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THE LIFE OF REASON

OR THE

PHASES OF

HUMAN PROGRESS
BY

GEORGE SANTA YANA

REASON

fj

IN SCIENCE

yap vov tpcpycia

far)

NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
1906

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Copyright,

1905,

by

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SON8
Published, February, 1906

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CONTENTS
REASON

SCIENCE

IN

CHAPTER
TYPKS

ANT) ATMS

T

OF SCTKN(TR



Science still young. Its miscarriage in Greece. Its
timid reappearance in' modern times. Distinction between
Platonic status of hypothesis. Mean science and myth.
ing of verification. -Possible validity of myths.
Any
dreamed-ot thing might be experienced.—-But science
follows the movement of its subject-matter. -Moral value of
science.— Its continuity with common knowledge. Its in tellectual essence.— Unity of science.
In existence, judged
by reflection, there is a margin of waste.— Sciences con verge
from different points of origin- Two chief kinds of science,
physics and dialectic. Their mutual implication. Their
cooperation. JSo science a priori.- Hole of criticism.

——

Pages 3-38

CHAPTER

II

HISTORY

History an artificial memory. Second sight requires
control.—-Nature the theme common to various memories.
-—Growth of legend.—-No history without documents.The aim is truth. Indirect methods of attaining it. HisVerification here in torical research a part of physics.
direct.
Futile ideal to survey all facts.—-Historical theory.
It is arbitrary.
A moral critique of the past is possible.
How it might be just. Transition to historical romance.
—Possibility of genuine epics. -Literal truth abandoned.
"
History exists to be transcended. Its great roleT


— —

Pages 39-68
v

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CONTENTS

vi

CHAPTER

III

MECHANISM
Recurrent forms

nature— Their

in

discovery makes the

Looser princ iples tried first.— Mechanism
flux calculable.
Vet presumably pervasive.—
for the most part hidden.
Inadequacy of consciousness. Its articulation inferior to
that of its objects. -Science consequently retarded, ancl
speculation
rendered necessary-. Dissatisfaction with

mechanism partly natural, and partly artificial. Biassed
judgments inspired by nigral inertia". Positive emotions
proper to materialism.— The material world not dead nor
ugly, nor especially cruel.
Mechanism to be judged by its
iruits
rages

CHAPTER

TV

HESITATIONS IV METHOD



Mechanism restricted to one-half of existence. Men of
Confusion in semi-moral subscience not speculative.
" Physic of mctaphysic begs defence."
Evolution
by mechanism. Involution by ideal attraction. If species
are evolved they cannot guide evolution.—-Intrusion of
optimism.
Evolution according to Hegel.—The conservative interpretation.—The radical one.
Megalomania.
Chaos in the theory of tnind. < >rigin of self-consciousness.
The not ion of spirit. -The notion of sense.—Competition
between the two.—The rise of scepticism.
Pages 95-125
jects.

.

.

CHAPTER V
PSVCIIOIOHY




rather than described.
mind. — Human nature appealed
— Dialectic psychology.—Spinoza on the passions.—
principle of estimation cannot govern events. —
psychology a part of biology.—Con fused attempt
detach the psychic element. — Differentia
the psychic.
Approach to irrelevant sentience. — Perception represents
things
to the body. — Mind the
Mind reading not science. Experience a reconstruction.
The honest art of education. Arbitrary readings of the
to

in

Scientific

to

of

in their practical relation

CONTENTS

vii

——

in which form becomes actual.
Attempt at
physics.— Association not efficient. -It describes
coincidences.— Understanding is baaed on instinct and ex pressed in dialectic. Suggestion a fancy name for autom atism, and will another.- Double attachment of mind
to nature.
Is the subject-matter of psychology absolute

existence
idealistic

being?- Sentience is representable only in fancy.—The
conditions and objects of sentience, which are not sentience,
Mind knowablc and important in so far as
are also real.
Pages l'2ti-H3tS
it represents other things

CHAPTER

VI

THE NATURE OF INTENT

Maladjustments to nature
Dialectic better than physics.
^nder physics conspicuous and unpleasant. Physics
rcn
should be largely virtual, and dialectic explicit. Intent
It is analogous to flux in
is vital and indescribable.

— has
a material
—-The basis of
language. — Intent
by a
— demands

existence.— It expresses natural
basis.

— It

is


becomes appreciable in
from a datum, and is carried
intent

conventional

It

life.

necessarily relevant to earth.

expression.

—A

starts

feeling.

fable

form

CHAPTER

It

about matter and
Pages 1(57-186

VII

DTAT/F.rrrTf!

Dialectic elaborates given forms.

—Forms are abstracted

from existence by intent.—Confusion comes of imperfect
abstraction, or ambiguous intent.— The fact that mathematics applies to existence is empirical.— Its moral value
is therefore contingent,
Quantity submits easily to dialectical treatment —Constancy and progress in intent.
Intent determines the functional essence of objects.— Also
the scope of ideals.
Double status of mathematics.
Practical r61e of dialectic.
Hegel'sTsatire on dialectic.—Dialectic expresses a given intent.
Its empire is ideai
and autonomous
Pages 187-2UD

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER

VIII

PRERATIONAL MORALITY

Empirical alloy in dialectic. Arrested rationality in
Moral science
Its emotional and practical power.
morals.
is an application of dialectic, not a part of anthropology.
Estimation the soul ot philosophy.— Moral discriminations
A choice of proverbs. Their
are natural and inevitable.
various representative value. Conflict of partial morali -

—The



— Imaginative

exuberance and
political discipline.
Sterility of Creek example.
Prerational morality among the Jews.— The development of
conscience.
Need of Hebraic devotion to Greek aims.
Prerational morality marks an acquisition hut offers no
Pages 210-232
programme
ties.

Greek

ideal.

CHAPTER IX
RATION A T, FTHira

Moral passions represent private interests. Common
To this extent there is
ideal interests may supervene.
A rational morality not attainable, but
rational society.
It is the logic of an autonomous will.—
its principle clear.
Socrates science.— Its opposition to sophistry and nioral

anarchy. Its vitality. -Genuine altruism is natural selt cxpression.— Reason expresses impulses, but impulses
reduced to harmony. Self-love artificial. The sanction
of reason is happiness.
Moral science impeded by its
chaotic data, ana its unrecognised scope.' Fallacy in
democratic hedonism. Sympathy a conditional duty.—
All life, and hence right life, finite and particular.

Fages~233-261

CHAPTER Y
POBT-RATIONAT, MORALITY

Socratic ethics retrospective.
Rise of disillusioned
The illusion subsisting in them. Epicurean
refuge in pleasure.
ConStoic recourse to conformity.
formity the core of Islam, enveloped in arbitrary doctrines.
The latter alone lend it practical force. Moral ambiguity

moralities.


in

pantheism.


—Under
and
becomes
—A supernatural world made by the

requires a mythology.

stress, it

ascetic

id by Google . — — — Its impotence." — — — — — The soul of positivism —Moribund dreams and perennial nevertheless involved. Platonist out of dialectic.—-Science contains all trustworthy knowledge. tion. in all ideals: realities. is presupposed in scepticism. Its on common-sense. Absurdities India. TPages 262-300 CHAPTER XT THB VALIDITY OF HfTKNfTB — Various modes of revising science.CONTENTS ix —The Hebraic cry for redempConsequent elccticism. The negation of naturalism never complete. —It recurs in all understanding of perception. — — critic. Needless anxiety Science an imaginative and practical Arriere-pensee in transcendentalism.—It suffices for the Life of Reason Pages 301-320 Its futility. — — constructive — —Physical science sincerity. for moral interests. Science its own best Obstruction by alien traditions. Spontaneous values rehabilitated.—The two factors meet — — in Christianity.Ideal — dependence science is selfjustified. Its romantic art. A witness out of Dignity of post -rational morality.

REASON IN SCIENCE Digitized by Google .

may well The morrow may bring some great revolution in science. feel timate its human some that a moralist achievements and promises worth. still young. still he must confess that art and religion have had several turns at the wheel. and many may diffidence in trying to es- A critic form a judgment concerning them. Relig- indeed a part of is to believe that they have long ago revealed their secret. ion and art have had their day . they have run their course through in various ages and climes with results which anybody is free to estimate if he has an open mind and sufficient interest in the subject. seems to the layman so hopelessly accurate and science extensive.CHAPTER I TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE Science it is so new a thing and so far from final. a correction and many at the faith they usually inspire is their sure to bring a surprise. which apparently cannot exist where intellectual freedom safely 3 Digitized by Google . Science. for even if he dissents from the orthodox opinion and ventures to hope that religion and art may assume in the future forms far nobler and more rational than any they have hitherto worn. on the contrary.

and and liberty f ne verv exuberance of their genius Where every mind and every tongue so clever no tradition could arise. was so fresh scientific made applications could be to test the value of and decide between them. has flourished only twice in recorded times: once for some three hundred years in an- and again for about the same period modern Christendom. but at the very beginning. This mental habit gave a tremendous advantage in philosophy to the moralist and poet over the naturalist or mathematician. made its period but in the life of ineffectual. Each began. and no laborious expression chaotic. —grew Authority chiefly to Plato and in daily more personal and scientific Aristotle.THE LIFE OF REASON 4 is denied. Its fruits have scarcely begun to appear. matters and clung this not for the sake of their incomparable moral philosophy Digitized by Google . not where his predecessor had ended. cient Greece. in The first brilliant its miscarriage in Greece. the lands it is discovering have not yet been circumnavigated. The science was energy Greeks' were too soon spent. and there is no telling what its ultimate influence will be on human practice and feeling. Men of science were mere philosophers. Another circumstance that impeded the growth of science was the forensic and rhetorical turn proper to Greek intelligence. Hence what survived in Greece after the heyday of theoretic achievement was chiefly philosophies of life. and these at the rival notions — death of liberty ascetic.

his ultimate preferences. which is —a nothing but self-knowledge circum- spect. — — while the Socratic school bequeathed to posterity a well-developed group of moral sciences. so that the and reasonableness of them were and there survived only miscellaneous conclusions. myth and since this Plato's apologue. but destined to be soon overlaid with metaphysical and religious accretions. At form. systematic utterance of the speaker's disclosing his implicit meaning and mind. therefore. field could hardly be physics ends in totle's Worse influences in imagined. rational in principle. while Aris- ends in nomenclature and teleology. was the conception of what physics should be great achievement due to the earlier thinkers and certain hints and guesses in that field. The elements of geometry had also been formulated. its second birth science took a very different It left cosmic theories to pantheistic en- Digitized by Google . fragments of wisdom built topsy- dialectical nerve obliterated. thus rediscovering the inner Socratic principle of moral philosophy. All that remained of Greek physics. is the sad task reserved for historical criticism to detach those sculptured stones from the rough mass in which they have been embedded and to rearrange them in their pristine order. turvy into the new mythical It edifice.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 5 for in ethics that decadent age preferred the Stoics —but and Epicureans just for those rhetorical ex- pedients which in the Socratic school took the place of natural science.

an inexplicable addendum. but had neglected to take in various disciplines. were conceived by him merely as a parenthesis in theology. for Spinoza's system. the development and ap- mm^dem plication of algebra. as discoveries accumulated. the laws of mechanics. which became. however. they fell insensibly into a system. Descartes and ics. Newton and philosophers like arrived at a general phys- This physics. nature's possession in of detail the intervening tracts. it stormed imaginatively as by the ancient who had reached at once the notion of dynamic unity. though naturalistic Digitized by Google . or to be the genetic account of all things in their system. Similarly Newton's mechanical principles. and a hundred other steps forward It was a patient siege laid which was approached blindly and a general. so far as his science went. to the truth.THE LIFE OF REASON 6 thusiasts like laborious Giordano Bruno. the invention of the calculus. whence resources might be drawn in order maintain the main position. Not until the nineteenth century were the observations that had been ac- cumulated given their full value or in fact under- stood. Descartes excluded from his physics the whole mental and moral world. while in sober circles confined it discoveries —the itself to specific earth's roundness and motion about the sun. was not yet meant to cover the whole existent world. without was not Ionians. to Nevertheless. as by an army of ants. broad as they were.

like the Greek cosmos. by which his mind and his interests are produced and devoured. where it other is theology itself. has been emancipated from authority and has set to work to square men's conscience with history and experience. are leading men's minds back to the same ancient and obvious naturalism. although is it is implied and is favoured by two powerful contemporary movements which. This theology has gen- idealism. One of these movements is the philosophy of evolution. coming from different quarters. to which Darwin gave such an in every scientific explanation The irresistible impetus. if gods actually exist — — one not yet current. This " idealism " is in truth a system of erally passed into speculative immaterial physics.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE in spirit. which under another name recognises the universal empire of law and conceives man's life as an incident in a prodigious natural process. which shall include all existences gods no less than men. like that of Pythagoras or works with fantastic and which no plain naturalist would care to use. shifting in the idealism While it categories. Indeed the conception of a natural order. German a translation of physical evolution into Digitized by Google . influence on science on speculation. was still 7 and had no and for a long time little even dialectical in form. it has nothing to apply those categories to except what the naturalist or historian may already have discovered and expressed Heraclitus. categories is of common prose.

may well be equal. and the genius and sorts of theory. Nor does Digitized by Google . from arbitrary conceptions of This divergence is as far from lying in the merit of the two Their merit. The gulf that yawns between such idealistic cosmogonies and a true physics make tuction *nd may serve to clear the divergence in princi- pie which everywhere divides natural science things. we may say that there was more ex- perience and love of nature enshrined in ancient mythology than in ancient physics. It may even be more serviceable for a while and have greater pragmatic value. In either case the and just those which positive knowledge has come upon. by their religious speculations. a physiological psychology would. again. facts are the same. Thus many who are that of a romantic drama.THE LIFE OF REASON 8 now now in mythical language. the observant poet might then have fared better in the world than the pert and ignorant materialist. which presents the facts in the guise of a dialectical progression. and no consecutive or total view of things is attempted by either party. so long as knowledge is at best fragmentary. observation required to frame them. quite unwillingly and unawares. Thus in social life a as possible psychology expressed in terms of abstract faculties and personified passions may well carry a man farther than Or. not brought to naturalism by science are brought to it. or an imaginative system may have the advantage in these respects.

while science terminates in or concepts laws. belonging to the same experience as those from which the theory started. patible with in ill-balanced minds. but verified by recurring particular facts. of all those exists mate- Digitized by Google . because they are incom- immediacy and alien to brute exisIn declaring what is true of existences tence. The laws formulated by figments describing and fact Platonic status of hypothesis. whereas. true. because they are more permanent. of course. since that might by chance represent actual existences. They are more reality. trustworthy. if you will. * if • the facts themselves.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE myth the difference between science and 9 the lie in fact that the one is essentially less speculative than They are differently speculative. and pervasive. themselves not possibly existent. w ji^ t b an i real. they altogether renounce existence on their own This situation has made no end of trouble behalf. They have asked themselves persistently the confusing question whether the matter or the form of things -is the reality. propositions which are true of what is existent. not real at all. i of you • the — —the science relation transitive between fact possess only a Platonic sort mi . but bent on treating everything by a single method. but at the same time they are. not docile to the diversities and free complexity of things. it is myth terminates in unverifiable notions the other. each with its incommensurable kind of The material element alone while the ideal element is the sum being. both elements are needed.

can be verified at every moment by concrete events occurring as those principles require. A gains utmost possible validity when its hypothesis. its discur- Digitized by Google . while gravitation and natural selection. this phrase. a complex and moment fleeting feeling. The Olympic ably exist bodily.THE LIFE OF REASON 10 Anybody's knowledge of the truth. the Olympic hierarchy. can never ex- substantially and theless. without being existences. ambiguity. when the particulars sies are realised in sense. an actual existence There also. if it To lurks in comes to a method prophe- it verify a theory as were not a method but a divination of ocwould be to turn the theory into cult existences a myth and then to discover that what the myth pictured had. by a miracle. is accordingly a sense in which myth admits substantiation of a kind that science excludes. since verification however. even exist. Never- if it hap- could not be proved to do so unless were a part of the natural world open to sense. true contrast between science and myth more nearly touched when we say that sci- The is ence alone Meaningof Some verification. selection. is of course but a existence of or material whether found in God or sible man from being that truth is itself which being. is capable of verification. being ist pened to it schemes of relation. only vicariously. being rially. hierarchy might conceiv- but gravitation and natural on their own behoof. being a discursive device. as far as pos- which it may succeed in knowing.

A dogmatic myth is in this sorry plight: that the more evidence it can find to support it the more it physical pretensions. forget that they. and every situation in which apply is a proof of 11 it is found to its truth. were their basis and meaning remembered. fabulous dogmas by evidence To its meta- it insists it on has to ex- try to support tantamount to acknowledging that they are merely scientific hypotheses. instruments of discourse. But fables. it merely ap- plies. a speculation that could be supported by evidence would be one that might be made good without itself descending to the plane of immediacy. while the its abrogates more absolute truth the less relevance perience and the less meaning. when hypostatised. too. Digitized by Google .TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE sive value is established. But in that case their truth would no longer be supposed to lie in the fact that somewhere beyond the range of human observation is they descended bodily to the plane of flying existence. It is not. which to prove itself real would need to verify itself. and methods of expression. were transitive symbols and boast to reveal an undiscoverable reality. On the contrary. They would have ceased to resemble the society of Olympus. since only the gods and those mortals admitted to their conclave could know for a fact that that celestial gathering existed. and were actually enacted there. but would be sufficiently verified when diffuse facts fall out as it had led us to expect. The case would not be different with fables.

reveals but. It would no longer terminate in itself. vaKdityof It ODviou8 an(* innocent nothing. for instance. Sinking into that reverie. by way of revealed dogma. her sword poised in mid-air. detaining the mind too Digitized by Google . is far better. poetical. which could continually serve to support or to Even if somewhat overloaded and correct it. because it tends to surround a given phenomenon (the crime) with objects on its own plane follow upon —other it. it pointed vaguely to the course which events may be expected to take under given circumstances. though mythical in form. If I say. that Punishment. limp- ing in one leg. I should be passing to the undiscoverable and forgetting the hard blows actually awaiting me in the world. patiently follows every criminal. means someI have expressed a truth of experience and what thing. The expression. leading the thinker that used it to eventual facts of experience. facts which his poetic meet and wisdom would have prepared him to to use. it would point forward. and trembling at its painted truth. is sci- entific in effect. passions and sensations to What would be truly mythical would be to stop at the figure of speech and maintain.THE LIFE OF REASON 12 The myth in such a case would and again transparent relevant have become to experience. Fable. it would be in essence a scientific theory. tne Possible m rtn myths* is 3 enough. that a lame goddess of vindictive mind actually follows every wicked man.

has something to Digitized by Google . my world. supernatural or as they pretend to be. they would be nothing but reports about other alleged parts of experience. for are quite supernumerary in by any all actually float in the fourth dimension possibility. a real heaven would obviously be and seats But a Triton after all do with the ^Egean and other objects open to properly equipped senses of much vivid experience. but as hypotheses they are not gods. The gods are demonstrable only as hypotheses. Were fables really as metaphysical and visionary thinkable. a real Creator.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 13 long in the mesh of expression. The same distinction is sometimes expressed by saying that science deals only with objects of possible experience. were they not all the while and in essence mere symbols for natural situations. is an object of possible experience. can become parts or extensions of the experience they are thought to explain. they would be experienced things. A real Triton. would have become metaphysical dogma. real —for such a goddess may. is of thing unfortunate. Any dreamedmight be «- But this expression . because everything no matter how mythical how far beyond the range of mortal senses. Tritons and sea-horses might observe one another and might feel themselves live. and never. which even if by chance we know. perienced. The thoughts and decrees said to occupy the divine mind from all eternity would certainly be phenomena there. I should have connected the given fact with imagined facts.

then. in supplementing given facts it is that supplements them Digitized by Google . a Creator has something to do with man and of his habitat. and that if we traced back the history of man and nature we should find them always pass- disport themselves. we should find them springing from and directed upon a natural life and its functions. at the swimming about in a we considered critically our motives and our ideals. that no matter waves.THE LIFE OF REASON earthly waters . while fiat of a vehement Jehovah chaos. are symbols. we do not assert and its objects is their blameless that. and not at all on a disembodied and timeless ecstasy. They we describe those facts in incongruous terms. absolutely taken. heaven has something to do with the motives and rewards of the origin of moral action. Those myths. ing by natural generation out of slightly different earlier forms and never appearing suddenly. not extensions. for the experience know. In calling them myths and denying that what they describe falls within the purview of science. and finally that if they intrinsically refer to facts in the given world. they could not be objects What we mean how long we searched of a possible experience. A chief characteristic of science. then. This relevance to given experience what cuts those myths off from and gratuitous role of reporting experiences that might be going on merrily enough somewhere else in the universe. in which it is is rather the sea the essence of our Tritons to we should never find Tritons there.

it verifies and solves the inference by reaching the fact inferred. ob- -. movement its of its its Science • » hypotheses. for instance the direct more scrupulously. longer. by the aid of subject- matter. ji i_ expands speculatively. self-supporting world. just as a hypothesis that the interior of the earth is full of molten fire would be false if on inspection nothing were found there but solid rock. Otherwise the hypothesis that assumed fire of attention. except by laughter. What a scientific hypothesis interpolates among the —the atomic structure of —might come in time under given facts things. and knowledge is felt to terminate in an independent existence on a higher or deeper level than any immediate fact. or with better instruments upon those facts themselves. all parts of which might be observed consecutively. uted the who stars' to verify If I attrib- shining to the diligence of angels lighted their lamps at sunset. fixed that structure would be simply false.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 15 by adding other facts belonging to the same sphere. and eventually discoverable by tracing the given m 0Wn P lane through But science ob J ect follows the continuous transformations. for in vehicles. lest the upper Digitized by Google . Science does not merely prolong a habit of inference. and this circum- stance is what makes myth impossible and. to disprove. merely instrumental jects given in perception until they compose a congruous. The made myth at this point is very myth the facts are themselves contrast with interesting.

I might possibly find that the stars' appearance and disappearance could con- tinue to be interpreted in that way. while my intent was to have them exist. as in my metaphysical had deputed and asserted it to be. My myth afresh and might be But it would never de- scend. For even if seraphic choirs existed in plenty on their own emotional or musical plane of being. The angels would remain notional. Any representative and provable validity which it might possess would assimulate it to science and reduce it to a mere vehicle and instrument for human discourse. and would then be true only in an undeserved and spurious fashion. but it would need to be a revelation in order to be true at all. might always suggest itself perennially appropriate. into the of it its evidences. did what it talks of have an actual existence somewhere else in the universe . after all. It would faith I — — evaporate as soon as the prophecies fulfilled. was the gist and startingpoint of my whole fable and its sole witness in my world. it would not have been their hands if they had hands that would have lighted the stars I saw. A myth might by chance be a revelation. with its charming figures. It company would never prove that what terminated in was a fact. and it it made were would claim no being and no wor- Digitized by Google .THE LIFE OF REASON 16 reaches of the world should grow dangerous for travellers. and this. so that the more earnestly I held to my fable the more grievously should I be deceived. and if I made my romance elaborate and ingenious enough.

science has a rational value. To imagine how things might have been would in order to arrive at eventual facts ceive the aspect Digitized by Google .TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE ship on own its account. Since in on the contrary. since they must be satisfied somehow. terpret its essential be found in the contrary emotions Moral value it Science might accord- conscious of fighting weight its 17 the emotion we feel and prosody of our when we succeed is myth has a dramatic charm. artistic. is wonderfully to satisfy curiosity and to enlighten conduct. life. in itself perhaps indifferent enough. to see by anticipation what we should see actually under other conditions. and to conwhich given things would actually wear from a different point of view in space or time. scientific thinking involves no less inward excitement than dramatic fiction does. reduced to only for its significance. Were science adequate it would indeed absorb those passions which now. It summons before us an even larger number of objects in their fatal direction upon our interests. science. have to be satisfied by dramatic myths. myth and involve. Since in myth interpret experience in order to in- in order to delight ourselves by turning poetically into the language own and valued the divergence between of science. At the same time. A symptom of may science which they we it. To see better what we now see. the emotion we feel when we succeed is that of security and intellectual dominion. ingly be called a myth ideality. we employ notional machinery.

it is. arises. veying recognise that in science all it ous and are sur- profits us to be. would then inhere in As practical knowledge. except abstracts where at moments the vista opens through to the ultimate or leads back to the immediate. or what it is contrasted with in character. The its continuity with common knowledge. For even here. those that have just dis- Digitized by Google . in the presence of a datum something virtual and potential is called up. As I walk round a tree. however. Mere in thought as in sportive action is tedi- marks a temperament so im- are becoming all that amusement we concerns us to know. what the given thing was a moment ago. that fact matter in its follows science own movement consequence : the science differs common knowledge in q na t ure# When ^ when subject- involves a further scope from only. I learn that gated by representation of last fixed the parts still visible. we perhaps. so that the pursuit of science seems comparatively dry and laborious. joyous or tragic. . what it is growing into. science from the more musical overtones of things in order to trace the gross and basal processes within them.THE LIFE OF REASON 18 if we knew pertinent dramatic be neither interesting nor possible fully how things All are. namely. emotion. there is science. Then. and in so doing illiberal it : it perfectly educated that prefers idle to signifi- it cant play and a flimsy to a solid idea. intelligence the flux of things begins to be miti- it and objects are at and recognisable.

and was continuous with tree. though dialectic might find many a mare's nest in its language. is indistinguishable The two become accordingly scien- has no more scope it from common distinct only when the sense. a pis aller. is a safe and obvious enough expression of knowledge.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE appeared and those now coming 19 into view. is when this. Where science remains consciously theoretical (being as yet contrasted with ordinary apperception and current thought). Yet. It in- volves terms. and to count upon them frankly to rely on theory. My theoretical tific than assertion that it exists. it an expedient ered. however. while certainly and perhaps in type. and it may never actually be observed by any mortal. Science. What is just past. and I should find that it had the same status as the parts now seen. what is just coming. ideally consid- to which a mind . T should actually observe it and know it by experience . are After a while partially human infected with is nonentity. will them. if I continued my round. The is other side of the which common sense affirms to exist unconhave to be represented in memory or fancy. are con- tinuous and belong to the same tree. though sensibly continuous with what present. which are in the act of be- coming potential. apprehension can reach them only by inference. This declaration. facts in- ferred cannot be easily verified or have not yet been merged with the notion representing the given object in most men's minds. is. false. ditionally.

being its would need to be sight. when known. so science is an what cannot be perceived sonal limitations which directly (because per- may forbid) stractly. re-enacted blind immediacy without being understood when endowed with any The critics of sci- speculative power. a half-way house between private sensation and universal vision. has borrowed Science is its schemata. in be regarded ab- what we think and do. however. would have to be intellectual. that is. if it were something better than private sensation or to be passive feeling in greater bulk. versal vision in question. better faculties the field of possible experi- ence could be better dominated. Otherwise the whole or subjected to any purpose. would merely be in its local interests. in With swamped artificial life. after all. ence. in a perspective determined by special and world. proper to a being not ideally master of the universal flux. mapped out symbolically on that sort of projecwe call scientific inference. We should not its intellectual forget to add. Digitized by Google . it would have to be practical and to survey the flux from a given standpoint. from which hypothesis. but within it. The real tion which would then relations between the parts of nature be given in intuition. As oblivescence is a gradual death. yet efficaciously. just as science is. and fewer of hidden from parts. that the uni- essence.THE LIFE OF REASON 20 must have recourse when it lacks power and scope to hold all experience in hand and to view the wide world in its genuine immediacy.

What escapes speculative critics of science. nor made our wills considered own just in view of alien but well- interests. at the end of our labours. but only indiscriminate being in finity. for if sent so represent at it We all. ideality. it does knowledge of the truth nor sympathy with the for adequate however. have at all enriched our own minds by adequate knowledge of what surrounds us. therefore. is approximately suffice for ideal commonly method reality. This report abstract in scientific may not suffice for fit action. essence We should have lost our and substituted for it. should not. that in transcending hypothesis is and reaching immediacy again we should run a great abandoning of risk and knowledge sympathy we became what we now repreimperfectly. nor in transcending selfishness to abolish finitude. In transcending science. Finitude is the indispensable condition of unselfishness as well as Digitized by Google . would have gone out in our souls. not something higher than indiscriminate being. we should evidently no longer altogether.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE have always seen that what 21 hypothetical -and is somehow servile and provisional. we must not hope to transcend knowledge. and our perfected humanity would have brought us back to protoplasm. and selfish in- the representative faculty. science being a sort of telegraphic wire through which a meagre report reaches us of things we would fain observe and Uve through in their full reality. blind. The its flat.

even when we call them human they have no knowledge of thempossible — seeing that for the most part — selves. its vital function. fect.THE LIFE OF REASON 22 of selfishness. survey and inform. Ideal knowledge Digitized by Google . and the relation connecting it with them. if brought to perfection. science that is the account it it is gives of things ous enough. that merit is makes external being present concerned in adjusting not full and sensu- is that. It begins to enrich the mind and gives it some inkling. and of speculative vision no less The than of hypothetical knowledge. Perfect knowledge of things would be as far as from identifying the knower with them. would not lose would its still representative or ideal essence. of that ideal dominion which each centre of experience might have if it had learned to regard all others. even when imper- a tremendous advance on absorption in sense and a dull immediacy. guiding and perfecting a natural It speculative in character. but its defect of inadequate or abstract. accordingly. it to a creature that itself to its is environment. and informs that creature about things other than itself. being. but it everything at once and inform the being lightened about all that could affect It would survey it en- its interests. Science. is both in thought and in action. at least. It would continue to be a rational activity. like sense. would thus remain practical in effect and In losing its accidental limitations it would not lose its initial bias. Science.

for instance. and the more elaborate and delicate they are the more they diverge. which science. Science. but it would see those details in a per- spective of its own. whose mind is differently furnished. — because it follows the lead of the Digitized by Google . because the facts interpreted are similar and the minds reading them have not yet developed their special grammar of representation.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE would be an inward fect 23 state corresponding to a per- adjustment of the body to all forces affecting adjustment was perfect the inward state would regard every detail in the objects en- it. The fact that science expresses the character and relation of objects in their own terms has a to its Unity of further important consequence. like well-developed languages. runs back into the same cal systems circle of facts. But two highly developed mythi- — two theologies. illustrate the to something distinguish science man tries to If a nature of a thing by assimilating else it which he happens to have in mind at the same time. If the visaged. like the Greek and the Indian will grow every day farther and farther apart. it is obvious that a second man. may assimilate the same object to a quite different idea: so myths are centrifugal. serves again to from metaphorical thinking. on the contrary. beginnings of myth in every age The rude and country bear a certain resemblance. adding to sympathetic repro- duction of them a consciousness of their relation own existence and perfection. whatever it may start with.

If men's fund of initial perceptions. Digitized by Google . but sciences are necessarily allies. but in time both will take note of the Himalayas. Languages and religions are necits essarily rivals. these diversities will nevertheless sup- plement one another . it is to be pursuing science to the comparative exclusion of mere mental vegetation and spontaneous myth. and is attentive to its inherent transformations. To be awake is nothing but to be dreaming under control of the object. or if there is a natural diversity in our discoveries. confirming. then. until it is surveyed scientifically. and So up to the very science is self- most disparate branches are mutually illuminating. said Heraclitus. the discovery that each has made will be a possible discovery for the others So a geographer in China and one in Babyat first make wholly unlike maps. lonia may the side each approaches will slope crest approached by the other. but awake they live same world together. while in the realm of myth. Thus if our objects are the same. our science and our waking lives will coinlive each in his in the cide . there can be nothing but mutual repulsion and incapacity to understand. while the alike. because we occupy different points in space and time and have a varying range of experience.THE LIFE OP REASON 24 subject-matter. and also. Men much as do asleep. own world. embroideries they their the is their science is sure to be so. own men make upon perception out of resources will differ as themselves.

TYPES AND ATMS •<3R OF SCIENCE The unity 25 of science can reach no farther than does coherent experience. often so vivid. for even if a physiological psychology should some day be able to find the causes of these phenomena. can hardly reach the catastrophes and delights. while he continued to dream. exist which cannot be known by great deal reached from the outside at all. times for may sible presence. for instance. in human existence is and no its : logic irrespon- accordingly science. This is because that dream-world and the waking world present two of existence. or be This fact per- why science has as yet taken human life for even within the haps explains tle root —in which the child or the has no experience absolutely free to can ^ so lit- limits which are tolerably narrow. and misses much of the If sport which the absolute is free to indulge in. judged by re- more pregnant sense of the word kftmAigiaof tne sense fool — bloom as set limits or prescribe A it likes. in a way that the dreamer could appreciate and understand. Digitized by Google . little incoherence. no little lapsing into what. there is probably no disjointed landscapes. and though coherence De a condition of experience in the in existence. is inconceivable and undiscoverable. Science. from any other point of view. which occur in dreams. and the figures they con- — belong to quite different genealogies like Science is the families of Zeus and of Abraham. tain a great disciplinarian. and so to predict them. it would never enter the dream-world persuasively.

detail which may it entire fabric of the other. it would threaten the children of Abraham with the same imputed unreality with which the latter boast to have extinguished Olympus. This brings the Olympian world within the purview of science. treating them as a phenomenon in the be- nighted minds of some of Japhet's children. sonal fortunes. science cannot survey them between two both. is not always fulfilled. or if they did. it is As this condition even within a man's per- impossible that all he goes through should be mastered by science or should accrue to him ideally funded experience. In order. For suppose the Olympian gods really existed and there is nothing impossible in that supposition they would not be allowed to have any science of their own. as the children Abraham might give an explanation for Zeus and his progeny. it is two regions should be congruous and continuous inwardly: the objects present in each must be transformations of the requisite that the in texture objects present in the other. and become part of Much must be lost. left his to Digitized by Google . then. at best in tracing the structure of things presented in one of them. plained ab may come upon some offer a basis or which lodgment for the will thus be ex- of extra. that two regions of existence should be amenable to a science common to both and establishing a mu- — tual rational representation between them. but does so with a very bad grace.THE LIFE OF REASON 26 there is no inner congruity and communion fields.

at a differ- This actually happens. level. % . even if only peripherally. they are not positively compelled to live in solitary confinement. is proof that their spheres touch somehow. the fact that these various sciences are all human. is itself an incipient science. certain consistency in visible this method or or that di- of origin These independent sciences conceivably. and resigned produced A ence 27 to the unprofitable flux that it. might.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE itself. else nobody who pursued any one science would so much Great as as may suspect the existence of the be the aversion of learned one another. consequence of this incoherence in experiis that science springs Sciences converge from . and that here. men to be their ignorance. prison cells is and the key of at least in their own their pocket. in mathematics as compared with history or psychology. Since common knowledge. as ent different aspect of it were. never meet at all. Digitized by Google . might work out an entirely things and cross the other. we them in one breath and to are able to mention compare their natures. as different points a not absolutely single but is up in various becomes places at once. Some aspect of each must coincide with some aspect of some other. Nevertheless. we may be sure that some continuity and some congruity obtains between their provinces. for instance. and in morals as compared with physics. and comprehensive as may rest. for instance. which knows of them all. each rection.

THE LIFE OF REASON 28 Some sciences. the other ex- pedient has been to note and combine in one complex object characters which occur together. are parted only. recurrent types. The first expedient imposes on the we call ideas. terms employed in thought and language. understanding has used from the beginning a double method of surveying and arresting the irreparable flux of being. which are concretions in ex- complexes of qualities subsisting in space and time. Carrying out this primi- Digitized by Google . the fact and reappear The latter feat which is made easy by that when various senses are stimulated — which is by a primitive mind more powerfully than any external image is one and not consciously at once the inward instinctive reaction felt — divisible. directed study would doubtless of these disclose their But there continuity with the fields adjoining. Two may presume. and a traceable history. which are concretions in flux what discourse. ideally One expedient has been to notice and identify similarities of character. The second expedient separates the same flux into what we call things. having definable dynamic relations there istence. like chemistry and biology. is we accidental gaps in one general division in science which cuts almost to the roots of man human Hu- experience. or biology and anthropology. by human knowledge chief kin* of d and better fields more minute a . in the before it or in its own phenomena that pass operations.

at their basis Were clearer or physics deeper than it these points of contact and they made commonly is. In the first Their mutual place. like all science. Follow- ing ancient usage. and the whole group that describes existences physics. The contrast between ideal science or dialectic and natural science or physics is as great as the understanding of a single experience could well afford. it is clear that the science of implication. and that before concretions in existence can be discovered. noted. dialectical developments of ethics. is itself dis- course. dialectic would doubtless be multi- plied. and groups of coexistent qualities can be recognised. existence. and identi- Digitized by Google .TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE tive diversity in reflection science two different in discourse and the By directions. these qualities themselves must be arrested by the mind. it 29 has moved in refining concretions has attained to mathematics. by tracing concretions in existence it has reached the various natural and historical sciences. but even as they stand they furnish a suffi- cient illustration of the principle that all science develops objects in their the mind dominion discovering its own category and gives over the flux of matter by form. yet the two kinds of science are far from independent. That physics and dialectic touch at their basis may be shown by a double analysis. They touch co-operate in their results. I shall take the liberty of call- ing the whole group of sciences which elaborates ideas dialectic. logic.

e. hence they are not any- body's thinking process. images in the mind The gods doubtless know the of some psychological deity. in its operation. in Plato's " Parmenides. Only by being ideal (t. many died about in scientific discourse. Newton could ture of natural science force of never have taken note of the Now fall of his apple. however perfect.* itself and is * For instance. are so essences and pure ideas: so that the inmost tex- is logical. which of course would be in flux and phenomenal. is cogency is not dialectically. as a for themselves. That truth or logical an existence can be proved obvious to any one who sees a part of existence." where that the ideas are not in the mind. mean down and motion motion.. On the other hand discourse. materialised Platonism afterward fancied. and ideas. ban- fied in their recurrences.THE LIFE OF REASON 30 But these terms. since common to all its This is what Plato meant by saying that the outside of them. it is shown We may gather from what is any embodian idea means a nature possible embodiments and remains always there said that the ideas cannot be identified with ment of them. ideas lay apart from phenomena and were what they were in They were mere forms and not. sight it is and intent and is something created by in- is altogether dialectical. the constancy and relation of meanings something meant. by being a goal of intellectual energy and no part of sensuous existence) can a term be common to various minds and serve to make their deliverances pertinent to one another. and the whole any observation made upon the outer world lies in the constancy and mutual relations If down did not of the terms it is made in. so that the science of existence is a portion of the art of discourse. Digitized by Google . as Plato tells us in the same place: these are the common object of their thought and of ours.

still Truth would thus be turned into an opinion. yet this truth itself would endure. No intent can be self-contradictory. if it were it Or is to not would be a falsehood. because it falsifies the intent of the terms used. Digitized by Google .TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 31 moment what truth means. Furthermore. therefore truth is not an existence. since it fixes its own object. an incident in the flux of existence. That truth is no existence might also be proved as follows: Suppose that nothing existed or (if critics carp at that phrase) that a universe did not exist. Furthermore. may be false. however. truth self-generating. every term which dialectic uses is originally given embodied. and signification is inwardly appreciable only in terms of signification. An attempt might be made to reverse this argument by saying that since it would "be" true that nothing existed. especially if he remembers at the same time that all existence is mutable. the notion that it might have been true that nothing existed is a perfectly clear notion. since every opinion. is given as an element in the actual flux. for the truth would " be " or exist in any case. The argument. and therefore a matter for natural sci- for a ence to study. but a man may easily contradict himself by wavering between one intent and another. It would then be true that all existences were wanting. however long-lived. The nature of dialectic is entirely corrupted when sincerity is lost. an event in time. is a bad sophism. in other words. Though meaning is the object of an ideal function. it it comes by illustration. Somebody's opinion is not what is meant by the truth. matter somewhat differently. which it is the essence of truth not to But the knowledge or discovery of truth is be. the supposition is selfcontradictory. supposed to subsist eternally in the ether. yet the ideal leap is made from a material datum: that in which signification is seen state the is a fact.

and arithmetic. and by making them intended subjects of discourse. mathematics. Their co- science. contains. since facts select truths and decide which truths shall be mere possibilities and which shall be the eternal forms of actual things. ence to their illustration in things. if I may say so. cannot of itself decide which of all possible forms shall be real . geometry. it turns into meanings the actual forms of things by reflecting upon them. and without referIts eternity. in their ideality. as one atom would posit all geometry. Important truth is truth about some- thing. if there were no space. plays a predominant role. all consistent propositions would be equally valid and equally trivial. and physics.THE LIFE OF REASON 32 and the infinitude of propositions it remain potential and unapproachable Form until their incidence is found in existence. Living dialectic comes to clarify existence. thus united at their meet again in their results. is the best part which is of the best part of dialectic. if there were no pulses or chasms in being. and although a single datum might foothold and suffice to give pertinence to an infinity of truths. all of the fourth dimension. not truth about truth. physics. it furnishes the whole method of understanding Digitized by Google . would be. The dialectical world would be a trackless desert if the existent world had no arbitrary constitution. Truth depends upon facts for its perspective. would be all algebra. In mechanical Dialectic basis. which operation.

the dialectic applicable to mate- rial processes and to human one in which life is the terms and the categories needed are still ceedingly numerous and vague: a logic is little ex- that can be read into the cataract of events. In psychology and history. too. It is the aspiration of natural science to be as dialectical as possible. a ported by every success it hope which is sup- scores. in their ideal. the ideal of physics. it is when conduct and growth are rational. is that a simpler law than has yet been discovered will be found to connect units subtler than those yet known. all But the hope of science. and deduction To be tic. both branches of science are brought together. and thus. it furnishes the little perspicuousness which there understand actions and mental develop- We is. may be name thence de- another is for dialec- sure.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 33 wherever there is any real understanding at all. because of a maximum it is Mechanism the infusion of mathematical necessity into the flux of real things. that when they is. in every department. and that in these ism is may finer terms the universal mechan- be exhaustively rendered. Digitized by Google . It is the evident ideal of physics. ments when the purposes or ideas contained in any stage are carried out logically in the sequel. that have found the true secret and significance of them. to attain such an insight into causes that the effects actually given duced. we think we are dialectical. although dialectic is soon choked by the cross-currents of nature.

richest is human ideal development. It counterfeit paper currency. not be a science at all. In fact. which makes it worthless for master- dialectic takes a turn ing experience. it loses all its cogency has no dignity if which is it is dialectic a introduced game dignity : for abstract the subject-matter into trivial. Just as a fact without implications is not a part of science. free excursions of dialectic into non-nat- ural regions may be wisely encouraged when they Digitized by Google . were in which the counters were not actual data and the conclusions were not possible it would would resemble a principles for understanding existence. If which makes it inapplicable in physics. at bottom. is verified a is is not human its direct pur- ultimate justification. And the ultimate justification of dialectic Life of Reason. The direct pur- an idea. without intrinsic value and without commercial convenience.THE LIFE OF REASON 34 That the ideal of dialectic is to apply to exand thereby to coincide with physics is in a sense no less true. pursuit and has. although dialecticians may istence be little inclined to confess pose of deduction is it. to de- to elucidate more velop an import. so a method without application would not The be. in which maximum practical consequence the to further the thought has the and may enjoy in validity. have no value. and nothing can be irrel- evant in this science than whether the conclusion pose of dialectic Dialectic But the in nature or not. at bottom. it would moral function and a moral function. otherwise.

so to speak. bring with it excellent fruits. m serves respect. logic of nonsense has a subtle charm only because be turned into the logic of dialectic is. it is not for being oracular but for being useful and delightful. these sciences remain essentially inIf science deevitable and essentially fallible. its it. knowledge. ing to supply more thinking or. as it present in the simplest The sciences have nothfundamental than vulgar were. at least indirectly. the ballet of science: runs most neatly after nothing at Both physics and common can so easily sense. would be . pretence on the philosopher's part that he could get behind or below human underpin. nothing but seeing under and seeing There is indeed a great mystery in knowl- standing it . as seeing far. is edge. it common Empty as it were. or these abstracted hermits will seem at first so are dialecticians that useless and at last The mad. As musicians are an honour to society.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 35 satisfy an interest which is at bottom healthy and may. are contained in and when carried further dailv life > than men carr7 them No science a prion. have a single heart and an exquisite patience. his thinking. but this mystery is memory or presumption. that he could own childhood and the inherent conventions of daily thought. preliminary to are simply elaborations of suppositions and carry on A Under- is. dialectic it all. they accept They its pre- ordinary processes. But somehow the benefit must redound to society and to practical knowledge.

When he is at last per- from error and reduced to speechless sensibility.THE LIFE OF REASON 36 A pure imposture. however. disclose its logical stratification or physical ante- cedents . he can analyse its method and point out assumptions. the scientific man Rdicof become the criticism. We may grating as we construct a theory as disinte- emwe may please about the dialectical or pirical conditions of the experience given. but he its cannot know by other authority than that which know the vulgar knowledge begin by. he will perceive. human knowledge anew on None can in- and vestigation presupposes ordinary perception dis- base a deeper foundation or prefix an ante-experimental episode to experience. but every idea and principle used in such a theory must be borrowed from current knowl- edge as it happens to lie in the philosopher's mind. philosopher can of course in- vestigate the history of knowledge. and satirist of his He may exhaust scepticism and withdraw into the citadel of im- mediate feeling. that he is also washed clean of every practical belief he would declare himself universally ignorant but fectly safe : for a doubt whether there be really anything to Digitized . itself in Every deeper uses some Every possible at least of its data. foiled is and free to turn about critic ambitions. If these speculative adventures do not turn out well. nor can his with other unheard-of objects or deploy advance over an esoteric field. covery extends human knowledge. yielding bastion after bastion to the assaults of doubt.

child. This recovered faith new evidences to rest on. then. vanishings. in actual intuition. as infinite pains is right upon that experience Digitized by Google . memory. Science. tended and refined. and understanding. science ception. fitting. hypotheses. only with a better knowledge of the lines we are has no holding and perhaps with them up again for no less inclination to give better reason than the un- doubted fact that. we is but a easily reoccupy the back into an ordinary posture fall of belief and expectation. have surrendered evoking. inferences. The sciences bestow. it is always possible to renounce them. We simply stand where we stood before we began to philosophise. Its validity is of the Its test is found. blank misknow. givings of a creature moving about in worlds not realised" which may visit any the suspension of judgment surely not increased the enemy lost own ground and So long as knowledge is but when we remember that whom we to ghost of our . for each vulgar observation. order as it is common knowledge ex- same that of ordinary perception. It generates in the mind. and and a whole brood of suggestions. lasts. which sometimes consists in per- ception and sometimes in intent. common is the attentive consideration of experience.TYPES AND AIMS OF SCIENCE 37 This metaphysical exercise is simply one of those " fallings from us. in a speculative sense. is The flight of merely longer from perception to per- and its deduction more accurate of mean- ing from meaning and purpose from purpose. like theirs.

