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think it, but I think it because it is, and gically obtained, are in fact the necescould not think it, if it were not. What- sary bases of logic, and must be found, ever then I think exists, and independ- or assumed, before logic can commence ent of me. If I think an external its process of demonstrating them. world, then is there an external world; the finite, then is there the finite; the Nevertheless, the human race has infinite, then is there the infinite; God, contrived, some way or other, to open then God is.
relations with the objective world.
From the first day of its conscious ex. This is no forced result. It is as- istence, it has not ceased to believe itserted when we assert that every self in strict relation with a world out thought contains an object, and that and independent of itself. God and nathe object is in all cases not me. But ture have been and are realities to it, if we accept this result, we are saved as much so as its own existence. no little labor. The passage from the Strange! The human race, the savage subjective to the objective ceases to be in his forest, the shepherd on his hillthat long, circuitous way commonly side, the rustic following his plough,imagined, and the great problem all believing what the metaphysicians which has vexed philosophers in all have hitherto been unable to demon. ages, is found to be no problem at all. strate, and what the more sober-minded
among them contend cannot be demonThe great problem with philosophers strated! This fact should have induced has always been to establish the ob- them to inquire, if, after all, they have jective validity of our knowledge; that not erred in assuming any demonstrais, the existence of the not me. We tion to be necessary. are conscious of our own feelings, beliefs, and convictions; but is there any When Dr. Johnson was asked what thing out of us, and independent of us, answer he would use against those to respond to these subjective affec- who denied the reality of the external tions?' How know I that God and na- universe, he replied by striking his foot ture are not mere modes or affections of against a stone. This reply was not my subjective life? How know I that logical, but it was philosophical and aught exists beside this subject which just. It recognized this fundamental I call myself? and how know I that fact, namely, that I find myself only in the outward universe, with all its won- opposition io that which is not myself; drous beauty and variety, is anything and directed the inquirer to the simple more than myself projected, or taken fact in which originates all faith in eras my own object ?
ternal realities. In striking his foot
against the stone, Dr. Johnson had as Here is the problem which has positive evidence that the stone was always in some form or other tormentnot himself, and therefore that it was ed the metaphysicians; and yet this is in relation to him, an external reality, a problem that cannot be solved. as he had that it was he and not There is no passage possible between another who performed the act of the subjective and the objective. There striking his foot against it; or that the is no possible equation between me act of striking his foot against it was and noi me, by which one may be ob- followed by an affection of his sensitained from the other. It is impossible bility, to conclude from my own existence to that of another. There is here no The cause of this error of the metaroom for logic. Logic can operate physicians, in seeking a passage where only on data previously assumed or none can be found, and where none is established ; and it never does and possible or needed, must be looked for never can operate with only a single in their assumption of a false point of factor. Unity multiplied by unity gives departure
of philosophy. They have unity, and nothing more, is as true in supposed that philosophy must begin logic as in arithmetic, which is only a either with the subject, that is, with special application of logic. With ihe the me; or with the object
, that is, me alone, or with the not me alone, with the not me. But when we begin logic can obtain no result. God, man, with the subject we can never get to and nature, instead of being results lo- the object, as Hume and all the skep
ONE AND INDISSOLUBLE.
tical philosophers but too easily demon- so far forth as it is a cause. We seize it
after see, all Life, is the JOINT PRODUCT
of both subject and object. I know The true point of departure of phi- myself indeed as subject or cause; but losophy is never in Being, in the Esse, never as able to cause or produce
REINE SEYn of the Hegelians, without the CONCURRENCE of that which whether of the subject or of the object; is not myself. In other words, the but in Life, which is the manifestation subject, as we have seen, cannot maniof Being. And in Life, according to fesť itself without an object; and the what we have established, THE SUB- object cannot manifest itself without a JECT AND OBJECT, ME AND NOT NE, ARE subject, which, of course, relatively to
it will be object. Now, as the pheno
menon is single and indissoluble, and To make this still plainer: Kant, in yet the joint product of hoth subject his Critique, has with masterly skill and object, it follows that both subject and wonderful exactness, drawn up a and object are, though distinct, one complete list of the categories of Rea- and inseparable in the phenomenon or son. His analysis of Reason may fact of life. Here, in the phenomenal, be regarded as complete and final. in the fact of Life, where only we are Cousin has followed him, and, with true able to seize either the subjective metaphysical sagacity, reduced these world or the objective world, the subcategories to two,-the category of ject and object are given, not as sepaSUBSTANCE, and that of CAUSE; or, as I rate, not one to be obtained from ihe prefer to say, the category of BEING other, but in an INDISSOLUBLE SYNTHEand that of PHENOMENON.
