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The phrases in their context!


It is a quality, which I have already observed in human nature, that when two objects appear in a close relation to each other, the mind is apt to ascribe to them any additional relation, in order to compleat the union; and this inclination is so strong, as often to make us run into errors (such as that of the conjunction of thought and matter) if we find that they can serve to that purpose.
Many of our impressions are incapable of place or local position; and yet those very impressions we suppose to have a local conjunction with the impressions of sight and touch, merely because they are conjoined by causation, and are already united in the imagination.
Since, therefore, we can feign a new relation, and even an absurd one, in order to compleat any union, it will easily be imagined, that if there be any relations, which depend on the mind, it will readily conjoin them to any preceding relation, and unite, by a new bond, such objects as have already an union in the fancy.
Thus for instance, we never fail, in our arrangement of bodies, to place those which are resembling in contiguity to each other, or at least in correspondent points of view; because we feel a satisfaction in joining the relation of contiguity to that of resemblance, or the resemblance of situation to that of qualities.
And this is easily accounted for from the known properties of human nature.
When the mind is determined to join certain objects, but undetermined in its choice of the particular objects, It naturally turns its eye to such as are related together.
They are already united in the mind: They present themselves at the same time to the conception; and instead of requiring any new reason for their conjunction, it would require a very powerful reason to make us over-look this natural affinity.
This we shall have occasion to explain more fully afterwards, when we come to treat of beauty.
In the mean time, we may content ourselves with observing, that the same love of order and uniformity, which arranges the books in a library, and the chairs in a parlour, contribute to the formation of society, and to the well-being of mankind, by modifying the general rule concerning the stability of possession.
And as property forms a relation betwixt a person and an object, it is natural to found it on some preceding relation; and as property Is nothing but a constant possession, secured by the laws of society, it is natural to add it to the present possession, which is a relation that resembles it.
For this also has its influence.
If it be natural to conjoin all sorts of relations, it is more so, to conjoin such relations as are resembling, and are related together.]
But we may observe, that though the rule of the assignment of property to the present possessor be natural, and by that means useful, yet its utility extends not beyond the first formation of society; nor would any thing be more pernicious, than the constant observance of it; by which restitution would be excluded, and every injustice would be authorized and rewarded.
We must, therefore, seek for some other circumstance, that may give rise to property after society is once established; and of this kind, I find four most considerable, viz.
Occupation, Prescription, Accession, and Succession.
We shall briefly examine each of these, beginning with Occupation.
The possession of all external goods is changeable and uncertain; which is one of the most considerable impediments to the establishment of society, and is the reason why, by universal agreement, express or tacite, men restrain themselves by what we now call the rules of justice and equity.
The misery of the condition, which precedes this restraint, is the cause why we submit to that remedy as quickly as possible; and this affords us an easy reason, why we annex the idea of property to the first possession, or to occupation.
Men are unwilling to leave property in suspense, even for the shortest time, or open the least door to violence and disorder.
To which we may add, that the first possession always engages the attention most; and did we neglect it, there would be no colour of reason for assigning property to any succeeding possession.
[Footnote 16. Some philosophers account for the right of occupation, by saying, that every one has a property in his own labour; and when he joins that labour to any thing, it gives him the property of the whole: