« ÎnapoiContinuă »
theory (τέχνη) or science (έπιστήμη).* To Aristotle's distinction between theory and science, viz. that the former deals with production or becoming, the latter with being (“Ὃ ἂν ἐν ἅπασιν ἓν ἐνῇ ἐκείνοις τὸ αὐτό, τέχνης ἀρχὴ καὶ ἐπιστήμης, ἐὰν μὲν περὶ τὴν γένεσιν, τέχνης, ἐὰν δὲ περὶ τὸ ὄν, Eσruns." Anal. Post., ii. 19, 100 a, 7, seq.), Rosmini has nothing corresponding. The distinction between special sciences and philosophy comes very near it. St. Thomas, of course, follows Aristotle, as do the Scholastics generally. Kant's distinction between experience (Erfahrung), understanding, and reason † is equivalent to the one made by Aristotle, since Kant's experience corresponds to Aristotle's perception. Even Hegel's distinction of the stages of knowing into consciousness, self-consciousness, and reason is not essentially different,‡ although under the term reason are included religion, which, according to Rosmini, is, as such, no part of philosophy at all (§ 151), and absolute knowing, which he would attribute only to God (Theosophy, i. § 11). It is needless to say that Rosmini totally rejects. Hegel's process, as well as the identification of reason and spirit (Geist) which results from it § (Theosophy, vol. iv. P. 459).
Rosmini has treated, at great length, of the nature of persuasion, the difference between it and certainty, truth, and conviction, and the part which the will plays in it (Logic, §§ 136 sq., 1099 sq.; New Essay, §§ 1335 sq., 1044 sq.).
He treats also, at considerable length, of the nature of mental satisfaction (appagamento). "We distinguish," he says, “satisfaction from persuasion, considering persuasion as an effect or state which remains in a man every time he adheres and assents to any truth, but which does not necessarily take away his curiosity to discover a further ground, whereas satisfaction is a more universal effect or state of the mind, causing it to search no further, and
* Metaph., i. 1; cf. the commentaries of Schwegler and Bonitz.
Phænomenlogie des Geistes, throughout.
§ Phan. des Geistes, pp. 327, sqq.
leaving it without the thought that there is anything further to search into. . . . Satisfaction may be absolute or relative" (Logic, § 1161). "Absolute satisfaction arises when these two extremes are realized: (1) That the mind shall have succeeded in knowing the ultimate grounds of things, so that no further research remains possible; (2) That it shall be conscious of having thus succeeded. If it did not recognize as ultimate grounds those which it has discovered, even though they really were such, it would still feel as if it ought to continue its search and therefore would not be satisfied" (§ 1162). Inasmuch as absolute ultimate grounds are inaccessible to man on account of the limitations of his nature, he must content himself with grounds that are ultimate with respect to these (see note to § 2). "For satisfaction of mind, therefore, it is necessary, First, that a man consciously, and therefore reflectively, succeed in reaching the ultimate formal ground; Second, that being unable to find the last real ground, he make allowance for his impotence and resign himself to the necessity of the limit imposed on him by nature" (Logic, § 1168). But as such satisfaction is only relative, it follows that this is the only form of mental satisfaction possible in this life.
In endeavouring to discover these grounds, a The first man must set out from the intellectual condition put by in which he finds himself (§ 4). And the first sophy, and question he puts to himself takes this form: "I imagine I know many things, but what is my knowing itself? May I not be deceived? Why may not all that I think I know be a delusion?" These questions lead him to the discovery of Ideology and Logic, which, as having ideas for their object, are Sciences of Intuition.
Rosmini distinguishes between regressive philosophy, which, "by way of reflection, conducts the mind to find. the principle from which the science of being is derived; progressive philosophy, or Theosophy, which is that same. science of being, derived from its principle; and mediate philosophy, which furnishes the conditions, formal (Logic) as well as material (Psychology), of the passage of the mind from regressive philosophy (Ideology) to progressive philosophy (Theosophy)" (Theosophy, i. § 16). Schelling made the same distinction between regressive and progressive philosophy. This whole subject is treated at considerable length in the New Essay, vol. i. Preliminary, §§ 31-35.
