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belief is quietly passed over as incompetent to distinguish notself from self; in the question regarding our personal identity, where its testimony is convenient, it is clamorously cited as an inspired witness, exclusively competent to distinguish self from not-self. Yet, why, if, in the one case, it mistook self for not-self, it may not, in the other, mistake not-self for self, would appear a problem not of the easiest solution.
The same belief, with the same inconsistency, is again called in to prove the INDIVIDUALITY OF MIND. (Lect. xcvi.) But if we are fallaciously determined, in perception, to believe what is supposed indivisible, identical, and one, to be plural and different and incompatible, (self = self + not-self); how, on the authority of the same treacherous conviction, dare we maintain, that the phænomenal unity of consciousness affords a guarantee of the real simplicity of the thinking principle? The materialist may now contend, without fear of contradiction, that self is only an illusive phenomenon ; that our consecutive identity is that of the Delphic ship, and our present unity merely that of a system of co-ordinate activities. To explain the phænomenon, he has only to suppose, as certain theorists have lately done, an organ to tell the lie of our personality; and to quote as authority for the lie itself, the perfidy of consciousness on which the theory of a representative perception is founded.
On the hypothesis of a representative perception, there is, in fact, no salvation from materialism, on the one side, short of idealism-scepticism-nihilism, on the other. Our knowledge of mind and matter, as substances, is merely relative; they are known to us only in their qualities; and we can justify the postulation of two different substances, exclusively on the supposition of the incompatibility of the double series of phænomena to coinhere in one. Is this supposition disproved ?—the pre-. sumption against dualism is again decisive. " Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity;"—“A plurality of principles is not to be assumed where the phænomena can be explained by one." In Brown's theory of perception, he abolishes the incompatibility of the two series ; and yet his argument, as a dualist, for an immaterial principle of thought, proceeds on the ground, that this incompatibility subsists. (Lect. xcvi. pp. 646, 647.) This philosopher denies us an immediate knowledge of aught beyond the accidents of mind. The accidents which we refer to body, as known to us, are only states or modifications of the
percipient subject itself; in other words, the qualities we call material, are known by us to exist, only as they are known by us to inhere in the same substance as the qualities we denominate mental. There is an apparent antithesis, but a real identity. On this doctrine, the hypothesis of a double principle losing its necessity, becomes philosophically absurd ; and on the law of parcimony, a psychological unitarianism, at best, is established. To the argument, that the qualities of the object are so repugnant to the qualities of the subject of perception, that they cannot be supposed the accidents of the same substance; the unitarian -whether materialist, idealist, or absolutist-has only to reply: that so far from the attributes of the object being exclusive of the attributes of the subject, in this act; the hypothetical dualist himself establishes, as the fundamental axiom of his philosophy of mind, that the object known is universally identical with the subject knowing. The materialist may now derive the subject from the object; the idealist derive the object from the subject; the absolutist sublimate both into indifference; nay, the nihilist subvert the substantial reality of either:—the hypothetical realist, so far from being able to resist the conclusion of any, in fact accords their assumptive premises to all.
The same contradiction would, in like manner, invalidate every presumption in favour of our LIBERTY OF WILL. But as Brown throughout his scheme of Ethics advances no argument in support of this condition of our moral being, which his philosophy otherwise tends to render impossible, we shall say nothing of this consequence of hypothetical realism.
So much for the system, which its author fondly imagines, "allows to the sceptic no resting-place for his foot,—no fulcrum for the instrument he uses :” so much for the doctrine which Brown would substitute for Reid's ;-nay, which he even supposes Reid himself to have maintained.
“SCILICET, HOC TOTUM FALSA RATIONE RECEPTUM EST!"*
[In this criticism I have spoken only of Dr Brown's mistakes, and of these, only with reference to his attack on Reid. On his appropriating to himself the observations of others, and in particular those of Destutt Tracy, I have said nothing, though an enumeration of these would be necessary to place Brown upon his proper level. That, however, would require a separate discussion.)
III.-JOHNSON'S TRANSLATION OF TENNEMANN'S
MANUAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.
A Manual of the History of Philosophy; translated from the
German of TENNEMANN. By the Rev. ARTHUR JOHNSON, M.A., late Fellow of Wadham College. 8vo. Oxford : 1832.
We took up this translation with a certain favourable prepossession, and felt inclined to have said all we conscientiously could in its behalf: but alas ! never were expectations more completely disappointed; and we find ourselves constrained exclusively to condemn, where we should gladly have been permitted only to applaud.
