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its outgoings with the manifold deeds of the human being. Moreover, a philosophy founded upon what are designated in a low term as the emotions, (i. e. the affections,) is considered to have something necessarily mystical in its idea, and is connected more or less with making the sensibility of the individual dominate over the empire of truth. It appears to us, on the other hand, that if there is any one thing clearer than another, it is this, that erery adult man performs his every action for some end, either good or bad: which implies that he loves that end so profoundly, that all his intellectual capacity is exerted to furnish it with appropriate means of realization. The ends of the man are therefore his individual life; the ends of the human race are the collective vitality of our kind. The means, the understanding, are so plastic, and so comparatively passive, that it is attested by our very proverbs, that opinion bends to adverse affections, and that the sovereignty of reason is practically no sovereignty, but abject subservience, where irrational ends are deeply cherished. Where, then, ye probers of the consciousness, is the doctrine of ends exhibited in your philosophy? Do ye yourselves live for nothing, whether good or evil, that ye cannot discover in your tabula rasa of pure mind a single veritable purpose ?
What makes the omission of a real teleology from philosophy the more startling, is, that the investigation of ends and loves, when once instituted, is, we say not the most easy, but the most outward, if it be also the most inward of all studies. Ends have effects; much intellection, on the other hand, many means, are completely abortive and mistaken, and never take place at all. Human actions in the main, demonstrate human ends, and hence the life of each individual, nay, of every philosopher, may demonstrate to him not only the existence, but to a great degree the quality of his ends or loves. At all events, if we go no higher than the natural analysis instituted by Fourier, we may comprehend with sufficient distinctness, that there is first, that love termed friendship; that there is next, sexual love, next, parental and family love, and next, corporate love. This surely is a just analysis as far as it goes, and all these are real elements. They are the natural springs of the ages of our life. But how has philosophy taken cognizance of these most undeniable humanities? Had it ever come to that clear self-knowledge of which it so mistakenly boasts, it must have discovered that it had an end even in the generation of its thinnest formulas; although this end was perhaps as unworthy as the effects which it produced.
What then is the reason that philosophy, in studying man, has ignored his very life, or omitted his essential substances at the commencement of the investigation ? To reply in some sort en philosophe, we answer, that it is that fatal study of consciousness, and of all other things on the same principles of rest, and not motion, which has led to this ruinous omission at the outset. For ends and loves are quick, working, living; but in order to study consciousness, we must perforce arrest the trains of thought,” and paralyze the energizing mind, keeping no more sense or observation alive, than is just required to note the unmoving wheels and the quiescent machinery. The philosophy which thence originates can take no cognizance of action, for its object is at rest; it can perceive no ends, for no process is advancing towards the realization of any thing; it can have no communion with human loves, and no insight into the deep heart of man, for the affections are dammed up, lest they should originata a motion, and the slumbering subject should leap to his feet and escape from the observer. But it is not lawful to reason from sleep to wakefulness, or from the dead to the living. A physiology founded exclusively on the revelations of the dissecting room, is a physiology of the corpse, and not of the human being. A philosophy, similarly founded on the analysis of consciousness, or on the analysis of any
objects whatever, considered merely in their potency, and not in their effective series, is a philosophy of a self-magnetized man, whose inner parts are locked in oblivion, and the surface of his dormant mind is the only phenomenon visible.
But if the metaphysicians have thus emptied their science of its vital fluids, in failing to recognise the known affections as the principles of existence, they have been at least, and we have a right to say, of course, equally unhappy in all their attempts to characterize aright the nature of the human understanding. Ignorant of the end of our being, how should they unfold its means, all of which are expressly accommodated to the end ; are distinctly explained by the end ? For the procession of affections into actions, furnishes the type of all order, of all method, of all intelligence. Still pursuing in this field also their analysis of consciousness, but keeping memory partially awake to suggest during the process, they can see and recollect no more, than that a certain idea of power is manifested to us in our actions. Had they on the other hand studied the understanding in its visible operations, in its real education, in its embodiment in arts and mechanics, in its conduct of the business of life, in their own dealings and duties in the world, they must have seen that all its rectitude consists in adapting just means to good beginnings, in putting all things in their right places, in establishing rank from first to last and from above to below; in a word, in following Order, in following Series, in obeying true Degrees. This would have taught them the necessity of inserting from their daily experience into their philosophical consciousness, what is not there now; namely, the first germs of a doctrine of Order, as the root of a new understanding; the growth of which, from the materials supplied by wide creation, should thenceforth be a subject of unceasing solicitude. Instead of this, however, they seize the understanding as already perfected; nay, they take as exemplars the lowest instances of understanding, from the delusion of thereby embracing the lowest humanity in their grasp : much as if we should generalize man, animal and plant, into their mineral components, in order to show that the whole universe is but one mighty stone.
