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84Philosophy of theUnconscious.

PHILOSOPHY OP THE UNCONSCIOUS.


By Bakst Kapp.

In the present work,* which verymodestly calls itself "An

Attempt
decided

at a Theory
step has been

of'the

is more

or less known

and

a
[Weltanschauung],
"
new
towards
Welt
entirely
as a
of the Unconscious
anschauung"
by the introduction
"
"
This
how
into
Unconscious
itself,
philosophy.
principle
rather is it the oldest, that which
ever, is not an37thing new;
Universe1'

an

taken

current

the world;

throughout

it

is the primeval ground of all the change in the universe, the


only possible and authentic beginning to a systematic philo
From
sophy.
of it, a subject
of philosophical

times, in the scattered appearances


of observation,
and, to some extent,
it
had
hitherto?notwithstand
investigation,

the earliest
of wonder,

ing that our knowledge of itwas continually becoming more

numerous
veils
from
itself under
adequate?withdrawn
a
as
connected whole.
The develop
thoughtful consideration,
ment of organic
the instinct of animals,
the law
structures,

in the formation
of political
the
communities,
and
rise
of
social
the
of
crimes,
healing
physical
spontaneous
rule
art
fixed
for
the
talent
and
the
native
science,
languages,
the recurrence of crimes, births, deaths and suicides
governing
have in
in human
other phenomena,
these, and many
society;
his
the attention
of natural
all times occupied
investigators,
that prevails

statisticians,
educators,
torians, philologists,
physiologists,
have placed
the Uncon
and philosophers.
These,
however,
in opposition
reveals
scious which
itself in such phenomena,
as a Natural
to a Spiritual.
At the
to a conscious
opjposed
same time there were not lacking monistic
views of the sub

ject. For example, thePlatonic philosophy had represented


as a Reminiscence,
of knowledge
the acquiring
ence to an unconscious
and mysterious
origin,

having
and had

ed to this as the ground fromwhich knowledge

refer

point

springs. So

work {"Psyche?A
also, in very recent times, a comprehensive
to the History
of the Soul)"
of the Development
Contribution
to
devoted
of
the
that
the
demonstration
has been
proposition,

thekey to theknowledge of the essence of the conscious life of

*
des Unbevvussten:
Philosophic
Hartmann.
1868.
Berlin,

Versuch

einer Weltanschauung,

von E.

v.

Philosophy of theUnconscious. 85
the soul

lies in the region of the Unconscious.


a new
lay claim to have furnished

This

work

can

"basis for this spe


elevated
into promi

properly
and
to have
cial philosophic
province,
nence a new principle
for philosophy
in general.
The non
as
a
have
all
themselves
in
exact
rule,
sciences,
occupied
?
indeed with
the Unconscious,
with
strik
manifold
ways
The
ing, and frequently with hostile, irrelevancy.
work has caused
them
ment which Von Hartmann's
as the process by which he
brings
greater, inasmuch
into unconstrained
harmony
rently Heterogeneous
ple.

He

draws

consideration?pulls
with one stroke)

astonish
is all

the

th appa
is so sim

the Unconscious

out of its hitherto


isolated
one genial grasp
so
to
(or,
speak,
into systematic
order, and lights up

it with
at once

the path upon which the edifice of a new philosophy of the

Present

(for which
the material)

pared
been caused

the

inductive

science

of nature

has

is possible.
A similar astonishment
in the first half of the century
in a much
namely, of productive
set free?sometimes
by

region?that,
tangible
not steam as it was
on the surface,
of temperature

sometimes

pre
had
more
Was

industry.
cosmical
changes
by volcanic
activity

in the interior of the earth, sometimes simply by boilers in

different
telligible

forms?although
to every body,

it was

known,

uncomprehended

and, so to speak, in
for long centuries ?

Suddenly, with the knowledge and the appliance of its elastic

force, it comes forward as a mighty


human
activityy to raise it to a new
as
in the other, the old?that
case,

into the region of


power
and higher plane.
In this
which has been from the
some
become
by man?has

and has been known


beginning
new.
a large num
not without
But this has happened
thing
of them very discouraging.
ber of previous
attempts, many
to give the readers of this journal
an
Let us now attempt

idea of the rich contents of the book itself.

in which
the author opens with gene
After an introduction,
to his problem, method
in regard
ral remarks
and predeces
answers
we
come
the
how
to the assumption
sors, and
question
in nature, the subject
is discussed
of design
to its
according
internal

self-divisions

follows:

and

genetic

order,

in three

sections,

(1) The Unconscious in the physical organism.


