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The Problem of Causality

We have little sympathy with David Hume, a much overestimated writer, who was an unbeliever in religion, a sceptic in philosophy, and of no remarkable worth or moral dignity as a man : but he is one of the great names of British metaphysical speculation, and no student of the aberrations of the human mind for the last century and over, whether in Great Britain or on the Continent, can safely overlook his Essays.  His "Treastise of Human Nature," published when he was only twenty-seven years of age, rewritten and republished some ten years of age, rewritten and republished some ten years later, under the title of "An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding," provoked a good deal of philosophical inquiry, and gave rise to the Scottish school of Reid and the German school of Kant, the two most widely diffused and influential schools of recent times.

            Hume is usually classed among sceptical philosophers, but he was no dogmatist, and originated no school of his own.  He arrived speculatively at sceptical conclusions, it is true; but it would be doing him injustice to suppose that he practically accepted or wished others to accept them, for he says that he did not, and that if the sensist philosophy in vogue in his time is accepted, genuine science is impossible.  Whether he had adopted a different philosophy for himself, or not, does not appear; but most probably he had not, and his real aim was to disparage all philosophy  and bring men back to what in our language is called good sense.  But be this as it may, without much erudition, and no great aptitude for metaphysical pursuits, he succeeded in showing that the empirical philosophy favored by Bacon and Hobbes, and elaborated and defended by Locke, conducts every one and elaborated and defended by Locke, conducts every one of its disciples of a little logical nerve to mere egoism and scepticism.

            Hume has the merit of being--in his speculations-- a consistent sensist.  According to him all the objects of human knowledge are Impressions and Ideas. The impressions are external and internal, and are what we now call sensations and sentimentsIdeas, as he defines them, are not an image or representation with which the mind in all its operations is immediately conversant, as Locke pretended; the simple mental apprehension of the object, as maintained in most of our own schools; the species or phantasms by means of which objects themselves are attained, as Aristotle and the Schoolmen taught; the forms or essences of the things detached from the Divine Reason and clothed with material bodies, as Plato held; of the intelligible reality in contradistinction from the sensible, intuitively apprehended by our intellect, as we ourselves hold; but feeble images or faint imagination, and reflection operation upon them, as furnished by the sense.  All human knowledge, then, as to its matter, is confined to our external and internal impressions and their pale reflex in the understanding.

            All the objects of human reasoning or inquiry, it follows from this, are reducible to two sorts, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact.  As the ideas are simply images or copies of facts of consciousness, formed by the mind operating upon its own impressions and lying wholly within its sphere, the understanding has no occasion to appeal to experience, or to go out of itself to find or determine their relations.  In regard to these relations our reasoning is intuitively or demonstratively certain, and has a solid support in immediate consciousness, and the principle of contradiction, or that of identity.  But in reasoning concerning matters of act, the case is different.  We can support ourselves in it on neither.  Matters of act are contingent, and in every instance the contrary is conceivable.  The proposition, that the sun will not rise to-morrow, is intelligible, and no more implies a contradiction than the proposition, that it will rise, and we should therefore in vain attempt to demonstrate its falsity.  Yet nothing is more certain than that we do continually reason concerning matters of fact, draw inferences from them, from the presence of some infer that others have been or have not been, till or will not occur, and are obliged to do so in all the practical business of life.  Now, what is the principle of this reason?

            The principle of this reasoning is, apparently, the relation of cause and effect. It is only by that relation that we can go beyond the evidence of our memory and sense.  If asked why you believe a matter of fact not present, as, for instance, that your friend is in the country or in France, you give as a reason some other fact,--a letter which you have received from him, the report of an acquaintance who has been there, or  your knowledge of his former resolutions and promises.  Were you to find watch or some other piece of mechanism in a desert island, you would conclude that men have been there.  All our reasoning concerning matters of fact is of the same kind,  and it evidently rests on the supposition that the two facts are related as cause and effect, so that the one necessarily implies the other.  It is only by the supposition of this relation that we can infer the one from the other, or regard the present fact as a proof of the absent fact.  But whence do we obtain our knowledge of this relation?

            This relation is not discoverable from reasoning, a priori.  Let an object be presented to a man of ever so strong natural reason and abilities: if it is entirely new to him, he will not e able, by the most accurate examination of its sensible qualities, to discover any of its causes or effects.  Adam, though his ration faculties be supposed, at the very first, entirely perfect, could not, from the fluidity and transparency of water, have inferred that it would suffocate him; or, from the light and warmth of fire, that it would consume him.  No object ever reveals, by the qualities which appear to the senses, either the causes which produced it, or the effects which will arise from it; nor can our reason, unassisted by experience, ever draw any inference concerning real existences or matters of fact.  The effect is a distinct fact from the cause, and no analysis of either of both can enable us to say, beforehand, that the one is the cause or the effect of the other; for there is no sensible institution and no principle of contradiction in the case of support the inference.  Our knowledge of the relation can be attained, then, only from experience.  It is only from having observed for a long time, in a great variety of instances, that one event is uniformly preceded or followed by another, that we come to regard them as connected b the relation of cause and effect.            

            But sensible experience gives us what we are accustomed to call cause and effect only under the relation of time, the one as preceding and the other following, never as necessarily connected.  It merely informs us that, so far as our observation extends, the one never occurs without other.  It shows us what we call the effect following the cause, but not the cause by its secret power or energy producing it.  Wax place near a fire is melted; but nothing in experience enables us to say that the fire melts it.  We can, then, from experience obtain absolutely no cognition of the necessary connection between cause and effect, of cause in the sense of power of productive energy.  All we do or can obtain is a cognition of uniform precedence and consequence.  Hume here refutes in advance the theory of the origin of the idea of the casual nexus, or causative power, developed by Maine de Biran, an acute and able French metaphysician, as well as that of the German Fichte.  Hume says that it is only from long experience of the uniform appearance of one event following another that we conclude that the relation of cause and effect subsists between them.  This may be true.  But this applies only to cases of particular causes and effects, not to the origin of the notion as a fact of consciousness; for, as a matter of fact, we have the nothing of cause and effect from the first dawn of reason, and long before we have had the experience supposed.  Whence its origin?  Locke had maintained that we first derived our idea of power from the operation of our own will, from the consciousness of producing effects in ourselves.  This view is taken up and developed at great length and with consummate ability by Maine de Biran.  But, as Hume remarks, there is no sensible connection between the nisus or voluntary effort and any thing which follows.  We are conscious, if you will, of the external and internal phenomena, but not of a casual rises; but I cannot say that my volition does any thing more than precede the riding of my arm, for experience shows me no necessary connection between the volition and the muscular contraction and the rising of the arm which follow.  Leibnitz went so far as to deny all casual connection between them, and maintained that the movements of simply correspond to it by virtue of a preëstablished harmony.  Certainly there is nothing more inexplicable to us than the reciprocal influence of soul and body.  Cousin sees the defects in the reasoning of Locke and Maine de Biran, but still maintains that we are conscious of a causal nexus between the voluntary effort and a following phenomenon.  I will to raise my arm, it may or may not rise; but I have produced an effect, to wit, volition to raise it, and am conscious of the casual nexus between the voluntary effort and the volition.  But perhaps, properly speaking; the volition and effort are not in reality distinguishable; and even if they were, all I am conscious of is of the effort and of the volition as facts, not of a power in the former that has produced the latter.

