ND   Jacques Maritain Center : Psychology / by Michael Maher, S.J.



Origin of Ideas. -- We have shown in our last chapter that certain mental products are essentially distinct from those of our sensuous faculties and must be due to some higher power of the soul. The question next arises: How are these supra-sensuous results effected? This is the problem of the Origin of Intellectual Ideas. Epistemology, or the branch of Philosophy which investigates the validity of human knowledge in general, is peculiarly interested in this question. For upon the answer given by the Psychologist as to how our conceptions have originated may seriously depend the Philosophers decision as to their worth and truth. The chief solutions advanced are, (1) the hypotheses of Innate Ideas, and a priori Mental Forms; (2) Empiricism or the sensationalist theory; and (3) the Peripatetic doctrine. The first exaggerates the contribution of the mind to a maximum. The second reduces it to a minimum. The third whilst deriving all knowledge from experience insists upon the important part played by the rational activity of the mind in the elaboration of knowledge. It will be dealt with in the next chapter.

Furthermore, either in connexion with the doctrine of innate ideas, or independently of it, some modern philosophers have sought to solve the problem of knowledge by metaphysical hypotheses concerning the relations subsisting between the human mind and the Deity. The chief of these have been the theories of Divine Assistance, Ontologism, Pre-established harmony, and Monistic Pantheism. We shall give a brief sketch of each.

Theory of Innate Ideas. -- A common characteristic of many philosophers who justly insist on the spirituality of the soul is to unduly exaggerate the opposition between mind and body, and some of them are inclined to adopt an extravagant dualism, denying the possibility of any mutual interaction between the spiritual and material substances. Supra-sensuous mental products, such as the ideas of being, unity, the true, the good, necessary truths, and the like, cannot, these philosophers maintain, have been originated by sensuous observation; they are presupposed in all experience and transcend it. They must consequently have been innate or inborn in the mind from the beginning, antecedently to all acquired knowledge. Such, in a word, is the case for this theory.

Disproof. -- There are numerous fatal objections to it. Firstly, it may be rejected as a gratuitous hypothesis. Unless it be demonstrated that some portion of our knowledge cannot be accounted for by the combined action of sense and intellect, the assumption of such a native endowment is unwarranted. But this demonstration is impossible. Moreover, the genesis of vastly the greater portion of our knowledge can be traced to experience, and there is every reason for supposing that the residual fraction has arisen in the same way. Secondly, by the very nature of the case there can be no evidence of the existence of any ideas antecedent to experience. Thirdly, all our earliest ideas are of objects known by sensible experience, it is about such sensible material objects our first judgments are elicited, and to these we always turn to illustrate our loftiest and most abstract conceptions. The words, too, employed to express supra-sensuous realities are primarily drawn from sensible experiences and material phenomena. Moreover, persons deficient in any sense from birth are deprived of a corresponding class of ideas. But these facts are obviously in conflict with the supposition of a supply of ready-made supra-sensuous cognitions from the beginning. Lastly, we may add that the tendency of physiological science is to make the doctrine of the mutual independence of body and soul less tenable every succeeding day.

Kant's doctrine and the other theories which we have mentioned must be dealt with separately.

Empiricism. -- The Sensationist or Empiricist theory of knowledge stands in the completest opposition to the views of Kant, and of the supporters of innate ideas. Starting from the assumption that sensuous and intellectual activity are essentially the same in kind, the aim of the former school is to make it appear that universal and abstract concepts, necessary judgments, self-consciousness, and all our higher spiritual cognitions are merely more complex or refined products of sense. The logical corollary of this theory, though not usually brought prominently into notice, is the repudiation of the spirituality of the soul, or at all events the denial of all rational grounds for belief in this most important doctrine. If all mental operations are of a sensuous organic nature, then evidently there is no reason for asserting that the soul of man is a spiritual principle of an order superior to that of the brute. The method of the empiricist is, on the one hand, to depreciate the value of those peculiar characteristics which mark off our intellectual acts; and, on the other, to exaggerate the capabilities of sense. Universal concepts are either confounded with the concrete phantasms of the imagination, or their existence is boldly denied. The necessity of axiomatic judgments is explained as the effect of customary experience; and the notion of Self is analyzed into a cluster of conscious states. All our cognitions, in fact, are merely more or less elaborate products evolved by the automatic action of association out of sense impressions and their reproduced images. As the mind itself is only the resulting outcome, the aggregate of sensuous states, it can of course he endowed with no superior active force capable of uniting, comparing, or in any way working upon the materials of sense. This indeed is the fundamental defect of empiricism. It ignores the active energy of intellect with which the mind is endowed, and consequently it can give no adequate account of those higher intellectual conceptions on which we dwelt in the last chapter.

Historical Sketch of Theories of General Knowledge.

The advantage to the student of Psychology of even a rough idea of the history of speculation on the suhject of Intellectual Cognition justifies us, we believe, in giving a compendium of the leading theories on the question, together with a few brief critical remarks on the most important points.

Innate Ideas: Reminiscence: Ultra-realism. -- The originator of the hypothesis of Reminiscence was Plato. The sensible world is for him no true world at all. It is merely a congeries of transient phenomena which changing from moment to moment never really are. The real world, that which alone truly is and does not pass away, is disclosed to us in our intellectual ideas. Such universal concepts as being, unity, substance, the beautiful, reveal to us, obscurely indeed, but still with truth, the immutable and the necessary. Now these spiritual notions cannot either directly or indirectly be derived from sensuous perception; they are natural endowments of the soul, retained by it from a previous existence. Truth, goodness, humanity, beauty, and the rest, however, do not possess merely a subjective existence, as abstract concepts in the mind. They formally exist as universals in the genuinely real world of which the present material universe is only a faint imperfect reflexion. In that celestial land the human spirit formerly dwelt, and there contemplated these ideas or abstract essences as they exist in themselves. For some crime, now unknown, it was evicted from its true home and incarcerated in the prison of the body. Although much the greater part of its ancient knowledge was obliterated, there yet remained in a dormant condition traces of the mental acts by which the soul in its previous life contemplated the real ideas. These imperfect mental states are the universal ideas of our present experience, and they awake on the occasion of sensuous perceptions. They are not, however, in any way produced by, or elaborated out of these latter. They are merely evoked from the inner resources of the mind on the occurrence of corporeal phenomena, which in a shadowy manner resemble the original types -- the Real Universals.

Criticism. -- We have here the doctrine of exaggerated realism. In this form it implies two distinctive tenets: (a) the reality of universals as such -- Universalia extra rem vel ante rem; and (b) the existence of innate ideas by which these are revealed. The former is a logical or metaphysical problem, and for a complete discussion of the subject we refer the reader to other volumes of the present series.{1} The second is properly a psychological question. Plato is undoubtedly right in accentuating the vital importance of the intellectual elements of knowledge, but the assumption of a pre-natal existence is arbitrary and untenable, whilst the doctrine of real universals is laden with absurdities. The only proofs urged in favour of the hypothesis of innate ideas are the peculiar supra-sensuous character of intellectual representations, and the fact that the answering of children to judicious interrogation seems to show that they are possessed of such ideas before they can have formed them from experience. The first argument, however, has no force against the Aristotelian theory, which accounts for suprasensuous ideas, as the result of the higher spiritual faculty of the mitid apprehending the universal nature of real sensible objects. The second difficulty founded on the "heuristic" method of instruction is also ineffective, for this regulated process of interrogation is either virtually a means of teaching and communicating the idea in question, or the latter is of such a simple character as to be formed in at least a vague manner in our earliest experience.

Descartes (1596-1650). Instead of explaining innate ideas as "reminiscences" of cognitions of a previous life, Christian philosophers conceived them as inscribed by God on the soul at its creation. The earliest important thinker among modern philosophers supporting the hypothesis of innate ideas was Descartes. For him soul and body are two substances connected, indeed, at one point in the brain, as the soul is situated in the pineal gland, but mutually independent of each other. They are completely opposed to each other in nature and have nothing in common. The soul is simple; its essence is thought. The essence of matter is extension. Accordingly real interaction between them is impossible; and their seeming mutual influence can only be explained by Divine intervention, though this consequence became clearer in the hand of Descartes' followers. He divides ideas into three classes, adventitious ideas gathered by sense-perception, factitious ideas constructed by the imagination, and innate ideas possessed by the mind from the dawn of its existence. Without these latter science would be impossible. Among them are the ideas of the infinite, of myself, of substance, and, in fact, all universal notions expressive of metaphysical realities. These ideas are in no way caused by external objects, but merely wake up into life on the occasion of the sensuous perception of the latter. Yet, they truly represent the essences of such objects, since God has ordained them for that purpose. These innate ideas are at times described as real representations, "entities," effected by God; though later on, under the exigencies of controversy, they were reduced to mere dispositions or tendencies of the mind. The former tenet is, however, more conformable with his general view. Even the "adventitious" ideas are not the result of the immediate action of material objects on the mind. Soul and body are so contrasted in Descartes' view that, as we have observed, interaction seems impossible, and his theory of sense-perception is therefore confused and inconsistent. At times he conceives the act of apprehension as a mental state excited by God on the occasion of the physical impression reaching the brain, whilst elsewhere he seems to consider the perception as an intellectual inference from a subjective effect to an objective cause.{2}

Geulincx (1625-1669), a disciple of Descartes, frankly faced the difficulty resulting from this extravagant dualism, and formally advocated the doctrine of "occasionalism" or "Divine assistance." He boldly denied the possibility of efficient action between body and mind. Changes in the one are but the "occasions" of the production by God of appropriate changes in the other. Our ideas of external objects are excited not by the objects, but by God Himself. Similarly in the case of all other secondary causes the Divine intervention or assistance is the only real efficient agency.

Ontologism. -- The consequences of the Cartesian opposition between soul and body developed by Geulincx, were carried still further in Malebranche's (1638 -- 1715) mystical theory of a Vision en Dieu. Corporeal objects cannot effect impressions on an unextended mind so as to generate ideas of themselves in the latter. But as it is a limited being, the mind cannot derive such ideas from itself. It therefore beholds them in another spirit -- the Infinite Being. God contemplates all creatures reflected in His own essence. All created beings have their types and exemplars in the Divine ideas which are identified with the essence of God. Malebranche thus improves on Plato. The ideas are no longer separate entities; they are one with the mind and nature of God. Since we exist in God as in the place of spirits, there is no reason why we should not have an immediate knowledge or intuition of Him. "Dieu est très &eactue;troitement unis à nos âmes par sa présence, de sorte qu'on peut dire qu'il est le lieu des esprits, de meme que les espaces sont en un sens le lieu des corps." (Recherche de la Vérité, Lib. III. Pt. 2, c. 6.)

