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possible, a first cause has created them” (Ibid.). These objections help to make clear Rosmini's view of the sphere and functions of philosophy, and the cardinal distinction which he makes between ideal being, which is in itself intelligible, and real being, which is intelligible only through the other. When he asserts (Theosophy, vol. i. § 6) that " the real, as merely real, signifies nothing, not going beyond itself or expressing anything but itself," and that it "goes beyond the power of natural signs, altogether beyond the power of any spoken word, however eloquent, and of any writing, however learned, elegant, and sublime it may appear,” he comes very near drawing that distinction which, at first sight, seems to involve an absurd paradox, but which is, nevertheless, strictly true—the distinction, namely, between thought and knowledge. Thought being the mere instrument of knowledge (the quo cognoscimus, as the Scholastics say), and knowledge being that which thought accomplishes (quod cognoscimus), it follows that thought and knowledge are absolutely exclusive with respect to each other ; that what is known cannot, as such, be thought; and that what is thought cannot, as such, be known. It is the failure to observe this distinction that has led Herbert Spencer and others into their strange muddle respecting the unknowable, by which they mean the unthinkable. Ideas are thinkable but absolutely unknowable; things are knowable but absolutely unthinkable.
In regard to Science, the genus of which philosophy is a species, Rosmini approves of the view expressed by Aristotle in the Later Analytics, where he says, “We think we know a thing absolutely (@kaotov ánlūs), and not in the sophistical, accidental way, when we think we know the cause which produced it, know that that is the cause of that thing, and know that it must be the cause of that thing” (cap. ii. 71 b, 9 sq.). He, moreover, distinguishes between the subjective and objective senses of the term. “The word science," he says, "has a universal sense, equivalent to that of cognition ; but it is also employed in a more restricted sense, to signify a particular mode of cognition. In this limited sense it may be regarded either
subjectively, that is, as possessed by man, the knowing subject, or objectively, as knowable, as that which is intuited by a mind” (Logic, § 825). In the former view it is equivalent to philosophy; in the latter, it means “an entire system of demonstrated cognitions, depending upon a single principle ” (Ibid., § 836).
It is instructive to compare with these views respecting science and philosophy, the definitions of these terms given by Herbert Spencer. “Science,” says that writer, “is partially unified knowledge; Philosophy is completely unified knowledge” (First Principles, Part II. cap. i. $ 37). It follows from this that we have not at present any philosophy, and indeed, that only omniscience is philosophy, and God the only philosopher.
Ultimate grounds are the answers which satisfy the last why's put by the human mind to itself.
It thus appears that the final, self-sufficient test of truth is perfect mental satisfaction, the cessation of all desire for further evidence or explanation. This satisfaction, being of the nature of a feeling, is immediate, given, and, therefore, incapable of explanation. Why does truth satisfy ? is a foolish question. We may, nevertheless, discover and state the conditions under which such satisfaction is felt, and, in so doing, we shall discover and state the conditions of truth itself. It is almost unnecessary to say that by grounds (ragioni) Rosmini does not mean causes. Indeed, he finds fault with Aristotle for confounding the two terms. “What Aristotle calls cause (airía)," he says, “ought more correctly to be called ground, the term properly belonging to the order of the knowable, with which he is dealing (Logic, $ 827). The passage referred to is the one quoted above, p. I. According to Rosmini, a ground is “that light which enables the mind (spirito) to know that what any given judgment affirms in the order of possibility, is”
(Ibid., § 188). “A ground is always an idea, simple or complex; but the terms ground and idea differ as two different modes of regarding the same thing. Ground indicates the logical necessity which the mind feels of assenting to a possible judgment. It is, therefore, a virtue which emanates from the intuition of the necessary nexus between two or more ideas, which nexus, however, as intuited by the mind, may likewise be called an idea” (Ibid., § 192). “The grounds which justify assent to any possible judgment are either intrinsic or extrinsic. A ground is intrinsic when the judgment requires no other proof, foreign to it, in order to appear true to the mind of any one who examines it with sufficient care. A ground is extrinsic when the mind, in order to be convinced of the truth of a possible judgment, is obliged to have recourse to some judgment different from the first” (Ibid., $$ 193, 195). In reference to the relation of grounds to reality, we have the following statements:-“Things real must be treated in the doctrine of ultimate grounds. First, because ground is a word whose signification is relative to that whose ground is sought, and that whose ground is sought is the real. Hence it follows that real things, as such, do not constitute the object of philosophy, but merely its occasion and condition. Philosophy deals with them, because it deals with their possibilities and their ultimate sufficient grounds. Second, because the first ground requires a reality coessential with it, . . . and hence cannot be fully known without the knowledge of that first reality which constitutes it, not as a ground, but as a complete and absolute being containing within itself the ground of all things ” (Psychology, Pref., § 13). It is needless to say that ultimate grounds are, of necessity, intrinsic, immediate, and self-evident. Rosmini, in common with Aristotle * and St. Thomas, and in opposition to Hegel,
* «'Ανάγκη και την αποδεικτικής επιστήμην έξ άληθών τ’ είναι και πρώτων και αμέσων και γνωριμωτέρων και προτέρων και αιτίων του συμπεράσματος” (Αnal. Post., ii. 71 b, 20 sq.).
