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"Life,” according to the defini- identical with that of the advanced tion Mr. Lewes proposes, "is, the modern thịpker to whom he is asdynamical condition of the organsimilated, ism." And he describes Mind as It is true that this vital principle, the highest development of Life, this yuxń, is again and again asthe highest dynamical condition, serted to be inseparable from the therefore, of the organism. But, animal body. It is an animal body 1. Is this accepted as the last word because it has this yuxh. The of science ? and, 2. Does it really Greek philosopher defined all things accord with what Aristotle taught? as consisting of Matter and, Form. It is this second question with which In many, cases can translate we are chiefly concerned, and to Form by our word Property. Matwhich we shall first apply ourselves. ter, we say, is endowed with certain
"One great source of confusion," properties. These we do not conMr. Lewes observes, has been the ra- sider as having a separate existe dical error of conceiving Life to be ence from matter. Their union with an entity apart from, and only inhab- matter makes the thing to be what iting, the organism; just as the seve- it is. This use of the word Proral forces were for centuries. con- perty leads to some misunderstandwired to be independent of matter, ings. But the old word Form was instead of being regarded as matter constantly assuming a vague indein dynamic conditions. To escape pendence, and if at one time we from such a confusion, and to have translate it by the word property, seen thus early the positive solution at another time we are compelled of the difficulty, implies immense to translate it by the word essence, intellectual force." But, as or some term that vaguely suggests read the extracts given us in this a species of reality in itself
. Life is Fery chapter from Aristotle, we are the entelechie.--that reality which, unable to see in the old Greek a being added to body, makes it a representative of the positive phi, living organism. Therefore it losophy. We find him constantly follows," we quote from Mr. Lewes's speaking of a Vital Principle, which Analysis, “ that the Vital Principle is the source of all vital phenomena, must be an essence, as being the and discussing whether there is form of a natural body holding life more than one such Vital Principle. in potentiality; but essence is a "The vitality of plants," he says, reality (entelechie). The vital prin“is due to a kind of soul." This ciple is the original reality of a is surely what the positivist de natural body endowed with potenscribes and condemns as the meta- tial life; this, however, is to be physical stage in the development understood only of a body which of science. Sometimes the vital may be organised. Thus the parts principle is said to be essentially even of plants are organs, but they one in plants, in animals, and in are organs that are altogether simman. But Mr. Lewes has himself ple, as the leaf which is the coverfurnished us with a passage in which ing of the pericarp, the pericarp of Aristotle also speaks of mind “as the fruit. If, then, there be any another kind of soul, alone capable general formula for any kind of of separation, as the everlasting Vital Principle, it is the primary from the perishable." It is im- reality of an organism." possible to reconcile all the state A Positive philosopher may read ments of Aristotle with each other. into this his theory that Life is And besides this, there is, as we the dynamical condition of the orhare intimated, a mode of thinking, ganism; or, if he were so disposed, running through the whole treatise, he might detect in it a constant so peculiarly Greek, that it is equally tendency to fall “into the radical impossible to fix Aristotle, at any error of conceiving life to be an moment, in an attitude of thought entity."
