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MYSORE

UNIVERSITY

STUDIES.

PHILOSOPHICAL.

THE

REIGN

OF

RELIGION

IN

CONTEMPORARY

PHILOSOPHY

CO.,

AND

MACMILLAN

BOMBAY

LONDON

LIMITED

CALCUTTA

MADRAS

"

"

"

MELBOURNE

COMPANY

MACMILLAN

THE

YORK

NEW

BOSTON

CHICAGO
"

"

DALLAS

FRANCISCO

SAN
"

THE

CO.

MACMILLAN

TORONTO

OF

CANADA,

LTD.

THE

REIGN

OF

RELIGION
IN

CONTEMPORARY

PHILOSOPHY

BY

S. RADHAKRISHNAN,
PROFESSOR

OF

MACMILLAN
ST.

MARTIN'S

THE

PHILOSOPHY,

AND

M.A.
UNIVERSITY

CO.,

STREET,
1920

OF

MYSORE

LIMITED
LONDON

COPYRIGHT

TO

M.

A.

FRIENDS

MY

CANDETH

AND

439798

T.

K.

DURAISWAMI

PREFACE

THIS

book

of the

idealism,
the
as

latter

intellectual.

the

of

game

from
end

been

absolute

religious prejudice
this

volume
is

to

from

"

the

Since
or

for

system
views.

the

limited

absolutistic
to

the

unjust
progress
statement

reign

of

the

task

the

of

"

the

game

The

view

road

clusions,
con-

has

not

istic
plural-

current

interference

the

of

spirit of speculation.

of

sophy
philo-

contemporary
how

showing

to

"

take

to

absolutism

of

its

are

taken

all

I have

in

services

said

appreciation
they

But
a

be

I take

have

vii

set

myself

to

criticism,

their

that

open

for,

am

being

or

rendered

shelter

philosopher

thinker

tive
representa-

some

through

It may

lacking

pulling

individual

each

evaluation,

exposing,

philosophy.
that

that

I have

in their

great

freedom

religion in philosophy."

implications.
of

play

other

to

of

high

possible

Even

to

well

as

which

lead

genuine

examination,

charge
to,

of

"

moral

fairly,with

rules.

outcome

with

the

it is not

the

examination

an

affording

as

they

suspect

with

undertaken

deviations

if

and

to

the

monistic

and

religious neutrality, naturally

always

are

sophies
philo-

live

two

systems

and

squarely
and

according

played

that

opinion

idealism

may

the

full satisfaction,

man

philosophy

systems

due

of

presuppositions
in

of

reasonable

more

It is my

we

In

is the

spiritual being

that

day, pluralistictheism

present

the

show

to

attempts

to

under

pieces

to

the

Green's
is

true

viii

RELIGION
of

way

discussion

"

"

so

so

for his

reverence

and

pragmatism

since

later

systems

offers to
The

day.

neo-realism
I believe

of Leibniz

and

not

are

logicalmethods.

as

since it is
the model

us

discussions of

fragmentary and

are

they

I have

greatness."

of the monadism

systems of

many

of these

PHILOSOPHY

in its characteristics

new

for

one's

showing

put in

AND

The

systems I thought it best

physical
meta-

technical

drop

to

much

so

adequate
in-

sides

of account

out

here.
It is the misfortune
has to face
about

is

the merits

wrongly

or

thought

in

world

which

that

present undertaking that it

alreadyformed

I say

here

this view.

idealism
philosophical
of the individual

is true, then

freedom

absolutism

for the first time

and

to

displacedby
which

the

are

that

of

ease

We

crabbed
lute."

to

of

Most

of the

bald

alive.

Bertrand

The

regard

to

in

only end

philosophy.

and
severity

world
the

but
here

helps to

and

Hegel,

language

"

is not

musical

as

lesser

their
of

think

to

of the
harsh
is

presented have
make

are

of texture

accustomed

efforts
speculative
in

have

we

the adamantine

looseness

philosophy

It is said

disciplesin England,

speak

Russell, and

the

systems of Kant

thinkers

style which

war

at the expense

state

styleand

feel that

mistake

historyof thought

dull fools suppose,

as

distinctive
real and

now

great

fight against enjoy

of the

wonder

mischievous

as

has

of their

philosophy cannot

man.

and

an

it

"

spirit.Secondly, the

of the classical

lesser extent

wrongly

The
a

Rightly

of the

in the

popular metaphysics. The


structure

is

recognizesthat

great reputationin the world


that

it is

But

exaltingthe

as

since it

true

systems which

in it.

politicalabsolutism.

as

its judgement

question discussed

absolutism
philosophical

to confirm

itself is the

has

of the

if what

"

its effects

came

of the

plain
and

Apollo's
a

very

philosophies

James, Bergson,

degree of Balfour,

PREFACE

Howison, and Schiller,


are
sometimes

are

we

They

to rank

the

if it

helps us

to

this

criticism,if it is

may

render.
The

That

be

of

is

definite

view

manner

positiveidealism

which

small service to the

systems themselves

of the

book
is

There

are

from

suggested by

are

of

his voyage
to

the

its results.
the

book

in the

the

system

last

course

chapter.

such.

as

of

This

The main lines


placeand occasion.
philosophical
pilgrim's
progress on

wait for another

must

scattered

of the

establishment

no

mark,

Indications

approach.

brought together in

which

the

the book

rescue

found

are

is

able
unprofit-

running throughout
of

conditioningthe

The

philosophic

charge of being wholly polemicaland negativein


There

of art.

great minds

but it will not

in to

that

Philosophy.

altogetherbeside

not

chapter is put

last

works

as

such

is some

of these

understanding

imposing

vividlywhatever

see

is in them.

strengththere
better

of

romances

painfuland perhaps foolhardy;

and

them

the conceptionsof
criticising

of

task

attractive

so

tempted

undoubtedly

are

ix

the

discovery,where

he

from

passes

metaphysicalconclusions

through

crass

the

judices
pre-

natural

dialectic of the soul.


I

request those who

what
a

I say, to remember

whole,

that

so

understood
is
as

as

that

in

statements

serve

and
to

one

reading
as

chapter might

be

I know

hope

reader

the

of

is to be taken

in another.

there, which
remind

the honour

me

the book

those
qualifying

here
repetition
it may

do

may

there

will be excused,
of the

unity

of

purpose.

Muirhead
in

due

deepest obligationsare

My

of

Birmingham

for the

reading the proofs and making


and

Hogg

to my

of the

old teacher

Madras

Christian

and

to

Professor

great trouble
many

J.
he

valuable

friend, Professor

College,who

found

H.

took

tions,
suggesA.

G.

time,

RELIGION

in

the

half

of

the

C.

the

1916);

1917)

(Mind,
1919);

'

In

the

owe

it

Bergson's
and

Bergson

Index

The

'

with

proach
ApIdea

Bergson's

Absolute

the

Vedantic

'

Idealism
Theism'

of

Monistic?'

Philosophy

Pluralistic

to

of

gave

'

1916)

of

use

appeared

(Indian

(Mind,
sophical
Philo-

1918-1919).

conclusion,

University

'Is

already

made

editors

(Monist,

Ward's

'James
Review,

'

Reality

(Quest,

God*

their

of

the

reading

views.

have

been

have

Russell,

for

their

which

articles,

periodicals,

to

with

criticisms.

Bertrand

Rashdall

Hastings

than

more

valuable

Messrs.

to

read

to

several

dealing

permission

kind

due

and

following

work,

make

also

pages

various

other

and

Schiller,
of

The

much

proofs
are

S.

proofs

in

of

thanks

My
F.

midst

PHILOSOPHY

AND

Mysore
me

in

publishers.

my

have

to

for
connection

express
the

my

gratitude

facilities

and

with

work.

this

to

ment
encourage-

the

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

SCIENCE,

RELIGION,

PHILOSOPHY

AND

CHAPTER

RECENT

TENDENCIES

II

PHILOSOPHY

IN

.26
.

CHAPTER

THE

MONADISM

III

LEIBNIZ

OF

CHAPTER

THE

PHILOSOPHY

OF

BERGSON

PROFESSOR

ABSOLUTE

AND

ABSOLUTE

AND

IDEALISM

OF

IDEALISM

CHAPTER

IDEA

92

.148

VI

.180
.

BERGSON'S

CHAPTER

BERGSON

WARD

JAMES

M.

.50

IV

CHAPTER

M.

VII

GOD
....

xi

209

RELIGION

xii

PHILOSOPHY

AND

CHAPTER

VIII
PAGE

PRAGMATISM

.222

...

CHAPTER

THE

UNIVERSE

PLURALISTIC

IX

OF

WILLIAM

JAMES

CHAPTER

THE

NEW

IDEALISM

OF

EUCKEN

RUDOLF

298
.

CHAPTER
NEW

THE

REALISM

OF

MR.

XI

BERTRAND

RUSSELL
.

CHAPTER
PERSONAL

THE

OF

AN

37"

CHAPTER
SUGGESTIONS

XIII

APPROACH

TO

REALITY

BASED

UPANISHADS
.

331

XII

IDEALISM
.

252

INDEX
"

ON

,412

453

CHAPTER

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

is

WHAT

many

are

none

is

the

of

obviously
of

the

at

of

The

with

aspects

from

the

of

whole

to

experience

its scheme.

it under
own

special

investigate,
whole
said

field
and

field of
that

reality.

This

and

not

reality

for

deals

statement

deal

with
is

it

the

of

hand,

one

spectator

of

unified

account

of

feel
its

called

Philosophy

abstractions

is true
z

in

more

explore

to
to

So

prehend
com-

has

science

upon

templates
con-

to

attempts

problem.

with

abstraction

in

each

But

himself

concerns

them

and

not

the

as

special problems

does

science

studies

whole

sophy
Philo-

reality, but

of

they belong.

as

the

to

definition

on

scientist

and

which

clue

systematic study

science

giving

at

The

reality

results

Hegel,

This

philosopher

whole.

It is

are

other.

aims

existence
as

of

systematic study

it.

it from

the

to

attempt

reality.

the

and

pursued.

words

things.
of

religion on

and

world

of

nature

aims

the

In

reality.

problems

problems

The

method

the

intellectual

an

distinguishes

and

all time

lies in

philosophy

exact

an

the

the

experience,

universally accepted.

whole

the

for

them

Science
of

of

of

consideration

art

at

are

philosophy
and

sides

of

nature

arrived

results

ultimate

the

the

by

give

to

easy

there

nature

thinking

is not

as

of

nature

the

or

PHILOSOPHY

AND

It

it, either

of

discussed,
as

philosophy

definition

take

up

its
and
the

it is

generally

and

not

than

one

with
sense.
B

RELIGION

studied by
qualities

The

separate from

several

the

sciences

do not

another, but live in close and

one

constitution

chemical

The

union.

PHILOSOPHY

AND

of

intimate

object

an

chemistry investigatesis indissolublyblended

physicalpropertieswhich

physiology has

which

nature

physicsstudies
in view.

and

exist

which

with
its

In the live

its

organic
reality,

separatelythough for purposes of science


if they were
view them
as
we
separate. Again, science
the objective
treats facts purely from
pointof view, while
philosophytreats them as items of experiencein relation
they

exist

do not

aspirationsof the thinking subject.


Philosophy studies experience as a whole, as a subjectobjectrelation,as the unity of thingswith the mind which
of them.
It cannot
be said that philosophy
is conscious
of sciences, in the
is only an aggregate of the conclusions
interests

the

to

and

the several

sense

that,

mere

assemblage of

the
a

as

of the

nature

vision

whole

propertiesof

whole

conclusions

their bits, the


will constitute

For

in every object we
have
partialvisions. There are

the
as

whole, which

not

are

sidered
con-

For example, the questions,


partialviews.
all our
Is there any
to ?
experiencecome

does

ultimate

whole.

deal with

the

by
What

all these

besides

the

sciences

in the universe

touched

by the
which
shall investigate
sciences.
We require a discipline
of reality,God, the highest good.
the ultimate
nature
We
cannot
piecetogether the conclusions of sciences and
the product to philosophy. Nor
again can
put down
philosophy be looked upon as the study of the highest
purpose

to

all

the

philosophy as

the

critic of

abstractions

common

of

business

reconcile the

acts

nature

mechanical
it

not

with

for

us

to

conclude

conflict with

granted

possiblefor
another.

one

Our

the

sciences.

that
that
in

the

the

science

relative

freedom

part of

our

intellectual

It

the

science

everything
the

to

of
in

principleof

universe, then
of
of

ethics
man.

knowledge

house

is the

sciences

If the

of sciences.

accordingto law, and


necessityis supreme

into

comes

takes

conclusions

compels

nature

not

are

cannot

to

which
It is
conflict

be divided

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

against itself.
reconcile

to

their

spheres

which

arise when

and

the

of

validity.
of

are

not

questions

viz. the whence

considered
sciences

told that

sometimes

ultimate

his mind,

things, are

philosophy
by delimiting

sciences
the

As

exercises

man

whither

sciences, we

of

conclusions

of

function

the

It becomes

the

PHILOSOPHY

AND

the

by

do not

care

but swim
only in the surface
reality,
In their pursuits,they make
assumptions
phenomena.
do.
without
philosophy cannot
inquiry,which
Physics
that
there is such
a
assumes
thing as self-dependent
Even
matter
sophical
philo; geometry takes for granted space.
sciences like logicand ethics postulateideals of
truth and goodness. It is the task of philosophy to find
how
far the premises assumed
out
by the sciences are
to

valid.

It asks

of

whether

and

matter

real

are
space
become
the

The

ideal.
of

of

go to the roots

postulatesof sciences
philosophy. Philosophy must
give
premise that it demands.
every

or

problems
logicaldefence

It

requiresthat
acceptance, shall be carefully

conclusion, before
every
considered
and
justifiedbefore
with

starts

experience and

its basis without


This

is what

ought

to

be

the aid of

Kant

builds

critical and

of

bar

its whole

he

says

structure

on

premises.

that

dogmatic.

not

It

reason.

assumed
uncritically
when

means

the

philosophy

Scepticism

is

preparation for philosophy than


dogmatism.
When
conclusions
dogmatism holds that there are some
which
not
we
question but must
accept without
may
inquiry or reason, scepticism rightlyrevolts against this
a

better

attitude

and

condemns

is the

breath

and

is the

enemy
whether

asked

of

we

being
truth

unphilosophical.Criticism

as

of

and

philosophy.

or

start

possible to
suggestions. Of
with

should

Dogmatism
We

be
may
philosophise without

knowledge.

it is

partialtheories
theories

it

course

not

be

not.

theories

But

the

which

of their serviceableness
in extraappeal to us on account
which
be theories
philosophicalrelations.
They must
claim to render
are
suggested by the facts and which
be
carried
experience intelligible.
Philosophy cannot

RELIGION

AND

PHILOSOPHY

logic: it has to depend on the constructive


by mere
intuition,
suggestionsreceived from half-formed
insight,
etc.
interpretationof experience
Philosophy as an
cannot
spin out its theories by shutting itself in a

on

dark

room

looks

at

it

by
if

on

they

science

from

away

the

world

experience,takes

note

the mind

and

of

man

of

experience. It
suggestionsforced

of the
confirms

them

as

theories,

While
explanatory value.
possess the requisite
is an intellectual attempt systematically
to study

facts, philosophy is deeper than


science

takes

in that

it is not

science

in

that

while

certain

premises on faith, philosophy is


under
to prove
an
obligation
everythingthat it requires.
and thinks
As philosophygoes to the root of the matter
to the bitter end, it is more
thoroughgoingthan science
of inquiry. It is one
with science
in the intellectual spirit
things,but

satisfied with

transcends

the

and

deeper view

to

perceptionand seeks
through objectivelaws

in

us

of them

principles.Philosophy assumes
the

towards
to

at

first appearances
of
of things as they immediately

view

present themselves
to arrive

the

whole

of human

It is because

scientific attitude

experience,and

positivefacts extracted

the

science is confined

from

merely

not

mechanical

science.

to facts which

gravitate,
and is unconcerned
with deeper facts of life and experience,
that sincere souls are
misled into thinking that
of philosophy and
science is the enemy
religion. The
exclusive worship of the positivefacts of science leads to
what
worst

call scientific

we

may
kind of

is the

metaphysics.

Yet, after all,the method


method

of science.

mainly

because

of

the whole

of

study

metaphysics,which
of

philosophyis just the

Philosophy is distinct from science


its subject-matter;it attempts to
experience.

But

are

there

not

other

Has
not
religionalso a
grasp the whole ?
similar aim, and how then is it different from philosophy?

attempts

to

and philosophyask the why and wherefore


religion
total of things and
of things. Both try to grasp the sum
the good of it all. Yet, the end in view is
understand
Both

RELIGION

the

Child

AND

will continue
it

Religion,as
which

PHILOSOPHY
the

to attract

appeals to

the

of mankind.

mass

emotions, has

philosophycannot

hope

ing
largefollow-

to have.

II
But

the

of popular religion
is detrimental
to the
spirit
interests of philosophy. Faith
unsupported by reason
is the suicide of reason, though religious
fanatics urge that
should completelysubmit
to religion
to
reason
as
answers
religiousquestions are given by supernatural revelation,
while

reason

cannot

be

need

is the instrument

infallible.

philosophyat all.
giving its opinionson

it understood
should

that

its

it continue

science.
the

According

for

was

to

Galileo

of finite

was

of

that

earth

no

religion
But

soon

be tolerated,

not

the world

judgements on

the

there is

sense.

authority would

such

as

time when

the world

deliver

held

this view

to

There

and

man

moved

of

contrary

to

of the

scripture
; he cared for truth and so did
committed
not adhere
to the popular belief which
to
was
the immobilityof the earth.
The Biblical world has been
shaken
So in sheer selfconstantlyall these centuries.
text

defence

religionwithdrew

truce

with

sense

was

of the
Thus

the

reason,

other

the

to the

it is
world

of sense,

while

the

to

world, and
Were

come.

urged, with
the

one

into

world.

unseen

finite

than

of faith and
a

made
of

world

reason,

that

revelation.

treaty, and

the

philosophy and

between

out

dealt with

of the world

world

that

province
religionentered

and

broke

is limited

declared

the

was

science

and

the

provinceof understanding and

unseen

quarrel
both

science

from

to rest

we

what
we

religionas
The sphere of reason
it cannot
say anything

logicwe
see

on

the verdict

know,

before

us.

there

is

of
no

Whatever

might have possessedas an


rationalism
of Europe,
antidote to the eighteenth-century
treated with scorn
and contempt faith and religion
which
called upon
and myth, and
not to
man
as
superstition
and
of reason
the use
his pride and birthright,
surrender
amount

of value

this attitude

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

make

of himself

slave

PHILOSOPHY

AND

tribe and

idols of the

to the

7
the

church, it is beyond questionthat the interference of faith


in

and

reason

philosophy is fraught with

in

authority

We

dangerous consequences.

of the

all doubts
God, the ideal of perfection,

dissolved,and

are

only

is cast

be consumed
its faith

and

unsettlement

cause

which

for rational

ask

to

on

chaos.

with

explanationwould
But
philosophy

allow itself to
cannot
logicalmould
which
does not insist on founding
in religion
in human
the logicalmotive
logic. Where
in the

philosophictemper
be suppressed
cannot

the

have
predominates,we
its passionfor truth, and

nature

worshipping
worshippers

told that in

are

it

by anything extralogical.
It
the

prevailingform

faith in whatever

of

religion;

its ideals if it

to

it has

to

sort

Philosophyfails of

obtains.

is unfaithful

and

unphilosophical
temper

strikes the

never

of

good

its purpose

that

assumes

question

particular

religiousbeliefs should be accepted. The temper


acquiesces in the given code, and does not ask

which
for its

show a piousdisposition
or
a good sentiment,
may
attitude.
it does not show
a
Loyalty
philosophical

reasons,

but

if

philosophy requires that

to

results

endeavour
such

as

etc., these

philosophic
popular beliefs

sincere

repudiationof

in the

faith in God,

should

be

surrendered

scruple. The whole tradition of philosophy


is a
to the antagonism of popular beliefs and
theoretical convictions.
Diogenes asked, when a certain
praised, What
philosopher was
great result has he to
show, who has so long practisedphilosophyand yet has
without

any
witness

"

hurt

nobody

prejudiceover
maintained,

"

and popular
of religion
If the supremacy
truth and philosophyhad been rigorously

there

would

religionor philosophy.
has

been

able to think

in which

religion. From
as

reaction

have

been

growth

in either

the true

philosopher
of the religion
himself, irrespective

It is because
for

no

he is born, that he has been

able to

improve

beginning philosophyhas appeared


against religion.Though the two were
the

intertwined, they
originally

had

to

separate very

early

RELIGION

for each

AND

PHILOSOPHY

Xenophanes, in the true philosophic


grow.
observed that the originof religion
is in man's frailty
:
spirit,
"

It is

to

who

men

have

their

they find again


speech ; the negro

thinks
as

how

would

depict,they

oxen."
for

me

to

seek

either

out

exist ; many
obscurityof the

would

He

he

that

had

not

to

select few

publicmind

and

which

cannot

me

from

has.
religion

the

aside from

thinking is

the

knew

oxen

of human

the

the

life."

popular

time

creed.

the

nor

petence
com-

of God.

existence

very nature
therefore secure

that in the interests of true


turn

black-

this,notably the

accept the

We

appeal only

can

the hold

on

the

It very generallyhappens
contradicts
the
popular

philosophicaltruth
and gets itself suppressed.
religion
that

If

blue-eyed.

neither

inquiry into
philosophyby its

that

being flat and

the shortness

for the
admit

their
feelings,

"

subjectand

Surely Protagoras

as

their

give to their gods the form of


It is not
sophist,declared :
if the gods exist,or if they do

things hinder

not

confessed

of them

fair and

Protagoras, the

Gods, for in these latter

shape,

own

nosed, the Thracian


to

the

created

But

there is

ing
deny-

no

religion
philosophy should

merely traditional faith


only guide to truth,but

and

beliefs.

it is

Free

riskygame.

It is far easier to defend


The

names

Descartes

of
and

popular beliefs and pet prejudices.


and
Socrates
and
Galileo,
Jesus, Bruno
and
and
Locke, Hume
Spinoza, Hobbes

Kant, Voltaire and


to

Rousseau

are

witnesses

to philosophyand
oppositionof religion
truth.
These
to the conservatism
testify

the

danger

downwards
the
sake
from

of free
it has

thinking.
been

From

the lot of

the

time

tional
tradi-

of the state
of

man

and

of Socrates

to
philosophers

popular conceptionsof religionand


of their ideals.

the

to

suffer

criticise
for

the

of church and state were


powers
the beginning of time employed to suppress
sophical
philoIt is supposed
heresies,but without
success.
The

temporal power is no longer so anxious to proceed


against disagreeablephilosophicalopinions as of old,
but the tyranny of popular beliefs and religious
practices
than
have in republican countries is much
now
worse
we
that

SCIENCE,

that

of the

at the
us

service

of

truth

much

How

despot.

worst

PHILOSOPHY

AND

RELIGION

9
is

generally

prejudiceis strikinglybrought

home

to

of the intellectuals of every country,


and see
truth, when
to sift evidence
they assert

the statements

by

trained

disconcertingto a degree, that


in the
their own
country is right and every other wrong
They are using their intellects to justify
present war.
with

naivete* which

the

of
policies

and

invective

is

and

their countries

pour

Integrityof thought

their enemies.

on

vials of wrath

out

is

of state
the handmaid
truth-seekinghas become
policy. In the belligerentcountries at the present day
the intellectuals must
think, if they think at all,in one
If they show
particularway.
any independence they do
lost and

so

the

at

is

There

risk of their lives


no

of

use

of action.

their freedom

or

to

of impartiality.
any profession
notorious
become
order.
It has

no

philosopherwill

making

We

must

think

how

in

does

men
state, and if there are
deify the German
feel conscientiously
that this war
is an
evil, they
thrive
in free England. In some
cases
even

Germany

who

not

who
cannot
even

universities

state

does

It

tolerated

be

not

have

or

is useful
The

error.

philosophyfollows
of state.

Before

have

to

seem

supports what

half-truth

become

the servant

of

forces

also mobilised

we

see

It looks

diplomacy.

it be

in this

the

become

how

The

for

follows

It has

eyes

dominated.

concern
any
it,whether

Church

both.

our

to

state

truth.

truth,

state

and

department

intellect has become


as

if the intellectual

Spiritualpowers
are
Religion
being exploited for temporal interests.
is made
the mills of state authority. We
have
to turn
another
evidence
of the same
tendency of thought to be
unfree in the many
at the present day to
attempts made
were

reconcile

with
Christianity

on

the Mount

on

its lines cannot,

four hours.
of the
we

can

is a counsel

and

war

force.

as
perfection,

The

Sermon

state conducted

declared,last for twentyJesus,the saint of non-resistance,is the fiction


as

theologian. We
love

of

war.

him

Bismarck

can

at best

pity him
but

not

but not

worship

admire

him.

The

him

real

RELIGION

io

Jesus is not
the

the

who

one

lent

and

PHILOSOPHY

bade

who

one

used

is muscular

AND

the other

turn

us

cheek, but

the scourge in the temple. Christianity


militant.
but using the swords
We
are

Thus
is Christendom
by God.
mocking the pure
and
spiritualreligionof Christ.1 Philosophy has truly
become
the findingof bad reasons
for what
believe
we
us

"

"

instinct

upon

support the

(Bradley). If
of force, we

use

instincts

our

lead

us

to

philosophydo so ;
non-resistance,philosophy

make

if

our

they tend in the direction of


would
for that.
It dignifies
give reasons
feelingand faith
and confirms
prejudicesand partialities.
At the present day a system of philosophyis judged
not by its truth and objectivevalue, but by its conformity
with
the prevailingreligiousviews.
sophy
Systems of philolike absolutism
dismissed

as

not

condemn
the

which

fail to

satisfythis test are


rejected as reprehensible

dangerous. They are


because
they are untrue,

the idols of the

tribe and

but

because

corrupt

the

they
youth of

prejudiceof religionhas penetratedso


which
deeplyinto the world of philosophy that a discipline
ought to be the most unprejudicedin the world has become
blinded
of the tyranny of dogma or the herd
account
on
instinct.
ficed
The
philosophicconscience is violentlysacricountry !

The

of inquiry
instinct,and the free spirit
religious
The independent
has been replacedby slavish imitation.
voice of philosophy becomes
the echo of the street cry.
think
in conformity with
We
Christian church, a
a
this tendency
German
court
or
a
mob-cry. Wherever
Mediaeval
has prevailed,philosophy has suffered.
The
Roman
Catholic tradition thought that Aristotelianism
the only true philosophy because
it alone was
conwas
to the

Cf. Mr.

Wells

in God

the

the

greatness

and

But
a

know

risen
in the

militant

of Christ, the
submission

We

remotest

on

are

We
the

of

the

militant

new

faith

followers

appreciate and admire


nobilitythe theologians
God,
our
quality of all from

We

God.

gentlebeing

is the

"

King.

of non-resistance.

repudiate
teaching
of, and participatorsin, a
trade.

the Invisible

can

whose

of his likeness
as
we
figureis the completest inversion
Chr
for
its
st
which
shows
daily symbol
Christianity
far
would
be
broken
and
more
cross
trampling victoriouslyon a
spiritof our worship
(pp. 122-3).
moribund

him.

"

sistent
which

with

revelation

the arrest

and

have

philosophy,it puts

down

religionin

could

be

not

is

truth

and

which

we

of

and

truth

scientific

it may

owns

the scene,

of

most

be.

The

carried

philosophy

the

intellectual

it in order

do business

vulgar seek

to

; the

fame

end,

habits

to

of

it is to

we

philosophy
admits
only the
else.

The

in the

out

the knee

low

universal

level

sophy
philoon

the

even

at

which

system
and

thorough

of

examination

and

appears

the

of

result

True

appealsto
The

to

truth

and

move.

certing
discon-

of

logical
reality.

He cares
practicalend in view.
His one
duty is to search for truth
Life resembles
a
spectacle. Some
participatein the contests ; others

best to look

and

and

or

no

"

(Diogenes Laertius,
external

In

he bends

minds

the

it

and
frightful

however

and

destroy error.

own

as

spirit
philosopher acknowledges

wherever

But

philosopherhas
for gain or fame.

attend

its

street

guide. It
subject to none
be

must

truth

philosophyshould be
inquiry,founded upon

to

the

believes

true.

were

if it passes current
thinker, this only shows

trained

and

crude

view, he subordinates
policyor a religious
something else to be higher than that.
then disappears and the spurious type

state

not

it

is

research.

nothing higher than

The

all

trained

were

unless

happy

philosophical
attempt
of

If the

in

man

of it

energy.

goal and logicour

our

ideal

one

result

philosophicdevelopment.
the

theory

of Christian

The

anathema.

religion of

effort

mundane

the

other

religion. Any

was

Speculationabout suprathingsis profitless.But philosophyinsists that


no
right to take a thing as true simply because

of

waste

we

of

undeveloped

dominates

PHILOSOPHY

be fitted into the framework

not

religionand
was

Christian

the

could

AND

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

money

Proem.
to

make

mistake

on

so

it is in life.

The

philosopherstruth
8, viii. 16). Philosophy
;

it

"

the

means

its function.

to

The

is

anything
mental

present-day philosophersprove that they have


not
the right view
of philosophy. Nonof the nature
their intellectual views.
logicalelements
help to make
Prejudicesand traditions,suggestionsand motives which

RELIGION

12

AND

PHILOSOPHY

be

assimilated with the central philosophistrictly


cal
spiritcontinue to give the systems of philosophythe
forms which
And
hind
beNietzsche observes :
they have.
all logic and its seeming sovereigntyof movement
there are
valuations, or to speak more
plainly,physiological
cannot

"

demands
of

life

for the maintenance

of

definite mode

"

(Beyond Good and Evil, i. 3). Present-day


thinkers
force, unintentionally
tations
perhaps, their interpreinto the scheme
of things and
what
justify
they
and unreasonably. Philosophyhas become
want
arbitrarily
a list of beliefs held
by faith and not a reasoned
system of metaphysics. Independence of thought,which
is the breath and life of philosophy,
has become
rare, and
the progress of philosophyis checked.
And so a few philosophers
with

the

stray sheep,and
the

of

method

true

vision

tell them

arise and

that

science

in

call to order

the

philosophyshould
attitude

an

of

pursue
ethical and

religiousneutrality."It
and

motives,
religious

is my
belief that the ethical
in spiteof the splendidly
tive
imagina-

they have given rise,have been on


the whole a hindrance
to the progress of philosophyand
thrust aside by those who
to be consciously
ought now
wish to discover philosophical
truth.
It is, I maintain,
that
from
science, rather than from ethics and religion,
Method
philosophy should draw its inspiration (Scientific
in Philosophy,pp. 3-4; see
also Our
Knowledge of the
is
Russell
External
World, chapter i.). Mr. Bertrand
sophy
quite right in emphasising the need for freeing philosystems

to which

"

from
and
up

the

without
true

and

external

tions
creeds, tradi-

institutions.

If

is its motive
of the purpose
of life. Truth
inspiration.It must developin obedience to this one
estimate

not

producing
we

of

trammels

philosophyrequiresus to give
do so
of humanity, we
sacred
heirlooms
must
hesitation or scruple. It is its task to give us a

standard.
does

the

It may

Logic

matter.

results

adopt it,we

lead to

which

must

results,but
disagreeable
is like

were

follow

calculatingmachine

and if
anticipated,
rightthrough whitherso-

never

it

that

RELIGION

14
ideas

PHILOSOPHY

AND

help us over the dismal places in


life" (Prof.Thilly,Philosophical
tellectua
Review, xvi. 123). Infreedom
is the greatest hope of the world.
It is the
pate
intelligentsia to emanciduty of the
thought from its bondage to state or church or
instinct
wealth
or
or
prejudice. Only intellect will
enable us to see without
glasseslife as it is and ultimately
feel that a
make
us
gloomy truth is a better companion
It is absurd
to
through life than a cheerful falsehood."
think that suffering
live without
some
humanity cannot
should

happen

to

'

'

"

lie

or

other

minds

with

it.

console

to

soothing

We

should

not

We

must,

illusions.

corrupt

want.

we

want

we

It is not

it fails to

because

the

or

black

make
it

"

white,

the world

giveus
God

to discredit

rational

The

want.

we

we

white, though it may


does

nor

the

fact

George

as

We

opium.
try to do without
says,
it
does
not
discredit intellect simply because
Eliot

our

cannot

give us what
the intelligence

want

or

the heaven

direst need

persuade

cannot

paint
hypotheses happen to

that

to

us

make
pleasethe will to believe or succeed in this sense
most
these hypotheses true
(ibid.
daring
p. 122). The
and
observes
is
There
:
logical empiricist,Hume,
of reasoning more
and
method
no
common
yet more
in philosophicaldebate, to endeavour
blameable
than
the refutation
of any
hypothesisby a pretence of its
and morality. When
to religion
dangerous consequences
an
opinion leads into absurdities, it is certainlyfalse,
but it is not certain that an
opinion is false because it
is of dangerous consequences
(Inquiry,pp. 136, 137).
"

"

"

himself

showed

Hume

declared

that

his

devoted

votary of truth when

philosophy could

needs.

Arguing from consequences


procedure. So many thingswhich we
been

have

votaries

yet

normal

satisfypractical

alone, is

the

world

rounds.

abandoned.

We

has not

to a

come

not

have

occasions
the

It is

the

deluge if

abandoned

stop.

valid

be true

thought must

proved to be false. On so many


of religionconfidently
prophesied

certain beliefs were

and

not

he

them

going its

PHILOSOPHY

AND

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

15

III

urged that philosophyhas

It is

business

no

its attention to the intellectual demands

aspects of human

there

as

will.

feelingand

nature,

to confine

other

are

Certainly,

philosophyis an intellectual attempt to organisethe


tional.
voliand
of experience,intellectual, emotional
whole
but

It takes

other

into account

sides of human

nature

In tracing the
cognitive and their needs.
sophy
genesisof man's attitude to reality,philopsychological
that the promptings of the heart, feelings
knows
the
and
nature
unseen
towards
aspirationstowards
Emotions
determine his outlook.
generallycontrol ideas.
will be revealed
of reality
not merely to
The true nature
the

than

nature, but

intellectual

man's

the

to

other sides

well.

as

philosophyshould cease
do not sing or muse
In philosophywe
to be intellectual.
that
It is its intellectuality
think.
but
distinguishes
philosophyfrom art and religion.To say that philosophy
this it does

From

should

cease

not

to be

intellectual

So

long

as

believe

we

it will

the

be

possess
attributes to them.

being hungry
writes

evidence
which

of

"

the

reason,

we

manner

says :
bread."

have

of

or

Nor

reason
no

itself to his consciousness.

authenticates

may
does

Professor

least

at

of

ignorance

feelingmay

in which

knowledge,

no

They
"

Psychicalfact

The

subjecthas

knowledge,

that

an

immediate

subjectin his

Arnold

is

abandoned.

feeling and

the

of

demands

trust itselfto them.

Matthew

prove

answer

with

which

value

the

Varisco

universe

the

attempt of philosophycannot

philosophy deals
it ought not to
experience,

the

that

the

discomfiture

the

While

not

the

to

that
reality,
intelligible
reason,

be to surrender

would

admit

and

philosophicalattempt
reason.

that

follow

be
of
clear
But

also be that the value of that fact is very different


it may
that which
the subjectin his ignorance attributes
from
to it.

done

For

child is irritated

instance, one

him, another by
As observed
facts,the

scoldingwhich

two

will
feelings

by

an

he

has

be

very

injustice
deserved.

similar

16

RELIGION

but

the

first is

d'etre of the

AND

PHILOSOPHY

reasonably justifiedwhereas

second

lies in

the

raison

mental

which
disposition
of the Divine is justified,
ought not to exist. The feeling
shall see ; yet not all the opinionsbased upon
it
as we
opinionswhich in a man
incapableof deep reflection could
have
other foundation
no
are
justifiable"
(The Great
The true nerve
is the genuine thought ;
Problems, p. 8).
the thought is true can
the feeling
and only when
be of
a
(Hegel). Philosophy as the study of
genuine kind
etc., but
experienceas a whole takes note of feelings,
a

"

"

"

"

attempts

to render

full

reasons

also

Religious feelingmust

for
pass

everything it accepts.
through the fire of

"

metaphysicalthinking. Religiousexperience,
peculiarly
considered
so-called,needs, in my opinion,to be carefully
and interpreted
out a
by every one who aspiresto reason
more
complete philosophy" (James,Pluralistic Universe,
that experiencehas improved by
p. 30). It is undoubted
of its irrationality.
the discoveryof much
Unanalysed or
undiscussed
experienceis not conclusive as much of it may
lectual
be irrational.
If philosophy should neglectextra-intellife it is open to condemnation.
itself onlywith
in the interests of theoryconcerns

aspects of human
If

reason

sopher
justified.A philosides of experienceis
who
neglectsnon-rational
is ever
the chartered metaphysician of Lord Morley who
what.
after he knows
in hunt
not
Philosophy is not
tion,
merely a pieceof consistent thinkingor cogent ratiocinabe consistent
for fantastic fairytales may
though
not
true, but a fruitful rendering of the meaning of
who
trusts to
experiencein its entirety. The empiricist
in it ;
experience believes in the operation of reason
only he is not quite consistent. While he is vacillating
of experience,the
reasonableness
in his faith in the
philosopheris wholly in earnest about it. It is unjust
in the interests of theory it
to discredit philosophywhen
studies the whole of experience.Philosophyis an attempt
to construct
a
theory about realityas a whole.
As the absolutistic systems of philosophywhich
deny

theory, then

the

distrust

of

it is

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

the surface

views

PHILOSOPHY

AND

and

the world, God

about

17
man,

are

mostly rationalistic,James declares that philosophy


should be empiricist,radicallyempiricistif possible.
There

is

in the

sense

doubt

no

that

it must

experience.

The

difference between

false is, that

while

to the world

of

of and

arise out

true

at its

the world

or

empiricist

be built upon
empiricismand

to confine

the false wants

sense

be

philosophyshould

that

experience

surface,the

true

cism
experience.False empiribelieves in sense
feelings,
phenomena, immediate
and
True
empiricism
rejectsdeeper realities.
impulses,
is radical in that surface phenomena and highestreligious
intuitions both form its data.
The scientific empiricism
of the nineteenth century viewed
experienceas limited
takes

for its field the whole

to the world

the

confine

But
our

when

now

former

the

idolatry. The

went

empiricism

the immediate

to

believe in

asks

to

the

us

to

certainties and

life,the higher interests of truth

of

jeopardised. The
materialism

radical

attention

felt intuitions

As it did not

time.

then
physical,
religion

the

spherebeyond

wall.

and

in space

of

latter

scientist calls himself

in

atheism

and

religiousdogmatism and
experience is ambiguous. The

'

term

resulted

are

in

'

believer

in

experience.But he
confines experienceto the objective
facts,eliminatingall
the subjective
factors.
Everything else but the object,
He argues that
though not unreal,is neglectedby him.
if these subjective
fears and aspirations
and ideals should
a

then the scientific attitude is given up, and the


interfere,

religiousattitude adopted.

Final

causes

and

other

pressions
ex-

of the

which are regardedas


subject's
feelings
unscientific are
just the data for religious
experience.
While science investigates
the order of nature, religion
concerns

itself with

satisfied with
to

one

scientific law

the salvation

of the soul.

Science is

side of
:

the side which is open


experience,
is satisfied with feelings
and
religion

aspirations.The ideal of science is abstract intelligibility


;
that of religion
satisfaction of human
feelings.These
two become
opposed as their fields are reallyabstractions
c

RELIGION

i8

AND

PHILOSOPHY

from

experience. In experience the subjective and


sides exist together. While science and religion
objective
in employing different conceptionsin their
are
justified
in refusing
to what
spheres,they are not justified
reality
is outside their scope.
Religionwhich considers its facts
to be

immediate, real and

most

concrete

physicalfacts as unreal ; nor can science


side of experienceas non-existent.
subjective
the

of

experience,scientific

philosopher. But

the

and

of his
of

he
pursuit,
philosophyis

himself

with

ends

as

Witness

science

he

could

not

thought
be

this

over

When

whole
of

on
predilections

sense

in that

untrue

that

the process
bias, the cause

philosopheridentifies

narrow

was

reduced

philosophybecame

get

something

He

Descartes.

with

starts

in the
or

The

the

and if,in
religion,

or

ruined.

materialist

when
which

does

dismiss

is the problem
religious,

if he

the side of either science

dismiss

cannot

of the term

neighbourhood.

to the ideal of

sophy
philo-

only those thingswere

to

he

mathematical

form.

true

His

sophy
dogmatism which the critical philoeliminated, though,unhappily,not for good. The
scientific spiritwhich
with
starts
a
narrow
prejudice
life
against religiousexperience,and thinks the inward
of the mystics to be a worthless
dream, is not the true
philosophicspirit.The data of science and religion,
and meditation
observation
the field of philosophy.
are
We cannot
say that scientific experiencealone forms the
basis of philosophical
speculationas art and moral life
are
equallyvital and profound. Science is not the sole
is not a tissue of illusions. Radical
truth and religion
empiricismconsists in takingnote of all sides of experience,
facts of religious
faith,moral ideals and spiritual
intuitions,
as

The

well

as

modern

the crust

of the earth and

system which goes

under

the stars of the


the

name

sky.

of radical

empiricismis solicitous only about the claims of the plain


to terms
man.
Early Englishempiricism wished to come
but
with
with
science, dogmatic rationalism
religion,
modern
empiricismwith the plainman's faith.
Religionis a subjectto be investigatedby philosophy

is any

as

AND

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

other

side of

experience. It

problem of philosophy as

the

which

has

therefore

deeper than

more

While

and

rests

their worth.

aspect of human

an

on.

If

with

equal

need

for God.

about
to

some

Religionis

feel assured

men

vehemence

assert

There

the existence

are

nature

religion
dogmaticallyasserts
its proof on the feeling
of the
estimate

there is

that

they

who

and

third and

that

men

them

practicalattitude

one

is another, materialism

atheism

life as

to

system of values

to
heart, philosophy tries critically

evaluate

essentially

more

consider.

reveals

intellect.

its scale of values

it assumes

also to

Religiousfaith

other.

is

19

Religiousfacts
for philosophythan any
significance

philosophy

have

PHILOSOPHY

God, others

do

so

feel any
honest doubts

have

not

God, who are willingto subscribe


the agnostic's
prayer, O God, if there be a God, save
if I have

soul

my

When

philosophy sets

theory of

the universe

creeds.

It

well

which

comes

those

as

to scrutinise

of

view

no

WTiile the

valuable

with

of

it may

the

the sacred

of

and

for

of

constructinga
prevailing
religious
of the

East

the Christians.

as

It has

it be

itself in its upward

for inviolable

with

the

consent

is entitled to

philosophy,still no
be

life.

to

intuitions
accept religious

not

takingthem

unless

attitudes

books

has entertained

It does

philosophy

and sophisms with


superstitions

consciousness
religious

the hands

at

its task

Hebrews

man

their face value,

accepts

about

it meets

the stock

the mind

It is the task of

of these several

across

of the

spiritualascent.
at

soul !

the values

estimate

to

of

truths.

It

of

logic.
recognition

however
institution,

life,is consented

to

until

hard

it.1
reasoningjustifies

We

see

"

baseless

is the

is intellectual leads to

which
1

how

Our

age

charge

that

divorce between

is,in especial degree, the age

criticism

of

philosophy
theoryand

criticism,and

to such

everything must submit.


Religion through its sanctity,and
seek
from
to exempt
themselves
lawgiving through its majesty, may
awaken
and
it. But they then
claim
the
sincere
cannot
just suspicion,
accords
able to sushas been
reason
tain
respect which
only to that which
the test of free and
Kant's
C.P.R.,
(Prefaceto
open examination
ist edition).
"

RELIGION

20

life.

AND

PHILOSOPHY

This

charge that metaphysics is discontinuous with


life has been urged since the time of Aristotle.
The term
that to philosophise
means
metaphysics is apt to^suggest
turningone's back upon the natural or the scientific world.
It has been
thought that metaphysics as dealing with
thingsairyand unsubstantial has no basis in experience.
Aristotle did not mean
by it anythinglike this. He meant
outside
a
study of pure being which has existence even
the realm of science.
Philosophy is the science of being
in general and
of matter
of nature.
not
Aristotle,
or
to
Platonism, took his stand on
opposed as he was
experience and tried to account for it. Philosophyis not
divorced from life as its problem is provoked by -lifeand
for life.
is tested by its adequacy to account
as its validity
It is a confusion
of thought to suppose
that because
philosophy is interested in theory it revels in theory.
Philosophyis no doubt a theory,but it is not a theory of
theory,but a theory of life,and therefore it is at home in
'

'

life and

not

starts with

and

It
region of false abstractions.
the given,comprises all the given in a totality,
in

far-off

that total vision redescends

from

it and
it insists that

transform

it if necessary.

ethical and

stand
givento underSimply because

to the

conclusions should
religious

control

discussions,it does not


philosophical
philosophy has nothing to do with ethics
After
of
but

all,we

of conduct

vision.
and

purpose

or

have
and

an

effect

life need

Philosophywhich

of life will have

some

on

not

life and

Views

conduct,

disturb the

estimates

the

that

religion.

think to live,but do not live to think.

philosophywill
views

follow

not

sopher's
philo-

meaning

for life and


significance

religion.Religionis ultimatelydependent on philosophy,


and the two
be kept in separate compartments.
cannot
Religionis only an applicationof a metaphysic to life.
if it does not furnish
And
no
philosophyis worth its name
beliefs
an
explanationof religion. It is better if religious
reasoned
in agreement with
are
metaphysicalthinking.
should
Instead of tryingto make
we
philosophyreligious,
if possible.If thought does
make
religionphilosophical

RELIGION

22

AND

PHILOSOPHY

doctrine, displaced polytheism.


early Hebraic
The later shadowy theism of Christianity
is a compromise
of philosophy and
the Absolute
between
the God
of
itself the God
of Moses
religion. In the Old Testament
the

by

is not the God

of Isaiah ; in the New

by Christ

revealed

is not

the word

Testament

the Father
of the Fourth

incarnate

mind
Gospel. At the present day the religious
satisfied with a theistic religion
of
be perfectly

modified

factory
satisimpossiblethat something more
from the philosophical
point of view may replace
enthusiasts
for particularreligious
beliefs look
When
philosophyas an unsettlingforce, they have only

type, and
it.
upon
to

to

seems

be

it is not

told

beginning.
Gods.

new

would

have

would

have

True
there

that

philosophy has

that

from

the

disturbingfaith and introducing


Were
religionin the ascendant, persecution
been the fate of all philosophers,and there
been no growth in religion.
It has

been

philosophywill result

cannot

been

be

as ultimately
religion,

conflict between
because

it is

faith

and

reason.

particularreligion,
but because
it is a philosophicalreligion. When
we
say
and true philosophywill agree, we do not
that true religion
that the religious
mean
experienceof the primitivesavage
and
the totem
worshipper will be acknowledged to be
that the specialist
valid by the philosopher. We
mean
the mystic with his experience,wisdom
in religion,
and
After all,
insight will agree with the rational thinker.
as
Royce said, the mystics are the only thoroughgoing
Reality reveals itself in two different forms
empiricists.'
to the mystic and to the thinker, and ultimatelythe two
should harmonise
with each other.
Unity and harmony
the relation of true religionto genuine
ought to mark
between
the different
There is no secret hostility
reason.
itself
most
sides of human
nature.
Philosophy when
and religion
in its deepestaspectswill be
will be religious,

The

religionis

any

in true

true

not

'

AND

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

PHILOSOPHY

23

philosophical.A religioussystem, though the terminus


of philosophic
study,should not be its governing influence.
It does

well

not

augur
philosophyif

future

for the

the
religionbecomes
dominating motive of philosophy.
or

of either

religion
and
starting-point

VI
It
the

the

is

problems

and

that

case

philosophersapproach

many
of philosophyfrom
for

religion. Hegel,

the

example,

direction
had

of ethics
very

keen

objects of religion.But
he did not
adopt without
inquiry the dogmas of the
of his time.
He sought to find a
religiousconsciousness
for them.
While the absolutist
justification
philosophical
the side of
thinkers generallyapproach philosophyfrom
ethics and religion,
they do not make ethics and religion
the criteria of their philosophy. These
set the direction
them
of their thought but they do not pursue
to greater

appreciationof

fact

The

lengths.
modern

the

and

aims

that

the

greatest absolutist

thinkers

both
Hegel, who
started
from
the side of ethics and
religion,ended in
the prevailingreligiouscreeds shows
that
conflict with
they did not use logic and philosophy to support the
of their times.1
Sheer logic compelled
religiousconvictions
of

philosophy, Spinoza

them

to assert

that all is

pluralityis subordinate
spirit. Whatever
charges
of

absolutist, it cannot

and

in God,

one

fundamental

the

to

be

may
be said with

and

do not

Though

it is admitted

ethical and

make

on

all hands

the

prevailingreligion,the

But

the

fact

Christian

theology

of

from
of

the

side

of

dispassionate

considerations
religious

attempts.

with

that

unity

any proprietythat their


their religious
convictions.

interfere in their
1

the world

urged against the

biassed
philosophieswere
by
Though they approach philosophy
religion,still they pursue the method
research

and

his

system

is

enough

case

that

is not

requires us
for

our

Spinoza

quite
to

so

introduce

purposes.

came

obvious

into
with

conflict

Hegel.

modifications

in

RELIGION

24

AND

PHILOSOPHY

VII

Simply

because

rests on
say that religion
not be thought that it has

we

logic,it should
Religion is necessary to educate and
help him to rise above his baseness
not

It

serves

as

balm

or

securingfor it peace
conceptionof God as
effects

the

on

religionhas

mind

been

and

judge and

value.

no

work

upwards.

troubled

the

solace

soul,

of heart.

It is to

throughout

the

and

man,

the fear of hell have

of man.1

used

and

opiate to

an

of mind
a

ennoble

faith and

be

The
their

noted

world

that
the

from

of overcoming resistance
as a means
beginningof history,
in the exercise of authority. The worst
kind of slavery
been

has

has been

perpetrated and
because
possible

religionshould

If

which

purpose

be

defended
do not

we

in its
ask

for faith.

reasons

rid of its evil effects and

it has

in

This

name.

view, it should

be

the

serve

supported by

philosophy.
VIII
the

Philosophy as

pursuit of truth has a practical


truth givesintellectual comfort.
The

interest,seeing that
world

see

we

around

is

us

presence of evil,miseryand
There
to be solved.
are
demands

the

to
not

in

make

theology.

this shows

meaning
of the

As

that
and

the

value

are

problem
for

inadequacy of

of

evil did

world's
have

not

interested

The

us.

the

If the

would

us, we

rule, we

The

chaotic.

in it makes
it a riddle
suffering
no
people who are impervious

of this world.

appeal to

an

bewilderingand

in

any

and
religion,

philosophy also
individual

finite world.

He

interest

has

its

is conscious
feels it to be

incomplete and in need of supplementation. He falls


back
on
religiousfaith for the needed
complement.
of
Instead
the philorelyingon the dogmas of religion,
sopher
tries to
1

Cf.

"

Some

think

things

probably discard,
being of multitudes

about

which

discard

and
"

(Lecky,

it all and

highly

without
The

cultivated

get intellectual
intelligencewould
essential

danger, are
Map of Life, p. 227).

to the

moral

RELIGION

SCIENCE,

An

satisfaction.
would

look

the

is

the

and

attitude

this

of

product

is

world.
the

the

He
is
he

that

intellectual

only

not

and

or

life
What

is

with
the
is

animal

life
of

the

not

the

truth

of

He
to

current,

but

of

central
it

all"?

have

by

live

also

nature

feels

reality.

life

an

off

or

reached.

as

to

until

tematic
sysMan

philosophical

metaphysical
and

feeling

impulse
He

sophy
Philo-

philosophy.

of

sophise.
philo-

claim

rest

is

is

sense.

on

lays

problem

is

content

the

who

but

surface

but

put

can

but

the

doubt.

to

not

facts

cannot

cannot

animal

is

common

will

man

world

animal.

light
the

being

called

not

the
of

duty

man

is

even

view

on

he

the

human

political

He

drift
in

of

religious

being.

feel

struggle
But

the

as

think,

that

nature

it

though

uncriticised

to

but

of

solution
is

is

this

observation

vague

man

Every

above

The

of

between

reality.

reflection

crude

something

not

chooses.

level

view

cannot

of

unphilosophical,

the

of

nature

that

world

the

temper

conflict

believe

systematic

by

is

It

As

is

fearful

philosophy,

any

excited

only

of

becomes
It

as

25

irreligious

or

would

and

omega

philosophical.
the

universe

forces

alpha

PHILOSOPHY

unphilosophical

upon

opposing

two

AND

cannot

to

see

but

will
his

ask,

CHAPTER

RECENT

IN

I.

Chapter

from

science

its method.

If

we

have

by

its

It

is the

abandon

we

with

and

aims

theory

of

in

and

beliefs

quote

may

find

the

assumption,

proof,

of
into

to-day

such

unscientific
can

fall

"

that

it

proof

is

is the

lowest

(Preface

by

was,

find

we

for

as,

ever

it,

instance,
to

be

demand

of

an

of
soul

William
26

but

instance

we

of

sophers
philo-

intellects.

that

is necessary
of

articulate

irreligious agnosticism

the

blossoming
to

which

James

but

scholasticism,

moreover,

to

of

believe
and

unscientific,

depth

of

thinkers,

their

susceptible

that

popular

philosophic

sin

besetting

in

logic,

earnestness,

anything
be

of

do

As

the

necessary

with

spirit

The

attempt

conflict

them.

was

identical

and

not

of

nature.

guidance

absolutism

that

method

becomes

present-day

"

must

and

corollaries,

without

as

this

the

religion by

distinctive

moral

or

by

been

belief

rampant

as

We

some

James

from

logical

the

into

comes

by

distinguished

philosophical

follow

But

namely,

of

way

its

is

objective

an

fervour

assumption

an

the

The

to

rebuked

always

We

the

it

adopted

William

has

in

has

doing

severely

even

of

philosophy

seriousness.

is not

and

philosophy

method,

religious

logical

inquiry

application

prevailing religion.

philosopher
only

philosophy

mysticism.

so

PHILOSOPHY

subject-matter,

universe

though

even

how

constructing

at

the

IN

seen

gives

this

religion

which

is

TENDENCIES

that

explanation

II

to

out

anything
that

thinking

Paulsen's

to

be

mind
Intro-

to

content

with

and

to

for

the

as

logic

distrust

substitute

thereof,

of intellect for the absolutism

be

to

us

seek

not

philosophyand

disown

proof, to

and
religion,

and

faith

27

short, James asks

In

Philosophy).

Auction

PHILOSOPHY

IN

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

latter leads

'irreligious
agnosticism.'

II
has led to this

What
habit

thinking ?

of soft
made

ableness

conception

the test

of

philosophy

accidents
been

had

are

wished

Kant

mathematics.

spell of

the

under

Descartes, Spinoza and

philosophy
responsible. For long!
of

method

and

function

the

historical

certain

change in standpoint,to this new


belief or serviceWhy is religious
For this change in the
of truth ?

systems of philosophymathematical

to

in their

reach

certainty.

the

But

who
reached
in Kant
clearly
tendency was
lect
established
of human
the possibilities
knowledge. Intelshowed,
dominated
ideal, Kant
by the mathematical
busied
itself only with
the external
show, the unreal
end

of

this

shadow.

freedom, etc., could

God, human

by
sounded

reason

the
ideal

only be felt by the heart.


values which
danger to human
of knowledge carried with it.

Thus

but

Bossuets, Rousseaus

and

Hamanns

rose

be established

not

Kant

matical
the mathePascals

and

sought
up and
could support the

for faith alone


refugein faith and feeling,
later
validityof the values of spirit.1But Hegel who came
ideal.
clearlyestablished the limits of the mathematical
The soul of philosophy which
lulled into sleep in the
was
universities
theology-ridden
not

come

to

in the

even

its

days

Hegel. It was
standpoint of
1

Lotze

but

own

of mind

reborn

when

Kant.

With

opposed intellectualism
According to him

of values

for the
is the

fullest revelation
true

basis

ages, and had


in other fields

middle

wandering
in
regained its consciousness
Hegel negated the narrow
life
Hegel's emphasis on

was

of Kant,

religiousneeds.

of the

in
we

of

the
must

reality.

of metaphysics.

of

interests
look

to

Moral

the
life

ethical

and

highest forms
or

the

world

28

RELIGION

and

it
purpose,
danger to human

recovered

AND

recognised that philosophyspeltno


values.
Though in Hegel philosophy
into prominence
soul, it did not come

was

its lost

till late in the

PHILOSOPHY

nineteenth

For

thing,the
anti-intellectual movement
of the post-Kantians,led by
Jacobi,Herder and Schopenhauer,led to the importingof
other considerations
into philosophy.As a reaction against
the dominance

of faith into reason, and


philosophy,against the church's guardianship

tellectua
science, againstthe tendency to suppress indemands
for logicand demonstration, proof and

over

inquiry,materialism
reaction

had

the

evolutionist

and

Press

other

extreme,

Association

thinkers

of the

and

the

philosophy and

the

bare

was

the no-God

and

in

last word
Science

and

England, Lange,
materialist

was

turn

less than

no

religious
'ir-

swept everything

away.

heavens

There

the

empty.

shook
its
to
Hegelian idealism
foundations
the scientific empiricism of the nineteenth
the entrance
of democracy into philosophy
century. But
resulted in making both scientific empiricism and
Hegelian idealism stand on a par, for both of them
failed to satisfythe aspirationsof the human
heart.
the former
While
a
as
spoke of the vast cosmos
huge
formed
of which
the individual
machine
an
insignificant
tion
part,the latter regarded the world process as the realisa-

is

doubt

Stephen

Continent, gave

agnosticism.'
earth

that

so

public.

Leslie

Feuerbach, etc., on

The

much

so

Scientific progress
and
philosophyemphasised this spirit.Mill and
ear

Spencer, Huxley
to

like wildfire.

positivismspread

to the

went

the Rationalist
men

one

of this intrusion

religioninto

The

century.

no

of

that

absolute

an

the heart, and

they

his loves and


process.
feels to
either.
in
for

Human

Both

purpose.
considered

man's

to be

hates
values

mere

which

at

are

in

one

chilling

yearningsand aspirations,
incidents

the

in the world
in

man

the

street

be

conserved
of supreme
not
moment
were
by
the sudden
reaction in favour
of religion
Hence

philosophywhich

is

expressingitself

things ununderstandable

and

the

in

fascination

fashion of intuitive

RELIGION

30

chimes

AND

their

in with

PHILOSOPHY

desires

is

It is
regarded as true.
forgottenthat philosophersare primarily lovers of truth
and as such should treat their problems scientifically
and
But in the eagerness
seek for objectivetruth.
to regain
of the ordinary man
the attention
extra-philosophical
into philosophy and
demands
enter
spoil it. Since the
individual

adventurous

of time,
reality

in the

and

as

God

century believes

of change, the
significance

separateness,

own

region is
philosopherhas only

the

of belief

forms

twentieth

like himself, this

the field where

Certain

the

universe, his

of the
action

of the

determined

are

ness
openfreedom
of

marked

off

submit.

to

beforehand

where

meddle

though beyond them we have a wide


of intelligence. Within
the
for the discretion
range
fabric
Every reasonable
nothing should be altered.
system of philosophy ought to grant these convictions of
With
the ultimate
scheme
of things
the average
man.
settled, with certain values taken for granted, the philosopher
cannot

we

approaches his task.


who
accepted Aristotle

now

school-men

authorities, and

by asking how
of

point

the

at

pin,

even

the

and

themselves

gave

discussion

intellectual
dance

then

Like

mediaeval

the

Bible

as

the

luxury of
angels could

many
so

philosophers

our

lectual
intelgive themselves
recreation
by philosophising in other matters.
if this procedure of marking off
It is indifferent to them
a particular
portionand demanding in this sphere nothing
beliefs

accept certain

else

than

involves

imprison

or

later break

we

will

sooner

truth.

discover

it

once

was.

and

To

the

men's

minds

we

do

the

through
add

to

not

feel

crude
has

of

philosophy.

for all time.

They

spheres of

illusion

difficulties,the

our

so

beliefs

common-sense

method

true

religionis not
Religion itself

man's
as

of the

surrender

cannot

But

to

of
justification

a
a

as

true, and

and

lightened
en-

undeveloped

become

highly philosophical,
fullyand poignantly
easily
Philosophy was
mythology and religion

the two.
oppositionbetween
of
emancipated from the trammels
since the mythical and religious
in the days of antiquity,
the

IN

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

PHILOSOPHY

31

crude and gross, unscientific


conceptionsof the world were
of philosophy,
the progress
and unphilosophical. With
assimilated
of philomuch
the prevailingreligionshave
sophical
thought, so that it has become well-nighimpossible
of true religion
to steer clear of religion. But the progress
requiresa clear delimitation of the spheres of religionand
philosophy, and if trained thinkers take shelter in the
of the prevailingreligion,
character
highly philosophical
it will be hard to remedy its defects and improve its tone.

Ill
What
vision ?
of the

the

are

The

effects

of the

first to be noted

present-dayphilosophy.

change

in

the

is the democratic
Plato

set up

angle of
tendency

the tradition

While
philosophy should be aristocratic.
religion
is for all, philosophy is not.
Religion is adapted to the
since it demands
faith and acceptneeds of the plain man,
ance.
show its dependence
To the philosopher,faith must
on
profound insight and thought. Philosophy is an art
as
shipbuilding or shoemaking. As a
quite as much
disciplinerequiring thought and training it
specialised
cannot
be practisedby any except the specialists.It is
that

now

transferred

it becomes

from

the

democratic,

religion,knowledge
Philosophy becomes

forum

to

the

philosophy gets

with

When

street.

mixed

up

with

opinion, truth with dogma.


quite useless to all, the masses
included.
At the present day philosophy has
become
Its one
selffundamentally plebeian or democratic.
aim is to arrange
the life of the ordinary man.
chosen
If he requiresa God, philosophy supplieshim with one
;
if a ghost, it will also be supplied. The prejudice of the
is the seed of the plant of this new
plain man
philosophy.
democratic
movement
The
has come
to stay, not merely
where
its value is undoubted, but also in art,
in politics
literature and philosophy. Cheap literature,fiction,etc.,
fill the book-stalls
than
serious and
more
high-minded
of art and creative genius. We
works
do not like any

RELIGION

32
serious
We

AND

literature,classic

long for

that thrills

sensational
with

us

PHILOSOPHY
drama

or

novels

breathless

volleysof laughter.

evokes

serious

or

emotion
there

and

is

of

life,will, immediate
creative

with

the

which

makes

excite us,
the

or

escapes,
We
do not

and
intelligence

the film

or

drama

that

ing
high think-

want

satisfied with

are

think.

us

In

order,

of

excess

philosophy
but

faith in

experience, novelty, change


Intellectuals are supposed to be

evolution.

of touch

that

of sentiment.

extravagance

distrust

but

purpose,

interests

actual

James speaks

of

"

and

emotions

rationalistic

of

and
out

kind.
man-

philosophy that

indeed

but that keeps out of all


call itself religious,
may
definite touch with concrete
fact and joys and sorrows
"

(Pragmatism,Lecture

I.).

And

so

he wants

philosophy which is true to surface


philosophic theories will be, in the
of the first look
Bosanquet, those
"

street,

or

the

to whom

traveller

of the

to have

us

Such
appearances.
words
of Professor
of the

strugglingat

compact self-containedness

in the

man

railwaystation,

and

self-direction

obvious
an
beings before him seems
fact,while the social logicand the spiritual
historywhich
fail to impress themselves
his perlie behind
the scene
on
ceptive
Theory of the State,
imagination (Philosophical
units strikes the
p. 80) The natural separateness of human
As a result of it we have
vision of the popular mind
most.
of democracy which
to give
the political
movement
wants
and decide issues by counting heads, and
each man
a vote
of the

human

swarming

"

ideal which

the economic
necessary
be
must

seeks

to allow

to each

opportunity to perfecthimself.
to

open

philosopheror

man
every
millionaire.

to

become

The
an

It is because

the

man

chance

artist
the

or

faith

of

has in him the promise


democracy insists that each man
of a philosopher that systems are required to be judged
It is supposed
according as they suit his fancies or not.
is logical
in his views, and to systematise
that the plainman
them
is the

is the
centre

Philosophy

task
and
and

philosophy. The man


everything else revolves

of

thinking

must

supply

in the

street

round

him.

his needs.

It is

ii

RECENT

dangerous to

TENDENCIES
differ from

IN

PHILOSOPHY

33

he has political
as
him, especially

in his hands.
Systems of
power
of the plain man's
faith.
mirrors

philosophy become
James and Bergson,

of the
representativesof the two
great democracies
this
world
and
in philosophy, express
respected names
to
democratic
satisfythe
tendency, in the endeavour
and
popular demands
support the prevailingnotions.
In a word, to James belongs the glory of having first
to his
and ministered
divined the secret of the plainman,
to
desire for a knowledge that is relevant to action and
life" (Mind, No. 86, p. 242).
The realityof evil has become
a
part of the accepted
to pain and
code of philosophy. Sensitiveness
suffering
is a peculiarfeature of our
age, thanks to the propaganda
of humanitarianism.
withstand
Who
the temptation
can
that lives in
who
to regard evil as a fundamental
reality,
this age to witness the rape of Belgium and other such
unspeakable atrocities of civilised Europe in the twentieth
century ? Who can say that the struggleof the European
battlefields is a sham
fightwith a sham power ? It has
become
man
impossiblefor the modern
keenly sensitive
to pain and
sufferingto dismiss evil as an illusion. He
has no
patience with systems of religionand philosophy
which
absolutist
The
set it aside.
or
explain it away
of moral life,
who, while admitting that evil is the essence
is not prepared to grant that it is a characteristic feature
of life divine is put down
as
a
philosopherwho disdains
the streets
to walk
of earth, but longs to float in the
cloudland
of fancy. But the difficulty
that if evil is real,
then the appearance
of evil conquering good will also
become
a fundamental
realitydoes not impresshim much.
"

Were

this appearance

real, there is

not

much

chance

for

gain victoryover evil,for that which is absolutely


real cannot
be negated. The plain man
does not know
that grantingthe reality
of evil would involve the absolute
of evil in the world
struggle. But logic is
supremacy
He feels evil to be real and philosophy
nothing to him.
man

must

to

submit.
D

RELIGION

34

It follows
idea is also

AND

PHILOSOPHY

that the idealist doctrine


How

sham.

the

that

the world

is

an

world
solid-seeming

with

settingof streets and skies be looked


or
a
as
a
floatingdream
figment of imagination ?
world
is not a thought-product, not an
appearance,
a
realityquite independent of human
experience.

upon
The

can

its wonderful

when

stop thinkingabout

we

and

imposing
yielded to the
from

empirical

realistic doctrine

that

the

tradition

world

has

is apart

all consciousness.

