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intermediate between sense and reason, and adapted to distinguish unity in variety, concord in the manifold, the true, the beautiful and the good in their substantial identity. Hutcheson maintains that from this sense springs the pleasure we take in art, in imitation and in the likeness between copy and original : the last a relative, as distinct from an absolute, beauty." This view on the whole predominated in England during the eighteenth century and was adopted by Adam Smith as well as by Reid, head of the Scottish school. Much more thoroughly and with much greater philo-Leibniz. Sophical vigour Leibniz opened the door to that crowd łown. of psychic facts from which Cartesianism recoiled in and confused horror. In his conception of the real, governed by the * law of continuity (natura non facit saltus), presenting an uninterrupted scale of existence from the lowest beings to God, imagination, taste, wit and the like found ample room for shelter. The facts now called aesthetic were identified by Leibniz with Descartes' confused cognition, which might be clear without being distinct : scholastic terms borrowed, it would appear, from Duns Scotus, whose works were reprinted and widely read in the seventeenth century.” In his De cognitione, veritate et ideis (1684), after dividing cognitio into obscura vel clara, the clara into confusa vel distincta, and the distincta into adaequata vel inadaequata, Leibniz remarks that while painters and other artists are able to judge works of art very fairly they can give no reason for their decisions, and if questioned as to the reason of their condemnation of any work of art, they reply it lacks a je ne sais quoi : (“at iudicii sui rationem reddere saepe non posse, et quaerenti dicere, se in re, quae displicet, desiderare nescio quid '').” They do possess, in fact, clear cognition, but confused and not distinct ; what we should call to-day imaginative, not ratiocinative, ‘consciousness: and indeed the latter does not exist in the case of art. There are things impossible to define :
* Enquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, London, I723. * See above, p. 179. * Opera philosophica (ed. Erdmann), p. 78.
on ne les fait connaitre que par des exemples, et, au reste, il faut dire que c'est un je ne sais quoi, jusqu'à ce qu'om en déchiffre la contexture.” But these perceptions confuses ou sentiments have “plus grande efficacité que l’on ne pense : ce sont elles qui forment ce je ne sais quoi, ces goûts, ces images des qualités des sens.”” Whence it appears plainly that in his discussion of these perceptions Leibniz reposes upon the aesthetic theories we discussed in the preceding chapter; indeed at one point * he mentions Bouhours' book. It might seem that by according claritas and denying distinctio to aesthetic facts Leibniz recognized that their peculiar character is neither sensuous nor intellectual. He might seem to have distinguished them by their “claritas ” from pleasure or sense-motions, and from intellect by their lack of “distinctio.” But the “lex continui '' and the Leibnitian intellectualism forbid this interpretation. In this case obscurity and clarity are quantitative degrees of one single consciousness, distinct or intellectual, towards which both converge and with which in the extreme case they unite. To admit that artists judge with confused perceptions, clear but not distinct, does not involve denying that these perceptions may be capable of being connected and verified by intellectual consciousness. The self-same object that is confusedly though clearly recognized by imagination is recognized clearly and distinctly by the intellect ; which amounts to saying that a work of art may be perfected by being determined by thought. In the very terminology adopted by Leibniz, who represents sense and imagination as obscure and confused, there is a tinge of contempt, as well as the suggestion of a single form of all cognition. This will help us to understand Leibniz' definition of music as “exercitium arithmeticae occultum mescientis se numerare animi.” Elsewhere he says: “Le but principal de l'histoire, aussi bien que de la poésie, doit étre d'enseigner la prudence et la vertu par des
Intellectualism of Leibniz.
* Nouveaux Essais, ii. ch. 22. * Ibid. preface. * Op. cit. ii. ch. II.
exemples, et puis de montrer le vice d'une manière qui en
speculations on language greatly in vogue at the time.
* Essais de Théodicée, part. ii. § 148.
