VII.—NEW BOOKS

R. A. C. MACMILLAN
1911 Mind  
NBW BOOKS. drawing from the colonies those wants [tic] which it will either nse itself or again export. And in general, whenever a decision must be madebetween foreigners and the colonists, the State will seek to secure the advantage of the Utter "-sentences which connect themselves with certain problems of the present time. Prof. Wenley has equipped himself for his work by extensive reading, and shows painstaking thoroughness in his treatment of Kant's biographical and literary history. If I
more » ... ary history. If I remember rightly, Paulsen rejected the evidence in favour of Kant's Scottish parentage. Dr. Wenley hesitates to believe that Hans Kandt, grandfather of the philosopher, was a Soot, but is quite prepared to find that Richard. Han's father, was one of the numerous Scottish emigrants who settled in East Prussia. It is a merit in this book that so much attention has been devoted to Kant's scientific studies, which are not so well known to the general reader. No one can be a constructive, systematic philosopher without a competent knowledge of Science ; and if we are sometimes inclined to think that Kant is beating the air with meaningless language, it is good to recall his scientific achievements. But, as Dr. Wenley remarks, the philosophical interest was present to Kant throughout, the limits being hardly defined between Soienoe and Philosophy in his time. Instructed in the doctrines of Rationalism, he was fortunate in having for a master Martin Knutzen, who showed himself capable of being a critic as well as a professed disciple of Wolff. Kant was thus initiated into the real world of Newton, and by his own speculative insight outstripped him in the application of his principles. In his great book, the Natural History and Theory of the Heaven*, he explains the origin of the entire universe, and not simply the solar system, on mechanical principles. Dr. Wenley enters with some minuteness into the historical setting of Kant's scientific work. But his style is unhappy, and when he comes to the doctrinal part it becomes still harder to be appreciative. I should not " let the cat out of the tag " in a serious book. But apart from style, there is no real attempt at sympathetic understanding of the author's meaning. I have read the great part of the work twice over to ensure a fair judgment, and though I have read many important books on Kant, I confess that I can hardly understand what Dr. Wenley has written. Were it not for the thoroughness he has shown in preparation, one would be forced to say that he is guilty of mental flippancy. He seems to have stood in his own way by taking too seriously the analytical form of Kant's exposition. Surely it is not correct to say that, in the Analytic, Kant assumes "that sense supplies definite objects which, in turn, understanding rationalises into groups". In a note to the first edition Kant explicitly claims superiority over former psychologists, because they believed that sense in its reoaptivity was able to unify impressions into objects (Hartenstein, iii., p. 679, Nachtrdge aus der ertten Autyabe). Again, it is true that in the Principles of Pure Understanding, Kant "presents the inexpugnable unity of mind and sense," but I do not see how " the tortuous processes of the Schematism . . . become Huperfluous " (p. 194). We have only to remember that the proof in the Analogies turns wholly upon time, the all-important space-factor being only covertly acknowledged, and also that the schemata, in Kant's own words, Are all of them " in someway relative to time " (Watson, p. 90).
doi:10.1093/mind/xx.80.584 fatcat:rduidhn6anexboo5vkf4zuyzfi