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proceed in form to legislate them out of it, able surely to cry out against science in any as useless, fantastic, and injurious to reli- of its subordinate departments; as some, gion; to what would such legislation indeed, most consistent in their fanaticism, amount in the end, more than to expose have at times pretended to do, in blind the impotence and folly of the congress homage to a life of sense, or in the service, from which it might spring? The fine possibly, of a blind religion. All science arts might say to such a convention: has its chaotic disorders and revolutions, • What have we to do with thee, vain, its sources of danger and its liabilities to wretched apparition of an hour! Is the corruption and abuse. But what then? iature of man to be thus made or unmade, Must we cease to think and inquire, in it thy puny pleasure ? Our authority is order that we may become truly wise ? broader, and deeper, and far more ancient Shall we extinguish the torch of knowlhan thine.” And can it be any more edge, that we may have power in the easonable, I would ask, to think of legis- dark to fancy ourselves secure from harm? ating philosophy out of the world or out To do so were only to commit violent of the church, in any similar way ? Phi- wrong upon our human nature itself. osophy is no subject for human arbitra- Man was made for science; he needs it, nent and legislation, in such magisterial not as a means simply to something else, form. The question of its being tolerated but as a constituent, we may say, in the ind allowed, is not just like the question substance of his own being. But his relawhether we shall have, or not, a tariff or tion to science, in this view, is his relation national bank. It asks no permission of. at the same time to philosophy; for, as vurs, to exercise its appointed functions in we have just seen, science can have no he vast world-process of man's history ; reality, except as it includes in itself a t has exercised them through all ages reference at least to philosophy, as that hus far, and it will continue to exercise in which alone it can become complete. hem, no doubt, to the end of time, in virtue Man then is formed for philosophy, as of its own indefeasible right to be compre- truly as he is formed for science; and if we lended in this process, as an original ne- did but consider it properly, we should essary part of its constitution.
see and feel that to undervalue and dePhilosophy is the form, simply, in which spise the first, is as little rational as it is 1l Science is required at last to become to undervalue and despise the second. omplete. It is not, as sometimes sup- Philosophy is not a factitious interest, wosed, one among the sciences only, in artificially and arbitrarily associated with he way in which this may be said of ge- our life, which we may retain or put away graphy for instance, or chemistry, or from us altogether at our own pleasure; nathematics ; it is emphatically the sci- it is the perfection of our intelligence itnce of science itself—the form in which self, the necessary summit of self-consciouscience comes to master its own nature, ness, towards which all the lines of knowl
the way of conscious self-apprehension edge struggle from the start, and in which nd self-possession. It belongs to the only they are made to reach at last their ery conception of knowledge, that how- ultimate and full sense. rer distributed into manifold departments What has now been said, does not imply nd spheres, it should nevertheless be at of course that all men are called to be phihe last the power of a single universal losophers, and to exercise the functions of le. All science is organic, and falls back philosophy on their own account. When nally upon the unity of self-consciousness we say of art, that it forms an original s its centre and ground. This is, how- constituent sphere of our general human ver, only to say that it comes to its true life, we do not mean certainly that every eneral end in the form of philosophy, individual is required to be a painter, or hich is for this very reason the mistress musician, or poet, or all of these together, in nd mother of all sound knowledge in order that he may fulfil bis proper destiny very other view. What can be more in the world. Non omnia possumus omnes ; rational, then, and absurd, than to cry out the life of the world is something far more gainst philosophy as something unpro- comprehensive and profound than the life table and vain? It were just as reason- of any one man, or any ten thousand men
included in its course. Humanity has its in spite of all discouragement and seemmeasure in the whole, and not in the sep- ingly bad success, if there had been no arate parts of which the whole is com- reason for it other than its own vagrant posed. The perfection of the individual curiosity or lawless self-will. The world does not consist in his being all that the has never been without its philosophy, as general idea of human life requires, but in far back as we find it exhibiting any signs this, that he shall truly fill his own place whatever of a moral or intellectual life
