Of such primitive principles, the absolutely necessary conditions of possible cognition, only three are thinkable - one perfectly unconditioned both in form and matter; a second, unconditioned in form but not in matter; a third, unconditioned in matter but not in form.
We never know anything except as determined by its attributes; but that would not prevent us from inferring something determined as unconditioned, whether infinite or absolute.
' 2 " He was said to be the father of all the gods, and creator of all things, yet was scarcely reckoned an object of worship."' Dr Turner says, " the unrestricted, or unconditioned, may fairly be regarded as the name of this Samoan Jupiter."4 The worship of certain of the great gods was common to all the people in a group of islands.
He accepts an ultimate antinomy as to the finiteness or infinity of " the unconditioned," yet applies the law of the excluded middle to insist that one of the two alternatives must be true, wherefore we must make the choice.
Our unconditioned is either a pure abstraction, or else the impossible notion of a completed system of conditions.
The absolute or infinite - the unconditioned ground and source of all reality - is yet apprehended by us as an immediate datum or reality; and it is apprehended in consciousness - under its condition, that, to wit, of distinguishing subject and object, knower and known.
Sir William Hamilton's " philosophy of the unconditioned," and, Herbert Spencer's doctrine of the infinite " unknowable "); if it is argued that knowledge of a thing arises only from the recognition of its differences from other things (i.e.
With this conception of the infinite as absolutely unconditioned should be compared what may be described roughly as lesser infinities which can be philosophically conceived and mathematically demonstrated.
The attitude itself is as old as Scepticism; but the expressions "agnostic" and "agnosticism" were applied by Huxley to sum up his deductions from those contemporary developments of metaphysics with which the names of Hamilton ("the Unconditioned") and Herbert Spencer ("the Unknowable") were associated; and it is important, therefore, to fix precisely his own intellectual standpoint in the matter.
In the second case, if freedom were possible without inevitability we should have arrived at unconditioned freedom beyond space, time, and cause, which by the fact of its being unconditioned and unlimited would be nothing, or mere content without form.