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Title: Modern French Philosophy: a Study of the Development Since Comte
Author: Gunn, John Alexander
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Modern French Philosophy: a Study of the Development Since Comte" ***

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                       _First published in 1922._

                      _(All rights reserved)*_

                      MODERN FRENCH PHILOSOPHY:

               _A study of the Development since Comte._

                  By _J. ALEXANDER GUNN, M.A., PH.D._

 _Fellow of the University of Liverpool; Lecturer in Psychology to the
                 Liverpool University Extension Board_

                          WITH A FOREWORD BY

                            HENRI BERGSON

             _de l'Academic francaise et de l'Academie des
                    Sciences morales et politiques_

                        T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD.
                       LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE


                                  TO

                              MY TEACHER

                            ALEXANDER MAIR

        PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

                      AS A SMALL TOKEN OF ESTEEM

               AND AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS INSTRUCTION


"MAIS il n'y a pas que cette France, que cette France glorieuse, que
cette France révolutionnaire, cette France émancipatrice et
initiatrice du genre humain, que cette France d'une activité
merveilleuse et comme on l'a dit, cette France nourrie des idées
générales du monde, il y a une autre France que je n'aime pas moins,
une autre France qui m'est encore plus chère, c'est la France
misérable, c'est la France vaincue et humiliée, c'est la France qui
est accablée, c'est la France qui traîne son boulet depuis quatorze
siècles, la France qui crie, suppliante vers la justice et vers la
liberté, la France que les despotes poussent constamment sur les
champs de bataille, sous prétexte de liberté, pour lui faire verser
son sang par toutes les artères et par toutes les veines, oh! cette
France-là, je l'aime."--GAMBETTA, _Discours_, 29 _September_, 1872.

"Les jeunes gens de tous les pays du monde qui sont venus dans les
campagnes de France combattre pour la civilisation et le droit seront
sans doute plus disposés à y revenir, apres la guerre chercher la
nourriture intellectuelle. Il importe qu'ils soient assurés de l'y
trouver, saine, abondante et forte."--M. D. PARODI, _Inspecteur de
l'Académie de Paris, 1919_.



                               FOREWORD

_JE serais heureux que le public anglais sût le bien que je pense du
livre de M. Gunn, sur la philosophie francaise depuis 1851. Le sujet
choisi est neuf, car il n'existe pas, à ma connaissance, d'ouvrage
relatif à toute cette période de la philosophie française. Le beau
livre que M. Parodi vient de publier en français traite surtout des
vingt dernières années de notre activité philosophique. M. Gunn,
remontant jusqu'à Auguste Comte, a eu raison de placer ainsi devant
nous toute le seconde moitié du siècle passé. Cette période de
cinquante ans qui a précédée notre vingtième siècle est d'une
importance capitale. Elle constitue réellement notre dix-neuvième
siècle philosophique, car l'oeuvre même de Maine de Biran, qui est
antérieure, n'a été bien connue et étudiée qu'à ce moment, et la
plupart de nos idées philosophiques actuelles ont été élaborées
pendant ces cinquante ans._

_Le sujet est d'ailleurs d'une complication extrême, en raison du
nombre et de la variété des doctrines, en raison surtout de la
diversité des questions entre lesquelles se sont partagés tant de
penseurs. Dr. Gunn a su ramener toutes ces questions à un petit nombre
de problèmes essentiels : la science, la liberté, le progrès, la
morale, la religion. Cette division me paraît heureuse. Elle répond
bien, ce me semble, aux principales préoccupations de la philosophie
francaise. Elle a permis à l'auteur d'être complet, tout en restant
simple, clair, et facile à suivre._

_Elle présente, il est vrai, un inconvénient, en ce qu'elle morcelle
la doctrine d'un auteur en fragments dont chacun, pris à part, perd un
peu de sa vitalite et de son individualité. Elle risque ainsi de
présenter comme trop semblable à d'autres la solution que tel
philosophe a donnée de tel problème, solution qui, replacée dans
l'ensemble de la doctrine, apparaîtrait comme propre à ce penseur,
originale et plus forte. Mais cet inconvénient était inévitable et
l'envers de l'avantage que je signalais plus haut, celui de l'ordre,
de la continuité et de la clarté._

_Le travail du Dr. Gunn m'apparaît comme tout à fait distingué. Il
témoigne d'une information singulièrement étendue, précise et sûre.
C'est l'oeuvre d'un esprit d'une extrême souplesse, capable de
s'assimiler vite et bien la pensée des philosophes, de classer les
idées dans leur ordre d'importance, de les exposer méthodiquement et
les apprécier à leur juste valeur._

                                                            H. Bergson

[These pages are a revised extract from the more formal _Rapport_
which was presented by M. Bergson to the University of Liverpool].



                               PREFACE

THIS work is the fruit of much reading and research done in Paris at
the Sorbonne and Bibliothèque nationale. It is, substantially, a
revised form of the thesis presented by the writer to the University
of Liverpool for the degree of Doctor in Philosophy, obtained in 1921.
The author is indebted, therefore, to the University for permission to
publish. More especially must he record his deep gratitude to the
French thinkers who gave both stimulus and encouragement to him during
his sojourn in Paris. Foremost among these is M. Henri Bergson, upon
whose _rapport_ the Doctorate was conferred, and who has expressed his
appreciation of the work by contributing a Foreword for publication.

Mention must also be made of the encouragement given by the late M.
Emile Boutroux and by the eminent editor of the well-known _Revue de
Métaphysique et de Morale_, M. Xavier Léon, a leading spirit in the
_Société de Philosophie_, whose meetings the writer was privileged to
attend by invitation. Then MM. Brunschvicg, Levy- Bruhl, Lalande, Rey
and Lenoir, from time to time discussed the work with him and he must
record his appreciation of their kindness.

To Professor Mair of Liverpool is due the initial suggestion, and it
has been felt a fitting tribute to his supervision, criticism,
encouragement and sympathy that this book should be respectfully
dedicated to him by one of his grateful pupils. In the labour of
dealing with the proofs, the writer has to acknowledge the
co-operation of Miss M. Linn and Mr. J. E. Turner, M.A.

                              * * * * *

The method adopted in this history has been deliberately chosen for
its usefulness in emphasising the development of ideas. A purely
chronological method has not been followed. The biographical system
has likewise been rejected. The history of the development of thought
centres round problems, and it progresses in relation to these
problems. The particular manner in which the main problems presented
themselves to the French thinkers of the second half of the nineteenth
century was largely determined by the events and ideas which marked
the period from 1789 to 1851. For this reason a chapter has been
devoted to Antecedents. Between the Revolution and the _coup d'état_
of Napoleon III., four distinct lines of thought are discernible. Then
the main currents from the year 1851 down to 1921 are described, with
special reference to the development of the main problems. The
reconciliation of _science_ and _conscience_ proved to be the main
general problem, which became more definitely that of Freedom. This in
itself is intimately bound up with the doctrines of progress, of
history, of ethics and religion. These topics are discussed in a
manner which shows their bearing upon each other. The conclusion aims
at displaying the characteristics of French thought which reveal
themselves in the study of these great problems. Its vitality,
concreteness, clearness, brilliance and precision are noted and a
comparison made between French thought and German philosophy.

From a general philosophical standpoint few periods could be so
fascinating. Few, if any, could show such a complete revolution of
thought as that witnessed since the year 1851. To bring this out
clearly is the main object of the present book. It is intended to
serve a double purpose. Primarily, it aims at being a contribution to
the history of thought which will provide a definite knowledge of the
best that has been said and thought among philosophers in France
during the last seventy years. Further, it is itself an appeal for
serious attention to be given to French philosophy. This is a field
which has been comparatively neglected by English students, so far as
the nineteenth century is concerned, and this is especially true of
our period, which is roughly that from Comte to Boutroux (who passed
away last month) and Bergson (who has this year resigned his
professorship). It is the earnest desire of the writer to draw both
philosophical students and lovers of France and its literature to a
closer study and appreciation of modern French philosophy. Emotion and
sentiment are inadequate bases for an _entente_ which is to be really
_cordiale_ between any two peoples. An understanding of their deepest
thoughts is also necessary and desirable. Such an understanding is,
after all, but a step towards that iternationalisation of thought,
that common fund of human culture and knowledge, which sets itself as
an ideal before the nations of the world. _La philosophie n'a pas de
patrie! Les idées sont actuellement les forces internationales._

                                                              _J. A. G._

THE UNIVERSITY,
 LIVERPOOL,
  _December_, 1921



                               CONTENTS

                       FOREWORD BY M. HENRI BERGSON
              CHAPTER
                   I.          ANTECEDENTS
                  II.    MAIN CURRENTS SINCE 1851
                 III.            SCIENCE
                  IV.            FREEDOM
                   V.            PROGRESS
                  VI.            ETHICS
                 VII.           RELIGION
                               CONCLUSION
                              BIBLIOGRAPHY
                            COMPARATIVE TABLE
                                    INDEX
                      Doctrine Publishing Corporation SMALL PRINT
                       NOTES TO THE E_BOOK EDITION



                              CHAPTER I

                             ANTECEDENTS

THIS work deals with the great French thinkers since the time of
Auguste Comte, and treats, under various aspects, the development of
thought in relation to the main problems which confronted these men.
In the commencement of such an undertaking we are obliged to
acknowledge the continuity of human thought, to recognise that it
tends to approximate to an organic whole, and that, consequently,
methods resembling those of surgical amputation are to be avoided. We
cannot absolutely isolate one period of thought. For this reason a
brief survey of the earlier years is necessary in order to orient the
approach to the period specially placed in the limelight, namely
1851-1921.

In the world of speculative thought and in the realm of practical
politics we find reflected, at the opening of the century, the work of
the French Revolutionaries on the one hand, and that of Immanuel Kant
on the other. Coupled with these great factors was the pervading
influence of the Encyclopædists and of the thinkers of the
Enlightenment. These two groups of influences, the one sudden and in
the nature of a shock to political and metaphysical thought, the other
quieter but no less effective, combined to produce a feeling of
instability and of dissatisfaction at the close of the eighteenth
century. A sense of change, indeed of resurrection, filled the minds
and hearts of those who saw the opening of the nineteenth century. The
old aristocracy and the monarchy in France had gone, and in philosophy
the old metaphysic had received a blow at the hands of the author of
the Three Critiques.

No better expression was given to the psychological state of France at
this time than that of Alfred de Musset in his _Confession d'un Enfant
du Siècle_. _Toute la maladie du siècle présent_ (he wrote) _vient de
deux causes; le peuple qui a passé par '93 et par 1814 porte au cur
deux blessures. Tout ce qui était n'est plus; tout ce qui sera n'est
pas encore. Ne cherchez ailleurs le secret de nos maux.__*_ De
Musset was right, the whole course of the century was marked by
conflict between two forces--on the one hand a tendency to reaction
and conservatism, on the other an impulse to radicalism and
revolution.

[Footnote _*_ : The extract is taken from _Première partie_, ch. 2.
The book was published in 1836. Somewhat similar sentiments are
uttered with reference to this time by Michelet. (See his _Histoire du
XIXe Siècle_, vol. i., p. 9).]

It is true that one group of thinkers endeavoured, by a perfectly
natural reaction, to recall their fellow-countrymen, at this time of
unrest, back to the doctrines and traditions of the past, and tried to
find in the faith of the Christian Church and the practice of the
Catholic religion a rallying-point. The monarchy and the Church were
eulogised by Chateaubriand, while on the more philosophical side
efforts on behalf of traditionalism were made very nobly by De Bonald
and Joseph de Maistre. While they represented the old aristocracy and
recalled the theocracy and ecclesiasticism of the past by advocating
reaction and Ultramontanism, Lamennais attempted to adapt Catholicism
to the new conditions, only to find, as did Renan later, that "one
cannot argue with a bar of iron." Not the brilliant appeals of a
Lacordaire, who thundered from Notre Dame, nor the modernism of a
Lamennais, nor the efforts in religious philosophy made by De Maistre,
were, however, sufficient to meet the needs of the time.

The old traditions and the old dogmas did not offer the salvation they
professed to do. Consequently various groups of thinkers worked out
solutions satisfactory to themselves and which they offered to others.
We can distinguish clearly four main currents, the method of
introspection and investigation of the inner life of the soul, the
adoption of a spiritualist philosophy upon an eclectic basis, the
search for a new society after the manner of the socialists and,
lastly, a positive philosophy and religion of humanity. These four
currents form the historical antecedents of our period and to a brief
survey of them we now turn.

                              * * * * *

                                  I

To find the origin of many of the tendencies which appear prominently
in the thought of the second half of the nineteenth century,
particularly those displayed by the new spiritualistic philosophy
(which marked the last thirty years of the century), we must go back
to the period of the Revolution, to Maine de Biran (1766-1824)-- a
unique and original thinker who laid the foundations of modern French
psychology and who was, we may note in passing, a contemporary of
Chateaubriand. A certain tone of romanticism marks the work of both
the literary man and the philosopher. Maine de Biran was not a thinker
who reflected upon his own experiences in retreat from the world. Born
a Count, a Lifeguardsman to Louis XVI. at the Revolution, and faithful
to the old aristocracy, he was appointed, at the Restoration, to an
important administrative position, and later became a deputy and a
member of the State Council. His writings were much greater in extent
than is generally thought, but only one important work appeared in
publication during his lifetime. This was his treatise, or _mémoire_,
entitled _Habitude_, which appeared in 1803. This work well
illustrates Maine de Biran's historical position in the development of
French philosophy. It came at a tome when attention and interest, so
far as philosophical problems were concerned, centred round two
"foci." These respective centres are indicated by Destutt de
Tracy,_*_ the disciple of Condillac on the one hand, and by
Cabanis_/-_ on the other. Both were "ideologues" and were ridiculed
by Napoleon who endeavoured to lay much blame upon the philosophers.
We must notice, however, this difference. While the school of
Condillac,_/=_ influenced by Locke, endeavoured to work out a
psychology in terms of abstractions, Cabanis, anxious to be more
concrete, attempted to interpret the life of the mind by reference to
physical and physiological phenomena.

[Footnote _*_ : Destutt de Tracy, 1754-1836. His _Elements of Ideology_
appeared in 1801. He succeeded Cabanis in the Académie in 1808, and in
a complimentary _Discours_ pronounced upon his predecessor claimed
that Cabanis had introduced medicine into philosophy and philosophy
into medicine. This remark might well have been applied later to
Claude Bernard.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Cabanis, 1757-1808, _Rapports du Physique et du
Morale de l'Homme_, 1802. He was a friend of De Biran, as also was
Ampère, the celebrated physicist and a man of considerable
philosophical power. A group used to meet _chez Cabanis_ at Auteuil,
comprising De Biran, Cabanis, Ampère, Royard-Collard, Guizot, and
Cousin.]

[Footnote _/=_ : Condillac belongs to the eighteenth century. He died
in 1780. His _Traité des Sensations_ is dated 1754.]

It is the special merit of De Biran that he endeavoured, and that
successfully, to establish both the concreteness and the essential
spirituality of the inner life. The attitude and method which he
adopted became a force in freeing psychology, and indeed philosophy in
general, from mere play with abstractions. His doctrines proved
valuable, too, in establishing the reality and irreducibility of the
mental or spiritual nature of man.

Maine de Biran took as his starting-point a psychological fact, the
reality of conscious effort. The self is active rather than
speculative; the self is action or effort-- that is to say, the self
is, fundamentally and primarily, will. For the Cartesian formula
_Cogito, ergo sum,_ De Biran proposed to substitute that of _Volo,
ergo sum_. He went on to maintain that we have an internal and
immediate perception of this effort of will through which we realise,
at one and the same time, our self in its fullest activity and the
resistance to its operations. In such effort we realise ourselves as
free causes and, in spite of the doctrine of physical determinism, we
realise in ourselves the self as a cause of its own volitions. The
greater the resistance or the greater the effort, the more do we
realise ourselves as being free and not the absolute victims of habit.
Of this freedom we have an immediate consciousness, it is _une donnée
immédiate de la conscience._

This freedom is not always realised, for over against the tendency to
action we must set the counter-tendency to passivity. Between these
two exists, in varying degrees of approach to the two extremes,
_habitude_. Our inner life is seen by the psychologist as a field of
conflict between the sensitive and the reflective side of our nature.
It is this which gives to the life of this _homo duplex_ all the
elements of struggle and tragedy. In the desires and the passions,
says Maine de Biran, the true self is not seen. The true self appears
in memory, reasoning and, above all, in will.

Such, in brief, is the outline of De Biran's psychology. To his two
stages, _vie sensitive_ and _vie active_ (_ou réflexive_), he added a
third, _la vie divine_. In his religious psychology he upheld the
great Christian doctrines of divine love and grace as against the less
human attitude of the Stoics. He still insists upon the power of will
and action and is an enemy of the religious vice of quietism. In his
closing years De Biran penned his ideas upon our realisation of the
divine love by intuition. His intense interest in the inner life of
the spirit gives De Biran's _Journal Intime_ a rank among the
illuminating writings upon religious psychology.

Maine de Biran was nothing if not a psychologist. The most absurd
statement ever made about him was that he was "the French Kant." This
is very misleading, for De Biran's genius showed itself in his
psychological power and not in critical metaphysics. The importance of
his work and his tremendous influence upon our period, especially upon
the new spiritualism, will be apparent. Indeed he himself foresaw the
great possibilities which lay open to philosophy along the lines he
laid down. "_Qui sait,_" he remarked,_*_ "_tout ce que peut la
réflection concentrée et s'il n'y a pas un nouveau monde intérieur qui
pourra être découvert un jour par quelque 'Colomb métaphysicien.'_"
With Maine de Biran began the movement in French philosophy which
worked through the writings of Ravaisson, Lachelier, Guyau, Boutroux
and particularly Bergson. A careful examination of the philosophy of
this last thinker shows how great is his debt to Maine de Biran, whose
inspiration he warmly acknowledges.

[Footnote _*_ : Pensées, p. 213.]

But it is only comparatively recently that Maine de Biran has come to
his own and that his real power and influence have been recognised.
There are two reasons for this, firstly the lack of publication of his
writings, and secondly his being known for long only through the work
of Cousin and the Eclectics, who were imperfectly acquainted with his
work. Upon this school of thought he had some little influence which
was immediate and personal, but Cousin, although he edited some of his
unpublished work, failed to appreciate its originality and value.

So for a time De Biran's influence waned when that of Cousin himself
faded. Maine de Biran stands quite in a different category from the
Eclectics, as a unique figure at a transition period, the herald of
the best that was to be in the thought of the century. Cousin and the
Eclectic school, however, gained the official favour, and eclecticism
was for many years the "official philosophy."


                                  II

This Eclectic School was due to the work of various thinkers, of whom
we may cite Laromiguière (1756-1837), who marks the transition from
Condillac, Royer-Collard (1763-1845), who, abandoning Condillac,
turned for inspiration to the Scottish School (particularly to Reid),
Victor Cousin (1792-1867), Jouffroy (1796-1842) and Paul Janet
(1823-1899), the last of the notable eclectics. Of these "the chief"
was Cousin. His personality dominated this whole school of thought,
his _ipse dixit_ was the criterion of orthodoxy, an orthodoxy which we
must note was supported by the powers of officialdom.

He rose from the Ecole Normale Supérieure to a professorship at the
Sorbonne, which he held from the Restoration (1815 to 1830), with a
break of a few years during which his course was suspended. These
years he spent in Germany, to which country attention had been
attracted by the work of Madame de Staël, _De l'Allemagne_ (1813).
From 1830 to the beginning of our period (1851) Cousin, as director of
the Ecole Normale Supérieure, as a _pair de France_ and a minister of
state, organised and controlled the education of his country. He thus
exercised a very great influence over an entire generation of
Frenchmen, to whom he propounded the doctrines of his spiritualism.

His teaching was marked by a strong reaction against the doctrines of
the previous century, which had given such value to the data of sense.
Cousin abhorred the materialism involved in these doctrines, which he
styled _une doctrine désolante_, and he endeavoured to raise the
dignity and conception of man as a spiritual being. In the Preface to
his Lectures of 1818, _Du Vrai, du Beau et du Bien_ (Edition of 1853),
published first in 1846, he lays stress upon the elements of his
philosophy, which he presents as a true spiritualism, for it
subordinates the sensory and sensual to the spiritual. He upholds the
essentially spiritual nature of man, his liberty, moral responsibility
and obligation, the dignity of human virtue, disinterestedness,
charity, justice and beauty. These fruits of the spirit reveal, Cousin
claimed, a God who is both the author and the ideal type of humanity,
a Being who is not indifferent to the welfare and happiness of his
creatures. There is a vein of romanticism about Cousin, and in him may
be seen the same spirit which, on the literary side, was at work in
Hugo, Lamartine and De Vigny.

Cousin's philosophy attached itself rather to the Scottish school of
"common sense" than to the analytic type of doctrine which had
prevailed in his own country in the previous century. To this he added
much from various sources, such as Schelling and Hegel among the
moderns, Plato and the Alexandrians among the ancients. In viewing the
history of philosophy, Cousin advocated a division of systems into
four classes--sensualism, idealism, scepticism and mysticism. Owing to
the insufficiency of his _vérités de sens commun_ he was prone to
confuse the history of philosophy with philosophy itself. There is
perhaps no branch of science or art so intimately bound up with its
own history as is philosophy, but we must beware of substituting an
historical survey of problems for an actual handling of those problems
themselves. Cousin, however, did much to establish in his native land
the teaching of the history of philosophy.

His own aim was to found a metaphysic spiritual in character, based
upon psychology. While he did not agree with the system of Kant, he
rejected the doctrines of the empiricists and set his influence
against the materialistic and sceptical tendencies of his time. Yet he
cannot be excused from "opportunism" not only in politics but in
thought. In order to retain his personal influence he endeavoured to
present his philosophy as a sum of doctrines perfectly consistent with
the Catholic faith. This was partly, no doubt, to counteract the work
and influence of that group of thinkers already referred to as
Traditionalists, De Bonald, De Maistre and Lamennais. Cousin's efforts
in this direction, however, dissatisfied both churchmen and
philosophers and gave rise to the remark that his teaching was but
_une philosophie de convenance_. We must add too that the vagueness of
his spiritual teaching was largely responsible for the welcome
accorded by many minds to the positivist teaching of Auguste Comte.

While Maine de Biran had a real influence upon the thought of our
period 1851-1921, Cousin stands in a different relation to subsequent
thought, for that thought is largely characterised by its being a
reaction against eclecticism. Positivism rose as a direct revolt
against it, the neo-critical philosophy dealt blows at both, while
Ravaisson, the initiator of the neo-spiritualism, upon whom Cousin did
not look very favourably, endeavoured to reorganise upon a different
footing, and on sounder principles, free from the deficiencies which
must always accompany eclectic thought, those ideas and ideals to
which Cousin in his spiritualism had vaguely indicated his loyalty. It
is interesting to note that Cousin's death coincides in date with the
foundation of the neo-spiritual philosophy by Ravaisson's celebrated
manifesto to idealists, for such, as we shall see, was his _Rapport
sur la Philosophie au Dix-neuvième Siècle_ (1867). Cousin's
spiritualism had a notable influence upon several important men--e.g.,
Michelet and his friend Edgar Quinet, and more indirectly upon Renan.
The latter spoke of him in warm terms as un _excitateur de ma
pensée_._*_

[Footnote _*_ : It is worth noting that two of the big currents of
opposition, those of Comte and Renouvier, arose outside the
professional and official teaching, free from the University which was
entirely dominated by Cousin. This explains much of the slowness with
which Comte and Renouvier were appreciated.]

Among Cousin's disciples one of the most prominent was Jouffroy of the
Collège de France. The psychological interest was keen in his work,
but his _Mélanges philosophiques_ (1883) showed him to be occupied
with the problem of human destiny. Paul Janet was a noble upholder of
the eclectic doctrine or older spiritualism, while among associates
and tardy followers must be mentioned Gamier, Damiron, Franke, Caro
and Jules Simon.


                                 III

We have seen how, as a consequence of the Revolution and of the cold,
destructive, criticism of the eighteenth century, there was a demand
for constructive thought. This was a desire common not only to the
Traditionalists but to De Biran and Cousin. They aimed at intellectual
reconstruction. While, however, there were some who combated the
principles of the Revolution, as did the Traditionalists, while some
tried to correct and to steady those principles (as De Biran and
Cousin), there were others who endeavoured to complete them and to
carry out a more rigorous application of the Revolutionary watchwords,
_Liberté_, _Egalité_, _Fraternité_. The Socialists (and later Comte)
aimed at not merely intellectual, but social reconstruction.

The Revolution and the War had shown men that many changes could be
produced in society in a comparatively short time. This encouraged
bold and imaginative spirits. Endeavours after better things, after
new systems and a new order of society, showed themselves. The work of
political philosophers attempted to give expression to the socialist
idea of society. For long there had been maintained the ecclesiastical
conception of a perfect social order in another world. It was now
thought that humanity would be better employed, not in imagining the
glories of a "hereafter," but in "tilling its garden," in striving to
realise here on earth something of that blessed fellowship and happy
social order treasured up in heaven. This is the dominant note of
socialism, which is closely bound up at its origin, not only with
political thought, but with humanitarianism and a feeling essentially
religious. Its progress is a feature of the whole century.

The most notable expression of the new socialistic idea was that of
Count Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), a relative of the celebrated
Duke. He had great confidence in the power of science as an instrument
for social reconstruction, and he took over from a medical man, Dr.
Burdin, the notions which, later on, Auguste Comte was to formulate
into the doctrines of Positivism. Saint-Simon's influence showed
itself while the century was young, his first work _Lettres d'un
Habitant de Genève_ appearing in 1803. In this he outlined a scheme
for placing the authoritative power of the community, not in the hands
of Church and State, but in a freely elected body of thinkers and
_artistes_. He then endeavoured to urge the importance of order in
society, as a counterpart to the order erected by science in the world
of knowledge. To this end was directed his _Introduction aux Travaux
scientifiques du Dix-neuvième Siècle_ (1807-8). He also indicated the
importance for social welfare of abandoning the preoccupation with an
imaginary heaven, and pointed out that the more social and political
theory could be emancipated from the influence of theological dogmas
the better. At the same time he quite recognised the importance of
religious beliefs to a community, and his sociological view of
religion foreshadowed Guyau's study, an important work which will
claim our attention in due course.

In 1813, Saint-Simon published his _Mémoire sur la Science de
l'Homme_, in which he laid down notions which were the germ of Auguste
Comte's _Law of the Three Stages_. With the peace which followed the
Battle of Waterloo, a tremendous stimulus was given in France to
industrial activity, and Saint-Simon formulated his motto "All by
industry and all for industry." Real power, he showed, lay not in the
hands of governments or government agents, but with the industrial
class. Society therefore should be organised in the manner most
favourable to the working class. Ultimate economic and political power
rests with them. These ideas he set forth in _L'Industrie_, 1817-18,
_La Politique_, 1819, _L'Organisateur_, 1819-30, _Le Système
industriel_, 1821-22, _Le Catéchisme des Industriels_, 1822-24. Since
1817 among his fellow- workers were now Augustin Thierry and young
Auguste Comte, his secretary, the most important figure in the history
of the first half of the century.

Finding that exposition and reasoned demonstration of his ideas were
not sufficient, Saint-Simon made appeal to sentiment by his _Appel aux
Philanthropes_, a treatise on human brotherhood and solidarity. This
he followed up in 1825 by his last book, published the year of his
death, _Le Nouveau Christianisme_. This book endeavoured to outline a
religion which should prove itself capable of reorganising society by
inculcating the brotherhood of man in a more effective manner than
that of the Christian Church. _Fraternité_ was the watchword he
stressed, and he placed women on an equal political and social footing
with men. He set forth the grave deficiencies of the Christian
doctrines as proclaimed by Catholic and Protestant alike. Both are
cursed by the sin of individualism, the virtue of saving one's own
soul, while no attempt at social salvation is made. Both Catholics and
Protestants he labelled vile heretics, inasmuch as they have turned
aside from the social teaching of Christianity. If we are to love our
neighbour as ourselves we must as a whole community work for the
betterment of our fellows socially, by erecting a form of society more
in accord with Christian principles. We must strive to do it here and
now, and not sit piously getting ready for the next world. We must not
think it religious to despise the body or material welfare. God
manifests Himself as matter and spirit, so Religion must not despise
economics but rather unite industry and science as Love unites spirit
and matter. Eternal Life, of which Christianity makes so much, is not
to be sought, argued Saint-Simon, in another world, but here and now
in the love and service of our brothers, in the uplift of humanity as
a whole.

Saint-Simon believed in a fated progress and an inevitable betterment
of the condition of the working classes. The influence of Hegel's view
of history and Condorcet's social theories is apparent in some of his
writings. His insistence upon organisation, social authority and the
depreciative view of liberty which he held show well how he was the
real father of many later doctrines and of applications of these
doctrines, as for example by Lenin in the Soviet system of Bolshevik
Russia. Saint-Simon foreshadowed the dictatorship of the proletariat,
although his scheme of social organisation involved a triple division
of humanity into intellectuals, artists and industrials. Many of his
doctrines had a definite communistic tendency. Among them we find
indicated the abolition of all hereditary rights of inheritance and
the distribution of property is placed, as in the communist programme,
in the hands of the organising authority. Saint-Simon had a keen
insight into modern social conditions and problems. He stressed the
economic inter-relationships and insisted that the world must be
regarded as "one workshop." A statement of the principles of the
Saint- Simonist School, among whom was the curious character Enfantin,
was presented to the _Chambre des Députés_ in the critical year 1830.
The disciples seem to have shown a more definite communism than their
master. The influence of Saint-Simon, precursor of both socialism and
positivism, had considerable influence upon the social philosophy of
the whole century. It only diminished when the newer type of socialist
doctrine appeared, the so-called "scientific" socialism of Marx and
Engels. Saint-Simon's impulse, however, acted powerfully upon the
minds of most of the thinkers of the century, especially in their
youth. Renouvier and Renan were fired with some of his ideas. The
spirit of Saint-Simon expressed itself in our period by promoting an
intense interest in philosophy as applied to social problems.

Saint-Simon was not, however, the only thinker at this time with a
social programme to offer. In contrast to his scheme we have that of
Fourier (1772-1837) who endeavoured to avoid the suppression of
liberty involved in the organisation proposed by Saint-Simon.

The psychology of Fourier was peculiar and it coloured his ethical and
social doctrine. He believed that the evils of the world were due to
the repression of human passions. These in themselves, if given
liberty of expression, would prove harmonious. As Newton had
propounded the law of the universal attraction of matter, Fourier
endeavoured to propound the law of attraction between human beings.
Passion and desire lead to mutual attraction; the basis of society is
free association.

Fourier's _Traité de l'Association domestique et agricole_ (1822),
which followed his _Théorie des Quatre Mouvements_ (1808), proposed
the formation of associations or groups, _phalanges_, in which workers
unite with capital for the self-government of industry. He, like
Saint- Simon, attacks idlers, but the two thinkers look upon the
capitalist manager as a worker. The intense class- antagonism of
capitalist and labourer had not yet formulated itself and was not felt
strongly until voiced on behalf of the proletariat by Proudhon and
Marx. Fourier's proposals were those of a _bourgeois_ business man who
knew the commercial world intimately, who criticised it and condemned
the existing system of civilisation. Various experiments were made to
organise communities based upon his _phalanges_.

Cabet, the author of _Icaria_ (1840) and _Le nouveau Christianisme_,
was a further power in the promotion of socialism and owed not a
little of his inspiration to Robert Owen.

The most interesting and powerful of the early socialist philosophers
is undoubtedly Proudhon (1809- 1865), a striking personality, much
misunderstood.

While Saint-Simon, a count, came from the aristocracy, Fourier from
the _bourgeoisie_, Proudhon was a real son of the people, a mouthpiece
of the proletariat. He was a man of admirable mental energy and
learning, which he had obtained solely by his own efforts and by a
struggle with poverty and misery. Earnest and passionate by nature, he
yet formulated his doctrines with more sanity and moderation than is
usually supposed. Labels of "atheist" and "anarchist" have served well
to misrepresent him. Certainly two of his watchwords were likely
enough to raise hostility in many quarters. "God," he said, "is evil,"
"Property is theft." This last maxim was the subject of his book,
published in 1840, _Qu'est-ce que la propriété_? (_ou, Recherches sur
le principe du droit et du gouvernement_) to which his answer was
"_C'est le vol!_" Proudhon took up the great watchword of _Egalité_,
and had a passion for social justice which he based on "the right to
the whole product of labour." This could only come by mutual exchange,
fairly and freely. He distinguished between private "property" and
individual "possession." The latter is an admitted fact and is not to
be abolished; what he is anxious to overthrow is private "property,"
which is a toll upon the labour of others and is therefore ultimately
and morally theft. He hated the State for its support of the
"thieves," and his doctrines are a philosophy of anarchy. He further
enunciated them in _Système des Contradictions économiques_ (1846) and
_De la Justice_ (1858). In 1848 he was elected a _député_ and,
together with Louis Blanc and Pierre Leroux, figured in the Revolution
of 1848. Blanc was a man of action, who had a concrete scheme for
transition from the capitalist régime to the socialist state. He
believed in the organisation of labour, universal suffrage and a new
distribution of wealth, but he disapproved strongly of the
dictatorship of the proletariat and of violent revolution. Proudhon
expressed his great admiration for Blanc.

The work of both of these men is a contradiction to the assertion put
forward by the Marxian school that socialist doctrine was merely
sentimental, utopian and "unscientific" prior to Marx. Many of the
views of Proudhon and Blanc were far more "scientific" than those of
Marx, because they were closer to facts. Proudhon differed profoundly
from Marx in his view of history in which he saw the influence of
ideas and ideals, as well as the operation of purely economic factors.
To the doctrine of a materialistic determination of history Proudhon
rightly opposes that of a spiritual determination, by the thoughts and
ideals of men._*_ The true revolution Proudhon and Blanc maintained
can come only through the power of ideas.

[Footnote _*_: Indeed, it is highly probable that with the growing
dissatisfaction with Marxian theories the work of Proudhon will come
into greater prominence, replacing largely that of Marx.

On the personal relations of Proudhon with Marx (1818-1883), who was
nine years younger than the Frenchman, see the interesting volume by
Marx's descendant, M. Jean Longuet (Député de la Seine), _La Politique
internationale du Marxisme_ (_Karl Marx et la France_) (Alcan).

On the debt of Marx to the French social thinkers see the account
given by Professor Charles Andler in his special edition of the
Communist Manifesto, _Le Manifeste Communiste_ (_avec introduction
historique et commentaire_), (Rieder), also the last section of
Renouvier's Philosophie analytique de l'Histoire, vol. iv.]

All these early socialist thinkers had this in common: they agreed
that purely economic solutions would not soothe the ills of society,
but that moral, religious and philosophic teaching must accompany, or
rather precede, all efforts towards social reform. The earliest of
them, Saint-Simon, had asserted that no society, no system of
civilisation, can endure if its spiritual principles and its economic
organisation are in direct contradiction. When brotherly love on the
one hand and merciless competition on the other are equally extolled,
then hypocrisy, unrest and conflict are inevitable.


                                  IV

The rise of positivism ranks with the rise of socialism as a movement
of primary importance. Both were in origin nearer to one another than
they now appear to be. We have seen how Saint-Simon was imbued with a
spirit of social reform, a desire to reorganise human society. This
desire Auguste Comte (1798-1857) shared; he felt himself called to it
as a sacred work, and he extolled his "incomparable mission." He
lamented the anarchical state of the world and contrasted it with the
world of the ancients and that of the Middle Ages. The harmony and
stability of mediaeval society were due, Comte urged, to the spiritual
power and unity of the Catholic Church and faith. The liberty of the
Reformation offers no real basis for society, it is the spirit of
criticism and of revolution. The modern world needs a new spiritual
power. Such was Comte's judgment upon the world of his time. Where in
the modern world could such a new organising power be found? To this
question Comte gave an answer similar to that of Saint-Simon: he
turned to science. The influence of Saint-Simon is here apparent, and
we must note the personal relations between the two men. In 1817 Comte
became secretary to Saint-Simon, and became intimately associated with
his ideas and his work. Comte recognised, with his master, the supreme
importance of establishing, at the outset, the relations actually
obtaining and the relations possible between science and political
organisation. This led to the publication, in 1822, of a treatise,
_Plan des Travaux scientifiques nécessaires pour réorganiser la
Société_, which unfortunately led to a quarrel between the two
friends, and finally, in 1824, to a definite rupture by which Comte
seems to have been embittered and made rather hostile to his old
master and to have assumed an ungenerous attitude._*_ Comte,
however, being a proud and ambitious spirit, was perhaps better left
alone to hew out his own path. In him we have one of the greatest
minds of modern France, and his doctrine of positivism is one of the
dominating features of the first half of the century.

[Footnote *: In considering the relations between Saint-Simon and
Comte we may usefully compare those between Schelling and Hegel in
Germany.]

His break with Saint-Simon showed his own resources; he had
undoubtedly a finer sense of the difficulties of his reforming task
than had Saint-Simon; moreover, he possessed a scientific knowledge
which his master lacked. Such equipment he needed in his ambitious
task, and it is one of the chief merits of Comte that he _attempted_
so large a project as the Positive Philosophy endeavoured to be.

This philosophy was contained in his _Cours de Philosophie positive_
(1830-1842), which he regarded as the theoretic basis of a reforming
political philosophy. One of the most interesting aspects of this
work, however, is its claim to be a positive _philosophy_. Had not
Comte accepted the Saint-Simonist doctrine of a belief in science as
the great future power in society? How then comes it that he gives us
a "_philosophie_ positive" in the first place and not, as we might
expect, a "_science_ positive"? Comte's answer to this is that
science, no less than society itself, is disordered and stands in need
of organisation. The sciences have proceeded to work in a piecemeal
fashion and are unable to present us with _une vue d'ensemble_. It is
the rôle of philosophy to work upon the data presented by the various
sciences and, without going beyond these data, to arrange them and
give us an organic unity of thought, a synthesis, which shall produce
order in the mind of man and subsequently in human society.

The precise part to be played by philosophy is determined by the
existing state of scientific knowledge in the various departments and
so depends upon the general stage of intelligence which humanity has
reached. The intellectual development of humanity was formulated
generally by Comte in what is known as "The Law of the Three Stages,"
probably that part of his doctrine which is best known and which is
most obvious. "The Law of the Three Stages" merely sets down the fact
that in the race and in the individual we find three successive
stages, under which conceptions are formed differently. The first is
the theological or fictitious stage, in which the explanation of
things is referred to the operations of divine agency. The second is
the metaphysical or abstract stage when, for divinities, abstract
principles are substituted. In the third, the scientific or positive
stage, the human mind has passed beyond a belief in divine agencies or
metaphysical abstractions to a rational study of the effective laws of
phenomena. The human spirit here encounters the real, but it abstains
from pretensions to absolute knowledge; it does not theorise about the
beginning or the end of the universe or, indeed, its absolute nature;
it takes only into consideration facts within human knowledge. Comte
laid great emphasis upon the necessity of recognising the relativity
of all things. All is relative; this is the one absolute principle.
Our knowledge, he insisted (especially in his _Discours sur l'Esprit
positif_, 1844, which forms a valuable introduction to his thought as
expressed in his larger works), is entirely relative to our
organisation and our situation. Relativity, however, does not imply
uncertainty. Our knowledge is indeed relative and never absolute, but
it grows to a greater accord with reality. It is this passion for
"accord with reality" which is characteristic of the scientific or
positivist spirit.

The sciences are themselves relative and much attention is given by
Comte to the proper classification of the sciences. He determines his
hierarchy by arranging them in the order in which they have themselves
completed the three stages and arrived at positivity. Mathematics,
astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and sociology are his
arrangement. This last named has not yet arrived at the final stage;
it is but a science in the making. Comte, indeed, himself gives it its
name and founds it as the science of society, science applied to
politics, as was first indicated in his scheme of work and early ideas
of reform.

Comte strongly insists upon the social aspect of all knowledge and all
action. He even goes to the extent of regarding the individual man as
an abstraction; for him the real being is the social being, Humanity.
The study of human society has a double aspect, which is also a
feature of the other sciences. As in biology there is the study of
anatomy on the one hand and of physiology on the other, so in
sociology we must investigate both the laws which govern the existence
of a society and those which control its movements. The distinction
is, in short, that of the static and the dynamic, and it embraces in
sociological study the important conceptions of order and of progress.
Comte very rightly stressed the idea of progress as characteristic of
modern times, but he lamented its being divorced from that of order.
He blamed the conservative view of order as responsible for promoting
among "progressives" the spirit of anarchy and revolution. A positive
sociology would, Comte maintained, reconcile a true order, which does
not exclude change, with real progress, a movement which is neither
destructive nor capricious. Comte here owes a debt in part to
Montesquieu and largely to Condorcet, whose _Esquisse d'un Tableau
historique des Progrès de l'Esprit humain_ (1795) did much to promote
serious reflection upon the question of progress.

We have already noted Comte's intense valuation of Humanity as a whole
as a Supreme Being. In his later years, notably after 1845, when he
met his "Beatrice" in the person of Clotilde de Vaux, he gave to his
doctrines a sentimental expression of which the Religion of Humanity
with its ritualism was the outcome. This positivist religion
endeavoured to substitute for the traditional God the Supreme Being of
Humanity--a Being capable, according to Comte, of sustaining our
courage, becoming the end of our actions and the object of our love.
To this he attached a morality calculated to combat the egoism which
tends to dominate and to destroy mankind and intended to strengthen
the altruistic motives in man and to raise them to the service of
Humanity.

We find Comte, at the opening of our period, restating his doctrines
in his _Système de Politique positive_ (1851-54), to which his first
work was meant to serve as an Introduction. In 1856 he began his
_Synthèse subjective_, but he died in 1857. Comte is a singularly
desolate figure; the powers of officialdom were against him, and he
existed mainly by what he could gain from teaching mathematics and by
a pension raised by his admirers in England and his own land.

The influence of his philosophy has been great and far- reaching, but
it is the _spirit_ of positivism which has survived, not its content.
Subsequent developments in science have rendered much of his work
obsolete, while his Religion has never made a great appeal. Comte's
most noted disciple, Littré (1801-1881), regarded this latter as a
retrograde step and confined himself to the early part of his master's
work. Most important for us in the present work is Comte's influence
upon subsequent thinkers in France, notably Taine, and we may add,
Renan, Cournot, and even Renouvier, although these last two promoted a
vigorous reaction against his philosophy in general. He influenced his
adversaries, a notable testimony. Actually, however, the positivist
philosophy found a greater welcome on the English side of the Channel
from John Stuart Mill, Spencer and Lewes. The empiricism of the
English school proved a more fruitful soil for positivism than the
vague spiritualism of Cousin to which it offered strong opposition.
Positivism, or rather the positivist standpoint in philosophy, turned
at a later date to reseek its fatherland and after a sojourn in
England reappears as an influence in the work of French thinkers near
the end of the century--e.g., Fouillée, Guyau, Lachelier, Boutroux and
Bergson express elements of positivism.

We have now passed in review the four main currents of the first half
of the century, in a manner intended to orient the approach to our
period, 1851-1921. Without such an orientation much of the subsequent
thought would lose its correct colouring and perspective. There is a
continuity, even if it be partly a continuity marked by reactions, and
this will be seen when we now examine the three general currents into
which the thought of the subsequent period is divided.



                              CHAPTER II

                            MAIN CURRENTS

THE year 1851 was one of remarkable importance for France; a crisis
then occurred in its political and intellectual life. The hopes and
aspirations to which the Revolution of 1848 had given rise were
shattered by the _coup d'état_ of Louis Napoleon in the month of
December. The proclamation of the Second Empire heralded the revival
of an era of imperialism and reaction in politics, accompanied by a
decline in liberty and a diminution of idealism in the world of
thought. A censorship of books was established, the press was deprived
of its liberty, and the teaching of philosophy forbidden in
_lycées_.*

[Footnote _*_ : The revival of philosophy in the _lycées_ began when
Victor Drury reintroduced the study of Logic.]

Various ardent and thoughtful spirits, whose minds and hearts had been
uplifted by the events of 1848, hoping to see the dawn of an era
expressing in action the ideals of the first Revolution, _Liberté_,
_Egalité_, _Fraternité_, were bitterly disappointed. Social ideals
such as had been created by Saint-Simon and his school received a rude
rebuff from force, militarism and imperialism. So great was the
mingled disappointment and disgust of many that they left for ever the
realm of practical politics to apply themselves to the arts, letters
or sciences. Interesting examples of this state of mind are to be
found in Vacherot, Taine, Renan and Renouvier, and, we may add, in
Michelet, Victor Hugo and Edgar Quinet. The first of these, Vacherot,
who had succeeded Cousin as Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne,
lost his chair, as did Quinet and also Michelet, who was further
deprived of his position as Archivist. Hugo and Quinet, having taken
active political part in the events of 1848, were driven into exile.
Disgust, disappointment, disillusionment and pessimism characterise
the attitude of all this group of thinkers to political events, and
this reacted not only upon their careers but upon their entire
philosophy. "With regard to the Second Empire," we find Renan
saying,_*_ "if the last ten years of its duration in some measure
repaired the mischief done in the first eight, it must never be
forgotten how strong this Government was when it was a question of
crushing the intelligence, and how feeble when it came to raising it
up."

[Footnote _*_: In his Preface to _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de
Jeunesse._]

The disheartening end of the Empire in moral degeneracy and military
defeat only added to the gloominess, against which the Red Flag and
the red fires of the Commune cast a lurid and pathetic glow, upon
which the Prussians could look down with a grim smile from the heights
of Paris. Only with the establishment of the Third Republic in 1871,
and its ratification a few years later, does a feeling of cheerfulness
make itself felt in the thought of the time. The years from 1880
onwards have been remarkable for their fruitfulness in the philosophic
field--to such an extent do political and social events react upon the
most philosophical minds. This is a healthy sign; it shows that those
minds have not detached themselves from contact with the world, that
the spirit of philosophy is a living spirit and not merely an academic
or professional product divorced from the fierce realities of history.

We have already indicated, in the treatment of the "Antecedents" of
our period, the dominance of Eclecticism, supported by the powers of
officialdom, and have remarked how Positivism arose as a reaction
against Cousin's vague spiritualism. In approaching the second half of
the century we may in general characterise its thought as a reaction
against both eclecticism and positivism. A transitional current can be
distinguished where positivism turns, as it were, against itself in
the work of Vacherot, Taine and Renan. The works of Cournot and the
indefatigable Renouvier with his neo-criticism mark another main
current. Ultimately there came to triumph towards the close of the
century a new spiritualism, owing much inspiration to De Biran, but
which, unlike Cousin's doctrines, had suffered the discipline of the
positivist spirit. The main contributors to this current are
Ravaisson, Lachelier, Fouillée and Guyau, Boutroux, Bergson, Blondel
and Weber. Our study deals with the significance of these three
currents, and having made this clear we shall then discuss the
development of thought in connection with the various problems and
ideas in which the philosophy of the period found its expression.

In his _Critique of Pure Reason_ Kant endeavoured, at a time when
speculation of a dogmatic and uncritical kind was current, to call
attention to the necessity for examining the instrument of knowledge
itself, and thereby discovering its fitness or inadequacy, as the case
might be, for dealing with the problems which philosophy proposes to
investigate. This was a word spoken in due season and, however much
subsequent philosophy has deviated from the conclusions of Kant, it
has at least remembered the significance of his advice. The result has
been that the attitude adopted by philosophers to the problems before
them has been determined largely by the kind of answer which they
offer to the problems of knowledge itself. Obviously a mind which
asserts that we can never be sure of knowing anything (or as in some
cases, that this assertion is itself uncertain) will see all questions
through the green-glasses of scepticism. On the other hand, a thinker
who believes that we do have knowledge of certain things and can be
certain of thiss, whether by objective proof or a subjective
intuition, is sure to have, not only a different conclusion about
problems, but, what is probably more important for the philosophic
spirit, a different means of approaching them.

Writing in 1860 on the general state of philosophy, Renan pointed out,
in his Essay _La Métaphysique el son Avenir_,_*_ that metaphysical
speculation, strictly so-called, had been in abeyance for thirty
years, and did not seem inclined to continue the traditions of Kant,
Hegel, Hamilton and Cousin. The reasons which he gave for this
depression of the philosophical market were, firstly, the feeling of
the impossibility of ultimate knowledge, a scepticism of the
instrument, so far as the human mind was concerned, and secondly, the
rather disdainful attitude adopted by many minds towards philosophy
owing to the growing importance of science--in short, the question,
"Is there any place left for philosophy; has it any _raison d'être_?"

[Footnote _*_: Essay published later (1876) in his _Dialogues et
Fragments philosophiques_. Cf. especially pp. 265-266.]

The progress of the positive sciences, and the assertions of many that
philosophy was futile and treacherous, led philosophy to give an
account of itself by a kind of _apologia pro vita sua_. In the face of
remarks akin to that of Newton's "Physics beware of metaphysics," the
latter had to bestir itself or pass out of existence. It was, indeed,
this extinction which the more ardent and devoted scientific spirits
heralded, re-iterating the war-cry of Auguste Comte.

It was a crisis, in fact, for philosophy. Was it to become merely a
universal science? Was it to abandon the task of solving the problems
of the universe by rapid intuitions and a _priori_ constructions and
undertake the construction of a science of the whole, built up from
the data and results of the science of the parts--_i.e._, the separate
sciences of nature? Was there, then, to be no place for metaphysics in
this classification of the sciences to which the current of thought
was tending with increasing impetuosity? Was a science of primary or
ultimate truths a useless chimera, to be rejected entirely by the
human mind in favour of an all-sufficing belief in positive science?
These were the questions which perplexed the thoughtful minds of that
time.

We shall do well, therefore, in our survey of the half century before
us, to investigate the two problems which were stressed by Renan in
the essay we have quoted, for his acute mind possessed a unique power
of sensing the feeling and thought of his time. Our preliminary task
will be the examination of the general attitude to knowledge adopted
by the various thinkers and schools of thought, following this by an
inquiry into the attitude adopted to science itself and its relation
to philosophy.


                                  I

With these considerations in mind, let us examine the three currents
of thought in our period beginning with that which is at once a
prolongation of positivism and a transformation of it, a current
expressed in the work of Vacherot, Taine and Renan.

Etienne Vacherot (1809-1897) was partially a disciple of Victor Cousin
and a representative also of the positivist attitude to knowledge. His
work, however, passed beyond the bounds indicated by these names. He
remained a convinced naturalist and believer in positive science, but,
unlike Comte, he did not despise metaphysical inquiry, and he sought
to find a place for it in thought. Vacherot, who had won a reputation
for himself by an historical work on the Alexandrian School, became
tne director of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, an important position in
the intellectual world. He here advocated the doctrines by which he
sought to give a to metaphysics. His most important book, _La
Métaphysique et la Science_, in three volumes, appeared in 1858. He
suffered imprisonment the following year for His liberal principles
under the Empire which had already deprived him of his position at the
Sorbonne.

The general attitude to knowledge adopted by Vacherot recalls in some
respects the metaphysical doctrines of Spinoza, and he endeavours to
combine the purely naturalistic view of the world with a metaphysical
conception. The result is a profound and, for Vacherot, irreconcilable
dualism, in which the real and the ideal are set against one another
in rigorous contrast, and the gap between them is not bridged or even
attempted to be filled up, as, at a later date, was the task assumed
by Fouillee in his philosophy of _idées-forces_. For Vacherot the
world is a unity, eternal and infinite, but lacking perfection.
Perfection, the ideal, is incompatible with reality. The real is not
at all ideal, and the ideal has no reality._*_ In this
unsatisfactory dualism Vacherot leaves us. His doctrine, although
making a superficial appeal by its seeming positivism on the one hand,
and its maintenance of the notion of the ideal or perfection on the
other, is actually far more paradoxical than that which asserts that
ultimately it is the ideal only which is real. While St. Anselm had
endeavoured to establish by his proof of the existence of God the
reality of perfection, Vacherot, by a reversal of this proof, arrives
at the opposite conclusion, and at a point where it seems that it
would be for the ideal an imperfection to exist. The absolute
existence of all things is thus separated from the ideal, and no
attempt is made to relate the two, as Spinoza had so rigorously done,
by maintaining that reality _is_ perfection._/-_

[Footnote _*_: It is interesting to contrast this with the attitude of
the new spiritualists, especially Fouillée's conception of
idees-forces, of ideas and ideals realising themselves. See also
Guyau's attitude.

          "_L'idéal n'est-il pas, sur la terre où nous sommes
              Plus fécond et plus beau que la réalité?"
                         --Illusion féconde_.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Vacherot contributed further to the thought of his
time, notably by a book on religion, 1869, and later in life seems to
have become sympathetic to the New Spiritualism, on which he also
wrote a book in 1884.]

The influence of Vacherot was in some measure continued in that of his
pupil, Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893), a thinker who had considerable
influence upon the development of thought in our period. His ability
as a critic of art and literature was perhaps more marked than his
purely philosophical influence, but this is, nevertheless, important,
and cannot be overlooked.

Taine was a student of the Ecole Normale, and in 1851 was appointed to
teach philosophy at Nevers. The _coup d'état_, however, changed his
career, and he turned to literature as his main field, writing a work
on La Fontaine for his doctorate in 1853. In the year of Comte's death
(1857) Taine published his book, _Les Philosophes français du XIXe
Siècle_, in which he turned his powerful batteries of criticism upon
the vague spiritualism professed by Cousin and officially favoured in
France at that time._*_ By his adverse criticism of Cousin and the
Eclectic School, Taine placed his influence upon the side of the
positivist followers of Comte. It would, however, be erroneous to
regard him as a mere disciple of Comte, as Taine's positivism was in
its general form a wider doctrine, yet more rigorously scientific in
some respects than that of Comte. There was also an important
difference in their attitude to metaphysics. Taine upheld strongly the
value, and, indeed, the necessity, of a metaphysical doctrine. He
never made much of any debt or allegiance to Comte.

[Footnote _*_ : See his chapter xii. on "The Success of Eclecticism,"
pp. 283-307. Cousin, he criticises at length; De Biran, Royer-Collard
and Jouffroy are included in his censures. We might mention that this
book was first issued in the form of articles in the _Revue de
l'Instruction publique_ during the years 1855, 1856.]

In 1860 a volume dealing with the _Philosophy of Art_ appeared from
his pen, in which he not only endeavoured to relate the art of a
period to the general environment in which it arose, but, in addition,
he dealt with certain psychological aspects of the problem. Largely as
a result of the talent displayed in this work, he was ap-* *pointed in
1864 to tne chair of the History of Art and Æsthetics in the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts.

Taine's interest in philosophy, and especially in psychological
problems, was more prominently demon strated in his book _De
l'Intelligence_, the two volumes of which appeared in 1870. In this
work he takes a strict view of the human intelligence as a mechanism,
the workings of which he sets forth in a precise and cold manner. His
treatment of knowledge is akin, in some respects, to the doctrines of
the English Utilitarian and Evolutionary School as represented by John
Stuart Mill, Bain and Spencer. The main feature of the Darwinian
doctrine is set by Taine in the foreground of epistemology. There is,
according to him, "a struggle for existence" in the realm of the
individual consciousness no less than in the external world. This
inner conflict is between psychical elements which, when victorious,
result in sense-perception. This awareness, or _hallucination vraie_,
is not knowledge of a purely speculative character; it is (as, at a
later date, Bergson was to maintain in his doctrine of perception)
essentially bound up with action, with the instinct and mechanism of
movement.

One of the most notable features of Taine's work is his attitude to
psychology. He rejects absolutely the rather scornful attitude adopted
with regard to this science by Comte; at the same time he shatters the
flimsy edifice of the eclectics in order to lay the foundation of a
scientific psychology. "The true and independent psychology is," he
remarks, "a magnificent science which lays the foundation of the
philosophy of history, which gives life to physiology and opens up the
pathway to metaphysics."_*_ Our debt to Taine is immense, for he
initiated the great current of experimental psychology for which his
country has since become famous. It is not our intention in this
present work to follow out in any detail the purely psychological work
of the period. Psychology has more and more become differentiated
from, and to a large degree, independent of, philosophy in a strictly
metaphysical meaning of that word. Yet we shall do well in passing to
note that through Taine's work the scientific attitude to psychologv
and its many problems was taken up and developed by Ribot, whose study
of English Psychology appeared in the same year as Taine's
_Intelligence_. Particularly by his frequent illustrations drawn from
abnormal psychology, Taine "set the tone" for contemporary and later
study of mental activity of this type. Ribot's later books have been
mainly devoted to the study of "the abnormal,"and his efforts are
characteristic of the labours of the Paris School, comprising Charcot,
Paulhan, Binet and Janet._*_ French psychology has in consequence
become a clearly defined "school," with characteristics peculiar to
itself which distinguish it at once from the psychophysical research
of German workers and from the analytic labours of English
psychologists. Its debt to Taine at the outset must not be forgotten.

[Footnote _*_ : De l'Intelligence, Conclusion.]

[Footnote _*_ : By Charcot (1825-1893), _Leçons sur les Maladies du
Système nerveux faites à la Salpêtrière_ and _Localisation dans les
Maladies du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière_, 1880.

By Ribot (1839-1916), _Hérédité, Etude psychologique_, 1873, Eng.
trans., 1875; _Les Maladies de la Mémoire, Essai dans la Psychologie
positive_, 1881, Eng. trans., 1882; _Maladies de la Volonté_, 1883,
Eng. trans., 1884; _Maladies de la Personnalité_, 1885, Eng. trans.,
1895. Ribot expressed regret at the way in which abnormal psychology
has been neglected in England. See his critique of Bain in his
_Psychologie anglaise contemporaine_. In 1870 Ribot declared the
independence of psychology as a study, separate from philosophy. Ribot
had very wide interests beyond pure psychology, a fact which is
stressed by his commencing in 1876 the periodical _La Revue
philosophique de la France et de l'Etranger_.

By Binet (1857-191!), _Magnétisme animal_, 1886; _Les Altérations de
la personnalité_, 1892; _L'Introduction à la Psychologie
expérimentale_, 1894. He founded the review _L'Année psychologique in
1895_.

By Janet (Pierre), born 1859 now Professeur at the Collège de France,
_L'Automatisme psychologique_, 1889; _Etat mental des Hystériques_,
1894; and _Neuroses et Idées-fixes_, 1898. He founded the _Journal de
Psychologie_.

By Paulhan, _Phénomenes affectifs and L'Activité mentale_.

To the fame of the Paris School of Psychology must now be added that
of the Nancy School embracing the work of Coué.]

The War and the subsequent course of events in France seemed to deepen
the sadness and pessimism of Taine's character. He described himself
as _naturellement triste_, and finally his severe positivism developed
into a rigorous stoicism akin to that of Marcus Aurelius and Spinoza.
This attitude of mind coloured his unfinished historical work, _Les
Origines de la France contemporaine_, upon which he was engaged for
the last years of his life (1876-1894). It may be noticed for its
bearing upon the study of sociological problems which it indirectly
encouraged. Just as Taine had regarded a work of art as the product of
social environment, so he looks upon historical events. This history
bears all the marks of Taine's rigid, positive philosophy, intensified
by his later stoicism. The Revolution of 1789 is treated in a cold and
stern manner devoid of enthusiasm of any sort. He could not make
historical narrative live like Michelet, and from his own record the
Revolution itself is almost unintelligible. For Taine, however, we
must remember, human nature is absolutely the product of race,
environment and history._*_

[Footnote _*_: Michelet (1798-1874), mentioned here as an historian of
a type entirely different from Taine, influenced philosophic thought
by his volumes _Le Peuple_, 1846; _L'Amour_, 1858; _Le Prêtre, La
Femme et la Famille_, 1859; and _La Bible de l'Humanité_, 1864. He and
his friend Quinet (1803-1875), who was also a Professor at the College
de France, and was the author of _Génie des Religions_, 1842, had
considerable influence prior to 1848 of a political and religious
character. They were in strong opposition to the Roman Catholic Church
and had keen controversies with the Jesuits and Ultramontanists.]

In the philosophy of Taine various influences are seen at work
interacting. The spirit of the French thinkers of the previous
century--sensualists and ideologists--reappears in him. While in a
measure he fluctuates between naturalism and idealism, the
predominating tone of his work is clearly positivist. He was a great
student of Spinoza and of Hegel, and the influence of both these
thinkers appears in his work. Like Spinoza, he believes in a universal
determination; like Hegel, he asserts the real and the rational to be
identical. In his general attitude to the problems of knowledge Taine
criticises and passes beyond the standpoints of both Hume and Kant. He
opposes the purely empiricist schools of both France and England. The
purely empirical attitude which looks upon the world as fragmentary
and phenomenal is deficient, according to Taine, and is, moreover,
incompatible with the notion of necessity. This notion of necessity is
characteristic of Taine's whole work, and his strict adherence to it
was mainly due to his absolute belief in science and its methods,
which is a mark of all the positivist type of thought.

While he rejected Hume's empiricism he also opposed the doctrines of
Kant and the neo-critical school which found its inspiration in Kant
and Hume. Taine asserted that it is possible to have a knowledge of
things in their objective reality, and he appears to have based his
epistemology upon the doctrine of analysis proposed by Condillac.
Taine disagreed with the theory of the relativity of human knowledge
and with the phenomenal basis of the neo-critical teaching, its
rejection of "the thing in itself." He believed we had knowledge not
merely relative but absolute, and he claimed that we can pass from
phenomena and their laws to comprehend the essence of things in
themselves. He endeavours to avoid the difficulties of Hume by
dogmatism. While clinging to a semi-Hegelian view of rationality he
avoids Kant's critical attitude to reason itself. We have in Taine not
a critical rationalist but a dogmatic rationalist. While the rational
aspect of his thought commands a certain respect and has had in many
directions a very wholesome influence, notably, as we have remarked,
upon psychology, yet it proves itself in the last analysis
self-contradictory, for a true rationalism is critical in character
rather than dogmatic.

In Taine'a great contemporary, Ernest Renan (1823-1892), a very
different temper is seen. The two thinkers both possessed popularity
as men of letters, and resembled one another in being devoted to
literary and historical pursuits rather than to philosophy itself.

Renan was trained for the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. He
has left us a record of his early life in _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de
Jeunesse_. We there have an autobiography of a sincere and sensitive
soul, encouraged in his priestly career by his family and his teachers
to such a degree that he had conceived of no other career for himself,
until at the age of twenty, under the influence of modern scientific
doctrines and the criticism of the Biblical records, he found himself
an unbeliever, certainly not a Roman Catholic, and not, in the
ordinary interpretation of that rather vague term, a Christian. The
harsh, unrelenting dogmatism of the Roman Church drove Renan from
Christianity. We find him remarking that had he lived in a Protestant.
country he might not have been faced with the dilemma._*_ A _via
media_ might have presented itself in one of the very numerous forms
into which Protestant Christianity, is divided. He might have
exercised in such a sphere, his priestly functions as did
Schleiermacher. Renan's break with Rome emphasises the clear-cut
division which exists in France between the Christian faith
(represented, almost entirely by the Roman Church) and _libre-pensée_,
a point which will claim our attention later, when we come to treat of
the Philosophy of Religion.

[Footnote _*_ : Cf. his _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_, p. 292.]

Having abandoned the seminary and the Church, Renan worked for his
university degrees. The events of 1848-49 inspired his young heart
with great enthusiasm, under the influence of which he wrote his
_Avenir de la Science_. This book was not published, however, until
1890, when he had lost his early hopes and illusions. In 1849 he went
away upon a mission to Italy. "The reaction of 1850-51 and the _coup
d'état_ instilled into me a pessimism of which I am not yet cured," so
he wrote in the preface to his _Dialogues et Fragments
philosophiques_._*_ Some years after the _coup d'état_ he
published a volume of essays (_Essais de Morale et de Critique_), and
he showed his acquaintance with Arabic philosophy by an excellent
treatise on _Averroes et l'Averroisme_ (1859). The following year he
visited Syria and, in 1861, was appointed Professor of Hebrew at the
Collège de France. He then began his monumental work on _Les Origines
du Christianisme_, of which the first volume, _La Vie de Jésus_,
appeared in 1863. Its importance for religious thought we shall
consider in our last chapter; here it must suffice to observe its
immediate consequences. These were terrific onslaughts from the clergy
upon its author, which, although they brought the attention of his
countrymen and of the world upon Renan, resulted in the Imperial
Government suspending his tenure of the chair. After the fall of the
Empire, however, he returned to it, and under the Third Republic
became Director of the Collège de France.

[Footnote _*_ : Published only in 1895. The preface referred to is
dated 1871.]

Renan, although he broke off his career in the Church and his
connection with organised religion, retained, nevertheless, much of
the priestly character all his life, and he himself confesses this: "I
have learned several things, but I have changed in nowise as to the
general system of intellectual and moral life. My habitation has
become more spacious, but it still stands on the same ground. I look
upon my estrangement from orthodoxy as only a change of opinion
concerning an important historical question, a change which does not
prevent me from dwelling on the same foundations as before." He indeed
found it impossible to reconcile the Catholic faith with free and
honest thought. His break with the Church made him an enemy of all
superstition, and his writings raised against him the hatred of the
Catholic clergy, who regarded him as a deserter. In the cus-* *tomary
terms of heated theological debate he was styled an atheist. This was
grossly unfair or meaningless. Which word we use here depends upon our
definition of theism. As a matter of fact, Renan was one of the most
deeply religious minds of his time. His early religious sentiments
remained, in essence if not in form, with him throughout his life.
These were always associated with the tender memories he had of his
mother and beloved sister and his virtuous teachers, the priests in
the little town of Brittany, whence he came. Much of the Breton
mysticism clung to his soul, and much of his philosophy is a restated,
rationalised form of his early beliefs.