From

the

the world
of

Even

it,it is there, a permanent

The

structure.

but

it follows

finite God.

but

of the

preceding account
that

If evil is not

how

control

the

of

universe

Can

perfection?

and

its existence

can

by

be the creation

of

life's very
with the
reconciled

be

of

with

of

absolute

all its evil and

perfectand

conception
phenomenon,

parcel

Being

this world

to the

accidental

an

something forming part

structure,

hold

must

we

of evil and

nature

God

good

moral

fection
imper?

Can

be, if the true


things as the recent European war
God
be just and merciful
and good ?
How
dare we
say
of righteousness?
that he is a power
Professor
Gilbert
a
Murray cites an interesting
example : "I remember

such

dreadful

incident

Armenian

massacres

and

dread

one
'

pray.
God
'

has

and

night in
not

see

mad.

gone

mind

is not
the

at

is he

feet
God.

than
God

would

the

by

sat

what

no

God.

Were
not

at

the

with

It

not

tolerate

interfering.A
humour

of

author

evil

has

most

But

the

and

to

use

If God
evil

refused
?

happened

pray
is the

also ?

people
Report

'

to

to

look

some
on

author

The

finite God

of

modern

other

evil
else

force,

out
passivelywith-

philosophy which
the attention

'

him

responsibilityfor
referred to something
due

to

said.

she

the

it and

dualistic

the world

present day.

is

the universal

sent

road

the

has

It is

willing to lay
of

time

that

Armenia

(InternationalCrisis, p. 39).
Nature,

reports of the

the churches.

who

you

Consular

At

1895.

throughout

woman

Do

of the

one

of

horror

praying day
tells of

in

of

is not
the

in

public
strugglingalong with

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

to

man

evil is the

overcome

principleof
is the only

the
Ahriman
in Wells's
he

be

limited

and

can

outside
of

and

and

beyond

will

God

the

not

able to avert

as

God

and

is not

is the

absolute
his

prevent

and

of

the

world

great

is cut
best

the

on

is finite

the

flower

We

must

of motives

were

God

was

real God
;

of matter.

poor
.

finite God

...

war.

off.

cross

things

conclusion

in which

war

nailed

God

and

God

who

as
comprehensive way
is with us
who
sillyway
religion. If I thought there
"

looked
and

things doing
"

"

down

horror
them

on

of this
to

amuse

battles
war

"

who

great and

all the waste

these

is the

That

with

God

weak

omnipotent

deaths

allow

of all real

essence

man

'

wounded

struggles in
strugglein our

person ? how
unless he is

so
catastrophe,even
He is not omnipotent.
The
is Christ, not
God
Almighty

Christians

mocked

Britling

this world

able to do it.

of the

Mr.

and

like ourselves, with

face

men

be

to

him."

in the

best

that

God

can

human

not

of Ormuzd

dualism

matters

the

highest nations

say

an

in

hero

Wells's

of the

not

that

denned

by

hypothesis.

How

says

35

of escape from this


the prince of ness,
dark-

way

The

rational

anything

him

merciful

evil.

"

novel

only

is confronted

God

contradiction.

PHILOSOPHY

IN

we

that
was

and

able

to

himself, I

"

it
spit in his empty face
(Mr. Britlingsees
Through, p. 397). A finite God who struggleswith man
alone
can
satisfythese tempers. God fightswith evil
with
as
light with night, life with matter, existence
non-existence.
He is working under
limitations, though
for the sake
of his divinity prefer to call these
we
ception
definitelyimposed limits self-imposed. No other conwould

can

relieve the human

mind

of its familiar

rassment
embar-

and

on

of

perplexity. Mr. Wells in his later volume


God : the Invisible King, voices the modern
conception
religion. He has no sympathy with the logicaland

behind
necessary concept of the Absolute, the Great Power
all things ; for the plain man
knows
nothing about it.
The

real God

Comrade

and

is

Friend
like ourselves, our
person
King and Leader and Captain. "...
a

and
If

RELIGION

36

AND

PHILOSOPHY

be the figureof a
figure may
represent him, it must
beautiful youth, already brave and wise, but hardly come
should
stand lightlyon
to his strength. He
his feet in
the morning time, eager to go forward, as though he had
still but a promise ;
but newly arisen to a day that was
he should bear a sword, that clean discriminatingweapon,
his eyes should be as bright as swords
fall
; his lipsshould
a

apart with
and

for the great adventure


before him,
eagerness
he should be in very fresh and golden harness, reflecting
Death
should
still hang like mists
the rising sun.

and

cloud-banks

and

about

landscape

shadows

him.

in the

There

valleysof

should

be

the
upon
blades
of the

of gossamer
and little leaves and
God
is courage
and love,
turf at his feet/'

"

God

friend, who

partakes of
;

much

that

us

he

is like us,

that

value

we

as

one

knows

service, who

being in

limitless,and

and

beauty

the
and

conflict

forces
is

of

against

pittedagainst. He is our king to whom


loyal,he is our captain, and to know him
are

helped
God
.

the

much

direction

is

attempts.
infinite.

and

values

we

; who

nature

our

be

must

to have

can

who

death

we

be known
person who can
be served, and who receives

unknown

the

with

is

wide

dew

threads

youth.

the

He

in

lives.

our

and

He

gladdened by

is no

abstraction

is

as

real

as

bayonet

feels

and

He

us.

nor

us

knows

and

hopes

trick of words,

thrust

or

an

is

no

embrace

"

He is
(ibid.p. 67). And this God grows as man
grows.
God
of becoming, full of youth and
a
fighting
energy,
is Mr. Wells's
darkness
Such
evil and
along with man.
Dr.
that
if
M'Taggart thinks
conception of God.
be a non-omnipotent, nonhe must
be a God
there
creative

God.

Canon

omnipotent but
takes refuge with

Rashdall

believes

that

necessarily non-creative.

he

is

non-

James
Mill in a finite God
who
is not
fully
For
of the world.
master
only such a hypothesis can
for the growing evil and
account
imperfection of the
world
is not
The
world.
completely a divine order.
non-divine
in it, and to them
elements
There
are
perhaps
of the world.
Dr. Howison
due the evil and suffering
are
not

38

RELIGION

others.
be

God.

God
God

cannot
as

an

AND

PHILOSOPHY

be other

egos

existent

realitycan

nor

can

the other

only

be

egos
finite

entityopposing others.
The
Religiousneeds require that this finite God shall
also be a person.
In his despairing griefman
requires
the help of a loving,struggling,
sufferingGod who works
with him.
Perplexed by the realityof evil,man
questions
and
seeks after a God
who
takes sides, has plans and
and grants his prayers.
purposes, has pity for man's frailty
be of help to a broken
heart.
Only a personal God can
Only a personal God of limited power explains the facts
of experience. It alone gives us a chance
of genuine cooperation
in the cosmic strugglewith God.
The absolutist
closer
conception of God as a close and vivid presence,
than
to us
than
hands
and
feet,"
breathing, nearer
is brushed
aside as good for nothing so far as the demands
of religionare
concerned.
God
is not so much
in us as
with us (compare the title of Boyce Gibson's
God
volume
with Us). In matters
of science we
do not adopt the views
of the plainman,
but consult the specialist.
The specialists
in religion,
viz. the mystics, do not
require a personal
The existence of an outside providence who
godhead.
created us, who watches
over
guides our lives
us, and who
like a Merciful
found
have
Father, we
impossible longer
in.
But
of the existence
of a Holy Spirit
to believe
radiatingupward through all animate beings,and finding
its fullest expressionin man,
in love, and in the flowers in
be as
certain
of anything in the
can
as
beauty, we
world"
(Sir Francis
Younghusband, Within). If God
infinite reality,as
the all-embracingwhole, satisfies
as
the
passionate quest of the sincere mystic soul, it
ought to be taken as the highest conception of God,
whether
it satisfies the plain man
In religious
not.
or
and
thought, emotions
practicalneeds are regarded as
than
fundamental
more
logicalnecessityand theoretical
satisfaction.
As a matter
of fact religiousfaith is selfcontradictory, and
throughout religiousconsciousness
find the dualism
of logicand emotion
to be the governwe
"

!"

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

ing factor.
organised

The
into
of

the

presence
things. To

set side

are

whole.

fundamental

is illimitable.

by

39

side without

logic
principleat the

being

demands
back

of

; he
presence
contradiction
in terms.

great universal

is the

limited

PHILOSOPHY

Theoretical

one

it God

is the All, for


God

two

IN

God

is

ascribe

demands

Emotional

to

this

principle,sympathy and righteousness,goodwill for man


finite
of him
and
a
They make
sufferingfor his sake.
who
struggles and through the struggle
personal God
of
is the author
the question arises,who
At once
grows.
devil is
evil if God
is good and
righteous? A wicked
The
positedas the necessary complement of a good God.
play of the universe is due to the interaction of these two
forces.
Logic asks us to rise to the impersonal conception ;
but the emotional
be satisfied only at the
demands
can
of logic. Our philosophiesare
the reflections of
expense
do
souls which
emotional
than logical. We
our
are
more
not
reckon
hearts' desires are being
the cost at which
our
satisfied.

conception of
the world should be replaced by a pluralistic
for it is
one,
just a step from dualism to pluralism. To the commonthe universe is a congeriesof individuals
sense
man
times
somefightingwith one another, sometimes
trying to live
in peace.
The plain
total of selves.
Society is a sum
is a personalistin theology, a democrat
who
in
man
of evil and the
a realist in regard to the existence
politics,
world is necessarily
in metaphysics. Pluralism
a pluralist
in philosophy is the logicaldevelopment of the spiritof
democracy ; for he who has respect for the sacredness of
individualitywill not be inclined to sacrifice this uniqueness
for the sake of the absolute.
Every individual is a
in common
with others.
unique existence with not much
We
feel that each of us is a self,but do not feel the reality
of an infinite all which
us
round, involving in some
wraps
mysterious whole both the selves,and that by which they
From

are

all this it follows

faced.

dares

and

The

that

common-sense

dies, strikes

the monistic

man

and

who

lives and

suffers, feels the

loves,

realityof

RELIGION

40

selves, and

many

AND

PHILOSOPHY

one

spirit. It

of

not

is

to the

nothing

of the world, with


rare
pluralistif the thinking men
declared
the
for a
rule, have
exceptions who
prove
singlespirit. If it is said that the craving for unity has
not
been a universal
no
craving has been that, not
one,
the craving for common
even
good. But argument is of
no

avail.
every individual
to make
mar
or

As
power
where

is

free

his

there is freedom, where

ideals if he has
reveals

Such

any.

to

and

us,

give place to

the

unregenerate

man,

in his

being, having it
future, he requires a

he

take risks to realise his

can

world

there

is

world

immediate

our

no

ence
experiit should

why

reason

spick-and-span world of the absolutist.


Our immediate
experiencegives us a world which satisfies
the will of man
by bending to his needs, and it is true and
real.
for play and
Any philosophy which has no room
and
freedom, risk and adventure, chance
novelty, in
of the twentieth-centurylife of the
short for the romance
initiative

for individual

This

The

ball

But

Here

And

he

He

knows

view

question

no

There

or

that

is

Absolute

of the

of

strikes

you

he

"

be

into

it

the

knows.

ignoresthe

free,but who

field,

he

"

sacrifices the

What

room

no

Ayes or Noes,
player goes

knows

as
unsatisfactory,

may

has

the

down

it all

God, but of

of

makes

as

tossed

about

Absolute

freedom

Absolutism

personalityand

human
The

is untrue.

the

dignityof

cares

is of moment

of

outlines

soul.

for the freedom


to

us

is not

the

man.

plasticworld which allows


itself to be moulded
by him, it is only a step to the theory
of the world as unceasing flow and creative change. The
From

the free

scientist tells
feel that

are

we

principleof
with

change

that

changing

factor

it that

is the

the

the whole

the universe

is the central
love

us

and

man

every

is

world

object of

make
our

of

moment

God

worship.

We

are

of it.
The

We

life.

our

principleof change.

of the universe.

we

is in motion.

so

Change
much

Evolution

modern

The

in
or

type of

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

mind
and

which

IN
and

sensation

wants

mobility have

glamour,

PHILOSOPHY

more,

reduces

41

for which
the whole

change
universe

passion for change,


the love for permanence
is lost, and we
forget that there
be something that changes, a permanent underlying
must
states
the mutable.
The
kaleidoscopicwhirl of mental
in the
call civilised life at the present day is mirrored
we
aimless and randomly busy cosmic principleso beautifully
in Bergson's Creative Evolution.
described
Quite naturally what is looked upon by the thinking
few as the curse
of modern
society,its hurry, its fever,
life

to

and

In

movement.

our

its restlessness, its excitement


divine

in

things and gives us


searching or worship of the
Leisure

systems.

for
with

compatible only

which
no

breathing

different

to

us

time

the

for self-

is deified

by these
contemplation is

unseen,

disinterested
a

blinds

outlook

life.

on

The

absolute

idealists may
dream
dreams
of the unity
sweet
of all life and
the mystic apprehension of the infinite.
But

these
is

from

have

no

regarded as

the

fever

of

place in

ness
philosophy where restlessthe truth of things. Men
are
suffering
violent motion
and
so
a
they make
a

or
another, the
philosophy of it. In one
new
way
action
for the
sake
of action.
philosophers advocate
Pure contemplation, aesthetic ecstasy or reflection on the
end of life is dismissed
ing.
as
mystic raving or poetic dream'

What
think

about

son's lead
to

be

Rudolf

is

counts

the

end

action, and
action

is followed, action

true

action,

Eucken

and

new

the

is to
which

need

we

not

to
pause
For if Berg-

achieve.
realises

creation.

The

'

plan

ceases

activism

of

primacy of the practical of


William
dency.
James and the pragmatists represent this tenAs
shall see
in the sequel, action to be of
we
value
be
must
vision, some
inspired by some
any
it tries to realise.
It is
conception of the end which
beyond us to imagine how we can go on working blindly,
irrelevance.
Incessant
refusing all reflection as
an
thoughtless action leaves us nothing to rejoicein and
thus

defeats

its

own

end.

RELIGION

42

AND

PHILOSOPHY

The

conception of pluralism,with its emphasis on the


realityof the individual, with its insistence on change,
with
its love of democracy, cannot
but adopt in ethics
the economic
utilitarian view.
What
or
profitis it to us ?
What
bearing has it on man's life ? The inevitable cui
bono ? meets
us
everywhere. We have to suffer an age of
materialism
and

in

life, realism

in

in

art, prose

literature,

pluralismin philosophy.
It does

plain

not

man's

should

them

real

help

truth

about

making

him

is

standard

of truth.

consolation

no

doubt

no

respectfulattention,

the

and

philosophy has

There

needs.

receive

make

that

mean

his

that

but

We

for the

care

this

needs

is not

would

offer him

rather

things than

by declaringto him
by pandering to his tastes

the

of the universe.

measure

to

the
and

IV
Distrust

of

intellect

is

the

characteristic

of

note

convictions
to
are
philosophy. If all our
cannot
it in
supported by philosophy we
pursue
spirit of free thinking and disinterested
inquiry.
recent

philosophy
this
to

if

support them, and

must

tendency to

feelinghas

it started
human

with

an

tribe

thought, and
its

craze

unconventional

raptures

over

Since

Hegel

in

nothing

have

we

of

faith

thinkers.

of

the

powers
else than

Instead

of

tempt
con-

reason-

faith-philosophers.It has become


idealise impulse over
sentiment
over
reason,
The
all system-making.
to denounce
age
is
for excitement
and sensation
longing for
systems of philosophy. We have lost all
convention, order and

novelty and

overthrow
which

it, then

have

love for rule and

doubt

enthusiastic

for

to

It

thought to a positionsubordinate
growing. In the hey-day of philosophy

To-day

the fashion

The

extra-intellectual.

reason.

the

do

not

reduce

been

philosophers,we

with

become

must

does

reason

be

does

of
not

romance,

reason

spare

has

but

reason,

life and
resulted

religion. The

in

are

impulse.
in

universal

anarchy

pre-

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

PHILOSOPHY

IN

43

vailingin the world of thought, due to the idealisation of


impulse, may be illustrated by the examples of Nietzsche
who
who
ethics, Meredith
rejectsGod
propounds a new
and immortality, and asks us to worship Mother
Earth,
and
Bernard
Shaw
who
repudiates the whole structure
of our
and science and announces
morals
a
new
religion
cannot
of life force. As intuition is the final authority,we
call in question these theories.
Faith in intuition lands
in subjectivism,as there is no
us
higher power to sit in
therefore
judgement over the findingsof intuition. When
intellect is discredited
it
cold-blooded
simply because
be in
gives us severely cheerless conclusions, it cannot
favour of impulse which
gives us no guarantee that it will
of things in a manner
remould
the scheme
answering to
desires.

hearts'

our

minds

The

is to make

inevitable

reasonable

attempt of

and

tive
conserva-

to
respectable

selves
them-

the faith

already held by them, and bring forward


considerations
to support and supplement it. This goal,
have seen, cannot
be reached
as
we
by disowning intellect
and fallingback
intuition.
The
on
temptation arises to
intellect as a means
to our
use
ends, to use philosophy and
to support one's own
reason
religiousfeelingand experience.
This is what
unconsciously takes place every day,
but the new
philosophershave christened the old way of
popular thinking with a new
Pragmatism.
name,
What
is the truth ?
asked Lady Chettam
of Mrs.
"

"

Cadwallader
bad

of

as

in

He

truth.

is

as

agree."
to disphysic, nasty to take and sure
wrong
This great lady seems
to have given the direction
the

to

feel that the

adoption of
practise,and

modern

logicaltruth
the
"

cherished

to

pragmatists. They somehow


be attained by the scrupulous

intellectual
sure

and

So

is irrelevant.

methods

"

is

nasty

"

disagree with the


nourished
by average
overhauling of the

to

they suggest an
inquiry,and the ideal of truth.
why we believe in anything.
believe

The

the

thought

hopes

"

Middlemarch.

We

We
The

need

humanity.
of

method
ask

not

that

to

and

ideals

question

believe, and

"

of

as

why

will do.

to
we

If

RELIGION

44

AND

PHILOSOPHY

explanation is wanted, it is this,that the fact gives the


right. A belief is true because it is useful. As in politics
whatever
policy requires is supposed to be just, so in
instinct requiresis supposed to be
philosophy whatever
that
true.
a policy. James says
Philosophy has become
is expedient in the way
of our
whatever
thinking is true
whatever
is expedient in the way
of our
as
behaving is
is
truth to be what
good." Though James here makes
expedient in the way of our
thinking,i.e.,intellectually
it
expedient,still in developing his thesis he makes
The
is practically expedient.
equivalent to what
of an
idea is constituted
truth
by its working. The
If
of a
test
theory is its practical consequences.
life,
theologicalideas prove to have a value for concrete
that they are
they will be true for pragmatism in the sense
(Pragmatism, p. 73). Again, "On
good for so much"
pragmatic principles,if the hypothesis of God works
of the word
in the widest sense
experience
satisfactorily
that
it certainly does
work
it is true
shows
(ibid.
in
if the
belief
believe
miracles
We
can
p. 299).
If pure
live his life better.
to
man
helps the weak
discredits
instates
reason
popular conclusions, pragmatism rean

"

"

"

"

"

them

in the
"

form

of

valuable

desirable

errors,

pragmatism, truth becomes


emotional
identical with moral
edification,practical
utility,
satisfaction, and religiousfruitfulness.
Pragmatism is a
first give
kind of utilitarianism
in philosophy. Here
we
feel
We
the judgements and
then seek for the reasons.
and

untruths

that

certain

ideas

that is

accept it
is

given

what

he

or

to

have

bend

realitymust
and

vital lies." In

else

so

much

to

wants

to

and

whole

the

have

We

true.

the

worse

enable

him

and

do.

believe

truth

of

the belief,

for its truth.

reason

just to

man,

them

to make

sufficient

claim

for
to

Reality must
reality. Reason

invent

reasons

Philosophy

for

becomes

footnote
a
catalogue of acts of faith. Logic becomes
to ethics, and philosophy a supplement to religion. While
the possessionof a truth is not an end in
it is true that
vital satisto other
itself,but only a preliminary means
a

"

RELIGION

46

AND

self-experienceis

PHILOSOPHY

the

guide to reality. His outward


vision reveals to him
viduals,
a
conglomerate of countless indiHis empiricism takes
independent of each other.
vision.
things at their face value, gives him a pluralistic
As logicdenies it,he gives it up.
It

will

be

not

writers, if

we

that

say

plain man's
logic. These

unfair

an

in them
for

philosophy
have

is the

declaration

fasten

the

characterisation
have

we

of

the

these
of the

war

securing independence
for

message

the

of

and

age,
the

of

that

claims
of
independence from
intellect.
the back, and
on
They pat the plain man
would
give him a philosophy which
justifyhis beliefs
about the world.
They tell him, We do not force on you
of metaphysics, but give you only a method
any scheme
of dealing with
or
a
things,and you are free to
way
method

system of values.

to any

fix

They

no

standpoints,and professno theory. They are philosophical


anarchists
doubting all thought and believingall facts.
If there is any one
than another which forms
thing more
the point of contact
binding together these thinkers, it is
of
not any positivefeature of belief in pluralismor reality
evil or distrust of intellect,but it is the negative one
of
Absolutism
positive dislike for absolutism.
represents
is a
the classical tradition, but love of novelty which
characteristic

of the

from

the

roads

have

high

them
age induces
to the exploringof new

to

new

prejudiceagainst the

stray

paths. They

faith of their fathers

and

which
philosophy Absolutism
the world of
the central realityand reduces
individual subjectsinto partialdifferentiations
tradition in

orthodox

away

the

makes

mind
and
is
of

as

bad

as

things as

the

cosmic

naturalism.
a

or

the

reason,

individual

external

an

great degree,

attitude

to both

Bergson,

we

view

thereof

the movement

process or a logicalprocess of
defreedom
of the individual
is stroyed.

purely natural

The
link in

Whether

nature

Ward

to be

comes

process, rational or
all these thinkers

naturalism

and

and

Howison,

thought

of

To

natural.

adopt

absolutism.
Schiller

as

and

a
a

mere

small

protesting
James and
Balfour,

istic

theory

down

chief characteristic

the

as

Anti-absolutism

universe.

of the

47

against the absolut-

set themselves

Rashdall

and

Eucken

PHILOSOPHY

IN

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

of the

may

philosophies,

new

them

be set

all

objectionable
the universalityof law, the unity
It advocates
features.
of the whole, and the relative unrealityof the particular.
It is believed that the vital interests of the human
spirit
are
Logic is not
jeopardisedin a system of absolutism.
embodies

absolutism

for

with

absolutist

the

The

that

absolutists

sides

other

the

to

means

support of external

romanticists, mystics and

beliefs.
the

to

of

exalt

human

rationalists, or

over

pragmatists urge

intellect at the

expense
call them

and

nature,

intellectualists,unmindful

of the
ultraof

the

bring against them that they prostitute


logicand adopt the sophisticdevice of making the
the better reason.
lutist's
worse
They_attack the absoappear
position,and put it down for an abstract imaginary
scHeme
beliefs in the
which
does not do justiceto man's
sequence
universe, the diversity of things, the inconpluralistic
the

that

charge

latter

of events,
the

arc

personalityof God, etc., which


principlesof the religiousbelief of the

root

enlightened

contemporary

his beliefs and

As

coast.

and

by

the

the

immediate

of

man

the

ideas which

system of absolutism, it is

not

are

not

be.
It may
be
else it may
is what
characterises
Refinement

perience
ex-

guaranteed

philosophyat all,

whatever
"

also facts of

are

consciousness

Mediterranean

refined

system.

intellectualist

our

philosophies. They exquisitelysatisfytheir craving for a


refined object of contemplation, which
is so powerful an
But
I ask you in all seriousness
appetite of the mind.
to look
on

abroad

their awful

on

the

bewilderments,

wildness
'

whether

this colossal

on

refined

which
'

universe

their

they show,

is

the

of concrete

fact,

surprisesand cruelties,
and

then

to

tell

me

inevitable

descriptive
adjective that springs to your
lips" (James, Pragmatism,
lutists,
system constructed
by the absop. 22). The
"

than

is far

clear

less

addition

an

one

account

built

upon

of

this

actual

world

it, a classic sanctuary

RELIGION

48
in which

AND

the rationalist

intolerablyconfused
facts

fancy may

and

It is

PHILOSOPHY

take

Gothic

refuge from

character

which

the
mere

verse,
uniexplanationof our concrete
it is another thingaltogether"(ibid.).
Absolutism
is
unscientific,
unphilosophical,
unempirical,and contrary to
since it dismisses the solid world of reality
common-sense,

present.

all its wealth

with

now

confined

The

richness

unreal.

as

to outward

his

with

and

Where

are

we

philosophicalsystem should satisfythe scientist


partial vision, the empiric with his attention

his

with

no

theory

demos

the

appearances,
born
of habit,

has

be

to

common-sense

prejudice

satisfied,and

man

and

training.

absolutism

cannot

is slowly
polls. Therefore rationalist absolutism
giving place to romantic
empiricism. Absolute idealism,
before which
alism
English empiricism and the dogmatic rationof Germany went
in the ascendant
down, which was
in the nineteenth
even
century, is fast receding into the
the fashion
of the day to
background. It has become
win

the

break

from

away

it.

to

counter

its tradition
The

and

build

systems consider

new

called anti-intellectualist

pride to be
They may

well

systems which
it

run

of

matter

anti-absolutistic.1

and

call themselves

antiphilosophic. In
their crusade
for
against absolutism
they do not care
truth.
They adorn their tales to point the moral of the
In sober philosophy it is not right
of absolutism.
futility
and raise the battle-cryas we
do in
to stir up feelings
absolutists
do not
dismiss
voting campaigns. Modern
the world
of realityas unreal and illusory. It is wrong
1

the

pluralistsare
For

reason.

us

surrender

them

takes

But

to

are

asked

not
long way,
to give up logicand

friendlyattitude
are

hostile

Fechner

to, for in that

and

absolutism,

they

do

to them.

Bergson
tradition

in
and

so

We
case

we

much

Ward
in

reason

and

intellect
but

because

simply

and

Herbart

monists, when

ask

feature

so

they employ

of the

Most

schemes

prominent a
against, is not so

up

Leibniz,

supporters though

we

is not

Anti-intellectualism

What
of

as

they

seize
our

their

intuition.

will not

James's

At

book.

even

have

results

an

end

of the

effort

that

do

in

logic

course

of intuition.
not

it is monism

beautiful

writers

routine, Plato, Spinoza and

conclusions,

Belief

thinkers

say
the

These

the

their
among
their
pluralistic

central

the

by

present-day

cannot

of

to

way.
the truth

as

counted

are

support

all the

reason

reach

resort

anti-absolutism

as

show

chapters

opposed
Hegel.
are

they
on

to

to

TENDENCIES

RECENT

ii

that

assume

the

sake

One
This

they

cancel

pervading life and

is not
When

that

to say

the

the existence

All that absolutism

of the One.

is the

PHILOSOPHY

IN

the

moving

the world

romanticist

of the

49

Many

for

says is that the


soul of the world.

of life and

change

is

represents absolutism

real.
un-

as

dead
tion,
abstracphilosophy which clingsto an immutable
figure to be knocked
they are setting up a straw
down.
fierce against Spinoza for the latter's
Hegel was
He
condemns
abstract
absolutism.
advocacy of an
Spinoza's substance, as it does not in his opinion contain
within
itself the principleof the manifold.
When
the
critics urge that the absolutist's theory of the fundamental
unity of the universe is equivalent to the unreality of
but to them
a leap in logic,
everything else, they commit
logicis nothing, as fashion is everything.
The
effort of philosophy is being wasted
and
is not
giving its full benefit,as an unconscious
attempt prevails
to subject philosophy to religionand
truth to dogma.
True
of
philosophy has to fight now
against the wave
romanticism
it fought in the middle
of the nineteenth
as
of empiricism. And
the fight
century against the wave
will be hard and tough since the unphilosophicalattitude
is quite congenial to man's
The mind
of
temperament.
is not willingto be shaken
in its religious
man
habits, and
is ever
to believe in theories
ready to pounce on excuses
which

reason

and
which

wants

fashion

us

is

to

disbelieve.

catching.

Tradition

is

tagious
con-

The

general tendencies
stronglyurged that our
Man
is only too ready

prevailare so often and so


mind
automaticallyadopts them.
to follow faith unreasonably. But
contend
that in so
we
mind.
We
to its nature
shall
as
doing mind is untrue
show in the sequelhow the philosophical
discussions of the
representativewriters of this age are vitiated by their
unphilosophicalattitude of startingwith certain prejudices
and
While
their logic leads
trying to vindicate them.
them
Their

in

one

direction,their bias takes them

writingsform the theatre where


logicand prejudiceis played out.

the

in the

other.

strugglebetween

CHAPTER

THE

THE

in

modern

to

as

monistic

all

of

doctrines

between

analogy

system

we

recurring type
misleading,
said

that

of

go

even
one

and

in

See

Cf.
in

of Ends,

Realm

very

Western

eminent

systematically

Evolution,

p.

is

breaks

In

from

world,
the

defects

It

is

and

shows

great
of

facts.
found

always

not

are

one

usually

theories.

description

true

monism

of

are

statement
a

Leibniz's

of

53-4.

pp.
says

mind,

not

rigid

"

Howison

what

it

and

reason

the

but

points

irrationalism

monism,

This

together.

system

many

study

philosophical

the

based

is

Generalisations

and

rejects

exclusive-

are

and

grounds

in

so

ualism

intellect

logical insight,
Faith

philosophy.

especially

pluralism,

From

the

fessor
Pro-

kingdom

Bergson's

there

learn

may

the

as

Idealism

Though

two.

he
and

pluralistic,
the

against

continuity,

though

as

represents

conceptions.

new

Monadology.2

itself

served

harmony

Howison's

considered

be

cannot

of

pre-established

Leibniz's

of

theory

niz,
Leib-

reaction

has

indiscernibles,

monads.1

of

on

of

pluralistic

same,

To

way.

Leibniz

pluralistic

his

the

presents

Monadology

adopts

identity

ends,

ness

His

own

many.

the

philosophy

its

problem

the

subsequent

Ward

J.

the

to

one

idealism.
for

type

of

of

history

the

the

in

age

thinkers,

of

relation

fundamentally

is

each

by

LEIBNIZ

OF

philosophy

it is stated

though

the

MONADISM

of

problem

III

Plato

justly
with

long

the

the

ix).
50

to

history
the

celebrated
monistic

of

idealistic

present
Leibniz,

tradition

thinking,
there

day,

is but

distinctly

who
"

(Limits

of

THE

MONADISM

The

examples

in

together.
how

generallyleads
ists like

sufficient

Most

of the

much

the

outline

to

in his

thinker
"

Mr.
he

wrote

Russell

seems

to

to

observes

to have

some

of

use

For

is not
His

recent

book,

definite

meet

cism."
criti-

everything that
immediate

requiredsome

sophy
philo-

one.

friend, to

some

answer
:

Leibniz

democratic

estimate

"

of recent

system.

as

system for the

or
specialdifficulty,

some

pluralism.

characteristic

embodied

system and

his

examine

results in

called forth

writingsare

indicate

rationalistic

are

should

we

academic

an

There

tendencies

found

are
so

why

rationalism

whether

see

Ward

pluralirrationalistic monists like Schopenhauer.


is a
Leibniz is a rationalistic pluralist

fact that

reason

and

51

supports pluralism,though it

monism.

to

Leibniz, and
The

of Leibniz

sometimes

rationalism

LEIBNIZ

OF

he

stimulus,

To please a prince,
pressing incentive.
the censures
to refute
rival philosopher,or to escape
a
for
of a theologian,he would
But
take any
pains.
cared
to have
the sole purposes
of expositionhe seems
little
(Philosophyof Leibniz, p. i). Religiousidealism
niz's
and anti-absolutism
the prominent features of Leibare
lutism.
philosophy. It begins as a reaction against absoHe
in the
Spinozism not so much
opposes
interests of philosophictruth and
consistency as in the
interests
of ethical
and
Leibniz
religiousidealism.
thus describes Spinoza'sEthics : "I find in it plenty of
fine thoughts agreeingwith mine.
But there are also
unreal and not even
to me
paradoxes which seem
ible.
plausthere
is one
As, for example, that
substance,
namely, God ; that created things are modes or accidents
some

near

and

"

of God
life ;

that

neither

that
God

our

Himself

understands

certain

mind

nor

has

no

thinks

wider

outlook

indeed, but

after this

nevertheless

wills,that all things happen by

necessityof fate ; that God acts not for an


end but by a certain necessityof nature, which is verbally
to retain but
tality.
reallyto give up providence and immorI regard this book
a
as
dangerous one for people
who
will give themselves
the trouble to go deeply into

RELIGION

52

AND

it, for others do not


Leibniz, p. 24, footnote
to

believe
and

"

that
which

PHILOSOPHY
to

care

l).

there

animates

understand

Leibniz

is but

it"

(Latta's
bring himself

cannot

Spiritwhich

one

the whole

parts each according to its

universe

and

is universal

all its

and

according to the
it possesses, as
the same
blast of wind
produces
organs
varieties of sounds
from different organ-pipes," or
that
the universal
spiritis like an ocean
composed of an
infinite number
of drops, which
are
separated from it
when
some
particularorganic body, and
they animate
structure

"

which

are

reunited

with

their

after the destruction

ocean

"

of the

The orthodox
organism (ibid.
p. 239, footnote 63)
of the seventeenth
religionof the civilised man
century
and
took for granted a personal God
who
be adored
can
worshipped, who has not merely understanding but power
and will,and a free man
who
is independent of the world
and
is sure
of immortality. Spinozism shatters
these
down
for dreams
of imagination.
ideals,and puts them
It fails to do justiceto the facts of life,especiallythose
of moral
and
religiouslife. Spinoza's block universe
refuses to take account
of the implicationsof experience,
.

viz. individual
the

need

against the

freedom, initiative
for

an

abstract

deductions, he takes

and

Leibniz

tains
main-

vision.
pluralistic

Revolting
and
its a priori
unity of substance
for his starting-point
a
pluralityof
open

substances
not
These
are
independent substances.
mechanism
is only
to be interpretedmechanically, as
another
for fate or necessity. Leibniz
name
goes back
to the Aristotelian
theory of substance as force or enteof which
lechy. Each substance, the qualitativeessence
he brings out by the name
of monad, is a self-sufficient
nature.
unit, having the laws of its growth in its own
real

Thus,

Leibniz

believes, the

freedom

of

the

individual

safeguarded. The motive to his system is to be found


in his hostilityto Spinozism. While
Spinoza reduced
separate things to the real unity of a universal sub-

is

The

stated.

references

are

to

Latta's

edition

of

Leibniz,

unless

otherwise

RELIGION

54
Motion

motion

HI

the
physicalreality,

everythingelse has

mate
ulti-

to be reduced.

But

be got out of extension.


If extension is
of matter, then the followers of Descartes,

cannot

essence

who

PHILOSOPHY

is the central feature of

fact to which

the

AND

invoked

the

continual

interference

of God

the

as

of all

changes,are quiteright. Extension is not


tension
adequate to make the physicalworld intelligible.Exis an attribute which cannot
constitute complete
being* No action or change can be derived from it,that
is,it expresses a present state only not the future and
source

"

"

the

past,as the notion of

it presupposes
and
abstraction,
The

material
Motion
the

is relative to that which

So

phenomena.
is not

for the

account

the end

Leibniz

Besides,

do."

Extension
something else.
requiressomething which is

itself cannot

by

would

"

idea of extension

and

substance

is

only

an

extended."

is extended,

propertiesof

falls back

the

force.

on

in itself. It exists for the sake of

realisation of the

idea.

motion

By

the idea realises

its existence.

is force,energy, activity.
Motion, therefore,
suggests to Leibniz the feelingof activity.To

Force

that

say

the

of nature

essence

realityis activity,the
activities of nature

as

is

that

As

the

dynamic.
be

can

is to say
handled

by

telligen
in-

sufficient reason,
contradiction,
Leibniz

applicableto them,

of the world

motions

the

such

are

continuity,etc., are
that

universe

the laws of

as

is motion

be looked

must

infers

upon

as

changes,forces,activities,which are bound by spiritual


and
laws.* Nature
is, therefore, activity,intelligent
Life
spiritual.
breaks

down

mind

and

is the

the

is

monads,
there

is

so
a

The

"

that
world

What

are

in

becomes

Leibniz

To
the

up between
feature of the

element
spiritual

the

world

is full of

smallest

particleof matter
of creatures
livingbeings, animals,
(Monadology,p. 66).
"

the characteristics of the monad

and
is perception

Leibniz

sets
a

is the

monad

active.

entelechies,souls"
^

Motion

matter.

ever

Thus

of matter.

oppositionDescartes

life of monads.
which

truth

action.

Different monads

?
have

Its nature
different

THE

in

OF

MONADISM

LEIBNIZ

55

degreesof activity.The monad is a spiritual


unity,a true
of its activity
substance containing
within itselfthe source
It is an indivisible unity
and the succession of its states.
soul.
after the analogy of the human
to be conceived
There
from

is

infinite number

an

every

other.

individualised
have

influences from
an

infinite

are

bare

monads

two

are

each

alike.

distinct

They

their internal

by

windows

no

No

of monads,

by
other

principles.The
they can act upon or

which

monads.

How

can

of reals,which
multiplicity

monads
receive
with

universe

are

each

independently
of the other, be a satisfactory
conception? It
will be a chaotic aggregate,full of anarchy and disorder.
Leibniz has emphasised the law of contradiction
Up till now
in the abstract sense, and it has given us a number
of self-sufficing
and mutually exclusive monads.
They
them.

self-identitieswithout

somehow

independence.

to be lifted out

So

sufficient reason,

under

the

Leibniz

system, the monads

of their isolation and

influence

gives us

between

interaction

any

As the universe has order and

will have

act

of

another

the

law

of

of characteristics

set

has
possessedby the monads.
Every monad
two features, perceptionand appetition.Perceptionis
the representation
of the many,
the world of objects,
or
in the unity of a simple substance.
Appetition is the
tendency to realise the ideal. There is always a pushing
forward
or
a
strivingtowards the development of an
idea.
Perceptionis of three different kinds,unconscious,
conscious

and

in
self-conscious,

the

monads, entelechies,sensitive souls and

three

kinds

rational

of

souls.

there are
three varieties of appetition,
Correspondingly,
unconscious
impulse or tendency,instinct of animals
and

self-conscious desire

three
distinguishes
souls

but
each

or

kinds

will of rational souls.


of

Leibniz

monads,

scious
unconscious, conand self-conscious,
called respectively
entelechies,
and spirits.The
whole
is present in all these,

in

different

degrees.

of its parts, but


in others"
(Latta, p.

more

50,

"

The

world

is

entirelyin

in some
distinctly
footnote
i). Though

than
each

RELIGION

56
monad

contains

AND
whole

the

PHILOSOPHY
in

itself,
only self-conscious

of its presence.
law
The
of continuity
spiritsare aware
volves
requiresgrowth and steady difference,and inthe doctrine of the identityof indiscernibles.
in a continuous
The monads
are
series,and provide a
harmonious
from

its

As each monad

universe.

angle of vision, so

own

individuality.Since
on

each

and

is

of how

other, each

is individual

unhindered
determined
others.

by
in

of the

rest

own

and

internal
takes

affect the others.

since it follows its own

its

own

principle,

no

account

While

law of

each

activity

way

that is harmonious

all,each

is

embodiment

an

is

There

; it has

both

monads

numerous
infinitely

collide with

has

activities of others, still its law

law of the whole.

not

each

the

After

of the monad

its

would

eflectsthe universe

direct influence of monads

on

acts

independent
its action

monad

there is no

with

is

the laws of

of the order and

nothing of capricein the life


and necessity.The
freedom
so

act

that their activities do

each other,since there is a

pre-established

substance

acts on
another, still
harmony. Though no
mutual
action.
interthey behave as they would, if there were
The
harmony of the workings of the monads
God chose this world because there
is pre-established.
in it the pre-established
was
harmony. Leibniz believes
better all the problems and
that this theory answers
paradoxes of experiencethan the scheme of Spinoza.
this theory clears up the confusipns
Let us see whether
all aspects of our
and renders significant
experience.

Ill

physicaluniverse
Leibniz feels the need for the monad
theory. He points
out how
motion, which is the central feature of reality,
force, and then suddenly turns to idealistic
presupposes
self-consciousness the central
metaphysics,which makes
from material motion
This shifting
fact of the universe.
and should be traced
to spiritual
activityis unwarranted
In

attempting

to

account

for the

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

LEIBNIZ

57

interests. He
takes up the
religious
physicaluniverse,shows the inadequacyof the concept of
extension, and asks us to employ that of force. In all
this discussion the material universe is regarded as real,
is the
with
the changes that take place in it. Force
can
explain it. This
metaphysical conception which
And
to
the absolute realityof matter.
seem
we
means
between
matter
and
be coming to a kind of dualism
spirit.But we are told that force itself is something
spiritual
; and the ultimate metaphysicalexplanationlies
in the spiritual
element
in force so much
lying
undernot
as
to

and

his moral

it,the monad.

To

for the

account

with

simple explanation he suppliesus


must
to be a unity in multiplicity,
mechanical
be

cannot

for

real

unity.

bodies

realityin
not

material
we

with

meet

has

have

in

real,then they
such

active force which


The

is

principleof

mind

multiplicity.So real forces


souls. An analysisof the
or

must

of states.

Leibniz

convinces

inquiryis only
which

lurk behind
world

In

the

while

as

it.

real

final causation
would

one

series

universe

which

somehow

provoked

the soul forces

dismisses the mechanical

we

without

the inner

; in the

tendency

have efficientcausation

(M. p. 79).A
be

from

able

mechanical

to

other,
realise

; in the other

view,Leibniz feels
for

spiritand
activities. So the mechanical
hypothesis is given
Leibniz forgetsthat the problem to be solved is
explanation of the principleof matter, and we do
sure,

not

his

nothing but appearance.


world
everything is manufactured,
world it is all development. In the

the

itself. In the

Anything

is

changes are induced


development springsfrom
one

now

we

act a
grasps in one
be spiritual
realities

world

Leibniz
It

be multiplicities

through

one

material

the

constitute

consciousness

our

phenomenal product of

unreal.

mechanical

in the

that

must

world.
In

not

of matter

unities in diversities

material

the

reality

and
spiritual

combination

of unity.
principle

no

an

be

is that

If the forces which

to be

are

unities, and

in
do

mechanical

transition,the

to

account

its
up.

the
not

58

RELIGION

requirefor

it a

to two

AND

PHILOSOPHY

theory of monads.
different planes,
and one

of the other.

Matter
cannot

transition from

The

and monad
be

an

force to

long
be-

explanation
spiritual

activityis incompletelylogicalin Leibniz's system.


nature
Assuming that Leibniz has proved the spiritual
let us see whether he satisfactorily
establishes the
of reality,
elements.
What
realityof an infinite number of spiritual
makes
a real subject?
Following one view of Aristotle,
substance
the compound of matter
Leibniz makes
and
In the interests of pluralismhe defines substance
form.
as

the combination

separately.
echy, and can

"

of form

Materia
never

and

matter, and

Prima

is essential to every entelbe separatedfrom it, since it completes

itand is in itselfthe
"

of the
passivepotentiality
(Latta,p. 97). We ask what

complete substance
of individuation
principle
the

receives

which

matter

representsthe point of view


monad

consists

the context

not

in which

either

not

in the

The

form

is the

it is different.
of each

whole
is the
;

same

This

only

matter

Leibniz's

monad.

entelechy by itself,but

it lies. The

monad

is

in

separate

of its body. It is the degrees


only on account
the different
of finitude and incompletenessthat make
monads
separate. As finite beings, as growing points
to feel ourselves with all our
of view, we
seem
fections
imperBut
real.
to be
our
point of view
suppose

individual

that

becomes

of

God, then

we

will

see

that

the whole

highest point of view is that of


coherence and completeness. So the knowledge we have
several imperfect points of view is relative.
from
our
The
completest point of view will be God's, who has
no
point of view ; and to that Divine vision the whole
of the
alone is real. Everything else is a diminution
perfect point of view, therefore, something less real
that every monad
If we
than the whole.
gives
suppose
is trying to
this is what
one
every
up its fmiteness
achieve, that the elements of imperfectionwhich limit
latent
its point of view are got rid of, that the full reality
alone

is real.

The

"

"

in it becomes

actualised, then the monad

would

become

identical
due

to

several

with

Thus

God.

finite limitations ;
ultimate.
When
finites

to

cease

the
the

several
one

are

is attained

due

are

is the metaphysical

so-called

The

exist.

59

substances

whole

whole

the

isolation of the monads

and

LEIBNIZ

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

to

the

ence
independa

relative

is
of the monads
partialvision. The individuality
based on a negativeprinciple.Matter is unsubstantial,
ideas.
So with the
It correspondsto confused
unreal.
will disappear. What
clearingup of confusion matter
is the difference between
Spinoza and Leibniz ? Our
due to our imagination
are
separatenessand individuality
in Spinoza, to our
confused
perceptionin Leibniz. In
The difference
both the finite is negative and unreal.
the amount
is constituted
by the unreal imperfection,

and

of matter, the dead inertia that has to be overcome.


Monads
individual and independent only when
are
they

imperfect. But the barriers of separation break


down
when
perfect. The real individual
they become
and that is God.
viduals
must
be positive,
The so-called indiall limitations
of God.
are
Individualityis
unreal.
The
all-real is God.
It will follow
relatively
from
Leibniz's theory that the whole alone is substance,
for every
is strivingto improve itself,
created monad
is strugglingto become
real. It is a part containing
the whole, not fully and perfectly,
but partiallyand
its end is reached it becomes
pletely
comimperfectly. When
are

real.
Sometimes
"

stance
Leibniz, followingAristotle,defines subwhich

that

is not

predicatedof a subject,
but of which
all else is predicated." This definition
should
have led Leibniz to affirm the sole realityof the
is the
whole, which
one
subject of all predicates
(see Russell's Leibniz, p. 12). It is his theological
as

interests
consists
have

that
of

simple
predicatesis

substances
But

lure

Leibniz

can

says

him

to

substances.
not

have

believe

that

Everything

substance.

The

predicates applied
they are only accidental

the

which

world
can

compound
to

them.

collections

6o

and

RELIGION
not

true

which

AND

substances.

PHILOSOPHY

If Leibniz

agrees

that

thing
every-

predicatesis not substantial, then the


the subjectof all predior
only alternative is that reality
cates
is the only substance.
Other things in the world
have
only degrees of substantiality.Metaphysically
there is only one
substance.
Empiricallycorresponding
to our
several points of view, we
have
degrees of
may
derived from the whole.
substantiality
But Leibniz fightsshy of this Spinozistic
conclusion
it contradicts the realityof the mutually exclusive
as
monads.
In his anxiety to preserve
the diversityand
has

separatenessof monads, he tells us that the monads


their
Each
a

own

monad

unique

their

has its

existence

own

essences,

own

(M.

From

of

essence

p.

then

But
becoming God.
be completelyovercome,
God.

from

them
distinguishing

essences

8).

Leibniz

quality,and

this it follows

is thus

have

danger of their ever


if the passivity
should

no

says,

the monads

then

another.

one

if these monads

But

there is

have

that

the

become

only

one

with

characteristic

which

monads
makes
them unique is not
or
distinguishes
but only their degree of passivity.
any peculiaressence
We
that Leibniz is logically
unable to pass from
see
spiritual
activityto a pluralityof spirits.He nowhere
tells us
as
separate
why we should view the monads
individuals

and

not

as

manifestations

of

one

substance.

His

are
hostilityto Spinozism and his empiricalsense
for his theory. Leibniz looks at the world and
responsible
is struck by the prima facie separatenessof individuals.

And

these individuals
and

transferred

possess

appetition,and
to the world

characters

whole

of monads.

account

Pluralism

of perception
is

bodily

is thus

theory of the first look and not a


product of logical
thought.
of identityof
The law of continuitywith its corollary
is a unique
indiscernibles proves
only that each monad
expressionof the universal,as it reflects the whole from
its own
All the different classes of
particularangle.
of which forms the universe are in the
beings,the totality

matter

of faith

the

the

or

"

62

RELIGION

The

world

AND

PHILOSOPHY

but
its private mental
objects becomes
If the experienceof the monad
construction.
is completely
internal,how is knowledge which is a representation
of things possible
?
do not
We
know, we cannot
of

know, that other monads


have
are

experiencesand
objective. We cannot
our

and

false

the

which
to

We

give

Shut

the monad

can

that

of the

Here

not

some

to

the

the world

as

the

circle of its

things beyond

How

ideas,

isolated

time,

be

of

one

world

common

for

accounted

others.

among

by

On

Leibniz

individual.
of

the

Such
an

as

he is under

subjectiveside

psychologicalor

be

pre-established

when

owns,

this

only

can

or

influence

it

can

something else equallyout of the way.


results of Leibniz's conceptionof the monad

harmony
are

the true

are

is in

self,which

mystery,

they

is by

the

hypothesis,knowledge
a

between

We

copies,that there are originals,


the copiesare true to the originals
and
view
Leibniz adopts the psychological

of

some

that

sure

confused,

in within

know

that its ideas

the

exists.

hypothesisinaccessible
As to what
states.
they are,
they are caused by, we cannot

have

answer.

any

know

and

discriminate

changes or
they signifyand what

what

God
be

cannot

the clear and

or

that

or

we

is the criterion of truth

us.

how

exist

the

of his

of the external
world
philosophy,that the existence
be absolutely
has only moral
certainty. It cannot
demonstrated
by any argument that there are bodies and
from
well-ordered
dreams
being
nothing prevents some
be judged by us to
would
offered to our
minds
which
convince
be true"
cannot
by
(New Essays). "We
"

reason

and

one

any
that

others

(ibid.).But

is not

isolatedness of monads.
excludes

all other

at least with

God.

with

God

relation
can
same

have

bond

He

monads,
But
more

how
than

tells us

direct

it has
a

with

substances

exists,
him

by
the

that while

"

complete

the monad

communication

monad

enter

other

monads

If it

it not

have

the

with God, why


relationship

with other

alone

defend

able to

can

he

dreamed

merely

are

Leibniz

that

contends

who

can

The

more

into this

reasonable

THE

in

would

course

which

are

more

LEIBNIZ

63

know
other monads
be to say that it can
but cannot
know
God
less like itself,
or

is conceived

who

OF

MONADISM

be

to

of

different class

altogether.

a disembodied
spirit.The consistent
activity,
of Leibniz's psychologismis subjectivism.
consequence
But
Leibniz
contends
that the experiencesof the

God

is pure

monads

of

are

the

of his view

the weakness

correct

He

universe.

same

endeavours

to

monads

by

of exclusive

reallyexclude each
the whole universe by mirroring
For there is no individual
it.
thing which is not to be
regardedas expressingall others ; consequentlythe soul
in regard to the varietyof its modifications ought to be
which
likened to the universe
it represents accordingto
in a way
its point of view, and
to God, whose
even
infinityit represents finitelybecause of its confused
and
imperfect perceptionof the infinite,rather than
atom"
to a material
(Latta; footnote 20 to M.). Each
monad
universe, though from its
represents the same
is
own
point of view. The experienceof each monad
time public,as it is
essentially
privateand is at the same
the experience
of the one
world common
to all the monads.
The same
experienceis both privateand public,subjective
and objective,
particularand universal. The logicalor
self is not attached
to any point of view ;
epistemological
it is not opposed to any environment.
It is the whole
the

making out that though


include
other, they ideally

monads

"

world.

Each

soul

universal, a world
when

Adam,

from

The

point

in itself.

This

of view

is the

is Leibniz's

same

meaning

he says that in the notion of a singleindividual,say


there is included all that happens,not only what is

personalto Adam, but


'

this

nature

of

the

substance

passed
universe
remote

(seeM.

of every

whole

all that

substance

that

is to

accordingto
from
pp.

in its

come

its

the rest that

involves
"

universe."

comprehends

and

happens to

all his
a

posterity.
generalexpression

I maintain

present

that

state

that

every
all that has

it expresses

the whole

point of view, nothing being so


it is not

48, 49, 57). The whole

in connection

with

it

"

operates in the part.

64

RELIGION

It is contained

AND

in

the

part represents the


This

limitation

each

soul

footnote

is due

part potentiallyor

whole
to

from

its

of

the

ideally.
point

own
"

its finitude.

concentration

PHILOSOPHY

God
"

world

The

of view.

has

put in

(Latta,

p. 70,

i).
Leibniz

When

adopts

the

psychologicalpoint

he feels that all of the infinite number

of souls

are

of

view,

attached

subject to beginning and end,


and
have
temporal histories. But they are only partial
unities.
Leibniz
for knowledge or the
cannot
account
Each
soul's experiperception of the external world.
ence
is its private property, being attached
to a part of
to

physical organisms, are

nature

is

knowledge
of

view

is

its

own

are

attached
if this

possibleonly

transcended.

the

expresses

with

souls

other

whole

So

he

to

other

parts.

But

limited

separate point

argues

that

the

soul

universe

limitations

in accordance
(logical
self),
(psychologicalself). But this

do not say
We
something to be got over.
It is no
doubt
that the psychological self is unreal.
actual, but its realityis in the higher logicalself. Leibniz
is rightin urging that the soul is the entelechyof the body,
the logicalself is the truth of the psychological. The two
points of view are needed, only the psychological self
melts into the logical. The
independence and isolation
which
of
of the monads
the indispensablefeatures
are
pluralism is only relative, partial,and finite,for even
finite nature

is

the petty monads

in all their

confusion

are

aware

of the

The isolation
things in the universe.
of the monads
is,strictly
speaking,incompatible with the
of things.
completeness of the whole and the connectedness
and
Sufficient
As
the
two
principlesof Contradiction

connectedness

Reason
their

side.

whole.

are

of all

left unreconciled

in Leibniz's

system,

even

so

of the individualityof everylogicalconsequences


thing
left side by
the harmony of all things are
real and
shall see, the two
As we
are
phases of the concrete

THE

in

OF

MONADISM

LEIBNIZ

Leibniz starts his


of

philosophywith
of the
individuality

the
preserving

he

thinks,has been sacrificed

in

Spinoza'sscheme.

attempt ?
world

the individuals

and

theory of
of the

monads

he

Leibniz

explanationof

in it ?

Leibniz

the

arrives at his
The

reality

lowest monad

and

the space world 'which


the influence of the

all inferred from

highest,are
regards as

the external

their
kinds, their characteristics,

their

hierarchybetween

in his

succeed

the external world.

from

monads,

existence in
the

is Leibniz's

What

the definite purpose


human
beingwhich,

at the altar of the universal

does

But

65

plenum. Under
he reduces everything
ideal of philosophy,
mathematical
to simplenotions.
The complex world is broken up into
But
these
a
can
we
simple framework.
go back from
simplemonads to the material world ? How can we pass
from the world of ideal unextended
non-temporaldynamic
realities to
and

time

material

Monads

world

with

the

are

its existence

sole

spiritual.They are not to be


paries. Quantitative
aspects do

in space

realityand

conceived

are

paries extra

as

belongto

not

they
the

essence

of real

things. Space and time in which the material


world
has its being are
the relative,phenomenal and
which
are
imperfectexpressionsof monads
non-spatial
and
the
of
confused
non-temporal. They are
products
apprehension and
space and

when

time vanish.

of confusion

in

this confusion
The

it, which

monad

which

is pure

and

space

lightof thought in
no

existence.

But

time

the mind
monads

if space and
tune
distinctions of monads

only

asserts

The
the

that

space

exclusiveness

phenomenon

and

not

are

of
are

are

time

so

has

then

over,
no

real

In

God, space and


distinct from

real.

should

got

element

which
has
activity,
that spirit
alone is

rational knowledge,knows
eternally

real,and

is

In

the clear
time have

one

another

their absence

the

disappear. Leibniz
their roots in reality.

also

have

of the monads

in space and
of their ideal exclusion in the

time

is

spiritual
F

66

AND

RELIGION
But

system.
It is

it is

strange

the central
unreal.
to

there

the

universe

Leibniz is

or

should

of the

adventure

There

the

on

as

ing
here, for,accord-

monads

themselves.

time

regard

quite consistent

states

the monads

of free action

The

that

him, all the

in
eternally

only an assertion without any proof.


a
philosopherwho considers change

fact of

But

PHILOSOPHY

are

contained

can

be

talk

no

part of these monads.

thingsof the world are unreal.


Strictly
speaking,
all.
at
Matter
is a physicalphenoare
no
things
menon.
Materia

Compound
conceived

secunda

substances

is

are

quantitative
of monads

groups

unreal.

and

imperfectly

groupings may vary from time


to time, and they are
only temporary collections ; to the
perfectunderstandingof God they are unreal. But Leibniz
that

says

"

says,

by

God

even

God

Their

us.

creates

believes

somehow
monads

when

in them.

the time

For
and

comes,

he
taches
de-

"

(Latta,p. 117) The


body by death
individualities of human
beingsare therefore phenomenal
as
they are in Spinoza'sphilosophy. We may be told
that change is real to Leibniz while it is unreal to Spinoza.
in Leibniz the changes we
But even
feel are only phenomenal
the
of
since we are compounds ; only
changes simple
whatever
of which we have no experience
monads
sidered
conare
them

to

from

be

the

real-

The

changes

feel

we

are

as

much

Denying
imagination as we ourselves are.
and our
of our
the reality
individuality
activityas much
us
as
by holding out a vision
Spinoza,he tries to satisfy
of a city of God
where
are
we
supposed to possess in
some
unimaginable way the propertiesof activityand
the
have
already said that even
individuality.We
be regarded as real
cannot
activities of the monads
seeing that time is unreal and all the states of the
from eternity.
monads
contained in themselves
are
is only a composite of
Leibniz suggests that matter
the conditions of matter
The monads
monads.
are
though
of which
the reality
not the constituents of it. They are
illusions of

is the appearance.
phenomenal bodies

The

matter

the

are

differences

rooted

in

we

feel among

reality.We

call

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

LEIBNIZ

its dominant

body inorganicwhen

67

monad

is

bare

perceptions. If the dominant


monad
belong^to a higherscale we call the body organic ;
call it an
animal
if still higher and conscious we
body ;
call it a human
if still higherwe
being. We do not have
is organicthroughout. Leibniz
material monads
nature
as
of material
the root principles
are
argues that the monads
things. But it is only a matter of faith since the monads
and
material
things are as wide as the poles apart.
Still he believes that material
phenomena being rooted
in realityare
phenomena bene fundata. They are to be
and illusions. They are
dreams
from
not
distinguished
real substances, but only phenomena, but stillphenomena
real than dreams.
well founded, and as such more
They
which enable
follow a settled order and possess a stability
and plan our
future.
Leibniz says :
to depend on them
us
of phenomena
But the most powerfulproofof the reality
future phenomena from those which
in predicting
is success
are
(Latta,p. 99). But if there is
past and present
order and system about
much
them, why should we
so
unconscious

with

monad

"

"

consider

to be

them

accidental

collections ?

What,

after

?
With
the pragmatists,
reality
he defines truth as
dependabilityor serviceableness in
said to be
experience. Although this entire life were
nothing but a dream and the visible world nothing but
call this dream
or
a phantasm, I should
phantasm real
deceived by it,when
we
use
our
enough if we were never
this world real
reason
rightly (ibid.
p. 99). But to make
of the world of monads.
would
be to disputethe sole reality
the phenomenal world to a rainbow.
Leibniz compares
As
is not real,but onlyan appearance
the rainbow
to those who
actuallybehold it,and is a phenomenon of something else,
is this world of sound and smell,of figures
and motions
so
a subjective
phenomenon and not a reality.The real is

all,is Leibniz's

of

test

"

"

that

which

underlies

order

and

connection.

monads
that

the

sense

and

external

this

world, that which

Ultimate

realityis

imaginationdeceive

world

also is

us

gives it
the
into

real, while it

world

its

of

thinking
is only an

68

RELIGION

abstraction.

We

AND

ask for

PHILOSOPHY

historical world

explanationof the material


is mathematically calculable,and
the
with its temporal becoming. We are told

that this whole

process

which

universe

doctrine

of the

an

is unreal
Efficient

souls.

and
causes

dependent on
their nature
prior

are

spiritual
things are in
of the mechanical
to material
things. The source
in the metaphysical." The
material is the lapse of
spiritual.As to how the one is the explanation of
final

and

referred to the

are

causes,

is

"

other, Leibniz
If

is not

consider

we

existences
whit

the

clear.

Spinoza

to

be

abolishes all distinctions and

who

the

to the credit of

He

better.

not

the

solid-seemingworld
be

is

weak

an

abstract

puts down

the

apparent

imagination,Leibniz

equally fierce

with

absolutist,

its space,

in

is

condemning

tune

and

pound
com-

phenomenon. The difference


is only between
Spinoza'sone realityat the back of things
As
the theory is carried to the
Leibniz's many.
and
verifyfor ourselves
region of the miraculous we cannot
Both fail to
whether
the thing in itself is one
or
many.
their spiritual
derive the material world from
principles.
of the relation
account
Both
fail to give a satisfactory
and the phenomenon, the metaphysical
between
the noumenon
the
and
physical. There is a gulf fixed up
and
the world of bodies.
the sphere of monads
between
substances

Both

assert

to

that God

exactly,they

do

not

is the

of the world.

cause

tell us.

In both

how

But

all differences

are

thingsand persons are phenomena which


What
remains
clear knowledge is attained.
when
substances.
real substance
or
Simply because
realityto be not one
regards the fundamental

Particular

lost.
vanish
is the
Leibniz

it does not follow that he has not denied


many,
Differences
swallowed
differences of the world.
are

but

the
up

If Leibniz tells us that


manyness.
monads
these thingsin themselves
are
or
eternallyactive,

in

and
about

blank

causa

the

oneness

or

sui, Spinoza tells


one

Substance.

us

exactly the

same

thing

RELIGION

70

PHILOSOPHY

him.

impossibleto

not

were

AND

But

solute
given the God of abimpossible. There is

other worlds were


perfection,
If a good God, knowing all
nothing contingent here.
possibleworlds, has it in him to refuse to create the best
world, if it is possiblefor him not to be determined
by the

principleof

best, then there may be contingencyin


to will the
God, as he is good, is constrained

the

his action.
best.

Possibilities

than
or

not

the

created

one

He

by

of

but

As

choose

is the

and

his

of

all actual
doubt

of God

the

objectsof

are

ultimatelythey
there
and

would

be

nothing would
world

would

nature

for his

confused, and
of

things.

what
of

it is.

the

It

world

divine

accident.

So

that

means

his

but

is the

also

of

understanding.
"

God.

on

of

essence

is

objectwould

other.

The

other

view

lie outside

all

Without

But
Him

of things,
possibilities

God
world
would

it.

God

But

and

the

make

has

nature

universe
be

cannot

at all

not

be the ultimate

Leibniz

this choice

himself, his very

perfect and

Spinoza'sby holding that

other

are

than

the

explanation
his
distinguishes
the
come

world

is due

to

nothing.

an
pure choice, then the world becomes
ment
his first stateLeibniz
hastens
to correct

were

by saying that
and

He

nature.

are
possibles
independent

understanding
its

unfold

to

"

that

choice.

If the choice

the

God.

nothing in existence, but


possible (M. p. 43). Again, this

follows

Any

system from
to

so

each

organic to

be

world

of

be

there

even

his

real in the

nothing

be

the

dependent

are

would

only

not

other

are

idea

our

existence

No

they

worse

expression of the good-will


understanding, we may take

existence.
possible
as

there

this

expressionof

only

not

allow

to

this world

it is the

source

are

goodness is necessary, then his


So this world
equally necessary.

is

God, his power

it that

because

logicalnecessityfrom

cannot

which

If God's

of his world

itself.

universes

contingentsimply

possibleworlds.
follows

other

prove nothing about the contingent


of God's
God's choice does
choice.

nature

necessary
become

choice

of

it is

there is

choice

strict

determined

by reason,
necessityabout the
logical

existence

of

enforced

either

constitute

the dilemma

of the

Spinoza

has

account

is

only

God

on

what

than

is not
is

main

Creation

created

out

of

theory
is due

to

development
creation is just

the

will of God

p. 43). So the
of nothing,for all that creation
realities

into
possibilities

turns

of the

ideal relation

an

His

outlined.

we

means

the world

satisfactory

more

pass from this section let us turn to Leibniz's


Creation as a temporal act is a metaphor,
of creation.

of the monads.

world

give

of the

we

since time

who

to

dependence of
suppliedus with.

account

Before

able

truth

The

itself to Leibniz.

is not

they do,

If

not.

or

;
by the system of possibles
is arbitrary. Neither horn of

choice

commends

is,Leibniz

matter

be
may
possibleuniverses

the

system

71

conclusion

same

that

is determined

choice

if they do not, God's

what

The

by pointing out

should
God's

world.

the

LEIBNIZ

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

transformation

of

understanding of God into an


to the universe.
nothing new

(M.

is in the

which
possibility

actuality.
God

adds

Creation

free

possibilities
is traced
So every reality
by removing the obstructions.
The weakness
of this argument has been already
to God.
referred
There
is another
to.
theory of creation in
Leibniz.
It is not a specialact or singleevent, but it is
eternal act.
of the
There
continual
an
are
fulgurations
If this theory is
to moment."
divinityfrom moment
sets

"

accepted,then
but

the

the monads

passing phases

different

versions

of

with
of

all their activities become

God's

creation

life.

wishes

to

Leibniz

by
emphasise

his
the

ultimate

dependence of the world on God.


that
the
freedom, we
see
Turning next to human
problem does not arise at all for Leibniz ; the individual
and
his freedom
both
ideal.
are
Activity,causality,
freedom
all abstractions
are
(M. p. 49). We have only
internal
due
inner
to
developments of the monads
principleswhich
have

to

monad
Is

the

find

out

the

monads

if the

is at least free in

development

of

received

internal
sense

the

from

development

different from
monads

God.

We
of

the

Spinoza's.

contingent

and

RELIGION

72

spontaneous ?
or

will

in

each

as

in

anywhere

PHILOSOPHY

Everything

happen

monad

AND

that

happens, has happened

universe

the

be

can

world

of

read

in any

monads

Changes
represented in
of the pre-established

are

monad

according to the doctrine


in regulatingthe whole, has
God,
harmony.
regard to each part*'(M. p. 60). Leibniz thinks
every

one

universe.

represents the whole


the

"

giving windows
interference

monads

to

which

would

be

allow

to

would

destroy their
changes of the monad

So he

argues that all


the nature
of the monad

had
that

outside

independence.
in

rooted

are

the predicate of every


itself,
as

propositionis always contained in the subject. Between


the two, subject and predicate,
there is the same
Spinozistic linkage of necessity.Arbitrary choice would
flict
conwith the principles
of sufficient reason
and continuity.
There

are

makes

breaks

no

in

the
with

harmony

is also

the

the

monads'

end

is inevitable.

that

self-directed

future.

activities.

