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Title: The Approach to Philosophy
Author: Perry, Ralph Barton, 1876-1957
Language: English
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In an essay on "The Problem of Philosophy at the Present Time,"
Professor Edward Caird says that "philosophy is not a first venture into
a new field of thought, but the rethinking of a secular and religious
consciousness which has been developed, in the main, independently of
philosophy."[vii:A] If there be any inspiration and originality in this
book, they are due to my great desire that philosophy should appear in
its vital relations to more familiar experiences. If philosophy is, as
is commonly assumed, appropriate to a phase in the development of every
individual, it should _grow out_ of interests to which he is already
alive. And if the great philosophers are indeed never dead, this fact
should manifest itself in their classic or historical representation of
a perennial outlook upon the world. I am not seeking to attach to
philosophy a fictitious liveliness, wherewith to insinuate it into the
good graces of the student. I hope rather to be true to the meaning of
philosophy. For there is that in its stand-point and its problem which
makes it universally significant entirely apart from dialectic and
erudition. These are derived interests, indispensable to the scholar,
but quite separable from that modicum of philosophy which helps to make
the man. The present book is written for the sake of elucidating the
inevitable philosophy. It seeks to make the reader more solicitously
aware of the philosophy that is in him, or to provoke him to philosophy
in his own interests. To this end I have sacrificed all else to the task
of mediating between the tradition and technicalities of the academic
discipline and the more common terms of life.

The purpose of the book will in part account for those shortcomings that
immediately reveal themselves to the eye of the scholar. In Part I
various great human interests have been selected as points of departure.
I have sought to introduce the general stand-point and problem of
philosophy through its implication in practical life, poetry, religion,
and science. But in so doing it has been necessary for me to deal
shortly with topics of great independent importance, and so risk the
disfavor of those better skilled in these several matters. This is
evidently true of the chapter which deals with natural science. But the
problem which I there faced differed radically from those of the
foregoing chapters, and the method of treatment is correspondingly
different. In the case of natural science one has to deal with a body of
knowledge which is frequently regarded as the only knowledge. To write a
chapter about science from a philosophical stand-point is, in the
present state of opinion, to undertake a polemic against exclusive
naturalism, an attitude which is itself philosophical, and as such is
well known in the history of philosophy as _positivism_ or
_agnosticism_. I have avoided the polemical spirit and method so far as
possible, but have, nevertheless, here taken sides against a definite
philosophical position. This chapter, together with the Conclusion, is
therefore an exception to the purely introductory and expository
representation which I have, on the whole, sought to give. The
relatively great space accorded to the discussion of religion is, in my
own belief, fair to the general interest in this topic, and to the
intrinsic significance of its relation to philosophy.

I have in Part II undertaken to furnish the reader with a map of the
country to which he has been led. To this end I have attempted a brief
survey of the entire programme of philosophy. An accurate and full
account of philosophical terms can be found in such books as Külpe's
"Introduction to Philosophy" and Baldwin's "Dictionary of Philosophy,"
and an attempt to emulate their thoroughness would be superfluous, even
if it were conformable to the general spirit of this book. The scope of
Part II is due in part to a desire for brevity, but chiefly to the hope
of furnishing an epitome that shall follow the course of the _natural
and historical differentiation_ of the general philosophical problem.

Finally, I have in Part III sought to present the tradition of
philosophy in the form of general types. My purpose in undertaking so
difficult a task is to acquaint the reader with philosophy in the
concrete; to show how certain underlying principles may determine the
whole circle of philosophical ideas, and give them unity and distinctive
flavor. Part II offers a general classification of philosophical
problems and conceptions independently of any special point of view. But
I have in Part III sought to emphasize the point of view, or the
internal consistency that makes a _system of philosophy_ out of certain
answers to the special problems of philosophy. In such a division into
types, lines are of necessity drawn too sharply. There will be many
historical philosophies that refuse to fit, and many possibilities
unprovided for. I must leave it to the individual reader to overcome
this abstractness through his own reflection upon the intermediate and
variant stand-points.

Although the order is on the whole that of progressive complexity, I
have sought to treat each chapter with independence enough to make it
possible for it to be read separately; and I have provided a carefully
selected bibliography in the hope that this book may serve as a stimulus
and guide to the reading of other books.

The earlier chapters have already appeared as articles: Chapter I in the
_International Journal of Ethics_, Vol. XIII, No. 4; Chapter II in the
_Philosophical Review_, Vol. XI, No. 6; Chapter III in the _Monist_,
Vol. XIV, No. 5; Chapter IV in the _International Journal of Ethics_,
Vol. XV, No. 1; and some paragraphs of Chapter V in the _Journal of
Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods_, Vol. I, No. 7. I am
indebted to the editors of these periodicals for permission to reprint
with minor changes.

In the writing of this, my first book, I have been often reminded that
a higher critic, skilled in the study of internal evidence, could
probably trace all of its ideas to suggestions that have come to me from
my teachers and colleagues of the Department of Philosophy in Harvard
University. I have unscrupulously forgotten what of their definite ideas
I have adapted to my own use, but not that I received from them the
major portion of my original philosophical capital. I am especially
indebted to Professor William James for the inspiration and resources
which I have received from his instruction and personal friendship.

                                              RALPH BARTON PERRY.

CAMBRIDGE, March, 1905.


[vii:A] Edw. Caird: _Literature and Philosophy_, Vol. I, p. 207.





  §   1. Is Philosophy a Merely Academic Interest?                     3
  §   2. Life as a Starting-point for Thought                          4
  §   3. The Practical Knowledge of Means                              8
  §   4. The Practical Knowledge of the End or Purpose                10
  §   5. The Philosophy of the Devotee, the Man of Affairs, and the
             Voluptuary                                               12
  §   6. The Adoption of Purposes and the Philosophy of Life          17

CHAPTER II. POETRY AND PHILOSOPHY                                     24

  §   7. Who is the Philosopher-Poet?                                 24
  §   8. Poetry as Appreciation                                       25
  §   9. Sincerity in Poetry. Whitman                                 27
  §  10. Constructive Knowledge in Poetry. Shakespeare                30
  §  11. Philosophy in Poetry. The World-view. Omar Khayyam           36
  §  12. Wordsworth                                                   38
  §  13. Dante                                                        42
  §  14. The Difference between Poetry and Philosophy                 48

CHAPTER III. THE RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE                                 53

  §  15. The Possibility of Defining Religion                         53
  §  16. The Profitableness of Defining Religion                      54
  §  17. The True Method of Defining Religion                         56
  §  18. Religion as Belief                                           59
  §  19. Religion as Belief in a Disposition or Attitude              62
  §  20. Religion as Belief in the Disposition of the Residual
             Environment, or Universe                                 64
  §  21. Examples of Religious Belief                                 66
  §  22. Typical Religious Phenomena. Conversion                      69
  §  23. Piety                                                        72
  §  24. Religious Instruments, Symbolism, and Modes of Conveyance    74
  §  25. Historical Types of Religion. Primitive Religions            77
  §  26. Buddhism                                                     78
  §  27. Critical Religion                                            79


  §  28. Résumé of Psychology of Religion                             82
  §  29. Religion Means to be True                                    82
  §  30. Religion Means to be Practically True. God is a Disposition
             from which Consequences May Rationally be Expected       85
  §  31. Historical Examples of Religious Truth and Error. The
             Religion of Baal                                         88
  §  32. Greek Religion                                               89
  §  33. Judaism and Christianity                                     92
  §  34. The Cognitive Factor in Religion                             96
  §  35. The Place of Imagination in Religion                         97
  §  36. The Special Functions of the Religious Imagination          101
  §  37. The Relation between Imagination and Truth in Religion      105
  §  38. The Philosophy Implied in Religion and in Religions         108

CHAPTER V. NATURAL SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY                            114

  §  39. The True Relations of Philosophy and Science.
             Misconceptions and Antagonisms                          114
  §  40. The Spheres of Philosophy and Science                       117
  §  41. The Procedure of a Philosophy of Science                    120
  §  42. The Origin of the Scientific Interest                       123
  §  43. Skill as Free                                               123
  §  44. Skill as Social                                             126
  §  45. Science for Accommodation and Construction                  127
  §  46. Method and Fundamental Conceptions of Natural Science. The
             Descriptive Method                                      128
  §  47. Space, Time, and Prediction                                 130
  §  48. The Quantitative Method                                     132
  §  49. The General Development of Science                          134
  §  50. The Determination of the Limits of Natural Science          135
  §  51. Natural Science is Abstract                                 136
  §  52. The Meaning of Abstractness in Truth                        139
  §  53. But Scientific Truth is Valid for Reality                   142
  §  54. Relative Practical Value of Science and Philosophy          143



CHAPTER VI. METAPHYSICS AND EPISTEMOLOGY                             149

  §  55. The Impossibility of an Absolute Division of the Problem
             of Philosophy                                           149
  §  56. The Dependence of the Order of Philosophical Problems upon
             the Initial Interest                                    152
  §  57. Philosophy as the Interpretation of Life                    152
  §  58. Philosophy as the Extension of Science                      154
  §  59. The Historical Differentiation of the Philosophical
             Problem                                                 155
  §  60. Metaphysics Seeks a Most Fundamental Conception             157
  §  61. Monism and Pluralism                                        159
  §  62. Ontology and Cosmology Concern Being and Process            159
  §  63. Mechanical and Teleological Cosmologies                     160
  §  64. Dualism                                                     162
  §  65. The New Meaning of Monism and Pluralism                     163
  §  66. Epistemology Seeks to Understand the Possibility of
             Knowledge                                               164
  §  67. Scepticism, Dogmatism, and Agnosticism                      166
  §  68. The Source and Criterion of Knowledge according to
             Empiricism and Rationalism. Mysticism                   168
  §  69. The Relation of Knowledge to its Object according to
             Realism, and the Representative Theory                  172
  §  70. The Relation of Knowledge to its Object according to
             Idealism                                                175
  §  71. Phenomenalism, Spiritualism, and Panpsychism                176
  §  72. Transcendentalism, or Absolute Idealism                     177


  §  73. The Normative Sciences                                      180
  §  74. The Affiliations of Logic                                   182
  §  75. Logic Deals with the Most General Conditions of Truth in
             Belief                                                  183
  §  76. The Parts of Formal Logic. Definition, Self-evidence,
             Inference, and Observation                              184
  §  77. Present Tendencies. Theory of the Judgment                  187
  §  78. Priority of Concepts                                        188
  §  79. Æsthetics Deals with the Most General Conditions of
             Beauty. Subjectivistic and Formalistic Tendencies       189
  §  80. Ethics Deals with the Most General Conditions of Moral
             Goodness                                                191
  §  81. Conceptions of the Good. Hedonism                           191
  §  82. Rationalism                                                 193
  §  83. Eudæmonism and Pietism. Rigorism and Intuitionism           194
  §  84. Duty and Freedom. Ethics and Metaphysics                    196
  §  85. The Virtues, Customs, and Institutions                      198
  §  86. The Problems of Religion. The Special Interests of Faith    199
  §  87. Theology Deals with the Nature and Proof of God             200
  §  88. The Ontological Proof of God                                200
  §  89. The Cosmological Proof of God                               203
  §  90. The Teleological Proof of God                               204
  §  91. God and the World. Theism and Pantheism                     205
  §  92. Deism                                                       206
  §  93. Metaphysics and Theology                                    207
  §  94. Psychology is the Theory of the Soul                        208
  §  95. Spiritual Substance                                         209
  §  96. Intellectualism and Voluntarism                             210
  §  97. Freedom of the Will. Necessitarianism, Determinism, and
             Indeterminism                                           211
  §  98. Immortality. Survival and Eternalism                        212
  §  99. The Natural Science of Psychology. Its Problems and Method  213
  § 100. Psychology and Philosophy                                   216
  § 101. Transition from Classification by Problems to
             Classification by Doctrines. Naturalism. Subjectivism.
             Absolute Idealism. Absolute Realism                     217



CHAPTER VIII. NATURALISM                                             223

  § 102. The General Meaning of Materialism                          223
  § 103. Corporeal Being                                             224
  § 104. Corporeal Processes. Hylozoism and Mechanism                225
  § 105. Materialism and Physical Science                            228
  § 106. The Development of the Conceptions of Physical Science.
             Space and Matter                                        228
  § 107. Motion and its Cause. Development and Extension of the
             Conception of Force                                     231
  § 108. The Development and Extension of the Conception of Energy   236
  § 109. The Claims of Naturalism                                    239
  § 110. The Task of Naturalism                                      241
  § 111. The Origin of the Cosmos                                    242
  § 112. Life. Natural Selection                                     244
  § 113. Mechanical Physiology                                       246
  § 114. Mind. The Reduction to Sensation                            247
  § 115. Automatism                                                  248
  § 116. Radical Materialism. Mind as an Epiphenomenon               250
  § 117. Knowledge. Positivism and Agnosticism                       252
  § 118. Experimentalism                                             255
  § 119. Naturalistic Epistemology not Systematic                    256
  § 120. General Ethical Stand-point                                 258
  § 121. Cynicism and Cyrenaicism                                    259
  § 122. Development of Utilitarianism. Evolutionary Conception of
             Social Relations                                        260
  § 123. Naturalistic Ethics not Systematic                          262
  § 124. Naturalism as Antagonistic to Religion                      263
  § 125. Naturalism as the Basis for a Religion of Service, Wonder,
             and Renunciation                                        265

CHAPTER IX. SUBJECTIVISM                                             267

  § 126. Subjectivism Originally Associated with Relativism and
             Scepticism                                              267
  § 127. Phenomenalism and Spiritualism                              271
  § 128. Phenomenalism as Maintained by Berkeley. The Problem
             Inherited from Descartes and Locke                      272
  § 129. The Refutation of Material Substance                        275
  § 130. The Application of the Epistemological Principle            277
  § 131. The Refutation of a Conceived Corporeal World               278
  § 132. The Transition to Spiritualism                              280
  § 133. Further Attempts to Maintain Phenomenalism                  281
  § 134. Berkeley's Spiritualism. Immediate Knowledge of the
             Perceiver                                               284
  § 135. Schopenhauer's Spiritualism, or Voluntarism. Immediate
             Knowledge of the Will                                   285
  § 136. Panpsychism                                                 287
  § 137. The Inherent Difficulty in Spiritualism. No Provision for
             Objective Knowledge                                     288
  § 138. Schopenhauer's Attempt to Universalize Subjectivism.
             Mysticism                                               290
  § 139. Objective Spiritualism                                      292
  § 140. Berkeley's Conception of God as Cause, Goodness, and Order  293
  § 141. The General Tendency of Subjectivism to Transcend Itself    297
  § 142. Ethical Theories. Relativism                                298
  § 143. Pessimism and Self-denial                                   299
  § 144. The Ethics of Welfare                                       300
  § 145. The Ethical Community                                       302
  § 146. The Religion of Mysticism                                   303
  § 147. The Religion of Individual Coöperation with God             304

CHAPTER X. ABSOLUTE REALISM                                          306

  § 148. The Philosopher's Task, and the Philosopher's Object, or
             the Absolute                                            306
  § 149. The Eleatic Conception of Being                             309
  § 150. Spinoza's Conception of Substance                           311
  § 151. Spinoza's Proof of God, the Infinite Substance. The Modes
             and the Attributes                                      312
  § 152. The Limits of Spinoza's Argument for God                    315
  § 153. Spinoza's Provision for the Finite                          317
  § 154. Transition to Teleological Conceptions                      317
  § 155. Early Greek Philosophers not Self-critical                  319
  § 156. Curtailment of Philosophy in the Age of the Sophists        319
  § 157. Socrates and the Self-criticism of the Philosopher          321
  § 158. Socrates's Self-criticism a Prophecy of Truth               323
  § 159. The Historical Preparation for Plato                        324
  § 160. Platonism: Reality as the Absolute Ideal or Good            326
  § 161. The Progression of Experience toward God                    329
  § 162. Aristotle's Hierarchy of Substances in Relation to
             Platonism                                               332
  § 163. The Aristotelian Philosophy as a Reconciliation of
             Platonism and Spinozism                                 335
  § 164. Leibniz's Application of the Conception of Development to
             the Problem of Imperfection                             336
  § 165. The Problem of Imperfection Remains Unsolved                338
  § 166. Absolute Realism in Epistemology. Rationalism               339
  § 167. The Relation of Thought and its Object in Absolute Realism  340
  § 168. The Stoic and Spinozistic Ethics of Necessity               342
  § 169. The Platonic Ethics of Perfection                           344
  § 170. The Religion of Fulfilment and the Religion of
             Renunciation                                            346

CHAPTER XI. ABSOLUTE IDEALISM                                        349

  § 171. General Constructive Character of Absolute Idealism         349
  § 172. The Great Outstanding Problems of Absolutism                351
  § 173. The Greek Philosophers and the Problem of Evil. The Task
             of the New Absolutism                                   352
  § 174. The Beginning of Absolute Idealism in Kant's Analysis of
             Experience                                              354
  § 175. Kant's Principles Restricted to the Experiences which they
             Set in Order                                            356
  § 176. The Post-Kantian Metaphysics is a Generalization of the
             Cognitive and Moral Consciousness as Analyzed by Kant.
             The Absolute Spirit                                     358
  § 177. Fichteanism, or the Absolute Spirit as Moral Activity       360
  § 178. Romanticism, or the Absolute Spirit as Sentiment            361
  § 179. Hegelianism, or the Absolute Spirit as Dialectic            361
  § 180. The Hegelian Philosophy of Nature and History               363
  § 181. Résumé. Failure of Absolute Idealism to Solve the Problem
             of Evil                                                 365
  § 182. The Constructive Argument for Absolute Idealism is Based
             upon the Subjectivistic Theory of Knowledge             368
  § 183. The Principle of Subjectivism Extended to Reason            371
  § 184. Emphasis on Self-consciousness in Early Christian
             Philosophy                                              372
  § 185. Descartes's Argument for the Independence of the Thinking
             Self                                                    374
  § 186. Empirical Reaction of the English Philosophers              376
  § 187. To Save Exact Science Kant Makes it Dependent on Mind       377
  § 188. The Post-Kantians Transform Kant's Mind-in-general into an
             Absolute Mind                                           380
  § 189. The Direct Argument. The Inference from the Finite Mind to
             the Infinite Mind                                       382
  § 190. The Realistic Tendency in Absolute Idealism                 385
  § 191. The Conception of Self-consciousness Central in the Ethics
             of Absolute Idealism. Kant                              386
  § 192. Kantian Ethics Supplemented through the Conceptions of
             Universal and Objective Spirit                          388
  § 193. The Peculiar Pantheism and Mysticism of Absolute Idealism   390
  § 194. The Religion of Exuberant Spirituality                      393

CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION                                              395

  § 195. Liability of Philosophy to Revision Due to its Systematic
             Character                                               395
  § 196. The One Science and the Many Philosophies                   396
  § 197. Progress in Philosophy. The Sophistication or Eclecticism
             of the Present Age                                      398
  § 198. Metaphysics. The Antagonistic Doctrines of Naturalism and
             Absolutism                                              399
  § 199. Concessions from the Side of Absolutism. Recognition of
             Nature. The Neo-Fichteans                               401
  § 200. The Neo-Kantians                                            403
  § 201. Recognition of the Individual. Personal Idealism            404
  § 202. Concessions from the Side of Naturalism. Recognition of
             Fundamental Principles                                  405
  § 203. Recognition of the Will. Pragmatism                         407
  § 204. Summary and Transition to Epistemology                      408
  § 205. The Antagonistic Doctrines of Realism and Idealism.
             Realistic Tendency in Empirical Idealism                409
  § 206. Realistic Tendency in Absolute Idealism. The Conception of
             Experience                                              410
  § 207. Idealistic Tendencies in Realism. The Immanence Philosophy  412
  § 208. The Interpretation of Tradition as the Basis for a New
             Construction                                            413
  § 209. The Truth of the Physical System, but Failure of Attempt
             to Reduce all Experience to it                          414
  § 210. Truth of Psychical Relations but Impossibility of General
             Reduction to them                                       415
  § 211. Truth of Logical and Ethical Principles. Validity of Ideal
             of Perfection, but Impossibility of Deducing the Whole
             of Experience from it                                   415
  § 212. Error and Evil cannot be Reduced to the Ideal               417
  § 213. Collective Character of the Universe as a Whole             419
  § 214. Moral Implications of Such Pluralistic Philosophy. Purity
             of the Good                                             420
  § 215. The Incentive to Goodness                                   422
  § 216. The Justification of Faith                                  423
  § 217. The Worship and Service of God                              425
  § 218. The Philosopher and the Standards of the Market-Place       425
  § 219. The Secularism of the Present Age                           427
  § 220. The Value of Contemplation for Life                         428

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                         431

INDEX                                                                441





[Sidenote: Is Philosophy a Merely Academic Interest?]

§ 1. Philosophy suffers the distinction of being regarded as essentially
an academic pursuit. The term _philosophy_, to be sure, is used in
common speech to denote a stoical manner of accepting the vicissitudes
of life; but this conception sheds little or no light upon the meaning
of philosophy as a branch of scholarship. The men who write the books on
"Epistemology" or "Ontology," are regarded by the average man of
affairs, even though he may have enjoyed a "higher education," with
little sympathy and less intelligence. Not even philology seems less
concerned with the real business of life. The pursuit of philosophy
appears to be a phenomenon of extreme and somewhat effete culture, with
its own peculiar traditions, problems, and aims, and with little or
nothing to contribute to the real enterprises of society. It is easy to
prove to the satisfaction of the philosopher that such a view is
radically mistaken. But it is another and more serious matter to bridge
over the very real gap that separates philosophy and common-sense. Such
an aim is realized only when philosophy is seen to issue from some
special interest that is humanly important; or when, after starting in
thought at a point where one deals with ideas and interests common to
all, one is led by the inevitableness of consistent thinking into the
sphere of philosophy.

[Sidenote: Life as a Starting-point for Thought.]

§ 2. There is but one starting-point for reflection when all men are
invited to share in it. Though there be a great many special platforms
where special groups of men may take their stand together, there is only
one platform broad enough for all. This universal stand-point, or common
platform, is _life_. It is our more definite thesis, then, that
philosophy, even to its most abstruse technicality, is rooted in life;
and that it is inseparably bound up with the satisfaction of practical
needs, and the solution of practical problems.

Every man knows what it is to live, and his immediate experience will
verify those features of the adventure that stand out conspicuously. To
begin with, life is our birthright. We did not ask for it, but when we
grew old enough to be self-conscious we found ourselves in possession
of it. Nor is it a gift to be neglected, even if we had the will. As is
true of no other gift of nature, we must use it, or cease to be. There
is a unique urgency about life. But we have already implied more, in so
far as we have said that it must be _used_, and have thereby referred to
some form of movement or activity as its inseparable attribute. To
live is to find one's self compelled to do something. To do
_something_--there is another implication of life: some outer
expression, some medium in which to register the degree and form of its
activity. Such we recognize as the environment of life, the real objects
among which it is placed; which it may change, or from which it may
suffer change. Not only do we find our lives as unsolicited active
powers, but find, as well, an arena prescribed for their exercise. That
we shall act, and in a certain time and place, and with reference to
certain other realities, this is the general condition of things that is
encountered when each one of us discovers life. In short, to live means
to be compelled to do something under certain circumstances.

There is another very common aspect of life that would not at first
glance seem worthy of mention. Not only does life, as we have just
described it, mean opportunity, but it means self-conscious opportunity.
The facts are such as we have found them to be, and as each one of us
has previously found them for himself. But when we discover life for
ourselves, we who make the discovery, and we who live, are identical.
From that moment we both live, and know that we live. Moreover, such is
the essential unity of our natures that our living must now express our
knowing, and our knowing guide and illuminate our living. Consider the
allegory of the centipede. From the beginning of time he had manipulated
his countless legs with exquisite precision. Men had regarded him with
wonder and amazement. But he was innocent of his own art, being a
contrivance of nature, perfectly constructed to do her bidding. One day
the centipede discovered life. He discovered himself as one who walks,
and the newly awakened intelligence, first observing, then foreseeing,
at length began to direct the process. And from that moment the
centipede, because he could not remember the proper order of his going,
lost all his former skill, and became the poor clumsy victim of his own
self-consciousness. This same self-consciousness is the inconvenience
and the great glory of human life. We must stumble along as best we
can, guided by the feeble light of our own little intelligence. If
nature starts us on our way, she soon hands over the torch, and bids us
find the trail for ourselves. Most men are brave enough to regard this
as the best thing of all; some despair on account of it. In either case
it is admittedly the true story of human life. We must live as separate
selves, observing, foreseeing, and planning. There are two things that
we can do about it. We can repudiate our natures, decline the
responsibility, and degenerate to the level of those animals that never
had our chance; or we can leap joyously to the helm, and with all the
strength and wisdom in us guide our lives to their destination. But if
we do the former, we shall be unable to forget what might have been, and
shall be haunted by a sense of ignominy; and if we do the second, we
shall experience the unique happiness of fulfilment and

Life, then, is a situation that appeals to intelligent activity. Humanly
speaking, there is no such thing as a situation that is not at the same
time a theory. As we live we are all theorists. Whoever has any
misgivings as to the practical value of theory, let him remember that,
speaking generally of human life, it is true to say that there is no
practice that does not issue at length from reflection. That which is
the commonest experience of mankind is the conjunction of these two, the
thought and the deed. And as surely as we are all practical theorists,
so surely is philosophy the outcome of the broadening and deepening of
practical theory. But to understand how the practical man becomes the
philosopher, we must inquire somewhat more carefully into the manner of
his thought about life.

[Sidenote: The Practical Knowledge of Means.]

§ 3. Let anyone inspect the last moment in his life, and in all
probability he will find that his mind was employed to discover the
means to some end. He was already bent upon some definite achievement,
and was thoughtful for the sake of selecting the economical and
effectual way. His theory made his practice skilful. So through life his
knowledge shows him how to work his will. Example, experience, and books
have taught him the uses of nature and society, and in his thoughtful
living he is enabled to reach the goal he has set for the next hour,
day, or year of his activity. The long periods of human life are spent
in elaborating the means to some unquestioned end. Here one meets the
curious truth that we wake up in the middle of life, already making
headway, and under the guidance of some invisible steersman. When first
we take the business of life seriously, there is a considerable stock in
trade in the shape of habits, and inclinations to all sorts of things
that we never consciously elected to pursue. Since we do not begin at
the beginning, our first problem is to accommodate ourselves to
ourselves, and our first deliberate acts are in fulfilment of plans
outlined by some predecessor that has already spoken for us. The same
thing is true of the race of men. At a certain stage in their
development men found themselves engaged in all manner of ritual and
custom, and burdened with concerns that were not of their own choosing.
They were burning incense, keeping festivals, and naming names, all of
which they must now proceed to justify with myth and legend, in order to
render intelligible to themselves the deliberate and self-conscious
repetition of them. Even so much justification was left to the few, and
the great majority continued to seek that good which social usage
countenanced and individual predisposition confirmed. So every man of us
acts from day to day for love's sake, or wealth's sake, or power's
sake, or for the sake of some near and tangible object; reflecting only
for the greater efficiency of his endeavor.

[Sidenote: The Practical Knowledge of the End or Purpose.]

§ 4. But if this be the common manner of thinking about life, it does
not represent the whole of such thought. Nor does it follow that because
it occupies us so much, it is therefore correspondingly fundamental.
Like the myth makers of old, we all want more or less to know the
_reason of our ends_. Here, then, we meet with a somewhat different type
of reflection upon life, the reflection that underlies the adoption of a
life purpose. It is obvious that most ends are selected for the sake of
other ends, and so are virtually means. Thus one may struggle for years
to secure a college education. This definite end has been adopted for
the sake of a somewhat more indefinite end of self-advancement, and from
it there issues a whole series of minor ends, which form a hierarchy of
steps ascending to the highest goal of aspiration. Now upon the face of
things we live very unsystematic lives, and yet were we to examine
ourselves in this fashion, we should all find our lives to be marvels of
organization. Their growth, as we have seen, began before we were
conscious of it; and we are commonly so absorbed in some particular
flower or fruit that we forget the roots, and the design of the whole.
But a little reflection reveals a remarkable unitary adjustment of
parts. The unity is due to the dominance of a group of central purposes.
Judged from the stand-point of experience, it seems bitter irony to say
that everyone gets from life just what he wishes. But a candid searching
of our own hearts will incline us to admit that, after all, the way we
go and the length we go is determined pretty much by the kind and the
intensity of our secret longing. That for which in the time of choice we
are willing to sacrifice all else, is the formula that defines the law
of each individual life. All this is not intended to mean that we have
each named a clear and definite ideal which is our chosen goal. On the
contrary, such a conception may be almost meaningless to some of us. In
general the higher the ideal the vaguer and less vivid is its
presentation to our consciousness. But, named or unnamed, sharp or
blurred, vivid or half-forgotten, there may be found in the heart of
every man that which of all things he wants to be, that which of all
deeds he wants to do. If he has had the normal youth of dreaming, he
has seen it, and warmed to the picture of his imagination; if he has
been somewhat more thoughtful than the ordinary, his reason has defined
it, and adopted it for his vocation; if neither, it has been present as
an undertone throughout the rendering of his more inevitable life. He
will recognize it when it is named as the desire to do the will of God,
or to have as good a time as possible, or to make other people as happy
as possible, or to be equal to his responsibilities, or to fulfil the
expectation of his mother, or to be distinguished, wealthy, or
influential. This list of ideals is miscellaneous, and ethically
reducible to more fundamental concepts, but these are the terms in which
men are ordinarily conscious of their most intimate purposes. We must
now inquire respecting the nature of the thought that determines the
selection of such a purpose, or justifies it when it has been
unconsciously accepted.

[Sidenote: The Philosophy of the Devotee, the Man of Affairs, and the

§ 5. What is most worth while? So far as human action is concerned this
obviously depends upon what is possible, upon what is expected of us by
our own natures, and upon what interests and concerns are conserved by
the trend of events in our environment. What I had best do, presupposes
what I have the strength and the skill to do, what I feel called upon to
do, and what are the great causes that are entitled to promotion at my
hands. It seems that practically we cannot separate the ideal from the
real. We may feel that the highest ideal is an immediate utterance of
conscience, as mysterious in origin as it is authoritative in
expression. We may be willing to defy the universe, and expatriate
ourselves from our natural and social environment, for the sake of the
holy law of duty. Such men as Count Tolstoi have little to say of the
possible, or the expedient, or the actual, and are satisfied to stand
almost alone against the brutal facts of usage and economy. We all have
a secret sense of chivalry, that prompts, however ineffectually, to a
like devotion. But that which in such moral purposes appears to indicate
a severance of the ideal and the real, is, if we will but stop to
consider, only a severance of the ideal and the apparent. The martyr is
more sure of reality than the adventurer. He is convinced that though
his contemporaries and his environment be against him; the fundamental
or eventual order of things is for him. He believes in a spiritual world
more abiding, albeit less obvious, than the material world. Though
every temporal event contradict him, he lives in the certainty that
eternity is his. Such an one may have found his ideal in the voice of
God and His prophets, or he may have been led to God as the
justification of his irresistible ideal; but in either case the
selection of his ideal is reasonable to him in so far as it is
harmonious with the ultimate nature of things, or stands for the promise
of reality. In this wise, thought about life expands into some
conception of the deeper forces of the world, and life itself, in
respect of its fundamental attachment to an ideal, implies some belief
concerning the fundamental nature of its environment.

But lest in this account life be credited with too much gravity and
import, or it seem to be assumed that life is all knight-errantry, let
us turn to our less quixotic, and perhaps more effectual, man of
affairs. He works for his daily bread, and for success in his vocation.
He has selected his vocation for its promise of return in the form of
wealth, comfort, fame, or influence. He likewise performs such
additional service to his family and his community as is demanded of him
by public opinion and his own sense of responsibility. He may have a
certain contempt for the man who sees visions. This may be his manner of
testifying to his own preference for the ideal of usefulness and
immediate efficiency. But even so he would never for an instant admit
that he was pursuing a merely conventional good. He may be largely
imitative in his standards of value, recognizing such aims as are common
to some time or race; nevertheless none would be more sure than he of
the truth of his ideal. Question him, and he will maintain that his is
the reasonable life under the conditions of human existence. He may
maintain that if there be a God, he can best serve Him by promoting the
tangible welfare of himself and those dependent upon him. He may
maintain that, since there is no God, he must win such rewards as the
world can give. If he have something of the heroic in him, he may tell
you that, since there is no God, he will labor to the uttermost for his
fellow-men. Where he has not solved the problem of life for himself, he
may believe himself to be obeying the insight of some one wiser than
himself, or of society as expressed in its customs and institutions. But
no man ever admitted that his life was purely a matter of expediency, or
that in his dominant ideal he was the victim of chance. In the
background of the busiest and most preoccupied life of affairs, there
dwells the conviction that such living is appropriate to the universe;
that it is called for by the circumstances of its origin, opportunities,
and destiny.

Finally, the man who makes light of life has of all men the most
transparent inner consciousness. In him may be clearly observed the
relation between the ideal and the reflection that is assumed to justify

     "A Moment's Halt--a momentary taste
      Of Being from the Well amid the Waste--
      And Lo!--the phantom Caravan has reach'd
      The Nothing it set out from-- . . ."

     "We are no other than a moving row
      Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
      Round with the Sun-illumin'd Lantern held
      In Midnight by the Master of the Show."

Where the setting of life is construed in these terms, there is but one
natural and appropriate manner of life. Once believing in the isolation
and insignificance of life, one is sceptical of all worth save such as
may be tasted in the moment of its purchase. If one's ideas and
experiences are no concern of the world's, but incidents of a purely
local and transient interest, they will realize most when they realize
an immediate gratification. Where one does not believe that he is a
member of the universe, and a contributor to its ends, he does well to
minimize the friction that arises from its accidental propinquity, and
to kindle some little fire of enjoyment in his own lonely heart. This is
the life of abandonment to pleasure, accompanied by the conviction that
the conditions of life warrant no more strenuous or heroic plan.

[Sidenote: The Adoption of Purposes and the Philosophy of Life.]

§ 6. In such wise do we adopt the life purpose, or justify it when
unconsciously adopted. The pursuit of an ideal implies a belief in its
effectuality. Such a belief will invariably appear when the groundwork
of the daily living is laid bare by a little reflection. And if our
analysis has not been in error, there is something more definite to be
obtained from it. We all believe in the practical wisdom of our
fundamental ideals; but we believe, besides, that such wisdom involves
the sanction of the universe as a whole. The momentousness of an
individual's life will be satisfied with nothing less final than an
absolutely wise disposition of it. For every individual, his life is all
his power and riches, and is not to be spent save for the _greatest good
that he can reasonably pursue_. But the solution of such a problem is
not to be obtained short of a searching of entire reality. Every life
will represent more or less of such wisdom and enlightenment; and in the
end the best selection of ideal will denote the greatest wealth of
experience. It is not always true that he who has seen more will live
more wisely, for in an individual case instinct or authority may be
better sources of aspiration than experience. But we trust instinct and
authority because we believe them to represent a comprehensive
experience on the part of the race as a whole, or on the part of God. He
whose knowledge is broadest and truest would know best what is finally
worth living for. On this account, most men can see no more reasonable
plan of life than obedience to God's will, for God in the abundance of
his wisdom, and since all eternity is plain before him, must see with
certainty that which is supremely worthy.

We mean, then, that the selection of our ideals shall be determined by
the largest possible knowledge of the facts pertaining to life. We mean
to select as one would select who knew all about the antecedents and
surroundings and remote consequences of life. In our own weakness and
finitude we may go but a little way in the direction of such an
insight, and may prefer to accept the judgment of tradition or
authority, but we recognize a distinct type of knowledge as alone worthy
to justify an individual's adoption of an ideal. That type of knowledge
is the knowledge that comprehends the universe in its totality. Such
knowledge does not involve completeness of information respecting all
parts of reality. This, humanly speaking, is both unattainable and
inconceivable. It involves rather a conception of the _kind_ of reality
that is fundamental. For a wise purpose it is unnecessary that we should
know many matters of fact, or even specific laws, provided we are
convinced of the inner and essential character of the universe. Some of
the alternatives are matters of every-day thought and speech. One cannot
tell the simplest story of human life without disclosing them. To live
the human life means to pursue ideals, that is, to have a thing in mind,
and then to try to accomplish it. Here is one kind of reality and power.
The planetary system, on the other hand, does not pursue ideals, but
moves unconscious of itself, with a mechanical precision that can be
expressed in a mathematical formula; and is representative of another
kind of reality and power. Hence a very common and a very practical
question: Is there an underlying law, like the law of gravitation,
fundamentally and permanently governing life, in spite of its apparent
direction by ideal and aspiration? Or is there an underlying power, like
purpose, fundamentally and permanently governing the planetary system
and all celestial worlds, in spite of the apparent control of blind and
irresistible forces? This is a practical question because nothing could
be more pertinent to our choice of ideals. Nothing could make more
difference to life than a belief in the life or lifelessness of its
environment. The faiths that generate or confirm our ideals always refer
to this great issue. And this is but one, albeit the most profound, of
the many issues that arise from the desire to obtain some conviction of
the inner and essential character of life. Though so intimately
connected with practical concerns, these issues are primarily the
business of thought. In grappling with them, thought is called upon for
its greatest comprehensiveness, penetration, and self-consistency. By
the necessity of concentration, thought is sometimes led to forget its
origin and the source of its problems. But in naming itself philosophy,
thought has only recognized the definiteness and earnestness of its
largest task. Philosophy is still thought about life, representing but
the deepening and broadening of the common practical thoughtfulness.

We who began together at the starting-point of _life_, have now entered
together the haven of _philosophy_. It is not a final haven, but only
the point of departure for the field of philosophy proper. Nevertheless
that field is now in the plain view of the man who occupies the
practical stand-point. He must recognize in philosophy a kind of
reflection that differs only in extent and persistence from the
reflection that guides and justifies his life. He may not consciously
identify himself with any one of the three general groups which have
been characterized. But if he is neither an idealist, nor a philistine,
nor a pleasure lover, surely he is compounded of such elements, and does
not escape their implications. He desires something most of all, even
though his highest ideal be only an inference from the gradation of his
immediate purposes. This highest ideal represents what he conceives to
be the greatest worth or value attainable in the universe, and its
adoption is based upon the largest generalization that he can make or
borrow. The complete justification of his ideal would involve a true
knowledge of the essential character of the universe. For such knowledge
he substitutes either authority or his own imperfect insight. But in
either case his life is naturally and organically correlated with a
_thought about the universe in its totality, or in its deepest and
essential character_. Such thought, the activity and its results, is
philosophy. Hence he who lives is, _ipso facto_, a philosopher. He is
not only a potential philosopher, but a partial philosopher. He has
already begun to be a philosopher. Between the fitful or prudential
thinking of some little man of affairs, and the sustained thought of the
devoted lover of truth, there is indeed a long journey, but it is a
straight journey along the same road. Philosophy is neither accidental
nor supernatural, but inevitable and normal. Philosophy is not properly
a vocation, but the ground and inspiration of all vocations. In the
hands of its devotees it grows technical and complex, as do all efforts
of thought, and to pursue philosophy bravely and faithfully is to
encounter obstacles and labyrinths innumerable. The general problem of
philosophy is mother of a whole brood of problems, little and great. But
whether we be numbered among its devotees, or their beneficiaries, an
equal significance attaches to the truth that philosophy is continuous
with life.



[Sidenote: Who is the Philosopher-Poet?]

§ 7. As the ultimate criticism of all human interests, philosophy may be
approached by avenues as various as these interests. Only when
philosophy is discovered as the implication of well-recognized special
interests, is the significance of its function fully appreciated. For
the sake of such a further understanding of philosophy, those who find
either inspiration or entertainment in poetry are invited in the present
chapter to consider certain of the relations between poetry and

We must at the very outset decline to accept unqualifiedly the poet's
opinion in the matter, for he would not think it presumptuous to
incorporate philosophy in poetry. "No man," said Coleridge, "was ever
yet a great poet without being at the same time a great philosopher."
This would seem to mean that a great poet is a great philosopher, and
more too. We shall do better to begin with the prosaic and matter of
fact minimum of truth: some poetry is philosophical. This will enable
us to search for the portion of philosophy that is in some poetry,
without finally defining their respective boundaries. It may be that all
true poetry is philosophical, as it may be that all true philosophy is
poetical; but it is much more certain that much actual poetry is far
from philosophical, and that most actual philosophy was not conceived or
written by a poet. The mere poet and the mere philosopher must be
tolerated, if it be only for the purpose of shedding light upon the
philosopher-poet and the poet-philosopher. And it is to the
philosopher-poet that we turn, in the hope that under the genial spell
of poetry we may be brought with understanding to the more forbidding
land of philosophy.

[Sidenote: Poetry as Appreciation.]

§ 8. Poetry is well characterized, though not defined, as an
interpretation of life. The term "life" here signifies the human
purposive consciousness, and active pursuit of ends. An interpretation
of life is, then, a selection and account of such values in human
experience as are actually sought or are worth the seeking. For the poet
all things are good or bad, and never only matters of fact. He is
neither an annalist nor a statistician, and is even an observer only
for the sake of a higher design. He is one who appreciates, and
expresses his appreciation so fittingly that it becomes a kind of truth,
and a permanently communicable object. That "unbodied joy," the
skylark's song and flight, is through the genius of Shelley so
faithfully embodied, that it may enter as a definite joy into the lives
of countless human beings. The sensuous or suggestive values of nature
are caught by the poet's quick feeling for beauty, and fixed by his
creative activity. Or with his ready sympathy he may perceive the value
of some human ideal or mastering passion, and make it a reality for our
common feeling. Where the poet has to do with the base and hateful, his
attitude is still appreciative. The evil is apprehended as part of a
dramatic whole having positive moral or æsthetic value. Moral ideas may
appear in both poetry and life as the inspiration and justification of
struggle. Where there is no conception of its moral significance, the
repulsive possesses for the poet's consciousness the æsthetic value of
diversity and contrast. Even where the evil and ugly is isolated, as in
certain of Browning's dramatic monologues, it forms, both for the poet
and the reader, but a part of some larger perception of life or
character, which is sublime or beautiful or good. Poetry involves,
then, the discovery and presentation of human experiences that are
satisfying and appealing. It is a language for human pleasures and
ideals. Poetry is without doubt a great deal more than this, and only
after a careful analysis of its peculiar language could one distinguish
it from kindred arts; but it will suffice for our purposes to
characterize and not differentiate. Starting from this most general
truth respecting poetry, we may now look for that aspect of it whereby
it may be a witness of philosophical truth.

[Sidenote: Sincerity in Poetry. Whitman.]

§ 9. For the answer to our question, we must turn to an examination of
the intellectual elements of poetry. In the first place, the common
demand that the poet shall be accurate in his representations is
suggestive of an indispensable intellectual factor in his genius. As we
have seen, he is not to reproduce nature, but the human appreciative
experience of nature. Nevertheless, he must even here be true to his
object. His art involves his ability to express genuinely and sincerely
what he himself experiences in the presence of nature, or what he can
catch of the inner lives of others by virtue of his intelligent
sympathy. No amount of emotion or even of imagination will profit a
poet, unless he can render a true account of them. To be sure, he need
not define, or even explain; for it is his function to transfer the
immediate qualities of experience: but he must be able to speak the
truth, and, in order to speak it, he must have known it. In all this,
however, we have made no demand that the poet should see more than one
thing at a time. Sincerity of expression does not require what is
distinctly another mode of intelligence, _comprehensiveness of view_. It
is easier, and accordingly more usual, to render an account of the
moments and casual units of experience, than of its totality. There are
poets, little and great, who possess the intellectual virtue of
sincerity, without the intellectual power of synthesis and
reconciliation. This distinction will enable us to separate the
intelligence exhibited in all poetry, from that distinct form of
intelligence exhibited in such poetry as is properly to be called

The "barbarian" in poetry has recently been defined as "the man who
regards his passions as their own excuse for being; who does not
domesticate them either by understanding their cause or by conceiving
their ideal goal."[28:1] One will readily appreciate the application of
this definition to Walt Whitman. What little unity there is in this
poet's world, is the composition of a purely sensuous experience,

     "The earth expending right hand and left hand,
      The picture alive, every part in its best light,
      The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where
          it is not wanted."

In many passages Whitman manifests a marvellous ability to discover and
communicate a fresh gladness about the commonest experiences. We cannot
but rejoice with him in all sights and sounds. But though we cannot deny
him truth, his truth is honesty and not understanding. The experiences
in which he discovers so much worth, are random and capricious, and do
not constitute a universe. To the solution of ultimate questions he
contributes a sense of mystery, and the conviction

     "That you are here--that life exists and identity,
      That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse."

His world is justly described by the writer just quoted as "a
phantasmagoria of continuous visions, vivid, impressive, but monotonous
and hard to distinguish in memory, like the waves of the sea or the
decorations of some barbarous temple, sublime only by the infinite
aggregation of parts."[30:2]

As is Walt Whitman, so are many poets greater and less. Some who have
seen the world-view, exhibit the same particularism in their lyric
moods; although, generally speaking, a poet who once has comprehended
the world, will see the parts of it in the light of that wisdom. But
Walt Whitman is peculiarly representative of the poetry that can be
true, without being wise in the manner that we shall come shortly to
understand as the manner of philosophy. He is as desultory in his poet
raptures as is the common man when he lives in his immediate
experiences. The truth won by each is the clear vision of one thing, or
of a limited collection of things, and not the broad inclusive vision of
all things.

[Sidenote: Constructive Knowledge in Poetry. Shakespeare.]

§ 10. The transition from Whitman to Shakespeare may seem somewhat
abrupt, but the very differences between these poets serve to mark out
an interesting affinity. Neither has put any unitary construction upon
human life and its environment. Neither, as poet, is the witness of any
world-view; which will mean for us that neither is a philosopher-poet.
As respects Shakespeare, this is a hard saying. We are accustomed to the
critical judgment that finds in the Shakespearian dramas an apprehension
of the universal in human life. But though this judgment is true, it is
by no means conclusive as respects Shakespeare's relation to the
philosophical type of thought. For there can be universality without
philosophy. Thus, to know the groups and the marks of the vertebrates is
to know a truth which possesses generality, in contradistinction to the
particularism of Whitman's poetic consciousness. Even so to know well
the groups and marks of human character, vertebrate and invertebrate, is
to know that of which the average man, in his hand to hand struggle with
life, is ignorant. Such a wisdom Shakespeare possessed to a unique
degree, and it enabled him to reconstruct human life. He did not merely
perceive human states and motives, but he understood human nature so
well that he could create consistent men and women. Moreover,
Shakespeare's knowledge was not only thus universal in being a knowledge
of general groups and laws, but also in respect of its extensity. His
understanding was as rich as it was acute. It is true, then, that
Shakespeare read human life as an open book, knowing certainly the
manner of human thinking and feeling, and the power and interplay of
human motives. But it is equally true, on the other hand, that he
possessed no unitary conception of the meaning and larger relations of
human life. Such a conception might have been expressed either by means
of the outlook of some dominating and persistent type of personality, or
by a pervading suggestion of some constant world-setting for the
variable enterprise of mankind. It could appear only provided the poet's
appreciation of life in detail were determined by an interpretation of
the meaning of life as a whole. Shakespeare apparently possessed no such
interpretation. Even when Hamlet is groping after some larger truth that
may bear upon the definite problems of life, he represents but one, and
that a strange and unusual, type of human nature. And Hamlet's
reflections, it should be noted, have no outcome. There is no
Shakespearian answer to the riddles that Hamlet propounds. The poet's
genius is not less amazing for this fact; indeed, his peculiar
distinction can only be comprehended upon this basis. Shakespeare put no
construction upon life, and by virtue of this very reserve accomplished
an art of surpassing fidelity and vividness. The absence of philosophy
in Shakespeare, and the presence of the most characteristic quality of
his genius, may both be imputed by the one affirmation, that _there is
no Shakespearian point of view_.

This truth signifies both gain and loss. The philosophical criticism of
life may vary from the ideal objectivity of absolute truth, to the
subjectivity of a personal religion. Philosophy aims to correct the
partiality of particular points of view by means of a point of view that
shall comprehend their relations, and effect such reconciliations or
transformations as shall enable them to constitute a universe.
Philosophy always assumes the hypothetical view of omniscience. The
necessity of such a final criticism is implicit in every scientific item
of knowledge, and in every judgment that is passed upon life. Philosophy
makes a distinct and peculiar contribution to human knowledge by its
heroic effort to measure all knowledges and all ideals by the standard
of totality. Nevertheless it is significant that no human individual can
possibly possess the range of omniscience. The most adequate knowledge
of which any generation of men is capable, will always be that which is
conceived by the most synthetic and vigorously metaphysical minds; but
every individual philosophy will nevertheless be a premature synthesis.
The effort to complete knowledge is the indispensable test of the
adequacy of prevailing conceptions, but the completed knowledge of any
individual mind will shortly become an historical monument. It will
belong primarily to the personal life of its creator, as the
articulation of his personal covenant with the universe. There is a
sound justification for such a conclusion of things in the case of the
individual, for the conditions of human life make it inevitable; but it
will always possess a felt unity, and many distinct features, that are
private and subjective. Now such a projection of personality, with its
coloring and its selection, Shakespeare has avoided; and very largely as
a consequence, his dramas are a storehouse of genuine human nature.
Ambition, mercy, hate, madness, guilelessness, conventionality, mirth,
bravery, deceit, purity--these, and all human states and attributes save
piety, are upon his pages as real, and as mysterious withal, as they are
in the great historical society. For an ordinary reader, these states
and attributes are more real in Hamlet or Lear than in his own direct
experience, because in Hamlet and Lear he can see them with the eye and
intelligence of genius. But Shakespeare is the world all over again,
and there is loss as well as gain in such realism. Here is human life,
no doubt, and a brilliant pageantry it is; but human life as varied and
as problematic as it is in the living. Shakespeare's fundamental
intellectual resource is the historical and psychological knowledge of
such principles as govern the construction of human natures. The goods
for which men undertake, and live or die, are any goods, justified only
by the actual human striving for them. The virtues are the old winning
virtues of the secular life, and the heroisms of the common conscience.
Beyond its empirical generality, his knowledge is universal only in the
sense that space and time are universal. His consciousness _contains_
its representative creations, and expresses them unspoiled by any
transforming thought. His poetic consciousness is like the very stage to
which he likens all the world: men and women meet there, and things
happen there. The stage itself creates no unity save the occasion and
the place. Shakespeare's consciousness is universal because it is a fair
field with no favors. But even so it is particular, because, though each
may enter and depart in peace, when all enter together there is anarchy
and a babel of voices. All Shakespeare is like all the world seen
through the eyes of each of its inhabitants. Human experience in
Shakespeare is human experience as everyone feels it, as comprehensive
as the aggregate of innumerable lives. But human experience in
philosophy is the experience of all as thought by a synthetic mind.
Hence the wealth of life depicted by Shakespeare serves only to point
out the philosopher's problem, and to challenge his powers. Here he will
find material, and not results; much to philosophize about, but no

[Sidenote: Philosophy in Poetry. The World-View. Omar Khayyam.]

§ 11. The discussion up to this point has attributed to poetry very
definite intellectual factors that nevertheless do not constitute
philosophy. Walt Whitman speaks his feeling with truth, but in general
manifests no comprehensive insight. Shakespeare has not only sincerity
of expression but an understanding mind. He has a knowledge not only of
particular experiences, but of human nature; and a consciousness full
and varied like society itself. But there is a kind of knowledge
possessed by neither, the knowledge sought by coördinating all aspects
of human experience, both particular and general. Not even Shakespeare
is wise as one who, having seen the whole, can fundamentally interpret a
part. But though the philosopher-poet may not yet be found, we cannot
longer be ignorant of his nature. He will be, like all poets, one who
appreciates experiences or finds things good, and he will faithfully
reproduce the values which he discovers. But he must _justify himself in
view of the fundamental nature of the universe_. The values which he
apprehends must be harmonious, and so far above the plurality of goods
as to transcend and unify them. The philosopher-poet will find reality
as a whole to be something that accredits the order of values in his
inner life. He will not only find certain things to be most worthy
objects of action or contemplation, but he will see why they are worthy,
because he will have construed the judgment of the universe in their

In this general sense, Omar Khayyam is a philosopher-poet. To be sure
his universe is quite the opposite of that which most poets conceive,
and is perhaps profoundly antagonistic to the very spirit of poetry; but
it is none the less true that the joys to which Omar invites us are such
as his universe prescribes for human life.

     "Some for the Glories of This World; and some
      Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
      Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
      Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum."

Herein is both poetry and philosophy, albeit but a poor brand of each.
We are invited to occupy ourselves only with spiritual cash, because the
universe is spiritually insolvent. The immediately gratifying feelings
are the only feelings that the world can guarantee. Omar Khayyam is a
philosopher-poet, because his immediate delight in "youth's
sweet-scented manuscript" is part of a consciousness that vaguely sees,
though it cannot grasp, "this sorry scheme of things entire."

     "Drink for you know not whence you come, nor why;
      Drink for you know not why you go, nor where."

[Sidenote: Wordsworth.]

§ 12. But the poet in his world-view ordinarily sees other than
darkness. The same innate spiritual enterprise that sustains religious
faith leads the poet more often to find the universe positively
congenial to his ideals, and to ideals in general. He interprets human
experience in the light of the spirituality of all the world. It is to
Wordsworth that we of the present age are chiefly indebted for such
imagery, and it will profit us to consider somewhat carefully the
philosophical quality of his poetry.

Walter Pater, in introducing his appreciation of Wordsworth, writes that
"an intimate consciousness of the expression of natural things, which
weighs, listens, penetrates, where the earlier mind passed roughly by,
is a large element in the complexion of modern poetry." We recognize at
once the truth of this characterization as applied to Wordsworth. But
there is something more distinguished about this poet's sensibility even
than its extreme fineness and delicacy; a quality that is suggested,
though not made explicit, by Shelley's allusion to Wordsworth's
experience as "a sort of thought in sense." Nature possessed for him not
merely enjoyable and describable characters of great variety and
minuteness, but an immediately apprehended unity and meaning. It would
be a great mistake to construe this meaning in sense as analogous to the
crude symbolism of the educator Froebel, to whom, as he said, "the world
of crystals proclaimed, in distinct and univocal terms, the laws of
human life." Wordsworth did not attach ideas to sense, but regarded
sense itself as a communication of truth. We readily call to mind his
unique capacity for apprehending the characteristic flavor of a certain
place in a certain moment of time, the individuality of a situation. Now
in such moments he felt that he was receiving intelligences, none the
less direct and significant for their inarticulate form. Like the boy
on Windermere, whom he himself describes,

                          "while he hung
     Loitering, a gentle shock of mild surprise
     Has carried far into his heart the voice
     Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene
     Would enter unawares into his mind,
     With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
     Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
     Into the bosom of the steady lake."

For our purpose it is essential that we should recognize in this
appreciation of nature, expressed in almost every poem that Wordsworth
wrote, a consciousness respecting the fundamental nature of the world.
Conversation, as we know, denotes an interchange of commensurable
meanings. Whatever the code may be, whether words or the most subtle
form of suggestion, communication is impossible without community of
nature. Hence, in believing himself to be holding converse with the
so-called physical world, Wordsworth conceives that world as
fundamentally like himself. He finds the most profound thing in all the
world to be the universal spiritual life. In nature this life manifests
itself most directly, clothed in its own proper dignity and peace. But
it may be discovered in the humanity that is most close to nature, in
the avocations of plain and simple people, and the unsophisticated
delights of children; and, with the perspective of contemplation, even
"among the multitudes of that huge city."

So Wordsworth is rendering a true account of his own experience of
reality when, as in "The Prelude," he says unequivocally:

     "A gracious spirit o'er this earth presides,
      And in the heart of man; invisibly
      It comes to works of unreproved delight,
      And tendency benign; directing those
      Who care not, know not, think not, what they do."

Wordsworth is not a philosopher-poet because by searching his pages we
can find an explicit philosophical creed such as this, but because all
the joys of which his poet-soul compels him to sing have their peculiar
note, and compose their peculiar harmony, by virtue of such an
indwelling consciousness. Here is one who is a philosopher in and
through his poetry. He is a philosopher in so far as the detail of his
appreciation finds fundamental justification in a world-view. From the
immanence of "the universal heart" there follows, not through any
mediate reasoning, but by the immediate experience of its propriety, a
conception of that which is of supreme worth in life. The highest and
best of which life is capable is contemplation, or the consciousness of
the universal indwelling of God. Of those who fail to live thus
fittingly in the midst of the divine life, Walter Pater speaks for
Wordsworth as follows:

     "To higher or lower ends they move too often with something of
     a sad countenance, with hurried and ignoble gait, becoming,
     unconsciously, something like thorns, in their anxiety to bear
     grapes; it being possible for people, in the pursuit of even
     great ends, to become themselves thin and impoverished in
     spirit and temper, thus diminishing the sum of perfection in
     the world at its very sources."[42:3]

The quiet and worshipful spirit, won by the cultivation of the emotions
appropriate to the presence of nature and society, is the mark of the
completest life and the most acceptable service. Thus for Wordsworth the
meaning of life is inseparable from the meaning of the universe. In
apprehending that which is good and beautiful in human experience, he
was attended by a vision of the totality of things. Herein he has had to
do, if not with the form, at any rate with the very substance of

[Sidenote: Dante.]

§ 13. Unquestionably the supreme philosopher-poet is Dante. He is not
only philosophical in the temper of his mind, but his greatest poem is
the incarnation of a definite system of philosophy, the most definite
that the world has seen. That conception of the world which in the
thirteenth century found argumentative and orderly expression in the
"Summa Theologiæ" of Thomas of Aquino, and constituted the faith of the
church, is visualized by Dante, and made the basis of an interpretation
of life.

The "Divina Commedia" deals with all the heavens to the Empyrean itself,
and with all spiritual life to the very presence of God. It derives its
imagery from the cosmology of the day, its dramatic motive from the
Christian and Greek conceptions of God and his dealings with the world.
Sin is punished because of the justice of God; knowledge, virtue, and
faith lead, through God's grace and mercy manifested in Christ, to a
perpetual union with Him. Hell, purgatory, and paradise give place and
setting to the events of the drama. But the deeper meaning of the poem
is allegorical. In a letter quoted by Lowell, Dante writes:

     "The literal subject of the whole work is the state of the
     soul after death, simply considered. But if the work be taken
     allegorically the subject is man, as by merit or demerit,
     through freedom of the will, he renders himself liable to the
     reward or punishment of justice."[43:4]

In other words, the inner and essential meaning of the poem has to do
not with external retribution, but with character, and the laws which
determine its own proper ruin or perfection. The punishments described
in the "Inferno" are accounts of the state of guilt itself, implications
of the will that has chosen the part of brutishness. Sin itself is
damnable and deadening, but the knowledge that the soul that sinneth
shall die is the first way of emancipation from sin. The guidance of
Virgil through hell and purgatory signifies the knowledge of good and
evil, or moral insight, as the guide of man through this life of
struggle and progress. The earthly paradise, at the close of the
"Purgatorio," represents the highest state to which human character can
attain when choice is determined by ordinary experience, intelligence,
and understanding. Here man stands alone, endowed with an enlightened
conscience. Here are uttered the last words of Virgil to Dante, the
explorer of the spiritual country:

     "Expect no more or word or sign from me. Free, upright, and
     sane is thine own free will, and it would be wrong not to act
     according to its pleasure; wherefore thee over thyself I crown
     and mitre."[44:5]

But moral self-reliance is not the last word. As Beatrice, the image of
tenderness and holiness, comes to Dante in the earthly paradise, and
leads him from the summit of purgatory into the heaven of heavens, and
even to the eternal light; so there is added to the mere human,
intellectual, and moral resources of the soul, the sustaining power of
the divine grace, the illuminating power of divine truth, and the
transforming power of divine love. Through the aid of this higher
wisdom, the journey of life becomes the way to God. Thus the allegorical
truth of the "Divina Commedia" is not merely an analysis of the moral
nature of man, but the revelation of a universal spiritual order,
manifesting itself in the moral evolution of the individual, and above
all in his ultimate community with the eternal goodness.

     "Thou shouldst not, if I deem aright, wonder more at thy
     ascent, than at a stream if from a high mountain it descends
     to the base. A marvel it would be in thee, if, deprived of
     hindrance, thou hadst sat below, even as quiet by living fire
     in earth would be."[45:6]

Such, in brief, is Dante's world-view, so suggestive of the freer
idealistic conceptions of later thought as to justify a recent
characterization of him as one who, "accepting without a shadow of a
doubt or hesitation all the constitutive ideas of mediæval thought and
life, grasped them so firmly and gave them such luminous expression that
the spirit in them broke away from the form."[46:7]

But it must be added, as in the case of Wordsworth, that Dante is a
philosopher-poet not because St. Thomas Aquinas appears and speaks with
authority in the Thirteenth Canto of the "Paradiso," nor even because a
philosophical doctrine can be consistently formulated from his writings,
but because his consciousness of life is informed with a sense of its
universal bearings. There is a famous passage in the Twenty-second Canto
of the "Paradiso," in which Dante describes himself as looking down upon
the earth from the starry heaven.

