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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

PHILOSOPHY IN A WORLD AT WAR
psychology—the originator of a new and illuminating way of thinking
about the subject-matter of his science.
It is of some significance that none of the previous writers in this
series have even mentioned Freud or taken the findings of modern
psychology into consideration at all—not excluding Professor
Montague, though he essays a psychological analysis of the develop-
ment of conscience in the growing child.
This is one of the reasons for their claim that the scientific approach
is insufficient. Of course it is insufficient if you leave out the latest
stage of its development. You might just as well leave out physiology
and evolution and then claim that the scientific approach as repre-
sented by classical physics and chemistry was insufficient. No, the
only cure for the insufficiency of science is more science. The
scientific approach, empirical and where possible experimental, pre-
ferring the relative to the absolute, and rejecting the deductions of
pure reason except when based upon the inductions of raw fact,
cannot be rejected as insufficient until it has been completely tried out
on the analysis of human mind and human affairs as well as on that of
non-living matter. In these less complex fields its application has
already revolutionized our way of thinking about the universe (not to
mention producing the most spectacular practical results): there is no
reason why it should not continue to do so as it consolidates its hold on
the new areas it is now invading. Let us not forget that scientific
method is extremely young: what are three centuries compared to the
few millennia of civilization, the million years of man, or the thousand
million years of evolving life?
Scientific method to-day has reached about as far in its under-
standing of human mind as it had in the understanding of electricity
by the time of Galvani and Ampere. The Faradays and Clerk-
Maxwells of psychology are still to come; new tools of investigation,
we can be sure, are still to be discovered before we can penetrate
much farther, just as the invention of the telescope and calculus were
necessary precursors of Newton's great generalizations in mechanics.
However, even with the progress that science has already made,
it is possible to give a reasonably coherent world-picture based on
the scientific approach; and this contains elements of the greatest
importance to our philosophy and to our practical outlook. One is
that the universe is not dualistic but monistic; another is the incor-
poration of values within the scientific picture, and a reconciliation of
their absoluteness in principle with their relativity in practice; a
third is the real existence of progress in evolution; a fourth is the
complete and sole responsibility of man for achieving any further