Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/427

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HAECKEL'S PHILOSOPHY. 421

pain, loves and hates, has desires and aversions, but these states are all unconscious. Unconscious sensations, pleasures, pains and impulses are greater riddles than the things they are manufactured to explain. Haeckel seems to feel this when it comes to organic life, for here he identifies these unconscious processes with physical and chemical forces, though he is vacillating on his point as usual ; the physical processes are sometimes the forces themselves, sometimes the functions of these forces. Out of these unconscious processes consciousness arises in the brains of higher animals. The thing is as simple as it can be. Ideas which have been unconscious mirror themselves in the brain, begin to look at themselves. Consciousness develops as a subjective mirroring of the objective processes in the neuroplasm of the soul cells* and the thing is done. What could be fairer than that ? And then these mir- rored ideas, these ideas or rather brain processes that have suddenly tsken it into their heads to look at themselves, add themselves together and form personalities and all higher processes of mind. The whole problem of existence is a problem of arithmetic. Atoms add themselves together to form bodies, bodies add themselves together to form worlds, ideas add themselves together to form thought, science, philosophy. In- stead of answers to problems we get new and more difficult problems. It is no explanation of soul life to assume it as an attribute of the sub- stance; it is no explanation of consciousness to deduce it from uncon- scious processes; it is no explanation of the human mind to conceive it as a sum-total of ideas.

This gives us Haeckel's philosophy of nature, his philosophy of life and his philosophy of mind. He believes that he has solved for us the problem of the essence of matter and energy, the origin of motion, the origin of life, the purposive arrangement of nature, the origin of thought and language, the origin of simple sensation and conscious- ness. The problem of matter and energy is solved by making matter and energy attributes of an underlying substance which is a greater riddle than they, and which perhaps does not even exist. We are never told what the essence of any of these things is. Afterwards matter seems to become the substance and energy its function. Energy is con- ceived as sentient force, as unconscious psychical life, and all the pro- cesses of soul life and consciousness are regarded as different forms of it or as functions. of it. Matter, in other words, is the bearer of the different forces of nature, from the forces of attraction and repulsion or unconscious love and hate up to consciousness. Matter is king, energy is the subject. The origin of motion is not explained either. We are told that the substance is in eternal motion: ' motion is as immanent and original a property of the substance as sensation/ f We are also

  • ' Weltraethsel,' p. 151.

t On page 253 the substance seems to be conceived as originally in a state of rest.

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