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SECTION IV.

TASTE.

The ORGAN of TASTE is in the mouth and fauces.

In ordinary language, the OBJECT of taste is any thing, which, taken into the mouth, and tasted, as it is called, produces the peculiar SENSATION of this sense. Nor has philosophy as yet enabled us to state, the object of taste more correctly. There are experiments which show, that galvanism is concerned in the phenomena, but not in what way.

The SENSATION, in this case, is distinguished by every body. The taste of sugar, the taste of an apple, are words which immediately recall the ideas of distinct feelings. It is to be observed, however, that the feelings of this sense are very often united with those of the sense of smell; the two organs being often affected by the same thing, at the same time. In that case, though we have two sensations, they are so intimately blended as to seem but one; and the flavour of the apple, the flavour of the wine, appears to be a simple sensation, though compounded of taste and smell.

It is not so easy, in the case of this, as of some of the other senses, to conceive ourselves as having this class of feelings and no other. Ante

cedent to the sensation of taste, there is generally some motion of the mouth, by which the object and the organ are brought into the proper position and state. The sensation can hardly be thought of without thinking of this motion, that is, of other feelings. Besides, the organ of taste is also the organ of another sense. The organ of taste has the sense of touch, and most objects of taste are objects of touch. Sensations of touch, therefore, are intimately blended with those of taste.

By a little pains, however, any one may conceive the sensations of tasting, while he conceives his other organs to remain in a perfectly inactive state, and himself as nothing but a passive recipient of one taste after another. If he conceives a mere train of those sensations, perfectly unmixed with any other feeling, he will have the conception of a being made up of tastes; a thread of consciousness, which may be called mere taste; a life which is merely taste.

The language employed about this sense is not less faulty, than that employed about the other senses, which we have already surveyed,

There is no proper name for the organ. The word Mouth, which we are often obliged to employ for that purpose, is the name of this organ and a great deal more.

There is no proper name for the object. We are obliged to call it, that which has taste. The

word flavour is used to denote that quality, which is more peculiarly the object of taste, in certain articles of food; and sometimes we borrow the word sapidity, from the Latin, to answer the same purpose more extensively.

The word taste is a name for the sensation. We generally call the feeling, which is the point of consciousness in this case, by the name taste. Thus we say one taste is pleasant, another unpleasant; and nothing is pleasant or unpleasant but a feeling.

The word taste is also a name for the object, as when we say, that any thing has taste.

It is further employed as a name of the organ. As we are said to perceive qualities by the eye, the ear, and the touch; so we are said to perceive them by the taste.

In the phrase, sense of taste, there is the same complexity of meaning as we have observed in the corresponding phrase in the case of the other senses. In this phrase, taste expresses all the leading particulars; the organ, the object, and the sensation, together with the order of position in the two first, and the order of constant sequence in the last.

SECTION V.

TOUCH.

In discoursing about the ORGAN, the SENSATIONS, and the OBJECTS, of touch, more vagueness has been admitted, than in the case of any of the other senses.

In fact, every sensation which could not properly be assigned to any other of the senses, has been allotted to the touch. The sensations classed, or rather jumbled together, under this head, form a kind of miscellany, wherein are included feelings totally unlike.

The ORGAN of TOUCH is diffused over the whole surface of the body, and reaches a certain way into the alimentary canal. Of food, as merely tangible, there is seldom a distinct sensation in the stomach, or any lower part of the channel, except towards the extremity. The stomach, however, is sensible to heat, and so is the whole of the alimentary canal, as far at least as any experiment is capable of being made. It may, indeed, be inferred, that we are insensible to the feelings of touch, throughout the intestinal canal, only from the habit of not attending to them. We have next to consider the OBJECT of TOUCHI.

Whatever yields resistance, and what

ever is extended, figured, hot, or cold, we set down, in ordinary language, as objects of touch.

I shall show, when the necessary explanations have been afforded, that the idea of resistance, the idea of extension, and the idea of figure, include more than can be referred to the touch, as the ideas of visible figure and magnitude include more than can be referred to the eye. It has been long known, that many of the things, which the feeling by the eye seems to include, it only suggests. It is not less important to know, that the same is the case with the tactual feeling; that this also suggests various particulars which it has been supposed to comprehend.

In the present stage of our investigation, it is not expedient to push very far the inquiry, what it is, or is not, proper, to class as sensations of touch, because that can be settled with much greater advantage hereafter.

The sensations of heat and cold offer this advantage,―that being often felt without the accompaniment of any thing visible or extended, which can be called an object, they can be more distinctly conceived as simple feelings, than most of our other sensations. They are feelings very different from the ordinary sensations of touch; and possibly the only reason for classing them with those sensations was, that the organ of them, like that of touch, is diffused over the whole body. We know not that the nerves appropriated to

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