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gulf between science and religion, and no dilemma for philosophy. The philosopher was simply one who applied the method of science to the subject matter of religion. Science was opposed to religion only in so far as it was narrow; and religion was opposed to science only in so far as it was unreasoning. It was the office of the philosopher to expand the scope of reason, or to justify faith by enlightenment. 87. The transition from the thought of ancient and
mediæval times to that of the seventeenth The Rupture between Science and eighteenth centuries, had been marked by and Religion, and the
the rejection of anthropomorphism. The cenDilemma tring of the system of knowledge in ethics of Philosophy
and religion had been seen to involve an initial dogma, which both destroyed the cogency of knowledge and confined it within narrow bounds. In declaring its independence, the science of the Renaissance had represented the ideal of disinterested knowledge, the acknowledgment of necessities and facts without reference to the bias of life. Physics had become the rallying-point of a new army for the conquest of the unknown. This new campaign had presupposed the possibility of extending the conquest to the great problems of religion. Faith and authority had been renounced only in the sure prospect of getting a more valid title to their objects.
But the close of the eighteenth century was marked by a new crisis, due to the failure of this attempt to extend physics to religion, and precipitated by the charge, made by the most eminent philosophers of the day, that the failure was necessary and hopeless. In England, David Hume? argued the ambiguity and inconclusiveness of the inference from nature to God, showing that such natural causes as can be verified by observation fail utterly to satisfy the demands of religion. On the Continent, Immanuel Kant ? confirmed the criticism of Hume, and added to it the destruction of the venerable and feeble Cartesianism of his day; contending that to deduce God from the idea or definition merely, must fail to establish his existence. In other words, the method of empirical science relying on sensible fact, and the method of exact science relying on mathematical or quasi-mathematical concepts, had alike failed to justify religion. There resulted a new division of thought, the division broadly characteristic of the nineteenth century, between the party of science and the party of religion. And at the same time philosophy was confronted with the dilemma which has made its present position so ambiguous. Apparently compelled to choose between science and religion, it has itself divided into two parties: those who have followed science for the sake of its theoretical motive, and those who have followed religion on account of its subject-matter.
* 1724-1804. The rationalistic religion of Spinoza, with its entire abandonment of teleology, had already been rejected by popular thought, as essentially irreligious. Cf. below pp. 115-117, 168.
The division between the scientific philosophers and the religious philosophers was further accentuated by the passing of a certain type of thinker. The great scientists and the great speculative metaphysicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were in many instances the same individuals. Such was the case, for example, with Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, and even Kant. M. Abel Rey, in La Philosophie Moderne, writes: “All the great philosophers were remarkable savants, and the great savant never disdained to philosophize. So that one may regard as peculiar and characteristic the complete separation which existed for a time in the nineteenth century, not between the investigations (this is legitimate and necessary), but between the investigators.” 1 And the reason for this lay, as M. Rey points out, not only in the movement of ideas which has just been described, but also in the circumstance that science had become so vast in bulk as to exceed the capacity of any single individual. The man of all science was replaced by the man of one science, confident of his ground in proportion to the narrowness of his field, and suspicious of all attempts to deal with ultimates or finalities. Unless the philosopher was himself to become a specialist, and confine himself to the categories of one science, he seemed in very self-defense to be compelled to adopt an independent method of his own; a method opposed, not to one science in particular, but to science as a whole. And he found that method in religion, already united with the proper philosophical subjectmatter.
