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"MIND" PROJECTED.—LIFE OF JAMES MILL. 329
made an excursion to Montrose to see another of the Barclay connexion, Mrs. Christie, who was old enough to remember James Mill in person, and who heard him preach in the Parish Church. In Edinburgh, in the summer, I had received important help from David Laing, of the Signet Library, especially in reference to Sir John Stuart, Mill's early patron, whom he personally recollected.
Winter Session, 1875-76, and Recess following.
The first portion of the biography, extending to 1803, was composed as an article for the first number of Mind.
To the same number, I contributed a polemic with G. H. Lewes on the "Postulates of Experience "; it being contended, in opposition to Lewes —who held that the Uniformity of Nature was an identical proposition—that it was a veritable conjunction of subject and predicate, or Synthetic Judgment, and that it was a primary assumption that could not be resolved or transcended.
A further contribution to the number was an abstract of Spencer's Sociology (Parts I.-V.). The article was almost purely expository.
Among the MSS. left by Grote, a number of fragments of Ethical discussion were brought to light, which ought properly to have been included in the posthumous Aristotle, had they been discovered in time. They were considered sufficiently interesting to be published in a separate volume. A notice of the volume formed my final contribution to the January number (1876).
The preparations for bringing out Mind were carried on through 1875; and it was considered expedient that the actual start of the first number should be January, 1876.
Henry Sidgwick's work, entitled Methods of Ethics, came out in the end of 1874 ; and, having made a careful perusal of it, I was greatly impressed with its ability and conclusiveness as a polemic directed against the Intuitionists. Indeed, in my judgment, no such thorough-going refutation had hitherto appeared; and the doctrine of Utility received a corresponding amount of support. In the second number of Mind (April, 1876), I gave a minute and critical analysis of the entire work.
While commending the treatment as a whole, I had to make a careful examination of the author's exaggerated view of the difficulties of estimating Pleasures and Pains, with a view to ethical decisions. After reciting the various difficulties adduced in connexion with hedonistic calculation, I had to indicate some of the palliatives essential to clear the doctrine of utility from the charge of ineptitude as a guide to conduct. The topic was only partially exhausted, and came to be resumed in a future article dealing principally with the work of Leslie Stephen, " The Science of Ethics" (Mind, vol. viii., p. 48).
CONTBIBUTIONS TO EARLY NUMBERS OF "MIND ". 331
Exception had to be taken to the author's endeavour to bring self-regard and regard to others under one principle, and to reconcile the miseries of mankind with some principle of moral order. For my own part, I could not then see, and I do not now see, any foundation for the restraints imposed upon mankind by ethical sanctions, other than the appeal to universal suffrage. The individual voter may derive his opinion from venerated authorities, or in any other way that he pleases; but his vote, going along with the collective suffrage of mankind, cannot be transcended by any possible contrivance.
Before the publication of the article, I had written privately to Mr. Sidgwick expressing my admiration of his work and indicating the main objections adduced in the article. I had the following note from him in reply:—
"trinity College, Cambridge, 4th March.
"dear Professor Bain,
"I did not mean to be so long before answering your kind letter about my book. It gave me more pleasure than any other which I received. There is no one living to whom I owe more instruction in philosophy than I do to you: and that you should be able to speak so favourably of my work—with whatever allowance for the per contra which your kindness did not allow you to put down—seems to me as much 'success' as I ever desired. Whatever notice you may find it convenient to give to any part of my work in the new edition of your ethical [treatise] will be extremely interesting to me: indeed I shall wait for your new edition as an occasion for reviewing the whole subject.
"I had some idea of writing to you on the points which you notice as disagreeing with my views : indeed this is why my answer has been so long delayed. But on the whole I have determined not to do so at present. The chief personal advantage that I have hoped from the publication of my views, is the possibility of getting a step further, if I can only get what I have written well criticized. So I will not impair this advantage by identifying myself too much with anything that I have expressed. It represents the best conclusion I could come to at the time : but I shall be glad to turn to it again after a few months, when I have got whatever criticism I can get on it, and consider the matter again with a perfectly unbiassed judgment.
"The parts of my book that I find most objected to are the chapters on Pleasure and Desire and the concluding section. The latter I wrote at the very last moment in a fit of candour. I felt it was out of harmony with the rest of the book: and perhaps it would have been better not to have written it : but I was reluctant to appear before the world with the air of having effected a more complete synthesis than I knew myself to have done. As regards Pleasure and Desire, it is an old hobby of mine to rehabilitate Butler: but now that I find I can persuade no one I begin to suspect my arguments. I shall take occasion to reconsider the matter when your new edition comes out: I do not promise not to be converted, but if I am not, I will try and defend my position further in Mind. "Believe me,
"Yours very truly,
I had prepared, before the close of the College session, two notices to appear in the July number of Mind.
The first of these (p. 393) was a review of P. Proctor Alexander on Moral Causation.
The work was occasioned by the portion of Mill's Hamilton that dealt with the Free Will controversy. Mr. Alexander had attacked Mill's handling, and had drawn