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dity, nor resistance to the motion of body, as body does. . . . . Secondly, the parts of pure space are inseparable the one from the other, so that the continuity cannot be separated, neither really nor mentally. Thirdly, the parts of pure space are immoveable, which follows from their inseparability. .. Thus the determined idea of simple space distinguishes it plainly and sufficiently from body.'* To these might be added many more passages.
Nothing, then, surely, can be more monstrous than M. Cousin's representation that Locke, after thus frequently and clearly distinguishing, ends by confounding, the ideas of space and body, involves himself in inextricable confusion, and asserts the identity of the one with the other:-'This,' says he, 'is what Locke has done in the systematic parts of his work, though contradicting himself more than once, for he often speaks of space as wholly distinct from solidity. But when his system comes in, when the necessity of drawing the idea of space from sensation comes in, then he affirms that the idea of space is acquired by sight and touch; and as touch, aided by sight, gives us only body and not space, Locke for this reason alone reduces space to body; he does this expressly when he says, that "to ask whether this universe exists somewhere, is to ask whether the universe exists." The confusion of the existence of space and the existence of the universe is the confusion of the idea of space and the idea of body; and this confusion was necessary that the system might be, at least in appearance, rigorous.'†
*Book ii. ch. 13.
† Lecture xviii. On M. Cousin's inversion of Locke's meaning on this point we spare ourselves the trouble of saying anything further; for it is amply exposed in a brief but acute article in
It is much the same with M. Cousin's misconception of Locke's idea of duration. Having given him deserved praise for deducing the idea of duration from the succession of our thoughts, (making it therefore an idea of reflection ab origine,) he declares that Locke has confounded the idea of time with that of succession; so that, according to M. Cousin's interpretation of Locke, the existence of time depends on man's perception of it, though Locke has expressly affirmed the contrary.
'Locke saw,' says M. Cousin, 'that the idea of time is given us in succession, and that for us the first succession is necessarily the succession of our ideas. Thus far Locke merits only praise, for he gives the succession of our ideas as the only condition of the acquisition of the idea of time; but the condition of a thing is easily taken for the thing itself; and Locke, after having taken the idea of body, the mere condition of the idea of space for the idea of space, takes also the condition of the idea of time for the idea itself; he confounds succession with time; he no longer simply says, "the succession of our ideas is the condition of the conception of time;" but he says, "time is nothing else than the succession of our ideas."'
Whether here, as with regard to space, Locke gives
the Edinburgh Review. (Vol. lix. p. 359.) The writer shows not only that Locke every where maintains the contrary of what M. Cousin affirms, but that the only passage (that above cited by M. Cousin) which could by possibility give any plausibility to the charge can only be made to do so by insulating it from its context. M. Cousin has utterly misapprehended the passage by not attending to the two meanings of the word 'place' in English, which,' says Locke, 'properly means the position of a body in space relatively to others, in which sense the universe has no place; sometimes, but more improperly, the space any body occupies,' in which sense the universe has a place.
a satisfactory account of the genesis of the notion or not, most assuredly he ought not to have been charged with having reduced his idea of 'duration' back again to mere succession.' But let us hear Locke himself: 'A man having from reflection on the succession and number of his own thoughts got the notion or idea of duration, he can apply that notion to things which exist while he does not think, as he that has got the idea of extension from bodies by his sight or touch can apply it to distances where no body is seen or felt.' (Book II. ch. xiv. § 5.) He elsewhere expresses it, 'The mind, having got the idea of any portion of time, as a day or a year, it can repeat it as often as it will, and so enlarge its ideas of duration beyond the being or motion of the sun, and have as clear an idea of the 763 years of the Julian period before the beginning of the world as of any 763 years since.' Yet according to M. Cousin, 'Locke's theory conducts to the result that time is nothing else than what the succession of our ideas makes it;' that 'if a man sleep, or be seized with lethargy, or the clock stop,' time vanishes to him! There is not the shadow of a reason for misrepresenting Locke on this point.
We must also be permitted to say, that in arguing to Locke's imputed 'sensational' tendencies from the supposed deficiencies of his representation of our notions of the infinite, or of its two forms-immensity and eternity,- M. Cousin has viewed the matter far too much from a 'transcendental' position. Locke affirms, that we get our idea of infinity, and its forms - at best an inadequate one-from the power of the mind to augment and multiply indefinitely and ad libitum the notion of finite magnitudes or duration. This may or may not be metaphysically correct, and therefore the subject of discussion. But whether he
be right or M. Cousin, who supposes that we have a positive idea of infinity, it is plain that an idealist may consistently maintain Locke's view. It is evident that, though Locke thought that the mind in the course of its development would necessarily come to a dim apprehension of the infinite, yet that a positive idea of it we have not. The whole chapter on 'Infinity,' but especially the two last sections, as well as many other portions of his Essay, show that he deemed a philosophy of the unconditioned' impossible to man.* But then if all are to be denominated 'sensationalists,' or suspected of a tendency thereto, who deny that the idea of the infinite is any thing more than negative, who deny the capacity of man for the philosophy of the 'unconditioned,' some of the most strenuous opponents of the sensationalists must be henceforth reckoned in their ranks - Sir W.
Hamilton among the number. M. Cousin says, Empiricism, which is exclusively grounded on internal or external experience, is quite naturally led to the denial of the infinite; whilst idealism, which is exclusively grounded on the reason, very easily forms a conception of the infinite, but finds great difficulty in admitting the finite, which is not its proper object.'
'Pleasant dilemmas of philosophy!' the world may
* But yet after all this, there being men who persuade themselves that they have clear positive comprehensive ideas of infinity, it is fit they enjoy their privilege; and I should be very glad to be better informed by their communication. For I have been hitherto apt to think that the great and inextricable difficulties which perpetually involve all discourses concerning infinity, whether of space, duration, or divisibility, have been the certain marks of a defect in our ideas of infinity, and the disproportion the nature thereof has to the comprehension of our narrow capacities.' (Book ii. ch. 17. § 21.)
well say. One man tells us that he has great difficulty in forming a notion of the finite, but very easily forms one of the infinite; another, that he can easily enough form a notion of the finite, but can properly form no notion of the infinite! Such diversities might almost tempt one to adopt Pascal's sarcastic view of the true province of philosophy, 'Se moquer de la philosophie, c'est vraiment philosopher.'
Similar observations apply to M. Cousin's strictures on Locke's notion of substance, which was so much canvassed even in Locke's time. We have seen him, in his reply to Stillingfleet, conceding that, from the very constitution of the mind, we cannot but suppose that there is some unknown 'somewhat,' in which the qualities of objects and properties of thought, which we perceive or of which we are conscious inhere. His admission of this is as distinct as M. Cousin's or the Bishop of Worcester's can be; and he as distinctly attributes it to an inability of our minds to think otherwise; to a necessary condition - a fundamental law of thought. Yet M. Cousin says that 'Locke systematically denies the idea of substance;' though he adds, 'doubtless, many passages might be cited in which he implicitly admits it. : Locke every where repels the idea of substance; and, when he professedly explains himself in regard to it, he resolves it into a collection of simple ideas of sensation and reflection. Admitting only ideas explicable by sensation or reflection, and being able to explain the idea of substance by neither, it was necessary for him to deny it, to reduce it to qualities which are easily attained by sensation or reflection. Hence the systematic confusion of qualities and substances, of phenomena and being; that is, the destruction of being, and consequently of beings.'