Philosophical Works of the Late James Frederick Ferrier/Institutes of Metaphysic (1875)

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INSTITUTES OF METAPHYSIC


THE


THEORY OF KNOWING AND BEING



BY

J. F. FERRIER, A.B., OXON.

PROFESSOR OP MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY,
ST ANDREWS


THIRD EDITION


WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
MDCCCLXXV

CONTENTS.




PAGE
INTRODUCTION.
1.
The word "Philosophy" as here employed,
1
2.
The two main requisitions of philosophy,
1
3.
Which of them is the more stringent,
2
4.
The value of systems determined by a reference to these requisitions
2
5.
An unreasoned system of no value, because at variance with definition of philosophy,
3
6.
Because, though true, it cannot be certain,
3
7.
Because of no use as a mental discipline,
3
8.
A reasoned system, though not true, has some value as an exercise of reason,
4
9.
It complies more closely with definition of philosophy than the other,
4
10.
But a system should be both true and reasoned,
5
11.
Systems of philosophy are unreasoned hitherto,
5
12.
The present state of philosophy described,
6
13.
First, How is this state to be explained? Secondly, How remedied?
7
14.
First, it is explained (§§ 14–31) by philosophy not being reasoned,
8
15.
No good can be expected so long as philosophy is not reasoned,
8
16.
The masks of philosophy,
9
17.
Its unsatisfactory state further accounted for. The globe of speculation,
11
18.
Explanation continued. First principles always come out last,
12
19.
Illustrations of this from language and grammar,
13
20.
Illustration continued,
14
21.
Illustration from logic,
15
22.
Illustration from law,
15
23.
Application to philosophy. Here, too, first principles come out last,
16
24.
These principles, though operative in philosophy, are unnoticed and unknown,
17
25.
Hence philosophy is nowhere a scheme reasoned throughout,
18
26.
The repudiation of necessary truths, a further retarding cause,
19
27.
What necessary truth is, .
20
28.
Its criterion is "the law of contradiction." Law explained,
21
29.
Its criterion is not ready acceptance,
22
30.
Return. Philosophy deals with necessary truths—therefore retarded by their prescription,
23
31.
How ill the necessary truths hare fared in Germany and in our own country,
24
32.
Secondly, How is the unsatisfactory state of philosophy to be remedied? Short answer,
26
33.
A remedial system uniting truth and reason, not impossible,
28
34.
Single canon for the right use of reason,
28
35.
This system of Institutes claims both truth and demonstration, but rather demonstration than truth,
29
36.
It is a body of necessary truth. Its pretensions stated,
30
37.
An objection to its method stated and obviated,
31
38.
The polemical character of this system,
31
39.
Why philosophy must be polemical. She exists only to correct the inadvertencies of ordinary thinking,
32
40.
This might be abundantly proved by the testimony of philosophers,
33
41.
The object (or business to do) of philosophy renders her essentially polemical,
33
42.
The charge of disrespect which might be supposed to attach to philosophy on account of her polemical character, obviated,
34
43.
This system also adverse to psychology—and why,
34
44.
What philosophy has to do, again distinctly stated,
36
45.
Its positive object still more distinctly stated. Definition of metaphysics,
36
46.
Why philosophy undertakes this object,
38
47.
How philosophy goes to work. Adherence to canon—proposition and counter-proposition,
38
48.
Further explanations as to how philosophy goes to work,
40
49.
Advantages of this method,
41
50.
Disadvantages of not contrasting distinctly the true and the false,
41
51.
General unintelligibility of systems is due to their neglect to exhibit this contrast,
42
52.
This system contrasts distinctly the true and the false,
45
53.
The three sections of this institute. Arrangement explained and proved to be essential (§§ 54-62),
46
54.
The section called ontology naturally comes first,—but is truly last in order,
46
55.
It must be made to revolve away from us, in order to bring round the epistemology, which, though it naturally comes last, is truly first in order,
47
56.
Epistemology and ontology the two main divisions of philosophy,
49
57.
The epistemology does of itself afford no entrance to ontology. Why not?,
49
58.
Because "Absolute Existence" may be that which we are ignorant of,
50
59.
This consideration necessitates a new section of philosophy called the agnoiology. Its business,
50
60.
Now we can settle the problem of ontology—and how,
51
61.
Recapitulation of the three sections. 1. Epistemology. 2. Agnoiology. 3. Ontology. This arrangement not arbitrary, but necessary,
52
62.
The necessity of keeping these divisions perfectly distinct,
52
63.
The natural oversights of thought are rectified in these three sections,
53
64.
Remarks obviating any objections to the system, on the ground that its conclusions cannot at all times be present to the mind,
54
65.
Continuation of these remarks,
56
66.
Remark obviating any objection to this system on the score of presumption,
58
67.
The indispensable extension of the necessary laws to all reason,
59
68.
An objection to the system on the score of inconsistency obviated,
60
69.
Objection retorted. The confusion of philosophers in regard to the conceivable and the inconceivable,
61
70.
This confusion illustrated,
62
71.
All other systems make game of the laws of thought,
63
72.
The inconsistency of philosophers inextricable,
64
73.
Their laws of thought always turn out, at best, to be mere laws of imagination,
65
74.
This system does not make game of the laws of thought,
66
75.
It abridges the grounds of controversy,
66
76.
Conclusion of introduction explaining how the starting-point of philosophy is reached (§§ 76-85),
67
77.
How the starting-point is reached,
67
78.
Plato, in Theætetus, fails to reach the starting-point,
68
79.
Search for the starting-point,
69
80.
Why the question—What is knowledge? cannot be the starting-point,
71
81.
This question resolved into two questions,
72
82.
Which of them is our question,—and the first in philosophy,
72
83.
That philosophy has a starting-point proved by the fact that its starting-point has been found,
73
84.
Starting-point must state the essential of knowledge. Experience may confirm, but reason alone can establish its truth,
74
85.
Re-statement of the first or proximate question of philosophy,
74
86.
Its answer is the absolute starting-point, and forms the first proposition of these Institutes,
75
 
