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Par là elle écarte les barrières qu’on avoit données à la connaissance humaine, soutenant la possibilité pour l'homme non plus seulement d'une représentation subjective, mais d'une connaissance objective et scientifique, d'une science déterminée de Dieu et des choses divines, à ce tire que l'esprit humain et la substance de l'étre sont primitivement identiques. Cette philosophie embrasse le cercle entier des connaissances spéculatives,” &c. Then he states the difficulties which beset the scheme, and after suggesting several root objections, he exclaims : “Quel homme enfin peut avoir la téméraire prétention de renfermer la nature de la Divinité dans l'idée de l'identité absolue ?" He had previously observed, “ La forme de ce système est moins scientifique en réalité qu'en apparence. Son problème étoit de déduire, par une demonstration réelle (par construction), le fini de l'infini et de l'absolu, le particulier de l'universel. Or ce problème n'est point résolu et ne peut l'être.” And he concludes—“En un mot, le système tout entier n'est, à proprement parler, qu'une poésie de l'esprit humain, séduisante par son apparente facilité pour tout expliquer, et par sa manière de construire la nature."
I think, as far as I am able to judge, that Mr. Coleridge's view of the system, after long reflection upon it, coincided, as to its general character and re sult, with that of Victor Cousin, deeply as he must have felt obliged to the author for much that it contains. During the latter part of his life he was ever applying his thoughts to the development of a philosophy which should more satisfactorily perform what Schelling's splendid scheme of modern Platonism had seemed to promise, a solution of the most important problems, which are presented to human contemplation, or at least an answer to them sufficient to set the human mind at rest. He sought to construct a system really and rationally religious; and since, in his philosophical inquiries, he “ neither could nor dared throw off a strong and awful prepossession in favor”l of that great main outline of doctrine which came to us from the first, in company with the highest and purest moral teachings which the world has yet seen ; which was felt after, if not found, by the best and greatest minds before the preaching of the Gospel ; which has been received in substance, with whatever variations of form and language, by a large portion of the civilized world ever since, and had actually been to himself the vehicle of all the light and life of the higher and deeper kind, which had been vouchsafed to him in his earthly career ;-he therefore set out with the desire to construct a philosophical system in which Christianity, -based on the Tri-une being of God, and embracing a Primal Fall and Universal Redemption,—Christianity ideal, spiritual, eternal, but likewise and necessarily historical,-realized and manifested in time, -should be shown forth as accordant, or rather as one with ideas of reason, and the demands of the spiritual and of the speculative mind, of the heart, conscience, reason, should all be satisfied and reconciled in one bond of peace. See what has been said of the labors of Mr. C.'s latter years in the Preface.
This is said in regard to the Bible in the Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit. Works, V. p. 579.
I am not aware, however, that he, at any time, altered or set aside the doctrine of Schelling put forth in the present work on Nature and the Mind of Man, with their mutual relations ; or indeed that he discovered any positive error or incompatibility with higher truth in such parts of his system as are adopted in the Biographia Literaria, and which he believed himself in the main to have anticipated.
1 [It is difficult to reconcile the statement contained in this paragraph with the preceding remark, that Coleridge finally regarded the system of Sehelling as “essentially pantheistic.” The doctrine of Schelling put forth in the Biographia Literaria on the “ mutual relations of Nature and the Mind of Man” is, that there is aboriginally an identity of substance between them, and that both are merely different modifications of one and the same Essence or Being. According to this system--commonly called the System of Identity--that which in one of its aspects is Nature, in the other aspect is Spirit, and it is the peculiar power and prerogative of the philosophic, as distinguished from the spontaneous or common, consciousness, to see this identity, and thus to reduce back all the manifoldness both in the spheres of Nature and Spirit to the absolute and primary unity whence it all emanated and which it all is to the One Substance, in the phraseology of Spinoza; to the Absolute Subject-Object, in the phraseology of Schelling; to the Absolute Conception, in the phraseology of Hegel.
Now we see not on what possible ground Sehelling can be charged with Pantheism, if not on that of this doctrine of the original Identity of Subject and Object. It certainly is the ground on which both his and Hegel's systems are now generally regarded as pantheistic, and is the doctrine by which the later German philosophy differs from the earlier toto genere. Kant left the Subject and Object apart from each other, [contemplating them back of consciousness i. e.,) and it is the standing objection of the system of Identity to the Critical philosophy, that it does not reduce all things to that unity which Reason and Science are constantly seeking for, while it is the constant reply of the latter that there can be no reduction of all things to the merely speculative and wholly abstract unity of a unit, for the good reason that there is no such unit. In other words, the Dogmatism of the pantheist affirming a single substance of which both God and the World (so-called) are alike modifications, is met by the Dogmatism of the theist affirming a supra-mundane and spiritual Being, who creates the world out of nothing—thus affirming a primary and a secondary substance, the latter immanent in the former it is true, but neither emanent from it, nor identical with it.
It may be said that the system of Identity admits distinction in the one universal substance, and only denies division or literal duality. But a mere distinction in one and the same Essence does not constitute another Being. To illustrate by reference to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity--the distinctions that exist in the one single Essence of the Godhead do not constitute three Beings. The distinctions are consubstantial, and are in one substance only. If therefore the distinction between God and the World is
In the Table Talk he is reported to have said, “The metaphysical disquisition at the end of the volume of the Biographia Literaria is unformed and immature;-it contains the fragments of the truth, but it is not fully thought out. It is wonderful to myself to think how infinitely more profound my views now are, and yet how much clearer they are withal. The circle is completing; the idea is coming round to, and to be, the common sense." VI. p. 520.
