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i he question as to the nature of that knowledge
which we have, or suppose that we have, of an external, material world is an old one in philosophyj and the history of its discussion is one of the most interesting chapters in
not this chapter,
however, as a whole, but only a singlfe section of it which is to engage our attention in the following pages. We are to deal only with what is known as the Common Sense Philosophy, and that only so far as it undertook to furnish a refutation of the skepticism of Berkeley and Hume (espelatter) and to vindicate as trustworthy the knowwhich men universally suppose that they possess of ledge a world of Matter. As preliminary to this discussion, it is proper that it be stated, in a few plain words, what is meant by the term. Common Sense, as employed by Reid and Hamilton. In ordinary language, we include under it all those conclusions which men of sound and well-balanced minds are accustomed to reach and which guide them in the practical Or the term may be applied to that group affairs of life.
of endowments which enable their possessors to reach such The philosophical use of the term,
on the other hand, excludes
inference^ and conclusions
applied to results of mental activity, in
always refers to what is intuitive and original. Every cp^lion which is got » first-hand «, in which there is no admixture of inference, which itself stands first in the
2. in it is the claim of these philosophers that all men endowe'd with faculties of intuitive knowledge. All men accept it as true and cannot doubt validity without violence to their mental constitution. as represented in the text. the datum of Common ! Sense is. Common Sense forces us to accept as true the proposition. as an answer to the skepticism of Berkeley and Hume. not merely that this particular event was caused. Every event must have a cause. we apprehend an event as caused. directly and its intuitively. It is this doctrine of direct or immediate cognition of an external material world as presented by the Scottish philo- sophers. This is given through the operation of the senses. Sir William Hamilton.classes 1. when are universally and necessarily valid. it is true. but which For example. use of the term it Common Sense. obtained. with reference to the power by which such knowledge is series its voucher. it but that could not have occurred without a cause. There are other primary data which. as well as that of Hamilton. Common Sense. on such an occasion. will be observed. yet. and so intermingles with the philosophical use as to imply confusion in his own mind. which Dr. without question or hesitation. Reid calls sContingent Truths«.' data. I It should be mentioned that Reid^ is not always consistent in his . 'constitutes the faculty which is called Common Sense. notwithstanding that. . Yet his peculiar doctrine of is. Thomas Reid and we are now to consider. and to this class belongs our cognition of an external world. is a datum of Commoia Sense. It not infrecjuently happens that be uses this in the popular acceptation. fall into twp There are those which we not only recognize as 'true when reference is had to particular cases. it These primary .: and cannot be traced to any previous cognition as And again. and that group of endowments which they possess in comm6n and which secures tKe acceptance of certain common are facts and principles on the part of all unperverted minds. So that.
so far as they bear upon our belief in the existence of an external world. in perception. 3 — is This phase of the philosophy of Raid so intimately to the speculations of Berkeley and still Hume. their writings learn. That is. could the external object become the cause of the mental modification? And how could the inference be made from the — mental niodification to the external object as its cause when that object was deemed unsuited to produce such effects? There seemed. to the minds of many. — a reality. be embraced the view that. and it was this latter hypothesis as to the nature of the tertium quid which Berkeley accepted. would be necessary some acquaintance with it. The current philosophy of his day based our knowledge of the external and the material upon inference. the energy of the cognizing agent being exerted at the same instant in representing the object by a modification of itself and in recognizing it as a thing. in fact. All that the mind could know directly was certain images or ideas which represented the external object. that previously to the publication of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature. Berkeley denied the existence of matter and maintained that nothing exists beyond the sphere of the Spiritual and the Ideal. its origin. he had fully acquiesced in the Idealism of Berkeley. to be no help for this difficulty but to summon It to the solution of it the in agency of the Divine Being. there is present to the mind only its own modifications. I pass then to a short account of the teachings of Berkeley and to a somewhat fuller statement of the views of Hume. How. it that even though to have we did not propose to examine it as an express effort at refutation of them. an existence. . in.— related. then. while others regarded them as modifications of the ego. was God who begat. But there was a difficulty inasmuch as the philosophers regarded mind and matter as so radically different that they could not act directly upon each other. in order to a clear understanding of We from Reid himself. Some held that the images were distinct from the ego.
external material object as a real existence was. in others. accepted the view that these ideas of external objects were created in our minds by God. therefore . But from these convictions. at length. therefore. cause. and his conclusion was that. and that. To this philosophy. The all. in. have a He believed that the cause was distinct from and Now Effect. material object). since causes are not to be gratuitously multiplied. which alone it could exist. there- fore. the mental modification. men naturally believed in a single object. . independent of the human mind. the idea of the object whenever that object was present and related to the senses in such a manner as to affect them appropriately. He repudiated. therefore. and given it an objective existence. — — der reinen Vernunft. This. Having gone thus far. He. The philosophers. was Common Sense. There was one object only. They had abstracted it from the mind. and this. an object immediately present to the mind. 4 — the mind. His philosophy. and not that of the dualists. he was destined. according to Berkeley. he found an adequate explanation. after a mere figment of the mind^s creation. Reid was a complete convert. the belief in it. was believed in by all in common.— .with He. Of what use was it to suppose the existence of the external object? The effect was fully accounted for without it. denied that matter could affect mind. had transformed the mere mental modification into a reality. projected outward and called external and substantial. Berkeley accepted the doctrine of Cause and The mental modification must. were thus contending for two objects in perception (viz: the mental modification and the external. While the philosophers. common. there could be no legitimate conclusion to the existence of matter. coincided with the popular belief. to be awakened by the writings of David Hume: the same also who aroused frrom his dogmatic dreams the great philosopher of Konigsberg and set him to work upon' Die Kritik yielding to an undue tendency to abstraction.
It His skeptia. who. If. and to appreciate the essential positions of Berkeley's philosophy. Berkeley and since Hume may shall be found to be no digression we thus he able to understand the better attitude of what Hume's view's were. He must grounds of those arguments which threatened to overthrow that system. With that sphere. in the first Let us notice. fHume. and he conceived that at all hazards. just at this point. then. any evidence of such existences. few words. then. He was a devout believer assumption. tell us that there are no material or spiritual does not His simple thesis is that we have not. without examination . nor can entities. .-- 5' — by way of contrasting at A last. as to the spiritual. still Reid. have. was conclusion with him that there are spiritual existences. makes no asser-. might be dogmatical. of the validity of the principles of Cause and Effect and of Substance and Attribute and the inference he draws from them as to the existence of spi- but in his passing beyond the limits of experience and attempting to prove the non-existence of matter. rested upon this must therefore be defended. foregone cism was in the interests of dogmatism. and. This explains why Berkeley was an ideaHe was skeptical as to the anaterial world that h^ list. in his day^ they were chiefly drawn from materialism. tions whatever as to what exists or what does not exist He in the world outside that of impressions and ideas. though forced to surrender what seemed the was inspi- red by the same spirit as his earlier master. on the other hand. the skeptic can have nothing to do except to show that all efforts to enter it must be abortive^ rits. the entire system of dogmatic theology. he can prove that matter does not exist. his work would seem to be effectually done. it in Christianity. This tendency of discover the Berkeley's to dogiii'atism is seen not only in his assertion. but that it is only a fiction of the philosophers. He seeks to reach a positive conclusion and will be satisfied with no other. place that Berkeley was really a dogmatist rather than a skeptic.
unlike Berkeley. It is important that we phasis which viction of all Hume men lays as to get clearly before us the emupon the persistency of this conthe uninterrupted and independent existence of the objects of sense.There is a secoad contrast between these two philosophers which indicates. The man unbiased by of all philosophical speculations attributes a continued existence distinct from and independent This - minds. though he tain cannot pretend by any arguments of philosophy to mainits veracity. Berkeley. but accounted you choose. He. We more shall see that no this philosopher. unavoidable. the only existence which can be predicated of that tree is that' the idea of it exists in the minds of others to it or. and it is vain to attempt to interpret that belief for belief is him in the terms of Berkeley's system. in the for a moment. . saw clearly that the popular con- tinued and distinct existence of the objects of sense was not to be confounded with the doctrine that those objects are only ideas which cannot exist. on the other hand. cared nothing for popular convictions. nay you may call it instinctive if and it must be accounted for. as has been mentioned. One needs but in to apprehend recognize Berkeley meant order to the what repugnance between what men naturally believe and the statement that when they do not perceive or think of the tree which stands before the door. the fundamental difference of their points 'of view. stress upon Even the skeptic »must. [says Hume. »to the principle concerning the existence of body. Hume. therefore. not even Reid. has laid point. ' school of Common Sense. Nature has not left this to his choice. strenuously insisted that his doctrine was He belonged to the coincident with the vulgar belief. belief in the and. was free from all prepossessions on this point. except distinctly mind. in the divine consciousness. as plainly as the first. The popular belief cannot be made to for as a delusion. — — coincide with the conclusions of the philosophers.assent«. and only dealt with them to show that they were delusions. at any rate.
p. according to these philosophers. believe in We may well ask. . He. although we have no immediate or direct knowledge of the existence of such objects. then. or. as the occasions. principle It is. What but causes induce us to 'tis the existence of body? in vain to ask.«^ Again. that Hume's answer is not matter but the Divine Being. he says. it must be borne in mind that he accepted that doctrine of Locke's philosophy which denies the existence of innate ide^s and Human Nature. will first enquire What vouches for the principle of Cause and Effect? The conclusion reached is that this principle has no such validity as to justify the inference to any substantial world whatever. whether it cause be of Matter or of Spirit. »Philosophy informs us that every thing that appears to the mind is nothing but a perception and is interrupted and dependent on the mind. Whether there be.and has doubtless esteemed it a matter of too great importance to be trusted to our uncertain reasonings and speculations. Whether with this universal conviction there is connected any evidence Whether there are any valid reasons for to justify it? asserting the continued and independent existence of bodies ?i We have seen that philosophers had affirmed these propositions on the ground that. 338. which vouches for the existence of material Berkeley had replied that although these effects imply a cause. 1 Treatise of 2 Ibid. body or no? This is a point which we must take for granted in all our reasonings.«^ rThe main question for Hume now is.* of the ideas we have the of them. we have an indirect and mediate knowledge of the same as the causes. p. (in order to understand Hume's argument against the validity of the principle of Cause and Effect. whereas the vulgar confound perceptions and objects aud attribute a distinct existence to the very things we feel and see. goes much deeper. at least. 328. of Cause and Effect things.
