"According to one class of speculators, the mind derives all its knowledge, judgments, maxims, from observation and experience. According to another class of thinkers, there are ideas, truths, principles, which originate in the native power, and are seen in the inward light of the mind. These last have been called by a great number of names, such as innate ideas, intuitions, necessary judgments, fundamental laws of belief, principles of common sense, first or primitive truths; and diverse have been the accounts given of them, and the uses to which they have been turned. This is a controversy which has been from the beginning, and which is ever being renewed in one form or other. It appears to me that this contest is now, and has ever been, characterized by an immense complication of confusion; and confusion, as Bacon has remarked, is more difficult to rectify than open error. I am not, in this treatise, to plunge at once into a thicket, in which so many have lost themselves as they sought to find or cut a way through it. But my aim throughout is to ascertain what are the actual laws or principles in the mind denoted by these various phrases, what is their mode of operation, what the rule which they follow, and the purpose which they are competent to serve"--Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
"In this volume, I unfold the characteristics of the motive powers, as they are called the orective, the appetent, the impulsive powers; the feelings, the sentiments, the affections, the heart, as distinguished from the Gnostic, the cognitive, the intellect, the understanding, the reason, the head. These motive powers fall under three heads: the emotions, the conscience, the will. It is not to be understood that these are unconnected with each other, or with the cognitive; emotions contain an idea which is cognitive. The conscience may be regarded as combining characteristics of each of the two grand classes; being cognitive as discerning good and evil, and motive as leading to action; the will has to use the other powers as going on to action. Emotion occupies more room than the other two in this treatise, inasmuch as its operations are more varied, and as the account usually given of it (so it appears to me) is more defective"--Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
"We live in an age in which the reflecting portion of mankind are much addicted to the contemplation of the works of nature. It is the object of the author in this Treatise to "interrogate nature," with the view of making her utter her voice in answer to some of the most important questions which the inquiring spirit of man can put. To guard against misapprehension, he wishes it to be understood that he treats in this book of the Method of the Divine Government in the world rather than in the Church; of the ordinary providence of God rather than his extraordinary dealings towards his redeemed people." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).