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Neither, in such immediacy and directness, is the relation any longer a disjunction. Rather, it is now a junction-direct cognition-identification--an act in which the two are one. No less easy is it to perceive that the modification attributed to the faculties is superfluous: it is the mind itself that cognises; it is matter itself that is cognised. Here if ever, it is a noumenal A that, ex hypothesi, we possess.
In this way, Hamilton might have consistently asserted a knowledge that was at once noumenal and phenomenal—a knowledge that was partly this, and partly that; and, through the usual expedient of limitation (in which at the same time the difference is no less eternal), he might have enjoyed at last conciliation of the two sides. Yet, again, by his own act, Hamilton has prescinded this advantage; for despite the loud phenomenal cries with which he runs with the hounds, he still definitively holds with the hare, and calls himself, as in formal antagonism to the hounds (or “philosophers'), a presentationist. In this way,
Hamilton had made for himself the contradiction absolute; in this way he had cut off from himself all possibility of retreat along a bridge of limitation, leaving for himself no resource but suspension by either arm across an incommunicable chasm. And so, on his own holding in the face of his own showing, he remains. For Hamilton, if wholly a phenomenalist to us, remains a phenomenalist to himself, that calls himself a presentationist.
In conclusion, thus far, we may remark that the true metaphysic of the subject nowhere finds itself
represented in the preceding discussion.
The noumenon, if contradictory, is also essential, to the pheno
Both are: either is impossible without the other. The noumenon is identity, the phenomenon difference. The noumenon is the one, the phenomenon the many. The noumenon is the an sich, the phenomenon the für sich. Noumenon and phenomenon are indissolubly one—a one in trinity. This, however, despite his confusion of both, or even in his confusion of both, is a position unknown to Hamilton, and far beyond him. To Hamilton, in fact, his own principles were such that, had he fairly caught the antithesis of noumenon and phenomenon, he would have been compelled to have applied to it his own incessant instrument of infallible divorce—the excluded middle; he would have been compelled to say, noumenon and phenomenon being logical contradictories, both cannot possibly be true, but one must. Instead of this application, however, of what—on the model of Occam's razor—we may be allowed to name Hamilton's wedge, he has, as it were in defiance of his own ordinary principles, produced that incoherent and untenable phenomenal presentationism of his, which, as Hegel would say, is neither fish nor fowl,' but a miserable Gebräu, a miserable jumble of mere partial glances (each bright enough, perhaps), in a confused multiplicity of directions. This confusion is evident at once in the two standards to which Hamilton appeals: if it is to ordinary consciousness he trusts for decision, it is absurd for him to advance to philosophy; and if he has once advanced to the
latter, it is impossible for him to return to the former. The harness of phenomenalism once worn on the stage of philosophy, as that stage was constituted to himself, could never be put off for the naked skin of noumenalism. From that stage, indeed, we can say that Hamilton was quite unjustifiable in blindly tearing up the ancient landmarks, in shaking together the well-grounded and long-established distinctions of history, and in confounding in a common heap two perfectly separate and distinct vocabularies. . The discrimina of a thing in itself, and of a thing as it seems, pervade philosophy, and they are not rashly to be effaced by the ipse dixit of even such a man as Hamilton. Nor is this less to be said from the newest and latest metaphysical position; for to it the distinctions are no less true and necessary than the dialectical reflexion by which they are, in the end, identified. Surely, then, the words, Very arbitrarily and, in fact, very abusively perverted and contorted,' so familiar, probably, to the indignation of many, as applied by Hamilton to the unoffending Kant-surely, these words may now, with even-handed justice, be retorted on his own offending and unprovoked self. Wedge of Hamilton-razor of Occam! it would
probably have been fortunate for the former himself, had he applied here for his own conviction, if also for his own confusion, either wedge or razor.
We turn now to the consideration of what we have hitherto, on the whole, granted—the testimony of consciousness, and the analysis of philosophy.
2. The Testimony of Consciousness; or Hamilton's őti. We begin with the extracts on which our reasonings and conclusions found :
Aristotle regarded consciousness, not as a particular faculty, but as the universal condition of intelligence. ... Reid and Stewart again hold that the peculiar object of consciousness is, the operations of the other faculties themselves, to the exclusion of their objects.' . [Hamilton, as if with Aristotle, and against Reid and Stewart, maintains] It is impossible, in the first place, to discriminate consciousness from all the other cognitive faculties, or to discriminate any one of these from consciousness; and in the second, to conceive a faculty cognisant of the various mental operations without being also cognisant of their several objects. (Disc. p. 47.) Let consciousness, therefore, remain one and indivisible, comprehending all the modifications - all the phenomena—of the thinking subject. (Meta. i. 183.) To limit consciousness to a cognisance of self is to deprive it of the power of distinguishing external objects from each other, and even of the power of discriminating the ego and the non-ego. (Meta. i. 204.) If consciousness has for its objects the cognitive operations, it must know these operations, and, as it knows these operations, it must know their objects. (Meta, i. 208-9.) How is it possible that we can be conscious of an operation of perception, unless consciousness be co-extensive with that act, and how can it be co-extensive with the act and not also conversant with its object? (Meta. i. 228.) Consciousness constitutes, or is co-extensive with, all our faculties of knowledge. (Meta. ii. 10.) Perception the consciousness of external objects. (Meta. ii. 28.) Conscious of the inkstand. (Meta. i. 228.) That Reid should hold consciousness to be applicable to the act, but not to the object, of perception is suicidal of his great doctrine of our immediate knowledge of the external world. (Meta. i. 227.) His (Reid's) error of commission in discriminating conscious
ness as a special faculty, and his error of omission in not discriminating intuitive from representative knowledge distinction without which his peculiar philosophy is naught -have contributed to render his doctrine of the intellectual faculties prolix, vacillating, perplexed, and sometimes even contradictory. (Disc. p. 46.)
To ask, therefore, a reason for the possibility of our intuition of external things, above the fact of its reality, as given in our perceptive consciousness, betrays, as Aristotle has truly said, ' an imbecility of the reasoning principle itself.' (Disc. p. 63.) As ultimate, it is a fact inexplicable.... It can only be disproved by proving the mendacity of consciousness. ... Belying consciousness, it belies and so annihilates itself. ... The truth of consciousness is the condition of the possibility of all knowledge. (Disc. p. 64.) That we cannot show forth how the mind is capable of knowing something different from self, is no reason to doubt that it is so capable. Every how (dlóti) rests ultimately on a that (ori). (Disc. p. 63.) Consciousness is the fountain of all comprehensibility and illustration; but as such, cannot be itself illustrated or comprehended. (Disc. p. 63.) The Presentationist admits the veracity, the Representationist postulates the falsehood, of that principle, which can alone confer on this incomprehensible foundation the character of truth. ... Consciousness must be held veracious, or philosophy is felo de se. (Meta. i. 265.) If consciousness, however, were confessed to yield a lying evidence in one particular, it could not be adduced as a credible witness at all:-Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. (Disc. p. 88.) By the very act of refusing any one datum of consciousness, philosophy invalidates the whole credibility of consciousness. The refusal to accept the fact of the duality of consciousness, is virtually an act of philosophical suicide. (Meta. i. 299.) If Kant attempts to philosophise, he must assert the possibility of philosophy. But the possibility of philosophy supposes the veracity of consciousness;
therefore, in disputing the testimony of consciousness, Kant disputes the possibility of philosophy, and, conse