They They take compare event. infer. and prophesy.38 THE LIFE OF REASON which in their absence would drift by unchallenged or misunderstood. Digitized by Google . prophecy — with so intent are —every imaginable background and they on reality extension for the present dream. and altogether they supply note.

bined tory.CHAPTER II HISTORY The edge least artificial extension of is history. This systematic investigation. and memoirs happily com- make not the least interesting sort of his- When man a career. many an History an and artificial memory. It buttresses somebody of casual facts that in the instance may have engaged an individual's what the first frail attention. especially when it goes back to first sources. memory. widens the basis for taken place. if is It Digitized by Google . Personal common knowl- recollection supplies anecdote. he imaginative reconstruction. at all. nothing but assisted and recorded might almost be said to be no science memory and faith in memory were not History . or laments the changes that have since is an informal historian. He would become one in a formal and technical sense if he supplemented and controlled his memory by ransacking papers. and taking elaborate pains to gather evidence on the events he wished to relate. anecdotes collected freely commented upon make up memoirs. describes the recalls men any episode in his that flourished in his youth.

but. other telepathic visions. The line betweeen what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support that knowledge is impossible to draw. The sense of knowing constitutes only a working repetition isted. It is true that memory sometimes. In order to sift evidence we must rely on some witness. however. as in a vision. picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe. like requires control.THE LIFE OF REASON 40 what science necessarily rests on. until corroboration comes that presumption can claim no respect from the outsider. can never prove truth. Digitized by Google . endures eternally in some spiritual sphere. might involve no true of anything that had previously exmight be a fresh experience altogether. we have but a The shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. a sense all its vivid minutiae concomitants. j. j. We may imagine at such moments na gxpgpjgncg can nev er really perish. A of living the past over with and trivial its own lapse into by-gone perception. seems to raise the curtain upon the past and reSecond sight store it to us in its pristine reality. It presumption for experiment to start with. and we must trust experience before we proceed to expand it. and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others. Such bodily recovery of the past. though hidden by chance from the roving eye. Memory itself is an internal rumour.

in that common world in space and time to which other memories and perceptions may refer also. finds itself corroborated ory. basis of all historical not called history until it enters can be supported or corrected This field is that natural world it by evidence. moved in a sphere of its own. is the presumptions. envisage together. as they happened independently of what Thus either memory may chance to represent. but to receive corroboration some event in nature. in the common field of expres- by another memsomewhat in dignity and ap- sion. events in that world can corroborate —something Nature the theme com- or contradict one another mon to various t na t WO uld memory. Only when memory therefore. which all experiences. a double assurance. For memory to meet memory. scientific when they coincide. In it refer to Digitized by Google . does it rise proach knowledge. even the most miraculous and direct recovery of the past needs corroboration if it is to be systematically credited must . it is a field where Two knowledge. in so far as they are ra- Assertions relating to tional. like be impossible the plot of if a each novel. it can be compared with nothing else that might test its veracity. make While memory. is expressed and. then.HISTORY 41 While memory remains a private presumption. the two must present objects which are similar or continuous: then they can corroborate or correct each other and help to fix the order of events as they really happened that is.

however. on effort to give it Digitized by Google .THE LIFE OF REASON 42 becoming history. portion of natural science. cannot be incorporated into the dominant round of fancies is consigned more and more to oblivion. knowledge of the past is preserved so subject to imaginative influence that it is cannot from history anything that the supply. all myth and fable being originally localised within the confines of the material world and made to pass for a part of The method by which Growth of earty history. This consolidation of legend is not intentional. It is When we muse scious of no about our own past we are condramatic unity. ingenuous and for the most part inevitable. memory becomes such that any natural science support or contradict them. on the other hand. therefore. The absence cadences would leave a sensible gap the momentum of ideation some appropriate image. too serried conceived is at first vaguely believed to have its place in the natural order. a assertions are Its may conceivably Nature and its transformations. What falls in with this rhythm is reproduced and accentuated whenever the train of avail to exclude imagination memory is may started anew. legend. form and complicated a system for our wayward minds to dominate if left to their sponWhatever is remembered or taneous workings. In the growth of legend a dramatic rhythm becomes more and more marked. is of such —a gap which quick to fill up with Whatever.

we listen with a certain awe. Digitized by Google . ritualistic habits usually cal own part to sleep attributed to the tale. like a found- between night and morning. When a man of experience narrates the wonders he has seen. in which poetic merit largely lies. merely inherits the name and authority of its the narrative in ancestor. ling. only if The some record of or some physical its former guise. The innocent poet believes his own lies. memorial of the event related. as it . and believe in him for his miracles as our own memory and ment on his A for its arts. They are diEach time the tale is retold suffers a variation which is not challenged. survives to be confronted with the modified version. precludes tinkering with it intentionally. we believe in bard's mechani- put all judg- while the sanctity becomes automatically more impressive.HISTORY 43 the contrary. vinely vouchsafed. The modiIt fied version itself can make no comparisons. because rhythm and ideal pertinence. Legends consequently acquire a considerable These beauties accrue spontaneously. it since it change is is memory itself discoverable that has varied. Especially the allegories and marvels with which early history is adorned are not ordinarily invented with malice prepense. the excitement and interest of the process consist in seeming to discover the hidden eloquence and meaning of the events themselves. They are rather discovered in the mind. eloquence and dramatic force.

The automatic and pious minstrel carries it with him to the end. so that even the oldest and best-pruned legends are full of and scraps of These literary blemishes are like embedded fossils and tell of facts which the mechanism of reproduction. moreover. for some casual reason. and hills by erosion are worn to pyramids. like tell-tale atrophied organs in an animal body. nonsense. For these reasons there can be no serious history until there are archives and preserved No history without documents. and ex- Archives records. nor is it missed by the narrator where it is wanting. perience has presented and sometimes a man may compose in a privileged position as them his personal to him. irrelevant survivals. As symmetry in material structures is a ground for strength. records. Dramatic stability attained is effect is not everywhere achieved. has not obliterated.THE LIFE OF REASON 44 are natural formative principles for speech and memory. although interesting essays on the events persons of his own time. Yet the not absolute. reveal its Art and a deliberate purgradual formation. do not absolve a specu- lative historian from paying the same toll to the Digitized by Google . so it is in thoughts. but only such stability as the circumstances require. dition religiously The recorder of verbal tradown its inconsistencies sets and leaves in the transfigured chronicle many incidents and remarks which. suit of unction or beauty would have thrown over this baggage. contradictions.

In both automatically foreshortened cluster. that particular vortex picture. in the absence of documents. the rest is is All that falls within included in the mental passed over and tends to drop It is not possible to say. tories legends cases principle that elicits his- out of records out of the facts and made to about a chosen is the remembered are same that breeds events. were providentially. Kings and generals are endowed with motives appropriate to what the historian values in their actions. everything at once. and so always The conditions of exmemory dragoon the facts on diffuse experience. out of sight. pression and even of and put a false front is brought forward as if it had and efficacious in the march of events. nor to think. philosophy. and harmonies are turned into causes. while the that really preoccupied thoughts them remain buried in Digitized by Google . History is always written wrong. as it interest. and the private in- which guides a man in selecting his maimposes itself inevitably on the events he relates and especially on their grouping and sigterest terials nificance. plans are imputed to them prophetic of is interesting been central their actual achievements.HISTORY 45 dramatic unities and making the same concessions to the laws of perspective which. What needs to be rewritten. or romantic imagination furnishes a vital nucleus for reflection. The historian's politics. turn tradition so soon The into epic poetry.

To the heartless shimmer of individuality catch only is to paint a costume without the body that supports it. as if it much were as fash- ionable portrait-painters sometimes surcharge the characteristic. mind. Moralising historians cal or literary. Therefore a broad and noble historian sets down Digitized . to bring out a point. so frankly parti- san or cynical that they avowedly write history The aim tnrfk is ^th a view to either politi- effect. as he loves the truth. He would wish.THE LIFE OF REASON 46 Such falsification is inevitable. him It is only a very great to be partial. belong to this school. His with all his generic humanity upon him. to see and to render it entire. the inessential. that can lend such an accent and such a carrying-power to a few facts make them representative Some historians. They sketch every and twist it. in the honest The It characteristic is after all marks a peripheral variation and sturdy lump. indeed. situation with malice an argument. seasoned by large wisdom. man is common yet the truly memorable aspect of a And that which he wears in the sunlight of day. most interesting phase is not that which he might assume under the lime-light of satirical or literary comparisons. and an honest historian is guilty of it only against his will. are as to of all reality. as well as those philosophers who worship evolution. But the limits of his book and of his knowledge force absolute oblivion. in order to a minimum expense make of time a bold effect at and devotion.

HISTORY
all

within

his

apperception.

47

His

literary

in-

terests are forgotten; he is wholly devoted to ex-

pressing the passions of the dead.

His ideal,
emanating from his function and chosen for no

make

his heroes think

as they really thought

and acted in the

extraneous reason,

and act

is

to

world.

Nevertheless the opposite happens, sometimes
to a

marked and even scandalous degree.

As

legend becomes in a few generations preposterous

myth, so history, after a few rehandlings and
condensations, becomes unblushing theory.

theory

—when we use

Now

the word for a schema of

and not for contemplation of
and fulness is an expedient
cover ignorance and remedy confusion. The

things' relations

them
to

function of history,
filled,

in their detail

if it

could be thoroughly ful-

would be to render theory unnecessary.

Did we possess a record of all geological changes
we should need no geological
theory to suggest to us what those changes must
since the creation

have been. Hypothesis is like the rule of three:
it comes into play only when one of the terms
is unknown and needs to be inferred from those
which are given. The ideal historian, since he
would know all the facts, would need no hypotheses, and since he would imagine and hold all
events together in their actual juxtapositions he

would need no classifications. The intentions,
acts, and antecedents of every mortal would be
seen in their precise places, with no imputed

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THE LIFE OF REASON

48

qualities or scope ; and when those intentions had
been in fact fulfilled, the fulfilments too would
occupy their modest position in the rank and
file of marching existence.
To omniscience the
idea of cause and effect would be unthinkable.
If all things were perceived together and coexisted for thought, as they actually flow through
being, on one flat phenomenal level, what sense
would there be in saying that one element had
compelled another to appear? The relation of
cause is an instrument necessary to thought
only when thought is guided by presumption.
We say, " If this thing had happened, that other
thing would have followed " a hypothesis which
would lapse and become unmeaning had we always known all the facts. For no supposition
contrary to fact would then have entered dis-

course.

This ideal of direct omniscience

is,

however,

impossible to attain; not merely accidental f railindirect

^ es

methods of

stands in the way.

attaining it

no

^ut the very nature of things

>

^

f.

being, because

its

gugpe^gjj
very nucleus

Experience canor
is

sustained

in

mobile and in

shifting cannot retain its past phases bodily, but

only at best

what

some trace or representation of
itself is an expedient by which

Memory

them.
is

hopelessly lost in

be partly kept in

its

its totality

may

at least

beautv or significance; and

way than
by carrying into the moving present the lesson
experience can be enlarged in no other

Digitized

HISTORY

49

and transmitted habit of much that
tory

naturally

is

reduced

to

may be

before the

mind

inference,

to

elements,

investigation,

and

dramatic

to

conveniently distinguish in his-

tory, as it is perforce written

tinct

but in

obliged to appeal to

is

generalisation,

We may

his-

to bring the past again

in all its living reality,

pursuing that object he
fancy.

indirect

The

methods of recovering what has lapsed.
torian's object

His-

past.

is

similar

by men, three

dis-

which we may

call

historical

theory,

and

historical

historical

romance.
Historical investigation
of the past.

is

ments are usually

wna *

nucith

the natural science

The circumstance

that

literary

its

docu-

may some-

disguise the physical character

and the physical principles of

part of
physics.

this

when a man wishes to
happened at a given mo-

science; but

discover

what

really

ment, even if the event were somebody's thought,
he has to read his sources, not for what they
In other words,
say, but for what they imply.
the witnesses cannot be allowed merely to speak
for

themselves,

after

the

gossiping

fashion

familiar in Herodotus: their testimonv has to be

interpreted

The

according to

the

laws

of

evidence.

past needs to be reconstructed out of reports,

as in geology or archaeology

it

needs to be recon-

and ruins.
man's memory or the report in a newspaper
structed

a

fact

out

of

justifying

stratifications

certain

inferences

about

A
is

its

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THE LIFE OF REASON

50

probable causes according to laws which such

phenomena betray
closely scrutinised.

in the present

when they

This reconstruction

are

often

is

and sometimes all that can be
is merely that the tradition
before us is certainly false; somewhat as a perplexed geologist might venture on no conclusion
except that the state of the earth's crust was
once very different from what it is now.
very

difficult,

established in the end

A

natural science dealing with the past labours

under the disadvantage of not being able to apexperiment.

Verification

Peal

here indirect

terminates

to

ered, so that they

may

upon

The

cannot

facts

be

it

recov-

verify in sense the hypoth-

had inferred them. The hypothesis can
be tested only by current events ; it is then turned
back upon the past, to give assurance of facts
which themselves are hypothetical and remain
hanging, as it were, to the loose end of the
hypothesis itself. A hypothetical fact is a most
dangerous creature, since it lives on the credit
of a theory which in turn would be bankrupt if
esis that

the fact should

fail.

Inferred past facts are more

deceptive than facts prophesied, because while the
risk of error in the inference is the same, there
is

no

possibility of discovering that error;

and

the historian, while really as speculative as the

prophet, can never be found out.

Most

facts

known

to

man,

however,

reached by inference, and their reality

are

may

be

wisely assumed so long as the principle by which

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Google

HISTORY
they are inferred, when
finds

ent,

complete

it is

applied in the pres-

and constant

verification.

Presumptions involved in memory and tradition
give the first hypothetical facts we count upon;
the relations which these first facts betray supply
the laws by which facts are to be concatenated;
and these laws may then be used to pass from
the

first

hypothetical facts to hypothetical facts

of a second order, forming a background

and

congruous extension to those originally assumed.
This expansion of discursive science can go on
for ever, unless indeed the principles of inference

employed in

it

involve

some present

existence,

such as a skeleton in a given tomb, which direct
experience fails to verify. Then the theory itself
is

disproved and the whole galaxy of hypothetical

which

facts

about

clustered

forfeit

it

their

credibility.
its aim to fix
and character of events throughout

Historical investigation has for

the

order

P ast ^ me

Futile ideal
to survey
facts.

mal

^

a^ pl ftces

The

-

o | rea j ex j s ^ence^ ^ftj
detail,

can

recorded could
to carry

it

be

recorded,

is

this social

somehow
mind ; and

if

be dominated by the

on a survey of

infinitesi-

its

nor

continuum ad

infinitum would multiply the difficulty.

might

task

frankly superhuman, because no block

an

The

task

also be called

infrahuman, because the sort
of omniscience which such complete historical
science would achieve would merely furnish materials for intelligence

:

it

would be inferior

to intel-

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THE LIFE OF REASON

52

ligence itself.

There are many things which, as

Aristotle says,

it

—namely,

know

better not to

is

know than

to

those things which do not count

in controlling the mind's fortunes nor enter into
ideal expression.
Such is the whole flux of
immediate experience in other minds or in one's
its

own
to

past and just as it is better to forget than
remember a nightmare or the by-gone sensa;

tions of sea-sickness, so

it is

better not to conceive

the sensuous pulp of alien experience, something

amount and

infinite in

An

insignificant in character.

attempt to rehearse the inner

life of every-

body that has ever lived would be no rational
Instead of lifting the historian above

endeavour.

the world and

of creatures,

making him the most consummate
would flatten his mind out into

it

a passive after-image of diffuse existence, with
all its horrible blindness, strain, and monotony.

Reason

is

not come to repeat the universe but to

Besides, a complete survey of events
would perforce register all changes that have
fulfil

it.

taken place in matter since time began, the

fields

of geology, astronomy, palaeontology, and archae-

ology being

all,

in a sense, included in history.

Such learning would dissolve thought in a vertigo,
if it had not already perished of boredom.
Historical

there

research

may

which

is

accordingly a servile science

enter the Life of Reason to perform

some incidental

service,

lapse as soon as that service

The

profit

but which ought to
is

performed.

of studying history

lies

in some-

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A seductive alternative might be to say that the profit of it lies in under- standing what has happened. at his as he will. before. Historical theory. in perceiving the principles and laws that govern social evolution. are hereby launched upon a region of physico-ethical specu- where any man with a genius for quick generalisation can swim at ease. a suffered to be. had said to himself that down to a fact and Plato when designing the Disputa Aristotle should point up to a meaning. own If Raphael. there the proudest of intellects. lation . perception. or to formulate in limpid senwhat could be more tempting or more purely literary? It would ill become the author of this book to decry tences the essence of Greek culture allegorical expressions. We or the meaning which events have. or had conceived that weary of argument down his books and ance. should throw turn to revelation for guid- would have been much historical per- tinence in those conceptions .HISTORY 53 thing else than in a dead knowledge of what happens to have happened. especially if no one has ever thought of it or to expound the true import of the French Revolution. To find the one &reat cause wnv Rome fell. and learning. or — a cavalierlike fashion of dismissing whole periods and tendencies with a We must have exercises in apwork of imagination must be taken imaginatively. risk. yet the figures would Digitized by Google . and a landscape painter must be verbal antithesis. as impressionistic when he was designing the School of Athens.

THE LIFE OF REASON 54 have been allegorical. efficacious relations between material. Even the single man's life and character have sub- force to intent. sion how should the outer expres- and influence of that character have sources Digitized . determining their and duration. with manner of up and alloys. and that the phenomena and the forces really at work had been multitudinous and infinitesimal? In fine. but would it be needful in that case to enter a warning that these units were verbal merely. contracting into a decorative design events that had been dispersed through centuries and emotions that had only cropped here and there. Physical causes constant. The truly proportionate. when the particular natural situation had made them inevitable. like the laws of habit those expressions of Newton's first law of all variations "* — motion. and the order. so irrelevant in which they succeed one another. An essayist may play with historical apperception as long as he will and always find something new to say. and something might be added about the troubles of their home life . terranean sources. So the Renaissance might be spoken of as a person and the Reformation as her step-sister. and there are no h* 8 * 01 08 * * aws wm ch are not Itisarbi at bottom physical. things will remain traverse the moral units at which history stops. discovering the ideal nerve and issue of a movement in a different aspect of the facts. which have no dynamic cohesion. historical terms mark merely rhetorical unities.

there which even a dramatic idealist is interests affected are themselves trary. and there will be no end of rival evolutions and in- compatible ideal principles crossing one another at every interesting event. names for general impressive results. that Each of on a single play some role in our ideal philosophy. ends in asserting that events have directed themselves prophetically upon the interests which they arouse. Such a manipulation of history. therefore. when made by persons who underestimate their imaginative powers. social to evolution. next passion affected will throw a differently col- oured calcium light on the same pageant. Apart from the magic involved and the mockery of all science. those We much composing a complex accordingly necessity. these idols of the theatre is visible only stage and to The duly predisposed spectators. and less. Digitized by Google . If history is a difficulty here ought to feel.HISTORY more superficial than its trace mechanical necessity 55 own? Yet we cannot down to the more stable units composing a personal mechanism. obviously lurking under the translate life's common- place yet unaccountable shocks. discover America so that George Washington might exist and that some day footcally. for instance. into verbal principles. many and The con- to be understood teleologi- which of all the possible ends it might be pursuing shall we think really endowed with regressive influence and responsible for the movement that is going to realise it ? Did Columbus.

such a superior. he may seem for a while to save his theory by making it to mystical. applauding every issue. definitive perception of Digitized by Google . vation that the Indian sages made long ago. worms and microbes? If the his- willing to accept such a suggestion. and become a blind worshipper of success. as Hegel believed. falls back into This is the sort of obser- the inexorable vortex. for all its practical impotence. ideally superfluous. yet presently this last illusion will be dissipated finds when he that everything. but why not also for wolves. all if loses his way victors perish in the maze and and in their turn you look far enough. however lamentable for humanity. the absolute having become enough already in Prussia? Or is at an infinite distance and unimaginable by us. whatever plausibility the providential may have is dependent on the curious limitation and selfishness of the observer's estimations. it what renders their philosophy. self-conscious 6hall we say that the real goal therefore. Sheep are providentially view of a given occurrence designed for and men torian is for men. and useless. and calling it admirable tragedy. such an irrefragable record of exis perience.THE LIFE OF REASON 56 ball and the Church of England may prevail Or was it (as has been throughout the world? seriously maintained) in order that the converted Indians of South America might console Saint Peter for the defection of the British and Ger- mans? Or was America. for understanding anything? In truth.

and that had causes which it knew nothing of. the not the force that operates. may have had in many respects our actual interests in view. in which definite and moral aspirations may well be by events. it is rarer and more qualified where a fine and fragile organisation is required to support the political plans fulfilled common spiritual life. of course. on the ground that its foam is the culmination of all things for ever? There is a sense. and to me? Shall we strive manfully to the top of this particular wave.HISTORY Beside the flux. This sort of false history or philosophy of his- Digitized by Google . embracing one-quarter of the earth for three thousand years. turies it. Such ideal co-operation extends far. as we may have those of posterity. seem puerile vistas indeed. where primary interests are concerned . all existence be for the sake of what Shall all eternity is and happen- ing here to-day. ents It breaks and proves to categories are essentially rhetorical. sharing and anticipating our natures. Even aim pursued and attained is in these cases. 57 our progresses of two cen- and our philosophies of history. Every "historical force" pompously appealed to breaks up on inspection into a cataract of miscellaneous natural processes and minute particular intent itself into its mechanical constituhave been nothing but an effet d* ensemble produced on a mind whose habits and causes. Our ancestors. since the result achieved had many other conditions besides the worker's intent.

estimate of evolution might well be called a phil- osophy of history. where credible reports did not testify to them directly. if Howitmitfit be ju»t. and the causes of events would be left to some theory of natural tinising fritiq^of the past is evolution. might supervene upon positive history. would not abdicate their rights. to give a needful basis the ideal. would also Digitized by Google . since it would be a higher operation performed on the results of natural sci- and illustration to The present work is an essay in that ence. like so by self-knowledge. The events themselves would be left for scientific inference to discover. in terms more and more exact and mechanical. according to the degree of knowledge attained.THE LIFE OF REASON 58 tory might be purified. and a sort of retrospective an estimate of events in reference to the moral ideal which they embodied or betrayed. This politics. In the presence of the past so defined imagination and will. to be stated. as he might look over a crowd to find his friends. would recognise its own natural basis. many other things. the operation would become a perfectly legitimate one. and therefore recognise that under other conditions ideal as the touchstone for estimation. however. direction. trate his own ideals. The which in such a review would serve it were an enlightened ideal. If the philosopher in review- ing events confessed that he was scru- them in order to abstract from them whatever tended to illuspossibie.

It is by no means requisite. by which we also estimating the measure of success turn or together is irremediable half-tragedy of In suffer. who does not wish to be bluntly irrational. Historical investigation. This test is the perpetual ideal of the life" it is applied to. may have arisen and may have been made the standard for a different judgment on the world. therefore. no less legitimate. so the general excellence of things heightened fulfilled. and whenever individuals or nations have become reflective they have known how to give articulate expression to theirs. would reveal to us what these various ideals have been. achieved anywhere a liberal historian.HISTORY 59 other ideals. be well in the world if my own As concomitant all feated. to foresee what ultimate form the good might some day take. not in some arbitrary dogma but personal in a variegated omnipresent happiness. his time. were its resources adequate. the life. is in so far as he can what is meant by put- ting the standard of value. That all these ideals could not have been realised in an immense misfortune. will of course estimate ering it from all these points of view. or his nation the test of all excellence. This appreciate them. Every animal has his own. in dis- entangling the Life of Reason. consid- all real interests affected. much less to make the purposes of the philosopher himself. if could not purposes were de- would be other men's purposes also had been Each will is a true centre for universal .

the Life of Rea- son was thereby increased once for and volume. If the Egyptian poets sang well. To inquire what everybody has thought about the world. remain successes always and this is the only kind of success that in the end can be achieved at living. therefore. in esti- pression. in history if it did not constituents make of its all passions in all creatures own authority. and these are indelible and have their proportionate weight though others of many different types may surround or succeed them. so far. comes to exand irreversible values are introthe world. though that conduces not at all to those songs are all our advantage. Reason would not be reason but passion all. and into what strange shapes every passionate dream would fain have transformed existence. and though now dumb. all Brief erratic experiments in pith made in were somewhat successful in their day. real duced into mating what has been hitherto achieved.THE LIFE OF REASON 60 estimation. These facts of preference and estimation might be made to stand side by side with all Digitized by Google . has passed on itself. might be merely a part of historical investigation. and the historian. needs to make himself the spokesman for all past aspirations. if they : The philosopher that looks for what is good and measures the past by the scale of reason need be no impertinent dogmatist on that account. As each will. The judg- ments it passes on existence are only the judgments which existence.

even if it could be drawn with accuracy. or many an illustration even a necessary stimulus in defining what his ideals are. Where his admira- and his sympathy are awakened. success and benefit here. and however good or however bad the universe may be it is always worth while to make it better. erence book of science they would all ref- find their line. in their abstraction and by virtue of their moral dignity. m ^ ger over heroic episodes and commanding characters in the are a P^ *° world's annals. would not be a truth of moral importance. he sees noble aims and great achievements. It is not even in the hope of discovering just to what extent and in how many directions experience has been a tragedy.HISTORY 61 other facts in that absolute physical order which the universe must somehow In the possess. worthy of being minutely studied and brought vividly before later generations. would be equally valid and delightful. since whatever that balance might be for the world at large. But it is not for the sake of making vain knowledge complete that historians page and Transition to historical romance. Very probably he will be led by tion moral affinities with certain phases of the past to attribute to those phases. The mathematical balance of failure and success. What engages tion of moral is the historian in the reconstruc- life. such as the past contained. from the living point of view. that he finds in that life of his own ideals. a material effi- Digitized by Google .

and his interest in history's tory into itself moral will make him turn hisa fable. is is pertinence to the political or emotional life To revive past moral experience indeed wellnigh impossible unless the living same issues . and to the all his glorious event all its insignificant causes. and the historian. who than a man is often a politician and a poet rather of science. however. This abuse may be abated.THE LIFE OF REASON 62 cacy which they did not really have. with an eye to its Digitized by Google . The moral Potability of actually genuine epics. not- withstanding. will dwell on those noble own things so as to quicken his sense for great- ness and to burnish in his soul ideals that may have remained obscure for want of scrutiny or may have been tarnished by too much contact with a sordid world. hero that will restore to the circumstantial impotence. hisromance cannot be truthful or interesting when profound changes have taken place in human nature. The reported acts and sentiments of will can still covet or dread the torical early peoples lose their tragic dignity in our eyes when they So that a lose their pertinence to recital of history our own aims. their intrinsic nobility . by having recourse to impartial historical investigation. but that have life been represented lived circumstance is may through. incidental merely and what makes the story worth telling its of the present. History so conceived has the function of epic or dramatic poetry. tain men and Cer- certain episodes will retain.

it might well be written in verse. appearance. has fed eagerly on all the material incidents and private gossip of remote times. far from abating. Such a treatment of history would reinstate that epic and tragic poetry which has become obsolete. the romantic interest in the past. while at the possessions same time has kept pace with the knowl- edge of minutiae attained by archaeology.HISTORY dramatic values when that history when we assimilate it possible only is so to speak. so that the curious man might always be informed on any point of fact that interested him. it Digitized by Google . Not being suspected ing to distort facts which could so of wisheasily be might become more conscious of its own moral function. our own. drama has reflected This sort of petty contemporary inter- which have centred so largely in material and personal careers. to ours The by poetic various 63 license. and it might turn unblushingly to what was important and inspiring in order to put it with dramatic force before the mind. functions of history have been generally carried on simultaneously and with tle consciousness of their Since historical criticism profound made its lit- diversity. Indeed were may a very likely set it possible to collect in archives exhaustive accounts of everything that has ever happened. historical imagination might grow free again in its movements. or is. and pointed to. When it historical investigation has reached its limits period of ideal reconstruction in. historical ests.

passions potential in the auditor's soul. the tragedy. past fact only an expedi- is its fidelity to °^ en an is not of sci- and easy one. doubtless remany a fancied dialogue with Queen peated. in Elizabeth. reading it and Then irritation. depends entirely on the scope which we lend it. not perhaps without historic truth. Historic romance and ence. Literai truth ent > abandoned. its Yet the dramatic force audacious substitution of for facts. and they could hardly deal with such ideals in an authoritative and definite way. " Denn ich bin Eucr Konig!" of that expression. for striking the key-note of present ideals. Mary Queen of Scots. even when it is true what some one else felt in some other draws its force and sublimity from current insight into age. would be reduced to a loud comedy. with scientific and Tragedies for public feasts. it might furnish a sort of ritual. passions. a work of art. political and epics are such only in name if they do not deal with the highest interests and destinies of a people.THE LIFE OF REASON 64 would at any rate be frankly imaginative. Some might see in it nothing but a sally in a woman's ideals with the accent of mere spite quarrel. The excellent insight attained. Different actors and different readers would interpret it differently. sanctions. Other interpreters might find in the Digitized by Google . unless they found them illustrated in that people's traditions. the very words that Schiller puts into her mouth in the central scene of his play. for instance.

and the poor queen's cry. and foolishness of the Middle Ages. The successful historical poet would be he who caught the most significant attitude which a person in that position could possibly have as- sumed. however. Then the drama would become more interesting. would be es- resembling the real a mythical person. all the chivalry.HISTORY 65 phrase the whole feudal system. So Electra and Antigone and Helen of Troy are tragic figures absolved from historical accuracy. shine through those legendary misfortunes. whether accidentally woman or not. That a woman may have been very unhappy or that a state may legality. that moment would have to epitomise ideals which we deeply respected." aspirations native to the heart. It would matter nothing to the excellence of Schiller's drama which of these interpretations might have been made by Mary Stuart herself at any given moment. To reach sublimity. doubtless her attitude toward her rival was coloured on different occasions by varying degrees of political insight and moral fervour. would have great pathos and keenness. although possibly if the personages of heroic times were known sentially . while that of a mind sophisticated and fanatical. and his Mary Stuart. have been held together by personal allegiance does not raise the fate of either to the tragic plane. unless "laws that are not of to-day nor yester- day. We should have to believe in the sanctity of canon law and in the divine right of primogeniture.

the better to dominate the present situation and the ideal one. historical ro- grows mature. Such a book. is to a provisional disci- with the mind's progress. Thus passes. are His- torical theory.THE LIFE OF REASON 66 to us we might find that our highest imagination had been anticipated in their consciousness. would The function of his- lend materials to politics and to poetry. is a falsification of causes. or that helps the tragic poet to conceive what is most glorious in human destiny. in turn. since no causes are other than mechanical. empty tory its values. acceptable function can only be to offer its accurate information upon such points as worth knowing for some ulterior reason. as it history proves to be an imperfect field for the exercise of reason. These arts need to dominate past events. where the moral imagination disengages itself from all allegiance to particular past facts. theory. transcended. £ u j^ know every and one Investigation because its merely use- intrinsic detail of everything — ideal attains is is ideal — to not rational. Of the three parts into which the pursuit of investigation. and it dissolves in the presence either of adequate knowl- edge or of clear mance ideals. it is an arbitrary foreshortening of physics. pline . will Digitized by Google . as knowledge and ignorance are now mingled. A good book of history is one that helps the statesman to formulate and to carry out his plans. into epics and tragedies. Finally. it is into higher activities. and history may be divided — —not story-telling History existstobe finality.

they are neverhighly important. thought out. Yet memory rather than sense is knowledge in the pregnant acceptation of the word. theory be necessary too. because the various activities of the mind about the same matter can- not be divided altogether. and the latter may thereby be clarified. for in sense object and foundation of everything. Investigation will be necessary. is Inference more largely Digitized by Google . would be both false hardly are memory significance inheres in the present vouches history. and romance will not be wholly excluded. to it. and a dramatic treat- ment when up in often useful in summarising a situation. and insecure as torical conceptions its great theless his- must remain. is is in the Without sense memory and useless. derived from memory. since the needful facts are not all indubitably known. process for in the datum. Fragmentary.HISTORY 67 have to borrow something from each of the methods by which history is commonly pursued. and Similarly the absent. for while it merely extends is superior memory artifi- cially it shows a higher logical development than memory has and and is Trivial riper for ideal uses. arbitrary. is all the elements of detail before the it cannot be summoned mind. useless matter has dropped has gone a step farther. In human consciousness the indispensable Sense inverse ratio to the demonstrable. which is whereas distinguished. so that those facts may will be con- ceived in their pertinence to public interests.

but the barbarian.THE LIFE OF REASON 68 and testimony conveyed by the representative. and as conscience needs to be controlled by experience become rational. crawls among superstitions which he cannot understand or revoke and among persons whom he may hate or love. an imagination busy with what we call great interests. to the level of a purer happiness. As modifies instinct. or shapes the mind. gives the will a under new specific cir- basis. a to be cumstances. by level- ling it with a wider survey of the situation. so a memory of what sense of what human it is likely experience has been. A barbarian is no less subject to the past than is the civic man who knows what his past is and means to be loyal to it. so personal needs to be enlarged ideally if if it is experience to itself the failures and suc- cesses it reports are to touch impersonal interests. What any large drama deals with is a will cast into historic moulds. monuments leads to infer events that must reports of others or found in the speculative have is filled mind not passive or idle knowledge. Great interests are a gift which history makes to the heart. giving an This information the remotest ages. efficacious memory it new it truly informs aptitudes. for want of a trans-personal memory. The whole dignity of human endeavour is thus bound up with historic issues. but whom he can never think of raising to a politics or higher plane. .

on closer inspection. leads to a descrip- tion of habit. is the ideal of mechanism. the poet. re- this its finer texture history itself. taken ideally and in themselves. which alone recurs.CHAPTER III MECHANISM A retrospect over human experience. make their round and the men j-j^ the forest Q£ ^ peat their career. observe It is to analyse a phenomenon. or to natural history. distinguishing its form. To note here and there some passing illustration of these forms The is one way of studying experience. are what tion first rescues from the flux reflec- and makes a sci- ence of. which is irrevocable. a recurrence seasons to divine a To mechanism. the historian merely define 69 . observer. In undoubtedly repeats istering so The many is generations leaves. The forms. regularly interwoven. interesting recurrences. from its existence. can hardly fail to come upon Recurrent forms in nature. and that the flux of phenomena should turn out. if a little many extended. A study of it. they constitute that world of eternal relations with which dialectic is conversant. in reg- recurrences. to be composed of a multitude of recurring forms.

Generalities are indeed essential to understanding. when another to thus Only rule suggests itself which leaves a smaller margin unaccounted for in the do we give up our first generalisation. and we call a law. saving our faith in order at all hazards and appeal- ing to investigation to justify the same. which particulars. Whatever in particular instances accredited rule. is apt to impose them hastily upon Confirmation is not needed to create Digitized by kjOOQle . It will be a new sort of constant illustrated in the flux. a maximum this a of constancy would be introduced into the flux. it is an intellectual The weakness. which would thereby be proved to be mechanical. becomes a general mould to which we tend to assimilate new observations. scepticism which comes from distrust of abstraction and disgust with reckoning of any sort is not a scientific force. and this method may in turn be definable. But these incidental illustrations of form (called by Plato phenomena) may have a method in their comings and goings.THE LIFE OF REASON what they see. The form of events. more exact and trustworthy than the superstition. abstracted from their material presence. unknown we may contravene the attribute without a variations in qualm the circumstances. phenomena Not even the rudest superstition can be criticised or dis- lodged scientifically save by another general rule. If events could be reduced to number of constant forms moving in a constant medium according to a constant law.

MECHANISM prejudice. however refractory to evolve inwardly of themselves. therefore. in which they lie their is and in a continual ferment very vitality will extend their scope and change their application. as unchecked words shift their meaning. The mental soil Prejudices. however. taken blindly. Repetition. once noted. since if we remained sunk in the moments of existence and never abstracted their character from their pres- . Generalisations. and prejudices so sustained by events make man's knowledge of nature. will soon it and shift their ground. the flux its significance in establishing law having once been extracted. Natural science consists of general ideas which look for verification in events. by this flight into the general. is wveVSakes thrown aside like a squeezed orange. The particular instance. could never possess. lends diate experience an interest some Sci- imme- and scope which its parts. and which find it. when based on a single instance. 71 it will entwine itself chance neighbours and these ad- ventitious relations will pass henceforth for a part of the fact. new evidence. It its way settled there in a fertile soil at once with its vivid impression into the mind and a that suffices should once have cut . is a good means of making or keeping impressions vivid and almost the only means of keeping them unchanged. ence. But when a phe- forget nomenon actually recurs the generalisations founded on it are reinforced and kept identical.

THE LIFE OF REASON

72
ence,

we should never know

that they

We

lation to one another.

had any

re-

should feel their in-

cubus without being able to distinguish their

them names. By analysing
and abstracting what recurs from

dignities or to give

what we
its

find

many

vain incidents

we can

discover a sus-

tained structure within, which enables us to foretell

what we may find in
and

articulates experience

future.

Science thus

reveals its skeleton.

Skeletons are not things particularly congenial
to poets, unless it be for the sake of

having some-

thing truly horrible to shudder at and to frighten
children with: and so a certain school of philos-

ophers exhaust their rhetoric in convincing us that

known

the objects

science are

to

dead, while the living reality
absolutely unutterable.

gracious

way

artificial

is infinitely

This

is

rich

and
and

merely an un-

and
none

of describing the office of thought

bearing witness to

its necessity.

A

body

the worse for having some bones in

it,

is

even

if

on the surface. They are
certainly not the whole man, who nevertheless
runs and leaps by their leverage and smooth turning in their sockets; and a surgeon's studies in
dead anatomy help him excellently to set a living
they are not

joint.

The

all visible

abstractions of science are extractions

Truths cannot of themselves constitute
existence with its irrational concentration in time,
of truths.

place,

and person,

its

hopeless flux, and its vital

exuberance ; but they can be true of existence; they
can disclose that structure by which its parts

MECHANISM
cohere materially and become ideally inferable

from one another.
Science becomes demonstrable in proportion as

becomes abstract. It becomes in the same
measure applicable und useful, as mathematics
witnesses, whenever the abstraction is judiciously
made and has seized the profounder structural
features in the phenomenon.
These features are
often hard for human eyes to discern, buried as
it

they

may

be in the internal infinitesimal texture

of things.

Things accordingly seem

to

move on

the world's stage in an unaccountable fashion, and
to betray magic affinities to what is separated from
them by apparent chasms. The types of relation
Looser prind- which the mind may observe are mulpies tried first

tifarious.

Any

any incidental harmony,

chance

will

conjunction,

start a hypothesis

about the nature of the universe and be the parent
image of a whole system of philosophy. In selfindulgent minds most of these standard images are
dramatic, and the cue men follow in unravelling
experience is that offered by some success or fail-

ure of their own.

The

sanguine, having once

found a pearl in a dunghill,

feel

surance that the world's true secret
thing in the end

—and
ill

that

is

is

a glorious asis

that every-

ordered for everybody's benefit

optimism.

The

atrabilious, being

at ease with themselves, see the workings every-

where of insidious sin, and conceive that the world
is a dangerous place of trial.
A somewhat more
observant intellect may decide that what exists is

Digitized by

kjOOQle

THE LIFE OF REASON

74

a certain number of definite natures, each striving to preserve and express itself ; and in such language we still commonly read political events and
our friend's actions. At the dawn of science a
Thales, observing the ways and the conditions of
things somewhat
rain,

more

subtly,

will

notice

something quite adventitious to the

that

fields, is

what covers them with verdure, that the slime
life, that a liquid will freeze to stone and
melt to air ; and his shrewd conclusion will be that
breeds

everything

is

water in one disguise or another.

It is only after long

accumulated observation that

we can reach any exact law of nature; and this
law we hardly think of applying to living things.
These have not yet revealed the secret of their
and clear insight is vouchsafed us only
in such regions as that of mathematical physics,
where cogency in the ideal system is combined

structure,

with adequacy to explain the phenomena.

These exact sciences cover in the gross the
in which

human

Mechanism
most

for the

part hidden,

life

^ ^
8

field

appears, the antecedents of

e > an(*

* ts

instruments.

speculative mind, that

To

a

had retained an

ingenuous sense of nature's inexhaust-

ible resources

and of man's

essential continuity

could be no
ground for doubting that similar principles (could
they be traced in detail) would be seen to preside
over all man's action and passion.
A thousand
indications, drawn from introspection and from
history, would be found to confirm this specula-

with

other

natural

things,

there

uiguizeo uy

Google

MECHANISM
tive presumption.
floods,

75

It is not only earthquakes

summer and

winter,

musings sharply to book.

that bring

and

human

Love and ambition are

unmistakable blossomings of material forces, and
the more intense and poetical a man's sense

is

of

more loudly will he
proclaim his utter dependence on nature and the
identity of the moving principle in him and
his spiritual condition the

in her.

Mankind and

works are undeniably sublaw of projectiles; yet
true of these phenomena in bulk seems to

ject to gravity

all its

and

to the

what is
a superficial observation not to be true of them in
detail, and a person may imagine that he subverts
all the laws of physics whenever he wags his
tongue.
Only in inorganic matter is the ruling
mechanism open to human inspection: here
changes

may
and

be seen to be proportionate to the

situation in which they occur.
Habit here seems perfectly steady and is called
necessity, since the observer is able to deduce it
unequivocally from given properties in the body
and in the external bodies acting upon it. In the
parts of nature which we call living and to which
we impute consciousness, habit, though it be fatal
enough, is not so exactly measurable and perspicuous.
Physics cannot account for that minute
motion and pullulation in the earth's crust of
which human affairs are a portion. Human
affairs have to be surveyed under categories lying
closer to those employed in memory and legend.

elements

THE LIFE OF REASON

76

These looser categories are of every sort grammatical, moral, magical
and there is no knowing when any of them will apply or in what
measure. Between the matters covered by the
exact sciences and vulgar experience there remains,
accordingly, a wide and nebulous gulf.
Where
we cannot see the mechanism involved in what
happens we have to be satisfied with an empirical

description

of

appearances

as

they

first

fall

together in our apprehension; and this want of

understanding in the observer

is

what popular

philosophy calls intelligence in the world.

That

this gulf is apparent only, being

inadequacy and confusion in

human

due to

perception

Yetpresum-

rather than to incoherence in things,

ably pervasive.

i8

trustworthy.

a speculative conviction altogether

Any one who

—moral

can at

no

all

catch the

than physical
must feel that mechanism rules the whole world.
There are doubleness and diversity enough in
things to satiate the greatest lover of chaos; but

drift of experience

less

that a cosmos nevertheless underlies the superficial

play of sense and opinion

is

son must assume and what
rience bears witness

to.

what all practical reacomprehended expe-

all

A

cosmos does not mean

a disorder with which somebody happens to be well
pleased;

it

means a

necessity

one must draw his happiness.

from which every
If a principle

efficacious it is to that extent mechanical.

is

For to

be efficacious a principle must apply necessarily

and proportionately ;

it

must assure us that where

MECHANISM

77

the factors are the same as on a previous occasion
the quotient will be the same also.

Now,

in order that the flux of things should

contain a repetition, elements must be identified

within

it; these identical

elements

may

then find

themselves in an identical situation, on which the

same

result

may ensue which ensued

If the

before.

elements were not constant and recognisable, or

if

their relations did not suffice to determine the suc-

ceeding event, no observation could be transferred

with safety from the past to the future. Thus art
and comprehension would be defeated together.
Novelties in the world are not lacking, because the

elements entering at any

moment

into a given

com-

bination have never before entered into a com-

bination exactly similar.

Mechanism

applies to

the matter and minute texture of things; but

its

applying there will create, at each moment, fresh
ideal wholes, formal unities

from and
ingly

always

impression

The

represents.

it

be

which mind emanates
result

unprecedented

will

in

are

not

because they happen.
of

is

total

produces, in exact proportion to the

singularity of the situation in hand.
processes

accord-

the

like

Mechanical

mathematical

What

relations,

they express the form

a flux, not a truth or an ideal necessity.

may therefore always be new, though
produced from the preceding situation by rules
The

situation

which are invariable, since the preceding situation
was itself novel.
Mechanism might be called the dialectic of the

affinihave to be begged istential elements. those eternal relations which forms have. impinging at both ends upon brute matters of fact. of is a natural or empirical necessity. whereas dialectic is a centrifugal emanation from existence and never returns to its point set to that It remains suspended in the ether of of origin. their situation. as is such a measure of intelligibility compatible with flux and with existence. The basis of thought elaborate than its deliverance. yet the inference mechanism will continue to reign will not amount to certain knowledge until the event inferred has come to give it proof. Calculation in physics differs from pure dialectic in that the ultimate object it looks to is not ideal. ful brain and exquisite senses is vastly more It takes a wonderto produce a few . inference may work among them. The ex- number. Existence itself being irrational and change uninthe only necessity they are susceptible telligible. these surds have been accepted at their face value. ties. tion may even in matter. An man so disjointed answer to this ques- perhaps be drawn from the fact that consciousness apparently arises to express the functions only of extremely complicated or- ganisms.THE LIFE OF REASON 78 It is irrational. why is is continuous and naturally in- the part felt by inadequacy of and opaque ? conaciousnesa. when found embedded If the total flux telligible. Theory here must revert to the immediate flux for its sanction. and mutual influence all When before calculation can begin.

on which health depends. They sweep the whole mate- and are intertwined most closely with all social and passionate forces. are infinitely complex and im- mensely extended. it is only . and before that purpose could be fulfilled the mind's interests body's would have fortunes. If it pictures anything some phantastic image which in no way represents its own complex basis. resent clearly of mind is its its own conditions. therefore. Thus the parasitical human mind. the mechanical equilibrium with the environment. 79 The mind starts. harmony been Had more accurately and intensely thought was exercised the more stable its status would become and the more prosperous its undertakings. mind begins by being a feeble and inconsequent ghost. for the purpose own furtherance and perfection. since lively thought would then be a symptom of health in the body and of this attained. with a In order to attain adequate practical knowledge it would have to rep- tremendous handicap.MECHANISM stupid ideas. however. The body's actual relations. with their Meantime the incalculable mechanical springs. finding what clear knowledge it has laughably insufficient to interclearly. Its existence is intermittent and its visions unmeaning. It fails to conceive its own interests or the situations that might support or rial universe defeat those interests. actual relations in become parallel to the means that the body's nature would have to become to This the mind's favourite themes in discourse.

