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thought. Büchner, Moleschott, Vogt, hold that
matter is eternal and indestructible; that mat-
ter and force are inseparable: the one cannot
exist without the other. What, it is asked, is
motion without something moving? What is
electricity without an electrified body? What
is attraction without molecules attracting each
other? What is contractibility without muscu-
lar fibre, or secretion without a secreting gland?
One combination of molecules exhibits the phe-
nomena of life, another combination exhibits
the phenomena of mind. All this was taught
by the old heathen philosopher more than two
thousand years ago. That this system denies
the existence of God, of mind as a thinking
substance distinct from matter, and of the pos-
sibility of the conscious existence of man after
death, are not inferences drawn by opponents,
but conclusions openly avowed by its advocates.

Herbert Spencer's New Philosophy.

Mr. Darwin calls Spencer our "great philosopher." His is the speculating mind of the new school of science. This gives to his opinions special interest, although no one but himself is to be held responsible for his peculiar views, except so far as others see fit to avow

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them. Mr. Spencer postulates neither mind nor matter. He begins with Force. Force, however, is itself perfectly inscrutable. All we know about it is, that it is, that it is indestructible, and that it is persistent.

As to the origin of the universe, he says there are three possible suppositions: 1st. That it is self-existent. 2d. That it is selfcreated. 3d. That it is created by an external agency.1 All these he examines and rejects. The first is equivalent to Atheism, by which Spencer understands the doctrine which makes Space, Matter, and Force eternal and the causes of all phenomena. This, he says, assumes the idea of self-existence, which is unthinkable. The second theory he makes equivalent to Pantheism. "The precipitation of vapor,' he says, "into cloud, aids us in forming a symbolic conception of a self-evolved universe;" but, he adds, "really to conceive self-creation, is to conceive potential existence passing into actual existence by some inherent necessity, which we cannot do." (p. 32). The Theistic theory, he says, is equally untenable. "Whoever agrees that the atheistic hypothesis is



1 First Principles of a New System of Philosophy. By Herbert Spencer. Second edition. New York, 1869, p. 30.

untenable because it involves the impossible idea of self-existence, must perforce admit that the theistic hypothesis is untenable if it contains the same impossible idea." (p. 38). The origin of the universe is, therefore, a fact which cannot be explained. It must have had a cause; and all we know is that its cause is unknowable and inscrutable.

When we turn to nature the result is the


Everything is inscrutable. All we

know is that there are certain appearances, and that where there is appearance there must be something that appears. But what that something is, what is the noumenon which underlies the phenomenon, it is impossible for us to know. In nature we find two orders of phenomena, or appearances; the one objective or external, the other subjective in our consciousness. There are an Ego and a nonEgo, a subject and object. These are not identical. "It is," he says, "rigorously impossible to conceive that our knowledge is a knowledge of appearances only, without at the same time conceiving a reality of which they are appearances, for appearance without reality is unthinkable." (p. 88). So far we can go. There is a reality which is the cause of phe


nomena. Further than that, in that direction, our ignorance is profound. He proves that space cannot be an entity, an attribute, or a category of thought, or a nonentity. The same is true of time, of motion, of matter, of electricity, light, magnetism, etc., etc. They all resolve themselves into appearances produced by an unknown cause.

As the question, What is matter? is a crucial one, he dwells upon it in various parts of his writings. Newton's theory of ultimate atoms; Leibnitz's doctrine of monads; and the dynamic theory of Boscovich, which makes matter mere centres of force, are all dismissed as unthinkable. It is not very clear in what sense that word is to be taken. Sometimes it seems to mean, meaningless; at others, self-contradictory or absurd; at others, inconceivable, i. e. that of which no conception or mental image can be formed; at any rate, it implies what is unknowable and untenable. The result is, so far as matter is concerned, that we know nothing about it. "Our conception of matter, he says, "reduced to its simplest shape, is that of coexistent positions that offer resistance, as contrasted with our conception of space in which the coexistent positions offer

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no resistance." (p. 166). Resistance, however, is a form of force; and, therefore, on the following page, Spencer says, "that forces standing in certain correlations, form the whole contents of our idea of matter.”

When we turn from the objective to the subjective, from the external to the inward world, the result is still the same. He agrees with Hume in saying that the contents of our consciousness is a series of impressions and ideas. He dissents, however, from that philosopher, in saying that that series is all we know. He admits that impressions necessarily imply that there is something that is impressed. He starts the question, What is it that thinks? and answers, We do not know. (p. 63). He admits that the reality of individual personal minds, the conviction of personal existence is universal, and perhaps indestructible. Nevertheless that conviction cannot justify itself at the bar of reason; nay, reason is found to reject it. (p. 65). Dean Mansel says, that consciousness gives us a knowledge of self as a substance and not merely of its varying states. This, however, he says, "is absolutely negatived by the laws of thought. The fundamental condition to all consciousness, em

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