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We think M.Cousin is correct, in placing solidity on the same ground with the secondary qualities, in respect to the resemblance between the qualities and our ideas of them. Locke had classed solidity with extension, because these two qualities are essential to the very existence of matter. But in reference to the point now under examination, solidity should be classed with the secondary qualities, as Dugald Stewart has clearly shown. Essay II. ch. ii. $ 2. When we observe the figure of a body, we apprehend distinctly what this figure is. Our idea of it, if not exactly coincident with the real figure, at least resembles it. But in the case of solidity, we have only an obscure idea of something which resists. A marked ground of distinction between the secondary qualities, and extension, one of the primary qualities, is this :--that in the case of extension, we observe distinctly the quality in the object, but scarcely notice the sensation which it produces; whereas, in the case of the secondary qualities, the sensation is much more distinct than the external cause. In reading a book, we see distinctly the figure of the letters. Each of these letters undoubtedly produces a sensation. But it is so faint, that it is difficult to observe it. In the case of extension, the external quality, the object of perception, as being principally noticed, is called, by Mr. Locke, the idea. In the case of the secondary qualities, the sensation, the object of consciousness, is called the idea. This, to our apprehension, explains the mystery of applying the term resemblance, as Locke does, to the one class of ideas, and not to the other.
Cousin proceeds to apply his favorite argument, drawn from a material representative image, a phantasm of his own creation, to space and time. It is unnecessary to repeat, here, the reply which we have already made. But this wonderful material image has not yet done all its execution. Its magic power, under his skillful guidance, has not only swept away matter, with its qualities, and annihilated time and space, but proceeds to spread desolation over the world of minds, and thoughts, and volitions, and feelings. It is affirmed, that, according to Locke's theory, we can have no knowledge of these, because he has said, that knowledge depends upon ideas ; and real knowledge, upon ideas conformed to the reality of things : and Cousin says, that conformity, in all cases, implies resemblance, and that resemblance implies a material image. This is the sum and substance of the argument so often reiterated, and expanded, through forty or fifty pages. Nor bas Cousin yet done with his “material representative image." By dexterous management, he proceeds, in the seventh chapter, to derive from it the idealism of Berkeley, the materialism of Hartley, and the scepticism of Hume. This must be a wonderfully prolific idea. “We know things directly,” says Cousin, “and
without the medium of ideas, or of any other medium.” pp. 176, 177. If by “knowing things directly,” he means, that we know things themselves, and not mere representative ideas, Mr. Locke surely agrees with him in this opinion. His fourth head of the sorts of knowledge, is that of real existence without the mind. B. IV. ch. i. $ 7. “I can no more doubt,” he says, “ whilst I write this, that I see white and black, and that something really exists, that causes that sensation in me, than that I write or move my hand. I think no body can, in earnest, be so sceptical, as to be uncertain of the eristence of those things which he sees and feels. If our dreamer pleases to try, whether the glowing heat of a glass-furnace be barely a wandering imagination, in a drowsy man's fancy; by putting his hand into it, he may, perhaps, be wakened into a certainty, greater than he could wish, that it is something more than bare imagination.” B. IV. ch. ii. $ 2, 3, 8.
But Cousin says, “We know things without the medium of ideas." Does he mean by this, that we know things without thinking of them? If we think of them, and think of them as they are, then they are the very objects of our thoughts, which Mr. Locke calls ideas. Again, Cousin says, “We know things directly, without the medium of ideas, or of any other medium." Does he mean, that we know external things without the use of the senses? Does a man, born blind, first observe colors and visible objects by intuition; and afterwards, when his eyes are opened, see those things only which he had previously known without the use of his eyes? Perhaps Cousin would say, that sensation is the occasion or condition, rather than the medium, of perception. The term is immaterial, if we are agreed, that the use of the senses is a pre-requisite to a knowledge of external objects. The reality of our knowledge, is a point of inquiry not necessarily dependent on the means of knowledge. Mr. Locke justly observes, that “ it takes not from the certainty of our senses, and the ideas that we receive by them, that we know not the manner in which they are produced.” When a man first learns, that an image on the retina is the means or condition of vision, this adds nothing to the strength of his conviction, that he sees distinctly.
Cousin very properly considers it a defect in Locke's Essay, that he has so little to say on the inductive process, so important a department of logic.
• It is to induction that we owe all our conquests over nature, all our discoveries of the laws of the world. For a long time natural philosophers contented themselves with very limited observations which furnished no great results, or with speculations which resulted in nothing but hypotheses. Induction for a long time was only a natural process of the human mind, of which men made use for acquiring the knowledge they needed in respect to the external world, without explaining it, and Vol. VII.
without its passing from practice into science. It is to Bacon, chiefly, we owe, not the invention, but the discovery and scientific exposition of this process. It is strange that Locke, a countryman of Bacon, and who belongs to his school, should in his classification of the modes of knowledge, have permitted precisely that one to escape hiin to which the school of Bacon has given the greatest celebrity, and placed in the clearest light.' pp. 190, 191.
We fully concur with Cousin, in the opinion which he has expressed, of the inexpediency of limiting the term knowledge, as Locke has done, to absolute certainty, to intuition and demonstration, and of restricting the term judgment to cases of probable evidence. This is departing from customary usage, without evident necessity. The word judgment is employed by logicians, to signify that act of the mind, which, expressed in language, forms an affirmative or negative proposition, whether the truth of it be certain or only probable.
"We either know in a certain and absolute manner, or we know merely in a manner more or less probable. Locke chooses to employ the term knowledge exclusively to signify absolute knowledge, that which is raised above all probability. The knowledge which is wanting in certainty, simple conjecture, or presumption more or less probable, he calls judgment.