In other words. representative powers are out of focus with its controlling conditions. the turning-points of practical life and plot the curve of it in a schematic and disjointed fashion. Now as matter is commonly a name for things not understood. so that their knowledge of nature. material.THE LIFE OF REASON 80 pret tional takes to neglecting knowledge destiny. express the mind's vegetative instincts . The uiguizeo uy Google . while obviously irrelevant to practice. but which are themselves entirely opaque and. as we say. which substitute pi ay. common ness in if not This gross- sense. like irrelevance in imag- springs from the fact that the mind's ination.worlds for the real one on correlation with which human prosperity and dignity depend. the mind becomes wedded to conventional objects which mark. tne fate i f erred into human m Ports> cannot be trans- analogous ideas. invalid. is exceedingly fragmentary. On the other hand. while practical. its altogether and ideas. men materially minded are those whose ideas. Now represent an organism on the scale of the body. inner They catch processes the senses are not at all fitted to its idle gestures which control its human but not the action. perhaps. are meagre and blind. with tion^eri^r to that of its objects. hence art and mythology. hugging instead various irrathe one hand it lapses into to On dreams which. sense ought to correspond in articulation with the object to be represented otherwise the object's structure.

The change of scale required is violent habits. a system of worlds. gence. every physical and moral property of the Or what must the system of spring? signals the reproductive habit in a brain be. very likely. What must the seed of animals contain. only what is extraordinarily simple is intelligible to man. the inner cataclysms of which count in producing that so-called atom's behaviour and en- dowing it with affinities apparently miraculous. them to a just perceptible atom. to Consciousness is essentially understand what most concerns situdes. is in the body's structure. its own vicis- altogether out of scale with the objects of practical interest in life. where the unit's inner structure and fermentation may be provisionally The neglected in mastering the total. for it for off- and to co- ordinate instinctive movements.MECHANISM 81 What senses are immeasurably too gross. One consequence of this profound maladjustment is that science is hard to attain and is at first paradoxical. and sense is incompetent it. learn tricks. and remember? Our senses can represent at all ade- quately only such objects as the solar system or a work of human architecture. and frustrates There is all the mind's rhetorical a constant feeling of strain and . as it notoriously is. may architect reckon in bricks and the astronomer in plan- and yet foresee accurately enough the practiIn a word. while only what is extraordinarily complex can support intelliets cal result. to be the ground. a is minimum visibile. for instance.

Science is reduced by philosophers to plausible discourse. touch or actually fuse. change whereby . by leaning on all the heterogeneous prejudices of the hour. as language. a tendency to use various methods at once or a different one on each occasion. To justify that insight forensically it would have been necessary to the range of human telescopic in one region and microscopic vision. making it in another . myth Every wrong hypothesis is seized upon and is tried before any one will entertain the right one. Indeed. accordingly. which happened as things then stood. he courage radical investigation. had no right to his simplicity. and the more plausible the discourse is. or presumption seems to demand. Ensymbol. A man with an eye for characteristic features in various provinces of ex- perience is encouraged to deal with each upon a and where these provinces is at a loss what method of comprehension to apply. thusiasm for knowledge is chilled by repeated failures and a great confusion cannot but reign in philosophy. custom. Democritus nevertheless to be true. Thus even Aristotle felt that good judgment and the dramatic habit of things altogether excluded the simple physics of Democritus. His was an indefensible faith in a single radical insight. except that divine right which comes of inspiration. There sets in. the more does it foster the same and disdifferent principle.THE LIFE OF REASON 82 much and flying back to the mother-tongue of social science consequently retarded.

as it were. iEsthetic enthusiasm cares nothing about what the object inwardly is its efficacious movement and real life. people with broad human interests are apt to discredit a mechanical phil- osophy.. an insult to the is a de- mind.. For direct perception is wholly inadeqUa te to render the force. the subtle relations of the object perceived. way than direct perception. habits of discourse. The maladaptation of sense to its objects has a second consequence: that speculation and speculation rendered necessaxy. thus forced to busy itself about so unintelligible and dense an apparition. unless this object be a shell only. like a work of function of perception is properly to give under- standing and dominion. Hence. nobler for man in a is . Discoveries in science are made only by near- sighted specialists. Since the where nothing counts but the surface. even to this day. the reality. and imaginative life ignoble and dark. Without such a startling change of focus nature can never seem everywhere mechanical. so long as the whole basis and application of them is falsely conceived. what It revels . fine art. Seldom can penetration and courage in thinking hold their own against the miscellaneous and nobody remembers that moral values must remain captious. direct perception feat and. is.MECHANISM 83 the objects so transfigured would have lost their familiar aspect and their habitual context in discourse. while the influence of public sentiment and policy still works systematically against enlightenment.

These aesthetic which have no intrinsic unity or cohesion. We look for over. in its prosaic but trustworthy fashion. in the wrong place. them. as science aims at controlling its speculation by experiment. For we hope. life is brief. more real than the objects the of sense. in poetry and eloquence. which are without relevant backing in the world. that ceptive. or at best in dialec- yet even when stated in these mythical terms hidden world divined in meditation seems nobler and. nature. likely. the stanch principles of experience. Imaginative fervour has poured itself out exclusively on these apparitions. perhaps. as we say. Meantime speculation amuses us with prophecies about what such realities might be. Then we cry that beauty and that its prizes are deOur minds have fed on casual aspects of fashion before our eyes. where just those images which here played so deceptively on the surface of the flux may be turned into fixed and efficacious realities. very human tic . in those speculative ions. passes likewise beyond the dreamlike unities and cadences which sense discloses. lapse in the most melancholy and inexplicable objects. namely. something to rely on in prospect and appeal to in perplexity. and long. the vis- efficacious. we begin to pine for another. Science. wanes. attributes to the object through want of consideration.THE LIFE OF REASON 84 selfishly in the harmonies of perception harmonies which perhaps it itself. to reach the permanent. before this life is which we called too brief. only. Digitized by kjOOQle . like tints in sunset clouds.

It is doubt- rhetorical speculations. than to find impassioned or ideal spirits.MECHANISM the hidden reality 85 what discloses is exactly like it sense perceives. . to carry the observer to the ends of the universe or. assure us that they are perfectly happy. either —not necessa- really serve to bring order. is The natural sion cannot be wholly overcome. The reigning aversion to mechanism natural and partly artificial. less better to find material engines —which may rily inanimate. and progress into our lives. that can do nothing for us except. without a magic carpet of hypothesis. security. to old age. it would be machinery. and not observable. C~ tiorTwith partly aver- Like the aversion to death. That the efficacious structure of things should not partly natural. to in- troduce him into those infinitesimal abysses where nature has her workshop. solid In were this region. to mechanism labour. we might find just those supports and faithful warnings which were looking for with such ill success in we our The machinery disclosed would not be human. though on a different scale. it sufficiently explored. But it would for that very reason serve the purpose which made us look for it instead of remaining. placidly gazing on the pageants of sense. it is called forth by man's na urai gituation in a world which was not made for him. but in which he grew. {. till some unaccountable pang forced us to spasmodic movement. perhaps. at best. changing his dimensions. like the lower animals.

should grow doubly considerate toward for is we exist all we forms. we Could better perceive the fine fruits of order. When a is myth has become the centre or sanction for habits and and instituany conception incompatible institutions. the dire consequences of every specific cruelty or jar. or virility enter their minds. The course a hard lesson to learn. through form. is a sentiment inevitable even toward artificial organisms.THE LIFE OF REASON 86 be intentionally spectacular nor poetical. human And of course. and the love of form our whole real inspiration. is of how- to speak of its incidental delights — is so extraordinarily good for people that only with that instruction and the blessed renunciations it brings can clearness. The artificial prejudice against mechanism a fruit of party spirit. dignity. thing to the interest of landscape. and botany much to the charm of flowers . these habits tions stand against with that myth. as it makes the creases the pleasure with ruffian tender to a young child. —not ever its discourse. if the material basis of strength could be discovered and better exploited. and partly artificial. that common units should not be terms in nor its laws quite like the logic of passion. the free activity of the mind would be Geology adds some- not arrested but enlarged. a solicitude for the perfect working of any delicate thing. An instinctive sympathy. learning. natural history in- which we view society and the justice with which we judge it. It matters nothing that the val- Digitized by kjOOQle .

pointed to the very heavens which a sentimental religion would nowadays gladly prove to be unreal. When they noticed that the stars moved perpetually and according to law. lest the soul should Yet the Ptolemaic spheres were no more manlike and far less rich in possibilities of life than the Copernican star-dust.MECHANISM ues the myth was designed standing without successor. It di- and true but into vides opinions not into false high and low. Imagine Socrates "viewing with alarm " the implications of an argument This artificial prejudice is indeed modern and will faith and unfortunate. not be eternal. The ancients thought that what was intelligible was divine. alarming. Social and 87 to express may may remain be transferred to its intellectual inertia is too great to tolerate so simple an evolution. and order productive of excellence was what they meant by reason. But the order which nature does not cease to manifest is still typical of all order. as with all to make generations. or it. The stars as we conceive them are not in that sense perfect. and is sublime. It is from beholding the gods. they seriously thought they were learn something of their method. their covenant . Order was what they meant by intelligence. to Ancient sages. these regions of embodied law that intelligibility and power combined come with us. when they wished rebuke the atheist. or even more frankly into those which are acceptable and comforting to its ruffled and those which are dangerous.

physical drift and philosophy does triumphs. which is properly ' . may self -conscious- be repeated after a thorough examina- uiguizeo uy Google . it is To criticise dogmatism necessary to be a genuine sceptic. an honest transcendentalist. to criticise another . that falls back on the immediate and observes by what principles of logical architecture the ultimate. so as to make them reasonable and congruous with practice. the reality discovered.. Materialism may thus be reinstated on transcendental grounds. appears as a destructive force and in the in- Biased jud«ments inspired by moral . irrational selection ill to boast of The next turn such borrowed of the wheel may the victor. has been inferred necessarily from it. if reason and life are to operate at all. and the dogma at first uttered in the flush of intelli- gent perception. *Z primary or dogmatic philosophy. their conflict can is not end only and an appeal to that which may ultimately consign one party to oblivion. sullenness. and the opinions hastily buried crush may again to pose as the fashionable and superior rise insights of a later day.THE LIFE OF REASON 88 The emotions and the moral principles that are naturally allied to materialism suffer an eclipse when materialism. with no scruple or ness. But a in insults. breathing courage and victory. destructive. . a congruous role of a fit One dogmatism critic. Such criticism is not some construction and some belief being absolutely inevitable. criticism merely offers us the opportunity of revising and purifying our dogmas.

a dog- matic system will carry its with it. no physics can render it worse or better. merely by giving form to a single sense. So approached. though this may be strangely affected and even reversed by contrast with systems of an initself congruous hue. jostling it accidentally in a con- fused and amphibious mind. will sight into the causes of our varied fortunes. it critical justification enshrines and secures The emotions it arouses by the experience it explains. save as the knowledge of physics. 89 on the ground that the best it is possible expression of experience. or of ex- pecting to continue your romantic adventures in a second life. is an achievement and a new resource. A theory is not an unemotional thing. Causes having been found for what is given. and the values will not be doubtful.MECHANISM tion of heart. the inevitable deliverance of thought. whatever this reality The theory may otherwise add nothing except the sucLife being once for cess involved in framing it. these causes will be proved to have just that beneficent potency and just that distressing inadequacy which the joys and failures of life show that the will be those aroused reality has. with inbe. If music can be full of passion. all what it is. how much more beauty or terror may not a vision be pregnant with which brings order and method into everything that we know. Materialism has its distinct aesthetic and emotional colour. materialism will dash your hopes . If you are in the habit of believing in special providences.

the mammoths and gorillas. a laughing philosopher. the flamingoes and shell-fish. Somewhat of that sort might be the sentiment that materialism would arouse in a vigorous mind. that can fall into so many -. it has trembled too much at pain and tended to withdraw the will ascetically.<• marvellous and beautiful shapes. and can generate so many same intellectual quality as that which the visitor feels in a museum of natural history. but they were soon over. where he views the myriad butterflies in their cases. His delight in a mechanism * «« • . To the genuine sufferings of living creatures the ethics that accompanies materialism has never been insensible. one born to the faith and not half plunged into it by an unexpected chris- tening in cold water. lest the will should be defeated. Doubtless there were pangs in that incalculable life. and how foolish and inevitable those absolute little passions. should be of the . like other merciful systems. and in respect to private illusions not without a touch of scorn. . and yon may think for a year or two that you have nothing left to live for. Contempt for mortal sorrows is reserved for those who drive with hosannas the Juggernaut car of absolute optimism. how infinitely interesting the universal interplay. impersonal. will be like the Positive emotion* properto materialism. and how splendid meantime was the pageant. But a thorough materialist.v . active. on the contrary. joyful.90 THE LIFE OF REASON most unpleasantly. But exciting passions. superb Democritus.

is is not however. laughter is the proper defence. When their imagination was chilled they spoke of nature. because every part of nature dead. and happiness. against the verbiage himself that he is by which the goal and man persuades acme of the uniLaughter verse.MECHANISM 91 against evils born of pure vanity and self-deception. and when their judgment was heated they took the next step to their spleen The material m^ calle<* world not blind. need not remain without an overtone of sympathy and also has this subtle advantage. but the world must be known before it can be reformed pertinently. Giving rhetorical vent and prejudice. they have felt melan- Their allegiance and affection were still on those mythical sentimental worlds which they saw to be illusory. must be placed in reason. the unwilling materialists of our day have generally been awkwardly intellectual and quite incapable of laughter. in spite of its extent and fertility. ^ unreal. If they have felt anything. as dead. to be attained. living . His ardour was admirable. that brotherly greets understanding. The mechanical world choly. Oblivious of Democritus. dead nor n*ly. they exaggerated nature's meagreness and mathematical dryness. although it eyery mil Scle Why. Don the as it laughter that Quixote's absurdities and misadven- tures does not mock the hero's intent. most unwarrantably. swarms with then. fixed they believed in could not please them. A man jg nQ ^ aQ e ^ nQr in his eye a nerve sensitive to light.

if it is to animal sensibility? lamentation This sense™ the sophism of those In- is like dian preachers who. granting the horror. So the structure of the world is not therefore barren or odious because. Yet the inner organs are well enough in their place and cried. is it something introduced by mechanical theories and not present in experience itself? inwardly stable ? Do Are human things they belong to the eternal in any sense in which the operation of material forces The panic which seems to seize some minds at the thought of a can touch their immortality? . and a man is not hideous because his crosswould not offer the features of a beautiful countenance. The horror which this prospect inspires in nor especially cruel. but. and you will discover nothing but loathsome bleeding and quivering substances. that is surely beautiful and living which so operates and so section appears as to manifest those qualities. Beauty being an appearance and life an operation. the natural man might be mitigated by reflection . And why if is and hot only less every part is not obviously animate the sun dark and cold. dilated of the human body. they sions of self-love. doubtless pleasing to the microbes that inhabit them . it would not make an interesting landscape. It is true that materialism prophesies an ultimate extinction for man and all his works. if you removed its natural outer aspect and effects.THE LIFE OF REASON 92 organisms. to ? bright make men abandon the illu- on the shocking contents Take off the skin.

does not prevent the reappearance of Mechaniamto m^ be judged by arbitrary its fruits. Our own vices in another man seem particularly hideous. the Creator.MECHANISM merely natural existence is 93 something truly hys- and yet one wonders why ultimate peace should seem so intolerable to people who not so many years ago found a stern religious satisfacterical. as Saint tine tells us. and so gave mythical expression to it just that conditioned fortune and inexorable flux which a mechanical philosophy shows us the grounds of. A very real truth avail to without might be read into understood it to fruitless agonies that we might this savage symbol. having in his infinite justice devised a special kind of material fire that might burn resurrected bodies for ever consuming them. The death of individuals. if we express the ultimate defeats and find that pursue human folly . it is when we see not mechanical science that introduced mutability into things nor materialism that invented death. where ^ data we choose judgments fail us. and so those actual evils which we take for granted when incorporated in the current system strike us afresh them in a new But setting. to indulge in on we may a subject as reason- ably wish that there might be less life as that The passion for a large and there might be more. permanent population in the universe is not . as we observe daily in nature. human tion in consigning almost the whole race Auguswisdom and to perpetual torture.

however. and no theory can overcome it except by verbal fallacies and scarcely deceptive euphemisms. for adjustments in it are tentative. including himself. is actual. length impor- The reason- and humane demand to make of the world is that such creatures as exist should not be unhappy and that life. where quarters. What mechanism involves in this respect is exactly what we find a tentative appearance of life : in many its reinforcement and propagation in others. whatever its quantity. should have able a quality that may justify it in its own eyes. made by conscience and not by an arbitrary fancy.THE LIFE OF REASON 94 obviously rational at a great distance a . life is so then is viewed its little quality. and when or becomes a point of its diffusion What matters tance. This just demand. man must view everything. under the form of eternity. and it a . the world described by mechanism does not fulfil altogether. and much friction must pre- cede and follow upon any vital equilibrium attained. This imperfection. its disappearance in some. the physical equilibrium attained insures to natural stability and a natural prosperity.

he made a striking modification in its claims. and to illustrate the theory by a few scattered When Descartes. reintro- duced mechanism into philosophy. it ^o no harder ^ mm( He found . that mechanism was expected to prevail. Mental facts. facts and trenchant hypotheses. It sufficed to conceive that such an explanation might be possible. ered in the science of mechanics a firm nucleus for physical theory. and with could have nothing to do. solids after twenty centuries of verbal physics. he did so in the oracular fashion Mechanism restricted to one-half of proper to an ancient sage. seemed to him when they repthem mechanism Descartes had recov- obviously non-extended.CHAPTER IV HESITATIONS IN METHOD When Democritus proclaimed the sovereignty of mechanism. a stronghold from which 95 it had . and it was only in one. which he approached from the side of abstracted reflection and Platonic ideas. to apply his atomic theory j an(j to the gods than to and fluids. in the realm of extended things. existence into He divided two independent regions. even resented extension.

and other mathematical relations governed the transformation of things. Descartes was far too radical and incisive a thinker. mass. There had dropped out also the secondary qualities of matter. as applied to gross masses in motion. distance. however. Indeed. not to feel that it must apply throughout nature. Descartes was willing to admit that these inexplicable bystanders might some- times put their finger in the pie. form. Mechanism was in truth far from universal . cleancut and cold engines like so many anatomical manikins. then. and Descartes was the last man to ignore the soul. and stir the material world judiciously so as to give it a new direcalthough without adding to its substance or tion. all mental facts and half the properties of matter. Digitized uy . to its force. as matter is revealed to man. were mere machines. all those qualities. came into being without asklution of the sky. They explained themselves and all their operations. namely. which are negligible in mechanical calculations. There. Yet the very clearness and exhaustiveness of this mechanical method. Imaginative difficulties due to the complexity of animal bodies could not cloud his rational insight. Animal bodies. they were interlopers in the intelligible universe.THE LIFE OF REASON 96 become impossible to dislodge scientific methods. at any rate. made it seem essentially inapplicable to anything else. ing leave. talking and building temples being just as truly a matter of physics as the revo- But the soul had dropped out.

that constituted a sufficient and what became of science was literary success. everything was a divine trance or a shower of ideas falling by chance through the void. it is true. and he has perhaps more joy of his discoveries than he might . Theologians and metaphysicians in one quarter and psychologists in another found it easy and inevitable to treat the whole mechanical world as a mere idea.HESITATIONS IN METHOD The 97 situation so created gave the literary phil- osophers an excellent chance to return to the attack and to swallow and digest the new-born mechanism in their facile systems. modern philosophers. the only existences that remained remained entirely without calculable connections. of little moment in comparison. because he is then willing to adapt his methods to the state of knowledge in his particular subject. In that case. so characteristic of Christian theology still remained the background and chief point of reference for speculation. without insisting on ultimate intelligibility. Science. be a philosopher is even an not specula- metaphysicians tive* Not advantage for a more to patient course without particularly man of science. But this result might not be unwelcome. could very well take care of itself Men and proceeded in of science carin g its what status the might assign to it. It fell in well enough with that love of emotional issues. to be sure. that which is want of soberness and want of cogency. if its eclectic dogmas could be in part supported or in part undermined.

their common evolution. or caring about the question at it all. did more than any if tions. which does so much honour to the scientific army and has won it so many useful victories. greater naturalness have been discovered everywhere. but the inner texture of the process has not been laid bare. in chemistry. where habits fail it will classify types. still the ultimate units and the radical problematical. however loose their results. have appeared unmistakably. This cautious peripheral attack. one since Newton to prove that mechanism really uni- is but without apparently believing that versal. where laws cannot be stated it will describe habits . observation has not yet come it merely reg- within range of accurate processes. plexity. in Digitized . for instance. way studies which are scientific in spirit. where it cannot see necessity it will notice law . and where types even are inIn this discernible it will not despise statistics. was so. greater regularity. in anthropology. while measure and proportion are better laws are felt. to study ters. The recent immense advances in science have been in acquaintance Greater com- with nature rather than in insight. Even and habits isters empirical traces derivations. the profound analogies in things. is another proof that science is nothing but common knowledge exIt is willing to reckon in any terms and any subject-matter. In natural history. in political economy.THE LIFE OF REASON 98 have he had discounted them in his speculaDarwin. may be carried on in social mat- tended.

philol- ogy and archaeology. Neither you nor any one else may ever take such a single-minded and unchecked course in the world as the one you are and so be right. for object is. have reached tentatively very important results. In political economy. also. What confuses and retards science in these ambiguous regions is the difficulty of getting rid °^ * ne foreign element. The 99 historical sciences. you are defining a policy. it is far from clear whether the subject is moral. or whether it is descriptive. would serve your purpose you taking note of your own and of those of other people. and that definition is not knowledge of anything except of your own heart. or even of deConfusion in semi-morai ciding what the element native to the subjects. Are you formulating an interest or tracing a sequence of events? And if both simultaneously. for the pass somehow to his sion follows that it — — with extraneous matter it will be scientific apprehension.METHOD ITATIONS IN psychology. . instance. in order to infer from them the probable course of affairs ? In the first case you are a moralist observing nature in order to use it . in a given situation. it is enough that an intelligent man should gather in any quarter a rich fund of movement of his subject to mind: and if his apprehenmovement not breaking in upon information. and therefore to be studied and expressed dialectically. or are intentions. and so in the end a matter of facts and of mechanics. are you studying the world in order to see what acts.

it if is a given hypothesis describing wrong only because this matter uigitizeo . soon to pass beyond him. it is only because they represent the material processes that have brought them into being. If you use such terms and to forbid their use altogether would be pedantic you should take them for conventional literary expressions. No one may ever have been guided in the past by any such absolute plan. and them turns out to be wrong. for these views and intentions have a brief and inconsequential tenure of life and their existence is merely a sign for certain conjunctions in nature. In popular science and theology it commonly means a group of things in space. like the atoms of Democritus or the human body and its members. Such matter plainly exists. A natural philosopher is on dangerous ground when he uses psychological or moral terms in his calculation. where processes hailing from afar have met in a man. if (to take up the other you are a naturalist studying the actual movement of affairs. you would do well not to rely on the conscious views or intentions of anybody.THE LIFE OF REASON 100 excogitating. Even we are not prepared to admit with Democmatter is what makes them up (as it well might if "matter" were taken in a logical sense)* we should agree that their substance is in if ritus that " matter " (which ought before long to reappear has two meanings. For same reason. If they figure as causes this supposition) — in nature. Its particles are concretions in * The term in philosophy) existence like the planets. covering an unsolved problem . The existential element in mental facts is not so remote from matter as Descartes imagined.

or for the mere strain and dead weight of being. has matter of this sort in it. Aristotle. or metaphysical will. it may be added. which is all love would be if the matter or body of it were removed. as would be implied by calling it pure feeling or absolute consciousness. that what taken by itself is a piece of formed matter or an individual object may be regarded as mere material for something else which it helps to constitute. the time and place of their appearance. a dialectical term. it cannot exist by itself. of course. like everything not purely formal. being only an aspect or constituent of every existence.HESITATIONS IN METHOD mechanical flux. These important factors in whatever exists are covered by the term matter and give it a serious and indispensable r61e in describing and feeling the world. 101 and that their form. Here it is a concretion in discourse. Matter is a far better term to use in the premises. by which is only an ideal aspect they become moral unities. as would be implied by calling it will. Nor is it an act accepting or rejecting objects. A state of mind. This matter is what idealists. absolute consciousness. in Aristotle and in literary speech. The excuse for this apparent lapse is. and their degree of perfection compared with the ideals they suggest. for instance. — — demonstrative use of the term to indicate one aspect of everything could glide into its vulgar acceptation. the surd conditions not merely the being of objects but their possible quantity. call pure feeling. differs materially from the mere idea or possibility of love. did not adhere with perfect consistency to the dialectical use of this word. bent on giving it a grander name. for it suggests the method as well as the fact of brute existence. exists so truly and in such discoverable guise that the hypothesis may be shown to misrepresent its constitution. and flour for bread. Matter is sometimes used by him for substance or for actual beings having both matter and form. These phrases are all used improperly to stand for the existence or presence of things apart from their character. as wheat is matter Thus the dialectical and nonfor flour. In truth. Digitized by kjOOQle . the other hand. The surd in experience its non-ideal element is not an indifferent vehicle for what it brings. mat- in question On ter means something good to make other things out of. Actual love. to indicate one class of things.

Yet to discriminate between for morals since it is only by feeling the two is no scholastic subtlety. history If the reason escapes is sterile. subject-matter is ambiguous and Aristotelian physics Where the method the double. their aversion (or incapacity) to carry their principles over into Digitized by kjOOQle . This disorder reigns in morals. and for that reason are not efficacious though of . and vice versa. People doubtless do well to keep an eye open when they study physics. and reject- ing your achievement altogether. move in unison with the rest of nature. metaphysics. you have scarcely reached a result which seems plausible for the moment. how the two spheres hang together that the Life of Reason can be made to walk on both feet. when a rival school springs up. and psychology. co-operative advance. Moral unities are created by a point of view. when we remember the issue of and of cosmological morals.THE LIFE OF REASON 102 of that moving substance. like the things lying to the left and to the right. men of science. course the existences they enclose. and the conflicting schools of political loudly proclaim The modesty it of economy and of history to the world. A seesaw and endless controversy thus take the place of a steady. There is the same practical inconvenience in taking one for the other as in trying to gather grapes from thistles. as right and left are. should at least convince us of the fact. adopting and bringing forward the submerged element in your view. A hybrid science us.

The idea of evolution could not be more curtly put forth. while in psychology. for ultimate physics. Its could not be touched. to be sure. . in strangely Des- so far as to de- simple terms. has left the greater part of physics or the theory of existence to the metaphysicians. purporting to describe the structure of the universe in terms quite other than those which scientific physics scientific physics in core. indeed they have obscured the very notion that there should be a science of if it is all existence more than a name be nothing but existence at dialectic. scribe. has affected this and seriously confused mechanics. it. confusion could hold undisputed sway. What "Physic of metaphysic they have made of it does not concern us here." cer tainly not been a science. and the detail even of natural history and chemistry could not be disfigured: but the general aspect of natural history could be ren- dered ambiguous in the doctrine of evolution. all. how might have been produced by starting any motion anywhere in the midst of a plenum at rest. had gone Evoiution by cartes indeed mechanism. since the result has begs defence. so much so the world. and that metaphysics. could use. with all its detail. which attempted to deal with that half of the world which Descartes had not subjected to mechanism. There tion is is a sense in which the notion of evolu- involved in any mechanical system. can which does not look toward But the prevalence of a mythi- cal physics.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 103 speculation.

by protesting that his doctrine was a supposition contrary to fact. are nothing but filling for They show us how the supposed mechanism really works in one particuthat abstract assurance. As earhad shown us how mechanical one stage of naturalists causes might produce the miracle of the sunrise and the poetry of the seasons. it was really created as Geninevitable charge that he esis recorded. in antiquity. the fulfilment of a prede- Digitized by Google . and can have produced it. wont P om P an ^ glamour about ill it a cer- which with so prosaic an interpretaIn the unfolding of a bud we are to see. every Ionian philosopher had conceived a gradual crystallisation of nature.THE LIFE OF REASON 104 that Descartes had to arm himself against the was denying the creation. and that though the world might have been so formed. and therefore independent of the ideal unities they subtend. as it were. Moreover. had anticipated Darwin's philosophy without Darwin's knowledge. It is clear that the forces that hold an organism if together are mechanical. Evolution. so Darwin showed how similar causes might secure the adaptation us of animals to their habitat. while Empedocles. lar field. is nothing but a detailed account of me- chanical origins. like every other advance in physical insight. in his magnifi- cent oracles. so con- ceived. Darwin's discoveries. At the same time the word evolution has Evoiution by ideal attrac- * ain fits tion. in lier its elaboration. those forces suffice to explain the origin of the organism.

for instance. for it was the essence of Aristotle's physics of which his theology was an integral part and a — logical capping —that the forms which beings ap- proached pre-existed in other beings from which they had been inherited. Evolution should move toward a fixed consummation the approaches to which we might observe and measure. was trying to prove. Yet evolution. for the seed was an epitome or condensation of a full-blown plant and held within it. and that the intermediate stages during which the butterfly shrank to a grub could not be understood unless we referred them to their origin and their destiny. would be the exact denial of what Darwin. not in possess in the day of their eclipse — — . The physical essence and potency of seeds lay in their ideal re- any actual organisation they might and slumber. An egg evolved into a chicken not by mechanical necessity for an egg had a comparatively simple structure but by virtue of an ideal harmony in things since it was natural and fitting that what had come from a hen should lead on to a hen lations. in this prophetic sense of the word.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 105 termined and glorious destiny. magically induced . again. It would be a return to Aristotelian notions of heredity and potential being. in some sort of potential guise. the very form which now peeps out in the young flower. The ideal nature possessed by the parent. hovering over the passive seed. Evolution suggests a prior involution or contraction and the subsequent manifestation of an innate ideal.

unless this ideal. evolution. drew it on and infused movement and direcit tion into the world's structureless substance. or impurity failed to receive a perfect impression. it. "The new title species of may Darwin's Origin of Species " is a denial of Aristotelianism and. since the world would not have known which way to move or what was its inner ideal. already embodied somewhere else. is that The very arise. . The axe evolved they cannot guide If species point of evolution. The underlying Platonism physics made is in this magical obvious.THE LIFE OF REASON 106 to grow into the parent's semblance . This was why Aristotle's God. since the natures that Aristotle to rule the world An man or a perhuman or simian were eternal natures. would remain unchanged and ready to be stamped perpetually on new material. in the pregnant sense. The contrast is obvious between this Platonic physics and a naturalism like that of Darwin. of evolution. It suggests that the type ap- proached by each generation may differ from that Digitized . but the specific by which he had been formed in so far as he was formed at all. as selection « produces book .. though in character an unmistakable ideal. was not affected by this accidental resistance in the matter at hand. even if at times the wax by defect fect ideal. as an adamantine seal. and growth was the gradual approach to the perfection which this ancestral essence prescribed. had to be at the same time an actual existence. individual might fail to be a perfect monkey.

they would tend every which way quite as much as if they were mechanically caused while if they were kept miraculously in line with some far-off divine event. another. e. might be spontaneous in a metaphysical sense. The individual is not merely unfolded from an inner potentiality derived from a like ancestor and carrying with it a fixed eternal ideal. the nature of my my being I am not obliged to aspire to father aspired to. making a novel experiment. may vary. —that these — — . all as the necessary implication of the latest science and the most atheistic philosophy. cumufirst original. superposed upon one in time constitute a nature wholly This accidental. but would be due to metaphysical attraction and a magic destiny prepared in the eternal and so we should be brought round to Aristotelian physics again. prevent dissolution. intrusions of pure chance. these acts might deflect evolution like Descartes' soul acting on the pineal gland into wonderful new courses. Spontaneous of course mechanically caused * may occur and may modify — animals. Being free. called spontaneous by Darwin because not predetermined by heredity.. that not merely the degree of perfection.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 107 approached by the previous one. . but on the contrary the very ground plan of may gradually change and a new organisation form and a new variations ideal may appear. they would not be free at all. free acts with no material basis or cause whatsoever. unlike — the hereditary form of These variations. for the ground is partly new. It may not be needless to observe that if the variations were absolutely free. t. . * It has been suggested me nature is am the adoring In I — what will not party spirit contrive? variations. but the direction of growth. and gradually bring on the kingdom of Heaven. may its lative evolution accordingly justifies a declaration of moral liberty.

and the ideal duties have which I propose to myself. but the circumstances that render it inopportune do not fitness election. The the basis of life and morals. Of course a form of being that circumstances make impossible or hopelessly laborious had better dive under and cease for the moment to be. as in a tropical climate. with betterment. for instance. or even by Spencer. a proof that mechanism lies at intmsionof optimism. was propose. the expression of a moving existence and without authority beyond the range of existences congruous with mine. retained Aristotelian elements. Aristotelian notion of development. when a new social and intellectual order was forcing itself on a world that happened largely to welcome the change. however. too deeply rooted in tradition for at a breath. Both identify evo- lution with progress. All that is scientific or Darwinian in the theory of evolution is accordingly an application of mechanism. shifted with my shifting faculties. The test to live might be due to numbers. as in a political tough fibre. a notion which would naturally be prominent in any one with enlightened sympathies living in the nineteenth century. it to disappear Evolution as conceived by Hegel. The fit- need not be those with the most harmonious inner life nor the best possibilities. but a notion that has nothing to do with natural science. and alone can honestly is unprecedented. or to Digitized uy . though these were disguised and hidden under a cloud of new words.THE LIFE OF REASON 108 My creator of a new spiritual good.

just as it appeared us when the prestige of religion had de- The Epicureans sometimes should pursue pleasure because all and the Stoics that one should so. with which identified. it might ultimately be Such ideals would be finite. an abdication of human ideals. said that one the animals did fill one's ap- pointed place in nature.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 109 render it essentially inferior. and they would try to break loose from their enveloping conditions. they would arrest the flux. His early contact with Protestant theology may have predisposed him to that opinion. . Circumstances have no power of that kind. had the ancients. at least. At any rate he had no sympathy with that Platonism that allowed everything to have its tice of clouds . under cover of respect for what is bound to be. he had no need of Darwin's facts to convince him that „ Evolution according to in moral life. there were no HegeL permanent species and that every posture of thought was an untenable half-way station between two others. and for the rough economy of the world. Hegel was no eternal ideal. when their political lost its authority. and perhaps the worst incident in the popular acceptance of evolution has been a certain brutality thereby introduced into moral judgment. a mocking indifference to justice. Disloyalty to the good in the guise of philosophy had appeared among also ethics among clined. because such was the prac- and rivers. Hegel possessed a keen scent for instability in men's attitudes and opinions.

of that distaste for correct physics that prevails among many who If physics were for would be disconcerting but atoms and a void. At the same time he was heir to that mythology which had deified the genetic or physical principle in things. per- haps. just as for Hegel it it drifts. and painting it no better than it is. he somewhat satirically described its history. the mythical principle itself remained untouched and was the very breath of his nostrils. a fanciful formula expressing the evolution of this perturbed universe. He never doubted that the formula he might find for the growth of experience would be also the ence. and often died of explanation. it to find in physics nothing It is hard to understand. What ultimate good. but the improvement is not obvious that accrues by making the drift of things. other purpose could the world have than to express the formula according to which it was being generated ? In this honest conviction we see the root.THE LIFE OF REASON 110 moralist in the Socratic sense. its own standard. why call themselves idealists. mattered nothing how unstable Yet all . however. A myth that enlarged the world and prom- ised a complete transformation of its character might have its charms. some reason to be adored. but a naturalist seeking formulas for the growth of moral experi- Instead of questioning the heart. and though the traditional myths suffered cruel operations at his hands. should be more worshipful than an exact formula meant to perform the same office.

ex- press a predetermined ideal. of course. This philosophy might not be it much relished if were more frankly expressed . ^he The conservativein- The types of being change. so people imagine. eternally and unawares. So if man were nothing but a halting reproduction of divinity and destined to become God. but one overthe cosmic movement. yet something of sor ^ fl° a * s vaguely before most minds when they think of evolution.HESITATIONS IN METHOD ideals might be. The situation might be described by saying that this is Aristotle's view adapted to a world in which there is only one species or only one individual. and this prin- was being realised. since the only use of 111 them was to express a principle of transition. itself in each species has a more correct and more dynamic But the changes. The earlier phases of life are an imperfect expression of the same nature which the later phases express more fully. his single desire would be to grow up. Hence the triumphant march of evo- arching lution and the assumption that whatever is later than what went before. If is necessarily better a child were simply the partial expression of a man. the ideal of these specific things. no longer. . they say: in this sense the Aristotelian notion of a prede- termined form unfolding yielded to physics. and when he was grown up he would embody all he had been striving for and would be happy for ever after. by the self-devouring and self-transcending purciple poses rolling in the flux.

Somewhat in this fashion evolution is understood by the party that wish to combine it with a re- freshed patristic theology.THE LIFE OF REASON 112 his whole destiny would be fulfilled by apotheosis. The apotheosis will be retroactive. however. as of time. it. yet in a way more just to the be set to if facts than is any promise of ulterior than to become a man. is infinite. however. evolution might really have a final goal. something every man and animal was some day to experience. we If assert no substantive goal can The goal will be the process itself. and might lead to a new and presumably better sort of existence—existence in the eternal. least in the and the idea of evolution. the kingdom of Heaven is even as the eternity. of taking these matters which The more is in with. it has already taken place. many a For it Childhood has many an beauty and joy irrelevant manhood. cendental that evolution sympathy both and with trans- philosophy. There an is esoteric way. At that remove. not really true that a child has no other ideal is really to is incapable If the ultimate contain and retain all the others. can hardly be anything but their totality—the in fin ite history of experience viewed under the form of greatest. we could only open our eyes upon its beauty and necessity. and such that manhood of retaining or containing them. good it blisses. is Digitized by kjOOQle . natural evolution radical one. The insight involved is mystical. ideal of its to own. nay. were an actual future event. moreover. If this apotheosis.

would be one that represented it all. and if faith. so the best expression of the world. would any one could absorb." There could be real pre-eminence in one man's works over those of another. would not come by expressing better an innate soul which involved a particular ideal. still seemed a substanno tial privilege too. and the jus- there would seem to be a greater dignity in the larger part. next to the world itself. a clear enough standneedful. absolute preference for — What practically survives in these systems. Growth annexation. An knowledge or self-consciousness would be an unmistakably human and finite ideal something to be outgrown. we should always be " striving onward. was wholly recast and unrecognisable. by their influence. boiling at the centre and omnivorous at the cirbe the largest portion of Progress would then it mean . this privilege. is Since all is is infinite. must be an illusion.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 113 " taken up into a higher unity. tifying whole settle. since those who do not know how useful and necessary they are as useful and necessary as those who must be do. or insight into the equal service done by all. As the best copy of a picture. but by assimilating more and more external things till the original soul. other things being equal. This moral agility would be true merit. when their mysticism and naturalism have had time to and quantity. reserved for the elect." Life would be a sort of demonic vortex.

but these to recognise the initial and the may suffice for us dilemmas in the subject futility of trying to build a science of mind. or finally that ultimate immediacy or brute actuality which is characteristic of any existence. mechanism The is difficulty is not merely that no discovered or acknowledged here. as with the Platonists. where and their circumference nowhere. minA' primeval chaos that still broods over the other hemisphere. transformed as we too should be. like Platonic essences truths. but that the phenomena themselves are ambiguous. and no one seems to know when he speaks of mind whether he means something formal and ideal. over the mental phase of existence. Other even vaguer notions are doubtless often designated by the word psychical. when form it is not settled whether mind means the of matter. to have " their centre every- cumference.' in the field of mate- ." This somewhat troubled situation might seem sublime to us. in the they are nothing to the theory of rial operations. and so we might reach the most remarkable and doubtless the "highest" form of optimism optimism — in hell. or less at home. or the uiguizeo uy Google . or reflection and and mathematical intelligence. or defining the relation of mind to matter. Confusing as these cross-currents and revulsions prove in the field where mechanism is more may r Chaos .THE LIFE OF REASON 114 till it finally realised the supreme vocation of vortices. or sensation possessing external causes and objects.

or the seat knowledge of it. have thought to do honour to feeling by forgetting that it is an expression and wishing to make it a stuff. not an aggregate view or effect of a multitude in fusion. Mind-stuff. To make a thing or a thought out of mind-stuff you have to rely on the system into which that material has fallen. in their eagerness to show that Gefuehl ist Alles. or perhaps after all. when duly organised. gion. as with the transcen- it. There is a further circumstance showing that mind-stuff is but a bashful name for matter.* how equivocal everything is in this and possibly re- some glimpse of whatever science or sciences might some day define it. relations which are not feelings but can be rendered only by proposi. do not contain its individuating form. it forms quantitative aggregates. That any material must be material might have been taken for an axiom but our idealists. it is the substance of bodies and. If either * The monads of Leibniz could justly be called minds. its transformations or aggregations are mechanically governed. and the most complex experience imaginable was the state of but one monad. To see 115 with the pan- mind means exactly matter itself. the substantive ingredients. because they had a dramatic destiny. it endures when personal consciousness perishes. Mindstuff. Mindnstuff. is diffused in a medium corresponding to apparent space (what else would a real space be?). or the material of mind. from which an actual being borrows its intensive quality. the potentiality of thought. is supposed to be contained in large quantities within any known feeling. we may revert human notions to catch for a moment to the origin of concerning the mind. But the recent improvements on that system take the latter turn. . we are given to understand. This form depends on ideal relations subsisting between the ingredients. as psychists. dentalists. can be only an element in any actual being. like matter.HESITATIONS IN METHOD effect of and false as with the materialists. One might go far for a better description of matter.

Our perplexities gratuitously by sophists. The ambiguities and hesitations of theory. Existence might as easily have had any other form whatsoever as the one we discover it to have in fact. indeed. that prejudice itself has . down to our own day. chaotic and perverse as it may seem from the vantage-ground of subsequent distinctions. not having read Descartes. it is only because original data were of that chaotic sort that we call ourselves intelligent for having disentangled them and assigned them to distinct sequences and alternative spheres.THE LIFE OF REASON 116 everything or nothing that men came upon in their primitive day-dream had been continuous in own its category and traceable through the labyrinth of the world. And primitive men. no mind and no self-consciousness nave appeared at The origin of self- nee<^ ever consciousness. These forms might have had properties we now call physical and at the same time qualities we now call mental or emotional. pleased. world might have been as magical as all. and not having even distinguished their waking from their dreaming life nor their passions from their environment. there is nothing originally incongruous in such a mixture. it would have remained single. one budding sequence of forms with no transmissible substance beneath them. might well stand in the presence of facts that seem to us full of inward incongruity and contradiction. are not all artificial or introduced it Even where prejudice some ancient and ingenuous source. obstructs progress.

flux. Animals could be readily distinguished from the things about them. science is that dense and challenged straightened out. Light was as yet inseparable from inward vitality and pain drew a isted visible cloud across the sky. a . The however. like fixed within the birds it. ments. It was impossible to say whether the phantasms that crossed this earthly scene were merely first instinct with passion or were veritable passions Material and mental ele- connections natural and dialectical. others. our doubts are remnants of a quite gaping ignorance. Its inconstancy.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 117 are traces of a primitive total confusion. This singular animal every one called One object was thus discovered to be the vehicle for perceiving and affecting all the movable seat or tower from which the world might be surveyed. mingled in that chaos. early dream partly mythology partly Civilised life is that clarified. a more constant follower than any dog. for one thing. if meantime was of full only discrimination and enlarged ex- perience could have managed to divine it. that or marshalled flock together. was not so entire that no objects could be in groups. and one whose energies were so not merely felt but often spontaneously exerted a phenomenon which appeared in no other part of the world. and one animal in particular would at once be singled out. their rate of mobility being much quicker. himself. ex- stalking through space. method.

were still open to its inspection the mind was not credited with constructing a fresh image of the past which might more or less resemble that past. . material. this spirit might be was not easily determined. for instance. the only question was where they might lie and in what manner they might operate. The future. how far-reaching. A vision was a visitation and a dream was a journey. It was not so much to contain sensation that this spirit was needed (for the body could very well feel) as to contrive plans of action and discharge sudden force into the world on momentous occasions. a ray of — . supernatural light. There could be no doubt that all those objects existed. The spirit was a great traveller. with The notion of pirit. sometimes could pierce the past itself and revisit its unchangeable though more rarely. but it seemed to have unaccountable ways and to come and go from distant habitations. Things distant and preternatural were similarly seen in dreams. seemed to be sub- ject were by no means Just as one's all visible and own body was moved by passions and thoughts which no one else could — see and this secrecy was a subject for much wonder and self-congratulation so evidently other things had a spirit within or above them to endow them with wit and power. destiny could on occasion be observed. its discoursing mind.THE LIFE OF REASON 118 The external influences to which this body. and just as it to depths. Things past. was open to spirit in exactly the same fashion . rather. How deepdrawn.

on. now blinds us in part to that fact. to only the familiar conception of nature. they could emerge at times from their invisible lairs to deal some quick blow and vindirational sort. phenomena is The intermittance proper universal and extreme. for instance. so to be aware of imagination is a great sign of understanding. Mars and Ares long survived the phase of thought to which they owed their divinity. so it could come thence into a man's pres- ence or even into his body. had not been it. it is a god. in a word. is therefore a spirit. More stirring apparitions. phrase would once have been understood We That literally. of a more The truth. to be aware of vision is dis- a great sign of imagination. must exist somehow unseen in the interval. being something intermittent. War. in which the flux becomes continuous. the right were also though often invisible and denied by men. to take possession of Sense and fancy. instead of being re- ferred to their material constituents and continu- ous basis in nature. spirits. were referred to still say. so people would have fancied. .HESITATIONS IN METHOD 119 could dart in every direction over both space and time. and believers had to rely on habit . for cate their divinity. else it would not return that rage. As tinguished. that war comes spirit. The spirit had other prerogatives. But before the days of scientific thinking only those things which were found unchanged and which seemed to lie passive were conceived to have had in the interval a material existence.

raised above anybody's sen- and existing independently. since grown rhetorical. if they were emotional. had comparatively fixed natures. These private aspects or views of things were accordingly distinguished from the things themselves. Objects. as we discovered by approaching and measuring them anew. they accompanied variations and depended on its presence and sibility aspects were its organs. They little to support their irra- thought how absolutely simple and inevitable had been the grammar by which those figures. for these things might be found again unchanged. The mind was and diffi- They constituted the mind the region of there.THE LIFE OF REASON 120 and the witness of antiquity tional faith. When material objects were discovered and it became clear that they The notion of sense. seemed to grow smaller when we receded from them. The variable due to the body. though really. They were conceived vaguely to exist in one's head or. had been first imposed upon the world. — soliloquy. they had remained unchanged. emotion. Another complication soon came to increase this confusion. in one's heart. which were lodged in an intelligible sphere. the region where those aspects uiguizeo uy Google . but anatomy would have had some culty what in is finding them properly called sentience. for instance. it also became clear that with the motions of one's body all other things seemed to vary in ways which did not amount to a permanent or real meta- morphosis in them.

