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the mutual determination of its various parts, and thus necessitates the contemplation of it" as though an understanding contained the ground of the unity of the multiplicity of its empirical laws."1 It is the attempt to get at an external purpose for objects of experience that has made teleology be looked upon askance by men of science. A conception of this kind went far to vitiate physics in the middle ages, till it was, with justice, strictly excluded from the scientific interpretation of nature by the leaders of modern philosophy.2 But teleology does not stand or fall with this external form of it, which takes its illustrations from the products of the factory, not from the manifestations of life,3 and which is really only mechanism misunderstood, in The conception of an end is forced upon us in considering life, because then it is necessary to take account of the being as organised, and therefore as a whole. In the investigation of nature, on the other hand, things may be apprehended without relation to the conception of the whole; and teleology, therefore, seems to be unnecessary. The notion of purpose, it is often said, is essential to biology, but out of place in physical science. But when we look on the world as a whole, the
i Kant, Werke, v. 187 (Kr. d. Urt., Einl. iv.) 5 Descartes, Princ. phil., iii. 3, i. 28; Bacon. De augm., iii. 5, Novum organum, ii. 2. 8 Cf. Kant, Werke, v. 387 (Kr. d. Urt., § 65).
notion of end or purpose is introduced, and the functions of its various parts conceived from a new point of view. And the end of an organism can only be partially understood, when that organism is conceived as a whole apart from its environment. It is only a partial manifestation or example of the more perfect reality in which things are to be regarded as not merely conditioned and conditioning, but as revelations of purpose. But, although the notion of purpose cannot be dispensed with in considering organic nature, the teleological notions we form of living things are imperfect and "abstract." Thus the organism is often, more or less explicitly, judged by its utility for some human purpose. In these cases the end is clearly an external and dependent one. And, when the adaptation of its parts is spoken of in relation to its type or perfect form, a conception is involved over and above what can be inferred from the nature of the organism in itself. The notion of the end depends upon a rational ideal, which passes beyond the causal interrelation of parts to the conception of the organism as a whole, whose function is necessarily related to its environment.
Our knowledge of the ends of the lower animals and life is really much more imperfect than our knowledge known'oniy of the human end. For the only life we really ^era" know is self-conscious life, and that we are unable to attribute to them. We know their life only
by conjecture, our knowledge of it being but an abstraction from our own consciousness. The ethical, as Trendelenburg puts it,1 is the higher stage of the process, a lower stage of which is the organic. The purpose, which is conceived as blind or unconscious in nature, becomes conscious and voluntary in man. But our notion of the former is simply an abstraction from the free and conscious purpose which characterises our own activity. The conception of life is only known to us as—is only—an element or moment in our own selfconsciousness. And life which is not self-conscious can only be judged in relation to the selfconsciousness which contains in itself the explanation both of life and of nature. The germ of truth in the old mechanical teleology may perhaps be seen in this way. For it had right on its side in so far as it referred everything to the self-consciousness manifested in man; it was mistaken only in so far as it made things relative to his needs and desires. The teleological anthropomorphism which judges all things according to their correspondence with human purposes, must be transcended, equally with the speculative anthropomorphism which frames the unseen world in the likeness of the phenomena of our present experience. But to attempt to escape from what is sometimes called anthropomorphism—the reference of 1 Historische Beitrage zur Philosophie, iii. 165.
the nature and purpose of things to self-consciousness, as expressive of the ultimate reality—is to attempt to escape from thought itself, and makes one's thinking from the beginning void and contradictory.
Now this reference to self has been omitted in 4. Reference our consideration of empirical evolution. We have Seiousness taken the purely objective ground of science, and ^„lution we have admitted what science has told us of how all sorts of things came to be,—how man appeared on the earth, gradually adapted himself to his surroundings and modified them—how sentiments expanded, customs grew, and one institution developed out of another. But science shows us all this only as an external process of events in space and time —a process in which the preceding determines each succeeding state, and all parts are united together. It does not show us the process from the inside. And, in the end, it can do no more than point towards, without reaching, the comprehensive idea of a whole, by reference to which idea all the members of the whole are determined, in such a way that it is insufficient to look upon one as causing another, and with the others making up the aggregate; since each member only exists for the sake of the whole, and the idea of the whole precedes the parts which constitute it.1 The teleological conception thus necessarily leads us beyond the ordinary categories
1 Cf. Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik, iii. 228.
(rf) made clear in the attempt to trace the genesis of self-consciousness.
of science, by which all things are conceived as connected causally in space and time. But the scientific theories that we have been discussing do not recognise this altered point of view; and, without giving any justification for the change of standpoint, lay down the moral law that we ought to aim at the realisation of something which can only be described as a mental conception or idea. Here a double change in point of view is involved. We are no longer considering a process going on outside us, in which the reference to self may be fairly ignored, but we put ourselves in relation to this external order: and we do so, not merely as cognitive, but as active—as the potential source of actions which we say "ought" to be performed by us.
The assumption involved in the former change is that made by comparative or evolutionist psychology, when it attempts to play the part of a theory of knowledge. The development of impressions and ideas is made to pass upwards to more complicated stages, till it reaches the point at which the individual, conceived as determined by external forces and reacting upon them, becomes conscious of itself as a subject of knowledge and source of action. This transition from the category of causality to self - consciousness is, in some systems— that of Mr Spencer, for example—either concealed or held to with no firm grasp. Throughout his objective treatment of psychology, it would seem