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name of Cudworth, author of the treatise on Eternal and Immutable Morality; a book which could scarcely fail to be known, before the period in question, to every German scholar, by the admirable Latin version of it published by Dr. Mosheim.* In this treatise, Cudworth is at much pains to illustrate the Platonic doctrine concerning the difference between sensation and intellection; asserting that “ some ideas of the mind proceed not from outward, sensible objects, but arise from the inward activity of the mind itself'; '' that “even simple corporeal things, passively perceived by sense, are known and understood only by the active power of the mind;" and that, besides Αισθήματα and Φαντάσματα, there must be Νοήματα or intelligible ideas, the source of which can be traced to the understanding alone.t

In the course of his speculations on these subjects, Cudworth has blended, with some very deep and valuable discussions, several opinions to which I cannot assent, and not a few propositions which I am unable to comprehend, but he seems to have advanced at least as far as Kant, in drawing the line between the provinces of the senses and of the understanding; and although not one of the most luminous of our English writers, he must be allowed to be far superior to the German metaphysician, both in point of perspicuity and of precision. A later writer, too, of our own country, (Dr. Price,) a zealous follower both of Plato and of Cudworth, afterwards resumed the same argument, in a work which appeared long before the Critique of Pure Reason ; * and urged it with much force against those modern metaphysicians, who consider the senses as the sources of all our knowledge. At a period somewhat earlier, many very interesting quotations of a similar import had been produced by the learned Mr. Harris, from the later commentators of the Alexandrian school on the philosophy of Aristotle; and had been advantageously contrasted by him with the account given to the origin of our ideas, not only by Hobbes and Gassendi, but by many of the professed followers of Locke. If this part of the Kantian system, therefore, was new in Germany, it certainly could have no claim to the praise of originality, in the estimation of those at all acquainted with English literature. †

* The first edition of this translation was printed as early as 1732. From Buhle's History of Modern Philosophy (a work which did not fall into my hands till long after this section was written), I find that Cudworth's Treatise of Immutable Morality is now not only well known to the scholars of Germany, but that some of them have remarked the identity of the doctrines contained in it with those of Kant. “ Meiners, dans son histoire générale de l'Ethique nie que le système morale de Cudworth soit identique avec celui de Platon, et prétend au contraire, 'que les principes considérés comme appartenans de la manière la plus spéciale à la morale de Kant, étaient enseignés il y a déjà plusieurs générations par l'école du philosophe Anglais.'' (Hist. de la Phil. Moderne, Tom. III. p. 577.) In opposition to this, Buhle states his own decided conviction—" qu'aucune des idées de Cudworth ne se rapproche de celles de Kant.” (Ibid.) How far this conviction is well founded, the passage from Cudworth, quoted in the text, will enable my readers to judge for themselves.

That Cudworth has blended with his principles a vein of Platonic mysticism, which is not to be found in Kant, is urdeniable; but it does, not follow from this, that none of Kant's leading ideas are borrowed from the writings of Cudworth.

The assertion of Buhle, just mentioned, is the more surprising, as he himself acknowledges that—" La philosophie morale de Price présente en effet une analogie frappante avec celle de Kant;” and in another part of his work, he expresses himself thus on the same subject : “ Le plus remarquable de tous les moralistes modernes de l'Angleterre est, sans contredit, Richard Price.

On remarque l'analogie la plus frappante entre ses idées sur les bases de la moralité, et celles que la philosophie critique à fait naître en Allemagne, quoique il ne soit cependant pas possible d'élever le plus petit doute sur l'entière originalité de ces dernières." (Tom. V. p. 303.) Is there any thing of importance in the system of Price, which is not borrowed from the Treatise of Immutable Morality ? The distinguishing merit of this learned and most respectable writer is the good sense with which he has applied the doctrines of Cudworth to the sceptical theories of his own tines.

In the sequel of Buhle's reflections on Cudworth's philosophy, we are told, that, according to him," the will of God is only a simple blind power, acting mechanically or accidentally.” “ Chez Cudworth la volonté même en Dieu, s'est qu'un simple pouvoir aveugle, agissant méchaniquement ou accidentellement.” If this were true, Cudworth ought to be ranked among the dişciples, not of Plato, but of Spinoza.

