It is a self-destructive dualism, a confessedly one-sided monism, agnostic as to the fundamental problem.
The attitude of a man who denies the doctrine of immortality and rejoices in the denial is not strictly pessimistic. A Christian again may be pessimistic about the present; he must logically be optimistic about the future - a teleological view of the universe implies optimism on the whole; the agnostic may be indifferent to, or pessimistic, regarding the future, while exceedingly satisfied with life as he finds it.
The Spectator, which gradually became a prosperous property, was his pulpit, in which unwearyingly he gave expression to his views, particularly on literary, religious and philosophical subjects, in opposition to the agnostic and rationalistic opinions then current in intellectual circles, as popularized by Huxley.
The metaphysical and theological conception is open to the agnostic objection that the finite mind of man is by hypothesis unable to cognize or apprehend not only an infinite object, but even the very conception of infinity itself; from this standpoint the infinite is regarded as merely a postulate, as it were an unknown quantity (cf.
In the later intuitionalism of Hamilton, recoiling from Hegel, the many subjective necessities of the intuitionalist scheme were made to breathe the new agnostic suggestions.
The analogy of the resolution of a chemical compound with its elements which is often on the lips of those who would justify the independence of thought and the real world, with an agnostic conclusion as to non-phenomenal or trans-subjective reality, is not really applicable.
Is obvious; and his limitation of reason to the sphere of experience suggests in itself the title of agnostic or positivist rather than that of sceptic. Yet, if we go a little deeper, there is substantial justification for the view which treats agnosticism of the Kantian type as essentially sceptical in its foundations and in its results.
The leader in speculative philosophy is Immanuel Kant, though he includes many agnostic elements, and draws the inference (which some things in the letter of Butler might seem to warrant) that the essence of Christianity is an ethical theism.
By this device Japanese conservatism was effectually conciliated, and Buddhism became in fact the creed of the nation, its positive and practical precepts entirely eclipsing the agnostic intuitionahism of Shinto.
In general, his philosophy was a reaction against the sceptic or agnostic position of the Middle and New Academy in favour of the dogmatism of Plato.