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By L. Anderson

Charles Bonnet started his profession as a naturalist, from an early age developing a name as a cautious observer. it truly is for these younger observations, in addition to for a few suggestive speculations proposed relative to this box, that he's top remembered in English-speaking nations: in regards to the taxonomic de­ mands of common heritage he refurbished the assumption of a series of beings; in regards to the query of iteration he marshaled proof in aid of preforma­ tion thought; and concerning the research of the body structure of the fearful process he complicated a thought that specific nerve fibers obtain and continue particular sensations. Following his lack of eyesight in his mid-twenties Bonnet entered a extra reflective interval, turning to philosophy and brooding about the character of human figuring out - concerns he had previously disdained, yet that now appeared a common outgrowth of his reflections on nature. This essay specializes in the philosophical and mental works of the later interval, the interval during which he wrote all his significant books. by way of giving those writings a broader publicity it's been one among my hopes that Bonnet's viewers could even be broadened, liberating him, to be able to communicate, from the cost of historians of technological know-how in order that he may possibly fmd his manner, usually books at the "Enlightenment", from scattered footnotes into the texts themselves.

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Thus, in his psychology, Bonnet concentrates upon the physical - with his analysis of nerve fibers and his analysis of the functions of a physical memory - rather than upon the metaphysical, believing that observation and analysis, the methods learned in his youth, can apply here too, seeing the task of psychological investigation as not differing essentially from any other investigation of the human body. One studies relations, one looks for the laws resulting from them. The task remains the same.

This specific fiber theory was important to Bonnet's argument because, having located memory in the body, he felt compelled to explain how it could function in this material foundation. 65 Still Bonnet could not agree with Euler's claim that the principle of the diversity of sensations is the foundation of the Essai analytique's entire psychological edifice, and that if it is correct then all the rest is "geometrically demonstrated". He felt there were so many conjectures and unrelated subjects in the work that such a statement did not make sense.

5 6 INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT 31 Memoires, 101. , 104, 208. , 104. , 105. , 51, 208. 43 Essai analy tique, vii. 44 Bonnet, Considerations sur les corps organises in Oeuvres, V, Chapter IX, art. CLIll, 260. 45 Bonnet, Tableau des considerations sur les corps organises in Oeuvres, XV, 73-4. 46 Memoires, 109. , 112. 48 Ibid. 49 Bonnet, Essai sur la liberte, § XLIX, quoted in Memoires, 114. 50 Memoires, 131. 51 In Essai de psychologie and in Palingenesie philosophique. 52 Memoires, 117 -8. , l31. , 168.

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