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may be conceived generally as the faculty of judging," * nevertheless assumed concepts as given through the spontaneity of thought, and therefore as not requiring explanation. “All intuitions,” he says, “as sensible, are based upon affections (i.e. Tá0n]; concepts, therefore, upon functions. I mean by function the unity of the act which arranges diverse presentments (Vorstellungen) under a common one. Concepts, therefore, are based upon the spontaneity of thought, as sensible intuitions are upon the receptivity of impressions.”+ According to this doctrine, the formation of concepts is not a rational act, but a spontaneous function of the thinking faculty. In other words, the synthesis which is the necessary prior condition of all analytical judgments, is a primitive, given fact, and the only question requiring or admitting explanation is, how it is that in judging we are often obliged to predicate of these concepts attributes not contained in them, or, to use Kant's language, how synthetic judgments à priori are possible. Rosmini takes exception to this view of the matter. “Kant,” he says, “propounded the problem of ideology in this way: How are synthetic judgments à priori possible? that is, those judgments in which the predicate is neither contained in the concept of the subject nor supplied by experience. Hence the problem in question may be likewise expressed thus : How is it possible that we sometimes attribute to a given subject a predicate neither derived from experience nor contained in the concept of the subject? When the question is presented in this form, it seems to be assumed that, if we could find the predicate either in the concept of the subject or in experience, there would remain no further difficulty to overcome. But, in the first place, even if we could find the predicate in the
*"Wir können alle Handlungen des Verstandes auf Urtheile zurückführen, so dass der Verstand überhaupt als ein Vermögen zu urtheilen vorgestellt werden kann " (Kritik der r. Vernunft. Transcend. Log., Bk. I. pt. i. § 1).
† “ Alle Anschauungen als sinnlich beruhen auf Affektionen, die Begriffe also auf Funktionen. Ich verstehe aber unter Funktion die Einheit der Handlung verschiedene Vorstellungen unter einer gemeinschaftlichen zu ordnen. Begriffe gründen sich also auf der Spontaneität des Denkens, wie sinnliche Anschauungen auf der Receptivität der Eindrücke" (Ibid.).
concept of the subject, we should have to suppose that we already had that concept. It is a pity that the difficulty consists precisely in forming to ourselves the concept of the subject, in thinking things as existing, in making them become objects of the mind, and, in that way, the subjects of our judgments. When we have once supposed the concepts of things already formed, what difficulty can there be in analyzing or connecting them in any way? The whole knot of the difficulty consists in clearly showing the manner in which we form the concepts of things. Plainly, we cannot form the concepts of things, if we do not think existence in them, and this supposes that we already have the idea of existence, which idea cannot come either from mere sensations, because these are particular, nor from the concepts of the things, since these are not yet formed.
"In the second place, the manner in which Kant presents the problem of ideology assumes that, whenever we can find the predicate through sense-experience, there remains no further difficulty. It is true, indeed, that senseexperience may, in a certain fashion, supply us with a predicate; for example, when I judge a wall to be white, I am induced to apply to it the predicate white from the experience of the senses. Nevertheless, I must first have the concept of this particular subject to which I apply the predicate of whiteness, that is, I must have first thought it as a thing existing. Therefore the difficulty above alluded to returns : How can I think a being [őv ri]? in other words, conceive a real as existing? The idea of existence, which I always require in order to form the concept of anything, cannot be derived by abstraction from the concept itself, since nothing can be derived from a concept which is not yet formed. ... The difficulty, therefore, cannot consist in finding a predicate to attribute to a subject whose concept is already formed, but in finding the origin of the concept of the subject " (New Essay, vol. i. $$ 353, 354). Rosmini takes up, one after another, the examples of synthetic judgments à priori offered by Kant: first, the arithmetical one, 7 + 5 = 12; second, the geo
5 metrical one, A straight line is the shortest distance between two points; third, the physical one, In all the changes of the physical world the quantity of matter remains unchanged; and fourth, the metaphysical one, Every event must have a cause ; * and shows, by a careful analysis, that every one of them is analytic (New Essay, vol. i. $$ 346352). He then proceeds to demonstrate that our only really synthetic judgments à priori are those by which concepts are formed, and that these presuppose nothing innate in the mind save the idea of being. In this way he shows that Kant's whole scheme of subjective categoriesQuantity, Quality, Relation, and Modality, with their subdivisions—was invented to explain something which does not exist.t According to Rosmini, the order of thought is-(1) Intuition of being, (2) Sensation, (3) Synthetic judgment, resulting in (4) Concept, (5) Analytic judgment, (6) Reasoning. I
“ The problem : How is the object of thought formed ? -the object which becomes the subject of subsequent judgments—or, more briefly, How are concepts formed ?is the entire object of our investigation. Let us then analyze it under this form. ...
