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Kant's "Copernican revolution" in philosophy and the romantic "revolution" in English literature. Forst, Graham Nicol 1970

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KANT'S "COPERNICAN REVOLUTION" IN PHILOSOPHY AND THE ROMANTIC"REVOLUTION*IN ENGLISH LITERATURE by GRAHAM NICOL FORST B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1962 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS DOCTOR OF PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF PHILOSOPHY in the.Department of Engli sh We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1970 In presenting th is thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f r ee l y ava i lab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thesis fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date £?V I, / j?4 S u p e r v i s o r : Dr. V i c t o r Hopwood "KANT'S 'COPERNICAN REVOLUTION' IN PHILOSOPHY AND THE ROMANTIC 'REVOLUTION' IN ENGLISH LITERATURE" ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s study i s to provide p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n s i g h t i n t o the goals and achievement of the E n g l i s h Romantic poets by i l l u s - t r a t i n g the r e l a t i o n between t h e i r understanding o f the mind as generative of experience and the concepts of human freedom and c r e a t i v i t y f o r m a l l y deduced by Kant i n h i s Transcendental Idealism. . P r i m a r i l y , t h i s r e l a t i o n i s defined i n terms o f Kant's c l a i m i n the C r i t i q u e o f Judgment that the a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n "mediates between" or " r e c o n c i l e s " the p o l a r i z e d realms of man and nature. But because the C r i t i q u e o f Judgment has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y accepted as a mere af t e r t h o u g h t f o r Kant, the f o r c e of t h i s c l a i m has been g r e a t l y underestimated. As a consequence, the f u l l extent of the r e l a t i o n be- tween Kantian and Romantic thought has not been ap p r e c i a t e d . T h e r e f o r e , I have introduced t h i s study with a general survey of Kant's " C r i t i c a l " t e a c h i n g , designed p r i m a r i l y to examine the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f Kant's c l a i m f o r the a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n , while a t the same time o u t l i n i n g the p h i l o s o p h i c a l background a g a i n s t which my main t h e s i s i s to be developed. S p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n i s paid here to those aspects o f Kant's system which most c l e a r l y d e f i n e the terms of h i s own break from the dogmatic p h i l o s - ophies of h i s eighteenth-century predecessors, and which appear to r e l a t e most c l o s e l y to Romantic thought: the deduction of the Productive Imagination and the consequent r e f u t a t i o n of a s s o c i a t i o n i s m ; the i i necessity to d i s t i n g u i s h between Verstand (Understanding) and Vernunft (Reason); the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of man as s e l f - l e g i s l a t i n g in the moral sphere, and the discussion of the o r i g i n and v i t a l function of the sense of beauty and a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y . In the second and more important part of t h i s study, much of what i s demanded in Kant by the sheer necessity of philosophical thought i s shown to be present in English Romantic poetry as achievement and act. F i r s t , I demonstrate that the English Romantics were engaged in the same kind of inward-turning quest f o r certainty and permanence which led Kant to r e j e c t the dogmatic rationalism of the Enlightenment in favour of the "revolutionary" thesis that c r i t e r i a of truth, goodness, and beauty are grounded not in "outward forms," but in the forms of human consciousness themselves. Second, I show how th i s reversal of the terms of naive empiricism leads the Romantics" into the same dualism of f a c t and value which emerges from Kant's c r i t i c a l investigation of human reason. Third, I show how the Romantics, l i k e Kant, regarded t h i s dualism as overcome in the aesthetic sphere, through the sensually " l i b e r a t i n g " agency of beauty in a r t , and beauty or sublimity in nature. In t h i s section my concern i s not so much with the actual presence in Romantic l i t e r a t u r e of Kantian or Kant-like ideas, as with describing how Transcendentalist concepts "became co n s t i t u t i v e " of Romantic poetry in terms of myth and symbol, and why such ideas were necessary f o r the "release" of poetry from eighteenth-century concepts. Thus, by respecting throughout the difference both in purpose and means between poetry and philosophy, Kant's theories and Romantic practise reveal themselves as complementary rather than a n t i t h e t i c modes of response to the s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l climate they shared. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION . . 1 PART ONE: KANT'S "COPERNICAN REVOLUTION" Chapter . I. THE BACKGROUND OF THE REVOLUTION 11 II. THE TRANSFORMATIONAL NATURE OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ... 15 The "Transcendental Aesthetic" ..... 17 The "Transcendental Analytic" 20 The "Transcendental D i a l e c t i c " 26 III. REASON IN PRACTISE: KANT'S ETHICAL SYSTEM 33 IV. THE CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT: ART AS MEDIATOR BETWEEN SENSE AND MORAL IDEAS Beauty as a "Necessary Condition of Human Being" . . 40 The "Four Moments" of the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment" 43 The Feeling of the Sublime 48 Genius 52 Beauty as a Symbol of the Morally Good 56 PART TWO: KANT'S "COPERNICAN REVOLUTION" AND ENGLISH ROMANTICISM V. KANT'S "TRANSCENDENTAL" METHOD AND THE QUEST FOR PERMANENCE IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT 62 VI. SENSATIONALISM IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT "One-Fold Vision" 71 Beyond Space and Time 83 iv Chapter VII. THE VERSTAND, THE VERNUNFT, AND THE BOUNDS OF INTELLECT IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT 91 The "False Secondary Power" 93 The Vernunft and the Status of the Metaphysical Ideas in Romantic Thought 103 VIII. FROM "PRACTICAL REASON" TO THE ETHICS OF LOVE 120 IX. THE CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT AND ROMANTIC POETICS . Function: Art as Mediator Between Man and Nature 139 Effect: "Liberating the Sensuous" 149 ".Immediate Pleasure" 151 Beauty, Sublimity, and the "Free Play" of the Faculties 165 Source: The Genesis of A r t i s t i c C r e a t i v i t y LawfulIness Without Law 184 Kant's Einbildungsk'raft and the Romantic "Imagination" 192 SELECTED LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 213 v INTRODUCTION Many eminent c r i t i c s and historians have regarded German Idealism and English Romanticism as presenting similar kinds of responses to the dogmatic rationalism of the Enlightenment. A.C. Bradley, for example, often spoke of these movements as sharing a "community of s p i r i t , " ^ and he saw the poetry of Wordsworth as an imaginative expression of the same mind which, in his day, produced in Germany great philosophies. His poetic experience, his i n t u i t i o n s , his single thoughts, even his large views, correspond in a s t r i k i n g way, sometimes in a s t a r t l i n g way, with ideas methodically developed'by Kant, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer.2 Si m i l a r l y , G.A. Borgese described Kant's revolutionary insights as "the most authoritative signposts on the road to the real synthesis and re- h a b i l i t a t i o n of romanticism,"3 and Samuel Monk, in his c l a s s i c book on The Sublime, takes Kant's philosophy and the art of the Romantics as "symptoms of a changed point of view" and holds that there i s a general s i m i l a r i t y between the point of view of the Critique  of Judgment and the Prelude; and that the Prelude d i f f e r s from the Essay  on Man in a manner vaguely analogous to the way in which the Critique of  Pure Reason d i f f e r s from An_ Essay on Human Understanding.4 ^"English Poetry and German Philosophy in the Age of Wordsworth," in A Miscellany (London, 1931), 107. ^Oxford Lectures on Poetry (London, 1914), 129-30. 3"Romanticism," Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York, 1937). 4Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1960, 5. 1 2 And John Crowe Ransom writes that When we plunge into the f i r s t - r a t e sequence of poets which includes Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, we at once gather the impression that they are purposeful, dedicated, even programmatic, to a degree hardly equalled by another set of individual poets l i v i n g in a single age. They had a common preoccupation with a certain understanding of poetry, and they had got i t partly from the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s , but more and more i t tended to go back to Kant, or to those c r i t i c s who had assimilated t h e i r own view to Kant's.^ But in spite of the uni v e r s a l i t y of this b e l i e f in an i n t e l l e c t u a l kinship between Kant and the Romantics, or between Transcendental Idealism and Romanticism generally, surprisingly l i t t l e scholarly e f f o r t has been expended in probing into the nature and extent of this r e l a t i o n - ship. Undoubtedly, part of the problem l i e s in the famous o b l i q u i t y of Kant's s t y l e , which makes his ideas available only to the most resolute and patient readers: even Schopenhauer was known to have lamented over Kant's "symmetrical architectronic amusements." Also, the old dispute between Socrates and Ion survives, s p l i t t i n g teachers of philosophy from those of l i t e r a t u r e i n the senseless haggle over who holds the patent on "Truth." And now we have that bete noire of modern education, academic s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , a l l but stopping communication between the various d i s c i p l i n e s in the modern university, causing i t to resemble, in Theodore Roszak's words, "nothing so much as that highly refined, all-purpose brothel Jean Genet describes in his play The Balcony. The Concrete Universal: Observations on the Understanding of Poetry," in Poems and Essays (New York, 1955), 161. c Cited by J.H. Bernard, in the Introduction to his translation of Kant's Critique of Judgment (New York, 1951), xiv. This edition cited hereafter as C_ of_ J_. 7The Dissenting Academy (New York, 1967), 12. 3 But in spite of the narrowly sectarian attitudes which character- ize modern scholarship in the humanities, there i s a great deal to be gained in placing philosophy and l i t e r a t u r e side by side as we seek understanding of the nature of man's response to his environment. For the world of the poet and the philosopher are not of gold and of brass (placed in either order)--or even iron--but of f e r equally valuable and equally comprehensive modes of interpreting the difference between appearance and r e a l i t y ; what has been and i s , and what might be and ought to be; of f i x i n g the l i m i t s of possible insight, or of determining the meaning or f i n a l cause of human existence. As L e s l i e Stephen said; The l o f t i e s t poet and the l o f t i e s t philosopher deal with the same subject-matter, the great problems of the world and human l i f e , though one pres-ents the symbolism and the other unravels the l o g i c a l connection of the abstract conceptions.8 In other words, much of what can be c a l l e d "true" of our experience can be cast and communicated in propositions. But these are not the "truths" which are communicated through the "non-discursive forms" of ar t , forms which express "things inaccessible to language" and whose recognition "broadens our epistemology to the point of including not only the semantics of science, but a serious philosophy of a r t . " 9 ^Hours in a Library, as cited by John Muirhead, Coleridge as  Philosopher "[London, 1930), 256. Hereafter referred to as Muirhead. 9Suzanne Langer, Philosophy in a New Key (New York, 1958), 224. Compare Eliseo Vivas: "If i t i s true that art both discovers and creates informed substance, theories of meaning based on the analysis of signs as these function in ordinary discourse and in the language of science are incapable of doing j u s t i c e to the manner in which the a r t i s t i c symbol reveals that which the a r t i s t has to say ..." (Creation and Discovery [Chicago, 1955], x v i i i ) . 4 The idea that poetry and philosophy present not opposing but complementary modes of response to experience has special import for the rel a t i o n between Transcendental Idealism and English Romanticism. For while the same forces were at work in both Germany and England, they received a far more conscious direction in Germany, where there was "an effluence of philosophical genius as unmistakable and almost as profuse as the effluence of imagination here." 1 0 But in England, the movement developed i n s t i n c t i v e l y and spontaneously, a circumstance which has no bearing, of course, on the standards of Romantic a r t , but which does require us to look beyond England in order to discover the philosophical foundations of i t s assumptions.^ But at the same time, Romanticism complements the Transcendental philosophy by presenting as achievement and act what i s demanded in the l a t t e r by the necessity of philosophical thought. 1 2 Whereas both Kant I UA.C. Bradley, "English Poetry and German Philosophy . . . ," 109. ^Bradley attributes this situation to "a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the English or Anglo-Saxon mind": "When the English mind i s in flood and approaching or reaching i t s high-tide ... i t breaks into poetry; and i t s greatest poetry appears at such times. But i t s most famous philoso-phy does not. Locke and Berkeley and Hume appear when the tide i s on the ebb, or the temperature a t r i f l e subnormal, and when the poetry shows less of creative power and l y r i c a l passion and comes somewhat nearer to prose. . . . The matter, the ideas, of these philosophers do not s t r i k e us as corresponding with those pictures of the world that are painted by our most imaginative poets" ( i b i d . , 111-12). Less venturous about indulg-ing in such stereotypes, L e s l i e Stephen wrote that "We are not s u f f i c i e n t l y acquainted with the laws which regulate the appearance of unique genius to say why Kant should not have been an Englishman" (History of English  Thought in the Eighteenth Century [New York, 1962], I, 50). As Max Deutschbein says in Das Wesen des Romantischen, "The German and English Romantics are perfect counterparts: the Germans are primarily th e o r e t i c a l , while the English brought these t h e o r e t i c a l l y established principles to f r u i t i o n in th e i r poetry" (Cothen, 1921, v i i ; my trans.). Margaret Sherwood makes the same point when she says that "England, lacking, as usual, a philosophy, had, as usual, a conduct, and the forces 5 and the Romantics were "mental t r a v e l l e r s , " inspired partly by Rousseau and partly by the strength of th e i r own convictions to "deny knowledge" 13 and "make room for f a i t h , " Kant was obliged by the very premises and method of his Transcendental^ 4 philosophy to l i m i t himself to demon- strating the p o s s i b i l i t y of moral, aesthetic and " r e l i g i o u s " experiences, while the Romantics c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y probed beyond theory to get at the experience i t s e l f , and to present i t concretely to sense in a system of symbols. But perhaps the most important reason for studying English Romanticism against the background of Transcendental Idealism i s the fact that Kant's C r i t i c a l philosophy places such an extremely strong emphasis on the role of the creative a r t i s t . For in Kant's scheme, the aesthetic dimension, which i s defined by the "free play" of Imagination and Understanding, contains prin c i p l e s v a l i d for the realms of both fact and value, or sensuousness and morality; those "two worlds" of conscious- ness which became separated in the process of f i x i n g the l i m i t s of becoming apparent in Germany in ideas, conceptions, manifested themselves here in imaginative 1iterature,--al1 the richer, perhaps, because the c r i t i c a l sense halted behind the creative" (Undercurrents of Influence  in English Romantic Poetry [Cambridge, Mass, 1934J, 22). See also the a r t i c l e by D.G. James, "Kant's Influence on Wordsworth and Coleridge," in The Listener, XLIV (August 31, 1950), 311-12. JImmanuel Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York, 1 9 t f ) , 29. Hereafter referred to as C_ of PR. 14 I follow Kant's own d i s t i n c t i o n in my use of the d i s t i n c t i o n between "Transcendental" and "transcendent," the former sign i f y i n g that which is a precondition of experience, and the l a t t e r , that which tran-scends experience. See C_ of P_R, 59. (Coleridge also made this d i s t i n c -tion: see below, p. 64). The word "Transcendental" has been cap i t a l i z e d throughout, to mark this special use, as has the word " C r i t i c a l , " when i t i s used in Kant's sense, as a synonym for Transcendental ( i . e . , as deriving from "Cr i t i q u e " ) . 6 discursive knowledge, or, in Romantic terms, of the " f a l l " into the aware- ness of Self. And in "mediating" between these "two worlds," the aesthetic function emerges in Kant "not merely as a t h i r d dimension and faculty of the mind, but as i t s center, the medium through which nature becomes susceptible to freedom, necessity to autonomy."^ Such, I believe, i s the foundation on which the Romantics, either knowingly or unknowingly, based t h e i r understanding of the material and function of poetry, a foundation which provides Transcendental sanctions f o r a l l but thei r most extreme claims for the power of creative Imagination. Kant's aesthetic i s not commonly regarded as having any exceptional a f f i n i t i e s with Romantic poetics, much less as providing grounds f o r c a l l i n g Kant "the most radical and ultimate spokesman for poetry that we have had" (Ransom, op. c i t . , 169). For the most part, this indifference towards the Critique of Judgment i s due to the tendency to regard the work merely as part of Kant's architectonic, or worse, as merely an afterthought f o r Kant; an attitude which does not do f u l l j u s t i c e to the great scope and o r i g i n a l i t y of the work, and which t o t a l l y disregards Kant's own statement that i t s i g n i f i e s the culmination of his "whole c r i t i c a l endeavour," and provides "a means of combining the two parts of philosophy into a whole" (C_ of J_, 8, 12). Consequently, the f i r s t part of this study i s given over to a br i e f exegesis of Kant's C r i t i c a l philosophy, directed s p e c i f i c a l l y towards establishing the ^Herbert Marcuse, Eros and C i v i l i z a t i o n (New York, 1961), 159. 7 c e n t r a l i t y of his aesthetic theory. Here, although I am greatly indebted to Norman Kemp Smith's masterly Commentary to Kant's'Critique of Pure Reason'16 i n a v e avoided coming into competition with Kant's many great commentators by selecting only such trends and insights of the three cr i t i q u e s as have a p a r t i c u l a r bearing on Romantic thought. Consequently, Kant's l a s t c r i t i q u e , which contains his aesthetic theory, receives more emphasis than the f i r s t two c r i t i q u e s combined; his moral philosophy is given only a b r i e f summary, and my exegesis of the Critique of Pure Reason centers mainly on Kant's " p o s i t i v e " ^ teaching, on his reasons for distinguishing between Verstand and Vernunft, and on his Transcen- dental deduction of the "Productive Imagination."^ Also, although Kant's philosophy breaks with both the Rati o n a l i s t and the Empiricist t r a d i t i o n s , I have focussed on his relationship with 162nd ed., rev. and enlarg., New York, 1962. Hereafter cited as "Commentary." 17|<emp Smith's term, used in reference to those aspects of Kant's teaching which point beyond the purely "destructive" doctrines of the Critique of Pure Reason. See Commentary I v - l x i . 18However naive i t seems in terms of modern psychology to speak of the mind as broken up into hypostatic " f a c u l t i e s , " Kant, l i k e Coleridge and Wordsworth, i s primarily concerned with function and process rather than assigning p r i n c i p l e s to the f a c u l t i e s . For them, these d i s t i n c t i o n s are means to an end--as Coleridge says: "The o f f i c e of philosophical d i s q u i s i t i o n consists in ju s t d i s t i n c t i o n ; while i t i s the priviledge of the philosopher to preserve himself constantly aware, that d i s t i n c t i o n is not d i v i s i o n . In order to obtain adequate notions of any truth, we must i n t e l l e c t u a l l y separate i t s distinguishable parts; and this i s the technical process of philosophy. But having so done, we must then re-store them in our conceptions to the unity, in which they actually co-exist; and this is the result of philosophy" (Biographia L i t e r a r i a , ed. John Shawcross [London, 1965], II, 8. Hereafter c i t e d as BL). Tn the pages that follow, I have ca p i t a l i z e d the words "Reason," "Understand-ing," and "Imagination," when s p e c i f i c reference i s intended to the faculty psychology of the philosopher and the various poets. S i m i l a r l y , the words "Idea," and "Ideal" are c a p i t a l i z e d to mark the special sense in which Kant used them. 8 Hume rather than with Leibniz, since his argument with the former i s more relevant to his r e l a t i o n with the Romantics than his refutation of the l a t t e r . The second, and main part of t h i s study, i s an attempt to show that the same revolutionary attitudes towards the nature of space and time, the bounds of discursive i n t e l l i g e n c e , the source and import of moral and aesthetic values, the function of art and the a r t i s t , and so 19 on--are also operative in English Romantic poetry, and in f a c t define the philosophical context of th e i r own break from eighteenth-century concepts. Here,,I have followed a procedural suggestion made by wellek and Warren in th e i r Theory of Literature. In approaching l i t e r a t u r e through philosophy, they write: Instead of speculating on such large-scale problems of the philosophy of history and the ultimate integral of c i v i l i z a t i o n , the l i t e r a r y student should turn his attention to the concrete problem not yet solved or even adequately discussed: the question of how ideas actually enter into l i t e r a t u r e . u This suggestion can be c l a r i f i e d by means of an analogy drawn from post- Kantian physics. Kant's ideas were necessary for the l i b e r a t i o n of art from repressive eighteenth-century concepts. But once the stream of Although reference i s made to the poetry and prose of Blake, Shelley, Keats and Byron, I have focussed primarily on the work of Coleridge and Wordsworth, partly because of the basic s i m i l a r i t i e s be-tween the terms of their faculty psychology and those of Kant's, and partly to impose some reasonable limitations on the scope of the work. Also, l i t t l e reference is made to post-Kantian Idealism, with the excep-tion of S c h i l l e r ' s l e t t e r s On the Aesthetic Education of Man, which I regard as a lo g i c a l development of Kant's own theory of art and beauty, and as extremely relevant to the directions which Transcendentalist notions took in Romantic thought. New York, 1956, 111-12. 9 Transcendentalist concepts began to flow in the arts, they became l i k e a stream of p a r t i c l e s already having great energy entering a cyclotron. Each time round they became accelerated, and went through an evolution in character with s h i f t s in the r a t i o of mass and energy. Eventually they became capable of acting in ways previously unknown in the study of p a r t i c l e s . Thus, my concern in Part Two i s not with the presence of Kantian or Kant-like ideas in Romantic poetry so long as they are "raw material" and "mere information," but only with these ideas as they are "actually incorporated in the very texture of the work of a r t " ; as they are "constitutive" and "cease to be ideas in the ordinary sense of concepts and become symbols, or even myths" ( i b i d . , 112). For this study has not been written from the premise that Kant created Romanticism, but merely, as Oskar Walzel succinctly put i t , ' t h a t "Romanticism without Kant i s unthinkable. 2 1 Deutsche Roman tcik (Leipzig, 1918), I, 11; my trans. PART ONE KANT'S "COPERNICAN REVOLUTION" CHAPTER I THE BACKGROUND OF THE "REVOLUTION": KANT AND HUME Kant regarded Hume's c r i t i c i s m of induction and the doctrine of innate ideas as ir r e f u t a b l e , and yet he could never share the great Empiricist's resolve to "perish on the barren rock" of scepticism rather than "venture . . . upon that boundless ocean, which runs out into immensity." 1 For whether i t was because of the lingering influence of Plato and the German Rat i o n a l i s t s , or the newly-acquired influence of Rousseau; because of the uncommon intensity of his belief in the v a l i d i t y of Newton's methods and the significance of his discoveries, or because of his strong p i e t i s t i c concern with the moral obligations of man; or perhaps merely because, to paraphrase Whitehead, man can no more l i v e on a diet of disinfectants than a diet of bread, Kant always regarded scepticism as simply a "resting place" for human reason; a necessary, but merely temporary stage of mental growth, where reason might " r e f l e c t upon i t s dogmatic wanderings ... so that for the future i t may be able to choose i t s path with more certainty." ^TheTreatise of Human Nature, in Hume Selections, ed. Charles W. Hendel (New York,.1955),r 92. This edition cited hereafter as Hume. See below, p. 98. 3 Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York, 1960), 87. 11 12 But i t i s no dwelling-place for permanent settlement. Such can be obtained only through perfect certainty in our knowledge, al i k e of the objects themselves and of the l i m i t s within which a l l our knowledge of objects i s enclosed (C of PR, 607). In Kant's eyes, and here i s where much of his a f f i n i t y with the Romantic poets l i e s , what the B r i t i s h sceptics had proposed as a counte r - i r r i t a n t to the opaque mysticism of the schools became a s t e r i l e , d i v i s i v e bankruptcy of thought which divested reason of her "lawful claims" by accepting out-of-hand the premise that mind i s acted on in cognition, passively receiving "impressions" from "without," which become associated by means of empirical laws. This is the " u n c r i t i c a l " concept of mind, symbolized by Locke as a "wax tablet" or "white paper," which implies, in Kant's terms, that "our knowledge must conform to objects" ( i b i d . , 22). 4 But Kant held that since " a l l attempts to extend our Another fav o r i t e metaphor for minds in Locke i s that of a small, vacant room or cabinet: "The senses at f i r s t l e t in particular ideas, and furnish the yet empty cabinet; and the mind by degrees growing fa m i l i a r with some of them, they are lodged in the memory, and names got to them. Afterwards the mind, proceeding farther, abstracts them, and by degrees learns the use of general names. In this manner the mind comes to be furnished with ideas and language ..." (Essay Concerning  Human Understanding, in Locke Selections, ed. Sterling P. Lamprecht [New York, 1956], 99; hereafter referred to as Locke). Note how Locke's visual metaphor for mind as an enclosed, three-dimensional space works to support his main contention, that "the simple ideas we receive from sensation are the boundaries of our thoughts; beyond which the mind, whatever e f f o r t s i t would make, is not able to advance one j o t ; nor can i t make any discoveries, when i t would pry into the nature and hidden causes of ideas" ( i b i d . , 188). Following Locke, Hume also enlisted metaphors for mind which beg the question of our a b i l i t y to "go beyond" sense experience. For Hume, the mind i s "a kind of theatre, where several perceptions successively make their appearance; pass, re-pass, glide away, and mingle in an i n f i -nite variety of postures and situations" (Hume, 85). Thus i t i s hardly surprising that Hume should believe that "we never r e a l l y advance a step beyond ourselves, nor can conceive any kind of existence, but those perceptions, which have appear'd within that narrow compass" ( i b i d . , 21). 13 knowledge of objects by establishing something in regard to them a p r i o r i . . . have, on this assumption, ended in f a i l u r e , " there i s no reason why we might not "make t r i a l whether we may not have more success in the tasks of metaphysics, i f we suppose that objects must conform to our knowledge."^ This would agree better with what is desired, namely, that i t should be possible to have knowledge of objects a p r i o r i , determining something in regard to them prior to their being given. We should then be proceeding precisely on the li n e s of Copernicus' primary hypothesis. F a i l i n g of satisfactory process in explaining the movements of the heavenly bodies on the supposition that they a l l revolved around the spectator, he t r i e d whether he might not have better success i f he made the spectator to revolve and,the stars to remain at rest ( i b i d . , 22). This original use of the term a p r i o r i to denote that which i s prior to experience or that by which experience is rendered knowledge- able to us, rather than merely that which i s the cause of a given e f f e c t , is the key to Kant's relationship with the Romantic movement in l i t e r a t u r e . For i t not only s i g n i f i e s a Copernican revolution in philos- ophy, but i s also a p a r a l l e l to the Romantic b e l i e f that the human subject i s creative of his own experience. Moreover, i t provides the clearest indication that the t r a d i t i o n a l quest for permanence has shifted from the Platonic ideas on the one hand and "outward forms" on the other, to the actuating principles of human consciousness themselves. This i s why Kant appealed so deeply to Coleridge, and why the Transcendental bThus Kemp Smith's assessment of the C r i t i c a l philosophy as the "science of the p o s s i b i l i t y , nature, and l i m i t s of a p r i o r i knowledge" (Commentary, 74). % e e Encyclopedia Britaanica, 14th ed., a r t . "A P r i o r i and A Post-e r i o r i . " Coleridge also used the term in this sense. See BL_, I, ]93n., and Friend, l l l n . See also below, p. 64. 14 philosophy provides such a f r u i t f u l background against which Romanticism can be studied.^ Consequently, in the next three chapters I shall attempt to define this background by showing how Kant applies t h i s new concept of mind to the t r a d i t i o n a l problems of epistemology and ethics; why this approach necessarily results in a complete i s o l a t i o n of fact from value, and why i t i s possible in the terms of the premises of Transcendentalism to recognize in the aesthetic sphere the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r ultimate r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . And although Kant's way of formulating these issues i s often extremely abstract, the problems he raises and the solutions he offers l i e very close to the heart of Romantic thought. Note that Coleridge also referred to Transcendentalism as a "revo-lution in philosophy" (BL, I, 104). And compare M.H. Abrams' statement that "In a l l essential aspects, Coleridge's theory of mind, l i k e that of contemporary German philosophers, was, as he i n s i s t e d , revolutionary; i t was, in f a c t , part of a change in the habitual way of thinking, in a l l areas of i n t e l l e c t u a l enterprise, which i s as sharp and dramatic as any the history of ideas can show" (The Mirror and the Lamp TNew York, 1958], 158). CHAPTER II THE TRANSFORMATIONAL NATURE OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE Romanticism and Transcendental philosophy are ultimately con- cerned with human beings as moral agents, 1 and as such, they share a common interest in determining the l i m i t s of empirical knowledge; For i f a l l our knowledge arises solely.out of experience, then we can be conversant only with what i j _ , and not with what ought to be. As a resu l t , canons of ethics, l i k e those of aesthetics, are regarded by the empiricist as purely psychological and non-normative; as ultimately reducible to sentiment, or custom; and concepts of free w i l l and moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y are rendered meaningless. For both Kant and the Romantics, therefore, the central problem of human thought was to challenge the imperious claim of Verstand to be the sole arbiter of truth and value, while assuring us that i t i s not in vain that nature has " v i s i t e d our reason with the restless endeavour to transcend sense experience"; that the supersensible "modes of knowledge" to which the soul "naturally exalts i t s e l f " must be recognized as "having their own r e a l i t y , " and are "by no means mere f i c t i o n s of the brain" (C_ o_f P1R, 21, 310-11). Consequently Kant regarded his c r i t i q u e of ^Note that Coleridge doubted whether Kant "in his own mind . . . l a i d a l l the stress, which he appears to do, on the moral postulates." But i r o n i c a l l y , as Shawcross points out, " i t i s on this very point that Coleridge seems most sincerely at one with Kant" (BL, I, 100; and 246 n.). 15 knowledge as a "propaedeutic" ( i b i d . , 659); as serving to "deny knowledge [of the supersensible], in order to make room for f a i t h . " The "inestima- ble benefit" of this procedure, says Kant, w i l l be that a l l objections to morality and r e l i g i o n w i l l be forever silenced, and this in Socratic fashion, namely, by the clearest proof of the ignorance of the objectors. There has always existed in the world, and there w i l l always continue to e x i s t , some kind of metaphysics, and with i t the d i a l e c t i c that is natural to pure reason. It i s therefore the f i r s t and most important task of philosophy to deprive metaphysics, once and for a l l , of i t s injurious influence, by attacking i t s errors at th e i r very source ( i b i d . , 30). Kant's "denial" of t r a d i t i o n a l metaphysics emerges as a form of Idealism which teaches that human understanding can be conversant only with "phenomena," or things as they appear; and never with "noumena," or things-in-themselves. Since a l l knowledge i s for Kant a product of an a l l i a n c e between sensation and concept, the former producing the i n i t i a l data and the l a t t e r making them objects of thought, he seeks to impose thi s doctrine on two l e v e l s : the "perceptual" and the " l o g i c a l . " Con- sequently, the Critique of Pure Reason i s divided into two main sections: the "Transcendental Aesthetic," which contains his theory of perception; and the "Transcendental Logic," in which Kant deduces the "categories of thought" and demonstrates the f u t i l i t y of attempting to extend them beyond experience to the realm of the "supersensible." Generally, speaking, his intention is to demonstrate that there are "Transcendental p r i n c i p l e s " governing both perception and conception, principles which are "contributed" by our faculty of knowledge in the process of cognition. This hypothesis, says Kant, i s t o t a l l y legitimate, since i t does not follow from the fact that " a l l our knowledge begins with experience" that i t a l l "arises out of experience." 17 For i t may well be that even our empirical knowledge i s made up of what we receive through impressions and of what our own faculty of knowledge (sensible impressions serving merely as the occasion) supplies from i t -s e l f . If our faculty of knowledge makes any such addition, i t may be that we are riot in a position to distinguish i t from the raw material, un t i l with long practise of attention we have become s k i l l e d in sepa-rating i t (C of PR, 41-42). 2 The "Transcendental Aesthetic" and the Ideality, of Space and Time The f i r s t indication that Kant's "revolutionary" hypothesis might bear f r u i t occurs in his theory of perception 3 which, by demonstrating the i d e a l i t y of space and time, apparently solves one of the most un- s e t t l i n g aspects of Humean empiricism; the impossibility of applied ^Compare Coleridge: "Assume in i t s f u l l extent the p o s i t i o n , n i h i l  in i n t e l l e c t u quod non prius in sensu, without Leibnitz's qualifying praeter ipsum intellectum, and in the same sense, in which the position was understood by Hartley and Condillac: and what Hume had demonstra-t i v e l y deduced from'.this.concession concerning cause and e f f e c t , w i l l apply with equal and crushing force to a l l the other'eleven categorical forms, and the lo g i c a l functions corresponding to them. How can we make bricks without straw? or build without cement? We learn a l l things indeed by occasion of experience;.but the very facts so .learnt force us inward on the antecedents, that must be pre-supposed= in order to render experience i t s e l f possible." (BL, I, 93-4; see below, p. 198.) 3Kant's word, for perception i s "Anschauung," which he equates with the Latin " i n t u i t i o . " But neither "perception" nor " i n t u i t i o n , " as Coleridge recognized, are good translations of the German term: the l a t t e r i s patently ambiguous, and "perception" does not convey Kant's sense of the apprehension of wholes out of the manifold of sense. Of -Coleridge's many attempts to discover a meaningful English equivalent for "Anschauung" (e.g., "atsight," "onlook"), "Aspicience" seems to be the most satisfactory. For as O r s i n i , who found this term'in an unpub-lished MS note on Kant, says: "The word is a perfect etymological mould for the German term; as_- corresponds to An- and -spicience to -schauung; there i s even a s i m i l a r i t y in the sounds. But the word,.being buried in Coleridge's MSS., has enjoyed no currency, although i t deserves i t . Its very novelty would warn the reader that i t is a technical term, with.a special meaning, and a l l the confusions of " i n t u i t i o n " would be avoided1', (Coleridge and German Idealism [Carbondale and Edwardsville, 1969], 92.' Hereafter cited as O r s i n i ) . 18 mathematics.4 Following the terms of his new hypothesis, Kant attempts to show that space, which he deals with f i r s t , is not "an empirical con- cept which has been derived from outer experiences" but is rather a "property of our mind" which is sui generis, and which merely allows us to "represent to ourselves objects as outside us" (C_ of PR, 68, 67). That space i s not derived from experience i s , Kant f e e l s , demonstrated conclusively by the fact that we "can never represent to ourselves the absence of space" although we can think of space as "empty of objects." Therefore i t i s possible to " i s o l a t e " ^ space as "an a p r i o r i representa- t i o n , which necessarily underlies outer appearances" ( i b i d . , 68); and as the "subjective condition of s e n s i b i l i t y , under which ailone outer i n t u i - tion i s possible for us" ( i b i d . , 71). 6 In this way, the "certainty" of mathematical judgments and their a p p l i c a b i l i t y to experience i s established at once, merely by demonstrating that their laws are dictated by the very nature of human perception.? Ĥume did not usually extend his skepticism to mathematics, but, Kant believed, to be consistent with the rest of his philosophy he should have extended his skepticism even to i t , and either would have had to do so i f he had properly understood the nature of mathematical knowledge or else would have in p r i n c i p l e , at least, anticipated Kant's own discoveries" (Lewis White Beck, in the Introduction to his translation of Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics [Indianapolis and New York, 1950], x i i i n . Cited hereafter as Prolegomena). ^Compare Coleridge's word "extricate," used in describing his own discovery of the Ideal nature of space and time in the l e t t e r to Poole of March 16, 1801 (Collected Letters, ed. E.'L. Griggs [Oxford, 1956-59], II, 706. Hereafter referred to as Letters). See below, p. 83. 6Th is argument is one of four (five in the F i r s t Edition) Kant ad-vances for his position. See C_ of P_R, 67-fO. ^Note the interesting p a r a l l e l in Wordsworth's Prelude to Kant's fascination with the p o s s i b i l i t y of applying the a p r i o r i propositions to experience: With Indian awe and wonder, ignorance pleased With i t s own struggles, did I meditate Much the same sort of argument i s proposed to demonstrate the i d e a l i t y of time in the second section of the "Transcendental Aesthetic." Like space, time cannot be considered as a "concept that has been derived from any experience" since "We cannot, in respect of appearances in general, remove time i t s e l f , though we can quite well think time as void of appearances" ( i b i d . , 74-5). Time becomes, from this point of view, "a pure form of sensible i n t u i t i o n , " that i s , "nothing but the form of inner sense ... of the i n t u i t i o n of ourselves and of our inner s t a t e * ( i b i d . , 77). 8 Two conclusions derive from Kant's theory of perception which are crucial in Romanticism. F i r s t , although the doctrine of the i d e a l i t y of' space and time seems to l i m i t a l l of our consciousness to consciousness only of appearances in nature--to what " i s , " or what seems to be--such is not the ultimate eff e c t or design of the C r i t i c a l philosophy. For Kant's purpose i s not to "destroy" a l l metaphysrics, a study which was dear to him, but only those forms of metaphysics, such as Deism, which attempt to reduce theology or ethics or teleology to terms of linear consciousness:, to make the "Philosophical & Experimental . . . the r a t i o On the r e l a t i o n those abstractions bear To Nature's laws, and by what process led, Those immaterial agents bowed the i r heads Duly to serve the mind of earth-born man; From star to star, from kindred sphere to sphere, From system on to system without end. (The Prelude, ed. Ernest De Selincourt, 2nd ed. [Oxford, 1959], VI, 121-28. Hereafter cited as Prelude). Compare Coleridge, The Friend (The Complete Works of Samuel Taylor  Coleridge, ed. W.G.T. Shedd [New York, 1853]), II, 421 (hereafter re-ferred to as Friend), and Bf_, I, 196-97. 8"The act of consciousness is indeed ir<fce"tical with time considered in i t s essence" (Coleridge, B_L, I, 87). For other references in Coleridge to Kant's theory of space and time, see O r s i n i , 91 , 94, 97. of a l l things," as Blake said. And i f the doctrine of the i d e a l i t y of space and time has the effect of imposing these limitations on human consciousness in theory, i t does not have the same effe c t in the realm of practise, as we shall see when we turn to Kant's moral and aesthetic t r e a t i s e s . But even more revelatory of the basic a f f i n i t y of Transcendental Idealism to Romanticism is the fa c t that Kant's theory of perception represents a positive step towards breaking down the man-nature dualism which underlies a l l empirical philosophy, by making experience depend upon what Coleridge c a l l e d a "reciprocal concurrance" of the "exclusively representative" and the "exclusively represented": that i s , of "the con- scious being" and "that which i s in i t s e l f unconscious" (BL_, I, 174). For the Romantics, as I shall point out l a t e r , the refutation of this dualism was es s e n t i a l , since as long as man represents himself as exclu- siv e l y acted on in the process of coming to know and value his world and understand the grounds of his existence, he i s subject to materialism and fatalism, and ceases to regard seriously the p o s s i b i l i t y of destroy- ing or even l i m i t i n g the social and psychological forces which continually oppress him. The "Transcendental Analytic" and the Generation of Synthesis in the Productive Imagination Having demonstrated our i n a b i l i t y to know the t h i n g - i n - i t s e l f even on the perceptual l e v e l , Kant proceeds in the "Transcendental Logic" to show that "pure thought" l i k e "pure perception" has a p r i o r i ^"There i s No Natural Religion," ( f i r s t Series]; The Complete Writings  of William Blake, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (London, 1957), 97. Hereafter referred to as Writings. elements (the "categories of the understanding"), and that i t i s only through these elements that we ar r i v e even at knowledge of phenomena. These two points are taken up in the f i r s t sub-section of the "Transcen- dental Logic" called the "Transcendental Analytic." Then, in the "Transcendental D i a l e c t i c , " Kant shows the f u t i l i t y of any attempt to extend the categories of the Understanding into the "supersensible Ideas" of "God, Freedom, and Immortality"--concepts which are none the less important to our moral beings because they are ( l i t e r a l l y ) "incon- ceivable." The present discussion w i l l center around the second chapter of the "Transcendental Analytic," the famous "Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding," the chapter which Kant says "cost me the greatest labour" (C_ of_ PjR, 12), and which in Coleridge's words contains "the most d i f f i c u l t and obscure passages of the C r i t i q u e . " ^ For i t i s here that Kant, through his doctrine of the Pro- ductive Imagination, offers his most conclusive refutation of empiricism, and in so doing formulates one of the most fundamental tenets of Romantic thought: that the generation of synthesis in the Imagination i s not something merely derived from experience, but i s the primary condition upon which experience is made knowable to us. Speaking in the broadest possible terms, Kant introduces the faculty of Imagination in order to account for the great mystery that the manifold of sense can be "subsumed" under concepts, and categories "applied" to the realm of appearances ( i b i d . , 181). He believed that in order for this mediation between sense and Understanding to occur, there ^ W r i t t e n on the f l y - l e a f of Coleridge's copy of the Critique of Pure Reason; cited O r s i n i , 99-100. 22 must be some "third thing" which i s "homogenous on the one hand with the category, and on the other hand with the appearance." And i t i s to thi s " t h i r d thing" that Kant applies the name "Imagination," the faculty which "aims at . . . unity in the determination of s e n s i b i l i t y " ( i b i d . , 181-82). From a merely empirical point of view, the a b i l i t y of the Imagi- nation to "run unity through" and "hold together" appearances derives from i t s t r a d i t i o n a l l y accepted function of "reproduction." Kant agrees with Hume that this function i s necessary for knowledge since " i f I were always to drop out of thought the preceeding representation . . . and did not reproduce them while advancing to those that follow, a complete 12 representation would never be obtained" ( i b i d . , 133). Thus from this point of view, Imagination merely reproduces and connects data from mem- ory and sensation according to the laws of resemblance, continuity, and cause and e f f e c t . Kant refers to th i s faculty as "Reproductive Imagina- tion , " a function which he regards as e n t i r e l y subject to empirical laws, the laws, namely, of association, and which therefore contributes nothing to the explanation of the possi-b i l i t y of a p r i o r i knowledge ( i b i d . , 165). In his essay "On the Principles of Genial C r i t i c i s m , " Coleridge refers to the '"Third Something'" which i s "formed by a harmony" of the "active with the passive powers of our nature" as "TASTE". (BJL, II, 227). But in the Biographia, this "intermediary facu l t y " i s s p e c i f i c a l l y iden-t i f i e d as the IMAGINATION" ( I , 86). Shawcross suggests that "The close connexion of the two f a c u l t i e s was perhaps suggested by Kant's d e f i n i t i o n of taste, as the perception of the mere fit n e s s of any sense-complex to be made an object of knowledge" (BL, II, 310n.). "Were ideas e n t i r e l y loose and unconnected, chance alone wou'd j o i n them; and ' t i s impossible the same simple ideas should f a l l regularly into complex ones (as they commonly do) without some bond of union among them, some associating quality, by which one idea naturally introduces another" (Hume, 13). 23 Now according to Kant, Hume was correct in regarding these laws as merely contingent, but the inference that Hume drew therefrom--that we can have no certain knowledge about ourselves or about the world--did not, in his view, follow. For the reason that Hume was forced to deny the p o s s i b i l i t y of science and self-knowledge is that he was "constrained" by his premises to "derive them from experience," and " i t never occurred to him" that human consciousness "might i t s e l f ... be the author of the experience in which i t s objects are found" ( i b i d . , 127). Therefore, in the Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, and in certain passages included comparatively late in the F i r s t Edition, Kant proposed to reverse the terms of Hume's premises by including amongst the "fundamental f a c u l t i e s of the human soul" a "Productive Imagi- nation," a faculty to be regarded not as subject to the laws of associa- t i o n , but as actually generative of the prin c i p l e s (or "schema") by which 13 unity of the manifold i s achieved a p r i o r i . l - : iSmith, following Vaihinger, points out that in the F i r s t Edition, Kant "constantly alternates" between the view that the Productive Imagi-nation is merely an "aux i l i a r y function of the Understanding," and the view that i t i s a "separate and d i s t i n c t f a c u l t y " which operates- Trans  scendentally in the "generation of unified experience" (Commentary, 227, 265). But in the passages which constitute the latest parts of the Deduction to be written, this l a t t e r , more radical view was "allowed to drop" ( i b i d . , 227). Smith conjectures that this change of heart, which es s e n t i a l l y undercuts the "universal or absolutist aspect of our conscious-ness".to which Kant i s ultimately "seeking to do j u s t i c e " occurred on "the very eve of the publication of the [ F i r s t Edition] of the Critique" (270, 227). For according to Smith's evidence, Kant suddenly became aware of the "revolutionary nature of the conclusions to which he fe e l s himself driven by the exigencies of the C r i t i c a l teaching," discovering that his new doctrine was "deepening into consequences" which would too sharply contradict both "current psychology" and "his own previous views" (224). In the Second Edition, which Coleridge read, Kant adopted the more radical view, although with some modifications, a fa c t which supports D.G. James' and Raymond Havens' opinion that Coleridge's under-standing of Imagination ultimately derives from Kant (see below, pp. 192-93). 24 Kant's deduction of t h i s "Transcendental Unity of Apperception" l i e s , therefore, at the very core of his C r i t i c a l teaching. And although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to paraphrase, i t is necessary for the purposes of t h i s study to provide a brief outline of i t s major points, since, as Orsini says, i t i s "probably the most complete answer to empiricism formulated by a philosopher" and "may perhaps suggest the reason why Kant took hold of Coleridge's mind 'as with a giant's hand'" (O r s i n i , 118, 120). B r i e f l y stated, Kant's argument runs as follows. For Kant, as for Coleridge, the doctrine of the association of ideas can be v a l i d only i f the associative process can be thought of as taking place in "one consciousness" (C_ of_ PR, 1 53).^ In Kantian terms, this means that unity of consciousness is an a p r i o r i condition of the p o s s i b i l i t y of consciousness in general. For this unity of consciousness would be impossible i f the mind in knowledge of the manifold could not become conscious of the i d e n t i t y of function whereby i t s y n t h e t i c a l l y combines i t in one knowledge. The original and necessary consciousness of the i d e n t i t y of the s e l f i s thus at the same time a consciousness of an equally necessary unity of the synthesis of a l l appearances according to concepts . . . which not only make them necessarily reproducible but also in so doing determine an object for th e i r i n t u i t i o n , that i s , the concept of something wherein they are necessarily interconnected ( i b i d . , 136-37). But such unity cannot be derived from association i t s e l f , since, as Coleridge said, t h i s would amount to "mistaking the conditions of a thing f o r its^causes and essence" (BL, I, 85). Therefore, association Compare Coleridge: "Only in the self-consciousness of a s p i r i t i s there the required identity of object and of representation; for herein consists the essence of a s p i r i t , that i t is self-representative. If therefore t h i s be the one only immediate truth, in the certainty of which the r e a l i t y of our c o l l e c t i v e knowledge i s grounded, i t must follow that the s p i r i t in a l l the objects which i t views, views only i t s e l f . . . . It is asserted only, that the act of self-consciousness is for us the source and p r i n c i p l e of a l l our possible knowledge" (B_L, I, 184, 186). 