Imatges de pÓgina
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had a double personality. As a lecturer in physics he sincerely believed in the physical mechanism which had been discovered step by step by modern physical science. But as a moral being Kant did not belong to the objective world of physical science. As a moral being he transcended the world of objective science. It was his inner transcendental forms of knowledge which made the objective world of science a possibility.

The mediæval inner life, individualized in the Reformation and the Renaissance, is in the philosophy of Kant forging for itself weapons of defense against the mechanistic world of fact produced by modern science. Over against the Copernican world of independent objective fact Kant sets up a moral consciousness which lays down forms and laws by its own pure inner reason. The very possibility of the moral life is the outgrowth of the a priori forms of the moral reason. The inner mind in the system of Kant saves itself from the realism of modern science by making itself transcendental. The very knowledge of the objective facts of exact science is possible because of an inherent law-making faculty of the mind itself. Kant's most important work was published in 1781.

If we look upon such notions of Kant as, let us say, the transcendental unity of apperception or the categorical imperative, as the products of a disinterested logic, they may seem very strange or even unintelligible. But if we add to our philosophy a knowledge of psychology, if we understand the technique of introversion, we shall see in the philosophy of Kant a defense reaction against the mechanistic realism of modern science.

This defense mechanism of introversion is still more apparent in the case of Hegel. The concept of unity was apotheosized in Hegel. It literally became divine. The character of inwardness, of Innerlichkeit, in German philosophy, is usually ascribed to the intuitional or mystical nature of the German mind. The mythical character of this point of view becomes apparent when we study Hegel's type of unity from the standpoint of social psychology. From the battle of Jena in 1806 to the downfall of Napoleon in 1815 Germany developed a powerful consciousness of internal unity. This was not a mystical unity. It was the social and moral solidarity of a nation that had been politically humiliated and was preparing itself for liberation through social and moral unity. This is the meaning of the a priori unity in Hegel's philosophy. His unity through a synthesis of opposites was an unconscious rationalization of the political unity necessary for Germany's restoration as a nation. France and England having achieved national stability could produce a Rousseau or a Stuart Mill who labored for individual freedom. But this was not possible in Germany. The state, according to Hegel, made possible the individual. That was self-evident to the German mind in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Therefore all right preëxisted in the state.

There was in the revolutionary philosophy of England this same process whereby the mind set up an inner screen of defense against its world. But it took a form of development very different from what it took in Germany. In Germany the struggle against foreign states led to an unbreakable internal unity. In

England-and in France-the struggle was directed against kings, against autocracy, against unreasoning authority. The inner world therefore in English development existed not in an a priori, absolute state but in a world of individual minds and consciences. Rationalism of the English type is not characterized by a priori unities and universals; it is rather an atmosphere of individual freedom. It is the spirit which accepts only what it is able to understand.

The recognition of the state in the period of the Renaissance in Machiavelli's Prince, the support of the Reformation as voiced in Martin Luther by the German nobility, the disassociation of the Church of England from the universal Church of Rome under Henry VIII, are, as McDougall points out, to be understood as evidences of a new sense of nationality. But the modern philosophical tradition did not surrender its ideal of an independent inner world. The state is an instrument external to the nature of individual human minds, but necessary as a tool because these individual minds through a self-imposed intellectual contract are now living in a social world. These individual minds are the modern individualized transformations of the mediæval inner life. They themselves are original metaphysical entities in contrast to the acquired, derived, temporary, and instrumental character of the state. This is the meaning of the contract theory of such thinkers as Locke, Milton, and Rousseau. There is also the fact that the state which the modern world inherited was an authoritative institution. But the association philosophy of Locke and Hume, of James and John Mill, pulverized the known world into a

stream of sensory phenomena. In such a world there is no place left for a priori ideas, for unanalyzed tradition, upon which authoritative feudal social relationships are founded. Modern philosophy not only inherited the tradition of an inner mind unadjusted to social institutions, but existing political institutions were associated with the a priori dogma of the divine right of kings. Hence arose the new doctrine of the social contract which was an unconscious defense mechanism in the hands of the middle classes in their struggle for individual freedom. This conflict helped to perpetuate the traditional dualism between institutions regarded as external to mind and the world of individual minds regarded as a purely interior world.

According to Hobbes every voluntary act of the individual has as its object some good to the individual himself. All individuals originally existed in a state of nature. Because of the universal sway of egoism life in this state of nature was brutish and mean. Property was unstable; agriculture was hardly possible; science could not exist; death was premature. Individuals therefore transferred their rights to a commonwealth, created by contract. But the egoism of individuals would continually break such a contract and therefore the common power was lodged in a sovereign with sufficient authority to demand obedience. Hobbes' sovereign is a defense against individuals in whose constitution every spring of action, even pity, love, and benevolence, has been traced back to egoism. Hobbes' Leviathan was published in 1651. It is a defense of sovereignty against individuals who are demanding their liberties.

Milton-the secretary of Cromwell the protagonist of parliament against the divine right of kings-has left us in his Areopagitica one of the world's outstanding utterances on freedom of thought and speech. To do what is right, says Milton, against one's own will, is to do wrong. We may quote two passages from Milton's Comus which illustrate the idea of an absolute individual conscience which is the outstanding characteristic of Protestant ethics. They are as follows:

Virtue could see to do what Virtue would

By her own radiant light, though sun and moon
Were in the flat sea sunk.

He that hath light within his own clear breast
May sit i' th' centre, and enjoy bright day.

As the inalienable rights of Milton, Rousseau, and Jefferson constituted the chief bulwark of the new struggle for freedom against an autocratic state, there was likewise an economic individualism which was directed against the old order of vested rights. In this old order rights came through political and social and economic position. Against this society of "status" the new view of free competition, of laissez faire, was the open road of opportunity. The division of labor makes it possible for each individual to pursue his own good and by this very pursuit to contribute to a like good for others. This view held sway from the publication of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in 1776 down to the opening of the twentieth century.

In economics this doctrine interpreted the object of all endeavor in terms of financial profit. Man ceased to think of himself as coöperating with nature to pro

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