Leibniz

or

admits

the

as

present is

pre-established

contingency of

thing is

whole

machines,

are

of

much

settled ; the

when

though they

spontaneous machines.

never

its sufficient

The

law
with

Nature

has

monad.

The

The

soul.

occurs

the

incompatible

monads

the

of

nature

pregnant

has

life of

leaps. Everything

reason

that

in the

But

are

he says
called

contingency

Evolution
means
place in the life of the monads.
that the complex whole is virtually
contained
in the germ.
If againstSpinoza the criticism is possible
that the phenomenon
of growth is not the addition
of anything from
no

without

but

simply

exists, Leibniz
Leibniz

is

the

is open

only

unfoldingof
to

determined

theory.
from

attack.

same

unfolding or

an

progressive differentiation
Complete
originalmonad.
Leibniz's

the

which

that

an

in germ

determination

nature

the

first, so

of each
that

Growth

monad
God

in the
to

seems

is

in
The

unwrapping.

is contained

The

already

be

absolutely

had

to

count

Professor Ward
who
upon it in choosing the best world.
follows Leibniz
on
points feels that he does not
many
effect

an

escape

from

determinism,
Spinozistic

as

develop-

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

LEIBNIZ

73

So he
happens to be only an unrollingprocess.
tion
adopts the conception of epigenesisor the producof the genuinely new
along a line of ever-growing

ment

differentiation.

self-direction

belongs

Its conduct

Its life expresses


determined
is not

its nature.

But

development

of the monad

of the monad.

on

there

the will of God

it is

is determined

action

Though all
Spontaneity or

(M.

the

very nature
internal principle.

to

its own

influences

by

foreign to

where
the internal
passages
is made
completely dependent

are

p.

spontaneous.

monad

47). Every

in it

has

or
a
possibility
tending to realise itself. It
potentiality
checks
there are
remains
a
as
thwarting its
possibility

realisation,and

the checks

unless
become

will not

real.

removed

are

co-operationof God is needed.


by removing the
possibilities

the
the

God

When
then

interferes

and

has

therefore

to be

the

monads,

that

should

He

free

set

ences.
counteractinginfluthe

removes

springsforth
possibility

the

bility
possi-

negative function

this

For

the

eternallyactive.
is,the unfolding

tion,
obstruc-

into

being. God
development of

The
of

their

is

natures,

"

All thingsand all


good-willof God.
He gives
the realities are continually
produced by God."
their original
the
to monads
principles.He determines
successions
of their changes. The
spontaneity of the
monads
is completely sacrificed.
The
monads
pendent
deare

dependent

God.

on

that
no

God

does
of

means

monads
The

the

on

has
best

is identical

Leibniz
it all.

takes

As

to

The

knowing.
that

with

Leibniz
the

absolutist

of the

which

reason

freedom

and

does

it

we

spontaneity of

depends on
implieslack
we

to

theory of

the

it.

the

and

It is

so

its
If

of the

intelligence.

we

universe
far

An

distinctness

degree

degreeof

perceivethe

question

freedom.

The

of freedom.

inarticulate way.

this

on

say

the clearness

determines

capriciousact
of the passive element,
confused

he

so-called

has

proportionto

how

says
have

also vanished.

action is free in

monad's

shelter in faith and

have

more

only in

limitation

of

RELIGION

74
mind.
we

When

where

basis
has

its

place

furnish
free

the

"

unfree.

are

by

passive element
Such
by something foreignto mind.
is a slave to its sensuous
or
passive
Distinct
knowledge or intelligence

mind

the

PHILOSOPHY

determined

are

determined

are

acts

we

AND

in the

confused

true

of reason,

use

ideas.

Hence

while

can

we

that

say
that

from

the

senses
we

are

act
with
we
slavery just in the degree
distinct knowledge, but are subjectto our passionsin just
the degree that our
ideas are
confused."
True
freedom
It is perfectrationality.
means
complete determination.
God
alone is absolutelyfree.
All his acts are determined
it is
whence
to the best possibleends,
by infinite wisdom
manifest
how
the Author
of the world is free although He
does all things determinately,for He
acts from
a
ciple
prinof wisdom
or
perfection.Indifference springsfrom
is he determined
is,the more
ignorance,and the wiser a man
towards
that which
is most
perfect (On the
Ultimate Origination
of Things) God acts in the lightof
the eternal view of things. As finite,
has not this
man
"

"

insightinto
Full

sense.

the

truth

goal.

the

evil rather

less, the

deceive
led

is

Our

true

conclusion

God

universe.

freedom

which

causes

our

good, a greater

good

rather

to

to
as

man

the

than

"

us

It
to

evil rather

than

greater.

This

the

good and evil which


perfectknowledge, is always
best good, that is, to the
of

good."
in the matter

are

is,Leibniz

to make

free

and

out

not

that

in his reaction
the

activities

determined, and

so

contingent and spontaneous. But he


not able to establish it,and his principles
compel him
of all conduct, divine
admit
complete determination

holds
is

and

the true

the

againstSpinozism wants
of

that

see

than

and

to defective

organicwith

appearances
God, who is

absolute

and

true

; but

us

the

to

less
the

from

comes

shall

of

world

systems, is only

Evil is due

perfectinsightwe

individual

the

to

in absolutistic

as

imperfection of

choose

bondage

It is the ethical ideal.

self of the
an

is in

he

freedom,

insight. With
is

that

well

as

they are

human.

He

tries

to

avoid

fatalism

and

the

approach
absolute

on

step

every

par with that


The best he has

the
preserve
is
his universe

anxiety to

his law

According to

we

lands
told

are

of other

plants,etc.
Spinoza has already said.
In spiteof all his ethical
monads,

75

Leibniz
Quite logically

God.

to

freedom

At

LEIBNIZ

indifference,but

of

freedom

fatalism.

is all due

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

of

to say

idealism

the

and

human

minerals,
what

optimism

and

will of

free

Spinoza's.

monads

continuity,the
the lowest

it

point is

independence and
as
only as open

series,from

regularcontinuous
If a change occurs

that

ranks

monads,

on

in

us

form

highest.
in one
of them, other changes should
elsewhere to maintain
the equilibriumof the whole.
occur
The
in all their
perfect and the imperfect elements
found
in
possible permutations and combinations
are
the series of monads.
a
reshuffling
Change only means
of

the

old

balance

there
else.

of the

alike

is ascent

here

there

must

universe

we

Leibniz's

may
say
the same."

universe

not
certainly

The

way

If

and

up

changes

are

neither

forward
be

not

may

trogression
re-

somewhere

There

moves

the

this scheme.

descent
"

Heraclitus

; it is

be

to

Progressand

whole.

incompatible with

the way
down
is one
and
in the world, but the whole

backward.

disturbance

any

of the

elements

are

With

without

elements,

the

to

nor

static

progressingone.

VII
Does

Leibniz

personal immortality? He
tells us that there is no metempsychosis since the monads
There
undergo gradual changes and not sudden breaks.
is neither
death

grant

absolute

birth

phenomenal
great changes compound
are

are

unborn

only
itself
with

the
"

and
soul

us

nor

they

absolute
are

is

only the

substances

imperishable.

death.

"

(M. p. 71). But is the human


the immortalitypossessed by

names

undergo.

It may
indestructible, but

be

animals

But

the

and

of the
monads

said that

also

being

Birth

not

animal

to be content

and

plants ?

RELIGION

76
Leibniz
are

draws

souls

in the

Thus

The

tells

lower

clearer

us

that

rise in

animal

rational

given

are

vested

differ

and
biguous
am-

an

interests.

only

if

scale

souls

plants

memory

in

degree.

they develop

series of monads

perceptions. The
the

have

some

the

and

nothing is destroyed,

souls

monads

the

animals

they

as

have

they

monads

So

that

sense

rational

position,as
Leibniz

While

immortal,

are

consciousness.

PHILOSOPHY

distinction.

indestructible

rational

AND

form

differ from

must

tinuum.
con-

the

only in degree. But then they cannot


pretend to any specialform of immortality. So Leibniz
concedes
to
certain
them
quite inconsistently
special
While
monads
into
animal
the
can
privileges.
develop
souls degenerate into the organic
souls, and the animal
souls

it is assumed

ones,

that

rational

the

souls

generate
de-

cannot

into

rational souls in all


The
anything lower.
lose their rationality.
the changes they undergo will not
in the image of God.
Souls
Spiritsalone are made
in general are
livingmirrors or images of the universe
also images of the
of created
are
things,but minds
of nature
himself, capable of knowing
Deity or Author
"

the

system of the universe, and


it

like

small

cannot

we

its

divinityin

between

the

own

mind

being
sphere" (M. p. 83).

draw
consistently
rational

of imitating

extent

some

through architectonic ensamples,each

Though
kind

to

souls and

distinction of
any
the other monads,

presupposed in Leibniz's view


and immortality.
of indestructibility
the same
But is the immortalityof the rational monads
the
can
we
as
personal immortality? How
say that
I
which
is just the
wish
self-conscious monad
we
Is the self a monad
?
to be preserved in after-life ?
is constituted
of man
The
by a group of
individuality
still such

distinction is

'

with

monads

monad

dominant

phenomenal aggregates and


can
say this body is mine.
from

one

unity,if

to

the

another.

dominant

not

The

If there
monad

'

in it.

But

these

are

organicunities.

No

bodies

passing

move

should

should

be

on
an

be the form

one

organic
of the

RELIGION

78
from

their

without

nature,

own
"

limits

AND

(ibid.).The

It is due

to God.

the

to

instance
be

essential

have

to

seem

we

incapable of being
of this

prima

limitations

monad

has

its

essence.

to

is not

of created

So

"

one

all created

of

things.

evil is unreal, for without

it there

claims, no

efforts.

no
aspirations,

conflict between
and

God,

strife of the

The

final ?
Is he

Is God

always

principle?
superior to
is
of

no

In

that

say

world

process, no
the world we
have

whose

to

is unknown.

parentage

is the process of the world.


struggle the end of things ? Is the

the

Is

is

cannot

common

tendencies, the perfectdue

the two

material

the

We

in the

perfect,
imperfect,

active, or God ; the other


divine, spiritual,
material, inert, and passive,or materia prima, the

property

due

this inalienable

principles

two

original

in the natural

seen

materia

things. It happens that every


imperfection. It belongs
world

is

An
42).
beings may

p.
of
created
imperfection
inertia of bodies

which
"

(M.
"

PHILOSOPHY

two

dualism

the process of evil ?


this hostile and refractory

eternallyopposed by
strugglewith

to

Is

there

chance

any

that

he

would

rise

opposition and obstruction ? If there


chance, what
a
happens to the independent reality
If evil is independent of God, then triumph
this evil ?
assured.

it is not

over

He

is infinite.
of

its

all

of

and

him

should

reckoned

be

this is not
There
or

the

But

the

element

in this matter
for he

sense.

of

entelechy

as

or

saying that

cannot

we

the

is used
the

monad

of

his nature.

of

God
sum

realityis

word

be

materia

he is

sure

matter

for either

If he is the

imperfection,though

Leibniz

imperfectionis

employs

Matter

element

include

must

suggestionsin

are

that

universal,illimitable,the

phase

same

say

Leibniz's
independent of him.
requiresthat the principleof evil

he

real, then

then

cannot

essential

an

description of God
whole

be

cannot

reality when

outside

We

the

imperfect.

that

materia

phase

of his nature.

of Leibniz's
in

prima

more

ing,
mean-

than

one

primitive soul, the


the externally conditioned

prima, or
containing the principlesof activity

and

the

There

the

not

are

which

prima

it is sometimes

phenomenal

developed

dependent
of

God.

on

Confused

ideas ;

clear

in

or
activity,

expressed.

apart from

genus

be

can

is also

79

the

or

manifestation

confused

as
potentiality

ideas

LEIBNIZ

secunda,

hints

are

materia

that

sense

Passivity is
its

materia

passivity,or

universe.

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

the

two

degree. Activity and passivity are only


of degree. Materia
differences
prima is the lapse of
The
side of the monad.
it is only the confused
as
spirit,
itself.
within
the mind
is only a contrast
distinction
Materia
prima is a confusion of mind, a lower grade of
differ

in

only

It is the
energy.
spiritand completes it.

the

same

pure

is

"

shows

this

to

the

aspect of

pletion
com-

matter

with

contrasts

necessity of matter
entelechy,and
every

the

is essential

Matter

Leibniz

emphasised,

and

mind

When

limits

which

element

for

mind.

can

never

it since
matter
completes it."
separated from
echy
Matter
or
primitivepassive power completes the entelthat it becomes
the primitive active power
or
so
is necessary
The
dual nature
to
a
perfect substance."
make
an
organic unity. The unity is real, as the two
be
"

aspects
that

aspects of

are

only

substances
of

the

The

of
the

be

can

the

one

real

are

is

not, he

are

between

Leibniz

unities,while

says

compound

emphasising the organicnature

entelechy and the materia


the opposites into which
the one
two
are
God
the author
conceptually broken
up.

relation

prima.
whole

monads

the

When

whole.

one

be

must

the

the

of

author

the

also, for
Matter, the

other

necessarilycontains the other.


and
soul, the active spirituality,
passive potentiality,
both
due
do justice
to him.
are
Only this view can
to

one

Leibniz's characterisation

the
all-real,
God

of all

source

expresses

himself

and

passivity.As

the

principleof

presence

of this

realitythat

his

of God

possibleand

infinite,perfect,

actual

existence.

in

being and not-being,


activity
is activity,
he has in him
nature

individuation

or

negative element

accounts

as

for

the

limitation.
in the

creation

It

is the

heart of
very
of this world.

8o

RELIGION

AND

infinite collection

The

conceivable
God

only

is not

particularforms,

this wonderful

finitude, individualityand

of

world

of

PHILOSOPHY

with

the

of this

help

affirmation

mere

plurality,is
negative element.
position. He is

or

pure

affirmation

through negation, identity in difference.


into the constitution
The
enters
of
negative element
It represents an
affirmation.
aspect of the true being
of things. The
negative is not the diminutive, the
defective
the privative,but is central or
radical to
or
reality. Apart from it no activityis possible.
of the relation of activity
If this account
and passivity
then

is correct,

the

shadows

unreal

by

themselves.

is and

The

their union.

elements

two

They

the is-not

aspects of the world

are

are

of

change.
dependent though antagonisticmoments
and

God

of the

real
world

The

realise

to

life.

They

hierarchy of

themselves

constitute

inertia

world.

the

by

are

continuous

one

dead

or

matter

the

are

God

pure

upper

active
teleologically

the

only in
real as distinguishable
They are mutually
of the
two

universe.

aspects

energy and matter


and lower limits of

limiting notions

two

or

real

are

ideal,the

or

the

abstractions

of

the

individuals.

Everything
active and passive,person and thing.
is at once
is struggling
consists of monads, each of which
the unity of soul and body, of entelechy and

prima. This account, which follows from the


Hegelian theory of the relation of being and not-being to
ing
Accordanticipated by Leibniz.
becoming, is partially

materia

to

finite-infinite.
of its

account
"

In

An

It

; but

degrees
element

strives

to

entanglement

confused

the whole
the

aspect of the universe

him, every

way

of

in the

the monads

they are
their

limited

distinct

that

there

active-passive,

infinite,but

finite cannot

do

on

so.

strive after the infinite,


and

differentiated

through
perfections" (M. p. 60).

of finiteness is found
admit

the

reach

is

in all creative
souls

monads.

entirelyseparate
created
from
from
body."
matter, nor
spiritsdetached
Every finite soul is joined to a body which represents
Matter
is the finitude and
the passivity.
its finiteness.
"

I do

not

are

monad

Every
ia

mater

has

Leibniz

If God

limitation,then he will be

LEIBNIZ

81

body, entelechy and


the spirit
of God is disembodied

says
the absolutist

here

check.

and

soul

prima. But
and
spirit,

with

meets

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

line of argument

is pure activitywithout
any
deserter from the generalorder.

as
activityis an ideal limit quite as much
pure
passivity. Leibniz recognisesthat there can be no such
thing as pure passivity,but wrongly imagines that pure
of the pure
energy is real by itself. He admits the reality
God
the extra-mundane
absolute
spiritwhen he makes

Pure

substance
and

of monads

into existence,

order

them.
But
among
will differ from the created monads

institutes

creator

but

calls the realm

who

in kind.

This

involves

breach

then
not

of the

law is to be observed, then

If that

God
in

law

the

degree
of

tinuity.
con-

the limitation

much
to the created
monads, however
necessary
be reduced, cannot
vanish altogether. However

it may

infinitely
approach,

of a monad
perfectionthe nature
may
So
it can
become
all
monads
never
are
entirelyperfect.
limited in that they possess degrees of imperfection. If
each monad
the imperfectionwere
would
become
got over
Leibniz is aware
of this difficulty,
and so
a blank
page.
in the series
suggests that God is only the highestmonad
of monads, differing
from the others, not in kind, but in the
degree of its activityand perfection.He is not consistent
this point, however.
When
the monads
which
on
are
looked upon
cut off from other monads
are
as
capable of
with God, he makes
God
entering into communication
of materiality.
pure activitywithout
any element
Much
this point is due to a neglect
of the confusion
on
to emphasise the distinction between
tradiction.
negation and conThe finite beings of the created monads
are
and this
subjectto an inner discord or self-contradiction,
subjectionis a signof their finiteness. The contradiction
to

near

is

defect which

contradiction.

But

negativity.

It is not

from

the whole.

be

can

overcome.

is not

he

God

free from

is free from
the

element

of

be eliminated
quality that can
Reality is active through negation. It
a

82

RELIGION

realises

AND

PHILOSOPHY

itself

compatib
through opposition. Contradiction is inwith
unity, and so the finite beingsare only
partial unities struggling"to reach peace in wholeness.
Negativityis quite consistent with, nay, indispensableto a
true whole.
Without
negativitythe whole reduces itself
to

abstract

an

; with

oneness

totality. God

the whole

or

According to modern
spiritualwhole.
another

one

and

Its

the element

concrete

of

distincts

several

co-operate

the purposes
of the whole.
tendencies
is present throughout,

promote

The

conflict of the

two

but

this

element

common

has

to

negation,
the greater is its negativity.
absolutism
crete
reality is a con-

for the richer the whole

with

it,it is raised

appears

The

in

forms.
many
itself in the forms
of
so

struggle of the two expresses


plants,minerals, animals and human
personalities.But
to its own
in human
ness.
consciousbeing has not come
even
There
is still the strugglefelt by the mind
of man
in the world.
So long as the dualism
between
spiritand
nature, self and
the

highest,where

been
not

its other

reached.

is present, it is

But

still

manifestations.
between

consciousness

they
They
but

are

though

the

are

in the

recognisesthat matter is
of spirit,
Leibniz
thinks
and

intellect

for the

While
real

that
are

that

sense

breaks

Leibniz

be

cannot

Whatever

concrete
exists

view

the

though

another,

one

is

opposed

absolutist
low

While

real.
and

while

down

from

manifestation

the

life,consciousness
absolutist

are
intelligence

the

one

can

to

doctrine

it is unreal, and

other, still it

for it, Leibniz

psychical.

This

life,consciousness

in the

ground

that
they contend
one
spiritualwhole.

whole.

points.

consciousness,

still

higher forms of
variety of forms distinct

Leibniz's in many

that

life,life and

intellect,but

is

vegetable,
continuit
recognise the dis-

Absolutists
and

consciousness
the other

and

still united

holds

human

real than

matter

and

lower

that

the self finds itself in the other, has not

absolutelyreal,it is more

animal

indication

an

tinuous
discon-

prepare

the

adequately account
this continuity. Reality to
whole
since it is throughout
cannot

is

mind, and

this is different

from

Leibniz

absolutist
How

tradition

stands

matter

consciousness
and

life

value

is it

But

the

rational

souls

of sensitive

out

also for various

me

with

only as
perceptionand

they

remained

of the

they

received

natural

means

or

that

act

if you
God
117).

rational
God

or

"

p.

and

detaches
finds

from

it

sensitive

the

rational

to

for the

on

this

therefore, contend
sensitive

souls

difference
'

The

world

between

difference
with

with

one

there

who

He

transition

recognises

monads

those
and
as

those

his arguments
He

souls

cannot,
are

between

much

beings.

which

express the
it unexpress

between

difference in

life and

only

which

the difference

This is not

continuity
dis-

ness.
self-conscious-

beings.

self-conscious

from
a

There
is as
grasp.
and
conscious
organic

consciousness

is difference

niz
(ibid.).Leib-

the

conceive

comes

clearer

the

then

(Latta,

time

the

death"

self-conscious

between

sees."

when

bases

"

transcreation

discontinuityhe

is as great
intelligently
and

of

and

that

that

conceive)
by a special

this soul

to

souls.

immortalityof

but

begetting

difficult to

find

consciousness

between
And

to

of the

that there is
suppose
sensitive soul to the rank

body by

difficult

; that

reason

we

minds

creates

of

belong

to

raising a
soul (which I
has given reason
like by a kind

devoid

were

of

of

souls, endowed

to the time

whether

into

"

animal

or

up

they

reason

declines

or

recognisesthat
needed
to develop

is

and

memory

whom

it automatically

monad,

monads.

sensitive

in this state
to

man

for moral

account

It appears
to
souls
probable that the human

reasons

existed

then

as

himself

God

of

or

life account

can

higher stages
Leibniz

so

special interference

the

But

that, given the

thinks

that

answers

is the field of mechanism,

Matter

consciousness

develops into
the lower.

consider

us

consciousness,

to

for life.

Can

Leibniz

life stands

as

account

for consciousness

Leibniz

life ?

to

to intellect.

it cannot

Let

points.

these

on

related

to

83

in settinghimself against the


justified

is

is matter

LEIBNIZ

exists is for mind.

saying,whatever

whether

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

mirror

degree.

If

there

is

mechanism,

RELIGION

84
as

consciousness

and

of mechanism

to account

to
as

since

unreal

of the

small

condemn

consciousness

life and

enough

consciousness

they cannot
spirit. But

human

and

life,or self-

perception. If the inadequacy


for life is enough to degrade it

mere

should

unreality,we

PHILOSOPHY

between

difference

much

AND

life and
for the

account

if the

to be slurred

and

between

that

over,

higher values

between
discontinuity

consciousness

or

consciousness

intellect

is

mechanism

Either all of
great enough to be stressed.
consciousness
and intellect,
real as
are
them, matter, life,
life is not

and

distinct

to

the

of mater ia

here

prima.

of soul

negative moment

or

none

of them

is real at

accept the latter view, and


But

accept the former.


sense

whole,

one

will not

Leibniz

all.

of

elements

or

are

we

While

not

mater

ought

so

using matter
ia prima is

entelechy, related

to

in
the

it

as

being without any distinct existence, matter


It is formed
is the other of spiritwith a positivestatus.
of the growing strugglebethe first outcome
tween
matter
or
being and non-being, in which as the lowest stage
non-being is predominant. As we rise higher up, it grows
is also continuityin so far as
There
and weaker.
weaker
non-being

one

is

to

preparationfor

life the

and

life is realised.

lose its nature

If nature
swallowed

and

necessary

as

is animated,

up
in the world.
force

Matter

conditioningelement.

basis in which
cannot

the other.

The

represents the

To

if matter

is

it cannot

two, life and


other.

psychical,if

it is

fulfil its function

matter,

and

quantity, purpose
for the

Matter

fulfil this purpose,


it
material, necessary and external.

then
spirit,

in

is the condition

are

mechanism.

opposed
One

as

is

"

Leibniz

Force
is not
says :
be actual without
matter."

something divine which could


and reason
of the natural.
There
Life is just the purpose
the material
and the vital,
is an inner harmony between
is related to
the mechanical, and the biological. Matter
spiritas the body of the compound substance is related
to its soul.

The

world

not

become

The

dominant

of nature

has its

monad

is the soul of the whole.

in spirit
which
significance

self-conscious until it

comes

into contact

will
with

86

RELIGION

AND

PHILOSOPHY

harmonious

manifestations.
whole, includingvarious
This unity of the universe, which
call the unity
we
may
of God, is the central fact.
a

For

from

the
infer

but

cannot

else

Nothing
and

the

God

of

the

life.

As

we

life.

of

ment
continuityof develop-

The

These

relation

monads

the

as

world,

manifestation

for the

subordinate

world.

the

of relations.

be taken

may
the

of

nature

it is the

harmony

marks

and

and

that
account

can

the

supreme
substance

organic

are

everywhere
the

between

of the

compound

type of the relation between

in the

livingbody

there

is

form or soul immanent


in it,even
there is a
so
purpose,
soul in the world
which
its joy in the living
expresses
of the

pulsating harmony
the

world,

the

as

universe.

dominant

God

monad

is the

is the

soul

soul

of

of
the

compound

substance, because

the

which
controls
it and
the force
power
through it. The whole world is strugglingto

acts

reach

the

this kind

feet of God.
of

Leibniz

final

the

of the

supremacy
subordination
any

with

monads, then

of

cause

absolute

an

of their
said

admits

fear that

not

and

the

world

to

endeavour.

It has

being a
energy,
manifest
itself in.

realityof

that the relation of this


intimate

than

of

the

even

in

ordinate
sub-

positing

finite centres
been

concrete

Leibniz

soul

if
the

not

the

the

highest unity. He
unity to the world is more
of

But

does

this

that

would

soul.

independence

need

that

compatiblewith

this absolute

requires a

the world

experiencewill deprive the

initiative

that

is

afraid

if this relation

the

we

and

individual

monad

one

of the rest, and

interfere

way

God

of the

be

to

seems

between
relationship

destroy the independence

more

is the

world, the

which

of

God

to

already
whole,
himself
considers

organic,
the body.

"

For he says :
Besides the world, or the aggregate of finite
things,there is a certain unity which is dominant, not only
as

the soul is dominant


in my
dominant

is dominant
For

the

world, but

in me,

body,
unity

constructs

but

and

or

rather

also in

of the

much

world

fashions

it

as

"

the

ego

itself

higher sense.
not only rules the
(On the Ultimate

The

Originationof Things).
unity of the universe.
From

the external

nor

whole

which

monad,

LEIBNIZ

unity

of God

that

this it will follow

monad

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

includes
has

he

since

is neither

God

God

all.
be

to

is the

is the

highest
exist in,

object of, i.e.,to

an

highest

but

be the

cannot

highest

the

of the monads,

source

them

87

of the system,
be an
element
; he cannot
every monad
is the only
since he has to be that unity of the whole which

not

the

source

the external
without
a

is
highest monad
of the system of monads.
Again, if God is
be incomplete
then the system would
source,
will be
There
of the series.
highest monad
is the
the law of continuity. Besides, if God

sufficient

true

the
of

breach

external

monads

God

cannot

be
This

universal

existence

monads
divine

exists, and

he alone

So
him.
completely dependent upon
be
within the system of things ; he cannot
only proves that God is the organic whole,
ultimate
The
ground of the
harmony.

realityof

is God.

God

or

the

Creation
of the

presence

means

whole

in

exists in every part, or as Leibniz


All
monad.
is the object of every
put it, God
and
the
the whole
put together form
express
The

part.

every
would

the

then

life of the monads

and

the

only

as

are

outside.
the

God

of the monads,

creator

the

So

reason.

idea.

characters

and

As the monad

whole

The

several
into the

melt
is the

source

phases lose
harmony of

their

opposing

the life of God.

of all the differences it contains,

variety of its existence,


whole.
Each
is realitya dynamic self-revealing
even
so
the whole
monad
is a multiplicity
in unity simply because
is a unity in diversity.
which
is reflected in each monad
God
is thus the harmony between
the real and the ideal,
thought and reality.
and

is the

This

ground

is the

of the

ideal

whole

involved

in

Leibniz's
is the

which

According to him the real


is of a piece with the system

which

coheres

of

whole.

law

with

of Sufficient

the ordered

Reason

embracing system.

But

tells

whole
us

Leibniz

that

of the

system

fitting,that
world, that

experience. The

the world

does

as

not

wish

is

an

to

allface

88

RELIGION

this

conclusion.

individualism

His

are

Reason

cannot

world.

The

AND

PHILOSOPHY

dread

of

responsiblefor

lead

to God

Spinozism
it.

the

as

HI

The

and

law

external

love

of

of Sufficient
of the

source

so-called

cosmologicalproof of God becomes


and
vicious.
According to it, the grounds
unnecessary
of contingenttruths are
in other contingent
to be found
and

truths

this leads
be

infinite process.
The
final
in something outside the system of
to

an

sought
contingentthings,viz. God (M. pp. 36-37). The
of the world lie hid in something extra-mundane,
must

reason

"

from

the

concatenation

of states

the

or

reasons

different

series of

constitutes
the world
aggregate of which
Ultimate Originationof Things) The system

things,
(On the

"

the

as

whole

requiresno peg to hang


There is nothing beyond
"

We

It is its own
upon.
it. It is the sole and

explanation.
the all real.

that the supreme


substance, which is
and
nothing outside of it
necessary,

also hold

may

unique, universal
being independent of it, this substance which is a pure
of possiblebeing,must
and must
be illimitable,
sequence
contain as much
God
is
as is possible (M. p. 46)
reality
the first principleof all things. He is the universal spirit
of which
God
particularindividuals are merely modes.
of
alone is the primary unity or originalsimple substance
which
all created
derivative
monads
or
are
products
He is the primary centre
from which all else
(M. p. 47)
emanates
(Latta,p. 243). God is the sufficient reason
of the world in the sense
that the more
clear is the explanation
of the less clear.
God
who
is absolutelyclear is the
The
less clear.
or
explanation of the world which is more
system as a whole is the explanation of the parts of the
is neither
of the
world
harmony
system. The
preestablished
nor
externallyimposed. It is in the nature
of things. The intelligible
order of the life of the monads
is explicableonly in the light of this hypothesis. The
whole is potentially
present in each of the parts and seeks
"

"

"

"

"

its realisation
is felt in

unity

in them.

all finite

of God.

The

things.

heart-beat
The

of the

absolute

controllingforce

is the

this

But

By

is

unity

beings.
is trying

finite

activity,each

of its self-determined

means

89

of faith with

matter

LEIBNIZ

OF

MONADISM

THE

in

In the
bring the whole into clearness and distinctness.
absolute
experience or the mind of God all is brought to
unity. The infinite is contained in the finite,the end is
selfof free evolution
or
in the beginning,but by means
determined
development all that the beginning contains
to

in itself is to be realised.

X
We

may
about

conclude

with

brief

of Leibniz's

account

the absolutistic
religion. With
with God
thinkers, Leibniz considers that becoming one
is the aim
of ethical and
Every
religiousendeavour.
monad
contains
the whole
ideally,and is strugglingto
reach it. But this infinite ideal can
only be approached
views

and

ethics

reached.

not

of matter

Man

man

infinite

In

the

world

finite

the

persistent

prevents the perfectrealisation of form.


is finite,and for a finite being to reach the

element
as

and

is

impossible. "It is true that the supreme


God being infinite
be complete, because
can
never
felicity
be entirelyknown.
cannot
Thus our
happiness will never
consist in complete enjoyment, which would
leave nothing
mind stupid ; but
to be desired and would
make
more
our
it must
consist in a perpetualprogress to new
pleasuresand
new
perfections (Principlesof Nature and Grace, p. 18).
This contention
is true so far as it brings out that man
as
"

finite cannot
he
infinite,

the
to

ceases

is only

one-ment

of

reach

an

infinite,and

be finite.
ideal and

life,the ideal goal. But

of God

is

just the

the

he reaches

when

In the finite universe, at-

not

fruition.

it is not

It is the end

unreal.

The

nature

realityof our
God is all that the monad
nature.
is capable of becoming.
But in the finite world he has the pain,the dissatisfaction,
the unrest in life due to contradiction
which
is the sign of
his finiteness.

But

truth

or

when

we

is transcended.

the

Our

ultimate

reach
end

the

infinite this

is realised

only

tradiction
con-

when

RELIGION

90
reach

we

and

AND

PHILOSOPHY

infinite which

the

we

The
the

whole, the finite and

and

the

become

creator

impossible ideal, then


pessimism.
that

condition

the

nothing to do,
in that
God

is not

stupidity; eternal
does not recognisethat

finiteness.
monad

If

Leibniz

viewed

by

him

that

creation
God

should

President
to

can

where

we

both
God.

God,
a

says
have

stupid ; for,

become

is the

impulse
or

is

in it the
to

action,

element

the

of

Leibniz

an

the

life of

of

unfolding of

As the orthodox

its

the

soul

is

monad

the

nature

own

religionrequires

personal, Leibniz makes


Republic of spirits. But it is

how
be

he

when

an

heartening
dis-

most

be

of the

conceive

monads,

by

as

eternally active, then the


As to
also be eternallyactive.
can
is by grace
or
development, Leibniz

conclusive, since

being

be

be

and

is wrong
is one

minds

cannot

as

is

system

contradiction

can

God

salvation

part and

is viewed

is not inaction.
energy
the absolute
whole
has

from

God

become

whether

Leibniz's

negativitywhich

it is free

though

If this

our

minute.

mind
The
sacrilegeagainst God.
wisdom
; it is not stupid. Eternal

inactive

of

only

every
when
the

infinite,the created

one.

where

not

element

lives and

of atonement

and

it is

case

the

seeking unwittingly

are

confusedly every day of our


destiny of the part is reached

of souls, the

him

the

not

easy
of
monad

person.

XI
In

his reaction

against Spinozism,Leibniz asserts the


substances
free, isolated, independent,

realityof many
and
externally related

to

God, but

these

propertiesof

by the principles of Preestablished


Harmony, Continuity,and Sufficient Reason
which
he is obliged to adopt. He has pointed out the
central
or
fallacy of abstract
philosophies,monistic
chievous
The
static self-identityof Spinoza is as mispluralistic.
the pluralityof self-identities of Leibniz.
as
leads
which
abstract
The
principle of contradiction
the

monads

are

cancelled

Leibniz

independent

of

Sufficient

as

the

monads

in

read

p.

of

its

408,

any

the

to

be

God

be

light,
romance

translation).

collection

of

resort

keep

to

the

is

struggling

it

remains,

by

to

has

aspects.

philosophy
other

him

together
be

with
is

This

(History

the

to

identity.

unity

the

reach,

to

in

that

should

two

concrete

unfolding

an

inter-related

as

supplemented

But

phases

91

world

who

forces.

will

metaphysical
English

of

LEIBNIZ

compels

different

whole

Leibniz's

Hegel,
iii.

the

as

which

which

centrifugal

several

Then

has

things

expedient

viewed

OF

conception

Reason

external
the

the

to

of

if

MONADISM

THE

the

of

the
truth
and

words

Philosophy,

of

CHAPTER

THE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the

honest
and

show

sake

of

of

from

itself

it is

Ward

intellect

frames

his

though
that

system

he

which

he

he

sought

eternal

dependence
spirit

endeavour,

things

are

which
Ward

are

the

accepts
He

of

the

is

all in

leave

no

lead

to

up

logic

stifle

the

demands

with

for

He

against
he

knows

cannot

from

God

of

his

of

monism

the

and

the
the

event,

every

monads

of
real

and
all

where
task

the
out

on

struggle

unity

motive

decidedly

92

it.

all

of

absolutism.
tolerate.

of

re-

doctrines
of

pluralistic scheme

fundamental

One

Monadology,

himself

dropping
a

He

consequences
to

for

views.

his

number

to

place

and

monistic

give

inconvenient,
of

of

room

assigns

the

give

infinity

infinite

Monadology,

incompatible

Monadology.

the

Ward

Leibniz's

editing

of

would

one.

The

to

attempts

Leibniz's

led

determination

would

but

been

escape.

absolute

the

central

have

ceptions.
con-

to

is

the

out

thought

pluralistic

imitate

slavishly

an

must

not

of

pattern

is

and

limitations

followed

to

world,

the

would

does

intellect
the

not

had

want

; he

of

does

if Leibniz

doctrines,

not

of

Ward

pluralism,

because

on

of

factory
unsatisIt

realm

difficulties

philosophy

conscious

the

inadequate

least

Ward.

James

within

does

simply

the

pluralism

and

Starting

of his

him

stand

dangers

by

makes

of

WARD

JAMES

Professor

to

theism.

the

that

the

that

PROFESSOR

systems

attempt
face

to

OF

current

is

IV

things.

Leibniz's
sorption
AbAs

RELIGION

94
have

PHILOSOPHY

iv

confine
subject-objectrelation, in science we
attention
ceeds
sucexclusivelyto the object side. Ward
in showing that the physical series is something
than
mass
particlesin motion, that the theory
a

our

more

of evolution
the

AND

cannot

the

events

simply parallelwith

those

universe, and

not

for the

account

of
impossibility

experience as

Simply

because

that

view

connected

complete

purpose
of the mental
series
of

the

physical.

of the whole

motion

of
are

The

universe

of

system is proved.

mechanical

and

matter

life and

do

not

for

account

process, it does not follow that


is the true hypothesis ; for it may
well be that
idealism
does not
for mind, mind
does not account
while matter

organicgrowth

and

mental

be that
may
The world may

history,it
science.
and

man

to be

nature, mind

content

with

does

not

account

for

spiritualismdoes

not

account

for

If materialism

for matter.

account

be broken

and
dualism

matter.

which

into the two


We

should

parts of

then

have

existence

positsthe

of

utterlydisparatebut equally real worlds, a world of


This theory is criticised as
and a world of mind.
matter
between
having its origin in an intellectual confusion
Experience is a subject-object
duality and dualism.
relation,and therefore a dualityin unity. Though the
two

two

aspects can

be

discriminated, they cannot


analytically

mistakes
logicaldistinctactuallyseparated. Dualism
tion for actual
separation. The hypothesis of abstract
absolutism which holds that Realityis something different
behind
and
mind
from
body, a tertium quid, a neutrum

be

mind

and

matter,

is next

considered, and

dismissed

as

hypothesis
unsatisfactory.A spiritualistic
philosophically
takes
the only satisfactoryguide that
is suggested as
facts of life and experience.
of all the concrete
account
that we
understand
of mind
the
can
It is only in terms
unity, activityand regularitythat nature presents. In
so
understanding we see that nature is spirit (N. and A.
vol. i. p. 10).
thus far.
As a matter
have no quarrelwith Ward
We
of fact all idealists are
gratefulto him for the service he
"

"

THE

iv

PHILOSOPHY

PROFESSOR

OF

WARD

95

freeingidealism from the objections of


from
mechanism
and agnosticism. But when
the established
conclusion
Ward
that the world is spiritual,
proceeds
that nothing really exists but spirits,
feel
to argue
we
considerable
hesitation in followinghis lead.
Once
again
motive
is his interest in ethical and religious
the dominant
idealism.
from spiritto spirits
The progress
is due to his
rendered

has

in

of the

terror

inhuman

monistic

tradition

in which

which

holds

up

dead

all life is

tinction
extinguished and disabolished.
Absolutism, or Singularism as Ward
beyond the universe of
prefersto call it, believes that
there is a singletranscendent
the many
(minds or spirits)
experient,who comprehends the whole
(P. and T. p.
finds that it
228). Taking his stand on experience,Ward
is impossible for him
to feel that the world
in which
he
of the one
acts is merely a shadow
or
an
appearance
substance.
The individuals in the world are experiencing
The world is full
subjectsquite as much as God himself.
of knowing, feelingand
willingsubjects. This world
the
immediately confronts us not as One Mind nor even
as
manifestation
of One but as an objectivewhole
in which
discern many
minds
in mutual
interaction
we
(P. and
contends
T. p. 5). Ward
that while Hegel starts with
the rightpremise of pluralism,he draws a wrong
conclusion
from it,viz. absolutism.
When
reach unity of this
once
we
also
type, we cannot
get pluralityfrom out of it. Ward
refers to the panlogistic
strain of Hegelianism which makes
the historical development of the world
the phenomenal
unfolding of the timeless Absolute Idea, which is the sole
with this,he proposes
to regard the
reality. In contrast
historical development as real and
not
apparent. The
development of the world is a process of creative synthesis.

unity

"

"

"

"

The
not

world

merely

creative

of monads
the

is

real

explicationof
in which

history. Its

the old but


the

an

evolution

is

epigenesisor

are
subjects themselves
the agents. Reality is a realm
of ends, a progressive
dividual
epigeneticprocess in which the ideal aspirationsof insubjectsare realised. Though Ward
recognises
a

process

RELIGION

96
that

there

be

must

world, he is

AND

PHILOSOPHY

iv

unity among

some

the

minds

of the

prepared to say that there is as much


unity as absolutism postulates. For, if there should be so
of the many
much
would
be
unity, then the appearance
to care
seems
inexplicable. Absolutism
nothing for the
facts of experiencebut goes on its own
high prioriroad."
In the flightsof pure thought up to the Absolute, the
atmosphere of empirical fact by which it is sustained is
not

"

"

diffused

too

be

to

detected, and

when

the

summit

of actual
particular,the many
disappear or to be explained away

reached, the
tend

23).

p.

In

whatever

manner

Absolute, whether
with

Hegel,

it cannot

of the world.

Absolute
known
a

Mind,

to

relation

us

this

of

There

are

sense

some

Absolute

We

us.

thinkers
its
its

object which

own

its
have

who

of mind

as

not

are

the Absolute

know

we

it,is

separable,

is a mind

without

transcends

unity and nature


no
right to call

it mind

consider

Absolute

other.

But

that

if we

not

be

is

at all.

is in

no

to the

be contended
the limitation

characteristic

there

case

hensible
incompre-

reduced

are

pointsonly to

other

are

the idea of the

Or it may

Absolute.

minds, and it need


such, in which
as

the

make

other, then the finite minds

passingthoughts of the
that the necessityfor an
of finite

Mind,

there.

subjectand object,i.e. if it

distinction,then
to

or

Ward

subject and

distinction

Fichte,

Self
Spinoza, or as Absolute
offer an
plicity
explanation of the multiis annulled
The realityof the many

If
though distinguishable.
the

Subject with

of the

with

absent

are

of

conceive

may

call the
cannot
urges that we
since the essential characters of mind
as

in it.

abolished

and

we

Absolute

as

Substance

Absolute

as

experience
(P. and T.

"

to

is

essence

other

for the

Absolute.
We

at
may
in the relation
as

we

admit

that the

of the finite minds

crux

of absolutism

to the

Absolute.

lies
But

in exhibithas the same


ing
shall see, Ward
difficulty
But
to the finite centres.
the relation of God
no

absolutist of the

sane

is

once

One

exclusive

of

present day thinks


the

Many,

though

that
the

Reality
solutions

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

problem

of the

in

not

may

be

of

traditions

concrete

considered

the

Many
factory
quite satis-

idealism, but

factory
is unsatis-

against them
experience.

in its zeal

itself up
of
construction
pluralistic

and

97

shall find
examination
On
we
way.
only when it conforms
theory is satisfactory
it sets

when

for

WARD

every

Ward's

the

to

PROFESSOR

of the relation of the One

put forward

till now

that

OF

II

Experience is
and
the
pluralist,

starting-pointfor

the

absolutist

alike ; the

the

theist, the

differences

arise

point of view we occupy in philosophy,


but
cannot
we
begin our inquiry about the universe
of ends
realm
as
a
(P. and T. p. 432). We take the
Ward
admits
end
cannot
as
we
given, but even
many
be accepted only within limits/
with it. Pluralism
can
be accepted as
It has to be supplemented before it can
While
the pluraliststops short at
the ultimate
truth.
the totalityof finite experiences,the theist tries to
satisfythe religiously-minded
by positinga transcendent
God.
absolutist affirms that pluralism and theism
The
of an objective
should
find their fulfilment in the reality
that
while
to
spirit. It is inaccurate
pluralism
say
starts with experienceand proceeds upwards, absolutism
later.

Whatever

"

"

'

with

starts

the

and

absolute

ends

there.

Absolutism

says
the

vision, but while Ward


pluralistic
that pluralism has to be supplemented by theism,
that it has to be supplemented
absolutist contends

by

absolutism.

also

starts

has

the

To

with

start

is

with

more
no

the many
unity than

other

finds that

we

cannot

conclude

that
with

in the

human
last

experience has
analysis,absolutism

experience,and that is the real.


acceptance of pluralismhas to be modified
only
be

one

turned

while
it.

we

There

at first sight. Absolutism


appears
basis than things as they are.
But it soon

finite and
and

it is obvious

both

into

the

final truth

of

the

The

to

be transcended,

recognises
uncritical

before

it

universe.

can

But
H

RELIGION

98
whether

the

theism

AND

modification

PHILOSOPHY
should

be

iv

in the

direction

of

absolutism, is the problem.

or

Ill
From

experience,Ward

is real is minds
tion.

or

world

The

says,

individual
is

an

indefinite

Each

that

all that

of force and

appetivariety of psychical
perfection,all tending

centres

existences, of different degrees of


to self-realisation.

learn

we

of them

is

self.

No

two

of

in
to us
exactly alike. The world as it comes
which
a
experience is a many,
system of individuals
The
interact.
history of the world is a real creative
evolution.
in it a
We
towards
see
steady progress
greater individualityas well as solidarity.Though we
at
the beginning a number
of free spontaneous
have
acting at random, we have gradually
independentmonads
and more
more
tion
integration.The world is a slow organisainto an
of conflictingindividuals
ordered
whole.
societies
The
historyof biologicalorganisms and human
testifies to this growing unification.
We
reasonably
may
expect that perfect unification will prove to be the goal
Yet
this unity is not the starting-point,
of the world.
It is the goal but not
the
but only the culmination.
The
universe
is not
a
unity
ground of the process.
but a pluralityorganising
differentiated
into a plurality,
them

are

itself into
Our

unity.

difficulties in

regard to

this

theory may

in
spiritual
is a spiritwith its duality
the sense
of subjectand object?
Does not this theory land us in
sism
solipsolipsism? And does not any attempt to get over
take us straightto the hypothesis of an all-comprehensive
absolute mind
?
Does Ward's
philosophyprovide
with a freedom
and immortality reallydifferent from
us
the growing
Can
the absolutistic conceptions thereof ?
the basis of a
for on
unity of the world be accounted
If theism is necessary
radical pluralism?
to supplement
thus.

possibleto view the


that everything in it

Is it

whole

world

be stated

as

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

pluralism, is

not

Spirit?

These

to consider

propose

WARD

are

in this

God

99

unreal

and

is identified

with

supplementing

theist's

the

unless
Absolute

this

PROFESSOR

of the

some

effective
inthe

questions we

chapter.

IV
Idealists will

appreciate Ward's

of dualism

criticism

and

thorough

will assent

and
his

to

ing
search-

tion
proposi-

But
realityis spiritualin its nature.
how
all realityis psychical.
it is not easy to understand
Exposing the fallacies of the dualistic metaphysics does
of
not
to proving the non-existence
necessarilyamount
To dichotomise
the world into the two opposed
matter.
parts of nature and soul is wrong, for everywhere matter
ultimate

that

serves

Ward
and

no

We

of matter
to

follow

propositionthat

is not

sense

opposed to spiritin
the spiritual
world, and

in

mind

and
the

principleis
the view

cannot

he says that in this world we


his
things. We can understand

element

agree

for the soul.

when

matter
an

the environment

as

lies within

experience is

matter

is mind.

all persons

that

it is

that the distinction

the life of the

propositionthat the
mind
or
spirit,but

that

the

have

ultimate
we

cannot

Ward's

spirit. We
metaphysical
consent

contention

to

that

subject-objectrelation,a duality in unity,


be admitted.
For it only shows
that matter
is not
may
is
an
object in itself unrelated to a subject. Materialism
mistaken
if it believes that matter
exist by itself.
can
exist only as
It can
element
in a larger whole.
an
of opinion that
is the
are
nature
Philosophers who
universe
the object of
object of spirit,the material
the world-soul, admit
this plea. But when
it is argued
that physical facts are
has its own
selves,that matter
do
not
find it easy
to follow.
duality in unity, we
To say that mechanism
can
get its ultimate interpretation
only in terms of mind is one
thing ; to say that
mechanism
is mind,
To
that the
quite another.
say
is not
world
is one
through and through mechanical
a

RELIGION

ioo

AND

say that it is
former
The
another.

thing ;
is

the

but

idea

the

the world

to

the

not

series of

latter

the

asserts

identityof

is only the other


says that nature
its copy,
while the latter reduces

former

The

two.

of

but

nature,

iv

through and through psychical


emphasises the relativityof

to

and

man

PHILOSOPHY

spiritualatoms.

The

former

is

hypothesis of absolute idealism, the latter that of


idealism
that there is a
panpsychism. Absolute
urges
the

part of

which

nature

is mechanical

spiritual.The
of spirit.It is

mechanism

the

to

ends

is not

Matter

end

an

but

of the world

instrument

an

in itself.

it is subordinate

for the

Ward

of

mechanism
But

ascent.

made

theory of panpsychism

is the

argument

for mind.

account

mind

from

setting out

to

of
even

physicsare
between

distinction

is

world

its

in

in

determined
any

"

and

and

to

for

account
"

"

The

much

as

constituents

all its

world
as

and

Given

and

ever,

that
or

calculable."

of

variable
in-

absolutely
its state

previous, equally with

are

it is

of mechanism

In

the

at

all its
world

facts, individuals, purpose


decline
"

are

the

essential

and
composed
(" Mechanism
contrasts
Morals," Hibbert Journal, iv. 81-82). Ward
with individuality.
He holds
law with fact, universality
that history describes
unique individuals while science
elements

of

which

support

life, mechanism

all its movements.

"

in

it may
be possible,
for mechanism,
it is

history.

ultimate

subsequent, movements
find
of history
we
and
meaning, progress

who

man

The
cepts
con431).
descriptionof life,
(p.9). Ward
emphasises the

of mechanism

then

moment,

upward

it exists.

advances

inadequacy

so

see

matter

individuality, science
science

of

also p.
inadequate to the

forms

in its lowest

his

which

mechanism

T. p. 18 ;

(P. and

in

man

even

man,

the mind

While

account

from

impossiblesetting out
"

'

of

spiritfor
Ward

to

mind

is not

is not

nature

so

aids

which

first

The
of his

world

the machine

as

it, even

the

life of mind.

recognisesthis when
by conscious agents

contrived
he says that justas machines
the ends
for industrial
serve
purposes
the

the

serves

RELIGION

162

hydrogen we
production.
is to be

AND

have

traced

distinction

knowledge by confining it
The

type.
this

between

and

human

the

to

and

history
of

the nature

physico-mathematical

historic

the

world

science

be

cannot

reduced

ultimately the working


of any
mathematical
out
necessity,but the realisation
of an
increasing purpose
running through the ages.
Mathematical
the
the concept
science gives us
law or
to

while

the historical

Then
a

type.

The

creative,a novel

misconceived

Kant, who

to

is

synthesiswhich

The

PHILOSOPHY

should

we

deals

is not

with

require

mediated
scientifically
science

moment

the
is

mind

touches

and

to

the real
aim

at

experience

the

object. But
misconception. The object

abstract
is the

universal

concrete

together.

The

more
any
individual.

of

difference

of

and

not

for the

reality;

this

than
The

direct

it it creates

the individual.

or

barrier

between

whole

account

science

the

is not

object of history

the

fact

two,

and

law,

naturalistic

between

run

and

knowledge is only of methodological value.


between
The
difference
bind
The
laws
history too.
of reason
and
science and history is not
one
unreason,
law and anarchy. It is reason
everywhere which manifests
itself in diverse ways
in different material.
Knowledge
is everywhere conceptual, trying to
reality in
grasp

historical

the

fulness

of its

aspects. In

naturalistic

recurring aspects predominate and


mechanism
is applied ; in historical
aspects predominate and
the
category of teleology. Both
historian

have

the

different

devices

to

same

end

suit different

in

the

so

category

sciences
so

we

the

material.

and

but
That

of

recurring
non-

employ

scientist

view,

the

sciences

the
the

adopt
is all

to
Why should the disabilityof matter
for mind
account
point to the panpsychist conclusion ?
On Ward's
philosophy, it ought to prove nothing. For,
according to him, the progress of the world is made
up
of a series of accidents.
The
growth of the world is
ing
characterised
by epigenesisor creative synthesisinvolvwith the old.
new
beginnings which are discontinuous

the

difference.

iv

If

epigenesisis

rise of

life out

argues

that

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

fact, then

of

womb

the

mechanism

is

there
of

WARD

surprisein

no

When

matter.

the

Ward

mind,

for

account

cannot

103

he

cannot
give
rejectsepigenesis and thinks that matter
it in nature.
rise to something totally different from
In other words, he denies the realityof epigenesisand
disallows all new
emphasis is laid on
beginnings. When
the
Ward
is under
to mind,
the inadequacy of matter
impression that out of the material only the material can

and

come,

with

the vital

not

this view

that

while

those

precede

processes

the

or

the

Idealists

mental.

the

inorganic or

in which

life and

mind

agree

physical
manifest

still

for them.
The
account
they cannot
is
lifeless cannot
give rise to the living. While matter
the prelude to mind
it is not an explanation of it. But
when
from
this position Ward
jumps to the conclusion

themselves,

that

we

get rid of the

to

are

breaches

apparent

of

"

evolutional

the level of
continuity by supposing that
of spiritin the narrower
self-conscious
existence
sense
is reached
continuously by development through earlier
less conscious
life
or
stages of more
(P. and T. pp.
of
264-265),and that the world starts with a number
monads,
feelingand strivingsubjects conative in their
nature
of their initial instability
and
which, on account
into
relations
with
one
impulse of betterment, come
and help the onward
another
march
of progress, we
must
theory.
say that this is all a conjectureand not a reasoned
"

The

apparent breaches

only between
the livingand
rational.
from
mind

any
for

and

the lifeless and


the

to

the

conscious, and

Evolution

matter

of evolutional

fails to

continuityoccur

living,but
the

mind

life,but also from

between
life and

reason,

life and

matter,

matter

then

and

the

explain not only

the progress
life to mind, and from
for

reason.

and

also between

conscious

account
Physics cannot
than
more
biology for psychology
logic. If there is continuity between
to

not

then

there

; if there

there

is

is

or

biology
psychology

life and

mind,

continuity
is discontinuity
between
much
as
discontinuity
as

much

RELIGION

104
between

life and

the

material

the

vital

for the

AND

mind

that

also

cannot

nature

Ward

facts should

but

mental,

account

cannot

glaring psychological
brute"
(p. 90). An

and

led him

have

existence

opposed to the self,and that from


growing attempt on the part

the

mind
"

only

It is not

for

animal

man

iv

reason.

feels the

into

comes

and

account

The

discontinuity between
appreciationof these
that

mind

or

fails.

human.

PHILOSOPHY

for

thence
of

as

us

there

self to

admit

to

something
is a steadily
the

overcome

begins by opposing the


world
ends
to itself and
by finding itself in it. The
self becomes
fully self-conscious through the mediation
of externality. The initial oppositionof self and objects
is broken
down.
of itself
The
conscious
object becomes
in us.
This
is what
when
he says that
Hegel means

externalityof

nature

loses its

is mind

nature

not

historical

From

yet

is mind

logical,nature
pure
into

rigidityand

to mind.

transparent

self

self-consciousness

to

comes

matter

The

nature.

world

we

see

the historical
to

come

of

out

how

In

man.

point of view,
from

itself,while

itself

nature

or

man

It becomes

fluid.

becomes

is the ideal

which
externality,

in

(p. 154).

In

isolation

mere

the
the
or

limit,gradually grows

individualities of the

physical bodies, biological


of
human
organisms and
personalities.The
process
from the beginning, still helps
nature, while not spiritual
the progress of spirit. The breaches
of continuityin the
the

historical
suppose
several
These

that

parts
are

spiritfrom
The

world

cannot

there

is

are

the

an

the successive
which

second

be

accounted

unless

for

we

all-pervadingspiritof which the


lower
and
higher manifestations.
attempts of

nature

to

return

to

it has issued.

argument

which

Ward

adduces

to establish

psychicalnature of the world is the consideration that


tion
mind
is always implicated in life. In biologicalevoluthere is a teleological
We have here the prinfactor.
ciples
These
of self-conservation
and subjectiveselection.
factors imply not a nondescript force called
teleological
with feelingand
vital,but a psychicalsomething endowed

the

"

will.

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

WARD

105

in the
of evolution
survey
itself is to
that, unless the cosmos

Finally,recallingour

wider

sense,

have

we

be

regarded as

in

an

illimitable

seen

finite and

fortuitous

chaos,

must

we

variation

persisting
and

refer its orderliness

"

meaning to an indwelling,informing Life and Mind


(N. and A. ii. 302). But this only proves that there
that
not
and
is an
everything is
all-pervading mind
self. If the former
a
hypothesis is enough, we do not
need the latter.
The law of parsimony requiresthat we
should not multiply entities without
necessity. If nature
is teleological,
and is
to human
if it conforms
intelligence
amenable
to human
ends, it only shows that the opposition
between
absolute
the two
is not
(see N. and A.
.ii.254). Ward
that to call descriptiveschemes
argues
in
rational science is to emphasise its source
or
pure
of our
ing
devismind
this intelligible
scheme
when
; and
is
with which
the scientific inquirer greets Nature
in
confirmed
by Nature's response, are we not justified
that there is
is intelligent
or
concluding that Nature
intelligencebehind it ?
(P. and T. p. 5). The two
but
alternatives
not
the same.
Nature
is intelligible
are
not intelligent.
and mind
There is unity between
nature
"

"

but

not

The

oneness.

next

is that

argument

Granting that

there

based
is

the

on

guidance

or

law

of

tinuity.
con-

direction

in

vital process,

does this prove that it is a mind


that is everywhere
?
Ward
of
to
the
law
continuity.
present
appeals

"

Of

immediate
have
guidance or direction we
of our
experience only in the case
own
activity,as in
well
It may
buildinga house or organising a business.
seem

such

rash, therefore,

formation

of

to

attribute

the
as
processes
of grass or of albumen
such

chlorophyllin a blade
in a grain of corn
But
at all
to guidance in this sense.
events
they are processes pertainingexclusivelyto living
be
it may
But
else.
organisms and found nowhere
mind
to identify life and
asked, what
right have we
;
what
right,for example, to credit plants with souls as
Aristotle did ?
The rightthat the principleof continuity
.

io6

RELIGION

gives
and

No

us.

AND

sharp

animals,

line

PHILOSOPHY
be

can

drawn

between

plants
"

between

and
lower
higher animals
(Heredityand Memory, pp. 7-8). But continuity is just
the problem to be explained. It is a neat summing
up
of the question and not its solution.
The only argument
which
Ward
offers in support of continuity is this.

Recent
far

nor

knowledge

into

has

shown

the range

of life to extend

the

once
region of what was
regarded as the
inanimate, purely physical world, and it has further
shown
the lowest known
organisms to be highly complex
and extremely varied.
But
there is nothing to suggest

that

have

we

that

our

reached
and

senses

research

the limits of life ; all


the

artificial aids

present available do not


between
yet simpler forms

at

environment

not

that

cannot
21). We
open question. They

they

p.

say

is

may
have

doubt

no

that

we

do

that

say is
methods
of
can

enable

"

(P.

exist.

criminate
dis-

to

us

life and

of

do

they

exist

and

exist

not

we

their
and

It is

T.
an

But there
not.
may
limit to life if there is matter
or

externality. And even


though life were
present
follow that it is present in
not
throughout, it would
the form of a self. Logicallythe argument would
require
to consider
us
continuityto be complete from matter
upwards. The law of continuitybrings out an essential
or

mere

truth
to

the

that while

mind, and

complex
The

next

so

is necessary

matter

But

on.

facts of

argument

it does

life is necessary
life,
ask

not

experience to
of Ward

to

us

to reduce

all

singletype.

is that

we

cannot

have

an

"

inanimate

neither do nor
what
suffer,
can
object; for
what
is nothing for itself,
is truly nothing at all ; every
individual thing,so far as in it lies,endeavours
to persist
in its own
be a
being" (p. 21). Nature, if real, must
Now
it will be conceded
pluralityof conative individuals.
that all objects tend to persistin their own
being ; but
is this tendency an
impulse ? and is every impulse a
conation
?
If pluralism believes that every
object is a
self with a conative impulse localised in it,it is an assumption.
"

Pluralism

assumes

that

the whole

world

is made

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

WARD

PROFESSOR

OF

107

up of individuals,each distinguishedby its characteristic


behaviour
(p.51 ; italics not the author's) It is Ward's
"

belief that
absolute

determined
it is unreal.
related

the
"

each

other

material
but

cause,

"

Ward

admits

not

not

are

be

"

all this

its

due

to

is the

is

pletely
com-

of

pure
impossible. On

regarded

be
of

as

perceptiveand
The

changes

transcendent
any
and determined
by
of

statement

driven

proof. When
panpsychism

that

world

(p.63).

impulses initiated

feeling (ibid.).But
and

not

spontaneity,
mechanically

no

is to

matter

entelechies

or

"

theory

would

motion

world

the

to

In

is

atom

are

of the interaction

the manifestations

the

things which
unreal.

panpsychist theory,

appetitivemonads
of

has

and

without

are

conceived

thus

materialist's

the

inert

Wholly

to

matter

from

spontaneity,though

have

throughout we
activity. Since

into

simply

a
a

the

corner,

matter

only proves that there is no such thing


mind.
It is
to any
as
a
mere
potentialityunrelated
is always in conjunction
merely the lower limit which
with
a
higher limit. The upper and the lower limits
of faith.

are

the

all the

He

ideal
monads.

which

abstractions
"

So

are

it would

then

found

present in
that

seem

as

the

pluralism points towards an


absolute
Being transcending the Many,
determina
inlimit points towards
the unattainable
lower
an
so
criminatio
Being that affords no ground for the disof individuals
at all
(p. 196). The lower
limit is the Prakriti
the bare potentialityor matter
or
or
non-being. Any attempt to regress to the lower limit
and this, of
takes us to the notion
of pure potentiality,
unattainable

limit
upper
unconditioned

of

"

Ward

course,

exist
from

admits

to

by itself,then
outside

we

be

an

would

to set it in motion.

abstraction.

require a

Prime

Mover

he says that the


mixture
of both and

And

first concrete

If it should

so

livingindividual is a
has in it the tendency to act.
What
have is only life
we
is able to perceivein
or
activity,though our intelligence

it these

two

aspects.

principleof kinship or

The

upper
identity. The

or

the
lower

active
or

the

is the

passive

io8

RELIGION

is the

principleof

unity of
When

AND

PHILOSOPHY

individuation.

direction.

The

iv

The

latter makes

former

gives

the monads

the

different
.

individuals

the

strive

better

to

it

themselves,

is the

imperfection due to the lower limit that they are


Thus
the upper
and the lower limits
trying to get over.
the Being and the Non-being of the absolutists.
are
It is also argued that the adoption of the theory of
to
of action
make
freedom
a
panpsychism is needed
minate,
is not
reality. For according to it nature
quite deterbut
fixed

is determinable

routine

still. What

to be
appears
is regarded as

"

is

All nature
reallyfluid.
plasticand evolving like mind ; its routine
being explained on the analogy of habit

and

uniformity
and heredity in
the individual,of custom
and tradition in society; while
its variety is attributed
form
to spontaneity in some
and Morals," Hibbert Journal, p. 92). We
(" Mechanism
shall recur
to this topic again and
whether
see
psychism
panis the only hypothesis that
for
has
room
"

freedom

if indeed

Ward

thinks
"

theism.
dualism
which
mind

is

an

leads

cannot

room.

panpsychism
begin with

refuted, can

we

theism,

attain

ever

is needed

alone

to

it.

of
"

(P. and

obstacle
to

dualism

and

T. p.

483).

theism,
naturalism, true
to

has

true

barred

ever

It is true
that

also

that

Naturalism
mind

and

inevitable

the

that

to
way
naturalism

Cartesian
we

for

unless

nor,

as wholly independent of
regards matter
is the
as
wholly dependent on matter

outcome

theism

that

We

is

it has

must

dualism
have

need
monism
monism
this spiritualist
spiritualist
; but
not be of the panpsychist type.
Ward's
panpsychism is not very -different from the
primitive anthropomorphism which made souls of everything.
Thales
believed
that
It has had a long history.
the world
Leibniz
full of Gods.
was
thought that all
nature
animated.
Clifford regarded the molecules
was
consciousness
as
possessed of mind-stuff, which became
The
when
present in sufficient complexity, as in man.
is the
truth
that the panpsychist hypothesis contains

AND

RELIGION

no

"

which

observe

we
"

The

naturata.

represent the

universe
there

is

order

no

it is

fixed

constitute

"

of

What

is still to

things

and

error

according

Thus,

agents underlies
the

historical

to

to

the

process

new

stages

create

order

Freedom

represents
naturata"

decisions

be

to

taken,

sequel of
(p. 73).
possibleeventual success
the
Ward,
spontaneity of living
whole
uniformity and regularityof
their usual

with

"

But

of mind

beginnings,it

initial

lie.
possibilities
naturans, implies further

new

made

be

world.

of the world

start

future

are

will result in

Is this the

?
Or

that
suppose
the future which
we
to

we

golden age was in the past, and


achievingat great cost and trouble
mechanisation

the

the

formed, the customs


stage the routine, the general

do, natura

experiments

trial and

is

habits

which

growth

At

is done, natura

What

any
within

spontaneity and
fresh

action
inter-

beginning

individuals

traversed.

at

trend

In

be.

The

the

made,

to

yet

"

naturans.

decisions

the

naturata.

natura

everything is indefinite.
is just the ground
which
natura

at

and

trials and
subjects make
the trials succeed
they get stamped in as
The
regular ordered
aspects of the

When

natura

terminate
place dedevelopment

the

where

naturans,

efforts.

world

whole

we

action

their

to

trace

we

(p. 20).

natura

the

iv

world
In the historical
stages.
and
agents first ; the order

later

the

PHILOSOPHY

are

complete
epigenetic

the

involves
perhaps, as epigenesis
somehow

can

goal of

the

create

perfectionof

promises to
activity. While a dead automatism
viewed
still,
be the goal of the process when
as
logically,
matism
be that perfect autoallow new
beginnings, it may
we
into perfect
transformed
at
becomes
the end
of this difficulty
out
has
a
spontaneity. Ward
way
that
the
is not
which
convincing. He argues
very

creative

process

of

see
can

how
the

as

continuous

as

that

logicallyexclusive
Again, it is
perfect automatism.

and

stage of

is
epigenesis

is therefore

mental

activities become

interaction

of

material

spiritualentities

isation
of mechanof any

final

easy to
How
states.
not

called

monads

iv

PHILOSOPHY

THE

matter

is real and

will also
to

Ward

in

mind

and

show

that

knows
"

the

that

have

we

We

it

only

have

not

"

made

Ward
of

not

theory that
shaped Nature.

be

objected to
extent
insignificant
it
(p.20).

an

That

does

is shadow.

matter

WARD
?

of matter
for the appearance
are
opposed in their features

account

mind

PROFESSOR

OF

satisfied with

is not

genesis

should
requires that nature
ward
operate from the beginning of things. So he puts foris only an indefinite
different theory that nature
a
of simple monads.
The bare monads
number
or the lowest
forms interact directlywithout
any interveningmedium.
matter.

