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down. It is this, that there is no knowledge without self-consciousness ;--that the object of knowledge is always the apparent object + self. Where did Mr. Ferrier obtain this conclusion, and how does he establish it? Did it drop from the skies into his reason, or did he find it in reflection on his own modes of thought ? If the latter, it is due entirely to a psychological process ; indeed, it is clear that Mr. Ferrier puts a false meaning on Psychology. He regards it as springing from introspective self-observation, when the mind is undetermined by anything external to itself. He first christens it the act of the mind looking at itself in vacuo, and then ridicules it under this false name. Psychology is really to be contrasted with other sciences, not in its isolation of the mind, but in directing attention to the inward laws exhibited on occasion of its various activity. If Mr. Ferrier denies that there can be a science of the subject, because the subject implies object, he must also deny that there can be a science of the object, since object implies subject. And thus his “ Institutes of Metaphysic" must do away not only with Psychology, but with Physical Science. will scarcely get astronomers to give up their stars for Metaphysic on the ground that they cannot be studied apart from the percipient, any more than he will get psychologists to give up their self, on the ground that self is unknowable without a goal for its activity. From the psychological truth with which he starts, Mr. Ferrier deduces many true conclusions. With steady arrogance, however, he assumes that he has settled many questions which he has not even touched. The dispute about a priori and à posteriori notions he explodes, as a blind wrạngling in the dark which the “ Institutes of Metaphysic" must end for ever. His solution is, that the self-element in all knowledge is, what philosophers have dimly sought after as the à priori element, while the not-selfelement is the à posteriori element; but that since neither can be known without the other, an à priori or a posteriori idea is impossible, since an idea must be cognizable, and neither element, in isolation, is cognizable.
The Professor admits, however, that the two elements can be discriminated, and this is really all that is needful for the issue. Moreover, he overlooks the fact that the dispute is not settled by this discrimination of a bald self; it is the modality of self, the regulative attitudes of self, which constitute the study of what is called the à priori side of thought; just as it is the modality of the not-self, of crystals and granite, for instance, not the mere bald not-self, which forms the object of physical science. Instead of settling the question of the categories of thought, Mr. Ferrier really passes it by quite un. touched. For the rest, we should concur fully in the series of propositions in his Epistemology, not, however, assigning to them quite that infinite importance, still less that remarkable novelty, which he is disposed to claim for them. The "Agnoiology," or "theory of ignorance,” is only a modification of the epistemology, considered under the peculiar definition of ignorance, that ignorance is a defectiveness in knowledge, that all of which man can be ignorant, man could know. The passage to Ontology is mere legerdemain. It is
à priori absurd to pass from thought to existence by an act of deductive reasoning. Reasoning can only unfold what is in its premises, and if absolute existence were not assumed, absolute existence cannot be inferred. The fallacy by which Mr. Ferrier blinds himself in the demonstration that matter could not exist per se, is clear enough. He first defines “the contradictory" as that which cannot be an object of knowledge, and then affirms that absolute existence cannot be the contradictory, because the idea of it does not include any contradiction of thought. This only proves that the thought of absolute existence, is not “ the contradictory." Mr. Ferrier slides in an assumption that the existence of that cannot be contradictory, of which the thought is not contradictory. This is the vicious syllogism which runs through his ontology:
An impossible or contradictory existence cannot be an object of knowledge;
Matter without a percipient cannot be an object of knowledge;
Therefore, matter without a percipient is an impossible or contradictory existence.
Whence it is evident that Mr. Ferrier concludes to a mental Coexistent with the universe, not from the necessity of an eternal cause, but from the necessity of an eternal percipient. Would not an eternal oyster answer his purpose? The "Institutes of Metaphysic” is very able, very readable, and contains much truth; but it is on the false logical tack of the German metaphysic method, and will yield no philosophic fruit, beyond that which is really the result of the psychology the Professor despises. Perhaps a little humility in dealing with thinkers so great as Kant and some of his own countrymen, would do more for Professor Ferrier than much meditation.
