Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

224 
PLANCHETTE. 
simply as a new illustration of the same tendency of mind which 
induced the human race, in earlier ages, to attribute great natu¬ 
ral phenomena, such as thunder, eclipses, volcanoes, &c., to the 
intervention of spiritual beings, angry deities. 
“ The spiritual hypothesis,” he says, “ is the product of a law 
of the human mind, in virtue of which it is impelled to supple¬ 
ment knowledge by superstition; and so, when there is no as¬ 
signable cause for a phenomenon, it is at once relegated to the 
realm of miracle,” — “ Originating in a mental necessity for 
assigning some cause, real or imaginary, for every clearly recog¬ 
nized effect, the spiritual hypothesis is an inevitability with 
minds at the théologie stage, whenever a phenomenon tran¬ 
scends the range of recognized scientific knowledge.” — uln 
earlier ages, the spiritual hypothesis, or, in other words, a 
theory of the miraculous, amply sufficed as an explanation of 
all otherwise inexplicable phenomena.” 
In reply to these views, Mr. Andrew Leighton remarks, “I 
doubt not every competent and patient investigator will find 
that, after the most careful discrimination of facts, after dis¬ 
counting all that is clearly mundane, and all that is not clearly, 
but only possibly, mundane, there will remain a residuum, which, 
if we are to attempt the resolution of the facts at all, will necessi¬ 
tate the supramundane hypothesis, and thus render it, so far 
from being 6 inadmissible,’ really the only rationally admissible 
one, since it will be found to be the only hypothesis adequate to 
cover all the facts.” 
The rival hypothesis he sets down as this: “That the brain 
has in it active potentialities unknown to consciousness, — not 
only unknown, but opposed to consciousness ; to which poten¬ 
tialities, as a last resource, must be referred the otherwise inex¬ 
plicable and indomitable facts.” 
“Notwithstanding,” adds Mr. Leighton, “what has been 
said as to the rationality, and indeed necessity, of the spiritual 
hypothesis, it is not meant that this is to be held, except as an 
hypothesis, ready to be yielded up immediately that another 
capable of more perfectly explaining the facts, in accordance
        

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