     "'Thou art so near the ultimate salvation,' began Beatrice,
     'that thou oughtest to have thine eyes clear and sharp. And
     therefore ere thou further enterest it, look back downward,
     and see how great a world I have already set beneath thy feet,
     in order that thy heart, so far as it is able, may present
     itself joyous to the triumphant crowd which comes glad through
     this round ether.' With my sight I returned through each and
     all the seven spheres, and saw this globe such that I smiled
     at its mean semblance; and that counsel I approve as the best
     which holds it of least account; and he who thinks of other
     things maybe called truly worthy."

Dante's scale of values is that which appears from the starry heaven.
His austere piety, his invincible courage, and his uncompromising hatred
of wrong, are neither accidents of temperament nor blind reactions, but
compose the proper character of one who has both seen the world from
God, and returned to see God from the world. He was, as Lowell has said,
"a man of genius who could hold heartbreak at bay for twenty years, and
would not let himself die till he had done his task"; and his power was
not obstinacy, but a vision of the ways of God. He knew a truth that
justified him in his sacrifices, and made a great glory of his defeat
and exile. Even so his poetry or appreciation of life is the expression
of an inward contemplation of the world in its unity or essence. It is
but an elaboration of the piety which he attributes to the lesser saints
of paradise, when he has them say:

     "Nay, it is essential to this blessed existence to hold
     ourselves within the divine will, whereby our very wills are
     made one. So that as we are from stage to stage throughout
     this realm, to all the realm is pleasing, as to the King who
     inwills us with His will. And His will is our peace; it is
     that sea whereunto is moving all that which It creates and
     which nature makes."[47:8]

[Sidenote: The Difference between Poetry and Philosophy.]

§ 14. There now remains the brief task of distinguishing the
philosopher-poet from the philosopher himself. The philosopher-poet is
one who, having made the philosophical point of view his own, expresses
himself in the form of poetry. The philosophical point of view is that
from which the universe is comprehended in its totality. The wisdom of
the philosopher is the knowledge of each through the knowledge of all.
Wherein, then, does the poet, when possessed of such wisdom, differ from
the philosopher proper? To this question one can give readily enough the
general answer, that the difference lies in the mode of utterance.
Furthermore, we have already given some account of the peculiar manner
of the poet. He invites us to experience with him the beautiful and
moving in nature and life. That which the poet has to express, and that
which he aims to arouse in others, is an appreciative experience. He
requires what Wordsworth calls "an atmosphere of sensation in which to
move his wings." Therefore if he is to be philosophical in intelligence,
and yet essentially a poet, he must find his universal truth in
immediate experience. He must be one who, in seeing the many, sees the
one. The philosopher-poet is he who visualizes a fundamental
interpretation of the world. "A poem," says one poet, "is the very image
of life expressed in its eternal truth."

The philosopher proper, on the other hand, has the sterner and less
inviting task of rendering such an interpretation articulate to thought.
That which the poet sees, the philosopher must define. That which the
poet divines, the philosopher must calculate. The philosopher must dig
for that which the poet sees shining through. As the poet transcends
thought for the sake of experience, the philosopher must transcend
experience for the sake of thought. As the poet sees all, and all in
each, so the philosopher, knowing each, must think all consistently
together, and then know each again. It is the part of philosophy to
collect and criticise evidence, to formulate and coördinate conceptions,
and finally to define in exact terms. The reanimation of the structure
of thought is accomplished primarily in religion, which is a general
conception of the world made the basis of daily living.

For religion there is no subjective correlative less than life itself.
Poetry is another and more circumscribed means of restoring thought to
life. By the poet's imagination, and through the art of his expression,
thought may be sensuously perceived. "If the time should ever come,"
says Wordsworth, "when what is now called Science, thus familiarized to
men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh, and blood,
the Poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and
will welcome the Being thus produced, as a dear and genuine inmate of
the household of man."[50:9] As respects truth, philosophy has an
indubitable priority. The very sternness of the philosopher's task is
due to his supreme dedication to truth. But if validity be the merit of
philosophy, it can well be supplemented by immediacy, which is the merit
of poetry. Presuppose in the poet conviction of a sound philosophy, and
we may say with Shelley, of his handiwork, that "it is the perfect and
consummate surface and bloom of all things; it is as the odor and the
color of the rose to the texture of the elements which compose it, as
the form and splendor of unfaded beauty to the secrets of anatomy and
corruption." "Indeed," as he adds, "what were our consolations on this
side of the grave--and our aspirations beyond it--if poetry did not
ascend to bring light and fire from those eternal regions where the
owl-winged faculty of calculation dare not ever soar?"[51:10]

The unity in outlook, attended by differences of method and form, which
may exist between poet and philosopher, is signally illustrated by the
relation between Goethe and Spinoza. What Goethe saw and felt, Spinoza
proved and defined. The universal and eternal substance was to Spinoza,
as philosopher, a theorem, and to Goethe, as poet, a perception and an
emotion. Goethe writes to Jacobi that when philosophy "lays itself out
for division," he cannot get on with it, but when it "confirms our
original feeling as though we were one with nature," it is welcome to
him. In the same letter Goethe expresses his appreciation of Spinoza as
the complement of his own nature:

     "His all-reconciling peace contrasted with my all-agitating
     endeavor; his intellectual method was the opposite counterpart
     of my poetic way of feeling and expressing myself; and even
     the inflexible regularity of his logical procedure, which
     might be considered ill-adapted to moral subjects, made me his
     most passionate scholar and his devoted adherent. Mind and
     heart, understanding and sense, were drawn together with an
     inevitable elective affinity, and this at the same time
     produced an intimate union between individuals of the most
     different types."[51:11]

It appears, then, that some poets share with all philosophers that
point of view from which the horizon line is the boundary of all the
world. Poetry is not always or essentially philosophical, but may be so;
and when the poetic imagination restores philosophy to immediacy, human
experience reaches its most exalted state, excepting only religion
itself, wherein God is both seen and also served. Nor is the part of
philosophy in poetry and religion either ignoble or presumptuous, for,
humanly speaking, "the owl-winged faculty of calculation" is the only
safe and sure means of access to that place on high,

     "Where the nightingale doth sing
      Not a senseless, trancèd thing,
      But a divine melodious truth;
      Philosophic numbers smooth;
      Tales and golden histories
      Of heaven and its mysteries."


[28:1] George Santayana, in his _Poetry and Religion_, p. 176.

[30:2] Santayana: _op. cit._, p. 180.

[42:3] _Appreciations_, p. 59.

[43:4] Letter to Can Grande. See Lowell's _Essay on Dante_, p. 34.

[44:5] _Purgatorio_, Canto XXVII. Translation by Norton.

[45:6] _Paradiso_, Canto I.

[46:7] Edward Caird, in his _Literature and Philosophy_, Vol. I, p. 24.

[47:8] _Paradiso_, Canto III.

[50:9] Observations prefixed to the second edition of _Lyrical Ballads_.

[51:10] _A Defence of Poetry._

[51:11] Quoted by Caird in his _Literature and Philosophy_, Vol. I, p.



[Sidenote: The Possibility of Defining Religion.]

§ 15. The least religious experience is so mysterious and so complex
that a moderate degree of reflection upon it tends to a sense of
intellectual impotence. "If I speak," says Emerson, "I define and
confine, and am less." One would gladly set down religion among the
unspeakable things and avoid the imputation of degrading it. It is
certain that the enterprise of defining religion is at present in
disrepute. It has been undertaken so often and so unsuccessfully that
contemporary students for the most part prefer to supply a list of
historical definitions of religion, and let their variety demonstrate
their futility. Metaphysicians and psychologists agree that in view of
the differences of creed, ritual, organization, conduct, and temperament
that have been true of different religions in different times and
places, one may as well abandon the idea that there is a constant

But on the other hand we have the testimony afforded by the name
religion; and the ordinary judgments of men to the effect that it
signifies something to be religious, and to be more or less religious.
There is an elementary logical principle to the effect that a group name
implies certain common group characters. Impatience with abstract or
euphemistic definitions should not blind us to the truth. Even the
psychologist tends in his description of religious phenomena to single
out and emphasize what he calls a _typical_ religious experience. And
the same applies to the idealist's treatment of the matter.[54:1]
Religion, he reasons, is essentially a development of which the true
meaning can be seen only in the higher stages. The primitive religion is
therefore only implicit religion. But lower stages cannot be regarded as
belonging to a single development with higher stages, if there be not
some actual promise of the later in the earlier, or some element which
endures throughout. It is unavoidable, then, to assume that in dealing
with religion we are dealing with a specific and definable experience.

[Sidenote: The Profitableness of Defining Religion.]

§ 16. The profitableness of undertaking such a definition is another
matter. It may well be that in so human and practical an affair as
religion, definition is peculiarly inappropriate. But is there not a
human and practical value in the very defining of religion? Is there not
a demand for it in the peculiar relation that exists between religion
and the progress of enlightenment? Religion associates itself with the
habits of society. The progress of enlightenment means that more or less
all the time, and very profoundly at certain critical times, society
must change its habits. The consequence is that religion is likely to be
abandoned with the old habits. The need of a new religion is therefore a
chronic one. The reformer in religion, or the man who wishes to be both
enlightened and religious, is chiefly occupied with the problem of
disentangling religion pure and undefiled from definite discredited
practices and opinions. And the solution of the problem turns upon some
apprehension of the essence of religion. There is a large amount of
necessary and unnecessary tragedy due to the extrinsic connection
between ideas and certain modes of their expression. There can be no
more serious and urgent duty than that of expressing as directly, and so
as truly as possible, the great permanent human concerns. The men to
whom educational reform has been largely due have been the men who have
remembered for their fellows what this whole business of education is
after all for. Comenius and Pestalozzi served society by stripping
educational activity of its historical and institutional accessories,
and laying bare the genuine human need that these are designed to
satisfy. There is a similar virtue in the insistent attempt to
distinguish between the essential and the accessory in religion.

[Sidenote: The True Method of Defining Religion.]

§ 17. Although declining to be discouraged by the conspicuousness of
past failures in this connection, one may well profit by them. The
amazing complexity of religious phenomena must somehow be seen to be
consistent with their common nature. The religious experience must not
only be found, but must also be reconciled with "the varieties of
religious experience." The inadequacy of the well-known definitions of
religion may be attributed to several causes. The commonest fallacy is
to define religion in terms of a religion. My definition of religion
must include my brother's religion, even though he live on the other
side of the globe, and my ancestor's religion, in spite of his
prehistoric remoteness. Error may easily arise through the attempt to
define religion in terms of my own religion, or what I conceive to be
the true religion. Whatever the relation between ideal religion and
actual religion, the field of religion contains by common consent cults
that must on their own grounds condemn one another; religions that are
bad religions, and yet religions.

A more enlightened fallacy, and a more dangerous one, is due to the
supposition that religion can be defined exclusively in terms of some
department of human nature. There have been descriptions of religion in
terms of feeling, intellect, and conduct respectively. But it is always
easy to overthrow such a description, by raising the question of its
application to evidently religious experiences that belong to some other
aspect of life. Religion is not feeling, because there are many
phlegmatic, God-fearing men whose religion consists in good works.
Religion is not conduct, for there are many mystics whose very religion
is withdrawal from the field of action. Religion is not intellection,
for no one has ever been able to formulate a creed that is common to all
religions. Yet without a doubt one must look for the essence of religion
in human nature. The present psychological interest in religion has
emphasized this truth. How, then, may we describe it in terms of
certain constant conditions of human life, and yet escape the
abstractness of the facultative method? Modern psychology suggests an
answer in demonstrating the interdependence of knowledge, feeling, and
volition.[58:2] The perfect case of this unity is _belief_. The
believing experience is cognitive in intent, but practical and emotional
as well in content. I believe what I take for granted; and the object of
my belief is not merely known, but also felt and acted upon. _What I
believe expresses itself in my total experience._

There is some hope, then, of an adequate definition of the religious
experience, if it be regarded as belonging to the psychological type of
belief.[58:3] Belief, however, is a broader category than religion.
There must be some _religious type_ of believing. An account of religion
in terms of believing, and the particular type of it here in question,
would, then, constitute the central stem of a psychology of religion,
and affords the proper conceptions for a description of the religious
experience. Even here the reservation must be made that belief is always
more than the believing _state_, in that it means to be _true_.[59:4]
Hence to complete an account of religion one should consider its object,
or its cognitive implications. But this direct treatment of the relation
between religion and philosophy must be deferred until in the present
chapter we shall have come to appreciate the inwardness of the religious
consciousness. To this end we must permit ourselves to be enlightened by
the experience of religious people as viewed from within. It is not our
opinion of a man's religion that is here in question, but the content
and meaning which it has for him.

     "I would have you," says Fielding, in his "Hearts of Men," "go
     and kneel beside the Mahommedan as he prays at the sunset
     hour, and put your heart to his and wait for the echo that
     will surely come. . . . I would have you go to the hillman
     smearing the stone with butter that his god may be pleased, to
     the woman crying to the forest god for her sick child, to the
     boy before his monks learning to be good. No matter where you
     go, no matter what the faith is called, if you have the
     hearing ear, if your heart is in unison with the heart of the
     world, you will hear always the same song."[59:5]

[Sidenote: Religion as Belief.]

§ 18. The general identification of religion with belief is made without
serious difficulty. The essential factor in belief, is, as we have seen,
the reaction of the whole personality to a fixed object or accepted
situation. A similar principle underlies common judgments about a man's
religion. He is accounted most religious whose religion penetrates his
life most intimately. In the man whose religion consists in the outer
exercise of attendance upon church, we recognize the sham. He _appears_
to be religious. He does one of the things which a religious man would
do; but an object of religious faith is not the constant environment of
his life. He may or may not feel sure of God from his pew, but God is
not among the things that count in his daily life. God does not enter
into his calculations or determine his scale of values. Again,
discursive thinking is regarded as an interruption of religion. When I
am at pains to justify my religion, I am already doubting; and for
common opinion doubt is identical with irreligion. In so far as I am
religious, my religion stands in no need of justification, even though I
regard it as justifiable. In my religious experience I am taking
something for granted; in other words I act about it and feel about it
in a manner that is going to be determined by the special conditions of
my mood and temperament. The mechanical and prosaic man acknowledges God
in his mechanical and prosaic way. He believes in divine retribution as
he believes in commercial or social retribution. He is as careful to
prepare for the next world as he is to be respectable in this. The poet,
on the other hand, believes in God after the manner of his genius.
Though he worship God in spirit he may conduct his life in an irregular
manner peculiar to himself. Difference of mood in the same individual
may be judged by the same measure. When God is most real to him, brought
home to him most vividly, or consciously obeyed, in these moments he is
most religious. When, on the other hand, God is merely a name to him,
and church a routine, or when both are forgotten in the daily
occupations, he is least religious. His life on the whole is said to be
religious in so far as periods of the second type are subordinated to
periods of the first type. Further well-known elements of belief,
corollaries of the above, are evidently present in religion. A certain
_imagery remains constant_ throughout an individual's experience. He
comes back to it as to a physical object in space. And although religion
is sporadically an exclusive and isolated affair, it tends strongly to
be social. The religious object, or God, is a social object, common to
me and to my neighbor, and presupposed in our collective undertakings.
This reduction of religion to the type of the believing state should
thus provide us with an answer to that old and fundamental question
concerning the relative priority of faith and works. The test of the
faith is in the works, and the works are religious in so far as they are
the expression of the faith. Religion is not the doing of anything nor
the feeling of anything nor the thinking of anything, but the reacting
as a whole, in terms of all possible activities of human life, to some
accepted situation.

[Sidenote: Religion as Belief in a Disposition or Attitude.]

§ 19. We may now face the more interesting but difficult question of the
special character of religious belief. In spite of the fact that in
these days the personality of God is often regarded as a transient
feature of religion, that type of belief which throws most light upon
the religious experience is the _belief in persons_. Our belief in
persons consists in the practical recognition of a more or less
persistent disposition toward ourselves. The outward behavior of our
fellow-men is construed in terms of the practical bearing of the
attitude which it implies. The extraordinary feature of such belief is
the disproportion between its vividness and the direct evidence for it.
Of this we are most aware in connection with those personalities which
we regard as distinctly friendly or hostile to ourselves. We are always
more or less clearly in the presence of our friends and enemies. Their
well-wishing or their ill-wishing haunts the scene of our living. There
is no more important constituent of what the psychologists call our
"general feeling tone." There are times when we are entirely possessed
by a state that is either exuberance in the presence of those who love
us, or awkwardness and stupidity in the presence of those whom we
believe to suspect and dislike us. The latter state may easily become
chronic. Many men live permanently in the presence of an accusing
audience. The inner life which expresses itself in the words, "Everybody
hates me!" is perhaps the most common form of morbid self-consciousness.
On the other hand, buoyancy of spirits springs largely from a constant
faith in the good-will of one's fellows. In this case one is filled with
a sense of security, and is conscious of a sympathetic reinforcement
that adds to private joys and compensates for private sorrows. And this
sense of attitude is wonderfully discriminating. We can feel the
presence of a "great man," a "formidable person," a superior or
inferior, one who is interested or indifferent to our talk, and all the
subtlest degrees of approval and disapproval.

A similar sensibility may quicken us even in situations where no direct
individual attitude to ourselves is implied. We regard places and
communities as congenial when we are in sympathy with the prevailing
purposes or standards of value. We may feel ill at ease or thoroughly at
home in cities where we know no single human soul. Indeed, in a
misanthrope like Rousseau (and who has not his Rousseau moods!) the mere
absence of social repression arouses a most intoxicating sense of
tunefulness and security. Nature plays the part of an indulgent parent
who permits all sorts of personal liberties.

     "The view of a fine country, a succession of agreeable
     prospects, a free air, a good appetite, and the health I gain
     by walking; the freedom of inns, and the distance from
     everything that can make me recollect the dependence of my
     situation, conspire to free my soul, and give boldness to my
     thoughts, throwing me, in a manner, into the immensity of
     things, where I combine, choose, and appropriate them to my
     fancy, without restraint or fear. I dispose of all nature as I

[Sidenote: Religion as Belief in the Disposition of the Residual
Environment, or Universe.]

§ 20. In such confidence or distrust, inspired originally by the social
environment, and similarly suggested by other surroundings of life, we
have the key to the religious consciousness. But it is now time to add
that in the case of religion these attitudes are concerned with the
universal or supernatural rather than with present and normal human
relationships. Religious reactions are "total reactions."

     "To get at them," says William James, "you must go behind the
     foreground of existence and reach down to that curious _sense
     of the whole residual cosmos as an everlasting presence_,
     intimate or alien, terrible or amusing, lovable or odious,
     which in some degree everyone possesses. This _sense of the
     world's presence_, appealing as it does to our peculiar
     individual temperament, makes us either strenuous or careless,
     devout or blasphemous, gloomy or exultant about life at large;
     and our reaction, involuntary and inarticulate and often half
     unconscious as it is, is the completest of all our answers to
     the question, 'What is the character of this universe in which
     we dwell?'"[65:7]

This _residual environment_, or profounder realm of tradition and
nature, may have any degree of unity from chaos to cosmos. For religion
its significance lies in the idea of original and far-reaching power
rather than in the idea of totality. But that which is at first only
"beyond," is _practically_ the same object as that which comes in the
development of thought to be conceived as the "world" or the "universe."
We may therefore use these latter terms to indicate the object of
religion, until the treatment of special instances shall define it more
precisely. Religion is, then, _man's sense of the disposition of the
universe to himself_. We shall expect to find, as in the social
phenomena with which we have just dealt, that the manifestation of this
sense consists in a general reaction appropriate to the disposition so
attributed. He will be fundamentally ill at ease, profoundly confident,
or will habitually take precautions to be safe. The ultimate nature of
the world is here no speculative problem. The savage who could feel some
joy at living in the universe would be more religious than the sublimest
dialectician. It is in the vividness of the sense of this presence that
the acuteness of religion consists. I am religious in so far as the
whole tone and temper of my living reflects a belief as to what the
universe thinks of such as me.

[Sidenote: Examples of Religious Belief.]

§ 21. The examples that follow are selected because their differences
in personal flavor serve to throw into relief their common religious
character. Theodore Parker, in describing his own boyhood, writes as

     "I can hardly think without a shudder of the terrible effect
     the doctrine of eternal damnation had on me. How many, many
     hours have I wept with terror as I lay on my bed, till,
     between praying and weeping, sleep gave me repose. But before
     I was nine years old this fear went away, and I saw clearer
     light in the goodness of God. But for years, say from seven
     till ten, I said my prayers with much devotion, I think, and
     then continued to repeat, 'Lord, forgive my sins,' till sleep
     came on me."[67:8]

Compare with this Stevenson's Christmas letter to his mother, in which
he says:

     "The whole necessary morality is kindness; and it should
     spring, of itself, from the one fundamental doctrine, Faith.
     If you are sure that God, in the long run, means kindness by
     you, you should be happy; and if happy, surely you should be

Here is destiny frowning and destiny smiling, but in each case so real,
so present, as to be immediately responded to with helpless terror and
with grateful warm-heartedness.

The author of the "Imitatio Christi" speaks thus of the daily living of
the Christian:

     "The life of a Christian who has dedicated himself to the
     service of God should abound with eminent virtues of all
     kinds, that he may be really the same person which he is by
     outward appearance and profession. Indeed, he ought not only
     to be the same, but much more, in his inward disposition of
     soul; because he professes to serve a God who sees the inward
     parts, a searcher of the heart and reins, a God and Father of
     spirits: and therefore, since we are always in His sight, we
     should be exceedingly careful to avoid all impurity, all that
     may give offence to Him whose eyes cannot behold iniquity. We
     should, in a word, so far as mortal and frail nature can,
     imitate the blessed angels in all manner of holiness, since
     we, as well as they, are always in His presence. . . . And good
     men have always this notion of the thing. For they depend upon
     God for the success of all they do, even of their best and
     wisest undertakings."[68:10]

Such is to be the practical acknowledgment of God in the routine of
life. The more direct response to this presence appears abundantly in
St. Augustine's conversation and reminiscence with God.

     "How evil have not my deeds been; or if not my deeds my words;
     or if not my words my will? But Thou, O Lord, art good and
     merciful, and Thy right hand had respect unto the profoundness
     of my death, and removed from the bottom of my heart that
     abyss of corruption. And this was the result, that I willed
     not to do what I willed, and willed to do what thou
     willedst. . . . How sweet did it suddenly become to me to be
     without the delights of trifles! And what at one time I
     feared to lose, it was now a joy to me to put away. For Thou
     didst cast them away from me, Thou true and highest sweetness.
     Thou didst cast them away, and instead of them didst enter in
     Thyself--sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and
     blood; brighter than all light, but more veiled than all
     mysteries; more exalted than all honor, but not to the exalted
     in their own conceits. Now was my soul free from the gnawing
     cares of seeking and getting. . . . And I babbled unto Thee my
     brightness, my riches, and my health, the Lord my God."[69:11]

In these two passages we meet with religious conduct and with the
supreme religious experience, the direct worship of God. In each case
the heart of the matter is an individual's indubitable conviction of the
world's favorable concern for him. The deeper order of things
constitutes the real and the profoundly congenial community in which he

[Sidenote: Typical Religious Phenomena: Conversion.]

§ 22. Let us now apply this general account of the religious experience
to certain typical religious phenomena: _conversion_; _piety_; and
religious _instruments_, _symbolisms_, _and_ modes of _conveyance_.
Although recent study of the phenomenon of _conversion_ has brought to
light a considerable amount of interesting material, there is some
danger of misconceiving its importance. The psychology of conversion is
primarily the psychology of crisis or radical alteration, rather than
the psychology of religion. For the majority of religious men and women
conversion is an insignificant event, and in very many cases it never
occurs at all. Religion is more purely present where it is normal and
monotonous. But this phenomenon is nevertheless highly significant in
that religion and irreligion are placed in close juxtaposition, and the
contribution of religion at its inception thereby emphasized. In general
it is found that conversion takes place during the period of
adolescence. But this is the time of the most sudden expansion of the
environment of life; a time when there is the awakening consciousness of
many a new presence. This is sometimes expressed by saying that it is a
period of acute self-consciousness. Life is conscious of itself as over
against its inheritance; the whole setting of life sweeps into view.
Some solution of the life problem, some coming to terms with the
universe, is the normal issue of it. Religious conversion signifies,
then, that in this fundamental adjustment a man defines and accepts for
his life a certain attitude on the part of the universe. The examples
cited by the psychologists, as well as the generalizations which they
derive, bear out this interpretation.

     "General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, considers
     that the first vital step in saving outcasts consists in
     making them feel that some decent human being cares enough for
     them to take an interest in the question whether they are to
     rise or sink."[71:12]

The new state is here one of courage and hope stimulated by the glow of
friendly interest. The convert is no longer "out in the cold." He is
told that the world wishes him well, and this is brought home to him
through representations of the tenderness of Christ, and through the
direct ministerings of those who mediate it. But somehow the convert
must be persuaded to realize all this. He must _believe_ it before it
can mean anything to him. He is therefore urged to pray--a proceeding
that is at first ridiculous to him, since it involves taking for granted
what he disbelieves. But therein lies the critical point. It is peculiar
to the object in this case that it can exist only for one who already
believes in it. The psychologists call this the element of
"self-surrender." To be converted a man must somehow suffer his
surroundings to put into him a new heart, which may thereupon confirm
its object. Such belief is tremendously tenacious because it so largely
creates its own evidence. Once believe that "God, in the long run, means
kindness by you," and you are likely to stand by it to the end--the more
so in this case because the external evidence either way is to the
average man so insufficient. Such a belief as this is inspired in the
convert, not by reasoning, but by all the powers of suggestion that
personality and social contagion can afford.

[Sidenote: Piety.]

§ 23. The psychologists describe _piety_ as a sense of unity. One feels
after reading their accounts that they are too abstract. For there are
many kinds of unity, characteristic of widely varying moods and states.
Any state of rapt attention is a state of unity, and this occurs in the
most secular and humdrum moments of life. Nor does it help matters to
say that in the case of religion this unity must have been preceded by a
state of division; for we cannot properly characterize any state of mind
in terms of another state unless the latter be retained in the former.
And that which is characteristic of the religious sense of unity would
seem to be just such an overcoming of difference. There is a recognition
of two distinct attitudes, which may be more or less in sympathy with
one another, but which are both present even in their fullest harmony.
Were I to be taken out of myself so completely as to forget myself, I
should inevitably lose that sense of sympathy from which arises the
peculiar exultation of religious faith, a heightened experience of the
same type with the freedom and spontaneity that I experience in the
presence of those with whom I feel most in accord. The further graces
and powers of religion readily submit to a similar description. My sense
of positive sympathy expresses itself in an attitude of well-wishing;
living in an atmosphere of kindness I instinctively endeavor to
propagate it. My buoyancy is distinctly of that quality which to a
lesser degree is due to any sense of social security; my power is that
of one who works in an environment that reënforces him. I experience the
objective or even cosmical character of my enterprises. They have a
momentum which makes me their instrument rather than their perpetrator.
A paradoxical relation between religion and morality has always
interested observers of custom and history. Religion is apparently as
capable of the most fiendish malevolence as of the most saintly
gentleness. Fielding writes that,

     "When religion is brought out or into daily life and used as
     a guide or a weapon in the world it has no effect either for
     good or evil. Its effect is simply in strengthening the heart,
     in blinding the eyes, in deafening the ears. It is an
     intensive force, an intoxicant. It doubles or trebles a man's
     powers. It is an impulsive force sending him headlong down the
     path of emotion, whether that path lead to glory or to infamy.
     It is a tremendous stimulant, that is all."[74:13]

Religion does not originate life purposes or define their meaning, but
stimulates them by the same means that works in all corporate and social
activity. To work with the universe is the most tremendous incentive
that can appeal to the individual will. Hence in highly ethical
religions the power for good exceeds that of any other social and
spiritual agency. Such religion makes present, actual, and real, that
good on the whole which the individual otherwise tends to distinguish
from that which is good for _him_. In daily life the morally valid and
the practically urgent are commonly arrayed against one another; but the
ethical religion makes the valid urgent.

[Sidenote: Religious Instruments, Symbolism, and Modes of Conveyance.]

§ 24. The _instruments_ of religion are legion, and it is in order here
only to mention certain prominent cases in which their selection would
seem to have direct reference to the provocation and perpetuation of
such a sense of attitude as we have been describing. This is true in a
general way of all _symbolism_. There is no essential difference between
the religious symbol and such symbols as serve to remind us of human
relationships. In both cases the perceptual absence of will is
compensated for by the presence of some object associated with that
will. The function of this object is due to its power to revive and
perpetuate a certain special social atmosphere. But the most important
vehicle of religion has always been personality. It is, after all, to
priests, prophets, and believers that religious cults have owed their
long life. The traits that mark the prophet are both curious and
sublime. He is most remarkable for the confidence with which he speaks
for the universe. Whether it be due to lack of a sense of humor or to a
profound conviction of truth, is indifferent to our purpose. The power
of such men is undoubtedly in their suggestion of a force greater than
they, whose designs they bring directly and socially to the attention of
men. The prophet in his prophesying is indeed not altogether
distinguished from God, and it is through the mediation of a directly
perceptible human attitude that a divine attitude gets itself fixed in
the imagination of the believer. What is true of the prophet is equally
true of the preacher whose function it is not to represent God in his
own person, but to depict him with his tongue. It is generally
recognized that the preacher is neither a moralizer nor a theologian.
But it is less perfectly understood that it is his function to suggest
the presence of God. His proper language is that of the imagination, and
the picture which he portrays is that of a reciprocal social
relationship between man and the Supreme Master of the situation of
life. He will not define God or prove God, but introduce Him and talk
about Him. And at the same time the association of prayer and worship
with his sermon, and the atmosphere created by the meeting together of a
body of disciples, will act as the confirmation of his suggestions of
such a living presence.

The _conveyance_ of any single religious cult from generation to
generation affords a signal illustration of the importance in religion
of the recognition of attitude. Religions manage somehow to survive any
amount of transformation of creed and ritual. It is not what is done, or
what is thought, that identifies the faith of the first Christians with
that of the last, but a certain reckoning with the disposition of God.
The successive generations of Christians are introduced into the
spiritual world of their fathers, with its furnishing of hopes and fears
remaining substantially the same; and their Christianity consists in
their continuing to live in it with only a slight and gradual
renovation. To any given individual God is more or less completely
represented by his elders in the faith in their exhortations and
ministerings; and through them he fixes as the centre of his system an
image of God his accuser or redeemer.

[Sidenote: Historical Types of Religion. Primitive Religions.]

§ 25. The complete verification of this interpretation of the religious
experience would require the application of it to the different
historical cults. In general the examination of such instances is
entirely beyond the scope of this chapter; but a brief consideration may
be given to those which seem to afford reasonable grounds for objection.

First, it may be said that in _primitive religions_, notably in
fetichism, tabooism, and totemism, there is no recognition of a cosmical
unity. It is quite evident that there is no conception of a universe.
But it is equally evident that the natural and historical environment in
its generality has a very specific practical significance for the
primitive believer. It is often said with truth that these earliest
religions are more profoundly pantheistic than polytheistic. Man
recognizes an all-pervading interest that is capable of being directed
to himself. The selection of a deity is not due to any special
qualification for deification possessed by the individual object itself,
but to the tacit presumption that, as Thales said, "all things are full
of gods." The disposition of residual reality manifests to the believer
no consistency or unity, but it is nevertheless the most constant object
of his will. He lives in the midst of a capriciousness which he must
appease if he is to establish himself at all.

[Sidenote: Buddhism.]

§ 26. Secondly, in the case of _Buddhism_ we are said to meet with a
religion that is essentially atheistic.

     "Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not
     arise, it remains a fact and the fixed and necessary
     constitution of being, that all its constituents are

The secret of life lies in the application of this truth:

       "O builder! I've discovered thee!
     This fabric thou shalt ne'er rebuild!
     Thy rafters all are broken now,
     And pointed roof demolished lies!
     This mind has demolition reached,
     And seen the last of all desire!"[78:15]

The case of Buddha himself and of the exponents of his purely esoteric
doctrine, belong to the reflective type which will presently be given
special consideration. But with the ordinary believer, even where an
extraneous but almost inevitable polytheism is least in evidence, the
religious experience consists in substantially the same elements that
appear in theistic religions. The individual is here living
appropriately to the ultimate nature of things, with the ceaseless
periods of time in full view. That which is brought home to him is the
illusoriness and hollowness of things when taken in the spirit of active
endeavor. The only profound and abiding good is nothingness. While
nature and society conspire to mock him, Nirvana invites him to its
peace. The religious course of his life consists in the use of such
means as can win him this end. From the stand-point of the universe he
has the sympathy only of that wisdom whose essence is self-destruction.
And this truth is mediated by the imagination of divine sympathy, for
the Blessed One remains as the perpetual incarnation of his own

[Sidenote: Critical Religion.]

§ 27. Finally there remains the consideration of the bearing of this
interpretation upon the more refined and disciplined religions. The
religion of the critically enlightened man is less naive and credulous
in its imagery. God tends to vanish into an ideal or a universal, into
some object of theoretical definition. Here we are on that borderland
where an assignment of individual cases can never be made with any
certainty of correctness. We can generalize only by describing the
conditions that such cases must fulfil if they are properly to be
denominated religious. And there can be no question of the justice of
deriving such a description from the reports of historical and
institutional religions. An idealistic philosophy will, then, be a
religion just in so far as it is rendered practically vivid by the
imagination. Such imagination must create and sustain a social
relationship. The question of the legitimacy of this imagination is
another matter. It raises the issue concerning the judgment of truth
implied in religion, and this is the topic of the next chapter. At any
rate the religious experience _may be_ realized by virtue of the
metaphorical or poetical representation of a situation as one of
intercommunication between persons, where reflective definition at the
same time denies it. The human worshipper may supply the personality of
God from himself, viewing himself as from the divine stand-point. But
whatever faculty supplies this indispensable social quality of religion,
he who defines God as the ultimate goodness or the ultimate truth, has
certainly not yet worshipped Him. He begins to be religious only when
such an ideal determines the atmosphere of his daily living; when he
regards the immanence of such an ideal in nature and history as the
object of his will; and when he responds to its presence in the spirit
of his conduct and his contemplation.


[54:1] Cf. Caird: _The Evolution of Religion_, Lectures II, III.

[58:2] Cf. Leuba: _Introduction to a Psychological Study of Religion_,
_Monist_, Vol. XI, p. 195.

[58:3] Cf. Leuba: _Ibid._

[59:4] Cf. § 29.

[59:5] P. 322.

[64:6] Rousseau: _Confessions_, Book IV, p. 125.

[65:7] William James: _The Varieties of Religious Experience_, p. 35.
The italics are mine. I am in the present chapter under constant
obligation to this wonderfully sympathetic and stimulating book.

[67:8] Chadwick: _Theodore Parker_, p. 18.

[67:9] Stevenson: _Letters_, Vol. I, p. 229.

[68:10] Thomas à Kempis: _Imitation of Christ_, Chap. XIX. Translation
by Stanhope, p. 44.

[69:11] St. Augustine: _Confessions_, Book I, Chap. I. Translation in
Schaff: _Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers_, Vol. I, p. 129.

[71:12] James: _Varieties of Religious Experience_, p. 203.

[74:13] Fielding: _op. cit._, p. 152.

[78:14] Warren: _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 14.

[78:15] _Ibid._, p. 83.



[Sidenote: Résumé of Psychology of Religion.]

§ 28. It has been maintained that religion is closely analogous to one's
belief in the disposition toward one's self of men or communities. In
the case of religion this disposition is attributed to the more or less
vaguely conceived residual environment that is recognized as lying
outside of the more familiar natural and social relations. After the
rise of science this residual environment tends to be conceived as a
unity which is ultimate or fundamental, but for the religious
consciousness it is more commonly regarded as a general source of
influence practically worthy of consideration. Such a belief, like all
belief, is vitally manifested, with such emphasis upon action, feeling,
or intellection as temperament and mood may determine.

[Sidenote: Religion Means to be True.]

§ 29. But if the psychology of belief is the proper starting-point for a
description of the religious experience, it is none the less suggestive
of the fact that religion, just because it _is_ belief, is not wholly a
matter for psychology. For religion _means to be true_, and thus submits
itself to valuation as a case of knowledge. The psychological study of
religion is misleading when accepted as a substitute for philosophical
criticism. The religious man takes his religion not as a narcotic, but
as an enlightenment. Its subjective worth is due at any rate in part to
the supposition of its objective worth. As in any case of insight, that
which warms the heart must have satisfied the mind. The religious
experience purports to be the part of wisdom, and to afford only such
happiness as increasing wisdom would confirm. And the charm of truth
cannot survive its truthfulness. Hence, though religion may be
described, it cannot be justified, from the stand-point of therapeutics.
Were such the case it would be the real problem of religious leaders to
find a drug capable of giving a constantly pleasant tone to their
patient's experience.[83:1] There would be no difference between priests
and physicians who make a specialty of nervous diseases, except that the
former would aim at a more fundamental and perpetual suggestion of
serenity. Now no man wants to be even a blessed fool. He does not want
to dwell constantly in a fictitious world, even if it be after his own
heart. He may from the cynical point of view actually do so, but if he
be religious he thinks it is reality, and is satisfied only in so far as
he thinks so. He regards the man who has said in his heart that there is
no God as the fool, and not because he may have to suffer for it, but
because he is cognitively blind to the real nature of things. Piety, on
the other hand, he regards as the standard experience, the most
veracious life. Hence, it is not an accident that religion has had its
creeds and its controversies, its wars with science and its appeals to
philosophy. The history of these affairs shows that religion commonly
fails to understand the scope of its own demand for truth; but they have
issued from the deep conviction that one's religion is, implicitly, at
least, in the field of truth; that there are theoretical judgments whose
truth would justify or contradict it.

This general fact being admitted, there remains the task to which the
present discussion addresses itself, that of defining the kind of
_theoretical judgment_ implied in religion, and the relation to this
central cognitive stem of its efflorescences of myth, theology, and
ritual. It is impossible to separate the stem and the efflorescence, or
to determine the precise spot at which destruction of the tissue would
prove fatal to the plant, but it is possible to obtain some idea of the
relative vitality of the parts.

[Sidenote: Religion Means to be Practically True. God is a Disposition
from which Consequences May Rationally be Expected.]

§ 30. The difficulty of reaching a definite statement in this matter is
due to the fact that the truth in which any religious experience centres
is a practical and not a scientific truth. A practical truth does not
commit itself to any single scientific statement, and can often survive
the overthrow of that scientific statement in which at any given time it
has found expression. In other words, an indefinite number of scientific
truths are compatible with a single practical truth. An instance of this
is the consistency with my expectation of the alternation of day and
night, of either the Ptolemaic or Copernican formulation of the solar
system. Now expectation that the sun will rise to-morrow is an excellent
analogue of my religious belief. Celestial mechanics is as relevant to
the one as metaphysics to the other. Neither is overthrown until a
central practical judgment is discredited, and either could remain true
through a very considerable alteration of logical definition; but
neither is on this account exempt from theoretical responsibility. In so
far as religion deliberately enters the field of science, and defines
its formularies with the historical or metaphysical method, this
difficulty does not, of course, exist. Grant that the years of
Methuselah's life, or the precise place and manner of the temptation of
Jesus, or the definition of Christ in the terms of the Athanasian Creed,
are constitutive of Christianity, and the survival of that religion will
be determined by the solution of ordinary problems of historical or
metaphysical research. But the Christian will very properly claim that
his religion is only externally and accidentally related to such
propositions, since they are never or very rarely intended in his
experience. As religious he is occupied with Christ as his saviour or
with God as his protector and judge. The history of Jesus or the
metaphysics of God essentially concern him only in so far as they may or
may not invalidate this relationship. He cares only for the power and
disposition of the divine, and these are affected by history and
metaphysics only in so far as he has definitely put them to such proof.

For my religion is my sense of a practical situation, and only when
that has been proved to be folly has my religion become untrue. My God
is my practical faith, my plan of salvation. My religion is overthrown
if I am convinced that I have misconceived the situation and mistaken
what I should do to be saved. The conception of God is very simple
practically, and very complex theoretically, a fact that confirms its
practical genesis. My conception of God contains _an idea of my own
interests_, _an idea of the disposition of the universe toward my
interests_, and _some working plan for the reconciliation of these two
terms_. These three elements form a practical unity, but each is capable
of emphasis, and a religion may be transformed through the modification
of any one of them. It appears, then, as has always been somewhat
vaguely recognized, that the truth of religion is ethical as well as
metaphysical or scientific. My religion will be altered by a change in
my conception of what constitutes my real interest, a change in my
conception of the fundamental causes of reality, or a change in my
conception of the manner in which my will may or may not affect these
causes. God is neither an entity nor an ideal, but always a relation of
entity to ideal: _reality regarded from the stand-point of its
favorableness or unfavorableness to human life, and prescribing for the
latter the propriety of a certain attitude_.

[Sidenote: Historical Examples of Religious Truth and Error. The
Religion of Baal.]

§ 31. The range of historical examples is limitless, but certain of
these are especially calculated to emphasize the application of a
criterion to religion. Such is the case with Elijah's encounter with the
prophets of Baal, as narrated in the Old Testament.

     "And Elijah came near unto all the people, and said, How long
     halt ye between two opinions? If Yahweh be God, follow him:
     but if Baal, then follow him. . . . And call ye on the name of
     your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh: and the God
     that answereth by fire, let him be God. . . . And Elijah said
     unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for
     yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on
     the name of your god, but put no fire under. And they took the
     bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called
     on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O
     Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that
     answered. . . . And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah
     mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he
     is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is in a journey, or
     peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried
     aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and
     lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. . . . But there
     was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that

The religion of the followers of Baal here consists in a belief in the
practical virtue of a mode of address and form of ritual associated with
the traditions and customs of a certain social group. The prophets of
this cult agree to regard the experiment proposed by Elijah as a crucial
test, and that which is disproved from its failure is a plan of action.
These prophets relied upon the presence of a certain motivity, from
which a definite response could be evoked by an appeal which they were
peculiarly able to make; but though "they prophesied until the time of
the offering of the evening oblation," there was none that regarded.

[Sidenote: Greek Religion.]

§ 32. An equally familiar and more instructive example is the refutation
of the Greek national religion by Lucretius. The conception of life
which Lucretius finds unwarranted is best depicted in Homer. There we
hear of a society composed of gods and men. Though the gods, on the one
hand, have their own history, their affairs are never sharply sundered
from those of men, who, on the other hand, must constantly reckon with
them, gauge their attitude, and seek their favor by paying tribute to
their individual humors and preferences. In the Ninth Book of the
"Iliad," Phoenix addresses himself to the recalcitrant Achilles as

                         "It fits not one that moves
     The hearts of all, to live unmov'd, and succor hates for loves.
     The Gods themselves are flexible; whose virtues, honors, pow'rs,
     Are more than thine, yet they will bend their breasts as we bend
     Perfumes, benign devotions, savors of offerings burn'd,
     And holy rites, the engines are with which their hearts are turn'd,
     By men that pray to them."[90:3]

Here is a general recognition of that which makes sacrifice rational. It
is because he conceives this presupposition to be mistaken, that
Lucretius declares the practices and fears which are founded upon it to
be folly. It is the same with all that is practically based upon the
expectation of a life beyond the grave. The correction of the popular
religion is due in his opinion to that true view of the world taught by
Epicurus, whose memory Lucretius thus invokes at the opening of the
Third Book of the "De Rerum Natura":

     "Thee, who first wast able amid such thick darkness to raise
     on high so bright a beacon and shed a light on the true
     interests of life, thee I follow, glory of the Greek race,
     and plant now my footsteps firmly fixed in thy imprinted
     marks. . . . For soon as thy philosophy issuing from a
     godlike intellect has begun with loud voice, to proclaim the
     nature of things, the terrors of the mind are dispelled, the
     walls of the world part asunder, I see things in operation
     throughout the whole void: the divinity of the gods is
     revealed and their tranquil abodes which neither winds do
     shake nor clouds drench with rains nor snow congealed by sharp
     frost harms with hoary fall: an ever cloudless ether
     o'ercanopies them, and they laugh with light shed largely
     round. Nature too supplies all their wants and nothing ever
     impairs their peace of mind. But on the other hand the
     Acherusian quarters[91:4] are nowhere to be seen, though earth
     is no bar to all things being descried, which are in operation
     underneath our feet throughout the void."[91:5]

In another passage, after describing the Phrygian worship of Cybele, he
comments as follows:

     "All which, well and beautifully as it is set forth and told,
     is yet widely removed from true reason. For the nature of gods
     must ever in itself of necessity enjoy immortality together
     with supreme repose, far removed and withdrawn from our
     concerns; since exempt from every pain, exempt from all
     dangers, strong in its own resources, not wanting aught of us,
     it is neither gained by favors nor moved by anger. . . . The
     earth however is at all time without feeling, and because it
     receives into it the first-beginnings of many things, it
     brings them forth in many ways into the light of the

If the teaching of Epicurus be true it is evident that those who
offered hecatombs with the idea that they were thereby mitigating anger,
or securing special dispensation, were playing the fool. They were
appealing to a fictitious motivity, one not grounded in "the nature of
things." To one for whom the walls of the world had parted asunder, such
a procedure was no longer possible; though he might choose to "call the
sea Neptune" and reverence the earth as "mother of the gods."[92:7]

[Sidenote: Judaism and Christianity.]

§ 33. The history of religion contains no more impressive and dramatic
chapter than that which records the development of the religion of the
Jews. Passing over its obscure beginnings in the primitive Semitic cult,
we find this religion first clearly defined as tribal self-interest
sanctioned by Yahweh.[92:8] God's interest in his chosen people
determines the prosperity of him who practices the social virtues.

     "The name of Yahweh is a strong tower: the righteous runneth
     into it, and is safe."

     "He that is steadfast in righteousness shall attain unto

     "To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to Yahweh than

But in time it is evident to the believer that his experience does not
bear out this expectation. Neither as a Jew nor as a righteous man does
he prosper more than his neighbor. He comes, therefore, to distrust the
virtue of his wisdom.

     "Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light
     excelleth darkness. The wise man's eyes are in his head, and
     the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one
     event happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it
     happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why
     was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also
     was vanity. For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is
     no remembrance forever; seeing that in the days to come all
     will have been already forgotten. And how doth the wise man
     die even as the fool! So I hated life; because the work that
     is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me: for all is
     vanity and a striving after wind."[93:10]

It is evident that he who expects the favor of fortune in return for
his observance of precept is mistaken. The "work that is wrought under
the sun" makes no special provision for him during his lifetime. Unless
the cry of vanity is to be the last word there must be a
reinterpretation of the promise of God. This appears in the new ideal of
patient submission, and the chastened faith that expects only the love
of God. And those whom God loves He will not forsake. They will come to
their own, if not here, then beyond, according to His inscrutable but
unswerving plan.

     "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a
     contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

     "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth
     eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy
     place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
     to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of
     the contrite ones."[94:11]

In this faith Judaism merges into Christianity.[94:12] In the whole
course of this evolution God is regarded as the friend of his people,
but his people learn to find a new significance in his friendship. That
which is altered is the conduct which that friendship requires and the
expectation which it determines. The practical ideal which the
relationship sanctions, changes gradually from that of prudence to that
of goodness for its own sake. God, once an instrument relevant to human
temporal welfare, has come to be an object of disinterested service.

No such transformation as this was absolutely realized during the period
covered by the writings of the Old Testament, nor has it even yet been
realized in the development of Christianity. But the evolution of both
Judaism and Christianity has taken this direction. The criterion of this
evolution is manifestly both ethical and metaphysical. A Christian avows
that he rates purity of character above worldly prosperity, so that the
former cannot properly be prized for the sake of the latter.
Furthermore, he shares more or less unconsciously such philosophical and
scientific opinions as deny truth to the conception of special
interferences and dispensations from a supernatural agency. Therefore he
looks for no fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice. But his religion
is nevertheless a practical expectation. He believes that God is good,
and that God loves him and sustains him. He believes that there obtains
between himself, in so far as good, and the universe _sub specie
eternitatis_, a real sympathy and reciprocal reenforcement. He believes
that he secures through the profoundly potent forces of the universe
that which he regards as of most worth; and that somewhat is added to
these forces by virtue of his consecration. The God of the Christians
cannot be defined short of some such account as this, inclusive of an
ideal, an attitude, and an expectation. In other words the God of the
Christians is to be known only in terms of the Christlike outlook upon
life, in which the disciple is taught to emulate the master. When moral
and intellectual development shall have discredited either its scale of
values, or its conviction that cosmical events are in the end determined
in accordance with that scale of values, then Christianity must either
be transformed, or be untenable for the wise man. If we have conceived
the essence of Christianity too broadly or vaguely, it does not much
matter for our present purposes. Its essence is, at any rate, some such
inwardness of life resolving ideality and reality into one, and drawing
upon objective truth only to the extent required for the confirming of
that relation.

[Sidenote: The Cognitive Factor in Religion.]

§ 34. We conclude, then, our attempt to emphasize the cognitive factor
in religion, with the thesis that every religion centres in a practical
secret of the universe. _To be religious is to believe that a certain
correlation of forces, moral and factual, is in reality operative, and
that it determines the propriety and effectiveness of a certain type of
living. Whatever demonstrates the futility, vanity, or self-deception of
this living, discredits the religion. And, per contra, except as they
define or refute such practical truth, religion is not essentially
concerned with theoretical judgments._

[Sidenote: The Place of Imagination in Religion.]

§ 35. But neither religion nor any other human interest consists in
essentials. Such a practical conviction as that which has been defined
inevitably flowers into a marvelous complexity, and taps for its
nourishment every spontaneity of human nature. If it be said that only
the practical conviction is essential, this is not the same as to say
that all else is superfluous. There may be no single utterance that my
religion could not have spared, and yet were I to be altogether dumb my
religion would, indeed, be as nothing. For if I believe, I accept a
presence in my world, which as I live will figure in my dreams, or in my
thoughts, or in my habits. And each of these expressions of myself will
have a truth if it do but bear out my practical acceptance of that
presence. The language of religion, like that of daily life, is not the
language of science except it take it upon itself to be so. There is
scarcely a sentence which I utter in my daily intercourse with men which
is not guilty of transgressions against the canons of accurate and
definite thinking. Yet if I deceive neither myself nor another, I am
held to be truthful, even though my language deal with chance and
accident, material purposes and spiritual causes, and though I vow that
the sun smiles or the moon lets down her hair into the sea. Science is a
special interest in the discovery of unequivocal and fixed conceptions,
and employs its terms with an unalterable connotation. But no such
algebra of thought is indispensable to life or conversation, and its
lack is no proof of error. Such is the case also with that eminently
living affair, religion. I may if I choose, and I will if my reasoning
powers be at all awakened, be a theologian. But theology, like science,
is a special intellectual spontaneity. St. Thomas, the master
theologian, did not glide unwittingly from prayer into the _quæstiones_
of the "Summa Theologiæ," but turned to them as to a fresh adventure.
Theology is inevitable, because humanly speaking adventure is
inevitable. For man, with his intellectual spontaneity, every object is
a problem; and did he not seek sooner or later to define salvation,
there would be good reason to believe that he did not practically reckon
with any. But this is _similarly_ and _independently_ true of the
imagination, the most familiar means with which man clothes and vivifies
his convictions, the exuberance with which he plays about them and
delights to confess them. The imagination of religion, contributing what
Matthew Arnold called its "poetry and eloquence," does not submit itself
to such canons as are binding upon theology or science, but exists and
flourishes in its own right.

The indispensableness to religion of the imagination is due to that
faculty's power of realizing what is not perceptually present. Religion
is not interested in the apparent, but in the secret essence or the
transcendent universal. And yet this interest is a practical one.
Imagination may introduce one into the vivid presence of the secret or
the transcendent. It is evident that the religious imagination here
coincides with poetry. For it is at least one of the interests of poetry
to cultivate and satisfy a sense for the universal; to obtain an
immediate experience or appreciation that shall have the vividness
without the particularism of ordinary perception. And where a poet
elects so to view the world, we allow him as a poet the privilege, and
judge him by the standards to which he submits himself. That upon which
we pass judgment is the _fitness of his expression_. This expression is
not, except in the case of the theoretical mystic, regarded as
constituting the most valid form of the idea, but is appreciated
expressly for its fulfilment of the condition of immediacy. The same
sort of critical attitude is in order with the fruits of the religious
imagination. These may or may not fulfil enough of the requirements of
that art to be properly denominated poetry; but like poetry they are the
translation of ideas into a specific language. They must not, therefore,
be judged as though they claimed to excel in point of validity, but only
in point of consistency with the context of that language. And _the
language of religion is the language of the practical life_. Such
translation is as essential to an idea that is to enter into the
religious experience, as translation into terms of immediacy is
essential to an idea that is to enter into the appreciative
consciousness of the poet. No object can find a place in my religion
until it is conjoined with my purposes and hopes; until it is taken for
granted and acted upon, like the love of my friends, or the courses of
the stars, or the stretches of the sea.

[Sidenote: The Special Functions of the Religious Imagination.]

§ 36. The religious imagination, then, is to be understood and justified
as that which brings the objects of religion within the range of living.
The central religious object, as has been seen, is an _attitude_ of the
residuum or totality of things. To be religious one must have a sense
for the _presence of an attitude_, like his sense for the presence of
his human fellows, with all the added appreciation that is proper in the
case of an object that is unique in its mystery or in its majesty. It
follows that the religious imagination fulfils its function in so far as
it provides the object of religion with properties similar to those
which lend vividness and reality to the normal social relations.

The presence of one's fellows is in part the perceptual experience of
their bodies. To this there corresponds in religion some extraordinary
or subtle appearance. The gods may in visions or dreams be met with in
their own proper embodiments; or, as is more common, they may be
regarded as present for practical purposes: in some inanimate object,
as in the case of the fetish; in some animal species, as in the case of
the totem; in some place, as in the case of the shrine; or even in some
human being, as in the case of the inspired prophet and miracle worker.
In more refined and highly developed religions the medium of God's
presence is less specific. He is perceived with

                         "--a sense sublime
     Of something far more deeply interfused,
     Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
     And the round ocean and the living air,
     And the blue sky, and in the mind of man."

God is here found in an interpretation of the common and the natural,
rather than in any individual and peculiar embodiment. And here the
poet's appreciation, if not his art, is peculiarly indispensable.

But, furthermore, his fellows are inmates of "the household of man" in
that he knows their history. They belong to the temporal context of
actions and events. Similarly, the gods must be historical. The sacred
traditions or books of religion are largely occupied with this history.
The more individual and anthropomorphic the gods, the more local and
episodic will be the account of their affairs. In the higher religions
the acts of God are few and momentous, such as creation or special
providence; or they are identical with the events of nature and human
history when these are _construed_ as divine. To find God in this latter
way requires an interpretation of the course of events in terms of some
moral consistency, a faith that sees some purpose in their evident

There is still another and a more significant way in which men recognize
one another: the way of address and conversation. And men have
invariably held a similar intercourse with their gods. To this category
belong communion and prayer, with all their varieties of expression. I
have no god until I address him. This will be the most direct evidence
of what is at least from my point of view a social relation. There can
be no general definition of the form which this address will take. There
may be as many special languages, as many attitudes, and as much
playfulness and subtlety of symbolism as in human intercourse. But, on
the other hand, there are certain utterances that are peculiarly
appropriate to religion. In so far as he regards his object as endowed
with both power and goodness the worshipper will use the language of
adoration; and the sense of his dependence will speak in terms of
consecration and thanksgiving.

     "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
      My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee,
      In a dry and weary land, where no water is.
      So have I looked upon thee in the sanctuary,
      To see thy power and thy glory.
      For thy loving-kindness is better than life;
      My lips shall praise thee."

These are expressions of a hopeful faith; but, on the other hand, God
may be addressed in terms of hatred and distrust.

     "Who is most wretched in this dolorous place?
      I think myself; yet I would rather be
      My miserable self than He, than He
      Who formed such creatures to his own disgrace.

     "The vilest thing must be less vile than Thou
      From whom it had its being, God and Lord!
      Creator of all woe and sin! abhorred,
      Malignant and implacable."[104:13]

In either case there may be an indefinite degree of hyperbole. The
language of love and hate, of confidence and despair, is not the
language of description. In this train of the religious consciousness
there is occasion for whatever eloquence man can feel, and whatever
rhetorical luxuriance he can utter.

[Sidenote: The Relation between Imagination and Truth in Religion.]

§ 37. Such considerations as these serve to account for the exercise and
certain of the fruits of the religious imagination, and to designate the
general criterion governing its propriety. But _how is one to determine
the boundary between the imaginative and the cognitive_? It is commonly
agreed that what religion says and does is not all intended literally.
But when is expression of religion only poetry and eloquence, and when
is it matter of conviction? If we revert again to the cognitive aspect
of religion, it is evident that there is but one test to apply:
_whatever either fortifies or misleads the will is literal conviction_.
This test cannot be applied absolutely, because it can properly be
applied only to the intention of an individual experience. However I may
express my religion, that which I express, is, we have seen, an
expectation. The degree to which I literally mean what I say is then the
degree to which it determines my expectations. Whatever adds no item to
these expectations, but only recognizes and vitalizes them, is pure
imagination. But it follows that it is entirely impossible from direct
inspection to define any given _expression_ of religious experience as
myth, or to define the degree to which it is myth. It submits to such
distinctions only when viewed from the stand-point of the concrete
religious experience which it expresses. Any such given expression could
easily be all imagination to one, and all conviction to another.
Consider the passage which follows:

     "And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and
     he that sat thereon, called Faithful and True; and in
     righteousness he doth judge and make war. And his eyes are a
     flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he hath
     a name written, which no one knoweth but he himself. And he is
     arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is
     called The Word of God."[106:14]

Is this all rhapsody, or is it in part true report? There is evidently
no answer to the question so conceived. But if it were to express my own
religious feeling it would have some specific proportion of literal and
metaphorical significance, according to the degree to which its detail
contributes different practical values to me. It might then be my
guide-book to the heavens, or only my testimony to the dignity and
mystery of the function of Christ.

The development of religion bears in a very important way upon this last
problem. The factor of imagination has undoubtedly come to have a more
clearly recognized role in religion. There can be no doubt that what we
now call myths were once beliefs, and that what we now call poetry was
once history. If we go back sufficiently far we come to a time when the
literal and the metaphorical were scarcely distinguishable, and this
because science had not emerged from the early animistic extension of
social relations. Men _meant_ to address their gods as they addressed
their fellows, and expected them to hear and respond, as they looked for
such reactions within the narrower circle of ordinary intercourse. The
advance of science has brought into vogue a description of nature that
inhibits such expectations. The result has been that men, continuing to
use the same terms, essentially expressive as they are of a practical
relationship, have come to regard them as only a general expression of
their attitude. The differences of content that are in excess of factors
of expectation remain as poetry and myth. On the other hand, it is
equally possible, if not equally common, for that which was once
imagined to come to be believed. Such a transformation is, perhaps,
normally the case when the inspired utterance passes from its author to
the cult. The prophets and sweet singers are likely to possess an
exuberance of imagination not appreciated by their followers; and for
this reason almost certainly misunderstood. For these reasons it is
manifestly absurd to fasten the name of myth or the name of creed upon
any religious utterance whatsoever, unless it be so regarded from the
stand-point of the personal religion which it originally expressed, or
unless one means by so doing to define it as an expression of his own
religion. He who defines "the myth of creation," or "the poetical story
of Samson," as parts of the pre-Christian Judaic religion, exhibits a
total loss of historical sense. The distinction between cognition and
fancy does not exist among objects, but only in the _intending_
experience; hence, for me to attach my own distinction to any individual
case of belief, viewed apart from the believer, is an utterly confusing
projection of my own personality into the field of my study.

[Sidenote: The Philosophy Implied in Religion and in Religions.]

