Kant's Critic of Pure Reason--Part 1
BROWNSON'S QUARTERLY REVIEW APRIL, 1844.
Art. I. Critik der reinen Vernunft; von Immanuel Kant. Siebente Auflage. Leipzig. 1828.
In order to comprehend and appreciate Kant's Critical Philosophy, or indeed any particular system of philosophy, we must begin by determining the class to which it belongs, and its appropriate place in the general history of philosophy. But all classification, if it is to be of the least scientific value, must rest on a necessary principle of classification, be founded, not in the caprice or convenience of the critic or the historian, but in the very nature and reason of science itself. There is, then, always, a preliminary question, concerning the principle of classification, which we must not pass over, if we mean our ulterior labors shall contribute at all to the better understanding of the particular system we propose to discuss, or to the advancement of science in general. Our readers must, therefore, suffer us to pause, and linger awhile on this preliminary question.
I. Classification of Systems.
Modern historians of philosophy, for the most part, contend, that we should classify the several systems of philosophy, which are put forth from time to time, according to the assumed principles of their psychological origin. 'This is especially the case with M. Cousin, whose brilliant courses of lectures in 1S28 and 1829 must, doubtless, be familiar to all those of our readers who interest themselves in the study of philosophy. M. Cousin assumes, that all philosophy has its origin in. psychology, and is, in fact, nothing but a method, or doctrine of science, and its application. There can be in philosophy nothing, the principle of which is not in human nature. One system of philosophy can differ from another, only in the different degree of importance attached by its author, in constructing it, to one or another of the original elements of human nature. Ascertain, by a rigid analysis and classification of all the facts of consciousness, according to their psychological origin, the number and characteristics of all the fundamental elements of human nature, and you have determined the number and characteristics of all possible systems of philosophy.
The number of original elements of human nature, under the present point of view, according to M. Cousin, is four; 1. Sensibility ; 2. Intelligence ; 3. Spontaneity ; 4. Good Sense. There are, then, four psychological principles of philosophy ; and .every possible system must be referred to the predominance of one or another of these as. its principle.
If, in philosophizing, we take the point of view of the senses, that is, of sensibility, we shall recognize no objects as really existing,.except such as do, or such as may, affect the external organs of sense. We shall then assume as valid only those cognitions which have their origin in sensation alone, and attempt to explain the world, man, and God, by means of mere sensations. Hence Sensualism. If we fix our attention, exclusively, on the intelligence, or reason, taken as the principle of pure thought, we shall attempt to explain the universe, geometrically, from the point of view of mere conceptions a priori, and shall find ourselves unable to recognize any ontological existence, which is not contained in these pure thoughts, or conceptions. The only ontological existence contained in these is the thinking subject. Hence, Idealism, or, as we prefer to term it, Egoism. If we pursue our psychological investigations, to which we are driven by the absolute necessity we are under of believing something, and by the unsatisfactory termination of both Sensualism and Idealism, we shall find, that, in the fact of cognition, we are often involuntary, that the cognitive power the vis cognitrix acts spontaneously, without any intervention of the me proper, and reveals to us, as it were, immediately, the sublime principles of the universe, and carries us up into immediate relation with its Original and Cause. By being quiet, by simply opening the mind, and then remaining all passive, the light from its Source will stream into the soul, and we shall know God and nature by immediate intuition. If we fix our attention, exclusively, on the order of facts thus introduced into the consciousness, we shall attempt to explain the universe solely from the point of view of Spontaneity. The philosophy that does this is Mysticism.
But all these systems contradict one another ; each leaves a portion of the facts of consciousness unexplained ; disputes, quarrels follow, and disgust men of plain, practical good sense, who, struck with the inconclusiveness of the reasoning of each, conclude that certainty with regard to human knowledge is out of the question. Doubt and uncertainty hang over all human science. They who fix their attention solely on this fact, and erect doubt into a principle, generate a fourth system, which we may call Skepticism. Thus Sensualism, Idealism, Mysticism, and Skepticism constitute all the possible systems of philosophy. Every philosopher must, by virtue of the absolute necessity imposed upon him by the nature of the human soul itself, be either a Sensualist or an Idealist, a Mystic or a Skeptic, or all four together, and neither exclusively, that is to say, an Eclectic.
Having settled all this, we are prepared to run over the History of Philosophy. When we come to a particular system of philosophy, our first question is, Where does it belong ? Is the author a Sensualist ? an Idealist ? a Mystic ? a Skeptic ? or, in fine, an Eclectic ? For instance, we propose to study Plato ; then, What was Plato ? With which of the five systems* shall we class him ? Having determined that he is an Idealist, we know then that he is one who attempts with mere conceptions a priori to explain the universe. This determined, we have comprehended Platonism, and may proceed to Aristotle, and go through the same process. Nothing more simple. After having settled the principle of classification, you have nothing to do, but to determine the method of any given philosopher, and, lo, you are instantly master of his whole system !
Now, in our judgment, this is making the matter quite too easy ; and, moreover, is amusing us with mere barren classifications, as barren as are the classifications of a modern botanist, which, when learned, leave us as ignorant of the actual plant as we were before. It has the air of being very scientific, but it really tells us nothing of the individual system we would study. It proceeds on a false assumption. All philosophy is not of an exclusively psychological origin ; and there are systems not explicable from the psychological point of view. How, on mere psychological principles, explain the difference between Plato and Aristotle, between Roscellin and Guillaume de Ohampeaux, or between Abelard and his great opponent, Saint Bernard? Psychologically explained, Plato, Proclus, Erigena, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Roscellin, St. Bernard, Saint Thomas, Jordano Bruno, Peter Ramus, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, to mention no more, must all be ranged in the same category. Are there between these no generic differences ? Assuredly, Plato was not a Nominalist, and yet his method is that of Roscellin, at least so far as it is---
*Footnote We say five, for M. Cousin, though officially admitting only four, really contends for five, in that his own system is not one of the four.
-End of footnote
possible now to ascertain. Assuredly, Saint Bernard was not a Conceptualist, and yet there is no difference as to method between him and Abelard. Assuredly, never men differed more, one from another, than many of the Scholastics, and yet they all adopt one and the same method ; namely, the dialectic method, which rests on the principle of contradiction, the principle of the syllogism. How, then, explain their differences from the point of view of psychology ?
The psychological principle of classification is admissible, only when the question concerns a doctrine of science ; that is, when the system to be classed is not a system of philosophy, but a doctrine concerning the origin, conditions, and validity of human knowledge. Now, ancient philosophy concerns itself very little with doctrines of science, in this sense, and the scholastic philosophy, never. Plato^ indeed, takes up the question of science, but it is in relation to the object of science, not, primarily, in relation to the cognitive subject. In his mind, the question, What is Science? has no reference to the origin, conditions, or .validity of human knowledge, psychologically considered, but refers to that in the object, or phenomenon, present to the mind, which must be known in order really to know the object. The refutation of Sensualism, in his Theaetetus, is not a refutation of it from the point of view of psychology, but from ontology. In this dialogue Socrates labors to show, not that we have another psychological principle of knowledge than the senses, as M. Cousin, in his argument placed at the head of his translation of this dialogue, teaches, but that what the senses give us is no real science; that we must look deeper into the object, to its essence or idea, before we have attained to any knowledge of it which may properly be denominated science. Plato is a philosopher, not a psychologist; and, if he touches the psychological question, it is always from the point of view of ontology.