As a figure in the intellectual life of the time, Renan is difficult
to estimate. The very subtilty of his intellect betrayed him into an
oscillation which was far from admirable, and prevented his countrymen
in his own day from "getting to grips" with his ideas. These were
kaleidoscopic. Renan seems a type, reflecting many tendencies of the
time, useful as an illustration to the historian of the ideas of the
period; but for philosophy in the special sense he has none of the
clearly defined importance of men like Renouvier, Lachelier, Guyau,
Fouillée, Bergson or Blondel. His humanism keeps him free from
dogmatism, but his mind fluctuates so that his general attitude to the
ultimate problems is one of reserve, of scepticism and of frequent
paradox and contradiction. Renan seems to combine the positivist scorn
of metaphysics with the Kantian idealism. At times, however, his
attitude is rather Hegelian, and he believes in universal change which
is an evolving of spirit, the ideal or God, call it what we will. We
need not be too particular about names or forms of thought, for, after
all, everything "may be only a dream." That is Renan's attitude, to
temper enthusiasm by irony, to assert a duty of doubt, and often,
perhaps, to gain a literary brilliance by contradictory statements.
"The survey of human affairs is not complete," he reminds us, "unless
we allot a place for irony beside that of tears, a place for pity
beside that of rage, and a place for a smile alongside respect."_*_

[Footnote _*_: Preface to his _Drames philosophiques_, 1888.]

It was this versatility which made Renan a lover of the philosophic
dialogue. This literary and dramatic form naturally appealed strongly
to a mind who was so very conscious of the fact that the truths with
which philosophy deals cannot be directly denied or directly affirmed,
as they are not subject to demonstration. All the high problems of
humanity Renan recognised as being of this kind, as involving finally
a rational faith; and he claimed that the best we can do is to present
the problems of life from different points of view. This is due
entirely to the peculiar character of philosophy itself, and to the
distinction, which must never be overlooked, between knowledge and
belief, between certitude and opinion. Geometry, for example, is not a
subject for dialogues but for demonstration, as it involves knowledge
and certitude. The problems of philosophy, on the contrary, involve
"_une nuance de foi_," as Renan styles it. They involve willed
adhesion, acceptance or choice; they provoke sympathy or hate, and
call into play human personality with its varying shades of colour.

This state of _nuance_ Renan asserts to be the one of the hour for
philosophy. It is not the time, he thinks, to attempt to strengthen by
abstract reasoning the "proofs" of God's existence or of the reality
of a future life. "Men see just now that they can never know anything
of the supreme cause of the universe or of their own destiny.
Nevertheless they are anxious to listen to those who will speak to
them about either."_/-_

[Footnote _/-_: From his Preface to Drames philosophiques.]

Knowledge, Renan maintained, lies somewhere between the two schools
into which the majority of men are divided. "What you are looking for
has long since been discovered and made clear," say the orthodox.
"What you are looking for is impossible to find," say the practical
positivists, the political "raillers" and the atheists. It is true
that we shall never know the ultimate secret of all being, but we
shall never prevent man from desiring more and more knowledge or from
creating for himself working hypotheses or beliefs.

Yet although Renan admits this truth he never approaches even the
pragmatist position of supporting "creative beliefs." He rather urges
a certain passivity towards problems and opinions. We should, he
argues in his _Examen de Conscience philosophique_,_*_ let them
work themselves out in us. Like a spectator we must let them modify
our "intellectual retina"; we must let reality reflect itself in us.
By this he does not mean to assert that the truth about that reality
is a matter of pure indifference to us-far from it. Precisely because
he is so conscious of the importance of true knowledge, he is anxious
that we should approach the study of reality without previous
prejudices. "We have no right," he remarks, "to have a desire when
reason speaks; we must listen and nothing more." [Footnote: Feuilles
détachées, p. 402.]

[Footnote _*_: In his _Feuilles detachées_, pp. 401-443.]

It must be admitted, however, that Renan's attitude to the problems of
knowledge was largely sceptical. While, as we shall see in the
following chapter, he extolled science, his attitude to belief and to
knowledge was irritating in its vagueness and changeableness. He
appeared to pose too much as a _dilettante_ making a show of subtle
intellect, rather than a serious thinker of the first rank. His
eminence and genius are unquestioned, but he played in a bewitching
and frequently bewildering manner with great and serious problems, and
one cannot help wishing that this great intellect of his--and it was
unquestionably great--was not more steady and was not applied by its
owner more steadfastly and courageously to ultimate problems. His
writings reflect a bewildering variety of contradictory moods,
playful, scathing, serious and mocking. Indeed, he replied in his
_Feuilles detachées_ (1892) to the accusations of Amiel by insisting
that irony is the philosopher's last word. For him as for his
brilliant fellow-countryman, Anatole France, ironical scepticism is
the ultimate product of his reflection upon life. His _Examen de
Conscience_ philosophique is his Confession of Faith, written four
years before his death, in which he tries to defend his sceptical
attitude and to put forward scepticism as an apology for his own
uncertainty and his paradoxical changes of view. Irony intermingles
with his doubt here too. We do not know, he says, ultimate reality; we
do not know whether there be any purpose or end in the universe at
all. There may be, but on the other hand it may be a farce and fiasco.
By refusing to believe in anything, rejecting both alternatives, Renan
argues, with a kind of mental cowardice, we avoid the consequence of
being absolutely deceived. He recommended an adoption of mixed belief
and doubt, optimism and irony.

This is a surprising attitude in a philosopher and is not
characteristic of great modern thinkers, most of whom prefer belief
(hypothetical although that be) to non-belief. Doubtless Renan's early
training had a psychological effect which operated perhaps largely
unconsciously throughout his life, and his literary and linguistic
ability seems to have given him a reputation which was rather that of
a man of letters than a philosopher. He had not the mental strength or
frankness to face alternatives squarely and to decide to adopt one.
Consequently he merited the application of the old proverb about being
between two stools. This application was actually made to Renan's
attitude in a critical remark by Renouvier in his _Esquisse d'une
Classification des Doctrines philosphiques_._*_ Renouvier had no
difficulty in pointing out that the man who hesitates deprives himself
of that great reality, the exercise of his own power of free choice,
in itself valuable and more akin to reality (whatever be the choice)
than a mere "sitting on the fence," an attitude which, so far from
assuring one of getting the advantages of both possibilities as Renan
claims, may more justly seem to deprive one of the advantages in both
directions. The needs of life demand that we construct beliefs of some
sort. We may be wrong and err, but pure scepticism such as Renan
advocated is untenable. Life, if it is to be real and earnest, demands
of us that we have faith in _some_ values, that we construct _some_
beliefs, _some_ hypotheses, by which we may work.

[Footnote: Vol. ii., p. 395.]

Both Renan and Taine exercised a considerable influence upon French
thought. While inheriting the positivist outlook they, to a great
degree, perhaps unconsciously, undermined the positive position, both
by their interest in the humanities, in art, letters and religion and
in their metaphysical attitude. Taine, beginning with a rigid
naturalism, came gradually to approach an idealistic standpoint in
many respects, while Renan, beginning with a dogmatic idealism, came
to acute doubt, hypotheses, "dreams" and scepticism. Taine kept his
thoughts in too rigid a mould, solidified, while those of Renan seem
finally to have existed only in a gaseous state, intangible, vague and
hazy. We have observed how the positivist current from Comte was
carried over by Vacherot to Taine. In Renan we find that current
present also, but it has begun to turn against itself. While we may
say that his work reflects in a very remarkable manner the spirit of
his time, especially the positivist faith in science, yet we are also
able to find in it, in spite of his immense scepticism, the
indications of a spiritualist or idealist movement, groping and
shaping itself as the century grows older.


                                  II

While the positivist current of thought was working itself out through
Vacherot, Taine and Renan to a position which forms a connecting link
between Comte and the new spiritualism in which the reaction against
positivism and eclecticism finally culminated, another influence was
making itself felt independently in the neo-critical philosophy of
Renouvier.

We must here note the work and influence of Cournot (1801-1877), which
form a very definite link between the doctrines of Comte and those of
Renouvier. He owed much to positivism, and he contributed to the
formation of neo-criticism by his influence upon Renouvier. Cournot's
_Essai sur le Fondement de nos Connaissances_ appeared in 1851, three
years before Renouvier gave to the world the first volume of his
_Essais de Critique générale_. In 1861 Cournot published his _Traité
de l'Enchaînement des Idées_, which was followed by his
_Considerations sur le Marche des Idées_ (1872) and _Matérialisme_,
_Vitalisme_, _Rationalisme_ (1875). These volumes form his
contribution to philosophical thought, his remaining works being
mainly concerned with political economy and mathematics, a science in
which he won distinction.

Like Comte, Cournot opposed the spiritualism, the eclecticism and the
psychology of Cousin, but he was possessed of a more philosophic mind
than Comte; he certainly had greater philosophical knowledge, was
better equipped in the history of philosophy and had much greater
respect for metaphysical theory. He shared with Comte, however, an
interest in social problems and biology; he also adopted his general
attitude to knowledge, but the spirit of Cournot's work is much less
dogmatic than that of the great positivist, and he made no pretensions
to be a "pontiff" such as Comte aspired to be. Indeed his lack of
pretensions may account partly for the lack of attention with which
his work (which is shrewd, thoughtful and reserved) has been treated.
He aimed at indicating the foundations of a sound philosophy rather
than at offering a system of thought to the public. This temper was
the product of his scientific attitude. It was by an examination of
the sciences and particularly of the principles upon which they depend
that he formulated his group of fundamental doctrines.

He avoided hasty generalisations or a _priori_ constructions and, true
to the scientific spirit, based his thought upon the data afforded by
experience. He agreed heartily with Comte regarding the relativity of
our knowledge. An investigation of this knowledge shows it to be based
on three principles--order, chance, and probability. We find order
existing in the universe and by scientific methods we try to grasp
this order. This involves induction, a method which cannot give us
absolute certainty, although it approximates to it. It gives us
probability only. There is therefore a reality of chances, and
contingency or chance must be admitted as a factor in evolution and in
human history.

Cournot foreshadows many of the doctrines of the new spiritualists as
well as those of the neo-critical school. Much in his work heralds a
Bergson as well as a Renouvier. This is noticeable in his attitude to
science and to the problem of contingency or freedom. It is further
seen in his doctrine that the _vivant_ is incapable of demonstration,
in his view of the soul or higher instinct which he distinguished from
the intelligence, in the biological interest displayed in his work
(due partly to the work of Bichat_*_), and in his idea of a
_Travail de Création_. Unlike Bergson, however, he admits a teleology,
for he believed this inseparable from living beings, but he regards it
as a hazardous finality, not rigid or inconsistent with freedom.

[Footnote _*_ : Bichat (1771-1802) was a noted physiologist and
anatomist. In 1800 appeared his _Recherches physiologiques sur la Vie
et la Mort_, followed in 1801 by _Anatomie générale, appliquée à la
Physiologie et à la Médecine_.]

The immediate influence of Cournot was felt by only a small circle,
and his most notable affinity was with Renouvier, although Cournot was
less strictly an intellectualist. Like Renouvier he looked upon
philosophy as a "_Critique générale_." He was also concerned with the
problem of the categories and with the compatibility of science and
freedom, a problem which was now assuming a very central position in
the thought of the period.

Renouvier, in the construction of his philosophy, was partly
influenced by the work of Cournot. In this lone, stern, indefatigable
worker we have one of the most powerful minds of the century. Charles
Renouvier shares with Auguste Comte the first honours of the century
in France so far as philosophical work is concerned. Curiously enough
he came from Comte's birth-place, Montpellier. When Renouvier was born
in 1815, seventeen years later than Comte, the great positivist was in
his second year of study at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. To this
great scientific and mathematical institution came Renouvier, to find
Comte as _Répétiteur_ of Higher Mathematics. He was not only a keen
student of the mathematical sciences but also an ardent follower of
Saint-Simon, and although in later life he lost many of the hopes of
his youth the Saint-Simon spirit remained with him, and he retained a
keen interest in social ethics and particularly in the ideas of
Fourier, Proudhon and Blanc. At the Ecole he met as fellow-pupils
Jules Lequier and Felix Ravaisson.

Instead of entering the civil service Renouvier then applied himself
to philosophy and political science, influenced undoubtedly by Comte's
work. The year 1848, which saw the second attempt to establish a
republic, gave Renouvier, now a zealous republican, an opportunity,
and he issued his _Manuel républicain de l'Homme et du Citoyen_. This
volume, intended for schoolmasters, had the approval of Carnot,
Minister of Education to the Provisionary Government. Its socialist
doctrines were so criticised by the Chamber of 1849 that Carnot, and
with him the Government, fell from power. Renouvier went further in
his _Gouvernement direct et Organisation communale et centrale de la
République_, in which he collaborated with his socialist friends in
outlining a scheme of communism, making the canton a local power, a
scheme which contained the germ-idea of the Soviet of Bolshevik
Russia. Such ideas were, however, far too advanced for the France of
that date and their proposal did more harm than good to the
progressive party by producing a reaction in wavering minds.
Renouvier, through the paper _Liberté de penser_, launched attacks
upon the policy of the Presidency, and began in the _Revue
philosophique_ a serial _Uchronie_, a novel of a political and
philosophical character. It was never finished. Suddenly, like a bolt
from the blue, came, on December and, the _coup d'état_. The effect of
this upon Renouvier was profound. Disgusted at the power of the
monarchy, the shattering of the republican hopes, the suppression of
liberty and the general reaction, he abandoned political life
entirely. What politics lost, however, philosophy has gained, for he
turned his acute mind with its tremendous energy to the study of the
problems of the universe.

Three years after the _coup d'état_, in the same year in which Comte
completed his _Système de Politique_ positive, 1854, Renouvier
published the first volume of his _magnum opus_, the _Essais de
Critique générale_._*_ The appearance of this work is a notable
date in the development of modern French philosophy. The problems
therein discussed will concern us in later chapters. Here we must
point out the indefatigable labour given to this work by Renouvier.
The writing and revision of these essays covered almost the whole of
the half century, concluding in 1897. In their first, briefer form
they occupied the decade 1854-64, and consisted of four volumes only,
which on revision became finally thirteen._*_ These Essays range
over Logic, Psychology, the Philosophy of the Sciences and the
Philosophy of History.

[Footnote _*_ : It is interesting for the comparative study of the
thought of the century to observe that the great work of Lotze in
Germany, _Mikrocosmos_, was contemporaneous with the _Essais_ of
Renouvier. Lotze's three volumes appeared in 1856, 1858 and 1864. The
_Logik_ and _Metaphysik_ of Lotze should also be compared with
Renouvier's _Essais_. Further comparison or contrast may be made with
reference to the _Logic_ of both Bradley and Bosanquet in England.]

[Footnote _*_ : Since 1912 the _Essais de Critique générale_ are
available in ten volumes, owing to the publications of new editions of
the first three Essays by A. Colin in five volumes. For details of the
original and revised publication of the work, see our Bibliography,
under Renouvier (pp. 334-335).]

Having thus laid the foundations of his own throught, Renouvier, in
conjunction with his scholarly friend Pillon, undertook the
publication of a monthly periodical, _L'Année philosophique_, to
encourage philosophic thought in France. This appeared first in 1867,
the same year in which Ravaisson laid the foundations of the new
spiritualism by his celebrated _Rapport_. In 1869 Renouvier published
his noteworthy treatise upon Ethics, in two volumes, _La Science de la
Morale_.

The war of 1870 brought his monthly periodical to an untimely end. The
conclusion of the war in 1871 resulted in the establishment, for the
third time, of a republic, which in spite of many vicissitudes has
continued even to this day. With the restoration of peace and of a
republic, Renouvier felt encouraged to undertake the ambitious scheme
of publishing a weekly paper, not only philosophical in character but
political, literary and religious. He desired ardently to address his
countrymen at a time when they were rather intellectually and morally
bewildered. He felt he had something constructive to offer, and hoped
that the "new criticism," as he called it, might become the philosophy
of the new republic. Thus was founded, in 1872, the famous _Critique
philosophique_, which aimed primarily at the consolidation of the
republic politically and morally,_/-_ This paper appeared as a
weekly from its commencement until 1884,then continued for a further
five years as a monthly. Renouvier and his friend Pillon were assisted
by other contributors, A. Sabatier, L. Dauriac, R. Allier, who were
more or less disciples of the neo-critical school. Various articles
were contributed by William James, who had a great admiration for
Renouvier. The two men, although widely different in temperament and
method, had certain affinities in their doctrine of truth and
certitude._*_

[Footnote _/-_ : In the early numbers, political articles, as was
natural in the years following 1871, were prominent. Among these early
articles we may cite the one, "Is France morally obliged to carry out
the terms of the Treaty imposed upon her by Prussia?"]

[Footnote _*_ : On this relationship see James's _Will to Believe_, p.
143, 1897, and the dedications in his _Some Problems of Philosophy_
(to Renouvier), and his _Principles of Psychology_ (to Pillon), also
_Letters of William James_, September i8th, 1892.]

Renouvier's enthusiasm for his periodical did not, however, abate his
energy or ardour for more lasting work. He undertook the task of
revising and augmenting his great work, the _Essais de Critique
générale_, and added to the series another (fifth) Essay, in four
volumes. He also issued in 1876 the curious work _Uchronie_, a history
of "what might have been" (in his view) the development of European
civilisation. Together with Pillon he translated _Hume's Treatise on
Human Nature_.

Meanwhile the _Critique philosophique_ continued to combat any
symptoms of a further _coup d'état_, and "to uphold strictly
republican principles and to fight all that savoured of Caesar or
imperialism." In 1878 a quarterly supplement _La Critique religieuse_
was added to attack the Roman Catholic Church and to diminish its
power in France._/-_

[Footnote _/-_ : The significance of this effort is more fully dealt
with in our last chapter.]

Articles which had appeared in this quarterly were published as
_Esquisse d'une Classification systématique des Doctrines
philosophiques_ in 1885 in two volumes, the second of which contained
the important Confession of Faith of Renouvier, entitled, _How I
arrived at this Conclusion_.

His thought assumed a slightly new form towards the close of the
century, at the end of which he published, in conjunction with his
disciple Prat, a remarkable volume, which took a prize at the
_Académie des Sciences morales et politiques_, to which rather late in
the day he was admitted as a member at the age of eighty-five. In its
title _La Nouvelle Monadologie_, and method it reveals the influence
of Leibnitz.

The close of the century shows us Renouvier as an old man, still an
enormous worker, celebrating his eighty-sixth birthday by planning and
writing further volumes (_Les Dilemmes de la Métaphysique pure_ and
its sequel, _Histoire et Solution des Problèmes métaphysiques_). This
"grand old man" of modern French philosophy lived on into the early
years of the twentieth century, still publishing, still writing to the
last. His final volume, _Le Personnalisme_, was a restatement of his
philosophy, issued when he was in his eighty-ninth year. He died "in
harness" in 1903, dictating to his friend Prat a _résumé_ of his
thought on important points and leaving an unpublished work on the
philosophy of Kant._*_

[Footnote _*_ : The _résumé_ was published by Prat a couple of years
later as _Derniers Entretiens_, the volume on the _Doctrine de Kant_,
followed in 1906.]

Renouvier's career is a striking one and we have sketched it somewhat
fully here because of its showing more distinctly than that of Taine
or Renan the reflections of contemporary history upon the thinking
minds who lived through the years 1848-51 and 1870-71. Renouvier was a
young spirit in the year of the revolution, 1848, and lived right on
through the _coup d'état_, the Second Empire, the Franco-Prussian War,
the Commune, the Third Republic, and he foresaw and perhaps influenced
the Republic's attitude to the Roman Church. His career is the most
significant and enlightening one to follow of all the thinkers who
come within our period. Let us note that he never held any academic or
public teaching appointment. His life was in the main a secluded one
and, like Comte, he found the University a limited preserve closed
against him and his philosophy, dominated by the declining eclecticism
which drew its inspiration from Cousin. Only gradually did his
influence make itself felt to such a degree that the University was
compelled to take notice of it. Now his work is more appreciated, but
not as much as it might be, and outside his own country he is little
known. The student finds his writings somewhat difficult owing to the
author's heavy style. He has none of the literary ease and brilliance
of a Renan. But his work was great and noble, animated by a passion
for truth and a hatred of philosophical "shams" and a current of deep
moral earnestness colours all his work. He had considerable power as a
critic, for the training of the Ecole Polytechnique produced a
strictly logical temper in his work, which is that of a true
philosopher, not that of a merely brilliant _litterateur_ or
_dilettante_, and he must be regarded as one of the intellectual
giants of the century.

While we see in Positivism a system of thought which opposed itself to
Eclecticism, we find in the philosophy of Renouvier a system of
doctrine which is opposed to both Eclecticism and Positivism. Indeed
Renouvier puts up a strong mental fight against both of these systems;
the latter he regarded as an ambitious conceit. He agreed, however,
with Comte and with Cournot upon the relativity of our knowledge. "I
accept," he says, "one fundamental principle of the Positivist
School--namely, the reduction of knowledge to the laws of
phenomena."_*_ The author of the _Essais de Critique générale_
considered himself, however, to be the apostolic successor, not of
Comte, but of Kant. The title of _neo-criticisme__/-_ which he
gave to his philosophy shows his affinity with the author of the
_Kritik der reinen Vernunft_. This is very noticeable in his method of
treating the problem of knowledge by criticising the human mind and
especially in his giving a preference to moral considerations._*_
It would be, however, very erroneous to regard Renouvier as a disciple
of Kant, for he amends and rejects many of the doctrines of the German
philosopher. We have noted the fact that he translated Hume; we must
observe also that Hume's influence is very strongly marked in
Renouvier's "phenomenalism."_/-_ "Renouvier is connected with
Hume," says Pillon, in the preface he contributed to the
translation,_/=_ "as much as with Kant. . . . He reconciles Hume
and Kant. . . . Something is lacking in Hume, the notion of law;
something is superfluous in Kant, the notion of substance. It was
necessary to unite the phenomenalism of Hume with the a _priori_
teaching of Kant. This was the work accomplished by Renouvier."

[Footnote _*_ : Preface to Essais de Critique générale.]

[Footnote _/-_ : The English word "_criticism_" is, it should be
noted, translated in French by "_critique_" and not by the word
"_criticisme_," a term which is used for the philosophy of the _Kritik_
of Kant.]

[Footnote _*_ : In recognising the primacy of the moral or practical
reason in Kant, Renouvier resembles Fichte.]

[Footnote _*_ : Renouvier's phenomenalism should be compared with that
of Shadworth Hodgson, as set forth in the volumes of his large work on
_The Metaphysic of Experience_, 1899. Hodgson has given his estimate
of Renouvier and his relationship to him in _Mind_ (volume for 1881).]

[Footnote _/=_ : _Psychologie de Hume : Traité de la Nature humaine_,
Renouvier Préface par Pillon, p. lxviii.]

It may be doubted whether Pillon's eulogy is altogether sound in its
approval of the "reconciliation" of Hume and Kant, for such a
reconciliation of opposites may well appear impossible. Renouvier
himself faced this problem of the reconciliation of opposites when at
an early age he inclined to follow the Hegelian philosophy, a doctrine
which may very well be described as a "reconciliation of opposites,"
_par excellence_. Dissatisfied, however, with such a scheme Renouvier
came round to the Kantian standpoint and then passed beyond it to a
position absolutely contrary to that of Hegel. This position is
frankly that opposites cannot be reconciled, one or the other must be
rejected. Renouvier thus made the law of contradiction the basis of
his philosophy, as it is the basis of our principles of thought or
logic.

He rigorously applied this principle to that very interesting part of
Kant's work, the antinomies, which he held should never have been
formulated. The reasons put forward for this statement were two: the
principle of contradiction and the law of number. Renouvier did not
believe in what mathematicians call an "infinite number." He held it
to be an absurd and contradictory notion, for to be a number at all it
must be numerical and therefore not infinite. The application of this
to the Kantian antinomies, as for example to the questions, "Is space
infinite or finite? Had the world a beginning or not?" is interesting
because it treats them as Alexander did the Gordian knot. The
admission that space is infinite, or that the world had no beginning,
involves the admission of an "infinite number," a contradiction and an
absurdity. Since, therefore, such a number is a pure fiction we _must_
logically conclude that space is finite,_*_ that the world had a
beginning and that the ascending series of causes has a first term,
which admission involves freedom at the heart of things.

[Footnote: It is interesting to observe how the stress laid by
Renouvier upon the finiteness of space and upon relativity has found
expression in the scientific world by Einstein, long after it had been
expressed philosophically.]

As Renouvier had treated the antinomies of Kant, so he makes short
work of the Kantian conception of a world of noumena (_Dinge an sich_)
of which we know nothing, but which is the foundation of the phenomena
we know. Like Hume, he rejects all notion of substance, of which
Kant's noumenon is a survival from ancient times. The idea of
substance he abhors as leading to pantheism and to fatalism, doctrines
which Renouvier energetically opposes, to uphold man's freedom and the
dignity of human personality.

In the philosophy of Kant personality was not included among the
categories. Renouvier draws up for himself a new list of categories
differing from those of Kant. Beginning with Relation they culminate
in Personality. These two categories indicate two of the strongholds
of Renouvier's philosophy. Beginning from his fundamental thesis "All
is relative," Renouvier points out that as nothing can possibly be
known save by or in a relation of some sort it is evident that the
most general law of all is that of Relation itself. Relation is
therefore the first and fundamental category embracing all the others.
Then follow, Number, Position, Succession, Quality. To these are added
the important ones, Becoming, Causality, Finality proceeding from the
simple to the composite, from the abstract to the concrete, from the
elements most easily selected from our experience to that which
embraces the experience itself, Renouvier comes to the final category
in which they all find their consummation-Personality. The importance
which he attaches to this category colours his entire thought and
particularly determines his attitude to the various problems which we
shall discuss in our following chapters.

As we can think of nothing save in relation to consciousness and
consequently we cannot conceive the universe apart from personality,
our knowledge of the universe, our philosophies, our beliefs are
"personal" constructions. But they need not be on that account merely
subjective and individualistic in character, for they refer to
personality in its wide sense, a sense shared by other persons. This
has important consequences for the problem of certitude in knowledge
and Renouvier has here certain affinities to the pragmatist
standpoint.

His discussion of certitude is very closely bound up with his
treatment of the problem of freedom, but we may indicate here
Renouvier's attitude to Belief and Knowledge, a problem in which he
was aided by the work of his friend Jules Lequier,_*_ whom he
quotes in his second _Essai de Critique générale_. Renouvier considers
it advisable to approach the problem of certitude by considering its
opposite, doubt. In a famous passage in his second _Essai_ he states
the circumstances under which we do not doubt--namely, "when we see,
when we know, when we believe." Owing to our liability to error (even
seeing is not believing, and we frequently change our minds even about
our "seeing"), it appears that belief is always involved, and more
correctly "we believe that we see, we believe that we know." Belief is
a state of consciousness involved in a certain affirmation of which
the motives show themselves as adequate. Certitude arises when the
possibility of an affirmation of the contrary is entirely rejected by
the mind. Certitude thus appears as a kind of belief. All knowledge,
Renouvier maintains, involves an affirmation of will. It is here we
see the contrast so strongly marked between him and Renan, who wished
us to "let things think themselves out in us." "Every affirmation in
which consciousness is reflective is subordinated, in consciousness,
to the determination to affirm." Our knowledge, our certitude, our
belief, whatever we prefer to call it, is a construction not purely
intellectual but involving elements of feeling and, above all, of
will. Even the most logically incontrovertible truth are sometimes
unconvincing. This is because certitude is not purely intellectual; it
is _une affaire passionnelle_._*_ Renouvier here not only
approaches the pragmatist position, but he recalls the attitude to
will, assumed by Maine de Biran. For the Cartesian formula De Biran
had suggested the substitution of _Volo, ergo sum_. The inadequacy of
the the _Cogito, ergo sum_ is remarked upon by Lequier, whose
treatment of the question of certainty Renouvier follows. As all
demonstration is deductive in character and so requires existing
premises, we cannot expect the _première vérité_ to be demonstrable.
If, from the or certainty, we must turn to the will to create belief,
or certainty, we must turn to the will to create beliefs_*_, for
no evidence or previous truths exist for us. The _Cogito, ergo sum_
really does not give us a starting point, as Descartes claimed for it,
since there is no proper sequence from _cogito_ to _sum_. Here we have
merely two selves, _moi-pensée_ and _moi-objet_. We need a live spark
to bridge this gap to unite the two into one complete living self;
this is found in _moi-volonté_, in a free act of will. This free act
of will affirms the existence of the self by uniting in a synthetic
judgment the thinking-self to the object-self. "I refuse," says
Renouvier, quoting Lequier, "to follow the work of a knowledge which
would not be mine. I accept the certainty of which I am the author."
The _première vérité_ is a free personal act of faith. Certainty in
philosophy or in science reposes ultimately upon freedom and the
consciousness of freedom.

[Footnote _*_: Jules Lequier was born in 1814 and entered the Ecole
polytechnique in 1834, leaving two years later for a military staff
appointment. This he abandoned in 1838. He died in 1862 after having
destroyed most of his writings. Three Years after his death was
published the volume, _La Recherche d'une première Vérité, fragments
posthumes de Jules Lequier_. The reader should note the very
interesting remarks by Renouvier at the end of the first volume of his
Psychologie rationnelle, 1912 ed., pp. 369-393, on Lequier and his
Philosophy, also the Fragments reprinted by Renouvier in that work,
_Comment trouver, comment chercher_, vol. i., on Subject and Object
(vol. ii.), and on Freedom.]

[Footnote _*_: Lotze employs a similar phrase, eine Gemüths-sache.]

Here again, as in the philosophy of Cournot, we find the main emphasis
falling upon the double problem of the period. It is in reality one
problem with two aspects--the relation of science to morality, or, in
other words, the place and significance of freedom.

The general influence of Renouvier has led to the formation of a
neo-critical "school" of thought, prominent members of which may be
cited: Pillon and Prat, his intimate friends, Séailles and Darlu, who
have contributed monographs upon their master's teaching, together
with Hamelin, Liard and Brochard, eminent disciples. Hamelin
(1856-1907), whose premature and accidental death deprived France of a
keen thinker, is known for his _Essai sur les Eléments principaux de
la Représentation_ (1907), supplementing the doctrines of Renouvier by
those of Hegel.

In the work of Liard (1846-1917), _La Science positive et la
Métaphysique_ (1879), we see a combination of the influence of
Vacherot, Renouvier and Kant. He was also perplexed by the problem of
efficient and final causes as was Lachelier, whose famous thesis _De
l'Induction_ appeared eight years earlier. While Lachelier was
influenced by Kant, he, none the less, belongs to the current of the
new spiritualism which we shall presently examine. Liard, however, by
his adherence to many critical and neo-critical standpoints may be
justly looked upon as belonging to that great current of which
Renouvier is the prominent thinker.

Brochard (1848-1907) is mainly known by his _treatise De l'Erreur_
(1879) and his volumes on Ethics, _De la Responsabilité morale_
(1876), and _De l'Universalité des Notions morales_ (1876), in all of
which the primacy of moral considerations is advocated in a tone
inspired by Renouvier's strong moral standpoint. The work _De l'Erreur_
emphasises the importance of the problem of freedom as being the crux
of the whole question involved in the relation of science and
morality. Adhering to the neo-critical doctrines in general, and
particularly to the value of the practical reason, Brochard, by his
insistence upon action as a foundation for belief, has marked
affinities with the doctrines of Blondel (and Olle-Laprune), the
significance of whose work will appear at the end of our next section.

The phenomenalism of Renouvier was followed up by two thinkers, who
cannot, however, be regarded as belonging to his neo-critical school.
In 1888 Gourd published his work entitled _Le Phénomène_, which was
followed six years later by the slightly more coherent attempt of
Boirac to base a philosophy upon the phenomenalism which expresses
itself so rigidly in Hume. In his book _L'Idée du Phénomène_ (1894),
he had, however, recourse to the Leibnitzian doctrines, which had
finally exercised a considerable influence over Renouvier himself.


                                 III

The reaction against positivism and against eclecticism took another
form quite apart from that of the neocritical philosophy. This was the
triumphant spiritualist philosophy, as we may call it, to give it a
general name, represented by a series of great thinkers--Ravaisson,
Lachelier, Fouillée, Guyau, Boutroux, Bergson and, we may add,
Blondel. These men have all of them had an influence much greater than
that of Renouvier, and this is true of each of them separately. This
is rather noteworthy for, if we exclude Fouillee, whose writings are
rather too numerous, the works of all the other men together do not
equal in quantity the work of Renouvier. There is another point which
is worthy of notice. While Renouvier worked in comparative solitude
and never taught philosophy in any college or university, being, in
fact, neglected by the University of Paris, all the
company--Ravaisson, Lachelier, Fouillée, Guyau, Boutroux and
Bergson--had a connection with the University of Paris in general,
being associated with the Sorbonne, the Collège de France or the
important Ecole Normale Supérieure.

The initiator of the spiritualistic philosophy was Ravaisson
(1815-1900), who himself drew inspiration from Maine de Biran, to
whose work he had called attention as early as 1840 in a vigorous
article contributed to the _Revue des Deux Mondes_. This roused the
indignation of Victor Cousin and the eclectics, who in revenge
excluded Ravaisson from the Institute. His independent spirit had been
shown in his thesis _De l'Habitude_ (1838)_*_ and his remarkable
study of the metaphysics of Aristotle (1837-1846).

[Footnote _*_: Reproduced in 1894 in the _Revue de Métaphysique et de
Morale_.]

Ravaisson's chief title to fame, however, lies in his famous
philosophic manifesto of 1867, for such, in fact, was his _Rapport sur
la Philosophie en France au XIXè Siècle_. This Report, prepared for
the _Exposition universelle_ at the request of the Ministry of
Education, marks an epoch, for with it began the current of thought
which was to dominate the close of the century. The "manifesto" was a
call to free spirits to assert themselves in favour of a valid
idealism. It, in itself, laid the foundations of such a philosophy and
dealt a blow to both the Eclectic School of Cousin and the followers
of Auguste Comte. Ravaisson wrote little, but his influence was
powerful and made itself felt in the University, where in his office
of president of the _agrégation en philosophie_ he exercised no little
influence over the minds of younger men. His pupils, among whom are to
be found Lachelier, Boutroux and Bergson, have testified to the
profound and inspiring influence which this thinker exercised. A
notable tribute to his memory is the address given by Bergson when he
was appointed to take Ravaisson's place at the _Académie des Sciences
morales et politiques_ in 1904.

Various influences meet in Ravaisson and determine his general
attitude to thought. He reverts, as we have said, to Maine de Biran,
whose insistence upon the inner life he approves. We must examine
human consciousness and make it our basis. We have in it powers of
will, of desire and of love. Ravaisson blends the Aristotelian
insistence upon Thought with the Christian insistence upon Love. In
his method he manifests the influence of the German philosopher,
Schelling, whose lectures he attended at Munich in company with the
young Swiss thinker, Secretan._*_ This influence is seen in his
doctrine of synthesis and his intellectual intuition. Science
continues to give us analyses ever more detailed, but it cannot lead
us to the absolute. Our highest, most sublime knowledge is gained by a
synthesis presented in and to our consciousness, an intuition.
Further, he argues that efficient causes, about which science has so
much to say, are really dependent upon final causes. Spiritual reality
is anterior to material reality, and is characterised by goodness and
beauty. Himself an artist, imbued with a passionate love of the
beautiful (he was guardian of sculptures at the Louvre), he constructs
a philosophy in the manner of an artist. Like Guyau, he writes
metaphysics like poetry, and although he did not give us anything like
_Vers d'un Philosophe_, he would have endorsed the remarks which Guyau
made on the relation of poetry and philosophy if, indeed, it is not a
fact that his influence inspired the younger man.

[Footnote _*_ : Charles Secretan (1815-1895), a Swiss thinker with
whom Renouvier had interesting correspondence. His _Philosophie de la
Liberté_ appeared in 1848-1849, followed by other works on religious
philosophy. Pillon wrote a monograph upon him.]

After surveying the currents of thought up to 1867 Ravaisson not only
summed up in his concluding pages the elements of his own philosophy,
but he ventured to assume the role of prophet. "Many signs permit us
to foresee in the near future a philosophical epoch of which the
general character will be the predominance of what may be called
spiritualistic realism or positivism, having as generating principle
the consciousness which the mind has of itself as an existence
recognised as being the source and support of every other existence,
being none other than its action."_*_ His prophecy has been
fulfilled in the work of Lachelier, Guyau, Fouillée, Boutroux,
Bergson, Blondel and Weber.

[Footnote _*_ : _Rapport_, 2nd ed., 1885, p. 275.]

After Ravaisson the spiritualist philosophy found expression in the
work of Lachelier (1832-1918), a thinker whose importance and whose
influence are both quite out of proportion to the small amount which
he has written._/-_ A brilliant thesis of only one hundred pages,
_Du Fondement de l'Induction_, sustained in 1871, together with a
little study on the Syllogism and a highly important article on
_Psychologie et Métaphysique_, contributed to the _Revue philosophique_
in May of 1885, constitute practically all his written work._*_ It
was orally that he made his influence felt; by his teaching at the
Ecole Normale Supérieure (1864-1875) he made a profound impression
upon the youth of the University and the Ecole by the dignity and
richness of his thought, as well as by its thoroughness.

[Footnote _/-_ : Dr. Merz, in his admirable _History of European
Thought in the Nineteenth Century_, is wrong in regard to Lachelier's
dates; he confuses his resignation of professorship (1875) with his
death. This, however, did not occur until as late as 1918. See the
references in Mertz, vol. iii., p. 620, and vol. iv., p. 217.]

[Footnote _*_ : The thesis and the article have been published
together by Alcan, accompanied by notes on Pascal's Wager. The _Etude
sur le Syllogisme_ also forms a volume in Alcan's _Bibliothèque de
Philosophie contemporaine_.]

Lachelier was a pupil of Ravaisson, and owes his initial inspiration
to him. He had, however, a much more rigorous and precise attitude to
problems. This is apparent in the concentration of thought contained
in his thesis. It is one of Lachelier's merits that he recognised the
significance of Kant's work in a very profound manner. Until his
thesis appeared the influence of Leibnitz had been more noticeable in
French thought than that of Kant. It was noticeable in Ravaisson, and
Renouvier, in spite of his professed adherence to Kant, passed to a
Leibnitzian position in his _Nouvelle Monadologie_.

The valuable work _Du Fondement de l'Induction_ is concerned mainly
with the problem of final causes, which Lachelier deduces from the
necessity of totality judgments over and above those which concern
merely efficient causes. On the principle of final causes, or a
ideological conception of a rational unity and order, he founds
Induction. It cannot be founded, he claims, upon a mere empiricism.
This is a point which will concern us later in our examination of the
problem of science.

Lachelier was left, however, with the dualism of mechanism, operating
solely by efficient causes, and teleology manifested in final causes,
a dualism from which Kant did not manage to escape. In his article
_Psychologic et Métaphysique_ he endeavoured to interpret mechanism
itself as a teleological activity of the spirit._*_ He indicates
the absolute basis of our life and experience, indeed of the universe
itself, to be the absolute spontaneity of spirit. In spirit and in
freedom we live and move and have our being. We do not affirm
ourselves to be what we are, but rather we are what we affirm
ourselves to be. We must not say that our present depends upon our
past, for we really create all the moments of our life in one and the
same act, which is both present to each moment and above them
all._/-_ Here psychology appears as the science of thought itself
and resolves itself into metaphysics. Here, too, we find the
significance of the new spiritualism; we see its affinity with, and
its contrast to, the doctrines of the older spiritualism as professed
by Cousin. Lachelier here strikes the note which is so clearly
characteristic of this current of thought, and is no less marked in
his work than in that of Bergson--namely, a belief in the supremacy of
spirit and in the reality of freedom.

[Footnote _*_ : It is interesting to compare this with the attitude
taken by Lotze in Germany.]

[Footnote _/-_ : _Psychologie et Métaphysique_, p. 171.]

The notion of freedom and of the spontaneity of the spirit became
watchwords of the new spiritualist philosophers. Under the work and
influence of Boutroux (1845-1921) these ideas were further emphasised
and worked out more definitely to a position which assumes a critical
attitude to the dogmatism of modern science and establishes a
contingency in all things. Boutroux's thesis _De la Contingence des
Lois de la Nature_ appeared in 1874 and was dedicated to Ravaisson.
His chief fame and his importance in the development of the
spiritualist philosophy rest upon this book alone. In 1894 he
published a course of lectures given at the Sorbonne in 1892-3, _Sur
l'Idée de Loi naturelle_, which supplements the thesis. Outside his
own country attention has been more readily bestowed upon his writings
on the history of philosophy, of which subject he was Professor. In
his own country, however, great interest and value are attached to his
work on _The Contingency of the Laws of Nature_. In this Boutroux
combines the attitude of Ravaisson with that of Lachelier. The
totality of the laws of the universe manifests, according to him, a
contingency. No explanation of these laws is possible apart from a
free spiritual activity. The stress laid upon contingency in the laws
of nature culminates in the belief in the freedom of man.

The critique of science which marked Boutroux's work has profoundly
influenced thinkers like Hannequin, Payot and Milhaud,_*_ and in
the following century appears in the work of Duhem and of Henri
Poincaré, the noted mathematician, whose books on _La Science et
l'Hypothèse_ (1902), _La Valeur de la Science_ (1905), and _Science et
Méthode_ (1909) have confirmed many of Boutroux's conclusions._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : Hannequin's notable work is the _Essai critique sur
I'Hypothèse des Atomes_ (1896). Payot's chief book is _La Croyance_
(1896). Milhaud's critique of science is contained in his _Essai sur
les Conditions et les Limites de la Certitude logique_ (1894), and in
_Le Rationnel_ (1898). Duhem's book is _La Théorie physique_ (1906).]

[Footnote _/-_: It is interesting to note that Boutroux married
Poincaré's sister, and that his son, Pierre Boutroux, whose education
was guided by both his uncle and his father, is now Professor at the
Collège de France. Emile Boutroux was a pupil of Zeller, whose
lectures on Greek philosophy he attended in Heidelberg, 1868. He
expressed to the writer his grief at the later prostitution of German
thought to nationalist and materialist aims. He was Professor of the
History of Philosophy in Paris from 1888, then Honorary Professor of
Modern Philosophy. In 1914 he gave the Hertz Lecture to the British
Academy on _Certitude et Vérité_. He was until his death Directeur de
la Fondation Thiers, a college for post-graduate study, literary,
philosophical and scientific.]

While the new spiritualist current was thus tending to a position far
removed from that of Taine, at the commencement of our period, a
wavering note was struck by the idealist Fouillée (1838-1912), who,
while maintaining a general attitude in harmony with the new doctrines
endeavoured to effect a reconciliation with the more positive attitude
to science and philosophy. In his _philosophie des ideés-forces__*_
he endeavoured to combine and reconcile the diverging attitudes of
Plato and of Comte. He shows a scorn of the neo-critical though of
Renouvier. He wrote in his shorter life more books than did Renouvier,
and he is conspicuous among this later group of thinkers for his
mass-production of books, which appeared steadily at the rate of one
_per annum_ to the extent of some thirty-seven volumes, after he gave
up his position as _maître de conférence_ at the Ecole Normale owing
to ill-health._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : His _Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces_ appeared in
1890, _La Psychologie des Idées-forces_ three years later. His _Morale
des Idées-forces_ belongs to the next century (1907), but its
principles were contained already in his thesis _Liberté et
Déterminisme_.]

[Footnote _/-_ : He only held this for three years, 1872-75.]

Fouillée, with the noblest intentions, set himself to the solution of
that problem which we have already indicated as being the central one
of our period, the relation of science and ethics, or, in brief, the
problem of freedom. This was the subject of his thesis, undoubtedly
the best book he ever wrote, _La Liberté et le Déterminisme_, which he
sustained in 1872._/=_ The attitude which he takes in that work is
the keynote to his entire philosophy. Well grounded in a knowledge of
the history of systems of philosophy, ancient and modern, he
recognises elements of truth in each, accompanied by errors due mainly
to a one-sided perspective._§_ He recalls a statement of Leibnitz
to the effect that most systems are right in their assertions and err
in their denials. Fouillée was convinced that there was reconciliation
at the heart of things, and that the contradictions we see are due to
our point of view. Facing, therefore, in this spirit, the problems of
the hour, he set himself "to reconcile the findings of science with
the reality of spirit, to establish harmony between the determinism
upheld by science and the liberty which the human spirit acclaims,
between the mechanism of nature and the aspirations of man's heart,
between the True which is the object of all science and the Good which
is the goal of morality."_*_

[Footnote _/=_ : This work created quite a stir in the intellectual
and political world in France just after the war. Fouillée's book led
to an attack on the ministry, which did not go so far as that
occasioned by Renouvier's volume in 1849. (See p. 61.)]

[Footnote _§_ : Fouillée stands in marked contrast to Comte in his
general acquaintance with the history of ideas. Comte, like Spencer,
knew little of any philosophy but his own. Fouillée, however, was well
schooled, not only in Plato and the ancients, but had intimate
knowledge of the work of Kant, Comte, Spencer, Lotze, Renouvier,
Lachelier, Boutroux and Bergson.]

[Footnote _*_ : This is also the idea expressed at length in his
_Avenir de la Métaphysique_, 1889.]

Fouillée had no desire to offer merely another eclecticism _à la mode
de Cousin_; he selects, therefore, his own principle of procedure.
This principle is found in his notion of _idée-force_. Following
ancient usage, he employs the term "idea" for _any_ mental
presentation. For Fouillée, however, ideas are not _idées-spectacles_,
merely exercising a platonic influence "remote as the stars shining
above us." They are not merely mental reproductions of an object, real
or hypothetical, outside the mind. Ideas are in themselves forces
which endeavour to work out their own realisation. Fouillée opposes
his doctrine to the evolutionary theory of Spencer and Huxley. He
disagrees with their mechanism and epiphenomenalism, pointing out
legitimately that our ideas, far from being results of purely physical
and independent causes, are themselves factors, and very vital
factors, in the process of evolution. Fouillée looks upon the
mechanistic arrangement of the world as an expression or symbol of
idea or spirit in a manner not unlike that of Lotze.

He bears out his view of _idées-forces_ by showing how a state of
consciousness tries to realise its object. The idea of movement is
closely bound up with the physiological and physical action, and,
moreover, tends to produce it. This realisation is not a merely
mechanistic process but is teleological and depends on the vital unity
between the physical and the mental. On this fundamental notion
Fouillée constructs his psychology, his ethic, his sociology and his
metaphysic. He sees in the evolutionary process ideas at work which
tend to realise themselves. One of these is the idea of freedom, in
which idea he endeavours to find a true reconciliation of the problem
of determinism in science and the demands of the human spirit which
declares itself free. The love of freedom arising from the idea of
freedom creates in the long run this freedom. This is Fouillée's
method all through. "To conceive and to desire the ideal is already to
begin its realisation." He applies his method with much success in the
realm of ethics and sociology where he opposes to the Marxian doctrine
of a materialist determination of history that of a spiritual and
intellectual determination by ideas. Fouillée's philosophy is at once
intellectual and voluntarist. He has himself described it as
"spiritualistic voluntarism." It is a system of idealism which
reflects almost all the elements of modern thought. In places his
doctrine of reconciliation appears to break down, and the
psychological law summed up in _idées-forces_ is hardly sufficient to
bear the vast erection which Fouillée builds upon it. The idea is
nevertheless a valuable and fruitful one. Fouillée's respect for
positive science is noteworthy, as is also his great interest in
social problems._*_

[Footnote _*_ : At the end of the century these problems received
highly specialised attention in the work of the sociologists inspired
by Comte's influence. Works of special merit in this direction are:
tspmas, with his _Société's animales_ (1876) and Tarde, predecessor of
Bergson at the Collège de France (1843-1907), with his _Criminalité
comparée_ (1898) and _Les Lois de l'Imitation_ (1900), also Durkheim's
work _De la Division du Travail social_ (1893) and _Les Régles de la
Méthode sociologique_ (1894), and Izoulet, with his _La Cité moderne_
(1894). Note those of Levy-Bruhl, Bouglé, and Le Bon.]

The importance of the sociological aspect of all problems was
emphasised in a brilliant manner by Guyau (1854-1888), the step-son of
Fouillée. Guyau was a gifted young man, whose death at the early age
of thirty-four was a sore bereavement for Fouillée and undoubtedly a
disaster for philosophy. Guyau was trained by his step-father,_*_
and assisted him in his work. When ill-health forced both men from
their professorships,_/-_ they lived in happy comradeship at
Mentone at the same time, it is interesting to note, that Nietzsche
was residing there. Equally interesting is it to observe that although
Guyau and Fouillée were unaware of the German thinker's presence or
his work, Nietzsche was well acquainted with theirs, particularly that
of Guyau. Doubtless he would have been pleased to meet the author of
the _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_ (1885) and
_L'Irreligion de l'Avenir_ (1887). Editions of these books exist in
the _Nietzsche-Archiv_ bearing Nietzsche's notes and comments.

[Footnote _*_ : Some authorities are of opinion that Fouillée was
actually the father of Guyau. Fouillée married Guyau's mother.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Guyau taught at the Lycée Condorcet (1874) where
young Henri Bergson was studying (1868-1878).]

Guyau himself has a certain affinity with Nietzsche, arising from his
insistence upon Life and its power; but the author of the delightful
little collection _Vers d'un Philosophe_ (1881) is free from the
egoism expressed in _Der Wille zur Macht_. Guyau posits as his
_idée-directrice_ the conception of Life, both individual and social,
and in this concept he professes to find a basis more fundamental than
that of force, movement or existence. Life involves expansion and
intension, fecundity and creation. It means also consciousness,
intelligence and feeling, generosity and sociability. "He only lives
well who lives for others." Life can only exist by extending. It can
never be purely egoistic and endure; a certain giving of itself, in
generosity and in love, is necessary for its continuance. Such is the
view which the French philosopher-poet expresses in opposition to
Nietzsche, starting, however, from the concept of Life did Nietzsche.
Guyau worked out a doctrine of ethics and of religion based upon this
concept which will demand our special attention in its proper place,
when we consider the moral and religious problem. He strove to give an
idealistic setting to the doctrines of evolution, and this alone would
give him a place among the great thinkers of the period.

In his doctrine of the relation of thought and action Guyau followed
the _philosophie des idées-forces_. On the other hand there are very
remarkable affinities between the thought of Guyau and that of
Bergson. Guyau is not so severely intellectual as Fouillée; his manner
of thought and excellence of style are not unlike Bergson. More
noticeably he has a conception of life not far removed from the _élan
vital_. His "expansion of life" has, like Bergson's _évolution
créatrice_, no goal other than that of its own activity. After Guyau's
death in 1888 it was found that he had been exercised in mind about
the problem of Time, for he left the manuscript of a book entitled _La
Genèse de l'Idée de Temps_._*_ He therein set forth a belief in a
psychological, heterogeneous time other than mathematical time, which
is really spatial in character. In this psychological time the spirit
lives. The year following Guyau's death, but before his posthumous
work appeared, Bergson published his thesis _Les Données immédiates de
la Conscience_ (1889), which is better described by its English title
_Time and Free Will_, and in which this problem which had been present
to Guyau's mind is taken up and treated in an original and striking
manner. In Guyau, too, is seen the rise of the conception of activity
so marked in the work of Bergson and of Blondel. "It is _action_ and
the power of life," he insists, "which alone can solve, if not
entirely at least partially, those problems to which abstract thought
gives rise."_/-_

[Footnote _*_ : This work was edited and published by Fouillée two
years after Guyau's death, and reviewed by Bergson in the _Revue
philosophique_ in 1891]

[Footnote _/-_: _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_,
p. 250.]

Bergson, born in 1859, Professor at the Collège de France from 1901 to
1921, now retired, has had a popularity to which none of the other
thinkers of this group, or indeed of our period, has attained. He is
the only one of the new idealists or spiritualists who is well known
outside his own country. For this reason foreigners are apt to regard
him as a thinker unrelated to any special current of thought, an
innovator. Although much is original and novel in his philosophy, his
thought marks the stage in the development to which the spiritualist
current has attained in contemporary thought. The movement of which he
forms a part we can trace back as far as Maine de Biran, to whom
Bergson owes much, as he does also to Ravaisson, Lachelier, Boutroux
and Guyau.

Two important books by Bergson came prior to 1900, his _Time and Free
Will_ (1889) and his _Matter and Memory_ (1896). His famous _Creative
Evolution_ appeared in 1907. It is but his first work "writ large,"
for we have in _Time and Free Will_ the essentials of his philosophy.

He makes, as did Guyau, a central point of Change, a universal
becoming, and attacks the ordinary notion of time, which he regards as
false because it is spatial. We ourselves live and act in _durée_,
which is Bergson's term for real time as opposed to that fictitious
time of the mathematician or astronomer. He thus lays stress upon the
inward life of the spirit, with its richness and novelty, its eternal
becoming, its self-creation. He has his own peculiar manner of
approaching our central problem, that of freedom, of which he realises
the importance. For him the problem resolves itself into an
application of his doctrine of _la durée_, to which we shall turn in
due course.

Bergson insists with Guyau and Blondel upon the primary significance
of action. The importance attached to action colours his whole theory
of knowledge. His epistemology rests upon the thesis that "the brain
is an instrument of action and not of representation," and that "in
the study of the problems of perception the starting- point should be
action and not sensation." This is a psychology far different from
that of Condillac and Taine, and it is largely upon his merit as a
psychologist that Bergson's fame rests. He devoted his second work,
_Matter and Memory_, to showing that memory is something other than a
function of the brain. His distinction between "pure" memory and mere
memorising power, which is habit, recalls the _mémoire_ of Maine de
Biran and of Ravaisson upon _Habit_. Bergson sees in memory a
manifestation of spirit, which is a fundamental reality, no mere
epiphenomenon. Spirit is ever striving against matter, but in spite of
this dualism which he cannot escape, he maintains that spirit is at
the origin of things. This is a difficulty which is more clearly seen
in his later book, _Creative Evolution_. Matter is our enemy and
threatens our personality in its spiritual reality by a tendency to
lead us into habit, away from life, freedom and creativeness.

Further we must, he claims, endeavour to see things _sub specie
durationis in a durée_, in an eternal becoming. We cannot expect to
grasp all the varied reality of life in a formula or indeed in any
purely intellectual manner. This is the chief defect of science and of
the so-called scientific point of view. It tries to fix in concepts,
moulds and solid forms a reality which is living and moving eternally.
For Bergson all is Change, and this eternal becoming we can only grasp
by intuition. Intuition and intellect do not, however, oppose one
another. We are thus led to realise that Life is more than logic. The
Bergsonian philosophy concludes with intuitionism and contingency,
which drew upon it the severe criticisms of Fouillée,_*_ who
termed it a philosophy of scepticism and nihilism. Of all the
spiritualist group Fouillée stands nearest the positive attitude to
science, and his strong intellectualism comes out in his criticism of
Bergson, who well represents, together with Blondel, the tendency
towards non-intellectual attitudes inherent in the spiritualist
development. Blondel has endeavoured to treat the great problems, a
task which Bergson has not attempted as yet, partly because he
(Bergson) shares Renan's belief that "the day of philosophic systems
has gone," partly because he desires to lay the basis of a philosophy
of the spirit to which others after him may contribute, and so he
devotes his attention to method and to those crucial points, such as
the problem of freedom upon which a larger doctrine must necessarily
rest._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Particularly in his work _Le Mouvement idéaliste et la
Réaction contre la Science positive_ (cf. .206), 1896, and later in
_La Pensée et les nouvelles Ecoles anti-intellectualistes_, 1910.]

[Footnote _*_ : For a fuller appreciation of the Bergsonian doctrines
than is possible in such a survey as this, the reader is referred to
the author's monograph, _Bergson and His Philosophy_, Methuen and Co.,
1920.]

The current of the new idealism or spiritualism reaches a culminating
point in the work of Blondel (born about 1870), whose remarkable and
noteworthy book _L'Action_ appeared in l893._/-_ The fundamental
thesis of the Philosophy of Action_/=_ is that man's life is
primarily one of action, consequently philosophy must concern itself
with the active life and not merely with thought. By its nature,
action is something unique and irreducible to other elements or
factors. It is not the result of any synthesis: it is itself a living
synthesis, and cannot be dealt with as the scientist deals with his
data. Blondel lays emphasis, as did Bergson, upon "the living" being
unique and inexpressible in formulae. Intellect cannot grasp action;
"one penetrates the living reality only by placing oneself at the
dynamic point of view of the will."_*_ His words recall Bergson's
attitude to the free act. "The principle of action eludes positive
knowledge at the moment at which it makes it possible, and, in a word
that needs to be better defined, it is subjectivity."_/-_

[Footnote _/-_ : The same year in which the philosophic interest in
France, growing since 1870, and keener in the eighties, led to the
foundation of the famous _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_ by
Xavier Léon. In 1876 (the same year in which Professor Croom Robertson
in England established the periodical _Mind_) Ribot had founded the
_Revue philosophique de la France et de l'Etranger_. These journals,
along with the teaching in the Lycées, have contributed to make the
French people the best educated, philosophically, of any people.]

[Footnote _/=_ : It is interesting to note that this designation has
been used by its author to replace his original term "_pragmatisme_,"
which he employed in 1888 and abandoned upon becoming acquainted with
the theory of Peirce and James, and with their use of the term in
another manner, with which he did not agree. See _Bulletin de la
Société française de Philosophie_, 1902.]

[Footnote _*_ : _L' Action_, p. 100.]

[Footnote _*_ : _Ibid_., p. 87.]

Blondel, however, leads us beyond this subjectivity, for it is not the
will which causes what is. Far from that, he maintains that in so far
as it wills it implies something which it does not and cannot create
of itself; it wills to be what it is not yet. We do not act for the
mere sake of acting, but for some end, something beyond the particular
act. Action is not self-contained or self- sufficing: it is a striving
to further attainment or achievement. It therefore pre-supposes some
reality beyond itself. Here appear the elements of "passion" and
"suffering" due to resistance, for all action involves some
opposition. In particular moral action implies this resistance and a
consciousness of power to overcome the resistance, and it therefore
involves a reality which transcends the sphere in which we act.

Owing to this inequality between the power and the wish, we are
obliged to complete our actions or our activity in general by a belief
in a Reality beyond. It is, however, "a beyond that is within," a
Divine power immanent in man. This view, Blondel claims, unites the
idea of God "transcendent" with the idea of God as "immanent." Man's
action partakes of both, for in so far as it results from his own will
it is immanent; transcendence is, however, implied in the fact that
the end of man's action as a whole is not "given." Blondel leads us to
a conception of a religious idealism in which every act of our
ordinary existence leads ultimately to a religious faith. Every action
is sacramental. Blondel and his follower Laberthonnière, who has taken
up this idea from his master in his volume of _Essais de Philosophie
réligieuse_ (1901), go beyond a purely pragmatist or voluntarist
position by finding the supreme value of all action, and of the
universe, not in will but in love. For Blondel this word is no mere
sentiment or transient feeling, but a concrete reality which is the
perfection of will and of intellect alike, of action and of knowledge.
The "Philosophy of Action," asserts Blondel, includes the "Philosophy
of the Idea." In the fact of love, he claims, is found the perfect
unity between the self and the non-self, the ground of personality and
its relation to the totality of persons, producing a unity in which
each is seen as an end to others as well as to himself. "Love," says
Laberthonnière, "is the first and last word of all. It is the
principle, the means and the end. It is in loving that one gets away
from self and raises oneself above one's temporal individuality. It is
in loving that one finds God and other beings, and that one finds
oneself." It is, in short, these idealists claim, the _Summum Bonum_;
in it is found the Absolute which philosophers and religious mystics
of all ages have ever sought.

The "philosophy of action" is intimately bound up with the "philosophy
of belief," formulated by Ollé-Laprune, and the movement in religious
thought known generally as Modernism, which is itself due to the
influence of modern philosophic thought upon the dogmas of the
Christian religion, as these are stated by the Roman Church. Both the
Philosophy of Belief and Modernism are characterised by an intense
spirituality and a moral earnestness which maintain the primacy of the
practical reason over the theoretical reason. Life, insists
Ollé-Laprune in his book _Le Prix de la Vie_ (l885),_*_ is not
contemplation but active creation. He urges us to a creative evolution
of the good, to an employment of _idées-forces_. "There are things to
be made whose measure is not determined; there are things to be
discovered, to be invented, new forms of the good, ideas which have
never yet been received--creations, as it were, of the spirit that
loves the good." This dynamism and power of will is essential. We must
not lose ourselves in abstractions; action is the supreme thing: it
alone constitutes reality.

[Footnote _*_ : This has been followed in the new century by _La
Raison et le Rationalisme_, 1906. As early as 1880, however, he issued
his work _La Certitude morale_, which influenced Blondel, his pupil.]

A similar note is sounded by the Modernists or Neo-Catholics,
particularly by the brilliant disciple and successor of Bergson, Le
Roy, who in _Dogme et Critique_ (1907) has based the reality of
religious dogma upon its practical significance. We find Péguy (who
fell on the field of battle in 1914) applying Bergsonian ideas to a
fervid religious faith. Wilbois unites these ideas to social ethics in
his _Devoir et Durée_ (1912). In quite different quarters the new
spiritualism and philosophy of action have appeared as inspiring the
Syndicalism of Sorel, who endeavours to apply the doctrines of
Bergson, Ollé-Laprune and Blondel to the solution of social questions
in his _Réflexions sur la Violence_ (1907) and _Illusions du Progrès_
(1911).

It would be erroneous to regard Bergson's intuitional philosophy as
typical of all contemporary French thought. Following Renouvier,
Fouillée and Boutroux, there prevail currents of a more
intellectualist or rationalist type, to which we are, perhaps, too
close to see in true and historical perspective. The _élan vital_ of
French thought continues to manifest itself in a manner which combines
the work of Boutroux and Bergson with Blondel's idealism. A keen
interest is being taken in the works of Spinoza, Kant and Hegel, and
this is obviously influencing the trend of French philosophy at the
moment, without giving rise to a mere eclecticism. French thought is
too original and too energetic for that. In addition to these
classical studies we should note the great and growing influence of
the work of Durkheim and of Hamelin, both of whom we have already
mentioned. The former gave an immense impetus to sociological studies
by his earlier work. Further interest arose with his _Formes
élémentaires de la Vie religieuse_ in 1912. Hamelin indicated a
turning-point from _neo-criticisme_ through the new spiritualist
doctrines to Hegelian methods and ideas. Brunschwicg, who produced a
careful study of Spinoza, wrote as early as 1897 on _La Modalité du
Jugement_, a truly Kantian topic. This thinker's later works, _Les
Etapes de la Philosophie mathematique_ (1912) and the little volume
_La Vie de l'esprit_, illustrate a tendency to carry out the line
taken by Boutroux--namely, to arrive at the statement of a valid
idealism disciplined by positivism. The papers of Berthelot in his
_Evolutionnisme et Platonisme_ are a further contribution to this
great end. In the work of Evellin, _La Raison pure et les Antinomies_
(1907), the interest in Kant and Hegel is again seen. Noël, who
contributed an excellent monograph on Lachelier to the _Revue de
Métaphysique et de Morale_ (that journal which is an excellent witness
in itself to the vitality of contemporary French philosophy), produced
a careful study of Hegel's Logik in 1897. Since that date interest has
grown along the lines of Boutroux, Bergson and Blondel in an attempt
to reach a positive idealism, which would combine the strictly
positivist attitude so dear to French minds with the tendency to
spiritualism or idealism which they also manifest. This attempt, which
in some respects amounts to an effort to restate the principles of
Hegel in modern or contemporary terms, was undertaken by Weber in 1903
in his book entitled _Vers le Positivisme absolu par l'Idéalisme_.
Philosophy in France realises to-day that the true course of spiritual
development will be at once positive and idealistic.



                             CHAPTER III

                               SCIENCE

HAVING thus surveyed the main currents of our period and indicated the
general attitude adopted to knowledge by the various thinkers, we
approach more closely to the problem of the relation of science and
philosophy. The nineteenth century was a period in which this problem
was keenly felt, and France was the country in which it was tensely
discussed by the most acute minds among the philosophers and among the
scientists. French thought and culture, true to the tradition of the
great geometrician and metaphysician Descartes, have produced men
whose training has been highly scientific as well as philosophical.
Her philosophers have been keenly versed in mathematics and physical
science, while her scientists have had considerable power as
philosophical thinkers.

One of the very prominent tendencies of thought in the first half of
the nineteenth century was the growing belief and confidence in the
natural sciences. In France this was in large measure due to the
progress of those sciences themselves and to the influences of Comte,
which was supported by the foreign influences of Kant's teaching and
that of the English School, particularly John Stuart Mill. These three
great streams of thought, widely different in many respects, had this
in common--that they tended to confuse philosophy and science to such
a degree that it seemed doubtful whether the former could be granted
any existence by itself. Science, somewhat intoxicated by the praise
and worship bestowed upon her, became proud, arrogant and overbearing.
She scorned facts which could not be adapted to her own nature, she
ignored data which were not quantitative and materialistic, and she
regarded truth as a system of laws capable of expression by strict
mathematical methods and formulae*. Hence science became characterised
by a firm belief in absolute determinism, in laws of necessity
operating after the manner of mathematical laws. This "universal
mathematic" endeavoured also to explain the complex by reference to
the simple. Difficulties were encountered all along the line, for
experience, it was found, did not quite fit into rigid formulae*,
"new" elements of experience presented a unique character and
distressing discrepancy. Confidence in science, however, was not
shaken by this, for the perfect science, it was imagined, was assured
in a short time. Patience might be needed, but no doubt was
entertained of the _possibility_ of such a construction. Doubters were
told to look at the rising sciences of psychology and sociology,
which, as Auguste Comte had himself prophesied, were approaching
gradually to the "type" venerated--namely, an exact and mathematical
character. Biology, it was urged, was merely a special branch of
physico-chemistry. As for beliefs in freedom, in art, morality and
religion, these, like philosophy (metaphysics) itself, belonged to the
earlier stages (the theological and metaphysical) of Comte's list,
stages rapidly to be replaced by the third and final "positive" era.