(2)

"The Unconscious

in the mind.

(3) The Metaphysics of theUnconscious.

as

86Philosophy of theUnconscious.
The proposition of theKantian Anthropology, thatwe have

ideas

point

without
conscious
being
of the introduction.
For

of them,
the reason

the starting
that it is otherwise

forms

to explain
in the region
certain phenomena
of
impossible
uncon
to
to
existence
it
is
the
back
of
go
necessary
spirit,
scious ideas as their cause.

"
all these phenomena,
and
in each
To combine
separate
case to make
of unconscious
the existence
ideas and
probable
the principle
in
unconscious
will, and by their sum to raise

which they all agree to a height bordering upon certainty, is


the task of the first two divisions of thiswork."
Thus

the antitheses

and

contradictions

are

in the principle
of the
resolved
a
becomes
united whole
[All-Einheif]

of former

systems

which
here
.Unconscious,
and embraces
the uni

verse.

"At last it reveals itself suddenly as that which has formed


?

the kernel of all


absolute
Fichte's
and Hegel's
Plato's

substance,
Spinoza's
great
philosophies
absolute
Ego,
Schelling's
subject-object,
&c."
absolute
Idea,
Will,
Schopenhauer's

a view to a critical examination


of the methods
of sci
With
in
decide
to
of
favor
the author was
entific cognition,
obliged
aside
the
for his investigations.
Induction
Setting
altogether
of it by reference
the exclusion
he justifies
dialectic method,

to a particular work published by him ("On theDialectic Me

to our view, also, induction


1868).
According
a necessity
where
there is any question
about
of definite results, and
and establishment
the ascertainment
it
into one general
Whether
their final unification
product.
thod," Berlin,
is in all cases

will sufficewhen it comes to be a question of working out in


such a final result, as a new prin
the form of an encyclopaedia,
near future. After
ciple in all directions, will be seen in the
on the relation and
his
views
forward
author
the
this,
brings

difference of the inductive and deductive methods, by the side


of which we know of nothing that has equal worth, as far as

Free from all one-sided


depth are concerned.
and as he de
to both methods,
ness, he gives full recognition
each other, he
mandg
that they shall mutually
supplement
the clear
contradicts
false which
considers
every speculation
clearness

results

and

of empirical

investigation;

and,

on the other hand,

he

designates every view and interpretation of empirical facts as

Philosophy of theUnconscious. 87
false which contradicts the strict results of a purely logical
speculation.
Of his predecessors

in the
gives prominence,
to
Leibnitz.
in
the
first
place,
philosophy,
region
of unconscious
he attributes
the discovery
To that philosopher
Von

Hartmann

of modern

ideas, and he gladly confesses that by the study of his works

he was

first incited

to his

own

investigations.

Kant

appears

to him to have got a littleway beyond the standpoint ofLeib


nitz. On the other hand, he finds in Schelling the idea of the
in full purity,

Unconscious

clearness,

and

" depth.
Schopenhauer's Will"

less distinctly inHegel.

It appears

falls partly

in the sphere of the Unconscious.


From the more recent natu
ral science, in which
the idea of the Unconscious
has hitherto
found little admission,
he brings
forward as praiseworthy
with
and Physis,
C. (x. Carus's
Psyche
exceptions,
special
recognition.
review with

Finally,
special

old

under
the philosophy
of Herbart
passes
to the ideas under
reference
the thresh
do not stand on the
which,
however,

of consciousness,
ground of the truly Unconscious.

At

the end of his

introduc

tion the author declares the hypothetical solution given by

him

of the question
in nature, not only

When,

however,

how we

come

to the admission

of design
one.
to be new, but to be the only possible
he expresses
his opinion
that the chapters

of the first two divisions of thework, collectively and indi

the existence
of the Unconscious,
and
that
prove
vidually,
their intelligibility
and power of carrying conviction mutually
support and strengthen each other, he can scarcely have meant
that might be made,
of Mosaic
by this to ward off the reproach
For the manner
construction.
and mode
of the internal devel
opment of his investigations
inductive procedure,
which

with the
corresponds
essentially
his free movement
cannot allow to

be cramped by a strictly systematic handling of the subject.

