A History of Philosophy in Epitome Part 12

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(2) _Quality_ has for its schema _the content of time_. If I wish to represent to myself the understanding conception of reality, which belongs to quality, I bring before me in thought a time filled up, or a content of time. That is real which fills a time. If also I would represent to myself the pure understanding conception of negation, I bring into thought a void time.

(3) The categories of _relation_ take their schemata from _the order of time_; for if I would represent to myself a determinate relation, I always bring into thought a determinate order of things in time.

Substance appears as the persistence of the real in time; causality as regular succession in time; reciprocal action as the regular coetaneousness of the determinations in the one substance, with the determinations in the other.

(4) The categories of _modality_ take their schema from _the whole of time_, _i. e._ from whether, and how, an object belongs to time. The schema of possibility is the general harmony of a representation with the conditions of time; the schema of actuality is the existence of an object in a determined time; that of necessity is the existence of an object for all time.

We are thus furnished with all the means for forming metaphysical fundamental principles (judgments apriori); we have, _firstly_, conceptions apriori, and _secondly_, schemata through which we can apply these conceptions to objects; for since every object which we can perceive, falls in time, so must it also fall under one of these schemata, which have been borrowed from time, and must consequently permit the corresponding category to be applied to it. The judgments which we here attain are synthetical. They are, corresponding to the four cla.s.ses of categories, the following: (1) All phenomena are, according to intuition, extensive greatness, since they cannot be apprehended otherwise than through s.p.a.ce and time. On this principle the axioms of intuition rely. (2) All phenomena are, according to sensation, intensive greatness, since every sensation has a determined degree, and is capable of increase and diminution. On this principle the antic.i.p.ations of perception rest. (3) The phenomena stand under necessary time-determinations. They contain the substantial, which abides, and the accidental, which changes. In reference to the change of accidence, they are subject to the law of the following connection, through the relation of cause and effect: as substances they are, in respect of their accidences, in a constant reciprocal action. From this principle spring the a.n.a.logies of experience. (4) The postulates of empirical thinking are contained in the principles: (_a_) that which coincides with the formal conditions of experience, is possible, and can become phenomenon; (_b_) that which agrees with the material conditions of experience is actual, and is phenomenon; (_c_) that, whose connection with the actual is determined according to the universal conditions of experience, is necessary, and must be phenomenon. Such are the possible and authorized synthetical judgments apriori. But it must not be forgotten that we are ent.i.tled to make only an empirical use of all these conceptions and principles, and that we must ever apply them only to things as objects of a possible experience, and never to things in themselves; for the conception without an object is an empty form, but the object cannot be given to the conception except in intuition, and the pure intuition of s.p.a.ce and time needs to be filled by experience.

Hence, without reference to human experience, these apriori conceptions and principles are nothing but a sporting of the imagination and the understanding, with their representations. Their peculiar determination is only to enable us to spell perceptions, that we may read them as experiences. But here one is apt to fall into a delusion, which can hardly be avoided. Since the categories are not grounded upon the sensory, but have an apriori origin, it would seem as though their application would reach far beyond the sense; but such a view is a delusion; our conceptions are not able to lead us to a knowledge of things in themselves (_noumena_), since our intuition gives us only phenomena for the content of our conceptions, and the thing in itself can never be given in a possible experience; our knowledge remains limited to the phenomena. The source of all the confusions and errors and strife in previous metaphysics, was in confounding the phenomenal with the noumenal world.

Besides the categories or conceptions of the understanding, which have been considered, and which are especially important for experience, though often applied erroneously beyond the province of experience, there are other conceptions whose peculiar province is only to deceive; conceptions whose express determination is to pa.s.s beyond the province of experience, and which may consequently be called transcendent. These are the fundamental conceptions and principles of the previous metaphysics. To examine these conceptions, and destroy the appearance of objective science and knowledge, which they falsely exhibit, is the problem of the _Transcendental Dialectics_ (the second part of the transcendental logic).

