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man possess laws in the proper sense though they may be found together, of the word ; but here, too, according as they usually are in man, are yet to the Hobbesian doctrines which make perfectly separate and distinguishable; law to consist in the domination or existence, namely, for others, and exc supremacy of force, and the power of istence for one's self. Recapitulating a supreme magistrate all that is ne. what we have said, this distinction cessary to constitute it, man might, in may be established and explained thus, every respect, be considered a finished in a very few words :- Deprive man legislator, and a creature living under of consciousness, and in one sense you laws.
do not deprive him of existence, or of But it is time to turn these prelimi. any of the vigorous manifestations and nary observations to some account. operations of existence. In one sense, Let us now, then, ask, depriving man that is, for others, he exists just as of consciousness, what is it we actually much as ever. But in another sense, leave him, and what is it we actually you do deprive him of existence as deprive him of? We leave him all soon as you divest him of consciousthat we have said. We leave him ex. ness. In this latter sense he now istence, and the performance of many ceases to exist; that is, he exists no operations, the greatest, as well as the longer for himself. He is no longer most insignificant. But the existence that which was “ I," or self. He has thus left to him, together with all its lost his personality. He takes no acphenomena, is, we beg it may be ob- count of his existence, and, therefore, served, only one species of existence. his existence, as far as he is concerned, It is a peculiar kind of existence which is virtually and actually null. But, if must be noted well, and discriminated there were only one species, and one from existence of another species notion of existence, it is impossible which we are about to mention. In that man, when denuded of consciousa word, it is existence merely for ness, should both exist, and not exist, others. This is what we leave man as we have shown he does. If existwhen we suppose him divested of con- ence were of one kind only, it would sciousness.
be impossible to reconcile this contraAnd now we again ask, depriving diction, which is yet seen to be per. man of consciousness, what do we fectly true, and an undeniable matter really deprive him of? and we answer of fact. The conclusion, therefore, that we totally deprive him of exist. is inevitable and irresistible, that exence for himself; that is, we deprive istence is not of one, but of two kinds; him of that kind of existence in which existence, to wit, for others, and exalone he has any share, interest, or istence for ourselves; and that a creaconoern; or, in other words, by empty. ture may possess the former without ing him of consciousness, we take possessing the latter, and that, though away from him altogether his person. it should lose the latter by losing conality, or his true and proper being. sciousness, it may yet retain the forFor of what importance is it to him mer, and “live, and breathe, and have that he should exist for others, and, a being in the eyes of others.' for them, should evolve the most mar- Does some one here remark that vellous phenomena, if he exists not consciousness is not our existence, but for himself, and takes no account of is merely the knowledge of our existhe various manifestations he displays? tence? Then we beg such a person What reality can such a species of to consider what would become of his existence have for him? Obviously existence, with respect to him, if he none. What can it avail a man to be were deprived of the knowledge of it. and to act, if he remains all the while Would it not be, in so far as he was without consciousness of his Being, concerned, precisely on the footing of and his actions? In short, divested a nonentity? One's knowledge, thereof consciousness, is it not plain that a fore, or consciousness of existence, is man is no longer “ I," or self, and in far more than mere consciousness of such circumstances, must not his ex- existence. It is the actual ground of istence, together with all its ongoings, a species of existence itself. It con. be, in so far as he is concerned, abso. stitutes existence for one's self, or lutely zero, or a blank ?
personal existence; for without this Thus existence becomes discrimi. consciousness a man would possess pated into two distinct species, which, no personality, and each man's perVOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXVI,
sonality is his true and proper but to follow the act of consciousness; being.
therefore the next fact of humanity to Having divided existence, then, into which we beg to call very particular two distinct kinds, the next questioni attention is this ; that man, properly is-to what account do we propose speaking, acts before he exists ; for turning the discrimination ? If it is consciousness is, as we have already of no practical use in removing diffi. shown, and will show still further, a culties and in throwing light upon the pure act, and partakes in no degree of obscurer phenomena of man, it is the nature of a passion. At the same worthless, and must be discarded as a time, the proof that consciousness is of barren and mere hair-splitting retine. this character will convince us that it ment. What application, then, has it cannot have its origin in the first-mento the subjects we are engaged in dis. tioned and given species of existence, cussing; and, in particular, what assis- which we have called existence for tance does it afford us in clearing up others, or existence without consciousthe great fact of Human Liberty-that ness. But this is not the place for that key.stone in the arch of humanity, proof. It will be attempted by and by. without which all our peculiar attri. This fact, that man acts before he butes, morality, responsibility, law and truly and properly exists, may, perhaps, justice, loosened from their mighty at first sight appear rather startling, span, would fall from their places, and and may be conceived to be at direct disappear for ever in the blind abysses variance with what are called “ the of Necessity ?