            Hence it follows that the idea of the casual nexus, or of causative power, is not derivable from sensible, experience.  If, then, with the sensists, we make that experience the sole source of our knowledge, the only notion of cause possible is, as Dr. Thomas brown, the successor of Dugald Stewart, maintained, that of “invariable antecedence and consequence,” which excludes entirely the notion of power, and resolves the relation of cause and effect into relation of time.  As all our reasonings concerning matters of fact rest on the supposed necessary connection between cause and effect, it follows, as a matter of course, that those reasonings have and can have no scientific value.  If we must abandon, the assertion of that connection, give up the idea of power, either as not entertained or as not assertable, we can assert no reality as the objective cause of condition of our impressions, sensations, or sentiments, and therefore no real objective existence.  Thus as ideas are nothing but copies of the impressions, all the existence we are able to assert is simply our own sentient subject and its affections, modes, or states.  Nay, if casual connection be denied, we can assert our own existence only as an impression or sensation, as the Abbe’ Condillac maintained.  Hence we lose, not only the external world, all objective reality, but all substantive existence, and fall into pure nihilism, since phenomena cannot exist without a subject.

            Here is where Hume shows us, if we accept the sensist philosophy and derive all our knowledge from sensible experience, we do and must come.  Let it be understood, however, that he is not dogmatizing; he is only showing the necessary and legitimate consequences of the empirical philosophy rendered popular and nearly universal in Great Britain and France by Locke’s “essay on the Human Understanding.”  He does not by any means accept the conclusions of that philosophy.  He says over and over again that he does not, and that nobody can.  His specialty does not consist in denying the necessary connection between cause and effect, or the reality of the causal power, as his adversaries have foolishly imagined, but in showing that it cannot be derived from sensible experience, or asserted on the principles of the empirical of sensist philosophy.  In this he was unquestionably right; and no one, on the principles of that philosophy, has ever been able, or ever will be able, or ever will be able, to refute him.  Hume was not by any means the first to how that the sensist philosophy, by excluding the idea of power, inevitably leads speculatively every one, capable of consistently carrying it out, to scepticism and nihilism; but he, nevertheless, did show it, And it was he, more than any other, that in Great Britain, Germany, and France, provoked those new philosophical investigations intended to save science.  In this lies all the value of his labors, and in this consists all the service he has rendered to philosophy.

            Dr. Thomas Reid, a countryman and contemporary of Hume, one of the great men of the eighteenth century, entered the lists against him, and endeavored to reconcile philosophy with the common beliefs of mankind.  Reid was not a learned man, and was far from being well acquainted with the course of philosophic thought through the ages; but he was a robust, original, and independent thinker, and his influence on philosophical speculation has been great, and ,upon the whole, not unsalutary.  His philosophy is in the main practically sound, as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough to place metaphysical speculation, as was his wish, in complete harmony with common sense; for he did not scientifically vindicate what he calls common sense as the test of criterion of philosophical truth.  He considered that the errors of philosophers arise from two sources: from their regarding external perception as representative rather than presentative, and from their overlooking the fact that the first principles of all science are indemonstrable.  He undertook to refute the former by showing that it is not an image or representation for the sensible object that we perceive, but the real object itself; and the second, by showing that all reasoning must proceed from principles which reasoning does not furnish and cannot establish.  These principles are the principles of common sense, the common notions or primitive beliefs of mankind.  Among these is the motion of power, or the necessary relation of cause and effect and therefore it is that all men entertain and believe it, though no reasoning can obtain or demonstrate it.

            But this did not meet the reasoning of Hume.  Hume frankly admitted that all men have the notion, that all act on it, that none are able to divest themselves of it, and that it is sufficiently evidenced for all practical purposes.  Yet, speculatively he said, you cannot assert it because it is no object of experience, and cannot be detected in the observable phenomena.  But all our knowledge, all our ideas or nothings, ate derivable from experience.  Therefore you cannot have the notion.  Yet you have it, all men have it.  Whence do they get it?  It is not detected, responds Reid, in the observable phenomena, is not derived from experience, for it is underived, is in the observer as a primitive belief or principle of common sense.  But Hume concedes all this.  All have the notion, and cannot practically divest themselves of it.  But if in the observer, it is subjective and of no objective value or application, you call it a primitive belief, a necessary belief.  Be it so.  But what is its authority, since there is observable no objective reality to respond to it, no objective evidence to support it? –No such evidence is needed.—for practical purposes, agreed; but if the belief has no objective evidence, it is only subjectively certain, and science is only subjective, and reduced to the simple knowledge of our internal modes, affections, or states.  Here is the difficulty which Reid nowhere gets over, for his primitive beliefs are not intuitions of the objective reality, are not supported by any objective evidence, but are mere psychical facts, entirely subjective, for aught he shows to the contrary, and therefore can never be the first principles of the science of things.  Which all his honest endeavors, Reid did not succeed in solving Hum’s problem, and establishing, as he was found to do, the objective reality of notion of power, of the casual nexus With him, as with Hume, the judgment of causality remains a purely psychological fact.

            About the same time with Reid in Scotland, Immanuel Kant—through one parent, of Scottish descent—took up in Germany Hume’s problem, and solved it practically in the same way; that is, he did not solve the difficulty at all, but accepted and confirmed by a masterly analysis of reason the sceptical conclusions deduced by Hume from the sensist philosophy.  Kant saw that the real question lay deeper and was more general than Hume had supposed, and that it resolves itself into the question, How synthetic judgments a priori are formed?