Some little insight into the progress of his reflections on philosophical subjects, and on the treatment of those subjects by Schelling, will perhaps be derived from his remarks on several tracts in that author's Philosophische Schriften, which I have thought it best to place at the end of the volume. -5. C.]
not metaphysically real and grounded in a duality of Essence-if the distinction is not αλλο και αλλο and not merely αλλος και αλλος-it is no such distinction as Theism affirms, and Religion must affirm, between the Creator and Creation. It would be impossible that the self-consciousness of God and that of man should be totally diverse from each other (and they must be in order to the existence of the relations and affections of Religion) if the spiritual essence which underlies each, when traced to its lowest metaphysical ground, is one and identically the same.
We are aware of the alleged difficulty of accounting for a knowledge of the objective, on the hypothesis that there is no identity of substance between it and the subjective intelligence, and of the confidence with which it is assumed that the mystery of knowing vanishes as soon as it is shown that all consciousness is in reality self-consciousness. How the problem will ultimately be solved, and how much Coleridge and Schelling have contributed towards the true solution, remains to be seen. But it seems to us very plain that neither of these minds ultimately rested in the doctrine of Identity as the means of arriving at the true theory of perception. At any rate, all such teaching of Coleridge as that the moral Reason is the highest form of Reason, and that no merely speculative decisions can set aside those of Conscience, are in the very vein and spirit of the Critical philosophy, and a protest against a theory which obliterates all the fixed lines and immutable distinctions of Theism. Such teaching could not have come from a mind included in the slowly-evolving and blindly-groping processes of the philosophy of Identity.- Am. Ed.]
A CHAPTER OF DIGRESSION AND ANECDOTES, AS AN INTERLUDE PRE
CEDING THAT ON THE NATURE AND GENESIS OF THE IMAGINATION OR PLASTIC POWER-ON PEDANTRY AND PEDANTIC EXPRESSIONS -ADVICE TO YOUNG AUTHORS RESPECTING PUBLICATION-VARIOUS ANECDOTES OF THE AUTHOR'S LITERARY LIFE, AND THE PROGRESS OF HIS OPINIONS IN RELIGION AND POLITICS.
“ESEMPLASTIC. The word is not in Johnson, nor have I met with it elsewhere.” Neither have I! I constructed it myself from the Greek words, els gy hútteiv, to shape into one ;* because, having to convey a new sense, I thought that a new term would both aid the recollection of my meaning, and prevent its being confounded with the usual import of the word, imagination. “But this is pedantry!" Not necessarily so, I hope. If I am not misinformed, pedantry consists in the use of words unsuitable to the time, place, and company. The language of the market would be in the schools as pedantic, though it might not be rep
robated by that name, as the language of the schools in the mar· ket. The mere man of the world, who insists that no other terms but such as occur in common conversation should be employed in a scientific disquisition, and with no greater precision, is as truly a pedant as the man of letters, who either over-rating the acquirements of his auditors, or misled by his own familiarity with technical or scholastic terms, converses at the wine-table with his mind fixed on his museum or laboratory ; even though the latter pedant instead of desiring his wife to make the tea should bid her add to the quant. suff. of thea Sinensis the oxyde
* [Ist das Band die lebendige In-Eins-Bildung des Einen mit dem Vielen. If the bond is the living formation-into-one of the one with the many. Darlegung, pp. 61-2. Schelling also talks of the absolute, perfect In-Eins-Bildung of the Real and Ideal, toward the end of his Vorlesungen über die Methode des Academischen Studium-p. 313.-S. C.]
of hydrogen saturated with caloric. To use the colloquial (and in truth somewhat vulgar) metaphor, if the pedant of the cloister, and the pedant of the lobby, both smell equally of the shop, yet the odor from the Russian binding of good old authentic-looking folios and quartos is less annoying than the steams from the tavern or bagnio. Nay, though the pedantry of the scholar should betray a little ostentation, yet a well-conditioned mind would more easily, methinks, tolerate the fox brush of learned vanity, than the sans culotterie of a contemptuous ignorance, that assumes a merit from mutilation in the self-consoling sneer at the pompous incumbrance of tails.
The first lesson of philosophic discipline is to wean the student's attention from the degrees of things, which alone form the vocabulary of common life, and to direct it to the kind abstracted from degree. Thus the chemical student is taught not to be startled at the disquisitions on the heat in ice, or on latent and fixible light. In such discourse the instructor has no other alternative than either to use old words with new meanings (the plan adopted by Darwin in his Zoonomia ;)* or to introduce new terms, after the example of Linnæus, and the framers of the present chemical nomenclature. The latter mode is evidently preferable, were it only that the former demands a twofold exertion of thought in one and the same act. For the reader, or hearer, is required not only to learn and bear in mind the new definition ; but to unlearn, and keep out of his view, the old and habitual meaning; a far more difficult and perplexing task, and for which the mere semblance of eschewing pedantry seems to me an inadequate compensation. Where, indeed, it is in our power to recall an appropriate term that had without sufficient reason become obsolete, it is doubtless a less evil to restore than to coin anew. Thus to express in one word all that appertains to the perception, considered as passive and merely recipient, I have adopted from our elder classics the word sensuous ; because sensual is not at present used, except in a bad sense, or at least as a moral distinction ; while sensitive and sensible would each convey a different meaning. Thus too I have followed Hooker, Sanderson, Milton and others, in designating the immediateness of any act
* [Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia, or Laws of Organic Life was published Lond. 1794–6, 2 vols. 4to. There was another edition in 4 vols. 8vo. in 1801.-8. C.]