25 must be "grounded, antecedently to a l l experience, upon a p r i o r i p r i n c i - ples; and we must assume a pure transcendental synthesis of imagination as conditioning the very p o s s i b i l i t y of a l l experience" (C of PR, 133). For even though we should have the power of associating perceptions, i t would remain e n t i r e l y undetermined and accidental whether they would themselves be associable; and should they not be associable, there might exist a multitude of perceptions, and indeed an entire s e n s i b i l i t y , in which much empirical consciousness would arise in my mind, but in a state of separation, and without belonging to a consciousness of myself. But Kant holds that this would be impossible, since i t is only because I ascribe a l l perceptions to one consciousness (o r i g -inal apperception) that I can say of a l l perceptions that I am conscious of them. There must, therefore, be an objective ground (that i s , one that can be comprehended a p r i o r i , antecedently to a l l empirical laws of the imagination) upon which rests the p o s s i b i l i t y , nay, the necessity, of a law that extends to a l l appearances . . . ( i b i d . , 145). Now, as Smith says, Humean associationism i s "no longer tenable" since Kant has shown that "Association cannot be taken to be an ultimate and inexplicable property of our mental states." Nor is i t a property which can be regarded as belonging to presentations viewed as so many independent existences. It i s conditioned by the unity of consciousness, and therefore rests upon the "transcendental" condi-tions which C r i t i c a l analysis reveals. Since the unity of consciousness conditions association, i t cannot be explained as the outcome and product of the mechanism of association (Commentary, 256). Even though Kant often speaks of Imagination, even in i t s "produc- t i v e " capacity, as "in the service of Understanding" (a position not shared by the Aesthetic Imagination—see below, pp. 53 - 6 ) , ordering and unifying data in order to permit their application to the categories, 26 the relationship of the Kantian to the Romantic f a c u l t i e s is more than nominal. For by taking this e s s e n t i a l l y "mysterious,"^ generative power as the sine qua non of a l l experience, Kant demonstrated that i t s products are objectively v a l i d f o r a l l thinking beings, whereas the prod- ucts of the mere "reproductive" faculty , since they are subject to the laws of association, are merely subjective and contingent. Here, as Coleridge was to see, was the straw f o r Hume's bricks. And although i t was c l e a r l y "impossible for him to stop short with Kant" (Shawcross, B_L, I, I v i i i ) , who never openly committed himself to the view that imagina- tion might provide insight into the "supersensible," Kant at least estab- lished the p o s s i b i l i t y that through our own innate, creative powers, "something of the f r u i t f u l and inexhaustible nature of noumenal r e a l i t y i s traceable" (Commentary, 265), a hint which was l a t e r to be more f u l l y developed in the Critique of Judgment. The "Transcendental D i a l e c t i c " : Metaphysics, and The Distinction Between Verstand and Vernunft Rochester says that i t i s to our "supernat 1ral G i f t " that we owe the overpopulation of our asylums (and u n i v e r s i t i e s ) , and l i k e the rest of the Tory S a t i r i s t s , he was convinced that "he that thinks beyond 15HOW the Productive Imagination l e g i s l a t e s f o r thought i s for Kant a mystery: i t i s "an art concealed in the depths of the human soul, whose real modes of a c t i v i t y nature is hardly l i k e l y ever to allow us to discover, and to have open to our gaze" (fJ of PR, 183). But Kant says that, in any case, how the Imagination performs this synthesizing func-tion i s a psychological, not a philosophical question, and his intention has been to establish the a p r i o r i t y of i t s operations; to prove that without this "blind but indispensable function of the soul" we should "have no knowledge whatsoever" (C_ of PR, 112). 27 thinks l i k e an A s s . " 1 6 In some respects, Kant would have agreed with Rochester—in f a c t , he devotes almost one hundred pages of the Critique of Pure Reason to outlining the f u t i l i t y of attempting to "think beyond." But as I have said before, to regard Kant as merely carrying on or amplifying the tradi t i o n s of the Enlightenment would be to disregard completely the "positive" aspects of his teachings in the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , wherein our compulsion to "transgress" the " f i e l d of possible experience" i s regarded not only as "natural" and inevitable for a l l thinking beings, but also as an essential condition of our growth into moral awareness. From this point of view, the capacity to distinguish between good and e v i l becomes part of our common bi r t h r i g h t and even d e f i n i t i v e of the human condition, a fact which prepares the ground for a c r i t i q u e of moral action based on Transcendental p r i n c i p l e s , rather than on mere sentiment, or custom and habit. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s due to the very thoroughness with which Kant demonstrates the l i m i t s of what can be known through discursive reasoning that an opening i s l e f t for a t t r i b u t i n g some positive value to metaphys- 1 7 i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n . " For according to Kant, the fact that we can only be 1 6"A Satyr Against Mankind," 76, 97; in Works, ed. John Hayward (London, 1926), pp. 37, 38. ^"Such teaching [that we may never transcend experience] at once acquires a positive value when we recognize that the princ i p l e s with which speculative reason ventures out beyond i t s proper l i m i t s do not in effec t extend the employment of reason, but, as we find on closer scrutiny, inevitably narrow i t " (C_ of P_R, 26). .Recall A.O. Lovejoy's observation that " I t i s one of the ins t r u c t i v e ironies of the history of ideas that a p r i n c i p l e introduced by one generation in the service of a tendency of a philosophical mood congenial to i t often proves to contain, unsuspected, the germ of a contrary tendency—to be, by virtue of i t s hidden implications, the destroyer of that Zei t g e i s t to which i t was meant to minister" (The Great Chain of Being [Cambridge, (Mass, 1936], 288). 28 conversant with appearances necessarily implies the existence of a realm which i s "beyond" phenomena. Otherwise, "we should be landed in the absurd conclusion that there can be appearance without anything that appears" (C_ of PJR, 27). Of course, i t is impossible in Kantian terms to regard t h i s realm as "available" to consciousness, a f a c t which does not j u s t i f y Mendelssohn's epithet for Kant (as translated by Coleridge) as "the all-to-nothing-crushing" (BL, II, 69n), since i t is every b i t as correct, i f not more correct to regard Kant as having 1iberated the Ideas of "God Freedom and Immortality" from "the f e t t e r s of experience" (Pro!egomena, 111) in order that they may be dealt with more f r u i t f u l l y in non-speculative contexts. This, in f a c t , i s the s p e c i f i c position Kant takes in the Preface to the Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason: When a l l progress in the f i e l d of the supernatural has . . . been denied to speculative reason, i t i s s t i l l open to us to enquire whether, in the practical knowledge of reason, data may not be found s u f f i c i e n t to deter-mine reason's transcendent concept of the unconditioned, and so to enable us, in accordance with the wish of metaphysics, and by means of knowledge that i s possible a p r i o r i , though only from a practical point of view, to pass beyond the l i m i t s of a l l possible experience. Specula-t i v e reason has thus at least made room for such an extension; and i f i t must at the same time leave i t empty, yet none the less we are at l i b e r t y , indeed we are summoned, to take occupation of i t , i f we can, by practical data of reason (24-25). 1 8 Implicit in Kant's viewpoint i s his long-standing conviction that we can "no more give up metaphysical researches . . . than give up 1 8 I t i s often easy to agree with Goethe's observation that "Kant seems to have woven a certain element of irony into his method. For, while at one time he seemed to be bent on l i m i t i n g our f a c u l t i e s of knowledge in the narrowest way, at another time he pointed, as i t were with a side gesture, beyond the l i m i t s which he himself had drawn" (Cited by J.H. Bernard, in the Introduction to his translation of the Critique  of Judgment, x x x i i i ) . For a discussion of the contrary tendencies of the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , see Commentary, 425-40. 29 breathing" (Prolegomena, 116), and that compared to other sciences, metaphysics "displays a dignity and worth such that, could i t but make good i t s pretensions, i t would leave a l l other human science far behind" (C of_ PR, 422). Consequently, he sees i t as an integral part of his C r i t i c a l plan to investigate the sources of the "natural tendency to transgress" the l imits of experience ( i b i d . , 532), beyond whose comfort- able boundaries he ventures with greatest trepidation: This domain [of the Verstand] i s an island, enclosed by nature i t s e l f within unalterable l i m i t s . It i s the land of truth—enchanting name! — surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the native home of i l l u s i o n , where many a fog bank and many a sw i f t l y melting iceberg give the decep-ti v e appearance of farther shores, deluding the adventurous seafarer ever anew with empty hopes, and engaging him in enterprises which he can never abandon and yet i s unable to carry to completion ( i b i d . , 257). There i s something es p e c i a l l y appropriate in the fact that Kant should compare the prospect of transcending the severe but secure l i m i t s of ordinary experience to a mariner's voyage through icebergs and fog banks, leaving behind the comfort of what he has always known, since Kant is engaged in an endeavour which i s very similar to Coleridge's in the Ancient Mariner: to discover the grounds upon which i t i s possible for us to assert our freedom from the laws which determine natural events. For l i k e Coleridge (and the Romantics generally), Kant was convinced that there was a powerful p r i n c i p l e within each of us that w i l l always render us d i s s a t i s f i e d with purely empirical accounts of experience, and that th i s p r i n c i p l e provides the means by which we learn to perceive moral values. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , . t h i s inner compulsion to transcend the bounds of experience i s , according to the Transcendental philosophy, "prescribed 30 by the very nature of reason i t s e l f " (C_ of_ PR, 7). For once we accept the p r i n c i p l e that "knowledge has only to do with appearances," we are forced to think of the source of these appearances as something which is "unconditioned," a concept which i s "required to complete the series of conditions" ( i b i d . , 24). Obviously, the concept of the unconditioned cannot be derived from experience i t s e l f , which i s always influenced by the forms of perception and categories of thought. Rather, the concept presupposes "an antecedent awareness of Ideal standards" and a "More fundamental form of consciousness" than mere awareness of phenomena, to which " a l l our c r i t e r i a of truth and r e a l i t y are ultimately due" (Com- mentary, 416). In Kant's system, these "Ideal standards" are generated by the Vernunft, a f a c u l t y which i s d i s t i n c t from the Verstand in that i t does not "create concepts (of objects)" but rather "orders them, and gives them that unity which they can have only i f they be employed in their' ''widest possible application, that i s , with a view to obtaining t o t a l i t y in the various series" (C of PR, 533). Reason has, therefore, as i t s sole object, the understanding and i t s ef-f e c t i v e application. Just as the understanding u n i f i e s the manifold in the object by means of concepts, so reason u n i f i e s the manifold of con-cepts by means of ideas, positing a certain c o l l e c t i v e unity as the goal of the a c t i v i t i e s of the understanding, which otherwise are concerned solely with d i s t r i b u t i v e unity ( i b i d . , 533). Now i t i s of utmost importance to r e a l i z e that Kant regards th i s u n i f i c a t i o n of the concepts of the Verstand by the Vernunft every b i t as essential to the p o s s i b i l i t y of knowledge a r i s i n g as an e f f e c t as is the 31 u n i f i c a t i o n of the sense-manifold by the Productive Imagination. 1 9 For without the "Transcendental grounding" of this d i s t i n c t i o n between the empirical and metaphysical f a c u l t i e s , there would be, as I have said, no more reason to regard Transcendentalism as the philosophical counterpart of this fundamental tenet of Romantic thought than Platonism, with i t s d i s t i n c t i o n between Nous and Dianoia; or the system of Bacon, which also attempts to "render unto f a i t h that which i s f a i t h ' s , " but with no prior c r i t i c i s m of the bounds of reason. And Kant i s very s p e c i f i c on this point: The law of reason which requires us to seek for this unity, i s a neces-sary law, since without i t we should have no reason at a l l , and without reason no coherent employment of the understanding, and in the absence of this no s u f f i c i e n t c r i t e r i o n of empirical truth. In order, therefore, to secure an empirical c r i t e r i o n we have no option save to presuppose the systematic unity of nature as objectively v a l i d and necessary ( i b i d . , 538). Kant's discussion of metaphysics raises one more issue, an issue which Coleridge regarded ( s i g n i f i c a n t l y ) as "the highest problem of philosophy"; 2 0 that i s , whether the Ideas of Reason are "constitutive," or merely "regulative"; i . e . , whether they extend our knowledge of the "supersensible" or are merely generated by Reason for the guidance of Reason (see C_ of PR_, 450ff., 454ff.). For reasons which shall be explained I y l t i s true that Kant i s not completely consistent in his doctrine that the Vernunft i s a f a c u l t y separate and d i s t i n c t from the Verstand; in f a c t , on occasion he actually speaks of the former as "merely under-standing in i t s s e l f - l i m i t i n g , s e l f - r e g u l a t i v e employment" (Commentary, 426). But Smith i s obviously correct when he claims that "The true C r i t i c a l contention ... is that the Ideas are necessary to the possi-b i l i t y of each and every experience, involved together with the categories as conditions of the very existence of consciousness. They are not merely regulative, but are regulative of an experience which they also help to make possible. They express the standards in whose l i g h t we con-demn a l l knowledge which does not f u l f i l them; and we have consequently no option save to endeavour to conform to t h e i r demands" ( i b i d . , 554). 20The Statesman's Manual, Shedd, I, 484. Hereafter referred to as SM. l a t e r , the Romantics are at variance with the Transcendental philosophy on this question (see below, pp. 114-19), For now, i t i s enough to say " that because the Ideas of Reason are "transcendent," Kant could not see how they could possibly "allow of any constitutive employment" (C of PR, 533)--their function is not to supply knowledge, but merely to ensure that we are not rendered s a t i s f i e d with materialism, naturalism or fatalism--dogmatic philosophies which are bound by the "fetters of expe- rience" and which therefore cannot possibly "expand to the un i v e r s a l i t y which reason unavoidably requires from a moral point of view^Prolegomena, 111; my emphasis). Thus, the stress i s made to f a l l once again on the moral issue, and i f the Critique of Pure Reason has no other ramifications f o r Roman- t i c thought, i t has at least demonstrated that empirical knowledge i s not coextensive with human insight, and that "the ultimate intention of nature in her wise provision for us has indeed, in the constitution of our reason, been directed to moral interests alone" (C of_ PR, 632-33). And with this in mind, Kant prepares, near the end of the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , to enquire "whether . . . reason may not be able to supply to us from the standpoint of i t s practical interest what i t altogether refuses to supply in respect of i t s speculative interest" ( i b i d . , 635). And i t i s here, in the moral consciousness, that Kant discovers what he regarded as "the key to the meaning of the entire universe as well as of human l i f e " (Commentary, 571). CHAPTER III REASON IN PRACTISE: KANT'S ETHICAL SYSTEM One of the most fundamental and deeply-rooted convictions shared by Kant and the Romantics in the i r break from "Enlightened" thought i s that the moral ought i s not reducible to terms of what i_s ( " u t i l i t y , " private "sentiment," e t c . ) , or what has been. As Kant puts i t : Nothing is more reprehensible than to derive the laws prescribing what ought to be done from what i s done, or to impose upon them the l i m i t s by which the l a t t e r i s circumscribed (£ of PR, 313). Notice that Kant i s not merely saying, l i k e Hume, that i t i s vain or erroneous to derive an ought from an i s , but that the attempt to do so is "reprehensible." Kant i l l u s t r a t e s his case by referring to the con- cept of an ideal state. As Blake so well knew, social repression w i l l f l o u r i s h only when the c i t i z e n s allow themselves to be manipulated by vested interests into believing that the way things are i s the way things should be; that reformers and i d e a l i s t s are at best eccentric dreamers and at worst a menace to the common weal. But as Kant-puts i t , repression would never have existed at a l l , i f at the proper time those i n s t i t u t i o n s had been established in accordance with ideas, and i f ideas had not been displaced by crude conceptions which, ju s t because they have been derived from experience, have n u l l i f i e d a l l good intentions ( i b i d . , 312). And although we may never know such a perfect state, none the less this does not a f f e c t the r i g h t f u l n e s s of the idea, which, in order to bring the legal organisation of mankind ever nearer to i t s greatest possible perfection, advances th i s maximum as an archetype. 33 34 For what the highest degree may be at which mankind may have to come to a stand, and how great a gulf may s t i l l have to be l e f t between the idea and i t s r e a l i s a t i o n , are questions which no one can, or ought to, answer. For the issue depends on freedom; and i t i s in the power of freedom to pass beyond any and every specified l i m i t ( i b i d . ) . I f , then, we cannot, and should not attempt to derive Ideal stand- ards from experience, what i s thei r source? Kant's attempts to answer this question i s the subject of his two ethical t r e a t i s e s , the Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals, and the Critique of Practical Reason. His answer, i t should be stated now, i s not on a l l counts that of the Roman- t i c s , at l e a s t , i n t h e i r most representative poems. But thei r task i s es s e n t i a l l y s i m i l a r ; to fi n d a standard of authority which i s not super- imposed, but which is sui generis and Transcendentally grounded; that i s , not derived from experience, but projected into experience as a precondi- tion of moral knowledge. B r i e f l y , Kant begins his exposition with the concept of a "good w i l l , " 1 which i s the only thing to be cal l e d "good without q u a l i f i c a t i o n " (FMM, 55), or good in i t s e l f , regardless of u t i l i t y or consequences. 2 The good w i l l i s "disinterested,"3 acting f r e e l y from a sense of rational obligation, not merely following vague and changeable i n c l i n a t i o n s , not attempting to s a t i s f y personal desires, nor to achieve some proposed end, 'In this short exposition of Kant's moral views, I follow his argu-ment as l a i d out in the Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals (Critique  of Practical Reason and Other Writings in Moral-Philosophy, trans. Lewis White Beck [Chicago, 1949]). Referred to hereafter as FMM. ^ " I t i s impossible to think of anything in the world, nay of any-thing even outside the world, which could without l i m i t a t i o n be held to be good except a good W i l l " (Coleridge, MS quoted in Muirhead, 156-157n.). 3Hyder Rollins notes that this i s "a favorite word of Keats'," a word which he often uses in a sense simi l a r to Kant's. See his edition of The Letters of John Keats (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), I, 293; I I , 79, 129, 279. Hereafter referred to as Letters. 35 but acting completely, and without duress, in conformity to that moral "p r i n c i p l e of v o l i t i o n " which constitutes "duty." Of course, there are an i n f i n i t e number of "maxims" which we can propose to ourselves: thou shalt not k i l l , thou shalt not s t e a l , etc., and the question i s moot as to which of these maxims is morally "right"--what the test of the v a l i d i t y of a moral p r i n c i p l e i s . But one thing, says Kant, i s clear: in practise, we do not en- l i s t the sanctions of some supposed " f e e l i n g , " nor do we inquire into the consequences of an action in seeking for this " t e s t " : the end may j u s t i f y the means in corporate p o l i t i c s , but not in Kantian ethics. Morality, says Kant, i s t o t a l l y s e l f - l e s s , and*a moral act i s therefore one which always asserts our community with mankind in general: I should never act in such a way that I could not w i l l that my maxim should be a universal law. Mere conformity to law as such (without assuming any p a r t i c u l a r law applicable to certain actions) serves as the p r i n c i p l e of the w i l l , and i t must serve as such a p r i n c i p l e i f duty i s not to be a vain delusion and chimerical concept. The common reason of mankind in i t s p r a c t i c a l judgments i s in perfect agreement with t h i s and has this p r i n c i p l e constantly in view (FMM, 63). Here, then, i s the famous "categorical imperative" which Kant says speaks to a l l of us: "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time w i l l that i t should become a universal law" ( i b i d . , 80).4 Note f i r s t that t h i s command i s categorical, not hypothet- i c a l — n o moral person acts according to his conscience merely for the sake of "laying up treasures in Heaven"--and note secondly, that i t i s ^Compare Coleridge's formulation of the categorical imperative in the Friend: "So act that thou mayest be able, without involving any contradiction, to w i l l that the maxim of thy conduct should be the law of a l l i n t e l l i g e n t beings--is the one universal and s u f f i c i e n t p r i n c i p l e and guide of morality" (180). 36 imperat ive, because only an imperative dictum is capable of e n l i s t i n g our respect fo r the law. Kant expresses his own respect fo r the moral law in a passage remarkably s im i l a r in f ee l i ng and terms to Wordsworth's "Ode to Duty": Duty! Thou sublime and mighty name that dost embrace nothing charming or ins inuat ing but requ i res t submission and yet seekest not to move the w i l l by threatening aught that would arouse natural aversion of t e r r o r , but only holdest f o r th a law which of i t s e l f f i nds entrance in to the mind and yet gains re luc tant reverence . . . what o r i g i n is there worthy of thee, and where is to be found the root of thy noble.descent which proudly re jec ts a l l k inship with the i n c l i n a t i ons and from which to be descended i s the ind ispensable condi t ion of the only worth which men can give themselves?^ Kant 's exuberance is understandable consider ing that he has, in his mind, f reed moral speculat ion from p r i n c i p l e s based on mere c o n t i n - gent sentiment, which was the primary goal of his whole moral phi losophy, j us t as the goal of his epistemology was to found the p r i n c i p l e s of natural science on something more enduring than habit and custom. From the r e a l i t y of our sense of duty, Kant i s able to postulate autonomy of the w i l l . And only by dec lar ing the w i l l f ree can he account fo r the f a c t that we are able ( i f only occas iona l l y ) to fo l low the d i c - tates of duty even when (or e spec i a l l y when) they do not co inc ide with our des i r e s . We obey the c a l l of duty, says Kant, f o r the most important of a l l reasons: i t i s in exerc i s ing th i s capac i ty that we asser t our very human-ness, which i s def ined by our "freedom and independence from the mechanism of nature" ( i b i d . ) , and that we recognize that men, by d int of t he i r freedom, are "ends in themselves." This b r i l l i a n t conc lu - sion led Kant to another formulat ion of the Catagor ica l Imperative: "Act ^Cr i t ique of P rac t i ca l Reason, in C r i t i que of P rac t i ca l Reason and Other Writ ings in Moral Phi losophy, t rans . Lewis White Beck (Chicago, 1949), 193. 37 so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only" (FMM, 87). Thus the bigot, the c a p i t a l i s t , the slaver and the despot, by creating a dou- ble standard of morality and manipulating others to serve their own ends, are quite l i t e r a l l y acting, in Kantian terms, "inhumanly." The moral experience, that i s , i s no less than d e f i n i t i v e of our humanity, since without i t , we could never become aware of our inherent freedom, or of our emancipation from nature's mechanized determined scheme. Kant's position after the f i r s t two c r i t i q u e s can be summed up by saying that he has rescued some knowledge of the world and of our moral nature from the sceptical philosophy, but at the enormous cost of i s o l a - ting them in two apparently i r r e c o n c i l a b l e realms: the "realm of the concept of nature" and the "supersensible realm of the concept of free- dom" (C_ of_ J_, 12). Between the two l i e s a "gulf" which might never be bridged, since "The concept of freedom as l i t t l e disturbs the l e g i s l a t i o n of nature as the natural concept influences the l e g i s l a t i o n through the former" ( i b i d . , 11). This p r i n c i p l e i s given a fine poetic turn in Book IX of Wordsworth's poem, The Excursion: Our l i f e i s turned Out of her course, wherever man i s made An o f f e r i n g , or a s a c r i f i c e , a tool Or implement, a passive thing employed As a brute mean, without acknowledgement Of common right or interest in the end; Used or abused, as selfishness may prompt. (Poetical Works, ed. E. De Selincourt and Helen Darbishire [Oxford, 1940-49], V, 113-19. Hereafter referred to as Works. The Excursion referred to hereafter as Excursion.) 38 But from t h i s standpoint, man's inexorable destiny i s that of Byron's Chi 1de Harold--to stand perpetually on the "Bridge of Sighs" with "A Palace and a prison on each hand."^ That i s , man i s f r e e , and knows that he i s free, from his a b i l i t y to follow the dictates of duty a contre coeur. But at the same time, he can perceive no theoretical p o s s i b i l i t y of finding a theatre in this world for his Ideals; no hope of transforming what ought to be into what might be. And for a man who sympathized as deeply as Kant with the goals of the French Revolution, this position was obviously intolerable. I r o n i c a l l y , the p o s s i b i l i t y of reconciling the realms of nature and freedom i s l e f t open by Transcendental D i a l e c t i c , the most "nega- t i v e " part of the Critique of Pure Reason. For there, Kant showed that although these two realms must be distinguished in theory, they are not l o g i c a l l y incompatible, since i t i s possible to "prove" both, as the thesis and antithesis of the same rational "Antinomy" (C_ of P_R, 409-15). But in the Introduction to the Critique of Judgment, Kant states that this kind of negatively deduced compatibility cannot s u f f i c e , since in l i f e , we normally and properly assume that moral values do have an influence on natural f a c t , and that i t i_s possible to f i n d a theatre for our ideals in the given world; f o r as Coleridge said: We have hearts as well as Heads. We can w i l l and act, as well as think, see, and f e e l . Is there no communion between the i n t e l l e c t u a l and the moral ff Are the d i s t i n c t i o n s of the Schools separates in Nature? Is there no Heart in the Head? No Head in the Heart? Is i t not possible ^Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, IV, 1-2; The Works of Lord Byron, Poetry, ed. E.R. Coleridge (New York, 1965), II, 327. Hereafter referred to as Poetry. 39 to f i n d a practical Reason, a Light of L i f e , a focal power from the union or harmonious composition of a l l the F a c u l t i e s ? 8 As i f in answer to these very questions, Kant set out in the Critique of Judgment to discover "a ground of unity of the supersensible, which l i e s at the basis of nature . . . with that which the concept of freedom p r a c t i c a l l y contains"; a ground which would make possible "the tr a n s i t i o n from the mode of thought according to the pri n c i p l e s of the one to that according to the pri n c i p l e s of the other" (rj of J_, 12). And the f a c t that Kant should discover this ground in the realm of a r t , and in the operation of the "Aesthetic Imagination"^ provides ample evidence for Coleridge's judgment that "the K r i t i k der U r t e i l s k r a f t [ i s ] the most astonishing of a l l his [Kant's] works. "Inquiring S p i r i t , ed. Kathleen Coburn (New York, 1951), 126. Hereafter referred to as I_S. ^Here, as in the following pages, I follow Cassirer's suggestion that Kantian Imagination be regarded as sharing three "functions": "(a) reproductive imagination, which i s not free since i t depends on em-p i r i c a l laws, (b) productive imagination, which i s not free either since i t depends on the a p r i o r i laws of the understanding, and (c) aesthetic imagination, which i s the p r i n c i p l e that underlies our judgments of taste. It i s both productive, not merely reproductive, and free, for i t i s independent of any determinate laws of the understanding" (H.W. Cassirer, A Commentary on Kant's "Critique of Judgment" [London, 1938], 217). Compare Shawcross' t r i p a r t i t e d i v i s i o n of the Kantian Imagination, BL, I, l v i i i . ^Crabbe Robinson's Diary for November 1810, cited O r s i n i , 159. CHAPTER IV THE CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT—ART AS MEDIATOR BETWEEN SENSE AND THE MORAL IDEAS Beauty as a "Necessary Condition of Human Being" Imagination i s Kant's theme in the "Critique of Aesthetical Judg- ment,"1 --not Imagination in i t s mere reproductive function, where i t i s subject to the laws of a s s o c i a t i o n — b u t Productive Imagination, to which Kant now assigns a far more important and expanded role than in the f i r s t c r i t i q u e . There, although Imagination was regarded as genuinely active in bringing about unity in the manifold through the production of schema, the fac u l t y was s t i l l regarded as in the service of Understanding, with which i t combined to generate knowledge of phenomenal nature. But now, in the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment," Kant asks us to consider the p o s s i b i l i t y that Imagination, in "gathering up" the manifold, i s capable of being both "productive and spontaneous," of operating in "con- formity to law without a law"—that i s , not as i f "compelled" to submit to the laws which determine the l i m i t s and scope of discursive knowledge, but in "free conformity" with such laws (C_ of J_, 77-78). 2 This p o s s i b i l i t y ^Note that the Critique of Judgment i s divided into two parts, t i t l e d the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment," and the "Critique of Teleojogaeal Judgment." Both parts deal with judgments of "purpose," but with th i s difference: the former i s concerned with purely "aesthetical" judgments, where purposiveness i s recognized without any s p e c i f i c purpose attached to i t , while the l a t t e r i s concerned with determinative judgments of actual, " t e l e o l o g i c a l " purposes in nature. 2 T h i s concept of "imaginative power" (the term i s Kant's) i s con-tained in Coleridge's d e f i n i t i o n of creative Imagination as a "power Iwhich i s j f i r s t put in action by the w i l l and understanding, and retained 40 41 could be realized i f there were some class-of objects which themselves contained "a c o l l e c t i o n of the manifold as the imagination i t s e l f , i f i t were l e f t free, would project in accordance with the conformity to law of the understanding in general" ( i b i d . , 78). If there were such objects, the Imagination, in dealing with them would not be under constraint to create schema for them, since loosely speaking, they are schematized in advance. Now Kant holds that such objects do e x i s t , and that they are a source of immediate, and disinterested pleasure for us. Such objects, whether regarded as "natural" or as created by a man, we c a l l "beautiful," and in the act of perceiving them, "the understanding i s at the service of the imagination, and not vice versa" ( i b i d . , 79). C h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , Kant makes this astonishing claim without prelude, and with no prior indication of i t s importance. But the s l i g h t - est f a m i l i a r i t y with the philosophical issues raised in Romantic poetry and the Transcendental philosophy i s enough to reveal the wealth of meaning i t contains. For both Kant and the Romantics held, in agreement with Hume, that discursive i n t e l l i g e n c e is only conversant with phenomena, which are given as in (Euclidean) space and (Newtonian) time, and as determined by the categories of cause and effe c t . But i f Kant's analysis of the sense of beauty i s correct, and the laws of association have no authority in the aesthetic order, i t becomes possible to regard the aesthetic experience as a "bridge" between empirical f a c t and the Ideas of Reason; for only when Imagination i s "free, spontaneous, and indepen- dent of natural determination," i s i t capable of. under the i r irremissive, though gentle and unnoticed, controul ( l a x i s  e f f e r t u r habenis) ..." (BL,II, 12). 42 judging nature as a phenomenon in accordance with aspects which i t does not present in experience either for sense or understanding, and there-fore of using i t . . . as a sort of schema f o r , the supersensible ( i b i d . , 171; see below, p. 192ff. Kant's goal in the Critique of Judgment i s not, however, merely to define the p o s s i b i l i t y of reconciling the sensible with the supersen- s i b l e , but of grounding the means of this t r a n s i t i o n in Transcendental p r i n c i p l e s . Here, his intentions can be most c l e a r l y understood when considered in r e l a t i o n to the aesthetics of the "age of s e n s i b i l i t y " which he regarded as "Exceedingly beautiful," affording " r i c h material for the f a v o r i t e investigations of empirical anthropology." 3 But not, i t should be noted, for Transcendental philosophy. Burke, for example, considered i t the primary business of aesthetics to define a "logic of Taste," to discover "whether there are any p r i n c i p l e s , on which the imagination i s affected, so common to a l l , so grounded and ce r t a i n , as ^Amongst the English works on aesthetics which went into German translations prior to publication of the Critique of Judgment are: Hugh B l a i r , Lectures on Rhetoric (1783; Ger. trans. 1785)"; Edmond Burke, op. c i t . (Ger. trans. 1773); Alexander Gerard, Essay on Genius (1774, Ger. trans. 1776); William Hogarth, Analysis of Beauty~Tl753; Ger. trans. 1754); Henry Home, Elements of Criticism~["l762; Ger. trans. 1763-66); Richard Hurd, Discourse Concerning Poetical Imitation (1751; Ger. trans. 1762); Thomas Reid, An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of  Common Sense (1764; Ger. trans. 1782); Reynolds' Discourses (1769-90; Ger. trans, [in part] 1781); and Shaftesbury's Characteristics (1711; Ger. trans. 1776-77). See the Index to James Creed Meredith's transla-tion of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgement (Oxford, 1911), passim. Hereafter referred to as £ of AJ_. Samuel Holt Monk c a l l s the Critique of Judgment the "unconscious goal" of eighteenth-century English aesthetics (The Sublime, 6); and E.F. C a r r i t t claims that "There are . . . few ori g i n a l ideas in Kant's aesthetic. He has systematized and hardened d i s t i n c t i o n s and oppositions current in England for the preceeding eighty years ..." ("The Sources and Effects in England of Kant's Philosophy of Beauty," Monist, XXXV [ A p r i l , 1925], 323). These views do not, however, do f u l l j u s t i c e to the nature of Kant's Transcendental "revolution," by which he based old d i s t i n c t i o n s on completely new foundations. 43 to supply the means of reasoning s a t i s f a c t o r i l y about them."^ Now this d e f i n i t i o n of the aims of aesthetics corresponds closely to Kant's, ju s t as Hume's proposal to "march up d i r e c t l y to the capitol or center of . . . human nature i t s e l f " to "discover . . . the secret springs and p r i n c i p l e s , by which the human mind i s actuated in i t s operations" (Hume, 4, 113) foreshadows Kant's whole c r i t i c a l method in general. But Kant i s correct in i n s i s t i n g that the empirical philosophers, by neglecting the a p r i o r i element in knowledge, can only deal with what j_s the case, not with what ought to be the case, which he saw as our concern in aesthetics. There- fore, however deeply Burke may probe into the physiology of the sense of beauty, he can never "prescribe to us how we ought to judge" (C_ of J_, 120). This p r i v i l e g e can only arise from a "transcendental discussion of this faculty [of Aesthetical Judgment]," leading to the discovery of "a p r i o r i p r i n c i p l e s " underlying our judgments of beauty; and i t i s toward the de- duction of such principles that the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment," the f i r s t d i v i s i o n of the Critique of Judgment, i s directed.^ The f i r s t part of the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment" consists of Kant's attempt to demarcate a f i e l d f o r investigation; to ascertain that there i s such a thing as a judgment of taste, and that such judg- ments are q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from judgments of f a c t , sensuous ^Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas  of the Sublime and Beautiful, ed. J.T. Boulton (London, 195877 11, 13. ^For a discussion of the Romantics' attitude towards Burkes 1  Enquiry, see below, pp. 146-7. The "Four Moments" of the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment" 44 g r a t i f i c a t i o n , or moral s a t i s f a c t i o n . 6 It i s divided according to the four "moments" of formal l o g i c : quality, quantity, r e l a t i o n , and modality. Under the f i r s t of these heads, Kant develops a p r i n c i p l e which is fundamental to both Coleridge and the New C r i t i c i s m : ^ the " d i s i n t e r - estedness" of judgments of taste. In our contemplation of beauty, we are concerned, says Kant, with mere "Schein," or appearance, and in no way with the existence of the object as such, or with practical consid- erations of the "good" or "pleasant." 8 Secondly, Kant deduces from the "disinterestedness" of judgments of taste th e i r u n i v e r s a l i t y . For since they do not "rest on any [private] i n c l i n a t i o n of the subject," they "must be regarded as grounded on what °Thus Rene Wellek's claim that "In Kant the argument [for the auton-omy of art] was stated for the f i r s t time systematically by defending the d i s t i n c t i o n of the aesthetic realm against al1 sides: against sensualism and i t s reduction of art to pleasure, against moral ism, i n t e l l e c t u a l ism, and didacticism. ... He has put his finger on the central issue of aesthetics. No science i s possible which does not have i t s d i s t i n c t ob-j e c t . If art is simply pleasure, communication, experience, or i n f e r i o r reasoning, i t ceases to be art and becomes a substitute for something else" (A History of Modern C r i t i c i s m [New Haven, 1955-65], I, 230). ^"The esthetic attitude is the most objective and the most innocent attitude in which we can look upon the world, and i t is possible only when we neither desire the world nor pretend to control i t . Our pleasure in this attitude probably l i e s in a feeling of communion or rapport with environment which i s fundamental in our human requirements—but which i s sternly discouraged in the mind that has the s c i e n t i f i c habit" (John Crowe Ransom, God Without Thunder [Hamden, Connecticut, 1965], 173). o °Suzanne Langer, following S c h i l l e r , develops her whole aesthetic from the concept of art as "Schein." See especially her Feeling and  Form (New York, 1953), and Fr i e d r i c h S c h i l l e r ' s On the Aesthetic Education  of Man, eds. E.R. Wilkinson and L.A. Willoughby {London, 1967). Hereafter referred to as Aesthetic Letters. Meredith (C of AJ_, 238-39) cit e s pas-sages from Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Alison and Burke which foreshadow Kant's p r i n c i p l e of the disinterestedness of judgments of taste. 45 he can presuppose in every other person" (C of J_, 46); i . e . , the exis- tence of the cognitive f a c u l t i e s themselves. This u n i v e r s a l i t y , however, is "not logical but aesthetical," for aesthetical judgments cannot refer to concepts of what a thing "ought to be": no one, says Kant, can be "forced to recognize anything as beautiful" ( i b i d . , 50). For we are, in Keats's words, "teased out of thought" in our contemplation of beauty, and the universality of our aesthetical judgments i s s t r i c t l y "subjec- t i v e , " based on a "free play" of Imagination and Understanding ( i b i d . , 52). Under the th i r d head, " r e l a t i o n , " Kant introduces the paradox that in judgments of taste, objects are judged as "purposive," that i s , as i f "produced in accordance with a w i l l which had regulated i t according to the representation of a certain rule," and yet as not suggestive of any s p e c i f i c purpose served by i t s existence.^ To i l l u s t r a t e , a flower, and a pair of scissors are both in some sense "purposive," but with this great difference: the purpose to be served by the scissors can be imme- diately observed from their construction—but what "purpose" can a flower be said to s e r v e ? 1 0 The answer, of course, i s none, and we take delight in a flower immediately, from the consideration of i t s pure form as form, ^Somerset Maugham's co n v i v i a l , little-known reading of Kant's C r i -tique of Judgment, "Reflections on a Certain Book" (in The Vagrant Mood {New York, 1953], 167-201), focusses mainly on this aspect of Kant's exposition. 1 0 0 f course, flowers can be "used" for many purposes—an expression of sympathy at a funeral, to make perfume or brighten up a hospital room-likewise a statue can be "used" to commemorate a hero, or a painting to make a safe investment—Duke Orsino "uses" music as a s o p o r i f i c — b u t Kant would hold that in none of these cases i s an "aesthetical judgment" brought to bear. For i t is only when purposiveness is abstracted as a quality in i t s e l f ; i t i s only when pure form i s considered in and for i t s e l f without any concept of a s p e c i f i c purpose that we are judging a e s t h e t i c a l l y . 46 as abstract "Schein." And the object of such pure delight we c a l l "beautiful." In a l a t e r section, Kant makes his position here much clearer. It is imperative, he says, for us to distinguish on the one hand between judging according to empirical, or a p r i o r i (given) rules of what a thing i s or ought to be; and on the other, of judging in terms of pur- posiveness in the abstract. For i f judgments of tastewwere based merely on the former, " a l l beauty would be banished from the world, and only a part i c u l a r name, expressing perhaps a certain mingling of the two above- named kinds of s a t i s f a c t i o n ['pleasantness 1 and 'goodness'], would re- main in i t s place" ( i b i d . , 192). But since we know from experience that we are capable of deriving immediate pleasure from the mere contemplation of an object, i t follows that the purposiveness in a judgment of taste "refers aesthetical1y to the agreement of the representation of the ob- j e c t in the imagination with the essential p r i n c i p l e s of judgment in general in the subject" ( i b i d . ) . Therefore, in the response to beauty, we "invariably seek i t s gauge in ourselves a p r i o r i , " a fact which could not be, on the assumption of the realism [as opposed to the idealism] of the purposiveness of nature, because in that case we must have learned from nature what we ought to f i n d b e a u t i f u l , and the aesthetical judgment would be subjected to empirical prin c i p l e s ( i b i d . , 195). The d e f i n i t i o n of beauty occasioned by the f i n a l "moment" of the "Analytic of the Beautiful" i s t h i s : "The beautiful i s that which with- out any concept i s cognized as the object of a necessary s a t i s f a c t i o n " ( i b i d . , 77). Once again, Kant i s developing a p r i n c i p l e which is designed to distinguish judgments of taste from merely empirical judgments, since the l a t t e r relate only to what i_s the case, not to what must be the case. 47 Of course, this "necessity" cannot be "derived from d e f i n i t e concepts" or "inferred from . . . experience"--it can only relate to some "subjec- tive p r i n c i p l e which determines what pleases or displeases only by f e e l - ing and not by concepts, but yet with universal v a l i d i t y " ( i b i d . , 75) — in other words, a "sensus communis,"11 linking together a l l sentient beings on the level of a common denominator. And such a "sense" i s imputable not as an empirical, but as a Transcendental p r i n c i p l e , because i f cognitions are to admit of communicability, so must also the state of mind--i.e. the accordance of the cognitive powers with a cognition gene-r a l l y and that proportion of them which i s suitable for a representation (by which an object i s given to us) in order that, a cognition may be made out of i t — a d m i t of universal communicabil i t y . For "without this as the subjective condition of cognition, cognition as an e f f e c t could not arise" ( i b i d ) . 1 2 It i s impossible, for the purposes of this study, to overempha- size the importance of what Kant i s saying here. F i r s t , his method of dealing with these questions c l e a r l y indicates that his Transcendental Idealism offers i f not the f i r s t , then at least the most systematic and clos e l y reasoned provisions for the movement from mimeticism to expres- sionism—from c r i t e r i a based on the "objective" correlation of a r t i f a c t to "nature," to canons based on the immediacy of i t s appeal and the s i n - c e r i t y of the emotions from which i t is borne and which i t communicates— in the history of c r i t i c i s m . 1 3 But even more important, since this ^Meredith remarks, "We are asked to make an admission in order to avoid complete scepticism. Does this not imply (what seems to be the truth) that the only answer to scepticism i s to be found in the bearing of the p r a c t i c a l upon the theoretical faculty?" (C_ of AJ_, 257). 1 2Compare Coleridge, BL, II, 325. 1 3See Wellek, History of Modern C r i t i c i s m , I, 230-31. 48 movement i s foreshadowed in such pre-Kantian thinkers as Longinus and even Bacon, 1 4 i s the fact that i t i s Transcendentally established by Kant; i . e . , i s proven to be based on the very conditions which allow for "the p o s s i b i l i t y of a cognition in general." These are the conditions which have been outlined in the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , only now, the f a c u l t i e s which must conjoin to allow for cognition are shown to be capable of conforming to each other without the influence of empirical laws. He has, in other words, reversed the whole trend of Neo-classical c r i t i - cism by demonstrating that judgments of taste demand freedom from con- cepts of what a work of art should be, what art has been in the past, what the consensus of opinion regarding i t s value i s , what i t s "instruc- t i v e " merits are, or how clo s e l y i t adheres to "general nature." 1 6 In the place of such c r i t e r i a , Kant substitutes the immediacy of the spec- tator's pleasure, avoiding the r e l a t i v i s t i c implications of t h i s position by showing that such pleasure depends on conditions which are presupposed for al1 experience. The Feeling of the Sublime, and the Moral Ideas Having discovered the a p r i o r i basis f o r judgments of the beauti- fu l in the free play of the cognitive f a c u l t i e s , Kant turns in the "Second Book" of the "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment" to a consideration of the f e e l i n g of the sublime. Judgments of the sublime, says Kant, are quite properly regarded as "aesthetic," in that they evoke a purely I^See M.H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp, 22. ^ A c t u a l l y Kant tempers his position on many of these questions with his remarks on the function of the c r i t i c , and the propriety of "reconrerr••• mend[ing]" the works of the ancients as models; and on how the taste can be "sharpened by exercise." See Sections 32-34; pp. 123-28. 