§ 38. Only after such considerations as these are we qualified to attack
that much-vexed question as to whether religion deals invariably with a
personal god. It is often assumed in discussion of this question that
"personal god," as well as "god," is a distinct and familiar kind of
entity, like a dragon or centaur; its existence alone being
problematical. This is doubly false to the religious employment of such
an object. If it be true that in religion we mean by God a practical
interpretation of the world, _whatsoever be its nature_, then the
personality of God must be a derivative of the attitude, and not of the
nature of the world. Given the practical outlook upon life, there is no
definable world that cannot be construed under the form of God. My god
is my world practically recognized in respect of its fundamental or
ultimate attitude to my ideals. In the sense, then, conveyed by this
term _attitude_ my god will invariably possess the characters of
personality. But the degree to which these characters will coincide with
the characters which I assign to human persons, or the terms of any
logical conception of personality, cannot be absolutely defined.
Anthropomorphisms may be imagination or they may be literal conviction.
This will depend, as above maintained, upon the degree to which they
determine my expectations. Suppose the world to be theoretically
conceived as governed by laws that are indifferent to all human
interests. The practical expression of this conception appears in the
naturalism of Lucretius, or Diogenes, or Omar Khayyam. Living in the
vivid presence of an indifferent world, I may picture my gods as leading
their own lives in some remote realm which is inaccessible to my
petitions, or as regarding me with sinister and contemptuous cruelty. In
the latter case I may shrink and cower, or return them contempt for
contempt. I mean this literally only if I look for consequences
following directly from the emotional coloring which I have bestowed
upon them. It may well be that I mean merely to regard myself _sub
specie eternitatis_, in which case I am _personifying_ in the sense of
free imagination. In the religion of enlightenment the divine attitude
tends to belong to the poetry and eloquence of religion rather than to
its cognitive intent. This is true even of optimistic and idealistic
religion. The love and providence of God are less commonly supposed to
warrant an expectation of special and arbitrary favors, and have come
more and more to mean the play of my own feeling about the general
central conviction of the favorableness of the cosmos to my deeper or
moral concerns. But the factor of personality cannot possibly be
entirely eliminated, for the religious consciousness _creates_ a social
relationship between man and the universe. Such an interpretation of
life is not a case of the pathetic fallacy, unless it incorrectly
_reckons with_ the inner feeling which it attributes to the universe. It
is an obvious practical truth that the total or residual environment is
significant for life. Grant this and you make rational a recognition of
that significance, or a more or less constant sense of coincidence or
conflict with cosmical forces. Permit this consciousness to stand, and
you make some expression of it inevitable. Such an expression may,
furthermore, with perfect propriety and in fulfilment of human nature,
set forth and transfigure this central belief until it may enter into
the context of immediacy.

Thus any conception of the universe whatsoever may afford a basis for
religion. But there is no religion that does not virtually make a more
definite claim upon the nature of things, and this entirely
independently of its theology, or explicit attempt to define itself.
Every religion, even in the very living of it, is naturalistic, or
dualistic, or pluralistic, or optimistic, or idealistic, or pessimistic.
And there is in the realm of truth that which justifies or refutes these
definite practical ways of construing the universe. But no historical
religion is ever so vague even as this in its philosophical
implications. Indeed, we shall always be brought eventually to the
inner meaning of some individual religious experience, where no general
criticism can be certainly valid.

There is, then, a place in religion for that which is not directly
answerable to philosophical or scientific standards. But there is
always, on the other hand, an element of hope which conceives the nature
of the world, and means to be grounded in reality. In respect of that
element, philosophy is indispensable to religion. The meaning of
religion is, in fact, the central problem of philosophy. There is a
virtue in religion like that which Emerson ascribes to poetry. "The poet
is in the right attitude; he is believing; the philosopher, after some
struggle, having only reasons for believing." But whatever may be said
to the disparagement of its dialectic, philosophy is the justification
of religion, and the criticism of religions. To it must be assigned the
task of so refining positive religion as to contribute to the perpetual
establishment of true religion. And to philosophy, with religion,
belongs the task of holding fast to the idea of the universe. There is
no religion except before you begin, or after you have rested from, your
philosophical speculation. But in the universe these interests have a
common object. As philosophy is the articulation and vindication of
religion, so is religion the realization of philosophy. In philosophy
thought is brought up to the elevation of life, and in religion
philosophy, as the sum of wisdom, enters into life.


[83:1] As Plato interprets the scepticism of Protagoras to mean that one
state of mind cannot be more _true_ than another, but only _better_ or
worse. Cf. _Theætetus_, 167.

[88:2] Quoted with some omissions from _I Kings_, 18:21-29. The Hebrew
term _Yahweh_, the name of the national deity, has been substituted for
the English translation, "the Lord."

[90:3] _Iliad_, Book IX, lines 467 _sq._ Translation by Chapman.

[91:4] The supposed abode of departed spirits.

[91:5] Lucretius: _De Rerum Natura_, Book III, lines 1 _sq._ Translated
by Munro.

[91:6] _Ibid._, Book II, lines 644 _sq._

[92:7] It would be interesting to compare the equally famous criticism
of Greek religion in Plato's _Republic_, Book II, 377 _sq._

[92:8] Cf. W. Robertson Smith's admirable account of the Semitic

"What is requisite to religion is a practical acquaintance with the
rules on which the deity acts and on which he expects his worshippers to
frame their conduct--what in II Kings, 17:26 is called the 'manner,' or
rather the 'customary law' (_mishpat_), of the god of the land. This is
true even of the religion of Israel. When the prophets speak of the
knowledge of God, they always mean a practical knowledge of the laws and
principles of His government in Israel, and a summary expression for
religion as a whole is 'the knowledge and fear of Jehovah,' _i. e._, the
knowledge of what Jehovah prescribes, combined with a reverent
obedience." _The Religion of the Semites_, p. 23.

[93:9] _Proverbs_, 18:10; 11:19; 21:3.

[93:10] _Ecclesiastes_, 2:13 _sq._

[94:11] _Psalms_, 51:17; _Isaiah_, 57:15.

[94:12] In this discussion of Judaism I am much indebted to Matthew
Arnold's _Literature and Dogma_, especially Chapters I and II.

[104:13] James Thomson: _The City of Dreadful Night_. Quoted by James,
in _The Will to Believe, etc._, p. 45.

[106:14] _Revelation_, 19:11-13.



[Sidenote: The True Relations of Philosophy and Science. Misconceptions
and Antagonisms.]

§ 39. In the case of natural science we meet not only with a special
human interest, but with a theoretical discipline. We are confronted,
therefore, with a new question: that of the relation within the body of
human knowledge of two of its constituent members. Owing to the militant
temper of the representatives of both science and philosophy, this has
long since ceased to be an academic question, and has frequently been
met in the spirit of rivalry and partisanship. But the true order of
knowledge is only temporarily distorted by the brilliant success of a
special type of investigation; and the conquests of science are now so
old a story that critical thought shows a disposition to judge of the
issue with sobriety and logical highmindedness.

In the seventeenth century a newly emancipated and too sanguine reason
proposed to know the whole of nature at once in terms of mathematics
and mechanics. Thus the system of the Englishman Hobbes was science
swelled to world-proportions, simple, compact, conclusive, and
all-comprehensive. Philosophy proposed to do the work of science, but in
its own grand manner. The last twenty years of Hobbes's life, spent in
repeated discomfiture at the hands of Seth Ward, Wallis, Boyle, and
other scientific experts of the new Royal Society, certified
conclusively to the failure of this enterprise, and the experimental
specialist thereupon took exclusive possession of the field of natural
law. But the idealist, on the other hand, reconstructed nature to meet
the demands of philosophical knowledge and religious faith. There
issued, together with little mutual understanding and less sympathy, on
the one hand _positivism_, or exclusive experimentalism, and on the
other hand a rabid and unsympathetic transcendentalism. Hume, who
consigned to the flames all thought save "abstract reasoning concerning
quantity or number," and "experimental reasoning concerning matter of
fact and existence"; Comte, who assigned metaphysics to an immature
stage in the development of human intelligence; and Tyndall, who reduced
the religious consciousness to an emotional experience of mystery, are
typical of the one attitude. The other is well exhibited in Schelling's
reference to "the blind and thoughtless mode of investigating nature
which has become generally established since the corruption of
philosophy by Bacon, and of physics by Boyle." Dogmatic experimentalism
and dogmatic idealism signify more or less consistently the abstract
isolation of the scientific and philosophical motives.

There is already a touch of quaintness in both of these attitudes. We of
the present are in the habit of acknowledging the autonomy of science,
and the unimpeachable validity of the results of experimental research
in so far as they are sanctioned by the consensus of experts. But at the
same time we recognize the definiteness of the task of science, and the
validity of such reservations as may be made from a higher critical
point of view. Science is to be transcended in so far as it is
understood as a whole. Philosophy is critically empirical; empirical,
because it regards all _bona fide_ descriptions of experience as
knowledge; critical, because attentive to the conditions of both general
and special knowledge. And in terms of a critical empiricism so defined,
it is one of the problems of philosophy _to define and appraise the
generating problem of science_, and so to determine the value
assignable to natural laws in the whole system of knowledge.

[Sidenote: The Spheres of Philosophy and Science.]

§ 40. If this be the true function of philosophy with reference to
science, several current notions of the relations of the spheres of
these disciplines may be disproved. In the first place, philosophy will
not be all the sciences regarded as one science. Science tends to unify
without any higher criticism. The various sciences already regard the
one nature as their common object, and the one system of interdependent
laws as their common achievement. The philosopher who tries to be all
science at once fails ignominiously because he tries to replace the work
of a specialist with the work of a dilettante; and if philosophy be
identical with that body of truth accumulated and organized by the
coöperative activity of scientific men, then philosophy is a name and
there is no occasion for the existence of the philosopher as such.
Secondly, philosophy will not be the assembling of the sciences; for
such would be a merely clerical work, and the philosopher would much
better be regarded as non-existent than as a book-keeper. Nor, thirdly,
is philosophy an auxiliary discipline that may be called upon in
emergencies for the solution of some baffling problem of science. A
problem defined by science must be solved in the scientific manner.
Science will accept no aid from the gods when engaged in her own
campaign, but will fight it out according to her own principles of
warfare. And as long as science moves in her own plane, she can
acknowledge no permanent barriers. There is then no need of any
superscientific research that shall replace, or piece together, or
extend the work of science. But the savant is not on this account in
possession of the entire field of knowledge. It is true that he is not
infrequently moved to such a conviction when he takes us about to view
his estates. Together we ascend up into heaven, or make our beds in
sheol, or take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts
of the sea--and look in vain for anything that is not work done, or work
projected, by natural science. Persuade him, however, to _define_ his
estates, and he has circumscribed them. In his definition he must employ
conceptions more fundamental than the working conceptions that he
employs within his field of study. Indeed, in viewing his task as
definite and specific he has undertaken the solution of the problem of
philosophy. The logical self-consciousness has been awakened, and there
is no honorable way of putting it to sleep again. This is precisely
what takes place in any account of the generating problem of science. To
define science is to define at least one realm that is other than
science, the realm of active intellectual endeavor with its own proper
categories. One cannot reflect upon science and assign it an end, and a
method proper to that end, without bringing into the field of knowledge
a broader field of experience than the field proper to science, broader
at any rate by the presence in it of the scientific activity itself.

Here, then, is the field proper to philosophy. The scientist _qua_
scientist is intent upon his own determinate enterprise. The philosopher
comes into being as one who is interested in observing what it is that
the scientist is so intently doing. In taking this interest he has
accepted as a field for investigation that which he would designate as
the totality of interests or the inclusive experience. He can carry out
his intention of defining the scientific attitude only by standing
outside it, and determining it by means of nothing less than an
exhaustive searching out of all attitudes. Philosophy is, to be sure,
itself a definite activity and an attitude, but an attitude required by
definition to be conscious of itself, and, if you please, conscious of
its own consciousness, until its attitude shall have embraced in its
object the very principle of attitudes. Philosophy defines itself and
all other human tasks and interests. None have furnished a clearer
justification of philosophy than those men of scientific predilections
who have claimed the title of agnostics. A good instance is furnished by
a contemporary physicist, who has chosen to call his reflections

     "Physical science does not pretend to be a _complete_ view of
     the world; it simply claims that it is working toward such a
     complete view in the future. The highest philosophy of the
     scientific investigator is precisely this _toleration_ of an
     incomplete conception of the world and the preference for it,
     rather than an apparently perfect, but inadequate

It is apparent that if one were to challenge such a statement, the issue
raised would at once be philosophical and not scientific. The problem
here stated and answered, requires for its solution the widest
inclusiveness of view, and a peculiar interest in critical reflection
and logical coördination.

[Sidenote: The Procedure of a Philosophy of Science.]

§ 41. One may be prepared for a knowledge of the economic and social
significance of the railway even if one does not know a throttle from a
piston-rod, provided one has broad and well-balanced knowledge of the
interplay of human social interests. One's proficiency here requires one
to stand off from society, and to obtain a perspective that shall be as
little distorted as possible. The reflection of the philosopher of
science requires a similar quality of perspective. All knowledges,
together with the knowing of them, must be his object yonder, standing
apart in its wholeness and symmetry. Philosophy is the least dogmatic,
the most empirical, of all disciplines, since it is the only
investigation that can permit itself to be forgetful of nothing.

But the most comprehensive view may be the most distorted and false. The
true order of knowledge is the difficult task of logical analysis,
requiring as its chief essential some determination of the scope of the
working conceptions of the different independent branches of knowledge.
In the case of natural science this would mean an examination of the
method and results characteristic of this field, for the sake of
defining the kind of truth which attaches to the laws which are being
gradually formulated. But one must immediately reach either the one or
the other of two very general conclusions. If the laws of natural
science cover all possible knowledge of reality, then there is left to
philosophy only the logical function of justifying this statement. Logic
and natural science will then constitute the sum of knowledge. If, on
the other hand, it be found that the aim of natural science is such as
to exclude certain aspects of reality, then philosophy will not be
restricted to logical criticism, but will have a cognitive field of its
own. The great majority of philosophers have assumed the latter of these
alternatives to be true, while most aggressive scientists have intended
the former in their somewhat blind attacks upon "metaphysics." Although
the selection of either of these alternatives involves us in the defence
of a specific answer to a philosophical question, the issue is
inevitable in any introduction to philosophy because of its bearing upon
the extent of the field of that study. Furthermore there can be no
better exposition of the meaning of philosophy of science than an
illustration of its exercise. The following, then, is to be regarded as
on the one hand a tentative refutation of _positivism_, or the _claim of
natural science to be coextensive with knowable reality_; and on the
other hand a programme for the procedure of philosophy with reference
to natural science.

[Sidenote: The Origin of the Scientific Interest.]

§ 42. Science issues through imperceptible stages from organic habits
and instincts which signify the possession by living creatures of a
power to meet the environment on its own terms. Every organism possesses
such a working knowledge of nature, and among men the first science
consists in those habitual adjustments common to men and infra-human
organisms. Man is already practising science before he recognizes it. As
_skill_ it distinguishes itself early in his history from lore, or
untested tradition. Skill is familiarity with general kinds of events,
together with ability to identify an individual with reference to a
kind, and so be prepared for the outcome. Thus man is inwardly prepared
for the alternation of day and night, and the periods of the seasons. He
practically anticipates the procession of natural events in the
countless emergencies of his daily life. But science in the stricter
sense begins when skill becomes _free_ and _social_.

[Sidenote: Skill as Free.]

§ 43. Skill may be said to be _free_ when the essential terms of the
action have been abstracted from the circumstances attending them in
individual experiences, and are retained as ideal plans applicable to
any practical occasion. The monkey who swings with a trapeze from his
perch on the side of the cage, counts upon swinging back again without
any further effort on his own part. His act and its successful issue
signify his practical familiarity with the natural motions of bodies. We
can conceive such a performance to be accompanied by an almost entire
failure to grasp its essentials. It would then be necessary for nearly
the whole situation to be repeated in order to induce in the monkey the
same action and expectation. He would require a similar form, color, and
distance. But he might, on the other hand, regard as practically
identical all suspended and freely swinging bodies capable of affording
him support, and quite independently of their shape, size, time, or
place. In this latter case his skill would be applicable to the widest
possible number of cases that could present themselves. Having a
discerning eye for essentials, he would lose no chance of a swing
through looking for more than the bare necessities. When the
physicist describes the pendulum in terms of a formula such as
t = 2pi[squareroot(l/g)] he exhibits a similar discernment. He has
found that the time occupied by an oscillation of any pendulum may be
calculated exclusively in terms of its length and the acceleration due
to gravity. The monkey's higher proficiency and the formula alike
represent a knowledge that is free in the sense that it is contained in
terms that require no single fixed context in immediacy. The knowledge
is valid wherever these essential terms are present; and calculations
may be based upon these essential terms, while attendant circumstances
vary _ad infinitum_. Such knowledge is said to be _general_ or

There is another element of freedom, however, which so far has not been
attributed to the monkey's knowledge, but which is evidently present in
that of the physicist. The former has a practical ability to deal with a
pendulum when he sees it. The latter, on the other hand, knows about a
pendulum whether one be present or not. His knowledge is so retained as
always to be available, even though it be not always applicable. His
knowledge is not merely skill in treating a situation, but the
possession of resources which he may employ at whatever time, and in
whatever manner, may suit his interests. Knowing what he does about the
pendulum, he may act from the idea of such a contrivance, and with the
aid of it construct some more complex mechanism. His formulas are his
instruments, which he may use on any occasion. Suppose that a situation
with factors _a_, _b_, and _c_ requires factor _d_ in order to become
_M_, as desired. Such a situation might easily be hopeless for an
organism reacting directly to the stimulus _abc_, and yet be easily met
by a free knowledge of _d_. One who knows that _l_, _m_, and _n_ will
produce _d_, may by these means provide the missing factor, complete the
sum of required conditions, _abcd_, and so obtain the end _M_. Such
indirection might be used to obtain any required factor of the end, or
of any near or remote means to the end. There is, in fact, no limit to
the complexity of action made possible upon this basis; for since it is
available in idea, the whole range of such knowledge may be brought to
bear upon any individual problem.

[Sidenote: Skill as Social.]

§ 44. But knowledge of this free type becomes at the same time _social_
or _institutional_. It consists no longer in a skilful adaptation of the
individual organism, but in a system of terms common to all
intelligence, and preserved in those books and other monuments which
serve as the articulate memory of the race. A knowledge that is social
must be composed of unequivocal conceptions and fixed symbols. The
mathematical laws of the exact sciences represent the most successful
attainment of this end so far as form is concerned. Furthermore, the
amount of knowledge may now be increased from generation to generation
through the service of those who make a vocation of its pursuit. Natural
science is thus a cumulative racial proficiency, which any individual
may bring to bear upon any emergency of his life.

[Sidenote: Science for Accommodation and Construction.]

§ 45. Such proficiency as science affords is in every case the
anticipation of experience. This has a twofold value for mankind, that
of _accommodation_, and that of _construction_. Primitively, where mere
survival is the function of the organism as a whole, the value of
accommodation is relatively fundamental. The knowledge of what may be
expected enables the organism to save itself by means of its own
counter-arrangement of natural processes. Construction is here for the
sake of accommodation. But with the growth of civilization construction
becomes a positive interest, and man tends to save himself for definite
ends. Accommodation comes to take place for the sake of construction.
Science then supplies the individual with the ways and means wherewith
to execute life purposes which themselves tend to assume an absolute
value that cannot be justified merely on the ground of science.

[Sidenote: Method and Fundamental Conceptions of Natural Science. The
Descriptive Method.]

§ 46. If natural science be animated by any special cognitive interest,
this motive should appear in the development of its method and
fundamental conceptions. If that interest has been truly defined, it
should now enable us to understand the progressive and permanent in
scientific investigation as directly related to it. For the aim of any
discipline exercises a gradual selection from among possible methods,
and gives to its laws their determinate and final form.

The _descriptive method_ is at the present day fully established. A
leading moral of the history of science is the superior usefulness of an
exact account of the workings of nature to an explanation in terms of
some qualitative potency. Explanation has been postponed by enlightened
science until after a more careful observation of actual processes shall
have been made; and at length it has been admitted that there is no need
of any explanation but perfect description. Now the practical use of
science defined above, requires no knowledge beyond the actual order of
events. For such a purpose sufficient reason signifies only sufficient
conditions. All other considerations are irrelevant, and it is proper
to ignore them. Such has actually been the fate of the so-called
metaphysical solution of special problems of nature. The case of Kepler
is the classic instance. This great scientist supplemented his laws of
planetary motion with the following speculation concerning the agencies
at work:

     "We must suppose one of two things: either that the moving
     spirits, in proportion as they are more removed from the sun,
     are more feeble; or that there is one moving spirit in the
     centre of all the orbits, namely, in the sun, which urges each
     body the more vehemently in proportion as it is nearer; but in
     more distant spaces languishes in consequence of the
     remoteness and attenuation of its virtue."[129:2]

The following passage from Hegel affords an interesting analogy:

     "The moon is the waterless crystal which seeks to complete
     itself by means of our sea, to quench the thirst of its arid
     rigidity, and therefore produces ebb and flow."[129:3]

No scientist has ever sought to refute either of these theories. They
have merely been neglected.

They were advanced in obedience to a demand for the ultimate
explanation of the phenomena in question, and were obtained by applying
such general conceptions as were most satisfying to the reasons of their
respective authors. But they contributed nothing whatsoever to a
practical familiarity with the natural course of events, in this case
the times and places of the planets and the tides. Hence they have not
been used in the building of science. In our own day investigators have
become conscious of their motive, and do not wait for historical
selection to exclude powers and reasons from their province. They
deliberately seek to formulate exact descriptions. To this end they
employ symbols that shall serve to identify the terms of nature, and
formulas that shall define their systematic relationship. These systems
must be exact, or deductions cannot be made from them. Hence they tend
ultimately to assume a mathematical form of expression.

[Sidenote: Space, Time, and Prediction.]

§ 47. But science tends to employ for these systems only such
conceptions as relate to _prediction_; and of these the most fundamental
are _space_ and _time_. The first science to establish its method was
the science of astronomy, where measurement and computation in terms of
space and time were the most obvious means of description; and the
general application of the method of astronomy by Galileo and Newton, or
the development of mechanics, is the most important factor in the
establishment of modern science upon a permanent working basis. The
persistence of the term _cause_, testifies to the fact that science is
primarily concerned with the determination of _events_. Its definitions
of objects are means of identification, while its laws are dynamical,
_i. e._, have reference to the conditions under which these objects
arise. Thus the chemist may know less about the properties of water than
the poet; but he is preëminently skilled in its production from
elements, and understands similarly the compounds into which it may
enter. Now the general conditions of all anticipation, whereby it
becomes exact and verifiable, are spacial and temporal. A predictable
event must be assigned to what is here now, or there now; or what is
here then, or there then. An experimentally verifiable system must
contain space-time variables, for which can be substituted the here and
now of the experimenter's immediate experience. Hence science deals
primarily with calculable places and moments. The mechanical theory of
nature owes its success to a union of space and time through its
conceptions of _matter_ and _motion_.[132:4] And the projected theory of
energetics must satisfy the same conditions.

[Sidenote: The Quantitative Method.]

§ 48. But, furthermore, science has, as we have seen, an interest in
freeing its descriptions from the peculiar angle and relativity of an
individual's experience, for the sake of affording him knowledge of that
with which he must meet. Science enlightens the will by acquainting it
with that which takes place in spite of it, and for which it must hold
itself in readiness. To this end the individual benefits himself in so
far as he eliminates himself from the objects which he investigates. His
knowledge is useful in so far as it is valid for his own indefinitely
varying stand-points, and those of other wills recognized by him in his
practical relations. But in attempting to describe objects in terms
other than those of a specific experience, science is compelled to
describe them in terms of one another. For this purpose _the
quantitative method_ is peculiarly serviceable. With its aid objects
permit themselves to be described as multiples of one another, and as
occupying positions in relation to one another. When all objects are
described strictly in terms of one another, they are expressed in terms
of arbitrary units, and located in terms of arbitrary spacial or
temporal axes of reference. Thus there arises the universe of the
scientific imagination, a vast complexity of material displacements and
transformations, without color, music, pleasure, or any of all that rich
variety of qualities that the least of human experiences contains. It
does not completely rationalize or even completely describe such
experiences, but formulates their succession. To this end they are
reduced to terms that correspond to no specific experience, and for this
very reason may be translated again into all definable hypothetical
experiences. The solar system for astronomy is not a bird's-eye view of
elliptical orbits, with the planets and satellites in definite phases.
Nor is it this group of objects from any such point of view, or from any
number of such points of view; but a formulation of their motions that
will serve as the key to an infinite number of their appearances. Or,
consider the picture of the ichthysauria romping in the mesozoic sea,
that commonly accompanies a text-book of geology. Any such picture, and
all such pictures, with their coloring and their temporal and spacial
perspective, are imaginary. No such special and exclusive manifolds can
be defined as having been then and there realized. But we have a
geological knowledge of this period, that fulfils the formal demands of
natural science, in so far as we can construct this and countless other
specific experiences with reference to it.

[Sidenote: The General Development of Science.]

§ 49. Science, then, is to be understood as springing from the practical
necessity of anticipating the environment. This anticipation appears
first as congenital or acquired reactions on the part of the organism.
Such reactions imply a fixed coördination or system in the environment
whereby a given circumstance determines other circumstances; and science
proper arises as the formulation of such systems. The requirement that
they shall apply to the phenomena that _confront_ the will, determines
their spacial, temporal, and quantitative form. The progress of science
is marked by the growth of these conceptions in the direction of
comprehensiveness on the one hand, and of refinement and delicacy on the
other. Man lives in an environment that is growing at the same time
richer and more extended, but with a compensatory simplification in the
ever closer systematization of scientific conceptions under the form of
the order of nature.

[Sidenote: The Determination of the Limits of Natural Science.]

§ 50. At the opening of this chapter it was maintained that it is a
function of philosophy to criticise science through its generating
problem, or its self-imposed task viewed as determining its province and
selecting its categories. The above account of the origin and method of
science must suffice as a definition of its generating problem, and
afford the basis of our answer to the question of its limits. Enough has
been said to make it clear that philosophy is not in the field of
science, and is therefore not entitled to contest its result in detail
or even to take sides within the province of its special problems.
Furthermore, philosophy should not aim to restrain science by the
imposition of external barriers. Whatever may be said of the sufficiency
of its categories in any region of the world, that body of truth of
which mathematics, mechanics, and physics are the foundations, must be
regarded as a whole that tends to be all-comprehensive in its own terms.
There remains for philosophy, then, the critical examination of these
terms, and the appraisal as a whole of the truth that they may express.

[Sidenote: Natural Science is Abstract.]

§ 51. The impossibility of embracing the whole of knowledge within
natural science is due to the fact that the latter is _abstract_. This
follows from the fact that natural science is governed by a selective
interest. The formulation of definitions and laws in exclusively
mechanical terms is not due to the exhaustive or even preëminent reality
of these properties, but to their peculiar serviceableness in a
verifiable description of events. Natural science does not affirm that
reality is essentially constituted of matter, or essentially
characterized by motion; but is _interested_ in the mechanical aspect of
reality, and describes it quite regardless of other evident aspects and
without meaning to prejudice them. It is unfortunately true that the
scientist has rarely been clear in his own mind on this point. It is
only recently that he has partially freed himself from the habit of
construing his terms as final and exhaustive.[137:5] This he was able
to do even to his own satisfaction, only by allowing loose rein to the
imagination. Consider the example of the atomic theory. In order to
describe such occurrences as chemical combination, or changes in volume
and density, the scientist has employed as a unit the least particle,
physically indivisible and qualitatively homogeneous. Look for the atom
in the body of science, and you will find it in physical laws governing
expansion and contraction, and in chemical formulas. There the real
responsibility of science ends. But whether through the need of popular
exposition, or the undisciplined imagination of the investigator
himself, atoms have figured in the history of thought as round
corpuscles of a grayish hue scurrying hither and thither, and armed with
special appliances wherewith to lock in molecular embrace. Although this
is nonsense, we need not on that account conclude that there are no
atoms. There are atoms in precisely the sense intended by scientific
law, in that the formulas computed with the aid of this concept are true
of certain natural processes. The conception of ether furnishes a
similar case. Science is not responsible for the notion of a quivering
gelatinous substance pervading space, but only for certain laws that,
_e. g._, describe the velocity of light in terms of the vibration. It is
true that there is such a thing as ether, not as gratuitously rounded
out by the imagination, with various attributes of immediate experience,
but just in so far as this concept is employed in verified descriptions
of radiation, magnetism, or electricity. Strictly speaking science
asserts nothing about the existence of ether, but only about the
behavior, _e. g._, of light. If true descriptions of this and other
phenomena are reached by employing units of wave propagation in an
elastic medium, then ether is proved to exist in precisely the same
sense that linear feet are proved to exist, if it be admitted that there
are 90,000,000 x 5,280 of them between the earth and the sun. And to
imagine in the one case a jelly with all the qualities of texture,
color, and the like, that an individual object of sense would possess,
is much the same as in the other to imagine the heavens filled with
foot-rules and tape-measures. There is but one safe procedure in dealing
with scientific concepts: to regard them as true so far as they
describe, and no whit further. To supplement the strict meaning which
has been verified and is contained in the formularies of science, with
such vague predicates as will suffice to make entities of them, is mere
ineptness and confusion of thought. And it is only such a
supplementation that obscures their abstractness. For a mechanical
description of things, true as it doubtless is, is even more indubitably

[Sidenote: The Meaning of Abstractness in Truth.]

§ 52. But though the abstractness involved in scientific description is
open and deliberate, we must come to a more precise understanding of it,
if we are to draw any conclusion as to what it involves. In his
"Principles of Human Knowledge," the English philosopher Bishop Berkeley
raises the question as to the universal validity of mathematical
demonstrations. If we prove from the image or figure of an isosceles
right triangle that the sum of its angles is equal to two right angles,
how can we know that this proposition holds of all triangles?

     "To which I answer, that, though the idea I have in view
     whilst I make the demonstration be, for instance, that of an
     isosceles rectangular triangle whose sides are of a
     determinate length, I may nevertheless be certain it extends
     to all other rectilinear triangles, of what sort or bigness
     soever. And that because neither the right angle, nor the
     equality, nor determinate length of the sides are at all
     concerned in the demonstration. It is true the diagram I have
     in view includes all these particulars; but then there is not
     the least mention made of them in the proof of the

Of the total conditions present in the concrete picture of a triangle,
one may in one's calculations neglect as many as one sees fit, and work
with the remainder. Then, if one has clearly distinguished the
conditions used, one may confidently assert that whatever has been found
true of them holds regardless of the neglected conditions. These may be
missing or replaced by others, provided the selected or (for any given
investigation) essential conditions are not affected. That which is true
once is true always, provided time is not one of its conditions; that
which is true in one place is true everywhere, provided location is not
one of its conditions. But, given any concrete situation, the more
numerous the conditions one ignores in one's calculations, the less
adequate are one's calculations to that situation. The number of its
inhabitants, and any mathematical operation made with that number, is
true, but only very abstractly true of a nation. A similar though less
radical abstractness appertains to natural science. Simple qualities of
sound or color, and distinctions of beauty or moral worth, together with
many other ingredients of actual experience attributed therein to the
objects of nature, are ignored in the mechanical scheme. There is a
substitution of certain mechanical arrangements in the case of the first
group of properties, the simple qualities of sense, so that they may be
assimilated to the general scheme of events, and their occurrence
predicted. But their intrinsic qualitative character is not reckoned
with, even in psychology, where the physiological method finally
replaces them with brain states. Over and above these neglected
properties of things there remain the purposive activities of thought.
It is equally preposterous to deny them and to describe them in
mechanical terms. It is plain, then, that natural science calculates
upon the basis of only a fraction of the conditions that present
themselves in actual experience. Its conclusions, therefore, though true
so far as they go, and they may be abstractly true of everything, are
completely true of nothing.

[Sidenote: But Scientific Truth is Valid for Reality.]

§ 53. Such, in brief, is the general charge of inadequacy which may be
urged against natural science, not in the spirit of detraction, but for
the sake of a more sound belief concerning reality. The philosopher
falls into error no less radical than that of the dogmatic scientist,
when he charges the scientist with untruth, and attaches to his concepts
the predicate of unreality. The fact that the concepts of science are
selected, and only inadequately true of reality, should not be taken to
mean that they are sportive or arbitrary. They are not "devices" or
abbreviations, in any sense that does not attach to such symbolism as
all thought involves. Nor are they merely "hypothetical," though like
all thought they are subject to correction.[142:7] The scientist does
not merely assert that the equation for energy is true if nature's
capacity for work be measurable, but _that such is actually the case_.
The statistician does not arrive at results contingent upon the
supposition that men are numerable, but declares his sums and averages
to be categorically true. Similarly scientific laws are true; only, to
be sure, so far as they go, but with no condition save the condition
that attaches to all knowledge, viz., that it shall not need correction.
The philosophy of science, therefore, is not the adversary of science,
but supervenes upon science in the interests of the ideal of final
truth. No philosophy of science is sound which does not primarily seek
by an analysis of scientific concepts to understand science on its own
grounds. Philosophy may understand science better than science
understands itself, but only by holding fast to the conviction of its
truth, and including it within whatever account of reality it may be
able to formulate.

[Sidenote: Relative Practical Value of Science and Philosophy.]

§ 54. Though philosophy be the most ancient and most exalted of human
disciplines, it is not infrequently charged with being the most
unprofitable. Science has amassed a fortune of information, which has
facilitated life and advanced civilization. Is not philosophy, on the
other hand, all programme and idle questioning? In the first place, no
questioning is idle that is logically possible. It is true that
philosophy shows her skill rather in the asking than in the answering of
questions. But the formal pertinence of a question is of the greatest
significance. No valid though unanswered question can have a purely
negative value, and especially as respects the consistency or
completeness of truth. But, in the second place, philosophy with all its
limitations serves mankind as indispensably as science. If science
supplies the individual with means of self-preservation, and the
instruments of achievement, philosophy supplies the ideals, or the
objects of deliberate construction. Such reflection as justifies the
adoption of a fundamental life purpose is always philosophical. For
every judgment respecting final worth is a judgment _sub specie
eternitatis_. And the urgency of life requires the individual to pass
such judgments. It is true that however persistently reflective he may
be in the matter, his conclusion will be premature in consideration of
the amount of evidence logically demanded for such a judgment. But he
must be as wise as he can, or he will be as foolish as conventionality
and blind impulse may impel him to be. Philosophy determines for society
what every individual must practically determine upon for himself, the
most reasonable plan of reality as a whole which the data and reflection
of an epoch can afford. It is philosophy's service to mankind to
compensate for the enthusiasm and concentration of the specialist, a
service needed in every "present day." Apart from the philosopher,
public opinion is the victim of sensationalism, and individual opinion
is further warped by accidental propinquity. It is the function of
philosophy to interpret knowledge for the sake of a sober and wise
belief. The philosopher is the true prophet, appearing before men in
behalf of that which is finally the truth. He is the spokesman of the
most considerate and comprehensive reflection possible at any stage in
the development of human thought. Owing to a radical misconception of
function, the man of science has in these later days begun to regard
himself as the wise man, and to teach the people. Popular materialism is
the logical outcome of this determination of belief by natural science.
It may be that this is due as much to the indifference of the
philosopher as to the forwardness of the scientist, but in any case the
result is worse than conservative loyalty to religious tradition. For
religion is corrected surely though slowly by the whole order of
advancing truth. Its very inflexibility makes it proof against an
over-emphasis upon new truth. It has generally turned out in time that
the obstinate man of religion was more nearly right than the adaptable
intellectual man of fashion. But philosophy, as a critique of science
for the sake of faith, should provide the individual religious believer
with intellectual enlightenment and gentleness. The quality,
orderliness, and inclusiveness of knowledge, finally determine its
value; and the philosopher, premature as his synthesis may some day
prove to be, is the wisest man of his own generation. From him the man
of faith should obtain such discipline of judgment as shall enable him
to be fearless of advancing knowledge, because acquainted with its
scope, and so intellectually candid with all his visions and his


[120:1] Ernst Mach: _Science of Mechanics_. Translation by McCormack, p.
464. No one has made more important contributions than Professor Mach to
a certain definite modern philosophical movement. Cf. § 207.

[129:2] Whewell: _History of the Inductive Sciences_, Vol. I, p. 289.
Quoted from Kepler: _Mysterium Cosmographicum_.

[129:3] Quoted by Sidgwick in his _Philosophy, its Scope and Relations_,
p. 89.

[132:4] The reader is referred to Mr. Bertrand Russell's chapters on
_matter_ and _motion_ in his _Principles of Mathematics_, Vol. I.
Material particles he defines as "many-one relations of all times to
some places, or of all terms of a continuous one-dimensional series _t_
to some terms of a continuous three-dimensional series _s_." Similarly,
"when different times, throughout any period however short, are
correlated with different places, there is motion; when different times,
throughout some period however short, are all correlated with the same
place, there is rest." _Op. cit._, p. 473.

[137:5] That the scientist still permits himself to teach the people a
loose exoteric theory of reality, is proven by Professor Ward's citation
of instances in his _Naturalism and Agnosticism_. So eminent a physicist
as Lord Kelvin is quoted as follows: "You can imagine particles of
something, the thing whose motion constitutes light. This thing we call
the luminiferous ether. That is the only substance we are confident of
in dynamics. One thing we are sure of, and that is the reality and
substantiality of the luminiferous ether." Vol. I, p. 113.

[140:6] Berkeley: _Principles of Human Knowledge_, Introduction. Edition
of Fraser, p. 248.

[142:7] The reader who cares to pursue this topic further is referred to
the writer's discussion of "_Professor Ward's Philosophy of Science_" in
the _Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods_, Vol. I,
No. 13.





[Sidenote: The Impossibility of an Absolute Division of the Problem of

§ 55. The stand-point and purpose of the philosopher define his task,
but they do not necessarily prearrange the division of it. That the task
is a complex one, embracing many subordinate problems which must be
treated _seriatim_, is attested both by the breadth of its scope and the
variety of the interests from which it may be approached. But this
complexity is qualified by the peculiar importance which here attaches
to unity. That which lends philosophical quality to any reflection is a
steadfast adherence to the ideals of inclusiveness and consistency.
Hence, though the philosopher must of necessity occupy himself with
subordinate problems, these cannot be completely isolated from one
another, and solved successively. Perspective is his most indispensable
requisite, and he has solved no problem finally until he has provided
for the solution of all. His own peculiar conceptions are those which
_order_ experience, and reconcile such aspects of it as other interests
have distinguished. Hence the compatibility of any idea with all other
ideas is the prime test of its philosophical sufficiency. On these
grounds it may confidently be asserted that the work of philosophy
cannot be assigned by the piece to different specialists, and then
assembled. There are no special philosophical problems which can be
finally solved upon their own merits. Indeed, such problems could never
even be named, for in their discreteness they would cease to be

The case of _metaphysics_ and _epistemology_ affords an excellent
illustration. The former of these is commonly defined as the theory of
reality or of first principles, the latter as the theory of knowledge.
But the most distinctive philosophical movement of the nineteenth
century issues from the idea that knowing and being are
identical.[150:1] The prime reality is defined as a knowing mind, and
the terms of reality are interpreted as terms of a cognitive process.
Ideas and logical principles _constitute_ the world. It is evident that
in this Hegelian philosophy epistemology embraces metaphysics. In
defining the relations of knowledge to its object, one has already
defined one's fundamental philosophical conception, while _logic_, as
the science of the universal necessities of thought, will embrace the
first principles of reality. Now, were one to divide and arrange the
problems of philosophy upon this basis, it is evident that one would not
have deduced the arrangement from the general problem of philosophy, but
from a single attempted solution of that problem. It might serve as an
exposition of Hegel, but not as a general philosophical programme.

Another case in point is provided by the present-day interest in what is
called "_pragmatism_."[151:2] This doctrine is historically connected
with Kant's principle of the "primacy of the practical reason," in which
he maintained that the consciousness of duty is a profounder though less
scientific insight than the knowledge of objects. The current doctrine
maintains that thought with its fruits is an expression of interest, and
that the will which evinces and realizes such an interest is more
original and significant than that which the thinking defines. Such a
view attaches a peculiar importance to the springs of conduct, and in
its more systematic development[152:3] has regarded _ethics_ as the
true propædeutic and proof of philosophy. But to make ethics the
key-stone of the arch, is to define a special philosophical system; for
it is the very problem of philosophy to dispose the parts of knowledge
with a view to systematic construction. The relation of the provinces of
metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics cannot, then, be defined
without entering these provinces and answering the questions proper to

[Sidenote: The Dependence of the Order of Philosophical Problems upon
the Initial Interest.]

§ 56. Since the above terms exist, however, there can be no doubt but
that important divisions within the general aim of philosophy have
actually been made. The inevitableness of it appears in the variety of
the sources from which that aim may spring. The point of departure will
always determine the emphasis and the application which the philosophy
receives. If philosophy be needed to supplement more special interests,
it will receive a particular character from whatever interest it so
supplements. He who approaches it from a definite stand-point will find
in it primarily an interpretation of that stand-point.

[Sidenote: Philosophy as the Interpretation of Life.]

§ 57. There are two sources of the philosophical aim, which are
perennial in their human significance. He, firstly, who begins with the
demands of life and its ideals, looks to philosophy for a reconciliation
of these with the orderly procedure of nature. His philosophy will
receive its form from its illumination of life, and it will be an
ethical or religious philosophy. Spinoza, the great seventeenth-century
philosopher who justified mysticism after the manner of
mathematics,[153:4] displays this temper in his philosophy:

     "After experience had taught me that all the usual
     surroundings of social life are vain and futile; seeing that
     none of the objects of my fears contained in themselves
     anything either good or bad, except in so far as the mind is
     affected by them, I finally resolved to inquire whether there
     might be some real good having power to communicate itself,
     which would affect the mind singly, to the exclusion of all
     else: whether, in fact, there might be anything of which the
     discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous,
     supreme, and unending happiness."[153:5]

In pursuance of this aim, though he deals with the problem of being in
the rigorous logical fashion of his day, the final words of his great
work are, "Of Human Freedom":

     "Whereas the wise man, in so far as he is regarded as such, is
     scarcely at all disturbed in spirit, but, being conscious of
     himself, and of God, and of things, by a certain eternal
     necessity, never ceases to be, but always possesses true
     acquiescence of his spirit. If the way which I have pointed
     out as leading to this result seems exceedingly hard, it may
     nevertheless be discovered. Needs must it be hard, since it is
     so seldom found. How would it be possible if salvation were
     ready to our hand, and could without great labor be found,
     that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things
     excellent are as difficult as they are rare."[154:6]

[Sidenote: Philosophy as the Extension of Science.]

§ 58. On the other hand, one who looks to philosophy for the extension
and correction of scientific knowledge will be primarily interested in
the philosophical definition of ultimate conceptions, and in the method
wherewith such a definition is obtained. Thus the philosophy of the
scientist will tend to be logical and metaphysical. Such is the case
with Descartes and Leibniz, who are nevertheless intimately related to
Spinoza in the historical development of philosophy.

     "Several years have now elapsed," says the former, "since I
     first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth,
     many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I
     afterward based on such principles was highly doubtful; and
     from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking
     once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had
     adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the
     foundation, if I desired to establish a firm and abiding
     superstructure in the sciences."[155:7]

Leibniz's mind was more predominantly logical even than Descartes's. He
sought in philosophy a supreme intellectual synthesis, a science of the

     "Although," he says retrospectively, "I am one of those who
     have worked much at mathematics, I have none the less
     meditated upon philosophy from my youth up; for it always
     seemed to me that there was a possibility of establishing
     something solid in philosophy by clear demonstrations. . . .
     I perceived, after much meditation, that it is impossible to
     find the _principles of a real unity_ in matter alone, or in
     that which is only passive, since it is nothing but a
     collection or aggregation of parts _ad infinitum_."[155:8]

[Sidenote: The Historical Differentiation of the Philosophical Problem.]

§ 59. Though these types are peculiarly representative, they are by no
means exhaustive. There are as many possibilities of emphasis as there
are incentives to philosophical reflection. It is not possible to
exhaust the aspects of experience which may serve as bases from which
such thought may issue, and to which, after its synthetic insight, it
may return. But it is evident that such divisions of philosophy
represent in their order, and in the sharpness with which they are
sundered, the intellectual autobiography of the individual philosopher.
There is but one method by which that which is peculiar either to the
individual, or to the special position which he adopts, may be
eliminated. Though it is impossible to tabulate the empty programme of
philosophy, we may name certain special problems that have appeared _in
its history_. Since this history comprehends the activities of many
individuals, a general validity attaches to it. There has been,
moreover, a certain periodicity in the emergence of these problems, so
that it may fairly be claimed for them that they indicate inevitable
phases in the development of human reflection upon experience. They
represent a normal differentiation of interest which the individual
mind, in the course of its own thinking, tends to follow. It is true
that it can never be said with assurance that any age is utterly blind
to any aspect of experience. This is obviously the case with the
practical and theoretical interests which have just been distinguished.
There is no age that does not have some practical consciousness of the
world as a whole, nor any which does not seek more or less earnestly to
universalize its science. But though it compel us to deal abstractly
with historical epochs, there is abundant compensation in the
possibility which this method affords of finding the divisions of
philosophy in the manifestation of the living philosophical spirit.

[Sidenote: Metaphysics Seeks a Most Fundamental Conception.]

§ 60. To Thales, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, is commonly
awarded the honor of being the founder of European philosophy. If he
deserve this distinction, it is on account of the question which he
raised, and not on account of the answer which he gave to it. Aristotle
informs us that Thales held "water" to be "the material cause of all
things."[157:9] This crude theory is evidently due to an interest in the
totality of things, an interest which is therefore philosophical. But
the interest of this first philosopher has a more definite character. It
looks toward the definition in terms of some single conception, of _the
constitution_ of the world. As a child might conceivably think the moon
to be made of green cheese, so philosophy in its childhood thinks here
of all things as made of water. Water was a well-known substance,
possessing well-known predicates. To define all nature in terms of it,
was to maintain that in spite of superficial differences, all things
have these predicates in common. They are the predicates which qualify
for reality, and compose a community of nature from which all the
individual objects and events of nature arise. The successors of Thales
were evidently dissatisfied with his fundamental conception, because of
its lack of generality. They seized upon vaguer substances like air and
fire, for the very definiteness of the nature of water forbids the
identification of other substances with it. But what is so obviously
true of water is scarcely less true of air and fire; and it appeared at
length that only a substance possessing the most general characters of
body, such as shape, size, and mobility, could be thought as truly
primeval and universal. In this wise a conception like our modern
physical conception of matter came at length into vogue. Now the problem
of which these were all tentative solutions is, in general, the problem
of _metaphysics_; although this term belongs to a later era, arising
only from the accidental place of the discussion of first principles
_after physics_ in the system of Aristotle. _The attempt to secure a
most fundamental conception which attaches some definite meaning to the
reality including and informing every particular thing, is metaphysics._

[Sidenote: Monism and Pluralism.]

§ 61. It must not be supposed that metaphysics is dogmatically committed
to the reduction of all reality to a unity of nature. It is quite
consistent with its purpose that the parts of reality should be found to
compose a group, or an indefinite multitude of irreducibly different
entities. But it is clear that even such an account of things deals with
what is true of all reality, and even in acknowledging the variety of
its constituents, attributes to them some kind of relationship. The
degree to which such a relationship is regarded as intimate and
essential, determines the degree to which any metaphysical system is
_monistic_,[159:10] rather than _pluralistic_. But the significance of
this difference will be better appreciated after a further
differentiation of the metaphysical problem has been noted.

[Sidenote: Ontology and Cosmology Concern Being and Process.]

§ 62. It has already been suggested that the test of Thales's conception
lay in the possibility of deriving nature from it. A world principle
must be fruitful. Now an abstract distinction has prevailed more or less
persistently in metaphysics, between _the general definition of being_,
called _ontology_, and the study of the processes wherewith being is
divided into things and events. This latter study has to do primarily
with the details of experience enumerated and systematized by the
natural sciences. _To reconcile_ these, _or the course of nature, with
the fundamental definition of being_, is the problem of _cosmology_.
Cosmology is the construing of the _prima facie_ reality in terms of the
essential reality. It is the proof and the explanation of ontology.
Since the most familiar part of the _prima facie_ reality, the part
almost exclusively noticed by the naive mind, is embraced within the
field of the physical sciences, the term cosmology has come more
definitely to signify the _philosophy of nature_. It embraces such an
examination of space, time, matter, causality, etc., as seeks to answer
the most general questions about them, and provide for them in the world
thought of as most profoundly real. Such a study receives its
philosophical character from its affiliation with ontology, as the
latter would find its application in cosmology.

[Sidenote: Mechanical and Teleological Cosmologies.]

§ 63. But in addition to the consideration of the various parts of
nature, cosmology has commonly dealt with a radical and far-reaching
alternative that appeared at the very dawn of metaphysics. Differences
may arise within a world constituted of a single substance or a small
group of ultimate substances, by changes in the relative position and
grouping of the parts. Hence the virtue of the conception of motion. The
theory which explains all differences by motions of the parts of a
qualitatively simple world, is called _mechanism_. Another source of
change familiar to naive experience is _will_, or the action of living
creatures. According to the mechanical theory, _changes occur on account
of the natural motions of the parts of matter_; according to the latter
or _teleological_ conception, _changes are made by a formative agency
directed to some end_. Among the early Greek philosophers, Leucippus was
an exponent of mechanism.

     "He says that the worlds arise when many bodies are collected
     together into the mighty void from the surrounding space and
     rush together. They come into collision, and those which are
     of similar shape and like form become entangled, and from
     their entanglement the heavenly bodies arise."[161:11]

Anaxagoras, on the other hand, was famed for his doctrine of the Nous,
or Intelligence, to whose direction he attributed the whole process of
the world. The following is translated from extant fragments of his
book, "περὶ φύσεως":

     "And Nous had power over the whole revolution, so that it
     began to revolve in the beginning. And it began to revolve
     first from a small beginning; but the revolution now extends
     over a larger space, and will extend over a larger still. And
     all the things that are mingled together and separated off and
     distinguished are all known by the Nous. And Nous set in order
     all things that were to be and that were, and all things that
     are not now and that are, and this revolution in which now
     revolve the stars and the sun and the moon, and the air and
     the ether that are separated off."[162:12]

[Sidenote: Dualism.]

§ 64. It is clear, furthermore, that the doctrine of Anaxagoras not only
names a distinct kind of cause, but also ascribes to it an independence
and intrinsic importance that do not belong to motion. Whereas motion is
a property of matter, intelligence is an originative power working out
purposes of its own choosing. Hence we have here to do with a new
ontology. If we construe ultimate being in terms of mind, we have a
definite substitute for the physical theories outlined above. Such a
theory is scarcely to be attributed to any Greek philosopher of the
early period; it belongs to a more sophisticated stage in the
development of thought, after the rise of the problem of epistemology.
But Anaxagoras's sharp distinction between the material of the world on
the one hand, and the author of its order and evolution on the other, is
in itself worthy of notice. It contains the germ of a recurrent
philosophical _dualism_, which differs from pluralism in that it finds
two and only two fundamental divisions of being, the physical, material,
or potential on the one hand, and the mental, formal, or ideal on the

[Sidenote: The New Meaning of Monism and Pluralism.]

§ 65. Finally, the alternative possibilities which these cosmological
considerations introduce, bear directly upon the general question of the
interdependence of the parts of the world, a question which has already
appeared as pertinent in ontology. Monism and pluralism now obtain a new
meaning. Where the world process is informed with some singleness of
plan, as teleology proposes, the parts are reciprocally necessary, and
inseparable from the unity. Where, on the other hand, the processes are
random and reciprocally fortuitous, as Leucippus proposes, the world as
a whole is an aggregate rather than a unity. In this way uniformity in
kind of being may prevail in a world the relations of whose parts are
due to chance, while diversity in kind of being may prevail in a world
knit together by some thorough-going plan of organization. Thus monism
and pluralism are conceptions as proper to cosmology as to ontology.

But enough has been said to demonstrate the interdependence of ontology
and cosmology, of the theory of being and the theory of differentiation
and process. Such problems can be only abstractly sundered, and the
distinctive character of any metaphysical system will usually consist in
some theory determining their relation. Philosophy returns to these
metaphysical problems with its thought enriched and its method
complicated, after becoming thoroughly alive to the problems of
epistemology, logic, and ethics.

[Sidenote: Epistemology Seeks to Understand the Possibility of

§ 66. _Epistemology is the theory of the possibility of knowledge_, and
issues from criticism and scepticism. If we revert again to the history
of Greek philosophy, we find a first period of enterprising speculation
giving place to a second period of hesitancy and doubt. This phase of
thought occurs simultaneously with the brilliantly humanistic age of
Pericles, and it is undoubtedly true that energy is withdrawn from
speculation largely for the sake of expending it in the more lively and
engaging pursuits of politics and art. But there are patent reasons
within the sphere of philosophy itself for entailment of activity and
taking of stock. For three centuries men have taken their philosophical
powers for granted, and used them without questioning them. Repeated
attacks upon the problem of reality have resulted in no consensus of
opinion, but only in a disagreement among the wise men themselves. A
great variety of mere theories has been substituted for the old
unanimity of religious tradition and practical life. It is natural under
these circumstances to infer that in philosophy man has overreached
himself. He would more profitably busy himself with affairs that belong
to his own sphere, and find a basis for life in his immediate relations
with his fellows. The sophists, learned in tradition, and skilled in
disputation, but for the most part entirely lacking in originality, are
the new prophets. As teachers of rhetoric and morals, they represent the
practical and secular spirit of their age; while in their avoidance of
speculation, and their critical justification of that course, they
express its sceptical philosophy.

[Sidenote: Scepticism, Dogmatism, and Agnosticism.]

§ 67. In their self-justification certain of the sophists attached
themselves to a definite doctrine maintained by those of their
predecessors and contemporaries who were atomists, or followers of that
same Leucippus whom we have quoted. This doctrine was the result of an
attempt to construe perception in terms of the motion of atoms. Outer
objects were said to give off fine particles which, through the
mediation of the sense organs, impinged upon the soul-atom. But it was
evident even to the early exponents of this theory that according to
such an account, each perceiver is relegated to a world peculiar to his
own stand-point. His perception informs him concerning his own states as
affected by things, rather than concerning the things themselves. Upon
this ground the great sophist Protagoras is said to have based his
dictum: Πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον ἄνθρωπος,--"Man is the measure of all
things." This is the classic statement of the doctrine of relativity.
But we have now entered into the province of epistemology, and various
alternatives confront us. Reduce thought to perception, define
perception as relative to each individual, and you arrive at
_scepticism_, or _the denial of the possibility of valid knowledge_.
Plato expounds this consequence in the well-known discussion of
Protagoras that occurs in the "Theætetus."

     "I am charmed with his doctrine, that what appears is to each
     one, but I wonder that he did not begin his book on Truth with
     a declaration that a pig or a dog-faced baboon, or some other
     yet stranger monster which has sensation, is the measure of
     all things; then he might have shown a magnificent contempt
     for our opinion of him by informing us at the outset that
     while we were reverencing him like a God for his wisdom, he
     was no better than a tadpole, not to speak of his
     fellow-men--would not this have produced an overpowering
     effect? For if truth is only sensation, and no man can discern
     another's feelings better than he, or has any superior right
     to determine whether his opinion is true or false, but each,
     as we have several times repeated, is to himself the sole
     judge, and everything that he judges is true and right, why,
     my friend, should Protagoras be preferred to the place of
     wisdom and instruction, and deserve to be well paid, and we
     poor ignoramuses have to go to him, if each one is the measure
     of his own wisdom? . . . The attempt to supervise or refute
     the notions or opinions of others would be a tedious and
     enormous piece of folly, if to each man his own are right; and
     this must be the case if Protagoras's Truth is the real truth,
     and the philosopher is not merely amusing himself by giving
     oracles out of the shrine of his book."[167:13]

This is the full swing of the pendulum from _dogmatism_, or the
uncritical conviction of truth. A modified form of scepticism has been
developed in these later days under the influence of natural science,
and is called _agnosticism_ or _positivism_. It accepts the Protagorean
doctrine only in the sense of attributing to human knowledge as a whole
an incapacity for exceeding the range of perception. Beyond this realm
of natural science, where theories can be sensibly verified, lies the
unknowable realm, more real, but forever inaccessible.

[Sidenote: The Source and Criterion of Knowledge According to Empiricism
and Rationalism. Mysticism.]

§ 68. It is important to note that both scepticism and agnosticism agree
in regarding _perception as the essential factor in knowledge_. So far
at any rate as our knowledge is concerned, the certification of being
consists in perceivability. Knowledge is coextensive with actual and
possible human experience. This account of the source and criterion of
knowledge is called _empiricism_, in distinction from the counter-theory
of _rationalism_.

The rationalistic motive was a quickening influence in Greek philosophy
long before it became deliberate and conspicuous in Socrates and Plato.
Parmenides, founder of the Eleatic School, has left behind him a poem
divided into two parts: "The Way of Truth" and "The Way of
Opinion."[168:14] In the first of these he expounds his esoteric
philosophy, which is a definition of being established by dialectical
reasoning. He finds that being must be single, eternal, and changeless,
because otherwise it cannot be thought and defined without
contradiction. The method which Parmenides here employs presupposes that
knowledge consists in understanding rather than perception. Indeed, he
regards the fact that the world of the senses is manifold and mutable as
of little consequence to the wise man. The world of sense is the
province of vulgar opinion, while that of reason is the absolute truth
revealed only to the philosopher. The truth has no concern with
appearance, but is answerable only to the test of rationality. _That
world is real which one is able by thinking to make intelligible._ The
world is what a world must be in order to be possible at all, and the
philosopher can deduce it directly from the very conditions of thought
which it must satisfy. He who would know reality may disregard what
seems to be, provided he can by reflective analysis discover certain
general necessities to which being must conform. This is rationalism in
its extreme form.

The rationalism of Socrates was more moderate, as it was more fruitful
than that of Parmenides. As is well known, Socrates composed no
philosophical books, but sought to inculcate wisdom in his teaching and
conversation. His method of inculcating wisdom was to evoke it in his
interlocutor by making him considerate of the meaning of his speech.
Through his own questions he sought to arouse the questioning spirit,
which should weigh the import of words, and be satisfied with nothing
short of a definite and consistent judgment. In the Platonic dialogues
the Socratic method obtains a place in literature. In the "Theætetus,"
which is, perhaps, the greatest of all epistemological treatises,
Socrates is represented as likening his vocation to that of the midwife.

     "Well, my art of midwifery is in most respects like theirs,
     but differs in that I attend men, and not women, and I look
     after their souls when they are in labor, and not after their
     bodies: and the triumph of my art is in thoroughly examining
     whether the thought which the mind of the young man brings
     forth is a false idol or a noble and true birth. And, like the
     midwives, I am barren, and the reproach which is often made
     against me, that I ask questions of others and have not the
     wit to answer them myself, is very just; the reason is that
     the god compels me to be a midwife, but does not allow me to
     bring forth. And therefore I am not myself at all wise, nor
     have I anything to show which is the invention or birth of my
     own soul, but those who converse with me profit. . . . It is
     quite clear that they never learned anything from me; the
     many fine discoveries to which they cling are of their own

The principle underlying this method is the insistence that a
proposition, to be true of reality, must at least bespeak a mind that is
true to itself, internally luminous, and free from contradiction. That
which is to me nothing that I can express in form that will convey
precise meaning and bear analysis, is so far nothing at all. Being is
not, as the empiricist would have it, ready at hand, ours for the
looking, but is the fruit of critical reflection. Only reason,
overcoming the relativity of perception, and the chaos of popular
opinion, can lay hold on the universal truth.

A very interesting tendency to clothe the articulations of thought with
the immediacy of perception is exhibited in _mysticism_, which
attributes the highest cognitive power to an experience that transcends
thought, an ineffable insight that is the occasional reward of thought
and virtuous living. This theory would seem to owe its great vigor to
the fact that it promises to unite the universality of the rational
object with the vivid presence of the empirical object, though it
sacrifices the definite content of both. The mystic, empiricist, and
rationalist are in these several ways led to revise their metaphysics
upon the basis of their epistemology, or to define reality in terms
dictated by the means of knowing it.

[Sidenote: The Relation of Knowledge to its Object According to Realism,
and the Representative Theory.]

§ 69. But within the general field of epistemology there has arisen
another issue of even greater significance in its bearing upon
metaphysics. The first issue, as we have seen, has reference to the
criterion of knowledge, to the possibility of arriving at certainty
about reality, and the choice of means to that end. A second question
arises, concerning _the relation between the knowledge and its object or
that which is known_. This problem does not at first appear as an
epistemological difficulty, but is due to the emphasis which the moral
and religious interests of men give to the conception of the self. My
knowing is a part of me, a function of that soul whose welfare and
eternal happiness I am seeking to secure. Indeed, my knowing is, so the
wise men have always taught, the greatest of my prerogatives. Wisdom
appertains to the philosopher, as folly to the fool. But though my
knowledge be a part of me, and in me, the same cannot, lightly at any
rate, be said of what I know. It would seem that I must distinguish
between the knowledge, which is my act or state, an event in my life,
and the known, which is object, and belongs to the context of the outer
world. _The object of knowledge_ would then be quite _independent of the
circumstance that I know it_. This theory has acquired the name of
_realism_,[173:16] and is evidently as close to common sense as any
epistemological doctrine can be said to be. If the knowledge consists in
some sign or symbol which in my mind stands for the object, but is
quite other than the object, realism is given the form known as the
_representative theory_. This theory is due to a radical distinction
between the inner world of consciousness and the outer world of things,
whereby in knowledge the outer object requires a substitute that is
qualified to belong to the inner world. Where, on the other hand, no
specific and exclusive nature is attributed to the inner world, realism
may flourish without the representative theory. In such a case the
object would be regarded as itself capable of entering into any number
of individual experiences or of remaining outside them all, and without
on either account forfeiting its identity. This view was taken for
granted by Plato, but is elaborately defended in our own day. During the
intervening period epistemology has been largely occupied with
difficulties inherent in the representative theory, and from that
discussion there has emerged the theory of _idealism_,[175:17] the great
rival theory to that of realism.