Such, briefly stated, were the affirmations so confidently put forward
on behalf of science by its devoted worshippers. Confidence in science
was a marked feature of the work written by Renan in the years
1848-1849, _L'Avenir de la Science_. Yet, paradoxical as it may seem,
Renan himself played a large part in undermining this confidence. Yet
the time of his writing this work is undoubtedly the period when the
confidence in science was most marked. By this it is not implied that
an even greater confidence in science has not been professed since by
many thinkers. That is probably true, but the important point is that
at this time the confidence in science was less resisted than ever in
its history. It seemed to have a clear field and positivism seemed to
be getting unto itself a mighty victory.

The cult of facts, which is so marked a characteristic of the
scientific or positivist temper, penetrated, it is interesting to
note, into the realm of literature, where it assumed the form of
"realism." In his Intelligence we find Taine remarking, "_de tout
petits fails bien choisis, importants, significatifs, amplement
circonstanciés et minutieusement notés, voilà aujourd'hui la matière
de toute science_."_*_ It was also, in the opinion of several
writers, the _matière de toute littérature_. The passion for minute
details shows itself in the realism of Flaubert and Zola, in the
psychology of Stendthal* and the novels of the Goncourts. It was no
accident that their works were so loved by Taine. A similar spirit of
"positivism" or "realism" animated both them and him.

[Footnote _*_ : Preface to _Intelligence_.]

With the turn of the half century, however, a change manifested itself
by the fact that the positivist current began to turn against itself,
and our period is, in some respects, what Fouillée has called _la
réaction centre la science positive_._/-_ The function of
philosophy is essentially criticism, and although at that period the
vitality of philosophy was low, it nevertheless found enough energy to
criticise the demands and credentials of Science.

[Footnote _/-_ : Compare also Aliotta's book, _The Idealistic Reaction
against Science_, Eng. trans., 19l4.]

The publication of Claude Bernard's volume _Introduction à la Médecine
experimentale__/=_ drew from the pen of Paul Janet, the last of the
Eclectic School dominated by Cousin, an article of criticism which
appeared in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, and was later published in
his volume of essays entitled, _Les Problèmes du XIXe Siècle_.
Although Janet's essay reveals all the deficiencies of the older
spiritualism, he makes a gallant attempt to combat the dogmatism and
the assumed finality of Bernard's point of view and that of the
scientists in general. Janet regarded the sciences and their relation
to philosophy as constituting an important problem for the century and
in this judgment he was not mistaken.

[Footnote _/=_ : _Cf_. Livre III., _Science_, chap, i., on "Method in
General"; chap, ii., on The Experimental Method in Physiology," pp.
213-279.]


                                  I

We have, in our Introductory Chapter, reckoned Auguste Comte among the
influential antecedents of our period. Here, in approaching the study
of the problem of science, we may note that the tendency towards the
strictly scientific attitude, and to the promotion of the scientific
_spirit_ in general, was partly due to the influence of his
positivism. Comte's intended Religion of Humanity failed, his system
of positive philosophy has been neglected, but the SPIRIT which he
inculcated has abided and has borne fruit. We would be wrong, however,
if we attributed much to Comte as the originator of that spirit. His
positive philosophy, although it greatly stimulated and strengthened
the positive attitude adopted by the natural sciences, was itself in
large measure inspired by and based upon these sciences. Consequently
much of Comte's glory was a reflected light, his thought was a
challenge to the old spiritualism, an assertion of the rights of the
sciences to proclaim their existence and to demand serious
consideration.

Although he succeeded in calling the attention of philosophy to the
natural sciences, yet owing to the mere fact that he based himself on
the sciences of his day much of his thought has become obsolete by the
progress and extension of those very sciences themselves. He tended,
with a curious dogmatism, to assign limits to the sciences by keeping
them in separate compartments and in general by desiring knowledge to
be limited to human needs. Although there is important truth in his
doctrine of discontinuity or irreducible differences, the subsequent
development of the natural sciences has cleared away many barriers
which he imagined to be impassable. There still are, and may always
be, gaps in our knowledge of the progress from inorganic to organic,
from the living creature to self-conscious personality, but we have a
greater conception of the unity of Nature than had Comte. Many new
ideas and discoveries have transformed science since his day,
particularly the doctrines dealing with heat as a form of motion, with
light, electricity, and the radio-activity of matter, the structure of
the atom, and the inter-relation of physics and chemistry.

Comte's claim for different methods in the different departments of
science is of considerable interest, in view of present-day biological
problems and the controversies of vitalists, mechanists and
neo-vitalists._*_ Although Comte insisted upon discontinuity, yet
he urged the necessity for an _esprit d'ensemble_, the consideration
of things synthetically, in their "togetherness." He feared that
analysis, the _esprit de détail_ or mathematisation, was being carried
out _à l'outrance_. This opinion he first stated in 1825 in his tract
entitled _Considérations sur les Sciences et les Savants_. On the
social side he brought this point out further by insisting on the
_esprit d'ensemble_ as involving the social standpoint in opposition
to a purely individualistic view of human life.

[Footnote _*_ : See, for example, _The Mechanism of Life_, by Dr.
Johnstone, Professor of Oceanography in the University of Liverpool.
(Arnold, 1921.)]

Comte was slow to realise the importance of Ethics as an independent
study. Psychology he never recognised as a separate discipline,
deeming it part of physiology. He gave a curious appreciation to
phrenology. Unfortunately he overlooked the important work done by the
introspectionist psychologists in England and the important work of
Maine de Biran in his own country. One is struck by Comte's inability
to appreciate the immense place occupied by psychology in modern life
and in particular its expression in the modern novel and in much
modern poetry. An acquaintance with the works of men like De Regnier,
Pierre Loti and Anatole France is sufficient to show how large a
factor the psychological method is in French literature and life. It
is to be put down to Comte's eternal discredit that he failed to
appreciate psychology. Here lies the greatest defect in his work, and
it is in this connection that his work is now being supplemented.
Positivism in France to-day is not a synonym for "Comtism" at all; the
term is now employed to denote the spirit and temper displayed in the
methods of the exact sciences. For Comte, we must never forget,
scientific investigation was a means and not an end in itself. His
main purpose was social and political regeneration. Positivism since
Comte differs from his philosophy by a keen attention bestowed upon
psychology, and many of Comte's inadequate conceptions have been
enriched by the introduction of a due recognition of psychological
factors.

It is to be noted that Comte died two years before Darwin's
_chef-d'uvre_ appeared, and that he opposed the doctrine of evolution
as put forward by Lamarck. Although Comte's principle of discontinuity
may in general have truth in it, the problem is a far more complicated
one than he imagined it to be. Again, while Comte's opposition to the
subjectivism of Cousin was a wholesome influence, he did not accord to
psychology its full rights, and this alone has been gravely against
the acceptance of his philosophy, and explains partly the rise and
progress of the new spiritualist doctrines. His work served a useful
purpose, but Comte never closed definitely with the problem of the
precise significance of "positivism" or with its relation to a general
conception of the universe; in short, he confined himself to
increasing the scientific spirit in thought, leaving aside the
difficulty of relating science and philosophy.

Comte stated in his _Philosophie positive__*_ that he regarded
attempts to explain all phenomena by reference to one law as futile,
even when undertaken by the most competent minds well versed in the
study of the sciences. Although he believed in discontinuity he tried
to bridge some gaps, notably by his endeavour to refer certain
physiological phenomena to the law of gravitation.

[Footnote _*_ : Vol. i., pp. 53-56.]

The chief work which this undoubtedly great mind accomplished was the
organisation of the scientific spirit as it appeared in his time.
Renan hardly does justice to him in his sarcastic remark in his
_Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_. "I felt quite irritated at the
idea of Auguste Comte being dignified with the title of a great man
for having expressed in bad French what all scientific minds had seen
for the last two hundred years as clearly as he had done." His work
merits more than dismissal in such a tone, and we may here note, as
the essence of the spirit which he tried to express, his definition of
the positive or scientific attitude to the universe given at the
commencement of his celebrated Cours de _Philosophie positive_. There,
in defining the positive stage, Comte speaks of it as that period in
which "the human spirit, recognising the impossibility of obtaining
absolute conceptions, abandons the search for the origin and the goal
of the universe and the inner causes of things, to set itself the task
merely of discovering, by reasoning and by experience combined, the
effective laws of phenomena--that is to say, their invariable
relations of succession and of similarity."_*_ This positive spirit
Comte strove to express rather than to originate, for it was already
there in the sciences. Undoubtedly his work made it more prominent,
more clear, and so we have to note an interaction between positivism
in the sciences and in philosophy.

[Footnote _*_ : Leçon i.]

It is equally important for our purpose to notice that the period was
one rich in scientific thought. The work of Lavoisier and Bichat, both
of whom as contemporaries of Maine de Biran, belong to the former
century, was now bearing fruit. Lavoisier's influence had been great
over chemistry, which he established on a modern basis, by formulating
the important theory of the conservation of mass and by clearing away
false and fan- tastic conceptions regarding combustion._*_ Bichat,
the great anatomist and physiologist, died in 1802, but the
publication of his works in a completed form was not accomplished
until 1854. The work and influence of the _Académie des Sciences_ are
noteworthy features of French culture at this time. There stands out
prominently the highly important work of Cuvier in anatomy, zoology
and palæontology._/-_ The nineteenth century was a period of great
scientists and of great scientific theories. Leverrier, applying
himself to the problem of the motions of Uranus, found a solution in
the hypothesis of another planet, Neptune, which was actually
discovered from his calculations in 1846. This was a notable victory
for logical and scientific method. In 1809 Lamarck had outlined, prior
to Spencer or Darwin, the scheme of the evolutionary theory
(Transformism)._/=_ Spencer's work, which appeared from 1850
onwards, has always commanded respect and attention in France even
among its critics._§_ Interest increased upon the publication of
Darwin's _Origin of Species_ in 1859, and its translation into French
in 1862. These dates coincide with the rise of the _Société
d'Anthropologie_ de Paris, founded by Broca in the same year that
Darwin's book appeared. Another translation from Darwin's work
followed in 1872, _Descendance de l'Homme_, which aroused further
interest in the evolutionary theory. At the same time the work of men
such as Pasteur, Bertrand, Berthelot and Bernard gave an impetus and a
power to science. Poincare belongs rather to the twentieth century.
Pasteur (1822-1895) showed mankind how science could cure its ills by
patient labour and careful investigation, and earned the world's
gratitude for his noble work. His various _Discours_ and his volume,
_Le Budget de la Science_ (1868), show his faith in this progressive
power of science. In Bertrand (1822-1900), his contemporary who held
the position of Professor of Mathematics at the College de France, a
similar attitude appears.

[Footnote _*_ : Lavoisier perished at the guillotine in 1794, and his
death was a tragic loss to science.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Cuvier's _Anatomie comparée_ appeared in the years
1800-1805, following his _Histoire naturelle_ (1798-1799). Later came
his _Rapport sur les Sciences naturelles_ (1810) and his work _Le
Regne animal_ (1816).He died in 1832. We may note that Cuvier opposed
the speculative evolutionary doctrines of Lamarck, with whom he
indulged in controversy.]

[Footnote _/=_ : In his work, _Philosophie zoologique, ou Exposition
des Considérations relatives a l'Histoire naturelle des Animaux_, 2
vols Paris, Dentu, 1809.]

[Footnote _§_ : His _Social Statics_ was published in 1850, and his
_Psychology_ five years later. His life work, _The Synthetic
Philosophy_, extends over the period 1860-1896.]

One of the foremost scientific minds, however, was Claude Bernard
(1813-1878), a friend of Renan, who held the Chair of Medicine at the
College de France, and was, in addition, the Professor of Physiology
at the Faculté des Sciences at the Sorbonne. Science, Bernard
maintained, concerns itself only with phenomena and their laws. He
endeavoured in his celebrated _Introduction à l'Etude de la Médécine
expérimentale_, published in 1865, to establish the science of
physiology upon a sound basis, having respect only to fact, not owning
homage to theories of a metaphysical character or to the authority of
persons or creeds. He desired to obtain by such a rigorous and precise
method, objectivity. "The experimental method is," he insists, "the
really scientific method, which proclaims the freedom of the human
spirit and its intelligence. It not only shakes off the yoke of
metaphysics and of theology, in addition it refuses to admit personal
considerations and subjective standpoints."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Introduction à l'Etude de la Médécine expérimentale_,
chap. ii, sect. 4]

Bernard's attitude is distinctly that of a positivist, and the general
tone of his remarks as well as his attitude on many special points
agrees with that of Comte. His conclusions regarding physiology are
akin to those expressed by Comte concerning biology. Bernard ex-*
*cludes any metaphysical hypothesis such as the operation of a vital
principle, and adheres strictly to physicochemical formulas. He
accepts, however, Comte's warning about the reduction of the higher to
terms of the lower, or, in Spencerian phraseology, the explanation of
the more complex by the less complex. Consequently, he carefully
avoids the statement that he desires to "reduce" physiology to physics
and chemistry. He makes no facile and light-hearted transition as did
Spencer; on the contrary, he claims that the living has some specific
quality which cannot be "reduced" to other terms, and which cannot be
summed up in the formulae of physics or chemistry. The physiologist
and the medical practitioner must never overlook the fact that every
living being forms an organism and an individuality. The physiologist,
continues Bernard, must take notice of this unity or harmony of the
whole, even while he penetrates the interior to know the mechanism of
each of its parts. The physicist and the chemist can ignore any notion
of final causes in the facts they observe, but the physiologist must
admit a harmonious finality, a harmony pre-established in the
organism, whose actions form and express a unity and solidarity, since
they generate one another. Life itself is _creation_; it is not
capable of expression merely in physico-chemical formulae. The
creative character, which is its essence, never can be so expressed.
Bernard postulated an abstract, _idée directrice et créatrice_,
presiding over the evolution of an organism. "_Dans tout germe vivant,
il y a une idée créatrice qui se développe et se manifeste par
l'organisation. Pendant toute sa durée l'être vivant reste sous
l'influence de cette même force vitale, créatrice, et la mort arrive
lorsqu'elle ne peut plus se réaliser. Ici comme partout, tout dérive
de l'idée, qui, seule, crée et dirige_."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Introduction à l'Etude de la Médécine expérimentale_,
p.151 ff.]

The positivist spirit is again very marked in the doctrines of
Berthelot (1827-1907), another very great friend of Renan, who, in
addition to being a Senator, and Minister of Education and of Foreign
Affairs, held the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the Collège de France.
In 1886 he published his volume, Science et Philosophie, which
contains some interesting and illuminating observations upon _La
Science idéale et la Science positive_. Part of this, it may be noted,
was written as early as 1863, in correspondence with Renan, and as a
reply to a letter of his of which we shall speak presently._*_
Berthelot states his case with a clearness which merits quotation.

[Footnote _*_ : See the _Fragments_ of Renan, published 1876, pp
193-241. _Reponse de M. Berthelot_.]

"Positive science," he says, "seeks neither first causes nor the
ultimate goal of things. In order to link together a multitude of
phenomena by one single law, general in character and conformable to
the nature of things, the human spirit has followed a simple and
invariable method. It has stated the facts in accordance with
observation and experience, compared them, extracted their relations,
that is the general facts, which have in turn been verified by
observation and experience, which verification constitutes their only
guarantee of truth. A progressive generalisation, deduced from prior
facts and verified unceasingly by new observations, thus brings our
knowledge from the plane of particular and popular facts to general
laws of an abstract and universal character. But, in the construction
of this pyramid of science, everything from base to summit rests upon
observation and experience. It is one of the principles of positive
science that no reality can be established by a process of reasoning.
The universe cannot be grasped by a _priori_ methods."

Like Comte, Berthelot believed in the progress of all knowledge
through a theological and metaphysical stage to a definitely
scientific or positive era. The sciences are as yet young, and we
cannot imagine the development and improvement, social and moral,
which will accrue from their triumph in the future. For Berthelot, as
for Renan, the idea of progress was bound up essentially with the
triumph of the scientific spirit. In a Discourse at the Sorbonne given
in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of his being appointed
Professor at the Collège de France, we find this faith in science
reiterated. "To-day," he remarks, "Science claims a triple direction
of societies, materially, intellectually and morally. By this fact the
role of the men of science, both as individuals and as a class, has
unceasingly come to play a great part in modern states."

These scientific men, Berthelot and Bernard, with whom Renan was on
terms of friendship, had a large influence in the formation of his
thought, after he had quitted the seminary and the Church. As a young
man Renan possessed the positive spirit in a marked degree, and did
not fail to disclose his enthusiasm for "Science" and for the
scientific method. His book _L'Avenir de la Science_, which we have
already noted, was written when he was only twenty-five, and under the
immediate influence of the events of 1848, particularly the socialist
spirit of Saint-Simon and the "organising" attitude of Auguste Comte.
It did not, however, see publication until 1890, when the Empire had
produced a pessimistic temper in him, later accentuated by the Commune
and the Prussian War. The dominant note of the whole work is the
touching and almost pathetic belief in Science, which leads the young
writer to an optimism both in thought and in politics. "Science"
constitutes for him the all-in-all. Although he had just previously
abandoned the seminary, his priestly style remained with him to such a
degree that even his treatment of science is characterised by a
mixture of the unction of the _curé_ and the subtilty of the
dialectician. Levites were still to be necessary to the people of
Israel, but they were to be the priests of the most High, whose name,
according to Renan, was "Science."

His ardour for Science is not confined to this one book: it runs
through all his writings. Prospero, a character who personifies
rational thought in _L'Eau de Jouvence_, one of Renan's _Drames
philosophiques_, expresses an ardent love for science continually. In
his preface to _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_ we find Renan upon
the same theme. Quaintly enough he not only praises the objectivity
which is characteristic of the scientific point of view, but seems to
delight in its abstraction. The superiority of modern science
consists, he claims, in this very abstraction. But he is aware that
the very indefatigability with which we fathom nature removes us, in a
sense, further from her. He recognises how science leads away from the
immediacy of vital and close contact with nature herself. "This is,
however, as it should be," asserts Renan, "and let no one fear to
prosecute his researches, for out of this merciless dissection comes
life." He does not stay to assure us, or to enlighten us, as to how
that life can be infused into the abstract facts which have resulted
from the process of dissection. Fruitful and suggestive as many of his
pages are, they fail to approach the concrete difficulties which this
passage mentions.

Writing from Dinant in Brittany in 1863 to his friend, Berthelot,
Renan gives his view of the Sciences of Nature and the Historical
Sciences. This letter, reprinted in his _Dialogues et Fragments
philosophiques_, in 1876, expresses Renan's.views in a clear and
simple form upon the place of science in his mind and also upon the
idea of progress, as for him the two are intimately connected. Extreme
confidence is expressed in the power of science. Renan at this time
had written, but not published, his _Avenir de la Science_. In a brief
manner this letter summarises much contained in the larger work. The
point of view is similar. Science is to be the great reforming power.

The word "Science" is so constantly upon Renan's lips that we can see
that it has become an obsession with mm to employ it, or a device.
Certainly Renan's extensive and ill-defined usage of it conceals grave
diffi-* *culties. One is tempted frequently to regard it as a synonym
for philosophy or metaphysics, a word which he dislikes. That does
not, however, add to clearness, and Renan's usage of "Science" as a
term confuses both science and philosophy together. Even if this were
not the case, there is another important point to note-- namely, that
even on a stricter interpretation Renan, by his wide use of the term,
actually undermines the confidence in the natural sciences. For he
embraces within the term "Science" not merely those branches of
investigation which we term in general the sciences of nature, but
also the critical study of language, of history and literature. He
expressly endeavours to show in the letter to Berthelot that true
science must include the product of man's spirit and the record of the
development of that spirit.

Renan assumed quite definitely a positivist attitude to metaphysics.
"Philosophy," he remarks, "is not a separate science; it is one side
of every science. In the great optic pencil of human knowledge it is
the central region where the rays meet in one and the same light."
Metaphysical speculation he scorned, but he admitted the place for a
criticism of the human mind such as had been given by Kant in _The
Critique of Pure Reason_.

Kantian also, in its professions at least, was the philosophy of
Vacherot, who stated that the aim of his work, _La Métaphysique et la
Science_, was "the reconciliation of metaphysics with science."_*_
These dialogues between a philosopher and a man of science, for of
such discussions the book is composed, never really help us to get
close to the problem, for Vacherot's Kantianism is a profession which
merely covers an actual positivism. His metaphysical doctrines are
superimposed on a severe and rigid naturalism, but are kept from
conflict with them, or even relation with them, by being allotted to a
distant limbo of pure ideals, outside the world which science displays
to us.

[Footnote _*_ : See particularly his statements to this effect in his
Preface, pp. xxxvii-xl.]

Taine, in spite of his severely positive attitude, was a strong
champion of metaphysics. The sciences needed, he claimed, a science of
first principles, a metaphysic. Without it, "the man of science is
merely a _manuvre_ and the artist a _dilettante_." The positive
sciences he re- garded as inferior types of analysis. Above them "is a
superior analysis which is metaphysics, and which reduces or takes up
these laws of the sciences into a universal formula." This higher
analysis, however, does not give the lie to the others: it completes
them.

It was indeed a belief and hope of Taine that the sciences will be
more and more perfected until they can each be expressed in a kind of
generic formula, which in turn may be capable of expression in some
single formula. This single law is being sought by science and
metaphysic, although it must belong to the latter rather than to the
former. From it, as from a spring, proceeds, according to Taine, the
eternal roll of events and the infinite sea of things.

Taine's antagonism to the purely empirical schools centres round his
conception of the law of causality. He disagrees with the assertion
that this law is a synthetic, a _posteriori_ judgment, a habit, as
Hume said, or a mechanical _attente_, as Mill thought, or a
generalisation of the sensation of effort which we feel in ourselves,
as was suggested by Maine de Biran. Yet he also opposes Kant's
doctrine, in which causality is regarded as a synthetic _a priori_
judgment. His own criticism of Hume and Kant was directed to denial of
the elements of heterogeneity in experience, which are so essential to
Hume's view, and to a denial of the distinction maintained by Kant
between logical and causal relations. Taine considered that all might
be explained by logical relations, that all experience might some day
be expressed in one law, one formula. The _more geometrico_ of Spinoza
and the "universal mathematic" of Descartes reappear in Taine. He even
essays in _L'Intelligence_ to equate the principle of causality
(_principe de raison explicative_) with that of identity.

His attempt to reduce the principle of causality to that of identity
did not succeed very well, and from the nature of the case this was to
be expected. As Fouillée well points out in his criticism of Taine,
both in _La Liberté et le Déterminisme_ and the concluding pages of
his earlier work on Plato,_*_ the notion of difference and
heterogeneity which arises in the action of cause and effect can never
be reducible to a mere identity, for the notion of identity has
nothing in common with that of difference. Differences cannot be
ignored; variety and change are undeniable facts of experience.
Fouillée here touches the weak spot of Taine's doctrine. In spite of a
seemingly great power of criticism there is an underlying dogmatism in
his work, and the chief of those dogmas, which he does not submit to
criticism, is the assertion of the universal necessity of all things.
To this postulate he gives a false air of objectivity. He avoids
stating why we do objectify causality, and he diverts discussion from
the position that this postulate may itself be subjective.

[Footnote: Vol. 4.]

The particular bearing of Taine's psychology upon the general problem
of knowledge is interesting. He defines perception in _L'Intelligence_
as _une hallucination vraie_. His doctrine of the "double aspect,"
physical and mental, recalls to mind the Modes of Spinoza. In his
attitude to the difficult problem of movement and thought he rests in
the dualism of Spinoza, fluctuating and not enunciating his doctrine
clearly. The primacy of movement to thought he abandoned as too
mechanical a doctrine, and regarded the type of existence as mental in
character. Taine thus passes from the materialism of Hobbes to the
idealism of Leibnitz. "The physical world is reducible to a system of
signs, and no more is needed for its construction and conception than
the materials of the moral world."

When we feel ourselves constrained to admit the necessity of certain
truths, if we are inclined to regard this as due to the character of
our minds themselves (_notre structure mentale_), as Kant maintained,
Taine reminds us that we must admit that our mind adapts itself to its
environment. He here adopts the view of Spencer, a thinker who seems
to have had far more influence upon the Continent than in his own
country. Although Taine thus reposes his epistemology upon this basis,
he does not answer the question which the Kantian can still put to
him--namely, "How do we know the structure of things?" He is unable to
escape from the difficulty of admitting either that it is from
experience, an admission which his anti-empirical attitude forbids him
to make (and which would damage his dogma of universal logical
necessity), or that our knowledge is obtained by analysing our own
thoughts, in which case he leaves us in a vicious circle of pure
subjectivity from which there is no means of escape.

The truth is that Taine vainly tried to establish a phenomenal
doctrine, not purely empirical in character like that of Hume, but a
phenomenalism wedded to a necessity which is supposed to be
self-explanatory. Such a notion of necessity, however, is formal and
abstract. Rather than accept Taine's view of a law, a formula, an
"eternal axiom" at the basis of things, we are obliged to postulate an
activity, creative in character, of whose action universal laws are
but expressions. Law, formula, axiom without action are mere
abstractions which can of themselves produce nothing.

Taine's positivism, however, was not so rigid as to exclude a belief
in the value of metaphysics. It is this which distinguishes him from
the Comtian School. We see in him the confidence in science
complemented by an admission of metaphysics, equivalent to a turning
of "positivism" in science and philosophy against itself. Much heavier
onslaughts upon the sovereignty of science came, however, from the
thinker who is the great logician and metaphysician of our period,
Renouvier. To him and to Cournot we now turn.


                                  II

While Taine had indeed maintained the necessity of a metaphysic, he
shared to a large degree the general confidence in science displayed
by Comte, Bernard, Berthelot and Renan. But the second and third
groups of thinkers into which we have divided our period took up first
a critical attitude to science and, finally, a rather hostile one.

Cournot marks the transition between Comte and Renouvier. His _Essai
sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances et sur les Caractères de la
Critique philosophique_ contains some very calm and careful thought on
the relation of science and philosophy, which is the product of a
sincere and well-balanced mind._*_ He inherits from the positivists
an intense respect for scientific knowledge, and remarks at the outset
that he is hostile to any philosophy which would be so foolish as to
attempt to ignore the work of the modern sciences.

[Footnote _*_ : See in particular the second chapter of vol. 2, _Du
Contraste de la Science et de la Philosophie et de la Philosophie des
Sciences_, pp. 216-255.]

His work _Matérialisme, Vitalisme, Rationalisme_ is a striking example
of this effort on Cournot's part, being devoted to a study of the use
which can be made in philosophy of the data afforded by the sciences.
Somewhat after the manner of Comte, Cournot looks upon the various
sciences as a hierarchy ranging from mathematics to sociology. Yet he
reminds the scientists of the insufficiency of their point of view,
for the sciences, rightly pursued, lead on to philosophy. He laments,
however, the confusion of the two, and thinks that such confusion is
"partly due to the fact that in the realm of speculations which are
naturally within the domain of the philosopher, there are to be found
here and there certain theories which can actually be reduced to a
scientific form"_*_ He offers, as an instance of this, the theory
of the syllogism, which has affinities to algebraical equations--but
this interpenetration should not cause us, he argues, to abandon or to
lose sight of the distinction between science and philosophy.

[Footnote _*_ : _Essai sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances_, vol.
2, p. 224.]

This distinction, according to Cournot, lies in the fact that science
has for its object that which can be measured, and that which can be
reduced to a rigorous chain or connection. In brief, science is
characterised by quantity. Philosophy, on the other hand, concerns
itself with quality, for it endeavours not so much to measure as to
appreciate.

Cournot reminds the apostles of science that quantity, however
intimately bound up with reality it may be, is not the essence of that
reality itself. He is afraid, too, that the neglect of philosophy by
science may cause the latter to develop along purely utilitarian
lines. As an investigation of reality, science is not ultimate. It has
limits by the fact that it is concerned with measurement, and thus is
excluded from those things which are qualitative and incapable of
quantitative expression. Science, moreover, has its roots in
philosophy by virtue of the metaphysical postulates which it utilises
as its basis. Physics and geometry, Cournot maintains, both rest upon
definitions which owe their origin to speculative thought rather than
to experience, yet these sciences claim an absolute value for
themselves and for those postulates as being descriptions of reality
in an ultimate sense.

Following out his distinction between philosophy and the sciences,
Cournot claims in a Kantian manner that while the latter are products
of the human understanding the former is due to the operation of
reason. This apparent dualism Cournot does not shrink from
maintaining; indeed, he makes it an argument for his doctrine of
discontinuity. The development of a science involves a certain breach
with reality, for the progress of the science involves abstraction,
which ever becomes more complicated. Cournot here brings out the point
which we noticed was stressed by Renan._*_

[Footnote _*_ : See above, p. 105.]

Reason produces in us the idea of order, and this "idea of order and
of reason in things is the basis of philosophic probability, of
induction and analogy."_/-_ This has important bearings upon the
unity of science and upon the conception of causality which it
upholds. In a careful examination of the problems of induction and
analogy, Cournot emphasises the truth that there are facts which
cannot be fitted into a measured or logical sequence of events.
Reality cannot be fitted into a formula or into concepts, for these
fail to express the infinite variety and richness of the reality which
displays itself to us. Science can never be adequate to life, with its
pulsing spontaneity and freedom. It is philosophy with its _vue
d'ensemble_ which tries to grasp and to express this concreteness,
which the sciences, bound to their systematic connection of events
within separate compartments, fail to reach or to show us. Referring
to the ideas of beauty and of goodness, Cournot urges a
"transrationalism," as he calls it, which, while loyal to the rational
requirements of science, will enable us to take the wider outlook
assumed by philosophy._/=_

[Footnote _/-_ : Essai sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances, p.
384.]

[Footnote _/=_ : The parallelism of some of Cournot's ideas here with
those expressed by Bergson, although they have been enunciated by the
later thinker in a more decided manner, is so obvious as hardly to
need to be indicated.]

Like Cournot, the author of the _Essais de Critique générale_ was a
keen antagonist of all those who sought to deify Science. It was
indeed this which led Renouvier to give this title to his great work,
the first part of which was published at a time when the confidence in
Science appeared to be comparatively unassailed. We find him defending
philosophy as against the scientists and others by an insistence upon
its critical function.

In examining Comte's positivism in his work _Histoire et Solution des
Problèmes métaphysiques_, Renouvier points out that its initial idea
is a false one--namely, that philosophy can be constituted by an
assembling together of the sciences._*_ Such an assembly does not,
he objects, make a system. Each science has its own postulates, its
own data, and Science as a whole unity of thought or knowledge does
not exist. He attacks at the same time the calm presumption of the
positivist who maintains that the scientific stage is the final and
highest development. Renouvier is considerably annoyed at this
unwarranted dogmatism and assumed air of finality.

[Footnote _*_ : Book X.: _De l'Etat actuel de la Philosophie en
France_, chap. 1., _De l'Aboutissement des Esprits au Positivisme_,
pp. 416-417.]

Owing to the excellent training he had received at the Ecole
Polytechnique, and by his own profound study, Renouvier was able on
many technical points to meet the scientists on their own ground. His
third _Essai de Critique générale_ is devoted to a study of "the
Principles of Nature," in which he criticises many of the principles
and assumptions of mechanism, while many pages of his two previous
_Essais_ are concerned with the discussion of questions intimately
affecting the sciences._/-_

[Footnote _/-_ : This is particularly noticeable in the matter printed
as appendices to his chapters. (_Cf_. the _Logic_, vol 2.)]

An important section of his second Essay, _Psychologie rationnelle_,
deals with the "Classification of the Sciences."_/=_ Renouvier
there points out that the attempt to classify the sciences in
accordance with their degrees of certainty ends in failure. All of
them, when loyal to their own principles, endeavour to display equal
certainty. By loyalty Renouvier shows that he means adherence to an
examination of certain classes of phenomena, the observation of facts
and laws, with the proposal of hypotheses, put forward frankly as
such. He draws a line between the logical and the physical sciences--a
division which he claims is not only a division according to the
nature of their data, but also according to method. Following another
division, we may draw a line between sciences which deal with objects
which are organic, living creatures, and those which are not.

[Footnote _/=_ : Vol. 2, chap. xviii., _De la Certitude des Sciences
et leur Classification rationnelle_, pp. 139-186, including later
observations on Spencer]

Renouvier's line is not, it must be remembered in this connection, a
purely imaginary one. It is a real line, an actual gap. For him there
is a real discontinuity in the universe. Taine's doctrine of a
universal explanation, of a rigid unity and continuity, is, for
Renouvier, anathema, _c'est la mathématisation a l'outrance_. This
appears most markedly in the pages which he devotes to the
consideration of _la synthèse totale_.

An important section of his _Traité de Logique_ (the first _Essai de
Critique générale_) deals with the problem of this Total Synthesis of
all phenomena._*_ This is a conception which Renouvier affirms to
be unwarrantable and, indeed, in the last analysis impossible. A
general synthesis, an organisation or connected hierarchy of sciences,
is a fond hope, an illusion only of a mind which can overlook the real
discontinuity which exists between things and between groups of
things.

[Footnote: Vol. I, pp. 107-115, and also vol. 2, pp. 202-245.]

He sees in it the fetish of the Absolute and the Infinite and the lure
of pantheism, a doctrine to which he opposes his "Personalism." He
reminds the scientists that personality is the great factor to which
all knowledge is related, and that all knowledge is relative. A law is
a law, but the guarantee of its permanence is not a law. It is no more
easy, claims Renouvier, to say why phenomena do not stop than it is to
know why they have begun. Laws indeed abide, but "not apart from
conscious personalities who affirm them."_/-_ Further, attacking
the self-confident and dogmatic attitude in the scientists, Renouvier
reminds them that it is impossible to demonstrate _every_ proposition;
and in an important note on "Induction and the Sciences"_*_ he
points out that induction always implies a certain _croyance_. This is
no peculiar, mystical thing; it is a fact, he remarks, which colours
all the interesting acts of human personality. He here approaches
Cournot in observing that all speculation is attended by a certain
coefficient of doubt or uncertainty and so becomes really rational
belief. With Cournot, too, Renouvier senses the importance of analogy
and probability in connection with hypotheses in the world of nature
and of morals. In short, he recognises as central the problem of
freedom.

[Footnote _/-_ : _Logique_, vol. 2, p. 321.]

[Footnote _*_ : Note B to chap. xxxv. of the Logique, vol. 2, p. 13.]

Renouvier attacks Comte's classification or "hierarchy" of the
sciences as mischievous and inexact. It is not based, he claims, upon
any distinction in method, nor of data. It is not true that the
sciences are arranged by Comte in an order where they successively
imply one another, nor in an order in which they have come to be
constituted as "positive"._/-_

[Footnote _/-_: This outburst of attack is a sample of Renouvier's
usual attitude to Positivism. (_Deuxième Essai_, vol. 2, pp.
166-170.)]

He justifies to the scientist the formulation of hypothesis as a
necessary working method of co-ordinating in a provisional manner
varying phenomena. Many hypotheses and inductions of science are,
however, unjustifiable from a strictly logical standpoint, Renouvier
reminds us. His chief objection, however, is that those hypotheses and
inductions are put forward so frequently as certainties by a science
which is dogmatic and surpasses its limits.

Science, Renouvier claims, does not give us a knowledge of the
absolute, but an understanding of the relative. It is in the light of
his doctrine of relativity and of the application of the law of number
that he criticises many of the attitudes adopted by the scientists.
Whatever savours of the Absolute or the Infinite he opposes, and his
view of cause depends on this. He scorns the fiction of an infinite
regress, and affirms real beginnings to various classes of phenomena.
Causality is not to be explained, he urges in his _Nouvelle
Monadologie_, save by a harmony. He differs from Leibnitz, however, in
claiming in the interests of freedom that this harmony is not
pre-established. In meeting the doctrine of the reduction of the
complex to the simple, Renouvier cites the case of "reducing" sound,
heat, light and electricity to movement. This may be superficially
correct as a generality, but Renouvier aptly points out that it
overlooks the fact that, although they may all be abstractly
characterised as movement, yet there are differences between them as
movements which correspond to the differences of sensation they arouse
in us.

Renouvier upholds real differences, real beginnings, and, it must be
added, a reality behind and beyond the appearances of nature. His
_Monadologie_ admits that "we can continue to explain nature
mathematically and mechanically, provided we recognise that it is an
external appearance--that thought, mind or spirit is at the heart of
it." This links Renouvier to the group of new spiritualists. His
attitude to science is akin to theirs. He does not fear science when
it confines itself to its proper limits and recognises these. It has
no quarrel with philosophy nor philosophy with it. Advance in science
involves, he believes, an advance also in theology and in metaphysics.

The sciences are responsible for working out the laws determining the
development of the Universe. But between Science, an ideal unachieved,
and the sciences which in themselves are so feeble, imperfect and
limited, Renouvier claims that General Criticism, or Philosophy, has
its place. "In spite of the discredit into which philosophy has fallen
in these days, it can and ought to exist. Its object has been always
the investigation of God, man, liberty, immortality, the fundamental
laws of the sciences. 'All these intimately connected and
interpenetrating problems comprise the domain of philosophy." In those
cases where no science is possible, this seeming impossibility must
itself be investigated, and philosophy remains as a "General
Criticism" (_Critique générale_) of our knowledge. "It is this
notion," he says, "which I desired to indicate by banishing the word
'Philosophy' from the title of my Essays. The name ought to change
when the method changes."_*_ Thus Renouvier seeks to establish a
"critique" midway between scepticism and dogmatism, and endeavours to
found a philosophy which recognises at one and the same time the
demands of _science et conscience_.

[Footnote _*_ : Logique, vol. 2, p. 352.]


                                 III

On turning to the spiritualist current of thought we find it, like the
neo-criticism, no less keen in its criticism of science. The
inadequacy of the purely scientific attitude is the recurring theme
from Ravaisson to Boutroux, Bergson and Le Roy. The attitude assumed
by Ravaisson coloured the whole of the subsequent development of the
new spiritualist doctrines, and not least their bearing upon the
problem of science and its relation to metaphysics.

Mechanism, Ravaisson pointed out, quoting the classical author upon
whom he had himself written so brilliantly (Aristotle), does not
explain itself, for it implies a "prime mover," not itself in motion,
but which produces movement by spiritual activity. Ravaisson also
refers to the testimony of Leibnitz, who, while agreeing that all is
mechanical, carefully added to this statement one to the effect that
mechanism itself has a principle which must be looked for outside
matter and which is the object of metaphysical research. This
spiritual reality is found only, according to Ravaisson, in the power
of goodness and beauty--that is to say, in a reality which is not
non-scientific but rather ultra-scientific. There are realities, he
claims, to which science does not attain.

The explanation of nature presupposes soul or spirit. It is true,
Ravaisson admits, that the physical and chemical sciences consider
themselves independent of metaphysics; true also that the
metaphysician in ignoring the study of those sciences omits much from
his estimate of the spirit. Indeed, he cannot well dispense with the
results of the sciences. That admission, however, does not do away
with the possibility of a true "apologia" for metaphysics. To Newton's
sarcastic remark, "Physics beware of metaphysics," Hegel replied
cogently that this was equivalent to saying, "Physics, keep away from
thought." Spirit, however, cannot be omitted from the account; it is
the condition of all that is, the light by which we see that there is
such a thing as a material universe. This is the central point of
Ravaisson's philosophy. The sciences of nature may be allowed and
encouraged to work diligently upon their own principles, but the very
fact that they are individual sciences compels them to admit that they
view the whole "piecemeal". Philosophy seeks to interpret the whole as
a whole. Ravaisson quotes Pascal's saying, "_Il faut avoir une pensée
de derrière la tête et juger de tout par là_." This _pensée de
derrière la tête_, says Ravaisson, while not preventing the various
sciences from speaking in their own tongue, is just the metaphysical
or philosophical idea of the whole.

It is claimed, Aristotle used to say, that mathematics have absolutely
nothing in common with the idea of the good. "But order, proportion,
symmetry, are not these great forms of beauty?" asks Ravaisson. For
him there is spirit at the heart of things, an activity, _un feu
primitif qui est l'âme_, which expresses itself in thought, in will
and in love. It is a fire which does not burn itself out, because it
is enduring spirit, an eternal cause, the absolute substance is this
spiritual reality. Where the sciences fall short is that they fail to
show that nature is but the refraction of this spirit. This is a fact,
however, which both religion and philosophy grasp and uphold.

These criticisms were disturbing for those minds who found entire
satisfaction in Science or rather in the sciences, but they were
somewhat general. Ravaisson's work inculcated a spirit rather than
sustained a dialectic. Its chief value lay in the inspiration which it
imparted to subsequent thinkers who endeavoured to work out his
general ideas with greater precision.

It was this task which Lachelier set himself in his _Induction_. He
had keenly felt the menace of science, as had Janet;_*_ he had
appreciated the challenge offered to it by Ravaisson's ideas.
Moreover, Lachelier's acute mind discovered the crucial points upon
which the new spiritualism could base its attack upon the purely
scientific dogmatism. Whatever Leibnitz might have said, creative
spontaneity of the spirit, as it was acclaimed by Ravaisson, could not
easily be fitted into the mechanism and determinism upheld by the
sciences. Ravaisson had admitted the action of efficient causes in so
far as he admitted the action of mechanism, which is but the outcome
of these causes. In this way he endeavoured to satisfy the essential
demands of the scientific attitude to the universe. But recognising
the inadequacy of this attitude he had upheld the reality of final
causes and thus opposed to the scientists a metaphysical doctrine akin
to the religious attitude of Hellenism and Christianity.

[Footnote _*_ : We refer here to the quotation from Janet's _Problèmes
du XIXe Siècle_, given above on p. 95. Janet himself wrote on
_Final Causes_ but not Wlth the depth or penetration of Lachelier.]

Lachelier saw that the important point of Ravaisson's doctrine lay in
the problem of these two types of causality. His thesis is therefore
devoted to the examination of efficient and final causes. This little
work of Lachelier marks a highly important advance in the development
of the spiritualist philosophy. He clarifies and re-affirms more
precisely the position indicated by Ravaisson. Lacheher tears up the
treaty of compromise which was drafted by Leibnitz to meet the rival
demands of science with its efficient causes and philosophy with its
final causes. The world of free creative spontaneity of the spirit
cannot be regarded, Lachelier claims (and this is his vital point), as
merely the complement of, or the reflex from, the world of mechanism
and determinism.

He works out in his thesis the doctrine that efficient causes can be
deduced from the formal laws of thought. This was Taine's position,
and it was the limit of Taine's doctrine. Lachelier goes further and
undermines Taine's theories by upholding final causes, which he shows
depend upon the conception of a totality, a whole which is capable of
creating its parts. This view of the whole is a philosophical
conception to which the natural sciences never rise, and which they
cannot, by the very nature of their data and their methods,
comprehend. Yet it is only such a conception which can supply any
rational basis for the unity of phenomena and of experience. Only by
seeing the variety of all phenomena in the light of such an organic
unity can we find any meaning in the term universe, and only thus,
continues Lachelier, only on the principle of a rational and universal
order and on the reality of final causes, can we base our inductions.
The "uniformity of nature," that fetish of the scientists which, as
Lachelier well points out, is merely the empirical regularity of
phenomena, offers no adequate basis for a single induction.

Lachelier developed his doctrines further in the article, _Psychologie
et Métaphysique_. We can observe in it the marks which so profoundly
distinguish the new spiritualism from the old, as once taught by
Cousin. The old spiritualism had no place between its psychology and
its metaphysics for the natural sciences. Indeed it was quite
incapable of dealing with the problem which their existence and
success presented, and so it chose to ignore them as far as possible.
The new spiritualism, of which Lachelier is perhaps the profoundest
speculative mind, not only is acquainted with the place and results of
the sciences, but it feels itself equal to a criticism of them, an
advance which marks a highly important development in philosophy.

In this article Lachelier endeavours to pass beyond the standpoint of
Cousin, and in so doing we see not only the influence of Ravaisson's
ideas of the creative activity of the spirit, but also of the
discipline of the Kantian criticism, with which Lachelier, unlike many
of his contemporaries in France at that time, was well acquainted.

He first shows that the study of psychology reveals to us the human
powers of sensation, feeling and will. These are the immediate data of
consciousness. Another element, however, enters into consciousness,
not as these three, a definite content, but as a colouring of the
whole. This other element is "objectivity," an awareness or belief
that the world without exists and continues to exist independently of
our observation of it. Lachelier combats, however, the Kantian
conception of the "thing-in-itself." If, he argues, the world around
us appears as a reality which is independent of our perception, it is
_not_ because it is a "thing-in-itself," but rather it appears as
independent because we, possessing conscious intelligence, succeed in
making it an object of our thought, and thus save it from the mere
subjectivity which characterises our sense-experience. It is upon this
fact, Lachelier rightly insists, that all our science reposes. A
theory of knowledge as proposed by Taine, based solely on sensation
and professing belief in _hallucination vraie_, is itself a
contradiction and an abuse of language. "If thought is an illusion,"
remarks Lachelier, "we must suppress all the sciences."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : Psychologie et Métaphisique, p.151.(See especially the
passages on pp.150-158.)]

He then proceeds to show that if we admit thought to be the basis of
our knowledge of the world, that is, of our sciences, then we admit
that our sciences are themselves connstructions, based upon a
synthetic, constructive, creative activity of our mind or spirit. For
our thought is not merely another "thing" added to the world of things
outside us. Our thought is not a given and predetermined datum, it is
"a living dialectic," a creative activity, a self-creative process,
which is synthetic, and not merely analytic in character. "Thought,"
he says, "can rest upon itself, while everything else can only rest
upon it; the ultimate _point d'appui_ of all truth and of all
existence is to be found in the absolute spontaneity of the
spirit."_*_ Here, Lachelier maintains, lies the real _a priori_;
here, too, is the very important passage from psychology to
metaphysics.

[Footnote _*_: _Psychologie et Métaphysique_, p. 158.]

Finally his treatment of the problems of knowledge and of the
foundations of science leads him to reemphasise not only the reality
of spirit but its spontaneity. He recognises with Cournot and
Renouvier that the vital problem for science and philosophy is that of
freedom. The nature of existence is for Lachelier a manifestation of
spirit, and is seen in will, in necessity and in freedom. It is
important to note that for him it is _all_ these simultaneously.
"Being," he remarks in concluding his brilliant essay,_/-_ "is not
first, a blind necessity, then a will which must be for ever bound
down in advance to necessity and, lastly, a freedom which would merely
be able to recognise such necessity and such a bound will; being is
entirely free, in so far as it is self-creative; it is entirely an
expression of will, in so far as it creates itself in the form of
something concrete and real; it is also entirely an expression of
necessity, in so far as its self-creation is intelligible and gives an
account of itself."

[Footnote _/-_: _Ibid_., p. 170]

At this stage something in the nature of a temporary "set-back" is
given to the flow of the spiritualist current by Fouillee's attitude,
which takes a different line from that of Ravaisson and Lachelier. The
attitude towards Science, which we find adopted by Fouillee, is
determined by his two general principles, that of reconcilation, and
his own doctrine of _idées-forces_. His conciliatory spirit is well
seen in the fact that, although he has a great respect for science and
inherits many of the qualities contained in Taine's philosophy,
particularly the effort to maintain a regular continuity and
solidarity in the development of reality, nevertheless he is imbued
with the spirit of idealism which characterises all this group of
thinkers. The result is a mixture of Platonism and naturalism, and to
this he himself confesses in his work, _Le Mouvement idéaliste et la
Réaction contre la Science positive_, where he expresses a desire "to
bring back Plato's ideas from heaven to earth, and so to make idealism
consonant with naturalism."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Le Mouvement idéaliste el la Réaction contre la
Science positive_, p. xxi.]

Fouillée claims to take up a position midway between the materialists
and the idealists. Neither standpoint is, in his view, adequate to
describe reality. He is particularly opposed to the materialistic and
mechanistic thought of the English Evolutionary School, as presented
by Spencer and Huxley, with its pretensions to be scientific. Fouillee
accepts, with them, the notion of evolution, but he disagrees entirely
with Spencer's attempt to refer everything to mechanism, the mechanism
of matter in motion. In any case, Fouillée claims, movement is a very
slender and one-sided element of experience upon which to base our
characterisation of all reality, for the idea of motion arises only
from our visual and tactual experience. He revolts from the
epiphenomenalism of Huxley as from a dire heresy. Consciousness cannot
be regarded as a mere "flash in the pan." Even science must admit that
all phenomena are to be defined by their relation to, and action upon,
other phenomena. Consciousness, so regarded, will be seen, he claims,
as a unique power, possessing the property of acting upon matter and
of initiating movement. It is itself a factor, and a very vital one,
in the evolutionary process. It is no mere reflex or passive repre-*
sentation. On this point of the irreducibility of the mental life and
the validity of its action, Fouillée parts company with Taine. On the
other hand, he disagrees with the idealistic school of thought, which
upholds a pure intellectualism and for whom thought is the accepted
characterisation of reality. This, complains Fouillée, is as much an
abstraction and a one-sided view as that of Spencer.

In this manner Fouillée endeavours to "rectify the scientific
conception of evolution" by his doctrine of _idées-forces_. "There
is," he says,_*_ "in every idea a commencement of action, and even
of movement, which tends to persist and to increase like an _élan_. .
. . Every idea is already a force." Psychologically it is seen in the
active, conative or appetitive aspect of consciousness. To think of a
thing involves already, in some measure, a tendency toward it, to
desire it. Physiologically considered, _idées-forces_ are found to
operate, not mechanically, but by a vital solidarity which is much
more than mere mechanism, and which unites the inner consciousness to
the outer physical fact of movement. From a general philosophical
point of view the doctrine of _idées-forces_ establishes the
irreducibility of the mental, and the fact that, so far from the
mental being a kind of phosphorescence produced as a result of the
evolutionary process, it is a prime factor in that evolution, of which
mechanism is only a symbol. Here Fouillée rises almost to the
spiritualism of Ravaisson. Mechanism, he declares, is, after all, but
a manner of representing to ourselves things in space and time.
Scientists speak of forces, but the real forces are ideas, and other
so-called "forces" are merely analogies which we have constructed,
based upon the inner mental feeling of effort, tendency, desire and
will._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : _La Liberté et le Déterminisme_, p. 97, 4e ed.]

[Footnote _/-_ : This was a point upon which Maine de Biran had
insisted. (See p. 20.)]

The scientists have too often, as Fouillée well points in his work on
_L'Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces_, regarded the concept of Evolution
as all-sufficing, as self-explanatory. Philosophy, however, cannot
accept such dogmatism from science, and asserts that evolution is
itself a result and not in itself a cause. With such a view Fouillée
is found ultimately in the line of the general development of the
spiritual philosophy continuing the hostility to science as ultimate
or all-sufficing. Further developments of this attitude are seen in
Boutroux and in Bergson.

In the work of Boutroux we find a continuation of that type of
criticism of science which was a feature in Ravaisson and Lachelier.
He has also affinities with Renouvier (and, we may add, with Comte),
because of his insistence upon the discontinuity of the sciences; upon
the element of "newness" found in each which prevents the higher being
deduced from the lower, or the superior explained by reference to the
inferior. Boutroux opposes Spencer's doctrines and is a keen
antagonist of Taine and his claim to deduce all from one formula. Such
a notion as that of Taine is quite absurd, according to Boutroux, for
there is no necessary bond between one and another science. This is
Boutroux's main point in _La Contingence des Lois de la Nature_.

By a survey of laws of various types, logical, mathematical,
mechanical, physical, chemical, biological, psychological and
sociological, Boutroux endeavours to show that they are constructions
built up from facts. Just as nature offers to the scientist facts for
data, so the sciences themselves offer these natural laws as data to
the philosopher, for his constructed explanation of things which is
metaphysics or philosophy.

"In the actual condition of our knowledge," he remarks, "science is
not one, but multiple; science, conceived as embracing all the
sciences, is a mere abstraction." This is a remark which recalls
Renouvier's witty saying, "I should very much like to meet this person
I hear so much about, called 'science.'" We have only sciences, each
working after its own manner upon a small portion of reality. Man has
a thirst for knowledge, and he sees, says Boutroux, in the world an
"ensemble" of facts of infinite variety. These facts man endeavours to
observe, analyse, and describe with increasing exactness. Science, he
points out, is just this description.

It is futile to attempt a resolution of all things into the principle
of identity. "The world is full of a number of things," and,
therefore, argues Boutroux, the formula A = B can never be strictly
and absolutely true. "Nature never offers to us identities, but only
resemblances." This has important bearing upon the law of causality,
of which the sciences make so much. For there is such a degree of
heterogeneity in the things to which the most elementary and general
laws of physics and chemistry are applied that it is impossible to say
that the consequent is proportional to the antecedent--that is to say,
it is impossible to work out absolutely the statement that an effect
is the unique result of a certain invariable cause. The fundamental
link escapes us and so, for us, there is a certain contingency in
experience. There is, further, a creativeness, a newness, which is
unforeseeable. The passage from the inorganic to the organic stresses
this, for the observation of the former would never lead us to the
other, for it is a creation, a veritable "new" thing. Boutroux is here
dealing hard blows at Taine's conception. He continues it by showing
that in the conscious living being we are introduced to a new element
which is again absolutely irreducible to physical factors. Life, and
consciousness too, are both creators. The life of the mind is
absolutely _sui generis_; it cannot be explained by physiology, by
reflex action, or looked upon as merely an epiphenomenon. Already
Boutroux finds himself facing the central problem of Freedom. He
recognises that as psychological phenomena appear to contain qualities
not given in their immediate antecedents, the law of proportion of
cause to effect does not apply to the actions of the human mind.

The principle of causality and the principle of the conservation of
energy are m themselves scientific "shibboleths," and neither of them,
asserts Boutroux, can be worked out so absolutely as to justify
themselves as ultimate descriptions of the universe. They are valuable
as practical maxims for the scientist, whose object is to follow the
threads of action in this varied world of ours. They are incomplete,
and have merely a relative value. Philosophy cannot permit their
application to the totality of this living, pulsing universe. For
cause, we must remember, does not in its strictly scientific meaning
imply creative power. The cause of a phenomenon is itself a
phenomenon. "The positive sciences in vain pretend to seize the divine
essence or reason behind things."_*_ They arrive at descriptive
formulæ and there they leave us. But, as Boutroux well reminds us in
concluding his thesis, formulas never explain anything because they
cannot even explain themselves. They are simply constructions made by
observation and abstraction and which themselves require explanation.

[Footnote _*_ : _Contingence des Lois de la Nature_, p 154.]

The laws of nature are not restrictions which have been, as it were,
imposed upon her They are themselves products of freedom; they are, in
her, what habits are to the individual. Their constancy is like the
stability of a river-bed which the freely running stream at some early
time hollowed out.

The world is an assembly of beings, and its vitality and nature cannot
be expressed in a formula. It comprises a hierarchy of creatures,
rising from inorganic to organic forms, from matter to spirit, and in
man it displays an observing intelligence, rising above mere
sensibility and expressly modifying things by free will. In this
conception Boutroux follows Ravaisson, and he is also influenced by
that thinker's belief in a spiritual Power of goodness and beauty. He
thus leads us to the sphere of religion and philosophy, both of which
endeavour, in their own manner, to complete the inadequacy of the
purely scientific standpoint. He thus stands linked up in the total
development with Cournot and Renouvier, and in his own group with
Lachelier, in regard to this question of the relation of philosophy
and the sciences.

The critique of science, which is so prominent in Boutroux, was
characteristic of a number of thinkers whom we cannot do more than
mention here in passing, for in general their work is not in line with
the spiritualist development, but is a sub-current running out and
separated from the main stream. This is shown prominently in the fact
that, while Boutroux's critique is in the interests of idealism and
the maintenance of some spiritual values, much subsequent criticism of
science is a mere empiricism and, being divorced from the general
principles of the spiritualist philosophy, tends merely to accentuate
a vein of uncertainty--indeed, scepticism of knowledge. Such is the
general standpoint taken by Milhaud, Payot, and Duhem. Rather apart
from these stands the works of acute minds like Poincaré, Durand de
Gros, and Hannequin, whose discussion of the atomic doctrines is a
work of considerable merit. To these may be added Lalande's criticism
of the doctrine of evolution and integration by his opposing to it
that of dissolution and disintegration. Passing references to these
books must not, however, detain us from following the main development
which, from Boutroux, is carried on by Bergson.

We find that Bergson, like Boutroux, holds no brief for science, and
in particular he opposes some of its doctrines which have been
dogmatically and uncritically accepted. His work, _Matiére et
Mémoire_, is a direct critique of the scientific postulate of
psycho-physical parallelism which Bergson regards as the crux of the
problem at issue between science and philosophy-- namely, that of
freedom. He shows that this theory, which has been adopted by science
because of its convenience, ought not to be accepted by philosophy
without criticism. In his opinion it cannot stand the criticism which
he brings against it. A relation between soul and body is undeniable,
but he does not agree that that relation is one of absolute
parallelism. To maintain parallelism is to settle at once and
beforehand, in an unwarrantably _a priori_ manner, the whole problem
of freedom. His intense spiritualism sees also in such a doctrine the
deadly enemy Epiphenomenalism, the belief that the spiritual is only a
product of the physical. He maintains the unique and irreducible
nature of consciousness, and claims that the life of the soul or
spirit is richer and wider than the mere physical activity of the
brain, which is really its instrument. Bergson asks us to imagine the
revolution which might have been, had our early scientists devoted
themselves to the study of mind rather than matter, and claims that we
suffer from the dogmatism of materialistic science and the geometrical
and mathematical conceptions of "a universal science" or "mathematic"
which come from the seventeenth century, and are seen later in Taine.

The inadequacy of the scientific standpoint is a theme upon which
Bergson never tires of insisting. Not only does he regard a metaphysic
as necessary to complete this inadequacy, but he claims that our
intellect is incapable of grasping reality in its flux and change. The
true instrument of metaphysics is, according to him, intuition.
Bergson's doctrine of intuition does not, however, amount to a pure
hostility to intellectual constructions. These are valuable, but they
are not adequate to reality. Metaphysics cannot dispense with the
natural sciences. These sciences work with concepts, abstractions, and
so suffer by being intellectual moulds. We must not mistake them for
the living, pulsing, throbbing reality of life itself which is far
wider than any intellectual construction.

By his insistence upon this point, in which he joins hands with
several of his predecessors, Bergson claims to have got over the
Kantian difficulties of admitting the value and possibility of a
metaphysic. There is nothing irrational, he insists, in his doctrine
of metaphysical intuition or "intellectual sympathy"; it is rather
super-rational, akin to the spirit of the poet and the artist. The
various sciences can supply data and, as such, are to be respected,
for they have a relative value. What Bergson is eager to do is to
combat their absolute value. His metaphysic is, however, no mere
"philosophy of the sciences" in the sense of being a mere summary of
the results of the sciences. His intuition is more than a mere
generalisation of facts; it is an "integral experience," a penetration
of reality in its flux and change, a looking upon the world _sub
specie durationis_. It is a vision, but it is one which we cannot
obtain without intellectual or scientific labour. We can become better
acquainted with reality only by the progressive development of science
_and_ philosophy. We cannot live on the dry bread of the sciences
alone, an intuitional philosophy is necessary for our spiritual
welfare. Science promises us well-being or pleasure, but philosophy,
claims Bergson, can give us joy, by its intuitions, its
super-intellectual vision, that vital contact with life itself in its
fulness, which is far grander and truer than all the abstractions of
science. This is the culmination of much already indicated in Cournot,
Renouvier, Ravaisson, Lachelier, and Boutroux, which Bergson presents
in a manner quite unique, thus closing in our period the development
of that criticism and hostility to the finality and absoluteness of
the purely scientific attitude which is so marked a feature of both
our second and third groups, the neo-critical thinkers and the
neo-spiritualists.

                              * * * * *

Beginning with a glowing confidence in the sciences as ultimate
interpretations of reality, we thus have witnessed a complete turn of
the tide during the develop-* since 1851. Also, in following out the
changes in the attitude adopted to Science, we have been enabled to
discover in a general manner that the central and vital problem which
our period presents is that of Freedom. It will be interesting to find
whether in regard to this problem, too, a similar change of front will
be noticeable as the period is followed to its close.

NOTE.--The reader may be interested to find that Einstein has brought
out some of Boutroux's points very emphatically, and has confirmed the
view of geometry held by Poincaré. Compare the following statements:

Boutroux: "Mathematics cannot be applied with exactness to reality."
"Mathematics and experience can never be exactly fitted into each
other."

Poincaré: "Formulæ are not true, they are convenient."

Einstein: "If we deny the relation between the body of axiomatic
Euclidean geometry or the practically rigid body of reality, we
readily arrive at the view entertained by that acute and profound
thinker, H. Poincaré . . . _Sub specie æterni_, Poincaré, in my
opinion, is right" (_Sidelights on Relativity_, pp. 33-35).



                              CHAPTER IV

                               FREEDOM

The discussions regarding the relation between science and philosophy
led the thinkers of our period naturally to the crucial problem of
freedom. Science has almost invariably stood for determinism, and men
were becoming impatient of a dogmatism which, by its denial of
freedom, left little or no place for man, his actions, his beliefs,
his moral feelings.

"_La nature fatale offre à la Liberté
Un problème_."_*_

[Footnote _*_: Guyau, in his _Vers d'un Philosophe_, "_Moments de
Foi_--I.," _En lisant Kant_, p. 57.]

It was precisely this problem which was acutely felt in the philosophy
of our period as it developed and approached the close of the century.

In a celebrated passage of his _Critique of Judgment_ the philosopher
Kant had drawn attention to the necessity of bringing together the
concept of freedom and the concept of nature as constructed by modern
science, for the two were, he remarked, separated by an abyss. He
himself felt that the realm of freedom should exercise an influence
upon the realm of science, but his own method prohibited his
attempting to indicate with any preciseness what that influence might
be. The fatal error of his system, the artificial division of noumena
and phenomena, led him to assign freedom only to the world of noumena.
Among phenomena it had no place, but reigned transcendent, unknown and
unknowable, beyond the world we know.

The artificiality of such a solution was apparent to the thinkers who
followed Kant, and particularly was this felt in France. "Poor
consolation is it," remarked Fouillée, in reply to Kant's view, "for a
prisoner bound with chains to know that in some unknown realm afar he
can walk freely devoid of his fetters."

The problem of freedom, both in its narrow sphere of personal
free-will and in its larger social significance, is one which has
merited the attention of all peoples in history. France, however, has
been pre-eminently a cradle for much acute thought on this matter. It
loomed increasingly large on the horizon as the Revolution approached,
it shone brilliantly in Rousseau. Since the Revolution it has been
equally discussed, and is the first of the three watchwords of the
republic, whose philosophers, no less than its politicians, have found
it one of their main themes.

The supreme importance of the problem of freedom in our period was due
mainly to the need felt by all thinkers for attempting, in a manner
different from that of Kant, a reconciliation between science and
morals (_science et conscience_), and to find amid the development of
scientific thought a place for the personality of the thinker himself,
not merely as a passive spectator, but as an agent, a willing and
acting being. Paul Janet, in his essays entitled _Problèmes du XIXe
Siècle_,_*_ treating the question of science, asks whether the
growing precision of the natural sciences and "the extension of their
'positive' methods, which involve a doctrine or assumption of
infallible necessity, do not imperil gravely the freedom of the moral
agent?" While himself believing that, however closely the sciences may
seem to encroach upon the free power of the human soul, they will only
approach in an indefinite "asymptote," never succeeding in annulling
it, he senses the importance of the problem. Science may endeavour to
tie us down to a belief in universal and rigid determinism, but the
human spirit revolts from the acceptance of such a view, and acclaims,
to some degree at least, the reality of a freedom which cannot be
easily reconciled with the determinist doctrines.

[Footnote _*_ : Published in 1872.]

In the period which we have under review the central problem is
undoubtedly that of freedom. Practically all the great thinkers in
France during this period occupied themselves with this problem, and
rightly so, for they realised that most of the others with which
philosophy concerns itself depend in a large degree upon the attitude
adopted to freedom. Cournot, Renouvier, Ravaisson, Lachelier,
Fouillée, Boutroux, Blondel and Bergson have played the chief part in
the arena of discussion, and although differing considerably in their
methods of treatment and not a little in the form of their
conclusions, they are at one in asserting the vital importance of this
problem and its primacy for philosophy. The remark of Fouillée is by
no means too strong: "The problem which we are going to discuss is not
only a philosophical problem; it is, _par excellence_, _the_ problem
for philosophy. All the other questions are bound up with this."_*_
This truth will be apparent when, after showing the development of the
doctrines concerning freedom, we come, in our subsequent chapters, to
consider its application to the questions of progress, of ethics and
of the philosophy of religion.

[Footnote _*_ : In his preface to his Thesis _Liberté et
Déterminisme_, later editions, p. vii.]


                                  I

We find in the thought of our period a very striking development or
change in regard to the problem of freedom. Beginning with a strictly
positivist and naturalist belief in determinism, it concludes with a
spiritualism or idealism which not only upholds freedom but goes
further in its reaction against the determinist doctrines by
maintaining contingency.

