« VorigeDoorgaan »
the case with the Metaphysies, Analy- in fact the language of the market. tics, &c. of Aristotle, which have been Every science, every trade, has it's well described by Lambert as a dic- technical nomenclature ; every folly tionary of general terms, the process has it's fancy-words; every vice it's throughout being, first, to discover own slang--and is the science of huand establish definite meanings, and manity to be the one exception? Is then to appropriate to each a several philosophy to work without tools ? to word. The sciences will take care, have no straw wherewith to make the each of it's own nomenclature ; but bricks for her mansion-house but what the interests of the language at large she may pick up on the high road, or fall under the special guardianship of steal, with all it's impurities and sologic and rational psychology. Where phistications, from the litter of the catthese have fallen into neglect or dis- tle market? repute, from exclusive pursuit of For the present, however, my dewealth, excess of the commercial spi- mands on your patience are very limitrit, or whatever other cause disposes ed.—If as the price of much entertainmen in general to attach an exclusivement to follow, and I trust of somevalue to immediate and palpable utili- thing besides of less transitory interest, ty, the dictionary may swell, but the you will fairly attend to the history of language will decline. Few are the two scholastic terms, OBJECT and subbooks published within the last fifty JECT, with their derivatives ; you shall years, that would not supply their quo- have my promise that I will not on ta of proofs, that so it is with our own any future occasion ask you to be atmother English. The bricks and stones tentive, without trying not to be myare in abundance, but the cement none self dull. That it may cost you no or naught. That which is indeed the more trouble than necessary, I have common langriage exists every where brought it under the eye in numbered as the menstruum, and no where as the paragraphs, with scholia or commentwhole--See Biographia Literaria-- ary to such as seemed to require it. while the language complimented with Your's most affectionately, this name, is, as I have already said,
S. T. COLERIDGE,
On the Philosophic import of the Words, OBJECT and SUBJECT.
$ 1. Existence is a simple intuition, underived and indecomponible. It is no idea, no particular form, much less any determination or modification of the possible : it is nothing that can be educed from the logical conception of a thing, as its predicate : it is no property of a thing, but its reality itself; or, as the Latin would more conveniently express it-Nulla rei proprietas est, sed ipsa ejus realitas.
SCHOLIUM. Here lies the sophism in Des Car- comprises the idea of all attributes tes' celebrated demonstration of the that belong to perfection; but the idea existence of the Supreme Being from of existence is such: therefore the idea the idea. In the idea of God are con or his existence is included in the idea tained all attributes that belong to the of God.-Now, existence is no idea, perfection of a being ; but existence is but a fact: or, though we had an idea such: therefore, God's existence is of existence, still the proof of its corcontained in the idea of God. To this respondence to a reality would be wante it is a sufficient answer, that existence ing, i.e. the very point would be wantis not an attribute. It might be shewn ing which it was the purpose of the too, from the barrenness of the de- demonstration to supply. Still the monstration, by identifying the deduc- idea of the fact is not the fact itself. tion with the premise, i. e. for redu. Besides, the term, idea, is here improcing the minor or term included to a perly substituted for the mere suppomere repetition of the major or term sition of a logical subject, necessarily including. For in fact the syllogism presumed in order to the conceivable ought to stand thus : the idea of God ness (cogitabilitas) of any qualities,
properties, or attributes. But this is something. But then it must be ena mere ens logicum, (vel etiam gram- titled a statement, not a demonstramaticum,) the result of the thinker's tion—the necessity of which it would own unity of consciousness, and no less supersede. And something like this contained in the conception of a plant may perhaps be found true, where the or of a chimæra, than in the idea of the reasoning powers are developed and Supreme Being. If Des Cartes could duly exerted; but would, I fear, do have proved, that his idea of a Supreme little towards settling the dispute beBeing is universal and necessary, and tween the religious Theist and the spethat the conviction of a reality perfectly culative Atheist or Pantheist, whether coincident with the idea is equally uni- this be all, or whether it is even what versal and inevitable ; and that these we mean, and are bound to mean, by were in truth but one and the same act the word God. The old controversy or intuition, unique, and without ana would be started, what are the possilogy, though, from the inadequateness ble perfections of an Infinite Beingof our minds, from the mechanism of in other words, what the legitimate thought, and the structure of lan sense is of the term, infinite, as applied guage, we are compelled to express it to Deity, and what is or is not comdividually, as consisting of two corre- patible with that sense. lative terms -- this would have been
§ 2. I think, and while thinking, I am conscious of certain workings or movements, as acts or activities of my being, and feel myself as the power in which they originate. I feel myself working; and the sense or feeling of this activity constitutes the sense and feeling of EXISTENCE, i. e. of my actual being.
