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shall wrest from Theology the entire domain of cosmological theory,” which includes, we suppose, the origin and destiny as well as the constitution of the universe. We all know how much, not only the theologians, but a good many metaphysicians, psychologists, moralists and men of the world, were taken aback by this definition of the inexpugnable position of Science, and that a good deal of bad blood, theological and other, was the consequence, Prof. Tyndall himself developing an amount of susceptibility he would have been incapable of ten years before on Regent Street. Our sympathies are mostly with Prof. Tyndall in this affair, for his appropriation of the domain of cosmological theory is not, as it has been branded, a reckless speculation but a strategical necessity; to protect his frontiers he has been obliged to occupy the country beyond. We do not suppose that he really knows anything more of the relations of mind to body, of life to organization, or of the origin and destiny of the universe than in his days of happy ignorance and irresponsibility ; but he has discovered, wbat indeed is manifest to everybody by this time, that the Rhine can't be held without the Rhine provinces, that no empirical theory of any the least thing can be kept from running incontinently into a cosmological theory. If all changes are modes of motion and all motions affections of matter, then all contemporary things are derivations from preceding things, and the theory of any one of them is the whole history of its derivation, which, in the end, involves the bistory of all the others. The theologians of Belfast and other towns are exempt from this necessity ; not affirming the doctrine of universal derivation they can theorize about mind or life or affinity or gravitation without committing themselves anywhere else and so have no excuse for rash speculation or for losing their temper. But the empiricist carries this tremendous burden with him and faces this appalling danger wherever he goes; he cannot even pry into the mystery of magnetism without bringing out upon him the terrible Sphinx with her riddle of the universe. We cannot but think this a situation to be treated with all possible tenderness; that in the task of getting mind out of matter, life out of the not-living, elective affinities out of indiscriminating gravitation and so on, a large latitude should be granted in the use of
"scientific imagination,” and the invention of "scientific hy. potheses,” while eccentricities of temper and of logic which would be insufferable in a Belfast theologian should be generously condoned. What surprises us is that Prof. Tyndall has not found out that his most formidable foes are they of his own household, that while he is wresting the domain of cosmological theory from the feeble talons of Theology another claimant is wheeling overbead like an eagle over an osprey.
Prof. Tyndall's cosmological theory is an extension of the Atomic Theory. Matter is composed of an infinite or indefinite number of "ultimate units" which are endowed with "structural "
“formative” forces of attraction and repulsion, mechanical and chemical, molar and molecular, out of whose collisions and compositions have arisen the varied phenomena of animate and inanimate being. While we write* Prof. Tyndall is absorbed in entrenching this theory against the irritated theologians of Belfast, wholly unaware, so far as we can see, of what Mr. George Henry Lewes has taken two volumes octavo to tell him, that if the objective universe is constituted in the way he supposes, then all his subjective speculations about it are of the transcendental à priori kind; that a mind possessed of that sort of knowledge cannot have evolved out of a universe composed of that sort of matter, so that what he takes from Theology with one hand he is giving back to Metaphysics with the other; much as if Bismarck had turned over to the Republic what Moltke had wrested from the Empire.
This immediately transfers our sympathies to Mr. Lewes, who must now hold the domain of cosmological theory, not only against the theologians, but the Atomists too.
There are no transcendent elements in consciousness. It has a priori cognitions, but they are the results of ancestral experience, and consciousness is simply the subjective aspect of changes in the or ganism, where the results have been registered. The antithesis between feeling and motion is consequently an ideal abstraction, and so are the antitheses between motion and matter, matter and force, attraction and repulsion, cause and effect. Contemporary things, therefore, are not derivations from preceding things; they
* Fortnightly, for Nov., 1875.
are only other aspects of the same things “successively viewed," and the outcome of the whole “ Identität-Philosophie" is the doctrine of an intinite and indestructible Plenum, whose differentiated, but forever equivalent aspects are known to us as the universe of Mind and Matter. We say again of this doctrine what we said of the other, that it is not a needless audacity, but the sad manoeuvre of a theorist whose salvation lies in taking the offensive, whose position can be held only by wresting from all his predecessors the “whole domain of cosmological theory;" and any criticism is ungenerous which does not take into account the increasing straits and the diminishing resources of empiricism.