We have not, however, a complete comprehension of the Inficite Being. Nor do we behold Him absolutely as He is in Himself, but only as He is in relation to creatures. (This thought was developed by later ontologists, as in Gioberti's teaching that the primary act of intelligence is the apprehension of God as creating existences; and Rosmini's virtual identification of our intuition of the ideal, or possible being, with that of the infinite Being.) The Divine ideas, in fact, mediate between our minds and material objects: We see all things in God.

Criticism. -- The doctrine that the Infinite Being is the immediate and proper object of human cognition, and the source of our knowledge of all other things, is called Ontologism. It is exposed to several fatal objections: (1) The most careful reflective examination of our consciousness fails to detect the alleged intuition of God. (2) The intuition of God as having relation to creatures would involve an immediate apprehension of His essence. (3) All our knowledge starts from the sensuous perception of material objects, and from these our analogical conceptions of immaterial beings are formed by abstraction and exclusion of imperfections incompatible with supernatural existence. Moreover, we invariably turn back to sensuous cognitions to illustrate our more abstract notions, which would not be the case if the Infinite immortal being were the primitive and proper object of our intellect. (4) The theory rests on a false assumption of a mere accidental union existing between soul and body, and is in conflict with the intimate relations subsisting between our sensuous and intellectual knowledge. (5) All forms of ontologism which teach that the immediate objects of our perception are not material creatures, but the ideas or the essence of God incline on the one hand towards the idealism of Berkeley, and on the other towards the pantheism of Spinoza, as they tend to identify the visible universe with God Himself.

In favour of ontologism it is urged that it accounts for the universality, necessity, and eternal character of our intellectual ideas, as they possess these properties in God; and, in addition, it explains the presence of the conception of the Infinite Being in our minds, The answer is, that these facts can also be accounted for by intellectual abstraction and reflexion exercised on the data supplied by sense, without gratuitously assuming an immediate vision of God.

Christian Philosophy has always taught that the essences of created beings are faint infinitesimal reflections of archetypal ideas in the Divine Mind. The eternal intrinsic possibility of each object, the ideal plan which when actualized makes up its essence, has its ultimate foundation in the eternal essence of God, contemplated by the Divine Intellect as imitable ad extra. It is realized in the physical order by the creative act of the Divine Will; and it is discovered by our intellect in the creature, as we perceive the plan of the artist in his work. Ontologism thus inverts the true order of knowledge. We do not descend to a knowledge of the thing through the Divine Idea, but we ascend to the Divine Idea from the thing.

Pantheistic Monism. -- Notwithstanding his exaggerated dualism, Descartes' inaccurate definition of substance as, "that which so exists that it stands in need of nothing else for its existence," his denial of all real causal action by creatures, and his reduction of the essence of matter to extension, and that of the soul to thought, contain the germs of the pantheistic Monism developed by the Jew, Baruch Spinoza (16321677). The fact that the exposition of mental life given by various popular writers on empirical psychology at the present day admittedly results in Spinoza's monism, is our excuse for devoting here some space to the founder of modern pantheism.{3} His system is elaborated in his chief work, the Ethica, in geometric fashion from a few definitions and axioms: Substance is "that which exists in itself, and is conceived by itself, i.e., the conception of which can be formed without the aid of the conception of anything else." It follows from this definition that there can be only one substance, selfexisting and infinite. Attribute is "that which the mind perceives as constituting the essence of substance." A mode is "the accident of substance, or that which is in something else through the aid of which it is conceived." The one absolutely infinite substance is constituted by innumerable relatively infinite attributes, of which only two are known to us. These are extension and thought. They manifest themselves in finite modes which comprise the universe of physical things and minds with which we are acquainted. Every particular existence is only a modification, an individualization of the universal substance. Neither human souls nor material objects are self-subsistent; they are merely transitory modes, or as recent writers say, "aspects" of the one infinite being. This one eternal, absolute substance is God. This God is the immanent indwelling, self-evolving cause of the totality of things. It is neither intelligent nor free. All things are identified in it. God and the universe differ merely as natura naturans and natura naturata. The Divine substance evolves itself according to the inner necessity of its being, and this is the only "freedom" which it possesses. The laws of nature are absolulely immutable. They proceed from the essence of God with the same necessity as its geometrical properties flow from the essence of the circle or triangle. Divine action is not in view of ends; there are no final causes.

Thought never acts on the extended, nor matter on mind. Both harmoniously develop their serial changes in parallel lines, but in mutual independence. The dualism of Descartes is thus retained, but only to be unified in the identity of the infinite substratum. The soul is the "idea" -- the subjective aspect -- of the body. They are really one individual thing differently conceived. Both are merely modes or phases of the Divine substance; the one of the attribute of thought, the other of extension.{4} All things are animated, though in varying degrees of perfection. The supposed freedom of the human will is an illusion. Every incident in the history of the universe is necessarily evolved out of the infinite substance, and so has been inexorably predetermined from all eternity. Good is that which is useful to human well-being; evil is the reverse. Since the soul is merely an aspect of the body, immortality in the form of a continuity of personal life after dissolution of the body is of course impossible. The individual will be reabsorbed in the omnivorous infinite substance. We are only "tiny wavelets on the great ocean of substance, we roll our little course, and sink to rise no more." Such is the philosophical conception of the human soul, of God and of the universe, to which much of the current psychology is designed to conduct the reader. It, therefore, seems desirable that the student should clearly understand whither he is to be led by the "new Spinozism."

We cannot enter into a criticism of pantheism here. It suffices to say that Spinoza's theory is entirely built up out of his definitions and axioms, and that these have been shown to be inaccurate and untenable by many writers; whilst even in his demonstrations the author does not consistently adhere to them.{5} The identification of God with blind necessarily-evolving all-devouring substance is little, if at all, preferable to bald and naked atheism. The fatalism involved in the system is subversive of the notions of responsibility, merit, duty, and sin, good and evil, together with all moral ideas. Finally, the belief of mankind in a future life is an idle dream.

Leibnitz (1646-1716). -- In marked opposition to the sensationism of Locke on the one hand and to the monism of Spinoza on the other stands the German Leihnitz. Agreeing with the Cartesian view of the soul as essentially active, he defended the existence of innate ideas against the English empiricist; whilst instead of the one universal substance of the Jewish pantheist he substitutes an infinite number of individual substances, monads. Retaining the excessive dualism of Descartes, with its inevitable denial of interaction between soul and body, yet seeking to avoid alike the continuous series of miracles required by the doctrine of "Occasionalism," the mysticism of the Vision en Dieu, and the fatalistic Pantheism of Spinoza, Leibnitz invented the ingenious theory of Pre-established Harmony. The universe he holds to be composed of an infinite number of monads. These monads are simple unextended substances, energetic atoms, endowed with forces analogous to the ideas or emotions of the mind. A law of continuity in the form of a continuous gradation in stages of perfection holds universally throughout creation from the lowest and most imperfect to the highest created monad. God is the primitive, uncreated, infinite monad. Spirits and human minds are single monads of high rank. Material substances, including the human body, consist of aggregates of inferior monads. There is no real transient action between different monads. The existence of each is made up of a series of immanent changes developed in harmony with those of the rest of the universe of monads. The states or "ideas" of each monad reflect, more or less clearly in proportion to its rank, the condition of all other monads. Each monad is thus a mirror of the universe -- a microcosm imaging the macrocosm. The soul and body of man have been so created and mated by God as to run, like two clocks started together, through parallel series of changes. Since all monads have been originally created with appropriate initial velocities and corresponding rates of development, Leibnitz holds that all the phenomena of perception and volitkm are adequately accounted for. Such is the theory of Pre-established Harmony.

The principle of sufficient reason, that nothing can happen without a sufficient or determining reason, plays an important part in his scheme. The Divine and the human will alike require a determining ground for every act. The creation of the present out of all possible worlds which hovered eternally before the mind of God, is optimistically explained by its being the absolutely best. Its evolution is the gradual realization of a Divine plan.{6} Descartes' mechanical doctrine of inert matter, Locke's conception of a purely passive recipient mind, and the pantheistic monism of Spinoza in which all existing beings are resolved into mere modes of one infinite substance, are thus replaced by a system in which all reality, whether spiritual or material, is transformed into a hierarchical multiplicity of living forces. To Locke's aphorism, Nil est in intellectu quod non fuerit prius in sensu, Leibnitz replied, Nisi intellectus ipse, defending the inherent activity of the mind, and ascribing to it an original fund of native endowments. Intellectual ideas and fundamental principles must be innate, for they could not have been generated by sensuous experience. We find them within us as soon as we attain to perfect consciousness; and they have the character of universality and necessity, while sense discloses only the particular and the contingent. We possess the ideas of God, of our own Ego, and, consequently, of duration and of change, none of which are in any way derivable from experience. Still, like Descartes, Leibnitz at times tones down the theory of innate ideas until it almost vanishes. The ideas do not exist as actual cognitions from the beginning; neither quite as pure potencies. They are best described, comme des inclinations, des dispositions, des habitudes, ou des virtualitis naturelles, et non pas comme des actions. They exist merely as unconscious perceptions until they are evoked into the stage of apperception; that is, until they are formally realized in consciousness. However, although there appears to be placed a distinction between the origin of intellectual ideas and the acts of sensuous apprehension, the theory of Pre-established Harmony necessarily makes them both equally the result of a purely subjective evolution of the native possessions of the mind.

Criticism. -- The system of Leibnitz is a beautiful and ingenious creation of a great intellect, but fanciful and incredible in the highest degree. As regards the special question of perception, the hypothesis of a universe of isolated monads working out independent lines in pre-established harmony is gratuitous, incapable of proof, and impossible to reconcile with the veracity of God or the Freedom of the Will. The sole ground of the creation of this world is, Leibnitz teaches, its superior rationality, its absolute consistency, and inner perfection. Yet when examined, it turns out to be a gigantic sham. "While none of its members condition each other, everything goes on as if they did."{7} With all the semblance of real unity and interaction, the parts possess no more genuine connexion than the incidents of an unreal dream. As regards the wavering exposition of the nature of innate ideas by both Descartes and Leibnitz,{8} it may be observed, that, if all which is claimed to be innate is the capability of forming ideas out of materials presented by sense, then the doctrine is correct; but if instead it is held to be purely out of the mind's own resources, apart from any real co-operation of external objects, that our ideas are evolved, then all the objections to the innate theory already indicated stand. There can, moreover, be advanced no reason, which does not involve flagrant petitio principii, for asserting that innate ideas truly represent the objective world; and the logical outcome is therefore subjective idealism. For Leibnitz, especially, it is peculiarly indefensible to assume the real existence of the material world which, in his view, effects no real change in our mental states. Nay, were it annihilated it would not be missed! This amazing consequence is worth remembering in view of the frequent advocacy at the present day of theories of psycho-physical parallelism, which similarly deny all interaction between mental and bodily processes.