            All our judgments are divisible into two classes, analytical or explicative judgments, and synthetic or application judgments.  The former are judgments in which the subject contains the predicate, and are formed on the principle of contradiction or of identity.  They add nothing to the subject, but merely explain or unfold its contents.  The latter are judgments in which the predicate is not contained in the subject, but is added to it, and are subdivided into empirical judgments, or judgments from experience, and judgments a priori.  That body has extension, figure, &c., is an analytical judgment; for the predicates, extension, figure, &c., are contained in the original conception of body.  That a body has weight is a synthetic, empirical judgment, because the predicate is not contained in the primitive conception of body [a disputed fact in physics], but is added to it from experience.  But that whatever happens must have a cause, is a synthetic judgment  a priori,  because the predicate, must have a cause, is added to the subject,  whatever happens,  and became the judgment involves the conception of necessity, not in any way derivable from experience.  The characteristic of synthetic judgments a priori is the conception of necessity.  Thus far Kant is admirable, and his distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments, and between synthetic judgments from experience and synthetic judgments a priori , though not absolutely new in the history of philosophy, is of great importance, was never more finely marked, and leaves nothing on that head to be desired.

            The possibility of empirical synthetic judgments depends on the possibility of synthetic judgments a priori; for in every empirical judgment or particular experience we apply a synthetic judgment I a priori.  The empirical judgment, fire liquefies wax, is only a particular application of the judgment, whatever happens must have a cause.  That is.  Before we can assert any particular and contingent cause, we must have the notion of universal and necessary cause.  The possibility of experience, and therefore of all empirical knowledge, depends on the possibility of synthetic judgments  a prori, which are the indispensable condition of every fact of experience, and therefore of all empirical knowledge, depnds on the possibility of synthetic judgments  a priori, which are the indispensable condition of every fact of experience.  How, then are they formed?  To this question Kant devotes his Critik der reinen Vernunft,  or Analysis of Pure reason, that is, of reason regarded as subsisting prior to all experience and independent of it.  His answer denies that they are intuitions, or formed by the presentation to the mind of their subject, predicate, and copula, as objectively existing a parte rei¸ and asserts that they are simply forms or categories of the understand, which is in the substance the very doctrine of Reid; for Kant’s categories are precisely the first principles, the constituent elements of reason, the common notions, or common sense of the Scottish school.   Kant agrees with Hume that idea of cause is not in the observable phenomena, nor empirically obtainable, but maintains that is is in the observer, a necessary form of the understanding itself, and simply applied by it on occasion of experience.

            But this does not solve the sceptical doubt of Hume, for the Kantian categories are not the predicaments of Aristotle, they are not forms of things, or the objective conditions under which things may and must be thought, but the forms of the subjective intellect.  The category cause is simply the intellect itself under one of its aspects, and is that in the thought of which the intellect supplies from itself, and we think it because in every thought the soul thinks or recognizes itself.  It is, therefore, purely subjective, and without the least conceivable objective force or validity, as Hume himself, in other terms, labored to prove.

            Kant’s “Analysis of Pure Reason” is nothing but a masterly development of the old Stoical maxim with the famous exception suggested by Leibnitz, Nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit in sensu,-- nisi ipse intellectus  The only objective existences he pretends to recognize are sensibles.  We have, he maintains, intuition only of sensible valid, we are unable to assert the sensible intuitions themselves as objectively valid.  They are then in the predicament Locke’s sensations and Hume’s impressions, and all that we can affirm is pure idealism,--with which pure sensism is at bottom always coincident,--or the subject and its affections, modes, or stats.  But as Kant denies all intuition of cognition in any form of the noumenon, that is, the intelligible, we can have no cognition of the subject ever, and therefore cannot affirm it.  It we cannot affirm the subject of our own phenomena, we can affirm nothing, and we are in the universal doubt suggested by Hume.  We place here no forced interpretation upon Kant’s “Analysis,” for he himself expressly says that the result of his critical labors will be to demolish science to make way for faith,--a result not relieved ever by the dogmatism he attempts in his later work,” Analysis of the Practical Reason;” for it is idle to attempt to found a dogmatic system on practical reason, after having proved speculative reason to be good for nothing.  Moreover, in his “Practical Reason “ Kant only follows Hume,  who concede that our reasoning concerning matters of fact is sufficiently evident for him as an agent or actor *

            The fact is, that at bottom both Reid and Kant, as to the origin and grounds of our knowledge, agree with Hume, and their philosophy is substantially that which he proves leads to scepticism, with the exception in favor of Reid, that he denied the representative character of perception, and asserted, without proving, that we apprehend things themselves, not merely their mental images or representations,--an important step in the right direction, we cheerfully concede.

            In the Scottish school has followed Sir William Hamiliton, a psychological observer of rare sagacity, and, after old Ralph Cudworth, perhaps the most really erudite philosophical writer in our language.  He has that acuteness and that knowledge of systems which Reid lacked.  He attempts a new explanation of the judgment of causality, which he derives not from intuition, experience, rationcination, custom, or a special psychological power or faculty, but from the impotence of our nature to think the unconditioned.  He makes it” a derivation of the condition of the relativity in time:” “The mind,” he says, “is restricted to think in certain forms; and under these thought is possible only in the conditioned interval between two unconditioned contradictory extremes or poles, each of which is altogether inconceivable, but of which, on the principle of Excluded Middle, the one or the other is necessarily true.”  “We must think under the condition of existence,--existence relative, and existence relative in time.”  Existence relative implies,--“1 : That we are unable to realize in thought, on the one pole of the irrelative, either an absolute commencement or an absolute termination of time; as, on the other, the infinite non-commencement or an infinite non-termination of time; 2 : that we can think neither on the one pole an absolute  minimum, nor on the other infinite divisibility of time.  Yet these constitute two pairs of contradictory propositions; which, if our intelligence be not all a lire, cannot both be true, while at the same time one of the other must,.  But as not relatives they are not cogitables.  Now, the phenomenon of causality seems nothing more than a corollary of the law of the conditioned in its application to a thing thought under the form or mental category of existence relative in time.”