As to the definition which Mr. Lew- some physiologists have called mere es, or the positive philosopher, offers irritability, may admit, perhaps, of to us of Life and Mind, our observa- being classed amongst electrical tions must necessarily be very brief. phenomena. The periodicity which Without dispute, the phenomena distinguishes muscular or nervous of mere life are inseparable from action, suggests the analogy of the those of Mind, as developed in the collection and discharge of electrihuman being. What would be the cal force ; and the muscle seen will, or all that region of thought under a powerful microscope reveals which deals with action, if you were & structure --- an arrangement of to separate the faculty of thinking discs, approaching and receding and feeling from the contractility of from each other — which gives couná muscle? So neither could we tenance to the supposition that its separate Life from the activity of contractility is due to electrical inorganic matter. We say, some action. If we could thoroughly thing new comes in with organic understand what takes place when life, with the germ that grows, but a Leyden jar is charged, we feel it would be utterly impossible to that we should be nearer than we conceive the Organic as existing or · are to the explanation of muscular developing itself without the In- action, so far as such action takes organic. But it appears to us that place independently of sensation. if anywhere a line of demarcation But we and all men feel conyinced can be drawn of this kind — namely, that no advance in physical science here, at this point, in a world, in could in any way explain the quite an organism previously prepared original fact, that motion produces, for it, enters a quite new property somewhere in something, not motion, -- it is precisely a line drawn be- but sensation, and that this sensatween Life and Mind. All pheno. tion again produces motion. Vegemena in this world, including those table life and the first stages of of organic life-all phenomena ex- animal life belong to physics; with cept those of mind — resolve them- sensibility enters a new class of selves into the laws of motion, phenomena. Hitherto the particles Atoms in motion or rest (that of matter have buť two properties, cohesion or reciprocal pressure we motion and pressure (which is arcall rest) represent for us all we rested motion, and gives the shape can know of physical phenomena. or form of things). At this point But here, at the first dawn of sensa- an altogether new property comes tion or consciousness, at the first into play, or else an altogether new vince that an animal makes, in substance, marked by this wonderwhom contact brings this new ful property, enters into combinacomer pain, and in whom pain tion with the material organism. (another surprising novelty) causes There is, some would say, a sensimotion, there is that introduced tive substance and a moving subwhich is quite as original in its stance-one whose property is feelnature as motion itself. If motion ing in all its varieties, one whose produces it, it again produces mo- property is motion in all its varietion. It cannot, like all previous ties — and these together form the phenomena, be conceived of under sensitive and conscious creature. formula of matter and motion. Those who adopt this view would
Growth is but a new arrange, probably add, that in man the ment of particles of matter which spiritual substance which mingles we are already able to trace in with the vital organism is of a class part to the known laws of chem- apart and distinct from that which istry; and those unconscious move animates the rest of the sensitive ments in animals (if any such creature. there be) which are unconnected But our business is not to discuss with sensation, and due to what the question of materialism or im
materialism. We have to decide cession observed in phenomena are due to upon the opinion of Aristotle; and the influence of outlying agencies--pow. Mr. Lewes himself teaches us what ers which are super-natural--above the our verdict should be-namely, that objects, not belonging to them. The sec: it is impossible to classify him either ond supposes that the order of phenomewith the materialist or immaterialist
violist na is due simply to properties inherent in
the objects themselves, which properties of modern times. Not with the ma
are realities, and form part of the nature terialist-not with him who looks of the objects. Obviously, things must upon thought simply as the function either be conceived as by nature passive of the brain ; for Aristotle is con- or active; if passive, they can only be stantly introducing his yvxvi, which, moved by superior power independent of whatever else it may be, is at least a them; if active, they possess in them. cause for our consciousness other selves the conditions of their activity. than the brain ; and not with the im- Thus, on one of two fundamental asmaterialist, for this wrxń embraces sumptions respecting the activity of obwhat we understand by vital as well jects rests every possible explanation we as mental function, and by no means can frame of the mysteries around us. responds to our intellect or soul.