Taine and Renan both express the initial attitude, a firm belief in
determinism, but it is most clear and rigid in the work of Taine. His
whole philosophy is hostile to any belief in freedom. The strictly
positivist, empiricist and naturalist tone of his thought combined
with the powerful influence of Spinoza's system to produce in him a
firm belief in necessity--a necessity which, as we have seen, was
severely rational and of the type seen in mathematics and in logic.
Although it must also be admitted that in this view of change and
development Taine was partly influenced by the Hegelian philosophy,
yet his formulations were far more precise and mathematical than those
of the German thinker.

We have, in considering his attitude to science, seen the tenacious
manner in which he clings to his dogma of causality or universal
necessity. All living things, man included, are held in the firm grip
of "the steel pincers of necessity." Every fact and every law in the
universe has its _raison explicative_, as Taine styles it. He quotes
with approval, in his treatment of this question at the close of his
work _De l'Intelligence_, the words of the great scientist and
positivist Claude Bernard: "_Il y a un déterminisme absolu, dans les
conditions d'existence des phénomènes naturels, aussi bien pour les
corps vivants que pour les corps bruts_."_*_ In Taine and the
school of scientists like Bernard, whose opinions on this matter he
voices, no room is accorded to freedom.

[Footnote _*_ : _De l'Intelligence_, vol. 2, p. 480, the quotation
from Bernard is to be found in his _Introduction à l'Etude de la
Médecine expérimentale_, p. 115.]

Taine's belief in universal necessity and his naturalistic outlook led
him to regard man from the physical standpoint as a mechanism, from
the mental point of view a theorem. Vice and virtue are, to quote his
own words, "products just as vitriol or sugar." This remark having
appeared to many thinkers a scandalous assertion, Taine explained in
an article contributed to the _Journal des Débats__/-_ that he did
not mean to say that vice and virtue were, like vitriol or sugar,
_chemical_ but they are nevertheless products, _moral_ products, which
moral elements bring into being by their assemblage. And, he argues,
just as it is necessary in order to make vitriol to know the chemical
elements which go to its composition, so in order to create in man the
hatred of a lie it is useful to search for the psychological elements
which, by their union, produce truthfulness.

[Footnote _/-_ : On December 19th, 1872.]

Even this explanation of his position, however, did not prevent the
assertion being made that such a view entirely does away with all
question of moral responsibility. To this criticism Taine objected.
"It does not involve moral indifference. We do not excuse a wicked man
because we have explained to ourselves the causes of his wickedness.
One can be determinist with Leibnitz and nevertheless admit with
Leibnitz that man is responsible --that is to say, that the dishonest
man is worthy of blame, of censure and punishment, while the honest
man is worthy of praise, respect and reward."

In one of his _Essais_ Taine further argued in defence of his doctrine
of universal determination that since WE ourselves are
determined--that is to say, since there is a psychological determinism
as well as a physical determinism--we do not feel the restriction
which this determinism implies, we have the illusion of freedom and
act just as if we were free. To this Fouillée replied that the value
of Taine's argument was equal to that of a man who might say, "Because
_I_ am asleep, all of me, all my powers and faculties, therefore I am
in a state where I am perfectly free and responsible." Certainly
Taine's remark that _we_ are determined had nothing in common with the
belief in that true determinism, which is equally true freedom, since
it is _self_-determination. Taine professed no such doctrine, and
rested in a purely naturalistic fatalism, built upon formulæ of
geometry and logic, in abstraction from the actual living and acting
of the soul, and this dogma of determinism, to which he clung so
dearly, colours his view of ethics and of history. For Taine, "the
World is a living geometry" and "man is a theorem that walks."

Like Taine, Renan set out from the belief in universal causation, but
he employed the conception not so much in a warfare against man's
freedom of action as against the theologians' belief in miracle and
the supernatural. There is none of Taine's rigour and preciseness in
Renan, and it is difficult to grasp his real attitude to the problem
of freedom. If he ever had one, may be doubted. The blending of
viewpoints, the paradox so characteristic of him, seems apparent even
in this question.

His intense humanism prompted him to remarks in praise of freedom, and
he seems to have recognised in man a certain power of freedom; but in
view of his belief in universal cause he is careful to qualify this.
Further, his intensely religious mind remained in love with the
doctrine of divine guidance which is characteristic of Christian and
most religious thought. Although Renan left the Church, this belief
never left Renan. He sees God working out an eternal purpose in
history, and this he never reconciled with the problem of man's free
will. The humanist in him could remark that the one object of life is
the development of the mind, and the first condition for this is
freedom. Here he appears to have in view freedom from political and
religious restrictions. He is thinking of the educational problem. His
own attitude to the ultimate question of freedom in itself, as opposed
to determinism, is best expressed in his _Examen d'une Conscience
philosophique_. He there shows that the universe is the result of a
lengthy development, the. beginnings of which we do not know. "In the
innumerable links of that chain," says Renan, "we find not one free
act before the appearance of man, or, if you like, living beings."
With man, however, freedom comes into the scheme of things. A free
cause is seen employing the forces of nature for willed ends. Yet this
is but nature itself blossoming to self-consciousness; this free cause
emanates from nature itself. There is no rude break between man with
his free power and unconscious nature. Both are interconnected.
Freedom is indeed the appearance of something "new," but it is not,
insists Renan, something divorced from what has gone before.

We see in Renan a rejection of the severely deterministic doctrine of
Taine, but it is by no means a complete rejection or refutation of it.
Renan adheres largely to the scientific and positivist attitude which
is such a feature of Taine's work. His humanism, however, recognises
the inadequacy of such doctrines and compels him to speak of freedom
as a human factor, and he thus brings us a step nearer to the
development of the case for freedom put forward so strongly by Cournot
and Renouvier and by the neo-spiritualists.


                                  II

A very powerful opposition to all doctrines based upon or upholding
determinism shows itself in the work of Cournot and the neo-critical
philosophy. The idea of freedom is a central one in the thought of
both Cournot and Renouvier.

Cournot devoted his early labours to a critical and highly technical
examination of the question of probability, considered in its
mathematical form, a task for which he was well equipped._*_ Being
not only a man of science but also a metaphysician, or rather a
philosopher who approached metaphysical problems from the impulse and
data accorded him by the sciences, Cournot was naturally led to the
wider problem of _probabilité philosophique_. He shows in his _Essai
sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances_ that hazard or chance are not
merely words which we use to cover our ignorance, as Taine would have
claimed. Over against the doctrine of a universal determinism he
asserts the reality of these factors. The terms chance and hazard
represent a real and vital element in our experience and in the nature
of reality itself. Probability is a factor to be reckoned with, and
this is so because of the elements of contingency in nature and in
life. Freedom is bound up essentially with the vitality which is
nature itself.

[Footnote _*_ : See his _Essai sur les Fondements de nos
Connaissances: "Hazard,"_ chap. iii.; "_Probabilité Philosophique_,"
chap, iv., pp. 71-101; and chap. v., "_De l'Harmonie et de la
Finalité_,"pp. 101-144.]

The neo-critical philosopher, Renouvier, is a notable champion of
freedom. We have already seen the importance he attaches to the
category of personality. For him, personality represents a
consciousness in possession of itself, a free and rational harmony--in
short, freedom personified.

From a strictly demonstrative point of view Renouvier thinks it is
impossible to prove freedom as a fact. However, he lays before us with
intense seriousness various. considerations of a psychological and a
moral character which have an important bearing upon the problem. This
problem, he asserts, not only concerns our actions but also our
knowledge. To bring out this point clearly, Renouvier develops some of
the ideas of his friend, Jules Lequier, on the notion of the autonomy
of the reason, or rather of the reasonable will. In this way he shows
doubt and criticism to be themselves signs of freedom, and asserts
that we form our notions of truth freely, or that at least they are
creations of our free thought, not laid upon us by an external
authority.

More light is thrown on the problem by considering what Renouvier
calls _vertige mental_, a psychopathological condition due to a
disturbance of the rational harmony or self-possession which
constitutes the essence of the personal consciousness. This state is
characterised by hallucination and error. It is the extreme opposite
of the self-conscious, reflective personality in full possession of
itself and exercising its will rationally. Renouvier shows that
between these two extremes there are numerous planes of _vertige
mental_ in which the part played by our will is small or negligible,
and we are thus victims of habit or tendency. Is there, then, any
place for freedom? There most certainly is, says Renouvier, for our
freedom manifests itself whenever we inhibit an action to which we are
excited by habit, passion or imagination. Our freedom is the product
of reflection. We are at liberty to be free, to determine ourselves in
accordance with higher motives. This power is just our personality
asserting itself, and it does not contradict our being, more often
than not, victims of habit. We have it in our power to make fresh
beginnings. Renouvier's disbelief in strict continuity is here again
apparent. We must admit freedom of creation in the personality itself,
and not seek to explain our actions by trying to ascend some scale of
causes to infinity. There is no such thing as a sum to infinity of a
series; there is no such thing as the influence of an infinite series
of causes upon the performance of a consciously willed act in which
the personality asserts its initiative-- that is, its power of
initiation of a new series, in short, its freedom.

Passing from these psychological considerations, Renouvier calls our
attention to some of a moral nature, no less important, in his
opinion, for shedding light upon the nature of freedom. If, he argues,
all is necessary, if all human actions are predetermined, then popular
language is guilty of a grave extravagance and appears ridiculous,
insinuating, as it does, that many acts might have been left undone
and many events might have occurred differently, and that a man might
have done other than he did. In the light of the hypothesis of
rigorous necessity, the mention of ambiguous futures and the notion of
"being otherwise" (_le pouvoir être autrement_) seem foolish. Science
may assert the docrine of necessity and preach it valiantly, but the
human conscience feels it to be untrue and will not be gainsaid. The
scientist himself is forced to admit that man does not accept his
gospel of universal predestination or fatalism. This Renouvier
recognises as an important point in the debate. Strange, is it not, he
remarks, that the mind of the philosopher himself, a sanctuary or
shrine for truth, should appear as a rebellious citadel refusing to
surrender to the truth of this universal necessity. We believe
ourselves to be free agents or, at least beings who are capable of
some free action. However slight such action, it would invalidate the
hypothesis of universal necessity.

If all things are necessitated, then moral judgments, the notions of
right and of duty, have no foundation in the nature of things. Virtue
and crime lose their character; the sentiments and feelings, such as
regret, hope, fear, desire, change their meaning or become
meaningless. Renouvier lays great stress upon these moral
considerations.

Again, if everything be necessitated, error is as necessary as truth.
The false is indeed true, being necessary, and the true may become
false. Disputes rage over what is false or true, but these disputes
cannot be condemned, for they themselves are, by virtue of the
hypothesis, necessary, and the disputes are necessarily absurd and
ridiculous from this point of view. Where then is truth? Where is
morality? We have here no basis for either. Looking thus at history,
all its crimes and infamies are equally lawful, for they are
inevitable; such is the result, Renouvier shows, of viewing all human
action as universally predetermined.

The objections thus put forward by Renouvier against the doctrine of
universal necessity are powerful ones. They possess great weight and
result in the admission, even by its upholders, that "the judgment of
freedom is a natural datum of consciousness and is bound up with our
reflective judgments upon which we act, being itself the foundation of
these."

Yet, we have, Renouvier reminds us, no logical proof of the reality of
freedom. We feel ourselves moved, spontaneously and unconstrained. The
future, in so far as it depends upon ourselves, appears not as
prearranged but ambiguous, open._*_ Whether our judgment be true or
false, we in practical life act invariably on the belief in freedom.
That, of course, as Renouvier admits at this stage of his discussion,
does not prove that our belief is not an illusion. It is a feeling,
natural and spontaneous.

[Footnote _*_ : Cf., later, Bergson's remark: "The portals of the
future stand wide open, the future is being made."]

One of the most current forms of the doctrine of freedom has been that
known as the "liberty of indifference." The upholders of this theory
regard the will as separated from motives and ends. The operation of
the will is regarded by them as indifferent to the claims or influence
of reason or feeling. Will is superadded externally to motives, where
such exist, or may be superimposed on intellectual views even to the
extent of annulling these. Judgment and will are separated in this
view, and the will is a purely arbitrary or indifferent factor. It can
operate without reason against reason. The opponents of freedom find
little difficulty in assailing this view, in which the will appears to
operate like a dice or a roulette game, absolutely at hazard, reducing
man to a non-rational creature. Such a type of will, however,
Renouvier declares to be non-existent, for every man who has full
consciousness of an act of his has at the same time a consciousness of
an end or purpose for this act, and he proposes to realise by this
means a good which he regards as preferable to any other. In so far as
he has doubts of this preference the act and the judgment will be
suspended. He must, however, if he be an intelligent being, pursue
what he deems to be his good--that is to say, what he deems to be good
at the time of acting. Renouvier here agrees with Socrates and Plato
in the view that no man deliberately and knowingly wills what he
considers to be evil or to be bad for him. Virtue involves knowledge,
and although there is the almost proverbial phrase of Ovid and of
Paul, about seeing and approving the better, yet nevertheless doing
the worse, it is a general statement which does not express an
antithesis as present to consciousness at the time of action. The
agent may afterwards say

. . . "_Video meliora proboque
deteriora sequor_."

but at the time of action "the worse" must appear to him as a good, at
any rate then and in his own judgment. Further, beyond these
psychological considerations there are grave moral objections,
Renouvier points out, to admitting "an indifferent will," for the acts
of such a will being purely arbitrary and haphazard, the man will be
no moral agent, no responsible person. A man who wills apart from the
consideration of any motive whatever can never perform any meritorious
action. Under the conception of an indifferent will the term "merit"
ceases to have a meaning. The theologians who have asserted the
doctrine (indeed, it seems to have originated, Renouvier thinks, with
them) have readily admitted this point, for it opens up the way for
their theory of divine grace or the good will of God acting directly
upon or within the agent. Will and merit are for them quite separate,
the latter being due to the mystical operations of divine favour or
grace, in honour of which the indifference of the will has been
postulated. Philosophers not given to appeals to divine grace, who
have upheld the doctrine of the indifferent will, have really been
less consistent than the theoloians and have fallen into grave error.

Renouvier appeals to the testimony of the penal laws of all nations in
favour of his criticism of an indifferent will. Motive _is_ deemed a
real factor, for men are not deemed to have acted indifferently. Some
deliberation, indeed, is implied in all action which is conscious and
human, some comparison of motives and a conscious, decision. The
values of truth, as well as those of morality are equally fatal to the
indifferentist; for, asks Renouvier, is a man to be regarded as not
determined to affirm as true what he judges to be true?

The doctrine of freedom as represented by that of an indifferent will
is no less vicious, Renouvier affirms, than the opposing doctrine of
universal necessity. The truth is that they both rest on fictions.
"Indifferentism" imagines a will divorced from judgment, separated
from the rational man himself, an unseizable power, a mysterious
absolute cause unconnected with reflection or deliberation, a mere
chimera. For determinism the will is equally a fiction.

A way out of this difficulty is to be found, according to Renouvier,
in viewing the will in a manner different from that of the
"indifferentists." Let us suppose the will bound up with motive, a
motive drawn from the intellectual and moral equipment of the man.
This, however, gives rise to psychological determinism. The will, it
is argued, follows always the last determination of the understanding.
Greater subtilty attends on this argument against freedom than those
put forward on behalf of physical determinism. Renouvier sees that
there is no escape from such a doctrine as psychological determinism
unless we take a view of the will as bound up with the nature of man
as a whole, with his powers of intellect and feeling. Such a will
cannot be characterised as indifferent or as the mere resultant of
motives.

The Kantian element in Renouvier's thought is noticeable in the strong
moral standpoint from which he discusses all problems, and this is
particularly true of his discussion of this very vital one of freedom.
He is by no means, however, a disciple of Kant, and he joins battle
strongly with the Kantian doctrine of freedom. This is natural in view
of his entire rejection of Kant's "thing-in-itself," or noumena, and
it follows therefrom, for Kant attached freedom only to the noumenal
world, denying its operation in the world of phenomena. The rejection
of noumena leaves Renouvier free to discuss freedom in a less remote
or less artificial manner than that of Kant.

If it be true, argues Renouvier, that necessity rules supreme, then
the human spirit can find peace in absolute resignation; and in
looking back over the past history of humanity one need not have
different feelings from those entertained by the geologist or
paleontologist. Ethics, politics and history thus become purely
"natural" sciences (if indeed ethics could here have meaning, would it
not be identical with anthropology? At any rate, it would be purely
positive. A normative view of ethics would be quite untenable in the
face of universal necessity). Any inconvenience, pain or injustice
would have to be accepted and not even named "evil," much less could
any effort be truly made to expel it from the scheme of things. To
these accusations the defenders of necessity object. The practical
man, they say, need not feel this, in so far as he is under the
illusion of freedom and unaware of the rigorous necessity of all
things. He need not refrain from action.

But this defence of necessity leads those who wish to maintain the
case against it to continue the argument. Suppose that the agent does
_not_ forget that all is necessitated, what then? Under no illusion of
the idea of freedom, he then acts at every moment of his existence in
the knowledge that he cannot but do what he is doing, he cannot but
will what he wills, he cannot but desire what he desires. In time this
must produce, says Renouvier, insanity either of an idle type or a
furious kind, he will become an indifferent imbecile or a raving
fanatic, in either case a character quite abnormal and dangerous.
These are extreme results, but between the two extremes all degrees of
character are to be, found. The most common type of practical reason
presents an antinomy in the system of universal necessity. The case
for necessity must reckon with this fact-- namely, that the operation
of necessity has itself given rise to ethics which exists, and,
according to the case, its existence is a necessary one; yet ethics
constitutes itself in opposition to necessity, and under the sway of
necessity is quite meaningless. Here is a paradox which is not
lessened if we suppose the ethical position to be an absurd and false
one. Whether false or not, morality in some form is practically as
universal as human nature. That nature, Renouvier insists, can hardly
with sincerity believe an hypothesis or a dogma which its own moral
instincts belie continually.

If, on the other hand, truth lies with the upholders of freedom, then
man's action is seen to have great value and significance, for man
then appears as creating a new order of things in the world. His new
acts, Renouvier admits, will not be without preceding ones, without
roots or reasons, but they will be without _necessary_ connection with
the whole scheme of things. He is thus creating a new order; he is
creating himself and making his own history. Conscious pride or bitter
remorse can both alike be present to him. The great revolutions of
history will be regarded by him not as mystical sweepings of some
unknown force external to himself, but as results of the thought and
work of humanity itself. A philosophy which so regards freedom will
thus be a truly "human" philosophy. Renouvier rightly recognises that
the whole philosophy of history turns upon the attitude which we adopt
to freedom.

In view of the many difficulties connected with the problem of freedom
many thinkers would urge us to a compromise. Renouvier is aware of the
dangers of this attitude, and he brings into play against it his
logical method of dealing with problems. This does not contradict his
statement about the indemonstrability of freedom, nor does it minimise
the weight and significance of the moral case for freedom: it
complements it. Between contradictories or incompatible propositions
no middle course can be followed. Freedom and necessity cannot be both
at the same time true, or both at the same time false, for of the two
things one must be true--namely, either human actions are all of them
totally predetermined by their conditions or antecedents, or they are
not all of them totally predetermined. It is to this pass that we are
brought in the logical statement of the case. Now sceptics would here
assert that doubt was the only solution. This would not realh be a
solution, and however legitimate doubt is in front of conflicting
theories, it involves the death of the soul if it operates in
practical affairs and in any circumstances where some belief is
absolutely necessary to the conduct of life and to action.

The freedom in question, as Renouvier is careful to remind us, does
not involve our maintaining the total indetermination of things or
denial of the operations of necessity within limits. Room is left for
freedom when it is shown that this necessity is not universal. Many
consequences of free acts may be necessitated. For example, says
Renouvier, I have a stone in my hand. I can freely will to hurl it
north or south, high or low, but once thrown from my hand its path is
strictly determined by the law of gravity. The voluntary movement of a
man on the earth may, however slightly, alter the course of a distant
planet. Freedom, we might say, operates in a sphere to which necessity
supplies the matter. Ultimately any free act is a choice between two
alternatives, equally possible, but both necessitated as
possibilities. The points of free action may seem to take up a small
amount of room in the world, so to speak, but we must realise how
vital they are to any judgment regarding its character, and how
tremendously important they are from a moral point of view. So far,
claims Renouvier, from the admittance of freedom being a destruction
of the laws of the universe, it really shows us a special law of that
universe, not otherwise to be explained--namely, the moral law.
Freedom is thus regarded by Renouvier as a positive fact, a moral
certainty.

Freedom is the pillar of the neo-critical philosophy; it is the first
truth involved at once in all action and in all knowledge. Truth and
error are not well explained, or, indeed, at all explained, by a
doctrine which, embracing them both as equally necessary, justifies
them equally, and so in a sense verifies both of them. It was this
point which Brochard developed in his work _L'Erreur_, which has
neo-critical affinities. Man is only capable of science because he is
free; it is also because he is free that he is subject to error._*_
Renouvier claims that "we do not avoid error always, but we always
_can_ avoid it."_/-_ Truth and error can only be explained, he
urges, by belief in the ambiguity of futures, movements of thought
involving choice between opinions which conflict--in short, by belief
in freedom. The calculation of probabilities and the law of the great
numbers demonstrates, Renouvier claims, the indetermination of
futures, and consciousness is aware of this ambiguity in practical
life. This belief in the ambiguity of futures is a condition, he
shows, of the exercise of the human consciousness in its moral aspect,
and this consciousness in action regards itself as suspended before
indetermination--that is, it affirms freedom. This affirmation of
freedom Renouvier asserts to be a necessary element of any rational
belief whatever. It alone gives moral dignity and supremacy to
personality, whose existence is the deepest and most radical of all
existences. The personal life in its highest sense and its noblest
manifestation is precisely Freedom. Renouvier assures us that there is
nothing mysterious or mystical about this freedom. It is not absolute
liberty and contingency of all things; it is an attribute of persons.
The part played thus freely by personality in the scheme or order of
the universe proves to us that that order or scheme is not defined or
formed in a predetermined manner; it is only in process of being
formed, and our personal efforts are essential factors in its
formation. The world is an order which becomes and which is creating
itself, not a pre-established order which simply unrolls itself in
time. For a proper understanding of the nature of this problem "we are
obliged to turn to the practical reason. It is a moral affirmation of
freedom which we require; indeed, any other kind of affirmation would,
Renouvier maintains, presuppose this. The practical reason must lay
down its own basis and that of all true reason, for reason is not
divided against itself reason is not something apart from man; it is
man, and man is never other than practical--_i.e._, acting."_*_
Considered from this standpoint there are four cases which present
themselves to the tribunal of our judgment-- namely, the case for
freedom, the case against freedom, the case for necessity and the case
against necessity.

[Footnote _*_ : _De L'Erreur_, p. 47.]

[Footnote _/-_ : _Psychologie rationnelle_, vol. 2, p. 96.]

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologie rationnelle_, vol. 2, p 78.]

The position is tersely put in the Dilemma presented by Jules Lequier,
the friend of Renouvier, quoted in the _Psychologie rationnelle_.
There are four possibilities:
 1. To affirm necessity, necessarily.
 2. To affirm necessity, freely.
 3. To affirm freedom, necessarily.
 4. To affirm freedom, freely.

On examining these possibilities we find that to affirm necessity,
necessarily, is valueless, for its contradictory, freedom, is equally
necessary. To affirm necessity, freely, does not offer us a better
position, for here again it is necessity which is affirmed. If we
affirm freedom necessarily, we are in little better case, for
necessity operates again (although Renouvier notes that this gives a
certain basis for morality). In the free affirmation of freedom,
however, is to be found not only a basis for morals, but also for
knowledge and the search for truth. Indeed, as we are thus forced "to
admit the truth of either necessity or freedom, and to choose between
the one and the other with the one or with the other,"_/-_ we find
that the affirmation of necessity involves contradiction, for there
are many persons who affirm freedom, and this they do, if the
determinist be right, necessarily. The affirmation of freedom, on the
other hand, is free from such an absurdity.

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_., p. 138.]

Such is the conclusion to which Renouvier brings us after his wealth
of logical and moral considerations. He combines both types of
discussion and argument in order to undermine the belief in
determinism and to uphold freedom, which is, in his view, the
essential attribute of personality and of the universe itself. He thus
succeeded in altering substantially the balance of thought in favour
of freedom, and further weight was added to the same side of the
scales by the new spiritualist group who placed freedom in the
forefront of their thought.


                                 III

The development of the treatment of this problem within the thought of
the new spiritualists or idealists is extremely interesting, and it
proceeded finally to a definite doctrine of contingency as the century
drew to its close. The considerations set forth are usually
psychological in tone, and not so largely ethical as in the
neo-critical philosophy.

Ravaisson declared himself a champion of freedom. He accepted the
principle of Leibnitz, to the effect that everything has a reason,
from which it follows that everything is necessitated, without which
there could be no certitude and no science. But, says Ravaisson, there
are two kinds of necessity--one absolute, one relative. The former is
logical, the type of the principle of identity, and is found in
syllogisms and in mathematics, which is just logic applied to
quantity. The other type of necessity is moral, and is, unlike the
former, perfectly in accord with freedom. It indeed implies freedom,
the freedom of self-determination. The truly wise man can- not help
doing what is right and good. The slave of Passion and caprice and
evil has no freedom. The wise man selecting the good chooses it
infallibly, but at the time with perfect free-will. "It is perhaps
because the good or the beautiful is simply nothing other than
love--that is, the power of will in all its purity, and so to will
what is truly good is to will oneself (_c'est se vouloir
soi-même_)."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _La Philosophie en France_, p. 268.]

Nature is not, as the materialists endeavour to maintain, entirely
geometrical--that is to say, fatalistic in character. Morality enters
into the scheme of things and, with it, ends freely striven for. There
is present a freedom which is a kind of necessity, yet opposed to
fatalism. This freedom involves a determination by conceptions of
perfection, ideals of beauty and of good. "Fatality is but an
appearance; spontaneity and freedom constitute reality."_/-_ So
far, continues Ravaisson, from all things operating by brute mechanism
or by pure hazard, things operate by the development of a tendency to
perfection, to goodness and beauty. Instead of everything submitting
to a blind destiny, everything obeys, and obeys willingly, a divine
Providence.

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_., p. 270]

Ravaisson's fundamental spiritualism is clear in all this, and it
serves as the starting-point for the thinkers who follow him.
Spiritualism is bound up with spontaneity, creation, freedom, and this
is his central point, this insistence on freedom. While resisting
mechanical determination he endeavours to retain a determination of
another kind--namely, by ends, a teleology or finalism. This is
extremely interesting when observed in relation to the subsequent
development in Lachelier, Boutroux, Blondel and Bergson.

Lachelier's treatment of freedom is an important landmark in the
spiritualist development. By his concentrated analysis of the problem
of induction he brought out the significance of efficient and final
causes respectively. He appears as the pupil of Ravaisson, whose
initial inspiration is apparent in his whole work, especially in his
treatment of freedom. He dwells upon the fact of the spontaneity of
the spirit--a point of view which Ravaisson succeeded in imparting to
the three thinkers, Lachelier, Boutroux and Bergson. Besides the
influence of Ravaisson, however, that of Kant and Leibnitz appears in
Lachelier's attitude to freedom. Yet he passes beyond the Kantian
position, and he rejects the double-aspect doctrine which Leibnitz
maintained with regard to efficient and final causes. Lachelier
insists that the spontaneity of spirit stands above and underlies the
whole of nature. This is the point which Boutroux, under Lachelier's
influence, took up in his _Contingence des Lois de la Nature_.
Lachelier, in attacking the purely mechanistic conception of the
universe, endeavoured, as he himself put it, "to substitute everywhere
force for inertia, life for death and freedom for fatalism." Rather
than universal necessity it is universal contingence which is the real
definition of existence. We are free to determine ourselves in
accordance with ends we set before us, and to act in the manner
necessary to accomplish those ends. Our life itself, as he shows in
the conclusion of his brilliant little article _Psychologie et
Métaphysique_, is creative, and we must beware of arguing that what we
have been makes us what we are, for that character which we look upon
as determining us need not do so if we free ourselves from habit, and,
further, this character is, in any case, itself the result of our free
actions over extended time, the free creation of our own personality.

While with Ravaisson and Lachelier the concept of freedom was being
rather fully developed in opposition to the determinist doctrines,
Fouillée, in his brilliant and acute thesis on _Liberté et
Déterminisme_, endeavoured to call a halt to this supremacy of
Freedom, and to be true to the principles of reconciliation which he
laid down for himself in his philosophy. He confesses himself, at the
outset, to be a pacifist rather than a belligerent in this classic
dispute between determinists on the one hand and partisans of freedom
on the other. He believes that, on intimate investigation pursued
sufficiently far, the two opposing doctrines will be seen to converge.
Such a declaration would seem to be dangerously superficial in a
warfare as bitter and as sharp as this. It must be admitted that, as
is the case with many who profess to conciliate two conflicting views,
Fouillée leaves us at times without precise and definite indication of
his own position.

In contrast to the attitude of Ravaisson and Lachelier Fouillée
inclines in some respects to the attitude of Taine and many passages
of his book show him to be holding at least a temporary brief for the
partisans of determinism. He agrees notably with Taine in his
objecting to the contention that under the determinist theory moral
values lose their significance. Fouillée claims that it is both
incorrect and unfair to argue that "under the necessity-hypothesis a
thing being all that it can be is thereby all that it should
be."_*_.

[Footnote _*_ : _La Liberté et le Déterminisme_, p. 51 (fourth
edition)]

He goes on to point out that the consciousness of independence, which
is an essential of freedom, may be nothing more than a lack of
consciousness of our dependence. Motives he is inclined to speak of as
determining the will itself, while he looks upon the "liberty of
indifference" or of hazard as merely a concession to the operations of
mechanical necessity. The "liberty of indifference" is often the mere
play of instinct and of fatality, while hazard, so far from being an
argument in the hands of the upholders of freedom, is really a
determination made previously by something other than one's own will.

This is a direct attack upon the doctrines put forward by both Cournot
and Renouvier. Fouillée is well aware of this, and twenty pages of his
thesis are devoted to a critical and hostile examination of the
statements of both Renouvier and his friend Lequier._/-_ Fouillée
claims that these two thinkers have only disguised and misplaced the
"liberty of indifference"; they have not, he thinks, really suppressed
it, although both of them profess to reject it absolutely. A keen
discussion between Fouillée and Renouvier arose from this and
continued for some time, being marked on both sides by powerful
dialectic. Renouvier used his paper the _Critique philosophique_ as
his medium, while Fouillée continued in subsequent editions of his
thesis, in his _Idée moderne du Droit_ and also in his acute study
_Critique des Systèmes de Morale contemporains_. Fouillée took
Renouvier to task particularly for his maintaining that if all be
determined then truth and error are indistinguishable. Fouillée claims
that the distinction between truth and error is by no means parallel
to that between necessity and freedom. An error may, he points out, be
necessitated, and consequently we must look elsewhere for our doctrine
of certitude than to the affirmation of freedom. In the philosophy of
Renouvier, as we have seen, these two are intimately connected.
Fouillée criticises the neo-critical doctrine of freedom on the ground
that Renouvier mars his thought by a tendency to look upon the
determinist as a passive and inert creature. This, he says, is "the
argument of laziness" applied to the intelligence. "One forgets," says
Fouillée, "that if intelligence is a mirror, it is not an immovable
and powerless mirror: it is a mirror always turning itself to
reality."_*_

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_., pp. 117-137.]

[Footnote _*_ : _La Liberté et le Déterminisme_, p. 129.]

On examining closely the difference between Renouvier and Fouillée
over this problem of freedom, we may attribute it to the fact that
while the one thinker is distinctly and rigorously an upholder of
continuity, the other believes in no such absolute continuity. For
Fouillée there is, in a sense, nothing new under the sun, while
Renouvier in his thought, which has been well described as a
philosophy of discontinuity, has a place for new things, real
beginnings, and he is in this way linked up to the doctrine of
creative development as set forth ultimately by Bergson. It will be
seen also as we proceed that Fouillée, for all he has to say on behalf
of determinism, is not so widely separated in his view of freedom from
that worked out by Bergson, although at the first glance the gulf
between them seems a wide one.

Fouillée, while attacking Renouvier, did not spare that other acute
thinker, Lachelier, from the whip of his criticism. He takes objection
to a passage in that writer's _Induction_ where he advocates the
doctrine that the production of ideas "is free in the most rigorous
sense of that word, since each idea is in itself absolutely
independent of that which precedes it, and is born out of nothing, as
is a world." To this view of the spontaneity of the spirit Fouillée
opposes the remark that Lachelier is considering only the _new forms_
which are assumed by a mechanism which is always operating under the
same laws of causality. He asks us in this connection to imagine a
kaleidoscope which is being turned round. The images which succeed
each other will be in this sense a formal creation, a form
_independent_ of that which went before, but, as he is anxious to
remind us, the same mechanical and geometrical laws will be operating
continually in producing these forms.

Having had these encounters with the upholders of freedom, and thus to
some degree having conveyed the impression of being on the side of the
determinists, Fouillée proceeds to the task he had set
himself--namely, that of reconciliation. He felt the
unsatisfactoriness of Kant's treatment of freedom,_*_ and he
endeavours to remedy the lack in Kant of a real link between the
determinism of the natural sciences and the human consciousness of
freedom, realised in the practical reason. Fouillée proposes to find
in his _idées-forces_ a middle term and to offer us a solution of the
problem at issue in the dispute.

[Footnote: See above, p. 136. i]

He begins by showing that there has been an unfortunate neglect of one
important factor in the case--a factor whose reality is frankly
admitted by both parties. This central, incontestable fact is the
_idea_ of freedom. This idea, according to Fouillée, arises in us as
the result Of a combination of various psychological factors, such as
notions of diversity, possibility, with the tendency to action arising
from the notion of action, which thus shows itself as a force. The
combination of these results in the genesis of the idea of freedom.
Now the stronger this idea of freedom is in our minds the more we make
it become a reality. It is an "idea-force" which by being thought
tends to action and thus increases in power and fruitfulness. The idea
of freedom becomes, by a kind of determinism, more powerful in
proportion to the degree with which it is acted upon. Determinism thus
reflects upon itself and in a curious way turns to operate against
itself. This directing power of the idea of freedom cannot be denied
even by the most rigorous upholders of determinism. They at least are
forced to find room in their doctrine for THE IDEA of freedom and its
practical action on the lives of men, both individually and in
societies. The vice of the doctrines of determinism has been the
refusal to admit the reality of the liberating idea of freedom, which
is tending always to realise itself.

The belief in freedom is, therefore, Fouillée claims, a powerful force
in the world. Nothing is a more sure redeemer of men and societies
from evil ways than the realisation of this idea of freedom. So
largely is this the case that indeed the extinction of the BELIEF in
freedom would, he argues, not differ much in consequence from the
finding that freedom was an illusion, or, if it be a fact, its
abolition.

Having thus rectified the doctrine of determinism by including a place
within it for THE IDEA of freedom, Fouillée proceeds by careful
analysis to show the error of belief in freedom understood as that of
an indifferent will. This raises as many fallacious views as that of a
determinism bereft of the idea of freedom. The capricious and
indifferent liberty he rejects, and in so doing shows us the
importance of the intelligent power of willing, and also reaffirms the
determinists' thesis of in-* *ability to do certain things. The
psychology of character shows us a determined freedom, and in the
intelligent personality a reconciliation of freedom and determinism is
seen to be effected. Fouillée shows that if it were not true that very
largely what we have been makes us what we are, and that what we are
determines our future actions, then education, moral guidance, laws
and social sanctions would all be useless. Indifferentism in thought
is the reversal of all thought.

Fouillée sees that the antithesis between Freedom and Necessity is not
absolute, and he modifies the warmth of Renouvier's onslaughts upon
the upholders of determinism. But he believes we can construct a
notion of moral freedom which will not be incompatible with the
determinism of nature. To effect this reconciliation, however, we must
abandon the view of Freedom as a decision indifferently made, an
action of sheer will unrelated to intelligence. Freedom is not
caprice; it is, Fouillée claims, a power of indefinite development.

Yet, in the long and penetrating Introduction to his volume on the
_Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces_, Fouillée points out that however
much science may feel itself called upon to uphold a doctrine of
determinism for its own specific purposes, we must remember that the
sphere of science is not all-embracing. There is the sphere of action,
and the practical life demands and, to a degree demonstrates, freedom.
Fouillee admits in this connection the indetermination of the future,
_pour notre esprit_. We act upon this idea of relative indeterminism,
combining with it the idea of our own action, the part which we
personally feel called upon to play. He recognises in his analysis how
important is this point for the solution of the problem. We cannot
overlook the contribution which our personality is capable of making
to the whole unity of life and experience, not only by its
achievements in action, but by its ideals, by that which we feel both
_can_ and _should_ be. Herein lies, according to Fouillée's analysis,
the secret of duty and the ideal of our power to fulfil it, based upon
the central idea of our freedom. By thus acting on these ideas, and by
the light and inspiration of these ideals, we tend to realise them. It
is this which marks the point where a doctrine of pure determinism not
only shows itself erroneous and inadequate, but as Fouillee puts it,
the human consciousness is the point where it is obliged to turn
against itself "as a serpent which bites its own tail."_*_
Fatalism is a speculative hypothesis and nothing else. Freedom is
equally an hypothesis, but, adds Fouillée, it is an hypothesis which
is at work in the world.

[Footnote _*_ : _Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces_, Introduction, p.
lxxiv.]

In the thought of Guyau there is a further insistence upon freedom in
spite of the fact that his spiritualism is super-added to much which
reveals the naturalist and positive outlook. He upholds freedom and,
indeed, contingency, urging, as against Ravaisson's teleology, that
there is no definite tendency towards truth, beauty and goodness. At
all times, too, Guyau is conscious of union with nature and with his
fellows in a way which operates against a facile assertion of freedom.
In his _Vers d'un Philosophe_ he remarks:

"_Ce mot si doux au coeur et si cher, Liberté,
J'en préfèrs encore un: c'est Solidarité._"_/-_

[Footnote _/-_ : _Vers d'un Philosophe, "Solidarité,"_ p. 38]

The maintenance of the doctrine of liberty, which in view of the facts
we are bound to maintain, does away, Guyau insists, with the doctrine
of Providence; for him, as for Bergson, there is no _prévision_ but
only _nouveauté_ in the universe. Guyau indeed is not inclined to
admit even that end which Bergson seems to favour--namely,
"spontaneity of life itself." The world does not find its end in us,
any more than we find our "ends" fixed for us in advance. Nothing is
fixed, arranged or predetermined; there is not even a primitive
adaptation of things to one another, for such adaptation would involve
the pre-existence of ideas prior to the material world, to-* gether
with a demiurge arranging things upon a plan in the manner of an
architect. In reality there is no plan; every worker conceives his
own. The world is a superb example, not of order, such as we associate
with the idea of Providence in action, but the reverse, disorder, the
result of contingency and freedom.

The supreme emphasis upon the reality of freedom appears, however, in
the work of Boutroux and of Bergson at the end of our period. They
arrive at a position diametrically opposed to that of the upholders of
determinism, by their doctrines of contingency as revealed both in the
evolution of the universe and in the realm of personal life. There is
thus seen, as was the case with the problem of science, a complete
"turn of the tide" in the development since Comte.

Boutroux, summing up his thesis _La contingence des Lois de la
Nature_, indicates clearly in his concluding chapter his belief in
contingency, freedom and creativeness. The old adage, "nothing is
lost, nothing is created," to which science seems inclined to attach
itself, has not an absolute value, for in the hierarchy of creatures
contingency, freedom, newness appear in the higher ranks. There is at
work no doubt a principle of conservation, but this must not lead us
to deny the existence and action of another principle, that of
creation. The world rises from inorganic to organic forms, from matter
to spirit, and in man himself from mere sensibility to intelligence,
with its capacity for criticising and observing, and to will capable
of acting upon things and modifying them by freedom.

Boutroux inclines to a doctrine of finalism somewhat after the manner
of Ravaisson. The world he conceives as attracted to an end; the
beautiful and the good are ideals seeking to be realised; but this
belief in finality does not, he expressly maintains, exclude
contingency. To illustrate this, Boutroux uses a metaphor from
seamanship: the sailors in a ship have a port to make for, yet their
adaptations to the weather and sea en route permit of contingency
along with the finality involved in their making for port. So it is
with beings in nature. They have not merely the one end, to exist amid
the obstacles and difficulties around them, "they have an ideal to
realise, and this ideal consists in approaching to God, to his
likeness, each after his kind. The ideal varies with the creatures,
because each has his special nature, and can only imitate God in and
by his own nature."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _La Contingence des Lois de la Nature_, p. 158.]

Boutroux's doctrine of freedom and contingency is not opposed to a
teleological conception of the universe, and in this respect he stands
in contrast to Bergson, who, in the rigorous application of his theory
of freedom, rules out all question of teleology. With Renouvier and
with Bergson, however, Boutroux agrees in maintaining that this
freedom, which is the basis of contingency in things, is not and
cannot be a datum of experience, directly or indirectly, because
experience only seizes things which are actually realised, whereas
this freedom is a creative power, anterior to the act. Heredity,
instinct, character and habit are words by which we must not be misled
or overawed into a disbelief in freedom. They are not absolutely fatal
and fully determined. The same will, insists Boutroux, which has
created a habit _can_ conquer it. Will must not be paralysed by bowing
to the assumed supremacy of instincts or habits. Habit itself is not a
contradiction of spontaneity; it is itself a result of spontaneity, a
state of spontaneity itself, and does not exclude contingency or
freedom.

Metaphysics can, therefore, according to Boutroux, construct a
doctrine of freedom based on the conception of contingency. The
supreme principles according to this philosophy will be laws, not
those of the positive sciences, but the laws of beauty and goodness,
expressing in some measure the divine life and supposing free agents.
In fact the triumph of the good and the beauti-* *ful will result in
the replacement of laws of nature, strictly so called, by the free
efforts of wills tending to perfection--that is, to God.

Further studies upon the problem of freedom are to be found in
Boutroux's lectures given at the Sorbonne in 1892-93 in the course
entitled _De l'Idée de la Loi naturelle dans la Science et la
Philosophie contemporaines_. He there recognises in freedom the
crucial question at issue between the scientists and the philosophers,
for he states the object of this course of lectures as being a
critical examination of the notion we have of the laws of nature, with
a view to determining the situation of human personality, particularly
in regard to free action._*_ Boutroux recognises that when the
domain of science was less extensive and less rigorous than it is now
it was much easier to believe in freedom. The belief in Destiny
possessed by the ancients has faded, but we may well ask ourselves,
says Boutroux, whether modern science has not replaced it by a yet
more rigorous fatalism._/-_ He considers that the modern doctrine
of determinism rests upon two assumptions--namely, that mathematics is
a perfectly intelligible science, and is the expression of absolute
determinism; also that mathematics can be applied with exactness to
reality. These assumptions the lecturer shows to be unjustifiable.
Mathematics and experience can never be fitted exactly into each
other, for there are elements in our experience and in our own nature
which cannot be mathematically expressed. This Boutroux well
emphasises in his lecture upon sociological laws, where he asserts
that history cannot be regarded as the unrolling of a single law, nor
can the principle of causality, strictly speaking, be applied to
it._/=_ An antecedent certainly may be an influence but not a
cause, as properly understood. He here agrees with Renouvier s
position and attitude to history, and shows the vital bearing of the
problem of freedom upon the philosophy of history, to which we shall
presently give our special attention.

[Footnote _*_ : _De l'Idée de la Loi naturelle_, Lecture IV., p. 29]

[Footnote _/-_ : Compare Janet's remark, given on p. 136.]

[Footnote _/=_ : Lecture XIII.]

Instead of the ideal of science, a mathematical unity, experience
shows us, Boutroux affirms, a hierarchy of beings, displaying variety
and spontaneity--in short, freedom. So far, therefore, from modern
science being an advocate of universal determinism, it is really, when
rightly regarded, a demonstration, not of necessity, but of freedom.
Boutroux's treatment of the problem of freedom thus demonstrates very
clearly its connection with that of science, and also with that of
progress. It forms pre-eminently the central problem.

The idea of freedom is prominent in the "philosophy of action" and in
the Bergsonian philosophy; indeed, Bergson's treatment of the problem
is the culmination of the development of the idea in Cournot,
Renouvier and the neo-spiritualists. In Blondel the notion is not so
clearly worked out, as there are other considerations upon which he
wishes to insist. Blondel is deeply concerned with the power of ideals
over action, and his thought of freedom has affinities to the
psychology of the _idées-forces_. This is apparent in his view of the
will, where he does not admit a purely voluntarist doctrine. His
insistence on the dynamic of the will in action is clear, but he
reminds us that the will does not cause or produce everything, for the
will wills to be what is not yet; it strives for achievement, to gain
something beyond itself. Much of Blondel's treatment of freedom is
coloured by his religious and moral psychology, factors with which
Bergson does not greatly concern himself in his writings. Blondel
endeavours to maintain man's freedom of action and at the same time to
remain loyal to the religious notion of a Divine Providence, or
something akin to that. Consequently he is led to the dilemma which
always presents itself to the religious consciousness when it asserts
its own freedom--namely, how can that freedom be consistent with
Divine guidance or action? Christian theology has usually been
determinist in character, but Blondel attempts to save freedom by
looking upon God as a Being immanent in man.

Bergson makes Freedom a very central point in his philosophy, and his
treatment of it bears signs of the influence of De Biran, Ravaisson,
Lachelier, Guyau and Boutroux. He rejects, however, the doctrine of
finality as upheld by Ravaisson, Lachelier and Boutroux, while he
stresses the contingency which this last thinker had brought forward.
His solution of the problem is, however, peculiarly his own, and is
bound up with his fundamental idea of change, or LA DURÉE.

In his work _Les Données immédiates de la Conscience_, or _Time and
Free-Will_, he criticises the doctrine of physical determinism, which
is based on the principle of the conservation of energy, and on a
purely mechanistic conception of the universe. He here points out, and
later stresses in his _Matiere et Mémoire_, the fact that it has not
been proved that a strictly determined psychical state corresponds to
a definite cerebral state. We have no warrant for concluding that
because the physiological and the psychological series exhibit some
corresponding terms that therefore the two series are absolutely
parallel. To do so is to settle the problem of freedom in an entirely
_a priori_ manner, which is unjustifiable.

The more subtle and plausible case for psychological determinism
Bergson shows to be no more tenable than that offered for the
physical. It is due to adherence to the vicious
Association-psychology, which is a psychology without a self. To say
the self is determined by motive will not suffice, for in a sense it
is true, in another sense it is not, and we must be careful of our
words. If we say the self acts in accordance with the strongest
motive, well and good, but how do we know it is the strongest? Only
because it has prevailed--that is, only because the self acted upon
it, which is totally different from claiming that the self was
determined by it externally. To say the self is determined by certain
tives is to say it is self-determined. The essential thing in all this
is the vitality of the self.

The whole difficulty, Bergson points out, arises from the fact that
all attempts to demonstrate freedom tend only to strengthen the
artificial case for determinism, because freedom is only
characteristic of a self _in action_. He is here in line on this point
with Renouvier and Boutroux, although the reasons he gives for it go
beyond in psychological penetration those assigned by these thinkers.
When our action is over, says Bergson, it seems plausible to argue a
case for determinism because of our spatial conception of time and the
relationships of events in time. We have a habit of thinking in terms
of space, by mathematical time, not in real time or _la durée_ as
Bergson calls it, the time in which the living soul acts.

Bergson thus makes room in the universe for a freedom of the human
will, a creative activity, and thus delivers us from the bonds of
necessity and fatalism in which the physical sciences and the
associationist psychology would bind us. We perceive ourselves as
centres of indetermination, creative spirits. We must guard our
freedom, for it is an essential attribute of spirit. In so far as we
tend to become dominated by matter, which acts upon us in habit and
convention, we lose our freedom. It is not absolute, and many never
achieve it, for their personality never shines forth at all: they live
their lives in habit and routine, victims of automatism. We have,
however, Bergson urges, great power of creation. He stresses, as did
Guyau, the Conception of Life, as free, expanding, and in several
respects his view of freedom is closer to that of Guyau than to that
of Boutroux, in spite of the latter's contingency. There is no
finalism admitted by Bergson, for he sees in any teleology only "a
reversed mechanism."

Obviously the maintenance of such a doctrine of freedom as that of
Bergson is of central importance in any philosophy which contains it.
Our conceptions of ethics and of progress depend upon our view of
freedom. For Bergson "the portals of the future stand wide open, the
future is being made." He is an apostle of a doctrine of absolute
contingency which he applied to the evolution of the world, in his
famous volume _L'Evolution Créatrice_ (published in 1907). His
philosophy has been termed pessimistic by some in view of his
rejection of any teleological conception. Such a doctrine would
conflict with his "free" universe and his absolute contingency. On the
other hand, it leaves open an optimistic view, because of its freedom,
its insistence upon the possibilities of development. It is not only a
reaction against the earlier doctrines of determinism, it is a
deliverance of the human soul which has always refused, even when
religious, to abandon entirely the belief in its own freedom.

Such is the doctrine of freedom which closes our period, a striking
contrast to the determinism which, under the influence of modern
science, characterised its opening. The critique of science and the
assaults upon determinism proceeded upon parallel lines. In many
respects they were two aspects of the one problem, and in themselves
were sufficient to describe the essential development in the thought
of our half century, for the considerations of progress, ethics and
religion to which we now turn derive their significance largely from
what has been set forth in these chapters on Science and Freedom.



                               CHAPTER V

                               PROGRESS

INTIMATELY bound up with the idea of freedom is that of progress. For,
although our main approach to the discussion of freedom was made by
way of the natural sciences, by a critique of physical determinism,
and also by way of the problem of personal action, involving a
critique of psychological determinism, it must be noted that there
have appeared throughout the discussion very clear indications of the
vital bearing of freedom upon the wide field of humanity's development
considered as a whole--in short, its history. The philosopher must
give some account of history, if he is to leave no gap in his view of
the universe. The philosophy of history will obviously be vastly
different if it be based on determinism rather than on freedom. When
the philosopher looks at history his thoughts must inevitably centre
around the idea of progress. He may believe in it or may reject it as
an illusion, but his attitude to it will be very largely a reflection
of the doctrine which he has formed regarding freedom.

The notion of progress is probably the most characteristic feature
which distinguishes modern civilisation from those of former times. It
would have seemed to the Greeks foolishness. We owe it to the people
who, in the modern world, have been what Greece was in the ancient
world, the glorious mother of ideas. The eighteenth century was marked
in France by a growing belief in progress, which was encouraged by the
Encyclopaedists and rose to enthusiasm at the Revolution. Its best
expression was that given by Condorcet, himself an Encyclopaedist, and
originally a supporter of the Revolution. His _Sketch of an Historical
Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind_ was written in 1793 (while
its author was threatened with the guillotine_*_), published two
years later, and became, in the early years of the nineteenth century,
a powerful stimulus to thought concerning progress. Much of the work
is defective, but it had a great influence upon Saint-Simon, the early
socialists, and upon the doctrines of Auguste Comte, which themselves
are immediate antecedents of our own period. We may note briefly here,
that Condorcet believed in a sure and infallible progress in knowledge
and in social welfare. This is the important doctrine which
Saint-Simon and Comte both accepted from him. His ideal of progress is
contained in the three watchwords of the Revolution, _Liberté_,
_Egalité_, _Fraternité_, particularly the last two. He forecasts an
abandonment of militarism, prophesies an era of universal peace, and
the reign of equality between the sexes. Equality is a point which he
insists upon very keenly, and, although he did not speak of sociology
as did Comte, nor of socialism as did Saint-Simon, he claimed that the
true history of mankind is the history of the great mass of workers:
it is not diplomatic and military, not the record of dazzling deeds of
great men. Condorcet, however, was dogmatic in his belief in progress,
and he did not work out any "law" of progress, although he believed
progress to be a law of the universe, in general, and an undeniable
truth in regard to the life-history of mankind.

[Footnote _*_: He was ultimately imprisoned and driven to suicide.]

Later, his friend Cabanis upheld a similarly optimistic view, and
endeavoured to argue for it, against the Traditionalists, who we may
remember endeavoured to restate Catholicism, and to make an appeal to
those whom the events of the Revolution had disturbed and
disillusioned. The outcome of the Terror had somewhat shaken the
belief in a straightforward progress, but enthusiastic exponents of
the doctrine were neither lacking nor silent. Madame de Staël
continued the thought of Condorcet, thus forming a link between him
and Saint-Simon and Comte. The influence of the Traditionalists and
the general current of thought and literature known as Romanticism,
helped also to solve a difficulty which distinguishes Condorcet from
Comte. This difficulty lay in the eighteenth-century attitude to the
Middle Ages, which Condorcet had accepted, and which seriously damaged
his thesis of general progress, for in the eighteenth century the
Middle Ages were looked upon as a black, dark regress, for which no
thinker had a good word to say. The change of view is seen most
markedly when we come to Comte, whose admiration of the Middle Ages is
a conspicuous feature of his work. While, however, Saint-Simon and
Comte were working out their ideas, great popularity was given to the
belief in progress by the influence of Cousin, Jouffroy, Guizot, and
by Michelet's translation of the _Scienza nuova_ of the Italian
thinker Vico, a book then a century old but practically unknown in
France. For Cousin, the world process was a result of a necessary
evolution of thought, which he conceived in rather Hegelian fashion.
Jouffroy agreed with this fatal progress, although he endeavoured to
reconcile it with that of personal freedom. Guizot's main point was
that progress and civilisation are the same thing, or rather, that
civilisation is to be defined only by progress, for that is its
fundamental idea. His definition of progress is not, however,
strikingly clear, and he calls attention to two types of progress--one
involving an improvement in social welfare, the other in the spiritual
or intellectual life. Although Guizot tried to show that progress in
both these forms is a fact, he did not touch ultimate questions, nor
did he successfully show that progress is the universal key to human
history. He did not really support his argument that civilisation _is_
progress in any convincing way, but he gave a stimulus to reflection
on the question of the relationship of these two. Michelet's
translation of Vico came at an appropriate time, and served a useful
purpose. It showed to France a thinker who, while not denying a
certain progress over short periods, denied it over the long period,
and reverted rather to the old notion of an eternal recurrence. For
Vico, the course of human history was not rectilineal but rather
spiral, although he, too, refrained from indicating any law. He
claimed clearly enough that each civilisation must give way to
barbarism and anarchy, and the cycle be again begun.

Such were the ideas upon progress which were current at the time when
Saint-Simon, Fourier and Comte were busily thinking out their
doctrines, the main characteristics of which we have already noted in
our Introduction on the immediate antecedents of our period. The
thought given to the question of progress in modern France is almost
unintelligible save in the light of the doctrines current from
Condorcet, through Saint-Simon to Comte, for the second half of the
century is again characterised by a criticism and indeed a reaction
against the idea professed in the first half. This was true in regard
to Science and to Freedom. We shall see a similar type of development
illustrated again respecting Progress.

Already we have noted the general aim and object which both
Saint-Simon and Comte had in view. The important fact for our
discussion here is that Saint-Simon, by his respect for the Middle
Ages, and for the power of religion, was able to rectify the defects
which the ideas of the eighteenth century had left in Condorcet's
doctrine of progress. Moreover, he claimed, as Condorcet had not done,
to indicate a "law of progress," which gives rise alternately to
"organic" and to "critical" periods. The Middle Ages were, in the
opinion of Saint-Simon, an admirable period, displaying as they did an
organic society, where there was a temporal and spiritual authority.
With Luther began an anarchical, critical period. According to
Saint-Simon s law of progress a new organic period will succeed this,
and the characteristic of that period will be socialism. He advocated
a gradual change, not a violent revolutionary one, but he saw in
socialism the inevitable feature of the new era. With its triumph
would come a new world organisation and a league of peoples in which
war would be no more, and in which the lot of the proletariat would be
free from oppression and misery. The Saint-Simonist School became
practically a religious sect, and the chief note in its gospel was
"Progress."

That the notion of progress was conspicuous in the thought of this
time is very evident. It was, indeed, in the foreground, and a host of
writers testify to this, whom we cannot do much more than mention
here. A number of them figured in the events of 1848. The social
reformers all invoked "Progress" as justification for their theories
being put into action. Bazard took up the ideas of Saint-Simon and
expounded them in his _Exposition de la Doctrine saint-simonienne_
(1830). Buchez, in his work on the philosophy of history, assumed
progress (1833). The work of Louis Blanc on _L'Organisation du Travail_
appeared in 1839 in a periodical calling itself _Revue des Progrès_.
The brochure from Proudhon, on property, came in 1840, and was
followed later by _La Philosophie du Progrès_ (1851). Meanwhile
Fourier's _Théorie des Quatre Mouvements et des Destinées générales_
attempted in rather a fantastic manner to point the road to progress.
Worthless as many of his quaint pages are, they were a severe
indictment of much in the existing order, and helped to increase the
interest and the faith in progress. Fourier's disciple, Considérant,
was a prominent figure in 1848. The Utopia proposed by Cabet insisted
upon _fraternité_ as the keynote to progress, while the volumes of
Pierre Leroux, _De l'Humanité_, which appeared in the same year as
Cabet's volume, 1840, emphasised _égalité_ as the essential factor.
His humanitarianism influenced the woman-novelist, George Sand. This
same watchword of the Revolution had been eulogised by De Tocqueville
in his important study of the American Republic in 1834, and that
writer had claimed _égalité_ as the goal of human progress. All these
men take progress as an undoubted fact; they only vary by using a
different one of the three watchwords, _Liberté_, _Egalité_,
_Fraternité_, to denote the kind of progress they mean. Meanwhile,
Michelet and his friend Quinet combated the Hegelian conception of
history maintained by Cousin, and they claimed _liberté_ to be the
watchword of progress. The confidence of all in progress is almost
pathetic in its unqualified optimism. It is not remarkable that the
events of 1851 proved a rude shock. Javary, a writer who, in 1850,
published a little work, _De l'Idée du Progrès_, claimed that the idea
is the supremely interesting question of the time in its relation to a
general philosophy of history and to the ultimate destiny of mankind.
This is fairly evident from the writers we have cited, without
Javary's remark, but it is worth noting as being the observation of a
contemporary. With the mention of Reynaud's _Philosophie religieuse_,
upholding the principle of indefinite perfectability and Pelletan's
_Profession du Foi du XIXe Siècle_, wherein he maintained confidently
and dogmatically that progress is the general law of the universe, we
must pass on from these minor people to consider one who had a
profounder influence on the latter half of the century, and who took
over the notion of progress from Saint-Simon.

This was Comte, whose attitude to progress in many respects resembles
that of Saint-Simon, but he brought to his work a mental equipment
lacking in the earlier writer and succeeded, by the position he gave
to it in his Positive Philosophy, in making the idea of progress one
which subsequent thinkers could not omit from consideration.

According to Comte, the central factor in progress is the mental.
Ideas, as Fouillée was later to assert, are the real forces in
humanity's history. These ideas develop in accordance with the "Law of
the Three Stages," already explained in our Introduction. In spite of
the apparent clearness and simplicity of this law, Comte had to admit
that as a general law of all development it was to some degree
rendered difficult in its application by the lack of simultaneity in
development in the different spheres of knowledge and social life.
While recognising the mental as the keynote to progress, he also
insisted upon the solidarity of the physical, intellectual, moral and
social life of man, and to this extent admitted a connection and
interaction between material welfare and intellectual progress. The
importance of this admission lay in the fact that it led Comte to
qualify what first appears as a definite and confident belief in a
rectilineal progress. He admits that such a conception is not true,
for there is retrogression, conflict, wavering, and not a steady
development. Yet he claims that there is a general and ultimate
progress about a mean line. The causes which shake and retard the
steady progress are not all-powerful, they cannot upset the
fundamental order of development. These causes which do give rise to
variations are, we may note in passing, the effects of race, climate
and political and military feats like those of Napoleon, for whom
Comte did not disguise his hatred, styling him the man who had done
most harm to humanity. Great men upset his sociological theories, but
Comte was no democrat and strongly opposed ideas of Liberty and
Equality. We have remarked upon his general attitude to his own age,
as one of criticism and anarchy. In this he was probably correct, but
he quite underestimated the extent and duration of that anarchy,
particularly by his estimate of the decline and fall of Catholicism
and of militarism, which he regarded as the two evils of Europe. The
events of the twentieth century would have been a rude shock to him,
particularly the international conflagration of 1914-1918. It was to
Europe that Comte confined his philosophy of history and consequently
narrowed it. He knew little outside this field.

He endeavoured, however, to apply his new science of sociology to the
development of European history. His work contains much which is good
and instructive, but fails ultimately to establish any law of
progress. It does not seem to have occurred to Comte's mind that there
might not be one. This was the question which was presented to the
thinkers after him, and occupies the chief place in the subsequent
discussion of progress.


                                  I

In the second half of the century the belief in a definite and
inevitable progress appears in the work of those thinkers inspired by
the positivist spirit, Vacherot, Taine and Renan. Vacherot's views on
the subject are given in one of his _Essais de Philosophie
critique_,_*_ entitled "_Doctrine du Progrès_." These pages, in
which sublime confidence shines undimmed, were intended as part of a
longer work on the Philosophy of History. Many of Renan's essays, and
especially the concluding chapters of his work _L'Avenir de la
Science_, likewise profess an extreme confidence in progressive
development. Yet Taine and Renan are both free from the excessive and
glowing confidence expressed by Condorcet, Saint-Simon and Comte.
Undoubtedly the events of their own time reacted upon their doctrine
of progress, and we have already noted the pessimism and
disappointment which coloured their thoughts regarding contemporary
political events. Both, however, are rationalists, and have unshaken
faith in the ultimate triumph of reason.

[Footnote: Published in 1864.]

The attitude which Taine adopts to history finds a parallel in the
fatalism and determinism of Spinoza, for he looks upon the entire life
of mankind as the unrolling of a rigidly predetermined series of
events. "Our preferences," he remarks, "are futile; nature and history
have determined things in advance; we must accommodate ourselves to
them, for it is certain that they will not accommodate themselves to
us." Taine's view of history reflects his rejection of freedom, for he
maintains that it is a vast regulated chain which operates
independently of individuals. Fatalism colours it entirely. It is
pre-* *cisely this attitude of Taine which raises the wrath of
Renouvier, and also that of both Cournot and Fouillée, whose
discussions we shall examine presently. They see in such a doctrine an
untrue view of history and a theory vicious and detestable from a
moral standpoint, although it doubtless, as Fouillée sarcastically
remarks, has been a very advantageous one for the exploiters of
humanity in all ages to teach and to preach to the people.

In passing from Taine's fatalistic view of history to note his views
on progress we find him asserting that man's nature does not in itself
inspire great optimism, for that nature is largely animal, and man is
ever ready, however "civilised" he may appear to be, to return to his
native primitive ferocity and barbarism. Man is not, according to
Taine, even a sane animal, for he is by nature mad and foolish. Health
and wisdom only occasionally reign, and so we have no great ground for
optimism when we examine closely the nature of man, as it really is.
Taine's treatment of the French Revolution_*_ shows his hostility
to democracy, and he is sceptical about the value or meaning of the
watchwords, "Rights of Man," or _Liberté_, _Egalité_, _Fraternité_.
This last, he claims, is merely a verbal fiction useful for disguising
the reality, which is actual warfare of all against all.

[Footnote _*_ : _"La Révolution,"_ in his large work, _Les Origines de
la France contemporaine_]

Yet in spite of these considerations Taine believes in a definitely
guaranteed progress. Man's lower nature does not inspire optimism, but
his high power of reason does, and it is on this faith in reason that
Taine confidently founds his assertions regarding progress. He sees in
reason the ultimate end and meaning of all else. The triumph of reason
is an ideal goal to which, in spite of so many obstacles, all the
forces of the universe are striving. In this intellectual progress,
this gradual rationalisation of mankind, Taine sees the essential
element of progress upon which all other goods depend. The betterment
of social conditions will naturally follow; it is the spiritual and
mental factor which is the keynote of progress Reason, he contends,
will give us a new ethic, a new politic and a new religion.

Renan shares with Taine the belief in reason and its ultimate triumph.
His views on progress are, however, more discursive, and are extremely
interesting and suggestive. He was in his later years shrewd enough to
discover the difficulties of his own doctrine. Thus although he
believed in a "guaranteed" progress, Renan marks a stage midway
between the idea of progress as held by Comte and Taine on the one
hand, and by Cournot and Renouvier on the other.

His early book, _L'Avenir de la Science_, glows with ardent belief in
this assured progress, which is bound up with his confidence in
science and rationality. "Our creed," he there declares, "is the
reasonableness of progress." This idea of progress is almost as
central a point in Renan's thought as it was in that of Comte, and he
gave it a more metaphysical significance. His general philosophy owes
much to history, and for him the philosophy of history is the
explanation of progress. By this term he means an ever-growing
tendency to perfection, to fuller consciousness and life, to nobler,
better and more beautiful ends. He thinks it necessary to conceive of
a sort of inner spring, urging all things on to fuller life. He seems
here to anticipate vaguely the central conception of Guyau and of
Bergson. But, like Taine, Renan founds his doctrine of progress on
rationalism. He well expresses this in one of his _Drames
philosophiques (L'Eau de Jouvence)_, through the mouth of Prospero,
who represents rational thought. This character declares that "it is
science which brings about social progress, and not progress which
gives rise to science. Science only asks from society to have granted
to it the conditions necessary to its life and to produce a sufficient
number of minds capable of understanding it."_*_ In the preface
written for this drama he declares that science or reason will
ultimately succeed in creating the power and force of government in
humanity.

