Schmucker's Psychology

Schmucker's Psychology.*
(From the Democratic Review for October, 1842.)

*Psychology; or Elements of a New System of Mental Philosophy, on the Basis of Consciousness and Common Sense.  Designed for Colleges and Academies.  By S.S. Schmucker, D.D., Professor of Christian Theology in the Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pa. New York: 1842.

Most Americans, and we were about to say, all Englishmen, of the present day, who devote themselves to philosophic studies, take altogether too low and contracted views of philosophy; and seem to have no suspicion of the real grandeur and extent of its province.  They make philosophy, even when wishing to commend it to our love and reverence, consist in mere speculation; or in the mere analysis and classification of dry abstractions, or the dead phenomena of our past lives, utterly incapable of affording us either light or warmth for the duties that lie before us.

Rightly defined, philosophy is so much of the religion of a given country, or of a given epoch as the human mind in that country or epoch, is able to understand and appropriate.  It is the science of life, and embraces within its view God, Man, and Nature.  Its aim is to enlighten the mind and warm the heart.  It does not merely make discursions on what is, or what has been; it does not seek merely to explain and account for the past and the present, to make us familiar with the laws of Providence, of the universe, or of humanity; but aims to disclose to men a new and a loftier Ideal of wisdom, beauty and goodness; and, therefore, to have an immediate bearing on every-day life.  It surveys the past and the present, it is true; is erudite and observant; inquires into the nature of man and the universe, into the origin and relations of their respective phenomena; but always with a view to practical life,--always with the sole aim of making mankind wiser and better; of ameliorating their moral, intellectual, or physical condition, and of inducing them to live in stricter obedience to the law of their being, and the will of their Maker.

They wholly mistake the nature and purpose of philosophy who define it to be a merely speculative science.  It is not, as too many of our modern psychologists contend, the product of mere reflection, of what M. Cousin terms the reflective reason.  Its province is precisely that of religion, of which it is merely a special phase; it embraces the same objects, contemplates the same ends, uses the same means, and relies on the same authority.  The philosopher is never a cold, dry, withered-up being, without heart or soul, surveying with indifference, without passion or sympathy, all systems, all opinions, all beings, and all phenomena; but he is a living man, deeply, often terribly, in earnest, and manifesting in its most awful energy, man's threefold power to know, to love, and to do.  He is no amateur, no dilettante; but a full grown man, hearty, robust, and resolute; meaning what he says, and doing what he means.  He thinks, speculates, feels, acts, always to some end.  He has always a point to carry--a purpose to accomplish.  His philosophizing is never but a means to an end.  He is one who is not and cannot be satisfied with what has already been gained.  Prevalent systems of faith strike him as defective, false, or mischievous; approved practices as low, corrupt, and corrupting; established forms of worship as puerile, cold, and uninspiring; existing governments as oppressive, tyrannical, grinding, at best inadequate to man's wants, rights, duties, and destiny; and over them all, over the whole Actual, there hovers to his mind, a bright and kindling Ideal of something fairer, freer, loftier, wiser, and better; more conducive to the glory of God, and the relief of man.  To this Ideal, seen clearly, or dimly, which forsakes him never, his soul is wedded, for better or for worse, for life or for death, time or eternity; and he studies, toils, struggles, suffers, lives, dies, but to realize it in the practical life of his race.  No man is a philosopher who has not an ideal Good, as well as an ideal Truth or Beauty, which he burns to realize, and which he will realize, cost what it may.  Something more than reflection, then, is necessary to make the philosopher.  He needs to be inspired, as much as does the genuine poet, the prophet, or the founder of a Church.

Philosophy is not merely the science of man, of nature, or of God.  It is the science of sciences; that which brings all the special sciences up to a common unity, disclosing the common basis of them all, and directing their cultivation and application to a common end,--the continued progress of mankind, or the uninterrupted amelioration, in the speediest manner possible, of their moral, intellectual, and physical condition.  

In this high, this religious sense, we have no generally recognized philosophy among us.  We have sciences, but no science.  All is special, individual, anarchical;  nothing general, catholic, orderly.  Thought has no unity, either in aim or result.  The special sciences we cultivate are not subjected to one and the same law of thought--are not pervaded by one and the same living idea--and do not conspire to one and the same social and religious end.  Theology, geology, chemistry, physiology, psychology, ethics, politics, are treated as so many distinct and separate sciences; not merely as different branches of one and the same science.  In studying one of them, we must learn what we must unlearn in studying another,--receive in this as true what in that we must reject 
as false.  Contradiction, confusion, falsehood, therefore, reign in our scientific world, and science is able to do  
comparatively little for the advancement of the race.

In consequence of this anarchy, arising from the individualism which predominates, all the sciences, not excepting even theology, have with us somewhat of an irreligious tendency.  The radical conception of religion is that something which binds, lays under obligation, is authoritative, has the right to legislate, to command.  Religion is always authoritative, always legislative; it imposes the law; commands, nay, enforces us to do our best to realize the ideal it proposes.  Of this ideal it permits us to lose sight never; but compels us to seek it, though at the risk of being scorned and derided, though we must brave exile and the dungeon, the scaffold, or the cross.  But none of our sciences are authoritative; none of them propose an ideal and bind us, in foro conscientiæ, to realize it.  They have, then, no religious, but an irreligious character.  Their authority is lost by the fact, that they are mere individual sciences, wanting a common bond of unity, a vivifying principal, embracing, explaining, and uniting them all in one uniform and catholic science.  They are now weak, and mutually destructive, like a mass of individuals thrown together, and striving to exist together without any power of cohesion, or principle of social order, which is out of the question; for each is infinitely repellant of the other, and one perpetually neutralizes or thwarts the efforts of another. 

The secret of this scientific anarchy may be found in the separation which has for a long time been attempted between religion and philosophy.  Philosophy is asserted to be of human origin, and religion to be of divine origin.  Religious people formerly condemned philosophy as repugnant to religion; philosophers have latterly condemned religion as repugnant to what they have been pleased to call philosophy.  More lately still, the rational and better-informed among religious people have contended that God cannot teach through nature one doctrine, and an opposite doctrine through Revelation; and they therefore, have sought to harmonize religion and philosophy, by making the teachings of the one quadrate with those of the other.  This is what Leibnitz attempts in his "Theodicea."

But these last fall into as great, though not so obvious, an error as the other two; and do equally separate religion and philosophy.  Philosophy is said to be that amount of truth to which we attain by the natural exercise of our faculties, without any special aid from our Maker: religion is the truth which we are taught by supernatural revelation.  Here are then two systems of truth, and, if we examine their contents, we shall find them treating precisely the same questions.  Now these two systems must needs be either opposing systems or parallel systems.  If philosophy, acknowledged to be of human origin, be true, what need of divine revelation?  If divine revelation be necessary to teach us the truth, what is the use of philosophy?  Or how can philosophy, resting upon a basis independent of revelation, possibly be true?  The separation of religion and philosophy, then, necessarily declares, to say the least, that one or the other is superfluous.

But there is no separation between religion and philosophy admissible.  We do not mean to say by this, that the two coincide or harmonize in their teaching; but that the two are not two, but one.  We have no original means of arriving at the knowledge of truth but the supernatural revelation of God.  This revelation is the necessary basis of all that can be received as truth, whether termed religious truth or philosophical truth.  Revelation is as necessary to furnish the basis of philosophy, as it is to furnish the basis of religion.  Philosophy, then, is not a system of truth built up on a separate foundation, independent of religion, and able, and therefore having the right, to sit in judgment on religion, to overthrow it, or to explain and verify it; but is, if it be philosophy, identical with religion--the form which religion necessarily assumes when subjected to the action of the human mind.  Instead, then, of seeking to reconcile religion and philosophy, we should seek their synthesis, to resolve philosophy into religion, and to find in divine revelation the one solid basis for our whole faith, whether termed religious or philosophical.

A people believing in the Christian religion can have, can at least tolerate, no philosophy resting on a basis independent of Christianity, and contemplating any Ideal but the Christian.  Christianity is the philosophy, and the sole philosophy of Christendom.  It is with all Christian people the supreme law of life. It has then the right to preside over the whole moral, intellectual, and physical development of humanity.  Its Ideal is the only authorized Ideal.  In Christianity, then, we must seek the science of sciences, the common bond, the catholic principle, that raises up all special sciences to a common unity, vivifies them, and directs their application to a common end.  The anarchy and irreligious tendency of modern sciences grow out of the fact, that the authority of Christianity in regard to them is denied, and the principle of individual liberty, in its most unrestricted sense, is affirmed.  This must be corrected.  For after all, we cannot get rid of Christianity, nor of its authority, even if we would; and our efforts to do so only confuse our language, and render us unintelligible each to himself, and all to one another.  Christianity has become our life; it lies at the bottom of all our literature; and we cannot think, feel, or act, without thinking, feeling, acting it.  It, so far as we have realized it, has become human nature, natural reason, the soul, the heart, the mind of all men.  What is needed, then, in the philosophical world, is the reassertion of the legitimate authority of Christianity, in all that pertains to human development.  By this reassertion we shall attain to a complete and living synthesis of every branch of human science; and the whole of life will be harmonious and consistent, and society in all its departments will be subordinated to the one catholic principle of the Gospel, for the realization on earth of the true Christian Ideal, that is, the establishment of the reign of God in all human affairs.