            This we suppose must be regarded as perfectly intelligible, and yet some people may think it might have been more clearly, as well as more elegantly, expressed.  But what first strikes us in this barbarous statement is, that it resolves the judgment of causality into the judgment of the non-commencement of existence, which, if it means any thing, is a finial of the relation of cause and effect.  The phenomenon to be explained, we are told, is this: “When aware of any new  appearance, we are unable to conceive that therein has originated any new  existence , and are constrained to think that what now appears to us under a new form had previously an existence under others.  These others are called its cause.” “Our judgment of causality simply is: We necessarily deny in thought that the object we apprehend as beginning to be, really so beings, but, on the contrary, affirm, as we must, the identity of its present sum of being with sum of its past existence.”  That is, no new existence is ever cause, but new phenomena only.  Effects are only changes in the forms of the cause, that is, are other the cause under new forms.  This, we think, is not the judgment of causality as a psychological fact, for it eviscerates the judgment or the conception of the power, whereby the cause places an effect distinct from itself, which I, then explains the judgment by identifying cause and effect, distinct from itself, or only exhibits itself under new forms, is in reality no cause at all.  That we do not misinterpret the illustrious baronet, is evident from his express statements:--“The mind is compelled to recognize an absolute identity of existence in the effect and in the complement of its cause, between the causatum and the causa.”  “Each is the sum of the other.”  An absolute identity is a perfect identity, complete in all its parts, and then no real distinction is conceivable between the causa and causatum, neither cause no effect.  “that the phenomenon presented to us did, as a phenomenon, being to be,--this we know by experience;  but that its elements only began when the phenomenon which they constitute came into manifested being,--this we are wholly unable to thin.”  “We are compelled to believe that the object that is, the certain quale and quantum of being), whose phenomenal rise into existence we have witnessed, did really exist prior to the rise, under other forms.  But to say that a thing previously existed under other forms, is only saying, in other words, that is had had causes.”  Then to say a thing has had causes, is only saying, in other words, that it previously existed under different forms!  It is clear from this that the only distinction of cause and effect recognized by Sir William is the distinction of being and phenomenon is, so far as it is anything, being itself, not something produced by it.  The phenomenon distinguished from the subject in which it subsists is nothing at all.  The resolution of cause and effect into being and phenomenon is the radical error of the Pantheists, for then we can assert only being and its phenomena; and to assert only being and its phenomena is precisely to assert Pantheism, which excludes the judgment of causality.

            It is true Sir William says he speaks only of second causes, for, as he alleges, “Of the Divine causation we have no conception;” but this cannot avail him, for he is treating the relation of cause and effect into the relation of being and phenomenon, he can assert no second causes.  Phenomena cannot be cause either first or second; for they have no substance, are unsubstantial, and therefore cannot act or operate.  To assert second causes is to abandon his whole theory.  Moreover, he illustrates his own definition of causality by express reference to the Divine causation, and makes the relation of God and the universe identically that which he asserts between cause and effect: “When God is said to create the universe out of nothing, we think this by supposing that he  evolves  the universe out of himself, in like manner as we conceive annihilation by conceiving him to withdraw his creation from actuality into power.”  He says this in order to show that we can conceive neither the real beginning nor the real cessation, and neither the increase nor the diminution, of the sum or quantum of existence.  We have the right then to assume that he does apply his conception of cause in the order of the first cause as well as in that of the second causes.  Second causes only copy or imitate in their sphere and degree the first cause; and the conception of cause, in so far as cause it is, must be the same in whatever order we conceive it.  If, then, Sir William resolves, as he does, the relation of cause and effect into the relation of being and phenomenon, or existence and its forms, he can assert as existing only being and its phenomena,-- therefore, the universe only as substantially identical with God:  which is to deny all causative force which places an effect distinct from itself, asserted in very judgment of causality, and to fall into sheer Pantheism.

            Sir William Hamilton’s theory is as inadmissible as Hume’s, because it denies the judgment of causality itself, and conducts to Pantheism, and all Pantheism undeniably conducts to scepticism and nihilism.  But his doctrine, that the judgment is derived from “the condition of relativity in time,” is to us equally inadmissible.  He says : “The phenomenon of causality ”--that is, our judgment of causality, we suppose—“seems to be nothing more than a corollary from the law of the conditioned in its application to a thing thought under the form or mental category of existence in relation in time.”  Does he mean to say that existence is a form or category of the mind?  If so, he falls into pure Kantism.  We had supposed that he regarded existence as objective, as existing a parte rei, and that we apprehend things themselves as really existing independent of the mind, and that, without an object so existing, thought is impossible.  But let that pass.  “We cannot know,” he continues, “we cannot think a thing, except under the attribute of existence; we cannot know or think a thing to exist in time and think is absolutely to commence.  Now this at once imposes upon us the judgment of causality.”  We see not that.  That we cannot think it absolutely to commence in time, is very true; but this does not prevent us from thinking it absolutely to commence out of time, namely, in its cause.  Sir William says we can think only existence and existence only in time; but we cannot think existence as absolutely commencing.  This is a singular statement; for, to think existence, and to think it not commencing, is not to think it in time, but out of time.  We think existence, he says, and we are unable to think it either as absolutely commencing or as absolutely ceasing, or to think any increase of diminution of its sum.  Now, to think existence without thinking its beginning or end, its increase or diminution, is to think existence without beginning or end, increase of diminution; which, if we know the force of words, is to think real, eternal, and necessary existence or being, unconditioned by time or any thing else—precisely what the illustrious Scottish Professor maintains, as the basis of his whole theory, we cannot do.  His real difficulty, according to his own statements, is, not in thinking existence without the relation of time, but in thinking it under that relation; and he in fact denies it under that relation, by recognizing no effects but phenomena, which are not existence in time, since phenomena, aside from their subject, are not existences at all.

            It is, no doubt, true, that we are unable to think existence a absolutely beginning for, if we could we could think absolute non-existence, which is impossible, since to think absolute non-existence Is simply not to think at all.  But this is true only when we take existence in the sense of real and necessary being in contradistinction from contingent existences, as the ὄυτοϛ ὄυ, or being of being.  In this sense we cannot think it either to being or end, to be augmented or diminished.  But it is not true of contingent existences, for we cannot think them at all, save as we think them as beginning to exist,--not in time indeed, for time is only a relation of contingents to one another, beginning and ending with them,--but in the cause or creative act of God, in which the relation of time itself commences.  In this sense we can think both the beginning and end of existence, and both it augmentation and diminution; for God was not obliged to create, and he may, if he chooses, withdraw his chooses, from creating new worlds, since creation has not exhausted his creative power.  The reasoning of Sir William rests on the ambiguity of the word existence, and therefore on an undistributed middle, a sad vice in so eminent a logician.