† In this instance, a striking resemblance is observable between the language of Cudworth and that of Kant; both of thein having followed the distinctions of the Socratic school, as explained in the Theatetus of Plato. They who are at all acquainted with Kant’s Critique, will immediately recognise his phraseology in the passage quoted above.

* See a review of the Principal Questions anil Difficulties relating Morals, by Richard Price, D. D. London, 1758.

f I have mentioned here only those works of a modern date, which may be reasonably presumed to be still in general circulation among the learned. But inany very valuable illustrations of the Platonic distinction between the senses and the understanding may be collected from the English writers of the seventeenth century. Among these it is sufficient to mention at present the names of John Smith and Henry More of Cambridge, and of Joseph Glanvile, the author of Scepsis Scientifica.

Cudworth's Treatise of Eternal and Immutable Morality, although it appears, from intrinsic evidence, to have been composed during the lifetime of Hobbes, was not published till 1731, when the author's manuscript came into the hands of his grandson, Francis Cudworth Masham, one of the Masters in Chancery. This work, therefore, could not have been known to Leibnitz, who died seventeen years before ; a circumstance which may help to account for its having attracted so much less attention in Germany than his Intellectual System, which is repeatedly mentioned by Leibnitz in terms of the highest praise.

From an article in the Edinburgh Reriew, (Vol. XXVII. p. 191,) we learn, that large unpublished manuscripts of Dr. Cudworth are deposited in the British Museum. It is much to be regretted, (as the author of the article observes,) that they should have been so long withheld from the public. “ The press of the two Universities,” he adds, “would be properly employed in works, which a commercial publisher could not prudently undertake.” May we not indulge a hope, that this suggestion will, sooner or later, have its due effect?

In order, however, to strike at the root of what the Germans call the philosophy of sensation, it was necessary to trace, with some degree of systematical detail, the origin of our most important simple notions; and for this purpose it seemed reasonable to begin with an 'analytical view of those faculties and powers, to the exercise of which the developement of these notions is necessarily subsequent. It is thus that the simple notions of time and motion presuppose the exercise of the faculty of memory; and that the simple notions of truth, of belief, of doubt, and many others of the same kind, necessarily presuppose the exercise of the power of reasoning. I do not know, that, in this anatomy of the mind, much progress has hitherto been made by the German metaphysicians. A great deal certainly has been accomplished by the late Dr. Reid; and something, perhaps, has been added to his labors by those of his successors.

According to Kant himself, his metaphysical doctrines first occurred to him while employed in the examination of Mr. Hume's Theory of Causation. The train of thought by which he was led to them will be best stated in his own words; for it is in this way alone that I can hope to escape the charge of misrepresentation from his followers. Some of his details would perhaps have been more intelligible to my readers, had my plan allowed me to prefix to them a slight outline of Hume's philosophy. But this the general arrangement of my discourse rendered impossible; nor can any material inconvenience result, in this instance, from the order which I have adopted, inasmuch as Hume's Theory of Causation, how new soever it may have appeared to Kant, is fundamentally the same with that of Malebranche, and of a variety of other old writers, both French and English.

In the preface of Mosheim to his Latin version of the Intellectual System, there is a catalogue of Cudworth's unpublished remains, communicated to Moshein by Dr. Chandler, then Bishop of Durham. Among these are two distinct works on the Controversy concerning Liberty and Necessity, of each of which works Mosheiin bas given us the general contents. One of the chapters is entitled, “ Answer to the Objection against Liberty, yndir úvaitiov." It is not probable that it contains any thing very new or important; but it would certainly be worth while to know the reply made by Cudworth to an objection which both Leibnitz and Laplace have fixed upon as decisive of the point in dispute.

