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not live to complete his Social Ethics or the science of the rights and duties arising from the various relations in which man stands to man in actual every-day life.
It would lead us altogether apart from the main line of our subject were we to notice the theories of St. Simon and Fourier, but we can scarcely with justice omit from our brief catalogue raisonnel the name of Auguste Comte, whose indebtedness to Vico, though unacknowledged, is very marked, but whose power of intellect and extraordinary fertility of generalization enabled him to suggest and in some measure expound, as the very head and copestone of philosophy, the science of sociology, or the investigation of the phenomena of corporate life, of man in a state of society. In the three volumes of his “ Course of Positive Philosophy," which he devotes to social science, M. Comte, following Hegel's “German Footprints” with the graceful urbanity of a Frenchman-gives an epitome and review of the history of the world, points out the unsystematic anarchy of political doctrines, and suggests a new positive politics by which, if states are duly regulated according to his laws, the universal happiness of humanity may be, nay must be, secured. Comte's ob in this department of his course is to discover the laws of continuous progress, and to determine the line of march taken by man in his gradual and sure development through all the successive changes which constitute orderly social progress. Social science considers each historical phenomena past, actual, or proposed from a double point of view,-1, Its harmony with coexisting phenomena ; 2, Its connection with anterior and posterior con. ditions of human development. Among the sociological views of Comte there are to be found many striking ideas and many generalizations of great sweep and prevailing strength. “His work is hitherto” (1851), says ). S. Mill,“ the only known example of the study of social phenomena according to this (i.e. the scientific) conception of the Historical Method.” This distinguished logician and remarkable thinker has so far given in his adhesion to the Comtist school of speculative politics that he affirms that when“ a philosophy of history is deemed to be at once the verification and the initial form of the philosophy of the progress of society,”—“no important branch of human affairs will be any longer abandoned to empiricism and unscientific surmise; the circle of human knowledge will be complete, and it can only thereafter receive further enlargement by perpetual expansion from within.” Besides J. S. Mill many other notable thinkers coincide in accepting the results of Comtean positivism–G. H. Lewes, T. H. Buckle, Harriet Mar, tineau, Charles Bray, Alexander Bain, as well as the “ new Oxford school," of which Congreve, Bridges, Saunders, Bryce, Nichol, &c., are illuminati : these writers, together with many of the contributors to the various sections of the serial press, expound, pursue, and apply the tenets of the Comtean philosophy both in the speculative and the practical departments of politics; and positivism is becoming in a great measure the fashionable doctrine of sociology in our day. The Social Science Association has likewise given a definite place and power to controversial thought on the principles of philosophic politics.
Not only as an expositor of Comtism, however, does J. S. Mill require mention among those who have honourably devoted them. selves to the evolution and advocacy of speculative politics. In his “Considerations on Representative Government” he has added to the philosophy of politics one of it most valuable treasures, and in his almost Miltonic treatise “ On Liberty," he seems to us to have marked off the circle of the human spirit beyond which law and social power ought not to enter, and within which morality, religion, and the conscience of the individual ought alone to reign.
Among other thinkers to whom the progress of the philosophy of politics is due, Samuel Bailey of Sheffield deserves, not only for his intrinsic merits, but for the influence he exerted (apparently) upon the minds of both the Mills. In his “ Rationale of Political Representation " the theoretical grounds of representative government are clearly laid down and his opinions are boldly drawn out to their practical results. Nor ought the name of the great critic of *Democracy in America”- Alexis de Tocqueville-to be forgotten. “He has applied,” J. S. Mill being our witness, “ to the greatest question in the art and science of government those principles and methods of philosophizing to which mankind are indebted for all the advances made by modern times in the other branches of the study of nature. It is not too much to affirm of these volumes that they contain the first analytical inquiry into the influence of Democracy." We should notice too as a strong-minded guide “On the Methods of Observation and Reasoning in Politics," and as the author of a remarkable, somewhat Platonic, dialogue, on “The best Form of Government,” the scholarly statesman and sage political speculator, Sir G. C. Lewis-a thinker of rare genius, devotion, and accuracy, a politician of genuine honesty and true worth.
