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逻辑学概念的初步规定(50)

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§ 50



To carry out this unification two ways or two forms are admissible. Either we may begin with Being and proceed to the abstractum of Thought: or the movement may begin with the abstraction and end in Being.



We shall, in the first place, start from Being. But Being, in its natural aspect, presents itself to view as a Being of infinite variety, a World in all its plentitude. And this world may be regarded in two ways: first, as a collection of innumerable unconnected facts; and second, as a collection of innumerable facts in mutual relation, giving evidence of design. The first aspect is emphasised in the Cosmological proof; the latter in the proofs of Natural Theology. Suppose now that this fullness of being passes under the agency of thought. Then it is stripped of its isolation and unconnectedness, and viewed as a universal and absolutely necessary being which determines itself and acts by general purposes or laws. And this necessary and self−determined being, different from the being at the commencement, is God.



The main force of Kant's criticism on this process attacks it for being a syllogising, i.e. a transition. Perceptions, and that aggregate of perceptions we call the world, exhibit as they stand no traces of that universality which they afterwards receive from the purifying act of thought. The empirical conception of the world therefore gives no warrant for the idea of universality. And so any attempt on the part of thought to ascend from the empirical conception of the world to God is checked by the argument of Hume (as in the paralogisms, § 47), according to which we have no right to think sensations, that is, to elicit universality and

necessity from them.



Man is essentially a thinker: and therefore sound Common Sense, as well as Philosophy, will not yield up their right of rising to God from and out of the empirical view of the world. The only basis on which this rise is possible is the thinking study of the world, not the bare sensuous, animal, attuition of it. Thought and thought alone has eyes for the essence, substance, universal power, and ultimate design of the world. And what men call the proofs of God's existence are, rightly understood, ways of describing and analysing the native course of the mind, the course of thought thinking the data of the senses. The rise of thought beyond the world of sense, its passage from the finite to the infinite, the leap into the supersensible which it takes when it snaps asunder the chain of sense, all this transition is thought and nothing but thought. Say there must be no such passage, and you say there is to be no thinking. And in sooth, animals make no such transition. They never get further than sensation and the perception of the senses, and in consequence they have no religion.



Both on general grounds, and in the particular case, there are two remarks to be made upon the criticism of this exaltation in thought. The first remark deals with the question of form. When the exaltation is exhibited in a syllogistic process, in the shape of what we call proofs of the being of God, these reasonings cannot but start from some sort of theory of the world, which makes it an aggregate either of contingent facts or of final causes and relations involving design. The merely syllogistic thinker may deem this starting−point a solid basis and suppose that it remains throughout in the same empirical light, left at last as it was at the first. In this case, the bearing of the beginning upon the conclusion to which it leads has a purely affirmative aspect, as if we were only reasoning from one thing which is and continues to be, to another thing which in like manner is. But the great error is to restrict our notions of the nature of thought to its form in understanding alone. To think the phenomenal world rather means to recast its form, and transmute it into a universal. And thus the action of thought has also a negative effect upon its basis: and the matter of sensation, when it receives the stamp of universality, at once loses its first and phenomenal shape. By the removal and negation of the shell, the kernel within the sense−percept is brought to the light (§§ 13 and 23). And it is because they do not, with sufficient prominence, express the negative features implied in the exaltation of the mind from the world to God that the metaphysical proofs of the being of a God are defective interpretations and descriptions of the process. If the world is only a sum of incidents, it follows that it is also deciduous and phenomenal, in esse and posse null. That upward spring of the mind signifies that the being which the world has is only a semblance, no real being, no absolute truth; it signifies that, beyond and above that appearance, truth abides in God, so that true being is another name for God. The process of exaltation might thus appear to be transition and to involve a means, but it is not a whit less true that every trace of transition and means is absorbed; since the world, which might have seemed to be the means of reaching God, is explained to be a nullity. Unless the being of the world is nullified, the point d'appui for the exaltation is lost. In this way the apparent means vanishes, and the process of derivation is cancelled in the very act by which it proceeds. It is

the affirmative aspect of this relation, as supposed to subsist between two things, either of which is as much as the other, which Jacobi mainly has in his eye when he attacks the demonstrations of the understanding. Justly censuring them for seeking conditions (i.e. the world) for the unconditioned, he remarks that the Infinite or God must on such a method be presented as dependent and derivative. But that elevation, as it takes place in the mind, serves to correct this semblance: in fact, it has no other meaning than to correct that semblance. Jacobi, however, failed to recognise the genuine nature of essential thought−by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of mediating; and consequently, his objection, though it tells against the merely 'reflective' understanding, is false when applied to thought as a whole, and in particular to reasonable thought.