On

the other hand, it is, in the highest degree, calculated


per
to captivate a public which
for a considerable
time
manently
has been devoting
itself to investigations
in natural
science,
and,

shrunk with distrust


from
these, has
favoring
one
works.
It must
in
awaken
every
immediately
the agreeable
conviction
that it reads
up the book

specially

philosophic
who takes

pleasantly;
standing

that he (the reader) is equal to the task of under

it; nay, more,

that philosophy

is not, after all,

such

88Philosophy of theUnconscious.
an abstract
is, rather,

bugbear
attractive

as people
each other;
it
try to persuade
in the highest degree?a
charming
study.

Alongside of the remarkable applause which the philosophy


of theUnconscious has already won in public criticisms, the
author may

feel himself

rewarded

for the care

spent

upon

profound and elegant presentation of the subject, by the ap


plause which has been enthusiastically accorded to him in
domestic circles by thoughtfulwomen, towhom a theory of
the whole
refreshes
which morally
life, is a desire and necessity.

the universe

glorifies

of society,

and

As to the chief subject of the book itself, its compass and


wealth ofmatter admits only of limited notice. The first topic
of the unconscious
to the phenomena
will, in the inde
and ganglia,
of the spinal marrow
functions
and,
pendent
a
and
not
of
the
out
from
merely gradual
assumption
setting
man
shows
the
and
that
between
difference
essential
animals,
as
cause
we
our
in
consciousness
the
of
find
same thing which
extends

our actions,
the animals

and call will, also


as a causal moment

lives

in the consciousness

of

of their action, and must be


of will there
for the presence
that man therefore, as well

also will;
that, moreover,
no brain necessary;
is absolutely
will. And that the
as the brainless
animal, has his ganglionic
consciousness
cerebral
the
has
it
whether
gone through
will,
essence
or
its
in
remains
and become
unchanged.
not,
volition,
idea in the production
The unconscious
of voluntary move
idea in in
of the unconscious
ment leads to the consideration
one
of the
stinct, which constitutes, both in form and matter,
of the book, and closes with these recapitu
brilliant passages
latory words:
called

is not
"Instinct
the mere consequence

of conscious
the result
of physical
organization,

reflection, not
not the result

of a mechanism lying in the organization of a bTain, not the


result

of a dead mechanism

attached

to the mind

externally,

and foreign to its inmost essence, but it is the peculiar self


his inmost life
production of the individual, springing from
and

character."

this instinctive action,


in considering
If the author is unable,
of an (unconscious)
the assumption
to avoid
yet
clairvoyance,
for do
he has not by any means
(as he has been reproached

ing) put one enigma in place of another; but facts of empiri

Philosophy of theUnconscious. 89
cism have

been

solely in order to arrive at further mutual


The limit of the union between
confirmation.

nsed

and

explanation
will and idea

far beyond
the halfness
of Schopen
is carried
so
will
that
unconscious
that really
every
philosophy,
ideas.
Moreover
also
exists must be united with unconscious
as
are
not
to
considered
reflex
actions
be
the
produced
by the

hauer's

thinking of the nerve centres, but they are the


nerve centres, it being
of the subordinate
instinctive actions
in individuals
demonstrated
that instincts and reflex actions
caused
similar
excite
of animals,
of the same species
by

unconscious

The
show essentially
reaction.
similar
motives,
a
of
the
be
considered
refu
Unconscious
doctrine
whole
may
so
or radical materialism?in
^coarse"
tation of the so-called
of an immaterial
the existence
stand
far as it proves
principle

ments

and

laws of the nerve-currents.


the material
controlling
ing above
on
The Unconscious
the
in the
In particular,
however,
chapter
an
Nature
contains
abundance
of
Power
of
Healing
physio
so adapted
to carry conviction
in favor*of
the
logical proof
in nature, that without
existence
of an ideal moment
it the
of healing
in
power would be altogether
striking phenomena
The
explicable.
and
ral physical
those unconscious

dead causality
chemical
laws
ideas

of material
events, the .gene
come into effect according
to
as the heal
reveal themselves

which
are designated

by the author as In
a
consid
Hereupon,
preliminary
eration of the indirect influence of the conscious activity of the
soul on organic functions,
he closes
this first division with an

ing power of nature,


dividual
Providence.

