Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World
This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in
the world byJSTOR.
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries.
We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial
Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.istor.org/participate-istor/individuals/early-
JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please
BOOK REVIEWS 101
extremities which thought had engendered. Dr. Hirsch thinks that
the immanent self-criticism of every purely ethical Weltanschauung
has been consummated in Fichte's philosophical development.
The systematic value of this self-criticism is all the greater by virtue
of its having taken place within the sphere of ethical ideahsm. The
refutation of ethical idealism by appealing to the fact of universal
sinfulness, was remote from Fichte, who never acknowledged that
this fact was inevitable. But our author contends that he who
cannot ignore the fact of universal sinfulness must evaluate the
reUgious position which Fichte achieved, as untenable.
Dr. Hirsch has scrutinized Fichte's works in a painstaking manner.
He has gathered the data exhaustively, and much that he says is
illuminating. But — so it seems to this reviewer — ^his critical ap-
proach is faulty. All modern thought inherited an uncriticised
a priori basis of experience; that is, an experience-less basis of
experience. There has been a progressive reduction of this basis
through our modern centuries. We have at length accepted frankly
the task of demonstrating the complete experiential origin of the
a priori element, by whatever name it be called. Now, what of the
traditional a priori element did Fichte retain? What pecuUar form
did it take in his system? What contribution did he make to the
historic transition to an exclusively experiential basis of experience,
and what in this line did he bequeath as task to those who came after
him? These questions indicate the method of treating the subject
from the point of view of modem philosophical criticism. But
Hirsch is a German; and it seems that, whether in philosophical
system or in social structure, the German is definitively committed
to an a priori, that is, an absolute of some kind.
George Bubman Fosteb.
University op Chicago.
The Problem of Knowledge. Douglas Clyde Macintosh, Ph.D.
The Macmillan Co. 1915. Pp. xviii, 503. $2.50.
"The method of idealistic epistemology is like that of the quack
physician; it first administers a drug which makes the patient's
ailment chronic, thus making its own further services permanently
indispensable." Even the idealists will have to admit some plausi-
bility in this charge of Professor Macintosh in his very important
book. For when the idealistic philosopher has introduced the
neophyte into his wonderland, or put him through Alice's looking-
102 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
glass, many problems which were diflScult enough before in the
waking world become insoluble without his guidance. But the
neo-realist is not found very much more satisfactory than the idealist
in his interpretation of Being, and the dualist is lost in hopeless
agnosticism. Critical monism is the term applied by Dr. Macintosh
to his own theory of knowledge, and he makes out a very strong case
The greatest question of epistemology for the last century has
been. What kind of stuif is reality made of, and in what way or ways,
if at all, do we human beings have experience of or acquaintance with
it? Dr. Macintosh begins with the dualism which found its most
famous expounder in Kant. There is the phenomenal world of
things as they appear to our senses, or more strictly the world of our
sensations and ideas, and the noumenal world of things-in-themselves,
the true world of reality which lies back of the appearances. But
there is no point of coincidence between these two worlds, and we
are shut up to the knowledge of the world of our senses and can know
nothing whatever about the ultimate reality. But if this is true,
says our author, then we have no evidence of the existence of things-
in-themselves, and it is dogmatism to assume that there are such
things. One after another he considers the forms of dualism proposed
by a long list of avowed agnostics, and by dualists who did not fully
acknowledge agnosticism but are logically involved in it.
Professor Macintosh holds that the reasonuig which leads to the
Kantian agnosticism might be fairly illustrated in this syllogism:
"What I suppose to be experience of independent reaHty is included
within what I experience. But mere sense-impressions, which I
do not know to be valid of independent reality, are also included
in what I experience. Therefore what I suppose to be experience of
independent reality is mere sense-impression, which I do not know to
be vaKd of independent reality." A slight inspection will reveal
the fallacy of "undistributed middle." This conclusion, however
supported, that we never know "independent reality" in sense-
experience, is, according to the author, the great error in Kant's
About a third of the book is then concerned with the fifty-seven
or more varieties of idealism, or "idea-ism" as it might better be
called to distinguish it from the view held by all moral persons
that there are "ideals" which have valid authority over every per-
sonal life, a doctruie from which these systems of idealistic theories
of knowledge or reality have gained much of their prestige and with
which they have been often confused. " Idealistic absolute epistemo-
BOOK REVIEWS 103
logical monism," the forms of which are now discussed, is defined
as the view that "the real object and the perceived object are, at
the moment of perception, numerically one, and the real object
cannot exist at other moments, independently of any perception."
