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idealistic side of Descartes's philosophy that keeps us from doing so. Doubtful as is the way in which he deduces the Cogito ergo sum,' and crying as are the logical tricks and contradictions by means of which the otherwise clearthinking man seeks to construct the world from inside, yet the thought that the whole sum of phenomena must be conceived as the representation of an immaterial subject possesses an importance which cannot have escaped its own originator. What Descartes lacks is at bottom exactly what Kant achieved—the establishing of a tenable connection between a materially-conceived nature and an idealistic metaphysic, which regards this whole nature as a mere sum of phenomena in an ego which is as to its substance unknown to us. It is, however, psychologically quite possible that Descartes conceived the two sides of knowledge which appear harmoniously combined in Kantianism each by itself quite clearly, however they may seem, taken thus separately, to contradict each other; and that he clung to them the more obstinately as he saw himself compelled to hold them together by an artificial cement of hazardous propositions.

For the rest, Descartes himself did not originally consider very important the whole metaphysical theory with which his name is now chiefly connected, while he attributed the greatest value to his scientific and mathematical inquiries, and to his mechanical theory of all natural phenomena.68 When, however, his new proofs fer the immateriality of the soul and for the existence of God met with great approbation in an age disquieted by scepticism, Descartes was glad enough to pass for a great metaphysician, and paid increasing attention to this portion of his doctrine. Whether his original system of the Kosmos may have stood somewhat nearer to Materialism than his later theory, we cannot say; for it is well known that out of fear of the clergy he called back his already completely finished work, and subjected it to a thorough revision. Certain it is that he, against his better convictions, withdrew from it his theory of the revolution of the earth.69 THIRD SECTION.

88 This appears clearly enough from combien elles différent des principes a passage in his Essay on Method, vol. dont on s'est servi jusques à présent, i. p. 191 foll. of the edition of Victor j'ai cru que je ne pouvois les tenir Cousin, Paris, 1824 : “... bien cachées sans pecher grandement que mes speculations me plussent contre la loi qui nous oblige à profort, j'ai cru que les autres en avoi- curer autant qu'il est en nous le bien ent aussi qui leur plaisoient peut- general de tous les hommes ; car elles être davantage. Mais, sitôt que j'ai m'ont fait voir qu'il est possible de en acquis quelques notions générales parvenir à des connoissances qui soient touchant la physique, et que com- fort utiles à la vie ; et qu'au lieu de mençant à les éprouver en diverses cette philosophie speculative qu'on difficultés particulières, j'ai remarqué enseigne dans les écoles, on en peut jusques où elles peuvent conduire, et trouver une pratique, par laquelle, connoisant la force et les actions du last word appears to us not yet to feu, de l'eau, de l'air, des astres, des have been spoken; and as to his denial cieux, et de tous les autres corps qui of his own view from fear of the nous environnent, aussi distincte- clergy, that rests upon quite a differ. ment que nous connoissons les divers ent footing. When, however, Buckle, métiers de nos artisans," etc. Com- after Lerminier (comp. Hist. of Civ. pare Note 17 to the following section. in Engl., ii. 82), compares Descartes

69 As to Descartes's personal charac- with Luther, we must remind ourter, very different opinions have made selves of the great contrast between themselves heard. The point in the reckless boldness of the German dispute is whether his ambition to reformer and the cautious evasion of be considered a great discoverer, and the enemy which Descartes introhis jealousy of other prominent duced into the struggle between free. mathematicians and physicists, did thinking and suppression. That Desnot sometimes carry him beyond the cartes modelled his system, against his limits of what is honourable. Comp. hetter knowledge, after the doctrine Whewell, History of the Inductive of the Church, and apparently as far Sciences, ii. 379, where he is said as possible after Aristotle, is a fact of to have used without acknowledg- which there can be no doubt in view ment Snell's discovery of the law of of the following passages from his correfraction ; and the severe remarks, respondence :on the other side, of Buckle, Hist. To Mersenne, July 1633 (Euvres, Civ, in Engl., ii. 77 foll., who, how- ed. Cousin, vi. 239): Descartes bas ever, in several respects rates Des- heard with surprise of the condemna. cartes too high.

With this tion of a book of Galilei's ; conjecmay be compared his controversy with tures that this is because of his the great mathematician Fermat; theory of the earth's movement, and his perverse and disparaging judg- confesses that the same objection ments as to Galilei's doctrine of will apply to his own work :-"Et il motion; his attempt to appropriate, est tellement lié avec toutes les paron the strength of a remarkable but ties de mon Traité que je ne l'en by no means sufficiently clear expres- saurois détacher, sans rendre le reste sion, the authorship of Pascal's great tout défectueux. Mais comme je ne discovery of the rarification of the voudrois pour rien du monde qu'il atmosphere upon mountains, and so sortit de moi un discours ou il se on.

As to all these things, the trouvât le moindre mot qui fut dése

approuvé de l'église, aussi aimé-je de me vouloir servir de telles excepmieux le supprimer que de le faire tions, pour avoir moyen de les mainparoître estropié.”

To the tenir; et le désir que j'ai de vivre au same, January 10, 1634 (vi. 242 repos et de continuer la vie que j'ai foll.): “Vous savez sans doute que commencée en prenant pour ma deGalilée a été repris depuis peu par vise “bene vixit qui bene latuit,' fait les inquisiteurs de la foi, et que son que je suis plus aise d'être délivré opinion touchant le mouvement de la de la crainte que j'avois d'acquérir terre a été condamné comme héré- plus de connoissances que je ne détique; or je vous dirai, que toutes sire, par le moyen de mon écrit, que les choses, que j'expliquois en mon je ne suis fâché d'avoir perdu le traité, entre lesquelles étoit aussi temps et la peine que j'ai employée cette opinion du mouvement de la à le composer.” Towards the end terre, dépendoient tellement les unes of the same letter he says, on the des autres, que c'est assez de savoir contrary (p. 246): “Je ne perds qu'il en ait une qui soit fausse pour pas tout-à-fait espérance qu'il n'en connoître que toutes les raisons dout arrive ainsi que des antipodes, qui je me servais n'ont point de force; avoient été quasi en même sorte conot quoique je pensasse qu'elles fussent damnés autrefois, et ainsi que mon appuyées sur des démonstrations Monde ne puisse voir le jour avec le très certaines et très évidentes, je ne temps, auquel cas j'aurois besoin moivoudrois toutefois pour rien du même de me servir de mes raisons." monde les soutenir contre l'autorité This latter expression especially is as de l'église. Je sais bien qu'on pour clear as can be desired. Descartes roit dire que tout ce que le's inquisi. could not make up his mind to dare teurs de Rome ont décidé n'est pas to use his own understanding, and so incontinent article de foi pour cela, he determined to propound a new et qu'il faut premièrement que le theory, which enabled him to secure concile y ait passé ; mais je ne suis his object of avoiding an open conpoint si amoureux de mes pensées que flict with the Church.

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MATERIALISM.

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