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is the argument employed by Tyndall in the quotation given in the lecture. Striking statements to the same effect will be found in Du Bois-Reymond's 'Ueber die Grenzen des Naturerkennens, pp. 20, 21, and in Dr Ferrier's 'Functions of the Brain,' pp. 255, 256. Says the former: “I will now prove conclusively, as I believe, that not only is consciousness unexplained by material conditions in the present state of our science (which all will admit), but that, in the very nature of things, it never can be explained by these conditions. The most exalted mental activity is no more incomprehensible in its material conditions than is the first grade of consciousness—namely, sensation. With the first awakening of pleasure and pain experienced upon earth by some creature of the simplest structure appeared an impassable gulf, and the world became doubly incomprehensible.” Says the latter: “We may succeed in determining the exact nature of the molecular changes which occur in the brain when a sensation is experienced, but this will not bring us one whit nearer the explanation of the nature of that which constitutes the sensation. The one is objective and the other subjective, and neither can be expressed in terms of the other.”
III. Materialism fails to explain the unity of consciousness. This is an old because an obvious argument, but the ablest thinkers in Europe still regard it as valid and invincible. It has been presented with masterly skill by Lotze both in his 'Medical Psychology' and in his 'Mikrokosmos.' A careful statement of it, with reference to recent theories, will also be found in an article by Prof. Bowen in the Princeton Review' for March 1878– “Dualism, Materialism, or Idealism ? "
IV. The consciousness of personal identity is also a
fact with which materialism has not yet succeeded in showing that it can be reconciled. There is no doubt as to the fact. Thought, memory, and the sense of responsibility, amply attest it. Have materialists shown how it can be harmonised with the hypothesis that man is merely body, and the certainty that all the elements and atoms of the body are in perpetual change and circulation? The answer must be in the negative. This seems to me to be very convincingly proved in M, Janet's ‘Materialism of the Present Day,' ch. vii.
V. Another mental fact with which materialism has not yet shown itself to be reconcilable is self-consciousness. In self-consciousness the mind distinguishes itself from all material objects, including all the organs of its own body. It appears to itself to know and feel itself to be distinct from the external world, distinct from its body, distinct from its brain. It may, of course, be mistaken: this apparent opposition of body and soul which is essentially inherent in self-consciousness may be an illusion altogether, or there may be some way of transcending it which will allow us to assign to it a certain value, and yet to identify soul and body; but materialism has certainly hitherto failed to show it to be mistaken, and has never even dealt seriously with the problem which the fact referred to presents. The problem is not one likely to be solved by merely calling body “object-consciousness," and the soul a “side," or by any similar verbal perversities.
VI. Materialism does not account for the internal spontaneity or the self-activity which is characteristic of mind. It has not yet proved either that we are moved wholly from without, or that we are mere automata. It claims to have done so, but the claim has for
tunately not been made good. On this point see Meyer's
Philosophische Zeitfragen,' k. viii. ; the paper of Prof. Huxley in the 'Fortnightly Review' for Nov. 1874, on the question—"Are animals automata ?" the articles of Dr Carpenter, Prof. Mivart, and the Duke of Argyll in the Contemporary Review' during 1875, suggested by it; and Dr Elam's 'Automatism and Evolution.'
VII. Materialism is irreconcilable with the moral feelings of human nature.
Note XIX., page 174.
MATERIALISM AND MORALITY.
M. Tissot has endeavoured to show, in his 'Principes du droit public' (liv. ii. ch. i.), that materialism does not necessarily preclude belief in God, free-will, moral law, and a future life. His argument is skilfully presented, but it is not conclusive; indeed, it will be found when strictly examined to amount merely to the plea that since materialism is essentially inconsistent, we have no right to demand that it shall be consistent, or to censure its special inconsistencies. He contends that because materialism ascribes force to matter, it may with equal reason ascribe to it life ; that if it may hold matter to be capable of life, it may likewise hold it to be capable of thought; that when it acknowledges matter may think, nothing forbids it also to admit, on the testimony of consciousness, that matter may be, in certain circumstances, possessed of free-will; and that to whatever it assigns free-will it may assign true morality. Now what such argumentation really proves is, not that materialism is innocuous, but that it is absurd—not that it is compatible with morality, but that it is incompatible with reason. It shows that materialism starts from the first with the assumption that matter is not matter, but something more than matter, and that at every onward step it has renewed recourse to this assumption; in other words, it shows that materialism is consistently unreasonable.
The views of morality actually taught by many contemporary materialists are extremely debasing. It would be easy and perhaps useful to prove this by quotations, but it would also be painful, and I refrain. Mivart (Lessons from Nature, ch. xiii.), J. B. Meyer (Phil. Zeitfragen, kap. ix.), and various other writers, have touched on the subject. It is lamentable to observe how widely heathenish and even brutish sentiments as to individual and social morality are springing forth, especially in Germany, from the materialism which is at present prevalent.
The argument from conscience against naterialism is thus stated by an able American author, Prof. G. P. Fisher: “No man of sane mind can deny that the phenomena of the moral nature are as real as any which the senses or instruments of a physicist can observe. They are facts which science, in the large sense of the term, must take notice of or abdicate its functions. To ignore the vast and various phenomena which connect themselves with the sense of moral responsibleness is impossible. What account shall be given of moral praise and blame--of self-approval and censure? Here these feelings are, and here they always have been. Do they testify to the truth? If they do not, then away with the language which only serves to deceive; away with all the multiform expressions of moral approbation or condemnation; away with courts of law and the other infinitely various manifestations of the sense of justice and moral accountableness on which the entire fabric of social life reposes! The evolutionist must allow that these verdicts of the moral faculty, be their genesis what it may, are as valid as are any judgments of the intellect. The moral discernment rests on as solid a foundation as the intellectual perceptions. Now apply the doctrine that the determinations of the will—the faithfulness of St John and the treachery of Judas alike—are the necessary effect of atomic movements of matter. They simply indicate a certain molecular action of the matter in a corner of the brain. Their moral approval or condemnation, the joy of one who has triumphed over a temptation, the remorse of one who has betrayed the innocent, are the veriest folly. A man who maliciously shoots his neighbour has no more occasion to blame himself for the deed than has a horse who destroys a man's life by a kick. Men call such an animal, in figurative speech, a vicious animal; and if materialism is true, there is no other kind of vice possible to a human being. Tyndall, in one of his late productions, argues that this doctrine of molecular ethics is perfectly consistent with the application of motives for the purpose of inducing men to 'act in one way rather than another. These motives, it is implied, are forces thrown into the scale that the beam may rise on the opposite side. This is the statement which fatalists of every time are for ever making. But the point insisted upon is not the freedom of the will as found by direct consciousness, although this evidence of man's moral freedom is incontrovertible; but