Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 12.djvu/56

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PHILOSOPHY 28 PHILOSOPHY

the degree of abstraction to which the whole universe is subjected, while the moderns always look at the material object—i. e., the three categories of beings which it is possible to study, God, the world of sense, and man.


D. In Contemporary Philosophy.—The impulse received by philosophy during the last half-century gave rise to new philosophical sciences, in the sense that various branches have been detached from the main stems. In psychology this phenomenon has been remarkable: criteriology, or epistemology (the study of the certitude of knowledge) has developed into a special study. Other branches which have formed themselves into new psychological sciences are: physiological psychology or the study of the physiological concomitants of psychic activities; didactics, or the science of teaching; pedagogy, or the science of education; collective psychology and the psychology of people (Volkerpsychologie), studying the psychic phenomena observable in human groups as such, and in the different races. An important section of logic (called also noetic, or canonic) is tending to sever itself from the main body, viz., methodology, which studies the special logical formation of various sciences. On moral philosophy, in the wide sense, have been grafted the philosophy of law, the philosophy of society, or social philosophy (which is much the same as sociology), and the philosophies of religion and of history.


III. The Principal Systematic Solutions.—From what has been said above it is evident that philosophy is beset by a great number of questions. It would not be possible here to enumerate all those questions, much less to detail the divers solutions which have been given to them. The solution of a philosophic question is called a philosophic doctrine, or theory. A philosophic system (from συνίστμι, put together) is a complete and organized group of solutions. It is not an incoherent assemblage or an encyclopedic amalgamation of such solutions; it is dominated by an organic unity. Only those philosophic systems which are constructed conformably with the exigencies of organic unity are really powerful: such are the systems of the Upanishads, of Aristotle, of neo-Platonism, of Scholasticism, of Leibniz, Kant and Hume. So that one or several theories do not constitute a system; but some theories, i. e. answers to a philosophic question, are important enough to determine the solution of other important problems of a system. The scope of this section is to indicate some of these theories.


A. Monism, or Pantheism, and Pluralism, Individualism, or Theism.—Are there many beings distinct in their reality, with one Supreme Being, God at the summit of the hierarchy; or is there but one reality (μονάς, hence monism), one All-God (πάν-θεός) of whom each individual is but a member or fragment (Substantialistic Pantheism), or else a force, or energy (Dynamic Pantheism)? Here we have an important question of metaphysics the solution of which reacts upon all other domains of philosophy. The system of Aristotle, of the Scholastics, and of Leibniz are Pluralistic and Theistic; the Indian, neo-Platonic, and Hegelian are Monistic. Monism is a fascinating explanation of the real, but it only postpones the difficulties which it imagines itself to be solving (e. g. the difficulty of the interaction of things), to say nothing of the objection, from the human point of view, that it runs counter to our most deep-rooted sentiments.


B. Objectivism and Subjectivism.—Does being, whether one or many, possess its own life, independent of our mind, so that to be known by us is only accident to being, as in the objective system of metaphysics (e.g. Aristotle, the Scholastics, Spinoza)? Or is being no other reality than the mental and subjective presence which it acquires in our representation of it as in the Subjective system (e.g. Hume)? It is in this sense that the “Revue de métaphysique et de morale” (see bibliography) uses the term metaphysics in its title. Subjectivism cannot explain the passivity of our mental representations, which we do not draw out of ourselves, and which therefore oblige us to infer the reality of a non-ego.


C. Substantialism and Phenomenism'—Is all reality a flux of phenomena (Heraclitus, Berkeley, Hume, Taine), or does the manifestation appear upon a basis, or substance, which manifests itself, and does the phenomenon demand a noumenon (the ScholasticismScholastics)? Without an underlying substance, which we only know through the medium of the phenomenon, certain realities, as walking, talking, are inexplicable, and such facts as memory become absurd.


D. Mechanism and Dynamism (Pure and Modified).—Natural bodies are considered by some to be aggregations of homogeneous particles of matter (atoms) receiving a movement which is extrinsic to them, so that these bodies differ only in the number and arrangement of their atoms (the Atomism, or Mechanism, of Democritus, Descartes, and Hobbes). Others reduce them to specific, unextended, immaterial forces, of which extension is only the superficial manifestation (Leibniz). Between the two is Modified Dynamism (Aristotle), which distinguishes in bodies an immanent specific principle (form) and an indeterminate element (matter) which is the source of limitation and extension. This theory accounts for the specific characters of the entities in question as well as for the reality of their extension in space.


