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M.A., LL.IJ. 




M.A., U..D. 



























Difficulties involved in the definition of psychology 
as the science of mind, ...... 161 

as the science of the phenomena of consciousness . . 161 

A terminus in the defining process marked by the latter 

term . . . . . . . 162 

Consciousness as all that of which one is aware at any given 

moment, or as the total series of such momentary states . 163 
Twofold distinction required 

(a) between the objective facts and the modification of the 

subject s existence which constitutes his perception of 

them ( = distinction between outer and inner) . . 164 

(b) the same distinction as holding good for the subject 

himself, between the state of consciousness and its 
reference to something other than itself . . 164 

Question as to the primary character of this distinction 164 
Resultant suggestion as to the peculiarity of the psychological 

treatment of facts . . . . . .165 

The material of psychology 

(a) the immediate experiences . . . .165 

(6) the process by which the distinction between subject 

and object is developed . . . . .165 

Consequent distinction between psychology and epistem- 

ology . . 165 

Definition of psychology . . . . . .166 


General analysis of the inner life : three important conceptions 

The doctrine of faculties . . . . .167 

Psychical atomism . . . . . .167 

The conception of development . . . .167 


The first conception without significance for modern psy 
chology ... . . 168 
The second conception 

(1) the doctrine of Herbart . 168 

(a) its metaphysical presuppositions 

(b) its explanation of mental process 

(2) The association psychology . 171 
its inadequate explanation 

of the apprehension of relations . 

and of the special character of the emotions . 171 

Ward s criticism of presentationism and counter-theory of 

subjective reference . 172 

The role assigned to Attention 

The description of presentations as objects . 173 

Objective character of sense-presentations an after-growth 174 
The distinction of feelings from presentations in primitive 

i 7^ 

consciousness ....- 

Criticism of Ward s view . . .176 

() whether feelings can be attended to, revived, and associ 
ated, that is, have the general characteristics of pre 
sentations . . 1 7 
(6) whether facts justify the distinction of presentations (as 

objective) from attention and feeling (as subjective) 1 79 

Brentano s distinction of presentation from judgment and 

from feeling .... 
The criterion of the subjective according to Kant . 
The distinction of subjective and objective not applicable, 
with any definite meaning, to the primitive conscious 



Inadequacy of the second main conception 


The third main conception : that psychology has to trace the 

development of mind . ... 

Hegel s conception of the development of mind as tending to 

an end fixed from the outset 

fundamentally identical with the Aristotelian doctrine . 185 
The notion of End : two possible views 

(a) the transcendental : that the notion of end is absolutely 

valid, and efficient in the production of its own mani 

(b) the critical or empirical : that the notion is of subjective 


validity only and limited in application to our practical 
experience . . . . . .188 

The laws of change or development . . . .188 

(a) merely descriptive . . . . .189 

(/3) the doctrine of an ultimate end known beforehand not 

included in them . . . . .189 

Mental life a development . . . . .190 

Cause of development not predetermined . . . 190 

The notion implicit ..... 190 

What is specific in the notion of end not implied in develop 
ment ....... 191 

Application to mental life of the notion of development thus 

freed from the implication of end or purpose . . 192 


I. General character of the content . . . .195 
The inquiry as guided by the conception of development . 195 

The difficulty that the series of states of consciousness 
cannot be regarded either as making up a self or as 
existing without a self a result of the false objecti- 
fication of states of mind .... 197 
The distinguishable features in immediate experience . 198 

Qualitative differences . . . . .198 

Our names for these derived from mature experience . 199 
Qualitative distinctness and variation of intensity pos 
sessed by both sensations and feelings . . . 199 
Sensations distinguished 
(a) by their origin being connected with stimulation of 

some part of the body .... 200 

Inadequacy of this method . . . . 200 

(/3) by their function in the subsequent development of 

mind ....... 200 

II. Feeling ....... 201 

The distinction of feelings as subjective from sense-presenta 
tions as objective a derivative distinction . . 201 

View of feeling as a secondary fact dependent on other com 
ponents of consciousness ..... 202 

This dependence found in developed experience . . 202 

But bodily pain if not also bodily pleasure primary in 

character ...... 202 

And the observed dependence not a simple relation . 202 


Feelings (i.e., pleasure-pain) independent in nature and only 
explicable by reference to some independent organic 
process ....... 202 

Insufficiency of Wundt s reasons for holding that pleasure- 
pain does not exhaust the qualitative characteristics 
of feeling as primary experience . . . 203 

Theories of feeling : two main types 

(1) Pleasure and pain connected with their conditions in 

conscious experience : the teleological theory . . 205 

The theory which connects pleasure with unimpeded 

exercise of attention, and pain with its restriction . 207 
The theory which connects pleasure and pain with ex 
pansion and repression of the self . . . 208 

(2) Pleasure and pain connected with physiological pro 

cesses distinct from, though perhaps related to, those 
underlying sense-presentations . . . 208 

the changes which determine feeling being probably 
diffused in character, perhaps due to the state of 
nutrition of the organs directly connected with 
sensation ...... 209 

