On Sense And The Sensible
condition of perceiving them as one. For thus, and not otherwise,
the ratios of the extreme sounds are compounded into one ratio:
since we should have together the ratio, on the one hand, of Many to
Few or of Odd to Even, on the other, that of Few to Many or of Even to
Odd [and these, to be perceived together, must be unified].
If, then, the sensibles denominated co-ordinates though in different
provinces of sense (e.g. I call Sweet and White co-ordinates though in
different provinces) stand yet more aloof, and differ more, from one
another than do any sensibles in the same province; while Sweet
differs from White even more than Black does from White, it is still
less conceivable that one should discern them [viz. sensibles in
different sensory provinces whether co-ordinates or not]
coinstantaneously than sensibles which are in the same province.
Therefore, if coinstantaneous perception of the latter be
impossible, that of the former is a fortiori impossible.
Some of the writers who treat of concords assert that the sounds
combined in these do not reach us simultaneously, but only appear to
do so, their real successiveness being unnoticed whenever the time
it involves is [so small as to be] imperceptible. Is this true or not?
One might perhaps, following this up, go so far as to say that even
the current opinion that one sees and hears coinstantaneously is due
merely to the fact that the intervals of time [between the really
successive perceptions of sight and hearing] escape observation. But
this can scarcely be true, nor is it conceivable that any portion of
time should be [absolutely] imperceptible, or that any should be
absolutely unnoticeable; the truth being that it is possible to
perceive every instant of time. [This is so]; because, if it is
inconceivable that a person should, while perceiving himself or
aught else in a continuous time, be at any instant unaware of his
own existence; while, obviously, the assumption, that there is in
the time-continuum a time so small as to be absolutely
imperceptible, carries the implication that a person would, during