Rosmini (1797-1855) reduced the stock of innate cognitions to the single conception of ideal being, which he considers to be a mental form, a condition of knowledge, and the light of reason. This idea is involved in every other idea and judgment, and so must precede them all. By the application of this innate form to our sensations sensuous apprehension is converted into the intellectual perception of objective existence. Against this single idea, all the old objections to the larger hypothesis still hold. Moreover, the alleged combination of the intellectual form with the sensation presents to us a very obscure and dubious conception, and affords an extremely unsatisfactory account of the objective reality of our knowledge of being. The inference from the universality of the idea of being in our cognitions to its innate origin is unwarrantable. Every perception contains this idea, because every external object apprehended involves this attribute. It is a form of all knowledge, a datum of all cognition, but not therefore an innate form, a subjective datum. This idea is generated at the dawn of intellectual life, though at first it is presented in the vaguest and most ill-defined form. Finally, if this idea which is predicated of all real objects be, as Rosmini in his later writings implies, an intuition of the Infinite Being, the doctrine leads to Pantheism.{9}

Innate a priori Mental Forms. -- Excited by the thorough. going scepticism of Hume, which destroyed the possibility of knowledge, Kant (1724-1804) attempted to elaborate a theory of cognition which, combining the elements of truth possessed by Locke, Descartes, and Leibnitz, would afford a solid basis for science. The chaotic and conflicting systems of speculation with which Germany has been deluged during the past century are very significant evidence as to the amount of success attending Kant's effort.

His chief works are the Critique of the Pure Reason and the Critique of the Practical Reason. The former treatise comprises an examination into the origin, extent, and limits of knowledge. The first step in Philosophy must be criticism as opposed to dogmatism on the one side, and to scepticism on the other. By criticism Kant means an attempted scrutiny into the range and validity of our knowledge. Dogmatism, he maintains, assumes while scepticism rejects, alike unwarrantably, the veracity of our faculties. Kant's criticism results in the denial of real knowledge of everything transcending experience. There is a purely subjective or mental co-efficient in all cognition which destroys its validity. This is especially illustrated in synthetic a priori judgments. Judgments are either synthetic or analytic. The latter, always necessary in character, are formed by mere analysis of the subject, e.g., the whole is greater than a part. Synthetic judgments may be either a posteriori and contingent, e.g., England is a naval power; or a priori and necessary, e.g., Nothing can begin to exist without a cause, Two straight lines cannot inclose a space. How are these synthetic a priori judgments possible? Whence is their peculiar necessity and their universality? This is the problem attacked by the Kantian philosophy. These judgments are not, it is asserted, derived from mere experience; for mere empirical generalizations can never attain this absolute kind of certainty. Yet they are not purely analytical or verbal propositions. Synthetic a priori judgments are effected, Kant answers, by the action of certain innate mental forms which condition all our knowledge.{10} Whatever is presented to the mind is moulded by these forms of the Ego, and unified in the transcendental unity of apperception, that is, in the permanent activity of the pure original unchangeable self-consciousness. Human cognition is an amalgam of two elements, a product of two co-efficients -- the form (die Form) due to the constitution of the mind, and the matter (der Stoff) due to the action of the external object. We can only know the phenomenon -- the mental state resulting from both factors. To the noumenon, the Ding-an-sich, the thing in itself, we can never penetrate. It is only revealed to us as shaped by the a priori form of the mind.

In Perception the a priori element is exhibited, as we have described at length in chapter vi. in the sensuous intuitions of space and time, which mould our external and internal sensibility.{11} The acts of the Understanding, which unify the chaotic manifold presented by sense, are conditioned by another class of twelve purely mental forms called categories. These notions are a priori. They "lie ready in the under. standing from the first." Things in themselves have not unity, plurality, substantiality, causality, and the rest. These categories are true not of the noumenon, but only of the phenomenal object -- that which appears in consciousness. We are subjectively necessitated to think of change as under the law of causation, of accident as inhering in substance, and so on; but we have no ground for supposing such to be the case with the Ding-an-sich. With respect to General Notions, Kant's doctrine involves a form of Conceptualism maintaining in opposition to Nominalism, the truly universal character of concepts; whilst on the other hand it denies the extra-mental validity ascribed to them by Moderate Realism.

Finally, the activity of the Reason which still further unifies the data offered by Sense and Understanding is also conditioned by three purely subjective Ideas. They are the psychological idea of the Soul, as the thinking substance; the cosmological idea of the universe as a totality; and the idea of God. These a priori conceptions apply to corresponding real objects no more than the other forms and categories. They are the source of inevitable illusions occasioning "paralogisms" and "antinomies," or contradictions of the pure reason itself. In particular the empty idea of the Ego is the basis of the deceptive pseudo-science of Rational Psychology. The conclusions of this science are all based on the ille. gitimate application of the purely formal or subjective notion of substance to the Ego as a noumenon. In deducing the attributes of simplicity, identity, individuality, we invariably fall into a paralogism confounding the Ego as logical subject of a proposition with a real substance. We mistake the merely formal, subjective unity of Self for that of a real indivisible being. The aspiration to reach a knowledge of things-inthemselves is doomed to failure: we can only know phenomena -- things when shaped and coloured by mental forms. The outcome of the criticism of the Pure Reason then is the repudiation of knowledge regarding whatever transcends experience.

The Critique of the Practical Reason contains Kant's moral system -- stoicism of a rigorous type. He there seeks to restore in the form of belief what he has previously demolished as rational cognition. Though the existence of the Deity, the immortality of the soul, and the freedom of the will are incapable of proof, if not also replete with contradictions, yet their admission is exacted by the needs of our moral nature.

Criticism. -- (1) It has been forcibly urged against Kant's system as a whole that the central problem of the Critique -the question whether our faculties can attain real truth -- is based on an erroneous view of the proper aim and method of Philosophy. The dogmatical standpoint is the only one which can be consistently maintained. We must from the beginning, under penalty of absolute scepticism and intellectual suicide, assume the capacity of the mind to attain real truth. Every attempt to demonstrate the veracity or the mendacity of our faculties must involve either a vicious circle or a contradiction. Thought, as Hegel argued, can only be scrutinized by thought, and to require a criticism of thought antecedently to the acceptance of its validity is like refusing to enter the water till we are able to swim.{12}

(2) The proof of the subjectivity of the categories and ideas rests largely on the analogy which holds between them and the forms of sensibility, Space and Time, the subjective nature of which is supposed to be already established. For a refutation of this latter point we refer the reader back to pp. ii8 -- izi. Kant's various illustrations of synthetic a priori judgments are reducible either to contingent a posteriori generalizations or analytical truths. For a brief treatment of this question we refer the reader to the volume of this series on Logic, pp. 65-67. An elaborate justification of our assertion will be found in Balmez, Bk. I. c. xxix., and Harper's Metaphysics of the School, Bk. IV. c. v.

(3) Kant's argument against Rational Psychology is based on his peculiar theory of knowledge and the assumption of his complex scheme of forms, categories, and ideas intervening between the mind and its cognition of itself. Accordingly it shares the fate of that theory. But even if the mind enjoyed only a mediate or representative perception of external reality its knowledge of its own states and of itself as existing in these states is immediate. We do not deduce the substantiality of the soul from an a priori conception of substance; nor is our conviction of its simplicity, abiding identity and individual reality based on a paralogism. We have an immediate intellectual apprehension of the mind in its own operations. Self-consciousness combined with memory reveals the mind to us as an indivisible reality which remains the same amid a succession of varying feelings, which is the connecting-point of all thoughts, the subject of real activities and modifications, and knowing itself distinguishes itself from all other beings. The unity of the mind is not merely formal. This mind, self, or ego cannot be an empty illusory idea, or a pure nothing. The nature of self-consciousness will be carefully investigated in a future chapter.

(4) Kant's assumption of the existence of an external noumenon in any shape, is inconsistent with the reduction of the principle of causality to an a priori form. We are justified in believing in an external reality as the cause of our sensations only if the principle of causality is really valid, applicable to noumena, and not a purely subjective illusion.

(5) Finally, as a barrier against the scepticism of Hume, and as a solid basis for science, the Critical Philosophy is a complete failure. Hume analyzes all knowledge into transitory mental states; and necessary truths into irresistible subjective beliefs generated by customary associations. The substitution by the German philosopher of necessary but still purely subjective laws or forms of thought for such beliefs, does not really touch the sceptic. Inasmuch as these laws inhere in all human minds and condition all experience, Kant calls them at times objective and universal as opposed to individual variability, but still they are merely mental. They might, it is true, explain the harmony of the activity of human minds, were these isolated from the physical universe and occupied solely in deducing mathematical theorems from abstract axioms. But Astronomy, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, assume and verify the reality of laws other than the creations of the mind. They assert unmistakably that there are real powers acting upon us and upon each other in space and time, according to laws which we know: they show us that different minds agree in their representations of such modes of action: and they demonstrate that these regular modes of action continue unchanged in the absence of all human minds. Science, in fact, assumes, and the verification of its predictions justifies the assumption, that the laws of cognition mirror the laws of real existence. Kant denies this, and his substitution of innate and necessary but still purely subjective forms of knowledge for the subjective beliefs of Hume, does not afford a whit more solid ground for science.{13}

Later German Idealism. -- That the intermediate position between dogmatism and scepticism assumed by the Critical Philosophy is untenable was speedily demonstrated by the logic of history. Like every system of partial scepticism it inevitably leads to universal doubt and only awaited the thinker sufficiently consistent and audacious to draw the final conclusion. If such irresistible convictions as those of the reality of space, time, causality, unity, personal identity, and the rest are to be deemed illusions, then not only the instinctive beliefs and yearnings on which Kant would rest the existence of God and a future life, are worthless, but also our persuasion of the extra-mental existence of things-inthemselves is unjustifiable. J. G. Fichte (1762-1814) boldly took this last step, and even in Kant's lifetime logically deduced from his master's principles consequences from which the author of the Critical Philosophy shrank as false and pernicious.

If the formal element of cognition, space, causality, and the rest be a purely subjective creation, argued this uncompromising thinker, why may not the matter of knowledge, and consequently the noumenon itself be also a mental fiction? Accordingly he concluded as the simplest explanation that both matter and form of knowledge are the product of the activity of the Ego. The manifold contents of experience, just as well as the a priori intuitions and categories of cognition are furnished by a creative faculty within us. Only the Ego is; what seems the non-ego is only its own self-limitation. Each human mind, or finite ego is, however, merely a mode of the Absolute Ego which is ever opposing itself to itself.

