SPACE AND TIME. Space and Time being the most general conditions, forms, or auritmtes or all existing things, their discussion is linked with the highest proh:ems of philosophy. Space is co-extensive with, and inseparable from, the sehsible, external, or object world; time is a property both of the object world and of the subject mind.
Of the so-cared innate ideas maintained by one school of philosophy, Space and Time are the foremost examples. (Other examples are number, infinity, !icing, sub stance, power. personal identity. etc ) Aceon:ingly, it is held, on the one side, that these rnalous are unc•rived, or to the mind: and, on the other side, tl:at they arise in the course of our education or experience, like our ideas of heat, sound, color, gravity, etc.
To begin with space. The supporters of the innate or intuitive origin of the idea allow that it does not arise in the mind until act nal objects, Or extruded things, are pre sented to the senses—until we see the visible, and touch the tangible things around us: but they do la re that this contact with the sensible world is only the oceaslon, of our lie coming conscious of what was already in the mind. Thus, Mr. 'Manse] says: "Space is not properly an innate idea, f.a• no idea is wholly innate; hut it is the innate element of the ideas of sense vi hich experience into consciousness." It is, in slain. the super adding of some ind(•pendant activity of the mind to the passive sensation. The reasons usually given for assuming an haul' ive element in the idea of space are. in the main, reasons !ziven for innate ideas generally; they •liii•fly resolve themselves into affirming the attributes of irnirer..«a/itrt :111(1 neecgsitlliu and of acre sen sible experience to reveal these high attributes of things. Whatever is got by experience can be thought away; space and time cannot. Titus, it is impossible for us to receive any sensible impression of an outward object—the sun, for example—without conceiving that thing as existing in space. To use the language of Kant. space is a form of our sensibility, or sensible perception; and as the perception itself cannot. he thinks, give
this universal and inseparable form—it must he contributed by the mind. Sir W. ham ilton supposes that we may have an " empirical" notion of space—i.e., a notion from experience; but that space as a " form" is not obtained from experience, but from intuition. He does not, however, explain clearly wherein consists the difference between these two notions.
According to the opposite view sliace is an abstraction from our experience of ex tended things, exactly as gravity is an abstraction from gravitating bodies, and justice, from just actions. We first obtain from experience a variety of impressions, in the concrete, of things possessing extension; and, next, from all these, by the usual process of abstraction, we gain a notion of extention in the abstract, or space. A few remarks may be made on these two distinct operations, as both involve matters of controversy.
1. Before the muscular feelings were distinctly recognized as something superadded to the proper sensations of the senses—or the feelings of mere light, sound, etc., it was tot easy to show that, by sensible experience alone, we could perceive objects as ex tended, or as occupying space. The pure optical sensibility of the eye is for color solely; the pure tactile sensibility is for softness and smartness, roughness and smoothness, etc. When, however, we make full allowance for the whole range of feeling connected with the exercise of muscular energy, there is no difficulty in accounting for the origin of such notions as resistance (forceor power) and extem-led magnitude. The element supposed by the a priori philosophers to be contributed by the mind itself, is according to the other school. muscularity, or the feeling of the putting forth of inward energy. The two senses related to our cognizance of space—sight and touch, are compound senses; they involve an active energy, with its peculiar consciousness, as well as a passive sen sibility; and all that is characteristic of extension or space arises through these muscu lar accompaniments.