Whatever SIS. This is wherefore I call philosowe conceive of, we must conceive of it phy not the science of Being, but the existing either as being or as phe- science of Life; and also wherefore I nomenon. Being or substance, in it- add to it the epithet, SYNTHETIC. self, transcends the reach of the human mind: we can know it, can conceive If metaphysicians had begun in the of it, only in the phenomenon; or, as fact of life, instead of trying to begin M. Cousin would say, only under the with pure being, the Esse, the REINE category, or relation of cause. I find SEYN, they would have found, as data myself, as we have already seen, only already furnished to their hands, both as the subject of the phenomenon; the objective and the subjective; and that is, only so far as I do something. finding them both in the indestructible In like manner do we know or con- synthesis of thought, they would ceive of nature never only under the never have conceived the problemrelation of cause, only as it manifests, The one being given, how to obtain the and therefore as that-which-manifests other? In point of fact, this problem itself, in the phenomenon,--as the ob- is really inconceivable, and philosoject which opposes or resists the sub- phers have been ages asking, not so ject. God is never seen or conceived of much an unanswerable, as, if we may in himself. He is to us only in his so speak, an unaskable question; for Doing, only as cause, or creator; the one term is never found without though as 'wise, holy, good, and all- the other, or conceived of, save in conpowerful Cause or Creator. The cate- junction with the other. This is what gory of substance is then conceivable we must mean when we say that we only in the category of cause: that is, never find ourselves but as the subject we know being only as cause, and only of the phenomenon, and never as sub
ject without finding ourselves in con- thought the demonstration in question junction with that which is not our essential to a scientific belief, while the selves, as object.
latter stoutly maintained, but without
showing any great reason for so mainThere has been no error in asserting taining, that it was not. the existence of God, man, and nature. We are not to arraign the faith of There is much misconception about mankind in this three-fold existence, this matter of proving or demonstratbecause philosophers have been unable ing. Nothing is more absurd than to conto legitimate it. It needs no legitimat- clude that whatever cannot be proved ing; and we have erred only in at- true, must therefore be regarded as tempting to legitimate it. Mankind false. That which is less evident, is believe in God, in themselves, and in proved by that which is more evinature, for the best of all possible rea- dent. But when the fact alleged is sons, BECAUSE THEY THINK THEM, AND of itself of the highest degree of eri
THINKING dence we can have, it is incapable of Here is the whole mystery of proof. What is more evident than the the matter. The profoundest philoso- circular appearance of the sun? Yet phy can add nothing to this, and take how can I prove to myself or to nothing from it. All that philosophy another, that the sun appears to me is called upon to do in relation to it
, is of a circular form? But facts of this simply by reflection to place the fact kind need no proof. EVERY FACT IS that the me alone is incapable of generating a single phenomenon, in a light TION TO ITS CERTAINTY. A proposition so clear that none can mistake it. is demonstrated by being resolved into
another proposition more ultimate, or Taking this view, there ceases to be by being shown to be involved in any discrepancy between philosophy another proposition held to be true. and what is called common sense. But when the proposition is it Humanity is never a skeptic. Even self ultimate, when there is no proposithe skeptical philosophers themselves, tion more ultimate into which it can are practically no skeptics. Hume, be resolved, or from which it can be notwithstanding his philosophical obtained, it is, and must needs be, incadoubts, believes as firmly in God, na- pable of demonstration. But then ture, and the necessary connection be- it needs no demonstration. It is certween cause and effect, as his great tain of itself, and one of the grounds opponent, Dr. Reid himself. Both ad- of certainty in regard to other propomitted that the reality of this connec- sitions. Now, the ground we assume tion, and that of an external world, is that both the me and the not me are could not be demonstrated ; both also ultimate, and both being found in the contended that neither could be disbe- same phenomenon as the essential conlieved. The only difference there was ditions of its production, are incapa. between the skeptic Hume, and the ble of demonstration or of proof, but realist Reed, was that the former are sufficiently evident without either.