The formal feelings . . . . . .210 

Connexion of feeling and action . . . .211 

III. Willing ....... 212 

The essential elements of a voluntary action, according to 

Wundt ....... 212 

Factors involved in the process of willing 

(a) the series of sensations involved in movement . . 216 

(b) the movement not prefigured in the primitive sense - 

impulse ....... 216 

(c) regular series in the changes in our experience . . 217 
Influence of the feelings on this mechanism . . 217 

The inner effects of the process .... 218 

in attention . . . . . . .218 

in association ....... 219 

Gradual growth of the process of willing . . . 220 

The feeling of activity . . . . . 221 


View of thought as a distinct faculty connected with the differ 
ence of notion, judgment, and reasoning, from the simpler 
materials of knowledge ..... 222 


Statement of this view by Hamilton and Mansel crossed by a 
different view ...... 

Hansel s psychological judgment . . . . 224 

Hamilton s statement that comparison is involved in the 

simplest act of mind ..... 225 

Similar view of the process of knowledge as being of the nature 
of analysis 
in the Leibnizian School ..... 227 

and in Condillac ...... 228 

The objective reference of the logical products disregarded 

by both 229 


Lotze s doctrine : that thinking is a specific activity of the soul 
of a higher grade than that called forth in sensation or in 
perception ....... 231 

The specific functions of thinking 

(1) reference to the objective exhibited at a stage of think 

ing prior to the notion proper .... 231 

(2) as exhibited in the logical products imposing form on 

the given material ..... 232 

Distinction of thinking from lower mental processes 

(1) activity of thinking described as the process of relating 

as contrasted with the isolated impressions and ideas . 232 

(2) more general description of thought as the seeking for 

grounds or reasons as contrasted with the mechanical 

nexus of fact ...... 232 

Reconciliation of these diverse representations perhaps sought 
by consideration of the processes intermediate between 
mechanism and thought ; namely 

(a) mere identity of the perceiving subject . . . 234 

(6) unity of the subject in association and reproduction . 235 
(c) unity of the subject in the translation of sense-impressions 

into intuitions of space and time .... 235 

Pre-logical processes of thought ..... 237 

(a) first grade : objectifi cation ..... 238 

Objectivity and Universality .... 239 

(6) second grade (relatively passive) .... 242 

(a) Position ....... 242 

(/3) Distinction ...... 242 

(Ground for the antithesis between these and the 

mechanism of sense and idea) . . . 243 


(y) Comparison ...... 245 

The first universal and the concept . . . 245 
Implication of subjective activity in Lotze s account of 

comparison ...... 246 

Criticism of the isolation of these processes from the 

mechanism of sense and idea . 247 


Kant s doctrine (in the main unpsychological) : that the func 
tion of thought is the formation of the conception of 
object ....... 251 

The question for psychology : whether the distinction between 
subjective and objective is due to a unique activity of 
mind ........ 251 

Reasons for a negative answer 

(a) the view not required for Kant s philosophical theory . 252 

(b) its inconsistency with experience . . . 252 
Two sides of Kant s doctrine ultimately identical 

(1) objective reference of thought .... 252 
Kant s criticism of Leibniz ..... 252 
Criticism of Kant s view ..... 253 

complexity of the notion of object . . . 254 

relation of this developed notion to the simpler modes 

of representation of objective reference . . 254 

(2) relation of thought to self-consciousness . . . 255 
Self-consciousness dependent upon thought, but itself 

neither simple nor primitive .... 255 


Developed functions of thought shown in 

(1) distinctions running through mature experience . . 257 
thinking distinguished from presentations as (a) subjective 

activity, (b) purposive, (c) relating given material . 257 

(2) the characteristic products of thinking : notion, judgment, 

reasoning ....... 258 

Lines of consideration to be followed 259 



Reasoning in its various forms ..... 260 

The disjunctive syllogism ..... 260 

Primitive and developed forms of the disjunctive proposition 261 
Complexity of the disjunctive judgment even in its least de 
veloped form . . . . . . 261 

The hypothetical judgment ..... 262 

The connexion in idea of antecedent and consequent only 
relatively distinct from the more concrete representa 
tions of connexions in time and space . . . 263 
The hypothetical judgment and reasoning . . . 263 
The categorical judgment ..... 264 

Distinction of universal and individual judgments of funda 
mental importance from the psychological point of view 264 
Attitude of mind involved in the universal judgment . 265 
The simplest type of judgment without qualitative dis 
tinction ...... 266 

Reference in the universal judgment to objective fact . 266 
The common distinction between idea and judgment . 267 
View of this distinction as resting on a fundamental 
difference in the attitude of consciousness towards 
the content apprehended .... 268 

The function of judging being the reference of a given 

content to objective reality . . . 269 

The question as to the justification for assuming that 
objective reality is in any way a primitive ele 
ment in experience .... 269 

The cognate distinction between the parts of speech and 

the sentence . . . . . .271 

The apprehension of the objective . . . 272 

The various forms of the judgment based on this conscious 
ness at its different stages .... 272 