The work before us is a sincere effort of its author to contribute his quota towards advancing our knowledge of ourselves; and, as such, whatever estimate may be formed of its positive merits, deserves to be cordially welcomed, and honestly considered.  We have read the work with some interest.  We like its spirit; its general tone and sentiment.  It has given us a favorable opinion of the worth and ability of its author, as a man whose personal influence on the young men committed to his care must be pure and elevating.  As a work on an interesting branch of science, it displays more than ordinary capacity, and makes us regret that the author did not enlarge his views, adopt a more comprehensive plan, and take in a wider range of topics.  Still, it bears on its face, and we are able to find, after the most diligent search, no proofs that its author has any tolerable conceptions of philosophy in the broad, catholic sense in which we have defined it.  It is true that he professedly treats only a special department of philosophy, and it would be unjust to demand, in a work intended to discuss merely a particular science, all that belongs to science in general.  We do not, therefore, complain of the book because it treats merely a special branch of general science, nor because it confines itself to what properly belongs to that special branch; but because it does not treat that special branch in the light of general philosophy.  The author does not show us its precise place in universal science; its relation to the Christian Ideal; nor its practical bearing on the great duties of every-day life.

A genuine psychology---one worth the writing or the reading---cannot possibly be written but in the light of a general philosophy of God, man, and nature.  Such a work must answer the questions of man's wants, rights, duties, and destiny.  But these questions are never answered by studying man in the abstract, as isolated from nature, from his race, and his God; but by studying him in the concrete, as a living man, as existing in God, in nature, in humanity; that is, in his actual relations, connexions, and dependencies.  To study man in these relations, connexions and dependencies, is to study him in the light of a general philosophy.  Dr. Schmucker does not so study him, and therefore leaves all these great questions of man's wants, rights, duties; and destiny, not only unanswered, but even unasked.

A psychology which leaves out these questions, the only questions of any practical importance in the conduct of life, is, to say the least, of questionable utility, and by no means precisely the psychology a wise man would wish to have studied in our colleges and academies.  For, after all, what is its subject-matter?  Man as a living being?  Not at all; but simply man as an abstraction, as isolated from God, nature, and humanity; in which sense he has no actual existence, does not live at all, and is at best a mere possibility or virtuality.  To know man in this isolated and abstract sense, in which the questions of his wants, his rights, his duties and his destiny, find no appropriate place, is no more to know man in any true and worthy sense of the term, than knowledge of the properties of the triangle is knowledge of that threefold energy of our natures by which we are able to act, to know, and to love.  Dr. Schmucker seems to us, therefore, like a great many others, to have mistaken in the outset the real significance of psychology, and the real questions it ought to discuss.  By rejecting the concrete man--the living man--man in his relations with God, with nature, and with other men, and confining him solely to the mere isolated and abstract man, he has given us not psychology, but at best a mere psycho-anatomy, bearing no more relation to psychology, properly so called, than anatomy does to physiology.  It is a mere dissection of the dead subject, an analysis and classification of the phenomena of the dead subject, which can throw little or no light on the living.

But not to cavil at a term--admitting that the work before us is rightly named psychology, or an analysis and classification of the phenomena of the soul, we may still ask, what is its use, if it leave out all religious, ethical, social, and political questions?  What does man live for? In relation to what should he be instructed?  Is a work which throws no light, which does not even profess to throw any light, on any of the great practical questions of real life, precisely the work for our young men to study--a work that indicates no lofty social, political, moral, or religious Ideal on the part of the author, and that demands no pure, deep, serious purpose, no high, holy, and moral aspirations on the part of the student?  What, again, do we live for?  Has life no purpose?  Was man made merely to play at marbles?  If man was made for an end more serious, high, and solemn, what is it?  "What is the chief end of man?"  That end once determined, should not all instruction, all education, nay, all life, be directed to its fulfilment?  Will Dr. Schmucker tell us what relation there is between making ourselves familiar with these psychological abstractions, distinct from all the great practical questions of life, and living to fulfil the end for which God made us, and clothed us with the power to do, to know, and to love?  The author who leaves all the great moral, religious, social, and political questions by the way, and passes over untouched all that concerns us in the daily conduct of life, is infinitely removed, in our judgment, from producing a work of practical utility, and from the right to call himself a philosopher, or his speculations philosophy. 

To have gone further, to have left the abstract regions to which he for the most part confines himself, and to have entered upon the great concrete questions of actual life, would, no doubt, have compelled Dr. Schmucker to touch upon debateable ground, perhaps to stir up long and bitter controversy.  It would very likely have involved him in the party and sectarian conflicts of the day, and have effectually excluded his book from colleges and academies.  But what then?  What is the use of books or of essays that touch no practical question, that throw, or attempt to throw, light on no doubtful or still unsettled point of moral, religious, social, or political faith?  No man who speaks freely, boldly, and honestly, on questions which really concern us in the conduct of life, in which men do really take an interest, questions on which it is worth one's while to speak at all, but must run athwart somebody's convictions or prejudices; but must stir up somebody's angry feeling; because there will always be somebody indicted by what he says.  He must necessarily tread on somebody's corns.  But what then? This is the risk every man who is really in earnest to spread truth, and ameliorate the moral, intellectual, or physical condition of his race, must run.  It is only at this price, that he purchases the opportunity to labor for human progress.  Whoso counts this price too high, or feels unwilling or unable to pay it,--let him hold his peace.  His silence will hardly prove to be a public calamity.

All faith, if genuine, if deep, if earnest, if living, is, say what we will to the contrary, exclusive and intolerant.  Nothing is so exclusive and intolerant as truth, which has no patience with error, but excludes the semblance even of falsehood.  This excessive liberality, about which some men take it into their heads to talk, which regards all opinions with equal respect, and alike proper to be inculcated, is not liberality but indifferency, and more to be dreaded in Society, in Church or State, than the most narrow-minded bigotry, or the most ranting fanaticism. There is no sound morality nor practical wisdom in the remark, "I care not what a man's opinions are, if his conduct be good."  Just as if a man's opinions were not a part of his conduct, and usually the most important part of it.  The events of history are nothing but so many experiments, successful or unsuccessful, of the race to embody its opinions, to realize its faith.  Men's beliefs are powers, and the only earthly powers of which the wise man stands in awe.  A simple geographical opinion entering and germinating in the breast of a bold mariner, discovers a new continent, and changes the direction of the whole industrial activity of the race.  A simple belief, that we should obey God, rather than kings, parliaments, and prelates, taking possession of a few honest, earnest-minded men in the western and midland counties of England, sends them on board the Mayflower, lands them one cold December's day on our bleak and rock-bound coast, and makes them the instruments of laying the foundation of a free republic, of opening a new school of social and political science for the world, and of demonstrating what man is and may be, when and where he has free scope to be what his Creator designed him to be.  Faith is every thing.  There is not a single act of ordinary and every-day life, that could be done without faith on the part of the actor.  Every honest man does and cannot but hold his own faith to be the true faith; and therefore does and cannot but hold every opposing faith to be false.  To be as willing to see that opposing faith prevail, as to see his own prevail, would imply on his part, as much respect for falsehood as for truth; that in his estimation, falsehood is as good as truth; and worth as much to mankind.  A man who is as willing to see falsehood as truth propagated, is no true man.  He may be learned, polite, decorous, but God, truth, righteousness, have no greater enemy than he, on earth, or under the earth.  Such are the men who are always in our way.  They care for none of these things.  They chill our hearts; they damp our zeal; they weaken our hands.  They belong to the race of Do-nothings.  The advancement of mankind owes nothing to their exertions.  Never out of their class does God raise up prophets, sages, heroes, and martyrs, by whose unwearied efforts, generous self-immolation, and unshrinking obedience to a high and living faith, the race is enabled to advance towards a higher and happier state.  They are the lukewarm, the neither-cold-or-hot, insipid and nauseating, whom God, in addressing the angel of the churches declares he will "spew out of his mouth."

But happily for the cause of truth and righteousness, the bulk of mankind are sincere and earnest, and are strongly attached to their faith.  Their opinions are to them serious matters, matters to be lived for, or if need be, died for.  They do not and cannot hold it a matter of indifference to individual or social, to temporal or eternal well-being, what a man believes; and so long as this is the fact, no man will be able to put forth on practical questions, new, uncommon, or unpopular opinions, without stirring up controversy, without encountering serious opposition, and most likely not without calling down upon his head, many a shower of wrath and abuse.  This result is inevitable, unless mankind be reduced to that state of perfect indifferency, in which the opinions one puts forth, whatever their character, can excite no interest, command no attention.  But, once more, what then?  If we are to refrain from discussing in our elementary works the great questions of practical life, which "come home to men's bosoms and business," through fear of this controversy, opposition, wrath, abuse, what will be the advantage of a free press?  Nay, in such case, what will be the meaning of a free press?  Public opinion would control it more effectually than the edicts of tyrants, backed by an armed police, fines, dungeons, and gibbets.  A true man will never be rash; will never forget that his opinions are deeds, for which he is accountable to God and to society; but having done his best to ascertain the truth, fully assured of the purity and sincerity of his purpose, and having a word pressing upon his heart for utterance, he will go forth, modestly, reverently, and utter it, fearlessly and honestly, without stopping for one moment to confer with flesh and blood.  He knows that he speaks at his own peril; but he takes the responsibility, and asks not that it be less.  He knows the penalty he must pay for daring to be true to his own convictions of duty; but he is willing and able to pay it.  He who shrinks from it, has no reason to applaud himself for the manliness of his soul.  He may be assured, that he is held in no high repute in the City of God, and is by no means chosen by Providence to be an instructor of his race.  Were he to speak, it would be to tell us, that which can have no practical bearing on life, or the truth long since told and realized.  

