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It is very rarely that Mr. Darwin fails in courtesy to his opponents; and we were therefore surprised at the tone of the following passage (vol. ii. p. 386):– He who is not content to look, like a savage, at the phenomena of nature as disconnected, cannot any longer believe that man is the work of a separate act of creation. He will be forced to admit the contrary. What justifies Mr. Darwin in his assumption that to suppose the soul of man to have been specially created, is to regard the phenomena of nature as disconnected ?
In connexion with this assumption of superiority on Mr. Darwin's part, we may notice another matter of less importance, but which tends to produce the same effect on the minds of his readers. We allude to the terms of panegyric with which he introduces the names or opinions of every disciple of evolutionism, while writers of equal eminence, who have not adopted Mr. Darwin's views, are quoted, for the most part, without any commendation. Thus we read of our 'great anatomist and philosopher, Prof. Huxley,'—of our great philosopher, Herbert Spencer,'—of the remarkable work of Mr. Galton,'-of the admirable treatises of Sir Charles Lyell and Sir John Lubbock,' —and so on. We do not grudge these gentlemen such honorific mention, which some of them well deserve, but the repetition produces an unpleasant effect; and we venture to question the good taste on Mr. Darwin's part, in thus speaking of the adherents to his own views, when we do not remember, for example, a word of praise bestowed upon Prof. Owen in the numerous quotations which our author has made from his works.
Secondly, as an instance of Mr. Darwin's practice of begging the question at issue, we may quote the following assertion :* Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well developed, or nearly as well developed, as in man' (vol. i. p. 71). This is either a monstrous assumption or a mere truism; it is a truism, for of course, any creature with the intellect of a man would perceive the qualities men's intellect is capable of perceiving, and, amongst them moral worth.
Mr. Darwin, in a passage before quoted (vol. i. p. 86) slips in the whole of absolute morality, by employing the phrase 'appreciation of justice. Again (vol. i. p. 168), when he speaks of aiding the needy, he remarks :-Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.' How noblest ? According to Mr. Darwin, a virtuous instinct is a strong and permanent one. There can be, according to his views, no other elements of quality than intensity and duration. Mr. Darwin, in fact, thus silently and unconsciously introduces the moral element into his social instinct,' and then, of course, has no difficulty in finding in the latter what he had previously put there. This, however, is quite illegitimate, as he makes the social instinct synonymous with the gregariousness of brutes. In such gregariousness, however, there is no moral element, because the mental powers of brutes are not equal to forming reflective, deliberate, representative judgments.
The word “social' is ambiguous, as gregarious animals may metaphorically be called social, and man's social relations may be regarded both beneficentially and morally. Having first used social' in the former sense, it is subsequently applied in the latter; and it is thus that the really moral conception is silently and illegitimately introduced.
We may now sum up our judgment of Mr. Darwin's work on the Descent of Man -of its execution and tendency, of what it fails to accomplish and of what it has successfully attained.
Although the style of the work is, as we have said, fascinating, nevertheless we think that the author is somewhat encumbered with the multitude of his facts, which at times he seems hardly able to group and handle so effectively as might be expected from his special talent. Nor does he appear to have maturely reflected over the data he has so industriously collected. Moreover, we are surprised to find so accurate an observer receiving as facts many statements of a very questionable nature, as we have already pointed out, and frequently on second-hand authority. The reasoning also is inconclusive, the author having allowed himself constantly to be carried away by the warmth and fertility of his imagination. In fact, Mr. Darwin's power of reasoning seems to be in an inverse ratio to his power of observation. He now strangely exaggerates the action of sexual selection,' as previously he exaggerated the effects of the "survival of the fittest.' On the whole, we are convinced that by the present work the cause of natural selection has been rather injured than promoted ; and we confess to a feeling of surprise that the case put before us is not stronger, since we had anticipated the production of far more telling and significant details from Mr. Darwin's biological treasure-house.
A great part of the work may be dismissed as beside the point-as a mere elaborate and profuse statement of the obvious fact, which no one denies, that man is an animal, and has all the essential properties of a highly organised one. Along with this truth, however, we find the assumption
that he is no more than an animal-an assumption which is necessarily implied in Mr. Darwin's distinct assertion that there is no difference of kind, but merely one of degree, between man's mental faculties and those of brutes.
We have endeavoured to show that this is distinctly untrue. We maintain that while there is no need to abandon the received position that man is truly an animal, he is yet the only rational one known to us, and that his rationality constitutes a fundamental distinction-one of kind and not of degree. The estimate we have formed of man's position differs therefore most widely from that of Mr. Darwin.
Mr. Darwin's remarks, before referred to (ante, p. 77), concerning the difference between the instincts of the coccus (or scale insect) and those of the ant--and the bearing of that difference on their zoological position (as both are members of the class insecta) and on that of man-exhibit clearly his misapprehension as to the true significance of man's mental powers.
