On the other count, he says some weighty words at the close of the first and the beginning of the second volume on “the noisy glorification of experience,” which means so little nowadays; and he effectually disproves the notion that it is possible (except in a perfectly tautologous sense) to derive all truth from experience, and so to start without metaphysical assumptions.

It will probably be found that the main value of Lotze's works lies not so much in any special results of his own as in his penetrating criticism, on the one hand, of the mechanical view of Nature necessarily adopted by science, and, on the other hand, of the Hegelian idealism. He was specially equipped for such criticism, for it was in the scientific field that his first laurels were won; and he has also put it on record that his first philosophic attachment was to the circle of ideas represented by Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. Deserters are not usually the fairest critics of the systems they have left behind. But though Lotze felt himself compelled to reject great part of the Hegelian system ; “or rather," as he says, “the whole in the

form that had been given to it,he did not then, or at any time, yield to a blind revulsion. He justified to the last the conception or ideal of the system, though he could not be satisfied with its execution. In the scientific regard, Lotze is particularly successful in showing how much is currently accepted as plain and needing no explanation, because it is covered by a phrase, or simply from sheer want of thinking about it. His position implies, of course, no antagonism to science; but he continually insists that the world which science presents us with is no

more than an external construction which, however necessary it is, still does not touch the inward facts which really constitute the world of existences. It is as if he said that in science we work with algebraic formulæ which require at the end of our operations to be retranslated into terms of actuality. Science leaves us, he says, with “a meaningless and unessential reality, whose only purpose would have been to support mathematical relations and to supply some sort of denomination for abstract numbers; but the meaning of the world is what comes first” (Meta. 535). And this meaning must be sought in feeling, in life, in enjoyment, above all in the forms of ethical life. Lotze concludes this volume of “Metaphysic with the re-assertion of the position with which he closed his "Metaphysik” in 1841—that the true beginning of metaphysics lies in ethics. “I admit that the expression is not exact; but I feel certain of being on the right track, when I seek in that which should be the ground of that which is.As an analysis of the foundations of scientific thought, the chapters on “The Nature of Physical Action” and “The Unity of Things" (Meta., chap. v. & vi.) deserve special notice ; and the same may be said of the first chapter “ On the Being of Things,” and of the very subtle account of “ The Real and Reality in chap. iii. The two chapters first mentioned refute the idea of absolute or irrelative atoms, showing that it is only as organic members of one world, or of one Being, which conditions them all, that reciprocal action is possible. Such an argument, taken together with the fact that Lotze resolves the essence or substance of a thing into the law of its changes, evidently goes a long way to bridge over the gulf between Monadism and Monism.

[ocr errors]

That Idealists of the Hegelian stamp may learn from Lotze is, first of all, a spirit of modesty and self-distrust in view of the complexity of the problem which the universe presents. They are frequently too light-hearted in their synthesis, when the attitude of Lotze would better become them—the attitude of a man who sits down before a strong place to take it by repeated mining and counter-mining. At all events, there can be no harm in remembering the Oriental proverb with which the second of these volumes closes : God knows better. Secondly, they may learn to avoid the danger of hypostatizing an abstract thought to the exclusion of all that gives value to existence. The realization of a series of thought-formulæ is no worthier an end of the universe than the mechanical framework which science offers for our acceptance. Both eviscerate existence of all real content. In this connection, it is not without significance that the present translation was first set on foot by the late Professor Green, who of all socalled Hegelians had the most of Lotze's cautious self-questioning temper. His attitude to Hegel, as described by Professor Caird in the preface to “Essays in Philosophical Criticism,” bears a striking resemblance to Lotze's own. “It must all be done over again,' he once said, meaning that the first development of idealistic thought in Germany had in some degree anticipated what can be the secure result only of wider knowledge and more complete reflection.” The spread of this healthful scepticism within the school is likely to be increased by the publication of these two volumes, on which Mr. Bosanquet and his fellow-labourers are to be heartily congratulated. The enterprise is one which displays the full advantage of the cooperation which Oxford renders possible. Von Hartmann's “Philosophy of the Unconscious "*

presents in many respects a striking contrast to Lotze's writings. Instead of the patient, even plodding, spirit of the Göttingen metaphysician, we have an all-comprehensive system, based, as most of us will probably think, on an over-hasty synthesis and a somewhat superficial appreciation of evidence. Hartmann exemplifies the main vices of the great age of German philosophical construction in the beginning of the century; but it is only fair to remember that he also possesses in a high degree the speculative insight and trained metaphysical ability which distinguished the intellectual giants whose work he aspires to carry on. He cannot, therefore, be dismissed as a charlatan, however little his pessimism and other aspects of his theory may commend themselves to a sober judgment. But his pessimism, though it brought him into fame, is really a crude empirical induction without any organic connection with his metaphysical thought. Hartmann has, indeed, , suffered somewhat from the extraordinary celebrity into which he stepped at a single stride. He became the idol for a time of the uncritical many through the very qualities which were calculated to awaken the distrust of those whose judgment was worth having. It may be said, with some truth, that he has been occupied for the last fifteen years in working himself free from the vogue of his first work, and vindicating for himself the position of a serious thinker. He has not, however, departed substantially from the position of the “ Philosophy of the Unconscious,” which contains, according to his own prefatory declara