Admitting, then, that Dr. Schmucker could not have constructed a system of mental philosophy, in the full significance of the term, without touching on debateable ground, and giving rise to long and even bitter controversy, we are far from holding him excusable in sending us forth such a work as this--a work scrupulously avoiding the discussion of the only questions for the discussion of which philosophical works should be written or are needed.

Thus far we have objected to this work, on the ground that it is not a part of a general system of philosophy; that it is mere speculation on naked psychological abstractions, which have no real existence; that it leaves out of view all the great philosphical questions which relate to man's wants, rights, duties, and destiny; and therefore, leaves out the only religious object for which a work on philosophy can be written.  But we do not stop here.  Passing over these grounds of objection, taking the work as psychology in the most restricted sense possible, we hold it defective and false, and were it likely to be introduced very extensively as a text-book in colleges and academies, we should hold it to be not only defective and false, but mischievous.

The very title-page creates a presumption against it.  The author calls it "The Elements of a New System of Mental Philosophy."  A new system of mental philosophy, if by system is meant any-thing more that the order and dress in which old doctrines are presented, can hardly be looked for.  Additions may be made to the old, but nothing radically new can be obtained.  The human race is subjected to a law of continuity, which presides over all its development and growth, whether considered generically or individually.  From this law human thought does not and cannot escape.  The present was elaborated in, and evolved from the past.  The future must be--so far as human effort is concerned--the elaboration and evolution of the present.  The law of progress is that of continuous growth, which is in no case interrupted or disturbed, save as Providence aids it on, by granting, at such intervals as seems to it good, supernatural accessions of moral and intellectual strength.  But these special grants, accessions, revelations, which God makes to us from time to time, as the conditions of our progress, do not break the law of continuity.  They are all made in harmony with one and the same Divine Thought, of which human nature, as well as they, is an expression.  They merely swell the tide of life; or as fine musical accompaniments blend in with the tones of the human voice, swell and enrich their melody, without being in ordinary cases distinguishable from them.  Jesus does not build on the ruins of Moses: Christianity does not supplant Judaism; but generalizes and fulfils it.  From the first to the last, the life of humanity is a continuous growth, not strictly speaking, by development, but by assimilation, accretion.

According to this law, all radicalism, that is to say, all destruction of what was fundamental in that which has preceded, or the creation of an order of life, religious social, or philosophical, that is new in its fundamental elements, is necessarily condemned.  What is, must be always our point of departure.  This is the principle that must govern us in relation to the race at large, and also in relation to a particular nation or country.  Each reformer must connect his proposed reforms with the past of his own church, school, or nation; so tht the continuity between its past and its furute may be preserved.  If he do not, he will labor to no end; he will fail in his projects, and deservedly fail.  The American philosopher, then, must not attempt a new system of philosophy; but must seek to continue uninterruptedly, by improving it, the philosophy the race has always embraced, and as modified by the faith and practice of his own nation.  In other words, the American philospher cannot transplant into his own country the philosophy of France or Germany, nor will it answer for him to seek to construct a philosophy for his countrymen from the French or German point of view.  He must construct it from the English point of view, and continue English philosophy, as modified, as we may say, by Jonathan Edwards, our only American metaphysician, and by our peculiar civil, political, social, and religious institutions.  Our philosophy must be English philosophy Americanized, like the great mass of our population.  We do not, then, want, as we cannot have, a new system of philosophy.  Locke, Reid, and Jonathan Edwards, have laid the foundation for us, have begun the work, which we are merely to continue.

But even if a new system of philosophy were needed, and could be looked for, we must assure Dr. Schmucker that he deceives himself if he thinks that he has furnished such a system.  Saving his terminology, in some instances barbarous, and rarely felicitous, the distribution of the several parts, for the most part immethodical except in appearance, and now and then a statement no other philosopher would willingly hazard, we not recollect a single portion of the work, either as to its thought, reasoning, or illustration, that can be called new.  The author is rarely up with the Scottish school of Reid and Stewart, and is far below, as a mere psychologist, the Eclectic school of modern Germany and France.  Even Upham's Philosophy, superficial and meagre as it unquestionably is, taken as a whole, is altogether superior to this, which throws no new light on a single metaphysical question, sets in a clearer point of view not a single fact of human nature, and adds nothing to our knowledge of the laws of the production or association of the psychological phenomena.  If the author had spent less time in studying his own mind, and more in making himself acquainted with the views of such men as Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Locke, Leibnitz, Malebranche, Reid, and Kant, to say nothing of Schelling, Hegel, and Cousin, he would hardly have ventured to call his crude notions a new system of mental philosophy.  They can be new only to those  who are not at all in the habit of reading on metaphysical subjects.

Dr. Schmucker not only tells us that his system is new, but that it is constructed on the basis of Consciousness and Common Sense.  Has he any clear and definite notion of the sense in which he uses these terms, when he declares them the basis of his system?--or has he adopted them, without reflecting much on their import, from Dr. Reid, in whose philosophy they play so conspicuous a part?  We have looked through his book without finding any clear or exact definition of them; and in any sense in which either is intelligible or acceptable to us, neither constitutes a basis of his system.

Common Sense, as the term is used by Dr. Reid, does not properly designate, as he supposed, a distinct and separate faculty of human nature, but a special degree of our general faculty of intelligence.  Man by nature, in his very essence, is intelligent, capable of knowing, and intelligent to the requisite degree for seeing, perceiving, or knowing, in the three worlds of space, time, and eternity. The world which we call the world of eternity, is sometimes called the transcendental world, because its realities transcend those of time and space; and also, sometimes, the world of absolute, universal, immutable and necessary truth.  The contents of this world, after Plato and Platonists, we call IDEAS; Reid called them constituent elements of human nature, first principles of human belief; Aristotle and Kant term them categories of the reason, and in their view categories of the reason as a faculty of human nature.  They are the first principles of all science, and of each of the sciences.  They, however, do not as some moderns seem to suppose, reside in the mind, but out of it, in what Plato and the Greeks call the Logos (Aoyos) and which we may call, with M. Cousin, "the world of Reason," of absolute, universal, and necessary Truth.  But, though these ideas or first principles, do not subsist in the human mind, the human mind is constructed in accordance, and placed in intimate relation with them; so as to be always capable of perceiving them, not detached, not as mere abstrations, but so far as they enter into, and constitute the basis of the finite, particular, contingent, concrete objects of time and space, save in connexion with which we never recognize them.  The power to perceive these ideas, or first principles of belief, is what Dr. Reid really understood by Common Sense; that is, not merely a sense common to all men, but a power in each man to perceive, to entertain, or to assume certain first principles, common and indispensable to every act of intellectual life.

The reality of this power cannot be questioned.  Without it, as Dr. Reid has shown over and over again, man could have not only no firm basis for metaphysical science, no recognition of objects transcending time and space, but in point of fact no science at all; but would be incapable of a single act of cognition whatever.  But this power, the reason (Vernunft) of Coleridge and the Germans, which they seek to distinquish from the understanding (Verstand), is not a distinct and separate faculty of human nature, but, as we have said, merely a special degree of the general faculty of intelligence.  To know may indeed have various conditions and degrees, but, as M. Cousin has well remarked, it is always one and the same phenomenon, whatever its sphere or degree.  I know always by virtue of one and the same faculty of intelligence, whether the objects of my knowledge be the contents of space, of time, or of eternity; that is, whether these objects be bodies, events, or ideas; or whether I know mediately through external bodily organs, or immediately by intuition.  Had Dr. Reid carried his analysis a little farther, he would have perceived that his "first principles" are objects of the mind, not laws of human belief; and he might then have escaped the error of calling Common Sense a distinct and separate faculty of human nature.

Does Dr. Schmucker understand by Common Sense this power of human nature to perceive ideas or objects which transcend the worlds of space and time?  In this sense, it is the power to perceive substance in the cause, being in the phenomenon, the infinite in the finite, the universal in the particular, the absolute in the relative, the necessary in the contingent, the permanent in the transient.  But this power he denies from the beginning of his book to the end, and admits as objects of knowledge, of cognition, only the objects of space.  His pretension then to have based his philosophy on Common Sense, according to Dr. Reid's use, or virtual use, of the term, is wholly unfounded.  He goes right in the face and eyes of Common Sense.

