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but that many animals possess a share of understanding, perfectly distinguishable from mere instinct, we all allow. Few persons have a favorite dog without making instances of its intelligence an occasional topic of conversation. They call for onr admiration of the individual animal, and not with exclusive reference to the wisdom in nature, as in the case of the grogyni, or maternal instinct of beasts; or of the hexangular cells of the bees, and the wonderful coincidence of this form with the geometrical demonstration of the largest possible number of rooms in a given space. Likewise, we distinguish various degrees of understanding there, and even discover from inductions supplied by the zoologists, that the understanding appears, as a general rule, in an inverse proportion to the instinct. We hear little or nothing of the instincts of the "half-reasoning elephant," and as little of the understanding of caterpillars and butterflies.* But reason is wholly denied, equally to the highest as to the lowest of the brutes; otherwise it must be wholly attributed to them, and with it therefore self-consciousness, and personality, or moral being.
I should have no objection to define reason with Jacobi,† and with his friend Hemsterhuis, as an organ bearing the same relation to spiritual objects, the universal, the eternal, and the necessary, as the
bears to material and contingent phenomena. But then it must be added, that it is an organ identical with its appropriate objects. Thus, God, the soul, eternal truth, &c., are remained ardent and instant in controverting the opinion, and exposing its fallacy and falsehood, both as a man of sense and as a naturalist. I may truly say, that it was uppermost in his heart and foremost in his speech. Therefore, and from no hostile feeling to Dr. Elliotson (whom I hear spoken of with great regard and respect, and to whom I myself give credit for his manly openness in the avowal of his opinions), I have felt the present animadversion a duty of justice as well as gratitude. April 8, 1817.
* Note, that though “reasoning” does not in our language, in the lax use of words natural in conversation or popular writings, imply scientific conclusion, yet the phrase “half-reasoning” is evidently used by Pope as a poetic hyperbole.
+ Von den Göttlichen Dingen, Beilage A. Jacobi, in this passage, speaks of reason in man as being recipient rather than originant, and of this as the true Platonic doctrine. The affirmation of identity rather than pre-conformity between the finite and infinite Reason, by Coleridge, in this passage, is more than Jacobi is ready to affirm, as Coleridge evidently means to indicate by his criticism. A better statement of the doctrine may be found in an extract from John Smith, I. p. 264, note.--Am. Ed.
the objects of reason; but they are themselves reason. God the Supreme Reason ; and Milton says,
-whence the soul Reason receives, and reason is her being * Whatever is conscious self-knowledge is reason : and in this sense it
may be safely defined the organ of the supersensuous ; even as the understanding wherever it does not possess or use the reason, as its inward eye, may be defined the conception of the sensuous, or the faculty by which we generalize and arrange the phenomena of perception; that faculty, the functions of which contain the rules and constitute the possibility of outward experience. In short, the understanding supposes something that is understood. This
may be merely its own acts or forms, that is, formal logic; but real objects, the materials of substantial knowledge, must be furnished, I might safely say revealed, to it by organs of sense. The understanding of the higher brutes has only organs of outward sense, and consequently material objects only; but man's understanding has likewise an organ of inward sense, and therefore the power of acquainting itself with invisible realities or spiritual objects. This organ is his reason. Again, the understanding and experience may existt without
But reason can not exist without understanding ; nor does it or can it manifest itself but in and through the understanding, which in our elder writers is often called discourse, or the discursive faculty, as by Hooker, Lord Bacon, and Hobbes : and an understanding enlightened by reason Shakspeare gives as the contradistinguishing character of man, under the name 'discourse of reason.' In short, the human understanding possesses two distinct organs, the outward sense, and the mind's eye,
which is reason : wherever we use that phrase, the mind's eye,' in its proper sense, and not as a: mere synonyme of the memory or the
* P. L. v. 486.--Ed.
† Of this no one would feel inclined to doubt, who had seen the poodle dog, whom the celebrated BLUMENBACH,—a name so dear to science, as a physiologist and comparative anatomist, and not less dear as a man to all Englishmen who have ever resided at Göttingen in the course of their education, trained up, not only to hatch the eggs of the hen with all the mother's care and patience, but to attend the chickens afterwards, and find the food for them. I have myself known a Newfoundland dog, who watched and guarded a family of young children with all the intelligence of a nurse, during their walks.
fancy. In this way we reconcile the promise of revelatior that the blessed will see God, with the declaration of St. John, No man hath seen God at
time.* I will add one other illustration to prevent any misconception, as if I were dividing the human soul into different essences, or ideal persons. In this piece of steel I acknowledge the properties of hardness, brittleness, high polish, and the capability of forming a mirror. I find all these likewise in the plate glass of a friend's carriage ; but in addition to all these I find the quality of transparency, or the power of transmitting, as well as of reflecting, the rays of light. The application is obvious.
