TNH 1.3.08.05

We may reinforce these phenomena by ·bringing in· others of a different kind, noting the effects of contiguity as well as of resemblance. Distance certainly lessens the intensity of every idea; and when we are getting near to an object, even though it isn’t yet present to our senses, it operates on our mind with an influence that imitates ·that of· an immediate impression. Thinking about an object readily carries the mind to things that are contiguous to it; but only the object’s actual presence carries the mind ·to an idea of contiguous objects· with a superior liveliness. ·Here is an example of what happens where there isn’t a relevant present impression·. When I am a few miles from home, whatever relates to it touches me more nearly than when I am six hundred miles away, though even at that distance reflecting on anything in the neighbourhood of my friends and family naturally produces an idea of them. But as in this latter case both the relevant objects of the mind are ideas, the easy transition between them can’t give a heightened liveliness to any of them, because there is no immediate impression at work.

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