[Sidenote: The Relation of Knowledge to its Object According to

§ 70. The representative theory contains at least one obvious
difficulty. If the thinker be confined to his ideas, and if the reality
be at the same time beyond these ideas, how can he ever verify their
report? Indeed, what can it mean that an idea should be true of that
which belongs to a wholly different category? How under such
circumstances can that which is a part of the idea be attributed with
any certainty to the object? Once grant that you know only your ideas,
and the object reduces to an unknown _x_, which you retain to account
for the outward pointing or reference of the ideas, but which is not
missed if neglected. The obvious though radical theory of idealism is
almost inevitably the next step. Why assume that there is any object
other than the state of mind, since all positive content belongs to that
realm? The eighteenth century English philosopher, Bishop Berkeley, was
accused by his contemporaries of wilful eccentricity, and even madness,
for his boldness in accepting this argument and drawing this conclusion:

     "The table I write on I say exists; that is, I see and feel
     it: and if I were out of my study I should say it existed;
     meaning thereby that if I was in my study I might perceive it,
     or that some other spirit actually does perceive it. There was
     an odor--that is, it was smelt; there was a sound--that is, it
     was heard; a color or figure, and it was perceived by sight or
     touch. This is all that I can understand by these and the like
     expressions. For as to what is said of the _absolute_
     existence of unthinking things, without any relation to their
     being perceived, that is to me perfectly unintelligible. Their
     _esse_ is _percipi_; nor is it possible that they should have
     any existence out of the minds or thinking thing which
     perceives them."[176:18]

[Sidenote: Phenomenalism, Spiritualism, and Panpsychism.]

§ 71. In this paragraph Berkeley maintains that it is essential to
things, or at any rate to their qualities, that they _be perceived_.
This principle when expressed as an epistemological or metaphysical
generalization, is called _phenomenalism_. But in another phase of his
thought Berkeley emphasizes the _perceiver_, or _spirit_. The theory
which maintains that the only real substances are these active selves,
with their powers and their states, has been called somewhat vaguely by
the name of _spiritualism_.[176:19] Philosophically it shows a strong
tendency to develop into either _panpsychism_ or _transcendentalism_.
The former is radically empirical. Its classic representative is the
German pessimist Schopenhauer, who defined reality in terms of will
because that term signified to him most eloquently _the directly felt
nature of the self_. This immediate revelation of the true inwardness of
being serves as the key to an "intuitive interpretation" of the
gradations of nature, and will finally awaken a sense of the presence of
the universal Will.

[Sidenote: Transcendentalism, or Absolute Idealism.]

§ 72. _Transcendentalism_, or _absolute idealism_, on the other hand,
emphasizes the _rational activity_, rather than the bare subjectivity,
_of the self_. The term "transcendental" has become associated with this
type of idealism through Kant, whose favorite form of argument, the
"transcendental deduction," was an analysis of experience with a view to
discovering the categories, or formal principles of thought, implied in
its meaning. From the Kantian method arose the conception of a standard
or _absolute mind_ for the standard experience. This mind is
transcendental not in the sense of being alien, but in the sense of
exceeding the human mind in the direction of what this means and strives
to be. It is the ideal or normal mind, in which the true reality is
contained, with all the chaos of finite experience compounded and
redeemed. There is no being but the absolute, the one all-inclusive
spiritual life, in whom all things are inherent, and whose perfection is
the virtual implication of all purposive activities.

     "God's life . . . sees the one plan fulfilled through all the
     manifold lives, the single consciousness winning its purpose
     by virtue of all the ideas, of all the individual selves, and
     of all the lives. No finite view is wholly illusory. Every
     finite intent taken precisely in its wholeness is fulfilled in
     the Absolute. The least life is not neglected, the most
     fleeting act is a recognized part of the world's meaning. You
     are for the divine view all that you know yourself at this
     instant to be. But you are also infinitely more. The
     preciousness of your present purposes to yourself is only a
     hint of that preciousness which in the end links their meaning
     to the entire realm of Being."[178:20]

The fruitfulness of the philosopher's reflective doubt concerning his
own powers is now evident. Problems are raised which are not merely
urgent in themselves, but which present wholly new alternatives to the
metaphysician. Rationalism and empiricism, realism and idealism, are
doctrines which, though springing from the epistemological query
concerning the possibility of knowledge, may determine an entire
philosophical system. They bear upon every question of metaphysics,
whether the fundamental conception of being, or the problems of the
world's unity, origin, and significance for human life.


[150:1] The post-Kantian movement in Germany--especially in so far as
influenced by Hegel. See Chap. XII.

[151:2] Cf. § 203.

[152:3] _E. g._, the system of Fichte. Cf. § 177.

[153:4] See Chap. XI.

[153:5] Spinoza: _On the Improvement of the Understanding_. Translation
by Elwes, p. 3.

[154:6] Spinoza: _Ethics_, Part V, Proposition XLII. Translation by
Elwes, p. 270.

[155:7] Descartes: _Meditations_, I. Translation by Veitch, p. 97.

[155:8] Leibniz: _New System of the Nature of Substances_. Translation
by Latta, pp. 299, 300.

[157:9] Burnet: _Early Greek Philosophy_, p. 42.

[159:10] No little ambiguity attaches to the term "monism" in current
usage, because of its appropriation by those who maintain that the
universe is unitary and homogeneous in _physical terms_ (cf. § 108). It
should properly be used to emphasize the unity of the world in any

[161:11] Burnet: _Op. cit._, p. 358.

[162:12] Burnet: _Op. cit._, p. 284.

[167:13] Plato: _Theætetus_, 161. Translation by Jowett. References to
Plato are to the marginal paging.

[168:14] Burnet: _Early Greek Philosophy_, pp. 184, 187.

[171:15] Plato: _Theætetus_, 150 B. Translation by Jowett.

[173:16] Much ambiguity attaches to the terms "realism" and "idealism"
in current usage. The first had at one time in the history of philosophy
a much narrower meaning than that which it now possesses. It was used to
apply to those who, after Plato, believed in the independent reality of
ideas, universals, or general natures. _Realists_ in this sense were
opposed to _nominalists_ and _conceptualists_. Nominalism maintained the
exclusive reality of individual substances, and reduced ideas to
particular signs having, like the _name_, a purely symbolical or
descriptive value. Conceptualism sought to unite realism and nominalism
through the conception of mind, or an individual substance whose
meanings may possess universal validity. Though this dispute was of
fundamental importance throughout the mediæval period, the issues
involved have now been restated. Realism in the old sense will, if held,
come within the scope of the broader epistemological realism defined
above. Nominalism is covered by empirical tendencies, and conceptualism
by modern idealism.

The term _idealism_ is sometimes applied to Plato on account of his
designation of ideas as the ultimate realities. This would be a natural
use of the term, but in our own day it has become inseparably associated
with the doctrine which attributes to being a dependence upon the
activity of mind. It is of the utmost importance to keep these two
meanings clear. In the preferred sense Plato is a realist, and so
opposed to idealism.

The term _idealism_ is further confused on account of its employment in
literature and common speech to denote the control of ideals. Although
this is a kindred meaning, the student of philosophy will gain little or
no help from it, and will avoid confusion if he distinguishes the term
in its technical use and permits it in that capacity to acquire an
independent meaning.

[175:17] See _note_, p. 173.

[176:18] Berkeley: _Principles of Human Knowledge_, Part I, Fraser's
edition, p. 259.

[176:19] To be distinguished from the religious sect which bears the
same name.

[178:20] Quoted from Professor Josiah Royce's _The World and the
Individual, First Series_, pp. 426-427.



[Sidenote: The Normative Sciences.]

§ 73. There are three sets of problems whose general philosophical
importance depends upon the place which metaphysics assigns to the
_human critical faculties_. Man passes judgment upon that which claims
to be _true_, _beautiful_, or _good_, thus referring to ideals and
standards that define these values. Attempts to make these ideals
explicit, and to formulate principles which regulate their attainment,
have resulted in the development of the three so-called _normative
sciences_: _logic_, _æsthetics_, and _ethics_. These sciences are said
to owe their origin to the Socratic method, and it is indeed certain
that their problem is closely related to the general rationalistic
attitude.[180:1] In Plato's dialogue, "Protagoras," one may observe the
manner of the inception of both ethics and logic. The question at issue
between Socrates and the master sophist Protagoras, is concerning the
possibility of teaching virtue. Protagoras conducts his side of the
discussion with the customary rhetorical flourish, expounding in set
speeches the tradition and usage in which such a possibility is
accepted. Socrates, on the other hand, conceives the issue quite
differently. One can neither affirm nor deny anything of virtue unless
one knows _what is meant by it_. Even the possession of such a meaning
was scarcely recognized by Protagoras, who was led by Socrates's
questions to attribute to the various virtues an external grouping
analogous to that of the parts of the face. But Socrates shows that
since justice, temperance, courage, and the like, are admittedly similar
in that they are all virtues, they must have in common some essence,
which is virtue in general. This he seeks to define in the terms,
_virtue is knowledge_. The interest which Socrates here shows in the
reduction of the ordinary moral judgments to a system centering in some
single fundamental principle, is the ethical interest. But this is at
the same time a particular application of the general rationalistic
method of definition, and of the general rationalistic postulate that
one knows nothing until one can form unitary and determinate
conceptions. The recognition which Socrates thus gives to criteria of
knowledge is an expression of the logical interest. In a certain sense,
indeed, the whole labor of Socrates was in the cause of the logical
interest. For he sought to demonstrate that belief is not necessarily
knowledge; that belief may or may not be true. In order that it shall be
true, and constitute knowledge, it must be well-grounded, and
accompanied by an understanding of its object. Socrates thus set the
problem of logic, the discovery, namely, of those characters by virtue
of the possession of which belief is knowledge.

[Sidenote: The Affiliations of Logic.]

§ 74. Logic deals with the ground of belief, and thus distinguishes
itself from the psychological account of the elements of the believing
state.[182:2] But it is not possible sharply to sunder psychology and
logic. This is due to the fact that the general principles which make
belief true, may be regarded quite independently of this fact. They then
become the _most general truth_, belonging to the absolute, archetypal
realm, or to the mind of God.[182:3] When the general principles of
certainty are so regarded, logic can be distinguished from metaphysics
only by adding to the study of the general principles themselves, the
study of the special conditions (mainly psychological) under which they
may be realized among men. In the history of human thought the name of
logic belongs to the study of this _attainment_ of truth, as the terms
æsthetics and ethics belong to the studies of the attainment of beauty
and goodness.[183:4] It is evident that logic will have a peculiar
importance for the rationalist. For the empiricist, proposing to report
upon things as they are given, will tend on the whole to maintain that
knowledge has no properties save those which are given to it by its
special subject-matter. One cannot, in short, define any absolute
relationship between the normative sciences and the other branches of

[Sidenote: Logic Deals with the Most General Conditions of Truth in

§ 75. _Logic is the formulation, as independently as possible of special
subject-matter, of that which conditions truth in belief._ Since logic
is concerned with truth only in so far as it is predicated of belief,
and since belief in so far as true is knowledge, logic can be defined as
the formulation of the most general principles of knowledge. The
principles so formulated would be those virtually used to _justify_
belief or to disprove the imputation of error.

[Sidenote: The Parts of Formal Logic. Definition, Self-evidence,
Inference, and Observation.]

§ 76. What is called _formal logic_ is animated with the hope of
extracting these formulations directly from an analysis of the procedure
of thought. The most general logical principles which have appeared in
the historical development of formal logic are _definition_,
_self-evidence_, _inference_, and _observation_. Each of these has been
given special study, and each has given rise to special issues.

_Definition_ has to do with the _formation of concepts_, or determinate
and unequivocal meanings. The universality of such concepts, and their
consequent relation to particular things, was, as we have seen,
investigated at a very early date, and gave rise to the great
realistic-nominalistic controversy.[184:5] A large part of the logical
discussion in the Platonic dialogues is an outgrowth of the earlier
"eristic," a form of disputation in favor with the sophists, and
consisting in the adroit use of ambiguity.[184:6] It is natural that in
its first conscious self-criticism thought should discover the need of
definite terms. The perpetual importance of definition has been largely
due to the great prestige in modern philosophy of the method of
geometry, which was regarded by Descartes and Spinoza as the model for
systems of necessary truth.

_Self-evidence_ is the principle according to which _conviction of truth
follows directly from an understanding of meaning_. In the practice of
his intellectual midwifery, Socrates presupposed that thought is capable
of bringing forth its own certainties. And rationalism has at all times
regarded truth as ultimately accredited by internal marks recognizable
by reason. Such truth arrived at antecedent to acquaintance with
instances is called _a priori_, as distinguished from _a posteriori_
knowledge, or observation after the fact. There can be no principles of
self-evidence, but logicians have always been more or less concerned
with the enumeration of alleged self-evident principles, notably those
of _contradiction_ and _identity_. A philosophical interest in the
mathematical method has led to a logical study of axioms, but with a
view rather to their fruitfulness than their intrinsic truth. Indeed,
the interest in self-evident truth has always been subordinate to the
interest in systematic truth, and the discovery of first principles most
commonly serves to determine the relative priority of definite
concepts, or the correct point of departure for a series of inferences.

The greater part of the famous Aristotelian logic consists in a study of
_inference_, or _the derivation of new knowledge from old knowledge_.
Aristotle sought to set down and classify every method of advancing from
premises. The most important form of inference which he defined was the
_syllogism_, a scheme of reasoning to a conclusion by means of two
premises having one term in common. From the premises "all men are
mortal" and "Socrates is a man," one may conclude that "Socrates is
mortal." This is an instance not only of the syllogism in general, but
of its most important "mood," the subsumption of a particular case under
a general rule. Since the decline of Aristotle's influence in philosophy
there has been a notable decrease of interest in the different forms of
inference; though its fundamental importance as the very bone and sinew
of _reasoning_ or _deductive thinking_ has never been challenged. Its
loss of preëminence is in part due to the growth of empiricism,
stimulated by the writings of Lord Bacon in the seventeenth century, and
fostered by the subsequent development of experimental science.

_Observation_ is the fundamental logical principle of empiricism. For a
radical empiricism, knowledge would consist of descriptive
generalizations based upon the summation of instances. That branch of
logic which deals with _the advance from individual instances to general
principles_, is called _inductive logic_. It has resulted in the
announcement of canons of accuracy and freedom from preconception, and
in the methodological study of hypothesis, experiment, and verification.
Rules for observation directed to the end of discovering causes,
constitute the most famous part of the epoch-making logic of J. S.

[Sidenote: Present Tendencies. Theory of the Judgment.]

§ 77. There are two significant tendencies in contemporary logic.
_Theories of the judgment_ have arisen in the course of an attempt to
define the least complexity that must be present in order that thought
shall come within the range of truth and error. It is evident that no
one either knows or is in error until he takes some attitude which lays
claim to knowledge. Denoting by the term _judgment_ this minimum of
complexity in knowledge, an important question arises as to the sense in
which the judgment involves the subject, predicate, and copula that are
commonly present in its propositional form.

[Sidenote: Priority of Concepts.]

§ 78. But a more important logical development has been due to the
recent analysis of definite accredited systems of knowledge. The study
of the fundamental conceptions of mathematics and mechanics, together
with an examination of the systematic structure of these sciences,
furnishes the most notable cases. There are two senses in which such
studies may be regarded as logical. In the first place, in so far as
they bring to light the inner coherence of any body of truth, the kind
of evidence upon which it rests, and the type of formal perfection which
it seeks, they differ from formal logic only in that they derive their
criteria from cases, rather than from the direct analysis of the
procedure of thought. And since formal logic must itself make
experiments, this difference is not a radical one. The study of cases
tends chiefly to enrich _methodology_, or the knowledge of the special
criteria of special sciences. In the second place, such studies serve to
define the relatively few simple truths which are common to the
relatively many complex truths. A study of the foundations of arithmetic
reveals more elementary conceptions, such as _class_ and _order_, that
must be employed in the very definition of number itself, and so are
implied in every numerical calculation. It appears similarly that the
axioms of geometry are special axioms which involve the acceptance of
more general axioms or indefinables.[189:8] Logic in this sense, then,
is the enumeration of conceptions and principles in the order of their
indispensableness to knowledge. And while it must be observed that the
most general conceptions and principles of knowledge are not necessarily
those most significant for the existent world, nevertheless the careful
analysis which such an enumeration involves is scarcely less fruitful
for metaphysics than for logic.

[Sidenote: Æsthetics Deals with the Most General Conditions of Beauty.
Subjectivistic and Formalistic Tendencies.]

§ 79. _Æsthetics is the formulation, as independently as possible of
special subject-matter, of that which conditions beauty._ As logic
commonly refers to a judgment of truth, so æsthetics at any rate
_refers_ to a judgment implied in appreciation. But while it is
generally admitted that truth itself is by no means limited to the form
of the judgment, the contrary is frequently maintained with reference
to beauty. The aphorism, _De gustibus non est disputandum_, expresses a
common opinion to the effect that beauty is not a property belonging to
the object of which it is predicated, but a property generated by the
appreciative consciousness. According to this opinion there can be no
beauty except in the case of an object's presence in an individual
experience. Investigators must of necessity refuse to leave individual
caprice in complete possession of the field, but they have in many cases
occupied themselves entirely with the _state of æsthetic enjoyment_ in
the hope of discovering its constant factors. The opposing tendency
defines certain _formal characters which the beautiful object must
possess_. Evidently the latter school will attribute a more profound
philosophical importance to the conception of beauty, since for them it
is a principle that obtains in the world of being. This was the first
notable contention, that of Plato. But even with the emphasis laid upon
the subjective aspect of the æsthetic experience, great metaphysical
importance may be attached to it, where, as in the case of the German
Romanticists, reality is deliberately construed as a spiritual life
which is to be appreciated rather than understood.

As in the case of logic, a strong impulse has manifested itself in
æsthetics to deal with groups of objects that lie within its province,
rather than directly with its concepts and principles. The first special
treatise on æsthetics, the "Poetics" of Aristotle, belongs to this type
of inquiry, as does all criticism of art in so far as it aims at the
formulation of general principles.

[Sidenote: Ethics Deals with the Most General Conditions of Moral

§ 80. _Ethics_, the oldest and most popular of the normative sciences,
_is the formulation, as independently as possible of special
subject-matter, of that which conditions goodness of conduct_. Ethics is
commonly concerned with goodness only in so far as it is predicated of
conduct, or of character, which is a more or less permanent disposition
to conduct. Since conduct, in so far as good, is said to constitute
moral goodness, ethics may be defined as the formulation of the general
principles of _morality_. The principles so formulated would be those
virtually employed to _justify_ conduct, or to disprove the imputation
of immorality.

[Sidenote: Conceptions of the Good. Hedonism.]

§ 81. The student of this science is confronted with a very considerable
diversity of method and differentiation of problems. The earliest and
most profound opposition of doctrine in ethics arose from the
differences of interpretation of which the teaching of Socrates is
capable. His doctrine is, as we have seen, verbally expressed in the
proposition, _virtue is knowledge_. Socrates was primarily concerned to
show that there is no real living without an understanding of the
significance of life. To live well is to know the end of life, the good
of it all, and to govern action with reference to that end. Virtue is
therefore the practical wisdom that enables one to live consistently
with his real intention. But what is the real intention, the end or good
of life? In the "Protagoras," where Plato represents Socrates as
expounding his position, virtue is interpreted to mean prudence, or
foresight of pleasurable and painful consequences. He who knows,
possesses all virtue in that he is qualified to adapt himself to the
real situation and to gain the end of pleasure. All men, indeed, seek
pleasure, but only virtuous men seek it wisely and well.

     "And do you, Protagoras, like the rest of the world, call some
     pleasant things evil and some painful things good?--for I am
     rather disposed to say that things are good in as far as they
     are pleasant, if they have no consequences of another sort,
     and in as far as they are painful they are bad."[192:9]

According to this view painful things are good only when they lead
eventually to pleasure, and pleasant things evil only when their painful
consequences outweigh their pleasantness. Hence moral differences reduce
to differences of skill in the universal quest for pleasure, and
_sensible gratification is the ultimate standard of moral value_. This
ancient doctrine, known as _hedonism_, expressing as it does a part of
life that will not suffer itself for long to be denied, is one of the
great perennial tendencies of ethical thought. In the course of many
centuries it has passed through a number of phases, varying its
conception of pleasure from the tranquillity of the wise man to the
sensuous titillations of the sybarite, and from the individualism of the
latter to the universalism of the humanitarian. But in every case it
shows a respect for the natural man, praising morality for its
disciplinary and instrumental value in the service of such human wants
as are the outgrowth of the animal instinct of self-preservation.

[Sidenote: Rationalism.]

§ 82. But if a man's life be regarded as a truer representation of his
ideals than is his spoken theory, there is little to identify Socrates
with the hedonists. At the conclusion of the defence of his own life,
which Plato puts into his mouth in the well-known "Apology," he speaks

     "When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to
     punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have
     troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything,
     more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something
     when they are really nothing,--then reprove them, as I have
     reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought
     to care, and thinking that they are something when they are
     really nothing."[194:10]

It is plain that the man Socrates cared little for the pleasurable or
painful consequences of his acts, provided they were worthy of the high
calling of human nature. A man's virtue would now seem to possess an
intrinsic nobility. If knowledge be virtue, then on this basis it must
be because knowledge is itself excellent. Virtue as knowledge
contributes to the good by constituting it. We meet here with the
_rationalistic_ strain in ethics. It praises conduct for the _inherent
worth which it may possess if it express that reason_ which the Stoics
called "_the ruling part_." The riches of wisdom consist for the
hedonist in their purchase of pleasure. For the rationalist, on the
other hand, wisdom is not coin, but itself the very substance of value.

[Sidenote: Eudæmonism and Pietism. Rigorism and Intuitionism.]

§ 83. Rationalism has undergone modifications even more significant
than those of hedonism, and involving at least one radically new group
of conceptions. Among the Greeks rationalism and hedonism alike are
_eudæmonistic_. They aim to portray _the fulness of life_ that makes
"the happy man." In the ethics of Aristotle, whose synthetic mind weaves
together these different strands, the Greek ideal finds its most
complete expression as "the high-minded man," with all his powers and
trappings. But the great spiritual transformation which accompanied the
decline of Greek culture and the rise of Christianity, brought with it a
new moral sensibility, which finds in man no virtue of himself, but only
through the grace of God.

     "And the virtues themselves," says St. Augustine, "if they
     bear no relation to God, are in truth vices rather than
     virtues; for although they are regarded by many as truly moral
     when they are desired as ends in themselves and not for the
     sake of something else, they are, nevertheless, inflated and
     arrogant, and therefore not to be viewed as virtues but as

The new ideal is that of renunciation, obedience, and resignation.
Ethically this expresses itself in _pietism_. Virtue is good neither in
itself nor on account of its consequences, but because it is
conformable to the will of God. The extreme inwardness of this ideal is
characteristic of an age that despaired of attainment, whether of
pleasure or knowledge. To all, even the persecuted, it is permitted to
obey, and so gain entrance into the kingdom of the children of God. But
as every special study tends to rely upon its own conceptions, pietism,
involving as it does a relation to God, is replaced by _rigorism_ and
_intuitionism_. The former doctrine defines virtue in terms of the inner
attitude which it expresses. It must be done in the spirit of
dutifulness, _because one ought_, and through sheer respect for the law
which one's moral nature affirms. _Intuitionism_ has attempted to deal
with the source of the moral law by defining conscience as a _special
faculty_ or sense, qualified to pass directly upon moral questions, and
deserving of implicit obediences. It is characteristic of this whole
tendency to look for the spring of virtuous living, not in a good which
such living obtains, but in a law to which it owes obedience.

[Sidenote: Duty and Freedom. Ethics and Metaphysics.]

§ 84. This third general ethical tendency has thus been of the greatest
importance in emphasizing the _consciousness of duty_, and has brought
both hedonism and rationalism to a recognition of its fundamental
importance. Ethics must deal not only with the moral ideal, but also
with the ground of its appeal to the individual, and his obligation to
pursue it. In connection with this recognition of moral responsibility,
the problem of human _freedom_ has come to be regarded in the light of
an inevitable point of contact between ethics and metaphysics. That
which is absolutely binding upon the human will can be determined only
in view of some theory of its ultimate nature. On this account the
rationalistic and hedonistic motives are no longer abstractly sundered,
as in the days of the Stoics and Epicureans, but tend to be absorbed in
broader philosophical tendencies. Hedonism appears as the sequel to
naturalism; or, more rarely, as part of a theistic system whose morality
is divine legislation enforced by an appeal to motives of pleasure and
pain. Rationalism, on the other hand, tends to be absorbed in
rationalistic or idealistic philosophies, where man's rational nature is
construed as his bond of kinship with the universe.

Ethics has exhibited from the beginning a tendency to universalize its
conceptions and take the central place in metaphysics. Thus with Plato
good conduct was but a special case of goodness, the good being the most
general principle of reality.[198:12] In modern times Fichte and his
school have founded an ethical metaphysics upon the conception of
duty.[198:13] In these cases ethics can be distinguished from
metaphysics only by adding to the study of the good or of duty, a study
of the special physical, psychological, and social conditions under
which goodness and dutifulness may obtain in human life. It is possible
to attach the name of ethics, and we have seen the same to be true of
logic, either to a realm of ideal truth or to that realm wherein the
ideal is realized in humanity.

[Sidenote: The Virtues, Customs, and Institutions.]

§ 85. A systematic study of ethics requires that the _virtues_, or types
of moral practice, shall be interpreted in the light of the central
conception of good, or of conscience. _Justice_, _temperance_, _wisdom_,
and _courage_ were praised by the Greeks. Christianity added
_self-sacrifice_, _humility_, _purity_, and _benevolence_. These and
other virtues have been defined, justified, and co-ordinated with the
aid of a standard of moral value or a canon of duty.

There is in modern ethics a pronounced tendency, parallel to those
already noted in logic and æsthetics, to study such phenomena belonging
to its field as have become historically established. A very
considerable investigation of _custom_, _institutions_, and other social
forces has led to a contact of ethics with anthropology and sociology
scarcely less significant than that with metaphysics.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: The Problems of Religion. The Special Interests of Faith.]

§ 86. In that part of his philosophy in which he deals with faith, the
great German philosopher Kant mentions God, Freedom, and Immortality as
the three pre-eminent religious interests. Religion, as we have seen,
sets up a social relationship between man and that massive drift of
things which determines his destiny. Of the two terms of this relation,
God signifies the latter, while freedom and immortality are prerogatives
which religion bestows upon the former. Man, viewed from the stand-point
of religion as an object of special interest to the universe, is said to
have a soul; and by virtue of this soul he is said to be free and
immortal, when thought of as having a life in certain senses independent
of its immediate natural environment. The attempt to make this faith
theoretically intelligible has led to the philosophical disciplines
known as _theology_ and _psychology_.[199:14]

[Sidenote: Theology Deals with the Nature and Proof of God.]

§ 87. _Theology_, as a branch of philosophy, deals with _the proof and
the nature of God_. Since "God" is not primarily a theoretical
conception, the proof of God is not properly a philosophical problem.
Historically, this task has been assumed as a legacy from Christian
apologetics; and it has involved, at any rate so far as European
philosophy is concerned, the definition of ultimate being in such
spiritual terms as make possible the relation with man postulated in
Christianity. For this it has been regarded as sufficient to ascribe to
the world an underlying unity capable of bearing the predicates of
perfection, omnipotence, and omniscience. Each proof of God has defined
him pre-eminently in terms of some one of these his attributes.

[Sidenote: The Ontological Proof of God.]

§ 88. The _ontological_ proof of God held the foremost place in
philosophy's contribution to Christianity up to the eighteenth century.
This proof _infers the existence from the ideal_ of God, and so
approaches the nature of God through the attribute of perfection. It
owes the form in which it was accepted in the Middle Ages and
Renaissance to St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury at the close of the
eleventh century. He argued from the idea of a most perfect being to its
existence, on the ground that non-existence, or existence only in idea,
would contradict its perfection. It is evident that the force of this
argument depends upon the necessity of the idea of God. The argument was
accepted in Scholastic Philosophy[201:15] largely because of the virtual
acceptance of this necessity. Mediæval thought was under the dominance
of the philosophical ideas of Plato and Aristotle, and through them
rationalism had come to be the unquestioned starting-point for all
thought. For Plato reality and rationality meant one and the same thing,
so that the ultimate reality was the highest principle of rationality,
which he conceived to be the idea of the good. In the case of Aristotle
the ideal of rationality was conceived to determine the course of the
cosmical evolution as its immanent final cause. But in itself it was
beyond the world, or transcendent. For Plato perfection itself is
reality, whereas for Aristotle perfection determines the hierarchical
order of natural substances. The latter theory, more suitable to the
uses of Christianity, because it distinguished between God and the
world, was incorporated into the great school systems. But both theories
contain the essence of the ontological proof of God. In thought one
seeks the perfect truth, and posits it as at once the culmination of
insight and the meaning of life. The ideal of God is therefore a
necessary idea, because implied in all the effort of thought as the
object capable of finally satisfying it. St. Anselm adds little to the
force of this argument, and does much to obscure its real significance.

In stating the ontological argument the term perfection has been
expressly emphasized, because it may be taken to embrace both truth and
goodness. Owing to a habit of thought, due in the main to Plato, it was
long customary to regard degrees of truth and goodness as
interchangeable, and as equivalent to degrees of reality. The _ens
realissimum_ was in its completeness the highest object both of the
faculty of cognition and of the moral will. But even in the scholastic
period these two different aspects of the ideal were clearly recognized,
and led to sharply divergent tendencies. More recently they have been
divided and embodied in separate arguments. _The epistemological_
argument _defines God in terms of that absolute truth which is referred
to in every judgment_. Under the influence of idealism this absolute
truth has taken the form of a universal mind, or all-embracing standard
experience, called more briefly the absolute. The _ethical_ argument, on
the other hand, conceives God as _the perfect goodness implied in the
moral struggle, or the power through which goodness is made to triumph
in the universe_ to the justification of moral faith. While the former
of these arguments identifies God with being, the latter defines God in
terms of the intent or outcome of being. Thus, while the epistemological
argument does not distinguish God and the world, the latter does so,
assuming that independent reality can be attributed to the stages of a
process and to the purpose that dominates it.

[Sidenote: The Cosmological Proof of God.]

§ 89. The _cosmological_ proof of God approaches him through the
attribute of creative omnipotence. The common principle of causal
explanation refers the origin of natural events to similar antecedent
events. But there must be some _first cause_ from which the whole series
is derived, a cause which is ultimate, sufficient to itself, and the
responsible author of the world. Because God's function as creator was a
part of the Christian teaching, and because explanation by causes is
habitual with common sense, this argument has had great vogue. But in
philosophy it has declined in importance, chiefly because it has been
absorbed in arguments which deal with the _kind_ of causality proper to
a first cause or world-ground. The argument that follows is a case in

[Sidenote: The Teleological Proof of God.]

§ 90. The _teleological_ proof argues that the world can owe its origin
only to an _intelligent first cause_. The evidence for this is furnished
by the cunning contrivances and beneficent adaptations of nature. These
could not have come about through chance or the working of mechanical
forces, but only through the foresight of a rational will. This argument
originally infers God from the character of nature and history; and the
extension of mechanical principles to organic and social phenomena,
especially as stimulated by Darwin's principle of natural selection, has
tended greatly to diminish its importance. When, on the other hand, for
nature and history there are substituted the intellectual and moral
activities themselves, and the inference is made to the ideal which they
imply, the teleological argument merges into the ontological. But the
old-fashioned statement of it remains in the form of religious faith,
and in this capacity it has had the approval even of Hume and Kant, the
philosophers who have contributed most forcibly to its overthrow as a
demonstration of God. They agree that the _acknowledgment_ of God in
nature and history is the sequel to a theistic belief, and an inevitable
attitude on the part of the religious consciousness.

[Sidenote: God and the World. Theism and Pantheism.]

§ 91. Another group of ideas belonging to philosophical theology
consists of three generalizations respecting God's relation to the
world, known as _theism_, _pantheism_, and _deism_. Although,
theoretically, these are corollaries of the different arguments for God,
two of them, theism and pantheism, owe their importance to their rivalry
as religious tendencies. _Theism_ emphasizes that attitude to God which
recognizes in him an historical personage, in some sense distinct from
both the world and man, which are his works and yet stand in an external
relationship to him. It expresses the spirit of ethical and monotheistic
religion, and is therefore the natural belief of the Christian.
_Pantheism_ appears in primitive religion as an animistic or
polytheistic sense of the presence of a divine principle diffused
throughout nature. But it figures most notably in the history of
religions, in the highly reflective Brahmanism of India. In sharp
opposition to Christianity, this religion preaches the indivisible unity
of the world and the illusoriness of the individual's sense of his own
independent reality. In spite of the fact that such a doctrine is alien
to the spirit of Christianity, it enters into Christian theology through
the influence of philosophy. The theoretical idea of God tends, as we
have seen, to the identification of him with the world as its most real
principle. Or it bestows upon him a nature so logical and formal, and so
far removed from the characters of humanity, as to forbid his entering
into personal or social relations. Such reflections concerning God find
their religious expression in a mystical sense of unity, which has in
many cases either entirely replaced or profoundly modified the theistic
strain in Christianity. In current philosophy pantheism appears in the
epistemological argument which identifies God with being; while the
chief bulwark of theism is the ethical argument, with its provision for
a distinction between the actual world and ideal principle of evolution.

[Sidenote: Deism.]

§ 92. While theism and pantheism appear to be permanent phases in the
philosophy of religion, _deism_ is the peculiar product of the
eighteenth century. It is based upon a repudiation of supernaturalism
and "enthusiasm," on the one hand, and a literal acceptance of the
cosmological and teleological proofs on the other. Religions, like all
else, were required, in this epoch of clear thinking, to submit to the
canons of experimental observation and practical common sense. These
authorize only a _natural religion_, the acknowledgment in pious living
of a God who, having contrived this natural world, has given it over to
the rule, not of priests and prophets, but of natural law. The
artificiality of its conception of God, and the calculating spirit of
its piety, make deism a much less genuine expression of the religious
experience than either the moral chivalry of theism or the intellectual
and mystical exaltation of pantheism.

[Sidenote: Metaphysics and Theology.]

§ 93. The systematic development of philosophy leads to the inclusion of
conceptions of God within the problem of metaphysics, and the
subordination of the proof of God to the determination of the
fundamental principle of reality. There will always remain, however, an
outstanding theological discipline, whose function it is to interpret
worship, or the living religious attitude, in terms of the theoretical
principles of philosophy.

[Sidenote: Psychology is the Theory of the Soul.]

§ 94. _Psychology is the theory of the soul._ As we have already seen,
the rise of scepticism directs attention from the object of thought to
the thinker, and so emphasizes the self as a field for theoretical
investigation. But the original and the dominating interest in the self
is a practical one. The precept, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, has its deepest
justification in the concern for the salvation of one's soul. In
primitive and half-instinctive belief the self is recognized in
practical relations. In its animistic phase this belief admitted of such
relations with all living creatures, and extended the conception of life
very generally to natural processes. Thus in the beginning the self was
doubtless indistinguishable from the vital principle. In the first
treatise on psychology, the "περὶ Ψυχῆς" of Aristotle, this
interpretation finds a place in theoretical philosophy. For Aristotle
the soul is the _entelechy_ of the body--that function or activity which
makes a man of it. He recognized, furthermore, three stages in this
activity: the nutritive, sensitive, and rational souls, or the
vegetable, animal, and distinctively human natures, respectively. The
rational soul, in its own proper activity, is man's highest
prerogative, the soul to be saved. By virtue of it man rises above
bodily conditions, and lays hold on the divine and eternal. But Plato,
who, as we have seen, was ever ready to grant reality to the ideal apart
from the circumstances of its particular embodiment, had already
undertaken to demonstrate the immortality of the soul on the ground of
its distinctive nature.[209:16] According to his way of thinking, the
soul's essentially moral nature made it incapable of destruction through
the operation of natural causes. It is evident, then, that there were
already ideas in vogue capable of interpreting the Christian teaching
concerning the existence of a soul, or of an inner essence of man
capable of being made an object of divine interest.

[Sidenote: Spiritual Substance]

§ 95. The immediate effect of Christianity was to introduce into
philosophy as one of its cardinal doctrines the theory of a spiritual
being, constituting the true self of the individual, and separable from
the body. The difference recognized in Plato and Aristotle between the
divine spark and the appetitive and perceptual parts of human nature was
now emphasized. The former (frequently called the "spirit," to
distinguish it from the lower soul) was defined as a _substance_ having
the attributes of thought and will. The fundamental argument for its
existence was the immediate appeal to self-consciousness; and it was
further defined as indestructible on the ground of its being utterly
discontinuous and incommensurable with its material environment. This
theory survives at the present day in the conception of pure activity,
but on the whole the attributes of the soul have superseded its

[Sidenote: Intellectualism and Voluntarism.]

§ 96. _Intellectualism and voluntarism_ are the two rival possibilities
of emphasis when the soul is defined in terms of its known activities.
Wherever the essence of personality is in question, as also occurs in
the case of theology, thought and will present their respective claims
to the place of first importance. _Intellectualism would make will
merely the concluding phase of thought, while voluntarism would reduce
thought to one of the interests of a general appetency._ It is evident
that idealistic theories will be much concerned with this question of
priority. It is also true, though less evident, that intellectualism,
since it emphasizes the general and objective features of the mind,
tends to subordinate the individual to the universal; while voluntarism,
emphasizing desire and action, is relatively individualistic, and so,
since there are many individuals, also pluralistic.[211:17]

[Sidenote: Freedom of the Will. Necessitarianism, Determinism, and

§ 97. The question of the _freedom of the will_ furnishes a favorite
controversial topic in philosophy. For the interest at stake is no less
than the individual's responsibility before man and God for his good or
bad works. It bears alike upon science, religion, and philosophy, and is
at the same time a question of most fundamental practical importance.
But this diffusion of the problem has led to so considerable a
complication of it that it becomes necessary in outlining it to define
two issues. In the first place, the concept of freedom is designed to
express generally the distinction between man and the rest of nature. To
make man in all respects _the product and creature of his natural
environment_ would be to deny freedom and accept the radically
_necessitarian_ doctrine. The question still remains, however, as to the
causes which dominate man. He may be free from nature, and yet be ruled
by God, or by distinctively spiritual causes, such as ideas or
character. Where in general the will is regarded as submitting only to a
_spiritual causation_ proper to its own realm, the conception is best
named _determinism_; though in the tradition of philosophy it is held to
be a doctrine of freedom, because contrasted with the necessitarianism
above defined. There remains _indeterminism_, which attributes to the
will a spontaneity that makes possible the _direct presence to it of
genuine alternatives_. The issue may here coincide with that between
intellectualism and voluntarism. If, _e.g._, in God's act of creation,
his ideals and standards are prior to his fiat, his conduct is
determined; whereas it is free in the radical or indeterministic sense
if his ideals themselves are due to his sheer will. This theory involves
at a certain point in action the absence of cause. On this account the
free will is often identified with _chance_, in which case it loses its
distinction from nature, and we have swung round the circle.

[Sidenote: Immortality. Survival and Eternalism.]

§ 98. There is similar complexity in the problem concerning
_immortality_. Were the extreme claims of naturalism to be established,
there would be no ground whatsoever upon which to maintain the
immortality of man, mere dust returning unto dust. The philosophical
concept of immortality is due to the supposition that the quintessence
of the individual's nature is divine.[213:18] But several possibilities
are at this point open to us. The first would maintain the survival
after death of a recognizable and discrete personality. Another would
suppose a preservation after death, through being taken up into the life
of God. Still another, the theory commonly maintained on the ground of
rationalistic and idealistic metaphysics, would deny that immortality
has to do with life after death, and affirm that it signifies the
perpetual membership of the human individual in a realm of eternity
through the truth or virtue that is in him. But this interpretation
evidently leaves open the question of the immortality of that which is
distinctive and personal in human nature.

[Sidenote: The Natural Science of Psychology. Its Problems and Method.]

§ 99. So far we have followed the fortunes only of the "spirit" of man.
What of that lower soul through which he is identified with the fortunes
of his body? When philosophy gradually ceased, in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, to be "the handmaid of religion," there arose a
renewed interest in that part of human nature lying between the strictly
physiological functions, on the one hand, and thought and will on the
other. Descartes and Spinoza analyzed what they called the "passions,"
meaning such states of mind as are conditioned by a concern for the
interests of the body. At a later period, certain English philosophers,
following Locke, traced the dependence of ideas upon the senses. Their
method was that of _introspection_, or the direct examination by the
individual of his own ideas, and for the sake of noting their origin and
composition from simple factors. The lineal descendants of these same
English philosophers defined more carefully the process of
_association_, whereby the complexity and sequence of ideas are brought
about, and made certain conjectures as to its dependence upon properties
and transactions in the physical brain. These are the three main
philosophical sources of what has now grown to be the separate _natural
science of psychology_. It will be noted that there are two
characteristics which all of these studies have in common. They deal
with the experience of the individual as composing his own private
history, and tend to attribute the specific course which this private
history takes to bodily conditions. It is only recently that these
investigations have acquired sufficient unity and exclusiveness of aim
to warrant their being regarded as a special science. But such is now so
far the case that the psychologist of this type pursues his way quite
independently of philosophy. It is true his research has advanced
considerably beyond his understanding of its province. But it is
generally recognized that he must examine those very _factors of
subjectivity_ which the natural scientist otherwise seeks to evade, and,
furthermore, that he must seek to _provide for them in nature_. He
treats the inner life in what Locke called "the plain historical
method," that is to say, instead of interpreting and defining its ideas,
he analyzes and reports upon its content. He would not seek to justify a
moral judgment, as would ethics, or to criticise the cogency of thought,
as would logic; but only to describe the actual state as he found it. In
order to make his data commensurable with the phenomena of nature, he
discovers or defines bodily conditions for the subjective content which
he analyzes. His fundamental principle of method is the postulate of
_psycho-physical parallelism_, according to which he assumes a _state of
brain or nervous system for every state of mind_. But in adopting a
province and a method the psychologist foregoes finality of truth after
the manner of all natural science. He deals admittedly with an aspect of
experience, and his conclusions are no more adequate to the nature of
the self than they are to the nature of outer objects. An admirable
reference to this abstract division of experience occurs in Külpe's
"Introduction to Philosophy":

     "For the developed consciousness, as for the naive, every
     experience is an unitary whole; and it is only the habit of
     abstract reflection upon experience that makes the objective
     and subjective worlds seem to fall apart as originally
     different forms of existence. Just as a plane curve can be
     represented in analytical geometry as the function of two
     variables, the abscissæ and the ordinates, without prejudice
     to the unitary course of the curve itself, so the world of
     human experience may be reduced to a subjective and an
     objective factor, without prejudice to its real

[Sidenote: Psychology and Philosophy.]

§ 100. The problems of psychology, like those of theology, tend to
disappear as independent philosophical topics. The ultimate nature of
the self will continue to interest philosophers--more deeply, perhaps,
than any aspect of experience--but their conception of it will be a
corollary of their metaphysics and epistemology. The remainder of the
field of the old philosophical psychology, the introspective and
experimental analysis of special states of mind, is already the
province of a natural science which is becoming more and more free from
the stand-point and method of philosophy.

[Sidenote: Transition from Classification by Problems to Classification
by Doctrines. Naturalism. Subjectivism. Absolute Idealism. Absolute

§ 101. Reminding ourselves anew that philosophical problems cannot be
treated in isolation from one another, we shall hereinafter seek to
become acquainted with general stand-points that give systematic unity
to the issues which have been enumerated. Such stand-points are not
clearly defined by those who occupy them, and they afford no clear-cut
classification of all historical philosophical philosophies. But
system-making in philosophy is commonly due to the moving in an
individual mind of some most significant idea; and certain of these
ideas have reappeared so frequently as to define more or less clearly
marked tendencies, or continuous strands, out of which the history of
thought is forever weaving itself. Such is clearly the case with
_naturalism_. From the beginning until now there have been men whose
philosophy is a summation of the natural sciences, whose entire thought
is based upon an acceptance of the methods and the fundamental
conceptions of these disciplines. This tendency stands in the history
of thought for the conviction that the visible and tangible world which
interacts with the body is veritable reality. This philosophy is
realistic and empirical to an extent entirely determined by its belief
concerning being. But while naturalism is only secondarily
epistemological, _subjectivism_ and _absolute idealism_ have their very
source in the self-examination and the self-criticism of thought.
Subjectivism signifies the conviction that the knower cannot escape
himself. If reality is to be kept within the range of possible
knowledge, it must be defined in terms of the processes or states of
selves. _Absolute idealism_ arises from a union of this epistemological
motive with a recognition of what are regarded as the logical
necessities to which reality must submit. Reality must be both knowledge
and rational knowledge; the object, in short, of an absolute mind, which
shall be at once all-containing and systematic. This rationalistic
motive was, however, not originally associated with an idealistic
epistemology, but with the common-sense principle that being is
discovered and not constituted by thought. Such an _absolute realism_
is, like naturalism, primarily metaphysical rather than
epistemological; but, unlike naturalism, it seeks to define reality as
a logical or ethical necessity.

Under these several divisions, then, we shall meet once more with the
special problems of philosophy, but this time they will be ranged in an
order that is determined by some central doctrine. They will appear as
parts not of the general problem of philosophy, but of some definite
system of philosophy.


[180:1] Cf. § 68.

[182:2] The Socratic distinction between the logical and the
psychological treatment of belief finds its best expression in Plato's
_Gorgias_, especially, 454, 455. Cf. also § 29.

[182:3] Thus, e. g. Hegel. See § 179. Cf. also §§ 199, 200.

[183:4] Cf. § 84.

[184:5] See § 69, _note_.

[184:6] The reader will find a good illustration of eristic in Plato's
_Euthydemus_, 275.

[187:7] The reader can find these rules, and the detail of the
traditional formal logic, in any elementary text-book, such as, e. g.,
Jevons: _Elements of Logic_.

[189:8] What is called "the algebra of logic" seeks to obtain an
unequivocal symbolic expression for these truths.

[192:9] Plato: _Protagoras_, 351. Translation by Jowett.

[194:10] Plato: _Apology_, 41. Translation by Jowett.

[195:11] Quoted by Paulsen in his _System of Ethics_. Translation by
Thilly, p. 69.

[198:12] Cf. § 160.

[198:13] Cf. § 177.

[199:14] Concerning the duty of philosophy to religion in these matters,
cf. Descartes: _Meditations_, _Dedication_. Translation by Veitch, p.

[201:15] The school-philosophy that flourished from the eleventh to the
fifteenth century, under the authority of the church.

[209:16] Especially in the _Phædo_.

[211:17] Schopenhauer is a notable exception. Cf. §§ 135, 138.

[213:18] It is interesting, however, to observe that current
spiritualistic theories maintain a naturalistic theory of immortality,
verifiable, it is alleged, in certain extraordinary empirical

[215:19] Translation by Pillsbury and Titchener, p. 59.





[Sidenote: The General Meaning of Materialism.]

§ 102. The meaning conveyed by any philosophical term consists largely
of the distinctions which it suggests. Its peculiar quality, like the
physiognomy of the battle-scarred veteran, is a composite of the
controversies which it has survived. There is, therefore, an almost
unavoidable confusion attendant upon the denomination of any early phase
of philosophy as _materialism_. But in the historical beginnings of
thought, as also in the common-sense of all ages, there is at any rate
present a very essential strand of this theory. The naive habit of mind
which, in the sixth century before Christ, prompted successive Greek
thinkers to define reality in terms of water, air, and fire, is in this
respect one with that exhibited in Dr. Samuel Johnson's smiting the
ground with his stick in curt refutation of Bishop Berkeley's
idea-philosophy. There is a theoretical instinct, not accidental or
perverse, but springing from the very life-preserving equipment of the
organism, which attributes reality to _tangible space-filling things
encountered by the body_. For obvious reasons of self-interest the
organism is first of all endowed with a sense of contact, and the more
delicate senses enter into its practical economy as means of
anticipating or avoiding contact. From such practical expectations
concerning the proximity of that which may press upon, injure, or
displace the body, arise the first crude judgments of reality. And these
are at the same time the nucleus of naive philosophy and the germinal
phase of materialism.

[Sidenote: Corporeal Being.]

§ 103. The first philosophical movement among the Greeks was a series of
attempts to reduce the tangible world to unity, and of these the
conception offered by Anaximander is of marked interest in its bearing
upon the development of materialism. This philosopher is remarkable for
having _defined_ his first principle, instead of having chosen it from
among the different elements already distinguished by common-sense. He
thought the unity of nature to consist in its periodic evolution from
and return into one infinite sum of material (τὸ ἄπειρον), which, much
in the manner of the "nebula" of modern science, is conceived as both
indeterminate in its actual state and infinitely rich in its
potentiality. The conception of matter, the most familiar commonplace of
science, begins to be recognizable. It has here reached the point of
signifying a common substance for all tangible things, a substance that
in its own general and omnipresent nature is without the special marks
that distinguish these tangible things from one another. And in so far
the philosophy of Anaximander is materialistic.

[Sidenote: Corporeal Processes. Hylozoism and Mechanism.]

§ 104. But the earliest thinkers are said to be _hylozoists_, rather
than strict materialists, because of their failure to make certain
distinctions in connection with the _processes_ of matter. The term
hylozoism unites with the conception of the formless material of the
world (ὕλη), that of an animating power to which its formations and
transformations are due. Hylozoism itself was not a deliberate synthesis
of these two conceptions, but a primitive practical tendency to
universalize the conception, of life. Such "animism" instinctively
associates with an object's bulk and hardness a capacity for locomotion
and general initiative. And the material principles defined by the
philosophers retain this vague and comprehensive attribute as a matter
of course, until it is distinguished and separated through attempts to
understand it.

That aspect of natural process which was most impressive to Greek minds
of the reflective type was the alternation of "generation and decay." In
full accord with his more ancient master, Epicurus, the Latin poet
Lucretius writes:

     "Thus neither can death-dealing motions keep the mastery
     always, nor entomb existence forevermore; nor, on the other
     hand, can the birth and increase giving motions of things
     preserve them always after they are born. Thus the war of
     first beginnings waged from eternity is carried on with
     dubious issue: now here, now there, the life-bringing elements
     of things get the mastery and are o'ermastered in turn: with
     the funeral wail blends the cry which babies raise when they
     enter the borders of light; and no night ever followed day,
     nor morning night, that heard not, mingling with the sickly
     infant's cries, wailings of the attendants on death and black

In a similar vein, the earliest conceptions of natural evolution
attributed it to the coworking of two principles, that of Love or union
and that of Hate or dissolution. The process is here distinguished from
the material of nature, but is still described in the language of
practical life. A distinction between two aspects of vital phenomena is
the next step. These may be regarded in respect either of the motion and
change which attend them, or the rationality which informs them. Life is
both effective and significant. Although neither of these ideas ever
wholly ceases to be animistic, they may nevertheless be applied quite
independently of one another. The one reduces the primitive animistic
world to the lower end of its scale, the other construes it in terms of
a purposive utility commensurable with that of human action. Now it is
with _mechanism_, the former of these diverging ways, that the
development of materialism is identified. For this philosophy a thing
need have no value to justify its existence, nor any acting intelligence
to which it may owe its origin. Its bulk and position are sufficient for
its being, and the operation of forces capable of integrating, dividing,
or moving it is sufficient for its derivation and history. In short,
there is no rhyme or reason at the heart of things, but only actual
matter distributed by sheer force. With this elimination of the element
of purposiveness from the hylozoistic world, the content and process of
nature are fitted to one another. Matter is that which is moved by
force, and force is the determining principle of the motions of matter.
Materialism is now definitely equipped with its fundamental conceptions.

[Sidenote: Materialism and Physical Science.]

§ 105. The central conceptions of materialism as a philosophical theory
differ from those employed in the physical sciences only in what is
demanded of them. The scientist reports upon physical phenomena without
accepting any further responsibility, while those who like Lucretius
maintain a physical metaphysics, must, like him, prove that "the minute
bodies of matter from everlasting continually uphold the sum of things."
But, though they employ them in their own way, materialists and all
other exponents of naturalism derive their central conceptions from the
physical sciences, and so reflect the historical development through
which these sciences have passed. To certain historical phases of
physical science, in so far as these bear directly upon the meaning of
naturalism, we now turn.

[Sidenote: The Development of the Conceptions of Physical Science. Space
and Matter.]

§ 106. From the earliest times down to the present day the groundwork of
materialism has most commonly been cast in the form of an _atomic
theory_. Democritus, the first system-builder of this school, adopted
the conception of indivisible particles (ἄτομοι), impenetrable in
their occupancy of space, and varying among themselves only in form,
order, and position. To provide for the motion that distributes them he
conceived them as separated from one another by empty space. From this
it follows that the void is as real as matter, or, as Democritus himself
is reputed to have said, "thing is not more real than no-thing."

But atomism has not been by any means universally regarded as the most
satisfactory conception of the relation between space and matter. Not
only does it require two kinds of being, with the different attributes
of extension and hardness, respectively,[229:3] but it would also seem
to be experimentally inadequate in the case of the more subtle physical
processes, such as light. The former of these is a speculative
consideration, and as such had no little weight with the French
philosopher Descartes, whose divisions and definitions so profoundly
affected the course of thought in these matters after the sixteenth
century. Holding also "that a vacuum or space in which there is
absolutely no body is repugnant to reason," and that an indivisible
space-filling particle is self-contradictory, he was led to _identify
space and matter_; that is, to make matter as indispensable to space as
space to matter. There is, then, but one kind of corporeal being, whose
attribute is extension, and whose modes are motion and rest. The most
famous application of the mechanical conceptions which he bases upon
this first principle, is his theory of the planets, which are conceived
to be embedded in a transparent medium, and to move with it, vortex
fashion, about the sun.[230:4]

But the conception of the space-filling continuity of material substance
owes its prominence at the present time to the experimental hypothesis
of _ether_. This substance, originally conceived to occupy the
intermolecular spaces and to serve as a medium for the propagation of
undulations, is now regarded by many physicists as replacing matter. "It
is the great hope of science at the present day," says a contemporary
exponent of naturalism, "that hard and heavy matter will be shown to be
ether in motion."[231:5] Such a theory would reduce bodies to the
relative displacements of parts of a continuous substance, which would
be first of all defined as spacial, and would possess such further
properties as special scientific hypotheses might require.

Two broadly contrasting theories thus appear: that which defines matter
as a continuous substance coextensive with space; and that which defines
it as a discrete substance divided by empty space. But both theories are
seriously affected by the peculiarly significant development of the
conception of force.

[Sidenote: Motion and its Cause. Development and Extension of the
Conception of Force.]

§ 107. In the Cartesian system the cause of motion was pressure within a
plenum. But in the seventeenth century this notion encountered the
system of Newton, a system which seemed to involve action at a distance.
In the year 1728 Voltaire wrote from London:

     "When a Frenchman arrives in London, he finds a very great
     change, in philosophy as well as in most other things. In
     Paris he left the world all full of matter; here he finds
     absolute vacua. At Paris the universe is seen filled up with
     ethereal vortices, while here the same space is occupied with
     the play of the invisible forces of gravitation. In Paris the
     earth is painted for us longish like an egg, and in London it
     is oblate like a melon. At Paris the pressure of the moon
     causes the ebb and flow of tides; in England, on the other
     hand, the sea gravitates toward the moon, so that at the same
     time when the Parisians demand high water of the moon, the
     gentlemen of London require an ebb."[232:6]

But these differences are not matters of taste, nor even rival
hypotheses upon an equal footing. The Newtonian system of mechanics, the
consummation of a development initiated by Galileo, differed from the
vortex theory of Descartes as exact science differs from speculation and
unverified conjecture. And this difference of method carried with it
eventually certain profound differences of content, distinguishing the
Newtonian theory even from that of Democritus, with which it had so much
in common. Although Democritus had sought to avoid the element of
purposiveness in the older hylozoism by referring the motions of bodies
as far as possible to the impact of other bodies, he nevertheless
attributed these motions ultimately to _weight_, signifying thereby a
certain _downward disposition_. Now it is true that in his general
belief Newton himself is not free from hylozoism. He thought of the
motions of the planets themselves as initiated and quickened by a power
emanating ultimately from God. They are "impressed by an intelligent
Agent," and

     "can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill
     of a powerful ever-living Agent who, being in all places, is
     more able by his will to move the bodies within his boundless
     uniform _sensorium_, and thereby to form and reform the parts
     of the universe, than we are by our will to move the parts of
     our own bodies."[233:7]

But by the side of these statements must be set his famous disclaimer,
"_hypotheses non fingo_." In his capacity of natural philosopher he did
not seek to explain motions, but only to describe them. Disbelieving as
he did in action at a distance, he saw no possibility of explanation
short of a reference of them to God; but such "hypotheses" he thought to
be no proper concern of science. As a consequence, the mathematical
formulation of motions came, through him, to be regarded as the entire
content of mechanics. The notion of an efficient cause of motion is
still suggested by the term _force_, but even this term within the
system of mechanics refers always to a definite amount of motion, or
measurement of relative motion. And the same is true of _attraction_,
_action_, _reaction_, and the like. The further explanation of motion,
the definition of a virtue or potency that produces it, first a
neglected problem, then an irrelevant problem, is finally, for a
naturalistic philosophy in which this progression is completed, an
insoluble problem. For the sequel to this purely descriptive procedure
on the part of science is the disavowal of "metaphysics" by those who
will have no philosophy but science. Thus the scientific conservatism of
Newton has led to the positivistic and agnostic phase of naturalism. But
a further treatment of this development must be reserved until the issue
of epistemology shall have been definitely raised.

A different emphasis within the general mechanical scheme, attaching
especial importance to the conceptions of force and energy, has led to a
rival tendency in science and a contrasting type of naturalism. The
mechanical hypotheses hitherto described are all of a simple and readily
depicted type. They suggest an imagery quite in accord with common-sense
and with observation of the motions of great masses like the planets.
Material particles are conceived to move within a containing space; the
motions of corpuscles, atoms, or the minute parts of ether, differing
only in degree from those of visible bodies. The whole physical
universe may be represented in the imagination as an aggregate of bodies
participating in motions of extraordinary complexity, but of one type.
But now let the emphasis be placed upon the determining causes rather
than upon the moving bodies themselves. In other words, let the bodies
be regarded as attributive and the forces as substantive. The result is
a radical alteration of the mechanical scheme and the transcendence of
common-sense imagery. This was one direction of outgrowth from the work
of Newton. His force of gravitation prevailed between bodies separated
by spaces of great magnitude. Certain of the followers of Newton,
notably Cotes, accepting the formulas of the master but neglecting his
allusions to the agency of God, accepted the principle of action at a
distance. _Force_, in short, _was conceived to pervade space of itself_.
But if force be granted this substantial and self-dependent character,
what further need is there of matter as a separate form of entity? For
does not the presence of matter consist essentially in resistance,
itself a case of force? Such reflections as these led Boscovich and
others to the radical departure of defining material particles _as
centres of force_.

[Sidenote: The Development and Extension of the Conception of Energy.]