SECTION I.
 
THE EPISTEMOLOGY, OR THEORY OF KNOWING.
 
PROPOSITION I.
The Primary Law or Condition of All Knowledge,
79
Observations and Explanations,
79
1.
Prop. I. answers the first question of philosophy,
79
2.
It expresses the most general and essential law of all knowledge,
80
3.
It declares that self-consciousness is never entirely suspended when the mind knows anything,
81
4.
Objection that self-consciousness seems at times to be extinct,
81
5.
Objection obviated. Proposition explained,
81
6.
Our apparent inattention to self accounted for by the principle of familiarity,
82
7.
Also by the consideration that the ego is no object of sensible experience,
84
8.
A theory of self-consciousness at variance with Prop. I. refuted,
85
9.
Importance of Prop. I. as foundation of the whole system,
86
10.
It is not refuted but rather confirmed by experience,
87
11.
Its best evidence is reason, which fixes it as a necessary truth or axiom,
87
12.
First Counter-proposition,
89
13.
It embodies the result of ordinary thinking and of popular psychology,
89
14.
It is generally the starting-point of psychology, as Prop. I. is the starting-point of metaphysics,
90
15.
A mark of distinction between the propositions and the counter-propositions,
91
16.
Prop. I. has some affinity to Pythagorean doctrine of numbers,
92
17.
Misunderstanding as to Pythagorean doctrine,
93
18.
Prop. I. a higher generalisation of the Pythagorean law,
94
19.
Anticipations of Prop. I. by the philosophers of Germany,
94
 
PROPOSITION II.
The Object of All Knowledge,
97
Demonstration,
97
Observations and Explanations,
98
1.
Reason for printing "itself-in-union-with-whatever-it-apprehends" as one word,
98
2.
By the object of knowledge is meant the whole object of knowledge,
99
3.
Change which an attention to the condition of knowledge effects upon the object of knowledge,
100
4.
Further illustrated by the speculative, as distinguished from the ordinary mode of enumeration,
100
5.
Second Counter-proposition,
101
6.
It is false, because Counter-proposition I. is false,
102
7.
It expresses the ordinary notion, and also, generally, the psychological opinion as to the object of knowledge,
103
 
PROPOSITION III.
The Inseparability of the Objective and the Subjective,
105
Demonstration,
105
Observations and Explanations,
106
1.
Reasons for giving this proposition a prominent place in the system,
106
2.
What is meant by separability and inseparability in cognition,
107
3.
A possible misapprehension obviated,
108
4.
Inseparability in cognition not to be confounded with inseparability in space: the external and the internal,
109
5.
The unit of cognition explained. How it is determined,
110
6.
Importance of the words "by itself," or per se,
111
7.
The unit of cognition further explained,
112
8.
No essential but only an accidental difference between the minimum and the maximum of cognition,
112
9.
Third Counter-proposition,
113
10.
It embodies an inadvertency of natural thinking,
113
11.
The psychological position more false and ambiguous than the natural inadvertency,
114
12.
The psychological error accounted for,
115
13.
Distinction of science of mind and science of matter characterised,
115
14.
Invalidity of counter-proposition III. Its origin, §§ 14, 15, 16, 17,
116
15.
Many things are distinguishable, which are not separable, in cognition,
117
16.
Illustrations applied to subject and object.,
118
17.
Further illustration,
118
18.
Short statement of what this proposition contends for,
119
19.
No opinion offered as to existence,
120
 
