Does The Primacy Belong

be perfectly real ised, and which obliges us to explain many things by an external necessity, which is closely allied with contingency, or, at least, leaves much room for it. In like manner, mutatis mutandis Kant bases our experience upon data of sense, of which we can say nothing, except that so they are given. Our mind, indeed, by the aid of principles derived from itself can reduce these data into a fixed and necessary order, and so can construct out of them a world of experience. But it cannot make this world wholly intelligible; it cannot bring it into agreement with the ideas of reason which are bound up with its consciousness of itself. Thus in both philosophies the immediate world of experience is conceived as one in which we continually encounter contingency or external necessity, and it is by abstraction from that world, or rather from the irrational element in it, that we are supposed to attain to the consciousness of an intelligible reality, -which is determined only by idea or spiritual principles of connexion. These principles, however, are to Kant only objects of a practical faith which science cannot verify; while, to Aristotle, they arc the supreme objects of science, and, indeed, if we take the word science in its strictest sense, they are the only objects of scienefo, Now there is a plausible explanation of this difference of view which many modems would be ready to give. It is that Aristotle is still entangled


in the illusive search for formal or final causes which belongs to the metaphysical stage of thought. He has not yet discovered what later philosophers were to discover—that that search is hopeless, and that all we can do is to observe the qualities of things as they present themselves, to determine their quantitative relations, and to find out the laws that govern their co-existence and succession. To attempt anything more is to go beyond the possibility of science ; it is to substitute anthropomorphic fancies for the truths

we are able to ascertain by scientific methods.

we think we discover design in nature, what we see is not her real lineaments, but the reflexion of our own faces: If we can attain to more than this,

the grounds of our belief must be not objective but subjective, not derived from scientific scrutiny of the world without, but by listening to some voice that speaks within us. If, therefore, we have any right to a faith that there is in nature a principle kindred i in some way to our own spirits, and that this principle is the real cause or substance of the world without us, we must find its ground simply in this—that, as Kant showed, we cannot be true to ourselves or live in accordance with the law of our own rational being without presupposing or postulating such a principle.

Hence modern philosophy must speak with a humbler voice than the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

It must not pretend to determine scientifically the

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