Aristotle, again, though he differs from Plato as to his terminology and mode of exposition, adopts, on this point the same doctrine. He, no doubt, undertakes to construct a doctrine of science ; but it is always science objectively considered. The inquiry relates always to what it is necessary to know, in order to have science properly so called. His wisdom, which answers to Plato's science, is never in the knowledge of the mere sensible appearances, nor in that of particulars, but in the knowledge of causes, principles, which is very nearly what Plato means by a knowledge of ideas. His categories, or predicaments, are all ontologically derived and reduced, and are the forms, or the laws, of the object; not, as the categories of Kant, the forms, or laws, of the subject. He, doubtless, has a psychology ; he is the father of logic ; but his logic is an organon, or instrument, of science, a logic that determines the use of the human mind in advancing science, not the value of the human mind as a cognitive subject, as is the case with the Kantian logic. The Fathers of the Church, especially the Scholastics, no doubt, concern themselves with science, with psychology, with logic, and treat at large of the powers and capacities of the human mind, and often with a sagacity, precision, and depth, which we in vain attempt to equal; but it is always from the point of view of ontology, in the Platonic or Aristotelian sense. How, then, explain their labors, from the point of view of psychology, in the modern sense of the term ?
Since the time of Descartes, down to Fichte, if we except Spinoza, Leibnitz, and some doctors of the Church, as Cudworth and Henry More, the question of science has been, primarily, a psychological question. It has been before all a question of the human mind itself, not as to the mode or manner of its use in the advancement of science, but as to its value or capacity, as the subject of science. Can I know ? Can I know that I know ? What is- it, psychologically considered, to know ? What is it to know that I know ? How do I know ? How do I know that I know ? These are the problems, and problems very nearly peculiar to modern times. The great philosophers of antiquity, of the early days of the Church, of the Middle Ages, troubled not themselves, at all, with these problems. We do not mean, of course, to say, that similar questions were not asked in antiquity, for there were then, as well as now, sophists and skeptics; but, that the great men, the men who had doctrines, and whom humanity owns as philosophers, and reveres as having contributed to her growth, ask no such vain questions. In their estimation, to know is to know, and he who says, I know, says all that he does who says, I know that I know. Now, between the systems left us by these great men, and our modern systems, which take their point of departure in psychology, and assume that the first problem relates to the psychological origin, conditions, and validity of our cognitions, there is, in our judgment, not merely a specific, but a generic difference. The last seek to explain the origin, conditions, and validity, of our cognitions; they then seek a doctrine of science, the Wissenschaftlehre of Fichte ; the others seek to explain the origin, principle, and genesis of things, and, therefore, seek a doctrine of life. We have, then, two distinct classes of systems, which we may denominate,
Doctrines of Science ;
Doctrines of Life.
These last are the only doctrines which should be included under the term Philosophy ; the others may be termed, if the reader pleases, Psychology.
This division, it may be thought, rests on the distinction between psychology and ontology. Doubtless, M. Cousin and others, whom we must class among the psychologists, admit this distinction, for they, as well as we, speak of ontology ; but with them this distinction means only the distinction between the method and its application. With them, ontology is nothing but the psychological method in its development. Such your method, such your ontology. Given a philosopher's psychological doctrine on the origin, conditions, and validity of human cognitions, and his whole doctrine concerning the cause, principle, and genesis of things is given. Hence the reason and necessity of Eclecticism, which recognizes all the psychological principles of cognition. If you mutilate the subject in forming your psychology, you will mutilate the object in your ontology. You must, then, include the whole subject in your method, if in its application no portion of the object is to be excluded. But this proceeds on the principle, that there can be nothing in the development not in the method. Ontology, given as the development of the psychological method, can, then, contain nothing, not already contained in the psychological principles themselves. It can, then, be only the logical, the ontological generalization, as we shall hereafter see, is quite another affair, only the logical generalization of psychology, and, therefore, can never carry us out of psychology, that is to say, out of the sphere of the subject. Their ontology is, then, no genuine ontology at all; it is nothing but a logical abstraction, and altogether worthless. It is therefore, that the Absolute, God, the Trinity, about which M. Cousin says so much, considered in the light of his own system, are but the veriest abstractions, and as to substantive existence have no being at all out of the mind itself.
Notwithstanding appearances, then, M. Cousin and the modern psychologists do not make the distinction we recognize, and on which we found our division of all systems iiito the two classes named. The distinction we contend for is not the distinction between method and its application, for this is common to every possible system, whether of the one division or of the other; nor is it precisely the distinction between ontology and psychology, when this last is taken in its legitimate sense, that is, as the investigation and classification of the faculties of the soul with a view to serve as the organon of advancing science. No philosr-opher ever failed to have a psychology, for no philosopher was ever yet able to philosophize without serving himself with the human mind as his organon ; on the other hand, no psychologist ever sought a doctrine of Science, save to apply it afterwards to the explanation of the universe, and, through it, to attain to a doctrine of Life. The real principle of our classification must be sought, not in the respective aims or results of the several systems to be classed, but in their respective points of departure. All alike aim at a doctrine of Life, and all arrive at some doctrine which is, or is taken to be, a doctrine of Life. Those systems, only, we class under the head of Doctrines of Science, which take their point of departure in psychology, and seek to solve the problem of Life, by first solving, from the psychological point of view, the problem of Science ; all those systems which take their point of departure in ontology, and proceed directly to the solution of the problem of Life, we call Doctrines of Life. We call the first, Doctrines of Science, because it is the predominance of the problem of Science, in the minds of their respective authors, that induces them to take the psychological point of departure ; and the others we call Doctrines of Life, because it is the predominance, in the minds of their respective authors, of the problem of Life, that induces them to take their point of departure in ontology. If the problem of Science predominate, the author of the system will concern himself mainly with the principle, the genesis, and the validity of our cognitions, that is, of ideas in the sense of Locke; if the problem of Life predominate, he will concern himself with the cause, principle, and genesis of things, that is, with ideas in the sense of Plato.
Now, each of these two grand divisions admits several subdivisions. The determination of the number of classes into which we may subdivide the doctrines of Life is no easy matter, and demands a full acquaintance with all the great principles of philosophy ; and whether a given system belongs to one class or to another, can be determined only by a profound study of the system itself. The prevailing doctrine, in our times, subdivides the doctrines of Life into two classes,
1. Materialism ; 2. Spiritualism.
The objection to this division is, that it is not fundamental, and has no well established principle. What is matter ? What is spirit ? These are questions which admit no positive answer. We can answer them only by negations, by saying what they are not; never by saying what they are. This classification has no onto-logical basis ; and, in point of fact, not even a psychological basis. When we come to clear up our notions of substance, and to investigate anew the cognitive power of the soul, we shall see that this boasted distinction of spirit and matter never concerns either the essences of things, or even the notions which we form of those essences.