3. THE TRANSCENDENTAL DIALECTICS.-In a strict sense, the reason is distinguished from the understanding. As the understanding has its categories, the reason has its ideas; as the understanding forms fundamental maxims from conceptions, the reason forms principles from ideas, in which the maxims of the understanding have their highest confirmation. The peculiar work of the reason is, in general, to find the unconditioned for the conditioned knowledge of the understanding, and to unify it. Hence the reason is the faculty of the unconditioned, or of principles; but since it has no immediate reference to objects, but only to the understanding and its judgments, its activity must remain an immanent one. If it would take the highest unity of the reason not simply in a transcendental sense, but exalt it to an actual object of knowledge, then it would become transcendent in that it applied the conceptions of the understanding to the knowledge of the unconditioned.

From this transcending and false use of the categories, arises the transcendental appearance which decoys us beyond experience, by the delusive pretext of widening the domain of the pure understanding. It is the problem of the transcendental logic to discover this transcendental appearance.

The speculative ideas of the reason, derived from the three kinds of logical conclusion, the categorical, the hypothetical, and the disjunctive, are threefold.

(1.) The psychological idea, the idea of the soul, as a thinking substance (the object hitherto of rational psychology).

(2.) The cosmological idea, the idea of the world as including all phenomena (the object hitherto of cosmology).

(3.) The theological idea, the idea of G.o.d as the highest condition of the possibility of all things (the object hitherto of rational theology).

But with these ideas, in which the reason attempts to apply the categories of the understanding to the unconditioned, the reason becomes unavoidably entangled in a semblance and an illusion. This transcendental semblance, or this optical illusion of the reason, exhibits itself differently in each of the different ideas. With the psychological ideas the reason perpetrates a simple paralogism, while with the cosmological it finds itself driven to contradictory affirmations or antinomies, and, with the theological, it wanders about in an empty ideal.

(1.) _The psychological ideas, or the paralogisms of the pure reason._

Kant has attempted, under this rubric, to overthrow all rational psychology as this had been previously apprehended. Rational psychology has considered the soul as a thing called by that name with the attribute of immateriality, as a simple substance with the attribute of incorruptibility, as a numerically identical, intellectual substance with the predicate of personality, as an unextended and thinking being with the predicate of immortality. All these principles of rational psychology, says Kant, are surrept.i.tious; they are all derived from the one premise, "I think;" but this premise is neither intuition nor conception, but a simple consciousness, an act of the mind which attends, connects, and bears in itself all representations and conceptions. This thinking is now falsely taken as a real thing; the being of the Ego as object is connected with the Ego as subject, and that which is affirmed a.n.a.lytically of the latter is predicated synthetically of the former. But in order to treat the Ego also as object, and to be able to apply to it categories, it must be given empirically, in an intuition, which is not the case. From all this it follows that the proofs for immortality rest upon false conclusions. I can, indeed, separate my pure thinking _ideally_ from the body; but obviously, it does not follow from this that my thinking can exist _really_ when separate from the body. The result which Kant derives from his critick of rational psychology is this, viz., there is no rational psychology as a _doctrine_ which can furnish us with any addition to our self-knowledge, but only as a _discipline_, which places impa.s.sable limits to the speculative reason in this field, in order that it may neither throw itself into the bosom of a soulless materialism, nor lose itself in the delusion of a groundless spiritualism. In this respect rational psychology would rather remind us, that this refusal of our reason to give a satisfactory answer to the questions which stretch beyond this life, should be regarded as an intimation of the reason for us to leave this fruitless and superfluous speculation, and apply our self-knowledge to some fruitful and practical use.

(2.) _The Antinomies of Cosmology._

The cosmological ideas cannot be fully attained without the aid of the categories. (1) So far as the quant.i.ty of the world is concerned, s.p.a.ce and time are the original _quanta_ of all intuition. In a quant.i.tative respect, therefore, the cosmological idea must hold fast to something concerning the totality of the times and s.p.a.ces of the world. (2) In respect of quality, the divisibility of matter must be regarded. (3) In respect of relation, the complete series of causes must be sought for the existing effects in the world. (4) In respect of modality, the accidental according to its conditions, or the complete dependence of the accidental in the phenomenon must be conceived. When, now, the reason attempts to establish determinations respecting these problems, it finds itself at once entangled in a contradiction with itself.

