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Here indeed Mr. Stewart does not call it instinct. But he calls it the internal monitor, which completely answers to the descrip. tion of instinct, and which, if it is not regard to utility, can be nothing else than instinct.
We are persuaded that Mr. Stewart never wilfully misrepresents an opinion from which he dissents ; but he so completely misconceives, in this case, the ground of a most important system of opinions, on a subject which he professes to have profoundly studied, that we cannot help suspecting him of an extraordinary degree of partiality to his own preconceived notions; and that he hardly regards a set of opinions, differing from those which he has espoused, as worthy of a portion of his attention sufficient to enable him to understand them. The great authors who have represented utility as the principle of moral distinctions, bave not founded this conclusion upon the mere discovery that virtues are useful; which is necessary to justify the criticism of Mr. Stewart. They have proceeded on a plan exactly conformable to that which is pointed out by Sir Isaac Newton, as the only true mode of philosophizing. That man pursues happiness, they say, and flies from misery, in other words seeks pleasure, and avoids pain, is a known and acknowledged fact. This fact, they continue, we assert to be completely sufficient to account for all the moral phenomena of human life. We classify these phenomena, and we show that into this fact they all resolve themselves, in the most satisfactory manner. The conclusion is, therefore, established's unless our antagonists shall either show that our principle does pot account for the phenomena, or that there is some other known and acknowledged fact which accounts for them in a more satisfactory manner.
Mr. Stewart completely fails in his attempt to show that the fact to which the appeal is made does not account for the phenomena. And instead of pointing out any known and acknow? ledged fact in human nature which accounts for them better, he supposes an oceult quality, or what is equivalent to an occult quality, an instinct; a blind, unaccountable propensity to approve or disapprove, which has no dependence either upon reason or experience.
Mr. Stewart attempts to prove that the principle of utility will not account for the moral phenomena of human life, by asserting that individuals would err in the application of it. Can Mo. Stewart point out any other principle, in the application of which they are less likely to err? Is that instinct of his, to which we are so fondly referred, a principle of this description? It is the nature of an instinct to be, in each individual, that which it is without any dependence whatsoever on that which
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it may be in any other individual. If instinct be the ground of moral action, it must be so, as much in any one man,' as in any other. If any man, therefore, has an instinct to steal, or to murder (and Dr. Spurzheim affirms that there are many instances of both, some very remarkable ones of which he
produces), it is in these men as decidedly moral, upon the principles of Mr. Stewart, to steal and to murder, as it is, in other men, to abstain from these acts. Mr. Stewart will no doubt affirm that no man can have these instincts; but this will only be to produce what the philosophers of the school to which he belongs appear to have a powerful instinct to produce, that is, his own assertion instead of proof.
* 10% It is very remarkable that of the two philosophers who have to a far greater extent, than any other inquirers, traced the moral phenomena of human life to the principle of utility, Helvetius and our countryman, Mr. Bentham, Mr. Stewart, in his enumeration of the patrons of the system, has made to mention whatsoever. This can hardly bave been ignorance, or 'inadvertence which is a kind of ignorance; and yet there is no other motive to assign, but one too unworthy to be admitted for a moment.
119 POI Midl, 191 These philosophers have very satisfactorily shown, to whatever extent, their philosophy, in other respects, may be wrong ttor we beg it may be well remembered, that throughout the whole of this article we are only exhibiting opinions, advocating none), that the very principle of human nature to which they refer, the pursuit, by each individual, of this own happiness most completely obviates all the dangers which Mr. Stewart holds up, as involving the refutation of the system.***.132S" Borts
As soon as each individual perceives, that the pursuit of his own happiness is so liable to be thwarted by other individuals in the pursuit of theirs, one of the first results to which that very pursuit conducts them, is a general compromise. Allow mes so much uninterrupted scope in the pursuit of my happiness, and d will allow you so much uninterrupted scope in the pursuit of yours. In this very compromise, according to the philosophers above mentioned, will be found the origin of all the more important virtues ; and also of government itself, which is only instituted for the purpose of ensuring by force the more exact performance of some of its most essential conditions. In orbe $ We hope it is unnecessary, here (for we are totally deprivedi of space to introduce the developement), to show in what mannerg upon this foundation, they maintain that a moral voice krises among the people, every man approving of those acts which it is his interest that every other man should perform towards himself
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as one of the community, and disapproving of those which it is his interest they should not perform; praising the one set of acts, blaming the other; loving in some degree the men who perform the onezi hating in some degree the men who perform the other. From this origin it is abundantly plain in what manner one set of acts, and one set of men, come to be established in the mind as objects of approbation and love; another set of acts and another set of men, las objects of disapprobation and hatred, og
p They contend, that it is only necessary to appeal to the fact that the approbation and love, the disapprobation and hatred of his fellow creatures, operate
powerfully upon the mind of man, and constitute one of the most prolific of all his motives of action. We are sure it will not be useless to remind Mr. Stewart, that a great philosopher to whose opinions he is in the habit of paying à singular deference, Dr. Adam Smith, accounts only for the origin of moral distinctions, by this approbation and love, this disapprobation and hatred, without appearing to have any clear conceptions of the source from which they are derived. rw froid
