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fall within the range of a vision so telescopic, especially since “the ultimate generalizations” of both, in the evolutionary philosophy, are confessedly "expressions of the same fundamental process ”; this significant fact in particular we commend to his attention. In philosophy as in other things, it is the first step that costs. He has taken that (a mighty stride), and generously footed the ample bill. Let him not spurn the banquet he has ordered and paid for. If he has no stomach for the feast himself, he should not spoil the appetite of the guests he has bidden to it, much less attempt in his qualms to upset the table and throw the dishes out of the window. One must needs account such conduct very improper.
Again, since every effect and its cause are phenomenally unlike and substantially inconceivable, what, we pray, enables him to "see” that any effect is of the same nature as its cause, but that invariable and unconditional sequence which attests the causal relation, backed by that law of the conservation of energy which defines the relation ? Naught else; and these are both at his command in the case of consciousness, as in every other case of causation. word, the identity of mind and matter, as we have repeatedly implied, comes out in their relation of cause and effect, assuming it to exist; and whoever can “see" them in that relation must perforce them to be the same. It is true, there are men who cannot “see" that which treads on the heels of what they do "see," but they are those who have never been able to "keep up with the procession that Prof. Huxley leads. We refuse to believe that he, walking at the head of the march of mind in this broad day of the nineteenth century, is that kind of a man.
Wrong not yourself, then, noble Helican.”
If. however, Prof. Huxley means simply that he cannot
see" how consciousness results from material changes, he says what undoubtedly is true, and what will remain true at all possible stages of human development; but not more true of consciousness than of every other effect. In the chain of physical causation that gives rise to consciousness, he can "see" how consciousness results from the last link, just as well as he can “ see” how the last link results from the link next to the last, or any one link from any other; the causal relation is perceivable in every case, the causal tie in none. The causal tie, with the substance of the links, is inconceivable, lying beyond the reach of the human intellect. If our inability to “ see " it proves that consciousness is immaterial, it proves equally that every other effect in nature is immaterial that “matter and force,” in short, quite through the wide compass of their manifestations, are immaterial; which, it strikes us, is proving too much
-particularly for an argument that draws its potency from impotency.
We think we may be permitted to pass on to the citadel.
And here, as may be plainly seen, Prof. Huxley deems himself unassailable. With Macbeth at Dunsinane, he feels, and virtually exclaims:
“ Our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn.” And assuredly his position is formidable in appearance at least. "The arguments used by Descartes and Berkeley to show that our certain knowledge does not extend beyond our states of consciousness," he declares, “ appear to me to be as irrefragable now as they did when I first became acquainted with them some half-century ago. All the materialistic writers I know of who have tried to bite that file have simply broken their teeth. But, if this is true, our one certainty is the existence of the mental world, and that of Kraft und Stoff falls into the rank of, at best, a highly probable hypothesis.” Dr. Büchner, a German materialist, at whom the phrase Kraft und Stoff is here fired, let us say in passing, appears to be, for some reason, one of Prof. Huxley's pet aversions, coming into his head, at the mention of materialism, as a sort of "horrible example.” For aught we know, the aversion may be perfectly rational, or perfectly the reverse. We cheerfully give Prof. Huxley the benefit of the doubt. This by parenthesis; now to the assault.
But, first, we must express our regret that, in place of storming a citadel, with the prospect of which we inadvertently flattered ourselves a moment ago, we are reduced to the undignified and somewhat viperous business of biting a file, whereupon our "little" proof, in the most favorable event, will be “rounded” with a gibe. There's strategy for you! What our illustrious scientist does not know about the art of disputation is not worth knowing. He may be trusted for putting his adversary "in a hole," if he has to dig it on purpose. But to seize our steely foe.
Prof. Huxley, then, agrees with Descartes and Berkeley in saying that “our certain knowledge does not extend beyond our states of consciousness." What states of consciousness? Primary or derivative? If primary, our “certain knowledge" does not extend beyond the primordial sensations, stopping short both of mind and of matter, the conceptions of which are eventually built up out of those sensations, incapable, meanwhile, of yielding the knowledge of themselves as states of consciousness, for lack of these conceptions; whence it follows that we can have no "certain knowledge" of anything, not even of our primordial sensations, which we know as sensations by means only of that self-consciousness ultimately
evolved from them. If derivative, our knowledge of matter is demonstrably more certain than our knowledge of mind; for the latter not only is reached by a process more complex and less distinct, as well as longer, than that which develops the former, but is reached through the former, upon which it depends. Our states of consciousness, to recapitulate, are either primary or derivative. If our “certain knowledge” is confined to the first, we have no "certain knowledge"; if to the second, our highest certainty is the existence of the material world. Prof. Huxley's argument, it will be seen, lands him in a dilemma. His jubilant assumption falls of its own weight. We need not stay to elucidate this point, for two
In the first place, it is the familiar doctrine of modern psychology—a psychology which Prof. Huxley, as an evolutionist, may be presumed to accept. In the second place, it has nothing to do with the question, anyhow.
