The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 6 May 2018 - Page 16

conation, persisting through all the scale of organic life, variously combined with and modified by corresponding degrees of conscious realization”(Brett) Schopenhauer restored the will to modern thought but the whole trend of his analysis Brett argues is toward “the fundamental impulses of animal nature”, although there are moments in his account when Schopenhauer stands where Kant stood. Herbarts influence was to prevail over Schopenhauer’s forlorn attempt to restore Kantian Psychology. Fechner’s interest turned more to physics and aesthetics than mathematics and he actually wrote some valuable works on electricity. But there are also elements of mysticism in Fechner: “lying in bed on the morning of the 22nd of October 1850, he saw the vision of a unified world of thought, spirit and matter linked together by the mystery of numbers. So it was, perhaps, that Pythagoras saw the quality of sound transformed into measurement!” And yet there is something of the spirit of the age in Fechner’s vision. He tries to unite the psychical and the physical and with him Brett argues: “The centre of controversy shifts to the question, How much of the inner life actually enters into this sphere of measurement and quantity.”(Brett) By the time this question was raised, Kant’s voice has been lost and there is only a very faint echo of the answer to this question “Hardly anything at all” This is not to deny that mental states do not have physical equivalents but the key question becomes “Are the limits of our knowledge of this relation confined to correlation?” But correlation between what and what? How can there be a correlation between a principle and that which it is a principle of? This post takes us to the psychology of the 20th century which will be the subject of the next thread.