We contend for another classification of the doctrines of Life, more philosophical, and less inadequate to the explanation of the historical facts in the case, founded, not in psychology taken in the modern sense, but in the several points of view under which the subject-matter the object of science may be contemplated, therefore, in ontology. We may contemplate the object under the several points of view of Plurality, Unity, and Synthesis. If we contemplate Life, with the old Ionians, under the point of view of Plurality, our doctrine of Life will be Polytheism, or Atheism ; if under the point of view of Unity, with the old Elea-tics, our doctrine of Life will be Unityism, or Pantheism ; if, in fine, with Moses, Pythagoras, Plato, the Christian Fathers, the Scholastics, in a word, with all great theologians of all ages and nations, under the point of view of Synthesis, our doctrine of Life will be Trinityism, or Theism ; or, as M. Leroux calls it, not inaptly, Christian Idealism. God, in the view of Christian theology, is not Unity, nor Plurality, but their synthesis, or rather, the one in the other, the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, in indissoluble union. The -One God of the Hebrews is, indeed, one God ; but, in the ineffable mystery of his single being, is the indissoluble union of Unity in Diversity and Diversity in Unity, as shadowed forth in the very first verse. of Genesis, where the Hebrew name for God is a singular noun with a plural termination. The objections of the Unitarians to this sublime theology proceed from their assuming that it implies a division in the Godhead, which, of course, is inadmissible. But the Trinity, so to speak, is more ultimate than their conceptions reach, and concerns a theology which lies back of the conception of God as one. God, with the Trinitarian and the Unitarian, is alike one and indivisible. The Unitarian stops with this proposition. When he has said, God is One, he has said all that seems to him important, perhaps all that he believes can be said. But it is precisely here, where this proposition ends, that the Trinitarian solution of the mystery of Being begins. God, regarded as simple Unity, is not the living God, and therefore is incapable of being the Source of Life. The Unitarian, no doubt, believes that God is the living1 God ; but he enters into no inquiry as to what, touching the ineffable mystery of the Divine Being, is implied in this assertion, that God is the living God. He, therefore, stops short of a real doctrine of Life. It is into the mystery of the Divine Unity itself, that the Trinitarian attempts to penetrate. He seeks, by decomposing, so to speak, without destroying, this Divine Unity, to get at the ultimate principle of Life itself. A sublime audacity, to which God himself, by his revelations of himself, invites him ! It will be seen, at once, that the Trinitarian theology, which we in our classification term Theism, or Idealism, by no means excludes the Unitarian's faith in one God, but accepts it, and explains it by carrying it up to the principle of Life; by showing, that, in order to be the living God, this One God of the Unitarian must be the Triune God of the Trinitarian. The Trinitarian doctrine belongs to a much higher order of thought than the Unitarian, and proceeds boldly in the solution of problems which lie far out of the Unitarian's reach. But more of this, when we come to the direct consideration of the doctrines of Life, in our future numbers. According to the principle of classification here contended for, that is, the ontological principle of their origin, we subdivide the doctrines of Life into three classes; namely,
1. Atheism; 2. Pantheism; 3. Theism.
It is not our purpose, at present, to enter into any discussion concerning these doctrines, as to which is true, or which is false, nor as to the question, whether the human mind, by its own spontaneous development, could, or could not, have attained to the true doctrine of Life. We shall enter fully into these questions, after we have disposed of the doctrines of Science ; we will now only add, in passing, what our readers must suspect, that, for ourselves, we accept Theism, or, if they will, Trinityism, as the true doctrine of Life, and hold and teach that the human mind could never have attained to it without Divine Revelation, in the old-fashioned sense of the term, though possibly it is now able, by reflection on the reason and nature of things, to demonstrate its truth. We add, also, to take away all occasion for misapprehension, that we do not, in our view of the economy of salvation, hold, with Protestant divines, that it is belief in this doctrine of Life, though true, that saves us, but the influx into the soul of the Truth, or ontological principle, of which it is a true account. It is never the efficacy of the doctrine that redeems and sanctifies, but the efficacy, the real presence, of God himself. The doctrine is efficacious only so far as it brings us within the sphere of the influence of the Divine Reality, or, in theological language, of the Holy Ghost. Not man's view of God, but God himself, as manifested and communicated to us, in the way and manner, and through the Mediator and disciplines, he himself has instituted, is our Redeemer and Sanctifier. But this by the way.
The classification of the doctrines of Life, which we have here given, may seem, at first view, to be borrowed from M. Cousin, and to be sustained by his reduction of all our ontological Ideas to three ; namely,
The Idea of the Finite;
The Idea of the Infinite ;
The Idea of the Relation of the Two.
M. Cousin would contend that the idea of the Finite corresponds to that of Plurality; the idea of the Infinite to that of Unity; and, in fine, the idea of Relation to that of Synthesis; and we are by no means disposed to deny this apparent correspondence ; and we have most likely been indebted to our knowledge of M. Cousin's reduction for the principle of our classification. But the correspondence is more in appearance than in reality. M. Cousin's terms are a little too abstract and vague for our purpose ; moreover, the terms Finite and Infinite are not the exact equivalents of the terms Plurality and Unity. Unity may be predicated of the finite as well as of the infinite, and the conception of the infinite is very different from that of unity. Our conception of the infinite is a negative conception, merely the conception of the «o/-bounded or undefined ; but our conception of unity is one of our most positive conceptions. The attempt to explain the universe from the point of view of the infinite would not result in Pantheism, but in Nihilism ; for the infinite, taken, not as a predicate, but as the subject of the predicate, would be equivalent to infinite nothing; and from the conception of infinite nothing, how obtain the conception of infinite something ?
Nor is this all. This reduction of absolute ideas, which plays so conspicuous a part in M. Cousin's Lectures on the History of Philosophy, is not part and parcel of his own system; it is one of his loans from the Hegelian philosophy, confessedly a doctrine of Life, though in our judgment by no means the true doctrine of Life. The principle of this reduction of the categories not Kant's, but Aristotle's, not the psychological, but the ontological predicamentsto the three ideas enumerated is not. by any means a psychological principle. It is impossible to refer the idea of the Finite to the Senses, that of the Infinite to the Intelligence, and their Relation to the union of sensation and intellection. The senses, M. Cousin tells us, can give us no conception of unity ; and yet, who dare deny that unity may be predicated of the finite ? Moreover, we shall hereafter see, that the senses are, in themselves, no independent medium of communication between the subject and the object. The intelligence can no more be dispensed with in the fact of sensation, than it can in the fact of cognition. M. Cousin himself, in point of fact, carried away by his admiration for Hegel out of his own poor psychology, virtually admits that the reduction in question is not psychologically obtained. He even makes this reduction the basis of his psychological classification, and attempts from it, after the example of his master, as from the point of view of ontology, to explain the history of philosophy, which, as he had elsewhere laid it down, was to be explained psychologically. Thus the predominance, in an epoch, of the idea of the Finite is given as the cause of the prevalence, in that epoch, of Sensualism ; the predominance of the idea of the Infinite, as the cause of the prevalence of what he calls Idealism; the predominance of the idea of Relation, of Synthesis, as the cause of the prevalence of Eclecticism. Surely, this is to abandon the field of psychology altogether, and to enter into quite another region.
We do not forget that M. Cousin contends, that he begins in psychology, and from that attains to ontology ; and that, after having through psychology arrived at ontology, he has a perfect right to use it for the explanation of his psychology. But his psychology must have been perfectly explicable, and perfectly explained, without ontology, if his ontology was obtained from it; wherefore, then, seek, by means of ontology, to explain it anew ? But M. Cousin is deceived ; for the ontology, he obtains by generalizing psychology, is only a logical abstraction ; it never carries him out of the subject; and is, therefore, as we have seen, no genuine ontology at all. It is quite another sort of ontology from that which he borrows from his friend Hegel, and which he uses to explain his psychology, and is by no means reconcilable with it.
The doctrines of Science may also be subdivided into several classes. Here, since it concerns purely psychological doctrines, the psychological priticiple of classification is not only admissible, but necessary ; yet even here we cannot accept M. Cousin's classification, without some important modifications. He reckons four classes, which he names,
Sensualism; 3. Mysticism;
Idealism ; 4. Skepticism.
This classification rests for its principle on an inaccurate psychology. M. Cousin makes the basis of Idealism the reflective reason, and that of Mysticism the spontaneous reason. This presupposes a distinction, or, rather, a division, of reason into the reflective and the spontaneous, which we hold to be inadmissible. Skepticism is, indeed, a fact in history ; but, as it is the negation of all science, and concerns not our powers of science, but their absence, we are hardly willing to call it a doctrine of Science. It has, moreover, no psychological principle. Even M. Cousin does not hold goob sense, which, according to him, is its principle, to be a fundamental faculty of the me. It is the name given, not to one of its original powers, but to a certain practical exercise of all its faculties in mutual support and limitation. We strike from the list of doctrines, therefore, what is termed Skepticism. Of his four systems we retain, then, but three.
