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roceed in form to legislate them out of it, ■ useless, fantastic, and injurious to reli"i;; to what would such legislation nount in the end, more than to expose M; impotence and folly of the congsess om which it might spring? The fine 1s might say to such a convention: What have we to do with thee, vain, retched apparition of an hour! Is the iture of man to be thus made or unmade,
thy puny pleasure? Our authority is ■oader, and deeper, and far more ancient ian thine." And can it be any more asonable, I would ask, to think of legisting philosophy out of the world or out
the church, in any similar way? Phisophy is no subject for human arbitra'"•nt and legislation, in such magisterial rm. The question of its being tolerated id allowed, is not just like the question iicther we shall have, or not, a tariff or national bank. It asks no permission of w, to exercise its appointed functions in e vast world-process of man's history;
has exercised them through all ages as far, and it will continue to exercise •^m, no doubt, to the end of time, in virtue
its own indefeasible right to be compre;nded in this process, as an original nessary part of its constitution. Philosophy is the form, simply, in which I Science is required at last to become niplete. It is not, as sometimes supped, one among the sciences only, in >- way in which this may be said of gerraphy for instance, or chemistry, or
thematics; it is emphatically the scit* of science itself—the form in which i-'oee comes to master it* own nature, the way of conscious self-apprehension ■•I self-possession. It belongs to the ry conception of knowledge, that how-r distributed into manifold departments id spheres, it should nevertheless be at c List the power of a single universal 'All science is organic, and falls back ally upon the unity of self-consciousness
iu> centre and ground. This is, hower, only to say that it comes to its true neral end in .the form of philosophy, »ich is for this very reason the mistress d mother of all sound knowledge in ery other view. What can be more ation&l, then, and absurd, than to cry out aiiut philosophy as something unproible and vain? It were just as reason
able surely to cry out against science in any of its subordinate departments; as some, indeed, most consistent in their fanaticism, have at times pretended to do, in blind homage to a life of sense, or in the service, possibly, of a blind religion. All science has its chaotic disorders and revolutions, its sources of danger and its liabilities to corruption and abuse. But what then? Must we cease to think and inquire, in order that we may become truly wise? Shall we extinguish the torch of knowledge, that we may have power in the dark to fancy ourselves secure from harm? To do so were only to commit violent wrong upon our human nature itself. Man was made for science; he needs it, not as a means simply to something else, but as a constituent, we may say, in the substance of his own being. But his relation to science, in this view, is his relation at the same time to philosophy; for, as we have just seen, science can have no reality, except as it includes in itself a reference at least to philosophy, as that in which alone it can become complete. Man then is formed for philosophy, as truly as he is formed for science; and if we did but consider it properly, we should see and feel that to undervalue and despise the first, is as little rational as it is to undervalue and despise the second. Philosophy is not a factitious interest, artificially and arbitrarily associated with our life, which we may retain or put away from us altogether at our own pleasure; it is the perfection of our intelligence itself, the necessary summit of self-consciousness, towards which all the lines of knowledge struggle from the start, and in which only they are made to reach at last their ultimate and full sense.
What has now been said, does not imply of course that all men are called to be philosophers, and to exercise the functions of philosophy on their own account. When we say of art, that it forms an original constituent sphere of our general human life, we do not mean certainly that every individual is required to be a painter, or musician, or poet, or all of these together, in order that he may fulfil his proper destiny in the world. Non omnia possvmus omnes; the life of the world is something far more comprehensive and profound than the life of any one man, or any ten thousand men included in its course. Humanity has its measure in the whole, and not in the separate parts of which the whole is composed. The perfection of the individual does not consist in his being all that the general idea of human life requires, but in this, that he shall truly fill his own place in an organism, which is complete for the purposes that belong to it as a whole. In this sense we say, that art is a necessary constituent of humanity, though few comparatively may be fitted as organs to exercise the functions for which it calls: these functions belong to the organic constitution of our life, as a whole, and for the use of the whole; and where they are not acknowledged or fulfilled, the life itself must be regarded as, to the same extent, mutilated and shorn of its true sense. So in the case before us. Science and philosophy are not necessary for all men, individually and separately taken ; but they are necessary at all times to Man as an organic whole. The great fact of humanity, the process of the world's life, cannot go forward at all without their presence. It may be enough for the mass of men perhaps to be borne along by the spirit of the age to which they belong, without any clear insight into its constitution and course; but this is not enough for the age itself. Through organs proper for the purpose, it ought to come if possible to a clear understanding of its own spirit and will, so as to be self-conscious and not blind. As we have already said, however, this self-consciousness is philosophy; and towards it at least all human life must continually struggle, so far as it is vigorous and sound. Nay, a bad life must rest in some consciousness too, often, to be sure, very dark, of its own meaning and tendency; and so far this also will have its philosophy." Philosophy and life, in fact, whether men consider it or not, go ever hand in hand together.