The only other intelligible sense of the term, is the common or universal assent of mankind.  We have no objections to using the term in this sense, and none to making it in this sense authoritative.  We know in matters pertaining to politics, and morals, matters pertaining to the race, no higher authority, under divine revelation, than the common assent of mankind.  But what is the exponent of this common assent?  Whence shall we collect this universal assent of the race?  Unquestionably from tradition.  The universal assent of the race, is the universal tradition of the race, and the authority of the race is nothing else than the authority of traditon.  Tradition taken in the true and large sense of the term, and so as to include not only what may be termed natural, but supernatural, or Providential tradition, in all that relates to politics, morals, and society generally, we recognize and hold to be authoritative.  But we do not find Dr. Schmucker appealing to tradition; nay, he rejects it, in calling his system new, and in seeking, as he tells us was the case with him, to construct his system, not by  consulting the philosophical monuments of the race, but by refusing for ten years to read any work on the subject, and by devoting himself solely to the study of his own mind.  We must needs believe, then, that he deceives himself, when he thinks that he has made Common Sense a basis of his system.

The author's claim to having made Consciousness another of the bases of his system, we apprehend, in any sense acceptable even to himself, are no better founded.  Consciousness is not, as Dr. Reid seems to have taught, a distinct and separate faculty of the human mind; nor is it a peculiar act of the mind, by which it not only knows, but takes note of the fact that it knows, as seems to be Dr. Schmucker's own opinion.  The precise fact of consciousness is not the mind taking cognizance of its own operations, but of itself, in its operations, as their subject, as the operator.  We perceive always; for we are by nature and essence active and percipient; and nature, sensible and transcendental, is at all times around us, and streaming into us with its influences: but we are not always conscious; we are conscious only in those more vivid, more distinct perceptions, in which we comprehend in one view, by one simple act of the percipient agent, both the object perceived, and the ME as subject perceiving it.  Consciousness is therefore simply the recognition by the ME of itself, in the fact of perception, as the agent perceiving; in thought as the subject thinking; in love as the subject loving; in contradistinction from the object perceived, thought, or loved.

A system of philosophy based on Consciousness, must be based on the agent revealed by Consciousness, that is to say, the ME or subject.  A system of philosophy based on the ME must be purely subjective, and incapable of attaining to existence exterior to the ME.  It would be then the reduction of all our knowledge to the sentimental affections of the sentient subject, the last word of the Sensual school; or the irresistible categories of the reason, or forms of the understanding, the last result of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason--a rationalistic idealism; or to mere volitions or voluntary creations of the ME itself, with Fichte, or an Egoistic Idealism, if the expression will be permitted us.  Is it in either of these results that Dr. Schmucker would end?  Is his philosophy purely subjective?  So far as it is systematic, it is so, in our view of it; but he has not intended it to be so, for he asserts objective reality, the independent existence of entities out of the ME, though by what authority he does not inform us.

But in saying that his philosophy is based on Consciousness, we suppose the author intends that we should understand, that in constructing it he has had direct recourse to the facts of human nature, the phenomena of his own mind, as revealed to him by immediate consciousness.  On this point he is nowhere very explicit; but we presume that we do him no injustice, when we say that he probably adopts what is called the psychological method of studying the phenomena of the human soul.  M. Jouffroy, the pupil, friend, and successor of M. Cousin in the department of the History of Modern Philosophy, in the Faculty of Letters at Paris, who, we regret, has, by his premature death within the year, been lost to philosophy, is, perhaps, the best exponent of this method.  He tells us that there are two classes of facts; each class alike real, each alike open to our inspection;--facts of the outward, material universe, and the facts of that interior, but nevertheless important world which each man carries in himself.  The first class we observe by our outward senses, the second by means of an interior light, or sense, called consciousness.  Is this Dr. Schmucker's method?  And is the adoption of this method what he means by constructing his philosophy on the basis of consciousness?  If so, perhaps he is not aware of all the consequences of this method.

This method never carries us out of the subjective; but let that pass.  We deceive ourselves, if we suppose the light by which we see in the external world, is different from the light by which we are conscious, or by which we observe in the world within.  The percipient agent is the same in both cases; and it is by virtue of the same faculty of intelligence that he observes or knows in one world and the other.  The external senses do not observe, nor are they the light by which the man oberves; the man himself observes through his external organs by means of his own inherent power of knowing, or faculty of intelligence; and it is by virtue of the same power of knowing, or faculty of intelligence, that he observes in the bosom of consciousness itself.

In the second place, what is called internal observation is not, strictly speaking, internal.  If by within is meant within the ME itself, we have no power with which to look within.  The ME is the observer, and, therefore, must needs be distinct from the object observed.  It is all on the side of the subject, and do the best it can, it cannot, turn it ever so swiftly, get on the side of the object.  The object observed, be then what it may, must be, strictly speaking, exterior to the ME, and, therefore, veritably NOT-ME.

In the third place, these facts, which are called, though improperly, internal facts, are never observed, that is, studied, by immediate consciousness.  The fact of consciousness, is the recognition of myself in the intellectual phenomenon, as the subject of the phenomenon; that is, as the subject thinking.  The moment I seize this fact, and attempt to examine it, it ceases to be a fact of consciousness; for the fact of consciousness is now myself thinking on this fact, which I remember was a fact of consciousness a moment ago.  It is impossible, then, to observe, analyse, and classify the facts of consciousness.

What psychologists study for the facts of consciousness, are the facts of memory.  They are, no doubt, an important class of facts; but they are not, and cannot be observed, studied, by immediate consciousness.  We can, no doubt, study them by means of memory; but our knowledge of them cannot be more immediate and certain than is our knowledge of many other things.  Memory is not always faithful.  It does not always, nay it rarely, if ever, reproduces the fact exactly as it was, in all its relations and connexions; and one grand cause, perhaps the chief cause, of the failures of psychologists, has been in the fact that they attempt to construct their systems with these facts alone.  If Dr. Schmucker means, then, that he makes the facts of consciousness the basis of his system, he deceives himself; for, instead of observing the facts which he studies, by immediate consciousness, he studies them only by means of the memory.

But this is lingering too long on the very title-page of the work.  It is time to proceed at least as far as the Introduction.  This the author devotes to what he calls methodology, and to the difference between mathematical and metaphysical reasoning.  "It has long been a subject of remark," says the author, "that while the science of mathematics, which discusses the properties and relations of space and number, is accompanied by the most conclusive evidence, and bears conviction with it at every step of its progress, the philosophy of the mind still remains enveloped in comparative darkness and uncertainty, after the intellect of ages has been expended in its investigation.  The question arises, are not both similar in their nature, and alike susceptible of demonstrative evidence?"  Dr. Schmucker, while he admits that the two sciences may be dissimilar in their nature, yet considers the difference of the results obtained in the one from those obtained in the other, as owing to the different method of investigation adopted in mental science, from that pursued by mathematicians.  "The superior force of mathematical reasoning arises," he says, "from three sources.  First, from an intrinsic difference in the nature of the subjects discussed.  Secondly, from the more rigidly analytic method of investigation pursued in mathematics.  And, thirdly, from a less elegant, indeed, but more precise and perspicuous method of conveying to others the knowledge we have acquired."

The first of these reasons for the superiority, of mathematics in clearness and evidence, may have some force; the other two, none.  The third is dwelt upon much by English philosophers, and it held a conspicuous rank in the estimation of Leibnitz.  But it is a great mistake to attribute the clearness and evidence of mathematics to the peculiar language adopted by mathematicians.  Their signs, no doubt, abridge the labor of recording their results, and also the mechanical process of obtaining them, but their science is in no sense dependent upon them, and there is not a mathematical problem the solution of which cannot be obtained and given out in the ordinary language of reasoning.  Then, again, the adoption of a precise, exact, definite, technical language for metaphysics, similar in its character and office to the algebraic signs, as Leibnitz wished, and as some modern metaphysicians seem to judge desirable, would avail us very little.  A sign is no sign to us, till we know that it stands for something; and it tells us nothing till we know what that something is which it stands for. Philosophy is not a purely verbal science.  It deals with realities, and it is and can be intelligible no further than these realities themselves are known.

Nor do we perceive the force of the second reason assigned for the superiority of mathematical reasoning.  Reference had to the nature of the subject, mathematical reasoning is not more rididly analytic than metaphysical reasoning.  The human mind is so constituted that, whatever the subject of its investigations, it must pursue one and the same method, what the Greeks called analysis and synthesis, and we, after the Latins, observation and induction.  To hear some Englishmen talk, we might be led to attribute the invention of this method to Lord Bacon; but we may as well attribute to Lord Bacon the invention of the human mind itself.  Bacon was no doubt a great man, and rendered important service, if not to science, at least to the sciences; but his merit was not precisely that of the invention of a method of philosophizing.  The true method, and the only possible method, is given in the human mind itself.  Every operation performed by the mind is performed by virtue of this method; without it the mind cannot operate.  It cannot observe a fact, declare it to be a fact, or even to appear to be a fact, without a synthetic judgment, which is to a greater or less extent an induction; and without facts, real or supposed, it has no possible basis for any synthetic or inductive operation whatever.  There has been a great deal of learned nonsense uttered about the inductive method, especially by Englishmen and their descendant Americans--a method always observed by the human mind in all its investigations, and as faithfully observed and as rigidly followed, in proportion to the extent of his ability and mental operations, by the simplest ploughboy as by a Newton or a Laplace.

