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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/425

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REPLIES TO CRITICISMS.

has to justify them by showing their congruity with all other dicta of consciousness." In pursuance of this distinctly-avowed mode of procedure, I assume as true, provisionally, certain modes of formulating the manifestations of the unknown objective activity, certain modes of formulating the manifestations of the unknown subjective activity, and certain resulting modes of conceiving the operations of the one on the other. These provisional assumptions having been carried out to all their consequences, and these consequences proved to be congruous with one another and with the original assumptions, these original assumptions are justified; and, if, finally, I assert, as I have repeatedly asserted, that the terms in which I express my assumptions and carry on my operations are but symbolic, and that all I have done is to show that, by certain ways of symbolizing, perfect harmony results—invariable agreement between the symbols in which I frame my expectations and the symbols which occur in experience—I cannot be blamed for incoherence. Lastly, should it be said that this regarding of every thing constituting experience and thought as symbolic has a very shadowy aspect, I reply that these which I speak of as symbols are real relatively to our consciousness, and are symbolic only in their relation to the Ultimate Reality.

That these explanations will make clear the coherence of views which before seemed "fundamentally incoherent," I feel by no means certain; since, as I did not perceive the difficulties presented by the exposition as at first made, I may similarly fail to perceive the difficulties in this explanation. Originally, I had intended to complete the "Principles of Psychology" by a division showing how the results reached in the preceding divisions, physiological and psychological, analytic and synthetic, subjective and objective, harmonized with one another, and were but different aspects of the same aggregate of phenomena. But the work was already bulky; and I concluded that this division might be dispensed with, because the congruities to be pointed out were sufficiently obvious. So little was I conscious of the alleged "inability to harmonize different lines of thought." Mr. Sidgwick's perplexities, however, show me that such an exposition of concords is needful.

I have reserved to the last one of the first objections made to the metaphysico-theological doctrine set forth in "First Principles," and implied in the several volumes that have succeeded it. I refer to one urged by an able metaphysician, the Rev. James Martineau, in an essay entitled "Science, Nescience, and Faith," and which, effective against my argument as it stands, shows the need for some further development of my argument. That Mr. Martineau's criticism may be understood, I must quote the passages it concerns. Continuing the reasoning employed against Hamilton and Mansel, to show that our consciousness of that which transcends knowledge is positive, and not, as they allege, negative, I have said: