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opened out another, sombre and desolate tinguished for elegance and scepticism were when, thenceforth, I was to live alone-alone for the older doctrines; those which were the with that fatal thought which had exiled me more ardent, naturally more revolutionary, thither, and which I was tempted bitterly to were for the newer ones, and in the lively dis
The days which followed this discov-cussions which absorbed them, one could not ery were the saddest of my life. To tell the yet foresee—that which, nevertheless, in an anxieties with which they were agitated would university of young men, must necessarily be too long. Although my understanding was happen-the defeat of the past, and the comnot without some pride in considering its work, plete triumph of the new doctrines. One man, my soul could not become accustomed to a still very young, but who has never been more státe so little suited to human weakness; by remarkable for his eloquence than he was then some violent reactions it sirove to regain the took the lead of the latter party. After havshore it had lost; it sound amid the ashes of its ing been a disciple, he became a professor. A past convictions, some scintillations which conference of philosophy was assigned to him seemed at intervals to re-illume its faith. in the normal school, and every one interested
‘But these convictions, having been over- in these discussions, to whatever party he beturned by reason, could be re-established by Jonged, waited with impatience the commencereason only. These glimmerings soon ex
ment of his lectures. One may judge if, in pired. If, in losing faith, I had lost all anxiety this situation, into which I was thrown. I, who concerning those questions which it had re- had heard neither M. de La Romiguière nor solved for me, doubtless this violent state of M. Royer-Collard, partook of this impatience. mind would not have long continued; fatigue "Nevertheless, both the debate which stormwould have made me dull, and my life would ed around me, when I could comprehend its have become, like that of so many others, purport, and the brilliant lectures of the young drowsy in its scepticism. Happily, it was professor, tell far short of those points to which not so; never had I more felt the importance I returned ever and anon, and which distracted of those problems, than since I had lost their my understanding and my heart. My mind, solution. 'I was sceptical, but I hated scepti. at its first essay in philosophy, felt persuaded cism. This it was which decided the direction that it was to meet a regular science-one of my life. Unable to endure my uncertainty which, after having shown its object and its upon the enigma of human destiny, and hav-processes, would conduct it to a certain knowing no more light from faith, in order to re. ledge on those things which are of most intesolve it, there only remained to me the lights restlo mankind. **** In one word, my underof reason. I resolved. then, to consecrate all standing, excited by its wants, and enlarged the time that should be necessary, my life, by the lessons of Christianity, had assigned to even, if it was wanted, to this research. It is philosophy the great object, the vast extent, by this path I found myself led to philosophy ihe sublime reach of a religion. It had ranked -philosophy, which seemed to me to be iden- the design of the one as equal to that of the tical with this research. * * *
other. It had imagined that their only differ“The moment and the place when I formed ence lay in their processes and method ; relithis purpose could not have been more favor- gion being imaginative and positive, philosoable to its execution. France, after the slum-phy inquiring and demonstrative. ber of the empire, had at length aroused itself Such had been its hopes, and what did it to a philosophical movement. Two men, of find? All that struggle, which had awakened character and talents the most opposite the dormant echoes of the Faculty, which exthough equally rare, came forward to reani- cited the heads of my companions in study, mate it: the one, by reproducing in a style had for its object-its only object, the question admirable for its clearness and its elegance, of the origin of ideas. Condillac had resolved the metaphysical doctrines of Condillac, had, it in a mode which M. de La Romiguière had so to speak, resuscitated the philosophy of the reproduced, but modified. M. Royer-Collard, eighteenth century; the other, by attacking, treading in the footsteps of Reid, had resolved in lectures distinguished by an incomparable it in another mode, and M. Cousin, evoking all logic, these same doctrines, took the initiative the systems of ancient and modern philoso. of that inevitable reaction which the genius of phers on this point, and arraying them face to the nascent nineteenth century developed lace, exhausted his powers to prove that M. against that of the eighteenth. Two years of Royer-Collard was right, and that Condillac prelections had sufficed for these illustrious was wrong. This was all
