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involves the idea of composition, and hence his boasted demonstration is nothing but a singular paralogism. If we assume that the idea of the simple is a notion, that is, that it is complex and not simple, then we have the contradictions presented by Kant in his Thesis and Anti-Thesis. Take away this assumption, and the contradictions wholly disappear. I believe that it can be shown that all the antinomies of pure Reason, as given by this philosopher, involve paralogisms similar to the one under consideration.
IV.— The Category of Quantity. Whenever we contemplate a notion which lies under any term whatever, we find that it always does and must refer to some one object, to a number or multitude of objects, or to a total race or class of objects. For example, the term man may be used to designate some one individual, or a plurality of men, or the total race of men. This is what is meant by the logical quantity of a notion or conception, and presents us with the category of Quantity-with its subcatagories, Unity, Plurality, and Totality. Under the first, we have the notion of an individual. Under the second, that of a number of individuals. Under the last, we have a multitude of individuals classed together as a total race, on the ground of common qualities. Whenever we inquire after the extent or logical quantity of any term, or of that of the notion which lies under that term, we ask in which of the senses above named is it to be taken?
The Category of Quantity distinct from that previously
considered. At first thought, the category of Quantity may be regarded as identical with that previously considered. The ideas of whole and of parts, however, are correlative ideas. It is not so with those of unity and totality. A class supposes indi. viduals ; but the individual does not necessarily suppose a class. Totality, as distinguished from individuality, is distinct from a whole as distinguished from parts.
V.–Of Quality. To complete and perfect our notions of substances, a fundamental inquiry arises, to wit, what is this substance ? When we would answer the question pertaining to the nature of the object, but one thing is considered—the qualities of
the object. As it is a necessary intuition of Reason, that substance supposes quality, and that substances are as their qualities, hence arises the category of Quality
In all distinct notions of an object, certain qualities are positively affirmed, others denied, and others affirmed in a limited degree, of the object. Thus, in our notions of an individual, for example, distinguished intellectual powers may be affirmed, prudence denied, and courage affirmed in a limit. ed degree. * This principle is observed when we would describe an object to others, for the purpose of conveying distinct conceptions of it to their minds. We designate the positive qualities which appear in it. We deny other qualities of it, which might appear, but do not. We then designate others which might appear in all its parts, or in a certain degree of perfection, but which appear only in a limited degree. Thus the category of Quality presents itself in three forms, or sub-categories, those of Affirmation, Negation, and Limitation. When an object has been placed in the light of all these, then our notions of its nature are full and distinct.
. VI.— Of Relation. Another form in which objects are given to us in notions, or Understanding-conceptions, is their relations to other objects. According to Kant, the category of Relation also developes itself in three forms. When two objects are brought together for the purpose of comparing them with each other, we consider the question, what qualities inhere in one which do not in the other? Here we have the first sub-category of Relation, that of Inherence. Each substance is thus contemplated in its relations to its distinctive attributes or qualities.
Objects also are contemplated relatively to their powers of affecting other objects and determining their states, or their susceptibilities of being affected by such objects. The metals, for example, are conceived of, as susceptible of fusion from heat, and caloric as possessed of the power of producing such effects in metals. In the one case, we give our notions of the powers of substances, and in the other of their susceptibilities. Two substances also may be compared relatively to their powers and susceptibilities. Thus we have the relation, or sub-category of causality and dependence.
A third relation is that of reciprocity, denominated by
Kant the sub-category of Community. When objects, for example, mutually attract or repel each other, this relationship differs entirely from that of cause and effect. All objects in the universe around are, in some form or other, thus correlated to each other. The relation of employer and agent falls under the principle under consideration.
Such is the category of Relation. When we have contemplated objects till we know them, in the light of their comparative qualities, or attributes--in reference to their powers of affecting other objects, or of being affected by them-and as they mutually and reciprocally affect each other, then our notions are complete, as far as the idea of relation is concerned.
VII.- Of Modality. Every Understanding-conception respects its object, as a possible or impossible-a real or unreal existence--and as existing of necessity or contingently. These ideas enter, as necessary elements, into all our notions, and constitute what is denominated the modality of Understanding-conceptions. Suppose I convey the conception I have of some object, to any individual. He will naturally and necessarily inquire, Can such a thing be? Is it a reality? Does it exist of necessity, or contingently?
