Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/140

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
penetrate its peculiar nature, and consequently, to know what ought to be, according to its internal and specific essence, the order of such a being. On the contrary, the other kind of scientific knowledge, the external, cognitio circa rem, does not penetrate to the essence of things, but consists mainly in a clear and precise apprehension of the conditions under which the object manifests itself to us, and under which, in consequence of its variable relations to other objects, jt is regularly transformed.[1]

Prior to Lotze's generation, philosophy had shaped scientific learning, leaving, at the same time, a large field open only to strict scientific treatment. In his person, science shapes philosophy, leaving, at the same time, a large field open only to strict philosophical treatment.[2] One is surprised that such a simple explanation should have escaped notice, and that a presentation of Lotze so fantastic—almost impertinent—as that of Ribot, for example, should have been perpetrated. Lotze's ability to see both sides of a problem, and his consequent sense for the limits of physiological psychology (which, in my humble judgment, remains completely justified still in essentials), provide the clue to his attitude. So, he really presents two kinds of psychology. One would investigate the factors, combinations and mechanism of consciousness; the other would consider the import of consciousness, and the end (if any) which it subserves in the universe. To understand-the latter it is necessary to master his very subtle cosmology ("Metaphysics," Bk. II.). The former is physiological psychology, and has been presented more particularly in Bks. II. and III. of the "Medical Psychology." Here Lotze writes as a scientific man, and the "conception of a psychophysical mechanism" suffices; that is, physical, chemical and physiological causality rules. Thus, he regards "physiology of the soul as an exposition of the mechanical conditions to which, according to our observation, the life of the soul is attached."[3] "The conception of a psychophysical mechanism can be stated as follows: As ideas, volitions and other mental states can not be compared with the quantitative and special properties of matter, but as, nevertheless, the latter seem to follow upon the former, it is evident that two essentially different, totally disparate, series of processes, one bodily and one mental, run parallel to each other. In the intensive quality of a mental process the extensive definiteness of the material process can never be found; but if the one is to call forth the other, the proportionality between them must be secured through a connection which appears to be extrinsic to both. There must exist general laws, which ensure that with a modification (a) of the mental substance a modification (b) of the bodily substance shall be connected, and it is only in

  1. "Med. Psych.," Vol. I., p. 50.
  2. Cf. Rehnisch in Rev. Philos., XII., 321 ff.; Achelis in Vierteljahrs. f. wiss. Phil, 1882.
  3. "Kleine Schriften," II., p. 204.