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It indeed maintained nearly the same extent of territory, ex- bibited the usual emblems, and preserved the customary forms of authority ; but its internal power was much weakened and its vital energy nearly exhausted. Napoleon disliked it, — not because it was sensualism, but because its most zealous adherents were the friends of liberty, and the firm but orderly opponents of the despotisın he established, - and the weight of his displeasure, together with the fact that he exerted the whole energy of his government to make soldiers instead of philosophers, could not fail to hasten its downfall. Some of its friends, especially Laromiguière, in order to improve it and facilitate its defence, departed from some of its essential principles, and aided in destroying, while intending to preserve it. Several individvals, without having any clear perceptions of a different system, opposed it by their strong instinctive tendency to spiritualism. Among these were Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Chateaubriand, and Madame de Staël, who by their love and praise of nature, their sense of the beautiful, their enthusiasm, their appeals to the heart, the moral and religious sentiments and regrets which they awakened, prepared the way for a sounder philosophy, one loftier in its conceptions and truer to human nature. 1811, M. Royer-Collard, a disciple of the Scotch school, was raised to the chair of philosophy, from which, up to 1814, he attacked sensualism without scruple and without mercy. It was not able to survive bis blows. Dr. Broussais, in 1928, published a work on Irritation et Folie, in its defence ; but he did little more than show himself irritated at the general disrespect with which it was treated, and the extreme folly of undertaking to restore it to power.
In 1815, M. Victor Cousin, whose attention had been drawn to philosophy by the instruction of M. Laromiguiére, and who had been taught to analyze the will by M. de Biran, and converted by M. RoyerCollard from sensualism, was made professor of philosophy in the Normal School and the Faculty of Literature. Young, ardent, penetrating, and eloquent, he soon produced a powerful movement, completed the revolution commenced by M. RoyerCollard, and prepared for France a new philosophical future. If he have not, as some may believe, given to France the philosophy which must reign during that future, he has at least given the method for its creation, and rendered the return to sensualism impossible.
M. Cousin calls the system of philosophy which he and his
friends prosess and advocate, Eclecticism; because it recognises the leading principles of all the great schools into which the philosophical world has been divided, and attempts to mould them into one grand whole, which shall include them all, and yet be itself unlike any of them. It went into power
with the King of the Barricades, and will undoubtedly preside over the new system of schools and instruction which the government is preparing for France. We already see it in the most popular French journals, and in many of the most fashionable literary productions; and we can hardly persuade ourselves but that (in these and other ways) its influence on the destinies of France is at present, and must be for the future, very great. But without going into any speculations on the influence and prospects of this philosophy, we proceed to give our readers as clear and as satisfactory a statement of what it is, as we can within the limits to which we are necessarily restricted. In doing this we shall draw liberally from the Preface to the second edition of the Philosophical Fragments, the third work on our list, in which the author has given us a summary of his system, together with answers to some objections which are raised against it, and some account of its formation and growth in his own mind. We shall arrange what we have to offer under the heads of, 1. Method; 2. Application of Method to Psychology; 3. Passage from Psychology to Ontology; 4. Passage from God to Nature, and 5. General Views on the History of Philosophy.
I. The adoption of a method decides the destinies of a philosophy; for any given system of philosophy is only the developement and application of a given method. The method of all sound philosophy is that of observation and induction. Our first step is to study human nature, by observation to ascertain what is in the consciousness; our next and last step is to draw from observation by induction, by reasoning, all the consequences contained in the facts it has collected. Philosophy is the science of facts, and also the science of reasoning. It begins with observation, but it ends only with the limits of the reason itself. It observes and it reasons. In physical science we begin with observation of facts, but we do not end with it; we rise from observation, by reasoning, to general laws and to the system of the world. We should pursue the same method in mental and moral science. If we receive as true whatever legitimately follows from the facts of the external
world, which we have observed, we should do the same with whatever legitimately follows from the facts of the internal world, which we have scrupulously observed and profoundly analyzed.
In philosophizing, we must guard against rushing too precipitately, from basty and incomplete observation, to hazardous inductions; and also against confining ourselves, in spite of all the craving of our nature, to mere observation, against never venturing upon an induction, a synthesis of the facts observed. To neglect observation is to fall into hypothesis ; to restrict ourselves to mere observation is, whether we know it or not, to place philosophy on the road to skepticism. Skepticisin and hypothesis are the two rocks, which philosophy must study to avoid. True method avoids them both. It does not end at the beginning; it does not begin at the end. It acknowledges no limits to induction but those of the reason itself, but it supports induction on a sufficient observation. Reserving to itself the right to the ulterior employment of the faculties of the understanding, philosophy cannot observe too scrupulously. It can no more than physical science, proclaim too loudly, insist too earnestly, that observation is its necessary point of departure. There is, in fact, no difference between philosophy and physical science, except in the nature of the phenomena to be observed. The proper phenomena of physical science are those of external nature, of that vast world of which man makes so small a part; the proper phenomena of philosophy are those of internal nature, of that world which each man carries within himself, and which is observed by that inward light called consciousness, in like manner as the other is observed by the senses.