In curious contrast with the work we have just noticed, is the able little treatise of Gruppe, of Berlin, * published on occasion of the death of Schelling, the last of the great trio of constructive Idealists, who undertook to think out the universe,—to identify thought with fact. Gruppe is himself of a quite opposite school, and is trying to lead German philosophy into that track of pure induction which Ferrier so heartily despises. Nevertheless, he has a clear insight into the systems he condemns, and we never understood at all distinctly the assumptions of Schelling, and the relation of his system to that of Fichte and Hegel, till we opened this little volume. Gruppe re-explains to us how Fichte's Egoism regarded the laws of the universe as pure subjective laws of consciousness. From this incredible system Schelling recoiled, and in his first epoch, assumed Self and Nature as two equally valid bases of speculation, finding the unity of the two in Art. As, however, the mind has no logical means of getting at Nature, he changed this theory in his second epoch, for an unintelligible theory of logical polarity, in which he takes as the absolute existence a tertium quid, a sort of water-shed between Thought and Nature, from which the streams of objective Nature flow down on one side, and those of subjective Thought on the other. Here Hegel and Schelling were in near con
*“Gegenwart und Zukunft der Philosophie in Deutschland," von O. F. Gruppe. Berlin. 1855.
tact, Hegel modifying this hypothesis by stating that his Absolute, namely, Spirit (Geist), is the higher unity which comprehends the Idea (Begriff,) and Nature as its two momenta. In his last epoch, Gruppe thinks that Schelling virtually abandoned both his systems, and went back to Kantian principles. Gruppe has a keen sense of the unreality and ludicrousness of all these systems of real logic. His own reaction is intense. He believes in Lord Bacon, and in psychological induction, but he makes the mind to be purely a growth of experience, and maintains that every judgment (even geometrical and moral propositions), which now seem necessary and analytic, have once been contingent and synthetic. He considers, for instance, that the judgment, “ the universe is great," is now necessary and analytic, because “greatness” has, so to speak, been absorbed or soaked into the very notion of the universe, but that once this proposition was contingent and synthetic, before greatness had come to be included in the notion of the universe. And this theory he conceives to be a fundamental doctrine in any true psychology. He is steering straight for the empirical track of James Mill, which, in England, has passed almost entirely away.
There is still, however, a representative of this school left in Mr. S. Bailey, whose recent volume of " Letters on the Philosophy of the Human Mind"* does not call for any special attention. Mr. Bailey is an acute, too acute a thinker. He is rather keen than subtle, splitting rather than separating the phenomena of the human mind. His extreme analysis fills us with surprise, how, out of no mental fibre, so much mental texture can be spun.
Of the same school, though here writing on ethics and religion, is Dr. Alliott, Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the Western College, Plymouth, whose work on the relations of psychology and theology has little in it of novel exposition, or, as we think, true analysis. Dr. Alliott is a utilitarian of the higher class, not an adherent of the selfish system, but rather of the school of Cumberland. In metaphysics he is of the empirical school, and a believer in moral necessity, using the customary arguments to prove that this is not inconsistent with a real responsibility. The tone of his book is mild and tolerant, as well as thoughtful. He does not merely repeat the ideas of others, but has attained them for himself. Still there is nothing in the book that would warrant us in giving to it any extended notice. All his positions are those of his school.
The author of an anonymous essay, of very slight pretensions and considerable acuteness, on “Intuitive Morals,”'t modestly claims indulgence on the score of " a superficiality, whose absence would neutralize the only utility it can hope to achieve.” If all essays on the same subject were as little superficial, there would not be so much rubbish of error to remove, before any attempt to arrive at truth can succeed. The writer adheres to the school of rational
" Letters on the Philosophy of the Human Mind," by Samuel Bailey. First Series. Longman. 1855.
† “An Essay on Intuitive Morals; being an attempt to popularize Ethical Science.” Longman. 1855.
morality, and much of the argument against the empirical school is both sound and vividly conceived. The points of weakness seem to us to be the attempt to establish, that morality might be developed into an exact science of right action, and that good and evil are conceptions of the pure reason, like space, time, or cause. The assumption of a distinct faculty-identical neither with intellect nor sense-is needed, we believe, to remove the confusion into which the rational theory leads. The present essay, however, will do much to clear up the elementary conditions of the moral problem, for those who are caught in the net of the utilitarian theory.