The relative certainty of our knowledge of the mental and of the material world has no bearing on the question as to whether the former is derived from the latter or the latter from the former, or, to calculate the statement for Prof. Huxley's meridian, whether or not there is anything in the universe but "matter and force"; because this certainty, incline whither it may, while consistent with both sides of the question, and serving to prove neither side, cannot be pleaded in favor of either without in effect taking the question for granted. “Our one certainty is the existence of the mental world,” Prof. Huxley contends. The question in dispute, though, relates not to the “existence" of the mental world, but to its nature, upon which “our one certainty” throws no light, sufficing at best to show only that mind, whatever its nature, knows some of its modifications with greater certainty than it knows others. As to what its nature is, whether material or immaterial, this unique "certainty" proves nothing. Yet this is the question at issue. Regarding this question, strange as it must seem, the fact to which immaterialism “points with pride," and which materialism may be supposed to “view with alarm,” is utterly insignificant, presuming it to be true, fitting in with both solutions, and contributing to neither. To adduce it in proof of either is a veiled petitio principio -begging the question, and that, too, in a mask.
Besides, pleading any state of consciousness, as a state of consciousness, in proof of the nature of mind, real or symbolical, implies that mind is capable of knowing not simply its states, but itself-capable of being, in the same act of thought, both subject and object; which is absurd. It is as if one should try to see his own eyes, or to lift himself by his waistband. The direct attitude of mind towards the nature of its states is the same as towards the reality they represent, the substance of the symbols transcending subjective experience, as the substance they symbolize transcends all experience. Consciousness testifies directly to neither. Mind is no more conscious of itself as material or immaterial than of its ultimate substance; it knows immediately as little of its symbolical as of its substantial nature. Both lie outside the sphere of consciousness. For this reason, by the way, Mr. Herbert Spencer's elaborate endeavor to test the identity of a unit of feeling with a unit of motion, by comparing the two in consciousness, is not less illegitimate than futile, since neither term of the comparison is present or presentable in consciousness, except phenomenally; and it is one of the truisms of philosophy that the widest unlikeness in phenomena consists with the fullest identity in their proximate as well as their ultimate nature. Phenomenally heat is extremely unlike motion, yet heat and motion are identical, as respects not only their underlying substance, but their constituent substance, being alike material in their nature, and alike symbolical of the same unknowable reality. Wherefore phenomenal unlikeness, whether attested by consciousness mediately or immediately, and though as wide as that between motion and the feeling of motion, is not competent to disprove identity of nature, symbolical or substantial. On the supposition of the special analysis in question, indeed, a unit of motion and a unit of feeling stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect; so that a unit of motion, as it presents itself in consciousness, becomes a unit of feeling, different in form from the antecedent unit, but in substance identical with it. Mr. Spencer himself describes a unit of feeling, in this supposed case, as the correlative of a unit of motion. Very well; a thing which is the correlative of another must be of the same kind with the other; correlation asserts community of nature-reciprocal convertibility. A unit of feeling and a unit of motion, by the supposition, differ in form only, as we have said; in substance they are the same. So reason determines. What Mr. Spencer terms "the immediate verdict of consciousness" is a false verdict, transgressing the facts of consciousness, and usurping the office of reason. No state of consciousness, as such, can legitimately render any verdict concerning the nature of mind, as regards symbol or substance; the nature of things forbids it. So far as this question is concerned, the evidential value of “our one certainty," be the certainty what it may, is exactly zero.
And the same mathematical symbol expresses with the same exactness the defensive value of Prof. Huxley's stronghold. The castle of whose strength he boasts is “a castle in the air,” too unsubstantial to yield even the obsidional crown, which, on the unimpeachable authority of the gallant Baron of Bradwardine, we "wot well was made of the grain that takes root within the place besieged." The citadel turns out to have been a mirage. And the file, alas! the redoubtable, tooth-breaking, adamantine file, is a phantom.
Nor is this the be-all and the end-all. There remains a file, that is not a phantom, for Prof. Huxley to bite, even-handed justice commending the ingredients of his hardened engine to his own teeth. Although what he calls “our one certainty” does not bear at all on the case of materialism versus immaterialism, there is something that does bear squarely on this issue, and which he, if nobody else, is bound to recognize. What it is our readers have not now to learn. The truth is, he begins his inquiry into the nature of mind at the wrong end of the series, if we may credit his opinions. He should prosecute the inquiry objectively, in lieu of subjectively. Investigating the nature of mind from within is, on his assumption, investigating effects out of relation to their causes, -examining only the figured side of the tapestry_ignoring the back of the shield. To consciousness indeed he must look for the effects of which the function mind consists; but for the nature of these effects, as concerns materialism or immaterialism, he should look to that of which they compose the function, and with the nature of which, accordingly, their own is identical-; he should look to the organ of mind. An effect is known by its cause. The nature of a function is determined by the nature of its organ. If Prof. Huxley would know whether mind is material or not, and believes in his opinions, regardless of their consequences, let him look to the brain, of which, he says, mind is the function, Unless he mistakes error for truth, there and not elsewhere he will find what he seeks; and when he finds it, and rubs his eyes, he will not "fail to discover” that he is as " deep in the mud" of materialism as Büchner is “in the mire.” The strangest thing of all is that he should now stand up to the chin in this primitive mixture without suspecting it.
Yet that such is his predicament admits of no doubt ; for if, in fine, as he asserts, mind is a function of the brain, consciousness the equivalent of mechanical energy, material changes the causes of psychical phenomena, the realm of material causation co-extensive with the phenomena of nature, and all that, it is a logical necessity, absolute and flagrant, that mind originates from "matter and force," and "all the phenomena of nature are explicable by deduction from the properties assignable to those two primitive factors." So much is certain. Either his opinions are false or materialism is true: they are its legitimate offspring. To this conclusion the renowned scientist is forced. All roads, in the Huxleian field of thought, lead to materialism. The conclusion may be cavilled at, quarrelled with, recoiled from ; but it cannot