… is from page 49 of Adam Smith’s celestial essay “The History of Astronomy,” as this essay appears in Liberty Fund’s 1982 collection of Smith’s Essays on Philosophical Subjects (a collection originally published by Cadell and Davies, in London, 1795):
But a savage, whose notions are guided altogether by wild nature and passion, waits for no other proof that a thing is the proper object of any sentiment, than that it excites it.
A primitive mind, like a childish mind, focuses on only the first sensations that strike and stimulate it. These initial sensations are all that such a mind comprehends and is willing to comprehend. Entranced by these initial sensations, the primitive or childish mind refuses to look past, above, beyond, beneath, or behind these initial impressions. Reality, to such a mind, is limited to initial impressions. Because reason, rather than emotion or any of the physical senses, is the chief tool for exploring regions beyond initial impressions, people too lazy or immature to employ any capacity beyond emotion and sensation remain blinded by first impressions. Unfortunately, such lazy and immature people are quite common. Many are even called “intellectuals.”