The real cause of the difference between the results of mathematics and of metaphysics is, in fact that mathematics require acquaintance with but a small number of facts, and of facts which are obvious to every eye, and can be learned in a few moments; whereas metaphysical science, dealing with actual life, requires acquaintance with all reality, which is infinite.  Mathematical science is merely the science of quantities.  Quantity can differ from quantity only in more or less.  He then who has the conception of more or less, has all the conceptions esential to mathematics; and he who knows how to measure more and less, in any conceivable degree, comprehends the science of mathematics.  All beyond this in the whole science is, as it were, identical proposition piled upon identical proposition.  No wonder, then, that mathematics were cultivated at an early day, and soon arrived at a high degree of perfection.  We say high degree of perfection; for the science is not yet perfected, and it is far from having reached the utmost limits of its applications.  But its further progress, or the progress of its applications, will be found to depend in no small degree on the progress of metaphysics.

With philosophy the case is quite different.  Here, instead of two, or at most-three ideas, which are all that are required by mathematics, which may be obtained by acquaintance with a single concrete existence besides ourselves, and from which we may proceed by the calculus to the system of the universe, we have an infinite variety of complex ideas, which we can fully master only by an actual acquaintance with all contingent existences.  The purpose of philosophy is not, as too many fancy, acquaintance with the relations of abstract ideas, which would give us for resultant only dead abstractions, not of the least conceivable value; but acquaintance with life--acquaintance with all that lives--to know really and truly the nature and law of every living being, from God himself to the veriest monad of his creation.  A child can master all the facts essential to the science of mathematics; none but God himself has or can have the knowledge requisite for the construction of a perfect system of philosophy.

Philosophy, then, is and always must be imperfect.  Its subject-matter is all Infinity, in all its unity and multiplicity. Man is finite, and can have only a finite knowledge.  He can, therefore, never take into his view the whole subject-matter of philosophy, the infinite reality that underlies it.  He can see this reality only on the side turned towards him, and comprehend it only under a single aspect.  His system, then, though woven with infinite pains, can be at best only relatively true.  It will always be defective, inadequate,--falling short of the reality to be comprehended.  But man is, through Providence, progressive--has a continuous growth, and therefore becomes able every day to enlighten a larger portion of reality, and to comprehend more and more of it in his systems.  Yet never will he advance so far as to be able to construct a system of philosophy that will abide for ever.  The systems of to-day, as mere systems, will always be absorbed by the discoveries and necessary modifications of to-morrow.

This is no doubt a sad conclusion, well adapted to check our pride and presumption, and to teach us modesty and humility in our theorizing; but it is warranted by the whole history of the past, and is a legitimate inference from the finiteness of all our faculties.  Saddening, then, as it may be, we must accept it.  It is not given to man to build a tower that shall reach to heaven.  There is no escaping the floods that will sooner or later come, in some sense, to swallow up our old world.  There is no help for it.  All that we can ask, then, of the philosopher of to-day is, that he embrace in his system, not absolute truth, but all the truth, in relation to God, man, and the universe, to which the human race has, thus far, whether naturally or Providentially, attained.

Passing over now the difference between mathematics and philosophy, we touch more especially what Dr. Schmucker calls Methodology.  Methodology!  Why could he not have used, with Descartes and all the masters of the science, the simple term method?  Methodology, if it mean any-thing, means a discourse on method; but it was not a discourse on method, but method itself, that Dr. Schmucker was to consider.  But what is his Methodology, or simply, his method of philosophizing?  No man can tell from this Introduction, nor from reading the whole book, or at best can only quess it.

Method is given in the human mind itself; that needs no discussion.  What Dr. Schmucker means by Methodology, is doubtless what we should term the application of method.  All philosophers, in the strictest sense of the term, adopt one and the same method; they differ, however--and in this consists the difference of their systems--in their mode of applying this one and the same method.  The mode of applying method to the construction of philosophical science, is the important matter.  Descartes began in doubt, by doubting all existences but his own.  To follow his example, we must begin by doubting all that can be doubted, push doubt to its furthest limits, till we come to that which cannot be doubted, and then admit into our system only what rigidly follows from what has been ascertained to be not doubtful.  This is well enough for all those who really entertain the doubt recommended; but all men do not entertain this doubt; and we deceive ourselves whenever we think we have assumed in our system a doubt which we do not in reality feel.  No man can take an artificial point of departure.  A man who believes in the existence of God, cannot, even in thought, divest himself of that belief, and place himself in the position of him who really doubts that existence.  In his arguments to prove the existence of God, he invariably and inevitably assumes the point to be proved, as the basis on which to rest his argument.  A man, do his best, cannot divest himself of himself.  He cannot assume, really and truly, as his logical point of departure, what is not his real and true point of departure; for he cannot both be and not be at the same moment, as would necessarily be the case were this possible.

The human race has lived a long while, and not altogether in vain.  It has ascertained some things; settled some truths.  These, in all our philosophizing, we necessarily assume, whether we know it or not, and have the right to assume, as our point of departure.  The existence of God has become to the race a fact, which it is no longer necessary to attempt to prove, nor allowable to call in question.  Any alleged facts which go to contradict it, or to make it doubtful, are by that fact proved to be no facts; for it is more certain than any fact which can be brought against it.  The same may be said of man's unity, personal identity, moral freedom, and accountability.  No matter what may be alleged against these facts, for we have for them the highest degree of certainty that we can have in any case whatever.  Your science, or your fact, which contradicts them, is proved, by its contradicting them, to be no science, no fact.  All facts of a similar nature the philosopher has the right to assume as so many points settled.  His business then, instead of seeking to create and answer a doubt that he does not feel, is to ascertain what the human race has thus far established.  This has not to be established over again.  When ascertained, it is so much capital in advance.  Our business is merely to add to it, and transmit it to our successors enlarged, to be transmitted by them to their successors still more enlarged.

The next thing with regard to method--and concerning this as well as the foregoing Dr. Schmucker is silent--is that we confine ourselves to the order of facts which belong to the special science we are constructing, and not conclude to one subject from the facts of another and a different subject.  This rule is violated by phrenologists, who are perpetually concluding to what must be true of man, from what they observe, or fancy they observe, to be true of animals, forgetting that between man and animals there is a distance, and that man has and can have no animal nature.  Man is not an animal, but an animal transformed.  The great merit of Bacon, under the head of method, consists in his having contended earnestly for this rule.  He has been called the father of the inductive method, simply and solely, we apprehend, from his having laid down, and insisted on this rule.  

This rule, all important as it may be when rigidly understood and applied, has been too strenuously insisted on in English and American science.  Each special science is supposed to have a separate and an independent foundation, to the confusion and virtual destruction, as we have already seen, of all catholic science.  This has come from a too violent and too long continued reaction against the Scholastics.  The Scholastics were said, and to some extent justly said, to subject physics to their metaphysics, and their metaphysics to their theology.  They concluded from their theology to their metaphysics, and from their metaphysics to what must be true in nature; instead of going forth into nature, and ascertaining with open eyes what she contained.  In this way they committed some gross errors, for which, however, science has amply avenged herself.  It was against this method of studying nature that Bacon entered his protest.

In point of principle, however, the much decried Scholastics were by no means so far in the wrong as the disciples of Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, and Condillac, have supposed.  The universe is constructed by Intelligence, in its own image, or after one and the same divine Idea.  Man was made in the image of God.  The human soul is the finite representative of the Infinite Intelligence, to which it corresponds in all respects; that is, so far as the finite can correspond to the infinite.  The universe, outward nature, corresponds to man, and is therefore, as we may say, the image of the image of God.  There is, then, one and the same law of intelligence running from the Infinite Reason down to the faintest echo of it, in the simplest monad God has created.  All things are created according to one and the same law, and this law is the law of all intelligence.  We may say, then, with the Hegelians, though not, if we understand them, precisely in their sense, that a perfect system of logic were a complete system of the universe.  The universe, if we may so speak, is the logic of the Creator, and a perfect system of logic would be a key to all its mysteries, and enable us to comprehend as thoroughly the operations of the material universe, as the operations of the human mind itself.

There is nothing extravagant or unheard of in this statement.  It contains nothing not in a degree verified by Naturalists every-day.  Fulton constructs his steamboat by his logic, before he does by his handicraft; and Franklin establishes by reasoning the identity of lightning and the electric fluid, before he draws the lightning from the cloud, and makes it run down the silken cord of his kite and charge his Leyden Jar.  Every scientific man, for the most part, succeeds in his theory before he does in his experiments.  Very few important scientific discoveries are made by accident, or without having been, to some extent, predicted.  Naturalists reason and say, "It must be so;" and then go forth and interrogate Nature, who answers, "It is so."  These, and similar facts which might be indefinitely multiplied, prove not merely the uniformity of nature, and that its order does not change; but that nature has, if we may so speak, a rational basis, is made in the image of mind, and that its laws are, as Plato asserted, ideas or images of the laws or principles of Intelligence, Reason, NovS, Aoyo5.

