« PreviousContinue »
tempt the solution. But then it must ferred you before to the botanist, so be under certain conditions. I must now to the chemist. Light, heat, charbe able to hope, I must have sufficient coal, are every man's words. But fixed grounds for hoping, that I shall be or invisible light? The frozen heat ? understood, or rather that I shall be Charcoal in its simplest form as diaallowed to make myself understood. mond, or as black-lead? Will a stranAnd as I am gifted with no magnetic ger to chemistry be worse off, would power of throwing my reader into the the chemist's language be less likely to state of clear-seeing (clairvoyance) or be understood by his using different luminous vision; as I have not the words for distinct meanings, as carbon, secret of enabling him to read with caloric, and the like? the pit of his stomach, or with his But the case is still stronger. The finger-ends, nor of calling into act chemist is compelled to make words,
the cuticular faculty," dormant at in order to prevent or remove some erthe tip of his nose; but must rely on ror connected with the common word; WORDS—I cannot form the hope ra- and this too an error, the continuance tionally, unless the reader will have of which was incompatible with the patience enough to master the sense first principles and elementary truths in which I use them.
of the science he is to teach. You But why employ words that need ex must submit to regard yourself ignoplanation? And might I not ask in rant even of the words, air and water; my turn, would you, gentle reader! and will find, that they are not chemiput the same question to Sir Edward cally intelligible without the terms, Smith, or any other member of the oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, or others Linnean Society, to whom you had equivalent. Now it is even so with applied for instruction in Botany ? the knowledge, which you would have And yet he would require of you that me to communicate. There are ceryou should attend to a score of techni- tain prejudices of the common,
i. cal terms, and make yourself master the average sense of men, the, exposure of the sense of each, in order to your of which is the first step, the indispene understanding the distinctive charac- sable preliminary, of all rational psy, ters of a grass, a mushroom, and a chology: and these cannot be exposed lichen! Now the psychologist, or spe- but by selecting and adhering to some culative philosopher, will be content one word, in which we may be able with you,
you will impose on your, to trace the growth and modifications self the trouble of understanding and of the opinion or belief conveyed in remembering one of the number, in this, or similar words, not by any reorder to understand your own nature. volution or positive change of the oriBut I will meet your question direct. ginal sense, but by the transfer of this You ask me, why I use words that sense and the difference in the applia need explanation ? Because (I reply) on cation. this subject there are no others ! Be Where there is but one word for cause the darkness and the main diffi- two or more diverse or disparate meanculties that attend it, are owing to the ings in a language, (or though there vagueness and ambiguity of the words should be several, yet if perfect synoin common use; and which preclude nimes
, they count but for one word, all explanation for him who has re- the language is so far defective. And solved that none is required. Because this is a defect of frequent oceurrence there is already a falsity in the very,
in all languages, prior to the cultivaphrases, “ words in common use; tion of science, logic and philology, “ the language of common sense." especially of the two latter : and among Words of most frequent use they may a free, lively, and ingenious people, be, common they are not; but the lan- such as the Greeks were, sophistry guage of the market, and as such, ex- and the influence of sophists are the pressing degrees only, and therefore inevitable result. To check this evil mcompetent to the purpose wherever by striking at its root in the ambigui. it becomes necessary to designate the ty of words, Plato wrote the greater kind independent of all degree. The part of his published works, which do philosopher may, and often does, ema not so much contain his own system ploy the same words as in the market; of philosophy, as the negative condibut does this supersede the necessity tions of reasoning aright on any sys of a previous explanation ? As I re- tem. And yet more obviously is it
the case with the Metaphysics, 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 funcy-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 limite rit, or whatever other cause disposes ed.
If as the price of much entertainmen in general to attach an exclusive ment 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 ato mother 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 nécessary, I have common language exists every where brought it under the eye in numbered as the menstruum, and no where as the paragraphs, with schntia or commentwholeSee 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. COLERIDGÉ.
It is no
On the Philosophic import of the Words, OBJECT and SUBJECT.
$ 1. Existence is a simple intuition, underived and indecomponible. 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. Herein 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 fuct: 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 wantit 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 conceivableought to stand thus: the idea of God nese (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 demonstramàticum,) 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 κινησεις, 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, never, theless, 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 nigartsis; 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, Ts Tarxets; 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-pre. the 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. TI05, TATTW, passive, as so called in technical gram+ Factw, 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 deada division psychologically
into another. Tu moisis; what are you necessary, but of doubtful philosophia doing?. 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, presenees, 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 feel. ing, 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 interarises 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 exist ce 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 (oupe Bona) 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 ordi
kings above stated and distinguished nary and unreflecting states, there1 into 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 exstance, 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 ic and as itself,) and yet without con a necessary illusion had already trans
founding 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 subjeet 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, inden press 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 extera refer 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 connect 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, actual 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 afa subject, and negatively by insuscepti- fected by the reported death of her bility of outness in the object; and absent husband, that every night at