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Kant's disciples, who attempted to complete his system, from the University of Jena, with the confiscation and prohibition of the obnoxious work by the joint efforts of the courts of Saxony and Hanover, supplied experimental proof, that the venerable olj man’s caution was not groundless. In spite therefore of his own declarations, I could never believe, that it was possible for him to have meant no more by his Noumenon, or Thing in itself, than his mere words express; or that in his own conception he confined the whole plastic power to the forms of the intellect, leav. ing for the external cause, for the materiale of our sensations, a matter without form, which is doubtless inconceivable." I en. tertained doubts likewise, whether, in his own mind, he even
Halle in 1740, and died at that town, April 9, 1754. From Victor Cousin's Manuel de l'Histoire de la Philosophie, ii., pp. 173–4. S. C.]
19 [Transsc. Id.,
The reader may compare this passage with Schelling's remarks on the doctrine of Kant, in the third tract of the Phil. Schrift., pp. 275-6, the title of which has already been given, and to which Mr. C. himself refers his readers in chap. xii.
In the Introduction to the Ideen, Schelling says of the Kantian philosophy, on this particular point, that, as acute men have objected, “ it makes all conceptions of cause and effect arise in our mind,-in our representations alone; and yet the representations themselves again, according to the law of causality, operate upon us through outward things.” Note at p. 10.
Thus the Idealism of Berkeley deprives us of Nature (or an objective world) altogether, giving us, instead of it, a seeming copy of such a world in each individual mind:--the Idealism of Kant—(too literally understood on one point)-leaves us Nature, but reduces her to a blank,-an unseen cause of all we see without us, although cause, by his own showing, exists only within us :—the system of Locke cuts Nature in two-lets her retain one half of her constituent properties, while it makes her but the unknown cause in us of the other half:-the Scotch system (in the opinion of the Transcendentalist), equally with the two last mentioned, cuts us off from Nature while it brings Nature to bear upon us as closely as possible; it affirms an evident absurdity, and calls it a hidden mystery; it tries to be cautious, yet it is incautious enough to assume the whole matter in debate, namely, that the objective and the subjective systems are distinct from, and extrinsic to, one other; it teaches us to escape from a difficulty by shutting our eyes: but eyes were made to be open and not to be shut,except for the sake of rest; when we unclose them again there is the same difficulty, staring us full in the face. S. C.]
laid all the stress, which he appears to do, on the moral postulates. 30
An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but by a symbol ; and, except in geometry, all symbols of necessity involye an apparent contradiction.” Púrnos ouveroiow: and for those who could not pierce through this symbolic husk, his writings were not intended. Questions which cannot be Iully answered without exposing the respondent to personal dan ger, are not entitled to a fair answer; and yet to say this openly, would in many cases furnish the very advantage which the adversary is insidiously seeking after. Veracity does not consist in saying, but in the intention of communicating, truth ; and the philosopher who cannot utter the whole truth without conveying falsehood, and at the same time, perhaps, exciting the most malignant passions, is constrained to express himself either mythically or equivocally. When Kant therefore was impor tuned to settle the disputes of his commentators himself, by de. claring what he meant, how could he decline the honors of mar tyrdom with less offence, than by simply replying, “I meant what I said, and at the age of near four-score, I have something else, and more important to do, than to write a commentary on my own works.”
Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre," or Lore of Ultimate Science, was to add the key-stone of the arch: and by commencing with an act, instead of a thing or substance, Fichte assuredly gave the first mortal blow to Spinozism, as taught by Spinoza himself;
20 (Kant's doctrine on this head is fully explained in his Foundation for the Metaphysique of Morals, first published in 1785, and Critique of the Practical Reason—1788. Works, vol. iv. S C.]
21 [“ Now this supersensuous ground of all that is sensuous, Kant symbolized by the expression things in themselves-which, like all other symbolic expressions, contains in itself a contradiction, because it seeks to represent the unconditioned through a conditioned, to make the infinite finite.” Abhandlungen Phil. Schrift., pp. 276–7. S. C.]
22 (J. Gottlieb Fichte was born on the 19th of May, 1762, at Rammenau in Upper Lusatia, and died at Berlin, where he had occupied a Professor's chair in the recently founded University, Jan. 29, 1814. The Wissen. schaftslehre was first published at Weimar in 1796 ; afterwards in an enlarged edition at Jena, 1793. V. Cousin's Manuel, ii., 272, 289. S. C.)
and supplied the idea of a system truly metaphysical, and of a metaphysique truly systematic (i. e. having its spring and prin. ciple within itself). But this fundamental idea he overbuilt with a heavy mass of mere notions, and psychological acts of arbi. trary reflection. Thus his theory degenerated into a crude" egoismus, a boastful and hyperstoic hostility to Nature, as life.
23 The following burlesque on the Fichtean Egoismus may, perhaps, be amusing to the few who have studied the system, and to those who are unacquainted with it, may convey as tolerable a likeness of Fichte's ideal. ism as can be expected from an avowed caricature.