Empiricism. -- In complete opposition to Kant and the defenders of innate ideas stands the Empiricist school. Previous to Kant and Hume, in his Essay on the Human Understanding (1690), John Locke sought "to inquire into the origin, certainty, and extent of knowledge, and the grounds of belief, opinion, and assent." This work is the fountainhead of modern sensism, empiricism, materialism, and phenomenal idealism.{14} Locke starts with the rejection of innate ideas or innate principles in any form. The mind is originally a tabula rasa, a clean slate on which nothing is written. The sources of all our knowledge are external sense-perception and reflexion or internal perception. Nil est in intellectu quod non fuerit prius in sensu. Knowledge consists in the perception of agreement or difference between our ideas. The ultimate elements of knowledge are ideas received through the senses. These aggregated in various ways form compound or complex ideas, which are divided into three classes, modes, substances, and relations. Ideas of primary qualities of bodies -- extension, solidity, figure, &c., are like their objective correlates, but ideas of secondary qualities, taste, colour, &c., are not. By reflexion or internal sensibility we know our volitions and feelings. By internal and external sense combined, we form ideas of power, unity, and the like. Substance, the self-subsisting substratum which we imagine to be the support of the qualities of bodies, is a mental fiction. It cannot be apprehended by internal or external sense; but, as we are unable to imagine that the ideas we perceive by our senses inhere in nothing, we suppose the existence of a substratum which binds them together.

Influence. -- Locke's influence in Philosophy has been great mainly in two directions. On the one hand he gave a powerful impulse to Empirical Psychology, and on the other his defective analysis of our mental endowments resulted in a sensationalism which rapidly developed into materialism and scepticism. The stimulus given to the study of mental phenomena should within its own sphere have been a real gain to Philosophy, but occurring unfortunately at an epoch when Metaphysics had fallen into discredit, the use and value of this method in the treatment of metaphysical questions proper became absurdly over-estimated. Accordingly, most modern thinkers from Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, to Mill and Mr. Spencer, have been led to devote a prodigious amount of labour to the obscure question of the origin of knowledge, and then, on the strength of some very dubious solutions therein adopted, to determine authoritatively the validity or invalidity of all our cognitions and beliefs.

As regards particular tenets of Locke we have only space to remark: (1) that his conception of the mind as a passive recipient tablet, and his non-recognition of its supra-sensuous activity, are fatal blemishes to his psychology; (2) that as a consequence he can give no adequate account of all our most important notions, such as those of God, self, substance, and the various intellectual operations insisted on in a previous chapter; (3) that his view of knowledge as the perception of agreement or disagreement between ideas and not things, and his doctrine of mediate perception leads inevitably to subjective idealism. If we can only know our mental states, then we have no knowledge of the existence of a material world beyond these states. (4) His use of the important word idea is fatally ambiguous throughout his whole work, and he similarly confounds mental with merely intra-organic phenomena. The vital deficiencies in his doctrine of senseperception and in his conception of intellect were evinced in the next generation by the Idealistic and Sceptical deductions of Berkeley and Home on the one hand, and by the Sen. sualism of Condillac, Helvetius, and the French Materialists on the other.{15} Both Berkeley and Hume ignore the essential difference between sense and intellect, but as we have already sketched their systems (pp. 108-110), we must omit them here. The most thoroughgoing disciple of Locke in this direction was the French philosopher Condillac. He omits Locke's second source of experience, reflexion, altogether, and endeavours to build up the edifice of knowledge by external sense alone. Hartley, in this country, similarly conceived the mind as a passive recipient something, in which by association our sensations and phantasms combine, coalesce, and become refined into spiritual cognitions. It will, however, be most useful to pass on to the latest representatives of the Sensist school, and we shall take Bain and Sully as its leading present advocates.

Recent Nominalism. -- The following account of Conception and Judgment is given by Dr. Bain: "We feel identity among stars in spite of their variety, the things thus identified make a class, and the operation is called classifying." "We are able to attend{16} to the points of agreement of resembling things and to neglect the points of difference, as when we think of the roundness of round bodies . . . this is named the power of abstraction." Nevertheless "abstraction does not consist in the mental separation of one property of a thing from the other properties, as in thinking of the roundness of the moon apart from its luminosity, . . . such a separation is impracticable." We merely "imagine a thing in company with others having the attribute in question, and affirm nothing of the one concrete thing which is not true of all the others." We sometimes seem to approach to an abstract idea, but it is really impossible. Even in geometry the concrete lines and figures are a necessity. "Length is the name for one or more things agreeing in the property so called, and the property is nothing but this agreement." "The only generality possessing separate existence is the Name. General ideas separated from particulars have no counterpart in Reality (as implied in Realism), and no Mental existence (as affirmed in Conceptualism). . . . Neither can we have a mental Conception of any property abstracted from all others; we cannot conceive a circle except as of some colour and some size; we cannot conceive justice except by thinking of just actions." Logically enough, then, following out the principles of sensism, he holds also that "the existence of a supposed external and independent material world is the crowning instance of the abstraction converted into the separate entity."{17}

Criticism. -- Such is Bain's psychology of universal concepts, and we shall now comment on it. The expressions, "feeling" or "sense of difference or identity," are inaccurate if used of the comparative act in the same meaning as when applied to the consciousness of the original sensations. The perception of agreement or difference is an intellectual cognition. If "we are able to attend to the points of agreement of resembling things, and to neglect the points of difference," then it is not true that "we cannot make a mental separation of one property of a thing from other properties." Attention to one particular aspect of objects and neglect of the rest constitutes precisely the mental separation of the former property; and in this the essence of abstraction consists, it is, moreover, on the exercise of this intellectual faculty that the science of geometry, and, in fact, all general knowledge depends. We attend to those features of our figure which are common to all the class, and we omit the rest. Our demonstration proceeds solely from the attribute or group of attributes which are contained in the concept of the species of figure with which we deal; and if we allow any accidental qualities to intrude, our proof may become at once vitiated. It is, of course, indisputable that we cannot picture by the imagination length separated from the line, or surface from the plane; but this does not prevent us from thinking the length whilst we ignore the other qualities. When I prove a thesis in geometry regarding the length of some line, I fix my attention solely on the length of the imperfect line before me, although of course my senses must apprehend it as possessing breadth. Now, this act of attention is a thought, a cognition presenting to me that something which forms the subject of my elaborate demonstration -- a universal idea: and the denial either of its abstract character or of its real objective foundation annihilates the science of Geometry. (See p.250.)

Dr. Bain's definition of length as "the name of one or more things agreeing in this property," illustrates well the violence that must be done to common language and common thought in order to adapt them to the needs of the Sensist Psychology. Length is not the name of things -- the fishingrod, the piece of string, and the River Thames -- any more than motion is the name of the steam-engine, the swallow, and the perambulator. It is simply the name of a common property which the mind can consider and reason about "irrespective of any other relations." It is quite true that we cannot form a sensuous image or phantasm of a circle except of some particular colour, size, &c., and it is also true that the intellect cannot elicit a universal idea without the presence of a concrete image; but given this latter, we can contemplate in thought the specific or universal features abstracting from those which are individual.

The comparative or judicial activity of the mind Dr. Bain resolves into the Law of Relativity, (See p. 95,) He holds that "the really fundamental separation of the Intellect is into three facts called (1) Discrimination, the sense, feeling, or consciousness of difference. (2) Similarity, the feeling or consciousness of agreement, and (3) Retentiveness, or the power of memory or acquisition. These three functions, however, much as they are mingled in our mental operations, are yet totally distinct properties, and each the groundwork of a distinct structure. . . They are the Intellect, the whole Intellect, and nothing but the Intellect."

The attempted reduction of Intellect to a mere phase of the Law of Relativity lies open to the fatal objection that it confounds in the crudest manner two essentially distinct things -- capacity for discriminable feelings, and the power of discriminating between them. Bain's language concerning the so-called "facts" of discrimination ignores the radical diversity between the mere occurrence of unlike feelings and the comparative act of the higher faculty by which that unlikeness is cognized. Transition from one feeling to the other, change from one state of consciousness to another, is very different from the intellectual act of attention by which we may and do at times recognize that transition, and compare those states. Among low stages of animal life we frequently find the keenest susceptibility to different sensations. But the intellectual perception of them as different is wanting. The same objection applies to his treatment of the "fact" of agreement.

With regard to the third "fact " or "function "he is even less happy. " Retentiveness" strictly understood means simply the persistence in the mind or body of a disposition towards the re-excitation of a state which has once occurred. Now this capability of conservation or resuscitation is not a specially intellectual or cognitive property at all. If, however, it is to be interpreted more largely as involving recognition and equivalent to "memory," then it is clearly not simple or ultimate in Dr. Bain's sense, but is in part made up of the other "fact" or cognition of agreement.

Dr. Sully, who is at present probably the most popular representative of the Sensist school, seems to have felt the inadequacy of the account of our knowledge given by his predecessors. In chapters ix. x. of his Outlines of Psychology, he analyzes and describes the process of thinking. Some of his remarks there appear to us accurate enough; but usually when this is the case they seem to be inconsistent with his Sensationalist assumption that "all mental activity is of one and the same kind throughout its manifold phases." (p. 26.){18} We can only cite a few typical phrases which will nevertheless sufficiently justify our observations: "All thinking is representation like imagination, but it is of a different kind." "Thinking deals with abstract qualities of things -- that is, aspects common to them and many other things, e.g., the possession of life."

These statements are true, but directly opposed to Nominalism, involved in Sensism, and frankly accepted by Dr. Bain. If "thinking is representation like imagination, but of a different kind," and if "abstract qualities of things, that is, aspects common to them and many other things," can be thus represented in thought, then evidently the Sensist tenet that there can be no really general notions or concepts, and that the only thing which is universal is the word or name, is abandoned. Again: thinking, "like the simpler forms of cognition, consists in discrimination and assimilation, in detecting differences and agreements," but "it is of a higher kind involving much more activity of mind. All thinking involves comparison. . . . By an act of comparison is meant the voluntary direction of the attention to two or more objects at the same moment, or in immediate succession, with a view to discover differences or agreements." This power he holds to be beyond that of even intelligent brutes. Here, again, the description is correct, but utterly incompatible with the empirical conception of the mind as a mere collection of impressions.