[Footnote _*_ : _L'Eau de Jouvence_, Act 4, Scene I., Conclusion.]

These thoughts re-echo many of the sentiments voiced on behalf of
progress by Condorcet, Saint-Simon and Comte. It is interesting,
however, to note an important point on which Renan not only parts
company with them, but ranges himself in opposition to them. This
point is that of socialism or democracy, call it what one will.

In the spring of 1871 Renan was detained at Versailles during the
uproar of the Commune in Paris, and there wrote his _Dialogues et
Fragments philosophiques_, which were published five years later. In
these pages certain doctrines of progress and history are set forth,
notably in the "dialogues of three philosophers of that school whose
ground-principles are the cult of the ideal, the negation of the
supernatural and the investigation of reality." Renan raises a
discussion of the end of the world's development. The universe, he
maintains, is not devoid of purpose: it pursues an ideal end. This
goal to which the evolutionary process moves is the reign of reason.
But there are striking limitations to this advance. From this kingdom
of reason on the earth the mass of men are shut out. Renan does not
believe in a gradual improvement of the mass of mankind accompanied by
a general rationalisation which is democratic. The truth is that Renan
was an intellectual aristocrat and, as such, he abhorred Demos. His
gospel of culture, upon which he lays the greatest stress, is for the
few who are called and chosen, while the many remain outside the pale,
beyond the power of the salvation he offers. The development of the
democratic idea he looks upon as thoroughly mischievous, inasmuch as
it involves, in his opinion, degeneration, a levelling down to
mediocrity. In his philosophy of history he adopts an attitude
somewhat akin to that of Carlyle in his worship of Great Men. The end
of history is, Renan states, the production of men of genius. The
great mass of men, the common stuff of humanity, he likens to the soil
from which these Great Ones grow. The majority of men have their
existence justified only by the appearance upon the scene of "Heroes
of Culture." In this teaching the parallelism to the gospel of the
Superman is apparent, yet it seems clear that although Renan's man of
culture despises the ignorance and vulgarity of the crowd, he does so
condescendingly as a benefactor, and is free from the passionate
hatred and scorn to which Nietzsche's Superman is addicted.
Nevertheless, Renan's attitude of uncompromising hostility to
democratic development is very marked. He couples his confidence in
Science to his anti-democratic views, and affirms the "Herd" to be
incapable of culture. Although the process of rationalisation and the
establishment of the kingdom of reason is applicable only to the
patrician and not to the _plebs_, this process is claimed by Renan to
be capable of great extension, not in the number of its adherents but
in the extent of culture. In this final reign of reason, instinctive
action and impulse will be replaced by deliberation, and science will
succeed religion.

His famous letter to Berthelot includes a brief statement of his views
on progressive culture, which, for him, constitutes the sign of
progress. "One ought never," he writes, "to regret seeing clearer into
the depths." By endeavouring to increase the treasure of the truths
which form the paid-up capital of humanity, we shall be carrying on
the work of our pious ancestors, who loved the good and the true as it
was understood in their time. The true men of progress, he claims, are
those who profess as their starting-point a profound respect for the
past. Renan himself was a great lover of the past, yet we find him
remarking in his _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_ that he has no
wish to be taken for an uncompromising reactionist. "I love the past,
but I envy the future," and he thinks that it would be extremely
pleasant to live upon this planet at as late a period as possible. He
appears jealous of the future and of the young, whose fate it will be
to know what will be the outcome of the activities of the German
Emperor, what will be the climax of the conflict of European
nationalities, what development socialism will take. His shrewd mind
had alreadv foreseen in a measure the possible development of German
militarism and of Bolshevism. He regards the world as moving towards a
kind of "Americanism," by which he means a type of life in which
culture and refinement shall have little place. Yet, although he has a
horror and a dread of democracy, he feels also that the evils
accompanying it may be, after all, no worse than those involved in the
reactionary dominance of nobles and clergy.

Humanity has not hitherto marched, he thinks, with much method. Order
he considers to be desirable, but only in view of progress.
Revolutions are only absurd and odious, he asserts in _L'Avenir de la
Science_, to those who do not believe in progress. Yet he claims that
reaction has its place in the plan of Providence, for it works
unwittingly for the general good. "There are," to quote his metaphor,
"declivities down which the _rôle_ of the traction engine consists
solely in holding back."

Renan thinks that if democratic ideas should secure a clear triumph,
science and scientific teaching would soon find the modest subsidies
now accorded them cut off. He fears the approach of an era of
mediocrity, of vulgarity, in fact, which will persecute the
intellectuals and deprive the world of liberty. He is not
thoughtlessly optimistic; he was far too shrewd an intellect for that.
Our age, he suggests, may be regarded in future as the turning point
of humanity's history, that point where its deterioration set in, the
prelude to its decline and fall. But he asserts, as against this, that
Nature does not know the meaning of the word "discouragement."
Humanity, proving itself incapable of progress, but only capable of
further deterioration, would be replaced by other forms. "We must not,
because of our personal tastes, our prejudices perhaps, set ourselves
to oppose the action of our time. This action goes on without regard
to us and probably is right."_*_ The future of science is assured.
With its progress, Renan points out, we must reckon upon the decay of
organised religion, as professed by sects or churches. The
disappearance of this organised religion will, however, result most
assuredly in a temporary moral degeneration, since morality has been
so conventionally bound up with the Church. An era of egoism, military
and economic in character, will arise and for a time prevail.

[Footnote _*_ : Preface to _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_.]

Yet we must not, Renan reminds us, grumble at having too much unrest
and conflict. The great object in life is the development of the mind,
and this requires liberty or freedom. The worst type of society is the
theocratic state, or the ancient pontifical dominion or any modern
replica of these where dogma reigns supreme. A humanity which could
not be revolutionary, which had lost the attraction of "Utopias,"
believing itself to have established the perfect form of existence
would be intolerable. This raises also the query that if progress be
the main feature of our universe, then we have a dilemma to face, for
either it leads us to a _terminus ad quem_, and so finally contradicts
itself, or else it goes on for ever, and it is doubtful then in what
sense it can be a progress.

Renan's own belief was essentially religious, and was coloured by
Christian and Hebrew conceptions. It was a rationalised belief in a
Divine Providence. He professed a confidence in the final triumph of
truth and goodness, and has faith in a dim, far-off divine event which
he terms "the complete advent of God." The objections which are so
frequently urged by learned men against finalism or teleology of any
kind whatsoever Renan deemed superficial and claimed, rightly enough,
that they are not so much directed against teleology but against
theology, against obsolete ideas of God, particularly against the
dogma of a deliberate and omnipotent Creator. Renan's own doctrine of
the Deity is by no means clear, but he believed in a spiritual power
capable of becoming some day conscious, omniscient and omnipotent. God
will then have come to himself. From this point of view the universe
is a progress to God, to an increasing realisation of the Divinity in
truth, beauty and goodness.

The universe, Renan claims, must be ultimately rooted and grounded in
goodness; there must be, in spite of all existing "evils," a balance
on the side of goodness, otherwise the universe would, like a vast
banking-concern, fail. This balance of goodness is the _raison d'être_
of the world and the means of its existence. The general life of the
universe can be illustrated, according to Renan, by that of the
oyster, and the formation within it of the pearl, by a malady, a
process vague, obscure and painful. The pearl is the spirit which is
the end, the final cause and last result, and assuredly the most
brilliant outcome of this universe. Through suffering the pearl is
formed; and likewise, through constant pain and conflict, suffering
and hardship, the spirit of man moves intellectually and morally
onward and upward, to the completed realisation of justice, beauty,
truth and infinite goodness and love, to the complete and triumphant
realisation of God. We must have patience, claims Renan, and have
faith in these things, and have hope and take courage. "One day virtue
will prove itself to have been the better part." Such is his doctrine
of progress.


                                  II

With Cournot and Renouvier our discussion takes a new form. Renan,
Taine, Vacherot and the host of social and political writers, together
with August Comte himself, had accepted the fact of progress and clung
to the idea of a law of progress. With these two thinkers, however,
there is a more careful consideration given to the problem of
progress. It was recognised as a problem and this was an immense
advance upon the previous period, whose thinkers accepted it as a
dogma.

True to the philosophic spirit of criticism and examination which
involves the rejection of dogma as such, Cournot and Renouvier
approach the idea of progress with reserve and free from the
confidently optimistic assertions of the eighteenth and early
nineteenth century. Scorning the rhetoric of political socialists,
positivists and rationalists, they endeavour to view progress as the
central problem of the philosophy of history, to ascertain what it
involves, and to see whether such a phrase as "law of progress" has a
meaning before they invoke it and repeat it in the overconfident
manner which characterised their predecessors. We have maintained
throughout this work that the central problem of our period was that
of freedom. By surveying the general character of the thought of the
time, and in following this by an examination of the relation of
science and philosophy, we were able to show how vital and how central
this problem was. From another side we are again to emphasise this.
Having seen the way in which the problem of freedom was dealt with, we
are in a position to observe how this coloured the solutions of other
problems. The illustration is vivid here, for Cournot and Renouvier
develop their philosophy of history from their consideration of
freedom, and base their doctrines of progress upon their maintenance
of freedom.

It is obvious that the acceptance of such views as those expressed on
freedom by both Cournot and Renouvier must have far-reaching effects
upon their general attitude to history, for how is the dogma of
progress, as it had been preached, to be reconciled with free action?
It is much easier to believe in progress if one be a fatalist. The
difficulty here was apparent to Comte when he admitted the influence
of variations, disturbing causes, which resulted in the development of
mankind assuming an oscillating character rather than that of a
straight-* forward progress. He did not, however, come sufficiently
close to this problem, and left the difficulty of freedom on one side
by asserting that the operation of freedom, chance or contingency
(call it what we will), issuing in non-predetermined actions, was so
limited as not to interfere with the general course of progress.

Cournot and Renouvier take up the problem where Comte left it at this
point. Each of them takes it a stage further onward in the
development. The fundamental ideas of Cournot we have briefly noted as
being those of order, chance and probability. The relation of these to
progress he discusses, not only in his _Essai sur les Fondements de
nos Connaissances_ and the _Traité de l'Enchaînement d'Idées_, but
also in a most interesting manner in his two volumes entitled
_Considérations sur la Marche des Idées et des Evènements dans les
Temps modernes_. Like Comte, he is faithful, as far as his principles
will allow, to the idea of order. There is order in the universe to a
certain degree; science shows it to us. There is also, he maintains,
freedom, hazard or chance. Looking at history he sees, as did Comte,
phenomena which, upon taking a long perspective, appear as
interferences. Pure reason is, he claims, really incapable of deciding
the vital question whether these disturbances are due to a pure
contingency, chance or freedom, or whether they mark the points of the
influence of the supernatural upon mankind's development. He refers to
the _enchaînement de circonstances providentielles_ which helped the
early Jews and led to the propagation of their monotheism; which
helped also the development of the Christian religion in the Roman
Empire. Hazard itself, he claims,_*_ may be the agent or minister
of Providence. Such a view claims to be loyal at once to freedom and
to order.

[Footnote _*_ : _Essai sur les Fondaments de nos Connaissances_, vol.
i, chap. 5.]

Cournot continues his discussion further and submits many other
considerations upon progress. He claims that it is absurd to see in
every single occurrence the operations of a divine providence or the
work of a divine architect. Such a view would exalt his conception of
order, undoubtedly, but only at the expense of his view of freedom. He
will not give up his belief in freedom, and in consequence declares
that there is no pre-arranged order or plan in the sense of a "law."
He sets down many considerations which appear as dilemmas to the pure
reason, and which only action, he thinks, will solve. He points out
the difficulty of economic and social progress owing to our being
unable to test theories until they are in action on a large field. He
shows too how conflicting various developments may be, and how
progress in one direction may involve degeneration in another.
Equality may be good in some ways, unnatural and evil in others.
Increase of population may be applauded as a progress from a military
standpoint, but may be an economic evil with disastrous suffering as
its consequence. The "progress" to peace and stability in a society
usually involves a decrease in vitality and initiative. By much wealth
of argument, no less than by his general attitude, Cournot was able to
apply the breaks to the excessive confidence in progress and to call a
halt for sounder investigation of the matter.

Renouvier did much more in this direction. In his _Second Essay of
General Criticism_ he touched upon the problem of progress in relation
to freedom, and his fourth and fifth essays constitute five large
volumes dealing with the "Philosophy of History." He also devotes the
last two chapters of _La Nouvelle Monadologie_ to progress in relation
to societies, and brings out the central point of his social ethics,
that justice is the criterion of progress. Indeed, all that Renouvier
says regarding history and progress leads up, in a manner peculiarly
his own, to his treatment of ethics, which will claim attention in our
next chapter.

_The Analytic Philosophy of History_ forms an important item in the
philosophical repertoire of Renouvier. He claims it to be a necessary
feature of the neo-critical, and indeed of any serious, philosophy. It
is, he claims, not a branch of knowledge which has an isolated place,
for it is as intimately connected to life as is any theory to the
facts which it embraces. That is not to say, and Renouvier is careful
to make this clear, that we approach history assuming that there are
laws governing it, or a single law or formula by which human
development can be expressed. The "Philosophy of History" assumes no
such thing; it is precisely this investigation which it undertakes,
loyal to the principles of General Criticism of which it, in a sense,
forms a part. In a classification it strictly stands between General
Criticism or Pure Philosophy and History itself.

"History," says Renouvier, "is the experience which humanity has of
itself,"_*_ and his conclusions regarding progress depend on the
views he holds regarding human personality and its essential
attribute, freedom. The philosophy of history has to consider whether,
in observing the development of humanity on the earth, one may assert
the presence of any general law or laws. Can one say legitimately that
there has been development? Is there really such a thing as progress?
If so, what is our idea of progress? What is the trend of humanity's
history? These are great questions.

[Footnote _*_ : _Introduction à la Philosophie de l'Histoire_,
Préface.]

The attitude which Renouvier adopts to the whole course of human
history is based upon his fundamental doctrines of discontinuity,
freedom and personality. There are, he claims, real beginnings,
unpredicable occurrences, happenings which cannot be explained as
having been caused by preceding events. We must not, he urges, allow
ourselves to be hypnotised by the name "History," as if it were in
itself some great power, sweeping all of us onward in its course, or a
vast ocean in which we are merely waves. Renouvier stands firm in his
loyalty to personality, and sees in history, not a power of this sort,
but simply the total result of human actions. History is the
collective work of the human spirit or of free personalities._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Renouvier's great objection to Comte's work was due to
his disagreement with Comte's conception of Humanity. To Renouvier,
with his intense valuation of personality, this Comtian conception was
too much of an abstraction.]

It is erroneous to look upon it as either the fatalistic functioning
of a law of things or as the results of the action of an all-powerful
Deity or Providence. Neither the "scientific" view of determinism nor
the theological conception of God playing with loaded dice, says
Renouvier, will explain history. It is the outcome of human action, of
personal acts which have real worth and significance in its formation.
History is no mere display of marionettes, no Punch-and-Judy show with
a divine operator pulling strings from his concealed position behind
the curtain. Equally Renouvier disagrees with the view that history is
merely an unrolling in time of a plan conceived from eternity. Human
society and civilisation (of which history is the record) are products
of man's own thought and action, and in consequence manifest
discontinuity, freedom and contingency. Renouvier thus opposes
strongly all those thinkers, such as the Saint-Simonists, Hegelians
and Positivists, who see in history only a fatalistic development. He
joins battle especially with those who claim that there is a
fatalistic or necessitated progress. History has no law, he claims,
and there is not and cannot be any law of progress.

The idea of progress is certainly, he admits, one with which the
philosopher is brought very vitally into contact in his survey of
history. Indeed an elucidation of, this notion might itself be a part
of the historian's task. If so, the historians have sadly neglected
part of their work. Renouvier calls attention to the fact that all
those historians or philosophers who accept a comforting doctrine of
humanity's assured progress make very plausible statements, but they
never seem able to state with any clearness or definiteness what
constitutes progress, or what significance lies in their oft-repeated
phrase, "the law of progress." He rightly points out that this
insistence upon a law, coupled with a manifest inability to indicate
what it is, causes naturally a certain scepticism as to there being
any such law at all.

Renouvier brands the search for any law of progress a futile one,
since we cannot scientifically or logically define the goal of
humanity or the course of its development because of the fact of
freedom and because of our ignorance. We must realise that we,
personally at firsthand, see only an infinitesimal part of humanity's
life on this planet alone, not to speak of a destiny possible beyond
this globe, and that, at second-hand, we have only evidence of a
portion of the great procession of human events. We do not know
humanity's beginning and primitive history, nor do we know its goal,
if it has one. These factors alone are grave hindrances to the
formulation of any conception of progress. Reflection upon them might
have saved men, Renouvier observes, from the presumptuous belief in
assured progress. We cannot presume even to estimate the tendencies,
the direction of its course, because of the enormous and
ever-increasing complexity of free human activity.

By his large work on the "Philosophy of History," Renouvier shows that
the facts of history themselves are against the theory of a universal
and continuous progress, for the record shows us conflict, advance,
retrogression, peoples rising, others degenerating, empires
establishing themselves and passing away by inward ruin or outer
assaults, or both, and civilisations evolving and disintegrating in
their turn. The spectacle does not readily promote an optimistic view
of human development at all, much less support the doctrine of a sure
and certain progress. Renouvier does not blind himself to the constant
struggle and suffering. The theatre, or rather the arena, of history
presents a curious spectacle. In politics and in religion he shows us
that there are conflicts of authority and of free thought, a warfare
of majorities with minorities, a method of fighting issues slightly
less savage than the appeal to pure force, but amounting to what he
terms "a pacific application of the principle of force." History shows
us the corruption, tyranny and blindness of many majorities, and the
tragic and necessary resort to force as the only path to liberty for
down-trodden minorities. How, Renouvier asks, can we fit this in with
a doctrine of assured progress, or, indeed, progress at all?

Further, he does not find it difficult to show that much unthinking
utterance on the part of the optimists may be somewhat checked by calm
reflection on even one or two questions. For example, Was progress
involved in the change from ancient slavery to the wage-slavery of
modern industrialism? Was Christianity, as Nietzsche and others have
attempted to maintain, a retrogression? Or, again, Was the change from
Greek city life to the conditions of the Middle Ages in any way to be
regarded as a progress?

Renouvier considers it quite erroneous to assert, as did Comte, that
there is a steady and continuous development underlying the
oscillations, and that the variations, as it were, from the direct
line of progress cancel one another or balance each other, leaving, as
Renan claimed, a balance always and inevitably on the side of
goodness.

Such a confidence in the great world banking concern Renouvier does
not possess. There is no guarantee that the account of goodness may
not be overdrawn and found wanting. He reminds us sternly and solemnly
of the terrible solidarity which characterises evil. Deceit, greed,
lust, violence and war have an enormous power of breeding each other
and of supporting one another increasingly. The optimistic doctrines
of progress are simply untrue statements of the facts of history, and
falsely coloured views of human nature. It is an appalling error in
"social dynamics" to overlook the clash of interest, the greed of
nation and of class, the fundamental passionate hate and war. With it
is coupled an error in "social statics," in which faith is put in
institutions, in the mechanism of society. These, declares Renouvier,
will not save humanity; they will, indeed, ruin it if it allow itself,
through spiritual and moral lethargy, to be dominated by them. They
have been serviceable creations of humanity at some time or other, and
they must serve men, but men must not be bound down to serve them.
This servitude is evil, and it has profoundly evil consequences.

Having attacked Comte's view of progress and of order in its static
and dynamic point of view, Renouvier then brings up his heavy
artillery of argument against Comte's idealisation of the Middle Ages.
To assert that this period was an advance on the life of the Greek
city, Renouvier considers to be little short of impudence. The art and
science and philosophy of the Greeks are our best heritage, while the
Middle Ages, dominated by a vicious and intolerant Church, with its
infallible theology and its crushing power of the clergy, was a "dead
hand" upon the human spirit. While it provided an organic society, it
only succeeded in doing so by narrowing and crushing the human
intellect. The Renascence and the Reformation proved that there were
essential elements of human life being crushed down. They reached a
point, however, where they exploded.

Not only does Renouvier thus declare the Middle Ages to be a regress,
but he goes the length of asserting that the development of European
history _could_ have been different. This is his doctrine of freedom
applied to history. There is no reason at all for our regarding the
Middle Ages or any such period as necessitated in the order of
mankind's development. There is no law governing that development;
consequently, had mankind, or even a few of its number, willed and
acted upon their freedom differently, the whole trend of the period we
call the Dark Ages might have been quite other than it was. Renouvier
does not shirk the development of this point, which is a central one
for his purpose. It may seem fantastic to the historians, who must of
course accept the past as given and consequently regard reflection on
"what might have been" as wasted time. Certainly the past cannot be
altered--that is not Renouvier's point. He intends to give a lesson to
humanity, a stern lesson to cure it of its belief in fatalism in
regard to history. This is the whole purpose of the curious volume he
published in 1876, entitled _Uchronie_, which had as its explanatory
sub-title _L'Utopie dans l'Histoire, Esquisse historique du
Développement de la Civilisation européenne, tel qu'il n'a pas été,
tel qu'il avail pu être_. The book, consisting of two manuscripts
supposed to be kept in the care of an old Dutch monk, is actually an
imaginary construction by Renouvier himself of European history in the
period 100 to 800 A.D., written to show the real possibility that the
sequence of events from the Emperor Nerva to the Emperor Charlemagne
might have been radically different from what it actually was.

All this is intended by Renouvier to combat the "universal
justification of the past." He sees that the doctrine of progress as
usually stated is not only a lie, but that it is an extremely
dangerous one, for it justifies the past, or at least condones it as
inevitable, and thus makes evil a condition of goodness, demoralises
history, nullifies ethics and encourages the damnation of humanity
itself. This fatalistic doctrine, asserts Renouvier with great
earnestness, must be abandoned; freedom must be recognised as
operative, and the human will as making history.There is no law of
progress, and the sooner humanity can come to realise this the better
it will be for it. Only by such a realisation can it work out its own
salvation. "The real law lies", declares Renouvier,"only in an equal
possibility of progress or deterioration for both societies and
individuals." If there is to be progress it can only come because, and
when, humanity recognises itself as collectively responsible for its
own history, and when each person feels his own responsibility
regarding that action. No acceptance of events will avail; we must
_will_ progress and consciously set ourselves to realise it. It is
possible, but it depends on us. Here Renouvier's considerations lead
him from history to ethics. "Almost all the Great Men, men of great
will, have been fatalists. So slowly does humanity emerge from its
shadows and beget for itself a just notion of its autonomy. The
phantom of necessity weighs heavily," he laments, "over the night of
history."_*_ With freedom and a recognition of its freedom by
humanity generally we may see the dawn of better things. Humanity will
then consciously and deliberately make its history, and not be led by
the operations of herd-instinct and fatalistic beliefs which in the
past have so disgraced and marred its record.

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologie ralionnelle_, vol. 2, p. 91.]

The existing condition of human society can only be described frankly,
in Renouvier's opinion, as a state of war. Each individual, each
class, each nation, each race, is actually at war with others. It
matters not whether a diplomatic state of peace, as it is called,
exists or not; that must not blind us to the facts. By institutions,
customs, laws, hidden fraud, diplomacy, and open violence, this
conflict is kept up. It is all war, says Renouvier. Modern society is
based on war, economic, military or judicial. Indeed, military and
naval warfare is a clear issue, but only a symbol of what always goes
on. Might always has the upper hand, hence ordinary life in modern
society is just a state of war. Our civilisation does not rest on
justice, or on the conception of justice; it rests on power and might.
Until it is founded on justice, peace, he urges, will not be possible;
humanity will be enslaved in further struggles disastrous o itself.
This doctrine of the _état de guerre_, as descriptive of modern
society, he makes a feature of his ethics, upon which we must not here
encroach, but may point out that he insists upon justice as the
ultimate social criterion, and claims that this is higher than
charity, which is inadequate as a basis for society, however much it
may alleviate its ills. One of the chief necessities, he points out,
an essential to any progressive measure would be to moralise our
modern notion of the state._*_ In the notes to his last chapter of
the _Nouvelle Monadologie_ Renouvier attacks the Marxian doctrine of
the materialistic determination of history.

[Footnote _*_ : This point was further emphasised by Henri Michel in
his work, _L'Idée de l'Etat_.]

This same book, however, we must note, marks a stage in Renouvier's
own thought different from his doctrines in the earlier _Essais de
Critique générale_, and this later philosophy, of which the
_Monadologie_ and _Personnalisme_ are the two most notable volumes,
displays an attempt to look upon progress from a more ultimate
standpoint. His _théodicée_ here involves the notion, seen in
Ravaisson, of an early perfection, involving a subsequent "fall," the
world now, with its _guerre universelle_, being an intermediate stage
between a perfect or harmonious state in the past and one which lies
in the future.

The march of humanity is an uncertain one because it is free. The
philosophy of history thus reiterates the central importance of
freedom. The actual end or purpose of this freedom is not simply, says
Renouvier, the attainment of perfection, but rather the possibility of
progress. It was this thought which led him on in his reflections
further than any of the thinkers of our period, or at least more
deliberately than any, to indicate his views on the doctrine of a
future life for humanity. So far from this being a purely religious
problem, Renouvier rightly looks upon it as merely a carrying further
afield of the conception of progress.

For him, and this is the significant point for us here, any notion of
a future life for humanity, in the accepted sense of immortality, is
bound up with, and indeed based upon, the conception of progressive
development. It is true that Renouvier, like Kant, looks upon the
problems of "God, Freedom and Immortality" as the central ones in
philosophy, true also that he recognises the significance of this
belief in a Future Life as an extremely important one for religious
teaching; but his main attitude to the question is merely a
continuation of his general doctrine of progress, coupled with his
appreciation of personality. It is in this light only that Renouvier
reflects upon the problem of Immortality. He makes no appeal to a
world beyond our experience-- a fact which follows from his rejection
of the Kantian world of "noumena"; nor does he wish the discussion to
be based on the assertions of religious faith. He admits that belief
in a Future Life involves faith, in a sense, but it is a rational
belief, a philosophical hypothesis and, more particularly, according
to Renouvier, a moral hypothesis. He asserts against critics that the
undertaking of such a discussion is a necessary part of any Critical
Philosophy, which would be incomplete without it, as its omission
would involve an inadequate account of human experience.

Renouvier claims that, in the first instance, the question of a future
existence arises naturally in the human mind from the discrepancy
which is manifest in our experience between nature on the one hand and
conscience on the other. The course of events is not in accord with
what we feel to be morally right, and the demands of the moral law
are, to Renouvier's mind, supreme. He realises how acutely this
discrepancy is sometimes felt by the human mind, and his remarks on
this point recall those of the sensitive soul, who, feeling this
acutely, cried out:

"Ah, Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits--and then
Re-mould it nearer to the heart's desire."

These lines well express the sharpness of Renouvier's own feelings,
and he claims that, such a conspiracy being impossible, the belief in
Immortality becomes a necessary moral postulate or probability.

The grounds for such a postulate are to be found, he claims, even in
the processes of nature itself. The law of finality or teleology
manifests itself throughout the universe: purpose is to be seen at
work in the Cosmos. It is true that in the lower stages of existence
it seems obscure and uncertain, but an observer cannot fail to see
"ends" being achieved in the biological realm. The functions of
organisms, more particularly those of the animal world, show us a
realm of ends and means at work for achieving those ends. This
development in the direction of an end, this teleology, implies, says
Renouvier, a destiny. The whole of existence is a gradual procession
of beings at higher and higher levels of development, ends and means
to each other, and all inheriting an immense past, which is itself a
means to their existence as ends in themselves. May one not then,
suggests Renouvier, make a valid induction from the destiny thus
recognised and partially fulfilled of certain individual creatures, to
a destiny common to all these creatures indefinitely prolonged?_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologic rationnelle_, vol. 2, pp. 220-221.]

The objection is here made that Nature does not concern herself with
individuals; for her the individual is merely a means for the carrying
on and propagation of the species. Individuals come into being, live
for a time and pass away, the species lives on perpetually; only
species are in the plan of the universe, individuals are of little or
no worth. To this Renouvier replies that species live long but are not
perpetual; whole species have been wiped out by happenings on our
planet, many now are dying out. The insinuation about the
worthlessness of individuals rouses his wrath, for it strikes at the
very root of his philosophy, of which personality is the keynote.
This, he says, is to lapse into Pantheism, into doctrines of Buddhists
and of Spinoza. Pantheism and all kindred views are to be rejected. It
is not in the indefinable, All-existing, the eternal and infinite One,
that we find help with regard to the significance of ends in nature.
Ends are to be sought in the individuals or the species. But while it
behoves us to look upon the world as existing for the species and not
the species for the sake of the world, we must remember that the
species exists for the sake of the individuals in it. It is false to
look upon the individuals as existing merely for the sake of the
species.

If we subordinate the individual to the species, sacrificing his
inherent worth and unique value, and then subordinate species to genus
and all genera to the All, we lose ourselves in the Infinite substance
in which everything is swallowed up. Again, Pantheism tends to speak
of the perfection of individuals, and speaks loudly of progress from
one generation to another. But it tells only of a future which
involves the entire sacrifice of all that has worth or value in the
past. It shows endless sacrifice, improvement too, but all for naught.
"What does it matter to say that the best is yet to be, if the best
must perish as the good, to give place to a yet better 'best' which
will not have the virtue of enduring any more than the others? Do we
offer any real consolation to Sisyphus," asks Renouvier, "by promising
him annihilation, which is coupled with the promise of successors
capable of lifting his old rock higher and still higher up the fatal
slope, by offering him the eternal falling of this rock and successors
who will continually be annihilated and endlessly be replaced by
others?" The rock is the personal life. On this theory, however high
the rock be pushed, it always is destined to fall back to the same
depth, as low as if it had never been pushed up hill at all. We refuse
to reconcile a world containing real ends and purposes within it with
such a game, vast and miserable, in which no actor plays for his own
sake, and all the false winners lose all their gains by being obliged
to leave the party while the play goes on for ever. This is to throw
away all individual worth, the value of all personal work and effort,
to declare individuality a sham, and to embrace fatality. It is this
mischievous Pantheism which is the curse of many religions and many
philosophies. Against it Renouvier wages a ceaseless warfare. The
individuals, he asserts exist both for their own sake and worth, also
for the sake and welfare of others. In the person, the law of finality
finds its highest expression. Personality is of supreme and unique
value.

This being so, it becomes a necessary postulate of our philosophy, if
we really believe in the significance of personalities and in progress
(which Renouvier considers to have no meaning apart from them), to
conclude that death is but an event in the career of these
personalities. They are perpetuated beyond death.

For Renouvier, as for Kant, the chief arguments for survival are based
on considerations of a moral character, upon the demands of the moral
ideal for self- realisation, for the attainment of holiness or, more
properly, "wholeness." This progress can only be made possible by the
continued existence after bodily death of the identical personality,
unique and of eternal worth in the scheme of things, capable of
further development than is possible amid the conditions of life as we
know it.

We must, however, present to ourselves Immortality as given by the
development of appearances in this world of phenomena, under the
general laws with which we are acquainted to-day, thus correcting the
method of Kant, who placed Immortality in a noumenal world. The
salvation of a philosopher should not be of such a kind. We must treat
Immortality as a Law, not as a miracle. The thinker who accepts the
latter view quits the realm of science--that is, of experience and
reason--to establish a mystic order in contradiction with the laws of
nature. The appeal to the "supernatural" is the denial of nature, and
the appellant ruins his own case by his appeal. If Immortality is a
fact, it must be considered rationally.

Is Death--that is, the destruction of individuals as such, or the
annihilation of personalities--a reality? Renouvier reminds those who
jeer at the doctrine of Immortality that "the reality of death (as so
defined) has not been, and cannot be, proved." Our considerations must
of necessity be hypothetical, but they can be worthy of rational
beings. We must then keep our hopes and investigations within the
realm of the universe and not seek to place our hope of immortality in
a region where nothing exists, "not even an ether to support the wings
of our hope."

Renouvier's general considerations led him to view all individuals as
having a destiny in which their individuality should be conserved and
developed. When we turn in particular to man, these points are to be
seen in fuller light. The instinctive belief in Immortality is bound
up with his nature as a thinking being who is capable of setting up,
and of striving after, ends. This continual striving is a marked
characteristic of all human life, a counting oneself not to have
attained, a missing of the mark.

The human consciousness protests against annihilation. At times this
is very keenly expressed. "At the period of the great aspirations of
the heart, the ecstasy of noble passions is accompanied by the
conviction of Immortality. Life at its highest, realising its richest
personality, protests, in virtue of its own worth, and in the name of
the depths of power it still feels latent in itself, against the
menace of annihilation."_*_ It cries out with its unconquerable
soul:

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologie rationnelle_, vol. 2, p. 249.]

"Give me the glory of going on and not to die!"

Renouvier finds a further witness in the testimony of Love--that is to
say, in nature itself arrived at the con-* *sciousness of that passion
in virtue of which it exists and assuring itself by this passion, of
the power to surmount all these short-comings and failures. Love
casteth out fear, the dread of annihilation, and shows itself
"stronger than death." Hope and Love unite in strengthening the
initial belief in Immortality and the "will to survive."

Renouvier admits that this is _a priori_ reasoning, and speedily _a
posteriori_ arguments can be brought up as mighty battering-rams
against the fortress of immortal life, but although they mav shake its
walls, they are unable to destroy the citadel. Nothing can demonstrate
the impossibility of future existence, whereas the whole weight of the
moral law and the teleological elements at work in the universe are,
according to Renouvier, in favour of such a belief.

Morality, like every other science, is entitled to, nay obliged to,
employ the hypothesis of harmony. Now in this connection the
hypothesis of harmony (or, as Kant styled it, the concurrence of
happiness and virtue necessary to a conception of order) finds
reinforcement from the consideration of the meaning and significance
of freedom. For the actual end or purpose of freedom is not simply the
attainment of perfection, but rather the possibility of progress.
Immortality becomes a necessary postulate, reinforced by instinct,
reason, morality, by the fact of freedom, and the notion of progress.
Further, Renouvier feels that if we posit death as the end of all we
thereby give an absolute victory to physical evil in the universe.

The postulate of Immortality has a certain dignity and worth. The
discussion of future life must, however, be kept within the
possibilities of law and phenomena. Religious views, such as those of
Priestley, by their appeal to the miraculous debase the notion of
Immortality itself. Talk of an immortal essence, and a mortal essence
is meaningless, for unless the same identical person, with his unique
character and memory, persists, then our conception of immortality is
of little or no value. The idea of an indestructible spiritual
substance is not any better or more acceptable. Our notion of a future
life must be based upon the inherent and inalienable rights of the
moral person to persistence and to chances of further development or
progress. Although we must beware of losing ourselves in vain
speculations, which really empty our thought of all its content,
Renouvier claims that we are quite entitled to lay down hypotheses.

The same general laws which we see in operation and which have brought
the universe and the beings in it to the stage of development in which
they now are may, without contradiction, be conceived as operating in
further developments after the change we call bodily death. There is
no incongruity in conceiving the self-same personality continuing in a
second and different organism. Renouvier cites the case of the grub
and the butterfly and other metamorphoses. In man himself he points to
organic crises, which give the organism a very different character and
effect a radical change in its constitution. For example, there is the
critical exit from the mother's womb, involving the change from a
being living in an enclosure to that of an independent creature. When
once the crisis of the first breath be passed the organism starts upon
another life. There are other crises, as, for instance, the radical
changes which operate in both sexes at the stage of puberty. Just as
the personality persists in its identity through all these changes,
may it not pass through that of bodily death?

The Stoics believed in a cosmic resurrection. Substituting the idea of
progress for their view of a new beginning, Renouvier claims that we
may attain the hypothesis that all human history is but a fragment in
a development incomparably greater and grander. Again, we may conceive
of life in two worlds co-existing, indeed interpenetrating, so that
the dead are not gone far from us into some remote heaven.

But, whatever form we give to our hypothesis regard-* *ing progress
into another existence beyond this present one, Renouvier does not
easily allow us to forget that it must be based upon the significance
of freedom, progress and personality supported by moral
considerations. Even this progress is not guaranteed, and even if it
should be the achievement of some spirits there is no proof that it is
universal. Our destiny, he finally reminds us, lies in our own hands,
for progress here means an increased capacity for progress later,
while spiritual and moral indifference will result finally, and
indeed, necessarily, in annihilation. Here, as so often in his work,
Renouvier puts moral arguments and appeals in the forefront of his
thought. Progress in relation to humanity's life on earth drew from
him an appeal for the establishment of justice: progress in a further
world implies equally a moral appeal. Our duty is to keep the ideal of
progress socially and individually ever before us, and to be worthy of
immortality if it be a fact, rather than to lose ourselves in the
mistaken piety of "other- worldliness." About neither progress can we
be dogmatic; it is not assured, Renouvier has shown, and we must work
for it by the right use of our freedom, our intelligence and our will.


                                 III

No thinker discussed the problem of progress with greater energy or
penetration than Renouvier. The new spiritualist group, however,
developed certain views arising from the question of contingency, or
the relation of freedom to progress. These thinkers were concerned
more with psychological and metaphysical work, and with the exception
of Fouillée and Guyau, they wrote little which bore directly upon the
problem of progress. Many of their ideas, however, have an indirect
bearing upon important points at issue.

In Ravaisson, Lachelier and Boutroux, we find the question of
teleology presented, and also that of the opposition of spirit and
matter. From the outset the new spiritualism had to wrestle with two
difficulties inherent in the thought of Ravaisson. These were,
firstly, the reconciliation of the freedom and spontaneity of the
spirit with the operations of a Divine Providence or teleology of some
kind; and, secondly, the dualism assumed in the warfare of spirit and
matter, although spirit was held to be superior and anterior to
matter. This last involved a complication for any doctrine of
progress, as it required a primitive "fall" to account for matter,
even a fall of the Deity himself. This Ravaisson himself admits, and
he thinks that in creating the world God had to sacrifice some of his
own being. In this case "progress" is set over against a
transcendental existence, and is but the reawakening of what once
existed in God, and in a sense now and eternally exists. Progress
there is, claims Ravaisson, towards truth and beauty and goodness.
This is the operation of a Divine Providence acting by attracting men
freely to these ideals, and as these are symbols of God himself,
progress is the return of the spirit through self-conscious
personalities to the fuller realisation of harmony, beauty and
love--that is, to the glory of God, who has ever been, now is, and
ever shall be, perfect beauty, goodness and love.

Thus, although from a temporal and finite standpoint Ravaisson can
speak of progress, it is doubtful if he is justified in doing so
ultimately, _sub specie æternitatis_. To solve the problem in the way
he presents it, one would need to know more about the ultimate value
and significance of the personalities themselves, and their destiny in
relation to the Divinity who is, as he claims, perfect harmony, beauty
and love. It was this point, so dear to an upholder of personality,
which had led Renouvier to continue his discussion of progress in
relation to history as generally understood, until it embraced a wider
field of eternal destiny, and to consider the idea of a future life as
arising from, and based upon, the con-* *ception of progress. It is
this same point which later perplexes Bergson, when he recognises this
self-conscious personality as the ultimate development of the
évolution créatrice, and so constituting in a sense the goal of the
spirit, although he is careful to state that there is no finalism
involved at all. Ravaisson stands for this finalism, however, in
claiming that there are ends. He does not see how otherwise we could
speak of progress, as we should have no criterion, no _terminus ad
quem_; all would be simply process, not progress.

_"Détachement de Dieu, retour à Dieu, clôture du grand cercle
cosmique, restitution de l'universel équilibre, telle est l'histoire
du monde."_ Such is Ravaisson's doctrine, much of which is akin to,
and indeed re-echoes, much in Christian theology from St. Augustine,
with his idea of an eternal and restless movement of return to the
divinity, to the Westminster divines in their answer to the important
query about the chief end of man, which they considered to be not only
to glorify God but to enjoy Him for ever. This last and rather strange
phrase only seems to have significance if we conceive, in Ravaisson's
manner, of beauty, truth and goodness as expressions or manifestations
of the Divinity to whom the world-process may freely tend.

For Lachelier the universal process presents a triple aspect,
mechanism which is coupled with finalism and with freedom. These three
principles are in action simultaneously in the world and in the
individual. Each of us is at once matter, living soul and
personality-- that is, necessity, finality and freedom. The laws of
the universe, so far from being expressed entirely by mechanical
formulae, can only be expressed, as Ravaisson had claimed, by an
approach to harmony and beauty, not in terms of logic or geometry. All
this involves a real progress, a creativeness, which differs from
Ravaisson's return, as it were, to the bosom of God.

Boutroux combines the views of Ravaisson and Lachelier by insisting on
freedom and contingency, but maintaining at the same time a
teleological doctrine. Already in discussing his conception of freedom
we have referred to his metaphor of the sailors in the ship. His
doctrine of contingency is directly opposed to any rigid pre-ordained
plan of reality or progress, but it does not prevent the spirit from a
creative teleology, the formation of a plan as it advances. This is
precisely, is it not, the combination of free action and of teleology
which we find in our own lives? Boutroux is thus able to side with
Ravaisson in his claim to see tendencies to beauty and truth and
goodness, the fruits of the spirit, which it creates and to which it
draws us, while at the same time he maintains freedom in a manner
quite as emphatic as Lachelier. He is careful to remind us that "not
all developments are towards perfection."_*_ In particular he
dislikes the type of social theory or of sociology which undervalues
the personal life._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : _Contingence des Lois de la Nature_, p. 127.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Thus he agrees with Renouvier's objection to Comte's
view and to Communism.]

Similar in many ways to the ideas of Ravaisson and of Boutroux are
those expressed by Blondel. He is concerned deeply with the problem of
God and progress, which arises out of his view of the Deity as
immanent and as transcendent. He is quite Bergsonian in his statement
that God creates Himself in us, but he qualifies this by asking the
significant question, "If he does not EXIST how can He create Himself
in us." This brings us back to Ravaisson's view. Other remarks of
Blondel, however, recall the doctrine of Vacherot and of Renan, that
God is the ideal to which we are ever striving. "It is a necessity
that we should be moving on, for He is always beyond." All action is
an advance, a progress through the realm of materialistic determinism
to the self-conscious personality in man, but it is from a
transcendent teleology, a Divine Providence, that this action
proceeds.

This is the line of thought pursued by Fouillée, who in many of his
writings gives considerable attention to the doctrines of progress. It
may be doubted, however if he ever surpassed the pages in his _Liberté
et Déterminisme_ and _L'Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces_, which deal
with this point. These are the best expressions of his philosophy, and
Fouillée repeated himself a great deal. We might add, however, his
_Socialism_ and his book on _L'Avenir de la Métaphysique_.

We have observed the importance attached by Comte to his new science
of sociology. Fouillée endeavours to give to it a metaphysical
significance with which Comte did not concern himself. He suggests in
his volume on _La Science sociale contemporaine_ that as biology and
sociology are closely related, the laws common to them may have a
cosmic significance. Is the universe, he asks, anything more than a
vast society in process of formation, a vast system of conscious,
striving atoms? Social science which Fouillée looks upon, as did
Comte, as constituting the crown of human knowledge, may offer us, he
thinks, the secret of universal life, and show us the world as the
great society in process of development, erring here and blundering
there in an effort to rise above the sphere of physical determinism
and materialism to a sphere where justice shall be supreme, and
brotherhood take the place of antagonism, greed and war. The power at
the heart of things, which is always ready to manifest itself in the
human consciousness when it can, might be expressed, says Fouillée, in
one word as "sociability."

Life in its social aspect displays a _conspiration_ to a common end.
The life of a community resembles a highly evolved organism in many
respects, as Fouillée shows; but although he thus partially adopts the
biological and positivist view of the sociologists, Fouillée does not
overlook the idealistic conceptions of Renouvier and his plea for
social justice. He rather emphasises this plea, and takes the
opportunity to point out that it represents the best political thought
of his country, being founded on the doctrine of the _contrat social_
of Rousseau, of which social theory it is a clear and modern
interpretation.

We may take the opportunity afforded here by Fouillée's mention of
sociology, in which he was so keenly interested, to observe that the
positivist tendency to emphasise an indefinite progress remained with
most of the sociologists and some of the historians. It is seen in the
two famous sociological works of Tarde and Durkheim respectively, _Les
Lois de l'Imitation_ and _La Division du Travail social_. Two writers
on history deserve mention as illustrating the same tendency: Lacombe,
whose work _De l'Histoire considérée comme Science_ (1894) was very
positivist in outlook, and Xénopol. This last writer, treating history
in 1899 in his _Principes fondamentaux de l'Histoire_,_*_
distinguished cause in history from causality in science, and showed
that white the latter leads to the formation of general laws the
former does not. History has no laws, for it is succession but never
repetition. Much of his book, however, reflects the naturalism and
positivism which is a feature of the sociological writers._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : This work, revised and considerably augmented, was
re-issued in 1905 with the new title, _La Théorie de l'Histoire_.]

[Footnote _/-_ : It was this which made Enouvier criticise sociology.
He disagreed with its principles almost entirely. On this, see his
notes to "_La Justice_," Part VII. of _La Nouvelle Monadogie_, pp.
527-530.]

It was his doctrine of _idées-forces_ and its essential spiritualism
or idealism which distinguished Fouillée's attitude from that of these
sociologists who were his contemporaries. It was the basis, too, of
his trenchant criticisms of socialism, particularly its Marxian forms.
Fouillée agrees with Comte's doctrine that speculation or thought is
the chief factor and prime mover in social change. For Fouillée the
idea is always a force; and it is, in this connection, the supreme
force. The history of action can only be understood, he asserts, in
relation to the history of ideas. This is the central gospel of the
_évolutionnisme des idées-forces_. The mental or spiritual is the
important factor. This he opposes to the Marxian doctrine of economic
determinism. Will is, he claims a greater reality than brute forces,
and in will lies the essence of the human spirit. It is a will,
however, which is bound up with reason and self-consciousness, and
which is progressive in character.

Summing up his work, _Histoire générale de la Philosophie_, Fouillée
refers in his Conclusion to the idea of progress as having become the
dominant note in philosophy. He looks upon the history of philosophy
as, in some measure, witness to this. Above the ebb and flow of the
varied systems and ideas which the ages have produced he sees an
advance accomplished in the direction to which humanity is
tending--perfect knowledge of itself or collective self-consciousness
and perfect self- possession. This type of progress is not to be
equated with scientific progress. He points out that in the
development of philosophy, which is that of human reflection itself,
two characteristics appear. The distinction of two kinds or aspects of
truth is seen in philosophy; one section, dealing with logic,
psychology, aesthetic and applied ethics, or sociology, approaches to
a scientific character of demonstrability, while the other section,
which constitutes philosophy in the strict sense of metaphysic, deals
with ultimate questions not capable of proof but demanding a rational
faith. Obviously the same kind of progress cannot be found in each of
these sections. This must be realised when progress in knowledge is
spoken about. He suggests, as illustrative of progress even in the
speculative realm, the fact that humanity is slowly purifying its
conception of God--a point for further notice in our last chapter.

However much Fouillée is concerned with establishing; a case for
progress in knowledge, it is clear that his main stress is on the
progress in self-consciousness or that self- determination which is
freedom. This freedom can only grow as man consciously realises it
himself. It is an _idée-force_, and has against it all the forces of
fatalism and of egoism. For Fouillée quite explicitly connects his
doctrine of freedom with that of altruism. The real freedom and the
real progress are one, he claims, since they both are to be realised
only in the increasing power of disinterestedness and love. He
believes in the possibility of a free progress. Fatality is really
egoism, or produces it.

Fouillée has a rather clear optimism, for he finds in the development
of real freedom a movement which will involve a moral and social union
of mankind. The good- will is more truly human nature than egoism and
selfishness. These vices, he maintains in his _Idée moderne du
Droit_,_*_ are largely a product of unsatisfied physical wants. The
ideal of the good-will is not a contradiction of human nature,
because, he asserts, that nature desires and wills its good. More
strikingly, he states that the human will tends ultimately not to
conflict but to co-operation as it becomes enlightened and
universalised. He disagrees with the pessimists and upholds a
comparatively cheerful view of human nature. Egoism is much less
deeply rooted than sympathy, and therefore, he says, war and strife
are transitory features of human development. One contrasts the views
of Taine and Renouvier with this, and feels that man's history has
been, as far as we know it, entirely of this "transitory" nature, and
is long likely to be so.

[Footnote _*_ : _L'Idée moderne du Droit_, Livre IV.]

Fouillée's optimism seems to be overdrawn mainly because of his
doctrine of the _idée-force_. He exaggerates the response which human
nature is likely to make to the ideal good. Even if it be lifted up,
it is not likely to draw _all_ men to it. Yet Fouillée's social and
ethical doctrines stand entirely upon this foundation. They are
valuable views, and Fouillée is never better than when he is exhorting
his fellows to act upon the ideas of freedom, of justice, of love and
brotherhood. He is right in his insistence upon humanity's power to
create good- will, to develop a new order. For the good man, he says,
fatality and egoism are obstacles to be overcome Believing in freedom
and in sympathy, he acts to others in a spirit of freedom and love. By
his very belief in universal good-will among men, he assists largely
in creating it and realising it in the world._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Conclusion to _Liberté et Déterminisme_.]

But did not Fouillée, one asks, overrate the number of good men (as
good in his sense), or rather did he not exaggerate the capacities of
human nature to respond to the ideal which he presents? Much of his
confidence in moral and social progress finds its explanation here.

His step-son, Guyau, was not quite so optimistic, although he believed
in a progress towards "sociability" and he adopted many of the
doctrines of the _philosphie des idées-forces_. He attacks cheerful
optimism in his _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_,
where he remarks_/-_ that an absolute theory of optimism is really
an immoral theory, for it involves the negation of progress in the
strict and true sense. This is because, when it dominates the mind, it
produces a feeling of entire satisfaction and contentment with the
existing reality, resulting in resignation and acceptance of, if not
an actual worship of, the _status quo_. In its utter obedience to all
"powers that be," the notions of right and of duty are dimmed, if not
lost. A definitely pessimistic view of the universe would, he
suggests, be in many respects better and more productive of good than
an outrageous optimism. Granting that it is a wretched state in which
a man sees all things black, it is preferable, Guyau thinks, to that
in which all things appear rosy or blue.

[Footnote _/-_ : Esquisse d'une Morale, p. 10.]

Guyau concludes his _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_
by remarking: "We are, as it were, on the _Leviathan_, from which a
wave has torn the rudder and a blast of wind carried away the
mainmast. It is lost in the ocean as our earth is lost in space. It
floats thus at random, driven by the tempest, like a huge derelict,
yet with men upon it, and yet it reaches port. Per-* haps our earth,
perhaps humanity, will also reach that unknown end which they will
have created for themselves. No hand directs us; the rudder has long
been broken, or rather it has never existed; we must make it: it is a
great task, and it is our task." This paragraph speaks for itself as
regards Guyau's attitude to the doctrine of an assured progress.

In his notable book _L'Irreligion de l'Avenir_, the importance of
which we shall note more fully when we deal with the religious problem
in our last chapter, Guyau indicates the possibilities of general
intellectual progress in the future. The demand of life itself for
fuller expression will involve the decay of cramping superstitions and
ecclesiastical dogmas. The aesthetic elements will be given a larger
place, and there will be intellectual freedom. Keen as Guyau is upon
maintaining the sociological standpoint, he sees the central factor in
progress to be the mental. "Progress," he remarks,_*_ "is not
simply a sensible amelioration of life--it is also the achievement of
a better intellectual formulation of life, it is a triumph of logic.
To progress is to attain to a more complete consciousness of one's
self and of the world, and by that very fact to a more complete inner
consistency of one's theory of the world." Guyau follows his
stepfather in his view of "sociability" or _fraternité_ (to use the
watchword of the Revolution) as the desirable end at which we should
progressively aim-- a conclusion which is but the social application
of his central concept of Life.

[Footnote _*_ : Introduction to _L'Irreligion de l'Avenir_.]

The next step in human progress must be in the direction of human
solidarity. Guyau thinks it will arise from collective, co-operative
energy (_synergie sociale_). Further progress must involve
simultaneously _sympathie sociale_, a community of fellowship or
comradeship, promoted by education of a true kind, not mere
instruction, but a proper development and valuation of the feelings.
Here art will play its part and have its place beside science, ethics
and philosophy in furthering the ideal harmony in human society. Such
Progress involves, therefore, that the Beautiful must be sought and
appreciated no less than the True and the Good, for it is a revelation
of the larger Life of which we ourselves are part. These ideals are in
themselves but manifestations of the Supreme Vitality.

The same spontaneous vital activity of which Guyau makes a central
doctrine characterises Bergson's view of reality. He upholds, like
Boutroux, freedom and contingency, but he will not admit finalism in
any shape or form, not even a teleology which is created in the
process of development. He refuses to admit as true of the universal
process in nature and in human history what is certainly true of human
life--the fact that we create ends as we go on living. For Bergson
there is no end in the universe, unless it be that of spontaneity of
life such as Guyau had maintained. There is no guarantee of progress,
no law of development, but endless possibility of progress. Such a
view, as we have already insisted, is not pessimistic. It is, however,
a warning to facile optimism to realise that humanity, being free, may
go "dead wrong." While Boutroux maintains with Ravaisson that there is
at the heart of things a tendency to superior values such as beauty,
goodness and truth, and while Renan assures us that the balance of
goodness in the world is a guarantee of its ultimate triumph, Bergson,
like Renouvier, gives us stern warning that there is no guarantee in
the nature of things that humanity should not set its heart on other
values, on materialistic and egoistic conceptions, and go down in ruin
quarrelling and fighting for these things. There is no power, he
reminds us, keeping humanity right and in the line of desirable
progress. All is change, but that is not to say that all changes are
desirable or progressive. Here we arrive at a point far removed from
the rosy optimism of the earlier thinkers. Progress as a comfortable
doctrine, confidently accepted and dogmatically asserted, no longer
holds ground; it is seen to be quite untenable.

In Bergson the difficulty which besets Ravaisson reappears more
markedly--namely, the relation of spirit and matter to one another,
and to the power at the heart of things, which, according to Bergson
himself, is a spiritual principle. Here we seem forced to admit
Ravaisson's view of a "fall" or, as the theologians would say, a
"Kenosis" of the deity in order to create the material universe. Yet
in the processes of nature we see spirit having to fight against
matter, and of this warfare Bergson makes a great point. These
considerations lead to discussions which Bergson has not touched upon
as yet. He does not follow Ravaisson and Boutroux into the realm of
theological ideas. If he did he might have to make admissions which
would compromise, or at least modify, other doctrines expressed by
him. He will have none of Hegel or of the Absolute Idealism which sees
the world process as a development of a Divine Idea. It is new and it
is creation; there is no repetition. Even God himself _se fait_ in the
process, and it may be, suggests Bergson, that love is the secret of
the universe. If so we may well ask with Blondel, "If God _se fait_ in
the process, then does he not already exist and, in a sense, the
process with him?" Instead, however, of reverting to Ravaisson's view
of the whole affair being a search for, and return to God, Bergson
claims that the development is a purely contingent one, in which a
super-consciousness develops by experiment and error.

Bergson's God, if he may be so-called, is not so much a Creator, but a
power creative of creators--that is, human personalities capable of
free action. The Deity is immanent in man, and, like man, is ignorant
of the trend of the whole process. The universe, according to Bergson,
is a very haphazard affair, in which the only permanence is change.
There is no goal, and progress has little meaning if it be only and
merely further change, which may be equally regress rather than
progress. To live is not merely to change, but to triumph over change
to set up some values as of absolute worth, and to aim at realising
and furthering these. Apart from some philosophy of values the
conception of progress has little meaning.

Interesting discussions of various aspects of the problem are to be
found in the writings of the sociologist we have mentioned, Durkheim,
particularly _La Division du Travail sociale_, _Le Suicide_ and _Les
Formes élémentaires de la Vie religieuse_. There is an interesting
volume by Weber, entitled _Le Rythme du Progres_, and there are the
numerous books of Dr. Gustave Le Bon.

Although he is not strictly a philosopher in the academic or
professional sense, and his work belongs to literature rather than to
the philosophy of the period, we cannot help calling attention briefly
here, at the conclusion of this chapter, to the genial pessimism of
Bergson's great literary contemporary, Anatole France, the famous
satirist of our age. His irony on questions like that of progress is
very marked in _L'Ile des Penguins_ and in _Jérôme Coignard_. A remark
from one of his works, this latter, will sufficiently illustrate his
view on progress. "I take little interest," remarks his character, the
Abbé Coignard, "in what is done in the King's Cabinet, for I notice
that the course of life is in no way changed, and after reforms men
are as before, selfish, avaricious, cowardly, cruel, stupid and
furious by turns, and there is always a nearly even number of births,
marriages, cuckolds and gallows-birds, in which is made manifest the
beautiful ordering of our society. This condition is stable, sir, and
nothing could shake it, for it is founded on human misery and
imbecility, and those are foundations which will never be wanting."
The genial old Abbé then goes on to remind socialist revolutionaries
that new economic schemes will not radically change human nature. We
easily see the ills in history and blind ourselves with optimism for
the future. Even in Sorel, the Syndicalist, who has added to his
articles on _Violence_ (which appeared in 1907 in the periodical _Le
Mouvement socialiste_) a work on _Les Illusions du Progrès_, we find
the same doctrines about the vices of modern societies, which he
considers no better than ancient ones in their morality; they are
filled with more hypocrisy, that is all. France and Sorel only add
more testimony to the utter collapse of the old doctrine of assured
and general progress.

                              * * * * *

To such a final position do we come in following out the development
of the idea of progress. The early assurance and dogmatic confidence
which marked the early years of the century are followed by a complete
abandonment of the idea of a guaranteed or assured progress, whether
based on the operations of a Divine Providence, or on faith in the
ultimate triumph of reason, or on merely a fatalistic determinism.
Progress is only a possibility, and its realisation depends on
'humanity's own actions. Further, any mention of progress in future
must not only present it as quite contingent, but we have to reckon
with the fact that the idea of progress may itself progress until it
resolves itself into another conception less complicated and less
paradoxical, such as "the attainment of a new equilibrium." Some
effort must be devoted also to a valuation of criteria. Various values
have in the past been confused together, scientific, materialistic,
hedonistic, moral, aesthetic. Ultimately it seems that we shall find
difficulty in settling this apart from the solution offered by
Renouvier--namely, that true progress is not merely intellectual, but
moral. It involves not merely a conquest of material nature but of
human nature--a self- mastery. Progress is to be measured not by the
achievements of any aristocracy, intellectual or other, but by the
general social status, and our criterion of progress must be
ultimately that of social justice. This itself is a term needing
interpretation, and to this question of ethics we now turn.


                              CHAPTER VI

                                ETHICS

MORAL philosophy is probably the most difficult branch of those
various disciplines of the human spirit summed up in the general
conception of philosophy. This difficulty is one which all the
thinkers of our period recognised. Many of them, occupied with other
problems on the psychological or metaphysical side, did not write
explicitly upon ethics. Yet the problem of ethics, its place,
significance and authority, is but the other side of that problem of
freedom which has appeared throughout this development as central and
vital. The ethical consciousness of man has never been content for
long with the assertion that ethics is a purely positive science,
although it has obviously a positive side. The essence of morality has
been regarded as not merely a description of what exists, but what
might, should or ought to exist. Ethics is normative, it erects or
endeavours to outline a standard which is an ideal standard. This is
the characteristic of ethics, and so long as the moral conscience of
humanity, individually and collectively, does not slumber nor die, it
will remain so. This conflict between the ideal and the real, the
positive and normative is indeed the chief source of pain and conflict
to man, but without it he would cease to be human.

Whatever the difficulties, the philosopher who aspires to look upon
human life as a whole must give _some_ interpretation of this vital
aspect of human consciousness. It is in this connection that a
solution of the problem of freedom is so valuable, for under a purely
determinist and positivist reading of life, the moral sentiments
become mere data for an anthropological survey, the hope and tragedy
of human life are replaced, comfortably perhaps for some, by an
interpretation in which the true significance of ethics is lost.

One of the outstanding features of the discussion upon ethics in our
period is the fact that the social standpoint colours most of the
discussion. This was largely due to the impulse given by Comte and
continued by the sociologists. We have already remarked the importance
which he attached to his new science of society or "sociology."
However much the development of this branch of study may have
disappointed the hopes of Comte, it has laid a powerful and necessary
emphasis upon the solidarity of the problems of society. As Comte
claimed that psychology could not be profitably studied in the
isolated individual alone, so he insisted that ethics could only be
studied with profit from a social standpoint. This was not forgotten
by subsequent thinkers, even by those who were not his followers, and
the main development of the ethical problem in our period is marked by
an increasing insistence upon sociability and solidarity. Comte was
able to turn the thoughts of philosophers away from pre-occupation
with the isolated individual, conceived as a cold and calculating
intellectual machine, a "fiction" which had engrossed the minds of
thinkers of the previous century. He was able also to indicate the
enormous part played by instincts, particularly "herd-instincts," by
passion and feelings of social hatred and social sympathy. It was the
extension of social sympathy upon which Comte insisted as the chief
good. The great defect of Christianity from an ethical standpoint was,
Comte pointed out, due to its individualistic ethic. To the doctrine
of "saving one's own soul" Comte opposed that of the salvation of
humanity. The social unit is not the individual man or woman, it is
the family. In that society which is not a mere association but a
union, arising from common interests and sympathy, the individual
realises himself as part of society. The highest ethical conception,
however, arises when the individual, transcending himself and his
family, feels and acts as a member of humanity itself, not only in his
public, but also in his private life. In the idea of humanity Comte
finds the concrete form of that universal which in the ethic of Kant
was the symbol of duty itself.

It was by this insistence on human social solidarity that Comte left
his mark upon the ethical problem. Many of the details of social
ethics given in the last three large volumes of his work are extremely
thoughtful and interesting, in spite of their excessive optimism, but
we can only here indicate what is sufficient for our purpose, his
influence over subsequent thought. That is summed up in the words
"solidarity" and "social standpoint."

We may observe that the supreme problems in social ethics Comte
regarded as being those of education or mental development and the
"right to work."_*_ He foresaw, as did Renan, that Culture and
Economic Justice were the two _foci_ around which the ethical problems
were to be ranged in the immediate future. He regretted that the
proletariat in their cry for justice had not sufficient culture to
observe that they themselves are not a class apart, however
class-conscious they be. They stand solid with the community, and
Comte prophesied that, finding this out sooner or later, they would
have to realise the folly of violent revolution. Only a positive
culture or education of the democracy could, he believed, solve this
social problem, which is there precisely because the proletariat are
not sufficiently, and do not feel themselves to be, incorporated in
the life of the community or of humanity. Only when they realise this
will work be ennobled by a feeling of service. The Church has a moral
advantage here, in that she has her organisation complete for
furthering the conception of service to God. Comte realised this
advantage of religious morality, but he thought it would come also to
"positive" morality when men came to a conception of service for
humanity To this great end, he urged, our education should be
directed, and it should aim, he thought, at the decline and
elimination of militarism which, in Comte's view corresponds to the
second stage of development (marked also by theology), a stage to be
superseded in man's development, by an era in which the war-spirit
will be replaced by that of productive service performed not only
_pour la patrie_, but _pour l'humanité_.

[Footnote _*_ : Comte criticised the teaching given to the young in
France as being "instruction" rather than "education." This has
frequently been insisted upon since his time.]

In viewing the general influences which bore upon the study of the
ethical problem in our period this stress upon the social character of
morality is supreme, and is the most distinctly marked. But in
addition to the sociological influence there are others which it is
both interesting and important to note briefly. There is the influence
of traditional religious morality, bound up with Christianity as
presented by the Roman Catholic Church. The deficiencies of this are
frequently brought out in the discussion, but in certain of the
thinkers, chiefly the "modernists," it appears as an influence
contributing to a religious morality and as offering, indeed, the
basis of a religion. Other writers, however, while rejecting the
traditional morality of the Church, lay stress upon a humanitarian
ethic which has an affinity to the idealistic morality preached by the
founder of Christianity, a morality which manifests a spirit different
from that which his Church has usually shown. Indeed, the general
tendency of the ethical development in our period is one of opposition
to the ecclesiastical and traditional standpoint in ethics.

Then there is the influence of Kant's ethics, and here again, although
Renouvier owed much to Kant, the general tendency is to get away from
the formalism and rigorism of his "categorical imperative." The
current of English Utilitarian ethics appears as rather a negative
influence, and is rather scorned when mentioned. The common feature is
that of the social standpoint, issuing in conceptions of social
justice or humanitarianism and finding in action and life a concrete
morality which is but the reflection of the living conscience of
mankind creating itself and finding in the claims of the practical
reason that Absolute or Ideal to which the pure reason feels it cannot
alone attain.


                                  I

Taine and Renan were influenced by the outlook adopted by Comte. It
might well be said that Taine was more strictly positivist than Comte.
In his view of ethics, Taine, as might be expected from the general
character of his work and his philosophical attitude, adheres to a
rigidly positivist and naturalist conception. He looks upon ethics as
purely positive, since it merely states the scientific conditions of
virtue and vice, and he despairs of altering human nature or conduct.
This is due almost entirely to his doctrine of rigid determinism which
reacts with disastrous consequences upon his ethical outlook. This
only further confirms our contention that the problem of freedom is
the central and vital one of the period. We have already pointed out
the criticism which Fouillée brought against Taine's dogmatic belief
in determinism, as an incomplete doctrine, a half-truth, which
involves mischievous consequences and permits of no valuable
discussion of the ethical problem.

More interesting and useful, if we are to follow at all closely the
ethical thought of our period, is it to observe the attitude adopted
to ethics by Taine's contemporary, Renan.

