Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/318

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The remaining reply which Dr. Hodgson makes runs thus:

"But Mr. Spencer has a second argument to prove this inconceivability. It is this: 'If Space and Time are forms of thought, they can never be thought of; since it is impossible for any thing to be at once the form of thought and the matter of thought.'... An instance will show the fallacy best. Syllogism is usually held to be a form of thought. Would it be any argument for the inconceivability of syllogisms to say, they cannot be at once the form and the matter of thought? Can we not syllogize about syllogism? Or, more plainly still—no dog can bite himself, for it is impossible to be at once the thing that bites and the thing that is bitten."

Had Dr. Hodgson quoted the whole of the passage from which he takes the above sentence; or had he considered it in conjunction with the Kantian doctrine to which it refers (namely, that Space survives in consciousness when all contents are expelled, which implies that then Space is the thing with which consciousness is occupied, or the object of consciousness), he would have seen that his reply has none of the cogency he supposes. If, taking his first illustration, he will ask himself whether it is possible to "syllogize about syllogism," when syllogism has no content whatever, symbolic or other—has non-entity to serve for major, non-entity for minor, and non-entity for conclusion—he will, I think, see that syllogism, considered as surviving terms of every kind, cannot be syllogized about; the "pure form," of reason (supposing it to be syllogism, which it is not), if absolutely discharged of all it contains, cannot be represented in thought, and therefore cannot be reasoned about. Following Dr. Hodgson to his second illustration, I must express my surprise that a metaphysician of his acuteness should have used it. For an illustration to have any value, the relation between the terms of the analogous case must have some parallelism to the relation between the terms of the case with which it is compared. Does Dr. Hodgson really think that the relation between a dog and the part of himself which he bites is like the relation between matter and form? Suppose the dog bites his tail. Now, the dog, as biting, stands, according to Dr. Hodgson, for the form as the containing mental faculty; and the tail as bitten

    sentation, so far as we are affected by the said object, is sensation. That sort of intuition which relates to an object by means of sensation, is called an empirical intuition. The undetermined object of an empirical intuition, is called phenomenon. That which in the phenomenon corresponds to the sensation, I term its matter' (here, remembering the definition just given of phenomenon, objective existence is manifestly referred to), 'but that which effects that the content of the phenomenon can be arranged under certain relations, I call its form' (so that form as here applied, refers to objective existence). 'But that in which our sensations are merely arranged, and by which they are susceptible of assuming a certain form, cannot be itself sensation.' (In which sentence the word form obviously refers to subjective existence.) At the outset, the 'phenomenon' and the 'sensation' are distinguished as objective and subjective respectively; and then, in the closing sentences, the form is spoken of in connection first with the one and then with the other, as though they were the same."