, and in my inabiliprofessors, for fixing the points of debate, and ity to seize those secret relations which link the for gathering all our youth in their train ; both apparently most abstract and arid problems of then relapsed into silence, and the normal philosophy with the most life-giving and most school remained full of recollections of their practical ones, it seemed nothing worth. I words, and of the ardent spirit they had in- could not but feel astonished that men employspired. Among the distinguished spirits ited themselves on the origin of ideas with an contained, the two philosophies found their ardor so great, as to declare that it invol ed representatives, and, as in the world, the two the entire of philosophy. Nevertheless, ad parties arrayed themselves with greater force, they, in order to console and re-assure those enthusiasm, and vivacity. The minds dis- whom they had confined to so arid and nar
row a question, commenced by showing the we be impatient at the mere record of theovast and brilliant horizon of philosophy, and, ries, and should seek for their mutual rein perspective, the great human problems as lation and dependence. Take the aboveto their position, and the road by which to reach them, and the utility of ideas in the in- mentioned as an example : compare them in quiry-then such an outline would have kept their chronological order, and a new truth me patient. But no; this regular outline of will be elicited. The sensualism of Conphilosophy, which did not then exist, which dillac gradually becomes the materialism of even now does not exis!,—they did not offer, Cabanis; but no sooner has the general and the philosophic movement was as yet too mind tried it in its extreme exclusiveness, young for it to feel its need of one. M. de La than there ensues re-action and tendencies Romiguière had appropriated as an heritage the philosophy of the eighteenth century, con- to spiritualism, few, it may be, at first, in firmed as it was to one problem; and had not Royer-Collard, gradually acquiring force expanded it. The vigorous genius of M. and number until they lead to the modified Royer-Collard, recognizing this problem, had rationalism of Cousin. This is an interestplunged into it with all his weight, and had ing fact:-it illustrates and is illustrated by not had time to extricate himself. M. Cousin, the principle that there is a general mindthrown into the thick of the fight, combated it that society thinks—that its processes are from the first,—but more slowly sought its solution. The whole of Philosophy was thus in no more capricious or independent of laws a narrow abyss, where one wanted air, and than those of the individual. where my soul, but recently exiled from We propose more fully to explain our. Christianity: was suffocated. Nevertheless, selves, by adverting to these several schools the authority of the masters and the fervor of as to their formation. the disciples were so imposing, that I dared to At the middle of the last century, Carteshow neither my surprise nor my disappoint- sianism was dominant in France. It is true ment."*
that among such men as Bernier, Molière, We have translated this long but deeply Chapelle, and Voltaire, there might be found interesting document, as introductory to the principles of a practical epicurism ; but some remarks upon the present state of the the metaphysical dogmas of Gassendi found French eclectic philosophy. A considera- no favor. It was then that 'Locke's Essay ble familiarity with the writings of this on the Understanding' was translated, and school convinces us that the above may be the old debate resumed its vivacity. regarded as a type of its moral and intellec
There were but few in France who could tual tendencies. It would, indeed, be a foul or would comprehend our illustrious counwrong to charge either its founder-Cousin tryman. But ill-trained to metaphysical
-or his followers in general, with the denial inquiry, they who did embrace his doctrine of Christianity; but, excepting that, they overlooked its true spirit. While Bishop all may be said to adopt the same views as Berkley and Hume, among ourselves, de to the wants of humanity—the same con
duced from it a pure idealism-strange to viction of the incompetence of Christianity say, Condillac, in France, discovered in it by itself to meet these wants—and the same
nothing but materialism. In a series of hope that a sound philosophy will supply lectures, Cousin strives to prove the agreethem.
ment between Locke and Condillac. In his The modern French philosophy has a
· Cours de l'histoire de la Philosophie,' high relative value. The systems of Con- Cousin has elaborately, but, we think, undillac, of Cabanis, of Royer-Collard, of justly, argued that Condillac was Locke's Cousin, of Jouffroy, are well worth our genuine disciple. To disprove this it will study, separating them each from each ; but suffice to show that their starting points difthe moment we regard them as a series, fer essentially. Locke, from the very first, their individual authors are forgotten, and assumes, as his postulate, the existence of become
the mind-enthrones it within the mangressive development of a nation's thought. and conveys to it, from without, the images If in history we are no longer to be content of sense, to be varied in their relation, and with a barren chronicle of events—if the sublimed in their essence, by virtue of that laws of the highest inductive philosophy mind's own proper activity. But what does must be applied to those events-thence to Condillac? As the initiative of his system, ascertain the most general facts in the pro- man is assumed to be an unintelligent statue gress of humanity, in like manner should —successively he is invested with his senses
-the world without correspondingly awak* Jouffroy, pp. 111-121.
