The Essays of Adam Smith: ADAM SMITH ON THE EXTERNAL SENSES - Of the Sense of HEARING.by@smithadam
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The Essays of Adam Smith: ADAM SMITH ON THE EXTERNAL SENSES - Of the Sense of HEARING.

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EVERY sound is naturally felt as in the Ear, the organ of Hearing. Sound is not naturally felt as resisting or pressing upon the organ, or as in any respect external to, or independent of, the organ. We naturally feel it as an affection of our Ear, as something which is altogether in our Ear, and nowhere but in our Ear, or in the principle of perception which feels in our Ear. We soon learn from experience, indeed, that the sensation is frequently excited by bodies at a considerable distance from us; often at a much greater distance, than those ever are which excite the sensation of Smelling. We learn too from experience that this sound or sensation in our Ears receives different modifications, according to the distance and direction of the body which originally causes it. The sensation is stronger, the sound is louder, when that body is near. The sensation is weaker, the sound is lower, when that body is at a distance. The sound, or sensation, too undergoes some variation according as the body is placed on the right hand or on the left, before or behind us.

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