Assuming the fact, for which we here contend, and which we hold to be unquestionable, the Scholastics were far from being wrong in principle.  So far as we have a true system of theology we have the right to conclude from it to metaphysics. So far as we have a true system of metaphysics, we have the right to conclude from it to the facts of physical science.  Metaphysical science has the right to preside over all mathematical and physical science.  It does and will give the law to the mathematical and physical sciences, even if we try to have it otherwise, for it determines the character of the facts on which they are founded.  We do not see the whole fact; and the fact we see and analyze varies as varies the metaphysical light in which we contemplate it; as the landscape varies as we shift the position from which we view it.  But as our metaphysics are by no means perfect, we must never venture to reply solely on conclusions from metaphysical science to the facts of physical nature, till we have, to the best of our ability, corrected or modified them by actual observation and experiment in the bosom of nature herself.

Dr. Schmucker's error, under the head of method, seems to us to be in attempting to construct a science of the human mind by confining himself to a single class of facts, namely, the mere facts of memory, called by our modern psychologues, facts of consiousness, and which we have seen are insufficient for his purpose.  Speaking of himself, in his preface, he says, "He then resolved to study exclusively his own mind, and for ten years he read no book on this subject.  During this period, he spent much of his time in examination of his own mental phenomena, and having travelled over the whole ground, and employed the leisure of several additional years, to review and mature his views, he now presents to the public the following outline of a system as in all its parts the result of original, analytic induction."  But it does not seem to have occurred to him, that he might possibly have overlooked some one or more of the mental phenomena, and seen some of them but dimly, in a partial or even a false light; that in a word no analysis of one's own mental phenomena is or can be an adequate basis for a genuine psychology.  Is there no difference in individuals?  Are the mental phenomena of a New Hollander and of a Leibnitz the same?  Is Dr. Schmucker the standard-man, for all men?  He would have done well to have conformed to the method of M. Cousin, which, though on one side too exclusively psychological, seeks always to correct or verify the psychology of the individual, by history, or the psychology of the race.  M. Cousin really does what Dr. Schmucker professes to do, constructs his philosophy on the basis of consciousness and common sense, or what the individual can ascertain by the study of his own mental phenomena as presented, not indeed really by consciousness, but by memory, and by the study of the phenomena of the race, as presented in history in general, and that of philosophy in particular.  He is therefore protected against taking the peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of his own mind, for universal and permanent laws of human nature.  But Dr. Schmucker does not seem to have ever heard of M. Cousin, or his school.

In concluding our criticism, on what Dr. Schmucker calls methodology, we will add that, in order to construct a true system of mental philosophy, or a psychology at all worthy of the name, we must, in addition to what Dr. Schmucker calls the mental phenomena, study--
  1. PHYSIOLOGY, and in that enlarged sense in which it includes not only the functions of the human body, or organism, but the nature in general.  Man is not body, but he is, as Bossuet has finely expressed it, made to live in a body, and to manifest himself through bodily organs.  By virtue of his union with a body, man is placed in relation with external nature.  The body has in some way or other, not explicable to us, an influence on the mental and moral manifestations of the man; and nature an influence on the body.  The relation then between the soul and body, and the body and nature, becomes an indispensable subject of study, in the construction of an adequate psychology.  Climate, soil, productions have a decided influence on our bodies, and therefore on our characters.  There is a marked difference between the inhabitants of mountainous districts and those of the plains; between the dwellers in the interior and dwellers on the coast; between those who live amid laughing landscapes, under a sky ever serene, and those who live in regions of perpetual storm and mist.  Under the head of physiology, then, we must study not only the human organism, but all nature so far as it affects that organism.

  2. SOCIETY.  Man is not only made to live in a body, and through that in relation with other men, in the bosom of society.  The individual does not, and cannot exist isolated from his race, but has his life and being in the race, as the race has its in God.  God makes and sustains all creatures "after their kind," as races, and it is only by a knowledge of genera and species that we can come to a knowledge of individuals.  In constructing our philosophy of man, we must study him as a race, or the individual as a member of the race, in his relations to other men, living one and the same life with them, and as modified by friendship and love, patriotism and philanthropy, by the Family, the Church, and the State.

  3. HISTORY.  Man, we have said, has a progress, a continuous growth, and therefore changes from age to age, and that too as a race no less than as an individual.  He has an existence, therefore, in time, as well as in space.  The study of physiology and society, gives what concerns him as living in the world of space; the study of history, what concerns him as a being of time.  History is three-fold--individual, general, and natural.  The first is what is ordinarily termed memory, and comprises what are usually treated as facts of consciousness, or mental phenomena.  General (from genus) history is the history of the race, and is the memory of the individual enlarged into the memory of the race, and records the changes and modifications which humanity, human nature, has itself undergone. The law of human life, by virtue of which human nature is manifested, is in all ages the same; but the actual volume of human nature, so to speak, is perpetually enlarging, so that we must always have regard to chronology in what we affirm or deny of it.  Between the human nature of the Hottentot, and the human nature of a Newton, there is a distance of many centuries.  Moreover, nature, the outward material universe, has a growth, is successively ameliorated, so that it is ever exerting a kindlier influence on human organism, and therefore on human character.  The history of these successive ameliorations, or the history of nature, is then essential to a complete system of mental philosophy.

  4. INSPIRATION.  We have no confidence in the philosopher who believes himself able to explain the phenomena of human life, whether in space or time, without assuming the special intervention of Providence.  "There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding."  The acorn must be quickened and fed by foreign influences, or it grows not into the oak; so man must be quickened by the spirit of God, and fed by divine revelations.  Through the aid of Providential men, prophets, Messiahs, and God's Only Begotten Son, the human soul has been quickened into life, human nature redeemed, and humanity advanced by the infusion into its life, successively, of new and higher manifestations of life.  The modifications and growth of human nature, effected by these supernatural communications, must be studied in order to have a complete knowledge of the actual, concrete, living man, as we find him to-day, in the bosom of Christian Civilization.

Here is the vast field which he who would give us a psychology worthy of the name, must cultivate; and he who has not cultivated it long and assiduously, has no right to call himself a philosopher.  To become even tolerably acquainted with this vast range of studies will require more than ten years devoted exclusively to the study of the phenomena of one's own mind.

After having dwelt so long on the general method and design of this new system of philosophy, it cannot be necessary to spend much time in disposing of its details.  These are at best of moderate value, rarely new, and when new, just as rarely true.  The author does not appear to have sufficient acquaintance with the thoughts of others, to be able to form any tolerable appreciation of his own.  His reading is very far from having brought him up to the present state of metaphysical science, even in this country and England, to say nothing of France and Germany.  In running over the whole work, we have found nothing worthy of special commendation, unless it be a single remark respecting what he makes the third division of the mental phenomena.  He divides the mental phenomena into three classes:
1. Cognitive Ideas;
2. Sentient Ideas;
3. Active Operations

In this third division he includes the unconscious, the spontaneous operations of the mind, as well as the phenomena of the will proper, which are operations performed with consciousness, and reflection, and which are all that Upham and some of the Germans include under the third division.  Dr. Schmucker is more correct than they; for I am active in as true and high a sense in my unconscious operations, as in what are properly called my volitions.  If this were not so, moral character could attach only to those acts which are performed after deliberation, which is not true.  The real moral character of he man is determined, almost solely, by his spontaneous operations, the unconscious motions of his soul.  So far, then, we find Dr. Schmucker in the right.

But we do not accept the terminology of this classification.  What is the meaning of cognitive Ideas?  Surely, not ideas that know; why not then say simply cognitions, the only proper word in our language for what Dr. Schmucker probably means.  Sentient Ideas certainly are not ideas that feel.  Then they are simply sensations, sentiments, or feelings.  But who before, ever dreamed of calling a sensation, sentiment, or feeling, an idea?  Locke uses the term idea, to express the objects about which the mind in its operations is immediately conversant.  We do not accept this use of the term, the most favorable to Dr. Schmucker of any authorized use he can find; but even according to this use, the feeling is never an idea, because the moment it becomes an object with which the mind is conversant, it has ceased to be a feeling, and become merely the memory of a feeling.  Then, again, what is the use of saying active operations?  Just as if there could be any operations that were not active, or did not imply activity on the part of their subject, or the operator.

Again, we protest against Dr. Schmucker's use of the word idea in general.  The terminology of a science is not, we own, of the highest, but it is of some importance; and it is desirable tht it should be as uniform as possible.  For ourselves, we are no friends to neologism, either in the coinage of new words, or new senses to old words.  It is rarely necessary to introduce a new term into our philosophical language, and the only novelty allowable in the use of an old term is its restriction as much possible to its primitive, radical meaning.  This radical meaning, guard against it ever so carefully, will always accompany the use of the word, and mislead both writer and reader, when it is not the exact meaning intended.  The nearer we keep to the etymological meaning of a term, the more distinctly we express that meaning, the more just and proper will be our use of the term.  Every language, too, has a genius of its own, and certain indestructible laws, which can never be offended or transgressed with impunity.  There is no wisdom in the common sneers against a studied nicety in the use of words; and he who seeks to express his ideas in terms which are, as he would say, free, general, and familiar, will find, if he reflects, that his objections to this nicety arose from the very great vagueness and looseness of his thoughts. 