“In order that we may form a concept of a thing, we require an intrinsic judgment, by means of which we consider that thing objectively, or in itself, not as a modification of ourselves; in a word, we consider it in its possible existence. Now, as in every judgment (supposing it already formed) there must be a subject and a predicate, we must inquire, first, what is the subject and what the predicate in the judgment in question; and then, whence we obtain that subject and that predicate.
“Now, in the present instance, the predicate is merely existence, since to perceive a thing intellectually is merely to perceive it in itself, or in the existence which it may have. The subject, on the other hand, is the thing as having affected our senses, that which has acted upon them.
* See Kritik der r. Vernunft, Einleitung, vi.; Prolegomena, Vorerinnerung, § 2 (c). Rosmini's treatment of this last judgment is masterly.
+ Cf. under $$ 18, 35.
1 Cf. under $ 43, where 2-5 are united as judgment, involving perception of the real and conception.
“In the analysis, therefore, of the primitive judgment, whereby we form the concepts of things, i.e. ideas, there are found a subject (if, thus isolated, it may be so termed) given merely by the senses and of which we have not yet any intellectual concept, and a predicate (the idea of existence) which cannot in any manner be given by the senses, and of which, in consequence, no explanation can be afforded by those philosophers who undertake to derive all human knowledge from the senses. The problem, therefore, of Ideology is: To know how that primitive judgment whereby we intellectually perceive things felt [sensa), and so form concepts of them, is possible” (New Essay, vol. i. $ 355).
The notion of being in general is a neces sary condition of
When I say to myself that there exists any particular real being or entity, I should not understand my own meaning if I did not know what entity was. Therefore the notion of being or entity in general must be in my mind before I can pronounce any of those judgments whereby I affirm the existence of any particular real entity.
tion of particular real beings.
In this section and in the preceding one, Rosmini draws that distinction which is fundamental in his philosophythe distinction between real and ideal being, or between reality and ideality. These terms are explained further on. At present it will suffice to say that by the real is meant that which affects the senses or the sense ; in other words, the felt subjective and extra-subjective.* By the ideal is meant that which is purely objective, pure objectivity. The former is the term of feeling; the latter, the object of intelligence (cf. under $$ 18, 74). The following definitions, taken from the Theosophy (vol. i. § 211), may be useful here. They are explained at length, Theosophy, $S 213-239.
* Cf. under $$ 35, 78.
“ Being (essere, esse, ei vai, Sein) is the act of every being (beënt ?) and every entity.
“Being [ente, ens, öv, Seiendes] has two definitions: (a) A subject having being (esse) ; (6) Being (esse) with one or another of its terms.
" Entity (entità, entitas, oùola, Wesen] is any object of thought, regarded by the thought as one.
“Essence, [essenza, essentia, tò tí ñv čivai, Wesenheit] is being (esse) possessed by a subject, but abstracted from the subject which possesses it (cf. under $ 18).
"Subject in general (subjetto in universale, subjectum, útokeljevov, Gegenstand] is that which in a being (ens) or in a group of entities is conceived as the first container (primum continens) and cause of unity.”
The second sentence of this section expresses a cardinal doctrine of Rosmini's system, which is, that, since all concepts are the result of a judgment requiring a subject and a predicate, and since only subjects are supplied directly by the senses, therefore the first, most simple predicate—that is, being, the pure essence of objectivitymust be present in the mind prior to the first particular concept. It may be said that the whole of the New Essay is devoted to the establishment and development of this doctrine. In the first volume, the author, after stating the purpose of the treatise and the difficulties surrounding its subject, enters into a criticism of the more important previous systems which have attempted to explain the origin of knowledge. These systems he arranges in two classes. In the first he places those that err from assigning to the mind too small a share in the production of concepts ; in the second, those that err in the opposite direction. In the first he includes the systems of Locke, Condillac, Reid, and Stewart; in the second, those of Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, and Kant. His criticisms of Stewart and Kant are especially remarkable. In the second volume, after showing that we have the idea of being and explaining its nature, he proceeds to show that it cannot be derived either