But whence is this. He classified »all the perceptions of the human mind«. Section II.' as Now be reference to the principle of Cause and Effect. idea of power derived? It cannot be an innate idea. cedents the inference. for none such exist. us are constantly conjoined. although he distinguishes them loosely as pf »two kinds «. not merely a necessary connection between certain ante- and consequents which observation has taught.or less directly to one or miore impressions. . and without this dictum of Cause and Effect cannot avail to justify it. images of these impressions and arise in our thinking and reasoning. but it must mean that »WhateVer comes into existence must have a cause of existence«. whatever begins to exist is necessarily connected with something antecedent to it which produces it. that is. No idea can enter the mind which is not to be traced more . under two heads. These do not differ from each other in kind. from experience upon occasion of our contemplating some instance of the Inquiry concerning Human Understanding.a briori principles and traces all knowledge to experigace. it it observed that. When we use words which do not stand for ideas traceable to impressions we may conclude that those will words really signify nothing. The impressions are the more forceable and lively. in order that of it may to legitimate the our mental impressions causes beyond experience. passions and emotions as they — — make faint Ideas are the their first appearance in the soul. that there is must be understood to mean. They differ only in the degrees of force and liveliness with which they strike upon the mind and make their way into consciousness. and perceptions with Hume embrace all mental states. because it has efficiency to produce it. »impressionst< and »ideas«. then. Whatever idea we attach to the word must have arisen. We find then that the idea of power must here be taken into consideration. and they include all our sensations.
to expect its usual attendant. upon the appearand^ of an single . . the mind is carried by habit. we have of powerj impression which BuFThis idea of necessary connection answers to no we get from any particular case of antecedence and consequence. events »that idea of necessary connection similar own among which tjiat arises from a number of occur. •that We find when we have observed set of antecedents this constant connection between any occurs fore. different from every • supposed to be 'exactly similar. we exas be- pect confidently that whenever one of these antecedent? will be followed by the same consequent is This grows into the notion that there a necessary connection between them. therefore. language. the thena. But does the idea arise from a mere in. but only to an impression produced by repetition. that the occurrence of the only idea the antecedent quent. it and consequents. ". which we feel in the mind. But there is nothing in a number of instances. that after a repetition of similar instances.manifestation of what v?e call power. nor can idea ever be suggested by any one of these instances. It arises from a disposition begotten of the habit of passing over from the antecedent to the consequent. otherwise we could not have an impression of any antecedent without considering is it as producing its consequent. except only. Nothing. according to Hunae. surveyed in all possible lights and positions. then. this customany transition of the imagination from one object to its usual attendant is the sentiment or imwill exist. »It appears. ifii^taEice which is event. left us but to conclude that the idea arises in connection with our observation of the fact "that certain antecedents are constantly conjoined with certain consequents.' the occurrence of the conseis And this. that necessitates is. in This must have been connection with the phsenomenon of antecedence and consequence. to quote Hume's instances. and to believe that it This connection. spection of the antecedent? This cannot be. of the constant conjunction of events.
solution. as we have any other notion of causality than that of mere antecedence and consequence. shall find we no antecedent presented by idea we have' of utterly insufficient. necessarily. . from the earliest years of life to the latest. our inference from sensations to external material objects which produce them is unsound. nor indeed know what the par- antecedent is. inasmuch as they are dependent on the mind. Sec. therefore. undertake to apply our idea of Causality exi- in a case where we apprehend a simple beginning of experience. »How da we come by author's the' idea that the objects let of sense are continued and distinct existences ?« us turn to the impressions. has no validity. This does not justify us in concluding that there this must be an antecedent connected. Part II. we persist own ^" Inquiry concerning Human Understanding. which he so candidly admits. that.answer given by the philosophers to the question. we have a right to demand that Hume explain the fact. The only conclusion left us is that statement that every beginning of existence must have a cause of existence answers to no impression nor imticular this pressions. VII. with new event. brings us to imagine.«" So far^ then. connected with a conse-*' quent. different It. stence.— pression lO — from which we form the idea of power or necessary connection. in the same way. If it is now we with it a fiction of the imagination. cannot serve as legitimating any is The case of a beginning of existence entirely from that in which a consequent is preceded by an antecedent of which we have knowledge directly. The conclusion is that inasmuch as we find that the dogma. . »Every beginning of existence must have a cause«. The only and as habit a cause is that of an antecedent constantly. Having now followed to the end Hume's examination of the. and to reason from the one case to the other is a glaring fallacy. If the only objects known be our and these be interrupted. inference. when we have never experienced a single case of that antecedence.
we impute really to this also unity. when they this reason. is bond which connects impressions. after only a conviction of the identity of that which times. experiencing the and. are not perceived. upon remembering the first impression.a attention chiefly For Hume directs his to accounting for our belief in the con- tifiued existence of the objects of sense. to use is The exact similarity of the Hume's own word. so long as that single impression -continues If we impute unity to the object and call it one we now withdraw the eye from that object and tree. although in the other. -this conviction of the continued existence of an all. independent of and distinct from the perception. >ye have. then open all first impression. How can he explain this upon It his hjrpothesis? needs but a moment's reflection to convince one of distinct and independent existence »for if is that the idea imof plied in that of continued existence. fix it upon another general like so that the in impression. not- withstanding the interruption. . The inter- of the impressions gives us the idea of succession a or time. is present in two or more impressions had at different for When. while their exact similarity supplies the condition of our conceiving that there these successive impressions. but we never suppose. after trees. an impression of a tree. differs some minor particulars. example. and this is the idea oi plurality. the objects our senses continue to exist their existence is. or. a conviction that the objects in the two cases are identical. all that experience gives us. Now object is. we are fully persuaded that there was continuity in the existence ruption of the object itself which linked these two impressions together. through visfon. tree.— in II — believing that tinue to exist fact we cognize external objects which^ conwhen unperceived. however. of course. their constancy. we simply we feel close the eyes them to have the impression repeated with the circumstances the same. that the two objects are one and the same. That is. We regard them as two distinct If.
and. The only possible explanation. when by habit we become accustomed to pass with perfect ease from one impression or to many others. How does this invariableness or constancy of the impressions beget the other idea. viz: uninterruptedness of existence or identity? if. time. It is evident that the senses do not supply it.: — 1 2 — The question now is. for a certain length of time and while other impressions are changing. inasmuch as they do no more than present the several similar impressions. Reason cannot have produced the idea because it exists is in children before they are capable of reasoning. the tendency of the mind is to fall into the same disposition as. and. regard what we before . we have the idea of time from the succession of the other impressions without its implying any change whatever in the particular object. the numerically identical impression) of an object. In this case. the imagination supplies the fiction of an will identical existence.in the case which has just bfeen singled out. and te firm and unshaken before they could possibly under- stand the subtile arguments which might be brought forward prove the fact. is that the idea is supplied by the Imagination. numerically different but exactly similar. we come by custom or habit to pass over from one to the other with such as facility that we cease to call distinctly into consciousthis. that. the mind the same impression e. That object Continues one and the same' this for us throughout to another. It if add to the clearness of the foregoing exposition we consider.the numerical difference its between them. according to Hume. and allows itself to imagine that the variation of time is no more contradictory of continued existence here than there. ness. the result is that it disregards the succession of these similar impressions. with perfect constancy. upon occasion. Now. Since the impressions occur always with the same attendant circumstances. and a momentary disposition tp. is we find that there is an interruption. It is true that when we attend more there carefully. carefully what occurs when we hold before (i. is.
if admitted at all. we have pression recourse to the expedient of conceiving the imas separated from the train of impressions and ideas which we call the mind. habit This. by this freer exposition. as being simply detached from the train but not destroyed. pp. In other words. when not present.^363. That is to say. . And we find the skeptic thoroughly consistent in the use of the principles which he fancies that he has established. play the sophist with themselves their ground in spite of rhyme or reason!' In the foregoing account of Hume's speculations as to an external world. If the validity of the -principle of Causality has been successfully attacked. of presentation or I have not always followed his order confined ihyself to illustrations which he has used. we permit ourselves to conceive any given impression oK sense. in connection with the previous the existence as them and regarding continued. rather than violate the propensity begotten of custom to think the ob- jects of sense as continued existences. It is not difficult to see that the principles on which he would overthrow the philosophical argument for the existence of a material world. but I trust. Treatise of Human Nature. would suffer a wider application. in order to relieve this uneasy feeling.~ thought to distinct 13 — existence as be a continued a number of but similar impressions. in this matter. At such of confounding a moment. 355. it can no more ' Cf. however. I have been able to give a more satisfactory view of the tenets of his philosophy so far as germane to the present dis cussion. adversary's argument As the skillful sophist adroitly changes the import of his terms is when the about to drive him to the wall. under the continued existence has become so strong as to give fostering care of the imagination the disposition to believe in birth to the idea of distinct and independent existence in order to save that fancy from perishing. so and hold' our minds. produces perplexity. and as coming back to join the train once more when it again appears in consciousness.