Of the three we retain, only the first is rightly named. All these doctrines take their rise in the Subject, and should, therefore, all be called by the general name of Egoism. The principle of each respectively is, the predominance of a given faculty of the subject. The subject has three original faculties, which, so far as concerns doctrines purely psychological, and because all psychological doctrines so regard them, may be named Sensation, Sentiment, Intellect. Hence, three systems, which may be denominated,
Sensualism ; 3. Intellectualism.
If we undertake to explain the phenomena of the subject by sensation, our doctrine of Science will be Sensualism ; if by sentiment, it will be Sentimentalism ; if "by intellect, that is, pure conception (Begriff), it will be Intellectualism. All doctrines of Science must be referred to one or another of these three classes;
Our classification of all possible systems is, then, first, into two orders ; and, second, each order into three classes.
I. DOCTRINES OF LIFE 1. Atheism ; 2. Pan-
theism ; 3. Theism.
II. DOCTRINES OF SCIENCE
2. Sentimentalism ; 3. Intellectualism.
Our present purpose confines us to the second order; namely,
II. Doctrines of Science.
It is the common opinion among those who in our times pass for philosophers, that there was no philosophy, properly so called, in the Church, from its origin down nearly to the sixteenth century. M. Cousin is hardly willing to allow that the Scholastics were really philosophers ; he sees with them only philosophy in germ, prevented by the prevailing theology from attaining to any thing like a fair or full development. Ancient philosophy was born with Socrates, and expired with the closing of the Greek schools at Athens, by order of Justinian, in the sixth century ; and modern philosophy was born only with Rene Descartes, in the sixteenth. But we cannot accept this view. The last three centuries, in our judgment, have been by no means eminently philosophical centuries ; and were we to characterize them in a word, we should do so by denominating them unphilosophical, but scientific.
To say that there was no philosophy in the Church prior to what we call the Revival of Letters in the fifteenth century, is to take a very false view either of the Church or of philosophy itself. What were all the great questions debated ,by the theologians of the Church, against the Gentiles, the Gnostics, the Mani-choeans, the Sabellians, the Monosophytes, the Arians, the Donatists, the Pelagians, the Predestinarians, represented in the ninth century by the monk Gotteschalk,the Berengarians, concerning the Real Presence, which last provoked the whole scholastic philosophy, but so many profound ontological questions ? Was the question between the Avians and Athanasians nothing but a question of a mere dogma enjoined by authority? Was it for a single diphthong that men disputed and cut one another's throats for some three hundred years ? Do not so libel humanity. The difference expressed by that diphthong was all the difference between Paganism and Christianity, between Atheism and Theism. In asserting that the Son was made of a like substance with the Father, what did the Homoiousian attempt, but to introduce two kindred substances as the basis of his theory of the universe, and thus to explain Life from the point of view of plurality, which is Polytheism or Atheism? What was, at bottom, the Pelagian controversy ? Pelagius asserts the power of the human soul to place itself in a salvable state. Press this assertion, push it to its last consequences, and it annihilates God, and proclaims the supremacy of man. It transfers the creative power to the creature, and makes the universe live by its own inherent life, independent of a supermundane Creator. What, again, was the real doctrine involved in the controversy provoked in the ninth century by Gotteschalk ? Gotteschalk is the antipodes of Pelagius. He is the precursor of Calvin. He asserts the Divine sovereignty in a sense which leaves man no freedom. Just so far as you deny man's freedom, you deny man himself. To deny man, to deny the active force of the creature, is to deny the reality of the creature, to make him merely a mode or affection of the Creator, is, in fact, to deny creation, and to fall into Pantheism. Was here no philosophical question ? Does it not become so in the hands of John Erigena, who has been wrongly accused of being himself a Pantheist ? Was there no profound ontological question raised up by Berengarius, in the eleventh century, touching the Eucharist, and which engaged in its discussion such men as Lanfranc, St. Anselm of Canterbury, and involved the whole dispute of the Schoolmen about genera and species! Understand the matter better, and you will find that it is always in the Church a question of ontology.
The reason why men of no mean capacity fall into this mistake concerning the theologians of the Church is, that they separate in their own minds, fundamentally, philosophy and theology. Philosophy they regard as the work of the human mind, as resting for its authority on human reason alone. They will allow nothing to be philosophy, therefore, which is not entirely emancipated from all theological envelope, and which does not assert the absolute independence and sufficiency of the human reason. If human reason is independent, if it is fully competent, of itself, to attain to the true doctrine of Life, then Revelation, then Divine Communication through the agency of prophets and apostles, is superfluous; and hence nothing is properly philosophy, that does not proclaim the whole teachings of the Church as to the origin and grounds of our religious faith, either false or superfluous. Philosophy, with the moderns, is profoundly infidel; and hence whatever finds its support in the Christian Revelation is denied to be philosophy at all. What with them passes for philosophy, or rather the principle of what passes with them for philosophy, is profoundly hostile to the Church. This both they and the Church have always felt and asserted; hence the condemnation of the one by the other.
We insist on this point. The modern philosopher begins by putting Christianity on trial, and claims for the human reason the right to sit in judgment on Revelation. At one period, its aim is to overthrow the Church ; at another, it is to reconcile, as it is called, reason and faith. How often in these very days of ours, have we heard it said, that the problem of philosophy is to reconcile faith and reason ! Have not we ourselves begun our philosophical course by so affirming ? Do not those who were associates and fellow-laborers with us in the outset continue still so to affirm ? Faith is questioned ; men doubt; and they seek to prove faith, to get rid of doubt. Reason appears to teach one thing, faith another ; and they seek, by mutual explanations and refinings, to make the teachings of the one coincide with those of the other. Is not this the thought of our "Charles Elwood," of our " New Views," of Ripley's " Miscellanies," of Walker's " Lectures," of Cousin's labors ? Taking this view, we necessarily imply, that philosophy is of purely human origin, and that the human reason, in which it originates, is competent to sit in judgment on all questions which do or may come up.
We proclaim its independence and sufficiency. If we believe, it is because reason has demonstrated our right to believe ; if we disbelieve, it is because reason declares it to be unreasonable to believe. If we reject the Trinity, it is because we find it irrational; endless punishment, it is because it does not comport with our notions of justice, &c. Now, this being our state of mind, we necessarily transport it into the study of the Fathers and theologians of the Church ; and because we do not find them asserting the independence and sufficiency of the reason, in our sense, because we do not find them studying to prove religion, to get rid of doubt, and to harmonize the independent teachings of reason with the independent teachings of faith, we conclude, forthwith, that they were no philosophers ; or that, if they were so in their secret thought, they dared not be so in public. Poor men, they were bound by their actual belief in authority, or by their fear of it, to maintain certain prescribed dogmas, and so could not give free scope to independent thought, or free development to their own reason ! Here is wherefore our modern philosophers can find no philosophy, properly so called, in the Church, prior to the Revival of Letters. Prior to that epoch, men believed, and when men believe, they do not philosophize. Does not this imply that philosophy is held to be of purely infidel origin ?
Now, that philosophy has been, since the Revival of Letters, what this implies, we do not deny ; and, if this character, which it has since borne, be really the essential character of philosophy, we admit, most cheerfully, that there was very little, if any, philosophy in the Church prior to the epoch named. But it is precisely this fact we controvert. We maintain, with Saint Augustine and John Erigena, the identity of religion and philosophy. Philosophy is nothing but the practical teachings of religion, referred to their ontological principles, and reduced to doctrinal forms. Philosophy is the offspring, not of Doubt, but of Faith, and is impossible in unbelieving epochs. If the moderns could learn this fact, they would form a very different estimate of the Fathers of the Church, and of the Scholastics, from that which now very generally obtains. Without a knowledge of this fact, without rising to the identity of religion and philosophy, instead of their harmony, it is impossible to comprehend the Schoolmen, or the great Fathers of the Church.