$ 8. Professor Émile Boutroux sums up the admirable Introduction to his Science et Religion dans la Philosophie
Contemporaine, as follows: "Science and ReThe Scientific Philosophy and ligion had no longer, as with the modern the Religious rationalists, a common surety — reason: each Philosophy
of them absolute in its own way, they were distinct at every point, as were, according to the reigning psychology, the two faculties of the soul, intellect and feeling, to which respectively they corresponded. Thanks to this mutual independence, they could find themselves together in one and the same consciousness; they subsisted there, side by side, like two impenetrable material atoms in spacial juxtaposition. They had agreed explicitly or tacitly to abstain from scrutinizing one another's principles. Mutual respect for their established positions, and thereby security and liberty for each - such was the device of the period."i Corresponding to this dualistic fashion of thought, there appeared in the course of the last century the scientific philosophy, or positivism, and the religious philosophy, or romanticism. Each of these types of philosophy was connected with one of the great destroy
'p. 35. This book has recently been translated into English by J. Nield. Cf. the Introduction, passim.
* I am using this term to mean a philosophy in which the spiritual ground or centre of things is postulated, or accepted by an act of faith. It is the philosophy in which the motive of religious belief is allowed to dominate. Cf. below, pp. 152-154.
ers of the philosophy of the past - positivism with Hume, and romanticism with Kant.
Hume's criticism was unmitigated. It placed the objects of religious interest absolutely beyond the range of reason. The book of divinity, since it consists neither of "abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number," nor of "experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence," must be committed to the flames: "for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."! Comte, who followed a century later, gave to positivism a more constructive and hopeful turn, extending to mankind the prospect of the limitless growth of science, and the upbuilding of civilization through the progressive conquest of nature and improvement of man. But Comte's condemnation of the former religious metaphysics was, if possible, more severe than that of Hume, for he correlated it with the infancy and childhood of the mind. Finally, with Herbert Spencer, the metaphysics of former times was formally tried, convicted, and banished to the realm of the 'Unknowable.' The scientist, whether mathematician or experimentalist, was left in absolute possession of the sources of enlightenment; he became not only the consulting engineer, but oracle and wiseman as well.
With Kant, on the other hand, the negation of the older rationalism paved the way for a philosophy of faith. Although positive knowledge was restricted to the hierarchy of the physical sciences, the reason was left in possession of the necessary and valid ideal of the Unconditioned'; while God, Freedom, and Immortality, the objects of religion, found their ground in the moral will. Although they might no longer be judged true, according to the canons of theory, they must be believed for the deeper and more authoritative purposes of life. This provision of the Kantian critique is the prototype of romanticism, the philosophy dictated by religion. Romanticism did not
1 Hume: Enquiry concerning the Human Understanding (1749), SelbyBigge's edition, p. 165.
tism and NeoRealism
seek, like the philosophy of the previous centuries, to justify the articles of faith by the procedure of science, but to justify the attitude of faith, and clothe it with authority in its own right. Romanticism involved, therefore, no conversion of the passionate terms of religion into the dispassionate terms of theory; it reaffirmed the claims of religion in the spirit and language of religion, transforming them only in so far as was necessary to give them unity and conscious expression.
$ 9. In positivism and romanticism the two motives of philosophy became sharply separated and opposed. Posi
tivism is philosophy driven into the camp of Naturalism and science by loyalty to the standards of exact Rise of Pragma. research; romanticism is philosophy merged
into religion through its interest in the same
ultimate questions. These two tendencies determined the course of philosophy in the nineteenth century; and they are represented today by naturalism and idealism respectively. In ‘naturalism,' the positivistic tendency develops in the direction of a systematic materialism, or in the direction of a more refined criticism of scientific concepts. In ‘idealism, the romantic tendency amplifies and reinforces the theory of knowledge upon which it must rest its case — the theory of the priority of the forms and ideals of the cognitive consciousness. But the difference between naturalism and idealism, like that between science and religion, with which they are respectively correlated, lies not so much in the disagreement of theory as in an opposition of attitude and method. The exponent of naturalism is governed by that reserve and apathy which belong to the scientist's code of honor; the idealist carries into his philosophy all the importunity and high aspiration
For him "the teleological standpoint, that of inner meaning or significance,” is “the standpoint of philosophy itself.” 1
I E. Albee; "The Present Meaning of Idealism,” Philosophical Review, Vol. XVIII, 1909.