These
as

His

of the

this account

constitute

the

uniform

monads.

monads.

require
monads

are

the

other

bare

of

The

all monads

and

monads

are

momentary
an

is in

phrase,the bare

monad

therefore

and

alive.

and

and

act

its

in
own

without
awareness.

is

medium
these

can

the

higher

But

in the
in

consciousnesses

they

as

routine

of

recognition;

momentary,

consciousness
of

monads

higher

number

which

the

essence

immediacy

higher
monads

uniform

As

by experience,they
monad

bare

indefinite

an

memory
them.

it is life with

bare

serves

of the

consistingof

bare

it is life without

case

intercourse

provide all the


higher monads

of

(p. 257).

one

learn

would

which

basis for the life of the

existence

The

intercourse
"

of the

inorganic world

monads

the

environment

for the

the mechanical
"

simple

material

the
medium

The

constitutes

for

system

body.

not

manner.

It has
a

memory,
To

do

only

pure

tion,
sensa-

Bergson's

use

self-repeating
movement,

while

The lower limit


higher is unique creative movement.
of the pluralityof the monads
is, according to Ward,
the mass
point or centre of force physical and psychical.
the

He
and

says it is a

momentary

consciousness

recognition. But why should we


psychical or conscious when it has none
associated
with psyche or
consciousness
we
expert by experiment. When
grow
signs of consciousness, why should we

devoid
look

of memory
it
upon

of the
?

It

do

not

as

features
does
see

indulge

in

not

any
the

RELIGION

H2

is made

matter

that

activity.

If

they
?

consciousness

have

synthesisingmind

conscious, how

and

world of motion
and

the

beginning,for

Ward

hold

that

motion
which

the

on

end

of

externality,forces
If the bare

matter

we

monads

us

The

into

to

to

which

back

coming
lowest

matter

follow

to

is needed

for its

things ?

which

into the

out

quickens
'

the way

account

can

can

indeterminate

of the world

'

Are

mover

How

together from the


faithful to experience,

of escape offered
is
hypothesisthat matter

Is not

of itself
the

prime

be said that the bare

is it that

What

universe

of the

conscious

are

exist
to be

proposes

called by
potentiality

and

they generate

move

It cannot

higher monads

life later.

first and

this

environment

life ?

Ward

do

something in

does

in the historical evolution

and

at

How

material

all,or

at

sensation

produced

indeterminate

an

is nascent.

'many'
something of
the

monads

in

one

think

develop into
memory
?
Ward
calls the
memory
which
the monads
not
are

with

It is

consciousnesses

consciousness

any

of inorganic

obligationto

no

how is memory
memory,
consciousness
without
momentary

differentiated.

the world

granting that they

Even

primitive condition

That

momentary

without

iv

appetition, or

not

are

under

are

and

perception

possess

of

up

We
pure guess.
the bare monads

PHILOSOPHY

it is conscious

speculationthat
is

AND

the

the

Aristotle
the

set

bare

ment
developand

ball

in

by Absolutism,
spiritgone out
to

its nature

limit,which

posit the highest limit


in historical

comes

evolution

is

mere

as

well.

precede

to develop into the rich


are
living monads
universe, we must either postulatean outside cause, which
themselves
is illegitimate,
or
are
grant that the monads
is a speculation,or
admit
which
that
prime movers,
monads
the lower and higher
the bare and conscious
are
the Absolute
in which
case
spirit
stages of the one spirit,
and
the
final
creative
of
the
the
becomes
cause
ground

the

conscious

universe.
If Ward

admits

in matter,

that
as

mind-stuff

is

present

as

mere

ternality
ex-

in plants,feeling
in animals,
vitality

iv

PHILOSOPHY

THE

is the

thought in men, this


doctrine ; only,mind-stuff
and

Matter, life and

PROFESSOR

OF

is not

consciousness

WARD

same

absolutist

the

as

113

very appropriateterm.
the different forms in

are

itself. But we
spiritobjectifies
have no
right to identifythe lower with the higher and
To wipe out the distinctions between
say that all is mind.
unscientific procedure
the several kinds of realityis an
Ward
to which
a
as
psychologistvery solicitous about
the distinctions of experiencehas no right.
if we
consider that the world is created,it is quite
Even
possiblethat God might have created inorganic matter.
is nothing intrinsically
There
impossible about it. But
which

the

Ward

thinks

would

be

distinct
first to

ultimate

one

that

produce

world

admit

since that

conception
God

does

limited

tempt

as

upon

looked

as
upon
it. God

is said

the

inert matter.
the

for it,and
to make

when
stable

The

is not, who

the creator

from

He

must

monads.

the

to

takes

responsibility

the

of their

monads
is ?

are

While

of the world

not

Ward

of matter,

emphasising the necessityof matter


system for the higher purposes of mind
he

world

evil which

the

he is

still when

venture,

It

inherent

into dead
progress, petrifiedthemselves
is
But to what
is this petrification,
which

if God

God

wilful

to man's

try and

account

on

reality
by his

free monads.

God, then

is traced

monads,

God

make

if the natural

of
of

is relieved

of evil, due

cause

author

of the

overcome

creates

free to

creation

the

evil which

incapacity for

is

possible. But
the

it at the risk

creation

evil is due

are

create

to

shall see, the

we

who

but

man

place in
for physical
that

As

God

individuals

the

be looked
be

then
to

God's

of theism

crux

evil become

and

error

of

not

As

acts.

is the

and

hypothesis would

responsiblefor physicalevil.
of evil which

two

adjust himself

to

cannot

world

mechanical

world

of the

creator

of mechanism

him

call upon
of his life. Ward

Him

to

of divine

forms

the

apparently quite
activity(see p. 248). God has

attribute

to

and

man

God

make

to

thinks

of

the

bad

effects

responsible
is inclined

especially
as

and

of the

fixed

spirit,
world
I

RELIGION

H4

AND

PHILOSOPHY

iv

called

physical evil he makes his God wash His


all responsibility.
Another
offers is
explanation which Ward
which
do not belong to the dominant
monads
viewed

be

to

are

its

regards

viewed

monad
are

their

only

outside.

monads
and

Each

of other

material.
monads

not

constituent

elements

own

dominant

monads.

dominant

This

monads

monad

dominant

So

to each

the

monads

alive and

as

of

that

dominant

monads

subordinate

own

the

to

dead

as

its

They
to

subordinate

own

the subordinate

while
are

material.

as

hands

vital,

monads
dominant

phenomena.
of the objectiveworld
They are objective
not

are

which

observe

explanation is suggested to
to be perceivedby
realitycomes

them

from

by the
the growing
way in which
individual.
The
it is fullycontrolled
bicyclewhen
by
the rider is not distinguishedby him from himself though
it gets out of control.
he calls it an object when
While
this is true as a psychologicaldescriptionof the perception
it is confusing to substitute it for the
of external reality,
metaphysical theory of the nature of reality.
Ward
while

contends
material

the

affirm

cannot

that the monads

is an
particles
that they are

that

world

is

star

individual.

are

only
or

But

him

the real individuals


'

We
appearance.
cluster of
meteor
or
a
an

neither

can

we

be confident

always or necessarilythe merely inanimate


take
be.
All that
to
them
commonly
aggregates we
for, however, is simply that the real
pluralism contends
spontaneity
beings these phenomena imply have some
and

initiative ; and

some

essential characteristics

to these

sity,
uniformity,as well as the diverof the physical world is due
(p.455). Mechanism
For pluralism, Matter
phenomenon, an appearance.
be real"
(p. 65).
only be phenomenal, it cannot

of all real individuals

the

"

is

' '

can
"

Meanwhile

we

be

term
no

such

be

remind

those

who

demand

of

us

an

that if
of mechanism,
appearance
strictlytaken there need for spiritualism

explanation of
the

may
the

at all
appearance
is due
of mechanism
to

"

(p.14).
our

So

defective

the

ance
appear-

knowledge.

THE

iv

The

PHILOSOPHY

PROFESSOR

WARD

115

the more
higher we advance
completely shall we be
to interpretthe world
of ends.
This only
as
a realm
that the opposition between
self and the other is

able
means

graduallybroken
though
makes

and

down

it finds

itself in

that

not

the

the

other.

self is the other

Sometimes

Ward

or
a
phenomenon due to
appearance
scientific habits.
This is another
similaritybetween

our

matter

Bergson

and

an

Ward.

describes its outer


is

OF

something
do

in terms

relative and

unreal.

laws

of

science

can

It is

of

give us laws
may
of calculation.
But it is
it does
"

science
Nature

theoretical

beings.

be understood

Science

for purposes
and hypotheticalas

statistical

are

only

But

of mechanism.

the behaviour

not

express
of the world
significance
of mind.

exists is mind.

surface

The
which

What

eminently

struction.
con-

averages
The real
in terms
valuable

abstract
essentially

give us an
No
two
things are
entirelydifferent.
not

account

of real

experience.
entirelyalike
and
two
no
An
things are
adequate
and intuitive knowledge of the world would
embrace
both
these aspects, and so doing would
present the world in its
true
and concrete
unity. Scientific knowledge, however,
is neither intuitive nor
less
or
adequate, but always more
general and symbolical ; its general concepts and symbols
nesses
representingthe likenesses among individuals and the likethese likenesses,
so
tending indeed towards an
among
abstract and spuriousunity,but farther and farther away
from the livingwhole
tion
(N. and A. ii. 91). The distincof persons
and
things which we know to be real in
the world
of experience is dissolved by Ward
in a dead
The
to
unity of life.
ordinary historian is content
as
recognise nature
indispensable so far at least as it is
the scene
and provides the propertiesof the drama.
But
this contrast
pluralism claims altogether to transcend.
To
the distinction
of person
and
and
thing, of nature
history,it allows only a relative value"
(p.50). The
of Ward's
is that it
charge against absolutism
gravamen
dismisses
the distinctions of the many
which
experience
concrete

"

"

tells

us

to be real and

absolute

as

unreal

and

relative.

But

n6

RELIGION

is Ward

PHILOSOPHY

AND

faithful to this

experiencewhich
reality? When

also tells

that

us

is a
the
he dismisses
physical nature
to
physical as relative and unreal, his ideal is not fidelity
experience but speculativeconsistency. And if this ideal
requiresthe absolutist to consider the world of plurality
by itself to be not the final truth, why attack him ? He
is but following the impulse of logicwhich, Ward
well
overrides
the testimony of experience.
knows, sometimes
The
result of our
discussion
this point clearlyestablishes
on
does not give us any logicalor consistent
that Ward
view of matter, since he views it either as the product

of the interaction

of monads

monads

an

or

or

merely

or

the
due

appearance

of the

context

to defective

bare

insight

scientific habits.
VI
In

active

psychology
conative

the

conception

agent is ultimate.

of

an

Ward

individual
starts

as

with

an

the

experiencing of the experient individuals.


exclusive
He
as
recognises that these experients are
monad's
regards their standpoints. Each
experience
if
is all
idiosyncrasy-idiomorphic so to say." But
starts
individual
with
his own
each
private experience
tries to escape
he ever
how
can
get beyond it ? Ward
with windows.
from this difficulty
by endowing the monads
monads
The
not
are
mutually isolated but interact.
intercourse
and
The
actual
increasing integration of
monads
is a basal fact
perience
(p. 487). The individual's exis not
exclusively subjective. It is always
The presentaobjectiveworld.
experience of a common
tions
What
not
are
merely subjective modifications.
each one
experience is
immediately deals with in his own
fundamental
sense
(N.
objective realityin the most
and A. ii. 155). Again, "the
subject is continually in
environment
with
touch
world, one
one
(ibid.Part
monad
tells us that though the dominant
IV.). Ward
with its own
starts
experience, still as the subordinate

immediate

"

"

"

"

"

"

monads

are

connected

both

with

the

dominant

monad

n8

RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY

AND

iv

individual

experience. If the Absolute experience is


ideal,a methodological postulate which
only a regulative
has no
then our
whole
structure
of
ontologicalreality,
to the
objective experience tumbles
ground and the
a
spurious and ineffective
escape from solipsismbecomes
Scientific principles
become
useful fictions or working
one.
objective validityat all.
hypotheses without
any
While
they are useful for practicalpurposes, they cannot
Truth
and error
be said to be true.
become
subjective.
But Ward
agrees with the absolute idealists in thinking
than
are
more
they are objective.1If truth and error
than
more
subjective and if scientific principles are
working hypotheses then this universal experience is a
asserts
that
reality. Though a matter of faith,stillWard
God is the central realityand his existence a philosophical
any

that the world as it would


necessity.This means
a
completed philosophy is immediately present
consciousness

divine

experienceis

science and

realityto

is the relation between

What

experience?

individual

with

continuous

Universal

"

(AT.and

all that

knows

ii.

A.

Ward

does

draw

not

between

the

and

the

as

the

absolute

unity

with

dissociation

man

fast

account

perience
ex-

intelligence
have

beings

the

become.

can

line of

individual's

The

two.

individual

divine

The

and

individual

and

is all that

hard

and contingenton
subjective
and

"

184).

God

of knowing.
possibility

ideal to

an

God.

self-conscious

as

we

the

experience and
experience is one and
There
is
experience.

universal

discontinuitybetween

no

is

to

universal

individual

the

What

experience.

or

be for

tion
distinc-

experience

of its sensuous

is

basis,

grows, the subjectivitydiminishes


increases.
the world
There
is no
between

reason

or

thought

and

perception. Universal factors are present in all


more
stages of conscious experiencethough they become
explicitlyrecognised in the higher stages. Even in the
sense

or

Speaking

individual

of error,

is allowed

to^truth(seeP.

and

to

he
see

says
what

T. p. 376).

that

his

it is
error

inconsistency.
implies,he will

If the

erring

be converted

experience of
operating. It is not

As

devoid

individual

the

individual

As

is

advances

in

universal

sciousness.
self-con-

to

clear

attaining
form

lower

119

synthetic activity.
self-

of reason,

of the universal.

form

lower

is

sense

of

he

progresses,
Progress consists

consciousness.

WARD

individual, the

the

immediate
is

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

Our

the

life is

"

The
progressiverealisation of the universal experience.
subjectof universal experienceis not numerically distinct
from
the subject of individual
experience,but is this
to the level of self-consciousness,
same
subject advanced
in all that is communicable,
and so participating
that is,
in all that is intelligible,
in the experience of other selfconscious
subjects. Universal experience is not distinct
from all subjects,but common
to all intelligents,
peculiar
Our
life is only a realisation in us
of that
to none."
We
ledge,
are
perfectlife or intelligence.
guided in our knowart and
morality by the ultimate realitywhich is
involved
from beginning to end.
Knowledge is the selfrealisation of that realityin our
thought as art and
and will. The whole
is striving
morality are in emotion
in the part, and it is on
account
of this impulse of the
whole operating in us that we
feel the urge to know, love
and

do.

way

to

Ward

realises that

advance.

The

petty self which


self
"

"

confined

(N.

of

A.
the

exclusive
its

own

The

the

to

and

is exclusive

limits

narrow

basis

sensuous

of others.

The

this

because

But

since for that

have

to

experience,
expectation
"

the

ing
transcendindividual

an

in sensation

has to be broken

with
down.

of

experiencingsubjectsare strictly
this subjectivesensuous
basis ; the

knowledge is to
the logicalself.1
Ward's

makes

have

the

effort of

we

inalienable characteristics

exclusive

then

which

and

the Divine
We

of individual

sole

the small

but

none."

perception,reminiscence
ii. 256). Knowledge means

standpoints of

realise

individual

and

peculiarto

...

transcend

is the

self to be realised is not

to all

common

self-realisation

fear is that

transcend

this

Pluralism

if

experience the

we

should
process

of

and
subjectivity

emphasises

the finite-

posit a Divine
development

Experience,
is completed,

RELIGION

120

of the

ness

If this
But

PHILOSOPHY

individual,his contingencyand
could not escape from
all,Ward

were

in the

AND

to

attempt

himself

save

subjectivism.
it,he positsthe

from

realityof an Absolute Experience which


is tryingto realise in his life. This is the
working

in all,and

transcended.

when

What

is,is
the

pluralismapprehends
the

whole.

it is reached
a

every individual
ideal or the whole
is
individuality

the

in the

whole

sensuousness.

while

parts, and

parts, absolutism

comprehends

realityof pluralism is absolutism,

The

as

the

In escaping from
realityof the part is the whole.
has
subjectiveidealism to which pluralismleads, Ward
transcended
pluralismand affirmed absolutism.

VII

Pluralism, Ward

and

thinks, safeguards the freedom


absolutism
action, for which
contingencyof human
no

Pluralism

room.

genuine creator,
of

"

of absolutism.

world

the

individual

that

every
rigiddeterminism

while

logical
consequence
view

contends

has

to

seems

Since

necessarilyinvolves

the

be

the

pluralistic
element

an

is

of

contingency in

its very idea of a finite many


mutually
be allowed
Vivendi, it must
strivingfor the best Modus

facie at least of such


of our
experience is so far an
leaves
argument for the pluralismsposition; absolutism
makes
out
no
place for this contingency (p.80). Ward
that

the

actual

presence
contingency in the world

-prima

"

"

"

that

as

conative

the

fixityof

limitations.
which

contingency
But
to

Ward's
pure

is due

individuals, the world

contingent when

by

world

the

of

human
Yet

at

agents

were

the

to

action

the

start

creators

was

of

wholly

unfettered

tingency
conrepudiates absolute
he calls Tychism, and distinguishesthe
chance
from
the contingency of freedom.

Ward

of the

account

contingency, which

genesisof
Ward

knows

law

commits
is

him

and
illogical

life to reproduce it imperfectly. There


necessityfor human
is always selfmeaningless reproductions of realitywhich
is
fact
of
existence.
But
the
In
God
complete.
complete and eternal
there

is

no

God

is no

need

is not

for

apart from

the

world.

The

infinite is in the

finite.

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

non-existent.

PROFESSOR

OF
have

We

WARD
whether

ascertain

to

121

pluralism

reallyprovides a place for contingent conduct.


Ward

thinks

that

determination

of

The

mental

fluent.

laws

all natural

; the

the result of

due,

as

"

numbers

experience;

have

we

to

seen,

Absolutism

the creatures

of

far

as

the

laws,

contrary

rigorousand

no

naturalism

as

it is real will

it is

as

also

rejectsthe

far is at

so

mechanical

with

one

Ward's

quite clear that if men


mechanical
there
necessity,

of

is

embody

is

blind

ideal standards

no

natural

apparent, it will be
the statistical constancy of large
so

conduct, and

of

philosophy.
be

far

Absolutism

(p.78).

determination

things such

fixityso

viduals
indi-

quite plastic and

evolved, there will be


of

appears.
dis-

active

to

pluralism there are no


from the beginning,but on

are

to assume

wont

is

world

concatenation

mechanical

due

are

for

Since

to say, in force

so

determinism

so

world

The

themselves.
"

events,

of the

laws

mechanical

rejectedthe

has

he

as

thought

or

conduct.

the supremacy
of spirit,
and considers
to be an
expressionof spirit. Human

were

would

It holds

the whole

to

universe

experienceis not
completely determined
by mechanical
necessity. Life is
continuous
assimilation
of the not-self by the self.
a
this

But

freedom

absolutism

the

effete mind

as

solution

and

is

time

though

has

it may
be
with
to reckon

mechanism

and

order
"

due

to, it is there

it.

matter

be

illusions,we

which
determine
our
psychical antecedents
But according to.Ward, psychicaldeterminism

chain

nature,

of nature
that

events

in

initiated

to

events

the

misconception. The

in the

great pains to reach.

Whatever

the individual

have
may
conduct.

is at

which

product of past experience, the


brought nearer
by simply explainingwhat

is.

Even

necessitation

of conceiving,
difficulty
e.g.,an earthquake
or

is not

mechanism

mechanical

easily,Ward

secures

from

Apart

from

the
secure

"

self

"

it makes"

"it

freelyinserts
cannot

(p. 304).

be
In

those

links

part of the

the

realm

of

determined
as
by preceding
appear
other
(the realm of ends) actions are
future

ends

"

(ibid.).We

cannot

RELIGION

122

therefore
seeks
as

forecast

to solve

the

laws.

by

any
between

future

problem

The

of freedom

reduce

him

to

explainindividuality
by

to

reduces

to

man

element

are

not

which

he

establishes

individual

attempt both

history,is

of

of the

rules ;

by
which

Science

we

proposes

general principles
But

is

there

an

baffles scientific treatment,

mystery which

or

and

bound

independence

means

which

that

out

actions

of mechanism.

in the individual

in this

But

bit

irrational surd

an

by making

and

formula.

Ward

events.

science
individuality,

preserve the freedom


We
bind an
cannot

individual.

iv

of

course

great contrast

and

law

designedto
cannot

the

PHILOSOPHY

being is individual,his

human

AND

law

science cannot

explain.
conceived.
misare
individuality

and

Man's

foibles and

does not
consist in
individuality
but
oddities,his freaks and idiosyncrasies,

that which

is

to him

common

and

the world.

his
in

is

There

no

between
the significance
of historyand
incompatibility
the reign of law.
is not contingency,nor
Individuality
is law

mere

It is

sameness.

which

self to
opposes
generisand holds that
and

follow

law

the

individual

then
subjects,
everythingin

is not

is
as

is not

allows

looking closer we
nothing to
Ward

inconsistent, there

is creative

freak, nor

mere

must

synthesis

the whole

all

scientific

world

of himself

confined
shall

to

see

do with

only

it

that
"

"

The

subjects

Ward

What

conscious

says
that

freedom
and

beings;

consciousness

has

on

tially
essen-

(p.293).

human

individuals

for scientific rules

thinks

life

consists of such

be free.

should

is true

He

conative

property of cognitiveand

monads,

them.
and

that

says
the lower
to

into

the world

Schopenhauer

not

If individuality

to it.

apply

of the individual.
But
an
unintelligibility
is intelligible
and
therefore
subject to laws.

If freedom

he

laws

no

it sui

makes

world,

self

difference.

mere

of

whole

considered

are

individual

The

the

conception of

narrow

that

though

psychical,and

universals,still these

free and

are

are

cable
appli-

more

all nature
so

not

mated
is ani-

resoluble

scientific rules

give

iv

relativelymore
monads
be

of the

reduced

epigenesiswhich

he

no

of

order

is

It is
whole

in the

products

synthesis. Though
existence

on

lower

would

enable

not

future

the

the future

is

from

the

beginnings. But
is contingent. It
still it is not

free acts

the

the

higher. Though
infer

cannot

unforeseen

new

that account
that it
say on
that it cannot
be predicted,
but

cannot

we

is true

there

product,as

of the individual's

laws

of

knowledge

shall have

past. We

chance

constituents

several

past, still we

in the

grounded

had

It is creative growth,
possess.
the higher stages depend for

to forecast

us

of

the first.

which

elements

the

lower, still

the

their

this

organisation
steadily-growing

which

did not

in their isolation
novel

implicitfrom

gradual ordering of

in them.

cannot

Evolution

evolution.

with

he contrasts

lower

predicted. It is
emphasises in his doctrine

of what
suggests the explicating

Epigenesis is

of the

be

It cannot

that
unpredictability

123

conduct

Human

higherones.

laws.

to

WARD

of the habits

views

accurate

than

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

operating.

nature

motives

are

The

and

so-called

contingent only to others, but to one's own


self there is nothingcontingent. Nor is it a case
of necessity.
Contingencyrefers only to the spectator. Though
contingent for others, a man's acts are not contingent
are

"

for him

; if

they were,

contingency
that

the

expression
admits

to law

which
Law

still we
express
of law.
very

the

are

can

be

the

internal

When

Ward

individual's
laws

of

absolute
admits

conduct

the

are

the

individual, he

predictedand

counted

while

upon,

those

be

predictedare opposed to law (p. 75).


apply to the individual's acts and
rationality
may
how
not know
would
exactly the rationality
may
itself. Unpredictability
is not the sign of absence
There

is

well express

According
habits

(p. 455).

admit

to

is subject to laws.
Ward
is
individuality
ing
thinkingthat everything which happens accord-

cannot
or

of which

have

that
in

wrong

chance"

or

laws

should

we

to

increase.

law

itself in

Ward,
He

in all
a

man

growth,

and

series of shocks
becomes

steadilyloses

this law
and

surprises.

material

his freedom

can

and

as

his

grows

RELIGION

124
automatic.

the

PHILOSOPHY

Contingency tends

The

on.

AND

of habitual

mass

free acts

will be

will go

on

decline.

the

on

decrease

to

acts

time

as

goes
and
increasing

Progressmeans

"

decreasingcontingency. As a necessary
consequence
of the interaction
of a plurality
of individuals,intent on
self-betterment
be

well

as

self-conservation, there

as

general tendency to diminish


of the world
and to replace it by
Ward
believes
(p. 97). But still,
come

time

when

all actions

Contingency in the world is


a
pious assumption. Ward
due

to the

selfishness

monads.
this

friction

until

and

monads

But

is also
also

there

to be

cease

is the other

become

will

the

and
ideal

this

possibilityis

be

achieved

shut

of
of

monads
petrified

will

collisions

equilibrium
;
petrified

monads
petrified

unityof

monads.
he

since
revive.

never

of the

intellectual

an

the

among

to

cease

habits

become

the

case

love

minimised

will

the

by Ward,

out

and

the

the

spontaneous and

that
possibility

be

to

condition

only

contingency is
standing
by misunder-

they

ascribed

also

this is

knowledge

wrong
is reached

intellectual,in which

feelingmay
the

as

reach

to

may
and

that

in

intellectual monads

the

petrifiedones.
they

is

habitual.

But

caused

never

lectual
part of the higher intel-

the

end

will

become

that

monads

progression

there

would

growth

the

Contingency

between

that

consequent

last when

at

exist.

With

"

definite

allows

on

contingency

mere

inevitable.

friction between

and

or

the

should

purpose
But
believes

And

this

only in
again is an assumption. We have real freedom
of any
the primitive condition
which
is devoid
fixity
which
such as pluralism postulates. It is pure freedom
without
Stability
we
impropriety call pure chaos.
may
is introduced
by and by. Unity of the universe is the
goal and not the ground. Definiteness and order manifest
themselves

as

we

move

upward.

beingswhich were
given rise to something
The

automatism.
beheld

as

one

better

than

paradiseis pushed into

vision of the

would

expect

would
completelyspiritual

.that the pure


have

But

future.

Man

matter

the

is born

with

past and
free

its
not

though

126

RELIGION

in chains

which

he himself

of this conclusion

freedom

real

Ward

has

leaves human

observes

is not

determination

negation of

the

of it.

Ward

in the

sense

is

his

words, while

tation, he

admits

contention

of

is much

them
his

what
that

on

the

by

the

real condition

do,

tingency
con-

is free because

and

for

not

mechanical

self

him.

necessi-

This

past deeds

but

freedom

of the

not

Man

The

None

ideal.

an

contingency of

denies

character.
will

gives,viz.

determination.

than

another

the best he has

one

him

absolutists.

more

former

Ward

doubtful

ideal of the whole

an

and

by

rational

the

in

fightsshy

Bosanquet (p. 136),

is absurd.

determined

is

he

absolutism

of self-determination

conduct
other

but

of the

of chance, which

or

that

by

freedom

advocate

an

Yet

determination

means

that

iv

freedom

quotes approvingly Professor

and

In

forged.

to note
satisfactory
problem is just what

this

on

that

and

PHILOSOPHY

It is

condition.
to say

AND

is the

according
of

the

to

man

anticipate

can

human

cisely
preis not

conduct

irrational.

account

VIII

Ward's
all fours

Leibniz's

with

where

Leibniz's

to the

doctrine

doctrine of
must

of future

account

is.
of

pre-existenceis on
theory. It is defective exactly
panpsychisttheory is committed

pre-existence.And

succession

either have

life and

been

of lives.
created

by

The
God

Ward

holds

to the

everlastingmonads
or

must

have

tinued
con-

eternityto eternity. The former hypothesis


of the creationist theory
ruled out by Ward's
rejection
the soul's origin(p.404). So the eternal pre-existence
from

is
of

and

future

life of the

monads

inevitablyfollow.

But

it

eternal.
It is the
are
tellingus that the monads
pride of pluralistic
systems that they provide for personal
immortality. Does Ward
grant us that ? An individual
monad
that
there is a dominant
is an organism in which
The
whole
rules the
hierarchy of inferior monads.
is

no

use

dominant

monad

we

call the soul is what

is characteristic

iv

THE

of the
and

individual.

birth

which

and

of the
it.

death

The

body,

"If

so

know

we

do

These

need

we

that

that

fear that it will end

with

begin

not

individual's

the

of

nature

with

does

not

eternal,

modifications

affect the

not

127

are

only phenomenal

are

soul's existence

and

WARD

monads

dominant

These

they undergo.

the soul.

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

began

existence

body, we might argue that it will probably


end with it, but here again the empirical basis for such
fails us
an
(p.394). So it is said that the
argument
individual has what is called personalimmortality. Even
granting that with the scatteringof the other monads
which
the body of the dominant
constitute
soul, the
with

that of the

"

individual

is

other

are

objections to

clear how

God

who

there is

Ward's

is the

chance), there

no

theory.

of values

conservator

quite

It is not

does

his

conserving the values acquired by the individual


Ward's
do not
system of pluralism (see p. 214). We

work
in

preserved(of which

of

know

the
of

exact

relation

acquired characters

preservationof the soul


individual
(p.211). The
urged, that there
is not

between

got

over,
or

as

and

and

the

the
the
real

of the

law

doctrines

of

development

ence
objectionto pre-exist

is

of
memory
the dominant
monads

memory

ance
inherit-

no

of their antenatal

of the
times
some-

pre-existence,
have

lives.

the
modern
immortality which
promised to the ear but, alas,the promise

the

mind

no

sciousness
con-

The

personal
seeks
is

is broken

to the

heart.
IX
Ward

recognises that
there

is also

the

in

addition

to

the

pluralistic

unitary aspect of the world.


Knowledge and morality requirethe unity of the universe.
Absolutism
is wrong
in making unity the central fact of
the
universe
it cannot
since
account
for the
Many.
for the One, but
Startingwith the Many we can account
for the Many.
account
startingwith the One we cannot
So
pluralism is a more
satisfactoryconception than
absolutism.
Our question here is,Can pluralism account

aspect

RELIGION

128
for

the

isolation

of

world

that

inconceivable

unity

regards

as

however

monads

and

pursuing its
to be

in the

in

place of

an

at

random,

man

has

his

goes on,
culture where

is

historical

Adventure

the
of

of different
the
and

of
verse.
uni-

unity
tastes

world, each
misadventure

The

fittest survive

of the rest.

set

soon

multitude

unity of

in

is

interaction

evolution

beings

of labour

interact

in, and

operation
Cohave

we

all

seemingly working
social and economic
organisationwhere each
gress
Proown
appropriateplace and function.
and at length we attain the level of human
"

but

one

in form

here
into

comes

the

all

it has

more

rate, the final

at any

sight,not

diminished

not

Pre-established
of

consummation

eventual

the

wherein

commonwealth,

good that is
that yieldsmore

reach

we

of evolution

Harmony,

relation

not

The

for the

themselves

incoherent

by being shared, and


alreadyyielded. And
goal

could

beginning.
regulatethe conduct

division

viduals
indi-

pluralitywithout
individuals
severally

the rule at the

and

of

interact

into

(p. 437).

the

find

struggleand

the

concept

pluralityof

come

existence

interests.

own

of

cannot
a

That

of human

temperaments

seem

ever

"

describes

them,

to

the

the

only because

their

multitude

That

easilyaccount

can

Ward
thus.

"

can.

dictum

mere

by

monads

is itself inconceivable.

distinct

the

Isolated

indeed, but

down

interrelatedness
for

should

breaks

grants windows

accounted

isolation

in

iv

Ward

unit}'and

monads

distinct

and

monads.

windowless

PHILOSOPHY

world

the

be

cannot

while

the
monads

the

he thinks

as

of

unity

AND

co-operate and

perfect

none

conflict,
"

One, one realm of ends


Many have become
of private and
coincidence
(p.435). The ever-increasing
public ends tends continuallyto enhance the unity of the
whole
(pp. 55-56). Life by a series of accidents gets
wherein

the

itself rounded
the whole

of

into

humanity

righteouswill, when
of

the

unity

One
and

whole

would
the

order

"

till we

accord

condition

when

a wise
single,
will of the Many and the
completely" (p. 136).

is animated
the

reach

of the

world

by

are

the

result

and
will
The

of the

iv

interaction
The

of

and

monads

the

WARD

its

not

129

presupposition.

totalityof

the

of

intercourse

mutual

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

individuals

the Many regarded as


happens to end in unity. When
plementary,
existentially
independentare found to be mutually comconspiringtogetherto realise an intelligible
Is God
organic whole, then the questionsuggests itself,
the

ground

towards

Why should the Many tend


Many ?
?
unless they had in the One their source
carefullyargues the point,and says that
"

end

one

(p.267). Ward
one

is to

leave

fact and

that

alternative

There

is the

Ward

considers
"

"

of the

this

That

we

world's

evolution, and

reason

is thus

demand

the

that the world

tendency towards

any

inadequate for
beings are part of

rational

is "to

alternative

the world

or

that

Absolutism, Ward

adopts

the

theistic

the necessary
between
Ward
while

Ward

and

deny

that

of

an

considers

explanation,as

world

the world.

the

The

absolutists

that

the

absolutists hold it to be in the

is needed

pointof

at all

in the

untruth.
it must
chance.
in it the
Ward

to

give

fact that

future, the

Ward

considers

goal of the historical process the


consider it to be the ground as well.
For Ward
of the universe requiresonly an upper limit of
spiritualreality. This is enough to account
apparent unity of direction in evolution.
According to this account, unity is only an

absolutists

unity to

Novelties

past. While

"

difference

lies in the

unity is

"

things
organic

disappears. So

hypothesis. God

unity to
and

the

the

sufficient

no

two

itself has raised

the realisation

thinks, is

of God

distinction

is

for

singlerealm of ends
To deny the tendency is to speak an
(ibid.).
towards
There
is progress
a
higher unity and
be
cannot
to
put it down
explained. We
whole

But

reason.

be

to

that

demand

Another

(p. 267).
show

questionsunanswered.

is its sufficient

answer
as

reasons

such

be the

occur

in the world, and

one

the
a

unity

supreme
for the

accident.

of these novelties is

the

at the
gradual unification of the world which was
start merely a togethernessof things. There is no logical
necessityfor the development of a unitaryworld out of a
K

RELIGION

130

AND

PHILOSOPHY

juxtapositionof
fortune

monads.
many
the
monads
many

that

It is

by

iv

stroke

their

of

good

interaction

collapsedinto a unity. If novelties are in order, and if,


from
a
can
pluralityof individuals, we
get a unitary
consider
the naturalist
not
universe, why should
we
and
?
From
theory to be quite sound
satisfactory
the whole
and motion
universe
with its spiritand
matter
Only we have to admit the
spontaneity can be evolved.
of sudden
variations and creative novelties, and
possibility
Ward
allows them.
We
have no need to posit any higher
principlesimply because at some
stages of evolution we
aesthetic
and
moral
come
across
qualitiesin nature
But
Ward
qualitiesin man.
rejects the evolutionist
believe that the unity of the world
theory. He cannot
accident
of nature.
is an
There
be some
must
necessity
about

it.

the world
ends.

We

will end

How

have

must

can

in

guarantee that the work of


final harmony, unity or system of
a

pluralism give

mere

us

this

security?
ground for the

pluralism cannot
by itself furnish the
teleologicalunity and continuity,as in it there is no
sustainingground of values in the historical evolution of
the Many it is supplemented by theism.
A pluralityof
account
for itself or for the
interactingsubjects cannot
unity which interaction implies. We require a spiritual
Thus
Ward
ground as the basis of the harmony.
by his
unity into his theory of
concept of God introduces more
the world than empiricalpluralismwarrants.
He admits
which
transforms
the original
a principle
pluralityinto an
is the
organic interdependence. God
originating and
is the
He
sustainingground of the lives of the Many.
is the
He
purposive ground of the evolution process.
As

surety for the conservation


of

Many
ground

is
of

realm

the

admits, it would

of ends

Many

of all ideal values.

simply

is the

One.

because
Without

The
the

world

rational

it, Ward

"infinitelyimprobable" that the


form
to
a
so
as
Many should freelyposit themselves
acting
harmony (p.457). The growing harmony of free interSo beginning
agents is possibleonly with God.
be

from

"

the

we

many,

practicalgrounds

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

rv

led both

are

to conceive

131

theoretical

on

and

fundamental

more

WARD

on

point
stand-

Many, namely, that of the One that


would
furnish an ontologicalunity for their cosmological
a
teleological
unity for their varied
unity and ensure
ends
(p.442 ; see also p. 241). And so Ward
ments
supplepluralism by theism.
this of the

than

"

questionis

Our
is to

be

are

to conceive

we

Ward

immanent

of God

if he

guarantee for the growing unification

says that he
transcending the world, the

world
"

the

How

"

in it

ground

God

(p.421).

be

must

least

at

of its

of the

spirit

being and yet

is the whole.

To

account

direction of the
unity of the whole or the common
be the universal mind
endeavour, God must
or
pluralistic
the all-informing
in the
spirit. It is the spiritimmanent
whole that enables the different parts to rise upwards till
higher life. It is because the same
they reach a common
whole operates in all the parts that the unity of the world
is essential and not accidental.
Unity is not the chance
intercourse but is the necessary
product of intersubjective
of subjectswho
result of the interaction
all guided
are
impulse. It is obvious that a pluralityof
by the same
individuals
impelled by the feeling of self-preservation
So they must
for progress.
make
have the ideal
cannot
for the

What

of social betterment.
hard

to conceive

tends
It

outside.
there
to

if the

But

on

the

individual's

devotion

from

within.

for progress
is not an
of its structural
is one

the

to

infusion

from
"

human

of human

principles.

community
individual

without, each

of nature
but

is

is not

"

nature,

Through

and

not

from
The

without

this

through

being social
emphasises how

Ward

already in him.

is due

in

one

forced

is

social instinct which

accident

(p.124). Here

good

its manifestation
The

from

nature

common

objectivemind, pervading all its members,


any

It is

the

beginning, then

the

from

development

makes
but

forced

be

to

egoisticinstinct of self-preservation
displacedby the ideal of social welfare.

how

to be

cannot

is this ideal due

on

comes
bethe
the

object is involved

RELIGION

132

in the

AND
other

subject,the

self in

society because

others

towards

Man

that

fences

is his real self.

to others

higher or

which

That

man.

as there is the same


possible
self operatingin each part.

is rendered
the true
in

realises his true


him

off from

which

binds

Progress consists in the


comprehensive unity

more

in the self.

self of

the true

is not

PHILOSOPHY

advance
and

tendency to
We

"

have

him

this

realise

to believe

tendency towards
perfectionas the very
mony
life
(p. 130). With divergent units, har-

universal

"

principleof
because
is possible
these

also tells

How

nature.
ideals

the

can

of

interests

subject and
into

because

himself

This

pervasion

of the

unity

fact

ideals,Ward
in

the

assumes

sundered
new

realityof

the self and


world

the

higherorder.

others

to start

gradually develops

of

or
or

background

account

cannot

to

common

self and

the ultimate
same.

The

is

unity
original

object became
unity which is a
is a unity between

and

ultimate
If there

if the process of the


relation between
inward

with, and
an

complete realisation
We have the original
?
of this ideal,is this not absolutism
unity which givesthe ideal,the process or the working out
the two, and

if the end

Totum

implicationof

mutual

from

has

man

others

for this devotion

totum

is different

of these

co-operationwhich

and

objectivum. But
the originalunity are
the
and
not
of which
out
subject
unity from

others

his

If
by the other.
self-defining monads,

of
is a world
starting-point
united merely by their co-existence,we

impulse towards union


of history. To account

in

one

the

for the

forced

not

are

and

differentiations of

others.

coherence.

presence
is that

answer

in
and

order

rooted

are

for the

Ward's

object are

for the

accounts

but

account

others

self and

these interests

without

subject?

in the

whole

that

us

we

needs

justiceand social
for unity and
make

from

individual

the

fundamental

are

at

interests

common

Ward

And
on

all aim

They

common.

there

of the ideal and


world
to end.

process

Ward

of the world

the end

where

is animated

admits

that

by

is a

the ideal is reached.


the

ideal

the whole

from

The

beginning

historical evolution

RELIGION

134

AND

between

pluralism and

between

progress
the
as

evolution
reduces

itself to

prior to

the

But

PHILOSOPHY

absolutism

iv

is

represented as one
the integrationof a pluralityand
as
differentiation of a unity. The question
of whole

one

parts ?

or

and

parts. Is the whole


the parts prior to the whole ?

are

Ward

be any integration
forgetsthat there cannot
of a pluralityapart from
an
underlying unity. Unity
and
plurality,integration and differentiation are two
complementary sides of a
aspects of the one
process,
One

whole.

be

cannot

without

the

If radical

other.

thinkers

cature
emphasise either aspect exclusivelythey caricannot
we
reality. If we start with the many,
reach
in
unless the one
the one
was
prior to the many
the sense
of the logicalground of the many.
But Ward
shrinks

be

absolutism, as he thinks its acceptance would


determinism
the flood-gatesto mechanism,

from

to

open
other

and

rigid inhumanisms.

contention

that

the

that

beginning as

reckoning shall
He

believes with

bring himself

the

the

Ward

affirmed

are

is

unity

an

from

in

the

and
he

world

one

to

the

of

good

or

to

is the

spirit. To
of happy
be

he

so

ideal, and

so

cannot

But

miracles.

cannot

and

tinuity
con-

is due

series

of
he

case

other

He

process

scene

impossible situation,and
the

present.

of

sure

posits

when

these

an

two

absolutism, and that

near
perilously

comes

discover

may

world

wrote.

unpredictable,

of the ultimate

ultimate

an

is

part of the Creator

that

triumph

we

the

the

becomes

that

ultimate

initial

makes

Life

knows

the

past

of the nature
he

of creation

the future

past and

design on

freedom

accidents.

the

that

logicaloutcome
save

day

to believe

deliberate

any

the first
that

Bergson
though by reflectingon

the

to

agree

involve

would
what

cannot

of the process is in the


that the last day of

ground
logical

read

between

He

we

extreme.

find
His

him
heart

swinging
clingsto

contingency, chance, novelty and accident, but his head


rebels againstthis whole list and takes him to unity,logic,

necessityand absolute, and


vacillates.

Ward

cannot

do

between
without

the
the

two

his

system

conception of

iv

PHILOSOPHY

THE

PROFESSOR

OF

WARD

135

it
spirit; nor can he do with it. Without
all connectedness
chaos where
his pluralism becomes
a
is inexplicable
to be a pluralism.
; with it,it ceases
But
Ward's
is purely imaginary. Because
difficulty
there is an absolute
spiritit does not follow that everything
The Absolute
is determined.
spiritworks in man.
It gives him
the spiritualideals of truth, beauty and
out freely
goodness, and the ideals can work themselves
the
and
on
fully. There is no restriction of freedom
that the
to say
absolutistic hypothesis. It is incorrect
the reality
is incompatible with
unity of the Absolute
absolute

the

of its differentiations.
"

In

another

Ward

context,

says
individual

development or differentiation an
experience may undergo, it does not become but always
individual's
is a unity" (N. and
A. ii. 112). If in an
tions,
experienceunity can be preserved in spiteof differentiathe same
cannot
thing be true of the Absolute
Experience ? The unity of the whole is only another
that

what

aspect of the differentiations


idealism

Absolute

of its members.

It is wrong
to say that in
justiceto both.
and
absolutistic unity the difference between
the One
an
the Many, God
and the world, is abolished.
The Absolute
is the unity of the two
and not one
of them.
Ward
is the ideal is not
urges that the unity which
that of an Absolute
Experience,but is the unity of a whole
or
a societyof monads.
are
Though the many
gradually
and more
still
what
we
more
tending to become
one,
be a singleunity independent of
shall reach will never
the
ordination
coplurality beneath, but only the harmonious
does

"

and
"

harmony

(p. in).

interaction
he

one,

of

holds
the

resolve

of
are

but

Since

the
that

many
this

While

the

the

seems
one

the

admits

the

that

identity of the
is only a logicalone.
To
itself into a personal individual,

several

flatly to
and

Ward

absolute

the

"

one

logicaluniversal
which

ideallyan

"

involves

modifications, so

denoted,

of these

consentience

far

that it denotes
persons
from
explaining the facts

contradict

many

are

not

"

(p. 223).
opposed, Ward's

them

136

RELIGION

AND

objectionloses point.
has been through the
elements.
it and

Each

pluralityof

the

world

the

As

so

form.

mechanised
that

has

gradual
"

function

make

may
and

no

be

the

individual

and

do

premises,we

it
and

mechanise

"

below

(p. no).
the

not
to

the

higher whole.

these

whole

possibly be

can

above

absolute

an

world, and

matter, but

for the function

is the matter

progress
may
them
of
a
parts

animal

that progress
mechanisation
of lower
us

ideal

The

unity

active
have
become
centres
many
individual's
body, it is quite possible

in the

doubt

iv

taught

the form

further

and

an

Ward

unit is

for the

matter

PHILOSOPHY

What

harmony
and

itself will

finite

centres

have

we

between

society

organic life and dead


be what
is designated

society. What
objectionthere
this logical conclusion
of Ward's
a

know.

not

X
In

the last section

have

we

shown

how

Ward's

God

melts

imperceptibly into the Absolute of the idealists.


will consider this question in greater detail,bringing

We
out

the

Ward

affinities of

admits

that

Ward's
there

need

that theism

be

not

is not

For

whole

life has

been

every

forward

step in the progress

as

act

an

any

an

frightenedby

of faith.

is a matter

with

be

cannot

for God

of theism,
justification
We

theism

absolutism.
intellectual

object of

Ward's

of faith

an

"

act

of life could

not

statement

he contends

series of faith ventures.

warranted

ledge.
know-

that
"

our

Almost

be formulated

by

ledge
know-

"

(p.415). Probabilityis the guide of life. When


faith,then knowledge may come
we
on
adopt a principle
to our
aid and confirm it. In other words
our
knowledge
is slowly extended
by faith. This relation of faith to
in philosophy ; only Ward's
knowledge is nothing new
of the term
faith for scientific imagination or hypouse
thesis
is
a

new.

matter

has

to be

When

of faith he
transformed

Ward
means

into

says that
that it is
a

the idea

of God

is

hypothesis which
theory by verification and
a

iv

hypothesisis

If the

proof.

accept it

if it is not,

by knowledge
Our questionnow

we

is

theism

theism, whether

the facts of life demand

whether

137

confirmed

rejectit.

we

WARD

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

is
complexities of experience. What
spiritwhich
given is the world of spirits.The supreme
tion
constitutes the unity of the world is not a fact of observafor

accounts

but
theism

of inference.

one

Let

exclusivelyadequate

is

life.

the

We

the world

that

see

if this inferred

see

us

for the facts of

account

to

has

progressingin

been

the

increasingmoralisation ; the higher ideals


have faith that
have increasingdomination
it. We
over
these ideals will be fullyrealised.
This faith that they
be realised is a rational faith,for it givescompleteness
can
and knowledge does not forbid such a possibility.
to life,
direction

of

Therefore

we

and

one

of

thus
be

cannot

conceived

of its

ground
idea

as

the

"

God

unless

(see

to

be

"

reasoned

faith

This

488).

p.

is real.

idea

the

Without

Being, least inadequately


personal, transcending the world as the
in it, as it is his
being and yet immanent
and

Ultimate

well
may
discors,which at
the

this faith

one

world

concordia

Without

real

true

Supreme

consider

must

of God

idea

(see p. 229).

"If

for

present

find it

we

final unification
be

theism

that

remain

ever

"

(p. 421).
certain

is not
evil

true, then

rerum

only

can

gradually disappear ; if theism be


not
never
relative, they may
true, though evils remain
disappear (p.439). The realityof God alone gives us

be

relative

and

must

"

the

that

assurance

insurmountable.
theism

alone

world
But

the

"

seems

hindrances

Without

able to ensure,

condemned

were

such

to a

to

not

are

progress

spiritualcontinuity as
it looks

as

Sisypheantask

if

istic
plural-

"

(p.215).

here

know

beg the question : Why should we presume


lifeis complete ? A consistent pluralist
who does not
what
is going to happen would
feel that life is not,

and

he would

we

that

not

unity.
be

work

whole.

But
"

All

togetherfor

know

whether

stillWard

it will

believes

ever

plete
com-

that life is bound

thingsin the main and


good
(p.131) Taking
"

be,

in the

to

long-run

this for

granted

RELIGION

138
as

faith

based

absolutist

has

AND

PHILOSOPHY

facts of

the

on

quarrelwith

no

"

it, since

It is not

if God

of
principle

becomes

of
principle

evil is

such

no

from

When

then
with

good
common

too

we

and

the

only

is the

we

the

triumph

of the

that such

moral

tender

of the

last conclusion

is self-consistent
is bound

good

and

to

and

and

triumph.

evil,they

are

not

unity and solidarityof the


motley many-headed shapes of evil ever
the

the

good

one

conservation

other, the

each

close

the

on

other, have

absolute

of
word, there is no principle
order, but evil is only disorder.

compare

consider
true

down

broken

his

good

so

of

in

powers,
is a moral

with
purposes
of
to all forms

cross

the

be

only

nature

dualism

co-ordinate

There

It is

lengthwith

evil,but

Good

evil.

the

of

fibres shrink

is

to him.

to

whole

by its very
and
self-contradictory,

two

at

is bound
the

goes

idealists in his account

There

evil ?
good over
of ness
goodprinciple

of the idealists which

which

ultimately. Ward

evil

we

can

perfection
higherthan good and evil,that we
evil for a negative principle
which
has a

put down
transitorylife,and

Absolute.

the

opposed

the Absolute

can

sensitive

of

supremacy
is identified with

God

when

and

ultimate

is the

"

of the

sure

the

it is

every bit of experience confirms, what


of spiritnecessitated
by this faith ? When

kind

"

him

to

fact which

be

and

experience

and

forms

no

connection

hand, between

of

evil,when
the

between

and

error

good

evil

on

ground for believingin the eventual


good, have we not ground for maintaining

we

not

evil

as

it is,is after all not

we

such

find in the
as

to

world, terrible though

justifythe

atheistic

position
justify

"

(p.376). But our regretis that it does not


and
of truth
identification
the theistic position. The
ness
goodness,emphasis on the impulse to truth and goodand aspiraendeavour
tion,
being the springsof human
of
insistence
the relative and negative nature
on
evil,all point to the absolutist theory. In the world
of discrete elements.
confronts
with a number
nature
spirit
Spiritis called upon to impose order. The questionis,
can

it succeed

in its

attempt

to transcend

nature

The

nf THE

PHILOSOPHY
is cited

past progress

life has
Spiritual
and

upward

PROFESSOR

OF

for the future

evidence

as

its

survived

hitherto

139

triumph.

perilsand

anything

If it proves

onward.

WARD

gone on
it is the

prevailsbehind both nature and


life existingas
is the Absolute
spiritual
and
endeavour
of all human
inspiration

identityof spiritwhich
The

man.

the

Real
and

ground

achievement

the

on

and

hand

one

basis

the

as

of nature

Apart from the hypothesisof an Absolute


mind
can
sustaining and pervading the universe, man
have
and
little hope of complete freedom
personality.
of
Without
be sure
faith in an Absolute
cannot
we
spirit,
risingsuperior to the oppositionsin a strugglewith a
hostile and superiorworld.
Ward
he says,
admits it when
God
is not simply a transcendent
Being existingaloof
on

the other.

"

apart from

and

the

world, he is also immanent

and

active

spiritwho
alone knows
that the pluralisms
all,affords an assurance
ideal will be attained
(p. 229). The Divine spiritis
transcendent
of it,and
the primal source
to the world
as
immanent
in it as the mind
is immanent
in its thoughts.
The world is his idea.
God
is
the ground of its being."
Surely this is not the limited, finite,personalgodhead
within

it and

such

active

of the

presence

one

"

"

which
the

theism

for, but

craves

all-embracingwhole.

have

more

than

with

in

the God

that the

out

but

the

of Theism.

unity is not

which

one

This

with

common

one

includes

spiritwhich is
to
unity seems
spiritual
Absolute of Singularism

the Absolute

Only
which

them

we

take

annuls

all.

care

to

point

the distinctions

Absolutism

says

that

the

unity which does not manifest itself in a pluralityis


a blank
unity and the Absolute is the eternal spiritwhich
binds together the several parts in a whole.
If we
ask
Ward

how

on

his

related,he silences
God

and

the world

hypothesis the

world

and

"

God

by saying, Any adequate idea

us

is

beyond

are

of

us."

It is wrong
to think that the difference between
Ward's
philosophy and absolutism is that, according to him, God
is

both

to

absolutists

immanent

God

and
is

transcendent, while

only

immanent

in

the

according
universe.

RELIGION

140
Absolutism

is here

which

that

holds

But

"

up
is transcendent

but

his utterance
and

utterance

and

to it

an

upper
To

and

he

mentions

the world
and

is God.

the

world.

he says,
not
God

yet because it is his


sustains it,he is immanent

ever

"

creation
that

(p.240).

God

is necessary
for experience,
that his law of continuity
requires

limit,namely, God, and


the

pantheism,

positionwhen
(theworld) for it is

manifestation

argument

Ward

atheistic

the absolutist

because

the

iv

identifyGod

not

in it ; it is his continuous
Besides

with

is the world

does

neatlysums

God

PHILOSOPHY

confused

God

absolutism

Ward

AND

he

can

only

be

big

pluralist,"like

God
spirit,
must
have his unique
unique in a
quite specialway : it is the highest (p.192). It means
that the difference between
God
and the other spirits
is
God is the highestof
only one of degree and not of kind.
the monads
of continuity. He
accordingto the principle
man.

other
every
standpoint; but it is
"

is the

dominant

monad

monads,

and

But

religioussoul

does

It wants

Eternal

the

monad.

is not

among
the

the

whole

community

of

Absolute
not

all.
includingthem
hunger for the highest
Spirittranscendingman

infinitely,
altogetherof a different species. But to Ward
God does not belongto a class apart but is only a
member
of the realm of ends, albeit the highest,
and, so to say, the
central member
(p.193). But if God is only the highest
of the series,if he is only the upper
member
limit,how
have any certainty
about the unity of the universe,
can
we
completeness of life and the triumph of the moral ideals ?
It is only if we
and
conceive
of God
both immanent
as
have
that we can
transcendent, as an all-embracing
spirit,
"

"

this

But,

assurance.

then, God

ceases

particular standpoint and

becomes

individual mirrors

from

and

so

has

no

To
God

the whole

represents only

an

the

central

whole.

difficultiesof pure

standpoint,which

of

any
Each

particularstandpoint,

aspect of the whole.

particular,in the sense


then he is merely immanent

avoid

the

have

to

If God

point,
standdistinguishing
and

not

immanence,

is, and

transcendent.
Ward
makes

gives
itself,

RELIGION

142
and

of the
with

is

Ward

fact ; if he is not, he falls out

makes

expressionsof
of the relation
But

by

his

absolutism

While

in Ward's
God

iv

to p. 193). If God
is one
(footnote
monads
no
specialintimate communion

system of

him

PHILOSOPHY

"

fellow-men

our

AND

God

the

of

creator

that finite minds

asserts

of the scheme.

the

universe.
the

are

unique

the universal

still the exact manner


spirit,
between the two is wrapped up in obscurity.
philosophy,too, the creation of the world

is shrouded

in

Ward

mystery.

is afraid

that

if

he should

adopt the ordinarytheologicalview of creation,


the independenceof the souls will be sacrificed.
He does
he can
how
not know
cling to both creation by the one
and independence of the many.
Creation as making out
of nothing,and creation as the unfoldingof a prearranged
that we
should
us
plan are both repudiated. Ward warns
not
employ the categoriesof transient or immanent
which
hold good only within the world of plurcausation
ality.
central
is the
Creation
means
only that God
ground of the world's being. He is its ratio essendi. At
is willingto give up creation, theism, etc.
times, Ward
do not
and we
He says that pluralismalone would
suffice,
We
theism is true or not.
know
whether
cannot
verify
the

"

indefinite

implies,"and

monads

alternatives

of

which

regress
so

theism

we

and

the

of

bare

between

the

existence
decide

cannot

pluralism.

He

thinks

that

pluralismis a simplerand safer hypothesis,as theism


into deism, which
a tendency to pass
separatesGod

has
from

potter from his clay. But there is no such


deistic danger in absolutism, as it does not allow a God
of creatingthe
does his work
artificer,
who, like a human
the world

world
nature

and

as

then

withdraws

of creation, Ward

it.

from
admits

that

be

Whatever
the

created

the

world

The
idea of creation is just the
dependent on God.
The
the One.
idea of the dependence of the Many on
Many not only exist along with God but live in him and
God
is the world born, and by him
From
through him.
is

is it sustained.
of God.

world

The

It is not

is the continuous

long step

from

manifestation

this to say

that

the

When

world.

the

set

we

unity of
As

the

individuals

free since God

are

creators

againstthe

and

independent
says they
Unless
"

of creators.

is only the creator

have

God

is

no

This is the

independence.

individuals

pluralism. Unless

the

Absolute,

to be their creator, Ward

unless his creatures

of

crux

free

are

the

143
and

created, nothing is reallycreated."

are

creator

God

duality into
over
diversityof created spirits
creative spirit.

is admitted

God

when

both

introduce

we

whether

to

WARD

includes

realitywhich

is the

Absolute

PROFESSOR

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

iv

free,pluralism

are

significance.As to how they can be free and at the


time the created products of God is justthe problem.
same
is unfortunatelyonly a phrase
of creators
Creator
has

no

"

"

which

states

reason

why

and

to

Ward

have

thither

is

alive, and

free and

not

care

for the

provided
realityof

there

Absolute

only

There

we

then

finite God

had

these

with

It is true
is

an

and

can

we
or

to

seem

rather

save

like

makes

of

the

Many

the

is made

only

man

the

God

man.

is

entium, for this alone

livingworld,

been

and

an

do

we

have

Absolute,

holding to
Supreme but not

as

the

Many,

but

we

the
as

have

"

(p.43). The
incompatiblewith

one

it is

is unfounded.
in

not

but

the idea of
that

and

for the Absolute

have

regard God

that the Absolute

who

hither

Ward

Many,

no

be free, it is

expression of
man

all the

subjects are

of

might

been
can

independence

individual

the

ens

an

prejudiceagainst absolutism
the

systems of absolutism,

grows

world

former

illusory
clay." If
independence of the Many, we may
'

Absolute.

the

is posed
supindependence of

the Absolute.

"

The

theist's God

puppets moved

or

living God who works and


primus inter pares and not
for
has room
a
livingGod
potter god with

the

and

he substitutes

so

the

In

free,while

stringsof

the

by

is that

not.

of the Absolute

instruments

spiritthe

for the freedom

room

alone

Absolute

explainingit.

his central

makes

the latter has

while

the

without

problem

the idealist's Absolute

not

man

the

an

absolutist

If

the

system.

alone is free,but the individual

Absolute.
in the

God

image

is

of God

perfectlyfree,
must

also be

RELIGION

144
free.

results in absolutism
If God

man.

need

of

uncertain

is

himself.

man

for his

then

the other

man

as

in

hand, he

man

the

uses

the

world

is the

God,

of

body

"

rightlyobserves
faithful

apparatus

much

as

Professor Muirhead
pluralismvanishes.
that just in so far as Professor
Ward
to his pluralistic
assumptions of the

Ward's

remains

uses

is

also

and
if the world
purpose,
then God
is the Absolute.
He

world-soul, while

is the

he

If,on

he

against

him

higher

of God,

idea

the

results, if to

contingent,then

triumph, if

monads

only

but

as

of the

sure

lower
is

God

if he has to battle

man,

as

with

that

is much

there

weak

as

forces

opposing

is

is

Supreme personality
or
worked
minds, when
logically
out,
in degrading God
to the level of
or

other

the

to

PHILOSOPHY
of the

relation

the

Again,

God

AND

creativus

that

he

sets

up does he fail to make


other hand, so far as he

promises,and on the
makes
good his promises,he does so by appealingto a
to the philosophy he seeks to
principlewhich he owes
undermine
and which is quiteincompatiblewith his own
(Mind, N.S. 87, p. 324).
?
Ward
The next questionis,Is God
a person
adopts
his

good

"

the

because
he
person
Ward
is aware
of persons.
is

God

this view.

Kingdom

limitations

involves

is

and

so

says

member

that

that God

of

personality

has

his limitations.

Only the limitations are self-imposed. He has no


the future of the world
would
be
foreknowledge. What
depends not merely on God but on other free agents
constrains
whom
he sustains but
never
(p. 478).
"

"

Ward

God

to the level of man,

and
of the world

But

the

modus

How

God

works

So

we

of the

term.

operandi
with

or

person,
To
have
a

reduce

to

"

It is the

is to

how
us

providence

we

will.
.

againstus
we

in the

person in
experienceis to be
a

government

do not know

he is not

inscrutable.

...

again admit

is
"

us

be

he urges that God is unlimited


is not merely the knower

ends, rough-hew them

must

though God

so

thereof.

but the creator

shapes our

the world

and

all-powerful.He

that

this would

feels that

sometimes

But

"

of

(p.479).
our
a

sense

person

iv

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

But we
among
persons.
who
exist independent of
person ; and
and
the world

us.

that

true

he

in it, still other

active

WARD

145

persons in a world of others


God
is not in this wise a

are

it be

though

PROFESSOR

is confronted

for

not

are

persons

by

and intellection)
merely objective(known through sense
pretation).
or
merely ejective(known through instinct or interAgain, the world for God is the world in its
unity and entirety; his is not a perspectiveview, such
as
standpoint implies; nor is it a discursive view, such

him

as

omni-contuitive,
and

can

God

coin

to

in God

reason

say,

are

that

am

personalityis in

God

copy of it is allotted
whether
call a God
we

of

God

is

ubiquitousand
term.
ness
Finally,self-consciousnot as with us incompleteand
broken
no
lightsin him ; he
I

We

am.

then

may

Lotze,
; or, following
super-personal

as

from

are

There

intermittent.
alone

entails.

attention

limited

our

'

describe
'

Perfect

say,

only : to all finite minds only a pale


(pp. 477-478). It does not matter
who is personal in a sense
different
"

ordinary,personalor impersonal. It is a
the Absolute
sense
terminology. In Ward's
the

has

be called a person, as he
may
To the
without
its finiteness.
else

anything
without

Ward

himself

in

manifest

the

world.

hypothesis of

made

them

freedom

had

use

But

as

other

As

the

reconciled

the defective

fool

world.

or

the monads

free and

he gave.

God

granted

made
his

own

has

for

is

from
limited

limitations

which
and

pain

world

goodness he postulates
Evil

is due

of their freedom.

his fault if
man

there

evils of the

free to

they

to

God

abuse

the

choose, but the

damnation.

freedom, i.e.had

man

God

finite God.

make

it is not

deliberatelyelected
not

admitted

finite

limits him

account
spirits

God's

with
limited

these

Spirit

of the

questionwhether

against God which


givesa negative answer.

themselves

be

cannot

mind

over

the

evil in the

the

matter

made

If

God

all conduct

necessary and determined, then we might have had a world


and evil were
where
but it would
have
error
impossible,
been
But

universe

Ward

wishes

for stones

and

make

men

to

sticks,and

not

free to

choose

for

men.

within

RELIGION

146

AND

PHILOSOPHY

limits,and still to relieve God


evil,he holds that the world
Evil is due

to the friction of

the

have

from

iv

the

for
responsibility
is a pluralityof monads.
Where
growing universe.
"

initiative,where

development is
and
epigenetic,contingency and conflict,fallibility
cability
pecinevitable
seem
(p. 353). Absolute creation is
many

some

"

assigned

not

God,

to

then

as

the

monads

be

cannot

rendered

independent enough to bear the burden of evil.


So only the conception of a limited
God
makes
evil
explicable.But the perfectionof God is also to be
maintained, and
God

is due

as

It also

that

the

to his self-determination.

spiritswhose
God

it is asserted

so

freedom

member

of the realm

follows

that

the

livinggrowing God,

of

free

(see p. 191.)

God

to

of ends

God

has created

He

limits

sets

of

limitedness

be infinite.

cannot

be

continuity should

process and change are the central


universe
facts of the pluralist's
(seepp. 194 and 436).
Is

characteristic

activitya
of God

true

as

also ?

All mind

has this characteristic.

It is
"

But

it, is conditioned

with

warfare

Experiencein

individual

and

of finite

we

every

case

whether

human

as
activity,

we

limitations.

by

where

experience or

have

to

are

Life

acquainted
is a growth.
difficulties.

overcome

between

of sensitive

alternation

an

divine

or

consists in interaction

environment,

is it

relatively
expression, the one
impression and motor
active.
Absolute
activity
passive,the other relatively
and absolute
passivityare limitingconceptions to which
the one being commonly
have no answeringexperience,
we
attributed
to God
only and the other only to primeval
matter"
active only
are
(N. and A. ii. 52-53). We
in

so

have

we

cannot
a

"

far

as

to

have

we

bend

conceive

of

has
of

our

purposes
no

it
reality,

which

of other

which

meaning.

resistingenvironment
Apart from
purposes.

activity.Apart

physicalenvironment

social environment
and

to

minds

is the

is
activity
same

as

an

an

with
ours

"

our

their

that

we

ends,

plans

own

activityto

ultimate

saying

it

environment

is hostile to

conflict with
If

from

which

Ward

characteristic
the

dualism

THE

PHILOSOPHY

between

organism

iv

of

as

Supreme

where

will

So

active

all, it

in

spirit
The

does

which
not

which

realise.