INCAPABLE OF PROOF JUST IN PROPOR.
RELATION OF SUBJECT AND OBJECT.
The subject and object cannot meet These three elements are, 1. SUBin the fact of life without generating a JECT; 2. OBJECT; 3. FORM. The Subresult. Their shock one against the ject is always ME; the Object always other cannot take place without an
NOT ME; the Form is the NOTION, or echo. This echo adds another to the what the subject notes, in the act of elements of thought. Thought may thinking, of both subject and object. therefore be defined to be a phenomenon with three indestructible elements, Subject and object are the bases of all equally essential to its production; thought, and necessarily precede the no one of which can be abstracted phenomenon. The subject must exist without destroying thought and the before it can think, the object before it possibility of thought.
can be thought. Neither then is pro
duced by thought. Both do and must those in which I am, that is, from my remain in themselves what they are, thoughts or apperceptions, only in bebe the notion the mind takes of them, ing feebler, more confused, less marked or the form of the thought, what it or distinct. They, in like manner as may. The subject generates neither, thought, imply both subject and object, nor determines the office of either in but in them the subject perceives the the generation of thought, for it can- object, without any reflected percepnot think without including both as tion of itself as the percipient agent. the necessary conditions on which it Not seeing itself in those perceptions, thinks.
the subject is unable to give them
form, or to note distinctly what they But with the Form of the thought, reveal of either subject or object. Add or Notion, it is altogether different. another degree of perception, render This is the product of the subject; not the perception sufficiently vivid and indeed of the subject alone, as free, distinct to be what I call thought or voluntary cause; but of the subject apperception, and it is instantly clothed acting in conjunction with the object. with a form ; the mind notes, marks or It is the view which the subject takes distinguishes both itself and the object. of both itself and the object, and ac. It follows from this that the Form or cording to the conditions of thought can- Notion is merely that higher degree of not be produced without the presence, intelligence which includes in one view and so to speak, coöperation of the ob- both subject and object, and therefore ject or not me. But the intelligence is identical with the fact of consciousthat notes, views, or perceives, is the ness. subject exclusively. The conjunction of subject and object can generate The Form of the thought, or notion, thought only on condition that the sub. is often taken for the whole of the ject is intelligent. In thought there is phenomenon. Thought is indeed imalways intelligence; as we have seen, possible without form, and where there always direct perception of the object, is no notion of either subject or object, and a reflected perception of the sub or of both, there is no thought; but if ject. This intelligence is the subject. the form, or the notion, were the whole The form of the thought, being the no- phenomenon, thought would be a mere tion which the subject takes of both empty form, a notion where nothing is subject and object, is therefore the pro- noted. Locke called the form of the duct of the intelligence of the subject, thought or notion, Idea, which would only of the subject displaying itself in have been well enough, if he had not conjunction with the object.