PROPOSITION IV.
Matter per se,
121
Demonstration,
121
Observations and Explanations,
122
1.
Idealism and materialism have their roots here,
122
2.
Fourth Counter-proposition,
122
3.
It expresses common opinion as to our knowledge of matter per se,
122
4.
Oversight of self only apparent—not real and total,
123
5.
Psychological opinion as to our knowledge of matter per se,
123
6.
Psychological materialism as founded on the four counter-propositions,
124
7.
Fallacy of materialism. Possibility of idealism as founded on the four propositions,
125
8.
A preliminary question prejudged by materialist and by idealist,
126
9.
Cause of this precipitate judgment. Its evil consequences,
127
10.
How Prop. IV. decides this preliminary question. How Counter-proposition IV. decides it,
128
11.
Symbols illustrative of the position maintained by the Institutes,
128
12.
The same symbols as illustrative of the psychological position,
129
13.
Different conclusions from the two positions,
130
14.
Difference farther explained,
131
15.
Another point of difference between this system and psychology,
132
16.
Matter per se reduced to the contradictory,
134
17.
This contradiction attaches not only to our knowledge of matter per se,
136
18.
But to matter per se itself,
137
19.
Advantage of this reduction. New light on the problem of philosophy,
139
20.
Importance of finding the contradictory,
140
21.
In what sense the contradictory is conceivable,
141
22.
Matter per se is not a nonentity,
142
 
PROPOSITION V.
Matter and its Qualities per se,
144
Demonstration,
144
Observations and Explanations,
144
1.
Why Proposition V. is introduced,
144
2.
Fifth Counter-proposition,
145
3.
Distinction between the primary and the secondary qualities of matter,
146
4.
Character of the secondary qualities,
146
5.
Character of the primary qualities,
148
6.
Defects of this distinction,
149
7.
It runs into a contradiction,
151
8.
Psychological conception of idealism,
151
9.
Psychological refutation of idealism,
152
10.
This refutation, if logically conclusive, is founded on a contradiction and therefore cannot be accepted,
154
11.
The distinction of the primary and secondary qualities should be abandoned as useless, or worse,
155
 
PROPOSITION VI.
The Universal and the Particular in Cognition,
156
Demonstration,
157
Observations and Explanations,
157
1.
Explanation of words,
158
2.
In what sense the contingent element is necessary, and in what sense it is contingent,
158
3.
Why this proposition is introduced,
160
4.
Question concerning the particular and the universal instead of being made a question of Knowing,
161
5.
Was made a question of being by the early philosophers. Thales,
163
6.
Parmenides. What change he effected on the question,
163
7.
It still related to Being—not to Knowing,
164
8.
Indecision of Greek speculation. The three crises of philosophy,
165
9.
Plato appeared during the second crisis. His aim,
167
10.
The coincidence of the known and the existent must be proved, not guessed at,
168
11.
Plato's deficiencies,
168
12.
His merits. The question respecting the particular and the universal demands an entire reconsideration,
169
13.
A preliminary ambiguity,
170
14.
Further statement of ambiguity,
171
15.
Illustration of the ambiguity,
171
16.
Is the Platonic analysis of cognition and existence a division into elements or into kinds?,
173
17.
Rightly interpreted, it is a division into elements,
174
18.
It has been generally mistaken for a division into kinds,
176
19.
Explanation of this charge,
177
20.
Sixth Counter-proposition,
179
21.
This counter-proposition is itself a proof of the charge here made against philosophers,
180
22.
Review of our position,
181
23.
Misinterpretation of the Platonic analysis traced into its consequences,
182
24.
Perplexity as to general existences,
183
25.
Realism,
183
26.
Realism is superseded by Conceptualism,
184
27.
Conceptualism is destroyed by Nominalism,
185
28.
Evasion by which conceptualism endeavours to recover her ground, and to conciliate nominalism. Its failure,
186
29.
Nominalism,
190
30.
Nominalism is annihilated by Proposition VI.,
191
31.
The summing up,
192
32.
The abstract and the concrete,
193
 
PROPOSITION VII.
What the Universal and the Particular in Cognition are,
196
Demonstration,
196
Observations and Explanations,
197
1.
Why this Proposition is introduced,
197
2.
The ego is coextensive with the universal, matter is not coextensive with the particular, element,
198
3.
Another reason for introducing this proposition,
199
4.
Remarkable that this proposition should not have been propounded long ago,
199
5.
The oversight accounted for. Effect of familiarity,
200
6.
We study the strange rather than the familiar, hence truth escapes us,
202
7.
Hence neglect of this proposition,
204
8.
Another circumstance which may have caused the neglect of this proposition,
206
9.
The ego is the summum genus of cognition. Ontological generalisation,
206
10.
Epistemological generalisation is very different,
207
11.
The ego not a mere generalisation from experience,
209
12.
Shortcoming of the Platonic ideas,
210
13.
Perhaps the ego is the summum genus of existence as well as of cognition,
212
14.
The second clause of proposition has had a standing in philosophy from the earliest times,
213
15.
A ground of perplexity,
213
16.
Demur as to matter being the fluctuating in existence,
214
17.
It is certainly the fluctuating in cognition,
215
18.
The old philosophers held it to be both,
215
19.
More attention should have been paid to their assertion that it was the fluctuating in cognition,
216
20.
Matter as the fluctuating in cognition: explained.,
217
21.
This is the fluctuation which epistemology attends to,
217
22.
A hint as to its fluctuation in existence,
218
23.
The ego as the non-fluctuating in cognition: explained,
219
24.
Seventh Counter-proposition,
219
25.
Expresses the contradictory inadvertency of ordinary thinking: illustration,
220
26.
Corrective illustration,
221
27.
Psychology adopts Counter-proposition VII.,
222
28.
And thereby loses hold of the only argument for immateriality,
223
 
