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VI. ON THE RIGHT OF DISSENTERS TO ADMISSION INTO
(Oct. 1834. — Vol. Ix., No. cxxi., pp. 202-230.)
VII. ON THE RIGHT OF DISSENTERS TO ADMISSION INTO
(Jan. 1835.-- Vol. lx., No.cxxii., pp. 422-445.)
VIII, COUSIN ON GERMAN SCHOOLS,
(July 1833.– Vol. lvii., No. cxvi., pp. 505-542.)
I. APPENDIX, PHILOSOPHICAL.
(A.) CONDITIONS OF THE THINKABLE SYSTEMATISED,-ALPHABET OF
HUMAN THOUGHT; (CAUSALITY:),
(B.) PHILOSOPHICAL TESTIMONIES TO THE LIMITATION OF OUR Know
LEDGE, FROM THE LIMITATION OF OUR FACULTIES.
i.) Testimonies to the general fact,—that our highest Know
ledge is a consciousness of Ignorance,
ledge, whether of Mind or of Matter, is only phæno-
iii.) Testimonies to the recognition of Occult Causes,
II. APPENDIX, LOGICAL
A.) OF SYLLOGISM, ITS KINDS, CANONS, NOTATIONS, MNEMONICS,
B.) ON AFFIRMATION AND NEGATION,—ON PROPOSITIONAL FORMS,
-ON BREADTH AND DEPTH-ON SYLLOGISTIC, AND SYLLO-
III. APPENDIX, EDUCATIONAL.
(A.) ACADEMICAL PATRONAGE AND REGULATION, IN REFERENCE TO
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH,
(B.) THE EXAMINATION AND HONOURS FOR A DEGREE IN Arts,
DURING CENTURIES ESTABLISHED IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
REFORM OF THE ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES : WITH ESPE-
I.-PHILOSOPHY OF THE UNCONDITIONED.
IN REFERENCE TO COUSIN'S DOCTRINE
OF THE INFINITO-ABSOLUTE.*
Cours de Philosophie. Par M. VICTOR COUSIN, Professeur de
Philosophie à la Faculté des Lettres de Paris.- Introduction à l'Histoire de la Philosophie. 8vo. Paris, 1828.
The delivery of these Lectures excited an unparalleled sensation in Paris. Condemned to silence during the reign of Jesuit ascendency, M. Cousin, after eight years of honourable retirement, not exempt from persecution, had again ascended the Chair of
[Translated into French, by M. Peisse ; into Italian, by S. Lo Gatto : also in Crosse's Selections from the Edinburgh Review.
This article did not originate with myself. I was requested to write it by my friend, the late accomplished Editor of the Review, Professor Napier. Personally, I felt averse from the task. I was not unaware, that a discussion of the leading doctrine of the book would prove unintelligible, not only to “ the general reader,” but, with few exceptions, to our British metaphysicians at large. But, moreover, I was still farther disinclined to the undertaking, because it would behove me to come forward in overt opposition to a certain theory, which, however powerfully advocated, I felt altogether unable to admit; whilst its author, M. Cousin, was a philosopher for whose genius and character I already had the warmest admiration, -an admiration which every succeeding year has only augmented, justified, and confirmed. Nor, in saying this, need I make any reservation. For I admire, even where I dissent; and were M. Cousin's speculations on the Absolute utterly abolished, to him would still remain the honour, of doing more himself, and of
Philosophy; and the splendour with which he recommenced his academical career, more than justified the expectation which his recent celebrity as a writer, and the memory of his earlier prelections, had inspired. Two thousand auditors listened, all with admiration, many with enthusiasm, to the eloquent exposition of doctrines intelligible only to the few; and the oral discussion of philosophy awakened in Paris, and in France, an interest unexampled since the days of Abelard. The daily journals found it necessary to gratify, by their earlier summaries, the impatient curiosity of the public; and the lectures themselves, taken in short-hand, and corrected by the Professor, propagated weekly the influence of his instruction to the remotest provinces of the kingdom.
