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below any ideal he might have reached. He is only at: any point what the sum of natural factors which enter into his being have made him. The two conceptions of sin and of development, in this naturalistic sense, cannot coexist. I cannot be the outcome of natural law and yet accountable for the fact that I am no better than I am."

Carneri, Jaeger, and others have attempted to apply Darwinism to morals. Miss Cobbe, Ebrard, R. Schmid, Trümpelmann, Wigand, and others, have criticised it in this relation.

NOTE XX., page 183.

POSITIVISM AND ITS Schools. The chief works regarding positivism published before 1874 were mentioned on p. 259 of my · Philosophy of History in France and Germany.' The following publications may be specified as having appeared since that date: Many excellent papers by M. Pillon, and some by M. Renouvier, in the Critique Philosophique' for the years 1875 and 1878; 'La Philosophie Positive, a review, edited by MM. Littré and Wyrouboff ; ‘La Revue Occidentale,' edited by M. Pierre Lafitte; the articles of Mr Harrison on “The Religious and Conservative Aspects of Positivism,” in the “Contemporary Review,' vols. xxvi. and xxvii. ; É. Littré, ‘Fragments de Philosophie Positive' (1876); M. Ferraz, · Étude sur la Philosophie en France,' ch. vi. (1877); M. Caro on ‘M. Littré et la Positivisme' (1883); E. Caird, 'The Social Philosophy and Religion of Comte'; H. Gruber, ‘August Comte, der Begründer des Positivismus,' and 'Der Positivismus vom Tode August Comte's bis auf unsere

Tage' (1857-1891); and R. Flint’s ‘Historical Philosophy in France,' ch. x.

Positivists who acknowledge any allegiance to Comte may be thus grouped in relation to him. First, those who accept his system as a whole—the philosophy, the polity, and the religion. Their head, the present Comtist pontiff, is M. Lafitte; and among their representatives in France are M. Audiffrent, Dr Robinet, and M. Sémerie; and in England Dr Bridges, Mr Congreve, and Mr Harrison. Their literary organ is the 'Revue Occidentale.' Second, those who accept the entire general philosophy of Comte, but reject his polity and religion. Their acknowledged chief was M. Littré; M. Naquet, Dr Robin, and M. Wyrouboff are now among their best known representatives. Their organ, ‘La Philosophie Positive,' was founded in 1867. Third, those who do not accept even the philosophy of Comte as a whole, but who profess to receive the spirit, method, and prin. ciples of his teaching as to the doctrine of science. They are often called English positivists, although, of course, writers like M. Taine must be included among them. They are simply phenomenalists and experimentalists. They have no common system of doctrine, and their Comtism is so variable as to be indefinable.

Positivism is a hopelessly ambiguous term, and has been claimed by and applied to diverse and dissimilar theories. Some consider themselves positivists because they are positive that matter is the only reality; others because they are positive that sensation is the source and measure of all knowledge; others because they are positive that there is no God, no soul, and no future life; others because they are positive that there is nothing positively certain ; and others for other reasons.

Note XXI., page 193.


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Mr J. Morley and Dr Paulsen have expressed their dissent from my views as to Comte's so-called “ law of three states," but neither of them has really dealt with the facts which I adduced as irreconcilable with it. My account of its history has been abundantly confirmed by M. Pillon in Nos. 6, 8, 10, 11, 23, 24, and 25, of the *Critique Philosophique' for 1875. These articles gave much offence to M. Audiffrent, Robinet, Sémerie, and the orthodox positivists generally, but they are quite accurate and conclusive.

Dr Paulsen's reason (see his able review of my 'Philosophy of History' in the ‘Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie,' Bd. 8, Hft. 4) for maintaining the consistency of Comte's alleged law with theism, is that theism is a form of belief, but not a kind of knowledge. There is here involved a twofold oversight: for, first, Comte's law is not a law of states of knowledge but of states of belief; and, second, the assertion that theism is belief but not knowledge is unproved, and stands in great need of proof.

The inadequacy and self-contradictions of the so-called law of three states will be found clearly pointed out in Shield's Philosophia Ultima, vol. i., pt. ii., ch. ii., pp. 287-314; and in Caird's Social Philosophy of Comte.'

Note XXII., page 209.


There is an excellent account of the Comtist religion, and much interesting information as to its history, in the essay “Positivism” in Principal Tulloch's 'Modern Theories in Philosophy and Religion.'

As to the French orthodox positivists, M. Ribot remarks,—“Many of them are animated with a truly religious faith, and I have heard them speak with an enthusiasm worthy of the brightest epoch of the middle age.” They can hardly surpass in zeal and unction some of their English brethren. The ‘Sermons' of Mr Congreve, and the articles of Mr Harrison on the religious aspects of positivism, show pulpit qualifications of a very high order, and especially a fervour which reminds one sometimes of Jeremy Taylor, and sometimes of Samuel Rutherford.

Dr M'Cosh’s ‘Positivism and Christianity' is less rhetorical but more reasonable. Mr C. Staniland Wake, in ‘The Evolution of Morality,' vol. ii. ch. viii., takes, perhaps, somewhat too favourable a view of the “Religion of Humanity.” He recognises, however, the defects in Comte's conception of the Grand-Être, and justly insists that the merits which it possesses are ethical rather than religious.

NOTE XXIII., page 232.


Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, Thomas Paine, Robert Taylor, Richard Carlile, and Robert Owen, may be described as those who directly prepared the way for the secularist movement. Bentham and Mill did so by the manner in which they inculcated utilitarianism and political reform, not by the explicit avowal of their atheistical opinions. As to their attitude towards religion, see Professor Bain's remarks in ‘Mind,' vol. ii. p. 527, and J. S. Mill's Autobiography, pp. 38-44, 69, 70. The attacks of Paine, Taylor, and Carlile on Christianity were animated by a spirit which could not stop short of bitter antagonism to all religion. There is a memoir of Paine by Cheetham (1809), and another by Rickman (1815); an account of Taylor in Iconoclast, and Watts' 'Half-Hours with the Freethinkers;' and a notice of Carlile, by Holyoake (1853). Paine and Taylor professed to be deists; the latest creed of Carlile was a kind of naturalism presented in a strange semi-scriptural phraseology. Paine's views must be sought for in his Theological Works; Taylor's in the 'Devil's Pulpit'and ‘Diegesis ;' and Carlile's in the volumes of the Republican,' Lion,''Christian Warrior, &c. The influence of the benevolent utopianist, Robert Owen, was decidedly secularist and anti-religious. He identified God with nature, or at least with “the mysterious power in nature which permeates every particle of the elements which compose the universe." A list of his principal works will be found in Mr Holyoake's notice of his “Life and Last Days' (1859).

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