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rational end” (Logic, $$ 71, 72). Reflection, as distinguished from perception, which is limited to the object perceived, is defined by Rosmini as a "turning back of the attention upon the things perceived." "Hence,” he says, “it is not limited to the object of a single perception, but may diffuse itself over several perceptions at once, and form to itself an object out of several objects and their relations. ... Reflection, therefore, may be called a general perception, that is, a perception of several perceptions ” (New Essay, vol. ii. § 487).
Rosmini defends the old Aristotelian logic against the attack made upon it by Hegel, and utterly rejects what the latter chooses to call logic. “Of the rejection of the syllogism,” he says, “and the contempt poured upon the rigorous language of Aristotle, what was the necessary result? The abolition of human reason, and this was really accomplished in the philosophy of Germany from Kant to Hegel" (Logic, $ 25). “Kant sets to work and commands the human spirit to produce the logical forms, but stops short before the material reality. Fichte shouts * Forward !' and commands it to produce matter likewise. Schelling next arrives, and, observing that the producer still remains distinct from the product, and therefore unproduced, seeks to push on the philosophical revolution still farther, by issuing a decree that the human spirit, by an intuition, shall identify its own productions with itself, and calling the result the System of Absolute Identity. In this way, the spirit, which, after having produced all things from itself, sees their identity with itself, has identified the subject with the object, and thus, according to Schelling, has found the Absolute.
“But Hegel next ascends the throne, and finds this philosophy still too slow and old fashioned. According to him, the fecundity of the human spirit is not yet exhausted or carried to the last conceivable point. Schelling's intuition leaves subsisting a distinction between the subject and object of intuition, and therefore the subject is not yet completely identified with the object. Hegel, therefore, in his lofty fancy, imagines that the human spirit, the producer of all things, by dint of putting forth, puts forth itself, finally exhausting and annulling itself in its own product, like a sack, which, by being gradually folded down, finally becomes the sack turned inside out. And lo!“the absolute idea’ is found. These philosophers, especially the last, did not fail to acquire a great deal of celebrity as great dialecticians. We question the permanency of this celebrity.
“ These remarks suffice to show that the period of dialectic thought unfolds itself into three kinds of philosophy: first, the philosophies which openly profess scepticism ; second, the philosophies which, like that of Kant, declare that they profess neither dogmatism nor scepticism, pretending that there is a middle system; and, third, the philosophies which return to dogmatism, believing erroneously that they have found absolute thought. Such are the philosophies of Kant's three successors, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.
“These are their pretensions and magnificent promises. Nevertheless, the sceptic alone expresses himself with sincerity. In fact, all these three kinds of philosophy belong to dialectic thought and never get outside of it. They are three phases, three results, of critical philosophy. The first is characterized by despair of finding the truth. The second tries to remedy this unfortunate state of things through faith in practical reason floating in mid air, without any theoretic foundation. The third is distinguished by philosophic pride, which, feeling everything vanish from its grasp, invites humanity to a show, in which it promises to take all out of nothing, before the eyes of its public, which it warns to be very attentive, just like those prestidigitators who, from under an empty dice-box, bring a large, variouscoloured ball, four times as big as the box itself” (Logic $$ 40-43).
“But let us examine this transformation of logic. The transformation in question involves, in the first place, the entire overthrow of ancient logic. Logic, according to Hegel, is the science of the idea in itself, of the pure idea.* Its object is the absolute form of truth, and the pure truth itself.' * To understand this new definition, we must bear in mind that Hegel's point of departure is thought as the object of thought.'t This object, which is thought itself, as object, moves, and, moving, performs three acts. With the first it produces the absolute idea as such, rising from the last abstraction to the concrete idea, as he calls it, which virtually contains all existences. Its second act is a continuation of the first. It is the concrete idea developing itself, going out of itself, positing itself as another, and becoming nature. When this idea has become nature, the third act begins. The idea returns to itself, as a perfect consciousness of that which is in itself, and then it recognizes itself as spirit. To these three developments the whole of Hegel's philosophy reduces itself. The first is the subject of Logic; the second, of the Science of Nature ; and the third, of the Science of Spirit-precisely the three parts of philosophy. And here we see the position that Logic holds in the philosophical Encyclopædia of Hegel. It is the movement which thought, as the object of thought, goes through, and by which it succeeds in constituting itself as concept or absolute idea.
* “Die Logik ist die Wissenschaft der reinen Idee" (Encyclop., pt. i. § 19).