Such a spirit might naturally be expected to pass into another world. and brought thence its mysterious reports. when vulgar perception yielded to some kind of clairvoyance hav- ing a higher authority than sense. that the limbo of divine and ideal things. value incalculable in every sense of the word. was something magical and oracular. the dreams it fell into were full of auguries and secret affinities with things to come. and dead things were familiar to it. It should be observed. is viously on the body and a is sometimes also very far from depending obsaid to do so only by is late school of psychological sceptics.urn ITATIONS IN METHOD 121 which real things present to the body might live and congregate. since it already dwelt there at intervals. which called the mind. however. It was prophetic. Its incursions into the physical sphere alone seemed . On the con- momentous and inTheir scope was indefinite and their trary those intuitions were spiring. Myth and legend. it was avowedly and from the beginning a realm of mere appearance and depended entirely on the body. felt to be divinely in- to be the Muses' voice heard in a profound abstraction. The disembodied spirit might well be immortal. with its ideal prerogatives. It was by nature present wherever truth and reality might be found. since absent its womb. To primi- tive apprehension spirit. So understood. Its prophetic intuitions were far from being more trivial than material appearances. were and genius seemed hatched in spired.

to make philosophy lax the practical and dogmatic the intellect operates. uiginzeo uy Google . familiar affair enough. indeed. or the refraction of things in sense. a very impor- tant or edifying subject for study. but partial collapses. was a This familiarity. on the other hand. be degraded. bound to his In time. how- As each man's body no less than the most trivial optical illusion. and philosophers for a long time bred contempt did not think the personal equation of individuals. ever. there- and to reunder which retrospective all stress the discoveries made through experience to collapse into the experience in which they were made. fore. the sphere of sense is the transcendental ground or ratio cognos- cendi of every other sphere. it could not really The human mind. for It suffices. because leave no starting-point for reasoning in the significance of reason itself . * like Persephone. under ground. are very easy and exciting feats for criticism to perform. sentience had whole experience is is its revenge. of objects is A complete collapse it would and no faith indeed inconvenient. now in the region of physics. now in that of logic and morals. and though its des- tiny might be to pass half the time. the region of sentience and illusion.THE LIFE OF REASON 122 miraculous and sent a unaccustomed The ideal element in the world regarded at first was accordingly and terrify- as something sacred H Competition between the two of awe through the thrill flesh. was no vulgar presence or private product.

the sphere of sense will be enlarged at the expense of the two rational worlds. Shrewd people will bethink themselves to attribute almost all the jects will naturally fall into the body^s body's acts to some preparatory intention or mo- and thus attain what they think knowledge of human nature. And pres- ently those supposed causes themselves will be re- traced and drawn back into the immediate vortex. Consciousness. amusing The chance to deny that it of conceiving. and be allied with appearances. among attraction over the supernatural ideal realm. by these partial reversals of science. as they have no place the sufficing causes of experience. logical criticism *ble Theriaeof scepticism. so that all the gods. all truths. until the sceptic has packed all away nature. and having made themselves at home in this upper story of their uni- age themselves to verse. a world com- posed entirely without troublesome machinery is too tempting not to be taken up. they will find it has a ground floor. as when absorbed in a novel . the material and the ideal. They will encour- tive in its mind. live among dramatic fictions. will exercise an irresist- ulterior risks. and all ideals. when once psychois put in play. with space and time.HESITATIONS IN METHOD Passions when causes and values 123 from their bodily when removed from their ob- abstracted mind. will be identified with decaying sensations. whatever the and accordingly. into the sphere of sensuous . thus qualified by all the sensible qualities of things.

The occasion for this sophistication is worth noting .THE LIFE OF REASON 124 which changed with the changes in the illusion. for trailed if we follow the thread which we have behind us in entering the labyrinth we shall be able at any moment to get out. in seeming to be quite different from what things were. as of is is never out of place. and pleasure lies in undoing science. whose secret its ostensible work. since all common sense. loves to relapse into the and nerveless reverie from which actuality had once extricated a world. Sense. that all body personal idealists will declare a part of some body's mind. especially as the omnivorous monster lurking in its depths is altogether harmless. by a curious reversion. A moral and truly trans- cendental critique of science. the distinguishing characteristic of was that human it The body. intellect becomes a Penelope. now tries to subsist when the things it was essentially The contrasted with have been abolished. which was discovered by observing the refraction and intermittence to which appearances were subject. So administered. the critical cathartic will not prove a poison and will not inhibit the cognitive func- was meant Every tion it sist that finds an empirical and logical warrant to purge. the progress of reflection has led to hopeless contradictions. such a critique does to assign to each conception or discovery its place and importance in the Life of Reason. while that a belief is belief will sub- a belief and not a sensation . is Thus. dumb it becoming pensive.

In ordinary objects unreal do else to think Their exorcism does not lay the ghost. nor for subordinating it to some gratuitous assurwill not But a psychological ance. since there is no sentience which is not at once the effect of something physical and the appearance of something ideal. critical of psychology itself. find anything about. would furnish no alternative system to substitute for the dialectic. not. a labour it might well have avoided if appearance as it stands made a thinkable or a practical guage. It . and they are limited to addressing it in uncivil lan- was not idly that reason in the beginning excogitated a natural and an ideal world. would in bewilderment. if it is not and thinks to substi- tute a science of absolute sentience for physics and on sophistry and end wholly subject-matter of an absolute psychology would vanish in its hands. on that account. those who was seeking call to dislodge. A calculus of feelings.HESITATIONS IN METHOD 125 seem a ground for not entertaining it. uninterpreted and referred to nothing ulterior. universe. criticism. rest The positive sciences it fact.

which presumably might be a fair sample of what men's minds are. Who. luxurious torpor? little but unfortunately our notion of ourselves all is notions the most biassed and idealistic. from it. has not passed into that vigilant eye and felt all the leaps potential in that Who has not attributed some romance to the passer-by? Who has not sometimes exchanged places even with things inanimate. many things that books of psychology contain should be excluded Mind reading not science. One is social imagination. Nature. 126 of If . we have our own mind to go by. True. besides having a mechanical form and wearing a garment of sensible qualities. inciting him to enter into other bodies and to fancy the new and profound life which he might lead there. as he watched a cat basking in the sun. makes a certain inner music in the beholder's mind.CHAPTER V PSYCHOLOGY If psychology is a science. and drawn some new moral experience from following the movement of stars or of daffodils? All this is idle musing or at best poetry. yet our ordinary knowledge of what goes on in men's minds is made of no other stuff.

even if they have little of show elsewhere cently that all it to and as it was discovered but rememories are not furnished with . third person. Drawn from the potential in one's at best the possible in others. We should give men credit for originality at least in their dreams. it describes The thoughts of merely the foam of their labouring natures. These manifestations. it is persuasive only over the who has never had. but has always been about to have. just preferences. and blameless errors as we discover in ourselves. self. create a notion of our friends' natures which is extremely vivid and seldom extremely flattering.PSYCHOLOGY 127 men only such obvious sound judgment. This is another than are the thoughts uttered in them. striking us in all their novelty and alien habit. . we do far better: for what we impute to our fellow-men is suggested by their conduct or by an instant imitation of their gesture and expression. religions and philosophies. dramatic poetry. men are incredibly evanescent. and they doubtless vary much more than our trite classifications what makes passions and fashions. so hard to conceive when once the trick of them is a little antiquated. and affecting our interests in all manner of awkward ways. we should take but an insipid and impractical view of mankind. In fact. honest passions. Such romancing has the cogency proper to we attributed to other reasoning. the experience in question. Languages are hardly more foreign to one allow for.

us also to their mind. which of course is not to deny that tradition and books. everybody was agreed about what uni- versal experience it all is as if and had personally gathered since the days of Adam. or in enforcing a given view of things. each man has only his own. in transmitting materially the work of other generations. in The result of their la- language. so it may have to be acknowledged that the disparity in men's soliloterial quies live enormous. and institutions. apart from its monuments. It is now a parcel of the motionless ether. in describing what happens. learning. tend to assimilate struction.THE LIFE OF REASON 128 the like material images. the remnant saved from his personal acquisitions. he has to conceive all nawith whatever experiences may have fallen residual ture. is fled for ever out of mortal reach. there to the lot of others. a distinctly ideal con- and no fund available for any one to draw from. bours. but often have no ma- images whatever. universal we constantly experience Experience a refer to reconstruction. In fact. is content without soliloquising at all. the environment is material. Nevertheless. perhaps. and that some races. according to our imaginative faculty and habits. forms a hothouse in which to force our seedling fancy to a rational growth. is Universal experience a comfortable fiction. Past experience. On the basis of this his endowment. but the influence is physical. and its ideal background or significance has to be inferred by us anew. .

and force them for the moment to say what they do not mean. start- ing from its inadequate expressions still extant in the world. as Spinoza noted. and in to think . they concern only friendship and unanimity. genial. This reconstruction is highly speculative and.PSYCHOLOGY of the know ineffectual truth about we must evoke it it 129 what once was. appeal to general experience. and what it is not in their natures . There would be more profit in taking one another frankly by the hand and walking together along the outskirts of real knowledge. the actual ways and institutions of men. All our proofs are. pointing to the material facts which we all can see. as they say in Spain. perhaps somewhat sharply. the ary. but the bent bow will spring back. for the real experience neither answer nor hear. the texts. really have to deal with is our interlocu- power of imagining that experiis dead and ascended into heaven. the alternative ination is not science but sophistry. better evidence of what we . where it can tor's honest artofeducation- ence. pure conversation. and we shall get little thanks for our labour. method should be Socratic. and as the purpose and best result can be only to kindle intelligence and propagate an ideal art. the monuments. To within ourselves. then. nature. Our agreements or diver- gences in this region do not touch science. liter- In these matters. are than of what other When we what we The men have been. to imag- We may perhaps entangle our friends in their own words.

but the description that recalls the experiWhen La defining it in a novel way. ence. that he cannot but enact Digitized by Google . merely a own many lives. it some knowledge of our ignorance.f THE LIFE OF REASON 130 the presence of such a stimulus. stances in our may a truth. readings of themind. that there that secretly pleases us. although the field covered may be Any far narrower. giving a partial clearness for a certain jumbled memories? open a volume of Adam is circum- or in other suddenly recur to us to illustrate that apergu. people's. But we may be tempted is it to say. a scientific truth? bit of satire. That would be a true education. imaginative method is often pursued. and is is something about our friend's troubles Arbitrary moment If the next day Smith. be human heart. with the con- common tagion of a would respond of interest. for instance. a There Or is it ray from a literary flash- light. it is not the experience that necessitates the description. Rochefoucauld says. and we itself to should be helping one another to understand whatever lies within the range of our fancy. generic experience of which a writer pretends to give an exact account must be reconstructed ad hoc. In what is called psychology this loose. and read that to we man naturally benevolent. not even a deepening of humanity in sci- would be a ourselves and a whole- ence of people's states of mind. the plastic mind the situation. and while the result it in antiquity or in the could not possibly be a science.

lies in the ease with which the hearer. and a more normal and a profounder truth than the other. These endless rival apperceptions regard facts that. it. value. however. we shall probably think this a truth also. . may fail and every new shade of brute born into the world will ground a new " theory of the moral sentiments. are far Some may be more natural. serve better the The march. into its component forces? Not only is such a thing impossible. recasts something in his own past after that fashion. for there method in the subject-matter the treatment of from equal in eloquent. But is it a law? Is it a scientific discovery that can lead us to definite inferences about what will happen or help us to decompose a single event. on listening to the analysis. but the Scotch philosopher's amiable gener- alities. there- fore.PSYCHOLOGY 131 and share the vicissitudes of his fellow-creatures. they may purpose of reflection. enlightening." altogether to fit an earlier or a later age . The whole cogency of such psychology. their must doubly arbitrary and unstable. and there be is is less no in The views. accurately and without ambiguity. and that another man's imminent danger or visible torment will cause in him a distress little inferior to that felt by the unfortunate sufferer. than essential others. until they are referred to their mechanical ground. consequently. perhaps largely applicable to himself and to his friends of the eighteenth century. show no continuity and no precision in apperception of them.

. ni ni. an instinctive method. rather than psychological information. not without leading questions. with safety. while the result aimed at is agreement on some further matter. 0 "bribed* ^ Ve . But when it is and accurate knowledge that we pursue. to sna Pe to *" s own sentiments. yet this insight is in these cases a vehicle only. since the chief advantage that comes of knowing accurately science we should not be When suasive. yet it is contemplative in essence.THE LIFE OF REASON 132 which and bring forward continwhat can have a value for The spiritual life in which this to pick out is ually out of the past the present. to imagine freely. conviction and enthusiasm. is to be able. I say something Digitized by Google . discourse on any subject would be perit appeals to the interlocutor to think in a certain dynamic Human nature appealed to . Knowledge of the soul. will alike ap- peal to imagination and be appreciated through it . inciting fashion. insight into human nature and experience. refines Science the is instru- mental in comparison. since successful action consists in knowing what you are attempt- ing and in attempting what you can find yourself Plan and performance achieving. satisfied with literature. . are no doubt re- quisite in such an exercise. ' . value it because lies is practical in its associations. . understands and dominates what touches action. Thus if I de- clare that the storms of winter are not so unkind which if true as benefits forgot. what trains imagination so that very stuff that life is made of.

human of What is Eng- nature. way fact is sug- of grasping or interpreting gested. as Shake- speare utters it. made in the interest was made it springs more than from other Yet my observation was not of any such inferences: it foolishness to express an emotion of my own. "Blow. thou winter's wind!" Knowledge of human nature might be drawn even from that apostrophe. but to pray or to converse is not for that reason the same thing as to pursue science. own the experience Such a method of . It was a judgment which others were invited to share. and a very fine shade of human feeling is surely expressed in it. or in these very offered in such cases is merely an A invitation to think after a certain fashion. for it could be inferred from that assertion that resentment is generally not proportionate to the injury received but rather to the surprise caused.PSYCHOLOGY 133 has a certain psychological value. in the older lish critics pages. for instance. so that from our own people's bad conduct. blow. with a more or some less civil challenge to reader to resist the suasion of his so evoked and represented. Now it constantly happens in philosophic writ- ing that what mind is is supposed to go on in the human described and appealed to in order to sup- port some observation or illustrate some argument — as continually. in hopes of kindling in others a similar emotion. There was as little exact science about it as if I had turned it into frank poetry and exclaimed.

but the aptness of his Digitized . existing in particular moments or persons. so far as others live in the In same world they may recognise the experience so expressed by him and adopt his interpretation.THE LIFE OF REASON 134 may appeal that be called psychological. He need not be interested in the pathology of individuals nor even in the natural history of man. without forcing a detailed assent through ocular demonstration or pure dialectic. It is given out not for a literal fact. his effort is wholly directed toward improv- ing the mind's economy and infusing reason into it as one might religion. a habit of thinking is from the elements of experience to its This is what in Fiction his way a poet or a novelist would do. in particular. but for an imaginative expression of what nature and life have impressed on the speaker. such renderings of the human mind as a critical philosopher depends upon for his construction. necessarily imaginative. swarms with such sketches of human nature and straight ultimate and stable deliverance. in the sense relies for success it on the total movement of the readers life and mind. The only doctrine aimed at in such philosophy a general reasonableness. not without diligent self-examination and a public confession of The human mind is and the science of No nobod/s mind it is sin. one can pretend in philosophic discussion any more than in poetry that the experience described is more than typical. but the psychology of is it a method and a resource rather than a doctrine.

the logic of my somewhat involved. If it should happen. dialectic of ideas. while they one . If I love a its dialectic is man whatever makes and re- idea has practical intent and even more remarkable. but not a is —I ence °f matters of fact Diaiecticin psychology. that those who re- — sembled him most in amiability say by flattering me no less than he did were precisely his mortal — enemies. however. who share and I thereby hate whatever tends to deprive him of this excellence. These inner lucubrations. however. The father. There a second constituent of current psy- is chology which indeed a science. upon. tion. if its logical texture is reflected idea. will open out into a curious world constituted by distinguishing the constituents of that idea more clearly and making lations. for example. but only an regard which any else might also exercise. I might end either by striv- affections would become ing to reconcile the rivals or by discovering that what I loved office exercised by was not the him man in my at all.PSYCHOLOGY 135 descriptions and analyses will not constitute a sci- ence of mental greater thing but rather states. implies further that a transmitted essence or human nature is Every shared by both. implies a son. involved mean sci- the character of and this rela- in the ideas both of son and of father. —the —what art of stimulating and is a far consoli- dating reflection in general. I thereby love all those me love him. is explicit its implicit structure When an a desire.

beautiful it shows so clearly the possiand impossibilities in such a method. having nothing ideal in Similarly parent. a Platonic direction. For these dialectical implications do not actually work themselves out. and all its implications its may be nipped in the bud and be condemned for ever to the limbo of things unborn. or having had a son. which was to be the principle of life and the root of all feelings. in all its days. taken Digitized by kjOOQle . he may have lost him .THE LIFE OF REASON 136 lengthen the moment's vista and deepen present no indication whatever about the They are out of place in a psychology that means to be an account of what happens in the world. They have no historical or dynamic value. on which that dialectic The impulse was based may exhaust physical energy. all with his affection for a friend. any more than Herodotus for being the father of history. Spinoza's account of the passions ful example of dialectical is a beauti- psychology. Self-preservation. because bilities pears in this beginning. hav- may cling transformations in his quali- his attitude toward me. nor take. The violence done to physics ap- Spinoza on the passions. ing causes much him through to ties and in my common deeper than discourse. give order or distribution of actual feelings. or the creature sprung from his loins may be a misshapen intent. Spinoza began with self-preservation. idiot. and it may never pass to others for resembling him. The man that by mistake or courtesy I call a father may really have no son.

or conflict with the Valuation is dia- not descriptive. if this attitude subjected to estimation. It might accordingly be devel- . or to dialectical consistency in judgment. must take him find the self-preserving all man you he has ceased to grow and after before he has begun to love. are undoubtedly the point of origin from which all tions are morally estimated. nor contemplative of a natural process. plation of that natural law which destroyed To individuals. perhaps. mind it Spinoza himself. being thus no principle of natural history. far too noble a on preserving its own exwas compelled to give self-preservation an extravagant meaning in order to identify it with " intellectual love of God n or the happy contemto be fixed solely istence. The an arrested momen- actual state of any animal. and admits suicide. which implies death. is a principle where everything not illustrated in nature. is 137 structive or dangerous to the body are as conspicu- ous as protective Physical mechanism instincts.PSYCHOLOGY strictly. Self-preservation might express. the values which conceived events acquire in respect to a given attitude of will. to tary ideal. his given instincts and tensions. that itself occurs by virtue of changes and rela- and moment. requires reproduction. and where habits de- in flux. is afterward its affinity living will of another lectical. the facts or estimations classed under that head need to be referred instead to one of two other principles — either mechanical to and equilibrium habit. Self-preservation.

a titilla- tion which is accompanied by the idea of Spinoza. indeed not very deceptive. A natural process cannot be governed by the ideal relations which conceived things acquire by being represented in its moments. however. for on reading a proposition concerning the contrast between Paul's instance. could never explain the lapse of that attitude itself.THE LIFE OF REASON 138 oped by seeing what is implied in the self- preservation. principle. A passion's history was to be the history of what would have been its expression if it had had no history at A man all. its external cause. in life were to be ex- plained by what the crystallised posture of life might be at a single instant. that I feel some titillation idea of Peter and Peter's idea of himself. to trace the sequence of feelings by their mutual im- one of self The changes plication. The arrow's flight was to be deduced from its instantaneous position. affinities all when somewhat stable. however. or rather expression. It is in that fashion that parties and sects. Spinoza. let himwander into this path and made the semblance of an attempt. come to define their and to know their friends and enemies over the universe of discourse. of a will which by that dialectic would discover Such a its ideal scope. Suppose. Now he who loves an effect uigitiz . suffered by destiny to maintain for ever a single unchanged emotion might indeed think out °f Estimation much its multifarious implications in Spinoza's way.

Thus the periphery of my affections may expand indefinitely. the ulti- mate external cause of how all my But titillations. that were being explicated. constitutes love on my part for the redoubtable Hobbes as well. for it was the values radiating from a given impulse.PSYCHOLOGY must proportionately love its cause. or by an indomi- Hobbes and the infinite are things do not love. study. referring to another demonstration in the book. for genius. that if some one gives —Hobbes. consequent upon his joy and my idea of Hobbes. tion accompanied by the idea of is. call I Having got consider further. what therefore find that I love Spinoza. When dialectic is thus introduced into psychol- ogy. an intensive knowledge of the heart out for distributive knowledge of events. 139 its men Spinoza has proved. for instance—my delight in Spinoza joy Spinoza's increased perfection. these interesting discoveries are interrupted before long by a desire for food. when made by a man of nish good spiritual reading. by grace of mechanical forces. till it includes the infinite. the implications of its instant object. accompanied by the its external cause. is something that my dialectic cannot deduce. not at all the natural forces that carry a man through that impulse and beyond it to the next phase of his dream. I may and titra- external cause love. a phase which if it continues the former table sense that I episode must continue it spontaneously. it is given Such a may will reveal fur- what . so far. love of him.

aspirations. and if. That remaining portion of psychology which is a science. It will not give us a key to evolution. to-day another in refine our ground they sprang from may breed quite having grown old and our mental posture. would be their ultimate expression. who makes more rigid and tyrannous every day a message which every day grows less applicable and less significant. will be Instead of develop- ing yesterday's passion. speaking a language that nobody understands.THE LIFE OF REASON 140 our passions mean and what sentiments they would lead to they could remain fixed and dictate if This insight further action. set in its place . No destiny more melancholy than that of the dialectical prophet. either in Even while we ourselves or in others. we may be shocked into setting our house in order. is is physiological. we are incapable of suming another. in some cases. the eaten away beneath our feet. it belongs to natural history and Digitized by Google . may make all us aware of strange inconsistencies in our souls. and in trying to understand ourselves we may actually develop a self that can Meantime this inner discipline be understood. and are condemned on the dialectic of our early visions as- to carrying into a new- born world. and a science of matters of fact. and seeing how how contrary some of our ideals are to others and horrible. will not enlighten us about the march of affairs. selves at we shall find our- once in a foreign country. to be a schoolmaster's measuring-rod for life's infinite exuberance.

and to understand that they are merely material. In parts of biology which do not deal with man observers do not hesitate to refer in the same way to the pain. however. is discovered specifically and distributed at the same time that bodies and other material objects are de- when a man begins to decipher permanent and real things. The images and emotions remain. which was not originally distinguished from studied in Scientific psychology a part of _ its life.PSYCHOLOGY constitutes the biology of man. which they may occasionally read in an animal's aspect. Such charms are factors little in natural selec- fables do not detract from the . attached to those things. Psychology thgn remains what it was in Aristotle's De Anima an ill-developed branch — of natural science. or effects of their presence on the will. he thereby sets apart. 141 Soul. constantly uses psychical lan- guage: his birds love one another's plumage and their aesthetic tion. the intention. This feeling terpretations. or passions fined. Darwin. the desire. for they are refractions of them through bodily organs. for instance. is there natural operation in the _ body and in the world. in contrast with such external objects. for fixed upon them as their object. those images and emotions which can no longer enter into the things' texture. pieced out with literary terms and perhaps enriched by occasional dramatic The in- mental or psychic element consists in the feeling which accompanies bodily states and natural situations.

in forget- a i • man from « Attention fulness of the situation which gave the rest i • there is it ar- warrant. The dekeeps close enough to the facts observed see at once scription for the reader to stop at the latter.THE LIFE OF REASON 142 scientific value of we Darwin's observations." conditions may a man under special say he feels or thinks adds a con- and were and extended enough. is even and more legitimate. often hides in these cases a great vagueness and unseizableness in the facts . because language al- easier lows people. or which are taken down in hospitals and laboratories from the What lips of "subjects. The sign's familiarity. is the source of that confusion and sophistry which distin- Confused attempt to de- guish the biology of t&ch the psychic of physics. to describe them in terms which are understood to refer directly to mental experience. Digitized by Google . stituent phase to his natural history. rather than at the language in which they are stated. because what the fables mean. it would become possible to enumerate the precise sensations and ideas which accompany every state of body and every social situation. however. these reports exact This advantage. perhaps before their feelings are long past. to be sure. yet a beginning in defining distinctly the mental phase of natural situations has been made which in those small autobiographies intro- spective writers sometimes compose. eiement rested at the mental term. natural history of man In the such interpretation into mental terms. such microscopic romance.

as it flowed originally. whether with atoms or exclusively with their own cohorts. phenomena and ideal truths are concentrated and telescoped in apprehension. besince natural an emotion due to their on the person who perceives them. turns the report into a mensides being weighted with effect tal fact distinguishable Differential the psychic. which reality suffers in being reported to perception. in order to be made elements in a dynamic scheme. begins to stalk behind nature and may even be thought to exist independently. rather than an idealism. This metaphysical dream may be said to have two stages: the systematic one. When from the flux is its subject-matter. in so far as mental facts are uprooted from their basis and deprived of their expressive or spiritual character. for forms and realisations are taken in this system for substantial elements. agined experiences. comes to be called a mental flux. and an incidental one which pervades ordi- nary psychology. Phenomena specifically mental certainly exist. if idealism were to retain its Platonic sense. This variation. because its elements and method are seen to . the whole flux itself. partly understood and the natural world has become a constant presence. This battle of feelings. and are made to figure either as a part or as the whole of the world's matter.PSYCHOLOGY and an 143 composed of these im- invisible world. might be called a primitive materialism. which is called ideal- ism.

the image itself would be material. colour. for. no hired artificer is needed to produce it. to take an ultimate case. it lasts only for an instant. however unaccountable by any steady law. The visual image of a die. tive they phenomena are deviate all To call The primi- called mental because from the mately conceived. Its transformations as it rolled on the idea of a table would be transformations in nature. however would occupy space. it rical shape. material qualities a mental fact can retain only in the spiritual form of representation. — The opposite of all this is true of the But were no material die in existence. is now realities to be ulti- the immediate mental therefore correct and inevitable when once the immediate were all.THE LIFE OF REASON 144 from the elements and method embodied differ in material objects or in ideal truth. none of them quite square. die itself. thereafter it disappears without a trace unless it flits back unaccountably through the memory and it leaves no ponderable dust or ashes to attest that it had a subultimate is in view. have geometand magic dynamic destinies. but if the — stance. is a material fact. perceived nothing but space and atoms itself. for instance. has at most three faces. it cannot be found anywhere nor shaken in any box. therein). to call it mental would be unmeaning. Such evanescent. but a material image. resentation of matter is A rep- immaterial. when no object exists. (perceiving space and atoms would . If the Absolute. if you will.

like pure pain or pleasure. For a vehicle or locus exists only when it makes some difference to the thing it carries. since things . their objects. As the subject-matter recedes the mental datum Approach to irrelevant ceases to have much similarity or insentif ne its e relevance to what meaning. presenting a manner not essential to its own it in nature. The report may is its cause or ultimately become. since thought may be prophetic or reminiscent and intermittent even when its is object enjoys a con- Mental facts are similar to and images have.PSYCHOLOGY be its whole nature. The qualification of being by the mental medium may be carried to any length. since a significant Mental facts synchronise with their basis. and perfect materialism. ideals function. almost wholly blind and irrelevant to any world. yet such emotion is none the less immersed in matter and dependent on natural changes both for its origin and for its pleasure or pain makes comments on the world and involves about what ought to be happening there. but images do not move in the same plane with things and their parts are in no proportionate dynamic tinuous existence. for no thought hovers over a dead brain and there is no vision in a dark chamber. intrinsically regarded. but their tenure of life is independent of that of their objects. it The 145 would constitute a fact that materialism was true would not of itself constitute an idealism worth distinguishing from its opposite. the same constitution.

sum of which human logic is in itself infinite. expressed in terms of what affects that body. on what principle this selec- tion and foreshortening of truth takes place in the mind. especially does this appear in respect to the dialectical world. though long for most men's patience. as if in the Babel uiguizeo uy Google . Mental facts. moreover. A mind seems. in forms. a witness to matter's interesting aspects and a realisation of its gentially only. it touches the world tan- some ferment of the brain. but rather some cloud of atoms shaping or remodelling an organism. Thought's exiguous. we may perhaps come upon the real bond an(^ ^ ne deepest contrast Perception represents and its environment formal truth thought when tion to the body* nature tice is and is between mind The infinity of disregarded in it is human irrelevant to prac- to happiness.THE LIFE OF REASON 146 relation the to parts of the place in nature landscape it latter. in its physical relation to matter. then. and starting-point of every mental survey is a brief animal life. the infinity of represented there in violent perspective. are highly selective. It is probably no atom that supports the soul (as Leibnitz imagined). however broad the is represents. If we ask ourselves is too decidedly brief. while the and mathematics. The its interests. Mind in this case would be. what it feels itself to be in its moral attitude toward the same . to be a centring about the body and seat consciousness of the body's interests.

Their consciousness and their interest in their own individuality rescues that individuality from the realm of discourse and from having merely imputed limits. A mind is a private view. the processes remained wholly material.PSYCHOLOGY of nature a nounced is his 147 man heard only the voices that proname. so that every organ in lists A its reaction en- the resources of every other organ as well. within and without the body. server could say that anything fortunate or tragic had occurred. mind raises to an actual existence that form in material processes which. — Automata might arise and be destroyed without any value coming or going only a form-loving ob. and they direct action from within with a force and freedom which are exactly proportionate to the material forces. might at the budding or Some of nature's tomata. had would have had only ideal or imputed being as the stars would not have been divided into the signs of the Zodiac but for the fanciful eye of astrologers. love themselves. which the soul has come to represent. . personal will and intelligence thus arise. it gathered together in proportion as physical sen- sibility extends its range and makes one stretch of being after another tributary to the animal's life. these constellations of atoms are genuine beasts. and au- comment on the form they achieve or abandon. In other words. however. as poets withering a of flower. and in proportion also as this sensibility is integrated.

Representation is far from idle. The mind there- fore represents its basis. perhaps the key to mind? Such a view hangs well together with the practical and prospective character of consciousness. when the body assumes an attitude which. since it brings Digitized uy . its ex- pression. processes its its to- cognitive relevance its be a irrele- intent and incompatible with its im- Consciousness seems to arise essence. This remains. requires survey. being an attitude. the mentality of that material situation lar . tal to the world. and a useless and it link in vant to material and its Mind formal disparity from mate- does not accompany body like persistent shadow. Much intermittent. synthesis. rial being. it is the voice of that particu- body in that particular pass. but this basis (being a form of material existence and not matter itself) is neither vainly reduplicated by representation nor used up materially in the process. appreciation things which constitute what we call mentality. and the report of this attitude. supervenes upon the body's elements and cannot be contained within them. of course. is it is significant less can it physiological processes.MS THE LIFE OF REASON That the ests rather basis of than in mind its somewhat too Mind the ^ n ^hich form becomes the body's inter- lies in atoms may seem a doctrine poetical for psychology ^ DOt P0 1^' su P erP° se(l material existence and supported by actual 011 it. This attitude belongs to the whole body in its significant operation. with dependence on the body.

first entelechy is what we should call life. entelechy of its body. but the representation of it due supervening has created values which. This . The flux continues to be mechanical. Material dramas are thus made moral and raised to an existence of their own by being expressed in what we call the souls of animals and men.PSYCHOLOGY 149 to focus those mechanical unities which otherwise would have existed only potentially and at the option of a roving eye. there are henceforth actual centres and actual interests in the mechanical flux. a mind is the entelechy of an organic body. since it is possessed by a man asleep. perception of its in which possible to That it is Aristotle has not been generally followed and pregnant as due no doubt to want of thoroughness in conceiving them.* It is a region where form breeds an existence to express it. not only on the part of his readin views essentially so natural these is * Aristotle called the soul the first entelechy of such a body. while at the same time they could not have been imputed without being attached to one object or event rather than to another. In evoking consciousness nature makes this delimination real and unambiguous. The French I know but do not use is in its first entelechy . the French I am actually speaking is in its Consciousness is therefore the second or aetualised second. and offers something ground an interest. and destiny becomes important by being felt. being to imputation. could not exist without being imputed. Mind adds to being a new and needful witness so soon as the constitution of being gives foothold to ap- movement.

a sort of reserved faith which every one s^ 1118 Attempt at to respect but nobody utters. power and as a Analysis had not gone far enough in his day to make evident that all dynamic principles are mechanical and that mechanism can obtain only among objects. so that the passage from idea to idea in experi- ence need not be due.THE LIFE OF REASON 150 on his own part. because they is fall in of things with some divine plan and produce. some interesting harmony. cause. have generally given a dialectical or moral texture to the cosmos. to any intrinsic or proportionate efficacy themselves. and that ideas produce and sustain one another. intelligently Systematic idealists. on the contrary. Their own understanding merely in the gross. in making a metaphysics out of Digitized . for he treated the which should be on his own theory only an ers but even soul. Empirical idealists. expression and an an efficient unmoved mover. unaccountably enough. abandon that practical calculation to some science plained at of illusion that has to be tolerated in this provisional life. in their physics. The march in these of experience is ideas not ex- They all by such high cosmogonies. to be sure. to idealistic the effect that the mental world has a phyrica. mechanism of its own. There is indeed a strange half-assumption afloat. but by this time it should no longer seem doubtful that mental facts can have no connection except through their material basis and no mutual relevance except through their objects.

it has to balance itself on the thin edge of an unwilling materialism. anybody can think of. Deprecating this result.PSYCHOLOGY psychology. the sensations themselves. not referred to those per- if manent possibilities. if it would rise at all above a stupid immersion in the immediate. with a continual protestation that it does not believe in anything that it thinks. the criterion. with diffuse animation. yet the which attach the moments of feeling relations together are material relations. in practice. for no very obvious reason. Correct and scrupulous as empiricism may be when it turns its face backward and looks for the and the elements of knowledge. would be a chaos worse than any dream. and consented to immerse flying experience in experience understood. The laws they do. Psychology can accordingly conceive nothing but the natural world. since this is its the only back- ground that the facts suggest or that. of experience which they refer " of sensa- tion that stand and change according to law . If empiricism trusted the intellect. It is wholly entangled in the prev- alent sophism that a when he discovers man must renounce a belief how he has formed it. it would become ordinary science and ordinary common sense. it is it altogether incoherent It can believe in nothing but looks forward. in what it conceives. and self-inhibited when seat. and that . hardly know what 151 to are all laws of It is only the " possibilities physics. implying the whole frame of nature.

but his conception of mental unities mained lectical. however. All a transcript of material facts or a deepening of moral relations. was a perpetual The between reason and the emotions. from the other half of the world. The idea of explaining the flow of ideas with- out reference to bodies appeared. of course. but was diverted from that rational path by the waves it and sometimes flooded it over. dia- of a principle at once psychic appeared in his philosophy. conflict had its own natural principle to live by. — — played in qualifying knowledge. soul Life. That was all his psychology. as No shadow genetic mind was still we have re- seen. was asked by admiring ladies something about the passions. having composed a mechanical system of the world. Spinoza made a great improvement in the system by attaching the mind more systematically to the body. in a theatre which had to be borrowed. what came mind was characteristically simple and to say into his dialectical. because while a material mechanism might be conceived without minds in minds in action could not be conceived without a material mechanism at least a represented one lying beneath and between. Descartes. or at best. he thought. and and mental processes literary. in the Digitized by Google . and studying the parts which organ and object it.THE LIFE OF REASON 152 our ancestors — When —begin at least the remoter ones when we to exist discover them. of passion that beat against Ideal entities in dramatic relations.

more boldly in the are not plainly aware (in spite of headaches. but their derivation was not studied. the origin of sensations. tion — tion as the more in ideas the of part of associa- efficient association by contiguity order — is only a repeti- once present impressions. sleep. They order they had first course of our on the body as followed. 153 the nearest ap- is proach that has yet been made to a physics of —something Association disembodied mind not efficient idealism sadly needs to develop. and Berk- when he frankly production of sensation must eley did not sacrifice a great deal suggested that the be the direct work of God. the whole question about the in march of mental experience goes back to what association does not touch. It was therefore out glaring paradox. of course. Hume ignored it as much as possible. the had in experience. This tendency not to recognise the material conditions of mind showed itself We treatment of ideation. terrible incapacity. love. and madness) thoughts is their is that the as directly dependent inception. to speak as one another. namely. for even pose that which if we sup- could account for the flow of ideas. however.PSYCHOLOGY This principle of association. was that the order and quality of sensations were due to the body . intoxication. fatigue. it does not pretend to supply any basis for sensa- And tions. in possible. What everybody assumed. as when we . it A appears at once in the principle of association. with- if ideas caused recurring.

we should sometimes be unable to peat the one that had often followed there was no attempt to explain: reverie often seemed temporal order. says Hobbes. laws or intelligibility. to Even it re- before. natural history has been written and studied with the idea of finding curious facts. in curious accident. this would not have led any one to think of Judas and dotes. wit and the poet. the thirty pence. a previous learn something by heart. and when it did. once led a man to ask what was the value of a Roman penny. but for any for constant cir- cumstance that could arrest attention or divert the fancy. botany of mind. to This was a feat for the jump from China to Peru. But why only once? The wars must have been often mentioned when the delivering up of King Charles did not enter any mind. Under It was the association could be gathered a thousand interesting anec- a thousand choice patterns of thought. association by similarity.THE LIFE OF REASON 154 Why. doubtless. In this spirit. it describes The demand has not been coincidences. unless he had been a good royalist — and a good Christian and then only by a It was not these ideas. Talk of the wars. instances of association were gathered young ladies' and classified. then. verse being given. by virtue of some spark of likeness that might flash out Much between them. it sufficed that in their retrace events dependent on material less causes seemed to be the other sort of association. their natural capacity that suggested one another .

of regular associa- tion might be found in language and Understandin* u based « and P ressed in dialectic. perhaps. Nevertheless. similarity could decide recalled for contiguity's sake. and in idea feel sug- more buoyant sort of locomotion. in which that object lies. once in the world. among all which should be chosen . for the name is not confined to recalling one view of one animal obtained at one moment. in nature and in discourse. psychologically considered. Yet in what. opened those particular avenues between them. recurs is Perhaps all that a vague sense of the environment. does understanding a word consist? What concomitants does the word "horse" involve in actual sentience? Hardly a clear image such as a man might paint. associated with it as closely as those which were Nor was remembered. One would turn to the sky rather than to the ground. Understanding has to be described in terms of gestions of a its potential outcome. The word " kite " would immediately make a different region the mind was warm in the world through which groping. the matter taken so seri- ously that one needed to ask how. since the incandescent proc- . The best instance. ^ or its meaning understanding implies that each word habitually calls up its former associates.PSYCHOLOGY 155 but some medium in which they worked. never recalled. nor how among a thousand contiguous facts one rather than another should be similar things. no one cared to observe that each fact had had many others.

and the means. know what to To to science understand. it is all specula- tive. that contains the habit and readiness on which understanding hangs. esses to may Some generative proc- be called psychic in that they minister mind and lend it what little continuity it can boast of. elude they therefore. It is the body. a form rather Mental activity has a character altogether alien to association: it Digitized by Google . This understanding is instinctive and practical and. Instinctive recognition has those echoes for the most superficial part of its effect. but they are not processes in consciousness. Processes in consciousness are aesthetic or dialectical processes. if the phrase may be pardoned. vibrant. it is the body that understands. as it exists in transit. Because I understand what "horse" me recall some episode which a horse once figured. namely. will not suffer stable terms to define something Potentiality it. do and what to say in the sign's presence. is but a transcript of the body's education.THE LIFE OF REASON 156 ess itself. is to definition. and this practical knowledge is far deeper than any echo casually awakened in fancy at the same time. the word can make in sense of understanding. the fruit and gift of those menial subterranean processes. focussing than ushering in an existence. the instant rejection of whatever clashes and makes nonsense in that context. things are potential to feeling because they are not because and feelings are potential life. which each half of is reality reproaches the other with. Actual mind is all above board.

That a certain ripening and expansion of consciousness goes on in man. has w© f^fyn^e* come er autom- of suggestion.PSYCHOLOGY is spiritual. For these and other reasons association has some disrepute. on the contrary. for first we do not fall in love for the time because this person loved and these ardent emotions have been habitually associated in And any past experience. so far as wm another. the conand nection established. in absolute psychology. not 157 mechanical. is very true. Yet to observe that consciousness is automatic is not to disclose the mechanism by which it evolves. if that be possible. but it is not easy to fallen into say what. not guided by former collocations of ideas. shows the same sort of vegetation. not a genesis. If. than the theory of association. Such a half -dialectical Digitized by Google . a certain dynamic turn ati8m* to take its P lace - If speak- seems to be given to the matter. The theory of spontaneous growth offers less explanation of events. yet in what sense a perception suggests its future development remains a mystery. respondence is Where a it goes. since at least it makes no attempt to deduce them from one another. impassioned dis- opening at every turn into new vistas. is dialectical cor- not found. a relation implied in the burden or will of the moment be invoked. course. a material cause would have to be appealed to. an entelechy. It is perhaps a better description of the facts. dialectical.

The unconscious Absolute Will. even if in mythical terms. — and to explain that instinct or even will. no doubt. but beneath is them not hard to divine the forces of nature. In these regions where science is denied we shall have to be satisfied with to trace or eludes us landscape-painting.THE LIFE OF REASON 158 psychology would be like Schopenhauer's. has been accomplished little mind and sustains the clear. by experiment and by well-sifted testimony. and then to deter- mine. The more obvious results Digitized by Google . volitional it This school supplies a good stepping-stone from metaphysics back to scientific psychology. what conscious sublimation each of those material situations attains. because it would restore. where the machinery of nature is too fine for us by involving agencies that we lack senses to perceive. mechanism of at least in its method. a background and meaning to life. if the term be thought more consoling is merely a word covering that operative organisation in the body — which controls action. It remains merely to substitute instinct for will. quite metaphysical. the avid Genius of the Species. this: Schmentof to — —may be reduced psychology has to attempt To until becomes general for to develop physiology and an- thropology life dic- ideation. It might be a great improvement on an absolute psychology. if indeed will it attains any. the all-attracting Platonic Ideas are fabulous. What scientific affinities. determines tates preferences. There many a region always remain.

plained facts are mental it will these unex- not be hard to do more systematically what common sense has done and to attach them. extinguish mankind so as to stop its sufferings. as we attach love or already. It is superfluous to ask a third person what circumstances produce hunger: hunger will lead you unmistakably enough to its point of origin. not otherwise with higher emotions and Nothing but sophistry can put us in doubt about what conscience represents. and even is obscure meaning. It says. allowing it to ested in. or steal so as to benefit your Thou and it Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt. shalt worship the — — Digitized by Google . So that conscience. heirs. since the connection of mind with nature is ivation of a feeling its when the derwe have but to study tell us what it is inter- double.PSYCHOLOGY and superficial harmonies perceived in those re- gions will receive names and physics will be arrested natural at Where history. and what it represents the interests. by its import and incidence. clearly enough declares what it springs from a social tradition. also says. square the circle. to the natural subtend that crises them. its cause. for conscience does not say. and its extreme interest in food will not suffer you long to believe that want of nourishment has nothing to do with And it is ideas. for a roundabout path to lead us safely back to its natural basis. patriotism. This placing of mental facts is made easy by the mental facts themselves. Thou shalt not kill.

then. of the community in which you were reared. WQ This question would have to be answered in the negative. We may as justly. it describes the flying consciousness that accompanies bodily It is the science of feeling or life. speak of the spirit of an age or of a both man's character or a river's god. for a man may religion as of a Particulars in illustration ordinarily be trusted to continue his practices and a river beneficent or disastrous floods. there can be no talk of science. The it first is is Cartesian axiom applies to to feel. There is it at last the true metaphysics? honesty in the conviction that sentience of absolute. even doubtfully. ists. The and would it. that feeling existed be to posit its a sort something which certainly ex- existence. its and since those rhetorical forms have no existence in may continue to frame them as may be most convenient for discourse. but the unities superimposed are ideal. taken exactly as BMttorof it Does such a psytempted to ask. Where psychology depends on literature. Such metaphors may be very useful. ieCt absolute appearance. where its units and its method are poetical. may have good historic warrant.THE LIFE OF REASON 100 real or imaginary. knowledge of reality? Is seems or j£so?°tebein absolute being ? ^^g^ constitute scientific feels. nature we When psychology is a science. yet not without some previous discriminations. or as absurdly. science that de- scribes sentience describes at least a part of ex- Digitized by Google .