But if we mistake not there is one point upon which Mr. Lewes may reasonably be held to stricter account. We may consent to the Plenum as the only available hypothesis left him by the ingenuity of his predecessors to plant upon the domain of cosmological theory; taking for granted that successive differentiations bave produced those “static aspects” of the Plenum known to us as the various forms of matter from the atom up to the human organism, and those “dynamic aspects” known as the various forms of force from attraction and repulsion up to vitality. But given that particular differentiation which is known as the Human Body, then there are good reasons for asking Mr. Lewes to explain to us the genesis of that other differentiation which is known as the Human Mind. For, in the first place, this is really the fons et origo mali. Mr. Lewes' psychology is what bas determined his cosmology. It is not observation of the Cosmos outside which has committed him to the Plenum with its identical or equivalent manifestations, but interpretation of consciousness, and however considerate we may be of the Plenum itself, we ought to know all about that consciousness whose interpretation has made it unavoidable. In the second place, if we understand the English language, which sometimes we are by no means sure we do, then this is the very explanation which Mr. Lewes has undertaken to provide in the Problems of Life and Mind. It is well known that Mr. Lewes is one of the most laborious and learned physiologists of the time, and he informs us that since 1836 he has been trying to turn the lights of phy. siology upon the obscurities of consciousness. In 1860 his researches into the nervous system gave him his first clue through the labyrinth of mental phenomena, and a systematic investigation, begun in 1862, into the mechanism of feeling and thought, brought him to the conclusion, which is the starting point of the Problems of Life and Mind, that Psychology as it has descended to us from the past, lacks the fundamental data necessary to its constitution as a science. These missing data then, we infer, are to be supplied by Physiology, and how Physiology supplies them is to be learned in Problems of Life and Mind.
Now, not forgetting that what Mr. Lewes has written so far is but the preface, or at most a first installment of the “creed' he proposes to "found,” we grieve to have to say that the
' Problems of Life and Mind which is uncommonly rich in psychological speculation is uncommonly destitute of physiologi. cal data. Lucus a non lucendo. We bear next to nothing of researches into the nervous system, or of investigation of the mechanism of feeling and thought. There are sections entitled
Biostatics," " Biological Data” and “Sociological Data,” but the reader is warned that they contain only provisional results for which the anatomical, physiological, and psychological evidence is to be produced by and by. He is to "accept what he can and to suspend bis judgment on the rest."* In the mean time we are left to grope our own way in the light of Mr. Lewes's promises through what is certainly the darkest laby. rinth in which human research has ever gone astray.
The problem is to discover the missing data of Psychology among the physiological changes of the organism, that is, more simply, tu construe consciousness as a function of the brain and the other nervous centres. By an ineptitude of Nature, which seems to us the more wonderful the more we ponder over it, the brain happens to be that particular differentiation of the Infinite Plenum of which we know, and are able to know, less perhaps than of any other in the range of our experience. (1) I cannot find that I have any direct consciousness of the brain at all, certainly none that gives me any insight into its work. ings. I have a very distinct consciousness of certain other parts of the organism ; I do seem to see with my eyes and hear with my ears, and to be conscious that I do. The remoto in
*I, p. 146.
strumentation of the special senses at the surface of the body, and of the interior organs which yield those feelings which Mr. Lewes has called the “systemic sensations," such as bunger and thirst, bas its records in consciousness, but the actions of the great central organ where peripheral and systemic sensations are gathered together and coördinated have vanished from consciousness and left no wrack behind.* This is very awkward. The area which contains the physiological data of psychology has sunk out of sight and no refinements of introspection avail to fill the abyss. (2) To aggravate the situation I am able to get no indirect intelligence of the subsided area. I can turn some of the special sense organs upon some of the others and upon the objects of them so making vision tell a little of touch, and touch a little of vision; but I can turn none of them upon the nervous centres within. I am completely excluded on both sides from the region where the mystery is transacted and where alone it can be solved. It follows that all I know of my brain is what physiology tells me of other men's brains. But here again nature is as obstinate as before, for I can't get at any man's brain without killing the man; and even were it settled that in this case vivisection is justifiable homicide I should be no better off than before, for a dead brain is an unconscious brain, and what I seek is the resolution of consciousness into cerebration. Finally, the complete exposure of the living brain to my senses and scientific tests could only tell me that certain physical changes go along with certain psychical changes, but of the transformation of the one into the other or of the identity of the two it could tell nothing at all. (3) Physiology, however, if reserved about function has something to say about structure, but nothing could be more embarrassing than a good deal of what it says. The nervous centres are that particular portion of the organism which shows (whatever it may have) a lower organization than any of the others. According to Mr. Spencer, a physiologist of credit and
* Physiologically, of course, the peripheral and systemic sensations all belong to the nervous centres, their localization in exterior organs taking place during growth as a result of the experiences which teach us that these organs are the parts directly affected. The effect of this distribution and localization is to mask completely the actions of the nervous centres and with them the evolution of consciousness.