‘But even this first movement has three parts. There is a movement or process in the sphere of being, a movement or process in the sphere of essence, and a movement or process in the sphere of the concept. The movement in the sphere of being is a passing over into another; the movement in the sphere of essence is a reflection or manifestation in another; the movement in the sphere of the concept is a development, by which alone is posited that which already is in itself or in potentiality, as a plant that unfolds from the germ in which it was contained. This triple movement or process returns eternally into itself, begins every instant, and every instant completes itself. The description of this eternal movement is the logic which Hegel tries to substi
* Ibid., Zusatz i. ; cf. § 24, Zusätze ii., iii.
+ “Für den Anfang den die Philosophie zu machen hat scheint sie . hier das Denken zum Gegenstand des Denkens machen zu müssen" (Ibid., § 17).
"In der Natur ist es das organische Leben, welches der Stufe des Begriffs entspricht. So entwickelt sich, z. B., die Pflanze aus ihrem Keim” (Encyclop., pt. i. $ 161, Zusatz).
tute for the vulgar one (gemeine), as he calls it, and of which he speaks contemptuously.*
“Now, in this new logic, what is truth ? 'The agreement of the object with the concept,'t says Hegel. This agreement is found in the absolute idea, which is the last term reached by the concept itself in its development. Hence proceeds this singular consequence that error eternally coexists with truth ; 1 for, since our philosopher admits that this triple progress moves in a continuous and eternal circle, and that truth lies only in the last point, in which the circle completes itself, and which is where the concept has become absolute idea, it follows that all the other points of the circle remain in the deficiency which belongs to errorthat only a single moment of the circle belongs to truth, whereas all the rest belong to error. Thus, error has a much larger and richer share than truth. Since, moreover, this triple circular and eternal process is necessary, it follows that the perpetual alternation between the dominion of truth, which consists in a point, and that of error, which extends to the whole round of the circle, is also necessary. Hence this philosopher, who desires to be in the highest degree Unitarian, tumbles unawares into the Manichæan system of two principles
Insincera acies duo per divortia semper
Spargitur, in geminis visum frustrata figuris. "To tell the truth, the purpose of this new logic is far more sublime than that of the old one. The old one taught men to make sure of the truth.
The new one laughs at such simplicity, and advises man to resign himself to the acceptance of truth and error as necessary moments of the understanding, which alternate in perpetual motion, without affording any possibility that the truth shall in the end prevail over its contrary.
See Encyclop., pt. i. § 19, Zusatz ii. ; $ 20, Zusatz. † “ Dahingegen besteht die Wahrheit im tieferen Sinu darin, dass die Ob. jektivität mit dem Begriff identisch ist " (Encyclop., pt. i. § 213, Zusatz).
I “Eben so falsch ist die Vorstellung, als ob die Idee nur das Abstrakte sey. Sie ist es allerdings in sofern alles Unwahre sich in ihr aufzehrt” (Encyclop., pt. i. § 213).
“Hegel elsewhere congratulates himself on having thus discovered how to effect the conciliation of truth with error, and how to make them live at
with one another. The same may be said with respect to good and evil. ... The new philosophy assures us that it has the marvellous power to bind together good and evil, as well as truth and falsehood, and from these two contraries to draw forth a third entity—and what entity would one suppose? The Absolute Good! “The good, the absolute good,' says Hegel, “eternally accomplishes itself in the world, with the result that it is already accomplished in and for itself, and does not require to wait for us. That it does so wait, is the illusion in which we live, and which is the sole active principle upon which interest in the world rests. The idea, in its process, causes this illusion to itself, sets another over against itself, and its whole action consists in cancelling this illusion. Only from this error does truth spring, and herein alone lies the reconciliation with error and finitude. Otherness or error, as cancelled, is itself a necessary moment of truth, which is only in so far as it makes itself its own result.' *
“Such is the singular fruit of the new logic! Such are the promises it holds out! It teaches man to put away from himself the illusion of doing good, or of expecting it in another life, as if the good were still to be accomplished, and were not continually being accomplished in our world, without our concurrence! It likewise teaches us that it is in vain to seek for truth free from error, because error is the product of truth transforming itself into another, and truth is the product of error transforming itself into truth. If such were the nature of things, we ought to close the eyes of the mind to avoid the error of seeing it.
If absolute science were at once the contemplation and production of this sad spectacle, of this continual, fatal revolution of thought, we ought to congratulate him who does not possess it, and he who does ought to do his best to unlearn it.
Encyclopædie, pt. i. § 212, Zusatz.