PROPOSITION VIII.
The Ego in Cognition,
224
Demonstration,
224
Observations and Explanations,
226
1.
A caveat,
226
2.
Important law of knowledge,
226
3.
Materiality and immateriality. Eighth Counter-proposition,
227
4.
Eighth counter-proposition the common property of materialist and spiritualist,
228
5.
Early conception of mind as material. Ghosts, clairvoyance, spirit rapping,
229
6.
Conception of mind as material substance dismissed,
231
7.
Conception of mind as result of organisation: phrenology,
231
8.
The spiritualist's conception of mind is as null as the materialist's,
232
9.
Both parties hold mind to be particular,
233
10.
It is known only as the universal,
234
11.
The materialist's error consists in his holding mind to be particular,
235
12.
The spiritualist's error consists in his holding mind to be particular,
236
13.
The two errors summed up,
238
14.
Recapitulation of the institutional proof of immateriality,
238
 
PROPOSITION IX.
The Ego per se,
241
Demonstration,
241
Observations and Explanations,
242
1.
Purport of this proposition in relation to Proposition I.,
242
2.
An objection started,
242
3.
Objection obviated,
243
4.
Another objection obviated,
244
5.
David Hume outgoes this proposition,
245
6.
What this proposition contends for,
246
7.
The mind must always know itself in, but not as, some determinate condition,
246
8.
Ninth Counter-proposition,
248
9.
Its twofold error,
248
10.
History of word "essence." Its meaning reversed by moderns,
249
11.
Consequences of this reversal—injustice to the old philosophers,
250
12.
Confusion and error to which the reversal has led,
251
13.
This proposition reduces the ego per se to a contradiction,
252
14.
Why the word ego is used in these discussions,
253
15.
The individual or monad,
253
16.
An objection obviated,
254
17.
Another objection obviated,
255
 
PROPOSITION X.
Sense and Intellect,
257
Demonstration,
257
Observations and Explanations,
258
1.
Comment on data of proof of this proposition,
258
2.
Tenth Counter-proposition,
259
3.
The Leibnitzian restriction of counter-proposition,
259
4.
Comment on the translation here given of the counter-proposition,
260
5.
The counter-proposition is equally contradictory, whether accepted without, or with, a restriction,
261
6.
The counter-proposition is the foundation of "sensualism"—character of sensualism,
261
7.
The anti-sensual psychology merely restricts the counter-proposition—leaves the contradiction uncorrected,
263
8.
The root of the mischief. History of distinction between sense and intellect,
264
9.
Aim and procedure of Greek metaphysics,
264
10.
A rule for the historian of philosophy,
266
11.
This rule observed in these Institutes,
266
12.
Return to history of distinction between sense and intellect,
267
13.
Illustration of early Greek doctrine,
269
14.
The old philosophers were right in their problem—in their way of working it, and in fixing sense as the faculty of nonsense,
270
15.
A reason why the truth of this doctrine is not obvious,
271
16.
Difficulty and difference of opinion as to intellectual element,
272
17.
Ambiguities of the old philosophers,
273
18.
Three misconceptions arising out of these ambiguities,
273
19.
Comment on first misconception,
275
20.
Comment on second misconception,
276
21.
Comment on third misconception,
277
22.
Key to the Greek philosophy,
279
23.
Return to counter-proposition. It is founded on a confusion of the distinction between sense and intellect,
281
24.
The Lockian and the Kantian psychology in limiting the counter-proposition effect no subversion of sensualism,
282
25.
Kant's doctrine impotent against sensualism,
283
26.
The statement in par. 4, and the charge in par. 7, are borne out by the foregoing remarks,
286
27.
Kant sometimes nearly right. He errs through a neglect of necessary truth,
287
28.
The true compromise between Sense and Intellect,
288
 
PROPOSITION XI.
Presentation and Representation,
290
Demonstration,
290
Observations and Explanations,
291
1.
Why this proposition is introduced,
291
2.
Distinction between knowing and thinking,
292
3.
This proposition the foundation of a true philosophy of experience,
293
4.
Representation—its two insuperable restrictions,
293
5.
First restriction by way of addition. Second by way of subtraction,
294
6.
The latter restriction unrecognised by philosophers. Eleventh Counter-proposition,
295
7.
Its invalidity shown,
296
8.
The minimum cogitable equates with the minimum scibile,
296
9.
Dr Reid's mistake in his assault on representationism,
297
10.
The truth and the error of representationism,
299
 
PROPOSITION XII.
Matter per se again,
300
Demonstration,
300
Observations and Explanations,
300
1.
Why this proposition is introduced,
301
2.
On what condition matter per se might be thought of,
302
3.
In attempting to think it, we must leave out an element essential to its cognition, and therefore it cannot be thought of,
303
4.
How the imagination leads us astray,
303
5.
Illustration,
304
6.
Self must be represented just as much as it must be presented,
305
7.
Twelfth Counter-proposition,
305
8.
Its character and downfall,
306
9.
Matter per se has no chance of being thought of,
306
10.
It cannot be reached by the way of inference,
307
11.
Why the discussion respecting matter per se is important,
307
 
PROPOSITION XIII.
The Independent Universe in Thought,
310
Demonstration,
310
Observations and Explanations,
311
1.
This proposition speaks only of what can be conceived, not of what exists,
311
2.
It answers the question—what independent universe can be thought of?,
311
3.
Why we do not think of things as amorphous when they are absent from us,
312
4.
An objection stated,
313
5.
Objection obviated. We have a single type—can suppose it repeated,
314
6.
Why we cannot cogitate matter per se—no single type,
315
7.
We have a single type of objects + subject—can conceive other cases of this,
315
8.
Further explanation of how one self can conceive another self,
316
9.
A word on Belief,
318
10.
Another difficulty obviated,
318
11.
Thirteenth Counter-proposition,
320
 
PROPOSITION XIV.
The Phenomenal in Cognition,
321
Demonstration,
321
Observations and Explanations,
321
1.
Fourteenth Counter-proposition,
321
2.
A good rule for reaching truth on metaphysical topics,
322
3.
The psychological trifling with truth ought to be put a stop to,
322
4.
The main object of this and three following propositions,
323
 
PROPOSITION XV.
What the Phenomenal in Cognition is,
324
Demonstration,
324
Observations and Explanations,
325
1.
A peculiarity in the counter-proposition,
325
2.
Fifteenth Counter -proposition,
326
3.
The counter-proposition involves a contradiction,
326
 
PROPOSITION XVI.
The Substantial in Cognition,
328
Demonstration,
328
Observations and Explanations,
329
1.
This proposition proves nothing as to existing substance,
329
2.
Neither does it declare the nature of known substance,
329
3.
Reasons for introducing this proposition,
330
4.
The position of natural thinking in regard to this proposition,
331
5.
Sixteenth Counter-proposition,
332
6.
Its downfall,
333
7.
Defence of definition of known substance,
333
8.
This definition is due to Spinoza,
334
 
PROPOSITION XVII.
What the Substantial in Cognition is,
335
Demonstration,
335
Observations and Explanations,
336
1.
Seventeenth Counter-proposition,
336
2.
Conglomerate character of the counter-proposition,
337
3.
Elimination of its ontological surplusage,
337
4.
Its contradictory character exposed in so far as it is psychological,
339
5.
The counter-proposition considered in so far as it is the product of natural thinking,
340
6.
The exact point in the counter-proposition which natural thinking opposes to the proposition,
341
7.
Contradiction in the counter-proposition, in so far as it is the product of natural thinking,
341
8.
Psychological opinion as to existing substance,
342
9.
First, It does not answer its purpose,
342
10.
Secondly, It places before us the mere phenomenal,
343
11.
The institutional conception of known substance,
344
12.
History of distinction between substance and phenomenon—its terms have been reversed,
345
13.
Errors caused by this reversal,
346
14.
Substance and phenomenon originally bore the signification assigned to them here,
347
15.
The known phenomenal according to the older systems,
348
16.
The known substantial according to the older systems,
348
17.
A word upon existing substance and phenomenon,
349
18.
Two main ambiguities in the old systems,
350
19.
These ambiguities accounted for,
351
20.
And cleared up by a reference to the Institutional doctrine,
352
21.
Coincidence of the old speculations with the Institutes,
353
22.
An objection obviated,
354
23.
Mistakes of the historians of philosophy as to substance,
355
24.
A traditional dogma about disdaining the senses,
356
25.
The true meaning of turning the mind away from the senses,
357
26.
What the ancient philosophers meant by this dogma,
359
27.
Contrast between speculation and psychology in their views of substance and phenomenon,
360
28.
Speculation proved to be right even by a reference to experience,
361
 