ART. X.-SUMMARY OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
AND ECONOMY.-LOANS AND TAXES.
New circumstances bring new controversies. He would have been a bold prophet who should have foretold, three years ago, that the principal subjects of political discussion at the present moment would have been those connected with war.
The long period of profound peace, the rapid succession of interesting controversies, the habit of the English people, of considering only present and pressing topics, had diverted public attention entirely from what may be termed martial philosophy. Of many parts, at least, of the practical application of this branch of politics, we have now had more than enough. It is the province of other portions of this Review to criticise popular publications, to discuss passing questions, to point out needful measures. The only object of the present summary is to deal in a concise and brief way with the few books which profess at least to establish in politics some defined and abstract principle.
The part of theoretical politics which has been most discussed -indeed the only one which has been generally discussed—is the doctrine of military finance-the propriety or impropriety of borrowing money. On this there has been a great deal of writing, but most of it has been in a form too fugitive even for mention here. Two books, however, have appeared, of considerable merit, which it will be convenient, in some degree, to consider together. The first is a pamphlet enquiring, “Should the Money required to pay the Expenses of the War be raised by Loans or Taxes ?”* The second is an Essay, the exact merits of which, by an unheard-of good fortune for an economical pamphlet, two Chancellors of the Exchequer have endeavoured successively to define. The title is, “ On the Loans raised by Mr. Pitt, during the first French War, 1793–1801; with some statements in defence of the methods of funding employed. By William Newmarch, one of the honorary secretaries of the Statistical Society.”+
Binns and Goodwin, 44, Fleet-street. † Effingham Wilson ; Harrison, 59, Pall Mall ; Nissen and Parker, 43, Mark Lane.
In general, the first of these essays is favourable to Loans,—the second unfavourable.
The subject of course has two sides, an ethical and an economical. The anonymous author of the first essay assumes the common and high ground of the Anti-Loan reasoners.
In the first place, we should not do so, because we are thereby imposing burdens on those who ought not to bear them, which is an injustice.” Yet it may be asked, why ought they not to bear them? Wars are clearly of two kinds – first, what we may call wars of administration-secondly, wars of existence. By the former we mean, wars like the Caffre or Burmese war, which arise from small questions on outlying parts of an empire,—which require but a small outlayare often waged with petty tribes, -and may be looked for daily and constantly by nations of complicated interests and ramified possessions. The cost of such wars as these, it would be clearly unjust to throw on posterity. Of them, it is evident, each generation will bave its own share and its own burden. When was England, above all nations, ever free from petty dissensions and small wars ? " But the case is otherwise with those great and awful struggles which occur, from time to time, in a nation's history; when it is called on to conabat, not for an accident in a corner or a squabble in a colony, or a foray of barbarians-not with a trifling tribe of petty adversaries, who may be brushed away like flies, but with a great and equal opponent, ardently desirous of conquest, of fearful power, willing to use all means to attain his end, determined to close the conflict only by the extirpation of his enemy. Such was the later war of England against Napoleon the Great-- such the struggle of the Roman republic against Hannibal. Neither of those great generals would have been willing to leave to their adversary a place and name among nations.
It is absurd to say that of such wars as these one generation should bear all. The generation which wages such a war inevitably suffers so much, that all which can be transferred to posterity should be so transferred. There is no injustice. Posterity has received an equivalent; it has received its existence.
The author of "Loans or Taxes " introduces a quotation from John Mill's “ Political Economy," to the effect that the wealth of the country is continually in a course of change from year to year, and seems to infer that the wealth of to day being a different thing —that is, a different collection of material atoms from that of yesterday—it would be unfair to impose on the former the burden of liabilities incurred to preserve the latter. A similar argument was, if we remember, once adduced by Mr. Newman, in an ingenious pamphlet on the National Debt. But though the wealth of to-day is not exactly the same material structure as the wealth of yesterday, yet it was produced by it, and out of it. The plant, in manufacturing phrase, is identical, and expenses incurred to preserve that plant are duly chargeable on all its productions. Indeed, the whole argument seems an extreme refinement. If the preservation of the England of 1815 was necessary to the existence and greatness of the England of 1855, the England of the present day may well bear