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tions and reasonings, but for our knowledge of such terms, must be confined to individuals. The following from Mr. Stewart, who was an avowed Nominalist, will illustrate the meaning of the above remarks, as well as show their correctness. “ It has been already shown, that without the use of signs, all our knowledge must be necessarily limited to individuals ; and that we should be perfectly incapable, both of classification, and general reasoning." If the author means that without the use of signs, we should be unable to communicate our thoughts to each other, what he says is a mere truism, which is no less applicable to individuals. But if he means, as he evidently does, that without the use of signs, we could not reason upon general subjects, I reply,
1. That the existence of the names themselves implies the previous process of reasoning and classification, to which he supposes these terms give birth. A class must first be formed, and a judgment affirmed, before any particular term can be chosen to designate them. Now as the process of classification gives existence to general terms, which processes must always be anterior to the terms themselves, the mind must possess the power of classification and general reasoning, in the absence of such terms. The mistake of the author consists in changing the order of sequence, putting the effect for the cause.
2. Individuals have been known who have lost entirely. all recollection of general terms, and who have yet retained the power of classification and reasoning upon general subjects unimpaired.
3. If our reasonings upon general subjects respect not ideas, nor things, but words merely, then all general conclusions must be absolutely useless in all the concerns of real life. In such circumstances, we have to do with realities exclusively, and shall find no place for conclusions in respect to abstractions, or rather in respect to the relations of abstractions which have no existence in nature.
4. The fact, that general terms are always defined by a reference to individuals, shows clearly, that there are, in such individuals, realities corresponding to the terms employed.
Theory of the Conceptualists. We come now to notice the doctrine of the sect denomi-. nated Conceptualists, or Notionalists. According to the doctrine of this sect, a general term, when considered objec
tively, denotes those qualities which exist alike in all individuals of a given class—when considered subjectively, it designates the conception of these qualities in the mind. Instead of there being no existences in nature, according to the doctrine of the Nominalists, corresponding to general terms, they maintain, that there is in every individual of a given class, that which corresponds with those terms. The doctrine of this sect, as will be seen, is equally removed from that of the Realists and Nominalists both. That the doctrine of this sect is correct, and the only correct view of the subject, is evinced, because :
1. When the mind affirms of any particular object, as soon as perceived, that it is a man, a horse, an animal, such affirmation supposes the existence in the mind of a certain notion, or conception of a given class of objects, and the perception of the agreement of the given object, with that conception. It can be accounted for upon no other supposition.
2. Every person, when he appeals to his own Consciousness, knows, that when using general terms, he is designating conceptions really existing in his own mind, conceptions pertaining to real qualities of classes of objects existing around him.
3. General terms are always defined by a reference to the qualities existing in individuals of a given class, and no definition is allowed to be correct, which does not designate the qualities common to the whole class to which it is applied.
4. General conclusions, when correct, must be applicable to all the individuals of the particular class to which they are applied. This shows that such conclusions are based upon the conception of the common qualities of each individual of the class.'
UNDERSTANDING AND JUDGMENT DISTINGUISHED. Having explained the process of abstraction and classification, it now remains to compare this process with the action of the Understanding. A moment's reflection will convince us, that this process, and that of forming notions, are entirely distinct from each other, and must be referred to functions of the Intelligence equally distinct. To form a notion of A and B, and to affirm that they agree or disagree, are intellectual operations, entirely distinct from each other. The former process is called conception; the latter is called
judgment. So also when the Understanding combines the elements given by the primary faculties into notions, particular and general, that is one thing. When the Intelligence classes an individual under a general notion, in the affirmation, this is a man, an animal, &c.—that is quite another thing, an intellectual process entirely distinct from the formation of notions. In this last process we conceive, that is, combine intuitions. In the former, we judge.
As the function of the Intelligence by which we form notions is called the Understanding, so that by which we judge, that is, abstract, classify, and generalize, is denominated the Judgment. Distinction between the Understanding and Judgment verified.