§ 108. But a more fruitful hypothesis of the same general order is due
to the attention directed to the conception of _energy_, or capacity for
work, by experimental discoveries of the possibility of reciprocal
transformations without loss, of motion, heat, electricity, and other
processes. The principle of the conservation of energy affirms the
quantitative constancy of that which is so transformed, measured, for
example, in terms of capacity to move units of mass against gravity. The
exponents of what is called "energetics" have in many cases come to
regard that the quantity of which is so conserved, as a substantial
reality whose forms and distributions compose nature. A contemporary
scientist, whose synthetic and dogmatic habit of mind has made him
eminent in the ranks of popular philosophy, writes as follows:

     "Mechanical and chemical energy, sound and heat, light and
     electricity, are mutually convertible; they seem to be but
     different modes of one and the same fundamental force or
     _energy_. Thence follows the important thesis of the unity of
     all natural forces, or, as it may also be expressed, the
     'monism of energy.'"[236:8]

The conception of energy seems, indeed, to afford an exceptional
opportunity to naturalism. We have seen that the matter-motion theory
was satisfied to ignore, or regard as insoluble, problems concerning the
ultimate causes of things. Furthermore, as we shall presently see to
better advantage, the more strictly materialistic type of naturalism
must regard thought as an anomaly, and has no little difficulty with
life. But the conception of energy is more adaptable, and hence better
qualified to serve as a common denominator for various aspects of
experience. The very readiness with which we can picture the corpuscular
scheme is a source of embarrassment to the seeker after unity. That
which is so distinct is bristling with incompatibilities. The most
aggressive materialist hesitates to describe thought as a motion of
bodies in space. Energy, on the other hand, exacts little if anything
beyond the character of measurable power. Thought is at any rate in some
sense a power, and to some degree measurable. Recent discoveries of the
dependence of capacity for mental exertion upon physical vitality and
measurements of chemical energy received into the system as food, and
somehow exhausted by the activities of thought, have lent plausibility
to the hypothesis of a universal energy of which physical and
"psychical" processes are alike manifestations. And the conception of
energy seems capable not only of unifying nature, but also of satisfying
the metaphysical demand for an efficient and moving cause. This term,
like "force" and "power," is endowed with such a significance by common
sense. Indeed, naturalism would seem here to have swung round toward its
hylozoistic starting-point. The exponent of energetics, like the naive
animistic thinker, attributes to nature a power like that which he feels
welling up within himself. When he acts upon the environment, like meets
like. Energetics, it is true, may obtain a definite meaning for its
central conception from the measurable behavior of external bodies, and
a meaning that may be quite free from vitalism or teleology. But in his
extension of the conception the author of a philosophical energetics
abandons this strict meaning, and blends his thought even with a phase
of subjectivism, known as _panpsychism_.[238:9] This theory regards the
inward life of all nature as homogeneous with an immediately felt
activity or appetency, as energetics finds the inner life to be
homogeneous with the forces of nature. Both owe their philosophical
appeal to their apparent success in unifying the world upon a direct
empirical basis, and to their provision for the practical sense of

Such, in brief, are the main alternatives available for a naturalistic
theory of being, in consequence of the historical development of the
fundamental conceptions of natural science.

[Sidenote: The Claims of Naturalism.]

§ 109. We turn now to an examination of the manner in which naturalism,
equipped with working principles, seeks to meet the special requirements
of philosophy. The conception of the unity of nature is directly in the
line of a purely scientific development, but naturalism takes the bold
and radical step of regarding nature so unified as coextensive with the
real, or at any rate knowable, universe. It will be remembered that
among the early Greeks Anaxagoras had referred the creative and
formative processes of nature to a non-natural or rational agency, which
he called the _Nous_. The adventitious character of this principle, the
external and almost purely nominal part which it played in the actual
cosmology of Anaxagoras, betrayed it into the hands of the atomists,
with their more consistently naturalistic creed. Better, these maintain,
the somewhat dogmatic extension of conceptions proved to be successful
in the description of nature, than a vague dualism which can serve only
to distract the scientific attention and people the world with
obscurities. There is a remarkable passage in Lucretius in which atomism
is thus written large and inspired with cosmical eloquence:

     "For verily not by design did the first-beginnings of things
     station themselves each in its right place guided by keen
     intelligence, nor did they bargain sooth to say what motions
     each should assume, but because many in number and shifting
     about in many ways throughout the universe, they are driven
     and tormented by blows during infinite time past, after trying
     motions and unions of every kind at length they fall into
     arrangements such as those out of which our sum of things has
     been formed, and by which too it is preserved through many
     great years, when once it has been thrown into the appropriate
     motions, and causes the streams to replenish the greedy sea
     with copious river waters, and the earth, fostered by the heat
     of the sun, to renew its produce, and the race of living
     things to come up and flourish, and the gliding fires of ether
     to live: all which these several things could in no wise bring
     to pass, unless a store of matter could rise up from infinite
     space, out of which store they are wont to make up in due
     season whatever has been lost."[240:10]

The prophecy of La Place, the great French mathematician, voices the
similar faith of the eighteenth century in a mechanical understanding
of the universe:

     "The human mind, in the perfection it has been able to give to
     astronomy, affords a feeble outline of such an intelligence.
     Its discoveries in mechanics and in geometry, joined to that
     of universal gravitation, have brought it within reach of
     comprehending in the same analytical expressions the past and
     future states of the system of the world."[241:11]

As for God, the creative and presiding intelligence, La Place had "no
need of any such hypothesis."

[Sidenote: The Task of Naturalism.]

§ 110. But these are the boasts of Homeric heroes before going into
battle. The moment such a general position is assumed there arise sundry
difficulties in the application of naturalistic principles to special
interests and groups of facts. It is one thing to project a mechanical
scheme in the large, but quite another to make explicit provision within
it for the origin of nature, for life, for the human self with its
ideals, and for society with its institutions. The naturalistic method
of meeting these problems involves a reduction all along the line in the
direction of such categories as are derived from the infra-organic
world. That which is not like the planetary system must be construed as
mechanical by indirection and subtlety.

[Sidenote: The Origin of the Cosmos.]

§ 111. The origin of the present known natural world was the first
philosophical question to be definitely met by science. The general form
of solution which naturalism offers is anticipated in the most ancient
theories of nature. These already suppose that the observed mechanical
processes of the circular or periodic type, like the revolutions and
rotations of the stars, are incidents in a historical mechanical process
of a larger scale. Prior to the present fixed motions of the celestial
bodies, the whole mass of cosmic matter participated in irregular
motions analogous to present terrestrial redistributions. Such motions
may be understood to have resulted in the integration of separate
bodies, to which they at the same time imparted a rotary motion. It is
such a hypothesis that Lucretius paints in his bold, impressionistic

But the development of mechanics paved the way for a definite scientific
theory, the so-called "nebular hypothesis," announced by La Place in
1796, and by the philosopher Kant at a still earlier date. Largely
through the Newtonian principle of the parallelogram of forces, the
present masses, orbits, and velocities were analyzed into a more
primitive process of concentration within a nebulous or highly diffused
aggregate of matter. And with the aid of the principle of the
conservation of energy this theory appears to make possible the
derivation of heat, light, and other apparently non-mechanical processes
from the same original energy of motion.

But a persistently philosophical mind at once raises the question of the
origin of this primeval nebula itself, with a definite organization and
a vast potential energy that must, after all, be regarded as a part of
nature rather than its source. Several courses are here open to
naturalism. It may maintain that the question of ultimate origin is
unanswerable; it may regard such a process of concentration as extending
back through an infinitely long past;[243:12] or, and this is the
favorite alternative for more constructive minds, the historical
cosmical process may be included within a still higher type of periodic
process, which is regarded as eternal. This last course has been
followed in the well-known synthetic naturalism of Herbert Spencer.
"Evolution," he says, "is the progressive integration of matter and
dissipation of motion." But such a process eventually runs down, and may
be conceived as giving place to a counter-process of devolution which
scatters the parts of matter and gathers another store of potential
motion. The two processes in alternation will then constitute a cosmical
system without beginning or end.

In such wise a sweeping survey of the physical universe may be thought
in the terms of natural science. The uniformitarian method in geology,
resolving the history of the crust of the earth into known processes,
such as erosion and igneous fusion;[244:13] and spectral analysis, with
its discoveries concerning the chemical constituents of distant bodies
through the study of their light, have powerfully reënforced this effort
of thought, and apparently completed an outline sketch of the universe
in terms of infra-organic processes.

[Sidenote: Life. Natural Selection.]

§ 112. But the cosmos must be made internally homogeneous in these same
terms. There awaits solution, in the first place, the serious problem of
the genesis and maintenance of life within a nature that is originally
and ultimately inorganic. The assimilation of the field of biology and
physiology to the mechanical cosmos had made little real progress prior
to the nineteenth century. Mechanical theories had, indeed, been
projected in the earliest age of philosophy, and proposed anew in the
seventeenth century.[245:14] Nevertheless, the structural and functional
teleology of the organism remained as apparently irrefutable testimony
to the inworking of some principle other than that of mechanical
necessity. Indeed, the only fruitful method applicable to organic
phenomena was that which explained them in terms of purposive
adaptation. And it was its provision for a mechanical interpretation of
this very principle that gave to the Darwinian _law of natural
selection_, promulgated in 1859 in the "Origin of Species," so profound
a significance for naturalism. It threatened to reduce the last
stronghold of teleology, and completely to dispense with the intelligent
Author of nature.

Darwin's hypothesis sought to explain the origin of animal species by
survival under competitive conditions of existence through the
possession of a structure suited to the environment. Only the most
elementary organism need be presupposed, together with slight variations
in the course of subsequent generations, and both may be conceived to
arise mechanically. There will then result in surviving organisms a
gradual accumulation of such variations as promote survival under the
special conditions of the environment. Such a principle had been
suggested as early as the time of Empedocles, but it remained for Darwin
to establish it with an unanswerable array of observation and
experimentation. If any organism whatsoever endowed with the power of
generation be allowed to have somehow come to be, naturalism now
promises to account for the whole subsequent history of organic
phenomena and the origin of any known species.

[Sidenote: Mechanical Physiology.]

§ 113. But what of life itself? The question of the derivation of
organic from inorganic matter has proved insoluble by direct means, and
the case of naturalism must here rest upon such facts as the chemical
homogeneity of these two kinds of matter, and the conformity of
physiological processes to more general physical laws. Organic matter
differs from inorganic only through the presence of proteid, a peculiar
product of known elements, which cannot be artificially produced, but
which is by natural means perpetually dissolved into these elements
without any discoverable residuum. Respiration may be studied as a case
of aerodynamics, the circulation of the blood as a case of
hydrodynamics, and the heat given off in the course of work done by the
body as a case of thermodynamics. And although vitalistic theories still
retain a place in physiology, as do teleological theories in biology, on
the whole the naturalistic programme of a reduction of organic processes
to the type of the inorganic tends to prevail.

[Sidenote: Mind. The Reduction to Sensation.]

§ 114. The history of naturalism shows that, as in the case of life, so
also in the case of _mind_, its hypotheses were projected by the Greeks,
but precisely formulated and verified only in the modern period of
science. In the philosophy of Democritus the soul was itself an atom,
finer, rounder, and smoother than the ordinary, but thoroughly a part of
the mechanism of nature. The processes of the soul are construed as
interactions between the soul and surrounding objects. In sensation, the
thing perceived produces images by means of effluxes which impinge upon
the soul-atom. These images are not true reports of the outer world, but
must be revised by thought before its real atomic structure emerges.
For this higher critical exercise of thought Democritus devised no
special atomic genesis. The result may be expressed either as the
invalidity of such operations of mind as he could provide for in his
universe, or the irreducibility to his chosen first principles of the
very thought which defined them. Later naturalism has generally
sacrificed epistemology to cosmology, and reduced thought to sensation.
Similarly, will has been regarded as a highly developed case of
instinct. Knowledge and will, construed as sensation and instinct, may
thus be interpreted in the naturalistic manner within the field of

[Sidenote: Automatism.]

§ 115. But the actual content of sensation, and the actual feelings
which attend upon the promptings of instinct, still stubbornly testify
to the presence in the universe of something belonging to a wholly
different category from matter and motion. The attitude of naturalism in
this crucial issue has never been fixed and unwavering, but there has
gradually come to predominate a method of denying to the inner life all
efficacy and real significance in the cosmos, while admitting its
presence on the scene. It is a strange fact of history that Descartes,
the French philosopher who prided himself on having rid the soul of all
dependence on nature, should have greatly contributed to this method.
But it is perhaps not so strange when we consider that every dualism is,
after all, symmetrical, and that consequently whatever rids the soul of
nature at the same time rids nature of the soul. It was Descartes who
first conceived the body and soul to be utterly distinct substances. The
corollary to this doctrine was his _automatism_, applied in his own
system to animals other than man, but which those less concerned with
religious tradition and less firmly convinced of the soul's originating
activity were not slow to apply universally. This theory conceived the
vital processes to take place quite regardless of any inner
consciousness, or even without its attendance. To this radical theory
the French materialists of the eighteenth century were especially
attracted. With them the active soul of Descartes, the distinct
spiritual entity, disappeared. This latter author had himself admitted a
department of the self, which he called the "passions," in which the
course and content of mind is determined by bodily conditions. Extending
this conception to the whole province of mind, they employed it to
demonstrate the thorough-going subordination of mind to body. La
Mettrie, a physician and the author of a book entitled "L'Homme
Machine," was first interested in this thesis by a fever delirium, and
afterward adduced anatomical and pathological data in support of it. The
angle from which he views human life is well illustrated in the

     "What would have sufficed in the case of Julius Cæsar, of
     Seneca, of Petronius, to turn their fearlessness into timidity
     or braggartry? An obstruction in the spleen, the liver, or the
     _vena portae_. For the imagination is intimately connected
     with these viscera, and from them arise all the curious
     phenomena of hypochondria and hysteria. . . . 'A mere nothing,
     a little fibre, some trifling thing that the most subtle
     anatomy cannot discover, would have made two idiots out of
     Erasmus and Fontenelle.'"[250:15]

[Sidenote: Radical Materialism. Mind as an Epiphenomenon.]

§ 116. The extreme claim that the soul is a physical organ of the body,
identical with the brain, marked the culmination of this militant
materialism, so good an instance of that over-simplification and
whole-hearted conviction characteristic of the doctrinaire propagandism
of France. Locke, the Englishman, had admitted that possibly the
substance which thinks is corporeal. In the letters of Voltaire this
thought has already found a more positive expression:

     "I am body, and I think; more I do not know. Shall I then
     attribute to an unknown cause what I can so easily attribute
     to the only fruitful cause I am acquainted with? In fact,
     where is the man who, without an absurd godlessness, dare
     assert that it is impossible for the Creator to endow matter
     with thought and feeling?"[251:16]

Finally, Holbach, the great systematizer of this movement, takes the
affair out of the hands of the Creator and definitively announces that
"a sensitive soul is nothing but a human brain so constituted that it
easily receives the motions communicated to it."[251:17]

This theory has been considerably tempered since the age of Holbach.
Naturalism has latterly been less interested in identifying the soul
with the body, and more interested in demonstrating its dependence upon
specific bodily conditions, after the manner of La Mettrie. The
so-called higher faculties, such as thought and will, have been related
to central or _cortical_ processes of the nervous system, processes of
connection and complication which within the brain itself supplement the
impulses and sensations congenitally and externally stimulated. The
term "epiphenomenon" has been adopted to express the distinctness but
entire dependence of the mind. Man is "a conscious automaton." The real
course of nature passes through his nervous system, while consciousness
attends upon its functions like a shadow, present but not

[Sidenote: Knowledge, Positivism and Agnosticism.]

§ 117. Holbach's "Système de la Nature," published in 1770, marks the
culmination of the unequivocally materialistic form of naturalism. Its
epistemological difficulties, always more or less in evidence, have
since that day sufficed to discredit materialism, and to foster the
growth of a critical and apologetic form of naturalism known as
_positivism_ or _agnosticism_. The modesty of this doctrine does not, it
is true, strike very deep. For, although it disclaims knowledge of
ultimate reality, it also forbids anyone else to have any. Knowledge, it
affirms, can be of but one type, that which comprises the verifiable
laws governing nature. All questions concerning first causes are
futile, a stimulus only to excursions of fancy popularly mistaken for
knowledge. The superior certainty and stability which attaches to
natural science is to be permanently secured by the savant's steadfast
refusal to be led away after the false gods of metaphysics.

But though this is sufficient ground for an agnostic policy, it does
prove an agnostic theory. The latter has sprung from a closer analysis
of knowledge, though it fails to make a very brave showing for
thoroughness and consistency. The crucial point has already been brought
within our view. The general principles of naturalism require that
knowledge shall be reduced to sensations, or impressions of the
environment upon the organism. But the environment and the sensations do
not correspond. The environment is matter and motion, force and energy;
the sensations are of motions, to be sure, but much more conspicuously
of colors, sounds, odors, pleasures, and pains. Critically, this may be
expressed by saying that since the larger part of sense-perception is so
unmistakably subjective, and since all knowledge alike must be derived
from this source, knowledge as a whole must be regarded as dealing only
with appearances. There are at least three agnostic methods progressing
from this point. All agree that the inner or essential reality is
unfathomable. But, in the first place, those most close to the tradition
of materialism maintain that the most significant appearances, the
primary qualities, are those which compose a purely quantitative and
corporeal world. The inner essence of things may at any rate be
_approached_ by a monism of matter or of energy. This theory is
epistemological only to the extent of moderating its claims in the hope
of lessening its responsibility. Another agnosticism places all sense
qualities on a par, but would regard physics and psychology as
complementary reports upon the two distinct series of phenomena in which
the underlying reality expresses itself. This theory is epistemological
to the extent of granting knowledge, viewed as perception, as good a
standing in the universe as that which is accorded to its object. But
such a dualism tends almost irresistibly to relapse into materialistic
monism, because of the fundamental place of physical conceptions in the
system of the sciences. Finally, in another and a more radical phase of
agnosticism, we find an attempt to make full provision for the
legitimate problems of epistemology. The only datum, the only existent
accessible to knowledge, is said to be the sensation, or state of
consciousness. In the words of Huxley:

     "What, after all, do we know of this terrible 'matter' except
     as a name for the unknown and hypothetical cause of states of
     our own consciousness? And what do we know of that 'spirit'
     over whose threatened extinction by matter a great lamentation
     is arising, . . . except that it is also a name for an unknown
     and hypothetical cause, or condition, of states of

The physical world is now to be regarded as a construction which does
not assimilate to itself the content of sensations, but enables one to
anticipate them. The sensation signifies a contact to which science can
provide a key for practical guidance.

[Sidenote: Experimentalism.]

§ 118. This last phase of naturalism is an attempt to state a pure and
consistent experimentalism, a workable theory of the routine of
sensations. But it commonly falls into the error of the vicious circle.
The hypothetical cause of sensations is said to be matter. From this
point of view the sensation is a complex, comprising elaborate physical
and physiological processes. But these processes themselves, on the
other hand, are said to be analyzable into sensations. Now two such
methods of analysis cannot be equally ultimate. If all of reality is
finally reducible to sensations, then the term sensation must be used
in a new sense to connote a self-subsistent being, and can no longer
refer merely to a function of certain physiological processes. The issue
of this would be some form of idealism or of the experience-philosophy
that is now coming so rapidly to the front.[256:20] But while it is true
that idealism has sometimes been intended, and that a radically new
philosophy of experience has sometimes been closely approached, those,
nevertheless, who have developed experimentalism from the naturalistic
stand-point have in reality achieved only a thinly disguised
materialism. For _the very ground of their agnosticism is
materialistic_.[256:21] Knowledge of reality itself is said to be
unattainable, because knowledge, in order to come within the order of
nature, must be regarded as reducible to sensation; and because
sensation itself, when regarded as a part of nature, is only a
physiological process, a special phenomenon, in no way qualified to be
knowledge that is true of reality.

[Sidenote: Naturalistic Epistemology not Systematic.]

§ 119. Perhaps, after all, it would be as fair to the spirit of
naturalism to relieve it of responsibility for an epistemology. It has
never thoroughly reckoned with this problem. It has deliberately
selected from among the elements of experience, and been so highly
constructive in its method as to forfeit its claim to pure empiricism;
and, on the other hand, has, in this same selection of categories and in
its insistence upon the test of experiment, fallen short of a
thorough-going rationalism. While, on the one hand, it defines and
constructs, it does so, on the other hand, within the field of
perception and with constant reference to the test of perception. The
explanation and justification of this procedure is to be found in the
aim of natural science rather than in that of philosophy. It is this
special interest, rather than the general problem of being, that
determines the order of its categories. Naturalism as an account of
reality is acceptable only so far as its success in satisfying specific
demands obtains for it a certain logical immunity. These demands are
unquestionably valid and fundamental, but they are not coextensive with
the demand for truth. They coincide rather with the immediate practical
need of a formulation of the spacial and temporal changes that confront
the will. Hence naturalism is acceptable to common-sense as an account
of what the every-day attitude to the environment treats as its object.
Naturalism is common-sense about the "outer world," revised and brought
up to date with the aid of the results of science. Its deepest spring is
the organic instinct for the reality of the tangible, the vital
recognition of the significance of that which is on the plane of
interaction with the body.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: General Ethical Stand-point.]

§ 120. Oddly enough, although common-sense is ready to intrust to
naturalism the description of the situation of life, it prefers to deal
otherwise with its ideals. Indeed, common-sense is not without a certain
suspicion that naturalism is the advocate of moral reversion. It is
recognized as the prophecy of the brute majority of life, of those
considerations of expediency and pleasure that are the warrant for its
secular moods rather than for its sustaining ideals. And that strand of
life is indeed its special province. For the naturalistic method of
reduction must find the key to human action among those practical
conditions that are common to man and his inferiors in the scale of
being. In short, human life, like all life, must be construed as the
adjustment of the organism to its natural environment for the sake of
preservation and economic advancement.

[Sidenote: Cynicism and Cyrenaicism.]

§ 121. Early in Greek philosophy this general idea of life was
picturesquely interpreted in two contrasting ways, those of the Cynic
and the Cyrenaic. Both of these wise men postulated the spiritual
indifference of the universe at large, and looked only to the _contact_
of life with its immediate environment. But while the one hoped only to
hedge himself about, the other sought confidently the gratification of
his sensibilities. The figure of the Cynic is the more familiar.
Diogenes of the tub practised self-mortification until his dermal and
spiritual callousness were alike impervious. From behind his protective
sheath he could without affectation despise both nature and society. He
could reckon himself more blessed than Alexander, because, with demand
reduced to the minimum, he could be sure of a surplus of supply. Having
renounced all goods save the bare necessities of life, he could neglect
both promises and threats and be played upon by no one. He was securely
intrenched within himself, an unfurnished habitation, but the citadel of
a king. The Cyrenaic, on the other hand, did not seek to make impervious
the surface of contact with nature and society, but sought to heighten
its sensibility, that it might become a medium of pleasurable feeling.
For the inspiration with which it may be pursued this ideal has nowhere
been more eloquently set forth than in the pages of Walter Pater, who
styles himself "the new Cyrenaic."

     "Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the
     end. A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a
     variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is
     to be seen in them by the finest senses? How shall we pass
     most swiftly from point to point, and be present always at the
     focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their
     purest energy?

     To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this
     ecstacy, is success in life. . . . While all melts under our
     feet, we may well catch at any exquisite passion, or any
     contribution to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to
     set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the
     senses, strange dyes, strange colors, and curious odors, or
     work of the artist's hands, or the face of one's friend. Not
     to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those
     about us, and in the brilliancy of their gifts some tragic
     dividing of forces on their ways, is, on this short day of
     frost and sun, to sleep before evening."[261:22]

[Sidenote: Development of Utilitarianism. Evolutionary Conception of
Social Relations.]

§ 122. In the course of modern philosophy the ethics of naturalism has
undergone a transformation and development that equip it much more
formidably for its competition with rival theories. If the Cynic and
Cyrenaic philosophies of life seem too egoistic and narrow in outlook,
this inadequacy has been largely overcome through the modern conception
of the relation of the individual to society. Man is regarded as so
dependent upon social relations that it is both natural and rational for
him to govern his actions with a concern for the community. There was a
time when this relation of dependence was viewed as external, a barter
of goods between the individual and society, sanctioned by an implied
contract. Thomas Hobbes, whose unblushing materialism and egoism
stimulated by opposition the whole development of English ethics,
conceived morality to consist in rules of action which condition the
stability of the state, and so secure for the individual that "peace"
which self-interest teaches him is essential to his welfare.

     "And therefore so long a man is in the condition of mere
     nature, which is a condition of war, as private appetite is
     the measure of good and evil: and consequently all men agree
     on this, that peace is good, and therefore also the ways or
     means of peace, which, as I have showed before, are 'justice,'
     'gratitude,' 'modesty,' 'equity,' 'mercy,' and the rest of
     the laws of Nature, are good; that is to say, 'moral virtues';
     and their contrary 'vices,' evil."[262:23]

Jeremy Bentham, the apostle of utilitarianism in the eighteenth century,
defined political and social sanctions through which the individual
could purchase security and good repute with action conducive to the
common welfare. But the nineteenth century has understood the matter
better--and the idea of an evolution under conditions that select and
reject, is here again the illuminating thought. No individual,
evolutionary naturalism maintains, has survived the perils of life
without possessing as an inalienable part of his nature, congenital like
his egoism, certain impulses and instinctive desires in the interest of
the community as a whole. The latest generation of a race whose
perpetuation has been conditioned by a capacity to sustain social
relations and make common cause against a more external environment,
_is_ moral, and does not adopt morality in the course of a calculating
egoism. Conscience is the racial instinct of self-preservation uttering
itself in the individual member, who draws his very life-blood from the
greater organism.

[Sidenote: Naturalistic Ethics not Systematic.]

§ 123. This latest word of naturalistic ethics has not won acceptance
as the last word in ethics, and this in spite of its indubitable truth
within its scope. For the deeper ethical interest seeks not so much to
account for the moral nature as to construe and justify its promptings.
The evolutionary theory reveals the genesis of conscience, and
demonstrates its continuity with nature, but this falls as far short of
realizing the purpose of ethical study as a history of the natural
genesis of thought would fall short of logic. Indeed, naturalism shows
here, as in the realm of epistemology, a persistent failure to
appreciate the central problem. Its acceptance as a philosophy, we are
again reminded, can be accounted for only on the score of its genuinely
rudimentary character. As a rudimentary phase of thought it is both
indispensable and inadequate. It is the philosophy of instinct, which
should in normal development precede a philosophy of reason, in which it
is eventually assimilated and supplemented.

[Sidenote: Naturalism as Antagonistic to Religion.]

§ 124. There is, finally, an inspiration for life which this philosophy
of naturalism may convey--atheism, its detractors would call it, but
none the less a faith and a spiritual exaltation that spring from its
summing up of truth. It is well first to realize that which is
dispiriting in it, its failure to provide for the freedom, immortality,
and moral providence of the more sanguine faith.

     "For what is man looked at from this point of view? . . . Man,
     so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no
     longer the final cause of the universe, the Heaven-descended
     heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, his
     story a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the
     meanest of the planets. Of the combination of causes which
     first converted a dead organic compound into the living
     progenitors of humanity, science, indeed, as yet knows
     nothing. It is enough that from such beginnings famine,
     disease, and mutual slaughter, fit nurses of the future lords
     of creation, have gradually evolved, after infinite travail, a
     race with conscience enough to feel that it is vile, and
     intelligence enough to know that it is insignificant. . . . We
     sound the future, and learn that after a period, long compared
     with the individual life, but short indeed compared with the
     divisions of time open to our investigation, the energies of
     our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed,
     and the earth, tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the
     race which has for a moment disturbed its solitude. Man will
     go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish. The
     uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a
     brief space broken the contented silence of the universe, will
     be at rest. Matter will know itself no longer. 'Imperishable
     monuments' and 'immortal deeds,' death itself, and love
     stronger than death, will be as though they had never been.
     Nor will anything that _is_ be better or be worse for all that
     the labor, genius, devotion, and suffering of man have
     striven through countless generations to effect."[265:24]

[Sidenote: Naturalism as the Basis for a Religion of Service, Wonder,
and Renunciation.]

§ 125. But though our philosopher must accept the truth of this terrible
picture, he is not left without spiritual resources. The abstract
religion provided for the agnostic faithful by Herbert Spencer does not,
it is true, afford any nourishment to the religious nature. He would
have men look for a deep spring of life in the negative idea of mystery,
the apotheosis of ignorance, while religious faith to live at all must
lay hold upon reality. But there does spring from naturalism a positive
religion, whose fundamental motives are those of service, wonder, and
renunciation: service of humanity in the present, wonder at the natural
truth, and renunciation of a universe keyed to vibrate with human

     "Have you," writes Charles Ferguson, "had dreams of Nirvana
     and sickly visions and raptures? Have you imagined that the
     end of your life is to be absorbed back into the life of God,
     and to flee the earth and forget all? Or do you want to walk
     on air, or fly on wings, or build a heavenly city in the
     clouds? Come, let us take our kit on our shoulders, and go out
     and build the city _here_."[265:25]

For Haeckel "natural religion" is such as

     "the astonishment with which we gaze upon the starry heavens
     and the microscopic life in a drop of water, the awe with
     which we trace the marvellous working of energy in the motion
     of matter, the reverence with which we grasp the universal
     dominance of the law of substance throughout the

There is a deeper and a sincerer note in the stout, forlorn humanism of

     "That which lies before the human race is a constant struggle
     to maintain and improve, in opposition to the State of Nature,
     the State of Art of an organized polity; in which, and by
     which, man may develop a worthy civilization, capable of
     maintaining and constantly improving itself, until the
     evolution of our globe shall have entered so far upon its
     downward course that the cosmic process resumes its sway; and,
     once more, the State of Nature prevails over the surface of
     our planet."[266:27]


[223:1] PRELIMINARY NOTE.--By _naturalism_ is meant that system of
philosophy which defines the universe in the terms of _natural science_.
In its dogmatic phase, wherein it maintains that _being is corporeal_,
it is called _materialism_. In its critical phase, wherein it makes the
general assertion that the natural sciences constitute the only
_possible knowledge_, whatever be the nature of reality itself, it is
called _positivism_, _agnosticism_, or simply _naturalism_.

[226:2] Lucretius: _De Rerum Natura_, Bk. II, lines 569-580. Translation
by Munro.

[229:3] The reader will find an interesting account of these opposing
views in Locke's chapter on _Space_, in his _Essay Concerning Human

[230:4] Descartes distinguished his theory from that of Democritus in
the _Principles of Philosophy_, Part IV, § ccii.

[231:5] Pearson: _Grammar of Science_, pp. 259-260. Cf. _ibid._, Chap.
VII, entire.

[232:6] Quoted in Ueberweg: _History of Philosophy_, II, p. 124.

[233:7] Quoted from the _Opticks_ of Newton by James Ward, in his
_Naturalism and Agnosticism_, I, p. 43.

[236:8] Haeckel: _Riddle of the Universe_. Translation by McCabe, p.

The best systematic presentation of "energetics" is to be found in
Ostwald's _Vorlesungen über Natur-Philosophie_. Herbert Spencer, in his
well-known _First Principles_, makes philosophical use of both "force"
and "energy."

[238:9] Cf. Chap. IX.

[240:10] Lucretius: _Op. cit._, Bk. I, lines 1021-1237.

[241:11] Quoted from La Place's essay on _Probability_ by Ward: _Op.
cit._, I, p. 41.

[243:12] An interesting account and criticism of such a theory
(Clifford's) is to be found in Royce's _Spirit of Modern Philosophy_,
Lecture X.

[244:13] This method replaced the old theory of "catastrophes" through
the efforts of the English geologists, Hutton (1726-1797) and Lyell

[245:14] Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, published
in 1628, was regarded as a step in this direction.

[250:15] From the account of La Mettrie in Lange: _History of
Materialism_. Translation by Thomas, II, pp. 67-68.

[251:16] Quoted from Voltaire's London _Letter on the English_, by
Lange: _Op. cit._, II, p. 18.

[251:17] Quoted by Lange: _Op. cit._, II, p. 113.

[252:18] The phrase "psycho-physical parallelism," current in
psychology, may mean automatism of the kind expounded above, and may
also mean dualism. It is used commonly as a methodological principle to
signify that no causal relationship between mind and body, but one of
_correspondence_, is to be looked for in empirical psychology. Cf. § 99.

[255:19] Quoted by Ward: _Op. cit._, I, p. 18.

[256:20] There are times when Huxley, _e. g._, would seem to be on the
verge of the Berkeleyan idealism. Cf. Chap. IX.

[256:21] For the case of Karl Pearson, read his _Grammar of Science_,
Chap. II.

[261:22] Pater: _The Renaissance_, pp. 249-250.

[262:23] Hobbes: _Leviathan,_ Chap. XV.

[265:24] Quoted from Balfour: _Foundations of Belief_, pp. 29-31.

[265:25] Ferguson: _Religion of Democracy_, p. 10.

[266:26] Haeckel: _Op. cit._, p. 344.

[266:27] Huxley: _Evolution and Ethics_, p. 45. _Collected Essays_, Vol.



[Sidenote: Subjectivism Originally Associated with Relativism and

§ 126. When, in the year 1710, Bishop Berkeley maintained the thesis of
empirical idealism, having rediscovered it and announced it with a
justifiable sense of originality, he provoked a kind of critical
judgment that was keenly annoying if not entirely surprising to him. In
refuting the conception of material substance and demonstrating the
dependence of being upon mind, he at once sought, as he did repeatedly
in later years, to establish the world of practical belief, and so to
reconcile metaphysics and common-sense. Yet he found himself hailed as a
fool and a sceptic. In answer to an inquiry concerning the reception of
his book in London, his friend Sir John Percival wrote as follows:

     "I did but name the subject matter of your book of
     _Principles_ to some ingenious friends of mine and they
     immediately treated it with ridicule, at the same time
     refusing to read it, which I have not yet got one to do. A
     physician of my acquaintance undertook to discover your
     person, and argued you must needs be mad, and that you ought
     to take remedies. A bishop pitied you, that a desire of
     starting something new should put you upon such an
     undertaking. Another told me that you are not gone so far as
     another gentleman in town, who asserts not only that there is
     no such thing as Matter, but that we ourselves have no being
     at all."[268:2]

There can be no doubt but that the idea of the dependence of real things
upon their appearance to the individual is a paradox to common-sense. It
is a paradox because it seems to reverse the theoretical instinct
itself, and to define the real in those very terms which disciplined
thought learns to neglect. In the early history of thought the nature of
the thinker himself is recognized as that which is likely to distort
truth rather than that which conditions it. When the wise man, the
devotee of truth, first makes his appearance, his authority is
acknowledged because he has renounced himself. As witness of the
universal being he purges himself of whatever is peculiar to his own
individuality, or even to his human nature. In the aloofness of his
meditation he escapes the cloud of opinion and prejudice that obscures
the vision of the common man. In short, the element of belief dependent
upon the thinker himself is the dross which must be refined away in
order to obtain the pure truth. When, then, in the critical epoch of the
Greek sophists, Protagoras declares that there is no belief that is not
of this character, his philosophy is promptly recognized as scepticism.
Protagoras argues that sense qualities are clearly dependent upon the
actual operations of the senses, and that all knowledge reduces
ultimately to these terms.

     "The senses are variously named hearing, seeing, smelling;
     there is the sense of heat, cold, pleasure, pain, desire,
     fear, and many more which are named, as well as innumerable
     others which have no name; _with each of them there is born an
     object of sense_,--all sorts of colors born with all sorts of
     sight and sounds in like manner with hearing, and other
     objects with the other senses."[269:3]

If the objects are "born with" the senses, it follows that they are born
with and appertain to the individual perceiver.

     "Either show, if you can, that our sensations are not
     relative and individual, or, if you admit that they are
     individual, prove that this does not involve the consequence
     that the appearance becomes, or, if you like to say, is to the
     individual only."[270:4]

The same motif is thus rendered by Walter Pater in the Conclusion of his

     "At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of
     external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and
     importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand
     forms of action. But when reflexion begins to act upon those
     objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive
     force seems suspended like a trick of magic; each object is
     loosed into a group of impressions--color, odor, texture--in
     the mind of the observer. . . . Experience, already reduced to
     a swarm of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by
     that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has
     ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can
     only conjecture to be without. Every one of these impressions
     is the impression of the individual in his isolation, each
     mind keeping as a solitary prisoner its own dream of a world."

The Protagorean generalization is due to the reflection that all
experience is some individual experience, that no subject of discourse
escapes the imputation of belonging to some individual's private
history. The individual must start with his own experiences and ideas,
and he can never get beyond them, for he cannot see outside his own
vision, or even think outside his own mind. The scepticism of this
theory is explicit, and the formulas of Protagoras--the famous "_Man is
the measure of all things_," and the more exact formula, "_The truth is
what appears to each man at each time_"[271:5]--have been the articles
of scepticism throughout the history of thought.

[Sidenote: Phenomenalism and Spiritualism.]

§ 127. There is, therefore, nothing really surprising in the reception
accorded the "new philosophy" of Bishop Berkeley. A sceptical relativism
is the earliest phase of subjectivism, and its avoidance at once becomes
the most urgent problem of any philosophy which proposes to proceed
forth from this principle. And this problem Berkeley meets with great
adroitness and a wise recognition of difficulties. But his sanguine
temperament and speculative interest impel him to what he regards as the
extension of his first principle, the reintroduction of the conception
of substance under the form of spirit, and of the objective order of
nature under the form of the mind of God. In short, there are two
motives at work in him, side by side: the epistemological motive,
restricting reality to perceptions and thoughts, and the
metaphysical-religious motive, leading him eventually to the definition
of reality in terms of perceiving and thinking spirits. And from the
time of Berkeley these two principles, _phenomenalism_ and
_spiritualism_, have remained as distinct and alternating phases of
subjectivism. The former is its critical and dialectical conception, the
latter its constructive and practical conception.

[Sidenote: Phenomenalism as Maintained by Berkeley. The Problem
Inherited from Descartes and Locke.]

§ 128. As _phenomenalism_ has its classic statement and proof in the
writings of Berkeley, we shall do well to return to these. The fact that
this philosopher wished to be regarded as the prophet of common-sense
has already been mentioned. This purpose reveals itself explicitly in
the series of "Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous." The form in which
Berkeley here advances his thesis is further determined by the manner in
which the lines were drawn in his day of thought. The world of
enlightened public opinion was then threefold, consisting of God,
physical nature, and the soul. In the early years of the seventeenth
century Descartes had sharply distinguished between the two
substances--mind, with its attribute of thought; and body, with its
attribute of extension--and divided the finite world between them. God
was regarded as the infinite and sustaining cause of both. Stated in the
terms of epistemology, the object of clear thinking is the physical
cosmos, the subject of clear thinking the immortal soul. The realm of
perception, wherein the mind is subjected to the body, embarrasses the
Cartesian system, and has no clear title to any place in it. And without
attaching cognitive importance to this realm, the system is utterly
dogmatic in its epistemology.[273:6] For what one substance thinks, must
be assumed to be somehow true of another quite independent substance
without any medium of communication. Now between Descartes and Berkeley
appeared the sober and questioning "Essay Concerning Human
Understanding," by John Locke. This is an interesting combination (they
cannot be said to blend) of traditional metaphysics and revolutionary
epistemology. The universe still consists of God, the immortal thinking
soul, and a corporeal nature, the object of its thought. But, except for
certain proofs of God and self, knowledge is entirely reduced to the
perceptual type, to sensations, or ideas directly imparted to the mind
by the objects themselves. To escape dogmatism it is maintained that
the real is what is _observed to be present_. But Locke thinks the
qualities so discovered belong in part to the perceiver and in part to
the substance outside the mind. Color is a case of the former, a
"secondary quality"; and extension a case of the latter, a "primary
quality." And evidently the above empirical test of knowledge is not
equally well met in these two cases. When I see a red object I know that
red exists, for it is observed to be present, and I make no claim for it
beyond the present. But when I note that the red object is square, I am
supposed to know a property that will continue to exist in the object
after I have closed my eyes or turned to something else. Here my claim
exceeds my observation, and the empirical principle adopted at the
outset would seem to be violated. Berkeley develops his philosophy from
this criticism. His refutation of material substance is intended as a
full acceptance of the implications of the new empirical epistemology.
Knowledge is to be all of the perceptual type, where what is known is
directly presented; and, in conformity with this principle, being is to
be restricted to the content of the living pulses of experience.

[Sidenote: The Refutation of Material Substance.]

§ 129. Berkeley, then, beginning with the threefold world of Descartes
and of common-sense, proposes to apply Locke's theory of knowledge to
the discomfiture of corporeal nature. It was a radical doctrine, because
it meant for him and for his contemporaries the denial of all finite
objects outside the mind. But at the same time it meant a restoration of
the homogeneity of experience, the reëstablishment of the qualitative
world of every-day living, and so had its basis of appeal to
common-sense. The encounter between Hylas, the advocate of the
traditional philosophy, and Philonous, who represents the author
himself, begins with an exchange of the charge of innovation.

     _Hyl._ I am glad to find there was nothing in the accounts I
     heard of you.

     _Phil._ Pray, what were those?

     _Hyl._ You were represented, in last night's conversation, as
     one who maintained the most extravagant opinion that ever
     entered into the mind of man, to wit, that there is no such
     thing as _material substance_ in the world.

     _Phil._ That there is no such thing as what _philosophers_
     call _material substance_, I am seriously persuaded: but if I
     were made to see anything absurd or sceptical in this, I
     should then have the same reason to renounce this that I
     imagine I have now to reject the contrary opinion.

     _Hyl._ What! can anything be more fantastical, more repugnant
     to Common-Sense, or a more manifest piece of Scepticism, than
     to believe there is no such thing as _matter_?

     _Phil._ Softly, good Hylas. What if it should prove that you,
     who hold there is, are, by virtue of that opinion, a greater
     sceptic, and maintain more paradoxes and repugnances to
     Common-Sense, than I who believe no such thing?[276:7]

Philonous now proceeds with his case. Beginning by obtaining from Hylas
the admission that pleasure and pain are essentially relative and
subjective, he argues that sensations such as heat, since they are
inseparable from these feelings, must be similarly regarded. And he is
about to annex other qualities in turn to this core of subjectivity,
when Hylas enters a general demurrer:

     "Hold, Philonous, I now see what it was deluded me all this
     time. You asked me whether heat and cold, sweetness and
     bitterness, were not particular sorts of pleasure and pain; to
     which I answered simply that they were. Whereas I should have
     thus distinguished:--those qualities as perceived by us, are
     pleasures or pains; but not as existing in the external
     objects. We must not therefore conclude absolutely, that there
     is no heat in the fire, or sweetness in the sugar, but only
     that heat or sweetness, as perceived by us, are not in the
     fire or sugar."[276:8]

[Sidenote: The Application of the Epistemological Principle.]

§ 130. Here the argument touches upon profound issues. Philonous now
assumes the extreme empirical contention _that knowledge applies only to
its own psychological moment, that its object in no way extends beyond
that individual situation which we call the state of knowing_. The full
import of such an epistemology Berkeley never recognized, but he is
clearly employing it here, and the overthrow of Hylas is inevitable so
long as he does not challenge it or turn it against his opponent. This,
however, as a protagonist of Berkeley's own making, he fails to do, and
he plays into Philonous's hands by admitting that what is known only in
perception must for that reason _consist_ in perception. He frankly owns
"that it is vain to stand out any longer," that "colors, sounds, tastes,
in a word, all those termed _secondary qualities_, have certainly no
existence without the mind."[277:9]

Hylas has now arrived at the distinction between primary and secondary
qualities. "Extension, Figure, Solidity, Gravity, Motion, and Rest" are
the attributes of an external substance which is the cause of
sensations. But the same epistemological principle readily reduces these
also to dependence on mind, for, like the secondary qualities, their
content is given only in perception. Hylas is then driven to defend a
general material substratum, which is the cause of ideas, but to which
none of the definite content of these ideas can be attributed. In short,
he has put all the content of knowledge on the one side, and admitted
its inseparability from the perceiving spirit, and left the being of
things standing empty and forlorn on the other. This amounts, as
Philonous reminds him, to the denial of the reality of the known world.

     "You are therefore, by your principles, forced to deny the
     _reality_ of sensible things; since you made it to consist in
     an absolute existence exterior to the mind. That is to say,
     you are a downright sceptic. So I have gained my point, which
     was to show your principles led to Scepticism."[278:10]

[Sidenote: The Refutation of a Conceived Corporeal World.]

§ 131. Having advanced the direct empiricist argument for phenomenalism,
Berkeley now gives the rationalistic motive an opportunity to express
itself in the queries of Hylas as to whether there be not an "absolute
extension," somehow abstracted by thought from the relativities of
perception. Is there not at least a _conceivable_ world independent of

The answers of Philonous throw much light upon the Berkeleyan position.
He admits that thought is capable of separating the primary from the
secondary qualities in certain _operations_, but at the same time denies
that this is forming an idea of them as separate.

     "I acknowledge, Hylas, it is not difficult to form general
     propositions and reasonings about those qualities, without
     mentioning any other; and, in this sense, to consider or treat
     of them abstractedly. But, how doth it follow that, because I
     can pronounce the word _motion_ by itself, I can form the idea
     of it in my mind exclusive of body? or, because theorems may
     be made of extension and figures, without any mention of
     _great_ or _small_, or any other sensible mode or quality,
     that therefore it is possible such an abstract idea of
     extension, without any particular size or figure, or sensible
     quality, should be distinctly formed, and apprehended by the
     mind? Mathematicians treat of quantity, without regarding what
     other sensible qualities it is attended with, as being
     altogether indifferent to their demonstrations. But, when
     laying aside the words, they contemplate the bare ideas, I
     believe you will find, they are not the pure abstracted ideas
     of extension."[279:11]

Berkeley denies that we have ideas of pure extension or motion, because,
although we do actually _deal_ with these and find them intelligible, we
can never obtain a state of mind in which they appear as the content. He
applies this psychological test because of his adherence to the general
empirical postulate that knowledge is limited to the individual content
of its own individual states. "It is a universally received maxim," he
says, "that _everything which exists is particular_." Now the truth of
mathematical reckoning is not particular, but is valid wherever the
conditions to which it refers are fulfilled. Mathematical reckoning, if
it is to be particular, must be regarded as a particular act or state of
some thinker. Its truth must then be construed as relative to the
interests of the thinker, as a symbolism which has an instrumental
rather than a purely cognitive value. This conclusion cannot be disputed
short of a radical stand against the general epistemological principle
to which Berkeley is so far true, the principle that the reality which
is known in any state of thinking or perceiving is the state itself.

[Sidenote: The Transition to Spiritualism.]

§ 132. This concludes the purely phenomenalistic strain of Berkeley's
thought. He has taken the immediate apprehension of sensible objects in
a state of mind centring about the pleasure and pain of an individual,
to be the norm of knowledge. He has further maintained that knowledge
cannot escape the particularity of its own states. The result is that
the universe is composed of private perceptions and ideas. Strictly on
the basis of what has preceded, Hylas is justified in regarding this
conclusion as no less sceptical than that to which his own position had
been reduced; for while he had been compelled to admit that the real is
unknowable, Philonous has apparently defined the knowable as relative to
the individual. But the supplementary metaphysics which had hitherto
been kept in the background is now revealed. It is maintained that
though perceptions know no external world, they do nevertheless reveal a
spiritual substance of which they are the states. Although it has
hitherto been argued that the _esse_ of things is in their _percipi_,
this is now replaced by the more fundamental principle that the _esse_
of things is in their _percipere_ or _velle_. The real world consists
not in perceptions, but in perceivers.

[Sidenote: Further Attempts to Maintain Phenomenalism.]

§ 133. Now it is at once evident that the epistemological theory which
has been Berkeley's dialectical weapon in the foregoing argument is no
longer available. And those who have cared more for this theory than for
metaphysical speculation have attempted to stop at this point, and so to
construe phenomenalism as to make it self-sufficient on its own
grounds. Such attempts are so instructive as to make it worth our while
to review them before proceeding with the development of the
spiritualistic motive in subjectivism.

The world is to be regarded as made up of sense-perceptions, ideas, or
phenomena. What is to be accepted as the fundamental category which
gives to all of these terms their subjectivistic significance? So far
there seems to be nothing in view save the principle of relativity. The
type to which these were reduced was that of the peculiar or unsharable
experience best represented by an individual's pleasure and pain. But
relativity will not work as a general principle of being. It consigns
the individual to his private mind, and cannot provide for the validity
of knowledge enough even to maintain itself. Some other course, then,
must be followed. Perception may be given a psycho-physical definition,
which employs physical terms as fundamental;[282:12] but this flagrantly
contradicts the phenomenalistic first principle. Or, reality may be
regarded as so stamped with its marks as to insure the proprietorship of
thought. But this definition of certain objective entities of mind, of
beings attributed to intelligence because of their intrinsic
intelligibility, is inconsistent with empiricism, if indeed it does not
lead eventually to a realism of the Platonic type.[283:13] Finally, and
most commonly, the terms of phenomenalism have been retained after their
original meaning has been suffered to lapse. The "impressions" of Hume,
_e. g._, are the remnant of the Berkeleyan world with the spirit
stricken out. There is no longer any point in calling them impressions,
for they now mean only elements or qualities. As a consequence this
outgrowth of the Berkeleyanism epistemology is at present merging into a
realistic philosophy of experience.[283:14] Any one, then, of these
three may be the last state of one who undertakes to remain exclusively
faithful to the phenomenalistic aspect of Berkeleyanism, embodied in the
principle _esse est percipi_.

[Sidenote: Berkeley's Spiritualism. Immediate Knowledge of the

§ 134. Let us now follow the fortunes of the other phase of
subjectivism--that which develops the conception of the perceiver rather
than the perceived. When Berkeley holds that

     "all the choir of heaven and furniture of the Earth, in a
     word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the
     world, have not any subsistence without a Mind,"

his thought has transcended the epistemology with which he overthrew the
conception of material substance, in two directions. For neither mind of
the finite type nor mind of the divine type is perceived. But the first
of these may yet be regarded as a direct empirical datum, even though
sharply distinguished from an object of perception. In the third
dialogue, Philonous thus expounds this new kind of knowledge:

     "I own I have properly no _idea_, either of God or any other
     spirit; for these being active, cannot be represented by
     things perfectly inert, as our ideas are. I do nevertheless
     know that I, who am a spirit or thinking substance, exist as
     certainly as I know my ideas exist. Farther, I know what I
     mean by the terms _I_ and _myself_; and I know this
     immediately or intuitively, though I do not perceive it as I
     perceive a triangle, a color, or a sound."[284:15]

The knowledge here provided for may be regarded as empirical because
the reality in question is an individual present in the moment of the
knowledge. Particular acts of perception are said directly to reveal not
only perceptual objects, but perceiving subjects. And the conception of
spiritual substance, once accredited, may then be extended to account
for social relations and to fill in the nature of God. The latter
extension, in so far as it attributes such further predicates as
universality and infinity, implies still a third epistemology, and
threatens to pass over into rationalism. But the knowledge of one's
fellow-men may, it is claimed, be regarded as immediate, like the
knowledge of one's self. Perceptual and volitional activity has a sense
for itself and also a sense for other like activity. The self is both
self-conscious and socially conscious in an immediate experience of the
same type.

[Sidenote: Schopenhauer's Spiritualism, or Voluntarism. Immediate
Knowledge of the Will.]

§ 135. But this general spiritualistic conception is developed with less
singleness of purpose in Berkeley than among the _voluntarists_ and
_panpsychists_ who spring from Schopenhauer, the orientalist, pessimist,
and mystic among the German Kantians of the early nineteenth century.
His great book, "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung," opens with the
phenomenalistic contention that "the world is my idea." It soon appears,
however, that the "my" is more profoundly significant than the "idea."
Nature is my creation, due to the working within me of certain fixed
principles of thought, such as space, time, and causality. But nature,
just because it is my creation, is less than me: is but a manifestation
of the true being for which I must look _within_ myself. But this inner
self cannot be made an object of thought, for that would be only to
create another term of nature. The will itself, from which such creation
springs, is "that which is most immediate" in one's consciousness, and
"makes itself known in a direct manner in its particular acts." The term
_will_ is used by Schopenhauer as a general term covering the whole
dynamics of life, instinct and desire, as well as volition. It is that
sense of life-preserving and life-enhancing appetency which is the
conscious accompaniment of struggle. With its aid the inwardness of the
whole world may now be apprehended.

     "Whoever has now gained from all these expositions a knowledge
     _in abstracto_, and therefore clear and certain, of what
     everyone knows directly _in concreto_, _i. e._, as feeling, a
     knowledge that his will is the real inner nature of his
     phenomenal being, . . . and that his will is that which is
     most immediate in his consciousness, . . . will find that of
     itself it affords him the key to the knowledge of the inmost
     being of the whole of nature; for he now transfers it to all
     those phenomena which are not given to him, like his own
     phenomenal existence, both in direct and indirect knowledge,
     but only in the latter, thus merely one-sidedly as _idea_

The heart of reality is thus known by an "intuitive interpretation,"
which begins at home in the individual's own heart.

[Sidenote: Panpsychism.]

§ 136. The panpsychist follows the same course of reflection. There is
an outwardness and an inwardness of nature, corresponding to the
knower's body on the one hand, and his feeling or will on the other.
With this principle in hand one may pass down the whole scale of being
and discover no breach of continuity. Such an interpretation of nature
has been well set forth by a contemporary writer, who quotes the
following from the botanist, C. v. Naegeli:

     "Sensation is clearly connected with the reflex actions of
     higher animals. We are obliged to concede it to the other
     animals also, and we have no grounds for denying it to plants
     and inorganic bodies. The sensation arouses in us a condition
     of comfort and discomfort. In general, the feeling of
     pleasure arises when the natural impulses are satisfied, the
     feeling of pain when they are not satisfied. Since all
     material processes are composed of movements of molecules and
     elementary atoms, pleasure and pain must have their seat in
     these particles. . . . Thus the same mental thread runs
     through all material phenomena. The human mind is nothing but
     the highest development on our earth of the mental processes
     which universally animate and move nature."[288:17]

According to panpsychism, then, physical nature is the manifestation of
an _appetency or bare consciousness generalized from the thinker's
awareness of his most intimate self_. Such appetency or bare
consciousness is the essential or substantial state of that which
appears as physical nature.

[Sidenote: The Inherent Difficulty in Spiritualism. No Provision for
Objective Knowledge.]

§ 137. We must now turn to the efforts which this doctrine has made to
maintain itself against the sceptical trend of its own epistemology. For
precisely as in the case of phenomenalism its dialectical principle
threatens to be self-destructive. Immediate presence is still the test
of knowledge. But does not immediate presence connote relativity and
inadequacy, at best; an initial phase of knowledge that must be
supplemented and corrected before objective reality and valid truth are
apprehended? Does not the individuality of the individual thinker
connote the very maximum of error? Indeed, spiritualism would seem to
have exceeded even Protagoreanism itself, and to have passed from
scepticism to deliberate nihilism. The object of knowledge is no longer
even, as with the phenomenalist, the thinker's thought, but only his
_thinking_. And if the thinker's thought is relative to him, then the
thinker's act of thinking is the very vanishing-point of relativity, the
negative term of a negating relation. How is a real, a self-subsistent
world to be composed of such? Impelled by a half-conscious realization
of the hopelessness of this situation, the exponent of spiritualism has
sought to universalize his conception; to define an _absolute or
ultimate spirit_ other than the individual thinker, though known in and
through him. But it is clear that this development of spiritualism, like
all of the speculative procedure of subjectivism, threatens to exceed
the scope of the original principle of knowledge. There is a strong
presumption against the possibility of introducing a knowledge of God by
the way of the particular presentations of an individual consciousness.

[Sidenote: Schopenhauer's Attempt to Universalize Subjectivism.

§ 138. Schopenhauer must be credited with a genuine effort to accept the
metaphysical consequences of his epistemology. His epistemology, as we
have seen, defined knowledge as centripetal. The object of real
knowledge is identical with the subject of knowledge. If I am to know
the universal will, therefore, I must in knowing become that will. And
this Schopenhauer maintains. The innermost heart of the individual into
which he may retreat, even from his private will, is--the universal. But
there is another way of arriving at the same knowledge. In contemplation
I may become absorbed in principles and laws, rather than be diverted by
the particular spacial and temporal objects, until (and this is
peculiarly true of the æsthetic experience) my interest no longer
distinguishes itself, but coincides with truth. In other words, abstract
thinking and pure willing are not opposite extremes, but adjacent points
on the deeper or transcendent circle of experience. One may reach this
part of the circle by moving in either of two directions that at the
start are directly opposite: by turning in upon the subject or by
utterly giving one's self up to the object. Reality obtains no
definition by this means. Philosophy, for Schopenhauer, is rather a
programme for realizing the state in which I will the universal and know
the universal will. The final theory of knowledge, then, is mysticism,
reality directly apprehended in a supreme and incommunicable experience,
direct and vivid, like perception, and at the same time universal, like
thought. But the empiricism with which Schopenhauer began, the appeal to
a familiar experience of self as will, has meanwhile been forgotten. The
idea as object of my perception, and the will as its subject were in the
beginning regarded as common and verifiable items of experience. But
who, save the occasional philosopher, knows a universal will? Nor have
attempts to avoid mysticism, while retaining Schopenhauer's first
principle, been successful. Certain voluntarists and panpsychists have
attempted to do without the universal will, and define the world solely
in terms of the many individual wills. But, as Schopenhauer himself
pointed out, individual wills cannot be distinguished except in terms of
something other than will, such as space and time. The same is true if
for will there be substituted inner feeling or consciousness. Within
this category individuals can be distinguished only as points of view,
which to be comparable at all must contain common objects, or be
defined in terms of a system of relations like that of the physical
world or that of an ethical community. The conception of pure will or
pure feeling inevitably attaches to itself that of an undivided unity,
if for no other reason because there is no ground for distinction. And
such a unity, a will or consciousness that is no particular act or idea,
can be known only in the unique experience which mysticism provides.

[Sidenote: Objective Spiritualism.]

§ 139. The way of Schopenhauer is the way of one who adheres to the
belief that what the thinker knows must always be a part of himself, his
state or his activity. From this point of view the important element of
being, its very essence or substance, is not any definable nature but an
immediate relation to the knower. The consequence is that the universe
in the last analysis can only be defined as a supreme state or activity
into which the individual's consciousness may develop. Spiritualism has,
however, other interests, interests which may be quite independent of
epistemology. It is speculatively interested in a kind of being which it
defines as spiritual, and in terms of which it proposes to define the
universe. Such procedure is radically different from the
epistemological criticism which led Berkeley to maintain that the
_esse_ of objects is in their _percipi_, or Schopenhauer to maintain
that "the world is my idea," or that led both of these philosophers to
find a deeper reality in immediately intuited self-activity. For now it
is proposed to _understand_ spirit, discover its properties, and to
acknowledge it only where these properties appear. I may now know spirit
as an object; which in its properties, to be sure, is quite different
from matter, but which like matter is capable of subsisting quite
independently of my knowledge. This is a metaphysical spiritualism quite
distinct from epistemological spiritualism, and by no means easily made
consistent therewith. Indeed, it exhibits an almost irrepressible
tendency to overstep the bounds both of empiricism and subjectivism, an
historical connection with which alone justifies its introduction in the
present chapter.

[Sidenote: Berkeley's Conception of God as Cause, Goodness and Order.]

§ 140. To return again to the instructive example of Bishop Berkeley, we
find him proving God from the evidence of him in experience, or the need
of him to support the claims of experience.

     "But, whatever power I may have over my own thoughts, I find
     the ideas actually perceived by Sense have not a like
     dependence on _my_ will. When in broad daylight I open my
     eyes, it is not in my power to choose whether I shall see or
     no, or to determine what particular objects shall present
     themselves to my view: and so likewise as to the hearing and
     other senses; the ideas imprinted on them are not creatures of
     _my_ will. There is therefore some other Will or Spirit that
     produces them.

     The ideas of Sense are more strong, lively, and distinct than
     those of the Imagination; they have likewise a steadiness,
     order, and coherence, and are not excited at random, as those
     which are the effects of human wills often are, but in a
     regular train or series--the admirable connection whereof
     sufficiently testifies the wisdom and benevolence of its
     Author. Now the set rules, or established methods, wherein the
     Mind we depend on excites in us the ideas of Sense, are called
     _the laws of nature_."[294:18]

Of the attributes of experience here in question, independence or
"steadiness" is not regarded as _prima facie_ evidence of spirit, but
rather as an aspect of experience for which some cause is necessary. But
it is assumed that the power to "produce," with which such a cause must
be endowed, is the peculiar prerogative of spirit, and that this cause
gives further evidence of its spiritual nature, of its eminently
spiritual nature, in the orderliness and the goodness of its effects.

     "The force that produces, the intellect that orders, the
     goodness that perfects all things is the Supreme

That spirit is possessed of causal efficacy, Berkeley has in an earlier
passage proved by a direct appeal to the individual's sense of power.

     "I find I can excite ideas in my mind at pleasure, and vary
     and shift the scene as oft as I think fit. It is no more than
     _willing_, and straightway this or that idea arises in my
     fancy; and by the same power it is obliterated and makes way
     for another. This making and unmaking of ideas doth very
     properly denominate the mind active. Thus much is certain and
     grounded on experience: but when we talk of unthinking agents,
     or of exciting ideas exclusive of volition, we only amuse
     ourselves with words."[295:20]

Although Berkeley is here in general agreement with a very considerable
variety of philosophical views, it will be readily observed that this
doctrine tends to lapse into mysticism whenever it is retained in its
purity. Berkeley himself admitted that there was no "idea" of such
power. And philosophers will as a rule either obtain an idea
corresponding to a term or amend the term--always excepting the mystical
appeal to an inarticulate and indefinable experience. Hence pure power
revealed in an ineffable immediate experience tends to give place to
kinds of power to which some definite meaning may be attached. The
energy of physics, defined by measurable quantitative equivalence, is a
case in point. The idealistic trend is in another direction, power
coming to signify ethical or logical connection. Similarly, in the later
philosophy of Berkeley himself, God is known by the nature of his
activity rather than by the fact of his activity; and we are said "to
account for a thing, when we show that it is so best." God's power, in
short, becomes indistinguishable from his universality attended with the
attributes of goodness and orderliness. But this means that the analogy
of the human spirit, conscious of its own activity, is no longer the
basis of the argument. By the divine will is now meant ethical
principles, rather than the "here am I willing" of the empirical
consciousness. Similarly the divine mind is defined in terms of logical
principles, such as coherence and order, rather than in terms of the
"here am I thinking" of the finite knower himself. But enough has been
said to make it plain that this is no longer the stand-point of
empirio-idealism. Indeed, in his last philosophical writing, the
"Siris," Berkeley is so far removed from the principles of knowledge
which made him at once the disciple and the critic of Locke, as to
pronounce himself the devotee of Platonism and the prophet of
transcendentalism. The former strain appears in his conclusion that
"the _principles_ of science are neither objects of sense nor
imagination; and that intellect and reason are alone the sure guides to
truth."[297:21] His transcendentalism appears in his belief that such
principles, participating in the vital unity of the Individual Purpose,
constitute the meaning and so the substantial essence of the universe.