Directly contrary affirmations can be made with equal validity in reference to each of these four points. We can show, upon grounds equally valid, (1) the _thesis_, the world has a beginning in time and limits in s.p.a.ce; and the _ant.i.thesis_, the world has neither beginning in time nor limit in s.p.a.ce. (2) The thesis: every compound substance in the world consists of simple parts, and there exists nothing else than the simple and that which it composes; and the ant.i.thesis: no compound thing consists of simple parts, and there exists nothing simple in the world. (3) The thesis: causality according to the laws of nature, is not the only one from which the phenomena of the world may be deduced, but these may be explained through a causality in freedom; and the ant.i.thesis: there is no freedom, but every thing in the world happens only according to natural laws. Lastly, (4) the thesis: something belongs to the world either as its part or its cause, which is an absolutely necessary being; and the ant.i.thesis: there exists no absolutely necessary being as cause of the world, either in the world or without it. From this dialectic conflict of the cosmological ideas, there follows at once the worthlessness of the whole struggle.

(3.) _The ideal of the pure Reason or the idea of G.o.d._

Kant shows at first how the reason comes to the idea of a most real being, and then turns himself against the efforts of previous metaphysics to prove its valid existence. His critick of the arguments employed to prove the existence of a G.o.d, is essentially the following.

(_a._) _The Ontological proof._-The argument here is as follows: it is possible that there is a most real being; now existence is implied in the conception of all reality, and hence, existence necessarily belongs to the conception of the most real being. But, answers Kant, existence is not at all a reality, or real predicate which can be added to the conception of a thing, but it is the position of a thing with all its properties. A thing, however, may lose its existence, and still be deprived of none of its properties. Hence if it have any property, it does not at all follow that it possesses existence. Being is nothing but the logical copula, which, does not in the least enlarge the content of the subject. A hundred actual dollars, _e. g._ contain no more than a hundred possible ones; there is only a difference between them in reference to my own wealth. Thus the most real being may with perfect propriety be conceived of as the most real, while at the same time it should only be conceived of as possible, and not as actual. It was therefore wholly unnatural, and a simple play of school wit, to take an idea which had been arbitrarily formed, and deduce from it the existence of its corresponding object. Any effort and toil which might be spent upon this famous proof is thus only thrown away, and a man would become no richer in knowledge out of simple ideas than a merchant would increase his property by adding a number of ciphers to the balance of his accounts.

(_b._) _The Cosmological proof._-This, like the ontological, infers the existence of an absolute being from the necessity of existence. If any thing exist there must also exist an absolutely necessary being as its cause. But now there exists at least I myself, and there must hence also exist an absolutely necessary being as my cause. The last cosmological antinomy is here brought in to criticise the argument at this stage. The conclusion is erroneous, because from the phenomenal and the accidental a necessary being above experience is inferred. Moreover, if we allow the conclusion to be valid, it is still no G.o.d which it gives us. Hence the farther inference is made: that being can alone be necessary which includes all reality within itself. If now this proposition should be reversed, and the affirmation made that that being which includes all reality is absolutely necessary, then have we again the ontological proof, and the cosmological falls with this. In the cosmological proof, the reason uses the trick of bringing forth as a new argument an old one with a changed dress, that it might seem to have the power of summoning two witnesses.

(_c._) _The Physico-theological proof._-If thus neither conception nor experience can furnish a proof for the divine existence, there still remains a third attempt, viz., to start from a determinate experience, and endeavor to see whether the existence of a supreme being can not be inferred from the arrangement and condition of things in the world. Such is the physico-theological proof, which starts from the evidences of design in nature, and directs its argument as follows: there is evidently design in the universe; this is extraneous to the things of the world, and adheres to them only contingently; there exists therefore a necessary cause of this design which works with wisdom and intelligence; this necessary cause must be the most real being; the most real being has therefore necessary existence.-To this Kant answers: The physico-theological proof is the oldest, clearest, and most conformable to the common reason. But it is not demonstration (apodictic). It infers, from the form of the world, a proportionate and sufficient cause of this form; but in this way we only attain an originator of the form of the world, and not an originator of its matter, a world-builder, and not a world-creator. To help out with this difficulty the cosmological proof is brought in, and the originator of the form becomes conceived as the necessary being lying at the ground of the content. Thus we have an absolute being whose perfection corresponds to that of the world. But in the world there is no absolute perfection; we have therefore only a very perfect being; to get the most perfect, we must revert again to the ontological proof. Thus the teleological proof rests upon the cosmological, while this in turn has its basis in the ontological, and from this circle the metaphysical modes of proof cannot escape.

