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that the act of self-consciousness is for us the source and principle of all our possible knowledge. Whether abstracted from us there exists any thing higher and beyond this primary selfknowing, which is for us the form of all our knowing, must be decided by the result.

That the self-consciousness is the fixt point, to which for us all is morticed and annexed, needs no further proof. But that the selfconsciousness may be the modification of a higher form of being, perhaps of a higher consciousness, and this again of a yet higher, and so on in an infinite regressus; in short, that self-consciousness may be itself something explicable into something, which must lie beyond the possibility of our knowledge, because the whole synthesis of our intelligence is first formed in and through the self-consciousness, does not at all concern us as transcendental philosophers. For to us the self-consciousness is not a kind of being, but a kind of knowing, and that too the highest and farthest that exists for

It may however be shown, and has in part already been shown in pages 115-116, that even when the Objective is assumed as the first, we yet can never pass beyond the principle of selfconsciousness. Should we attempt it, we must be driven back from ground to ground, each of which would cease to be a Ground the moment we pressed on it. We must be whirl'd down


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the gulph of an infinite series. But this would make our reason baffle the end and purpose of all reason, namely, unity and system. Or we must break off the series arbitrarily, and affirm an absolute something that is in and of itself at once cause and effect (causa sui) subject and object, or rather the absolute identity of both. But as this is inconceivable, except in a selfsciousness, it follows, that even as natural philosophers we must arrive at the same principle from which as transcendental philosophers we set out; that is, in a self-consciousness in which the principium essendi does not stand to the principium cognoscendi in the relation of cause to effect, but both the one and the other are co-inherent and identical. Thus the true system of natural philosophy places the sole reality of things in an ABSOLUTE, which is at once causa sui et efectus, πατηρ αυτοπατωρ, Υιος {AUT8—in the absolute identity of subject and object, which it calls nature, and which in its highest power is nothing else but self-conscious will or intelligence. In this sense the position of Malbranche, that we see all things in God, is a strict philosophical truth; and equally true is the assertion of Hobbes, of Hartley, and of their masters in ancient Greece, that all real knowledge supposes a prior sensation. For sensation itself is but vision nascent, not the cause of intelligence, but intelligence itself re

! !

Πάτερ, ίλαθι

vealed as an earlier power in the process of self-construction.

Μάκαρ, λαθι μου

Εί παρά κόσμον, ,
Εί παρά μοιραν

Τών σών 29ιγον! ! Bearing then this in mind, that intelligence is a self-developement, not a quality supervening to a substance, we may abstract from all degree, and for the purpose of philosophic.construc. tion reduce it to kind, under the idea of an indestructible power with two opposite and counteracting forces, which, by a metaphor borrowed from astronomy, we may call the centrifugal and centripedal forces. The intelligence in the one tends to objectize itself, and in the other to know itself in the object. It will be hereafter my business to construct by a series of intuitions the progressive schemes, that must follow from such a power with such forces, till I arrive at the fulness of the human intelligence. For my present purpose, I assume such a power as my principle, in order to deduce from it a faculty, the generation, agency, and application of which form the contents of the ensuing chapter.

In a preceding page I have justified the use of technical terms in philosophy, whenever they tend to preclude confusion of thought, and


when they assist the memory by the exclusive singleness of their meaning more than they may, for a short time, bewilder the attention by their strangeness. I trust, that I have not extended this privilege beyond the grounds on which I have claimed it; namely, the conveniency of the scholastic phrase to distinguish the kind from all degrees, or rather to express the kind with the abstraction of degree, as for instance multeity instead of multitude; or secondly, for the sake of correspondence in sound in interdependent or antithetical terms, as subject and object; or lastly, to avoid the wearying recurrence of circumlocutions and definitions. Thus I shall venture to use potence, in order to express a specific degree of a power, in imitation of the Algebraists. I have even hazarded the new verb potenziate with its deri-. vatives in order to express the combination or transfer of powers. It is with new or unusual terms, as with privileges in courts of justice or legislature ; there can be no legitimate privilege, where there already exists a positive law adequate to the purpose; and when there is no law in existence, the privilege is to be justified by its accordance with the end, or final cause, of all law. Unusual and new coined words are doubtless an evil; but vagueness, confusion, and imperfect conveyance of our thoughts, are a far greater. Every system, which is under the necessity of using terms not familiarized by the metaphysicks in fashion, will be described as written in an unintelligible style, and the author must expect the charge of having substituted learned jargon for clear conception; while, according to the creed of our modern philosophers, nothing is deemed a clear conception, but what is representable by a distinct image. Thus the conceivable is reduced within the bounds of the picturable. Hinc patet, quî fiat ut, cum irrepræsentabile et impossibile vulgo ejusdem significatûs habeantur, conceptus tam Continui, quam infiniti, a plurimis rejeciantur, quippe quorum, secundum leges cognitionis intuitive, repræsentatio est impossibilis. Quanquam autem harum e non paucis scholis explosarum notionum, præsertim prioris, causam hic non gero, maximi tamen momenti erit monuisse : gravissimo illos errore labi, qui tam perversâ argumentandi ratione utuntur. Quicquid enim repugnat legibus intellectûs et rationis, utique est impossibile; quod autem, cum rationis puræ sit objectum, legibus cognitionis intuitivæ tantummodo non subest, non item. Nam hinc dissensus inter facultatem sensitivam et intellectualem, (quarem indolem, mox exponam) nihil indigitat, nisi, quas mens ab intellectu accerptas fert ideas abstractas, illas in concreto exequi, et in Intuitus commutare sæpenumero non posse. Hæc autem reluctantia

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