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ing the relations of “advanced science" to materialism, and also to give an insight into a new species of fatalism. It is well that the laity in science and philosophy should know the grounds for charging advanced science with materialism, and also the grounds and meaning of the denial.
It follows immediately from the admission that mental states produce no physical changes, but only accompany them, that there is no warrant whatever for affirming consciousness in any beings but one's own self. It is a commonplace of psychology that the existence of conscious beings external to ourselves is only an inference based upon their action. All that we can see in connection with them is a series of physical changes, and since these are independent of consciousness, it follows that they are no proofs of consciousness. They are indifferent to both its presence and its absence. Belief in other minds is a gigantic act of faith without any ground whatever. We seek in vain to help ourselves by appealing to our own experience, for if we have mastered our faith we see that even our own motions are no marks of consciousness, for they are in every case the outcome of nervous action without any interference from our purposes or volitions. Human history embraces a great series of physical changes. Homes and cities have been built; battles have been fought, and empires have arisen and decayed; commerce has covered the continents with its roads, and the sea with its fleets; and heroes and martyrs, too, have battled and died for truth and righteousness. We leave to the imagination to picture the manifold activities which center in the family and the fireside. And we have thought that in all this the human mind was manifesting itself, its loves and ambitions, its manifold purposes, and above all its power. But we are mistaken. There is no reason for believing that consciousness can produce any physical change, and hence all these things have gone on without any control from the mental side. Human history reduces to a vast product of automatism into which neither thought nor feeling has entered. A man leaving his house on a raw and gusty day puts on his hat and overcoat and takes an umbrella. The common and crude conception of the matter is that he takes these things because he foresees a need, and, foreseeing, makes provision. Nothing of the kind is true. The fact is that the environment and the nascent motor excitations at the time were such, that a complicated set of physical changes was inaugurated which resulted in clapping the hat on the man's head, in drawing the overcoat on his back, in carrying him through the door, in raising the umbrella, and, finally, in marching off with him down the street. The entire affair, we may believe, was accompanied by the idea of the end, and by the purpose of securing it, but neither contributed any thing to the result. In truth, it is an act of pure faith to admit that they were present at all. Probably Mr. Spencer himself in uncritical moments yields to the fancy that in writing his system of philosophy his purposes and other mental states counted for something, but by his own showing he is mistaken. Considered psychically, Mr. Spencer is only an aggregate of mental states held together and produced by a certain nervous system; considered physically he is, for the looker on, a set of “ nervous plexuses,” which set is "the permanent internal nexus," for those mental states which constitute Mr. Spencer as a mental self. The truth is that the physical face of the unknowable, better known as matter and motion, had been passing "from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite coherent heterogeneity through continuous differentiations and integrations,” until at last particular sets of nervous plexuses in particular relations to the environment were organized. Divers waves of molecular motion along lines of least resistance coursed through the plexuses, resulting in the conflict of manifold nascent motor excitations, and the total outcome of the whole was that books were written, printed, read, criticised, accepted and rejected, yet without any intervention of thought whatever. Some features of the system are not inharmonious with this view, but in general it seems almost extravagant. Still it must be allowed that on Mr. Spencer's own system there is not the slightest reason for believing that he ever thought a thought, or even for believing that the series of mental states which composes his psychical self has any existence whatever. We accept Mr. Spencer only by faith. The physical face goes along by itself, and the physical face is all we can perceive. If mind were present, modifying and controlling the physical series to any extent, the case would be otherwise; but this hypothesis is sternly excluded as unscientific.
We can very vividly imagine that any Spencerian among our readers has by this time lost all patience, and may well be in a high state of indignation at what he will call our unjust caricature; that is, the nervous plexuses and the nascent motor excitations are in that violent state of activity which appears subjectively as indignation. But we reply that our statements are no caricature, they are only an unfolding of the plainest implications of the doctrine. If the theory be true, these and many other equally startling propositions are true. Of course, we do not imagine that Mr. Spencer actually holds these views; neither sanity nor insanity could do that. But with Mr. Spencer's personal beliefs and inconsistencies the critic has nothing to do. The critic's function is to expound the nature and logical implications of an impersonal system, and he cannot but resent the charge that his exposition is an attack on the personal character of the author of the system he criticises. Further, he equally resents the attempt to make "indignant repudiation” and charges of caricature break the force of logic. A system stands or falls by its logic. The authors of systems may be as illogical as they choose, but a system is responsible for all that is contained in it, and if it cannot square with the facts it is doomed as a system. A strange illusion seems to have mastered our advanced scientists at this point. Haying always made a strong point of logic, they suddenly begin to show contempt for it. Consistent reasoners are termed
consequence-makers,” and logical consequences are called "the scare-crows of fools.” When this does not suffice, they next "indignantly repudiate” the conclusions drawn from
» their premises. It may be well to point out here that "consequence-making” is the universal and only method of testing theories. We used to have an emission theory of light, but some consequence-makers” pointed out that the theory had certain "logical consequences” which facts did not recognize.
