« AnteriorContinuar »
explain this supervention of the object to the sensation, by a productive faculty set in motion by an impulse ; still the transition into the percipient, of the object itself, from which the impulse proceeded, assumes a power that can permeate and wholly possess the soul,
And like a God by spiritual art
Be all in all, and all in every part.9 And how came the percipient here? And what is become of the wonder-promising Matter, that was to perform all these marvels by force of mere figure, weight, and motion ? The most consistent proceeding of the dogmatic materialist is to fall back into the common rank of soul-and-bodyists ; to affect the myste. rious, and declare the whole process a revelation given, and not to be understood, which it would be profane to examine too closely. Datur, non intelligitur. But a revelation unconfirmed by miracles, and a faith not commanded by the conscience, a philosopher may venture to pass by, without suspecting himself of any irreligious tendency.
Thus, as materialism has been generally taught, it is utterly unintelligible, and owes all its proselytes to the propensity so common among men, to mistake distinct images for clear conceptions; and vice versa, to reject as inconceivable whatever from its own nature is unimaginable. But as soon as it becomes intelligible, it ceases to be materialism. In order to explain thinking, as a material phenomenon, it is necessary to refine matter into a mere modification of intelligence, with the two-fold function of appearing and perceiving. Even so did Priestley in his controversy with Price.
He stripped matter of all its material properties; substituted spiritual powers; and when we expected to find a body, behold! we had nothing but its ghost—the apparition of a defunct substance!
I shall not dilate further on this subject; because it will (if God grant health and permission) be treated of at large and systematically in a work, which I have many years been preparing, on the Productive Logos human and divine ; with, and as the introduction to, a full commentary on the Gospel of St. John.
9 [Altered from Cowley's All over Love. II. Ed.]
To make myself intelligible as far as my present subject requires, it will be sufficient briefly to observe-1. That all association demands and presupposes the existence of the thoughts and images to be associated.—2. That the hypothesis of an external world exactly correspondent to those images or modifications of our own being, which alone, according to this system, we actually behold, is as thorough idealism as Berkeley's, inasmuch as it equally, perhaps in a more perfect degree, removes all reality and immediateness of perception, and places us in a dream-world of phantoms and spectres, 10 the inexplicable swarm and equivocal generation of motions in our own brains.—3. That this hypothesis neither involves the explanation, nor precludes the necessity, of a mechanism and co-adequate forces in the percipient, which at the more than magic touch of the impulse from without is to create anew for itself the correspondent object. The formation of a copy is not solved by the mere pre-existence of an original; the copyist of Raffael's Transfiguration must repeat more or less perfectly the process of Raffael. It would be easy to explain a thought from the image on the retina, and that from the geometry of light, if this very light did not present the very same difficulty." We might as rationally chant the
10 [See Abhandlungen, Phil. Schrift., p. 217. “The Idealist in this sense is left lonely and forsaken in the midst of the world, surrounded on all sides by spectres. For him there is nothing immediate, and Intuition itself, in which spirit and object meet, is to him but a dead thought.” Transl. S. C.]
11 [The reasoning here appears to be the same as in the Ideen. Introd., pp. 22-3. Schelling says "You curiously inquire how the light, radiated back from bodies, works on your optic nerves; also how the image inverted on the retina, appears in your soul not inverted but straight. But again, what is that in you which itself sees this image on the retina, and inquires how it can have come into the soul ? Evidently something which so far is wholly independent of the outward impression, and to which, however, this impression is not unknown. How then came the impression to this region of your soul, in which you feel yourself entirely free and independent of impressions ? If you interpose between the affection of your nerves, your brain and so forth, and the representation of an outward thing ever so many intervening links, you do but cheat yourself: for the passage over from body to soul cannot, according to your peculiar representations” (mode of perceiving),
“ take place continuously, bu' only through a leap,-which yet you propose to
Brahmin creed of the tortoise that supported the bear, that supported the elephant, that supported the world, to the tune of “This is the house that Jack built.” The sic Deo placitum est we all admit as the sufficient cause, and the divine goodness as the sufficient reason; but an answer to the Whence and Why is no answer to the How, which alone is the physiologist's concern. It is a sophisma pigrum, and (as Bacon hath said) the arrogance of pusillanimity, which lifts up the idol of a mortal's fancy and commands us to fall down and worship it, as a work of divine wisdom, an ancile or palladium fallen from heaven. By the very same argument the supporters of the Ptolemaic system might have rebuffed the Newtonian, and pointing to the sky with selfcomplacent grin have appealed to common sense, whether the sun did not move and the earth stand still.
avoid.” Transl. Compare this chapter with the remarks on the Philosophy of the Dualists in Ideen. 57. Ed.]