49 disinterested and immediate pleasure; but the quality of this pleasure is quite d i f f e r e n t from that which we take in the beautiful, and i t arises for completely d i f f e r e n t reasons. For the f e e l i n g of beauty i s one of r e s t f u l harmony, occasioned by a purposive object of d e f i n i t e and limited form which "brings with i t a feeling of the furtherance of l i f e , and thus i s compatible . . . with the play of the imagination" (C of J , 83). But the pleasure we take in the sublime "arises only i n d i r e c t l y ; v i z . i t i s produced by the f e e l i n g of a momentary checking of the v i t a l powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them." This is so, because the sublime "appear[s] ... to be unsuited to our presentative f a c u l t y , and ... to do violence to the imagination" ( i b i d . ) ; i t appears to us as a " v i o l a t i o n of purpose" in nature, a f a c t which directs us to "seek a ground" for such judgments "merely in ourselves and in our attitude of thought, which introduces sublimity into the representation of nature" ( i b i d . , 84). Therefore, the unique value for us of the sublime does not l i e in what i t t e l l s us about purposes in nature, but rather in what we learn from them of the human mind i t s e l f , of i t s Ideals, and i t s "super- sensible destination" ( i b i d . , 96). Obviously, then, the d i s t i n c t i o n between the beautiful and the sublime i s for Kant far more than academic—in f a c t , Kant's chapters on the sublime offer his clearest explanation of how a b a s i c a l l y non- cognitive, "aesthetic" feeling can l i b e r a t e the mind from the categories of the Understanding and allow us insight into our freedom from the determination of nature. Kant's argument runs as follows. When we perceive something which i s "absolutely great," (Kant c i t e s the Pyramids, St. Peter's and the Milky Way), the mind i s l o s t for some standard of comparison. But 50 in the very process of seeking to provide some scale of measure for what i s apparently immeasurable, the Imagination "reaches i t s maximum, and, in s t r i v i n g to express i t , sinks back into i t s e l f " ( i b i d . , 91). But even that momentary glimpse into i n f i n i t y is enough, says Kant, to con- vince us that we possess "a fac u l t y of mind which surpasses every standard of sense [Reason]"" Only on this assumption can we account for "the bare capacity of thinking this i n f i n i t e without contradiction" ( i b i d . , 93). Therefore just as imagination and understanding, in judging of the beautifu l , gen-erate a subjective purposiveness of the mental powers by means of thei r harmony, so . . . imagination and reason do so by means of their con-f l i c t . That i s , they bring about a feeling that we possess pure s e l f -subsisteat reason, or a fac u l t y for the estimation of magnitude, whose superiority can be made i n t u i t i v e l y evident only by the inadequacy of that faculty [Imagination] which i s i t s e l f unbounded in the presentation of magnitudes (of sensible objects) ( i b i d . , 97). The case i s similar in terms of the representation of "might" in nature, such as "Bold overhanging . . . threatening rocks," "volcanoes in a l l their violence of destruction," or "the boundless ocean in a state of tumult" ( i b i d . , 100). Normally, we would expect such prospects to be a source of fear, and to convince us of our own comparative l i m i - tations and weaknesses. But act u a l l y , as Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley a l l found in the Alps (see below, p. 174ff.), the contrary i s true, and in contemplating the sublime we fi n d ourselves, in Kant's words, in a "state of joy." For so long as we are not bound down with purely practical concerns or excessive t i m i d i t y , such objects "raise the ener- gies of the soul above the i r accustomed height and discover in us a faculty of resistance of a quite d i f f e r e n t kind, which gives us courage to measure ourselves against the apparent almightiness of nature" ( i b i d . , 51 100-101). Thus, ju s t as in trying to f i n d a scale of the i n f i n i t e l y great the Imagination discovered a "nonsensuous standard, which has that i n f i n i t y i t s e l f under i t as a unity," so does our a b i l i t y to overcome fear in the face of nature's might teach us of our "superiority to nature even in i t s immensity." In t h i s way nature . . . c a l l s up that power in us ... of regarding as small the things about which we are s o l i c i t o u s (goods, health, and l i f e ) , and of regarding i t s might ... as nevertheless without any dominion over us and our personality to which we must bow where our highest fun-damental propositions, and th e i r assertion or abandonment, are concerned. Therefore nature i s here ca l l e d sublime merely because i t elevates the imagination to a presentation of those cases in which the mind can make f e l t the proper .sublimity of i t s destination, in comparison with nature i t s e l f ( i b i d . , 101). This notion, that nature in her most expansive forms can become for us an "emblem of a mind . . . sustained / By recognitions of trans scendent power"1^ j s important, not only because i t was obviously "taken up by . . . Coleridge and Wordsworth," 1^ but also because i t provides such a clear indication of how the aesthetical judgment can "mediate" between the concept of nature as determined, and of man as autonomous (in the moral sphere). For while the presence of sublimity has the "frightening" e f f e c t of suddenly defining the bounds of sense, i t also teaches us that the mind i s not confined to these bounds, but possesses "a f a c u l t y [Reason] which surpasses a l l standards of sense" and in f a c t has a " s u s c e p t i b i l i t y . . . for [moral] ideas" (C_ of J_, 104). 1 6 P r e l u d e, XIV, 70, 74-5. "!7carritt, op. c i t . , 323. 52 Genius Kant's concern in his sections on "genius" is to show that the creative a r t s , and es p e c i a l l y poetry, by "presenting to sense" the "moral order" in symbolic form serves an important, and in f a c t a neces- sary role in reconciling the ( t h e o r e t i c a l l y ) polarized realms of man and nature. He begins by distinguishing art from nature, as doing (facere) i s distinguished from acting or working generally (agere); and as the product or r e s u l t of the former i s distinguished as work (opus), from the working (effectus) of the l a t t e r (C of J , 145). In other words, art i s always regarded as "a work of man," a man whose f a c u l t i e s are operating through "freedom," i.e. "through a w i l l that places reason at the basis of i t s actions" ( i b i d . , 146, 145). It i s furthermore distinguished from mere "mechanical" productions by proposing "for i t s immediate design the f e e l i n g of pleasure" ( i b i d . , 148). But, since there are a number of objects which have this capacity which we would not c a l l art (Kant mentions jokes and games), Kant makes the fur- ther d i s t i n c t i o n that, properly speaking, "beautiful art i s a mode or representation which i s purposive for i t s e l f and which, although devoid of d e f i n i t e purpose, yet furthers the culture of the mental powers in reference to social communication." For in Kant's view, The universal communicability of a pleasure carries with i t in i t s very concept that the pleasure i s not one of enjoyment, from mere sensation, but must be derived from r e f l e c t i o n ; and thus aesthetical a r t , as the art of beauty, has f o r standard the r e f l e c t i v e judgment and not sensa-tion ( i b i d . , 148-49). But the most important aspect of our contemplation of art i s that while we are aware that i t i s not nature, s t i l l "the purposiveness in i t s form must seem to be as free from a l l constraint of arbitrary rules as i f i t were a product of mere nature." For i t is "this feeling of freedom in the play of our cognitive f a c u l t i e s , which must at the same time be purposive" on which rests "that pleasure which alone i s univer- I s a l l y communicable, without being based on concepts." Thus i f we c a l l nature "beautiful," i t i s because i t "looks l i k e a r t " ; and art in turn can only be,called beautiful i f we are conscious of i t as art while yet i t looks l i k e nature. . . . Hence the purposiveness in the product of beautiful a r t , although i t is designed, must not seem to be designed, i.e . beautiful art must look l i k e nature, although we are conscious of i t as art" ( i b i d . , 149). Kant, however, i s not content with merely demonstrating how i t i s possible f o r men to create ju s t "another nature": l i k e the Romantics, his ultimate intention i s to show how a product of genius actually eelipses nature and "expands the mind by setting the imagination at l i b - erty" ( i b i d . , 170). And here i s where Kant turns to his discussion of the Aesthetic Imagination, which as I have said i s another name for the Productive Imagination, only conceived of as not "under the constraint of the understanding" ( i b i d . , 160). Now according to Kant, the difference between a "neat and elegant" arrangement of words and a true poem, is the presence in the l a t t e r of 1 q "Geist,"'° a quality which i s not, as Plato would have i t , a divine g i f t , but rather "the name given to the animating p r i n c i p l e of the mind"; the power that "puts the mental powers purposively into swing, 1 3 A b a s i c a l l y untranslatable word. Bernard suggests " s p i r i t , " and Meredith "soul." The problem of translating t h i s word takes on whole new dimensions in the philosophy of Hegel, where Geist becomes "the total system of a l l the categories d i a l e c t i c a l l y connected." See O r s i n i , 240, and 296, n.3. 54 i . e . , into such a play as maintains i t s e l f and strengthens the mental powers in their exercise" ( i b i d . , 157). And this "animating p r i n c i p l e " is f a r more than mere "enthusiasm"; i t i s "no other than the faculty of presenting aesthetical ideas," that i s , imaginative representations which transcend a l l concepts of the Understanding, and which can never be "com- pletely compassed and made i n t e l l i g i b l e by [discursive] language. The enormous significance f o r us of this capacity of imagination to represent, or respond to these "aesthetical ideas" derives from the fact that they are d i r e c t " counterpart^]" of "rational ideas" of the Godhead, of human freedom and destiny ( i b i d . , 157). For ju s t as the l a t - ter are concepts f o r which no representation can be adequate, so are "aesthetical ideas" representations to which no concept can be adequate. In either case, we are taken beyond the bounds of sense experience; but the aesthetical ideas do even more; they help us to "remould experience" and thus to feel our freedom from the law of a s s o c i a t i o n ^ 0 (which attaches to the em-p i r i c a l employment of imagination), so that the material supplied to us 19"Kant in e f f e c t i s saying precisely what Mr. Cleanth Brooks as a modern c r i t i c has been saying to his own public over and over: that 'there i s no other way' for language to express what i t wants to express without having recourse to metaphor; without going to the Concrete of nature for i t s analogy. I cannot think that Kant would have repudiated his implication, but that he would have stated i t with his usual bold-n e s s — i f he could have foreseen the d i f f i c u l t passages, and the impasses, which the subsequent course of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m would encounter, and the need of developing his own prin c i p l e s most s p e c i f i c a l l y " (Ransom, "The Concrete Universal . . .", 180). 20in terms of the h i s t o r i c a l relationship between Coleridge and Kant, i t i s especially f i t t i n g that at the very point of identifying the creative Imagination as the agency by which the mind can grow and reach beyond i t s e l f , l i b e r a t i n g us from the mere mechanical and determined order of nature, Kant should make the s p e c i f i c reference to the philosophy of David Hartley. See C of AJ, 291. 55 by nature in accordance with this law can be worked up into something d i f f e r e n t which surpasses nature ( i b i d . , 157; my emphasis).21 The Imagination, then, insofar as i t " i s free to furnish unsought, over and above that agreement with a concept" ( i b i d . , 160) becomes the "missing l i n k " : the "bridge" between nature and freedom, the body and the soul. For in i t s capacity to "go beyond the l i m i t s of experience and present them to sense with a completeness of which there i s no example in nature," i t "brings the faculty of i n t e l l e c t u a l ideas (the reason) into movement" ( i b i d . , 158), and thus strengthens the mind by making i t feel i t s f a c u l t y — f r e e , spontaneous, and independent of natural determination—of considering and judging nature as a phenomenon in accordance with aspects which i t does not pres-ent in experience either for sense or understanding, and therefore of using i t on behalf of, and as a sort of schema f o r , the supersensible ( i b i d . , 171; my emphasis). It is d i f f i c u l t to overemphasize the importance of what Kant i s saying here, both in r e l a t i o n to the ultimate goal of his C r i t i c a l phi? lospphy and to the di r e c t i o n which Transcendental thought took in the English Romantic movement. A "schema," i t w i l l be r e c a l l e d , i s a creation of the Productive Imagination which renders sense experience amenable to concepts. Now since the aesthetic experience presupposes that Imagination can operate "spontaneously" under laws of i t s own o r i g i n a t i o n , placing in ^'Compare Shaftesbury: "But f o r the man who t r u l y and in a ju s t sense deserves the name of poet, and who as a real master, or architect in the kind, can describe both men and manners, and give to an action i t s jus t body and proportions, he w i l l be found, i f I mistake not, a very d i f f e r e n t creature. Such a poet i s indeed a second Maker; a just Prometheus under Jove. Like that sovereign a r t i s t or universal p l a s t i c nature, he forms a whole, coherent and proportioned in i t s e l f , with due subjection and subordinacy of constituent p r i n c i p l e s " (Characteristics, ed. John M. Robertson [London, 1900], I, 135-36). 56 abeyance the demands of discursive reasoning, i t also opens up the possi- b i l i t y of rediscovering in the mere phenomena of nature "schemata for the supersensible," or "types and symbols of Eternity," as Wordsworth c a l l s them.22. And what i s of crowning importance, this p o s s i b i l i t y i s realized s t r i c t l y within the bounds of Transcendental philosophy, since the unify- ing a c t i v i t y of the Productive Imagination has already been established as a conditio sine qua non of al1 experience. It w i l l be noted, however, that Kant speaks of the Aesthetic Imagination as creating a "sort of schema" for the supersensible. This caution i s necessary for Kant, since in order to maintain the i n t e g r i t y of the Ideas of Reason, he cannot allow them to be thought of as being completely reducible to sense experience. Therefore, near the end of the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment," Kant solves this problem by introducing a new concept: his doctrine of "symbolism." Beauty as a Symbol of the Morally Good There are many occasions in the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment" when Kant indicates that the beautiful and the good share a close and unique relationship. In Section twenty-nine, for example, Kant says that the beautiful i s "purposive in reference to the moral feelings . . . pre- paring us to love disinterestedly . . ." (C_ of J_, 108). And in Section forty-two, Kant maintains that "to take an immediate interest in the beauty of nature ... i s always the mark of a good soul" and that "when this interest i s habitual, i t . . . indicates a frame of mind favorable to the moral f e e l i n g ..." ( i b i d . , 141). And again, in the same section: 2 2 P r e l u d e , VI, 639. See below, 179ff. 57 . . . the mind cannot ponder upon the beauty of nature without finding i t s e l f at the same time interested therein. But this interest i s akin to moral, and he who takes such a interest in the beauties of nature can do so only in so f a r as he previously has firmly established his interest in the morally good. I f , therefore, the beauty of nature interests a man immediately, we have reason for a t t r i b u t i n g to him at least a basis f o r a good moral disposition ( i b i d . , 143). In the Appendix to the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment,'" Kant i s even more e x p l i c i t : The propaedeutic to a l l beautiful a r t , regarded in the highest degree of i t s perfection, seems to l i e , not in precepts, but in the culture of the mental powers by means of those elements of knowledge called humaniora, probably because humanity on the one side indicates the universal f e e l i n g  of sympathy, and on the other the faculty of being able to communicate universally our inmost feelings. For these properties, taken together, constitute the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c social s p i r i t of humanity by which i t i s distinguished from the limitations of animal l i f e ( i b i d . , 201). Interesting-as these observations are, nowhere do they indicate how beauty, which i s e s s e n t i a l l y sensuous, can relate to moral Ideas, which are "supersensible," and for which "no i n t u i t i o n can be given which shall be adequate" (Hbid., 197). In f a c t , i t is not u n t i l the penultimate section of the "Critique of Aesthetical Judgment" that Kant enters into a formal discussion of the relationship between beauty and goodness." Kant begins by suggesting some of the points on which an analogy between aesthetic and moral worth can be drawn. F i r s t , he notes that both kinds of judgment are "disinterested," in the sense that the judge of morality, l i k e the judge of beauty i s , i d e a l l y at l e a s t , not " i n t e r - ested" in his own psychological or cultural predispositions. And i t " S e c t i o n f i f t y - n i n e . A d i f f i c u l t section, but crucial to an under-standing of Kant's ultimate philosophical goals. Note that H.W. Cassirer, in his Commentary on Kant's Critique of Judgment, refuses to explicate this section on the grounds that he is "unable ... to follow Kant's argument" ( v i i i ) . 58 follows that i f these judgments are made disinterestedly, they are uni- v e r s a l l y imputable: " v a l i d for every man." Next, Kant says that judgments of the beautiful and the good, A l i k e a l l disinterested judgments, r e s u l t from a certain "free play" of the f a c u l t i e s , with aesthetic judgments, "the freedom of the imagina- tion ... i s represented in judging the beautiful as harmonious with the conformity to law of the understanding," whereas with moral judg- ments, "the freedom of the w i l l i s thought as the harmony of the l a t t e r with i t s e l f , according to universal laws of reason" ( i b i d . , 199). Third, Kant notes that s i m i l a r i t i e s in the actual words used in the German language in judging moral actions and objects of beauty, i n - dicate a very obvious kind of community between the two. We note the same phenomenon in English: "that was a beautiful thing to do" is com- monly used to describe some act considered e t h i c a l ; and conversely, poems and paintings are often judged in.ethical terms, such as "worthy," "noble," "exemplary," and so fort h . And note also that although we do not speak of " e v i l " a r t , we do refer to art and actions a l i k e as "good" and "bad." In any case, Kant's argument here i s that in a l l aesthetic judgments, there must be "something analogous to the consciousness of the state of mind brought about by moral judgments" ( i b i d . , 200). Other- wise, he reasons, the l i n g u i s t i c p a r a l l e l s w o u l d not apply. Now a l l of this evidence leads Kant to one conclusion: since the beautiful cannot be thought of as l i t e r a l l y "representative" of the moral Ideas, i t is s t i l l possible to think of i t as a "symbol" of them. That i s , while the a r t i s t cannot create "schema" for the good, he can set morality for t h in a system of symbols by which the mind i s "made 59 conscious of a certain ennoblement and elevation above the mere sensi- b i l i t y to pleasure received through sense" ( i b i d . , 199). This ingenious interpretation of the beautiful as a "symbol" of the morally good allows Kant to retain his b e l i e f that the noumenal realm of freedom i s not available through concepts, while s t i l l regard- ing the beautiful as having an influence on our moral being; to say, as he does in the second part of the Critique of Judgment, that. The beautiful arts and sciences . . . make men more c i v i l i z e d , i f not morally better, [and] win us in large measure from the tyranny of sense propensions, and thus prepare men f o r a lordship in which reason alone shall have authority, while the e v i l s with which we are v i s i t e d , partly by nature, partly by the intolerant selfishness of men, summon, strengthen, and harden the powers of the soul not to submit to them, and so make us feel an aptitude for higher purposes which l i e s hidden in us (283-84). In a\'ve,ry important sense, Kant, by making his aesthetic turn on a concept of the Imagination as free from determinate laws of the Under- standing and i t s categories, has landed us squarely into the central issue of Romantic poetics. Is beauty merely a "dull opiate," a means of escape from " r e a l i t y , " or can the "viewless wings of poesy" bear us towards a higher form of r e a l i t y than, that known to the "dull brain"? Is beauty a "v i s i o n , " or a "waking dream"? 2 3 Are poets of the "dreamer t r i b e , " or are poets and dreamers "sheer opposite, antipodes"? ("Fall of Hyperion," I, 198-200; i b i d . , 408) In the context of the Transcendental philosophy, the question i s immensely s i g n i f i c a n t , since for Kant, everything which can be "known" 2 3John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale," 3, 33-4, 79; The Poetical  Works of John Keats, ed. H.W. Garrod (London, 1956), 207-9. Hereafter referred to as Works. 60 to us i s known through the agency of the Understanding and i t s catego- r i e s . Consequently, i t would seem that he must regard the influence from the only c r i t e r i o n of the d i s t i n c t i o n between appearance and r e a l - i t y that we have. But i f we remember, as i t is essential we must, that Kant regarded his aesthetic as the "end" of his "whole c r i t i c a l undertaking," and a "means of combining the two parts of philosophy into a whole" (C_ of J_, 6, 12), we r e a l i z e that Kant's claim has i n f i n i t e implications not only for the creative arts, but for philosophy in general. For as Marcuse says, by placing the e s s e n t i a l l y sensuous faculty of the Imagi- nation at the center of his c r i t i c a l structure, the Kantian philosophy "implies strengthening sensuousness as against the tyranny of reason and, ultimately, even c a l l s for the l i b e r a t i o n of sensuousness from the repressive domination of reason." Indeed when, on the basis of Kant's theory, the aesthetic function be-comes the central theme of the philosophy of culture, i t i s used to demonstrate the principles of a non-repressive c i v i l i z a t i o n , in which reason i s sensuous and sensuousness rational.24 Kant's theme, however, i s not a philosophy of culture, but the p o s s i b i l i t y of a philosophy of culture. The former, Kant says, "w i l l take i t s course in the future as in the past, without any such i n v e s t i - gations" (C_ of J_, 6). Kant could not have known i t , but such a culture was already developing, in music in his own country, and in poetry in England. 24 Eros and C i v i l i z a t i o n , 164. See also S c h i l l e r ' s Aesthetic Letters, 182-219. PART TWO KANT'S "COPERNICAN REVOLUTION" AND ENGLISH ROMANTICISM CHAPTER V KANT'S "TRANSCENDENTAL" METHOD AND THE QUEST FOR PERMANENCE IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT De Selincourt characterizes Wordsworth's philosophical position in The Prelude as "Hartley transcendentalized 1 by Coleridge, and at once modified and exalted by [his] own mystical experience" (Prelude, Ixix). Of course in these terms Kant's philosophy is "Hume Transcendentalized," and De Selincourt as much as says that Wordsworth's thought d i r e c t l y re- futes Hartley's. But the most important implication of De Selincourt's statement, and the one which I wish to stress before entering into any detailed examination of the r e l a t i o n between Kantian and Romantic thought, i s that the English Romantics shared in the same kind of "revolu- tio n " against "Enlightened" thought as did the Transcendental philosophers, in that rather than seeking to derive the princ i p l e s of self-knowledge and the basis of value from experience, they took the unified conscious- ness and the a b i l i t y to discriminate morally and a e s t h e t i c a l l y as t h e i r starting point, and sought to deduce the conditions of this capacity from the inner actuating p r i n c i p l e s by which "outward forms" are modified in one consciousness. And since for both poet and philosopher these p r i n c i p l e s are a p r i o r i (in Kant's sense that they are the very conditions of our coming to know), moral and aesthetic values are regarded as univer- sal and permanent because of, rather than in spite of, the fact that they ^Again, the reader i s warned of the difference between "Transcenden-t a l " and "transcendent." See above, p. 5. 62 63 are not derived from experience but are projected into experience from within. Consequently no attempt to r e l a t e Kantian and Romantic thought can proceed without recognizing that both philosopher and poet were i n - volved in a completely unique kind of quest for permanence, a quest which turns inward to transfer the basis of authority from outside nature and written dogma to l i v i n g human consciousness i t s e l f . For what is unique in Transcendentalism i s not the d i s t i n c t i o n i t makes between Verstand and Vernunft, which had already been drawn by Boehme (see below, 98n.), and which Coleridge found in Milton (see B_L, I, 109), 2 and Kant hardly originated the concept of freedom of the w i l l , or the idea that morality involves doing one's duty. Moreover, the doc- t r i n e of Ideas stems from Plato; the d i s t i n c t i o n between beauty and sublimity from Burke and others—even the notion that Imagination can be considered as productive as well as reproductive is not original in Kant. 3 Rather, i t was Kant's concern with formulating these crucial d i s - t i n c t i o n s only through a "discrimination of what i s e s s e n t i a l , i . e . explicable by mere consideration of the f a c u l t i e s in themselves, from what i s e m p i r i c a l , w h i c h gives his philosophy a f f i n i t i e s with Romantic thought. 2And possibly in Bacon and the Cambridge Platonists. See Muirhead, 65; and J.A. Appleyard, Coleridge's Philosophy of Literature (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), 121. 3See Ernest Tuveson, The Imagination as a Means of Grace (Berkeley, 1960), Chapter Seven. ^Coleridge, Shakespearean C r i t i c i s m , ed. T.M. Raysor, 2nd ed. (Lon-don, 1960), II, 189. Hereafter referred to as SC. 64 Coleridge, in f a c t , considered the quest to define the Transcen- dental conditions of self-consciousness a necessity of our being: " i t is not in human nature," he said, "to meditate on any mode of action, without inquiring a f t e r the law that governs i t . " And i t i s for this reason that "the metaphysician took the lead of the anatomist and natu- ral philosopher" (BL, I, 66). For while the empiricist i s concerned sol e l y with experience a p o s t e r i o r i , the metaphysician seeks to discover that . . .. c r i t i q u e of the human i n t e l l e c t , which, previously to the weighing and measuring of th i s or that, begins by assaying the weights, measures, and scales themselves; that f u l f i l m e n t of the heaven-descended nosce teipsum, in respect to the i n t e l l e c t i v e part of man, which was commenced ... by Lord Bacon . . . and brought to a systematic comple-tion by Immanuel Kant.. . .5 Such philosophy Coleridge, following Kant, 6 c a l l s "transcendental," which the poet, l i k e the philosopher, sharply discriminates from those f l i g h t s of lawless speculation which, abandoned by a l l d i s t i n c t consciousness, because transgressing the bounds and purposes of our i n -t e l l e c t u a l f a c u l t i e s , are j u s t l y condemned as transcendent (BL, I, 164; c/f Friend, 11 In.). Transcendental philosophy, then, i s concerned only with such pri n c i p l e s as are "a p r i o r i , " a term which Coleridge uses in the Kantian sense of implying "those necessities,of the mind or forms of thinking, which, though f i r s t revealed to us by experience, must yet have pre-existed in , order to make experience i t s e l f possible . . ."(Friend, 166m.). These princi p l e s must be the starting-points of a l l philosophy, because they ^Literary Remains, ed. Hartley Nelson Coleridge, 3 v o l . (London, 1836-39), III, 157. Compare Coleridge's remarks on the Cambridge Platonists, cited O r s i n i , 146. 5See C of PR, 58-62. 65 define the grounds upon which self-consciousness i s possible. Any at- tempt to pass beyond these grounds would amount to "mak[ing] our reason baffle the end anddpurpose of a l l reason, namely, unity and system," and cause i t to be driven back from ground to ground, each of which would cease to be a Ground the moment we pressed on i t . We must be whirl'd down the gulf of an i n f i n i t e series (BL_, I, 187).7 Thus philosophy i s ultimately "employed on objects of INNER SENSE, and cannot, l i k e geometry, appropriate to every construction a correpond- ent outward i n t u i t i o n . " A l l the evidence of philosophy derives, then, from "the most orig i n a l construction," and so our central concern as thinking beings i s , "what i s the most original construction or f i r s t pro- ductive act f o r the INNER SENSE"? (BL, I, 171-72) 8 Discovering an a p r i o r i or Transcendental basis for this " f i r s t productive act" i s a large part of the goal of The Friend, and the Biographia L i t e r a r i a , as in f a c t i t i s of Wordsworth's Prelude, where the poet records how he, too, found i t necessary, in order to grow men- t a l l y , not merely to challenge the r e a l i t y of the present objects of his 7A debate with a " r i s i n g young man of the day" recorded in the Table Talk i l l u s t r a t e s this point. Coleridge's adversary was convinced the "facts gave birth to, and were the absolute ground of, p r i n c i p l e s . " Of course, Coleridge i n s i s t e d on the need for some prior " p r i n c i p l e of selection." "But then, said Mr.--, "that p r i n c i p l e of selection came from facts!"--"To be sure!" I r e p l i e d ; "but there must have been again an antecedent l i g h t to see these antecedent f a c t s . The relapse may be carried in imagination backwards forever,--but go back as you may, you cannot come to a man without a previous aim or p r i n c i p l e " (J_S, 122). ^Compare Thomas DeQuincey's conviction that "The purpose of philos-ophy i s not so much to accumulate positive truths in the f i r s t place as to r e c t i f y the position of the human mind, and to correct i t s mode of seeing" ("Letters to a Young Man," Collected Writings, ed. Masson [Edin-burgh, 1889-90], X, 78). 66 experience, but to subject the whole framework of his thought to a d i l i - gent c r i t i c i s m : So I fared, Dragging a l l precepts, judgments, maxims, creeds, Like c u l p r i t s to the bar; c a l l i n g the mind, Suspiciously, to establish in plain day Her t i t l e s and her honours; now believing, Now d i s b e l i e v i n g ; endlessly perplexed With impulse, motive, right and wrong, the ground Of obligation, what the rule and whence The sanction; t i l l , demanding formal proof, And seeking i t in everything, I l o s t A l l f eeling of conviction ... (XI, 293-303).9 The g l i b f a i t h in discursive reason which served Hartley and Godwin so well was shattered by the same logic which led Kant to f i n d a moral prin- c i p l e which which was both categorical and imperative: "The l o r d l y attributes Of w i l l and choice," I b i t t e r l y exclaimed, "What are they but a mockery of a Being Who hath in no concerns of his a test Of good and e v i l ; knows not what to fear Or hope f o r , what to covet or to shun; And who, i f those could be discerned, would yet Be l i t t l e p r o f i t e d , would see, and ask Where i s the obligation to enforce?" ( i b i d . , 309-17) Here, Wordsworth has come to see that such a "sanction," such "for- mal proof" cannot be derived from experience, since experience can teach us only what i s , not what ought to be. Therefore, as in Kant, what i s demanded i s recourse to a p r i n c i p l e which i s not derived from experience, and yet which i s at the same time applicable to l i f e situations: in Similar ly , the "soul" of the S o l i t a r y , at the nadir of his despond-ency, "Turned inward,--to examine of what stuff / Time's f e t t e r s are com-posed; and l i f e was put / To i n q u i s i t i o n , long and p r o f i t l e s s ! " (Excursion, II I , 696-698). 67 Kantian terms, a p r i n c i p l e which i s a p r i o r i , yet synthetic. As in Kant, Wordsworth's quest for such a p r i n c i p l e leads him d i r e c t l y to a concept of Imagination as Transcendentally o p e r a t i v e — a "prime and v i t a l p r i n c i p l e " in the "recesses" of our "nature" that through the growing f a c u l t i e s of sense Doth l i k e an agent of the one great Mind Create, creator and receiver both, Working but in a l l i a n c e with the works Which i t beholds (Prelude, XIV, 215-15; II, 256-60). Wordsworth does not, of course, provide anything as formal as a Transcendental "deduction" of this "power," but he does regard the p r i - mal synthesis as a condition rather than an e f f e c t of experience, a fact which i s c l e a r l y r e f l e c t e d in the famous passage from Book XIV of the Prelude, where his "long labour" i s symbolized as the tracing of a "stream" from the "blind cavern whence is f a i n t l y heard / Its natal murmur"; leading him to a v i s i o n of "Faith in l i f e endless, the sustain- ing thought / Of human Being, Eternity, and God" (XIV, 195-96, 204-7). This imagery occurs in a sim i l a r context in this passage from Book III of the Excursion, which provides a far more s p e c i f i c analogue to Kant's C r i t i c a l method: ... as the Hindoos draw Their holy Ganges from a skiey fount, Even so deduce the stream of human l i f e From seats of power divine; and hope, or t r u s t , That our existence winds her stately course Beneath the sun, l i k e Ganges, to make part Of a l i v i n g ocean; or, to sink engulfed, Like Niger, in impenetrable sands And utter darkness . . . (254-62, my emphasis). 68 "Such a stream / Is human l i f e , " as the Wanderer says l a t e r , adding that the S p i r i t fares In the best quiet to her course allowed; And such is mind,--save only f o r a hope That my pa r t i c u l a r current soon w i l l reach The unfathomable gulf, where a l l i s s t i l l ' " ( i b i d . , 986-end) 1 0 Identical imagery occurs in similar contexts in Coleridge's "Kubla Khan," and in the l a t e r "Tombless Epitaph": not a r i l l There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, But he had traced i t upward to i t s source, Through open glade, dark glen, and secret d e l l , Knew the gay wild flowers on i t s banks, and culled Its med'oinable herbs. Yea, oft alone, Piercing-the long-neglected 'holy cave, The-haunt obscure of old Philosophy : . J 1 In the Biographia, Coleridge uses similar terms in referring to the Transcendental' philosophy as the "domain" of those few, who measuring and sounding the ri v e r s of the vale at the feet of their furthest inaccessible f a l l s have learned, that the sources must be f a r higher and far inward; . .- . who even in the level streams have detected elements, which neither the vale i t s e l f or the surrounding mountains contained or could supply (I, 166). For these "elements" are sui generis; the mind i s , at b i r t h , not a tabula rasa, or empty room f i l l e d with the bric-a-brac of separate and ^Compare Wordsworth's poem "The Longest Day," where he advises his daughter Dora to "Follow . . . the flowing r i v e r . . . Toward the mighty gulf of things ... (49, 58; Works, I, 251). 1 1 Poetical Works, ed. Ernest Hartley Coleridge (London, 1912), I, 413-14. Hereafter referred to as Works. d i s t i n c t experiences; but a creative, agential force, that w i l l "furnish proofs by i t s own d i r e c t i o n , that i t i s connected with master-currents below the surface ..." ( i b i d . , 167). In Keats and Shelley, this quest for "sources . . . far higher and far inward" i s often symbolized by a mythic Theseus-type journey, "homeward to the habitual s e l f , " down into a den, dale, vale, grot, cop- pice, mine, c e l l and so on. As Endymion (whose name derives from the Greek enduein, to "dive into") i s t o l d : "He ne'er i s crown'd With immortality, who fears to follow Where a i r y voices lead: so through the hollow, The s i l e n t mysteries of earth, descend!" (Endymion, II, 276, 211-14; Works, 86,85) The "Cave of Quietude" into which Endymion descends in Book IV i s , spe- c i f i c a l l y , "Made for the soul to wander in and trace / Its own existence" (514-15). This realm is "the proper home / O f every ill"; and "the man is yet to come / Who hath not journeyed in this native hell (521-23). S i m i l a r l y , the quest of Shelley's Alastor takes him down "Nature' most secret steps" into "secret caves / Rugged and dark"; 1 2 and l a t e r , he follows a mysterious stream "Whose source is inaccessibly profound" through an "oozy cavern" and "labyrinthine d e l l , " "black g u l f s , and yawning caves" u n t i l he reaches a " s i l e n t nook" where he learns of the princi p l e s of his mortality (503, 510, 541, 548, 572; i b i d . , 191-93). Such examples could be multiplied to include the poet in the 1 2Complete Works, ed. Roger Ingpen and W.E. Peck (New York, 1926-30), I, 179; lines 81, 87-8. Hereafter referred to as Works. 70 " F a l l of Hyperion," Byron's Chi Ide Harold, Coleridge's Ancient Mariner or Wordsworth's Wanderer; a l l of whom, l i k e Kant, are mental t r a v e l l e r s , bent on a journey beyond phenomenal experience to the "goal of con- sciousness" (Keats, Endymion, II; 283). For i m p l i c i t in both the Transcendental philosophy and Romantic poetry i s the conviction that only when the sources of certainty and self-consciousness are i d e n t i f i e d in the creative f a c u l t i e s of the individual s e n s i b i l i t y can the hollow abstractions of the schools, and the f a c i l e optimism of Pope and Leibniz be exposed as we seek to establish the purpose and permanence of our values, and our metaphysical aspirations. CHAPTER VI SENSATIONALISM IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT: THE "DESPOTISM OF THE EYE" "One-Fold Vision" Kant begins his c r i t i c a l examination of pure reason with a theory of perception which attempts to undercut the main principles of Lockean sensationalism by deducing the i d e a l i t y of space and time. But while the Romantics were completely in accord with Kant on the necessity to refute this aspect of the empirical doctrine, i t is obvious that they found something far more invidious than Kant in sensationalism, which they variously refer to as the "Philosophy of the Five Senses," the "despotism of the eye," and the "thralldom" of "sensible impressions. 1 , 1 The reason for this perjorative attitude towards sensationalism amongst the Romantic poets is not hard to f i n d , since they regarded the poet as a participator in the "eternal, the i n f i n i t e , and the one," his productions as "the f i r s t and l a s t of a l l knowledge," and his task, To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought, into Eternity Ever expanding in the Bosom of God, the Human Imagination. 2 'Blake, "Song of Los," p l . 4, 16; Writings, 246; Coleridge, BL, I, 74; Wordsworth, Prelude, XIV,.106. 2 S h e l l e y , Defense of Poetry, Works, VII, 112 (hereafter referred to as D_ of JP); Wordsworth, Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, in Prose Works, 71 72 But sensationalism, in teaching that space and time are real aspects of things-in-themselves, does not simply represent the coincept of "Eternal Worlds" beyond space and time as unreducible to concepts, as i t i s in Kant; i t dismisses the whole notion of a noumenal order out-of-hand. It is hard to see what the function of a poet might be under this dispensa- t i o n , but Locke gives us some idea: . . . i f he [the student] have a poetic vein, i t i s to me the strangest thing in the world that the father should desire or suffer i t to be cherished or improved. Methinks the parents should labour to have i t s t i f l e d and suppressed as much as may be . . . for i t is very seldom seen that any one discovers mines of gold or s i l v e r in Parnassus. It i s a pleasant a i r , but a barren s o i l ; and there are very few instances of those who have added to their patrimony by any thing they have reaped from thence. ... If therefore you would not have your son the f i d d l e to every j o v i a l company, without whom the sparks could not r e l i s h their wine nor know how to pass an afternoon i d l y ; i f you would not have him to waste his time and estate to divert others, and contemn the d i r t y acres l e f t him by his ancestors, I do not think you w i l l much care he should be a poet, or that his school-master should enter him in v e r s i f y -ing (Locke, 9-10). 3 For Blake, whom George M i l l s Harper saw as "the f i r s t great a r t i s t to reject Locke's theory,"4 this attitude towards a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y ed. W.A. Knight (London, 1896), I, 62 (hereafter referred to as P to LB); Blake, Jerusalem, I, p l . 5, 18-20; Writings, 623. 3Lord Chesterfield, in one of the l e t t e r s to his son, rejects these admonitions, but the nature of his fat h e r l y advice to the fl e d g l i n g poet helps to explain Locke's derision for the ar t : ". . . in prose, you would say very properly, ' i t i s twelve of the clock at noon,* to mark the middle of the day; but this would be too plain and f l a t in poetry; and you would rather say, 'the Chariot of the Sun had already finished half i t s course.' In prose you would say 'the beginning of the morning or the break of day'; but that would.not do in verse; and you must rather say, 'Aurora spread her rosy mantle.' Aurora, you know, i s the goddess of the morning" (Letters of P h i l i p Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, ed. Bonamy Dobree [1932], I I , 362. As cited by Douglas Bush, in Mythology  and the Romantic Tradition [New York, 1957], 20). 4The Neoplatonism of William Blake (Chapel H i l l , 1961), 63. was an inevitable concomitant of the "Cloven F i c t i o n " perpetrated by a l l forms of "mechanical" philosophy, that man exists in i s o l a t i o n from na- ture, that d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s separation, that the ultimate measure of truth consists in a one-to-one correspondence of an "inner" proposition to an "outer," observable fact. And his opposition to this view i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y vehement: I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages d i r e , Wash'd by the Water-wheels of Newton: black the cloth In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation: cruel Works Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic Moving by compulsion each other, not as those in Eden, which, Wheel within Wheel, in freedom revolve in har- For Blake, Lockean sensationalism was anathema to the poetic v i s i o n , because i t implies that we "see with, not thro', the Eye," and is therefore but "Single v i s i o n , " neither enlarged by human values nor enlivened by the creative impulse. And the man who trusts exclusively to the evidence of the "vegetable eyes" has "clos'd himself up, t i l l he sees a l l things thro 1 the narrow chinks of his cavern." 6 But, says Blake, this i s only nominally " v i s i o n , " f o r how do we know "but ev'ry Bird that cuts the a i r y way, / Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by Jerusalem, I, p l . 15, 14-20; Writings, 636. 6 " E v e r l a s t i n g Gospel," d_, 106; i b i d . , 753; "With happiness stretch'd . . .", 88; i b i d . , 818; Mil ton, I, p l . 26, 12; i b i d . , 512; and The Mar- riage of Heaven and H e l l , p i . 14; i b i d . , 154 (hereafter referred to as mony & peace.5 ( 74 your senses five?"? At the beginning of the prophecy Europe, a mocking f a i r y sings: "Five windows l i g h t the cavern'd Man: thro' one he breathes the a i r ; "Thro' one hears music of the spheres; thro' one the eternal vine "Flourishes, that he may recieve the grapes; thro 1 one can look "And see small portions of the eternal world that ever groweth; "Thro' one himself pass out what time he please; but he w i l l not, "For stolen joys are sweet & bread eaten in secret pleasant" (1-6; Writings, 237) But the poet must ask, "Can such an Eye judge of the stars? & looking thro' i t s tubes "Measure the sunny rays that point t h e i r spears on Udanadan? "Can such an Ear, f i l l ' d with the vapours of the yawning p i t , "Judge of the pure melodious harp struck by a hand divine? "Can such closed N o s t r i l s feel a joy? or t e l l of autumn f r u i t s "When grapes & f i g s burst t h e i r covering to the joyful a i r ? " (Milton, I, p l . 5, 28-33; Writings, 485) Obviously, "vision" for Blake is far more than the passive recep- tion of sense data: in f a c t , Blake considers perception as a "mental a c t , " 8 a total integration of the moral, and creative f a c u l t i e s in which 7MHH, p l . 7. Damon comments that these two septenaries "contain a theory already reached by Kant . . . that our sense-world probably i s an en t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t world from that perceived by beings with other sense-organs . . ." (William Blake: His Philosophy and Symbols [Gloucester, Mass., 1958], 3T9T 8Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry (Princeton, 1947), 19. 75 the senses operate in harmony with Imagination, love and reason. Thus, as he says in the "Mental Traveller," "the Eye alt e r i n g a l t e r s a l l " (62; Writings, 426), a sentiment which occurs again and again in Blake in one form or another.9 And therefore, in the mythological scheme of the Four Zoas, sensationalism i s represented by the tyranny of Tharmas (the senses, the body), separated from his emanation Enion, over Los (the creative p r i n c i p l e ) , Urizen (reason) and Luvah (passion), whom he hides in "The Elemental forms of L i f e & / Death," with horrible consequences for the "Four-Fold Man": The Eternal Mind, bounded, began to r o l l eddies of wrath ceaseless Round & round, & the sulphureous foam surgeing thick, Settled, a Lake bright & shining cl e a r , White as the snow. Forgetfulness, dumbness, necessity, in chains of the mind lock'd up, In f e t t e r s of ice shrinking, disorganiz'd rent from Eternity, Los beat on his f e t t e r s & heated his furnaces, And pour'd iron sodor & sodor of brass (Four Zoas, 4, 208-14; Writings, 303). Shawcross says of Coleridge that " I t i s evident that the attitude of the empiricist, the avowed or actual self-surrender of the mind to ^For example: "Everybody does not see a l i k e . To the Eyes of a Mi-ser a Guinea is more beautiful than the Sun, & a bag worn with the use of Money has more beautiful proportions that*a Vine f i l l e d with Grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy i s in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way. . . . But to the Eyes of the Man of Imagination, Nature i s Imagination i t s e l f " (Letter to Trusler of August 23, 1799; Writings, 703). "A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees"((MHH, p l . 7, 8; i b i d . , 151). "Every Eye Sees d i f f e r e n t l y As the Eye, Such the Object" ("Annotations to Reynolds," i b i d . , 456). "The Sun's Light when he unfolds i t / Depends on the Organ that beholds it"('(For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise; i b i d . , 760). 76 the disconnected impressions of sense, was foreign . . . from the f i r s t " (BL, I x i i ) . As Coleridge himself said in an early l e t t e r to Poole: from my early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii, &c, &c, my mind had been habituated to the vast--& I never regarded my senses in any way as the c r i t e r i a of my b e l i e f . I regulated a l l my creeds by my conceptions not by my sight--even at that age J O The e f f e c t of reading these "romances" was to give to his mind a "love of the Great and the Whole." And while some might possibly arrive at "the same truths" through the "testimony of their senses," they seemed to Coleridge to "want a sense which I possess. They contemplate nothing but parts, and a l l parts are necessarily l i t t l e . And the universe to them i s but a mass of l i t t l e things" ( i b i d . ) . Thus, l i k e Blake, Coleridge came to regard s e r v i l e dependence on "outward forms" as r e f l e c t i n g , or at least leading to an impoverished attitude toward the r e l a t i o n of man and nature, in which the "one divine and i n v i s i b l e l i f e " is "scatter[ed] . . . into countless idols of the sense" with the r e s u l t that we become "a slave to the things of which [we were] formed to be conquerer and sovereign" (Friend, 467). This is the condition which Coleridge des- cribes in the "Dejection Ode," when, in the absence of the "sweet voice" of "joy," he begins to see, in Blake's words, "with" rather than "thro' the Eye": clouds are no more than clouds, the moon is a mere "green 1 0 L e t t e r s , I, 354. Compare Coleridge's attempt to define the d i f -ferences between himself and his wife: "As I seem to e x i s t , as i t were, almost wholly within myself, in thoughts rather than in things, in a par-t i c u l a r warmth f e l t al1 over me, but c h i e f l y f e l t about my heant & breast, & am connected with things without me by the pleasurable sense Atheir im-mediate Beauty or Loveliness ... so you on the contrary exist almost wholly in the world without you / the Eye & the Ear are your great organs, and you depend upon the eyes & ears of others for a great part of your pleasures . . ."((Letters, II, 881-82). l i g h t " and the stars c e l e s t i a l f i x t u r e s — t h e i r beauty "seen" but not " f e l t . " Now the feeling that the poet is d i f f e r e n t from nature grows, until he believes that he is separate from nature, and the sense of i s o - lation and exis t e n t i a l Angst increases. His mind is passive, stagnant, and his eye, consequently, becomes subject to the "tyranny" of "outward forms," and any hope of winning the "passion and the l i f e , whose foun- tains are within" i s l o s t ("Dejection: And Ode," 45-46; Works, I, 365). 1 1 Coleridge was l a t e r to provide a more systematic refutation of sensationalism, when he distinguished the "error" of George Berkeley's philosophy as that of going beyond the "real minimum," raw sense data, to "the extinction of a l l degrees, and yet thought of as s t i l l e x isting " The true logic would in this case have been: perception diminishing from i t s minimum (in which i t i s called sensation) into an absolute 0, sensation becomes = 0.; but no! th i s hypothetical subminimal perception, = 0, is s t i l l somewhat . , . and t h i s , the proper offspring of the uni-t i v e and substantiating function of the Understanding, j s , by the imagination, projected into an ens reale, or, s t i l l more t r u l y , a strange ens hymbridum betwixt real and l o g i c a l , and partaking of both: namely, i t js^, yet i t i s not as this or that, but as sensation per se; i . e . , the perceptum, surviving i t s an n i h i l a t i o n , borrows the name by which, in i t s least degree, i t has been distinguished and commences a new genius without species or individual . . . (Muirhead, 77). ''Compare this passage, from "Lines: Written in the Album at Elbingerode, in the Hartz Forest": . . . I had found That outward forms, the l o f t i e s t , s t i l l receive Their f i n e r influence from the L i f e w i t h i n ; — Fair cyphers else: f a i r , but of import vague Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds History or prophecy of f r i e n d , or c h i l d , Or gentle maid, our f i r s t and early love, Or father, or the venerable name Of our adored country! (16-24; Works, I, 315-16) 78 In summarizing Wordsworth's account of his "debt" to Coleridge, as expressed in Book II of the Prelude, Newton Stallknecht l i s t s f i r s t Wordsworth's "Repudiation of s t r i c t sensationalism and as s o c i a t i o n i s m , " ^ and Havens agrees: this rejection of empiricist psychology i s "the most marked of Wordsworth's departures from . . . [the] eighteenth-century philosophers." 1 3 i n f a c t , Coleridge went so far as to characterize Wordsworth's intention in the Prelude as "to treat man as man,--a sub- j e c t of eye, ear, touch, and taste, in contact with external nature, and informing the senses from the mind, and not compounding â  mind out of the senses."14 It i s worth digressing here momentarily to consider Arthur Beatty's s p e c i f i c contradiction of Coleridge on this point. Beatty holds that there can be no manner of doubt that he [Wordsworth] approaches the prob-lem of mind from the angle of Locke, basing his whole theory on the assumption that thought originates in experience, and that out of the product of sensation . . . ideas and the more complex forms of mentality are developed.!5 Two points can be made in answer to Beatty here. F i r s t , i t i s very mis- leading to suggest that Locke had a patent on the doctrine that "thought originates in experience," or that one must be a Lockean to accept this 1 2Strange Seas of Thought (Durham, North Carolina, 1945), 142. 13Raymond Havens, The Mind of a Poet (Baltimore, 1941), II, 322. Hereafter referred to as Havens. 1 Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Hartley Nelson Coleridge, 3rd. ed. (London, 1851), 185 (July 21, 1932); my emphasis. Hereafter referred to as Table Talk. 1 5 W i l l iam Wordsworth: His Doctrine and Art in Their H i s t o r i c a l Relations, 2nd ed. (Madison, 1927), 108. 