[Sidenote: The General Tendency of Subjectivism to Transcend Itself.]

§ 141. Such then are the various paths which lead from subjectivism to
other types of philosophy, demonstrating the peculiar aptitude of the
former for departing from its first principle. Beginning with the
relativity of all knowable reality to the individual knower, it
undertakes to conceive reality in one or the other of the terms of this
relation, as particular state of knowledge or as individual subject of
knowledge. But these terms develop an intrinsic nature of their own, and
become respectively _empirical datum_, and _logical_ or _ethical
principle_. In either case the subjectivistic principle of knowledge has
been abandoned. Those whose speculative interest in a definable
objective world has been less strong than their attachment to this
principle, have either accepted the imputation of scepticism, or had
recourse to the radical epistemological doctrine of mysticism.

[Sidenote: Ethical Theories. Relativism.]

§ 142. Since the essence of subjectivism is epistemological rather than
metaphysical, its practical and religious implications are various. The
ethical theories which are corollary to the tendencies expounded above,
range from extreme egoism to a mystical universalism. The close
connection between the former and relativism is evident, and the form of
egoism most consistent with epistemological relativism is to be found
among those same Sophists who first maintained this latter doctrine. If
we may believe Plato, the Sophists sought to create for their individual
pupils an _appearance_ of good. In the "Theaetetus," Socrates is
represented as speaking thus on behalf of Protagoras:

     "And I am far from saying that wisdom and the wise man have no
     existence; but I say that the wise man is he who makes the
     evils which are and appear to a man, into goods which are and
     appear to him. . . . I say that they (the wise men) are the
     physicians of the human body, and the husbandmen of
     plants--for the husbandmen also take away the evil and
     disordered sensations of plants, and infuse into them good and
     healthy sensations as well as true ones; and the wise and good
     rhetoricians make the good instead of the evil seem just to
     states; for whatever appears to be just and fair to a state,
     while sanctioned by a state, is just and fair to it; but the
     teacher of wisdom causes the good to take the place of the
     evil, both in appearance and in reality."[299:22]

As truth is indistinguishable from the appearance of truth to the
individual, so good is indistinguishable from a particular seeming good.
The supreme moral value according to this plan of life is the agreeable
feeling tone of that dream world to which the individual is forever
consigned. The possible perfection of an experience which is "reduced to
a swarm of impressions," and "ringed round" for each one of us by a
"thick wall of personality" has been brilliantly depicted in the passage
already quoted from Walter Pater, in whom the naturalistic and
subjectivistic motives unite.[299:23] If all my experience is strictly
my own, then my good must likewise be my own. And if all of my
experience is valid only in its instants of immediacy, then my best good
must likewise consist in some "exquisite passion," or stirring of the

[Sidenote: Pessimism and Self-denial.]

§ 143. But for Schopenhauer the internal world opens out into the
boundless and unfathomable sea of the universal will. If I retire from
the world upon my own private feelings, I am still short of the true
life, for I am asserting myself against the world. I should seek a sense
of unison with a world whose deeper heart-beats I may learn to feel and
adopt as the rhythm of my own. The folly of willing for one's private
self is the ground of Schopenhauer's pessimism.

     "All _willing_ arises from want, therefore from deficiency,
     and therefore from suffering. The satisfaction of a wish ends
     it; yet for one wish that is satisfied there remain at least
     ten which are denied. Further, the desire lasts long, the
     demands are infinite; the satisfaction is short and scantily
     measured out. But even the final satisfaction is itself only
     apparent; every satisfied wish at once makes room for a new
     one, both are illusions; the one is known to be so, the other
     not yet. No attained object of desire can give lasting
     satisfaction, but merely a fleeting gratification; it is like
     the alms thrown to the beggar, that keeps him alive to-day
     that his misery may be prolonged till the morrow. . . . The
     subject of willing is thus constantly stretched on the
     revolving wheel of Ixion, pours water into the sieve of the
     Danaids, is the ever-longing Tantalus."[300:24]

The escape from this torture and self-deception is possible through the
same mystical experience, the same blending with the universe that
conditions knowledge.

[Sidenote: The Ethics of Welfare.]

§ 144. But though pleasant dreaming be the most consistent practical
sequel to a subjectivistic epistemology, its _individualism_ presents
another basis for life with quite different possibilities of emphasis.
It may develop into an aggressive egoism of the type represented by the
sophist Thrasymachus, in his proclamation that "might is right, justice
the interest of the stronger."[301:25] But more commonly it is tempered
by a conception of social interest, and serves as the champion of action
against contemplation. The gospel of action is always individualistic.
It requires of the individual a sense of his independence, and of the
real virtue of his initiative. Hence those voluntarists who emphasize
the many individual wills and decline to reduce them, after the manner
of Schopenhauer, to a universal, may be said to afford a direct
justification of it. It is true that this practical realism threatens
the tenability of an epistemological idealism, but the two have been
united, and because of their common emphasis upon the individual such
procedure is not entirely inconsequential. Friedrich Paulsen, whose
panpsychism has already been cited, is an excellent case in point. The
only good, he maintains, is "welfare," the fulfilment of those natural
desires which both distinguish the individual and signify his
continuity with all grades of being.

     "The goal at which the will aims does not consist in a maximum
     of pleasurable feelings, but in the normal exercise of the
     vital functions for which the species is predisposed. In the
     case of man the mode of life is on the whole determined by the
     nature of the historical unity from which the individual
     evolves as a member. Here the objective content of life, after
     which the will strives, also enters into consciousness with
     the progressive evolution of presentation; the type of life
     becomes a conscious ideal of life."[302:26]

Here, contrary to the teaching of Schopenhauer, the good consists in
individual attainment, the extension and fulfilment of the _distinct_
interests that arise from the common fund of nature. To be and to do to
the uttermost, to realize the maximum from nature's investment in one's
special capacities and powers--this is indeed the first principle of a
morality of action.

[Sidenote: The Ethical Community.]

§ 145. But a type of ethics still further removed from the initial
relativism has been adopted and more or less successfully assimilated by
subjectivistic philosophies. Accepting Berkeley's spirits, with their
indefinite capacities, and likewise the stability of the ideal
principles that underlie a God-administered world, and morality becomes
the obedience which the individual renders to the law. The individual,
free to act in his own right, coöperates with the purposes of the
general spiritual community, whose laws are worthy of obedience though
not coercive. The recognition of such a spiritual citizenship, entailing
opportunities, duties, and obligations, rather than thraldom, partakes
of the truth as well as the inadequacy of common-sense.

[Sidenote: The Religion of Mysticism.]

§ 146. As for religion, at least two distinct practical appreciations of
the universe have been historically associated with this chapter in
philosophy. The one of these is the mysticism of Schopenhauer, the
religious sequel to a universalistic voluntarism. Schopenhauer's ethics,
his very philosophy, is religion. For the good and the true are alike
attainable only through identification with the Absolute Will. This
consummation of life, transcending practical and theoretical
differences, engulfing and effacing all qualities and all values, is
like the Nirvâna of the Orient--a positive ideal only for one who has
appraised the apparent world at its real value.

     "Rather do we freely acknowledge that what remains after the
     entire abolition of will is for all those who are still full
     of will certainly nothing; but, conversely, to those in whom
     the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world,
     which is so real, with all it's suns and milky-ways--is

[Sidenote: The Religion of Individual Coöperation with God.]

§ 147. From the union of the two motives of voluntarism and
individualism springs another and a more familiar type of religion, that
of coöperative spiritual endeavor. In the religion of Schopenhauer the
soul must utterly lose itself for the sake of peace; here the soul must
persist in its own being and activity for the sake of the progressive
goodness of the world. For Schopenhauer God is the universal solution,
in which all motions cease and all differences disappear; here God is
the General of moral forces. The deeper and more significant universe is

     "a society of rational agents, acting under the eye of
     Providence, concurring in one design to promote the common
     benefit of the whole, and conforming their actions to the
     established laws and order of the Divine parental wisdom:
     wherein each particular agent shall not consider himself
     apart, but as the member of a great City, whose author and
     founder is God: in which the civil laws are no other than the
     rules of virtue and the duties of religion: and where
     everyone's true interest is combined with his duty."[304:28]

But so uncompromising an optimism is not essential to this religion.
Its distinction lies rather in its acceptance of the manifest plurality
of souls, and its appeal to the faith that is engendered by
service.[305:29] As William James has said:

     "Even God's being is sacred from ours. To coöperate with his
     creation by the best and rightest response seems all he wants
     of us. In such coöperation with his purposes, not in any
     chimerical speculative conquest of him, not in any theoretical
     drinking of him up, must lie the real meaning of our


[267:1] PRELIMINARY NOTE. By _Subjectivism_ is meant that system of
philosophy which construes the universe in accordance with the
epistemological principle that _all knowledge is of its own states or
activities_. In so far as subjectivism reduces reality to _states of
knowledge_, such as _perceptions_ or _ideas_, it is _phenomenalism_. In
so far as it reduces reality to a more _internal active principle_ such
as _spirit_ or _will_, it is _spiritualism_.

[268:2] Berkeley: _Complete Works_, Vol. I, p. 352. Fraser's edition.

[269:3] Plato: _Theaetetus_, 156. Translation by Jowett. The italics are

[270:4] Plato: _Op. cit._, 166.

[271:5] ἀληθὲς ὃ ἑκάστῳ ἑκάστοτε δοκεῖ.

[273:6] For another issue out of this situation, cf. §§ 185-187.

[276:7] Berkeley: _Op. cit._, Vol. I, pp. 380-381.

[276:8] _Ibid._, p. 389.

[277:9] _Ibid._, p. 397.

[278:10] _Ibid._, p. 418.

[279:11] _Ibid._, pp. 403-404.

[282:12] Cf. Pearson: _Grammar of Science_, Chap. II. See above, § 118.

[283:13] See Chap. XI. Cf. also § 140.

[283:14] The same may be said of the "permanent possibilities of
sensation," proposed by J. S. Mill. Such possibilities outside of actual
perception are either nothing or things such as they are known to be
_in_ perception. In either case they are not perceptions.

In Ernst Mach's _Analysis of Sensations_, the reader will find an
interesting transition from sensationalism to realism through the
substitution of the term _Bestandtheil_ for _Empfindung_. (See
Translation by Williams, pp. 18-20.) See below, § 207.

[284:15] Berkeley: _Op. cit._, p. 447.

[287:16] Schopenhauer: _The World as Will and Idea_. Translation by
Haldane and Kemp, Vol. I, p. 141.

[288:17] Quoted from Naegeli: _Die Mechanisch-physiologische Theorie der
Abstammungslehre_, by Friedrich Paulsen, in his _Introduction to
Philosophy_. Translation by Thilly, p. 103.

[294:18] Berkeley: _Op. cit._, p. 273.

[294:19] _Op. cit._, Vol. I, pp. 272-273.

[295:20] _Op. cit._, Vol. III, p. 278.

[297:21] _Op. cit._, Vol. III, p. 249.

[299:22] Plato: _Theaetetus_, 167. Translation by Jowett.

[299:23] See § 121.

[300:24] Schopenhauer: _Op. cit._ Translation by Haldane and Kemp, Vol.
I, pp. 253-254.

[301:25] See Plato: _Republic_, Bk. I, 338.

[302:26] Paulsen: _Op. cit._, p. 423.

[304:27] Schopenhauer: _Op. cit._ Translation by Haldane and Kemp, p.

[304:28] Berkeley: _Op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 138.

[305:29] For an interesting characterization of this type of religion,
cf. Royce: _Spirit of Modern Philosophy_, p. 46.

[305:30] James: _The Will to Believe_, p. 141.



[Sidenote: The Philosopher's Task, and the Philosopher's Object, or the

§ 148. No one has understood better than the philosopher himself that he
cannot hope to be popular with men of practical common-sense. Indeed, it
has commonly been a matter of pride with him. The classic representation
of the philosopher's faith in himself is to be found in Plato's
"Republic." The philosopher is there portrayed in the famous cave simile
as one who having seen the light itself can no longer distinguish the
shadows which are apparent to those who sit perpetually in the twilight.
Within the cave of shadows he is indeed less at his ease than those who
have never seen the sun. But since he knows the source of the shadows,
his knowledge surrounds that of the shadow connoisseurs. And his
equanimity need not suffer from the contempt of those whom he
understands better than they understand themselves. The history of
philosophy is due to the dogged persistence with which the philosopher
has taken himself seriously and endured the poor opinion of the world.
But the pride of the philosopher has done more than perpetuate the
philosophical outlook and problem; it has led to the formulation of a
definite philosophical conception, and of two great philosophical
doctrines. The conception is that of the _absolute_; and the doctrines
are that of the _absolute being_, and that of the _absolute self_ or
_mind_. The former of these doctrines is the topic of the present

Among the early Greeks the rôle of the philosopher was one of
superlative dignity. In point of knowledge he was less easily satisfied
than other men. He thought beyond immediate practical problems, devoting
himself to a profounder reflection, that could not but induce in him a
sense of superior intellectual worth. The familiar was not binding upon
him, for his thought was emancipated from routine and superficiality.
Furthermore his intellectual courage and resolution did not permit him
to indulge in triviality, doubt, or paradox. He sought his own with a
faith that could not be denied. Even Heraclitus the Dark, who was also
called "the Weeping Philosopher," because he found at the very heart of
nature that transiency which the philosophical mind seeks to escape,
felt himself to be exalted as well as isolated by that insight. But this
sentiment of personal aloofness led at once to a division of experience.
He who knows truly belongs to another and more abiding world. As there
is a philosophical way of thought, there is a philosophical way of life,
and _a philosophical object_. Since the philosopher and the common man
do not see alike, the terms of their experience are incommensurable. In
Parmenides the Eleatic this motive is most strikingly exhibited. There
is a _Way of Truth_ which diverges from the _Way of Opinion_. The
philosopher walks the former way alone. And there is an object of truth,
accessible only to one who takes this way of truth. Parmenides finds
this object to be the content of pure affirmation.

     "One path only is left for us to speak of, namely, that _It
     is_. In it are very many tokens that what is, is uncreated and
     indestructible, alone, complete, immovable, and without end.
     Nor was it ever, nor will it be; for now _it is_, all at once,
     a continuous one."[308:2]

The philosophy of Parmenides, commonly called the Eleatic Philosophy,
is notable for this emergence of the pure concept of _absolute being_ as
the final object of knowledge. The philosopher aims to discover that
which is, and so turns away from that which is not or that which ceases
to be. The negative and transient aspects of experience only hinder him
in his search for the eternal. It was the great Eleatic insight to
realize that the outcome of thought is thus predetermined; that the
answer to philosophy is contained in the question of philosophy. The
philosopher, in that he resolutely avoids all partiality, relativity,
and superficiality, must affirm a complete, universal, and ultimate
being as the very object of that perfect knowledge which he means to
possess. This object is known in the history of these philosophies as
the _infinite_ or _absolute_.[309:3]

[Sidenote: The Eleatic Conception of Being.]

§ 149. The Eleatic reasons somewhat as follows. The philosopher seeks to
know what is. The object of his knowledge will then contain as its
primary and essential predicate, that of being. It is a step further to
_define_ being in terms of this essential predicate.

Parmenides thinks of being as a power or strength, a positive
self-maintenance to which all affirmations refer. The remainder of the
Eleatic philosophy is the analysis of this concept and the proof of its
implications. Being must persist through all change, and span all
chasms. Before being there can be only nothing, which is the same as to
say that so far as being is concerned there is no before. Similarly
there can be no after or beyond. There can be no motion, change, or
division of being, because being will be in all parts of every division,
and in all stages of every process. Hence being is "uncreated and
indestructible, alone, complete, immovable, and without end."

The argument turns upon the application to being as a whole of the
meaning and the implications of _only being_. Being is the affirmative
or positive. From that _alone_, one can derive only such properties as
eternity or unity. For generation and decay and plurality may belong to
that which is _also_ affirmative and positive, but not to that which is
affirmative and positive _only_. The Eleatic philosophy is due, then, to
the determination to derive the whole of reality from the bare necessity
of being, to cut down reality to what flows entirely from the assertion
of its only known necessary aspect, that of being. We meet here in its
simplest form a persistent rationalistic motive, the attempt to derive
the universe from the isolation and analysis of its most universal
character. As in the case of every well-defined philosophy, this motive
is always attended by a "besetting" problem. Here it is the accounting
for what, empirically at least, is alien to that universal character.
And this difficulty is emphasized rather than resolved by Parmenides in
his designation of a limbo of opinion, "in which is no true belief at
all," to which the manifold of common experience with all its
irrelevancies can be relegated.

[Sidenote: Spinoza's Conception of Substance.]

§ 150. The Eleatic philosophy, enriched and supplemented, appears many
centuries later in the rigorous rationalism of Spinoza.[311:4] With
Spinoza philosophy is a demonstration of necessities after the manner of
geometry. Reality is to be set forth in theorems derived from
fundamental axioms and definitions. As in the case of Parmenides, these
necessities are the implications of the very problem of being. The
philosopher's problem is made to solve itself. But for Spinoza that
problem is more definite and more pregnant. The problematic being must
not only be, but must be _sufficient to itself_. What the philosopher
seeks to know is primarily an intrinsic entity. Its nature must be
independent of other natures, and my knowledge of it independent of my
knowledge of anything else. Reality is something which need not be
sought further. So construed, being is in Spinoza's philosophy termed
_substance_. It will be seen that to define substance is to affirm the
existence of it, for substance is so defined as to embody the very
qualification for existence. Whatever exists exists under the form of
substance, as that "which is in itself, and is conceived through itself:
in other words, that of which a conception can be formed independently
of any other conception."[312:5]

[Sidenote: Spinoza's Proof of God, the Infinite Substance. The Modes and
the Attributes.]

§ 151. There remains but one further fundamental thesis for the
establishment of the Spinozistic philosophy, the thesis which maintains
the exclusive existence of the one "absolutely infinite being," or God.
The exclusive existence of God follows from his existence, because of
the exhaustiveness of his nature. His is the nature "consisting in
infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite
essentiality." He will contain all meaning, and all possible meaning,
within his fixed and necessary constitution. It is evident that if such
a God exist, nothing can fall outside of him. One such substance must be
the only substance. But upon what grounds are we to assert God's

To proceed further with Spinoza's philosophy we must introduce two terms
which are scarcely less fundamental in his system than that of
substance. The one of these is "attribute," by which he means _kind_ or
general property; the other is "mode," by which he means _case_ or
individual thing. Spinoza's proof of God consists in showing that no
single mode, single attribute, or finite group of modes or attributes,
can be a substance; but only an infinite system of all modes of all
attributes. Translated into common speech this means that neither kinds
nor cases, nor special groups of either, can stand alone and be of
themselves, but only the unity of all possible cases of all possible

The argument concerning the possible substantiality of the case or
individual thing is relatively simple. Suppose an attribute or kind,
_A_, of which there are cases _am_{1}, _am_{2}, _am_{3}, etc. The
number of cases is never involved in the nature of the kind, as is seen
for example in the fact that the definition of triangle prescribes no
special number of individual triangles. Hence _am_{1}, _am_{2},
_am_{3}, etc., must be explained by something outside of their nature.
Their being cases of _A_ does not account for their existing severally.
This is Spinoza's statement of the argument that individual events, such
as motions or sensations, are not self-dependent, but belong to a
context of like events which are mutually dependent.

The question of the attribute is more difficult. Why may not an
attribute as a complete domain of interdependent events, itself be
independent or substantial? Spinoza's predecessor, Descartes, had
maintained precisely that thesis in behalf of the domain of thought and
the domain of space. Spinoza's answer rests upon the famous ontological
argument, inherited from scholasticism and generally accepted in the
first period of modern philosophy. The evidence of existence, he
declares, is clear and distinct conceivability.

     "For a person to say that he has a clear and distinct--that
     is, a true--idea of a substance, but that he is not sure
     whether such substance exists, would be the same as if he said
     that he had a true idea, but was not sure whether or no it was

Now we can form a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely infinite
being that shall have all possible attributes. This idea is a
well-recognized standard and object of reference for thought. But it is
a conception which is highly qualified, not only through its clearness
and distinctness, but also through its abundance of content. It affirms
itself therefore with a certainty that surpasses any other certainty,
because it is supported by each and every other certainty, and even by
the residuum of possibility. If any intelligible meaning be permitted to
affirm itself, so much the more irresistible is the claim of this
infinitely rich meaning. Since every attribute contributes to its
validity, the being with infinite attributes is infinitely or absolutely
valid. The conclusion of the argument is now obvious. If the being
constituted by the infinite attributes exists, it swallows up all
possibilities and exists exclusively.

[Sidenote: The Limits of Spinoza's Argument for God.]

§ 152. The vulnerable point in Spinoza's argument can thus be expressed:
that which is important is questionable, and that which is
unquestionable is of doubtful importance. Have I indeed a clear and
distinct idea of an absolutely infinite being? The answer turns upon the
meaning of the phrase "idea of." It is true I can add to such meaning
as I apprehend the thought of possible other meaning, and suppose the
whole to have a definiteness and systematic unity like that of the
triangle. But such an idea is problematic. I am compelled to use the
term "possible," and so to confess the failure of definite content to
measure up to my idea. My idea of an absolutely infinite being is like
my idea of a universal language: I can think _of_ it, but I cannot
_think it out_, for lack of data or because of the conflicting testimony
of other data. If I mean the infinity of my being to be a term of
inclusiveness, and to insist that the all must be, and that there can be
nothing not included in the all, I can scarcely be denied. But it is
reasonable to doubt the importance of such a truth. If, on the other
hand, I mean that my infinite being shall have the compactness and
organic unity of a triangle, I must admit that such a being is indeed
problematic. The degree to which the meaning of the part is dependent
upon the meaning of the whole, or the degree to which the geometrical
analogy is to be preferred to the analogy of aggregates, like the events
within a year, is a problem that falls quite outside Spinoza's
fundamental arguments.

[Sidenote: Spinoza's Provision for the Finite.]

§ 153. But the advance of Spinoza over the Eleatics must not be lost
sight of. The modern philosopher has so conceived being as to provide
for parts within an individual unity. The geometrical analogy is a most
illuminating one, for it enables us to understand how manyness may be
indispensable to a being that is essentially unitary. The triangle as
triangle is one. But it could not be such without sides and angles. The
unity is equally necessary to the parts, for sides and angles of a
triangle could not be such without an arrangement governed by the nature
triangle. The whole of nature may be similarly conceived: as the
reciprocal necessity of _natura naturans_, or nature defined in respect
of its unity, and _natura naturata_, or nature specified in detail.
There is some promise here of a reconciliation of the _Way of Opinion_
with the _Way of Truth_. Opinion would be a gathering of detail, truth a
comprehension of the intelligible unity. Both would be provided for
through the consideration that whatever is complete and necessary must
be made up of incompletenesses that are necessary to it.

[Sidenote: Transition to Teleological Conceptions.]

§ 154. This consideration, however, does not receive its most effective
formulation in Spinoza. The isolation of the parts, the actual
severalty and irrelevance of the modes, still presents a grave problem.
Is there a kind of whole to which not only parts but fragments, or parts
in their very incompleteness, are indispensable? This would seem to be
true of a _progression_ or _development_, since that would require both
perfection as its end, and degrees of imperfection as its stages.
Spinoza was prevented from making much of this idea by his rejection of
the principle of _teleology_. He regarded appreciation or valuation as a
projection of personal bias. "Nature has no particular goal in view,"
and "final causes are mere human figments." "The perfection of things is
to be reckoned only from their own nature and power."[318:7] The
philosophical method which Spinoza here repudiates, the interpretation
of the world in moral terms, is _Platonism_, an independent and
profoundly important movement, belonging to the same general realistic
type with Eleaticism and Spinozism. Absolute being is again the
fundamental conception. Here, however, it is conceived that being is
primarily not affirmation or self-sufficiency, but the _good_ or
_ideal_. There are few great metaphysical systems that have not been
deeply influenced by Platonism; hence the importance of understanding it
in its purity. To this end we must return again to the early Greek
conception of the philosopher; for Platonism, like Eleaticism, is a
sequel to the philosopher's self-consciousness.

[Sidenote: Early Greek Philosophers not Self-critical.]

§ 155. Although the first Greek philosophers, such men as Thales,
Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles, were clearly aware of their
distinction and high calling, it by no means follows that they were good
judges of themselves. Their sense of intellectual power was
unsuspecting; and they praised philosophy without definitely raising the
question of its meaning. They were like unskilled players who try all
the stops and scales of an organ, and know that somehow they can make a
music that exceeds the noises, monotones or simple melodies of those who
play upon lesser instruments. They knew their power rather than their
instrument or their art. The first philosophers, in short, were
self-conscious but not self-critical.

[Sidenote: Curtailment of Philosophy in the Age of the Sophists.]

§ 156. The immediately succeeding phase in the history of Greek
philosophy was a curtailment, but only in the most superficial sense a
criticism, of the activity of the philosopher. In the Periclean Age
philosophy suffered more from inattention than from refutation. The
scepticism of the sophists, who were the knowing men of this age, was
not so much conviction as indisposition. They failed to recognize the
old philosophical problem; it did not _appeal_ to them as a genuine
problem. The sophists were the intellectual men of an age of _humanism_,
_individualism_, and _secularism_. These were years in which the circle
of human society, the state with its institutions, citizenship with its
manifold activities and interests, bounded the horizon of thought. What
need to look beyond? Life was not a problem, but an abundant opportunity
and a sense of capacity. The world was not a mystery, but a place of
entertainment and a sphere of action. Of this the sophists were faithful
witnesses. In their love of novelty, irreverence, impressionism,
elegance of speech, and above all in their praise of individual
efficiency, they preached and pandered to their age. Their public,
though it loved to abuse them, was the greatest sophist of them
all--brilliant and capricious, incomparably rich in all but wisdom. The
majority belonged to what Plato called "the sight-loving, art-loving,
busy class." This is an age, then, when the man of practical
common-sense is preëminent, and the philosopher with his dark sayings
has passed away. The pride of wisdom has given way to the pride of power
and the pride of cleverness. The many men pursue the many goods of life,
and there is no spirit among them all who, sitting apart in
contemplation, wonders at the meaning of the whole.

[Sidenote: Socrates and the Self-criticism of the Philosopher.]

§ 157. But in their midst there moved a strange prophet, whom they
mistook for one of themselves. Socrates was not one who prayed in the
wilderness, but a man of the streets and the market-place, who talked
rather more incessantly than the rest, and apparently with less right.
He did not testify to the truth, but pleaded ignorance in extenuation of
an exasperating habit of asking questions. There was, however, a humor
and a method in his innocence that arrested attention. He was a
formidable adversary in discussion from his very irresponsibility; and
he was especially successful with the more rhetorical sophists because
he chose his own weapons, and substituted critical analysis, question
and answer, for the long speeches to which these teachers were
habituated by their profession. He appeared to be governed by an
insatiable inquisitiveness, and a somewhat malicious desire to discredit
those who spoke with authority.

But to those who knew him better, and especially to Plato, who knew him
best, Socrates was at once the sweetest and most compelling spirit of
his age. There was a kind of truth in the quality of his character. He
was perhaps _the first of all reverent men_. In the presence of conceit
his self-depreciation was ironical, but in another presence it was most
genuine, and his deepest spring of thought and action. This other
presence was his own ideal. Socrates was sincerely humble because,
expecting so much of philosophy, he saw his own deficiency. Unlike the
unskilled player, he did not seek to _make_ music; but he loved music,
and knew that such music as is indeed music was beyond his power. On the
other hand he was well aware of his superiority to those in whom
self-satisfaction was possible because they had no conception of the
ideal. Of such he could say in truth that they did not know enough even
to realize the extent of their ignorance. The world has long been
familiar with the vivid portrayal of the Socratic consciousness which is
contained in Plato's "Apology." Socrates had set out in life with the
opinion that his was an age of exceptional enlightenment. But as he
came to know men he found that after all no one of them really knew what
he was about. Each "sight-loving, art-loving, busy" man was quite blind
to the meaning of life. While he was capable of practical achievement,
his judgments concerning the real virtue of his achievements were
conventional and ungrounded, a mere reflection of tradition and opinion.
When asked concerning the meaning of life, or the ground of his
opinions, he was thrown into confusion or aggravated to meaningless
reiteration. Such men, Socrates reflected, were both unwise and
confirmed in their folly through being unconscious of it. Because he
knew that vanity is vanity, that opinion is indeed mere opinion,
Socrates felt himself to be the wisest man in a generation of dogged

[Sidenote: Socrates's Self-criticism a Prophecy of Truth.]

§ 158. It is scarcely necessary to point out that this insight, however
negatively it be used, is a revelation of positive knowledge. Heraclitus
and Parmenides claimed to know; Socrates disclaimed knowledge _for
reasons_. Like all real criticism this is at once a confounding of error
and a prophecy of truth. The truth so discovered is indeed not ordinary
truth concerning historical or physical things, but not on that account
less significant and necessary. This truth, it will also be admitted, is
virtually rather than actually set forth by Socrates himself. He knew
that life has some meaning which those who live with conviction desire
at heart to realize, and that knowledge has principles with which those
who speak with conviction intend to be consistent. There is, in short, a
rational life and a rational discourse. Furthermore, a rational life
will be a life wisely directed to the end of the good; and a rational
discourse one constructed with reference to the real natures of things,
and the necessities which flow from these natures. But Socrates did not
conclusively define either the meaning of life or the form of perfect
knowledge. He testified to the necessity of some such truths, and his
testimony demonstrated both the blindness of his contemporaries and also
his own deficiency.

[Sidenote: The Historical Preparation for Plato.]

§ 159. The character and method of Socrates have their best foil in the
sophists, but their bearing on the earlier philosophers is for our
purposes even more instructive. Unlike Socrates these philosophers had
not made a study of the task of the philosopher. They _were_
philosophers--"spectators of all time and all existence"; but they were
precritical or dogmatic philosophers, to whom it had not occurred to
define the requirements of philosophy. They knew no perfect knowledge
other than their own actual knowledge. They defined being and
interpreted life without reflecting upon the quality of the knowledge
whose object is being, or the quality of insight that would indeed be
practical wisdom. But when through Socrates the whole philosophical
prospect is again revealed after the period of humanistic concentration,
it is as an ideal whose possibilities, whose necessities, are conceived
before they are realized. Socrates celebrates the rôle of the
philosopher without assigning it to himself. The new philosophical
object is the philosopher himself; and the new insight a knowledge of
knowledge itself. These three types of intellectual procedure, dogmatic
speculation concerning being, humanistic interest in life, and the
self-criticism of thought, form the historical preparation for Plato,
the philosopher who defined being as the ideal of thought, and upon this
ground interpreted life.

There is no more striking case in history of the subtle continuity of
thought than the relation between Plato and his master Socrates. The
wonder of it is due to the absence of any formulation of doctrine on
the part of Socrates himself. He only lived and talked; and yet Plato
created a system of philosophy in which he is faithfully embodied. The
form of embodiment is the dialogue, in which the talking of Socrates is
perpetuated and conducted to profounder issues, and in which his life is
both rendered and interpreted. But as the vehicle of Plato's thought
preserves and makes perfect the Socratic method, so the thought itself
begins with the Socratic motive and remains to the end an expression of
it. The presentiment of perfect knowledge which distinguished Socrates
from his contemporaries becomes in Plato the clear vision of a realm of
ideal truth.

[Sidenote: Platonism: Reality as the Absolute Ideal or Good.]

§ 160. Plato begins his philosophy with the philosopher and the
philosopher's interest. The philosopher is a lover, who like all lovers
longs for the beautiful. But he is the supreme lover, for he loves not
the individual beautiful object but the Absolute Beauty itself. He is a
lover too in that he does not possess, but somehow apprehends his object
from afar. Though imperfect, he seeks perfection; though standing like
all his fellows in the twilight of half-reality, he faces toward the
sun. Now it is the fundamental proposition of the Platonic philosophy
that reality is the sun itself, or the perfection whose possession every
wise thinker covets, whose presence would satisfy every longing of
experience. The real is that beloved object which is "truly beautiful,
delicate, perfect, and blessed." There is both a serious ground for such
an affirmation and an important truth in its meaning. The ground is the
evident incompleteness of every special judgment concerning experience.
We understand only in part, and we know that we understand only in part.
What we discover is real enough for practical purposes, but even
common-sense questions the true reality of its objects. Special
judgments seem to terminate our thought abruptly and arbitrarily. We
give "the best answer we can," but such answers do not come as the
completion of our thinking. Our thought is in some sense surely a
seeking, and it would appear that we are not permitted to rest and be
satisfied at any stage of it. If we do so we are like the
sophists--blind to our own ignorance. But it is equally true that our
thought is straightforward and progressive. We are not permitted to
return to earlier stages, but must push on to that which is not less,
but more, than what we have as yet found. There is good hope, then, of
understanding what the ideal may be from our knowledge of the direction
which it impels us to follow.

But to understand Plato's conception of the progression of experience we
must again catch up the Socratic strain which he weaves into every
theme. For Socrates, student of life and mankind, all objects were
objects of interest, and all interests practical interests. One is
ignorant when one does not know the good of things; opinionative when
one rates things by conventional standards; wise when one knows their
real good. In Platonism this practical interpretation of experience
appears in the principle that the object of perfect knowledge is _the
good_. The nature of things which one seeks to know better is the good
of things, the absolute being which is the goal of all thinking is the
very good itself. Plato does not use the term good in any merely
utilitarian sense. Indeed it is very significant that for Plato there is
no cleavage between theoretical and practical interests. To be morally
good is to know the good, to set one's heart on the true object of
affection; and to be theoretically sound is to understand perfection.
The good itself is the end of every aim, that in which all interests
converge. Hence it cannot be defined, as might a special good, in terms
of the fulfilment of a set of concrete conditions, but only in terms of
the sense or direction of all purposes. The following passage occurs in
the "Symposium":

     "The true order of going or being led by others to the things
     of love, is to use the beauties of earth as steps along which
     he mounts upward for the sake of that other beauty, going from
     one to two, and from two to all fair forms, and from fair
     forms to fair actions, and from fair actions to fair notions,
     until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute
     beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty

[Sidenote: The Progression of Experience toward God.]

§ 161. There is, then, a "true order of going," and an order that leads
from one to many, from thence to forms, from thence to morality, and
from thence to the general objects of thought or _the ideas_. In the
"Republic," where the proper education of the philosopher is in
question, it is proposed that he shall study arithmetic, geometry,
astronomy, and dialectic. Thus in each case mathematics is the first
advance in knowledge, and dialectic the nearest to perfection. Most of
Plato's examples are drawn from mathematics. This science replaces the
variety and vagueness of the forms of experience with _clear_,
_unitary_, _definite_, and _eternal_ natures, such as the number and
the geometrical figure. Thus certain individual things are approximately
triangular, but subject to alteration, and indefinitely many. On the
other hand the triangle as defined by geometry is the fixed and
unequivocal nature or idea which such experiences suggest; and the
philosophical mind will at once pass to it from these. But the
mathematical objects are themselves not thoroughly understood when
understood only in mathematical terms, for the foundations of
mathematics are arbitrary. And the same is true of all the so-called
special sciences. Even the scientists themselves, says Plato,

     "only dream about being, but never can behold the waking
     reality so long as they leave the hypotheses they use
     unexamined, and are unable to give an account of them. For
     when a man knows not his own first principle, and when the
     conclusion and intermediate steps are also constructed out of
     he knows not what, how can he imagine that such a conventional
     statement will ever become science?"[330:9]

Within the science of dialectics we are to understand the connections
and sequences of ideas themselves, in the hope of eliminating every
arbitrariness and conventionality within a system of truth that is pure
and self-luminous rationality. To this science, which is the great
interest of his later years, Plato contributes only incomplete studies
and experiments. We must be satisfied with the playful answer with
which, in the "Republic," he replies to Glaucon's entreaty that "he
proceed at once from the prelude or preamble to the chief strain, and
describe that in like manner": "Dear Glaucon, you will not be able to
follow me here, though I would do my best."

But a philosophical system has been projected. The real is that perfect
significance or meaning which thought and every interest suggests, and
toward which there is in experience an appreciable movement. It is this
significance which makes things what they really are, and which
constitutes our understanding of them. In itself it transcends the steps
which lead to it; "for God," says Plato, "mingles not with men." But it
is nevertheless the meaning of human life. And this we can readily
conceive. The last word may transform the sentence from nonsense into
sense, and it would be true to say that its sense mingles not with
nonsense. Similarly the last touch of the brush may transform an
inchoate mass of color into a picture, disarray into an object of
beauty; and its beauty mingles not with ugliness. So life, when it
finally realizes itself, obtains a new and incommensurable quality of
perfection in which humanity is transformed into deity. There is frankly
no provision for imperfection in such a world. In his later writings
Plato sounds his characteristic note less frequently, and permits the
ideal to create a cosmos through the admixture of matter. But in his
moment of inspiration, the Platonist will have no sense for the
imperfect. It is the darkness behind his back, or the twilight through
which he passes on his way to the light. He will use even the beauties
of earth only "as steps along which he mounts upward for the sake of
that other beauty."

[Sidenote: Aristotle's Hierarchy of Substances in Relation to

§ 162. We have met, then, with two distinct philosophical doctrines
which arise from the conception of the _absolute_, or the philosopher's
peculiar object: the doctrine of the _absolute being_ or _substance_,
and that of the _absolute ideal_ or _good_. Both doctrines are realistic
in that they assume reality to be demonstrated or revealed, rather than
created, by knowledge. Both are rationalistic in that they develop a
system of philosophy from the problem of philosophy, or deduce a
definition of reality from the conception, of reality. There remains a
third doctrine of the same type--the philosophy of Aristotle, the most
elaborately constructed system of Greek antiquity, and the most potent
influence exerted upon the Scholastic Philosophy of the long mediæval
period. This philosophy was rehabilitated in the eighteenth century by
Leibniz, the brilliant librarian of the court of Hanover. The
extraordinary comprehensiveness of Aristotle's philosophy makes it quite
impossible to render here even a general account of it. There is
scarcely any human discipline that does not to some extent draw upon it.
We are concerned only with the central principles of the metaphysics.

Upon the common ground of rationalism and realism, Plato and Aristotle
are complementary in temper, method, and principle. Plato's is the
genius of inspiration and fertility, Aristotle's the genius of
erudition, mastery, and synthesis. In form, Plato's is the gift of
expression, Aristotle's the gift of arrangement. Plato was born and bred
an aristocrat, and became the lover of the best--the uncompromising
purist; Aristotle is middle-class, and limitlessly wide, hospitable, and
patient in his interests. Thus while both are speculative and acute,
Plato's mind is intensive and profound, Aristotle's extensive and
orderly. It was inevitable, then, that Aristotle should find Plato
one-sided. The philosophy of the ideal is not worldly enough to be true.
It is a religion rather than a theory of reality. Aristotle, however,
would not renounce it, but construe it that it may better provide for
nature and history. This is the significance of his new terminology.
Matter, to which Plato reluctantly concedes some room as a principle of
degradation in the universe, is now admitted to good standing. _Matter_
or material is indispensable to being as its potentiality or that out of
which it is constituted. The ideal, on the other hand, loses its
exclusive title to the predicate of reality, and becomes the _form_, or
the determinate nature which exists only in its particular embodiments.
The being or _substance_ is the concrete individual, of which these are
the abstracted aspects. Aristotle's "form," like Plato's "idea," is a
teleological principle. The essential nature of the object is its
perfection. It is furthermore essential to the object that it should
strive after a higher perfection. With Aristotle, however, the reality
is not the consummation of the process, the highest perfection in and
for itself, but the very hierarchy of objects that ascends toward it.
The highest perfection, or God, is not itself coextensive with being,
but the final cause of being--that on account of which the whole
progression of events takes place. Reality is the development with all
of its ascending stages from the maximum of potentiality, or matter, to
the maximum of actuality, or God the pure form.

[Sidenote: The Aristotelian Philosophy as a Reconciliation of Platonism
and Spinozism.]

§ 163. To understand the virtue of this philosophy as a basis for the
reconciliation of different interests, we must recall the relation
between Plato and Spinoza. Their characteristic difference appears to
the best advantage in connection with mathematical truth. Both regarded
geometry as the best model for philosophical thinking, but for different
reasons. Spinoza prized geometry for its necessity, and proposed to
extend it. His philosophy is the attempt to formulate a geometry of
being, which shall set forth the inevitable certainties of the universe.
Plato, on the other hand, prized geometry rather for its definition of
types, for its knowledge of pure or perfect natures such as the circle
and triangle, which in immediate experience are only approximated. His
philosophy defines reality similarly as the absolute perfection.
Applied to nature Spinozism is mechanical, and looks for necessary laws,
while Platonism is teleological, and looks for adaptation and
significance. Aristotle's position is intermediate. With Plato he
affirms that the good is the ultimate principle. But this very principle
is conceived to govern a universe of substances, each of which maintains
its own proper being, and all of which are reciprocally determined in
their changes. Final causes dominate nature, but work through efficient
causes. Reality is not pure perfection, as in Platonism, nor the
indifferent necessity, as in Spinozism, but the system of beings
necessary to the complete progression toward the highest perfection. The
Aristotelian philosophy promises, then, to overcome both the hard
realism of Parmenides and Spinoza, and also the supernaturalism of

[Sidenote: Leibniz's Application of the Conception of Development to the
Problem of Imperfection.]

§ 164. But it promises, furthermore, to remedy the defect common to
these two doctrines, the very besetting problem of this whole type of
philosophy. That problem, as has been seen, is to provide for the
imperfect within the perfect, for the temporal incidents of nature and
history within the eternal being. Many absolutist philosophers have
declared the explanation of this realm to be impossible, and have
contented themselves with calling it the realm of opinion or appearance.
And this realm of opinion or appearance has been used as a proof of the
absolute. Zeno, the pupil of Parmenides, was the first to elaborate what
have since come to be known as the paradoxes of the empirical world.
Most of these paradoxes turn upon the infinite extension and
divisibility of space and time. Zeno was especially interested in the
difficulty of conceiving motion, which involves both space and time,
and thought himself to have demonstrated its absurdity and
impossibility.[337:10] His argument is thus the complement of
Parmenides's argument for the indivisible and unchanging substance. Now
the method which Zeno here adopts may be extended to cover the whole
realm of nature and history. We should then be dialectically driven from
this realm to take refuge in absolute being. But the empirical world is
not destroyed by disparagement, and cannot long lack champions even
among the absolutists themselves. The reconciliation of nature and
history with the absolute being became the special interest of Leibniz,
the great modern Aristotelian. As a scientist and man of affairs, he
was profoundly dissatisfied with Spinoza's resolution of nature, the
human individual, and the human society into the universal being. He
became an advocate of individualism while retaining the general aim and
method of rationalism.

Like Aristotle, Leibniz attributes reality to individual substances,
which he calls "monads"; and like Aristotle he conceives these monads to
compose an ascending order, with God, the monad of monads, as its
dominating goal.

     "Furthermore, every substance is like an entire world and like
     a mirror of God, or indeed of the whole world which it
     portrays, each one in its own fashion; almost as the same city
     is variously represented according to the various situations
     of him who is regarding it. Thus the universe is multiplied in
     some sort as many times as there are substances, and the glory
     of God is multiplied in the same way by as many wholly
     different representations of his works."[338:11]

The very "glory of God," then, requires the innumerable finite
individuals with all their characteristic imperfections, that the
universe may lack no possible shade or quality of perspective.

[Sidenote: The Problem of Imperfection Remains Unsolved.]

§ 165. But the besetting problem is in fact not solved, and is one of
the chief incentives to that other philosophy of absolutism which
defines an absolute spirit or mind. Both Aristotle and Leibniz undertake
to make the perfection which determines the order of the hierarchy of
substances, at the same time the responsible author of the whole
hierarchy. In this case the dilemma is plain. If the divine form or the
divine monad be other than the stages that lead up to it, these latter
cannot be essential to it, for God is by definition absolutely
self-sufficient. If, on the other hand, God is identical with the
development in its entirety, then two quite incommensurable standards of
perfection determine the supremacy of the divine nature, that of the
whole and that of the highest parts of the whole. The union of these two
and the definition of a perfection which may be at once the development
and its goal, is the task of absolute idealism.

[Sidenote: Absolute Realism in Epistemology. Rationalism.]

§ 166. Of the two fundamental questions of epistemology, absolute
realism answers the one explicitly, the other implicitly. As respects
_the source of the most valid knowledge_, Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle,
Spinoza are all agreed: true knowledge is the work of reason, of pure
intellection. Plato is the great exponent of dialectic, or the
reciprocal affinities and necessities of ideas. Aristotle is the founder
of deductive logic. Spinoza proposes to consider even "human actions and
desires" as though he were "concerned with lines, planes, and solids."
Empirical data may be the occasion, but cannot be the ground of the
highest knowledge. According to Leibniz,

     "it seems that necessary truths, such as we find in pure
     mathematics, and especially in arithmetic and geometry, must
     have principles whose proof does not depend upon instances,
     nor, consequently, upon the witness of the senses, although
     without the senses it would never have come into our heads to
     think of them."[340:12]

[Sidenote: The Relation of Thought and its Object in Absolute Realism.]

§ 167. The answers which these philosophies give to the question of _the
relation between the state of knowledge and its object_, divide them
into two groups. Among the ancients reason is regarded as the means of
emancipation from the limitations of the private mind. "The sleeping
turn aside each into a world of his own," but "the waking"--the wise
men--"have one and the same world." What the individual knows belongs to
himself only in so far as it is inadequate. Hence for Plato the ideas
are not the attributes of a mind, but that self-subsistent truth to
which, in its moments of insight, a mind may have access. Opinion is "my
own," the truth is being. The position of Aristotle is equally clear.
"Actual knowledge," he maintains, "is identical with its object."

Spinoza and Leibniz belong to another age. Modern philosophy began with
a new emphasis upon self-consciousness. In his celebrated argument--"I
think, hence I am" (_cogito ergo sum_)--Descartes established the
independent and substantial reality of the thinking activity. The "I
think" is recognized as in itself a fundamental being, known intuitively
to the thinker himself. Now although Spinoza and Leibniz are finally
determined by the same motives that obtain in the cases of Plato and
Aristotle, they must reckon with this new distinction between the
thinker and his object. The result in the case of Spinoza is the
doctrine of "parallelism," in which mind is defined as an "infinite
attribute" of substance, an aspect or phase coextensive with the whole
of being. The result in the case of Leibniz is his doctrine of
"representation" and "preëstablished harmony," whereby each monadic
substance is in itself an active spiritual entity, and belongs to the
universe through its knowledge of a specific stage of the development of
the universe. But both Spinoza and Leibniz subordinate such conceptions
as these to the fundamental identity that pervades the whole. With
Spinoza the attributes belong to the same absolute substance, and with
Leibniz the monads represent the one universe. And with both, finally,
the perfection of knowledge, or the knowledge of God, is
indistinguishable from its object, God himself. The epistemological
subtleties peculiar to these philosophers are not stable doctrines, but
render inevitable either a return to the simpler and bolder realism of
the Greeks, or a passing over into the more radical and systematic
doctrine of absolute idealism.

[Sidenote: The Stoic and Spinozistic Ethics of Necessity.]

§ 168. We have met with two general motives, both of which are
subordinated to the doctrine of an absolute being postulated and sought
by philosophy. The one of these motives leads to the conception of the
absolutely necessary and immutable substance, the other to the
conception of a consummate perfection. There is an _interpretation of
life_ appropriate to each of these conceptions. Both agree in regarding
life seriously, in defining reason or philosophy as the highest human
activity, and in emphasizing the identity of the individual's good with
the good of the universe. But there are striking differences of tone and

Although the metaphysics of the Stoics have various affiliations, the
Stoic code of morality is the true practical sequel to the
Eleatic-Spinozistic view of the world. The Stoic is one who has set his
affections on the eternal being. He asks nothing of it for himself, but
identifies himself with it. The saving grace is a sense of reality. The
virtuous man is not one who remakes the world, or draws upon it for his
private uses; even less one who rails against it, or complains that it
has used him ill. He is rather one who recognizes that there is but one
really valid claim, that of the universe itself. But he not only submits
to this claim on account of its superiority; he makes it his own. The
discipline of Stoicism is the regulation of the individual will to the
end that it may coincide with the universal will. There is a part of man
by virtue of which he is satisfied with what things are, whatever they
be. That part, designated by the Stoics as "the ruling part," is the
reason. In so far as man seeks to understand the laws and natures which
actually prevail, he cannot be discontented with anything whatsoever
that may be known to him.

     "For, in so far as we are intelligent beings, we cannot desire
     anything save that which is necessary, nor yield absolute
     acquiescence to anything, save to that which is true:
     wherefore, in so far as we have a right understanding of these
     things, the endeavor of the better part of ourselves is in
     harmony with the order of nature as a whole."[344:13]

In agreement with this teaching of Spinoza's is the famous Stoic formula
to the effect that "nothing can happen contrary to the will of the wise
man," who is free through his very acquiescence. If reason be the proper
"ruling part," the first step in the moral life is the subordination of
the appetitive nature and the enthronement of reason. One who is himself
rational will then recognize the fellowship of all rational beings, and
the unitary and beneficent rationality of the entire universe. The
highest morality is thus already upon the plane of religion.

[Sidenote: The Platonic Ethics of Perfection.]

§ 169. With Spinoza and the Stoics, the perfection of the individual is
reduced to what the universe requires of him. The good man is willing to
be whatever he must be, for the sake of the whole with which through
reason he is enabled to identify himself. With Plato and Aristotle the
perfection of the individual himself is commended, that the universe may
abound in perfection. The good man is the ideal man--the expression of
the type. And how different the quality of a morality in keeping with
this principle! The virtues which Plato enumerates--temperance, courage,
wisdom, and justice--compose a consummate human nature. He is thinking
not of the necessities but of the possibilities of life. Knowledge of
the truth will indeed be the best of human living, but knowledge is not
prized because it can reconcile man to his limitations; it is the very
overflowing of his cup of life. The youth are to

     "dwell in the land of health, amid fair sights and sounds; and
     beauty, the effluence of fair works, will visit the eye and
     ear, like a healthful breeze from a purer region, and
     insensibly draw the soul even in childhood into harmony with
     the beauty of reason."[345:14]

Aristotle's account of human perfection is more circumstantial and more
prosaic. "The function of man is an activity of soul in accordance with
reason," and his happiness or well-being will consist in the fulness of
rational living. But such fulness requires a sphere of life that will
call forth and exercise the highest human capacities. Aristotle frankly
pronounces "external goods" to be indispensable, and happiness to be
therefore "a gift of the gods." The rational man will acquire a certain
exquisiteness or finesse of action, a "mean" of conduct; and this virtue
will be diversified through the various relations into which he must
enter, and the different situations which he must meet. He will be not
merely brave, temperate, and just, as Plato would have him, but liberal,
magnificent, gentle, truthful, witty, friendly, and in all
self-respecting or high-minded. In addition to these strictly moral
virtues, he will possess the intellectual virtues of prudence and
wisdom, the resources of art and science; and will finally possess the
gift of insight, or intuitive reason. Speculation will be his highest
activity, and the mark of his kinship with the gods who dwell in the
perpetual contemplation of the truth.

[Sidenote: The Religion of Fulfilment, and the Religion of

§ 170. Aristotle's ethics expresses the buoyancy of the ancient world,
when the individual does not feel himself oppressed by the eternal
reality, but rejoices in it. He is not too conscious of his sufferings
to be disinterested in his admiration and wonder. It is this which
distinguishes the religion of Plato and Aristotle from that of the
Stoics and Spinoza. With both alike, religion consists not in making the
world, but in contemplating it; not in coöperating with God, but in
worshipping him. Plato and Aristotle, however, do not find any
antagonism between the ways of God and the natural interests of men. God
does not differ from men save in his exalted perfection. The
contemplation and worship of him comes as the final and highest stage of
a life which is organic and continuous throughout. The love of God is
the natural love when it has found its true object.

     "For he who has been instructed thus far in the things of
     love, and who has learned to see the beautiful in due order
     and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly
     perceive a nature of wondrous beauty--and this, Socrates, is
     that final cause of all our former toils, which in the first
     place is everlasting--not growing and decaying, or waxing and
     waning; in the next place not fair in one point of view and
     foul in another, . . . or in the likeness of a face or hands
     or any other part of the bodily frame, or in any form of
     speech or knowledge, nor existing in any other being; . . .
     but beauty only, absolute, separate, simple, and everlasting,
     which without diminution and without increase, or any change,
     is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all
     other things."[347:15]

The religion of Spinoza is the religion of one who has renounced the
favor of the universe. He was deprived early in life of every benefit of
fortune, and set out to find the good which required no special
dispensation but only the common lot and the common human endowment. He
found that good to consist in the conviction of the necessity, made
acceptable through the supremacy of the understanding. The like faith of
the Stoics makes of no account the difference of fortune between Marcus
the emperor and Epictetus the slave.

     "For two reasons, then, it is right to be content with that
     which happens to thee; the one because it was done for thee
     and prescribed for thee, and in a manner had reference to
     thee, originally from the most ancient causes spun with thy
     destiny; and the other because even that which comes severally
     to every man is to the power which administers the universe a
     cause of felicity and perfection, nay even of its very
     continuance. For the integrity of the whole is mutilated, if
     thou cuttest off anything whatever from the conjunction and
     the continuity either of the parts or of the causes. And thou
     dost cut off, as far as it is in thy power, when thou art
     dissatisfied, and in a manner triest to put anything out of
     the way."[348:16]


[306:1] By _Absolute Realism_ is meant that system of philosophy which
defines the universe as the _absolute being_, implied in knowledge as
its final object, but assumed to be independent of knowledge. In the
_Spinozistic_ system this absolute being is conceived under the form of
_substance_, or self-sufficiency; in _Platonism_ under the form of
_perfection_; and in the _Aristotelian_ system under the form of a
_hierarchy of substances_.

[308:2] Burnet: _Early Greek Philosophy_, p. 185.

[309:3] When contrasted with the temporal realm of "generation and
decay," this ultimate object is often called the _eternal_.

[311:4] Holland, 1632-1677.

[312:5] Spinoza: _Ethics_, Part I. Translation by Elwes, p. 45.

[314:6] _Ibid._, p. 49.

[318:7] _Ibid._, pp. 77, 81.

[329:8] Plato: _Symposium_, 211. Translation by Jowett.

[330:9] Plato: _Republic_, 533. Translation by Jowett.

[337:10] See Burnet: _Op. cit._, pp. 322-333.

[338:11] Leibniz: _Discourse on Metaphysics_. Translation by Montgomery,
p. 15.

In so far as the monads are spiritual this doctrine tends to be
subjectivistic. Cf. Chap. IX.

[340:12] Leibniz: _New Essays on the Human Understanding_. Translation
by Latta, p. 363.

[344:13] Spinoza: _Op. cit._, Part IV. Translation by Elwes, p. 243.

[345:14] Plato: _Op. cit._, 401.

[347:15] Plato: _Symposium_, 210-211. Translation by Jowett.

[348:16] Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: _Thoughts_. Translation by Long, p.



[Sidenote: General Constructive Character of Absolute Idealism.]

§ 171. Absolute idealism is the most elaborately constructive of all the
historical types of philosophy. Though it may have overlooked elementary
truths, and have sought to combine irreconcilable principles, it cannot
be charged with lack of sophistication or subtlety. Its great virtue is
its recognition of problems--its exceeding circumspection; while its
great promise is due to its comprehensiveness--its generous provision
for all interests and points of view. But its very breadth and
complexity render this philosophy peculiarly liable to the equivocal use
of conceptions. This may be readily understood from the nature of the
central doctrine of absolute idealism. According to this doctrine it is
proposed to define the universe as an _absolute spirit_; or a being
infinite, ultimate, eternal, and self-sufficient, like the being of
Plato and Spinoza, but possessing at the same time the distinguishing
properties of spirit. Such conceptions as self-consciousness, will,
knowledge, and moral goodness are carried over from the realm of human
endeavor and social relations to the unitary and all-inclusive reality.
Now it has been objected that this procedure is either meaningless, in
that it so applies the term spirit as to contradict its meaning; or
prejudicial to spiritual interests, in that it neutralizes the
properties of spirit through so extending their use. Thus one may
contend that to affirm that the universe as a whole is spirit is
meaningless, since moral goodness requires special conditions and
relations that cannot be attributed to the universe as a whole; or one
may contend that such doctrine is prejudicial to moral interests because
by attributing spiritual perfection to the totality of being it
discredits all moral loyalties and antagonisms. The difficulties that
lie in the way of absolute idealism are due, then, to the complexity of
its synthesis, to its complementary recognition of differences and
resolution of them into unity. But this synthesis is due to the urgency
of certain great problems which the first or realistic expression of
the absolutist motive left undiscovered and unsolved.

[Sidenote: The Great Outstanding Problems of Absolutism.]

§ 172. It is natural to approach so deliberate and calculating a
philosophy from the stand-point of the problems which it proposes to
solve. One of these is the epistemological problem of the relation
between the state of knowledge and its object. Naturalism and absolute
realism side with common-sense in its assumption that although the real
object is essential to the valid state of knowledge, its being known is
not essential to the real object. Subjectivism, on the other hand,
maintains that being is essentially the content of a knowing state, or
an activity of the knower himself. Absolute idealism proposes to accept
the general epistemological principle of subjectivism; but to satisfy
the realistic demand for a standard, compelling object, by setting up an
_absolute knower_, with whom all valid knowledge must be in agreement.
This epistemological statement of absolute idealism is its most mature
phase; and the culminating phase, in which it shows unmistakable signs
of passing over into another doctrine. We must look for its pristine
inspiration in its solution of another fundamental problem: that of the
relation between the absolute and the empirical. Like absolute realism,
this philosophy regards the universe as a unitary and internally
necessary being, and undertakes to hold that being accountable for every
item of experience. But we have found that absolute realism is beset
with the difficulty of thus accounting for the fragmentariness and
isolation of the individual. The contention that the universe must
really be a rational or perfect unity is disputed by the evident
multiplicity, irrelevance, and imperfection in the foreground of
experience. The inference to perfection and the confession of
imperfection seem equally unavoidable. Rational necessities and
empirical facts are out of joint.

[Sidenote: The Greek Philosophers and the Problem of Evil. The Task of
the New Absolutism.]

§ 173. Even Plato had been conscious of a certain responsibility for
matters of fact. Inasmuch as he attached the predicate of reality to the
absolute perfection, he made that being the only source to which they
could be referred. Perhaps, then, he suggests, they are due to the very
bounteousness of God.

     "He was good, and no goodness can ever have any jealousy of
     anything. And being free from jealousy, he desired that all
     things should be as like himself as possible."[352:2]

Plotinus, in whom Platonism is leavened by the spirit of an age which
is convinced of sin, and which is therefore more keenly aware of the
positive existence of the imperfect, follows out this suggestion.
Creation is "emanation"--the overflow of God's excess of goodness. But
one does not readily understand how goodness, desiring all things to be
like itself, should thereupon create evil--even to make it good. The
Aristotelian philosophy, with its conception of the gradation of
substances, would seem to be better equipped to meet the difficulty. A
development requires stages; and every finite thing may thus be perfect
in its way and perfect in its place, while in the absolute truth or God
there is realized the meaning of the whole order. But if so, there is
evidently something that escapes God, to wit, the meaningless and
unfitness, the error and evil, of the stages in their successive
isolation. Nor is it of any avail to insist (as did Plato, Aristotle,
and Spinoza alike) that these are only privation, and therefore not to
be counted in the sum of reality. For privation is itself an experience,
with a great variety of implications, moral and psychological; and these
cannot be attributed to God or deduced from him, in consideration of his
absolute perfection.

