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Prepared by the Leningrad Institute of Philosophy under the Direction of
M. Shirokov 1941

Rationalistic materialism reduces the universe to mathe­matics, but does so by assuming that certain ideas are fundamental and self-evident. The English philosopher Locke thought that the rationalists assumed too much and endeavoured to show that we have no innate ideas in virtue ofwhich we possess knowledge apart from experience. He held that the only way in which to cut entirely free from error and dogmatism is to confine ourselves rigidly to experience. He found that most discussions ended in futility because people would insist on raising problems beyond the limits of possible human knowledge. It then occurred to him.
" that before we set ourselves upon enquırıes of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see what objects our understandings were or were not fitted to deal with. For by extending their enquiries beyond their capacities people raise questions and multi­ply disputes, which only increase their doubts."
Locke then proceeded to argue that there was nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses; that out of sense niaterial the ınind puts together more general ideas. Sensations are copies of the fundamental characteristics of the external world, extension, shape, solidity, number, niotion. What we call sensations of colour, smell, sound, and taste are really subjective effects produced in us by the more fundamental qualities of the real world. 

Locke is thus a materialist because he believes that the entire content of consciousness is derived by impression from the material world. But he is also a dualist because these experiences are mental, whereas the world from which they are derived is material. 

This dualism led straight to Idealism, that is to say to the acceptance of the spiritual half of Descartes' divided world. This was the second alternative to which dualism must ultimately come, just as materialism was the first.

Berkeley simply showed that if colour does not reside in the coloured object but is the effect in the mind of the physical properties of an object; ifwarmth is nota property of the fire but is the end effect of the nerves which are agitated by the molecular disturbance known as heat, if tickling is not a property of the feather that tickles but of the mind of the person tickled, then it is possible to push the whole argument back one stage farther and show that even sensations of extension and solidity are only sensations and that we can never get beyond contemplating our own mental states. If we want to base all knowledge on experi­ence, experience is at bottom purely mental, and when we believe that it tells us of an external world of which sensa­tions are a copy that is merely an inference. Things cannot exist apart from our consciousness of them, and to ask whether they continue to exist if we no longer have sensa­tions is absurd. Things are sensations.
Hume carried this scepticism one stage farther. We think that at any rate we have a self that is formed ofa chain of successive experiences presumably grounded in the identity and unity of the personal soul. Hume declared that just as Berkeley had shown that there was no material substance in which qualities resided, but only pure qualities, which are pure sensations, so he could show that there was no spiritual substance which had experiences, but only pure experiences one after the other. 
Berkeley of course did not for a moment mean to say that the objective world did not exist and that we were shut up to our own sensations. He was simply arguing that you cannot prove that such sensations are the sensations of a material world. Nevertheless they are perfectly objective, we cannot help them and we cannot vary them at will, they constitute a rigid, objective world of sensed objects existing independent of our will. Sensed objects but not material objects.

Berkeley had his own theological answer to the problemwhich this raises. The objectivity and permanence of the cause of our sensations must, he argues, be due to the continuous activity of an eternal creative Mind, God. It is God's power which causes our sensations to be arranged in the particular order which they follow one another. The external world, therefore, continues to exist even when we cease to perceive it, because God's perception sustains it. 

We see then where the argurnent from experience leads. And the sensationalism from which it springs is itself derived from Descartes' dualism of mind and matter, which treated matter as in itself merely mechanical.

But if matter had been conceived as developing as active an d mm . d as the coming to consciousness of matter, we should find ourselves with neither a dead materialism nor a groundless subjectivism but a living unity of mind and matter. 

Spinoza was the first to work out such a system. Rejecting dualism he held that the universe was one system, which was neither pure spirit nor pure matter. Mind and matter are the two ultimate attributes of substance, that is to say substance itself is not dead matter or pure spirit but has body and has mind. But actual bodies or objects are par­tıcular fonns of matter, just as actual minds are particular forıns of thought. In a human being we have a double mani­festation (body and mind) of the two ultimate attributes which make up fundamental Reality. 

Spinoza also held that all things constitute a perfect system. Every finite object or event is dependent on innumerable others which ramify in all directions and are each of them similarly dependent on innumerable others. Everything is necessary in its appointed place within the whole. Nothing ıs possıble save the actual, and nothing is actual save the necessary. "From the infinite nature of God all things follow by the same necessity, and in the same way, as it follo':s from the nature ofa triangle from eternity to eternity that ıts three angles are equal to two right angles." 

The mechanism which Descartes saw in matter alone, Spinoza sees İn God and mind as well. But the entire Universe is a live and not a dead mechanism, for the order of th ings is the o;der of p erfec t_ goodness and wisdom and is c ontinuously sustained by the ıntense. consciousness. of God. Yet, once again , God is not above the Unıverse or wıthın the Universe but his mind "is all th e mentality that ıs ' . scattered over space and time, the diffused conscıousness that animates the world."

This is pure mysticism  in its sublime confidence in already existing perfection. But in the conception of the Universe as one system, which is wholly materıal from end to end, and in which whatever mind we find is not extraneous to matter but an attribute of substance, parallel with and in terp enetrat ing matter, we have the conception that inspired Hegel and after him Marx. But for Spınoza ıt is an unchanging, undeveloping whole.

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