In contradiction to the commonly received opinion, we regard the thought of the Church, from its birth down to the Revival of Letters, as profoundly philosophical. All the great questions debated were, at bottom, great ontological questions. Men believed ; they had a doctrine of Life, and this doctrine they labored to comprehend and explain. The Revival of Letters in the fifteenth century marks a decline in religious faith, and the sixteenth century is itself a period of transition from philosophy to science, from religion to doubt.
M. Cousin, in his Philosophie Scholastique, adopts the common opinion, that the Scholastic Philosophy was provoked by the celebrated passage of Porphyry, concerning genera and species, translated by Botthius ; and tries to connect, through Boethius and Porphyry, the Scholastic Philosophy with the Neoplatonists, and, through them, with the ancient philosophy of Greece. We admit the connexion, but we do not believe this is the precise medium through which it actually took place. He adopts this hypothesis, because he always separates philosophy from theology, and must, therefore,
seek its continuity through a medium comparatively independent of theology. But, in point of fact, the celebrated passage of Porphyry had very little to do with the generation of the Scholastic Philosophy. That philosophy was provoked by the theological controversy raised up concerning the mode, or manner, in which Christ is really present in the Eucharist. That controversy necessarily involved discussions as to the nature of substance, and discussions as to the nature of substance open, of themselves, to philosophical minds, the whole question of genera and species. The Scholastic Philosophy originated, really and truly, in the theology of the Church, and was connected with the ancient philosophy chiefly by means of that portion of the ancient philosophy which the Church had received and assimilated through the early Fathers.
But, in the progress of the discussions Berengarius had provoked by his doctrine of wipanation, the disputants began to study more and more attentively the ancient masters, especially Aristotle. They also made themselves more or less familiar with the contemporary Jewish and Arabic schools. Aristotle, the Jews, and the Arabs, all became to them sources of wisdom extraneous to the Church, and, of course, must have more or less weakened the hold the Church had on their minds, if not on their hearts. None of these extraneous sources contained the true Christian doctrine of Life, the unadulterated Word of God. Study of them, naturally and almost inevitably, carried the Scholastics away from the truth, and involved them in the mazes of error. They must necessarily lose more and more the deep sense of the Church ; and, in proportion as they lost the sense of the Church, they must cease to love and reverence its authority. In this way was effected the moral and intellectual state which admitted the revival and triumph of heathen literature in the fifteenth century. The Scholastic Philosophy, in its progress, necessarily involved this revival. Ancient heathen literature once revived, and everywhere studied as an authority, faith in the Church could hardly be maintained, and must continue to become every day more and more difficult; for this literature did not contain, or at least but very imperfectly, the Christian ontology, and, therefore, in proportion as it took possession of the mind of the scholar, must it obscure his perception of the real sense of the Church. The Schoolmen were carried away, by their discussions, into the society of the Peripatetics, Jews, and Arabs, and these carried them away from the deep meaning of the Church.
The Church, to all who had lost the sense of its profound significance, could appear to be only an arbitrary authority, and its dogmas only empty formulas and unmeaning ritVas and ceremonies. As an arbitrary authority, it could have no right to command ; and for it to assume to command, to continue to enjoin its dogmas and discipline, could be regarded only as intolerable tyranny, demanding to be resisted. To this point matters were brought at the close of the fifteenth century. The sixteenth century opens with the dominant character of revolt against the whole moral, intellectual, social, political, religious, and ecclesiastical order founded and developed by the Church. This revolt, embodied and directed by Luther against the ecclesiastical phase of this order, becomes Protestantism ; embodied and rendered victorious by the monarchs of the time, under its political phase, it becomes the Supremacy of the State, to be subsequently transformed into the Supremacy of the People, and the subjection of both Church and State to the will of the multitude ; embodied, and directed especially against the Schools, by Descartes, it becomes what by courtesy we call Modern Philosophy, the last word of which is Kant's "Critic of Pure Reason."
Now, if we regard the origin of Modern Philosophy, if we pay attention to the circumstances of its birth, we see at once, that it could have been only a doctrine of Science. It was the offspring of Doubt and Rebellion. It must vindicate its own right to be, and its own right to rebel. It must needs find, or erect, some tribunal before which it could summon the Schools, and
compel them to appear and give an account of their right to command, to show by what authority they pretended to reign. This, evidently, demanded preliminary inquiries as to the origin, the conditions, the extent, and limitations of human knowledge, the evidence and grounds of certainty. It must find the law by which it could justify itself, and condemn the Schools.
Where could this law be found ? The first rebels had sought it in antiquity. But antiquity was divided. Men began to study Plato, and, if some quoted Aristotle, others could quote Plato against them, and one ancient school could be overthrown by another. The sixteenth century exhausted itself in the vain effort to get some solid ground, by means of the ancients, on which it could stand. There were great men, and great victims, but nothing solid was obtained. It became evident that the law could not be taken from antiquity ; it could not be taken from the Church, because the Church was precisely that which was to be tried ; nothing remained, then, but to leave antiquity and the Church, and to fall back on human reason itself, and, starting from that, proceed to the construction of a general doctrine of Life. This was attempted by Telesius and his disciple Campanella in Italy, Bacon in England, and Descartes in France.
Of the Italian school, our knowledge is too limited to speak at much length. We will only add, in passing, that Campanella, the contemporary of Bacon, deserves not less than the Englishman the honorable mention of the historian of philosophy. He is equally admirable under the point of view of method, and much pro-founder, more comprehensive, more systematic, and complete in his views. As a philosopher, as well as a man, we should place him far above Lord Bacon. Of Lord Bacon we shall soon proceed to speak ; we stop now for a few moments with Ren*'1 Descartes, who is, after all, the real father of modern science. Peter Ra-mus, or Pierre Rameau, one of the greatest of the Pla-tonists of the sixteenth century, had successfully cornbated the Peripatetics, and greatly weakened their authority in the French schools, but without being able to found a doctrine of Life generally acceptable. Descartes, a native of Bretagne, of the old Celtic race, a layman, a soldier, and a geometrician, undertook to settle the question once for all, and to reconstruct philosophy on a solid and imperishable basis. The age was, as we have seen, an age. of Doubt and Rebellion. The fifteenth century doubted the doctrines of the Church, and rebelled against its authority, in favor of Pagan antiquity ; the sixteenth century shook and pretty much overthrew the authority of antiquity. The seventeenth century opens with this double doubt and two-fold revolt. It will accept neither the Church nor antiquity. All authority is thrown off; doubt is universal and complete. This entire independence of authority, and this universal and complete doubt, is the point of departure for Descartes. It is so, because it is the point of departure for his age, and more so still for himself. He really felt the doubt; he really felt himself independent of authority.
Here, then, is Descartes, without tradition, without experience, reduced, as it were, to the state of primitive destitution; all is before him : nothing is behind him. He has no ancestors, no recollections ; or, if some, in point of fact, none but are to be theoretically repulsed and disowned. What, then, must first of all be the question ? Certainly it must be the question of Science. All is to be constructed. In his view there is nothing standing. He has made of the universe a tabula rasa, a universal blank. All is to be re-created. Does any thing exist ? As yet, he assumes that he has no right to assert a single existence, not even his own. How know 1 that I myself exist ? What right have I to affirm that even I am ?
Here is his first problem, and a problem to be solved only by a doctrine of Science. Hence, his first work is entitled Method. But we must not be unjust to Descartes. He never confounded method with philosophy. Nor did he propose doubt as the universally necessary point of departure of philosophy. M. Cousin has on this point misinterpreted him. Descartes proposes the method of Doubt, only because doubt was the fact of his age, and of his own mind. But he proposed it only as preliminary to faith. No man ever felt more strongly, than Descartes, the need of believing, the absolute necessity of a doctrine of Life. Yet, as he takes his point of departure in the question of Science, we must class his system with the Doctrines of Science, not with the philosophical doctrines.