To explain what we mean by the neglect of the negative factor in thought, we may refer by way of illustration to the charges of Pantheism and Atheism brought against the doctrines of Spinoza. The absolute Substance of Spinoza certainly falls short of absolute spirit, and it is a right and proper requirement that God should be defined as absolute spirit. But when the definition in Spinoza is said to identify the world with God, and to confound God with nature and the finite world, it is implied that the finite world possesses a genuine actuality and affirmative reality. If this assumption be admitted, of course a union of God with the world renders God completely finite, and degrades Him to the bare finite and adventitious congeries of existence. But there are two objections to be noted. In the first place Spinoza does not define God as the unity of God with the world, but as the union of thought with extension, that is, with the material world. And secondly, even if we accept this awkward popular statement as to this unity, it would still be true that the system of Spinoza was not Atheism but Acosmism, defining the world to be an appearance lacking in true reality. A philosophy which affirms that God and God alone is should not be stigmatised as atheistic, when even those nations which worship the ape, the cow, or images of stone and brass, are credited with some religion. But as things stand the imagination of ordinary men feels a vehement reluctance to surrender its dearest conviction, that this aggregate of finitude, which it calls a world, has actual reality; and to hold that there is no world is a way of thinking they are fain to believe impossible, or at least much less possible than to entertain the idea that there is no God. Human nature, not much to its credit, is more ready to believe that a system denies God, than that it denies the world. A denial of God seems so much more intelligible than a denial of the world.



The second remark bears on the criticism of the material propositions to which that elevation in thought in the first instance leads. If these 'propositions have for their predicate such terms as substance of the world, its necessary essence, cause which regulates and directs it according to design, they are certainly inadequate to express what is or ought to be understood by God. Yet apart from the trick of adopting a preliminary popular conception of God, and criticising a result by this assumed standard, it is certain that these characteristics

have great value, and are necessary factors in the idea of God. But if we wish in this way to bring before thought the genuine idea of God, and give its true value and expression to the central truth, we must be careful not to start from a subordinate level of facts. To speak of the 'merely contingent' things of the world is a very inadequate description of the premises.



The organic structures, and the evidence they afford of mutual adaptation, belong to a higher province, the province of animated nature. But even without taking into consideration the possible blemish which the study of animated nature and of the other teleological aspects of existing things may contract from the pettiness of the final causes, and from puerile instances of them and their bearings, merely animated nature is, at the best, incapable of supplying the material for a truthful expression to the idea to God. God is more than life: he is Spirit. And therefore if the thought of the Absolute takes a starting−point for its rise, and desires to take the nearest, the most true and adequate starting−point will be found in the nature of spirit alone.



  §50



  要达到这种统一,可能有两个途径或形式。我们可以从存在开始,由存在过渡到思维的抽象物,或者,相反地,可以从抽象物出发而回归到存在。



  今试采取从存在开始的途径,就存在作为直接的存在而论,它便被看成一个具有无限多的特性的存在,一个无所不包的世界。这个世界还可进一步认为是一个无限多的偶然事实的聚集体(这是宇宙论的证明的看法),或者可以认为是无限多的目的及无限多的有目的的相互关系的聚集体(这是自然神学的证明的看法)。如果把这个无所不包的存在叫做思维,那就必须排除其个别性和偶然性,而把它认作一普遍的、本身必然的、按照普遍的目的而自身规定的、能动的存在。这个存在有异于前面那种的存在,就是上帝。——康德对于整个这种思想过程的批判,其主旨在于否认这是一种推论或过渡。康德认为,知觉和知觉的聚集体或我们所谓世界,其本身既然不表现有普遍性(因为普遍性乃是思想纯化知觉内容的产物),可见通过这种经验的世界观念,并不能证实其普遍性。所以思想要想从经验的世界观念一跃而升到上帝的观念,显然是违反休谟的观点的(如在背理论证中所讨论的那样,参看§47)。照休谟的观点,不容许对知觉加以思维,换言之,不容许从知觉中去绎出普遍性与必然性。



  〔说明〕因为人是有思想的,所以人的常识和哲学,都决不会让他放弃从经验的世界观出发并超出它以提高到上帝的权利。这种提高的基础不外是对于世界的思维着的考察,而不仅是对它加以感性的动物式的考察。惟有思维才能够把握本性、实体、世界的普遍力量和究竟目的。所谓对于上帝存在的证明,真正讲来,只应认作是对于整个能思的心灵思索感官材料过程的描述和分析罢了。思维之超出感官世界,思维之由有限提高到无限,思维之打破感官事物的钡链而进到超感官界的飞跃,凡此一切的过渡都是思维自身造成的,而且也只是思维自身的活动。如果说没有造成这种过渡或提高的过程,那应说是没有思想。事实上,禽兽便没有这种过渡;



  它们只是停滞在感性的感觉和直观阶段,因此它们也就没有宗教。



  对于思维的这种提高作用的批判,无论一般地和特殊地讲来,有两点必须注意。第一、就形式而论,这种提高表现为推论的形式(亦即所谓上帝存在的证明),则这种推论的出发点,自不免认世界为一种偶然事变的聚集体,或者为种种目的和有目的性的诸多相互关系的聚集体。这种出发点,就仅作三段论式的推论的思想家看来,似乎是很坚实的基础,并且始终保持在经验的范围内。这样,出发点与所要达到的终结点的关系,将被看成只是肯定的,即是由一个存在而且保持存在之物推论到另一物,而此物亦一样地存在。但这种推论的重大错误,即在于以为只在这种抽象理智的形式里即可认识思维的本性。殊不知,对经验世界加以思维,本质上实即是改变其经验的形式,而将它转化成一个普遍的东西——