“Philosophy of the Unconscious.” By Eduard von Hartmann. Authorized trans. lation by ! Coupland, M.A., B.Sc. Three volumes. London: Trübner & Co.

tion," the programme of a whole life of work.” This programme he is still engaged in carrying out in a very conscientious, not to say ample, fashion. It need hardly be said that the pessimistic parts of these volumes offer much food for the general reader, and they are sure to receive a due share of attention. Here this aspect of the subject may be left aside in order to say a few words on the metaphysical implications of the general argument.

Hartmann's doctrine of the Unconscious is claimed by himself as the only legitimate reconciliation of Hegel and Schopenhauer, whom he regards as the two representative opposites of recent philosophy. The logical Idea of Hegel he considers to be a satisfactory enough explanation of the “What” of the world—of the nature or content of things; but the " That” of the world—the ground of its existence at all-is still to seek. This must be sought, he proceeds, in an alogical or irrational power, such as Schopenhauer assumed in his Wiil. It is by the Will that the cosmic Idea is posited or impelled into existence. Will and Idea are one in the Unconscious, which is therefore to be considered the ultimate ground or essence which appears in all phenomena. Now the whole nerve of this argument lies in the assumption that Hegel's idea is a prius of things, which in . some unexplained way (therefore by an alogical principle) gets existence added

to its thought-determinations. This, however, is a complete misapprehension of the Hegelian position-a misapprehension only excused by the somewhat misleading form in which Hegel presents his system. But even if this were not so, Hartmann's argument evidently involves the confusion exposed by Lotze in the third chapter of the “ Metaphysic” and elsewhere—the habit of separating the world of laws or ideas from things, and treating them as something independent and previously existing, to which the latter must conform. The truth is, as Lotze insists, that the law or ideas are nothing but the mode of existence of the things, nothing but the process of their life formulated. For the rest, it is labour lost, as Lotze often quaintly informs us, to inquire how being is made. Yet this, or something very like it, is the problem which Hartmann here essays. It is possible, however, that this aspect of the theory may be brushed aside as a metaphysical subtlety, and we may be asked to take the Unconscious simply as the ultimate ground or noumenon which appears in all phenomena. Von Hartmann himself describes it, in a phrase borrowed from Schelling, as “the individual which is in all being." But this amounts simply to the assertion of Monism ; taken together with the acute criticism of Monadistic Pluralism (II. 230, et seq.), it does not necessarily lead further than the position which we found Lotze compelled to take up in advance of Herbart's irrelative “reals.” It carries with it no further determination of the nature of the one ; and to choose for “ the individual which is in all being” the designation of the Unconscious is so palpable a paying of ourselves with words, that there is incontestable justice in Lange's caustic reference to the “devil-devil” of the Australian aborigines. These savages refer all their inexplicabilities to the action of this mysterious entity. We have here, in fact, the inevitable caput mortuum at which every one must arrive who insists on speaking as if a thing had an existence and nature apart from the determinations under which it is known.

added to its


The translation of Schopenhauer's “World as Will and Idea ”* by Messrs Haldane and Kemp will form, when completed, a useful introduction to the work of the late pessimist. It will have a very definite interest of its own besides, for Schopenhauer was much the more original of the two philosophers, as well as the more striking personality. He has also literary qualities which make his work attractive apart from its philosophic value, and these the translators have shown that they are able to appreciate and to render.

Mr. Merz's compact and careful little volume on Leibnizt in Blackwood's Philosophical Classics comes opportunely just when this side of German thought is beginning to attract more interest in England. Readers of Lotze will find it a convenient introduction.