" Eeality " is an ambiguous term. If we mean by it the immediate. as if it were an extension or variation of sentience. setting. for even when consciousness contains elaborate thoughts that might be full of illusions. while our science ing. for what we mean by sentience or conBciousness is the immediate in so far as we contain it. these states of mind are approached from scientific. then sentience would be a P ar ^ ^ n °t the whole of reality. Sentience u representabie only in fancy. time. is 161 this self-grounding of consciousness a suspicious circumstance: it renders in one it and in another sense per- sense the typical reality haps the sorriest illusion. the only feeling They are which Apart from this in processes of known is that which is Digitized by Google . and in At the same terminates upon mere feel- that capacity they are real enough.PSYCHOLOGY Yet istence. it can neither discover nor describe that feeling except in terms of something quite differ- ent . without and are defined by their surrounding conditions and by their ideal known by being enveloped objects. they themselves are not aware. and the only part of psychology that perhaps penetrates to brute sentience the part that is is not The knowledge that science reaches about absolute states of mind is relative knowledge. psychol- ogy takes them only as so much feeling. and whatever self-grounded existence there may be elsewhere can be conceived by us only mythically and on that analogy. Psychology would then be knowledge of reality.

materialistic fancy. After the fact. or false if at all understood or underpinned. striving to pierce through the machinery of the world and to attain and repeat what dreams may be going on at its core. Romance. and the very notion that the dreams are internal. for a mere ingredient of present sentience. is no science. that it might not known It could not be at all unless something were known about it. is the only instrument for knowing this sort of " reality. as otherwise it would. and has to be looked for beneath it. the jewel —must be supplied —precious by imagination. vealed. so pass. at best it may it cannot be directly re- be divined and re-enacted. It is precisely by virtue of this adventitious ele- ment that the re-enacted feeling takes its place in nature and becomes an object of knowledge. Science furnishes this setting. But dramatic insight.THE LIFE OF REASON 162 endured. or before. The mind is itself ethereal Digitized by Google . to any feeling reported to another mind." A flying moment. or if seen in would be not known absolutely as it had been felt. dramatic myth. or from any other point of vantage. that they its context. is a crude Body. make the interior or substance of bodies. so that an adventitious element would always attach to any recognised feeling. Even this possible repetition would not constitute knowledge unless the imaginative reproduction were identified with or attributed to some natural fact . but would be known scientifically and as it lay in nature. is the substance or instrument of mind. on the contrary.

would On the Digitized by Google . without trace of its own status. psysort. or an accidental harmony between imitative fancy in us now and original sentience elsewhere. which is nothing but flying appearance. It is preferable to give a The condi- lee™ ™Mntu ence. which is name of entirely lost and inconsequential in its being. It knows its ignorant and but in itself. and furthermore. as a dream might call to another dream. for it knows nothing of what is true about it. true only of what in itself be true in fact. all. it is but appearance for the immediate. reaL chology of the sympathetic not * reality 99 n °t what is merely felt diffusely but what is true about those designate be able to reach reality at fancy. the worst sense of the word knowledge. which more Platonic mean- ing to the word and to let Then dramatic ££LT2E feelings. while absolutely real in stress or presence. Knowledge of the immediate elsewhere is accordingly visionary in its method.PSYCHOLOGY and plays about the body as music about a violin. if. indefinitely is false in its deliverance. To pierce to this blind " reality " or psychic flux. or rather as the sense of a page about the print and paper. we must rely on fortune. It is accordingly at least misleading to give the ** reality 99 to this appearance. and consequently approachable or knowable only by divination. To look for it within is not to understand what we are looking for. nothing of its relations and conditions. it is by a fortunate chance.

Is it Napoleon's reconstruct? life-long soliloquy ? his ^ psychology would. This representation. by instinctive readiness to meet it. and show us to what extent that situation was represented in that feeling. might be either pictorial or virtual . What. is the reality of Napoleon ? Is it what a telepathic poet. for it would disclose what really was true about sentient moments. without suspecting that they had ever visited another genius.THE LIFE OF REASON 164 other hand scientific psychology. or practically. without stopping all other sciences. by understanding its structure. m *ght Mind knowable and im- *° Sur aatt^ reprcuents relation at the as sci- tiong to Or to get we have to add. depends upon scien- Digitized by . quality or private semblance. by which the dignity and interest of pure sentience would be measured. imaginative. rea ^^y should entific other thing*. even where it is Our knowledge of his life. a conscious moment might represent the environing world either scientifically. the condi- and under which he feelings? casual Obviously if Napoleon's thoughts had had no reference to the world we should not be able to recover them. a complete Browning. we should attribute them to our own mental luxuriance. that is. together with would have reality for its object. particularly to sink abstractedly into their inner It would approach and describe the immediate as a sentient factor in a natural situation. for instance. or if by chance such thoughts fell some day to our share.

those Digitized by Google . appearances are true of the reality. or interrelation. The circumstances. time.PSYCHOLOGY tific knowledge for its 165 projection . and that stood his causes and function. can be rationally reproduced in others and attributed to him. In knowing that Napoleon was a Corsican. and had arisen. Napoleon's consciousness might perhaps be more justly identified with the truth or reality of him than could that of most people. Appearances are the qualities of reality. open to science. brute existence. we know appearances only but . which surround consciousness are thus real attributes of a man by which he is truly known and distinguished. under- knew that he of history. like all the rest he stood for the transmissible force and authority of greater things. worth the pains. possess knowledge. too. soliloquy. and his fame and immortality depend on the degree to which his thoughts. a short man with a fine countenance. else realities would be without place. being rooted in the structure of the world and pertinent to it. something which could not be said of the absolute sentience of Dick or Harry. character. presumable inner appearances. because he seems al ly to have been unusu- cognisant of his environment and master of the forces at work in it He and in himself. were separated And these if the Napoleon's long from the others. known and is Such a consciousness can be in proportion as we. which has only material being. without relevance to anything nor under- standing of itself.

which could not be better known than through their means. with its concomitant psychology. Digitized by . might discover in a man is the sum of what is true about him. seeing that a man is a concretion in fragment of a world. That which physics.166 THE LIFE OF REASON inner appearances would not belong to Napoleon nor have any home in the knowable world. the nition. and not a Appearances define the constituent existence. defiele- ments of his reality.

he can hardly be interested in being. not even his own. and to sink from the sphere of actuality altogether into that droning limbo of potentialities which we call matter. has traversed. ^e not course become psychology. No existence is of moment to a man. Unless he is concerned that existences should be of specific kinds. or the science of existence. But this is only half of science and on the whole the less interesting and less fundamental half. taken together. Being which is indifferent to form is only the material of being. unless he is interested in form.CHAPTER VI THE NATURE OP INTENT Common Diaiectic knowledge passes from memory to from history to mechanism . thus over back. the flying moment must be loaded with obloquy or excellence if its passage is not to remain a dead fact. unless it touches his will and fulfils or thwarts his intent. To exist is nothing if you 167 Digitized by Google . comfort versus terror. light versus darkness. without it misgivings. constitute physics. At the very least in terms of pleasure versus pain. and These investigations. and hav* n £ reacne d that point it may stop to better than look history and phyac*.

or if those things which belong to a chosen form are not gathered into your eyes. for if physics were established on a firm basis the idealists would for the first time have a free field.THE LIFE OF REASON 168 have nothing to do. If it is subsidiary to knowledge of be true that a good physics is as the predominant need in science. it would not need to be minutely revealed or particularly emphasised. at must least. also. When the conditions Digitized by Google . or to preventing others from establishing natural truths. if there is nothing to choose or to distinguish. Without knowledge of existence nothing is really done until some- can be done . exist first). to express what we call it before a truth or an excellence. and disdain the sorry attempt and to fish in troubled waters. the It is use or excellence that a great pity that those temperaments that are naturally addressed have turned their energies to producing bad physics. but nothing thing else existence is known may have. yet in the order of values knowl- edge of existence ideals. Existence naturally precedes any idealisation of it which men can contrive (since they. and that is still yet man most troubled by his ignorance of matters of fact. this circumstance marks his illiberal condition. They might finer to the ideal should then recover their proper function of expressing the mind to prolong confusion honestly. Perhaps if physical truth had not been so hugely misrepresented in men's faith and conduct.

The ancients were happily inspired when they imagined that beyond the gods and the fixed stars Physics should be lately nrtaait about. physical knowledge ought to be largely virtual. nature ought to be represented by a suitable attitude toward it. Physics thus becomes inordinately conspicuous (as when philology submerges the love phX^on" brings to consciousness not so the of letters) for lack of a good disposition that Much should allow us to take physics for granted. by the attitude which reason would dictate were knowledge complete. and not by explicit ideas. In a world that in extent and complexity so far outruns human energies. Many nothing to trouble one's self existences are either out of relation altogether or have so infinitesimal an in- on his experience that they may be suffi- Digitized by Google .THE NATURE OF INTENT surrounding life are 169 not rightly faced by instinct they are inevitably forced upon reflection through painful shocks. in nature is delightful to know and to keep in mind. but much also (the whole infinite remainder) is obscure and uninteresting. and for a long time Maiadjust- the mentsto new habit thus forced upon men much movement of consciousness itself as the points at which its movement impinges on the external world and feels checks and frictions. that is. for the empyrean beyond was nothing in particular. and were we practically well adjusted to its issue we might gladly absolve ourselves from studying its processes. to man fluence cosm08 came to an end.

to feeling against think of navigation as a fine art. adoration in their souls. in so far as it ex- and at variance with expiidt. to consider very remote beings of doing so. to adore physics. in that we might speak of them in the right key. and might move in their company with the right degree of respectful indifference. gone. is explicit. however. that our presumptions and assumptions have been so egregious that more knowledge would give us still greater shocks. The present situation of science. re- verses the ideal one. Meantime dialectic. Physics. or to consider freely the sea and sky or the land we are The proper occupation of the mind is seeking. We have no time or genius left. A is further bad consequence of this illiberal state that. so that we may justly infer. representing them in appropriate symbols. or knowledge of ideal things. among many who have. by the shock our little knowledge gives us. Digitized by Go< . Such beings could be known virtually only. our acquired attitude toward things. in spite of the times. The ideal usually comes before us only in revulsions which we cannot help some scandalous situation or some intolerable muddle.THE LIFE OF REASON 170 ciently represented there by and it is we wished the means probable that if. and dialectic ^ts. an atom of star-dust out of pure curiosity. after our agitated soundings and balings. remains merely virtual. we should and had find the detail of existence in them wholly incommensurable with anything we can conceive. or rather not initiated.

not a term belonging to sense or to probable hypothesis or to the prudent management of affairs. we define and embody intent . the eyes can be lifted for the The first time to the eternal. it worship to Being. This derivation may be mathematical or it may be Digitized by Google . in that form of religion which is superior. The they did not help Ideal life. The idolatry. an of excellence and knowledge. interest to its conditions. This wisdom has cast out the fear of material evils. is things hang the later phases of — any process fill out as in good music the tendency and promise of what went before. and dreads only that the divine should not come down and be worthily entertained among us. to politics and art. it constitutes It consists in seeing together perspicuously and — how how science. After we have squared our accounts with nature and taken sufficient thought for our bodily necessities. in politics. In art. and the intent embodied dignifies the work and lends rest So. in science. after the blow has fallen may turn to sublime wisdom. dia- baser utilities of material knowledge would leave if it is makes physics speculative and worthy it life itself perfectly vain. lectic that of a free mind. dialectical. to take in so far as on an ideal shape. and not inferior. That appeal to the supernatural which while the danger threatens is but forlorn medicine. ligion. was superstition and the quaking use of a false physics. whereas.THE NATURE OF INTENT 171 seems a re- of course. ideal God true is philosophical is the essence of an object of intent.

but by estimating Digitized by . The importance and Yet the absurdity have disap- pronouncement concerning what things are absurd or important that makes peared. you have to bring some sympathetic or hostile judgment to bear on those you are considering and to meet intent. the recognition of an object which not fact like only is any other. transition world. but in either case the data and problem define the result. it is this the intent of those judgments. Intent intent is one of essence lect's u vital many evidences that the intel- Intent is practical. 8 P nere of thought. Moral experience is not expressible in physical categories. a passage.THE LIFE OF REASON 172 moral. The parts do not contain the movement of transition which makes them a whole. not by noting its existence. To touch it you have to enter the moral world. but while the feeling of intent is a an aspiration. because while you may give place and date for every feeling that something is absurd. you cannot so express what important or is these feelings have discovered and have wished to confide to you. that is. dialectic being insight into their inherent correspondence. intent itself is not a part of the feeling given but incapable of being a feeling or a fact at is all. is action in the corresponds to it and derivation in the natural Analytic psychology obliged is to ignore intent. for it is obliged to regard it merely as a feeling. often What happened to motion under the Eleatic analysis happens to intent under an anatomising reflection.

is an expedient for As reproduction circum- vents mortality and preserves a semblance of permanence in the midst of change. and does not constitute or contain what it envis- ages. It is supported by a strong analogy to other famil- iar mysteries. do not retain the intent that made them cognitive or medium they certainly living . best serve to initial or Every category would The all that can make a mystery homely and amiable. or what exists no Thus the pulverisation proper to exislonger. Feelings and ideas. in existence. be unthinkable if it were not actually used. ma i s same fashion. lived If this ideality or transcendence seems a mystery.THE NATURE OF INTENT 173 by collating it with your own intent. mystery in this instance has. yet in their native and knew. is like the fact that time flows. vanquishing instability. No two and two its value. The fact that intellect has intent. Digitized by Google . so intent regards what is not yet. that bodies gravitate. itisanaio- experience that existence is goustoflux and not being. Your science is not relevant to his intent until you run some risk yourself in that arena and say. however. or not here. js is gathered. you are no counter-mathematician when you conscientiously put it down that he said so. : are four. when plucked and sepa- rately considered. too. it is such only in the sense in which every typical fact is mysterious. If some one says two and two are five. or that suspended between being Propagation in ani- mysterious and familiar in the Cognition.

The more plastic a being is to experience.THE LIFE OF REASON 174 tence is vanquished by thought. of impressionable and prophetic structure. What it is renders the image cognitive is the intent that projects it and deputes it to be representative. it natural life. ing might of the surrounding world ? suffice Mere each particle of protoplasm in its isolation. intent and conscious sig- Digitized by Google . an expression of adaptation. so long as he retains vital continuity and a cumulative structure. edge of a world like it existing elsewhere. expresses acter. that in- telligence should speak of the things that inspire it and that lend it its oracular and practical char- namety. then. simply another more fragile world. The mere image of what is absent constitutes no knowledge of it a dream is not knowl. when it is the vehicle of an assurance which may be right or wrong. We may give intent a somewhat more congenial aspect if we remember that thought comes to animals in proportion to their docility in the world and to their practical competence. because it takes something ulterior for its standard. of things at that moment absent an(* merely potential. which in a moment announces or commemorates other moments. together with the manner of their approach or recession. What wonder. It is cognitive only in use. to translate the relations of that particle to is not itself and feel- to translate into consciousness but what to express its response to those environing presences. Intelligence is the more intelligent he becomes. in other words.

Digitized by Google . This is moral energy. has a mate- rial basis. the motto on the title-page. as Aristotle says. it using it closely analogous to of course not without a mate- basis. so subtle persistency. Its scope is nothing but the range to which it can continually extend its sympathies and its power of representation. the moral purpose that may bind whole condemned to be partly a memory and partly a plan and wholly an ideal. political or life its which destiny. the act proper to in- The tellect is life. is Spiritual sublimation does not consist in not using matter but in up.* in its flux is so pervasive.THE NATURE OF INTENT 175 Intellect transcends the nification are required. given and means the absent because life. so physical interplay. Its moments have nothing in common except their loyalties and a conspiring interest in what is not themselves. races together. Intent and life are more than analogous. in making it all useful. the two are coincident. In- a chasm. but only by leaping that is sustained for years. of which intellect is the fulfilment or entelechy. that even those miracles suspend it must somehow share many tent bridges The across. for. so intent is a recognition of out- lying existences which sustain in being that very sympathy by which they are recognised. When life * Cf. life As depends on an equilibrium of material proc- esses which reach far beyond the individual they sustain in being. is itself absorbed from without and radiated outward. If we use the word life in an ideal sense.

it is but eternal truth. There is. . for the thoughts be- it would obtain need never exist or There is society only among incarnate ideas and it is only by expressing some material situation that an idea is selected out of the infinity of not impossible ideas and promoted to tween which be enacted. receives from the People who have not yet been born into the world have not yet begun to think about it. the temporal dignity of actual thought. nor has discourse any other pledge that it is addressing kindred inter- locutors except that which disposition and habit of it bodies. in other words. not discourse or intelligence From the point of view of ex- perience this prior dialectical relation of form to form is merely potential. does not occur without a certain heat and labour in the brain. medium in which this infinite dialectical theme. That new direction of attention upon form which to take finds in facts instances of ideas. in idiocy In its intellect has natural conditions. no matter another those but the network is woven motionless. most intimate and supernatural functions In dreams and madness intent is confused and wayward. Digitized by Google . of course.THE LIFE OF REASON 176 becomes rational it continues to be mechanical and up room and energy in the natural world. an inner among dialectical relevance propositions that have the same ideal all how remote or unknown to one who utter the propositions may be. it is suspended altogether. is and indifferent to the direction in which thought might traverse it.

were at hand for intelligence to ally itself to and defend. order and of art . Reason would in that case die of inanition . but at bottom irrational. it is nothing but a name for the empire which conscious. is a transcript of relations in which events Such intent repactually stand to one another. animal. interests attain over the field in which they operplay.THE NATURE OF INTENT Moreover. the token of success- ful operation. Both desire and meaning translate into cognitive or ideal to forces energy. it would have no subject-matter and no sanction. mechanical relations subsist- ing in nature. modifications that have responded expresses on which life is dependent. even if 177 the faculty of intelligence were disembodied and could exist in a vacuum. it is the fruition of life. ate . it it is a principle of requires a given situation some particular natural and interest to bring it into In fact. as well as no seat. would ituneces- still be a vain possession if it no it to operate upon nQ p ar ti C ular natural structure. social. ariiy rcierant data were given for to earth. These mechanical relations give practical force to the thought that expresses them. or the intent by which perception becomes recognition. The intent by which memory refers to past or absent experience. Every theme or motive in the Life of Reason some instinct rooted in the body and incidental to natural organisation. fln(j Intelligence is ^ not a substance . . resents modifications of structure and action important to life. or artistic. into intent.

Fulfilment one direction bringing material and making them acand conscious. Keason cries aloud for reunion with the material world which she needs not only for a basis but. Meditative persons are even inclined to regard the disembodied life which they think they enjoy at such times as the true and native form of experience. No thought is found without an organ. what concerns her even more. all organs. so some mystical logicians drop the world It is an exquisite suiand ideal that sustain such a flight are annihilated by its issue. in it. Desire and intent may then seem to disport themselves in a purely ideal realm. for a theme. cide. and in the other direction em- potentialities to the light tual bodying intent in the actual forms of things and Nothing could be more manifesting reason. when words and grammar are swathed in reverie. the material basis and reference of thought may be forgotten. none is conceivable without an ex- in order to grasp reality. applications. and ex- pressions of thought they deprecate dental. but the energy Digitized by . and the soul drops like a paper balloon consumed by the very flame that wafted it. As some pious souls and reject call acci- dogma to reach pure faith and suspend prayer to enjoy union. moral or logical tensions alone may seem to determine the whole process. ill- considered than the desire to disembody reason. In private and silent discourse.THE LIFE OF REASON 178 and the thought in turn gives significance and value to the forces that subserve is mutual.

mind the analogies of physics exercised hypothetical little and spirit influence. No one would — be so simple as to suppose that such involuntary and by miracle out They surely continue some previous bodily commotion which determines their matesigns of feeling spring directly of feeling. underlying and its intent is existence might be denied by a sceptical thinker over ££&L *hose appreciable in language. without obvious extensions which imply its existence even where directly. a word are but the last stage and superficial explosion of nervous tensions. however. the blush or smile did not precede and introduce the feeling they suggest. the feeling which in our verbal mythology is said to cause them. rial character. The natural structure latent in silent thought. for instance. A we do not perceive it smile or a blush makes visible to the observer movements which must have been at work in the body while thought occupied the mind even if. and none would be significant without a subject- matter lying in the world of which that organ a is part. be- comes a sign of amusement rather than of rage. which it might just as well have represented. tensions which from the point of view of their other eventual expressions we might call Digitized by Google . structure is not. so that laughter. In the same way a sigh. a breath.THE NATURE OF INTENT pression which is 179 that organ's visible emanation. as more often happens. so far as the abstract feeling itself is concerned.

for its expression enters into the its future conditions and becomes an thought's continuance. which justifies both itself and its conditions. for aphasia and garrul- have known physical causes. The word. into the become recognisable sounds emitted by and tongue and received by the ear. let us say. Expression makes thought a power in the very world from which thought drew its being. In the vibrations which we call words the hidden complexities ity of cerebral action fly out. they lips nature. so seethings the uttered word. begs for drink. through that its it material thought. being expressed in basis is extended outward. ment. undeniably continues an internal material process. when underlies the perfect conception. so far as it is As underlay the budding it comes. becomes at the same moment rational and practical. though falsely. repetition. a transcendental atti- Digitized by . to be a disembodied and quite immaterial event. we then chain of omen of that and improve- Thought's rational function consists. The uttered word produces an obvious commotion in air. as perceive.THE LIFE OF REASON ISO interplaying impulses or potential memories. Had his petition been a wordless desire it might have been supposed. these material thought. A thirsty man. in expressing a natural situation and improving that situation by expressing it. so to speak. until such expression becomes a perfect and adequate state of knowledge. in material. and renders it in some measure self-sustaining and self-assured.

but not altogether discarded. or gesture. a point oVappui which may be indefinitely attenuated in rapid discourse. who thereupon pro- ceeded to fetch a cup of water. linked observably with all other cretly belonged and processes. through the cry that expressed it. without conditions or consequences. Language contains side by side two distinct elements. This material background for moral energy* which even an inarticulate yearning would not have lacked. a parched body. Words underlie the thought they objects — are said to express is in truth it is the thought that the flower and expression of the language much as the body underlies the mind. more refined than the visible. though it vaults Intent high must have something to Digitized by Google . from a datum* dgn. but in the same sense an automatic extension of nervous and muscular processes. obviously asserted itself in the mechanical world. It is an audible gesture. a ful- for the lever of signification. Language is accordingly an overflow of the physical basis of thought. becomes in language an overt phenomenon. crum The vehicle of that other is meaning the sensuous —the This sensuous term is sound.THE NATURE OF INTENT 181 tude of will. the desire. But when the petition became articulate and audible to a fellow-mortal. but somehow with an absolute moral dignity. to which it already se- by virtue of its cause. One is the meaning or sense of the words "~a lo cal projection given to sensu- & intent ttarts ous terms.

The minimal sensuous term that subsists serves as a clue to a whole system of possible assertions radiating from an It becomes the sign for it. or it would lend meaning to nothing. which should no longer be a foreshortening or representation of anything. just as the material hypostasis called is the standard and background for perceptions. But if an intelligence were constructed ad hoc there is nothing real that might not fall within the scope of experience. much which what less is incapable may be en- dured in remoter spheres. essence or idea. the main potential. which should no longer be a function of life but merely a static order. This existence would be motionless in the sense that it would " mark time. however it might be a fact of transition. is Like the physical world.THE LIFE OF REASON 182 spring from. The difference between existence and truth on the one side and knowledge or representation on the other may be reduced to this that knowledge brings what exists or what is true under apperception. Its and permanence serve to make a standard and background for fleeting asser- truth is external and in the ideal consistency it tions. since the fact that things : Digitized by Google . hypostasised total of rational and just dis- course the truth. all infinitesimal. ence is at of nature What but all nature momentary exists of truth in direct experi- any moment is. in human experience. of course." for of course every fact in The whole system. so existence is indistinguishable from an absolute motionless experience. As truth is indistinguishable from an absolute motionless intellect. while being diffuses what is understood into an impartial subsistence. as what exists that either contains might be represented in experience at one time or another. would have a static ideal constitution. of containing the heart of a flea.* * Not. a logical hypostasis corresponding in discourse to that material hypostasis of percep- which tions The is called an external thing.

would remain at heart an indescribable experience. a sense of spiritual life as radical and — specific as the sense of heat. to discover it you must emulate them and repeat their experience which indeed you will hardly be able to do if some sophist has so entangled your reason that you can neither understand what you see nor assert what you mean. but a brute matter of fact that might well have been otherwise. either. To ask a thinker what he njeans by meaning is as futile as to ask a carpenter what he means by wood. that asks to be enshrined in mind at Experience at a transitive some perma- change in a certain way or stand in a certain order is as much a fact as any other. force. Digitized by Google . and it is not a logical necessity. and of clauses in propositions. But as the carpenter's acquaintance with wood might be considerably refined if he became a naturalist or liberalised if he became a carver.THE NATURE OP INTENT 183 The tensions and relations of words which make grammar or make poetry are immediate in essence. Of these tensions the intent in a man's any moment that is a living specimen. by which consciousness becomes cognitive and practical. reality of things. Significant language forms a great system of ideal tensions. Meantime the vital act called intent. so a casual speaker's sense of what he means might be better focussed by dialectic and more delicately shaded by literary training. contained in the mutual relations of parts of speech. moment may have a significance. the force of language being just as empirical as the and is carried by a feeling.

the wisdom of Socrates. be recognisable and therefore in effect under the necessity of subordinating itself to an ideal system of expressions. the more acute and irrevocable the crisis is. labours adoption into a common medium expression belater moment may then comes interpretable . just as a perception and its object would remain identical and perish together if there were no intelligence to discover the material world. in action. makes the soul of grammar. is merely a consideration of where it Digitized by Google . if it is to Spontaneous expression. beside the its form surviving memorial. in mathematical and logical reasoning. a vacuum.THE LIFE OF REASON 184 nent expression. By virtue of such expressive. to which the perplexing shifts of sensation may ence to exhale its spirit in conventional " be habitually referred. It would leave no monument and achieve no immortality in the world of representation. using no and transmissible meit demands conTtntionai dium of expression. a reconstruct the past out of Intent. it has in language. has many other modes of expression. it would be foiled exprewion in its intent. policy. Moral philosophy. for the experience and its expression would remain identical and perish together. the more urgent the need of transmitting to other what was once moments some cognisance of But were this experi- so great. and in those contemplated and suspended acts which we call estimation. or morals. a permanent language in which its spontaneous utterances may be embedded.

Matter cannot exist without some form. — In order to live if such a myth may be allowed the Titan Matter was eager to disguise — A fabia about and his incorrigible vagueness and pre- He tend to be something. He wooed them hypocritically. pass from lected proclaim its aversion radical formlessness or infinitude. though it looks away from existence and the actual. yet he uttered their names in such seductive accents (called by mortals intelligence and toil) that the virgin goddesses offered no reat least such of them as happened to be sistance near or of a facile disposition.* THE NATURE OF INTENT 185 In intent we pass over from existence to intent. much as by shedding every ideality. the of life : form in succession it to fixity and its may Nor can form. with no intention of wedding them. namely. sisters whom equally beautiful. though their he thought number was endless. the treacherous aid of its ideal potentiality into se- and instant being. and equally fit to satisfy his heart. Intent. accord- ingly addressed himself to the beautiful all company of Forms. They were pres- — Digitized by Google . Physics and dialectic meet in this that the second brings to fruition what the first describes. and that both have their transcendental root in the flux of being. existence. without matter. is the most natural and pervasive of things. nexus lying in the propulsive nature which could not have been capped by any form of knowledge which was not itself in some way transitive and ambitious.

yet they. had tasted the sweetness of life. Digitized by .THE LIFE OF REASON 186 ently deserted by their unworthy lover. unmoved themselves. paradise. and that. Henceforth its nymphs could not forget that they had awakened a passion. and a warmer breath lingered in some of its lanes and grottoes. too. in that moment's union. The heaven to which they re- turned was no longer an infinite mathematical It was crossed by memories of earth. they had moved a strange indomitable giant to art and love.

people ask. Thus mathematical science has become a mystery which a myth must be constructed to solve. can evolve there a prodigious system of relations which it carries like a measuring-rod into the world and lo! everything in experience submits to be measured by it? What pre-established harmony is this be- tween the spinning cerebral silkworm and nature's satins and brocades? 187 Digitized by Google . springing fullarmed out of the brain. takes mathematics also for an oracular deliverance.CHAPTER VII DIALECTIC The advantage which Diaiectic the mechanical sciences drawn from their mathemat* cal f° rm Mathematics has somewhat the same place in physics that have over history is - conscience has in action. which treats grammar in all departments as if it were the ground of import rather than a means of expressing it. retreating into its cell. and setting up a canon which all concrete things must conform to. that pure intuition. For how can it happen. it seems to be a directive principle in natural operations where it is only a formal harmony. The formalists school.

The Mind having decreed of its own motion. it evoked out of nothing all formal necessities. and the form they happen to wear is largely mathematical.THE LIFE OF REASON 188 If we but knew. admitting none of any other sort into the nursery. so the myth runs. and later. perception perfected before perceiving any of grammar and having its its objects. but are found in and abstracted from the subject-matter and march of experience. this machine The mind ex- that exists only a particular department or focus of exis- tence. The most obvious artifices of language are often the most deceptive and bring on epidemic it prejudices. Mathematical principles in particular are not imposed on existence or on nature ab extra. In other words. This being the mind in shaping its barbarous prosody somewhat more closely to the nature of things. imputed that grammar to the materials of serine. that it would take to dreaming mathematically. To exist things have to wear some form. much its principles cannot less the be its own source. it imposed those forms upon all its toys. that experi- ence can show no patterns but those which the Mind has woven. What is this isting prior to existence? is Mind. source of anything in other beings. we should not wonder necessary correspondence. when it felt some solicitation to play with things. case. the Digitized by . was able to perceive objects for the first time and to legislate further about their relations. while it sat prolific at this alone before the creation of the world.

what may be but they are found in the world. we which is wholly strive to clarify and develop the essence of what we find. and to control is tentative. focussed in the mind. these forms. The lines and angles of geometers are ideals. is at bot- we study what happens.DIALECTIC 189 learns to note and to abstract the form that so strikingly defines Once abstracted and them. and their ideals are suggested by very Digitized by Google . nex P^ came an(* irrational. bringing into focus the inner harmonies and implications of forms —forms which has defined initially. in the direc- In physics. not without practical shrewdness. * both in historical. tom investigation and subject The matter. which tion of speculation. we study what is. for more intensive study. In dialectic. is the obvious form of things that it is singled out. intensive. rather. in 110 byStett* are * observant. by the subject- difference lies. but that things conform to that dialectic (when they do) seeing that the mind has not wonderful. we make inventories and records of events. The difference between knowledge does not lie in and material ideal the ungenerated oracu- lar character of one of them in oppoboth the data sition to the other. of juxtapositions. of phenomena. our attention or purpose The intuitions from which mathematical deduction starts are highly generic notions drawn from observation. reveal their dialectic. and their ideal context is entirely independent of their context in the world . like all forms.

When dialectic is employed. or ambiguous intent. it would indeed have been a marvel had they found application. by some inexplicable parthenogenesis in thought. as in ethics and metaphysics. seems to control existence. comes of im- perfect abstraction. treats it dialectically and expresses the intent of the word by saying that in intended. too. Here we have a process of thought ending in a paradox which. upon highly complex ideas — con- cretions in discourse which cover large blocks of —the existence dialectician in defining and in de- ducing often reaches notions which cease to apply some important respect to the object originally Thus Socrates. misrepresents the original meaning. Philosophy has enough notions of this inapplicable sort —usually. frankly. and that in the realm of logic. however.THE LIFE OF REASON 190 common sensations. Had they been invented. For "courage" meant not merely something desirable but something having a certain animal and psychological aspect. taking " courage" for his theme. not very — show that recondite in their origin when to dialectic. nothing subit mits to be governed without representation. by saying that courage is consequently the choice of the greater benefit and identical with wisdom. must have taken more than one hint from the subject world. The emotion and gesture of it had not been excluded from the Digitized by .

when it starts Dialectic. has no such When. like those terms generally stand ethical for. fection that unwise courage quality. it is chosen to illustrate the con- cept investigated dialectically. with confused and deep-dyed which ings. no difference in intent between the circularity noted in the sun and that which is the subject of the demonstration. The conthat the circle cretion in nature much is never legislated about nor so as thought of except possibly when. it does not end with an affirmation really true of the original concept. there is no difficulty in reverting to nature and saying that For there is the sun's circle cannot be squared. The geometer has made in his first reflection so clear and violent an abstraction from the sun's actual bulk and qualities that he will never imagine himself to be speaking of anything but a concretion in discourse. having observed the sun and sundry other objects. The instinct which we call courage. under warrant of sense.DIALECTIC 191 So that while the argument proves to peris a bad thing. for every one understands that the sun . The mathematical dialectician serious dangers to face. is not always virtuous or wise. he frames the idea of a circle and tracing out its intent shows meant cannot be squared. occur to a man It does not even to ask if the sun's circle can be squared. with an eye to its psychic and bodily idea. is feel- and metaphysical thus in great danger of proving unsatisfactory and being or seeming sophistical.

so that some symbolic relevance or proportion is kept. possesses.THE LIFE OF REASON 192 circular only in so far as is circle's ideal nature. may illustrate by a sort of variant or fantastic reduplication. perhaps. and its application in some distant part of nature Thefact that matheig not vouched f or by mathematics but in tics Applies by inductive arguments about nature's to existence is empirical. and had then said that courage. even in these dislocated speculations. suspect. elements of which even myth." already Inapplicable mathematics. It is like a new to the matter of experience. and systematic deductions. mythology . uniformity. we are told. The applicability of mathematics is not vouched for by mathematics but by sense. was identical with wisdom or with the truly rational and desirable rule of life. Digitized by . which it is conforms to the as if Socrates and had clearly understood that the an intemperate villain meant only whatever in his mood or action was rational and truly desirable. so understood. may be made from concepts perfectly thinkable. the notion. is "a distant part of nature. drawn from Both data and method applicable science. whether poetic or mathematical. the purely fictitious idea has a certain parallelism and affinity to nature and moves in a human and are familiar way. in themselves valid. which contravene the facts of perception. or by the character which his interlocutors virtue of courage in s. that even these We may concepts are framed by analogy out of suggestions found in sense.

the more perfect must be the physiological engine that sustains it. but the momentum is vital. and even when allowance is made for birth-pangs and an occasional miscarriage. The more ideal and frictionless the movement of thought is. have pleasure in propagation. and the is cultivated and refined the greater subtlety and sweep can be given to human Astronomy on the one hand and mechanical arts on the other are fruits of mathematics by which its worth is made known even perception.DIALECTIC The virtue. their native fertility will always continue to assert itself. through the logical labyrinth. Whether the airy phantoms thus brought into being are valued and preserved by the world an ulterior point of policy is which the pregnant mathematician does not need to consider in bring- . The momentum of that silent and secluded growth carries the mind. although the born mathematician would not need the sanction of such an extraneous utility to attach him to a subject that has an inherent cogency and charm. to the layman. great glory of mathematics. with a sense of pure disembodied vision. like that of is to be while useful Number and measure develop ideas. like other things. and measure are the more this inner logic remaining free. furnish an inexhaustible subject-matter which the develop dialectically as office to 193 mind can dominate and it is the mind's inherent At the same time number grammar of sense. for the truth itself does not move. Ideas.

because to deepen habits and cultivate nides' pleasures irrelevant to other interests is a way of from our general happiness. Masters in one abstract subject. which touches that of the wit or magician. for invaiue is there- fore con- stance. Those addicted to it might be indulging an atavistic taste at the expense of their humanity. Distinction and a curious charm there may well alienating ourselves be in such a pursuit. did nature and experience. the dialectical cogency which mathematics would of course retain would not give this science a very high place in the Life of Reason. it might even turn out to be a wasteful and foolish exercise for the mind. Even as it is. they may remain children in the world. but this quality traceable to affinities more substantial ious temper it and is perhaps associations with other interests. It would then be in the position now occupied by mythology and mysticism. or is due to the ingen- denotes. illustrate nothing but Panne- Being or Hegel's Logic.THE LIFE OF REASON 194 ing to light the legitimate burden of his thoughts. they may earthly ways. But were mathematics incapable of application. exquisite manipulators of the ideal. might conceivably become a vice. Mathematics. Mathematics would be an amusement. if it were nothing more than a pleasure. like a game of patience. mathe- maticians share with musicians a certain partiality in their characters and mental development. and though apparently innocent. Immense be erratic and clumsy in their as are the uses and wide Digitized by .

would endanger his thesis about the identity of virtue and thin and to knowledge. it triangle really is mathematics is all it finds to say about never comes to maintain that the the triangle a square. together with But the all other evils. they belong to dialectic as a whole which is The elucidation. is essentially plain meanings most in effort to ex- cases abortive because —a defeat which these meanings melt in our hands Hegel would fain have consecrated. inhuman its texture is too employ the whole mind or render it harmonious. for dialectical treatment. He may have felt that such a science. a material to which dia- Digitized by Google . and they have attempted times to emulate mathematical at co- gency.DIALECTIC 195 the applications of mathematics. The privilege of simply to have offered the mind. is that that it it is holds its much less own while it so advances. merit of mathematics Hegelian than life . Mathematical method has been the envy of philosophers. Now the lucidity and certainty found in mathematics are not inherent in its specific number character as the science of or dimension. and never allows itself to misrepresent its In original intent. It is a science which Socrates rejected for its supposed want of utility . but perhaps he had another ground in reserve to justify his humorous prejudice. into necessity and law. if admitted. perplexed and encumbered as they are with the whole mystery of exisQuantity submits easily to treatment tence.

which may be restated by saying that time aspect is an intuition. which science work with but which When a concretion it can never arrive is may at. the axioms. for it is no paradox. For this reason it is always a false step in mathematical science. that is. So that space. never make their own counters or the medium in which they move. a step over its brink into the abyss beyond. an of crude experience. and the ultimate criteria and and transmutation can tion Calculation sanctions. but if any one asked him he did not know. number. it had no Saint Augustine's rhetoric as so often with him —a pro- found truth when he said of time that he knew what it was when no one asked him. This material consists in certain general aspects of sensation — ex tensity. and to elaborate them infinitely without nally contradicting their essence. accordingly covered — its if workings. formed in discourse and Digitized by . Intui- must continue to furnish the subject of dis- course. and every other elementary intuition remains at bottom opaque opaque.THE LIFE OF REASON 1% lectical treatment could be honestly applied. that origi- makes these abstractions is able to keep them clear. but an — obvious necessity. its distribution its The wakefulness into related parts. continuity. its pulsation. to mathematical science. that the data of a logical opera- should not be producible by Reason would have nothing to do tion irrational materials. when we try to reduce its elements to anything not essentially sensible.

a passage from existence to eternity. In dialectic this sense dialectic is "synthetic a priori". to give it an aureole and not a progeny. so that con- stancy in intent and advance in explication are the two requisites of a cogent deduction. of cretion 197 way which Dialectic is is perfectly not retrospec- tive . it demanded further elucidation and had fixed the direction and principle If this intent is abandoned and of its expansion. It does not verify. predicates accrue to the subject in a empirical. itself to see it is Dialectic verifies by reconsideration. Digitized by Google . by equation of tentative results with fixed intentions. like the sciences of existence. about a given theme. to be sure. The subject is fixed by the mind's intent and tative assertion it suffices made about to it compare any tenwith that intent whether the expression suggested for truly dialectical and thoroughly honest.DIALECTIC an intent is attained in consciousness. It is a transubstantiation of matter. In no new perception is wanted . questions raised. yet the correct elucidation of ideas is a true progress. by comparing a hypothesis with a new perception. nor could there be any progress unless the original idea were better expressed and elicited as we proceeded . The acnew predicates comes in answer to chance questions. the goal is to understand the old fact. a falanalyses an intent which lacy is committed. Constancy and progress in intent. it does not consist in recovering ground previously surveyed. a new subject is introduced surreptitiously.

granted them by the free grace of heaven. he might have vivid emotions. said to know anything or to guide his life with The accretions that might come conscious intent.THE LIFE OF REASON 198 The question in dialectic what can be tive is always what is true. and the demonstra- said. the relations of which in the universe of discourse it then proceeds to formulate. their ability to enlarge subject — our knowledge on any particular their relevance or incidence in discourse —hangs on their fulfilling the requirements which that subject's dialectical nature imposes on all its expressions. intent de- I* *8 011 this ground. about this. but he could hardly be full of surprises. expectations. in an ideal sense. pronoun. External resemblance is is noth- ing. raises the object it selects to a concretion in discourse. and functional mantle of that upon them and covered them. tannines the that the image of a loaf of bread essence of 80 ^ar ^ rom being the loaf of bread objects. itself. indicating an act of selective atten- tion. for instance. At the same time this dialectical investigation may be Knowledge may be so truly enriched by it that knowledge. and dreams. even psychological derivation or superposi- Digitized by Google . Without dialectic an animal might follow instinct. empirically into any field of vision would not be new predicates to be added to a known thing. While unless the logical thing fell the right of particulars to existence is their own. only begins when dialectic has given some articulation to being.

It is intent that and the same makes objects ob- intent. has nothing to do with their respective claims to hypostasis. This remarkable sophism passed muster in the philosophical world for want of attention to dialectic. In the flux substances and shadows drift down together. space. defining the function of things. Herein lies the its utility. it cerns the difference. and this function involves a locus and a status which the image does Such admirable iridescence as the image might occasionally put on in the fine arts. defines the scope of those qualities which are essential to them. were thereby proved to be unreal. which are all equally bodily and dependent on material stimulation. the intent. . alone defines its idea. ground for the essential or functional distinction between primary and secondary qualities in things. — — identity of aspect preserve the thing if its soul. said these logicians. jects. nor would not possess. which picks out what that object's function and meaning shall be. which might so easily have shown that what a thing means is spatial distinction and mechanical efficacy. a distinction which a psychological scepif ticism has so hastily declared to be untenable. If it was discovered. and the muscles too.DIALECTIC tion is 199 nothing. and that the origin of our perceptions. had disappeared. that space was perceived through reading muscular sensations. rather. for instance would not constitute any iridescence or transformation in the thing.

not all excellences conspire to one end in one Life of Eeason. or any reflective sanction be found for captious them fancies of at all? The the will. the love of it is another grimace.THE LIFE OF REASON 200 Purposes need dialectical articulation as much essences as Abo the scope of ideals. without an ideal. how Yet did and meet could their relative value be estimated. That the excellence of tised intuitively courage is identical with that of wisdom still needs to be driven home. and without an articulate and nie ^ purpose. then we should be launched upon the quest for wisdom. do. recognisable by reason and diffused through all life. action would collapse into mere motion or conscious change. So long as courage means a grimace mind or body. which that casual attitude or feeling might have. mastery in that art of apprenticeship. But if it meant the value. and that the excellence of poetry is identical with that of all other things probably sounds like a blind paradox. the menagerie of moral prejudices. and even when it has to be carried on argumentatively it may prove very enlightening. miscellaneous. It is notably in this that elucidation constitutes progress stand the properties of number . still call for many a Socrates to tame them. but to see and feel the values of things in all their distinction and fulness is is is the ultimate fruit of efficiency. region for to under- may be less im- portant than empirically to count. life for which all Dialectic of this sort it the rest is prac- by spiritual minds. of Digitized by Google .

but they could not be maintained by one who had clarified his intent in naming and adding. but if he finds the unexpected conclusion flowing from those premises. and their incidental associates would drop out of the account. These propositions might have incidental lights and shades in people's lives to make them plausible and precious. Strange customs and unheard-of thoughts may then find their appropriate warrant . for all its applications in nature.DIALECTIC 201 The want of integration in moral views is like what want of integration would be in arithmetic if we declared that it was the part of a man and a Christian to maintain that my two equals four or that a green fifteen is a hundred.Jt is logic applied to certain simple intui- matics' tions. Mathematics. just as in higher mathematical and unforeseen results which a man will not accept without careful reconsideration of the terms and problem before him. So a man who is in pursuit of things for the good that is in them must recognise and (if reason avails) must pursue what is good in them all. For then the arithmetical relations would be abstracted. Double status 18 their developments These intuitions and many of happen to appear in that effi- Digitized by Google . ofmathe- a P* rt ° f ide&1 P niloso Ph y. he will have enlarged his knowledge of his art and calculations very wonderful may be arrived at. discovered a congenial good. He will have made progress in the Socratic science of knowing his own intent.

therefore. mathematics so that is dens the dialectical study of nature's per acd- efficacious and application in the world rather Mathematics owes its public success to the happy choice of a simple and widely diffused subject-matter. when short. needed. is is inquiry. Mathematics has come to seem the type of good logic because it is an illustration of logic in a sphere so highly abstract in idea and so pervasive ought. it not interpreting faithfully ideas nobler than extension and number. If in a comparatively uninter- in sense as to be at once The delights many esting field attention can find so of harmony and discover in treasures what beauties might order. as the example of mathematics a steadfast intent and an adventurous It would not occur to a with trepidation what difference geometer to ask it would make to the Pythagorean proposition if the hypothenuse were said to be wise and good. however. has never been often disastrous.THE LIFE OF REASON L>02 carious and self-sustaining moiety of being which we material call . manageable and useful. Yet metaphysi- Digitized by Google . hide Its use dialectical principle. even and. its merely adventitious application it has to existence. and triumphs of mathematics to be a great encouragement to ideal philosophy. to its ideality and the form. concretions closer to man's spiritual life? But unfortunately the logic of values is subject to voluntary and involuntary confusions of so discouraging a nature that the flight of dialectic in that direction long What shows. it owes its inner cogency.

conceptions waver and will reach no valid result. not only does a flash of light diately cross the mind. But when the will force of intellect. of dialectic. will discuss for ever the difference it it makes you call no decorative to substance whether matter or God. confounding dialectic 203 with physics and thereby corrupting both. Dialectic is related to observation as art is to industry. avails to hold and examine that idea with immeand deeper perseverance. moving not by stimulation and external compulsion.DIALECTIC cians. The and as more vital than inwhat makes life aware of its destiny). but by inner direction and control. that is. epithets can give substance any other attributes than those which it has. To understand is pre-eminently to live. yet naturalists and logicians have not rejected the analogous problem whether the good did or did not create the animals. Nevertheless. no concretion in discourse with discernible controversy rage as P»c ti«a rtte predicates. neither mathematicians nor astronomers are exercised by the question whether ir created the ring of Saturn . intelligence itself. so no part has a more delightful or exhilarating movement. once having arrested an idea amid the flux of perceptions. but deeper vistas are opened there into principle of dialectic is ideal truth. other than the actual appearances that substance support. it uses what the no part of man's economy telligence is (since intelligence is . is needed to Similarly. So long as in using terms there is no fixed intent.

sophistry. he bethought himself to represent all these incoherences. as the march of Digitized by . the spice. however. perhaps. and though to approach the subject from on Hegel's satirical angle illustrated dialectic quite honest or fair. giving the mind speculative dominion over them. which are indeed significant of natural changes. for dialectic. other who is not. what inroads passion. oblivion. in Hegel. Instead of showing. it is the fruition of experience. defeated their desire to understand This insecurity in intent he found to be closely connected with change of situation. like art. an alternative to empirical pursuits but their perfection.THE LIFE OF REASON 204 other furnishes. The nature Hegel*. with the same incidental utility. Its subject-matter is all and its function is to compare them in form and worth. method has a certain despised mathematics. matics does for the abstract form and multitude of sensible things. of their ultimate objects. and frivolity may make into dialectic. with the natural mutability of events and opinions in the world. if it could settle its own attitude and learn to make the passions steadfast and calm in the consciousness things. satire of dialectic might be curiously by reference to Hegel's Logic. it is what dialectic might do everywhere. has no special or private subject-matter. saw that departments the instability of men's meanings themselves. It profits by the flux to fix This is precisely what matheits signification. nor any obliIt is not gation to be useless.

