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"for my single self,
No, Reason is too noble, too truthful a faculty to perform such an act of self-apotheosis. Reason stands in awe of nothing but the Infinite, which it apprehends, without ever confounding itself with that which it knows, adores, and worships.
He also whom Reason reveals, has said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The man who deifies Reason, and gets upon his knees before that, is, in “Reason's eye,” as well as in the light of inspiration, a heathen, as much as the man who worships devils.
In the paragraph above cited, Cousin himself furnishes us with a full demonstration of the fallacy of all his reasonings here. Reason, he says, “ when certain conditions are fulfilled, gives us—I may say, imposes upon us—those truths.” Now if Reason was really divine, God in us, knowledge through Reason would be unconditioned, as it is in God. Must the Divine Intelligence, as is true with ours, first perceive phenomena, before the Divine Reason can apprehend the idea of substance, space, time, &c. ? Certainly not. We have Reason just as we have Free Will, because we are made in the image of God.” Yet Reason in us is not God, any more than Free Will is. Reason, too, has a sphere in the human Intelligence-a sphere which marks it as a function of that Intelligence, just as much as any other faculty, and as impersonal in no other sense than all other intellectual functions are.
Transcendentalism. Every one is surprised that, because, when certain intellectual faculties have given, by direct intuition, phenomena, another faculty should then give us the logical antecedents of such phenoinena, philosophers should hence conclude, that this last faculty is God—is no part of our Intelligence, but the "spirit of God in us." Yet upon just such paralogisms is the entire fabric of German Transcendental Pantheism founded. When philosophers discover any power in nature before unrecognized, they are very apt to worship it as a God. Kant developed Reason as a function of the Intelligence—a function which philosophers had before failed to recognize. Germany at once raised the cry, “The gods
have come down to us.” “Great is Reason.” “God in us." There is no God but Reason, and Reason is everything. Everything, therefore, is God. Sorry am I to record the fact, that the great high priest of philosophy in France “has brought oxen and garlands” to do sacrifice to this new divinity.
Reason, in what sense impersonal. From what has been said above, one thing is perfectly evident, to wit, in Reason we are impersonal in the same and in no other sense, than we are in the exercise of all other intellectual faculties. What Cousin has said in respect to the action of Reason being independent of our Wills, is equally applicable to every intellectual faculty. “ It is not in the power of our Will,” he says, “to cause Reason to give us such or such a truth, or not to give us them.” Nor is it in the power of our Will to cause Sense or Consciousness to give us such or such phenomena, or the Understanding or Judginent to give such or such notions or affirmations, or not to give them, when certain conditions are fulfilled. In one department of the Intelligence, we are impersonal in the same sense, and for the same reason, that we are in another.
Reason, in what sense identical in all Men. From the fact that, in all men, Reason gives precisely the same truths, it has been inferred that Reason does not exist subjectively in us, as other intellectual faculties do. It is like the atmosphere, it is said, which is in the lungs of all, but subjective to none. So Reason is a light in all, but a function of the Intelligence of none. Now it by no means follows from the fact, that the same phenomena appear in all men, that, therefore, the power to perceive such truth, is subjective in none. The same phenomena appear in all, because the power to which they are to be referred is in all of precisely the same nature. Reason in all men is alike, in the same sense that powers which produce precisely similar phenomena are in their nature one.
RECAPITULATION, WITH ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS.
The last Chapter completes our analysis of the Intellectual powers. This analysis has led to the following classification of the powers, or functions of the Intelligence, distinguished as primary and secondary :
Intellectual Faculties enumerated. The former include Consciousness, the faculty which gives us a knowledge of whatever passes in the interior of our own minds, or subjective phenomena–Sense, the faculty which gives the qualities of external, material substances, or objective phenomena—and Reason, the faculty which apprehends and affirms the reality of necessary, universal, spiritual, infinite, and eternal truths.
The secondary faculties comprehend the Understanding, the conceptive or notion-forming power—the Judgment, the classifying, generalizing, and realizing power—the associating principle, with its varied functions, as simple association or suggestion, Memory, Recollection, and Fancy—and the Imagination, or esemplastic power.
