TNH 1.3.11.12

•Secondly, we are supposing that though the die must fall and turn up one of its sides, there is nothing to fix the particular side, this being determined entirely by chance. The very nature and essence of chance is a negation of causes and leaving the mind in complete indifference among those outcomes that are supposed to be contingent, ·i.e. at the mercy of chance·. So when the causes make our thought consider the die as falling and turning up one of its sides, the chances present all these sides as equal, and make us regard each of them as being just as probable and possible as each of the others. The imagination passes from the cause to the effect—from the throwing of the die to the turning up one of the six sides—and feels itself as somehow unable to make this process stop short or terminate in some other idea. But only one side can lie uppermost at a time, and the causal factors don’t make us think of the sides as all lying uppermost together, which we regard as impossible; nor do they direct us with their entire force to any particular side, for if they did, the chosen side would be considered as certain and inevitable. Rather, the causal factors direct us to the whole six sides in such a way as to divide their force equally among them. We conclude in general that some one of them must result from the throw; we run all of them over in our minds; the forces acting on our thought are common to all of them; but what they exert with respect to any one outcome is no more than what is suitable given what proportion of the whole it makes. This is how the original impulse, and consequently the liveliness of thought arising from the causes, is divided and split in pieces by the intermingled chances.

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