For in the first place zoological classification is morphological. That is to say it is a classification based upon form and structure —upon the number and shape of the several parts of animals, and not at all upon what those parts do, the consideration of which belongs to physiology. This being the case we not only may, but should, in the field of zoology, neglect all questions of diversities of instinct or mental power, equally with every other power, as is evidenced by the location of the bat and the porpoise in the same class, mammalia, and the parrot and the tortoise in the same larger group, Sauropsida.
Looking, therefore, at man with regard to his bodily structure, we not only may, but should, reckon him as a member of the class mammalia, and even (we believe) consider him as the representative of a mere family of the first order of that class. But all men are not zoologists; and even zoologists must, outside their science, consider man in his totality and not merely from the point of view of anatomy.
If then we are right in our confident assertion that man's mental faculties are different in kind from those of brutes, and if he is, as we maintain, the only rational animal ; then is man, as a whole, to be spoken of by preference from the point of view of his animality, or from the point of view of his rationality ? Surely from the latter, and, if so, we must consider not structure, but action.
Now Mr. Darwin seems to concede* that a difference in kind would justify the placing of man in a distinct kingdom, inasmuch
* •Descent of Man,' vol. i. p. 186.
as he says a difference in degree does not so justify; and we have no hesitation in affirming (with Mr. Darwin) that between the instinctive powers of the coccus and the ant there is but a difference of degree, and that, therefore, they do belong to the same kingdom; but we contend it is quite otherwise with man. Mr. Darwin doubtless admits that all the wonderful actions of ants are mere modifications of instinct. But if it were not so -if the piercing of tunnels beneath rivers, &c., were evidence of their possession of reason, then, far from agreeing with Mr. Darwin, we should say that ants also are rational animals, and that, while considered from the anatomical stand-point they would be insects, from that of their rationality they would rank together with man in a kingdom apart of rational animals.' Really, however, there is no tittle of evidence that ants possess the reflective, self-conscious, deliberate faculty; while the perfection of their instincts is a most powerful argument against the need of attributing a rudiment of rationality to any brute whatever.
We seem then to have Mr. Darwin on our side when we affirm that animals possessed of mental faculties distinct in kind should be placed in a kingdom apart. And man possesses such a distinction.
Is this, however, all that can be said for the dignity of his position ? Is he merely one division of the visible universe coordinate with the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms?
It would be so if he were intelligent and no more. If he could observe the facts of his own existence, investigate the co-existences and successions of phenomena, but all the time remain like the other parts of the visible universe a floating unit in the stream of time, incapable of one act of free self-determination or one voluntary moral aspiration after an ideal of absolute goodness. This, however, is far from being the case, Man is not merely an intellectual animal, but he is also a free moral agent, and, as such—and with the infinite future such freedom opens out before him-differs from all the rest of the visible universe by a distinction so profound that none of those which separate other visible beings is comparable with it. The gulf which lies between his being as a whole, and that of the highest brute, marks off vastly more than a mere kingdom of material beings; and man, so considered, differs far more from an elephant or a gorilla than do these from the dust of the earth on which they tread.
Thus, then, in our judgment the author of the Descent of Man' has utterly failed in the only part of his work which is really important. Mr. Darwin's errors are mainly due to a
radically false metaphysical system in which he seems (like so many other physicists) to have become entangled. Without a sound philosophical basis, however, no satisfactory scientific superstructure can ever be reared ; and if Mr. Darwin's failure should lead to an increase of philosophic culture on the part of physicists, we may therein find some consolation for the injurious effects which his work is likely to produce on too many of our half-educated classes. We sincerely trust Mr. Darwin may yet live to furnish us with another work, which, while enriching physical science, shall not, with needless opposition, set at naught the first principles of both philosophy and religion.
Art. III.-1. Das Reichsgesetzblatt. Wien. 2. Oesterreich und die Bürgschaften seines Bestandes. Von Dr.
Adolph Fischhof. Wien, 1870. 3. Federation oder Realunion. Von Dr. W. Lustkaudl. Wien,
1870. 4. Des Oesterreichers Grundrechte und Verfassung. Wien, 1868. 5. Oesterreich seit dem Falle Belcredi's. «Unsere Zeit.' Vol. V.
Nos. 2, 4, 9, 12, 15.
good deal has been written lately about New America Englishmen anything like a detailed description of New Austria. And yet it would be difficult to point to any country in the course of the world's history which, in the short space of four years, has so completely cast away old traditions and assumed a new political and social character, as this old home of despotism, the last depositary of the traditions of the Holy Roman Empire.
Peace politicians may say that a war always does more harm than good to the nations which engage in it. Perhaps it always does, at any rate, morally speaking, to the victors: but that it does not to the vanquished, Austria stands as a living evidence. Finally excluded from Italy and Germany by the campaign of 1866, she has cast aside her dreams of foreign domination, and has set herself manfully to the task of making a nation out of the various conflicting nationalities over which she presides. It does not require much insight to perceive that as long as she held her position in Germany this fusion was hopeless. The overwhelming preponderance of the German element made any approach to a reciprocity of interests impossible. The Germans always were regarded as sovereigns, the remaining nationalities as subjects; it was for these to command, for those to obey. In