REPLIES TO CRITICISMS.
stands for this mental faculty as contained. Now, suppose the dog loses his tail. Can the faculty as containing and the faculty as contained be separated in the same way? Does the mental form when deprived of all content, even itself (granting that it can be its own content), continue to exist in the same way that a dog continues to exist when he has lost his tail? Even had this illustration been applicable, I should have scarcely expected Dr. Hodgson to remain satisfied with it. I should have thought he would prefer to meet my argument directly, rather than indirectly. Why has he not shown the invalidity of the reasoning used in the "Principles of Psychology" (§ 399, second edition)? Having there quoted the statement of Kant, that "Space and Time are not merely forms of sensuous intuition, but intuitions themselves," I have written:
"If we inquire more closely, this irreconcilability becomes still clearer." Kant says: 'That which in the phenomenon corresponds to the sensation, I term its matter; but that which effects that the content of the phenomenon can be arranged under certain relations, I call its form.' Carrying with us this definition of form, as 'that which effects that the content.... can be arranged under certain relations,' let us return to the case in which the intuition of Space is the intuition which occupies consciousness. Can the content of this intuition 'be arranged under certain relations' or not? It can be so arranged, or rather, it is so arranged. Space cannot be thought of save as having parts, near and remote, in this direction or the other. Hence, if that is the form of a thing 'which effects that the content.... can be arranged under certain relations,' it follows that when the content of consciousness is the intuition of Space, which has parts 'that can be arranged under certain relations,' there must be a form of that intuition. What is it? Kant does not tell us—does not appear to perceive that there must be such a form; and could not have perceived this without abandoning his hypothesis that the space-intuition is primordial."
Now, when Dr. Hodgson has shown me how that "which effects that the content.... can be arranged under certain relations" may also be that which effects its own arrangement under the same relations, I shall be ready to surrender my position; but, until then, no analogy drawn from the ability of a dog to bite himself will weigh much with me.
Having, as he considers, disposed of the reasons given by me for concluding that, considered in themselves, "Space and Time are wholly incomprehensible" (he continually uses on my behalf the word "inconceivable," which, by its unfit connotations, gives a wrong aspect to my position), Dr. Hodgson goes on to say:
"Yet Mr. Spencer proceeds to use these inconceivable ideas as the basis of his philosophy. For mark, it is Space and Time as we know them, the actual and phenomenal Space and Time, to which all these inconceivabilities attach. Mr. Spencer's result ought, therefore, logically to be—Skepticism. What is his actual result? Ontology. And how so? Why, instead of rejecting Space and Time as the inconceivable things he has tried to demonstrate them to be, he