We may think for a moment that we have grasped the elusive secret of this philosophy and Digitized by Google . attention would be attracted to a fresh aspect of the matter and conviction would wander into a new labyrinth of false steps and half- The sum meanings. the landscape changing. half-cynical reflection might take a certain pleasure in contemplating it especially if. he took to be typical of all experience and of all science. full of warm and impossible ideas. turned into its opposite. formed an interesting half-mystical. This opposite after a while would fall back into something like the original illusion . thus identified with the process of evolution and with natural law. The romance of an unstable and groping theology.DIALECTIC 205 dialectic itself. In that impressionable age any effect of chiaro- intentions oscuro caught in the moonlight of history could a philosopher to exalt find it into the darkly luminous secret of the world. A total of these wanderings. both in thought and in morals. in memory of Calvin and the Stoics. when viewed from picture. whereupon a new change of insight would occur and a new thought would be accepted until. this situation lute were called the expression of Abso- Reason and Divine Will. above. when pressed a little. and he devoted his Logic to showing how every idea they embraced (for he never treated an idea otherwise than as a creed). Hegel accordingly decreed that men's habit of self-contradiction constituted their providential function.

are identical. is. however. may very well become one by reflection knowing what he wants nor what he believe that every shift carries also.THE LIFE OF REASON 206 it is simply a Calvinism without Christianity. Digitized by . a system of dialectic in which a psychological flux (not. which God's glory consists in the damnation of that in Presently. psychological science. The system. triumphant note to Hegel's satire. and tor and creation. terms dialectically fixed and determinate) is made systematically to obliterate intended meanings. the whole revelation collapses into a platitude. and was not sure it did not culminate in himself. culminated in something. and we that suffers. him nearer Not he may to per- A temperamental and quasi-religious thirst for inconclusiveness and room to move on fection. discover that this glory and this damnation were nothing but unctuous phrases for the vulgar flux of existence. It is an lent a certain he was sure it all idealism without respect for ideals. the quite all his creatures. scene changes again. ideal we recognise that Crea- and process. is a long demonstration of man's ineptitude and of nature's contemptuous march over a path paved with good intentions. of which would involve course. so that the glory belongs to the very multitude But finally. as we rub our eyes. however. as it might strike a less egotistical reader. is what we mean by it is perwhen we in no case know what we Thus a man who is a mystic by nature That nothing fectly true mean.

The memory of earthly geometry and arithmetic will grow pale amid that floating incense and music. given intent understood interest of one in the next. a flower of the If mathematics suffers so little contradiction. like Hegel. where there will be no detestable extended and unthinking substances. on presses a for life is changeful. grammar when a language is foreign . it is only because the primary aspects of sensation which it elabo- from the world without an utter break in its continuity. will have to busy itself on new intuitions. we have no love for nature's intelligible mechanism nor for the clear structure and constancy of eterrings hollow looks artificial nal things. like an obsolete ontology. spirit Ideal philosophy and varies with the is soil. Those who expect to pass at death into a non-spatial and supertemporal world. so to speak. if Digitized by Google . if it survives at all. its and the moment Theological his- must apex vision are not dialectic when once faith is dead. and nothing that need be counted. will find their hard-learned mathematics sadly superfluous there. Otherwise though mathematics might not be refuted it might well be despised. Its boasted necessity and universality would not help it at all rates could not lapse experience should change so much as to present no further mathematical aspect.DIALECTIC 207 This spirited travesty of logic has enough torical truth in it to show that dialectic Dialectic ex- a^ way s stand. mathematics itself seems shallow when. where dialectic.

but asks the ingenuous heart to speak for own itself. Socratic ground. so that whenever any one possessing such a nature may is born into the world he use this calculation. it must take a short Its empire is at heart. The sincere dialectician. ideal life f or its basis ^g ^ or gyj^g and an actual interest liberal dialectician has the gift of conversation . too. in spite of and a certain histrionic sympathy feated every ideal. . but he betrayed. ence lends colour to Hegel's dialectical physics. could not be truly free. habit of ceremonious fraud on the surface. guiding and checking The it only in its result is to express a given na- ture and to cultivate it. nor. and faculties had Digitized by Goc . he does not pretend to legislate from the throne of Jehovah about the course of affairs. and he wished to bestow instead a groundless adoration on the law that connected and de- Such a genius. interest. moral philosophy must start afresh on a new foundation and try to express the ideals involved in the new pursuits. Of course. it could not throw its off its professional priestcraft. To this extent experiSo. the genuine moralist. if experi- ence were no longer the same. like the sincere pantheist he was. its . inhuman religion. . and more easily under- stand and justify his mind. incisive wit with all experience. the finite interests that give actual values to the world.THE LIFE OF REASON 208 when the landscape changes in the moral when new passions or arts make their appearance. Though ° art be long. and autonomous. must stand upon human. world.

forms of being that would These forms are invulner- and free. it. turning it from a fatal extent transfigured process into a liberal art. . and move toward other goals. they are possible frankly express able. are not forces stealthily undermining the will.DIALECTIC 209 entirely varied. Ideals longer serve. has to that life. eternal. and he who divine and congenial and at least in part is able to finds them embody them and for a season. the former interpretation could no Where nature shows a new principle of growth the mind must find a new method of expression.

foreign words sometimes occur to him. such when it is rolling directly may now frame the idea of a as the hoop presents away from me. ellipse 210 Digitized by . suggestions for this from the empirical Somewhat in the dialectic develops an development may come field. which the floundering hoop When is has illustrated in its career. in express contrast to the series of ellipses. for instance. mathematical I circle. in which all diameters are precisely equal.CHAPTER VIII r RE RATIONAL MORALITY When a polyglot person is speaking. requisite. no watching of hoops The is any longer can be generated ideally out of the definition. the definition of the circle attained. aiioyin dialectic game ^ w}sea wft idea. I may have observed that as the hoop meanders down the tion. which he at once translates into the language he hapEmpirical pens to be using. I path the roundness of it disappears to the eye. and would have been generated. with very unequal diameters. a circle. the essence of may have started from a hoop. once. however. being gradually flattened into a straight line. yet these suggestions soon shed their externality and their place is taken by some genuine development of the original no- In constructing.

call in- since every deliber- morab. p recepj. a purpose touching something in the concrete world. with the small shifts in aspiration and esteem which they may suggest to the mind. and feeling that we have left no duty unconsidered . and our last bird is our final resolution. Their multitude. what we may There is prerational morality. it is deed reason in it. we never make out what ideal connection our conclusion has with our premises. lemmas from experience often play a very large part in the process. expresses some reflection by which impulses have been compared and modi- Digitized by Google . and the legitimate word that the context required has supplanted the casual stranger that may first have ushered it into the mind. polyglot. often obscures the dialectical process altogether. we go home satisfied with our day's ranging. Reflection merely beats about the bush. In this case the foreign term is never translated into the native medium. When morality is in this way Amsted rationaiity in non-dialectical. nor in what way the conduct we finally decide upon is to fulfil the purpose with which we began. even if never illusall. casual.PRERATIONAL MORALITY like asymptotes 211 and hyperbolas. and when a sufficient number of prejudices and impulses have been driven from cover. Lemmas from a foreign trated in nature at tongue have only served to disclose a great fecundity in the native one. When the idea which dialectic is to elaborate is a moral idea. impulsive.

and Hume. seems a kind of politics or wisdom. emotional cations the opposite of which is in- conceivable and contrary to the current and practical power* use of language. or they flare up of themselves in impassioned judgments. Eational ethics.THE LIFE OF REASON 212 But such chance fied. and all systems of intuitive ethics. in the moral world. are the judgments of Mrs. Prerational morality its is vigorous because it is Actual interests. has not begun This educate her children. while postrational systems are essentially religions. to to Reason knowing chairs from tables and things near from distant things. with could say with perfect truth that morality was not founded on reason. It is hardly too much to say. agree also that morality though it may is no science in become. indeed. Grundy. like is commandments the special revelations of of religious authorities. the aims of political parties and their maxims. rooted habits. may itself. the principles of war. who had never come any rational or postrational to close quarters ideal. that prerational morality is morality proper. a subject for the science of anthropology. are embodied in spe- cial precepts. If we thus we identify morality with prerational standards. reflection amounts moral perception. in comparison. appre- sincere. with other matters. duty to individuals. the appreciation of morality art. On this stage. not to moral science. Instinct is of course not founded on rea- Digitized by . which is hardly what we mean by natural science.

perhaps. ited himself to asking what men tended to think It about their doings. is. are pure psychology. He limto inquire what ought really to be done. rials for reason. if it is true. he would never have thought of as a philosophy of as a combination of superstition life. but such a possibility reverses the partisan and spasmodic methods which Hume and most other professed moralists Hume's own treatises on associate with ethics. and controlled. a dialectic of the will. Under such circum- stances ethics could not be thought of as a sci- ence . become mate- they were intelligently accepted. but in the were vitally not then understood. morals. however. found a place in the thoughts of such philosophers formed a part of their politics or religion There and not of their reasoned knowledge. particularly The chief studied illustration nor of postrational morality that could have fallen under his eyes. it need hardly be said. the Catholic religion. well adapted to the lying and lascivious habits of Mediterranean peoples. and but merely policy. compared. would have seemed to him conceited.PRERATIONAL MORALITY son. instinct. The man chief expression of rational ethics which a in these Hume's world would have come upon lay Platonic and Aristotelian writings. whatever prescription of what ought to be and to be done. but vice versa. 213 and the maxims enforced by tradition or conscience are unmistakably founded on They might. and whatever gradual definition of the ideal. and Digitized by Google .

°^ this l°g* c °* practice with various natural sciences that haye theme. Why any one values anything at all. or anything in particular. Thus if a man said hemlock was good to drink. there would be nothing pertinent left to say: for to adduce that to commit suicide is not good would Digitized by Google . or God what all calls good. is a question of physics. not a part of anthropol- call ethics or mterweavm g moral philosophy. what anybody calls good at any moment. it asks for the causes of interest. we might say he was mistaken. and desire.THE LIFE OF REASON 214 that is the science which. for want of a better name. Various questions are involved in such perplexing alternatives. some are physical questions and others dialectical. but if he explained that he meant good to drink in committing suicide. Is we may ask. judg- ment. or what no matter what all mankind may think about it? Or is true good something that perhaps nobody calls good nor knows of. something with no other characteristic or relation except that it is simply good? tion. To esteem a thing good is to express certain affinities between that thing and the speaker . men agree to call good. or what anybody calls good on reflecthe good. and if this is done with self-knowledge and with knowledge of the thing. the judgment is invulnerable and cannot be asked to rescind itself. so that the felt affinity is a real one. man leads to Qr gociet*^ much for their confusion in terminology and in point of view. we must Monti science is an appliestion of dialectic.

To to go back and ask establish that. in saying so. good or bad. however. and he said no. will a thing is called good. For intent is at work. I understanding myself. Digitized by Google . are physical. intent am not mis- To judge whether must be made to things speak. it is right Goodness. not in that them but they end. country. unless we took to But we might very well turn to the bystanders and explain what sort of blood and training this man possessed. is not a ple say so. that happens by virtue of other intents comparing the first with their own direction. knowledge. of morality. our mouths would life. reputation. good or not. seeing that they are causes. and the question is whether the thing or the situation responds to that intent. if — that is. but of nature. and was sincere. are really good. So if I ask. but no conflagration. has nothing to do with causes. whether or not so to esteem it. but that. The causes be effectually stopped declamation. life is in active operation. and ethics asks is not but whether it is why produce none.PRERATIONAL MORALITY be impertinent. and what had happened among the cells and fibres of his brain to make him reason after that fashion. it is itself What in that it need deny or ignore their fruit it is and begins where Incense rises from burning coals. and if this intent may itself be judged later. The science of ethics. him if 215 we should have he valued anything parents. in this ideal matter of opinion. Is four really twice two ? the answer is not that most peosense.

beneath which there is no moral judgment. is not a good in itself. nature and the very existence of life cannot be thought wholly evil. Naturally.THE LIFE OF REASON 216 Hence good. what ought to be called good. stops at the facts. The reason is simply the propulsive essence of animals and of the universal which renders forms possible but unstable. Philosophers would do a great discourtesy to estimation Estimation if they sought to justify It is all The good greets us initially n everv experience and in every obRemove from anything its share of excel- the soul of this one. that is. philosophy. - ject. nor can nature and life be sincerely regarded as wholly good. since no intent is wholly at war with these its conditions. °ther acts that need justification by Digitized by Google . For intent. and either helpful or hurtful to one another. and attitude has been cannot go back of it to ask why the obvious good good at all. sets up its own standard. there is a reason. synthesis. for it lies in the physical habit is and necessity of things. means not what is called good but what is so. when once the moral or dialectical assumed. It is esteemed good or bad as the intent that speaks finds in that situation a support or an obstacle to its ideal. but not a moral one. and ideal science begins on that basis. nor does the universal which infinitely overflows any actual altogether support any intent it may flux. it. since no moral intent flux. generate. or intent this direction. That nature should have this constitution. As a matter of fact.

mythical or homely events. began : It is too. unless that mind possessed a humanity and could discern what facts and The facts would logic are good for and what not. truths would remain trivial. and to collect facts or to chop logic would be idle and would add no dig- nity to the mind. both first in time and in authority. Before their day. irrelevant to human Tightness in The hierarchy 217 insignifi- and unworthy of even theoretic consideration. of course furnished subjects and provocations for these judgments. no interest. human wisdom had every adage Images or symbols. accruing on account of animal souls and clear their affections. Wisdom is the philosophy. no less than of life.PRERATIONAL MORALITY and you have made lence utterly it cant. remain facts and the truths truths. for of course values. is the subject that concerns man most. The first philosophers were accordingly sages. fit speculative glance at the heavens. spoken in proverbs. a direction chosen in thought and life because it was better. cannot possibly create the uni- But both facts and to awaken no pang. ophy in the beginning and such Such was is philos- philosophy still. better. all observation was a settled but the residuum of estimation of things. the ar- chitecture of values. and no rapture. the better to understand the conditions and limits of happiness. They were statesmen and poets who knew the world and cast a verse those animals inhabit. discourse. of goods. Value is the principle of perspective in science. Better this than that. .

this rebellion is brewing in the secret conclave of the passions. that they expressed the genuine aims and interests of a practised will that their alleged alien and supernatural basis would have deprived them of moral authority) was but a mythical cover (which if real Virtue their forgotten natural springs. all for then is seen to be admirable essentially.THE LIFE OF REASON 218 To one brought up in a sophisticated society. no less wise. speaks for a typical typical human human will chastened it It by a experience. however. young heart. much nevertheless represents on the whole the verdict of reason. has that much in that it unintelligent is is If traditional morality out of proportion. to balance it. Gnomic wisdom. if it trusted itself. and inert. would Yet while not reckon at a penny's worth. so that a Digitized by . is notoriously poly- chrome. a in particular Moral dis- billing and arbitrary set of require- m natural and inevitable. they are discovering friendship and paternity. and not merely by conventional imputation. and proverbs depend for their truth en- a choice of proverbs. morality seems at first an external command. on the occasion they are applied Almost every wise saying has an tirely t 0> opposite one. With maturity comes the recoga code. the passions themselves are prescribing They are inventing gallantry and kindand honour. ness nition that the authorised precepts of morality were essentially not arbitrary. ments and prohibitions which the . or under an ethical religion.

we are told. That these maxims should be so various and partial is quite intelligible when we consider how Every man. is fallible. Great is Allah. Make hay while the sun shines. Judge not. he observes easily hope are extraordinarily in action or in circumstances forwards his purpose Digitized by Google . Ars longa. Mind your own business. vita brevis. Seek salvation with fear and trembling.PRERATIONAL MORALITY man rich in such lore. and another says. for we hear. Murder will out. But on the same authorities exactly we have opposite maxims. So when some particularly shocking thing happens one man says. he knows not why. Behold the lilies of the field. he has something in view which he prizes. like always find a venerable he happens 219 Sancho Panza. With this standard —for love and keen-sighted— what before his eyes. that life is shorter than policy. in moral reflection. is animated by his own intent. and It takes all sorts of men to make a world. for instance. and which wears to him the essential and unquestionthey spring up. A stitch in time saves nine. Carpe diem. Cherchez la femme. and that only the present is real . and Respice finem. ye hypocrites. Honesty is the best policy. Woe unto you. can maxim to fortify the view In respect to foresight. Watch and pray. able character of a good. that ye be not judged. Enough for the day is the evil thereof. Be not righteous overmuch. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. inspired by a feeling that mortal prudence to be taking.

This happens much as in physics ultimate truths may be divined by poets long before they are discovered by investigators. Hence all sorts of precepts looking to all sorts of results. up to intuitive so central. When day. . altogether defeat it. speak in a man the interests that are different at different times. value some * maxims may be or outburst of insensible genius. of all aims in fusion. is the central maxim taking the place of because fed it. I mean. very likely in the language of the particu- Now lar instance before him. so representative. usual in intuitive a mixture of some elementary precepts.THE LIFE OF REASON 220 and what thwarts it. what codes is is thyself. much unrecorded experience has secretly Such. and the outer facts or measures which in one case promote that interest may. Antig- Digitized by .* representative operation of experience leading . the vivida vis animi much recorded experience. On Love thy neighbour as the other hand. where other less obvious conditions have changed. : so Thou shalt not and Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath figure side by side in the Decalogue. that they merely anticipate what moral science would have come to if it had existed. through ° the Their various chance. for they differ enormously in scope. with others representing local traditions or ancient rites kill. Prescriptions of this nature differ enormously By in value. necessary to any society. of Christianity. for instance. and at maxim once the comes. so expressive of ulti- mate aims.

Precisely the same patriotism. when both and the existing one is the are equally ar- more congenial Digitized by Google . yet having a well- known origin. but cannot resolve. Such ethics has nothing to offer in the presence of discord except an appeal It to force and to ultimate physical sanctions. and fires them especially in view of the fact that the adversary is no less uncompromising and fierce. fully clear in the conflicts " can instigate. if not cruel and malicious. in The passionate assertion of right consequence. is here. ual The disarray of intuitive ethics is made pain- which it involves when fostered two incompatible ^as Conflict of partial moralgrowths in two centres which lie near ltie8 enough to each other to come into physical collision. no man knowing whence they have arisen. defies 221 human enactments and appeals to laws which are not of to-day nor yesterday. the same readiness for martyrdom fires adherents to rival societies. the allegiance for another. she mixes various types of obli- gation in a most instructive fashion for a super- . in her sublimest exaltation. — body unburied something decidedly of yesterday gives poignancy in stitious horror at leaving a — her mind to natural affection a brother for something indeed universal. the battle of nations and the battle of religions. more dramatic than spirit- . bitrary.PRERATIONAL MORALITY one. It might seem idle. to wish to substitute one historical same zeal. and even its dramatic force has suffered somewhat by the change in ruling ideals.

while eager perhaps to extirpate every religion but their own. Truly religious minds. but in operation pre- morality defeats the ends of morality. and language of their neighbours. and tax-gatherers for the taxgatherers. for what is their ideal ? To substitute their own language. to secure this absolutely nugatory end. the to do and to leave people free to exercise what religion they have. for spirituality versal. each religious or national fanaticism stands for a good.THE LIFE OF REASON 222 to those born under it but to . gitimate. soldiers. commerce. be it fraud in policy or bloodshed in war. and sectaries would not be sec- to be criminal tion taries if they possessed it. it produces and becomes an its outward evil. On without pestering them with a foreign one. feel this aggression demands some degree of imaginaand justice. general practice as the may late it has become again among prudent governments Romans did in their conquests. soldiers. It is Digitized by . the hand other the same politicians are the avowed agents of a quite patent iniquity . and no means is thought illecommerce. not one country as not as dear to much a country Is it is gained by oppressing its inhabitants? its Is as another? What then genius or by seeking to destroy it altogether? Here are two flagrant instances where rational Viewed from within. is uni- Similarly poli- often understand very well the religious ticians situation and of . whatever churches be. often rise above national jealousies.

lasting influence of their work. no merely nominal essence. Greek myth was an exuberant assertion of the rights of life in the universe. and feel that in their fanaticism they were taking too contracted own a view of their souls justice to themselves and were hardly doing when they did such great injustice to others. and if they meet can meet only to poison or to crush one another. for in both cases the after-effects were spurious. Weal. in spite of the immense and rational sentiments. by a partially identical function and intent. a naturalistic religion local patriotism. is morality may approach the well illustrated in the history Greek morals may be by two pre- The Greek °* Hellenism. humanity in them it is More probably. How goal. they could rise above their mutual opposition. prerational and miss it.PRERATIONAL MORALITY possible. like men and mosquitoes. that its 223 agents are really so far apart in nature and ideals that. case. is definable ideally. said to have been inspired and a Could Plato have succeeded in making that religion moral. as essences are defined. perhaps Greece might have been saved and we might all be now at a very different level of civilisation. Existence could Digitized by Google . and the new spirit was smothered in the dull substances it strove to vivify. they can stand in physical relations only. Both Plato and Alexander failed. however. no doubt. or Alexander in universalising that patriotism. In that by studying their own nature.

land. a form congruous Such congruity would render efficient. felt he might more easily attain a corresponding beauty and happiness in his paternal city. absent from mythology. and duties. in sea. from every trammel and necessity. if it had once or air. but it could not fail to diffuse benefit because it radiated happiness and beauty. prescribed education. The source of myth had been a genial sympathy The observer. tiplied ideally the potentialities of his w n to nr* and political being. mul- with nature. The city drew its Digitized by Google . than in deepening his sense of what life was in himself. The family and the state had a soberer antique religion of their own. but he went farther in imagining what life might yield abroad. together with the laws. found. for of course the worshipper. perfect models of this kind of ex- in The gods were amours of Zeus and Hermes' trickery were. f ree(j reditary piety. with that element. and of what it ought to be. this he- discipline. This moral reflection. These things the Greeks called virtue. This natural divine virtue carried no sense of responsibility with it. beautiful. a being stable. was supplied by politics. splendid manifestations of energy. customs. at ease himself.THE LIFE OF REASON 224 not but be joyful and immortal. The cellence. by invoking those braver inhabitants of the cosmos. He would achieve a perfection grounded in skilful practice and a thorough rejection of whatever was irrelevant. in their hearty fashion.

all The Greek ideal has fascinated many men in ages. discipline The ism. Nevertheless. the license in life. religion and philosophy existed. The myths. but what so could sustain such accidental harmonies? force The its power to inspire sacpower to inspire wonder. that this state should succumb. irra- and kept it weak amid a world of enemies. and an unrivalled measA liberal fancy and ure and simplicity in living. faded. combined by good fortune into an almost rational was It inevitable. a strict civic tial regimen. as patriotism had expressed a fleeting moment of unanimous effort. and the myth so that the relics its scattered almost at once in the general flood of the world. 225 it fostered it looked splendid physical and moral was established to serve a suicidal egocity committed its crimes. not to speak of the mean animosities. and the spirit of mockery that inwardly infested it. starting with different par- motives and blind purposes. and the individual indulged his vices of conduct and estimation. together with an incomparable literature and art. life.PRERATIONAL MORALITY walls close about the heart. too. hardly rebuked by philosophy and quite unrebuked by religion. without A to little but war. they had expressed a fleeting moment of poetic insight. however. and while friendship and reason within. of that singular civilisation were patriotism soon lost rifice. when only an tional tradition supported the state. who have sometimes been in a position Digitized by Google .

on the contrary. have brought us nearer to genuine goodness than the Greek could by his idle example. Classic perfec- tion is a seedless flower. who in compari- son with the Greeks had a barbarous idea of hap- Digitized by . win the right of address- ing mankind. found any response in While Greek morality. not reproducible by generation. has left no constitutional bene- am * 8 * fit. It is capable of influencing character only through the intellect. imitable only by artifice. lesson. It has not the people. An artistic renaissance in the fifteenth century and a historical one in the nineteenth have only affected the The movement has come trappings of society. through a sufficient novitiate of sorrow. so that the world in general has to set But the truth pretended also to admire. The Hebrews. violent inspiration. in its contents or in the type of life it prescribes. It is a detached crying and actual It never passed. Sterility of ™ Greek ex- kind. yet than many it has been less useful other influences in bringing the Life of Reason about. the means by which character can be influenced least. ideal. is Hellas.THE LIFE OF REASON 226 a fashion. comes nearer than any other prerational experiment to what from above. demand to responding to no in the world at large. no natural endowment. We but is it many 80 heirlooms to man- has taught the conscience no it possess a great heritage from Greece. reason might propose. The in refining their more Christian and the Moslem.

and. a maxim applicable to experience on any plane. and the integrity that became a mighty example. They The fills are strengthened to per- Digitized by Google . evidence of this miracle astonishes them and them with zeal. their conscience is more vividly present to them than the fruits which obedience to conscience might bear. noble affinities are not to be looked for in miraculous connection between obedience to God's commands and enjoyment of his favour. and the normal life naturally possessing it. to love and in the full light of science would require a high and reason. eludes them altogether. what is intelligence.PRERATIONAL MORALITY piness. serve it To appreciate an ideal. of methods to activities. for instance. appears to them as a rarer still. 227 showed far greater moral cohesion under the pressure of adversity. Men know better what is right and wrong than what is ultimately g< or evil. nothing is needed but a sound wit and common honesty. But to feel the truth and authority of an abstract maxim (as. We need not marvel that abstract commandments should have impressed the world more than concrete ideals. They integrated their purposes into a fanaticism. and renunciations which an undisciplined people. happiness. What is a necessary connection between the given end. Do right and shame the devil). but they them . so that the logical relation of means to ends. It constituted an ideal of character not n^omii^ integrated among resulted "* the ews" the less awe-inspiring for being merely formal.

the it would not be ultimate issue were Imagination efficacious in reaching the gist is often and meaning of experience than intelligence can be. irrational Men first and and suasion long live in Digitized by Google . are the fruit of divination. is fostered a The develop- mentofcon- ^ er generation heritage science. in the assurance that they are being put temporary to a test and that the reward promised to virtue will eventually be theirs.THE LIFE OF REASON 228 severe in righteousness under any stress of mis- fortune. since a course of conduct wrong. may rationality of a habit gives glow in the conscience. is less scrupulous and more instinc- Even physical discoveries. Habits chance systems of education have to arise exercise upon individuals an favourable to rational ends. Thus a habit of faithfulness. and believe he might sail when they come. Reason would of course justify the same constancy in well-doing. offended at the illusions which play a part in moral integration. has way experimentally. but human by virtue may demand more appreciable. therefore. Columbus had to westward to India before he Reason cannot could actually hit upon America. But if its as the happiness secured remote and mere be virtue to make it no currency in the world and but much We little moral should not. just because imagination tive. to feel her and nature. more misery. in producing reason. a trust in general and ingrained in generation a rare and precious principles. be too right. create itself. — race a for rational as the imperfectly so human.

PRERATIONAL MORALITY harmony with substantial ognise its nature. The Christian ency to — owed a part of its force For the law and the prophets were full of mercy and loving kindness toward the faithful. reality before they rec- Organs long reach their perfect function. thus reinforced by religious passion. a tendency which would not have proved nefarious had this religion always remained true to its moral principle. at once private and universal. has been able to focus a general abhorrence on certain great scandals slavery and sodomy could be practically suppressed among Christians. and drunkenness among Moslems. on its subtler and more principle of charity also to Hebraic tradition. a mass of local allegiances and legal practices. The service which Hebraism has rendered to mankind has been instrumental. a tend- propaganda and intolerance. as that rendered by Hellenism has been imaginative. being autonomous. making it a matter of duty. What Moses had taught his people Christ and his Hellenising disciples had the beautiful courage to preach to all mankind. Hebraism has put earnestness and urgency into morality. stincts of ality exist before they The fortunate a race destined to long express themselves 229 in life in- and ration- significant poetry before they express themselves in science. for morality is coercive and no man. Yet this virtue of charity. rather than what paganism had left it. Conscience. The Jewish system has. in consequence. has a right to do wrong. Digitized by Google .

transferable earnestness. the Life of a valuable instrument. and yet is its the same body. if enlightened by a larger experience and a more fertile genius. this in rational Reason would have gained Men would possess the "single eye." and the art. of acting on principle. so the Hebraic conscience might Hebraic derotion to Greek change tions Could all its tenets in seven genera- and be the same conscience this abstract moral habit. already aching for action and nerved to practical enthusiasm. would ment such make a rational polity. could they be happily superposed. The abstract power of self-direction. that ideal vision might become effi- cacious and be largely realised in practice. Could the vision of an adequate causes. be enlisted still. might give the Life of Reason a public embodias it has not had since the best days of classic antiquity. to that ascetic and quasi-Buddhistic element in Christianity to which we shall presently revert.THE LIFE OF REASON 230 metaphysical side. As the human body is said to change all substance every seven years. natural ideal fall into the Hebraising mind. belongs to the spirit of re- demption. Digitized by Google . because it in contradicts the positivism of their religion and character and their ideal of worldly happiness. so difficult to an apelike creature with loose moral feelings. Thus the two prerational moralities out of which European civilisation has grown. The pure Jews can have no part such insight.

unstable in themselves and incompatible with one Prerationai happy chance if a them recommends itself to a prophet or finds an adventitious acceptance among a group of another. then. No and other test conceivable and no other would be valid . morality q^^onbuT men. its magic fails. for no good man would ity as divine or dicted which his own ever consent to regard an author- binding which essentially contra- Yet a conscience and incorrigible is too hastily conscience. He cannot find any authority for his maxims which opposite tle maxims may not equally invoke. and which impose themselves everywhere on men under pain of quick extinction a penalty which many an individual and many a nation continually prefers — pay. but the name of philosopher. reason. until reason has compared and experience has tested them. Ideals are tentative and to have to be critically viewed. in his intuitions hardly deserves A who moralist rests may be a good preacher. human is nature in the living man. is irreflective Digitized by Google . To set- the relative merits of rival authorities and of hostile consciences it is necessary to appeal to the only real authority. But when intuitive morality ventures upon speculative ground and tries to guide progress. It is a tolerable mixture of morality Intuitive adequate is while it simply enforces those obvious and universal laws which are indispensable to any society. are a miscellaneous assortment of goods. to experience.PRERATIONAL MORALITY The human objects of 231 desire.

but philosophy. that exercise is not called religion. Digitized by Google . It is true. but so name them would be misleading. and not conscientious enough: needs cultivation by dialectic. light it is So. when the spirit summons its traditional faiths. to subject them to a similar examination. too. has been felt It vaguely that reason could not have produced them.THE LIFE OF REASON 232 satisfied it with itself. The things commonly called by those names have seldom conto sented to live at peace with sincere reflection. and that they might suffer sad it. no longer called conscience. or as if everything might not find its consummation in becoming rational. but reason. that philosophy is the purest re- ligion and reason the ultimate conscience. in a sense. It neglects to extend to all human interests that principle of synthesis and justice by which conscience And has arisen. as if reason could be changes by submitting to the ground of anything. mons its own itself so soon as the conscience sum- dicta for revision in the of experience and of universal sympathy.

or because these he himself adopted them. so that the universe has been filled with monsters more or less horrible. the heretic a pestilent sinner. if other. It has been an unfor- tunate consequence of mythical philosophies that moral emotions have been stretched to objects with which a man has only physical relations. every experi- in civilisation has passed for a crime among some other experiment. I Moral passiongrepresent private is often a fanatical mean that hatred which an animal mayJ sometimes feel for other animals . might be vicious in him. or because their habits put him to seri- interests. however. on account of their strange aspect. Such aversion. and any material obthose engaged in 233 Digitized by Google .CHAPTER IX BATIONAL ETHICS In moral reprobation there element. In the same spirit. according as the forces they represented were more or less formidable to human ment life. ous inconvenience. No fault can be justly found with a creature merely for not resembling anhabits. The foreigner has seemed an insidious rascal. or for flourishing in a different physical or moral environment. is not a rational sentiment.

cannot ful in a serpent to and not a pronounce be a serpent. that life brings under the unity of apperception. if it is to be a science of arbitrary legislation. Ethics. fect barbarian piece it sin- If The notion of a barbarian then be accepted by him as that of a true morally. may be in the fierce preju- Digitized by . and the court of reason in which their quarrel is ventilated will have authority to pro- nounce between them. The discordant impulses therein confronted will challenge and condemn one another. as to be a barbarian might seem dreadful to a man imbued with liberal interests. and will form the basis of whatever rational judgments or policy he attains. which every- feels to habits capable of sharing large as its is share and interests which he is inno part of rational estimation. and therefore accusing himself of barbarism. justified. however. The body physical repulsion. at any reflective moment. however innocent. will man. can condemn any type of life depends on the amount of disruptive contradiction which.THE LIFE OF REASON 234 stacle a literal devil. has brought obloquy on every one unfortunate enough not to be constituted like the average of his neighbours. while to possess some unusual passion. except supposed capable of he is a perbe inwardly. or the dialectic of will. But the degree to which moral science. it cannot even accuse a barbarian of loving a wrong in so far as the barbarian is he will life. It may still seem dreadful to him to be a serpent.

that we acknowledge the right of others to pursue ends contrary to our own. but It is activities. Material conflicts cannot be abolished by rea- where they Yet where op- son. it will lectual life.RATIONAL ETHICS 235 and superstitions which prerational morality abounds in. this lies the chivalry of war. mutually to ideal interests posing forces may super- comprehend and respect one another. perhaps gratuitous. In irrepressible. An obstacle is an obstacle. in so far as it is moral. not hostile. The strongest feelings assigned to dices the conscience are not moral feelings at all. however. because reason is powerful only have been removed. but only in so far as its morality represents a matetile rial organism. that flesh lead the cited by their has made them enemies. and same life in imagination. They may ultimately wish to renounce that temporal good which de- Digitized by Google . are inmutual understanding to rise above that material ambition. not a devil . they express merely physical antipathies. when it actually exists in a being with hosalien not invective. Toward powers a man's true weapon is skill and strength. Competitors who are able to feel this ideal who leading different lives in the comity. common are able ideal interests at once super- vene. is merely a hostile power. and even a moral life. and though the material conflict main may re- be overlaid by an intelpartly common and unanimous. physically incompatible with what the thinker has at heart.

it wins over former enemies. when the eye is masterful and sympathetic enough to dispel hatred and fear.* do not deserve to be taken too seriously . Of course such renunciations. civilises the barbarian. the fact that we must take them seriously being the ignoble part of our condition. is The need what renders is to turn enemies into of a material basis for spirit partial war with parts of the world the inevitable background of charity and The frontiers at which this warfare is waged may. VII. fer an enlarged mind to enlarged frontiers. Digitized by . but what remains outside that ultimately invades and disrupts it. however. and the comprehension of things foreign to the destruction of them.THE LIFE OF REASON 236 them of spiritual goods in truth infinitely greater and more appealing to the soul innoand intelligence. and even tames the viper. Within the sphere organised about a firm and life a Roman peace can be established. since some physical particularity and efficiency are requisite for bringing into being that very rationality which friends. It is not what is assimilated that saps a creative will. In exact proportion to its vigour. They may pre- prives — cence. 803. They may even aspire to de- tachment from those private interests which. B. The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concesgenerous Laws. justice. to be rational. be pushed back indefinitely. as Plato said. justice. must not extend to the whole material basis of life.

if it were practised scientifically. sters to suffer all monstrosities in Even while admitting the claims of mon- be treated humanely. because the universe in which perfec- Digitized by Google . still from inevitable instincts. being just. nor philosophers where a prying beast does not remain hidden in the depths. There is tragedy in perfection. an operation in nature. if not from welltrained wills. Concessions would certainly be demanded. at this rational social order. for these concessions. animals nor for men. Perhaps the art of politics. but competiit would certainly not leave a free field for all society. propagate its essence. judge what concessions individual genius would be called upon to make in a system of education and government in which all attainable goods should be pursued scientifically. reacting on inevitable accidents. Teason could not them to absorb those material resources which might be needed to maintain rational ciety at its highest efficiency. The ideal commonwealth can extend to the limit at which such concessions cease to be just and are thereby detrimental.RATIONAL ETHICS 237 sions to others. and has its root there. might obviate open war. rethe will to be reasonable Reason is ligious . enmities. immense distance from a We so- cannot. tent there rational is tion. Saints cannot arise where there have been no warriors. industrial and human slavery . so that the may not be undermined. Beyond or below that limit strife must continue power and for physical ascendancy.

the time they keep. The range of rational ethics In both directions is limited to the intermediate political zone. The stars enter society by the light and knowledge they afford. they will flow in both from the outer world and from the interstices. and the ornament they lavish. in which existences have attained some degree of natural unaminity. Real existences do not lie wholly on one or the other side of them. each is merely a physical agency. Beyond the little span of his foresight and love. perhaps. but they are mere dead weights in their substance and cosmological puzzles in their destiny. for a rational life touches the irrational at its core as well as at its periphery. radiating to infinity over the natural world. this moral essence is enveloped in turn by untraceable relations. every material object. incommunicable dreams.THE LIFE OF REASON 238 tion arises is itself imperfect. It should be added. Every man. Digitized by Google . so to speak. subsist only it meets physical force and can by exercising physical force in return. Accidents will always continue to harass the most consummate organism. that the frontiers between moral and physical action are purely notional. has moral affinities enveloping an indomitable vital nucleus or brute personal kernel. but each of us has his poor body and his irremediable. of its own machinery. preparing the way quite irresponsibly for undreamt-of revolutions and alien lives. You and I possess manifold ideal bonds in the interests we share.

The total value which everything had from the agent's point of view would genial need to be determined and among other felt efficaciously. has never existed in the world and ^e looke d a rational morality not attainable. so that no congenial good interest or — should be needlessly missed least of all practical reason or justice itself. and this mere idea of a something tional morality uable. such definition of purpose. the total value point of view. or social regimen. things. and laws which should embody Digitized by Google . as every ultimate ideal should. by fostering peace and a rational development of character. A rational morality would imply perfect self-knowledge. and. ethics.RATIONAL ETHICS A 239 truly rational morality. What their in gome p ar tial hardly to is guides practice men and is always some partial disillusion. and must serve rather to measure achievements than to prophesy them. customs. however. and such perfection of sympathy are clearly beyond man's reach. Such knowledge. All that can be hoped for is that the advance of science and commerce. but the goal lies. have for every foreign interest which it affected. nations f or. While we wait for the is raval- senti- ments. with the conduct which this would it justified. we have rational butitsprindpie clear. at the limit of what is possible. so that no good conto other creatures would be needlessly taken from them. In lieu of a rational morality. may bring some part of mankind nearer to that goal.

It sets forth the method of judgment and estimation which a rational morality would apply universally and express in practice. With what face could any man or god say to another: Your duty is to do what you cannot know you ought to do. it is the attitude of a ofanautonomouswiiL to it. and in applying dialectic man see what he really esteems. What he really esteems is what ought to guide his conduct. as founded by Socrates. while the complete self-knowledge and sympathy are still wanting which might avail to embody that method in the concrete and to discover unequivocally where absolute duty and ultimate happiness may lie. This sketch constitutes rational ethics. would be to impugn that man's rationality and to discredit one's own. glorified by Plato. so as to let the Digitized by . consists in accepting any estimation which any man may sinit is the logic cere ty make. can be discovered and largely illustrated in advance. being very simple. we may ob- serve the germinal principle of these ideal things we may sketch the ground-plan of a true commonwealth. for to suggest that a rational being ought to do what he feels to be wrong. The method. or ought to pursue what he genuinely thinks is worthless. and sobered and solidified by Aristotle. your function is to suffer what you cannot recognise to be worth suffering? Such an attitude amounts to imposture and excludes society. This method.240 THE LIFE OF REASON perfect humanity and perfect justice. the Socratic method.

science. moral phil- something Greek The : it is the appanage of method Socrates' freemen. sou } 0 f liberal conversation. Their sophistry did not consist in the private seat which they assigned to judgment. More even than natural osophy is philosophy. for what judgment is there that moment ? is not somebody's judgment at some The sophism consisted in ignoring the moment's intent. and any one for moral authority has not yet felt the it first heart-throb of philosophy. Socratic it is is the com- pacted in equal measure of sincerity and courtesy. of living his judgment. Digitized by Google . Socrates escaped this folly by force of honesty. and in suggesting that no judgment could refer to anything ulterior. Each man is autonomous and all are respected. and nothing is brought forward except to be submitted to reason and accepted or rejected by the Indeed.RATIONAL ETHICS 241 who mistakes detestable tyrant. which is what saves from folly in dialectic. when Socrates appeared in Athens mutual respect had passed into democracy and liberty into license. might seem to countenance that moral anarchy which the sophists had expressed in their irresponsible doctrines. him from being when not honestly stalwart virtue of Socrates saved a sophist. much as his method. as well as the seat. but the self-questioning heart. and therefore that no judgment could be wrong: in other words that each man at each moment was the theme and standard. and sincerely used.

accompanied by commandments and threats. unshakable.242 THE LIFE OF REASON He built his whole science precisely on that in- tent which the sophists ignored. moral because expressive of personal and living aspirations. scientific because dialectical. at the beck and for the convenience of others. Their theory was that each man having a right — — — Digitized by Google . the necessity of which lies all in free insight and in actual will. and on that living rock he founded the persuasive and ideal sciences of logic and ethics. were sycoto sophistry and moral phants in their scepticism. This will and insight they render deliberate. Socrates. This circumstance rendered his doctrine at once moral and scientific. inwardly grounded and spontaneously pursued. by his genial midwifery. if need be. against the whole world. inwardly abandoned the ideals of their race and nation which Socrates defended with his homely irony they dealt out their miscellaneous knowledge. and having anarchy. The Its opposition sophists. helped men to discover the truth and excellence to which they were naturally addressed. profound. It was an exercise in self-knowledge. and consistent. on the contrary. he insisted that people should declare sincerely what they meant and what they wanted. His ethics was not like what has since passed under that name a spurious physics. Socrates' liberality was that of a free man ready to maintain his will and conscience. or their talent in exposition. It was a pliant and liberal expression of ideals.

and fairness do not neutral- ise his positive life. If the sophist declares that what his nature attaches him to is not " really " a good. human initial right of every impulse in others. conceived that each man. Socrates.RATIONAL ETHICS own to pursue his 243 aims. furnish any fellow-mortal with instru- ments fitted to his purpose. is in fact what alone renders moral judgment possible and respectable. in the form of an examination and clarification of purposes. For how should a man recognise anything useful unless he first had established the end to be subserved and thereby recognised the good? True science. and this truth. as not. The autonomous moralist differs from the sophist or ethical sceptic in this: that he retains his integrity. for money. to achieve his aims must first learn to distinguish them clearly he demanded that rationality. he remains the spokesman of his own. for every man. the sophist is He is thoroughly sincere. Knowledge of the world. which those who confound psychology with ethics may think destructive of all authority in morals. and such a science is also the art of life and the whole of virtue. should precede any selection of external instruments. on the contrary. was that which enabled a man to disentangle and attain his natural good . embodies and enacts some special interest. courtesy. not recant his In vindicating his ideal he does In asserting the nature. skilful thinkers might. then. while he lives. because it would not be Digitized by Google .

is volition. so as to lend a non-natural origin to human aspirations. with the useful. it is the ideal which a vital and energising soul carries with it as it moves. It leaves to psychol- ogy and history a free field for the description of moral phenomena.THE LIFE OF REASON 244 he is a and rather dishonest feelings and ac- a good. is and every own activity after its Rational ethics is not a description of kind. the helpful. the expression of living interest. and avowedly builds up the idea of the good on that natural who inner foundation on which everybody it must inevitably build it. he gives out to the is on the contrary. as constantly Socrates taught. perhaps. Socratic liberality. It has no interest in slipping far-fetched and incredible myths beneath the facts of nature. for it itself. g 0rj ca i choice. the beneficent. in guise of a mystical ethics. as an force. good is accordingly always at all tional has This funcrelative and good for something. na It the complement needed to perfect every art and cate- vitality. preference. tions by those theoretical valuations which. false interpreter of his own creditably stultifies his heart. It is identical. for a different creature. that uncompromising all forms truthfulness with which science assigns of moral life to their place in the mechanical sys- Digitized by . an embodiment of It it. world. emanation of its own It even recognises. is as Spinozistic naturalism exercises that right of private judg- ment which it concedes to others. consistent with also.

is All criticism needs a dogmatic background. chology. over against the them its to the ex- He opposites. Digitized by Google . yet. of course. is great by its prerogative of surveying and judging the universe. a physicist acknowledging no interest except the interest in facts and in the laws of change. and judging it only by its kindliness or cruelty to some actual interest. repre- chance facts. discovering there and clinging to affinities clusion of their hateful sents. from a mortal point of view. 245 rational moralist not is on that account reduced to a mere spectator.RATIONAL ETHICS But the tern of nature. sophistical position that not unit is the uncritically neutral. He tions about the pathological human it. an ideal em- bodying the particular demands. small by the material forces which it may stand for and express. His own spirit. possibilities. and satisfactions of a specific being. without confessing a special interest. determining unequivocally a part of its constitution and excellence. as if that could fatal origin of prevent some of them from being more trustworthy and truer than others. on the contrary. else it would lack objects and The criteria for criticism. sophist himself. This dogmatic position of reason critically is dogmatic. force The moralist represents a rational energising in the world. enacts bubbles over with convic- and beliefs. his He own is doubtless right in his psy- ideas have their natural causes and their chance of signifying something real. surveying it. even so.