Generic Images -- In treating of the nature and origin of universal ideas, Dr. Sully adheres to Nominalism. He seeks, indeed, to improve that doctrine, which has suffered somewhat severely under recent criticism, but yet accepts the old sensist view, which confounds the phantasm of the imagination with the intellectual concept. He defines the concept as "the representation in our minds answering to a general name, such as sailor, man, animal." But, "what is in the mind is a kind of composite image formed by the fusion or coalescence of many images of single objects, in which individual differences are blurred, and only the common features stand out prominently. . . This may be called a typical, or generic image."

The Generic Image, like a composite photograph, is, in fact, the residual effect of a series of impressions of similar objects; the common lineaments are deepened whilst the marginal and accidental variations annul each other, leaving a vague outline. Dr. Sully believes that this generic image offers "a way of reconciling the opposed views. As generic it differs in an important way from the detailed particular image. As an image it meets the contention of the nominalist that all ideation is at bottom imagination." (The Human Mind, p. 346.)

Criticism. -- (1) This remark suggests the impression that Dr. Sully has missed the significance of the controversy. Whichever side be right, the dispute between Nominalists and their opponents is by no means so puerile. The difference between the Sensationist conception of mental action and that of the Kantian, Aristotelian, and other schools, which maintain the reality of universal concepts, is of too fundamental a character to be so easily bridged over. The hypothesis that the universal concept is a decayed, worn-down image, instead of being a distinct and definite phantasm, as implied by earlier empiricists, is not likely to win realist converts. (2) As a matter of fact, this "generic " image is as far removed from the universal concept proper as is a vivid definite image. It is merely a confused fluctuating phantasm with the individualizing characteristics partially obliterated; a sort of mean or average picture, somewhat as a figure seen in a fog. But though imperfect and indistinct, it is still a representation of a particular character. When the mathematician proves a theorem concerning the triangle, whether the diagram on the black-board be clear and distinct, or faded and obscure, it is in itself equally individual; but it assists the intellect to hold before its gaze throughout the process the complexus of attributes which constitute the essence and nature of triangle -- the concept of triangle. The phantasm of the imagination, whether vivid and definite, or vague and "generic," performs a similar function, but in itself it is as individualistic as the figure on the black-board.{19} The concept alone is truly universal, since it alone really and completely applies to all possible members of the class. The concept too may be quite distinct while the image is confused; and the former is stable whilst the latter varies from moment to moment. (See above, pp. 237.) (3) Furthermore, it may be urged that the generic image hypothesis is in conflict with the results of more careful investigation into the working of the imagination. It is clear from Galton's inquiries that people vary enormously with respect to the vividness of their power of imagination and visualization of past experiences. The best images which many can form of absent individual objects, such as their breakfast-table, their bed-room, or their father, are of the vague "generic" type; whilst others profess to be able to call up representations of these objects which rival the original perceptions in liveliness and accuracy of detail. When men think or reason about general classes of objects, the indistinctness of their images naturally varies with their individual powers of visualization. Some men apparently employ much more distinct and vivid phantasms than others; but the concept may be equally perfect and universal in both. It can hardly be maintained that hazy images or confused perceptions conduce to greater perfection of scientific notions, yet this seems to be the logical consequence of the recent theory which would reduce the general concept to the vague and generic rather than to the clear and distinct phantasms of the imagination. The truth is, it is radically different from both.{20}

Positivism. -- Sensationism and Empiricism, as we have seen, lead as surely to phenomenism, or the denial of all knowledge of things in themselves, as Kantianism. This doctrine of nescience, which is now the creed of a large number of scientists as well as professional philosophers, received its most formal enunciation in the Positivism of Auguste Comte (1798-1857). This is the substance of the French philosopher's teaching: Metaphysics, or the investigation of the first cause of things, of their inner nature and last end, is a chimerical science. Human reason can never learn anything about God, the soul, man's origin or destiny: consequently Natural Theology and Rational Psychology are alike illusory. Agnosticism, in fact, describes the true philosophical attitude. The absolute in every form is unknowable; cognition is limited to the relative, the phenomenal. Theism, atheism, pantheism, materialism, and spiritualism, are equally irrational and indefensible. All attempts to search after the ultimate causes of phenomena must be condemned as worse than useless. All metaphysical entities, such as substance, cause, faculty, force, should be banished from our minds as empty and unreal phantoms. The aim of the human intellect must henceforth be to observe, analyze, and classify facts, to register the succession and coexistence of phenomena, and then to generalize by induction so as to formulate their laws; but never may it seek in its reasonings to transcend the field of experience. Laws of phenomena constitute the goal of human science. Phenomena alone are real, useful, positive. Positive science is therefore the science of phenomena; and the function of the Positive Philosophy consists in the classification and methodizing of the Sciences.

The sciences Comte arranges according to their complexity after a hierarchical plan. Ascending in serial order from the simpler, more abstract and prior in order of time, they are thus placed: mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. Each depends upon all the others which precede it. Psychology is merely a branch of biology, to be investigated by objective methods (see pp. 21, 22); whilst ethics is a department of sociology.

The other leading feature in Comte's system is the historic conception of the three states. The human mind in its development necessarily passes through three stages: the theological, in which it explains natural phenomena by the interference of personal agents -- supernatural beings: the metaphysical, in which it accounts for phenomena by metaphysical entities, occult causes, and scholastic abstractions -such as substances, forces, faculties, and the like; finally, the positive period, at last happily arrived, in which man abandons all such futile investigations and confines himself to formulating the laws which connect phenomena.

Later on Comte, acknowledging the necessity of an object to satisfy the religious instincts of man's nature, crowned this system by the invention of a curious species of religion -the worship, with an elaborate ritual, of Humanity in general. This last production of his speculative genius, however, met with acceptance among very few of his followers. Indeed, here in England the Positive Philosophy has experienced very severe criticism at the hands of Spencer, Huxley, and others who themselves profess many of its chief doctrines. In morals Comte insisted much on altruism -- aiming at the happiness not of self but of others -- as the ethical end of life. Christianity fosters selfishness, and so the disappearance of Christian and Theistic belief will lead, he prophesies, to great purity and perfection of general morality.

Criticism. -- We have to deal only with the psychology of Positivism. It is needless to do more than recall the utter failure of Comte's attempt to discredit introspection and to degrade the science of the mind into a branch of cerebral physiology. The practical outcome of his teaching is materialism. As to Comte's oft-repeated assertion, reiterated by his followers, that we can never know anything of the absolute, but only of the relative; it is a piece of dogmatism deriving its chief plausibility from an ambiguity we have before alluded to, in such terms as absolute, noumenon, phenomenon, and relative. (See pp. 258, 159.) If by "absolute" or "noumenon," be meant some element of reality which never stands in any relation to our faculties, and so never reveals itself to the mind, then it is obvious we can never know that "absolute" or "noumenon." But, if under the term "absolute" be included, as these writers intend, active essences in the world around us, agents which really cause and do not merely precede events, an abiding being which is the real subject of our evanescent conscious states as well as the truly absolute, the primary cause and last end of finite perishing creatures; then, assuredly, the human mind can attain knowledge of the "absolute." Reason knows the absolute by the very fact that it cognizes the relative to be relative. Knowledge of the relative, as such, involves as its necessary consequence knowledge of the absolute. It is because it recognizes the creatures and events of the physical world along with its own states and acts as relative that the mind is led to the discernment of the absolute author in the one case, and the permanent ground in the other. The phenomenal, the changing, the relative are all unthinkable without the real, the permanent -- the absolute, if we choose to call it.{21}

The prohibition of Positivism to search for knowledge of anything beyond the region of sensible experience is arbitrary and vain, whilst Comte's prophecies regarding the quiescence of the human mind in the positivist creed are already notoriously falsified. The principle of causality appeals to the reason both as an objective, transcendental law, embracing all contingent existence, and as an imperative, insatiable impulse in the quest of truth. The instinct to seek out the ultimate why as well as the how is the essential outcome of the rational constitution of the human mind. It is this inappeasable curiosity which most of all distinguishes man from the brute animal; and has been the motive power which has effected every great advance in the extension of human knowledge. The view, therefore, that the highest developsnent of human reason can content itself with the mere accumulation, registration, and generalization of sensible facts, and can remain in stolid indifference to all those great problems which have engrossed the loftiest intelligence from Plato and Aristotle to St. Thomas and Dante, and again from these down to Newton and Leibnitz, is possible only to a mind blinded by anti-theological prejudice.

The Origin of Axioms and Necessary Truths: Associationist Theory. -- Besides universal concepts, necessary truths, and especially those which have been called synthetic a priori judgments, have been advanced in proof of the existence of a supra-sensuous faculty. Examples of these are the axioms of mathematics: "Two things which are equal to a third are (necessarily) equal to each other;" "Equals added to equals give equals;" "Two straight lines cannot inclose a space;" the principle of causality: "Nothing can begin to exist without a cause;" and also self-evident ethical maxims: "Right ought to be done;" "Ingratitude is wrong," and so on. These judgments, we maintain, affirm necessary and universal truths. They must hold always and everywhere, even in the most distant parts of the universe. God cannot infringe them. The peculiar necessary character of these propositions Kant sought to explain, as we have seen, by the hypothesis of subjective forms or laws inherent in the constitution of the mind. Empiricism endeavours to account for this necessity by mental association. The axioms are, it is asserted, mere generalizations from continuous experience. They have been reached by observation and comparison of the empirical facts around us, and they may be legitimately extended by inference throughout the world of our experience, but beyond this we cannot assert that they must hold. In distant stars 2+3 may equal 4.