. in an organism, which is complete for the Christianity wrought no change in it, with purposes that belong to it as a whole. regard to this point. Many in modern În this sense we say, that art is a necessary times have charged the early Church with constituent of humanity, though few com- unfaithfulness to her Master, in permitting paratively may be fitted as organs to exer- the great truths of the Gospel to become cise the functions for which it calls : these a subject of school speculation; as though functions belong to the organic constitu- it might have been possible to have tion of our life, as a whole, and for the use handed them down as mere traditional of the whole; and where they are not ac- articles of faith, without their being made knowledged or fulfilled, the life itself must to enter thus, with new informing power, be regarded as, to the same extent, mutila- into the actual thinking of the world as ted and shorn of its true sense. So in the well as into its actual life. And yet is not case before us. Science and philosophy the thinking of the world, at all times, are not necessary for all men, individually inseparably identified with its life; or and separately taken ; but they are neces- rather, is it not the very soul through sary at all times to Man as an organic which this itself lives, the central stream whole. The great fact of humanity, the that carries all forward in its own direcprocess of the world's life, cannot go for- tion? If Christianity were to be something ward at all without their presence. It may more than a religion of blind mechanical be enough for the mass of men perhaps to tradition; if it should at all make good its be borne along by the spirit of the age to claim to be the absolute truth of the which they belong, without any clear in- world, the eternal consummation of humansight into its constitution and course; but ity itself ; it must introduce itself into the this is not enough for the age itself. actual process of the world's history as it Through organs proper for the purpose, it stood, so as to fulfil and not destroy the ought to come if possible to a clear under original sense of it, in all its complicated standing of its own spirit and will, so as to parts. We might as well ask, that it be self-conscious and not blind. As we should not meddle with the sphere of have already said, however, this self-con- politics, as that it should abjure all intersciousness is philosophy; and towards it est in philosophy. The early Church soon at least all human life must continually found herself compelled to speculate. It struggle, so far as it is vigorous and sound. was part of her mission in the world, to Nay, a bad life must rest in some con- regenerate its intelligence and reason. sciousness too, often, to be sure, very dark, And so in all periods since, we find philosof its own meaning and tendency; and so ophy closely interwoven with the activity far this also will have its philosophy. Phi- of the church under other forms, and losophy and life, in fact, whether men refusing to part with its authority for the consider it or not, go ever hand in hand human mind, so far as this can be said to together.
have made any historical progress at all. It is perfectly ridiculous, therefore, to The Reformers, in the sixteenth century, think or speak of the world as having imagined at first, indeed, that their cause power to accomplish its history without required its entire banishment from the philosophy; as much so, as though we territory of religion ; but they were soon should dream that society might exist compelled themselves to have recourse without government. It would be indeed again to its aid ; and in the end, the old something most strange and unaccounta- order of things in this direction was fully ble, that the human mind should have established throughout the Protestani shown such an inveterate propensity world. through all ages to speculate in this way, How vain, in view of all this, to quarrel ith philosophy, as though it were an | religion as well as reason ; since in no iterest false and pernicious in its own other view can we conceive of the world ature. We might, with as much reason, as carrying in itself a divine sense and uarrel with the waters of the Susque- meaning, so as to be the mirror truly of an annah, for making their way towards the idea in the mind of God. God is not the a. The world must think; would not author of confusion, either in nature or hise true to itself, if it ceased to think ; and tory. He upholds and rules the world by
is not possible that it should be thus plan; and this plan takes hold of the end ctively intelligent, without moving at the from the beginning, bearing all life steadime time in the channel of some philo- ily forward as a process in its own service. 'phical system, that may represent more In this way, every sphere of our general i less clearly the unity of its general life. human existence comes to its proper evo
It will follow, moreover, from this view lution only in the form of history, and so f the necessary relation in which philoso- we should expect to find it pre-eminently hy stands to the life of the world, that in the case of philosophy, representing, as
is not so entirely without rule and this does, the inmost consciousness of the iethod in its course, as is taken for race itself from age to age. The idea of ranted by the wholesale objection we are an absolutely stationary philosophy, mebw considering. If it form an original chanically at band as something ripe and ad essential part of man's constitution, it done, for the use of the world through all lust have a history, comprehended in the time, is an absurd contradiction. How eneral flow of human history as a whole. could it then represent the world's life, in ut history implies organic unity and pro- its ever-flowing actual form? Change and ress. It is just the opposite of chaos. revolution here are not at once contradicuch onward movement, exhibiting the tion and confusion. May they not be but resent always as at once the birth of the the necessary action of history itself, as it ast and the womb of the future, belongs forces its way onward continually from one > the very conception of humanity; as stage of thought and life