THE LIFE OF REASON 246 His scepticism may represent a wider experience than do the fanaticisms it opposes. and conscientiously so. Sympathy and justice are simply an expansion of . else expression. Does he deny this? Then his very denial. It has a radical bias. Honest criticism consists in being consciously dogmatic. audibly contradicts him and makes him ridiculous. But this also lives. like Descartes when he said. determinate direction. " I am. Nature has sent her saps abundantly into him. no less than that reason which avails to render will consistent and far-reaching. aitruUm is natural «eifa foregone." It is to sift and harmonise all assertions so as to make them a faithful expression of actual experi- ence and inevitable thought. The knowledge of what other people desire does not abolish a man's own aims. arising when we consider other men's lives so intently that something in us imitates and re-enacts their experience. every stride a categorical assertion. the soul's interests. and his discourse splashes on in its dialectical march. it could not be a will nor a principle of preference. every stepping-stone an unquestioned idea. ani- mates natural bodies and expresses Genuine their functions. His imagination is unmis- sceptic takably fascinated by the pictures put together. His judgment it falls happens to unabashed. so that Digitized by . and he cannot but nod dogmatically on that philosophical tree on which he is so pungent a berry. in its promptness and heat. Now will.

the loathsome. sleep. To know all men's experience and to comprehend their beliefs would constitute the most cogent and settled of philosophies. the beautiful would still affect him with unmistakable direct emotions. though some new and precious threads might be woven to feel other creatures' joys exercise Digitized by Google . may ever have pursued. and judgment would grow more authoritative and precise by virtue of that enlightenment. since we assimilate only what is in itself intelligible and congruous with our mind and obey only that authority which can impose itself on our reason. for this assimilation. The case is parallel to that of knowledge. the plastic or dramatic quality which had enabled him would grow by and new overtones would be added to his gamut. and his possible happiness. drink. in so far as our own status and purposes have become identical with theirs. he would still love.RATIONAL ETHICS we move partly in unison with their 247 movement. So. nay. the comic. too. Thought would then be reasonably adjusted to all the facts of history. We are not less ourselves. and shelter. would leave man still necessitous of food. to understand all the goods that any man. But the foundations of his nature would stand. that any beast or angel. nor less autonomous. His taste might no doubt gain in elasticity by those sympathetic excursions into the polyglot world. and consequently regard of their aims in our action. recognise the reality and initial legitimacy their interests.

for they true morality does not have be adopted. to work in any animal radical impulses at must continue A lives. It formulates pulses. ambition. To be "converted " would be to pass from one self-betrayal to would be to found a new morality The morality which has genuine authority exists inevitably and speaks autonomously in every common judgment. resembles prerational and half-systems in being Reason expresses imfounded on impulse. self-conanother. The he to speak while are his essence. nor accept one. fills the pursuit of those goods which are the only possible or fitting crown of a man's life is predetermined by his nature. It is a settled a na t ura i morality.THE LIFE OF REASON 248 into would not have a texture fundamentally it. the parts of it best practised are those which are never preached. method of achieving ends to which man is drawn precepts Digitized by Google . or passion that The vulgar day. gratulation. different. are given intrinsically. a force he has the right to defy so soon as he can do so without creating some greater impediment to his natural vocation. he cannot choose a law-giver. and terrible as its it an art. then. on a new It artifice. Any task imposed externally on a man is imposed by force only. for none who spoke to the purpose could teach him anything but to know himself. not the errors and successful exercise. Rational ethics. Rational the apathy that impede the standard and goal of life is may be a slavery.

Human instincts are ignorant. and sat- isfactory whole. this circumstance rational ethics is removed from the bad company of all artificial. and con- but impulses reduced to tradictory. To satisfy and often them as they isfaction prevents the satisfaction no of other in- less that life be consistent. no doubt. rational ethics reduces them at once to their slender representative role. basis of course has to be disowned when the pre- cepts so originating have been swollen into uni- A versal tyrannical laws. it has Digitized by Google . verbal. we apply reason to life we immediately de- stincts inherently When mand come disastrous. extends to all by the action or maxim under discussion. and it surrounds and buttresses them on every side with all other natural ideals. impossible. multitudinous. in that such sat- when reflected This view. as it upon and viewed as a presents each moment moments affected in its relations. often is fecund and legitimate.RATIONAL ETHICS 249 by virtue of his physical and rational constitution. each life. complete. Rational ethics thus from the preThere is one impulse differs rational in being complete. of these arbitrary systems expressed the (like observance of the Sabbath) some practical interest or some not unnatural but so narrow a rite. the which intuitive moralists ignore: ° impulse to reflect. and unjust systems of morality. which in absolving themselves from relevance to man's endowment and experience merely show how completely ir- By relevant they are to Once.

which Self-love with public opinion. The between selfishness and altruism between any two ideal passions that in some particular may chance to be Seif-iove artificial.THE LIFE OF REASON 250 no more ground for stopping at the limits of what is called a single life than at the limits of a single adventure. and his view the rational objects refers have a trans- if itself a man is concerned concentrates on private pleasures. For reason the person itself has no obstinate existence. All the substances and efficient processes is conflict like that that figure within it come from elsewhere and continue beyond. opposed. To stop at selfishness is not The same particularly rational. and around the mental flux that accompanies that career. the circle drawn by biographers around the career of a particular body. it justifies and consecrates all his coherent actions and preferences. but such a conflict has no obstinate existence for reason. but they leave the life itself shapeless infinite. But the man's life. from the womb to the charnel-house. while all and interests it personal to status. The character which a man achieves at the best moment of his life is indeed something ideal and significant. is no significant unity. these may qualify moments of his life with an intrinsic the fleeting value. as if and sparks should play over a piece of burnt paper. principle that creates the ideal of a self creates the ideal of a family or an institution. Digitized by Google .

while all that tionally. to justify them is requisite ra- in qualifying actual life by their influence. every interest which that judgment or action at all affected. his forgotten dreams.RATIONAL ETHICS The limits assigned to the attributed to each man 251 mass of sentience are assigned convention- ally. nor their influence less natural. because they may range over the whole universe and may await their realisation at the farthest sented values. because realise that good. is that the present act should have some tendency to bring the represented values about. all of boundaries of time. All that is physically req- uisite to their operation is that they should be vividly represented . but to the power which the present act might have of helping to If pleasure. a rational mind would consider. not to that good's intrinsic im- portance. In other words. in its judgment and action. his prenatal feelings. and it would conspire with each represented good in proportion. and his unappropriated sensations belong to his body and for that reason only are said to belong to him. Each impulse included within these limits may be as directly compared with the represented impulses of other people as with the represented impulses expected to arise later in the same body. Reason lives among these repre- which have their cerebral seat and present efficacy over the passing thought and reason teaches this passing thought to believe in and to respect them equally. it is commonly a result of Digitized by Google . Their right is not less clear.

it can be achieved only by discipline. it goes out so jauntily It turns only too often into vulgarity and worldliness. has no structure with which to resist the shocks of fortune. too much fed on prejudice and quibbles. In truth their philosophy is too lightly ballasted. Your intuitive morsatisfied instinct. in collision. Digitized by . pleasure. and fear.THE LIFE OF REASON 252 may by a figure of speech bt aim of impulse. called the % ? . mony yet harmony. mands is of the punished by having no lien trusts to the clash of blind forces being one of them himself. Happiness is hidden from a free and casual will. a mind driven by craving. Happiness is impossible and even inconceivable to a mind without scope and without pause. A snow-flake is soon a smudge. happiness. by a like ure may De called the aim of reaThe sanction of reason is son. He de- that virtue should be partisan and unjust. The direct aim of reason is harhappiness. when made to rule in life. Such groping enthusiasm romantic. But it it is often innocent and captivates us with its youthful spell. and he dreams of crushing the adversary in some physical cataclysm. at least discipline conscience. for happiness to fall within its range. which to meet. and he He on wisdom. The moralists who speak disparagingly of happiness are less sublime than they think. and there is a deeper purity in the diamond. alist rejects discipline. gives reason a noble satisfaction which we call happiness. Happiness implies resource and security.

we may Its leave the sub- development possible save in the concrete. of fortune's coin. and serene. and substitutes those which are self-reproductive. So long as the result of endeavour is partly unforeseen and unintentional. hope. piness consist in having recast natural energies Nor in the furnace of experience. man to know it as the enables a knowing the world and hiniself in to discover his ideal by the very ring. so long as the will is partly blind. random pleasures of illu- and triumph. With this brief account ject of rational ethics. by suppressing without hatred what needs to be renders suppressed rational to attain a Discipline discredits the beautiful naturalness.RATIONAL ETHICS 253 it belongs rather to one chastened by a long education and unfolded in an atmosphere of sacred and perfected men institutions. is im- when a from extant interits chaotic es t s ^ considers what practices serve to render those interests vital and genuine. Wisdom and hapsion. imped^dby legislator. the Life of Reason is still swaddled in ignominy and the animal barks in the midst of human discourse. because they express an equilibrium maintained with reality. ence merely a repressive force. and what external alliances might lend them The support and a more glorious expression. true or false. starting Digitized by Google . perennial. It is discipline that and capable of happiness. is this experi- It enshrines the successful expressions of spirit as well shocks and vetoes of circumstance.

should have their voice in Morality becomes rational preby refusing either to accept human nature. are hard to establish in the world.THE LIFE OF REASON 254 difficulty in carrying rational policy very far comes partly from the refractory materials at hand. perhaps possible in the cloister. cisely * Digitized by . Devotion and singlemindedness. so that there may be a firm soil to cultivate and that labour may not be wasted in ploughing the quicksands. discipline. yet a simplicity. and a failure to appreciate the anditoonrecognised range over which rational estimation •cope spreads is a second obstacle to sound ethics. or to mutilate it in the haste to make it harmonious. lost for the most part in frivolous pleasures. while the gross politician is suffered to declaim about the conclave. rational morality requires that all lay activities. Because of this failure the earnest soul is too often intent on escaping to heaven. When such a starting-point is given. moral values radiate from it to the very ends of the universe. and partly from the narrow range within which moral science is usually confined. and little inclined to listen to a law-giver that. The condition. therefore. The materials are individual wills naturally far from unanimous. rivalries. should speak to them of unanimity. and superstitions. all sweet temptations. as it sprouts. altogether without harmony. and perfection. like a new Lycurgus. of making a beginning in good politics is to find a set of men with wellknit character and cogent traditions.

and to promise this client an favour. The order that men may human is rele- apt to to natural needs idea that religion. The higher direction of their lives gated to religion. which. Majorities work by a system of bribes offered to the more barren interests of men and to their more blatant prejudices. and governments. suffer and from hereditary blindness to possible progress. and in the soberest parliaments hardly an argument is used or an ideal invoked which is not an insult to reason. and this class an office. Politics is expected to be sophistical . should exist only for is life's and science. is an idea not even mooted in politics and perhaps opposed by an official philosophy. industries. The enterprise of individuals or of small aristocratic bodies has meantime sown the world which we ised with call civil- some seeds and nuclei of order. science. the empire of universal peace. sake and in live better in this world. nationality. order once dreamt of almost established. fills the background of men's minds. the prerational An unformuethics of pri- vate privilege and national unity. and philosophical worship. industry. lated conception. There are scattered about a variety of churches. is mentioned no more. as well as art. unhappily. It represents feudal traditions rather than the tendency really involved in contemporary industry. this district a iniquitous advantage. versal But the uniand nominally academies. all-permeating rational art.RATIONAL ETHICS 255 the national honour. or .

Modern rational ethics. It is all the more to be regretted that the only modern school of ethics which is humane and called virtues find it convenient to prescribe for Fallacy in democratic hedonism.256 THE LIFE OF REASON philanthropy. it has revolted against cruelty and preventable suffer- ing and has bent itself on diffusing well-being the well-being that people want. ages. and not the so- which a supercilious aristocracy may them. on the human instincts of sympathy and justice. Those dark political practice is derived. it has profited by Christian discipline and by the greater gentleness of modern manners. for their theory about a universal empire and a catholic church was in turn the echo of a former age of reason. however. when a few men conscious of ruling the world had for a moment sought to survey it as a whole and to rule it justly. honestly interested in progress should have given a bad technical expression g eneroug principles and should have substituted a dubious psychology for So- ^ cratic dialectic. on the necessities of social life. or what approaches most nearly to such a thing. somewhere enjoys The mere fact that somebody or dislikes a thing cannot give Digitized by . from which our had a political theory which we should do well to study . It has based ethics on the foundation on which actual morality rests. It has recognised the rights of the dumb majority. on nature. has one advantage over the ancient and mediaeval .

Pleasures may be attached to anything. and comforts doubtless have their claims.RATIONAL ETHICS 257 That fact indicates direction to a rational will. The particular ideal pre- mathematics of pleasure and pain cannot oblige him. A given harmony can be sustained by leaving things as they are or by changing them together. for instance. these caprices. but these claims have to be adjudicated by the agent's autonomous conscience. the sure. expres- sing a particular nature. and he will give them the place they fill in his honest ideal of what it would be best to have in the world. A maladjustment can be removed by altering the environment or by altering the man. to prefer a hundred units of mindless pleasure enjoyed in dreams to fifty units diffused over labour and discourse. and to pursue them in the abstract does not help to define any particular line of conduct. He need not limit his efforts to spreading needless comforts and silly pleasures among the million . a moral situation but does not prescribe a nite action. but the method not revealed by which the harmony should be sustained or the maladjustment removed. he need not accept for a goal Even a child's caprices multiplied by infinity. ment is is A partial harmony defi- or maladjust- thereby proved to exist. it is not a passive me- dium where heterogeneous values can find their . A conscience is a living function. pleasures. not the place which they might pretend to usurp there by a sort of physical presexists in the observer.

acknowledges its obligations. Utilitarianism needs to be transferred to Socratic and Sympathy* conditional duty ' dialectical ground. and the universe. one entirely predetermined by the fundamental structure of human nature. rational. to decide Of be found. A living and particular will therein discovers its affinities. but it refines the natural will without enfeebling offering it rather a new and it is noble because it. so that interest in absent interests may a concrete ideal. It cannot for a moment renounce its autonomy without renouncing reason and perhaps decreeing the extinction both of its own bodily basis and of its ideal method and policy. take its place in It is a noble thing to be sensitive to others' hardships. A in moralist is called upon. nature it if he is to all. not of statistics. the arts.THE LIFE OF REASON 258 balance by virtue of dead weight their and number. finding its supports and extensions in the state. broadens its basis. Duty is a matter of self-knowledge. congenial develop- ment. will not will conscientiously express his —on which alone honest be own ideals can rest without attempting to speak for the deafening and inconstant convocation of the whole sentient universe. and co-operates with everything that will co-operate with it. first of what things pleasure ought course his decision. arbitrary. and happy in their happiness. but it continues throughout to unfold a particular life. Were man Digitized by Google .

therefore. however. friend. but. like that of some silk-worm or some seraph. would be broken down and moral dissolution would set in if. social life and the gift of co-operation carry sympathy implicitly with them. Great as may be the advance in charity since the days of Socrates. To make this to recognise a sympathy find one's happiness in exercising explicit it is fellow- and to to lay one's foundations deeper in nature and to expand the range of one's being. and father by turns.RATIONAL ETHICS 259 not gregarious. husband. his morality would not be social. This situation A is repeated on a broader stage. enlightened view of the interests which he serves. Parental and sexual instincts. a man should bid all living creatures lapse with him into a delicious torpor. were he not made to be child. or run into a cycle of pleasant dreams. as they carry the very faculty being. wholly industrious or wholly contemplative. to regard anything else would be treason. to trespass beyond them would be to recede. forgetting his humanity. He cannot allow foreign sentiment or private hobbies to make him misapply the resources of his fellow-countrymen But he may well have an to their own injury. he might indeed be expected to take a more pro- . Its limits. so intense that death would be sure to precede any awakening out of them. the advance is within the lines of his method. statesman entrusted with power should regard nothing but his country's interests.

finite and clarify my own intent. and as if respect offered to them. else he would have no right to his eminent station. is something ideal. It would not so that I ties. Indestrucmountains and valleys. or preserve it. somehow in proportion to their quantity. Its and only what enters into this spirit can bind it morally. may ruin or transform. ^ and bencerifht life. as if in their isolation they constituted all that morality had to consider. be a rational ambition to wish to multiply the population of China by two. would be rational. To weed a garden. like a tible do not constitute its identity.THE LIFE OF REASON 2(50 found and enlightened view of them than his countrymen were commonly capable of. or that of America by twenty. crawled over by any tion. to cling to ideals may within the circle of lie what my experience and practical imagination. He should be the first to feel or foster hatred among that to inflict injury other populations should not be a portion of a people's happiness. an ' 8 DUsmess J mme * 8 *° ^ sort of race. after ascertaining that life there contained an overplus of pleasure. may have a natural ground for my loyaland may be constant in them. in swallowing. essence Alllif is a certain spirit. Utilitarianism took up false ground when it made right conduct terminate in miscellaneous pleasures and pains. A na- man. though the weeds and their interests would have to be sacrificed in the process. If a drop of water contains a million worlds which I. however. were the true Digitized by .

It is the free spirit of a part. . chastened by clear knowl- edge of what it pursues and morality has to consider its quantity. nor to redress its balance. The true conscience 261 is rather an in- tegrated natural will. finding its affinities and equilibrium in the material whole which it reacts on. and which it is in that measure enabled to understand. not infinite. moral life can spring only from definite centres and is neither called upon nor able to estimate the whole.RATIONAL ETHICS conscience. is may attain. the form of In a world that is perhaps What life.

They were publishing the principles of what had been its life. and and analysis. and the his irony. gathering piously its broken ideals. and of justice. Having allowed the organ for the ideal to atrophy in his soul. The and co-operation was already dead. felt that would not benefit that baser part of him which 262 Digitized by Google . an- third by his preponderating interest in history showed clearly enough how little They were merely writing an eloquent epitaph on their country. He had begun to question the utility of religion. they dared to hope. he could dream of finding some sullen sort of happiness in unreason. other by his frank idealism. spectiTe.CHAPTER X P08T-RATI0NAL MORALITY When Socrates and his two gTeat disciples composed a system of rational ethics they were Soc hardly proposing practical legislation ti One by ethics retro- for mankind. had become indolent and mean-spirited. debauched by the largesses and petty quarrels of his city. He spirit of liberty the austere glories of his country. of patriotism. The private citizen. as a Spartan regimen might have preserved them. interpreting its momentary achievement.

less Political virtue 263 seemed a use- tax on his material profit and freedom. Philosophers were no longer suffered to have illusions about the state. and. having abandoned the effort to express the will honestly and dialectically. and the failure of a first experiment in rationality does not deprive mankind of that mental and moral vegetation which they possessed for ages in a wild state all before the advent of civilisation. and with them died the spirit that rational ethics had expressed. The tedium and distrust proper to a disintegrated society began to drive him to artificial excitements and superstitions. merely revert to their uncivil condition They and espouse whatever imaginative ideal comes to hand. These last patriots were gradually banished or exterminated. Life is older and more persistent than reason. The point was merely to console or deceive the soul with some substitute for happiness. the few whose nobler temper and traditions still coincided with the general good. Digitized by Google . since they embodied a more or less complete despair. Human activity on the public stage had shaken off all allegiance to art or reason. Democracy had learned to regard as enemies the few in whom public interest was still represented. they could support no moral science.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY alone remained. The biographer to of reason might well be tempted ignore the subsequent attitudes into which Riseofdisuiusioned mora l fell in the West.

would be to miss one of the most instructive points of view from which the Life of Reason may be surveyed the point of view of its satirists. just as they may precede it. the philosopher who surveys the world and sees that the end of rationality. he would not be reduced. may is all he values worth consideration. in which he and after all figure. partial and arbitrary as they are. as the intuitionist's aversion does. may not feel that the intervening episode. The obvious irrationality of nature as whole. Aversion to rational ideals does not then come. If you should still confront him with a theory of the ideal. they have a quite particular value. that all is vanity. in his contemplative spleen. may come from undue the contrary. may make it it from march of haste in speculation. to study these imaginative ideals.THE LIFE OF REASON 264 by which some semblance of meaning and beauty may be given to existence without the labour of building this meaning and beauty systematically out of Not its positive elements. : When they follow. like the Digitized by Google . home to a forget or abdicate a musing its own In a decadent age. from moral incoherence does not come from It On lack of speculative power. or religious prejudice. it is even as the beginning. at least so long as they are consciously embraced in view of reason's failure. For moral ideals may follow upon philosophy. a too ready apprehension of the visible things. too painfully brought mind. and he cry.

he would not need to deny your statements in order to justify himself. If — that only looks respectable in the dark. the spontaneity. in the casual Men's cross- currents of being. to inattention and bluster. Human thought is a meaningless phantasmagoria. Virtue is a splendid and laborious folly. a life according to reason might tempt a philosopher. since reason is nothing but the method of that endeavour. But unfortunately not one of those fond assumptions is true. if virtue were stable and fruitful. " are futility. with the smile of the elder and the sadder man. but our own ways ? " Such a position may be turned dialectical ly by Digitized by Google . that he had experience of their " You Hellenisers. the ideal sufficiency of your conceptions. then. when it is not a pompous garment pre-rational moralists in a similar case. being in truth full of spots and ridiculous patches. let us not say the ? How justify in our ways of God. live eyes.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 265 mere you told him that every art and every activity involves a congruous good. indeed. but he might add. best laid plans become. and that the endeavour to realise the ideal in every direction is an effort of which reason necessarily approves. How. If thought were conversant with reality. you have not pondered the little history you know. but children. the occasion of their bitterest calamities. He might admit the naturalness." he might say. if pains and policy were ultimately justified by a greater good arising out of them then.

by an intelligible illusion. Post-rational morality thus constitutes. who more They are the work of men or less explicitly have conceived the it at least imaginatively. who while he cannot be wholly without them. These systems are a refuge from an intolerable situation: they are experiments in redemption. and all the moralities founded on despair. ity. ^e lntncm. for no moral experience has other terms . compared with the commoner passions on which it reacts. at the first breath of criticism. if not in fact. like that of the intuitionist. p 0g ^j on js gpecious and does not collapse. Pessimism. like pre-rational moral- an arbitrary selection from among co-ordinate It is an effort to subordinate all pre- precepts. a criticism of all experi- It thinks it is not. but the part of the natural ideal which remains active appears in opposition to all the rest and. tried — very humble or very tion. that points to some single eventual Digitized by Google . of much chastened satisfac- or to an utter change in the conditions life. it represents some simpler or more attenuated hope the appeal to some Life of Reason.THE LIFE OF REASON 266 invoking whatever positive hopes or convictions The uiu«on * ne lives suhnttias c "^ c may retain. cepts to one. are not pre-rational but post-rational. animal instincts and natural standards of excellence are never eluded in them. and found it wanting. in in- tention ence. As a matter of fact. seems to be no part of that natural ideal because.

in a later age that has forgotten its disillusions may come basis of morality. the sick the soul are the only evidence of her continued existence. or enduring all sufferings in patience. or studying a perfect conformity with may the course of affairs. though founded originally on despair. may exhaust criticism and sophistry to show that and effort would be vain unless their particular nostrum was accepted and so a curious all faith . one some gain admission to sort of residual mystical paradise. or resting in the moment's pleasure. once conceived. she attributes her re- generation to the ministry of those phantoms. after discred- Digitized by Google .POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 267 For it occurs to the founders of these systems that by estranging oneself from the world. ing the passions. in truth. still contents are gradually reintroduced. a regeneration due. to the restored nutrition and circulation within In this way post- her. It becomes in consequence (for such is the force of nature) the foundation of elaborate institutions and elaborate tion philosophies. to pose as the only possible The philosophers addicted each sect. envisages a good. or mortify- good. party philosophy arises in which. thought. worldly life When human dreams that which the into life is in visit of the an acute crisis. is and this published as a revela- and accepted as a panacea. and brought up under its to influence. and Through them she when the delirium passes and the normal world gradually re-establishes itself in her regard. rational systems.

The positive substance of such a doctrine is ac- cordingly pre-rational and perhaps crudely superstitious.THE LIFE OF REASON 268 iting nature and reason in general. and in this case the prerational and instinctive character of the maxim retained would be very obvious. The pursuit of pleasure may seem simple selfishness. a man may actually guide himself by a foretaste of the pleasures he has found in certain objects and situations. Socrates was still when a school of postamong the Sophists. The criticism required to distinguish what pays from what does not pay may not often be carried very far. which living rational morality arose after passing quickly through various Epicurean refuge in phases. but it may sometimes be carried to the length of suppressing every natural instinct and natural hope. settled pleasure. the sectary puts forward some mythical echo of reason and nature as the one saving and necessary truth. is Pleasure. and of turning the Digitized by . is none the less genuine. sure. so that the wretched idol ulti- mately offered to our worship acquires a spurious halo and an imputed majesty by being raised on a pedestal of infinite despair. but after some experience and discrimination. but it is introduced and nominally supported by a formidable indictment of physical and moral science. which if somewhat cheap. with a an(j nag tendency to debauchery . to be not the direct object of an unspoiled will. j gm down into Epicurean- remained the source of a certain consolation to mankind.

POST-RATIONAL MORALITY
philosopher, as

it

269

turned Hegesias the Cyrenaic,

into a eulogist of death.

The
comes

post-rational principle in the system then
to

the fore, and we see clearly that to

down and
its

rest, is to initiate

It

sit

upon human life, picking out
pleasant moments and condemning all the
reflect

is

to judge

a course of moral retrenchment.

what

is

worth doing, not by the

innate ambition of the soul, but by experience of
incidental feelings, which to a
tive ideas

pursuit.

may seem
That

life

mind without

ought to be accompanied by

pleasure and exempt from pain
this

crea-

the only objects worthy of

means that what

is

is

certain; for

agreeable to the whole

process of nature would have

become agreeable

also to the various partial impulses involved

another way of describing organic harmony and
physical perfection.

mony cannot be

But such a desirable har-

defined or obtained by picking

out and isolating from the rest those occasions

and functions in which it may already have been
These partial harmonies may be actual
arrests or impediments in the whole which is to
be made harmonious; and even when they are

reached.

innocent or helpful they cannot serve to deter-

mine the form which the general harmony might

They merely illustrate its principle.
The organism in which this principle of harmony

take on.

might find pervasive expression is still potential,
and the ideal is something of which, in its concrete form, no man has had experience.
It in-

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THE LIFE OF REASON

270

volves a propitious material environment, perfect
health, perfect arts, perfect government, a

mind

enlarged to the knowledge and enjoyment of
external conditions and

its

Such an

ideal is lost sight of

all

internal functions.

when a man

culti-

vates his garden-plot of private pleasures, leaving
it

chance and barbarian fury to govern the
and quicken the world's passions.
Even Aristippus, the first and most delightful
to

state

of hedonists,

who

really enjoyed the pleasures he

advocated and was not afraid of the incidental
pains

—even Aristippus betrayed the post-rational

character of his philosophy by abandoning politics,

mocking

science,

making

his peace with

all

abuses that fostered his comfort, and venting his
wit on

all

ambitions that exceeded his hopes.

A

great temperament can carry off a rough philoso-

phy.

Rebellion and license

may

distinguish hon-

ourable souls in an age of polite corruption, and
a grain of sincerity

is

better, in moral philosophy,

than a whole harvest of conventionalities.

The

violence and shamelessness of Aristippus were

corrected by Epicurus; and a balance was found
between utter despair and utter irresponsibility.
Epicureanism retrenched much it cut off politics,
These things
religion, enterprise, and passion.
:

it

convicted of vanity, without stopping to dis-

them what might be inordinate from
what might be rational. At the same time it
retained friendship, freedom of soul, and inteltinguish in

lectual light.

It cultivated unworldliness with-

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POST-RATIONAL MORALITY

271

out superstition and happiness without illusion.

was tender toward simple and honest things,
and bitter only against pretence and

It

scornful

usurpation.

It thus

marked a

first

halting-place

in the retreat of reason, a stage where the soul

had thrown

off

only the higher and more entan-

gling part of her burden and was willing to

live,

somewhat reduced circumstances, on the remainder. Such a philosophy expresses well the
in

genuine sentiment of persons, at once mild and
emancipated, who find themselves floating on the
ebb-tide of
fruits,

some

civilisation,

and enjoying

its

without any longer representing the forces

that brought that civilisation about.

The same emancipation, without

its

appeared in the Cynics, whose secret

_

mildness,
it

was

to

and all dethrow off all allegiance
°
to conformpendence on circumstance, and to live
ity
entirely on inner strength of mind,
on pride and inflexible humour. The renunciation was far more sweeping than that of Epicurus,
.

Stoic recourse

*

and indeed wellnigh complete; yet the

Stoics, in

underpinning the Cynical self-sufficiency with a
system of physics, introduced into the life of the
sect a contemplative element which very much
enlarged and ennobled

Nature
its sympathies.
became a sacred system, the laws of nature being
eulogistically called rational laws, and the necessity of things, because it might be foretold in
There was
auguries, being called providence.
some intellectual confusion in all this; but con-

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Google

THE LIFE OF REASON

272

templation, even

somewhat

if

idolatrous, has a

purifying effect, and the sad and solemn review

cosmos to which the Stoic daily invited

of the

his soul, to

make

ready to face

it

its

destiny,

from many an unworthy
passion.
The impressive spectacle of things was
used to remind the soul of her special and appropriate function, which was to be rational.
This
doubtless liberated

it

rationality consisted partly in insight, to perceive

the necessary order of things, and partly in conformity, to perceive that this order, whatever

might

it

be, could serve the soul to exercise itself

upon, and to face with equanimity.
Despair, in this system, flooded a

human

much

larger

was surrendered except the will to endure whatever
might come. The concentration was much more
marked, since only a formal power of perception
and defiance was retained and made the sphere
of moral life; this rational power, at least in
theory, was the one peak that remained visible
area of

life; everything, in fact,

above the deluge.

was retained.

Some

But

in practice

distinction

much more

was drawn, how-

ever unwarrantably, between external calamities

and human turpitude, so that absolute conformity and acceptance might not be demanded by
the latter; although the chief occasion which

and recogwas in noting the
universal corruption of the state and divining
its ruin.
The obligation to conform to nature
a Stoic could find to practise fortitude

nise the omnipresence of law

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POST-RATIONAL MORALITY

273

(which, strictly speaking, could not be disregarded
in any case) was interpreted to signify that every

one should perform the

offices

conventionally at-

In this way a perfunctory

tached to his station.

and humanity were restored to the
But the restored life was merely
histrionic: the Stoic was a recluse parading the
market-place and a monk disguised in armour.
His interest and faith were centred altogether on

citizenship

philosopher.

his private spiritual condition.

He

cultivated the

society of those persons who, he thought,

him some

teach

virtue.

He

attended

might
to

affairs of state so as to exercise his patience.

the

He

might even lead an army to battle, if he wished
to test his endurance and make sure that philosophy had rendered him indifferent to the issue.
The strain and artifice of such a discipline,
with merely formal goals and no hope on earth
or * n neaven could not long maintain
conformity
the core of
itself; and doubtless it existed, at a
I8lam
particular juncture, only in a few
>

Resignation to the will of God, says Bishop

souls.

Butler,

is

tion would

the whole of piety; yet

make

mere resigna-

a sorry religion and the nega-

tion of all morality, unless the will of

God was

understood to be quite different from his operaTo turn Stoicism into a worktion in nature.
able religion

we need

pre-rational maxims.
boasts that in
itive

its

and natural

to qualify

it

with some

Islam, for instance, which

essence

it is

religion of

nothing but the prim-

mankind, consists in

THE LIFE OF REASON

274

abandoning oneself to the

will of

God

words, in accepting the inevitable.

God

is

or, in other
This will of

learned for the most part by observing the

course of nature and history, and remembering

meted out habitually to various sorts of
Were this all, Islam would be a pure Stoi-

the fate

men.

cism, and Hebraic religion, in

its ultimate phase,
would be simply the eloquence of physics. It
would not, in that case, be a moral inspiration at
all, except as contemplation and the sense of
one's nothingness might occasionally silence the

moment bewilder the mind.
On recovering from this impression, however,
men would find themselves enriched with no selfpassions and for a

knowledge, armed with no precepts, and stimulated by

no

ideal.

They would be reduced to en-

acting their incidental impulses, as the animals

had never perceived that in

are, quite as if they

doing so they were

fulfilling

a

decree.

divine

Enlightened Moslems, accordingly, have often
been more Epicurean than Stoical; and if they
have felt themselves (not without some reason)
superior to Christians in delicacy, in savoir vivre,
in kinship

with

all

natural powers, this sense of

superiority has been quite rationalistic

human.

and purely

Their religion contributed to

it

only

was simpler, freer from superstition,
nearer to a clean and pleasant regimen in life.

because

it

Resignation to the will of
pression of the will of

God being granted,

man might more

ex-

freely

begin.

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these mercies consist in the indulgence he is expected to show to his favourites. The most decisive facts against idolaters. opposition to grosser idolatries Islam might appeal to experience and challenge those who trusted in special deities to justify their worship in face of the facts. were not yet patent. a positive and con- tagious novelty was the assumption that God's might enveloped in w^ arbitrary prophets before the event.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY What made 275 Islam. as of all evil. nay. Allah. on the contrary. it shines all the versal natural Digitized by Google . experience was not the only source from which In its its total De incidentally revealed to operation might be gathered. as the Koran shrewdly observes. is overwhelmingly external and as far as possible from being ideal. Allah's mercy does not exclude all those senseless and unredeemed cruelties of which nature is daily guilty . last — Where Mohammed speaks in the name of the uni- power he is abundantly scornful toward that fond paganism which consists in imagining distinct patrons for various regions of nature or for sundry human activities. He is indeed the giver of all good things. In turning to such patrons the pagan regards something purely ideal or. but were destined to burst upon mankind at the day and most unpleasantly for the majority. and while his mercies are celebrated on every page of the Koran. and the exceeding reward reserved for them after their earthly trials. worships his own passions. so that past doctrines. however. however.

he made it in order to establish distinctions and separate by an immense who conform to the interval the fate of those truth from the Human life is fate of those who ignore it. this stringency. we may not cat animals that have died a natural death. but. but people listened to him be- cause he preached it like a sectary. illustrated Allah. by the precept about we are told. which is called positivism But when Digitized by . The tendency toward enlightenment which Islam represents. We may use. justly slaughter would be an abomination. nor swine. therefore and devour them.THE LIFE OF REASON 276 more conspicuously by contrast with his essential irresponsibility and wanton wrath. made the world for man's with all the animals in it. Unfortunately religious reformers triumph not for to do so so much by their rational insight as ***&9 * ra<^^^ ona ^ Th utter by their halt- max ms Mohammed of God like a philosoi - aion/iendit felt tne unity phical pher. and the limits of that enlight- may be enment. nor those offered in sacrifice to false gods. absent from merely Platonic idealisms. indeed beset with enough imminent evils to justify this urgent tone in the Semitic moralist and to lend his precepts a stern practical ring. as he often reminds us. a part of his express purpose being to keep hell full of men and demons. God. being mer- ciful and gracious. unclean animals. of course. in so far as comports with health . did not make the world for a plaything.

by abating them. notions. may not wither altogether in the fierce light of the Absolute. As extremes are said to meet. So com- plete is the bankruptcy of morality that Stoic which thinks to live on the worship of That which Is. becomes when they fanaticism Had are misrepresented. easier centuries . and the and actual conditions of success failure in the world. personal interests.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 277 the conditions of welfare are understood. the omnipresence of destiny. and of fighting in God's cause. he descends so far as to speak of Qod's interests which the faithful embrace. righteous indignation abuses when. made the to a dozen intelligent fol- many kindle success of his mission. too weak to be human. Mohammed spoken only of the dynamic unity in things. so we may say that a radical position is often the point of de- Digitized by Google . in the heat of his militancy. scattered over as weakness of his nature. to we By these are allowed interpret and discount the pantheistic sub- which in most places we are regaled and in order that a morality. but the and his ignorance of intellect. we are led to humanise limities with the Absolute into a finite force. and been his less zealous in own God been It we further our Mohammed might denouncing is against false gods altogether the true one. he would not have been called a prophet or have had more than lowers. have had But. needing our support against independent enemies. so crudely pre-rational.

To accept everything. of serving Allah. theism early is interpreted pre-rationally. by way verse. Morality is reduced to sanctioning reigning conventions. on the other hand. while the tran- scendentalists of our times. of two opposite attitudes. accord- ing as the society in which he lives is in a pre- Pan- rational or a post-rational state of culture. with the us to outgrow and discard every part. when people are not yet acquainted. with worldliness. mav Moral am- > ^ be practice. yet.THE LIFE OF REASON 278 parture for opposite systems. or not yet dis- gusted. bifuityin pantheism. by way of accepting their part in the divine business. is not an easy Digitized by Google . the Absolute then seems to lend a mystical sanction to whatever existences or tendencies happen to be afoot. at once indolent and fierce. the other. or by the Hegelians. or reigning passions. on the authority of the uni- Thus the Moslems. interpreted in To be in sympathy Whole may seem to require contrary ways. have merely added a certain speculative loftiness to the maxims of some sect or the chauvinism of some nation. however. there is no obvious reason why Being should love its essence in a fashion that involves hating every possible form of Being. as by the Mohammedans. could extend their conquests and cultivate the arts and pleasures congenial to a self-sufficing soul. or relig- ion and morality abdicating in favour of physics. shipper of Being accordingly assumes now The wornow one. Pantheism.

will issue in a post-rational morality. Under these circumstances myth reintroduced. Without it. It will be his finitude. unless you are naturally well pleased with what falls to your share. in some myth.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 279. becomes and ever the Absolute may feel. source of all evil finite lucidity of things. and imposed them upon him. HowUnder it stress. forms before a man's eyes. awaiting that. whereby absorption in the Absolute might come to look not only impossible but distinctly undesirable. A curious foothold for such a myth was fur- . nor a tolerable thing. that will seem to him the and the single blot on the inPantheism. the soul that this life stifles must be said to come from elsewhere and to be fitted to breathe some element far rarer and finer than this sublunary fog. To make retreat out of human nature seem a possible vocation. is inevitably no consolation could be found except in the prospect of death and. this nature itself must. It will practise asceticism and look for a mystical deliverance from finite existence. in incidental natural satisfactions. under these circumstances. his enormous effrontery in having any will or any preference in particular. a moral creature has to hate some forms of ascetic requires a being. not being suffered by his pantheism to blame the Absolute he will (by an inconsistency) take to blaming himself. be represented as unnatural. his inordinate claims. and if the age has thrust these mythology.

perhaps. if The terms thus contrasted with natural and pictured as natural powers. by speaking as these values had brought things into being. had eulo- nished by the Socratic philosophy. furnished the dogmas needed at this juncture by a postrational religion. . expense of existences and had to express the values of things. by his poetic vision too Plato. in a momentary Digitized by Google . perhaps. notions carried on in can be constructed. but the sagacity and exigencies of the school would not fail to arrange the steps in this progress —the end of which was unattainable except. . like a true logic misunderstood many adherents.THE LIFE OF REASON 280 wafted from the master. The spell which dialectic can exercise over an abstracted mind is itself great. When the tide of vul- and every form of quackery is welcome. Asupernat- utilitarianism of his urai world gised concretions in discourse at the made by the putonistout of dialectic . far. even meant played with cosmological myths. positive revelation a sanctuary from Out of the play of a prayerful dream wonder- when it offers a weary life in the world. indeed. Out of the names and of virtues a mystic ladder could be constructed by which to leave the things and the should gain of things virtues themselves behind. and it may grow into a sacred influence and a dialectical objects. to be presently announced to the people and made the core of ful mysteries sacramental injunctions. we need not wonder that a theosophy having so respectable a core some- gar superstition is at the flood — thing.

through long- complished in the Hebrew Buffering Hebrew and devotion to the Law. a religion of redemp- tion. The to be imposed upon made in morals would be only this that the positive occasions and sanctions of good conduct would no longer be mentioned with respect. Digitized by Google . though in demption. turning in their unphilosophical way this law of nature into a principle of justice. had found themselves often in the sorest material sin or of any inherent curse in being They hoped. come by propitiating the deity. This redemption was to be acspirit. failure of all cherished their plunged them into a penitential in fact pious and virtuous to a Meantime the had mood. The Jews. chief difference : be invited to dwell instead on mystical issues. Neo-Platonie morality. They had accepted this idea straits. through a thousand learned and vulgar channels. without dreaming of original finite.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY ecstasy 281 —so that the obvious duties of men would continue. with the by vicarious attribution of solidarity. but the imagination would them. for the nonce. Though ambitions fault. they still —their own or the world's looked for repentance —to save them. cry for re- Original Christianity was. They knew that the sins of the fathers were visited upon the children even to the third and fourth generation. like all primitive peoples. permeated Chris- Canity and entirely transformed The Hebraic it. another sense. that relief might of joint responsibility and vicarious atonement.

while hope in a new order of this world. The journey might be long and through a desert. Christianity on renouncing the world. A temporary sacrifice. and the devil. The earthly life which was vain Digitized by . Despair touched nothing but the present order of the world. and individual than the Neo-Platonic . and a partial mutilation would bring the spirit miraculously into a fresh paradise. This was the sort of despair and renunciation that lay at the bottom of Christian repentance. grace was to offer as a reward for faith and patience. there would have been no much-trumpeted last judgment and no material kingdom of heaven. The pleasures nature had grudged or punished. but milk and honey were to flow in the oasis beyond. the insisted flesh. it was thought. or of one very like it. Had renunciation been fundamental or revulsion from nature complete. therefore. it always kept in the background this perfectly Jewish and pre-rational craving for a delectable promised land. the revulsion was only against incidental evils. However may have much. The renunciation was only temporary and partial. poignant. Such a way of conceiving redemption was far more dramatic. though at first it took the extreme form of calling for its immediate destruction. lay at the bottom of Christian joy.THE LIFE OF REASON 282 merits and demerits within the household of the faith. hence it was far more popular and better fitted to be a nucleus for religious devotion.

Christianity merely renews and reinstates these universal principles after a first disappointment and a first assault of despair. sickness.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 283 as an experience was to be profitable as a Normal trial. Christianity is thus a system of postponed ra- tionalism. a rationalism intercepted by a super. . natural version of the conditions of happiness. its The Christian field of action being a world of grace enveloping the world of nature. gon _the Its moral principle is rea- only moral pr i nc iple there motive power is the impulse and natural hope to be and to be happy. is. new qualities and measures of success. is corrupt and needs to be purged and transformed before it can safely manifest its congenital instincts and become again an authoritative criterion of values. appropriate exercise for the would thereafter begin. self-sacrifice. by opening up new vistas of accomplishment. experience. son. humility. chastity. and dirt may all acquire a religious worth which rea- might scarcely have found in them. in its direct application. The two fact tors meet in Chrutianity. In the kingdom of God men would no longer need to do penance. obedience. ignorance. spirit. itory reversals of place in its many trans- acknowledged values may take code. yet these reversed appreciations are merely incidental to a secret rationality. as now found. Poverty. for life there would be truly natural and there the soul would be at last in her native sphere. and are justified on the ground that human nature.

