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ing their states, while they, in turn, re-act upon the TI modifying and limiting its control la tbe first insats. knowledge is direct and immediate. In the STCOD POST a consciousness of sensations, we learr 15€ e tajul loro tween those objects and our sensiti
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of my own mind. Which of these affirmations are, in reality, the most valid, and which would a wise and sound philosophy impel me to esteem and treat as such-the affirmation of Sense, in respect to the qualities of the external object, or of Consciousness, in regard to the existence and character of the asfirmation of the former faculty, as a phenomenon of the Mind itself ? Neither, surely. Each faculty pertains alike to its object, by direct and immediate intuition. The affirmation of each is alike positive and absolute in respect to its object. The action of one is, in reality, no more a mystery than that of the other. The quo modo of the action of each is alike inexplicable, and no more inexplicable than the mode of action of every other power in existence. It is a sage remark of Dr. Brown, when speaking of the mode in which causes produce their respective effects, that everything is mysterious, or nothing is.” When philosophy leads us to doubt the real affirmations of any faculty of the Intelligence, then philosophy itself becomes impossible, and the attempt to realize it, the perfection of absurdity.
Theory of External Perception. The way is now prepared for an enunciation of the theory of external perception, taught in this Treatise. Knowledge implies two things; an object to be known, and a subject capa-" ble of knowing. Between the nature of the subject and object there must be such a mutual correlation, that, when certain conditions are fulfilled, knowledge arises, as a necessary result of this correlation. Between matter and mind this correlation exists. The latter knows the former, because the one is a faculty, and the other an object of knowledge. Mind perceives the qualities of matter, because the former has the power of perception, and the latter is an object of perception.
Mind also exists in a tri-unity, consisting, as we have seen, of the Intelligence, Sensibility, and Will.' To each of these departments of our nature, the external world is correlated. Certain conditions being fulfilled, particular qualities of material substances become to the Intelligence, direct objects of knowledge. Other conditions being fulblled, they affect our Sensibility, producing in, us certain sensations either pleasurable, painful, or indifferent. Our Will then acts upon these substances, controlling their movements, and modify
ing their states, while they, in turn, re-act upon the Will, modifying and limiting its control. In the first instance, knowledge is direct and immediate. In the second, through a consciousness of sensations, we learn the correlation between those objects and our sensibility. In the last, through a consciousness of the nisuses of cur Will, and an experience of their results, we learn the correlation between these substances and our voluntary powers. In all instances, however, whether our knowledge is direct or indirect, it is alike real and absolute. In respect to the manner in which, when certain conditions are fulfilled, we know these objects, the only answer that philosophy gives or demands, is this : Such is the correlation between the nature of the knowing faculty and that of the objects of knowledge.
Theory Verified. It is a sufficient verification of the theory above announced, that it is a statement of the case, as it presents itself to the universal Intelligence—that it is encumbered with no difficulties which are not involved in every theory of a different kind which has hitherto been presented, and is entirely free from those difficulties which are perfectly fatal to those theories. Every individual believes, that he knows the external world as correlated to the threefold departments of our pature under consideration, and in accordance with the principles above stated. Every theory also must rest, in the last analysis, in respect to the mode of knowledge, upon this one principle, The mind knows, because it is a faculty of knowledge. The difficulties which all theories, contradictory to that above announced, involve, are these : either they do not present the facts or conditions of knowledge, or the manner of knowing, as they are given in the universal Intelligence.
Theories of External Perception formed by Philosophers.
Theories differing from that above announced, formed by philosophers, to explain the manner in which Mind perceives external objects, divide themselves into two classes :—those which admit that our knowledge of such objects is real, and those which maintain that that knowledge is not real ; that all we can know of such objects is our own manner of conceiving of them.
The former theories all agree in this, that we do not know external objects directly, but through certain images exist
ing between the objects and the faculty of knowledge. “To all of them,” says Mr. Dugald Stewart, “ I apprehend the two following remarks will be found applicable: First, that in the formation of them, their authors have been influenced by some general maxims of philosophizing, borrowed from physics ; and, secondly, that they have been influenced by an indistinct, but deep-rooted conviction of the immateriality of the soul ; which, although not precise enough to point out to them the absurdity of attempting to illustrate its operations by the analogy of matter, was yet sufficiently strong to induce them to keep the absurdity of their theories as far as possible out of view, by allusions to those physical facts, in which the distinctive properties of matter are the least grossly and palpably exposed to our observation. To the forner of these circumstances is to be ascribed the general principle upon which all the known theories of perception proceed : that in order to explain the intercourse between the mind and distant objects, it is necessary to suppose the existence of something intermediate, by which its perceptions are produced ; to the latter, the various metaphorical expressions of ideas, species, forms, shadows, phantasms, images; which, while they amused the fancy with some remote analogies to the objects of our senses, did not directly revolt our reason.” Very little, in addition to the observations above cited, need be said upon these theories. They all agree in leaving totally unexplained the very difficulties which they profess to explain, to wit, How can the mind perceive an object out of itself, and at a distance from itself? The image between the mind and the object, is as really distinct from the mind, and as really removed from it, though at a less distance, as the objeci itself. Perception of the intermediate image is just as difficult of explanation, and as truly needs another intermediate image, as perception of the object.
Of the theories last named, some affirm that there are no objects external to the mind ; that what we have postulated as the qualities of objects external to us, are nothing but our own mental states, states of which we are conscious. This is the theory of Coleridge, and of modern Transcendentalists. Others maintain the reality of mind, on the one hand, and of something not mind on the other. They deny, however, that the latter can be to the former, in any sense, an object of knowledge. When this unknown something, haying peither extension nor form, and existing neither in time nor
space, (inasmuch as these are not realities in themselves, but only modes in us of conceiving of things as external to us,) when, I say, this unknown and nameless something, in some unknown and nameless manner, affects the unknown something called mind-the latter, by virtue of laws innate in itself, postulates to itself its own sensations as the qualities of substances distinct from itself. Thus the great universe, in which we contemplate ourselves as existing, together with time and space, in which we contemplate ourselves and the universe as having being, is nothing in itself but a fiction of our own Intelligence. This is the theory of Kant, stated without caricature. Both the kinds of theories under consideration agree in this, that what our Intelligence postulates as the qualities of external substances, are, in reality, nothing but mental states, seen by the eye of Consciousness. External perception is nothing but the eye of Consciousness directed to an affection wholly subjective, which, the Intelligence postulates as the quality of something objective and external to the mind. In Consciousness, mental affections of different kinds are given as subjective and objective: that is, some are given as phenomena of the mind itself, and others as those of objects external to the mind. Hence, according to philosophers maintaining these theories, Consciousness has two distinct functions, the external and the internal. When taking cognizance of some affection which the Intelligence has postulated as a subjective phenomenon, this is Consciousness in the exercise of its interior function. When taking cognizance of some affection which the Intelligence postulates as a phenomenon of an object external to the mind, this is Consciousness in the exercise of its exterior function. Sense, according to these theories, is not a faculty of knowledge at all; but only a receptivity of affections or iin' pressions, postulated by the Intelligence as the qualities of ob. jects external to the mind. Thus that which we have been accustomed to regard as a real world external to the mind, and altogether unlike ourselves, has no existence out of ourselves. Neither the universe, nor its author have any existence in itself. They are mere ideals of our own creating; ideals grand and perfect, and which we are therefore bound to regard and revere, not as realities in themselves, but as grand conceptions_sublime creations of our own Intelligences, creations which are true, as Coleridge remarks, simply and exclusively, “because we have conceived them.”