The task of the new absolutism is now in clear view. The perfect must
be amended to admit the imperfect. The absolute significance must be so
construed as to provide for the evident facts; for the unmeaning things
and changes of the natural order; for ignorance, sin, despair, and every
human deficiency. The new philosophy is to solve this problem by
defining a _spiritual absolute_, and by so construing the life or
dynamics of spirit, as to demonstrate the necessity of the very
imperfection and opposition which is so baffling to the realist.

[Sidenote: The Beginning of Absolute Idealism in Kant's Analysis of

§ 174. Absolute idealism, which is essentially a modern doctrine, does
not begin with rhapsodies, but with a very sober analysis of familiar
truths, conducted by the most sober of all philosophers, Immanuel Kant.
This philosopher lived in Königsberg, Germany, at the close of the
eighteenth century. He is related to absolute idealism much as Socrates
is related to Platonism: he was not himself speculative, but employed a
critical method which was transformed by his followers into a
metaphysical construction. It is essential to the understanding both of
Kant and of his more speculative successors, to observe that he begins
with the recognition of certain non-philosophical truths--those of
_natural science_ and _the moral consciousness_. He accepts the order of
nature formulated in the Newtonian dynamics, and the moral order
acknowledged in the common human conviction of duty. And he is
interested in discovering the ground upon which these common
affirmations rest, the structure which virtually supports them as types
of knowledge. But a general importance attaches to the analysis because
these two types of knowledge (together with the æsthetic judgment, which
is similarly analyzed) are regarded by Kant as coextensive with
experience itself. The _very least experience_ that can be reported upon
at all is an experience of nature or duty, and as such will be informed
with their characteristic principles. Let us consider the former type.
The simplest instance of nature is the experience of the single
perceived object. In the first place, such an object will be perceived
as in space and time. These Kant calls the _forms of intuition_. An
object cannot even be presented or given without them. But, furthermore,
it will be regarded as substance, that is, as having a substratum that
persists through changes of position or quality. It will also be
regarded as causally dependent upon other objects like itself.
Causality, substance, and like principles to the number of twelve, Kant
calls the _categories of the understanding_. Both intuition and
understanding are indispensable to the experience of any object
whatsoever. They may be said to condition the object in general. Their
principles condition the process of making something out of the manifold
of sensation. But similarly, every moral experience recognizes what Kant
calls _the categorical imperative_. The categorical imperative is the
law of reasonableness or impartiality in conduct, requiring the
individual to act on a maxim which he can "will to be law universal." No
state of desire or situation calling for action means anything morally
except in the light of this obligation. Thus certain principles of
thought and action are said to be implicit in all experience. They are
universal and necessary in the sense that they are discovered as the
conditions not of any particular experience, but of experience in
general. This implicit or virtual presence in experience in general,
Kant calls their transcendental character, and the process of
explicating them is his famous _Transcendental Deduction_.

[Sidenote: Kant's Principles Restricted to the Experiences which they
Set in Order.]

§ 175. The restriction which Kant puts upon his method is quite
essential to its meaning. I deduce the categories, for example, just in
so far as I find them to be necessary to perception. Without them my
perception is blind, I make nothing of it; with them my experience
becomes systematic and rational. But categories which I so deduce must
be forever limited to the rôle for which they are defined. Categories
without perceptions are "empty"; they have validity solely with
reference to the experience which they set in order. Indeed, I cannot
even complete that order. The orderly arrangement of parts of experience
suggests, and suggests irresistibly, a perfect system. I can even define
the ideas and ideals through which such a perfect system might be
realized. But I cannot in the Kantian sense attach reality to it because
it is not indispensable to experience. It must remain an ideal which
regulates my thinking of such parts of it as fall within the range of my
perception; or it may through my moral nature become the realm of my
living and an object of faith. In short, Kant's is essentially a
"critical philosophy," a logical and analytical study of the special
terms and relations of human knowledge. He denies the validity of these
terms and relations beyond this realm. His critiques are an inventory
of the conditions, principles, and prospects of that cognition which,
although not alone ideally conceivable, is alone possible.

[Sidenote: The Post-Kantian Metaphysics is a Generalization of the
Cognitive and Moral Consciousness as Analyzed by Kant. The Absolute

§ 176. With the successors of Kant, as with the successors of Socrates,
a criticism becomes a system of metaphysics. This transformation is
effected in the post-Kantians by _a generalization of the human
cognitive consciousness_. According to Kant's analysis it contains a
manifold of sense which must be organized by categories in obedience to
the ideal of a rational universe. The whole enterprise, with its
problems given in perception, its instruments available in the
activities of the understanding, and its ideals revealed in the reason,
is an organic spiritual unity, manifesting itself in the
self-consciousness of the thinker. Now in absolute idealism this very
enterprise of knowledge, made universal and called the _absolute spirit_
or _mind_, is taken to be the ultimate reality. And here at length would
seem to be afforded the conception of a being to which the problematic
and the rational, the data and the principles, the natural and the
ideal, are alike indispensable. We are now to seek the real not in the
ideal itself, but in that spiritual unity in which appearance is the
incentive to truth, and natural imperfection the spring to goodness.
This may be translated into the language which Plato uses in the
"Symposium," when Diotima is revealing to Socrates the meaning of love.
The new reality will be not the loved one, but love itself.

     "What then is Love? Is he mortal?"


     "What then?"

     "As in the former instance, he is neither mortal nor immortal,
     but is a mean between them."

     "What is he then, Diotima?"

     "He is a great spirit, and like all that is spiritual he is
     intermediate between the divine and the mortal."[359:3]

Reality is no longer the God who mingles not with men, but that power
which, as Diotima further says, "interprets and conveys to the gods the
prayers and sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and rewards of
the gods."

In speaking for such an idealism, Emerson says:

     "Everything good is on the highway. The middle region of our
     being is the temperate zone. We may climb into the thin and
     cold realm of pure geometry and lifeless science, or sink into
     that of sensation. Between these extremes is the equator of
     life, of thought, of spirit, of poetry. . . . The mid-world is

The new reality is this highway of the spirit, the very course and
raceway of self-consciousness. It is traversed in the movement and
self-correction of thought, in the interest in ideals, or in the
submission of the will to the control of the moral law.

[Sidenote: Fichteanism, or the Absolute Spirit as Moral Activity.]

§ 177. It is the last of these phases of self-consciousness that Fichte,
who was Kant's immediate successor, regards as of paramount importance.
As Platonism began with the ideal of the good or the object of life, so
the new idealism begins with the conviction of duty, or _the story of
life_. Being is the living moral nature compelled to build itself a
natural order wherein it may obey the moral law, and to divide itself
into a community of moral selves through which the moral virtues may be
realized. Nature and society flow from the conception of an absolute
moral activity, or ego. Such an ego could not be pure and isolated and
yet be moral. The evidence of this is the common moral consciousness. My
duty compels me to act upon the not-self or environment, and to respect
and coöperate with other selves. Fichte's absolute is this moral
consciousness universalized and made eternal. Moral value being its
fundamental principle the universe must on that very account embrace
both nature, or moral indifference, and humanity, or moral limitation.

[Sidenote: Romanticism, or the Absolute Spirit as Sentiment.]

§ 178. But the Romanticists, who followed close upon Fichte, were
dissatisfied with so hard and exclusive a conception of spiritual being.
Life, they said, is not all duty. Indeed, the true spiritual life is
quite other, not harsh and constrained, but free and spontaneous--a
wealth of feeling playing about a constantly shifting centre. Spirit is
not consecutive and law-abiding, but capricious and wanton, seeking the
beautiful in no orderly progression, but in a refined and versatile
sensibility. If this be the nature of spirit, and if spirit be the
nature of reality, then he is most wise who is most rich in sentiment.
The Romanticists were the exponents of an absolute sentimentalism. And
they did not prove it, but like good sentimentalists they felt it.

[Sidenote: Hegelianism, or the Absolute Spirit as Dialectic.]

§ 179. Hegel, the master of the new idealism, set himself the task of
construing spirit in terms as consecutive as those of Fichte, and as
comprehensive as those of the Romanticists. Like Plato, he found in
dialectic the supreme manifestation of the spiritual life. There is a
certain flow of ideas which determines the meaning of experience, and
is the truth of truths. But the mark of the new prophet is this: the
flow of ideas itself is _a process of self-correction due to a sense of
error_. Thus bare sensation is abstract and bare thought is abstract.
The real, however, is not merely the concrete in which they are united,
but the very process in the course of which through knowledge of
abstraction thought arrives at the concrete. The principle of negation
is the very life of thought, and it is _the life of thought_, rather
than the outcome of thought, which is reality. The most general form of
the dialectical process contains three moments: the moment of _thesis_,
in which affirmation is made; the moment of _antithesis_, in which the
opposite asserts itself; and the moment of _synthesis_, in which a
reconciliation is effected in a new thesis. Thus thought is the
progressive overcoming of contradiction; not the state of freedom from
contradiction, but the act of escaping it. Such processes are more
familiar in the moral life. Morality consists, so even common-sense
asserts, in the overcoming of evil. Character is the resistance of
temptation; goodness, a growth in grace through discipline. Of such, for
Hegel, is the very kingdom of heaven. It is the task of the philosopher,
a task to which Hegel applies himself most assiduously, to analyze the
battle and the victory upon which spiritual being nourishes itself. And
since the deeper processes are those of thought, the Hegelian philosophy
centres in an ordering of notions, a demonstration of that necessary
progression of thought which, in its whole dynamical logical history,
constitutes the _absolute idea_.

[Sidenote: The Hegelian Philosophy of Nature and History.]

§ 180. The Hegelian philosophy, with its emphasis upon difference,
antagonism, and development, is peculiarly qualified to be a philosophy
of nature and history. Those principles of spiritual development which
logic defines are conceived as incarnate in the evolution of the world.
Nature, as the very antithesis to spirit, is now understood to be the
foil of spirit. In nature spirit alienates itself in order to return
enriched. The stages of nature are the preparation for the reviving of a
spirituality that has been deliberately forfeited. The Romanticists,
whether philosophers like Schelling or poets like Goethe and Wordsworth,
were led by their feeling for the beauty of nature to attribute to it a
much deeper and more direct spiritual significance. But Hegel and the
Romanticists alike are truly expressed in Emerson's belief that the
spiritual interpretation of nature is the "true science."

     "The poet alone knows astronomy, chemistry, vegetation, and
     animation, for he does not stop at these facts, but employs
     them as signs. He knows why the plain or meadow of space was
     strown with these flowers we call suns and moons and stars;
     why the great deep is adorned with animals, with men, and
     gods; for in every word he speaks he rides on them as the
     horses of thought."[364:5]

The new awakening of spirit which is for Hegel the consummation of the
natural evolution, begins with the individual or _subjective_ spirit,
and develops into the social or _objective_ spirit, which is morality
and history. History is a veritable dialectic of nations, in the course
of which the consciousness of individual liberty is developed, and
coördinated with the unity of the state. The highest stage of spirit
incarnate is that of _absolute_ spirit, embracing art, religion, and
philosophy. In art the absolute idea obtains expression in sensuous
existence, more perfectly in classical than in the symbolic art of the
Orient, but most perfectly in the romantic art of the modern period. In
religion the absolute idea is expressed in the imagination through
worship. In Oriental pantheism, the individual is overwhelmed by his
sense of the universal; in Greek religion, God is but a higher man;
while in Christianity God and man are perfectly united in Christ.
Finally, in philosophy the absolute idea reaches its highest possible
expression in articulate thought.

[Sidenote: Résumé. Failure of Absolute Idealism to Solve the Problem of

§ 181. Such is absolute idealism approached from the stand-point of
antecedent metaphysics. It is the most elaborate and subtle provision
for antagonistic differences within unity that the speculative mind of
man has as yet been able to make. It is the last and most thorough
attempt to resolve individual and universal, temporal and eternal,
natural and ideal, good and evil, into an absolute unity in which the
universal, eternal, ideal, and good shall dominate, and in which all
terms shall be related with such necessity as obtains in the definitions
and theorems of geometry. There is to be some absolute meaning which is
rational to the uttermost and the necessary ground of all the incidents
of existence. Thought could undertake no more ambitious and exacting
task. Nor is it evident after all that absolute idealism enjoys any
better success in this task than absolute realism. The difference
between them becomes much less marked when we reflect that the former,
like the latter, must reserve the predicate of being for the unity of
the whole. Even though evil and contradiction belong to the essence of
things, move in the secret heart of a spiritual universe, the reality is
not these in their severalty, but that life within which they fall, the
story within which they "earn a place." And if absolute idealism has
defined a new perfection, it has at the same time defined a new
imperfection. The perfection is rich in contrast, and thus inclusive of
both the lights and shades of experience; but the perfection belongs
only to the composition of these elements within a single view. It is
not necessary to such perfection that the evil should ever be viewed in
isolation. The idealist employs the analogy of the drama or the picture
whose very significance requires the balance of opposing forces; or the
analogy of the symphony in which a higher musical quality is realized
through the resolution of discord into harmony. But none of these
unities requires any element whatsoever that does not partake of its
beauty. It is quite irrelevant to the drama that the hero should
himself have his own view of events with no understanding of their
dramatic value, as it is irrelevant to the picture that an unbalanced
fragment of it should dwell apart, or to the symphony that the discord
should be heard without the harmony. One may multiply without end the
internal differences and antagonisms that contribute to the internal
meaning, and be as far as ever from understanding the external
detachment of experiences that are not rational or good in themselves.
And it is precisely this kind of fact that precipitates the whole
problem. We do not judge of sin and error from experiences in which they
conduct to goodness and truth, but from experiences in which they are
stark and unresolved.

In view of such considerations many idealists have been willing to
confess their inability to solve this problem. To quote a recent
expositor of Hegel,

     "We need not, after all, be surprised at the apparently
     insoluble problem which confronts us. For the question has
     developed into the old difficulty of the origin of evil, which
     has always baffled both theologians and philosophers. An
     idealism which declares that the universe is in reality
     perfect, can find, as most forms of popular idealism do, an
     escape from the difficulties of the existence of evil, by
     declaring that the universe is as yet only growing towards its
     ideal perfection. But this refuge disappears with the reality
     of time, and we are left with an awkward difference between
     what philosophy tells us must be, and what our life tells us
     actually is."[368:6]

If the philosophy of eternal perfection persists in its fundamental
doctrine in spite of this irreconcilable conflict with life, it is
because it is believed that that doctrine _must_ be true. Let us turn,
then, to its more constructive and compelling argument.

[Sidenote: The Constructive Argument for Absolute Idealism is Based upon
the Subjectivistic Theory of Knowledge.]

§ 182. The proof of absolute idealism is supposed by the majority of its
exponents to follow from the problem of epistemology, and more
particularly from the manifest dependence of truth upon the knowing
mind. In its initial phase absolute idealism is indistinguishable from
subjectivism. Like that philosophy it finds that the object of knowledge
is inseparable from the state of knowledge throughout the whole range of
experience. Since the knower can never escape himself, it may be set
down as an elementary fact that reality (at any rate whatever reality
can be known or even talked about) owes its being to mind.

Thus Green, the English neo-Hegelian, maintains that "an object which
no consciousness presented to itself would not be an object at all," and
wonders that this principle is not generally taken for granted and made
the starting-point for philosophy.[369:7] However, unless the very term
"object" is intended to imply presence to a subject, this principle is
by no means self-evident, and must be traced to its sources.

We have already followed the fortunes of that empirical subjectivism
which issues from the relativity of perception. At the very dawn of
philosophy it was observed that what is seen, heard, or otherwise
experienced through the senses, depends not only upon the use of
sense-organs, but upon the special point of view occupied by each
individual sentient being. It was therefore concluded that the
perceptual world belonged to the human knower with his limitations and
perspective, rather than to being itself. It was this epistemological
principle upon which Berkeley founded his empirical idealism. Believing
knowledge to consist essentially in perception, and believing perception
to be subjective, he had to choose between the relegation of being to a
region inaccessible to knowledge, and the definition of being in terms
of subjectivity. To avoid scepticism he accepted the latter alternative.
But among the Greeks with whom this theory of perception originated, it
drew its meaning in large part from the distinction between perception
and reason. Thus we read in Plato's "Sophist":

     "And you would allow that we participate in generation with
     the body, and by perception; but we participate with the soul
     by thought in true essence, and essence you would affirm to be
     always the same and immutable, whereas generation

It is conceived that although in perception man is condemned to a
knowledge conditioned by the affections and station of his body, he may
nevertheless escape himself and lay hold on the "true essence" of
things, by virtue of thought. In other words, knowledge, in
contradistinction to "opinion," is not made by the subject, but is the
soul's participation in the eternal natures of things. In the moment of
insight the varying course of the individual thinker coincides with the
unvarying truth; but in that moment the individual thinker is ennobled
through being assimilated to the truth, while the truth is no more, no
less, the truth than before.

[Sidenote: The Principle of Subjectivism Extended to Reason.]

§ 183. In absolute idealism, the principle of subjectivism is extended
to reason itself. This extension seems to have been originally due to
moral and religious interests. From the moral stand-point the
contemplation of the truth is a _state_, and the highest state of the
individual life. The religious interest unifies the individual life and
directs attention to its spiritual development. Among the Greeks of the
middle period life was as yet viewed objectively as the fulfilment of
capacities, and knowledge was regarded as perfection of function, the
exercise of the highest of human prerogatives. But as moral and
religious interests became more absorbing, the individual lived more and
more in his own self-consciousness. Even before the Christian era the
Greek philosophers themselves were preoccupied with the task of winning
a state of inner serenity. Thus the Stoics and Epicureans came to look
upon knowledge as a means to the attainment of an inner freedom from
distress and bondage to the world. In other words, the very reason was
regarded as an activity of the self, and its fruits were valued for
their enhancement of the welfare of the self. And if this be true of the
Stoics and the Epicureans, it is still more clearly true of the
neo-Platonists of the Christian era, who mediate between the ancient
and mediæval worlds.

[Sidenote: Emphasis on Self-consciousness in Early Christian

§ 184. It is well known that the early period of Christianity was a
period of the most vivid self-consciousness. The individual believed
that his natural and social environment was alien to his deeper
spiritual interests. He therefore withdrew into himself. He believed
himself to have but one duty, the salvation of his soul; and that duty
required him to search his innermost springs of action in order to
uproot any that might compromise him with the world and turn him from
God. The drama of life was enacted within the circle of his own
self-consciousness. Citizenship, bodily health, all forms of
appreciation and knowledge, were identified in the parts they played
here. In short the Christian consciousness, although renunciation was
its deepest motive, was reflexive and centripetal to a degree hitherto
unknown among the European peoples. And when with St. Augustine
theoretical interests once more vigorously asserted themselves, this new
emphasis was in the very foreground. St. Augustine wished to begin his
system of thought with a first indubitable certainty, and selected
neither being nor ideas, but _self_. St. Augustine's genius was
primarily religious, and the "Confessions," in which he records the
story of his hard winning of peace and right relations with God, is his
most intimate book. How faithfully does he represent himself, and the
blend of paganism and Christianity which was distinctive of his age,
when in his systematic writings he draws upon religion for his knowledge
of truth! In all my living, he argues, whether I sin or turn to God,
whether I doubt or believe, whether I know or am ignorant, in all _I
know that I am I_. Each and every state of my consciousness is a state
of my self, and as such, sure evidence of my self's existence. If one
were to follow St. Augustine's reflections further, one would find him
reasoning from his own finite and evil self to an infinite and perfect
Self, which centres like his in the conviction that I am I, but is
endowed with all power and all worth. One would find him reflecting upon
the possible union with God through the exaltation of the human
self-consciousness. But this conception of God as the perfect self is so
much a prophecy of things to come, that more than a dozen centuries
elapsed before it was explicitly formulated by the post-Kantians. We
must follow its more gradual development in the philosophies of
Descartes and Kant.

[Sidenote: Descartes's Argument for the Independence of the Thinking

§ 185. When at the close of the sixteenth century the Frenchman, René
Descartes, sought to construct philosophy anew and upon secure
foundations, he too selected as the initial certainty of thought the
thinker's knowledge of himself. This principle now received its classic
formulation in the proposition, _Cogito ergo sum_--"I think, hence I
am." The argument does not differ essentially from that of St.
Augustine, but it now finds a place in a systematic and critical
metaphysics. In that my thinking is certain of itself, says Descartes,
in that I know myself before I know aught else, my self can never be
dependent for its being upon anything else that I may come to know. A
thinking self, with its knowledge and its volition, is quite capable of
subsisting of itself. Such is, indeed, not the case with a finite self,
for all finitude is significant of limitation, and in recognizing my
limitations I postulate the infinite being or God. But the relation of
my self to a physical world is quite without necessity. Human nature,
with soul and body conjoined, is a combination of two substances,
neither of which is a necessary consequence of the other. As a result
of this combination the soul is to some extent affected by the body, and
the body is to some extent directed by the soul; but the body could
conceivably be an automaton, as the soul could conceivably be, and will
in another life become, a free spirit. The consequences of this dualism
for epistemology are very grave. If knowledge be the activity of a
self-subsistent thinking spirit, how can it reveal the nature of an
external world? The natural order is now literally "external." It is
true that the whole body of exact science, that mechanical system to
which Descartes attached so much importance, falls within the range of
the soul's own thinking. But what assurance is there that it refers to a
province of its own--a physical world in space? Descartes can only
suppose that "clear and distinct" ideas must be trusted as faithful
representations. It is true the external world makes its presence known
directly, when it breaks in upon the soul in sense-perception. But
Descartes's rationalism and love of mathematics forbade his attaching
importance to this criterion. Real nature, that exactly definable and
predictable order of moving bodies defined in physics, is not known
through sense-perception, but through thought. Its necessities are the
necessities of reason. Descartes finds himself, then, in the perplexing
position of seeking an internal criterion for an external world. The
problem of knowledge so stated sets going the whole epistemological
movement of the eighteenth century, from Locke through Berkeley and Hume
to Kant. And the issue of this development is the absolute idealism of
Kant's successors.

[Sidenote: Empirical Reaction of the English Philosophers.]

§ 186. Of the English philosophers who prepare the way for the
epistemology of Kant, Hume is the most radical and momentous. It was he
who roused Kant from his "dogmatic slumbers" to the task of the
"Critical Philosophy." Hume is one of the two possible consequences of
Descartes. One who attaches greater importance to the rational
necessities of science than to its external reference, is not unwilling
that nature should be swallowed up in mind. With Malebranche,
Descartes's immediate successor in France, nature is thus provided for
within the archetypal mind of God. With the English philosophers, on the
other hand, externality is made the very mark of nature, and as a
consequence sense-perception becomes the criterion of scientific truth.
This empirical theory of knowledge, inaugurated and developed by Locke
and Berkeley, culminates in Hume's designation of the _impression_ as
the distinguishing element of nature, at once making up its content and
certifying to its externality. The processes of nature are successions
of impressions; and the laws of nature are their uniformities, or the
expectations of uniformity which their repetitions engender. Hume does
not hesitate to draw the logical conclusion. If the final mark of truth
is the presence to sense of the individual element, then science can
consist only of items of information and probable generalizations
concerning their sequences. The effect is observed to follow upon the
cause in fact, but there is no understanding of its necessity; therefore
no absolute certainty attaches to the future effects of any cause.

[Sidenote: To Save Exact Science Kant Makes it Dependent on Mind.]

§ 187. But what has become of the dream of the mathematical physicist?
Is the whole system of Newton, that brilliant triumph of the mechanical
method, unfounded and dogmatic? It is the logical instability of this
body of knowledge, made manifest in the well-founded scepticism of Hume,
that rouses Kant to a reëxamination of the whole foundation of natural
science. The general outline of his analysis has been developed above.
It is of importance here to understand its relations to the problem of
Descartes. Contrary to the view of the English philosophers, natural
science is, says Kant, the work of the mind. The certainty of the causal
relation is due to the human inability to think otherwise. Hume is
mistaken in supposing that mere sensation gives us any knowledge of
nature. The very least experience of objects involves the employment of
principles which are furnished by the mind. Without the employment of
such principles, or in bare sensation, there is no intelligible meaning
whatsoever. But once admit the employment of such principles and
formulate them systematically, and the whole Newtonian order of nature
is seen to follow from them. Furthermore, since these principles or
categories are the conditions of human experience, are the very
instruments of knowledge, they are valid wherever there is any
experience or knowledge. There is but one way to make anything at all
out of nature, and that is to conceive it as an order of necessary
events in space and time. Newtonian science is part of such a general
conception, and is therefore necessary if knowledge is to be possible at
all, even the least. Thus Kant turns upon Hume, and shuts him up to the
choice between the utter abnegation of all knowledge, including the
knowledge of his own scepticism, and the acceptance of the whole body of
exact science.

But with nature thus conditioned by the necessities of thought, what has
become of its externality? That, Kant admits, has indeed vanished. Kant
does not attempt, as did Descartes, to hold that the nature which mind
constructs and controls, exists also outside of mind. The nature that is
known is on that very account phenomenal, anthropocentric--created by
its cognitive conditions. Descartes was right in maintaining that
sense-perception certifies to the existence of a world outside the mind,
but mistaken in calling it nature and identifying it with the realm of
science. In short, Kant acknowledges the external world, and names it
the _thing-in-itself_; but insists that because it is outside of mind it
is outside of knowledge. Thus is the certainty of science saved at the
cost of its metaphysical validity. It is necessarily true, but only of a
conditioned or dependent world. And in saving science Kant has at the
same time prejudiced metaphysics in general. For the human or
naturalistic way of knowing is left in sole possession of the field,
with the higher interest of reasons in the ultimate nature of being,
degraded to the rank of practical faith.

[Sidenote: The Post-Kantians Transform Kant's Mind-in-general into an
Absolute Mind.]

§ 188. The transformation of this critical and agnostic doctrine into
absolute idealism is inevitable. The metaphysical interest was bound to
avail itself of the speculative suggestiveness with which the Kantian
philosophy abounds. The transformation turns upon Kant's assumption that
whatever is constructed by the mind is on that account phenomenon or
appearance. Kant has carried along the presumption that whatever is act
or content of mind is on that account not _real_ object or
_thing-in-itself_. We have seen that this is generally accepted as true
of the relativities of sense-perception. But is it true of thought? The
post-Kantian idealist maintains that _that depends upon the thought_.
The content of private individual thinking is in so far not real object;
but it does not follow that this is true of such thinking as is
universally valid. Now Kant has deduced his categories for thought in
general. There are no empirical cases of thinking except the human
thinkers; but the categories are not the property of any one human
individual or any group of such individuals. They are the conditions of
_experience in general_, and of every possibility of experience. The
transition to absolute idealism is now readily made. _Thought in
general_ becomes the _absolute mind_, and experience in general its
content. The thing-in-itself drops out as having no meaning. The
objectivity to which it testified is provided for in the completeness
and self-sufficiency which is attributed to the absolute experience.
Indeed, an altogether new definition of subjective and objective
replaces the old. The subjective is that which is only insufficiently
thought, as in the case of relativity and error; the objective is that
which is completely thought. Thus the natural order is indeed
phenomenal; but only because the principles of science are not the
highest principles of thought, and not because nature is the fruit of
thought. Thus Hegel expresses his relation to Kant as follows:

     "According to Kant, the things that we know about are _to us_
     appearances only, and we can never know their essential
     nature, which belongs to another world, which we cannot
     approach. . . . The true statement of the case is as follows.
     The things of which we have direct consciousness are mere
     phenomena, not for us only, but in their own nature; and the
     true and proper case of these things, finite as they are, is
     to have their existence founded not in themselves, but in the
     universal divine idea. This view of things, it is true, is as
     idealist as Kant's, but in contradistinction to the
     subjective idealism of the Critical Philosophy should be
     termed Absolute Idealism."[382:9]

[Sidenote: The Direct Argument. The Inference from the Finite Mind to
the Infinite Mind.]

§ 189. Absolute idealism is thus reached after a long and devious course
of development. But the argument may be stated much more briefly. Plato,
it will be remembered, found that experience tends ever to transcend
itself. The thinker finds himself compelled to pursue the ideal of
immutable and universal truth, and must identify the ultimate being with
that ideal. Similarly Hegel says:

     "That upward spring of the mind signifies that the being which
     the world has is only a semblance, no real being, no absolute
     truth; it signifies that beyond and above that appearance,
     truth abides in God, so that true being is another name for

The further argument of absolute idealism differs from that of Plato in
that the dependence of truth upon the mind is accepted as a first
principle. The ideal with which experience is informed is now _the state
of perfect knowledge_, rather than the system of absolute truth. The
content of the state of perfect knowledge will indeed be the system of
absolute truth, but none the less _content_, precisely as finite
knowledge is the content of a finite mind. In pursuing the truth, I who
pursue, aim to realize in myself a certain highest state of knowledge.
Were I to know all truth I should indeed have ceased to be the finite
individual who began the quest, but the evolution would be continuous
and the character of self-consciousness would never have been lost. I
may say, in short, that God or being, is my perfect cognitive self.

The argument for absolute idealism is a constructive interpretation of
the subjectivistic contention that knowledge can never escape the circle
of its own activity and states. To meet the demand for a final and
standard truth, a demand which realism meets with its doctrine of a
being independent of any mind, this philosophy defines a _standard
mind_. The impossibility of defining objects in terms of relativity to a
finite self, conducts dialectically to the conception of the _absolute
self_. The sequel to my error or exclusiveness, is truth or
inclusiveness. The outcome of the dialectic is determined by the
symmetry of the antithesis. Thus, corrected experience implies a last
correcting experience; partial cognition, complete cognition; empirical
subject, transcendental subject; finite mind, an absolute mind. The
following statement is taken from a contemporary exponent of the

     "What you and I lack, when we lament our human ignorance, is
     simply a certain desirable and logically possible state of
     mind, or type of experience; to wit, a state of mind in which
     we should wisely be able to say that we had fulfilled in
     experience what we now have merely in idea, namely, the
     knowledge, the immediate and felt presence, of what we now
     call the Absolute Reality. . . . There is an Absolute
     Experience for which the conception of an absolute reality,
     _i. e._, the conception of a system of ideal truth, is
     fulfilled by the very contents that get presented to this
     experience. This Absolute Experience is related to our
     experience as an organic whole to its own fragments. It is an
     experience which finds fulfilled all that the completest
     thought can conceive as genuinely possible. Herein lies its
     definition as an Absolute. For the Absolute Experience, as for
     ours, there are data, contents, facts. But these data, these
     contents, express, for the Absolute Experience, its own
     meaning, its thought, its ideas. Contents beyond these that it
     possesses, the Absolute Experience knows to be, in genuine
     truth, impossible. Hence its contents are indeed
     particular,--a selection from the world of bare or merely
     conceptual possibilities,--but they form a self-determined
     whole, than which nothing completer, more organic, more
     fulfilled, more transparent, or more complete in meaning, is
     concretely or genuinely possible. On the other hand, these
     contents are not foreign to those of our finite experience,
     but are inclusive of them in the unity of one life."[385:11]

[Sidenote: The Realistic Tendency in Absolute Idealism.]

§ 190. As has been already intimated, at the opening of this chapter,
the inclusion of the whole of reality within a single self is clearly a
questionable proceeding. The need of avoiding the relativism of
empirical idealism is evident. But if the very meaning of the
self-consciousness be due to a certain selection and exclusion within
the general field of experience, it is equally evident that the
relativity of self-consciousness can never be overcome through appealing
to a higher self. One must appeal _from_ the self to the realm of things
as they are. Indeed, although the exponents of this philosophy use the
language of spiritualism, and accept the idealistic epistemology, their
absolute being tends ever to escape the special characters of the self.
And inasmuch as the absolute self is commonly set over against the
finite or empirical self, as the standard and test of truth, it is the
less distinguishable from the realist's order of independent beings.

[Sidenote: The Conception of Self-consciousness Central in the Ethics of
Absolute Idealism. Kant.]

§ 191. But however much absolute idealism may tend to abandon its
idealism for the sake of its absolutism within the field of metaphysics,
such is not the case within the field of ethics and religion. The
conception of the self here receives a new emphasis. The same
self-consciousness which admits to the highest truth is the evidence of
man's practical dignity. In virtue of his immediate apprehension of the
principles of selfhood, and his direct participation in the life of
spirit, man may be said to possess the innermost secret of the universe.
In order to achieve goodness he must therefore recognize and express
_himself_. The Kantian philosophy is here again the starting-point. It
was Kant who first gave adequate expression to the Christian idea of the
moral self-consciousness.

     "_Duty!_ Thou sublime and mighty name that dost embrace
     nothing charming or insinuating, but requirest submission, and
     yet seekest not to move the will by threatening aught that
     would arouse natural aversion or terror, but merely holdest
     forth a law which of itself finds entrance into the mind,
     . . . a law before which all inclinations are dumb, even
     though they secretly counterwork it; what origin is there
     worthy of thee, and where is to be found the root of thy noble
     descent which proudly rejects all kindred with the
     inclinations . . . ? It can be nothing less than a power which
     elevates man above himself, . . . a power which connects him
     with an order of things that only the understanding can
     conceive, with a world which at the same time commands the
     whole sensible world, and with it the empirically determinable
     existence of man in time, as well as the sum total of all

With Kant there can be no morality except conduct be attended by the
consciousness of this duty imposed by the higher nature upon the lower.
It is this very recognition of a deeper self, of a personality that
belongs to the sources and not to the consequences of nature, that
constitutes man as a moral being, and only such action as is inspired
with a reverence for it can be morally good. Kant does little more than
to establish the uncompromising dignity of the moral will. In moral
action man submits to a law that issues from himself in virtue of his
rational nature. Here he yields nothing, as he owes nothing, to that
appetency which binds him to the natural world. As a rational being he
himself affirms the very principles which determine the organization of
nature. This is his _freedom_, at once the ground and the implication
of his duty. Man is free from nature to serve the higher law of his

[Sidenote: Kantian Ethics Supplemented through the Conceptions of
Universal and Objective Spirit.]

§ 192. There are two respects in which Kant's ethics has been regarded
as inadequate by those who draw from it their fundamental principles. It
is said that Kant is too rigoristic, that he makes too stern a business
of morality, in speaking so much of law and so little of love and
spontaneity. There are good reasons for this. Kant seeks to isolate the
moral consciousness, and dwell upon it in its purity, in order that he
may demonstrate its incommensurability with the values of inclination
and sensibility. Furthermore, Kant may speak of the principle of the
absolute, and recognize the deeper eternal order as a law, but he may
not, if he is to be consistent with his own critical principles, affirm
the metaphysical being of such an order. With his idealistic followers
it is possible to define the spiritual setting of the moral life, but
with Kant it is only possible to define the antagonism of principles.
Hence the greater optimism of the post-Kantians. They know that the
higher law is the reality, and that he who obeys it thus unites himself
with the absolute self. That which for Kant is only a resolute
obedience to more valid principles, to rationally superior rules for
action, is for idealism man's appropriation of his spiritual birthright.
Since the law is the deeper nature, man may respect and obey it as
valid, and at the same time act upon it gladly in the sure knowledge
that it will enhance his eternal welfare. Indeed, the knowledge that the
very universe is founded upon this law will make him less suspicious of
nature and less exclusive in his adherence to any single law. He will be
more confident of the essential goodness of all manifestations of a
universe which he knows to be fundamentally spiritual.

But it has been urged, secondly, that the Kantian ethics is too formal,
too little pertinent to the issues of life. Kant's moral law imposes
only obedience to the law, or conduct conceived as suitable to a
universal moral community. But what is the nature of such conduct in
particular? It may be answered that to maintain the moral
self-consciousness, to act dutifully and dutifully only, to be
self-reliant and unswerving in the doing of what one ought to do, is to
obtain a very specific character. But does this not leave the
individual's conduct to his own interpretation of his duty? It was just
this element of individualism which Hegel sought to eliminate through
the application of his larger philosophical conception. If that which
expresses itself within the individual consciousness as the moral law be
indeed the law of that self in which the universe is grounded, it will
appear as _objective spirit_ in the evolution of society. For Hegel,
then, the most valid standard of goodness is to be found in that
customary morality which bespeaks the moral leadings of the general
humanity, and in those institutions, such as the family and the state,
which are the moral acts of the absolute idea itself. Finally, in the
realm of _absolute spirit_, in art, in revealed religion, and in
philosophy, the individual may approach to the self-consciousness which
is the perfect truth and goodness in and for itself.

[Sidenote: The Peculiar Pantheism and Mysticism of Absolute Idealism.]

§ 193. Where the law of life is the implication in the finite
self-consciousness of the eternal and divine self-consciousness, there
can be no division between morality and religion, as there can be none
between thought and will. Whatever man seeks is in the end God. As the
perfect fulfilment of the thinking self, God is the truth; as the
perfect fulfilment of the willing self, God is the good. The finite
self-consciousness finds facts that are not understood, and so seeks to
resolve itself into the perfect self wherein all that is given has
meaning. On the other hand, the finite self-consciousness finds ideals
that are not realized, and so seeks to resolve itself into that perfect
self wherein all that is significant is given. All interests thus
converge toward

     "some state of conscious spirit in which the opposition of
     cognition and volition is overcome--in which we neither judge
     our ideas by the world, nor the world by our ideas, but are
     aware that inner and outer are in such close and necessary
     harmony that even the thought of possible discord has become
     impossible. In its unity not only cognition and volition, but
     feeling also, must be blended and united. In some way or
     another it must have overcome the rift in discursive
     knowledge, and the immediate must for it be no longer the
     alien. It must be as direct as art, as certain and universal
     as philosophy."[391:13]

The religious consciousness proper to absolute idealism is both
pantheistic and mystical, but with distinction. Platonism is pantheistic
in that nature is resolved into God. All that is not perfect is esteemed
only for its promise of perfection. And Platonism is mystical in that
the purification and universalization of the affections brings one in
the end to a perfection that exceeds all modes of thought and speech.
With Spinoza, on the other hand, God may be said to be resolved into
nature. Nature is made divine, but is none the less nature, for its
divinity consists in its absolute necessity. Spinoza's pantheism passes
over into mysticism because the absolute necessity exceeds in both unity
and richness the laws known to the human understanding. In absolute
idealism, finally, both God and nature are resolved into the self. For
that which is divine in experience is self-consciousness, and this is at
the same time the ground of nature. Thus in the highest knowledge the
self is expanded and enriched without being left behind. The mystical
experience proper to this philosophy is the consciousness of identity,
together with the sense of universal immanence. The individual self may
be directly sensible of the absolute self, for these are one spiritual
life. Thus Emerson says:

     "It is a secret which every intellectual man quickly learns,
     that beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious
     intellect he is capable of a new energy (as of an intellect
     doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things;
     that beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there
     is a great public power upon which he can draw, by unlocking,
     at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal
     tides to roll and circulate through him; then he is caught up
     into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his
     thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as
     the plants and animals. The poet knows that he speaks
     adequately then only when he speaks somewhat wildly, or 'with
     the flower of the mind'; not with the intellect used as an
     organ, but with the intellect released from all service and
     suffered to take its direction from its celestial

[Sidenote: The Religion of Exuberant Spirituality.]

§ 194. But the distinguishing flavor and quality of this religion arises
from its spiritual hospitality. It is not, like Platonism, a
contemplation of the best; nor, like pluralistic idealisms, a moral
knight-errantry. It is neither a religion of exclusion, nor a religion
of reconstruction, but a profound willingness that things should be as
they really are. For this reason its devotees have recognized in Spinoza
their true forerunner. But idealism is not Spinozism, though it may
contain this as one of its strains. For it is not the worship of
necessity, Emerson's "beautiful necessity, which makes man brave in
believing that he cannot shun a danger that is appointed, nor incur one
that is not"; but the worship of _that which is_ necessary.

Not only must one understand that every effort, however despairing, is
an element of sense in the universal significance;

     "that the whole would not be what it is were not precisely
     this finite purpose left in its own uniqueness to speak
     precisely its own word--a word which no other purpose can
     speak in the language of the divine will";[394:15]

but one must have a zest for such participation, and a heart for the
divine will which it profits. Indeed, so much is this religion a love of
life, that it may, as in the case of the Romanticists, be a love of
caprice. Battle and death, pain and joy, error and truth--all that
belongs to the story of this mortal world, are to be felt as the thrill
of health, and relished as the essences of God. Religion is an exuberant
spirituality, a fearless sensibility, a knowledge of both good and evil,
and a will to serve the good, while exulting that the evil will not
yield without a battle.


[349:1] By _Absolute Idealism_ is meant that system of philosophy which
defines the universe as the _absolute spirit_, which is the human
_moral_, _cognitive_, or _appreciative consciousness_ universalized; or
as the _absolute, transcendental mind_, whose state of _complete
knowledge_ is implied in all finite thinking.

[352:2] Plato: _Timæus_, 29. Translation by Jowett.

[359:3] Plato: _Symposium_, 202. Translation by Jowett.

[359:4] Emerson: _Essays, Second Series_, pp. 65-66.

[364:5] Emerson: _Op. cit._, p. 25.

The possibility of conflict between this method of nature study and the
empirical method of science is significantly attested by the
circumstance that in the year 1801 Hegel published a paper in which he
maintained, on the ground of certain numerical harmonies, that there
could be no planet between Mars and Jupiter, while at almost exactly the
same time Piazzi discovered Ceres, the first of the asteroids.

[368:6] McTaggart: _Studies in Hegelian Dialectic_, p. 181.

[369:7] Green: _Prolegomena to Ethics_, p. 15.

[370:8] Plato: _The Sophist_, 248. Translation by Jowett.

[382:9] Hegel: _Encyclopädie_, § 45, lecture note. Quoted by McTaggart:
_Op. cit._, p. 69.

[382:10] Hegel: _Encyclopädie_, § 50. Quoted by McTaggart: _Op. cit._,
p. 70.

[385:11] Royce: _Conception of God_, pp. 19, 43-44.

This argument is well summarized in Green's statement that "the
existence of one connected world, which is the presupposition of
knowledge, implies the action of one self-conditioning and
self-determining mind." _Prolegomena to Ethics_, p. 181.

[387:12] Kant: _Critical Examination of Practical Reason_. Translated by
Abbott in _Kant's Theory of Ethics_, p. 180.

[391:13] Quoted from McTaggart: _Op. cit._, pp. 231-232.

[393:14] Emerson: _Op. cit._, pp. 30-31.

[394:15] Royce: _The World and the Individual, First Series_, p. 465.



[Sidenote: Liability of Philosophy to Revision, Due to its Systematic

§ 195. One who consults a book of philosophy in the hope of finding
there a definite body of truth, sanctioned by the consensus of experts,
cannot fail to be disappointed. And it should now be plain that this is
due not to the frailties of philosophers, but to the meaning of
philosophy. Philosophy is not additive, but reconstructive. Natural
science may advance step by step without ever losing ground; its
empirical discoveries are in their severalty as true as they can ever
be. Thus the stars and the species of animals may be recorded
successively, and each generation of astronomers and zoölogists may take
up the work at the point reached by its forerunners. The formulation of
results does, it is true, require constant correction and revision--but
there is a central body of data which is little affected, and which
accumulates from age to age. Now the finality of scientific truth is
proportional to the modesty of its claims. Items of truth persist,
while the interpretation of them is subject to alteration with the
general advance of knowledge; and, relatively speaking, science consists
in items of truth, and philosophy in their interpretation. The liability
to revision in science itself increases as that body of knowledge
becomes more highly unified and systematic. Thus the present age, with
its attempt to construct a single comprehensive system of mechanical
science, is peculiarly an age when fundamental conceptions are subjected
to a thorough reëxamination--when, for example, so ancient a conception
as that of matter is threatened with displacement by that of energy. But
philosophy is _essentially unitary and systematic_--and thus
_superlatively liable to revision_.

[Sidenote: The One Science and the Many Philosophies.]

§ 196. It is noteworthy that it is only in this age of a highly
systematic natural science that _different_ systems are projected, as in
the case just noted of the rivalry between the strictly mechanical, or
corpuscular, theory and the newer theory of energetics. It has
heretofore been taken for granted that although there may be many
philosophies, there is but one body of science. And it is still taken
for granted that the experimental detail of the individual science is a
common fund, to the progressive increase of which the individual
scientist contributes the results of his special research; there being
_rival_ schools of mechanics, physics, or chemistry, only in so far as
_fundamental conceptions_ or _principles of orderly arrangement_ are in
question. But philosophy deals exclusively with the most fundamental
conceptions and the most general principles of orderly arrangement.
Hence it is significant of the very task of philosophy that there should
be many tentative systems of philosophy, even that each philosopher
should project and construct his own philosophy. Philosophy as the truth
of synthesis and reconciliation, of comprehensiveness and coördination,
must be a living unity. It is a thinking of entire experience, and can
be sufficient only through being all-sufficient. The heart of every
philosophy is a harmonizing insight, an intellectual prospect within
which all human interests and studies compose themselves. Such knowledge
cannot be delegated to isolated co-laborers, but will be altogether
missed if not loved and sought in its indivisible unity. There is no
modest home-keeping philosophy; no safe and conservative philosophy,
that can make sure of a part through renouncing the whole. There is no
philosophy without intellectual temerity, as there is no religion
without moral temerity. And the one is the supreme interest of thought,
as the other is the supreme interest of life.

[Sidenote: Progress in Philosophy. The Sophistication or Eclecticism of
the Present Age.]

§ 197. Though the many philosophies be inevitable, it must not be
concluded that there is therefore no progress in philosophy. The
solution from which every great philosophy is precipitated is the
mingled wisdom of some latest age, with all of its inheritance. The
"positive" knowledge furnished by the sciences, the refinements and
distinctions of the philosophers, the ideals of society--these and the
whole sum of civilization are its ingredients. Where there is no single
system of philosophy significant enough to express the age, as did the
systems of Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, and the
others who belong to the roll of the great philosophers, there exists a
_general sophistication_, which is more elusive but not less
significant. The present age--at any rate from its own stand-point--is
not an age of great philosophical systems. Such systems may indeed be
living in our midst unrecognized; but historical perspective cannot
safely be anticipated. It is certain that no living voice is known to
speak for this generation as did Hegel, and even Spencer, for the last.
There is, however, a significance in this very passing of Hegel and
Spencer,--an enlightenment peculiar to an age which knows them, but has
philosophically outlived them. There is a moral in the history of
thought which just now no philosophy, whether naturalism, or
transcendentalism, realism or idealism, can fail to draw. The
characterization of this contemporary eclecticism or sophistication,
difficult and uncertain as it must needs be, affords the best summary
and interpretation with which to conclude this brief survey of the
fortunes of philosophy.

[Sidenote: Metaphysics. The Antagonistic Doctrines of Naturalism and

§ 198. Since the problem of metaphysics is the crucial problem of
philosophy, the question of its present status is fundamental in any
characterization of the age. It will appear from the foregoing account
of the course of metaphysical development that two fundamental
tendencies have exhibited themselves from the beginning. The one of
these is naturalistic and empirical, representing the claims of what
common sense calls "matters of fact"; the other is transcendental and
rational, representing the claims of the standards and ideals which are
immanent in experience, and directly manifested in the great human
interests of thought and action. These tendencies have on the whole been
antagonistic; and the clear-cut and momentous systems of philosophy have
been fundamentally determined by either the one or the other.

Thus materialism is due to the attempt to reduce all of experience to
the elements and principles of connection which are employed by the
physical sciences to set in order the actual motions, or changes of
place, which the parts of experience undergo. Materialism maintains that
the motions of bodies are indifferent to considerations of worth, and
denies that they issue from a deeper cause of another order. The very
ideas of such non-mechanical elements or principles are here provided
with a mechanical origin. Similarly a phenomenalism, like that of Hume,
takes immediate presence to sense as the norm of being and knowledge.
Individual items, directly verified in the moment of their occurrence,
are held to be at once the content of all real truth, and the source of
those abstract ideas which the misguided rationalists mistake for real

But the absolutist, on the other hand, contends that the thinker must
_mean_ something by the reality which he seeks. If he had it for the
looking, thought would not be, as it so evidently is, a purposive
endeavor. And that which is meant by reality can be nothing short of the
fulfilment or final realization of this endeavor of thought. To find out
what thought seeks, to anticipate the consummation of thought and posit
it as real, is therefore the first and fundamental procedure of
philosophy. The mechanism of nature, and all matters of fact, must come
to terms with this absolute reality, or be condemned as mere appearance.
Thus Plato distinguishes the world of "generation" in which we
participate by perception, from the "true essence" in which we
participate by thought; and Schelling speaks of the modern experimental
method as the "corruption" of philosophy and physics, in that it fails
to construe nature in terms of spirit.

[Sidenote: Concessions from the Side of Absolutism. Recognition of
Nature. The Neo-Fichteans.]

§ 199. Now it would never occur to a sophisticated philosopher of the
present, to one who has thought out to the end the whole tradition of
philosophy, and felt the gravity of the great historical issues, to
suffer either of these motives to dominate him to the exclusion of the
other. Absolutism has long since ceased to speak slightingly of physical
science, and of the world of perception. It is conceded that motions
must be known in the mechanical way, and matters of fact in the
matter-of-fact way. Furthermore, the prestige which science enjoyed in
the nineteenth century, and the prestige which the empirical and secular
world of action has enjoyed to a degree that has steadily increased
since the Renaissance, have convinced the absolutist of the intrinsic
significance of these parts of experience. They are no longer reduced,
but are permitted to flourish in their own right. From the very councils
of absolute idealism there has issued a distinction which is fast
becoming current, between the World of Appreciation, or the realm of
moral and logical principles, and the World of Description, or the realm
of empirical generalizations and mechanical causes.[402:1] It is indeed
maintained that the former of these is metaphysically superior; but the
latter is ranked without the disparagement of its own proper categories.

With the Fichteans this distinction corresponds to the distinction in
the system of Fichte between the active moral ego, and the nature which
it posits to act upon. But the _neo-Fichteans_ are concerned to show
that the nature so posited, or the World of Description, is the _realm
of mechanical science_, and that the entire system of mathematical and
physical truth is therefore morally necessary.[403:2]

[Sidenote: The Neo-Kantians.]

§ 200. A more pronounced tendency in the same direction marks the work
of the _neo-Kantians_. These philosophers repudiate the spiritualistic
metaphysics of Schopenhauer, Fichte, and Hegel, believing the real
significance of Kant to lie in his critical method, in his examination
of the first principles of the different systems of knowledge, and
especially in his analysis of the foundations of mathematics and
physics.[403:3] In approaching mathematics and physics from a general
logical stand-point, these neo-Kantians become scarcely distinguishable
in interest and temper from those scientists who approach logic from the
mathematical and physical stand-point.

[Sidenote: Recognition of the Individual. Personal Idealism.]

§ 201. The finite, moral individual, with his peculiar spiritual
perspective, has long since been recognized as essential to the meaning
of the universe rationally conceived. But in its first movement absolute
idealism proposed to absorb him in the indivisible absolute self. It is
now pointed out that Fichte, and even Hegel himself, means the absolute
to be a plurality or society of persons.[404:4] It is commonly conceded
that the will of the absolute must coincide with the wills of all finite
creatures in their severalty, that God wills in and through men.[404:5]
Corresponding to this individualistic tendency on the part of absolute
idealism, there has been recently projected a _personal idealism_, or
_humanism_, which springs freshly and directly from the same motive.
This philosophy attributes ultimate importance to the human person with
his freedom, his interests, his control over nature, and his hope of the
advancement of the spiritual kingdom through coöperation with his

[Sidenote: Concessions from the Side of Naturalism. Recognition of
Fundamental Principles.]

§ 202. Naturalism exhibits a moderation and liberality that is not less
striking than that of absolutism. This abatement of its claims began in
the last century with agnosticism. It was then conceded that there is an
order other than that of natural science; but this order was held to be
inaccessible to human knowledge. Such a theory is essentially unstable
because it employs principles which define a non-natural order, but
refuses to credit them or call them knowledge. The agnostic is in the
paradoxical position of one who knows of an unknowable world.
Present-day naturalism is more circumspect. It has interested itself in
bringing to light that in the very procedure of science which, because
it predetermines what nature shall be, cannot be included within nature.
To this interest is due the rediscovery of the rational foundations of
science. It was already known in the seventeenth century that exact
science does not differ radically from mathematics, as mathematics does
not differ radically from logic. Mathematics and mechanics are now being
submitted to a critical examination which reveals the definitions and
implications upon which they rest, and the general relation of these to
the fundamental elements and necessities of thought.[406:7]

[Sidenote: Recognition of the Will. Pragmatism.]

§ 203. This rationalistic tendency in naturalism is balanced by a
tendency which is more empirical, but equally subversive of the old
ultra-naturalism. Goethe once wrote:

     "I have observed that I hold that thought to be true which is
     _fruitful for me_. . . . When I know my relation to myself and
     to the outer world, I say that I possess the truth."

Similarly, it is now frequently observed that all knowledge is _humanly
fruitful_, and it is proposed that this shall be regarded as the very
criterion of truth. According to this principle science as a whole, even
knowledge as a whole, is primarily a human utility. The nature which
science defines is an artifact or construct. It is designed to express
briefly and conveniently what man may practically expect from his
environment. This tendency is known as _pragmatism_. It ranges
from systematic doctrines, reminiscent of Fichte, which seek to
define practical needs and deduce knowledge from them, to the
more irresponsible utterances of those who liken science to
"shorthand,"[407:8] and mathematics to a game of chess. In any case
pragmatism attributes to nature a certain dependence on will, and
therefore implies, even when it does not avow, that will with its
peculiar principles or values cannot be reduced to the terms of nature.
In short, it would be more true to say that nature expresses will, than
that will expresses nature.[408:9]

[Sidenote: Summary, and Transition to Epistemology.]

§ 204. Such, then, is the contemporary eclecticism as respects the
central problem of metaphysics. There are _naturalistic_ and
_individualistic_ tendencies in _absolutism_; _rationalistic_ and
_ethical_ tendencies in _naturalism_; and finally the independent and
spontaneous movements of _personal idealism_ and _pragmatism_.

Since the rise of the Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy, metaphysics
and epistemology have maintained relations so intimate that the present
state of the former cannot be characterized without some reference to
the present state of the latter. Indeed, the very issues upon which
metaphysicians divide are most commonly those provoked by the problem
of knowledge. The counter-tendencies of naturalism and absolutism are
always connected, and often coincide with, the epistemological
opposition between empiricism, which proclaims perception, and
rationalism, which proclaims reason, to be the proper organ of
knowledge. The other great epistemological controversy does not bear so
direct and simple a relation to the central metaphysical issues, and
must be examined on its own account.

[Sidenote: The Antagonistic Doctrines of Realism and Idealism. Realistic
Tendency in Empirical Idealism.]

§ 205. The point of controversy is the dependence or independence of the
object of knowledge on the state of knowledge; idealism maintaining that
reality _is_ the knower or his content of mind, realism, that being
known is a circumstance which appertains to some reality, without being
the indispensable condition of reality as such. Now the sophisticated
thought of the present age exhibits a tendency on the part of these
opposite doctrines to approach and converge. It has been already
remarked that the empirical idealism of the Berkeleyan type could not
avoid transcending itself. Hume, who omitted Berkeley's active spirits,
no longer had any subjective seat or locus for the perceptions to which
Berkeley had reduced the outer world. And perceptions which are not the
states of any subject, retain only their intrinsic character and become
a series of elements. When there is nothing beyond, which appears, and
nothing within to which it appears, there ceases to be any sense in
using such terms as appearance, phenomenon, or impression. The term
sensation is at present employed in the same ill-considered manner. But
empirical idealism has come gradually to insist upon the importance of
the content of perception, rather than the relation of perception to a
self as its state. The terms _element_ and _experience_, which are
replacing the subjectivistic terms, are frankly realistic.[410:10]

[Sidenote: Realistic Tendency in Absolute Idealism. The Conception of

§ 206. There is a similar realistic trend in the development of absolute
idealism. The pure Hegelian philosophy was notably objective. The
principles of development in which it centres were conceived by Hegel
himself to manifest themselves most clearly in the progressions of
nature and history. Many of Hegel's followers have been led by moral and
religious interests to emphasize consciousness, and, upon
epistemological grounds, to lay great stress upon the necessity of the
union of the parts of experience within an enveloping self. But absolute
idealism has much at heart the overcoming of relativism, and the
absolute is defined in order to meet the demand for a being that shall
not have the cognitive deficiencies of an object of finite thought. So
it is quite possible for this philosophy, while maintaining its
traditions on the whole, to abandon the term _self_ to the finite
subject, and regard its absolute as a system of rational and universal
principles--self-sufficient because externally independent and
internally necessary. Hence the renewed study of categories as logical,
mathematical, or mechanical principles, and entirely apart from their
being the acts of a thinking self.

Furthermore, it has been recognized that the general demand of idealism
is met when reality is regarded as not outside of or other than
knowledge, whatever be true of the question of dependence. Thus the
conception of _experience_ is equally convenient here, in that it
signifies what is immediately present in knowledge, without affirming it
to _consist in_ being so presented.[411:11]

[Sidenote: Idealistic Tendencies in Realism. The Immanence Philosophy.]

§ 207. And at this point idealism is met by a latter-day realism. The
traditional modern realism springing from Descartes was dualistic. It
was supposed that reality in itself was essentially extra-mental, and
thus under the necessity of being either represented or misrepresented
in thought. But the one of these alternatives is dogmatic, in that
thought can never test the validity of its relation to that which is
perpetually outside of it; while the other is agnostic, providing only
for the knowledge of a world of appearance, an improper knowledge that
is in fact not knowledge at all.

But realism is not necessarily dualistic, since it requires only that
being shall not be dependent upon being known. Furthermore, since
empiricism is congenial to naturalism, it is an easy step to say that
nature is directly known in perception. This first takes the form of
positivism, or the theory that only such nature as can be directly known
can be really known. But this agnostic provision for an unknown world
beyond, inevitably falls away and leaves _reality as that which is
directly known, but not conditioned by knowledge_. Again the term
_experience_ is the most useful, and provides a common ground for
_idealistic realism_ with _realistic idealism_. A new epistemological
movement makes this conception of experience its starting-point. What is
known as the _immanence philosophy_ defines reality as experience, and
means by experience the subject matter of all knowledge--not defined as
such, but regarded as capable of being such. Experience is conceived to
be _both in and out_ of selves, cognition being but one of the special
systems into which experience may enter.[413:12]

[Sidenote: The Interpretation of Tradition as the Basis for a New

§ 208. Does this eclecticism of the age open any philosophical prospect?
Is it more than a general compromise--a confession of failure on the
part of each and every radical and clear-cut doctrine of metaphysics and
epistemology? There is no final answer to such a question short of an
independent construction, and such procedure would exceed the scope of
the present discussion. But there is an evident interpretation of
tradition that suggests a possible basis for such construction.

[Sidenote: The Truth of the Physical System, but Failure of Attempt to
Reduce All Experience to it.]

§ 209. Suppose it to be granted that the categories of nature are quite
self-sufficient. This would mean that there might conceivably be a
strictly physical order, governed only by mechanical principles, and by
the more general logical and mathematical principles. The body of
physical science so extended as to include such general conceptions as
identity, difference, number, quality, space, and time, is the account
of such an order. This order need have no value, and need not be known.
But reality as a whole is evidently not such a strictly physical order,
for the definition of the physical order involves the rejection of many
of the most familiar aspects of experience, such as its value and its
being known in conscious selves. Materialism, in that it proposes to
conceive the whole of reality as physical, must attempt to reduce the
residuum to physical terms, and with no hope of success. Goodness and
knowledge cannot be explained as mass and force, or shown to be
mechanical necessities.

[Sidenote: Truth of Psychical Relations, but Impossibility of General
Reduction to Them.]

§ 210. Are we then to conclude that reality is not physical, and look
for other terms to which we may reduce physical terms? There is no lack
of such other terms. Indeed, we could as fairly have _begun_ elsewhere.
Thus some parts of experience compose the consciousness of the
individual, and are said to be known by him. Experience so contained is
connected by the special relation of being known together. But this
relation is quite indifferent to physical, moral, and logical relations.
Thus we may be conscious of things which are physically disconnected,
morally repugnant, and logically contradictory, or in all of these
respects utterly irrelevant. Subjectivism, in that it proposes to
conceive the whole of reality as consciousness, must attempt to reduce
physical, moral, and logical relations to that co-presence in
consciousness from which they are so sharply distinguished in their very
definition. The historical failure of this attempt was inevitable.