ens his sensations, and then, transformed
and modified by forces from without, not by may account for the fact, that Condillac forces from within, they assume the innu- reigned in peace. Discussions ceased. As merable diversities of thought and imagina- when Aristotle was in the ascendant, his tion. We think that this point cannot be disciples had nought to do but to develop too tenaciously maintained by ourselves. the meaning of their master. But the spirit Our countryman is not justly chargeable of inquiry only wanted to recruit 'ber with the maierialism of France. We find strength, and the public mind in France, inthe distinction between physiology and psy- stead of being shocked, welcomed M. La chology in the first pages of his essay; and Romiguière when he challenged it. had Condillac studied it without an extreme In a brief critique upon La Romiguilove for simplicity of system, he had avoid- ère's Lectures in Philosophy, Cousin proed that one-sidedness with which he esti- foundly remarks ; 'There are, as it were, mated man.
two men in M. La Romiguière-the old The philosophy of Condillac triumphed one and the new-- the disciple and the opin France. It was reduced to practice. It ponent of Condillac.
The opponent is was realized in the popular manners. And, frequently to be seen; but it is in this we as was to be expected, barbarism-savage- propose to mark a phenomenon. The ism followed. It became a nation's creed. disciple is still more frequently to be seen ; Of God, of anything that transcends man, it and it is this which proves most clearly spake not. It embraced no high truths. It the reality of a nascent philosophical revodescanted much upon the faculties of man, lution ; sor, if the work of M. La Romibut little of his nature. Even those facul- guière were an entirely new system, withties with which it concerned itself were out any relation to that which preceded it, those in immediate relation to the body - and especially with that of Condillacphysical sensibility, memory, imagination, it which is their common type-it would exingeniously analyzed ; but of the higher acts ercise no influence on the future ;-it would of the intelligence, developing themselves in only be one system more in a multitude of the conceptions of genius, in universal ideas, systems—a work more or less ingenious, in sublime intellectual intuitions, in the con- but unproductive: for that system alone templation of the ideal—of those it had not can be productive which is animated by the even a suspicion. It could not soar beyond spirit of the age—which is bound up with its own atmosphere. It had no heaven. If its wants, its vows, its tendencies.' We it did catch some reflections of the eternal quote this remark, for it so truly accords light beyond its horizon, it called them hal- with the spirit of the philosophy of history. lucinations. Man it made of the earth, and Every man is more or less the product of he was, indeed, earthly.
his age. Every event is one of a series, It is more than probable that Condillac and has its local as well as its absolute vadid not foresee the inevitable tendencies of lue. Every genuine system-every theoryhis system. A man of letters, he speculated is a child and a parent. La Romiguière -he dreamt not of practical results. But could not come to an open rupture with the time came when it should play its part Condillac, but the spirit of the age aroused in the convulsions of the French Revolu- him to independence. The fundamental tion. That the sentient subject in man, error of Condillac refers to the origin and were the nerves--that they thought, and de- generation of ideas. We have seen his termined, and reasoned, and judged-that theory; but his disciple strove to correct it. the body had organs, the functions of which Ideas, said he, must be distinguished as to were to think, to determine, to judge—that their matter and their form.
The matter the soul, therefore, was but a function of the may be the product of sensation—the form body--that it perishes with the body—that is the product of an intellectual activity.
death is an eternal sleep,' were the fright- This was the first step of materialism toful metaphysical dogmas told to his coun-wards truth. tryman-told to them by Cabanis, the rigid It was at this moment that the bewildered follower of Condillac. He was believed. Jouffroy uttered the pathetic lamentations
In our introductory extract from Jouffroy, with which we introduce this article. It we met with the significant expression in was then that, in common with many of the reference to the state of philosophy-le intelligent and ingenious youth of France, sommeil de l'empire.' The nation's mind uncorrupted by personal commerce with needed repose.