From these considerations, it would follow that the ideal of a supreme being is nothing other than a regulative principle of the reason, by which it looks upon every connection in the world _as if_ it sprang from an all-sufficient and necessary cause; in order that, in explaining this connection, it may establish the rule of a systematic and necessary unity, it being also true that in this process the reason through a transcendental subreption cannot avoid representing to itself this formal principle as const.i.tutive, and this unity as personal. But in truth this supreme being remains for the simply speculative use of the reason, a mere but faultless ideal, a conception which is the summit and the crown of the whole human knowledge, whose objective reality, though it cannot be proved with apodictic certainty, can just as little be disproved.

With this critick of the ideas of the reason there is still another question. If these ideas have no objective significance, why are they found within us? Since they are necessary, they will doubtless have some good purpose to subserve. What this purpose is, has already been indicated in speaking of the theological idea. Though not const.i.tutive, yet are they regulative principles. We cannot better order the faculties of our soul, than by acting "_as if_" there were a soul. The cosmological idea leads us to consider the world "_as if_" the series of causes were infinite, without, however, excluding an intelligent cause.

The theological idea enables us to look upon the world in all its complexity, as a regulated unity. Thus, while these ideas of the reason are not const.i.tutive principles, by means of which our knowledge could be widened beyond experience, they are regulative principles, by means of which our experience may be ordered, and brought under certain hypothetical unities. These three ideas, therefore, the psychological, the cosmological, and the theological, do not form an organon for the discovery of truth, but only a canon for the simplification and systematizing of our experiences.

Besides their regulative significance, these ideas of the reason have also a practical importance. There is a sufficient certainty, not objective, but subjective, which is especially of a practical nature, and is called belief or confidence. If the freedom of the will, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of a G.o.d, are three cardinal principles, which, though not in any way contributing to our knowledge, are yet pressed continually upon us by the reason, this difficulty is removed in the practical field where these ideas have their peculiar significance for the moral confidence. This confidence is not logical, but moral certainty. Since it rests wholly upon subjective grounds, upon the moral character, I cannot say it is morally certain that there is a G.o.d, but only I am morally certain, &c. That is, the belief in a G.o.d and in another world is so interwoven with my moral character, that I am in just as much danger of losing this character as of being deprived of this belief. We are thus brought to the basis of the PRACTICAL REASON.

II. CRITICK OF THE PRACTICAL REASON.-With the Critick of the Practical Reason, we enter a wholly different world, where the reason richly recovers that of which it was deprived in the theoretical province. The essential problem of the Critick of the Practical Reason is almost diametrically different from that of the critick of the theoretical reason. The object of investigation in the critick of the speculative reason, was,-how can the pure reason know objects apriori; in the practical reason it is,-how can the pure reason determine apriori the will in respect of objects. The critick of the speculative reason inquired after the cognizableness of objects apriori: the practical reason has nothing to do with the cognizableness of objects, but only with the determination of the will. Hence, in the latter critick, we have an order directly the reverse of that which we find in the former.

As the original determinations of our theoretical knowledge are intuitions, so the original determinations of our will are principles and conceptions. The critick of the practical reason must, therefore, start from moral principles, and only after these are firmly fixed, may we inquire concerning the relation in which the practical reason stands to the sensory.

Freedom, says Kant, is given to us apriori as an inner fact, it is a fact of the inner experience. While, therefore, the reason in the theoretical field had only a negative result, because, when it would attain to a true thing in itself it became transcendent, yet now in the practical province it becomes positive through the idea of freedom, because with the fact of freedom we have no need to go out beyond ourselves, but possess a principle immanent to the reason. But why then give a critick of practical reason? In order to determine the relation of freedom to the sensory. Since the free will works through its acts upon the sensory, there must be a point of contact between the two. This is found in the sensuous motives of the will, which exist implanted in it by nature, in the impulses and inclinations which, as the principle of the empiric in opposition to the free or pure will, bear in themselves the character of a want of freedom. Since, then, freedom cannot be touched, a critick of the practical reason can only relate to these empirical motives, in the sense of divesting these from the claim of being exclusively the motives by which the will is determined. While, therefore, in the theoretical reason the empirical element was immanent, and the intelligible transcendent, the reverse is the case in the practical reason, since here the empirical is transcendent, and the intelligible immanent. It is the object of the a.n.a.lytic to show the relation of these two momenta of the will, and the highest moral principle which springs therefrom, while it belongs to the Dialectic to solve the antinomies which result from the contradiction of the pure and empiric will.