laws of human thought ;" for it may In availing ourselves, then, of the be said that these laws compel us to assistance of this distinction, and in ap- conceive man in Being before we can plying it to our purposes, the first cir- conceive him in act. But if it should cumstance connected with it which be really found to be thus at variance attracts our attention is the following with these laws, our only answer is, fact, deserving, we may be permitted that facts are “ stubborn things," and to say, of very emphatic notice; that that we do not care one straw for the while the one of these species of exis. laws of human thought when they contence precedes the act of conscious tradict the facts of experience; and a ness, the other of them follows that fact of experience we maintain it to act. Our existence for others is ante. be (let people conceive or not as they cedent, but our existence for ourselves please or can), that man's true Being is subsequent to the act of conscious. follows and arises out of man's act ness. Before a child is conscious, it that man, properly speaking, cannot exists for others; but it exists for be said to be until he acts--that conitself only after it is conscious. Prior sciousness is an act, and that our proto consciousness, or in the absence of per existence, being identical and that act, man is a one sided phantas- convertible with our personality, which magoria ; vivid on the side towards results from consciousness, is not the an. others with all the colours, the vigor. tecedent but the consequent of that act. ons ongoings, the accomplishments, Need we say any thing further in and the reality of existence; but on enforcement and illustration of this the other side, the side where he him. very extraordinary fact? Every man self should be, but is not yet, what is will admit that his true Being is that there ? a blank-utter nothingness. which for him is " J." Now suppose But, posterior to consciousness, and in no man had ever thought himself “ I," consequence of it, this vacuity is filled would he ever have become “ I," or up, new scenery is unfolded, and a new possessed a proper personal Being ? reality is erected on the blank side be. Certainly not. It is only after thinkhind the radiant pageant. The man ing one's self " I," and in consequence himself is now there. The one-sided of thinking one's self "I" that one be. existence has become doubled. He no comes « 1." But thinking one's self longer exists merely for others; he “I” is an act--the act of conscious. exists also for himself--a very different, ness. Therefore the act of conscious. and, for him, a much more important ness is anterior to the existence of matter.
man, therefore man is in Act before he Existence for one's self, then, person is truly and properly in Being; or, in al existence, or, in other words, that other words, he performs an act before species of Being which alone properly he has an existence (i, e, a standing concerns man, is found not to precede, out) for himself,
But how can man act before he is that law. This we shall endeavour to Perhaps we cannot perfectly explain make out in the following chapters, and the Hoxe, but we can state, and have if we can succeed in showing this act stated the That, namely, that the fact to be primary original and free, of is so. But at the same time we beg it course it will follow that the Being to be understood that it is only in one which results from it must be free likesense that this is true. We would not wise. But, whether we succeed or not, be misunderstood. We herè guard we at any rate think that, having shown ourselves from the imputation of say- fully that the thought “I” precedes ing that in every sense man is abso. and brings along with it the reality or lutely a nonentity before he acts, or existence “ 1,' and that this thought that he actually creates his Being. “I” is an act, we have now said This we are very far indeed from af- enough to establish this important firming. Prior to the act of conscious truth in psychology, that man, when ness, he possesses, as we have said, an philosophizing concerning himself, existence in the eyes of others; and does not do well to commence with the this species of existence is undoubtedly contemplation, or with any consideragiven. Anterior to this act, the foun- tion of himself as a Being (we say this dations of his Being are wonderfully with an especial eye to the substance and inscrutably laid. He is a mighty and doctrine of “ Mind"), for his promachine, testifying his Creator's power. per Being is but a secondary articulaBut at this time being destitute of con- tion in his actual developement, and sciousness, we again maintain that he therefore ought to form but a secondis destitute of personality, and that ary step in his scientific study of him. therefore he wants that which consti. self, and ought to hold but a suborditutes the true reality and proper life nate place in his regard. But he ought of humanity. We maintain further, to commence with the contemplation that this personality, realized by con. of himself as an act (the act of consciousness, is a new kind of existence sciousness, for this is, in reality, his reared up upon the ground of that true and radical beginning; and, thereact; that, further, there was no pro. fore, in speculation, he ought to folvision made in the old substratum of low the same order; and, copying the unconscious Being for the evolution liviog truth of things in his methodiof this new act; but that, like the fall cal exposition of himself, should take of inan (with which perhaps it is in this act as the primary commencement some way connected), it is an abso. or starting-point of his philosophical lutely free and underived deed, self- researches. Such, in our opinion, is originated, and entirely exempt from the only true method of psychological the law of causality; and, moreover, science, in its very essence, the antagonist of