E. Materialism, Agnosticism, and Spiritualism—That everything real is material, that whatever might be immaterial would be unreal, such is the cardinal doctrine of Materialism (the Stoics, Hobbes, De Lamettrie). Contemporary Materialism is less outspoken: it is inspired by a Positivist ideology (see section VI), and asserts that, if anything supramaterial exists, it is unknowable (Agnosticism, from ά and γνώσις, knowledge. Spencer, Huxley). Spiritualism teaches that incorporeal, or immaterial, beings exist or that they are possible (Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, the Scholastics, Descartes, Leibniz). Some have even asserted that only spirits exist: Berkeley, Fichte, and Hegel are exaggerated Spiritualists. The truth is that there are bodies and spirits; among the latter we are acquainted (though less well than with bodies) with the nature of our soul, which is revealed by the nature of our immaterial acts, and with the nature of God, the infinite intelligence, whose existence is demontrated by the very existence of finite things. Side by side with these solutions relating to the problems of the real, there is another group of solutions, not less influential in the orientation of a system, and relating to psychical problems or those of the human ego.


F. Sensualism and Rationalism, or Spiritualism

These are the opposite poles of the ideogenetic question, the question of the origin of our knowledge. For Sensualism the only source of human knowledge is sensation: everything reduces to transformed sensations. This theory, long ago put forward in Greek philosophy (Stoicism, Epicureanism), was developed to the full by the English Sensualists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) and the English Associationists (Brown, Hartley, Priestley); its modern form is Positivism (John Stuart Mill, Huxley, Spencer, Comte, Taine, Littré etc.). Were this theory true, it would follow that we can know only what falls under our senses, and therefore cannot pronounce upon the existence or non-existence, the reality or unreality, of the super-sensible. Positivism is more logical than Materialism. In the New World, the term Agnosticism has been very happily employed