Our

He

is the

finite

But

this

wills

eternal
strain

conflicts

the

ordinary.
created

for

he

sense

is

God.

this
is

Such
the

purpose,

though

Ward's

active.

and

creation,
in

must

central

the

genius

after

with

neither
is active

that

limitation

any

act

to

if God

only

be

all.

at

be

theory

may

by

stage

God

will

from

in

its

has

or

artistic

or

feeling

mean

God.

ideal

of

his

conflict

absolutistic

creative

of

no

possible

lose

guided

reach

But

is active

ment
environ-

we

reality

dead.

is

all

man

different

the

on

not

Ward's

really

not

as

outflow

activity

sense

if God

But

active

mere

be

sense

and

limited.
is

in

will

for
of

stage

It

Ward's

beings,

be

final

be

must

Activity

also

the

passive.

nor

limited

environment

no

acteristic
char-

individual

are

and

disorder

final

will

the

Ultimately

no

147

physical

individuals

the

be

be

then

against.

at

will

the

which

to

since

be

will

environment

social

Intelligence.

there

There

the

environment

himself,

adapt

to

And

Ward

in

But

reality.

an

WARD

{environment

and

is unreal.
nature

PROFESSOR

OF

most
innerdo

they

other

tions
descrip-

God.
conclusion

Ward
met

personal

by making
and

theism

the

most

so

is

tries

long

to
as

Creator.
God

he

the

when

sound

to

he

theistic
the

The

and

pluralism

conception

idea

succeeds

all-comprehensive

philosopher

of

difficulties

the

keeps

vanished.

brilliant

the

by

meet

But

have

philosophically

that

of
in

God

as

meeting

are

the
them

spirit, his pluralism

lesson
cannot

satisfactory.

is clear
make

that

even

pluralism

CHAPTER

BERGSON

AND

ABSOLUTE

IDEALISM

I
"

BY

fruits ye

their

shall

know

them/'

only plants

not

philosophiesalso. Nowadays systems of


philosophy are not tested by the logic of their arguments
or
by the lightwhich they shed on the real problems of life
and

people,

but

and

mind.

That

democratic
the

tradition

trend

of ideas
of

circle

narrow

of

impulse

yielded to

the

current

in its direction

taken

philosopher's

The

men.

even

knowledge for the sake of knowledge has


the practicalman's
knowledge for the fruits it
it results

in view

philosophy have

business, and
values

has

and

changed

thinking

bears, the consequences

and

has

of the

the business

they try

average

So

of life which

do

to

justiceto

There

man.

systems of

now

are

is everybody's
the

certain

sense

things

he feels to be true
granted, which
logicmight say,
experience,whatever
through immediate
the
such
as
temporal experience. The
reality of our
the
the Absolute
feels that the real is not
or
plain man
whole, but an incomplete principlewhich is working itself
He
is accomplishing its nature
in time.
out, which

which

he

takes

in.

believes

in

timeless

Absolute

He
of

will have
freedom

hereafter.
makes

man

for

real

evolution, in
and

nothing
not

here

He

has

mode

an

no

of

real time

with

148

or

are

somewhere

with

patience
God,

To

him,

illusory.

philosophy that speaks

but

now,

order.

evolution

unmeaning

to do

and

else

doctrine

manifestation

and
that

of the

RELIGION

150
advance

AND

PHILOSOPHY

"

towards

perfection (Bergson,His Life and


and
Philosophy; Paul
Ruhe). So Bergson rejects
absolutism which
counter
to experience,
and
runs
intellectualism

which

seeks

It is these tendencies

lectualism

which

that

system

examination

absolutistic than
from

its

made

shall

see

it is

variety.

God, with
these

to

problems are

absolutism

as

so

he

anti-intel-

throughout

popular.

But

on

his

closer

Bergson'sphilosophyis more
If freed
to be.
generallyknown

Let

must
us

end

in

of mechanism

absolutism

an

consider the

of

problems of
and

intuition,the individual
view

and

life.

of

that

relation of life to matter,


intellect and

problems

themselves

it

it
inconsistencies,

the concrete

all

of anti-absolutism

manifest

have
we

solve

to

teleology,

self,freedom

whether
ascertaining

the

and

his solutions

of

far away
from those associated with
his interpreters
make
would
believe.
us

so

or

II

The

tendency of Bergson'sphilosophyis monistic,


for accordingto him there is a universal principle,
spiritual
in nature, in which
all existence is gathered,an
initial
which
is responsible
for the whole
psychicalmovement
be literally
evolution.
Creative evolution may
compared
from a singleroot.
to the spreadingof different branches
The elan vital goes on spreadingout new
ing
branches, creatmain

new

branches.

unity at
into

They

are

the

the start, where


"

one.

Matter, life,consciousness

novelties.

Evolution

are

such

divergentdevelopments of
the different tendencies

arises from

an

are

the

fused

identity."
original

"

Evolutionaryprocess, sprayingout like a sheaf, sunders


in proportionto their simultaneous
growth terms which
at first completed each other so well that they coalesced
Evolution, p. 124). All life is a unity and the
(Creative
unity is derived from the initial impetus. A single
of creation is at the base of things(C.E. p. 291).
principle
While
thus Bergson'saim as well as the main
tendency
"

of his

philosophyis monistic, in

the detailed

development

of his view

posits the

he

is

which

matter,

continuance

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

indispensablefor

think,

life meets

force which

and

inert

from

life bears

on

within

the

factor,

originand

shell bursts, the

by

life breaks

So of the way

resistance

both

When

contains

species. It depends, we
the

"

151

second

is explained both

particularway it breaks
force of the powder it
the metal.

of

existence

evolution.

of

IDEALISM

by

the

the

explosive

resistance

into individuals
series of

two

itself

and
:

causes

matter, and
"

of

the

plosive
ex-

(C.E.

p. 103,
resistingforce of

of the
also p. 134). The presence
maintain
is needed
to start and
matter

see

the

evolutionary

Without
of the
to call forth the activity
matter
process.
to the level of Spinoza's
elan, the latter will be reduced

inert, static, and

Substance,
into
is

world

the

of

of

of

sense-perception.The

regarded by Bergson

obstacle

incapable

as

the

at

matter

effort.

an

outset

developing

vital

It meets
of

its

impulse
with

the
Its

course.

of physicalforces the
graftupon the necessity
of indetermination.
To cope
greatest possibleamount
with physicalnecessityit requiresenergy, which
it cannot
of the pre-existing
It makes
create.
at its
use
energy
mission

is to

disposal (see C. E. p. 121). The two, life


through their interaction,create the universe
varieties.

itself.
he
the

If this is the

is not

ultimate

propose

matter,

with

all its

to be quite as
appears
for the world-process as the

Matter

fundamental

and

monist

unity

to discuss

conclusion

but

dualist.

duality of

or

at

of

the

originaland
life principle
Bergson'sphilosophy

It is this

life and

question of

matter

that

we

outset.

Ill
In Time
of human

and

Free-will,Bergson vindicates the freedom

consciousness.

He

points out

how

determinism

distorts the

it
flowinglife of consciousness by spatialising
and representing
it as a succession of states.
The illusion
is due to intellect,
of necessity
which
twists out of shape
duration

or

the real inwardness

of conscious

life.

"

Pure

AND

RELIGION

152
duration
states

is the form

which

PHILOSOPHY
the succession

of

conscious

our

when
it refrains
ego lets itself live,
separatingits present state from its former states
when

assumes

our

"

from

F.

(T. and
have

W.

opposed

p. 100). Conscious
characteristics.
The

be

adequate

to the

is

spatialand solid,but
is static.

matter

Time

In

opposition between

and

time,mechanism
We

of

of life or

dynamic

while

and

dynamism, is the

prominent

most

with

world

plicity
multi-

taneity
of space, quantity and simulof change, quality
to it there is a world
world

objects,a

opposed

Life is

real material

that

to

Free-will,the dualism or
and
the two, matter
life,space

and

have

ideal may
which
reality,

external

inadequate

is duration.

the

feature.

it is

inert matter

mechanical

of
representation

which

consciousness

life and

"

ego, there is succession


without
mutual
the ego is pure
externality
; outside
There
succession.
without
externality
space, mutual
duration
in which
is a real space
without
phenomena
and

succession.

Within

our

and
appear
consciousness.

disappear simultaneously with

of which

moments

is a real duration, the

There

permeate

one

another

"

our

state

of

heterogeneous

(T. and

F. W.

no). Bergson here affirms the separate


conscious life and inert
of two spheresof reality,
Intellect is viewed
matter.
as
giving a defective vision
of conscious life though it is adequate to the representation
still
of matter.
This
dualism
though greatly modified

pp. 108
existence

and

survives

in

feels at

home

among
Our
solids.

among
wherein

is revealed

unorganised matter
conscious
being to
object

remains
of

influence
that

of

change
between
to which

a
"

Evolution.

Creative

an

as

"

The

instinct

human

especially
objects,more
intellect triumphs in Geometry,
the kinship of logical
thought with
(C. E. p. ix). Again, For a
inanimate

"

"

material
a
change
else, if it changes under the
or
force, our idea of this change is

exist is
it is

external

to

...

do not
displacement of parts which themselves
(C.E. p. 8). There is set up a rigorousdualism
material object,
soul- life,
which
is change, and
change is external.

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

153

IV
account
can
we
difficulty
presentsitself. How
for motion
or
change in the external world ? If the world
therefore
outside
timeless, then
is purely spatialand
If all change is psychical,
illusion.
motion
becomes
an
taneities
of simulthen motion
is not change. It is but a sum

Soon

devoid
time.

But

of the

is unreal.

is "an

indisputablereality

Movement,
"

view.
debated

"

(Matter

that

the

kind

of motion.
into

atom

and

Memory,

outside

world

the

nature

of

the

self.

science

supports his

vibrations

Concrete

much-

the

his

to

p.

is also

Modern

to
discuss
purpose
questionof the nature of the electron.

It is not

is of

is

which

say that motion


be its nature,
whatever

outside

254). Bergson admits


becoming. Matter is
in its analysis of the

change

prepared to

is not

Bergson

of

essence

very

The

whole
is

movement

prolongingits past into


the present
Matter
mind,
or
(M. and M. p. 329).
realityhere appeared to us as a perpetual becoming
(C. E. p. 287). That mind is change, we have direct
capable like

consciousness

of

"

"

"

evidence.
and

That

themselves

senses

obtain

a
"

288).
into
one

direct
Pure

distinct

to

reduction

of

and

extended

why

own

M.

should

"

suggests

(C. E.
the

idea

of it

"

(C.

E.

p.
of

internal, is that

or

break

up

this

continuity

by side, which

universe

motion

to

of freedom

and

so

be attributed

form

are

and

the
will.
Free-

consciousness
"

There

of existence

to the

systems

knocks

in Time

confined to human
originally
to the totality
of being.

isolates,provided such
whole

they could

correspondin the
words, in the other to independent
p. 239). Bergson forgets that the

duration

not

We

intellect

our

show

disinterested

self and

Freedom

reason

if

of his defence

out

now

and

laid side

objects (M.

is

would

continuity.

"

bottom

"

intuition,external

elements
case

is also movement
...

undivided

an

matter

is

like

no

our

system that science

re-integratedinto

the

last part of this sentence


p. 12). The
reconciliation
views
of
the two
between

RELIGION

154

matter, that it is
motion.

The

Duration
live

"

(C.E.

whole

thing

inert

an

whole

is

"

is the

PHILOSOPHY

AND

it is

looked at as
Matter
p. 41).
be a flux rather than a thing

endures.

in which

"

of

kind

universe

of the world

substance

very

that

and
The

flux.

we

undivided

an

"

(C.E. p. 196).
portionsof realityand

must

of science we
cut off
purposes
view
them
in their isolation.
Matter,

For

the

as

scientist

For science
regardsit,is subjectto complete mechanism.
want
we
accordingto Bergson, and repetition
repetition,
is possible
only in the abstract. In the real world there
is

creative
"

absolute

nothing fixed, no
division

All

Matter

evolution.
of

rest, but
as

stable

into

matter

flow, action,

all is

solid is unreal.

and

independent

with

bodies

"

absolutelydetermined outlines is an artificial division


sections in the
(M. and M. p. 259). Intellect makes
continuous

flow

of

becoming

which

constitutes

reality,

"

The
distinct outlines
for purposes
of science and action.
of an objectare only the designof a certain kind of
influence
is the
eyes

might

we

plan of
as

our

exert

on

eventual

though by

mirror

actions
when

edges of things. Suppress this


those

main

certain

directions

part of space.

that is sent back


we

see

to

the surfaces
with

It
our

and

action

and

which

by perceptionare

it

quently
conse-

entanglement of the real, and the


of the body is re-absorbed in the universal
individuality
itself
interaction which, without
doubt, is reality
(C.E.
ideals are inadequate
mathematical
and logical
p. 12). The
of both
life and
matter.
to the representation
Bergson does not say that matter is phenomenal in the
He only
that intellectual categories
create matter.
sense
dependen
inexists
that
they misrepresent it. Matter
says
traced

out

for it in the

"

of intellect
fluid condition.

as

Intellect

soul-life exists.
cuts

out

cross

But

it is in

sections

of this

flow, sharpenstheir outlines and solidifiestheir contents.


further analysis
has become
on
Thus, inert matter
cally
practiwith
identical
conscious
life. The
real world,
is dynamic,
subjectiveas well as objective,
grasped^onlyby intuition.

and

can

be

BERGSON
If

AND
from

start

we

ABSOLUTE

IDEALISM

the side of consciousness

155

it is

possible

the

to establish

kinshipof conscious life with inert matter.


In Time
and Free-will,
Bergson has admitted the possibility
of treatingconscious life from the static
standpoint.
the
of
conscious
essence
life is interpenetration
Though
or
melting into one another, this coalescence is not always
present in the
that

all conscious
with

do

to

and

relation
"

with

lake.

The

no

the

means

another

one

self in

so

as

far

case

drops
rainit has

as

life

there is a
as
statically,
objectiveworld in all conscious
of

moment
state

"

the

to

of

blend

by

of
a kind
space, developson
this surface
independent growths may
(T.and F. W. p. 166). It is also necessary

conscious

Every

with

on

float

view

to

states

It is

homogeneous

and

"

degree.

the water

with

surface
form

same

consciousness

of the

external

is

definite
states.

contemporaneous

world/'

The

distinction

between

and objective
has become
subjective
so fluid that
it is practically
impossibleto treat the one as dynamic and
the other as static.
Neither is space so foreignto our
nature
as we
imagine nor is matter so completelyextended
in space as our
and intellect represent it
senses
(C.E.
What
is given are not inextensive sensations :
p. 214).
how
should
they find their way back to space, choose a
within it, and co-ordinate
themselves there so as
locality
to build up an
?
to all men
experiencethat is common
"

"

"

And

what

is real is not

extension, divided into independent

to
parts ; how being deprivedof all possiblerelationship
our
consciousness, could it unfold a series of changes of

which
the

the

relations

relations

and

and
the

the

order

order

of

exactly correspondto
"

?
representations

our

life and inert matter


are
p. 326). Conscious
both dynamic and static. Possibly,lifecan be understood

(M.

and

M.

in its essence
It is this

if treated

dynamicallyand

community

of nature

spiritthat Bergson emphasisesin

Memory.
into two
them

matter

between
his book

statically.
matter

on

Matter

and
and

Our intellect,
adapted to action,breaks the world
and devises all sorts of artificial remedies to glue

together. Idealism

and

realism

are

futile attempts

RELIGION

156
in that
is

AND

direction.

If

PHILOSOPHY

bear

we

in mind

that

the

dualism

later

product, born of and bred by intellect and not


the problem which
ism
idealprimitiveand radical to reality,
and realism attempt to solve vanishes.
If by intuition
return
to the whole, the false distinctions set up by
we
conceptual analysis disappear. The obscurityof this
a

"

problem
which
and

in all doctrines

is due

the

to

understandingestablishes

our

the unextended

"

the other

quantityon
"

the

on

between

the extended

quality and

side,between

one

antithesis

(M. and M. p. 235).


it
oppositionwhich

the

creates

double

Our

afterwards

contemplates amazed"
(M. and M. p. 327).
the problem of perceptionis slurred over
reality,
solved

this

is valuable

use

representativetheory
as

far

of

as

not

protest against the

perception, still it

it

is of the
suggests that matter
consciousness, though Bergson does not
as

spiteof
The

and

"

While

so

in

But

by Bergson. He evades it by employing the


image in reference to the object of perception.

"

word

standing
under-

all his devices

very

title matter

for

dualism

it.

hold

in
persists

indicates
memory
essential function
of

essence

same

and

is the

memory
Bergson has

the

in

is weak

his

the

In

system.
dualism,

spirit. What

is the reduction
of mind
actually achieved
and matter
to movement.
two spheres
They are no more
of realitybut are two opposed and coexisting
movements,
"

This
oppositein their direction.
processes
affirms the realityof spirit
and the reality
of matter.

two

It is then

In

Creative

existence
the

the

spiritand

is

of matter
cosmic

thwart

the
vital

to

whole.

to

the

M.

p.

necessity.

The

life is transferred
In

man,

the

Growth
over

of self.

account

from

of

human
between

development

material
Without

self-

and

discord
and

vii).

independence

conquest

the evolution

and

(M.

is all in all.

matter

self is due

which

Evolution

of matter

relation

life to

of

franklydualistic

"

book

the

obstacles

struggle

AND

RELIGION

158

PHILOSOPHY

the resistance of inert matter.

If the

matter
resisting

"

absent, then these 'failures, deviations, arrests


"

itself.

will have
To

this

Bergson

matter, for matter

life and

and

is the

backs
set-

impulse

originaland

two

assumes

consciousness
principles,

ultimate

and

to be laid at the door of the vital

avoid

were

outcome

roughly

or

space,

reflection

or

of the

partialvictoryof the opposing force, and is not


that
the two
conflicting
opposing force itself. When
the
the
of
rest
evolution of the
are
principles
present,
universe
is child's play to a philosopherof the brilliance
of

Bergson.
If

Bergson's system

necessary
ultimate
to

life

reduce

reduce

is to be

viewed

as

monistic, it is

dualityof life and matter


unity by reducingeither life to matter or

or

to

both

to

the

one

principle. We

common

life to matter, for that

has written

his volumes

in vain.

an

matter
cannot

that

assume

If there is one

Bergson
pointmore

emphasisesin his writings,it is the


spirit.Can
absurdityof mechanising life,or spatialising
reduce matter
to life and regardit as the first effect of
we
It hardly seems
life's evolution ?
possibleto do so, for
life cannot
is present opposing it.
evolve until matter
than

another

that

is to

to

he

Evolution

Granted

that

without

the

the existence of matter.


presupposes
life with its possibilities
even
can
supervene

resistance

something

more

of matter,

it

useful and

ought

to

important

have
than

engendered
mere

matter,

of life is
in view of the fact that the evolution
especially
influence.
To imagine that
unimpeded by any resisting
of
account
the creative impulse gave birth to matter
on
its

importance

in the later

stages of evolution is to import

anthropomorphic or finalistic tendency into Bergson's


philosophy. That life should first throw out matter and
then make
a
play of opposing it and with great trouble
pressingthrough and penetratingit, is not conceivable.
of
the reduction
We
left with the third possibility,
are
centre.
the two
common
Bergson
principlesto one
both
life
and
dualism
matter
resolves the
by making
If our
analysisis correct, it
spring from one source.
an

"

BERGSON

is consciousness
the

originof

the

name

back

or

Consciousness

life.

matter

whose

consciousness

of the

subsists

IDEALISM

159

that
supra-consciousness,

rather

for the rocket

as

which

ABSOLUTE

AND

rocket

is at

is
supra-consciousness

or

extinguishedfragmentsfall
for that
again is the name
itself passing through the
(C. E.
up into organisms
"

fragments and lightingthem


life to conand
sciousness.
Bergson traces matter
p. 275). Thus
whole
is spirit.
Ail realityis spiritual.The
monism.
But there
Bergson'ssystem is a spiritualistic
should
of this theory. Why
difficulties in the way
are
itself ?
fractionate
the supra-consciousness
Why should
this planet
The evolution of life on
it break in twain ?
We
ask if the original
is due to its oppositionto matter.
evolve into life
can
supra-consciousnessor ultimate spirit
and

force,why

can

not

we

same

If the

can

work

out

say

that

outside

an

earth

on

even

we

life does

the

without
that

presume

extraneous

give out branches,

can
supra-consciousness

its evolution

should

why

the existence of

without

matter

medium,
any resisting
evolution
of life on
this

requiresa resistingobstacle to force it to


?
Evolution
be
with
its possibilities
out
must
come
whether
it is the evolution of ultimate
the same
essentially
the evolution
of life into
or
spiritinto life and matter
Either both requireresisting
plants,animals, and men.
forces
both
The
latter
or
can
dispense with them.
alternative does not commend
itself to Bergson. So even
for the evolution
of the ultimate
psychicalsomething,a
We
matter
is needed.
resisting
get back to the dualism
of God
and matter, supra-consciousness
and space.
In this difficulty,
matter
a
Bergson makes
negative

planet

alone

idea.

Matter

Creative
as

the
is
"

Memory

opposing

two

are

and

Evolution

whole, from

which

Life

is
and

the

movement,
each

imply

the initial
as

that lifeand

There

movements.

world, will appear

opposed by

establishes

the

are

impulsion that
wave

descending

which
movement

materialityis

of these movements

is

the

in

passages
"

view.

same

matter

thrust

rises and
of

Life

it into
which

matter/'

inverse

simple,the

ment,
move-

matter

160

RELIGION

which

forms

AND

world

also the

PHILOSOPHY

being

life which

undivided

flux, and undivided


through it, cutting out

an
runs

in it

"

As the smallest
livingbeing all along its track."
entire solar system,
grain of dust is bound
up with our
drawn
of
movement
along with it in that undivided
descent which is materiality
all organised beings
itself,
so
from

the humblest

to the

highest,from

lifeto the time in which

we

times, do but

the movement

evidence
of matter

chap.iii.).So long as
Bergson is not a monist.
of these

are,

and

the first origins


of

in all placesand

singleimpulsion,the
and

there
But

inverse
"

in itself indivisible
are

of

(C.E.

distinct movements,

two

he

in all

makes

soon

out

that

one

is

primary and the other secondary.


is not
Matter
but only the
an
independent movement
of life. "It
inverse of the ascending movement
is a
is only an
of a rise
descent which
(C. E.
interruption
endures only by its connection
with
p. 291). Matter
that which
ascends
(C. E. p. 390). Reality is one
Its arrest
continuous, creative
ascending movement.
Matter
is thus
the
or
interruptiongives us matter.
There
movement.
is only one
negation of the spiritual
and
that is spiritual.Its interruption
movement
gives
movements

"

"

"

the

inverse

of it and

that

is matter.

But

we

cannot

should
have
why the ascending movement
at all.
been interrupted
Why should it ever have become
inverted ?
Why should the original
jetof spiritual
spray
To
?
these
into
matter
questions
suddenly get solidified
He does not giveus a satisfactory
Bergson has no answer.
of how, out of the original
account
psychicforce,matter
understand

It is not

comes.

open

to

Bergson

to

argue

that matter

is

and
not
for
a
reality,
negative idea, a shadow
Bergson'sview of negationcompels him to consider matter
Vital order
not a pseudo-ideabut a definite somewhat.
and geometricalorder are opposed,but geometricalorder
is not a mere
nothing. There is no such thing as absence
it could not serve
it not somethingpositive,
Were
of order.

only

of interruptingthe rise of life. It could not


the purpose
is a kind of being
occasion the activityof life. So matter

and

creative

activity,but

is, how
difficulty
inverse order

it is not
a

can

another

create

IDEALISM

It is different

non-being.

not

process

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

from

161

the

being

illusion.

an

But

of

our

interruptionof a positive
positive process, though of an
mere

chapteriii.of Creative Evolution Bergson urges that


and materialityrise together. The genesis
intellectuality
of intellect and the genesis
of matter
correlative (C.E.
are
inversion of the same
It is the same
movement
p. 196).
In

"

which

of mind
and the
intellectuality
materialityof things (C. E. p. 217). Bergson holds
that intellect is the interruptionof intuition as matter
is
creates

at

the

once

"

the
he
and

of
interruption
makes

immanent

in

the

vital

in

intuition.

Development

divergent lines

development.

where
passages
is something essential to

elan

of

as

much

Evolution

has

taken

different lines,the line of automatism


the

line of

instinct

It

in

instinct

as

6lan

the

intellect is the

and

are

evolutionarymovement.

contained

the

there

intellect

that

out

But

life.

has

end

been

of

exhibited

Hymenoptera, and
The
primal impulse

and

along
line of

one

place

is

three

on

in

the

plants,
line

of

in man.
must
have
intelligence
had in it the promiseand potency of these divergent
lines.
Intellect then is not an interruption
an
or
arrest, but a
definite

of the elan produced at one


possibility
stage in its
onward
and upward course.
It is one
of the products of
the creative impulse (C.E. p. no).
It is created by life.
It is hard
intellect can
to comprehend how
be both
a
of it.
primal tendency of life as well as an interruption
If intellect is something positive,
is matter
even
so
; if
it is only an interruption,
then matter
is only that.

VI

Bergson 's
and
of life the
in ultimate

of

account

matter

contradictions.

dualism

unity.

is

kept

The

up,

is riddled

with

sistencies
incon-

Throughout the course


though Bergson has faith

difficultieswe

have

raised in this
M

162

RELIGION

AND

discussion

will

perhaps
purely imaginary ones,

be

intellect ualism.

only

If

thingsas they
think

we

we

brushed

due

to

then
penetratingly,

things and

the

to be
appear
here set forth

between

the

principleof
evolution

be

may

While

To

the

This

itself.

the

between

concepts of the

Absolute
the

is

within

the

of life

our

requiresan

dition
con-

of

use

product

of

intellect

we

Thus

the

universe,

the

universe, and

to

empirical,

of the
as

our

traced

are

and

vital

in the

matter.

views

effort

is

matter

only

metaphysical
ilan

historical

thing
essentiallysome-

transcend

intellectual

ultimate

that

of the

historical

This
process.
the pressing problems of philosophy

of getting over
way
is stronglyreminiscent
of

the

involved

life and

and

in which

is

former

we

the intuitive

progress

confusion

phenomenon

between

Vedanta

latter

of

the relation of life to matter

comprehensive realityof

difficulties

theory

when

the

will

the
the

of

The
to

with

one

vital,as the metaphysical

confusion

originand

and

ilan

intellect

dualism

the

as

vicious

matter,

as

due

as

necessity is

But

difficulties about

the

intuition

intellectual view

evolution, and
the

and

thoughtsbecome

regarded

theory of the
reality,and

of life.

rise to

life as well
reality,
duration.
one
essentially

of intuition.

transcend

by Bergson

abstract

an

our

presented to us as
ordinary intellectual view,

creative

aside

whole

of life.

intellect

grasp
the difficulties will disappear. If

then

are,

PHILOSOPHY

all the

as

of the

monistic

school

puzzlingproblems

Maya are
paramarthik, or

traced

to

to

of Indian

of the relation
confusion

tween
be-

the

metaphysical or the
the vyavaharik,or the empirical or the
and
noumenal,
phenomenal, conceptions of reality. But the noumenal
and the phenomenal cannot
be held apart.
The metaphysical
has

to be

philosopherswho
hard

to account

duration

related
make

for

to

the

the historical.

real immutable

change ; Bergson

finds it hard

to account

who

Absolutist

being,find

lute
the abso-

makes

for permanence

absolutists who
are
stability.The
mostly
reduce difference and diversity
to
philosophers

it

'

an

and
'

identity
appear-

BERGSON

ABSOLUTE

AND

163

IDEALISM

illusion, non-being, and

irrationality.Bergson,
himself
in movement,
difference, and change,
installing
disowns all permanence
and identity,and dismisses them
of thought.
abstractions
dreams
of the mind
and
as
ance,

Bergson

asks
and

risingto

rid ourselves

to

us

stabilityby transcending

intuition.
set

of the

This

to, if

us

solutists
ab-

the
just the discipline

is
wish

we

illusions of manence
perand
intelligence

to

rise from

of

world

the

change to that of motionless perfection. Each of the two,


and difference,permanence
and change, which are
identity
emphasised
organicallyrelated to each other, is exclusively
and
caricatured.
so
Bergson, instead of giving us a
dictions,
philosophical
explanation of the difficulties and contraexhorts

to

us

of intuition.

symbols,

take

surrender

We

asked

are

shelter in

ourselves

faith,and

to

to

the

spontaneity
dispensewith all

in that

attitude

seize

We
then see God
is the centre of all
who
as it is.
reality
of all evolution, who
is unceasing
things,the source
creation.
A
freedom, activity,and
cheap and facile
monism
indifferent to the difficultiesof rational philosophy
is

given

us

It is hard
an

abstract

to

see

how

the

absolutism.

principlefrom

which

In

system reallydiffers from


both

there

is

essential

one

all

things originate. Spinoza's


is the ens
Substance
realissimum.
It is the totalityof
all being. So is Bergson's absolute duration.
All aspects
of the universe, plants,animals
and human
personalities,
take their rise from the creative principle.Even
though
Bergson calls the central principleduration, still he has
much
absolutist
in accounting for
as
as
difficulty
any
for the
change. Plato's non-being,employed to account
finite universe, is replaced by matter
in Bergson'sphilosophy.
This
in both
non-being or matter
systems is
neither

ultimate, for in that

nor

or
phenomenal, illusory

the

universe

more

concrete

philosophy.

cannot

be

idealism
The

case

Maya,

accounted
are

ultimate

the monism
for then

for.

is
the

affected,

play

Indications

of

of
a

wanting in Bergson's
unity is spiritual.Life and
not

RELIGION

164
matter

and

assumed

are

both

Life and

PHILOSOPHY

to have

be

recognised to

are

They

AND

started

the mutual

are

life

unity.
relative

oppositions between
is

the elan vital


matter"
and

source

each

to

other.

to

the

us

in the

overcome

original

in which

way

life and

the

ness
conscious-

matter,

higher unity.
is

limitation

the

The
of

"

the vital current


loaded
we
are
by matter :
(C. E. p. 252). The individual can attain
reach the point of view of God by spiritualising
and

opposed

two

same

of
implications

a
discord, he
essentially

the human
not

suggests

be

life,can

individual

harmony

the

complementary

Human

with

from

co-operate in promoting the central identity.

matter

and

the finite.

methods

comradeship between
realityas it is. But
in

Bergson'saccount

to

elucidate,

of

the two

Intuition

and

intellect

are

for only a
graspingreality,
can
help us to knowledge of

these germs
of life and

of the concrete
matter

idealism

here

we

propose

VII
is the absolutist

What

of

of both

and

matter

theory of

to the

whole

of the

manifestation

Activity is

the

essence

realisation

the

absolute

of finitude and
of the nature

creative

of

mind, and

mind

difference.

The

of the Absolute.
to become

itself in order

and

these two

The

supreme

and

passive,male
1

In

or

root

thus

Iswara

matter

The

root

the

energising of

later

both

the

Iswara

is the realisation

infinite lifehas to limit


All forms

are

This

force and

(Purusha

Absolute

brought

self-limiting

philosophy

and

active

Prakriti).1
self-conscious

the

personal lord facing Mulapraself-conscious


through the other.

becomes
Before

becomes

matter,

is the

differentiates

Iswara.

spirit.

one

in its process of selfforth into the forms

is called in Indian

female

Philosophy,

matter.

The

as

spiritand its maya


as
matter,
disjoinedduringthe manifestation.

and

other.

of the

upon

as

never

spiritis

facing the

Iswara
kriti

Indian

are

joy

of its nature.

of the Absolute
Its life appears

Maya.

is looked

goes
universe

manifest.

forth for the manifestation


power

In idealistic systems

the universe

philosophy,the play of

the

the relation of life to

itself into
the

various

manifestation

beings through
the

undifferenti-

166

RELIGION

evolution, and
The

PHILOSOPHY

consciousness

our

is

of the Absolute

dissociation

other, constitutes
of the world

AND

the

expressionthereof.

one

into the two, self and

beginningof creation,and

its

the work

is

only an attempt to get back to the original


wholeness
through growth. The universe is just the way
the abstract
concrete
a
through which
unity becomes
world

process is the
according to absolute

totality. The
So matter,
manifestation

becoming

idealism, is the lowest

spirit.Absolutism

of

of the whole.

does

not

reduce

but points out, that matter


is there for
spirit,
and
the sake of spirit. It is there merely to pass over
into spirit.That
return
by which an organism develops
and
be external
is harnessing nature
cannot
to it. Man
world
The
external
adapting her processes to his ends.

matter

to

is there

to be

in order

used

by

It enables

man.

him

to

attain his freedom.

Through conflict with it and conquest


and so nature
is the
reaches his individuality,
it,man
over
of spirit,
and Hegel is rightwhen
he says that mind
home
is the truth of nature.
Quite as much as Bergson or any
absolute
idealism holds that though life is
other vitalist,
evolved

from

womb

the

be

it, it cannot
upon
mechanism.
Thus
the

originof

of the

of mechanism
looked

whole

into

of the universe

upon
idealism

absolute
which

the universe

Being

which

and

and

is the warfare

is the

over
non-beingor spirit

to

its

But

own.

ideal,and

what

the two, called the

matter,
and

of

to the dissociation

process

tendencies,

of
supremacy
the destinyof the

the

of being over
supremacy
the Absolute
when
comes
the

beginning are merely


have
is only the pathway between
universe, where we all are pilgrims.

the
we

complete
end

product

distinguishes (i)

of these two

by
(3)the progress is measured
beingover non-being,and (4)the goal or
which

dependent

Non-Being, (2) the

where

universe

the

as

is due

is

VIII
Let
whole

us

that

ask

whether

becomes

Bergson

admits

differentiated

into

the
the

realityof a
two, being

and

the

admit

the

process

of

the

universe

whole

which

of
reality

of

nature

that

conflict

the

non-being, through

which

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

He

does

in twain.

The

continues.
breaks

absolute

The

nature
as
spirit. The whole is of the same
whole
(C. E.). Bergson postulates a spiritual

forms.

of the

world

inert matter,

first comes

Bergson calls matter


negative effect thereof,

whether
the

Only, in
words,

is

matter

the

side

one

Bergson

creative

the

as

fuller freedom

and

come

of

grade

other

spirit.Primordial
breaks

and

into two.

is looked

which
spirit,
tendency ever

making

by
upon
for fuller

other, it lapsesinto matter,

the

on

so,

spiritor
spirit.

presupposes
to itself. In

falls asunder
have

we

matter

not

low

consciousness

spiritor
On

spirithas

matter

of

relaxation

the

evolution

life ; and

then

"

of which

historical

in the

For

is

self

the

"

matter, etc., are

of

interaction

and

psychical.

is

whole

167

adjustment and
Creative
life is the active determining element
space.
(Purusha). But there are no objectsin the world which
are
purely spatial or
purely spiritual. Although
absolute

mechanical

determination,

"

stretches

matter

does

itself out

direction

in the

it"

attain

of space, it
Matter
does

(p. 219).
not wholly coincide with pure homogeneous space (p.230).
There
is neither
is completely active nor
spiritwhich
which
is completely passive. Matter
and life we
matter
in this world
both
active and
come
across
are
passive,
and the two tendencies
in them
are
strugglingwith each
Both
of them
kinds of order or activity,
other.
are
one
not

completely

vital, the

more

pure
forms

other

on

non-being,as
it by matter.
Becoming

reality. Bergson
He

does

not

does

consider

disparateportions.
separate from
of the
which
we

can

we

it

not

Life and

the

in the
a

one

are

tendencies
real.

struggleof

not

take

dualistic.

as

into two

up
two

only the
or

to

is the true

alone

world

are

is not

life has

is broken

matter

other,but

different

as

view

that the world

each

two

discover
describe

Matter

It is not

passivity.
forced

automatic.

more

ments
move-

tations
manifes-

articulations

Realityis one, though


two

tendencies.

It is

168

RELIGION

not

mechanical

of two

AND

when

the

of two

mixture

tendencies.

It is

creative

PHILOSOPHY
elements
which

current

spiritualtendency

but
we

conflict

call

upward

is

conquering and
downward
when
the non-creative
tendency is conquering.
of being
Becoming, which is the union of the two principles
and non-being,is alone real. As Hegel would
put it,being
lifehas an impulse to complete itself,
and so relates itself
or
to non-beingor matter, and passes with it into the higher
category of becoming. While becoming is the sole reality,
conceptual thought discovers in it being and absolute
or
nought, which is its other.
Realityis change, activity,

becoming. The historyof evolution is the continuous


of beingby overcoming its other. The succession
livingforms

just the attempt

the

All

being.
these

is

objectsof

tendencies.

two

the

The

of

being to

universe

relative

from

grades of

beginnings in crude matter


is strugglingtowards
persons

in human
of

the

endless

forms

beyond,
to

The

between
to

life

then

in

the

objects

the

two

stop

moves

his

reached.

its

the

mined
deterThe

heights

creating

on,

up
to

or

attainment

the

direction

back

goal is never

to its

the

gives

man

spiritcomes

this

of them

tendency

advance

When

the universe

Neither

which

man.

matter,

comes

its

whole.

of

mixtures

are

less of the creative


or
by the more
spiritualtendency. The hierarchy of values is
less of the spiritual
nature.
or
by the more
universe

of

non-

overcome

determined

are

coming
be-

of, and

subordination
But

own.

Here

the

in

struggle

For if it stops, the universe


goes on.
of the universe.
; it will be the death

can

cease

to

operate.

Creative

evolution

becoming where we have the action of


being conquering non-being or non-being conquering
being
being. Were the conquest ever complete, i.e. were
vice versa, we
should
without
or
non-being to conquer,
then have, either pure being or pure non-being,which
are

is

both

continuous

abstractions.

strife of

The

very

being and non-being.

of creation

essence

We

see

how

what

is the

Bergson

the classical systems of philosophyappliesto


says about
to
He requiressomething negative or zero
also.
his case

BERGSON

be

to

of

and

"

Platonic

metaphysical

"

like the

169

the

the

to

matter

IDEALISM

originalbeing before he can have the


sponds
change. Bergson's conception of space corre-

added

world

ABSOLUTE

AND

arithmetical
"

time
When

non-being,

Aristotelian

joined to the idea,


it in space
unity, multiplies
which

zero

to

zero

the

(C. E.

our

p. 334).
attention is confined

to

the universe

we

see

tendencies.
the two
Bergson
struggle between
of real duration
the possibility
to conceive
seems
pure and
without
or
non-being. On
spiritual,
any taint of matter
the absolute
this point there
is a difference
between
the
idealists and Bergson. If we
our
open
eyes and see
of
world
of experience we
find it to be of the nature
be able to
shall soon
becoming. In this becoming we
perceivethat there are two tendencies of spiritand matter
which both seem
to present themselves
as equally real and
fundamental
and existingof their own
right. This is the
attitude most
mind
to take up.
natural for the unreflecting
But absolute
dualism
will not do, since realityis of the
in

it

of

nature

So

becoming.

call

we

They

the

are

reveals

to

us

becoming.
strife of

They

them

The

tendencies

articulations

in the nature
As

breaks

up
their

into

to

the

the two

concepts.
have

must

There

If this

be

one

whole.

negativelyrelated.

be

of the

in the process of
world, i.e. in this

whole.

The

whole

back
tending to come
is
In this description which
absolutists,they are employing

which

theory is

been

or

in the

cannot

ends

original union.
given by Bergson and the
to

of the real

opposites,they

into

upward and downward.


which
conceptual analysis

find progress

we

contribute

coalesce

two

are

true, then

present

from

the

the two
very

tendencies

beginning.

stage where

only one tendency is present.


The
two
are
correlative,like subject and object. When
dentally
acciare
Bergson occasionally suggests that the two
follow him.
For in Bergson
related, we cannot
the two
are
fundamentallyrelated. Even where Bergson
admits
that spiritacts upon
matter, it could not put one
step

cannot

to

the front

or

move

out

of its circle,were

there

not

RELIGION

170

AND

PHILOSOPHY

matter

everywhere confrontingit,pullingit out as it were.


this is the relation of spiritto matter, then it cannot
be
accidental relation but an essential one.
But Bergson

If
an

admit

to

seems

duration.
would

For

the

This

exclusive

realityof

inconceivable.

seems

perfectactivity. But

mean

there

duration

out
perfectactivitywith-

something to resist it, is a contradiction


conceive
accordingto Bergson we cannot
force unless

absolute

pure or
Perfect

in terms.
of

activity

something against which it can


force itself. The life force is unintelligible
unless there is
something to push itself against or exert force upon.
or

is

Bergson is very severe


of being. Whatever
the

the absolutist
conception
upon
the
absolutists might say about
in
dynamic spiritualenergy of the absolute, he persists
callingit motionless being,which we are taught to take
for

current
nothing. But we ask, what about the spiritual
which
has nothing to push itself against?
Is it not to be
viewed as a static blank ?
Our point is that the upward
of life would
current
have nothing to push itself against,
if there
or

was

activityat

such

all.

Matter

is the

have

not

from

spirit relaxed,

pure

If matter
causes

flowingstream

other.

current

of these tendencies

For

he

the
?
does
everinterruption
Why
suddenly get itself checked and arrested

the

pursuing its course


inhibition of spiritis due to
are
begging the question.

to

the
In

flow of mind, it is all

collision with
the
one

it alters and

have

alreadyshown,

that

matter,

we

without

swift current

in the inverse

If the

ness
of conscious-

freedom

impediments of solid objects and


Bergson cannot
explainmatter as due
of the upward spiritual
in the
current
That

land

man's

no

any

are

is
says, matter
activity condensed, duration
precipitated.
is the arrest or interruptionof spirit,
the

instead of

and

been

obstacle,and as
resisting
son
activity. Bergspiritual

the necessary means


of the
to admit the possibility
of one
seems

existingapart

what

It would

matter.

no

distinct

things.

the

alteration

inverse

direction.

to

direction

are,

as

we

tions
pure assumptions. If these assumpaccepted, then it follows that till the particular

BERGSON

reached

point was

there

course,

Bergson'sview
with

matter

give

whichever
spirit,

that

171
altered

current

But

at all.

matter

no

upward

the

where

was

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

its

this contradicts
it turns, meets

way

Bergson is not able to


satisfactoryexplanation of the interruptionor
it.

collides with

and

any
fall. It is there.

It is the downward

potential

movement

capacity for detention in


that
This
consciousness.
our
means
spirit contains
With
of matter.
within it the potentiality
spiritthere is
of change
is the source
The practical
need which
matter.
is in the very heart of reality
along with the perennially
of
To
for the return
account
self-renewingfreedom.
in the

mind

from

circle.

The

free course,

do

very
when
he

holds

that

the

one

effort.

the

struggle with

They
the

are

unknowable
with

his

put

the

dualism

primal

the

recognised

are

We

except in
aspects of

do

two

in

through

and

what

know

not

realityis a collision
its antagonisticcross-current
forms.
Bergson is not
pure
and
more
logicalself when

other.

better

are

absolute.

is not

unthinkable

are

They

as

suggests that what

is

interruptionof it. Matter


lutist
life.
Bergson is truly abso-

other.

the

Matter

the two.

the elan vital and

consistent
he

other.

apart from

between
which

each

be

must

an

of

to

is

not

centre

relation

each

between

opposite tendencies

two

skeleton

into the magic


find its way
then matter,
first spirit,
have

not

of life and

the

the

must

worm

resistance

tendency

the

have

own

Surely we

then

is in

its

box, the

into the

and

We

upward.

All

exists first is the unhindered

of

its arrest
spirit,later comes
the struggle commences.
point onwards

and

ment
move-

from

that

is

logical

He

when

he says that from the beginningspiritcollides with


is contained
in spirit
matter, that matter
as consciousness
contains
from
and

its detention.

The

the start, opposing each

tendencies

two

other and

in the one life process


variety,
The becoming of the world
is

tendencies
whole

of life and

universe

matter.

present

are

making

for richness

of the world.
constituted

From

the

by
elan

the

two

vital the

develops by divergent evolution.

The

RELIGION

172

elan vital and

ground, and
to the

AND

PHILOSOPHY

the force that opposes


matter
so the life and

self and

not-self

of the

it have
of

also

common

Bergson correspond

absolutists.

One

is the

spiritual
tendency which by overcoming the other material
for progress.
In the lowest stages, the
tendency makes
material
tendency has in a sense
conquered the spiritual,
and

have

we

there

freedom.

nor

changes of
We

The

neither

indetermination,

not-self is in the

the material

universe

choice,

nor

ascendant, and all the

purely self-repeat ing.

are

simply because it has not the characteristics


of spirit,
say it has nothing to do with spirit.Reality for
but this spirit
Bergson as for the absolutists is spiritual,
cannot,

lapsesin

the lowest

is

stages where
That

relatively
supreme.
being Bergson admits

give us

true

its

material

Then

life,and

as

Were

be

intellect would

this lowest

is not

matter

even

character.

of intuition

nature

tendency

pure nonwhen
he says that intellect does not
pictureof the material world, for it exaggerates

material, intellect would


is.

the automatic

able

completely

matter

show

to

realityas

us

intuition, for it is the

become

give us things as they are.


stage spiritis slowly progressing. We
this

to

life takes

indetermination

on

of the

more

of

characteristic

it

freedom

From
have
and

spirit,consciousness

and
life becomes
elevated
to the next
higher
appears,
life. Soon
the
animal
consciousness
stage of animal
becomes
into

associated

the

stage

to

That
and

human
be

this

gets transformed
is also

mind

human

surpassed.
forms

may
of

becoming, Bergson
is

reasoning and

mind, and

all these

lower

with

looked

well be

spirit,whose

admits

upon

nature

when

he

says

as

is
that

the

higher
activity or
all reality

unfolding. Reality is psychical


throughout, and one of its indispensablecharacteristics is
embodied
in matter, in the pure externalityof things to
a

each

becoming

other.

change,
some

and

cases,

appearance.

or

The
this
where
The

an

nature

of

psychicalcontent

is to

present everywhere, and in


its
is needed, it makes
consciousness

change

ultimate

is

nature

of

realityis

like that

the

inverse
"

the

do

in all times

places as

the

AND

RELIGION

174

of

(C.

universe

the

p.
is the

lives
life.

"

diverse

and

one

assumed

life has

are

of

matter,

in itself indivisible
of

spiritinto

of the

ideal of

endless

species

but

the

infinite
forms

which

life force

same

diversityof

to

at

forms.

of the over-individual

yet

were

This

as

Charged from the outset with


of the
psychic potentialities

individuals

singleimpulsion,

different lives.
many
plurality,but there is also sameness

is

There

unity.
One

or

evidence

285). The evolution


everlastingrealisation
Throwing itself into

E.

in the many.
individuals, it appears

is difference

but

movement

one

and

PHILOSOPHY

or

work.
vidual
Indi-

universal

the

infinityof
species and

be, life realised

the
the

all its

different directions
by branching in many
possibilities
without
the unity of its originalconcentrated
sacrificing
form/'
Life process is the progressiverealisation
It is the supreme
of the One
through the Many.
of the universal
of the highest form
which
instance
we
of the concrete
call by the name
identity. Though
Bergson is not clearlyconscious of it, still the logicof his
argument compels him to consent to the realityof a whole
latent

in which
While
those
matter.

strife is.
the absolutist

of self and
Here

considers

the two

tendencies

not-self,Bergson calls them


is in the wrong.
for vital
account

Bergson

For

to be

life and

if mechanical

phenomena, since
explanations cannot
different from
the propertiespossessed by organisms are
well ask whether
then we
those of crystals,
purely
may
for conscious
mena
phenobiologicalexplanations will account
and
psychologicalexplanations for moral values.
have gaps not only between
In the process of evolution we
also between
the
the inorganic, but
the organic and
and
the
physiologicaland the organic, the conscious
the
physiological,

moral

and

the

conscious.

It

is

an

arbitraryprocedure to say that life and matter should be


since physico-chemicalexplanationswill not
distinguished
oneself with saying
do for vital phenomena, but to content
and morality are
that consciousness
only stages of life.

and

If consciousness
looked

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

two

upon
the laws of

as

stages of the

one

IDEALISM

175

logicand morality,can be
memory,
grades of life,in spiteof the fact that

for
organic growth are inadequate to account
moral
conscious
and
phenomena, in exactly the same
since mechanical
explanationscannot account for
manner,
also as
organicobjects,why can we not look upon matter
Either we
should
lower than organisms ?
a phase of life,
consider
all these, men,
animals, plants and minerals as

not

be looked

must

tendencies, life and

of two

the warfare

as

the world

or

essence,

upon
matter, but

and
reason.
principles,matter, life,consciousness
Bergson with the absolutists is willingto rejectthe latter
four

is anxious

He

alternative.

struggleof

the
better to

use

this

stages of life, as

so

is

monism,
If so,

withstandin
not-

is it not

clearlyassociated

It will not

term

world.

the

is not

stages as life ?

of these

one

which

term

establish

to

with

do to call them

closely associated

all
with

to say, then, that


We
shall have
biologicalphenomena.
all these are
higher and lower forms of the one essential
spirit. The whole manifests itself at one stage as matter,
at

another

life,at the third

as

as

animal

consciousness,

intelligence.They are all forms


of saying they are
of spiritat different stages. Instead
should
to life, we
they
types of organisationdue
say
are
grades of spirit. As a matter of fact, Bergson is not
fourth

at the

careful

very

as

human

in his

of the

use

word

life.

Life

and

sciousness
con-

times
synonymously. Life someWe
refers to the vital phenomena.
distinguish
broadly three different usages : (i) the superconscious
whole
which
breaks
into the two, or
(2) the upward

which

current
"

one

Life

thrust

used

sometimes

are

as

conflict

into

comes

whole

it into the world

from

the

with
initial

the

downward

impulsion

will appear
which
as
a wave
by the descending movement

that
rises

of
opposed
Life is essentially
current
matter
a
(C. E. p. 284).
it can
sent
through matter, drawing from it what
(p. 280), or (3) the process of becoming which is due
to the interaction of the two, spiritand
space, being
and

which
"

is

"

"

RELIGION

176
and

"

non-being.
"

matter/'

AND
Life

PHILOSOPHY

is consciousness

Consciousness

is distinct

launched

from

the

into

organism
"

it animates,

although it must
undergo its vicissitudes
(C. E. p. 284).
oppositionof life and matter
Bergson bases his extreme
the ground that while in the physical world
on
changes
of
external, being merely displacements
are
parts, in the
of vital phenomena
world
changes are internal, being
genuine creations of novelty. In what science calls the
physical world time does not enter, and the present is
determined
tions
relaby the past according to the necessary
which

science

phenomena,

time

determined

by

at the

of

outset

and

vital

the

In

in the

world

physical phenomena, since all is given


everything is mechanically determined.
which

world,

is

free

and

spontaneous,

predictabilityis impossible. Bergson again


refers

creative

the

to

character

of life and

ripening of fruit, while


physical world consists in a mere
elements.
Bergson emphasises
of life. But
contingent nature
to

to

life is not

that

us

led to believe.

there be

something

the

that

life is

the

past and

is excluded.
the kind

the

present.

The

externally,vital
from
while

of the

Organisms

facts.

nature,

outside.

When

closer

and

examination

surprisesas we are
the continuityof
on

with

its past.

have

To

that

Unless

rightto
Emphasis on
no

connection

means

between

the

between

the t^ /o

acts

say

contingency

extent

activities of the

lies in

determined

are

the

internally.
one

are

But

rigid

and untrue
to
free is wrong
determined
from
within, by their
are

crystals are
Bergson has an

while

discontinuous

determined

other
are

old

are

this to infer that


those

the

mechanical

While
acts

reshufflingof

whole.

difference

only

of action.

the

he would

continuity of livingprocesses

it

compares

of

insists

continuous

one

again

movement

the

discontinuous

common

and

full of

so

Bergson

Even

Its future is not

life.

own

the

the

reveals

of vital

is very real and the future incompletely


the present.
Predictabilityis possible

world

in the

discover

may

determined
eye

on

from

facts, he

the
sees

BERGSON

ABSOLUTE

AND

IDEALISM

177

clearlythat life is not a series of takingsby storm, or leaps


evolution.
from one
thing to another, but a continuous
Life is not a repetition
of the same
parts, nor is matter
that

it is

coherence

of differences

in

As

whole.

for

novelty,it is not the property of vital phenomena only.


All that Bergson has established is that organisation
We
is not manufacture, nor
is an organism a machine.
submit

cannot
"

life process
physics and

to

mathematical

treatment.

for
chemistry cannot account
Astronomy,
certain
most
Calculation
at
life phenomena.
touches
Organic creation
phenomena of organic destruction.
...

cannot

we

(C. E.
motion.

p.

21).

submit

to

Life cannot

Mechanical

mathematical

be

resolved

categories are

into matter
not

explanationof life process which resembles


of mind
than
that of the mineral.
But

"

treatment

an

and

adequate
the life

more

this does

not
"

the two.
We
complete discontinuitybetween
do
not
question the fundamental
identity of inert
matter
and organised matter."
That
life is a kind of
mechanism
I cordially
(C.E. p. 32). The vitalists
agree
and the absolutists have an
both the continuity
eye on
and
the discontinuityof life and
matter.
They agree
with
is insufficien
Bergson in thinking that pure mechanism
to account
for the phenomena of life ; but they
mean

"

"

do not rush to the conclusion

that therefore

lifeis in every
with an absolute

opposed to matter.
Bergson starts
the organic and
the inorganic. But
oppositionbetween
he has no rightto do so, since there is as much
opposition
between
the organic and
the conscious, the conscious
and
the intellectual.
If life is a fightagainst matter,
consciousness
is a fightagainstlife. But if there is continuity
way

between

life and

continuitybetween
much
objectionto
In

life matter

lifeand

consciousness, then
matter.

of life and

is

have

Bergson cannot

the idealist solution

is not

there

matter.

only transmuted.
Life is not the destruction
of matter, but only its transformation.
The
are
propertiesof matter
caught up in
a
higher synthesis. The idealist as well as Bergson
destroyed

but

RELIGION

178

the

emphasises

mechanism,

than

PHILOSOPHY

uniqueness

reduced

be

cannot

AND

to

but

higher and

an

of

life.

aspect of

is still born

He

knows

in it.

that

Life is

matter.

aspects of

lower

To

him

it

more

life and

singlereality.
and life,
That the two, matter
not absolute opposites
are
but relative differences in a whole, promoting the one
unity
out
in
of spirit,
Life must
comes
Bergson's writings.
avails itself of a certain elasticity
be something which
in matter"
to
(Life and Consciousness). "Life seems
succeeded
in this [overcoming the resistance
have
of
matter] by dint of humility,by making itself very small
and very insinuating,bending to physical and chemical
to go part of the way
with them.
forces, consenting even
in the simplest forms
Of phenomena
of life,it is
hard to say whether
they are already vital. Life had to
matter

are

"

...

into habits

thus

enter

of inert matter,

in order

to draw

it

magnetised as it were, to another track


by little,
(C. E. p. 103-104). Bergson's contention that matter
of spirit,
is only the relaxation
suggests the idealist view
has only to reveal the mind
in matter.
that mind
Matter,
according to Bergson, is congealed mind, while according
mind.
To both, it is mind
to Hegel it is concealed
come
life itself assumes.
to
Life
rest.
Materiality is what
is only the truth of matter, as in Hegel mind
is the truth
of nature.
In Bergson, while both matter
and mind
are
different because
looked
movement
as
they are
upon
is self-repeating
while mind
is creative
matter
movement,
Consciousness
and
movement.
distinguishlife
memory
from matter.
Memory is just the way in which the past
persistsin the present. The persistenceof the past in
"

little

the
as

way
but

present is
mind
of
in

memory
feature
assumed
not

common

to

both

matter

creative,it
essentially
simple repetitionor mere

retains

is

and
the

unaltered

different

is
of

which
is called
way
the special form
which

only
the persistenceof

in the

case

distinguishmatter

of mind.
from

the

mind.

But

by
reproduction
past

not

memory.
the common

past in the present

Consciousness
mind

So

has

again does
absolutely,since for

BERGSON

Bergson,
mental
of

which

images,
i.e.

These

images

But

it
for

up

time

of

and

either

then,

memory,

from

matter

what

according
the

absolutist
differ

of

is
whole.

one

of

the

nature

life

and

of

one

of

it.

of
matter

whole,

absolutist

means

be

to

debate.

is

to

regarded

each
as

mental
funda-

so

isstrange
mind

make
them

minimising

the

as

psychical
other.

the

he

says

it follows

They
and

as

tinction,
dis-

belonging
is

When

higher

of

view

still

conclusion

reality

It

they

them

argument.

differs

difference,
it is

although

consider

has

consequences

Whether

though

to

mind

fundamental

Bergson,

whole
are

to

open

mind

longer

which

the

respects,

Bergson's
the

novelty.

come
be-

Consciousness

essential

this

But

implication

in

willing

not

the

thinkers,

whole,

one

is

it

only

no

in

rather

stated,

already

we

matter

phases

of

disappearance

while

and

but

Bergson

to

thus

memory.

points

not

absolutely,

is, as
that

or

are

is

vided
pro-

makes

arrest

Matter

consciousness

is

movement

indetermination

its

losing

consciousness.

no

the

This

perception.

since

indetermination

of

system.

They

for

matter,

body

zone

sensation.

perceived.

it, it has

living

the

nervous

through

need

in

conscious

which

the

perception

and

of

case

of

consisting

as

our

being

in

enters

the

by

the

indetermination

no

when

held

in

so

were

memory

without

exist

exist

is

with

opposite

of

spoken

perceive

would

we

can

be

may

unadulterated

generally
there

it

179

the

being

from

far

so

that

contents

pure,

viz.

is

matter

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

lower

are

to

logical
that
that

parts

phases

CHAPTER

BERGSON

WHILE

AND

the

VI

ABSOLUTE

absolutist

(continued)

IDEALISM

holds

teleological
conception
of the universe, rejecting mechanism,
Bergson rejects
his system consistent and satisfactory
both.
But to make
Bergson is obliged to admit
teleology. For Bergson,
It is spontaneous creative
realityis creative evolution.
Time
is the very substance
of reality. Mechanism
process.
and teleologyboth reduce
time to an
empty appearance,
and rob the universe
is
of everything in it which
universe
is determined
The
unique and novel.
by a
first cause,
according to mechanism,
by a final cause
according to teleology. Mechanism
regards the future
of the present," and
and the past as calculable functions
claims
world
of
that all is given (C. E. p. 40). The
to

"

becomes

nature

for the novel, the

mechanism

in which

and

unique

is

there

the individual.

If

we

no

room

cannot

universe
in one
comprehensive vision, it
grasp the whole
is due to our
mental
impotence. Nor do we fare better
with

teleology,which
of

working

an

out

non-creative.

imposed
futile.

failure,

conceives

absolute
of

The

inevitable.

If

purpose.

world

is committed

Real

time

and

inevitable.

uncertainty.
Everything is

But
in
180

There
for
the

the

as

world

the

prearranged plan, the

programme.
The
end
is
no

the world

cosmic
to

is

the
is

process

externally

an

duration
is

tion
realisa-

become

risk,

no

Bergson nothing
There
making.
"

no

is
is

i82

RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY

be that he is satisfied with

cannot
or

AND

vi

world

without

rhyme

reason.

If the world

is

only

bundle

of disconnected

it is

only a series of tableaux, we cannot


world is progressingat all. How
can
we
changes are all in the right direction ?
is present throughout
which
whole
a
have

cannot

any
would

be

sure

that

be

sure

that the

Unless
the

guarantee of progress.
be

states, if

we

the

have

universe,

we

its absence

In

caprice,purposeless growth.
would
be the ultimate
What
to us
reality. If
appears
the world with its horror and imperfectionwere
the sole
if there were
not in it a stable spiritual
reality,
purpose
which is working for the values and ideals of spirit,
then we
should be compelled to view the universe as a great tragedy
the

world

mere

If faith in the whole, faith in the

indeed.

in the world

is absent, what

of
possibility

is there

inspire
effort ?
Bergson cannot hold to any such conception of
irrational duree which
throws
no
an
light on the heaps
of happenings we
call the world ; for
an
absolutely
irrational duree might suddenly stop creating,explode,
back ; its creation
go into nothing and refuse to come
the ravings
or
might be like the frenzies of a madman,
of genius run
mad/' x
Bergson is sane
enough to
shrink
from
such
as
conception. As much
any
any
absolutist he holds
to
a
conception of an identity in
harmony

to

"

difference, a whole

in the

world.

Even

with

him

all is

into existence that was


not there
given. Nothing comes
before.
Bergson's creative principledoes not create out
existences
to be sudden
of, nothing. If the new
were
relation to the past, they would
and abrupt, having no
have

to

be

put

down

as

mechanical

additions

from

Bergson, with idealists,thinks that they


The life impulse contains
are
developments from within.
infinite number
of possibilities.
It is an
an
immensity
in
of potentiality (C. E. p. 272). Bergson is wrong
thinking that nothing is given. The creative principle,
without.

But

"

"

like the Leibnizian


1

Frank

monad,

Thilly in

the

is self-sufficient and

PhilosophicalReview,

has

xxii. 217.

all the

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

vi

183

organised world is a harmonious


is an
whole
organic development
of its preceding stages.
where
stage is the sum
every
is enough of law and regularityin the working of
There
tion
the creative principle. The items of the creative evoluobey order and are not irrational. The ilan vital
it. Though Bergson
and overcomes
battles with matter
admit
the conception of a fixed goal towards
does not
which
the process of evolution is tending,he stillholds to
the realityof a conscious
tendency. Bergson does not
He postulates
say that the flux of the world is the whole.
issue successively,
who
whence
is
the source
God
by
a
or
effect of his freedom, the currents
impulses each of
an

potenciesin it. The


whole"
(p. 53). The

"

"

will make

which

the

world."

He

does

think

not

that

"

always existed is the world itself (Bergson's


letter quoted in pp. 42-43 of Henri Bergson, His Life and
Philosophy, Ruhe and Paul). Here Bergson clearlytells
that the world of change is not the all,but there is a
us
is unity of direction
of it. There
is the source
God
who
that there is no
which
ensures
ambiguity, at least, no
Thus Bergson is obligedto admit
chance in the outcome.
in another it has a
is a flux in one
that while reality
sense,
"

has

what

static

aspect. Viewed

without, the cosmic

monism

in the

be

true

sense

of the word,

he is

monist,

whole,

the outcome

and

if there

as

the

of the

originalunity.
But
when
Bergson recognisesthe realityof a
he cannot
which changes occur
say that time is the
reality. So if progress is to be assured, there

pluralityis

process

pluralityof individuals ; from within,


a
unitary energy.
Bergson is not a monist if
is wrongly interpretedso as to exclude plurality.

to
appears
it appears

But

from

is

whole

then

time

whole

in

ultimate
must

be

is not

the

reality. As Bradley puts it, "If there is to be


no
spiritualpower which is above chance and
supreme
change, our own
spiritualinterests are not safeguarded.
absolute

it seems
any such power
of the absolute realityof time
But

with

"

to

p.

250).

to

me

nonsense

to

talk

note
(Truth and Reality,foot-

RELIGION

184

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vi

III
that
the nature
of
us
Bergson frequently reminds
realityresembles our psychical life. The only teleology
of which
conscious
is the teleologyof human
life.
are
we
How
does our
Every other teleology is an inference.
life proceed ?
aims
Man
human
ends.
at and
pursues
We
cannot
say that his purposive willingand deliberate
to ends freelychosen are all delusions.
adaptation of means
of purposes
The presence
freelychosen does not deprive
of his freedom.
He is not in the grip of a law of
man
set for
; for his ideals are
progress imposed from without
him not by events, not by law, but by himself.
There is
of moral
life is the process
novelty also since the course
through which an abstract ideal acquiresflesh and blood,
colour
and
perfume. Moral progress depends on new
untried
and
expressions of creative spontaneity and
ideal is not

freedom.

The

realisation

will be

yet realised,and the process of

We
have
there the
something novel.
life
novelty of becoming. Teleology operates in human
without
deprivingit of its freedom and initiative,
novelty
and creation.
When
Bergson admits that the acts though
for by us when
they cannot be foreseen can be accounted
once
they occur, he admits that they are embodiments
of reason
and purpose.
Were
they reallycontingent,we
for them.
M. Bergson holds that
could
not
account
infinite
events, which, because
they are contingent,even
"

powers

of calculation
for

even

by

could
our

not

foresee,may

powers
very modest
this somewhat
I own

yet be
of

counted
ac-

thought
surprises

they have occurred.


me
(Balfour,Hibbert Journal, x. 13). This would
that
be no
not
surprise if it be admitted
they are
R. L.
contingent even
though they cannot be foreseen.
Stevenson
begin a
says : "I, as a personal artist,can
with
character
only a haze in my head ; but how if I
the haze
into words
have
to translate
beforeI begin?
could I
how
I can
find language for every mood
; but
after
"

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

vi

beforehandwhat

185

this

to be, which
it
was
effect
hours
and hours
take every
would
art I possessed and
and
selection
of deliberate
rejection to produce ? *
cannot
in such acts of genius,though we
Even
foretell,
it is still clear that the originalinspirationcontrols the

tell any

one

"

whole

There

process.

is

the

present throughout, though it may


the

in

simply

that

life is

purpose
mechanical

mere

from

creative

expression of
it not merely

in

not

present therefore

life is

total active

the

changing

say
moral

purpose

free,spontaneous,

the

to

artist

tions
modifica-

do

We

adjustment

Ethical

without.

imposed
have

is

the

undergo

realisation.

of

act

very
because

of

purpose

self of

but

process
dualism

We

man.

also the

between
We
do not have
the
a
purpose.
for the process is only the expression
process and the purpose,
If we make
the purpose
of the purpose.
external
becomes
the
then
the
to
something
process
process
stable

externallydetermined.
they
end

the

are

predetermined

is not

activityof
is the free

its realisation.

pursuit of

life be conceived
of

and

freedom

two

aspects of the

are

and
the purpose
evolve
process
twin expressionsof the concrete

The

whole.

The

life.

The

grows pari passu with


If then the moral
life of

its

the
man

the cosmic

ideals,cannot

analogy ? For,
novelty are derived

on

together ;

but

self-chosen

one

after all,the ideas


human

from

life.

"

the idea of voluntary activity


starts from
Dynamism
The cosmic process may
be the
given by consciousness."
free pursuit of ever-growing cosmic
ends.
As
human
is free activity and
consists
in the creative
conduct
expressionof the entire past experiencein free acts, even
world

the

may
Random
creativity.
so

in

result

abortions

be

viewed

business

as

free

without

end

misdeeds, but

and

this

owe

Bergson,

p.

164.

illustration

to

E.

Hermann's

book

aim

or

in

not

creativity. Bergson's creative evolution


continuous
evolution
fulfilling
plans and
rich world with its wonderful
variety and
1

spontaneous

is

genuine
regular

purposes.
colour is
on

may

Eucken

The
more

and

186

RELIGION

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vi

the

ism.
expressionof artistic genius than of aimless dilettantSo a teleologyof the highestkind prevailsin cosmic
evolution.
Such is the logicalconclusion
from Bergson's
frequentinsistence on the kinship of the cosmic process to
life. This principlethat Reality is of the nature
human
of self-consciousness
or
spiritis not the discovery of
if we
confine our
attention
to Europe.
It
Bergson, even
had been vaguely suggested by philosophersbefore Kant,
half understood
by him, taken up by Fichte and Schelling,
and completely developed by Hegel. As realityis of the
of mind, it is a concrete
universal or the perfect
nature
individual.

IV
It is
process
whole

urged

the absolutist

that

of the world

becomes

revelation

mere

of his freedom.

deprives man

universe

theory which

twice-told

tale.

makes

of the nature
The

work

It adds

the
of the

of the

nothing

to

originalunity. Reality exists ideallyin the Absolute,


and
is experienceas it develops in time.
the Absolute
freedom
This theory takes
all as given, and makes
an
the

appearance.