The extreme confidence which Renan professed to have in "science," and
indeed in all intellectual pursuits, led him to accord to morality
rather a secondary place. "There are three great things," he remarks
in his _Discours et Conférences_,_*_ "goodness, beauty and truth,
and the greatest of these is truth." Neither virtue, he con-* tinues,
nor art is able to exclude illusions. Truth is the representation of
reality, and in this world the search for truth is the most serious
occupation of all. One of his main charges against the Christian
Church in general is that it has insisted upon moral good to such an
extent as to undervalue and depreciate the other goods, expressed in
beauty and in truth. It has looked upon life from one point of view
only--namely, the moral--and has judged all action by ethical values
alone, despising in this way philosophy, science, literature, poetry,
painting and music. In its more ascetic moods it has claimed that
these things are "of the devil." Thus Christianity has introduced a
vicious distinction which has done much to mutilate human nature and
to cramp the wholesome expression of the life of the human spirit.
Whatever is an expression of spirit is, claims Renan, to be looked
upon as sacred. If such a distinction as that of sacred and profane
were to be drawn it should be between what appertains to the soul and
what does not. The distinction, when made between the ethical and the
beautiful or true, is disastrous.

[Footnote _*_ : Discours, dated November 26th, 1885.]

Renan considers that of the two, the ethical and the beautiful, the
latter may be the finer and grander distinction, the former merely a
species of it. The moral, he thinks, will give place to the beautiful.
"Before any action," he himself says in _L'Avenir de la Science_, "I
prefer to ask myself, not whether it be good or bad, but whether it be
beautiful or ugly, and I feel that I have in this an excellent
criterion."

Morality, he further insists, has been conceived up to now in far too
rigid a manner as obedience to a law, as a warfare and strife between
opposing laws. But the really virtuous man is an artist who is
creating beauty, the beauty of character, and is fashioning it out of
his human nature, as the sculptor fashions a statue out of marble or a
musician composes a melody from sounds. Neither the sculptor nor the
musician feels that he is obeying a law. He is expressing and creating
beauty.

Another criticism which Renan brings against the ethic of Christianity
is its insistence upon humility as a virtue. He sees nothing virtuous
in it as it is generally interpreted: quite rightly he suspects it of
hypocritically covering a gross pride, after the manner of the
Pharisees. He gives a place to honest asceticism which has its
nobility, even although it be a narrow, misconceived ideal. Much
nobler is it, he thinks, than the type of life which has only one
object, getting a fortune.

This leads him to another remark on the moral hypocrisy of so many
professedly religious folk. Having an easy substance and possessing
already a decent share of this world's goods, they devote all their
energies to the pursuit of pleasure or of further superfluous wealth.
From this position they criticise the worker who endeavours to improve
his lot, and have the audacity to tell him in pious fashion that he
must not be materialistic, and must not set his heart on this world's
goods. It would be laughable were it not so tragic. The whole question
of the relativity of the two positions is overlooked, the whole ethic
of the business ignored. Material welfare is good and valuable, says
Renan, in so far as it frees man's spirit from mean and wretched
dependence and a cramped life which injures development, physical and
spiritual. These goods are a means to an end. When, therefore, a man,
already comfortably endowed, amasses more and more for its own sake,
he commits both a profane and immoral act. But when a worker
endeavours to augment his recompense for his labour, he is but
demanding "what is the condition of his redemption. He is performing a
virtuous action."_

[Footnote * : L'Avenir de la Science, p. 83.]

Sound as many of these considerations undoubtedly are, they come from
the Renan, who wrote in the years 1848-9 L'Avenir de la Science. He
lived long enough to see that these truths had complements, that there
might be, even ethically, another side. In speaking of Progress this
has been noted: in his later years he forecasted the coming of an era
of egoism, of national and industrial selfishness, working itself out
in policies of military imperialism among the nations, and of economic
greed and tyranny among the proletariat. His remarks about the
virtuous action of the worker bettering his lot were inspired by the
socialism of Saint-Simon. Renan did not at that time raise in his own
mind the question of the workers themselves carrying their reaction so
far, that it, although just at first, might reach a point where it
became a dictatorship decreed by self-interest alone. It is in
Renouvier that we find this danger more clearly indicated. In so far
as Renan felt it, his solution was that which he suggested for the
elimination of all social wickedness-- namely, the increase of
education. He looked upon wickedness as a symptom of a lack of
culture, particularly the lack of any moral teaching.

It was precisely this point, the education of the democracy, morally
no less than intellectually, which presented a certain difficulty to
the French Republic when, after several unsuccessful attempts, the
plan for state education of a compulsory, gratuitous and secular
character was carried in 1882, largely through the efforts of Jules
Ferry.*

[Footnote: In 1848 Hippolyle Carnot had this plan ready. The fall of
the Ministry, in which he was Minister of Education, was due partly to
the discussion raised by Renouvier's book (see p. 61 of the present
work). With the fall of the Ministry, and in 1851, of the Republic,
the scheme went too. France had to wait eleven years longer than
England for free, compulsory education. Her educational problem has
always been complicated by the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church
to religious education and its hostility to "lay" schools. Brilliant
as France is intellectually, there are numbers of her people who do
not read or write owing to the delay of compulsory state education.
The latest census, that of 1921, asked the question, "Savez-vous à la
fois lire et écrire?" in order to estimate this number.]


                                  II

The great moralist of our period was Renouvier. Not only, as we have
already seen, did ethical considerations mark and colour his whole
thought, but he set forth those considerations themselves with a
remarkable power. His treatise in two volumes on _The Science of
Ethics_ is one of the most noteworthy contributions to ethical thought
which has been made in modern times. Although half a century has
elapsed since its publication on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War,
its intense pre-occupation with the problems which beset our modern
industrial civilisation, its profound judgments and discussions
concerning subjects so vital to the world of to-day (such as the
relations of the sexes, marriage, sex-ethics, civil liberty, property,
communism, state intervention, socialist ideals, nationalism, war, the
modern idea of the State, and international law), give to it a value,
which very few works upon the subject possess. Long as the work is, it
has the merit of thoroughness, and difficulties are not slurred over,
but stated frankly, and some endeavours are made to overcome them.
Consequently, it is a work which amply repays careful study. It is
almost presumption to attempt in a few pages to summarise Renouvier's
important treatise. Some estimate of its significance is, however,
vital to our history.

The title itself is noteworthy and must at that date have appeared
more striking than it does to us now by its claim that there is a
_science_ of ethics._*_ We are accustomed to regard physics,
mathematics and even logic as entitled to the name Sciences. Can we
legitimately speak of a Science of Ethics?

[Footnote: It is interesting for comparative study to note that Leslie
Stephen's _Science of Ethics_ was a much later production than
Renouvier's treatise, appearing thirteen years later.]

Renouvier insists that we can. Morality deals with facts, although
they are not embraced by the categories of number, extension, duration
or becoming (as mathematical and physical data), but rather by those
of causality, finality and consciousness. The facts "are not the
natural being of things, but the _devoir-être_ of the human will, the
_devoir-faire_ of persons, and the devoir-être of things in so far as
they depend upon persons."_*_ Personal effort, initiative and
responsibility lie at the basis of all ethics. Morality is a
construction, like every science, partly individual and partly
collective; it must lay down postulates, and if it is to justify the
claim to be a science, these postulates must be such as to command a
_consensus gentium_. Further, if ethics is to be scientifically based
it must be independent. In the past this has unfortunately not been
the case, for history shows us ethics bound up with some system of
religion or metaphysics. If ethics is to be established as a science,
Renouvier points out that it must be free from all hypothesis of an
irrelevant character, such as cosmological speculations and
theological dogmas. Renouvier's insistence upon the independence of
ethics was followed up in an even clearer and more trenchant manner by
Guyau in his famous _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni
Sanction_.

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 10.]

Although, generally, ethics has suffered by reason of its alliance to
theological and metaphysical systems, Renouvier affirms that, in this
connection, there is one philosophy which is not open to
objection--namely, the Critical Philosophy of Kant. This is because it
subordinates all the unknown to phenomena, all phenomena to
consciousness, and, within the sphere of consciousness itself,
subordinates the speculative reason (_reinen Vernunft_) to the
practical reason (_praktischen Vernunft_). Its chief value, according
to Renouvier, lies precisely in this maintenance of the primacy of
moral considerations.

Two standpoints or lines of thought which are characteristic of
Renouvier, and whose presence we have already noted in our first
chapter, operate also in his ethics and govern his whole treatment of
the nature of morality and the problems of the moral life. Briefly
stated these are, firstly, his regard for the Critical Philosophy of
Kant; secondly, his view of man as "an order, a harmony of functions
reciprocally conditioned, and, by this fact, inseparable."_*_ As in
his treatment of Certitude, Renouvier showed this to be a
psychological complex into which entered elements not only of
cognition, but of feeling and will, the same insistence upon this
unity of human nature meets us again in his ethics. "Any ethical
doctrine which definitely splits up the elements of human nature is
erroneous."_/-_ Abstraction is necessary and useful for any
science, even the science of ethics, but however far we may carry our
scientific analysis, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are
dealing with abstractions. To lose sight of the relationship of the
data under observation or discussion is, indeed, working away from the
goal of scientific knowledge.

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_ (first edition, 1869), vol. I,
p. 189.]

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_.]

"Nothing," remarks Renouvier in this connection, "has done more to
hinder the spread of Kant's doctrines in the world than his assertion
that the morally good act must be performed absolutely without
feeling." In view of man as he is, and in so far as we understand
human nature at all, it seems a vain and foolish statement. For Kant,
Duty was supreme, and the sole criterion of a good act was, for him,
its being done from a consciousness of Duty. He himself had to confess
that he did not know of any act which quite fulfilled this ideal of
moral action. With this view of morality Renouvier so heartily
disagrees that he is inclined to think that, so far from a purely
rational act (if we suppose such an act possible) being praiseworthy,
he would almost give greater moral worth to an act purely emotional,
whose "motive" lay, not in the idea of cold and stern Duty, but in the
warm impulses of the human heart, springing from emotion or feeling
alone. Emotion is a part of our nature--it has its role to play; the
rational element enters as a guide or controlling power. It is
desirable that all acts should be so guided, but that is far from
stating, as does Kant, that they should proceed solely from rational
considerations. Ultimately reason and sentiment unite in furthering
the same ends. No adequate conception of justice can be arrived at
which is not accompanied by, and determined by, correlatively, love of
humanity. Kant rigorously excluded from operation even the most noble
feelings, whose intrusion should dim the worth and glory of his moral
act, devoid of feeling. But "without good-will and mutual sympathy of
persons, no society could ever have established itself beyond the
family, and scarcely the family itself."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 184.]

Renouvier confesses that in most of this treatment of the problem of
ethics he follows Kant,_/-_ and although his admiration for Kant's
work is not concealed, nevertheless he is not altogether satisfied
with it, and does not refrain from criticism. Indeed this
reconstruction of the Critical Philosophy in a revised version is the
main effort of the neo-critical philosopher, and it is constantly
manifest.

[Footnote _/-_ : On p. 108 (vol. I) he refers to "_le philosophie que
je suis, et que j'aimerais de pouvoir suivre toujours_."]

He complains that Kant did not adhere rigorously to his own
principles, but vainly strove to give an objectivity to the laws of
the practical reason by connecting them to metaphysics. But, he says,
"on the other hand I maintain that the errors of Kant can be corrected
in accordance with the actual principles of his own philosophy. I
continue my serious attachment to this great reformer in spite of the
very serious modifications I am endeavouring to make in his
work."_/=_

[Footnote _/=_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. no. 110]

In the opinion of Renouvier, Kant's work, the _Metaphysic of Morals_,
is marred by its neglect of history in its relation to ethics, by a
disfigured picture of right which does not make it any more applicable
to existing human conditions, also by the rather artificial and
complicated nature of its doctrines. He further reproaches Kant for
excessive rigorism and formalism, accompanied by a vagueness which
prevents the application of much of his teaching. This, it seems to
us, is a reproach which can be hurled easily at most of the ethical
teachers whom the world has seen. The incessant vagueness of
paradoxical elements in the utterances of such teachers has inevitably
compelled their disciples to find refuge in insisting upon a "right
spirit" of action, being devoid of any clear teaching as to what might
constitute right action in any particular case.

The rudiments of morality, according to Renouvier, are found in the
general notion of "obligation," the sense of ought (_devoir-faire_)
which the human consciousness cannot escape. Any end of action is
conceived as a good for the agent himself; and because of liberty of
choice between actions or ends, or between both, certain of these are
deemed morally preferable. There are certain obligations which are
purely personal, elementary virtues demanded from any rational being.
It is his interest to preserve his body by abstaining from excesses;
it is his interest also to conserve and develop the faculties of his
nature. This is the point upon which Guyau makes such insistence in
common with Nietzsche--the development, expansion and intensification
of life. There are, Renouvier points out, duties towards oneself,
involving constant watchfulness and intelligence, so that the agent
may be truly self-possessed under all circumstances, maintaining an
empire over himself and not falling a constant victim to passion.
"Greater is he that ruleth himself than he that taketh a city," are
not vain words. This is the rudimentary but essential virtue which
Renouvier calls "virtue militant"--moral courage. Intellectually it
issues in Prudence or Wisdom; on the side of sense and passion it is
represented by Temperance. These duties are present to conscience,
which itself arises from a doubling of consciousness. "We have the
empirical person with his experience of the past, and we have the
ideal person--that is to say, that which we wish to be,"_*_ our
ideal character. In so far as we are conscientious we endeavour to
bring "what we are" into line with "what we conceive we should be."
The moral agent thus has duties towards himself, obligations apart
from any relation to or with others of his kind.

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 25.]

This elementary morality is "essentially subjective,"_*_ but this
only shows us that the most thorough-going individualism does not by
its neglect of others, its denial of altruism, thereby escape entirely
from moral obligations. There are always duties to one's higher self,
even for a Robinson Crusoe. Frequently it is stated that duties and
rights are co-relative; but Renouvier regards Duty as more fundamental
than Right, which he uses only of man in association with his fellows.
Between persons, right and duty are in a synthesis, but the person
himself has no rights as distinct from duties to himself; he has no
right not to do what it is his duty to perform. From this it follows
that if his personal notion of obligation changes, he has no right
whatever to carry out actions in accordance with his judgments made
prior to his change of conscience, merely for the sake of consistency.
He is in this respect a law to him- self, for no man can act as a
conscience for another. The notion of rights only arises when others
are in question, and only too often the word has been abused by being
employed where simply power is meant, as, for example, in many views
of "natural right." This procedure both sullies the usage of the term
Right and lowers the status of personality. It is always, Renouvier
claims, to "the inherent worth and force of personality, with its
powers of reflection, deliberation, liberty, self-possession and
self-direction, that one must return in order to understand each and
every virtue."

[Footnote: _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 81.]

Renouvier's insistence upon the inherent worth, the dignity and moral
value of personality becomes clearer as he proceeds from his treatment
of the lonely individual (who, it may be objected, is to such an
extent an abstraction, as to resemble a fiction) to associated
persons. The reciprocal relation of two persons brings out the
essential meaning of Justice. Two personalities co-operating for a
common end find themselves each possessed of duties and, inversely
therefore, of rights which are simply duties regarded from the point
of view not of the agent, but of the other party. The neo-critical
ethic here brings itself definitely into line with the principle of
practical reason of the Critical Philosophy. This, says
Renouvier,_*_ is the profound meaning of Justice, which consists
in the fact that the moral agent, instead of subordinating the ends of
other people to his own, considers the personalities_/-_ of others
as similar to his own and possessing their own ends which he must
respect. This principle is that which Kant formulated under the name
of "practical obligation" or "supreme principle."_/=_ "Recognise
the personality of others as equal in nature and dignity, as being an
end in itself, and consequently refrain from employing the personality
of others merely as a means to achieve your own ends."

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, pp. 82-83.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Personality is a better translation, as it avoids the
rather legal and technical meaning of "person" in English.]

[Footnote _/=_ : In a footnote to this passage, Renouvier states his
own preference for "moral obligation" rather than "imperative of
conscience."]

This doctrine of Personalism is an assertion not only of _Liberté_,
_Egalité_, _Fraternité_ as necessary and fundamental principles, but
also of the value of personality in general and the relativity of
"things." It constitutes an ethical challenge to the existing state of
society which is not only inclined, in its headlong pursuit of wealth,
its fanatical worship of Mammon, to treat its workers as purely
"means" to the attainment of its end, but further minimises
personality by its legal codes and social conventions, which both
operate far more readily and efficiently in the defence of property
than in the defence or protection of personality. From the ethical
standpoint the world is a realm of ends or persons and all other
values must be adjusted in relation to these.

We have been told by religious ethical teachers that we must love our
neighbour as ourself, and have been reminded by moralists continually
of the conflict between Egoism and Altruism. Renouvier points out that
ultimately obligation towards others is reducible to a duty to
oneself. He does not do this from the point of view of Hobbes, who
regarded all actions, however altruistic they appeared to be, as
founded purely upon self-interest, but rather from the opposite
standpoint. "We should make our duty to others rank foremost among our
duties to ourselves."_*_ This is the transcendent duty through the
performance of which we achieve a realisation of the solidarity of
persons, demonstrate an objective value for our own existence, and
gain a fuller and richer life.

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 85.]

The idea of personal and moral reciprocity was formulated by the
Chinese and the Greeks; at a later date it reappeared in the teaching
of Jesus. This ancient and almost universal maxim has been stated both
positively and negatively: "Do not to others what you would not have
them do unto you," "Do as you would be done by." The maxim itself,
however, beyond a statement of the principle of reciprocity rather
vaguely put, has no great value for the science of ethics. Renouvier
regards it not as a principle of morality but a rule-of-thumb, and he
considers the negative statement of it to be more in harmony with what
was intended by the early ethical teachers--namely, to give a
practical warning against the committing of evil actions rather than
to establish a scientific principle of right action.

Renouvier has shown the origin of the notion of Justice as arising
primarily from an association of two persons. "Reason established a
kind of community and moral solidarity in this reciprocity."_/-_
This right and duty unite to constitute Justice. It is truly said that
it is just to fulfil one's duty, just to demand one's right, and
Justice is formed by a union of these two in such a manner that they
always complement one another. Bearing in mind the doctrine of
personality as an end, we get a general law of action which may be
stated in these terms: "Always act in such a way that the maxim
applicable to your act can be erected by your conscience into a law
common to you and your associate." Now to apply this to an association
of any number of persons-- _e g._, human society as a whole--we need
only generalise it and state it in these terms: "Act always in such a
way that the maxim of your conduct can be erected by your conscience
into a universal law or formulated in an article of legislation which
you can look upon as expressing the will of every rational being."
This "categorical obligation" is the basis of ethics. It stands clear
of hypothetical cases as a general law of action, and "there is no
such thing really as practical morality," remarks Renouvier, "except
by voluntary obedience to a law."_*_

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_., pp. 79-80.]

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 100.]

The fulfilment of our duties to ourselves generally tends to fit us
for fulfilling our duties to others, and the neglect of the former
will lead inevitably to inability to perform these latter. Our duty to
others thus involves our duty to ourselves._/-_

[Footnote _/-_ : The notion of self-sacrifice itself involves also, to
a degree, the maintenance of self, without which there could be no
self to sacrifice. History has frequently given examples of men of all
types refusing to sacrifice their lives for a certain cause because
they wished to preserve them for some other (and possibly better--in
their minds at any rate, better) form of self-sacrifice.]

Personality which lies at the root of the moral problem demands Truth
and Liberty, and it has a right to these two, for without them it is
injured. They are essential to a society of persons. Another vital
element in society is Work, the neglect of which is a grave immoral
act, for as there is in any society a certain amount of necessary work
to be performed, a "slacker" dumps his share upon his fellows to
perform in addition to their own share. With industrial or general
laziness, and the parasitism of those whose riches enable them to live
without working, is to be condemned also the shirking of intellectual
work by all. Quite apart from those who are "intellectuals" as such, a
solemn duty of work, of thought, reflection and reasoning lies on each
person in a society. Apathy among citizens is really a form of
culpable negligence. The duty of work and thought is so vital and of
such ethical, political and social importance that Renouvier suggests
that the two words, work and duty, be regarded as synonyms. It might,
he thinks, make clearer to many the obligation involved.

Justice has been made clear in the foregoing remarks, but in view of
Kant's distinction of "large" and "strict" duties, Renouvier raises
the question of the relation of Justice and Goodness. He concludes
that acts proceeding from the latter are to be distinguished from
Justice. They proceed not from considerations of persons as such, but
from their "nature" or common humanity, and are near to being "duties
to oneself." They are of the heart rather than of the head, proceeding
from sentiments of humanity, and sentiment is not, strictly speaking,
the foundation of justice, which is based on the notions of duties and
rights. There can be, therefore, an opposition of Justice and of
Goodness (Kindness or Love), and the sphere of the latter is often
limited by considering the former. Renouvier recognises the fact that
Justice in the moral sense of recognition and respect for personality
is itself often "constitutionally and legally" violated in societies
by custom, laws and institutions as well as by members of society in
their actions, and he notes that this "legal" injustice makes the
problem of the relation of Justice and Charity excessively difficult.

The science of ethics is faced with a double task owing to the nature
of man's evolution and history. Human societies have been built upon a
basis which is not that of justice and right, but upon the basis of
force and tyranny--in short, upon war. There is, therefore, for the
moralist the twin duty of constructing laws and principles for the
true society founded upon an ethical basis, that is to say on
conceptions of Justice, while at the same time he must give practical
advice to his fellows living and striving in present society, where a
continual state of war exists owing to the operation of force and
tyranny in place of justice, and he must so _apply_ his principles
that they may be capable of moving this unjust existing society
progressively towards the ideal society.

In our account of Renouvier's "Philosophy of History" we brought out
his insistence upon war as the essential feature of man's life on this
planet, as the basis of our present "civilisation." Here he proclaims
it again in his ethics._*_ War reigns everywhere: it is around us
and within us--individuals, families, tribes, classes, nations and
races. He includes in the term much more than open fighting with guns.
The distribution of wealth, of property (especially of land), wages,
custom duties, diplomacy, fraud, violence, bigotry, orthodoxy, and
persecution, lies themselves, are all, to him, forms of war. Its most
ludicrous stronghold is among men who pride themselves on being at
peace with all men, while they force their idea of God upon other
men's consciences. Religious intolerance is one, and a very absurd
kind of warfare._/-_

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. I, p. 332.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Renouvier sums up its spirit in the words: "_Crois ce
que je crois moi, où je te tue_" (_La Nouvelle Monadologie_).]

The principle of justice confers upon the person a certain "right of
defence" in the midst of all this existing varied warfare of mankind.
It involves, according to Renouvier, resistance. The just man cannot
stand by and see the unjust man oppress his fellow so that the victim
is "obliged to give up his waistcoat after having had his coat torn
from him." Otherwise we must confuse the _just_ with the _saintly_ man
who only admits one law--namely, that of sacrifice. But Renouvier will
have us be clear as to the price involved in all this violent
resistance. It means calling up powers of evil, emis-* *saries of
injustice. He does not found his "right of defence" on rational right;
it is to misconceive it so to found it. We must recognise the use of
violence and force, even in self-defence, as in itself evil, an evil
necessitated by facts which do not conform to the rules of peace and
justice themselves. It is to a large degree necessary, unfortunately,
but is none the less evil and to be frankly regarded as evil, and
likely to multiply evil in the world, owing to the tremendous
solidarity of wickedness of which Renouvier has already spoken in
history. It is the absence of the reign of justice which necessitates
these conflicts, and we have to content ourselves with a conception of
actual "right," a conception already based on war, not with one of
"rational right" or justice.

Right in the true sense, Renouvier insists, belongs to a state of
peace; in a state of war, such as our civilisation is perpetually in,
it cannot be realised. The objection may be made that Renouvier is
then justifying the means by the end. He emphatically denies this. By
no means is this the case, for "the evil," he remarks, "which corrects
another evil does not therefore become good; it may be useful, but it
is none the less evil, immoral, or unjust, and what is not just is not
justifiable. Wars, rebellions, revolutions may lessen certain evils,
but they do not thereby cease to be any the less evils themselves.
Morally we are obliged to avoid all violence; a revolution is only
justified if its success gives an indication of its absolute
necessity. We must lament, from the standpoint of ethics or justice,
the evil state of affairs which gives rise to it._*_

[Footnote _*_ : On this point, it is interesting to compare with the
above the views of Spinoza in his _Tractatus Theologico-politicus_ and
_Tractatus-politicus_, and those of T. H. Green in his _Lectures on
Political Obligation_.]

Renouvier devotes a considerable portion of his treatise to problems
of domestic morals, economic questions and problems of a political and
international character. In all these discussions, however, he
maintains as central his thesis of the supremacy of personality.

Under _droit domestique_ he defends very warmly the right of the woman
and the wife to treatment as a personality. He laments particularly
the injustice which usually rules in marriage, where, under a cloak of
legality, the married man denies to his wife a personal control of her
own body and the freedom of self-determination in matters of sexual
intercourse. So unjust and loathsome in its violation of the
personality of woman is the modern view of marriage that Renouvier
considers it little better than polygamy (which is often a better
state for women than monogamy) or prostitution. It is less just than
either, owing to its degradation of the personality of the wife. He
remarked too in his _Nouvelle Monadologie_ that love (in the popular
sense), being so largely an affair of passion and physical attraction,
is usually unjust, and that friendship is a better basis for the
relationship of marriage, which should be, while it lasts among
mankind, one of justice._*_ Consequently, it should involve
neither the idea of possession nor of obedience, but of mutual
comradeship.

[Footnote _*_ : See particularly the notes in _La Nouvelle Monadologie_
appended to the fourth part, "Passion," pp. 216-222.]

In the economic sphere Renouvier endeavours to uphold freedom, and for
this reason he is an enemy of communism. Hostile to the communistic
doctrine of property, he is a definite defender of property which he
considers to be a necessity of personality. He considers each person
in the community entitled to property as a guarantee of his own
liberty and development. While disagreeing with communism, Renouvier
is sympathetic to the socialist view that property might be, and
should be, more justly distributed, and he advocates means to limit
excessive possession by private persons and to "generalise" the
distribution of the goods of the community among its members.
Progressive taxation, a guarantee of the "right to work" and a
complete system of insurance are among his suggestions. He is careful,
however, to avoid giving to the state too much power.

Renouvier was no lover of the state. While regarding it as necessary
under present conditions, he agrees with the anarchist idealists, to
whom government is an evil. He admits its use, however, as a guarantor
of personal liberty, but is against any semblance of state- worship.
The state is not a person, nor is it, as it exists at present, a moral
institution. One of the needs of modern times is, he points out, the
moralising of the conception of the state, and of the state itself.
Although, therefore, he has no _a priori_ objection to state
interference in the economic sphere, and would not advocate a mere
_laissez-faire_ policy, with its vicious consequences, yet he does not
look with approval upon such interference unless it be "the collective
expression of the personalities forming the community."

The fact of living in a society, highly organised although it be, does
not diminish at all the moral significance of personality. Rights and
duties belong essentially to persons and to them only. We must beware
of the political philosophy which regards the citizens as existing
only for the state. Rather the state exists, or should exist, for the
welfare of the citizens. In the past this was a grave defect of
military despotisms, and was well illustrated by the view of the state
taken, or rather inculcated, by German political philosophy. In the
future the danger of the violation of personality may lie, Renouvier
thinks, in another direction--namely, in the establishment of
Communistic states. The basic principle of his ethic is the person as
an end in himself, and the treatment of persons as ends. If this be
so, a Communistic Republic which has as its motto "Each for all,"
without also "All for each," may gravely violate personality and the
moral law if, by constraint, it treats all its citizens and their
efforts not as ends in themselves, but merely means to the collective
ends of all.

The moral ideal demands that personality must not be obliterated.
Personality bound up with "autonomy of reason" is the fundamental
ethical fact._*_ In the last resort, responsibility rests upon the
individuals of the society for the evils of the system of social
organisation under which they live. The state itself cannot be
regarded as a moral person. Renouvier opposes strongly any doctrine
which tends to the personalisation or the deification of the state.

[Footnote _*_ : Note that Renouvier prefers this term to Kant's
"autonomy of will," which he thinks confuses moral obligation and
free-will.]

He combats also the modern doctrines of "nationality," and claims that
even the idea of the state is a higher one, for it at any rate
involves co-operating personalities, while a nation is a fiction, of
which no satisfactory definition can be given. He laughs at the "unity
of language, race, culture and religion," and asks where we can find a
nation?_/-_ War and death have long since destroyed such united
and harmonious groups as were found in ancient times.

[Footnote _/-_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. 2, chap. xcvi, "_Idées
de la Nationalité et d'Etat_," pp. 416-427.]

In approaching the questions of international morality Renouvier makes
clear that there is only one morality, one code of justice. Morality
cannot be divided against itself, and there cannot be an admission
that things which are immoral in the individual are justifiable, or
permissible, between different states. Morality has not been applied
to these relationships, which are governed by aggressive militarism
and diplomacy, the negation of all conceptions of justice. Ethical
obligation has only a meaning and significance for personalities, and
our states do but reflect the morality of those who constitute them;
our world reflects the relationships and immorality of the states. War
characterises our whole civilisation, domestic, economic and
international. To have inter- national peace, internal peace is
essential, and this pre- supposes the reign of justice within states.
War we shall have with us, Renouvier reminds us, in all its forms, in
our institutions, our laws and customs, until it has disappeared from
our hearts. Treaties of "peace" and federations or leagues of nations
are themselves based on injustice and on force, and in this he sees
but another instance of the "terrible solidarity of evil."_*_
Better it is to recognise this, thinks Renouvier, than to consider
ourselves in, or even near, a Utopia, whence human greed and passion
have fled.

[Footnote _*_ : _Science de la Morale_, vol. 2, p. 474.]

We find in Renouvier's ethics a notable reversion to the individualism
which characterised the previous century. Much of the individualistic
tone of his work is, however, due to his finding himself in opposition
to the doctrines preached by communists, positivists, sociologists,
pessimistic and fatalistic historians, and supporters of the deified
state. Renouvier acclaims the freedom of the individual, but his
individualism is "personalism." In proclaiming that the basis of
justice and of all morality is respect for personality, as such, he
has no desire to set up a standard of selfish individualism; he wishes
only to combat those heretical doctrines which would minimise and
crush personality. For him the moral "person" is not an isolated
individual--he is a social human being, free and responsible, who
lives with his fellows in society. Only upon a recognition of
personality as a supreme value can justice or peace ever be attained
in human society; and it is to this end that all moral education,
Renouvier advocates, should tend. The moral ideal should be, in
practice, the constant effort to free man from the terrible solidarity
of evil which characterises the civilisation into which he is born,
and to establish a community or association of personalities. Such an
ideal does not lie necessarily at the end of a determined evolution;
Renouvier's views on history and progress have shown us that.
Consequently it depends upon us; it is our duty to believe in its
pos-* sibility and to work, each according to his or her power, for
its realisation. The ideal or the idea, will, in so far as it is set
before self-conscious personalities as an end, become a force.
Renouvier agrees on this point with Fouillée, to whose ethic, founded
on the conception of _idées-forces_, we now turn.


                                 III

The philosophy of _idée-forces_ propounded by Fouillée assumes, in its
ethical aspect, a role of reconciliation (which is characteristic, as
we have noted, of his whole method and his entire philosophy) by
attempting a synthesis of individualism and humanitarianism. It is
therefore another kind of _personnalisme_, differing in type from that
of Renouvier. Fouillée's full statement of his ethical doctrines was
not written until the year 1907,_*_ but long before the conclusion
of the nineteenth century he had already indicated the essential
points of his ethics. The conclusion of his thesis _La Liberté et le
Déterminisme_ (1872) is very largely filled with his ethical views and
with his optimism. Four years later appeared his study _L'Idée moderne
du Droit en Allemagne, en Angleterre et en France_, which was followed
in 1880 by _La Science sociale contemporaine_, where the relation of
the study of ethics to that of sociology was discussed. A volume
containing much acute criticism of current ethical theories was his
_Critique des Systèmes de Morale contemporains_ (1883), which gave him
a further opportunity of offering by way of contrast his application
of the doctrine of _idées-forces_ to the solution of moral problems.
To this he added in the following year a study upon _La Propriété
sociale et la Démocratie_, where he discussed the ethical value and
significance of various political and socialist doctrines. Ethical
questions raised by the problems of education he discussed in his
_L'Enseignement au Point de Vue national_ (1891). At the close of the
century he issued his book on morality in his own country, _La France
au Point de Vue morale_ (1900)._*_

[Footnote _*_ : His _Morale des Idées-forces_ was then published.]

[Footnote _*_ : It is interesting to note the wealth of Fouillée's
almost annual output on ethics alone in his later years. We may cite,
in the twentieth century: _La Réforme de l'Enseignement par la
Philosophie_, 1901; _La Conception morale et critique de
l'Enseignement_; _Nietzsche et l'Immoralisme_, 1904; _Le Moralisme de
Kant et l'Amoralisme contemporaine_, 1905; _Les Eléments sociologiques
de la Morale_, 1905; _La Morale des Idées-forces_, 1907; _Le
Socialisme_, 1910; _La Démocratie politique et sociale en France_,
1910; and the posthumous volume, _Humanitaires et Libertaires au Point
de Vue sociologique et morale_, 1914.]

Fouillée endeavours to unite the purely ideal aspect of ethics--that
is to say, its notion of what ought to be, with the more positive view
of ethics as dealing with what now is. His ethic is, therefore, an
attempt to relate more intimately the twin spheres of Renouvier,
_l'état de guerre_ with _l'état de paix_, for it is concerned not only
with what _is_, but with that which _tends_ to be and which _can_ be
by the simple fact that it is _thought_. As, however, what _can_ be is
a matter of intense interest to us, we are inevitably led from this to
consider what _ought_ to be--that is to say, what is better, or of
more worth or value. The ethical application of the philosophy of
_idées-forces_ is at once theoretical and practical, that philosophy
being concerned both with ideas and values.

As in his treatment of freedom we found Fouillée beginning with the
_idea_ of freedom, so here in a parallel manner he lays down the _idea_
of an end of action as an incontestable fact of experience, although
the existence of such an end is contested and is a separate question.
This idea operates in consciousness as a power of will (_volonté de
conscience_). Intelligence, power, love and happiness-in short, the
highest conscious life--are involved in it, not only for us, but for
all. Thus it comes about that the conscious subject, just because he
finds himself confronted by nature and by over-individual ends,
proposes to himself an ideal, and imposes at the same time upon
himself the obligation to act in conformity with this full
consciousness which is in all, as in him, and thus he allows universal
consciousness to operate in his own individual life. Here we have
conscience, the idea of duty or obligation, accounted for, and the
principle of autonomy of the moral person laid down. The ethical life
is shown as the conscious will in action, finding within itself its
own end and rule of action, finding also the conscious wills of others
like itself. Morality is the indefinite extension of the conscious
will which brings about the condition that others tend to become "me."
Through the increasing power of intellectual disinterestedness and
social sympathy, the old formula "_cogito, conscius sum_" gives place
to that of "_conscii sumus_," and this is no mere intellectual
speculation, but a concrete principle of action and feeling which is
itself akin to the highest and best in all religions.

One of the features of this ethic is its insistence upon the primacy
of self-consciousness. Indeed, it has its central point in the
doctrine of self-consciousness, which, according to Fouillée, implies
the consciousness of others and of the whole unity of mankind.
Emphasising his gospel of _idées-forces_, he outlines a morality in
which the ideal shall attract men persuasively, and not dominate them
in what he regards as the arbitrary and rather despotic manner of
Kant.

By advocating the primacy of self-consciousness Fouillée claims to
establish an ethic which towers above those founded upon pleasure,
happiness and feeling. The morality of the _idées-forces_ is not
purely sentimental, not purely intellectual, not purely voluntarist;
it claims to rest on the totality of the functions of consciousness,
as revealed in the feelings, in intellect and will, acting in
solidarity and in harmony.

He endeavours to unite the positive and evolutionary views of morality
to those associated with theological or metaphysical doctrines,
concerning the deity or the morally perfect absolute. He claims,
against the theologians and on behalf of the positivists, that ethics
can be an independent study, that it is not necessarily bound up with
theological dogmas. There is no need to found the notion of duty upon
that of the existence of God. Our own existence is sufficient; the
voice of conscience is within our human nature. He objects, as did
Nietzsche, to the formality and rigour of Kant's "categorical
imperative." His method is free from the legalism of Kant, and in him
and Guyau is seen an attempt to relate morality itself to life,
expanding and showing itself creative of ideals and tending to their
fulfilment.

From the primacy of self-consciousness which can be expressed in the
notion, _Je pense, donc j'ai une valeur morale_, a transition is made
to a conception of values. _Je pense, donc j'evalue des objets_. The
essential element in the psychology of the _idees-forces_ then comes
into play by tending to the realisation of the ideals conceived and
based on the valuation previously made. Finally, Fouillée claims that
on this ethical operation of the _idées-forces_ can be founded the
notion of a universal society of consciences. This notion itself is a
force operating to create that society. The ideal is itself
persuasive, and Fouillee's inherent optimism, which we have observed
in his doctrine of progress, colours also his ethical theory. He has
faith in men's capacity to be attracted by the ideals of love and
brotherhood, and insists that in the extension of these lies the
supreme duty, and the ideal, like the notion of duty itself, is a
creation of our own thought. The realisation of the universality,
altruism, love and brotherhood of which he speaks, depends upon our
action, our power to foster ideas, to create ideals, particularly in
the minds of the young, and to strive ever for their realisation. This
is the great need of our time, Fouillée rightly urges._*_ Such a
morality contains in a more concentrated form, he thinks, the best
that has been said and thought in the world-religions; it achieves
also that union of the scientific spirit with the aspirations of man,
which Fouillée regards as so desirable, and he claims for it a
philosophical value by its success in uniting the subjective and
personal factors of consciousness with those which are objective and
universal.

[Footnote _*_ : The work of Benjamin Kidd should be compared in this
connection, particularly his _Social Evolution_, 1894; _Principles of
Western Civilisation_, 1902; and _The Science of Power_, 1918 (chap,
v., "The Emotion of the Ideal").]

Similar in several respects to the ethical doctrines of Fouillée are
those of his step-son. Guyau insists more profoundly, however, upon
the "free" conception of morality, as spontaneous and living, thus
marking a further reaction from Kant's doctrine. Both Fouillée and
Guyau interacted upon one another in their mental relationship, and
both of them (particularly Guyau) have affinities with Nietzsche, who
knew their work. While the three thinkers are in revolt against the
Kantian conception of ethics, the two Frenchmen use their conceptions
to develop an ethic altruistic in character, far removed from the
egoism which characterises the German._*_

[Footnote _*_ : We find the optimism and humanitarian idealism of the
Frenchmen surprising. May not this be piecisely because the world has
followed the gospel of Nietzsche? We may dislike him, but he is a
greater painter of the real state of world-morality than are the two
Frenchmen. They, with their watchword of _fraternité_, are proclaiming
a more excellent way they are standing for an ethical ideal of the
highest type.]

Guyau, after showing in his critique of English Ethics (_La Morale
anglaise contemporaine_, 1879) the inadequacies of a purely
utilitarian doctrine of morality, endeavoured to set forth in a more
constructive manner the principles of a scientific morality in his
_Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_.

He takes as his starting-point the position where John Stuart Mill
fell foul of the word "desirable." What, asks Guyau, is the supreme
desire of every living creature? The answer to this question is
"Life." What we all of us desire most and constantly is Life, the most
intensive and extensive in all its relationships, physical and
spiritual. In the principle of Life we find cause and end--a unity
which is a synthesis of all desires and all desirables. Moreover, the
concept or the principle of Life embraces all functions of our
nature--those within consciousness and those which are subconscious or
unconscious. It thus relates intimately purely instinctive action and
reflective acts, both of which are manifestations of Life and can
enrich and increase its power.

The purely hedonistic views of the Utilitarians he considers untrue.
Doubtless, he admits, there is a degree of truth in the doctrine that
consciousness tends to pursue the line of greatest pleasure or least
resistance, but then we must remember how slight a part this
consciousness actually plays. Instincts and an intensive subconscious
"will-to-live" are constantly operating. A purely scientific ethic, if
it is to present a complete scheme, must allow for this by admitting
that the purely hedonistic search after pleasure is not in itself a
cause of action, but is an effect of a more fundamental or dominating
factor. This factor is precisely the effort of Life to maintain
itself, to intensify itself and expand. The chief motive power lies in
the "intensity of Life." "The end which actually determines all
conscious action is also the cause which produces every unconscious
action; it is Life itself, Life at once the most intense and the most
varied in its forms. From the first thrill of the embryo in its
mother's womb to the last convulsion of the old man, every movement of
the being has had as cause Life in its evolution; this universal cause
of actions is, from another point of view, its constant effect and
end."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Esquisse d'une Morale_, p. 87.]

A true ethic proceeding upon the recognition of these principles is
scientific, and constitutes a science having as its object all the
means by which Life, material and spiritual, may be conserved and
expanded. Rising in the evolutionary development we find the variety
and scope of action increased. The highest beings find rest not in
sleep merely, but in variety and change of action. The moral ideal
lies in activity, in all the variety of its manifestations. For Guyau,
as for Bergson, the worst vice is idleness, inertia, lack of _élan
vital_, decay of personal initiative, and a consequent degeneration to
merely automatic existence.

Hedonism is quite untenable as a principle; pleasure is merely a
consequence, and its being set in the van of ethics is due to a false
psychology and false science. Granting that pleasure attends the
satisfaction of a desire, pain its repression, recognising that a
feeling of pleasure accompanies many actions which expand life, we
must live, as Guyau reminds us, before we enjoy. The activity of life
surges within us, and we do not act with a view to pleasure or with
pleasure as a motive, but life, just because it is life, seeks to
expand. Man in acting has created his pleasures and his organs. The
pleasure and the organ alike proceed from function--that is, life
itself. The pleasure of an action and even the consciousness of it are
attributes, not ends. The action arises naturally from the inherent
intensity of life.

The hedonists, too, says Guyau, have been negligent of the widest
pleasures, and have frequently confined their attention to those of
eating and drinking and sexual intercourse, purely sensitive, and have
neglected those of living, willing and thinking, which are more
fundamental as being identical with the consciousness of life. But
Guyau asserts that, as the greatest intensity of life involves
necessarily its widest expansion, we must give special attention to
thought and will and feeling, which bring us into touch universally
with our fellows and promote the widest life. This expansiveness of
life has great ethical importance. With the change in the nature of
reproduction, involving the sexual union of two beings, "a new moral
phase began in the world." It involved an expansion not merely
physical, but mental--a union, however crude, of soul.

It is in the extension of this feature of human life that Guyau sees
the ethical ideal. The most perfect organism is the most sociable, for
the ideal of the individual life is the common or social life.
Morality is for him almost synonymous with sociability,
disinterestedness, love and brotherhood, and in it we find, he says,
"the flower of human life."

All our action should be referred to this moral ideal of sociability.
Guyau sees in the phrase "social service" a conception which should
not be confined to those who are endeavouring in some religious or
philanthropic manner to alleviate the suffering caused by evil in
human society, but a conception to which the acts, all acts, of all
members of society should be related. Like Renouvier, he gives to work
an important ethical value. "To work is to produce--that is, to be
useful to oneself and to others." In work he sees the economic and
moral reconciliation of egoism and altruism. It is a good and it is
praiseworthy. Those who neglect and despise it are parasites, and
their existence in society is a negation of the moral ideal of
sociability and social service. In so far as the work of certain
persons leads to the accumulation of excessive capital in individual
hands, it is likely to annul itself sooner or later in luxury and
idleness. Such an immoral state of affairs, it is the concern of
society, by its laws of inheritance and possession, to prevent.

Having made clear his principle of morality, Guyau then has to face
the question of its relation to the notion of duty or obligation. Duty
in itself is an idea which he rejects as vague, and he disapproves of
the external and artificial element present in the Kantian "rigorism."
For Guyau the very power of action contained in life itself creates an
impersonal duty. While Emerson could write:

"Duty says, 'I must,'
The youth replies, 'I can,'"

the view of Guyau is directly the converse; for him "I can" gives the
"I must"; it is the power which precedes and creates the obligation.
Life cannot maintain itself unless it grows and expands. The soul that
liveth to itself, that liveth solely by habit and automatism, is
already dead. Morality is the unity of the personality expanding by
action and by sympathy. It is at this point that Guyau's thought
approaches closely to the _philosophie des idées-forces_ of his
step-father, by his doctrine of thought and action.

Immorality is really unsociability, and Guyau thinks this a better
key-note than to regard it as disobedience. If it is so to be spoken
of, it is disobedience to the social elements in one's own self--a
mischievous duplication of personality, egoistic in character and
profoundly antisocial. The sociological elements which characterise
all Guyau's work are here very marked. In the notion of sociability we
find an equivalent of the older and more artificial conception of
Duty--a conception which lacks concreteness and offers in itself so
little guidance because it is abstract and empty. The criterion of
sociability, Guyau claims, is much more concrete and useful. He asks
us to observe its spirituality, for the more gross and materialistic
pleasures fall short of the criterion by the very fact that they
cannot be shared. Guyau's thought is here at its best. The higher
pleasures, which are not those of bodily enjoyment and satisfaction,
but those of the spirit, which thinks, feels, wills and loves, are
precisely those which come nearest to fulfilling the ideal of
sociability, for they tend less to divide men than to unite them and
to urge them to a closer co-operation for their spiritual advancement.
Guyau writes here with sarcasm regarding the lonely imbecile in the
carriage drawn by four horses. For his own part it is enough to have--

". . . a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
And Wilderness is Paradise enow."

He knows who really has chosen the better part. One cannot rejoice
much and rejoice alone. Companionship and love are supremely valuable
"goods," and the pleasure of others he recognises as a very real part
of his own. The egoist's pleasure is, on the other hand, very largely
an illusion. He loses, says Guyau, far more by his isolated enjoyment
than he would gain by sharing.

Life itself is the greatest of all goods, as it is the condition of
all others, but life's value fades if we are not loved. It is love,
comradeship and the fellowship of kindred souls which give to the
humblest life a significance and a feeling of value. This, Guyau
points out with some tenderness, is the tragedy of suicides. These
occurrences are a social no less than an individual tragedy. The
tragic element lies in the fact that they were persons who were unable
to give their devotion to some object, and the loss of personalities
in this way is a real loss to society, but it is mainly society itself
which is to blame for them.

We need not fear, says Guyau, that such a gospel will promote unduly
the operation of mere animality or instinctive action, for in the
growth of the scientific spirit he sees the development of the great
enemy of all instinct. It is the dissolving force _par excellence_,
the revolutionary spirit which incessantly wages warfare within
society against authority, and in the individual it operates through
reason against the instinctive impulses. Every instinct tends to lapse
in so far as it is reflected upon by consciousness.

The old notion of duty or obligation must, in Guyau's opinion, be
abandoned. The sole commandment which a scientific and positive ethic,
such as he endeavours to indicate, can recognise, is expressible only
in the words, "Develop your life in all directions, be an individual
as rich as possible in energy, intensive and extensive"--in other
words, "Be the most social and sociable being you can." It is this
which replaces the "categorical imperative."

He aptly points out the failure of modern society to offer scope for
devotion, which is really a superabundance of life, and its proneness
to crush out opportunities which offer a challenge to the human
spirit. There is a claim of life itself to adventure; there is a
pleasure in risk and in conflict; and this pleasure in risk and
adventure has been largely overlooked in its relation to the moral
life. Such risk and adventure are not merely a pure negation of self
or of personal life, but rather, he considers, that life raised to its
highest power, reaching the sublime. By virtue of such devotion our
lives are enriched. He draws a touching picture of the sacrifice upon
which our modern social life and civilisation are based, and draws an
analogy between the blood of dead horses used by the ploughman in
fertilising his field, and the blood of the martyrs of humanity, _qui
ont fécondé l'avenir_. Often they may have been mistaken; later
generations may wonder if their cause was worth fighting for; yet,
although nothing truly is sadder than to die in vain, that devotion
was valuable in and for itself.

With the demand of life for risk in action is bound up the impetus to
undertake risk in thought. From this springs the moral need for faith,
for belief and acceptance of some hypotheses. The very divergence or
diversity of the world-religions is not discouraging but rather the
reverse. It is a sign of healthy moral life. Uniformity would be
highly detrimental; it would cease to express life, for with
conformity of belief would come spiritual decline and stagnation.
Guyau anticipates here his doctrine of a religion of free thought, a
"non-religion" of the future, which we shall discuss in our next
chapter, when we examine his book on that subject. In the diversity of
religious views Guyau sees a moral good, for these religions are
themselves an expression of life in its richness, and the conservation
and expansion of this rich variety of life are precisely the moral
ideal itself.

We must endeavour to realise how rich and varied the nature of human
life really is. Revolutionaries, Guyau points out, are always making
the mistake of regarding life and truth as too simple. Life and truth
are so complex that evolution is the key-note to what is desirable in
the individual intellect and in society, not a revolution which must
inevitably express the extreme of one side or the other. The search
for truth is slow and needs faith and patience, but the careful
seekers of it are making the future of mankind. But truth will be
discovered only in relation to action and life and in proportion to
the labour put into its realisation. The search for truth must never
be divorced from the active life, Guyau insists, and, indeed, he
approaches the view that the action will produce the knowledge, "He
that doeth the will shall know of the doctrine." Moreover he rightly
sees in action the wholesome cure for pessimism and that cynicism
which all too frequently arises from an equal appreciation of opposing
views. "Even in doubt," he exclaims, "we can love; even in the
intellectual night, which prevents our seeing any ultimate goal, we
can stretch out a hand to him who weeps at our feet."_*_ In other
words, we must do the duty that lies nearest, in the hope and faith
that by that action itself light will come.

[Footnote _*_ : _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_,
p. 178.]

In the last part of his treatise Guyau deals with the difficult
problem of "sanction," so ultimately connected with ethics, and, it
must be added, with religion. The Providence who rewards and punishes
us, according to the orthodox religious creed of Christendom, is
merely a personified "sanction" or distributive justice, operating in
a terrestrial and celestial court of assize. Guyau condemns this as an
utterly immoral conception. Religious sanctions, as he has not much
difficulty in showing, are more cruel than those which a man could
imagine himself inflicting upon his mortal enemy. The "Heavenly
Father" ought at least to be as good as earthly ones, who do not
cruelly punish their children. Guyau touches upon an important point
here, which will be further emphasised--namely, the necessity for
making our idea of God, if we have one at all, harmonious with our own
ethical conceptions. The old ideas of the divinity are profoundly
immoral and are based on physical force. This is natural because those
views which have survived in modern times are those of primitive and
savage people to whom the most holy was the most powerful and
physically majestic. But, says Guyau, now that we see that "all
physical force represents moral weakness," the idea of God the
All-terrible, with his hell-fire ready for the sinful soul, must be
condemned as immoral blasphemy itself. "God," he remarks, "in damning
any soul might be said to damn himself."

Virtue is really its own reward. No one should be or do good in order
to gain an entry into paradise or to escape the torments of hell. That
is to build morality on an immoral principle and on a belief, not in
goodness as valuable in and for itself, but on a basis of material
self-interest alone, "the best policy." It is true, Guyau admits, that
virtue involves happiness, but it is not in this sense. A conflict
between "pleasure" and virtue is usually one of higher _versus_ lower
ideals. Virtue is not a precedent to sense-happiness, and in this
sense is not at all equivalent or bound up with happiness, but, as the
facts of life reveal, very often opposed to it.

Guyau opposes the ordinary view of punishment in society and shows
that it is both immoral and socially harmful in its application. It
adds evil to evil, and legal murder is really more absurd than the
illegal murder. Punishment, capital or other, is no "compensation"
exacted for the crime committed, and it never can be such. Attempts to
treat and cure the guilty one would, Guyau suggests, be far more
rational, humane and really beneficial to society itself, which at
present creates by its punishments, especially those inflicted for
first offences, a "criminal class." One should convert the criminal
before punishing him, and then, Guvau asks, if he is converted, why
punish him?

The appeal to justice denoted in the words "To everyone according to
his works" is frequently heard in the defence of punishment. This is
an excellent maxim in Guyau's opinion, but he is careful to point out
that it is purely one of social economics. It is a plea for a just
distribution of the products of labour, but does not apply at all to
the problem of punishment. In a manner which recalls the remarks of
Renan, Guyau sees in evil-doing a lack of culture, or rather of that
sociability, which comes of social culture, from consciousness of a
membership of society and a solidarity with one's fellows. In vice and
in virtue alike the human will appears aspiring to better things
according to its lights. As virtue is its own reward, so is evil; and
the moralist must say to the wicked: "Verily they have their reward"
(_Comme si ce n'était pas assez pour eux d'être méchants_).

Guyau comments upon the gradual modifications of punishment from a
social point of view. There was the day when the chastisement was
infinitely worse than the crime itself. Then came the morality of
reciprocity, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," an ethic
which represented a high ideal for primitive man to reach, and one to
which, Guyau thinks, we have yet to reach to-day in some spheres of
life. Yet a further moral development will show how foolish, in a
civilised society, are wrath and hatred of the criminal and the cry
for vengeance. Society must aim at ensuring protection for itself with
the minimum of individual suffering. Punishment must be regarded as an
example for the future rather than as revenge or compensation. In the
individual himself Guyau observes how powerful can be the inner
sanction of remorse, the suffering caused by the unrealised ideal.
This is perhaps the only real moral punishment, and it is one which
society cannot itself directly enforce. Only by increasing
"sociability" and social sensitiveness can this sanction be indirectly
developed.

Herein lies the highest ethical ideal, far more concrete and living,
in Guyau's opinion, than the rigorism of a Kant or the
"scholastic"_*_ temper of a Renouvier. Charity or love for all
men, whatever their value morally, intellectually or physically, must,
he claims, "be the final end pursued even by public opinion."In
co-operation and sociability, he finds the vital moral ideal; in love
and brotherhood, he finds the real sanction which should operate."Love
supposes mutuality of love," he says; and there is one idea superior
to that of justice, that is the idea of brotherhood, and he remarks
with a humane tenderness "the guilty have probably more need for love
than anyone else." "I have," he cries, "two hands-- the one for
gripping the hand of those with whom I march along in life, the other
to lift up the fallen. Indeed, to these I should be able to stretch
out both hands together."_*_

[Footnote _*_: This is Guyau's word to describe Renouvier, whom he
regards as far too much under the influence of Kant.]

[Footnote _*_ : _Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_,
p. 223.]

While Fouillée and, more especially, Guyau were thus outlining an
ethic marked by a strong humanitarianism, a more definitely religious
ethic was being proclaimed by that current of philosophy of belief and
of action which has profoundly associated itself in its later
developments with "Modernism" in the Roman Church. The tendency to
stress action and the practical reason is noticeable in the work of
Brochard, Ollé-Laprune and Blondel, also in Rauh. They agree with
Renouvier in advocating the primacy of the practical reason, but their
own reasons for this are different from his, or at least in them the
reasons are more clearly enunciated. Plainly these reasons lie in the
difficulties of intellectualism and the quest of truth. They propose
the quest of the good in the hope of finding in that sphere some
objectivity, some absolute, in fact, which they cannot find out by
intellectual searching. They correspond in a somewhat parallel fashion
to the philosophy of intuition with its rejection of intellectualism
as offering a final solution. These thinkers desire by action, by
doing the will, to attain to a knowledge of the doctrine. The first
word in their gospel is--

                      "Im Anfang war die That."

It is for them the beginning and the end. Their certainty is an act of
belief, which grows out of action and life. It is a curious mixture of
insistence upon life and action, such as we find in Guyau and in
Bergson, coupled with a religious Platonism. Brochard's work is of
this type. He wrote as early as 1874 on _La Responsabilité morale_,
and in 1876 on _L'Universalité des Notions morales_. Three years later
appeared his work _L'Erreur_. Ollé-Laprune and Blondel, who best
represent this tendency, do not like Guyau's ethics, which lacks the
religious idealism which they consider should be bound up with
morality. This was the thesis developed in the volume _La Certitude
morale_, written by Ollé-Laprune in 1881. "By what right," says
Ollé-Laprune in his subsequent book _Le Prix de la Vie_ (1895), "can
Guyau speak of a high exalted life, of a moral ideal? It is impossible
to speak so when you have only a purely naturalistic ethic; for merely
to name these things is an implication that there is not only
intensity in life, but also quality. You suppress duty because you can
see in it only a falsely mystical view of life and of nature. What you
fail to realise is that between duty and life there is a profound
agreement. You reduce duty to life, and in life itself you consider
only its quantity and intensity, and regard as illusion everything
that is of a different order from the natural physical order in which
you imprison yourself."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Le Prix de la Vie_, p. 139.]

Such a criticism is not altogether fair to Guyau who, as we noted,
proclaimed the superiority of the higher qualities of spiritual life.
It does, however, attack his abandonment of the idea of Duty; and we
must now turn to examine a thinker, who, by his contribution to
ethics, endeavoured to satisfy the claims of life and of duty.

This was Rauh, whose _Essai sur le Fondement métaphysique de la Morale_
appeared in 1890. It had been preceded by a study of the psychology of
the feelings, and was later followed by _L'Expérience morale_ (1903).
In seeking a metaphysical foundation for morality, Rauh recalls Kant's
_Metaphysic of Morals_. He, indeed, agrees with Kant in the view that
the essence of morality lies in the sentiment of obligation. Belief or
faith in an ideal, by which it behoves us to act, imposes itself, says
Rauh, upon the mind of man as essential. It is as positive a fact as
the laws of the natural sciences. Man not only states facts and
formulates general laws in a scientific manner, he also conceives and
believes in ideals, which become bound up in his mind with the
sentiment of obligation--that is, the general feeling of duty. But
beyond a general agreement upon this point, Rauh does not follow Kant.
He tends to look upon the ethical problem in the spirit which Guyau,
Bergson and Blondel show in their general philosophic outlook. In
life, action and immediacy alone can we find a solution. Nothing
practical can be deduced from the abstract principle of obligation or
duty in general. The moral consciousness of man is, in Rauh's opinion,
akin to the intuitional perceptions of Bergson's philosophy. Morality,
moreover, is creating itself perpetually by the reflection of
sensitive minds on action and on life itself. "Morality, or rather
moral action, is not merely the crown of metaphysical speculation, but
itself the true metaphysic, which is learnt only in living, as it is
naught but life itself."_*_ In concluding his thesis, Rauh reminds
us that "the essential and most certain factor in the midst of the
uncertainties of life and of duty lies in the constant consciousness
of the moral ideal." In it he sees a spiritual reality which, if we
keep it ever before us, may inspire the most insignificant of our
actions and render them into a harmony, a living harmony of character.

[Footnote _*_ : _Essai sur le Fondement métaphysique de la Morale_, p.
255.]

Rauh's doctrines, we claim, have affinities to the doctrines of action
and intuition. That does not imply, however, that the intelligence is
to be minimised--far from this; but the intelligence triumphs here in
realising that it is not all-sufficing or supreme. "The heart hath
reasons which the reason cannot know." While Fouillée had remarked
that morality is metaphysics in action, Rauh points out that
"metaphysics in action" is the foundation of our knowledge. We must,
he insists, seek for certitude in an immediate and active adaptation
to reality instead of deducing a rule or rules of action from abstract
systems.

He separates himself from the sociologists_*_ by pointing out
that, however largely social environment may determine our moral
ideals and rules of conduct, nevertheless the ethical decision is
fundamentally an absolutely personal affair. The human conscience, in
so far as active, must never _passively_ accept the existing social
morality. It finds itself sometimes in agreement, sometimes obliged to
give a newer interpretation to old conventions, and at times is
obliged to revolt against them. In no case can the idea of duty be
equated simply and calmly with acquiescence in the collective general
will. It must demand from social morality its credentials and hold
itself free to criticise the current ethic of the community. More
often than not society acts, Rauh thinks, as a break rather than a
stimulus; and social interest is not a measure of the moral ideal, but
rather a limitation of it.

[Footnote _*_ : The relation of ethics and sociology is well
discussed, not only by Durkheim (who, in his _Division du Travail
social_, speaks of the development of democracy and increasing respect
for human personality), but also by Lévy-Bruhl, who followed his
thesis on _L'Idée de Responsabilité_, 1883, by the volume, _La Morale
el la Science des Moeurs_.]

Although the moral ideal is one which must be personally worked out,
it is not a merely individualistic affair. Rauh does not abandon the
guidance of reason, but he objects equally to the following of
instinct or a transcendent teaching divorced from the reality of life.
Our guide must be reflection upon instinct, and this is only possible
by action and experience, the unique experience of living itself.
Reason itself is experience; and it is our duty to face problems
personally and sincerely, in a manner which the rational element in us
renders "impersonal, universal and disinterested."

Any code of morality which is not directly in contact with life is
worthless, and all ethical ideas which are not those of our time are
of little value. Only he is truly a man who lives the life of his
time. The truly moral man is he who is alive to this spirit and who
does not unreflectingly deduce his rules of conduct from ancient books
or teachers of a past age. The art of living is the supreme art, and
it is this which the great moralists have endeavoured to show
humanity. Neither Socrates nor Jesus wrote down their ethical ideas:
they lived them.

Rauh thus reminds us partly of Guyau in his insistence upon life. He
regards the ethical life at its highest, as one _sans obligation ni
sanction_. Rather than the Kantian obligation of duty, of constraint,
he favours in his second book, _L'Expérience morale_, a state of
spontaneity, of passion and exaltation of the personal conscience
which faces the issue in a disinterested manner. The man who is
morally honest himself selects his values, his ideals, his ends, by
the light which reason gives him. Ethics becomes thus an independent
science, a science of "ends," which Reason, as reflected in the
personal conscience, acclaims a science of the ideal ordering of life.

Such was Rauh's conception of rational moral experience, one which he
endeavoured to apply in his lectures to the two problems which he
considered to be supreme in his time, that of patriotism and of social
justice.

These problems were further touched upon in 1896, when Léon Bourgeois
(since noted for his advocacy of the "League of Nations") published
his little work _Solidarité_, which was also a further contribution to
an independent, positive and lay morality. In the conception of the
solidarity of humanity throughout the ages, Bourgeois accepted the
teaching of the sociologists, and urges that herein can be found an
obligation, for the present generation must repay their debt to their
ancestors and be worthy of the social heritage which has made them
what they are. Somewhat similar sentiments had Been expressed by
Marion in his Solidarité morale (1880). Ethical questions were kept in
the forefront by the society known as _L'Union pour l'Action morale_,
founded by Desjardins and supported by Lagneau (1851- 1894). After the
excitement of the Dreyfus case (1894- 1899) this society took the name
_L'Union pour la Verité_. In 1902 Lapie made an eloquent plea for a
rational morality in his _Logique de la Volonté_, and in the following
year Séailles published his _Affirmations de la Conscience moderne_.
The little _Précis_ of André Lalande, written in the form of a
catechism, was a further contribution to the establishment of a
rational and independent lay morality, which the teaching of ethics as
a subject in the _lycées_ and lay schools rendered in some degree
necessary._*_ This little work appeared in 1907, the same year in
which Paul Bureau wrote his book _La Crise morale des Temps nouveaux_.
Then Parodi (who in 1919 produced a fine study of French thought since
1890_/-_) followed up the discussion of ethical problems by his
work _Le Problème morale et la Pensée contemporaine_ (1909), and in
1912 Wilbois published his contribution entitled _Devoir et Durée:
Essai de Morale sociale_.

[Footnote _*_ : The teaching of a lay morality is a vital and
practical problem which the Government of the Republic is obliged to
face. The urgent need for such lay teaching will be more clearly
demonstrated or evident when our next chapter, dealing with the
religious problem, has been read.]

[Footnote _/-_ : _La Philosophie contemporaine en France_.]

Thus concludes a period in which the discussion, although not marked
by a definite turning round of positions as was manifested in our
discussions of science, freedom and progress, bears signs of a general
development. This development is shown by the greater insistence upon
the social aspects of ethics and by a turning away from the formalism
of Kant to a more concrete conception of duty, or an ethic in which
the notion of duty itself has disappeared. This is the general
tendency from Renan with his insistence upon the aesthetic element,
Renouvier with his claim for justice in terms of personality, to
Fouillée, Guyau, Ollé-Laprune and Rauh with their insistence upon
action, upon love and life.

Yet, although the departure from an intense individualism in ethics is
desirable, we must beware of the danger which threatens from the other
extreme. We cannot close this chapter without insisting upon this
point. Good must be personally realised in the inner life of
individuals, even if they form a community. The collective life is
indeed necessary, but it is not collectively that the good is
experienced. It is personal. In the neglect of this important aspect
lies the error of much Communistic philosophy and of that social
science which looks on society as purely an organism. This analogy is
false, for however largely a community exhibits a general likeness to
an organism, it is a superficial resemblance. There is not a centre of
consciousness, but a multitude of such centres each living an inner
life of personal experience which is peculiarly its own; and these
personalities, we must remember, are not simply a homogeneous mass of
social matter, they are capable of realising the good each in his or
her own manner. This is the only realisation of the good.

In this chapter we have traced the attempt to reconcile _science et
conscience_, after the way had been opened up by the maintenance of
freedom. It was recognised that reason is not entirely pure
speculation: it is also practical. Human nature seeks for goodness as
well as for truth. It is noticeable that while the insistence upon the
primacy of the practical reason developed, on the one hand, into a
philosophy of action (anti-intellectual action in its extreme
development as shown in Syndicalism), the same tendency, operating in
a different manner and upon different data, essayed to find in action,
and in the belief which arises from action, that Absolute or Ideal to
which the pure reason feels it cannot alone attain--namely, the
realisation of God. To this problem of religion we devote our next
chapter.