Descartes solves the problem of Science by his famous Cogito, ergo sum; I think, therefore I am. But is this a solution of the scientific problem ? Descartes was to find his point of departure in absolute Doubt. Doubt can be removed only by Science. Hence we say, his preliminary problem was the problem of Science Can I know ? For, evidently, taking his starting-point, the possibility of knowledge must precede the determination of existence ; that is, I must be able to say, I know, before I can legitimately say, I am. He himself accordingly affirms cogito as the condition of affirming sum. But the very question was in this cogito. By what right do I affirm that I think ? I am conscious. True ; but not that I think, but that I am. I may, perhaps, very legitimately affirm I am, on the authority of consciousness ; but on what authority do I affirm consciousness ? Who says, " I am conscious," says, " I know," for Science is already in consciousness. Descartes's problem, then, required him to go behind consciousness, and to establish the validity of consciousness itself; for he has no more right to take Science in the fact of consciousness for granted, than he has anywhere else. Yet he never goes behind consciousness. He trenches the question of Science, and proceeds at once to the question of Life, existence, Cogito, ergo sum. I think, which is already to know, is assumed as evident of itself, and the point to be made out is merely I am.
This sudden abandonment of the scientific problem for the ontological problem has vitiated the whole Cartesian doctrine, as a doctrine of Science, and has left the original problem of Descartes to be renewed by each of his successors. Malebranche struggles manfully with it; but, taking his point of departure in the human mind, he cannot, to save his soul, get behind I knoxo, or I am conscious, and is obliged to resort to vision in God, in order to establish the validity of consciousness.
But this is not our only objection to the Cartesian solution. We make no account of the objections brought against the Cartesian enthymeme, Cogito, ergo sum. We readily admit that it is defective as an argument, for / am is already in / think; but Descartes never meant it for an argument. He was too good a reasoner to conclude from I think to I am. He refers to cogito, not as the data from which sum is inferred, but as the fact in which it is found, or recognized. In the fact of thinking, I recognize myself not only as thinker, but as persisting subject. Since, then, I think, am conscious, I am able to affirm myself ontologically; or, rather, in the fact of thinking, I do so affirm myself, do affirm I am. This now becomes his point of departure. I affirm my existence, because, in thinking, I recognize, or rather conceive it. Transfer, now, to the object the kind of evidence on which I affirm my own existence, and for cogito, ergo swn, I must say, 1 conceive the object, therefore it is. The possibility of being conceived is, therefore, made the criterion of the reality of the object. This determined, nothing is more easy than to construct his theory of the universe. All rests on the original conceptions of the subject, given in the affirmation, / am. Proceed with these as in the construction of the science of geometry, and you arrive, with mathematical certainty, to a doctrine of Life.
But, unhappily for the truth and value of his doctrine of Life, his point of departure was in the subject alone ; and the only ontological existence, contained in the conceptions, was simply what he expresses by the phrase, I am. Hence, his system was, after all, pure Egoism; and, since constructed with pure conceptions, as distinguished from sensation and sentiment, a pure Intellectualism. This is evident from his assertion of innate ideas.
Doubtless, Plato asserts innate ideas, but in altogether another sense. The Inneity for which Descartes contends is, we believe, original with him. Obliged to deduce all from the subject, he must needs give up all external existence, God, and all objects of religious faith, or else found them on something innate in the subject. Man believes in God, because the idea of God is innate, born with the human soul; that is to say, because he is born with the inherent faculty to think God, to conceive his existence. But by what right conclude from the conception to the reality of the object ? The belief, in this case, could have only a subjective value, because conception (cogito), on the Cartesian hypothesis, as we have seen, involves no ontological existence but that of the subject. So that, however numerous the innate ideas, they could never carry us out of the sphere of the subject; a fact which Locke does not appear, in his attack on Cartesianism, to have ever suspected ; for, if he had, he could have made much shorter work with innate ideas.
This doctrine of innate ideas has been recently revived in our own country, and we find men of no mean ability undertaking to conclude from the innate-ness of the idea, or rather sentiment, in their terminology, to the reality of the object; not perceiving that what is really subjective in its principle must needs be equally subjective in its application. No conclusion from the subject to the object ever yet was valid. The cause of the self-deception of our friends, on this point, is in their making, or trying to make, a distinction between the subject and the inneity of the subject; as if what is innate, inherent in the subject, is not subject! What is in the subject, inherent in its nature, born with it, and without which it would not, and could not, be what it is, is essential to the subject, in the fullest sense of the words, is the subject.
Descartes, nevertheless, was on the verge of the truth. If he had analyzed the fact of consciousness in relation to the object as carefully as he did in relation to the subject, he would have escaped his fatal error. He was right when he said, Cogito, ergo sum ; but he did not discover the whole truth. It is true, I find "I am " in " I think " ; but it is equally true that I always, in the same act, in the same cogito, find another existence, which is not myself, but distinguished from me. Cogito, ergo sum, is true ; and Cogito, ergo est, is equally true ; for both are contained simultaneously and in-dissolubly in cogito. Here is the fact that Descartes overlooked. He attempted to deduce id est from ego sum, which was impossible ; but both were given him primitively in the fact of consciousness, and he had no occasion to attempt to infer one from the other. But it needed the psychological labors of nearly two centuries to "place this fact in the clear light of day ; and, what is a little discouraging, very able psychologists even yet not only do not perceive it, but cannot be made to understand it, when it is stated to them in the plainest and least ambiguous terms possible.
Descartes had two eminent disciples, Spinoza and Malebranche. But Spinoza, at an early age, abandoned him, and passed from the schools of science to the schools of philosophy. We shall meet him again, when we come to the consideration of doctrines of Life, and, therefore, pass him over for the present. His Pantheism has borrowed, little from the Intellectual-ism of Descartes, except the definition of Substance. Malebranche is the true continuator of Descartes. He, as we have seen, starting with the problem of Science, was obliged to take refuge in Vision in God ; that is, that we in ourselves are incapable of Science, and can know, at all, only by virtue of the special intervention of God himself in each and every act of knowing. We cannot linger on this theory, although we agree with M. Leroux, that it is a very remarkable theory, and, at bottom, worthy of altogether more respect than it has received ; although M. Leroux's explanation of it makes it really identical with M. Cousin's doctrine of Spontaneity. Malebranche, if he had known it, was on the point of touching the truth, and making an end of psychology. If he had been understood, he would have been seen to have demonstrated the impossibility of solving the problem of Science from the point of view of psychology alone ; that the inneity of the subject, however great or various it may be, can generate no fact of science, save as it acts in conjunction with the object; that, indeed, the fact of science can be explained only by rising to ontology, and taking our point of sight in the infinite and eternal Reason of God, the doctrine of Plato, of the Fathers, and of all who have thought a little profoundly on the subject, " In Deo vivimus, et moveinur, et sumus."