Nor are the pretensions of this doctrine disproportioned to the attention which it has engaged. It professes nothing less than to be the complement and conciliation of all philosophical opinion; and its author claims the glory of placing the key-stone in the arch of science, by the discovery of elements hitherto unobserved among the facts of consciousness.
Before proceeding to consider the claims of M. Cousin to originality, and of his doctrine to truth, it is necessary to say a few words touching the state and relations of philosophy in France.
After the philosophy of Descartes and Malebranche had sunk into oblivion, and from the time that Condillac, exaggerating the too partial principles of Locke, had analysed all knowledge into assisting more what has been done by others, in the furtherance of an enlightened philosophy, than to any other living individual in France--I might say in Europe. Mr Napier, however, was resolute; it was the first number of the Review under his direction; and the criticism was hastily written. In this country the reasonings were of course not understood, and naturally, for a season, declared incomprehensible. Abroad, in France, Germany, Italy, and latterly in America, the article has been rated higher than it deserves. The illustrious thinker, against one of whose doctrines its argument is directed, was the first to speak of it in terms which, though I feel their generosity, I am ashamed to quote. I may, however, state, that maintaining always his opinion, M. Cousin, (what is rare, especially in metaphysical discussions,) declared, that it was neither unfairly combated nor imperfectly understood. - In connection with this criticism, the reader should com. pare what M. Cousin has subsequently stated in defence and illustration of his system, in his Preface to the new edition of the Introduction à l'Histoire de la Philosophie, and Appendix to the fifth lecture (@uvres, Serie II. Tome i. pp. vii. ix., and pp. 112-129 ;)-in his Preface to the second edition, and his Advertise. ment to the third edition of the Frayments Philosophiques (@uvres, S. III. T. iv.) --and in his Prefatory Notice to the Pensées de Pascal (uvres, S. IV. T. i.)On the other hand, M. Peisse has ably advocated the counterview, in his Preface and Appendix to the Fragments de Philosophie, &c.]
sensation, Sensualism, (or, more correctly, Sensuism,) as a psychological theory of the origin of our cognitions, became, in France, not only the dominant, but almost the one exclusive opinion. It was believed that reality and truth were limited to experience, and experience was limited to the sphere of sense ; while the very highest faculties of mind were deemed adequately explained when recalled to perceptions, elaborated, purified, sublimated, and transformed. From the mechanical relations of sense with its object, it was attempted to solve the mysteries of will and intelligence; the philosophy of mind was soon viewed as correlative to the physiology of organisation. The moral nature of man was at last formally abolished, in its identification with his physical : mind became a reflex of matter; thought a secretion of the brain.
A doctrine so melancholy in its consequences, and founded on principles thus partial and exaggerated, could not be permanent: a reaction was inevitable. The recoil, which began about twenty years ago, has been gradually increasing; and now, it is perhaps even to be apprehended that its intensity may become excessive. As the poison was of foreign growth, so also has been the antidote. The doctrine of Condillac was, if not a corruption, a development, of the doctrine of Locke; and, in returning to a better philosophy, the French are still obeying an impulsion communicated from without. This impulsion may be traced to two different sources,—to the philosophy of Scotland, and to the philosophy of Germany.
In Scotland, a philosophy had sprung up, which, though professing, equally with the doctrine of Condillac, to build only on experience, did not, like that doctrine, limit experience to the relations of sense and its objects. Without vindicating to man more than a relative knowledge of existence, and restricting the science of mind to an observation of the fact of consciousness, it, however, analysed that fact into a greater number of more important elements than had been recognised in the school of Condillac. It showed that phænomena were revealed in thought which could not be resolved into any modification of sense,external or internal. It proved that intelligence supposed principles, which, as the conditions of its activity, cannot be the results of its operation ; that the mind contained knowledges, which, as primitive, universal, necessary, are not to be explained as generalisations from the contingent and individual, about