ePub 版



THE following marginalia of Mr. Coleridge's, which were spoken of in a note to chap. ix. were transcribed for a new edition of the Biographia by Mr. C.'s late editor, with the passages referred to in the original German. These passages are here given upon the whole a little more at large, and in English, but with a clear understanding that entire justice can not in this way be done to the notions of Schelling, which, to be perfectly estimated, must be considered in the disquisitions to which they belong, as plants and flowers must be viewed in their native situations in order to be fully understood and admired.* S. C.

MS. note on Schelling's Philosoph. Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freyheit und die damit Zusammenhängenden Gegenstände. Phil. Schrift. p. 397.

There are indeed many just and excellent observations in this work of Schelling's, and yet even more than usual over-meaning or unmeaning quid pro quos-thing-phrases, such as "Licht," " Finsterniss," "Feuer," "centre," " circumference,' 99 66 ground," and the like-which seem to involve the dilemma, that either they are mere similes, where that which they are meant to illustrate has never been stated, or that they are degrees of a kind, which kind has not been defined. Hence Schelling seems to be looking objectively at one thing, and imagining himself thinking of another; and after all this mysticism, what is the result? Still the old questions return, and I find none but the old answers. This ground to God's existence either lessens, or does not lessen, his power. In the first case it is, in effect, a co-existent God,evil, because the ground of all evil;-in the second it leaves us as before. With that "before" my understanding is perfectly satisfied;

* I wish the reader to know before perusing these notes, on the authority of Archdeacon Hare, that" for the last twelve years Schelling has been strongly contending against Hegel, and has made, or at all events professes to make, the idea of personality and of a personal God the central principle of his system." Quoted from the Archdeacon's admirable defence of Luther, Mission of the Comforter. Vol. ii. note 10, p. 800.

and, vehemently as Schelling condemns that theory of freedom, which makes it consist in the paramountcy of the Reason over the Will, wherein does his own solution differ from this, except in expressing with uncouth mysticism the very same notion? For what can be meant by the "individuality, or Ichheit, becoming eccentric, and usurping the circumference," if not this? He himself plainly says that moral evil arises not from privation-much less negation,—but from the same constituents losing their proper ordination, that is, becoming C. B. A. instead of A. B. C. But wherein does this differ from the assertion, that the freedom of man consists in all the selfishness of his nature being subordinated to, and used as the instrument and materia of, his Reason, that is, his sense of the universal Will?

In short nothing seems gained. To creation- Werden-he himself admits that we must resort; he himself admits it, in even a much higher sense, in the Logos, or the alter Deus et idem. Other creations were still possible, from the will of God, and not from His essence, and yet partaking of His goodness. A mere machine could be made happy, but not deserving of happiness; but if God created a Being with a power of choosing good, that Being must have been created with a power of choosing evil; otherwise there is no meaning in the word Choice. And thus we come round again to the necessity arising out of finiteness, with Leibnitz and Plato. For it is evident that by Matter Plato and Plotinus meant Finiteness;—or how else could they call it rò μǹ öv, without any qualities, and yet capable of all? The whole question of the origin of Evil resolves itself into one. Is the Holy Will good in and of itself, or only relative, that is, as a mean to pleasure, joy, happiness and the like? If the latter be the truth, no solution can be given of the origin of Evil compatible with the attributes of God; but (as in the problem of the squaring of the circle), we can demonstrate that it is impossible to be solved. If the former be true, as I more than believe, the solution is easy, and almost selfevident. Man can not be a moral being without having had the choice of good and evil, and he can not choose good without having been able to choose evil. God, as infinite and self-existing, is the alone One, in whom Freedom and Necessity can be one and the same from the beginning: in all finite beings it must have been arrived at by a primary act, as in Angels, or by a succession of acts as in Man.

In addition it seems to me that Schelling unfairly represents Kant's system as the mere subjecting of the appetites to the Reason. Whereas Kant makes the enjoyment of freedom, not freedom itself, consist in the subjection of the particular to the universal Will, in order to their identification: and does not Schelling use Freedom often when he means no more than others mean by Life—that is, the power of originating motion.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 403. "Through Freedom, a power is asserted, in principle unconditioned, without and by the side of the divine power, which according to those conceptions is inconceivable. As the sun in the Firmament extinguishes all heavenly lights, even so, and far more does the Infinite Might (extinguish) every finite, absolute Causality in one Being leaves to all others unconditioned Passibility as their only portion."

Note. But is not this still a carrying of the physical Dynamic into the moral? Even admitting the incongruous predicate, Time, in the Deity, I can not see any absolute incompossibility of Foresight with Freedom.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 413. "It is not absurd, says Leibnitz, that he who is God, should nevertheless be produced, or conversely: no more than it is contradictory that he who is the son of a Man should himself be Man."

Note. I do not see the propriety of the instance; unless "God" is here assumed as an Ens genericum even as "Man." If this be a mere nominalism it proves nothing;-if it be meant as a realism, it is a petitio principii sub lite; just as the following instance of the eye; but this is a far better illustration.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 421. "But it will ever be remarkable, that Kant, when he had at first distinguished things in themselves from phænomena only negatively, through independence of Time, and subsequently, in the metaphysical investigation of his Critique of the Practical Reason, had treated independence of Time and Freedom as really correlative conceptions, did not proceed to the thought of extending to the things also this only possible positive conception of the in themselves, whereby he would have raised himself immediately to a higher standing-point of contemplation, and above the negativity, which is the character of his theoretic philosophy."-Schell.

