Theodore Francis Wright.

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single substantial subject.^ . . . The ego is an
active principle in a given nature, in so far as it
has consciousness of itself and pronounces the
act of consciousness. In order to be self-con-
scious, that is, to be an ego, the subject must

* Criticism of Locke, p. 259.

* Kosmini's Philosophical System, London, 1882, pp. 63, 118.


have combined the feeling of selfhood [we de-
cline to adopt Mr. Davidson's meity for the Italian
meita\ with ideal being as intuited, and then, by
reflection, must have analyzed the object thus
formed into the judgment, ' Myself is.' But
this self is precisely what we mean by ego. . . .
The identity of principles in different reflections
arises from the inner feeling, — that is, from the
feeling which man has of his own universal
activity, wherein are virtually contained and
identified all partial activities, and wherein it is
felt that that act which gives rise to perception
and reasoning is nothing other than an act, a
partial application of that first fundamental
activity, from which likewise proceeds reflection
upon that which is perceived and reasoned about,
upon perceptions, upon reasonings, upon the re-
flections themselves, and that this activity is the
very one which speaks and which posits itself
by saying ' I.' Thus is generated the ego." ^

Hickok views the subject similarly : " Some-
thing is while the varied exercises successively
come and go upon the field of human conscious-
ness. What that something is, the conscious-

* Kosmini's Philosophical System, London, 1882, pp. 202, 217.


ness does not reveal ; but that it permanently is,
in its unchanged identity, the consciousness does
testify. It is as if the mirror could feel itself
and its repeated throes of reflection, while it can
by no means envisage itself, but only that which
stands before it."^

This is the same as to say that consciousness
is a mere mirror. If it were such, the existence
of a self would indeed be but a reflection from a
passive consciousness, but the mirror is at least
so full of life that it can turn a hundred ways,
and can itself make up the composite image, in-
cluding all the reflections. N'ay, more, aided by
the judgment and memory, it can say, " Thou
art the man," and can bid him repent, or suffer
the reward of his deeds.

Schopenhauer, with his hand against every
man and his mind as inhospitable as possible
towards other men's, views, was acute and bril-
liant in thought and speech. His word is, " All
knowledge presupposes subject and object. Self-
consciousness knows only will, not knowledge.
The ego is as described by the Upanishad : ' It
is not seen, yet sees all things; it is not heard,

^ Empirical Psychology, Schenectady, 1854, p. 75.


yet hears all things ; it is not known, yet knows
all things ; it is not understood, yet understands
all things.' There can be no knowledge of
knowing. 'I know that I know' means only
that I know, and this nothing more than I. The
subject of knowledge can never be known, it can
never become object. . . . The identity of the
willing with the knowing subject, in virtue of
which the word ' I' designates both, is the nodus
of the universe {Weltknoteri), and therefore in-

The answer to this would best be made by one
who was learning with interest something which
he had not previously known. The will to know
would come first, and then the use of knowledge
acquired would follow, and then he might look
upon himself and say, " You, who were ignorant
of this language, can now speak it ; be thankful."
It is needless to analyze Schopenhauer's obstinate

How different the spirit of Ulrici: "By
strength of his self-consciousness, his higher
spontaneity and his thorough individuality, not
only is the man himself in general but the single

1 Fourfold Koot of Sufficient Keason, sect. 42.


individual in an eminent sense a subject, a self.
Througli the fact of self-distinction he affirms
and knows himself as self; through the will he
actuates and maintains himself as self." ^

These are weighty words which might be en-
larged upon, but they are passed over with the
single remark that they will repay one for the
closest examination.

