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science, like physiology and botany, but it must be derived from abstract science of biology.1

The conclusion of the work is a rapid review of the present philosophical situation of Europe. The author thinks that, in spite of appearances, the future belongs to positivism, and he carefully notices all the symptoms of it. If, as we sometimes say, the judgment of foreigners is for us a contemporary posterity, perhaps it will not be without interest to know what Mr. Lewes thinks of French philosophy.

It began, he says, by a movement of reaction against the doctrines of the eighteenth century-a vigorous reaction, because the excesses of the Revolution and the saturnalia of the Terror were associated in people's minds with the philosophical opinions of Condillac, Diderot, and Cabanis. Men were afraid of the consequences, and rejected these doctrines en masse without troubling themselves to know what good they may have contained.


'Men may, unhappily, be frightened from the truth, and cajoled into error, and in France the cajolery has been openly avowed, Victor Cousin frankly appealing to the "patriotism" of his audience in favour of " nos belles doctrines." The history of the reaction in France is very instructive, but it would require more space than can here be given adequately to narrate the story. Four streams of influence converged into one, all starting from the same source, namely, horror at the Revolutionary excesses. The Catholics, with the great Joseph de Maistre and M. de Bonald at their head, appealed to the religious sentiments; the Royalists, with Chateaubriand and Madame de Staël, appealed to the monarchical and literary sentiments; the metaphysicians, with Laromiguière and Maine de Biran; and the moralists, with Royer-Collard,—one and all attacked the weak points of Sensationalism, and prepared the way for the enthusiastic reception of the Scotch and German philosophies. A glance at almost any of these writers will suffice to convince the student that their main purpose is to defend morality and order, which they believe to be necessarily imperilled by the philosophy they attack. The

1 P. 624.

appeals to the prejudices and sentiments are incessant. Eloquence is made to supply the deficiencies of argument; emotion takes the place of demonstration. . . . One doctrine, and one alone, emerged from these attempts, and held for some time the position of a School. . . . Eclecticism is dead, but it produced some good results, if only by the impetus it gave to historical research, and by the confirmation it gave, in its very weakness, to the conclusion that an à priori solution of transcendental problems is impossible. . . .


'Victor Cousin and Theodore Jouffroy are the chiefs of this School; one a brilliant rhetorician utterly destitute of originality, the other a sincere thinker, whose merits have been thrown into the shade by his brilliant colleague. As a man of letters, M. Cousin deserves the respect which attends his name, if we except the more than questionable use which he has made of the labours of pupils and assistants without acknowledgment. ... But 'Victor Cousin's restless activity led him to the study of Kant :and certain doctrines of the "Königsberg sage" were preached by him with the same ardour as that which he had formerly devoted to the Scotch. As soon as the Parisians began to know something of Kant, M. Cousin started off to Alexandria for a doctrine; he found one in Proclus. He edited Proclus ; lectured on him; borrowed some of his ideas, and would have set him on the throne of philosophy had the public been willing. A trip to Germany in 1824 made him acquainted with the modern Proclus -Hegel. On his return to Paris he presented the public with as much of Hegel's doctrines as he could understand. His celebrated Eclecticism is nothing but a misconception of Hegel's History of Philosophy, fenced round with several plausible argu


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Gifted with great oratorical power, flattering the prejudices and passions of the majority, tempted as most orators are to sacrifice everything to effect, and incapable, from native incapacity or from defective training, of gaining any clear insight, Victor Cousin by his qualities and defects rose to an eminence which was regrettable, because it overshadowed the efforts of nobler minds. He was the source of philosophical patronage, and he filled the chairs of France with professors who were his


adherents, or who dared not openly expose his weakness. The consequence was that, being crassly ignorant of Science, he kept Philosophy aloof from all scientific influences. The progress of centuries was ignored, and the methods of Scholasticism were once more brought into vogue. A painful cant of "questionbegging" eloquence supplied the place of research. The clear, precise genius of France was for a time ashamed of its clearness, and in sheer terror of being thought superficial and immoral rejected the aid of Science, and went maundering on about le Moi, l'œil interne, l'Infini, le Vrai, le Beau, et le Bien 1 in a pitiable manner.'

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This judgment is severe, at least in form, but we have contented ourselves with merely translating it.

Is this, of which the foregoing pages are an exposition, an ordinary history of philosophy? Evidently not; it is the work of an original mind which has a great deal to say, and yields voluntarily to the pleasure of saying it, a mind which handles texts like a thinker, not like a scholar. Assuredly we must not search Mr. Lewes's pages for enlightenment upon obscure points and upon controverted passages; but in this long journey from Thales to Comte, the author has taken amazing pains, and has put forth enough teaching to content some, to leave others discontented, and to make every one reflect. We know our philosopher already, although we have only examined the historian in him. Let us now approach the psychologist.

1 These words are in French in the text.

2 Lewes, Philosophy, vol. ii. pp. 645-6.



Psychology.-I. Psychology of common life—2. Organism and mechanism— 3. Consciousness: its various forms-4. Discussion of the current doctrine of reflex actions-5. Of sleep and heredity.


WE are destined never to come face to face with Mr. Lewes, we can only take him obliquely. Just now he was an historian, at present he is a psychologist. But while he protests that he

will not come out of his science,' and that he renounces penetration of the mysteries of psychology, it may be said that he is always coquetting with that science, that he frequently yields to the temptation of speaking of it, and that it occupies a great part of his work, although he does not treat of it explicitly. The Physiology of Common Life, as its title expresses, proceeds to exhibit under a simple form the mechanism of the vital functions, and to give a notion of the principal laws of physiology sufficient to serve as a guide in practice.1 It differs however from books of popular science, in that the author, instead of being a simple intermediary between the public and the savant, brings forward the result of his personal researches, which differ upon more than one point from received opinions.

'FEELING and THINKING are of too profound an interest, and too closely allied with all vital phenomena, not to find a large place in the Physiology of Common Life. But what place must we give them? How must these difficult subjects be treated? Their very depth and extent of interest oblige us to select only those aspects which fall strictly within the scope of this work. They have psychological aspects and physiological aspects, both of great importance; but as our business here is not to discuss any but physiological problems, we confine ourselves to what are strictly the physiological aspects of thought and sensation.

1 Physiology of Common Life, vol. ii. p. 453.

'Psychology is the science of Mind. This science may seek— and I follow those who think it ought to seek-important means of investigation in the laws of physiology; just as Physiology itself must seek important aids in Chemistry and Physics. But as an independent branch of inquiry, its results cannot be amenable to physiological canons; their validity cannot be decided by agreement or disagreement with physiological laws. To cite an example: Psychology announces that the mind has different faculties. That fact seems established on ample evidence, and is valid in Psychology, although hitherto no corresponding fact in Physiology has been discovered.' 1

Mr. Lewes concedes independence to the two sciences, although he maintains their relations.

This book then being not a treatise on psychology, although containing much of it, we shall proceed, as we did with the preceding one,—that is to say, gleaning from it; and we shall endeavour to embody the doctrines of the author under the following titles :

1. Of the nature of life, and of the vital principle.

2. Of consciousness and its forms.

3. Of sleep.

4. Of heredity from a psychological point of view.


We must count in the number of infirmities of thought, says Mr. Lewes,2 the tendency of the human mind to realize abstractions, and to give to them an objective and independent existence. A good example of this tendency is the formerly popular doctrine of a vital principle, which is now by degrees disappearing.

Life is the connexus of organic activities; it is a collection of various particular facts, abstracted from these facts, erected into objective reality, each organ is composed of constituent tissues, each tissue has its constitutive elements, each element,

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