                              CHAPTER VII

                               RELIGION

IT is outside our purpose to embark upon discussions of the religious
problem in France, in so far as this became a problem of politics. Our
intention is rather to examine the inner core of religious thought,
the philosophy of religion, which forms an appropriate final chapter
to our history of the development of ideas.

Yet, although our discussion bears mainly upon the general attitude to
religion, upon the development of central religious ideas such as the
idea of God, and upon the place of religion in the future--that is to
say, upon the philosophy of religion--it is practically impossible to
understand the religious attitude of our thinkers without a brief
notice of the religious situation in France during the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries.

In our Introduction we briefly called attention to the attempt of the
Traditionalists after the Revolution to recall their countrymen to the
Christian faith as presented in and by the Roman Catholic Church. The
efforts made by De Bonald, De Maistre, Chateaubriand, Lamennais and
Lacordaire did not succeed as they had hoped, but, nevertheless, a
considerable current of loyalty to the Church and the Catholic
religion set in. Much of this loyalty was bound up with sentimental
affection for a monarchy, and arose partly from anti-revolutionary
sentiments._*_ It cannot, however, be entirely explained by these
political feelings. There was the expression of a deeper and more
spiritual reaction directed against the materialistic and sceptical
teachings of the eighteenth century. Man's heart craved comfort,
consolation and warmth. It had been starved in the previous century,
and revolution and war had only added to the cup of bitterness. Thus
there came an epoch of Romanticism in religion of which the
sentimental and assumed orthodoxy of Chateaubriand was a sign of the
times. His _Génie du Christianisme_ may now appear to us full of
sentimentality, but it was welcomed at the time, since it expressed at
least some of those aspirations which had for long been denied an
expression. It was this which marked the great difference between the
two centuries in France. The eighteenth was mainly concerned with
scoffing at religion. Its rationalism was that of Voltaire. In the
first half of the nineteenth century the pendulum swung in the
opposite direction. Romanticism, in poetry, in literature, in
philosophy and in religion was _à la mode_, and it led frequently to
sentimentality or morbidity. Lamartine, Victor Hugo and De Vigny
professed the Catholic faith for many years. We may note, and this is
important, that in France the only form of Christianity which holds
any sway over the people in general is the Roman Catholic faith.
Outside the Roman Church there is no religious organisation which is
of much account. This explains why it is so rare to find a thinker who
owns allegiance to any Church or religion, and yet it would be wrong
to deem them irreligious. There is no _via media_ between Catholicism
and free personal thought. This was a point which Renan quite keenly
felt, and of which his own spiritual pilgrimage, which took him out of
the bounds of the Church of his youth, is a fine illustration. Many of
France's noblest sons have been brought up in the religious atmosphere
of the Church and owe much of their education to her, and Rome
believes in education. The control of education has been throughout
the century a problem severely contested by Church and State. More
important for our purpose than the details of the quarrels of Church
and State is the intellectual condition of the Church itself.

[Footnote _*_ : De Maistre regarded the Revolution as an infliction
specially bestowed upon France for her national neglect of
religion--his religion, of course. The same crude, misleading, and
vicious arguments have since been put forward by the theologians in
their efforts to push the cause of the Church with the people. This
was very noticeable both in the war of 1870 and that of 1914. In each
case it was argued that the war was a punishment from God for France's
frivolity and neglect of the Church. In 1914, in addition, it was
deemed a direct divine reply to "Disestablishment."]

This reveals a striking vitality, a vigour and initiative at war with
the central powers of the Vatican, a seething unrest which uniformity
and authority find annoying. How strong the power of the central
authority was, the affair of the Concordat had shown, when forty
bishops were deposed for non-acceptance of the arrangement between
Napoleon and the Pope._*_ Stronger still was the iron hand of the
Pope over intellectual freedom.

[Footnote _*_ : The Revolution had separated Church and State and
suppressed clerical privilege by the "Civil Constitution of the
Clergy" enactment of 1790. Napoleon, alive to the patriotic value of a
State Church, repealed this law and declared the divorce of Church and
State to be null and void. His negotiations with the Pope (Pius VII.)
resulted, in 1801, in the arrangement known as the _Concordat_, by
which the Roman Catholic Church was again made the established
national Church, its clergy became civil servants paid by the State,
and its worship became a branch of public administration.]

Lamennais was not a "modernist," as this term is now understood, for
his theology was orthodox. His fight with the Vatican was for freedom
in the relations of the Church to society. He pleaded in his _Essai
sur I'lndifference en Matière de Religion_ for the Church to accept
the principle of freedom, to leave the cherished fondling of the
royalist cause, and to present to the world the principles of a
Christian democracy. Lamennais and other liberal-minded men desired
the separation of Church and State, and were tolerant of those who
were not Catholic. They claimed, along with their own "right to
believe," that of others "not to believe." His was a liberal
Catholicism, but its proposals frightened his co-religionists, and
drew upon him in 1832 an encyclical letter (_Mirari vos_) from the
Vatican. The Pope denounced liberalism absolutely as an absurd and an
erroneous doctrine, a piece of folly sprung from the "fetid source of
indifferentism." Lamennais found he could not argue, as Renan himself
later put it, "with a bar of iron." It was the reactionary De Maistre,
with his principle of papal authority,_*_ and not Lamennais, whom
the Vatican, naturally enough, chose to favour, or rather to follow.

[Footnote _*_ : As stated in _Du Pape_, 1819.]

Thus Lamennais found himself, by an almost natural and inevitable
process, outside the Church, and this in spite of the fact that his
theology was orthodox. He endeavoured to present his case in his paper
_L'Avenir_ and in an influential brochure, _The Words of a Believer_,
which left its mark upon Hugo, Michelet, Lamartine, and George Sand.
His views blended with the current of humanitarian and democratic
doctrines which developed from the Saint-Simonists, Pierre Leroux and
similar thinkers. We have already noted that these social reformers
held to their beliefs with the conviction that in them and not in the
Roman Church lay salvation.

This brings us to a crucial point which is the clue to much of the
subsequent thought upon religion. This is the profound and seemingly
irreconcilable difference between these two conceptions of religion.

The orthodox Catholic faith believes in a supernatural revelation, and
is firmly convinced that man is inherently vile and corrupt, born in
sin from which he cannot be redeemed, save by the mystical operations
of divine grace, working only through the holy sacraments and clergy
of the one true Church, to whom all power was given, according to its
view, by the historic Jesus. Its methods are conservative, its
discipline rigid and based on tradition and authority. Its system of
salvation is excessively individualistic. It holds firmly to this
pessimistic view of human nature, based on the doctrine of original
sin, thus maintaining a creed which, in the hands of a devoted clergy,
who are free from domestic ties, works as a powerful moral force upon
the individual believer. His freedom of thought is restricted; he can
neither read nor think what he likes, and the Church, having made the
thirteenth-century doctrines of Aquinas its official philosophy, hurls
anathema at ideas scientific, political, philosophical or theological
which have appeared since. No half-measures are allowed: either one is
a loyal Catholic or one is not a Catholic at all. In this relentlessly
uncompromising attitude lies the main strength of Catholicism; herein
also is contained its weakness, or at least that element which makes
it manufacture its own greatest adversaries.

While claiming to be the one Church of Jesus Christ, it does not by
any means put him in the foreground of its religion. Its hierarchy of
saints is rather a survival of polytheism; its worship of the Virgin
and cult of the _Sacré Cur_ issue often in a religious sentimentality
and sensuality promoted by the denial of a more healthy outlet for
instincts which are an essential part of human nature. Tribute,
however, must be paid--high tribute-- to the devotion of individuals,
particularly to the work done by the religious orders of women, whose
devotion the Church having won by its intense appeal to women keeps,
consecrates and organises in a manner which no other Church has
succeeded in doing. This is largely the secret of the vigorous life of
the Church, for as a power of charity the Roman Church is remarkable
and deserves respect. Her educational efforts, her missions,
hospitals, her humbler clergy, and her orders which offer opportunity
of service or of sanctuary to all types of human nature--these
constitute Roman Catholicism in a truer manner than the diplomacy of
the Jesuits or the councils of the Vatican. It is this pulsing human
heart of hers which keeps her alive, not the rigid intellectual
dogmatism and antiquated theology which she expounds, nor her loyalty
to the established political order, which, siding with the rich and
powerful, frequently gives to this professedly spiritual power a
debasing taint of materialism.

Against all this, and in vital opposition to this, we have the
humanitarians who, rejecting the doctrine of corruption, believe that
human instincts and human reason themselves make for goodness and for
God. While Catholicism looks to the past, humanitarianism looks
forward, believes in freedom and in progress, and regards the immanent
Christ-spirit as working in mankind. Its gospel is one of love and
brotherhood, a romantic doctrine issuing in love and pity for the
oppressed and the sinful. In the collective consciousness of mankind
it sees the incarnation, the growth of the immanent God. Therefore it
claims that in democracy, socialism and world brotherhood lies the
true Christianity. This, the humanitarians claim, is the true
religious idealism--that which was preached by the Founder himself and
which his Church has betrayed. The humanitarians make service to
mankind the essence of religion, and regard themselves as more truly
Christian than the Church.

In those countries where Protestantism has a large following, the two
doctrines of humanitarian optimism and of the orthodox pessimism
regarding human nature are confused vaguely together. The English mind
in particular is able to compromise and to blend the two conflicting
philosophies in varying degrees; but in the French mind its clearer
penetration and more logical acumen prevent this. The Frenchman is an
idealist and tends to extremes, either that of whole-hearted devotion
to a dominating Church or that of the abandonment of organised
religion. In Protestantism he sees only a halfway house, built upon
the first principles of criticism, and unwilling to pursue those
principles to their conclusion-- namely, the rejection of all
organised Church religion, the adoption of perfect freedom for the
individual in all matters of belief, a religion founded on freedom and
on personal thought which alone is free.

Such were the two dominant notes in religious thought in France at the
opening of our period.

Catholicism resisted the humanitarianism of 1848 and strengthened its
power after the _coup d'état_. The Church and the Vatican became more
staunch in their opposition to all doctrines of modern thought. The
French clergy profited by the alliance with the aristocracy, while
religious orders, particularly the Jesuits, increased in number and in
power. Veuillot proclaimed the virtues of Catholicism in his writings.
Meanwhile the Pope's temporal power decreased, but his spiritual power
was increasing in extent and in intensity. Centralisation went on
within the Church, and Rome (_i.e._, the Pope and the Vatican) became
all-powerful.

Just after the half-century opens the Pope (Pius IX.), in 1854,
proclaimed his authority in announcing the dogma of the Immaculate
Conception of the Virgin Mary._*_ As France had heard the sentence,
_L'Etat, c'est moi_, from the lips of one of its greatest monarchs, it
now heard from another quarter a similar principle enunciated,
L'Eglise, c'est moi. As democracy and freedom cried out against the
one, they did so against the other. Undaunted, the Vatican continued
in its absolutism, even although it must have seen that in some
quarters revolt would be the result. Ten years later the Pope attacked
the whole of modern thought, to which he was diametrically opposed, in
his encyclical _Quanta Cura_ and in his famous _Syllabus_, which
constituted a catalogue of the modern errors and heresies which he
condemned. This famous challenge was quite clear and uncompromising in
its attitude, concluding with a curse upon "him who should maintain
that the Roman Pontiff can, and must, be reconciled and compromise
with progress, liberalism and modern civilisation!" To the doctrine of
_L'Eglise, c'est moi_ had now been added that of _La Science, aussi,
c'est moi_. This was not all. In 1870 the dogma of Papal Infallibility
was proclaimed. By a strange irony of history, however, this
declaration of spiritual absolutism was followed by an entire loss of
temporal power. The outbreak of the war in that same year between
France and Prussia led to the hasty withdrawal of French troops from
the Papal Domain and the Eternal City fell to the secular power of the
Italian national army under Victor Emmanuel.

[Footnote _*_ : This new dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the
Virgin must not, of course, be confused, as it often is by those
outside the Catholic Church, with the quite different and more ancient
proposition which asserts the Virgin Birth of Jesus.]

The defeat of France at the hands of Prussia in 1871 issued in a
revival of religious sentiment, frequently seen in defeated nations. A
special mission or crusade of national repentance gathered in large
subscriptions which built the enormous Church of the Sacré Coeur
overlooking Paris from the heights of Montmartre._*_

[Footnote _*_ : The anti-Catholic element, however, have had the
audacity, and evidently the legal right, to place a statue to a man
who, some centuries back, was burned at the stake for failing to
salute a religious procession, in such a position immediately in front
of this great church that the plan for the large staircase cannot be
carried out.]

Seeking for religious consolation, the French people found a
Catholicism which had become embittered and centralised for warfare
upon liberal religion and humanitarianism. They found that the only
organised religion they knew was dominated by the might of Rome and
the powers of the clergy. These even wished France, demoralised as she
was for the moment, to undertake the restoration of the Pope's
temporal power in Italy. Further, they were definitely in favour of
monarchy: "the altar and the throne" were intimately associated in the
ecclesiastical mind.

It was the realisation of this which prompted Gambetta to cry out to
the Third Republic with stern warning, "Clericalism is your enemy."
Thus began the political fight for which Rome had been strengthening
herself. With the defeat of the clerical-monarchy party in 1877 the
safety of the Republic was assured. From then until 1905 the Republic
and the Church fought each other. Educational questions were bitterly
contested (1880). The power of the Jesuits, especially, was regarded
as a con-* stant menace to the State. The Dreyfus affair (1894- 1899)
did not improve relations, with its intense anti-semitism and
anti-clericalism. The battle was only concluded by the legislation of
Waldeck-Rousseau in 1901 and Combes in 1903, expelling religious
orders. Combes himself had studied for the priesthood and was
violently anti-clerical. The culmination came in the Separation Law of
1905 carried by Briand, in the Pope's protest against this, followed
by the Republic's confiscation of much Church property, a step which
might have been avoided if the French Catholics had been allowed to
have their way in an arrangement with the State regarding their
churches. This was prevented by the severance of diplomatic relations
between France and the Vatican and by the Pope's disagreement with the
French Catholics whose wishes he ignored in his policy of definite
hostility to the French Government._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Relations with the Vatican, which were seen to be
desirable during the Great European War, have since been resumed (in
1921) by the Republic.]

During our period a popular semi-nationalist and semi-religious cult
of Jeanne d'Arc, "the Maid of Orleans," appeared in France. The clergy
expressly encouraged this, with the definite object of enlisting
sentiments of nationality and patriotism on the side of the Church.
Ecclesiastical diplomacy at headquarters quickly realised the use
which might be made of this patriotic figure whom, centuries before,
the Church had thought fit to burn as a witch. The Vatican saw a
possibility of blending French patriotism with devotion to Catholicism
and thus possibly strengthening, in the eyes of the populace at least,
the waning cause of the Church.

The adoration of Jeanne d'Arc was approved as early as 1894, but when
the Church found itself in a worse plight with its relation to the
State, it made preparations in 1903 for her enrolment among the
saints._/-_ She was honoured the following year with the title of
"Venerable," but in 1908, after the break of Church and State, she was
accorded the full status of a saint, and her statue, symbolic of
patriotism militant, stands in most French churches as conspicuous
often as that of the Virgin, who, in curious contrast, fondles the
young child, and expresses the supreme loveliness of motherhood._*_
The cult of Jeanne d'Arc flourished particularly in 1914 on the
sentiments of patriotism, militarism and religiosity then current.
This was natural because it is for these very sentiments that she
stands as a symbol. She is evidently a worthy goddess whose worship is
worth while, for we are assured that it was through _her_ beneficent
efforts that the German Army retired from Paris in 1914 and again in
1918. The saintly maid of Orleans reappeared and beat them back! Such
is the power of the "culte" which the Church eagerly fosters. The
Sacré Coeur also has its patriotic and military uses, figuring as it
did as an emblem on some regimental flags on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the celebrations of Napoleon's centenary (1921) give rise
to the conjecture that he, too, will in time rank with Joan of Arc as
a saint. His canonisation would achieve absolutely that union of
patriotic and religious sentimentality to which the Church in France
directs its activities.

[Footnote _/-_: It is interesting to observe the literature on Jeanne
d'Arc published at this time: Anatole France, _Vie de Jeanne d'Arc_ (2
vols., 1908); Durand, _Jeanne d'Arc et l'Eglise_ (1908). These are
noteworthy, also Andrew Lang's work, _The Maid of Orleans_ (also
1908).]

[Footnote _*_ : Herein, undoubtedly, lies the strong appeal of the
Church to women.]

The vast majority of the 39,000,000 French people are at least
nominally Catholic, even if only from courtesy or from a utilitarian
point of view. Only about one in sixty of the population are
Protestant. Although among cultured conservatives there is a real
devotion to the Church, the creed of France is in general something
far more broad and human than Catholicism, in spite of the
tremendously human qualities which that Church possesses. The creed of
France is summed up better in art, nature, beauty, music, science, _la
patrie_, humanity, in the worship of life itself._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Those who desire to study the religious psychology of
France during our period cannot find a better revelation than that
given in the wonderful novel by Roger Martin du Card, entitled Jean
Barois.]


                                  I

It was against such a background of ecclesiastical and political
affairs that the play of ideas upon religion went on. Such was the
environment, the tradition which surrounded our thinkers, and we may
very firmly claim that only by a recognition that their religious and
national _milieu_ was of such a type as we have outlined, can the real
significance of their religious thought be understood. Only when we
have grasped the essential attitude of authority and tradition of the
Roman Church, its ruthless attitude to modern thought of all kinds,
can we understand the religious attitude of men like Renan, Renouvier
and Guyau.

We are also enabled to see why the appeal of the Saint-Simonist group
could present itself as a religious and, indeed, Christian appeal
outside the Church. It enables us to understand why Cousin's
spiritualism pleased neither the Catholics nor their opponents, and to
realise why the "Religion of Humanity," which Auguste Comte
inaugurated, made so little appeal._/-_ This has been well styled
an "inverted Catholicism," since it endeavours to preserve the ritual
of that religion and to embody the doctrines of humanitarianism.
Naturally enough it drew upon itself the scorn of both these groups.
The Catholic saw in it only blasphemy: the humanitarian saw no way in
which it might further his ends.

[Footnote _/-_ : Littré, his disciple, as we have already noted,
rejected this part of his master's teaching. Littré was opposed by
Robinet, who laid the stress upon the "Religion of Humanity" as the
crown of Comte's work.]

Comte's attempt to base his new religion upon Catholicism was quite
deliberate, for he strove to introduce analogies with "everything
great and deep which the Catholic system of the Middle Ages effected
or even projected." He offered a new and fantastic trinity, compiled a
calendar of renowned historical personalities, to replace that of
unknown saints. He proclaimed "positive dogmas "and aspired to all the
authority and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, supported by a
trained clergy, whose word should be law. Curiously enough he, too,
had his anathemas, in that he had days set apart for the solemn
cursing of the great enemies of the human race, such as Napoleon. It
was indeed a reversed Catholicism, offering a fairly good caricature
of the methods of the Roman Church, and it was equally obnoxious in
its tyrannical attitude._*_ While it professed to express humanity
and love as its central ideas it proceeded to outline a method which
is the utter negation of these. Comte made the great mistake of not
realising that loyalty to these ideals must involve spiritual freedom,
and that the religion of humanity must be a collective inspiration of
free individuals, who will in love and fellowship tolerate differences
upon metaphysical questions. Uniformity can only be mischievous.

[Footnote _*_ : Guyau's criticisms of Comte's "Religion of Humanity"
in his _L'Irreligion de l'Avenir_ are interesting. "The marriage of
positive science and blind sentiment cannot produce religion" (p. 314;
Eng. trans., p. 366). "Comtism, which consists of the rites of
religion and nothing else, is an attempt to maintain life in the body
after the departure of the soul" (p. 307; Eng. trans., p. 359).]

It was because he grasped this vital point that Renan's discussion of
the religious question is so instructive. For him, religion is
essentially an affair of personal taste. Here we have another
indication of the clear way in which Renan was able to discern the
tendencies of his time. He published his _Etudes d'Histoire religieuse_
in 1857, and his Preface to the _Nouvelles Etudes d'Histoire
religieuse_ was written in 1884. He claims there that freedom is
essential to religion, and that it is absolutely necessary that the
State should have no power whatever over it. Religion is as personal
and private a matter as taste in literature or art. There should be no
State laws, he claims, relating to religion at all, any more than
dress is prescribed for citizens by law. He well points out that only
a State which is strictly neutral in religion can ever be absolutely
free from playing the _rôle_ of persecutor. The favouring of one sect
will entail some persecution or hardship upon others. Further, he sees
the iniquity of taxing the community to pay the expenses of clergy to
whose teachings they may object, or whose doctrines are not theirs.
Freedom, Renan believed, would claim its own in the near future and,
denouncing the Concordat, he prophesied the abolition of the State
Church.

The worst type of organisation Renan holds to be the theocratic state,
like Islam, or the ancient Pontifical State in which dogma reigns
supreme. He condemns also the State whose religion is based upon the
profession of a majority of its citizens. There should be, as Spinoza
was wont to style it, "liberty of philosophising." The days of the
dominance of dogma are passing, in many quarters gone by already,
"Religion has become for once and all a matter of personal taste."

Renan himself was deeply religious in mind. He was never an atheist
and did not care for the term "free-thinker" because of its implied
associations with the irreligion of the previous century. He stands
out, however, not only in our period of French thought, but in the
world development of the century as one of the greatest masters of
religious criticism. His historical work is important, and he
possessed a knowledge and equipment for that task. His distinguished
Semitic scholarship led to his obtaining the chair of Hebrew at the
Collège de France, and enabled him to write his Histories, one of the
Jews and one of Christianity.

It was as a volume of this _Histoire des Origines du Christianisme_
that his _Vie de Jésus_ appeared in 1863. This life of the Founder of
Christianity produced a profound stir in the camps of religious
orthodoxy, and drew upon its author severe criticisms. Apart from the
particular views set forth in that volume, we must remember that the
very fact of his writing upon "a sacred subject," which was looked
upon as a close preserve, reserved for the theologians or churchmen
alone, was deemed at that time an original and daring feat in France.

His particular views, which created at the time such scandal, were
akin to those of Baur and the Tubingen School, which Strauss (Renan's
contemporary) had already set forth in his _Leben Jesu_._*_
Briefly, they may be expressed as the rejection of the supernatural.
Herein is seen the scientific or "positive" influence at work upon the
dogmas of the Christian religion, a tendency which culminated in
"Modernism" within the Church, only to be condemned violently by the
Pope in 1907. It was this temper, produced by the study of documents,
by criticism and historical research which put Renan out of the
Catholic Church. His rational mind could not accept the dogmas laid
down. Lamennais (who was conservative and orthodox in his theology,
and possessed no taint of "modernism" in the technical sense) had
declared that the starting-point should be faith and not reason. Renan
aptly asks in reply to this, "and what is to be the test, in the last
resort, of the claims of faith is not reason?"

[Footnote _*_ : Written in 1835. Littré issued a French translation in
1839, a year previous to the appearance of the English version by
George Eliot. Strauss's life covers 1808-1874.]

In Renan we find a good illustration of the working of the spirit of
modern thought upon a religious mind. Being a sincere and penetrating
intellect he could not, like so many people, learned folk among them,
keep his religious ideas and his reason in separate watertight
compartments. This kind of people Renan likens in his _Souvenirs
d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_ to mother-o'-pearl shells of Francois de
Sales "which are able to live in the sea without tasting a drop of
salt water." Yet he realises the comfort of such an attitude. "I see
around me," he continues, "men of pure and simple lives whom
Christianity has had the power to make virtuous and happy. . . . But I
have noticed that none of them have the critical faculty, for which
let them bless God!" He well realises the contentment which, springing
sometimes from a dullness of mind or lack of sensitiveness, excludes
all doubt and all problems.

In Catholicism he sees a bar of iron which will not reason or bend. "I
can only return to it by amputation of my faculties, by definitely
stigmatising my reason and condemning it to perpetual silence."
Writing of his exit from the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, where he was
trained for the priesthood, he remarks in his _Souvenirs d'Enfance et
de Jeunesse_ that "there were times when I was sorry that I was not a
Protestant, so that I might be a philosopher without ceasing to be a
Christian." For Renan, as for so many minds in modern France,
severance from the Roman Church is equivalent to severance from
Christianity as an organised religion. The practical dilemma is
presented of unquestioning obedience to an infallible Church on the
one hand, or the attitude of _libre-penseur_ on the other. There are
not the accommodating varieties of the Protestant presentation of the
Christian religion. Renan's spiritual pilgrimage is but an example of
many. In a measure this condition of affairs is a source of strength
to the Roman Church for, since a break with it so often means a break
with Christianity or indeed with all definite religion, only the
bolder and stronger thinkers make the break which their intellect
makes imperative. The mass of the people, however dissatisfied they
may be with the Church, nevertheless accept it, for they see no
alternative but the opposite extreme. No half-way house of
non-conformity presents itself as a rule.

Yet, as we have insisted, Renan had an essentially religious view of
the universe, and he expressly claimed that his break with the Church
and his criticism of her were due to a devotion to pure religion, and
he even adds, to a loyalty to the spirit of her Founder. Although, as
he remarks in his _Nouvelles Etudes religieuses_, it is true that the
most modest education tends to destroy the belief in the superstitious
elements in religion, it is none the less true that the very highest
culture can never destroy religion in the highest sense. "Dogmas pass,
but piety is eternal." The external trappings of religion have
suffered by the growth of the modern sciences of nature and of
historical criticism. The mind of cultivated persons does not now
present the same attitude to evidence in regard to religious doctrines
which were once accepted without question. The sources of the origins
of the Christian religion are themselves questionable. This, Renan
says, must not discourage the believers in true religion, for that is
not the kind of foundation upon which religion reposes. Dogmas in the
past gave rise to divisions and quarrels, only by feeling can
religious persons be united in fellowship. The most prophetic words of
Jesus were, Renan points out, those in which he indicated a time when
men "would not worship God in this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but when
the true worshippers would worship in spirit and in truth." It was
precisely this spirit which Renan admired in Jesus, whom he considered
more of a philosopher than the Church, and he reminds the
"Christians"_*_ who railed against him as an unbeliever that Jesus
had had much more influence upon him than they gave him credit for,
and, more particularly, that his break with the Church was due to
loyalty to Jesus. By such loyalty Renan meant not a blind worship, but
a reverence which endeavoured to appreciate and follow the ideals for
which Jesus himself stood. It did not involve slavish acceptance of
all he said, even if that were intelligible, and clear, which it is
not. "To be a Platonist," remarks Renan, "I need not adore Plato, or
believe _all_ that he said."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : Renan complains of the ignorance of the clergy of Rome
regarding his own work, which they did not understand because they had
not read it, merely relying on the Press and other sources for false
and biassed accounts.]

[Footnote _*_ : _Cf._ Renan's Essay in _Questions contemporaines_ on
"_L'Avenir religieux des Sociétés modernes_."]

Renan is in agreement with the central ideas of Jesus' own faith, and
he rightly regards him as one of the greatest contributors to the
world's religious thought. Renan's religion is free from
supernaturalism and dogma. He believes in infinite Goodness or
Providence, but he despises the vulgar and crude conceptions of God
which so mar a truly religious outlook. He points out how prayer, in
the sense of a request to Heaven for a particular object, is becoming
recognised as foolish. 'As a "meditation," an interview with one's own
conscience, it has a deeply religious value. The vulgar idea of prayer
reposes on an immoral conception of God. Renan rightly sees the
central importance for religion of possessing a sane view of the
divinity, not one which belongs to primitive tribal wargods and
weather-gods. He aptly says, in this connection, that the one who was
defeated in 1871 was not only France but _le bon Dieu_ to which she in
vain appealed. In his place was to be found, remarks Renan with a
little sarcasm, "only a Lord God of Hosts who was unmoved by the moral
'délicatesse' of the Uhlans and the incontestable excellence of the
Prussian shells."_/-_ He rightly points to the immoral use made of
the divinity by pious folk whose whole religion is utilitarian and
materialistic. They do good only in order to get to heaven or escape
hell,_/=_ and believe in God because it is necessary for them to
have a confidant and sonsoler, to whom they may cry in time of
trouble, and to whose will they may resignedly impute the evil
chastisement which their own errors have brought upon them
individually or collectively. But, he rightly claims, it is only where
utilitarian calculations and self-interest end, that religion begins
with the sense of the Infinite and of the Ideal Goodness and Beauty
and Love.

[Footnote _/-_ : _Dialogues et Fragments philosophiques_, p. ix.]

[Footnote _/=_ : One pious individual thought to convert Renan himself
by writing him every month, quite briefly, to this effect "There is a
hell."]

He endeavours in his _Examen de Conscience philosophique_ (1888) to
sum up his attitude upon this question. There he affirms that it is
beyond dispute or doubt that we have no evidence whatever of the
action in the universe of one or of several wills superior to that of
man. The actual state of this universe gives no sign of any external
intervention, and we know nothing of its beginning. No beneficent
interfering power, a _deus ex machinâ_, corrects or directs the
operation of blind forces, enlightens man or improves his lot. No God
appears miraculously to prevent evils, to crush disease, stop wars, or
save his children from peril. No end or purpose is visible to us. God
in the popular sense, living and acting as a Divine Providence, is not
to be seen in our universe. The question is, however, whether this
universe of ours is the totality of existence. Doubt comes into play
here, and if our universe is not this totality, then God, although
absent from his world, might still exist outside it. Our finite world
is little in relation to the Infinite, it is a mere speck in the
universe we know, and its duration to a divine Being might be only a
day.

The Infinite, continues Renan, surrounds our finite world above and
below. It stretches on the one hand to the infinitely large concourse
of worlds and systems, and, on the other, to the infinitely little as
atoms, microbes and the germs by which human life itself is passed on
from one generation to another. The prospect of the world we know
involves logically and fatally, says Renan, atheism. But this atheism,
he adds, may be due to the fact that we cannot see far enough. Our
universe is a phenomenon which has had a beginning and will have an
end. That which has had no beginning and will have no end is the
Absolute All, or God. Metaphysics has always been a science proceeding
upon this assumption, "Something exists, therefore something has
existed from all eternity." which is akin to the scientific principle,
"No effect with- out a cause."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Examen de Conscience philosophique_, p. 412 of the
volume _Feuilles détachées_.]

We must not allow ourselves to be misled too far by the constructions
or inductions about the uniformity and immutability of the laws of
nature. "A God may reveal himself, perhaps, one day." The infinite may
dispose of our finite world, use it for its own ends. The expression,
"Nature and its author," may not be so absurd as some seem to think
it. It is true that our experience presents no reason for forming such
an hypothesis, but we must keep our sense of the infinite. "Everything
is possible, even God," and Renan adds, "If God exists, he must be
good, and he will finish by being just." It is as foolish to deny as
to assert his existence in a dogmatic and thoughtless manner. It is
upon this sense of the infinite and upon the ideals of Goodness,
Beauty and Love that true faith or piety reposes.

Love, declares Renan, is one of the principal revelations of the
divine, and he laments the neglect of it by philosophy. It runs in a
certain sense through all living beings, and in man has been the
school of gentleness and courtesy--nay more, of morals and of
religion. Love, understood in the high sense, is a sacred, religious
thing, or rather is a part of religion itself. In a tone which recalls
that of the New Testament and Tolstoi, Renan beseeches us to remember
that God _is_ Love, and that where Love is there God is. In loving,
man is at his best; he goes out of himself and feels himself in
contact with the infinite. The very act of love is veritably sacred
and divine, the union of body and soul with another is a holy
communion with the infinite. He remarks in his _Souvenirs d'Enfance et
de Jeunesse_, doubtless remembering the simple purity and piety of his
mother and sister, that when reflection has brought us to doubt, and
even to a scepticism regarding goodness, then the spontaneous
affirmation of goodness and beauty which exists in a noble and
virtuous woman saves us from cynicism and restores us to communication
with the eternal spring in which God reflects himself. Love, which
Renan with reason laments as having been neglected on its most serious
side and looked upon as mere sentimentality, offers the highest proof
of God. In it lies our umbilical link with nature, but at the same
time our communion with the infinite. He recalls some of Browning's
views in his attitude to love as a redeeming power. The most wretched
criminal still has something good in him, a divine spark, if he be
capable of loving.

It is the spirit of love and goodness which Renan admires in the
simple faith of those separated far from him in their theological
ideas. "God forbid," he says,_*_ "that I should speak slightingly
of those who, devoid of the critical sense, and impelled by very pure
and powerful religious motives, are attached to one or other of the
great established systems of faith. I love the simple faith of the
peasant, the serious conviction of the priest."

[Footnote _*_ : _L'Avenir de la Science_, pp. 436, 437; Eng. trans.,
p. 410.]

"Supprimer Dieu, serait-ce amoindrir l'univers?"

asks Guyau in one of his _Vers d'un Philosophe_.'_/-_ Renan
observes that if we tell the simple to live by aspiration after truth
and beauty, these words would have no meaning for them. "Tell them to
love God, not to offend God, they will understand you perfectly. God,
Providence, soul, good old words, rather heavy, but expressive and
respectable which science will explain, but will never replace with
advantage. What is God for humanity if not the category of the
_ideal_?"_/=_

[Footnote _/-_ : _"Question," Vers d'un Philosophe_, p. 65.]

[Footnote _/=_ : _L'Avenir de la Science_," p. 476; Eng. trans., p.
445.]

This is the point upon which Vacherot insisted in his treatment of
religion. He claimed that the conception of God arises in the human
consciousness from a combination of two separate ideas. The first is
the notion of the Infinite which Science itself approves, the second
the notion of perfection which Science is unable to show us anywhere
unless it be found in the human consciousness and its thoughts, where
it abides as the magnetic force ever drawing us onward and acts at the
same time as a dynamic, giving power to every progressive movement,
being "the Ideal" in the mind and heart of man.

Similar was the doctrine of Taine, who saw in Reason the ideal which
would produce in mankind a new religion, which would be that of
Science and Philosophy demanding from art forms of expression in
harmony with themselves. This religion would be free in doctrine.
Taine himself looked upon religion as "a metaphysical poem accompanied
by belief," and he approached to the conception of Spinoza of a
contemplation which may well be called an "intellectual love of God."


                                  II

Like Renan, Renouvier was keenly interested in religion and its
problems; he was also a keen opponent of the Roman Catholic Church and
faith, against which he brought his influence into play in two
ways--by his _néo-criticisme_ as expressed in his written volumes and
by his energetic editing of the two periodicals _La Critique
philosophique_ and _La Critique religieuse_.

In undertaking the publication of these periodicals Renouvier's
confessed aim was that of a definite propaganda. While the Roman
Church profited by the feelings of disappointment and demoralisation
which followed the Franco-Prussian War, and strove to shepherd
wavering souls again into its fold, to find there a peace which
evidently the world could not give, Renouvier (together with his
friend Pillon) endeavoured to rally his countrymen by urging the
importance, and, if possible, the acceptance of his own political and
religious convictions arising out of his philosophy. The _Critique
philosophique_ appeared weekly from its commencement in 1872 until
1884, thereafter as a monthly until 1889. Among its contributors,
whose names are of religious significance, were A. Sabatier, L.
Dauriac, R. Allier_*_ and William James.

[Footnote _*_ : Now Dean of the Protestant Faculty of Theology in
Paris.]

Renouvier's great enthusiasm for his periodical is the main feature of
this period of his life, although, owing to his tremendous energy, it
does not seem to have interfered with the publication of his more
permanent works. The political and general policy of this journal may
be summed up in a sentence from the last year's issue,_/-_ where we
find Renouvier remarking that it had been his aim throughout "to
uphold strictly republican principles and to fight all that savoured
of Caesar, or imperialism." The declared foe of monarchy in politics,
he was equally the declared foe of the Pope in the religious realm.
His attitude was one of very marked hostility to the power of the
Vatican, which he realised to be increasing within the Roman Church,
and one of keen opposition to the general power of that Church and her
clergy in France. Renouvier's paper was quite definitely and
aggressively anti-Catholic. He urged all Catholic readers of his paper
who professed loyalty to the Republic to quit the Roman Church and to
affiliate themselves to the Protestant body.

[Footnote _/-_ : _La Critique philosophique_, 1889, tome ii., p. 403.]

It was with this precise object in view that, in 1878, he added to his
_Critique philosophique_ a supplement which he entitled _La Critique
religieuse_, a quarterly intended purely for propaganda purposes.
"Criticism," he had said, "is in philosophy what Protestantism is in
religion."_/=_ As certitude is, according to Renouvier's doctrines,
the fruit of intelligence, heart and will, it can never be obtained by
the coercion of authority or by obedience such as the Roman Church
demands. He appealed to the testimony of history, as a witness to the
conflict between authority and the individual conscience. Jesus, whom
the Church adores, was himself a superb example of such revolt.
History, however, shows us, says Renouvier, the gradual decay of
authority in such matters. Thought, if it is really to be thought in
its sincerity, must be free. This Renouvier realised, and in this
freedom he saw the characteristic of the future development of
religion, and shows himself, in this connection, in substantial
agreement with Renan and Guyau.

[Footnote _/=_ : _Ibid_., 1873, pp. 145-146.]

Renouvier's interest in theology and religion, and in the theological
implications of all philosophical thought, was not due merely to a
purely speculative impulse, but to a very practical desire to initiate
a rational restatement of religious conceptions, which he considered
to be an urgent need of his time. He lamented the influence of the
Roman Church over the minds of the youth of his country, and realised
the vital importance of the controversy between Church and State
regarding secular education. Renouvier was a keen supporter of the
secular schools (_écoles laïques_). In 1879, when the educational
controversy was at its height, he issued a little book on ethics for
these institutions (_Petit Traité de Morale pour les Ecoles laïques_),
which was republished in an enlarged form in 1882, when the secular
party, ably led by Jules Ferry, triumphed in the establishment of
compulsory, free, secular education. That great achievement, however,
did not solve all the difficulties presented by the Church in its
educational attitude, and even now the influence of clericalism is
dreaded.

Renouvier realised all the dangers, but he was forced also to realise
that his enthusiastic and energetic campaign against the power of the
Church had failed to achieve what he had desired. He complained of
receiving insufficient support from quarters where he might well have
expected it. His failure is a fairly conclusive proof that
Protestantism has no future in France: it is a stubborn survival,
rather than a growing influence. With the decline in the power and
appeal of the Roman Catholic Church will come the decline of religion
of a dogmatic and organised kind. Renouvier probably had an influence
in hastening the day of the official severance of Church and State, an
event which he did not live long enough to see._*_

[Footnote _*_ : It occurred, however, only two years after his death.]

Having become somewhat discouraged, Renouvier stopped the publication
of his religious quarterly in 1885 and made the _Critique
philosophique_ a monthly instead of a weekly Journal. It ceased in
1889, but the following year Renouvier's friend, Pillon, began a new
periodical, which bore the same name as the one which had ceased with
the outbreak of the war in 1870. This was _L'Année philosophique_, to
which Renouvier contributed articles from time to time on religious
topics.

Some writers are of the opinion that Renouvier's attacks on the Roman
Catholic Church and faith, so far from strengthening the Protestant
party in France, tended rather to increase the hostility to the
Christian religion generally or, indeed, to any religious view of the
universe.

Renouvier's own statements in his philosophy, in so far as these
concern religion and theology, are in harmony with his rejection of
the Absolute in philosophy and the Absolute in politics. His criticism
of the idea of God, the central point in any philosophy of religion,
is in terms similar to his critique of the worship of the Absolute or
the deification of the State.

In dealing with the question of a "Total Synthesis" Renouvier
indicated his objections to the metaphysical doctrine of an Absolute,
which is diametrically opposed to his general doctrine of relativity.
He is violently in conflict with all religious conceptions which
savour of this Absolute or have a pantheistic emphasis, which would
diminish the value and significance of relativity and of personality.
The "All-in-All" conception of God, which represents the pantheistic
elements in many theologies and religions, both Christian and other,
is not really a consciousness, he shows, for consciousness itself
implies a relation, a union of the self and non-self. In such a
conception actor, play and theatre all blend into one, God alone is
real, and he is unconscious, for there is, according to this
hypothesis, nothing outside himself which he can know. Renouvier
realises that he is faced with the ancient problem of the One and the
Many, with the alternative of unity or plurality. With his usual
logical decisiveness Renouvier posits plurality. He does not attempt
to reconcile the two opposites, and he deals with the problem in the
manner in which he faced the antinomies of Kant. Both cannot be true,
and the enemy of pantheism and absolutism acclaims pluralism, both for
logical reasons and in order to safeguard the significance of
personality. In particular he directly criticises the philosophy of
Spinoza in which he sees the supreme statement of this philosophy of
the eternal, the perfect, necessary, unchanging One, who is the same
yesterday, to-day and forever. He admits that the idea of law or a
system of laws leads to the introduction of something approaching the
hypothesis of unity, but he is careful to show by his doctrine of
freedom and personality that this is only a limited unity and that,
considered even from a scientific standpoint, a Total Synthesis, which
is the logical outcome of such an hypothesis, is ultimately untenable.
He overthrows the idols of Spinoza and Hegel. Such absolutes, infinite
and eternal, whether described as an infinite love which loves itself
or a thought thinking thought, are nothing more to Renouvier than vain
words, which it is absurd to offer as "The Living God."

Against these metaphysical erections Renouvier opposes his doctrines
of freedom, of personality, relativity and pluralism. He offers in
contrast the conception of God as a Person, not an Absolute, but
relative, not infinite, but finite, limited by man's freedom and by
contingency in the world of creatures. God, in his view, is not a
Being who is omnipotent, or omniscient. He is a Person of whom man is
a type, certainly a degraded type, but man is made in the image of the
divine personality. Our notion of God, Renouvier reminds us, must be
con-* sistent with the doctrine of freedom, hence we must conceive of
him not merely as a creator of creatures or subjects, but of creative
power itself in those creatures. The relation of God to man is more
complex than that of simple "creation" as this word is usually
comprehended, "It is a creation of creation," says Renouvier,_*_ a
remark which is parallel to the view expressed by Bergson, to the
effect that, we must conceive of God as a "creator of creators."_/-_
The existence of this Creative Person must be conceived, Renouvier
insists, as indissolubly bound up with his work, and it is
unintelligible otherwise. That work is one of creation and not
emanation--it involves more than mere power and transcendence. God is
immanent in the universe.

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologie ralionnelle_, vol. 2, p. 104.]

[Footnote _/-_ : In his address to the Edinburgh Philosophical
Society, 1914.]

Theology has wavered between the two views--that of absolute
transcendence and omnipotence and that of immanence based on freedom
and limitation. In the first, every single thing depends upon the
operation of God, whose Providence rules all. This is pure determinism
of a theological character. In the other view man's free personality
is recognised; part of the creation is looked upon as partaking of
freedom and contingency, therefore the divinity is conceived as
limited and finite.

Renouvier insists that this view of God as finite is the only tenable
one, for it is the only one which gives a rational and moral
explanation of evil. In the first view God is responsible for all
things, evil included, and man is therefore much superior to him from
a moral standpoint. The idea of God must be ethically acceptable, and
it is unfortunate that this idea, so central to religion, is the least
susceptible to modification in harmony with man's ethical development.
We already have noticed Guyau's stress upon this point in our
discussion of ethics. Our conception of God must, Renouvier claims, be
the affirmation of our highest category, Personality, and must express
the best ethical ideals of mankind. Society suffers for its immoral
and primitive view of God, which gives to its religion a barbarous
character which is disgraceful and revolting to finer or more
thoughtful minds.

It is true that the acceptance of the second view, which carries with
it the complete rejection of the ideas of omnipotence and omniscience,
modifies profoundly many of the old and primitive views of God.
Renouvier recognises this, and wishes his readers also to grasp this
point, for only so is religion to be brought forward in a development
harmonious with the growth of man's mind in other spheres. Man should
not profess the results of elaborate culture in science while he
professes at the same time doctrines of God which are not above those
of a savage or primitive people. This is the chief mischief which the
influence of the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament has had upon the
Christian religion. The moral conscience now demands their rejection,
for to those who value religion they can only appear as being of pure
blasphemy. God is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, consequently many
things must be unknown to him until they happen. Foreknowledge and
predetermination on his part are impossible, according to Renouvier.
God is not to be conceived as a consciousness enveloping the entire
universe, past, present and future, in a total synthesis. Such a
belief is mischievous to humanity because of its fatalism, in spite of
the comfortable consolation it offers to pious souls. Moreover, it
presents the absurd view of God working often against himself.

The idea of God, Renouvier shows, arises out of the discussions of the
nature of the universal laws of the universe and from the progress of
personalities. The plausible conceptions of God based on causality and
on "necessary essence" have not survived the onslaughts of Criticism.
The personality of God seems to us, says Renouvier, indicated as the
conclusion and the almost necessary culmination of the consideration
of the probabilities laid down by the practical reason or moral law.
The primary, though not primitive, evidence for the existence of God
is contained in, and results from, the generalisation of the idea of
"ends" in the universe. We must not go bevond phenomena or seek
evidence in some fictitious sphere outside of our experience. In its
most general and abstract sense the idea of God arises from the
conception of moral order, immortality, or the accord of happiness and
goodness. We cannot deny the existence of a morality in the order and
movements of the world, a physical sanction to the moral laws of
virtue and of progress, an external reality of good, a supremacy of
good, a witness of the Good itself. Renouvier does not think that any
man, having sufficiently developed his thought, would refuse to give
the name God to the object of this supreme conception, which at first
may seem abstract because it is not in any way crude, many of its
intrinsic elements remaining undetermined in face of our ignorance,
but which, nevertheless, or just for that very reason, is essentially
practical and moral, representing the most notable fact of all those
included in our belief. This method of approaching the problem of God
is, he thinks, both simple and grand. It is a noble contrast to the
scholastic edifice built up on the metaphysical perfection of being,
called the Absolute. In this conception all attributes of personality
are replaced by an accumulation of metaphysical properties,
contradictory in themselves and quite incompatible with one another.
This Absolute is a pure chimerical abstraction; its pure being and
pure essence are equivalent to pure nothing or pure nonsense.

The fetish of pure substance, substantial cause, absolute being,
whatever it be called, is vicious at all times, but particularly when
we are dealing with the fundamental problems of science. It would be
advisable here that the only method of investigation be that of
atheism, for scientific investigation should not be tainted by any
prejudices or preconceived ideas upon the nature of the divinity.

What really is Atheism? The answer to this query, says Renouvier, is
clear. The idea of God is essentially a product of the moral law or
conscience. An atheist is, strictly speaking, one who does not admit
the reality of this moral order of ends and of persons as valuable in
themselves. Verily, he himself may personally lead a much more upright
life than the loud champions of theism, but he denies the general
moral order, which is God. With the epithet of atheist as commonly
used for those who merelv have a conception of God which differs from
the orthodox view, we are not here concerned. That may be dismissed as
a misuse of the word due to religious bigotry. The fruits of true
atheism are materialism, pantheism and fatalism. Indeed any doctrine,
even a theological doctrine, which debases and destroys the inherent
value of the human consciousness and personality, is rightly to be
regarded, whatever it may _say_ about God, however it may repeat his
name (and two of these doctrines are very fond of this repetition, but
this must not blind us to the real issue)--that doctrine is atheistic.
The most resolute materialists, the most high-minded worshippers of
Providence and the great philosophers of the Absolute, find themselves
united here in atheism. God is not a mere totality of laws operating
in the universe. Such a theism is but a form of real atheism. We must,
insists Renouvier, abandon views of this type, with all that savours
of an Absolute, a Perfect Infinite, and affirm our belief in the
existence of an order of Goodness which gives value to human
personality and assures ultimate victory to Justice. This is to
believe in God. We arrive at this belief rationally and after
consideration of the world and of the moral law of persons. Through
these we come to God. We do not begin with him and pretend to deduce
these from his nature by some incomprehensible _a priori_
propositions. The methods of the old dogmatic theology are reversed.
Instead of beginning with a Being of whom we know nothing and can
obviously deduce nothing, let us proceed inductively, and by careful
consideration of the revelation we have before us in the world and in
humanity let us build up our idea of God.

Renouvier is anxious that we should examine the data upon which we may
found "rational hypotheses" as to the nature of God. The Critical
Philosophy has upset the demonstrations of the existence of God, which
were based upon causality and upon necessary existence (the
cosmological and ontological proofs). Neo-criticism not only
establishes the existence of God as a rational hypothesis, but "this
point of view of the divine problem is the most favourable to the
notion of the personality of God. The personality of God seems to us
to be indicated as the looked-for conclusion and almost necessary
consummation of the probabilities of practical reason."_*_

[Footnote _*_ : _Psychologie rationnelle_, vol. 2, p. 300.]

The admission of ends, of finality, or purpose in the universe is
frequently given as involving a supreme consciousness embracing this
teleology. Also it is argued that Good could not exist in its
generality save in an external consciousness--that is, a divine mind.
By recalling the objections to a total synthesis of phenomena,
Renouvier refutes both these arguments which rest upon erroneous
methods in ontology and in theology. The explanation of the world by
God, as in the cosmological argument, is fanciful, while the
ontological argument leads us to erect an unintelligible and illogical
absolute. Renouvier regards God as existing as a general consciousness
corresponding to the generality of ends which man himself finds before
him, finite, limited in power and in knowledge. But in avowing this
God, Renouvier points him out to us as the first of all beings, a
being like them, not an absolute, but a personality, possessing (and
this is important) the perfection of morality, goodness and justice.
He is the supreme personality in action, and as a perfect person he
respects the personality of others and operates on our world only in
the degree which the freedom and individuality of persons who are not
himself can permit him, and within the limits of the general laws
under which he represents to himself his own enveloped existence. This
is the hypothesis of unity rendered intelligible, and as such
Renouvier claims that it bridges in a marvellous manner the gap always
deemed to exist between monotheism and polytheism--the two great
currents of religious thought in humanity. The monotheists have
appeared intolerant and fanatical in their religion and in their deity
(not in so far as it was manifest in the thoughts of the simple, who
professed a faith of the heart, but as shown in the ambitious theology
of books and of schools), bearing on their banner the signs of a
jealous deity, wishing no other gods but himself, declaring to his
awed worshippers: "I am that I am; have no other gods but me!" On the
other hand, the polytheistic peoples have been worshippers of beauty
and goodness in all things, and where they saw these things they
created a deity. They were more concerned with the immortality of good
souls than the eternal existence of one supreme being; they were
free-thinkers, creators of beauty and seekers after truth, and
believers in freedom. The humanism of Greece stands in contrast to the
idolatrous theocracy of the Hebrews.

The unity of God previously mentioned does not exclude the possibility
of a plurality of divine persons. God the one would be the first and
foremost, _rex hominum deorumque_. Some there may be that rise through
saintliness to divinity, Sons of God, persons surpassing man in
intelligence, power and morality. To take sides in this matter is
equivalent to professing a particular religion. We must avoid the
absolutist spirit in religion no less than in philosophy. By this
Renouvier means that brutal fanaticism which prohibits the Gods of
other people by passion and hatred, which aims at establishing and
imposing its own God (which is, after all, but its own idea of God) as
the imperialist plants his flag, his kind and his customs in new
territory, in the spirit of war and conquest. Such a "holy war" is an
outrage, based not upon real religion, but on intolerant fana-* ticism
in which freedom and the inherent rights of personality to construct
its own particular faith are denied.

Renouvier finds a parallelism between the worship of the State in
politics and of the One God in religion. The systems in which unity or
plurality of divine personality appears differ from one another in the
same way in which monarchal and republican ideas differ. Monarchy in
religion offers the same obstacles to progress as it has done in
politics. It involves a parallel enslavement of one's entire self and
goods, a conscription which is hateful to freedom and detrimental to
personality. To this supreme and regal Providence all is due; it alone
in any real sense exists. Persons are shadows, of no reality, serfs
less than the dust, to whom a miserable dole is given called grace,
for which prayer and sacrifice are to be unceasingly made or
chastisements from the Almighty will follow. This notion is the
product of monarchy in politics, and with monarchy it will perish. The
two are bound up, for "by the grace of God" we are told monarchs hold
their thrones, by his favour their sceptre sways and their battalions
move on to victory. This monarchal God, this King of kings and Lord of
hosts, ruler of heaven and earth, is the last refuge of monarchs on
the earth. Confidence in both has been shaken, and both, Renouvier
asserts, will disappear and give place to a real democracy, not only
to republics on earth, but to the conception of the whole universe as
a republic. Men raise up saints and intercessors to bridge the gulf
between the divine Monarch and his slaves. They conceive angels as
doing his work in heaven; they tolerate priests to bring down grace to
them here and now. The doctrine of unity thus gives rise to fanatical
religious devotion or philosophical belief in the absolute, which
stifles religion and perishes in its own turn. The doctrine of
immortality, based on the belief in the value of human personality,
leads us away from monarchy to a republic of free spirits. A
democratic religion in this sense will display human nature raised to
its highest dignity by virtue of an energetic affirmation of personal
liberty, tolerance, mutual respect and liberty of faith--a free
religion without priests or clericalism, not in conflict with science
and philosophy, but encouraging these pursuits and in turn encouraged
by them._*_

[Footnote _*_ : The fullest treatment of this is the large section in
the conclusion to the _Philosophie analytique de l'Histoire_ (tome
iv.). _Cf_. also the discussion of the influence of religious beliefs
on societies in the last chapter of _La Nouvelle Monadologie_.]


                                 III

Ravaisson, in founding the new spiritual philosophy, professed certain
doctrines which were a blending of Hellenism and Christianity. In the
midst of thought which was dominated by positivism, naturalism or
materialism, or by a shallow eclecticism, wherein religious ideas were
rather held in contempt, he issued a challenge on behalf of spiritual
values and ideals. Beauty, love and goodness, he declared, were
divine. God himself is these things, said Ravaisson, and the divinity
is "not far from any of us." In so far as we manifest these qualities
we approach the perfect personality of God himself. In the infinite,
in God, will is identical with love, which itself is not distinguished
from the absolutely good and the absolutely beautiful. This love can
govern our wills; the love of the beautiful and the good can operate
in our lives. In so far as this is so, we participate in the love and
the life of God.

Boutroux agrees substantially with Ravaisson, but he lays more stress
upon the free creative power of the deity as immanent. "God," he
remarks in his thesis, "is not only the creator of the world, he is
also its Providence, and watches over the details as well as over the
whole."_/-_ God is thus an immanent and creative power in his world
as well as the perfect being of supreme goodness and beauty. Boutroux
here finds this problem of divine im-* *manence and transcendence as
important as does Blondel, and his attitude is like that of Blondel,
midway between that of Ravaisson and Bergson.

[Footnote _/-_ : _La Contingence des Lois de la Nature_, p. 150.]

Religion, Boutroux urges, must show man that the supreme ideal for him
is to realise in his own nature this idea of God. There is an
obligation upon man to pursue after these things-goodness, truth,
beauty and love--for they are his good, they are the Good; they are,
indeed, God. In them is a harmony which satisfies his whole nature,
and which does not neglect or crush any aspect of character, as narrow
conceptions of religion inevitably do. Boutroux insists upon the
necessity for intellectual satisfaction, and opposes the "philosophy
of action" in ils doctrine of "faith for faith's sake." At the same
time he conceives Reason as a harmony, not merely a coldly logical
thing. Feeling and will must be satisfied also._*_

[Footnote _*_ : Boutroux has in his volume, _Science et Religion dans
la Philosophie contemporaine_, contributed a luminous and penetrating
discussion of various religious doctrines from Comte to William James.
This was published in 1908.]

We have observed already how Fouillée claimed that the ethics of his
_idées-forces_ contained the gist of what was valuable in the world
religions. He claims that philosophy includes under the form of
rational belief or thought what the religions include as instinctive
belief. In religion he sees a spontaneous type of metaphysic, while
metaphysic or philosophy is a rationalised religion.

Nothing in this connection is more important than a rational and
harmonious view of God. This he insists upon in his thesis and in his
_Sketch of the Future of a Metaphysic founded on Experience_. The old
idea of God was that of a monarch governing the world as a despot
governs his subjects. The government of the universe may still be held
to be a monarchy, but modern science is careful to assure us that it
must be regarded as an absolutely constitutional monarchy. The
monarch, if there be one, acts in accordance with the laws and
respects the established constitution. Reason obliges us to conceive
of the sovereign: experience enlightens us as to the constitution.

There can be little doubt that one of the world's greatest books upon
religion is the work of Guyau, which appeared in 1886, bearing the
arresting title, _L'Irreligion de l'Avenir_. Its sub-title describes
it as an Etude sociologique, and it is this treatment of the subject
from the standpoint of sociology which is such a distinctive feature
of the book. The notion of a _social bond_ between man and the powers
superior to him, but resembling him, is, claims Guyau, a point of
unity in which all religions are at one. The foundation of the
religious sentiment lies in sociality, and the religious man is just
the man who is disposed to be sociable, not only with all living
beings whom he meets, but with those whom he imaginatively creates as
gods. Guyau's thesis, briefly put, is that religion is a manifestation
of life (again he insists on "Life," as in his Ethics, as a central
conception), becoming self-conscious and seeking the explanation of
things by analogies drawn from human society. Religion is
"sociomorphic" rather than merely anthropomorphic; it is, indeed, a
universal sociological hypothesis, mythical in form.

The religious sentiment expresses a consciousness of dependence, and
in addition, adds Guyau, it expresses the need of affection,
tenderness and love--that is to say, the "social" side of man's
nature. In the conception of the Great Companion or Loving Father,
humanity finds consolation and hope. Children and women readily turn
to such an ideal, and primitive peoples, who are just like children,
conceive of the deity as severe and all- powerful. To this conception
moral attributes were subsequently added, as man's own moral
conscience developed, and it now issues in a doctrine of God as Love.
All this development is, together with that of esthetics and ethics, a
manifestation of life in its individual and more especially social
manifestations.

It is the purpose of Guyau's book not only to present a study of the
evolution of religion in this manner, from a sociological point of
view, but to indicate a further development of which the beginnings
are already manifest--namely, a decomposition of all systems of
dogmatic religion. It is primarily the decay of dogma and
ecclesiasticism which he intends to indicate by the French term
_irréligion_. The English translation of his work bears the title _The
Non-religion of the Future_. Had Guyau been writing and living in
another country it is undoubtedly true that his work would probably
have been entitled _The Religion of the Future_. Owing to the Roman
Catholic environment and the conception of religion in his own land,
he was, however, obliged to abandon the use of the word religion
altogether. In order to avoid misunderstanding, we must examine the
sense he gives to this word, and shall see then that his title is not
meant to convey the impression of being anti-religious in the widest
sense, nor is it irreligious in the English meaning of that word.

Guyau considers every positive and historical religion to present
three distinct and essential elements:
 1. An attempt at a mythical and non-scientific explanation of (_a_)
    natural phenomena--_e.g._, intervention, miracles, efficacious
    prayer; (_b_) historical facts--_e.g._, incarnation of Buddha or
    Jesus.
 2. A system of dogmas--that is to say, symbolic ideas or imaginative
    beliefs--forcibly imposed upon one's faith as absolute verities,
    even though they are susceptible to no scientific demonstration or
    philosophical justification.
 3. A cult and a system of rites or of worship, made up of more or
    less immutable practices which are looked upon as possessing a
    marvellous efficacy upon the course of things, a propitiatory
    virtue._*_

[Footnote _*_ : _L'Irréligion de l'Avenir_, p. xiii; Eng. trans., p.
10.]

By these three different and really organic elements, religion is
clearly marked off from philosophy. Owing to the stability of these
elements religion is apt to be centuries behind science and
philosophy, and consequently reconciliation is only effected by a
subtle process which, while maintaining the traditional dogmas and
phrases, evolves a new interpretation of them sufficiently modern to
harmonise a little more with the advance in thought, but which
presents a false appearance of stability and consistency, disguising
the real change of meaning, of view-point and of doctrine. Of this
effort we shall see the most notable instance is that of the
"Modernists" or Neo-Catholics in France and Italy, and the Liberal
Christians in England and America.

Guyau claims that these newer interpretations, subtle and useful as
they are, and frequently the assertions of minds who desire sincerely
to adapt the ancient traditions to modern needs, are in themselves
hypocritical, and the Church in a sense does right to oppose them.
Guyau cannot see any satisfactoriness in these compromises and
adaptations which lack the clearness of the old teaching, which they
in a sense betray, while they do not sufficiently satisfy the demands
of modern thought.

With the decay of the dogmatic religion of Christendom which is
supremely stated in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church, there must
follow the non-religion of the future, which may well preserve, he
points out, all that is pure in the religious sentiment and carry with
it an admiration for the cosmos and for the infinite powers which are
there displayed. It will be a search for, and a belief in, an ideal
not only individual, but social and even cosmic, which shall pass the
limits of actual reality. Hence it appears that "non-religion" or
"a-religion," which is for Guyau simply "the negation of all dogma, of
all traditional and supernatural authority, of all revelation, of all
miracle, of all myth, of all rite erected into a duty," is most
certainly not a synonym for irreligion or impiety, nor does it involve
any contempt for the moral and metaphysical doctrines expressed by the
ancient religions of the world. The non-religious man in Guyau's sense
of the term is simply the man without a religion, as he has defined it
above, and he may quite well admire and sympathise with the great
founders of religion, not only in that they were thinkers,
metaphysicians, moralists and philanthropists, but in that they were
reformers of established belief, more or less avowed enemies of
religious authority and of every affirmation laid down by an
ecclesiastical body in order to bind the intellectual freedom of
individuals. Guyau's remarks in this connection agree with the tone in
which Renan spoke of his leaving the Church because of a feeling of
respect and loyalty to its Founder. Guyau points out that there exists
in the bosom of every great religion a dissolving force--namely, the
very force which in the beginning served to constitute it and to
establish its triumphant revolt over its predecessor. That force is
the absolute right of private judgment, the free factor of the
personal conscience, which no external authority can succeed,
ultimately, in coercing or silencing. The Roman Church, and almost
every other organised branch of the Christian religion, forgets, when
faced with a spirit which will not conform, that it is precisely to
this spirit that it owes its own foundation and also the best years of
its existence. Guyau has little difficulty in pressing the conclusions
which follow from the recognition of this vital point.

Briefly, it follows that the hope of a world-religion is an illusion,
whether it be the dream of a perfect and world-wide Judaism, Buddhism,
Christianity, or Mohammedanism. The sole authority in religious
matters, that of the individual conscience, prevents any such
consummation, which, even if it could be achieved, would be
mischievous. The future will display a variety of beliefs and
religions, as it does now. This need not discourage us, for therein is
a sign of vitality or spiritual life, of which the world-religions are
examples, marred, however, by their profession of universality, an
ideal which they do not and never will realise.

The notion of a Catholic Church or a great world- religion is really
contrary to the duty of personal thought and reflection, which must
inevitably (unless they give way to mere lazy repetition of other
people's thoughts) lead to differences. The tendency is for humanity
to move away from dogmatic religion, with its pretensions to
universality, catholicity, and monarchy (of which, says Guyau, the
most curious type has just recently been achieved in our own day, by
the Pope's proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility), towards
religious individualism and to a plurality of religions. There may, of
course, be religious associations or federations, but these will be
free, and will not demand the adherence to any dogma as such.

With the decay of dogmatic religion the best elements of religious
life will have freer scope to develop themselves, and will grow both
in intensity and in extent. "He alone is religious, in the
philosophical sense of the word, who researches for, who thinks about,
who loves, truth." Such inquiry or search involves freedom, it
involves conflict, but the conflict of ideas, which is perfectly
compatible with toleration in a political sense, and is the essence of
the spirit of the great world teachers. This is what Jesus foresaw
when he remarked: "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." More
fully, he might have put it, Guyau suggests: "I came not to bring
peace into human thought, but an incessant battle of ideas; not
repose, but movement and progress of spirit; not universal dogma, but
liberty of belief, which is the first condition of growth." Well might
Renan remark that it was loyalty to such a spirit which caused him to
break with the Church.

While attacking religious orthodoxy in this manner, Guyau is careful
to point out that if religious fanaticism ls bad, anti-religious
fanaticism is equally mischievous, wicked and foolish._*_ While the
eighteenth century could only scoff at religion, the nineteenth
realised the absurdity of such raillery. We have come to see that even
although a belief may be irrational and even erroneous, it may still
survive, and it may console multitudes whose minds would be lost on
the stormy sea of life without such an anchor. While dogmatic or
positive religions do exist they will do so, Guyau reminds us, for
quite definite and adequate reasons, chiefly because there are people
who believe them, to whom they mean something and often a great deal.
These reasons certainly do diminish daily, and the number of
adherents, too, but we must refrain from all that savours of anti-
religious fanaticism._/-_ He himself speaks with great respect of a
Christian missionary. Are we not, he asks, both brothers and humble
collaborators in the work and advance of humanity? He sees no real
inconsistency between his own dislike of orthodoxy and dogma and the
missionary's work of raising the ignorant to a better life by those
very dogmas. It is a case of relative advance and mental progress.

[Footnote _*_ : He cites a curious case of anti-religious fanaticism
at Marseilles in 1885, when all texts and scripture pictures were
removed fromthe schools.]

[Footnote _/-_ : Guyau's book abounds in illustrations. He mentions
here Huss's approval of the sincerity of one man who brought straw
from his own house to burn him. Huss admired this act of a man in whom
he saw a brother in sincerity.]