Historically, Hume was the first to try to systematically account for the necessity of these judgments by sensuous experience. Our conviction as to the necessity of the principle of causality, and our belief in the reality of some sort of influx of the cause into the effect, he explains as the result of custom. Reiterated observation of one event following another begets the delusion that there is some sort of nexus between them; while there is really nothing but succession. Later sensation alists with much ingenuity extended the application of this principle; and the Law of Inseparable, Indissoluble, or Irresistible Association was claimed to be an instrument capable of accounting for all our most important intellectual principles. The leading modern representative of the school on this question is J. S. Mill. In his Logic, and in his Examination of Sir W. Hamilton's Philosophy, he propounded and defended the doctrine that all so-called necessary truths, mathematical axioms among the rest, are merely generalizations from sensuous experience, and their seemingly necessary character is only an instance of inseparable or irresistible association between the ideas of the subject and predicate which is created by their repeated conjunction. Dr. Bain adopts the same view, and speaks in the most confused maimer of the various doctrines opposed to the Empirical theory.{22}

The Associationist doctrine will be best exhibited by a few citations from Mill, on Mathematical truths: "What is the ground for our belief in (mathematical) axioms? What is the evidence on which they rest? They are experimental truths, generalizations from experience."{23} Accordingly it follows "that demonstrative sciences (e.g., Geometry) are all without exception inductive sciences; that their evidence is that of experience." They cannot be ~legitimately extended to "distant stellar regions," for we are not justified in assuming the uniformity of nature far beyond our experience, and axioms based on such experience are limited to the regions where we know such uniformity to prevail.{24} The "feeling of necessity" with which mathematical and metaphysical axioms are affirmed, is a product of association. To say that a proposition is necessary is another way of saying that its contradictory is inconceivable; and this is precisely the effect to be expected from association. "We should probably be able to conceive a round square as easily as a hard square or a heavy square, if it were not that in our uniform experience at the moment when a thing begins to be round it ceases to be square, so that the beginning of one impression is inseparably associated with the departure of the other. . . . We cannot conceive two and two as five, because an inseparable association compels us to conceive it as four. . . . And we should probably have no difficulty in putting together the two ideas supposed to be incompatible (e.g., round and square, &c.), if our experience had not first inseparably associated one with the contradictory of the other."{25} Many such inseparable associations are, he argues, effected by experience. Darkness is necessarily associated in the minds of children and timid persons with terror. We cannot revisit the scenes of particular events without recalling them. The ancients could not conceive people living at the Antipodes, from their habitual experience that objects so situated would fall off. Now, mathematical axioms and the other primary truths are perpetually forcing themselves on our notice, and are consequently eminently calculated to generate subjective necessities of the character ascribed to them. It is, therefore, illogical to postulate any other origin for these truths, since, like all the rest of our knowledge, they can be accounted for by association and sensuous experience. We have stated the doctrine of Associationism upon this subject at length, because it was considered for a number of years to be the greatest achievement of the Sensist school, and because its untenability, in spite of all the ingenuity devoted to its elaboration, shows the utter insufficiency of the Empirical theory of knowledge.

Criticism. -- (1) In the first place the term inconceivable, as has been pointed out by every successive writer on the subject, is grievously abused. This word may signify among other meanings, (a) unpicturable by the imagination, e.g., red by the blind; (b) incredible, though not intrinsically impossible, e.g., a race of horned horses; (c) positively unthinkable, in the sense that the proposition so characterized is seen to be necessarily false. Now, throughout Mill's whole treatment of the question, even after hostile criticism had forced him to advert to the ambiguity, he confounds these various meanings of the term in a manner which fatally vitiates his reasoning. Frequency of association may beget in the mind an incapacity to separate two states of consciousness, and long continued experience or absence of experience may make something inconceivable in the sense of (a) or (b), which is not so in that of (c). In affirming that two things, each equal to a third, must always and everywhere equal each other, that 2+3= 4+1, or, that whatever begins to exist must have a cause, we enounce a judgment the reversal of which is not merely inconceivable through an incapacity of the mind: it is positively perceived to be absolutely impossible. On the other hand, it was always easy to imagine men at the opposite side of the earth, but unfamiliarity with the notion of its rotundity, or of change in the direction of gravitation, rendered the suggestion very difficult, though not impossible, to believe.

(2) To the assertion that the "peculiar feeling of necessity" which marks these axioms is just what would be produced by association, we reply that it is not a matter of subjective feeling at all, but an intelligent insight of objective necessity. In my present mental and bodily constitution I am necessarily pained by extreme heat or cold. I am forced to feel certain tastes as agreeable or the opposite; and I cannot imagine sensations afforded by a different set of faculties from those with which man is endowed. But reflexion tells me that this necessity or incapacity is subjective. The facts might be reversed. On the other hand, in contemplating the proposi. tion that two things which are each equal to a third must be equal to each other, I am conscious not merely that I must believe this truth, like any contingent experience, but also that it must objectively and necessarily be so; that it can never be reversed.

(3) Again, many of these necessary truths are perceived to be such too early in life and too rapidly to be explained by accumulated experience. Mill was driven illogically to abandon the doctrine tbat it is by real experience of external nature we are gradually convinced that two straight lines cannot suclose a space, and to adopt the intuitional theory that by reflexion on the ideas of straight lines we can form that judgment. His attempted justification was that the clearness with which the imagination can depict geometrical figures rivals that of actual experience; but this certainly does not hold for many arithmetical and algebraical judgments.{26} The proposition that 4+5=6+3, when once clearly comprehended in a single experiment, is cognized to be necessarily true, though we may never have noticed the fact, or juxtaposed these ideas before in our life. Similarly, the still more universal truth x + 1 +y - 1 = x + y. The proposition that a trilateral figure must be triangular, is also seen to be necessarily true, as soon as it is reflected upon, although these ideas may never previously have been compared.

(4) On the other hand, there are numerous cases where two facts have been uniformly conjoined throughout our entire experience, and yet they are not apprehended by the mind as necessarily connected. I have, for instance, always found fire possessed of the property of warmth, yet I can easily believe that this property can be suspended or separated from it, "while by mere consideration of the ideas," without having once experienced some particular mathematical truth, such as that 2 + 9 = 3 + 8, "I am convinced that not even Omnipotence could overthrow that equality; . . . that which I have never experienced I regard as necessary; that which I have habitually and unexceptionally experienced, I regard as contingent. Most certainly, therefore, mere constant uniform experience cannot possibly account, as Mr. Mill thinks it does, for the mind's conviction of self-evident necessity."{27}

Evolutionist Theory. -- The Sensist teaching on the origin of necessary truths has assumed a fresh shape in the hands of those writers of the school who maintain the human intellect to have been evolved from that of a non-rational animal. In its present garb the theory claims to possess the combined merits of the hypotheses of innate ideas, of a priori forms of thought, and of inseparable association, while it escapes their deficiencies. Mr. Herbert Spencer is the leading advocate of the new form of the old creed. In his view axiomatic truths, both scientific and moral, are products of experience extending back through the history of the race. The so-called necessities of thought have been produced by association working not merely through the short life of the individual, but away back through the millions of generations of ancestors which have intervened between man and the original protozoa. Mental associations contracted in the experience of each individual modify his organism. These modifications are transmitted by heredity, and appear in the offspring as mental tendencies or predispositions. They continue to accumulate and increase in every successive generation, until the intellectual deposit takes final shape as a necessary law of thought or a form of the mind. Space, time, causality, duty, are complex notions which have been elaborated during the long ages of ancestral experience. "They have arisen from the organized and consolidated experience of all antecedent individuals who bequeathed their slowly developed nervous organizations . . . till they (i.e., mental acquisitions embodied in nervous modificationsD practically became forms of thought apparently independent of experience."{28}

Criticism. -- The eagerness with which the new theory has been received by disciples of the Sensist school shows how utterly inadequate the old Associationist view was felt to be, even among the circle of its own advocates. Yet careful examination of the subject has convinced us that the solitary argumentative superiority the new doctrine possesses over its parent is that of removing the question from the region of rational discussion, and situating it where proof and disproof are alike impossible. This, however, is hardly an excellence which the empiricist can consistently admire. The only criterion which he recognizes is that of experience; the first condition of a hypothesis, capability of verification. Now, there is no theory, however wild, that has yet been broached on the subject -- not even that of the ante-natal existence of the soul conjured up by the poetic fancy of Plato -- which is more utterly beyond the possibility of scientific proof than the new doctrine. If it has to be adujitted by positivist psychologists that it is practically impossible to get reliable evidence concerning the earlier mental states of the infant, it can hardly be disputed that the nature and development of the intellectual and emotional faculties of our remote ancestors of pre-human times are completely shut out from our ken.{29} Geology and Palmontology may throw light on the anatomic structure of the earlier forms of animal life, bu~ their mental endowments cannot be deduced from their fossil remains. Consequently, any hypothesis put forward as to the character and growth of the notion of space, time, causality, and morality in the alleged transitional species of past ages is as much outside the pale of science, as are the habits and customs of the natives of Sirius. The earlier sensationists, defective though their system was, at all events appealed in great part to a tribunal before which evidence could he tendered, and they at least professed to base their creed upon the facts of human consciousness; but, as Dr. Martineau forcibly urges, "their modern followers take refuge from this strong light in an earlier twilight where nobody can tell exactly what goes on. . . . If Hobbes, as often happens, gives us a piece of droll psychology, every one who knows himself can tell whether it is true or false, and lay his finger on any distortion it contains. If Darwin describes the inward conflict of an extinct baboon, he paints a fancy picture of what remains for ever without a witness."{30}

Furthermore, the doctrine of transmitted hereditary experience as applied to necessary truths rests on a profound psychological misinterpretation of their character. It is credible that an instinct, or a tendency towards a particular species of emotion or action can be inherited; hut the intuition of necessary truths is something essentially different. We have before pointed out that we do not apprehend the necessity of an axiom from any blind incapacity or negative limitation of thought; on the contrary, it is the translucent self-evidence of the truth itself which extorts assent. We may in our present constitution be necessarily pained by extreme cold and heat, we may necessarily relish honey, or enjoy the scent of the rose, yet that these things are necessarily so for all consciousness we do not judge; but, that two things each equal to a third are equal to each other, we not only necessarily affirm, but affirm as necessarily holding in all being, and for all intelligence. Assent to self-evident axioms is, then, not a blind instinct due to habit either inherited or acquired, but a rational apprehension of intelligible relations objectively true.

Again, the hypothesis is exposed to the objection, quod nimis probat nihil probat. If it is true that ancestral experience has been transmitted in this way, we ought to find (a) innate cognitions of a large number of other phenomena, and (b) a more perfect knowledge of space and other native endowments in the human infant than in young animals of inferior species. Now as regards (b), although we do not see sufficient evidence for denying to babies an intuitive though vague perception of extension, it would seem to be certainly established that chickens and young pigs apprehend space from the first with an accuracy scarcely attained by the fully developed man. As for (a), if it is true that the peculiar feature of necessity pertaining to these truths is due to the uniform experience of our ancestors, registered and transmitted in nervous tissue, it is not easy to see why such judgments as that "fire burns," "stones fall to the ground, and sink in water," "timber floats," "night follows day," and the like, have not a similar character. These propositions must represent a pretty uniform experience of our ancestors for a long way back in the series, while the number of occasions on which it was cognized that 7+5=3+9, or the number of times when the idea of "trilateral" was compared with that of "triangular" and found to be conjoined in experience, cannot in the pre-mathematical age have been very frequent; yet the former are perceived to be contingent, the latter necessary.