and

after

of the unconscious
exposition
structures,
inorganic
alluding
first to the design
in organic
then
structures, and
apparent
how
unites
succession
it
itself
with
the
showing
by gradual
ex
considered
modes
in
which
the
Unconscious
previously
"
itself.
words:
presses
Schopenhauer's
Thus,
empirically
stands before us as its own work,"
form
even, every being
the transition
The

content

to the following division.


"
of it, namely:
The Unconscious

in the mind,"

is by farmore familiar to the present time than the region

above

ganic
recent

traversed, which
formations
below
times, been

comprehends
man.
That

so far elaborated

mainly

the series

region has
by natural

of or

only, in very
science as to

emit quite new flashes of light which illuminate important

90Philosophy of the Unconscious.


in human

subjects

The

physiology.

mainly

lie

elaboration of the

in the physical

of the Unconscious

appearance

of our author

merits

in the independent philosophical

For

system.

in the doctrine of theUnconscious in themind, he might have

moved

beaten
him, more

upon

awaiting

paths,
or less

where

was

there

and

arranged,

rich material
In

accessible.

the

first chapter, Instinct in theHuman Mind, he treats of those


human

instincts

are more

which

connected

closely

with

the

physical system, and towhich, therefore,the name of instinct


is usually

prevails
the word

more

particularly
human
regarding
in

instinct

given.

the

The

hollow

often

dignity,

expressions

conceit

refuses

of

which

to admit

the Unconscious

which are farther removed from the physical system although


to ad
It refuses
respects
they are entirely similar.
to it something
there seems to adhere
because
this word

in other

mit
animal.

After this he develops in the following chapters: The Un

conscious

in Sexual

Love,

in Feeling,

in Character

and Moral

ity, in the^Esthetic Judgment and theProductions of Art, in


theRise of Language, in Thinking, in theRise of Sensuous

in History;
in Mysticism,
and, at the close, com
Perception,
as regards
their
the
Conscious
and
the
Unconscious
pares
value for human
life.
The task which was here before the author?that,
namely, of
the roots of spiritual
life?was,
notwithstanding
laying bare
work
had
been
valuable
that much
done, by no
preliminary
so much
not
an easy one.
means
The principal
difficulty lay,

for his
render available
he could
in the sifting out of what
ma
mass
of
from
the
great
spiritual-philosophical
purposes
a
new
from
time
that
as
field
with
in fructifying
germs
terial,
same
uniform weari
had been
exhausted
immemorial
by the

some rotation of crops. A philosophy of spirit suitable for

soil

reclaimed

from empiricism

by

careful

fostering,

con

tains within it from the first the revolutionary forces of the


Kantian philosophy, and is directly calculated to lead the
individual

which

sciences

those branches

into new

The
paths.
that have
of science

way, however,
hitherto been

in

in

and the
the objective,
in the spheres of the subjective,
out by
has
been
be
absolute
pointed
rejuvenated,
spirit, may
in this connection
in more than one place;
the author
special
cluded

Philosophy of theUnconscious. 91
is given to the state, art, religion, and history; while,
are
science and social commnnism
time, medical
of an
In this we may find indications
not sent empty away.
come
sooner
or later;
treatment, which must
encyclopaedic
is going to face, with
that is, if the new theory of the universe
attention

at

the same

the inevitable

weapons,

worthy

combat

against

the attacks

of

partly obsolete, partly unripe knowledge, and of blind faith.


can victoriously
henceforth
the fact that philosophy
pene
com
of life only in encyclopaedic
into all the spheres
on a large
and
not
in
the
disconnected
and
scale,
pleteness
is a point in regard to which all per
form of brilliant
essays,
are agreed.
sons capable
The author
of forming a judgment
with the confession:
takes leave of this division
"
we ought to keep continually
before our own eyes
Finally,
owe to the Uncon
that we
and those of others, everything
to the advantages
scious as a counterpoise
possessed
by con
order
in
that
the
all
of
true
scious
the
and
reason,
spring
run
half
not
exhausted,
may
beautiful,
already
entirely
dry,
at a premature
and humanity
arrive
old age.
The
idea of
to this need was one of the powerful motives
pointing
impel
me
to
laid down
work out in a written form the thoughts
ling
in this work."