It cannot

be

reconciled

with

real time

already achieved, then the moral


perfectioneternally
struggleis useless. Reality becomes
complete,something to which we can add nothing. But
of wholeness
works
absolutism
believes that the principle
There
is a progressiverealisation of the
through man.
The analogy of logicalinference
absolute
in the world.
suggests how it is possiblefor the whole to be realised in
and
without
a real process
making the process lose its sense
significance.We speak about the paradox of inference,
in the premises and
be contained
that the conclusion must
sides of this are true.
Both
also be something new.
must
Even
though the conclusion is contained in the premises,
intellect to draw
it still requiresthe exercise of the logical
of
In the same
it out.
even
though the essence
manner,
process.

the

world

If the

end

process

is

is contained

in the

absolute, still the

BERGSON

vi

the process of the world


it concrete.
this essence
and make

effort of
draw

and

man

out

that

say

the

of

movement

It is

unnecessary.
should we
say
or

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

real

187

are

needed

to

do

not

We

thought is either unreal or


Why
activity that creates.
is either unreal

of the world

that the work


?

unnecessary

fear that if there be granted an ultimate


may
is gained the process of
then when
that purpose
purpose,
the evolution
of the universe
to a full stop.
must
come

Bergson

If life

than the realisation of a plan,


nothing more
then when
be cessation of
the goal is reached
there must
activity; but for Bergson there is no finalitysince there
is unending creation.
It is a creation that goes on for
in virtue of an
initial movement
ever
(C. E. p. 105).
It is so even
for the absolutists, since it is impossiblefor
were

"

"

the end

be reached

to

in the time

universe

The

process.

complete expressionof reality. For


realityis like the complete integertrying to express itself
in the terms
", J, J. This can go on extending without
become

can

never

end

but will

ideal

only,

distinctions

the

reach

never

however
of

the

realise the whole


the

sea

immanent

with

the limit.

much

the

world.

It

in the
shell.

The

ideal
is

see

that

is realised

We

for

cannot

Bergson

evolutionary teleologywhich

of the absolutists

remains

impossible

finite world.

We

whole

has

in

the

us

to

empty

holds
the

an

to

an

support

also.

VI

Bergson believes that intellect is inadequate to the


of reality. We
need
intuition for it. There
are
grasp
absolutists who
of the same
some
are
opinion,who hold
that intellect givesus the highestknowledgewhile intuition
gives reality. It is only by a rough usage that we
call intuition
the
also a kind
of knowledge. For
can

i88

RELIGION

intuitive

love

to have

these

This

one.

absolutists

do

really the

of intellect

intuition

the

cease

and

seer

the

unity, they consider,


ance.
experience beyond utter-

an

is lost in the divine

intellect cannot

is

ineffable

It is

individual

vi

distinctions

the

described.

be
The

and

where

PHILOSOPHY

applicability.In

any
become

cannot

of

knowledge

intellectual

seen

AND

justiceto

eternal essence,

fullness

the

force

and

of that

experience. But absolutists generallytake care


the realityof that experience.
to establish intellectually
Were
it unreal, art, science and morality would
lose their
significance.This all-comprehensiverealityis the presupposition
of all
this intuitive
from

experience is

thinkers

the

existence.

our

of the

In

admitted

Vedanta

absolutists,

the

by

other

or

sense

one

Plato,

downwards.

Plotinus, Dante, Spinoza, Hegel, Bradley and


it in different ways.
But no absolutist identifies it with

Bosanquet

adopt
of

intuition

His

sense.

is not

exercise of consciousness

as

ultimate

Intuition

the real.
rational
a

or

essence,

is

in it.

which

which

whole

always

experience,since

fulfilment

Intuitive

the

the

viewed
demand

Intellectual

penetrated

by feeling,intellect
experiences are the
give us glimpses into

suffused

by the heart, knowledge


transfiguredby emotion.
of deepest wisdom
moments
the

; it is mind

whole

It is the

perception.

crude

data

the immediate

as

is the
the

of

and

true

perfectionof
becomes

reason

stages will give

only

us

arguments about it : but they will be unillumined.


the
the other
hand, the soul meets
intuition, on
about

which

In
real

through intellect.
argues
is
fullness of experience which

it hears

and

In

the
light of this
goal of logic,our intellectual knowledge looks relative
and
partialbut not false. Intuitional experience alone
the

is

whole

and

identitybetween
this cannot
upon
the

be

absolute, where
the knower
called

the existence

of

and

we

feel

the known.

the

essential
In

sense

knowledge, as the latter depends


But
the two.
the duality between
unity, and this unitary aspect is

duality is also a
emphasised in intuition.

If there is

anything that

baffles

RELIGION
known
"

AND
"

become

PHILOSOPHY

intuition," Bergson

By

one.

vi

means

of intellectual

kind

sets
sympathy by which one
oneself in the interior of an
object in order to coincide
with the very realityof that object,with its uniqueness,
be expressed
with that in it,consequently,which cannot
become
(Introductionto Met.). To know realitywe must
reality. Intuition is an effort to dissolve into the whole,
How
is this possible?
know
but how
can
we
anything

that

"

else than

with,

one

insect

or

consciousness

own

our

fellow-man

How

the duration

assimilate

or

of the

the world

or

can

become

we

plant and the


can
we
place
objects? To

How

of other
moving currents
the concrete
the individuality
duration
know
or
reality,
realitymust interpenetratethe being of the knower,
it comes
is that when
to consciousness
the possibility
in the

ourselves

may
whole.

when

And

If

intellect.

the

opening

duration

own

that

say

doing
flood-gates to

know

we

the

the

form

of

The

different intuitions

it

object,we
relying on

or
we

but

blended

one

former,

every
sentimentalism.

agreement among

in

imagination

our

upon
are

we

and

emotionalism

his

we

drawing

either

are

with

get fused

of

would

be

mysticism,
of

chance

only

to be chance.

seems

vision they may


people have the same
agree,
will
authoritative
be
for
not
others.
but their experience
to
somehow
We
need
bring Bergson's intuition nearer
It is not life but our
intellect.
knowing consciousness
keeping in step with the rhythm of the duration of the
intuition
It is only if we
make
tellectua
inobject intuited.
chance
of communicating
that there is any
If

two

our

intuitions

can

an

life

assume

individual

world

How

embrace

can

life

as

philosophersto

is of the

get from

we
a

whole

make

?
a

it

It has

the
to

of his
same

think

nature

same

reveals

intellectual,how

duration

people have
compels him

Intuition

consciousness
life.

other

it not

felt the

has

is it that

of the

essence

who

that

What

Were

others.

to

as

own

ence
experithat
his

the
own

inner
only our
conception that shall
been
the tendency of
to

part express

us

the

nature

of the

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

vi

of consciousness

Bergson finds the nature


perpetual unfolding or creation, and

whole, and

represent
of

is

all other

the

nature

to

sake

that

intuition

if

thinking that enables


everything else than

it is

of

this when

admits

put intuition

to

should

intuition

he
the

rise to

whole

for

the truth

may

reality
cannot

It is

of

argument's

our

inner

the true
grasp
consciousness.

to

our

life,

nature

Bergson

"

to
dialectic is necessary
proof, necessary also in order that

says

that

we

this view.

assume

we

us

the

which

self, Bergson

the

give us

can

that

give

can

Even

thought.

due

But

as

intuition

brought to
depths of our

according to

reality.

same

No

assume.

model

the

life furnishes

inner

is

so

intimate

of the most

is true

what

that

hold

191

itself into

break

concepts and

so

be

"

(C. E. p. 251). Intuition has


propagated to other men
Intuition
to be supported and
supplemented by reason.
becomes
when
instinct, and when
unguided by reason
divine and creative intuition.
supported by it it becomes
Intuition of the right sort will give us truths satisfactory
sit in judgement over
ings
Reason
must
the findto reason.
of intuition
has

faith in the hidden

they

to

are

Bergson
to

have

intuition
intuition

an

of

them.

Absolute

idealism

of the universe, because

logicaldemonstration.

is rational

The

faith.

faith
co-operation between
intellect : "It
and
is impossible
of reality,i.e. an
intellectual sympathy

to

its innermost

with
has

harmonies

idealism

consents

reason,

evaluate

it matters

faith of absolute

and

and

the

nature,

unless

its confidence

by long comradeship with its external


manifestations."
Again, "it is realityitself in the profoundest
that we
reach
meaning of the word
by the
combined
and
progressivedevelopment of science and
philosophy (C. E. p. 199). In these passages Bergson
the
recognisesthat intuition need not throw overboard
results of intellect,but should
only continue the work
that has
begun by intellect. "It is from intelligence
the push that has made
it rise to the point it has
come
reached
(p.177). Here Bergson has not identified his
been

won

"

"

RELIGION

192
intuition

with

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vi

uncriticised

experience or untested feeling,


but has clearlyadvocated
the
a
rapprochement between
and
two, science
philosophy.
Notwithstanding his
high valuation of intuition,he thought it should always
be tested by verification, regarding intuition as a valuable
that, like other guide-boards,
guide-board, but one
(Miller's
Bergson and Religion,p. 79).
might point wrong
We
clearlysee that Bergson's intuition is not emotional
near
mysticism, but comes
Spinoza's intellectual
very
intellectual
or
love, or Kant's practicalreason,
Schelling's
still we
intuition.
But
class Bergson with the
cannot
"

"

absolutists,as
the

different

intellect

two,

writings.
enough to

His

him

absolute

an

as

does

Bergson

breaks

comes

both

while

them

is

We

it is

great that

so

rank

to

venture

of this

when

all.

his

throughout

problem.
of

givesus partialaccounts
from

between

the absolutists

near

very

reality at
Bergson and

between

relation

before
we
pause
idealist in his view

away

touch

not

choose

of intellect

that intellect

he asserts
still he

us

of the

intuition, runs

distrust

make

Though

and

view

holds

he
have

reality,
that

much

not

the absolutists

when

if he

it
to

asserts

intuition

intellect and

give us knowledge
of reality,
does it fullyand perfectly,
while the other
one
We
does it partiallyand imperfectly. St. Paul
says,
in part
know
(i Cor. xiii. 9). Bergson sometimes, and
This is the
the absolutist always, holds to this doctrine.
make
only view that can
Bergson's philosophy logical
that

"

"

consistent.

and

distorts

and

doctrine

in

He

Bergson
wants

one

us

with

intellect towards

on

the

to

diverted
matter

direct effort of

wing

and

without

view
the

intellect

that
more

prominent

gives uniqueness to
reality without
grasp
Our

formulas.
of

the central stream

necessities of action.
it by

other

realityis

intellectual

itself to be

allow

the

mutilates

of
become

But

from
which

it
owes

by

mind

his
the

should

life,and should
the

fixed forms

its existence

system.
terventio
in-

to

not

of
the

realityby storm, seize


introspection.We must catch reality
allowing reflection to settle on it to
We

must

take

BERGSON

vi

reduce

it to

ABSOLUTE

AND

IDEALISM
Intellect

series of states.

193

cannot

grasp
tise
realityas it is. It can only arrest it,break it up, schemait. Bergson agrees with the pragmatists in thinking
intellect is

that
in

the

world

of action.

instrument

an

of inert

It is valuable

mechanism

where

reigns,
where
wardness.
there is nothing living,no
individuality,no inwell describe
It can
things at rest. When
intellect tries to construct
it gives
a pictureof the universe
skeleton of skin and bone, and not a body of flesh
a
us
Intellect misses
and
blood.
the meaning of the whole
and
gives us relative symbolic pictures. It gives us
snapshots of life while intuition seizes its movement.
Intellect scratches
tuition
only the surface of realitywhile inis needed
This view is due
to grasp its meaning.
to an
inadequate appreciationof the nature of realityas
well as of intellectual activity.
Realityis looked upon by Bergson as a flow, a duration.
Intellect cannot
duration
but
only that which
grasp
endures.
of reality,which
is unceasing flow
It makes
or

pure
intellect

duration,

attempts

to

it. It
spatialising
slipsbetween

matter

static
deal

motionless
with

the

mind.

mechanises

If

appearance.
real it ends

by

flow of duration

The

fingersand in the place of the


flow
have
series of juxtaposed concepts.
We
we
a
get for the perpetual flow a set of immobile
pictures.
Reality, as it is, is beyond the province of intellect.
The phenomena of life cannot
be squeezed into the rubrics
of reason.
Life eludes logic. Philosophy must
be intuitive
while

science

extend
inert

action

on

the

so

things, and
livingas

it must

be

if

to

supplies to
treats

and

the
us

it has

and

the

If

science
act

can

and

can

treated

understood

contingenciesof
becomes"
(C. E.

of the immobile

we

science

penetrates the depths of life,the


relative

"

intellectual.

for instrument,

matter

doing

be

may

to treat

in

its

is to

only

with

must

tinue
con-

the inert.

that

the

But
it

further

symbolic,the more
action the knowledge

more

pp.

198-199).

but what
lifeless,

living. Philosophy dispenseswith

the

it

Science

is,is fluid

symbols

and

RELIGION

194
knows

PHILOSOPHY

Science, according

real.

the

AND

vi

to

the

absolutist, is

giving us partialand imperfect knowledge of


reality,but, according to Bergson, has no
ontological
agination
significanceat all. It is a product of fancy and imThe
further
than
philosopher must
go
of everything
scientist.
the
Making a clean sweep
the
is only an
that
imaginative symbol, he will see
into a simple flux, a conworld
melt
back
material
tinuity
he will thus
of flowing, a becoming, and
be
prepared to discover real duration there where it is still
viewed

as

"

useful

more
"

to

find it, in the realm

of life and

ness
conscious-

between

is an
absolute
distinction
p. 369). There
intuition
and
intelligence,philosophy and

science.

On

leads

intuition, science

(C. E.

to

this view

the absolutist
to

theory that intellect


a
philosophy, becomes

meaningless absurdity.
Is he
is Bergson's distrust of intellect due to ?
What
deal only with
the
right in thinking that intellect can
?
static and the dead, the logicaland the mathematical
No.

Kant

with

started

it.

of his work

got

logicaland

mathematical

over

account

for vital and

becomes

limited

similar view, but


He

in the

begins by making

in

nature,

that

so

course

intellect

it cannot

Since reality
psychical processes.
is looked
by Bergson as vital and psychical in its
upon
and
nature, intellect which is,accordingto Bergson,logical
abstract and subjective. Intellect
mathematical, becomes
to the world

of inert matter.

Mechanical

of
categorieswill not give the essence
becomes
incapable of grasping realityas
assume

that science is identical with

conclusion

is inevitable.

by philosophy.
are

"

mechanical.

oppositedirections

life.

Intellect

it is.

mechanism,

If

then

we

this

Science

For

requiressupplementation
Bergson, intellect and science

Intuition
of the work

and

intellect

represent

of consciousness

two

; intuition

direction

of life,intellect goes in the


(C. E. p. 267). But Kant revised his
shows
that
taken
whole
as
a
starting-point.His work

goes in the very


inverse direction

intellect is not

"

purely

mechanical.

In

the

Critique of

BERGSON

vi

Practical
and

in the

Reason, and

aesthetic

Hegel

ABSOLUTE

AND

later view, which

all.
is

195

Critiqueof Judgment, ethical


also employed.
In his Logic

categoriesare

codifies them

IDEALISM

There

is

doubt

no

practicallythe

that

Kant's

Hegel's,is
rational one
than his earlier view.
a more
If, following
that view, we
regard thought as including not only the
Kantian
categoriesof understanding but also those of
ethical and aesthetic apprehension.
Bergson would find
that reason
is adequate to interpret
the whole of experience.
then become
an
Thought would
explicationof the real.
The attitude of doubt
and distrust, which
ought to have
been confined to the pretensionsof naturalistic science to
fully
interpretthe infinite riches of mind and nature, is unlawextended
Besides

reason

as

the Kantian

fact that leads


is the

to

has

whole.

to think

that

tool-making
no

as

theory of understanding,the

Bergson

consideration

same

control

that intellect is mechanical

the

intellectual

animal.
over

As

the
and

matter,

animal

these

that

man's

to

enable

needs.

him

to

Bergson

control
admits

make

man

and
man

do

can

intellect has

matter

that

sciousness
con-

cannot

intellectual

appliances,and as the
things easily,it is thought

is preeminently

man

mechanical

evolved

other

harness
is not

been
it to

only

gence
Intellitool-applyingbut also a tool-making animal.
is
the facultyof manufacturing artificial objects,
tools."
It is capable of
definitel
inespeciallytools to make
varying the manufacture
(C. E. p. 146).
This means
adaptation,or creative construction.
Though
the applicationof tools, symbols and
be
concepts may
mechanical, stillthe first making of them cannot
be that.
Even
Mr. Lindsay thinks that this account
does not do
The use of the machine
justiceto the nature of intellect.
be mechanical
but not its invention, for that requires
may
the insightof genius" (Philosophyof Bergson). Knowledge
of the universal is an act of spirit,
while its application
be a matter
of routine.
It is an act of spirit
or
may
intelligence
higher than that of mechanical
understanding.
So when
makes
tools,
Bergson grants that by intellect man
.

"

"

"

"

196
he

RELIGION

also

follows

AND

PHILOSOPHY

grants that intellect is


that

vi

mechanical.

not

for

understanding life and its


not requirea process opposed to intellect.
By the cleavage his metaphysics makes

world

of matter

is led

to

and

the world

of life and

distinguishbetween

intellect

Life movement

in nature

itself through matter.

it has

believes
be

to

Matter

living. To

are

Bergson

is due

that

mechanisation

of life do

of intellect ;

use

time

of Plato

of life and
universe
have

the

have

mind.

how

seen

But
not

for

llan -vitalpushing

intellect
have

Bergson

life and
and

sciousness
con-

invent.

mechanises
take

to

life

for

our

surely protests against the


amount
to protests against

rationalist

thinkers

protested against the


dead

intuition.

and

is not
wooden

is wrong

since

the

mechanisation

bound

to treat

way.

Besides,

the
we

in

thinkingthat life and


absolutelyopposed, as they are only the

are

and

higher manifestations
opposition of thought to
life'and matter

between
intuition

and

create

Rationalism

in such

matter

lower

faith.

the

mind, Bergson

live is to

we

do

we

between

while

overthrown, and
or

secrets

is dead

because

pilotintuition
the

to the

It then

and

intellect.

of

spirit. In

life breaks

down.

case

tinuity
Con-

continuitybetween

means

Thought

that

becomes

only a progressive
interpretation of experience. The
logic of
Bergson's argument requiresus to postulatea continuity
of spiritthroughout reality,
consciousness
as
matter, life,
are
only the slowly-developing
stages of the one spiritual
ascent.
tuition
InThought becomes
adequate to its grasp.
and mechanical
understandingbecome the higher
and

lower

the same
aspects of a process, essentially
the intuitive
throughout its stages. The philosophical
or
view
the

is

that

highest

mechanical

of rabsolute
kind

view

of

knowledge, and constitutes


intellectual experience,while
the

is the lowest.

deal
Bergson thinks that intellect can
only
identities.
As
is
abstract, repeating
reality concrete
ever
confess
creating differences,intellect must
humbled

in its presence.

It

can

use

words

as

with
and
itself

tools

or

RELIGION

198

absolute

confess

difference

realityor

mechanism

as

absolute

is, is

What

vi

an

deal
its

only

with

insufficiency

the

of absolute
presence
But both these
sameness.

identityin

difference.

ever
How-

Bergson might protest against the description


creative

discussion

our

in

impotence

well

as

much
of

its

unreal.

are

PHILOSOPHY

is wrong
in thinking that it can
identities.
Intellect will admit

Bergson
and

AND

of

and

evolution
the

as

relation

teleologyhas

identityin difference,

an

of

life to

revealed

and

matter

that

Bergson is
ence.
compelled to consider the world as an identityin differCreative evolution is a concrete, universal binding
If realityis a
together the different parts into a whole.
system, then, instead of the intellect being inadequate to
its grasp, it is only to its grasp that it is adequate.
So
far from its being true that an organic unity is something
"

that

understand, it would

cannot

we

be

the truth

nearer
"

understand

nothing else
(Caird,
All the charges
The Philosophy of Kant, vol. ii.p. 530).
of narrowness,
so
hardness, meaninglessness which
are
often directed againstthought from the quarters of feeling
and immediate
perceptionrest on the perverse assumption
tion
that thought acts only as a facultyof abstract identification).
(Hegel Encyclopaedia,Sec. 115, Wallace's translato

say

that

we

can

"

"

It is this

Bergson
within
to

think

abstract

influence.
its paralysing

failure to

appreciatethe

The

true

and

creative.

makes
comes

is due
difficulty
of logical
process
merely repetitory

whole

nature

is not
It

novelties, for they are

but also identities in difference.

that

everythingthat

activity.Intellect

but also constructive


understand

of intellect

that intellect deadens

and intellectual

and

view

can

not

Creative

create

novelties

only differences
geniusin science,

highest form of intellect. It is


intellect viewed
constructive
as
imagination which leads
in its phase of integralknowing.
up to mind
Bergson tells us that conceptual knowledge will not
givea knowledge of the whole though we easilypersuade
ourselves that by settingconcept by side of concept, we
are
reconstructingthe whole of the object with its parts,
art and

fiction is

only

the

"

vi

AND

BERGSON

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

199

."
obtainingso to speak its intellectual equivalent.
(Introductionto Met. pp. 15-16). Bergson argues that if
seize the component
parts of the
conception should
objects,then the putting together of the concepts may
But
cepts
conperhaps result in the knowledge of the whole.
give us only partialviews, expressionsor notations,
If concepts could give us real parts
and not real parts.
into objects and
could
fit them
we
acquire the total
thus

vision, but
scheme

concepts

of

what

can

symbols
are

do

we

with

Reality is

timeless, immobile
dead

for the

As

living movement.

inert
soon

notation

mere

movement

or

life,while

or

possible
It is im-

dead.

and

parts of
intellect touches
life,it

concept
as

to

give

us

Conceptual
knowledge is symbolic only. It gives us dead symbols
of live reality.
Intellect substitutes for the interpretation
of real terms
the juxtapositionof their symbols
(T. and F. W. p. 134). We cannot
reproduce continuity
by adding concepts to concepts. But this whole criticism
is due to a confusion
between
the symbol and the object
symbolised. Bergson argues that logicwhich deals with
static concepts cannot
give us knowledge of realitywhich
is flow.
which
is flow and
There is a gap between
reality,
solidifies and

the

even

part becomes

dead.

"

"

duration, and

concepts which

are

static and

solid.

But

Bergson really believe that in the material world


Do
these
?
the realities themselves
concepts give us
instate
they not symbolise objects and things ? Do they rethe experiencesthemselves
?
If in the world of life
and duration
do they
so
they do not give us realities,even
not
give us realities in the world of matter.
They must
be inadequate there also.
But if they will suffice in the
world of matter
also.
suffice in the vital world
they must
Intellect gives us interpretations,
formulas
and symbols,
and not the experiencesor the objectssymbolised. It is
the function
of a sign to signify,
but for this it need not
resemble
or
reproduce the thing signified.Its function is
only to symbolise and not to photograph. If this function
he
of intellect is admitted, as Bergson admits
it when
does

RELIGION

200

considers

the

AND

then

it follows that

that

he

vi

be valid in the world

to

concepts

PHILOSOPHY

of matter,

intellect is

good rightthrough in logic


and mathematics,
in biology and psychology. But if we
mistake
its function
bad
then it becomes
all through,
notwithstandingBergson. The whole fallacyis due to the
confusion
of the sign with the thing signified,
relation
a
of symbols with
We cannot
a
symbolised relation.
say
"

who

Evolved
Created

fat

"

aspect ?

only

himself

hold

be fat."

understand

of life.

life,of which

it is

"

life.

Created

only

an

by

tion
emana-

stand
underargues that intellect can
and physicalprocesses, and cannot

Bergson

dead

matter

as
represent reality

is created

take

cannot

it embrace

can

should

oxen

intellect cannot

by life,our

by life,it

how
life,
or

drives

it

truly exists

in life,as

intellect

for the purposes


of practice. But
the originof intellect is due not merely J;o life but to the

by

interaction

evolution

of life and

If it is the

product of life
it is as much
the product of matter.
Again, if intelligence
it is evolved
cannot
by it,the faculty
grasp life because
which
be something not evolved
can
by it.
grasp it must
But
is Bergson prepared to say that intuition has not
been evolved
by life ? Bergson does not give us any
definite answer.
According to him, every theory of
knowledge has to take knowledge for granted. What
of intuition where
it
to explain is the absence
have
we
is

absent, rather

In Matter

and

than

matter.

where
its presence
it is present.
he gives his explanation of the

Memory
find only

tuition,
perception instead of inand in Creative Evolution
he gives his explanation
of why insects stop short at instinct instead of reaching
intuition,and why man
usually stops short at intellect
instead
of reaching intuition more
frequently. To get
back to intuition,we
have
to adopt either the exclusive
The
is not
the inclusive
method.
former
or
possible;
To comthe latter is suggested by Bergson himself.
prehend
cases

where

we

life it would
and

instinct.

life,and

if the

But

we

several

seem

ask

sense

we

if one

products

should

part
are

mix

cannot

to be

up

intellect

comprehend
combined,

is it

not

So

AND

BERGSON

vi

ABSOLUTE

IDEALISM

that all the products should


necessary
should add
to instinct and intellect we

be combined
doses

torpor, and of those miscellaneous

or

201

of automatism

thingswhich

produced by life even


though we do not have any
If in evolving in the direction of
knowledge of them.
the vertebrate
in general,of man
and intelligence
in particular,
are

all

"

life has had

to abandon

the way many


elements
this particularmode
of organisation,

by

incompatible with
and
consign them, as we shall show, to other lines of
development ; it is the totalityof these elements we must
find again and rejointo intellect proper in order to grasp
the true nature
of vital activity (C. E. p. 52). So to
intellect we
should
add not only instinct but also vegetative
"

that

torpor, as

is also

one

of the

developments of

the

primary impulse. "Vegetative torpor, instinct and


these then are
the elements
that coincided
intelligence,
in the vital

impulsion common

which

in the

made

manifest

dissociated

Bergson
and

only
found

so
a

of

course

by

in the most
the

forms

have

from

it

by saying

that

"

been

(p. 142).
ridiculous,

vegetative life

is

retrogression.But he admits that the three are


in all though in different proportions.
There is no
"

manifestation

of life which

state, either
characters
is in the
way

unforeseen

very fact of their growth


this conclusion
would
be

feels that

escapes

plants and animals, and


development in which they were
to

of most

proportion

of escape,

intellect

it is not

is not

cannot

or

not

contain, in

potential,the

manifestations.

(p. 112,

which

vegetative torpor

latent

other
"

does

be

see

also p.

The

125).

is to
satisfactory,
mixed

with

mentary
rudi-

essential
difference
The

say
instinct

only
that
and

phase of consciousness.
What, then, is the good of scientific knowledge which
is untrue
to reality
?
It is of practicalutility. For
practicalpurposes we conceptualiserealityand spatialise
spirit. So the world of our
everyday life is only an
and
not
with
cannot
reality. We
appearance
agree
ledge
Bergson in thinkingthat intellectual knowledge is knowof an
unreality. Granting that intellect can
only
as

RELIGION

202

is not

matter,

grasp

PHILOSOPHY
real ?

matter

life,and

of

movement

AND

even

vi

It

is the

inverse

though life is not


apprehended by it.

grasped

All that
by intellect,its inverse is
to is this : While
comes
Bergson's contention
realityin
its fulness cannot
be grasped by intellect,still parts of
by it. Intellectual knowledge has
realitycan be known
ontologicalvalue ; only the whole of realitybaffles it.
deal with
not
Intellect does
but
with
unreals
partial
reals.
It is argued that even
is duration, promatter
vided
re-attach it to the whole
it belongs.
to which
we
Duration, according to Bergson, should be predicated of
the material
science isolates, provided
systems which
such systems are
Parts cut
reintegratedto the whole."
off from
the whole
abstract ; they have
to be fitted
are
"

into
to

the

whole

bind

parts

supposed

to

intellect

more

admits

of

It is the

real.

give another
thorough

its end,

to

become

parts in wholes.

to

it deals with

when

the

to

we

So

kind
and

of

of science

task

is

intuition,which
is

knowledge,

radical

than

only
it is

what

is purparts. If the scientific method


sued
Bergson
get the philosophicalview.

this when

he says:
"The
more
physics advances
it effaces the individuality
of bodies, and even

more

imagination
begins by decomposing them ; bodies and corpusclestend
to dissolve into universal interaction
(p.369) Certainly,
then, the philosophicalpoint of view is not opposed to
of science.
is just the
that
The
philosophic method
scientific method
carried out more
vigorously. Intuition
is not opposed to intellect but is only intellect at its best.
the

particlesinto

which

the

scientific

"

stages deals with parts and is called


the whole
its higher stages it deals with

Intellect at its lower


scientific ;
and
is

at

is called

intuition.

of

degree and
But
intellectuality.
one

of
break

The

between

between

the

Thought

is

the

one

not

kind.

science

type of
"

them.

There

intellect and

adequate

difference

to

the

the

the

between

Intuition

is

two

of

more

and

philosophy are
experience. There
is

no

grasp

of

itself"

realityas

is

no

difference

essential

intuition

pressions
ex-

(p.360).
whole.

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

vi

IDEALISM

203

VII
That
which

there

is

enables

us

higher capacity
to

grasp

the

than

concrete

understanding
in

its wholeness

by most philosophersat the present day.


of that capacity.
The
question is only about the nature
ceptual.
perceptual than conBergson considers it to be more
him
To
knowledge of realityas it is in its
only be perceptual.
individualityand concreteness, can
he views
It cannot
be conceptual to him
as
conceptual
But we
knowledge in an abstract and unreal manner.
be even
afraid that it cannot
are
perceptual. For with
him
perception is occupied with the object as a number
features.
The sense
of assembled
by their selective
organs
Our
activitybreak up the object :
eye perceives the
feature of the livingbeing, merely as assembled, not as
mutually organised. The intention of life, the simple
that runs
movement
through the lives, that binds them
it
(C. E.
together and gives them significance,
escapes
should
be synthetic cannot
p. 186). So intuition which
be perceptual. What
else is it ?
Bergson tells us it is
integralknowledge which makes a whole of the abstract
relations
discovered
the
by intellect, and
thinghood
the fruits of
grasped by instinct. Intuition combines
instinct and
intellect.
Instinct
deals with
things and
is admitted

"

"

intellect with

relations.

Instinct

has

direct contact

with

the very
form
of life. If
on
reality. It is moulded
But
this is
questioned it would
give up life's secret.
should
that
think
we
purely an
assumption. Why
instinct is adapted to life ?
Life is full of novelty, contingency
and
of
and
instinct has none
unforeseeability,
these features.
How
it give us the secret of life ?
then can
Instinct is automatic
and stationarywhile life is mobile
and progressive. How
fathom
can
we
life,the mobile and
the progressive,
by an appeal to instinct, the immobile
and the stereotyped?
If Bergson is correct
in thinking
that instinct is moulded
should

say that life is

the very form of life,then we


machine
instinct is mechanical.
as
on

AND

RELIGION

204
If life is

novelty

then

Bergson

instinct

has

PHILOSOPHY

instinct
direct
it does

Intellect

hand

by

the

other

itself is not

able

on

become

is the

not

disinterested
"

its wholeness.

with

seek

seeks

help

But

us.

to

reality;only

realityas

realityas

whole.

whole, but

it. Intuition
is instinct
grasp
disinterested.
intellect become

to

self-conscious,or

Intuition

will not

contact

being undifferentiated

vi

If there

object in
of comprehending
means
of
knowing it relatively,
of selecting
pointsof view

knowledge

is

of the

realityabsolutelyinstead of
enteringinto the objectinstead
over
against it,of having an intuition of it instead of
making analysisof it,in short of graspingit independently
a

of any

expressionand

translation

any

or

symbolic representation

physical
metaphysics itself,and this metaAn
be had
knowledge can
only in intuition.
can
only be given in our intuition
(Introduction

that

is

"

absolute

Met.). Instinct rises to intuition with the aid of


it would
have
mained
reintelligence,
intelligence. Without
in the form
of instinct,riveted
to the special
by
object of its practicalinterest and turned outward
to

"

"

(p. 178). With


it becomes
intelligence
integralknowledge. Intuition is
neither
conceptual but a combination
perceptual nor
of both.
It is something like the artistic perception
it

into

of

of

movements

soul

freed

locomotion

"

aesthetic

feeling. That
impossible,is proved by
aesthetic

intuition

of life.
reason.

the

The

But

that

existence

can

in

kind
man

is the
is not
of

an

"

perception (p.186).

normal

catch

this aesthetic

greatest works

this

effort of

an

facultyalong with

It is aesthetic

It

practicalnecessities.

from

of art

hold

of the

tinuity
con-

feelingspringsout
are

the most

of

rational

good deal of training. It is not due to our


immediate
perception,but is due to the exercise of reason.
finished portraitembodies
The
(see
thought and reason
is finished it
C. E. p. 7). It is true that before the work
see
But this failingto forebeen foreseen.
could not have
creation is
The new
is not incompatible with reason.
a
Though we know
unique synthesisof given elements.
and

involve

206

RELIGION

lives

its

ideas

and

moving
with

AND

PHILOSOPHY

false

intellect ualism, which

ideas

into

like counters"

them

solidified

vi

concepts

(ibid.
p. 19).

Where

to

mobilises
im-

play

intuition

is

a
completely extra-intellectual then it becomes
tive
subjecaffection and
cannot
pretend to be a philosophic
of this long discussion indicates
method.
But the whole
to be both
that in Bergson intuition seems
the necessary
condition
of psychicalactivity,
scientific hypothesisis,
as
of thought, as the philosophic
and the summit
of the work

vision

of the whole

is.

fact that, following


here note the remarkable
may
the absolutist tradition and in oppositionto the empirical
We

of

thought, Bergson holds that practicalityand


action
of the highest
are
opposed to the attainment
level of insightand intuition.
To become
metaphysical
must
to be practical. Pluralist s and
cease
we
ticists
romanacross
preach that in practicewe come
realityand
all speculationis the source
of illusion.
The search after
truth
requires,according to the absolutistic tradition,
freedom
from
from
the illusions of
Maya or detachment
ignorance and selfishness. This means
only that in the
absorbed
world of practicewe
are
by the details and have
for catching the universal.
To gain
not
the detachment
an
insightinto the mysteries of the universe we require
become
we
periods of contemplation. In meditation
current

conscious

of

the

inner

nature

of

freedom.

Freedom

In intuition we
have
a
comprehend freedom.
ment
life envisagingitself. The detachdirect vision of reality,
asked to
for it is emphasised when
we
are
necessary
from the world of practiceand abstract reasonturn away
ing.
the products of meditative
But
insight vindicate
themselves
at the bar of reason.
Bergson employs the
device
the inadequacy of
absolutist
when
he proves
and contradictions
intellect by pointing to the deadlocks
of intellect lands us.
the exclusive use
in which
Bergson
alone

can

asks,

"

Would

the

absolute

not

shown

the idea
value

us

what

of

ever
our

have

occurred

knowledge,

contradictions

our

to

us

to

doubt

philosophy had
speculationmeets,
if

IDEALISM

ABSOLUTE

AND

BERGSON

vi

207

(C.E., Introduction, pp. xiof the conclusions


the contradictorynature
xii). From
of reason
Bergson argues that truth must be sought in
But the logicalinference from this fact surely
unreason.
it ends

deadlocks

what

for

up

moral

parts with

if

is that

that

they

parts and

are

arise

antinomies

then

set themselves

intellect deals

which

whole,

the

"

in ?

to

point

the

whole.

not

Bergson's conclusion comes


standing
to this that there are
aspects of realitywhich our undercannot
comprehend. Bradley, the greatest
livingabsolutist, tells us that there are problems which
are
inexplicableand insoluble, for example, the relation
and the
of experience to other centres
of a finite centre
all is said and

When

whole.

him

To
to

essence

universe

finite

for the

done

which

would
would

understanding
"

actual

its secret

reveal
be

stitute
sub-

poor

The

complete experience
which
would
supplement our ideas and make them perfect
is in detail
beyond our
understanding
(Truth and
Reality). Intellect should be supplemented by the other
one.

"

sides of consciousness
whole

consciousness

There

is

the

of

nature

and

is needed

to

logicin life.
logicalnecessityof
than

more

points out

if it would

concrete

universal.

its end.

reach
feel the
But
a

central

reality.
philosophy simply
which

whole

There

Man's

is of the

philosophy ends,

intuition

givesthe experienceand confirms philosophy.


For this experience one
has to raise himself
above
the
practicaland utilitarian point of view and see
narrow,
life as it is. But
this does not mean
that practicality
and
action
are
opposed to truth and knowledge. It
that
lift our
to
souls above
have
the
we
only means
business
an

experience we

abstract
of the

if
or

of

of life to find
free

ratiocination;

its hidden

out

ourselves
have

we

intellectual

from
there

secrets.

In

the

trammels

an

evanescence

such
of

activity.
Regarding this question,we are at one with Bergson
he means
by his term
LTntelligence,'not thought
mind
in general, but
reason
or
only that phase
deals with
abstract
identities,what
thought which
'

208

RELIGION

Hegel

so

which

against

polemic

have

said

not

in

contending

by

It

intuitive

to

when

that
for

to

are

become
is

intellect

our

found

be

the

precisely

the

in

higher
the

and

of

of

It

to

the

whole.
and

He
is

how

lower
of

phases
the

and

abstract
of

his

absolutists.

But
extreme

admits
it

and
mind

that

here.

partial

of

mind

true

himself

intuition

Then

reached

reached,

the

right

not

is

in

some

is

us

Bergson

insight

discover

is

powers

helps
of

writers

there

partial

intuition.

rational

contention

idealist

is

his

Bergson

Bergson

exercise

lead

in

Intelligence,

insight

perception

follow

the

once

But

understanding.

intellect

of

opposition

the

integral

or

universals

intuition.

rational

of

concrete

doubt

adjustment

or

universals

which

say
No

of

this

those

hesitate

we

to

requires

than

higher

new

L'

him.

that

concepts.

abstract

view

synthesis

mere

an

before
his

about

novelty

such

abstract

into

Intellect

intuition.

through

only

nothing

almost

has

insight

by

means

pseudo-concepts.

Then

acquired

be

Croce

or

synthesising

by

analysis.

by

vi

'

with

operates

reached

PHILOSOPHY

Understanding

works

conceived

can

'

by

meant

thought

AND

is

easy

concepts
intellect
and

that

CHAPTER

BERGSON'S

VII

IDEA

OF

GOD

spiritof the age ; France is the home


of democracy ; and Bergson is the greatest philosopherof
No wonder
that his philosophyappeals to the
France.
demos, the laymen, and the amateurs, while the trained

DEMOCRACY

and

the

is the

expert look askance

at

it.

In the

street

and

in

market-place it wins applause,while in the study and


it is severelycriticised.
the class-room
Bergson'sdiction
and style,his poetry and imagination,make
his solution
of the riddle of the universe
quite an enchanting one
The
different tendencies
which
to the popular gaze.
fascinate the modern
mind"
mysticism and romanticism,
psychologism and pragmatism, vitalism and evolutionism
"find
their echo in his writings. The long-standingfeud
between
science and
religionis supposed suddenly to
have
been
settled by his contributions
to philosophy.
His constant
science in the interests
appeals to concrete
of ethical idealism and religion
create the impression that
science has become
the ally of religionfor the first time

the

since the
who

dawn

of reflection.

judge systems

not

by

But

the

their aims

few, the specialists


and

intentions

but

by their actual results,are wondering if the fairytale of


speculation so charmingly described
by Bergson does
tellect.
of injusticeto the claims of religionand the demands
They admit that Bergson has rendered a great
209

service to the
it from

If

certain

not

are

and

and

that

vicious
his

intel-

philosophic

satisfactory.

up his idea of God, like the author of Snakes


who did his work in one
short sentence,
Snakes
"

there

"

admits

of

something

be considered

His

we

is the
reality

'

to

But

free and

put forward

in my
of the

illustration

Memory

lead

reality
;

those

creative

"

God.

continuity

prepared to

feels that

He

It cannot
"

be

is not

Bergson

upspringing

work.

"

system is atheistic.

establishes

ceaseless

incessant,creative
be
God/ God cannot

new

shooting out."
his

summarily dispose
may
declaringthat Bergson's philosophy

by

God.

no

none,"

are

discussion

our

that

vn

take

we

in Iceland

of

abstract

an

self-consistent

are

in Iceland

of

of

they

PHILOSOPHY

philosophy in having emancipated

trammels

the

theories

of

cause

lectualism,but

of

AND

RELIGION

210

his

own

system

considerations

The

Data result in an
essay on Immediate
fact of liberty
and
; those of Matter
I

us,

hope,

of Creative

to

put

finger on

our

Evolution

mental

present creation

as

fact; from all this we derive a clear idea of a free and


and life at once,
whose
creating God, producing matter
creative effort is continued, in a vital direction,by the
evolution

species and
personalities (quoted in
of

"

Henri

Le

is

doubt

no

that

New

human

Philosophy :

Bergson's writingsare

religiousinterest,but
he gives us a coherent

that

Roy,

of

Bergson).

There
with

construction

the

from
view

this it does

instinct
follow

not

of God.

II
The
God

of

elan

itself

and

What

distinction
his

the

is the

at

the

outset

is whether

the

transsupra-conscious,spiritual,
realityfrom which have proceeded both

of

opposed by

decided

is the

Bergson

ground

human

the

be

point to

matter

matter,
exact

between

argument in Time

it, or is the
opposes
the evil principle.
that

relation
life and
and

of life to

matter

Free-will.

is the

matter

foundation

elan

The
of

Life is freedom, and

"

and

is inert.

matter

of

It is because
accustomed

to its ways,

determinism, mechanism,
matter

211

brute-things
do not apply in the case
etc.
think
intellect,adapted to

hold

which

Considerations

of soul-life.

and

is mobile

necessity.Life

is

matter

GOD

OF

IDEA

BERGSON'S

vii

get rid of the

by

intuition

case

"

"

"

problem of freedom
intellectual pictureof the soul

life

If

arises.
and

grasp
is
its essence

shall find that

it is, we

as

life and

mechanises

the

that

soul
spatialises
we

in the

freedom.
In

to

as
upon
But
of consciousness.

that

material

and

mental

dualism

solid

between

matter

and

mission

effort

is

regarded as an
physical forces.
it cannot

which

intellect cuts

into

resistance

to

the

individuals

taking the

to

of its progress.

Matter

inert

Life
of

account

Without

matter.

the

matter

condition
necessary
to be a deus ex machina,

But

the

as

this conclusion

elan

itself,for

Bergson fights

of.

In

Evolution

Creative

directions

of

one

and

he
the

makes

the

two

interruptionof

it is difficult to

the

become

inverse

spiritualmovement.
It
interruptionof spirituality.
but

life.

the

same

Materialityis only the


not
a
positive somewhat
why

energy
of
presence

its task.

on

species on

appears
fundamental

the world-evolution.

shy

the

out

its free flow and

originaland

quite as

requires energy

utilises the

like

field.

obstacle

life,an

set

necessity of

Spinoza's Substance, incapable of


Matter, then, is something over
against

will be

elan

the
it

Life

matter.

on

Without

and

from

The

the ments
arguhas for its

Life

overcome

purpose
It therefore

create.

into

them

converts

requireit.

this

For

it meets

and

both

across

things respectively.

already existing in matter.


resistingmatter, life cannot
breaks

akin

indetermination

graftingof

the

of movement

life still remains, as

Evolution

of Creative

in that

is

kind

movements,

and

states

separate

made,

advance

an

is looked

matter

even

Memory

and

Matter

But

only

the

movement
ascending spiritual
it has
once
interrupted. When

arrest

should
been

or

is

the

understand
ever

have

interrupted,

RELIGION

212

how

is

matter
or

an

such

Nor
possibility.

is

phenomenal in the sense


for intellect only distorts
Matter

VH

that

not

All

of

we

but

pseudo-idea,
negation precludes
that

say
does

not

matter
matter

it.

create

intellect

that

if

Even

intellect creates

matter

intellect.

outruns

can

matter

nonentity,for Bergson's view

mere

PHILOSOPHY

into
get itself condensed
of life,it is
interruption

it

does

AND

does

is to

/-make it appear that it is a co-existence


of separate solids with fixed outlines,while it is reallyin

falsifymatter

fluid condition.

due

product
have
been non-existent
prior
the pre-human, i.e. plant and

Again,

intellect,it should
in
to the rise of intellect,
animal, stages of evolution.

But

have

How

to

started

at the

without
time

same

matter.

product

inconsistencies.

and

Bergson

makes

account

for the

hand,

to

matter

account
an

matter

to

not

matter

be

at the intellectual

?
with
his

save

and

dictions
contra-

monism,

unreal, he

cannot

the

If, on

of the world.

for the drama

could

can

is riddled

phenomenal

evolution

then

evolution

If,

evolution

of evolution

prime condition of
Bergson's theory of matter

stage and

only

matter

were

other

of the universe, he makes

independent existence,

then

his

monism

is

affected.
This

short

resume

to the two

conceptions

of

is necessary
views of matter,

God.

If the

to
we

dualism

that

show

have

two

between

sponding
corre-

different
life and

Bergson's philosophy,then the


of God
be regarded as a kind
elan itself may
opposed
of the
by matter, the evil principle. We are reminded
familiar oppositionbetween
lightand darkness, God and
Mazda
and Ahriman.
Only the interplay
Satan, Ahura
for the imperfect
account
such opposingforces can
of two
world.
a
sufferingdeity. It is
Bergson's God becomes
of us
limited as any
mortals, for it has to struggle
as
It is
through opposing conditions to win its freedom.
is independent
of all being ; for matter
not the source
life current,
The
its upward course.
of it,nay, opposes
though it is utterlygood, is not able to gain its ends on
matter

is the last word

of

RELIGION

214

AND

empirical tendencies
Bergson.

PHILOSOPHY
in

notice

we

vn

the

Philosophy

of

Ill
Does

Bergson's view

of

God

satisfy the religious?


In other words, is his God personal,purposive,
minded
free and creative ?
As the popular consciousness
intelligent,
wants
a
personal God, Bergson is prepared to grant
and make
the prime soul
personality
of coming to
the difficulty
recognises
about

While

person.

any

he

sion
positiveconclu-

the

originalunity (seeBergson,Paul and Ruhe,


the privilegeof characterising
p. 44), he allows himself
it as personal.
This source
of life is undoubtedly
spiritual.Is it personal? Probably. Of course,
sonal
per"

in

are

different way,

traits which
which

in

minds

our

bound

without
form

all those

accidental

parts of personalityand

by the existence of the body. But


of the term, a spiritual
unity
largersense
up

personal in a
expressing itself in the creative process of evolution
(Dr. Louis Levine's interview with Bergson, N.Y. Times,
Feb. 22, 1914). But God must
be personalin the accepted
of the term.
preter
interM. Le Roy, the famous
French
sense
of Bergson,referring
to Bergson'sidea of God, says :
We
of our
life otherwise than
cannot
regard the source
as
personal. We cannot regard him as impersonal. We
seek in him
our
personality. God is personal in that he
is the source
of our
personality."Is this conception of
"

"

God

different from

scheme, God

that of the absolutists

is the

Even

in that

personality,and if that
be sufficient reason
for the personalityof God, even
there
God
be looked upon
can
as
personal. If God is personal
he cannot
be personal in the sense
human
are.
persons
After all, human
personalityis only a local and partial
manifestation
whole.
"

Human

pebble

form

of

left

of the

The

of

source

life,and

our

part

can

never

be true

of the
is

personalityin Bergson's metaphor


on

the

beach," and

it cannot

display

brought it there."
supra-consciousspiritworks without
wave

"

the

that

plan

and

The

purpose.
directions

of

the Devil

evil is

is evaded

problem
animal

For

and

"

any

but

know,

tells

where
I

We

am

he

us

was

going

at

finalist
In

solved

not

is evil

If there

asked

takes

108).

p.
somewhere

theory,the problem
Bergson's theory the
by the substitution of

intelligent
purpose

for

instinct

things.
things.

on

stumbling-block.

(C. E.

It

life

great thing is to go, does not


This, according to Bergson, is

The

direction.

merit.

point of

the
"

aim.

or
"

when

I don't

and

pace."

in what

matter

end

215

forward

story Huxley

the

Sure

GOD

drives

at ends

Jarvey who,

Irish

going,said

definite

aiming

of

"

impetus

no

without

the

about

of

with

reminded

are

vital

but

growth,

OF

IDEA

BERGSON'S

vii

at

the

disorder, it is the

or

centre

of

nature

of

forward
only a movement
;
in many
observe
we
a
cases
marking time, and }still
It must
often a deviation
or
more
turning back.
be^so
(C. E. p. 109). That life should be full of surprisesis
what is to be expected from the way in which the creative
such a prinThe questionis,whether
ciple,
principleevolves.
which
invents, adapts, makes
mistakes, but still
believe Bergson, can
be
in the main
if we
progresses,
of Bergson is not only immanent
called
God.'
The God
in nature
but completely identical with it. Corbiere says
God
is hardly more
the central hearth
of the
than
Evolution

is not

"

'

"

universe's

He

energy.

Bergson's conception
Corbiere,

1910).

"

It

Le

dieu

is the

de

givesthe

in God

we

whole

are.

M.

entirelyimmanent.

"

(Charles
pantheism
Bergson," Revue de The'ologie,

in

to

which

we

universal

flux and

bathed

are

live, move,
literally

we

being. God is the


What
Bergson does
He

leads

ocean

immersed, in which

all its defects and

is

...

and

is the

have

and
our

only reality.

is to exalt the flux of the world, with

discords,to the high positionof divinity.


the
An

name

of God

of
appearance
God
and man,

and
a

then

tells us

close and

that

intimate

the ultimate
source
relationshipbetween
of spiritand
the human
individual,is produced. But
To
Bergson is here mutilating the meanings of words.
make

the life impulse God

is to commit

suicide.
spiritual

RELIGION

216

AND

It is to defeat the aim


"

Whatever

'

else

PHILOSOPHY

vn

of all religion. Nettleshipremarks


'

God

it

means,

the

means

highest we

something in which all that we love


in human
exists without
adore
beings and nature
alloy (Remains, p. 105). But Bergson's God is a
all things good, bad
moral
principle,from which
think

can

of

"

and
any

"

indifferent

view

His

flow.
"

If all
purposive God.
what
room
action, liberty,
and

purposes
(Prof.Muirhead

not

the

is there

in the Hibbert
whom

the

to

life,

Creator

"

It is

relations, for

into

come

thoughts

Journal,July 1911).
can

we

incessant

for the fixed

attribute

and

of belief in

this is movement,

theists

that

with

God

is destructive

non-

soul hungers. It can


in no case
be an
religious
object of worship.
the theologian's
If Bergson'sGod would satisfy
demand,
should be an
attribute of God.
Unless
then intelligence
attributed
omniscience
and omnipotence are
to God, he
If he does not know
the end, if his
is not reallyGod.

which

the

nature

is to grow,

it means

then

he is imperfect. It would

just what he is,seeing that with him all


gence
things are possible. But in Bergson's philosophy,intellihas created
which
is the product of the movement
and so has nothing to do with pure life or duration.
matter
is not a qualityof God.
We
Intelligence
may, in a sense,
call it a divine attribute, for the originalunity which
contained in embryo the different lines of development,
of plants,the instinct of
culminating in the automatism
of man,
had in it the
hymenoptera and the intelligence
But if God
should be a being
intellectual tendency also.
is displacedby intuition,then we
in whom
intelligence
future day when
shall have to wait for some
a being with

be hard

to say

divine

intuition

future

stand wide

'

'

free
?
Bergson's God
protestsagainstboth mechanism
of their common
assumption
matter

all is not

of

grave

given.

The

gates of the

open."

Is

"

spring up.

may

doubt
The

In

spite of
and

that

whether

different

his vehement

finalism,on
'

in

account

all is

given,'it is
Bergson's system

tendencies

which

later

into

come

unity.

existence

Creative

derived

from

of

"

tendencies.

E.

all sides of future

p.
evolution

unity ?

not

can

Nothing
out

come

at

in

original

the

differentiation

unity

The
the

at

start

is
as

that
say
prefiguredin the original
Can

109).
are

not

we

in the

contained

originalimpulse

calculabl
is in-

future

the

stage. True,

any

217

"

tergo; it is given

(C.

GOD

together
only the

is

these

vis

impulsion

an

fused

are

evolution

dissociation

or

OF

IDEA

BERGSON'S

vii

surely there is no element of chance.


God
create
Is Bergson's God
creative
?
Does
the world ?
make
if we
shall be twisting words
We
of the world.
Bergson's originalprinciple the creator
but

'

'

Growth
it is
not

is not

creation

generallyunderstood.
only God that creates
is not

...

when

we

shares

in

centre

and

made

and

duration

mystery

creative

only

with
the

We
'

p.
evolution

"

do

of

Creation

so.

262).

it is

Bergson,

to

ourselves

it in

individual

The

which

is the

God

he is being
grows,
have
freedom,
continually.We

He

source.

remade
creative

in

creates, he

life and
of

our

matter,

effort and

trouble

has

so

God.

If

full freedom

in that

God

better

can

is

no

he

press

have

we

souls

our

off ;

into and

for

trate
pene-

wall of matter.
resisting
that

see
'

creating
His

Bergson

God.

will be found
soul.

E.

in which

sense

experience

; we

the

entangled

also

; we

freely" (C.

and

technical

According

act

obstacles in the way


are

in the

His

to be

idea

does

not

God, when

inadequateto

of

God

is

give us a
strippedof

the needs

likely to

'

free

all

of the

repel

'

and

poetry,

religious

rather

than

religiouspeople, and there is no doubt that it


has more
kinship with the Absolute of philosophersthan
with
the God
of theists.
of the conflict
Fully aware
between
absolute idealism and orthodox
theism, Bergson
tries hard
to be
the side of the orthodox
on
religion.
But
when
he holds that God
be realised only by a
can
he identifies
transcending of human
conditions, when
adequacy
the inhe insists upon
religionwith philosophy, when
attract

of intellect and

the

need

of intuition

to

grasp

218

RELIGION

the

whole, and

whole

and

AND

when

God

vacillates

VH

between

God

the

as

part, namely, the elan vital,he is

as

the
better^than

he

PHILOSOPHY

no

absolutists.

IV
The
is not
soul

different from
is

be reabsorbed

that

slipback

been

more

into the

man

ends

which

is

arrest

In this

case

self-denial

would

be identified with

would

be

there

self-sacrifice.

material.

p.

have

no

282).

Were

ideals

and

It is because

problem
becomes
is not

the

not

\think

of

is

vital

is the

identification

development of the
is dependent

divine
on

the

with

the

good,

in

element

Distinction

kind

one

of

identitybetween
sometimes

he would

The

man.

makes

God

degree. Bergson
God

vidual
indi-

reality. Only the


completely real. Man

between

the

is the

and

ultimate

be

divine.
but

"

matter

self-affirmation.

to

means

supposed to be
real.
is only attemptingto become
perfectly
completelysurrenders his lower nature, then
can

current

law.
any moral
that the moral

in itself but

absolute

pletely
com-

divine, not

already loaded with


completely material

could

end

an

Virtue

man

be

the

of the

is not

the

not

are

with

blend

would

thing
some-

complex of both
aim
of morality
for him.
The
significance
positivepromotion of the good. Sacrifice
he

has

we

says

this current

are

he

case

is

tions.
aspira-

emphasis

Bergson

individual

The

"

Bergson

(C. E.

which

But

individual

the

and

undue

an

held

material

and

higher ideals

have

had

good

spiritualand

we

if he

to

ocean

would

the

that

itself ;

thinkers

of selfish tendencies

absolutists holds

human.

Bergson

the

in
spiritual,

The

the

check

and

the

from

and

external, and
on

orthodox

bundle

absolutists.

the mist

as

shiningsea.

in line with

that

the

Bergson gives

world-being. Its destiny is

into the whole

must

which

given by

of the

product

individual

of the

account

and
holds

two, but

unlike

also

being

man

to

the
who

When

man

he

becomes

is not

one

of

fundamental

absolutists

he

struggleswith

identityof

The

matter.

free communion
and

absolutists

the

is real, that

alone

for him

that
have

be

to

With

agrees

the world

are

of habit

in

becomes

he

life,when

whole

the

individual

the

that, when

and

will

resistingmatter

the

question

with

the

absolutists.

free when

they

routine.

The

and

the

us

acts from

real.

the

source

God.

Freedom

freedom

What

which

from

he

individuals

The

of

is free in

man

is free

Man

absolutism

and
spirit,

as

is due

the

freedom,

human

escape from the mechanism


is free in so far
individual

nature

thing,that
higher nature.

expression of
the

his true

same

his

of

the

he maintains

tells

goal

to

regard

Bergson

as

Both

it,his life-end is realised.

with

one

his

overcome,

dissolved

becomes

possible
Bergson

render

can

God.

and

man

219

in thinking that the whole


agree
is partially
real, and
the individual

attain

to

alone

nature

between

GOD

OF

IDEA

BERGSON'S

vii

as

far

he is

as

he

unique

in
participation

to

has, he

individual

owes

to

in
participation

His

comes.

so

Life in the
originallife is his claim to freedom,
material world participates
in the liberty of the original
can
impulsion. So long as we are human, this freedom
only be partiallyrealised as we have to struggleagainst
"

the

"

the

inertia

of life in its
The

of matter.

When

become

we

the

principle

absolutelyfree.
objection repeatedly urged against absolutism,
and not to
to God
the whole
or
gives freedom

that

it

man

the

purity,we

are

part, for whatever

it is

worth, holds

against

ence
Bergson'sphilosophy also. Bergson establishes the existthe
of an
underlying spiritualprinciple,beneath
particularmanifestations of life. The one Han vital runs
In Time
through all the divergent lines of evolution.
and Free-will Bergson emphatically asserts
the freedom
of

the

with
the

individual

the

who

freelyacts

absolutists,this is only

individual

when

cut

off from

on

matter.

derived
the

But

freedom

universal

as

; for

activity

RELIGION

220

life is

of

which
"

unreality.

an

PHILOSOPHY

Witness

will mistake

many

Life

AND

the

be

to

vn

followingpassage

from

Spinoza

or

Hegel

whole, from the initial impulsionthat thrust


it into the world, will appear
which
rises
a
as
wave
as

this

is consciousness

risingwave
running through human
individuals.

through

on

...

flows the current,

generations,
subdividingitselfinto
souls are nothing else than the little

Thus

rills into which

is

ing
great river of life divides itself,flow-

the

body

the

of

individual

The

humanity."

manifestation
of the universal life,
and his
particular
positionis not a whit better simply because Bergson
a

substitutes

for the

universal

the
What

the

mind

of the

in the

man

individual

material

in

his

scientist and

system of the
absolutist

street

the

dynamical

is the

wants

freedom

life.

of the

right as a separately existing


entity,and Bergson has not granted him that, however
much
he might have
persuaded him into that belief in
Time

and

Free-will.

contingency,which,

as

pure
illusion

as

him

regarded by

determinism.

absolute

chance.
of

cause

is the

future

past.
our

of
"

any
...

whole

otherwise

If
If

of
spatialising

time

of

as

the

it is also

so,

the

an

cause

illusion

of

cause

of

the

of
spatialising

contingency.

If

duration,

the

as

much

forgets,is
The

freedom

of

idea

the

past is

of the future
determinism, the spatialising

cause

observes

he

determinism.

pure

absolute

the

"'bythe

is still dominated

Bergson

is

own

we

have

we

true

are

nothing

If,

as

M.

past and
in the

the

Bergson
yet

future

do

to

are

when

with

other

says,

act

we

is

this

phantom
phantom of the
now

now

with
this

should

free, why
what

real

of

doctrine

the

to

with

than

more

Pringle Pattison

Professor

be

present will
"

constitute

part of the past which we carry with us ?


(Idea of God, p. 375). Bergson impresses on us forcibly

the
and

between
organicrelationship

it should

follow

that

are

inseparable parts

the

future

from

the

of

past and the present,


the past, present and future

one

past and

the

development.
make

it the

To

break

store-house

CHAPTER

VIII

PRAGMATISM

of philosophy was
years back, the world
number
of enthusiastic
when
and
storm
a

by

in England
philosophicmodernists
in Pragmatism with a great flourish

ushered
In

an

we

age

eager

path

to

method

of

heaven

and

by

and

even

those

which

previous philosophy.

any

America

of

trumpets.

itself as

the

earth,

and

being progressive,when
some
new
thing,novelty is the
considers
pragmatism, which

to hear

success,

prising
enter-

on

only virtue, announced


philosophy which will solve

to be

success

prides itself

which

ever

are

sure

of

taken

FEW

all

Anxious

to

new

problems
not

were

win

in

dreamt
in the

philosophicalpolling-booth,it adopted the tactics of an


electioneering
campaign. A conscious attempt was made
bewilder and astonish.
to thrill and horrify,
Proceeding
on

the

principlethat

we

are

wise

not

if

we

do

not

call

fools,the supporters of the theory attacked


tried not
but to laugh
classical idealism, and
to argue
our

fathers

existence.

of

it out

solvent

slow

they

missed

either

life

or

but
a
Though satire is a sure
and
abuse
a
deadly but unseemly weapon,
their aim, as they were
not
supported by
logic. In the thundering criticisms poured

by pragmatism
guns
not

and
catch

fought ;

on

systems,

brilliant

we

hear

the sound

of the

display of fireworks, but do


the battle is
any glimpses of the flagfor which
feel the polemical zeal and the propagandist
we
see

the

other

222

PRAGMATISM

vin

do

fervour, but

system

new

told

that

render

again

once

widely

and

loudly

will

pragmatism

it

ideals

perceivethe

not

so

223

"

underlying the

advertised.

We

philosophy

humanise

subject gentlemen

are

and
read

can

of both
barbarism
temper and
pleasure,dethrone
style; fight with the Dragon of Scholasticism, which
from
deters men
approaching the golden apples that
the tree of knowledge in the garden of the
cluster on
Hesperides" (Humanism, Schiller,p. xxiii). As yet, we
of pragmatism into the philomust
sophic
say that the entrance
with

and

calm

usual

resulted

has

arena

an

rather

of bad

exhibition

disturbance

of the

and

temper.

taste

of

coming
pragmatism as the
of philosophy. It will be
renaissance
a
great tonic
to reinvigoratea previouslydepressed humanity
(ibid.
of our
James, one of the greatest men
p. 30). William
that
age, sings the praise of pragmatism so exquisitely
Schiller

Dr.

heralds

in

the

"

"

charmed

are

many
When

views

one

the

possessions of the
James, and contrasts
characterise
careful

of

the

good

into

unconscious

an

support of it.

gloriousvirtues which are


pragmatists according
them

with

the infamous

absolutists,the chances
name

and

dignitywould

are

the

peculiar

to

William

ones

that

choose

which
any one
the side

But
if, without
pragmatist angels are.
ment
being led away by the false glamour of vain advertiseand
moral
monopolies, we
sion
try with self-possesrestraint to study the message
and
of this New
Dispensation and find out where exactly it differs from
on

which

classical

the

absolutism,

shall

see

that

it is not

after all

revolutionaryin its tendencies as we are


led to believe
by its protagonists,and that where it
differs from speculativeidealism, it does so at its peril.
At the outset
refer to the pragmatist'sclaim
must
we
that pragmatism is not so much
a metaphysic as a method.
It tries to affect the philosophicoutlook
much
not
so
by
directlysupporting set conclusions as by insistingon a
method
of approach to the problems of philosophy.
new
It announces
itself as a reform
in the method
of philoso

radical

we

and

AND

RELIGION

224

PHILOSOPHY

vm

emphasises a particularway of lookingat things,


the questions of life. It
definite attitude towards
a
claims
proto a wondering world that truth is practical,
and the
meaning of an assertion depends on its application.The
general charge against philosophy is its unpracticality,
It

sophy.

or,

Schiller

Dr.

as

likes

put it,

to

which

of

'

Nephelococcygia.'
developed in the

are
philosophy
Systems
of
Academy or the Porch do not appeal to the plain man
the market-place. They even
protest againstany attempts

to introduce

fresh air and

Pragmatism

makes

It tries

"

to

lightinto their closed


philosophypracticalwith a

interpreteach

notion
What

practicalconsequences.
to any one,
make
practically
?

If

by

chambers.

vengeance.
tracing its respective

difference

if this notion

would

rather than

it
that

practicaldifference whatever can


be traced, then the alternatives mean
the same
practically
(James, Pragmatism, p. 45).
thing and all disputeis idle
notion

true

were

no

"

Pragmatism

is thus

"

an

attitude

of

orientation, the

from
first things, principles,
looking away
supposed necessities ; and of looking towards
categories,
facts"
last things, fruits, consequences,
(ibid.p. 35).
method
of
If the new
pragmatism is put in this manner
for complaint. Experience or
have
life
reason
no
we
of truth.
is ultimately the touchstone
No
theory has
are
any meaning apart from its applicationto life. We
glad that pragmatism, without committing itself to any
results in metaphysics,merely insists on
an
application
In the image of the Italian
method.
of the teleological
pragmatist Papini, pragmatism is like a corridor in a
attitude

hotel

into numberless
chambers.
opens
find a free-thinker
worrying himself

which

may
defence

we

of

of

atheism, in another

In

about

one

the

agnostic thinking out


his knees
his apology, in a third a devotee
on
praying
for faith and
to God
strength in his despair,and in a
fourth
a
sophy,
syntheticphilosophertrying to reconcile philoof them
Each
religionand science.
adopt
may
of pragmatism
method
the
(see James, Pragmatism,
in philothis method
is not a new
one
pp. 53-54). But
an

PRAGMATISM

vin

sophy. James

225

calls

himself

pragmatism

new

name

"

of thinking.
Being nothing essentially
ways
ancient
with
it harmonises
philosophic
new,
many
for instance, in
It agrees with nominalism
tendencies.
for old

; with
always appealing to particulars

emphasising practicalaspects ;
disdain for verbal

different

from

positivismin its
physical
questionsand meta53-54). It is only

with

solutions, useless
"

abstractions

(ibid.pp.

Schiller

Dr.

absolutism.

utilitarianism in

that

argues

which
pragmatism attempts
philosophic method
from
to displacerequiresus to
our
thinking
expunge
interest,desire and emotion, as
every trace of feeling,
of error
the most
sources
(Humanism, p. x).
pernicious
Schiller is here
adopting the old device of calling
not
revel in
to kill it. Philosophy does
a
dog mad

the

"

"

abstract

forms

its

; it has

to classical absolutism

While

own

interests

intellectual

and

passions.
pursuitis itself

and distracted
to be bewildered
passion,it does not want
by other passionsand prejudices.It is quite
ledge,
possiblefor us to have a disinterested love of know-

and

when

Schiller

gets the
would

as

cognitiveinstinct (see
as
Postulates,footnote i, p. 85), his passion
better of his pragmatism,for an appeal to facts

pernicious perversion of
Axioms

attitude

this

condemns

have

convinced

dispassionatesearch

him

the

of the

for truth.

force and

The

of

value

excellence

of pure

seeing,and
knowing for the sake of knowing, emphasised by even
Bergson, is strange to the pragmatists.
horse.
To criticisepragmatism is like flogging
a dead
But our discussion of pragmatism will have a pragmatist
of seeing for the sake
disinterestedness,

of

pragmatism, so far
as it is true and valuable,defends and developsabsolutism,
and so far as it is not, it is a philosophy fit for the philistines of the present age with their sicklysentimentalism

since
justification,

and

sordid

wish to show

commercialism.