Our enumeration—though we have noted scarcely a tithe, only a mere scantling, of those thinkers who have given diligent labour to the solution of the problems of social life and civic welfare-bas been enough, we presume, to prove that the topic on which we propose to offer a few observations is one of no slight significance in the speculations of the past, of no small interest in the history of thought, and of considerable importance in its relation to the present. To each one whose influence is used, or is likely to be used, in practical politics, it must be of importance to have correct ideas regarding the primary principles and first elements of the conditions of social and civic life, happiness, and freedom. Eighteen years ago we asserted that the progress of humanity would result in an increase of political power to the mass, and expressed our conviction that the true preparation for the proper performance of the functions thus likely to be devolved upon a wider class by the enfranchisement, foreshadowed as probable and attainable, was a thorough study of the art of reasoning, and the acquisition of a mastery of the power of expressing thought in terse and telling words. With the view of placing such provisional preparation within reach of our readers, we projected our popular expositions of the principles of Logic, our plain though pbilosophical epitome of the elements of Rhetoric, and our several contributions on Self-culture. The necessity and advantage of the possession of intellectual training and moral education as a preliminary, if possible, but at least as an accompaniment to extended political influence, was foreseen and advocated. We bave now to follow up the preparatory teaching of past years by the presentation of thoughts more closely appropriate to present circumstances, and we cannot but believe that we may usefully lay before our readers a few of our gatherings and garnerings concerning the philosophy of politics.
It is to be remarked that we do not intend to enter into the debateable regions of details or to interfere at all with the discussion of the current topics of practical legislation, jurisprudence, or social economy. Our purpose does not extend to the elaboration of a new, fresh, just-born scheme for determining the laws and indicating the processes by, which all the happiness possible upon earth com: pressible within the life of man may be necessarily produced, and so distributed among all men as to make prosperity inevitable among all the members of the body politic. So to mend the world is å design too herculean for us to attempt. An endeavour of a far humbler sort prompts our efforts. We desire as far as possible, with our powers and opportunities, to circulate in society sound and sensible views concerning the nature and possibilities of legislative influence upon the happiness and prosperity of individuals, to point out the limits of the desirable and the acquirable through political change, and to give some general notions of the true aims and ends of societarian incorporation in the form of a State. We have an ambition to be found suggestors of methods of thonght and forms of reasoning, of ways of looking at the facts of social life so as to discover what they teach, and of considering the problems arising in the course of political speculation in such a manner as to derive thence some aid towards their true solution. We have no factious dogmatics on politics to enforce or any set of pet precepts to advocate in a didactic form; we wish rather to inform regarding the system of thinking from which hopeful results may be expected, than to work out into their results a series of ideas postulated in our own mind beforehand as irrefragable, undoubted and correct. We want to get at the inner spirit and core of civic incorporation, to learn what the essence of politics is, and to trace from the centre the radiations of the interjacent vitalities out of which customs, laws, and social conditions manifest themselves. Political society as a growth, politics as a tree bearing all manner of fruits according to the culture bestowed upon it, government as the brain of the body politic, will come under our consideration, but we shall sedulously abstain from injecting into our articles any of the spirit of faction, any of the gall and wormwood of partizanship. As a philo
sophical speculation leading to and resulting in interesting and universally valuable truths, if we can get at them—we intend to hold the entire system of our thoughts before us and so to exhibit them to our readers that they may—to whichever party they incline
- find that there are seed-truths and germs of political reflection of which it is advisable to know the properties and outcome, at the same time that in the system of evolution employed in our papers, they may notice the manner in which truth may be found to grow from truth, and each may be seen to give off from itself a new centre of fertility, with vast latencies of fructification under suitable management.
