Primer of Philosophy
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:1/28/2009 - BiblioLife
By: Paul Carus
Excerpt from book: No one has ever seen a feeling, no one has ever found among the objects of the objective world a pleasure, or a pain, or a sensation of any kind. We can only see motions, we hear sounds which are air-vibrations, we observe gestures which being such as we make when we feel pains, or pleasures, or sensations of a certain kind, we infer that the bodies before us have analogous sentiments. Thus we conclude that that which is a feeling in itself appears as a motion to other feeling beings, and vice versa, that which appears to us as a motion is in itself either a feeling or something analogous to feeling. In other words : Our subjective existence appears objective to other subjects, and all objective existence is in itself subjective. DUALITY AND MONISM, While we say that every peculiar form of objectivity must be thought to be ensouled with an analogous subjectivity, we do not share the fantastic notions of the savage who believes that a rock, or a spring, or a planet possesses a soul and can be regarded as a sentient, or even a thinking being. Feelings are the ultimate units of our conscious soul-life, but they need not for that reason be the ultimate atoms or elements of subjective existence. Feelings are most likely very complex processes : and the elements of which a thing consists need not be a miniature of the thing. The parts of a clock are not diminutive clocks. Thus the elements of feeling need as little be actual feelings as the properly human, the characteristic features of man, can be found in the single cells of which a human being consists. Accordingly we say : Subjectivity is that something of existence from which under special conditions feelings originate : and subjectivity is supposed to be a universal feature of existence. It is difficult for us to...