We were disposed to regard an English version of Tennemann's minor History of Philosophy—his “Grundriss,” as a work of no inconsiderable utility—if competently executed ; but in the present state of philosophical learning in this country we were well aware, that few were adequate to the task, and of those few we hardly expected that any one would be found so disinterested, as to devote himself to a labour, of which the credit stood almost in an inverse proportion to the trouble. Few works, indeed, would prove more difficult to a translator. A complete mastery of the two languages, in a philological sense, was not enough. There was required a comprehensive acquaintance with philosophy in general, and, in particular, an intimate knowledge of the philosophy of Kant.
Tennemann was a Kantian; he estimates all opinions by a Kantian standard; and the language which he employs is significant only as understood precisely in a Kantian application. In stating this, we have no intention of disparaging the intrinsic value of the work, which, in truth, with all its defects, we highly esteem as the production of a sober, accurate, and learned mind. Every historian of philosophy must have his system, by reference to which he criticises the opinions of other thinkers. Eclecticism, as opposed to systematic philosophy, is without a meaning. For either the choice of doctrines must be determined by some principle, and that principle then constitutes a system; or the doctrines must be arbitrarily assumed, which would be the negation of philosophy altogether. (We think therefore that M. Cousin, in denominating his scheme distinctively the eclectic, has committed an act of injustice on himself.) But as it was necessary that Tennemann should be of some school, --should have certain opinions,—we think it anything but a disadvantage that he was of the Kantian. The Critical Philosophy is a comprehensive and liberal doctrine; and whatever difference may subsist with regard to its positive conclusions, it is admitted, on all hands, to constitute, by its negative, a great epoch in the history of thought. An acquaintance with a system so remarkable in itself, and in its influence so decisive of the character of subsequent speculation, is now a matter of necessity to all who would be supposed to have crossed the threshold of philosophy. The translation of a work of merit like the present, ought not therefore to be less acceptable to the English reader, because written in the spirit and language of the Kantian system ;-provided, he be enabled by the translator to understand it. But what does this imply? Not merely that certain terms in the German should be rendered by certain terms in the English; for few philosophical words are to be found in the latter, which suggest the same analyses and combinations of thought as those embodied in the technical vocabulary of the former. The language of German philosophy has sometimes three or four expressions, precisely distinguishing certain generalisations or abstractions; where we possess only a single word, comprehensive of the whole, or, perhaps, several, each vaguely applicable to all or any. In these circumstances a direct translation was impossible. The translator could only succeed by coming to a specific understanding with his reader. He behoved, in the first place, clearly to determine the value of the principal terms to be rendered; which could only be accomplished through a sufficient exposition of that philosophy whose peculiar analyses these terms adequately expressed. In the second place, it was incumbent on him to show in what respects the approximating English term was not exactly equivalent to the original; and precisely to define the amplified or restricted sense, in which, by accommodation to the latter, the former was in his translation specially to be understood.
At the same time it must be remembered, that the Grundriss of Tennemann was not intended by its author for an independent treatise. It is merely a manual or text-book ; that is, an outline of statements to be filled up, and fully illustrated in lectures ;a text-book also for the use of students, who, from their country and course of education, were already more or less familiar with the philosophy of the German schools. In translating this work as a system intended to be complete per se, and in favour of a public unlearned in philosophical discussion, and utterly ignorant of German metaphysics, a competent translator would thus have found it necessary, in almost every paragraph, to supply, to amplify, and to explain. M. Cousin, indeed, when he condescended to translate this work, (we speak only from recollection and a rapid glance,) limited himself to a mere translation. But by hin the treatise was intended to be only subordinate to the history of speculation delivered in his lectures; and was addressed, among his countrymen, to a numerous class of readers, whose study of philosophy, and of German philosophy, he had himself powerfully contributed to excite. The fact, indeed, of a French translation by so able an interpreter, was of itself sufficient to render a simple version of the work into another European tongue nearly superfluous; and we were prepared to expect, that, if translated into English, something more would be attempted, than what had been already so well executed in a language with which every student of philosophy is familiar.
It was, therefore, with considerable interest, that we read the announcement of an English translation, by a gentleman distinguished for learning among the Tutors of Oxford; whose comparative merit, indeed, had raised him to several of the most honourable and important offices in the nomination of the two “Venerable Houses.” Independently of its utility, we hailed the publication as a symptom of the revival, in England, of a taste for philosophical speculation; and this more especially, as it emanated from that University in which, (since its legal consti