Philosophy begins by observing the phenomena of the world within us.
A mere glimpse of those phenomena is not observation. They are as truly open to our inspection as those of the world without us; but they appear and disappear so rapidly, that the consciousness perceives and loses sight of them almost at the same instant. To merely glance at them as they are passing over the varying theatre of consciousness, is not enough; we must retain them as long a tine as possible, recall them from the darkness into which they vanish, demand them anew of the memory, reproduce them, that we may examine them at our leisure, vary the lights in which we observe them, survey each one under all its aspects, that we may embrace each one in its entireness. We must reflect; not only listen to nature, but question her; not only observe, but make experiments. Whatever be the objects to which it is applied, experience has the same conditions and rules; and it is only by following them, in the science of man as in that of nature, that we can arrive at exact classifications,
These classifications, when their subject is human nature, the human soul, are called psychology. Psychology, an exact classification of the mental phenomena, is the first part, the foundation, but not the whole of philosophy. This is a point of great importance. The principal peculiarity of M. Cousin's system results from the fact, that he makes psychology the foundation, but not the superstructure, the beginning, but not the end of philosophy. By making psychology the basis of philosophy, he connects his philosophical enterprise with modern philosophy itself, which from Descartes, Bacon, and Locke, tolerates only the experimental method. In this he does not dissent from the philosophy which reigned in France during the last century. That philosophy was indeed sensualism, but it was also experimental; as experimental M. Cousin accepts, and though he modifies, continues it. This deserves the especial notice of those, who have supposed that he rejects experience and ought to be confounded with the hypothesisconstructing Germans. In method, he is as free from hypothesis as he is from skepticism. By beginning with psychology, making it the only door of entrance into the temple of philosophy, he not only connects himself with the old French, but separates himself from the new German school. The new German school, represented by Schelling and Hegel, begins where he ends, and ends where he begins. It begins by an hypothesis, rises at once without means, or by means of which it takes no account, to the Absolute, to the Being of beings, and attempts to reach nature and humanity through ontology. When we have once placed ourselves in ontology, in absolute being, the passage to the phenomenal, to nature and humanity, is without difficulty ; psychology may most assuredly be found in ontology; but how can we attain to ontology? How shall we place ourselves in the Absolute as our point of observation ? We must attain the summit by a slow and toilsome ascent from the valley, where is our starting-point, not by dropping from the heavens. Our only true method is to begin by ascertaining what is; from what is, the actual, we may pass to its origin, from that to its legitimacy, and thus attain the Absolute. Should we adopt the method of the new German school, and by some lucky devination obtain the truth, which M. Cousin considers to be the case with the school in question, the truth thus obtained, not having been scientifically obtained, would be without any scientific validity.
II. But if M. Cousin separates himself, so far as it concerns method, from the new German school and approaches the old French school, he separates also from this last, as soon as he proceeds to the application of his method to psychology. Their method is the same, but the French school is not true to it. It applies it with the prejudices of a systein. It observes, but it observes only what suits its convenience. It mutilates the consciousness, and observes only the facts of the sensibility. Its analysis is, therefore, necessarily too narrow for its generalizations.
There is, undoubtedly, a class or order of phenomena in the consciousness, which may be traced back to sensation. That this class exists, and is of large extent, is incontestable. The manner in which the phenomena it includes, are generated, although somewhat complicated, is easily comprehended; and they have the advantage of reposing on a primitive fact, which, by connecting them with the physical sciences, seems to vouch for their reality. This fact is, that of the impression produced on the organs of sensation and reproduced by the brain in the consciousness. The illusion of believing that this order includes all the phenomena of which we can be conscious, was therefore very natural. If there be only a single order of phenomena in the consciousness, there can be only a single faculty to which we can refer those phenomena, and which in its transformations must produce all the others. This faculty is that of sensation, or, if we may adopt the etymological instead of the common meaning of the word, the sensibility; but if sensibility be the root of all our intellectual faculties, it must be the root of all our moral faculties. This reduces man to a mere creature of sensation. He can then know nothing which is not cognizable by some one or all of his five senses. Our senses can take cognizance of only material objects; if other objects exist we cannot know them; they are for us as though they were not. When we recognise only material existences, thought itself becomes materialized; painting, sculpture, poetry, all the fine arts, take a tinge of materiality, VOL. XXI. - 30 s. VOL. III. NO. I.