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consciousness that, from the platform of common sense, testifies to ‘the natural conviction of mankind' in the independent externality of an actual non-ego. It is to the same consciousness that Hegel alludes when he says elsewhere:– In place of demonstration, there come forward assertions and the recountments of what is ready-found in consciousness as facts, which is held the purer, the more uncritical it is.’ By implication, then, there is also to Hegel a consciousness at second hand, which, critically purged, is the consciousness of trust. It will add one more inconsistency to the long catalogue of such, should we find Hamilton, too, to end in such a consciousness as he could only similarly describe. Meantime we conclude here by the simple dilemma to which the factual position has brought us. It will not be denied, namely, that Hamilton, while he conceives the testimony of consciousness which we consider here to be in its nature sensuous, conceives it also to be in its validity apodictic. On the first head, we remind only that Hamilton claims for himself ‘the natural conviction of mankind’—a conviction which, even were Hamilton disposed to forget that he had himself affirmed, “The very things which we perceive by the senses do really exist,’ will be allowed to believe in the matter-of-fact and sensuous nature of the external reality, the non-ego.” On the second head, again, it is quite certain that Hamilton assigns to the cognition of this non-ego both the universality and the necessity of a first or ultimate principle. * See also the first extract, pp. 80-81.
Now, we know that no distinction accentuated by Kant, has been received with greater approbation by Hamilton than that which discriminates between the apodictic and the contingent: what is & priori or native to the mind is apodictic, what is & posteriori or empirical (sensuous) is only contingent. While Hume, too, had this same principle before him when he distinguished between relations of ideas and matters of fact, Hamilton himself—with a certain triumph—has pointed it out in Leibnitz. The evolution of the dilemma, then, has now no difficulty. It is seen at once in the contradiction that would identify a matter of fact, on this hand, and an apodictic validity on the other; and may be expressed thus:–
The cognition in question (Hamilton's 3ri) is either apodictic, or it is contingent; but if, on the one horn, it is apodictic, then it is no matter of fact; and if, on the other horn, it is contingent, then it is no necessary first principle. Hamilton's further proceedings, indeed, as we shall presently see, are not unillustrated by these alternatives.
3. The Analysis of Philosophy; or, Hamilton's 8tóri.
Sir William Hamilton has covered, we may say, quite nine-tenths of his canvas with the blinding and dazzling scarlet of his 3ri; and for no other purpose, as the reader is led to suppose always, than to overbear any tint of a dióri. It is not uncharacteristic, then, that he should come, in the end, to a 616 ri himself. It appears that the 3ri, after all, is insufficient, or that if “every how rests ultimately on a that,’
the that itself requires a more ultimate how. In this Hamilton defers to the natural longing for explanation, the instinct that turns unconsciously and by irresistible necessity in us to solution and resolution of every &r, into a 31&ri. For this, too, is the truth: if the how must rest on a that, the that must equally rest on a how. The 6T1 itself, indeed, is not more that than because. This, however, does not mitigate the contradiction that lies here again at the door of Hamilton, who really ought to have been less violent with his that, seeing that he was minded to follow so soon with his how. In fact, as we saw before, it is a macula in Hamilton that he should have been obliged to supplement the irrefragable consciousness he claimed by any analysis of philosophy at all—a macula, we may say, squared by the actual examples given of this botched analysis itself—and a macula raised, finally, even into an unknown degree by the consideration that, despite both the testimony of consciousness and the analysis of philosophy, the external realities themselves, that were, in the first instance, known in themselves and as they existed, were, in the second instance, not known in themselves and as they existed, but remained, at last, and for all instances, incomprehensible, incognisable, unknown, zero! These are awkward preliminaries certainly ; still it is to be allowed that the analysis of philosophy may, after all, show much better in itself than in the examples we know it by; and this notwithstanding even that the cipher of the apparent result would bid us still despair. But, be this as it may, let us see now, in effect, how Hamilton actually has acquitted himself of that evolution of the fact which, in honour of the fact, he at first refused. This evolution, principally contained in the Dissertations to Reid, is the Hamiltonian Theory of Perception—a word which Hamilton now characteristically allows to reappear, instead of the consciousness in which he formerly sought to merge it.
We premise the following quotations:
The developed doctrine of Real Presentationism, the basis of Natural Realism, asserts the consciousness of immediate perception of certain essential attributes of matter objectively existing; while it admits that other properties of bodies are unknown in themselves, and only inferred as causes to account for certain subjective affections of which we are cognisant in ourselves. (Reid's Works, p. 825.) I hold that, though sensation proper be the condition of, and therefore anterior to, perception proper in the order of nature, that, in the order of time, both are necessarily co-existent; – the latter being only realised in and through the present existence of the former. . . . Sensations of secondary qualities imply an idiopathic affection of the nervous organism; but such affection requires only the excitation of an appropriate stimulus; while such stimulus may be supplied by manifold agents of the most opposite nature, both from within the body and from without. . . . I hold that, on the one hand, in the consciousness of sensations, out of each other, contrasted, limited, and variously arranged, we have a perception proper of the primary qualities, in an externality, though not to the nervous organism, as an immediate cognition, and not merely as a notion or concept, of something extended, figured, &c.; and, on the other, as a correlative contained in the consciousness of our voluntary motive energy resisted, and not resisted by aught within the limits of mind and its subservient organs, we have a perception proper of the secundo-primary quality of resistance in an extra-organic force, as an immediate cognition, and not merely as a notion or concept, of a resisting something external to our body;-though certainly in either case there may be, and probably is, a concomitant act of imagination, by which the whole complex consciousness on the occasion is filled up. (Reid's Works, pp. 882–4.) The mind, when a material existence is brought into relation with its organ of sense, obtains two concomitant and immediate cognitions . . . the one the secondary qualities of body; the other the primary qualities of body. Of these cognitions, the former is admitted, on all hands, to be subjective and ideal; the latter, the Natural Realist maintains, against the Cosmothetic Idealist, to be objective and real. . . . The secondary qualities, as mere sensations, mere consciousness of certain subjective affections, afford us no immediate knowledge of aught different from self. (Reid's Works, p. 820.) The perception proper, accompanying a sensation proper, is not an apprehension, far less a representation, of the external or internal stimulus, or concause, which determines the affection whereof the sensation is the consciousness. Not the former; for the stimulus or concause of a sensation is always, in itself, to consciousness unknown. Not the latter; for this would turn perception into imagination—reduce it from an immediate and assertory and objective, into a mediate and problematic and subjective cognition. In this respect, perception proper is an apprehension of the relations of sensations to each other, primarily in space, and secondarily in time and degree. (Reid's Works, p. 881.) In the primary, the sensation, the condition of the perception, is not itself caused by the objective quality perceived; in the secundo-primary, the concomitant sensation is the effect of the objective quality perceived; in the secondary, the sensation is the effect of an objective quality supposed, but not perceived. (Reid's Works, p. 860.) All the senses, simply or in combination, afford conditions for the perception of the primary qualities, and all, of course, supply the sensations themselves of the secondary. As only various modifications of resistance, the secundo-primary qualities are all, as percepts proper, as