PROPOSITION XVIII.
The Relative in Cognition,
363
Demonstration,
363
Observations and Explanations,
363
1.
The same error is continually reappearing under new forms—must be unmasked under all its disguises,
364
2.
Hence the necessity of Props. XVIII., XIX., XX., XXI.,
365
3.
Eighteenth Counter-proposition,
366
4.
It is shown to be contradictory,
366
 
PROPOSITION XIX.
What the Relative in Cognition is,
367
Demonstration,
367
Observations and Explanations,
368
1.
Why the items mentioned in the proposition can be known only as the relative,
368
2.
Nineteenth Counter-proposition,
368
3.
Its fallacy shown,
369
 
PROPOSITION XX.
The Absolute in Cognition,
370
Demonstration,
370
Observations and Explanations,
371
1.
Nothing is affirmed as to the existing Absolute,
371
2.
Comment on definition of the known Absolute,
371
3.
Twentieth Counter-proposition,
372
4.
This counter-proposition is a reiteration of Counter-proposition XVI.,
372
 
PROPOSITION XXI.
What the Absolute in Cognition is,
373
Demonstration,
373
Observations and Explanations,
374
1.
Comment on demonstration of Proposition XXI.,
374
2.
Twenty-first Counter-proposition,
374
3.
Fruitlessness of the controversy respecting the Absolute and the Relative. The philosophical temper,
375
4.
The causes of confusion in this controversy,
377
5.
All men are equally cognisant of the absolute,
378
6.
A reminder,
379
7.
Confusion might have been obviated had it been shown that all men are equally cognisant of the absolute,
379
8.
The difficulty is, not to know it, but to know that we know it,
380
9.
Refutation of the relationist doctrine,
380
10.
Kant on the Absolute,
381
11.
The relation of non-contradictories and the relation of contradictories,
383
 
PROPOSITION XXII.
The Contingent Conditons of Knowledge,
384
Demonstration,
384
Observations and Explanations,
385
1.
This proposition takes us out of necessary into contingent truth,
385
2.
It is introduced in order that the necessary may be separated from the contingent laws,
386
3.
Why this analysis is indispensable,
387
4.
What is required in setting about this analysis,
388
5.
The analysis illustrated,
388
6.
The analysis illustrated,
390
7.
It is unnecessary to carry the analysis into greater detail,
391
8.
How these remarks qualify the doctrine of the absolute given in Proposition XXI.,
392
9.
The absolute, however, is still object + subject. The main result of the epistemology,
393
10.
Twenty-second Counter-proposition,
393
11.
The chief point to be attended to in it,
394
12.
The cause of the errors of representation ism pointed out.,
394
13.
The same subject continued,
396
14.
The cause of Berkeley's errors pointed out,
397
15.
The main result of the epistemology,
399
16.
The importance of this result,
401
 
SECTION II.
 
THE AGNOIOLOGY, OR THEORY OF IGNORANCE.
 
PROPOSITION I.
What Ignorance is,
405
Demonstration,
405
Observations and Explanations,
405
1.
Why this proposition is introduced,
405
2.
Novelty of the agnoiology,
406
3.
The agnoiology is indispensable,
406
4.
The plea of our ignorance a bar to ontology,
407
5.
This obstacle can be removed only by an inquiry into the nature of ignorance,
408
6.
First Counter-proposition,
408
 
PROPOSITION II.
Ignorance remediable,
410
Demonstration,
410
Observations and Explanations,
410
1.
All that this proposition proves,
410
2.
Second Counter-proposition,
411
 
PROPOSITION III.
The Law of all Ignorance,
412
Demonstration,
412
Observations and Explanations,
412
1.
Importance of this proposition,
413
2.
Symbols illustrative of the law of ignorance,
413
3.
Distinction between ignorance and a nescience of the opposites of necessary truth,
414
4.
There can be no ignorance of the opposites of the geometrical axioms.,
414
5.
There can be no ignorance of the contradictory,
415
6.
Third Counter-proposition,
416
 
PROPOSITION IV.
Ignorance of Objects per se,
417
Demonstration,
417
Observations and Explanations,
417
1.
The truths now pour down fast,
417
2.
Fourth Counter-proposition—is swept away,
418
 
PROPOSITION V.
Ignorance of Matter per se,
419
Demonstration,
419
Observations and Explanations,
419
1.
The main business of the agnoiology,
420
2.
The disadvantage of not studying necessary truth,
420
3.
The doctrine of ignorance entertained by psychology and common opinion,
421
4.
The advantage of studying necessary truth,
421
5.
The agnoiology carries out the work of the epistemology,
422
6.
Fifth Counter-proposition,
423
7.
Psychological conclusion as to our ignorance of matter per se,
423
8.
It rests on a contradictory assumption,
424
9.
The psychological conclusion, therefore, is contradictory,
425
10.
The origin of the psychological mistake pointed out,
425
11.
No ontology is possible if we can be ignorant of matter per se,
426
 
