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her practical efficiency. But in no Catholic country is the moral and religious state of the people so deplorable as in Great Britain and the United States. Catholic populations, however far below what they might be and ought to be, have yet a sensibility to moral ideas and to religious considerations that we look in vain for in Protestant populations. They are more under the influence of the spiritual order, and are more easily affected by appeals to conscience. In our own country they almost alone keep alive in practice the memory of religious ages, and, whatever may be the estimate in which a worldly-minded community may hold them, they are the main hope of our country. They have their faults, their vices even, but they are a Christian people, and feel that man's first duty is to God, and his dearest hope is hope of heaven.

ART. II.- The Philosophical Works of DAVID HUME. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. 1854. 4 vols. 8vo.

THE publishers deserve the thanks of philosophical students for this complete and very handsome edition of the philosophical works of David Hume. We have little sympathy with this much over-estimated writer, who was an unbeliever in religion, a sceptic in philosophy, and of no remarkable worth or moral dignity as a man; but he is one of the great names of British metaphysical speculation, and no student of the aberrations of the human mind for the last century and over, whether in Great Britain or on the Continent, can safely overlook his Essays. Treatise of Human Nature, published when he was only twenty-seven years of age, rewritten and republished some ten years later, under the title of An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding, provoked a good deal of philosophical inquiry, and gave rise to the Scottish school of Reid and the German school of Kant, the two most widely diffused and influential schools of recent times.


Hume is usually classed among sceptical philosophers, but he was no dogmatist, and originated no school of his


He arrived speculatively at sceptical conclusions, it

is true; but it would be doing him injustice to suppose that he practically accepted or wished others to accept them, for he says that he did not, and that nobody does or can. What he did was to show, that, if the sensist philosophy in vogue in his time is accepted, genuine science is impossible. Whether he had adopted a different philosophy for himself, or not, does not appear; but most probably he had not, and his real aim was to disparage all philosophy and bring men back to what in our language is called good sense. But be this as it may, without much erudition, and no great aptitude for metaphysical pursuits, he succeeded in showing that the empirical philosophy favoured by Bacon and Hobbes, and elaborated and defended by Locke, conducts every one of its disciples of a little logical nerve to mere egoism and scepticism.

Hume has the merit of being-in his speculations-a consistent sensist. According to him all the objects of human knowledge are Impressions and Ideas. The impressions are external and internal, and are what we now call sensations and sentiments. Ideas, as he defines them, are not an image or representation with which the mind in all its operations is immediately conversant, as Locke pretended; the simple mental apprehension of the object, as maintained in most of our own schools; the species or phantasms by means of which objects themselves are attained, as Aristotle and the Schoolmen taught; the forms or essences of things, detached from the Divine Reason and clothed with material bodies, as Plato held; or the intelligible reality in contradistinction from the sensible, intuitively appre hended by our intellect, as we ourselves hold; but feeble images or faint copies of sensations and sentiments, formed by memory, imagination, and reflection operating upon them, as furnished by the senses. All human knowledge, then, as to its matter, is confined to our external and internal impressions and their pale reflex in the understanding.

All the objects of human reasoning or inquiry, it follows from this, are reducible to two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact. As the ideas are simply images or copies of facts of consciousness, formed by the mind operating upon its own impressions and lying wholly within its sphere, the understanding has no occasion to appeal to experience, or to go out of itself to find

or determine their relations. In regard to these relations our reasoning is intuitively or demonstratively certain, and has a solid support in immediate consciousness, and the principle of contradiction, or that of identity. But in reasoning concerning matters of fact, the case is different. We can in it support ourselves on neither. Matters of fact are contingent, and in every instance the contrary is conceivable. The proposition, that the sun will not rise to-morrow is intelligible, and no more implies a contradiction than the proposition that it will rise, and we should therefore in vain attempt to demonstrate its falsity.


nothing is more certain than that we do continually reason concerning matters of fact, draw inferences from them, from the presence of some infer that others have been or have not, will or will not occur, and are obliged to do so in all the practical business of life. Now, what is the principle of this reasoning?