+ “Per se, et directe intellectus est universalium, sensus autem singularium" (Summa Theol., p. i. q. Ixxxvi., concl.).
I “Logisch ist der Anfang, indem er im Elemente des frei für sich seienden
whom he calls the “foe of all immediateness ” (Theosophy, vol. i. § 10), maintains that all ultimate knowledge is of this kind. Of the nature of ultimate grounds, Rosmini speaks at length in his Logic. "If we wish to determine the meaning of this expression, ultimate grounds,” he says, “We must take into consideration certain distinctions, for the reason that grounds may be called ultimate which are such, not in themselves, but with respect to the limits of human nature. Whatever these lirnits be, it is clear that we cannot speak of any ultimate grounds except with respect to these, because absolutely ultimate grounds, if they go beyond the confines of human nature, cannot be desired or sought by it, and hence the want of them cannot cause it any disquiet. In order, therefore, that the human mind, when it has reached the ultimate grounds, may be conscious that these are ultimate for it (supposing that they are not likewise ultimate in themselves), it must recognize its own limits, and clearly understand that, in carrying its researches further, it would be attempting the impossible” ($ 1163). “We must, therefore, consider that there are three supreme grounds, categorically distinct. These may be called the formal ground, the real ground, and the moral ground. The supreme formal ground is given to man in the idea of being, and is the principle of all formal logic. It is also that which enables him to cognize real and moral grounds. But the supreme real ground is not given to man by nature, since this reality is God Himself, and by nature man does not perceive the reality of God. Possessing, then, the supreme formal ground, and, in it, the power of knowing all real grounds, even the supreme one, if they were given to him—that is, if they were communicated to his feeling-he has the faculty of recognizing his own limits, in other words, of recognizing that it is not granted him to know all that he could know, and hence he concludes that there may and must be, beyond these limits, something unknown to him. If now we give to this act (slancio), by which the human mind Denkens, im reinen Wissen gemacht werden soll” (Logik, vol. i. p. 61 ; cf. Trendelenburg, Logische Untersuchungen, vol. i. pp. 30, sqq.).
divines that there is something beyond all that it knows, the name of human superintelligence, we shall see clearly that this is not a faculty (potenza), but a function of reason, whereby, comparing the field of the possible, given to in the idea, with the field of the real, given to it in feeling, it sees that the former is infinitely more extensive than the latter, and that the portion of reality which it can touch does not contain the supreme ground ; that is, the being which is real in its essence, which alone can be the type of all reality, and hence also alone can be the ground of all finite realities. Again, as regards the supreme moral ground, this lies in the essential and total order of being, inasmuch as being, thus intrinsically ordered, is in itself a good to all the wills that cognize it. Now, man, in the idea, possesses this order virtually, but it does not become actual to thought except in real being. Of this real being he knows a part positively through feeling, and that part which he knows by nature in this way implies infinite being; then, through the function of human superintelligence, he knows, negatively and confusedly, infinite real being, in which alone the supreme moral ground is actualized, because in it alone is the essential and total order of being. Hence, according to nature, man cannot know the supreme moral ground, except in a negative and virtual way. Hence the imperfection of morality in his actual existence. There are, therefore, two main limits to human intelligence. First, it cannot know the supreme real ground, and, therefore, cannot have a single material criterion for all realities. It is for this reason that we have been obliged to lay down the rule that every specific perception of reality is a criterion for that species whereof that perception is assumed as the type. Second, it can know only virtually the supreme moral reason " (SS 1163, 1165). Of course, it follows directly from this, that, in our present life, we find no entire intellectual satisfaction, at least in a natural way. “Since man,” says Rosmini, “knows the supreme formal ground, and, through it, these two limits, he aspires to extend himself to the infinite, and desires a state in which these limitations shall cease.