Note. But would not this have been opposite to Kant's aim? His purpose was a κAÐAρTIKÒV TĪS YUKйs. In order to effect this thoroughly, within this he, by an act of choice, confined himself.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 422. "For whether there are single things conceived in an Absolute Substance, or just so many single wills, conceived in one Arch Will (or original will Urwille), for Pantheism, as such, is all one."

Note. The question is, do not these single wills, so included in the one Urwille" become "Things?"-S. T. C.


Ibid. p. 424. "For, if Freedom is a power unto evil (Vermögen zum Bösen), it must have a root independent of God."

Note. But God will not do impossibilities, and how can a Vermōgen for moral good exist in a creature, which does not imply a Vermögen zum Bösen?-S. T. C.

Ibid. pp. 437-8. "Man has, by reason of his arising out of the Ground (being creaturely), an independent principle in himself relatively to God; but by reason that even this principle-without on this account ceasing to be dark in respect of the Ground,—is illumined in Light, there arises in him at the same time a higher one, that is the Spirit.-Now, inasmuch as the soul is the living identity of both principles, it is Spirit, and Spirit is in God. Were the identity of both principles as indissoluble as in God, there would be no distinction, that is to say, God would not be revealed as Spirit. That unity which in God is inseparable, must therefore in man be separable, and this is the possibility of good and evil."

Note. But the problem was-how to prove this distinction, Unterschied; and here it is assumed as a ground of proof! How exactly does this seem to resemble Schelling's own objection to Fichte? "It must be so."—" Why ?"—"Because else my Theory would be false."-"Well! and what if it were ?" In truth from p. 429 I find little but Behmenisms, which a reader must have previously understood in order to understand. And in the name of candor and common sense, where does this Zertrennlichkeit differ from the rejected Vermögen zum Bösen, involved in dem freyen Vermögen zum Guten?— S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 438. "The Principle raised up out of the ground of Nature, through which man is separate from God, is the selfness in him, but which, through its unity with the ideal principle, becomes Spirit."

Note. We will grant for a while, that the principle evolved or lifted up from this mysterious Ground of existence, which is and yet does not exist, is separate (geschieden) from God; yet how is it separate from the Ground itself? How is it individualized? Already the material phænomenon of partibility seems to have stolen in. And at last I can not see what advantage in reason this representation, this form of symbol, has over the old more reverential distinction of the Divine Will, relatively to the End, from the same Will, relatively to the Means; the latter of which we term his Wisdom, and to the former appropriate the name of the Divine Will Kar' Eμpaow.

Schelling has more than once spoken of the necessity of a thorough study of Logic; and he has admitted that a logical work suited to the present state and necessities of scientific discipline does not exist. Would that he had prefixed to this work a canon of his own Logic, and, if he could, had taught us wherein his forms of thinking differ

from the trans-realization of not Ideas alone, but more often-Abstractions and arbitrary general terms in Proclus!-S. T. C.

Ibid. pp. 439-40. Note. It is difficult to conjecture what advantage Schelling proposed to himself in thus allegorizing, and yet so imperfectly. Whatever he might dream as to the hidden identity of darkness with the natural yearning, yet no one can avoid distinguishing daylight from the mere sense of daylight. In short, Light here means something: why not substitute that meaning?-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 442. Note. How can I explain Schelling's strange silence respecting Jacob Boehme? The identity of his system was exulted in by the Tiecks at Rome in 1805, to me; and these were Schelling's intimate friends. The coincidence in the expressions, illustrations, and even the mystical obscurities, is too glaring to be solved by mere independent coincidence in thought and intention. Probably prudential motives restrain Schelling for a while; for I will not think that pride or a dishonest lurking desire to appear not only an original, but the original can have influenced a man of genius like Schelling.-S. T. C.

Ibid. quotation in a note. "An instructive illustration is here given by Fire (as wild, consuming, painful, glowing heat) in opposition to the so-named organic beneficent life-glow, since here Fire and Water enter into a Ground (of growth), or a conjunction, whilst there they go out of one another in discord."

Note. Water is the great Nurse and Mediatrix of all growth; an instrument of union—a marriage of the comburent and combustible principles, oxygen and hydrogen. Fire, on the contrary, is the fierce combat of the two. This is better, as more accurate, than Feuer und Wasser in Einem Grunde.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 445. "Leibnitz tries in every way to make it conceivable, how evil may arise out of a natural want or deficiency. The Will, says he, strives after the Good in general, and must desire Perfection, the highest measure of which is in God; but when it abides ensnared in the delights of the senses, with loss of higher goods, this very want of the counter-striving is the Privation, in which evil consists."

Note. The modern English Unitarians contemplate the Deity as mere Mercy, or rather Good-nature, without reference to his Justice and Holiness; and to this Idol, the deification of a human passion, is their whole system confined. The Calvinists do the same with the Omnipotence of God, with as little reference to his Wisdom and his Love.-S. T. C.

Ibid. p. 449. "For the weakness or non-efficiency of the intelligent

« 上一頁繼續 »