            Sir William, we fear uses the word existence as the excellent Abbate Rosmini uses the term being, in an abstract sense, as existence in genere, without reflecting that existence is always concrete, and can be predicated only of something really existing.  He says, we can think only under the condition of existence, and only existence relative.  Now, as we cannot think existence without thinking something existing, this means, if any thing, that we can think only relative, that is, contingent existences.  But to think

relative existences is to think relation, and no relation is thinkable, or cogitable with a single term. We cannot then think relative existence without at the same time thinking that to which it is related, that is, the irrelative,--the contingent without thinking the non-contingent, that is to say, real and necessary being, the ens simpliciter of the Schoolmen. Relative or contingent existence ens secundum quid, must be thought, if at all, either as ens secundum quid, or as ens simpliciter.  But not the latter, for that it is not, and what is not cannot be thought; not the former, unless there be thought at the same time that which is not contingent, but absolute or necessary being, because without that it is nothing. In thinking contingent existence as contingent, there is a comparison made of the contingent with the necessary, and no comparison can be thought without intuition of both terms, then we cannot think contingent or relative existence without thinking necessary, absolute, or unconditioned existence. Either then we must be able to think the unconditioned, or we cannot think the conditioned. To say that we can think existence without thinking it either as conditioned or as unconditioned, will not answer, for existence so thought is simply ens in genere, existence in general, in which nothing thought as being or existing, and is the Seyn of Hegel,--merely possible existence or a mental abstraction, which cannot be thought without the real and concrete. All existence is the existence of something, is being, either real and necessary, or relative and contingent, and therefore must, if thought at all, be thought either as the one or the other. When, then, Sir William says we think only under the condition of existence, he must either mean that we think something really existing, or existence where nothing exists. If the latter he falls into pure Kantism or scepticism; if the former, then he must concede that we do actually think, that is, intuitively apprehend, real and necessary being, without which there is and can be no relative or contingent existence.

            We do not forget Sir William's reply: Only relatives are cogitable, Relation is cogitable only between correlatives, and the relation between correlatives is reciprocal; each is relative to the other. All thought is dual, and embraces at once subject and object in their mutual opposition and limitation. The subject thinking conditions the object thought, and the object thought conditions the subject thinking.


            Therefore the unconditioned cannot be thought. But this is to confound the condition of the thought with the condition of the object, that is, to confound, ill the very act of distinguishing them, subject and object. The cause conditions the effect, but not the effect the cause, for the very conception of cause presupposes it to be independent of the effect. If, then, I think the object as my cause and myself as its effect, I do not think myself as limiting or conditioning it. If I think myself as the effect or creature of the infinite, I do not think myself as its limitation, and therefore may, although thought is dual, think the infinite, though of course not in an infinite mode. But to think the infinite in a finite mode is still to think the infinite, otherwise we must say, whenever we do not think the object adequately, we do not think it at all. This will not do, unless you deny us all thought, for only God can think, that is, know, adequately any object whatsoever. My thought is limited, but the limitation is of the subject, not of the object, comes from myself, not from the object thought, and is negative, not positive. I cannot think God infinitely, but I can think God who is infinite, and though in thinking him I distinguish myself from him, I do not think myself as limiting him, for I think myself as dependent on him, as his product, effect, or creature, and him as my cause or creator. The mistake of Sir William arises from his not considering that the only conceivable relation between the finite and infinite, the conditioned and the unconditioned, or, as we prefer to say, between, existence (from ex-stare) and being,--ens secundum quid and ens simpliciter,-is the relation of the effect to the cause, or of creature to creator, and therefore cannot be thought as a relation of reciprocity, but as a relation in which the former term is related to the latter, though the latter is not related in se to the former. Consequently we never can think ourselves as limiting or conditioning the infinite object, but must always think it as conditioning or placing us. If Sir William had considered the thought not solely as a fact of consciousness, that is, on its subjective side, as a conception, but in the real existence thought, he never could have denied our ability to think the unconditioned, that is, real, necessary, and infinite being, for he would have seen that we have intuition of it in every thought, and could not think a single thought if we had not.

            The illustrious Scotsman tells us that our conception of the infinite, the unconditioned, is negative. Negative of what? Of the conditioned? But the conditioned can be denied only by proposing its contradictory, that is, the unconditioned. Of the unconditioned? Then it is the denial of the unconditioned by the positive conception of the conditioned. But the conditioned affirms, not denies, the unconditioned, since without the unconditioned the conditioned is not cogitable. We confess, then, that we are totally unable to understand the process by which the learned and acute professor derives the judgment of causality from our inability to think the unconditioned, or from the negative conception of real and necessary being. Our inability to think the absolute commencement of existence must, according to his own statements, be regarded as resulting from the fact that we think contingent existence as originating in the non-contingent, that is, in real and necessary being. We should, therefore, reverse his doctrine, and say that the judgment of causality originates in our ability, not in our inability; in the fact that we can and do think both the unconditioned and the conditioned, and always think the latter as the effect or creation of the former, that is, from our ability to think things as they really exist; and the only inability to be noted in the case is our inability to think things, and not to think them in their real relations.


            But denying that we have any intuition of the unconditioned, or, as we prefer to say, of the Ideal or the Intelligible, and yet maintaining that we do and must believe it, Sir William is obliged to represent the judgment of causality as simply a belief, though a primitive and necessary belief, in which he coincides with Reid, and does not differ essentially from Kant. He denies it to be a fact of science, and boldly takes the ground that the first principles of our knowledge can in no instance be themselves objects of cognition, mediate or immediate. He admits a νοϋϛ- or noetic faculty in man, the intellectus of the Latins and the Vernunft of the recent German philosophers, but he makes it the Ilocus or place of first principles, rather than the power of apprehending them objectively in immediate intuition. They are then beliefs, not cognitions, and beliefs which not only cannot be demonstrated, but of which we have and can have no objective evidence. They are therefore purely subjective; and as all science must repose on them, and follow their law, all our science is purely subjective, as Hume maintained. Hence Sir William Hamilton, decidedly the most learned man of the Scottish school, and the

first metaphysician in Great Britain, coinciding with Reid and Kant, leaves us in the same speculative doubt in which Hume himself had left us. The Scottish school, which originated in the laudable attempt to refute that doubt, and to reconcile philosophy and common sense, has then undeniably failed.