79 position: in f a c t , the very f i r s t words in Kant's whole c r i t i c a l canon make precisely the same p o i n t J 6 Second, surely the question i s begged by Beatty's vague term "the more complex forms of mentality," which could mean anything the interpreter desired i t to mean, from the "Trans- cendental Unity of Apperception" of Kant, to Hartlean vibrations. Opposed to Beatty i s A.C. Bradley, who writes that His [Wordsworth's] poetry is immensely interesting as an imaginative ex-pression of the same mind which, in his day, produced in Germany great philosophies. His poetic experience, his i n t u i t i o n s , his single thoughts, even his large views, correspond in a s t r i k i n g way, sometimes in a s t a r t l i n g way, with ideas methodically developed by Kant, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer.17 If we r e s t r i c t Bradley's observation to Wordsworth's attitude towards perception, there can be no doubt that the poet i s very far from Locke's position that " i n bare naked perception the mind i s , for the most part, only passive; and what i t perceives i t cannot avoid perceiving" (Locke, 126). In f a c t , as Havens points out, "for Wordsworth there was no such thing as pure sense impressions since even the e a r l i e s t and simplest of these are modified by the mind of the beholder" (Havens, I I , 321). For example, speaking of the blessed "infant Babe," Wordsworth l b"There can be no doubt that a l l our knowledge begins with experi-ence" (C of PR, 41). 17see above, p. 1. Compare CH. Herford's observation that in the Prelude and the Immortality Ode, Wordsworth developed "a point of view which the influence of Coleridge--and especially of the Kantian Coleridge of 1800— tended to confirm ..." (The Age of Wordsworth [London, 1918], 156). S i m i l a r l y , Havens says that the doctrine of "creative a c t i v i t y in perception . . . Coleridge seems to have found in The Critique of Pure  Reason . . . and, in the course of extended discussions, to have passed on to his f r i e n d " (Havens, I, 205). And Stallknecht says that "Wordsworth's e f f o r t s to describe imagi-nation . . . stand closer to those of the great philosophers [the German Idea l i s t s ] than to Hartley's comparatively shallow comments" (op. c i t . , 38). 80 writes: Is there a flower, to which he points with hand Too weak to gather i t , already love Drawn from love's purest earthly fount for him Hath beautified that flower; already shades Of pity cast from inward tenderness Do f a l l around him upon aught that bears Unsightly marks of violence or harm. For feeling has to him imparted power That through the growing f a c u l t i e s of sense Doth lije an agent of the one great Mind Create,* creator and receiver both, Working but in a l l i a n c e with the works Which i t beholds (Prelude, I I , 245-51; 255-60). As in Coleridge, those times when nature appears as nothing but "forms and images / Which f l o a t along our minds" are considered as Relapses from the one i n t e r i o r l i f e Which i s in a l l things, from that unity In which a l l beings l i v e with God, are l o s t In god and nature, in one mighty whole As indistinguishable as the cloudless east At noon i s from the cloudless west when a l l The hemisphere i s one cerulean blue [.] (Prelude, MS RV, 10-16; p. 525) In Wordsworth, sensation as such i s considered solely as a means towards a higher, moral end; that i s , mental "growth" i s conceived of as a progression away from the "thralldom" of the bodily eye, a condition usually related to the primal innocence of youth with i t s "dizzy rap- tures" and "aching joys"--a state where there i s no need for "any interest / Unborrowed from the eye"--to the point where the "language of the sense" can be translated into thought and morality.18 "Higher 18"Lines: Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798," 82T,85> 108-11; Works, II, 261-63. 81 minds" are not "enthralled" by sensible impressions, nor are they "mere pensioners] / On outward forms" (Prelude, XIV, 106; VI, 737-38). For while the "bodily eye" is the "most despotic of our senses," always "craving combinations of new forms, / New pleasure, wider empire" and "rejoic[ing] / To lay the inner f a c u l t i e s asleep," the f u l l y developed s e n s i b i l i t y i s not bound by "rules prescribed by passive taste," but is "creative," endowing natural objects "with glory not their own" (XII, 128, 129, 144-47, 154; V, 605). Such minds must need recognize that "The mind i s lord and master—outward sense / The obedient servant of her w i l l " (XII, 222-23). Wordsworth shows us how s i g n i f i c a n t the doctrine of creative per- ception becomes when seen from the poet's point of view, since the clgim that poetic truth i s d i f f e r e n t from and higher than s c i e n t i f i c truth rests on the assumption that a d i f f e r e n t and more inclusive act informs the former than the l a t t e r . Thus, Wordsworth t e l l s us that although "the a b i l i t y to observe with accuracy things as they are in themselves . . . unmodified by ar/passion or f e e l i n g " is a power "requisite for the pro- duction of poetry," s t i l l This power, although indispensible to a Poet, is one which he employs only in submission to necessity, and never for a continuance of time: as i t s exercise supposes a l l the higher q u a l i t i e s of the mind to be pas-sive, and in a state of subjection to external objects, much in the same way as a translator or engraver ought to be to his original ("Preface to the Edition of 1815," Prose Works,^203).19 ^ J* ^Compare Coleridge: "[The f i n e arts] . . . c e r t a i n l y belong to the outward world, for they operate by the images of sight and sound and other sensible impressions, and, without a delicate tact for these, no man ever was or could be either a musician or a poet, nor could he at-tain excellence in any one of these arts; but as c e r t a i n l y he must always be a poor and unsuccessful c u l t i v a t o r of the a r t s , i f he i s not impelled by a mighty inward force; nor can he make great advance in his 82 Wordsworth's meaning i s c l a r i f i e d when he compares his own work to that of the eighteenth-century landscape poets. The "strong infec- tion of the age," he says, was to give way To a comparison of scene with scene, Bent overmuch on s u p e r f i c i a l things, Pampering myself with meagre novelties Of colour and proportion; to the moods Of time and season, to the moral power, The affections and the s p i r i t of the place, Insensible (Prelude, XII, 115-121). Wordsworth i s re f e r r i n g to what Blake ca l l e d "poetry of the f i v e senses," poetry which does not echo in the moral sphere, because of i t s preoccupation with the mere t h e a t r i c a l i t y of nature. But Wordsworth, because of his keenly developed sense of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , was able to "pierce through the v e i l of the senses and to read into nature s p i r i t u a l values that the enthusiasts of the preceding decades never discovered" (Monk, op. c i t . , 228). And t h i s i s the "enormous gulf" which "separates" Wordsworth from such "picturesque t o u r i s t s " as Dyer and Akenside, who described what t h e i r eyes saw, unmodified by human values, oblivious to r e l i g i o u s implications. And i t i s in this sense that Samuel Monk compares Wordsworth with Kant: His [Wordsworth's] nature poetry . . . i s as much a c r i t i q u e of pure reason, as was Kant's system of philosophy. To both, the two chief r e a l i t i e s were God and the mind of man, and both could turn to account the i n t u i t i o n s and the adventures of the mind as i t explored the universe (op. c i t . , 229). For j u s t as Kant allows the dictates of pure reason to give way to those art i f in the course of his progress the obscure impulse does not grad-ua l l y become a bright and clear and burning Idea" (Muirhead, 197-98). 83 of the practical reason in the moral sphere, so does Wordsworth "turn to account," in practise, that "glorious habit by which sense is made / Subservient . . . to moral purposes, / Auxil iar to divine" (Excursion, IV, 1247-49). Beyond Space and Time An even more interesting and specif ic point of comparison between the Kantian and Romantic theories of perception than this mutual disdain for sensationalism l ies in the fact that their attack on this doctrine is based on exactly the same premise: that space and time are Ideal forms, not aspects of things in themselves. Everybody knows, for exam- ple, of Coleridge's famous report to Poole that he had "not only co completely extricated the notions of Time, and Space; but [had] over- thrown the doctrine of Association, as taught by Hartley, and with i t a l l the i r re l ig ious metaphysics of modern Infidels--especially, the doc- trine of necessity."20 Similarly, Wordsworth spoke of the mental "founts / Flowing of space and time,"21 and held that "the disturbances of space and time" are "from human wil l and power / Derived" (Prelude, XI, 332-33). Even Keats became convinced, when "seeing for the f i r s t hour the Lake and Mountains and Winander" that "there is no such thing as time and space" (Letters, I, 298). But although the Romantics were at one with Kant in accepting the ideal i ty of space and time, once again, this notion had far different 2QLetters, II, 385 (March 16, 1801). 21"Musings Near Aquapendente," Works, III, 212, 360-61. and more extensive consequences for them than i t did for the philosopher. For in Kant's scheme, the idea that i n t u i t i o n i s necessarily given to discursive Understanding in terms of space and time established the un- knowability of the "supersensible" by l i m i t i n g cognition to f i n i t e co concepts. But when we turn to the Romantics, we at once r e a l i z e that this same notion can have a 1iberating as well as a l i m i t i n g e f f e c t on human thought, so long as i t i s recognized that men may communicate on levels other than the discursive. In other words, i f Kant's demonstra- tion that there must be a realm beyond the phenomenal which i s eternal and immutable i s accepted, i t remains only to postulate the existence of a f a c u l t y 2 2 of suspending phenomenal time and " i s o l a t i n g " phenomenal space, or piercing the v e i l of the senses and "cleansing the doors of perception," to regard man as capable of coming into contact with this order. And this i s not to say that the Romantics merely assumed what Kant denied and proceeded to " r a t i o n a l i z e " their position in t h e i r statements about the power of the poetic Imagination. The p o s s i b i l i t y of penetrating the v e i l of phenomenal space and time and coming into d i r e c t contact with the noumenal received d i r e c t and v i v i d testimony through t h e i r visionary experiences, j u s t as the capacity to produce l i v i n g art t e s t i f i e d to the p o s s i b i l i t y of a r t i c u l a t i n g and communicating these "truths." Hence Coleridge could never believe, that i t was possible for him [Kant] to have meant no more by his Noumenon, or THING IN ITSELF, than his mere words express; or 2 2 T h i s f a c u l t y i s , in Romantic thought, the Imagination. For a d i s -cussion of the relationship between the Kantian and Romantic concepts of Imagination, both as a "prime Agent of a l l human Perception" and as an i d e a l i z i n g and unifying power, see below, p. 192ff. that in his own conception he confined the whole p l a s t i c power to the forms of the i n t e l l e c t , leaving for the external cause, for the materiale of our sensations, a matter without form, which is doubtless inconceiv-able (BL, I, 100). • As Shawcross says, while "agreeing with Kant that the mere i n t e l l e c t cannot grasp the supersensuous," Coleridge "could not follow him in asserting that the supersensuous cannot be given in experience" ( i b i d . , x i i i ) . For Coleridge, experience t e s t i f i e d otherwise; and for the same reason, Shelley regarded poetry as a medium of visionary experience, "purg[ing] from our inward sight the f i l m of f a m i l i a r i t y which obscures from us the wonder of our being."23 For what i s this " f i l m of f a m i l i a r - i t y " i f not the dull habit of seeing objects only as "outward forms" inhabiting an "inanimate cold world"; as f i n i t e , and inconsequential--at best, perhaps, "useful" f o r the achievement of some u l t e r i o r purpose? 2 4 From one point of view, this Romantic fascination with the i d e a l i t y of space and time r e f l e c t s a universal concern of a r t , since the space and time of art are, in SuSanne Langer's words, " v i r t u a l " rather than "experiential."25 The a r t i s t , that i s , creates " i l l u s i o n s " of l i f e situations, and so he must be able to "control" phenomenal space and "clock" time, making them counters for the free play of his i n s p i r a - tion.. This i s why Blake's Los can say that "both Time & Space obey my w i l l " (Mi 1 ton, p l . 22, 1 7 ) 2 6 and why Coleridge says of the Intimations 23j) of P_, 137. Coleridge also uses the phrase " f i l m of f a m i l i a r i t y " in a similar context, in BL, II, 6. 2 4 i n his a r t i c l e "Coleridge's Concept of Nature" (JHI, XXV #1, Jan-Mar 1964), Craig W. M i l l e r connects Coleridge's "understanding of the i d e a l i t y of space and time with his concept of organic " l i f e " as a fusion of' structure (time) and free energy (space). See esp. 87-91. 25Feeling and Form, passim. 26compare Coleridge: "The reason i s aloof from time and space; the imagination has an arbitrary control "over both; and i f only the "poet 86 Ode that i t was intended for such readers only as had been accustomed to watch the flux and reflux of th e i r inmost nature, to venture at times into the twili g h t realms of consciousness, and to feel a deep interest in modes of inmost being, to which they know that the attributes of time and space are i n -applicable and a l i e n , but which yet can not be conveyed save in symbols of time and space (BL, II, 120). The reason why that which i s true of art generally i s especially true f o r Romantic art derives from the intensity of the Romantic's be- l i e f in the sanctity of the creative act and the uniqueness of i t s mission: the "making" of those "semblances of truth" whose non-discursive character can "tease us out of" the normal stock response to human nature to which we are enslaved by practical exigency. Blake's voice i s the strongest of the Romantics on this point. For Blake, space and time are far more than a mere " v e i l " suspended be- tween things are they seem and things as they are--he sees these dimensions as " f a l l e n " states of mind, through which we are condemned to see the world in a f i n i t e aspect, as Newton and Locke saw i t . Space and time are nothing but the " f a l l e n forms" of i n f i n i t y and eternity which, in the whole man, comprise the true "mental categories through which we perceive the unfallen world."27 Thus Blake i n s i s t s again and again on the invidious consequences of l i m i t i n g our understanding of ourselves to our spatio-temporal ordering mechanisms: have such power of exciting our internal emotions as to make us present to the scene in imagination c h i e f l y , he acquires the right and priv i l e g e of using time and space as they exist in the imagination, obedient only to the laws which the imagination acts by"(SC_, I, 176). 2 7Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry, 46. 87 in Eternity the Four Arts, Poetry, Painting, Music And Architecture, which is Science, are the Four Faces of Man. Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only Science remains thro' Mercy, & by means of Science the Three Become apparent in Time & Space in the Three Pro-fessions, Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physics & Surgery . . . (Milton, p l . 27, 55-60) And, in Jerusalem, Albion can awaken, and "sexes vanish" only when a l l t h e i r [mens 1] Crimes, the i r Punishments, their Accusations of Sin, A l l t h e i r Jealousies, Revenges, Murders, hidings of Cruelty in Deceit Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time (P l . 92, 15-17; Writings, 739). 2 8 Commitment to forms merely as they appear, i . e . in space and time, Blake considers a form of corporeal "enslavement," and conse- quently he makes great use of bondage and imprisonment imagery in connection with the " f i n i t e " point of view from which the Songs of Experience derive. There,' Earth i s seen as i f "Prison'd on wat'ry shore"; pleasure as "chain'd in night" and "free Love" as "with bondage bound": , the energy of the Tyger i s seen as i f "framed" in a symmetrical form, with i t s deadly terrors "clasped": "Cruelty knits a snare" in "The Human Abstract," and the c h i l d , in "A L i t t l e Boy Lost" i s "bound . . . 2 8"He who knows how to elevate his Mind above the Ideas of Thought which are derived from Space and Time, such a Man passes from Darkness to Light, and becomes wise in Things s p i r i t u a l and Divine" (An aphorism from Swedenborg's Divine Love, annotated by Blake. See Writings, 91-2). 88 in an iron chain."29 Wordsworth too, as I have said, visualized the p o s s i b i l i t y that "the disturbances of space and time" are "from human w i l l and power / Derived" (see above, p. 83), and l i k e Blake, he speaks of "time's f e t t e r s , " and sees the "sad dependence on time" of the human s e n s i b i l i t y as a demeaning "vassalage that binds her [the "heart"] to the earth" (Excursion, IV, 421-22). S i m i l a r l y in the Prelude, Wordsworth says that we are in "meagre vassalage" to the "bodily eye" because her powers are "stinted"--unable to present schema for the eternal and i n f i n i t e , thus unreasonably l i m i t i n g our notions of what we are and what we can know of ourselves (V, 517-17). And i f science i s to be "worthy of her name," i t must no longer be "chained to i t s object in brute slavery" (Excursion, IV, 1253-56). And when the Wanderer eulogizes "Contemplation," i t i s because in meditation, "time and conscious nature disappear, / Lost in unsearchable eternity" ( i b i d . , I l l , 111-12). Even the wisdom of the c h i l d in Wordsworth's thought derives from the fact that i t has "recently come from a world in which i t was free of the manacles of space and time" (Havens, II, 400: my emphasis). 3 0 Thus the c h i l d converses with the "eternal deep" and the "eternal mind"; and things are seen by him as in a spaceless " c e l e s t i a l l i g h t " : "Heaven l i e s about us in our infancy," 2 9"Earth's Answer," Writings, 211, 6, 14, 25; "The Tyger," i b i d . , 214, 4, 16; i b i d . , 217, 7; i b i d . , 218, 20. 3 0"The days of the c h i l d seem to unfold in some sense outside of our time. These days of'childhood . . . seem to the c h i l d as i f they were eternal. ... Of course the important persons who bring up the chil d s t r i c t l y impose the scheme of the i r time on him . . . but he feels the imposition of adult time by adults as an a l i e n intrusion into his own time, which i s e s s e n t i a l l y in some sense i n f i n i t e " ( ( M a r i e Bonaparte, Chronos, Eros, Thanatos, 11-12; ci t e d Norman 0. Brown, L i f e Against  Death [New York, 1959], 94). 89 but the exigencies of practise soon enclose the boy in the "prison- house" of custom and habit. Immortality "broods" over the boy as a "Master o'er a Slave," yet the years soon bring the "inevitable yoke" ("Ode: Intimations of Immortality," 113-14, 4, 66-67, 117-18, 125). As Wordsworth said l a t e r , when we age, we become most p i t i a b l y shut out From that which _is_ and actuates, by forms, Abstractions, and by l i f e l e s s f act to fact Minutely linked with diligence uninspired, Unrectified, unguided, unsustained, By godlike insight ("Musings Near Aquapendente," 325-30; Works, III, 211). But because the c h i l d is not "enthralled" by "sensible impressions," i t is more prompt To hold f i t converse with the s p i r i t u a l world, And with the generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age af t e r age, t i l l Time shall be no more (Prelude, XIV, 107-11). This section may be summarized by saying that while both the Transcendental philosophy and English Romanticism were able to break from eighteenth-century concepts by treating thepperceptual process as p a r t i a l l y creative of experience, the Romantic notion of perception ultimately strives to turn Kant against himself. For whereas Kant re- garded the doctrine of the i d e a l i t y of space and time as proof that there can be no knowledge of the "supersensible," for the Romantics, th i s same capacity to " i s o l a t e " space and time and consider them "Trans- cendentally," apart from s p e c i f i c notices of single objects and events-- 90 that i s , not as aspects of things-in-themselves but as mere perceptual modes which enable us to represent to ourselves things existing sepa- rat e l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y , events recurring simultaneously or successively-- spells the p o s s i b i l i t y of our l i b e r a t i o n from the "thralldom" of sensa- tion. As Norman 0. Brown puts i t , t h i s doctrine "opens up the p o s s i b i l i t y of man's emancipation from the tyranny of time" since " i f the human mind were to break through the v e i l of phenomena and reach 'noumenal' r e a l i t y , i t would f i n d no time" (op. c i t . , 94; my emphasis). For the Romantics, as I have said, this p o s s i b i l i t y is realized in the aesthetic experience, and in those "spots of time" when the soul "Put[s] off her v e i l , and, self-transmuted [stands] / Naked, in the presence of her God" (Brelude, IV, 151-52). CHAPTER VII THE VERSTAND, THE VERNUNFT, AND THE BOUNDS OF INTELLECT IN ROMANTIC THOUGHT In Part One, we saw how Kant's d i v i s i o n of the "Transcendental Doctrine of Elements" into the "Transcendental Aesthetic" and the "Transcendental Logic" reflected his be l i e f that there are a p r i o r i principles underlying both the process of perception and of conceptuali- zation; that i s , that the human mind is creative of experience on both the "aesthetical" (in the original sense of "relating to the senses") and " l o g i c a l " levels. Now there are of course numberless references throughout Romantic poetry to those aspects of experience which we "half-create," to the "Powers" which "of themselves our minds impress": 1 the "source of human thought i t s tribute brings / Of waters with a sound but half i t s own" says Shelley in "Mont Blanc," and near the end of the same poem, he asks: And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea, If to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancy? (5-6, 142-44; Works, I, 233) In "Yarrow Unvisited," Wordsworth makes a similar point, and in very similar language: ^Wordsworth, "Expostulation and Reply," 21-2; Works, IV, 56, 91 92 Yea, what were mighty Nature's s e l f ? Her features, could they win us, Unhelped by the poetic voice That hourly speaks within us? (85-89; Works, III, 264) 2 And these lines r e c a l l Coleridge's impassioned rejection of eighteenth- century "mechanistic" philosophy and a l l i t s implications in the Dejec- tion Ode: Ah! from the soul i t s e l f must issue forth A l i g h t , a glory, a f a i r luminous cloud Enveloping the Earth--And from the soul i t s e l f must there be sent A sweet and potent voice, of i t s own b i r t h , Of a l l sweet sounds the l i f e and element! (53-8; Poems, I, 365) But while i t is v a l i d to say that both Kant and the Romantics supplanted a "passive" concept of mind with an "active" one, i t would be extremely misleading to draw a one-to-one comparison between Wordsworth's " p l a s t i c power" and Kant's "... what our own f a c u l t y of knowledge . . . supplies from i t s e l f . " In f a c t , as Lovejoy says, since in Kant this "ac- t i v i t y " i s "without freedom" and i s "pre-determined" by the structures of thought, in t h i s , Kant's reasoning i s "as deterministic in i t s impli- cations as the Hartlean doctrine i t s e l f . " 3 2Note that Meredith chooses these four l i n e s for the motto to his edition of Kant's Critique of Aesthetic Judgement ( i i i ) . 3Arthur 0. Lovejoy, Essays in the History of Ideas (Cambridge, 1936), 256, 259. Lovejoy says that "the e f f e c t of the Kantian arguments for the ' a c t i v i t y of the mind' should have been to confirm Coleridge in his necessitarianism--by providing him with a new and better proof of i t than could be got from Hartley or P r i e s t l e y " ( i b i d . , 257). This i s un-doubtedly so i f by " a c t i v i t i e s of the mind" we imply simply the operation of the categories. But this d e f i n i t i o n of the word " a c t i v i t y " i s unnec-e s s a r i l y narrow in the context of the Transcendental philosophy, as we learn when we come to the work which Coleridge, l i k e S c h i l l e r , Goethe 93 But Lovejoy's point, although c e r t a i n l y correct, should not be taken as implying that the very important teaching of the "Transcendental Logic" has no r e l a t i o n to Romantic thought. For i t i s here that Kant lays the Transcendental foundations for one of the most crucial and def- i n i t i v e premises of Romanticism: that the faculty by which we discourse about matters of empirical f a c t can provide no knowledge whatsoever of those issues which they considered central to morality and c r e a t i v i t y - - freedom, immortality, and the existence of God. The "False Secondary Power" A l l of the Romantics spoke of a f a c u l t y akin to Kant's Verstand, and although they more often than not refer to i t generically as "reason," i t means b a s i c a l l y the same thing: i t is the function of con- sciousness whose sphere of influence i s limited to the "vanishing apparitions" of the phenomenal order. 4 For the Romantics, i t s metier i s r e s t r i c t e d to empirical awareness, or s c i e n t i f i c investigation, since i t operates by regulated analysis, c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , judgment and d i f f e r e n t i a - tion of sense data, a l l of which, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , takes place in i s o l a t i o n from values and i d e a l s , in accordance with pre-established laws. Familiar only with appearance, i t is conversant so l e l y with what i s , not with what ought to be. But while both Kant and the Romantics were determined to i s o l a t e the power by which we make empirical judgments and l i m i t i t s sphere of and many others, found the most impressive of a l l Kant's works, the Critique of Judgment (see below, Chapter IX). 4 S h e l l e y , D of P, 137. authority to the phenomenal realm, i t is obvious again that the Romantics had a far d i f f e r e n t , a far more pejorative attitude to the function of discursive Understanding than Kant, a fact which i s due both to the i n - tensity with which they shared the visionary experience of the "one l i f e , " and the earnestness with which, as "unacknowledged l e g i s l a t o r s of the world," they f e l t bound to communicate i t . 6 Thus, when Blake con- templates the Lockean concept of mind, d i s t i n c t i o n s are drawn and consequences specified which extend far beyond anything Kant might have intended. For Blake the world-view which emerges from naive empiricism is not only f a l s e , but perverse, because (as Frye says) of the "emotional implications" which necessarily "accompany i t into the mind," where they inevitably "breed . . . into cynical indifference, short-range v i s i o n , s e l f i s h pursuit of expediency, and a l l the other diseases of Selfhood, ending in horror and despair" (Fearful Symmetry, 384). In Blake's mythological system, i t i s Urizen ("your reason") which corresponds to the f a c u l t y of Verstand, and while i t would be f o o l i s h to draw a d i r e c t p a r a l l e l between the Kantian and Blakean f a c u l - t i e s , a certain resemblance i s obvious in Blake's description in the Four Zoas of Urizen's proud but foredoomed attempts to over-extend his limited powers and achieve dominion over Los, the creative p r i n c i p l e . And while Kant regarded these pretensions of our f i n i t e Understanding as leading to "sceptical despair" or "dogmatism" (C_ of PR, 385), Blake saw ^Whether Kant ever experienced this mystical f e e l i n g i s irrelevant here. Obviously, in his role as a philosopher, he had far less emotion-a l l y at stake than did the poets in denying that divergence from some psychological or sociological norm was reprehensible, that revelation was akin to mental i n s t a b i l i t y , or that the test of art lay in the consensus gentiium. As Camus said, "Je n'ai jamais vu personne mourir pour 1'argument ontologique" ("Le Myth de Sisyphe," Essais [Bruge, 1965], 99). 95 them as giving r i s e to social and psychological repression, to s p i r i t u a l i s o l a t i o n and to the d e v i t a l i z i n g of ins p i r a t i o n and true c r e a t i v i t y : ^ Urizen beheld the terror of the Abyss, wan-dering among The horrid shapes & sights of torment in burning dungeons & in Fetters of red hot iron; some with crowns of serpents & some With monsters girding round their bosoms; some lying on beds of sulphur, On racks & wheels; he beheld women marching o'er burning wastes Of Sand in bands of hundreds & of f i f t i e s & of thousands, strucken with Lightnings which blazed after them upon their shoulders in their march Then he beheld the forms of tygers & of Lions, d i s -humaniz'd men. Many in serpents & in worms, stretched out enor-mous length Over the sullen mould & slimy tracks, obstruct his way Drawn out from deep to deep, woven by ribb'd And scaled monsters or arm'd in iron s h e l l , or shell of brass Or gold; a g l i t t e r i n g torment shining & hissing in eternal pain . . . (Four Zoas, VI, 102-8; 116-21; Writings, 314-15). The f u t i l e , but (as Kant said) inevitable, struggle of our i n t e l l e c t to "transcend those l i m i t s of s e n s i b i l i t y within which alone objects can be. given to us" (C_ of PR, 264) is symbolized by Blake as Urizen's ludicrous attempt to escape the "world of Cumbrous wheels" which he himself had fy\s did Shelley: . "The ri c h have become ri c h e r , and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the state i s driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism. Such are the effects which must ever flow from an unmitigated exercise of the calculating faculty" (D of P, 132). 96 created, hoping to be able to "view a l l things beneath my feet": labouring up against f u t u r i t y , Creating many a Vortex, f i x i n g many a Science in the deep, And thence throwing his venturous limbs into the vast unknown, Swift, swift from Chaos to chaos, from void to void, a road immense. For when he came to where a Vortex ceas'd to operate, Nor down nor up remain'd, then i f he turn'd & look'd back From whence he came, 'twas upward a l l ; & i f he turn'd & view'd The unpass'd void, upward was s t i l l his mighty wand'ring, The midst between, an Equilibrium grey or a i r serene Where he might l i v e in peace & where his l i f e might meet repose ( i b i d . , 186-95). Kant observed that our f i n i t e i n t e l l e c t , when faced with these per p l e x i t i e s , w i l l inevitably assume an "obstinate attitude" and attempt to f i x a l l experience within i t s limited sphere of authority. It i s likewise with Blake's Urizen, who, after meeting this f r u s t r a t i o n , began to form of gold, s i l v e r & iron And brass, vast instruments to measure out the immense & f i x The whole into another world better suited to obey His w i l l , where none should dare oppose his w i l l , himself being King Of A l l , & a l l f u t u r i t y be bound in his vast chain. And the Sciences were f i x ' d & the Vortexes began to operate On a l l the sons of men, & every human soul t e r r i f i e d At the turning wheels of heaven shrunk away inward, with'ring away. Gaining a New dominion over a l l his Sons & Daughters & over the Sons & Daughters of Luvah in the horrible Abyss ( i b i d . , 229-38). 97 Blake's most clear and s p e c i f i c discussion of the nature and l i m i t s of the Verstand i s contained in the closely reasoned l i t t l e prose poems on natural r e l i g i o n , etched about 1788. Eight years prior to the etching of these pamphlets, Kant had exposed the speciousness ( i f not the vacuity) of natural r e l i g i o n by demonstrating that the "physio-theological argument" maintained by the Deists rested ultimately on the ontological argument, which was unsound because i t i l l e g i t i m a t e l y applied an empirical judgment to a non-empirical "Idea" of pure Reason. 7 This procedure, ac- cording to Kant, i s unacceptable because " i n dealing with objects of pure thought, we have no means whatsoever of knowing their existence, since i t would have to be known in a completely a p r i o r i manner." Our consciousness of a l l existence . . . belongs exclusively to the unity of experience; any [alleged] existence outside this f i e l d , while not i n -deed such as we can declare to be absolutely impossible, i s of the nature of an assumption which we can never be in a position to j u s t i f y (C of PR, 506). Now Blake bases his r e j e c t i o n of natural r e l i g i o n on the same o philosophical premise as Kant; that i s , that i t is l o g i c a l l y impossible for our mere "reasoning power" to extend beyond "objects of sense" in order to lend insight into the noumenal order. As Blake put i t , "From a perception of only 3 senses or 3 elements none could deduce a fourth or f i f t h " ; and "As none by t r a v e l l i n g over known lands can f i n d out the un- known, So from already acquired knowledge Man could not acquire more. . . ."8 7James Benziger, in Images of Eternity (Carbondale, 1962) b r i e f l y describes the r e l a t i o n between the Kantian and Romantic attitudes towards Deism. See esp. 17-18. 8"There i s No Natural Religion" [ F i r s t S e r i e s ] , proposition I I I ; " A l l Religions Are One," p r i n c i p l e 4th; Writings, 97, 98. 98 Therefore our concept of God cannot derive from the "Philosophical & Experimental" f a c u l t i e s , which are barred by t h e i r very nature from meta- physical exploration.^ There is an intimate r e l a t i o n between Coleridge and Wordsworth's rejection of the teachings of Godwin and Hartley on the one hand, and Kant's repudiation (under the influence of Rousseau 1 0) of r a t i o n a l i s t i c and empirical dogmatism on the other, since in both cases the reaction sprang from the conviction that the f a i l u r e of Empirical philosophers to distinguish between the Verstand and the Vernunft had caused them, ac- cording to their " u n c r i t i c a l " premises, to claim too much for the former or too l i t t l e f o r the l a t t e r - - i f in fact the d i s t i n c t i o n was made at a l l . Consequently, Kant's great Critical system and the art of Coleridge and Wordsworth share this intent: to challenge the imperious claims of our f i n i t e Understanding to be the sole arbiter of what i s true and good ^"Rejecting the u t i l i t a r i a n morality of rationalism, Blake . . . asserted a more plausible ethics; for . . . [he] insisted that genuine re l i g i o u s experience involved a t r u l y imaginative moral act, in which the s e l f i s h i s o l a t i o n of individual need i s transcended in the sense of a larger unity and a nobler universe. ... A l l this points back to Boehme, to his old d i s t i n c t i o n between Verstand and Vernunft, and these very terms, of course, became the tool by which the f l a t rationalism of the Enlightenment, in England as well as Germany, was pried apart" (Mark Schorer, William Blake: The P o l i t i c s of Vision [New York, 1959], 118-19). I U " I am by disposition an enquirer. I feel the consuming t h i r s t for knowledge, the eager unrest to advance ever further, and the delights of discovery. There was a time when I believed that this is what confers real dignity upon human l i f e , and I despised the common people who know nothing. Rousseau has set me right. This imagined advantage vanishes. I learn to honor men, and should regard myself as of much less use than the common labourer, i f I did not believe that my philosophy w i l l restore to a l l men the common rights of humanity" (Kant, Literary Remains, Works [Hartenstein], i i i , 624. Cited Commentary, l v i i and 578). and beautiful, and to relocate the source of moral and aesthetic c r i t e r i a beyond the pale of "consequitive reasoning." Therefore, l i k e Blake, Coleridge treated the faculty of Verstand far more perjoratively than did Kant. For example, in the Biographia L i t e r a r i a , he s p e c i f i c a l l y states that the greatest "boon" for him of his reading in metaphysical philosophy was to "keep a l i v e the heart in the head" by leaving him with "a s t i r r i n g and working presentiment, that a l l the products of the mere r e f l e c t i v e faculty partook of DEATH, and were as the r a t t l i n g twigs and sprays in winter, into which a sap was yet to be propelled from some root to which I had not penetrated, i f they were to afford my soul either food or shelter" (BL, I, 98). This "presentiment" subsequently gelled into conviction when the "giant's hand" of Kant took possession of him. And although, as I have said, he was troubled ( l i k e others after him) by some of the consequences of Kant's firm d i s t i n c t i o n between "phenomena" and "noumena," he c e r t a i n l y found Kant's Transcendental d i s t i n c t i o n between Verstand and Vernunft most congenial, as the f i f t h and ninth numbers of the Friend, and the MS Logic i n d i c a t e . 1 1 Wordsworth hardly needed Coleridge to teach him that the accumu- la t i o n of empirical facts did not exhaust our mental capacities, but as I shall point out l a t e r , Coleridge, through his reading in Kant, was able to provide a firm philosophical basis for Wordsworth's i n t u i t i o n s . And again, as this conviction grew in Wordsworth, we find the Verstand 1 1"To establish this d i s t i n c t i o n [between Vernunft and Verstand]was one main object of THE FRIEND" (BL, I, 109-10). See Shawcross' note on this remark, i b i d . , 250-51. In the MS Logic, Coleridge devised his own "Table of Categories" for the Understanding, which i s similar in a l l es-sentials to Kant's. See O r s i n i , Ch. Three, passim. 100 referred to in quite un-Kantian p e j o r a t i v e s - - i t i s the "meddling i n t e l - l e c t s " an " i n f e r i o r Faculty," " t o i l i n g reason," "that humbler power," and so on . 1 2 This attitude i s hardly separable from Wordsworth's opinion of the s c i e n t i s t , whom he regarded as r e s t r i c t e d , by the very nature of his c a l l i n g , to a loveless task of making s u p e r f i c i a l generalizations about natura naturata. A rare comic passage in the Excursion i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s attitude, as the Wanderer describes the intrusion of a botanist into the dales, "peep[ing] round" for "some rare flowerlet of the h i l l s " - - a "harmless Man," intent on his "outward quest" with a sense "keen and eager, as a fine-nosed hound" (I I I , 1 6 5 - 7 2 ) . Only s l i g h t l y less harmless is the geologist, who can be traced by the "scars which his a c t i v i t y has l e f t / Beside our roads and pathways," smiting the edge of a "luckless rock," c l a s s i f y i n g i t "by some barbarous name" and marching on to some new conquest ( i b i d . , 1 7 5 - 8 5 ) . The Wanderer magnanimously allows these heathens free access to the h i l l s - - a t l e a s t , t h e i r minds are " f u l l " and their pastime "free from pain" ( i b i d . , 1 9 3 ) . But science can be beneficial to the arts, says Wordsworth conde- scendingly, since when the s c i e n t i s t has learned to make his sense "Subservient ... to moral purposes," his work can become "a support . . . to the mind's excursive power" ( i b i d . , IV, 1 2 4 8 , 1 2 6 2 - 6 3 ) . But without this moral orientation in science, i t i s only "a succedaneum, and a prop / To our i n f i r m i t y " (Prelude, II, 2 1 4 - 1 5 ) J 3 For however hard 1 2"The Tables Turned," 2 6 ; Excursion, IV, 1 1 3 0 ; "To My S i s t e r , " 2 6 , Prelude, A, XI, 1 2 4 ; my emphasis. 1 3 A s Wordsworth i s said to have remarked to Hamilton: " A l l science which waged war with and wished to extinguish Imagination in the mind of 101 Wordsworth may have sought to "achieve a poetic vision which respected this order [of the Newtonian u n i v e r s e ] , " 1 4 he was obviously and r i g h t l y suspicious about the incursion of scientism into those matters—the sense of beauty, personal growth, the mystic and moral experience, and love—which "We murder to dissect" ("The Tables Turned," 28). And since such matters are the very thematic material of his poetry, reason is "of least use / Where wanted most" (Prelude, XI, 308-9). That Wordsworth f u l l y understood the philosophical (Transcenden- ta l ) rationale f o r f i x i n g the l i m i t s of discursive Understanding, i s obvious from the famous passage in Book II of the Prelude where, addressing Coleridge, he says: No o f f i c i o u s slave Art thou of the f a l s e secondary power By which we multiply d i s t i n c t i o n s , then Deem that our puny boundaries are things That we perceive, and not that we have made (215-19). 1 5 man, and to leave i t nothing of any kind but the naked knowledge of facts was ... of a dangerous and debasing tendency"(R.P. Graves, L i f e of W.R. Hamilton, I, 311-14; cited Havens, I, 147). ^Geoffrey Durrant, William Wordsworth (Cambridge, 1969), 5. Pro-fessor Durrant opposes Wordsworth to Blake here, saying that Blake "rejected science" whereas Wordsworth "did not dream of challenging the authority of the physical sciences" ( i b i d . , 6). But this d i s t i n c t i o n depends on what i s meant by "authority," for while Wordsworth hardly de-nied the propriety of the s c i e n t i f i c investigation of natural phenomena, he cert a i n l y did "reject," no less than did Kant, " s c i e n t i f i c " or non-normative theories of ethics and aesthetics. And Blake, l i k e Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley, did not "reject science" as much as he dismissed i t s imperious pretensions. Note that Blake has Locke, Newton and Bacon be-side Milton, Shakespeare and Chaucer at the end of the apocalypse in Jerusalem, where they are an integral part of the great d i a l e c t i c a l v i s i on of the poem. See S. Foster Damon, A Blake Dictionary (Providence, 1965), 243. ^Havens points out that this passage appears in the very e a r l i e s t known MS for Book I I , c l e a r l y proving, he says, that "The Prelude was, 102 This i s a powerful passage, almost every word of which radiates deep i n - sight and conviction. People who overly trust to the leadings of Verstand are " o f f i c i o u s " : a be a u t i f u l l y chosen word (substituted f o r the weaker "timid" in MS "D") connoting c l e r i c a l fussiness, dry loveless pusillanimity about deta i l s of motive and method. Such people are "slaves"; slaves to u t i l i t y and things that change, to space and time, custom and habit, immunized from spontaneous impulse and therefore from passion, i n s p i r a t i o n , c r e a t i v i t y . This i s why Verstand is a "secondary" power—its processes are subject to the laws of association, and there- fore conversant only with f a c t s , never values. But more important, Wordsworth rea l i z e s that i t i s a " f a l s e " power, for the very Kantian reason^the discursive Understanding can e a s i l y lead us into the d e b i l i - tating i l l u s i o n that "our puny boundaries are things / That we perceive, and not that we have made."^ This is the confusion, typical of ab_ ovo, a philosophical work" (Havens, II, 317). Note that the passage exists almost intact in MS 2 of Peter B e l l , which actually dates i t as early as 1799. See Prelude, 525. ^Compare the passage from Book VIII of the Prelude, where Wordsworth speaks of the "dead l e t t e r " of book learning, '"' Whose truth i s not a motion or a shape Instinct with v i t a l functions, but a block Or waxen image which yourselves have made, And ye adore! (298-301) The " u n c r i t i c a l " f a i l u r e to recognize that our "puny boundaries" are things . . . that we have made" was, as Coleridge saw, the f a t a l error of Hartley, who mistook, as a l l u n c r i t i c a l philosophers must, "the condi-tions of a thing for i t s causes and,essense; and the process, by which we arrive at the knowledge of a f a c u l t y , for the faculty i t s e l f " (BL_, I, 85). In Blake, this error is the hubris of Urizen, who knew not "the course of his own [deceit], but thought himself the sole author / Of a l l his wandering Experiments in the horrible Abyss" (Four Zoas, VII(a), 159-60; Writings, 324). It was s i m i l a r l y Swedenborg's error, and Blake's derision towards Swedenborg's u n c r i t i c a l attitudes i s reminiscent of Kant's censure of Hume and the "dogmatists" (C of PR., 127-28): 103 "Enlightened" thought, which " u n c r i t i c a l l y " assumes man's i n a b i l i t y to transcend the "natural" realm of stimulus and response to which his fl e s h i s heir. It i s , as Kant demonstrated, both untrue to experience and dogmatic. Furthermore, i t i s an error which must be dispelled i f a l l the evidence of moral experience i s to have any significance whatso- ever, and one which can be dispelled, as Wordsworth goes on to say, through a reasoned c r i t i q u e of our mental f a c u l t i e s , leading to that most precious of a l l insights: "Profoundest knowledge to what point, and how, / The mind i s lord and master—outward sense / The obedient servant of her w i l l " (XII, 221-23). The Vernunft, and the Status of the Metaphysical "Ideas" in Romantic Thought In Part One, I pointed out that Kant regarded the demands of our Reason for an unconditioned system and order as absolutely essential to the growth of our moral beings. For without these demands, he says, we would never become aware of our noumenal freedom and therefore would never be capable of judging moral behaviour. In Kant's system, the Vernunft generates these metaphysical "yearnings" by providing us with A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because he was a l i t t l e wiser than the monkey, grew vain, and conciev'd himself as much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg: he shews the f o l l y of churches, & exposes hypocrites, t i l l he imagines that a l l are r e l i g i o u s , & himself the single one on earth that ever broke a net. . . . And now hear the reason. He conversed with Angels who are a l l r e l i g i o u s , & conversed not with Devils who a l l hate r e l i g i o n , for he was incapable thro' his conceited notions" (MHH, p l . 21-22; Writings, 157). 104 Ideals f o r action, Ideals which "make possible a tran s i t i o n from the concepts of nature to the practical concepts, and in that way . . . give support to the moral ideas themselves, bringing them into connec- tion with the speculative knowledge of reason" (C'of PR, 320). Kant's Transcendental d i s t i n c t i o n between the faculty by which we conceptualize matters of f a c t , and the faculty of moral and religious Ideas was a key factor in his own break from r a t i o n a l i s t i c dogmatism and s c e p t i c i s m , 1 7 and while this d i s t i n c t i o n does not pass unchanged into Romantic thought, the idea that our metaphysical yearnings are not gratuitous or reprehensible (as they are so often represented by the Augustan poets) but serve a necessary and even salutory function does. For the Romantic mind was "attuned to the vast," and everywhere in the poetry of the period we fin d expressed this urgent need to discover forms of expression which would dignify and a r t i c u l a t e the intensity with which we are driven to assert our freedom from the realm of determina- tion and laws of association, to experience the mysterious, to transcend the bounds of sense to "see as a god s e e s " : 1 8 Hail to thee, bli t h e S p i r i t ! Bird thou never wert, That from Heaven, or near i t , Pourest thy f u l l heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. i t was for Coleridge: "The unspeakable importance of the Distinction between the Reason and the Human Understanding, as [ s i c : i s ? ] the only Ground of the Cogency of the Proof a posteriori of the exis-tence of a God from the order of the known Universe. Remove or deny this d i s t i n c t i o n , and Hume's argument from the Spider's proof that Houses &c were spun by Men out of their Bodies becomes v a l i d " (I_S, 382). 1 8Keats, The F a l l of Hyperion, I, 304; Works, 410. 105 Higher s t i l l and higher From the earth thou springest Like a cloud of f i r e ; The blue deep thou wingest, And singing s t i l l dost soar, and soaring ever singest (Shelley, "To a Skylark," 1-10; Works, II, 302), The demand, here symbolized (as so often in Romantic poetry) as envy for a bird (or in figures relating to f l i g h t in g e n e r a l 1 9 ) is for a transcendent "overview," for an opportunity to meditate on "Things more true and deep" than those truths for which the "calculating faculty" can supply concepts. In Keats' Endymion, these same metaphysical compunctions of the "Brain-sick shepherd prince" are symbolized by the f l i g h t of a "golden butterfly" which appears in Book II to lead the poet out of "langour's sullen bands" (again, note the bondage imagery applied to the phenomenal world), leading him above consciousness, beyond space and t i m e . 2 0 And in "Sleep and Poetry," Keats speaks of his plan to write on " A l l that was for our human senses f i t t e d , " after which 1 9 T h i s imagery occurs in a similar context in the Critique of Pure  Reason, where Kant speaks of the dangers inherent in Plato's u n c r i t i c a l extension of the empirical f a c u l t i e s into the realm of Ideas: "Misled by such a proof of the power of reason [as i s derived from the possi-b i l i t y of pure Geometry], the demand for the extension of knowledge recognizes no l i m i t s . The l i g h t dove, cleaving the a i r in her free f l i g h t , and feeling i t s resistance, might imagine that i t s f l i g h t would be s t i l l easier in empty space" (C of PR, 47). It is worth noting how often f l i g h t imagery appears in Augustan poetry with derogatory connotations. In the f i r s t E p i stle of the Essay cm Man, for example, Pope speaks chidingly of the "giddy heights" to which men w i l l "sightless soar": the "hope" of the "poor Indian" does not l i e above or beyond, but "Behind the cloud-topt h i l l . " Therefore, "He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's f i r e , " s e t t l i n g instead for the more mundane company of his " f a i t h f u l dog" (11-12, 99-112; Poems, ed. John Butt [London, 1963], 508). 44,61, 66-130; Works, 80-83. 106 . . . the events of this wide world I'd seize Like a strong giant, and my s p i r i t teaze T i l l at i t s shoulders i t should proudly see Wings to f i n d out an immortality (80-84; Works, 44). The same aspirations are expressed in similar terms in the verse epis- t l e to his brother George: Fair world, adieu! Thy dales, and h i l l s , are fading from my view; Swiftly I mount, upon wide spreading pinions, Far from the narrow bounds of thy> dominions. Full joy I f e e l , while thus I cleave the a i r * That my soft verse w i l l charm thy daughters f a i r , And warm thy sons! (103-9; Works, 28) In Kant, the restlessness which the Vernunft v i s i t s upon us serves the " l o f t y " and "excellent" purpose of drawing our attention towards those aspects of the human condition which distinguishes us from brute animals—our moral freedom and our "supersensible destiny." Sim- i l a r l y , in Keats, as in Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge, t h i s innate discontent with the " r e a l " world of the senses i s an essential ingredient of mental and s p i r i t u a l growth, since i f we were ever capable of taking s a t i s f a c t i o n in purely empirical accounts of experience, there would, as Kant put i t , be no accounting for the force of Ideals, and we would too e a s i l y submit to a puerile philosophy of "whatever i s , i s r i g h t . " Con- sider, for example, the "Glaucus episode" of Keats' Endymion. Glaucus had spent his years, l i k e Blake's Thel, in Beulah, or in the "infant or thoughtless chamber," as Keats c a l l e d i t : 2 1 21"The f i r s t [chamber] we step into we c a l l the infant or thought-less Chamber, in which we remain as long as we do not think--We remain there a long while, and notwithstanding the doors of the second Chamber remain wide open, showing a bright appearance, we care not to hasten to i t ; but are at length imperceptibly impelled by the awakening of the thinking p r i n c i p l e — w i t h i n us . . ." (Letters, I, 280-81). 107 the crown Of a l l my l i f e was utmost quietude: More did I love to l i e in cavern rude, Keeping in wait whole days f o r Neptune's voice, And i f i t came at l a s t , hark, and rejoice! ( I l l , 352-56) "Why was I not contented?" asks Glaucus. Wherefore reach At things which, but for thee, 0 Latmian! Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began To feel distemper'd longings: to desire The utmost p r i v i l e g e that ocean's s i r e Could grant in benediction: to be free Of a l l his kingdom ( i b i d . , 371-78), In Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," our yearnings to escape the bounds of sense and determined action are symbolized, as they are in Kant (see above, p. 29) by a sea-voyage, which i s fraught with the kind of danger and temptation, with the "Hard and b i t t e r agony" 2 2 which must accompany the prospective loss of empirical self-hood, but which i s at the same time necessary to the stimulation and growth of our Ideals, as i s made quite clear in the motto attached to the poem: I readily believe that there are more i n v i s i b l e than v i s i b l e things in the universe. But who w i l l t e l l us the family, the ranks, the r e l a t i o n -ships, the differences, the respective functions of a l l these beings? What do they do? Where do they dwell? The human mind has c i r c l e d around this knowledge, but has never reached i t . S t i l l , i t is pleasant, I have no doubt, to-contemplate sometimes in one's mind, as in a p i c -ture, the image of a bigger and better world; l e s t the mind, accustomed to the deta i l s of da i l y l i f e , be too narrowed and s e t t l e down e n t i r e l y on t r i f l i n g thoughts. Meanwhile, however, we must be on the lookout f o r truth and observe r e s t r a i n t , in order that we may distinguish the certain from the uncertain, day from n i g h t . 2 3 2 2T.S. E l i o t , "Journey of the Magi," 39; Collected Poems (London, 1963), 110. 2 3 A s translated by Russell Noyes, in English Romantic Poetry and  Prose (New York, 1956), 392. 108 No doubt, Coleridge was attracted to this passage from Thomas Burnet's Archaeologiae Philosophicae because i t furnished him with a compact and precise statement of some of his most important intentions in the "Ancient Mariner." For not only does i t establish the mood of the "supernatural" with i t s i n i t i a l , f o rthright credo in the existence of " i n v i s i b l e beings," i t also serves to i n v i t e us to treat the poem as a psychological allegory, since i t touches on two of his most central philosophical b e l i e f s : the significance of the part played by human Ideals in rendering us d i s s a t i s f i e d with the "details of dai l y l i f e " and the " t r i f l i n g thoughts" of the Verstand, and the i n a b i l i t y of this f i n i t e f aculty to transcend sense experience. In these terms, the re l a t i o n of the motto to the poem is clear. The mariner begins his journey as an homme moyen sensuel ("Merrily did we drop . . . " ) , a man most, comfortable in a world regarded as "a mass of l i t t l e things." But prospects for a gentle voyage.are soon shattered by the "STORM-BLAST," Coleridge's symbol for what Kant called the "impetuous" forces which "drive" us by an "inward need, to questions such as cannot be answered by any empirical employment of reason" (C of PR, 56). Plunging into a clinging mist, and losing the l i g h t of the sun,24 the voyager's normal rational orientation and associative powers are rendered useless: And through the d r i f t s the snowy c l i f t s Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--The ice was a l l between (55-58) 2 4According to Robert Penn Warren, the "sun" i s a symbol for f i n i t e i n t e l l e c t in Part One of Coleridge's poem. See his essay "A Poem of Pure Imagination," in Selected Essays (New York, 1966), 240ff. 109 The albatross then appears, and with i t the means of escape from the treacherous ice. But the mariner, too long accustomed to seeing his environment "with" rather than "thro" 1 his eyes, proves himself un- worthy of the albatross's blessing, and mindlessly destroys the great white bird. And with this act, e v i l is brought into the poem's cosmology, j u s t as Adam's f u l l y conscious and deliberate decision to eat the apple of knowledge introduced evn'l into Milton's system.25 As in Paradise Lost, the hero's sin.results in a period of pro- found s p i r i t u a l suffering, symbolized by an intense and disabling t h i r s t , which is quenched only when the passionate "yearning" arises from the depths of his soul, a yearning to transcend his worldly s e l f - hood and see himself in rel a t i o n to a larger whole: 0 happy l i v i n g things! no tongue Their beauty might declare: A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware: Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware (282-287). Like Kant, Coleridge attributed this yearning towards a trans- cendence of the bounds of sense to the "Reason," the function of consciousness "to which the Understanding must convert i t s e l f in order to obtain from within what i t would in vain seek for without, the know- ledge of necessary and universal conclusion--of that which i s because i t must be, and not because i t had been seen" (IS_, 126). The Reason is 2 5 A s Coleridge said in the Statesman's Manual: "The rational i n -t e l l e c t , . . . taken abstractedly and unbalanced, did, in i t s e l f (ye  shall be as Gods . . . ) , . . . form the original temptation, through which men f e l l : and in a l l ages has continued to originate the same, even from Adam, in whom we a l l f e l l , to the atheists who d e i f i e d the human reason in the person of a harlot during the e a r l i e r period of the French Revolution"(456-57). no the "Source of Ideas" ( i b i d . ) , an organ "bearing the same relation to s p i r i t u a l objects, the universal, the eternal, and the necessary, as the eye bears to material and contingent phenomena" (Friend, 144). It is the faculty of "conscious self-knowledge" and therefore of the "supersensuous," an organ whose function i t is to "subordinate" sense and thought "to absolute principles or necessary laws" ( i b i d . , 146). Its operations thus ensure that the mind w i l l not be s a t i s f i e d unless i t perceives the part in re l a t i o n to the whole--the "water-snakes" in rel a t i o n to a l l creation (which includes the mariner himself)--for "We can neither rest in an i n f i n i t e that is not at the same time a whole, nor in a whole that i s not i n f i n i t e . " Hence the natural man i s always in a state either of resistance or of c a p t i v i t y to the understanding and the fancy, which can not represent t o t a l i t y without l i m i t : and he either loses the one in the s t r i v i n g after the i n f i n i t e , that i s , atheism with or without polytheism, or he loses the i n f i n i t e in the s t r i v i n g after the one, and then sinks into anthropomorphic monotheism (SM, 456). And because no amount of empirical facts can ever attain to com- pleteness, the function of Reason is an "endless occupation for the soul" as Wordsworth said (Prelude, XIV, 119), and i t s operations there- fore promise constant growth, growth which i s the enabling factor of the moral l i f e . Of course, we may choose to avoid meeting experience completely, which would exonerate us from r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of any kind; but at least f o r "one of three," the mental voyage i s a s p i r i t u a l com- mitment, and one which ensures our passage out of Edenic b l i s s into a state of "higher innocence." As the Wanderer says: I l l Them only can such hope inspire whose minds Have not been starved by absolute neglect; Nor bodies crushed by unremitting t o i l ; To whom kind Nature, therefore, may afford Proof of the sacred love she bears for a l l ; Whose b i r t h r i g h t , Reason, therefore, may ensure (Excursion, IX, 96-101). "Man must & w i l l have Some Religion," said Blake (Jerusalem; Writings, 682), and when he ceases to "seek immortal moments," and to "Converse with god," ("Annotations to Lavater," Writings, 80), he becomes bound by manacles forged by his own mind, "Deem[ing] that our puny boundaries are things / That we perceive," thus f o r f e i t i n g his very human-ness, his a b i l i t y to love and communicate, to create, to find beauty in "slimy" objects, to experience g u i l t and sorrow and to be shriven: he has l o s t the toss of the dice which saved the ancient mariner. This conviction i s especially strong in Wordsworth, who was f u l l y aware both that we possess "Dumb yearnings" and "hidden appetites" which "must have their food" (Prelude, V, 506-7),.and that without these "yearnings," we would never become aware ju s t how "stinted" our "false secondary power" was; that, in other words, i f we were capable of being rendered s a t i s f i e d with purely rational accounts of experience, a l l the impetus for growth would disappear, and we would l i k e l y as not find ourselves subscribing to Deism or i n t e l l e c t u a l equalitarianism. As in Keats and Shelley, these immortal longings are often sym- bolized by Wordsworth in figures r e l a t i n g to f l i g h t : Up with me! up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong; Up with me, up with me into the clouds! Singing, singing, 112 With clouds and sky about thee ringing, L i f t me, guide me, t i l l I find That spot which seems so to thy mind! Up to thee would I f l y , There i s a madness about thee, and joy divine In that song of thine; L i f t me, guide me high and high To thy banqueting place in the sky ("To a Sky-Lark," 1-7, 11-15; Works, II, 141). And in the 1805 version of the Prelude, Wordsworth talks of how, "enflam'd / With t h i r s t of a secure in t e l l i g e n c e " he was driven to pursue A higher nature, wish'd that Man should start Out of the worm-like state in which he i s , And spread abroad the wings of Liberty, Lord of himself, in undisturb'd delight . . . (A, X, 836-39). But this "noble aspiration" led to despair because he sought To accomplish the t r a n s i t i o n by such means As did not l i e in nature, s a c r i f i c e d The exactness of a comprehensive mind To scrupulous and microscopic views That furnish'd out materials for a work Of f a l s e imagination, placed beyond The l i m i t s of experience and of truth ( i b i d . , 842-49). But perhaps the most prevalent imagery associated in Wordsworth with this compunction to embrace "something l o f t i e r , more adorned, / Than is the common aspect, da i l y garb, / Of human l i f e " (Prelude, V, 575-7) involves climbing, sublime heights, mountains and elevated 113 plateaus,^-" from where Wordsworth received insight into the "majestic i n t e l l e c t , " i t s "acts / And possessions, what i t has and craves, / What in i t s e l f i t i s , and would become." From the top of Mount Snowden, he beheld the emblem of a mind That feeds upon i n f i n i t y , that broods Over the dark abyss, intent to hear Its voices,issuing forth to s i l e n t l i g h t In one continuous stream; a mind sustained By recognitions of transcendent power, In sense conducting to ideal form, In soul of more than mortal p r i v i l e g e (XIV, 70-77). The phrase "sense conducting to ideal form" i s of course reminis- cent of the Kantian Vernunft, 2 7 that faculty which eschews "logic and minute analysis" and demands a larger vision of man, of nature, and of human l i f e . Wordsworth placed a great deal of emphasis on the impor- tance of this d i s t i n c t i o n which Coleridge, who considered i t the starting-place of a l l philosophy, had "passed on" to him (Havens, I, 139), as this passage from Book XII indicates: 26lmagery involving climbing or looking upward, standing on t i p -toe etc. i s of course common in Romantic poetry, giving i t a decided " v e r t i c a l " orientation, as opposed to Augustan poetry, where the imagery is much more "horizontal." One need only think of the number of poems of this period which begin with the poet gazing at clouds, the moon, a bird, mountains or stars (e.g., "Eolian Harp," "Ode to the Departing Year," "France: An Ode," "Lewti," "The Nightingale" etc. in Coleridge alone) to assess the force with which this transcendental yearning was f e l t , z ' 2 7Wordsworth has obviously what he called the Imagination in mind here. But he was "less aptly s k i l l e d " than Coleridge or Kant in "rang[ing] the f a c u l t i e s / In scale and order" (Prelude, II, 222-24), and since my purpose is not so much to draw p a r a l l e l s between Kant and the Romantics as to show how the principles of Transcendental Idealism "fcecame constitutive" of Romanticism, there i s no need to quibble over terminology. 114 This narrative, my Friend! hath c h i e f l y told Cf i n t e l l e c t u a l power, fostering love, Dispensing truth, and, over men and things, Where reason might yet hesitate, d i f f u s i n g Prophetic sympathies of genial f a i t h . . . (44-48). Elsewhere, Wordsworth distinguishes s p e c i f i c a l l y between "the grand / And simple Reason" and "that humbler power / Which carries on i t s no inglorious work / By logic and minute analysis" (A, XI, 123-26). However "akin to the Vernunft" (Havens, II, 563) this " i n t e l l e c - tual power" may be, there can be no denying that the l i m i t s which Kant attached to the human i n t e l l e c t are not those accepted by Wordsworth-- or by the Romantics poets in general, for that matter. For Kant held, i t w i l l be recalled, that the Vernunft " i s never in immediate re l a t i o n to . . . o b j e c t s ] . . . but only orders them," and "unifies the mani- fold of concepts by means of ideas, positing a certain c o l l e c t i v e unity as the goal of the a c t i v i t i e s of the understanding, which otherwise are concerned solely with d i s t r i b u t i v e unity" (C_ of PR, 533). Moreover Kant maintained, with greatest emphasis, that these transcendent Ideas of Reason "never allow of any constitutive employment" ( i b i d . ) , but are merely regulative, a position which, as I have said, Coleridge could not accept.28 He could agree with Kant, as Shawcross says, that the 2 8 I t is understandable, and very illuminative of his thought, that Coleridge should consider the question of "Whether ideas are regulative only, according to A r i s t o t l e and Kant; or likewise c o n s t i t u t i v e , and one with the power and l i f e of nature, according to Plato, and Plotinus" to be "the highest problem of philosophy, and not part of i t s nomencla-ture" (SM, 484). Compare Coleridge's remark in a l e t t e r to J. Gooden 115 "mere i n t e l l e c t cannot grasp the supersensuous," but "could not follow him in asserting that the supersensuous cannot be given in experience." For "the facts of his own conscious l i f e told another t a l e : and the task s t i l l remained for him, of constructing a philosophy with which these facts were in harmony" (BJL, I, x i i i ) . As Orsini points out, the "philosophy" which Coleridge developed attempted to solve this problem by referring the Antinomies to the Understanding rather than to the Reason, leaving him free to redefine Vernunft as a faculty of direct insight into the noumenal realm; anc organ generative of Ideas which can "constitute" our experience. 2 9 Of course, in Kantian terms, this is "dogmatism," and Coleridge's r e d e f i - nition of Kant's faculty psychology convinced Winkelmann, for one, that he "did not think the Critique of Pure Reason through to the end, but went his own way," and even that Coleridge "scarcely glanced at the Transcendental D i a l e c t i c . " 3 0 And Orsini notes that the MS Logic "stopped short of the D i a l e c t i c , " suggesting to him that Coleridge of January 14, 1820, to the e f f e c t that "there neither are, have been, or ever w i l l be but two e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t Schools of Philosophy: the Platonic and the Aristotelean. To the l a t t e r , but with a somewhat nearer approach to the Platonic, Emanuel Kant belonged; to the former Bacon and Leibniz and in his riper and better years Berkeley--and to this I profess myself an adherent . . ."(Unpublished Letters of S.T.  Coleridge, ed. E.L. Griggs [New Haven, 1933], II, 264^65]^ 2 9 0 r s i n i , 138. This attitude is very much in keeping with a re-mark made by Coleridge in a l e t t e r of April 8, 1825, which cites the "main f a u l t " of the f i r s t c r i t i q u e as an error in the t i t l e , "which to the manifold advantage of the work might be exchanged for 'An Inquisi-tion respecting the Constitution and Limits of the Human Understanding'" (Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. E.H. Coleridge [Boston, 1895], II, 735). Note that Kant himself makes a simi l a r observation in the Preface to the Critique of Judgment (C_ of J_, 4). 30Elisabeth Winkelmann, Coleridge und die Kantische Philosophie (Leipzig, 1933), 175, 246; my trans.\ 116 never acknowledged the complete force of Kant's denial of a constitutive basis for the Ideas of Reason ( O r s i n i , 138). But ultimately, the question of whether or not Coleridge's a l t e r - ation of the Kantian scheme of f a c u l t i e s amounts to a confused or i n d i f f e r e n t reading of the D i a l e c t i c i s i r r e l e v a n t , since however com- pletely Kant might have destroyed t r a d i t i o n a l metaphysics, there was in Coleridge a "passion to b e l i e v e " 3 1 which was beyond the influence of the Antinomies. Arid perhaps i t i s at this point that a basic, rudimen- tary difference emerges, not just between Coleridge and Kant, but between poetry and philosophy in general. For in Kant, the force of the natural d i a l e c t i c of Reason i s so strongly f e l t and i t s consequences considered so inevitable, that he can only advise us to act "as^ vf" the "sum of a l l appearances . . . had a single, highest and a l l s u f f i c i e n t ground beyond i t s e l f . " For " i t is in the l i g h t of this idea of a creative reason that we so guide the empirical employment of our reason as to secure i t s greatest possible extension—that i s , by viewing a l l objects aŝ  l f _ they drew their origin from such an archetype"(C of PR, 551). It would appear, then, that the " f a i t h " for which Kant has so laboriously "made room" (see above, pp. 5, 15) i s f a i t h only in "what i t were best for us to believe," regardless of the e x i s t e n t i a l status of the objects of these b e l i e f s . 3 2 Certainly, i t is not the kind of 3 1 " R e l i g i o u s B e l i e f i s an act, not of the understanding, but of the w i l l . To become a be!iever—one must love the doctrines and must resolve with passion to believe" (Crabbo Robinson, Diary, &c., MS Dec. 20; cited Shawcross, BL, 236n.). 3 2 B u t see Commentary, 554, where Smith shows that "this argument does not do j u s t i c e to the f u l l force of his [Kant's] position." 117 " c o l l e c t i v e f a i t h " which Coleridge described as "a total act of the whole moral being" (BL, I, 84); or that " f a i t h in l i f e endless" which Wordsworth called "the sustaining thought of human Being, Eternity, and God" (Prelude, XIV, 204-5). 3 3 If we inquire into the difference between the kind of f a i t h Kant speaks of, and that practised by the Romantics, Coleridge supplies the answer when he i d e n t i f i e s the " l i v i n g sensorium" of his f a i t h as the "heart" (BL, I, 84). Kant's philosophy, of course, could make no pro- vision for this sort of c r i t e r i o n , since the "appetites" or "passions" are notoriously changeable, and as such can lay no claim to a p r i o r i v a l i d i t y . Consequently, they can play no part in a c r i t i q u e of pure Reason—even pure Reason in practise. But for the Romantics, emotion is intimately related to the degree and the kind of awareness which i t i s possible for us to achieve. And when Coleridge speaks of our capacity to transcend the passive influence of "outward forms," he introduces a variable which has no counterpart in the c r i t i c a l philosophy: Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given, Save to the pure, and in the i r purest hour, 33Wh itehead speaks of " f a i t h " in similar terms. Faith, he says, "cannot be j u s t i f i e d by any inductive generalisation," but rather "springs from d i r e c t inspection of the nature of things as disclosed in our own immediate experience." "To experience this f a i t h i s to know that in being ourselves we are more than ourselves: to know that our experience, dim and fragmentary as i t i s , yet sounds the utmost depths of r e a l i t y : to know that detached details merely in order to be them-selves in a system of things: to know that this system includes the harmony of log i c a l r a t i o n a l i t y : to know that, while the harmony of logic l i e s upon the universe as an iron necessity, the aesthetic harmony stands before i t as a l i v i n g ideal moulding the general flux in i t s broken progress towards f i n e r , subtler issues (Science and the Modern  World, 27-28). 1:18 L i f e , and Life's effluence, cloud at once and shower, Joy, Lady! is the s p i r i t and the power Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower A new Earth and new Heaven, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud . . . ("Dejection: An Ode," 64-70). Si m i l a r l y , for Keats, as Thorpe says, "Deep feeling makes possible think- ing with our whole selves, soul and body. It emancipates the poet's mind from the incidental and temporary, leaving i t free to probe the deeper mysteries of l i f e . " 3 4 The "Heart," as Keats puts i t , is the "Minds [ s i c ] Bible," and "the teat from which the Mind or i n t e l l i g e n c e sucks i t s identity ..." (Letters, I I , 103). He firmly believed that "axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses" ( i b i d . , I, 279). For Blake, "a tear is an Intellectual thing, / And a Sigh is the'Sword of an Angel King" (Jerusalem; Writings, 683); and Wordsworth held that "passion" i s "highest reason in a soul sublime," that "genuine knowledge" is the f r u i t of "sweet councils between head and heart," and that love frees from chains the soul, L i f t e d , in union with the purest, best, Of earth-born passions, on the wings of praise Bearing a tribute to the Almighty's Throne. 3^ Nor is this "love" mere "enthusiasm," mere a f f l a t u s . For i t S^Clarence DeWitt Thorpe, The Mind of John Keats (New York, 1926), 105. 3 5Pre1ude, V, 40-41; XI, 353-54; and XIV, 184-87. Compare De Quincey: "... the Scriptures speak not of the understanding, but of 'the understanding heart,' making the heart, i_.e_. the great i n t u i t i v e (or non-discursive) organ, to be the interchangeable formula for man in his highest state of capacity f o r the i n f i n i t e " ("The Poetry of Pope," Collected Writings, XI, 56). 11.9 acts not nor can exist Without Imagination, which, in truth, Is but another name for absolute power And clearest insight, amplitude of mind, And Reason in her most exalted mood (Prelude, XIV, 188-92). This insistence on the "passions" as essential to metaphysical insight would, as I have said, have repulsed Kant, who believed that any inquiry into the l i m i t s of human thought must proceed dispassionately, and deal only with elements which are independent of experience. And in fact Wordsworth himself l i v e d to doubt the s t a b i l i t y of this d e l i c a t e synthesis of thought and feeling which afforded him his most visionary insights, gravitating more and more towards a Kantian position, seeking for a "help and stay secure," and finding i t , l i k e Kant, in "the meas- ures and the forms, / Which abstract i n t e l l i g e n c e supplies; / Whose kingdom i s , where time and space are not." 3^ And i t i s in this context that the relationship between the ethical theories of Kant and the Romantics can be most f r u i t f u l l y explored. ^"Resolution and Independence," 139; Works, II , 240; Excursion, IV, 74-76. CHAPTER VIII FROM "PRACTICAL REASON" TO THE ETHICS OF LOVE In the famous passage in the Biographia L i t e r a r i a where Coleridge speaks of how Kant "took possession of me as with a giant's hand," the poet specifies four works of Kant which he was always to read with "un- diminished delight and increasing admiration" ( I , 99). These works, here l i s t e d in Coleridge's order, • were, the Critique of Pure Reason (1781), the Critique of Judgment (1790), the Metaphysical Elements of Natural Philosophy (1786), and Religion Within the Bounds of Pure Reason (1793). The omission from this l i s t of either of Kant's ethical trea- t i s e s i s evidence not only of Coleridge's private reservations about thei r teachings, but suggestive more generally of the i n i m i c a l i t y of Kant's ethical science to Romanticism as i t developed in England. For whereas in Kant moral principles are weakened or invalidated by the i n - fluence of any emotive element, the English Romantics for the most part would have agreed with Shelley's conviction that " u n t i l the mind can love, and admire, and t r u s t , and hope, and endure, reasoned pr i n c i p l e s of moral conduct are seeds cast upon the highway of l i f e which the un- conscious passenger tramples into dust, although they would bear the harvest of his happiness" (Preface to Prometheus Unbound, Works, II, 174-75). But in spite of this fundamental difference between Kant and the Romantics on the source of "principles of moral conduct," i t i s perfectly 120 121 reasonable to regard Romanticism and Transcendental Idealism as comple- mentary responses to n a t u r a l i s t i c systems of ethics, systems which taught that "morality i s determined by sentiment" and that virtue i s "whatever mental action or quality gives to â  spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation; and vice the contrary" (Hume, 241). For a l - though "love" i s a f e l t quality, and as such would have to be regarded in Kantian terms as relat i n g to the phenomenal s e l f , the Romantics saw love as a sensus communis, as transcending s e l f - i n t e r e s t , just as com- pletely as any a p r i o r i postulate of pure Reason. Again, I quote from Shelley: Thou demandest what i s love? It is that powerful attraction towards a l l that we conceive, or fear, or hope beyond ourselves, when we fi n d within our own thoughts.the chasm of an i n s u f f i c i e n t void, and seek to awaken in a l l things that are, a community with what we experience within our-selves ("On Love," Works, VI, 201). For Coleridge, the rigourousness of Kant's ethic was a r e s u l t of the philosopher's i n a b i l i t y to reconcile the phenomenal and noumenal selves, to escape his vision of man as a schizoid being':' A rational being [says Kant] must regard himself as int e l l i g e n c e . . . as belonging to the world of understanding and not to that of the senses. Thus he has two standpoints from which he can consider himself and recognize the laws of the employment of his powers and consequently of a l l his actions: f i r s t , as belonging to the world of sense, under laws of nature . . . and, second, as belonging to the i n t e l l i g i b l e world under laws which, independent of nature, are not empirical but founded only on reason (FMM, 107). This is the basis of Coleridge's complaint, made in a marginal note in Tennemans' Geschichte der Philosophie, that the Kantians "separate the Reason from the Reason in the W i l l . " Such a separation, however, he sees as unnecessary, because 122 Whether the object given in the Idea belongs to i t in i t s own right as an Idea, or is superinduced by moral Faith, i s r e a l l y l i t t l e more than a dispute in terms, depending on the Definition of Idea. . . . What more cogent proof (of the objective r e a l i t y of the Ideas) can we have than that a man must contradict his whole human being in order to deny i t ? (Cited by Shawcross, BL, I, 246) Thus Coleridge rejects Kant's " s t o i c p r i n c i p l e , " because i t i s " f a l s e , unnatural, and even immoral, where in his C r i t i k der Practischen Vernunft he treats the affections as i n d i f f e r e n t . . ."• Surely, he argues, we cannot honestly hold that "a man who d i s l i k i n g , and without any feeling of love f o r , Virtue yet acted virtuously, because and only because i t was his Duty, i s more worthy of our esteem, than the man whose affections were aidant to, and congruous with, his Conscience" (Letters, IV, 791-92). Again and again, i t i s this disregard for the "affections" in Kant's thought, for the emotional side of our being that brings the poet into c o n f l i c t with the philosopher. "We have hearts as well as Heads," states Coleridge. "We can w i l l and act, as well as think, see, and f e e l " : Is there no communion between the i n t e l l e c t u a l and the moral? Are the dis t i n c t i o n s of the Schools separates in Nature? Is there no Heart in the Head? No Head in the Heart? Is i t not possible to find a practical Reason, a Light of L i f e , a focal power from the union or harmonious composition of a l l the Faculties? (I_S, 126) As is so often the case, Coleridge i s seeking to probe beyond Kant's theory, in order to acknowledge the experience behind the theory. This is especially evident in his notes on Kant's Vermischte Schriften: Away with Stoic Hypocrisy!' I know that in order to [comprehend] the idea of Virtue we must suppose the pure good w i l l or reverence for the Law as excellent in i t s e l f - - b u t this very excellence supposes conse-quences, tho' not s e l f i s h ones. Let my maxim be capable of becoming 123 the Law of a l l i n t e l l i g e n t Being—well! but this supposes an end pos-sessible by i n t e l l i g e n t Beings. For i f the Law be barren of a l l consequences, what is i t but words? To obey the Law for i t s own sake is r e a l l y a mere sophism in any other sense: you might as well put abra-cadabra in i t s place ( i b i d . , 142). Most of the references to Kant's ethics in the Notebooks follow this pattern. For example, after c i t i n g Kant's insistence that "It is not enough that we act in conformity to the Law of moral Reason—we must [act] 1ikewi se FOR THE SAKE of that law," Coleridge adds: "... but N.B. w i l l not a pure w i l l generate a feeling of Sympathy / Does even the sense of Duty rest s a t i s f i e d with mere Actions, in the vulgar sense, does i t not demand, & therefore may produce, Sympathy i t s e l f as an Action/?--This I think very important." 1 Had Blake ever read Kant's ethical t r e a t i s e s , doubtlessly he would have reacted to their stoicism at least as strongly and adversely as Coleridge. But Blake was hardly less antagonistic than Kant towards the contention that men are ultimately motivated by u t i l i t y and s e l f - i n t e r e s t , a position which he regarded as at worst blasphemous, and at best, a cover for malicious intentions: Those who say that men are led by interest are knaves. A knavish char-acter w i l l often say, "of what interest is i t to me to do so and so?" I answer, "of none at a l l , but the contrary, as you well know. I t i s of malice and envy that you have done t h i s ; hence I am aware of you, be-cause I know that you act, not from i n t e r e s t , but from malice, even to your own destruction" ("A Descriptive Catalogue"; Writings, 572-73). Contrary to the principles of naturalism, Blake held that "Moral Recti- tude" must be sharply distinguished from "Opinions concerning h i s t o r i c a l 'Notebooks, ed. Kathleen Coburn (New York, 1957-62), I, #1705 (Dec, 1803). 124. fact." Against Watson and Locke, he insi s t e d that conscience was not merely our own judgment of the "turpitude" of our actions: "Conscience . . . is unequivocal. It is the voice of God. Our judgment of right & wrong is Reason" ("Annotations to Watson"; Writings, 384, 385). Watson's remark that i t is possible to conceive of murderers and thieves as following "the dictates of conscience" meets these vehement protestations from Blake: Contemptible Falshood & Wickedness. Virtue & honesty, or the dictates of Conscience, are of no doubtful S i g n i f i c a t i o n to anyone. Opinion is one Thing. Principle another. No Man can change his Principles. Every Man changes his opinions. He who supposes that his Principles are to be changed i s a Dissembler, who Disguises his Principles & c a l l s that change ( i b i d . , 386). Of course, Kant held no patent on ethical absolutism, and i t would be f o o l i s h to seize upon these comments as indicative of a pro- found community of thought between Romanticism and Transcendental Idealism. But at the same time, we know that Blake was not proposing, here, or anywhere else, to substitute one form of servitude for another. For Blake, no less than for Kant, the concept of "Moral Duty," or con- science, considered as "superimposed," i s nothing but repression clothed in hypocritical wellmeaningness, because i t is then reduced to s e l f - i n t e r e s t : 2 2And the same held for Coleridge: "TREMENDOUS as a Mexican god i s a strong sense of duty—separate from an enlarged and discriminating mind, and gi g a n t i c a l l y disproportionate to the size of the understand-ing; and, i f combined with obstinacy of self-opinion and i n d o c i l i t y , i t is the parent of tyranny, a promotor of i n q u i s i t o r i a l persecution in public l i f e , and of inconceivable misery in private families. Nay, the very virtue of the person, and this consciousness that_vt is s a c r i f i c i n g i t s own happiness, increases the obduracy, and selectes those whom i t best loves for i t s objects"(Anima Poetae, ed. E.H. Coleridge [Boston, 125 "Listen, 0 Daughters, to my voice. Listen to the Words of Wisdom, So shall you govern over a l l ; l e t Moral Duty tune your tongue. But be your hearts harder than the nether millstone. Compel 1 the poor to l i v e upon a Crust of bread, by soft mild arts. Smile when they frown, frown when they smile; & when a man looks pale, With labour & abstinence, say he looks hearty & happy: And when his children sicken, l e t them die; there are enough Born, even too many, & our Earth w i l l be overrun Without these arts. If you would make the poor 1ive with temper, With pomp give every crust of bread you give; with gracious cunning Magnify small g i f t s ; reduce the man to want a g i f t , & then give with pomp. Say he smiles i f you hear him sigh. If pale, say he i s ruddy. Preach temperance: say he is overgorg'd & drowns his wit In strong drink, tho 1 you know that bread & water are a l l He can afford. F l a t t e r his wife, pity his children, t i l l we can Reduce a l l to our w i l l , as spaniels are taught with art." (Four Zoas, VII, 110-12; 117-29; Writings, 323,). But i f "Moral Duty" is not a superimposed code of righteous con- duct, then what i s i t s source, and whence derives i t s authority? We have already seen Kant's answer to this question, which was 1895], 208). Compare these remarks, from the Friend: "Man must be free; Qr^-torwhat purpose was he made a s p i r i t of reason, and not a ma-chine of instinct? Man must obey; or wherefore has he conscience? The powers, which create this d i f f i c u l t y , contain i t s solution likewise: for t h e i r service is perfect freedom. And whatever law or system of law compels any other service, disennobles our nature, leagues i t s e l f with the animals against the god-like, k i l l s in us the very principles of joyous well-doing, and fights against humanity"(177). 126 to apply his "Copernican" twist to ethical science by making man s e l f - l e g i s l a t i n g in the realm of moral behaviour. And i t is this Kantian concept of duty as "sui generis" (Coleridge, SM, 459)—that i s , not superimposed by an anthropomorphic "Nobodaddy" but arising from the conditions which define the humanity in us—Reason and Wi11--that i n - creasingly suggests i t s e l f to Coleridge. As he says in the Aids to Reflection, the "ground-work of personal being" i s "that which should, of i t s e l f , s u f f i c e to determine the w i l l to a free obedience of the law, the law working therein by i t s own exceeding lawfulness" (Shedd, I, 286; my emphasis). And notwithstanding his firm rejection of Kant's "stoic p r i n c i p l e , " Coleridge held that i t is "by virtue of i t s ration- a l i t y " that the mind "comprehends the moral idea" and "gives to the idea causative power, as a w i l l " ( i b i d . , 296n; my emphasis). And again, in the Statesman's Manual, Coleridge states that The f i r s t : man, on whom the l i g h t of an idea dawned, did in the same moment receive the s p i r i t and credentials of a lawgiver; and as long as men shall e x i s t , so long w i l l the possession of that antecedent know-ledge (the maker and master of a l l profitable experience) which exists only in the power of an idea, be the one lawful q u a l i f i c a t i o n of a l l dominion in the world of senses ( i b i d . , 445; my emphasis). The concept that man i s s e l f - l e g i s l a t i n g in the moral sphere, and that standards of conduct derive from "Reason, and her pure / Reflective acts to f i x the moral law" (Prelude, III, 83-4) comes comparatively late in Wordsworth's development, and then, only because he had begun to feel "the weight of too much l i b e r t y . " In the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth describes the poet as "a man . . . endowed with more l i v e l y s e n s i b i l i t y , more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be 127 common among mankind." He i s "the rock of defence of human nature; an upholder and preserver, carrying everywhere with him relationship and love." The poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society, as i t i s spread over the whole earth, and over a l l time. The objects of the Poet's thoughts are everywhere; though the eyes and senses of man are, i t i s true, his favourite guides, yet he w i l l follow wheresoever he can find an atmosphere of sensation in which to move his wings (58, 62). But in the Eden-like setting of the f i r s t three stanzas of "Reso- lution and Independence," this rather i d e a l i s t i c view of the poet is somewhat mitigated, as he i s now obviously seen as an observer of, and hardly a participator in nature's functions. Note the d i s t i n c t passive- ness in these end-stopped l i n e s : I was a Traveller then upon the moor; I saw the hare that raced about with joy; I heard the woods and distant waters roar; Or heard them not, as happy as a boy . . . (15-18; Works, II, 235). There is even a sense in which nature's beauties have become no more than a source of escapism to the poet: The pleasant season did my heart employ: My old remembrances went from me wholly; And a l l the ways of men, so vain and melancholy (19-21). And as the poet now lacks anything to "give," he finds himself unable to "receive," and, l i k e Coleridge in his poem on Dejection of the same year, he finds himself sunk in despondency, overcome by an unknow- able and unnamable g r i e f . In his despair, he becomes aware that he had 128 spent his l i f e with no abiding sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , either to him- s e l f or to others, bl i n d l y trusting in the benevolence of nature, "As i f a l l needful things would come unsought / To genial f a i t h " (38-9). Consequently, he seeks f o r a "help and stay" which i s more "secure" than that offered by the "passions and v o l i t i o n s " : i . e . , which transcends the vagaries and mutability of phenomenal s e l f - i n t e r e s t . S i m i l a r l y , in the Prelude, Wordsworth speaks of how his early conviction that a " s p i r i t strong / In hope, and trained to noble aspira- tions / . . . serves at once / For a way and guide" had to give way to, or at least be buttressed by the more " r a t i o n a l " b e l i e f That 'mid the loud distractions of the world A sovereign voice subsists within the soul, Arbiter undisturbed of right and wrong, Of l i f e and death, in majesty severe Enjoining, as may best promote the aims Of truth and j u s t i c e , either s a c r i f i c e , From whatsoever region of our cares Or our infirm affections Nature pleads, Earnest and blind, against the stern decree (X, 165-66, 169-70, 182-90). The terms "a sovereign voice," "majesty severe," " s a c r i f i c e " and "stern decree" give this passage a d i s t i n c t l y Kantian tone. And although i t i s possible to regard this passage as expressing a b e l i e f in a "moral sense" akin to that of Shaftesbury, Wordsworth has already quite s p e c i f i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d the source of this "Arbiter undisturbed of right and wrong" as "Reason, and her pure 3 / Reflective acts to f i x the moral law / Deep in the conscience" ( I I I , 83-85). 3 T h i s interesting use of the word "pure" should almost cer t a i n l y be understood in the Kantian sense of " r e i n " ; i . e . , as completely a p r i o r i , signifying negatively what i s independent of experience, and p o s i t i v e l y that which arises from Reason i t s e l f , characterized by universality and necessity. 129 But of a l l the references to the problems surrounding formal ethics in the Pre!ude, the most important occurs in Book XI, where Wordsworth t e l l s of how, after considerable thought and soul-searching, he found i t necessary to deny a l l moral schemes (including the Godwin- ian) which were based on empirical grounds—which attempted, that i s , to derive an "ought" from an " i s " : This was the c r i s i s of that strong disease, This the soul's- l a s t and lowest ebb; I drooped, Deeming our blessed reason of least use Where wanted most: "The l o r d l y attributes Of w i l l and choice," I b i t t e r l y exclaimed, "What are they but a mockery of a Being Who hath in no concerns of his a test Of good and e v i l ; knows not what to fear Or hope f o r , what to covet or to shun; And who, i f those could be discerned, would yet Be l i t t l e p rofited, would see, and ask Where i s the obligation to enforce? And, to acknowledged law r e b e l l i o u s , s t i l l , As s e l f i s h passion urged, would act amiss; The dupe of f o l l y , or the slave of crime" (306-320). Wordsworth i s making a very important, and a very Kantian point here. In e f f e c t , he is saying that even i f we could discern what we ought to covet, and what we ought to shun, would we not s t i l l in the f i n a l r e s u l t , as Hobbes insis t e d , be motivated primarily by " s e l f i s h passion"? This is exactly the reasoning which convinced Kant of the neces- s i t y of discovering a p r i n c i p l e of conduct which was both categorical and imperative, and although Wordsworth was capable at this point in his l i f e of being saved by his s i s t e r ' s love, quite a d i f f e r e n t "correction" for the despondency of the S o l i t a r y (which was brought on by exactly the same l i n e of reasoning—see esp. I l l , 209-24 and 977-end) i s provided by the Wanderer, whose "eloquent harangue" of some 1,300 lines suggests 130 just how closely Wordsworth had moved towards Kant's ethical position by 1815. 4 Primarily, the Wanderer's discourse i s designed to bolster the Solitary's f a i t h in human nature by persuading him that although "Possessions vanish, and opinions change, / And passions hold a f l u c - tuating seat," s t i l l , support can be found in "the measures and the forms, / Which an abstract int e l l i g e n c e supplies; / Whose kingdom i s , where time and space are not"; i.e. in the dictates of Pure Reason, or "Duty" (IV, 69-76; my emphasis). For enslaved as we are to the "domi- neering f a c u l t i e s of sense," and by Idle temptations; open v a n i t i e s , Ephemeral offspring of the unblushing world; And, in the private regions of the mind, Ill-governed passions, ranklings of despite, Immoderate wishes, pining discontent, Distress and care . . . ( i b i d . , 209-14), what i s l e f t f o r us but "To seek / Those helps for his occasions ever near / Who lacks not w i l l to use them" (214-16)? "Above a l l , " adds the Wanderer in his most Kantian vein, 4 I n 1809, Wordsworth wrote a sonnet in praise of Kant's "stern" ethical system: ALAS! what boots the long laborious quest Of moral prudence, sought through good and ill; Or pains abstruse--to elevate the w i l l , And lead us on to that transcendent rest Where every passion shall the sway attest Of Reason, seated on her sovereign h i l l ; What i s i t but a vain and curious s k i l l , If sapient Germany must l i e deprest, Beneath the brutal sword? ... (1-9; Works, I I I , 130). 131 the vic t o r y i s most sure •For him, who, seeking f a i t h by virtu e , strives To y i e l d entire submission to the law Of conscience—conscience reverenced and obeyed, As God's most intimate presence in the soul, And his most perfect image in the world (222-27). And again: Access for you Is yet preserved to principles of truth, Which the imaginative Will upholds In seats of wisdom, not to be approached By the i n f e r i o r Faculty that moulds, With her minute and speculative pains, Opinion, ever changing! (1126-32) Thus, as Stallknecht says, "The Wordsworth of The Excursion i s looking for aid, and l i k e Kant he finds i t in f a i t h . " 5 If the "years that bring c Cphilosophic mind" gave us the Discourse of the Wanderer, they also gave us the "Ode*. Intimations of Immortality," and the "Ode to Duty," poems which were written while Wordsworth's poetic powers were s t i l l very strong, 6 and which make an exciting and celebratory statement of what often seems so t i r e d and prosaic in the Excursion. The general theme of the two poems i s s i m i l a r : a certain visionary power has been l o s t , and has been supplanted by a new 5"Wordsworth and Philosophy," PMLA, XLIV (1929), 1141. ^Moorman supplies good evidence that the "Ode to Duty" was written in early 1804, which would put i t in the same short period which saw "the completion of the Ode: Intimations of Immortality, and the compo-s i t i o n of the t h i r d , fourth, and f i f t h books of The Prelude" (William  Wordsworth: A Biography [London, 1965], II, 1-2), making i t predate such poems as T"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," and "She Was a Phantom of Delight." 132 i n t e l l e c t u a l strength which emphasizes the part played by the creative w i l l in s p i r i t u a l l y and morally adjusting to a world where "joy" i s no longer " i t s own security." The "Ode to Duty," which "had i t s origins in conversations with Coleridge during the New Year stay [1804] at the cottage" 7 provides an excellent example of how a b a s i c a l l y Kantian concept was transformed to su i t the Romantic temper. It begins with Kant's observation that the voice of duty i s "STERN,"--commanding absolute respect, and not admit- ting of any exceptions. Further, i t is a completely a p r i o r i "law," not derived from experience, but from pure Reason. As such, i t i s immutable and universal, therefore capable of freeing us from "empty terrors," "vain temptations," and "chance desires," offering instead the "confidence of reason" and promising "repose that ever i s the same."8 Next, in stanzas two through f i v e , Wordsworth draws the essential (for Kant) d i s t i n c t i o n between acting "in accordance with" duty, and acting "from" duty. But here, Wordsworth makes a s i g n i f i c a n t departure from Kant, one which r e f l e c t s Coleridge's c r i t i c i s m s of the stoicism of Kant's ethical position, and Wordsworth's own predilection for the more simple and fundamental passions of "humble" and " r u s t i c " l i f e : Serene w i l l be our days and bright, And happy w i l l our nature be, When love i s an unerring l i g h t , 7Moorman, op. c i t . , I I , 2. Moorman's claim i s borne out by the fact that Coleridge had taken up the Fundamental Principles of the Meta- physics of Morals in December 1803, leaving numerous notes to record his reactions—some of which have echoes in the "Ode to Duty." See O r s i n i , 152. u:.:. \. 8Lines 1, 5, 6, 7, 38, 63, 40; Works, IV, 83-6. Compare Coleridge's late poem, "Duty Surviving Self-Love," Works, I, 459. 133 And joy i t s own security. And they a b l i s s f u l course may hold Even now, who, not unwisely bold, Live in the s p i r i t of this creed; Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need (17-24). Of course, for Kant, an action has "moral import" only insofar as i t i s performed with a conscious submission to one's duty under the "ever- present consciousness of continuing demerit" (Commentary, l v i i i ) . But in this stanza, Wordsworth looks to duty only as a stop=gap, a temporary expedient to be cal l e d on only when we " t i r e " of "uncharted l i b e r t y " or when the "genial sense of youth" f l a g s , a position which m o l l i f i e s Kant's stoicism, but at the expense of s a c r i f i c i n g i t s v a l i d i t y as a Transcendental p r i n c i p l e . The fourth and f i n a l point I wish to make about the re l a t i o n of Kant's moral system to the "Ode to Duty" is perhaps the most important, since i t involves the essence of Kant's "Copernican revolution" as i t applies to ethics. Kant, i t w i l l be reca l l e d , stressed emphatically that blind obedience to some superimposed moral code, such as the Ten Commandments, i s no mark of a moral nature, since the question s t i l l arises as to why we "ought" to follow the law of Moses. The moral law for Kant must arise from within, not as derived from experience, but as l e g i s l a t i v e for experience. Only on this assumption, he said, could the a p r i o r i nature of morality be established. It i s true, however, that Wordsworth often does give the Trans- cendental origin of morality a d i s t i n c t l y Deistic bearing: the old man in "Resolution and Independence" i s f i r s t seen "Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven"; his frame seemed bent with "A more than human weight"; 134 his words were "above the reach / Of ordinary men," and his shelter and sustenance was found "with God's good help" (54, 70, 95=6, 104). And of course there i s the very s p e c i f i c prayer of the la s t two l i n e s : "God," said I, "be my help and stay secure; I ' l l think of the Leech-gatherer on the lone-ly rrioor!" (139-40) And in the "Ode to Duty," the moral law i s c a l l e d "the Voice of God," and i t wears "The Godhead's most benignant Grace" (1, 50). But do these references to God s i g n i f y that Wordsworth i s formally petitioning for the aid of an "exterior moral authority" (Moorman, op. c i t . , II, 5) or of a moral code which i s "imposed from above" 9 as though he had suddenly come to see God as "up there" and man as "down here"? Or is his praise of God tantamount to praise of God's g i f t s in man? Is there reason, that i s , to think that Wordsworth has succumbed, as i s often thought, to an early middle age with i t s concomitant diseases of narrow and reac- tionary rel i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l sectarianism, sanctioning the dominion of Blake's despised Rahab--the "System of Moral Virtue" (Jerusalem, p l . XXXIX, 10)--or is he, as in the Immortality Ode, celebrating a new stage of personal growth, and the discovery of a new kind of creative power which compensates for the loss of "vision" and eases and j u s t i f i e s the passage from Eden? Answering this question i n v o l v e s r a i s i n g the problem of Wordsworth's r e l i g i o n , which has always created d i f f i c u l t i e s for c r i t i c s . As Havens says: 9 C a r l Woodring, Wordsworth (Boston, 1965), 83. 135 Any study of Wordsworth's r e l i g i o n must inevitably come to the conclu-sion that no formulation of his b e l i e f s i s possible. He was himself not clear about them; he did not follow up t h e i r implications or concern himself about possible inconsistencies. He f e l t d i f f e r e n t l y at d i f f e r -ent times and expressed in his poetry the sincere feeling of the moment, which frequently was made up of vague aspiration and something approach-ing prayer or worship directed towards he knew not whom or what (Havens, I, 197). Uncertain as Wordsworth's reli g i o u s position was, an observation made by Crabbt. Robinson in his diary for January t h i r d , 1815, i s probably not too far from the mark. Wordsworth's r e l i g i o n , he said, i s " l i k e [that] of the German metaphysicians, a sentimental and metaphysical mysticism in which the language of C h r i s t i a n i t y is used" (cited Havens, I, 189). And for a l l his suspicions about generalizing Wordsworth's re l i g i o u s be- l i e f s , at least Havens feels free to say that It i s doubtful i f between 1793 and 1807 Wordsworth gave much thought to God as the creator or as one who exists apart from-man and the world which man sees. S t i l l less heed, presumably, did he pay to the God of the Old Testament or of the Anglican Church of his day, or to the orthodox creed (Havens, I, 198). In a similar vein, Helen Darbishire, in the Introduction to her edition of Wordsworth's Poems in Two Volumes (Oxford, 1952), writes that Morality for Wordsworth i s not a code of rules imposed by the divine w i l l on man. Rather i t i s the active co-operation of human imagination and human w i l l with the divine order of the universe. There i s perhaps no stranger case in l i t e r a t u r e of the sheltering power of reputation than the general acceptance of Wordsworth as a moralist of the Sunday--school order (x i v ) . A l l the evidence of the "Ode to Duty" bears out Darbishire's position. F i r s t , there i s the genuine celebratory tone of the poem, a tone which can only be attributed to the consciousness that our a b i l i t y to follow duty a contre> coeur i s conclusive evidence that man is "destined to be 136 l e g i s l a t i v e in the realm of ends, free from a l l laws of nature and obedient only to those which he himself gives" (Kant, FMM, 323). And moreover, Wordsworth c l e a r l y recognizes that i f his accedence to the moral law were not fr e e l y w i l l e d , but were rather an enforced and pas- sive compliance with a superimposed moral code, then he has merely substituted one form of servitude f o r a n o t h e r J 0 He s p e c i f i c a l l y states that his submission i s "Through no disturbance of my soul, / Or strong compunction in me wrought" (33-4); and that he would "feel past doubt / That my submissiveness was choice" (43-44). This adjuratory tone per- vades the whole poem ("thee I would serve more s t r i c t l y , i f I may"; "I supplicate for thy control"; "I myself commend unto thy guidance"; "thy Bondman l e t me l i v e , " e t c . ) , and is i t s most important single element, since i t indicates that the moral position that Wordsworth i s taking i s es s e n t i a l l y humanistic, cent r a l i z i n g the function of man's own creative w i l l in determining the rules for his own conduct. As Margaret Sherwood says: Kant's Categorical Imperative rests upon b e l i e f in the creative power of the human soul, in the a b i l i t y of the individual to make his being, in thought and act, an integral part of the law of the universe. For both Kant and Wordsworth the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx l i e s in the w i l l (Undercurrents of Influence, 200-201). lONote that Coleridge emphasized this point in his notebook in December, 1803: "Reverence for the LAW of Reason . . . t r u l y i s a f e e l i n g , but says Kant i t i s a self-created, not a received passive Feeling-- ... As an imposed Necessity i t i s Fear, or an Analogon of Fear; but as a Necessity imposed on us by our own Will i t i s a species of Inclination / & in this word, as in many others, Man's double Nature appears, as Man & God" ( I , #1710). Compare SC, I I , 106. 