became the champion of the opinion of the that we do actually perceive the very things which we naturally suppose that is we perceive. there The appeal to Causality is inept. inference to 14 — than to a material. awakened rudely from "his slumber and convinced that only one of two courses lay before him: either to accept Hume's skeptical conclusions as to the . existence of spirit. very well picture to ourselves the conwhich the sincere believer in the world of spiritual existences would behold this work of disstruction and he might well turn him about and take refuge in the sternation We may with encampment of the avowed dogmatists. Has man a an immaterial world of substance spiritual nature? Is there a substantial something which thinks? Hume answers.no proof of it.-justify th&. set. shaping his arguments in such a manner as to overthrow at once the belief in spirit and in matter. who. as distinguished from a mediate and inferential. likewise.. Henceforth his doctrine that we have an immediate and direct. at the outseemed to be so thoroughly at one with Berkeley. knowledge of material objects whether they be such objects as we may touch and handle or distant objects like the sun and moon which . i§. or to vindicate the natural conviction of the existence of Matter.a we find the great skeptic. seemed a friend and ally soon tuf'ns his ordnance upon the fortress of the good Bishop's most cherished convictions and completely demolishes the strong tower of his fondest Here. Reid. then. hopes. at first. As was natural enough to expect we find Berkeley's disciple. He who.. forth He chose the latter and hencevulgar. Bproceeds entirely from the smooth and uninterrupted progress of the thought along a train of connected ideas. i* The argument based upon our tity is belief in personal iden- equally inconclusive for him. The same line of reasoning which has served to show the unsubstantial basis of our ideas of continued and independent existence in the sphere of the non-ego is equally potent as against the sub- stantial existence of the ego. Our belief in spirit.
' known first hand and that knowledge Sense. says he.a'* Hence it immediate knowledge which we thus obtain of the objects perceived. This perception not the result of reasoning. does not intend to esti- we have. in his Lectures on the Philosophy Human Mind. prets the He thus inter- word in the sense in of his own philosophy. in German. p. in is the effect of instinct. It will be noted that Reid. The first question which offers itself for solution is as to the e^act nature of sensation which. as to the process by which the mind becomes possessed of these data. there arises in the mind a sensation. so arbitrary and so indispensable a part in the system of Reid. what. The sensation is immediately followed affected the organ of by a conception of the object which that object. 3 indicate the subjective element assumes that Reid uses the term to which furnishes the matter In other words. its is sense and an irresistible belief in the present existence of This conception of the object and belief of present existence Reid calls Perception. 177 and others. a knowledge of distances. not causally connected with the physical modification. plays.•holding that the distant object say that immediately known. Section 20. in outline. sensations are or content of the percept. Reid's system. p. . 3 Lecture 25. 298 et" is passim. in . This sensation is. that he holds that. 185. An Inquiry into the Human Mind. p. what is in his ' Reid's Works. is first hand. Works. as we shall find. constitutes the data of Common Next. After these preliminary statements. it may be stated. upon occasion of an appropriate modification of the organ of sense. »The belief »There which is is is no reasoning implied in it.fall 15 All these are within the range of vision. vid. and it considers perception. of the Thomas Brown. I proceed to a more specific exposition of this author's doctrine. however. at once. Chapter 6. perceptions. The power of mating distance 2 acquired. Works. Dr. are called Empfindungen.
are not different from the actually existent objects. Brown was so fully persuaded in his own mind of the absurdity of the doctrine that we are competent to know external objects themselves immediately. . for this reason. as perceived. likeness. of course. the mental modification. i. viz : i6 ^- 'i merely the act by which these mental states are to the external world and apprehended The only difference. they cannot be unlike each other. That Reid regarded the sensation as. But as to matter. and. but of the object mediately known. he says »external objectsa. But the fact is that Reid does not intend to affirm that the thing perceived. therefore. is a mere quality. Reid. not of what is directly before the mind in perception.' The qualities as known. But when we turn to Reid we discover that he. over and over again.— own. the quality the mental modification as referred out. pretation. would have us believe. the thing itself What we know is not To assert.in the exIt is true that. in no sense. and directly that he would not suffer himself to attribute such a view to Reid. e. he is led to regard the Common Sense philosophy as utte-rly confused and self-contradictory. between the sensation which suggests a quality referred outward ^ and that quality as immediately known is that sensation is the mental modification regarded as such. instead of using the — — ternal world.Supplying the matter of the qualities as they are perceived. but is that the sensation unlike the external object to deny any likeness between the sensations and the qualities they suggest as those qua-lities are immediately present to the mind. they are one and the same and. being identical. is unlike that which it represents. but he means to assert that the sensation is a state of mind which bears no resemblance to the quality it suggests and as that quality is perceived. insists that the sensation which is the sign of a quality bears no resemblance whatever to the quality in speaking of this want of term »qualities as perceiveda. and Brown understood him to use this term. according to this interas objectiv^e.
I am not able to discern a resembling feature. generally forgot and are as if they had never been. I find it to be merely a sensation and that it has no similitude to the hardness. nor are they resemblances of sensations. 311. that Dr. and abstracting my thought from the thing signified by it. cli. »are neither sen-- sations. It seems evident. . p. but confounded In order that it with another quite different. Brown failed to" apprehend Reid^s doctrine of sensation. Let us hear him again »I touch the table gently with my hand and I feel it to be smooth. 11. hard and cold. the qualities perceived.signified by it. still we may get a more definite notion 1 Essays on the Intellectual Powers Essays on Int. smoothness and coldness of the table are thing signified been. p'. we find them entirely unlike the qualities. I This sensation not being painful. And when we hold them up in memory and. I can compare the one with the other. 2 . not as unknown causes which are only inis ferred. and when I do so. Works.tention to It commonly give no at- qarries my thought immediately to the by it. 31+. self-evident. and is itself forgot as if it had never But by repeating it and turning my attention to it. appears to have a clear und" distinct notion of each of the primary qualities.« * ' a host of passages might be adduced. 17. suffice. II. are supplying the miatter of bur notions of these » \. Works. so far from qualities.a^ The hardness. ch. sensation which indicates them. I me Here lities it is evident that he speaks of the primary qua- as known. 16. they are the qualities as present to the mind. He asserts emphatically that there not a re- sembling feature between -them and any sensation. smoothness or coldness of the table which are . The sensations which suggest' them. One or two must This »The primary qualities«j says he. 2 Powers. contemplate them. I have a clear and distinct notion of sensation. but I per- them by means of a it. These : are the qualities of the table perceived ceive by touch. then.
11.3. represents philosopher as stating »that the primary- qualities of material existences. chap. it will be. mean. p'. and what he does. the directness and distinctness of our notions of the primary compared with those of the secondary. ' 3 Essays on Int. Powers. Now Hamilton asserts that Reid jegarded these latter. and" gave as the essential mark by which they are to be discriminated. etc. Sound. The second catalogue is in the Essays on the Intellectiuil Powers. Works. p. Figure. One in the Inquiry into the Human Mind. 820. so far as they come into sion of ''i ! I Reid's Works. that Reid accepted the distinction between the primary and secondary qualities. Hamilton. 4 5 Works. in this connection. II. He gives two different enumerations of the primary qualities.a' The misapprehension is shown by the assertion that Reid regarded the secondary qualities as signs of the primary. 313. 314. 119. Figure. Locke's § 26. ch. though not sufficipnt causes of our conceptions. Tastes. ch.. s In this passage.. are the signs on occa- which we are made to 'conceive' the primary. are suggested to us through the secondary. Extension. und ch. which. Reid gives the primary qualities as Extension. . 8.. Motion. Cf. of course. Colour. Roughness and Smoothnesg.worth our while to consider a misapprehension of a philosopher of far greater learning than Brown and one whftt is usually much more accurate in the account he gives of the opinions of others. Smells. 5. p. Motion. etc. Divisibility. who in Note C. 9. 11.— i8 — both of wliat Reid does not. Hardness. appended to that his edition of Reid's Works. The secondary qualities are. 17. Figure. p. Softness and Fluidity. chap. § 1. It is proper to call to mind. Works. Solidity. B. which includes Extension. § 9. I refer to Sir Wm. i/t. and professes to follow Locke's enumeration. Hardness and Softness. Essay concerning Human Understanding.
