The consistent perceptional intuitionist is, however, scarcely to be found, as has been said above; and we actually find those, some of whose utterances read as though the authors ought to be adherents of such a school, dwelling upon the desirability of the education of the conscience, i.e., upon the desirability of acquiring a capacity for having the right intuitions.
He leaves it unresolved. Furthermore, between the philosophical and the dogmatic intuitionist serious differences of opinion may be expected to arise. He who makes, let us say, benevolence the supreme law naturally allows to other intuitions, such as justice and veracity, but a derivative authority. It appears, then, that there may be occasions on which they are not valid.
Here and there, too, are certain philosophical speculations, of which I need only say that they show his thorough adherence to the principles of Mill's 'Logic' He is always on the look-out for the 'intuitionist' or the believer in 'innate ideas, the bugbears of the Mill school.
He who accepts the spontaneous deliverances of his conscience, when confronted with the necessity of making a decision, as revelations of moral truth, may be called a perceptional intuitionist. The deliverances must, however, be spontaneous and immediate, not the result of reasoning.
They gave precision to the questions under discussion; and their controversies defined the traditional opposition of ethical opinion, and separated moralists into two hostile schools known as Utilitarian and Intuitionist.
That is nearer right than the conclusions of many an inconsistent intuitionist! Leslie Stephen, a consistent agnostic, and a believer in the slow evolution of morals, in his "Science of Ethics," naturally holds, like Herbert Spencer, to the gradual development of the custom of truthfulness, as a necessity of society.
Then why not admit that these may be replaced some day by other moral intuitions to be evolved in an unknown future? He who reasons thus should bear in mind that Sidgwick, who by no means repudiated the doctrine of evolution, was an intuitionist, and placed his ultimate moral intuitions on a par with such mathematical intuitions as that two and two make four.
The most strenuous Intuitionist does not include this among the things that I know by direct intuition. I conclude it from certain things, which my experience of my own states of feeling proves to me to be marks of it. These marks are of two kinds, antecedent and subsequent; the previous conditions requisite for feeling, and the effects or consequences of it.
They appear to be not independent of all consideration of human happiness. I shall not ask whether Kant was consistent. Great men, like lesser men, seldom are. But, in order that the contrast between his doctrine and those of the two writers whom I shall next discuss may be brought out clearly, I shall ask that the following points be kept well in mind: Kant was an out-and-out intuitionist.
Diana was uneasy and obviously disturbed by the discovery that he was known to the three cousins, as well as by the memory of his tone as he addressed Louise Merrick. Louise, who had read Diana's quick glance with the accuracy of an intuitionist, felt a sudden suspicion and dislike for Diana now dominating her.