the degree of abstraction to which the whole universe is subjected, while the moderns always look at the material object — i. e., the three categories of beings which it is possible to study, God, the world of sense, and man. D. In Contemporary Philosophy. — The impulse received by philosophy during the last half-century gave rise to new philosophical sciences, in the sense that various branches have been detached from the main stems. In psychology this phenomenon has been remarkable: criteriology, or epistemol- ogy (the study of the certitude of knowledge) has developed into a special study. Other branches which have formed themselves into new psycho- logical sciences are: physiological psychology, or the study of the physiological concomitants of psychic activities; didactics, or the science of teaching; pedagogy, or the science of education; collective psychology and the psychology of peoples {Volker psychologic), studying the psychic phenomena ob.scrvable in human groups as such, and in the dif- ferent races. An important section of logic (called also noetic, or canonic) is tending to sever itself from the main body, viz., methodology, which studies the special logical formation of various sciences. On moral philosophy, in the wide sense, have been grafted the philosophy of law, the philosophy of society, or social philosophy (which is much the same as sociology), and the philosophies of religion and of historj'. III. The Principal Systematic Solutions. — From what has been said above it is evident that philosophy is beset by a great number of questions. It would not be possible here to enumerate all those questions, much less to detail the divers solutions which have been given to them. The solution of a philosophic question is called a philosophic doctrine, or theory. A philosophic system (from ffwlcrT-qfu, put together) is a complete and organized group of solutions. It is not an incoherent assemblage or an encyclopedic amalgamation of such solutions; it is dominated by an organic unity. Only those phil- osophic systems which are constructed conformably with the exigencies of organic unity are really power- ful : such are the systems of the Upanishads, of Aristotle, of nco-Platonism, of Scholasticism, of Leibniz, Kant, and Hume. So that one or several theories do not constitute a system; but some theories, i. e. answers to a philosophic question, are important enough to determine the solution of other important problems of a system. The scope of this section is to indicate some of these theories. A. Monism, or Pantheism, and Pluralism, Indi- vidualism, or Theism. — Are there many beings dis- tinct in their reality, with one Supreme Being, God, at the summit of the hierarchy; or is there but one reaUty (fiovds, hence monism), one All-God (Tra^^SeAs), of whom each individual is but a member or fragment (Substantialistic Pantheism), or else a force, or energy (Dynamic Pantheism)? Here we have an important question of metaphysics the solution of which reacts upon all other domains of philosophy. The systems (if .ristotle, of the Scholastics, and of Leibniz are Pluralistic and Theistic; the Indian, neo-Platonie, anil Hegelian are Monistic. Monism is a fascinating explanation of the real, but it only postpones the difficulties which it imagines itself to be solving (e. g. the difficulty of the interaction of things), to say nothing of the objection, from the human point of view, that it runs counter to our most deeply-rooted sentiments. B. Ohjcctivism and Suhjectiirism. — Does being, whether one or many, possess its own life, independent of our mind, so that to bo known by us is only accidental to being, iis in the objective system of metaphysics (e. g. .Xristotle, the Schola.stics, Spinoza)? Or has being no other reality than the mental and subjective presence which it acquires in our representation of it as in the Subjective system (e. g. Hume)? It is in this sense that the "Revue de m^taphysique et de morale" (see bibliography) uses the term meta- physics in its title. Subjectivism cannot explain the passivity of our mental representations, which we do not draw out of ourselves, and which therefore oblige us to infer the reality of a non-ego. C. Suhslantialism and Phenomenism. — Is all reality a flux of phenomena (Heraclitus, Berkeley, Hume, Taine), or does the manifestation appear upon a basis, or substance, which manifests itself, and does the phenomenon demand a noumenon (the Scholas- tics)? Without an underlying substance, which we only know through the medium of the phenomenon, certain realities, as waiting, talking, are inexplicable, and such facts as memory become absurd. D. Mechanism and Dynamism {Pure and Modified). — Natural bodies are considered by some to be aggre- gations of homogeneous particles of matter (atoms) receiving a movement which is extrinsic to them, so that these bodies differ only in the number and arrangement of their atoms (the Atomism, or Mechan- ism, of Democritus, Descartes, and Hobbes). Others reduce them to specific, unextendcd, immaterial forces, of which extension is only the superficial manifestation (Leibniz). Between the two is Modi- fied Dynamism (Aristotle), which distinguishes in bodies an immanent specific principle (form) and an indeterminate element (matter) which is the source of limitation and extension. This theory accounts for the specific characters of the entities in question as well as for the reality of their extension in space. E. Materialism, Agnosticism, and Spiritualism. — That everything real is material, that whatever might be immaterial would be unreal, such is the cardinal doctrine of Materialism (the Stoics, Hobbes, De Lamettrie). Contemporary Materialism is less outspoken: it is inspired by a Positivist ideology (see section VI), and asserts that, if anything supra- material exists, it is unknowable (Agnosticism, from a. and Tviiiris, knowledge. Spencer, Huxley). Spirit- ualism teaches that incorporeal, or immaterial, beings exist or that they are possible (Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, the Scholastics, Des- cartes, Leibniz). Some have even asserted that only spirits exist: Berkeley, Fichte, and Hegel are exaggerated Spiritualists. The truth is that there are bodies and spirits; among the latter we are acquainted (though less well than with bodies) with the nature of our soul, which is revealed by the nature of our immaterial acts, and with the nature of God, the infinite intelligence, whose existence is demon- strated by the very existence of finite things. Side by side with these solutions relating to the problems of the real, there is another group of solutions, not less influential in the orientation of a system, and relating to psychical problems or those of the human ego. F. Sensualism and Rationalistn, or Spiritualis7n. — These are the opposite poles of the ideogenetic ques- tion, the question of the origin of our knowledge. For Sensualism the only source of human knowledge is sensation: everything reduces to tran.sformed sensations. This theory, long ago put forward in Greek philosophy (Stoicism, Epicureanism), was developed to the full by the English Sensualists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) and the English Associa- tionists (Brown, Hartley, Priestley); its modern form is Positivism (John Stuart Mill, Huxley, Spen- cer, Comte, Taine, Littr^ etc.). Were this theory true, it would follow that we can know only what falls under our senses, and therefore cannot pronounce upon the existence or non-existence, the reality or unreality, of the super-sensible. Positivism is more logical than Materialism. In the New World, the term Agnosticism has been very happily employed