Lotze does not go quite so far: "Self-con-
sciousness is not an innate endowment of the
mind so that from the first we see mirrored be-
fore us what we ourselves are. Our conscious-
ness never presents to us this image as found;
we are merely directed to a more or less obscure
point in which lies our ego. . . . Self-conscious-
ness is to us but as the interpretation of a sense
of self. With culture the content of the ego
becomes clearer, and extends over an enlarging
circumference." ^

It is, of course, of this cultured self-conscious-
ness, this mature mind obedient to the oracle,
"Know thyself," that we ought to think; and
that Lotze abates nothing from the objective

1 Gott und der Menscli, Leipzig, 1873, p. 30.
* Microcosmos, Book II., chap, v., sect. 3.


reality of this may be seen from Ms words :
•'Among all the errors of the human mind it
has always seemed to me the strangest that it
could come to doubt its own existence, of which
alone it has direct experience, or to take it at
second hand as the product of our external
nature which we know only indirectly, only by
means of the knowledge of the very mind to
which we would fain deny existence." ^ And
still more emphatically he says, "Mortality
reaches its highest stage in self-consciousness.
. . . Self-consciousness sets itself as ego in op-
position to the non-ego."^

When in a passage we meet with an apparent
contradiction of this,, and Lotze is found speaking
of the self as "never rising into complete self-
consciousness,"^ it seems to be his reverence for
man leading him to attribute to him an infinite
depth transcending the plummet of self-con-
sciousness. There is no harm in this, provided
it is agreed that we can know and measure and
judge the agent of our own acts.

Ferrier has some emphatic sentences : " Self

^ Microcosmos^ Book II., chap, v., sect. 6.

2 Ibid., Book IX., chap. iv. 'Ibid., chap. iv.


is the ens unum, the semper cognitum in omnibus
notitiis. It is the centre in which all cognitions
meet and agree. . . . [N'o cognition in which
one does not apprehend one's self is possible. . . .
The ego comes before us along with whatever
comes before us. , . . When I observe a book I
also observe myself. . . . There can be no knowl-
edge of self or ego in a purely indeterminate
state. The ego can know itself only in connec-
tion with some non-ego. . . . Hume says that
he catches his perceptions without any self; in
other words, he finds that they do not belong to
any one. . . . The essence of the mind is the
knowledge which it has of itself with that
which it is cognizant of."^

The expression ens unum seems too strong for
Terrier's purpose, and we note that his last sen-
tence ignores the will ; but his criticism of Hume
shows that he means to be counted among the
supporters of personality as actual, discernible,
and permanent.

It suited the purpose of Dean Mansel to
note the limits of personality, but he affirm-
atively said, "Personality is a limitation, for

^ Institutes of Metaphysics, Propositions I., II., VII., IX.
D 7


the thought and the thinker limit each other.
If I am any one of my own thoughts, I live
and die with each successive moment of my
own consciousness. If I am not any one of my
own thoughts, I am limited hy that very differ-
ence." This is clear, and he goes further in the
direction of definition of the self when he says,
" That which I see, or hear, or think, or feel
changes and passes away with each moment of
my varied existence. I who see, hear, think,
arid feel am one continuous self, whose existence
gives unity and connection to the whole." ^ He
also holds that we are conscious of our selves as
depending upon another Person.

In his note to his father's "Phenomena of
Mind," J. S. Mill has expressed himself with
great vigor : " Suppose a being gifted with sensa-
tion, but devoid of memory; whose sensations
follow after one another, but leave no trace of
their existence when they cease. Could this
being have any knowledge or notion of a self?
"Would he ever say to himself, ^ I feel ; this sensa-
tion is mine?' I think not. The notion of a

1 Limits of Keligious Thought, Lecture III., pp. 103, 105;
iv. p. 130.


self is, I apprehend, a consequence of memory.
There is no meaning in the word ego or I unless
the I of to-day is also the I of yesterday." ^

This is somewhat too strong. It is true that
the notion of the self depends on memory, but
it is not so true that it depends on memory
alone; for an aged person, whose memory is
gone, as the saying is, still retains in momentary
self-consciousness a distinct idea of self, and every
new sensation renews the thought of self. In-
deed, Mill says for himself that " there is a men-
tal process over and above the having a mere
feeling, to which the word consciousness is
sometimes, and it can hardly be said improperly,
applied, namely the reference of the feeling to
our self."^

But in another place, having mentioned a suc-
cession of feelings, he said, " This succession of
feelings, which I call my memory of the past, is
that by which I distinguish myself. Myself is
the person who had that series of feelings, and I
know nothing of myself by direct knowledge
except that I had them. But there is a bond of
some sort among all the parts of the series ; and

iVol. i., note75. 'Ibid.