It is perfectly ridiculous, therefore, to think or speak of the world as having power to accomplish its liistory without philosophy; as much so, as though we should dream that society might exist without government. It would be indeed something most strange and unaccountable, that the human mind should have shown such an inveterate propensity through all ages to speculate in this way,
in spite of all discouragement and seeaingly bad success, if there had been w reason for it other than its own vagraE curiosity or lawless self-will. The worM has never been without its philosophy, a far back as we find it exhibiting any sign; whatever of a moral or intellectual life. Christianity wrought no change in it, will regard to this point. Many in modera times have charged the early Church irili unfaithfulness to her Master, in permitting the great truths of the Gospel to beocw a subject of school speculation; as thougi. it might have been possible to bin handed them down as mere tradition articles of faith, without their being nai to enter thus, with new informing powcT into the actual thinking of the world * well as into its actual life. And yet is M the thinking of the world, at all tim« inseparably identified with its life; o rather, is it not the very soul througi which this itself lives, the central streai that carries all forward in its own dim tion? If Christianity were to be sometbk more than a religion of blind mechanic* tradition; if it should at all make good i' claim to be the absolute truth of tk world, the eternal consummation of humii ity itself; it must introduce itself into th actual process of the world's history as stood, so as to fulfil and not destroy th original sense of it, in all its complicate parts. We might as well ask, that should not meddle with the sphere politics, as that it should abjure all inte est in philosophy. The early Church sot found herself compelled to speculate, was part of her mission in the world, regenerate its intelligence and reaso And so in all periods since, we find philo ophy closely interwoven with the activi of the church under other forms, a refusing to part with its authority for t human mind, so far as this can be said have made any historical progress at» The Reformers, in the sixteenth cent or imagined at first, indeed, that their can required its entire banishment fro» t territory of religion; but they were so compelled themselves to have recour again to its aid; and in the end, the « order of things in this direction was fa established throughout the Protest* world.
How vain, in view of all this, to qua*" ith philosophy, as though it were an itorest false and pernicious in its own' iture. We might, with as much reason, uarrel with the waters of the Susqueinnah, for making their way towards the ■a. The world must think; would not e true to itself, if it ceased to think; and
is not possible that it should be thus :tively intelligent, without moving at the hie time in the channel of some philo•phical system, that may represent more r less clearly the unity of its general life.
It will follow, moreover, from this view f the necessary relation in which philosohy stands to the life of the world, that
is not so entirely without rule and K'thod in its course, as is taken for ranted by the wholesale objection we are Jw considering. If it form an original id essential part of man's constitution, it iost have a history, comprehended in the eneral flow of human history as a whole. ut history implies organic unity and proress. It is just the opposite of chaos. uch onward movement, exhibiting' the resent always as at once the birth of the ast and the womb of the future, belongs > the very conception of humanity; as luch so as it does also, that it should list by resolution into a vast system of itions, families and individuals. Distriution in time, and distribution in space, r».» alike necessary, to represent the one ast, magnificent fact, through which the lea of man is made real, lo be human, ten, is to be at the same time historical, i the sense here explained. If we should iy that the world is not bound together y the force of a common life, at any given me, but is made up of nations and men .nfusedly thrown into one mass in an outard and mechanical way; it would not e a greater wrong to our nature than it is lade to suffer, when this life is not appreended as a continuous process also, alays different and yet always the same, x tending perpetually from one generation ver to another. In fact, the two concepons cannot be held asunder. There is o alternative here between cosmos and haos. To be organic at all, the world rust be historical; and its history must liow itself especially in the progressive -velopment of humanity, as a whole, toards its appointed end. This we might Jem justified to assume, as a postulate of
