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even supposing the deliverances of memory to be above criticism, the most that can be said for the experiences to which memory testifies, is that we are obliged to think we have had them-cannot conceive the negation of the proposition that we have had them; and to say this is to assign the warrant which is repudiated.
A further counter-criticism may be made. Throughout the argument of pure Empiricism, it is tacitly assumed that there may be a Philosophy in which nothing is asserted but what is proved. It proposes to admit into the coherent fabric of its conclusions, no conclusion that is incapable of being established by evidence; and it thus takes for granted that not only may all derivative truths be proved, but also that proof may be given of the truths from which they are derived, down to the very deepest. The result of thus refusing to recognize some fundamental unproved truth, is simply to leave its fabric of conclusions without a base. The giving proof of any special proposi. tion, is the assimilation of it to some class of propositions known to be true. If any doubt arises respecting the general proposition which is cited in justification of this spe. cial proposition, the course is to show that this general proposition is deducible from a proposition or propositions of still greater generality; and if pressed for proof of each such still more general proposition, the only resource is to repeat the process. Is this process endless ? If so, nothing can be proved—the whole series of propositions depends on some unassignable proposition. Has the process an end ? If so, there must eventually be reached a widest proposition-one which cannot be justified by showing that it is included by any wider-one which cannot be proved. Or to put the argument otherwise : Every inference depends on premises; every premise, if it admits of proof, depends on other premises; and if the proof of the proof be continually demanded, it must either end in an
THE DILEMMA OF EMPIRICISM.
anproved premise, or in the acknowledgment that there cannot be reached any premise on which the entire series of proofs depends. Hence Philosophy, if it does not avowedly stand on some datum underlying reason, must acknowledge that it has nothing on which to stand.
The expression of divergence from Mr. Mill on this fundamental question, I have undertaken with reluctance, only on finding it needful, both on personal and on general grounds, that his statements and arguments should be met. For two reasons, especially, I regret having thus to contend against the doctrine of one whose agreement I should value more than that of any other thinker. In the first place, the difference is, I believe, superficial rather than substantial; for it is in the interests of the ExperienceHypothesis that Mr. Mill opposes the alleged criterion of truth; while it is as harmonizing with the ExperienceHypothesis, and reconciling it with all the facts, that I defend this criterion. In the second place, this lengthened exposition of a single point of difference, unaccompanied by an exposition of the numerous points of concurrence, unavoidably produces an appearance of dissent very far greater than that which exists. Mr. Mill, however, whose unswerving allegiance to truth is on all occasions so conspicuously displayed, will fully recognize the justification for this utterance of disagreement on a matter of such profound importance, philosophically considered ; and will not require any apology for the entire freedom with which I have criticised his views while seeking to substantiate iny own.
Civilized races, mixed origin of, 187
Civilization, present phase of, 146.
and conscientiousness of, 354.
of the corn laws, 356.
Clothing trades, briberies and dis-
Commercial immoralities, root of,
Composition, literary, upon what it
Contractors, railway, 273.
Currency discussion, relation of the
parties to it, 349.
Crises, monetary, in England, 330;
Crises, salutary effects of, 341.
tions in, 161.
Dancing, when graceful, 314.
Defoe on the corruptions of trade,
chiefs of, 198.
Directors, railway, misduings of, 275.
Honesty in trade the road to bank.
Honor paid to wealthy rogues, 44.
Humility needed in political conduct,
Institutions must grow, 76; deter
mined by popular character, 216.
Intermediate system of prison disci
Joint stock enterprises, lesson drawn
Judicial negligence, 98.
Kames, Lord, 10, 20.
Knaveries of wholesale houses, 115.
Language, relation of to thought,
11; friction of, 42.
Land-owners greed influences rail
way policy, 263.
Law the enemy of the citizen, 97.
Laws, inefficiency of, 58.
Lawyers' railway, 268.
Legislative miscarriages, 58.
Legislative interference with curren
cy, bad effects of, 343.
Loyalty, use of, 195; causes of de
cline of, 196.
Manufacturers, dishonesties of, 118.
bound to enforce contracts, 297. Material development the work of
the age, 146.
Mental faculties, expansion of, 41.