The Categorical Imperative, or the annunciation of the new Teutonic God, ETSENKATIAN: a dithyrambic Ode, by QUERKOPF Von KLUBSTICK, Grammarian, and Subrector in Gymnasic.*
Eu! Dei vices gerens, ipse Divus,
All I itself I!
All my I! all my I!
less, godless, and altogether unholy: while his religion consisted in the assumption of a mere Ordo ordinans, which we were per. mitted exoterice to call God; and his ethics in an ascetic, and almost monkish, mortification of the natural passions and desires.*
24 (This account of Fichte's theory, however just, may convey to some readers a very unjust notion of the man and of his teaching in general. It may lead them to imagine him cold, hard, and dry, and, in his turn of mind, rather of the earth earthy, than heaven-ward tending; whereas he seems to have been an ardent spiritualist, “a clear calm enthusiast;" and whatever his system may have been, as mere metaphysics, yet in his thoughts on the Divine Idea, to have arrived at the same point, as far as feeling is concerned, and all that under God's grace inspires the heart and moulds the plan and course of action, with those who talk in orthodox phraseology, of the Life of God in the soul of man. Mr. Carlyle has spoken of Fichte in the “ Hero Worship,” and some of his striking Essays, with his usual force and felicity, and power of casting an interest, either in the way of creation or of representation, around certain characters investing, as it were, with a royal robe of glowing language and high attributions, whomsoever it delights him to honor. But the best illustration of Fichte's teaching is to be found in his life. “No man of his time,”— says Mr. Smith, who has lately published a translation of his work on the Nature of the Scholar, with a memoir of the author—" few perhaps of any time, exercised a more powerful spirit-stirring influence over the minds of his fellow-countrymen. The ceaseless effort of his life was to rouse men to a sense of the divinity of their own nature-to fix their thoughts upon a spiritual life as the only true and real life-to teach them to look upon all else as mere show and unreality, and thus tu lead them to constant effort after the highest Ideal of purity, virtue, independence, and self-denial. To this ennobling enterprise he consecrated his being, &c Truly indeed has he been described by one of our own country's brightest ornaments, as a 'colossal, adamantine spirit, standing erect and clear, like a Cato Major among degenerate men ; fit to have been the teacher of the Stoa, and to have discoursed of beauty and virtue in the groves of Academe.' But the sublimity of his intellect casts no shade on the soft current of his affections, which flows, pure and unbroken, through the whole course of his life, to enrich, fertilize, and adorn it. We prize his philosophy deeply; it is to us an invaluable possession, for it seems the noblest exposition to which we have yet listened, of human nature and divine truth ; but with reverent thankfulness we acknowledge a still higher debt, for he has left behind him the best gift which man can bequeathe to man-a brave, heroic human life.”
“In the first churchyard from the Oranienburg gate of Berlin stands a tall obelisk with this inscription :
In Schelling's Natur-Philosophie," and the System des transcendentalen Idealismus, I first found a genial coincidence with
The teachers shall shine
As the stars for ever and ever.
It marks the grave of Fichte. The faithful partner of his life sleeps at his feet.”
Fichte married a niece of Klopstock, a high-minded woman, by whom he had an only son, the author of writings on religious philosophy of some interest. Cousin speaks of the great influence which the Idealism of Fichte exercised over his contemporaries, and its serious direction towards anti-sensualistic doctrines, impressed on many minds by the masculine eloquence, which was one of the attributes of the author's talent. But he affirms that Fichte's theory finally shared the common destiny of all systems, and proved unable to acquire a general authority in philosophy. Pp 113-115. S. C.]
25 (On this title of Schelling's, Mr. C. makes the following remarks in a marginal note in the Phil: Schrift.
I cannot approve Schelling's choice of the proper name, Natur-Philosophie ; because, in the first place, it is a useless paradox; in the second place, selected to make the difference between his own system and that of his old master Fichte greater than it is; and lastly, because the phrase has been long and universally appropriated to the knowledge which does not include the peculia of Man; that is, to Physiology. The identity of the one with the other is made to appear as the result of the system ; but for its title, that is, its proper, or appropriated, name, qui bene distinguit, bene docet. S. T. C.
Fichte speaks thus of the Natur-Philosophie in the second of his series of Lectures on the Nature of the Scholar, containing the definition of the Divine Idea. “ Hence we should not be blinded nor led astray by a philosophy assuming the name of natural, which pretends to excel all former philosophy by striving to elevate Nature into absolute being and into the place of God. In all ages the theoretical errors, as well as the moral corruptions of humanity, have arisen from falsely bestowing the name of life on that which in itself possesses neither absolute nor even finite being, and seeking for life and its enjoyments in that which in itself is dead. Very far therefore from being a step towards truth, that philosophy is only a return to old and already most widely spread error.” Translation by Mr. Smith. S. C.]
26 [Friedr. Wilh. Joseph Schelling was born at Leonberg in Wurtemberg on the 27th of January, 1775. He was Professor at Erlangen in 1929; since that time he has moved about. During the last two years he has been lecturing at Berlin, where he holds a Professorship, and has been