We

how

shall trace

the different

converged in the pragmatistemphasis on


the central
character of truth,state briefly
teleological

tendencies
the

we

that

AND

RELIGION

226

positionsof pragmatism,

PHILOSOPHY

and

vm

and

compare

contrast

it with

absolutism.
II
Of

the

influences

many

that

pragmatist philosophy,the

led to the

first to

be

genesisof

noted

the

is that

of

only the father of speculative


also a pioneer of the pragin Germany, but
idealism
matist
of
He
the
first
to
the present day.
theories
was
emphasise the indispensable part played by human
of experience. Knowledge,
activityin the construction
accordingto Kant, is not the copying or the contemplating
of reality,
but is the making of realityaccording to our
find but
what
we
we
Reality is not what
purposes.
of
In the words
of Dr. Bosanquet, it lies ahead
make.
Our understanding puts questions
and not behind
us.
us
Immanuel

determines

and

to nature

is not

He

Kant.

we

construct

dropped out, and


distinction between
phenomenon
experienceand reality. Kant's theory

reality. The successors


quite rightly too, the
and

the lines in which

noumenon,

of Kant

have

to reduce
stripped of its inconsistencies,seems
that realityis largely
itself to the pragmatist doctrine

when

constituted

by

activity. It
consistentlythan

human

making. But more


Kant
points out that there
objectiveelements to which
While
Kant
rightlyinsists on
so-called axiomatic
of the

mind

mainly

of

our

pragmatists,
certain given aspects or
are
to adapt ourselves.
have
we
of the
the subjective
nature

truths, while
and

is

makes

he

out

most

elaborates
that

in

the
sense

sources
reour

understanding makes nature, stillhe is equally emphatic


in declaring that
reality is not wholly of subjective
manufacture.
There are in knowledge objectiveelements
But this distinction of
which
are
we
compelled to note.
of critical
one
subjective and objective is no doubt
analysis,and not felt by the experiencing individual.
from subjectiveidealism by the adoptionof
Kant
saves
us
when
this distinction of subjectiveand objective. But
pragmatism states that the purposiveactivityof mind is

PRAGMATISM

VIII

all that is necessary

straightlanded

are

227

for the construction


in

solipsism.

Kant

of the
tells

world,

us

that

we
our

factors of
the two
experience is an interaction between
knowledge, the subjectiveand the objective. The mutual
implicationof self and the world on which later objective
idealism
is built, is first suggested by the philosophy of
Kant.
In our
human
experience the interpenetrationof
the self and the world
is not complete. So long as we
have thingsgiven to us, things to which
we
are
opposed,
which
have to manipulate, it is a sign that the ideal is
we
Human
experience is trying progressively
yet remote.
to

realise this ideal.

ideal that

It is this reference

empiricistsystems

saves

subjectivism.
By his insistence
reason

over

forerunner

though

such

freedom

and

the
of

Kant

pure,

pragmatism.

necessities

central

common

the weakness

of

of the practical
supremacy
be looked
the
as
may
upon
It is Kant's
belief, that

the

on

from

to

of life

as

faith in God,

indemonstrable,
immortality are theoretically
adduce
in support
though we cannot
any logicalevidence
of them, nay, though it may
that they contradict
appear
all conditions of objectivity
in knowledge, stillwe have to
believe
has

to be
vote
we

in them

for

constitutional

moral

our

defect

As pure reason
purposes.
which it comes
irreconinto cilable

by
conflict with the practicalnecessities of life,
it has
If we
want
to
supplemented by practicalreason.
for such sacred possessionsof life as freedom, etc.

have

also to vote

for the

inadequacy of

intellect.

The

scientific

down
of
world
to
understanding bound
a
mechanism
has to be supplemented by the higher reason
Moral
life ensures
the realityof
appreciativeof values.
the

human

determination

soul, God

and

of science

freedom

which

the

universal

destroy. For the


revelations of moral
life are quite as genuine as the products
of logicalinvestigation. Kant
is a thorough-going
the
the critics might say
about
empiricist,whatever
to experience
high prioriroad/ for it is Kant's fidelity
in all its aspects that compels him to supplement pure by
'

threatens

to

228

RELIGION

practicalreason,
But
the

unityof

PHILOSOPHY
of nature

world

remember

should

we

AND

that

His pure
In
expressionsof reason.
with

in

mechanism,

of ends.

world

does not

breakup

practicalreason
cases

some

both

are

is satisfied

reason

it demands

teleology.

of the will to believe takes its rise from

defence

James's

and

others

some

by
Kant

even

mind.

vm

this doctrine of Kant,

views

of Pascal

Lotze

and

much
to the
though it owes
theory of value judgements of

the

and

Ritschl.

Kant

As

is believed to

reason
put practical

James puts will above intellect. When


pure reason,
have
alternatives which
to act and to choose between

above
we

indifferent we
are
logically
aesthetically
satisfyingor

are

asked

that which

to choose

morally edifying. If to
the scientific understanding the world
morally
appears
colourless,i.e. if it looks indifferent,grinding out both
and
good and evil impartially,
religionrequires us to
believe in the ultimate
goodness of the world, James asks
is

us

try the several alternatives.

to

goodness of

the

believe in the
it would

look

results.

If

world

and

we

world

in its rottenness

conduct

ideal

these

function

is

of

morally

definite difference
instants

of

formula

and

one

Practical

careful tells

us

to believe.

When

sufficient

defends
aid

where

we

which

are

have
for

life,and
have

to

see

believe

that

if the

Ethical
find out

desirable and which

one

life,
whole

out

what

at definite

me

that

or

when

is

he

whatever

we

different alternatives

intellectual

rightto believe

in belief.

ventures

cannot

we

find

and

on

world

tions
Concep(Philosophical

Results}. James
we

evidence

our

in

us

that

to

formula
"

is true

which

be

to you

life if this world

our

be the

it will make

to

tain
ascer-

The

satisfying.

philosophy ought

to

accept that

to
"

most

its

find out

theories

how

see

experiments

possiblebearings of the several


then, according to James, we will have
which

and

and

the

course

affected

life will be

of the

colourlessness
; believe

how

see

in the ultimate

Believe

more

want

without

conviction, James

of them

which

would

results justifyour
practical
attitudes
beliefs are practical

by experimental verification
not
James's doctrine of the
.

RELIGION

230

AND

when
Philosophers,

PHILOSOPHY

they

cannot

they wish to, fall back


Locke

looked

God, Kant
and

defends

find that

we

and

sciences

of
difficulty

it leads

and

in which

ethics

admits

defect is not

things

except under

we

concepts

the

in

Kant, James,

but

leads

"

he

We
says :
in nature,

far

as

as

cannot

we

is in

to lose

not

are

which

conformitywith

of

the

certain

to

reconciliation

occurrences

time

same

those

The

to

in

same

others.

higher

synthesis.
different modes

teleologyare only
works in different spheres of reality.

mechanism

by

is due

James

and

it when

and

in

intellect is employed in natural

find

intellect

our

products
the

and

of intellect.

consciousness

Mechanism

Kant

Kant

certain

to

intellect in moral

faith

on

of practicalreason,
supremacy
the will to believe.
On closer analysis

When
positivists.

Science

rested

such, but in the faultymethod

as

the

extralogical
principle.

some

the

of the nature

false view
reason

the

logically
thing
every-

prove

intuition,Descartes

to

asserted

James

on

vm

concept of

explainall

should
the

even

most

our

purposive,
But at

power.
of
the fact that
sight
for

state

investigation

of Reason
purpose
the essential constitution
of our

in

must

Reason,

and

ordinated
be subnotwithstanding those mechanical
causes,
by us finallyto causalityin accordance, with
translation,
of Judgment, Bernard's
(Critique
purposes
admit
whole
the proposition that our
P- 333)' We
"

"

man

is at

...

"

opinions
in morals

type
in

we

fact

work

come
can

in natural

across

the

help create

thinkingbeing can

on

practicalreason
of the

"

sciences.

fact,that would

faith

Where
be

an

insane

as

will to

When

once

different

"

(ibid.
p. 25). Kant's insistence
the clue to reality,and
James's

fall

believe

inadequate conception
a

philosophical

our

of scientific
say that faith running ahead
is the lowest kind of immoralityinto which

not

form

should

evidence

and

we

(Willto Believe,p. 192). We admit we cannot,


of the
and religion,
wait for scientific evidence

logicwhich

defence

when

we

of

are

both

scientific
admit

facultywhich

that
works

traceable

truth
it is

and

to

an

standing.
under-

understanding

in the moral

and

PRAGMATISM

vin

231

field,that everywhere it proceeds by the method


religious
of ideal experiment, and that beliefs are always tested by
their

adequacy to

for the

account

facts,sensible and ideal,

provoked them, there will be no need to insist on a


specialfaculty of faith. It is a complete dissociation of
understanding as it operates in natural sciences from the
works
kindred
called faith, which
method
illegitimately
in morals
that led James to believe that the
and religion,
which

two

different and

were

mould

suit

realityto
ideals

our

suit

to

When
admits

quite right.
and
upholds
he

man-made,

thought

this difference

we

mould

we

is all-important.

and

fact

helps to

create

the

fact, he is

he

extends

it to

all

knowledge

when

the

In morals

of morals

in realms

But

in

ideals ;

our

needed.

were

reality,and

faith in

that

both

religionJames

hypothesis that everywhere


When

is wrong.

he

makes

out

truths

are

the

quite
by
open

left
unobjectionable proposition that in cases
the
intellect moral
be employed to decide
ideals may
he rushes
to the conclusion
struggle,he is right. But when
that will and
feelingplay an important role in
extending
truth-making everywhere, he is illegitimately
derives its plausibility
from a falsification
a theory which
of the nature
Modern
of the

of intellect.
methods

of science

philosophy.

new

and

the

'

The

also

come

to the

hypothetical method
'

economical

have

help
of induction

of scientific theories

account

pragmatist view.
Every truth is a
hypothesis and every axiom a postulate. Our axiomatic
truths are
firmed
reallypostulateswhich have had to be conby ages of experiencebefore they were
accepted as
are

taken

axioms.

Our

mathematical

demands
cosmos

character

the

by

up

we

which

on

of

axioms

make
we

truths
on

can

human

are

realityto
depend.

is admitted

by

convert

tions,
construc-

it into

The

all

postulatory
logicians. For

of
laws
the
example, Dr. Bosanquet speaking about
reflective conceptions they are
thought observes : "As
because
we
we
use
postulates, i.e. principles which
in a
need
therefore be taken
them;
they cannot
.

AND

RELIGION

232

definite form

as

PHILOSOPHY

hypotheses

vm

axioms

or

antecedent

to

be said to begin with the


experience. Experience may
there is somewhat/
and the postulatesof
certaintythat
knowledge do but express in abstract form the progressive
definition of this somewhat
(Logic,ii.206). The idealist
would
have no objectionto the pragmatist theory of the
When
do not know
we
postulatorycharacter of axioms.
the world
that it is knowable.
completely, we assume
should
be a harmony though it is not
We
say the world
'

"

yet
is

We

one.

but

cannot

impossible without
the

that

work

The

famous

and

must

of

it for

assume

the

intellectual life

our

assumption.

This

sort

reason

some
presupposes
of Mr. Bradley,that
principle

be, that certainlyis,"confirms

only

"

the

means

of faith.

what

may

be

hypothetical

We
frame
a
hypothesis, a
origin of all knowledge.
be
test and
a mere
possibility,
verify the
; we
may
hypothesis and see if we are constrained to think it,if it
'

'

is

'

be

'

; if so,

'

say it is.' Schiller insists upon


but also their
of axioms
not only the postulatorycharacter
a

must

He

verification.
because

they

does

we

not

want

convenient.

are

to admit

us

Beliefs

beliefs

ought

to

simply
await

logic. Any faith will not do.


The
pragmatist is in sympathy with Newton's
theses
hyponon
fingo." The spurious faith which too often
take courage
is all theologians
to aspireto is merely the
of an
unfaced
smoothing over
scepticism,or at best a
of the mind,
pallidfungus that, lurkingin the dark corners
In
shun
the lightof truth and warmth
of action.
must
with it a genuine faith is an
contrast
ingredientin the
growth of knowledge. It is ever
realisingitself in the
to
to help it on
knowledge that it needs and seeks
further conquests" (Humanism, p. xv). Intuitions cannot
be accepted without
Schiller puts the
criticism.
whole point in a manner
quite agreeableto the absolute
confirmation

by

life and

"

"

"

idealist.

"

Humanism

has
.

intuitions

of all sorts.

facts of the
It would

not

the

utmost

regards them
greatest interest,importance
attempt

It

to do

without

them

respect for

psychological

as

and

significance.

either in ethics

PRAGMATISM

vin

or

of

define them

logic. It would

in

judgements

immediate

as

respect without

it would

But

value.

233

adoring.

It

examining claims before admitting


them
infallible guides to validity. It would
regard it
as
uncritical to treat them
logical.
as
anything else than psychoas

could

refrain from

not

the first instance

In

at

rate, it would

any

treat

something which might require


confirmation
by experience. In this respect truth claims
and intuitive moral
judgements are fundamentally alike.
Both
made
are
constantly and freelyand spontaneously,
and
are
chronologicallyprior to the sciences which
Hence
criticise them.
they form the data from which a
prudent theory of logicaland ethical values will set out.
of intuition

the claims

But

the

as

truth

fact that

mere

claims

does

made

are

not

still require
they may
knows
confirmation, and God
they mostly need it !
are
glad that Schiller so
(Mind, 1909, xviii. 126). We
certainty
clearlyand sharply distinguishespsychological
that once
from
appeared selfobjectivevalidity. Much

that

prove

they

infallible ;

are

"

turned

evident

has

method

of induction

later

is

false.

The

hypothetical
accepted by idealist logic. For
out

theory of truth
that there is a coherent
and comprehensive system of
experienceis only a hypothesis.
the

proposition of

central

Inductive

science

idealist

the

regards

laws

be

to

approximate

economic

hand,
reality. They are conceptual shortlabour-saving machinery, possessingonly an
their purpose
When
value.
to serve
they cease

they

abandoned.

accommodations
a

are

geometry
which

were

time, but
The

and

to

Ptolemaic

Aristotelian

adopted for
later

so-called

of nature
of

limited

admits

in their

of their

not

reality but

man-made
They are
calculatingtheir past
absolutist

do

formulas

that
value.

for
utility
if not

the
He

only
for

their

rejected.

that

tendencies.

handling events,

categories of
knows

some

able
represent the immut-

predictingtheir

and

of theories

examples

considerably modified,

laws

foundations

logicare

the sake

Euclidean

astronomy,

future.
science

if these

The
are

limited

RELIGION

234

concepts relative
the

whole

for which

relative.

The

mediate

be

or

is

absolute

is

truth

that

sense

no

to

view

with

to the purpose

tist
fact,the absolu-

yet

remote.
some

growth

is that

for

from

complete

our

ideas

that

much

and

truth

are

are

is

aware

the

matical
mathe-

We
of space.
that claims to
in

its nature

relative

each

though

except the whole

the

sense

truth, since the ideal of

in the
provisional
false,subjectiveand temporary
It is not

It is also said
for

room

contrast

and

the

it satisfies

interests.
has

of

matter

provisionalin

content

are

As

relative

are

knowledge
we

field,in relation

own

to

contradictions.

to

into conflict

come

all truths

objectionto

no

that

in its

extended

are

only necessity of which we


hypothetical necessity. Even

truths
have

freedom

that

vm

narrow

it is assumed.

contends

PHILOSOPHY

purposes
of reality,
they lead

and

principleis true,

to

sphere

Determinism

AND

that

the

absolutist

evolution.

"

The

theory
essential

rationalism, reality is ready-made


all

eternity,while

it is stillin the

for

pragmatism
its completion

making and awaits parts of


from
the future"
(Pragmatism, p. 257). The absolutist
admits
the growth and progressivenessof human
truth.
Truth

grows

recognisedas
is the

and

develops,it
While

erroneous.

ideal,may

be

looked

in its

perfection,human

becomes

identical with

so

long

declared

as

fixed
as
upon
truth is bound

the absolute.

and

immutable

till it
grow
It follows that truth
to

propositionwhich is
feature of the pragmatist
distinguishing

it is human

to be the

stages which are


the absolute truth, which

outlives

grows,

theory.
On

the

answered
unpragmatist view the question remains
to why the world
lends itself to this process
as
of economising by concepts, why it allows itself to be
reduced
to
reasoning attains its ends
systems. If our
gence
intelliit is a proof of the relationshipbetween
human
and the nature
of things in general. This oneness
of things is the pivotal principle of absolutism, and
Schiller
it in
admits
discussing the methodological

character

of eternal

truth.

"It

is evident

that

unless

PRAGMATISM

viii

the nature

of the world

extent

eternal

would

lent itself to

the
interpretation,

such

to

laws

had

235

served

have

our

able
consider-

very

of

assumption
little

as

purposes

as

chiromancy and catopastrology,necromancy,


(Humanism, p. 104).
tromancy
Darwinian
the
traced
to
also be
Pragmatism can
hypothesis of evolution.
According to this doctrine,
consciousness
is,like any other organic function, but a
The
of adaptation in the strugglefor existence.
means
of the
for the preservation
cognitivefunction is a means
organism. Thought is a product of vital adjustment.
those

of

"

is the

Intellect
live

puts forth

intrinsic value
not

are

to

by

itself.
and

and

in

this

Just

eternal,even

by
grow
its history

has

evolution.

of

forms

They

Truth
of

so

It has

thought

adaptations
as
anything

evolution

If

no

of evolution

forms

the

as

will to

the

experiences.

new

relative.

world

which

will, a form

the

meet

conditions.

new

else

to

immutable

mutable

are

of

organ

tells

us

anything it is that the world is an unceasing flow. There


is nothing stable and
unchanging in it, and forms of
thought are not an exception to this rule. Truths are
and when
only guides to reality,
they fail of their purpose
Truth
is born into the world
they may be abandoned.
stand
it cannot
as
any organic form, and perisheswhen
the
be

shock

of

understood

an

the

absolute

life and

thought

of

is

as

an

order

Mr.

function
needs.

immanent

Dewey

of

like other
Its

tension, and

The

intellect

human

action.

determinate
or

not

rational

attempt

history of truth can


realise
attempt to progressively

demands.

new

to

functions

occasion

is

this

whole

account

in

rests

an

things, but
the

needs

contends

as

of
that

originatingin

situation
to

of

flict
con-

re-establish

the
preserve
of thought
function
thus

The
re-integration.
the transition from
effecting
integratedexperience. But

of restoration

validityof thought lies


situation to
a conflicting

interferes

thought

equilibrium of the system and


integrityof experience. The whole
this work

meet

Chicago

the

lies in

in

on

or

confusion

between

the

RELIGION

236

and
psychological
to

needs

The

theory
is due

subscribe
There
our

all

our

the vital
the

to

that

the

right of
These

with

lect
intel-

cannot

inviolable.

which

form

laws

nature.

we

be

to

in accordance

truth.

case

reason

be due

originof

in which
necessities,

laws

for

search

declares

divine

certain

VIIT

epistemological.Truth may
our
questionis,what is its

of evolution

to

are

in

the

life,but

of

PHILOSOPHY

AND

act

we

basis

the

of

knowledge. The objectspresented to the mind,


the problems set, in other words, the empiricalcontents
of consciousness
change and vary, but not so the principles
of truth.

The

of
relativity

requiresexplanation.

man

in the

Ideas

existence

strugglefor

if

objectivereality.Suppose
irrational,what
chaos

flux.
and

The

could

is

the structure

different

They

because

to

give up

manifestation

of

is not

intelligence
essentially

human

the

in such

nature

two

to

completely

were

do
intelligence

human

have

conform

not

world

harmony between
of reality. If the

would

we

the

of

help us long

not

did

needs

the

to

would

they

concept is useful

There

truth

were

ledge.
attempt of know-

higher reality
which
reveals itself in both.
We
may
say that reality
attains its full stature
in truth and thought.1
Pragmatism represents a revolt against the abstract
and vicious intellectualism which
ignores the other sides
of human
its

are

of the

will

satisfaction

be

traced

the

on

If

an

theories
same

purpose,
of abstract

of the
The
to

philosophies of
these

and

weakness

gymnastics.
also

rise of the

The

nature.

emphasis on

seeks

new

psychology,with

resulted

in

tion
exhibi-

an

intellectualism,which

soul in the scholastic

ping
logic-chop-

extravagances of pragmatism may

this

revolt

naturalism

against

and

the

'

absolutism.

In

there

idealist like Kant

is

opens

distinction

no

the

back

door

both

All

everythingis logically
necessary.
level,and

'

inhuman

are

of values.
to

them,

curious
It is very
that
contends
that intellect is
Bergson, who
relative to its material, should, to suit his convenience, forgetthis truth
and
to

urge that intellect is


be condemned.

always

dead

and

mechanical, and

is therefore

RELIGION

238

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vm

III
is

pragmatist theory of truth ? James


this question by saying :
Truth
is one
answers
species
of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct
from
good and co-ordinate with it. The truth is
of whatever
the name
proves itself to be good in the way
of belief,and good, too, for definite assignablereasons.
no
Surely you must admit this, that if there were
good
for life in true ideas, or if the knowledge of them
were
positivelydisadvantageous, and false ideas the only
What

the

"

useful
and

then

ones,

the

precious,and

grown

duty

our

its

would

be

truth

shun

to

In

dogma.

truth

could

have

never

world

is divine

like

that

"

rather

(Pragmatism,
propositionthat truth

dispute the
that it is a form
of
a
speciesof good if it only means
valuable.
is one
Truth
value, something intrinsically
moral
of value
This cannot
form
as
good is another.
that the true is the same
the good ; but it seems
as
mean
For he says :
The
to be James's meaning.
possession
of truth, so far from
being here an end in itself,is only
We

75)-

Pis

need

that

pursuita duty,

become

or

up

notion

current

not

"

Schiller

(ibid.p. 203).
of

truth

other

towards

preliminarymeans

than

writes
that

"

"

vital satisfactions

Nothing

it should

is

more

be

relevant

quired
re-

to

specificsituation, valuable for a purpose, and the most


to a question
answer
(Riddlesof the Sphinx,
satisfactory
be
ethical or
The
aesthetic.
purpose
may
p. 133).
"

valuable,
practically

be
Beliefs may
have
been, and
'

have

they

thus

becomes

Against this

contention

'

true

the

intrinsic worth

speciesof
are

with

the

be

found

to

tincts

should

the

'

which
beware

of

ethical

good

or

to

we

good.
the

must

of any

with

defend

truth.

so

many

regarded

confused

the

other

true

The
values.

independence and

It is not
The

fictions

true.

as

subordinate

is not

beautiful,though

in the ultimate
we

be

as

to be

all the three

reality. They

are

carefullydiscriminate, while
suggestion of

their

fused
con-

'

diswe

final incom-

PRAGMATISM

vni

patibility.It

ambiguity of

is the

confusion

causes

239

is

Truth

here.

word

the

good,

'

good

form

'

that

of value.

of Schiller.
But the
logicalvalue, in the words
logical good is distinct from the moral
good/ though
Truth
both
in general.
is a
are
species of
good
and
ultimate
primary value quite as fundamental
as
satisfies the logical
It is what
any other kind of value.
It is

'

'

'

'

'

"

Schiller admits
this view when
he urges,
purpose.
assertion
actual knowing, the question whether
an
or

false is decided

need

We

154).

debate

not

is meant

effects
consequences,
Speaking of the validation

Schiller

claims, Dr.

truth
of such

claims

Again,

"

which

that

value

"

that

true

59,

p.
false

and
is

of established

(ibid.pp.

389).

157-158).

the

the

forms

Schiller

of

logical

here

nises
recogand
not

logicalvalues

are

false is

(primarilylogical),

purpose
false are

and

of

validation

bodies

forwards, and

human

No.

true

Truth

ethical.

is what

words,

(Mind,

the

"

true

"the

on

pragmatist test, that is,

effect upon
they affect

thwarts

or, in other

the

that

their

which

The

admits

proceeds by

by experience of
truth

simply. It is decided,
(Studies in Humanism,
this propositionif by consequences

theoretical

system of knowledge.

the

is true

very

"

is, by its consequences

that
p.

uniformlyand

in all

purposive effort,but the purpose


is not any temporary superficial
private one, but a deepof understanding
lying logicalor
cognitive purpose
reality. Reality is not here looked upon
as
a
means
of social or
to the satisfaction
practical ends, but as
that

in which

The

one

But

there

the
in

the

ethical

to set up

reason

satisfyingof
from

kind
in

know

the

is the

harmonising
to

be

seen

values.

find

can

logicalinterest

is also

logicalwith
no

will to

the

supreme
experience,and

of

its fulfilment.

unifyingof

all

all contracttctions.

tendency

Schiller

writes

to
"

confuse
There

is

peculiarprocess of verification for


purely intellectual interest,different
rest, superior in dignity, and
cratic
autoa

authority.

(Studiesin Humanism,

For
p.

there

is

7). While

"

no

intellect
pure
it is true that all

RELIGION

240

AND

intellectual interests
this

does

PHILOSOPHY
their

have

vm

mental

own

contexts,

justify us in repudiatingthe realityof


Intellectual
interests are
purely cognitive interests.
and desires, but
always found in union with emotions
it does

not

at all. Schiller

what

that there

follow

not

of

Real

(Humanism,

this does

not

say that different sciences


does not
different answers
The

of

wealth

in

all its

to

abstract

real for what

means

different purposes

the

sciences,but

"

use?

end, to what

much

"

asks,

intellectual interests

no

are

touch

from

"

inspiredifferent

it should

limitations

of

in the

be studied

compel

man

concentrate

the Nicomachean

Schiller quotes from

makes

point at issue. To
put different questionsand get
support the pragmatist theory.

and

some

He

the

that
experiencerequires

aspects. The

n).

p.

which

purpose,to

others.

on

Ethics

him

Dr.

of Aristotle

of

which is
intelligence,
theoretical,and neither practical
nor
productive,its good
and bad is truth and falsehood
(Studiesin Humanism,
agree with this view, and hold that truth
p. 152). We
the

that

statement

case

"

is

form

of

value, and

it satisfies

is one
say that that purpose
in the sense
that it fulfils one

that

as

Life is not

loving
science

as

only

and

pursued for

side of

the

will to

livingas morality

as

or

is also

announce.

to

means

says,

to

reduce

much

of

the

they

or

enjoy.
worth

knowing as
Knowledge is not

conduct, but

is also

satisfaction

being. In any
cognitiveattitude
our

mental
funda-

worth

sake, for the theoretical

brings. Logic fulfils a part

is

quite as

worth

own

it is wrong
however
practical,

is

will to

after

sense

do

nature, the will

of the

philosophy
its

our

right,which

own

declares, but

art

always sought
it

its

It has

to know.

We
only
purpose.
of theory. Truth is practical
our

other
to

the

be related.
may
than
another
emphasised

point more
psychology, it is the purposive character of
by modern
mental life. Pragmatism rightlyinsists on this purposiveAll meaning
of thought.
depends on
ness
purpose.
of an intellectual interest.
Truth inquiryis for the fulfilling
of pragmatism lies in confusing the
But
the mistake
If there

one

PRAGMATISM

viii

need

deeper

and

know,

phases to
need

the

temporary

wrapped up. It
underlying dominating will
and superconsiders the fleeting
ficial
purposes
be the sole reality. There is the structural
it is

purposes
existence of the

forgetsthe
to

logic with

of

in which

and

interests

impulse

or

241

of intellect to

this is

contradictions, and

remove

impulse to logicalthinking. Special needs, which


set to us
expressions
specialproblems, are the outward
diction.
of intellect to clear up contraof the underlyingdemand
the logicalimpulse is mixed
Because
up with
that
the
pragmatist concludes
temporary
purposes,
by specialneeds
thought is sporadic,being occasioned

the

Absolutism
maintains
purposes.
continuous
is judgement, one

and

of this

conscious

become

we

fact

that

ness
all conscious-

affirmation, though
when

and

needs

the

deeply felt. The principleof rationality


of it
conscious
operates throughout our life ; we become
with
the strivingto get rid of irrationality
meets
when
obstacles and
checks.
Just as we feel no particular
pleasurewhen we breathe freely,but an intense feeling
motions
of distress,when
the respiratory
are
prevented,"
of
even
perfectlyfluent course
so, James
says,
any
but
the
but
little feeling,"
"when
thought awakens
with difficulties we
experience distress"
thought meets
the Protagorean
of Rationality).Even
(The Sentiment
is the measure
that man
of all thingsis approved
formula
of by the idealists ; they only contend
that it is not the
individual selfish man
that is the measure,
but
superficial
the true human
being with his effort to know, to will,and

purposes

are

"

"

to love.

We

admit

The

world

that these

in consciousness.

of

But

because

true

needs

exist

thought
not

follow

of

nature

is

as

only

that

man.

elements
a

we

part of
should

of the whole,
logicthe psychologicalstructure
which
thought is an integralelement, for the validity
tingent
thought does not depend on the variable and con-

study
of

to the

fundamental

life,it does

mental

concrete

conforms

in

facts
from

of

conscious

life.

but
personal idiosyncrasies,

We

can

stand

apart
the

still determine
R

AND

RELIGION

242
value

PHILOSOPHY

"

of

Because
thought.
of this
personal peculiarities
"

argues,
all men

it does

follow

not

we

abstract

can

man

or

that

vm

from

Schiller

that/' Dr.

abstract

can

we

the

from

"

If
(Studiesin Humanism, p. 64). We agree.
the personal prejudices and
understand
eliminate
we
the common
character, then it is the logicalneed to know
its particularapplicaoperating in mental life,whatever
tions

be, that strikes


When

the

pragmatist

useful,we
is

nature

not

and

It has

it.

worth
which

of two

nature

of

mately
ultireal

satisfyhis

must

of their

which

own

intelligence.The

is true, then

rival statements

between

"

make

to

the

laws

Man's

him.

truth

have

will be

true

an

difference
How

the

organism with basal affinities between


Again, it is said,if the truth were positively
would
not
disadvantageous, we
pursue
relation to life. It has practicalconsequences
discussing. If it makes no real difference

its members.

dangerous

that

quarrel with

no

Things
to

extraneous

is

says

dependable that

needs.

world

whole

have

far

so

fundamental
are

attention.

our

the
our

two.

Ideas

Dr.

there is

no

real

Peirce

in his essay on
clear," in the Popular Science

of

January 1878, points out that our beliefs are


reallyrules for action,and to develop a thought'smeaning
conduct
it is fitted to
what
have
we
only to determine
produce. It is the same
principlethat ideas influence
our
Hodgson emphasises when
practicethat Shadworth

Monthly

he

which

truth

thought
have

concrete

by

has
If the

one.

we

that

declares

has

its

realityis what it is
no
practical
consequences
lesson

of

all this

known
is

is to

less
meaning-

tell

us

applicationin conduct, theory

objection. There is no
meaning of life is enriched
no

question
in

The

as.

in

that

different

that

life,
the
ways

theories.

James asserts that the true is the expedient


of our
in the way
believing,as the good is the expedient
of our
in the way
acting,then his view is open to question.
in a timider
Schiller supports James sometimes
As regards the objects
sometimes
in a bolder spirit.
But

when

"

PRAGMATISM

vin

valued

243

is that

manipulation of them
which
trial to be
useful
turns
out
on
primarily for
human
mony
end, but ultimately for that perfect harany
of our
forms our final aspiration
whole
lifewhich
(Humanism, p. 61). The
timidityof thought, which
induces
Schiller to admit
perfect harmony of life to
truth

true,

as

"

be the

ultimate

truth

its

ideal, is abandoned

will have

be decided

to

by

the interest which

bearing on

when

he

says

that

its consequences,
by
prompted the assertion,
"

"

by its relation to the purpose which put the question


(Studies in Humanism,
154-155). Our ideas are
pp.
true
if they answer
which
to the needs
give them birth,
if they fit the designsfor which
have
we
shaped them,
if they lead to the desirable
results.
Truth
is determined
This
view
by utility; its test is satisfaction.
the relativity
of truth, and in a sense
vindicates
justifies
the

relative

created.

and

Truth

national
is

truths

yoked

to

which

policy.

this

has

war

It is

adaptable to
readily admits

the

of the state.
Pragmatism
purposes
that what
is true for one
be false for another.
The
may
material
same
raw
give rise to different versions of
may
truth.

We

have

Ministers, the
British
The

the

news

House

Empire,

the

of

now

retailed

Commons,

Allies,the Neutrals

to

the

the

Cabinet

citizens

and

of

the

the Enemies.

fact is

adapted to different ends, and so assumes


different shapes. The
worst
superstitionsof the world
be defended
this hypothesis. It is good to believe
can
on
that there is a hangman's whip in the other world, as
it is likely
to make
Now
whatever
people less wicked.
its residual difficulties may
that
be, experience shows
it certainly
does work, and that the problem is
to
determine it so that it will combine
with all the working
truths"
(Pragmatism, p. 299). Apologistsfor various
same

"

...

doctrines

take

It is suited

shelter

to be

the

in the

philosophyof pragmatism.
It has
philosophyfor the masses.

nothing to do with the purely intellectual and objective


to support faith in the
pursuit of knowledge. It seems
crude

sense

as

the power

of

that
believing

which

we

other-

RELIGION

244
wise

know

AND

PHILOSOPHY

Satisfaction

to be untrue.

vm

beliefs

of individual

is its criterion.

pragmatism
Only the solutions which
stead
remain
Thought insubjective and anarchical.
and the fragmentariof remedying the subjectivity

offers

individual

of the

ness

him

his

to

prison is

mind

rivets

the

prison,adding

the

house

consequences,
needs
human

that

of truth.
it

and

That

begins

chains

and

legend

that

the

truth

and

interests, that

the

practical

has

of

account

on

grows
truth

fines
con-

is not

mere

or
reproduction of reality,and that realityis a
copy
construction
are
propositionsquite agreeable to speculative
tempt
pragmatism treats with conserious attempts to solve philosophicalproblems
in a scientific spirit,and
rests its dogmas on
religious
beliefs and instinctive needs, it gives up all pretensions
of a philosophicalmethod.
The
test of
to the claim

idealism.

to

when

lies in its relation

truth

doubt.

no

But

But,
which

know,
and

Dr.

as

is not
truth

no

also insists

admits,

with

there

purpose
is the will

ency,
the will for consist-

from

reallybe

can

will and

human

Schiller

different

it is consistent

unless

the

to

useful

itself and

and

satisfactory

with

whole.

the

"

After man's
aspect of truth.
terests
interest in breathing freely,the greatest of all his inis his interest in consistency (Meaning of Truth,

James

this

on

"

p.

It

211).

therefore

is not

practicalutilitybut

utilitythat is the test.


of co-ordinating our
sense

in the

consistent

It is not

whole.

truth

long as
includes

allows

to

us

'

between

believe

in the

something
There

It is useful

second

wrong.

James

exactly the

whatever

and

the

the coherent.
of the universe,
rationality
than utility. If a theory

same

idea starts

is all the difference in the world

because

it is useful.' The

because

more

convenient

part well in the world, if it works, it

play our

it is true.

is because

mean

we

is the useful

true

experiences into

the

opportune, but the rational and


So

The

tellectua
in-

it is true

first statement

is wrong

thing.

in
r"

'

and
is

'

It is true

rightand

thinking that
True

the verification

is the

the

the two

name

process, useful

for
is the

RELIGION

246
what

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vm

of satisfactions,
possiblesum
both with previous truth
taste included, but consistency,
and with novel fact,is always the most
ant
imperious claimsatisfactory.
(Pragmatism,p. 217). The contradictoryis the unThe
non-contradictoryis the satisfactory.
The
struggle of thought is to avoid the contradictory.
And
this strivingis a part of the great cosmic
process
(seeHumanism, p. 188).
Schiller argues that
the practicalvalue of scientific
their acceptconceptionshas accelerated and determined
ance
(Humanism, p. xiii).This does not prove that
the practicalvalue converts
stimulating falsehoods into
truths.
The
practicalvalue selects truths, popularises
the maximum

gives us

"

"

"

them, but

does

determine

not

acceptance of them

our

as

truths.
There
truth

be

cannot

be

must

the relevant

depends

which

truths

tested

facts.

with

regard

In this

sense

unverified.

are

to

its

Every
capacity to fit

the truth

of

assertion

an

application. Pragmatism rightlystresses


the need
for verification and
experiment. The futility
of useless unverifiable knowledge is evident to all. If in
the process of verification we
find any idea theoretically
its

on

untenable, it is put down


has

pragmatism

its

is verified if in the
for

an

false ; if not, it is true.

as

theory of verification.
guidance of action it serves

idea

An

own

as

stitute
sub-

is, the idea

perception. That

immediate

But

that the two


agree with the perceptionin the sense
action
(see Pragmatism, p. 215). It
prompt the same
is the functional
identity that the pragmatist requires.
must

As
than

immediate
the

experience is

theoretical

upon
construction, the

according to pragmatism
rightperceptionor not.
verification.
is out
coherence.

Even
of
The

recognitionreappears
verification

is whether

where

an

as

real

more

ultimate

idea

leads

test
to

the

only kind of
tion
complete perceptual verificaapply the criterion of
may

But

question,we
same

looked

'this is not

confusion
in the

constitutes truth.

the

between

truth

and

pragmatistcontention
Verification

its
that

only helps us

PRAGMATISM

VIII

to

know

the

does

truth, but
"

247
truth.

make

not

But

still

happens to an idea. It becomes true,


true by events
(Pragmatism, p. 201 ; see also
in Humanism,
p. 118).

James

says

Truth

"

is made
Studies

IV
There

is

if the

question that

no

pragmatist theory

is

interpretedin the way in which its supporters wish us to


difficult
interpretit, it is entirelysubjective.It becomes
for the pragmatist to account
for the common
world
by
reference

which

to

of

private property
Schiller

admits

lead

we

life.

our

Truth

is not

the

but is possessedby all.


one,
any
the individualities of interests,and

that

and

or
points of view are negligible
relatively
ideals and
subordinate, when compared with the common
universal impulses which inspirethe progress of humanity.
Schiller recognisesthe danger of subjectivism to which
pragmatism lies open, and tries to remedy it. He says :
Even
in the individual
there is a good deal of regulation
of the individual's subjectivevaluations ; there is a tendency

purposes

"

to

under

the

the main

initial interests
which
to
p.

and

consolidation

of his life.

purposes
will be

ministered

Hence

suppressed,and
will

them

to

of

subordination

tend

to

interests

of his
many
the valuations

be

withdrawn,

"

be

judged useless,and ultimately false


(Humanism,
therefore say that anything which
cannot
58). We

satisfies any interest is true.


have
We
to find out
main
interests of life,and
whatever
satisfies them
So

the
is

Schiller says, that

though truth is motived


by
desire and emotion, though thought is guided by interest,
there is the securitythat the subjectivevaluations
will
disappear and the objectivelytrue
experiences will
true.

survive.

There

account, for
the

world.

is the
is not

man
"

Even

of one,

minority
precariousunless

social
a

Crusoe

with

can

to
a

be

contrive

to

into

taken
island

desert

truth may
every
existence
is
upon

though

its hold
it

factor

start

for
in

exceedingly

get itself more

exten-

RELIGION

248

AND

PHILOSOPHY

vm

sively appreciated. Those unfortunate enough to have


acquired and retained an exclusive view of truth are
in prisons or
usually secluded
asylums
(Humanism,
social recognition is sometimes
made
p. 58). This
and
sometimes
the
result
the
of
truth
cause
(see
Humanism, p. 59). But majority opinions and beliefs of
not necessarily
The
the multitude
true.
are
question of
truth is not to be decided
whether
individual
by feeling,
"

or

Our

social.

felt

experiencesas

are

neither

true

nor

It is the

false.

interpretationswe put upon them and


that would
their rationality
help us in evaluatingbeliefs.
of pragmatism is due also to the idea
The subjectivism
is entirelyplasticand
that nature
be moulded
to
can
the

facts

of

life contradict

realityhas nothing determinate


and
to any
adapt nature
every

that

view
We

But

desires.

human

cannot

We

the

about

it.

wish

and

in many
that we

yield to nature, stoop to conquer


If nature
is so entirelyplasticand fluid,
cases.
determine
it as we
can
please,how is it that we

meet

often

whim.

so

nature
not

but

have

try

always

to

with

failure ?

to bend

say what

we

it,we
wish

When
do

at

so

do

we

them

not

risk.

our

to say.

bend

to

Facts

do

It shows

that

in the environment.
The
resistingpower
evolutionary concepts of adaptation, natural selection,
that there
is a nature
etc. presuppose
independent of
which
selects us
that we
us
only on condition
adapt
ourselves to it. There is no meaning in the phrase adaptation
if the environment
is only that which
to environment,
For struggle,
wish it to be.
etc. presuppose
we
progress,'
and its resistance to man.
the persistenceof nature
Dr.
Schiller adopts the Aristotelian
the
as
theory of matter
of whatever
form
succeed
in imposing
we
potentiality
material
it. Out of the raw
we
can
develop forms
upon
find its satisfaction.
of lifein which our spirit
can
Though
there

we

do

is

not

the

know

exact

plastic,still Schiller asks


wholly plastic, to act as
"

While

the idea

extent
us

to

to

which

assume

nature

that

it

is
is

this."
believed
though we
is highlyinvigoratingand helps to increase

PRAGMATISM

vin

249

in the world,
importance and responsibility
it is not true.
Reality is not all of our making. There
other forces at work.
Again, the pragmatist's idea
are
ends requiresthat
of shaping our
realityto suit human
fixityabout it. If it is a mere
realityshould have some
either
make
cannot
of incoherency or caprice we
mass
of

sense

our

head

tail of it.

What

at the next.

If

or

succeed
nature

there

then

take

to

as

is

succeeds

this moment

realityshould

different

forms

at

not

may

be of such

different

protean

moments,

question of true or false, successful or


Everything succeeds, and therefore everything

no

unsuccessful.

rightand true.
the theory of absolute

is
As

plain

belief

man's

conflicts
plasticity

leads

and

deadlocks,

to

to

come

and

us

order.

it.

about

determinateness
and
There

we

have

are

James
no

admits

control

relations which
constructions.

over
are

But

that

the

the

pragallows that

hit upon
compromises. Mr. Dewey
organic situation which provokes thought has

matists
the

with

some

sensations

their
thrust

nature

upon

us

when

James
that truth is not a reproductionof a perfectreality
asserts
of gradual completion through the
but only a process
to allow that sensations
activityof thinking beings,he seems
and their relations are not given. For if they are
given to us and are only to be apprehended by us, where is
?
We
cannot
the need for the spiritual
activityof man
conceive
reality to be independent of thought. For
that commits
to a thing in itself behind
us
experience.
the activity of the subject
When
James insists upon
to
hold
he is logicallybound
that there is no
reality
behind
experience,and in experience we have a steady
whole.
flux into a rounded
growth from an indeterminate
James insists upon the givennessof sensations and relations
only to intimate to us that the world which we accept
extent
to a certain
our
as
starting-pointis determinate
in that it is determinable
only on certain lines. Absolute
abandoned.
As
plasticityis therefore
James clearly
and

are

says

not

"

thought

Between

the coercions

of the sensible order

and

250
those
Our

of

AND

ideal

order,

the

ideas

concrete

RELIGION

must
or

with

agree

PHILOSOPHY
mind

our

the

vm

is

wedged

be such
realities,

abstract, be they facts

be

or

tightly.
realities

they principles,

under

penalty of endless inconsistencyand frustration."


Schiller in accounting for the objectivityof the world
the
individuals
constrained
to
are
points out how
think in a particularmanner
at the perilof their lives.
He
also admits
the sensible core
of reality. There
are
sensations
take

and

of.

truth

his

on

us

which

in the last

Pragmatism
suggestion that each

account

the

relations forced

have

we

to

analysisrepudiates

individual

his

makes

own

pleasure. There
other persons with their experiencesand beliefs,and
are
there are also lines determined
for us and not by us along
which alone reality
be constructed
can
(seeMind, xiii.463).
Pragmatism therefore recognisesthe realityof an objective

according to

world.

We

abstraction

only

the

individual

the

whole

though

at

Realityis
of

between
which

be
mean

looked
that

it is useful

are

upon
there
to

In

mere

world

with

unreality.

an

individual

and

It

the

parts, the whole

time

its fulness

vidual,
indi-

it is not

life.

an

through a
action
Truth
construction.
by intergrows
ciples
thought and reality. Pragmatic prinvaluable
in the upward progress cannot
only
as
metaphysical realities. We
It has

ideal

be

lives in the

experience.

an

originaldatum.
process

would

For

in any
completely embodied
animating ideal of every individual's

no

is stillthe

which

world

common

including the

universal, the whole


which

and

worlds.

features

common

be

must

call this

cannot

from

needs

own

are

to

certain

describe

in

be

apprehended

features
terms

of

of

our

life,which

pragmatism.

But

to the
us
pragmatist logic,we have seen, commits
from
absolutist
subjectivism,
metaphysics. To escape
perience
pragmatism is forced to admit that realitywhich is exis not the experience of the individual subject,

the

PRAGMATISM

vin

but

are

imperfect

absolutist
that

The
to

The

as

if worked
whole

which

not

whole

difference
of

modern

in
True

occasioned
and

unworkable.

its

What
hits

off

so

pragmatist

that

we

take

He

is

not

the

believer

partly

answers

sentiment

less

of

this

resolved

his

type

to

opponents

which
is the

he
love

the

is

his

by
most

to
a

its

one

The
to be

to

be

main

observes

so

is

pleasant
or

its

false

The

so-

disguise.
but

sham.
sneer.

hates
own

the

thin

is

another

"

sham,

shriek

for

of
it.

in

positions
pro-

results
in

character

cynic

quite

False

by

quote

of

subjectivism.

to

thoroughly

of truth

only

seems

payment

belief

stick

but

are

aspects.

us

to
a

truth

There

absolutism.

of

leave

ideal

It is the

professes

Stephen

well

that

aware

whole.

parts.

towards

Leslie

connection

called

partial

interprets

principle

all the

teleologicalcharacter

it lands

inclines

with

pragmatism

and

human

court

absolutism

if pragmatism

spirit,then

pragmatism

the

the

actual.

It is the

several

and

by

absolutism

that

of

integration

psychology,

to

externally related,

be

to

the

of

our

any

the

to

forgets

of the

which

as

absolute

idea

the

up

be

be

to

pragmatism

of

while

knowing,

for

no

knowledge

correspondence.'

itself

show

between

independent

that

knowledge,

is the

emphasis,

of

would

gives significance

which

are

reality

that
'

human

things

two

for
and

will

out

subjects

given

static

copy,

in

follow

human

ago

that

say
not

entity existing alongside

of realism

works

we

purposive,

from

long

not

is to

difficulties
which

has

is

absolute

and

aloof

static

knowledge

criticism

worlds

it does

true,

finite

the

personal

absolutism

absolute

one

is

stands

experience
that

of

pragmatist

us

because

ultimately

experiences

value.
known

is

individual

our

But

suggestions.

theory

the

which

of

perfect experience

251

and

sake."

is

he

He
The

understands
mis-

CHAPTER

IX

'

THE

'

'

PLURALISTIC

UNIVERSE

this

touches

WHOSO

reminded

of

this

when

approach

OF

WILLIAM

book

touches

pregnant

saying

of

of

coupled
notice

with

Walt

We

are

Whitman

William

his innate

artistic

individualities

of

temperament,

led him

to

things. This emphasis on


realities of life is the distinguishingfeature
the concrete
of James's work
a
as
philosopher.
psychologist and
Whatever
philosophic effort of his we take, the tendency
to

the

work

man.'

His
James.
powerful intellect,fierce passion for the good, and strong
out
in every
of his writings.
come
empirical sense
page
His early scientific trainingas a doctor and a psychologist,
we

the

JAMES

theoretical

submit

constructions

experience is to be seen.
or
philosophy, pragmatism

and

to

the

Whether
or

test

of

life

it is

radical

psychology
empiricism,

pluralism or theism, studies of religious consciousness


or
psychical research, everywhere that which is original
ful
burning passion to be faithto the concrete
particularsof life. He hates system
and symmetry
whenever
they are secured at the expense
for his impatience
This accounts
of the empiricalrealities.
to

James

can

be traced

intellectualism

with

vicious

which

provide us

which

make

no

popular thought
of

to his

with

'

as

'

finished

provision
such

and

for

evil,the existence of God, and


252

picturesof

the

freedom

abstract

absolutism
the universe,

principlesof
will, the reality

cardinal
of the

the progress

of the world.

RELIGION

254

sion of his vision

and

great fact about

him.

expressionof

of the

man's

of human

reactions
is

more

Who

vision is the

Carlyle'sreason
Philosophy is the

the

tions
all defini-

deliberatelyadopted
it
sophy
(ibid.). Philo"

upon

of

matter

man's

character, and

but

are

ix

for

Spinoza's?

characters

cares

intimate

universe

"

logic.

not

Schopenhauer's or

or

PHILOSOPHY

AND

"

passionatevision

of

than

for the vision afterwards


logiconly findingreasons
that
out
(ibid.p. 176). When
James makes
philosophy is a matter of passion and not logic,that the

logic

"

true

of

method

philosophyis that

of direct and

experience,of intuition,of life,he


with

with

poetry, science

philosophy

we

do

not

is

confusing philosophy

art, criticism

seek

immediate

for faith

with

and

life.

In

but

for

vision

explanation. But as we have already seen


for
of pragmatism, James cares
in the discussion
more
of the conclusion
for its logical
than
the satisfyingness
a

reasoned

Fulfilment

cogency.

importance

to

him

shares

He

of the

needs

of

submission

than

the instinctive

is of

man

to

greater

logic and

beliefs of human

ment.
argunature

universe
and
the eternal self-existing
many,
open
He
and individuality,
freedom
spiritualismand theism.

in

an

gives us
"

war

philosophy of

is the father

strife

of all and

as

in the world

the lord of all

"

we

see

that

(Heraclitus)
.

ought to be the permanent form of the world.


Real possibilities,
real indeterminations, real beginnings,
real ends, real evil,real crises,catastrophesand escapes,

Pluralism
"

and

real God

real moral

life,just as

common

sense

ceptions
things,may remain in empiricism as conthe attempt
which
that philosophy gives up
form
either to overcome
to reinterpretin monistic
or
(Willto Believe,p. ix).
of
itself as the best method
Psychology commends
approach to philosophy,as it considers the self to be the
wonder
It is no
that James, the
unit of the world.

conceives

these

"

greatest psychologistof his age, makes

hang round
to truth.

psychology.
The

The

logicalrightto

his

will to believe
believe

rests

on

philosophy
is the guide
the

psycho-

'

ix

logical will

is not

the

block

fastens

on

but

the

us,

intellect.
of immediate

of

"

of

none

will,
The

us

view

for, after all,his is the


mind

the
mind

the

of

sum

and

criticisms

whose

"

the

flict
con-

for

worse

the

on

is
his

testimony
the judge of

dainfully
dis-

verdicts

typically perfect mind,

demands

whose

world

into

comes

treat

to

intellect

unfinished

amateur

may

255
will

abstract

much

so

world

JAMES

reality we

If intellect

us.

James bases his


experience.

philosophers :

of

plastic,malleable,

demands

the

WM.

which

universe

experience gives
with

kind

The

believe.

to

believe

which

OF

UNIVERSE'

PLURALISTIC

is

dissatisfactions

greatest, the
fatal

are

in

tries
32). If absolutism
rationalise
to
experience while nourishing itself on it,
James's view tends to hold fast to experience as it appears,
and pure, unanalysed and uncriticised.
immediate
Being
in its nature,
James's philosophy
essentiallydemocratic
As he finds
the interests of the plain man.
has in view
experience to be full of multiplicity, diversity and
the

long

(Pragmatism,

run

but

system
and

of

We

will

from

see

of

our

from

not

closed

chance, novelty

take

note

making

of these
coherent

moods

the

that

This
can

fundamental
and

the

of
is
be

he

as

of

James's system that


of its qualities. It is merely
of the empirical individual.

survey

defects

the

greatest defect
nature.

two

must

be

world.

mirroring

is true

to

for

room

every

James takes things


side by side without
The

universe

with

one

open

from

it suffers

the

philosopher
experience and shrink

of the

whole

an

freedom,

features

finds

he

opposition, as

p.

finds

them,

and

leaves

them

attempting to systematise them.


James's philosophy is its unsystematic
due
to James's belief that nothing
stated

systematically. There
aspects of James's philosophy,

one

other

the

positive. The
negative is
the positive is the defence
criticism of absolutism, and
shall first turn
to James's criticism
pluralism. We
negative

absolutist

ic monism.

are

of
of

RELIGION

256

PHILOSOPHY

AND

"

II

James's

to every
repugnance
in all his writings. He

out

comes

of criticisms
Absolutism

the
does
He

Mind

Absolute
than

form

intense

we

makes

may

here

number
consider.

for finite consciousness.


adequately account
If nothing exists but
the
asks,
as
knows
wise
it, how can
anything exist othernot

"

that

as

of which

value

of absolutism

Mind

knows

it ?

That

Mind

knows

act of knowledge along with


thing in one
every
know
without
other thing. Finite minds
other
things
of most
of their
things,and this ignorance is the source
We
thus not simply objectsto an all-knowing
woes.
are
and know
account
subject: we are subjects on our own
from
its knowing
sophy,
differently
(Some Problems
of Philoconsiders
that
the finite
p. 138). Absolutism
individual
is related to the Absolute
knower
as
object
For
collection
to subject.
monism, the world is no
but one
great all-inclusive fact outside of which is nothing
When
the monism
nothing is its only alternative.
this all-enveloping
fact is represented as an
is idealistic,
Mind
the partialfacts by thinking
Absolute
that makes
them, just as we make
objects in a dream
by dreaming
in a story by imagining them.
To be
them
or personages
this scheme
on
is,on the part of a finite thing, to be an
object for the Absolute : and on the part of the Absolute
it is to be the thinker of that assemblage of objects. The
Absolute
is nothing but the knowledge of those objects:
the objects are
knows
nothing but what the Absolute
Universe, pp. 36-37 ; see also pp. 123 and 192(Pluralistic
loses his personal
194). In the absolutistic theory, man
lets things really exist in the
identity. Pluralism
thinks
form
that the
each
or
distributively.Monism
is the only form
collective unit form
that
all form
or
observe
here that
is rational"
(ibid.p. 321). We may

each

"

"

"

"

"

it is

an

error

to

reduce

the

Absolute

purely cognitivesubject. James


regards

finite individuals

"

as

tells

to
us

constituent

the
that

level of

idealism

parts of the

Absolute's
which
the

field of

eternal

find it hard

he would

the

interpretedas

to

257

view

for

get support from

of

idealistic

is

any
monism

oppositeof pluralism,when

extreme

it is said that monism

JAMES

consciousness/'

Again,

absolutists.

classical

WM.

OF

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

ix

the all

assumes

form, while pluralism

logicalprincipleof idealism is
not
all or each, but all in each or identityin difference.
It is the attempt of idealism to unify the manifold, not in
which
for abstract
the superficial
philosophieshas
way
fatal fascination, by either cancellingthe all or the
a
The Absolute
caches, but in a vital and organicmanner.
deletes all differences any more
than
is not a unity which
the

form.

each

aggregate which

mechanical

but
The

fade

have

We
away.
of Parmenides

Spinoza
well

the

well

as

static and

the

that

abstract

We

the

in the

centre
we

and

of

static, and

seek

idealism
but

his ultimate
if each

universe.

it from

the

Bradley

which

makes

but

embodied

the universal

is another
to account

way

point

in which

to

get

self the

the

of view.

truth

Logic

They

particularself
particular.
the

defect

same

for finite life is urged.


have

cannot

of

the

lapsedfrom the
integralexperience of things and
ever

existence

the individual.

is is not
in the

reality.

?
reality

his

attain

cannot

realityof

what

makes

the

assumes

final

reality.We

individual

that

the

not

of

includes

is the

individual
We

clearlyestablish

the Absolute

which

of

identical with

denies, is

life deny the ultimate

There

that

individual

atomic

world

of the

monism

dynamic aspects. James's criticism

absolute

the individual
on

of Plato, the

he exists,but is existence

know

What

own

parts.

the monism

monism,

Hegel, the monism


Bosanquet, the monism

of

one

that

as

that

as

that

as

and

monism

well

as

whole

and

all the

against theories which


regard
a
nd
the
One as the sole reality,
empiricalvariety as
of a temporal unrolling.
the illusive appearance
Absolute
is not the unity in which
all diversities
concrete
of human
disappear and all elements
experience

the

if

collects

holds

criticism

James's

as

The

of absolutism

"

Why should
perfectionof its
itself

refracted
s

AND

RELIGION

258
into all

finite

our

PHILOSOPHY

experiences?

"

ix

"

(P. U.

How, if
p. 120).
there be imperfection?

perfectionbe the source, should


(Some Problems, p. 138). If God was self-sufficiency,
why
did he issue out of it ?
ness
consciousWhy does the supreme
disperseitselfin the dust of several consciousnesses ?
How
reconcile metaphysical unitywith phenomenal
we
can
in at all ?
?
Why should finite centres come
diversity
Mr. Joachim
Mr. Bradley confesses it to be a mystery.
"

admits

the

problem

things in

all

complete

should

involve

to be

form

is error,

But

if absolutism

as

self-assertion which

insoluble

an

fails to

coherence

of

necessary
self-assertion of

the

minds,

finite

the

the Absolute

the

its self maintenance

in

moment

of how

in

its extreme

puzzle (seeP.

U. p. 121).
evil and
error,

for

account

fare better.
the
James admits
pluralism does not
for evil and
incapacity of pluralism to account
fection,
imperby declaring that the problem for pluralism is
not
speculativebut practical, not why evil should
"

all,but how

exist at
it

"

the

(P.

U.

account

the

is not

external

creations,on

is himself

any
because

Yet

panpsychist system.

part when

his functions
pluralistically,

wholly

not

as

not

Absolute, but

system is conceived
taken

of

amount

"

possiblereading of the
God

actual

the pluralistic
on
hypothesis,
p. 124). Even
of creation is not clear.
We
indeed
are

parts of God, and

internal

lessen the

can

we

dissimilar

those

to

of

the
be

can

the

other

parts as similar to our functions consequently.


environment, being in time, and working
Having an
out
a
history just like ourselves, he escapes from the
foreignnessfrom all that is human, of the static,timeless,

smaller

"

perfect Absolute
of whom

creator

world

idealism
The

universe.

the

(P.

we

are

God
p. viii). How
internal parts and a

U.

just like ourselves, it

Absolute
a

"

contends

temporal

is hard

that
is the

for

there

is

us

no

necessary

be

can

part of the

to

conceive.

God

without

condition

of

of perfection.
eternal,imperfection
The

character

objectionof James
of

reality as

that

monism

experienced

contradicts

is invalid.

the

James

ix

'

UNIVERSE

'PLURALISTIC

OF

WM.

JAMES

259

are
acquaintedwith, change
argues that in the world we
novelties
and
is real, and
are
history is real. There
"

time remains
For pluralists,
losses and gains.
struggles,
is great
real as anything, and nothing in the universe
as
to have
static or eternal enough not
some
or
history
(P. U. p. 44). If good is already accomplished,then the
If
process of its gradual accomplishment is an illusion.
of experience,then
evil becomes
God
is the whole
an
of the reality
illusion.
But James has such a deep sense
but revolt
of evil and human
sufferingthat he cannot
against any philosophywhich regards them as illusions,
if not the inevitable alloyof perfection. The world of the
is represented as unchanging, eternal,
Absolute, which
"

out

of time

and

makes

evolution

cannot

either

and

mirage or an illusion,we
appreciate(seeSome Problems,
on
earth, it is all being done.

apprehend or

irrational
the

belief

that

If what

requires it.
unreal.

even

in

world's

the

eternal

though

Absolute

the

is

is

absolutist

mentally
funda-

universe

history is
which

know,

we

soul-

deludes

the

eternal, then

reality,as

of

work

rationalityof

the

is real

historical

But

world

history,a

progress

139). Nothing is done


are
important factors
building. A perfect and
into

which

out

p.
We

us

of

therefore

is

and self-creating,
cannot
essentially
living,self-producing
be

unreal.

Therefore

But

the alternatives

and

the

blank

are

not

eternal

Absolute

exclusive.

be real.
may
which
denies
the

temporal

eternal

the

The

Both

is unreal.
the eternal

absolute

finite world

is not
of

change

and

striving. With James, the absolutists are anxious


to do justiceto the finite process.
They go the length
of saying that there is no Absolute
apart from the finite
As
James well knew, his colleague Royce
process.
there no
(P. U. p. 115) had declared to the effect
were
be no
longing in time, there would
peace in eternity
(The World and the Individual, vol. ii.).
How
does the philosophy of James differ from absolute
idealism ?
The philosophy of the Absolute
agrees with
the pluralistic
philosophy in that both identifyhuman
"

"

"

260

RELIGION

substance

with

in

form

any

but

substance

form, the

never

solutism
ab-

whereas
becomes

fully

its real self

is not

is

view
pluralistic

be
ultimately never
may
substance
of realitymay

there

all, that the


get totallycollected,that

all form

an

But

and
totality,

all

that

believe

willing to

said

of

the

ix

substance.

the

that

in the form

only

PHILOSOPHY

divine

the

thinks
divine

AND

at

remain
of it may
of it ever
made, and

some

largestcombination
form
of reality,the each form, is
that a distributive
logicallyas acceptable and empirically as probable as
the all form commonly acquiesced in as so obviously the
self-evident thing
(P. U. p. 34). But, if God and man
is the meaning of saying that the
identical,what
are
parts of reality are
separate and are only externally
related ?
If there is no
trolling
dominating principleor confrom
another,
spirit,if things are cut off one
have
we
a radical pluralism without
any trace of unity
If realityis a chaos, the general harmony
order.
or
outside

of the

"

which

resulted

has

forces.
in the world
In

139-140).
and

more

reach

monistic

only

it is not

the

with

believes

resultant

of independent
is

unity
complete (Pragmatism, pp.

there

that

there

attain

unity, though complete unity

is not

'

quite

not

idealist.

chance

to

world

infinite

world

actual

James

Ever

the

be

But

more
'

reached.
to

must

"

is

we

deal

attempts

quite acceptableto
does

Absolutism
which

of all finite

is true

formula

tendency

is

that

not
a

say
realised

the
the

unity.

It

only the ideal. We should view the world as a vast


where
and
complex whole
everything is related to
have ; unity
everything else. Pluralityand chaos we
and order we
have to achieve.
;
Victory is not yet won
The
fight is still going
perfectionis not yet achieved.

is

on.

While

it is true

to

say

that

the

One

is unthinkable

multiplicity,multiplicityis unthinkable
without
unity. If James tells us that the finite world is
of individuals with an environment
a plurality
opposed to
without

and

the

external to them, the monistic

the presence

of

an

idealist admits

opposing environment

is

it,since
necessary

262

RELIGION

happens
while

AND

below

here

PHILOSOPHY

without

the

"

of God."

consent

But

morality requires pluralism, religion to

moralityleads

and

the

of

abolition

experience is
transcends
unfinished
But

the

moral.

universe, a
moral

it is swallowed

pluralism in
the highest.

not

the

in which

up demands
Our
moral

monism.

The

which

religiousexperience

Moral

life may
an
presuppose
finite God, and a doubtful
struggle.

life will

lose

its

vitalityand meaning,
and
moral
struggleits inspirationwithout the religious
where
assurance.
Moralitypointsbeyond itself to religion
feel the oneness
of the universe
and see all things in
we
God,
of the
us
Only the religiousconviction assures
is pluraltriumph of good.
Any absolute moralism
ism
absolute
religionis monism
; any
(Introductionto
The LiteraryRemains
of the Late Henry James, p. 1 18) As
religionis the truth and completion of morality, even
is monism
the crown
and consecration
of pluralism.
so
chief argument
The
is put thus :
against absolutism
Prima
facie,there is this in favour of the caches that
they are at any rate real enough to have made themselves
"

"

"

at least appear

to

every

one,

whereas

the

absolute

has,
few mystics,and,

yet, appeared immediately to only a


indeed, to them
ambiguously
(P. U.
as

"

this
to

argument is unsound.
real

us

are

found

to

be

So many
unreal.

p. 129). But
thingswhich appear

The

mystics

are

the

in religion
who
specialists
attempt to see God face to face
and not merely through the eyes of tradition and history.
The average man
is not a mystic. Miss Evelyn Underbill
We
writes :
hope that the great dynasty of the mystical
"

saints
that

will

they

fail,but

never
are

never

the

lessons

likelyto be

numerous.

of

historysuggest
Their

virile

is too difficult for the average


and
is
spirituality
man,
unlikelyin the future,as in the past, to form the dominant
of his religion. Such
element
mystics are the fine flower
of humanity
possessing as their birthrighta special
Like other great artists and specialaptitude for God.
ists,
tion
they have given years of patienteffort to the educain obedience
and full development of those powers

ix

to that

innate

passionfor

the

WM.

perfectwhich

JAMES
is the

263

greatest
is not

mystic's career

the

As

attributes/'

of all human

OF

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

majority of mankind, we should


these great wayfarers
be content
with the tidingswhich
Jan. 1918, p. 363). In
bring back to us" (Theosophist,
belief we
live at second
of religious
matters
hand, and
know."
musicians
We
it is only the mystics who can
say,
They alone can speak,not as the Scribes and the Pharisees,
but as having direct authority. The testimony of mystic
If by mysticism we
is not
consciousness
ambiguous.
not
mean
merely the true spirituallife but magic and
occultism
well, James is right in thinking that the
as
there is mysticism and
verdicts of mystics differ. But
mysticism,mysticism which is magic and mysticism which
is philosophy and the life of spirit,
mysticism which is a
disease of the brain and mysticism which is a discerningof
reality,
mysticism which is delusion and mysticismwhich
within

the

of the

reach

"

"

Differences

is revelation.

seen

are

if

attention

our

is

souls who
bred in
are
religious
creeds and conventions.
Though the soul is the supreme
hampered in its
judge in spiritualmatters, it is much
So
life by the consciousness
of books
and
traditions.
turned

to the

while

those

about

the

have

received

views

who

of the

know

mystic

at
reality

vision

faith

and

second

first hand

are

experience,it
hand

that

unanimous

is those

differ.