Another difficulty may be urged as to the nature of that experience which generates these mental forms. What is the "environment," the "cosmos," that has been gradually creating these necessities of thought? All forms of sensism logically reduce space and extension to muscular feelings. Such a "cosmos" is, however, obviously of too shadowy a character for the needs of evolutionism. Mr. Spencer, indeed, here postulates an infinite unknowable energy as eternal; but other disciples, such as Mr. Sully, though sympathetic on many points, look upon thss assumption as a surviving relic of the vulgar anthropomorphic instinct.{31} Anyhow the difficulty remains: do these necessities which get translated into our consciousness condition that objective energy in itself? If so, then we would seem to have got the admission of objective necessary truth which holds for all being, and which reveals itself to the mind.{32} If not, what right is there for assuming that the action of this eternal energy was universally uniform throughout all past time? There remains, finally, the insuperable objection that the soul being a spiritual principle, as we shall prove hereafter, cannot have been inherited from non-rational animals.

Intuitionalist Doctrine. -- The true view lies between Innatism and Empiricism. Although all knowledge starts from experience, it is false to assert that all axioms are mere formulae summing up a gathered experience, whether of the individual or of the race, and that our knowledge is limited to the range of such experience. Necessary truths may be eithes self-evident or deduced from such by demonstration. The former are called Axioms. Of these the most universal and fundamental is the Principle of Contradiction: Nothing can both be and not be at the same time. To the ordinary human mind{33} the theorems of Euclid are examples of the second class.

The self-evident necessary truths which comprise the various axioms are discerned by rational or intellectual intuition: that is, by simple consideration of the terms that is of the objects of thought about which they are affirmed. Just as we are capable of perceiving contingent impressions by sense, we have also the power of apprehending the natures of things, and the necessary relations which these involve by the intellect. These intellectual intuitions start from sensuous-perception of single objects, and it is only later on by a deliberate reflex act that the universal truth which these particular cases contain is formally generalized. Thus when Aristotle says that Axioms -- Dignitates, as the schoolmen quaintly translate them -- are reached by induction, be does not mean that they are generalizations formed by prolonged and reiterated comparison of individuals, but that experience of some particular examples is needed to enable the intellect adequately to comprehend the two terms. When this is effected, the necessary and universal judgment emerges spontaneously as an intuition. We are not endowed at birth with a collection of these simple general cognitions, but with an intellectual aptitude for their easy and rapid discovery in concrete cases. This natural aptitude, universal in the human race, the scholastics called the Habitus principiorum. Thus, to take a particular example, I do not begin life by an intuitive recognition of the abstract universal truth, What is greater than the greater is greater than the less; but, observing A to be greater than B, which latter I also know to be greater than C, I intuitively recognize as a self-evident necessary truth that A must be greater than C, becoming at the same time implicitly aware of the universal principle exemplified. Afterwards, by a deliberately reflexive act, I elevate this implicit cognition to the rank of the explicit or formally universal truth -- every such A must be greater than C. I have thus reached the Axiom without a protracted comparison of a large number of A's with C's. The process is similar in the discovery of the Principles of Contradiction and Causality. Neither is a mere generalization from a multitude of observations, and neither is held in an abstract form by the child. But having intellectually apprehended in particular sensuous experiences the notions in the one case of "being" and in the other of "thing beginning to exist," there is needed only an easy effort of reflexion upon the notions employed in the singular comparison to intuitively recognize the Axiom.{34} Afterwards in complicated reasonings I may recur to the general rule to justify a particular step about which I am dubious, but the relation is first apprehended in the singular experience.{35} Truths of this character are rightly termed transcendental. They are not limited to the field of observed phenomena. They underlie and extend beyond experience; and they constitute a body of knowledge of an entirely distinct order from that comprised in the experiential sciences.

Readings. -- Perhaps the best history of Theories of Knowledge is that contained in the first volume of Erkenntnisslehre, von Al. Schmid (Munich). The literature on the nature and origin of Necessary Truth is abundant. Essays 1, 2, 4, and 5 in Dr. Ward's Philosophy of Theism, Vol. I. are exhaustive. See also Kleutgen. op. cit. §sect; 288-309; Dr. M'Cosh, Exam. of Mill, cc. xi. xii. and Intuitions of Mind, passim; and Mr. Courtney's Metaphysics of Mill, cc. vii. viii.

{1} Cf. Logic, c. viii. and the First Priscittes of Knowledge, Pt. II. c. iv. A good sketch of Plato's Philosophy is given in Stöckl's History of Philosophy, §§ 29, 30.

{2} Descartes is remarkable not so much for his treatment of the origin of knowledge as for his attempted proof of its validity. To build philosophy on a secure basis he starts with a process ot methodical or simulated doubt. I can doubt, he says, the veracity of my senses, mathematical axioms, the existence of the external world, &c., &c.; but I cannot doubt that I think, and to think I must exist. Cogito ergo sum, is thus the first fact and the last truth in Philosophy. To advance further a criterion or rule of certainty is required, and by studying the one unassailable truth, this criterion is discovered to consist in a peculiar clearness of apprehension. I am indubitably certain of my own existonce, because I clearly perceive that my doubt or thought involves it. Whatever, then, I have a clear idea of, is to be considered true. The next step is to guarantee the validity of this criterion. I find within me a clear idea of an Infinite Being. Whence is this? (a) Clearly not from a finite creature; and moreover (b) the idea of an Infinite Being involves all possible attributes including existence. Ergo, such a Being really exists. The idea of infinite also clearly implies perfection and veracity; but a veracious God cannot have created me for perpetual and necessary deception. When, therefore, I have a clear idea, I must be in possession of truth. Scientific certainty is now restored, and the construction of a bridge from the subjective to the objective world effected. I have a clear idea of mathematical axioms, of the physical universe as extended, &c., &c.

There are several fatal objections to the doctrine of Descartes. (1) The system of Methodical Doubt leads logically to absolute scepticism. We cannot prove the veracity of our faculties: if we start with even fictitious doubt we can never recover certainty of any value. (2) The criterion of "clear" ideas is vague, indefinite, and worthless. (3) His attempted justification involves a vicious circular argument. The existence and veracity of God are proved by my possession of a clear idea, and again the validity of my clear ideas is itself established by the veracity of God. For a full treatment of Descartes' System, cf. Rickaby, First Principles, c. ix.

{3} Cf. Sully, The Human Mind, Vol. II. p. 369; Höffding, Outlines of Psychology, p. 68.

{4} "Mens (humana) et corpus unum idemque sunt individuum, quod jam sub cogitationis, jam sub extensionis attributo concipitur." (Ethica, Pt. II. Prop. 21.)

{5} Cf. Boedder, Natural Theology, pp. 200-205, and 449-460; Martineau, Types of Ethical Theories, Vol. I. pp. 234-370; Saisset, Modern Pantheism, Vol. I. pp. 92-160. Ueberweg's History of Philosophy, Vol. II. pp. 55, seq., also contains some good criticisms of Spinoza's system.

{6} Hence Leibnitz is commonly spoken of as an Idealist. The ambiguity of this word should be carefully borne in mind by the student. Idealism or rationalistic idealism in one usage is equivalent to Teleologism, and denotes the view that the world is governed by an idea or plan. Aristotle and theistic philosophers are idealists in this sense, though they may believe in the existence of a real material world. A special form of this teleological idealism is optimism, which maintains the ideal perfection of the world. Idealism in another signification, or Phenomenal Idealism, as we have explained in a previous chapter, means the theory which denies all material reality. We can only know ideas, viz., sensations, phenomena, &c. Hume and Dr. Bain are idealists in this sense. Idealism in the first signification is opposed to a purely mechanical theory of the genesis and conservation of the world; in the last to realism, or the assumption of the existence of a real extra-mental world. The term Realism is also ambiguous. It is employed (1) in the sense just mentioned to signify the doctrine of a real independent world, and (2) as opposed to Nominalism and Conceptualism to denote the theories (exaggerated and moderate realism) which maintain the objective validity of general notions. Cf. First Principles, Pt. II. cc. ii. iv.

{7} Cf. Lotze, Metaphysic, § 79.

{8} Cf. Liberatore On Universals (Trans.), pp. 78, 90-102; also Stöckl, Geschichte der Neueren Philosophie, Vol. I. § 78.

{9} Besides the arguments in favour of innate ideas indicated in the brief accounts given of the above writers, it has been urged: (1) that thought is essential to the human mind, and so must have been ever present; (2) that at all events the desire of happiness, which involves many ideas, is innate; (3) that axioms or first principles, intellectual and moral, are known by all from an early age, and must therefore be implanted from the beginning. It may be replied: (1) that the faculty of thought is essential to the soul, and possibly the exercise of its vegetative or sentient functions may be continuous, but there is absolutely no evidence that actual thought is essential; (2) that the aptitude or disposition to seek happiness when occasions are presented to us, is indeed innate; but this is quite different from innate actual desires or cognitions of particular forms of happiness; (3) that such universal cognitions are also merely the result of our common faculties. Given certain experiences, the intellect of man is at an early age capable of discovering by observation, comparison, and refioxion, simple and obvious truths.

{10} Kant thus agrees with Descartes and Leibnitz in maintaining that universal and necessary axioms cannot be gathered from external experience, but must have their source in the original furniture of the mind itself. Whilst, however, the latter philosophers ascribe to these cognitions, in spite of their subjective origin, real or ontological validity, Kant more logically renounces this tenet. Previous to Kant a priori knowledge meant knowledge of effects from their causes. He has arbitrarily changed the meaning of the phrase to mean knowledge the necessity of which he asserted to be due solely to the mind, and so to be independent of experience. Cf. Ueberweg's Hist. of Phil. Vol. II. pp. 161, 162.

{11} The a priori form of space generates the necessity and universality of all geometrical judgments, the form of time does the same for arithmetical propositions -- such at least is Kant's view as interpreted by Hamilton, Mansel, Kuno Fischer, and others. Mr. Mahaffy, Critical Philosophy, p. 64, contends that both sciences were in Kant's opinion based on the intuition of space.

{12} Cf. Lotze, Metaphysic, §§ 8, 9. For a general justification of the doctrine of Philosophical Method asserted here, see Rickaby, First Principles of Knowledge, cc. vi. vii.

{13} Readings on Kant, Kleutgen, op. cit. §§ 337-368; Balmez, op. cit. Bk. I. c. 29, Bk. III. cc. 16, 17, Bk. VII. cc. 12-14; Martineau, A Study of Religion, Vol. I. pp. 70-80; T. Pesch, S.J., Kant et la science moderne; Peillaube, op. cit. Pt. II. c. 2; Piat, op. cit. pp. 140-180; Ueberweg, Logic, §§ 36-44; History of Phil. Vol. II. pp. 159, seq., especially the notes; Dr. Stöckl, Geschichte, Vol. II.; and Dr. Gutherlet, Logik und Erhenntnisstheorie, pp. 385-204.