11. 1 2 Essays on Int. no sooner performs its office of suggesting than it is forgotten. Works. Chap. perfectly certain that Reid did not in- tend to confound these sensations with the secondary qualities. an examination of Reid's statements reveals the fact that he held that each and every primary quaUty has a peculiar sensation which suggests it and which..— qualities. 19 — consciousness. We have no occasion afterwards to reflect upon it. any langunge. when we think of them. they have not only been overlooked by the vplgar. we find. by means of certain corresponding sensations of touch. 123- . the sensations connected with the pri- mary qualities It are is spoken of as peculiar to the qualities respectively. are presented to the qualities: the mind as real external conception and belief of them are invariably connected with the corresponding sensations by an original Their sensations have no name principle of human nature. 5. otherwise he would never have asserted that we come to be as little acquainted with them as assertion if they had never existed. adduce the following passage: »Having conception of primary qualities. as the sensations which suggest tSe primary On the other hand. softness. 17. When a primary quality is perceived. p. etc. 315. Such an would be a strange one to make concerning colour. in the Inquiry into the Human Mind% the following passage concerning the sensations which suggest hardness. § 4. cold. and is itself forgot. or if they have been at all taken in Works. and so we come to be as little acquainted with it In proof. but philosophers . This is the case with the sen• sations of primary qualities when they are not so pain- or pleasant as to draw our attention. p. heat. I a clear and distinct as if ful we had all never felt it. as they are known. ch. we have no need. thq sensation immediately leads our thought to the quality signified. If further proof be necessary.a' In this passage. Powers. to recallj their sensations. figure and motion: » All these.
is the only object of attention.«' Nothing would seem clearer than that he intends to sation teach that. and therefore those qualities are said to be perceived and not felt. which. suggest them. portion have itaHcized contains statements in relation to the sensations which sul^gest these primary qualities which could never have been made concerning the secondary qualities as they are Tb© of this passage which I ' present in consciousness. therefore. which suggest] colour and of all primary qualities. though they are very often felt. refer to his statements concerning colour to which he assigns a peculiar sensation.— notice of. at least . there is no reason for believing that all. We have no conception of them. and therefore we speak of it as if it were perceived and not felt There are some sensations. i8. are never attended to nor reflected upon. he expresses I himself in no ambiguous language. p. lities 20 — . nor any form of speech which supposes their existence. Reid in the in regarded the secondary qualities as sensations at technical sense in which he etiiploys the term. Powers. which they suggest. 319. but are not. as to sensation. relation to one. by which it is suggested. His words are as follows: »In seeing a coloured body. and. there are corresponding to the qualities peculiar to each as perceived. ch. They are not I Essays Int. from these it cri- ticisms. e. of these qualities. the senis indifferent and draws no attention. Works. sensations respectively which lities. they have been confounded with the external quav. which we call its colour. in language there is neither any name for them. II. Such are the sensations of [i. The quality in the body. is well to note the following specifications: I"- Sensations are purely mental. entirely distinct from it. . In truth. in the case of any primary quato be confounded with any secondary qualities. In addition to what we have learned. And.
2 df. ^ This makes it impossible for us to identify the sensation with that feeling which arises in connection with the act of cognition and depends. Works. p. seq. Inquiry into the Int. Powers. Human 16. § i. it. but also that they. there- must not suppose. and Essays on 3 Pomers. for its existence. They are.' in any sense. § zi. is the relation bet^yeen the sensation and the percept? ' Essays on Int. it does not furnish the matter of the percept. oh. We have already seen question The next which it It is. p. and consequently are not localized in 2'"'. 186 e. inasmuch as he is careful to state. only as we are we experiejice them. and to insist upon it. Indeed Reid considers it as the fundamental mistake of the great body of philosophers that they made an appeal to the principle of Causality in substantiating the existence of an that external world. 3^"^. the It is result of the operation of our intellectual powers. sentient beings that fore. Works. upon that cognition as its sine qua non. Mind. ch. moreover. 310. 2. They have no in subjective object. p. 6. ch. 105. they are not only the sense that they exist only in the mind. JioWorks. in no proper sense. p. II.. That is. mere feelings attendant upon the exercise of the perceptive powers which are designated by the German term. Inquiry. ch. do not represent or image anything outside the mind. die Betonung der Empfindungen. H. however. then. What. They are. Works.'' We that our author intends to represent sensations as the behooves us to consider is as to the nature of the relation between the sensation and the corresponding perception. that each sensation is antecedent in time to the perceptive act with which it is associated. . i6.' 21 affections of the body. not to be regarded as an effect for which we are compelled to suppose an external material cause. simply feelings.
but where the frowns. but as unlike as pain is to the point of the sword. iz. Berkeley's Principles of Works. Inquiry. although they appear. p. 147. as it were by a natural kind of magic and. 121. . §§ 7. These natural signs the connection is fall into three classes. 5. that hitherto they have been confounded by the most acute inquirers into the principles of human natyre. as. »A third class of natural signsa. Such signs are : smiles. izz. IV. § 3. do suggest or conjure it up. »The notion of hardness in bodies as well as the belief of it. though we never before had any notion or conception of the thing signified.a'* Thus dur mental states suggest to us the ego. ch. the : In answer. pp. passage from one to the other that is. i='. Dial. 11. z. New Theory of Vision. being. § 3. not only to be different things. signified established is by nature. 4 5 Ibid. to quote Reid's own language. by an original principle of our nature annexed to that sensation which we have when we feel a hard body. izz. are got in a similar manner. at once. ch. §§ 144.s 3'''*. Our notions of all the qualities of external objects and belief in their existence are connected ' Inquiry. Works. between causes and Where not only is the connection between sign and thing perience. This doctrine of natural signs. =! Cf. Minute Phil. certain exclamations of pain. Where learned their established by nature. without reasoning or ex- is instinctive. efifects. Works. our author ' sensation is the natural sign of the object perceived. 5. ch. but only by experience. give us a conception and a belief of it._^^' _„ 22 tells — us that. 3 Inquiry. »comprehends those which. § 3. which was borrowed by Rgid from Berkeley/ plays so important a part in our author's system that it demands more than a passing mention. etc. izz. And so naturally and necessarily does the sensation convey the notion and belief of hardness. for example. § 65 . pp. upon accurate reflection. izi.3 •2"'^. Knowledge. joy.«5 .
p. Works. p- 188. 23 — In another which sensations nsuggest them or of natural magic«. " 3 Inquiry. there be introduced here a passage from the works of an eminent disciple of Reid. amd we are inspired with the corresponding perception. § 20. § 21. § 21. There is no inference from the nature of the sensation to the object. it may add to the clearness of our vieWs. There is no reasoning. as its occasion. Dugald Stewart.existence.d* As to the entire series of the phaenomena of sensation nothing more and perception. ch. any conscious proceedure from one step to another legitimated by it."" The conception of the object and the belief in its present existence are the direct result of our constitution. until it by a kind he says. does this statement amount? Merely to this: that the mind is so formed that certain impressions produif ced on our organs of sense by externail objects. 6. 185. Ibid. « This power of perceiving. the corresponding perception arises as though it were an inspiration. 6. Upon or fi this. »our faculty of perceiving lies doi-mant is roused and stimulated by a certain corresponding carefully noted. p. own notion of. . conjure them up place. nor. then. by means unknown. (which have no more resemblance to the qualities of matter than the words of a 4anguage have to the things they denote). »We are inspired with the sensation. it may be asked. it should be owes nothing to the sensation except that stimulated is roused and it forms creates its by it to action. Works. in commenting upon the doctrine of his master: »To what. are foUo^ved qualities of the bodies by a perception of the existence and by which the impressions are made. Works.' — thus with sensations. are followed by correspondent sensations and that these sensations. ! Ibid. ch. 6. in fact. ch. the object and a firm belief of its present. > it Sensation. conceives v. i86. created that We is are so when the appropriate is sensation present needed.
It has already been stated that an immediate knowledge of the actually existent sun and moon Reid. 24 — and the steps of this process are equally incomprehenthat. certain sensations are rendered the constant antecedents of our perceptions. by the constitution of our nature. From this view of the subject. . it follows that it is the external objects themselves. the connection between the impression and the sensation. rti.«' The knowledge ''Stewart's 2 is immediate. can throw no light oii the manner in which we acquire our knowledge of the existence and qualities of body. p. Essays on Powers. for anything we can prove to the contrary. II. in perception. »The contiguity of the object «. is claimed.a are obtained their It is by with these statements of Reid and his disciple we are to interpret the doctrirje of immediate perception. that the mind perceives. Int. therefore. at any rate. and from the supposition that. and the sensation and the perception may be both arbitrary. as' it would be on the supposition that the mind were all at once inspired with them. without any concomitant sensations whatever. Our knowledge of the object perceived is said to be immediate. but what is grounded on prejudices Dcontributes nothing at drawn from some imagined similitude between mind and body. we have direct insight into its nature or that we 'know it as immediately before us that contiguous to the mind. and that. pp. although. Works. II. and that. 14. because there appears no connection between contiguity and perception.' — that sible all . the object acts upon the^mind or the mind upon the object. it is. 306. the consideration of these sensations. not in the sense that. 112. by no means impossible that our sensations may be merely the occasions on which the correspondent perceptions are excited. says all to make it better understood. yet it is just as difficult to explain how our perceptions means. that . Vol. ch. and not any species or images of the objects. which are attributes of mind. in the sense that it is the Works.
but of the whereby the object is conceived and beUeved cess. shall silence forever the quibbles of the It becomes our duty now to examine the system which has been expounded with a view to determining how far our author has succeeded in his design of vindicating to the mind such methods of cognizing external objects as shall justify the popular belief in the substantial reality of those objects. in consequence. When is sense independently of all consciousness of prothe appropriate modification of the organ of present. He considers it the office of philosophy simply to give such an explanation of the origin of these data as shall leave no point of attack upon the truthfulness of the revelation.— •result 25 ^ constitution of our nature of no process of reasoning or inference. are themselves anything modifications. and We have now before us Reid's explanation of the modus operandi of our perception of an external world. it conception and belief. distinguished cannot be shown that he has proved that the which constitute the percept as from the sensation. set in operation. He does not believe that we know Ding- Again. more than mental . It must be admitted that confused use of language on his part which there is a suggests that he wished to claim that the actual external reality. of its own nature that faculty expresses itself in the appropriate conception belief. The sensation being present. It is- clear that Reid does not differ from Hume in claiming a knowledge of material objects in their transcendental existence. is yet His frequent identical with the conception formed of it. the sensation comes into existence immein diately and by reason of our original constitution. and our faculty of perception being. an-sich. as external to and distinct from the mind. He undertakes to give such an explanation as profane. It is manifest that the spirit of his system demands that the data of Common Sense should be treated with all the respect due to a revelation.