Malebranche closes the direct line of the Cartesians, and ends in demonstrating the impossibility of explaining Science by means of pure Tntellectualism. In the beginning of the seventeenth century, a little prior to Descartes, flourished Francis Bacon. Bacon, in our judgment, is hardly to be regarded as an original genius. He had been preceded, in nearly all that is valuable in his views, by the Italian school, and was, in more respects than one, surpassed by his contemporary,---
*Footnote Canon Leroux is the uncompromising enemy of M. Cousin, whom lie seeks, in season and out of season, to turn into ridicule; and yet, on almost all important points, his philosophy and Cousin's are the same, or come to the sume results. In his Refutation de I'Eclecticisme, he showers down his ridicule most unmercifully upon M. Cousin's doctrine, that we see all by virtue of the Impersonal Reason, which, in the last analysis, is identical with God himself; and yet this is precisely the doctrine of his own article on God in the third volume of the Revue Indipendante. What is this Universal Life (Vie Uni-verselle) of which he speaks, and by union with which all particular beings subsist and live, but the Impersonal Reason of "le grande eclectique" ? In the same volume of the Revue, we have a very able and elaborate article on the Hegelian Philosophy, which we believe in the main just; but will M. Leroux tell us the difference between the Hegelian doctrine he here so warmly and successfully combats, and his own doctrine as brought out in the fifth book of Humanite? His infinite Virtuality, his invisible Cid, answering, by his own confession, to the Void of the Buddhists, what is this, but the God of Hegel manifesting himself through all gradations of being, and coming to self-consciousness in man? -End of Footnote
manpanella, as we have already intimated. Nevertheless, Bacon was a man of great depth and reach of thought, extensive erudition, lofty and comprehensive views. He also undertook to settle the question of Method, but more in the sense of Aristotle than in that of the moderns. His aim was not so much the solution of the problem of Science, to determine the origin, conditions, and validity of knowledge, as to construct a novum or-ganum for augmenting or advancing knowledge. Bacon was not a psychologist, nor yet, though endowed with a fine philosophic spirit, was he a philosopher. His views were vast, often profound, oftener wise and just; but his mind was very little systematic, and his labors ended in exerting an influence, rather than in the construction of a doctrine, whether of Science or of Life. To talk of a Baconian Philosophy, save in deference to common usage, is to betray our ignorance. There is not, and never was, any such thing as a Baconian Philosophy, meaning thereby a philosophy founded by Bacon himself.
But we shall be told, that he has given us a method, that there is a real Baconian Method. Not at all. Nothing seems to us more vague, inconclusive, less scientific, than what Bacon says about Induction, unless it be what Englishmen and Americans say after him, and professedly in his spirit. The Inductive Method of philosophizing was no new discovery of Bacon's, but, so far as sound, is the method of the human mind itself, and has been practised by every philosopher in every age. Nor has Bacon thrown any new light upon it, or demonstrated its legitimacy. He does not seem himself to have ever comprehended the great ontologi-cal fact on which it depends. If we understand it, the Inductive Method is, from the examination of a certain number of particulars, to obtain a law which shall be applicable to particulars even beyond the sphere of observation. It is to go from the known to the unknown. Now, every tyro in logic knows, that a law thus obtained, which in fact is no law, but a classification, cannot be logically valid beyond the particulars examined.
The generalization, which Bacon and his followers attain to, is no genuine generalization, but a mere classification of particulars. The process is not by examination of particulars to attain to the generic, to what Plato would call the idea, and Aristotle, the principle or cause ; but merely to a class, and the generic it obtains is nothing but a general statement of the particulars ascertained. It has, therefore, no scientific value.
Bacon was a lawyer, and he transported into philosophy the method adopted, and very properly adopted, in his own profession, in which a high degree of probability, rather than absolute certainty, is that which is sought. In the profession of the law, this method is not without its validity, because the question there concerns human actions, the generic principle of which may be assumed to be known in our knowledge of human nature, on which they depend. Here the generic principle, that which generates the actions, is human nature. In our reasoning on these particulars, the general is always assumed to be known, avid up to a certain extent always is known. From observation of the mode of its manifestation in certain given particulars, we may very legitimately conclude to the mode of its manifestation in certain other particulars of a like character. So, having ascertained, from observation of a certain number of particulars, their generic principle, we may conclude that a certain number of other particular actions not embraced in the number of these, having a like character, have the same generic principle. But, in all this, there is no advance of knowledge beyond the sum of our actual knowledge of the principles and the particulars concerned. Moreover, the whole validity of the induction rests on our knowledge of the general, not as a rule, or a classification, but as the cause generating the particulars. Taken out of the sphere of the law, transported to a region where the generic is unknown, the inductive method, which proceeds from the particular to the general, involves a petilio, inasmuch as it assumes the knowledge of the cause, the principle of generalization, the validity of which knowledge was the very point to be made out.
Nevertheless, the application, it is said, of this method to the study of nature has given us the exact sciences. Exact sciences! what are they, and where are they? We hear of them; our friends boast of them; but we have never discovered them. So far from its having given us the exact sciences, its warmest partisans deny, with one voice, the possibility of science. What pass with us for sciences are nothing but classifications of phonomena, constantly varying as new phenomena are discovered. What is your doctrine of physics, your famous Newtonian attraction, but the mere classification of observed phenomena? You tell me bodies' attract one another so and so, and under such and such conditions. What does this mean ? Simply, under such and such conditions, such and such phenomena take place. Call you this science ? What is the principle of attraction ?' You talk of electricity and magnetism; but what do you tell us, but, simply, that you have observed such and such phenomena ? Chemistry is one of your exact sciences ; yet you are unable to settle your dispute about the primitive state of bodies, much less to determine their primitive elements. What is the principle of chemical affinity? Why are new chemical compounds always formed in certain definite proportions, which cannot be varied ? Theories in abundance we find, but none of them seem to be settled. We take up Liebig's " Organic Chemistry " ; surely, we say, here we shall find exact science, if anywhere; and yet, so far from science, we do not even find facts. We pass to his " Animal Chemistry," and here we do find, indeed, theory, theory to our heart's content, but hardly a recognition of the principle of Life. A certain portion of the phenomena are attempted to be explained on chemical principles, as they were formerly attempted to be explained on mechanical- principles ; but we find no explanation of that subtle principle in the animal economy, which never fails, during life, to resist your chemical action. One may as well explain the circulation of the blood by capillary attraction, or by the principle of the forcing pump worked by the lungs serving as the arms and sails of a windmill, as explain, with Liebig, animal heat by means of internal combustion, making the animal a huge furnace for the consumption of carbon. Go into your mathematics, and tell us what is the principle of number ? What is the ground of certainty in mathematical reasoning? What is the ground of your mathematical axioms ? What is the real science of mathematics ? Does it really advance knowledge beyond the few empirical propositions with which it starts ? Is it productive, or merely composed of identical propositions piled upon identical propositions ? Is it really a science, or only an organon of science ? Is it knowledge, or, as the ancients held, and as the name implies, merely a discipline ? We could run through the whole list of the so-called exact sciences, and propose similar questions, but it is unnecessary.
We shall be told that these and similar questions are unanswerable ; that our knowledge is necessarily limited to phenomena; that to aspire to a knowledge of principles, causes, essences, is to aspire to the unattahir able ; and that the progress of modern science is owing precisely to the fact that we do not now so aspire. This may or may not be so ; for our part, we believe quite the contrary, and are prepared to question, to a very considerable extent, this modern progress, even in departments where it is most loudly boasted. We doubt whether modern science in any department has as yet come up to the ancient. The more we penetrate into the concealed sense of this old world, the more convinced are we that science was not born with Francis Bacon, the more and, more do we feel that the world has forgotten more than it knows. But let this pass, which is not stated as a belief, but as a doubt; let it all be as the partisans of the exact sciences allege, that we can only attain to a knowledge and classification of phenomena; still we must beg them to pardon us, if we find it impossible to stretch our courtesy so far as to call this knowledge and classification of phenomena, science. There is really nothing in these boasts about the exact sciences. We have no such sciences, and every scientific man knows that there is not a single department of science, so called, the principles of which are ascertained and fixed. The most that can be said is, that we have investigated some few departments of nature, and ascertained a few facts, which are indeed facts, and such as we are able to apply to practical purposes. The Inductive Method has, then, by no means wrought such mighty wonders even in physical science ; while its application to metaphysics and theology has made confusion worse confounded, as Bacon himself told us would be the effect, if so applied. He denied its applicability save to physical science ; and, if he had denied its applicability even to this, and contended for its legitimacy only in the practice of the law, he would have been nearer yet to the truth. Yet we deny not the Inductive Method, when enlightened by a profound philosophy. It contains a truth, but a truth not to be perceived and comprehended on the threshold of the temple of science, but only after we have entered and sacrificed in the innermost sanctuary.
