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ing that moral principles have unlimited, universal validity,' -unbeschränkte allgemeine Gültigkeit. That these truths are seen by us to be self-evident, is a fact which adds nothing to their authority, but involves only the recognition of an authority which is inherent. As self-evident, the truth in the proposition is instantly recognised, —a fact well expressed by Cicero's word promptu, and also by our derivative prompt. As to the Psychological question concerning the mode or manner in which instantaneous recognition is secured, that seems inexplicable. These self-evident truths are brought from within in some manner not discovered in consciousness, and are instantaneously accepted. Quae ita sunt in promptu, ut res disputatione non egeat.-De Officiis, 1. 2.

Here the dividing point in the history of philosophic thought is reached. For an outline of the course taken by the two distinct currents of thought, see close of present chapter.

4. The general principle which gives validity to an accurate moral judgment, is present in that judgment only by implication, not by formal expression. Its formal recognition is not matter of common observation, but is dependent upon a philosophic process. The ordinary moral judgment deals with the concrete, not with the general or the abstract. Men do not enunciate general truths, when they decide on the rightness or wrongness of an action. Philosophy is not needed for any such decision.-Kant's Metaph. of Ethics, p. 164 (3d ed.); Cousin, Philos. of Kant, Henderson's transl. p. 167. But Moral Philosophy must determine how a prompt decision in morals may be given without formal recognition of a principle, which by implication is nevertheless accepted.

5. Viewed simply as an exercise of mind, simultaneous with rational exercise, the recognition of general truths or principles is perception or intuition of a higher order, as the recognition of simple fact is perception or intuition of a lower order. Knowledge of the former kind implies direct insight into necessary truth. The possibility of such insight is the highest characteristic of our intelligent nature.

6. The power to recognise such self-evident truth has been named Reason, in contrast with Reasoning or Understanding. (Noûs in contrast with Arávoia;—Vernunft in contrast with Verstand). Kant formally enunciated this distinction.Kritik der Reinen Vernunft, Die Transc. Dialectik 11. A., Werke, ed. Rosencranz, 11. 242; Meiklejohn's transl. Critique of Pure Reason, p. 212; Coleridge's Aids to Reflection, Sth ed. p. 167; Hamilton's Reid, Note A, sect. 5; M'Cosh's Intuitions, Pt. 111. B. I. ch. ii. sect. 6. Knowledge of fact is knowledge by onlook; knowledge inferred is knowledge of one thing through means of another; knowledge of first principles is knowledge by insight into truth higher than fact.

7. Viewed simply as a form of knowledge, knowledge of first principles is distinguished by intellectual quality, not by ethical. It is knowledge of truth, but it is not in any proper sense right action. Insight into absolute moral truth, arising from the unfolding of intelligence itself, is a necessary function of mind, and therefore not capable of being reckoned among moral actions, which must be self-determined, as matters of choice.

8. The first principles of morals, being concerned with personal activity, are essentially laws of conduct, while they are principles of truth. That principle which determines what is right, determines what is law for me. As by our constitution we are appointed to a life of activity, so from the same source comes the discovery of the law for the guidance of our conduct. As the first principles of morals are of the nature of absolute truth, so are they absolute law, involving a categorical imperative,' to use the renowned expression of Kant.-Metaph. of Ethics, p. 27, 3d ed.; Price, Principal Questions of Morals, c. vi.; Hutcheson, System of Mor. Phil. 11. ii. 3, Glasg. 1755.

It cannot be held with Kant in his Intellectual Theory,

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that the a priori elements of our knowledge are merely regulative, not assertive.-See Cousin, Philos. of Kant, p. 174. The position, which seems to me untenable even in reference to Pure Reason (the purely Intellectual), is manifestly so in reference to Practical Reason (the Moral). For whereas in the former case, the a priori elements of knowledge may be said to be merely regulative of thought, in the latter they are regulative of conduct, thereby making our actions, with dependent experience, a continual test of their validity. A moral principle is first a truth discovered as an element of knowledge; and next a law, recognised as a determinator of action. It is first a revelation (Offenbarung) of truth, in order that it may next be a law of life for an intelligent being.