to another? For ruch so as it does also, that it should this process, it should be remembered, is xist by resolution into a vast system of not by uniform movement, in the same diations, families and individuals. Distri- rection and under the same character. It ution in time, and distribution in space, goes by stadia or eras ; not unlike those re alike necessary, to represent the one great world-cycles which geologists underast, magnificent fact, through which the take to describe in the primitive formation lea of man is made real. To be human, of the earth, only compressed into much zen, is to be at the same time historical, narrower dimensions. Each period has, of I the sense here explained. If we should course, its own history, including the rise uy that the world is not bound together and decline again of its particular life, and § the force of a common life, at any given the breaking up of its whole constitution me, but is made up of nations and men finally, to make room for a new spiritual onfusedly thrown into one mass in an out- organization ; and all this must necessarily ard and mechanical way; it would not be attended with some show of chaotic e a greater wrong to our nature than it is confusion, to the view, at least, of the suiade to suffer, when this life is not appre-perficial thinker; while it is still possible ended as a continuous process also, al. that the whole may be, notwithstanding, ays different and yet always the same, in obedience throughout to the same great xtending perpetually from one generation law of development and progress. ser to another. In fact, the two concep- Such an onward movement is found to ons cannot be held asunder. There is characterize in fact the course of human
alternative here between cosmos and thought, as it may be traced from its haos. To be organic at all, the world cradle in the ancient Oriental world, down must be historical ; and its history must to the present time. Philosophy has its how itself especially in the progressive own history, capable of being studied and evelopment of humanity, as a whole, to understood, like the history of any other ards its appointed end. This we might sphere of human life. This may be so dark zem justified to assume, as a postulate of still indeed as to leave room, at many points, for uncertainty, and controversy, and doubt. lowing system. We have no right to declare All history is open more or less to the same the wisdom of Plato and Aristotle vain, difficulty ; but still its general sense, and and just as little to deride the speculations the force at least of its great leading of the medieval schoolmen as learned nonepochs, are sufficiently clear. It is only sense, merely because their authority has the unphilosophical and uninquiring, who long since passed away. The Greek pronounce the record of the world's life in philosophy comprehended both truth and this form, a farrago of unmeaning, discon- power for the use of the world, in its own nected opinions and dreams. In propor- time. It entered largely into the growth tion, as any man can be engaged to direct and education of the human spirit. And his own attention to the subject, in the in this way it still continues to live also, in way of earnest thought, he will feel the the organic progress of human thought. deep unreasonableness of this presumption. The acquisitions of the past in this form The history of mind he will see to be are not lost by the downfall of the systems something more than chaos,“ without form in which they may have seemed originally and void.” Alas for us indeed, if that to inhere; they are simply translated into the were all the world here offered to our faith! constitution of other systems, and so carried Order in its outward material structure, forward in the vast intellectual process to only to make room for an interminable which these belong. In a deep sense we soul-chaos within !
may say of all history, that it is thus a perIt would go far at once to break the petual metempsychosis of the world's life, force of much of the prejudice that is en- by which it is always new and yet tertained against philosophy, if only this always the same. idea of a historical development in the We may easily see, now, how little room case of our world-life generally, as its there is for the fashionably vulgar imaginecessary and proper form, were fairly nation, that philosophy has little or nothing familiar to our minds. We should then to do with the realities of actual life. understand, that the very same life, in There is indeed a latitude of meaning somepassing upwards through different stages, times allowed to the term, especially may be expected to show itself under dif- in England and our own country, by ferent phases or aspects, without yet fall- which it is supposed to be saved from this ing for this reason into any self-contra- reproach in part; though only in such a diction;
