heart, how can you so grossly misunderstand their true interests as to imagine that either particular persons or public societies will receive any advantage from the knowledge of these pretended truths ? Do you not perceive, on the contrary, that they undermine the foundations of all social comfort and security, break the tenderest and most respectable bonds of union, extinguish the most amiable affections, and thus blast all the permanent advantages, and rational pleasures of human life? What must mankind become, when, delivered from, what you call, their servitude, they acknowledge no invifible fuperior, no moral law, and neither hope nor fear any thing beyond a present life? We have often asked these pretended fages, who fap the foundations of religious principle and moral virtue, who labour to extinguish those delightful hopes that are the confolation and support of humanity under the trials of this its first and infant state, we have often asked them, I say, what they mean? what is their purpose? what advantages and comforts do they offer to mankind, in exchange for the bleslings and prospects of which they labour to deprive them and we have never once heard of a satisfactory answer to these important questions. --Cruel philosopher,----you take away my taper,---and in its place you give me nothing but thick darkness !--my habitation is, indeed, but a lowly huty-yet why beat it down about my ears, only to expose me to the inclemency of the weather, without any fhelter or covering? You represent this life as a scene of misery ;-and you take from me, at the same time, the pleasing expectation of a better. You diffolve all domnestic obligations, all civil subordination, and when your licentious principles engage me to rebel against the sovereign who protesis and defends me, your vaunted liberty * offers me no privilege but that of hiding myself in the woods, and wandering in the deserts.'
* This regards the ideas of J. J. Rousseau,