The Commens Dictionary
Quote from ‘Some Consequences of Four Incapacities’
Attention produces effects upon the nervous system. These effects are habits, or nervous associations. A habit arises, when, having had the sensation of performing a certain act, m, on several occasions a, b, c, we come to do it upon every occurrence of the general event, l, of which a, b and c are special cases. That is to say, by the cognition that
is determined the cognition that
Thus the formation of a habit is an induction, and is therefore necessarily connected with attention or abstraction. Voluntary actions result from the sensations produced by habits, as instinctive actions result from our original nature.