12 And Coxcombs vanquish Berkeley by a grin.*
[Dr. John Brown's Essay on Satire (which was published in vol. ii. of Warburton's edit. of Pope, and in vol. iii. of Dodsley's Collection), Part. il., 1. 224. S. C.)
Is Philosophy possible as a science, and what are its conditions ?-Giordano
Bruno-Literary Aristocracy, or the existence of a tacit compact among the learned as a privileged order—The Author's obligations to the Mystics—to Immanuel Kant-The difference between the letter and the spirit of Kant's writings, and a vindication of prudence in the teaching of Philosophy-Fichte's attempt to complete the Critical system--Its partial success and ultimate failure--Obligations to Schelling; and among English writers to Saumarez.
AFTER I had successively studied in the schools of Locke, Berke. ley, Leibnitz, and Hartley, and could find in none of them an abiding place for my reason, I began to ask myself; is a system of philosophy, as different from mere history and historic classification, possible? If possible, what are its necessary conditions? I was for a while disposed to answer the first question in the negative, and to admit that the sole practicabie employment for the human mind was to observe, to collect, and to classify. But I soon felt, that human nature itself fought up against this wilful resignation of intellect; and as soon did I find, that the scheme, taken with all its consequences and cleared of all inconsistencies, was not less impracticable than contranatural. Assume in its full extent the position, nihil in intellectu quod non prius in sensu, assume it without Leibnitz's qualifying præter ipsum intellectum, and in the same sense, in which the position was understood by Hartley and Condillac: and then what Hume
[On m'opposera cet axiome, reçû parmi les Philosophes : que rien n'est dans l'âme qui ne vienne des sens. Mais il faut excepter l'âme même et ses affections. Nihil est in intellectu, quod non fuerit in sensu, excipe : nisi ipse intellectus. Or l'âme renferme l'être, la substance, l'un, le même, la cause, la perception, le raisonnement, et quantité d'autres notions que les sens ne sauroient donner. Cela s'accorde assez avec votre Auteur de l'essai, qui cherche une bonne partie des Idées dans la réflexion de l'esprit sur sa propre nature.” Nouveaux Essais sur l'Entendement Humain, liv, ii, c. 1, Erdmann, p. 223. Leibnitz refutes Locke, as com
had demonstratively deduced from this concession concerning cause and effect, will apply with equal and crushing force to all the other eleven categorical forms, and the logical functions cor- responding to them. How can we make bricks without straw ;or build without cement? We learn all things indeed by occasion of experience; but the very facts so learned force us inward on the antecedents, that must be pre-supposed in order to render experience itself possible. The first book of Locke's Essay (if the supposed error, which it labors to subvert, be not a mere thing of straw, an absurdity which no man ever did, or indeed ever could, believe), is formed on a plana reposarhoews,' and involves the old mistake of Cum hoc : ergo, propter hoc.
The term, Philosophy, defines itself as an affectionate seeking after the truth ; but Truth is the correlative of Being. This again is no way conceivable, but by assuming as a postulate, that both are ab initio, identical and co-inherent; that intelligence and monly understood, on his own showing, and he maintained that if ideas come to us only by sensation or reflection, this is to be understood of their actual perception, but that they are in us before they are perceived. See also his Réflexions sur l'Essai de Locke-Art. xli., and Meditationes de cognitione, veritate, et ideis, Art. ix. of Erdmann's edition of his works. S. C.]
2 Videlicet; Quantity, Quality, Relation and Mode, each consisting of three subdivisions. See Kritik der reinen Vernunft.* See too the judicious remarks on Locke and Hume.
3 (See Maasz, ubi supra, p. 366. Ed.]
[Pp. 104 and 110-11, vol. ii. Works. Leipzig, 1838, Ed.] † [Ib., pp. 125-6. “ The celebrated Locke, from want of this consideration, and because he met with pure conceptions of the understanding in experience, has also derived them from experience, and moreover he proceeded so inconsequently, that he ventured therewith upon attempts at cognitions, which far transcend all limits of experience. Hume acknowledged that, in order to the last, these conceptions must necessarily have their origin à priuri. But, as he could not explain how it is that the understanding should think conceptions, not in themselves united in the understanding, yet as necessarily united in the object,--and not hitting upon this, that probably the understanding by means of these (à priori) conceptions was itself the author of the experience, wherein its objects are found-he was forced to derive these conceptions from experience, that is to say, from subjective necessity arising from frequent association in experience, erroneously considered to be objective :- I mean from habit : although afterwards he acted very consistently in declaring it to be impossible with these conceptions and the principles to which they give birth to transcend the limits of experience. However, the empirical derivation, on which both Locke and Hume fell, is not reconcilable with the reality of those scientific cognitions à priori which we possess, namely, pure Mathenatics and General Physics, and is therefore refuted by the fact.” Ed. See also the whole section entided, Vedergang zur transscendentalen Deduction der Kategorien, pp. 123-6. 8. C.]