137 Near the end of the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant says that to comprehend "how pure reason . . . can of i t s e l f be practical ... a l l human reason i s wholly incompetent, and a l l the pains and work of seeking an explanation of i t are wasted." "It i s jus t the same as i f I sought to f i n d out how freedom i t s e l f as causality of a w i l l i s possible; f o r , in so doing, I would leave the philosophical basis of explanation behind, and I have no other" (339). It would be too much to claim for the relationship between Kant and the Romantics that this humble admission i s meant to imply the exis- tence of an alternative "basis of explanation," equally v a l i d as the "philosophical," in which this apparently grudgingly accepted i s o l a t i o n of pure reason from practical reason, truth from value, freedom from determination, "the head from the heart" might be disclaimed. But such an "explanation" is precisely what i s contained in the Romantic under- standing of the Imagination as a "co-adunative" function of the soul, a function whose capacity to bridge the gap between the " r e a l " world of existences and the " i d e a l " world of values finds its most eloquent and convincing testimony in products of art. It follows that any attempt to demonstrate that Kantian or Kant- l i k e ideas l i e at the philosophical foundation of Romanticism must draw heavily on the acceptance of two points: that the Critique of Judgment was not merely an afterthought for Kant, but does indeed amount to what he said i t did--"a means of combining the two parts of philosophy into a whole"--and second, that the Romantics' understanding of the genesis, the form, and the function of a r t , in i t s essential aspects, develops from and builds upon the revolutionary concept of mind as creative of experience f i r s t established by Kant. The f i r s t of these contentions I have t r i e d to demonstrate in Part One. To demonstrate the second i s the purpose of the remainder of this study. CHAPTER IX THE CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT AND ROMANTIC POETICS Function: Art as Mediator Between Man and Nature The r i c h and productive confluence of ideas linking Transcenden- tal Idealism and English Romanticism has it's most s i g n i f i c a n t juncture in the aesthetic sphere, since for the philosopher and the poets a l i k e , i t i s only through the capacity of art and natural beauty to " l i b e r a t e " sensation from passive s e r v i l i t y to "outward forms" that the polarized realms of man and nature are f i n a l l y reconciled. In Kant, as we have seen, this theoretical "polarization" of man and nature derives from our consciousness of nature on one hand as phenomenon: as f i n i t e and determined by natural laws; and of ourselves on the other hand as "free," self-determining members of a noumenal "kingdom of ends."l Now central to what Frye has called "The Romantic Myth," and corresponding to Kant's concept of the theoretical estrangement of man •Coleridge i s alone amongst the Romantics in exploring the phi-losophical as well as mythological dimension of this d i v i s i o n of the realms of man and nature. Like Kant, he saw that this d i v i s i o n follows d i r e c t l y from the position that nature i s "given" as phenomenal--"exter-nal" and determined; while man, insofar as he has "reflexion, freedom, and choice" (BJL, II, 257) belongs (partly) to a noumenal order, and thus is not wholly determined by in c l i n a t i o n s or natural laws. As he said in his Annotations to Schelling's Philosophische Untersuchungen: " A l l that we want to prove i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of Free-Will, or, what i s r e a l l y the same, a W i l l . Now this Kant had unanswerably proved by showing the d i s t i n c t i o n between phaenomena and noumena, and by demon-strating that Time and Space are relevant to the former only . . . and i r r e l a t i v e to the l a t t e r , to which class the Will must belong" (Shedd, III, 698). 139 140 and nature, i s a vision of man as "fallen"--not into s i n , but "into the original sin of self-consciousness, into his present subject-object relation to nature, where, because his consciousness i s what separates him from nature, the primary conscious feeling is one of separation." 2 And the function of art (or natural beauty) in th i s context i s , as Frye says elsewhere, no less than the "recovery of Paradise," 3 of that P r i s - tine Vision in which man and nature are seen as two expressions of One L i f e ; in which Rivers, Mountains, C i t i e s , V i l l a g e s , A l l are Human, & when you enter into their Bosoms youiwalk In Heavens & Earths, as in your own Bosom you bear your Heaven And Earth & a l l you behold; tho' i t appears With-out, i t is Within, In your Imagination, of which this World of Mortal-i t y i s but a Shadow (Blake, Jerusalem, p l . 71, 15-19). 2Northrop Frye, A Study of English Romanticism (New York, 1968), 17-18. Compare Hegel: "In the Romantic ... we have two worlds. The one is the s p i r i t u a l realm, which i s complete in i t s e l f - - t h e soul, which finds i t s r e c o n c i l i a t i o n within i t s e l f , and which now for the f i r s t time bends around the otherwise r e c t i l i n e a r r e p e t i t i o n of gene-s i s , destruction and renewal, to the true c i r c l e , to return-into-self, to the genuine Phoenix-life of the s p i r i t . The other i s the realm of the external, as such, which, shut out from a firmly cohering unity with the s p i r i t , now becomes a wholly empirical a c t u a l i t y , respecting whose form the soul i s unconcerned" (Lectures on Aesthetics, trans. W.M. Bryant and Bernard Bosanquet, in The Philosophy of Hegel, ed. Carl J. Friedrich [New York, 1954], 364). Hegel's words r e c a l l the stanza from Canto XVI of Byron's Don Juan beginning "Between two worlds l i f e hovers l i k e a star . . ."(stanza x i c , Poetry, VI, 571). See also Lovejoy's essay, "Coleridge and Kant's Two Worlds," in Essays in the  History of Ideas, 254-76. 3 F e a r f u l Symmetry, 41. Compare Blake: "Poetry, Painting & Music, [are] the three Powers in Man of conversing with Paradise, which the flood did not Sweep away" ("A Vision of the Last Judgment," Writings, 609). 141 Of a l l the Romantics, Coleridge is the most s p e c i f i c regarding the capacity of art to "reconcile" the "two worlds" of man and nature. W.J. Bate, in f a c t , c a l l s the whole theory of Imagination developed by Coleridge "e s s e n t i a l l y no more than a roundabout psychological j u s t i f i - cation for his conception of the mediating function of a r t , " 4 and J.A. Appleyard c a l l s this conception of art the "central p r i n c i p l e of Coleridge's l i t e r a r y philosophy": . . . the conception of imagination as the synthetic faculty , of the organic metaphor to express the mode of existence of a r t i f a c t s , of the rec o n c i l i a t i o n of opposites or of multeity in unity as the paradigm of a r t i s t i c marking, and of the symbol as the shape of the mind's non-discursive experience of the external--are a l l f i n a l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e only in the context of the imaginative abridgement of r e a l i t y by the mind that constitutes the essential a c t i v i t y of art.5 There are two key passages in Coleridge's prose which make this func- tion especially clear. Both are well-known, but they do serve to bring this important aspect of his r e l a t i o n to Kantian thought into sharper focus. The f i r s t is from the manuscript "Semina Rerum": Beauty too is s p i r i t u a l , the shorthand hieroglyphic of Truth—the media-tor between Truth and Feeling, the Head, and the Heart. The sense of Beauty i s i m p l i c i t knowledge—a s i l e n t communion of the S p i r i t with the S p i r i t in Nature, not without consciousness, though with the conscious-ness not successively employed (As cited in Muirhead, 195). The second quotation i s from the lecture of 1818 e n t i t l e d "On Poesy or Art." It reads: 4"Coleridge on the Function of Art," in Perspectives of C r i t i c i s m , ed. H. Levin (Cambridge, Mass., 1950), 125-26. SColeridge's Philosophy of Literature, 246. 142 Art, used c o l l e c t i v e l y f o r painting, sculpture, architecture and music, is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man. It i s , therefore, the power of humanizing nature, of infusing the thoughts and passions of man into every thing which is the object of his contempla-ti o n ; color, form, motion, and sound, are the elements which i t combines, and i t stamps them into unity in the mould of a moral idea (BL, I I , 253). In this way, a r t , through i t s power to "superinduce upon, the forms themselves the moral reflexions to which they approximate, to make the external i n t e r n a l , the internal external, to make nature thought, and thought nature" becomes seen as a "middle quality between a thought and a thing" or a "union and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of that which i s nature with that which is exclusively human" ( i b i d . , 258; 254-55). Outside of Coleridge, the notion that beauty can "create a bower" for us where fact (the object observed) and moral value are reconciled is largely i m p l i c i t in Romantic thought. In Shelley's Defence of Poetry, for example, the idea emerges as the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the aesthetic Imagination as "the great instrument of moral good" (148).6 It i s , he says, for want of the "creative faculty" that a l l our knowledge of "what is wisest and best in morals" is allowed to "'wait upon I would, l i k e the poor cat i 1 the adage'." Thus he asks: To what but a c u l t i v a t i o n of the mechanical arts in a degree dispropor-tioned to the presence of the creative f a c u l t y , which i s the basis of a l l knowledge, is to be attributed the abuse of a l l invention for abridging and combining labour, to the exasperation of the inequality of mankind? From what other cause has i t arisen that these inventions which should have lightened, have added a weight on the curse imposed on Adam? Thus Poetry, and the pr i n c i p l e of Se l f , of which money i s the v i s i b l e incarnation, are the God and Mammon of the world (134). "In the E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Sonnets, Wordsworth also refers to the Imagination as "the mightiest lever / Known to the moral world" ( I , xxxiv, 9-10; Works, III, 358). 143 Like Shelley, Wordsworth too saw a very close resemblance between morality and responsiveness to beauty. As he said in the famous l e t t e r to Lady Beaumont of May 21, 1807: It is an awful truth, that there neither i s , nor can be, any genuine en-joyment of Poetry among nineteen out of twenty of those persons who l i v e , or wish to l i v e , in the broad l i g h t of the world—among those who either are, or are s t r i v i n g to make themselves, people of consideration in society. This is a truth, and an awful one, because to be incapable of a feeling of Poetry in my sense of the word i s to be without love of human nature and reverence for God. 7 In "Tintern Abbey," the feelings aroused by the "beauteous forms" of nature are such As have no s l i g h t or t r i v i a l influence On thlffbest portion of a good man's l i f e , His l i t t l e , nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love (31-5; Works, I I , 260). Similar sentiments abound in the Excursion. Here i s an example from Book IV: the Man— Who . . . communes with the Forms Of nature, who with understanding heart Both knows and loves such objects as excite No morbid passions, no disquietude, ?The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth: The Middle Years, ed. E. De Selincourt (Oxford, 1937), I, 126. Compare this passage from MS 18a of the Prelude: . . . can he Who thus respects a mute insensate form, Whose feelings do not need the gross appeal Of tears and of a r t i c u l a t e sounds, can he Be wanting in his duties to mankind Or s l i g h t the pleadings of a human heart? (71-76, p. 613) 144 No vengeance, and no hatred—needs must feel The joy of that pure p r i n c i p l e of love So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose But seek for objects of a kindred love In fellow-natures and a kindred joy (1207-17). 8 Keats is less s p e c i f i c a l l y moralistic than Wordsworth, but the notion that art projects, and is generated by an imaginative synthesis of " i d e a l i t y " with the " v i s i b l e world that we know" pervades his whole poetic output: 9 compare the often-quoted "message" of the l a s t lines of the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" with this statement from a l e t t e r to George and Tom Keats of December 21, 1817: "... the excellence of every Art is i t s inte n s i t y , capable of making a l l disagreeables evapo- ra t i v e , from their being in close relationship with Beauty & Truth . . ." (Letters, I, 192); and t h i s , from a l a t e r l e t t e r to the George Keatses: "I can never feel certain of any truth but from a clear perception of ^Compare S c h i l l e r : "What i s man before beauty cajoles from him a delight in things for th e i r own sake, or the serenity of form tempers the savagery of l i f e ? A monotonous round of ends, a constant v a c i l l a -tion of judgements; self-seeking, and yet without a S e l f ; lawless, yet without Freedom; a slave, yet to no Rule. ... He never sees others in himself, but only himself in others; and communal l i f e , far from en-larging him into a representative of the species, only confines him ever more narrowly within his own i n d i v i d u a l i t y . In this state of sullen l i m i t a t i o n he gropes his way through the darkness of his l i f e u n t i l a kindly nature s h i f t s the burden of matter from his beclouded senses, and he learns through r e f l e c t i o n to distinguish himself from things, so that objects reveal themselves at l a s t in the reflected l i g h t of conscious-ness" (Aesthetic Letters, 171, 173). 9Thorpe says that: "For Keats, the poet's r e a l i z a t i o n of truth can come only through a harmonization of the whole realm of imaginative i d e a l i t y with the v i s i b l e world we know. The s p i r i t of the imaginative world can be known and comprehended only through a v i v i d comprehension of t h i s . The materials of the poetic imagination then are those of ac-t u a l i t y as we know i t , abstracted from i t s accidents of time and place, operated on by the poet's i n t e l l e c t as certain chemicals operate upon a mass of neutral matter, and, so, transformed into symbols of universal truth and l i f e " (The Mind of John Keats, 101). 145 i t s Beauty" ( i b i d . , I I , 1 9 ) . 1 0 But in what sense, we must ask, can an object of any kind, which exists purely in space and in time, be said to "relate" to "Truth," conceived of as universal and eternal? That i s , what s p e c i f i c a l l y i s i t about the form and e f f e c t of beautiful things which allows us to con- sider them as forming a link between the purely objective and the purely subjective? And secondly, i f i t i s true, as Coleridge says, that through art the internal becomes external and the external i n t e r n a l ; that nature becomes thought and thought nature, what guarantee do we have of the permanence of art and the uni v e r s a l i t y of i t s appeal? For both Kant and the Romantics, the answer to the f i r s t of these questions i s revealed partly in the sensually " l i b e r a t i n g " e f f e c t on us of beauty in art and beauty and sublimity in nature, and partly by the unique, "free" conformity of imaginative and i n t e l l e c t u a l powers which define what Coleridge c a l l s "the mystery of genius in the Fine Arts" (BL, II, 258). But since these topics are dealt with in detail in the remaining two sections of this study, I shall turn here b r i e f l y to the second question, that of the " o b j e c t i v i t y " of the sense of beauty in Romantic thought. As we saw in Part One, Kant solved the problem of the universal- i t y of aesthetic judgment by "Transcendentalizing" the sense of beauty ^Compare Akenside's l i n e s : Thus was Beauty sent from heaven, The lovely ministress of Truth and Good In this dark world; for Truth and Good are one, And Beauty dwells in them and they in her, With l i k e p a r t i c i p a t i o n ("The Pleasures of Imagination," I, 372-76; Poetical Works, ed. Alexander Dyce [London, 1845], 16"T 146 and the laws of a r t i s t i c production in those f a c u l t i e s of mind which must be, he thought, presupposed f o r a l l experience. Now the Romantics, of course, did not feel the need f o r such a formal Transcendental "de- duction" of the faculty of aesthetic judgment: for them, the reconciling power of beauty i s an i n t u i t i v e conviction, a deep-lying, and unquestion- able fact of experience, "Felt in the blood, and f e l t along the heart"-- the f u l l emotive and cognitive significance of which we are.invited to share through the medium of their art.' S t i l l , i t would be wrong not to see the Romantics as thinking along the same lines as Kant, a f a c t which can be substantiated by comparing their respective attitudes towards the most i n f l u e n t i a l eighteenth-century psychological t r e a t i s e on aesthetics, Burke's Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756). In Kant's opinion, Burke's attempt to supply a physiology of the aesthetic response was largely inconsequen- t i a l for philosophy, since at best i t might lead to generalizations re- garding how people do judge a r t , never to how they ought to judge. Such an empirical c r i t i q u e can never lead us beyond ourselves; i t would be v a l i d , says Kant, "merely e g o i s t i c a l l y , " j u s t as the sceptic desires (C of J_, 119). And i t was precisely f o r this reason that Coleridge judged the Enquiry "a poor t h i n g " ; 1 ! and Wordsworth as " l i t t l e better than a tissue of t r i f l e s . " 1 2 And Blake denounced the work outright as "founded on the Opinions of Newton & Locke": ^ T a b l e Talk, 54 (July 12, 1827). 1 2E.A. Shearer, "Wordsworth and Coleridge Marginalia in a copy of Richard Payne Knight's Analytical Inquiry into the Principles of Taste," Huntington Library Quarterly, I (October, 1937), 77. 147 I read Burke's Treatise [says Blake] when very Young; at the same time I read Locke on Human Understanding & Bacon's Advancement of Learning; on Every one of these Books I wrote my Opinions, & on looking them over fi n d that my Notes on Reynolds in this Book [Reynold's Discourses] are exactly similar. I f e l t the Same Contempt & Abhorrence then that I do now. They mock Inspiration and Vision. Inspiration & Vision was then, & now i s , & I hope w i l l always Remain, my Element, my Eternal Dwelling place; how can I then hear i t Contemned without returning Scorn for Scorn? ("Annotations to Reynolds," Writings, 476-77) Since, then, both Kant and the Romantics agreed that the sense of beauty cannot be derived from experience, i t follows for both that i t must be, at least p a r t l y , "superinduced" upon experience by the active i n t e l l i g e n c e . And this i s precisely what Coleridge has in mind when he says that the principles of taste have a "foundation" in the "noblest f a c u l t i e s of the human mind," that they are "inborn and c o n s t i t u t i v e " : 1 3 For i t is self-evident, that whatever may be judged of d i f f e r e n t l y by d i f f e r e n t persons, in the very same degree of moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n , extolled by one and condemned by another, without any error being assignable to either, can never be an object of general p r i n c i -ples: and vice versa, that whatever can be brought to the test of general principles presupposes a d i s t i n c t o r i g i n from these pleasures and tastes, which . . . are made to depend on local and transitory fashions, accidental associations, and the p e c u l i a r i t i e s of individual temperament (BL, II, 235-36). 1 4 1 3Coleridge's opinion that "The Beautiful arises from the perceived harmony of an object . . . with the inborn and constitutive rules of the judgement and imagination" (BL_, II, 243) i s one of S c h i l l e r ' s central tenets. As he says in the Aesthetic Letters, "... before any weight can be attached to . . . [the evidence of experience], i t would f i r s t have to be established beyond a l l doubt that the beauty of which we are speaking, and the beauty against which those examples from history tes-t i f y , are one and the same. But this seems to presuppose a concept of beauty derived from a source other than experience, since by means of i t we are to decide whether that which in experience we c a l l beautiful i s j u s t l y e n t i t l e d to the name. . . . "This pure rational concept of Beauty, i f such could be found, would t h e r e f o r e — s i n c e i t cannot be derived from any actual case, but rather i t s e l f corrects and regulates our judgement of every actual c a s e -have to be discovered by a process of abstraction, and deduced from the sheer p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of our sensuo-rational nature" (69, my emphasis). 1 4Elsewhere, Coleridge wrote: "The principles (as i t were the skeleton) of Beauty rest?, on a p r i o r i Laws no less than Logic. The Kind 148 Wordsworth makes the same point, although less d i s c u r s i v e l y , when he says that just as we a l l possess "Reason," "Imagination," "freedom in the w i l l , " and "conscience to guide and check," so i t is given to each of us to perceive, and respond equally to the beautiful forms of nature: The sun is fixed, And the i n f i n i t e magnificence of heaven Fixed, within reach of every human eye; The sleepless ocean murmurs for a l l ears; The vernal f i e l d infuses fresh delight Into a l l hearts. Throughout the world of sense, Even as an object i s sublime or f a i r , The object i s l a i d open to the view Without reserve or v e i l ; and as a power Is salutary, or an influence sweet, Are each and a l l enabled to perceive That power, that influence, by impartial law (Excursion, IX, 209=20; my emphasis). At f i r s t , there seems nothing uniquely "Kantian" in this passage: the doctrine of an innate and communally shared aesthetic sense was commonplace in eighteenth-century a e s t h e t i c s . ^ But whereas Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Burke et al_ attempted to found their aesthetic on an empiri- cal science of " f e e l i n g , " or on the "motions of the soul," i t i s of ut- most importance to note that Wordsworth, l i k e Kant, has here Transcen- dental ized" the aesthetics of sentiment by grounding the sense of beauty is constituted by Laws inherent in the Reason; i t i s the degree, that which enriches the formal is into the formosum, that c a l l s in the aid of the senses. And even t h i s , the sensuous and sensual ingredient, must be an analogon to the former" (MS, cited in Muirhead, 205n.). 1 5Hutcheson i s typical here: "... how suitable i t i s to the sagacious Bounty which we suppose in the DEITY, to constitute our i n t e r -nal Senses in the manner in which they are; by which Pleasure i s join'd to the Contemplation of those Objects which a f i n i t e Mind can best im-print and retain the Ideas of with the least Distraction" (An Enquiry  into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue [1725], cited in E.F. C a r r i t t , Philosophies of Beauty [Oxford, 1962], 73). 149 on the mandate of "impartial law." A similar use of the word "law" by Wordsworth has already been considered in the context of the "Ode to Duty" (see above, P- 132), where i t was seen to denote a f i a t which is "external," in the sense of being p r i o r to, or at least not derived from experience—in Kant's words, a p r i n c i p l e which i s "synthetic" yet a p r i o r i . And the word "impartial" of course gives added emphasis to the view that for Wordsworth, as for Kant, beauty is not completely de- rived from experience a p o s t e r i o r i , but i s at least partly projected into experience in accordance with necessary laws of creative i n t e l l i - gence, and that i t i s therefore a "necessary part of our existence" and our "natural and inalienable inheritance" (P_ to LB, 60). The "Liberation of the Sensuous": The Effect of Beauty and Sublimity in Romantic Poetics In the preceding section I attempted to show agreement between the aesthetics of Transcendental Idealism and Romanticism on two essen- t i a l points: f i r s t , that art serves somehow to mediate between man and nature; and second, that the quality of our response to art i s deter- mined at least partly by principles and laws which we ourselves "superinduce" upon our experience. The f i r s t point demonstrates the c e n t r a l i t y of art f o r both poet and philosopher; and the second assures us that both regarded themselves as dealing with a Transcendental, not merely a psychological question. Having established the mutual attitudes of Kant and the Romantics towards the cental importance of the aesthetic order in human culture, i t i s possible now to compare the grounds upon which they attributed to art and natural beauty the capacity to mediate between f a c t and value, 150 grounds which Ransom recognizes as forming a "common understanding of poetry" between the poets and the philosopher. He describes this "un- derstanding" as follows: Poetry is the representation of natural beauty. The spectacular faculty of the Imagination i s i t s agent. Kant c a l l s i t the faculty of presenta-tion,; and says i t i s equivalent in the poet to Genius. The play between the understanding 1 6 with i t s moral Universal on the one hand, and on the other hand Imagination presenting the purposive Concrete of nature, i s unpredictable and inexhaustible. Coleridge, at least by the time of the Biographia L i t e r a r i a , made a sort of o f f i c i a l English version of Kant's view, and a l l c r i t i c s are f a m i l i a r with i t (op. c i t . , 171; my emphasis). This passage raises a great number of interesting issues, but the one I wish to center on here i s the notion, r i g h t l y attributed to Kant, that in the judging of art the cognitive f a c u l t i e s are in a state of free "play," a concept which Kant frequently refers to throughout the Critique of Judgment 1 7 to distinguish the formal, conceptual, and end- oriented nature of ordinary discursive thinking from the free, non- purposive c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the aesthetic judgment. And this d i s t i n c - t i o n , as we saw in Part One, is c r u c i a l l y important for Kant on two grounds: f i r s t , since the aesthetic response i s one of disinterested, or immediate pleasure, feeling i s brought into the Transcendental ^Ransom errs in att r i b u t i n g the "moral Universal" to "the under-standing" rather than to the faculty of Reason, since Verstand in Kant is conversant only with phenomena. But his main point, that art for Kant is a representation of the "play" between the real and ideal is correct, and in fact forms the basis of Ransom's own thinking about l i t -erature. See Handy, Kant and the Southern New C r i t i c s , 8-10; and compare Murray Krieger: "We could go on with other c r i t i c s in this group [the "New C r i t i c s " ] , showing how each of them comes to his theory by opposing the act of poetic creation to the act of cognition and of pra c t i c a l choice. The Kantian t r i a d of f a c u l t i e s ... i s evidently at the root of a l l these theories" (The New Apologists for Poetry [Bloomington, I l l i n o i s , 1963], 91), l 7See esp. pp. 34, 52, 58, 75, 77, 109, 129, 157, 161, and 171. 151 philosophy in the Critique of Judgment, and i s shown to occupy a central position between knowledge and desire, or theoretical and practical reason; and second, because only so far as the Imagination can be re- garded as able to enter into free conformity with the understanding, "without the aid of concepts," i s i t possible, within the l i m i t s of the Transcendental philosophy, to consider the mind as capable of the kind of creative a c t i v i t y necessary to render the "Ideas of Reason" suscepti- ble to images of sense. And i t i s my purpose, in the remainder of this chapter, to demonstrate that both of these notions are woven very deeply into the f a b r i c of Romanticism, and that they posit there what amounts to the $ost s i g n i f i c a n t role claimed for the a r t i s t since the Renaissance. Beauty as a source of "immediate" pleasure In his Defence of Poetry, Shelley describes "the end of social corruption" as the destruction of " a l l s e n s i b i l i t y to pleasure" (123-24). Against this tide of repression stands the poet, producing and preserving pleasure in the "highest sense"; that i s , not the pleasure which derives from "banishing the importunity of the wants of our animal nature, the surrounding men with security of l i f e , the dispersing the grosser delu- sions of superstition, and the c o n c i l i a t i n g such a degree of mutual forbearance among man as may consist with the motives of personal advan- tage" (132)--but "aesthetic" pleasure, pleasure which is i t s own judge and j u s t i f i c a t i o n , pleasure which i s eternal--"a joy forever"--because i t is not dependent on the v i c i s s i t u d e s of present need or desire. There i s , of course, a wide gulf separating Shelley's Defence of Poetry from Kant's Critique of Judgment. But in distinguishing so c l e a r l y between pleasure of u t i l i t y and pleasure which i s "disinterested"-- 152 pleasure which i s intermediate and pleasure which is immediate—and by specifying the propagation of the l a t t e r as the exclusive province of ar t , Shelley expresses one of the most important assumptions linking Transcendental Idealism and Romantic l i t e r a t u r e . For Kant saw that i f aesthetic pleasure were merely "pathological" or " i n t e l l e c t u a l , " i t would not d i f f e r from the delight we take in what i s merely "pleasant," or in the "good" (C_ of J_, 58). Hence, the whole strategy of the Critique of Judgment--to show that there are a p r i o r i factors governing the operation of the aesthetic function—would be l o s t , with the re s u l t that there would be no grounds for a t t r i b u t i n g to humanity the capacity to pass from mere dependence upon sense to that "fellowship with essence" which poet and philosopher alike regarded as expressive of man's most f u l l y released p o t e n t i a l . 1 8 Thus Wordsworth says that "The Poet writes under one r e s t r i c t i o n only, namely, that of the necessity of giving im- mediate pleasure to a human Being possessed of that information which may be expected from him, not as a lawyer, a physician, a mariner, an astronomer or a natural philosopher, but as a Man." Aside from this "one r e s t r i c t i o n , " Wordsworth adds, there i s "no object standing between the Poet and the image of things; between t h i s , and the Biographer and Historian there are a thousand" (P_ to LB_, 60; my emphasis). 1 9 And l i k e Kant and Shelley, Wordsworth s p e c i f i c a l l y denies that this "necessity of producing immediate pleasure" i s a "degradation of the Poet's a r t , " 1 8The idea that u t i l i t y plays no part in aesthetic judgments had already been proposed by Burke (who in this respect broke from Shaftesbury, Hogarth, B l a i r and others); but Kant was the f i r s t to see that the imme-diacy of aesthetic pleasure assures i t s permanence and universali ty j a conclusion which follows from his Transcendental method. See'C of AJ, 250-51. 1 9See W.J.B. Owen, Wordsworth as C r i t i c (Toronto, 1969), 77n. 153 since (as Kant showed) pleasure i s gratuitous only insofar as i t is , bound up with merely subjective elements, whereas aesthetic pleasure, because i t is determined by a p r i o r i factors, i s universal, and an es- sential aspect of the human birthright.20 Thus for Wordsworth poetry i s "a homage paid to the native and naked dignity of man, to the grand ele- mentary p r i n c i p l e of pleasure, by which he knows, and f e e l s , and l i v e s , and moves." And aesthetic pleasure i s a "necessary part of our exis- tence, our natural and inalienable inheritance," while the pleasure taken in the accumulation of knowledge i s "a personal and individual ac- q u i s i t i o n , slow to come to us, and by no habitual and d i r e c t sympathy connecting us with out* fellow-beings" (P_ to LB_, 60-61). This, of course, is the same basis on which Coleridge, who in 1797 had symbolized a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y as the building of a "pleasure- dome, "21 sought to distinguish judgments of the beautiful: The sense of beauty subsists in simultaneous i n t u i t i o n of the r e l a t i o n  of parts, each to each, and of al1 to a_ whole: exciting an immediate  and absolute complacency, without intervenence, therefore, of any i n t e r -est, sensual or i n t e l l e c t u a l . The BEAUTIFUL is thus at once distinguished from both the AGREEABLE, which i s beneath i t , and from the GOOD, which is above i t : for both these have an interest necessarily attached to them: both act on the WILL, and excite a desire for the actual existence of the image or idea contemplated: while the sense of beauty rests g r a t i f i e d in the mere contemplation or i n t u i t i o n , regardless whether i t be a f i c t i t i o u s Apollo, or a real Antinous (BL, II, 239). 20since Kant's purpose i s merely to establish the pure (a p r i o r i ) p o s s i b i l i t y of aesthetic experiences, he does not pursue the social or psychological implications of this position. But near the end of the "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment," he does say that a l l "free play of sensations (that have no design at their basis) g r a t i f i e s , because i t furthers the feelings of health," and that such g r a t i f i c a t i o n allows us to "reach the body through the soul and use the l a t t e r as the physician of the former" (C of J , 176, 177). 21"Kubla Khan," 2. See also lines 31, 36, and 46. 154 And in the Biographia, Coleridge speaks of the "sudden charm" 2 2 of beauty; of how the reader of poetry must feel as i f "carried forward, not merely or c h i e f l y by the mechanical impulse of c u r i o s i t y , or by a restless desire to arrive at the f i n a l solution; but by the pleasurable a c t i v i t y of mind excited by the attractions of the journey i t s e l f " ( i b i d . , II, 1 1 ) . 2 3 Elsewhere, Coleridge uses the same c r i t e r i o n to distinguish be- tween the realms of a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c discourse: "The common essence of a l l [the fine arts] consists in the excitement of emotion for the immediate purpose of pleasure through the medium of beauty; herein contra-distinguishing poetry from science, the immediate object and primary purpose of which i s truth and possible u t i l i t y " ( i b i d . , 221). S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Coleridge l a t e r asks us to di r e c t our attention to "the f u l l force of the word 'immediate'" in this d e f i n i t i o n ( i b i d . , 224), since i f the pleasure we take in the beautiful i s to be considered uni- versal, beauty must be distinguished from those "objects of mere desire" which "constitute an interest . . . and which i s therefore valued only as the means to the end" (ibid.) 2 2BL, II, 5. Compare Keats's observation that "the simple imagina-ti v e Mind may have i t s rewards in the repetition of i t s own s i l e n t Working coming continually on the s p i r i t with a fi n e suddenness. . . . (Letters, I, 185). And describing the v i s i t a t i o n of "Intellectual Beauty," Shelley says "Sudden, thy shadow f e l l on me . . . ("Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," 59; Works, II, 59). 2 3 T h i s is what Coleridge means when he says that "pleasure i s the magic c i r c l e out of which the poet must not dare to tread" (SC, II, 43). Although Elizabeth Wilkinson and L.A. Willoughby, in the Introduction to their edition of S c h i l l e r ' s Aesthetic Letters say that there i s "no . . . evidence that Coleridge read S c h i l l e r ' s t r e a t i s e " ( c l i v ) , i t should be noted that the term "magic c i r c l e " i s a l i t e r a l translation of S c h i l l e r ' s "Zauberkreise": "The psyche of the l i s t e n e r or spectator must remain completely free and i n v i o l a t e ; i t must go forth from the magic c i r c l e of the a r t i s t pure and perfect as i t came from the hands of the Creator" 0 57). 155 "Negative capabi1ity."--Kant's notion that aesthetic pleasure i s not derived from concepts but i s "immediate" and "disinterested" raises no problem in the case of what he c a l l s "natural beauty," since, in his words, "Hardly anyone but a botanist knows what sort of a thing a flower ought to be" (C_ of J_, 65). But in the case of works of a r t , especially the more complex forms such as drama, the question arises as to how our consciousness of such objects a_s a r t , that i s , as at a remove from " r e a l i t y , " does not preclude that free play of the f a c u l t i e s upon which rests the very claim of taste to mediate between image and Idea. Kant does not attempt to answer this question d i r e c t l y , since for him i t would not be a philosophical, but a psychological matter. But Coleridge grasped the significance of the problem, and his treatment of i t provides one of the most interesting examples of how an idea which is only germinal in the Transcendental philosophy took root and flowered in Romantic thought; Granting, he says, that we are always conscious of, say, a painting or a play, as removed from r e a l i t y , this awareness i t s e l f w i l l not constitute an interest so long as we are capable of meeting this object half-way, through an act of w i l l — t h r o u g h a " w i l l i n g suspension of d i s b e l i e f " (BL, II, 6). That i s , we must be w i l l i n g to practise, for the moment, that "negative f a i t h , 2 4 which simply permits the images presented to work by th e i r own force, without either denial 2 4Compare the terms "negative b e l i e f " and "negative r e a l i t y " in SC, I, 179, 116. Keat's phrase "Negative Capability" naturally comes to mind here (Letters, I, 193). Ransom says that although "Negative Capa-b i l i t y ... i s not a Kantian phrase," i t "sounds l i k e one, and might have been one i f Kant . . . had elaborated his views further than he did" ("The Concrete Universal . . .", 182). 156 or affirmation of t h e i r real existence by the judgment . . ." ( i b i d . , 107; see also 187). 2 5 On this p r i n c i p l e , Coleridge builds a theory of dramatic " i l l u - sion" which is designed to counter Johnson's notion that the dramatist must aim at perfect "delusion" (S£, I, 115-16). This d i s t i n c t i o n must be maintained, says Coleridge, for an "interest" i s c l e a r l y involved in the perception of the former, while with the l a t t e r , we are merely "brought up to this point" of utter delusion only "as far as i t is re- qu i s i t e or desirable, gradually, by the art of the poet and the actors; and with the consent and positive aidance of our own w i l l . We choose to be deceived" ( i b i d . , 116).26 Elsewhere, in a note prepared f o r a lecture on this subject, Coleridge refers to this d i s t i n c t i o n between "copy" or "delusion," and "imitation" or " i l l u s i o n " as "the universal p r i n c i p l e of the fine arts": In every w e l l - l a i d out grounds, what delight do we feel from that balance and antithesis of feelings and thought. "How natural!" we say; but the very wonder that furnished the how implies that we perceived art at the same moment. We catch the hint from nature i t s e l f . Whenever in mountains or cataracts we discover a likeness to anything a r t i f i c i a l which we yet 2 5Edward Bullough, in his famous essay '"Psychical Distance' as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic P r i n c i p l e , " defines "negative c a p a b i l i t y " in terms of the "distancing-power of the i n d i v i d u a l . " Like Coleridge, he regards the " a n t i - r e a l i s t i c nature" of art as i t s "general character-i s t i c " : "!.Art i s an imitation of nature,' was the current art-conception in the eighteenth century. It i s the fundamental axiom of the standard work of that time upon aesthetic theory . . . Though i t may be assumed that since the time of Kant and of the Romanticists this notion has died out, i t s t i l l l i v e s in unsophisticated minds" (in Art and Philosophy, ed. W.E. Kennick [New York, 1964], 539, 543-44). Compare Ransom, The World's  Body (New York, 1938), 131. 2 6Compare Bullough's statement that "What i s . . . both in appre-cia t i o n and production, most desirable i s the utmost decrease of [psychic] Distance without i t s disappearance" (op. c i t . , 539). 157 know was not a r t i f i c i a l , what pleasure! So in appearances known to be a r t i f i c i a l that appear natural. This applies in due degrees regulated by steady good sense, from a clump of trees to the Paradise Lost or the Othello (SC, I, 181).27 It would be d i f f i c u l t to f i n d a passage in Coleridge more sugges- tive of the congeniality of Kantian Transcendentalism to his own unique temperament, and by implication to the Romantic temperament generally. The central notion here probably derives from Kant's observation that "Nature i s beautiful because i t looks l i k e a r t , and art can only be c a l l e d beautiful i f we are conscious of i t as art while yet i t looks l i k e nature" (C_ of J_, 149). But what i s far more important here i s Coleridge's clear recognition that he is not dealing with a merely sub- j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e , but with a " p r i n c i p l e . . . common to a l l , " because i t i s a p r i o r i - - " t h e condition of a l l consciousness, without which we should feel and imagine only by discontinuous moments, and be plants or animals instead of men."28 27compare Coleridge's notes on the difference between a landscape by Claude and a theatrical forest-scene, in SC, I, 176-79, and these comments from a newspaper report of a lecture given by Coleridge in 1818: "The end of dramatic poetry is not to present a copy, but an imi-tation of real l i f e . Copy is imperfect i f the resemblance be not, in every circumstance, exact; but an imitation e s s e n t i a l l y implies some difference. The mind of the spectator, or the reader, therefore, i s not to be deceived into any idea of r e a l i t y , . . . neither ... is i t to re-tain a perfect consciousness of the falsehood of the presentation. There is a state of mind between the two, which may be properly called i l l u -sion, in which the comparative powers of the mind are completely sus-pended; as in a dream, the judgment i s neither beguiled, nor conscious of the fraud, but remains passive. Whatever disturbs this repose of the judgment by i t s harshness, abruptness, and improbability, offends against dramatic propriety" ( i b i d . , II, 258). 28SC, I, 181. Like Coleridge, S c h i l l e r finds in our a b i l i t y to distinguish between "copy" and "imitation" (Schein) nothing less than the mark of "a genuine enlargement of humanity and a decisive step towards culture." For, "To s t r i v e after autonomous semblance demands higher powers of abstraction, greater freedom of heart, more energy of w i l l , 158 I mean that ever-varying balance, or balancing, of images, notions, or feelings . . . conceived as in opposition to each other; in short, the perception of identity and contrariety, the least degree of which con-stit u t e s likeness, the greatest absolute difference; but the i n f i n i t e gradations between these two form a l l the play and a l l the interest of our i n t e l l e c t u a l and moral being, t i l l i t lead us to a feeling and an object more awful than i t seems to me compatible with even the present subject to utter aloud . . . (SC, 181-82). Whether these ideas are Coleridge's or Schel1ing's 2 9 is unimportant. What counts i s that Coleridge made them his own, and that they derive ultimately from Kant's programme to ground the sense of beauty in Trans- cendental' p r i n c i p l e s , to remove beauty from the realm of egocentric and contingent sentiments and make i t "a necessary condition of the Human Being" ( S c h i l l e r , Aesthetic Letters, 69-71). "Purposiveness without purpose": art as l i v i n g organism.--In the previous section, we saw that Kant's view of aesthetic pleasure as "im- mediate" and "disinterested" led him to the b e l i e f that some sort of analogy must apply between art and nature, both in the forms and psycho- logical effects of the objects involved; an analogy which he expresses in the famous formula, "Nature i s beautiful because i t looks l i k e a r t , and art can only be c a l l e d beautiful i f we are conscious of i t as art while yet i t looks l i k e nature" (C_ qf_ J_, 149). 3 0 In other words, while than man ever needs when he confines himself to r e a l i t y ; and he must a l -ready have l e f t this r e a l i t y behind i f he would arrive at that kind of semblance. . . . Chained as he i s to the material world, man subordinates semblance to ends of his own long before he allows i t autonomous exis-tence in the ideal realm of art. . . . Wherever, then, we f i n d traces of a disinterested and unconditional appreciation of pure semblance, we may infer that a revolution of this order has taken place in his nature, and that he has started to become t r u l y human" (Aesthetic Letters, 205). Compare Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, trans. E.F.J. Payne (New York, 1966), I, 195-200. See also Suzanne Langer, Feeling and  Form, Chapter Four. 2 9See Raysor's note on this passage, SC, I, 181. 30Wellek sees in Kant's aesthetic the f i r s t formal statement of the organic theory of a r t , a theory which "point[s] to a f i n a l overcoming of 159 an object of art i s c l e a r l y the result of "a w i l l that places reason at the basis of i t s actions" ( i b i d . , 145), the a r t i s t ' s engagement with rules, l i k e his intentions (to please and i n s t r u c t , c l a r i f y or confuse, charm or frighten, goad to action or put at rest) must never obtrude: the rules of his art must never be "p a i n f u l l y apparent"31--there must be "no trace of the rules having been before the eyes of the a r t i s t and having fettered his mental powers" ( i b i d . , 150). For otherwise our at- tempts to suspend our d i s b e l i e f w i l l be s t i f l e d , and the object could not become a source of "immediate pleasure." Now this concept of a work of art as a natural organism, as an object which i s "purposive" without revealing any purpose, as made_ with- out giving the appearance of being made, as designed without having "a palpable design on us" becomes, of course, one of the most seminal pri n - ciples of Coleridge's c r i t i c i s m , where i t s v i a b i l i t y as both a descrip- tive and prescriptive c r i t e r i o n is firmly established. But in adopting the p r i n c i p l e of organicism, Coleridge makes one c h a r a c t e r i s t i c divergence from the purely Kantian position, a divergence which i s fundamental, but which does not undermine the Transcendental foundation which Kant showed gave the p r i n c i p l e universal v a l i d i t y . To understand this divergence, i t i s necessary f i r s t to understand the difference between Kant's and Coleridge's view of the "purposiveness" of nature. Now in reading the Critique of Judgment, Coleridge would the deep dualism which i s basic to Kant's philosophy." He explains the analogy between art and nature in Kant this way: "The work of art is a pa r a l l e l to an organism, not only in a metaphorical sense which compares the unity of a work of art to that of an organism, but because both art and organic nature must be conceived of under the terms of 'purposeless purposiveness'" (A History of Modern C r i t i c i s m , I, 230-31). 31"0hne Peinlichkeit"--without duress, or signs of excessive s t r a i n . 160 have found support for one of his most cherished notions: that the "pur- posiveness" that men ascribe to nature i s necessary to the support of our whole moral and r e l i g i o u s thought-structures. "There i s a need," Kant writes, to assume a morally l e g i s l a t i n g Being outside the world, without any reference to theoretical proofs, s t i l l less to s e l f - i n t e r e s t , from pure moral grounds free from a l l foreign influence. ... In addition, we feel ourselves constrained by the moral law to s t r i v e f o r a universal highest purpose which yet we, in common with the rest of nature, are i n -capable of attaining, and i t i s only so far as we s t r i v e for i t that we can judge ourselves to be in harmony with the f i n a l purpose of an i n t e l l i g e n t world cause ( i f such there be) (C of J_, 297). But according to Kant, purposiveness in nature is only a "regula- t i v e , " not a "constitutive" notion, since any reference to f i n a l purpose must refer to "something supersensible." For "the purpose of the exis- tence of nature must i t s e l f be sought beyond nature" ( i b i d . , 225). Thus when Kant i d e n t i f i e s "man" as "the f i n a l purpose of nature," 3 2 he i s only speaking of how we should judge the operation of nature, as i t re- lates to our best (moral) interests. Teleology only proves, then, that according to the constitution of our cognitive f a c u l t i e s and in the con-sequent combination of experience with the highest principles of reason, we can form absolutely no concept of the p o s s i b i l i t y of such a world as this save by thinking a designedly working supreme cause thereof ( i b i d . , 246-7). Now Coleridge would have agreed with Kant that "without men the whole creation would be a mere waste, in vain, without f i n a l purpose" ( i b i d . , 293). But he could never have conceded that such a proposition i s merely a "regulative concept for the r e f l e c t i v e judgment" ( i b i d . , 222) ; 3 3 nor, according to his own premises, was he obliged to, since he 3 2 I b i d . , 286; c/f 225, 276, 279, 280-81, 285, 293-94, 300. 