[Sidenote: Truth of Logical and Ethical Principles. Validity of Ideal of
Perfection, but Impossibility of Deducing the Whole of Experience from

§ 211. But there is at least one further starting-point, the one
adopted by the most subtle and elaborate of all reconstructive
philosophies. Logical necessities are as evidently real as bodies or
selves. It is possible to define general types of inference, as well as
compact and internally necessary systems such as those of mathematics.
There is a perfectly distinguishable strain of pure rationality in the
universe. Whether or not it be possible to conceive a pure rationality
as self-subsistent, inasmuch as there are degrees it is at any rate
possible to conceive of a maximum of rationality. But similarly there
are degrees of moral goodness. It is possible to define with more or
less exactness a morally perfect person, or an ideal moral community.
Here again it may be impossible that pure and unalloyed goodness should
constitute a universe of itself. But that a maximum of goodness, with
all of the accessories which it might involve, should be thus
self-subsistent, is quite conceivable. It is thus possible to define an
absolute and perfect order, in which logical necessity, the interest of
thought, or moral goodness, the interest of will, or both together,
should be realized to the maximum. Absolutism conceives reality under
the form of this ideal, and attempts to reconstruct experience
accordingly. But is the prospect of success any better than in the cases
of materialism and subjectivism? It is evident that the ideal of logical
necessity is due to the fact that certain parts of knowledge approach it
more closely than others. Thus mechanics contains more that is arbitrary
than mathematics, and mathematics more than logic. Similarly, the theory
of the evolution of the planetary system, in that it requires the
assumption of particular distances and particular masses for the parts
of the primeval nebula, is more arbitrary than rational dynamics. It is
impossible, then, in view of the parts of knowledge which belong to the
lower end of the scale of rationality, to regard reality as a whole as
the maximum of rationality; for either a purely dynamical, a purely
mathematical, or a purely logical, realm would be more rational. The
similar disproof of the moral perfection of reality is so unmistakable
as to require no elucidation. It is evident that even where natural
necessities are not antagonistic to moral proprieties, they are at any
rate indifferent to them.

[Sidenote: Error and Evil Cannot be Reduced to the Ideal.]

§ 212. But thus far no reference has been made to error and to evil.
These are the terms which the ideals of rationality and goodness must
repudiate if they are to retain their meaning. Nevertheless experience
contains them and psychology describes them. We have already followed
the efforts which absolute idealism has made to show that logical
perfection requires error, and that moral perfection requires evil. Is
it conceivable that such efforts should be successful? Suppose a higher
logic to make the principle of contradiction the very bond of
rationality. What was formerly error is now indispensable to truth. But
what of the new error--the unbalanced and mistaken thesis, the
unresolved antithesis, the scattered and disconnected terms of thought?
These fall outside the new truth as surely as the old error fell outside
the old truth. And the case of moral goodness is precisely parallel. The
higher goodness may be so defined as to require failure and sin. Thus it
may be maintained that there can be no true success without struggle,
and no true spiritual exaltation except through repentance. But what of
failure unredeemed, sin unrepented, evil uncompensated and unresolved?
Nothing has been gained after all but a new definition of goodness--and
a new definition of evil. And this is an ethical, not a metaphysical
question. The problem of evil, like the problem of error, is as far from
solution as ever. Indeed, the very urgency of these problems is due to
metaphysical absolutism. For this philosophy defines the universe as a
perfect unity. Measured by the standard of such an ideal universe, the
parts of finite experience take on a fragmentary and baffling character
which they would not otherwise possess. The absolute perfection must by
definition both determine and exclude the imperfect. Thus absolutism
bankrupts the universe by holding it accountable for what it can never

[Sidenote: Collective Character of the Universe as a Whole.]

§ 213. If the attempt to construct experience in the special terms of
some part of experience be abandoned, how is reality to be defined? It
is evident that in that case there can be no definition of reality as
such. It must be regarded as a collection of all elements, relations,
principles, systems, that compose it. All truths will be true of it, and
it will be the subject of all truths. Reality is at least physical,
psychical, moral, and rational. That which is physical is not
necessarily moral or psychical, but may be either or both of these. Thus
it is a commonplace of experience that what has bulk and weight may or
may not be good, and may or may not be known. Similarly, that which is
psychical may or may not be physical, moral, or rational; and that which
is moral or rational may or may not be physical and psychical. There is,
then, an indeterminism in the universe, a mere coincidence of
principles, in that it contains physical, psychical, moral, logical
orders, without being in all respects either a physical, a psychical, a
moral, or a logical necessity.[420:13] Reality or experience itself is
neutral in the sense of being exclusively predetermined by no one of the
several systems it contains. But the different systems of experience
retain their specific and proper natures, without the compromise which
is involved in all attempts to extend some one until it shall embrace
them all. If such a universe seems inconceivably desultory and chaotic,
one may always remind one's self by directly consulting experience that
it is not only found immediately and unreflectively, but returned to and
lived in after every theoretical excursion.

[Sidenote: Moral Implications of such a Pluralistic Philosophy. Purity
of the Good.]

§ 214. But what implications for life would be contained in such a
philosophy? Even if it be theoretically clarifying, through being
hospitable to all differences and adequate to the multifarious demands
of experience, is it not on that very account morally dreary and
stultifying? Is not its refusal to establish the universe upon moral
foundations destructive both of the validity of goodness, and of the
incentive to its attainment? Certainly not--if the validity of goodness
be determined by criteria of worth, and if the incentive to goodness be
the possibility of making that which merely exists, or is necessary,
also good.

This philosophy does not, it is true, define the good, but it makes
ethics autonomous, thus distinguishing the good which it defines, and
saving it from compromise with matter-of-fact, and logical or mechanical
necessity. The criticism of life is founded upon an independent basis,
and affords justification, of a selective and exclusive moral idealism.
Just because it is not required that the good shall be held accountable
for whatever is real, the ideal can be kept pure and intrinsically
worthy. The analogy of logic is most illuminating. If it be insisted
that whatever exists is logically necessary, logical necessity must be
made to embrace that from which it is distinguished by definition, such
as contradiction, mere empirical existence, and error. The consequence
is a logical chaos which has in truth forfeited the name of logic.
Similarly a goodness defined to make possible the deduction from it of
moral evil or moral indifference loses the very distinguishing
properties of goodness. The consequence is an ethical neutrality which
invalidates the moral will. A metaphysical neutrality, on the other
hand, although denying that reality as such is predestined to
morality--and thus affording no possibility of an ethical
absolutism--becomes the true ground for an ethical purism.

[Sidenote: The Incentive to Goodness.]

§ 215. But, secondly, there can be no lack of incentive to goodness in a
universe which, though not all-good, is in no respect incapable of
becoming good. That which is mechanically or logically necessary, and
that which is psychically present, _may be good_. And what can the
realization of goodness mean if not that what is natural and necessary,
actual and real, shall be also good. The world is not good, will not be
good, merely through being what it is, but is or shall be made good
through the accession of goodness. It is this belief that the real is
not necessarily, but may be, good; that the ideal is not necessarily,
but may be, realized; which has inspired every faith in action.
Philosophically it is only a question of permitting such faith to be
sincere, or condemning it as shallow. If the world be made good through
good-will, then the faith of moral action is rational; but if the world
be good because whatever is must be good, then moral action is a
tread-mill, and its attendant and animating faith only self-deception.
Moral endeavor is the elevation of physical and psychical existence to
the level of goodness.

     "Relate the inheritance to life, convert the tradition into a
     servant of character, draw upon the history for support in the
     struggles of the spirit, declare a war of extermination
     against the total evil of the world; and then raise new armies
     and organize into fighting force every belief available in the
     faith that has descended to you."[423:14]

Evil is here a practical, not a theoretical, problem. It is not to be
solved by thinking it good, for to think it good is to deaden the very
nerve of action; but by destroying it and replacing it with good.

[Sidenote: The Justification of Faith.]

§ 216. The justification of faith is in the promise of reality. For
what, after all, would be the meaning of a faith which declares that all
things, good, bad, and indifferent, are everlastingly and necessarily
what they are--even if it were concluded on philosophical grounds to
call that ultimate necessity good. Faith has interests; faith is faith
_in_ goodness or beauty. Then what more just and potent cause of despair
than the thought that the ideal must be held accountable for error,
ugliness, and evil, or for the indifferent necessities of
nature?[424:15] Are ideals to be prized the less, or believed in the
less, when there is no ground for their impeachment? How much more
hopeful for what is worth the hoping, that nature should discern ideals
and take some steps toward realizing them, than that ideals should have
created nature--such as it is! How much better a report can we give of
nature for its ideals, than of the ideals for their handiwork, if it be
nature! Emerson writes:

     "Suffice it for the joy of the universe that we have not
     arrived at a wall, but at interminable oceans. Our life seems
     not present so much as prospective; not for the affairs on
     which it is wasted, but as a hint of this vast-flowing vigor.
     Most of life seems to be mere advertisement of faculty;
     information is given us not to sell ourselves cheap; that we
     are very great. So, in particulars, our greatness is always in
     a tendency or direction, not in an action. It is for us to
     believe in the rule, not in the exception. The noble are thus
     known from the ignoble. So in accepting the leading of the
     sentiments, it is not what we believe concerning the
     immortality of the soul or the like, but _the universal
     impulse to believe_, that is the material circumstance and is
     the principal fact in the history of the globe."[425:16]

[Sidenote: The Worship and Service of God.]

§ 217. If God be rid of the imputation of moral evil and indifference,
he may be _intrinsically worshipful_, because regarded under the form of
the highest ideals. And if the great cause of goodness be in fact at
stake, God may both command the adoration of men through his purity, and
reënforce their virtuous living through representing to them that
realization of goodness in the universe at large which both contains and
exceeds their individual endeavor.

[Sidenote: The Philosopher and the Standards of the Marketplace.]

§ 218. Bishop Berkeley wrote in his "Commonplace Book":

     "My speculations have the same effect as visiting foreign
     countries: in the end I return where I was before, but my
     heart at ease, and enjoying life with new satisfaction."

If it be essential to the meaning of philosophy that it should issue
from life, it is equally essential that it should return to life. But
this connection of philosophy with life does not mean its reduction to
the terms of life as conceived in the market-place. Philosophy cannot
emanate from life, and quicken life, without elevating and ennobling it,
and will therefore always be incommensurable with life narrowly
conceived. Hence the philosopher must always be as little understood by
men of the street as was Thales by the Thracian handmaiden. He has an
innocence and a wisdom peculiar to his perspective.

     "When he is reviled, he has nothing personal to say in answer
     to the civilities of his adversaries, for he knows no scandals
     of anyone, and they do not interest him; and therefore he is
     laughed at for his sheepishness; and when others are being
     praised and glorified, he cannot help laughing very sincerely
     in the simplicity of his heart; and this again makes him look
     like a fool. When he hears a tyrant or king eulogized, he
     fancies that he is listening to the praises of some keeper of
     cattle--a swineherd, or shepherd, or cowherd, who is being
     praised for the quantity of milk which he squeezes from them;
     and he remarks that the creature whom they tend, and out of
     whom they squeeze the wealth, is of a less tractable and more
     insidious nature. Then, again, he observes that the great man
     is of necessity as ill-mannered and uneducated as any
     shepherd, for he has no leisure, and he is surrounded by a
     wall, which is his mountain-pen. Hearing of enormous landed
     proprietors of ten thousand acres and more, our philosopher
     deems this to be a trifle, because he has been accustomed to
     think of the whole earth; and when they sing the praises of
     family, and say that some one is a gentleman because he has
     had seven generations of wealthy ancestors, he thinks that
     their sentiments only betray the dulness and narrowness of
     vision of those who utter them, and who are not educated
     enough to look at the whole, nor to consider that every man
     has had thousands and thousands of progenitors, and among them
     have been rich and poor, kings and slaves, Hellenes and
     barbarians, many times over."[427:17]

It is not to be expected that the opinion of the "narrow, keen, little,
legal mind" should appreciate the philosophy which has acquired the
"music of speech," and hymns "the true life which is lived by immortals
or men blessed of heaven." Complacency cannot understand reverence, nor
secularism, religion.

[Sidenote: The Secularism of the Present Age.]

§ 219. If we may believe the report of a contemporary philosopher, the
present age is made insensible to the meaning of life through
preoccupation with its very achievements:

     "The world of finite interests and objects has rounded itself,
     as it were, into a separate whole, within which the mind of
     man can fortify itself, and live _securus adversus deos_, in
     independence of the infinite. In the sphere of _thought_,
     there has been forming itself an ever-increasing body of
     science, which, tracing out the relation of finite things to
     finite things, never finds it necessary to seek for a
     beginning or an end to its infinite series of phenomena, and
     which meets the claims of theology with the saying of the
     astronomer, 'I do not need that hypothesis.' In the sphere of
     _action_, again, the complexity of modern life presents a
     thousand isolated interests, crossing each other in ways too
     subtle to trace out--interests commercial, social, and
     political--in pursuing one or other of which the individual
     may find ample occupation for his existence, without ever
     feeling the need of any return upon himself, or seeing any
     reason to ask himself whether this endless striving has any
     meaning or object beyond itself."[428:18]

[Sidenote: The Value of Contemplation for Life.]

§ 220. There is no dignity in living except it be in the solemn presence
of the universe; and only contemplation can summon such a presence.
Moreover, the sessions must be not infrequent, for memory is short and
visions fade. Truth does not require, however, to be followed out of the
world. There is a speculative detachment from life which is less
courageous, even if more noble, than worldliness. Such is Dante's
exalted but mediæval intellectualism.

     "And it may be said that (as true friendship between men
     consists in each wholly loving the other) the true philosopher
     loves every part of wisdom, and wisdom every part of the
     philosopher, inasmuch as she draws all to herself, and allows
     no one of his thoughts to wander to other things."

Even though, as Aristotle thought, pure contemplation be alone proper to
the gods in their perfection and blessedness, for the sublunary world
this is less worthy than that balance and unity of faculty which
distinguished the humanity of the Greek.

     "Then," writes Thucydides, "we are lovers of the beautiful,
     yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without
     loss of manliness. Wealth we employ, not for talk and
     ostentation, but when there is a real use for it. To avoid
     poverty with us is no disgrace; the true disgrace is in doing
     nothing to avoid it. An Athenian citizen does not neglect the
     State because he takes care of his own household; and even
     those of us who are engaged in business have a very fair idea
     of politics. We alone regard a man who takes no interest in
     public affairs not as a harmless, but as a useless character;
     and if few of us are originators, we are all sound judges, of
     a policy. The great impediment to action is, in our opinion,
     not discussion, but the want of that knowledge which is gained
     by discussion preparatory to action. For we have a peculiar
     power of thinking before we act, and of acting too, whereas
     other men are courageous from ignorance, but hesitate upon

Thus life may be broadened and deepened without being made thin and
ineffectual. As the civil community is related to the individual's
private interests, so the community of the universe is related to the
civil community. There is a citizenship in this larger community which
requires a wider and more generous interest, rooted in a deeper and more
quiet reflection. The world, however, is not to be left behind, but
served with a new sense of proportion, with the peculiar fortitude and
reverence which are the proper fruits of philosophy.

     "This is that which will indeed dignify and exalt knowledge,
     if contemplation and action may be more nearly and straitly
     conjoined and united together than they have been; a
     conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets: Saturn,
     the planet of rest and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet
     of civil society and action."[430:20]


[402:1] Cf. Josiah Royce: _The Spirit of Modern Philosophy_, Lecture
XII; _The World and the Individual, Second Series_.

[403:2] Cf. Hugo Münsterberg: _Psychology and Life_. The more important
writings of this school are: _Die Philosophie im Beginn des zwanzigsten
Jahrhunderts_, edited by Wilhelm Windelband, and contributed to by
Windelband, H. Rickert, O. Liebmann, E. Troeltsch, B. Bauch, and others.
This book contains an excellent bibliography. Also, Rickert: _Der
Gegenstand der Erkenntnis_; _Die Grenzen der naturwissenschaftlichen
Begriffsbildung_, and other works. Windelband: _Präludien_; _Geschichte
und Naturwissenschaft_. Münsterberg: _Grundzüge der Psychologie_.
Eucken: _Die Grundbegriffe der Gegenwart_.

[403:3] Cf. F. A. Lange: _History of Materialism_, Book II, Chap. I, on
_Kant and Materialism_; also Alois Riehl: _Introduction to the Theory of
Science and Metaphysics_. Translation by Fairbanks. The more important
writings of this school are: Hermann Cohen: _Kant's Theorie der
Erfahrung_; _Die Logik der reinen Erkenntniss_, and other works. Paul
Natorp: _Sozialpädagogik_; _Einleitung in die Psychologie nach
kritischer Methode_, and other works. E. Cassirer: _Leibniz' System in
seinen wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen_. Riehl: _Der philosophische
Kriticismus, und seine Bedeutung für die Positive Wissenschaft_. Cf.
also E. Husserl: _Logische Untersuchungen_.

[404:4] Cf. J. M. E. McTaggart: _Studies in Hegelian Cosmology_, Chap.

[404:5] Cf. Royce: _The Conception of God, Supplementary Essay_, pp.
135-322; _The World and the Individual, First Series_.

[405:6] This movement began as a criticism of Hegelianism in behalf of
the human personality. Cf. Andrew Seth: _Hegelianism and Personality_;
_Man and the Cosmos_; _Two Lectures on Theism_. G. H. Howison: _The
Limits of Evolution_. The important writings of the more independent
movement are: William James: _The Will to Believe_. H. Sturt, editor:
_Personal Idealism, Philosophical Essays by Eight Members of Oxford
University_. F. C. S. Schiller: _Humanism_. Henri Bergson: _Essai sur
les données immédiates de la conscience_; _Matière et mémoire_. This
movement is closely related to that of _Pragmatism_. See under § 203.

[406:7] Cf. Bertrand Russell: _Principles of Mathematics_, Vol. I. Among
the more important writings of this movement are the following:
Giuseppi Peano: _Formulaire de Mathématique_, published by the _Rivista
di matematica_, Tom. I-IV. Richard Dedekind: _Was sind und was
sollen die Zahlen?_ Georg Cantor: _Grundlagen einer allgemeinen
Mannigfaltigkeitslehre_. Louis Couturat: _De l'Infini Mathématique_, and
articles in _Revue de Metaphysique et de Morale_. A. N. Whitehead: _A
Treatise on Universal Algebra_. Heinrich Hertz: _Die Prinzipien der
Mechanik_. Henri Poincaré: _La Science et l'Hypothèse_. For the bearing
of these investigations on philosophy, see Royce: _The Sciences of the
Ideal_, in _Science_, Vol. XX, No. 510.

[407:8] The term used by Karl Pearson in his _Grammar of Science_.

[408:9] The important English writings of the recent independent
movement known as _pragmatism_ are: C. S. Peirce: _Illustrations of the
Logic of Science_, in _Popular Science Monthly_, Vol. XII. W. James:
_The Pragmatic Method_, in _Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and
Scientific Methods_, Vol. I; _Humanism and Truth_, in _Mind_, Vol. XIII,
N. S.; _The Essence of Humanism_, in _Jour. of Phil., Psych., and Sc.
Meth._, Vol. II (with bibliography); _The Will to Believe_. John Dewey:
_Studies in Logical Theory_. W. Caldwell: _Pragmatism_, in _Mind_, Vol.
XXV., N. S. See also literature on _personal idealism_, § 201. A similar
tendency has appeared in France in Bergson, LeRoy, Milhaud, and in
Germany in Simmel.

[410:10] Cf. Ernst Mach: _Analysis of Sensation_. Translation by

[411:11] Cf. F. H. Bradley: _Appearance and Reality_.

[413:12] Cf. Carstanjen: _Richard Avenarius, and his General Theory of
Knowledge, Empiriocriticism_. Translation by H. Bosanquet, in _Mind_,
Vol. VI, N. S. Also James: _Does Consciousness Exist?_ and _A World of
Pure Experience_, in _Jour. of Phil., Psych., and Sc. Meth_., Vol. I;
_The Thing and its Relations_, _ibid._, Vol. II.

The standard literature of this movement is unfortunately not available
in English. Among the more important writings are: R. Avenarius: _Kritik
der reinen Erfahrung_; _Der menschliche Weltbegriff_, and other works.
Joseph Petzoldt: _Einführung in die Philosophie der reinen Erfahrung_.
Ernst Mach: _Die Analyse der Empfindung und das Verhältniss des
Physischen zum Psychischen, 2. Auff._ Wilhelm Schuppe: _Grundriss der
Erkenntnisstheorie und Logik_. Friedrich Carstanjen: _Einführung in die
"Kritik der reinen Erfahrung"_--an exposition of Avenarius. Also
articles by the above, R. Willy, R. v. Schubert-Soldern, and others, in
the _Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie_.

[420:13] It is not, of course, denied that there may be other orders,
such as, _e. g._, an æsthetic order; or that there may be definite
relations between these orders, such as, _e. g._, the psycho-physical

[423:14] Quoted from George A. Gordon: _The New Epoch for Faith_, p. 27.

[424:15] Cf. James: _The Will to Believe_, essay on _The Dilemma of
Determinism, passim_.

[425:16] _Essays, Second Series_, p. 75.

[427:17] Plato: _Theætetus_, 174-175. Translation by Jowett.

[428:18] E. Caird: _Literature and Philosophy_, Vol. I, pp. 218-219.

[429:19] Translation by Jowett. Quoted by Laurie in his _Pre-Christian
Education_, p. 213.

[430:20] Bacon: _Advancement of Learning_, Book I.


The references contained in this bibliography have been selected on the
score of availability in English for the general reader and beginning
student of philosophy. But I have sought wherever possible to include
passages from the great philosophers and men of letters. These are
placed first in the list, followed by references to contemporary writers
and secondary sources.


PLATO: _Republic_, especially Book VII. Translations by Jowett and
Vaughan. _Theaetetus_, 172 ff. Translation by Jowett.

ARISTOTLE: _Ethics_, Book X. Translation by Welldon.

MARCUS AURELIUS: _Thoughts._ Translation by Long.

EPICTETUS: _Discourses._ Translation by Long.

BACON: _The Advancement of Learning._

EMERSON: _Representative Men--Plato; or the Philosopher._ _Conduct of
Life--Culture._ _Essays, Second Series--Experience._

       *       *       *       *       *

ROYCE, JOSIAH: _Spirit of Modern Philosophy._ Introduction.

HIBBEN, J. G.: _Problems of Philosophy._ Introduction.


PLATO: _Republic_, Books II and III. Translation by Jowett. (Criticism
of the poets as demoralizing.)

WORDSWORTH: _Observations Prefixed to the Second Edition of the Lyrical

SHELLEY: _Defence of Poetry._

EVERETT, C. C.: _Poetry, Comedy, and Duty._ (discussion of the
Philosophy of Poetry.) _Essays, Theological and Literary._ (On the
Poetry of Emerson, Goethe, Tennyson, Browning.)

CAIRD, EDWARD: _Literature and Philosophy._ (Wordsworth, Dante, Goethe,

ROYCE, JOSIAH: _Studies of Good and Evil._ Essay on _Tennyson and

SANTAYANA, GEORGE: _Poetry and Religion._ (Philosophy of poetry; Greek
Poetry, Shakespeare, etc.)

SNEATH, E. H.: _Philosophy in Poetry: A Study of Sir John Davies's Poem,
"Nosce Teipsum."_


PLATO: _Republic_, Book III. Translations by Jowett and Vaughan.
(Criticism of religion from the stand-point of morality and politics.)

ST. AUGUSTINE: _Confessions._ Translation by Pusey. (Document of
religious experience.)

THOMAS À KEMPIS: _Imitation of Christ._ Translation by Stanhope.
(Mediæval programme of personal religion.)

SPINOZA: _Theological-political Treatise._ Translation by Elwes. (One of
the first great pleas for religious liberty and one of the first
attempts to define the _essential_ in religion.)

KANT: _Critique of Pure Reason--the Canon of Pure Reason_. Translation
by Max Müller. _Critique of Practical Reason._ Translation by Abbott in
_Theory of Ethics_. (Defines religion as the province of faith,
distinguishes it from knowledge, and relates it to morality.)

SCHLEIERMACHER: _On Religion._ _Speeches to its Cultured Despisers._
Translation by Oman. (Ponderous, dogmatic in its philosophy, but
profound and sympathetic in its understanding of religion.)

ARNOLD: _Literature and Dogma._ (On the essence of religion as
exemplified in Judaism and Christianity.)

       *       *       *       *       *

SABATIER, A.: _Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion based on Psychology
and History._ Translation by Seed. _Religions of Authority and the
Religion of the Spirit._ Translation by Houghton. (These books emphasize
the essential importance of the believer's attitude to God.)

JAMES, WILLIAM: _The Varieties of Religious Experience._ (A rich
storehouse of religion, sympathetically interpreted.)

EVERETT, C. C.: _The Psychological Elements of Religious Faith._ (A
study in the definition and meaning of religion.)

CAIRD, EDWARD: _Evolution of Religion._ (Indoctrinated with the author's
idealistic philosophy.)

FIELDING, H.: _The Hearts of Men._ (A plea for the universal religion.
Special feeling for Indian religions.)

HARNACK, A.: _What is Christianity?_ Translation by Saunders. (Attempt
to define the _essence_ of Christianity.)

PALMER, G. H.: _The Field of Ethics_, Chapters V and VI. (On the
relation of ethics and religion.)

BROWN, W. A.: _The Essence of Christianity._ (Special study of the
definition of religion.)

JASTROW, M.: _The Study of Religion._ (Method of history and psychology
of religion.)

SMITH, W. ROBERTSON: _The Religion of the Semites._ (Excellent study of
tribal religions.)

CLARKE, W. N.: _What Shall We Think of Christianity?_ (An interpretation
of Christianity.)

LEUBA, J. H.: _Introduction to a Psychological Study of Religion._ In
_The Monist_, Vol. XI, p. 195.

STARBUCK, E. D.: _The Psychology of Religion._


PLATO: _Republic_, Book VII, 526 ff. Translations by Jowett and Vaughan.
_Phaedo_, 96 ff. Translation by Jowett.

BERKELEY: _Alciphron_, the Fourth Dialogue. _Siris_, especially 234-264.
(On the failure of the scientist to grasp the deeper truth respecting
causes and substances.)

DESCARTES: _Discourse on Method._ Translation by Veitch.

SPINOZA: _On the Improvement of the Understanding._ Translation by

KANT: _Critique of Pure Reason--Transcendental Æsthetic_ and
_Transcendental Analytic._ Translation by Max Müller. (Studies of the
Method of Science.)

       *       *       *       *       *

WARD, JAMES: _Naturalism and Agnosticism._ (Full but clear account of
recent development of natural science, and criticism of its use as

MACH, ERNST: _Science of Mechanics._ (Historical and methodological.)

JAMES, WILLIAM: _Principles of Psychology_, Vol. II, Chap. xxviii.
(Emphasizes the practical interest underlying science.)

ROYCE, JOSIAH: _The World and the Individual, Second Series, Man and
Nature._ (Interpretation of the province of natural science from the
stand-point of absolute idealism.)

PEARSON, KARL: _The Grammar of Science._ (The limits of science from the
scientific stand-point.)

CLIFFORD, W. K.: _Lectures and Essays: On the Aims and Instruments of
Scientific Thought; The Philosophy of the Pure Sciences; On the Ethics
of Belief._

HUXLEY, T. H.: _Method and Results._ (The positivistic position.)

MUENSTERBERG, HUGO: _Psychology and Life._ (Epistemological limitations
of natural science applied to psychology, from idealistic stand-point.)

FULLERTON, G. E.: _A System of Metaphysics_, Part II.

TAYLOR, A. E.: _Elements of Metaphysics_, Book III.


PLATO: _Dialogues_, especially _Protagoras_ and _Theaetetus_.
Translation by Jowett. (The actual genesis of special problems.)

       *       *       *       *       *

KUELPE, OSWALD: _Introduction to Philosophy._ Translation by Pillsbury
and Titchener. (Full and accurate account of the traditional terms and
doctrines of philosophy.)

HIBBEN, J. G.: _Problems of Philosophy._ (Brief and elementary.)

SIDGWICK, HENRY: _Philosophy, its Scope and Relations._

PAULSEN, FRIEDRICH: _Introduction to Philosophy._ Translation by Thilly.

BALDWIN, J. M.: _Dictionary of Philosophy._ (Full, and convenient for

FERRIER, J. F.: _Lectures on Greek Philosophy._ (Interpretation of the
beginning and early development of philosophy.)

BURNET, J.: _Early Greek Philosophy._ Translation of the sources.

FAIRBANKS, A.: _The First Philosophers of Greece._

GOMPERZ, TH.: _Greek Thinkers_, Vol. I. Translation by Magnus. (On the
first development of philosophical problems.)

PALMER, G. H.: _The Field of Ethics._ (On the relations of the ethical

PUFFER, ETHEL: _The Psychology of Beauty._ (On the relations of the
æsthetical problem.)


LUCRETIUS: _On the Nature of Things._ Translation by Munro. (Early

HOBBES: _Metaphysical System._ Edited by Calkins. _Leviathan_, Part I.
(Modern materialism.)

       *       *       *       *       *

BUECHNER, LOUIS: _Force and Matter._ Translation by Collingwood.
(Nineteenth century materialism.)

JANET, PAUL: _Materialism of the Present Day._ Translation by Masson.

LANGE, F. A.: _History of Materialism._ Translation by Thomas.

HAECKEL, ERNST: _The Riddle of the Universe._ Translation by McCabe.
("Monism of Energy.")

CLIFFORD, W. K.: _Lectures and Essays: The Ethics of Belief; Cosmic
Emotion; Body and Mind._ (Positivism.)

HUXLEY, T. H.: _Evolution and Ethics; Prolegomena._ (Distinguishes
between the moral and natural.) _Science and Hebrew Tradition_; _Science
and Christian Tradition_. (Controversies of the naturalist with
Gladstone and Duke of Argyle.)

SPENCER, HERBERT: _First Principles._ (The systematic evolutionary
philosophy.) _Principles of Ethics._ (Ethics of naturalism.) _The Nature
and Reality of Religion._ (Controversy with Frederick Harrison.)

BALFOUR, A. J.: _Foundations of Belief_, Part I. (On the religious,
moral, and æsthetic consequences of naturalism.)

PATER, WALTER: _Marius the Epicurean._ (Refined hedonism.)

ROMANES, G. J.: _Thoughts on Religion._ (Approached from stand-point of

BENTHAM, J.: _Introduction to the Principles of Morals and
Legislation._ (Utilitarian.)

STEPHEN, L.: _Science of Ethics._ (Evolutionary and social.)


PLATO: _Theaetetus._ Translation by Jowett. (Exposition and criticism of

BERKELEY: _Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous_; _Principles of
Human Knowledge_.

HUME: _An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding._

SCHOPENHAUER: _The World as Will and Idea._ Translation by Haldane and

MILL, J. S.: _An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy_,

       *       *       *       *       *

CLIFFORD, W. K.: _Lectures and Essays: On the Nature of Things in
Themselves._ (Panpsychism.)

DEUSSEN, PAUL: _Elements of Metaphysics._ Translation by Duff.
(Following Schopenhauer and Oriental philosophy.)

PAULSEN, FR.: _Introduction to Philosophy._ (Panpsychism.)

STRONG, C. A.: _Why the Mind Has a Body._ (Panpsychism.)

JAMES, WILLIAM: _Reflex Action and Theism_, in _The Will to Believe_.
(Morality and religion of individualism.)


PARMENIDES: _Fragments._ Arrangement and translation by Burnet or

PLATO: _Republic_, Books VI and VII. Translations by Jowett and Vaughan.
_Symposium_, _Phædrus_, _Phædo_, _Philebus_. Translation by Jowett.

ARISTOTLE[437:A]: _Psychology._ Translations by Hammond and Wallace.
_Ethics._ Translation by Welldon.

SPINOZA: _Ethics_, especially Parts I and V. Translations by Elwes and

LEIBNIZ: _Monadology_, and Selections. Translation by Latta. _Discourse
on Metaphysics._ Translation by Montgomery.

MARCUS AURELIUS: _Thoughts._ Translation by Long.

EPICTETUS: _Discourses._ Translation by Long.

       *       *       *       *       *

CAIRD, EDWARD: _The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers._
(The central conceptions of Plato and Aristotle.)

JOACHIM: _A Study of the Ethics of Spinoza._


DESCARTES: _Meditations._ Translation by Veitch.

KANT: _Critique of Pure Reason._ Translation by Max Müller. _Critique of
Practical Reason._ Translation by Abbott, in Kant's _Theory of Ethics_.

FICHTE[437:A]: _Science of Ethics._ Translation by Kroeger. _Popular
Works: The Nature of the Scholar_; _The Vocation of Man_; _The Doctrine
of Religion_. Translation by Smith.

SCHILLER: _Æsthetic Letters, Essays, and Philosophical Letters._
Translation by Weiss. (Romanticism.)

HEGEL[437:A]: _Ethics._ Translation by Sterrett. _Logic._ Translation,
with Introduction, by Wallace. _Philosophy of Mind._ Translation, with
Introduction, by Wallace. _Philosophy of Religion._ Translation by
Spiers and Sanderson. _Philosophy of Right._ Translation by Dyde.

GREEN, T. H.: _Prolegomena to Ethics._

EMERSON: _The Conduct of Life--Fate._ _Essays, First Series--The
Over-Soul; Circles._ _Essays, Second Series--The Poet; Experience;
Nature._ (The appreciation of life consistent with absolute idealism.)

WORDSWORTH: _Poems_, _passim_.

COLERIDGE: _Aids to Reflection._ _The Friend._

ROYCE, J.: _Spirit of Modern Philosophy._ (Sympathetic exposition of
Kant, Fichte, Romanticism, and Hegel.) _The Conception of God._ (The
epistemological argument.) _The World and the Individual, First Series._
(Systematic development of absolute idealism; its moral and religious

CAIRD, EDWARD: _The Critical Philosophy of Kant._ (Exposition and
interpretation from stand-point of later idealism.)

EVERETT, C. C.: _Fichte's Science of Knowledge._

MCTAGGART, J. M. E.: _Studies in Hegelian Dialectic._ Studies in
Hegelian Cosmology.


[434:A] For further contemporary writings on this topic, see foot-notes
under §§ 199, 200, 203.

[436:A] For histories of philosophy, see supplementary bibliography at

[437:A] The Metaphysics of Aristotle, Fichte, and Hegel must be found by
the English reader mainly in the secondary sources.



ROGERS: _Student's History of Philosophy._ (Elementary and clear;
copious quotations.)

WEBER: _History of Philosophy._ Translation by Thilly. (Comprehensive
and compact.)

WINDELBAND: _A History of Philosophy._ Translation by Tufts. (Emphasis
upon the problems and their development.)

ERDMANN: _History of Philosophy._ Translation edited by Hough; in three
volumes. (Detailed and accurate exposition.)

UEBERWEG: _A History of Philosophy._ Translation by Morris and Porter,
in two volumes. (Very complete; excellent account of the literature.)


FERRIER: _Lectures on Greek Philosophy._ (Excellent introduction.)

MARSHALL: _Short History of Greek Philosophy._ (Brief and clear.)

WINDELBAND: _History of Ancient Philosophy._ Translation by Cushman.
(Very accurate and scholarly; also brief.)

ZELLER: _Pre-Socratic Philosophy._ Translation by Alleyne. _Socrates and
the Socratic Schools._ Translation by Reichel. (Full and accurate.)

GOMPERZ: _Greek Thinkers._ Translated by Magnus, in four volumes. (Very
full; especially on Plato. Goes no further than Plato.)

BURNET: _Early Greek Philosophy._ (Translations of fragments, with

FAIRBANKS: _The First Philosophers of Greece._ (Translations of
fragments, with commentary.)

TURNER: _History of Philosophy._ (Excellent account of Scholastic

ROYCE: _The Spirit of Modern Philosophy._ (Very illuminating
introductory exposition of modern idealism.)

FALCKENBERG: _History of Modern Philosophy._

HOEFFDING: _History of Modern Philosophy._ Translation by Meyer, in two
volumes. (Full and good.)


  ABSOLUTE, the, 307, 309, 332, 391, 392, 400, 404;
    being, 308;
    substance, 312;
    ideal, 326;
    spirit, 349 (_note_), 358 ff.;
    mind, 349 (_note_), 358, 380, 322 ff.

    general meaning, 177, 349 (_note_), 400;
    criticism of, 349, 365, 385, 411, 416;
    epistemology of, 368 ff.;
    as related to Kant, 380;
    direct argument for, 383;
    ethics of, 386 ff.;
    religion of, 390 ff.;
    of present day, 402 ff., 410.

    general meaning, 306 (_note_), 400;
    epistemology of, 339;
    ethics of, 342;
    religion of, 346;
    criticism of, 338, 416.

  ABSTRACT, the, 139.

  ACTIVITY, 209, 285, 295.


  AGNOSTICISM, 168, 252 ff.

    quoted, 162.




  APPRECIATION, 25, 402.

  ARISTOTLE, in formal logic, 186;
    ethics of, 195, 345;
    psychology of, 208;
    philosophy of, 306, 332 ff.;
    and Plato, 333, 336;
    and Spinoza, 336;
    epistemology of, 339;
    religion of, 346, 429;
    on evil, 353.

  ATOMISM, 166, 229.
    Also see under LEUCIPPUS, and DEMOCRITUS.


  ATTRIBUTE, in Spinoza, 312 ff.

    on communion with God, 68;
    on pietism, 195;
    his conception of self, 372.


  BAAL, religion of, 88.

  BACON, FRANCIS, on thought and action, 430.

  BALFOUR, A. J., on materialism, 264.

  BEAUTY, in æsthetics, 189;
    in Plato, 327, 332.

  BEING, Eleatic conception of, 308 ff.

  BELIEF, key to definition of religion, 58;
    general characters applied to religion, 59 ff.;
    in persons and dispositions, 62;
    examples of religions, 66 ff.;
    object of religions, 65, 82, 97;
    relation to logic, 182, 183.

  BENTHAM, 262.

  BERKELEY, on idealism, 176;
    relation to common-sense, 267;
    his refutation of material substance, 275 ff.;
    epistemology of, 277, 296, 369;
    theory of mathematics, 279;
    his spiritualism, 280, 284, 292;
    his conception of God, 284, 293;
    ethics of, 302;
    religion of, 304.


  CAUSE, in science, 131;
    God as first, 203;
    of motion, 231 ff.;
    spirit as, 293 ff.

  CHRISTIANITY, persistence of, 76;
    essence of, 86;
    development from Judaism, 94;
    ethics of, 195, 198, 386;
    idea of God in, 200 ff., 205;
    emphasis on self-consciousness in, 372.

  COMTE, 115.


  CONVERSION, 69 ff.

    processes of, 225;
    Berkeley's critique of, 278;
    historical conceptions of, 229.

  COSMOLOGICAL PROOF, the, of God, 203.

  COSMOLOGY, general meaning of, 159;
    mechanism in, 161, 225;
    teleology in, 161.

  COSMOS, origin of, 242.


  CYNICISM, 259.


  DANTE, as philosopher-poet, 42 ff.;
    general meaning of the _Divine Comedy_, 43;
    and Thomas Aquinas, 43, 46;
    his vision of the ways of God, 46;
    on contemplation, 428.

  DARWIN, 204.

  DEISM, 207.

    Also see ATOMISM.

  DESCARTES, on function of philosophy, 154;
    dualism of, 272, 412;
    his theory of space and matter, 229;
    automatism of, 248;
    epistemology of, 341, 375;
    his conception of self, 374.

  DESCRIPTION, as method of science, 128.

  DIALECTIC, in Plato, 320;
    in Hegel, 361.

  DIOGENES, 259.


  DUALISM, general meaning, 162;
    of Descartes, 272, 412.

  DUTY, 196, 356, 360, 386.

  ECLECTICISM, contemporary, 398 ff., 413.

    See under PARMENIDES, and ZENO.

  EMERSON, on spirit, 359;
    on nature, 364;
    on absolute, 392;
    on necessity, 393;
    on faith, 424.

  EMPIRICISM, general meaning, 168;
    in logic, 187;
    in naturalism, 252 ff.;
    of Locke, 274;
    of Berkeley, 274 ff.

  ENERGY, development of, conception of, 236 ff.

  EPISTEMOLOGY, relation to metaphysics, 150;
    definition of, 164;
    fundamental problems of, 168, 172;
    argument for God from, 202;
    of naturalism, 248, 252 ff., 257;
    of Descartes, 273, 341, 375;
    of Berkeley, 277, 296;
    of absolute realism, 339, 351;
    of Leibniz, 340, 341;
    of Plato, 340, 341;
    of Hume, 376;
    of Aristotle, 340, 341;
    of absolute idealism, 351, 368 ff.;
    of present day, 408 ff.

  ETERNAL, the, 309.

  ETHER, 230.

  ETHICS, relation to metaphysics, 151, 196 ff., 360;
    its origin in Socratic method, 181;
    definition of, 191;
    special problems and theories in, 191 ff.;
    of Socrates, 192, 194;
    of Aristotle, 195, 345;
    of naturalism, 258 ff.;
    of subjectivism, 298 ff.;
    of Schopenhauer, 299;
    argument for God from, 203;
    individualism in, 301;
    pluralism in, 302, 421;
    of Stoics and Spinoza, 342;
    Platonic, 342;
    of Kant, 386;
    of absolute idealism, 388.


  EVIL, PROBLEM OF, 317, 336, 339, 352, 365 ff.;
    in Greek philosophy, 352;
    in absolute idealism, 367, 418.

  EVOLUTION, of cosmos, 242 ff.;
    of morality, 262.

  EXPERIENCE, 410, 411, 412;
    analysis of, by Kant, 354.

  FAITH, 424;
    special interests of, 199.
    See also RELIGION and BELIEF.

  FERGUSON, CHAS., quoted, 265.

  FICHTE, 360, 402.

  FIELDING, H., quoted on religion, 59, 74.

  FORCE, development of conception of, 231 ff.

  FORM, in Aristotle, 334.

  FREEDOM, in ethics, 196, 388;
    meanings and theories, 211.

  GOD, as guarantee of ideals, 18, 425;
    personality of, 62, 108 ff.;
    St. Augustine's communion with, 68;
    presence of, 68;
    as a disposition from which consequences may be expected, 85;
    meaning of, in religion, 87;
    idea of, in Judaism and Christianity, 92;
    why historical, 102;
    social relation with, 103;
    the ontological proof of, 200;
    ethical and epistemological arguments for, 202;
    cosmological proof of, 203;
    teleological proof of, 204;
    relation to the world, in theism, pantheism and deism, 205 ff.;
    will of, 212;
    conception of, in Berkeley, 284, 293 ff.;
    conception and proof of, in Spinoza, 312 ff., 392, 393;
    conception of, in Plato, 331, 352, 391, 393;
    conception of, in Leibniz, 338, 353.
    Also see ABSOLUTE.

  GOETHE, on Spinoza, and on philosophy, 51;
    on pragmatism, 407.

  GOOD, the, theories of, in ethics, 191 ff.;
    and the real, 326 ff., 421 ff.

  GREEK, religion, in Homer and Lucretius, 89;
    ideals, 195, 198, 429.

  GREEN, T. H., quoted, 369, 385 (_note_).

  HAECKEL, quoted, 236, 266.

  HEDONISM, 192.

  HEGEL, on science, 129;
    philosophy of, 150, 361 ff.;
    relation to Kant, 381;
    on the absolute, 382;
    ethics of, 390.


  HISTORY, philosophy of, in Hegel, 363.

  HOBBES, his misconception of relations of philosophy and science, 115;
    quoted on ethics, 261.

  Holbach, 251, 252.

  HOMER, on Greek religion, 90.

  HUMANISM, 320, 404, 405.

  HUME, positivism of, 115, 377;
    phenomenalism of, 283;
    and Descartes, 376.

  HUXLEY, quoted, 255, 266.


  IDEAL, the, in Plato, 326;
    validity of, 416.

  IDEALISM, various meanings of term, 173 (_note_);
    meaning of, as theory of knowledge, 175 ff., 409;
    of present day, 409 ff.;
    absolute, see ABSOLUTE IDEALISM.

  IDEALS, in life, 10 ff.;
    adoption of, 17 ff.

  IDEAS, the, in Plato, 329.

  IMAGINATION, in poetry, 99;
    place of, in religion, 80, 97 ff.;
    special functions of, in religion, 101 ff.;
    scope of, in religion, 105 ff.;
    and the personality of God, 110.

  IMITATIO CHRISTI, quoted, 68.



  INDIVIDUALISM, 301, 320, 338, 404.

  INTUITIONISM, in ethics, 196.

  JAMES, WILLIAM, quoted on religion, 65, 71, 305.

  JUDAISM, development of, 92;
    and Christianity, 94.

  KANT, his transcendentalism, 177, 356;
    his critique of knowledge, 354 ff., 377 ff.;
    and absolute idealism, 380;
    ethics of, 386.

  KEPLER, quoted, 129.

  KNOWLEDGE, of the means in life, 8;
    of the end, 10;
    in poetry, 27 ff.;
    in religion, 82, 85, 97, 105;
    general theory of, on epistemology, 164 ff.;
    problem of source and criterion of, 168 ff.;
    problem of relation to its object, 172 ff., 277, 340, 351, 368 ff.;
    relation of logic to, 183 ff.;
    account of, in naturalism, 253 ff.
    Also see EPISTEMOLOGY.

  LA METTRIE, quoted, 250.

  LA PLACE, 242; quoted, 241.

  LEIBNIZ, on function of philosophy, 155;
    philosophy of, 333, 336 ff.;
    epistemology of, 339.

  LEUCIPPUS, quoted, 161.

  LIFE, as a starting-point for thought, 3;
    definition of, 5 ff.;
    and self-consciousness, 6;
    philosophy of 17 ff., 153;
    mechanical theory of, 244 ff.;
    return of philosophy to, 427 ff.;
    contemplation in, 428.

  LOCKE, epistemology of, 273.

  LOGIC, origin in Socratic method, 181;
    affiliations of, 182, 188;
    definition of, 183;
    parts of formal, 184 ff.;
    present tendencies in, 187 ff.;
    algebra of, 189.

  LUCRETIUS, his criticism of Greek religion, quoted, 89 ff.;
    on mechanism, 226, 240.

  MCTAGGART, J. M. E., on Hegel, 367;
    on the absolute, 391.

  MACH, E., 283;
    on philosophy and science, 120.



  MATERIALISM, 254, 256;
    general meaning, 223, 414;
    development, 224 ff.;
    and science, 228;
    French, 249;
    theory of mind in, 250.

  MATHEMATICS, importance in science, 132;
    logic in, 188;
    Berkeley's conception of, 279;
    Plato's conception of, 329, 335;
    Spinoza's conception of, 311, 335.

  MATTER, 225, 228;
    and space, 229;
    Berkeley's refutation of, 275 ff.;
    in Plato and Aristotle, 334.

  MECHANICAL THEORY, practical significance of its extension to the
      world at large, 20;
    in cosmology, 161, 225;
    of Descartes, 231;
    of Newton 232;
    of origin of cosmos, 242;
    of life, 244;
    in Spinoza, 336.

  METAPHYSICS, relation to epistemology, 150;
    relation to ethics, 151, 196 ff.;
    definition of, 158;
    relation to logic, 188;
    relation to theology, 207;
    present tendencies in, 399 ff., 408.

  MILL, J. S., 283 (_note_).

  MIND, explanation of in naturalism, 237, 247 ff.;
    of God, in Berkeley, 284, 294, 296;
    absolute, 349 (_note_), 358, 382 ff.
    Also see under SELF, and SOUL.

  MODE, in Spinoza, 313.

  MONADS, in Leibniz, 338.

  MONISM, 159, 163.

  MORALITY, and religion, 73;
    grounds of, according to Kant, 356;
    incentive to, 422.

  MYSTICISM, general account, 171;
    Schopenhauer's, 290;
    types of religions, 391.

  NAEGELI, C. v., quoted, 287.

  NATURAL SCIENCE, true relations of, with philosophy, 116;
    sphere of, with reference to philosophy, 117 ff.;
    philosophy of, its procedure, 121, 135, 142, 154, 401;
    origin of, as special interest, 123 ff.;
    human value of, 126, 127, 143;
    method and fundamental conceptions of, 406, 128 ff.;
    general development of, 134;
    limits of, because abstract, 136 ff., 414;
    validity of, 142;
    logic and, 188;
    development of conceptions in, 229 ff.;
    grounds of, according to Kant, 355, 377;
    Hume on, 377;
    permanence and progress in, 395 ff.


  NATURALISM, chap. viii;
    general meaning, 217, 223 (_note_), 399;
    claims of, 239;
    task of, 241;
    criticism of, 117, 257, 263;
    of present day, 405, 412.
    Also see under MATERIALISM, and POSITIVISM.

  NATURE, 160, 244, 337;
    in Berkeley, 294;
    in Spinoza, 317, 338;
    in Hegel, 363;
    in Kant, 377 ff.;
    in contemporary philosophy, 401.


  NECESSITY, of will, 211;
    ethics of, 342;
    religion of, 393.

  NEO-FICHTEANS, 402, 403 (_note_).


  NEWTON, 232, 235, 242, 355, 377.


  OMAR KHAYYAM, quoted, 16;
    as a philosopher-poet, 36.


  ONTOLOGY, 159.

  OPTIMISM, 104, 388, 422, 424.

  PANPSYCHISM, 176, 238, 285 ff.

  PANTHEISM, in primitive religion, 78;
    general meaning, 205;
    types of, 390.

  PARKER, THEODORE, quoted on religion, 67.

  PARMENIDES, and rationalism, 168;
    philosophy of, 308 ff., 337;
    and Aristotle, 336.

  PATER, WALTER, on Wordsworth, 38;
    on Cyrenaicism, 260;
    on subjectivism, 270.

  PAULSEN, FRIEDRICH, ethics of, quoted, 302.

  PEARSON, KARL, quoted, 230.



  PERSONALITY, of God, important in understanding of religion, 62;
    essential to religion? 108 ff.

  PERSONS, description of belief in, 62;
    imagination of, 101, 110.

  PESSIMISM, 104, 299, 424.

  PHENOMENALISM, general meaning, 176, 267 (_note_);
    of Berkeley, 272, 275 ff.;
    of Hume, 283;
    various tendencies in, 281.

  PHILOSOPHER, the practical man and the, chap. i;
    the rôle of the, 306, 426.

  PHILOSOPHY, commonly misconceived, 3;
    of the devotee, 13;
    of the man of affairs, 14;
    of the voluptuary, 16;
    of life, its general meaning, 17 ff., 153;
    its relations with poetry, chap. ii, 112;
    lack of, in Shakespeare, 33;
    as expression of personality, 33;
    as premature, 33;
    in poetry of Omar Khayyam, 36;
    in poetry of Wordsworth, 38 ff.;
    in poetry of Dante, 42 ff.;
    difference between philosophy and poetry, 48 ff.;
    in religion, 108 ff.;
    compared with religion, 112;
    true attitude of, toward science, 116;
    sphere of, in relation to science, 117, 395 ff.;
    procedure of, with reference to science, 121, 135, 142, 154, 160;
    human value of, 143, 426 ff.;
    can its problem be divided? 149, 155;
    origin of, 157;
    special problems of, chap. vi, vii;
    and psychology, 216;
    peculiar object of, 308;
    self-criticism in, 319 ff., 325;
    permanence and progress in, 395 ff.;
    contemporary, 398 ff.



  PIETY, description and interpretation of, 72;
    in ethics, 195.

  PLATO, on Protagoras, 167, 269, 270, 298;
    quoted, on Socrates, 170, 192, 194;
    historical preparation for, 324;
    psychology of, 209;
    philosophy of, 306, 318, 326 ff., 382;
    and Aristotle, 333;
    and Spinoza, 318, 335;
    epistemology of, 339;
    ethics of, 342;
    religion of, 346, 391, 393;
    on evil, 352;
    on spirit, 359;
    on reason and perception, 370;
    on the philosopher, 426.

  PLURALISM, general meaning of, 159, 163, 419;
    in ethics, 302, 421 ff.;
    in religion, 304.

  POETRY, relations with philosophy, chap. ii;
    as appreciation, 25;
    virtue of sincerity in, 27;
    the "barbarian" in, 28;
    constructive knowledge in, 30;
    difference between philosophy and, 48 ff.

  POSITIVISM, on relation of philosophy and science, 115, 122;
    general meaning of, 168, 234, 252 ff., 412.

  PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE, of means, 8 ff.;
    of end or purpose, 10 ff.;
    implied in religion, 85, 97;
    philosophy as, 153.

  PRACTICAL MAN, the, and the philosopher, chap. i;
    his failure to understand philosophy, 3;
    his ideal, 14;
    virtually a philosopher, 22.

  PRAGMATISM, 151, 407, 408.

  PRAYER, 103.

  PREDICTION, in science, 130.

  PRESENT DAY, philosophy of the, 398 ff.

  PROTAGORAS, scepticism of, 166, 271;
    subjectivism of, 269;
    ethics of, 298.

  PSYCHOLOGY, of religion, 58, 82;
    inadequate to religion, 82;
    as branch of philosophy, 208 ff., 216;
    as natural science, 213;
    affiliations of, 215;
    limits of, 415.


  PURPOSE, in life, 10 ff.;
    adoption of life-purpose, 17 ff.;
    practical significance of, in the world at large, 20.
    Also see TELEOLOGY, IDEAL, etc.

  QUALITIES, primary and secondary, 254, 274, 277.

  RATIONALISM, general meaning, 168, 416;
    in logic, 180, 184;
    in ethics, 193;
    of eleatics, 310;
    of Spinoza, 311;
    in absolute realism, 339;
    criticism of, 418.

  REALISM, various meanings of term, 173 (_note_);
    meaning of, as theory of knowledge, 172;
    of Parmenides, 308 ff.;
    of Plato and Aristotle, 341;
    of present day, 409 ff.

  REASON, 370.

  RELATIVISM, 166, 267 ff.;
    in ethics, 298.

  RELIGION, chaps. iii, iv;
    relation to poetry and philosophy, 49, 52;
    difficulty of defining, 53;
    possibility of defining, 54;
    profitableness of defining, 54;
    true method of defining, 56;
    misconceptions of, 56;
    as possessing the psychological character of belief, 59 ff.;
    degree of, in individuals and moods, 60, 61;
    definition of, as belief in disposition of universe, 64 ff., 82;
    and morality, 73;
    symbolism in, 75;
    prophet and preacher of, 75;
    conveyance of, 76;
    primitive, 77;
    Buddhism, 78;
    the critical or enlightened type of, 80;
    means to be true, 82 ff.;
    implies a practical truth, 85;
    cases of truth and error in, 88 ff.;
    of Baal, 88;
    Greek, 89;
    of Jews, its development, 92;
    Christian, 94;
    definition of cognitive factor in, 97;
    place of imagination in, 80, 97 ff.;
    special functions of imagination in, 101 ff.;
    relation of imagination and truth in, 105;
    philosophy implied in, 108 ff.;
    is personal god essential to, 108;
    compared with philosophy, 112;
    compared with science, 145;
    special philosophical problems of, 199 ff.;
    of naturalism, 263 ff.;
    of subjectivism and spiritualism, 302 ff.;
    of Plato and Aristotle, 346, 393;
    of Stoics and Spinoza, 348, 393;
    philosophy of, in Hegel, 365;
    of absolute idealism, 390 ff.

  RELIGIOUS PHENOMENA, interpretation of, 69 ff.

  REPRESENTATIVE THEORY, of knowledge, 174, 412.


  ROUSSEAU, quoted on nature, 64.

  ROYCE, JOSIAH, quoted on absolute idealism, 178, 384, 394.

  SANTAYANA, GEORGE, quoted on poetry 28, 29.

  SCEPTICISM, 166, 267 ff.

  SCHELLING, misconception of science, 116.

    idea of God in, 201.

  SCHOPENHAUER, his panpsychism or voluntarism, 177, 285 ff.;
    universalizes subjectivism, 290;
    mysticism of, 290;
    ethics of, 299;
    religion of, 303.


  SECULARISM, of Shakespeare, 34;
    of Periclean Age, 320;
    of present age, 427.

  SELF, problem of, 216;
    proof of, in St. Augustine, 372;
    proof of, in Descartes, 374;
    deeper moral of, 387;
    in contemporary philosophy, 411, 413.
    Also see SOUL, and MIND.

  SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS, essential to human life, 6;
    development of conception of, 371 ff.;
    in absolute idealism, 383;
    in idealistic ethics, 386.

  SENSATIONALISM, 247, 255, 269.

  SENSE-PERCEPTION, 168, 247, 269, 370;
    being as, in Berkeley, 281.

  SHAKESPEARE, general criticism of, 30 ff.;
    his universality, 31;
    lack of philosophy in, 33.

  SHELLEY, quoted on poetry, 50.

  SOCIAL RELATIONS, belief inspired by, analogue of religion, 62;
    imagination of, extended to God, 101.

  SOCRATES, rationalism of, 169;
    and normative science, 180;
    ethics of, 192, 194;
    method of, 321 ff.

  SOPHISTS, the, epistemology of, 165;
    scepticism of, 271, 320;
    ethics of, 298, 301;
    age of, 320.

  SOUL, the, in Aristotle, 208;
    in Plato, 209;
    as substance, 209;
    intellectualism and voluntarism in theory of, 210;
    immortality of, 212;
    Berkeley's theory of, 284.
    Also see under MIND, and SELF.

  SPACE, importance in science, 130;
    and matter, 229.

  SPENCER, 236 (_note_), 243, 265.

  SPINOZA, and Goethe, 51;
    quoted on philosophy and life, 153;
    philosophy of, 306, 311 ff.;
    criticism and estimate of, 315 ff.;
    and Plato, 318, 335;
    and Aristotle, 336;
    epistemology of, 339;
    ethics of, 342;
    religion of, 348, 392, 393.

  SPIRIT, the absolute, 358 ff.

  SPIRITUALISM, general meaning, 176, 267 (_note_);
    in Berkeley, 280, 292;
    in Schopenhauer, 285;
    criticism of, 288;
    objective, 292.

  STEVENSON, R. L., quoted on religion, 67.

  STOICISM, ethics of, 342;
    religion of, 348.

  SUBJECTIVISM, chap. ix;
    general meaning, 175, 218, 267 (_note_), 415;
    in æsthetics, 190;
    of Berkeley, 275 ff.;
    universalization of, in Schopenhauer, 290;
    criticism of, 297, 415;
    ethics of, 298 ff.;
    in absolute idealism, 368;
    of present day, 409.

  SUBSTANCE, spiritual, 209, 284;
    material, Berkeley's refutation of, 275 ff.;
    Spinoza's conception of, 311;
    the infinite, in Spinoza, 312;
    Aristotle's conception of, 334;
    Leibniz's conception of, 338.

  SYMBOLISM, in religion, 75.

  TELEOLOGY, in cosmology, 161;
    proof of God from, 204;
    Spinoza on, 318;
    in Plato, 326 ff., 336;
    in Aristotle, 336.

  THEISM, 205.

  THEOLOGY, relation to religion, 98;
    in philosophy, 199 ff.;
    relation to metaphysics, 207.

  THOMSON, J., quoted, 104.

  THOUGHT, and life, 6 ff.;
    as being, in Hegel, 361 ff.

  THUCYDIDES, on thought and action, 429.

  TIME, importance in science, 130.

  TRANSCENDENTALISM, 177, 349 (_note_), 356.
    See IDEALISM, absolute.

  TYNDALL, 115.

  UNIVERSAL, scientific knowledge as, 125, 139.

  UNIVERSE, the, as object of religious reaction, 64;
    common object of philosophy and religion, 112;
    as collective, 419.


  VIRTUE, 198, 345.

  VOLTAIRE, quoted, 231, 251.

  VOLUNTARISM, in psychology, 210;
    in Schopenhauer, 285.

  WHITMAN, WALT, 27 ff.

  WILL, in psychology, 210;
    freedom and determination of, 211;
    in Schopenhauer, 177;
    as cause, in Berkeley, 293 ff.;
    in pragmatism, 407.

  WORDSWORTH, as philosopher-poet, 38 ff.;
    his sense for the universal, 40;
    quoted on poetry and philosophy, 48, 50.

  ZENO, 337.


Ellipses match the original.

Numbers in {braces} are subscripted in the original.

Variations in spelling have been left as in the original. Examples
include the following:

     co-ordinated       coördinated
     Kuelpe             Külpe's
     Muensterberg       Münsterberg
     Nirvana            Nirvâna
     Phaedo             Phædo
     pre-eminent        preëminent
     pre-eminently      preëminently
     reenforcement       reënforce
     role               rôle
     Theaetetus         Theætetus

The word Phoenix uses an oe ligature in the original.

The following corrections have been made to the text:


     Page 70: The psychology{original has pyschology} of conversion

     Page 93: him who practices{original has practises} the social

     Page 165: reality have resulted in no consensus{original has
     concensus} of opinion

     Page 196: but in a law to which it{original has its} owes

     Page 261: 'justice,' 'gratitude,' '{quotation mark missing in

     Page 283: retained after their original{original has orignal}

     Page 288: nothing but the highest development{original has
     devolpment} on our earth

     Page 325: philosopher who defined being as{original has a} the

     Page 405: Henri Bergson: _Essai{original has Essoi} sur les
     données immédiates de la conscience_

     Page 434: THOMAS À{original has Á} KEMPIS: _Imitation of

     Page 436: HUXLEY, T. H.: _Evolution and Ethics;
     Prolegomena._{original has Prologomena}

     [51:11] Vol. I, p. 60.{period is missing in original}

     [199:14] religion in these matters, cf.{original has Cf.}

     [287:16] Translation by Haldane and Kemp{original has Komp}

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