We picture it as once existent and believe that it then existed as it now. 339. conception of an object Reid also calls the notion of existence it.. in this connection.— assertions that 26 — we know the very things themselves would If seem to> point that way. §.. he has involved himself in such absurdity as to destroy The all right to serious consideration as a philosopher. It at best. and this. cf. Whatever he meant to claim it cannot be admitted that his »immediate knowledge)^ as expounded by himself. subjective. more than on Powers. Int. p. III. The sun in' existent and. actual reality outside the mind. which is no longer within the sphere of sense. is conceived as by now our author. believed in in the There cannot be anything here.^ The knowledge is just as immediate in one case as in the other. that Reid also as a faculty of immediate knowledge. . I Essays 3.-Works. is anything more than the presence of a mental image of an object and a belief in the substantial b'eyond all existence of that object which. . the mind does not fix upon an actual material object in any sense except that a mental image of it is formed. The same must be admitted of our perceptioars of distant objects as explained the heavens as such. ch. appears to »the mind's eye. such be. arise under such circumstances as to render us certain that they answer to should be mentioned. Inquiry ch. It may have passed out of existence in the form in which we once knew it. together with the belief in question.his intended meaning. Now it is obvious that when we call up' in memory an object. Perception of the distant and memory of the past are both inexplicable conceptions and beliefs. 2. its are. from Perception only in that it is an immediate knowledge of the past.« All that can possibly be meant here is that defines Memofy differing the conception a certain time by the mind of the object and the belief in as existent at this past existence are trustworthy as certifying the fact of the real existence at the time.
it is that our so fashioned that we immediately form. the voice of God . ideas and beliefs are original. in the sense that they are the direct result of the exercise of our powers as originally fashioned. Yet.— 27 — other case. Whatever notions. while that vouches only for what once existed. Reid thinks. out of habit or custom. be introduced. all There &re two assumptions. who those record the very words of the Holy Ghost. notions of objects as external and substantial. except that this vouches for what no%v exists.that he has the ipsis&ima verba of Gpd. On what then does Reid base his assertion that such immediate knowledge answers to an objective world of matter? Hume admitted that men. irresistibly believe in external objects as really existent. one sense. then. and to us. and thus in irresistibly believe in their existence as such. like who hold this view. Surely. if this be true. everywhere. that. its come nature to project distinct and independent and is images outwat'd and regard them as substantial. are. while Hume regards this belief in the independence and sub- stantiality of the objects of sense as the result of a growth and derived from impressions and ideas quite different. under appropriate conditions. It is really a revelation through our mental It is. as the expression of our original constitution fulfilled. Wherein does the real difference lie? The fundamental difference consists in this. Reid considers it as received at first hand. the voice of our creator in us Reid will allow no process by which error might We may And liken it to that doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures which makes the writers of the sacred books mere amanuenseg. he denies that that is proof of the existence of anything but itself. we have a knowledge of an external world which should be implicitly trusted. nature. inasmuch as nothing is really known except the mental impression. It is when thg proper conditions are not that the mind has. which underlie Raid's conclusions: First.
no proof has been given of the second. ' As proved.— is 28 — literally and therefore are true and correspond real in Our environment. it is plain that it cannot be all. Our conception of a substantial . The reader of the works of both. the results which Hume reaches. but we no answer to the skepti- cism of Hume. and admit as legitimate. -and though the inquu-er may not be ready 'to accept. the fact that his methods open wide the door to investigation. to the It first of these. who approaches them with a candid spirit. and belief in it as such. a dogma. it It is surely asking too allow the question to be closed Reid. it cannot be proved. be impressed with the conviction that Hume's spirit is that of the true philosopher while Reid everywhere sinks to thfe level of the dogmatist.world as external and material. cannot be dealt with scientifically at To undertake to base a system of It is scientifiijij knowledge on such a founda. they had not been exposed nor his conclusions disproved. ca. Are we to accept it. is original. much by of the science that _ the ipse dixit of > Dr. he must still recognize. with what Second. without proof? In fact. his subsumptibn. his to the ground. while the direct tendency of .tion is utterly all sound principles of investigation. - Reid's procedure is to relegate all questions to the limbo . It is one of the great problems of psychology at the present day to trace the growth of these very notions of the externality and substantiality of what we call mate-? it rial things. We are not surprised to learn that the great skeptic was not impressed with the arguments of his opponent! when submitted to his inspection. He find has abounded in asser- and dogmatism.nnot fail to. Whatever fallacies disfigured Hume's system.-^ in the sense explained.argument tions falls failure to establish this. at variance with But grant the truth of the first assumption. Thomas With the .
" are created capable of intelligence. in his reverence foi. N. I Reid's Works. is still dominant in many I mean Sir Wm. Time and again. It is. p. then. He also contends most strenuously that what men by virtue of their original constitution. This criticism of Reid's Philosophy might be extended to greater length and numerous inconsistencies might be pointed out. in order to be made the victims of delusion. for profundity of thought For learning and he enjoys a reputation surpassed by and equalled by few. aud his system of philosophy.Common Sense. and therefore universally. believe must be accepted as infallibly true. We must now pass on to the consideration of what we shall find to be a more developed phase of the Philosophy of Common Sense.a' original cognitions and beliefs. or to any man. . but the end with which we started has been reached. B. Hamilton stands at the head of the Scottish school. the Natural Realism of Sir William Haihiltpn. 743. quarters of the English-speaking world. We have been enabled to view it as a refutation of Hume and to estimate its value in this regard. »is to suppose thaf we suppose their falsehood. though savagely attacked hy numerous thinkers. but fair that' his contribution to the problem as to whether it be possible to vindicate to the mind a legitimate knowledge of an external world distinct from mind should receive the most careful and candid examination. says he. Hamilton affixed to his edition of Reid's Worjts a number of Supplementary dissertations designated Note A. Note A. he insists that these data »To must be presumed trustworthy until proved false. Note B. that God is a "deceiver and our This applies to all forms of natural and nature a lie. So far as professions and asseverations go. we shall not find Hamilton second to Reid. or to invoke for their solution the dens ex mackina.— 29 — of the marvellous. etc. and among these is the irresistible conviction of mankind that they know immetione diately an external material world.
ii. The* truth is that. figpred. not the least among Hamilton's arguments is that based upon the consciousness of a fundamenfal contrast between the ego and the non-ego. be a condition of consciousness and therefore of all intellectual activity =. and that what is original is the — — voice of God. »In the first is the contrast between. i&. . irrefragable proof that there such And since the non-ego of which etc. Lee. of different kinds and degrees. We are conscious of self only in and by its contradistinction from not-self. and all mental phajnomena are but specific manifestations ^ it. a dis- — crimination This discrimination place. and that there can be no such thing as the objectification of subjective elements in obedience to the voice of nature.«' Here we have again dogmatic assertion. if this positing a non-ego in contrast with the ego.: is must be remembered here that consciousness in Hamilton's system a generic faculty. condition I quote Hamilton's that of consciousness. self and not-self.. a material non-ego. all I Lectures on Metaphysics..the: two grand opposites. though given only along experience supposes it.— Hn 30 — proof that we have an original and direct knowledge" of an external world. with experience. Lee. that the necessary interpreis tation of the contrast that which upon the face of it. there is . on Metaph. but no proof. it is we are conscious is extended. of vid. Further is still. \x et passim. Lee. We must accept as self-evident that our consciousness of the contrast is original. . It must then be considered as original. In factj every act of consciousness involves this recognition of the *ego and non-ego in contrast. It cf. But if fundamental and original. ego and non-ego> mind and matter. It is a priori and. own language: »The third which may be held as unisupposes a contrast. is this consciousis ness of the contrast a contrast in reality. the presumption is that it is subjective. is it versally admitted. Lee. and are conscious of not-self only in and by its contradistinction from self.
The existence of bodies external - organism of each individual he can only infer from the affections which they determine in his organs of sense and which he learns to recognize as due to those to the physical bodies as their causes. then. it matters not how. as a . how- we cognize immediately and know them as consti- tuting a material non-ego in contrast with the ego. and are only conscious of extension. recommended to our reverence are. on the other hand. as realised in the relations of the affections of our sentient organism. the original element. and has been incorporated with. These bodies being affected. first hand. he yet de- mands original for the philosopher the right to interpret tihe deliv- erances of Sense and to determine just what is and fundamental in them.judge of Common Sense! The element given. in other words. we are next to consider particularly what Hamilton claims as being involved our direct cognition or consciousness of the non-ego or It material world. Our own physical organisms. In truth. teaches that the philosopher must be allowed to eliminate what has grown up around. Reid had undertaken Common to vindicate the belief in what we may call its crude form.— more in 31 — But passing on from this. Or. is very different from the complex percept made only viixed with Common Sense. condition Sensation proper the universal of perception proper. must not be appealed to! up Tiy the incorporation of acquired perceptions. Hamilton will not think of indulging the unsophisticated multitude in the beUef that they know directly any object outside their own bodies. ever. Hamilton. The untaught The philosopher alone can . should be noticed that. while insisting that the belief is of the multitude valid and represents reality. sensations arise and are localized » more or less definitely in is the sentient organism. rustic. figure and the other objects of Perception proper. We are never aware of the* existence of our own organism. these sacred convictions of the vulgar which feelingly he has so after all. except as it is somehow affected.