Man's existence for others, his un- fully have combated him. Disagree. conscious existence, is immediately ing widely in their conclusions, they given; his existence for himself, his yet agree so far in their premises, that conscious personal existence, the reality both of them postulate, in an unqua. ego, is not immediately given, but is lified manner, man's existence, as a realized through an act. Thus a radi. substratum for his actions. On this cal distinction between these two sorts account, therefore, it must be confessof existence is established, the one ed that the victory, in point of logic, being found to precede, and the other has always been on the side of the Neto follow that act. The Necessitarian, cessitarian, however much commonhowever, takes no note of this dis. sense and moral principle may have tinction. He breaks down the line of rebelled against his conclusions. For demarcation between them. He runs a given or compulsatory existence can the two species of existence into one; never be free in any of its acts. It can and the Libertarian, usually acquies merely serve to conduct the activity eing in this want of discrimination, transmitted to it from other quarters ; places in his adversary's hand the only and the peculiar inflections, whatever weapon with which he might success, these may be, whether to evil or to good, which it may appear to give to other natural germ or faculty of huthat activity, cannot be owing to any manity ? We answer, No. It comes original or underived power it possess. into operation after a very different es, but must depend upon its natural con- fashion. It is an act of pure will ; for struction, just as a prism has no power precisely between the two species of in itself to refract this way or that existence we have indicated, Human the rays of light which pass through Will comes into play, and has its proit, but is determined to this refraction per place of abode ; and this new pheby the particular angles into which, nomenon, lying in the very roots of without being consulted, it was at first the act of Consciousness, dislocates cut by the hand of its artificer. In point the whole natural machinery of of fact, the activity of such a being is no man, gives a new and underived turn activity at all, but pure passivity ; for to his developement, and completely a derivative act is not properly action, overthrows, with regard to him, the but passion. In merely receiving and whole law and doctrine of causality; passing on an act, a creature is not an for Will (as contradistinguished from, agent, but a patient. Such a creature, and opposed to, wish or desire) is bringing nothing original into the either a word of no meaning and infield, cannot, in any sense, be said telligibility at all, or else it betokens either to operate or co-operate. Alla primary absolute commencementits doings being derivative, are done for an underivative act. But as the Neit or necessitated; therefore it is free cessitarian may admit the former of in nothing, and, by the same conse- these alternatives, and may hold Will, quence, must remain devoid of mora- when applied to man, to be an unlity and responsibility.
meaning word, it will be proper to The usual reasoning on this subject, postpone any discussion on that subtherefore, being utterly fatal to the ject at present; and, without involving cause of Human Liberty, we have en- ourselves in what, after all, might be deavoured, in the foregoing chapter, a mere skirmish of words, to do our to lay the groundwork of a new line best to go more simply and clearly to of argument; the only argument by work, by addressing ourselves as much which, in our opinion, the conclusions as possible to facts, or the realities of of the Necessitarian can be met and dis. things. proved. In clearing away the weeds by But lest it should be urged that man, which the premises of the question were although perhaps really free, is yet inovergrown, and in bringing them under competent to form a true and adequate our close and immediate inspection, conception of Liberty; and that, there. we found that these premises, when fore, his freedom must, in any event, viewed and tested as facts (as all pre- be for him as though it were not ; lest mises ought to be, if we would ascer- this should be urged, we deem it intain their exact truth and value), are cumbent upon us, before proceeding to directly the reverse of those usually establish Human Freedom as fact, to laid down, and allowed to pass cur. endeavour to delineate a faithful and rent. We found, in a word, that an correct representation of it; in short, act is the substratum of man's proper to place before our readers such a conexistence, and not vice versâ.
