« AnteriorContinuar »
which he finds quoted by Brown in support of Representationism ; and, indeed, Brown in this seems to have reason, for a man with a thousand senses, or even a single additional sense, would have a very different world from ours.] The distinction of two substances (mind and matter) is only inferred from the seeming incompatibility of the two series of phenomena to co-inhere in one, &c.-[and winds up again with]
Rerumque ignarus, imagine gaudet.' (Meta. i. 138.) To obviate misconception, we may here parenthetically observe, that all we do intuitively know of self,—all that we may intuitively know of not-self, is only relative. Existence absolutely and in itself is to us as zero; and while nothing is, so nothing is known to us, except those phases of being which stand in analogy to our faculties of knowledge. These we call qualities, phenomena, properties, &c. When we say, therefore, that a thing is known in itself, we mean only that it stands face to face, in direct and immediate relation to the conscious mind; in other words, that, as existing, its phenomena form part of the circle of our knowledge,-exist, since they are known, and are known because they exist. (Disc. p. 54.) [From p. 60 of the same work, there follows, for several consecutive pages, a long polemic against the principle that the relation of knowledge implies an analogy of existence,' which 'analogy,' nevertheless, the above citation seems to assert.] What we know is not a simple relation [yet in the citation above, it is called “a direct and immediate relation'] apprehended between the object known and the subject knowing,—but every knowledge is a sum made up of several elements, and the great business of philosophy is to analyse and discriminate these elements, and to determine whence these contributions have been derived. (Meta. i. 146.) The sum of our knowledge of the connection of mind and body is, therefore, this,—that the mental modifications are dependent on certain corporeal conditions; but of the nature of these conditions we know nothing. For example, we know, by experience, that the
mind perceives only through certain organs of sense, and that, through these different organs, it perceives in a different
But whether the senses be instruments, whether they be media, or whether they be only particular outlets to the mind incarcerated in the body,-on all this we can only theorise and conjecture. We have no reason whatever to believe, contrary to the testimony of consciousness, that there is an action or affection of the bodily sense previous to the mental perception; or that the mind only perceives in the head, in consequence of the impression on the organ. On the other hand, we have no reason whatever to doubt the report of consciousness that we actually perceive at the external point of sensation, and that we perceive the material reality-not absolutely and in itself, [however, as he goes on to remark. No:] the total and real object of perception is she says] the external object under relation to our sense and faculty of cognition. [But it is still] no representation, -no modification of the ego, it is the non-ego modified and relative, it may be, but still the non-ego. For example [he continues], the total object perceived being 12, the external reality may contribute 6, the material sense 3, and the mind 3 [or, as he gives it slightly changed elsewhere, Meta. i. 147], the full or adequate object perceived being equal to 12, this amount may be made up of 3 several parts,-of 4, contributed by the object,-of 4, contributed by all that intervenes between the object and the organ, — and of 4, contributed by the living organ itself: this may enable you [he tells his students] to form some rude conjecture of the nature of the object of perception. [Surely, he might have added, and a very rude conjecture, indeed, of an immediate perception !] (Meta. ï. 128.) Our whole knowledge of mind and of matter is relative,-conditioned,-relatively conditioned. Of things absolutely or in themselves, be they external, be they internal, we know nothing, or know them only as incognisable; and become aware of their incomprehensible existence only as this is indirectly and accidentally revealed to us, through certain qualities related to our
faculties of knowledge, and which qualities, again, we cannot think as unconditioned, irrelative, existent in and of themselves. All that we know is therefore phenomenalphenomenal of the unknown. The philosopher speculating the worlds of matter and of mind, is thus, in a certain sort, only an ignorant admirer. In his contemplation of the universe, the philosopher, indeed, resembles Æneas contemplating the adumbrations on his shield; as it may equally be said of the sage and of the hero