  共相。所以思维对于其所出发的经验基础同时即开展一个否定的活动;感性材料经过思维或共性加以规定后,已不复保持其原来的经验形状了。对于外壳加以否定与排斥,则感性材料的内在实质,即可揭示出来了(参看§13和§23)。对于上帝存在的形而上学证明,所以只是对于精神由世界提高到上帝的过程之一种不完善的表达和描述,因为在这个证明里,未能将精神的提高过程里所包含的否定环节显著地表达或者突出出来。因为如果世界只是偶然事变的聚集体,则这世界便只是一个幻灭的现象的东西,其本身即是空无的。精神的提高,其意义在于表示这世界虽然存在,但其存在只是假象,而非真实存在,非绝对真理,而且表明绝对真理只在超出现象之外的上帝里,只有上帝才是真实的存在。精神的提高固然是一种过渡和中介的过程,但同时也是对过渡和中介的扬弃。因为那似乎作为中介可以达到上帝的世界,也由此而被宣示为空无了。只有通过否定世界的存在,精神的提高才有了依据,于是那只是当作中介的东西消逝了,因此即在中介的过程中便扬弃了中介。当耶柯比反对理智的证明时,他心目中所要反对的,主要也只是指把这种否定性的中介关系看成两个存在物间平列互依的肯定的关系而言。他公允地攻击那种由有条件的事物(世界)去寻求无条件的上帝,因而认无限的上帝为有所依赖、有所根据的那种证明方法。然而在那种精神的提高里便校正了这种假相,也可以说,精神提高的整个意义即在于校正这个假相。但耶柯比没有认清本质的思维的真实性质,即在中介的过程中便扬弃了中介本身。因此他的批评如仅用以攻击反思式的理智证明,倒还恰当,但如用来攻击整个的思想,特别是理性的思想,那就陷于错误了。



  为了说明对于思想中否定环节的忽视,可用一般人认斯宾诺莎学说为泛神论和无神论的攻击,作为例证。斯宾诺莎的绝对实体诚然还不是绝对精神,而上帝应该界说为绝对精神,乃是正当的要求。但当斯宾诺莎的界说被认为将上帝与自然及有限世界相混,并且使世界与上帝同一,这就假定了认为有限世界具有真正的现实性和肯定的实在性。如果承认这个假定,则上帝与世界合而为一,是不啻将上帝纯然有限化了,贬低成为一个仅属有限的存在之外在的复合体了。从这点看来,我们必须注意:斯宾诺莎并没有把上帝界说为上帝与世界的统一,而是认上帝为思想与形体(物质世界)的统一。即使我们接受他对于统一原来那种异常笨拙的说法,他也只是认这世界为现象,并没有现实的实在性,所以他的体系并不是无神论,宁可认为是无世界论(Akosmismus)。一个坚持上帝存在,坚持唯有上帝存在的哲学,至少是不应被称为无神论的。何况对于许多把猴猿、母牛、石像、或铜像等当作神灵去崇拜的民族,我们尚且承认其有某种的宗教。但常人的想象总深信这叫做世界的有限事物的聚集体,是有真实存在的。要他放弃这种信念,他们是决不愿意的。如果要说没有世界,他们很容易认为那是不可能的,至少他们会觉得相信没有世界,比相信没有上帝的可能性还少。人们总是相信(这对他们并不是很光荣的事)一个体系要否认上帝远较否认世界为容易。大家总是觉得否认上帝远较否认世界为更可以理解。



  第二点值得注意的是关于对上述那种思想提高所赢得的内容的批判。这些内容如果只包含一些说上帝是世界的实体,世界的必然本质,或主导并主宰世界的目的因等规定,当然不适合于表达我们所了解或我们所应了解的上帝的性质。但除了可将这种对于上帝的普通观念作为初步假定,并根据这种假定以评判其结果外,则刚才提到的那些规定仍然有很大的价值,而且是上帝的理念中所包含的必然环节。所以,如果我们要想这样用思维去明白认识上帝的真理念而把握其内容的真性质,那么,我们切不可采取较低级的事物为出发点。



  世界中单纯偶然的事物,只是一种异常抽象的规定,不足以作为理解实在的出发点。有机的结构和其互相适应的目的性虽属于较高的、生命的范围。但是除了对有生命的自然和当前事物与目的的种种联系的看法,都由于目的之琐屑不足道,甚或由于对目的和目的与手段的联系的许多幼稚的说法,会玷污了目的论之外,即单就有生命的自然本身来说,事实上还是不足以表达上帝这一理念的真实性质。上帝不仅是生命,他主要是精神。如果思维要想采取一个出发点而且要想采取一个最近的出发点,那么,惟有精神的本性才是思维绝对〔或上帝〕最有价值和最真实的出发点。
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