The principle of this reasoning is, apparently, the relation of cause and effect. It is only by that relation that we can go beyond the evidence of our memory and senses. If asked why you believe a matter of fact not present, as, for instance, that your friend is in the country or in France, you give as a reason some other fact, a letter which you have received from him, the report of an acquaintance who has been there, or your knowledge of his former resolutions and promises. Were you to find a watch or some other piece of mechanism in a desert island, you would conclude that men had been there. All our reasoning concerning matters of fact is of the same kind, and it evidently rests on the supposition that the two facts are related as cause and effect, so that the one necessarily implies the other. It is only by the supposition of this relation that we can infer the one from the other, or regard the present fact as a proof of the absent fact. But whence do we obtain our knowledge of this relation ?

This relation is not discoverable from reasoning, a priori. Let an object be presented to a man of ever so strong natural reason and abilities; if it is entirely new to him, he will not be able, by the most accurate examination of its sensible qualities, to discover any of its causes or effects. Adam, though his rational faculties be supposed, at the very first, entirely perfect, could not from the fluidity and transparency of water have inferred that it would suffocate

him; or from the light and warmth of fire, that it would consume him. No object ever discovers, by the qualities which appear to the senses, either the causes which produced it, or the effects which will arise from it; nor can our reason, unassisted by experience, ever draw any inference concerning real existence or matters of fact. The effect is a distinct event from the cause, and no analysis of either or both can enable us to say, beforehand, that the one is the cause or the effect of the other; for there is no sensible intuition and no principle of contradiction in the case to support the inference. Our knowledge of the relation can be attained, then, only from experience. It is only from having observed for a long time, in a great variety of instances, that one event is uniformly preceded or followed by another, that we come to regard them as connected by the relation of cause and effect.

But experience gives us what we are accustomed to call cause and effect only under the relation of time, the one as preceding and the other as following, never as necessarily connected. It merely informs us that, so far as our observation extends, the one never occurs without the other. It shows us what we call the effect following the cause, but not the cause by its secret power or energy producing it. Wax placed near a fire is melted; but nothing in experience enables us to say that the fire melts it. We can, then, from experience obtain absolutely no cognition of the necessary connection between cause and effect, or of cause in the sense of power or productive energy. All we do or can obtain is a cognition of uniform precedence and consequence. Hume here refutes in advance the theory of the origin of the idea of the casual nexus, or causative power, developed by Maine de Biran, an acute and able French metaphysician, as well as that of the German Fichte. Hume says that it is only from long experience of the uniform appearance of one event following another that we conclude the relation of cause and effect subsists between them. This may be true. But this applies only to cases of particular causes and effects, not to the origin of the notion as a fact of consciousness; for, as a matter of fact, we have the notion of cause and effect from the first dawn of reason, and long before we have had the experience supposed. Whence its origin? Locke had maintained that we first derive our idea of power from the

operations of our own will, from the consciousness of producing effects in ourselves. This view is taken up and developed at great length and with consummate ability by Maine de Biran. But, as Hume remarks, there is no sensible connection between the nisus or voluntary effort and anything which follows. We are conscious, if you will, of the external and internal phenomena, but not of a causal nexus between them. I will to raise my arm, my arm rises; but I cannot say that my volition does anything more than precede the rising of my arm, for experience shows me no necessary connection between the volition and the muscular contraction and rising of the arm which follow. Leibnitz went so far as to deny all causal connection between them, and maintained that the movements of the body are not produced by the action of the soul, but simply correspond to it by virtue of a pre-established harmony. Certainly there is nothing more inexpli cable to us than the reciprocal influence of soul and body. Cousin sees the defects in the reasoning of Locke and Maine de Biran, but still maintains that we are conscious of a causal nexus between the voluntary effort and a following phenomenon. I will to raise my arm, it may or may not rise; but I have produced an effect, to wit, a volition to raise it, and am conscious of the causal nexus between the voluutary effort and the volition. But perhaps, properly speaking, the volition and effort are not in reality distinguishable; and even if they were, all I am conscious of is of the effort and of the volition as facts, not of a power in the former that has produced the latter.

Hence it follows that the idea of the causal nexus, or of causative power, is not derivable from sensible experience. If, then, with the sensists, we make that experience the sole source of our knowledge, the only notion of cause possible is, as Dr. Thomas Brown, the successor of Dugald Stewart, maintained, that of "invariable antecedence and consequence," which excludes entirely the notion of power, and resolves the relation of cause and effect into the relation of time. As all our reasonings concerning matters of fact rest on the supposed necessary connection between cause and effect, it follows, as a matter of course, that those reasonings have and can have no scientific value. If we must abandon the assertion of that connection, give up the idea of power, either as not entertained or as



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