It is with great wealth of discussion that Guyau recounts the genesis
of religions in primitive societies to indicate the sociological basis
of religion. More important are his chapters on the dissolution of
religions in existing societies, in which he shows the
unsatisfactoriness of the dogmas of orthodox Protestantism equally
with those of the Catholic Church. As mischievous as the notion of an
infallible Church is that of an infallible book, literally--that is to
say, foolishly-interpreted. He recognises that for a literal
explanation of the Bible must be substituted, and is, indeed, being
substituted, a literary explanation. Like Renan, he criticises the
vulgar conception of prayer and of religious morality which promotes
goodness by promise of paradise or fear of hell. He urges in this
connection the futility of the effort made by Michelet, Quinet and,
more especially, by Renouvier and Pillon to "Protestantise" France.
While admitting a certain intellectual, moral and political
superiority to it, Guyau claims that for the promotion of morality
there is little use in substituting Protestantism for Catholicism. He
forecasts the limitation of the power of priests and other religious
teachers over the minds of young children. Protestant clergymen in
England and America he considers to be no more tolerant in regard to
the educational problem than the priests. Guyau urges the importance
of an elementary education being free from religious propaganda. He
was writing in 1886, some years after the secular education law had
been carried. There is, however, more to be done, and he points out
"how strange it is that a society should not do its best to form those
whose function it is to form it."_*_ In higher education some
attention should be given to the comparative study of religions. "Even
from the point of view of philosophy, Buddha and Jesus are more
important than Anaximander or Thales."_/-_ It is a pity, he
thinks, that there is not a little more done to acquaint the young
with the ideas for which the great world-teachers, Confucius,
Zoroaster, Buddha, Socrates, Mohammed, stood, instead of cramming a
few additional obscure names from early national history. It would
give children at least a notion that history had a wider range than
their own country, a realisation of the fact that humanity was already
old when Christ appeared, and that there are great religions other
than Christianity, religions whose followers are not poor ignorant
savages or heathen, but intelligent beings, from whom even Christians
may learn much. It is thoroughly mischievous, he aptly adds, to bring
up children in such a narrow mental atmosphere that the rest of their
life is one long disillusionment.

[Footnote _*_ : _L'Irréligion de l'Avenir_, p. 232; Eng. trans., p.
278.]

[Footnote _/-_ : _Ibid_., p. 236; Eng. trans., p. 283.]

With particular reference to his own country, Guyau criticises the
religious education of women, the question of "mixed marriages," the
celibacy of the Roman Catholic clergy, and the influence of religious
beliefs upon the limitation or increase of the family.

After having summed up the tendency of dogmatic religion to decay, he
asks if any unification of the great religions is to-day possible, or
whether any new religion may be expected? The answer he gives to both
these questions is negative, and he produces a wealth of very valid
reasons in support of his finding. He is, of course, here using the
term religion as he has himself defined it. The claim to universality
by all world-religions, the insistence by each that it alone is the
really best or true religion, precludes any question of unity. As well
might we imagine unity between Protestantism and the Roman Catholic
Church.

In the "non-religious" state, dogma will be replaced by individual
constructions. Religion will be a free, personal affair, in which the
great philosophical hypotheses (_e.g._, Theism and Pantheism) will be
to a large extent utilised. They will, however, be regarded as such by
all, as rational hypotheses, which some individuals will accept,
others will reject. Certain doctrines will appeal to some, not to
others. The evidence for a certain type of theism will seem adequate
to some, not to others. There will be no endeavour to impose
corporately or singly the acceptance of any creed upon others.

With Guyau's conception of the future of religion or non-religion,
whichever we care to call it, we may well close this survey of the
religious ideas in modern France. In the Roman Church on the one hand,
and, on the other, in the thought of Renan, Renouvier and Guyau,
together with the multitude of thinking men and women they represent,
may be seen the two tendencies-- one conservative, strengthening its
internal organisation and authority, in defiance of all the influences
of modern thought, the other a free and personal effort, issuing in a
genuine humanising of religion and freeing it from ecclesiasticism and
dogma.

A word may be said here, however, with reference to the "Modernists."
The Modernist movement is a French product, the result of the
interaction of modern philosophical and scientific ideas upon the
teaching of the Roman Church. It has produced a philosophical religion
which owes much to Ollé-Laprune and Blondel, and is in reality modern
science with a veneer of religious idealism or platonism. It is a
theological compromise, and has no affinities with the efforts of
Lamennais. As a compromise it was really opposed to the traditions of
the French, to whose love of sharp and clear thinking such general and
rather vague syntheses are unacceptable. It must be admitted, however,
that there is a concreteness, a nearness to reality and life, which
separates it profoundly from the highly abstract theology of Germany,
as seen in Ritschl and Harnack.

The Abbé Marat of the Theological School at the Sorbonne and Father
Gratry of the Ecole Normale were the initiators of this movement, as
far back as the Second Empire. "Modernism" was never a school of
thought, philosophical or religious, and it showed itself in a freedom
and life, a spirit rather than in any formula;. As Sorel's syndicalism
is an application of the Bergsonian and kindred doctrines to the left
wings, and issues in a social theory of "action," so Modernism is an
attempt to apply them to the right and issues in a religion founded on
action rather than theology. The writings of the Modernists are
extensive, but we mention the names of the chief thinkers. There is
the noted exegetist Loisy, who was dismissed in 1894 from the Catholic
Institute of Paris and now holds the chair of the History of Reli-*
gions at the College de France. His friend, the Abbé Bourier,
maintained the doctrine, " Where Christ is there is the Church," with
a view to insisting upon the importance of being a Christian rather
than a Catholic or a Protestant.

The importance of the Catholic thinker, Blondel, both for religion and
for philosophy, has already been indicated at an earlier stage in this
book. His work inspires most.Modernist thought. Blondel preaches, with
great wealth of philosophical and psychological argument, the great
Catholic doctrine of the collaboration of God with man and of man with
God. Man at one with himself realises his highest aspirations. Divine
transcendence and divine immanence in man are reconciled. God and man,
in this teaching, are brought together, and the stern realism of
every-day life and the idealism of religion unite in a sacramental
union. The supreme principle in this union Laberthonnière shows to be
Love. He is at pains to make clear, however, that belief in Love as
the ultimate reality is no mere sentimentality, no mere assertion of
the will-to-believe. For him the intellect must play its part in the
religious life and in the expression of faith. No profounder
intellectual judgment exists than just the one which asserts "God is
Love," when this statement is properly apprehended and its momentous
significance clearly realised. We cannot but lament, with
Laberthonnière, the abuse of this proposition and its subsequent loss
of both appeal and meaning through a shallow familiarity. The
reiteration of great conceptions, which is the method by which the
great dogmas have been handed down from generations, tends to blurr
their real significance. They become stereotyped and empty of life. It
is for this reason that Le Roy in _Dogme et Critique_ (1907) insisted
upon the advisability of regarding all dogmas as expressions of
practical value in and for action, rather than as intellectual
propositions of a purely "religious" or ecclesiastical type, belonging
solely to the creeds.

To Blondel, Laberthonnière, and Le Roy can be added the names of
Fonsegrive, Sertillanges, Loyson and Houtin, the last two of whom
ultimately left the Church, for the Church made up its mind to crush
Modernism. The Pope had intimated in 1879 that the thirteenth-century
philosophy of Aquinas was to be recognised as the only official
philosophy._*_ Finally, Modernism was condemned in a Vatican
encyclical (_Pascendi Dominici Gregis_) in 1907, as was also the
social and educational effort, _Le Sillon_.

[Footnote _*_ : This led to revival of the study of the _Summa
Theologiæ_ and to the commencement of the review of Catholic
philosophy, _Revue Thomiste_.]

Such has been Rome's last word, and it is not surprising, therefore,
that France is the most ardent home of free thought upon religious
matters, that the French people display a spirit which is unable to
stop at Protestantism, but which heralds the religion or the
_non-religion_ of the future to which Guyau has so powerfully
indicated the tendencies and has by so doing helped, in conjunction
with Renan and Renouvier, to hasten its realisation.

A parallel to the "modernist" theology of the Catholic thinkers was
indicated on the Protestant side by the theology of Auguste Sabatier,
whose _Esquisse d'une Philosophie de la Religion d'après la
Psychologie et l'Histoire_ appeared in 1897_/-_ and of
Menegoz,_/=_ whose _Publications diverges sur le Fidéisme et son
Application a l'Enseignement chrétien traditionnel_ were issued in
1900. Sabatier assigns the beginning of religion to man's trouble and
distress of heart caused by his aspirations, his belief in ideals and
higher values, being at variance with his actual condition. Religion
arises from this conflict of real and ideal in the soul of man. This
is the essence of religion which finds its expression in the life of
faith rather than in the formation of beliefs which are themselves
accidental and transitory, arising from environment and education,
changing in form from aee to age both in the individual and the race.
While LeRoy on the Catholic side, maintained that dogmas were valuable
for their practical significance, Sabatier and Ménégoz claimed that
all religious knowledge is symbolical. Dogmas are but symbols, which
inadequately attempt to reveal their object. That object can only be
grasped by "faith" as distinct from "belief"--that is to say, by an
attitude in which passion, instinct and intuition blend and not by an
attitude which is purely one of intellectual conviction. This doctrine
of "salvation by faith independently of beliefs" has a marked
relationship not only to pragmatism and the philosophy of action, but
to the philosophy of intuition. A similar anti-intellectualism colours
the "symbolo-fidéist" currents within Catholicism, which manifest a
more extreme character. A plea voiced against all such tendencies is
to be found in Bois' book, _De la Connaissance religieuse_ (1894),
where an endeavour is made to retain a more intellectual attitude, and
it again found expression in the volume by Boutroux, written as late
as 1908, which deals with the religious problem in our period.

[Footnote _/-_ : It was followed after his death in 1901 by the volume
_Les Religions d'Authorité et la Religion de l'Esprit_, 1904.]

[Footnote _/=_ : This is the late Eugene Ménégoz, Professor of
Theology in Paris, not Ferdinand Ménégoz, his nephew, who is also a
Professor of Theology now at Strasbourg.]

Quoting Boehme in the interesting conclusion to this book on _Science
and Religion in Contemporary Philosophy_ (1908) Boutroux sums up in
the words of the old German mystic his attitude to the diversity of
religious opinions. "Consider the birds in our forests, they praise
God each in his own way, in diverse tones and fashions. Think you God
is vexed by this diversity and desires to silence discordant voices?
All the forms of being are dear to the infinite Being himself!"_*_

[Footnote _*_ : It is interesting to compare with the above the
sentiments expressed in Matthew Arnold's poem, entitled Progress:

"Children of men! the unseen Power, whose eye
For ever doth accompany mankind,
Hath look'd on no religion scornfully
That men did ever find.]

This survey of the general attitude adopted towards religion and the
problems which it presents only serves to emphasise more clearly those
tendencies which we have already denoted in previous chapters. As the
discussion of progress was radically altered by the admission of the
principle of freedom, and the discussion of ethics passes bevond rigid
formulae to a freer conception of morality, so here in religion the
insistence upon freedom and that recognition of personality which
accompanies it, colours the whole religious outlook. Renan, Renouvier
and Guyau, the three thinkers who have most fully discussed religion
in our period, join in proclaiming the importance of the personal
factor in religious belief, and in valiant opposition to that Church
which is the declared enemy of freedom, they urge that in freedom of
thought lies the course of all religious development in the future,
for only thus can be expressed the noblest and highest aspirations of
man's spirit.



                              CONCLUSION

THE foregoing pages have been devoted to a history of ideas rather
than to the maintenance of any special thesis or particular argument.
Consequently it does not remain for us to draw any definitely logical
conclusions from the preceding chapters. The opportunity may be justly
taken, however, of summing up the general features of the development.

Few periods in the history of human thought can rival in interest that
of the second half of the nineteenth century in France. The discussion
covers the principal problems with which man's mind is occupied in
modern times and presents these in a manner which is distinctly human
and not merely national. This alone would give value to the study of
such a period. There is, however, to be added the more striking fact
that there is a complete "turning of the tide" manifested during these
fifty years in the attitude to most of the problems. Beginning with an
overweening confidence in science and a belief in determinism and in a
destined progress, the century closed with a complete reversal of
these conceptions.

Materialism and naturalism are both recognised as inadequate, a
reaction sets in against positivism and culminates in the triumph of
spiritualism or idealism. This idealism is free from the cruder
aspects of the Kantian or Hegelian philosophy. The Thing-in-itself and
the Absolute are abandoned; relativity is proclaimed in knowledge, and
freedom in the world of action. Thoughts or ideas show themselves as
forces operating in the evolution of history. This is maintained in
opposition to the Marxian doctrine of the purely economic or
materialistic determination of history. A marked tendency, however, is
manifested to regard all problems from a social stand point. The
dogmatic confidence in science gives way to a more philosophical
attitude, while the conflict of science and religion resolves itself
into a decay of dogma and the conception of a free religion.

We have indicated the problem presented by "_science et conscience_,"
and in so far as we have laid down any thesis or argument in these
pages, as distinct from an historical account of the development, that
thesis has been, that the central problem in the period was that of
freedom. It was to this point which the consideration of science, or
rather of the sciences, led us. We have observed the importance of the
sciences for philosophy, and it is clear that, so far from presenting
any real hostility to philosophy, it can acclaim their autonomy and
freedom, without attempting by abstract methods to absorb them into
itself. They are equally a concrete part of human thought, and in a
deep and real sense a manifestation of the same spirit which animates
philosophy.

By recognising the sciences philosophy can avoid the fallacy of
ideology on the one hand and naturalism on the other. Unlike the old
eclecticism, the new thought is able to take account of science and to
criticise its assertions. We have seen how this has been accomplished,
and the rigidly mechanical view of the world abandoned for one into
which human freedom enters as a real factor. This transforms the view
of history and shows us human beings creating that history and not
merely being its blind puppets. History offers no cheerful outlook for
the easy-going optimist; it is not any more to be regarded as mere
data for pessimistic reflections, but rather a record which prompts a
feeling of responsibility. The world is not ready-made, and if there
is to be progress it must be willed by us and achieved by our struggle
and labour.

The doctrine of immanence upon which the modern tendency is to insist,
in place of the older idea of transcendence, makes us feel, not only
that we are free, but that our freedom is not in opposition to, or in
spite of, the divine spirit, but is precisely an expression of divine
immanence. Instead of the gloomy conception of a whole which
determines itself apart from us, we feel ourselves part, and a very
responsible part, of a reality which determines itself collectively
and creatively by its own action, by its own ideals, which it has
itself created. This freedom must extend not only to our conceptions
of history but also to those of ethics and of religion.

"English philosophy ends in considering nature as an assemblage of
facts; German philosophy looks upon it chiefly as a system of laws. If
there is a place midway between the two nations it belongs to us
Frenchmen. We applied the English ideas in the eighteenth century; we
can in the nineteenth give precision to the German ideas. What we have
to do is to temper, amend and complete the two spirits, one by the
other, to fuse them into one, to express them in a style that shall be
intelligible to everybody and thus to make of them the universal
spirit."

Such was Taine's attitude, and it indicates clearly the precise
position of French thought. We are apt to consider Taine purely as an
empiricist, but we must remember that he disagreed with the radical
empiricism of John Stuart Mill. His own attitude was largely that of a
reaction against the vague spiritualism of the Eclectic School,
especially Cousin's eclecticism, a foreign growth on French soil, due
to German influence. The purely _a priori_ constructions of the older
spiritualism could find no room, and allowed none, for the sciences.
This was sufficient to doom it, and to lead naturally to a reaction of
a positive kind, revolting from all _a priori_ constructions.

It was to combat the excessive positive reaction against metaphysics
that Renouvier devoted his energies, but while professing to modernise
Kant and to follow out the general principles of his Critical
Philosophy, Renouvier was further removed from the German thinker than
he at times seems to have observed. Renouvier must undoubtedly share
with Comte the honours of the century in French Philosophy. Many
influences, however, prevented the general or speedy acceptance of
Renouvier's doctrines. The University was closed against him, as
against Comte. He worked in isolation and his style of presentation,
which is heavy and laborious, does not appeal to the _esprit_ of the
French mind. Probably, too, his countrymen's ignorance of Kant at the
time Renouvier wrote his _Essais de Critique générale_ prevented an
understanding and appreciation of the neo-critical advance on
Criticism.

Renouvier commands respect, but he does not appear to be in the line
of development which manifests so essentially the character of French
thought. This is to be found rather in that spiritualism, which,
unlike the old, does not exclude science, but welcomes it, finds a
place for it, although not by any means an exclusive place. The new
spiritualists did not draw their inspiration, as did Cousin, from any
German source, their initial impulse is derived from a purely French
thinker, Maine de Biran, who, long neglected, came to recognition in
the work of Ravaisson and those subsequent thinkers of this group,
right up to Bergson.

This current of thought is marked by a vitality and a concreteness
which are a striking contrast to the older eclectic spiritualism.
Having submitted itself to the discipline of the sciences, it is
acquainted with their methods and data in a manner which enables it to
oppose the dogmatism of science, and to acclaim the reality of values
other than those which are purely scientific. Ignoring _a priori_
construction, or eclectic applications of doctrines, it investigates
the outer world of nature and the inner life of the spirit.

We have said that these ideas are presented, not merely from a
national standpoint, but from one which is deeply human and universal.
"_La Science_," re-marked Pasteur, "_n'a pas de patrie_." We may add
that philosophy, too, owns no special fatherland. There is not in
philosophy, any more than in religion, "a chosen people," even
although the Jews of old thought themselves such, and among moderns
the Germans have had this conceit about their _Kultur_. In so far as
philosophy aims at the elucidation of a true view of the universe, it
thereby tends inevitably to universality. But just as a conception of
internationalism, which should fail to take into account the factors
of nationality, would be futile and disastrous, so a conception of the
evolution of thought must likewise estimate the characteristics which
nationality produces even in the philosophical field.

Such characteristics, it will be found, are not definite doctrines,
for these may be transferred, as are scientific discoveries, from one
nation to another, and absorbed in such a manner that they become part
of the general consciousness of mankind. They are rather differences
of tone and colour, form or expression, which express the vital genius
of the nation. There are features which serve to distinguish French
philosophy from the development which has occurred in Germany, Italy,
England and America.

Modern French thought does not deliberately profess to maintain
allegiance to any past traditions, for it realises that such a
procedure would be inconsistent with that freedom of thought which is
bound up with the spirit of philosophy. It does, however, betray
certain national features, which are characteristic of the great
French thinkers from Descartes, Pascal and Malebranche onwards.

One of the most remarkable points about these thinkers was their
intimacy with the sciences. Descartes, while founding modern
philosophy, also gave the world analytic geometry; Pascal made certain
physical discoveries and was an eminent mathematician. Malebranche,
too, was keenly interested in science. In the following century the
Encyclopaedists displayed their wealth of scientific knowledge, and in
the nineteenth century we have seen the work of Comte based on
science, the ability of Cournot and Renouvier in mathematics, while
men like Boutroux, Hergson and Le Roy possess a thorough acquaintance
with modern science.

These facts have marked results, and distinguish French philosophy
from that of Germany, where the majority of philosophers appear to
haye been theological students in their youth and to have suffered
from the effects of their subject for the remainder of their lives.
Theological study does not produce clearness; it does not tend to
cultivate a spirit of precision, but rather one of vagueness, of which
much German philosophy is the product. On the other hand, mathematics
is a study which demands clearness and which in turn increases the
spirit of clarity and precision.

There is to be seen in our period a strong tendency to adhere to this
feature of clearness. Modern French philosophy is remarkably lucid.
Indeed, it is claimed that there is no notion, however profound it may
be, or however based on technical research it may be, which cannot be
conveyed in the language of every day. French philosophy does not
invent a highly technical vocabulary in order to give itself airs in
the eyes of the multitude, on the plea that obscurity is a sign of
erudition and learning. On the contrary, it remembers Descartes'
intimate association of clearness with truth, remembers, too, his
clear and simple French which he preferred to the scholastic Latin. It
knows that to convince others of truth one must be at least clear to
them and, what is equally important, one must be clear in one's own
mind first. Clarity does not mean shallowness but rather the reverse,
because it is due to keen perceptive power, to a seeing further into
the heart of things, involving an intimate contact with reality.

French thought has always remained true to a certain "common sense."
This is a dangerous and ambiguous term. In its true meaning it
signifies the general and sane mind of man free from all that
prejudice or dogma or tradition, upon which, of course, "common sense"
in the popular meaning is usually based. A genuine "common sense" is
merely "_liberté_" for the operation of that general reason which
makes man what he is. It must be admitted that, owing to the fact that
philosophy is taught in the _lycées_, the French are the best educated
of any nation in philosophical ideas and have a finer general sense of
that spirit of criticism and appreciation which is the essence of
philosophy, than has any other modern nation. Philosophy in France is
not written in order to appeal to any school or class. Not limited to
an academic circle only, it makes its pronouncements to humanity and
thus embodies in a real form the principles of _egalité_ and
_fraternité_. It makes a democratic appeal both by its _clarté_ and
its belief that _la raison commune_ is in some degree present in every
human being.

Not only was clearness a strong point in the philosophy of Descartes,
but there was also an insistence upon method. Since the time of his
famous _Discours de la Méthode_ there has always been a unique value
placed upon method in French thought, and this again serves to
distinguish it profoundly from German philosophy, which is, in
general, concerned with the conception and production of entire
systems. The idea of an individual and systematic construction is an
ambitious conceit which is not in harmony with the principles of
_liberté_, _egalité_, _fraternité_. Such a view of philosophical work
is not a sociable one, from a human standpoint, and tends to give rise
to a spirit of authority and tradition. Apart from this aspect of it,
there is a more important consideration. All those systems take one
idea as their starting-point and build up an immense construction _a
priori_. But another idea may be taken and opposed to that. There is
thus an immense wastage of labour, and the individual effort is never
transcended. Yet an idea is only a portion of our intelligence, and
that intelligence itself is, in turn, only a portion of reality. A
wider conception of philosophy must be aimed at, one in which the _vue
d'ensemble_ is not the effort of one mind, but of many, each
contributing its share to a harmonious conception, systematic in a
sense, but not in the German sense. Modern French thought has a
dislike of system of the individualistic type; it realises that
reality is too rich and complex for such a rapid construction to grasp
it. It is opposed to systems, for the French mind looks upon
philosophy as a manifestation of life itself--life blossoming to
self-consciousness, striving ever to unfold itself more explicitly and
more clearly, endeavouring to become more harmonious, more beautiful,
and more noble. The real victories of philosophical thought are not
indicated by the production of systems but by the discovery or
creation of ideas. Often these ideas have been single and simple, but
they have become veritable forces, in the life of mankind.

French thinkers prefer to work collectively at particular problems
rather than at systems. Hence the aim and tone of their work is more
universal and human, and being more general is apt to be more
generous. This again is the expression of _liberte_, _égalité_ and
_fraternité_ in a true sense. The French prefer, as it were, in their
philosophical campaign for the intellectual conquest of reality
diverse batteries of _soixante-quinze_ acting with precision and
alertness to the clumsy production of a "Big Bertha." The production
of ambitious systems, each professing to be the final word in the
presentation of reality, has not attracted the French spirit. It looks
at reality differently and prefers to deal with problems in a clear
way, thereby indicating a method which may be applied to the solution
of others as they present themselves. This is infinitely preferable to
an ambitious unification, which can only be obtained at the sacrifice
of clearness or meaning, and it arises from that keen contact with
life, which keeps the mind from dwelling too much in the slough of
abstraction, from which some of the German philosophers never succeed
in escaping. Their pilgrimage to the Celestial City ends there, and
consequently the account of their itinerary cannot be of much use to
other pilgrims.

Another feature of modern French thought is the intimacy of the
connection between psychology and metaphysics, and the intensive
interest in psychology, which is but the imestigation of the inner
life of man. While in the early beginnings of ancient Greek philosophy
some time was spent in examining the outer world before man gave his
attention to the world within, we find Descartes, at the beginning of
modern philosophy, making his own consciousness of his own existence
his starting-point. Introspection has always played a prominent part
in French philosophy. Pascal was equally interested in the outer and
the inner world. Through Maine de Biran this feature has come down to
the new spiritualists and culminates in Bergson's thought, in which
psychological considerations hold first rank.

The social feature of modern French thought should not be omitted. In
Germany subsequent thought has been coloured by the Reformation and
the particular aspects of that movement. In France one may well say
that subsequent thought has been marked by the Revolution. There is a
theological flavour about most German philosophy, while France, a
seething centre of political and social thought, has given to her
philosophy a more sociological trend.

The French spirit in philosophy stands for clearness, concreteness and
vitality. Consequently it presents a far greater brilliance, richness
and variety than German philosophy displays._*_ This vitality and
even exuber-* *ance, which are those of the spirit of youth
manifesting a _joie de vivre_ or an _élan vital_, have been very
strongly marked since the year 1880, and have placed French philosophy
in the van of human thought.

[Footnote _*_ : It is, therefore to be lamented that French thought
has not received the attention which it deseives. In England far more
attention has been given to the nineteenth-century German philosophy,
while the history of thought in France, especially in the period
between Comte and Bergson, has remained in sad neglect. This can and
should be speedily remedied.]

It would be vain to ask whither its advance will lead. Even its own
principles prevent any such forecast; its creative richness may
blossom forth to-morrow in forms entirely new, for such is the
characteristic of life itself, especially the life of the spirit, upon
which so much stress is laid in modern French philosophy. The New
Idealism lays great stress upon dynamism, voluntarism or action.
Freedom and creative activity are its keynotes, and life, ever fuller
and richer, is its aspiration. _La Vie_, of which France (and its
centre, Paris) is such an expression, finds formulation in the
philosophy of contemporary thinkers._*_

[Footnote _*_ : The student of comparative thought will find it both
interesting and profitable to compare the work done recently in Italy
by Croce and Gentile. The intellectual kinship of Croce and Bergson
has frequently been pointed out, but Gentile's work comes very close
to the philosophy of action and to the whole positive-idealistic
tendency of contemporary French thought. This is particularly to be
seen in _L'atto del pensare come atto puro_ (1912), and in _Teoria
generalo dello spirito come atto puro_ (1916). Professor Carr, the
well-known exponent of Bergson's philosophy, remarks in his
introduction to the English edition of Gentile's book, "We may
individualise the mind as a natural thing-object person. . . . Yet our
power to think the mind in this way would be impossible were not the
mind with and by which we think it, itself not a thing, not a _fact_,
but _act_; . . . never _factum_, but always _fieri_." This quotation
is from p. xv of the _Theory of Mind as Pure Act_. With one other
quotation direct from Gentile we must close this reference to Italian
neo-idealism. "In so far as the subject is constituted a subject by
its own act it constitutes the object. . . . Mind is the
transcendental activity productive of the objective world of
experience" (pp. 18, 43). Compare with this our quotation from
Ravaisson, given on p. 75 of this work, and the statement by Lachelier
on p. 122, both essential principles of the French New Idealism.]

One word of warning must be uttered against those who declare that the
tendency of French thought is in the direction of
anti-intellectualism. Such a declaration rests on a misunderstanding,
which we have endeavoured in our pages to disclose It is based
essentially upon a doctrine of Reason which belongs to the eighteenth
century. The severe rationalism of that period was mischievous in that
it rested upon a one-sided view of human nature, on a narrow
interpretation of "Reason" which gave it only a logical and almost
mathematical significance. To the Greeks, whom the French represent in
the modern world, the term "NOUS" meant more than this-- it meant an
intelligible harmony. We would do wrong to look upon the most recent
developments in France as being anti-rational, they are but a revolt
against the narrow view of Reason, and they constitute an attempt to
present to the modern world a conception akin to that of the Greeks.
Human reason is much more than a purely logical faculty, and it is
this endeavour to relate all problems to life itself with its pulsing
throb, which represents the real attitude of the French mind. There is
a realisation expressed throughout that thought, that life is more
than logic. The clearness of geometry showed Descartes that geometry
is not all-embracing. Pascal found that to the logic of geometry must
be added a spirit of appreciation which is not logical in its nature,
but expresses another side of man's mind. To-day France sees that,
although a philosophy must endeavour to satisfy the human
intelligence, a merely intellectual satisfaction is not enough. The
will and the feelings play their part, and it was the gteat fault of
the eighteenth century to misunderstand this The search to-day is for
a system of values and of truth in action as well as a doctrine about
things in their purely theoretical aspects.

This is a serious demand, and it is one which philosophy must
endeavour to appreciate Salvation will not be found in a mere
dilettantism which can only express ieal indifference, nor in a
dogmatism which results in bigotry and pride. Criticism is required,
but not a purely destructive criticism, rather one which will offer
some acceptable view of the universe. Such a view must combine true
positivism or realism with a true idealism, by uniting fact and
spirit, things and ideas. Its achievement can only be possible to
minds possessing some creative and constructive power, yet minds who
have been schooled in the college of reality. This is the task of
philosophy in France and in other lands. That task consists not only
in finding values and in defining them but in expressing them
actively, and in endeavouring to realise them in the common life.


                                  I

            WORKS OF THE PERIOD CLASSIFIED UNDER AUTHORS.

BERGSON: _Les Données immédiates de la Conscience_. 1889. English
Translation--_Time and Free-Will._ 1910.
_Matière et Mémoire_. 1896. (E.T._*_ 1911.)
_Le Rire_. 1901. (E.T. 1911.)
_Introduction a la Métaphysique_. 1903. _Revue de Métaphysique et de
Morale_. (E.T. 1913.)
_L'Evolution créatrice_. 1907. (E.T. 1911.)
L'Energie spirituelle. 1919. (E.T. 1920.)
Some monographs on Bergson: Le Roy (1912), Maritain (1914) in France,
Meckauer (1917) in Germany, and for the English reader Lindsay (1911),
Stewart (1911), Carr (1912), Cunningham (1916), and Gunn (1920).
BERNARD: _Introduction a l'Etude de la Médecine expérimental_. 1865.
BERTHELOT: _Science et Philosophie_. 1886.
BINET: _Magnétisme animal_. 1886.
_Les Altérations de la Personnalité_. 1892.
_L'Introduction à la Psychologie expérimental_. 1894.
(Founded the _Année psychologique_ in 1895.)
BLONDEL: _L'Action, Essai d'une Critique de la Vie et d'une Science de
la Pratique_. 1893.
_Histoire et Dogme_. 1904.
BOIRAC: _L'Idée du Phénomène_. 1894.
BOIS: _De la Connaissance religieuse_. 1894.
BOURGEOIS: _Solidarité_. 1896.
BOUTROUX (EMILE): _De la Contingence des Lois de la Nature_ 1874.
(E.T. 1916.)
_De l'Idée de Loi naturelle dans la Science et la Philosophie
contemporaines_. 1895. (E.T. 1914.)
_Questions de Morale et d'Education_. 1895. (E.T. 1913.)
_De l'Influence de la Philosophie écossaise sur la Philosophie
française_. 1897.
_La Science et la Religion dans la Philosophie contemporaine_. 1908.
(E.T. 1909.)
_Rapport sur la Philosophie en France depuis_ 1867. Paper read to
Third Congress of Philosophy at Heidelberg in 1908.
_Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_. Nov., 1908.
_Etudes d'Histoire de la Philosophie_. (E.T. 1912.)
_The Beyond that is Within_. E.T. 1912. (Addresses.)
BROCHARD: _De la Responsabilité morale_. 1874.
_De l'Universalité des Notions morales_. 1876.
_De I'Erreur_. 1879.
BRUNSCHWICG: _La Modalité du jugement_. 1897.
_La Vie de l'Esprit_. 1900.
_Les Etapes de la Philosophie mathématique_. 1912.
BUREAU: _La Crise morale des Temps nouveau_. 1907.
CARO: _Le Matérialisme et la Science_. 1868.
_Problèmes de Morale sociale_. 1876.
COMTE: _Cours de Philosophie positive_. 6 vols. 1830-42.
_Discours sur l'Esprit positive_. 1844.
_Système de Politique positive_. 4 vols. 1851-4.
_Catéchisme positiviste._ _Synthèse subjective_ (vol. i.). 1856.
_Note_.--The Free and Condensed Translation of Comte's Positive
Philosophy in English by Miss Martineau, appeared in two volumes in
1853. Monograph by Lévy-Bruhl.
COURNOT: _Essai sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances et sur les
Caractères de la Critique philosophique_ (2 vols.). 1851.
_Traité de l'Enchaînement des Idées fondamentales dans les Sciences et
dans l'Histoire_ (2 vols.). 1861.
_Considérations sur la Marche des Idées et des Evénements dans les
Temps modernes_ (2 vols.). 1872.
_Matérialisme, Vitalisme, Rationalisine: Etude sur l'Emploi des
Données de la Science en Philosophie_. 1875.
_Note_.--A number of the _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_ was
devoted to Cournot in 1905. See also the Monograph by Bottinelli and
his _Souvenirs de Cournot_. 1913.
COUTURAT: _De l'Infini mathématique_.
_Les Principes des Mathématiques_.
CRESSON: _Le Malaise de la pensée philosophique contemporaine_. 1905.
DAURIAC: _Croyance et Realité_. 1889.
_Motions de Matière et de Force_. 1878.
DELBOS: _L'Esprit philosophique de l'Allemagne et la Pensée
française_. 1915.
DUHEM: _La Théorie physique_. 1906.
DUNAN: _Les deux Idéalismes_. 1911.
DURKHEIM: _De la Division du Travail social_. 1893.
_Les Regles de la Méthode sociologique_. 1894.
_Le Suicide_. 1897.
_Les Formes élémentaires de la Vie religieuse_. 1912. (E. T.)
ESPINAS: _Societés animales_. 1876.
EVELLlN: _La Raison pure et les Antinomies_. 1907.
FONSEGRIVE: _Morale et Société_. 1907.
FOUILLÉE: _La Philosophie de Platon 2 vols_. 1869. Prize for
competition in 1867, on the. Theory of Ideas, offered by the Académie
des Sciences morales et politiques. "Crowned" after publication by the
Académie française. 1871. Second Edition, revised, and enlarged to
four volumes. 1888-9.
_La Liberté et le Determinisme_. 1872. (Doctorate Thesis)
_La Philosophie de Socrate_. 2 vols 1874. Prize in 1868, Académie des
Sciences morales et politiques.
_Histoire générale de la Philosophie_. 1875. New Edition revised and
augmented, 1910.
_Extraits des grands Philosophes_. 1877.
_L'Idée moderne du Droit en Allemagne, en Ingleterre et en France_.
1878.
_La Science sociale contemporaine_. 1880.
_Critique des Systèmes contemporains_. 1883.
_La Propriété sociale et la Démocratie_. 1884.
_L'Avenir de la Métaphysique fondée sur l'Expérience_. 1889.
_L'Evolutionisme des Idées-forces_. 1890.
_L'Enseignement au Point de Vue national_. 1891 (E. T. 1892.)
_La Psychologie des Idées-forces_. 2 vols. 1893.
_Tempérament et Caractère selon les Individus, les Sexes et les
Races_. 1895.
_Le Mouvement idéaliste et la Réaction contre la Science positive_.
1895.
_Le Mouvement positiviste et la Conception sociologique du Monde_.
1896.
_Psychologie du Peuple français_. 1898.
_Les Etudes classiques et la Démocratie. 1898.
La France au Point de Vue moral. 1900.
La Reforme de l'Enseignement par la Philosophie. 1901.
La Conception morale et civique de L'Enseignement.
Nietzsche et l'Immoralisme. 1904.
Esquisse psychologique des Peuples européens. 1903.
Le Moralisme de Kant et l'Amoralisme contemporain. 1905.
Les Elements sociologiques de la Morale. 1905.
La Morale des Idées-forces. 1907.
Le Socialisme et la Sociologie réformiste. 1909.
La Démocratie politique et sociale en France. 1911.
La Pensée et les nouvelles Ecoles anti-intéllectualistes. 1912.
Posthumous: Esquisse d'une Interprétation du Monde.
Humanitaires et Libertaires. 1914.
Equivalents philosophiques des Religions.
On Fouillée, monograph by Augustin Guyau, son of J. M. Guyau. _
GOBLOT: _Traité de Logique_. 1918.
GOURD: _Le Phénomène_. 1888.
_La Philosophie de la Religion_. 1911.
GUYAU: _La Morale d'Epicure et ses Rapports avec les Doctrines
contemporaines_. 1878. "Crowned" four years before by the Académie des
Sciences morales et politiques.
_La Morale anglaise contemporaine_. 1879. An extension of the Prize
Essay (Second Part).
_Vers d'un Philosophe_. 1881.
_Problèmes de l'Esthétique contemporaine_. 1884.
_Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction_. 1885. (E.T.
1898.)
_L'Irréligion de l'Avenir_. 1887. (E.T. 1897.)
Posthumous: _Education et Hérédité_. (E.T. 1891.)
_L'Art au Point de Vue sociologique_.
_La Genèse de l'Idée de Temps_. 1890.
There is a monograph on Guyau by Fouillée.
HAMELIN: _Essai sur les Eléments principaux de la Représentation_.
1907.
HANNEQUIN: _Essai critique sur l'Hypothèse des Atomes_. 1896.
IZOULET: _La Cité moderne_. 1894.
JANET (PAUL): _La Famille_. 1855.
_Histoire de la Philosophie morale et politique dans L'Antiquité et
dans les Temps modernes._ 2 vols. 1858. Republished as _Histoire de la
Science politique dans ses Rapports avec la Morale_. 1872.
_La Philosophie du Bonheur_. 1862.
_La Crise philosophique_. 1865.
_Le Cerveau et la Pensée_. 1867.
_Eléments de Morale_. 1869.
_Les Problèmes du XIXe Siècle_. 1872.
_La Morale_. 1874 (E T. 1884.)
_Philosophie de la Révolution française_. 1875.
_Les Causes finales_. 1876. (E.T. 1878.)
JANET (PIERRE): _L'Automatisme psychologique_. 1889
_L'Etat mental des Hystériques_. 1894.
_Névroses et Idées-fixes_. 1898.
(Janet founded the _Journal de Psychologie_. 1904).
JAVARY: _L'Idée du Progrès_. 1850.
LABERTHONNIÈRE. _Le Dogmatisme morale_. 1898.
_Essais de Philosophie religieuse_. 1901.
_Le Réalisme chrétien et l'Idéalisme grec_.
LACHELIER: _Du Fondement de l'Induction_. 1871.
_Psychologie et Métaphysique_. 1885. Article in _Revue de Métaphysique
et de Morale_, now published with the above.
_Etude sur le Syllogisme_. 1907.
Monograph by Séailles, article by Noël.
LACOMBE: _De l'Histoire considérée comme Science_. 1894.
LALANDE: _La Dissolution opposée à l'Evolution, dans les Sciences
physiques et morales_. 1899.
_Précis raisonné de Morale pratique par Questions et Réponses_. 1907.
LAPIE: _Logique de la Volonté_. 1902.
LE BON: _Lois psychologiques de l'Evolution des Peuples_.
_Les Opinions et les Croyances._ 1911.
_Psychologie du Socialisme_. 1899.
_Psychologie des Foules._ (E.T.)
_La Vie des Vérités_. 1914.
LEQUIER: _La Recherche d'une Première Vérité (Fragments posthumes)_.
1865.
LE ROY: _Dogme et Critique_. 1907.
LIARD: _Des Définitions géometriques et des Définitions empiriques_.
1873.
_La Science positive et la Métaphysique_. 1879.
_Morale et Enseignement civique_. 1883.
_L'Enseignement supérieure en France_, 1789 à 1889. 1889.
LOISY: _L'Evangile et l'Eglise_. (E.T.)
MARION: _La Solidarité morale_. 1880.
MÉNÉGOZ: _Publications diverses sur le Fidéisme et son Application à
l'Enseignement chrétien traditionnel_. 1900. Two additional volumes
later.
MEYERSON: _Identité et Réalité_. 1907
MICHELET: _L'Amour_. 1858
_Le Prêtre la Femme et la Famille_. 1859.
_La Bible de l'Humanité. 1864
_MILHAUD: _Essai sur les Conditions et les Limites de la Certitude
logique._ 1894
_Le Rationnel_. 1898.
OLLÉ-LAPRUNE: _La Certitude morale_. 1880.
_Le Prix de la Vie_. 1885
_La Philosophie et le Temps présent_. 1895.
_La Raison et le Rationalisme_. 1906.
PARODI: _Le Problème morale et la Pensée contemporaine_. 1910.
PASTEUR: _Le Budget de la Science_. 1868
PAULHAN: _Phénomènes affectifs_.
_L'Activité mentale_. 1889
PAYOT: _La Croyance_. 1896.
PELLETAN: _Profession da Foi du XIXe Siècle_. 1852.
POINCAIRÉ: _La Science et l'Hypothèse_. 1902. (E.T. 1905.)
_La Valeur de la Science_. 1905.
_Science et Méthode_. 1909
_Dernières pensées_.
PROUDHON: _Qu'est-ce que la Propriété?_ 1840
_Système des Contradictions économiques_. 1846
_La Philosophie du Progrès_. 1851.
_De la Justice_. 1858.
RAUH: _Psychologie appliquée à la Morale et à l'Education_.
_De la Méthode dans la Psychologie des Sentiments_.
_Essai sur le Fondement métaphysique de la Morale_. 1890.
_L'Expérience morale_. 1903.
RAVAISSON-MOLLIEN (1813-1900): _Habitude_. 1838. (Thesis.) Reprinted
1894 in _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_.
_Aristote_. 1837. Vol. I. Vol. II. in 1846. Development of work
crowned by Académie des Sciences morales et politiques in 1833, when
the author was twenty.
_Rapport sur la Philosophie en France au XIXe Siècle_. 1867.
_La Philosophie de Pascal (Revue des Deux Mondes_. 1887)
_L'Education (Revue bleue_. 1887).
_Métaphysique et Morale (Revue des Deux Mondes_. 1893).
_Le Testament philosophique (Revue des Deux Mondes_. 1901).
_Cf_. Boutroux on Ravaisson (_Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_.
1900).
Bergson : _Discours à l'Académie des Sciences morales et politiques_.
1904.
RENAN: _Averroès et l'Averroisme_. 1852.
_Etudes d'Histoire religieuse_. 1857.
_Essais de Morale et de Critique_. 1851).
_Les Origines du Christianisme_. 1863-83. 8 vols., of which: _Vie de
Jésus_. 1863. (E.T.)
_Questions contemporaines_. 1868.
_La Réforme intellectual et morale_. 1871.
_Dialogues et Fragments philosophiques_. 1870. (E.T. 1883.)
_Drames philosophiques_.
_Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_. 1883. (E.T. 1883.)
_Nouvelles Etudes d'Histoire religieuse_. 1884. (E.T. 1886.)
_Histoire du Peuple d'Israël_. 5 vols. 1887-04. (E.T. 1888-91. 3
vols.)
_L'Avenir de la Science_. 1890. Written 1848-9. (E.T.)
_Feuilles détachées_. 1802.
For monographs on Renan: Allier: _La Philosophie de Renan_. 1895.
Monod: _Renan, Taine, Michelet_. 1894.
Séailles: _Renan_. 1894*.
RENOUVIER: _Manuel de Philosophie moderne_. 1842.
_Manuel de Philosophie ancienne_. 1844.
_Manuel républicaine de l'Homme et du Citoyen_. 1848.
_Gouvernement direct et Organisation communale et centrale de la
République_. 1851.
_Essais de Critique générale_. 4 vols. 1854, 1859, 1864, 1864. (On
revision these four became thirteen vols.)
_La Science de la Morale_. 2 vols. 1869.
_1^er Essai_, revised: _Traité de Logique général et de Logique
formelle_. 3 vols. 1875.
_2^e Essai_, revised: _Traité de Psychologie rationnelle_. 3 vols.
1875.
_Uchronie (L'Utopie dans l'Histoire), Esquisse historique du
Développement de la Civilisation européenne, tel qu'il n'a pas été,
tel qu'il aurait pu être_. 1876.
_Petit Traité de Morale pour les Ecoles laïques_. 1879.
_Esquisse d'une Classification systématique des Doctrines
philosophiques_. 2 vols. 1886.
_3^e Essai_, revised: _Les Principes de la Nature_. 1892.
_Victor Hugo, le Poète_. 1893.
_4^e Essai_, revised: _L'lntroduction à la Philosophie analytique de
l'Histoire_. 1896.
_5^e Essai_, new: _La Philosophie analytique de l'Histoire_. 4 vols.
I. and II. 1806. III. and IV. 1897. (This brought the Essais up to
thirteen volumes.)
_La Nouvelle Monadologie_. 1891). (With L. Prat.) ("Crowned" by the
Académie des Sciences morales et politiques.)
_Victor Hugo, le Philosophe_. 1900.
_Les Dilemmes de la Métaphysique pure_. 1901.
_Histoire et Solution des Problèmes métaphysiques_. 1901.
_Le Personnalisme, suivi d'une Etude sur la Perception externe et sur
la Force_ 1903.
Posthumous:
_Derniers entretiens_. 1905.
_Doctrine de Kant_. 1906.
For his two journals, see under "Periodicals."
In the latest edition the complete _Essais de Critique générale_ are
only ten volumes, as follows: _Logic_, 2; _Psychology_, 2; _Principles
of Nature_, 1; _Introduction to Philosophy of History_, 1; _and the
Philosophy of History_, 4.
The best monograph is that of Séailles, 1905.
Renouvier's Correspondence with the Swiss Philosopher, Sécretan, has
been published; _cf_. also _The Letters of William James_.
REYNAUD: _Philosophie religieuse_. 1858. (Third Edition.)
RIBOT: _La Psychologie anglaise contemporaine_. 1870. (E.T. 1873.)
_Hérédité, Etude psychologique_. 1873. (E.T. 1875.)
_La Psychologie allemande contemporaine_. 1879. (E.T. 1886.)
_Les Maladies de la Mémoire, Essai dans la Psychologie positive_.
1881. (E.T. 1882.)
_Les Maladies de la Volonté_. 1883. (E.T. 1884.)
_Les Maladies de la Personnalité_. 1885. (E.T. 1895.)
_La Psychologie de l'Attention_. 1889. (E.T. 1890.)
_La Psychologie des Sentiments._ 1896. (E.T. 1897.)
_L'Evolution des Idées générales._ 1897. (E.T. 1899.)
_Essai sur l'Imagination créatrice_. 1900.
_La Logique des Sentiments_. 1904.
_Essai sur les Passions_. 1906.
_La Vie inconsciente et les Mouvements_.
SABATIER (AUGUSTE): _Esquisse d'une Philosophie de Religion d'après la
Psychologie et l'Histoire_. 1897.
_Les Religions d'Autorité et la Religion de l'Esprit_. 1904. (E.T.)
SABATIER (PAUL): _A propos de la Séparation des Eglises de l'Etat_.
1905. E.T., Robert Dell, 1906 (with Text of the Law).
SÉAILLES: _Affirmations de la Conscience moderne_. 1903.
SIMON: _La Liberté de Conscience_. 1859.
_Dieu, Patrie, Liberté_. 1883.
SOREL: _Reflexions sur la Violence_. 1907. (E.T 1916.)
_Illusions du Progrès_. 1911.
TAINE: _Les Philosophes français au XIXe Siecle_. 1857.
_Essais de Critique et d'Histoire_. 1858.
_Philosophie de l'Art_. 2 vols. 1865. (E.T. 1865.)
_Nouveaux Essais de Critique et d'Histoire_. 1865.
_De l'Intélligence_. 2 vols. 1870. (E T. 1871.)
The work _Origines de la France contemporaine_ in 5 vols, 1876-93.
_Histoire de la Littérature anglaise_. 5 vols. 1863. (E.T. by Van
Laun. 1887.)
Monographs: De Margerie: _Taine_. 1894.
Monod: _Renan, Taine, et Michelet_. 1894.
Barzellotti: _La Philosophie de Taine._
Boutmy: _H. Taine_. 1897.
Giraud: _Essai sur Taine_. 1901.
TARDE: _Criminalité comparée_. 1898.
_Les Lois de l'Imitation_. 1900.
VACHEROT: _Histoire de l'Ecole d'Alexandrie_. 1846-51.
_La Métaphysique et la Science_. 3 vols. 1858.
_La Démocratie_. 1860.
_Essais de Philosophie critique_. 1864.
_La Religion_. 1868.
_La Science et la Conscience_. 1870.
_Le Nouveau Spiritualisme_. 1884.
_Cf_. Parodi on Vacherot, _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_. 1899.
WEBER: _Le Rythme du Progrès_.
_Vers le Positivisme absolu par l'Idéalisme_. 1903.
WlLBOIS: _Devoir et Durée: Essai de Morale sociale_. 1912.
XÉNOPOL: _Principes fondamentaux de l'Histoire_. 1899. Revised and
reissued in larger form in 1905 as _La Théorie de l'Histoire_.

[Footnote _*_ : This abbreviation is used throughout for "English
Translation."]

                             PERIODICALS

"LA CRITIQUE PHILOSOPHIQUE," of Renouvier and Pillon, 1872. to 1884,
weekly; monthly from 1885 to 1889.
"LA CRITIQUE RELIGIEUSE," 1878-1884 (quarterly). Renouvier.
"REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE DE LA FRANCE ET DE L'ÉTRANGER," founded by Ribot
in 1876.
"L'ANNÉE PHILOSOPHIQUE." 1867-1869. Renouvier and Pillon, refounded in
1890 by Pillon.
"REVUE DE MÉTAPHYSIQUE ET DE MORALE," founded by Xavier Leon in 1893.
"Crowned" by Académie des Sciences morales et politiques, 1921.
"ANNÉE PSYCHOLOGIQUE," founded by Beaunet and Binet, 1895.
"REVUE DE PHILOSOPHIE," founded by Peillaube, 1900.
"REVUE THOMISTE."
"ANNALES DE PHILOSOPHIE CHRÉTIENNE." Laberthonnière.
"ANNÉE SOCIOLOGIQUE." 1896-1912. Durkheim.
"JOURNAL DE PSYCHOLOGIE NORMALE ET PATHOLOGIQUE." Founded 1904 by
Janet and Dumas.
"BULLETIN DE LA SOCIÉTÉ FRANÇAISE DE PHILOSOPHIE." From 1901.


                                  II

                     GENERAL BOOKS ON THE PERIOD.

ALIOTTA: _The Idealistic Reaction against Science_. (E.T. from
Italian. 1914.)
BARTH: _Die Philosophie der Geschichte als Sociologie_. 1897.
BERGSON: _La Philosophie française_. 1915.
BOUTROUX: _Philosophie en France depuis_ 1867. Report to Congress of
Philosophy given in the _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_. 1908.
_La Philosophie_: an Essay in the volume of collected Essays entitled:
_Un Demi-Siècle de la Civilisation française_. 1870- 1915. Pp. 25-48.
(Paris: Hachette. 1916.)
DWELSHAUVERS: _La Psychologie française contemporaine_. 1920.
FAGUET: _Dix-Neuvième Siècle_. 1887.
_Politiques et Moralistes du XIXe Siècle_. 1881.
FERRAZ: _Etudes sur la Philosophie en France au XIXe Siècle_. 3 vols.
1882-9.
It is interesting to notice the triple division adopted by Ferraz:
 1. Socialism (under which heading he also groups Naturalism and
    Positivism).
 2. Traditionalism (Ultramontanism).
 3. Spiritualism (together with Liberalism).

FISCHER: _Geschichte der neuern Philosophie_. 9 vols.
FOUILLÉE: _Histoire de la Philosophie_, Latest Edition, last Chapter.
_Le Mouvement idéaliste et la Réaction contre la Science positive._
1896.
_La Pensée et les nouvelles Ecoles anti-intellectualistes_. 1912.
HÖFFDING: _Modern Philosophers._ (E.T. from Danish. 1915.)
LÉVY-BRUHL: _Modern Philosophy in France_. Chicago, 1899.
MERZ: _History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century_. 4 vols.
A great work. Very comprehensive, particularly for German and British
thought.
PARODI: _La Philosophie contemporaine en France_. 1919.
An excellent treatment of the development from 1890 onwards by a
French thinker. ("Crowned" by Académie.)
RAVAISSON: _Rapport sur la Philosophie en France au XIXe Siècle_.
1867. (Second Edition, 1889.)
This has become an acknowledged classic.
RENOUVIER: _Philosophie analytique de l'Histoire_. (Vol. IV. latest
sections.) 1897.
RUGGIERO: _Modern Philosophy_. 1912. (E.T. from Italian. 1921.)
Gives a stimulating account of German, French, Anglo- American and
Italian thought.
STEBBING: _Pragmatism and French Voluntarism_. 1914.
TAINE: _Les Philosophes français du XIXe Siècle_. 1857.
TURQUET-MILNES, G.: _Some Modern French Writers: A Study in
Bergsonism_. 1921.
Deals mainly with literary figures-e.g., Barres, Péguy, France,
Bourget, Claudel.
VILLA: _Contemporary Psychology_. (E.T. from Italian. 1903.)
_L'Idealismo moderno_. 1905.
WEBER: _Histoire de la Philosophie européenne_. (Eighth Edition,
1914.)

                              * * * * *

The article contributed by Ribot to _Mind_ in 1877 is worthy of
notice, while much light is thrown on the historical development by
articles in the current periodicals cited on p. 338, especially in the
_Revue philosophique_ and the _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_.


                          COMPARATIVE TABLE

THE CHIEF PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS IN FRANCE, GERMANY, ENGLAND AND AMERICA
                          FROM 1851 TO 1921.

_FRANCE._
_GERMANY._
_ENGLAND AND AMERICA._
l851 COURNOT: "Essai sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances." 1851
FECHNER: "Zend Avesta." 1851 MANSEL: "Prolegomena to Logic."
RENOUVIER: "Gouvernement direct et Organisation communale."
PROUDHON: "La Philosophie du Progrès."
1852 MOLESCHOTT: "Der Kreislauf des Lebens."
LOTZE: "Medizinische Psychologie oder Physiologie der Seele."
1854 RENOUVIER: "Essai de Critique générale"(Ier Essai).
1854 FERRIER: "Institutes of Metaphysic."
COMTE completes "Systeme de Politique positive."
1855 BÜCHNER: "Kraft und Stoff." 1855 BAIN: "The Senses and the
Intellect."
FECHNER: "Uber die physikalische und die philosophische Atomlehre."
SPENCER: "Principles of Psychology."
CZOLBE: "Neue Darstellung des Sensualismus."
1856 COMTE: "Synthèse subjective," vol. i. 1856 LOTZE: "Mikrokosmos"
(1856-1864).
CZOLBE: "Die Enstehung des Selbstbewusstseins."
1857 TAINE: "Philosophes rançais du XIXe Siecle."
1857 BUCKLE: "History of Civilization in England" (vol. i.).
RENAN: "Etudes d'Histoire religieuse." MANSEL: "The Limits of
Religious Thought."
1858 VACHEROT: "La Métaphysique et la Science." 1858 HAMILTON:
"Lectures" (1858-1860).
1859 RENOUVIER: "Deuxième Essai de Critique generale." I859 DARWIN:
"Origin of Species."
1860 FECHNER: "Elemente der Psychophysik."
1861 COURNOT: "Traité de l'Enchaînement des Idees." 1861 FECHNER:
"Uber die Seelenfrage."
1862 HÄCKEL: "Generalle Morphologie" (1862-1866). 1862 SPENCER: "First
Principles."
1863 RENAN: "Vie de Jésus." 1863 VOGT: "Vorlesungen iiber den
Menschen." 1863 MILL (J. S.): "Utilitarianism."
FECHNER: "Die Drei Motive des Glaubens."
1864 RENOUVIER: "Troisième Essai de Critique générale"; "Quatrième
Essai de Critique générale."
1865 BERNARD: "Introduction à l'Etude de la Médecine expérimentale."
1865 DÜHRING: "Der Wert des Lebens." 1865 HODGSON: "Time and Space."
CZOLBE: "Die Grenzen und der Ursprung der Menschlichen Erkenntnis."
MILL (J. S): "Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy."
HAMILTON: "Lectures on Metaphysics."
STIRLING: "Secret of Hegel."
1866 LANGE:"Geschichte des Materialismus."
1867 RAVAISSON: "Rapport sur la Philosophie en France au XIXe Siecle."
1867 MARX: "Das Kapital." 1867 BUCKLE: "History of Civilization in
England" ( vol. ii.).
1868 RENAN: "Questions contemporaines." 1868 LOTZE: "Geschichte der
Asthetik in Deutschland."
HÄCKEL: "Natürliche Schöpftungsgeschichte
1869 RENOUVIER: "Science deU Morale." 1869 HARTMANN: "Philosophic des
Unbewussten."
1870 TAINE: "De 1' Intelligence." 1870 RITSCHL: "Lehre von der
Rechfertigung"(1870-1874).
1871 LACHELIER: "Du Fondement de l'Induction."
1872 FOUILLÉE: "La LibertcS et la Determinisme," 1872 STRAUSS: "Der
Alte und der neue Glaube." 1872 MAURICE: "Moral and Metaphysical
Philosophy."
JANET: "Problemes du XIXe Siecle." NIETZSCHE: "Die Geburt der
Tragödie" WALLACE: "Logic of Hegel."
COURNOT: "Considerations sur la Marche des Idees."
1873 RIBOT: "IWredite." 1873 1973 SIGWART: "Logik" (1873-1878). 1873
1973 STEPHEN (J. F.): "Liberty, Equality,Fraternity."
1874 BOUTROUX: "La Contingence des Lois de la Nature." 1874 LOTZE:
"Drei Bucher der Logik." 1874 SIDGWICK: "Method of Ethics."
WUNDT: "Physiologische Psychologie."
BRENTANO: "Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt."
1875 COURNOT: "Materialisme, Vitalisme,Rationalisme."
RENOUVIER: Revises first and second "Essais."
1876 RENAN: "Dialogues et Fragments philosophiques." 1876 FECHNER:
"Vorschule der Asthetik." 1876 BRADLEY: "Ethical Studies."
JANET: "Les Causes finales."
GROTE: "Moral Ideals."
1877 FLINT: "Theism."
1878 FOUILLEE: "L'ldee du Droit." 1878 NIETZSCHE: "Menschliches
Allzumenschhches "(1878-1880). 1878 HODGSON: "Philosophy of
Reflection."
1879 BROCHARD: "De l'Erreur." 1879 LOTZE: "Drei Bucher der
Metaphysik." 1879 SPENCER: "Data of Ethics."
HARTMANN: "Phanomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins." BALFOUR:
"Defence of Philosophic Doubt."
1880 AVENARIUS: "Kritik der reinen Erfahrung"(1880-1890) 1880 CAIRD:
"Philosophy ol Religion."
1881 GUYAU: "Vers d'un Philosophe." 1881 NIETZSCHE: "Morgenrote."
1882 NIETZSCHE: "Die frohliche Wissenschaft." 1882 STEPHEN (L.):
"Science of Ethics."
1883 NIETZSCHE: "Also sprach Zarathustra"(1883-1891) 1883 GREEN:
"Prolegomena to Ethics."
DUHRING: "Der Ersatz der Religion." BRADLEY: "Principles of Logic."
WUNDT: "Logik."
MACH: "Die Mechanik in ihrer Entwicklung."
1885 GUYAU: "Esquisse d'une Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction."
1885 MARTINEAU: "Types o. Ethical Theory."
LACHELIER: "Psychologic et Métaphysique." BOSANQUET: "Knowledge and
Reality."
1886 GUYAU: "L'lrreligion de l'Avenir." 1886 MACH: "Analyse der
Empfindungen." 1886 WARD: "Psychology" (article).
WUNDT: "Ethik."
NIETZSCHE: "Jenseits von Gut und Böse."
1887 NIETZSCHE: "Zur Genealogie der Moral." 1887 SETH
(Pringle-Pattison): "Hegelianism and Personality."
1888 EUCKEN: "Die Einheit des Geisteslebens." 1888 BOSANQUKT:"Logic."
1889 BERGSON: "Les Donnees immediates de la Conscience." 1889 WUNDT:
"System der Philosophie." 1889 MARTINEAU: "Study of Religion."
FOUILLEE: "L'Avenir de la Metaphysique." LIPPS: "Grundthatsachen des
Seelenlebens." ALEXANDER: "Moral Order and Progress."
JANET (Pierre): "L'Automatisme psychologique."
PAULHAN: "L'Activité mentale."
1890 RENAN: "L'Avenir de la Science." 1890 JAMES: "Principles of
Psychology."
FOUILLÉE: "L'Evolutionnisme des Idées-forces."
RAUH: "Le Fondement métaphysique de la Morale"
1891 SIMMEL: "Moralwissenschaft."
AVENARIUS: "Der menschliche Weltbegriff."
1892 RENOUVIER Revises third "Essai."
1892 PEARSON: "Grammar Of Science."
RENAN "Feuilles détachées."
1893 DURKHEIM: "De la Division du Travail social." 1893 HUXLEY:
"Evolution and Ethics."
BLONDEL: "L'Action." CAIRD: "Evolution of Religion"
FOUILLÉE: "Psychologie des Idées-forces." BRADLEY: "Appearance and
Reality."
1894 MEINONG: "Werththeorie" (Psychologisch-ethische Untersuchungen).
1894 FRASER: "Philosophy of Theism"
HERTZ: "Prinzipien der Mechanik."
1895 FOUILLÉE: "Le Mouvement idéaliste."
1895 BALFOUR: "Foundations of Belief."
1896 BERGSON: "Matière et Mémoire" 1896 EUCKEN: "Der Kampf um einen
geistigen Lebensinhalt." 1896 STOUT: "Analytic Psychology."
RENOUVIER: Revises fourth "Essai."
HOBHOUSE: "Theory of Knowledge."
RENOUVIER: Publishes fifth "Essai" (La Philosophie analytique de
l'Histoire), vols. 1 and 2. MERZ: "History of Thought in the
Nineteenth Century" (1896-1914).
MACTAGGART: "Hegelian Dialectic."
1897 RENOUVIER: Ditto, vols. 3 and 4. 1897 HARTMANN:
"Kategorienlehre." 1897 JAMES: "The Will to Believe
SABATIER: "Esquisse d'une Philosophie de Religion." DREWS: "Das Ich
als Grundproblem der Metaphysik."
EHRENFELS: "System der Werttheorie" (1897-1898).
1898 WALLACE: "Natural Theology and Ethics."
1899 RENOUVIER (and Prat): "La Nouvelle Monadologie." 1899 MEINONG:
"Uber gegenstände höheren Ordnung." 1899 WARD: "Naturalism and
Agnosticism."
BOSANQUET: "Philosophical Theory of the State."
HODGSON: "Metaphysic of Experience."
1900 TARDE: "Les Lois de l'Imitation." 1900 PETZOLDT: "Die Philosophie
der reinen Erfahrung." 1900 ROYCE: "The World and the Individual."
BRUNSCHWICG: "La Vie de l'Esprit."
1901 EUCKEN: "Das Wesen der Religion."
EUCKEN: "Das Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion."
1902 POINCARÉ 1902 COHEN: "System der Philosophie: Logik." 1902 JAMES:
"Varieties of Religious Experience."
CLIFFORD: "Essays and Lectures."
1903 WEBER: "Vers le Positivisme absolu par l'Idéalisme." 1903
BERGMANN: "System des objectiven Idealismus." 1903 RUSSELL:
"Principles of Mathematics."
RAUH: "L'Expérience morale."
SCHILLER: "Humanism."
RENOUVIER: "Le Personnalisme."
1904 COHEN: "System der Philosophie: Ethik." 1904 MACTAGGART:
"Hegelian Cosmology."
1905 POINCARÉ: "Valeur de la Science." 1905 MACH: Erkenntnis und
Irrtum."
1906 OLLÉ-LAPRUNE: "La Raison et le Rationalisme." 1906 MEINONG: "Die
Stellung der Gegenstandtheorie ein System der Wissenschaften." 1906
BAILLIE: "Idealistic Construction of Experience."
DUHEM: "La Théorie physique."
BALDWIN: "Thought and Things."
1907 HAMELIN: "Les Eléments principaux de la Répresentation." 1907
EUCKEN: "Grundlinien einer neuen Lebensauschauung." 1907 SCHILLER:
"Studies in Humanism."
BERGSON: "L'Evolution créatrice." EUCKEN: "Hauptprobleme der
Religionsphilosophie."
EVELLIN: "La Raison pure et les Antinomies."
LALANDEL "Précis de Morale."
FOUILLÉE: "Morale des Idées-forces."
1908 BOUTROUX: "Science et Religion." 1908 EUCKEN: "Sinn und Wertdes
Lebens."
EUCKEN: "Philosophie des Geisteslebens."
MÜNSTERBERG: "Philosophie der Werte."
1909 POINCARÉ: "Science et Méthode."
1909 DEWEY: "Logical Theory."
1910 REMKHE: "Philosophie als Grundwissenschaft"
1911 DUNAN: "Les Deux Idéalismes." 1911 EUCKEN: "Konnen wir noch
Christen sein?" 1911 WARD: "Realm of Ends."
1912 FOUILLÉE: "La Pensée." 1912 COHEN: "System der Philosophie:
Æsthetik." 1912 BOSANQUET: "Value and Destiny of the Individual"
DURKHEIM: "Formes élémentaires de la Vie religieuse." EUCKEN:
"Erkennen und Leben."
1913 BOSANQUET: "Value and Destiny of the Individual."
1914 FOUILLÉE: "Humanitaires et Libertaires."
1915 SORLEY: "Moral Values and the Idea of God."
1917 LOISY: "La Religion."
1918 GOBLOT: "Traité de Logique."
1919 BERGSON: "L'Energie spirituelle."
1920 ALEXANDER: "Space, Time and Deity."
1921 RUSSELL: "Analysis of Mind."
MACTAGGART: "Nature of Existence."


                             BIBLIOGRAPHY

 I. Works of the Period classified under Authors. (The more
    important monographs are cited.) Names of philosophical journals.
II. Books on the Period.
III. Comparative Table showing contemporary German and
    Anglo-American Works from 1851 to 1921.


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