PROPOSITION VI.
Ignorance of the Universal and Particular,
428
Demonstration,
428
Observations and Explanations,
428
1.
Effect of this proposition,
429
2.
Sixth Counter-proposition,
429
3.
The error which it involves,
429
 
PROPOSITION VII.
Ignorance of the Ego per se,
430
Demonstration,
430
Observations and Explanations,
430
1.
Design and effect of this proposition,
430
2.
Seventh Counter-proposition,
431
3.
What the agnoiology does next,
431
 
PROPOSITION VIII.
The Object of All Ignorance,
432
Demonstration,
432
Observations and Explanations,
433
1.
Relation of this proposition to Proposition II. of the epistemology,
433
2.
The object of ignorance is neither nothing nor the contradictory,
434
3.
It is believed that this doctrine is new,
435
4.
What has caused this doctrine to be missed,
436
5.
Another circumstance which has caused it to be missed,
437
6.
In fixing the object of ignorance this proposition does not deny its magnitude,
438
7.
How far the object of ignorance is definable, and how far it is not definable,
439
8.
The advantage of discriminating the necessary from the contingent laws of knowledge,
440
9.
This system is more humble in its pretensions than other systems,
442
10.
Eighth Counter-proposition,
443
11.
The grounds on which it rests are false,
443
12.
Illustration of the difference between the speculative and the ordinary view in regard to the object of ignorance,
444
13.
The substantial and absolute in ignorance,
446
14.
The main result of the agnoiology shortly stated,
446
15.
Concluding remark,
447
 
SECTION III.
 
THE ONTOLOGY, OR THEORY OF BEING.
 
PROPOSITION I.
The Three Alternatives as to Absolute Existence,
453
Demonstration,
453
Observations and Explanations,
454
1.
The problem of ontology stated,
454
2.
Its three alternatives are exhaustive,
454
3.
The third alternative has to be eliminated,
455
4.
First Counter-proposition,
456
5.
In what respect this counter-proposition is right,
456
6.
In what respect it is wrong,
457
7.
The law of excluded middle stated,
457
8.
How this law must be qualified,
457
9.
Origin of the mistake in regard to this law,
458
10.
The want of a clear doctrine of the contradictory has been the cause of much error in philosophy,
459
11.
Distinction between the singly and the doubly contradictory.,
460
 
PROPOSITION II.
A Premiss by which the Third Alternative is Eliminated,
461
Demonstration,
461
Observations and Explanations,
462
1.
Why this proposition is introduced,
462
2.
Second Counter-proposition,
462
3.
To what extent it is true,
462
 
PROPOSITION III.
A Premiss by which the Third Alternative is Eliminated,
464
Demonstration,
464
Observations and Explanations,
464
1.
The truth of this proposition is presupposed by the very nature of the inquiry,
465
2.
Third Counter-proposition. Why there is none,
466
 
PROPOSITION IV.
Eliminates the Third Alternative,
467
Demonstration,
467
Observations and Explanations,
467
1.
What this proposition effects,
467
2.
Fourth Counter-proposition. Why there is none,
468
3.
The previous propositions are preliminary. Proposition V. is the starting-point,
468
 
PROPOSITION V.
The remaining Alternatives,
469
Demonstration,
469
Observations and Explanations,
469
1.
This proposition secures the key of the ontology,
470
2.
Fifth Counter-proposition. Why there is none,
471
 
PROPOSITION VI.
What Absolute Existence is not,
472
Demonstration,
472
Observations and Explanations,
473
1.
Sixth Counter-proposition,
473
2.
Is approved by ordinary thinking, and by psychology,
473
3.
In what sense material things exist,
473
 
PROPOSITION VII.
What Absolute Existence is not,
475
Demonstration,
475
Observations and Explanations,
476
1.
Seventh Counter-proposition,
476
 
PROPOSITION VIII.
2.
Is approved by ordinary thinking, and by psychology,
473
3.
In what sense material things exist,
473
 
PROPOSITION VII.
What Absolute Existence is not,
475
Demonstration,
475
Observations and Explanations,
476
1.
Seventh Counter-proposition,
476
 
PROPOSITION VIII.
What Absolute Existence is not,
477
Demonstration,
477
Observations and Explanations,
477
1.
Eighth Counter-proposition,
478
2.
Importance of the ego as a constituent of Absolute Existence,
478
3.
Why the reduction of the ego per se to a contradiction is important,
478
 