religion as well as reason; since in no other view can we conceive of the world as carrying in itself a divine sense and meaning, so as to be the mirror truly of an idea in the mind of God. God is not the author of confusion, either in nature or history. He upholds and rules the world by plan; and this plan takes hold of the end from the beginning, bearing all life steadily forward as a process in its own service. In this way, every sphere of our general human existence comes to its proper evolution only in the form of history; and so we should expect to find it pre-eminently in the case of philosophy, representing, as this doest>the inmost consciousness of the race itself from age to age. The idea of an absolutely stationary philosophy, mechanically at hand as something ripe and done, for the use of the world through all time, is an absurd contradiction. How could it then represent the world's life, in its ever-flowing actual form? Change and revolution here are not at once contradiction and confusion. May they not be but the necessary action of history itself, as it forces its way onward continually from one stage of thought and life to another? For this process, it should be remembered, is not by uniform movement, in the same direction and under the same character. It goes by stadia or eras; not unlike those great world-cycles which geologists undertake to describe in the primitive formation of the earth, only compressed into much narrower dimensions. Each period has, of course, its own history, including the rise and decline again of its particular life, and the breaking up of its whole constitution finally, to make room for a new spiritual organization; and all this must necessarily be attended with some show of chaotic confusion, to the view, at least, of the superficial thinker; while it is still possible that the whole may be, notwithstanding, in obedience throughout to the same great law of development and progress.
Such an onward movement is found to characterize in fact the course of human thought, as it may be traced from its cradle in the ancient Oriental world, down to the present time. Philosophy has its own history, capable of being studied and understood, like the history of any other sphere of human life. This may be so dark still indeed as to leave room, at many points, for uncertainty, and controversy, and doubt. All history is open more or less to the same difficulty; but still its general sense, and the force at least of its great leading epochs, are sufficiently clear. It is only the unphilosophical and uninquiring, who pronounce the record of the world's life in this form, a farrago of unmeaning, disconnected opinions and dreams. In proportion- as any man can be engaged to direct his own attention to the subject, in the way of earnest thought, he will feel the deep unreasonableness of this presumption. The history of mind he will see to be something more than chaos, " without form and void." Alas for us indeed, if that were all the world here offered to our faith! Order in its outward material structure, only to make room for an interminable soul-chaos within!
It would go far at once to break the force of much of the prejudice that is entertained against philosophy, if only this idea of a historical development in the case of our world-life generally, as its necessary and proper form, were fairly familiar to our minds. We should then understand, that the very same life, in passing upwards through different stages, may be expected to show itself under different phases or aspects, without yet falling for this reason into any Self-contradiction; and in this way we would be rescued from the narrow bigotry of measuring all past ages by our own, while at the same time we might be prepared to estimate intelligently the actual advantages of our position, in its advanced relation to the past. As the self-consciousness of the individual has different contents in childhood and riper age, and must necessarily migrate through a succession of forms in order that it may become complete; so we say of philosophy, which may be denominated the self-consciousness of the world as a whole, that it too can assert its proper reality only by living itself, from age to age, upwards into new and higher forms, till the process shall become complete in the full completion of humanity itself—the glorious, all-harmonious millennium of creation. It does not follow, then, that a system of philosophy has been nugatory and null in its own time, because it has come to be exploded, as we say, and superseded by some fol
lowing system. We have no right to declare the wisdom of Plato and Aristotle Tain, and just as little to deride the speculations of the medieval schoolmen as learned nonsense, merely because their authority has long since passed away. The Greek philosophy comprehended both truth and power for the use of the world, in its own time. It entered largely into the growth and education of the human spirit. A«l in this way it still continues to live also, in the organic progress of human thought The acquisitions of the past in this form are not lost by the downfall of the systems in which they may have seemed originall? to inhere; they are simply translated into the constitution of other systems, and so carried forward in the vast intellectual process to which these belong. In a deep sense we may say of all history, that it is thus a perpetual metempsychosis of the world's life, by which it is always new and jet always the same.