(1.) _The a.n.a.lytic._-Freedom, as the one const.i.tuent element which shows itself in the activity of our will, is the simple _form_ of our actions.

The universal law binding the will, is that it should determine itself purely from itself, independently of every external incitement. This capacity of self-lawgiving, or self-determining, Kant calls the _autonomy of the will_. The free autonomic will says to man: thou oughtest! and since this moral ought commands to an unconditioned obedience, the moral imperative is a _categorical imperative_. What is it now which is categorically commanded by the practical reason? To answer this question, we must first consider the empirical will, _i. e._ the nature-side of man.

The empirical, as the other const.i.tuent element of our will, first produces a definite deed when it has filled the empty _form_ of action with the _matter_ of action. The matter of the will is furnished by the sensory in the desire of pleasure and the dread of pain. Since this second principle of our actions does not find its seat in the freedom of the will as the higher faculty of desire, but in the sensory, as the lower faculty of desire, and a foreign law is thus laid upon the will,-Kant calls it, in opposition to the autonomy of the reason, the _heteronomy of the will_.

The categorical imperative is the necessary law of freedom binding upon all men, and is distinguished from material motives, in that the latter have no fixed character. For men are at variance in respect of pleasure and pain, since that which is disagreeable to one may seem pleasant to another, and if they ever agree, this is simply accidental.

Consequently, these material motives can never act the part of laws binding upon every being, but each subject may find his end in a different motive. Such rules of acting, Kant calls _maxims_ of the will.

He also censures those moralists who have exalted such maxims as universal principles of morality.

Nevertheless, these maxims, though not the highest principles of morality, are yet necessary to the autonomy of the will, because they alone furnish for it a content. It is only by uniting the two sides, that we gain the true principle of morality. To this end the maxims of acting must be freed from their limitation, and widened to the form of universal laws of the reason. Only those maxims should be chosen as motives of action which are capable of becoming universal laws of the reason. _The highest principle of morality_ will therefore be this: act so that the maxims of thy will can at the same time be valid as the principle of a universal lawgiving, _i.e._ that no contradiction shall arise in the attempt to conceive the maxims of thy acting as a law universally obeyed. Through this formal moral principle all material moral principles which can only be of a heteronomic nature, are excluded.

The question next arises-what impels the will to act conformably to this highest moral law? Kant answers: the moral law itself, apprehended and revered, must be the only moving spring of the human will. If an act which in itself might be conformable to the moral law, be done only through some impulse to happiness arising simply from an inclination of the sense, if it be not done purely for the sake of the law, then have we simply _legality_ and not _morality_. That which is included in every inclination of the sense is self-love and self-conceit, and of these the former is restricted by the moral law, and the latter wholly stricken down. But that which strikes down our self-conceit and humbles us must appear to us in the highest degree worthy of esteem. But this is done by the moral law. Consequently the positive feeling which we shall cherish in respect of the moral law will be reverence. This reverence, though a feeling, is neither sensuous nor pathological, for it stands opposed to these; but is rather an intellectual feeling, since it arises from the notion of the practical law of the reason. On the one side as subordination to law, the reverence includes pain; on the other side, since the coercion can only be exercised through the proper reason, it includes pleasure. Reverence is the single sensation befitting man in reference to the moral law. Man, as creature of sense, cannot rest on any inner inclination to the moral law, for he has ever inclinations within him which resist the law; love to the law can only be considered as something ideal.-Thus the moral purism of Kant, or his effort to separate every impulse of the sense from the motives to action, merges into rigorism, or the dark view that duty can never be done except with resistance. A similar exaggeration belongs to the well-known epigram of Schiller, who answers the following scruple of conscience-

The friends whom I love, I gladly would serve, But to this inclination incites me; And so I am forced from virtue to swerve Since my act, through affection, delights me-

with the following decision:

The friends whom thou lov'st, thou must first seek to scorn, For to no other way can I guide thee: 'Tis alone with disgust thou canst rightly perform The acts to which duty would lead thee.

