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Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh.
Accept my thanks for the ingenious work which you was so obliging as to send me by Mr. Childs. I have read it with pleasure and improvement: it casts new light on several interesting questions, and I observe in it a degree of perspicuity not always to be found in dissertations on such subjects.
The connexion between mind and body, and the operations of the former on and through the latter, continue involved in great obscurity. Persevering attention and inquiry will, probably, produce further information. The spiritual and material worlds, if I may use the expression, appear to me to be so widely different and opposite, that I am often inclined to suspect the existence of others, intermediate, but of a nature distinct from cither.
It is much to be wished that nothing may occur to prevent your finishing the analysis of the intellectual powers, and extending your speculations to man considered as an active and moral being, and as he m mber of a political society. There is reason to doubt whether this field of science has, as yet, received the highest cultivation of which it is capable. The republic of letters is under many obligations to your country. May those obligations be increased. I have the honour to be, with sentiments of respect and esteem, sir,
Your most obedient and very humble servant,
- John Jay
- The Life John Jay With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. by His Son, William Jay in Two Volumes. Vol. II., 1833.