Some types of ideaUsm, however, identify the real as an abstraction
from the immediately given, rather than the immediate datum of
consciousness. We need not here dwell on the author's brief but
satisfactory discussion of mystical idealism and logical idealism, the
former especially familiar in the philosophy of India and the teach-
ings of Christian mystics and the latter presented by Plato.
The third elemental type of idealism is the psychological — and
from it many of our modern philosophical troubles flow. This is
defined as "the interpretation of the physical object, under the
influence of an erroneous suggestion arising in connection with the
psychological point of view, as being essentially idea, in the psycho-
logical sense of that word, i.e. as being simply a part of consciousness,
a content of conscious life which depends upon consciousness for its
existence." Dr. Macintosh exposes the fallacy of this position by
stating its defence in various forms, one of which, similar to the
argument for dualism, involves the undistributed middle, as follows:
"The unreal objectively is subjective (related to a subject); similarly
all of which one is conscious is subjective (related to a subject);
therefore all of which one is conscious is unreal objectively (mere
idea)." Professor Perry's characterization of the argument as
involving the fallacy of the ego-centric predicament, is approved.
Limitations of space forbid even mention of the many interesting
and popular forms of psychological idealism with which Professor
Macintosh deals at length. As none of them is able to avoid this
initial fallacy or to neutralize it by the addition of other ingenious
fallacies, they must all be considered unsatisfactory. Chapter IX
on "The Disintegration of Idealism" suggests the fate which the
author sees already overtaking this doctrine.
Realism in present epistemology is the view "that the real object
and the perceived object are at the moment of perception numerically
one and that the real object may exist at other moments apart from
perception." The author distinguishes two kinds, dogmatic and
critical. The "new reaUsts" of today defend the former kind, in
which it is held "that 'secondary' or sense-qualities are independent
of relation to a sensing subject," while his own, the "critical" view is
that secondary quaUties are dependent upon relation to the subject for
their existence. A number of the neo-reahsts go from the rejection
of the activity of consciousness in the creation of the secondary
104 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
quaKties of objects, to a rejection of consciousness altogether as
having any real existence, or to the position that it is a relation
between physical objects.
In his own careful and convincing statement of his critical realism.
Dr. Madntosh adds to the primary and secondary qualities dis-
tinguished by Locke, tertiary qualities. Primary qualities of physical
objects he holds to be those discovered through sense-activity
but not produced by it. Secondary qualities are discovered in the
object only because produced and put there by the subject of sense-
activity. Tertiary quaKties (principally values) are placed in
the object not by sense but by purposive though purely psychical
activity of the subject.
In discussing the ways and means of knowing, the author holds
that all cognition is perceptual, although with conceptual elements
active in the perception. He says that our a priori knowledge —
that which led to Kant's duaUsm and the chaos of later idealism —
is all derived from experience either of the individual or the race.
Part II of this great book is taken up with the problem of mediate
knowledge, discussing first the problem of truth (in which intel-
lectuaUsm, anti-intellectualism, pragmatism, and Bergson's intui-
tionism are all carefully examined), and the problem of proof.
Professor Macintosh's theories may be summed up in the term
"critical monism," as he is in epistemology a "critical realistic
monist," in morphology and genetic logic a "critical perceptual
monist" and a "critical empirical monist," in logical theory a
"critical pragmatic monist," and in methodology a "critical empirical
monist." The great attraction about the positions which he takes,
to the average student, will be his consistent clinging as closely
to the common-sense views of reality and experience as it is possible
for a scientist and philosopher to do. For this great service, many
who will never read his book, because they will not study far enough
into the technical subjects which he discusses to be able to appreciate
it, will still owe him a great debt of gratitude, for he has at least
made the enUghtened common-sense view of the world respectable.
No philosopher or student of the technical subjects discussed in
this book can afford to be ignorant of it. The student of theology
and reUgion will be interested at least in its conclusions, from which
we may expect the anticipated companion volume on The Problem
of Religious Knowledge to proceed.
E. AiBEBT Cook.
HowABD University, Washington, D.C.