If

that
we

interpretmysticism rightlythen, there is nothing more


remarkable
than the perfectagreement of the testimony
from each other in time and
of the mystics far removed
and
of each
race
language. Perfectlyunaware
space,
other's
other's utterances,
each
they still corroborate
evidence, suggesting to us that there is the inexorable
logicof truth which forces them to have the same
ence.
experiThough in the expression of their vision the
of
of the religiousformulae
use
mystics generallymake
the times, they agree
in the fundamental
facts, that
spiritis the all inclusive realityand the world is a divine
manifestation.
God is all and man
is a passing phase of
the infinite.
They know that we inhabit an invisible
'

RELIGION

264

AND
from

environment
spiritual

PHILOSOPHY

"

which

help comes, our soul being


mysteriouslyone with a larger soul whose instruments
we
are
(P. U. p. 308). That a higher principleoperates
in the universe
and that realityis not an assemblage of
things as they immediately are and appear to us, are the
of mystical insight. Absolutism
satisfies the
conclusions
ism
James recognisesthat absolutmystic element in man.
minds
and
has
has given satisfaction to most
noble
for
It offers consolations
thus pragmatist justification.
the
the shortcomings of mundane
existence
and gratifies
It is not impossiblefor the
longing for cosmic emotion.
he can
to reach the mystic state when
man
verify
average
vision.
the truth of the absolutist
The
mystic insight
is within the power
of all. We
only need to employ the
which
few use.
While
so
higher sense
mysticism is not
normal
soul's experience,it still can
enter
a part of the
"

into

it.
how

seen

all form

The
the

it will be
to all when
appear
is a relative
degradation or

all form.

the

'

'

form

each

expression of

can

To

steeped

man

in

the

be
labyrinth,the absolute may
will,
nor
metaphysical monster, neither intelligence

world
"

and

self

neither

good, nor
But

lost in this

collection

nor

beautiful

as

we

of

truthful,

selves, neither

understand

"

these terms

(P. U.).
spirit
all-enveloping

mystic, it is the supreme


which
is perfectionitself. Absolutism
is not, therefore,
without
its empirical verification. James admits
that
the existence of mystical states absolutelyoverthrows
the pretensionsof non-mystical states to be the sole and
of what
ultimate
dictator
believe
we
(Varieties
may
of ReligiousExperience,p. 427).
A great difficulty
in the way of acceptingabsolutism
is,
to

the

"

"

How

can

time
to

his

one

shrink
own

vindicate

consciousnesses
many
consciousness
?
This
from

be

responsiblefor
conception of

it is
the

that

led

James's
earth-soul.

now
was

him

and

one

problem

absolutism, but
satisfaction,though it
absolutism

at

he

enthusiasm
Fechner

do

same

James

solved

his

not

to

led

once

has

the

it to

anxiety

so.

for
assumes

to

is

What
Fechner's

that

ix

OF

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

WM.

265

JAMES

and separate. They can


experiencescombine
identity unchanged while they form
keep their own
parts of wider fields of experience. James, for long, was
of opinion that such
combinations
were
impossible,and
that higher thoughts were
pounds.
psychic units and not comJames says : Shall we say that every complex
fact is a separate psychic entitysucceeding upon
mental
lot of. other
a
erroneously
are
psychic entities,which
called its parts, and
superseding them in function, but
the
not
being composed of them ? This was
literally
I took in my
logy
course
psychology, and if followed in theoshould have to deny the absolute
we
ceived,
as
usuallyconshould
and replaceit by the God
We
of theism.
also have to deny Fechner's
earth-soul and all other superhuman
collections of experience of every
grade, and so
conscious

"

far at

least

these

as

are

held

to

be

compounded

of

our
"

believed in
Fechner
simpler souls in the way which
(P. U. chap. v.). But Fechner's philosophy has such a
fascination for James that he rebels against the tyranny
of logic and
We
seeks shelter in Bergson's intuition.
cannot
still
this compounding, but
logicallyconceive
of it. Life seems
to
realityaffords practicalevidence
be irrational.
We have only
to give up the logic,
fairly,
squarely and irrevocably as a philosophicalmethod,"
for
reality,life,experience, concreteness, immediacy,
what
word
use
will,exceeds our logic,overflows and
you
surrounds
it
(ibid.). Thus
by declaring that life
transcends
logic,James upholds the possibilityof the
his
withdraws
states
and
compounding of conscious
previous objectionto psychic synthesis(seePsychological
that
the
Review, 1895). Now
self-compounding of
in its smaller and more
mind
accessible portions seems
a
certain fact, the speculativeassumption of a similar but
wider compounding in remoter
be reckoned
regionsmust
with as a legitimatehypothesis. Mental
facts do function
both
singly and together at once, and we finite minds
"

"

"

"

simultaneouslybe conscious
It is
superhuman intelligence."

may

one

another

doubtful

whether

with

in

the

266

RELIGION

AND

is

relation
here
be

analogous

of the Absolute

the

view

to finite

is clear

truth, James

criticised
of

this account.

on

the

composition of -mental
metaphysical problem of the

the

to

earth-soul

consciousness.

The

minds, but whatever

be

cannot

vindicatingFechner's

allows,that

form

cosmic

absolutism

that
In

James

somehow

can

ix

the

of

psychologicalproblem
states

PHILOSOPHY

parts of

mind

human

sciousnesses
con-

superhuman
well unify

can

very
supplement its finite elements without in any way
beings. It is
diminishing their reality as individual
and

thus

to

open

least

absolutist

an

to

parts of the higher mind,

as

finite selves

consider

if he is not

even

at

orised
auth-

passing thoughts of God


But James is satisfied,
or his unreal
seeing
appearances.
is admitted,
the Absolute
that, though the conceivabilityof
it is done at the expense
of logic. It is the anti-intellectualism, if anything, that can save absolutism, if at all.
in

regardingthem

the

as

Ill
While
that

of

James's
monism,

of

view

pluralism is

his method

contrasted

with

is contrasted

of irrationalism

James believes that


rationalism
and
monism
together, he upholds an
go
irrationalist pluralism. As logicalsystems of absolutism
do not satisfythe cravings of the will,James suspects
in logic. The
intellectual method
is thin and
a
snare
is thick and
concrete.
abstract, while James's method
of
The
former
is the purely logical
and dialectical way

with

that

of

intellectualism.

thinking,which
objects,while

the

positive facts

and

the

proud

pursues

but

tendency

necessary

never

arid

to

get

path
but

life.
of

from

latter stands

the humble

particularsof
the

is severed

As

What

leaves

contact

it.

in

particular
region of

secure

Absolutism

follows

while
intellectualism,

James
fertile path of resortingto the
James is fightingagainst is
of

While

abstractionism.
on

the

on

with

abstraction

life,abstractionism

philosophy. Concepts help

us

to

predict

is fatal
the

is
to

future,

WM.

OF

UNIVERSE*

'PLURALISTIC

ix

267

JAMES

they are of no value if they do not help us in the


world of perception. As the concepts are the instruments
by which we can grasp the rich moving world, we cannot
Abstractionism
totallybreak from the concrete current.
anatomises
the livingwhole, while abstraction
helps us
of
and
to realise its wealth
complexity. On account
and

the whole, but


grasp
it piecemeal, but this does not mean

human

our

limitations

will have
that

But

cannot

we

study
is conAbstractionism
demned
parts exist by themselves.
by the intellectualist systems of concrete idealism.
ism
abstractionJames neglectsthe distinction between
of abstraction, and
and
the use
complains of the
to

intellectualist's

give

only

us

method.
abstract

He

that

holds

can

things,wherein

of

outlines

concepts

we

continuity,and their
The
With
living connections.
Bergson, James says,
of life is its continuously changing character
essence
;
but our
and fixed
(P. U.
concepts are all discontinuous
When
broken
the realityinto concepts
p. 253).
you have
miss

should

their concreteness,

their

"

"

"

of

of discreteness

amount

no

"

concrete

"

(ibid.).

can

the

manufacture

you

irrational
logically

Life is

Out

it in its wholeness.

reconstruct

can

never

you

"

(ibid.

be
changing world cannot
by our intellect,but has only to be directly
told
are
apprehended by living experience itself. We
The

p. 208).
conceived

that

reality of

concepts

as

cannot

describe

life to

signifyit

fixed

are

life.

But

should

why

describe

or

life is

while

than

of the
is

no

other.

ground

The

Philosophy is
thing. It does not

are

condemning
inadequate to

ones
try the teleological

There
to

is

no

intuition

need
and

to

such

riches
one

like

of

sensible

One

life.

of

is not

logic.

require

tion
falsifica-

experience

If mechanical

the flow of

life,we

may

life,organism, beauty,

surrender
other

of

life,

not

formulas

abstract

continuityof

for the

determinations

concept resemble

it ?

thought is the
James to tell us that the
metaphysics are not the concrete
cannot
supersede the other, though
any more
a William

fluid, concepts

hard

doubtful

thinking
remedies.

and

etc.

take

268

RELIGION

Again,
is

AND

does

what

James

irrational
logically

the

embodiment

to

intellectual

us

such

life

by

of

"

is also

rational,and

the

doubt

radical but

that
the nature

the

two

the

real is the
the

rational

James's chapter

we

He

on

M.

writers

of intellect and

shall find that

true

"

life

it is not
lend

itself

But

James gives
interpretationof
argues the question of

pluralism and tries to


monism.
It is logic that
No

that

mean

versus

pluralism.
a

he

that

If so, it cannot

reason

of intellect.

his powers

of
futility

not

Does

"

by saying

mean

interpretationat all.
artistic though incoherent

an

monism

PHILOSOPHY

convince
has

us

of the

led

James
experienced,but

view

of life would

to

it
be

empiricism.
Bergson gives us the impression
of the same
are
opinion about
its objects. But on examination

it is not

so.

While

both

discredit

the

ent
conceptual function altogether,they do so for differBoth
mediacy
imreasons.
recognisethe distinction between
and reflective experience. To Bergson immediacy
and
intellect is a fall from
belongs to pure duration
the pure flow.
To James immediacy
it,as it disintegrates
mediate
belongsto perception,impulse and feeling. As this imto the
experienceis conflicting,
knowledge comes
to remedy
its defects.
Intellect in James does
rescue
not
disintegratebut harmonises.
Bergson and James
have
different views
of intellect.
According to Bergson
but things are
things intelligible,
concepts alone make
not
the livingflux.
They are static aspects of reality,
which is genuine freedom
and continuous
creation.
When
the flow of life is arrested, it solidifies into hard
lumps
which
call things. To know
we
realityas it is,we must
plunge into the stream of consciousness
things
; to know
as
they are, concepts are
quite adequate. Intellect
correctlyrepresents things. Bergson with James regards
intellectual distinctions
and
ments
instruas
logicalmethods
of practicalaction.
But Bergson does not believe
in the ultimate
realityof the world of practice. As the
faction
concepts of intellect have arisen for the satisof practicalneeds, their validityis also confined

tools and

RELIGION

270
Sense

AND

experience is

terminus

to

him

PHILOSOPHY
the

ix

terminus

and

quo

the

quern of
the lines of Plato and
ad

knowledge. Bergson develops on


and
Spinoza; James looks to Hume
Mill for inspiration.For him, the true home
of reality
is
Hfe.
to be sought in the primitiveflux of the sensational
James's world- view is based on the testimony of immediate
experience. It is one of radical empiricism as he himself
stylesit.
IV

empiricism according to James consists of


postulatethat things which are of an inexperience-

Radical

(i) a

able nature

Absolute, thing-in-itself,
etc., do

like the

part of the material


of fact, that
statement

for

form

well

conjunctive as
matters

of direct

less

than

so

the

"

the

not

philosophicdebate

relations

things,

between

(2)a

disjunctive,are just as much


nor
particularexperience,neither more
things themselves
; (3) a generalised
that
all portions of our
phenomenal
as

"

"

conclusion, viz.
world
continuous,
are

one

another, without

with

their
as
being necessary to serve
foreignprinciple
or
(The Meaning of Truth, Preface,
support

cement

"

Our
the

experienceis not to
experiencewith which it is

immediate
pure

experience

rid

of

all

conceptual

be

any

p.

xii).

identified with

continuous.

elaboration

does

Pure
not

limit.
We
reach
can
only an unattainable
consciousness.
It is not to be identified
it by relaxingour
with a purely subjectivestate, for to James everything
More
is both
and
correctly,
subjective
objective.
self and not-self arises later (see
the distinction between
exist.

It is

Empiricism,p. 23). We may be inclined to call


theory panpsychism, as we find experience everywhere,
is
contradiction
and an
unconscious
experience a

Radical
this

tion,
James would not consent to this descripstitutes
conaccording to him pure experience which
as
it. Not
about
reality has nothing conscious
things are directly
only things but relations among
in terms.

But

experienced. The

relations

that

bind

and

contribute

to

ix

oneness

immediate

of

data

have

unify
they

much

quite as

are

the

This

bound

relations

which

the

be

be

the

as

terms

externalityof
and

radical

any element
that
connect

if relations

"

The

271

are

immediate

James's
Empiricism to

admitted, they should


"

JAMES

that

terms

of

view

into its constitution


and

WM.

metaphysical status

same

vision.
admit

the

as

effect of

is the

OF

experience.

differentiate.

relations

'

UNIVERSE

'PLURALISTIC

laristic
particu-

should

not

that is not

experienced,
experiences are
tions
experienced relathe system
(R. E.
"

viewed

as

"

anything else in
It is
experience is the stuff of the world.
p. 42). Pure
viewed
mental
material
or
as
according to the context.
In itself it is unqualifiedactualityor experience. The
table is physical when
regarded as part of the chain of
physical causation, mental when
regarded in relation to
the function
of knowing.
Sensation
and
the sensible
What
realityare absolutelyidentical with each other.
is in one
context
becomes
in
a
physical phenomenon
real

as

another

and

fact

real does

as

of

consciousness.

differ from

not

and

object, thought
of
of

knack
mind

and

is the

functional

getting into
outer

function

different

that

The

of the

thing
order.

the

psychic. Subject
but practical distinctions
experience has a

are

Pure

places at once, the human


consciousness
distinguishes

two

What
space.
of knowing which

parts of pure

of

content

is

relation

experience. Knowing

between
involves

The pragmaexperiencefelt in two different contexts.


tist's theory of truth follows from
this doctrine.
Truth
an

is

transcendent, indefinable

no

particularrelation
A

between

conscious

is real, but

not

the

true

we

take

it leads
leads

of its existence.
into account
to

Truth

It

only

ence.
experi-

is with

the

It bears the immediate


and

falsity
apply

the

happens

and

contradictions,it is false.

to ideas.

fragment of experience

false.
it.

only

when

leadingsof this experience.


confirmatorydevelopments, it is true ; if

to deadlocks

therefore

or

stamp of realityimpressed on
evidence

different parts of

occurrence,

either

relation, but

It is not

an

If
it

Truth

intrinsic indefin-

RELIGION

272
able

qualitybut

AND

an

PHILOSOPHY

extrinsic

and

facts of
on
supervenes
of the relation between
attribute

which

the future

James

adventitious

experience.
the

experience.
regards radical empiricism
The

pragmatism.

view

as

an

is

the

attitude,but

not

as

mental
funda-

more

is too

On examination
we
produce a shock.
be justified
radical empiricism can
only
or

It

present fact and

originalnot

shall

to

mind

property

of

course

than

"

as

find that

temper of

philosophy or

doctrine.

does
involve
not
relation to a
thing which
knower, experience is a queer use of terms.
Experience
It implies over
and
is always a relation.
the
above
it is
object experienced relation to a subject by whom
admit
that
the actual
though we
experienced. Even
mediation,
object is immediately given, without
any
There
it does not follow that experienceis not a relation.
of being,
is a difference between
being and consciousness
reduce
all things
and
cannot
existence
knowing. We
in the universe, acts, objectsand contents, to experience
James says that everything
pure and simple. Again, when
of pure
is this
is born
ask, What
experience,we
that which
James thinks that it is
pure experience?
To

call

"

It is another
yet any definite what."
feelingand sensation, which perhaps new-born

is not

their

first moments

sensation, we
that

says

But

have.

mental

and

material

differ only
experienceswhich
repudiates a distinction which
very

structure

argument
100

of

Kant

dollars which

in
is

babes

in

if it is

even

requirea feelingindividual.

both

for

name

feelingor
When
James

states

their

are

pure
functions, he

imbedded

in

the

the ontological
experience. Criticising

asked, What
I think

is the

of and

100

difference

between

dollars in my
coat
it is nothing. We

is that
James's answer
Humism
with
its doctrine
to be
perilouslynear
seem
differ not in their stuff,
of ideas and impressions which
accidental
but in some
qualitieslike the aggressiveness,
with which
they strike on the mind, concreteness, etc.,

pocket ?

Are

we

to

imagine that

pure

experienceis

material

when

'

ix

it is

the

between

two

it

only

to

say

and

mental

OF

the

concepts which

that

JAMES

difference

material

same

function

according

have

273

Is the difference

physicaljust a

of arranging the
ways
and
difference of context

WM.

it is thin ?

when

thick,and mental

between

'

UNIVERSE

PLURALISTIC

Is

Are

we

James

to

sensations, or ideas,which have a mental


logicalreality,
objectslike trees and houses, which have a physical
reality,
of pure
experience? James
only forms
reality,are
a

in the affirmative.

answers

holds

He

that the

item

same

ness
objectin mind, or a state of consciousto the
or a physicalthingin the outer- world, according
the item enters (seeR. E.
net- work of relations into which
thing that now
figuresas
pp. 13-14). If it is the same
as
thing,how is it we have two sets of
thought and now
propertieswhich differ so much ? But James thinks that
the two are not so widely different as commonly conceived.
For he asks,
How, if subjectand object were
separated
by the whole diameter of being and had no attributes in
to tell,in a presented and
would
it be hard
common,
in through
recognised material object,what part comes
becomes

either

an

'

'

"

'

out of one's own


part comes
organs, and what
head
?
(R. E. p. 29). It is James's considered opinion
not by the presence
that the two worlds differ,
or absence

the

sense
'

of

"

but by
qualities,
If both

?
contrast

Can
the

possiblefor
absolute

physicalcontexts refer to the same


not
have a comprehensive consciousness

we

not

we

have

context

one
us

they exist.

and

mental

experience,can

in which

the relations

to

have

an

experiencein

with
such

the
a

other

which
?

we

can

It is

quite
higher experience,an

mind

distinguishedfrom the relative minds


with their specialcontexts.
What
this theory is the nature
of self ?
sciousness
Conon
a
as
metaphysicalentity is dismissed. It is
a
complex of pure experienceswhich can be related in
various ways.
It is only a context
of experiences. The
items figureas members
of diverse relational consame
texts.
Grouped in one way these items form mind, in
the physical world.
relation
The
another, they form
T

RELIGION

274
between

be

that

what
a

PHILOSOPHY

object becomes

subject and

know

not

AND

the

makes

total context

and
illusory,
of self. May

do

we

it not

for the
is necessary
to account
identical
Do we not requiresome

knowledge ?
being throughout the psychical changes ? How else can
we
explain the obvious
psychologicalfact of a self
Can a
which
all thoughts, feelingsand desires ?
owns
be capable of personal activity?
mere
passingstate
stood
The
be easilyunderproblem of knowledge cannot
this theory. Our
on
knowledge of objects is of
two kinds, knowledge of either mental
or physicalobjects.
is mental
We
can
say that knowledge of an object which
ledge
belongs to the mind series,but to what series does knowof a physical object belong ?
The
problem of
perceptualexperienceis unsolved in this theory.
To say that realityis experience means
in theory of
as
knowledge that realityis known
experienced. But
it
the way
in which
James interpretsexperiencemakes
impossible for the individual to reach other realitythan
his own
experience. In systems of Idealism, while sense
data are
of knowledge, it is
taken
the starting-point
as
of
possiblefor us to transcend sense knowledge by means
ing
thought. But that way is closed to James. For accordto James things as well as relations are
given to us
immediately in experience. We have but to open our eyes
If we
to see in experiencethingsas well as their relations.
process

of

context

"

'

'

irrationalise

and
reality

with

assume

manifold, then there is work


is to induce

order

for any such


the given order is

and

need

The

The

function

real order

for

outside.

unity from

thought

that it is

Kant

with

connected
dis-

thought which
is

There

no

James's view, as
unity and continuity.
in

stitute
thought is only to represent and subof all truth.
symbols for experience,the source
value of thought consists in its adequacy to experience.
be
in relation
Its function
to experience may
function

compared
reserve.

concrete

of

to that

Thought

of paper
can

situations,but

in relation

currency

abstract
we

can

and
never

to

gold

generalisefrom
go

beyond

them.

ix

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

OF

WM.

JAMES

275

transcend
experience.
thought can never
from
on
We
transcend
passingexperiences,for we move
cannot
But we
one
experience to the next.
go beyond
if we
the individual's
can
experience. It is doubtful
vidual's
the indithis theory recognise a realityother than
on
own
experience. James accepts as axiomatic
the existence
of a multiplicityof human
beings. Has
individual acquire
does
he any
an
right to it ? How
does James get over
knowledge of other minds ? How
Objective reference is an incident of the
solipsism?
cient,
insuffiof our
fact that so much
an
as
experiencecomes
and consists of process and transition
(R.E. p. 71).
have
than what
be something more
There
felt,
must
we
Our
experience is not
realityexisting elsewhere.'
but
self-sufficing
points beyond. But for this impulse
to pass beyond given experiences our
experiencemight
It follows

that

"

"

'

remain

subjective.It

self-transcendent.

point outwards

will not
if there

But

is

if it is not

necessity

internal

an

compellinggiven experiencesto point beyond themselves,


follow that there

does it not

internal

are

relations

as

well ?

only satisfyingand self-sufficient experienceis that


does not point beyond itself,
which
and that is the whole
to
related
experience. Fragmentary experiences are
The
other fragments and will never
satisfyour reason.
The

whole

alone

is

dissatisfaction with

Our
self-containing.

'

more
immediately felt,and our need to call for
of the
due
to
the fragmentary, discordant
nature
are
given. The felt discord is the stimulus to thought. Our
tries to purge the given of its discord and contradiction
reason

the

and

tendency to
demand

to

pass from
eliminate

experience.
harmonious
admits

as

The
its supreme
laws.
the given is traceable to the logical

it conform

make

Our

much

the

reason

whole

which
when

'

he

to

contradictions

from

will not

stop until

includes

all

we

presented
reach

the

experiences. James
observes, Though one part of
"

it
another
part to make
upon
it may
what
it is in any one
of several aspects in which
be considered, experience as a whole
is self-containing
our

experience may

lean

RELIGION

276
and

leans

AND

PHILOSOPHY

ix

nothing" (Journal of Philosophy,Psychology


and
plicitly
Methods, ii. 114). Thus
Scientific
James imabsolute
the reality of an
admits
experience.
Solipsism he tres to get over
by saying that there are
The
meet.
some
common
objects in which our minds

experiencemay

same

into

run

million

separate individuals' different

can

coincide

to

come

object

in certain
of

become

part
In short, how

?
in

on

universal

by positinga

consciousnesses

gets

and

of

and

experience
the

can

of

which

serves

as

universe

this

over

same

ness
conscious-

objectsor

consciousness

individual
basis

How
fields

have

we

Idealistic monism

common

different

can

of

currents

points ?

How

contexts.

difficulty

includes

the

of union

bond

there is agreement.
agreement, wherever
As for the mind, James says,
Why do I postulateyour
"

mind

see

your

body acting in

gestures,facial movements,

expressive,so

are

I deem

life like mine.

inner

"

(R. E.

reason

pp.

it actuated

of

account

certain

way.

Its

conduct
as

argument

my
from

generally
is by an
own
analogy is my

77-78).

criticism of asbolutism

The

and

words

This

pluralism. We

has
are

resulted

in

negative

insensiblyled

to

think

and
James's system guarantees freedom
novelty,
God who is of real help to us and personalimmortality.

that
a

Let

whether

see

us

As

we

universe

so.

of
already stated, the whole is in course
The
total of things is not yet a single
sum
a
totalityof conflictingindividuals. The
sustained
by the perpetual struggle among

have

realisation.

system

it is

but
is

forces
it. The
that
connections
compose
many
of linkages,
the parts are
and
yet of the nature
among
tinct
not
organic. The individuals are disyet vital and
the

; there

quitea

real

is
one.

no

doubt
But

we

about
cannot

unification,the impulse towards

it.

The

world

understand

unity

and

process is
the growing
the

visions

278
A

rejectsthe
is not

in

admit

his

mechanical
favour

capable of
psychology he
is

of mental

While

in his

p.

soul

doubt

no

concept. Mental
to support it.

'

he

'

The

'

is

be

as

an

not

mental

Separate experiences hang


fringes. Is it this kind of individual

The

without

it.

question,
up (see
scholastic

and

require a subject
experience is only
199). All that we
of consciousness.

to

on

that

another's

one

James

proposes

conserve

In

factory
satis-

theory,

open

one"
to some
(P. U. p.
appear
need is the passingthought of each moment
to

to

In

body.
more

for

useless

experience does
To

the

completely gives it

he

soul

not

requireit.

not

it

leaves

life,it

monad

accounted

be

can

James

individuality

it to be

does

volving
in-

as

does

He

theory.

the material

or

Universe

"

when

of mental

considers

psychology

psychology

210).

But

ground of man's
surviving the death of

life

in his Pluralistic

soul.

is the

he believes that

U.

'

the

the mind-stuff

unity

P.

ix

determination

of

soul which

of the

independence

than
but

PHILOSOPHY

hypothesis is generallyregarded
pluralistic
the

and

AND

RELIGION

view

of

immortality, James points


the brain is the individuatingorgan, and how
out how
when
brains
are
destroyed our drops of consciousness
in which
he
The
slipback into the shining sea.
way
of Plato
or
one
Spinoza,
develops the theme reminds

developinghis

rather

of

than

Leibniz

experience, such
one

fixed

this,that
like trees

as

conclusion
we

with

in the

Renouvier.

or

"

it is limited

it is

(and
dogmatically emerges,

our

lives

forest.

are

The

like islands

maple

and

of

Out

my

enough),

and

in the sea,
the

their leaves, and

is

that

or

pine

may
Conanicut

whisper to each other with


and Newport hear each other's fog-horns. But the trees
also commingle their roots in the darkness
underground,
and the islands also hang together through the ocean's
of cosmic
bottom.
sciousness,
conJust so there is a continuum
our
individualitybuilds but
against which
accidental

plunge

as

forces, and
into

mother

which

into
sea

or

our

reservoir.

several
Our

'

minds
normal

'

ix

consciousness
external

is

un

favour

279

to

our

in

is weak

fence

the

in, showing

break

Not

connections.

common

metaphysical philosophy and

but
led

such

some

on

JAMES

adaptation

beyond

from

verifiable

only psychic research,


speculativebiology are
with

but

earthly environment,

otherwise

WM.

OF

for

circumscribed

spots and fitful influences


the

'

UNIVERSE

'PLURALISTIC

in

their

to look
ways
of the universe

own

pan-psychicview

viduals
Magazine, 1908). If the indi(The American
of a
mind,
common
are
only manifestations
unique expressionsof an underlying unity, is it right to
call this theory pluralism?
who
There
are
(likeDr. Howison) in their
pluralists
and the spiritual
anxiety to safeguardthe self-sufficiency
hold them
of the monads
to be timeless.
nature
James
He
is interested in
does
not
belong to that group.
the temporal becoming of the individual, the process of
his development. James calls himself
a
lengthwise
pluralist(seeInternational Journal of Ethics,pp. 141-142,
bias.
to his psychological
vol. xxi. No. 2). This is due
No philosophy
Experience is a flow, a temporal succession.
can
ignore the temporal quality of experience.
The world that each of us feels most
intimatelyat home
with is that of beings with histories that play into our
as
we
can
history,whom
help in their vicissitudes even
they help us in ours
(P. U. p. 49). In the interests
of ethical freedom
James emphasises time and becoming,

as

this

"

"

"

"

"

but
the

if there

is

no

individual

pluralismbecomes

but

who

is to be

time

word.

empty

an

subjectto

VI
Let
and

us

whether

see

immortality
with

absolutism

satisfactory. As
do

asks, How
?
of

the

He

are

James's views
radicallydifferent

existence

not

of

bear
worry
God.

be

can

everywhere

these

does

and

of

from

else,

about
He

those

regarded
even

man's

on

God, freedom

the

simply

as

ciated
assomore

here, James

ence
experi-

life and

so-called
wants

to

proofs
know

280

RELIGION

how

belief

AND
God

in

PHILOSOPHY

will

ix

what

work,

characteristic

"

results

has.
religiousemotion
According to William
James all the philosophico-theological
arguments which
in view

have
the

demonstration

the

of his attributes

determination

only

notions

those

of God's

have

are

illusory.In

real content

existence

which

are

and
fact

preted
inter-

(Smile
practicalconduct
Boutroux, Science and
Religion, English translation,
to give us a God who
whether
p. 318). James is anxious
he satisfies the intellectual requirements, fulfils
not
or
by

moral

the

differences

the

and

in

fashion

in

"

religiousdemands.

practicalneeds

and

by

met
sufficiently

"

Meanwhile

experiences of religionseem
the belief that

continuous

with

beyond

him, there

each

the
to

me

man,

and

larger

exists

which is friendly
to him and to his ideals. All that
power
the facts require is that the power
should
be both other
and
larger than our conscious selves. Anything larger

do, if only it be large enough to trust for the next


it need not be solitary. It
step. It need not be infinite,

will

be

might conceivablyeven
self,of which
mutilated

the

only

larger and

present self would

expression,and

the

then

like
god-

more

be but

the

universe

ably
might conceivbe a collection of such selves of different degrees of
absolute
inclusiveness, with no
unity realised in it at
all. Thus
would
sort of polytheism return
a
us
upon
(Varieties
of ReligiousExperience,pp. 525-526). Only the
polytheism James thinks to be possibleand probable is
where
the
not the crude polytheism of primitivereligions,
Lords many
and Gods many
quarrelwith one another, but
a
perfectharmony where the several heroes co-operate
with
another.
one
Polytheism is only a possibility
(see Varieties,pp. 524-526). In his chapter on Fechner
in the Pluralistic Universe, James suggests that there is
for a hierarchy of superhuman
room
beings. But the
conceptionof God, which has the hearty support of James,
of all spiritual
is that of an elder brother
beings,vaster,
wiser, and more
powerful,but not essentiallydifferent
"

from

them.

He

dwells

in

the

world

and

works

under

ix

limitations
God

us

to

our

imposed by
and

prayers
that God

knows

281

JAMES
James

offers

limited, but stilllends his


after

looks

of any

to be

WM.

its essential nature.

is finite and

who

OF

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

to

use

But

wants.

our

man

should

ears

James
be

tinuous
con-

friendlyto him, more


powerful than
at least large enough
to trust for the next
step.'
man,
will
But unless God
is infinite and all comprehensive, we
this security. Unless
God
is continuous
with
not
have
each
individual
and
more
powerful than all these put
trust
the outcome
of the struggle.
together,we cannot
If there is something outside God, as there will be if he
is only a big man,
then he may
suffer defeat on bigger
A finite God, even
issues.
though he does his best along
with

man,

'

with

in

man

Napoleon

or

the end, but

bad

world,

Caesar

be

cannot

muddle

may

sure

of

through

success.

difficulties to

it is

quitepossiblehe may not.


James takes
his stand on the realityof the moral
struggle. It feels
like a real fight as if there were
something reallywild in
"

"

the

universe, which

we

indeed

with

all

idealities and

our

fulnesses
faith-

"

redeem

(Will to Believe,p. 67).


James suspects the Absolute, as it derealises the struggle
in (see P. U. p. 49). The
at home
world
is a
we
are
battlefield between
the forces of reason
and chaos, light
and darkness.
In this field of combat
ling
peace is quarrelare

with
Reason

life with

war,

and

to

light,life

through human
requiresa power

death, existence with


and

existence

effort.

extinction.

slowly progressing
this struggle that

are

It is in

largeenough to trust for the next


it life is a gamble and is not worth living.
step. Without
can
Only the Absolute
give us the security we need.
But James did not like this view of things. So he turns
man

round

and

says

we

do not

need

be assured

to

of the issue

of the

it.
about
struggle. It is better to be doubtful
must
be
We
willingto take the universe to be really
dangerous and adventurous"
(Pragmatism, chap. viii.).
"

Pluralism
but
for

does

not

think

only hopes that it may


shipwreck in detail

that

the

be saved

with

"

or

even

world

on

will be
the

saved,

help of

the whole

man,

is among

282

RELIGION

AND

PHILOSOPHY

ix

"

the

possibilities (Some Problems


of Philosophy,
For practicallife,at any rate, the chance of
p. 142).
salvation is enough
(Varieties,
p. 526). The world may
open

"

"

be

saved, but there is

What

inducement

gives no

answer

the

or

to

port
ask,

"

certaintythat

no

will there be for

it shall be saved.

to the

question,whether
shipwreck on the way

suffer

Is there

in

somewhere

if

to work

man

the

would

we

James

We

reach
bound

are

immensities

some

faint hope of toleration and


responsive kindliness,some
assistance,something sensiblyon our side against death
and

mechanical

cruelty?
Is

evil ?

nature

stretched

no

end

"

Brillingsees

it

is

is not.

If he

for us, who

can

or

its
the

and

"Is

or,

life in

quiveringupon

for

sector

"

is,he

table

Is

man

vivi-

eternal

of the

of

scheme

"

119

offers

whole
cruel ?

essence

without

through,pp.

the

us

pity ?
(Wells, Mr.
and
294). God either
the security. If God

against us ? If he is not, we have


ourselves to capriceand fate,taking courage
to surrender
in both our hands.
If we
feel that we
are
wrestlingwith
a relentless antagoniston
a hopeless issue it will paralyse
It will produce a chillingsense
our
springs of action.
of aimless
effort which
will numb
our
hopes. James
be

believes in God,

be

tells

that all is bound

sure

that

us

we

to go well.

can
"

trust

him, and

world

with

is

God

in it to say the last word


indeed
burn
up or freeze,
may
of the old
but we
think
still mindful
then
of him
as

bring them elsewhere to fruition ; so


that where
he is,tragedy is only provisionaland partial,
and shipwreck and dissolution
not the absolutely final
Things
Conceptionsand Practical Results,
(Philosophical
culminates
such
as
an
argument logically
p. 14). But
ideals and

sure

to

"

in
to

absolutistic

an

James,

he

conceptionof God,

suddenly

turns

the

which

tables,

is

red

abandons

rag
the

scheme, and asks us to consider the world to be


wild and chaotic, dangerous and irrational,and dispense
with belief in God, which
alone can
give us the assurance
whole

that

ultimately the

order.

Only

world

belief in

can

the

be

reduced

Absolute

can

to

unity

and

satisfythe

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

ix

emotional
its needs

and
and

moral

necessary

of

its visions
aspirations,

this belief about

the Absolute,

283

human

soul,

out
perfection.Withhave

shall not

we

the

requiresfor

Evolution

earnestness.

JAMES

of the

tendencies

volitional

WM.

OF

its

complement perfection; time, timelessness ; appearance,


of individuals
and responsibility
a
reality; and freedom
deeper monism.
As a matter
of fact, belief in a cosmic
spiritwhich is
consciousness.
to us is the verdict of the religious
friendly
This belief is not
dependent on dogmas. For if religion
should stand on dogmas, it must
stand, totter or fall with
them.
Religion is essentially
personal and not dogmatic
institutional.

or

faith in books

It is

man's

reaction

life and

to

not

Religiousexperience tells the


individual
that through struggleand strain, discord and
darkness, he will attain to peace and harmony, unity
and
light. James is not right in thinking that the
infinite God.
consciousness
does not demand
an
religious
It is not

true

and

creeds.

to say

that

something greater than


and
righteousness. We

we

only feel

ourselves

for power
infinite
an

makes

that

with

connection

reality of
God.
There
is room
for ambiguity in the testimony of
religiousconsciousness, simply because
religioussouls
have after all to employ the current
philosophicaljargon.
In many
intellectual traditions
cases
are
unconsciously
of religious
consciousness.
accepted in the interpretations
What
the religious
soul utters may
not
always be faithful
to what
is felt. But
reflection on
the data of religious
consciousness
is decisive in showing that religion
demands
infinite God.

an

If

feel the

into

philosophytakes

facts

account

of

religious
consciousness,we will be led to the absolutist
theory. Only in it are the higher values of spiritaffirmed
and maintained.
to a question
James declared in answer
I believe in God, not because
I have experienced
put to him,
"

his
'

must

there
void

'

is

presence,

be
no

in life

"

true

God
"

"

but

because

need

(HibbertJournal,
there

would

(ibid.).James

be
admits

x.

it
i.

p.

that

it

232).

If

so

great hush,
that

great

mysticalstates

RELIGION

284
unknown

are

of.

with

him

the

condition
the

in

xx

The

vision

when

the

or

to

individual

universe, feels himself

the

and

approach

nearest

highest that he knows


individual
then
acquires a

one

larger

home

at

PHILOSOPHY

To

is the

state

feels himself
be at

him.

to

mystical

AND

to

conceive

can

broader

outlook,

New

energies are
added
from
wider
order of things, which
to him
on
a
wider order James calls God
when
he is in a philosophising
But when
mood.
he uses
his psychologicalglasses,
he

greater powers.

calls it his unconscious

identified with

the

We

and

intellect,absolutism

not

life and

faith of the

take

we

mystics

or

understanding.
James's pluralism identifies
with the divine
(P. U. p. 34).
be viewed

should

viewed

are
a
"

not

distinct from

as

and fast dualism

hard
The

the whole.

as

being an

man

his

invades

intimate
the
of

reason

partner,
God

mechanicallyto obey
may
view

be, remains
which

the

mind, and

if

universe
we

insist

Our

God

on

and

on

substance

human

that

means

and

of the

God

the creatures
we

himself

shall have
criticises.

subjectto God,
of externality

mere

of

our

heart

magistrate, rather,

moral

cannot

certainties

This

commands,

only

the

heart

our

the human

between
relationship
"

his

our

leaves

realityof

but

reason,

the vital

James

is not

of

stand

character

matter

our

the

outsider,and

field.

our

felt. Even

justified.

other, then

which

be

becomes

If God

each

to

absolute

the

mystics have tasted and


admit
that philosophyis

led to it,whether

are

is not

unconscious, it becomes

experience which
if with James we
intuition

If God

nature.

and

strange they

however

duty."

and

mechanical

subjectoutside the deepest


satisfythe contemporary
more
organic and intimate
man,

we

are

tism.
led to absolu-

for all the


having once
of a more
intimate
possibility
Weltanschauung, the only
will
attention
opinions quite worthy of arresting our
fall within
the general scope
of what
roughly be
may
called the pantheisticfield of vision, the vision of God
the indwellingdivine rather than the external creator,
as

contemporary

mind

286

RELIGION

heaven

in

as

are

worthy.

has

limits

He

and

works

be finite.

the Absolute
God

is but

usual

more

God

has

is
the

"

are

part and

he

has

can

we

outside

an

depend

which

should

for the

by

such

ideal

of

tendency

substance

Supposing

limits, and
of

success

to

be

the

the

He

Absolute

non-ideal

prise.?
enter-

whole, if

the

triumph

we

enemies,

moral

our

of the Absolute.

and

of which

him, if

of final

things but

ideal

unifyingthe
God

whole

find James's finite God


difficulties,
we

of the articulations

one

addition,

to

for God

necessary
the assurance

have

cosmic

environment,

Is it not
we

exist in

of

is external

the Divine

him

on

worthy

portion,and which in the


is hardly to be termed
a religious
125). But how can we say that

U.

parcel of

God

only

wider

environment,

ideal

p.
environment

an

The

only the

sense

(P.

external

an

If the absolute

most

human

at all

being

in

enemies.

has

must

name

our

ix

only of the ideal tendency in things,


a
operate
superhuman person, who calls us to coand who
furthers ours
if they
purposes,

in his

then

PHILOSOPHY

forbid, but

believed

the

AND

to

Passing
be only

be the
may
is the whole,

tendencies.

While

is
something outside of himself, the Absolute
itself. God
not limited by anything outside
is not the
Absolute
since beyond him
lie other experiences. There
be an
absolute
experience which includes those of
may
God
and
The
Absolute
is not
the impossible
man.
being I once
thought it" (P. U. p. 292). God is finite
and subject to growth. But he can
into the
never
grow
has

'

fullness of the
with

the

nothing outside
triumphed over
of the
him

reduces

the
incidental
But
that
not

the

may
himself

of
and

absorbed
; but

to the status

universe

of

"

of

in the

things.

whom

conceivably

have

he

may
all but the

have

already

from

all the

tion
frac-

minutest

being, and

trast
con-

almost

small,

fraction,however

relative

(P. U.

with
.struggle

will win

finite God

that

is saved

to absolutism

end

The

Absolute

universe

in the

God

"

Absolute.

in

ciple
prin-

irrationalities

125-126).
wickedness, James feels sure
end.
Struggle and crisis are

We

pp.

shall

attain

to, peace

and

'

ix

WM.

OF

UNIVERSE'

PLURALISTIC

JAMES

287

this, it follows, if anything follows in


James's philosophy,that evil is only temporary and
partial. It is not the last word of life,though it is an
From

harmony.

essential

which

universe

the

in

asks

James

admit

to

us

realityof

the

value

for concrete

if
principles,

the

hypothesisof

widest

in the

God

God

Ideally
such

since

Pragmatistic

On

satisfactorily

works

word, it is

of the

sense

"

life.

belief has

it.

expelledfrom

be

can

element

chance

is divine.

world

the whole

It is

of its existence.

phase

Now

true.

ever
what-

difficulties may
be, experience shows
it certainlydoes work
(Pragmatism,p. 299). But,
its residual

"

that

have

we

as

the whole, the


of

our

but

men,

of

source

of

collection

nor
many,
individual

among
larger than

one

is not

works

what

seen,

who

Gods

are

who

infinite God

an

well

being as

our

finite God

as

is
all
is

who

the

support

lives.

Again, James and Fechner regarded body and mind


but throughout
connected, not only in man
as necessarily
the world.
James adopts Fechner' s theory that no part
is soulless or is a spiritwithout
of the universe
a
body.
"

The

vaster

body.

The

its

and

moon

its

of

entire earth

own
our

planet,so

system as
system be

plays

else may

the

not

of

sum

whole

that

vaster

we

live must

whole

So

has

all that

sun,

system have

the

consciousness

the

entire

; and

if that

is

starry
starry

sidered,
materially con-

system, along with

whatever

be, is the body of that absolutelytotalised

of God."

of the

universe

As the

body

of

to

which
is an

man

of

have

each

must

solar

in which

part.

one

orders

the

So

its consciousness

such

then

the

must

consciousness

wider
each

on

consciousness.

collective

own

go with
which

of mind

orders

sciousness
con-

gives the name


organism compounded
man

is the combination
the soul of man
of many
so
organs,
consciousnesses
which
of all the various
belong to the
various

organs.

human

race

though

each

There

formed
soul

is

by

in its

the

consciousness
union

of

of the

all human

is
individuality

unware

whole

souls,
of the

288

RELIGION

union.
"

the

more

relations

the

our

there

mind

is

and

limited

forms

several

minds

of the

are

sounds

in addition
the bare

not

of the million

minds

and

has

the terms

of which

form

All

and

soul

these

pound
com-

subconscious

self from

which

led

Psychicalresearch
a

is conscious.

earth-soul

heavenly bodies.

the

unaware,

the contents

mind

one

no

to these

are

the relations between

sights

our

consciousness.
To
great universal
for the abnormal
facts of self,James postulates

account
a

of

one

every

themselves.

up of
in addition

So, according to Fechner, there is an


in

only in part,
constitutingthe
;

summing

tastes, etc., but

the earth-soul traces

"

the minds

to

their relations also of which

terms
so

the

by

earth-soul

and

ix

with
Fechner
in thinking that
agrees
inclusive forms
of consciousness
in part
are

constituted

Since

PHILOSOPHY

James
more

since

AND

continuous.

The

derive

to

believe

in

which

our

him

psychic self with

wider

we

inspiration.
realityof

the

smaller

selves

parts of personal life

tenderer

are

are,

"

with
of the
continuous
a
more
according to James,
same
quality which is operative in the universe outside
and which
he can
of him
keep in working touch with,
and

in

all his

(P.

U.

fashion

our

being has gone


chap. viii.). Cannot
but

name,

argument

is

block

to

call

we

universe, which
an

"

wreck

the

superhuman
James fightsshy
While

it God.

straightto

us

the

absolutistic

an

afraid of the difficulties of determinism

conception,ties
earth-soul

pieces in

to

experience?
quite willingto call

thus far leads

himself, when

save

Absolute

conception,James,
and

of and

board

on

lower

experiencethe
of the

get

eternal

incidental

are

down

the

most

environment

the

to

lutistic
abso-

comprehensive

(P. U.

pp.

309-311).

makes
God
religiousand
James believes that Fechner
he cannot
violate.
which
places him under conditions
His will has to strugglewith conditions
not
imposed
that will by itself
on
(P. U. p. 294). Thus does his
"

"

earth-soul

become

the

enveloping spirit. Our


James

allow

that

human

God

of theism, and

point

is that

not

when

consciousnesses

the

Fechner
are

alland

parts of

wider

whole, they

cannot

absolute

Fechner.
other

"

to

No

like

creatures

it finds between

content

has

unlike

us,

or

Our

us.

substantivelyidentical
perfect while no each
there

is the earth-soul

is

and

its

the Absolute.

U.

(P.

type Fechner

which

has

How

already shown how it alone can aid us


set against James's view the statement
indicates the real nature

all the

one

are

all is

173). If
imagines and
p.

the

the world

on

the wider

whole

inhuman
is

an

life.

in life.
of

of the Absolute.

"

necessityto

did it lapsefrom

influence

no

with

and

perfectioninto error and imperfection?


James thinks that the Absolute is so
be true.
It
unpracticalthat it cannot
abstraction

of

the relations which

James allows, what is its relation to God


does not
James's account
escape from
for the originof the world from
account
called God, if not

relation

all, though the

perfect

we

terms

collected into

"

of the

of the

us,

289

But

in the

it than

caches

with

JAMES

theory

individuals, than

the

other

WM.

absolutism.

accepting

are

better the absolutistic

state

of the

OF

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

ix

and

artificial
We

have

But

Royce,
The

its

let

us

which

Absolute

personally,not

something remote, unpractical,


and
inhuman,
pervasive
omnipresent
and practical,
it is also the most
inclusive of beings
as
(W. James and Other Essays,Preface vi-vii).
seems

to me,

but

the most

"

VII
Absolutism

is

deterministic,has

no

place for freedom,

while

James's pluralismprovides us with an open elastic


universe
full of opportunitiesfor the play of freedom.
The
realityof change, authentic novelty of future, etc.,
demand
the reality of freedom
and
the negation of
determinism.
Freedom
is the complement of pluralism.
We
require a universe where the individual is free to
risk the realising
of his ideal.
To be a world of novelty
and change, it cannot
be a world where
everythingis the
effect of something else. We
cannot
conceive
necessary
the universe
closed sphere. Reality is to a large
as
a
u

RELIGION

290

possiblefor
James's

us

to make

determinable

and

has

There

to him.

fixed

and

are

the

Determinism

certain

denies

it affirms that

the

will

believe

to

gone
is indeterminate

future

field of

wishes.

ambiguity
nothing future

between

of future
can

which

fluid and

are

line

the

Of

possibilities
open

which

draw

presupposes
and

and

aspects of the universe


others

it

makes

of it.

out

the

and

lines of human

whole

stable, and

ix

past is dead

the

is difficult to

It

because

ever,

along

man

no

course

"

for

is unalterable

of

the

though

that
so

anything

doctrine

whole

PHILOSOPHY
characterless

and

indeterminate

extent

are

AND

be

stable.
un-

them.

volitions,
"

ambiguous
is nothing contingent,

there
(Willto Believe,p. 198). In monism
there is nothing in actual realitythat corresponds
of indeterminateness, everything is necesto the notion
sary.
Dismissing this view, James relies on ambiguous
The
possibilities.
theory of radical empiricism allows
of bringing to pass one
that the consciousness
act out of
of possibilities
is a datum
as
crete
a number
preciseand conother, a genuine experience accompanied
as
any
conviction
of its objectivereality. In
by the immediate
When
of
one
short, there is the experience of choice.
is realised, something new
several possibilities
is accomplished
In our
in the world.
personal experience we
of
is really the essential process
are
witnessing what
creation
(Some Problems, pp. 214-215). It is a world of
real growths and crises,of genuine struggle. It is true
that an
analysisof the present does not tell us of what
"

"

is to
to

be

which

occur
won

in the future.

by

an

the future

effort.
should

It may
be that the future has
But there is another
aspect by
be founded

on

the

past and be in

of things. With
absolutism
continuity with the nature
determinations
do not
that mechanical
James contends
life. It does
hold good in the higher levels of spiritual
that the life of spirithas no law or order in it.
not mean
mechanical
between
and
The
contrast
teleologicalor
of law and anarchy, but
is not one
determination
spiritual
of two
different kinds of order.
James rightlycontends

ix

that
down

WM.

JAMES

291

does not
lay
part of the universe
of fact,mechanism
As a matter
the law for the rest.
used

cannot

with

OF

mechanical

the

is to be
we

UNIVERSE'

'PLURALISTIC

that

on

of the

realisation

in the

infer that

account

In his desire to

selfhood.

But
higher ends.
law is incompatible
for the will

room

reserve

subjectionto law.
The
of self is incompatibleonly with mechanical
nature
in the discussion
of Bergson,
law.
have
As
we
seen
diversity is not unlikeness,
identity is not sameness,
negation is not contradiction, and law is not necessity.
Creative
synthesis of self is quite compatible with law
to

create,

and

James

order.

But

frees the self from

all

be said that this law

it may
bad as

of immanent

that of mechanical
logicis quite as
necessity. It
which
for
universe
has no
also implies a block
room
option or contingency,arrest or failure. But as we have
We
have
the law of logicwe
cannot
seen,
escape from.
ideal working in and
to admit
an
through the parts.
James allows it,Bergson agrees to it, and no pluralist
can
sciously
safelyrejectit. It is the whole that works unconin the

stages, and

lower

becomes

standard

the

right and the object of choice in the higher human


Will
to Believe : The
Moral
stages (see James's The
and preLife}. But error
Philosopher and the Moral
judice,
ignorance and selfishness thwart the clear expression
of

of

On

ideal.

the

of

account

these

factors which

vary with different individuals, the Absolute


succeeds
in manifesting itself, sometimes
Absolutism

does

pattern, but
examine
with

the

will find

accept this
surrender

it

an

or

universe
if

the

chaos

is the law

we

and

conduct

Free

ideal and

congruous

with

or

not.

dead

world

alleys and
work.

freedom

caprice our

of freedom.

caprice,licence

moment.

secure

after

of the

course

set-backs, blind
basis

does

dispassionately

we

particulartendency at

make

we

of the whole
becomes

the

and

central

one

that

us

of events

march

all its arrests


we

law

tells

only

the

construct

not

sometimes

acting

we

if

we

The
dom
free-

the

spur

is conduct

determined

the

human

logicof

If

Gods.

Otherwise
on

paths,
by-

of

by

nature,

RELIGION

292
and

this

But

in

AND

has

James

PHILOSOPHY

admit

to

in the

ix

interests

world

of pure indeterminism
and
is neither law nor
order, neither

there

of ethics.

fresh

nings
begin-

freedom

nor

necessity.
If

by

conflict

any

purposive character

is not
the

This

would

mind's

our

of mental
facto interpretation
of

quoting, life

there

psychical contents
be to

travesty the

is due
For

to

an

post

ex

is fond

James

as

forwards, intellect

looks

It is also

working.

life.

be

can

mined
mechanicallydeter-

the illusion of determinism

that

true

of

then

between

of choice.

at the moment

mind

to

choice

Human

freedom.

no

mechanism

apply

we

understands

backwards.
is not

James

But

James declares,
of
to

"

upholder

an

Whoever

control

the

freedom,

acts

novelties

can

is

given

be

faith

occur

only shows

"

able

has

with

pretence
(Will to Believe,

novelty he

does
"

Renouvier

to

and

If the

the

comes

This
to

do

in

be

view

treated

The

would

do

does

not

mean

that

with

his conduct.

should

to

have

anxious

for

We

his
it

But

prehended
com-

the

weakness.

complete freedom,

would
preclude the
possibility
The
crux
governing the world.

under

rich

our

of

as

man

that

equally

point of

be
cannot
spirit
incommensurabilitybetween

present is due

individual

the
may

predictwhat

the fulness of

us.

from

that

(Problems of Philosophy,p. 145).

nothing

that

by

which

of

speaks

all

"

means

circumstances.

character

future

chance, instead

gifts,chance,
beginnings,
That
(ibid.p. 164).
genuine

"

already given, what

not

may

of

of chance

matter

free

are

believes

James

"

caprice.

novelties,unmeditated

absolute

what

says
he

still when

158). But
permit chance.

and

resolutely
givesup

things he

p.

the word

uses

freedom, squarelyand

of chance

notion
of

divine

of

then

Providence

theisms
pluralistic

omnipotence and
freedom
is the problem of divine foreknowledge
human
and human
In this difficulty
freedom.
James employs
the analogy of the chess player. As the expert chess
though he does
player is certain to beat his rivals,even
are

RELIGION

294

AND

PHILOSOPHY

ix

reference
contends
to past character, absolutism
any
of choice is inadequateand unsatisthat this description
factory.

Arguing againstthe mechanical


conceptionof
That
is the
the self,James still adopts it in his view.
root
fallacy of James's theory. James propounds the
He
allows
problem from an abstract point of view.
of breaking up the concrete
himself the privilege
unity
the

self into

of the

object,and

and

is

himself

another

word

undetermined

of

experienceas

self

The

nature

based

of the

the

true

element
of

each

if he

Were

it not

neither

order

free

self,and

varied

play

there

insists

is

to

be unconnected

may

and

think

with

the

that

unity of

direction

be

scene

something

judge and

to

the

past.
which

nor

archistic
an-

an

the

is

adventure, James's chess

certain

be

is
so,

will

act

not

situation

concrete

views

decision

the

suddenly springsupon

himself, it is wrong

for

decision

us

which

truly

dom
free-

absolu-

is the

specialand unique,requiringthe agent

new,

act

While

self.

nature

of

of self.

self will have

on

is,

it is

as

Believe).Real

operationsof the
freedom.
nor
intelligibility
the

then

good

no

will admit

freedom, James
whole.

is

operates, which

in the essential character

rooted

If there

unconditioned.

and

says that pure chance


for impotence (Willto

theory

order.

no

between

is not, it is pure chance.


adopt, and so holds that the

cannot

the whole

where

is the relation
or

self

of the

; if there

is

what

James

tistic

there is order

James

former

future

asks, What

fatalism

it is absolute
The

then

Either

the two

artificial abstractions

two

resulting
In spiteof

analogy

tells

absolutism

on.

VIII
We

find that absolutism

is sometimes

criticised
"

on

the

ground that it denies personal immortality. Denial


of panof the shibboleths
of personalimmortalityis one
James was
logism" (Sturt,Idola Theatri, p. 38). When
asked, Do you believe in personalimmortality ? If so,
strongly
why ? he replied, Never keenly ; but more
"

"

"

ix

'PLURALISTIC

as

I grow
"

live
vol.

'

UNIVERSE

older

"

"

and

because

(" Religion of William


i, p. 228). James cannot

x.

WM.

JAMES

295

just gettingfit to
James/' Hibbert Journal,
hold to personal
logically
am

believe

he does not

immortalitysince

OF

in

soul.

There

is

nothing which can survive bodily death in his scheme.


about
the
keen
James's philosophy is not therefore
survival
of human
personality after the death of the
body. James adopts the transmission
theory of the
relation

of brain

of consciousness

and

drops of it, the


channel
through which

unity of

James
But

the

It

there
it is

whether

is

is

one

immortality is given

up.

would

James

But

not

agree

if with

James

an

should

treat

should

admitted

or

as

the

brain

as

according

behind

the

separationof

scenes.

personalityas

our

of doubtful

individual

existence

real.

universal

the

part from

real.

We

James's ideal, even


mind, is still

consciousness.

after death

to

be due

to

as

If

it

ultimate

in

reality

consider

we

the

temporary and partial


the whole, so long as we
think
to

reabsorptionof the part in the whole, we


illusion and self
personalityis a transitory

prison from which we escape at


that James's hypothesis of many
told that
are
speculation. We
is the brain

we

is

is absorbed

to be

viduation

to

minds, personal

question the
personalstrivingself. So long as

that

one

pluralistthinkers
many
in his view of immortality.

less than

unit, this is

life of the individual

say

the

many

regard personal

it

that

wider

death

The

separated into parts and


But James is not inclined
conceivable

though it is not absorptionin


units
of
absorption in wider

of the

flows.

sea

death, if personal life after death


illusion about
death, then there is no reason

only
why we

some

the

But

view

we

are

after

continuance
is

with

sea

serving as

man

minds

many
mind

great

consciousnesses

behind

quite

are

is

of the

water

consciousness

mind.
that

of each

the brain.

by

interpretthe

absolute

brain

consciousness

given finite forms


to

individual

our

but

vast

There

consciousness.

to

death.
minds
the

is

It also follows
is

venture

principleof

ask, To what

can

is the

in
indi-

separate-

RELIGION

296

AND

PHILOSOPHY

of the many
units of consciousness
?
all brains are
When
lost, all

ness

due

and

will be

only

of many
is due to his

minds

there

in favour

ix

behind

the brains

separation will
mind.
James's

one
or

hierarchyof

appear
disjudice
presciousnesses
con-

presuppositionsand
pluralistic
for Fechner's
admiration
Fechner
philosophy. But even
of the hierarchyis at once
admits
that each member
a
for itself and a part of a more
consciousness
sive
widely incluof

consciousness

higher level

or

order.

It is

quite

possibleand

absolute
very probablethat there is only one
this larger whole
consciousness.
From
of which
our

minds

fragmentary manifestations

are

in

spontaneous energy

James's
can

of

mother-sea

only be

and

one

moral

our

each

and

consciousness

not

of

intellectual
or

draws

us

efforts.

subliminal

self

many.

IX
We

how

see

or

the

psychology,of
between
of

nature

the

function

of the

conceptionsof

the

God

wider
as

subconscious

creator

chance

and

individual
of the

pluralism and

of

are

of

self of

the
all

as

the

sciousness
con-

abnormal

all,of freedom

of
necessity,

and

brain,

mother-sea

promise
com-

transitory

transmissive

theory

incompatiblewith

only be reconciled with a


In spiteof all these doctrines,which
monistic idealism.
home
in absolutism, James professes
find their natural
of pluralism. But, as we
himself to be an adherent
have
already seen, James is not very scrupulous about the
logicof his position. One gets the impression that in
philosophy he is at the mercy of the latest fad. He is
and
Bergson in his anxiety
ready to resort to Fechner
absolutism
to conto pull down
sider
; but he does not pause
radical

that
go
of

not

the

central

can

theories

of Fechner

and

Bergson

againstthe dogmas of pluralism. The one great lesson


James's philosophyis that no solution of the philosophic
be
called
w
hich
does
satisfactory
problem can
take

into account

the claims

of

common

sense.

But

'

ix

the

failure

attempt

of
to

artificial
forth.

his

insistence

spirit.

well

system

spite

of
in

the

valuable

very
in

critical

profound,
it

philosophy

be

also

can

without

as

place

permanent

by

his

satisfy

as

In

'

UNIVERSE

PLURALISTIC

all,

analysis

has
of

republic
contributions

the

to

his

all

the

plain

the

hurried

claims,
puts

himself

philosophers

great

values

297

man

for

secured

to

the

JAMES

traced

which

James

on

WM.

OF

and

psychology
of

the

human

CHAPTER

THE

THE

NEW

IDEALISM

the

field

published

and
which

OF

Rudolf

was

large number
theology,and

EUCKEN

RUDOLF

the continent

greatest figureon

into

tillM.

Bergson came
of Jena.
He
has
physics
bearing on meta-

Eucken
of

works

has

propounded a new idealism


activism."
His
spiritualistic

"

he

prefersto call
work
is a sign of the times, as many
of the tendencies
contemporary philosophy (see Chapter II.)are visible
his writings. He
advocates
the substitution
of life
logicand

declares

that

life is action

or

intelligence.Action

of

man.

Eucken

does

and

not

mere

of
in
for

thought

alone

the full nature


expresses
address
himself
to the task

not

of

riddle of the universe, but to


solvingthe philosopher's
that of helping the plain man
the struggle
to overcome
for spiritual
existence
in the world
of action.
To Eucken
the
kernel
of man's
striving is not intellectual but
ethical.
life

The

problem

contradiction
than

activist,he

as

of

life is felt rather

logical

believes

in

the

riddle.

As

realityof

time

as

firmed
con-

and

works
an
are
change. Eucken's
attempt to reconcile
philosophy with religion,
though he says that belief in
God
is not necessary
for religion.He
tries to vindicate
the spiritof Christianityby means
of his philosophy.
In all his writings,
the religious
note is heard.
Indeed,
Eucken
intends
and theoretically
what
is a renovated
finally
"

vindicated

Christianity;
298

in

spite

of

his

anxious

EUCKEN

RUDOLF

OF

IDEALISM

NEW

THE

everything which has


and
metaphysicaldualism, Christianity
of

avoidance

"

central

his

are

of
appearance
tions
its logicalfounda-

the

Frederic

(Baron

concern

299

von

"

Eucken's
philosophy
Journal,p. 776).
is a Christian philosophyof life
(Boyce Gibson, Eucken's
Philosophy of Life,p. 166). His personaland religious
of the teaching
restatement
idealism
is a philosophical
Hibbert

Hugel,

"

"

of

Jesus (Hermann : Eucken


jAsa philosophy which does
"

the tendencies

of the

in the

state

present

philosophy
the

new

tries to

thesis

has

the main

found

has no chance of survival


spirit
of the philosophical
world, Eucken's
of
of the aspirations
some
express

is that

Eucken's

not

"

contends

Boyce Gibson
Philosophy is
of

life currents

insinuated

Bergson, p. 6).
in some
represent
way

new

Professor

school.

and

itself into

till it

homeless

humanity, has

these

that

and

thetically
sympaall its

allowed

objectivelyby
it has allied itself
the movements
with which
(Quarterly
that no
Review, April 1914, p. 380). If this only means
its thought-structure
serious philosophyshould construct
it is right. Since philosophyhas to
in an a priorimanner,
follow in the wake
it must
for life and experience,
account
the
deduce
of life process
and
experience. We cannot
of world
course
history as the Scholastics did from a
of dogmas, but have
number
to go to experience and
convictions

to

be

inwardly and

moulded

"

penetrate into its heart.

To

life.

But

we

the

have

verse

the

substitutes
a

priori.

get into the


the

study

spiritof

idealism
uni

to

scattered

stream

data

age,

know

Eucken

thought
What

we

of life
and

the

life,

quite in consistency with


holds
that
speculative
for

are

life and

called

upon

straightaway,

seize

of

mystery

the

elan

derives
to

dive

do

the
is to

beneath

vital at

work.

Speculativesystems which break the unity of experience


of
into subject and
the movement
see
object cannot
life. This criticism we
have met
often, and the
spiritual
is how
such a superficial
wonder
charge can live to be
of season.
and
out
Every idealist
repeated in season
determined
admits
that concepts are
by life,while they

RELIGION

300
also

form

this Eucken

part of life. Philosophy is


to life ; it has

subordinate

PHILOSOPHY

AND

admits

also its

occasion.

on

place in
"

the

Life has

itself,its unity, its perfection


; and

completely

not

it is

sun.

And

first to seek

just this

that

And
so
thought which
problem of truth."
endeavour
the upward
of life
adequately represents
to its own
unity has its function and may be sought
after.
conceives
fessor
it," says ProPhilosophy as Eucken
reflection upon
life,as
Boyce Gibson, is no mere
of itself complete without
the reflection.
though life were
It is rather a vital function
of our
activity. It
spiritual
is that form of spiritual
which
brings to coherent
vitality
Review,
expressionthe intuitions of experience (Quarterly
April1914, p. 389). From this it is plainthat philosophy
has an essential function in the life of spirit,
if it only rests
on
experience and develops on its basis. That is what
all serious philosophyhas been.
inherent
As satisfying
an
need
of reason,
philosophy has its place in the life of
mind.
Eucken
monist
and
calls himself
a
spiritualist
holds that his system of spiritualist
or
monism, whether
it is logically
not
to adjust
consistent, still helps us
the several aspects of life. Eucken
does not speak of
life
and
theories but of spiritualcurrents
philosophical

is

the

"

"

"

"

"

Syntagmas, and his


rival systems.
by criticising
systems

or

view

own

of lifehe

develops

II
Eucken
and

adopts the

puts forward
There

systems.
In

Art.
matter

method

view

of his

is the

art, matter

is subordinate

of dialectical

Greek

and
to

form

own

after

view
exist

development

other
criticising

of life modelled

on

together. Though

form, it is still necessary

to

since it
unsatisfactory
Another
does not recognisepersonality,
etc.
spirituality,
defect, accordingto Eucken, is that in it the actual and
looked
the ideal, the evil and
the good are
as
upon
related.
We
that on
the question
shall see
necessarily

it.

Eucken

holds

this view

to be

RELIGION

302

method
noological
the
is

interaction

AND

recognisesthe growth of spiritthrough


subjectand object. Eucken's method

of

from
distinguished

deals
the

with

which
(i) the naturalistic method
world
as
independent of its relation to
consciousness, and (2) the psychological

the

individual

method

where

individual

the

independent of

its relation

method

he

which*

life and
spiritual
Eucken
has
is

PHILOSOPHY

to the world.

is based

adopts
views

views

the world

nature

But
rightto do so.
something higher than

connected

"

grant.

experienceof

is viewed

noological
conceptionof

on

the

whole.

as

if nature

If there

there

this

and

is such

he

though

is mechanical,
in man,

nature

as

The

merely mechanical

as

no

idealists would

consciousness

thing

the
as

be
objects,there must
a
operativein consciousness
unifying principle,which
not only presents related objects to itself,but
at once
renders

them

related

objectsand

unites

to each

in relation

them

by this act of presentation and which is single


throughout the experience (Green, Prolegomena to
Ethics,p. 37). This view of Green is repeatedby Eucken
when
he says,
kind
be a unity of some
There
must
of nature
never
can
rulingwithin us ; but the mechanism
produce such a unity (Main Currents, p. 69). Idealism
other

"

"

"

is

strong

It is vain
result
'

the

on

to

be viewed
is not
idealist

forces.

Though
as

that.

there

natural

Eucken

ethics

is

ethical law

preach any

of natural

ought/

that

point

He
is

an

has

to

view

between

of
and

nature

science.

being who is
conception of

aspect in which

object,the more
is relating