VIII.— The Idea of Law. When we have formed our notions of objects, in the light of the preceding principles, another inquiry of great importance arises, to wit, according to what law, or laws, do those powers act? The forms in which the nomological idea, as it is denominated by Prof. Tappan, developes itself are various, according to the nature of the objects to which it pertains, and the point of view in which the object is contemplated. Still, as a necessary element, it enters into, and determines the character of, all our notions of substances within and around us. When we come to speak of the Reason again, this idea, together with the conditions of its development, and the varied forms in which it appears will be the object of special remark. I deemed it important to simply refer to it here, on account of its omnipresent influence, in determining the character of all our Understanding-conceptions.
Such are the elements which enter into all our notions, or Understanding-conceptions. . That the above analysis pre
. sent us with real elements of such phenomena, there can be no doubt. But whether that analysis is complete, will be ascertained in the more perfect developments of mental science.
Conceptions as distinguished from Notions. Conception, as commonly defined by philosophers, is a past perception recalled in Memory or Recollection. It is rather, as it appears to me, the recalling of the notion formed of the object when perceived. Perceptions may be renewed but not recalled. The conceptions of individuals will vary, as the notions which they formed of objects when perceived. The terms notion and conception are often used as synonymous.
A Fact often attending Perception. It is a fact with which all are familiar, that when we unexpectedly meet an object before unknown to us, but which, in certain particulars, resembles one well known, we seem for a time to see the latter with perfect distinctness, The reason of this phenomenon I suppose to be this. Under such circumstances, the notion we have of the known object is recalled with such vividness, that it almost exclusively occupies the attention of the mind.
Mistake of Mr. Stewart. According to this philosopher, in all conceptions, the absent object is, in the first instance, always believed to be present, as an object of direct perception. Universal consciousness affirms the error of such a dogma. The mistake of Mr. S. arose, as I suppose, from his definition of conception, that is, that it is a past perception recalled. If this were true, I do not see but we must, not only at first, but at all times, regard the object of our conception, as directly present.
Notions and Conceptions characterized as complete or incom
plete, true or false. In the former part of this Chapter, we have contemplated the elements, contingent and necessary, which enter into all Understanding-conceptions. It now remains to consider these phenomena in their relation to their objects. All Understanding-conceptions pertain to their objects, in
two important relations, as complete or incomplete, or as true or false.
Such conception is complete, when it represents all the elements really existing in the object. It is incomplete, when it fails to do this. Absolute completeness characterizes probably none of our conceptions.
An Understanding-conception is true, when it represents completely or incompletely, and attributes to the object, the real elements of the object, and nothing else. It is false, when it attributes to the object unreal elements, or denies of it what is real.
Two facts are obviously true from the above definitions. 1. A conception may be incomplete ; and yet true, it being true when it attributes to the object nothing but what is real. Or a notion might be complete, and yet, in a certain sense, false; as it might attribute to the object all that is real, and something not real. 2. Conceptions may be wholly true, or wholly false; or partly true, and partly false. That is, they may attribute to their objects nothing but what is real, or nothing that is real; or they may attribute to them some things real, and some not real. Unmingled error seldom characterizes any of our conceptions..
Mistake of Coleridge in respect to the Understanding. Coleridge defines the Understanding, as the “faculty of judging according to Sense,” a definition which he copied from Kant and other German philosophers. According to such philosophers, the Understanding pertains only to external material substances. It has nothing to do with the subjective, with Mind.
Now this is a great error in philosophy. As a matter of fact, we form notions and conceptions of Mind as really as we do of anything not ourselves. Notions subjective as really exist, in Consciousness, as those which are objective. Nor can any reasons be assigned, why we should attribute the formation of the latter to one faculty of the Intelligence, and that of the former to another. The appropriate sphere of the Understanding is evidently. limited only by the Finite. Reason alone pertains to the Infinite, the Absolute, and the Universal. All other realities fall within the range of the Understanding