'Miratur ; Rerumque ignarus, Imagine gaudet.' [Then follow testimonies to the truth of this doctrine from Protagoras, Aristotle, St. Augustin, Boethius, Averroes, Albertus Magnus, Gerson, Leo Hebræus, Melanchthon, Julius Cæsar Scaliger, Francis Piccolomini, Giordano Bruno, Campanella, Bacon, Spinoza, Sir Isaac Newton, and Kant. Of these we quote the following:-] Protagoras : • Man is (for himself] the measure of all things.' Boethius : • Omne quod scitur, non ex sua, sed ex comprehendentium, natura cognoscitur.' And (Meta. i. 61), .Quicquid recipitur, recipitur ad modum recipientis.' Leo Hebræus : *Cognita res a cognoscente, pro viribus ipsius cognoscentis, haud pro rei cognitæ dignitate recipi solet. Scaliger : “Nego tibi ullam esse formam nobis notam plene et plane: nostramque scientiam esse umbram in sole [contendo].' And (Meta. i. 140): “Sicut vulpes, elusa a ciconia, lambendo vitreum vas pultem haud attingit: ita nos externa tantum accidentia percipiendo, formas internas non cognoscimus.' Bruno: 'Ita etiam, neque intellectus noster se ipsum in se ipso et res omnes in se ipsis, sed in exteriore quadam specie, simulacro, imagine, figura, signo.' Bacon: ‘Informatio sensus semper est ex analogia hominis non ex analogia universi ; atque magno prorsus errore asseritur sensum
mensuram rerum.' Spinoza: “Mens humana ipsum humanum corpus non cognoscit, nec ipsum existere scit, nisi per ideas affectionum quibus corpus afficitur. Mens se ipsam non cognoscit, nisi quatenus corporis affectionum ideas percipit.' Kant: “In perception everything is known in conformity to the con
stitution of our faculty.” [Hamilton adds :] • And a hundred testimonies to the same truth might be adduced from the philosopher of Kønigsberg, of whose doctrine it is, in fact, the foundation.' (Disc, pp. 643--647.) *
On the question of accuracy here, the reader must understand that he has no room to doubt. Both series of statement occur in Hamilton, and both are perfectly co-extensive and equally precise. Of both, too, the quoted specimens might have been indefinitely augmented, although a tithe of either—so far as conviction is concerned—would probably have sufficed. Neither, if the facts are certain, have we any more reason to doubt the contradiction they involve. The appeal in the one series is not more certainly to common sense, than that in the other is to the philosophers, and the burthen of the one is not more surely noumenalism than that of the other is phenomenalism. We may
remark that we use these terms, noumenalism and phenomenalism, by preference to any others; for, since Kant, they are those that most accurately define the point at issue. To know a noumenon is to know a thing in itself, or as it is; to know a phenomenon is to know a thing in another, or as it seems. This is the distinction concerned, and on its very edge, apply to it what terms we may.
It is the alternatives, then, of this distinction that are equally asserted by Hamilton, and it is on the resultant contradiction that we are now engaged. The first series, for example, runs thus:
In perception, the thing itself is presented to, and viewed by, the mind, face to face—it is not held up or
* The italics in the above are also Hamilton's own.
mirrored to the mind in a vicarious representation. Perception is an immediate and presentative knowledge—it is not mediate or representative—it is intuitive of the non-ego, of matter, of the object in itself, and not in or through something numerically different from itself. Mind and matter are known as existent, immediately and in themselves. Knowledge and existence are convertible. The object known and the reality existing are identical. The external reality itself is the one and only object of perception, and it is known in itself and as existing.
The second series, again, runs thus:
The object known is not known as it is, but only as it seems--existence is not known absolutely and in itself-observation and experience afford mere appearances--nothing is known and nothing is but those phases of being which stand in analogy to our faculties —whatever we know is not a simple relation but a sum—we know only qualities, phenomena—all that we know is but phenomenal of the unknown—existence absolutely and in itself is to us as zero-things in themselves are incognisable—their existence is incomprehensible, and is only indirectly and accidentally known.
In short, with relation to perception, according to the first series, the external reality—or what is called the unknown reality—is itself, and in itself, and as it is, or as it exists, immediately and intuitively (or face to face) presented to the mind. According to the second series, again, the reality itself is not only admittedly called unknown, but it admittedly is unknown - unknown in itself, unknown as it is, unknown as it exists (presented to the mind, there