* Francisci Sanctii, Minerva seu de causis linguae latinae commentarius, 1587 (ed. with add. by Gaspare Scioppio, Padua, 1663); cf. bk. i. chs. 2, 9, and bk. iv.
* Gasperis Sciopii, Grammatica philosophica, Milan, 1628 (Venice, 1728).
Speculation on language.
must not be forgotten ; he wrote a commentary on Sanchez' book (1687). Amongst recognized philosophers who studied the philosophy of grammar and noted the merits and defects of various tongues, we find Bacon." In 1660 Claude Lancelot and Arnauld brought out the Grammaire générale et raisonnée de Port-Royal, a work applying the intellectualism of Descartes rigorously to grammatical forms, and dominated by the doctrine of the artificial nature of language. Locke and Leibniz both speculated about language,” but neither succeeded in creating a fresh point of view, although the latter did much to provoke inquiry into the historical origin of languages. All his life Leibniz cherished the notion of a universal language and of an “ars characteristica universalis '' as a combination likely to result in great scientific discoveries: prior to him, Wilkins had fostered the same hope, nor indeed, in spite of its utter absurdity, is it even yet wholly extinct. In order to correct the aesthetic ideas of Leibniz it was necessary to alter the very foundations of his system, the Cartesianism upon which it rested. This could not be undertaken by disciples of his own personal school, in whom we notice rather an increase of intellectualism. Giving scholastic form to the brilliant observations of the master, Johann Christian Wolff's system began with the theory of knowledge conceived as an “organon ’’ or instrument, followed by systems of natural law, ethics and politics, together constituting the “organon " of practical activity: the remainder was theology and metaphysics, or pneumatology and physics (doctrine of the soul and doctrine of phenomenal nature). Although Wolff distinguishes a productive imagination, ruled by the principle of sufficient reason, from the merely associative and chaotic,” yet a science of imagination considered as a new theoretical value could find no niche in his schematism. Knowledge of a lower order, as such, belonged to Pneumatology and was incapable of possessing its own “organon”: at most it could be brought under the organon already existing, which corrected and transcended it by means of logical knowledge in the same way in which Ethics treats the “facultas appetitiva inferior.” As in France the poetics of Boileau corresponded with the philosophy of Descartes, so in Germany the rationalistic poetics of Gottsched" reflect the Cartesian-Leibnitian theories of Wolff (1729). It was no doubt dimly seen that even in the inferior faculties some distinction was operative between perfect and imperfect, value and non-value. A passage in a book (1725) by the Leibnitian Bülffinger has often been quoted where he says: “Vellem existerent qui circa facultatem sentiendi, imaginandi, attendendi, abstrahendi et memoriam praestarent quod bonus ille Aristoteles, adeo hodie omnibus sordens, praestitit circa intellectum : hoc est ut in artis formam redigerent quicquid ad illas in suo usu dirigendas et invandas pertinet et conducit, quem ad modum Aristoteles in Organo logicam sive facultatem demonstrandi redegit in ordinem.”” But on reading the extract in its context one recognizes at once that the desired organon would have been merely a series of recipes for strengthening the memory, educating the attention, and so forth : a technique, in a word, not an aesthetic. Similar ideas had been spread in Italy by Trevisano (1708), who, by declaring that the senses might be educated through the mind, asserted the possibility of an art of feeling which should “endow manners with prudence and judgement with good taste.” ” We notice, moreover, that in his day Bülffinger was counted a depreciator of poetry, so much so that a tract against him was written in order to show that “poetry does not diminish the faculty of clear conception.” “ Bodmer and Breitinger were ready “to
J. C. Wolff.
* De dignitate, etc., bk. vi. ch. I.
1 Joh. Chr. Gottsched, Versuch einer critischen Dichtkunst, Leipzig, I729. * Dilucidationes philosophicae de Deo, anima humana et mundo, 1725 (Tübingen, 1768), § 268. * Preface to Rifless. sul gusto, ed. cit. p. 75. * Borinski, Poetik d. Renaiss. p. 38o note.
Demand for an organon of inferior knowledge.