Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/332

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accept, with the fullest faith, a certain number of extraordinary facts which stand much in need of confirmation, such as the facts of second sight and of artificial somnambulism. He admits the truth of dreams, visions, and presentiments; he cites cases of warnings given by mysterious revelations of coming dangers, of the death of one absent, or of other occurrences taking place at a distance, as in the well-known story of Swedenborg. Nothing is wanting but spiritism and turning tables. It is clear that such facts would justify and even compel the hypothesis of a supernatural principle. If the existence of a superior intelligence in the world can be demonstrated by physical proofs (we are not now speaking of metaphysical proofs), it is not by the spectacle of order and regularity which indicate, on the contrary, the absence of any disturbing or interposing force, but really by abnormal and contradictory facts; in a word, by miracles. Only, it is necessary that the authenticity of such facts should be above all question.

As to what concerns thought itself, we share Hartmann's views on almost all the points of psychological analysis, and only when his transcendental explanations begin do we feel obliged to part company with him. Thus we think, as he does, that the I does not make the greater part of its ideas, that its ideas come to it without its volition, and without its consciousness of the causes producing them. But what must be concluded from this, except that intelligence in general is a resultant and not a principle, and that it is simply, as Taine and the later English psychologists have so well shown, the series, the grouping, the ensemble, of a multitude of phenomena, the greater part of which have their cause outside of the me. Hartmann sets out on quite a different path, and supposes behind my consciousness another intelligence, which elaborates these ideas for me, and imparts them to me ready made; and in support of this theory he invokes the mysticism for which he betrays sympathies that recall the romantic school; he invokes the inspiration of genius, which he holds to be only the revelation of luminous thoughts to certain privileged natures. But is genius any other thing than the combination of those cerebral conditions which permit new relations of ideas to manifest themselves in an intelligence, under the mere stimulus of life, of the organic functions, and of the perceptions?

We remark the production, in history, of a great number of facts which are independent of human volitions. Men set an end before them, and yet the result is quite different from the one they had foreseen and willed. How could it be otherwise, since individual volitions are but elements in the midst of an immense complexity, and all the elements are thwarting, checking, neutralizing each other? Moreover, the struggles for existence and selection explain historic progress as clearly as they do physiological development. But Hartmann prefers, in this instance, as in others, to resort to a metaphysical principle, and imitates Joseph de Maistre, in calling for the interposition of a