Our knowledge is relative," said he, " first, because existence is not cognizable absolutely and in itself, but only in special modes; second, because these modes thus relative to our faculties are presented to and known by the mind, only under modification, determined by these faculties themselves."
It is therefore as unalterable, even by God himself, as the truths of mathematics, although its effect may be overruled in any particular case by an express command of God; hence it is cognizable a priori, from the abstract consideration of human nature, though its existence may be known a posteriori also from its universal acceptance in human societies.
These distinctions, he insists, have an objective reality, The cognizable by reason no less than the relations of Cambridge space or number; and he endeavours to refute moralists, Hobbism - which he treats as a " novantique philo- C d sophy," a mere revival of the relativism of Protagoras - chiefly by the following argumentum ad hominem.
The modes under which it is possible for such given difference to become portion of the conscious experience of the ego, the modes under which the isolated data can be synthetically combined so as to form a cognizable whole, make up the form of cognition, and upon this form rests the possibility of any a priori or rational knowledge.
In strictness, sense, understanding, imagination and reason ought to have had their functions defined in close relation to the elements of knowledge with which they are severally connected, and as these elements have no existence as separate facts, but only as factors in the complex organic whole, it might have been possible to avoid the error of supposing that each subjective process furnished a distinct, separately cognizable portion of a mechanical whole.
The sense-manifold is not to be conceived as having, per se, any of the qualities of objects as actually cognized; its parts are not cognizable per se, nor can it with propriety be said to be received successively or simultaneously.
At the foundation of the judgments which express the types of synthetic combination, through which knowledge is possible, lie the pure general notions, the abstract aspect of the conditions under which objects are cognizable in experience.
Sense had been assumed as furnishing the particular of knowledge, understanding as furnishing the universal; and it had been expressly declared that the particular was cognizable only in and through the universal.
A hieroglyph," said the Rhetor, "is an emblem of something not cognizable by the senses but which possesses qualities resembling those of the symbol."
Cognizable by reason.
" Miracles are sensuously cognizable events, not comprehensible on the ground of the causality of nature as such, but essentially on the ground of God's free action alone.