3 3 C o l e r i d g e does see, however, that some such p r i n c i p l e underlies a l l s c i e n t i f i c investigation (a position which, as S. Korner points out, 161 never accepted the s t r i c t u r e s of the Transcendental D i a l e c t i c (see above, pp. 114-16). Knowledge of f i n a l purpose, l i k e knowledge of God and freedom of the w i l l , is for Coleridge a matter of " i n t u i t i v e conviction": Look round you, and you behold everywhere an adaptation of means to ends. Meditate on the nature of a being whose ideas are creative, and consequently more r e a l , more substantial than the things that, at the height of their creaturely state, are but their dim reflexes; and the i n t u i t i v e conviction w i l l arise that in such a being there could exist no motive to the creation of a machine for i t s own sake; that, therefore, the material world must have been made for the sake of man, at once the high-priest and representative of the Creator, as far as he partakes of that reason in which the essences of a l l things co-exist in a l l t h e i r d i s t i n c t i o n s yet as one and i n d i v i s i b l e (Friend, 466); As a consequence of this extension of the s t r i c t Transcendentalist position, Coleridge i s much more s p e c i f i c about the nature of beauty than Kant. He speaks of beauty, that i s , as an objective quality, since i t s p rinciples correspond to those which comprise "the most comprehen- sive formula to which l i f e i s r e d u c i b l e " ; 3 4 an abiding d i a l e c t i c of form and free energy, of u n i f i c a t i o n and individuation, the chasm and the is not necessarily threatened by the advance since Darwin of mechanistic explanation—see Kant [London, 1964], 207-17). As he says in the Friend, each s c i e n t i s t "admits a teleological ground in physics and phys-iology; that i s , the presumption of a something analogous to the causality of the human w i l l , by which, without assigning to nature, as nature, a conscious purpose, he may yet distinguish her agency from a blind and l i f e l e s s mechanism. Even he admits i t s use, and, in many instances, i t s necessity, as a regulative p r i n c i p l e ; as a ground of a n t i c i p a t i o n , f o r the guidance of his judgment and f o r the direction of his observation and experiment" (45051). 3 4"Theory of L i f e , " Shedd, I, 386. Abrams describes Goethe's r e l a -tion to Kant in similar terms: ". . . t o Goethe ... i t proved i r r e s i s t -able to make such a purely internal teleology a constitutive element in 1 ivn'ngnnature, and then to go beyond Kant and id e n t i f y completely the unconsciously purposeful process and product of "nature" in the mind of genius with the unconsciously purposeful growth, and the complex i n t e r -adaptations of means to ends, in a natural organism" (Mirror and the Lamp, 208). For my application of the organic theory to the actual creative  process, see below, pp. 188-90. 162 r i v e r , the force and the green fuse. " L i f e , " says Coleridge, must be considered as the copula, or the unity of thesis and ant i t h e s i s , position and counter-position,--Life i t s e l f being the positive of both; as, on the other hand, the two counterpoints are the necessary condition of the manifestations of L i f e . These, by the same necessity, unite in a synthesis; which again, by the law of dualism, essential to a l l actual existence, expands, or produces i t s e l f , from the point into the l i n e , in order again to con-verge, as the i n i t i a t i o n of the same productive process in some intenser form of r e a l i t y . Thus, in the id e n t i t y of the two counter-powers, L i f e subsists; in their s t r i f e i t consists: and in the i r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i t at once dies and i s born again into a new form, either f a l l i n g back into the l i f e of the whole, or starting anew in the process of individuation ( i b i d . , 392). This d e f i n i t i o n of l i f e i s , as others have pointed out, " e s s e n t i a l l y the same as Coleridge's d e f i n i t i o n of beauty and of the poetic imagination," and so i t is inevitable that "the account of individuation in i t s highest degree is also Coleridge's account in other contexts of ideal aesthetic and poetic structure."35 For example, in the "Principles of Genial C r i t i c i s m , " the beautiful i s defined as "that in which the many, s t i l l seen as many, becomes one": as "Multeity in Unity" (BL, II, 232), and he offers Raphael's sensuous fresco "Galatea" as an example of this f o r - mula. The c i r c u l a r arrangement, effected by the placement of the four cherubs is c l e a r l y , as Coleridge says, "perceived at f i r s t sight" ( i b i d . , 234-35). But unlike many of Raphael's e a r l i e r frescoes (the "School of Athens," for example), there i s a powerful tension here between the man- ner and the matter, caught in the taut strings of the cherubs' bows, and the straining of the dolphins to break their reins, which is balanced on 35R.H. Fogle, The Idea of Coleridge's C r i t i c i s m (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1962), 24. c/f Gordon McKenzie, Organic Unity in Coleridge (Berkeley, 1939); and Abrams, op. c i t . , 218-225. 163 the l e f t by the rearing s t a l l i o n . In this "balance" Coleridge finds the perfect r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , effected between these two c o n f l i c t i n g prin-ciples of the FREE LIFE, and of the confining FORM! How e n t i r e l y is the s t i f f n e s s that would have resulted from the obvious regularity of the l a t t e r , fused and . . . almost volatized by the interpenetration and e l e c t r i c a l flashes of the former ( i b i d . , 235). The v i a b i l i t y of the concept of organic unity as a c r i t i c a l prin- c i p l e i s now clear. For ju s t so far as a work of art achieves the ideal of a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of matter and manner, image and idea, form and free energy, purpose and material, does i t make nature thinkable and thought n a t u r a l — t h a t i s , does i t become an "imitation" in the truest sense—not of nature, but of beauty in nature; a "semblance" which pleases in and for i t s e l f , i n t u i t i v e l y , "without, and aloof from, and even c o n t r a r i l y to, interest" ( i b i d . , 257). 3 6 Coleridge's most representative c r i t i c i s m proceeds from this ideal of perfect organic unity, recognized in the ins e p a r a b i l i t y of form from content and part from whole. In the case of a poem, the "form" i s , of course, the regularity of rhythm, or "meter," while the "content" i s 3^Compare S c h i l l e r : "... beauty results from the reciprocal ac-tion of two opposed drives and from the uniting of two opposed p r i n c i p l e s . The highest ideal of beauty i s , therefore, to be sought in the most perfect possible union and equilibrium of r e a l i t y and form" (Aesthetic  Letters, 111). Kant stops short of anything as "metaphysical" as a Coleridgean-Schillerean d i a l e c t i c , but the following passage from the Critique of Judgment ce r t a i n l y suggests that the notion i s i m p l i c i t in his philosophy of c r i t i c i s m : ". . . i t i s not inexpedient to r e c a l l that, in a l l free a r t s , there i s yet requisite something compulsory or, as i t is c a l l e d , mechanism, without which the s p i r i t [ G e i s t ] , which must be free in art and which alone inspires the work, would have no body and would evaporate altogether; e.g. in poetry there must be an accuracy and wealth of language, and also prosody and measure. It i s not inexpedient, I say, to r e c a l l t h i s , for many modern educators believe that the best way to produce a free art i s to remove i t from a l l constraint, and thus to change i t from work into mere play" (147). 164 the combination of passion and thought which i n i t i a t e d the creative im- pulse. And according to the ideal of organic unity, meter must never give the impression of being "superimposed," for "nothing can permanently please, which does not contain in i t s e l f the reason why i t i s so, and not otherwise" (BL, II, 9). Therefore i f meter i s "superadded," then " a l l other parts must be made consonant with i t " ( i b i d . , 9-10); and although meter i s obviously introduced "by a voluntary act," i t exists in a l l true poetry as a "partnership" of "spontaneous impulse and of voluntary purpose" ( i b i d . , 50), a notion which i s be a u t i f u l l y expressed in this passage from the Shakespearean C r i t i c i s m : The s p i r i t of poetry, l i k e a l l other l i v i n g powers, must of necessity circumscribe i t s e l f by rules, were i t only to unite power with beauty. It must embody in order to reveal i t s e l f ; but a l i v i n g body i s of necessity an organized one,--and what is organization, but the connec-tion of parts to a whole, so that each part i s at once end and means! This is no discovery of c r i t i c i s m ; i t is a necessity of the human mind--and a l l nations have f e l t and obeyed i t , in the invention of metre and measured sounds as the vehicle and involucrum of poetry, i t s e l f a fellow-growth from the same l i f e , even as the bark i s to the tree ( I , 197; my emphasis). Shakespeare, of course, exemplifies this ideal balance of "crea- tive power and the i n t e l l e c t u a l energy" (BL_, II, 19), or what S c h i l l e r c a l l e d the "play-drive" and the "form-drive." For Coleridge, as Fortes says, Shakespeare is l i k e organic nature according to the "law of b i c e n t r a l i t y , " in which every part has a center or p r i n c i p l e both within and outside i t s e l f , l i k e a system of concentric c i r c l e s of which the master c i r c l e would be the total idea of Shakespeare. Within this a l l - i n c l u s i v e unity there would be various lesser unities and systems, each self-contained and yet a part in a graduated structure of subordination and degree which ranges from the lowest to the highest, from the simplest to the most complex. Like the p r i n c i p l e of l i f e , Shakespeare i s almost i n f i n i t e l y various and yet forever the same (op. c i t . , 110).37 Compare Abrams, op. c i t . , 221-22. 165 In Coleridge's own words, Shakespeare i s "a nature humanized, a genial understanding directing self-consciously a power and an i m p l i c i t wisdom deeper than consciousness" (SC, I, 198). Coleridge's c r i t i c i s m of Wordsworth, on the other hand, i s based primarily on Wordsworth's vio l a t i o n s of the ideal of organic unity: Coleridge c i t e s the "INCONSTANCY of the s t y l e , " by which the reader's feelings are "alternately s t a r t l e d by anticlimax and hyperclimax" ( i b i d . , 97-8); the "matter-of-factness" which threatens to disrupt the free play of the f a c u l t i e s by introducing mundane and habitual chains of associa- tion ( i b i d . , 101); his "undue predilection for the dramatic form" and his penchant for introducing "thoughts and images too great f o r the subject" ( i b i d . , 109). 3 8 Beauty, sublimity, and the "free play" of the f a c u l t i e s Beauty: the "state of effeminacy."--The idea that i t is possible for us to judge certain objects purely a e s t h e t i c a l l y , as "purposive without purpose," and that works of art can (and indeed must) be ^Notwithstanding this c r i t i c i s m , Wordsworth did distinguish be-tween organic and mechanic form, a d i s t i n c t i o n which Rader says he learned from Kant via Coleridge: " I t was not so much Kant or Plato but the transformation of Platonism and Kantianism in the f e r t i l e mind of Coleridge that impressed Wordsworth. From Kant's Critique of Judgment Coleridge may have drawn his d i s t i n c t i o n between "mechanistic" and "or-ganic", form . . . [which] underlies . . . [his] contrast between fancy and imagination' t(Melvin Rader, Wordsworth: A Philosophical Approach [Oxford, 1967], 184.) And although Wordsworth does speak of "superadding" meter to poetry in the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, the idea that the laws of a r t i s t i c production are sui generis i s not a l i e n to his thought, as the sonnets "Nuns Fret Not" and "A Poet! He Has Put His Heart to School" (Works, III, 1, 52) indicate. As Rader says, "The world as he [Wordsworth] envisioned i t i s pervaded everywhere with l i f e , organic re-la t i o n s , and v i v i d values. The poet, r i s i n g to the level of imaginative genius, i s by very nature a kind of metaphysician, and his insight into the meaning of things i s not one whit i n f e r i o r to that of the s c i e n t i s t " (op. c i t . , 185). 166 considered as such a class of objects, marks a very important moment in Kantian-Romantic aesthetics. For the fa c t that such objects are judged without reference to the discursive i n t e l l e c t , and that the pleasure we receive from them i s immediate convinced Kant that Imagination is not always necessarily under the "constraint of the understanding," but "from an aesthetical point of view" i s "free to furnish unsought, over and above that agreement with a concept, [an] abundance of undeveloped material for the understanding" (C_ of J_, 160; my emphasis). 3 9 Beauty, in other words, has the ef f e c t of li b e r a t i n g consciousness from that "despotism of the eye" and the domination of reason which characterizes "mechanistic" concepts of mind and r e a l i t y , a fact which, as Marcuse says, "invoke[s] the inherent truth values of the senses against their depravation under the prevailing r e a l i t y p r i n c i p l e " (Eros and C i v i l i z a - t i o n , 165). 4 0 3 9 F o r a f u l l e r discussion of the relationship between the Kantian and Romantic conceptions of the Imagination, see below, p. 192ff. 40 The capacity of the mind, under the influence of aesthetic forms, to enter into a state of "free play," plays a s i g n i f i c a n t role in Gestalt therapy. Paul Goodman writes: "... the naive [disinterested] judgments of beauty and truth--a usual judgment in antiquity and analysed once and for a l l by Kant--has to do with the surface i t s e l f : i t i s not an adjustment of the organism to the environment, nor a satisfactory completion of an organic drive in the environment, but i t i s an adjust-ment of the whole f i e l d to the s e l f , to the surface of contact; as Kant well said i t , there i s a sense of purpose, without a purpose. And the act i s pure s e l f , for the pleasure i s disinterested and spontaneous; the organism i s in abeyance. Is there perhaps a function for i t ? In a d i f -f i c u l t and c o n f l i c t i n g f i e l d , where almost nothing can exist without deliberateness and caution and e f f o r t , beauty i s suddenly a symbol of Paradise, where a l l is spontaneous . . . Then th i s gratuitous c r e a t i v i t y of awareness i s t r u l y re-creative f o r an animal that requires recreation; i t helps to relax our habitual prudence, in order that we may breathe" (Frederick Perls, Ralph E. Hefferline and Paul Goodman, Gestalt Therapy [New York, 1951], 405-06). Compare Bosanquet: "Nothing can help us but what i s there f o r us to look at, and that is what we perceive or imagine, which can only be the immediate appearance or the semblance. This i s 167 For the Romantics, this condition of inner harmony which Kant spoke of as the "free play" of the f a c u l t i e s , i s a highly prized and spontaneously received state of mind, not available to those "Who st r i v e therefore," but won "on the sudden"; watched for " i n quiet t i l l i t sud- denly shines upon us." 4! i t is a state of mind in which the soul "Seeks for no trophies, struggles for no spoils / That may attest her prowess" but i s "blest in thoughts / That are their own perfection and reward" (Wordsworth, Prelude, VI, 610-12). So integral to the Romantic vision of the p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l l y released human potential i s this state of quiet surrender to beauty (usually symbolized by moonlight) that few important poems of the period f a i l to touch on i t . It i s , for example, in j u s t such a state of mind that Coleridge's ancient mariner i s able to "win" his redemption: Alone, alone, a l l , a l l alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony (232-35). His solitude i s compounded by his physical anguish; his heart i s as dry as his tongue. But j u s t as he reaches the nadir of despondency, evoked in a s p e c i f i c death wi&h ( l i n e 262), he finds himself miraculously the fundamental doctrine of the aesthetic semblance. Man is not c i v i -l i z e d , a e s t h e t i c a l l y , t i l l he has learned to value the semblance above the r e a l i t y . It i s indeed ... in one sense the higher r e a l i t y - - t h e soul and l i f e of things, what they are in themselves"((Three Lectures on  Aesthetics [New York, 1963] , 9 ) . See also the chapter on "Play-Forms in Art" in Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens (Boston, 1966) ; and the chapter on "Semblance" in Langer, op. c i t . , 45-68; and S c h i l l e r , op. c i t . , esp. Letter twenty-seven. ^ K e a t s , Endymion, IV, 532; Coleridge, BL_, I, 167 (here quoting Plotinus). Compare Arthur Koestler: "The purely self-transcending emo- tions do not tend toward action, but towards quiescence, t r a n q u i l i t y , and catharsis" (The Act of Creation [New York, 1964] , 273T 168 responding to the beautiful forms of the water-snakes, creatures which seem so abhorrent under "normal" circumstances. But this is no more than an example of the point Coleridge makes in the "Principles of Gen- i a l C r i t i c i s m , " where the response to pure beauty i s described as "so far . . . from depending wholly on association, that i t i s frequently produced by the mere removal of associations." "Many a sincere convert to the beauty of various insects, as of the dragon-fly, the fangless snake, &ct., has Natural History made, by exploding the terror of aver- sion that had been connected with them" (BL, I I , 232). The same quiet s o l i t a r y surrender to beauty in nature in which the ancient mariner finds his redemption pervades Coleridge's Conversa- tion Poems, which trace the release of the poet's discursive conscious- ness from the oppression of practical exigencies, the "numberless goings-on of l i f e , " and the engendering of a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of his own existence with that of nature, and ultimately with that of God Himself. The movement of "Frost at Midnight," for example, r e f l e c t s this "growth pattern" quite c l e a r l y . It begins in utter quietude, with the meditative perception of the c r y s t a l i z a t i o n of the f r o s t ; the s t i l l n e s s broken only by an owlet's cry (which serves to make the calm "available" through con- t r a s t ) . Gradually, the poet's consciousness i s "liberated" and he reaches beyond his empirical selfhood to discover a "fundamental attunement" 4 2 between himself and nature: in the "hush," even the " f i l m " that f l u t t e r s on the grate seems to have "dim sympathies" with him--it becomes a companionable form, Whose puny flaps and freaks the i d l i n g S p i r i t By i t s own moods interprets, every where Echo or mirror seeking of i t s e l f , And makes a toy of Thought (19-23; Works, I, 241). 42Humphrey House, Coleridge (London, 1962), 75. 169 The toyings of his thought lead nim into contemplation of his unhappy childhood at Christ's Hospital and Ottery, where "pent 'mid c l o i s t e r s dim" he had been isolated from nature. But his own c h i l d , he vows, shall not suffer this fate: he shall "see and hear" those "lovely shapes and sounds" which are the perfect expressions of a perfect God, a God who is " a l l things in himself," and who shall ensure the child's own capacity to be at one with creation (58-9, 62). The same movement from a quiet and s o l i t a r y contemplation of the forms of nature to a t h e i s t i c metaphysic is a common feature of Wordsworth's poetry. His tranquil r e c o l l e c t i o n of Lake Como in Book VI of the Prelude i s an example: Like a breeze Or sunbeam over your domain I passed In motion without pause; but ye have l e f t Your beauty with me, a serene accord Of forms and colours, passive, yet endowed In t h e i r submissiveness with power as sweet And gracious, almost might I dare say, As virtue i s , or goodness; sweet as love, Or the remembrance of a generous deed, Or mildest v i s i t a t i o n s of pure thought, When God, the giver of a l l joy, i s thanked Religiously, in s i l e n t blessedness; Sweet as this l a s t herself, f o r such i t i s (675-87). Note that the word "beauty" in Wordsworth i s usually connected with the kind of imagery that suggests peace and inner harmony. In Book XIII of the Prelude, for example, he speaks of "the unassuming things that hold / A s i l e n t station in this beauteous world" (46-7); in "Tintern Abbey," the recollections of the "beauteous forms" of the Wye Valley brought him In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Fel t in the blood, and f e l t along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, With tranquil restoration . . . (27-30). 170 Likewise, the "beauteous evening" of the famous sonnet i s "calm and free" and "quiet as a Nun / Breathless with adoration." The sun sinks "in i t s t r a n q u i l i t y " while "The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea" (Works, III, 19; 1-5). And as in Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight," this mood leads inexorably beyond the poet's own s e n s i b i l i t y to empathy with a c h i l d and a prayer for i t s future; and then to t h e i s t i c meditation: Dear Child! dear G i r l ! that walkest with me here, If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, Thy nature i s not therefore less divine; Thou l i e s t in Abraham's bosom a l l the year; And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine, God being with thee when we know i t not (9-14). But perhaps Wordsworth's most eloquent statement of the value for him of this state of "quiet surrender to beauty" occurs in "Tintern Abbey," where the poet refers to the g i f t of beauty as that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on,--U n t i l , the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are l a i d asleep In body, and become a l i v i n g soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the l i f e of things (41-49). In Keats, the state of "free play" which i d e n t i f i e s the sensual l i b e r a t i o n of the aesthetic reaction i s also characterized as a "quiet" and "peaceful" experience. As .he says at the beginning of Endymion, the function of beauty i s to "keep a bower quiet f o r us," a bower of s i l e n t r e f l e c t i o n where normal associations give way to a dream logic which has i t s own truth value. Thus, the Grecian urn i s a "bride of quietness," 171 and a " f o s t e r - c h i l d of silence and slow time" (1-2; Works, 209). Its pipes are "unheard"; the imagined town, with i t s "peaceful c i t a d e l s " i s " s i l e n t " : the urn i s a " s i l e n t form" which "doth tease us out of thought" (35, 36, 44). Elsewhere, he compares his reaction to f i r s t reading Chapman's Homer with that of "stout Cortez" and his men who, on f i r s t seeing the P a c i f i c Ocean, "Look'd at each other with a wild surmise-- / S i l e n t , upon a peak in Darien" ("On F i r s t Looking . . . ," 11-14; Works, 38). But by far the most ch a r a c t e r i s t i c Keatsean imagery connected with th i s "state of effeminacy" in which the "fibers of the brain are relaxed in common with the r e s t of the body, and to such a happy degree that pleasure has no show of enticement and pain no unbearable frown" (Letters, I I , 78-9) involves sleep, dreams, liquor , opiates and p o i s o n : 4 3 My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk . . . ("Ode to a Nightingale," 1-4; Works, 207). The beauty of the nightingale's song has numbed the poet's consciousness, and he yearns for an expansion of his mind, for a "draught of vintage" or a "beaker f u l l of the warm South" that w i l l break the chains which r e s t r i c t him to the f a l s i f i c a t i o n of r e a l i t y c a l l e d ordinary experience, whose values are victimized by mutability and denatured by practical e x i - gencies. For "Here," in the p o s i t i v i s t ' s " r e a l i t y , " "... Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, / Or new Love pine at them beyond to:-morrow" (29-30). 4 3See Mario L. D'Avanzo, Keat's Metaphors for the Romantic Imagina- tion (Durham, North Carolina, 1967), and George Wilson Knight's essay on Keats in The S t a r l i t Dome (London, 1959), esp. 261-65. 172 Here, our eyes are blinded by acquisitiveness; we cannot "see" the beauty of the flowers, we cannot smell the "soft incense [that] hangs upon the boughs." So what i s demanded i s not an escape from a l l con- sciousness, but merely from l i n e a r consciousness, an abrogation of analysis and "consequitive reasoning." 4 4 And thus beauty is comparable to a draught of vintage, in that both "tease us out of thought"; and the same applies to the analogy between sleep and poetry so often affected by Keats, except that while "every man whose soul i s not a clod / Hath visions," Poesy alone can t e l l her dreams, With the fine spell of words alone can save Imagination from the sable charm And dumb enchantment ("Fall of Hyperion," 13-14, 8-11; Works, 403). Another very common chain of imagery in Romantic poetry relating to the free harmonizing of the f a c u l t i e s which characterizes the aesthetic l i b e r a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y involves music, musical instruments, and harmony.4^ in Blake's Songs of Innocence, for example, almost every poem bears images relating to singing, pipes and flu t e s playing, bells 4 4 I t is in a similar vein that Coleridge, on various occasions, re-lates dramatic i l l u s t i o n to a dream state: "The poet does not require us to be awake and believe; he s o l i c i t s us only to y i e l d ourselves to a dream; and this too with our eyes open and with our judgement perdue be-hind the curtain, ready to awaken us at the f i r s t motion of our w i l l : and meantime, only, not to disbelieve" (BL, II, 189. Compare SC, I, 179-80; 116). ^Marcuse c a l l s these "Orphic symbols," i . e . , r e l a t i n g to "the singing god who l i v e s to defeat death and who liberates nature, so that the constrained and constraining matter releases the beautiful and play-ful forms of animate and inamimate things. No longer s t r i v i n g and no longer desiring 'for something s t i l l to be attained,' they are free from fear and fetter--and thus free per se" (op. c i t . , 177). 173 ringing and so f o r t h , compared to only three or four such references in the Songs of Experience (of which only one i s ca l l e d a "song," as com- pared to three in the e a r l i e r group). In Coleridge's "Kubla Khan," i t is "the symphony and song" of a "damsel with a dulcimer" which the poet must recapture in order to "build that dome" of pleasure (37, 43, 4 6 ) , 4 6 just as the "beautiful and beauty-making power" in the Dejection Ode i s called "a strong music in the soul" (63, 60). S i m i l a r l y , Byron's Chi 1de Harold refers to that "feeling i n f i n i t e " which i s f e l t "In solitude, where we are least alone" as A truth, which through our being then doth melt, And p u r i f i e s from s e l f : i t i s a tone, The soul and source of Music, which makes known Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone, Binding a l l things with beauty;--'twouId disarm The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm (I I I , xc, Poetry, I I , 272). And Shelley's Prometheus, freed from the fock, anticipates the time when he and his beloved Asia w i l l search, with looks and words of love For hidden thoughts, each l o v e l i e r than the l a s t , Our unexhausted s p i r i t s ; and l i k e lutes Touched by the s k i l l of the enamoured wind, Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new, From difference sweet where discord cannot be . . . ( I l l , i i i , 34-39; Works, I, 232). For music i s " I t s e l f the echo of the heart, and a l l / That tempers or improves man's l i f e , now free" ( i b i d . , 47-48). 46 See George Wilson Knight, op. c i t . , 95. 174 In Part One, we saw that for Kant, beauty in nature, and i t s reconciling e f f e c t on us, makes up only part of the aesthetic realm. For Kant felt--and the Romantics a l s o — t h a t there is another kind of disinterested and universally v a l i d judgment which, because i t did not assume any purposiveness in the object perceived, told us nothing about nature, yet revealed a great deal about ourselves; that i s , that we possess pure self-subsistent reason, or a f a c u l t y for the estimation of magnitude, whose superiority can be made i n t u i t i v e l y evident only by the inadequacy of that faculty [Imagination] which i s i t s e l f unbounded in the presentation of magnitude (of sensible objects) (C of J , 97). These, of course, ""are\ judgments of the "sublime," judgments which take on a tremendous significance f o r Kant since they lead to a con- sciousness of the preeminence of the human mind over nature, and teach us to regard "as small [als Klein: as i n s i g n i f i c a n t ] the things about which we are s o l i c i t o u s (goods, health, and l i f e ) " ( i b i d . , 101), a fact which i s s u f f i c i e n t evidence of the s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to moral Ideas of the soul which i s "attuned to feel the sublime" ( i b i d . , 104). Kant's theory of the sublime, then, belongs wholly to the Transcen- dental philosophy, since the sublime is seen as awakening a sense of "the greatness of the human soul" (Monk, op. c i t . , 46) rather than as disclosing anything about physical nature. And as we turn to the Roman- t i c attitude towards the sublime aspects of nature, we shall see that i t i s in this sense, and not as a psychological phenomenon, that the " d i s c i p l i n e of fear" had impact for the Romantics. The sublime: "the d i s c i p l i n e of fear."--Of the Romantics, Coleridge makes the clearest theoretical d i s t i n c t i o n between the beautiful - 175 and the sublime. 4 7 With Kant, he regards the former as resulting when "the perfection of form is combined with pleasurableness in the sensa- tion excited by the matters or substances so formed," whereas the l a t t e r i s represented by "boundless or endless allness" (BL, II, 309). An object i s therefore ca l l e d sublime " i n r e l a t i o n to which the exercise of comparison i s suspended; while on the contrary that object is most beau- t i f u l , which in i t s highest perfection sustains while i t s a t i s f i e s the accompanying Power." 4 8 And thus i t follows that "no object of sense i s sublime in i t s e l f ; i t becomes sublime when [we] contemplate eternity under it."49 Or as he said in the B r i s t o l Lectures: "The sense of sublimity a r i s e s , not from the sight of an outward object, but from the r e f l e c t i o n upon i t ; not from the impression, but from the idea" (SC, II, 224). The movement of thought in Coleridge's poetic accounts of the ex- perience of the sublime usually tends to document this theory. Having climbed the "Mount sublime" near his cottage at Cleveden, for example, Coleridge finds himself "Overwhelmed" by the vastness of the scene beneath him, by i t s "boundless or endless allness": Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak mount The bare blea'k mountain speckled thin with sheep: Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny f i e l d s ; And r i v e r , now with bushy rocks o'er brow'd, . . . 4 7See Clarence De Witt Thorpe, "Coleridge on the Sublime," in Wordsworth and Coleridge, ed. E.L. Griggs [Princeton, 1939], 192-219). 4 8 C i ted Shawcross, in "Coleridge Marginalia," Notes and Queries, 10th ser., IV (October 28, 1905), 341. 4 9 C i t e d by Wellek, History of Modern C r i t i c i s m , I I , 160. 176 The Channel there, the Islands and white s a i l s , Dim coasts, and cloud-like h i l l s , and shoreless Ocean. . . . And l o s t for "comparison," Coleridge can only say of this scene, " I t seem'd l i k e Omnipresence!" ("Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement," 29-32, 36-37, ,38; Works, I, 107). And although these lines were written, of course, p r i o r to the influence of Kant, Coleridge speci- f i e s that his reaction i s "aesthetic," in the Kantian sense of being disinterested: God, methought, Had b u i l t him there a Temple; the whole World Seem'd imag'd in i t s vast circumference: No wish profan'd my overwhelmed heart. Blest hour! It was a luxury,--to be! (38-42) The same movement of thought from the purely sensual to ideas and images of the eternal and the ieminent marks the l a t e r "Hymn Before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouny." But here, the "negative pleasure" which Kant ascribed to the sublime i s more in evidence. Twice in the f i r s t f i v e l i n e s , for example, the prospect of Mont Blanc i s described as "awful." And in l i n e thirteen, Coleridge refers to i t as a "dread and s i l e n t Mount." The mountain is to Coleridge an example of what Kant cal l e d the "Mathematically Sublime"--i_.e. "absolute greatness" for which no concept can be supplied. Thus, although the mountain remains "present to the bodily sense," the poet's discursive powers are rendered ineffe c - t u a l , and he becomes "entranced in prayer," worshippingtthe "Invisible alone" (14-16; Works, I, 377). Here, the "Soul-debasing" element of fear i s purged, and the experience becomes "aesthetic" as the frightening impact of the prospect gives way to what Kant called the "state of joy" 177 (C_ of_ 0_, 100) which follows the cathartic cessation of actual t e r r o r : 5 0 Yet, l i k e some sweet beguiling melody, So sweet, we know not we are l i s t e n i n g to i t , Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my Thought, Yea, with my Li f e and L i f e ' s own secret joy; T i l l the d i l a t i n g Soul, enrapt, transfused, Into the mighty v i s i o n passing—there As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven! (17-23) Shelley's "Mont Blanc" i s an even more " I d e a l i s t i c " (in Kant's sense) account of the experience of the sublime than Coleridge's "Hymn," since here, the poet's major concern is not to praise God, but to cele- brate the sublime ifirtvinence of the human mind i t s e l f , for which only the majesty of the "great Mountain" and the "Dizzy Ravine" can be a f i t symbol. The experience here i s again an "aesthetic" one in the Kantian sense of "non-conceptual." Coleridge said that he "gazed" at the mount unti l i t "vanishHed] from my thought," and Shelley has the same reaction: 5 0Compare Coleridge's description of his experience on the "sublime Crag-summit" of Sea' F e l l : "My Limbs were a l l in a tremble—I lay upon my back to rest myself, & was beginning according to my Custom to laugh at myself f o r a Madman, when the sight of the Crags above me on each side, & the impetuous Clouds ju s t over them, posting so l u r i d l y & so rapidly northward, overawed me / I lay in a state of almost prophetic Trance & Delight -- & blessed God aloud, for the powers of Reason & the W i l l , which remaining no Danger can overpower us! 0 God, I exclaimed aloud—how calm, how blessed am I now / I know not how to proceed, how to return / but I am calm & fearless & confident / i f this Reality were a Dream, i f I were asleep, what agonies had I suffered! what screams! --When the Reason & the Will are away, what remain to us but darkness & Dimness & a bewildering Shame, and Pain that i s u t t e r l y Lord over us, or fantastic Pleasure, that draws the Soul along swimming through the a i r in many shapes, even as a Fl i g h t of Starlings in a Wind" (Letters, I I , 842). 178 Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee I seem as in a trance sublime and strange To muse on my own separate phantasy, My own, my human mind, which passively Now renders and receives f a s t influencings, Holding an unremitting interchange With the clear universe of things around . . . (34-40). Also in Shelley's poem, although the prospect i s outwardly "awful" and even "ghastly," (15, 71) the mind shows i t s capacity to assimilate the fear, and thoughts of mortality inevitably crowd upon the poet: I look on high; Has some unknown omnipotence unfurled The v e i l of l i f e and death? or do I l i e In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep Spread far around and inaccessibly Its c i r c l e s ? (52-57) And l a t e r : A l l things that move and breathe with t o i l and sound Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell. Power dwells apart in i t s tranquillity, Remote, serene, and inaccessible: And t h i s , the naked countenance of earth, On which I gaze, even these primaeval mountains Teach the adverting mind (94-100). Thus, i f man may be "with nature reconciled," i t is only because "the adverting mind" is capable of a "leap" into " f a i t h . " But conversely, without the complement of the human mind projecting i t s own values, Mont Blanc would s t i l l e x i s t , but to no end: what wert thou, and earth, and stars, and sea, If to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancys? (142-end) 179 Kant's observation, here b e a u t i f u l l y expressed by Shelley, that nature in her most awesome and imposing aspects, while i n i t i a l l y an ob- je c t of fear, can yet make manifest to us our own "superiority over nature even in i t s immensity" (C of J , 101), i s , of course, a central leitm o t i f of Wordsworth's Prelude. 5 1 It was Wordsworth's "special good fortune," as Durrant puts i t , to "have been associated from boyhood with 'high objects'," since The association of the boy's emotions with the very framework of the universe . . . gives him a profound confidence in the "grandeur" of his own nature. In this way a be l i e f in the value of man himself i s estab-lished. Modern man sometimes feels that he has "measured out his l i f e with coffee-spoons [ s i c ] . " A poet who has measured out his l i f e with mountains, stars, and rivers i s less l i k e l y to see i t as absurd or t r i v i a l (Wordsworth. 120). In the very f i r s t lines of the narrative of the Prelude proper, Wordsworth t e l l s of how he was "Fostered a l i k e by beauty and by fear" ( I , 302); and the next ninety-eight li n e s record three dif f e r e n t i l l u s - trations of the l a t t e r influence: the snaring of the woodcocks (306-25); hunting for birds' eggs (326-39); and the episode with the stolen row- boat (357-400). As related, the incidents are not examples of the sublime: the terror i s too real--not "cathartized," a fact which i s , of course, due to the poet's y o u t h . 5 2 It is not u n t i l l a t e r , when "maturer 5 1My understanding of Wordsworth's concept of the sublime i s i n -debted to Chapter Three of Havens, and to Monk (op. c i t . , esp. 227-32). See also Chapter Nine of C a r r i t t ' s The Theory of Beauty (London, 1962), and James Scoggins, Imagination and Fancy (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1966), Chapter Six. 5 2 R e c a l l Kant's position, crucial to both his and the Romantics' understanding of the value of this experience, that "He who fears can form no (judgments about the sublime in nature, ju s t as he who i s seduced by i n c l i n a t i o n and appetite can form no judgment about the beautiful" (C of J , 100). 180 seasons called them forth / To impregnate and elevate the mind" (I, 595-96) that they could be assimilated into a larger metaphysic of nature, as they are in the two interpolated r e f l e c t i v e passages begin- ning "Dust as we are" (340-356) and "Wisdom and S p i r i t of the universe!" (401-14). In the l a t t e r passage especially, Wordsworth demonstrates his a f f i n i t y with Kant; for here, his meditation on these "Sterner interven- tions" of nature c l e a r l y have led him to see creation as purposive: hot iim vain By day or s t a r - l i g h t thus from my f i r s t dawn Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me The passions that build up our human soul; Not with the mean and vulgar works of man, But with high objects, with enduring things--With l i f e and nature, purifying thus The elements of feeling and of thought, And sanctifying, by such d i s c i p l i n e , Both pain and fear, u n t i l we recognize A grandeur in the beatings of the .heart (404-14). The description of Simplon Pass in Book VI provides another fine example of how the sublime in nature seems to " j o l t us out of thought," to misquote Keats, and awaken within us a sense of our own "supersensible destination" (Kant, C_ of J_, 96). Wordsworth's f i r s t sensation is of the suspension of time and the i n f i n i t e extension of space: the heights of the "woods decaying, never to be decayed" are "immeasurable," and the "blasts of waterfalls" are "stationary" (624-26). 5 3 Left thus with no standard by which the prospect may be "schema- ti z e d , " the normal unifying operation of the Imagination i s thwarted, and the "sight" of the "raving stream" seems "sick" and "giddy." But at 53compare Keat's reaction on f i r s t seeing the lakes and mountains of Winander, ci t e d above, p. 83. 181 this point, Wordsworth's mind shows i t s " s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to Ideas," as Kant would say, since instead of being completely overwhelmed by the scene, i t finds i t s e l f capable of assimilating the t e r r o r — o f "sancti- fying" the "pain and fear," and therefore able to discover in this sublime prospect the workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of f i r s t , and l a s t , and midst, and without end (636-40). Two other examples of the "impressive d i s c i p l i n e of fear" ( I , 603) are given in Book XII, as i l l u s t r a t i o n s of those "spots of time" by which "our minds / Are nourished and i n v i s i b l y repaired" (208, 214-15). But l i k e those in Book I, these childhood experiences were too charged with real terror to have a cathartic e f f e c t ; and again i t i s only la t e r when Wordsworth r e a l i z e s that the real "virtue" of these experiences i s , in Kant's words, that they "bring about a feeling that we possess pure self-subsistent reason" (C_ of J_, 93); which i s to say that they give Profoundest knowledge to what point, and how, The mind i s lord and master—outward sense The obedient servant of her w i l l (220-23). But i t is Wordsworth's account of his experiences on Mount Snowden in Book XIV that comes closest to j u s t i f y i n g C a r r i t t ' s conviction that the "Wordsworthian sublime . . . may be i d e n t i f i e d with the Kantian." 54 Ca r r i t t , op. c i t . , 151. As an example of the concept of sublimity "as i t was understood by the c i r c l e of Coleridge and Wordsworth," C a r r i t t cites this passage from one of Dorothy Wordsworth's journals: "It [the 182 For i t is here that Wordsworth i s the most s p e c i f i c about the way in which natural grandeur leads to moral consciousness. 5 5 Wordsworth prepares for his f i n a l epiphanic passage very care- f u l l y : in the f i r s t three lines alone, starting from l i n e eleven, there are no less than ten adjectives—almost half the total number of words- including "close," "warm," "wan, dull and glaring," to describe the night; and "Low-hung and thick," the fog. The time i s the "dead of night." F i n a l l y emerging through the mist, Wordsworth, leading the group of "chance human wanderers," is suddenly bathed in moonlight, and he rewards us with this exquisite description of the "sublime" scene lying beneath him: at my feet Rested a s i l e n t sea of hoary mist. A hundred h i l l s t h e i r dusky backs upheaved A l l over this s t i l l ocean; and beyond, Fa l l of Reichenbach] was astonishment and awe—an overwhelming sense of the powers of nature for the destruction of a l l things, and of the help-lessness of man—of the weakness of his w i l l i f prompted to make a momentary e f f o r t against such a force" (Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, ed. Knight, ii, 209; cited i b i d . ) . C a r r i t t , however, doubts the s i n -c e r i t y of the feeling here expressed, claiming that the passage i s " a l -most quoted from Kant's K r i t i k der Urthei1skraft." The la s t phrase of Dorothy Wordsworth's description i s c e r t a i n l y peculiar enough in style to j u s t i f y suspicion, but comparison of the passages from the Critique to which C a r r i t t i s alluding (see Ĉ  of J_, 83, 101) provides very slender evidence that the book was at hand. 5 5Wordsworth said of the Vale of Chamouny in Book VI of the Prelude that Whate'er in this wide c i r c u i t we beheld, Or heart, was f i t t e d to our unripe state Of i n t e l l e c t and heart. With such a book Before our eyes, we could not choose but read Lessons of genuine brotherhood, and plain And universal reason of mankind, The truths of young and old (541-47). 183 Far, far beyond, the s o l i d vapours stretched, In headlands, tongues, and promontory shapes, Into the main A t l a n t i c , that appeared To dwindle, and give up his majesty, Usurped upon far as the sight could reach (41-49). But as with Kant's "Analytic of the Sublime," Shelley's "Mont Blanc," or Coleridge's "Hymn Before Sunrise," the subject of the Pre!ude i s not mountains, but the liberated consciousness, 5 6 and how i t becomes aware of the moral Ideas. Thus, in these "circumstances awful and sublime," Wordsworth finds the emblem of a mind That feeds upon i n f i n i t y , that broods Over the dark abyss, intent to hear Its voices issuing forth to s i l e n t l i g h t In one continuous stream; a mind sustained By recognitions of transcendent power, In sense conducting to ideal form, In soul of more than mortal p r i v i l e g e (70-77). And the "power" which " a l l acknowledge when thus moved" is the express Resemblance of that glorious faculty That higher minds bear with them as th e i r own. This i s the very s p i r i t in which they deal With the whole compass of the universe: 5 6Compare Monk's observation that "If one contrasts Wordsworth with any or with a l l of the enthusiastic admirers of nature in the l a s t decades of the eighteenth century, he w i l l observe that the basic d i f -ference between them i s that while the Blue Stockings and the picturesque travelers strongly resemble f a d d i s t s , and were concerned in the onei-in-stance with the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of nature and in the other with the resem-blance of natural scenes to paintings, Wordsworth was mainly interested in his aesthetic experience of nature as i t offered support for his relig i o u s i n t u i t i o n s of the r e a l i t y of the One in the Many. . . . And i t was because nature had f i r s t awakened him to a consciousness of his own i n d i v i d u a l i t y and of the closeness of Reality to a sensitive mind that he could afford not to analyse, but to synthesize and interpret" (op. c i t . , 228). 183(a) Kindred mutations; for themselves create A l i k e existence; and whene'er i t dawns Created for them, catch i t , or are caught By i t s inevitable mastery, Like angels stopped upon the wing by sound Of harmony from Heaven's remotest spheres (86-99). F i n a l l y , Kant's demonstration that "the mind which i s attuned to feel the sublime" presupposes "a s u s c e p t i b i l i t y of the mind for [moral] ideas" (C_ of J_, 104), finds this s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l in Wordsworth. It i s 184 given to those who are "By sensible impressions not enthralled," he says, To hold f i t converse with the s p i r i t u a l world, And with generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age after age, t i l l Time shall be no more (106-11). "Such minds," Wordsworth continues, "are t r u l y from the Deity." For they are Powers; and hence the highest b l i s s That f l e s h can know i s theirs--the consciousness Of Whom they are, habitually infused Through every image and through every thought, And a l l affections by communion raised From earth to heaven, from human to divine . . . (113-18). Therefore i t i s here, under the influence of a beneficent nature in her most expansive forms, elevating the mind beyond circumstance and change; i t is from "this pure source" that "that repose / In moral judgments . . ./ Must come, or w i l l by man be sought in vain" ( i b i d . , 127-30). The Genesis of A r t i s t i c C r e a t i v i t y : The "Mystery of Genius in the Fine Arts" Lawfulness without law Kant's approach to the question of a r t i s t i c genius marks one of the most interesting and important manifestations of the Copernican revo- l u t i o n : in philosophy as i t applies to the Romantic movement. For by Transcendentally grounding the laws of c r e a t i v i t y in the universal forms of consciousness, Kant's philosophy quells the old dispute between the champions of "rules" and ancient models on the one hand, and those of origi n a l genius on the other; and thus prepares the way for the Romantic concept of the a r t i s t as a man who 185 out of his own mind create[s] forms according to the severe laws of the i n t e l l e c t , in order to generate in himself that co-ordination of freedom and law, that involution of obedience in the prescript, and of the pre-s c r i p t in the impulse to obey, which assimilates him to nature, and enables him to understand her (Coleridge, BL_, II, 258). Bas i c a l l y , Kant's intention in his sections on "genius" i s to develop a concept of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y which w i l l allow art to be re- garded as "universally communicable" without being "bound to concepts" and therefore incapable of " r i s i n g a e s t h e t i c a l l y to ideas" (C_ of J_, 171). This is the concept which Kant describes as "conformity to law without a [superimposed] law": the genius, says Kant, enjoys a certain "happy relation [between the cognitive f a c u l t i e s ] which no science can teach and no industry can learn," which enables him to "seize the quickly passing play of imagination and . . . unify i t as a concept . . . that can be communicated without any constraint [Zwang_--coercion] of rules" ( i b i d . , 161). And therefore the rules of his procedure "cannot be reduced to a formula and serve as a precept" but rather must be "abstracted from the f a c t , i.e. from the product, on which others may try th e i r own talent by using i t as a model, not to be copied, but to be imitated" ( i b i d . , 152). 5 7 The problem of reconciling the "mechanical" aspect of c r e a t i v i t y with i t s apparent purposelessness i s p a r t i c u l a r l y urgent in Romantic thought. For on the one hand (and this i s the aspect of Romantic theory often overlooked), a l l of the Romantics f u l l y recognized that a r t i s t i c 5 7Compare Coleridge's d i s t i n c t i o n between "copy" and "imitation," BL, II, 6, 30, 185, and 225; and SC, I, 115, 177-8, 181, 197; II, 53, 85, 122-3, 158, 214, 251, and 258. Other references to this d i s t i n c t i o n in Coleridge may be found in the Shawcross edition of B_L, 272-3n. 186 productivity i s far from anarchic. Coleridge, for example, continually stressed that "The s p i r i t of poetry . . . must of necessity circumscribe i t s e l f by rules"; that genius "must embody in order to r e a l i z e i t s e l f , " and that "No work of true genius dare want i t s appropriate form ..." (SC, I, 197). And in the Biographia, he says that the "rule" to which a poet must "adhere" i s evinced through "meditation"; and that in the process of creation, there i s always an "intermixture of conscious v o l i - tion" ( I I , 64). For as he said e a r l i e r , the creative imagination cannot be conceived of except as "co-existing with the conscious w i l l " ( i b i d . , I, 202); and the "synthetic and magical power, to which we have exclu- s i v e l y appropriated the name of imagination" i s " f i r s t put in action by the w i l l and understanding, and retained under th e i r irremissive, though gentle and unnoticed, controul" ( i b i d . , II, 12). Even Shakespeare, the greatest example of pure a r t i s t i c talent, was "no mere c h i l d of nature; no automaton of genius." Coleridge regarded him, in f a c t , as a man who had "studied patiently, meditated deeply, [and] understood minutely" ( i b i d . , II, 19). S i m i l a r l y , Wordsworth was, as Havens says, "singularly free from that form of a n t i - i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m which consists in the b e l i e f that learning encumbers poetic genius, that the true poet does not need books and derives l i t t l e from the study of his predecessors" (Havens, I, 127). "Such Romantic nonsense received short s h r i f t at Wordsworth's hand," Havens continues, "as would be expected of one whose closest friend was Coleridge." To support his view, Havens cites this remark from a late l e t t e r of Wordsworth to W.R. Hamilton: 187 The logical faculty has i n f i n i t e l y more to do with poetry than the young and the inexperienced, whether writer or c r i t i c , ever dreams of ... a discernment, which emotion i s so far from bestowing that at f i r s t i t is ever in the way of i t ( i b i d . , 128). But a more obvious and direct statement of the same prin c i p l e i s t h i s , from the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads: However exalted a notion we would wish to cherish of the character of a Boet, i t is obvious, that while he describes and imitates passions, his employment i s in some degree mechanical, compared with the freedom and power of real and substantial action and suffering ( 5 8 ) . 