made ideas a sort of intermediary be
tween the subject and the object. The subject taking note of both sub- Locke does not teach that we perceive ject and object, in the fact of life, the object, but an idea or notion of the is called the fact of consciousness. object. This was his fundamental Consciousness is myself perceiving that error. We perceive the object itself, which is not myself, and recognizing never a notion of it, for the notion, inmyself as the agent perceiving. It is stead of being the immediate object of not one thing to perceive, and another the perception, is simply what, in perto be conscious. It is not correct to say ceiving, we note of the subject and the that I am conscious of my perceptions. object of perception, the form which by Consciousness is not a phenomenon virtue of our intelligence we are able separate or even distinguishable from to give to the perception. perception, unless it be in the fact that it marks a certain degree or intenseness In the fact of consciousness, or under of perception. Both perception and the form of the thought, are always, as consciousness are the subject display, has been said over and over again, both ing itself in conjunction with the ob- me and not me. Then under the form ject; both are maifestations of one and of every thought, even the simplest, the same intelligent subject. In every the feeblest, lies always absolute truth. fact of consciousness I perceive; Me and not me, these two certainly though I am not conscious in every fact embrace all reality. These both are of perception. But those perceptions essential to the production of the least in which I am not conscious, differ from conceivable thought. All reality lies
then under every notion as its con- clude from the luminous to the dark, ditions. God, man, and nature, all three from the known to the unknown, the conspire to produce each one of our certain to the uncertain, error is the inthoughts, and each one of our thoughts evitable consequence, and his systems reflects them all three. Without the reared with honestest intention, and combined activity of them all, no infinite pains, can be, even while they thoughi, nor even possibility of thought. stand, little else than monuments to the How wonderful a creation then is wide disparity there is, and ever must thought ! Of what inconceivable be, between his ambition and his grandeur! Before it the wise stand in strength. awe, or bow down and revere as before the transparent symbol of the Al But this, while it may well humble mighty.
pride, and check theoretie presump
tion, need not alarm or dishearten the But, if absolute truth enters into inquirer. Thought, owing to the every thought as its basis, is essential finiteness of the human intelligence, is to its production, yet no more of this always inadequate, and therefore has truth is expressed by the form of the and must have its face of error; but thought than comes within the scope since it necessarily includes under iis of the intelligence of the subject. This form both the ne and not me, and intelligence, in the case of all beings therefore the infinite, the absolute, it but One, is and must be limited. Man must also have always its face of is an intelligence, or else he could not truth. think; but he is a finite intelligence. His light is a true light, as far as it is Man, moreover, as will hereafter be bright; but it is feeble and dim. It demonstrated, is a progressive being. shines only a little way into the dark. He stands indeed on the borders of a ness, and even that little way merely universe of darkness, hoping, tremas a sudden flash, permitting us to see bling, half-longing, half-fearing to that there are objects there, but van- plunge in; and never will that universe ishing too soon to enable us to see wholly disappear ; but it shall ever rewhat they are. It cannot enlighten all coil from his glance, and leave a larger reality. It can enlighten only that side and a larger space within the circumof reality which is turned towards us; ference of his vision. Nature as a that turned from us it throws into whole, and in its parts, is in a state of shade. The smaller body can never uninterrupted progress. Man goes on illumine at once all sides of the larger with it, and by its aid. His faculties body. Man, therefore, cannot com- are continually enlarging, by the sacprehend the infinity which lies at the cessive growth of ages, and his whole bottom of his thoughts. Always then being becomes elevated and expanded, must his notions, or views of that in- enabling him to penetrate farther and finity, partake of his own feebleness, yet farther into the darkness, to enand be inadequate, dim, and partial. lighten a larger and a larger portion of
the infinite, and to give to his thoughts With these dim, inadequate, partial, clearer and more adequate forms. The one-sided views, man construcis, and face of truth is thus ever becoming must construct, his systems of religion, broader and more radiant, while that of morals, and politics. Compelled by error is continually diminishing. the necessities of his nature, to con
FORMULA OF THE ME, OR SUBJECT.
I an revealed to myself only as the If a cause, it must be a real, substansubject of an act; that is, as agent or tive being. That which is not, cannot We find ourselves only in act
act. In order to do, it is necessary to ing, and only so far forth as we act. To be. Being necessarily precedes Doing; act is to cause, create, or produce. The but it is only in Doing that Being is ME, then, since it acts, must be a cause, made known. In recognizing myself a creative or productive Force. to be active, I necessarily recognize