            Perhaps French Eclecticism, founded by M. Victor Cousin, one of the ablest philosophers and best writers of our age, has succeeded better. M. Cousinis as learned, as erudite as, Sir William Hamilton, and far surpasses him in brilliancy of genius, and in simplicity, clearness, beauty, vivacity, grace, and elegance of style. He commenced his philosophical career under the auspices of M. Royer-Collard, as a disciple of Reid and Stewart, whom he soon abandoned for Immanuel Kant, and subsequently for Schelling and Hegel. His pretension is by a broad and scientific eclecticism to mould all systems of philosophy, in so far as affirmative, into one harmonious system, which reconciles all differences, and affords/a complete and solid explanation of human science. He recognizes a rational or non-sensible element in all the facts of experience, and makes the judgment of causality a revelation or inspiration of the spontaneous or impersonal reason, which he assumes to be objective, and of which this judgment is one of the constituent elements. But though he calls the spontaneous or impersonal reason objective, he identifies it, save as to its mode of operation, with reason as our faculty of intelligence. Now, if reason be our faculty of intelligence, the only faculty, as he maintains, by which we know, whatever the sphere or degree of our knowledge, it is our self; for though faculties may be distinguished in the soul, they cannot be distinguished from it, and therefore cannot be objective, but are really subjective. In this case, M. Cousin coincides with Kant and the Scottish school. If, however, he insists that it is objective, then we have no faculty of intelligence, are irrational and unintelligent by nature, as much so as a plant or a mineral. How, then, are we capable of receiving the revelations or inspirations of reason? We have no intellect to correspond to the intelligible, and then cannot know any thing at all.

            M. Cousin seems to be aware of some difficulty of this sort, and, while representing reason as our faculty of intelligence, identifies it in its spontaneous activity with the reason, λόγοϛ or Word of God. But this only involves him in a more serious difficulty. Reason is one in all its modes, and M. Cousin's distinction between the spontaneous, or, as he says, impersonal reason, and the reflective or personal reason, is only a distinction between indeliberative and deliberative activity,--the distinction which our theologians make between the voluntarium and the liberum, or between actus hominis and actus humanus. The actor, thevis activa; is the same in both, and differs only as to the mode of its operation. As the Word or Reason of God is God in the Unity of the Divine Being, the identification of reason in its indeliberative operations with the Divine Reason is to identify the human and divine natures, and to deny all but a modal distinction between God and man, which is Pantheism or Egoism, either of which necessarily excludes the judgment of causality, and therefore all science founded on it.

            M. Cousin, moreover, resolves being into cause, and tells us that it is only iu that it causes. But what is not cannot, cause, and if being is only in causing, then it cannot be at all, for it cannot cause unless it is. Therefore neither cause nor being can be asserted, and we have pure nihilism. If being is only in that it is a cause, and is cause only in that it causes, cause and effect must reciprocally depend each on the other, and each is merely the other's complement. M. Cousin sees this, and hence he places cause and effect in the same category. If in the same category, they are indistinguishable save as the two poles of one and the same existence, and then neither is conceivable as the product of the other,-the cause is as dependent on the effect as the effect on the cause. In this case the relation of cause and effect is resolved back into the relation of being and phenomenon, which, as we have seen, excludes the judgment of causality. If being; is only in that it causes, the causative act is necessary. This necessity must be either extrinsic or intrinsic; extrinsic in the case of the first cause it cannot be; then intrinsic. Then the effect can be only the evolution or emanation of the cause, and save as a; mode indistinguishable from it, which makes the effect a mere phenomenon, a form or mode of the cause, and we are back in Pantheism; for the essence of Pantheism is in denying all substantial existences distinct from God, and asserting only being and its phenomena.

            M. Cousin then affords ns no refutation of Hume's sceptieism.  He has done much to break down the gross sensism and materialism of Locke and Condillac, and before his end manifested, not in his philosophy, but in his personal dispositions, tendencies which we cannot deny ourselves the honor of applauding; but presenting the ideal element of thought as the constituent element of reason, not as an object apprehended by our noetic or intellective faculty, immediately presenting itself in intuition, he has no more than Kant, than Reid, than Sir William Hamilton, than Hume himself, been able to present a solid basis for science, for he has not been able to present the first principles of science as objectively evident, and a science based on principles not objectively evident is simply no science at all, and, however irresistible it may be, it is only a subjective belief.

            Rosmini, a really eminent as well as a truly pious man, one of the greatest recent glories of Italy, made some earnest and laudable efforts to redeem philosophy from the charge of scepticism; but at bottom his system seems to us to coincide with those we have just dismissed. Like Sir William Hamilton, like Kant, like Cousin, the illustrious Italian recognizes, in words at least, a non-sensible element in our cognitions, which he calls the idea if being or existence, and which the mind applies to every fact or object of sensible experience. This idea is not, according to him, the intuition of real and necessary being; or of actual or concrete existence, but of being in general, existence indeterminate and abstract. Then it is not, as he supposes, primitive, for we must conceive the concrete before we can conceive the abstract, since the abstract without the concrete is a pure nullity. The abstract is a mental conception formed by the mind, operating upon the concrete intuitively apprehended. We cannot think or affirm existence without thinking or affirming the existent. Sir William Hamilton says we cannot think without thinking the attribute of existence, as if existence, or being, which is the term he should have used, is an attribute. He who says being, says being is. Being is ultimate, and, though it may have attributes, it is not and cannot itself be an attribute. We may distinguish between real and necessary being and contingent or created existences, but not in being itself between essentia or substantia, and esee orexistere, for being which exists not, is not being. The primitive conception of God is that of being; hence be names himself, I AM THAT AM, Ego Sum Qui Sum. Being in general, ens in genre, then, is inconceivable, and is not only an abstraction, but even an impossible abstraction. We have then, and can have, no idea of being which is not either real and necessary being,--ens necessarium et reale, the ens simpliciter of the Schoolmen, that is, God,--or contingent existence, that is, creature, ens secundum quid.

            But passing over this, Rosmini cannot, from the idea of being or the judgment, Being is, arrive at the judgment, Being is cause or creator. The first principles of philosophy, from which our whole intellectual life flows, are, according to Rosmini, the idea of being, and the sensible object. These are the primitive data. How from these two, being and a sensible object, obtain the judgment of causality, or conclude the existence of a causal nexus between them.-that being creates or places the sensible object?  He must connect them in some way, or else deny the existence of the sensible object, and he can connect them only as being and phenomenon, which excludes the judgment of causality, and renders it impossible for us to refute the doctrine of the identity of substance, and phenomenon, of God and the universe, of God and man,--which we have seen neither Cousin nor Sir William Hamilton escapes,--or the nihilism of Hegel.