and in this way we would be way as to fall more clearly under the rescued from the narrow bigotry of power of it beyond the bounds of such measuring all past ages by our own, while exception. In the sense to which we refer, at the same time we might be prepared to philosophy is taken to be a scientific inestimate intelligently the actual advanta- sight simply into the nature and force of ges of our position, in its advanced relation things empirically considered, as we find to the past. As the self-consciousness of ourselves surrounded by them in the actual the individual has different contents in world. In this way we may have a childhood and riper age, and must neces- philosophy of mind, by a sort of spiritual sarily migrate through a succession of anatomical dissection, and then a philosoforms in order that it may become com- phy of nature also as something altogether plete; so we say of philosophy, which different; and however it may be with the may be denominated the self-conscious- first, it can easily be shown that this last ness of the world as a whole, that it too is capable of being turned to many imporcan assert its proper reality only by living tant practical uses. Witness only the itself, from age to age, upwards into new wonders that are now wrought by steam, and higher forms, till the process shall and the brilliant, though silent, action of become complete in the full completion of the electro-magnetic telegraph. Philosohumanity itself—the glorious, all-harmoni- phy in such shape means something, and ous millennium of creation. It does not has a value that can be made tangible to follow, then, that a system of philosophy the world's common sense. It is the glory has been nugatory and null in its own of our own age, too, in particular, that it is time, because it has come to be exploded, made to carry its salutary power into every
say, and superseded by some fol- | nook and corner of our common material xistence. We have a philosophy of farm- great Lowell establishments, for his own ig, a philosophy of manufactures, and a comfort; to seize the reins of nature in a hilosophy of trade. We make our shoes merely outward way, and force her chariot nd bake our bread philosophically. We wheels to move subservient to his simply alk, with equal ease, of the philosophy of physical accommodation. All this is right, he heavens and the philosophy of a plum indeed, in its place, and we mean not to vudding. We can go still farther, and undervalue or condemn the march of imdmit also the practical use of philosophy, provement in such outward form. Man § occupied with the laws of our own is appointed to be the tamer and subduer eason and will, in the same Baconian of nature, and it is reasonable and fit that tyle-provided always the process be not this should be brought to serve him, with sushed too far. The science of mind, as absolute and universal submission. It is vandled by Locke, may help us possibly to the proper prerogative of Mind, its grand hink correctly; while the science of ethics, moral vocation, we may say, in the world, is unfolded in the same way by Paley, thus to assert and proclaim its supremacy nay serve to assist us occasionally in dis- over Matter; as it is the true glory of this inguishing between right and wrong. last, again, to be ruled and filled by the But here the concession is required to stop. self-conscious presence of the first. But For philosophy, as the science of ideas, or this lordship, to be true and right, must is it is sometimes called, the science of the be moral as well as physical, inward no absolute, which is after all the only proper less than outward ; it must be the supresense of the term, our common system of macy of man over nature as man, and not thinking is apt to entertain no respect simply as the potent magician of science, at whatever, in the general view now noticed. whose bidding the spirits of the vasty deep It is regarded as unprofitable metaphysics, stand ready, in shape of steam, tempest of some service possibly for dialectic and lightning, to execute his pleasure. practice in the schools, but of no con- The only true mastery over the world at ceivable use besides in our ordinary mun- last, is that by which man is brought at the dane experience. For does it not in fact same time to master himself, in the clear profess to go beyond the bounds of this apprehension and spontaneous election of experience; showing itself thus to be goodness and truth in their absolute form. transcendental, as we say, and more fit to This is something more than agricultural be referred to the visionary moon, than chemistry, or the rattling machinery of to this solid material earth we now inhabit ? cotton factories and rolling mills. It is by Is it not, by its own confession, the science the power of the spiritual at last, that the of ideas and not the science of facts ? It full sense of the world, whether as spirit is in reference to such philosophy especial- or nature, is to be evolved, and the full ly, that the question has been triumphantly triumph of humanity, as sung in the eighth asked: What has it done to improve the psalm, carried out to its grand consumactual life of the world, from the days of mation. The chief end of man is, not to Plato down to the present hour ? Has know and rule the world simply as it it ever manufactured, not a steamboat, stands beyond his particular person, but not so much as a pin only, in the service to know and rule it in the form of reason of the world's comfort ? Has it descended and will, as the inmost constitution of his at all into contact with the real wants of own life. As in the case of his person man ? Has it added one luxury to his separately considered, the skillful use of table, or coined a single dollar of new his bodily organs for mere bodily ends is wealth for his pocket?
in itself no argument of either strength or The whole force of this plausible repre- freedom, but can become of account only sentation, we say, is broken by the view as such active power may be itself comwe have now taken of the true nature of prehended in the higher activity of the philosophy, and its necessary relation to soul, moving always in obedience to its the onward historical explication of the own law; so here, also, it is nothing less great mystery of humanity. The “chief than the same moral self-consciousness end of man," after all, in this world, is not and self-government, that can impart either to create railroads, and telegraphs, and dignity or value to any dominion we may,