Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

of external material objects that excite them by impressions. Again, by a visual extended copy, by a color, we do mediately perceive a thing, as to its extension, that in itself is invisible or not immediately seen. The extended color is a representation and sign of what in itself is unseen. That proposition cannot be unintelligible to a Berkeleian. And by a tactual sense-copy we feel what in itself cannot be felt; or we perceive mediately what is unperceivable directly in itself; or we know mediately what we do not know immediately. Further, we know that our internal sensation or percept is, as to the primary qualities of extension and figure, like the extension and figure of the external object and cause. This knowledge is involved in, or perhaps it should rather be said, is identical with the inference we make of extra-mental objects on the basis, as was above considered, of immediate experience of subjective causality and of subjective extension. This inference is cogent. In it there is included a genuine comparison, as to extension, of the internal percept immediately known with the external object. Our percept or representation is known to conform to the external object, because the object is cognized not independently of, but through, the representation. There is no imperative need of a previous comparison of idea and object, or of a previous and independent knowledge of the object. Comparison is in the inference of the object. The inference comprehends or is identical with comparison. Finally, by this inferential process, it becomes intelligible in general how mind and object "get together," or how object becomes "accessible" to mind.

There are other questions and facts, additional to those we have treated of, which, though not of primary

importance, well deserve attention in the discussion of the perception of matter, but which we must here pass over. For instance, this question: As we have immediate knowledge of a mental cause only, how come we thereby to the mediate knowledge or inference of a non-mental or material cause; and the question as to the discrimination of our body from external objects, or other bodies from ours; and also the question, how we arrive at the conclusion that the primary qualities of our percepts represent external properties, but the secondary qualities not.1 Respecting the first question it may be observed casually, that there is no sufficient basis for maintaining that the mind, the mind of a child, must find it a long and difficult procedure to discriminate between external extended animate, and external extended inanimate, causes, or between mental and non-mental.2

We proceed, finally, to review, but in the briefest manner, Berkeley's place in the historical development of the philosophy of the perception of the external, especially of matter. And first of him as a successor of Locke. It might seem unreasonable to speak of Berkeley as a successor of Locke in any other sense than as simply following him in time with no doctrinal relationship. Certainly Berkeley is not a follower, but a determined antagonist, of Locke's teachings respecting the cognizability and reality of the material world. He rejected absolutely Locke's dualism of spirit and matter.

1 These questions receive considerable attention in the author's earlier work, The Principles of Knowledge.

2 Dreams are cited by Berkeley and his followers as evidence that ideas are entirely independent of bodies outside the mind and require not the existence of such bodies. But the proof is inconclusive; since dreams are but derivative and secondary phenomena, and can never have importance in the discussion of external perception like that of the original phenomena, presentations.

Nevertheless, in some of the most important principles of Locke's philosophy, he is obviously a close follower. He accepts fully Locke's doctrine that we have immediate knowledge of our mind and ideas only; that we can have nothing but mediate knowledge of any reality outside our mind or distinct. Again, he accepts fully Locke's teaching respecting subjective power and causation, and the contrast between ideas caused by our conscious effort, and ideas not so caused. Further, he agrees with Locke as to the existence of other distinct spirits, or the plurality of spirits. And it may be claimed that, even in respect to Locke's doctrine of the representative perception of matter, which is so nearly related to these other teachings of his, Berkeley is in a mode a follower; is a follower in this sense, that he maintains an element necessary for the completion of the Lockian doctrine, or that thus, if he does not lead the doctrine along the line of its true development, he indicates that line. This Berkeley effects, though certainly without any thought or design of so doing, by his tenet of mental extension, or of sensations as possessing the primary qualities of extension and figure. By the recognition and affirmation of this real character of sensations and percepts, an essential supplement is provided for Locke's theory of representative perception, or his doctrine that our ideas of the primary qualities of matter resemble them. It is shown how ideas may be truly copies of external qualities; and how Locke's representative doctrine may be made complete, or be rendered reasonable and tenable.

But in indicating the true course of the development of Locke's theory, Berkeley also, by the same means and by his special teachings concerning mediate knowledge, betokens in general the course of the development

of the true philosophy of external perception. He suggests, still in entire self-contravention, the principles and mode for the construction of a complete and genuine theory of the empirical cognition of the material world; a theory which should be superior to and should supersede the speculations of the idealists regarding the reality and perceivability of external matter, and also the hypotheses of the apriorists.

CHAPTER IV

TRUTH

Among the philosophical subjects most earnestly considered at the present day is that of the Nature of Truth. There are two common conceptions or definitions of Truth. First, Truth is often made identical with fact, reality, actuality. Secondly, it is often defined as "agreement of idea with reality" or "correspondence of thought to its object."1 But it should be remarked that while many unite in these latter definitions and others of like import, yet this does not imply unity among them of doctrine; for, with concurrence in definitions, there are very notable divergences in meanings respecting both the character of reality and object and the character of agreement or correspondence. In the present discussion, truth will be taken in the second sense, as correspondence or agreement of thought, idea, belief, with its object or with reality. The special understanding had of reality and of correspondence will be exhibited hereafter. Truth is thus supposed to be an entirely subjective or mental attribute a property of our thought.

Note may be made of four sorts of truth or correspondence of thought, answering to four kinds of ex

"Truth may

1 This difference of connotation has been thus stated: be understood in two ways-in an objective and in a subjective sense. Objectively, truth is being itself: it is the necessary and essential relation of things, which would continue to be what it is even if I were not present to form a thought of it. Subjectively, truth is the conformity of the thought to its object." (Janet, Theory of Moral Science, p. 107.) 151

« PredošláPokračovať »