SCHOLIUM. Movements, motions, taken metaphorically, without relation to space or place. Κινησεις μη κατα τοπον και αι ωσπερ κινησεΐς, of Aristotle.
$ 3. In these workings, however, I distinguish a difference. In some I feel myself as the cause and proper agent, and the movements themselves as the work of my own power. In others, I feel these movements as my own activity; but not as my own acts. The first we call the active or positive state of our existence; the second, the passive or negative state. The active power, nevertheless, is felt in both equally. But in the first I feel it as the cause acting, in the second, as the condition, without which I could not be acted on.
SCHOLIUM. It is a truth of highest importance, transitive. To mgatteis; how do you do? that agere et pati are not different or how are you? The third is the ackinds, but the same kind in different tive-passive, or more appropriately the relations. And this not only in conse- active-patient, the verb recipient or quence of an immediate re-action, but receptive, T1 TEACHEG; what ails you? Or, the act of receiving is no less truly an to take another idiom of our language, act, than the act of influencing. Thus, that most livelily expresses the co-prethe lungs act in being stimulated by sence of an agent, an agency distinct the air, as truly as in the act of breath- and alien from our own, What is the ing, to which they were stimulated matter with you? It would carry us The Greek verbal termination, w, hap- too far to explain the nature of verbs pily illustrates this. Tlow, asgattw, passive, as so called in technical gram7A5xw, in philosophical grammar, are mar. Suffice, that this class originated all three verbs active; but the first is in the same causes, as led men to make the active-transitive, in which the the division of substances into living agency passes forth out of the agent and dead—a division psychologically into another. To mousēs; what are you necessary, but of doubtful philosophidoing? The second is the active-in- cal validity.
§ 4. With the workings and movements, which I refer to myself and my own agency, there alternate-say rather, I find myself alternately conscious of forms (=Impressions, images, or better or less figurative and hypothetical, presences, presentations,) and of states or modes, which not feeling as the work or effect of my own power I refer to a power other than me, i. e. (in the language derived from my sense of sight) without me. And this is the feeling, I have, of the existence of outward things.
Scholium. In this superinduction of the sense the other, the terms real and actual, of outness on the feeling of the actual soon become confounded and inter arises our notion of the real and reali- changeable, or only discriminated in ty. But as I cannot but reflect, that the gold scales of metaphysics. as the other is to me, so I must be to
$ 5. Since both then, the feeling of my own existence and the feeling of the existence of things without, are but this sense of an acting and working—it is clear that to exist is the same as to act or work; (Quantum operor, tantum sum,) that whatever exists, works, (=is in action ; actually is; is in deed,) that not to work, as agent or patient, is not to exist ; and lastly, that patience (=vis patiendi,) and the re-action that is its co-instantaneous consequent, is the same activity in opposite and alternating relations.
§ 6. That which is inferred in those acts and workings, the feeling of which is one with the feeling of our own existence, or inferred from those which we refer to an agency distinct from our own, but in both instances is inferred, is the SUBJECT, i. e. that which does not appear, but lies under (quod jacet subter) the appearance.
$ 7. But in the first instance, that namely which is inferred in its effects, and of course therefore self-inferred, the subject is a mind, i. e. that which knows itself, and may be inferred by others; but which cannot appear.
§ 8. That, in or from which the subject is inferred, is the OBJECT, id quod jacet ob oculos, that which lies before us, that which lies strait opposite.