We may easily see, now, how little room there is for the fashionably vulgar imagination, that philosophy has little or nothing to do with the realities of actual life. There is indeed a latitude of meaning sometimes allowed to the term, especially in England and our own country, hr which it is supposed to be saved from this reproach in part; though only in such a way as to fall more clearly under the power of it beyond the bounds of such exception. In the sense to which we refer, philosophy is taken to be a scientific in' sight simply into the nature and force rt things empirically considered, as we find ourselves surrounded by them in the actua world. In this way we may have i philosophy of mind, by a sort of spiritual anatomical dissection, and then a philoso phy of nature also as something altogethei different; and however it may be with thl first, it can easily be shown that this las is capable of being turned to many impc* tant practical uses. Witness only th wonders that are now wrought by steam and the brilliant, though silent, action a the electro-magnetic telegraph. PhiloM phy in such shape means something, a* has a value that can be made tangible t the world's common sense. It is the glorj of our own age, too, in particular, that it I made to carry its salutary power into everj nook and corner of our common materia risteace. We have a philosophy of farmg, a philosophy of manufactures, and a liilosophy of trade. We make our shoes id bake our bread philosophically. We Ik, with equal ease, of the philosophy of ie heavens and the philosophy of a plum i>dding. We can go still farther, and Imit also the practical use of philosophy,
> occupied with the laws of our own ■son and will, in the same Baconian ylc—provided always the process be not ashed too far. The science of mind, as indled by Locke, may help us possibly to link correctly; while the science of ethics, i unfolded in the same way by Paley, ij serve to assist us occasionally in disoguishing between right and wrong, ut here the concession is required to stop, or philosophy, as the science of ideas, or i it is sometimes called, the science of the •solute, which is after all the only proper ■nse of the term, our common system of linking is apt to entertain no respect hatever, in the general view now noticed.
. is regarded as unprofitable metaphysics, f wme service possibly for dialectic ractice in the schools, but of no con-ivable use besides in our ordinary munane experience. For does it not in fact rofess to go beyond the bounds of this rperience; showing itself thus to be arucendental, as we say, and more fit to e referred to the visionary moon, than
> this solid material earth we now inhabit? i it not, by its own confession, the science i ideas and not the science of facts 1 It
in reference to such philosophy especial', that the question has been triumphantly iked: What has it done to improve the Etual life of the world, from the days of 'iaio down to the present hour? Has
ever manufactured, not a steamboat, ot so much as a pin only, in the service f the world's comfort? Has it descended t all into contact with the real wants of ian? Has it added one luxury to his ible, or coined a single dollar of new <alth for his pocket?
The whole force of this plausible repre
otation. we say, is broken by the view « have now taken of the true nature of hilosophy, and its necessary relation to » onward historical explication of the rest mystery of humanity. The "chief nd of man," after all, in this world, is not ) create railroads, and telegraphs, and
great Lowell establishments, for his own comfort; to seize the reins of nature in a merely outward way, and force her chariot wheels to move subservient to his simply physical accommodation. All this is right, indeed, in,its place, and we mean not to undervalue or condemn the march of improvement in such outward form. Man is appointed to be the tamer and subduer of nature, and it is reasonable and fit that this should be brought to serve him, with absolute and universal submission. It is the proper prerogative of Mind, its grand moral vocation, we may say, in the world, thus to assert and proclaim its supremacy over Matter; as it is the true glory of this last, again, to be ruled and filled by the self-conscious presence of the first. But this lordship, to be true and right, must be moral as well as physical, inward no less than outward; it must be the supremacy of man over nature as man, and not simply as the potent magician of science, at whose bidding the spirits of the vasty deep stand ready, in shape of steam, tempest and lightning, to execute his pleasure. The only true mastery over the world at last, is that by which man is brought at the same time to master himself, in the clear apprehension and spontaneous election of goodness and truth in their absolute form. This is something more than agricultural chemistry, or the rattling machinery of cotton factories and rolling mills. It is by the power of the spiritual at last, that the full sense of the world, whether as spirit or nature, is to be evolved, and the full triumph of humanity, as sung in the eighth psalm, carried out to its grand consummation. The chief end of man is, not to know and rule the world simply as it stands beyond his particular person, but to know and rule it in the form of reason and will, as the inmost constitution of his own life. As in the case of his person separately considered, the skillful use of his bodily7 organs for mere bodily ends is in itself no argument of either strength or freedom, but can become of account only as such active power may be itself comprehended in the higher activity of the soul, moving always in obedience to its own law; so here, also, it is nothing less than the same moral self-consciousness and self-government, that can impart either dignity or value to any dominion we may