It was a renunciation which. Protestant communities that have rejected the pagan and Platonic elements that overlaid little difficulty in restoring it to it have prominence. or to enjoy any of the natural delights renounced in this life. so that a perfect charity and con- templative justice. There was surely a deeper peace in his self -surrender. nor a new It sort of utilitarian. It was not a new thing even among the Jews to use the really post-rational. did not spring from disappointed illusion or lead to other unregenerate illusions even to be dispelled by events. exis was not to marry and be given in marriage. for the soul of the gospel. at Christ himself and in his more least in spiritual disciples. falling like the Father's gifts ungrudgingly on the whole creation. without abandoning the soul of the gospel. was an emptying of the will. however. in respect to all human desires. It more sure sprang rather from Digitized by Google . and earthly desires. petty morality. might take the place of ambition. temporary austerity. or to sit on thrones. though pressed in the language of Messianic hopes. and those ity. that Christ summoned his disciples to abandon all they had and to follow him. and the change of heart involved in genuine Christianity was not a fresh excitation of gaudy hopes. Not. It worldly promises of their exoteric religion as symbols for inner spiritual revolutions.THE LIFE OF REASON 284 This submerged optimism exists in Christianbeing a heritage from the Jews. or to unravel metaphysical mysteries.

it the liberation of souls.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 285 a native speculative depth. Like a hound It it tor- tracked the kindled wars. a natural affinity to the divine fecundity. would have allowed. gave Christianity a double aspect. The hope of unimaginable benefits to ensue could drive religion to greater frenzies than it could have fallen into if its silence the will. it had looked only to peace and It looked beyond. and nursed and ambitions. Mohammedanism. tured. For a discipline that is looked upon as merely temporary can contradict nature more boldly than one intended to take nature's place. consequence in later times. the kindliness and insight which a pure soul can fetch from contemplation. serenity. in view of brighter possibilities in another world. It was the spirit of prayer. and sadness of the world. hatreds furious quite like tyranny. and had some curious Consequent eiectidsm. carry their asceticism and their cult of suffering farther than a purely negative system. like object had been merely to Christianity persecuted. like the Buddhistic. extermination and All this would have been impossible Buddhism. Digitized by Google . and that they plunged the soul into an abyss of nothingness if not of — — torment. if. very scent of heresy. could. and burned. This mystical detachment. Those who were inwardly convinced as most religious minds were under the Roman Empire that all earthly things were vanity. supervening on the dogged old Jewish optimism. It sanctified.

THE LIFE OF REASON

286
dreamt of

infinite blisses

and crowns

it

should

be crowned with before an electrified universe and

These were rival baits to
which the world fishes with, and were
snapped at, when seen, with no less avidity.
Man, far from being freed from his natural passions, was plunged into artificial ones quite as
Buddhism
violent and much more disappointing.
had tried to quiet a sick world with anaesthetics;
Christianity sought to purge it with fire.
Another consequence of combining, in the
an applauding God.
those

Christian

life,

post-rational with pre-rational

mo-

and renunciation with hopes
of a promised land, was that esoteric piety could
choose between the two factors, even while it gave
a verbal assent to the dogmas that included both.
Mystics honoured the post-rational motive and
tives, a sense of exile

despised the pre-rational

second and hated the

;

positivists

first.

To

clung to the

the spiritually

minded, whose religion was founded on actual

and

sight

disillusion, the joys of

.

in-

heaven could

never be more than a symbol for the intrinsic

worth of sanctity. To the worldling those heavjoys were nothing but a continuation of

enly

the pleasures and excitements of this

life,

serving

to choke any reflections which, in spite of himself,

might occasionally visit him about the vanhuman wishes. So that Christianity, even

ity of

in its orthodox forms, covers various kinds of

morality,
itself in

and

its

philosophical incoherence betrays

disruptive movements, profound schisms,

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POST-RATIONAL MORALITY

287

and total alienation on the part of one Christian
from the inward faith of another. Trappist or
Calvinist may be practising a heroic and metaphysical self-surrender while the busy-bodies of
their

respective

name,

all their

creeds

are fostering,

in

God's

hot and miscellaneous passions.

This contradiction, present in the overt morality of

Christendom, cannot be avoided, however,
by taking refuge again in pure asceti-

Every post-rational system

of naturalism

cism.

never com-

necessarily self -contradictory.

cannot

spair

be

nihilism complete so long as

method of
steady

action,

faith

that

The renunciation

it

universal

is

Its de-

nor

its

remains a coherent

with particular goals and a
their

attainment

is

possible.

must stop at the point
where the will to be saved makes its appearance:
and as this desire may be no less troublesome and
insistent than any other, as it may even become
a tormenting obsession, the mystic is far from the
end of his illusions when he sets about to dispel
them. There is one rational method to which,
of the will

world is still thought
one rational endeavour which nature
sure to crown with success.
This is the method

in post-rational systems, the

to be docile,
is

from existence, the effort after salThere is, let us say, a law of Karma, by
which merit and demerit accruing in one incarnation pass on to the next and enable the soul to
rise continuously through a series of stages.
Thus the world, though called illusory, is not
of deliverance

vation.

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THE LIFE OF REASON

288
wholly

intractable.

It

provides

for an exit out of its illusions.

systematically

On

ordinance of phenomena, which

this rational

is left

standing

by an imperfect nihilism, Buddhist morality is
built.
Rational endeavour remains possible because experience

is

one respect, that

calculable

and

fruitful in this

dissolves in the presence of

it

goodness and knowledge.
Similarly in Christian ethics, the
cross has

stations

definite

However negative

this

the assurance that

it

and a

way of the
end.

definite

end may be thought to be,
may be attained is a rem-

nant of natural hope in the bosom of pessimism.
A complete disillusion would have involved the
neglect of such an assurance, the denial that

it

was possible or at least that it was to be realised
under specific conditions. That conversion and
good works lead to something worth attaining is
a

new

sort of positivistic hope.

A

complete scep-

ticism would involve a doubt, not only concern-

ing the existence of such a method of salvation,

but also (what is more significant) concerning the
importance of applying it if it were found. For
to assert that salvation is not only possible

urgently necessary, that every soul
intolerable condition

ultimate solution to
to a

is

now

in

and should search for an

all its troubles,

a restoration

normal and somehow blessed state

—what

this but to assert that the nature of things

a

permanent

which

constitution,

man may

but
an

secure

his

is

has

by conformity with
happiness?
More-

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POST-RATIONAL MORALITY
over,

we

289

assert in such a faith that this natural

constitution of things

is

discoverable in a

suffi-

cient measure to guide our action to a successful issue.

Karma, in prayer, in sacraa remnant of a natural

Belief in

ments, in salvation
belief

is

the possibility

in

The remnant may

of living successfully.

be small and " expressed in

Transmigration or an atonement may
be chimerical ideas. Yet the mere fact of reliance upon something, the assumption that the
fancy."

world
tion,

is

steady and capable of rational exploita-

even

if

semirmagical

in a supernatural interest

means, amounts

to

an

and by
essential

loyalty to postulates of practical reason, an essential

adherence to natural morality.

The

pretension to have reached a point of view

from which all impulse may be criticised is accordingly an untenable pretension. It is abandoned in the very systems in which it was to be
most thoroughly applied. The instrument of
criticism must itself be one impulse surviving the
wreck of all the others; the vision of salvation
and of the way thither must be one dream among
the rest.

A

single suggestion of experience

thus accepted while

all

is

others are denied; and

although a certain purification and revision of
morality

may hence

ensue, there

is

no

real pene-

tration to a deeper principle than spontaneous

no revelation of a higher end than the
One sporadic growth of
human nature may be substituted for its whole
reason,

best possible happiness.

THE LIFE OF REASON

21K)

luxuriant vegetation; one negative or formal

ele-

may be preferred to the full
entelechy of life. We may see the Life of Reason
reduced to straits, made to express itself in a niggardly and fantastic environment; but we have,
ment

of happiness

and essence, the Life of Reason still,
its basis and rational in its method,
its substance impulse and its end happiness.
So much for the umbilical cord that unites
every living post-rational system to the matrix
There remains a
°^ numan hopes.
Spontaneous
values
second point of contact between these
in principle

empirical in

rehabilitated.

By S t

ems

an(j rational morality

:

the

re-

instated natural duties which all religions and

philosophies, in order to subsist
peoples,

are

once

at

obliged

among

to

civilised

and

sanction

somehow to deduce from their peculiar principles.
The most plausible evidence which a supernatural
doctrine can give of
rationality

of

truth

its

moral

its

is

the beauty and
It

corollaries.

is

in-

structive to observe that a gospel's congruity with

natural reason and
as the decisive

common humanity

mark

of

its

is

regarded

supernatural origin.

Indeed, were inspiration not the faithful echo

and vulgar experience there
would be no means of distinguishing it from madness.
Whatever poetic idea a prophet starts
with, in whatever intuition or analogy he finds a
of plain conscience

hint of salvation,

it

is

altogether necessary that

he should hasten to interpret his oracle in such
a

manner

that

it

may

sanction without disturb-

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POST-RATIONAL MORALITY

291

ing the system of indispensable natural duties,
although these natural duties, by being attached
artificially to supernatural dogmas, may take on
a different tone, justify themselves by a different
rhetoric, and possibly suffer real transformation
in some minor particulars.
Systems of postrational morality are not original works they are
:

versions of natural morality translated into dif-

adds

each

metaphysical languages,

ferent

peculiar flavour,

its

its

poetry, to the plain sense of the

of

which

own genius and

common

original.

In the doctrine of Karma, for instance, experience of retribution

a witness out made
of India.

tute

precise.

is

ideally extended

and

Acts, daily experience

teaches us, form habits; habits consti-

character,

Heraclitus said,
of his fate.

and each man's character,
is

We

as

his guardian deity, the artisan

need but raise

this particular

observation to a solitary eminence, after the man-

ner of post-rational thinking; we need but imagine

to underlie

it

and explain

all

cal observations, so that character

other empiri-

may come

to

an absolute cause, of which experience
Such arbitrary emitself is an attendant result.
phasis laid on some term of experience is the
source of each metaphysical system in turn. In
this case the surviving dogma will have yielded
an explanation of our environment no less than
of our state of heart by instituting a deeper
spiritual law, a certain balance of merit and demerit in the soul, accruing to it through a series
figure as

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the believer went on to inquire what he should do to be saved and to cancel the heavy debts he in- herited from his mythical past. This fabulous starting- point was gained by an imaginary extension of the law of moral continuity and natural retribution. would have been perfectly barren. Buddhistic morality was natural morality intensified by this forced sense of minute and boundless responsibility. It was coloured also by the negative. and the current code of morality being thus bor- — rowed without begging leave. This theory. This indispensable information must still be furnished by common opinion. he would merely enumerate the natural duties of man. those acts which arouse the enmity of our fellows and. giving them. a new sanction and conceiving them as if they emanated from his new-born metaphysical theory. arouse our own shame those are assumed and deputed to be sinful. pessimistic justification which this dogma gives to Digitized by . The notion that every sin must be expiated does not carry with any information about what acts are sins. apart from a natural conscience and traditional code. accepting this starting-point. however. by a pre- monition of that enmity. Those acts which it bring suffering after them.292 THE LIFE OF REASON of previous incarnations. the law of absolute retribution can be brought in to paint the picture of moral responsibility in more glaring colours and to extend the vista of rewards and punishments into a rhetorical infinite. but when.

pity's sake. Restraint can be rationally imposed on a given will only by virtue of evils which would be involved in its satisfaction. inspiration of right living was to be hope of perfect peace — hope generously bestowed by nature on every spirit which. is being linked to the flux of things. There and privation only when. The pathetic idiosyncrasy of this religion has probably enabled Dignity of ^ post-rationai wise morality. in other words. A pathetic feminine quality was thereby imparted to moral feeling we were to be good for . knowledge itself being precious only as a means The ultimate to that end. Every virtue was to be viewed as merely removing guilt and alleviating suffering. To save. of some actual demand whose disappointment would ensue upon incon- pure — an(j free siderate action. to cure.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 293 moral endeavour. but a hope which the irresponsible Oriental imagination had disturbed with bad dreams. by virtue. * it to touch many a heart and to n *° speculation many a doomed to be life other- quite instinctive anmia L it has kept morality from that admixture of worldly and partisan precepts with which less pessimistic systems are encumbered. is no harm is an evil in merely not being. it deprives us of . to nourish are duties far less conditional than would be a sup- posed duty to acquire or to create. for the sake of a great distant deliverance from profound sorrows. after we exist. conscious of change and susceptible of weari- ness.

remedial system of morality which seems one- we must sided and extreme. call to mind the far less excusable one-sidedness of those moralities of prejudice to which Occident we are accustomed in the —the ethics of irrational acquisitiveness. from any doctrine that is to be practically and immediately influential. indeed. merits in respect. limited that fare only : Reason's resources are in fact so it is usually reduced to guerilla war- a general plan of campaign forces insignificant Moral progress is is useless when obey our commands. A certain bias and deviation from strict reason seems. persuasive. so rising so willingly to the ideal of comparison the profoundest lifted as far above the crudities sanctity. irrational Bud- honour. the absence of which would defeat interests already launched If there is something in a purely into the world. who contrasts the conspicuous change in this or that direction accomplished by his preaching with the apparent impotence of rea- son and thought. for that reason often greatest when some nobler passion or more fortunate Digitized by Google . Philosophers whose hearts are set on justice and pure truth often hear reproaches addressed to them by the fanatic. irrational and faith. reasonable and beautifully dhistic morality.THE LIFE OF REASON 294 something naturally requisite. inseparable from any moral re- form. Socratic ethics was too perfect an expression to be much of a force. It is of intuitionism as the whisperings of an angel are above a schoolboy's code.

if they would prevail in the world. Digitized by Google . The machinery of transmigration had to serve as a Absurdities nevertheless scaffolding to raise the monument of mercy. might have failed in. So a pessimistic and merely remedial morality may accomplish reforms which reason. At the same time neglect of reason is never without its dangers and its waste. because its involved. It is an onerous condition which religions must fulfil.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY prejudice takes the lead and subdues companions without needing its 295 meaner on the consciousness of ultimate benefits hence accruing to the whole life. Buddhism had its mission of salvation . If certain rare and precious virtues can thus be inaugurated. with its broader and milder suasion. The Buddhistic system itself suffers from a fundamental contradiction. But this fabulous background given to life was really inconsistent with ity. pur- and spirituality. framers did not acknowledge the actual limits of retribution nor the empirical machinery by which benefits and injuries are really propagated. that they must have their roots in the past. there time later to insist on the complementary truths and to tack in the other direction after having been carried forward a certain distance by this oblique advance. but to express this mission to its proselytes it was obliged to borrow the language of the fantastic metaphysics which had preceded it in India. under the influence of a zeal exaggerating its will be to rely own justification.

The doctrine of Karma was a hypostasis of moral responsibility.THE LIFE OF REASON 296 what was best in the new morality. just as in Christianity the post-rational evangelical ideals of redemption will and regeneration. the pity. and since this fact is the sanction of what- ever moral efficacy can be attributed to Bud- dhism. and saving mankind. all by those extraneous doings. teaching. For if fortunes depend upon my former conduct. change the order or accidental vesture of my moral experiences. instruct my am the all I sole artificer of my destiny. but their quantity and value. were radically incom- myths about a creaand a political providence. The love. the science. or the prayers of others can have no real influence over cannot diminish by one tittle my salvation. in the false world of time and space. They my necessary suffer- nor accelerate by one instant the period which my own action appoints for my deliverance. could not ings. anything inconsistent with it is fundamentally Digitized by . the theory discountenanced in advance patible with the pre-rational tion the charitable efforts of Buddhism —the desire to and save every fellow-creature. Therefore the empirical fact that we can help be affected at one another remains in Buddhism retributive scheme) (as in any only by a serious inconsis- tency. but in making responsibility dynamic and allexplaining. of the human mystically reversed. Perhaps another's influence might. in sobering. being the exact counterpart of my free merits and demerits.

that they invalidate the correct this imperfection we feign a closed circle of personal retributions. This is the heavy price paid for mythical consomoral values they are intended to emphasise. exactly proportionate to But thereby. he may gradually religion. enigmas. a desperate wager of his fortunes . Faith in the supernatural made by man it is is at the lowest ebb as far as possible from being the source of that normal vitality which subse- mend. with the same posthumous alternatives and mystic harmonies hanging about them. Post-rational systems accordingly mark no real advance and offer no genuine solution to spiritual responsibility. The saving force each of them invokes is merely some remnant The soul of positivism in all ideals. To lations. the Qf human ^ natural energy which anima te S animal. and the guilty. to die in some measure unpunished. or the same race at different periods. ing it. perhaps. without personal deserts. Nature has allowed the innocent to suffer for the guilty. will manifest the most quently. we have perceiv- invalidated all political and social and denied that any man can be Our moral ambition has overleaped itself and carried us into a non-natural world where morality is impotent and unmeaning. recover. different races. if his fortunes Under the same . Yet on that repugnant and destructive dogma of Karma Buddhism was condemned to base its instruction.POST-RATIONAL MORALITY 297 repugnant to the whole system. benefited or injured by any other.

and what makes it genuinely esteemed is the restored authority of those human ideals which it expresses in a fable. to tions. the very natural virtues and hopes which. determines the value of post-rational moralities. would be no less contemptible. under novel associations and for motives ostensibly different. Belief in a thou- sand hells and heavens lift will not the apathetic out of apathy or hold back the passionate from passion . while a newly planted and ungalled com- munity. or to dream of a life has lost different world. They may preside over a good life. if treated in the same spirit. since the supernatural charm except ural situation has no permanent aspect or in so far as and points his earthly interests. The extent of this moral restoration. The new dispensation itself. in its better forms. it expresses man's nat- to the satisfaction of What keeps supernatural morality. within the limits of sanity is the fact that it reinstates in practice. putting to shame those thin vaticinations. Digitized by .THE LIFE OF REASON 298 opposite moral characteristics. be- cause nature seems too intricate and unfriendly. in blessed forgetfulness of rewards or punishments. it had thrown over with contempt. is in the end merely to play with words. the measure in which nature is suffered to bloom in the sanctuary. To hope for a second life. when seen to be merely natural. will be had gratis. merely because this its savour. of cosmic needs or sanc- celestial know how to live cheerily and virtuously for life's own sake.

POST-RATIONAL MORALITY personal or communal. True sages and true civilisations can accordingly flourish under a dispensation nominally supernatural. are defended by persons who have only natural interests at heart . and becomes itself a poetic echo of experience and a dramatic impersonation of reason. is not deceptive. Sceptical statesmen and academic scholars sometimes suffer from this kind of numbness. when their 299 symbolism. because these persons lack that speculative freedom and dramatic imagination which would allow them to conceive other moulds for morality and happiness than those to which a respectable tradition has accustomed them. for that supernaturalism may have become a mere form in which imagination clothes a rational and humane wisdom. The accent and emphasis which not cease to it will peculiar impose on the obvious lessons of life need not then repel the wisest intelligence. when the supernatural machinery brings man back to nature through mystical circumlocutions. So it constantly happens that supernatural systems. though cumbrous. it is intelligible that they should mistake Digitized by Google . when they have long prevailed. People who speak only one language have some difficulty in conceiving that things should be ex- Passed just as Moribund dreams and well in some other. things or being practically misled by their inflexible vocabulary. a prejudice which does not necessarily perennial involve their mistaking words for realities.

and for looking forward with apprehension to a future in which things. in the political field. may mark the end of some stirring chapter in the world's history. and their disappearance. languages themselves are not indifferent They may be closely bound up with the and spirit of nations. Otherwise the faith appealed to would be worthless in in its basis. Digitized by . as well as fanciful it could never become a mould for thought or action in a civilised society. for however little the life of or dignity of man may be jeopardised by changes in lanfunction to defend is ditions in guage. Indeed. then. de- pends on a double conformity on its part with the Life of Reason. Those whose vocation is not philosophy and whose country is not the world may be pardoned for wishing to retard the migrations of spirit.THE LIFE OF REASON 300 the forms of culture for its principle. In the second place the intuition thus gained and exclusively put forward must be made the starting-point for a restored natural morality. The value of post-rational morality. such concern for decaying myths may have a pathetic justification . In the first place some natural impulse must be retained. however necessary and on the whole propitious. and its operation. especially when their genius is not original and their chosen and propagate the local trawhich their whole training has immersed them. peculiar history their private enthusiasms will not be understood. some partial ideal must still be trusted and pursued by the prophet of redemption.

when it overtakes human knowledge. This is JJjJjJjJ natural philosophy or legitimate metaphysics. may be well. Science may be of this criti- accepted bodily. It book to a review these proposed revisions. Or science may be accepted in part. and by some other alleged in part subjected to control vehicle of knowledge. and have been sufficiently noticed in the last chapter . in bringing this selves scientific. them- tutes for science. This is traditional or in- 301 Digitized by Google .CHAPTER XI THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE The same despair or confusion which. and with it the validity of that whole Life of Reason which science crowns. when it human purposes. seeks relief in arbitrary schemes of salvation. its present results are modified by suggesting speculatively what its while Various modes of . Most of these are myths hardly worth separating from the postrational moralities they adorn. may breed arbitrary substiovertakes There are post-rational systems of nature as well as of duty. ultimate results might be. and justifies to reflection. There are many degrees and kinds cal retractation. to validity of science is at stake. but a few aspire to be critical revisions of science. The close.

We may be invited to abstain from all hypostasis or hearty belief in anything. and withdrawn altogether. and This feign. purged of all needless realism human life. tinent or possible to the practical mind. to those illustrated practice —which Finally it may is in nature or applicable in idealism of the mythical sort. Digitized by . we may awake from it into another cosmos.THE LIFE OF REASON 302 Or science may be retracted tuitive theology. on the ground that is but methodological ances merely. and that a transcendental method of survey. which science is marshals all things in the order of their discov- from invalidating knowledge can only serve to separate it from incidental errors and ery. occur to us that the criticism of an integral part of science itself. its principles its it facts appear- tendencies to transcendentalism. and seen would continue to the only conception of reality which is per- Science. Science would then be rehabilitated by criticism. fiction. The primary movement of the intellect would not be condemned by that subsequent reflection which it makes and which possible. in its relation to offer collates its results. built upon principles quite alien of imaginative activity in a radical idealism. science being a dream. far to disclose the relative importance of truths. whereupon a is dilemma presents itself. We may now proceed to discuss these various attitudes in turn. and to dwell only on the consciousness — vacuum which is Or we may be assured that.

no transverse phil- osophy. a man of genius. so that the acquisitions of science not only admit of revision but loudly call for it. Yet while waiting for experience to grow and accumulate its lessons. would be requisite or fitted for the task. such speculation may actually open the way to Digitized by Google . Knowledge would be transformed by more similar knowledge. and no man of science it. would be merely revise science in this spirit to extend it. yet with good luck and a fine instinct. espeis uttered with any air of authority . old truths are thereby re- interpreted and put in a new light. He might venture to carry out the suggestions of science and antici- pate the conclusions pleted. That * fast is ***** its COmmonest boast.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE A Science and quite blameless way of first science is to point out that science is 303 criticising incomplete. not by some verbal manipulation. To wish to supplement science and to regard its conclusions as largely provisional is therefore more than legitimate. not wishing for any other authority or vindication than that which they might To find in the context of universal truth. When new truths come into view. It is actually to share the spirit of inquiry and to feel the impulse toward investigation. No new method. who had drunk deep of experience himself. might imagine some ultimate synthesis. ownbest is so pessimistic as to suppose that its growth is over. The game cially if the is prophecy it would reach when com- certainly dangerous.

as the misfortune of science is that it has not yet satu- mind of philosophers and moral world.THE LIFE OF REASON 304 may diffuse in advance that virtual knowledge of physics which is enough for moral and poetic purposes. since science. had a more integral view of things. yet by their frank and studious contemplation of nature they would have liberated the human soul. Digitized by Google . Under the circumdiscovery and stances of human The curse of has not drawn ultimate truth must forego and must remain speculative. rated the recast the puerile as was their notion of natural mechanism. -r by alien of anticipating the physics of the fu- traditioni. ture they t() Instead phy S i cs Q f tne They do not stimulate us by a picture. would immediately have to be summed up again and reduced to generalities. They understood nature's uses and man's conditions in an honest and noble way. but when speculation is by chance well directed and hits upon the substantial truth. detailed verification modern philosophy is only that it its inspiration from science. if ever completed. past. Unfortunately the supplements to science which most philosophers supply in our day are not conObstruction ceived in a scientific spirit. it does all that a completed science would do for mankind. The Greek physicists. Verification in detail is needed. If no single phenomenon had been explained correctly by any philosopher from Thales to Lucretius. not so much for its own sake as to check speculative errors. life.

in their eyes. They accordingly append to current knowledge certain sentimental postulates. which to such men are nothing but languages. But their conven- tional attachment to a religion which in its original essence was perhaps mystical and revolution- sum of human life. from which they have not learned to extricate their affections. they seek rather to patch and dislocate current physics with some ancient myth. or with the clerical classes.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE however and fanciful. cannot or dare not break with traditional modes of expression. once the best physics obtainable. scarcely modifies. and unite us to much that lies in the dim penumbra of our workaday world. ary. with no specific interest in metaphysics. with the customs of their nation. There is a school of political conservatives who. of 305 what the analogies of nature politics actually point to. might provide for inarticulate interests. in poetry and communication) so theology and metaphysics. alleging that what is established by tradition and what appeals to the heart must somehow correspond to something which is needful and true. the practical assurances or the As language exercises aim of some functions which sci- ence can hardly assume (as. for instance. Ancient revelations and mys- . and merely to soften a little the outlines of a cosmic picture to which religion and literature are not yet accustomed. Sometimes these survivals are intended to modify scientific conceptions but slightly.

might therefore be suffered to flourish undisturbed. nothing of any value is lost . it only remains to accustom ourselves to a new vocabulary and to shift ciations of those values pursues. Mythology and ritual. Hence the second kind of supplement offered to science. they express natural forces and human interests in a groping way. but extraordinarily short-sighted. But once indulged. before the advent of science. is in- Digitized by Google . known truth. so that revelations with which moral life has been intertwined may find a place beside or beyond science. interests. divination is apt to grow arrogant and dogmatic. so long as they did not clash with any clear fact or They might continue to decorate with a mystical aureole the too prosaic kernel of natural duty. When the ground of that experience and those ideals is disclosed by science. Whatever value those revelations may have they draw from actual experience or inevitable ideals. The effort is honest. When its oracles have become traditional they are almost inevitably mistaken for sober truths. with the sundry divinations of poets. when something more honest and explicit is available.THE LIFE OF REASON 306 however incredible teries. to furnish them with decent expression. Revelations somewhat the which are life asso- contains or necessarily mythical and subrational. might in fact be kept suspended with advantage over human passion Needless anxiety for and ignorance. if taken literally. To stick in them.

prejudices are a drag on progress. commonsense rounded out and minutely articulated. is therefore as much much an a stepping forth of It instinctive product. The good laggards have no courage after no matter strip for the race. and to corroborate sense there is is only nothing Digitized by Google . Far graver than the criticism which shows science to be incomplete is that which shows it to be relative. like any form of determinate existence. though the inferences made from it are often rash and gratuitous. Science an imaginative and practical The fact is undeniable.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE 307 consistent with caring for attainable welfare or understanding the situation. it is altogether autonomous and It must lean on unjustifiable from the outside. interpreted intent. It has It conservatism in a ship- is not the insight to embrace the which are always ready fertile principles of life. moral no less than material . wreck. what natural to renew life trophe. as its own is vitality. and negligent under the cloak It is to be stubborn These of religion. they prefer to nurse the memories of youth and to die with a retrospective smile upon their countenance. and the sensitive conservatism that fears they may be indispensable is entangled in a pathetic delusion. dark. to sanction reason there reason. We have seen that science is nothing but developed perception. and live better. Rather than catas- to live otherwise. as human courage in the any inevitable dream or impulsive action. Like life itself.

this may be recommended by way of a cathartic. con- to be ever forces toward goals of fined to a passing apprehension of a represented Mind. since no positive doctrine can gain thereby in plausibility. to free the mind from ancient obstructions and make it hungrier and reversion to the immediate. for aught it knows. a means of reorganising natural foundations. the fate of a living being of spirit — is — This it is not a venture save by a thought no less is once venall for the very essence on the wing. which calls itself the organ of a permanent possibility of error. turesome and inferential. world. both of which it will cling to all the more closely belief on its inevitable after a thorough criticism. to bear witness to To insist on this situation its sanity. may seem idle. When all beliefs are challenged together.THE LIFE OF REASON 308 Inferential thought but sense. with an endless series of martyrs. Yet this transcendental exercise. more clears Scepticism is honest and universal. is creating a whole world. borne by inner its own imagining. and no particular line of action in reasonableness. truth. to be approved of. a form of that cumulative illusion by which madness can confirm itself. The encouragement and corroboration which science is alleged to receive from moment to moment may. Belief is an accompaniment of practice and intent. it agile in its rational harmless when the air it and is is faith. the just and necessary ones Digitized by . be simply a more ingenious self-deception.

The doubt cast on science. men tal habits needs some great social upheaval or some revolutionary ambition to bring it about. intranscen- ate > is sake. Unfortunately a searching disintegration of dogma. and humane. with the pure speculative motive of understanding and purifying human science. will accordingly serve to show what sort of thing science is. full of ideality and pathos. The transcendental philosophy might never have been put forward at all. the perplexities of a sophistical scepticism.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE 309 have a chance to step forward and to re-establish themselves alone. practical. and by the imminent collapse of traditional metaphysics. a retrospect criticising and justifying the phases of human Digitized by Google . like every great human undertaking. They were enticed at the same time by the hope of finding a new basis for the religious myths associated with that metaphysics. They were driven on by the malicious psychology of their predecessors. by result too nugatory. genial. Their criticism of knowledge was not freely undertaken.*. a conscientious reversion to the immedi- seldom practised for its own So violent a disturbance of denuiiam. when it is an ingenuous and impartial doubt. had its authors valued it for what it can really accomplish. and to establish it on a sure foundation. Science will then be seen to be tentative. In consequence their transcendentalism was not a rehearsal of the Life of Reason. The effort would have seemed too great and the ArriAre-pen.

the dangerous cure to a harmless disease. being of a buoyant disposition. The artificial vacuum thus pro- duced in the mind ached to be filled with some- and of course a flood of rhetorical commonplaces was at hand. except perhaps the possibility of being a But when a man has strained every nerve maintain an absolute fluidity and a painful fidelity to the immediate. The most heroic transcendentalists were but men. they might feel that nothing could be more exhilarating than to swim in the void. tasis. to Digitized by . altogether free from settled conditions. came from the assumption one) that a spontaneous The panic wholly gratuitous (a constructive intellect cannot be a trustworthy instrument. and if having satisfied himself that all scicareer. he can hardly be blamed if he lapses at last into some flattering myth. they could not long remain true to their logic. and having imagined that logic obliged them to abstain from every sort of hyposin romantic sincerity. and what science finds that be the properties of things cannot be were forbidden to believe in anydiscover or to trust in anything we might we could see. inducing a panic to introduce a fable. altogether the ignorant creators of each moment's vision. that appearances cannot that they are. thing We reality. fill it. which might rush in to thing. It was rather a post-rational system of theology. For a time. Such a career evidently affords all sorts of possibilities.THE LIFE OF REASON 310 progress.

one that has so expression that to be betrayals sentations. philosophical and true. It is intelligible that a pure transcendentalism of this sort should not be either stable or popu- mav ^ e admired for its analytdepth and its persistency in tracing all supposed existences back to the ex- ^ it» construe- tive impo- &T - ic perience that vouches for them. might come of mere willing. or at the waving of a diaYet apart from lectical wand. but without under- standing what we were. that finds its sciousness that skill in it is a spirit. and reinstated in the primordial assurance that we were there all was. tran- scendentalism would hear nothing of causes or grounds.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE 311 ence is fiction he proclaims some fairy-tale to be the truth. is Yet a spirit only exercise in gloating on the con- and it feels all its all its little embodiments symbols to be misrepre- a spirit evidently impotent and con- and cannot fulfil its by reaching an embodiment at once definitive and ideal. this ulterior in- consistency and backsliding into credulity. The episodes of experience. essential vocation inal task so thoroughly as transcendentalism has Digitized by Google . It is self-inhibited. not being due to any conceivable machinery beneath. and without any means though cheered by of controlling our destiny. We may excuse a school that has done one origfused. phenomena All We existed for were released from it on one all dogma flat level. the magnificent that feeling that destiny was great.

is is the primordial slime. is a in spite of its stopping short at the vegetative and digestive stage of consciousness. Maturity lies in taking reason at its word and learning to believe and to do what it bids us. the scientific discovery that is when unfamiliar and It is somewhat like man is an animal. They became consequently entangled in their profundity. pedantry.THE LIFE OF REASON 312 done its examination of the cognitive conscience. The legitimacy of the transcendental method so obvious that trifling it is baffling when understood. and mysticism three obstacles to wisdom were not absent from those academic geniuses by whom transcendentalism was first brought forth. where nothing seems to be anything but a play of variations in the imme- That what science has risen from. Inexperience. has failed to do something else to which it did not distinctly address itself and for which it if it —namely. especially allowed. transcendentalism. had no aptitude really true. for pompous language and unction. and never were masters of their purposes or diate. But to discover what is becomes necessary to note it when it is virtually disand when science is systematically disparaged in favour of a method that is merely disintegrating and incapable of establishing a this limitation. single positive truth. when not transcended. it But to stop there and make life consist in hearing the mind work is illiberal and childish. Digitized by . — — of their tools.

were thrown out during the crystallisation of a growing experience. invalidated. having no real object. accordingly was merely a set of ideas.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE 313 The dethronement of empirical knowledge which these philosophers announced was occasioned by the discovery that empirical its dependence on com. if it were make short work of all philosophy. But then history itself is a science. since lute Ego it or Absolute Life also. Theology would fare no better than science. in fission or Science its subject- matter seemed to be sucked in and absorbed by the theory that presented it.knowledge was ideal and hypothetical that terms. that what is ideal is imaginary and that what is inferred exists only in the mind that infers it. in which science was to figure as an imaginative device and a passing episode. and the Abso- articulate theory of reality. in so far as any- Digitized by Google . would. It would become necessary to retract and withdraw the alleged evolution of thought itself. so that when the history of science was written the whole substance and meaning of science was exhausted. and it is hard to see how transcendental idealism itfooled allowed. and to represent a series of events or related phenomena in time would be to pretend to impossible knowledge. its like terms all thought. This damaging implication. if it pretended to constitute an All faith would be would be proved to be faith only. History and experience would be nothing but the idea of them. self could stand.

even materialism. And this discourse. Every philosophy. It invalidates nothing in science. its professors were radi- They took the starting-point of on which they had fallen back. tal justification. would be simply an interm in the discourse that described it. if may find a transcenden- experience as it develops will no other terms. and in reverting to proto- plasm they thought they were rising to God. standing but negation and imbecility. What has reason to tremble at a demand for its credentials is surely yield not natural science. for its cally false to it. Such lucubrations. can scarcely be Digitized by . and without a future. so that we may safely conclude that such a nega- tive implication is gratuitous. It suffices. The is merely retrospective . its transcendental method use is to recover already extant more systematically conceptions and inevitable. therefore. would remain an absolute datum without a thing could be said of tegral ground. without a subject-matter. theologies it is rather those mystical or romantic philosophies of history which aspire to take its place. even if reputed certain. this sad residuum of reality. without a past. and also that in taking the transcendental method for an instru- ment of reconstruction experience. to take the supposed nega- implication tive in transcendentalism seriously to see that it a little leaves nothing Its futility. ultimate deliverance. much less does it carry with it any rival doctrine of its own.THE LIFE OF REASON 314 it.

disclosed human intellect by its own internal exerwhich is nevertheless altogether independent. Here. then. are external and independent in their ideal nature. virtue of an intended meaning and felt congruity in its terms. mind must be while . for the fictions. being eternal and indefeasible. is a conspicuous region of truth. is inherent in their essence. — That the relativity of science its being an emanation of human life is nothing against its appears best. they are declared to be inevitable. not being war- ranted by pure insight. nothing external being called in to aid. that utters The it is ephemeral. cannot be so quickly made out. while the thought to the cise. It is absolutely self-justified and is necessary before it is discovered to be so. perhaps. nevertheless it cannot be denied systemati- Digitized by Google . but these terms. which intent fixes. yet mathematical truth is as remote as possible from being personal or psychic. validity of material science.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE really credited or regarded in practice entific tenets are necessarily respected. and the ideas with which science peoples ply 315 it are sim- involuntary perceptions somewhat more its clearly arranged. whether inciden- — tally felt or not. Mathematical thinking is the closest and most intimate of mental operations. in the t ru ^ n ideal science is selfDialectic is valid by case of dialectic. justified. sci- even when This nemesis is inhabited. and the congruity between them is not created by being felt but.

It is quite true that the flux. own basis. and tia. and that constitutes our discovery that we exist as minds and are subject to dreaming. The flux of things would then go on in their own medium. and it is our knowledge of physics. and no suspicion of illusion or of qualification by mind would attach to any event in nature.THE LIFE OF REASON 810 cally. So it is in a dream . not in our minds. This is its differen- an expression. as it exists in men. is largely psychic. that marks our awakening. they would become existences in their Digitized by . a part of physics. For how are we supposed to know that * what we call facts are mere appearances and what we call objects mere We know this It is physiology. our reliance on the world's material coherence. Suppose the bodies all removed: at once the images tion. weighted with emo- mechanical relations among bodies. of formerly contrasted with those bodies would resume their inherent characteristics and mutual relation. but assures us that our senses ditions of our experience. only because the events it Were contains are effects of material causes and the images in shadows cast by it the meaning of psychic existence. that and brains are conit not for what we know of the outer world and of our place in it. Mind is are flying solid external things. we should be incapable of attaching any meaning to subjectivity. and the misunderstood transcendentalism which belittles physics contradicts its Physical dene*** presupposed creations of thought? by physics.

Physics is accordingly a science which. it has only closed its circle and justified its sovereignty. though hypothetical and only verifiable by experiment. leading us to something from itself. moving. The curious if contradiction a man would be should declare that were worthless. being due to his organs of sense. So that when. that save for their values. and that therefore these organs (since he had an idea of them) did not exist. because it is through our bodies that we perceive them. to his ideas therefore in any criticism of knowledge. under different special circumstances. coloured. It as- this brave serts that bodies are mere ideas.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE own 317 category. whereas. Were all science retracted and reduced to symbolic calculation nothing would re- main for this calculation to symbolise. we do so in the hope of transcribing our terms. which the other stages merely extend. braic Digitized by Google . is involved in history and psychology and ^^". lies in having a literal knowledge of this other thing. But such literal knowledge is the first stage of science. physics is supposed to be spirited away. is. Yet on argument idealism chiefly rests. The whole force of calling a theory merely a vehicle or method of thought. large. they would become material things. When physics has discovered the conditions under which knowledge of physics has arisen. distributed to right and left. of course. we really appeal to alge- methods of expression and think in symbols.

we might be tempted Digitized by Google . is a confusion of it with dialectic or a mixture of it with myths. ing. Were these familiar facts. symbols of nothing.THE LIFE OF REASON 318 when the reckoning is over. . A # » is impossible to base deeper foundation or to override on a by a higher science it knowledge. we must confess at the same time that the oracular substitutes for knowledge to which. facts not forthcom- machinery would the genuine reality we should have into the language of —since to rest in it is it. in our perplexities. the symbolic truth. or any eye for human history.lectic on the authority of intent and worthy j n physics on that of experiment. when phenomena expressed by it are forBut natural phenomena themselves are This the natural gotten. a part of that unfathomable compulsion by force of which we live and hold our painted world together for a moment. If we have the faculty of being utterly sincere and of disintegrating the conventions of language and religion. because they are primary They are the constitutive elements of the data. If we have any insight into mind. itself become and really given — as in the ultimate is what happens in mythology. if not an anticipation of natural science. What is called metaphysics. we must confess that knowledge is only a claim we put forth. in diaScience con tdns all trust. It knowledge . The validity of science in general is accord- ingly established merely by establishing the truth °^ * tS P art ^ CU ^ ar propositions. reality they disclose.

we have but to consult the sci- ences in detail to ascertain. having no other sanctity than that which they borrow from the To live by science requires intelligence and faith. in more modern phrase. sci- Nega- must be the attitude of reason. It is more and desirable to clarify our knowledge within these bounds than to extend it beyond them. tive. dwell. nothing stable or interesting to contem- plate except objects relevant to action —the nat- ural world and the mind's ideals. as it doubtless is. upon any hypothesis far outrunning the recorded history and the visible habitat of the same habits and human race. as far as that is in. all The moral of one piece. I think. ences especially are a mass of confusion. The The sciences possible. in the present state of science. natural impulses they play upon. Yet exactly the principles that have secured our present knowledge are still promise further discoveries.THE VALIDITY OF SCIENCE to fly. For while the reward of action is contemplation or. what we sort of a universe live from satisfactory. but not to live by it is folly. active within us. showing nature to be. sum If science thus contains the total of our and gives us the only picture °^ rea lity on which we should care to rational convictions it suffice* for the Life of Reaeon. have not joined hands and made result is as yet far their results coherent. experience and there is consciousness. 319 are pathetic popular fables. Both the conditions and the standards of ac- Digitized by Google .

already dominates. and good government. The knowledge of all relevant truth would be involved in that ideal. in his fitful. or a constant order in the outer world. good There is a path- example. is certainly approachable. and no intellectual dissatisfaction would be felt with a system of ideas that should express and illumine a perfect life. that mankind have fallen back repeatedly into barbarism and superstition. for it is as defi- and constant as human nature. remain unexplored jungles and monster-breeding lairs within our nominal jurisdiction which it is the immediate task of science to darkest spots are in man irrational disposition.THE LIFE OF REASON 320 tion lie well within the territory which science. But there after a fashion. It has been for want of good character. vail in clear. vague and remote as it yet seems. The ideal of political perfection. The himself. or personal genius. etic capacity in men to live nobly. if only they would give one another the chance. It has not been for want of keen senses. Could a better system pre- our lives a better order would establish itself in our thinking. nite THE END Digitized by Google .

or perhaps scholar of any nationality. that is also a work of remarkable book an authoritative literature. postage 1 2c. $1. PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S ALTOGETHER SONS." upon which he has been engaged for the last seven years.' ' but it is altogether the most original and brilliant statement of this general view that has yet been Mr. or at least since Berkeley. W." and critic. losophy known as «« pragmatism. made. said of the first two volumes that they form the first philosophical work since Plato. the author of that "The Greek View of Life. The different volumes consider each so different an aspect of the work by a general subject scientific — the in philosophy — that individual. Digitized by Google .25 University net. G. Lowes Dickinson. very religious. considered Professor Santayana's general view of the universe and its problems is more or less a variant of the most recent and popular phase of phi- separate works. is Professor Santayana's "Life of Reason. they may social. well be artistic.THE LIFE OF REASON Or Human Phases of Progress GEORGE SANTA YANA By Assistant Professor of Philosophy in In Five Volumes. NEW YORK most important recent by an American. Each I Harvard imo.

— REASON Family — Aristocratic Patriotism VOLUME How Nature.— REASON IN Introduction —The Birth of Reason —The — First Steps and Discovery of Natural ObSome Critics of This Discovery Nature Fluctuations First — On — Mind Discerned — Discovery of Fellow Minds — and ence — On Value of Things and —The Measure of —How Thought — Some of Value — Flux and Constancy Human jects Unified and Concretions Discourse in Ideas Practical is in Abstract Conditions Reflection the Ideal — The — The ciety — II. IV.THE LIFE OF REASON GEORGE SANTAYANA By VOLUME COMMON SENSE I. in VOLUME Love Religion Exist- in Relative the — IN SOCIETY Industry. III. Government. and Ideal — Democracy—Free War So- Ideal Society.— REASON IN — — of Industrial Art Speech and Music Plastic Construction Prose — — — Justification ART and Experience RationEmergence of Fine Art Signification Poetry and Basis of Art in Instinct ality — of Art — —The — Plastic Representation Criterion of Taste Art and Happiness. Rational Elements in Superstition Mythology The Hebraic Tradition and Prayer The Christian Epic Pagan Custom and Barbarian Genius Infused into Christianity Conflict of Mythology with Moral Truth The Christian Compromise Piety Spirituality and Its CorrupThe Belief in a Future Life tions—Charity — — — — — — — — — Ideal Immortality VOLUME The Conclusion. Digitized by Google .— REASON IN RELIGION may be an Embodiment of Reason — Magic. Sacrifice.

He proposes to traverse the whole field of modern thought and we shall gladly accompany him." Digitized by Google ." real THE is . well as think is delightful and rare. . CHICAGO "Professor Santayana. . find a philosopher . of Harvard University. Mr. . one of the few.THE LIFE OF REASON GEORGE SANTAYANA By THE LONDON ACADEMY " To who can express himself as Mr. the very few men in this who show in their style and ideas a sound educadon taking education to be a comprehension of country — the relation of the present to the past. . Indeed. has the unusual gift of being able to make literature out of philosophy. Santayana . letters as and remarkable as the content. Santayana need desire no higher praise than the assurance that he appears to many as the Elder Brother who makes them realize the charm of divine philosophy. is poet and man of the style of his volumes He writes with a of imagery. but his work on ' The Life of Reason ' is by far the most elaborate and important enterprise that he has yet projected attempted. . in whatever branch of criticism or philosophy he takes up. it promises to constitute in some ways one of the distinctive of the last few decades. as well as philosopher." contributions to philosophy NEW YORK EVENING POST " He is. without apparently finding it necessary to dilute the latter in the process. He has already deserved well of both the philosophical and general public. command of language and power DIAL. THE LONDON SPECTATOR " A remarkable achievement. . ." .

independent without being and has much to say that is ' BOSTON HERALD M It cannot fail to give its author the place among contemporary philosophers in current estimation that he has of late years occupied in the appreciation of the few familiar with his philosophic grasp and original power.THE LIFE OF REASON GEORGE SANTAYANA By THE PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW << in He is always sufficiently the least eccentric.' THE BOSTON TRANSCRIPT "He really a great psychologist. one of the most important contributions of recent years . The keen criticism which character- izes the volumes throughout is not that of barren cynicism. highly suggestive. blundering observations. or absurd analyses. His book is a mind -enlarging work and is . and endowed with a glowing style. groundless generalizations. balance. New York Digitized by Google . 1 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY " There is no writer of to-day who is more quick in more direct in laying bare false preten- perceiving and sions. Every thought he is touches upon is laid bare in its essential characteristics. clear and vivid in his special arguments. keen in his analysis of human nature and of life. His illustrations are always illuminating. but the insistent demand of a marvelously well-informed mind which is precise and well balanced in its own movement and demands a similar breadth. and precision on the part of all others who take upon themselves the responsibility of reading the characteristics of life." Charles Scribner's Sons. in the philosophical realm. .

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