SCHOLIUM. The terms used in psychology, lo- have passed from the schools into the gic, &c. even those of most frequent market-place, from the medals and tooccurrence in common life, are, for the kens (oup Bone) of the philosophers' most part, of Latin derivation; and not guild or company into the current coin only so, but the original words, such of the land." But the difference beas quantity, quality, subject, object, tween a man, who understands them &c. &c. formed in the schools of phi- according to their first use, and seeks losophy for scholastic use, and in cor to restore the original impress and surespondence to Greek technical terms of perscription, and the man who gives the same meaning. Etymology, there- and takes them in small change, unfore, is little else than indispensa- weighed, and tried only by the sound, ble to an insight into the true force, may be illustrated by imagining the and, as it were, freshness of the words different points of view in which the in question, especially of those that same cowry would appear to a scienti
fic conchologist, and to a chaffering that in the latter the very contrary negro. This use of etymology may be takes place; namely, instead of the exemplified in the present case. The object being identified with the subimmediate object of the mind is always ject, the subject is taken up and conand exclusively the workings or ma- founded in the object. In the ordikings above stated and distinguished nary and unreflecting states, thereinto two kinds, § 2, 3, and 4. Where fore, of men's minds, it could not be the object consists of the first kind, in otherwise, but that, in the one inwhich the subject infers its own ex- stance, the object must be lost, and istence, and which it refers to its own indistinguishable in the subject; and agency, and identifies with itself, (feels that, in the other, the subject is lost and contemplates as one with itself, and forgotten in the object, to which and as itself,) and yet without con- a necessary illusion had already transfounding the inherent distinction be- ferred that outness, which, in its oritween subject and object, the subject gin, and in right of reason, belongs witnesses to itself that it is a mind, exclusively to the subject, i. e. the i. e. a subject-object, or subject that agent ab extra inferred from the obbecomes an object to itself.
ject. For outness is but the feeling of But where the workings or makings otherness (alterity), rendered intuiof the second sort are the object, from tive, or alterity visually represented. objects of this sort we always infer Hence, and also because we find this the existence of a subject, as in the outness and the objects, to which, former case. But we infer it from though they are, in fact, workings in them, rather than in them; or to ex our own being, we transfer it, indepress the point yet more clearly, we pendent of our will, and apparently infer two subjects. In the object, we common to other minds, we learn to infer our own existence and subjecti- connect therewith the feeling and vity; from them the existence of a sense of reality ; and the objective subject, not our own, and to this we becomes synonimous first with exterrefer the object, as to its proper cause nal, then with real, and at length it and agent. Again, we always infer a was employed to express universal and correspondent subject ; but not always permanent validity, free from the aca mind. Whether we consider this cidents and particular constitution of other subject as another mind, is de individual intellects ; nay, when taken termined by the more or less analogy in its highest and absolute sense, as of the objects or makings of the second free from the inherent limits, partial class to those of the first, and not sel- perspective, and refracting media of dom depends on the varying degrees of the human mind in specie, (idola triour attention and previous knowledge. bûs of Lord Bacon,) as distinguished
Add to these differences the modi- from mind in toto genere. In direct fying influence of the senses, the sense antithesis to these several senses of of sight more particularly, in conse- the term, objective, the subjective has quence of which this subject other than been used as synonimous with, first, we, is presented as a subject out of us. inward ; second, unreal; and third, With the sensuous vividness connects that the cause and seat of which are ed with, and which in part constitutes, to be referred to the special or indivithis outness or outwardness, contrast dual peculiarity of the percipients, the exceeding obscurity and dimness mind, organs, or relative position. Of in the conception of a subject not a course, the meaning of the word in mind; and reflect too, that, to objects any one sentence cannot be definitely of the first kind, we cannot attribute ascertained but by aid of the context, aetual or separative outwardness ; and will vary with the immediate purwhile, in cases of the second kind, we poses, and previous views and persuaare, after a shorter or longer time, sions of the writer. Thus, the egoist, compelled by the law of association to or ultra-idealist, affirms all objects to transfer this outness from the inferred be subjective; the disciple of Malsubject to the present object. Lastly, branche, or of Berkeley, that the obreflect that, in the former instance, jective subsists wholly and solely in the object is identified with the sub- the universal subject--God. A lady, ject, both positively by the act of the otherwise of sound mind, was so afsubject, and negatively by insuscepti- fected by the reported death of her bility of outness in the object; and absent husband, that every night ata