The starting-point of the man who begins to philosophize is one of four starting-points which are frequently confounded, but which Rosmini distinguishes with care. These are (1) man's starting-point when he first begins to develop; (2) the starting-point of the human spirit; (3) the starting-point of the man who begins to philosophize; and (4) the starting-point of philosophy as science, or of the system of human cognition. The first he considers to be external sensation; the second, the notion of being; the third, the point of mental growth which the man has reached; and the fourth, " that luminous point from which all other cognitions derive their clearness of certainty and truth, viz., the idea of being" (New Essay, vol. i. Preliminary, § 5; more at length vol. iii. §§ 1468-1472). In regard to the third of these starting-points, which is the one that at present concerns us, he says, "When a man begins to philosophize, he is already developed. ... Now he cannot set out from any other point than that at which he is. To do anything else is impossible for him. Condillac and Bonnet, in their discourses, pretend to transport themselves to the first beginning of cognition and imagine a statue with one sense. But in doing so, no matter whether well or ill, they take an immense leap; they seek to cross an abyss in trying to forget, all at once, the intellectual condition in which they are, in order to watch, as spectators of another nature, the effect of the first sensations which a man feels. The time for that is past for them, for ever past" (New Essay, vol. iii. § 1471).
Philosophy conducts from the certainty that things seem to the certainty that they are; in other words, from subjective persuasion to objective conviction. If being and knowing were the same, as Parmenides and Hegel allege, there would be no place for philosophy, inasmuch as there would be no distinction between an hallucination and a true cognition. It is curious that Tennyson, in the later editions. of In Memoriam, has altered seems to is in the lines (cxiii. 6):
"And what I am beheld again
What seems, and no man understands."
SCIENCES OF INTUITION.
(Ideology and Logic.)
Rosmini defines intuition as "the (receptive) act of the soul, whereby it receives the communication of intelligible or ideal being," and adds, "This act is called intelligence by Aristotle, who says that 'intelligence is of indivisibles,' * calling indivisibles the essences of things which are seen in ideas. Hence, in the language of the Schoolmen, cognitio simplicis intelligentia means the same thing as cognition of possibles. For this reason it is clear that Kant perverted the language of philosophy, when he usurped the word intuition to mean sense perception. In making this alteration in the meaning of the word, he gave proof of the sensism which lies at the basis of his system, attributing to sense the act which specially belongs to intelligence" (Psychology, vol. i. § 53). Kant defines intuition thus: "Through the medium of sensibility objects are given to us, and it alone furnishes us with intuitions." † It is against this doctrine, than which nothing can be more false, that Rosmini's system is specially directed. Rosmini most emphatically denies that objects are given to us through the senses. Intelligence alone has an object: the
*This is not strictly correct. Aristotle merely says, “Ἡ μὲν οὖν τῶν ἀδιαιρέτων νόησις ἐν τούτοις περὶ ἃ οὐκ ἔστι τὸ ψεῦδος” (De An., iii. 6, 1). † Kritik der rein. Vern., Die transcend. Esthetik, § 1.
Ideology and Logic.
senses have only terms." When he says that "to have before the mind the essence of things, without any affirmation on the part of the subject, is called to intuite" (Logic, § 320), he agrees exactly with St. Thomas, who says, Intelligere dicit nihil aliud quam simplicem INTUITUM intellectus in id quod sibi est præsens intelligible" (Sent., dist. iii. art. 5, q. 5).
Ideology undertakes to investigate the nature of human knowledge; Logic, to show that the nature of this knowledge is such as not to admit the possibility of error. Hence error must be looked for elsewhere than in the nature of knowledge. Error is not knowledge.
Ideology forms the subject of Rosmini's earliest important work, the New Essay on the Origin of Ideas, as well as of the voluminous treatise, The Restoration of Philosophy in Italy, the treatise on The Idea, forming the second half of the fourth volume of the Theosophy, and the polemical work, Aristotle Explained and Examined (see Bibliography). As Ideology is presupposed in every science, it is frequently touched upon in every one of Rosmini's works. "Ideology," he says, "treats of being, the object of the mind; Psychology, of the soul, which is the principle of human feeling. These, therefore, are the two sciences which furnish the rudiments of all the others. All the others, in the last analysis, resolve themselves into these two" (Psychology, vol. i. § 46).
As Rosmini's chief philosophical merits lie in the direction of Ideology, it will be necessary here to point out what he did for that science, as well as what that science, as developed by him, does for philosophy.
* See under §§ 15, 18, 74.