ception as would be Liberty if it were But this draws the controversy re actualized or realized in fact. Before specting Liberty and Necessity to its showing that Liberty is actual,we must extremest or narrowest point. For it show on what grounds it is possible. may here be asked, and indeed must The ordinary conception of liberty, be asked- Whence comes this act as a capacity bestowed upon a given We have divided man's existence into or created being, of choosing and fol. two distinct species, one of which, that, lowing any one of two or more courses namely, which we may now call his of action, is no conception at all, but natural existence, was found to be is an inconceivability. It is, in truth, given and to precede the act of con- so worthless and shallow as hardly to sciousness. Now, does not this act be worthy of mention. On account, naturally spring out of that existence? however, of the place which it holds Is it not dependent upon it? Is it not in ordinary philosophical discourse, a mere developement from a seed sown we must contribute a few words to its in man's natural being; and does it exposure. It arises out of a miserable not unfold itself, after a time, like any attempt to effect a compromise between liberty and necessity; and the 3d, The act of determinate choiceresult is a direct and glaring contra the power now adstricted to one diction. This doctrine endeavours to course; 4th, The actual performance hold forth an act, as at once original itself. Now the third element of this and yet derived, as given and yet not statement-the one usually passed compulsatory or necessitated, as free over without notice, is the only step and yet caused. No wonder that human which we would raise any question liberty, embodied in an act of this kind, about. We ask what adstricted the should halt upon both feet, and har power to the course selected ? Whence bour in the dingiest lurking-places of comes this act of determination ? Is it, a perplexed and vacillating metaphy- too, given, or is it not? If it is, then sic--a thing not to be scrutinized too what becomes of human freedom ? narrowly.
The act of determination being given But since we are examining it, let or derivative, the being in question was us do so as closely and narrowly as of course determined to the conduct possible. What, then, does this con- adopted, not by an original act, but ception of liberty amount to, and what was determined thereto out of the does it set forth There is, in the first source from whence his act of deterplace, the being in question-man-a mination proceeded. It was there. derivative creature, we are told, from fore absurd to talk, as we at first did, the alpha to the omega of his exist of several courses having been open ence. In the next place, there is the to him. In truth, his act of deter. power with which he is said to be in. mination being derived, or compulsavested, of choosing between two or tory, no course was ever open to him, more lines of conduct. In virtue of except the one which he followed, and this power, he is at first indifferent, or was necessitated to follow in obedience equally open to all these courses. He to that act. On the other hand, is must follow one of them ; but is not this act of determination not given or constrained to follow any one of them enforced?-then here has a new and in particular: and precisely in this in- underived act started into light; one determination it is said that human which plays an important part, and liberty consists. In the third place, forms an essential ingredient in his when the choice is made, there is the composition ; and what now becomes practical following out of the course of the assumption upon which this fixed upon. Such are the three ele. modified conception of liberty proments usually noted in the process. ceeded, namely, that man is through. But, allowing the dust occasioned by out a derivative creature? The conthis language to subside, let us see clusion is, that human liberty is imwhether nothing has escaped us in possible and inconceivable, if we start the confusion. We observe, then, with the assumption that man is, in that the power of choice said to be everything, a given or derivative given, is, at first, undetermined ; that, being ; just as, on the other hand, the indeed, it is on this openness or want conception that man is altogether a of determination that the essence of derivative being is impossible, if we the liberty here described is placed. start with the assumption that he is But while this indetermination con- free. tinues, the power of choice, of course, But our present object is to realize, remains inoperative. Before any of if possible, a correct notion of human the courses laid down can be followed, liberty. Nothing, then, we remark, this power must be determined to the can be more ineffectual than the atparticular course fixed on, that is to tempt to conceive liberty as a power say, an act of determination (the choice of choice, resting in a state of indeteritself) must intervene between the un- mination to two or more actions; be. determined power of choice, and the cause this state would continue for course chosen. Here, then, we have ever, and nothing would be the re. a new element, an element seldom sult, unless an act of determination specifically or rigidly noted in the took place in favour of some one of usual analysis of the process. The these actions; so that, between the statement now stands thus:-Ist, The undetermined power and the action itgiven being. 2d, The undetermined self, an act of determination always power to choose the power as yet intervenes ; and therefore, the ques. open to several courses of conduct; tion comes to be not, whence comca