Among other recent philosophical books, the anonymous work, “Metaphysica Nova et Vetusta,” † by Scotus Novanticus, well deserves the careful attention of all who can appreciate a sustained piece of reasoning It appears incidentally that part of it was written ten years ago, so that we have not to do with any raw or ill-considered product. The book displays much maturity of thought throughout, and the author, whoever he is, possesses a complete grasp of philosophical distinctions. The book is called “A Return to Dualism;" but it is not the Dualism of Reid and Hamilton for which the author contends. He is content, at last, with a quasi-independent existence of the phenomenal, “merely as one side of immanent universal reason. Indeed, though he works out his thesis forcibly in his own way, he has evidently been largely influenced by Kant and the postKantian idealists, particularly, perhaps, by Fichte. Dualism, however, is hardly the pivot on which the book revolves. It may be described as a succinct but comprehensive sketch of a metaphysical psychology. It is impossible here to do more than point to the careful analysis of perception from which the author mounts to his further results. Perception, according to him, is distinguished from the lower stage of passive receptivity (which he calls “attuition ") by the presence of will or active prehension. In this actus purus—“ this wholly inexplicable spontaneity"-lies the origin of self and intelligence proper. In this movement of percipience, the author afterwards contends, there are given to us, through the movement itself, the “dialectic percepts” of being or substance, cause, and the infinite, or, as he prefers to call it, the absoluto-infinite. The chapters dealing with these conceptions are especially to be commended to those who still insist on mystifying themselves over the idea of a first cause or over the infinity of space and time. Quite apart from the question of the origin of these conceptions, the argument here is full of sound sense about their essential nature.

In what was said of Lotze above, attention was mainly directed to his general philosophical standpoint, as that may be gathered from the “Metaphysic," and from the valuable criticism of knowledge contained in the last book of the “ Logic.” But Lotze's contributions to

* “The World as Will and Idea" By Arthur Schopenhauer. Translated by R. B. Haldane, M.A., and John Kemp, M. A. Vol. I. London : Trübner & Co.

+ "Leibniz." By John Theodore Merz. (Philosophical Classics for English Readers.) London : Blackwood & Sons.

I “Metaphysica Nova et Vetusta : a Return to alism." By Scotus Novanticus. London : Williams & Norgate.

[ocr errors]

logical theory in the stricter sense are also of much importance in the recent history of the science. That they have already exercised their influence upon English thinkers is amply proved by Mr. Bradley's important work, “The Principles of Logic,” and by the Essay on "Logic as the Science of Knowledge," recently contributed by Mr. Bosanquet, the editor of this translation, to the volume of " Essays in Philosophical Criticism,” already referred to. The activity of English logicians at the present time is also seen in the appearance of Mr. Alfred Sidgwick's "Fallacies”* and Mr. Keynes's “Studies and Exercises in Formal Logic.”+ Mr. Sidgwick's is an excellent little book, dealing largely with the practical aspect of logic, but containing in the first part a very thoughtful statement of the essential nature of proof. The plan of Mr. Keynes's book resembles that of Jevons' “Studies in Deductive Logic;" but it is more conservative in tone, and is likely to be even more useful for teaching purposes. It is not so exclusively a collection of exercises as Jevons' work, and the expository part of the book is very clear and judicious. Mr. Keynes's accurate definitions, accompanied, as they are, by a review of current variations in the use of terms, will be very helpful to ordinary students who feel themselves becoming confused between Mill and Fowler and Jevons. The last part of the “Formal Logic” deals with complex propositions, and is a contribution to the symbolic and extensional logic to which Englishmen have of late devoted so much attention. Mr. Keynes's aim is to show that many of the complicated problems for which Boole and others employ mathematical methods, may be solved "without abandoning the ordinary non-equational or predicative form of proposition.” It must, at least, be admitted that Mr. Keynes is himself remarkably successful in getting solutions; those who are interested in such things will find ample exercise here for their ingenuity.

We have left ourselves far too little space to give Mr. Sully's “Out. lines of Psychology"I the notice it deserves. But that is perhaps the less to be regretted, seeing that the book is not one which lends itself much to discussion. It is a solid piece of work to be thankful for. It would be foolish to pretend that it satisfies every requirement; but it is the only book which will enable the English reader to find his way about in recent discussions, and to feel himself, in some measure, abreast of the latest developments of the science. In such a treatise there cannot, of course, be much that is definitely original, but we continually meet with evidence of delicate observation and psychological insight. A more novel interest attaches to the scattered sections on infant psychology, which may almost be said to constitute a feature of the book. Mr. Sully has collated his own observations with those of Professor Preyer, M. Perez, Darwin, Taine, and others, and the results are sometimes amusing as well as instructive. An author is perhaps the best judge of his probable readers; but it may be doubted whether the book would not have been more of a whole without the

* “Fallacies." By Alfred Sidgwick, B.A. (International Scientific Series). London : Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.


+ "Studies and Exercises in Formal Logic.". By John Neville Keynes, M.A., late Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. London: Macmillan & Co. I “Outlines of

with Special Reference to the Theory of Education." By James Sully, M.A. London: Longmans, Green & Co.




« ForrigeFortsett »