(2.) _The Dialectic._-The pure reason has always its dialectics, since it belongs to the nature of the reason to demand the unconditioned for the given conditioned. Hence also the practical reason seeks an unconditioned highest good for that conditioned good after which man strives. What is this highest good? If we understand by the highest good the fundamental condition of all other goods, then it is virtue. But virtue is not the perfect good, since the finite reason as sensitive stands in need also of happiness. Hence the highest good is only perfect when the highest happiness is joined to the highest virtue. The question now arises: what is the relation of these two elements of the highest good to each other? Are they a.n.a.lytically or synthetically connected together? The former would be affirmed by most of the ancients, especially by the Greek moral philosophers. We might allow with the Stoics, that happiness is contained as an accidental element in virtue, or, with the Epicureans, that virtue is contained as an accidental element in happiness. The Stoics said: to be conscious of one's virtue is happiness; the Epicureans said: to be conscious of the maxims leading one to happiness is virtue. But, says Kant, an a.n.a.lytic connection between these two conceptions is not possible, since they are wholly different in kind. Consequently there can be between them only a synthetic unity, and this unity more closely scanned is seen to be a causal one, so that the one element is cause, and the other effect. Such a relation must be regarded as its highest good by the practical reason, whose thesis must therefore be: virtue and happiness must be bound together in a correspondent degree as cause and effect. But this thesis is all thwarted by the actual fact. Neither of the two is the direct cause of the other. Neither is the striving after happiness a moving spring to virtue, nor is virtue the efficient cause of happiness. Hence the ant.i.thesis: virtue and happiness do not necessarily correspond, and are not universally connected as cause and effect. The critical solution of this antinomy Kant finds in distinguishing between the sensible and the intelligible world. In the world of sense, virtue and happiness do not, it is true, correspond; but the reason as _noumenon_ is also a citizen of a supersensible world, where the counter-strife between virtue and happiness has no place. In this supersensible world virtue is always adequate to happiness, and when man pa.s.ses over into this he may look for the actualization of the highest good. But the highest good has, as already remarked, two elements, (1) highest virtue, (2) highest happiness. The actualization demanded for the first of these elements postulates the _immortality of the soul_, and for the second, _the existence of G.o.d_.

(_a._) To the highest good belongs in the first place perfect virtue or holiness. But no creature of sense can be holy: reason united to sense can only approximate holiness as an ideal in an endless progression. But such an endless progress is only possible in an endless continuance of personal existence. If, therefore, the highest good shall ever be actualized, the immortality of the soul must be presupposed.

(_b._) To the highest good belongs, in the second place, perfect happiness. Happiness is that condition of a rational creature in the world, to whom every thing goes according to his desire and will. This can only occur when all nature is in accord with his ends. But this is not the case; as acting beings we are not the cause of nature, and there is not the slightest ground in the moral law for connecting morality and happiness. Notwithstanding this, we _ought_ to endeavor to secure the highest good. It must therefore be possible. There is thus postulated the necessary connection of these two elements, _i. e._ the existence of a cause of nature distinct from nature, and which contains the ground of this connection. There must be a being as the common cause of the natural and moral world, a being who knows our characters of intelligence, and who, according to this intelligence imparts to us happiness. Such a being is G.o.d.

Thus from the practical reason there issue the ideas of immortality and of G.o.d, as we have already seen to be the case with the idea of freedom.

The reality of the idea of freedom is derived from the possibility of a moral law; that of the idea of immortality is borrowed from the possibility of a perfect virtue; that of the idea of a G.o.d follows from the necessary demand of a perfect happiness. These three ideas, therefore, which the speculative reason has treated as problems that could not be solved, gain a firm basis in the province of the practical reason. Still they are not yet theoretical dogmas, but as Kant calls them practical postulates, necessary premises of moral action. My theoretical knowledge is not enlarged by them: I only know now that there are objects corresponding to these ideas, but of these objects I can know no more. Of G.o.d, for instance, we possess and know no more than this very conception; and if we should attempt to establish the theory of the supersensible grounded upon such categories, this would be to make theology like a magic lantern, with its phantasmagorical representations. Yet has the practical reason acquired for us a certainty respecting the objective reality of these ideas, which the theoretical reason had been obliged to leave undecided, and in this respect the practical reason has the primacy. This relation of the two faculties of knowledge is wisely established in relation to the destiny of men. Since the ideas of G.o.d and immortality are theoretically obscure to us, they do not defile our moral motives by fear and hope, but leave us free s.p.a.ce to act through reverence for the moral law.