this bond, to me, constitutes my ego. Here, I
think, the question must rest until some psychol-
ogist succeeds better than any one has yet done
in showing a mode in which the analysis can be
carried farther." ^

Mansel would probably have answered that,
by pursuing the subject of the relation of self to
the other Person, some further light would be
obtained, but this Mill would not have heeded.
Indeed he was wholly a sceptic and might be
joined with Schopenhauer when he (Mill) said,
" There seems to be no ground for believing,
with Sir "W. Hamilton and Mr. Mansel, that the
ego is an original presentation of consciousness ;
that the mere impression on our senses involves
and carries with it any consciousness of a self,
any more than I believe it to do of a not-self.
The inexplicable tie, or law, or organic union,
which connects the present consciousness with
the past one, is as near as I think we can get to
a positive conception of self." ^

The light that was in him seems to have been
darkness. He spoke of his own mind as if he

» Vol. ii,, note 33.

' Examination of Hamilton, 4th edition, p. 262.


had no more intimate knowledge of it than of
another's. What he groped for lay before his
own consciousness if he could follow Hegel's
advice and raise it to self-consciousness.

In strong contrast with Mill is Gatien-Arnoult,
whom Hamilton approvingly quoted at length.
In a more succinct statement than that used by
Hamilton this writer said, " The identity of the
ego is the continuity of its existence without in-
terruption or alteration. It knows by the mem-
ory and consciousness that it goes on without in-
terruption or alteration. The ego which I am
now is no other than that which I was yester-
day. I am always myself. The identity of the
ego results from its unity, — that is, its simplicity,
immateriality, spirituality." ^

Herbert Spencer, under the question, ** What
is this that thinks ?" declares the ego to be un-
knowable. Common speech makes the ego an
entity, and the belief in it is "unavoidable";
but "it is a belief admitting of no justification
by reason." He expresses his approval of the
views of Sir W. Hamilton and Dean Mansel, and
concludes : " A true cognition of self implies a

* Philosophie elementaire : Keponses aux Question iv.



state in which the knowing and the known are
one, — in which subject and object are identified;
and this Mr. Mansel rightly holds to be the anni-
hilation of both. So that the personality of
which each is conscious, and of which the exist-
ence is to each a fact beyond all others the most
certain, is yet a thing which cannot be truly
known at all; knowledge of it is forbidden by
the very nature of thought." ^

Spencer is clearly mistaken here, and the ap-
peal from Spencer can be made to Spencer. He
has said that we must believe in self ("Belief in
the reality of self is a belief which no hypothesis
enables us to escape") ; and he has said that " it
is a belief which reason, when pressed for an
answer, rejects ;" but later he said, " The totality
of my consciousness is divisible into a faint ag-
gregate which I call my mind ; a special part of
the vivid aggregate which, cohering with this in
various ways, I call my body; and the rest of
the vivid aggregate, which has no such coher-
ence with the faint aggregate. The principle of
continuity, forming into a whole the faint states
of consciousness, moulding and modifying them

1 First Principles : New York, 1890, pp. 64, 65.


by some unknown energy, is distinguished as
the ego."^

This personification of the principle of con-
tinuity exercising an unknown energy will not
guide Spencer into all truth, but it would appear
that in t^ years he had come to accept the ego
as something distinguishable in consciousness,
and this is a really noteworthy progress.

T. H. Green is full of light, in contrast with
Spencer, when he says, " The more strongly
Hume insists that ' the identity which we as-
cribe to the mind of man is only a fictitious
one,' the more completely does his doctrine re-
fute itself In all his attempts we find that the
relation, which has to be explained away, is pre-
supposed under some other expression, and that
it is ' fictitious' not in the sense which Hume's
theory requires, that there is no such thing, but
in the sense that it would not exist if we did not
think about our feelings." ^

Still more strongly and with equal clearness
Green has spoken in a passage quoted by Dr. C.

^ Principles of Psychology, sect. 462.

* Philosophical Works, London, 1885, General Introduction,
p. 297.