Mr. Stewart supposes, or seems to suppose, that according to the system of utility, the conduct of man would be left to be regulated by no other principle than the private opinion of each individual concerning the expediency of his own actions... To bow shallow a consideration of the subject this reflection is owing, appears from what has just been said, that the doctrine of utility, in this respect, coincides with that of Dr. Smith, to which Mr. Stewart never ascribed any such consequence.ro Every man's private interpretation of the rule of right is restrained by two powerful considerations, the approbation and love, i the disapprobation and hatred, of mankind, which may be called the popular or moral sanction; and the punishments and rewards distributed by government, which may be called the political, including the legal sanction. We challenge Mr Stewart to show that there is any other sanction, if you allow
the right of private judgment in religion, which regulates the private interpretation of the rule of rightqupon any suppositions with respect to the origin of the notions of right and wrong which it is in his power to form ad ile to wgiro sds booled linebanite svoje Wetcake notice of what Mr. Stewart, though he professes to waive the question, as not belonging to his subject, nevertheless advances, in the case of the doctrine of final causes, in laying ar foundation for the truths of religion, because it appears to us that his doctrine places the evidence for the being of a God upon a foundation which cannot fail to alarm in the highest degree the friends of religionod on this subject Mr. Stewart, according to his usual method, rescapes from difficulties by feigning not to perceive them. Dr. Johnson performed a great service to religion, when, in his review of the work of Soame Jenyns, on the origin of evil, he stript off the veil which that author bad attempted to throw over the difficulties of the question, and clearly showed, and boldly avowed, that no author had yet invented a theory which accounted for them. A reviewer at the present day would perform a service no less important to religion, who should strip off the veil which Paley, and others, among whom our present author may be classed, have endeavoured to throw over the difficulties which still adhere to the argument from final causes, and should exhibit clearly and distinctly, the important objections which none of them have answered, and to which the serious attention of theologians is required. On the ground of that theory which Mr. Stewart has adopted, new difficulties, and those of the most formidable nature, arise. For the being of a God, according to this doctrine, we have no ground of assurance whatsoever beyond a blind, and unaccountable instinot; beyond the mechanical impulse of a principle which they expressly avow we have in common with the brutes. We frankly own, that this is a conclusion which we should feel the utmost repugnance to admit. Mr. Stewart appears to us to be, in some degree at least, aware of the terrible consequences of his doctrine, that our belief in the existenee of a God is by no means founded upon reason or experience, when in p. 552, he says, “ In the inferences drawn concerning the invisible things of God, from the things which are made, there is a perception of the understanding implied, for which neither reasoning nor experience is sufficient to account;" and where he expressly says that, without admitting the power of his instinct, this conclusion is inevitable, That it would be perfectly impossible for the Deity, if he did exist, to exhibit to man any satisfactory evidence of design by the order and perfection of his works.” raam
សំបកច។ It thus appears to what extraordinary purposes instinct is applied in the writings of those philosophers. In fact, there is nothing which does not depend upon it. In the first place, our belief in the existence of matter must rest upon instinct; so must our belief in the existence of mind. Our expectation, that the future will resemble the past, rests exclusively upon instinct. It is upon instinet that our belief in testimony depends. It is by instinct solely, that we make all moral distinctions. And, finally, it is to instinct that we must look, for the foundation of our belief in a God. In attempting to erect a barrier against scepticism, they have produced what appears to us to be the most extensive and hopeless system of scepticism that ever was offered to the human mind.
There is a curious circle in which they reason. It still requires to be mentioned. They tacitly infer that instinct is entitled to
our confidence, because it is the work of God, and Mr. Stewart quotes a passage from Adam Smith, in which he says, that in following instinct, "we are very apt to imagine that to be the wisdom of Man, which in reality is the wisdom of God.” Observe their train of inference. Why do we believe in instinct ? Because instinct is derived from God. Why do we believe in God ? Because the belief is derived from instinct.
There is yet another point of view, in which it is requisite to consider the volumes of Mr. Stewart. We must not fail to applaud the style in which they are written. It is elegant without being flowery, and animated without an approach to rant. It is surprising what interest this author contrives to throw over the driest discussions; and how usefully and how admirably calculated his writings are to captivate the youthful mind with a love of his science, and to draw it insensibly into the paths of philosophy and intellectual pursuit. In this point of view, we are acquainted with no writings which we should recommend more strongly to any young persons, in whose intellectual progress we took an interest, than the volumes of Mr. Stewart. The views in which the motives to intellectual exertion are presented are such as cannot fail to operate powerfully upon every liberal mind.
In another important respect, the tone of this philosopher is entitled to peculiar applause. He does not exert himself according to a late deplorable fashion, to narrow the prospects of the human mind, and to damp its ardour in the pursuit of knowledge, by endeavouring to prove the impossibility of ever advancing beyond its present attainments. It is a maxim of Mr. Stewart, with which the temper of his writings perfectly corresponds, that “ To awaken a dormant spirit of discussion, by pointing out the imperfections of accredited systems, is at least one step gained towards the farther advancement of knowledge." And he quotes an important passage, in which he says it is justly and philosophically remarked by Burke, “ that nothing tends more to the corruption of science than to suffer it to stagnate. These waters must be troubled before they can exert their virtues. A man who works beyond the surface of things, though he may be wrong himself, yet he clears the way for others, and may chance to make even his errors subservient to the cause of truth.”* 19 Even the old schoolmen were willing to say,- orong
photos Quod vetus est, juvenes, in religione sequamur :
Quod placet in logica nil vetat esse novum. For “ nourishing the ardour of the man of science, and