. mind that it is only the primary which are thus directly perceived. Reid's use of the -word has been explained. 2 3 4 " .«^ in being sentient of it. 884. being it present wherever we in are conscious that acts. 1 Reid's Works. locally external to.«3 The mind. or » all in the whole and all every part« of the organism*. division.. total of It the sum- our immediate cognition of matter. figured.: and reciprocally external «. as thus or thusand are only aware of its being the subject of extension figure. atfected.. — 32 — Again. in contrast with the ego. etc. Ibid. an imsensations^ relatively localized mediate perception of the affected organism. .know as now and here manifested and hence we are said to know them immediately. Ibid.f' body extended. each other. we have a veritable apprehension. motion. and. of the body directly. Note D*. Lee. Tftis consciousness of is the extended non-ego. ... relatively localized extension. or of our organism. which is. according to Hamilton's view. p. For we are only aware of the existence figured. etc. consequently. divided.«° »In the consciousness of and reciprocally external. and so cognizes the figure. as extended. 25. 884. becomes conscious of the as » sensations as »out of each other «. and as out of. 880. etc. s There is direct inspection. in being percipient of its affections j as like or as unlike. It is i' 5 edge ciple should not escape attention that with Hamilton immediate knowjr| -possible only of -what is literally contiguous to the knowing prinexistent and when known. impossible in the case of that which does not exist at the time and at the point where the cognizing power is liter- should be borne qualities ally present. Lectures on Metaphysics. p. These primary qualities we. for of the secondary and the secundo-primary qualities he does not claim an immediate knowledge except so far as the secundoprimary have in them an element of the primary. »Sensation proper is the conditio sine qua non of a perception proper of the primary qualities. p. etc. • in.
Note D. The notion of absolute incompressibility. it extension in the three dimensions of length.'' In connection with this. Lectures on Metaph. the recognition the sum-total of this immediate situation. then. breadth and thickness. because is pressibility dees hot we wish to know what it immediately perceived. tells us. leaves we as apprehend mobility and perception. in the consciousness Further.'^ It apprehension through bility arises of conceiving the compression of from »the impossibody from an ex- tended to an inextended. which again involves I. is the name : either of something known or of something Reid's Works. or as it we (2) is contained in space. (A). in its^ relations to space are given by he perception. magnitude and figure. it is This. of the extension of our bodies in the three dimensions We really which involve number. of resisting such is impression or elimination. number. . does not appear that. As occupying space. we predicate of mobility (b) situation. »w a conception af.v.« 3 at all. This being the case. the understanding not an sense. magnitude and in. (a) also implies (b) absolute incompressibility (solidity phyit As Body and is contained in space. Lee. figure. ^Ibid. Body sical). 84^. has (a) Considered as occupying space. 33 — reference to Hamilton's analysis of the qualities of find that he represents the primary qualities as belonging to Body either as it (i) occupies space.a »This impossibility of conceiving ***' affords the positive notion of an insuperable power in body then." — By matter. n. or body. localized of sensations as and reciprocally external. This. perceive nothing directly but extension. absolute incomenter here into account.. 5 and Discussions. 4 Cf. p. Our author does not hold that all these phases of our apprehension of Body. not perceived inferred. its elimination out of space. 3 Ibid. (geometrical solidity). Appendix 3 I. I quote the following pass^e: »Matter.
and our entire direct knowledge consists of a cognition of the appearance or phaenomenon called extension. the following passage so .y:r — 34 — unknown. itstif.except as expressing what exists only in the mind. 8. that known is a subject-object. we really have. for ex- in some incomprehensible manner to the mind. an imagina- a subjective representation. Erf^ so far as matter is a name for something known. ^ but that. 2 He refers to Reids doctrine. heat. only appearances or phaenomena. It we know nothing but extension. smoothness.as to we interpret. in perception of such an object. and it is only by forgetting the meaning of the word that one can use it at all. one would think. clearly implied that would seem that it. solidity.»to show we have not merely a notion. colour.phaenomenon. cold. in short. How shall stance. for irimake him consistent with himself? Natural Realism. by whatsoever hypothesis we account for the appearance.. numerous other passages in which Hamilton asserts that we have a direct knowledge of the non-ego itself we are at a loss to it understand his meaning. Lee. . as by^ nature we believe 1 Lectures on Metaph. is no more than a subjective representation. makes that tion. it iheans that which appears to uS . . divisibiHty.a common name for a certain series. the only object immediately is with the necessary inferences from them.under the forms of extension. — 'called up or suggested' — of extension. Phaenomenon. then. of 'appearances or phaenomena manifested in coexistences ' We know. founded in Common it Sense. should leave no doubt. it incumbent' oh him who expounds . figure. cannot have an objective existence. motion. ample. The passages quoted. But when we take in connection wifh this. roughness. as an object -object? Whatever we may say of its origin. or aggregate or complement.zf is. as such. on occasion of an extended object being presented to the sense. a conception. etc. Can we regard phaenomenon nothing but.
3* 4 Lectures on Metaph. its truth. Analysis of Hamilton's Philosophy. on any one who approaches the deliverances of so great a thinker as Sir W".«' not strange that. 38. chaps. This principle j>regulates« Among compels us to think as the correlative of the phaenomenal. under which our knowledge is' possible. have. in view of such thinners as John Stuart Mill'^ and James H. It is the principle of Substance and Accident or Phaenomenon. »We cannot think a quality existing I Reid's Works. in connection with given directly in perception. proper and immediate. Hamilton to distrust such conclusions until he has examined his system with great care and thoroughness. Lee. Note D. what thus is is. p. sthe power the mind has of being the native source of certain ne- known as extended.— we It is 35 — all this. constitute so many fundamental laws These and whatever we are forced to think in accordance with them is knowledge first-hand or immediate cognition. as they are the conditions. The Regulative Faculty cessary ox a priori cognitions. 2. in his philosophy. we shall find that our author brings in to the assistance of the faculty of perception what. an immediate knowledge Or consciousness of that external object as extended. of the thing which is Faculty. the forms. ^. for Hamilton. that he thinks to reach a knowledge. We cannot resist the conviction of of intellectual nature. 2 3 Examination of Sir W. a substantial world.priori cognitions are prin- Common Sense'. Upon such careful examination. pp. we find one which our mental proceedure in relation to the real as distinguished from the phaenomenal. these a priori principles. It is clearly incumbent.a'* ciples of a. is known as the Regulative It is by and through this. however. Stirling 3 should have regarded Hamilton's teachings on this subject as hopelessly contradictory. Hamilton's Philosophy. in general which cognitions. 1—30. 84Z. .
. but must regard therp as the properties or qualities of something that is extended. now supposed exists. we apprehend as Discussions. 8. figured. solid. which. We constrained to think as inhering in ' some basis. then. again. It is only in its qualities. stance it We are not said to be conscious of subit itself. that it is cognizable or conceivable. to think something abin its effects. But this something i. we are compelled to refer to an unknown substance. considered apart from its absolutely and in itself. substratum.«=_J these passages. or to have any knowledge of except that us except unapparent the inconceivable correlative of certain appearing quajities. it 36 are in or of itsfelf. hypostasis or sub- »As the phaenomena appear only in conjunction. it given. e.. Lee. we are compelled by the constitution of our nature to think them conjoined. etc. That something we call When we ' ^2 apprehend extension then. and phaenomenal existence. only — is to us zero. in its relative solute or unknown as the basis or condition of the relative and known. Appendix I. (A). . Lectures on Metaph. under this principle of Substance menon menon is that the 'quality or phaenomenon is of something.« s The only immediate knowledge andPhaenothe phaeno. that as the — for their incogitable basis. stance. we have a key to the apparent dis- contradiction of our author in claiming an immediate and direct knowledge of the thing as extended while he claims any pretensions to a perception of anything but the" phaenomenal. and it is only by a law of thought which compels us. we cannot think them as phaenomena of nothing. we can think it only by transforming it into a quality or bundle of qualities. substance. by negatively.absolutely. 3 Discussions Appendix I.K — phaenomena. If we attempt to think it posiftvely. (A). in something. and as they are phaenomena. »This substance cannot be conceived is. that In this something obtains a kind of incom- prehensible reality for us.
or intuitive. This is left to inference after a comparison of the data. Sir William virtually admits that the piinciple of Substance of itself gives us no specific information when he declares that the notion of suljstance. in each individual In truth. must have positive characteristics of one or the other of two things before we can distinguish them from each How. the ^object as extended. And. but it imposes of itself no necessity cause for every of predicating this or that particular cause. its consciousness of the ~ phaenomenon of extension. in perceiving under the conditions imposed by the Regulative Faculty. in what has preceded. or a datum of Common Sense. event. and inseperable from. then. is true. It will be observed in all that has been said about the necessity that we should think a substance or substratum for qualities that there has been no assertion that we must think one kind of substance as distinct from another. qua Thus the mind. knowledge. of the It forces us to suppose a principle of Cause and Effect. all that the principle of Substance and Accident substance. We Discussions. — not exteni^ion we know. extension but. or first-hand. i. to give a fair and unbiased statement of Hamilton's teachings on the point under consideration. ' us to enquire whether this doctrine as vindicates to the mind an infallible it has been stated knowledge of a material non-ego. can be held to force us to admit is simply the existence This may be said to be original. . The same if learned at all.) passim. we may mention by way of illustration. in fact. is negative! case. 37 e.— extension of something. must recognize the existence of substance in connection with. this is left to -inference and must be learned.^. Appendix I (A. in an entirely different way. But as to what particular substance is to be supposed in any given case. and I trust that what he intends It now remains for to convey has been made intelligible. can we assert that there are two other. I have endeavoured.