It was exhausted with its revolutionary speculations. It is thus we * Cousin. Revue de La Romiguière, p. 1.
crime and brutality, he demanded, 'Why | moral stupor—the stupor incident to infiam I here—for what purpose? Is my entire delity. Their spiritual appetencies are existence bounded by the limits of this lise? many and intensely craving; but ChristianiWhat will be the life beyond ? Who made ty is still in disfavor. They have seen her me and the world around me? When did encrusted with too many superstitionsthe human species begin to exist ? when have suffered too much from the intolerance and how will it cease ? Let us conceive of and vices of her priesthood—to allow them, these as the impassioned demands of this while the recollections thereof are fresh and young man-of crowds of similar young soul-harrowing, to feel any respect in her men, when, in default of the ministers of revelations, or any confidence in her overreligion, (for the altar had sunk to the dust,) tures! Nevertheless, these moral wants they crowded round their philosophical return, and they are pressing. What is professors—the ministers of reason! In truth? Is it merely relative to man, or is anxious thought, they press beyond the it absolute and unconditioned? What is present and the visible. They would de- the good ? Does it vary with each man's scend to the abysses of the soul. They interest and convictions, or is it inimutable would sound the depths of man's will his and eternal? What is beauty? Is it the seat of life. They would listen to their creature of a capricious taste, or is it, in its own inmost fears, as that abyss, in myriad multiform phases, reflected from the First forms, re-echoes them. They would know Fair? Such, we say, were the questions man in the secrets, not the surface, of his urged and re-urged by the French literati. nature. They would know the problem of A spurious form of Christianity offered to the universe.
uravel the enigma, and was rejected. And And now another step is taken. La this must be weighed, and weighed well, in Romiguière had answered, in reply to the order to understand and value their next questionings of his age, that man had a soul movement in philosophy. -that his thoughts and imaginations, his We do not propose, at present, to furnish judgments and his resolves, were something any minute details of this movement. It more than varieties of sublime matter-at will suffice for us to remark, that in its spirit, length, 'As the poison was of foreign as well as in the name which Cousin, its growth, so also has been the antidote. The leader, gave to it, it was essentially eclectic. doctrine of Condillac was a corruption That the truth of which it was supposed of the doctrine of Locke; and, in returning to consist, was truth which did not belong to a better philosophy, the French are still to any one system; for it would cease to be obeying an impulsion communicated from pure and universal truth, if it took the forwithout. This impulsion may be traced to mula of any particular theory; that it was two different sources—to the philosophy of to be found in neither the works of any one Scotland, and the philosophy of Germany.' philosopher, nor in the opinions of any one
The French were indebted to M. Royer- age or any one people; that it was to be found Collard for their knowledge of the Scotch in all the writings, all the thoughts, all the philosophy. And but a slight familiarity speculations of men, and, moreover, in all the with its leading truths will help us toimag- facts by which the life of humanity has been inet he wonder and the interest his hear- manifested ; and, therefore, man had not to ers must have felt, when, passing from the make a system of philosophy; that it was cold and unproductive theory of Condillac, already made for him by the actual develthey luxuriated in the warm and generous opment of the world, of which man, himself, doctrines of Reid and Stewart. The soul is but an integer; and, hence, that the task -its immortality—its moral relations-its of the philosopher is to disengage it from the first principles descanted on before young perishable forms under which it has revealed men, who had been wont to hear that man itself, and thus determine that which is was mere matter, that good was evil, and immutable and necessary, in the very midst evil good! This was a vast stride towards of that which is variable and contingent ; spiritualism.
