The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer; Being an Examination of the First Principles of His System

9781154137682: The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer; Being an Examination of the First Principles of His System
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1874. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY. T 7E come now to the most difficult problem » which evolution has to solve. In the lower field of life we seem still to be dealing with matter and force in space relations, and the evolutionists' argument has a superficial plausibility. But when we rise to the mental plane we meet with a new set of objects, with sensations, with emotions, and with thoughts, in all of which we detect no space relations and no mechanical measures. An impassable gulf seems to separate the world of mind from the world of matter. If there be any mechanical connection it is an occult one, and the reality of the fact must be made plain before we can yield our assent. For, not to mention the difficulty of evolving thought and feeling from the clashing of inert atoms, before this doctrine can be proved, the validity of logical laws and the trustworthiness of all our mental processes must be established. Otherwise, the results reached by reasoning will be untrustworthy, and all science and evolution must disappear together. I expect to find, upon a psychological examination, that the metaphysical data of all reasoning transcend the teaching of experience. In that case the evolutionist can take his choice: either he can admit their validity, which will prove fatal to his system, or he can deny it, which will be intellectual suicide. In examining the testimony, let us bear in mind the points which must be proved: first, that the physical forces and sensation correlate; second, that thought is only transformed sensation; third, that the intuitions of reason, while valid for all space and time, are the product of experience; and, fourth, that the soul has no self-determining power. If any of these points cannot be made out, the theory breaks ...

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