페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

happiness which God hath given them would be no happiness to them; for that which any one does not love, he cannot enjoy any happiness in."

Affirmatively—"the inordinateness of self-love does not consist in onr love of our own happiness being absolutely censidered too great in degree. . I do not suppose it can be said of any, that their love to their own happiness, if we oonsider that love absolutely and not comparatively, can be in too high a degree, or that it is a thing that is liable either to increase or dimunition. For I apprehend that self love, in this sense, is not a result of the fall bat is necessary, and what belongs to the nature of all intelligent beings, and that God has made it alike in all; and that saints and sinners, and all alike, love happiness, and have the same unalterable and instinctive inclination to desire and seek it."

"A man may love himself as much as one can, and may be in the exercise of a high degree of love to his own happiness, ceaselessly longing for it, and yet he may so place that happiness, that in the very act of seeking it he may be in the high exercise of love to God; as, for example, when the happiness that he longs for is to enjoy God, or to behold his glory, or to hold communion with God, or a man may place his happiness in glorifying God. It may seem to him the greatest happiness that he can conceive of, to give God glory as he may do, and he may long for this happiness. And in longing for it, he loves that which he looks on as his happiness; for if he did not love what in this case he esteemed his own happiness, he would not long for it, and to love his own happiness is to love himself. And yet, in the same act, he loves God because he places his happiness in God, for nothing can more properly be called love to any being or thing, than to place our happiness in it. And so persons may place their happiness considerably in the good of others, their neighbors for instance, and desiring the happiness that consists in seeking their good, they may, in seeking it, love-themselves, and their own happiness" Charity and its Fruits. 229-239 passim. We have no room to comment on the other criticisms of the author upon Dr. Taylor's theory. Nor need we, for if he fundamentally misconceives it in its relation to that of President Edwards, it will occasion no surprise that he should misunderstand or misrepresent it in other aspects.

Prof. Bascom's "Principles Of Psychology "* gives ample indications of active and independent thinking in the right direction. In all the positions which he takes he is directly opposed to the sensational and associational systems which are just now so much in fashion, and are at once so plausible at the first view, and so unsatisfactory on closer inspection. Many of the fundamental assumptions of these systems are ably exposed, and the material analogies by which they have been occasioned are clearly pointed out and satisfactorily set aside. On several single topics the author has made good positions, which he has ably defended. The work was not designed to serve as a complete discussion of the whole subject so much as to lay the foundations of a system, and in a general way to indicate their application to a few classes of facts, and of questions in dispute. It is therefore rather a series of Essays or Studies in the Science of Psychology, than a complete exhibition of the Science itself. The writer of a book of this sort gains to himself an advantage in that he is exempt from the obligation to work out in detail all the inferences and applications of his principles, and to show their consistency with the facts of experience. Then he may allow himself a far more liberal use of figurative language than is accorded to a writer whose problem holds him to a diction that is more strict and severe. We observe that Professor Bascom has availed himself very freely of the last named liberty; to an extent which many critics would scarcely approve. We do not believe in hypercriticism upon such a point, and would by no means reject metaphorical language in the service of philosophy. Nor would we restrict a writer from following the bent of his own genius in the choice of the metaphors which he thinks fit to employ, provided the metaphors do not mislead, and are never made the substitutes for careful analysis and systematic coherence. We dare not assert that Professor Bascom is never misled by the exuberance of his own fancy and the confidence of his own active and eager intellect to use expressions which offend even a very catholic taste, and deceive his own honest mind. Such phrases as "cross-lots," and "log-chained with logical relations" do not help any argument, nor do they please the taste of ordinary men.

We find some difficulty in determining and accepting the

* Thi Prineiplei of Ptyehology. By Johx Bascom, Professor in Williams College. New York: G. P. Putnam <f c Son. 1869.

author's doctrine of the nature of consciousness. On page 17, he says, "Consciousness is commensurate with all mental states and acts. It accompanies feeling as thinking, and volition as much as either. The only possible way in which a mental state or set can be testified to, is by consciousness." "Consciousness is neither a knowing, nor a feeling, nor a willing; is neither this nor that mental act, but a condition common to them all, a field in which they appear, in whioh they arise and make proof of their existence." "Consciousness gives—we use familar language, a more careful expression would be, in consciousness is found—the mere fact of a mental state, whether one of thought, feeling, or volition."

On page 18, he speaks of "wrongly regarding consciousness as a faculty giving direct testimony to certain things, instead of something iuvolved in the very fact of knowing and feeling, making them what they are." Still further: "It is with most an anusual effort of mind to direct attention to interior phenomena;"— and again, "Neither are the several phases of mind observed as transpiring, but as remembered."

