? cannot be sure that any external world exists apart from mind. Berkeley?s idealism, however, was objective; for he maintained that while things do not exist independently of consciousness, they do exist independently of our consciousness, namely, in the mind of God, who in a correct philosophy takes the place of a mindless external world as the cause of our ideas. Kant, in like manner, held to existences outside of our own minds, although line regarded these existences as unknown and unknowable. Over against these forms of objective idealism we must put the subjective idealism of Hume, who held that internally also we cannot be sure of anything but mental phenomena; we know thoughts, feelings and volition, but we do not know mental substance within, any more than we know material substance without: our ideas are a string of beads, without any string; we need no cause for these ideas, in an external world, a soul, or God. Mill, Spencer, Bain and Tyndall are Humists, and it is their subjective idealism, which we oppose.
All these regard the material atom as a mere center of force, or a hypothetical cause of sensations. Matter is therefore a manifestation of force, as to the old materialism force was a property of matter. But if matter, mind and God are nothing but sensations, then the body itself is nothing but sensations. There is no body to have the sensations, and no spirit, either human or divine, to produce them. John Stuart Mill, in his Examination of Sir William Hamilton, 1:234-253, makes sensations the only original sources of knowledge. He defines matter as ?a permanent possibility of sensation,? and mind as ?a series of feelings aware of itself.? So Huxley calls matter ?only a name for the unknown cause of the states of consciousness?; although he also declares: ?If I am compelled to choose between the materialism of a man like Buchner and the idealism of Berkeley, I would have to agree with Berkeley.? He would hold to the priority of matter and yet regard matter as wholly ideal. Since John Stuart Mill, of all the materialistic idealists, gives the most precise definitions of matter and of mind, we attempt to show the inadequacy of his treatment.
The most complete refutation of subjective idealism is that of Sir William Hamilton, in his Metaphysics, 348-372, and Theories of Sense perception ? the reply to Brown. See condensed statement of Hamilton?s view, with estimate and criticism, in Porter, Human Intellect, 236-240, and on Idealism, 129, 132. Porter holds that original perception gives us simply affections of our own sensorium; as cause of these, we gain knowledge of extended externality. So Sir William Hamilton: ?Sensation proper has no object but a subject-object.? But both Porter and Hamilton hold that through these sensations we know that which exists independently of our sensations. Hamilton?s natural realism, however, was an exaggeration of
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