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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/317

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REPLIES TO CRITICISMS.

wrong word. Instead of saying that Space as perceived is infinite, he should have said that, in perception, Space is finite in two dimensions, and becomes indefinite in the third when this becomes great.

I come now to the paragraph beginning "Mr. Spencer then turns to the second or subjective hypothesis, that of Kant." This paragraph is somewhat difficult to deal with, for the reason that in it my reasoning is criticised both from the Kantian point of view and from Dr. Hodgson's own point of view. Dissenting from Kant's view, Dr. Hodgson says, "I hold that both Space and Time, and Feeling, or the material element, are equally and alike subjective, equally and alike objective." As I cannot understand this, I am unable to deal with those arguments against me which Dr. Hodgson bases upon it, and must limit myself to that which he urges on behalf of Kant. He says:

"But I think that Mr. Spencer's representation of Kant's view is very incorrect; he seems to be misled by the large term non-ego. Kant held that Space and Time were in their origin subjective, but when applied to the non-ego resulted in phenomena, and were the formal element in those phenomena, among which some were phenomena of the internal sense or ego, others of the external sense or non-ego. The non-ego to which the forms of Space and Time did not apply and did not belong was the Ding-an-sich, not the phenomenal non-ego. Hence the objective existence of Space and Time in phenomena, but not in the Ding-an-sich, is a consistent and necessary consequence of Kant's view of their subjective origin."

If I have misunderstood Kant, as thus alleged, then my comment must be that I credited him with an hypothesis less objectionable than that which he held. I supposed his view to be that Space, as a form of intuition belonging to the ego, is imposed by it on the non-ego (by which I understood the thing in itself) in the act of intuition. But now the Kantian doctrine is said to be that Space, originating in the subject, when applied to the non-ego results in phenomena (the non-ego meant being, in that case, necessarily the Ding-an-sich, or thing in itself); and that the phenomena so resulting, carrying with them the Space they have been endowed with, become objective existences along with the Space given to them by the ego. The subject having imposed Space as a form on the primordial non-ego, or thing in itself, and so created phenomena, this Space thereupon becomes an objective existence, independent of both the ego and the original thing in itself. To Dr. Hodgson this may seem a more tenable position than that which I ascribed to Kant; but to me it seems only a multiplication of inconceivabilities. I am content to leave it as it stands: not feeling my reasons for rejecting the Kantian hypothesis much weakened.[1]

  1. Instead of describing me as misunderstanding Kant on this point, Dr. Hodgson should have described Kant as having, in successive sentences, so changed the meanings of the words he uses, as to make either interpretation possible. At the outset of his "Critique of Pure Reason," he says: "The effect of an object upon the faculty of repre-