Now, what we know of all other things, must be the very mind with which we advance to a knowledge of ourselves and the universe. If the path of order and series is the successful path in daily life; if it is the teaching of history and individual action, and the continual lesson and education of the understanding, why are we not to accept it, in so far as it has yet gone with ourselves, and also in so far as it has been developed in the highest minds of the race, and proceed to look out from it, as through a clear window, and a megascope and microscope, at the world around us, and at the world within ? The intellect as a means, thus furnished with its own means, shall help us to see the inner structure of that universe, which in its turn is a means to the ends of its creator. It shall then be parallel with things, and be adopted into that better nature which nature intends, so soon as man is in co-operation with her.
As thus, philosophy has had no intellectual means at its disposal beyond those ordinary intuitions, which are quite independent of rational thought, and without which man would be worse than “ the beasts which perish, so it need hardly be told, that in approaching the region of the senses, where distinction and variety are above all prominent and perplexing, it has failed altogether to effect or alter anything, if we except placing another and a worse medium than the human eye between man and things. Observe that the whole controversy, (for a controversy it has been, and not an education,) has turned upon the validity of the senses as our informants of external nature. Philosophy has taught us to doubt the existence of the lowest, sternest, most gratuitous realities which a creator can bestow, or a creature
receive. But how could it be otherwise than thoroughly incontinent ? For that which holds to no principles, can be contained by no ends, but must run out as through a sieve, and be spilt in nature. This mere loss of itself is the great fact appertaining to philosophy. There is no road so straight but is a maze to it; no plain so wide and open, but is as bad as a primeval forest to this erroneous philosophy. It is thoroughly desorienté, always looking for the sun to rise and set in the north or in the south. Far from studying the senses, it has been content with talking of them, and casting them all into one indistinct formula, of Sensualism or Sensationalism. Yet if the senses have a unity and may be grouped under a term, they have also a variety, which is necessary to fill the unity. What then is the end of the senses in which their unity must be found? What order of the senses is the means to that end? In other words, what are the various degrees of sense from above to below? What is the series of the bodily senses as realized in the world? Will it be believed, that philosophy has not even made a list, much less a catalogue raisonnée, of this part of the goods and chattels of knowledge? The natural history of man and animals, which is even now so rich in information on the subject, has never been appealed to by the philosopher to furnish data for the prosecution of the inquiry. Neither waking nor dreams, neither imagination nor memory, as they are known to mankind, have contributed to our knowledge of sensation. The one empty formula of Sensualism has been seized as already complete, and set in all its lights; and this is what philosophy has done for the human senses ! those very senses which are the upper limit of the material world.
There can be no difficulty in seeing the precise intellectual mark of philosophy in this as in its other attempts. If we take the presumable sensation of babyhood, and for a moment suppose an intellect embe led therein, is very plain that the baby (of whose undiseased faculties, we beg pardon for the comparison,) might fairly broach the “great questions” of the mature philosopher. The facts of the case would justify the questions. For there is, first, a most indistinct universe, in which the ear discerns no directions of sound, and the eye is unaware of any distance between itself and objects, nay, in which all things appear as one confused somewhat, as it were the blank internal area of a single outline or formula. Seeing that its understanding is uninstructed, our baby must perforce be a Berkleian or a Kantist, when it thinks that all nature is in direct contact with the mind; it must be a philosopher on general principles, seeing that to its vision all things are equal, or in other words, that there is no variety in the unity of sensation. And if the poor infant could resolutely refuse to admit the further stages of intellectual growth ; if it could seize upon Sensationalism to the exclusion of a progressive doctrine of the senses ; if it could fasten and fix upon itself that state in which objects seem to touch the vision, and the instrument of sensation, the object and the subject, are not consciously distinguished ; why, in this case, every such baby, stopping once for all at the threshold of what might otherwise be a great career, would furnish a model of actual Idealism and Sensationalism, and when opposed by others, of scepticism too, before which the Hegels and the Humes would burn dim, or sink indeed into dark insignificance.
The short statement is, then, that the philosophers formally bridle up their nags at the first stage of every subject; and are, if possible, outside the very senses, or leading the life rather of vegetables than of men. Sooner than divide them into five classes, we would cast them into that invisible unity, which they love so dearly, and designate them all by the one term of Impossibilists; or if a concrete name be preferred, they may indeed not unjustly be denominated, (following a great man, who was no phi
losopher,) according to their plain function, as “ Intellectual Extinguish
For have they not put out the very lights of the seven golden candlesticks?