For

trate

In the third and last division, theMetaphysics of theUn


"

as is observed
: The
in the introduction
conscious,
principle
extends
itself unobserved
of the Unconscious
the
beyond
and physical
and solutions
spheres to questions,
physiological
in common
which
of questions,
would be spoken of
language
as belonging
to the region of metaphysics
; and these results
out so simply and naturally
from considera
spin themselves
and physiology,
science
tions of natural
that one would not
to another
at all observe
the transition
sphere, if the subject
were not otherwise known
to him."
of these questions
the different determinations
of concepts
Nevertheless,
to
conscious
and
the
unconscious
action
longing
of Mind
and
taken up, their difference
to
adduced
shown,
proof
idea is connected
monstrate
that every unconscious
with

be
are
de
un

that both,
in direct
will, and
therefore,
existing
unity, form a common ground; while, at the same time, a view
is opened
which
up to us at the close, how consciousness,
conscious

means

the emancipation of the idea from thewill (that is,

from affection
til it

and

is subjected

its gradual
interest) attains
extension,
to the sway of the conscious
reason.

un

At

92Philosophy of the Unconscious.


the same

time, throughout

the whole

series

of investigations

extending from the beginning to the end of this division,

rea
to show that the conscious
adduced
proof is continually
son which
admirable
such
administrative
power,
displays
never
if al
and would,
shows
itself creatively
productive,

lowed full sway, degenerate

circles

of universal

and

into the merest dry system of

particular,

inclosing

each

other

and

inclosed by each other, ifman did not continually bathe


afresh in the real spring of his life, theUnconscious, and
for new activity.
from it rejuvenated
powers
Here,
a
are
con
we
to
series
of most pregnant
introduced
therefore,

draw

siderations,

which

gressively.

Among

view the Brain

themselves
develop
gradually,
other things, the author takes

and Ganglia

as

the Condition

and

pro
into closer

of Animal

and its
of the brain
Consciousness,
gives a physiology
an
him
the
Consciousness
affords
oppor
functions;
Origin of
the difference between
and
consciousness
tunity of examining
and

the Unconscious

self-consciousness;

Vegetable World

and

Conscious

in

the

leads him to disclose the relation existing

as the plant, as
and, inasmuch
animals,
to assume
is credited with a consciousness,
are on the whole
and animal kingdoms
less
that the vegetable
In
them.
than we are in the habit of thinking
subordinate
as Will
to
he devotes himself
and Idea,
the chapter, Matter

between
well as

and

plants
the animal,

considerations
the mystery

of the Idea

on the origin of matter,


and
tries his hand at
the bridge
of the atomic theory. He then crosses

of Individuality, and, after having established

ration between

a sepa
and
that a

distinction

and uncon

the

relation

between

individual

and

genus,

demands

and material
individuals,
spiritual
be made between
spiritual
consciously

sciously spiritual individuals, thus coming nearer to theAll


Unity of the Unconscious. The Unconscious preserves its
Monism by being the universal condition of themanifoldness
of phenomena, without this Monism's interferingwith the
right of individual feeling of self. The question that con
nects itself with this, as towhence themanifoldness of phe
of each,
the individuality
individuals
nomenal
comes, whence
essence
of
it
is
touches
the
and
how
it
exists,
possible,
why
much
and
which
is
afterwards
discussed,
light
Individuation,
doctrine.
is thus thrown especially
upon
Schopenhauer's

Philosophy of theUnconscious.

93

Prom the stand-point of theAll-Unity of theUnconscious, the


author takes up theNature of Production, and in this re
likewise,

spect,

the ground

occupies

of the latest natural

sci

ence, which in this very direction has been enriched with so

to a demon
and has been almost proved
many new discoveries,
stration.
In his treatment of the Ascending
of Or
Development

ganic Life on theEarth, he occupies the scene of the clearing


by Darwin

made

in the darkness

of the primeval

world,

and

shows himself verymuch at home in it, although by subject


ing theDarwinian doctrine to the test of the principle of the
Unconscious,
The closing
scious,

and

he

does

not

considerations
on The World

hesitate
to show
on the All-Wisdom
as the Best Possible,

its deficiencies.

of the Uncon
as well
as on

the Unreason of Volition and theMisery of Existence, cover

what we are accustomed


and

behind

to understand

by the terms Optimism


the former we find the unconscious,
the latter, the conscious will, a difference which can be

Pessimism.