“The attitude of mind which is based The allusions we have incidentally
on the first of these assumptions is that
which is common to all primitive theoencountered here to the Positive ries. It characterises what Auguste school of philosophy remind us of an Comte names the theological stage in huomission we have made. Our author, man development. On this assumption dealing as he does with the develop- all phenomena not of the simplest and ment of science, could not fail to pre- most familiar kind are referred to the sent us with some general ideas of agency of invisible powers, spirits, deithe nature of that development. This ties, or demons. To these powers, and he does in an early part of the work, not to any activity inherent in the objects entitled “The Dawn of Science." themselves, the changes in the phenoThis chapter is certainly not the least mena are assigned. It is the will of interesting in a work which through- some spirit which moves the objects." out, even where the subject is least We pause here to remark, that this attractive, keeps the attention awake, belief in gods and demons afflicting It ought not to have been passed over or preserving us through the agencies without some especial notice; but or events of nature does not originate this perhaps is as good a place as any in any desire to explain these events. other to introduce the few observa. It can hardly, therefore, be called the tions which it suggests to us. Drop- first stage in the development of sci. ping, therefore, any further attempt ence, although such a belief plays a to follow the analysis of Aristotle, of very conspicuous part in the subsewhich we have given perhaps a suffi- quent history of science. It is a cient specimen, we shall occupy the much stronger passion than curiosi. rest of our space with an examina- ty; it is the passion of fear or of tion of the theory of the development hope that gives origin to the belief of science which we find laid down that some god either flashes out in in this chapter,
angor on us in the lightning, or That theory is the one which bears beams beneficently in the sun. It is the name of Auguste Comte. It is
not to explain the uncertainty of thus briefly stated :
events that a power which can hear
prayers or be propitiated in some "The history of human development
way is imagined. The uncertainty shows that there are three modes by which we conceive phenomena; and
of events and the terrible anxieties there are only three. The second being
of men have kindled this imagina& transition from the first to the third, tion. And such imagination, we we might in strictness admit of only two freely admit, is the first outbreak of distinct modes of conception. The first thought (of any other thought than of these supposes that the order and suc- that which bad for its end the imme.
diate gratification of our wants); 'but scientific conception." In the place of it is the first stage of religion rather deities it assumes abstract entities. Thus than of science. It promotes science býrt gradual modifications the personal chiefly by its opposition to science. agency becomes an impersonal agency, This is no paradox. It fills the mind the deity, an abstraction, and this in turn with vague terrors, which it becomes becomes more and more material, as we the effort of a few bolder spirits to see in the succession of--Ist, Spirit; 2d,
Entity; and, 3d, Fluid, or ether.”, disperse or to inquire into. It presents to the thinker that contrast We cannot but think that, if Mr. that something to oppose--without Lewes had left himself free and unwhich there is no energy of thinking. hampered with Comte's law of deBut it does not itself initiate science ; velopment, he would have given us the explanation of science grows up a clearer account of the progress of in antagonism' to it, and out of the the mind in science than he has noble desire of knowledge. We pro- done here. We will not further ceed with the exposition :
discuss Comte's theological stage;
as to his metaphysical, it is an Ark In direct contrast to this is the sci- assemblage of several different entific attitude, based upon the second modes of thinking, which only, in a of the two assumptions just rehearsed. few instances, " can be traced back It never could have obtained acceptance to the theological. Our essences, or in the early stages of our development, the ancient forms of things, were It implies a certain advance of culture never gods or goddesses. There and great familiarity with the orderliness of nature. Before men could refer the
was non necessity to distil' a deity
down into an essence. Sometimes changes they observed to the influence of properties inherent in the objects, à the imagination infuses into inanistrong conviction must have arisen that mate objects a power or effort anathe order of succession in phenomena was logous to human will without passnot variable, but fixed. Invariableness ing through any intermediate theowould inevitably lead to the conception logical stage that is, without first of all changes being due to the relations inventing a personal demon exbetween the various properties of objects ternal to the thing itself. Some