PROPOSITION IX.
The Origin of Knowledge,
479
Demonstration,
479
Observations and Explanations,
479
1.
Question as to the origin of knowledge—has been erroneously treated,
480
2.
The assumption which vitiates the discussion,
480
3.
First consequence of the assumption. Ninth Counter-proposition,
481
4.
Second consequence. The doctrine of representationism,
481
5.
The earliest form of representationism. Physical Influx,
482
6.
Correction of this doctrine by Des Cartes,
483
7.
Consequences of the Cartesian correction,
484
8.
Scepticism and idealism arise,
484
9.
The Cartesian salvo—hypothesis of "Occasional Causes." Its insufficiency,
486
10.
Mallebranche: his "Vision of all things in God,",
487
11.
Leibnitz: his "Pre-established Harmony,",
488
12.
Character of these hypotheses,
488
13.
Locke's explanation,
489
14.
Berkeley: his doctrine of intuitive perception,
490
15.
His fundamental defect,
491
16.
Reid: his misunderstanding of Berkeley,
492
17.
Reid failed to establish a doctrine of intuitive perception,
493
18.
His character as a philosopher,
494
19.
He mistook the vocation of philosophy,
496
20.
Kant. "Innate Ideas,",
497
21.
Right interpretation of this doctrine,
497
22.
The circumstance to be particularly attended to in considering this doctrine,
499
23.
The misconception to be particularly guarded against,
499
24.
This misconception has never been guarded against by any philosopher,
500
25.
Hence the ineptitude of the controversy,
500
26.
In this controversy Kant is as much at fault as his predecessors,
502
27.
How this system of Institutes avoids these errors,
504
28.
First: it starts from no hypothesis,
504
29.
Secondly: it finds that all cognition consists of two elements,
505
30.
Thirdly: it finds that each element is no cognition, but only a half or part-cognition,
505
31.
Fourthly: it finds that matter is only a half cognition,
506
32.
Fifthly: it establishes "intuitive," and overthrows "representative" perception,
506
33.
Sixthly: it steers clear of materialism,
506
34.
Seventhly: it steers clear of spurious idealism,
507
35.
Eighthly: it is under no obligation to explain the origin of knowledge, because knowledge itself is the Beginning,
509
36.
The synthesis of ego and non-ego is original, and not factitious or secondary,
510
 
PROPOSITION X.
What Absolute Existence is,
511
Demonstration,
511
Observations and Explanations,
512
1.
This proposition solves the problem of ontology,
512
2.
It answers the question; What is Truth?,
513
3.
All Existence is the synthesis of the universal and the particular,
514
4.
Thus the equation of the Known and the Existent has been proved,
515
5.
The coincidence of the Absolute in Existence with the Absolute in Cognition has also been proved,
516
6.
Attention called to restriction in foregoing paragraph,
517
7.
Illustration of restriction—What the ontology gives out as alone Absolute Existence,
517
8.
This paragraph qualifies a previous assertion,
518
9.
In what sense we know, and in what sense we are ignorant of, Absolute Existence,
519
10.
Tenth Counter-proposition,
521
 
PROPOSITION XI.
What Absolute Existence is Necessary,
522
Demonstration,
522
Observations and Explanations,
523
1.
Distinction taken in this proposition. Ontological proof of Deity,
523
2.
The system is forced to this conclusion,
525
3.
Eleventh Counter-proposition,
525
Summary and Conclusion,
526
1.
The main question is—How has the system redeemed its pledges?,
526
2.
It is submitted that the system is both reasoned and true,
527
3.
The chief consideration to be looked to in estimating the system,
527
4.
Its negative character is to be attended to principally,
528
5.
The first step which the system takes in its negative or polemical character,
528
6.
The next step which the system takes in its negative or polemical character,
529
7.
The capital contradiction which the epistemology brings to light and corrects,
529
8.
The second contradiction which it corrects,
530
9.
The third contradiction which it corrects,
531
10.
The fourth and fifth contradictions which it corrects,
531
11.
The propositions and counter-propositions fall into groups,
531
12.
The sixth contradiction which the epistemology corrects,
532
13.
The seventh contradiction which it corrects,
533
14.
The eighth contradiction which it corrects,
533
15.
The ninth contradiction which it corrects,
534
16.
The tenth contradiction which it corrects.,
534
17.
The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth contradictions which it corrects,
535
18.
The remaining contradictions which it corrects.,
535
19.
The leading contradiction which the agnoiology corrects,
536
20.
The derivative contradictions which it corrects,
537
21.
The concluding contradiction which it corrects,
537
22.
The opinions entertained by natural thinking, and to some extent by psychology, on the subject of "Being,",
538
23.
How the ontology goes to work in exposing the contradictions involved in these opinions,
538
24.
Exposure and refutation of these contradictions,
539
25.
The ninth contradiction which the ontology corrects,
539
26.
The tenth contradiction which the ontology corrects,
540
27.
The eleventh contradiction which the ontology corrects,
540
28.
By the correction of these contradictions, the system has redeemed its pledge,
541
29.
The utility of philosophical study,
541
30.
As a discipline of necessary and demonstrated truth,
542
 

 
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This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.