—these were its characteristic outlines. We have approached the period of the It was very certain that this philosophy French eclectic philosophy. In order to would be miserably defective if it stopped appreciate this, the last movement in meta- here. It had been a mass of human opinphysical science, the exact moral position ions without any consolidation. It had been of the French public ought never to be for- an assemblage of limbs and organs, gathergotten. We have seen them aroused from ed together indiscriminately, adjusted with
more or less art, but which could never con- the threshold of the temple of truth—had stitute a living body. But we have,' says ruthlessly defaced its inscriptions—had broCousin, 'a criterion by which to separate ken its columns—he, with a heart indignant and select from among these elements. We at the sacrilege, vowed to give himself no have the criterion of truth, of necessity. It rest until he had restored even its entablais not in any human doctrine—not in any ture. individual reason. It is reason universal – It was at this moment that Jouffroy caught reason absolute. It is objected, eclecticism the ardor of his master : is a syncretism which confounds all systems together. We answer, eclecticism does not "A reasonable man,' said he, 'will belong to confound all systems together; for it leaves no one school, no one sect, no one party; nevno one system intact; it decomposes each ertheless, he will be neither skeptical nor indifone of them into two parts—the one false, ferent. He will be eclectic.
Eclecticism is not skepticism. Skepticism the other true; it destroys the first, and ad
denies that there is truth, or denies that we can mits only the second in its work of recom- distinguish it from error. Eclecticism admits position. The true portion of one system not only the existence of truth, it establishes in it adds to the true portion of another system what it consists, and thence how it may be re-one truth to another truth, that so it may cognized. Two things exist: reality and idea form a true aggregate. It never confounds - which is its image. Reality is neither true one entire system with another entire sys- of falsity; it is true when it is conformed to re
nor false. Idea only is susceptible of iruih or tem: it does not then confound all systems.
ality, it is false when it differs from it. In conEclecticism, therefore, is not syncretism :
sequence of the infirm and limited nature of our the one is the exact opposite of the other. intelligence, which would perceive realityThe one is a choice the other is a mixture. idea can never be either complete or faithful; The one discriminates—the other con- never complete, for never can our intelligence founds.'
embrace entire reality ; never faithful, lor nevNow, be it obs ved, that this took place of reality which it embraces, -never can it
er can our intelligence seize exactly that part at a time and in a country when and where translate faithfully into the language of ideas every question that was proposed was one that which it has seen, nor into the language concerning principles ; every one asked for of words that which it has translated into the principles, knowing full well that there was language of ideas. Every opinion, then, is as no stability without them. There were few necessarily false as it is necessarily true. Ecmen, then, who did not aspire to the glory lecticism, then, based upon the nature of idea, of being founders. Mankind seemed to
must neither wholly admit, nor wholly reject, them to have been born only yesterday, which is the necessary type of all opinion, must
any one opinion, but, starting from reality; the world to have just issued out of chaos seek and admit that which it finds of each opin—and each one's reason to have the mission ion in agreement with that type,-must seek to organize it.
and reject that which it finds of each opinion Cousin reveals his state of mind at this to be exclusive and inexact. period in his Preface to the first edition of
Still less is eclecticism to be called indifferhis Philosophical Fragments :' "The spirit ence; while it admits exclusively no one opinof analysis has destroyed much around us. ble to another but only that no one is perfect.
ion, it does not pretend that no one is preferaBorn in the midst of ruins of all kinds, we It prefers some one code, soine one formulary, feel the necessity of reconstructing them. some one system ; but, because of its love of This necessity is pressing—is imperious. truth, it cannot admit that that code, or that We are in peril while we continue in our formulary, or that system, contains the whole present state.'t Could any other feeling truth, and nothing but the truth. have been more natural to a man that had which gives birth to it, is the profound senti
"That which distinguishes eclecticism, that mused long and thoughtfully upon the past, ment that the world of opinions is only the imand within whom the fire had burned as he age of the world of realities, and that therefore, communed with Plato and Aristotle, with opinions can be judged neither in themselves, Proclus and Plotinus? The re-action bore nor by their consequences, nor by the authorihim to the opposite extreme of his age.
ty of their author, nor by their antiquity, nor Philosophers around him proclaimed, All by the quality or number of the men who have the past is false!' He retorted, 'All the professed them, nor by any other sign than past is true! They had rushed across that to examine an opinion without having be
their conformity to reality ; 'whence it Tollows,
forehand taken cognizance of the reality which * Euvres de Victor Cousin, tom. ii. p. 25. it pretends to express, is to aim at the end and 1 Ibid. p. 28.
to renounce the means. The substitution of