C. Everett in his " Fichte's Science of Knowl-
edge :" ^ " If there is such a thing as a connected
experience of related objects, there must be op-
erative in consciousness a unifying principle,
which not only presents related objects to itself,
but at once renders them objects and unites
them in relation to each other by this act of pre-
sentation; and which is single throughout the
experience. The unity of this principle must be
correlative to the unity of the experience. If all
possible experience of related objects — the ex-
perience of a thousand years ago and the experi-
ence of to-day, the experience which I have here
and that which I might have in any other region
of space — forms a single system ; if there be no
such thing as an experience of unrelated objects ;
then there must be a corresponding singleness in
that principle of consciousness which forms the
bonds of the relation between the objects." ^

This noble passage might well close the his-
torical summary of the doctrine were there not
a few other authors who deserved mention.
Professor Bowen boldly defends the self against
" all metaphysical cavils" by declaring that it is

^ P. 76. 2 Prolegomena to Ethics, 34.


indivisible; that it exercises one mind; that there
is " a direct consciousness of self;" that it is a
monad ; that we are conscious of it in itself and
in its passing into thought and act ; that we are
not compelled to ' infer its existence from its
manifestations ; and that the only difficulty with
defining it is that it is indivisible.^

Dr. Hedge, however, is more Kantian in his
view. In his essay on Personality^ he " supposes
the ego to be peculiar to man ; that the brutes
have only simple consciousness, not the reflected
consciousness of self." He mentions Jean Paul's
account of the birth of his self-consciousness. He
proceeds to point out that man has three parts :
" first, the unknown factor which constitutes the
ground of our being ; secondly, the ego or con-
scious self; thirdly, the person." By person he
means, in the proper sense of that word, the
man's manifestation before men. By the ego he
means what Professor Bowen and the rest meant
by it. By the "unknown factor" he means
either the inmost soul which is not rationally
discerned or the Divine mind hidden in its

^ Metaphysics and Ethics, chap. iii.
2 Luther, and other Essays, Boston, 1888, pp. 281-285.


infinity. He declines to say whicli of the two lie
means, and it is unnecessary to seek to discover.
He should be reckoned on the positive side as to
the ego, but beyond that he is a pantheist of the
type of the peripatetic Dicsearch, holding that
God cannot be self-conscious, and that the word
" I," attributed to Him in the Scriptures, is an

Dr. McCosh has been referred to as a critic of
Fichte. Let him also be heard in saying, " Con-
sciousness cannot be said to furnish an idea of,
or belief in, our personal identity, for it looks
solely to the present. But it reveals self as
present. "When we remember the past, there is
involved a memory of self as remembering. "We
compare the two, the present self known and the
past self remembered, and declare the two to be
identical. Consciousness does not constitute our
personal identity. It makes it known. A full
and distinct knowledge of self is a late acquisi-
tion, but from birth there is a knowledge of self
in acts." ^

As to these last words Dr. Hedge is more ac-

* Luther, etc., p. 281.

2 Cognitive Powers, Book I., chap, ii., sect. 1.


curate when he says, " There is a time, varying,
I suppose, from the second to the fourth year,
when a human individual first says to himself,
*L' Jean Paul probably meant a point in the
same period, and perhaps it will be found upon
inquiry that the earliest event which one can
remember is one which, through some extreme
sensation of pleasure or pain, awoke the self-con-
sciousness from its infantile slumber and made a
deep impression."^

Tennyson has accurately and happily described
the awakening self-consciousness, —

"The baby new to earth and sky,
What time his tender palm is pressed
Against the circle of the breast,
Has never thought that ' this is I.'

"But as he grows he gathers much,
And learns the use of I' and 'me,'
And finds * I am not what I see.
And other than the things I touch.'

" So rounds he to a separate mind
From whence clear memory may begin,
As through the frame that bounds him in,
His isolation grows defined." ^

1 Luther, etc., p. 282. 2 In Memoriam, xliv.


Perhaps the only rival of Tucker's " Man in
Quest of Himself," as a book treating exclu-
sively of the self, is a little volume by one J. S.
Malone, of Waco, Texas.^ His subject is an-
nounced as "The Self: "What Is It?" and he
proceeds in an earnest way to point out that
the intellect is but an instrument of man rather
than his essential being ; that his real life lies in
sensibility and in the principal desire among all
the desires of any one; that this ruling love is
the ego; that Descartes should have said, "I
feel, therefore I am," rather than, " I think,
therefore lam;" that the sense of responsibility
attaches less to our thoughts than to our pur-
poses; that to know one's self requires scrutiny
of the heart rather than of the head ; that the
development of sensibility must precede that
of the intellectual powers ; that the training of
humanity requires attention to be given to the
affections even more than to the intellectual
faculties ; and that it has been the weakness of
philosophers to "become wholly absorbed in
hair-splitting intricacies of intelligence," while
the Christian teaching was directed to the heart.