Thus far Kant's Critick of the Practical Reason. In connection with this we may here mention his _views of religion_ as they appear in his treatise upon "_Religion within the Bounds of Pure Reason_." The chief idea of this treatise is the referring of religion to morality. Between morality and religion there may be the twofold relation, that either morality is founded upon religion, or else religion upon morality. If the first relation were real, it would give us fear and hope as principles of moral action; but this cannot be, and we are therefore left alone to the second. Morality leads necessarily to religion, because the highest good is a necessary ideal of the reason, and this can only be realized through a G.o.d; but in no way may religion first incite us to virtue, for the idea of G.o.d may never become a moral motive. Religion, according to Kant, is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands. It is revealed religion when I find in it the divine command, and thus learn my duty; it is natural religion when I find in it my duty, and thus learn the divine command. The Church is an ethical community, which has for its end the fulfilment and the most perfect exhibition of moral commands,-a union of those who with united energies purpose to resist evil and advance morality. The Church, in so far as it is no object of a possible experience, is called the invisible Church, which, as such, is a simple idea of the union of all the righteous under the divine moral government of the world. The visible Church, on the other hand, is that which presents the kingdom of G.o.d upon earth, so far as this can be attained through men. The requisites, and hence also the characteristics of the true visible Church (which are divided according to the table of the categories since this Church is given in experience) are the following: (_a_) In respect of _quant.i.ty_ the Church must be total or _universal_; and though it may be divided in accidental opinions, yet must it be inst.i.tuted upon such principles as will necessarily lead to a universal union in one single church. (_b_) The _quality_ of the true visible Church is _purity_, as a union under no other than moral motives, since it is at the same time purified from the stupidness of superst.i.tion and the madness of fanaticism. (_c_) The _relation_ of the members of the Church to each other rests upon the principle of freedom. The Church is, therefore, a _free state_, neither a hierarchy nor a democracy, but a voluntary, universal, and enduring union of heart. (_d_) In respect of _modality_ the Church demands that its const.i.tution should not be changed. The laws themselves may not change, though one may reserve to himself the privilege of changing some accidental arrangements which relate simply to the administration.-That alone which can establish a universal Church is the moral faith of the reason, for this alone can be shared by the convictions of every man.

But, because of the peculiar weakness of human nature, we can never reckon enough on this pure faith to build a Church on it alone, for men are not easily convinced that the striving after virtue and an irreproachable life is every thing which G.o.d demands: they always suppose that they must offer to G.o.d a special service prescribed by tradition, in which it only comes to this-that he is served.

To establish a Church, we must therefore have a statutory faith historically grounded upon facts. This is the so-called faith of the Church, In every Church there are therefore two elements-the purely moral, or the faith of reason, and the historico-statutory, or the faith of the Church. It depends now upon the relation of the two elements whether a Church shall have any worth or not. The statutory element should ever be only the vehicle of the moral. Just so soon as this element becomes in itself an independent end, claiming an independent validity, will the Church become corrupt and irrational, and whenever the Church pa.s.ses over to the pure faith of reason, does it approximate to the kingdom of G.o.d. Upon this principle we may distinguish the true from the spurious service of the kingdom of G.o.d, religion from priestcraft. A dogma has worth alone in so far as it has a moral content. The apostle Paul himself would with difficulty have given credit to the dicta of the faith of the Church without this moral faith.

From the doctrine of the Trinity, _e. g._ taken literally, nothing actually practical can be derived. Whether we have to reverence in the G.o.dhead three persons or ten makes no difference, if in both cases we have the same rules for our conduct of life. The Bible also, with its interpretation, must be considered in a moral point of view. The records of revelation must be interpreted in a sense which will harmonize with the universal rules of the religion of reason. Reason is in religious things the highest interpreter of the Bible. This interpretation in reference to some texts may seem forced, yet it must be preferred to any such literal interpretation as would contain nothing for morality, or perhaps go against every moral motive. That such a moral signification may always be found without ever entirely repudiating the literal sense, results from the fact that the foundation for a moral religion lay originally in the human reason. We need only to divest the representations of the Bible of their mythical dress (an attempt which Kant has himself made, by moral explanation of some of the weightiest doctrines), in order to attain a rational sense which shall be universally valid. The historical element of the sacred books is in itself of no account. The maturer the reason becomes, the more it can hold fast for itself the moral sense, so much the more unnecessary will be the statutory inst.i.tutions of the faith of the Church. The transition of the faith of the Church to the pure faith of reason is the approximation to the kingdom of G.o.d, to which, however, we can only approach nearer and nearer in an infinite progress. The actual realization of the kingdom of G.o.d is the end of the world, the cessation of history.