of the existence of a material non-ego.«-^ The a principle of Substance and Attribute compels us to infer or rather to predicate the substance. datum of Common our author has' not made out his case. that it is only by we come to distinguish the substance which extension supposes. as known and knowable are only two different series of phaenomena or qualities. inference The existence of an unknown substance is only an we zxe. it is »the incompatibility of the two series of phaenomena [feeling. and the distinction of two substances is only inferred from the seeming incompatibility of the two series to inhere in one. and not spirit.« But further. then. and thinking. »Thus. and extension. There is. We are entitled. on the other] to inhere in one« substance. 8. . In this case. willing etc. must end with substance as extended. If there be such a cognition. »mind and matter i. from that implied by feeling. That it is matter. it is mediate and indirect. of any kind. Immediate knowledge. compelled to make from the existence of known phaenomena. So far it is But the inference of the duality of the substances is based upon an entirely different ground. Matter. mind and matter as unknown and unknowable are the two substances in which these two different series of phaenomena or qualities are supposed to inhere. Lee. then. Hamilton can only know. e.. at second hand.« says he. Spirit or Mind. i. so far as an immediate knowledge of Matter is concerned.-- 38 inference that substances without knowing what one has and the other has not. to say that Sense. But is he justified in inferring the material for the existence of two substances. a material for those that there are of extension? His only plea is two incompatible series Lectures on Metaph. we find expUcit statements. an imphaenomena of thought. on the one hand. if at all. etc. e. at best. on our author's part. no immediate or direct cognition.. willing. which is the substratum in which extension inheres.
p. in the same sub- stance with feeling and willing. Vemunft. to all those who understand the meaning and conditions of But taking it for granted that the the problem notion of space is native or a priori. r. Hear the words of Hamilton himself: »Extension is only another name for space and our notion of space is not one which we derive exclusively (?) from sense. not one which is generalised only from experience. 1870. and this empirical reality of that space space in relation to => all possible external experience cannot be construed to be inconsistent with its transcendental ideality. 79. as the extended. truth beyond the possibility of doubt. The analysis of Kant. et al. Hou can we know of this incompatibilily. — — • known to us by sense: or how can we contrast the outer world. as phaenomena. 39 — Extension cannot inhere. But it is surely a pertinent question. has placed this. 2 Kant Kritik d. tension cannot both belong to the we have positive same substance implies knowledge of more than the phaeno- For. Hamilton agrees with Kant in declaring is a form of thought' Now if Space be « /^t^w thought. there can be no incompatibility between space of and thought to inhere in one. for it is one of our necessary notions. But further. as the inextended 1 Lectures on Metaph.— of phaenomena. how can we make it a quality of external objects. Berlin. unless we can obtain some positive knowledge of substance? To that assert that thought and ex. in fact. with the inner. Sec. are not both these series related to mind? As extension appears is it not imaged by —'the mind? menal. are we not at once thrown back into idealism? For if extension itself be only a necessary mental mode. Extension is only empirical space. Z4. . and not adventitious or a posteriori. independently of all that has been done by other philosophers. Is extension so different from space as to become incompatible with thought. a fundamental condition of thought itself. Cf.
a different Sir by what has. f Lectures on Metaph. that The Law of Parcimony then forbids we should possibility that all the suppose two substances when there is a phaenomena should be referred to We are thus forced to the conclusion that Hamilton. it is not impossible that extension may belong it to. . and further. — matter as. enunciated the principle that unnecessarily ° — are not to multiply entia praeter necessitatem non multiplicanda sunt. that._f:/" _ 4Q — I see only one possible answer. we Hamilton himself. ad fin. is native to the mind. even though we allow him the free use of the principle of Substance and Quality. distinct from mind? entities Wm. 39. because Hamilton acknowledges that he is reduced to the grants that extension necessity of pleading that. which ' Lectures- on Metaph. one. does he suppose for substratum. denied that space. we may not also have an empirical knowledge of extension a' as an element of existence? I have transcribed is this long passage because it plainly no more incompatible with thought than space since they are really the same. but does it follow. 24. has not proved the existence of a material non-ego as distinct frofti mind. Sec. proceed one step further and enquire knowledge which is vouched for by the principle of Substance and Quality or Accident as that principle is accounted for and explained by Sir William are to into the legitimacy of the We now Hamilton. another world than that of the ideal! After so humble a plea. We have already seen that he regards it as a law imposed upon the mind by the Regulative Faculty. world? To this difficulty. Lee. because there is an a priori space as a form of thought. feeling and willing? Now unless he be ready to declare it absolutely imagain to assert that ' possible that extension right may be it a form of thought. as a necessary It is this: >^#^ It cannot be notion. after all. can he ever pluck up courage cannot be congidered as an affection of the same substance with thinking.
2 39 ad init. powerlessniss of the thinking principle. that all. . have been regarded as standing precisely on the same footing. others are due to inability a. though now. Sec. But not all these fundamental cognitions^ or laws. entails The upon us a negative necessity accepting certain laws and conforming our thinking to them. to represent as an absolute beginning. conceive. we think it as having an infinite non-beginning. "of to in such cases. etc. and Excluded Middle. natural cognitions which sThere is a class. that is. Some of them are due to the exercise of the power of apprehending as absolutely valid in all truth. in case it of the occurrence of any event. Sec. are regarded by our author as positive data of ^i power of the mind. Ibid. and they are therefore given their legitimate applications. there are other necessary forms of thought which. Phaenomenon. as never having begun to exist at but as having existed as we now eternity. »of as so we may properly view many will positive exertions of the mental vigor S. for the first time know it it from all has come within 1 Lectures on Metaph. by all philosophers. To this class belong the notion of Existence and its' modifications."*' The principles which are referred to this mental impotence as explaining them are Cause and Effect and Substance and Accident or . coming into existence of dependence upon anything previously as Neither can is. the principle of Identity and Contradiction. • "^ This impotence renders it impossible for us. a says he.nd the cognitions of this class we consider as positive. the intuitions of Space and Time. But besides these. the necessity which belongs to them is merely a consecjuence of the impotence of our faculties. different kind.— 41 — and necessary convictionSj faculty furnishes us with a priori or fundamental laws of our intellectual nature. in thought without any relation existent. 38. which to me seem to be of a totally In place ot being the result of a power.
39. Note H. according to our author. that is. I (A). its as conditioned or determined in existence. as unconditionally conditioned. nomehon and nothing more. nor can in we that represent is. you think it not as the either . is well here is to quote Hamilton's relative — ergo. Lee. as originally published. Ibid. and It as conditioned or determined by nothing. the eveiti' as cannot. as related.. a thinkable^ this own language: »A phaenomenon a But try to as phaa- think this relative as absolutely relative. Ap- pendix 2 Reid's Works.*: you give it a basis out of itself. from a positive apprehension of the relation it sustains to that other something. phaenomenon cannot. so relative. or you suppose it to be the phaenomenon of something that does not appear. p. thought as unconditionally conditioned. '' The law of Cause and another subordinate application of the same general principle. of SubEffect is stance and Phaenomenon. but is a negative necessity arising from sheer powerlessness of construe to thought. but the conditionally conditioned. something which existed before. when we apprehend a phsenomenon such we can not think it as absolutely yet related only internally. manner. ended with 914. This necessity does not arise. Essay I. for you do not realize it in thought at all . in the middle of Note D***./^ ^ as 42 — We We in the sphere of our knowledge. but as the relatively relative. « ' Lectures on Metaph. The remaining portion? . 38. as' not as the un- conditionally. the human is mind. therefore. I>iscussions. 935. p. that standing some connection with . We Law are thus un'der the necessity of con- ditioning in order that this we may and called the of the Conditioned. Tiiis work. that there is no it relation to anything out of itself.^ In like as we designate a quality. this conditioned. This is constitutes the special case. think unconditioned. in other it as the Accident of a subject or an instance of the Conditioned. a conditioned — ergo. You absolutely. the particular law. must think it as con- ditioned. you conceive substance. and words. is.
can be realized in thought.of the extremes as true while the Law of Excluded Middle requires us to accept one as true. and therefore not even the relative. which is given as positively necessary. as mutual contradictories. Our author's language is very explicit on this point: »This condition (by which.— The Law ilton is this: 43 — by Hamlies of the Conditioned j as formulated »A11 that is conceivable in thought bet- ween two extremes. by his. one including Note H. Yet neither of these extremes. Lee. we are to notice that this condition of relativity — imposed by the Law of the Conditioned on our thinking is not a condition of things. We cannot think phaenomenon as phaenomenon absolutely relative (one extreme). we can only think the apparently new existence as another form of a previously existing something which we conceive as its cause. . of Relativity. but merely us a law of thought. nor infinite non-Beginning (the other extreme). instead thereof we must think something as true which is neither one extreme nor the other. but of which. Mansel. as contradictory of each other. or as phaenomenon ifncondition'ally conditioned (the other extreme). and incorporated with the seventh edition. be it observed. one must. I Lectures on Metaph. for we find that there are contradictory opposites. L. which. prohibits our accepting both. We should think it not as a law of things. Discussions. Essay I. though one of them^ is true. we must think it as related to.* This is called » purifying the condition* To illustrate further: We cannot think ab- one extreme). either extreme as unconditioned is unthinkable. absolutely or infinitely) this condition is not insuperable. after Hamilton's death. We are under a necessity of thinking the relative or the conditioned. Editor. was published. H. In other words.«' The Law of non-Contradiction. and only as we think this relative or conditioned is our thinking positive. Next. and solute Beginning (the - conditioned by^ substance. cannot both be true. is meant the relatively or conditionally relative. 38 cf. on Cousin.