On page 30, after insisting on page 29 that consciousness not only is not a form of knowing, nor the power a faculty of knowing, but that it has no more to do with knowing than with feeling, so that we might as properly say, "we feel that we know,'' or that "we know that we feel;" he proceeds to assert, "mind, by virtue of its own nature as mind, does and suffers what it does and suffers, consciously under this simple, peculiar, and inexplicable condition of being aware of its own acts, etc."

On page 50, in speaking of the faculties of the intellect and of sense as the first class of these faculties, he thus defines: "The sense includes two and quite diverse sources of knowledge, the power of perception, and the immediate cognizance which the mind has of its own states," asserting most oleariy that whether consciousness be a power of knowledge or not, there is a power by which we do know these states.

But on page 76, he calls this very inner sense by the name of consciousness, and says, Consciousness, or the inner sense, the remaining means of a direct knowledge of phenomena, requires but a brief notice;" and then, in the second sentence after, "self-conFcionsness, or consciousness or the inner sense, is not a method of the mind's action, is not a faculty of perception." And again. "We cannot readily speak of this knowledge which the mind has

Vol. xxix. 11

of its own phases of activity, without seeming to imply more than we intend; to imply an explicit form or faculty, or means of knowing."

On pages 154, 5, 6, the author endeavors to explain what he contends is the necessary "confusion of language," by making consciousness to be one of the regulative ideas of the reason. The reasons for this view are, that as an essential condition of mental or physical phenomena it is analogous to Rpace in its relation to material objects. "What space is to material facts, consciousness is to intellectual facts, the interpreting light under which they occur. The words we constantly apply to it recognize this relation—we say, 'the field of consciousness,' 'transpiring in consciousness,' 'coming up into the light of consciousness,' 'the flow of consciousness'—that is of thought, feeling in consciousness. These and like expressions are shaped under an image in which consciousness is presented as an arena of mental movements, as is space of physical events." There is much more to the same purport in which we are struck with the singular facility with which the writer interchanges the language of imagery with the language of science, and leaps from loose resemblances to well-grounded analogies. The reason why space should be classed among what in the language of Kant are called regulative ideas, and why consciousness should not be so classed, in our opinion, lies in this—that space, or its relations, belongs to the class which he denominates "synthetic ideas, a priori;" the difference, when expressed in other language, being that space is necessary, a priori, to the conception of matter, because we necessarily presuppose it in order that any conception of matter may be possible, w)iile consciousness is found by the analysis of mental phenomena to be an element constantly present, and therefore always evolved from an analysis of a mental state. It is not known, a priori, to be a condition essential to the conception of mental phenomena, but only actually observed to be a constituent attendant in fact.

We are by no means certain that this distinction will satisfy the author that he has inadvertently classed consciousness among the ideas of the Reason. On our part, we must confess ourselves entirely unconvinced that the consciousness which is so often spoken of by him as that which is "aware of," "testifies of," "takes immediate cognizance of," "observes," "directs attention to," "is the means of a direct knowledge of" the mental or psychical state, is neither an act nor a power of knowledge.

Whether the criticism which we have offered only results "from the facile application of previous opinions to detached points," or whether it proceeds from a "discussion of the principles involved, less penetrative and systematic than that here presented" by the author, we must leave others to decide.

Leckt's History Of European Morals.*—These two volumes exhibit abundant evidence of very extensive'and various reading, and of rapid and rather superficial generalization; the results of which are expressed in a very clear but somewhat artificial style. The History of European Morals may not be as brilliant or as thoughtful as the History of Rationalism, but it gives evidence of the same superior powers which caused that work to produce so profound an impression. If judged of by the promise of its title, however, it can by no means be pronounced a superior work. As a history of the theory of morals, it has few claims to consideration. As a history of the practical doctrines, or of the practices of Christendom, it is singularly unfaithful to its theme, abounding as it does in extraneous matter, and wandering off into manifold discussions which are far from being pertinent to the subject. The title of the book should be, a Discourse on the influence of Christianity upon the Morals of Europe, being an argument to fhow that from both the good which it achieved and failed to achieve, its claims to supernatural origin are not made good. This position is nowhere distinctly avowed. Indeed, the author seems to shrink from avowing what his own opinion is—giving the impression, notwithstanding other tokens of a frank and noble mind, that he dares not take his position and come squarely up to it and defend it. He insinuates rather than asserts, he intimates rather than argues. When he seems brought by the force of his own arguments very nearly to the point of avowing a conclusion, he turns off the attention of the reader in the opposite direction, by some vague declamation, or surprises him by some concession which was the last thing which in such a connection the reader would look for. In short, the whole tone of the author, with respect to the question which he is all the while arguing, is timid and

* History of European Morals from Autnutut to Charltmagne. By Wiliiam BaktouLkolt, M. A. Two Volumes. New York: D. Appleton A Co. 1870.

« 이전계속 »