All these faculties we have found distinctly marked, and separated, the one from the other, by fundamental phenomena. Into these, we have found, that all the phenomena of human Intelligence may be resolved. These, then, we conclude to be the faculties of the human Intelligence.
Feeling a deep solicitude that the grounds of the above distinctions may be understood and appreciated, I have determined upon a cursory review of the various topics discussed in the preceding analysis. For particular reasons, I shall base this recapitulation upon the principle of classification of mental phenomena adopted by Kant in his Critick of
Pure Reason-a principle, as we have seen, leading to the same classification of the intellectual powers, and to the advanced student, on some accounts, preferable to the one adopted in the preceding analysis. ." That all our cognition,” he says, “ begins with experience, there is not any doubt; for how otherwise should the faculty of cognition be awakened into exercise, if this did not occur through objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, and partly bring our Understanding-capacity into action, to compare these, to connect, or to separate them, and in this way to work up the rude matter of sensible impressions into a cognition of objects, which is termed experience ? In respect of time, therefore, no cognition can precede in us experience, and with this all commences.
“But although all our cognition begins with experience, still on that account, all does not precisely spring up out of experience. For it may easily happen that even our empirical cognition may be a compound of that which we have received through our impressions, and of that which our proper Cognition-faculty (merely called into action by sensible impressions) supplies from itself, which addition we cannot distinguish from the former original matter, until long exercise has made us attentive to it, and skilful in the separation thereof."
All cognitions, or intellectual phenomena, are therefore divided by Kant into two classes—those derived from experience, and those not thus derived. The former he demonstrates empirical, the latter a priori cognitions. Cognitions a priori all have these fundamental characteristics, and by these they are distinguished from the empirical of every kind, to wit, universality and necessity. The proposition, for example, An event supposes a cause, is not only true of every event of which we have had experience, but we know absolutely that it must be true of all events actual and conceivable. These characteristics can never pertain to phenomena which have their source in experience, which is always limited, and in no instance can affirm anything more than that a thing really is, without ever affirming that it must be.
Influence of the above Distinctions. The student who has followed this philosopher thus far, and has understood the ground of his classification, will never after, whatever his philosophic destiny may be, range himself as a disciple of Locke, maintaining and believing that all our knowledge comes from experience. He may fall into vagaries incomparably more wild and extravagant than ever appeared among the disciples of the sensual school. Yet between him and Empiricism “ there is a great gulf fixed," and he will never pass over it to the school from which he has been separated. His destiny lies in another direction. Having discovered in the depths of his Intelligence, cognitions bearing the characteristics of absolute universality and necessity, he never will, and never can, adopt the principle, that all our knowledge comes from sensation and reflection.
Errors of Kant. While we admit the reality and validity of cognitions a priori, as distinct from the empirical, it becomes a matter of fundamental importance in philosophy to settle definitely the relations between these two classes of phenomena thus distinguished. This point has been settled in the preceding analysis. Cognitions a priori universally sustain this relation to the empirical, that of logical antecedents, while the former are the chronological antecedents of the latter. Now these relations Kant overlooks entirely. Here lies his first error. On the other hand, he assumes, without argument or any attempt at proof, that there are cognitions a priori-cognitions more important than all others—which not only do not spring out of experience, but which transcend all experience, and extend the compass of our judgments wholly beyond its limits. “And exactly,” he adds, “ in these last cognitions, which transcend the sensible world, where experience can afford neither guide nor correction, lie the investigations of Reason, which we, as far as regards their importance, hold to be highly preferable, and in their object, far more elevated, than all the Understanding can teach in the field of phenomena, even with the danger of erring, rather than that we should give up such important investigations from any ground of doubtfulness, or disregard, or indifference. These unavoidable problems of pure Reason itself, are God, Liberty, and Immortality.” The principle announced in this passage is this, That the cognition-faculty, once roused into action by experience, evolves through its own laws, and wholly irre