The term idea was orginally used in philosophy to designate that objective reality we take cognizance of in all our mental operations, which transcends what are called sensible objects, though never seen but in connexion with them.  This objective reality was originally termed idea by Plato, because he held it to be an image of the Logos, or Divine Mind.  Now this conception of image goes, and always will go, with this word idea.  It is impossible to get rid of it, because it is the radical, the primitive sense of the word.  When, then, we call our notions of the objects of time and space, ideas, as does Dr. Schmucker, we shall always, whether we so intend or not, teach that by idea we understand that the mental phenomenon we so name, is in some sort a representative or image, of the object concerned.  Thus, the idea of a book will be the image of a book in the mind; the idea of a horse will be a little picture or likeness of a horse; the wound by a sword will cause pain, which pain will give us an idea, that is, a mental image, or copy of the sword.  This is precisely Dr. Schmucker's own philosophy, with this exception, that he does not contend that the idea is an image or likeness of the object, but merely a representation of it.

Accept this, call our notions, representations, and then say, with Dr. Schmucker, that the immediate objects of the mind are not the entities themselves, but their mental representatives, and you have the very idealism which Berkely deduced from Locke's philosophy, and which Reid spent so much time, and not without success, in overthrowing.  Since Dr. Reid's Inquiry, it has not been allowable to talk of mental representatives, or ideas, as objects of the mind, separate from the external realities themselves.  The mind does not hold communion with the external world through the medium of ideas, but converses directly with it; and what Dr. Schmucker calls ideas or representations of that world, are merely the notions we obtain by conversing with it, the form our thoughts assume, when we think it.  By his use of the term idea, he revives an old error, long since exploded, and for which we had supposed no new champion would ever be found.

Moreover, we object to the principle on which Dr. Schmucker makes his classification of the mental phenomena.  "The proper materials of this science, doubtless are," he says, "not the supposed faculties, of which we know nothing directly but the known phenomena of the mind."  It is true we know nothing directly of ourselves or our faculties; but who ever contended that we do not know ourselves, or our faculties, as well as the effect of the exercise of these faculties, indirectly, by studying the phenomena of life?  If we can know nothing of our faculties, what is the use of trying to obey the injunction, "Know thyself"?  But we do know ourselves; that is, indirectly, so far as realized in the phenomena of life.  In every act of life, of which we are conscious, we recognize always ourselves as the subject; in cognition the subject that knows; in feeling the subject that feels; in love the subject that loves; in action, the subject or agent that acts.  In every phenomenon we recognize, back of the phenomenon, the subject of the phenomenon, that which manifests itself in the phenomenon, the being, cause, or agency producing the phenomenon.  Thus, in every one of the mental phenomena, we recognize, in additon, if we may so speak, to the phenomenon itself, the invariable, persisting subject of the phenomenon.  This subject is always our self, the ME.  The power of the ME, (what I mean when I say, I am, I think, I love, &c.,) to exhibit, produce, or cause this phenomenon, or more accurately to manifest itself in it, is precisely what we mean by the term faculty.

Now, if we can know nothing of the faculties of the ME, how can we classify its phenomena?  What will be the basis of our classification?  If we cannot know the fact that we have the faculty of knowing, we can know nothing at all; and then how can we call a portion of our mental phenomena, cognitions, or "cognitive ideas"?  When we assert that a portion of our mental phenomena are cognitions, do we not thereby assert that we have the power to know, and, therefore, that we have the faculty of intelligence?  The same questions may be asked in reference to what Dr. Schmucker calls "sentient ideas" and "active operations;" that is, feelings and operations.  Can a phenomenon be known to be an operation, without the recognition of that which is the operator?  Is it not the perception in the phenomenon of the operator, that leads us and enables us to call it an operation?

Dr. Schmucker must pardon us for asking, if he has ever read Plato?  We presume that he has not, and we therefore recommend him to do it forthwith, or at least some portions of Plato; and without referring him to any difficult portions, we would mention the Hippias, which is on the Beautiful.  From that he may learn that to be able to call a particular thing beautiful, we must needs know that by virtue of which it is beautiful; that to be able to say of this or that act, it is just, wise, or virtuous, we must be able to conceive of justice, wisdom, and virtue.  He who knows not the general, (the genus), cannot know the special and the individual.  We know only by ascending from individuals to species and genera.  Thus, we know an individual to be a man only by virtue of our ability to detect in him the genus, the race, humanity or human nature; for in affirming him to be a man we affirm him to partake of this race, that is, of humanity, human nature.  It is only by our power of perceiving genera and species, what Plato would call, and what we ought to call, the power of perceiving ideas, that we can know at all, that we can say of this individual he is a man, it is a horse, an ox, or a dog.  Our modern metaphysicians who neglect the study of the ancients, show more self-reliance than true wisdom.  In all that belongs to pure metaphysics, so far as the science concerns or rests on abstract principles, powers, or reasoning, no additions have been made since the time of Plato and Aristotle, unless Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and Cousin's Reduction of the Categories, be exceptions.  Our advance on the ancients is not doubt great, but it does not consist in the fact that we surpass them in our knowledge of the conditions of knowledge, of first principles of science, or in the strength, subtlety, or soundness of our reasoning; but in a wider range of observation, in a richer experience, and a more thorough knowledge of life.  Descartes in his doctrine of Innate Ideas, or more properly innate capacities or faculties, Reid, in his constituent principles of human nature, or first principles of human belief, virtually, even Kant in his Categories, and Cousin avowedly in his Absolute Ideas, have done nothing but reproduce, and, in our judgment, not in improved forms, Plato's doctrine of ideas, which asserts in all cases the reality of genera, ideas, or objects transcending time and space, and of our power to perceive them, as the absolutely indispensable conditions of all science.  Against this doctrine we find the old Epicureans, and Sceptics, the Nominalists among the Scholastics, Bacon, Hobbes, Gassendi, Locke, Condillac, Hume, and Dr. Schmucker, among the moderns; although this must not be said of Bacon and Locke without some important reservations, owing to the fact that they were both as men and as practical philosophers, broader, richer, and truer than their official theorizing.  We side with Plato, and in fact with Aristotle, who on this point is virtually a Platonist.  All we contend is, that we never perceive genera, ideas, separate, detached from the individuals in which they are concreted, or actualized; but we do really perceive them in these individuals; and it is only by virtue of this fact, that the individuals themselves are objects of knowledge.  But we are wandering too far from our present purpose.  We will only add that the principle involved in Dr. Schmucker's assertion, that the proper materials of mental philosophy are the mental phenomena themselves, considered independent of their relation to the faculties of which they are the manifestations, involves, as all who are really masters of metaphysical science know full well, the denial of all solid basis of knowledge, the possibility of science, and therefore plunges us, theoretically, into absolute Pyrrhonism, or universal scepticism.  He takes the side taken by all the philosophers whose speculations have led to the denial of religion, and the assertion of atheism.  We are far from thinking, and far from intending even to intimate that we think, Dr. Schmucker is aware of this fact, or that he would not recoil from it with horror.  But he who denies man's power to know any-thing in the phenomenon, but the phenomenon itself, has made a denial which involves the denial of the possibility of recognizing in any or all of the phenomena of man, or of the universe, the power, or even to be made acquainted with the power, being, agency or cause, on which they depend for their existence, and from which they receive their birth, their reality, and their law.

But waiving even this, we are far from adopting Dr. Schmucker's classification of the mental phenomena; not, indeed, because we hold it less correct than the classification proposed by others, for we really know of none that we should be more willing to adopt; but because we hold that no classification of the kind is admissible.  There are no mental phenomena that are purely actions, purely cognitions, or purely feelings.  The Me acts always as the living and indestructible synthesis of all its faculties.  It is in its essence a unity, with the threefold power to act, to know, and to feel; but not to act without knowing and feeling, to know without acting and feeling, nor to feel without acting and knowing; but always all three in each and every phenomenon.  The mental phenomenon, then whatever it be, is primitively a complex fact, at once and indivisibly action, cognition, feeling,--complex but not composite, nor susceptible of being resolved into distinct and separate elements, without ceasing to be a fact of actual life. 

We state here a fact of very great importance, to the ignorance or neglect of which may be attributed nearly all the errors of psychologists.  Psychologists have never, or at least rarely, been willing to accept the primitive fact of consciousness, as the primitive fact.  What is complex or manifold, they have supposed must needs be composite; therefore, secondary; therefore, susceptible of being decomposed and resolved into its primitive elements.  Their great study has, therefore, been to decompose the primitive mental phenomenon, and to reduce it to a lower denomintaion than the lowest.  They have been able to do this only by assuming that the distinction of a plurality of faculties in the ME, is a division of the me into a plurality of faculties; that is, they have been able to decompose the phenomenon only by dividing the ME into distinct, separate, and in some sort independent faculties, each able, as it were, to act independently and alone.  Thus, the ME may act as pure activity, and give us pure actions, in which nothing of cognition or sentiment mingles; as pure intelligence, and give us pure cognitions, pure intellections, in which enters nothing of action or feeling,--hence the talk about and sometimes the condemnation of mere intellect; and finally, as pure sensibility, giving us mere feeling in which there is no action, no cognition.  But having divided the ME, as it were, into three separate mes, or sub-mes, they have not been slow to mutilate it, by retrenching one faculty after another, under the pretence of resolving one into another; and in this way, among them all, they have retrenched the whole ME, and left nothing remaining.  The Sensists, of the school of Condillac, resolve intelligence and activity into sensibility, and, therefore, retrench all of the ME but the sensibility; Idealists retrench all but the power to know; and the Egoists, the Fichteans, retrench all but the activity.  Every system of philosophy constructed in this way, on the hypothesis that the primitive fact of consciousness is a simple fact, the product of a single faculty of the soul, acting independently of the other two, is necessarily false, for its basis is a fact, not of life, but of death.