If the reader therefore will take the trouble of bearing in mind these and the following explanations, he will have removed beforehand every possible difficulty from The Friend's political section. For there is er use of the word, reason, arising out of the former indeed, but less definite, and more exposed to misconception. In this latter use it means the understanding considered as using the reason, so far as by the organ of reason only we possess the ideas of the necessary and the universal; and this is the more common use of the word, when it is applied with any attempt at clear and distinct conceptions. In this narrower and derivative sense the best definition of reason, which I can give, will be found in the third member of the following sentence, in which the understanding is described in its three-fold operation, and from each receives an appropriate name. The sense,-vis sensitiva vel intuitiva—perceives : vis regulatrix—the understanding, in its own peculiar operation-conceives : vis rationalis—the reason or rationalized understanding—comprehends. The first is impressed through the organs of sense ; the second combines these multifarious impressions into individual notions, and by reducing these notions to rules, according to the analogy of all its former notices, constitutes experience : the third subordinates both of them, the notions, namely, and the rules of experience, to absolute principles or necessary laws : and thus concerning objects, which our experience has proved to have real existence, it demonstrates, moreover, in what way they are possible, and in doing this constitutes science. Reason therefore, in this secondary sense, and used, not as a spiritual organ, but as a
1 Ep. iv. 12.-Ed.
faculty, namely, the understanding or soul enlightened by that organ,-reason, I say, or the scientific faculty, is the intellection of the possibility or essential properties of things by means of the laws that constitute them. Thus the rational idea of a circle is that of a figure constituted by the circumvolution of a straight line with its one end fixed. · Every man must feel, that though he may not be exerting different faculties, he is exerting his faculties in a different way, when in one instance he begins with some one self-evident truth,—that the radii of a circle, for instance, are all equal,and in consequence of this being true sees at once, without any actual experience, that some other thing must be true likewise, and that, this being true, some third thing must be equally true, and so on till he comes, we will say, to the properties of the lever, considered as the spoke of a circle ; which is capable of having all its marvellous powers demonstrated even to a savage who had never seen a lever, and without supposing any other previous knowledge in his mind, but this one, that there is a conceivable figure, all possible lines from the middle to the circumference of which are of the same length : or when, in another instance, he brings together the facts of experience, each of which has its own separate value, neither increased nor diminished by the truth of any other fact which may have preceded it; and making these several facts bear upon some particular project, and finding some in favor of it, and some against it, determines for or against the project, according as one or the other class of facts preponderate : as, for example, whether it would be better to plant a particular spot of ground with larch, or with Scotch fir, or with oak in preference to either. Surely every man will acknowledge, that his mind was very differently employed in the first case from what it was in the second ; and all men have agreed to call the results of the first class the truths of science, such as not only are true, but which it is impossible to conceive otherwise : while the results of the second class are called facts, or things of experience: and as to these latter we must often content ourselves with the greater probability, that they are so or so, rather than otherwise—nay, even when we have no doubt that they are so in the particular case, we never presume to assert that they must continue so always, and under all circumstances. On the contrary, our conclusions depend altogether on contingent circumstances. Now when the mind is employed, as in the case first mentioned, I call it reasoning, or the use of the pure reason ; but, in the second case, the understanding or prudence.
This reason applied to the motives of our conduct, and combined with the sense of our moral responsibility, is the conditional cause of conscience, which is a spiritual sense or testifying state of the coincidence or discordance of the free will with the reason. But as the reasoning consists wholly in a man's power of seeing, whether any two conceptions which happen to be in his mind, are, or are not in contradiction to each other, it follows of necessity, not only that all men have reason, but that every man has it in the same degree. For reasoning, or reason, in this its secondary sense, does not consist in the conceptions themselves or in their clearness, but simply, when they are in the mind, in seeing whether they contradict each other or no.
And again, as in the determinations of conscience the only knowledge required is that of my own intention—whether in doing such a thing, instead of leaving it undone, I did what I should think right if any other person had done it; it follows that in the mere question of guilt or innocence, all men have not only reason equally, but likewise all the materials on which the reason, considered as conscience, is to work. But when we pass out of ourselves, and speak, not exclusively of the agent as meaning well or ill, but of the action in its consequences, then of course experience is required, judgment in making use of it, and all those other qualities of the mind which are so differently dispensed to different persons, both by nature and education. And though the reason itself is the same in all men, yet the means of exercising it, and the materials,—that is, the facts and conceptions-on which it is exercised, being possessed in very different degrees by different persons, the practical result is, of course, equally differentand the whole ground-work of Rousseau's philosophy ends in a mere nothingism.-Even in that branch of knowledge, where the conceptions, on the congruity of which with each other, the reason is to decide, are all possessed alike by all men, namely in geometry ;-—for all men in their senses possess all the component images, namely simple curves and straight lines; yet the power of attention required for the perception of linked truths, even of such truths, is so very different in A and in B, that Sir Isaac Newton professed that it was in this power only that he was