Bacon, we repeat, has left an influence, but no system. Some have charged him with being the father of modern Sensualism ; but he has contributed to Sensualism only indirectly. He does not discuss the question of method from the psychological point of view, and he was himself a believer in an order of facts not reducible to sensation. Yet, by recommending the Inductive Method, and denying its validity when applied to any other phenomena than those of the sensible world, his influence has been exerted almost wholly in the direction of Sensualism. So far as we can class him at all, then, we must class him with the Sensual school. This is his place, so far as he has a place in the history of modern science. Yet, in point of fact, though it is the fashion to attribute almost every thing to him that is good in the modern intellectual world, we do not believe his influence has been great, and we are sure that it has been almost wholly overrated. He has left no school; he has had no disciples.
Hobbes followed Bacon in the order of time, and has been called his disciple ; for what reason we cannot discover. No two men were ever more unlike. Hobbes is, in our judgment, much the superior man of the two, considered either morally or intellectually. He in part appertains to Philosophy, though we class his system with the doctrines of Science, for the reason, that he takes his point of departure in psychology, and with Sensualism ; for he recognizes in the soul no cognitive faculty but that which he terms sense. His genius, however, is mathematical; and, if he had started with Cogito, ergo sum, instead of Sentio, ergo sum, he would have stood on the same line with Descartes, but have surpassed him in the reach of his thought, and the firmness of his logic. At bottom, he has a much more philosophic mind than Descartes, and, paradoxical as some will hold it, a much more generous love for mankind. Hobbes is a true Englishman; and, therefore, must needs profess one doctrine, and practise another. If he loves mankind, he must in doctrine atone for his philanthropy, by maintaining the duty to hate them ; if he hates them, he must be eloquent in praise of universal benevolence. Confide with your whole heart in an Englishman or an American,unless he preaches philanthropy. When he once mounts that for his hobby, look well to your locks and keys.
Nevertheless, the obloquy showered upon Hobbes, for his moral and political doctrines, has deprived him of his true place as the representative of the Anglo-Saxon mind, and made it unnecessary to dwell upon his doctrines.
Hobbes was succeeded by John Locke, who, as every body knows, is regarded as the English Philosopher. We regard Locke as inferior in almost every point of view to Hobbes; but, as it is through him that Hobbes lives, and speaks, and acts on the Anglo-Saxon race, it is in him Hobbism is to be studied and appreciated. Locke is veritably a disciple of Hobbes, and the " Essay on the Human Understanding " is little more than Hobbes diluted, or a sort of Hobbes " made easy " ; or, as we may say, Hobbes made palatable, and fit to be served up to respectable people. Locke, absorbing, as he does, his master, is the greatest name we meet among the English psychologists. We say psychologists, for Locke is never a philosopher. As a philosopher, England has a whole army of great names which must take precedence of his. He can sustain no comparison with such men as Ralph Cud-worth, Henry More, Stillingfleet, Butler, and hardly any with such men as Clarke, Wollaston, and, in a later age, Dr. Richard Price, In genuine Philosophy, Cud-worth is the greatest name we are acquainted with among Englishmen. But Philosophy is not now our subject; we are concerned only with doctrines of Science. Locke's system is nothing but a doctrine of Science. His problem is purely the scientific problem. He would, first of all, study the understanding, investigate and determine the powers of the huma'n soul, to know to what objects they are, or are not, applicable. What he proposed, first of all, was what Kant afterwards called a Critic of the Pure Reason. But, bred to the profession of medicine, he approaches his subject as a physiologist, and restricts himself to dissection and the investigation of functions.
He asks, like Descartes, Can I know ? How can I know that I know ? He undertakes to answer this question by a direct investigation of the functions of the understanding. His point of departure, then, is in the subject; and his system, whatever it be, must therefore come under the general head of Egoism. His real answer is, as we saw in the Article on Berkeley, in our number for January, the answer of the Sensualists. It is true that he does not, officially, like his successor, Condillac, annihilate the me, and reduce the subject to mere sensation ; but he makes all our knowledge begin in sensation, and sensation is with him the simple capacity of receiving impressions of external objects. The root of all science is in sensation. His formula is really, Sentio, ergo sum, I feel, therefore I am ; and, when transferred to the object, it is, Sentio, ergo est, I feel it, therefore it is.
Unquestionably, Locke does not confine, officially, the objects of science to objects which are perceptible by external sense. He admits and contends for quite another world, but he recognizes in the soul no innate capacity to seize intuitively this other world, nor a capacity to detect it in the sensible phenomena ; he attains to it solely by reflection ; that is, dialectically. He concludes from the sensible world to the non-sensible. Thus, God is inferred from the phenomena of nature, immortality from the phenomena of the soul, and the promises to be read in the Bible. So that all in his system which transcends pure sensation, and the consciousness thereof, is merely logic, and not science. Certainly it is not we who condemn dialectics, or affirm that what is logically true can ever be without scientific validity ; but from pure sensation we cannot logically conclude to any thing, either in the direction of the subject or in that of the object, beyond sensation. Now, in Locke's premises, unquestionably, as a matter of fact, there is, besides sensation, both subject and object; but officially, under the point of view of his system, there is nothing but the sensation itself. Sensation is nothing but a mode or affection of the subject, is the subject, in fact. Now, from this it is impossible to conclude to any existence but that of the sensation itself. Hence, all our knowledge is necessarily restricted to what Hume would call momentary " Impressions." And this is what Berkeley and Hume, coming after Locke, and adopting his premises, but with superior sagacity, and greater logical acumen, have easily demonstrated.
Berkeley and Hume have thus done for Locke what Malebranche had done for Descartes. They demonstrate the utter inadequacy of Sensualism as a doctrine of Science, as he had demonstrated the utter inadequacy of Intellectiialism. We can arrive at knowledge, by starting from I feel, no better than we can by starting from / think. This is precisely where the question of Science stood, when Kant came with his Critic of Pure Reason. Intellectiialism had been convicted of impotence in Malebranche, who, as we have seen, sought refuge in his theory of Vision in God; Sensualism having been convicted of impotence in Berkeley, who took refuge in an analogous theory, and in Hume, who took refuge nowhere, but remained floating as a mere bubble on the ocean of universal doubt and nescience, what was to be done ? Was all to end here ? Is science impossible ? Is it possible ? If so, on what conditions ? Kant's problem, we see, then, was precisely the problem with which Descartes commenced, and which he trenched, rather than solved, by his famous enthymeme, Cogito, ergo sum; and precisely the problem with which Locke also commenced, and which he had undertaken, but failed, to solve by sensation and reflection. There is, then, nothing new or original in Kant's undertaking. He undertook to solve the problem all psychologists had been trying to solve since the revolt against the Schoolmen. His originality is not in his problem, but in his mode of handling it. He has always before his eyes, on the one hand, the sad result of Intellectualism; on the other, the equally sad result of Sensualism; and, without affirming or denying either, he enters into a criticism of both, in order to determine whether we have a right either to affirm or to deny.
We see, now, the problem of the Critik der reinen Vernunft. What is Kant's solution of this problem ? What is the method by which he obtains his solution ? What is its positive value ? What contribution has it made to our doctrines of Science? These questions will open up the whole subject of the Critical Philosophy, and will enable us, if answered, to comprehend and appreciate it. But we have detained our readers so long with these preliminary remarks, designed to prepare the way for the exposition and appreciation of Kant's Critik, that we must reserve the direct consideration of the work itself to our number for July.