As they have omitted the senses from their category of Sensationalism, so they have caused their dependent physiologists to omit the real forces of nature from the doctrine of bodies. It is true, that metaphysics has its dynamics and its monads, but these it has never connected with natural things, so they are by no means referable to the sciences. Their monads have no relation to the veritable units with which nature teems, and of which the individual man, with his incalculable myriads of parts, and thereby his concentrated oneness, is, as the unit of society, the grand type and exemplár. Nor have their dynamics any connection with the blood and spirit of our race, or with the auras and forces of our universe. So far from this, they are "pure” of all determination ; no means between them and the lowest sphere are even possible; but in their utter formlessness they operate, if at all, immediately upon the gross bodies of sensible nature. To proclaim the existence of such dynamics, is nothing more than to give words a position without a meaning. They are the true visionary entities, and not those "animal spirits" which, according to Mr. Morell, they have substituted. Indeed, there is no weaker part of the excellent volumes, which suggest to us these remarks, than that in which the author glances at physics. He evidently has not the slightest conception of that grandeur of principle in outward nature, which will ultimately fit it to be the habitation of a posterity, as we hope, better than ourselves ; better than the philosophers. In assuming, as he does, the solidity of the nervous system, he freezes man in his vital parts; at any rate, he imbeds all motions in the lowest or sensible substances, and leaves the understanding no objects in the human frame. In this case the theory of the body becomes absolutely identified with the phenomena it presents to sight. Yet as the soul dwells so far above our understandings, how then should it operate upon such a nervous system ; a system conceived to be grosser in its conditions than that of the heart and blood-vessels, in which latter a distinct fluid plays the highest part ? Immediately, of course, as we have already seen. Unintelligibly, then, also, we rejoin. For when a vast chasm of difference, as between the soul and body, is filled by no means, it is obvious that it is not to be bridged over by the human understanding, which itself is a means, and all whose workings generate means, or comprehend means. Immediate operations between two things not seen to be connected, must in their nature be occult, and must terminate, and give the coup de gruce to the sciences. But who, then, is to be the credible witness of the immediacy ? Not the man of facts, of course; for he only knows what he sees, not what he does not see; and why should the strength of his senses be erected against the strength of others' reason? It is altogether unfair, nay cruel, to put the unhappy microscopist into the jury-box in such a cause, and to attempt to lawyer from him an excuse for the active blindness of the metaphysicians. Let the physiologists keep out of the hands of philosophical crimps, who will lure them aside from their known road into strange houses, and plunder them of both their goods and their faculties at once.
But what idea can philosophy have of the dignity and refinement of the soul, when the latter is supposed to perform all the operations of the body immediately ? What leisure can our essential inner man have for the high company and joy of his own sphere, if he is literally always shoving us along in our daily movements? Henceforth let him be called a porter, and not a soul ; and let him take the body upon his brawny back whither he wills, in place of governing it by an intellectual but real efflux.
It is indeed hard to be serious with such doctrines as these, especially when they are put forward as high and “pure" views of the subject. Let us, however, endeavor to illustrate it with our utmost attainable gravity by a practical case. On one side let us suppose a body of railway-directors, on the other a good, able locomotive, with an iron line for its field. Here we have two things; the one dead, but to a certain extent organic or mechanical, the other alive. Now, the one desires to operate on the other ; the animated being upon the inanimate. According to philosophy, the directorate must put its own shoulder to the wheels, and roll them with a continuous effort down the whole rail. The Aesh must compete with, and overcome, the iron in brute force! Practically, however, the reverse is happily the case. The directors, probably, never see the locomotive at all, as neither does the soul see the body, except as represented in the sphere of ends. But in multiple subordination they produce under them other functionaries, the last of whom alone, as a subsidiary soul, or lowest directorate, comes in contact with the engine. But is this last being so hapless that he has to put his main strength against the iron, and to impel it with his immediate body? By no means. There is yet another lower series to be produced, in which rank, order, and respect for the dignity and precedence of the very elements, must be preserved, or the effect will fail. In short, there is a ladder, with the triple steps of fire, steam, and machinery, before the wheels are finally reached by the presiding human power.
Why then, we ask, in the name of common sense and of all our practical understanding, should we expect that of our souls, the like of which we are justly unwilling to do, lest we should degrade and damage our very bodies ? But here again the mischief has come out of that most mischievous consciousness of the philosophers, which has wrongly informed them that they are so absolutely alive, such " pure" spirits, and that other things are so absolutely dead, that a medium between the two is impossible : although their own existence in the body, and the contemplation of both spiritual and material things by one mind, might have surely given a practical refutation to any such fabulous impossibility.
But here we imagine the philosophers will easily incline the balance of the argument in their own favor. For to end the controversy, what need they do but deny the existence of the soul ? At all events, deny it in any but some "pure” sense, in which no distinction can be appreciated by the understanding between it and nonentity. If this be their game, we may resign them the victory, as it will enable us to pass on to the last sad charge which the History of Philosophy brings against them.
If they have neglected the substantial facts of man and of nature, it is because they have also slighted the facts of the Christian Revelation. This is perpetually confessed by Mr. Morell, whose profoundly pious mind is visibly shocked by the daring intrusion of metaphysicians upon sacred ground. It is curious to note how this enlightened author, one of the noblest writers and thinkers in modern English literature, after many a generous, and too generous an eulogy of the metaphysical doctrines which have, from time to time, been propounded by philosophers; after surveying the lower parts of a system with manifest admiration, is compelled to a sudden halt in ascending, from the discovery that a Babel is erected upon the seemingly good foundations, and that the architect, like one demented and heaven-stricken, mutters nothing but strange contradictions on all the great principles which are the doubly-assured sureties of the good and the wise. He praises the living bark and the bright green shoots, and in the next breath honestly tells us that the great tree has lost its head, and is touchwood to the core. Respecting Dr. Whewell's views on morality," he would rather observe an