-first, by discrediting the interference times these supernumerary entities, of an external will, which is essentially which the earliest stage of science incalculable; next, by disclosing that (and also the latest) introduces to there was really no need of anything but explain phenomena, are quite objecthe recognised or recognisable properties tive in their character, and are due of objects to account for all changes. DM These two sharply-opposed modes or to the first impression external obconceiving phenomena-one of which 'jects make upon us. Fire starts, aims at penetrating the mysteries of ex. on collision, from a stone. How istence, and explaining the external order almost inevitable the process of by knowledge of the ultimate causes, the thought which supposes the fire' to other of which aims only at detecting exist in some latent state in the the exact relations of coëxistence and stone, ready to dart forth, as a sersuccession which determine that order, pent's tongue darts forth when the without any hope of knowing the ulti- animal is trodden on! It is but mate causes - these two modes require very lately that the idea of latent some intermediate transitional mode
, which heat has been discarded from modern
science. the other. Such a transition is effected in the metaphysical stage, which agrees
The metaphysical stage, we åre with the theological
, inasmuch as it also told " differs from the theological assumes a knowledge of the ultimate in discarding the idea of these causes, and assumes that these causes are agencies being variable; by this it
in essence independent of the objects. But forms the passage, to a scientific it differs from the theological in discard conception." But no such tränsiing the idea of these agencies being vari- tional mode of thinking is at all able; by this it forms the passage to a necessary towards attaining the con
cases by, the daily use of our senses, within us, and we assign a similar cause
ception of invariableness. This is at our own actions are determined by our once established in certain familiar volitions, by the mysterious, something A more subtle and extensive observar to the motions of external objects. Quite tion of phenomena enlarges from time otherwise is it with the objective method. to time the number of those cases in This arises out of a more extensive
and which the invariableness of the order precise
knowledge of the objects, familiof nature is established, til, at thing of their order of co-existence and
arity with which gradually reveals somelength the conviction flashes, on us, succession. As such knowledge accumuand becomes more and more con lates, it irresistibly pushes aside the infirmed, that all the phenomena of terpretation which was originally drawn external nature are linked in some from consciousness. It reveals cosmical invariable order. The growth of this order more and more as a system not conviction has nothing to do with measurable by the analogies of human the introduction of animal spirits, or personality." essences, or other subtle entities to explain phenomena.
This is clearer; but it is hardly Apparently dissatisfied himself satisfactory. If objective stands here with this passage from the theologi- for the correct method, then every cal to the metaphysical, and again kind of incorrect method must fall from the metaphysical to the posi- under the head of subjective ; but, tive or purely scientific, Mr, Lewes, as we have already shown, the ima few pages further on, proposes agination may set to work in an obanother classification of our modes jective as well as a subjective method. o methods of thinking.
And, again, what precisely is the *To get rid," he says, “ of the equi- meaning of subjective ?* If it is limiroque shich lies in the phrases theolo ted to the cases where we directly ingical and metaphysical, he may grasp all fuse into inanimate nature a will or three under the subjective and objective passion like our own, as when we conmethods, their tendencies being thus template the forces of nature as having characterised: the subjective draws all an analogy to effort (a, mode of thinkexplanations of external phenomena from ing at all times: very prevalent), the premises directly suggested by conscious meaning of the word is distinct, ness; it identifies the external order with and we understand it as denoting the internal order. Obviously this is
a well-known erroneous method. the primitive method: When, in the early days of our development, we find But if every mode of reasoning in ourselves face to face with phenomena which a power analogous to the the order of which we do not understand,
human mind is called in to explain, we satisfy the irresistible impatience not individual phenomenon, let us which demands an immediate "explana say, but that cosmical order" tion by assuming that the objects are which it is the work of science to moved as we are moved. We feel that elucidate --- is to be called subjec
* Mr. Leweg has in a note used the word subjective in a sense which leads us to suspect that he has not exercised on this occasion his usual watchfulness over his abstract terms, and that he had not rigidly defined to himself the meaning he intended to affix to the word. He says : -" The influence of the subjective method is constantly traceable in commercial and I other enterprises rashly undertaken by men in the confidence that facts will bend to their desires. A man sees great adFantage to himself if events take a certain direction; and be believes that this direction will be taken because he greatly desires it. The more objective mind sets aside its wishes, and tries to calculate the chances of the direction
from a knowledge of the external condition." Here the subjective
method stands for the well-known influence of our desires over our judgments. "The sanguine speculator who sees tallow rise, or hops fall, according to his own interest in the market, does not infuse bis own personality into tallow or thops, or the incidents of the market. Tallow and hops are as thoroughly objective to him as to the coolest calculator who does not allow his own wishes to bias his estimate of probabilities.