III. CRITICK OF THE FACULTY OF JUDGMENT.-The conception of this science Kant gives in the following manner. The two faculties of the human mind hitherto considered were the faculty of knowledge and that of desire. It was proved in the Critick of pure Reason, that the understanding only as faculty of knowledge included const.i.tutive principles apriori; and it was shown in the Critick of Practical Reason, that the reason possesses const.i.tutive principles apriori, simply in reference to the faculty of desire. Whether now the _faculty of judgment_, as the middle link between understanding and reason, can take its object-the feeling of pleasure and pain as the middle link between the faculty of knowledge and that of desire-and furnish it apriori with principles which shall be for themselves const.i.tutive and not simply regulative: this is the point upon which the Critick of the Faculty of Judgment has to turn.

The faculty of judgment is the middle link between the understanding as the faculty of conceptions, and the reason as the faculty of principles.

In this position it has the following functions: The speculative reason had taught us to consider the world only according to natural laws; the practical reason had inferred for us a moral world, in which every thing is determined through freedom. There was thus a gulf between the kingdom of nature and that of freedom, which could not be pa.s.sed unless the faculty of judgment should furnish a conception which should unite the two sides. That it is ent.i.tled to do this lies in the very conception of the faculty of judgment. Since it is the faculty of conceiving the particular as contained under the universal, it thus refers the empirical manifoldness of nature to a supersensible, transcendental principle, which embraces in itself the ground for the unity of the manifold. The object of the faculty of judgment is, therefore, the conception of _design_ in nature; for the evidence of this points to that supersensible unity which contains the ground for the actuality of an object. And since all design and every actualization of an end is connected with pleasure, we may farther explain the faculty of judgment by saying, that it contains the laws for the feeling of pleasure and pain.

The evidence of design in nature can be represented either subjectively or objectively. In the first case I perceive pleasure and pain, immediately through the representation of an object, before I have formed a conception of it; my delight, in this instance, can only be referred to a designed harmony of relation, between the form of an object, and my faculty of beholding. The faculty of judgment viewed thus subjectively, is called the _aesthetic faculty_. In the second case, I form to myself at the outset, a conception of the object, and then judge whether the form of the object corresponds to this conception. In order to find a flower that is beautiful to my beholding, I do not need to have a conception of the flower; but, if I would see a design in it, then a conception is necessary. The faculty of judgment, viewed as capacity to judge of these objective designs, is called the _teleological faculty_.

1. CRITICK OF THE aeSTHETIC FACULTY OF JUDGMENT. (1.) _a.n.a.lytic._-The a.n.a.lytic of the aesthetic faculty of judgment is divided into two parts, the a.n.a.lytic of the _beautiful_, and the a.n.a.lytic of the _sublime_.

In order to discover what is required in naming an object _beautiful_, we must a.n.a.lyze the judgment of taste, as the faculty for deciding upon the beautiful. (_a_) In respect of quality, the beautiful is the object of a pure, uninterested satisfaction. This disinterestedness enables us to distinguish between the satisfaction in the beautiful, and the satisfaction in the agreeable and the good. In the agreeable and the good I am interested; my satisfaction in the agreeable is connected with a sensation of desire; my satisfaction in the good is, at the same time, a motive for my will to actualize it. My satisfaction in the beautiful alone is without interest. (_b_) In respect of quant.i.ty, the beautiful is that which universally pleases. In respect of the agreeable, every one decides that his satisfaction in it is only a personal one; but if any one should affirm of a picture, that it is beautiful, he would expect that not only he, but every other one, would also find it so.

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A History of Philosophy in Epitome Part 12 summary

You're reading A History of Philosophy in Epitome. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Albert Schwegler. Already has 183 views.

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