            Schelling maintains the doctrine of the identity of subject and object, the contingent and necessary, the relative and absolute, and therefore cannot help us, though he asserts the absolute, the unconditioned. Hegel starts with the conception of pure being, das reine Seyn, which in his view is identical with not-being, that is, with indeterminate, unreal, or mere possible being. But the possible cannot be prior to the real, for it is the power or ability of the real to place the contingent, and is intrinsic in the real and necessary.  Hence Hegel, placing the possible before the real, begins and ends in nullity. The common error of the pseudo-ontologists is, that they start from the object, not as real being, objectively existing, and simply presented in intuition, but as a conception, and thus give us no real ontology, but a pure ideology. The being they assert is no real being. But even if it were, they could not assert the judgment of causality, because it is not contained in the judgment, Being is. Hence they fall inevitably into Pantheism.

            The school which, among us, professes to follow St. Thomas, and which is the more prevalent as well as the soundest school we have, denies that it is a psychological school, and in its origin it certainly was not. It professes to proceed from notum, or something known, to the unknown, by the way of demonstration. But this is no more nor less than a Cartesian would say. It merely defines a method, not a philosophy; and though it proves that the school is faithful to the method, it by no means proves that it is faithful to the philosophy of St. Thomas. What is this notum?  What is the principium of the school? The question of principles is prior to the question of method, and far otherwise important. Your method may be good, but if your principles are bad, you can never arrive at the truth unless by an inconsequence, by a violation of logic. The principium of this school is a sensible datum, that is, a contingent existence taken from sensible experience; from this it professes to proceed demonstratively, by the principle of contradiction, to the assertion of the necessary; that is, from the ens contingens sensibly apprehended to demonstrate the ens necessarium et reale; which is not apprehensible at all.

            But Hume has settled it forever that the judgment of causality cannot be obtained from sensible experience, either intuitively or demonstratively; and without the judgment of causality we can never conclude real and necessary being from contingent existence, nor contingent existence from real and necessary being. If the professors of this school will examine it, they will find that this judgment is the very principle of their demonstration, for the principle of contradiction, without it, gives only the possible, not the real. They have, therefore, the judgment of causality prior to their demonstration, and do but apply it in their demonstrative process. How did they come by it? As they do not concede it to be an intuition, they can give only some one of the answers we have already found to be insufficient.

            There has recently sprung up, principally in France, another school, called the Traditional School; but what are their precise doctrines is a matter of dispute between them and their opponents. But if they mean that tradition is necessary only in regard to the superintelligible, or that it is necessary only as an assistant in the order of the intelli- gible, thev are so far unquestionably right; but if they mean that the first principles of science are known only as learned from a teacher, they apply in all its rigor to the natural order, in which St. Anselm did not apply it, the maxim, Crede ut intelligas, and thus found science on faith. Judging from M. Bonnetty's criticisms on Gioberti, we should say this is their doctrine, and this is only a form of Jansenism. But judging from some of M. Bonnetty's disclaimers, we might be inclined to think it is not. He says expressly, that he recognizes reason as a faculty of the soul, a natural power of knowing truth; but he denies that it is a power to invent--discover--truth. We suppose he means the first and necessary truths of morals and theology. But this is not decisive, for he leaves it in doubt whether he means morals. and theology in the superintelligible order only, or in the intelligible order. If the former, all Christians agree with him, and he utters only a truism; if he means the latter, then he either means simply that, though man is able to know these first principles or necessary truths, the foundation of what is called natural theology and ethics, when supernaturally revealed, he could never have discovered them by his own unaided efforts; or he means to deny that we can either discover or know them by our natural reason. If the former of these sub distinctions, he coincides with Gioberti, and we see not why he should com bat him; if the latter, which we suspect to be the case, when he is of his own opinion, he denies all science of principles or necessary truth, and really founds science on faith; which St. Anselm certainly never did, for St. Anselm professes to demonstrate the existence of God from the idea of the most perfect being, which the human mind has naturally. If this be the doctrine of the school, as their opponents allege, the Traditionalists are, in regard to human reason, like Pascal, Lamennais, Bayle, Kant and Hume, really sceptics.

            Now none of these philosophers and schools are practically sceptical, and we call them so only in regard to the tendency or result of their speculative systems. There is a common sense which directs, to a certain extent, most men in their practical judgments, and prevents them from running as wild in practice as in speculation. Amongst Catholics, speculation is held in check by theology, and philosophers are obliged to assert, whether logically or not, a sound ontology; but for the most part, they borrow it from Catholic theology, instead of obtaining it from their philosophical speculation. "What is taught in our schools under the head of philosophy," said an eminent Catholic bishop to us one I day, "is some fragments of Catholic theology, badly proved." But where there are no theological restraints, philosophy almost invariably runs into Pantheism, scepticism and nihilism. Certainly none of the great philosophical schools of our day, none of the distinguished philosophers whom it is counted lawful to cite, have been able to solve Hume's problem in favor of science. .

            Yet let us not for this despair of human reason or of human philosophy. All the great men we have cited were much nearer the truth than at first sight would seem. They have all failed, and failed because misled by Descartes, who converted philosophy from a science of principles into a science of method,-from the science of human and divine things in the natural and intelligible order, into the science of knowing. They have been thus led to the investigation of conceptions instead of things, the object thought in the respect that it is the correlative of subject, instead of contemplating it in the respect that it is thing, and exists independent of the thinking subject. Modern philosophy, at least the philosophy in vogue, is nothing but a methodology. The investigation of principles should always precede the investigation of method, for it is the principles that determine the method, not the method that determines the principles,

            Principles must no doubt be taken from thought, but from thought as objective, not as fact of consciousness simply.  Sir William Hamilton has well corrected the error of Reid, who made consciousness a special faculty distinguishable from our general cognitive faculty; but he has himself mistaken the true character of the fact of consciousness. He says consciousness is dual, and in thought we are alike conscious of both subject and object. This is not exact. Pierre Leroux says, more correctly, that consciousness is simply the recognition of ourselves in the act of thought as the subject thinking. We see, perceive, or apprehend the object, and are conscious that -it is we who see, perceive, or apprehend it. The fact of consciousness is simply this recognition of self as subject. This distinction is important; for, if we include under the fact of consciousness the thing thought as well as the subject thinking, we can include it only in correlation, with ourselves, simply as the objective terminus of thought, and have still the question to settle whether it be placed by the subject, or whether it exist as thing independent of subject. It is this confusion of the object with 'the fact of consciousness that has led Sir William Hamilton to deny that the unconditioned can be thought, and Professor Ferrier to represent the scibile, or the knowable, as the synthesis of subject and object, which supposes nothing to exist save as known, and thus confounds existence and knowledge, thought and being, conceptions and things.