1 Louisville: John P. Morton & Co., 1888.


It would be improper to find fault with these
suggestions unless they were in danger of being
carried too far. In exalting the will Mr. Malone
must not forget that the intellect is not only its
servant, carrying out its purposes, but also its
guide and instructor, examining those purposes
and giving judgment upon them. The intellect
trained without regard to the corresponding
education of the will corrupts the nature, but
the least undervaluation of the intellect in the
account causes a serious loss to the nature. The
philosophers are not so guilty as they are here
represented to be, and will be found in good
time to have done an indispensable work.

In his lectures on " Hegelianism and Person-
ality,"^ Professor Andrew Seth has considered
the effect of the doctrine of Hegel in regard to
personality upon the conception of the Divine
Being. After making a presentation of the
views of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Green,
he shows that their tendency was to obliterate
the Divine self-consciousness in favor of the
human or the human in favor of the Divine,
thereby confounding the two, and, in fact, reach-

1 Edinburgh, 1887.


ing " a logical abstraction called the Idea, in
which, both God and man disappear." " The
unification of consciousness in a single Self" he
considers to be the radical error of Hegelianism.
He complains that the self recognized by Hege-
lians and IJlTeo-Kantians is but " a logical and
not a real self." It is impossible to see that
there is not the danger which he points out,
yet it is not in the present place necessary to
dwell upon it, except to say that any monistic
plan, Spinozistic, Fichtean, or Hegelian, which
admits but one individuality into its universe,
defeats itself by rejecting the microcosm, the
only explanation of the universe. K man be
not a distinct individuality, the world, made for
naught, comes to naught. There is a truth in
the saying of the sophistic Protagoras, "Man
is the measure of the universe." A God alone
or a man alone is an absurdity. Henry More
was consistent when he wrote, Nullus in micro-
COSMO spiritus, nullus in macrocosmo Dcus^ "!N"o
spirit in the microcosm, no God in the macro-
cosm," for both ideas stand or fall together.
In a small volume entitled " Personality," by

* Atheism, III., chap. xvi.


Professor W. W. Olssen, of St. Stephen's Col-
lege, New York,^ we find three lectures, the first
of which deals with the personality of man and
the second and third with that of God. The
treatment is wholly untechnical and without
reference to the philosophers. It is wisely
pointed out that man's personality is not merely
bodily and not merely spiritual, but exists on
both these planes, in the consciousness of a dis-
tinct physical existence with its instinct of self-
preservation, and in the will with its conscious-
ness of power.

In the essay on " Personality and the Infinite,"
which Professor William Knight printed first in
the Contemporary Beview and then in his volume
entitled " Studies in Philosophy and Literature,"^
an excellent statement of the question is to be
found so far as regards the personality of the
Infinite; but, in passing, this thought is ex-
pressed : " The radical feature of personality, as
known to us,— whether apprehended by self-con-
sciousness or recognized in others, — is the sur-
vival of a permanent self under all the fleeting

1 New York, 1882.

'London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1879, also Boston, 1891.


or deciduous phases of experience; in other
words, the personal identity which is involved in
the assertion, * I am.' While my thoughts, feel-
ings, and acts pass away and perish, I continue
to exist, to live, and to grow in the fulness of ex-
perience. Beneath the shows of things, the ever-
lasting flux and reflux of phenomenal change, a
substance or interior essence survives." ^

That rapid and brilliant writer, Professor A.
W. Momerie, pursued a similar line of thought
with a similar purpose in his " Personality the
Beginning and End of Metaphysics and a E'eces-
sary Assumption of all Positive Philosophy."^
He means to assail the Comtists with their own

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