A single additional consideration will fully verify the distinction above made between the Understanding and Judgment. We often meet with individuals in whom the Understanding is strongly developed, and embraces a wide range of objects. Yet the same individuals may be almost totally wanting in respect to the faculty of Judgment. They conceive distinctly and vividly of objects presented, yet make no important discriminations between them. They will read a book, for example, and give a full and distinct account of what it contains, and yet appear to be none the wiser for what they know. They, as is commonly said of them, appear to know everything, and yet can make little use of their knowledge. They form notions of objects just as they present themselves, without making important discriminations between them. This is owing to the fact that the Understanding, which simply knows objects as they appear, is exercised, while the Judgment, which separates things that differ, and ranges together those that agree, and then abstracts, classifies, and generalizes our conceptions, or rather the objects of thought, is wanting or inactive. .
On the other hand we meet with individuals who, with a very limited acquaintance with particular objects, yet possess a great amount of what is called practical wisdom. Their information is limited, yet what they know is analyzed, classified, and generalized. In other words, in such individuals the faculty of Judgment is fully developed.
Such considerations clearly show that the function of the Intelligence denominated Understanding is one thing, while that of the Judgment is quite another. With the facts upon
which the distinction under consideration is based, all men are familiar. They recognize readily the distinction between information and knowledge, between conceiving of objects, and in this sense knowing them, and making important discriminations between them. In short, the basis for the distinction between the Understanding and Judgment is laid in facts recognized by all men.
Observations of Kant. The remarks of Kant upon the subject under consideration are so much to the point, that I will present one or two quotations from his Critick on the faculty of Judgment. 6 If the Understanding,” he says, “in general be explained as the faculty of rules, the faculty of Judgment is that of subsuming under rules; that is to say, of distinguishing whether something does or does not stand under a given rule.” Again : “ The faculty of Judgment is a particular talent, which is not to be taught, but only exercised; and this, consequently, is the specialty of the so-called motherwit, the want of which no schooling can supply; for although this may offer to, and, as it were, graft upon a limited Understanding, rules in abundance borrowed from another mind, still the faculty of availing himself correctly of these must belong to the hearer himself: and no rule which we could prescribe to him with this intention is, under the deficiency of such a natural gift, secure from misuse. A physician, therefore, a judge, or politician, may have many excellent pathological, judicial, or political rules in his head, to such a degree that he himself may become therein a profound teacher, and yet in the application of them will easily make a mistake, either because he is deficient in natural Judgment (although not in Understanding), and certainly can see the general in abstracto, but cannot distinguish whether a case in concreta, fall under it, or from this cause, that he has not sufficiently been trained by examples and real business to this judgment.”
Two characteristics, entirely distinct and opposite, of different individuals of distinguished minds, may very properly be alluded to here, as illustrabag and confirming the distinction between the Understanding and Judgment above made. We often meet with individuals, public speakers, for example, distinguished for strong and vivid conceptions of whatever subject their minds are occupied with. Yet one of their
discourses shadowing forth some bold and grand conception, will contain elements manifestly contradictory to those contained in a prior discourse of a similar character. Yet the speaker himself appears wholly insensible of such contradiction. He contradicts himself, without at all being sensible of the fact. A bold and strong conception with such a mind is, of course, true, together with all the elements embraced in it.
The productions of other minds are distinguished not only for logical and scientific arrangement, but for the consistency and harmony of the elements introduced into one discourse wiih those introduced into others. Such individuals seldom, to use a phrase commonly applied in such cases, cross their own tracks, and if they do this at any time, they will perceive it quite as soon as others.
How shall we account for such diversities? The answer is, that in the first instance, the Understanding, and frequently the Imagination, are strongly developed, while there is a deficiency of Judgment. In the latter cases, there is a strong development of the faculty last named. Now, phenomena so diverse and opposite necessarily suppose faculties fundamentally distinct from each other. :
Relations of the Understanding and Judgment. • Having shown the distinction between these faculties, it now remains, in the conclusion of the present Chapter, to show the relations between them. The Judgment pre-supposes the Understanding. The former can analyze, abstract, classify, and generalize only what is furnished by the latter. Understanding might exist without Judgment; but the latter cannot exist, or rather cannot act, without the former.
The Understanding also not only precedes, but succeeds the action of the Judgment. When the Judgment has abstracted, analyzed, classified, and generalized objects of the Understanding, the latter faculty then combines into its conceptions of such objects all the discriminations of the former faculty pertaining to them. When, for example, we have passed a judgment upon any individual, affirming that he belongs to a particular cl 3, that judgment, ever after, enters as an essential element into our conceptions of him. This is universally true of all judgments and notions.