and effect, and are esteemed near or remote, according to the number of connecting causes interpos’d betwixt the persons.
Of the three relations above-mention’d this of causation is the most extensive. Two objects may be consider’d as plac’d in this relation, as well when one is the cause of any of the actions or motions of the other, as when the former is the cause of the existence of the latter. For as that action or motion is nothing but the object itself, consider’d in a certain light, and as the object continues the same in all its different situations, ’tis easy to imagine how such an influence of objects upon one another may connect them in the imagination.
We may carry this farther, and remark, not only that two objects are connected by the relation of cause and effect, when the one produces a motion or any action in the other, but also when it has a power of producing it. And this we may observe to be the source of all the relations of interest and duty, by which men influence each other in society, and are plac’d in the ties of government and subordination. A master is such-a-one as by his situation, arising either from force or agreement, has a power of directing in certain particulars the actions of another, whom we call servant. A judge is one, who in all disputed cases can fix by his opinion the possession or property of any thing betwixt any members of the society. When a person is possess’d of any power, there is no more required to convert it into action, but the exertion of the will; and that in every case is consider’d as possible, and in many as probable; especially in the case of authority, where the obedience of the subject is a pleasure and advantage to the superior.
These are therefore the principles of union or cohesion among our simple ideas, and in the imagination supply the place of that inseparable connexion, by which they are united in our memory. Here is a kind of Attraction, which in the mental world will be found to have as extra-