            The correction of this fatal error lies in taking our principles, not from the object asperceptum, but as res,--not as object perceived, but as thing existing a parte rei, and

which is object because it is thing, and not thing because it is object.  Etymologically, to think is to thing, for the two words are from the same Anglo-Saxon root; but this does not mean that the thought gives to the object its reality, but a thing or reality to itself; that is, presents a thing or reality to the apprehension of the subject, in the sense in which the word realize is sometimes used even by Sir William Hamilton, as when he says, realize in thought, that is, bring distinctly before the mind the thing or reality with which the thought is conversant. Strictly speaking, to think is to judge, that is, to judge or affirm the perceptum is res or thing. It declares the fact, but does not create it. Let this be borne in mind that to think things conditions the object as object thought, but not as thing existing in the order of reality. This done, we must take our principium, not from the object as object, but as thing or reality. It is the reality we must contemplate, not the reality as object, or conditioned by our act of thinking, which is not the thing itself, but our conception. In this way our principum will be the principium of things, which must be the principium of all real science, of all science that is not subjective and illusory.

            Now our solution of the problem we have been considering has already been foreshadowed. The judgment of causality is a primitive judgment or first principle, and is embraced in the principium of all human science as in the principium of things. All philosophers, not excepting even Hume, if he understood himself, do really admit a nonempirical element in all our cognitions, ideal and apodictic. This element Reid calls the principles of common sense; Kant calls it a form or category of the reason or understanding; Cousin, a revelation, inspiration, sometimes the constituent element, of the spontaneous reason; Rosmini, the idea of being or existence in general, which precedes and accompanies all our empirical judgments; Sir William Hamilton seems to call it a primitive and necessary belief, arising from the impotence of our reason to conceive the unconditioned; but however they call it, they all in some form or other assert it, or at least concede it. All agree, with the exception of the pseudo-Thomists, that it is indemonstrable, for it is the principle or basis of all demonstration. Now, we think philosophers here lose themselves in a fog, and make a great mystery of what is in reality very plain and simple. This ideal element is the principium of things, and simply presents or affirms itself to us intuitively.  Say, with Rosmini, that the idea of being precedes and accompanies every one of our judgments, only that it is the idea or apprehension of real and necessary being,--you have then the intuitive judgment, Real and necessary being is. Add the judgment of causality, that is, Real and necessary being is cause or creator, that is, as Gioberti expresses it, Real and necessary being creates existences, and you have an ideal formula or judgment which at once is the principium of things and of science.  Say now that this ideal formula or judgment affirms itself in immediate intuition, and you have our solution of the problem. Real and necessary Being, Ens simpliciter, is God, though we do not always advert to the fact, as St. Augustine says, and thus we have the judgment of causality, because God reveals or affirms himself to our noetic faculty, and affirms himself as creating existences or the universe, and we assist, if we may use a Gallicism, at the spectacle of creation. The origin of the judgment is in intuition of the creative act of God, and is therefore, though indemonstrable, except ex consequentiis, objectively evident, and therefore knowledge, not merely belief, as Sir William Hamilton pretends. To clear all this and establish it satisfactorily would require a volume; but it is not necessary to attempt it here, since it· has already been done in our metaphysical articles from time to time. It is enough for the present to say that this judgment, formed by intuition of the reality, enters as an integral element into everyone of our empirical judgments, and forms the necessary, apodictic, and infallible element of those judgments, from which there is and can be no appeal. The judgment of causality in the order of second causes copies or imitates the judgment in the order of the first cause, and, like that judgment, has one term necessary, the other contingent. When we see an event happen, we judge at once that it has a cause; for we know, as it happens, that it is in the order of contingents, and that contingents cannot come into existence uncaused, since they are not God, and nothing not God can exist but by his causative or creative act. So far, then, as the judgment affirms that the event has had a cause, it repeats the primitive judgment, and is infallible; but so far as it assigns this or that particular cause for this or that particular event, it depends on experience, and mayor may not be just. ,Here the judgment is not apodictic, and has only probability, or what called moral certainty.

            Our solution, it will be seen, differs in only one respect from that of the so-called Thomist school, a school which has not wholly broken with the past, and which retains many traditions of .the ancients, the greater fathers and more distinguished scholastics. This difference is, that, we begin intellectual life,--not philosophy,--with the intuition of the principle of things, and it begins it with a sensible fact, and ascends, by way of demonstration, to that principle. But the principle once obtained, we proceed alike, and come to the same conclusions. In this we think the members of this school mistake the real sense of St. Thomas, and suffer themselves unconsciously to be affected by the conceptualism of Descartes. The state of the question has been changed since the time of St. Thomas, and involves now, as it did not then, a discussion of the principle of demonstration itself. Certainly St. Thomas teaches that God can be known, though not per se / but this does not necessarily imply that we cannot have intuition of real and necessary being, which is God, or of real and necessary being creating existences, which is at once the principle of things and the principle of science. No doubt this judgment, though intuitive, becomes clear and distinct to reflective intellect only by a process of reasoning. What St. Thomas really does, is to clear up and render this judgment distinct, by what he calls demonstration. The question as to the origin of the judgment of causality, the real basis of all demonstration, was not debated in his time. He finds the mind in possession of it, and uses it without further question. But if he had been asked its origin, it is not to be believed that he would have said we obtain it from demonstration. Then again, though he appears to start from the sensible element, his real process is not to infer the ideal or noetic element from it, but to disengage it, and to show that it is the divine judgment. To this process, well understood, there is nothing to object, and it is the very process we are ourselves obliged to follow in order to show that our principium is really the principle of things, that is to say, is really God by his act creating the universe. The pseudo-Thomist seems to us to confound the method it is necessary to follow in teaching, with the method the mind follows in its own intellectual life. Whoever teaches philosophy must follow the Thomist method, but it will not do to confound it with the method of that which the teacher has to explain and systematize.