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cease to reveal the infinite, and merely represent some small portions of the finite. All our notions of God, of the soul, of the Beautiful, the Right, inasmuch as they are not copies of outward material objects, which are observed alike by the senses, are illusions, mere fantasies, no more to be trusted than the dreains which disturb our nightly slumbers; religion withers into a mere form, hardens into a petrifaction, or entirely disappears; or, at least, can be retained only as an inconsequence or as an instrument; morality freezes into selfishness; pleasure and pain become the synonymes of right and wrong; and that alone which gives pleasure, -- not to the soul but to the senses, — can be dignified with the name of good; the soul, having no longer any employment, takes its departure, and the man sinks in the animal, recognising and laboring only for animal wants. This is the unavoidable result of recognising in the consciousness the phenomena of the sensibility alone, and of reducing the whole nature of man to the faculty of receiving a sensation. The history of France in the last century proves this. She began with Condillac, who reduced the soul to sensation, and ended with Helvetius, who reduced morality to the simple maxim, “Seek pleasure, fly pain,” with D’Holbach, who raved for materialism and atheism as a fanatic, and Lamettrie, who discoursed eloquently of the Man-Machine and the Man-Plant. But is this a true account of man? Who does not find in himself the ideas of the just and the unjust, the beautiful and its opposite, the holy and the unholy, the true, the true in itself? An impartial observation refutes both the principle and the system which is deduced from it, by making it appear that there are in the consciousness phenomena which no effort can legitimately trace back to sensation, - numerous ideas, ideas which are perfectly real, both in human life and in language, which sensation cannot explain. After having been struck with the relations of the human faculties, we are struck also with their differences, and a rigorous method enlarges the field of psychology
M. Cousin recognises in the consciousness three classes of phenomena, which result from the great elementary faculties which comprehend and explain all the rest. These faculties are Sensibility, Activity, and Reason. They are never found isolated one from another. Yet they are essentially distinct, and a scrupulous analysis distinguishes them in the complex phenomena of intellectual life without dividing them. То sensibility belong all the internal phenomena, which are derived from sensation, through our senses, from the external world; to the activity belong those, which we are conscious that we ourselves produce; and under the head of reason must be arranged all our ideas of the Absolute, the Supersensible, and all the internal facts which are purely intellectual, which we know we do not produce, and which cannot be derived through sensation from external nature. The activity is developed only by sensation. Activity and sensibility can generate no idea without the reason ; and without sensibility and activity the reason would have no office. This psychology destroys sensualism, and leads to a pbilosophy of a totally different character. The philosophy to wbich it leads has already made some progress. It is represented on the theatre of the nineteenth century by the Scotch school, but more especially by the Kantian school, which, prosessing the same method as the Scotch, applies it with a very different rigor and extent. This school has enriched psychology by so many ingenious and profound observations, and is above all so distinguished by the beauty and grandeur of its morality, that it must always be held in deserved honor.
The Sensualist school admits and studies with great success the facts of the sensibility; but overlooking those of the activity and the reason, or not making a sufficient account of them, it mutilates the soul, and becomes false in its inductions. The Scotch school avoids this error; it distinguishes between the reason and sensibility, but without much scientific precision. The Kantian school has done it with more care and accuracy; it has also described with great clearness and precision the laws of the reason, but it has not discerned with sufficient exactness the distinction between the reason and the activity. This deficiency has ruined the school. The activity is personal. We are in the activity ; that alone is our self. To confound the reason with the activity, as Kant and his followers do, is to make the reason personal, and to deprive it of all but a subjective authority; that is, to make it of no authority except in relation to the individual in whom it is developed. To deprive the reason of all but a subjective authority, to allow it no validity out of the sphere of our own personality, is to deprive it of all legitimate authority, and to place philosophy on the route to a new and original skepticism. If the reason have no authority out of the sphere of the personal
ity, out of the individual consciousness in which its phenomena appear, it can reveal to us no existences wbich lie beyond ourselves. Such may be the laws of our nature, that we cannot help believing that we are, that there is an external world, and God; but our belief can repose on no scientific basis. There is nothing to assure us, that it is not a mere illusion ; nothing can demonstrate to us, that ạny thing really exists to respond to it. All certainty resolves itself into a mere personal affection. To this conclusion all are driven who assert the subjectivity of the reason. This may be seen by going from Kant, the circumspect master, to Fichte, the audacious disciple, who shrinks from no logical results, and even ventures to represent the external world, and God himself, as productions of that mysterious something we mean, when we say, I, Me!