*“Since the Essays,says Kant, “ of Locke and of Leibnitz, or rather since the origin of metaphysics, as far as their history extends, no circumstance has oceurred, which might have been more decisive of the fate of this science, than the attack made upon it by David Hume.f He proceeded upon a single but important idea in metaphysics, the connexion of cause and effect, and the concomitant notions of power and action. He challenged reason to answer him what title she had to imagine, that any thing may be so constituted as that, if it be given, something else is also thereby inferred; for the idea of cause denotes this. He proved, beyond contradiction, that it is impossible for reason to think of such a connexion a priori, for it contains necessity; but it is not possible to perceive how, because something is, something else must necessarily be ; nor how the idea of such a connexion can be introduced a priori.

“ Hence, he concluded, that reason entirely deceives herself with this idea, and that she erroneously considers it as her own child, when it is only the spurious offspring of imagination, impregnated by experience; a subjective necessity, arising from habit and the association of ideas, being thus substituted for an objective one derived from perception.

However hasty and unwarrantable Hume's conclusion might appear, yet it was founded upon investigation ; and this investigation well deserved that some of the philosophers of his time should have united to solve, more happily if possible, the problem in the sense in which he delivered it : A complete reform of the science might have resulted from this solution. But it is a mortifying reflection, that his opponents, Reid, Beattie, Oswald, and, lastly, Priestley himself, totally misunder

See the preface of Kant to one of his Treatises, entitled Prolegomena ad Metaphysicam quamque futuram quæ quâ Scientiâ poterit prodire. I have availed myself in the text of the English version of Dr. Willich, from the German original, which I have carefully compared with the Latin version of Born. A few sentences, omitted by Willich, I have thought it worth while to quote, at the foot of the page, from the Latin translation. (Elem. of Critical Philosophy, by A. F. M. Willich, M. D. p. 10 et seq. London, 1798.)

" Humius.--Qui quidem nullam huic cognitionis parti lucem adfudit, sed tamen excitavit scintillam, de quâ sane lumen potuisset accendi, si ea incidisset in fomitem facile accipientem, cujusque scintillatio diligenter alta fuerit et aucta.”

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stood the tendency of his problem.* The question was not, whether the idea of cause be in itself proper and indispensable to the illustration of all natural knowledge, for this Hume had never doubted; but whether this idea be an object of thought through reasoning a priori; and whether, in this manner, it possesses internal evidence, independently of all experience; consequently, whether its utility be not limited to objects of sense alone. It was upon this point that Hume expected an explanation.

“I freely own it was these suggestions of Hume's which first, many years ago, roused me from my dog. matical slumber, and gave to my inquiries quite a different direction in the field of speculative philosophy. I was far from being carried away by his conclusions, the fallacy of which chiefly arose from his not forming to himself an idea of the whole of his problem, but merely investigating a part of it, the solution of which was impossible without a comprehensive view of the whole. When we proceed on a well founded, though not thoroughly digested thought, we may expect, by patient and continued reflection, to prosecute it farther than the acute genius had done to whom we are indebted for the first spark of this light. I first inquired, therefore, whether Hume’s objection might not be a general one, and soon found that the idea of cause and effect is far from being the only one by which the understanding a priori thinks of the connexion of things; but rather that the science of metaphysics is altogether founded upon these connexions. I endeavoured to ascertain their number; and, having succeeded in this attempt, I proceeded to the examination of those general ideas, which, I was now convinced, are not, as Hume

*“Non potest sine certo quodam molestiæ sensu percipi, quantopere ejus adversarii, Reidius, Oswaldus, Beattius, et tandem Priestlerus, a scopo questionis aberrarent, et propterea, quod ea semper acciperent pro concessis, quæ ipse in dubium vocaret, contra vero cui vehementiâ, et masimain partem cum ingenti immodestia ea probare gestirent, quæ illi nunquam in mentem venisset dubitare, nutum ejus ad emendationem ita negligerent, ut omnia in statu pristino inanerent, quasi nihil quidquam factum videretur.”

† Although nothing can be more unjust than these remarks, in the unqualified form in which they are stated by Kant, it must, I think, be acknowledged, that some grounds for them have been furnished by occasional passages which dropped from the pens of most of Mr. Hume's Scotish opponents.

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