{14} The student is sometimes confused by the assertion that a particular tenet leads both to idealism and to materialism. The explanation is that the one is a deduction of Epistemology, the other of Rational Psychology. The former refers to the nature and validity of knowledge, the latter to the constitution of the soul. Thus, as we show elsewhere, the sensist philosopher in expounding his theory of cognition must dissolve the material world into a series of conscious ideas, whilst in dealing with Rational Psychology, he must reduce the mind, that is, this series of conscious states, to an aspect or function of nerve matter.

{15} The best examination in English of Locke's system is, perhaps, that from the Neo-Hegelian standpoint, contained in Green's Introduction to Hume's Treatise on Human Nature. Cf. also Stöckl's Geschichte, §§ 32-45.

{16} True, we are capable of attention, but this implies more than sensibility. Again, what are "points of agreement"? Clearly not a concrete quality, like a taste or smell, capable of stimulating a sensuous faculty. "Agreement" is a relation between perceived things, and, consequently, its apprehension requires the exercise of an additional activity superior to that engaged in the two or more existing impressions. This activity must hold the two separate impressions together and discern the relation of likeness or unlikeness between them.

{17} Mental Science, Bk. II. c. v.

{18} The phrase "manifold phases" is happily vague; but in substance Mr. Sully adopts the sensist principle that at bottom all mental life is essentially of ene kind -- sensuous consciousness. How the admission of a power of "active self-direction" (p. 73) and of those various activities involved in comparison of impressions, cognition of relations, and reflexion on states of self (cc. ix. x.) is to be reconciled with this view, he does not attempt to explain. For our own part, we cannot easily imagine a more fundamental difference in kind than that between the sensibility exhibited in passive sensations awakened by the reception of concrete impressions, and the active and reflective energies exerted in reflective attention to, and comparison of, these impressions. If there is a mind in the sense of a real unit, an abiding energy, endowed with intellectual or spiritual as well as sensuous powers, then it is conceivable that such a mind should he capable of reacting through its superior faculty, and of attending to, comparing, and reflecting upon the sensuous impressions which it has received. But if all mental life is essentially one in kind, and the mind itself but the series of sensuous states, then, where this active self-direction and this reflective comparing force is tQ cortie from, we confess ourselves unable to conceive.

{19} L'image générique d'homme, représente des traits qui ne sont pas communs à tous les hommes; tous les hommes n'ont pas un âge moyen, une taille moyenne. Les enfants et les vielllards les grands et les petits des deux sexes sont des hommes, et la représentation qui les embrassera tons pourra seule être appelée générale et universelle ou simplement concept." (Peillaube op. cit. p. 66.)

{20} Mr. G. F. Stout argues very effectively against the "generic" image theory: We may fairly say that all images as compared with percepts, are vague, and it does not appear that the images which are treated as representatives of a class, are more obscure than others, or that they have a different kind of obscurity. If I trace in my mind's eye the course of a river, or a particular walk which I have taken and if I do not make any extraordinary effort to recall details, the images which pass through my mind are mere outline sketches, in which certain characteristic features of objects have a certain prominence, whilst the rest is left vague. Yet the ideal train is wholly concerned with particulars, and not with universals as such. Suppose that, on the contrary, I desire to bring before my mind the general characters distinctive of the kind of substance called "chalk." .. I find that the kind of image which suits my purpose best is one which is more definite and detailed than those which serve my turn in recalling a series of particular facts. On the whole the obscure and fluctuating character of a mental image seems rather to unfit it as a vehicle of generalization. . . - The marginal obscurity makes the whole picture evanescent and fluctuating. In many instances a percept better fulfils the function of a class-type than a pictorial representation." (Analytic Psychology, Vol. II. pp. 180, 181. Cf. Peillaube, Théorie des Concepts, pp. 57-68; also Clarke, Logic, c. 7; and Kleutgen, op. cit. § 802.)

{21} On the distinction between the Absolute simpliciter -- God, and the absolute secundum quid, or in a certain respect, that is, finite substances viewed as wholes in themselves apart from particular sets of relations, see Kleutgen, op. cit. § 542 also Vallet, Le Kantisme et le Positivisme, c. iv. Martineau's Types, Vol. I. Bk. II. contains one of the best reviews of Comte in English. The reader will find a good account of Positivism in Auguste Comte, sa Vie, sa Doctrine, and Le Positivisme depuis Comte, by P. Grüber, S.J. A. J. Balfour's Defence of Philosophic Doubt and Foundations of Belief contain admirable criticism of the methods, assumptions, and consequences of Positivism.

{22} Mental Science, Bk. I. c. 6. He there confounds in an astonishing fashion the hypothesis of innate ideas, the Kantian system of a priori forms, and the intuitional theory as held by writers like Drs. W. Ward, M'Cosh, and the great majority of modern antiphenomenists. The innate hypothesis maintains that the mind is endowed from its birth with a disposition to evolve these cognitions purely from its own nature. External occurrences may be the occasion, but they really contribute nothing towards the genesis of these principles. Innatism differs from the Kantian view by ascribing real extra-mental validity to these first truths. The intuitional theory teaches, indeed, that the mind is endowed with a native faculty for the apprehension of such verities, but it denies that they are purely subjective contributions. They have their origin in experience, but neither their necessity nor universality are based upon mere reiteration of experience. The human intellect, when an appropriate object is presented to it, perceives certain necessary relations holding between subject and predicate. It then affirms the proposition as necessary, because it is compelled not by any a priori form, or innate idea, but by the objective necessity of the relation which is seen to hold in the reality.

{23} Cf. Logic, Bk. II. c. v. § 4. It should not be forgotten that the genesis and validity of a belief are different questions. Still, as we have before urged, they are often intimately connected, and the range and application of a conviction may vitally depend on the mode of its origin -- a truth which the reader will perceive by comparing the Kantian, Empiricist, and Intuitional theories.

{24} Logic, Bk. III. c. xvi. § 4.

{25} Exam. (2nd Edit.) pp. 68, 69.

{26} Cf. Dr. Ward's Philosophy of Theism, Vol. I. pp. 55, seq.

{27} Ward, Ibid. p 49. Cf. M'Cosh, Exam. of Mill, c. xi.

{28} See Spencer, cited by Bain, op. cit. p. 722. Comparison of the evolutionist doctrine with other theories concerning the origin and nature of these primary truths is interesting: A. The Evolutionist maintains, (1) the existence of obscure innate ideas or cognitions, as (2) an organic inheritance, (3) from a lower form of life, (4) acquired by sensuous experience, during a vast period (5) and therefore of eminent validity within the field of possible experience: B. Plato upheld (1) innate ideas or cognitions, as (2) faint spiritual vestiges (3) of a previous life, of a higher grade, but (4) not derived from sensuous experience, (5) and therefore of eminent validity: C. Descartes and Leibnitz defended (1) innate ideas or cognitions, as (2) divinely implanted in the mind, (3) and therefore of eminent validity: D. Kant held (1) innate forms, (2) antecedent to and conditioning all experience, (3) and therefore subjectively necessary within the field of possible experience, but (4) of no real validity as applied to things-in-themselves: E. Associationism denies innate ideas in any form, and ascribes the necessity of these cognitions to the constant experience of the individual's own life.

{29} Cf. Croom Robertson, "Axioms," Encycl. Brit. (9th Edit.), also Sully, Sensation and Intuition, pp 10-13.

{30} Types of Ethical Theories, Vol. II. p. 340.

{31} Op. cit. pp. 20-22.

{32} Cf. Martineau, Ibid. pp. 356-358.

{33} Necessary truths were termed by the Schoolmen per se notae; and were held by them to be analytic in a broad sense. That is, of such a nature that a full analysis of the subject and predicate reveals their mutual implication. When this implication is not immediately obvious, as, eg., in the proposition, "The square of the hypotbenuse must equal the sum of the squares of the sides of a right-angled triangle," it was said to be per se nota quoad se, in contrast to self-evident axioms, which are per se nota quoad nos. Thus St. Thomas: "Quaelibet propositio, cujus predicatum est de ratione subjecti, est immediata et per se nota quantum est de se. Sed quarundum propositionum termini sunt tales quod sunt in notitia omnium, sicut ens et unum, et alia quae sunt entis in quantum ens. Nam ens est prima conceptio intellectus. Unde oportet quod tales propositiones non solum in se sed etiam quoad nos, quasi per se notae habeantur; sicut quod non contingit idem esse et non esse, et quod totum sit majus sua parte. Unde et hujusmodi principia omnes scientiae accipiunt a metaphysica, cujus est considerare ens simpliciter et ea quae sunt entis." (Post Analytic, I. lect. 5.) He also points out that cognition of such necessary principles varies with the actual development of individual minds: "Intellectus principiorum consequitur ipsam naturam humanam quae aequaliter in omnibus invenitur . . . et tamen secundum majorem capacitatem intellectus, unus magis vel minus cognoscit veritatem principiorum, quam alius." (Sum. 2-2ae, q. 5, a. 4 ad 3.)

{34} "Intellectus principiorum dicitur esse habitus naturalis. Ex ipsa enim natura animae intellectualis convenit homini quod statim, cognito quid est totum et quid est pars, cognoscat quod omne totum est majus sua parte; et simile est in ceteris. Sed quid sit totum et quid sit pars, cognoscere non potest nisi per species intelligibiles a phantasmatibus acceptas, et propterea, Aristoteles in fine Posteriorum ostendit quod cognitio principiorum provenit nobis ex sensu" (1-2, q. 51, a. 1.) Just as being stands first, according to St. Thomas, in the order of conception, so is the principle at contradiction -- the opposition of being and non-being -- primary in the judicial order: "In prima quidem operatione (apprehensio) est aliquod primum quod cadet in conceptione intellectus, scil. hoc quod dico ens; nec aliquid hac operatione potest mente concipi nisi intelligatur ens: et quia hoc principium : Impossibile est esse et non esse simul, dependet ex intellectu entis, sicut hoc principium: Omne totum est majus sua parte, ex intellectu totius et partis, ideo hoc etiam principium est naturaliter primum in secunda operatione intellectus, scilicet componentis et dividentis. Nec aliquis potest, secundum hanc operationem intellectus, aliquid intelligere nisi hoc principio intellecto" (Metaphys. Lib. IV. lect. 6.)

{35} Cf. M'Cosh's Intuitions of Mind, Bk. i. Pt. I. c. ii. §§ 3,4. The Aristotelico-Scholastic doctrine concerning the nature and origin of axiomatic truths is admirably expounded by T. de Regnon, S.J,, Métaphysique des Causes, Livre I. cc. 2, 4, 5.

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