5 8 But such sentiments are of course commonplace in eighteenth-century p o e t i c s , 5 9 and there i s no doubt that the overwhelming stress in Romantic s thought i s on the spontanaeity of a r t . For the Romantics, l i k e Kant, regarded the immediacy of the appeal of art as the source of i t s claim for u n i v e r s a l i t y 6 0 and i t s freedom from such enforced obligations as to s t r i v e after "general nature," to appeal to the consensus gentiium, or to copy c l a s s i c a l models as the condition of i t s capacity to "ascend to bring l i g h t and f i r e from those eternal regions where the owl-winged faculty of calculation dare not ever soar" (Shelley, D_ of P_, 135). Thus 5 8Durrant notes (op. c i t . , 117) in this context the importance of the word "thoughtfully" in the lines from Book I of the Prelude, where Wordsworth expresses his intention of writing "immortal verse / Thought-f u l l y f i t t e d to the Orphean lyre" (232-33). 5 9 A typical example i s Pope's aphorism: The winged Courser, l i k e a gen'rous Horse, Shows most true Mettle when you check his Course ("Essay on C r i t i c i s m , " 87-88; Poems, 146). 5 0"The poet, who composes not before the moment of i n s p i r a t i o n , and as that leaves him ceases--composes, and he alone, for a l l men, a l l classes, a l l ages" (An aphorism of Lavater, considered "Most Excellent" by Blake [Wri;tings, 80]). 188 Wordsworth refers to poetry as a "spontaneous overflow of powerful f e e l i n g s , " 6 1 Byron as the "lava of the imagination"; 6 2 Shelley speaks of the mind in creation as a "fading coal, which some i n v i s i b l e influence . . . awakens to transitory brightness" (D of P, 135), and the young Keats, in his "Sleep and Poetry," anticipates the composition of "many a verse from so strange influence / That we must ever wonder how, and whence / It came" (69-71; Works, 43). And as he said in a l e t t e r to Hessey, "The Genius of Poetry must work out i t s own salvation in a man: It cannot be matured by law & precept, but by sensation & watchfulness in i t s e l f - - That which is creative must create i t s e l f . . . (Letters, I, 374). Keats's notion, which as we have seen is an integral part of Kant's aesthetic, that genius i s creative of i t s own laws emerges a l l through Romantic thought as a way, and in fact the only way, of recon- c i l i n g the wi11ed aspect of c r e a t i v i t y with i t s apparent spontaneity. And in t h i s , the Romantics saw that a r t i s t i c genius i s a perfect counter- part for nature: the former is "the prime genial a r t i s t " and the l a t t e r b lCompare Blake's aphorism, "The cis t e r n contains: the fountain overflows" (MHH, p l . 8, 15; Writings, 151). The use of the fountain as a metaphor for the creative mind i s found a l l through Romantic poetry. See especially Coleridge's "Kubla Khan," and Book II of Endymion, where the p r o l i f i c fountain imagery i s c l e a r l y meant, says D'Avanzo, to "figure the powerful overflow of the imagination." D'Avanzo, in f a c t , c a l l s this Book "one of the most profound and complex narratives on the poetic process in a l l l i t e r a t u r e " (Keats's Metaphors . . . , 126, 132). See also Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp, 35, 47, 61. Abrams refers to the increased use of the fountain as a symbol for c r e a t i v i t y in the early nineteenth-century as "an integral part of a corresponding change in popular epistemology--that i s , in the concept of the role played by the mind in perception which was current among romantic poets and c r i t i c s " ( i b i d . , 57). 6 2 L e t t e r s and Journals, ed. R.E. Prothero (New York, 1966), III, 405. 189 "a nature humanized, a genial understanding directing self-consciously a power and an i m p l i c i t wisdom deeper than consciousness" (SC, I, 198). It follows then that i f poetry must "circumscribe i t s e l f to rules," i t does so only because i t is a "1iving power," and that i f "no work of true genius dare want i t s appropriate form;" "neither indeed i s there any danger of t h i s . As i t must not, so neither can i t , be lawless! For i t is even this that constitutes i t [sj'cj genius--the power of acting creatively under laws of i t s own o r i g i n a t i o n " ( i b i d . ) . And although there i s an "intermixture of conscious v o l i t i o n " in a l l creative acts, the degree of this "intermixture" i s exclusively "the prerogative of poetic genius i t s e l f " to distinguish. For "Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. . . . The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production"(BJL, II, 64-5). 6 3 Like Coleridge, Wordsworth too regarded nature as the "counter- poise" of genius (Prelude, XII, 41), and sought to "Transcendentalize" his understanding of a r t i s t i c genesis by grounding i t in nature's "stead- fas t laws," laws which can only be regarded by us as the " v i s i b l e quality and shape / And image of right reason" ( i b i d . , XIII, 21-23): From Nature doth emotion come, and moods Of calmness equally are Nature's g i f t ; This i s her glory; these two attributes Are s i s t e r horns that constitute her strength, Hence Genius, born to thrive by interchange Of peace and excitation, finds in her His best and purest f r i e n d ; from her receives 6 3Compare Kant's d i s t i n c t i o n between ' " f r e e 1 " and '"mercenary 1," or "aesthetical" and "mechanical" a r t , which is made on this same basis (C of J , 146, 148). 190 That energy by which he seeks the truth, From her that happy s t i l l n e s s of the mind Which f i t s him to receive i t when unsought ( i b i d . , XIII, 1-10). Thus Wordsworth sees in nature the poet's "Grave Teacher" and "stern Preceptress" ( i b i d . , VIII, 530); and the "guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul / Of a l l my moral being" ("Tintern Abbey," 110-11). The poet "put[s] his heart to school" in nature, as Wordsworth says in the well-known sonnet; and from nature, he learns that the permanence of a thing of beauty "Comes not by casting in a formal mould, / But from i t s own divine v i t a l i t y . " 6 4 /\nd the Prelude i t s e l f , in f a c t , i s s p e c i f i - c a l l y "dedicate to Nature's s e l f / And things that teach as Nature teaches" (V, 230-31); and in writing his great poem, Wordsworth says that my mind hath looked Upon the speaking face of earth and heaven As her prime teacher, intercourse with man Established by the sovereign I n t e l l e c t , Who through that bodily image hath diffused, As might appear to the eye of f l e e t i n g time, A deathless s p i r i t ( i b i d . , 12818)65 6 4"A Poet! He Hath Put His Heart to School," 13-14; Works, III, 52. 65wordsworth's comparison of the re l a t i o n between man and nature to that between student and teacher should not evoke an image of man as a passive recipient of data from external nature. Nature's "fixed laws" serve rather as precedent and ins p i r a t i o n to the act of creation: they maintain A balance, an ennobling interchange Of action from without and from within; The excellence, pure function, and best power Both of the object seen, and the eye that sees (Prelude, XIII, 374-78). An interesting use of the same imagery occurs in the Preface to the Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason: "Reason . . . must 191 While the idea that the mind i s capable of "acting creatively under laws of i t s own origin a t i o n " ; of generating " l i v i n g and l i f e - producing ideas" which are e s s e n t i a l l y one with the germinal causes of nature" (BL, II, 258-59) serves both Kant and the Romantics as the basis for a philosophy of a r t , there can be no doubt that for both, this notion has implications which extend far beyond the realm of formal aesthetics. But Kant, bound as he was to the limitations of his Transcen- dental method, only hints at the f u l l scope of this discovery. The capacity to create, and respond f r e e l y to the forms of a r t , he says, allows us to "feel our freedom from the law of association" so that "the material supplied to us by nature can be worked up into something which surpasses nature" (C of J , 157). And he w i l l go no further. But i f i t i s possible for the mind to be free to " s t r i v e after something [metaphysical Ideas] which l i e s beyond the bounds of experi- ence"; and further, i f in art these Ideas are "realize[d] to sense" and made "universally communicable" ( i b i d . , 157, 161), is i t not then possible to regard poetry, for example, as creating "new materials for knowledge, and power, and pleasure," and even as "the center and circum- ference of knowledge"? And poets themselves as "the unacknowledged le g i s l a t o r s of the world"? (Shelley, D_ of P; 135, 140) In s t r i c t Kantian terms the answer must, of course, be No, since for Kant the "supersensible" can never be an object of "knowledge." God and freedom of the w i l l are only "regulative ideas"; useful f i c t i o n s to approach nature in order to be taught by i t . It must not, however, do so in the character of a pupil who l i s t e n s to everything that the teacher chooses to say, but of an appointed judge who compels the witnesses to answer questions which he has himself formulated"(20). 192 which we w i l l i n g l y subscribe so l e l y in order to s a t i s f y the quest of Reason for t o t a l i t y in our experience. Consequently, in a Kantian con- text the poet can do no more than "seek to approximate a presentation of concepts of reason"; he merely "ventures ... to go beyond the li m i t s of experience and to present them to sense with a completeness of which there i s no example in nature" (C_ of J_, 157-58; my emphasis). But i f the Ideas of Reason are regarded as constitutive, as they are (at least t a c i t l y ) by the Romantics, the situation changes r a d i c a l l y . A l l that is required now i s evidence that the faculty which attempts to "re a l i z e to sense these ideas" can be considered both productive, and free from the "constraints of the understanding." The p o s s i b i l i t y of any unified experience whatsoever demonstrated to both poet and philoso- pher the "productivity" of this faculty. The existence of art demon- strated to both that this c r e a t i v i t y can be lawful without submitting to the formal constraints of discursive knowledge. Both called this faculty "Imagination." The Kantian Einbildungskraft and the Romantic "Imagination" In his famous study on Wordsworth's thought, The Mind of a Poet, Raymond Havens writes that i f the romanticists did not discover the imagination they discovered the meaning which i t has for serious c r i t i c i s m today. It was not, however, with a poet or c r i t i c that his meaning originated but apparently with the greatest of modern philosophers, Kant. He i t was who f i r s t made clear that in acquiring knowledge of the external world the mind i s not passive, as had been thought, but active and creative, and that the primary creative a c t i v i t y in perception belongs to the imagination. These ideas or something l i k e them . . . Coleridge seems to have found in the Critique of Pure Reason . . . and, in the course of extended d i s -cussions, to have passed on to his fri e n d [Wordsworth] ( I , 205). 6 6 66compare D.G. James's statement that "we may resonably [ s i c ] 193 Of course, i t would be f o o l i s h to attempt to draw any one-to-one rel a t i o n between the Kantian Einbildungskraft and the Romantic Imagina- t i o n — a n d such i s hardly Havens' intention. For the f a c t i s that the Romantics made far greater claims f o r t h i s "synthetic and magical power" 6 7 than did Kant, most of which d i r e c t l y relate to their experience as creative a r t i s t s , and which could probably not be admitted in any formal, Transcendental deduction. But even so, there are some very im- portant and fundamental s i m i l a r i t i e s between the Kantian and Romantic uses of the word "Imagination"; s i m i l a r i t i e s which l i n k together the most penetrating insights of the poetic and philosophic movements on ar t , and the nature of r e a l i t y . And one of the best ways to approach these s i m i l a r i t i e s i s to compare Kant's d i s t i n c t i o n between the "repro- ductive" and "Productive Imaginations" on the one hand, with Coleridge's d i s t i n c t i o n between the Fancy and the Imagination on the other. Reproductive and productive synthesis.--In the Introduction to his edition of the Biographia L i t e r a r i a , Shawcross says that Coleridge's d i s t i n c t i o n between Fancy and Imagination should not be construed as having a Kantian foundation since "the ground of that d i s t i n c t i o n (that the deliverances of fancy are subjective, those of the imagination regard [Kant's discussion of the Imagination in the Critique of Pure  Reason] as the source of Coleridge's re f l e c t i o n s on the imagination" (Scepticism and Poetry [London, 1937], 24). Irving Babbitt, in Rousseau  and Romanticism (Cleveland, 1955), agrees: "Kant, especially in his 'Critique of Judgment', . . . prepare[s] the way f o r the conception of the creative imagination that i s at the very heart of the romantic move-ment" (67). Babbitt, however, seriously misrepresents Kant's concept of the creative Imagination as "free . . . from a l l constraint whatso-ever," a f a c t which accounts in part forhhis derogatory attitude towards both Kant and the Romantics. 67BL, II, 12. 194 objective) could not be conceded by Kant" (I, x l i v ) . Now this argument, of course, depends e n t i r e l y upon what i s meant by the terms "objective" and "subjective." Clearly, Shawcross cannot be referring to the old Cartesian d i s t i n c t i o n between the "independently r e a l " and that which exists only in the f i e l d of consciousness, since f i r s t , both Coleridge and Kant firmly rejected Descartes' dualism, 6 8 and second, in no sense might a "deliverance of the imagination" be considered as existing t o t a l l y independently of mind. Therefore, i t must be assumed that for Shawcross, t h i s terminology refers to those "deliverances" which are based on laws which are merely empirical--a posteriori and therefore contingent--as opposed to those which are grounded on a p r i o r i laws, and which are therefore non-contingent and universal. But i f this i s the case, Shawcross' whole argument i s i n v a l i d , since i t i s precisely on this basis that Kantrbuilds his whole d i s t i n c t i o n between the Repro- ductive and Productive Imaginations. 6 9 To repeat what was said e a r l i e r , for Kant, any system which u t i l i z e s the law of association as a descrip- tive device must f i r s t answer the questions "How i s this association i t s e l f possible?" and "How are we to make comprehensible to ourselves the thoroughgoing a f f i n i t y of appearances, whereby they stand and must stand under unchanging laws?" (C of PR, 139) Empiricism cannot answer these questions since i t deals only with experience a p o s t e r i o r i , not with the conditions which make experience possible. But this r e s t r i c t i o n 6 8See C of PR, 344ff; and BL, I, 88ff, and 174ff. 6 9See above, pp.. 21-26. It may well be, of course, that Coleridge arrived at this d i s t i n c t i o n independently of Kant. I am here only ob-jecting to the terms of Shawcross' argument, and the implication of his argument that Coleridge and Kant are in opposition on this important point. 195 does not apply to Transcendental philosophy, which demands recognition of "an objective ground (that i s , one that can be comprehended a p r i o r i , antecedently to a l l empirical laws . . . ) " ( i b i d . , 145; my emphasis). Therefore, Kant says that "A pure imagination, which conditions a l l a p r i o r i knowledge, is . . . one of the fundamental f a c u l t i e s of the human soul" ( i b i d . , 146). Now Coleridge's philosophical motive in distinguishing between the reproductive and productive synthesis i s e s s e n t i a l l y that of Kant: to expose the "sophism" to which he regarded a l l so-called "mechanical" schemes of philosophy susceptible: "the mistaking the conditions of a thing for i t s causes and essence; and the process, by which we ar r i v e at the knowledge of a f a c u l t y , for the faculty i t s e l f " (BL, I, 85). Like Kant, Coleridge i s prepared to regard the "mechanical" association of images in the Fancy as a "condition under which alone experience and i n - t e l l e c t u a l growth are possible" (Friend, 467). 7 0 Association is "the universal law [my emphasis] of the passive fancy and mechanical memory" (BL, I, 73). But Coleridge r e a l i z e d , l i k e Kant, that we are only con- versant with the reproductive synthesis a p o s t e r i o r i , or in the "after- " consciousness" as he c a l l s i t ( i b i d . , 72). And thus the p r i n c i p l e cannot and should not be considered the basis of consciousness. Any attempt to do so i s both pernicious and absurd. It i s pernicious because 7 0Compare Kant: " I f cinnabar were sometimes red, sometimes black, sometimes l i g h t , sometimes-heavy, i f a man changed sometimes into this and sometimes into that animal form, i f the country on the longest day were sometimes covered with f r u i t , sometimes with ice and snow, my em-p i r i c a l imagination would never f i n d opportunity when representing red colour to bring to mind heavy cinnabar. . . . There must then be some-thing which, as the a p r i o r i ground of a necessary synthetic unity of appearances, makes their reproduction possible" (:C_ of_ Pj*, 132). 196 The process, by which Hume degraded the notion of cause and eff e c t into a blind product of delusion and habit, into the mere sensation of pro- ceeding l i f e . . . associated with the images of the memory; this same process must be repeated to the equal degradation of every fundamental idea in ethics or theology ( i b i d . , 83). 7' And i t is absurd, because Either the ideas, (or r e l i c s of such impression [ s i c ] , ) w i l l exactly imitate the order of the impression i t s e l f , which would be absolute delirium: or any one part of that impression might r e c a l l any other part, and (as from the law of continuity, there must exist in every total impression, some one or more .parts, which are components of some other following total impression, and so on ad. infinitum) any part of any impression might r e c a l l any part of any other, without a cause present to determine what i t should be (BL, I, 77). Consequently, Coleridge seizes upon the Kantian conclusion that experience depends upon a prehensive "unity of apperception," generated in the process of sentience: There are [ i n every "act of thinking"] evidently two powers at work, which r e l a t i v e l y to each other are active and passive; and this is not possible without an intermediate f a c u l t y , which is at once both active [productive] and passive [reproductive]. (In philosophical language, we must denominate this intermediate faculty in a l l i t s degrees and determinations, the IMAGINATION . . .) ( i b i d . , 8 6 ) . 7 2 This i s not exactly Kantian terminology, nor is i t the way Coleridge himself always refers to Imagination. But without stretching the mat- ter, two points can be singled out in t h i s passage to indicate that poet ''Compare Coleridge's remark included in the Miscellaneous C r i t i - cism that a theological system which is "framed in fancy . . . never f a i l s to produce a d i s t o r t i o n of f a i t h " (Coleridge's Miscellaneous  C r i t i c i s m , ed. T.M. Raysor [London, 1936], 238). 7 2 C o l e r i d g e i s considering Imagination here merely in i t s epistemo-logical aspect. The paragraph continues': "(But, in common language, and especially on the subject of poetry, we appropriate the name to a superior degree of the f a c u l t y , joined to a superior voluntary controul over i t . ) " ( i b i d . ) . 197 and philosopher are thinking in b a s i c a l l y the same dire c t i o n . F i r s t , Coleridge's faculty i s s p e c i f i c a l l y referred to as an "intermediate" power rather than a source of "immediate" insight into noumenal r e a l i t y - - a v i t a l l y important point i f i t is to be considered in any way related to the Kantian Einbildungskraft. And this i s an aspect of Imagination of which Coleridge never loses sight. As Shawcross says, "The 'philo- sophic imagination' does not e x i s t for Coleridge," who regarded Imagination "in a l l i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , [as] e s s e n t i a l l y a faculty of mediate vision ..." (BL, I, l x x i ) . Consequently, a "purely inward d i r e c t i o n " of Imagination i s "an im p o s s i b i l i t y , and the attempt to so apply i t is but a form of self-deception" ( i b i d . , I x x i i ) . And whereas the "imaginative attitude towards nature" i s "indispensible" to a true insight into nature's "meaning," Coleridge "does not conceive of the imagination as establishing our knowledge of that r e a l i t y ; i t only il- luminates a knowledge already gained . . . through other channels and in other ways" ( i b i d . , l x x i i i , x l ) . 7 3 Thus Coleridge speaks of Imagination 7 3 0 n this technical matter of faculty psychology, I have r e s t r i c t e d the discussion to Coleridge, whose contact with formal philosophy made him more consistent with his terms than the other Romantics. But i t i s worth noting that Havens argues f o r exactly the same position regarding Wordsworth's concept of Imagination as Shawcross does for Coleridge's. For Wordsworth, he writes, Imagination " i s not an instrument for the discovery of truth. The terms "imaginative i n t u i t i o n " or "imaginative insight' : are misleading since they suggest that i t is such an instrument, whereas the faculty by which the mind apprehends truth is reason Reason requires the aid of imagination as i t does of the emotions, of the w i l l , and of sensations, but i t must guide and direct them; i t alone can discover the meaning of what they of f e r . . . . [But] there i s , so far as I r e c a l l , nothing in the discussions of the faculty by the two poets [Coleridge and Wordsworth], in their references to i t , in their e f f o r t s to distinguish i t from fancy, or in the i l l u s t r a t i o n s they give of i t s operations which affirms-or implies that the imagination i s a faculty of insight" (Havens, I, 230). Wordsworth's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of "Imagination" as "clearest insight" and "Reason in her most exalted mood" (Prelude, XIV, 191-92) seems to contradict Havens' view, but see his long, reasoned exegesis of this passage, I, 231-37. 198 as a "reconciling and mediatory power," and as a "completing power which unites . . . the plentitude of sense with the comprehensibility of the understanding" (SM, 436, 461). The second fundamental s i m i l a r i t y between Kant's ProduktiV Ein- bildungskraft and Coleridge's Imagination i s that both names refer to a faculty which is Transcendental, a condition rather than an effe c t of self-consciousness: How can we make bricks without straw? or build without cement? We learn a l l things indeed by occasion of experience; but the very facts so learnt force us inward on the antecedents [my emphasis], that must be presupposed in order to render experience i t s e l f possible (BL, I, 94). A system, which aims to deduce the memory with a l l the other functions of i n t e l l i g e n c e , must of course place i t s f i r s t position from beyond the memory, and anterior to i t , otherwise the p r i n c i p l e of solution would be i t s e l f a part of the problem to be solved ( i b i d . , 170771). And Coleridge leaves no doubt about the identity of this Transcendental power: the "most original construction," he says, can only be "generated by the act of the imagination," for in t h i s , i t s most basic form, the Imagination i s "the l i v i n g Power and prime Agent of a l l human Perception ... 11 ( i b i d . , 172, 202). 7 4 7 4Compare Wordsworth: No secondary hand can intervene To fashion this a b i l i t y ; ' t i s thine, The prime and v i t a l p r i n c i p l e i s thine In the recesses of thy nature . . . (Prelude, XIV, 213-216). Note that in the Dejection Ode, Coleridge refers to the "shaping s p i r i t of Imagination" as a power which "nature gave me at my b i r t h " (85-86), and that Wordsworth holds that even to the "infant Babe" has thi s "power" been "imparted," the power 199 I have singled out this point for special emphasis for two reasons: f i r s t , because i t allows us to see that the Kantian revolution in philosophy and the Romantic revolution in l i t e r a t u r e both proceed from the "Copernican" position that without the ministration of an active, Transcendental, "co-adunating" power, there would be no experience at a l l ; and second, because of the tremendous significance that this d i s - covery has when, in the aesthetic sphere, we r e a l i z e that no claim for the "permanence" of art or the un i v e r s a l i t y of i t s appeal is j u s t i f i a b l e unless the creative act is seen as a special function of this very pre- fig u r a t i v e force. The "Aesthetic Imagination" in Kantian and Romantic thought.--If Kant had done no more than demonstrate that Imagination must be con- sidered as productive as well as reproductive, and that i t s productive a c t i v i t y takes place on a Transcendental l e v e l , there would be reason enough to consider his aesthetic as a "theoretical complement" to Roman- t i c practise in poetry. But in f a c t , as I showed in my exegesis of Kant's aesthetic in Part One, the discrimination of the Transcendental and empirical processes of Imagination does not exhaust his teachings That through the growing f a c u l t i e s of sense Doth l i k e an agent of the one great Mind Create, creator and receiver both, Working but in a l l i a n c e with the works Which i t beholds (Prelude, II, 256-60). Compare Stallknecht: "Imagination i s the fundamental p r i n c i p l e of the human mind. It underlies a l l the other mental a c t i v i t i e s , including analytical reason which is so frequently described as i t s opposite. We must a l l imagine or we must be s i l e n t and inactive, for imagination i s indispensible to a l l interpretation, expression, and communication. Indeed, the most pedantic scheme of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , the most pedestrian exercise of labeling and pigeonholing, owes i t s or i g i n to a once fresh imaginative vision now long forgotton" (Strange Seas of Thought, 239). 200 regarding this "mysterious" faculty , as he c a l l s i t . For Kant held, as we have seen, that a r t , by incorporating "concepts of Reason" (Ideas) into images of sense, gives the former "the appearance of objective r e a l i t y " (C_ of J_, 157), and thereby makes possible that "tr a n s i t i o n from . . . the realm of natural concepts, to the realm of the concept of freedom" which the Transcendental philosophy f i n a l l y demands. But at the same time, Kant realized that so long as the faculty responsible for "presenting" images i s represented as under the "constraint of the understanding," i t i s necessarily "subject to the lim i t a t i o n of being conformable to the concept of the l a t t e r " ( i b i d . , 160), which i s to say that the bounds of a l l possible experience would be fixed within the limi t s of discursive concepts. Therefore Kant came to regard the act of creation as involving a d i f f e r e n t role for the Imagination, one in which i t i s "free to furnish unsought, over and above that agreement with a concept [my emphasis], [an] abundance of undeveloped material for the understanding"; a role in which "the understanding i s at the service of the imagination, and not vice versa" ( i b i d . , 160, 79). Now just how far i t is possible to represent Kant's "Aesthetic Imagination" as comparable to poetic Imagination in the Romantic sense is a d i f f i c u l t question to answer directly, since Kant, in his role as a Transcendental philosopher, saw himself as under no obligation to pro- vide a detailed discussion of the creative act i t s e l f , but as merely bound to account for the p o s s i b i l i t y of art generally, by showing that Imagination can be thought of as "free from a l l guidance of rules and yet as purposive in reference to the presentment of the given concept" ( i b i d . , 161). 201 S t i l l , there are certain c r u c i a l , and unmistakable points of agreement between the Kantian and Romantic understanding of the Aesthetic Imagination—not enough, c e r t a i n l y , to allow the two to be considered as i d e n t i c a l , but enough to indicate a certain fundamental s i m i l a r i t y underlying their respective attitudes towards the genesis and e f f e c t of a r t , and the significance of i t s role. F i r s t , and most important, both Kant and the Romantics regarded the Aesthetic Imagination as an extension, or "echo" of the unifying processes of the Productive (Primary) Imagination, rather than of the Reproductive Imagination, or Fancy: as " i d e n t i c a l " with the former in the "kind of i t s agency," i_.e_. as a unifying power, and " d i f f e r i n g only in degree, and in the mode of i t s operation" (BL_, I, 202). 7 5 The s i g - nificance of this position becomes obvious when we r e a l i z e that Kant, 7 5Shawcross concedes that Kant had a strong influence on Coleridge here: "Hitherto Coleridge had thought of this f a c u l t y as a d i s t i n c t poetic f a c u l t y , a g i f t granted in large measure only to a few minds, and perhaps e n t i r e l y denied to some. But in Kant he found assigned to i t a universal function in the construction of experience . . . [and] from this time [Coleridge was] to regard the faculty in a twofold aspect—as the common property of a l l minds, and also, in i t s highest potency, as the g i f t of a few" (BL, I, x l i i i - x l i v ) . Compare Wordsworth's statement that in the d i s t i n c t i o n between the a r t i s t and the non-artist there " i s implied nothing d i f f e r i n g in kind . . . but only in degree" (P to LB, 63); Shelley's statement that the poetic " p r i n c i p l e of synthesis" i s "a pr i n c i p l e within the human being, and perhaps within a l l sentient beings" (D_ of_ P_, 109), and Blake's b e l i e f that "As a l l men are a l i k e in outward form, So (and with the same i n f i n i t e variety) a l l are a l i k e in the Poetic Genius" ("All Religions Are One," Writings, 98). Kant's influence here extends also to Schelling, who speaks of the Aesthetic Imagination as "simply productive perception repeating i t -s e l f in i t s highest potency" (Works, 3, 626; cited E.D. Hirsch, J r . , Wordsworth and Schelling [New Haven, 1960], 101). 202 no less than the Romantics, was by the very nature of his philosophical goals and strategies committed to the position that the "ineffable state of mind" contained in a r t i s t i c representations i s "universally communi- cable" (C_ of J_, 161; my emphasis). Otherwise there would be no grounds for including his aesthetic in the realm of Transcendental philosophy. Consequently, i t i s the Imagination regarded "as a productive faculty of cognition" which i s engaged in the creative act, for ju s t as the objec- t i v i t y and communicability of a l l knowledge presupposes the a p r i o r i synthesis of the manifold in the Productive Imagination, so must the permanence of art and the u n i v e r s a l i t y of i t s appeal assume i t s or i g i n in Transcendental rather than merely empirical f a c u l t i e s of mind. As Wordsworth said: The law under which the processes of Fancy are carried on i s as c a p r i -cious as the accidents of things, and the effects are surprising, play-f u l , ludicrous, amusing, tender, or pathetic, as the objects happen to be appositely produced or fortunately combined. ... If she [Fancy] can win you over to her purpose, arid impart to you her feeling s , she cares not how unstable or transitory may be her influence . . . But the Imagination i s conscious of an indestructible dominion . . . Fancy i s given to quicken and to beguile the temporal part of our Nature, Imagi-nation to i n c i t e and to support the eternal . . . (Preface to Poems, Prose Works, II, 217). Coleridge of course agreed: "nothing can permanently please which does not contain in i t s e l f the reason why i t i s so and not otherwise." And i t follows, since only organic things contain in themselves the reason why they are so and not otherwise, that Imaginative, and not " f a n c i f u l " deliverances can permanently please, since "The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production" (BL, II, 9, 65). 7 6 0 r to put the point in Kantian terms, only the forms generated by the Productive Imagination (in i t s aesthetic capacity) can be " l i k e 203 Fancy, on the other hand, since i t "must receive a l l i t s materials ready made from the law of association" (BJ_, I, 202), can only produce poetry l i k e that of Cowley and Otway (BL_, I, 62), Beaumont and Fletcher (SC, II, 90-92), Pope (BL, I, 11), and sometimes Spenser (Miscellaneous C r i t i - cism, 37)--poetry which i s s u p e r f i c i a l and t r a n s i t o r y , because i t does not relate to anyoa p r i o r i conditions of human experience.77 The second fundamental p a r a l l e l between the Kantian and Romantic conceptions of the Aesthetical Imagination concerns t h e i r means of d i s - tinguishing what Coleridge c a l l s the "mode" of i t s operation. Here, the poets and the philosophersareJ-rnbasic agreement, at least on this very general point: in the aesthetical context, the normal, di s c u r s i v e l y oriented relationship between Imagination and Understanding i s suspended, and Imagination i s in some sense engaged in free, creative a c t i v i t y . In nature," since only the Productive Imagination is free from external law and therefore capable of the free "conformity to law without a law" which characterizes the aesthetic order. This does not, as Coleridge and Wordsworth both r i g h t l y i n s i s t , preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that f a n c i -ful imagery may be pressed into the service of a r t ; the p r i n c i p l e merely i n s i s t s that the Fancy i t s e l f cannot ensure the o b j e c t i v i t y of art. 77compare S c h i l l e r , for whom Fancy (the "free association of images") belongs "merely to [man's] animal l i f e , and simply affords e v i -dence of his l i b e r a t i o n from a l l external physical compulsion, without as yet warranting the inference that there is any autonomous shaping power [selbsta'ndige bildende Kraft] within him." The former power i s "of a wholly material kind," and can be "explained by purely natural laws." But in the aesthetical realm, Imagination "makes the leap into aesthetic play." ;;A leap i t must be c a l l e d , since a completely new power now goes into action; for here, for the f i r s t time, mind takes a hand as lawgiver in the operations of blind i n s t i n c t , subjects the a r b i -trary a c t i v i t y of the imagination to i t s own immutable and eternal unity, introduces i t s own autonomy into the transient, and i t s own i n -f i n i t y into the l i f e of sense. But as long as brute nature s t i l l has too much power, knowing no other law but restless hastening from change to change, i t w i l l oppose to that necessity of the s p i r i t i t s own un-stable caprice, to that s t a b i l i t y i t s own unrest, to that autonomy i t s own subservience, to that sublime s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i t s own insatiable discontent" (Aesthetic Letters, 209, 211). 204 this capacity, says Kant, Imagination i s "very powerful in creating another nature . . . out of the material that actual nature [the realm of 'inanimate cold objects'] gives i t " ; a fact which allows us to "feel our freedom from the law of association (which attaches to the empirical employment of imagination), so that the material supplied to us by nature in accordance with this law can be worked up into something which sur- passes nature" (C_ of J_, 157). Now that idea that the Aesthetic Imagination achieves expression (through genius) by (in some sense) transforming or a l t e r i n g the s t u f f of primary sensation i s , of course, contained in Coleridge's famous description of the "secondary Imagination" as a process which "dissolves, di f f u s e s , dissipates, in order to recreate" (BL_, I, 202), and in his reference to the "modifying" and "shaping" power of Imagination ( i b i d . , II, 5; "Ode: to Dejection," 86): a l l of which i s in keeping with the rudimentary thesis that aesthetic forms are "d i f f e r e n t " from natural ob- j e c t s ; that art "makes fa m i l i a r objects be as i f they were not f a m i l i a r " (Shelley, D of P, 117). But here, we approach one of the most ce n t r a l , and c r i t i c a l moments, not just of Romantic aesthetics, but of a l l aesthetic theories generally. Few philosophers have denied that Imagination was capable of producing forms (by whatever process--transforming, shaping, modifying, etc.) which are not present to the perceptual f i e l d ; that the poet espe- c i a l l y i s possessed of a "peculiar faculty" which " f i t s him to perceive / Objects unseen before" (Wordsworth, Prelude, XIII, 303-5). But in not a few cases, th i s very fact has earned the suspicion and even disrespect for poets amongst ph i l o s o p h e r s — e s p e c i a l l y those who accept the 205 "Correspondence Theory" 7 8 0 f truth. Now i f this school of thought i s not to be dismissed summarily, then we must ask by what r i g h t , on what Transcendental grounds may Kant speak of purely Imaginative forms as "surpassing nature," or may Wordsworth say (since i t amounts to the same thing) that poetry i s "the f i r s t and l a s t of a l l knowledge" (P to LB, 62); or Shelley that i t is "the center and circumference of knowledge" and "that to which a l l science must be referred" (D_ of P_, 135)? To answer this question, i t is necessary to remember that Kant, not content with merely making human in t e l l i g e n c e s e l f - l e g i s l a t i n g in a l l realms of experience both theoretical and moral, also found i t possible—and in fa c t necessary, as the only condition under which nature and freedom could be considered compatible—to represent the mind as capable of producing and responding to aesthetical representations to which "no concept can be f u l l y adequate," and which represent "a com- pleteness of which there is no example in nature" (C_ of J_, 157-58). In other words, not only did Kant regard man as capable of generating the principles by which nature becomes experience and by which experience becomes accountable action, but also as able, "by means of imagination," to "remould experience ... in accordance with principles which occupy 7 8The "Correspondence Theory" of truth, usually supported by Empir-i c i s t s , holds that truth i s a property only of those propositions about the world to which there corresponds a certain set of "facts," Obviously, since Kant and the Romantics hold that a l l knowledge is made up, partly, of "what our own faculty of knowledge . . . supplies from i t s e l f " (C of PR. 42), neither the poets nor the philosopher could accept this theory. Blake, in f a c t , completely reverses the premises of this theory when he says that "Every thing possible to be believ'd i s an image of truth" (MHrl, P l . 8, 18). With this statement, we might compare the following from Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: "If the imagination i s not simply to be visionary [schwarmen], but i s to be inventive under the s t r i c t sur-veillance of reason [Vernunft], there must always be something that i s completely certain . . . namely, the p o s s i b i l i t y of the object i%elf"((613). 206 a higher place in reason [Vernunft] . . ." ( i b i d . , 157). And since these "principles" underlie a l l rationale concerning virtuous conduct and the ultimate "destiny" of mankind, a r t , as a sensual representation of these p r i n c i p l e s , "surpasses nature" by humanizing i t , by giving i t a moral bearing. This i s what Kant means when he speaks of how poetry "expands the mind by setting the imagination at l i b e r t y and by of f e r i n g , within the li m i t s of a given concept, amid the unbounded variety of pos- s i b l e forms accordant therewith, that which unites the presentment of this concept with a wealth of thought to which no verbal expression i s completely adequate, and so r i s i n g a e s t h e t i c a l l y to [moral and theologi- ca l ] ideas" ( i b i d . , 170-71). Now although, as I have said, i t would be misleading to draw a one-to-one relationship between Kant's Aesthetic Imagination, and the poetic Imagination as understood by the Romantics, i t should be noted that almost every s i g n i f i c a n t statement that the Romantics make regard- ing the preeminence of art or the a r t i s t i c vision over nature or science, derives from a notion which is analogous to Kant's p r i n c i p l e that the liberated Imagination i s capable of conjoining f a c t and i n f i n i t y , and presenting their union symbolically to sense by a process "which no science can teach and no industry can learn" (C_ of J_, 160). This view of Imagination is contained, for example, in Blake's concept of a "four- fold v i s i o n , " by which he means the capacity To see a World in a Grain of Sand And Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold I n f i n i t y in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour ("Auguries of Innocence," 1-4; Writings, 431). 207 And i t i s t h i s same capacity of the poetic Imagination to " i d e a l i z e and unify" that which i s given as merely empirically factual and disparate, to "incorporate the reason in images of the sense, and organize . . . the fluxes of the sense by the permanent and s e l f - c i r c l i n g energies of the reason" (Coleridge, SM, 436), which establishes the uniqueness and preeminence of the poetic v i s i o n for Coleridge. As he said in a lecture on the drama, "The ideal of earnest poetry consists in the union and harmonious melting down, the fusion of the sensual into the s p i r i t u a l , of the man as an animal into man as a power of reason and s e l f - government . . ." (SC, II, 153). And i t was Wordsworth's great " g i f t , " he says, to spread "the depth and height of the ideal world around forms, incidents, and situations, of which, for the common view, custom had bedimmed a l l the l u s t r e , had dried up the sparkle and the dew drops" (BL, I, 59). S i m i l a r l y , in Shakespeare, Imaginative power i s most f u l l y realized in the production of "the ultimate end of human thought and human, f e e l i n g , unity, and . . . the reduction of the s p i r i t to i t s prin- c i p l e and fountain, who alone is t r u l y One" (SC_, I, 191-92). In Wordsworth, this b a s i c a l l y Kantian tendency to regard the Aesthetic Imagination as a power which discovers in natural objects "types and symbols of Eternity" (Prelude, VI, 639), a faculty whereby the poet "produces—that i s , images—individual forms in which are embodied universal ideas or abstractions,"79 i s especially strong. In 79Crabbe Robinson, quoting Wordsworth in his diary for Sept. 11, 1816; cited Havens, I, 243. In the same entry, Robinson traces this concept of Imagination to the "German philosophers," who held that "by the imagination the mere fact i s exhibited as connected with that i n f i n -i t y without which there i s no poetry" (cited op. c i t . , 240). Robinson often noted what he called a "German bent" in Wordsworth's mind. (Rader, op. c i t . , 66-67.) 208 the famous encomium upon Imagination in Book VI of the Prelude, for ex- ample, Wordsworth speaks of the capacity of this "awful Power," when isolated from the " l i g h t of sense," to reveal that "whether we be young or old," Our destiny, our being's heart and home, Is with i n f i n i t u d e , and only there; With hope i t i s , hope that can never die, E f f o r t , and expectation, and desire, And something evermore about to be (603-8). And under the sway of this "power," the mountain, the stream, and "The unfettered clouds and region of the Heavens" a l l seemed l i k e workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of f i r s t , and l a s t , and midst, and without end ( i b i d . , 636-40). Si m i l a r l y , the scene from Mount Snowden presented him with the emblem of a mind That feeds upon i n f i n i t y , that broods Over the dark abyss, intent to hear Its voices issuing forth to s i l e n t l i g h t In one continuous stream; a mind sustained By recognitions of transcendent power, In sense conducting to ideal form, In soul of more than mortal p r i v i l e g e ( i b i d . , XIV, 70-77). When the Imagination i s thus "set at l i b e r t y , " as Kant said, i t i s capa- ble of " r i s i n g a e s t h e t i c a l l y to ideas" (C_ of J_, 170-71). And so i t i s with Wordsworth: by means of the "glorious faculty / That higher minds bear with them," they are able to "build up greatest things / From least suggestions." And since they are "By sensible impressions not enthralled," 209 they may hold f i t converse with the s p i r i t u a l world, And with the generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age after age, t i l l Time shall be no more (XIV, 89-90, 101-2, 106-11). And ."all affections" of such "higher minds" are "by communion raised / From earth to heaven, from human to divine . . . " ( i b i d . , 117-18). Less animated, but more s p e c i f i c a l l y Kantian in tone and termi- nology i s the passage from Book IV of the Excursion, where the Wanderer speaks of how the Imagination, when "not permitted . . . / To waste her powers . . . / On f i c k l e pleasures, and superfluous cares" is l e f t free And puissant to range the solemn walks Of time and nature, girded by a zone That, while i t binds, invigorates and supports (819-21; 822-25). Its deliverances, while they "excite the scorn / Or move the pity of un- thinking minds" are in r e a l i t y "outward ministers / Of inward conscience" which serve "to exalt / The forms of Nature, and enlarge her powers" ( i b i d . , 834-37; 845-46). Shelley's Defense of Poetry provides, of course, one of the c l a s s i c statements of the i d e a l i z i n g power of creative Imagination in Romantic poetics. The product of Imagination, he says, i s "the image of l i f e expressed in i t s eternal truth," and the "creation of actions ac- cording to the unchangeable forms of human nature" (115). Consequently, poetry (and note the s i m i l a r i t y both in wording and thought to Kant's description of the power of poetry quoted above, pp. 55 and 206) 210 enlarges the circumference of the imagination by replenishing i t with thoughts of ever new delight, which have the power of attracting and assimilating to th e i r own nature a l l other thoughts, and which form new intervals and i n t e r s t i c e s whose void forever craves fresh food. Poetry  strengthens that f a c u l t y which i s the organ of the moral nature of man [ i n Kant, die Vernunft], in the same manner as excercise strengthens â  limb [118; my emphasis). And again, What were Virtue, Love, Patriotism, Friendship—what were the scenery of this beautiful Universe which we inhabit; what were our consolations on this side of the grave, and what were our aspirations beyond i t , - - i f Poetry did not ascend to bring l i g h t and f i r e from those eternal regions where the owl-winged faculty of calculation dare not ever soar?' ( i b i d . , 135). 8 0 And Kant makes precisely the same point when he describes the "art of the poet" as the means by which our Ideals are rendered compatible with r e a l i t y , either by " r e a l i z i n g to sense" such "rational ideas" as eternal l i f e , freedom, or f i n a l purposes in creation; or conversely, as revealing the universal aspects of such concrete human experiences as (to choose Kant's examples) the fear of death, the pain of jealousy, or the ecstasy of love. But of course, awareness that the Ideas of Reason are "compatible with r e a l i t y " does not amount to theoretical knowledge of those Ideas: for Kant, at least, knowledge that we are not brute beasts i s not know- ledge that we are gods, and he always retained his be l i e f that that which i s "unconditioned" i s patently unknowable. That i s , his aesthetic in no way influences his basic conviction that the Ideas are merely a u"The consciousness of v i r t u e , i f we substitute i t in our thoughts for a virtuous man, diffuses in the mind a multitude of sublime and restful f e e l i n g s , and a boundless prospect of a joyful future, to which no expression that i s measured by a d e f i n i t e concept completely attains" 7J<ant, C of J , 159-60; my emphasisj. 211 "regulative," or "useful f i c t i o n s " to which we w i l l i n g l y suscribe in order to s a t i s f y the quest of Reason for absolute t o t a l i t y in our ex- perience. And for this reason, the poet never attains the status of "prophet" or " l e g i s l a t o r of the world" in Kant, who was obliged to with- hold even from the scope of genius that which for the Romantics was most urgently and immediately affirmed by visionary experience: d i r e c t con- tact with noumenal r e a l i t y , or recognition that Imagination, in breaking from the "constraints" of discursive Understanding, becomes revelatory, and "penetrates through" to the "ground of the unity of the supersensible, which l i e s at the basis of nature, with that which the concept of free- dom p r a c t i c a l l y contains . . ." (C_ of J_, 12).81 But as a system of philosophy, Kantian Idealism should not be considered incompatible with the s p i r i t of Romanticism simply because ? i t cannot be called upon to provide theoretical sanctions for the whole spectrum of feelings and thoughts which f i n d expression in poetry, or in any of the arts for that matter, since to do so would cloud the very real and important differences both in goals and methods which d i s t i n - guish two d i s t i n c t modes of discourse. And in any case, considered as a "'Commenting on this point, Bosanquet wrote that "The history of thought can show no more dramatic spectacle than that of this great i n -t e l l e c t u a l pioneer beating out his track for forty years in the wilder-ness of technical philosophy, and bringing his people at l a s t to the entrance upon a new world of free and humanizing culture, which, so far as we can t e l l , he never thoroughly made his own" (A History of Aesthetic [London, 1932], 255). It i s not surprising that so many of Kant's "people" should count amongst our most prominent creative a r t i s t s : l i k e Coleridge and S c h i l l e r , Beethoven too was "seized and carried away" by Kant, and Goethe claimed to owe to the Critique of Judgment "one of the happiest moments of my l i f e " (Ernst Cassirer, Rousseau, Kant and Goethe, trans. J. Gutmann, P. K r i s t e l l e r and J. Randall, J r . [New York, 1963], 98, 64). 212 measure of i t s r e l a t i v e compatibility with the premises and aims of the Romantic revolution in l i t e r a t u r e , what the Kantian philosophy does achieve i s far more s i g n i f i c a n t than what i t does not. For in his discovery that the aesthetic order constitutes not merely a t h i r d dimen- sion of the mind but must emerge, as Marcuse says, "as i t s center, the medium through which nature becomes susceptible to freedom, necessity to autonomy," (op. c i t . , 159), Kant's philosophy assigns to poetry the most s i g n i f i c a n t philosophical and cultural role i t had known since the Renaissance. And his regard for the role of the poet was soon f u l l y j u s t i f i e d by those developments in l i t e r a t u r e which acted on, and de- veloped from the very revolutionary concepts of man, of nature, and of human l i f e which he himself had i n i t i a t e d . SELECTED LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. English Romantic Poets. London: Oxford Uni-versity Press, 1960. • The Mirror and the Lamp. New York: W.W. Norton, 1958. Aiken, Henry D., ed. The Age of Ideology. New York: New American Library, 1956. Akenside, Mark. Poetical Works, ed. Alexander Dyce. 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New York: C o l l i e r , 1962. 213 214 Beatty, Arthur. William Wordsworth: His Doctrine and Art i n Their His- t o r i c a l Relations, 2nd ed. University of Wisconsin Studies in Language and Literature, #24. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1927. Beer, John Bernard. Coleridge the Visionary. London: Chatto and Windus, 1959. Benziger, James. Images of Eternity. Carbondale: Southern I l l i n o i s University Press, 1962. B e r l i n , S i r Isaiah, ed. The Age of Enlightenment. New York: New Ameri-can Library, 1960. Bernbaum, E. Guide Through the Romantic Movement. 2nd ed. rev. and enl. New York: Ronald Press, 1949. Blackstone, Bernard. The Consecrated Urn. London: Longmans, Green, 1962. . English Blake. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1966. Blake, William. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes. London: None-such Press, 1957. Bloom, Harold. The Visionary Company. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1963. Bond, Donald F. "The Neo-Classical Psychology of the Imagination." 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