9. While the principles of morality belong in their nature to the sphere of the absolute, they belong in their application to the sphere of the phenomenal or transitory: this is involved in parag. 4. Kant holds that 'Right cannot appear as a phenomenon.'-Critique of Pure Reason, Doct. of Elements, Pt. i. sect. 9. In ordinary experience, when a moral principle is recognised by us, it appears in its application to some line of conduct. To formulate and interpret the principle implies a philosophic process, but it also requires a definite example from which to begin. Only on the acknowledgment that absolute truth can be manifested in transitory forms, can there be a common rule of conduct for humanity. Only by the harmony of fleeting actions with absolute truth, which is at the same time absolute law, can there be consistency of human life. Without these, uniformity of law and consistency

. of action are lost in the specialities of Individualism. In such a case, each man is a law to himself, not by personal submission to recognised common law, but by express denial of it, and assertion of self-will.

It is impossible with philosophic warrant to maintain, as Kant has done, that man as intelligence exists in a cogitable world entirely separated from the phenomenal world. —Metaph.

of Ethics (3d ed.), pp. 52, 63, 71, 147. Rather, it is clear that the spheres of a priori truth, and of experience, are so essentially related, that they cannot be separated, or contemplated as contradictory.

10. First principles of morals do not contradict each other, either in their nature as truths, or in their application as laws.

It has been a common objection against the Intuitional theory, that in attaining a variety of sovereign moral laws, it fails to provide for adjudication between them. The objection is thus stated by Mr. Mill :-'In other systems, the moral laws all claiming independent authority, there is no common umpire entitled to interfere between them.'— Utilitarianism, p. 37. This objection is connected with the application of the principles, not with their nature. But, in order to conflict in practice, they must contradict each other in nature, which does not happen. The principle of truthfulness does not conflict with that of justice, nor the latter with that of benevolence. Each principle of morals applies to a line of activity all its own, and always its own. · The same general principles are common to all men, nor does one such principle contradict another.'—Epictetus, i. 23. Further it is to be observed, that moral principles, as applying to perfectly distinct lines of activity, do not, on the ground of inherent authority, make a claim for extending that authority over spheres of activity which other principles regulate. In practical application, therefore, they do not contradict each other. Further, if perplexity arise as to the time when a principle of morality should have application, while other principles are · left in abeyance, this perplexity affects neither the validity, nor the authority, of the principles; but is a question of present duty, which is quite distinct, and will afterwards have attention under the head of Moral Obligation.

11. There are first principles of intellectual truth, as there are of moral truth. The former are laws of intelligence, as


the latter are laws of conduct. Of the former, the la:vs of non-contradiction and of causality are examples. Regarded as facts in consciousness, both are distinguished by the same character of self-evidence. In so far as they may be referred to a distinct power of mind, the power is one. The name commonly given to this Power-Reason, as distinguished from the Understanding or Reasoning power--is merely a name for Intelligence as competent to the function of recognising self-evident truths. This is its highest function, the power for which is a fundamental condition of intelligent activity.

12. As of self-evident truths, some are applicable in purely intellectual relations, others in exclusively moral relations, this difference of application gives such warrant as high scientific convenience can afford, for distinguishing Intellectual or Speculative Reason from Moral or Practical Reason. Other warrant there is none. There is no such difference in the nature of the power exercised in the two cases, as to provide a philosophic basis for the distinction in classification and terminology.

As however the two spheres of application are concerned with two separate departments of science, the distinction is inevitable, for the sake of scientific accuracy.

The more effectually to secure such accuracy, it is of consequence to make the popular term, CONSCIENCE, apply to Reason in its moral applications, as contrasted with Reason in its speculative bearings. Kant's distinction between Pure Reason and Practical Reason, however suitable in some respects, is not a distinction philosophically valid. If the recognition of a priori truth be the function of Pure Reason, then the Practical Reason is also Pure Reason.—Metaph. of Ethics (3d ed.) p. 64. Speculative Reason and Practical Reason might mark the difference.

13. PROBLEMS.—(1.) If a priori principles are confessedly conditions necessary for the attainment of human experience, are these principles more than conditions, and entitled to rank

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