as an absolute beginning.. . we are left without an alternative except to think something different from either of the extremes. ' 3 Lectures on Metaph. one of those extremes solute Beginning is is . nay must. must be true. be -true of which the understanding is wholly unable to construe to itself the possibility. in the consciousness of our moral accountability. but neither of which can by us be positively thought as possible. things there are which may. by Hamilton for this by the explanation which of Cause and impossible affords it genesis of the principle of the Will. that Hamilton considers the free volition as a case of absolute commence- ment. the philosophy of the Conditioned that proves. and therefore as free. and this fact of liberty cannot be redargued on the ground that for it is in- comprehensible. Effect. Though. I repeat. ceive an absolute »We are unable to con- commencement. Appendix I (A). moral liberty is.«^ The doctrine of the Conditioned » shows that there is to is no ground conceive an really im- for inferring from possible. enables us to put an end to the famous contro- versy concerning the to. to our understanding.K-'i It is the inability of the mind alternative as possible. 40. Freedom It is conceive an act of Will as unconditioned. in But. we are utterly unable. therefore. from the foregoing. understanii. from mental iriipotence.' One of the great merits claimed is Law it of the Conditioned of the that. A determination by motives cannot. we cannot therefore conceive free volition. escape. Ibid. possible in to is man or God. Ab- a reality though the Law of the Con- I Discussions. against the necessitarian.^f — 44 — of which y by the rule of Excluded Middle. practically. the fact that we are free given to us the consciousness of an uncompromising law of duty.a' .from necessitation How. that such alternative plain enough. Lee. really true. speculatively.
that is phaenomenon as phaenomenon and nothing more. = Lee. 89.— 45 -The ditioned form us to think a cause. the Law of Excluded Middle. forces comprehensible extremes accept this portion of his philosophy. Law of the Con- Now what shall estop us from applying all this to the other case of negative necessity determined under the Law of the Conditioned. 88. This advances beyond Hume. Vid. absolute begiiining« and our inability to construe in thought and » infinite non. 92 of this ms. we are under a positive necessity of believing that phaenomena do not inhere in it! Of course the negative necessity which does not give us a law of things. cf. must yield to the positive neThus does Hamilton. or that phaenomenon exists without a subject. (what. the necessity of thinking Substance as the correlative of Phaenomenon sort of ground." us to concede that one or the other of these inis true and that no mean between them can be allowed. of believing in the existence of substance.beginning « is just the same in kind as our inability to conceive phaenomenon as »relatively relative« or »unconditionally conditioned«. Not only is there no positive necessity. phaenomenon exists as phaenomenon and nothing more. pp. attribute without a substratum ? Nay. ditioned is no law of things. would amount to conceiving it as phaenomenon and nothing more). . pp. is no reason why one or the other of them is not true. for those who cessity which does. which implies that substance is a mere figment of the imagination. 38 on Melaph. supra. is or Attribute? There is Hamilton in » precisely. the same according to for believing for the belief in cause as there substance. being due to mental vigour and not to weakness. which rests upon a positive ne- cessity. But if either extreme be true.' What other conclusion does Hamilton leave for us but that our inability to conceive one or the other of these contradictories. in either case. 91. to wit. then. bid the ghost of substance down. That in- I Vid.
when tested by the criteria of philosophy. at yielding us a perception of organic extension. I had intended many of Hamilton's views are due to Reid's Works. objects different cannot assure" us of their from our own bodies) are known been real existence. i. much abused though he be . Note D*. there was no evidence for the existence of substance as the substratum of the phaenomenal. e. 881. we length discover by observation and induction. For these we only learn to iijfer. p. .' e. to imply a corresponding extension in the extra- But no inference based upon the prinCause and Effect ought to satisfy one who follows Hamilton.! '0^\ — 46 — for his skepticism dividual. We cannot allow Hamilton to impose extraorganic agents.a and cast out as a publican and sinner. that his explanation of the manner in which extra -organic objects (i. from the affections which we come to find that they determine in our organs. never went further than to declare that.a ciple of ' organic objects upon us unless he can give us some better reason for their existence than that certain effects imply them to as causes. And here show how I largely we may rest this discussion. It has mentioned that he holds that these extra organic bodies are known to us only by inference from the effects which they produce in us: »Tho primary qualities of things external to our organism we do not perceive. — affections which. immediately know. that what he is under a negative necessity of supposing to be due to a cause is not really an absolute beginning. But Hamilton so all uses his Law of the Conditioned as to force who carry deny that attributes can inhere in out it there any causes either! Truly the substance! Nor are ranks of the Philosophical Nihilists have received a notable consistently to reinforcement It seems scarcely necessary to say that when Hamilton has thus failed to vindicate to the mind a knowledge of substance as constituting the non-ego in general.
. howbeit there is no reason why we should postulate the existence oi tivo substances. oil ophy of Reid with as This has proved as im- the mingling af it and water. and although he does not believe that that skepticism has been refuted by either Reid pr Hamilton. he yet believes that we have evidence for the existence of substance. however. He has had in view simply to estimate the Common Sense Philosophy as an answer to Hume's skepticism. And as the philosophy of Kant elements. The author of thiese pages does not wish to be set down as accepting the agnosticism of Hume. that so far as he is strong as a philosopher he is Kantian. One word more and this task is done. but this would really be aside from the purpose of this essay.— 47 — the influence of Kant. There is no evidence that all series of phaenomena are not the manifestations of the same substance. no name we may give it can add to our knowledge concerning it. His weakness possible is that he has undertaken to combine the philosthat of Kant. It may be said. its by far the more potent of the two tendencies really override those of what has been borrowed from Reid. It does not differ whether we call it spirit or matter or neither.
Edinburgh. Metaphysics. 1869 1860. New York. Moral' and Political. edited by John Morley. on the Philosophy of the Human Mind. 4 Edinburgh. Life of Huxley (Thomas Henry). 1820. New York. 1871.. 1820. Mansel (Henry Longueville). Boston. 7"^- his Edition of edition. i vol. Brown (Dr. 1870. This list of authors does not embrace. Philosophy of the Conditioned. 1872. Thomas).. The vols. 1866. Works. 1868. Hamtlton" (Sir Wiluam). New York. Philosophical and Theological. Lectures vols. London and New York. 2 vols. Essays. Lectures on Metaphysics. — — Discussions on Philosophy and Literature. Hume — entitled English Men of Letters. Hume (David). date — London — without One of the The Globe Ed. 1879. 3 vols. Essays.. criticisec]^ the preparation but only those author's whose views are or such as deal directly with this phase of Philosophy. Berkeley (Bishop George). Literary. Edinburgh. of course. . Supplementary Dissertations appended to Reid's -Works. Works.SOURCES USED. Martineau (James). . all the works the study of which has contributed to of this dissertation. London and Edinburgh. I837.
vols. Wm. Sir 2 Wm. 4 Ubberweg (Dr. specially on English and Amejican Philosophy by Noah Porter. An Analysis. 1873. L. D. D. 18 4 Sir — 1859.. of Psychology. ilton. . Clark). Examination New York. 1871.. 49 — of Sir Wm. Outline of Boston. M.. with additions. President of Yale College.— losophy. L. Thornwell (James Henley DD. 1870. with Supplementary Dissertations. Stirling (James Hutchison).. 1865. Sir Murray (J. Friedrich). vols.. D. Collected Works. Edinburgh.). Collected Works. from Thales Morris. collected and edited by Hamilton. 2 vols. Works. to the Present History of Philosophy. Edinburghj 1872.ed.. Time. Reid (Thomas DD.). 1873.. Richmond. I vol. 1873. A. 2 vols. New Stewart (Dxjgald).. translated by George H. William Hamilton: Being the Philosophy of Perception. Principles Spencer (Herbert).. 7"'. Hamilton's Philosophy. edited by Sir 15 Wm. New York.'Hamilton's Phi- Mill (John Stuart).. Ham- 10 vols. York. London.
Carolina. Voigt and Heinze. For three years. I studied the classics and mathematics with private instructors.. spent a year at the University of Leipzig hearing the Wundt. Gildersleeve. student of the Theological Seminary Columbia. y^' 1880. Mc. . After six years spent at preparatory schools. I returned to Leipzig again the and have heard the Lectures of Professors. I was born in Abbeville District. a student of the University of Virginia.. Drobisch. C Having completed the course of that institution. and my For the I next two years. 7*. — In 1872. civil the outbreak of the war closed the institution education was not pursued further until 1865. i860. James Fair Latimer. I I was chosen Professor in Davidson College. Striimpell and Roscher. 1867 at — 1876.1845. Within a few months. was a S.Guffey and Greek undfer Dr. Philosophy under Dr. Aug.LIFE. I was for the next two years. Oct. South Carolina. where I pursued. North Leave of absence was granted me in 1875 and lectures of Professors Heinze. as special studies. I joined Erskine College in Get. Curtius present year Leipzig. 1870 1872.
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