To avoid this extravagance, we must distinguish between the reason and the activity, and show that, though intimately connected, they are nevertheless fundamentally distinct. The reason, though appearing in us, is not our self. It is independent
us, and in no sense subject to our personality. If it depended on our personality, or if it constituted our personality, we could control its conceptions, prescribe its laws, and compel it to speak according to our pleasure. Its conceptions would be ours, as much and in the same sense, as our intentions; its revelations would be our revelations, that is, revelations of ourselves, and its truths would be our truths. Who is prepared to admit such a conclusion ? We may say, my actions, my crimes, my virtues,” for we consider ourselves very justly as their cause; we may even say,"my error,” for our errors are in some degree attributable to ourselves; but who dare say "my truth”? Who does not feel, who does not know, that the truth is not his, – is nobody's, but independent of everybody? If, then, we are conscious that the conceptions of the reason are not ours, that the truths it reveals are not our truths, are not truths which are in any sense dependent on us, we must admit that the reason is independent of us, and, though appearing in us, is not ours, is not our self.
Nobody doubts the independence of the reason in the consciousness itself. Who doubts the reality of the mental phenomena of which we are directly conscious, who doubts the apperceptions of consciousness, apperceptions on which is founded the knowledge of our own existence ? No skeptic doubts these, for no skeptic doubts that he doubts. But not to
doubt that we doubt, is to know that we doubt, is to know something, is, in fine, to know. Now, what is it that knows? What is that inward light we call consciousness, which has these apperceptions in which we conside, which knows in any degree, - wbich knows at all? Is it not the reason? If the reason may be trusted in one case, why not in another? If the knowledge, which the reason gives us of what is passing within us, be undeniable, why shall not all other knowledge, which the same reason gives, be considered equally certain ? The reason is the same in all its degrees, and we have no right arbitrarily to restrict or extend its limits.
III. The reason, once established in its true nature and independence, becomes a legitimate authority for whatever it reveals. A true analysis of it shows, that, instead of being imprisoned in the consciousness and compelled to turn for ever within the sphere of the subjective, it extends far beyond, and attains to beings as well as to phenomena. It reveals to us God and the world on precisely the same authority as our own existence, or the slightest modification of it. Ontology thus becomes as legitimate as psychology; since it is psychology, which, by disclosing to us the true nature of the reason, conducts of itself to ontology.
We suppose that few, comparatively speaking, feel much interest in, or have any very clear conceptions of the precise problems, which it is the object of the higher metaphysics to solve. There are but few who wish to pass from the subjective to the objective, from psychology to ontology. Once convinced that man is determined by a law of bis nature to believe in an external world and in God, most men are satisfied without seeking any thing farther. But there are those who would have the legitimacy, as well as the existence, of that law established. This was the case with Hume. He saw very clearly that man was determined by his nature to believe in an external world and in God; but, as this determination was no result of experience, he counted it of no scientific value, and asserted that the existence neither of the world nor of God, could be proved, and, though every man in his senses must believe in the existence of both, that philosophy must for ever remain in relation to them a skeptic. The Scotch school, honorable for its good intentions, undertook to refute him ; but, incapable of comprehending him, it alleged against him the very fact which he admitted, and which he acknowledged that no man in his senses could deny. It alleged as a proof of God and the external world, that we were compelled to believe in them by a law, a first, a constituent principle of our nature. So said Hume. But what is the authority of that principle? What is its legitimacy? What vouches for its veracity? The Scotch school answered only by a paralogism. The Kantian school advances not a step beyond Hume. It describes the conditions on which the belief is formed; but it denies that we can know the Absolute, that we can, in relation to God and the world, bave any thing more than an irresistible belief, founded on the subjective laws of our own nature. Schelling and bis school assume, by a bold hypothesis, the Absolute, the objective, and give us a magnificent poem, which we believe to be mainly true, but which is nevertheless no philosophy, and can in no degree solve the difficulty stated by Hume. The psychological truth of God and the world, we think, has been demonstrated over and over again, in a manner that must be satisfactory to the most skeptical, who are not ignorant of the demonstrations which have been given; but no philosopher, with whom we are acquainted, unless it be M. Cousin, has demonstrated their ontological truth. M. Cousin professes to have demonstrated, that we not only have the belief, and cannot help having it, but that it is well founded, that there is something out of us to respond to it. This he supposes he has done by establishing the independence of the reason ; by proving that the reason is objective in relation to our personality, he thinks he has obtained a legitimate witness of the objective; and since this witness unquestionably deposes to the existence of God and of the world, he thinks he has proved their validity.
He asserts that the reason, — the only faculty in us which knows, the only principle of all certainty, the only rule of the true and the false, of the right and the wrong, which alone perceives its own aberrations, disabuses itself when deceived, recovers its path when led astray, accuses, acquits, or condemns itself,- the reason gives us ontology, the science of being, the knowledge of our own personal existence, and of the existence of external nature and of God, by precisely the same title as the least knowledge which we possess, and gives it too without waiting for any long developements, immediately, wholly and in each of its parts, in every fact of consciousness, in the first as well as in the last. It is on psychology that he