We cannot avoid remarking, by the way, that we are unable to account for the fact that M. Cousin, entitled to a high rank among the most eminent philosophers of any age or nation, while he recognizes the complexity of the primitive fact of consciousness, and even makes it the basis of what he improperly calls Eclecticism, should yet countenance the division of the mental phenomena into three classes, corresponding very nearly to the division proposed by Dr. Schmucker.  It is a singular inconsequence, and one which has led him and his readers into some grave errors.  No man can more distinctly assert the primitive synthesis of the phenomenon of actual life; nay, we are aware of no one before him who has stated it at all; it is of the most vital importance in his system; and yet he seems perpetually, when analyzing and classifying the mental phenomena, to have forgotten it.  Is this owing to the fact that from his admiration of Proclus, he was led, without due reflection, to call his philosophy Eclecticism?  Has this name misled himself, as it has others?  Be this as it may, we regret that he has ever done himself the wrong to call his philosophy Eclecticism, from the Greek, signifying to choose or select, and, therefore, implying that it is made up of selections from other systems.  In consequence of his adopting this name, the public believe, and in spite of all explanations will continue to believe, this to be the actual character of his philosophy; yet nothing is further from the truth.  His philosophy is really and truly synthetic, as it should be, founded on the primitive synthesis we have pointed out in the mental phenomenon itself.  If he had always remembered this, he would never, it seems to us, have given the sanction of his authority to the attempted decomposition of the primitive fact, against which, even in his own name, we protest.

Nevertheless, if M. Cousin divides the mental phenomena into three classes, corresponding to the three fundamental faculties of the soul,--activity, intelligence, and sensibility,--he takes care always to tell us that this division never takes place in actual life, for the mental phenomenon is always a product of the joint and simultaneous action of all the faculties.  M. Leroux, therefore, in his very acute, able, ingenious, and instructive Refutation de l' Eclecticisme, a work to which we have been largely indebted in the composition of this article, has been wrong to accuse M. Cousin of overlooking this primitive synthesis, and to reason against his system as if it were a system of mere Eclecticism.  M. Leroux is not more synthetic in his own system than is M. Cousin.  On this point both, in fact, adopt the same philosophy, for both belong to the nineteenth century, which demands a synthetic philosophy, and requires the philosopher to cease "murdering to dissect," to cease his fruitless efforts to decompose what is already ultimate, and to find out the primitive synthesis of actual life, and to make that the basis of a system of science which shall possess at once life, unity, and catholicity.

No doubt the mental phenomena vary among themselves.  Every phenomenon is, indeed, the joint product of all the faculties, acting at once in the unity and multiplicity of the ME; but in some of the phenomena one faculty, without excluding the others, predominates, and in others another.  How this can be, perhaps philosophy is not in a condition to explain.  Perhaps at bottom the power to do, the power to know, and the power to feel, are one and the same, and all force, in proportion to the quantity of being in the subject of which it is affirmed, is essentially sentient and percipient--that all beings, the minutest even, in proportion to the quantity of their being, are active, percipient, and sentient beings, as Leibnitz teaches in his "Monadology," and as seems to us to be taught in the Proem to St. John's Gospel.  But be this as it may, our phenomena differ among themselves, and by virtue of the differing degrees in which one or another of the faculties predominates in their production.

Also, men themselves differ one from antoher, in the same way.  In some the faculty to act--activity, seems predominant, in others the faculty to know; in others still, the sensibility.  This fact has given rise to the St. Simonian classification of mankind into three classes:
1. Men of Action--les Industriels;
2. Men of Science--les Savans;
3. Men of Art--les Artistes.

M. Leroux, in his work entitled l' Humanite, thinks this classification was well known to the ancients, and that he finds it in the Bereshith of the Hebrews, concealed in the names Cain, Abel, and Seth, in the first series, and Shem, Ham, and Japhet, in the second; and it is worthy of note, that the meaning of these names in the original seems to afford no little support to his conjecture; and moreover, we should always expect to find in a book given by divine inspiration, the profoundest philosophy.  But without assuming to decide whethr M. Leroux is correct or not, this much we may assert, that the classification is not without foundation.  Men, if born with equal--which is questionable--are born with different capacities.  No training can make every boy a poet, a painter, a musician, a mathematician, an expert handicraftsman, or a successful merchant.  There is a class who of choice would be and by nature are fitted to be, active business men, traders, manufacturers, mechanics, cultivators of the earth; another class, whose great want is to know, who would spend their life in investigating, in acquiring and communicating knowledge; and still another class, who are of a plastic nature, whose souls are alive to the Beautiful; who contemplate truth, goodness, holiness, always under the aspect of beauty, of which they become impassioned, and which they seek to embody in song, melody, picture, statue, column, or dome.  This distinction of men into three general classes, should be recognized in all our educational provisions, and our statesmen should be unwearied in their efforts so to perfect our social arrangements, as to suffer each one in life to fall into the class to which he naturally belongs, to pursue the calling for which he has a natural aptitude, and to receive according to his CAPACITY and his WORKS.

We would proceed further in the examination of the details of Dr. Schmucker's system, but it could serve no purpose, save to give us an occasion of expressing our own views on the points concerned, in opposition; and this we shall have, hereafter, a more fitting opportunity to do, in reviewing several other philosophical works which we intend to bring, seriatim, to the notice of the readers of the Democratic Review.  We have found already as much fault with Dr. Schmucker as we are willing to find with any one man, and we could do nothing but continue to find fault were we to proceed.  If his work had been on any other subject, we should not have felt ourselves called upon to notice its errors; for we could have safely trusted to the good sense of the people at large to correct it; but works on metaphysical science are precisely the works to which the good sense of the people is the least capable of administering the necessary correctives.  They must be examined and judged by persons whose habits, tastes, and studies have in some sort qualified them to judge wisely and correctly.  We have no disrespect for Dr. Schmucker, but his work is precisely one of that kind which seems to us, from its size, its method, and its apparent simplicity, likely to take with the public.  We have felt, therefore, that it was our duty to warn our countrymen against making it, as the author has designed it, a text-book in our colleges and academies.  The author himself, of whom we know nothing but what this book tells us, we hold to be a very estimable man; and we doubt not that if he had written the Institutes of the Christian Religion, instead of the Elements of a new system of Mental Philosophy, we should have approved his work--at least have had no serious objections to urge against it; for, in the preparation of such a work he would have studied the Bible still more than the phenomena of his own mind; and he who studies diligently and prayerfully the Bible, we may add, will be as little likely, after all, to err in his philosophy as in his theology.  The New Testament is the best manual of philosophy we are acquainted with.

The space we have appropriated to the subject of this book, and that which we propose for some time to come to devote to it, we cannot believe misapplied.  The taste for philosophical studies in this country is evidently on the increase; and we are preparing to become really a philosophical people.  "Young America," the America of the nineteenth century, is not fuller of life than of thought.  Thousands of young hearts all over the country are gushing out with love of truth and humanity.  Thousands of young minds, with a maturity beyond their years, are buckling on the harness, eager to go forth to investigate, to explore Providence, man, and nature, and to win glorious laurels, in their battles with darkness and error.  God's blessing on these noble young hearts, and brave young minds!  Something will come of their efforts.  We as a people are becoming more thoughtful, more profound; are acquiring a rich and varied experience; and we cannot fail to create a literature as much in advance of all the literatures of the most admired nations of ancient or modern times, as our political institutions are in advance of the old world, where the millions are still pressed to the earth by the overwhelming weight of kings, hierarchies, and nobilities.  We are becoming an earnest people, feeling that we are to live, toil, suffer, die--if need be--for the growth of universal humanity; that it is ours to take the initiative in the new school of science which is to be instituted for the world, and to formulate the new thought that is to rule the future.  We are THE PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE, and to us the scholars of all nations must ere long look.  This is our high destiny.  We are not, then, warring against our destiny in seeking to engage our countrymen in the study of the profoundest subjects, and in calling upon them to grapple with the gravest problems of science.  There is for us no time to trifle, and we have no thought to waste on what is frivolous and ephemeral.  We must be great, grand, solemn.  We rejoice in this increased attention to philosophical subjects; in all these new works on philosophy issuing from our teeming press; in the philosophical essays which are beginning to make so large a part of our periodical literature.  All augurs well, and is significant of good.  We are evidently preparing ourselves for the high mission which God has given us as a people, and unless we strive hard to fail, we shall ere long be found in the front rank of the nations, our faces and our step onward, and still onward towards the True, the Beautiful, and the Good.