“ That theory perished from “logical consequences.” We had also an electro-chemical theory of chemical action, but the "consequence-makers” got after that, and it, too, died of “logical consequences.” Imagine the scorn of the scientific world if the defenders of these and other exploded theories had responded with the bravado that “logical consequences are the scare-crows of fools.” But it has become a recognized part of the tactics of the advanced scientists, when the logical implica
tions of their doctrines are pointed out, to reply with contemptuous remarks about“consequence-making,” and with “indignant repudiation ” of the conclusions. They distinctly teach that men are automata, but when human action is described in terms of their theory, they complain of caricature. They wish to make men machines in theory, and to deal with them as men in practice. Only upon this condition can their doctrines live at all. If hunan life and action were consistently described according to their view, that view would break hopelessly down at once through sheer excess of absurdity. Hence the propriety of denouncing the consequence-makers;" hence, also, the value and necessity of "indignant repudiation.” Meanwhile it will be well for consistent reasoners to point out that, as logic goes, a conclusion rightly drawn cannot be repudiated without also repudiating the premises. The syllogism is impregnable to indignation.
We suggest, therefore, to the indignant Spencerians that for once they forego repudiating and take to reasoning. But, alas ! even that is impossible. There is no self-determination in thought, and reasoning is the powerless symbol of nascent motor excitations. If, then, the plexuses are set for repudiation and bad logic, out they must come. But if there were any power of self-administration in reason, and if our pluxuses would permit, we would suggest to the Spencerians the following questions : 1. In a system of physical automatism, what warrant can there be for affirming co-existent minds? 2. How can an automaton have duties? 3. In a system of automatism, what is sin? 4. What is the difference as to merit or demerit between sin and righteousness? 5. In what is a so called wicked man morally worse than an exploding volcano ! 6. What moral difference is there between a murderer and the dagger which he uses? 7. What can the new ethics effect in a system where the physical series goes along by itself, and, in going, determines the mental order? 8. Dare we admit that there is no moral difference between sin and. righteousness? 9. If our system destroys all moral distinetions, should we not admit and avow it, under favor, of course, of the plexuses? 10. If our system leaves moral distinctions as valid as ever, is there not some better way of proving it than by whining about theological bigotry and misrepresentation ? If there were a power of self-control in men, we should really insist upon an answer to these questions; but as there is no such power, we expect no relevant answer. The disciples will probably be carried off by the nascent motor excitations into irrelevant moral exhortation, indignant repudiation, and the like. Still, we are not entirely without hope, for the unknowable does not seem absolutely to have set its face against considering the question. We cannot, of course, claim any more self-control for ourselves than we allow for others, though in setting these questions we seem to have done so. The fact is, that the nascent motor excitations have jotted down the questions, and this leads us to hope that they will also permit a relevant answer. Unfortunately, the last clause smacks of the superstition of freedom; for it speaks of the excitations as permitting an answer, as if the answer could come from another quarter. The nascent motor excitations must themselves give the answer. But to whom? We are hampered still by inherited fetters. We have spoken of ourselves as setting questions and hoping for answers, etc.; but this language shows traces of the superstition of a substantial personality. We do not hope, we are the hope; and if an answer were given we should not receive it, we should be it. Alas! that language should be so saturated with falsehood as to be incapable of expressing the truth without betraying it. Perhaps it will be well while considering these questions to inquire, also, if rationality itself does not imply self-control and self-determination.
Doubtless the Spencerian's nascent motor excitations are still in the state corresponding to indignation and to the ideas of caricature, slander, and so on. But the fundamental reality of which we are only a “face,” or mask, or modification, protests through our nascent motor excitations that it has neither caricatured nor slandered the system. The same high authority de clares that it is ready to cancel all it has said as soon as it is shown to be no implication of the leading doctrines of the system; but until then it insists that the conclusions shall stand. It further avows that not one word has been uttered as sarcasm or ridicule; its only aim has been to secure a logical exposition of certain principles which form the foundation of the new philosophy. It also cheerfully adınits that Mr. Spencer may be