But the general usage of all languages is contrary to so limited a sense of the word knowledge ; a certain knowledge, or a probable knowledge, is always spoken of as knowledge in its different degrees. It is 80 in regard to judgment. As languages have not confined the term knowledge to absolute knowledge, so they have not limited the term judgment to knowledge merely probable. In some cases we pass certain and decisive judgments ; in others we pass judgments which are only probable, or even purely conjectural. In a word, judgments are infallible, or doubtful in various degrees ; but doubtful or infallible, they are always judgments, and this distinction between knowledge as exclusively infallible, and judgment as being exclusively probable, is verbal distinction altogether arbitrary and barren.' pp. 191, 192.
This distinction has not been generally adopted by succeeding writers. But, as Locke himself adlieres to it, it is necessary to keep it in mind, while reading that part of his Essay, the fourth book, which treats of knowledge and judgment.
Bút Cousin has a more weighty objection to Locke's account of knowledge; that he makes it to consist altogether in the agreement or disagreement of our ideas. We have no partiality for the terms agreement and disagreement, used in his definition. When we affirm, that Robert abhors lying, do we mean to be understood to say, that Robert and lying agree? Yet this must be the construction, according to Locke's application of the term.
For he uses the expression agreement and disagreement, as synonymous with affirmation and negation: or, more exactly, agreement, according to him, is that relation which is verbally expressed in an affirmative proposition ; and disagreement is that relation which is expressed in a negative proposition. B. IV. ch. v. 8 5; and ch. vii. 3 2.
“ Truth and falsehood being never without some affirmation or negation, express or tacit, it is not to be found, but where signs are joined or separated, according to the agreement or disagreement of the things they stand for." B. II. ch. xxxii.
19. See also, B. II. ch. xxxii. $ 3. B. IV. ch. i. $ 3; and ch. ii. 37. And Cousin himself says, that “all our knowledge is resolvable, in the last analysis, into affirmations of true or false, into judgments." p. 215.
But the great objection of Cousin, is, that this affirmation or negation is represented by Locke, as expressing the agreement or disagreement of our ideas ; nothing but ideas. This renders all our knowledge ideal. And to what does this amount, when interpreted according to Locke's meaning of idea? Simply to this, that we have no knowledge of things, without thinking of them. Does Cousin show us in what other way we obtain any knowledge? He admits, that in the abstract sciences, arithmetic and geometry," the theory of Locke is perfectly sound.” pp. 193-6. But it breaks down, in its application to real existence. It does not even account for our knowledge of the primary truth, I exist. Why not? Because that, in order to know it, we must not take it for granted. We must “ seek to find it." We must “search after it.” To obtain it, we must first separate the two logical terms, I and existence, that we may bring them together again, and observe their agreement. But the term I, disjoined from existence, is not the real living self, but a mere abstraction. And the term existence, disjoined from myself, is not my existence, but a mere abstraction also. Now the relation between two abstract terms, must be an abstract relation. And by putting the terms together, we obtain an abstract agreement between an abstract self and abstract existence; not the concrete proposition, I exist. pp. 196-8.
This, if we understand the writer, is the substance of what he considers a “somewhat subtle” and “prolonged discussion,” extended, in its different applications, through twelve or fifteen pages. Now we would ask, what is there, in all the writings of Locke, to furnish the slightest apology for this absurd representation? Does his theory imply, that we must go through a process of abstraction, and con parison, and deduction, to find the knowledge of our own existence ? Can we never see the agreement between two ideas, till we have first considered them as separated, disjoined from each other? Does Locke say, that to obtain the knowledge of our own existence, we must first consider it as un
known, for the sake of proving it? He states, that we know it by intuition. And what is intuition ? “ This part of knowledge, he says, “is irresistible, and like bright sunshine, forces itself to be perceived, as soon as ever the mind turns its view that way.” Does M. Cousin refer us to any knowledge more direct than this? Here no logical process of disjoining, and abstracting, and comparing, and inferring.
But Cousin says, “The theory of Locke not only makes the human mind begin with abstraction, but also to derive the concrete from the abstract; while in point of fact, you could never have had the abstract, if you had not previously had the concrete.” pp. 202, 203. Now what does Locke say ? Speaking of abstract general maxims, he says, “That they are not the truths first known to the mind, is evident to experience.” “Such self-evident truths must be first known, which consist of ideas, that are first in the mind; and the ideas first in the mind, 'tis evident, are those of particular things; from whence, by slow degrees, the understanding proceeds to some few general ones. “For abstract ideas are not so obvious or easy to children, or the yet unexercised mind, as particular ones." ' B. IV. ch. vii. $ 9. Jf in the concrete proposition, I exist, the terms I and exist are so distinct, that we can understand the meaning of the expression ; no farther abstraction is necessary, to enable us to see the truth of it. Seeing the agreement between our ideas, is not, according to Locke, a method by which we are to arrive at knowledge, but it is that in which knowledge consists.
The "subtle”, argument, in the commencement of the ninth chapter of Cousin, is of the same character with that which we have now been examining. He says, that according to the theory of Locke, every judgment implies comparison; a comparison between two terms. But in cases of real existence, at least, terms must be known, before they can be compared. There must, therefore, be some knowledge before any act of comparison ; that is, before any judgment. pp. 213—216. But, in the judgment which Cousin calls primitive, are there not the two terms which constitute the subject and the predicate of a proposition, as in his own example, I exist? And does Locke's theory require any other comparison between these, than what is implied in seeing intuitively the truth of the proposition ?
We fully agree with Cousin, that “one of the best chapters of Locke, is thať on Faith and Reason.” “ Locke assigns the exact province of reason and faith. He indicates their relative office, and their distinct limits.” p. 232.
It is one of Cousin's favorite principles, that every scheme of philosophy contains some truth and some error, and that error retains its hold on the human mind, only by being intimately blended with truth.