It may also be well to state at the outset that we make no pretension to cover the whole field of speculative politics with our thoughts, and do not for a moment dream of matching the cursory reflections possible in our projected papers with the magnificent and beneficial outcome of the minds of many of those whose names we have previously quoted as contributors to the literature of philosophic politics. We wish but to pioneer the way to farther investigations, only to show and suggest the plenitude of truth which lies discoverable before the mind possessed of insight when it explores with earnestness and in accordance with the proper forms of reasoned thougth, the metaphysics of statesmanship, of the science of legislation and of the conditions of the welfare of human societies.
"Philosophy is the science of first principles," a loving search into the primal causes of things and the connections which subsist among them. Each department of knowledge may be said to have its philosophy, because it rests and relies upon some principles and causes which, being alternate, are common to all special exercises of thought, some common fund of primitive cognitions, which are not the product but the conditions of the mind's own activity, and which we must accept as implied in the very constitution and possession of intellectual life. Men are impressed by and are thus led to examine into and investigate phenomena, but man is not satisfied till he has traced these back to their causes, and these again to their laws, and then he endeavours to penetrate beyond the laws and causes of phenomena to learn, if possible, the rational principles out of which these laws arise, and according to which these causes act and these phenomena are. This is philosophy properly so called, the mother and queen of science-the science of sciences, the intuitive source of discursive thought. To pierce down into thought 80 as to reach these fundamental certainties, these primary grounds of future knowledge, or rather to trace back the vitalities of the reason to this first life-essence and originative germ, is truly to philosophize ; and the ground-strata or basement on which and from which we proceed to build up any given series of specific thoughts into a science, or the primitive elements which we adopt as the justifying and reasonable causes of our practice, is in the common and current language of our day termed the philosophy of that science, art, or practice.
Politics signifies the science of social life. The theory which regulates the practice of civic government in its endeavour to accomplish the ends of social co-existence, and to promote the welfare of the members of the entire community in all such ways and by all such manners as individuals themselves, or subordinate associations of individuals, cannot advantageously enter upon or carry into effect, is understood as comprehended under the term politics. Aristotle uses the word Politeia to denote a constitution or government administered according to law. It does not necessary imply that the legislation employed has been determined upon for the purpose of securing the greatest common good of the members of the community, so that they enjoy a share in the sovereign power, or any control over the potential governors. But it does imply freedom from the necessity of obedience, or enforced submission, to any extraneous power on the part of the government, and a habit or necessity of obedience or submission, voluntary or enforced, on the part of the constituents of the community to the legislation of those who wield the powers in the State. It implies social or allied life. Politics might be called the ethics of nations ; or of the rights of man in a gregarious condition, in a partnership of aim, effort and intent, in a confederacy to accomplish some object or maintain some state as a community. Safety, peace, and prosperity are the conditions of comfortable life. Hence a govern. ment is an embodiment in some form or other of the might of the community for defence against any interference from without in regard to its autonomy, self-governing rights or independence; for the augmentation of its strength in comparison with other states, and of its resources, not only in relation to other communities, but also in comparison with its former condition ; for the protection of its members in their concerted or customary rights among themselves, and as regards others; as well as for the improvement of the condition, wealth, morals, and happiness of those who are subject to the laws it imposes. Politics is the science of the laws which regulate mankind in their relations to each other as individuals and as members of civic communities; and it includes constitutional, legislative, and administrative arrangements for the securing of the greatest possible amount of equity in the dealings of man with mar and state with state in accordance with the aim, interest, and primary condition of the members among themselves, and in their relation to foreign or external authorities. Before we can comprehend the full signification of politics, we must conceive and realize the fact, that man is peculiarly differentiated by the characteristic, that he is capable of self-control, that he is an embodied Will, that he alone is amenable, intellectually, to the determinations of a Sovereign Will. Hence it is that we speak of the body corporate, because government, as the supreme regulating force of the State, acts towards it as will operates in the human frame, that is, as a protector, as a self-sufficing assertor of selfhood, and as a planner, thinker, and actor for the preservation