Behind

reconciled only by the aims of theUnconscious becoming the


This is the goal of the philosophy
of
this work in his hand, it well becomes
as he has elsewhere
the author to announce,
done, that he is
mankind
of
to make
the world,
but
far from wishing
weary
more
forth
he
motives
is
that he believes
setting
powerful

aims

of consciousness.

the Unconscious.

With

them glad
than ever any one has done before him, to make
the world.
we have
to Von Hartmann's
work
said in regard
What
than as a concise
less as a criticism
intended
exposition,

in
is

to

in circles where
it may not yet be
gain readers for the work
of those who give it more than a pass
The majority
known.
to submit it to a
constrained
ing glance, will feel themselves

more

criticisms will
then be
Thorough-going
study.
all
Like
books
that mark an era,
in abundance.
forthcoming
a
and
number of defenses
it will, no doubt, call into existence
to
of
criticism.
brave
the
have
will
and
purgatory
attacks,

The

serious

author may

fairly desire

the application

of such

a clear

ing-process to his views, as he will hardly for any length of


timebe able to set aside the demand thatwill be made upon

of his own scientific


the consequences
in drawing
to
of these Prolegomena
act. We
speak of the development
rotun
a new comprehension
of things, into the "imposing
"
that to the
It may be further remarked,
of a system.
dity
7

him

to aid

94The Freedom of theWill.


author, his task and its position, considered with reference to

of recent times, are perfectly


the great philosophies
transpa
consciousness
of the genetic
of his
rent* The
justification
him
and
lends
coolness
everywhere
stand-point
certainty of
more
in
in
his
but
general,
particularly
judgment
polemics,
to the subject, cannot
be avoided:
these, as belonging
the same consciousness
adorns his style with that dignity and
to be re
deference
whose
absence
is so much
gentlemanly

where

"
gretted in the author of The World

well

as

as Will

and Idea," as

of the dia
in his criticism
Von Hartmann,
on that sub
closes the preface to his Monograph

in others.

lectic method,

" that we know no other


duty to
ject with the noble words:
the heroes

of science

tions with more


words
?and

care

than

than

their produc
of examining
and in these
of other persons,
career
tone of his whole
polemical
that

those

we have the ground


no less in the Philosophy

Thus the public possesses


vigorous

account

of the Unconscious."

in this book a thoughtful and

of the development

of the Unconscious

from

its first presentiment up to the gorgeous edifice of human

reason, which
continually
society under the sway of conscious
and new birth in the Unconscious.
seeks for self-invigoration

THE FREEDOM

OF THE WILL.*

can bake no bread, yet she can pro


Philosophy
"Although
and Immortality."
This often quoted
cure for us God, Freedom,
from
the
mouth
of one living
Novalis
sounds
of
strangely
saying
"
Kant's
of Pure
in the age
Critique
succeeding
immediately
"
etc"
and reminds one of the
Naturam
expellas,
Reason,"
let man
rest until he has
three great ideas will never
Those
No philosophy,
found a tenable
theory of them for himself.
can set the
or dogmatic,
whether positive or negative,
skeptical
For the essen
shall cease.
matter at rest so that speculation

tial part of it is that each individual be clear in himself on


these points; he is thereforeobliged to think out the solution

for himself

before

it becomes

Ms

solution.

Of these threegifts of philosophy, the second is of first in

terest to the Anglo-Saxon

dom of theWill

intellect.

To

speculate

on the Free

is themost natural philosophic activity for

* 4iTwo Letters on Causation


to John Stuart
in Willing,
addressed
and Freedom
on the Existence
of Infinite
of Matter
and our Notions
Mill, with an Appendix
Lee & Shepard.
1869.
Boston:
G. Hazard.
Space."
By Rowland
44
a Creative First Cause."
or Everything
that Wills
in Willing,
Freedom
of Mind
1864.
D. Appleton
New York:
& Co.
By same author.