the same hour she saw a figure at the would stickle for the objectivity of foot of her bed, which she identified both.* · with him, and minutely described to Andrew Baxter, again, would take the bystanders, during the continu- a different road from either. He ance of the vision. The husband re- would agree with us in calling the turned, and previous to the meeting, apparition subjective, and the figure Was advised to appear for the first of the husband objective, so far as time at the foot of the bed, at the pre- the ubi of the latter, and its posi. cise instant that the spirit used to tion extra cerebrum, or in outward appear, and in the dress described, in spaces, was in question. But he would the hope that the original might scare differ from us in not identifying the away the counterfeit ; or, to speak agent or proper cause of the formore seriously, in the expectation that mer—i..e. the apparition-with the the impression on her senses from subject beholding. The slape beheld without would meet half-way, as it he would grant to be a making in the were, and repel, or take the place of, beholder's own brain ; but the
facient, the image from the brain. He fol- he would contend, was a several and lowed the advice ; but the moment he other subject, an intrusive supernumetook his position, the lady shrieked rary or squatter in the same tenement out, “ My God! there are two ! and” and work-shop, and working with the -The story is an old one, and you same tools (pava,) as the subject, their may end it, happily or tragically, rightful owner and original occupant. Tate's King Lear or Shakespeare's
, ac- And verily, I could say something in cording to your taste. I have brought favour of this theory, if only I might it as a good instance of the force of put my own interpretation on itthe two words. You and I would having been hugely pleased with the hold the one for a subjective phenome- notion of that father of oddities, and non, the other only for objective, and oddest of the fathers, old TERTULLIAN, perhaps illustrate the fact, as I have who considers these soggetti cattivi, already done elsewhere, by the case of (that take possession of other folk's two appearances seen in juxta-posi- kitchens, pantries, sculleries, and wation, the one by transmitted, and the ter-closets, causing a sad to-do at headother by reflected, light. A believer, quarters,) as creatures of the same according to the old style, whose al- order with the Tæniæ, Lumbrici, and manack of faith has the one trifling Ascarides—i.e. the Round, Tape, and fault of being for the year of our Lord Thread-worms. Dæmones hæe sua one thousand four, instead of one corpora dilatant et contrahunt ut vothousand eight" hundred and twenty, lunt, sicut Lumbrici et alia quædam
Nay, and relate the circumstance for the very purpose of proving the reality or objective truth of ghosts. For the lady saw both! But if this were any proof at all, it would at best be a superfluous proof, and superseded by the bed-posts, &c. For if she saw the real posts at the same time with the ghost, that stood betwixt them, or rather if she continued to see the ghost, spite of the sight of these, how should she not see the real husband ? What was to make the difference between the two solids, or intercept the rays from the husband's dressing-gown, while it allowed free passage to those from the bed-curtain ? And yet I first heard this story from one, who, though professedly an unbeliever in this branch of ancient Pneumatics, (which stood, however, a nitch higher, I suspect, in his good opinion, than Monboddo's ancient Metaphysics,) adduced it as a something on the other side !--A puzzling fact ! and challenged me to answer it. And this, too, was a man no less respectable for talents, education, and active sound sense, than for birth, fortune, and official rank. So strangely are the healthiest judgments suspended by any out-of the way combinations, connected with obscure feelings and inferences, when they happen to have occurred within the narrator's own knowledge ! The pith of this argument in support of ghost-objects, stands thus : B=D: C=D: ergo, B=C. The D, in this instance, being the equal visibility of the figure, and of its real duplicate, a logic that would entitle the logician to dine off a neck of mutton in a looking-glass, and to set his little ones in downright earnest to hunt the rabbits on the wall by candle-light. Things, that fall under the same definition, belong to the same class ; and visible, yet not tangible, is the generic character of reflections, shadows, and ghosts ; and apparitions, their common, and most certainly their proper, Christian name.