What combination of experiences in the inner life gives the 

primitive distinction between subjective and objective 273 
The difference between sensuous perceptions and idea the 

simplest form of that distinction . . . 273 

The rudimentary form of judgment thereby rendered 
possible indicated in the interpretation of any por 
tion of sentient experience as a sign . . 275 
this involving 

(a) distinction of ideas and actual facts . . . 275 

(6) a certain sense of continuity .... 275 


The apprehension of the real world of perception as a 
common point of reference for the experiences of a 
number of percipient subjects . . . 275 


(a) contrast between immediate sense -perception and 

the reality apprehended thereby . . . 276 

(b) recognition by the individual subject of other exist 

ences generically identical with his own . . 276 

New aspect thus given to perceived reality, and larger 

significance acquirsd by the interpretation of signs 276 
Origin of language ..... 277 

Psychological conseqiiences of philological inquiry . . 279 
Psychological condition under which the use of verbal 

signs may have originated . . . 280 

Objective reference not peculiar to thinking . . . 281 

Limitations of Kant s view ..... 281 
(a) the separation of the formal from the material ele 
ments of nature impossible .... 282 
(&) the representation of nature as a systematic whole a 
gradual development from the primitive distinction 
between the sentient subject and an order of fact 
distinct from his perceiving . . . 282 

Summary view of the nature of thinking . 282 


I. Inter-relation of the products of thinking . 283 
The notion judgment and reasoning not in an ascending- 
series of complexity, but different developments from a 
common origin ...... 

II. Objectivity and universality .... 284 
Objectivity in the sense of independence of the individual 

act of thinking necessarily possessed by the universal . 285 
Aspects involved in the recognition of the objective in 

(1) independence of the particular act of apprehending . 285 

(2) generality (being common to all percipient minds) . 285 

Objectivity of fact and objectivity of truth 
Divergence of thinking from perception 

The transition as consisting in a re-arrangement of data, 

and dependent on the supply of concrete material . 286 
(Distinction of self and not-self) . . 287 


Appearance of thinking due to the separation of relations 

from related contents ..... 288 
The common opposition of perceiving and thinking in re 
spect to Time . 288 

III. Thinking and self-consciousness .... 289 
Development of thought dependent upon 

(1) distinction of ideas from sense-perceptions . . 290 

(2) unification of each series . . . 290 
Thinking objective as regards its content, but pre-eminently 

subjective as a process ..... 290 
Relation of the reflective to the primitive form of self- 
consciousness . . . . . .291 

IV. The Categories ...... 292 

General attitude to Kant s analysis .... 292 

The distinction between category and Idea not ultimate . 293 
Thought as reflective consciousness .... 293 
Abstraction from condition of time to be found in the 

simplest acts of thought .... 294 

Analysis and synthesis as correlative aspects of thought 295 
The category of Causality and the principle of the Adapta 
tion of nature to the human mind . . . 296 
Objections to the distinction between them drawn by Kant 296 
The conception of the Uniformity of nature . . . 297 
Its variable content illustrated by the difficulties in the 

logical treatment of reasoning .... 298 
Uniformity not susceptible of discursive proof, because 

involved in the structure of our intelligence . . 299 

These ultimate conditions characteristics of the concrete 

material of experience ..... 300 

V. Thought and Eeality ..... 300 
Thinking not identical with the structure of reality, but one 

form in which reality is manifested . . . 300 

The question as to the complete intelligibility of reality . 300 
The Aristotelian doctrine of the individual . . 301 

The distinction between the That and the What no 
ground for limiting the interpretative function of 
thought ....... 301 

VI. The notion of Development ..... 302 
The view of development as the unfolding of what is 

already contained (Aristotle and Hegel) . . 302 

Contradiction in this view of development when applied 

to the practical sphere ..... 303 

Same difficulty on the theoretical side . . . 304 

Special difficulty in the notion of development : the fusion 

of identity and difference .... 305 


Question whether the same notion of development is 

applicable to all concrete forms of existence . 306 

The conception of a pre-existing plan . . . 307 

A type of agency other than the mechanism of nature not 

required for the notion of development . . . 307 

VII. The Positivist view of Thought .... 307 
The limitation of knowledge to co-existences and sequences 

(Comte) ....... 308 

a type of knowledge which is 

extremely abstract ..... 308 

and specially (if not exclusively) applicable to external 

perception ...... 308 

The method adopted in Comte s later work for deal 
ing with the facts of the inner life . . . 309 

VIII. Form and matter ...... 310 

General result : impossibility of severing form from matter 310 

This general position a deduction from Kant s work . 310 

No ultimate justification for Kant s antithesis between 
pure generality of thought and indeterminate par 
ticularity of perception . . . .311 


Importance of the practical type among our primary notions . 312 

Primitive thinking (or the natural order of thinking) . . 313 

The complex individual its starting-point . . . 313 

Agency conceived through muscular effort, and as pur 
posive ....... 313 

The reverse order put forward by developed thinking . . 314 

No incompatibility between the two representations . . 315 

Gradual alteration in content of the primitive categories of 

practice through increase of perceptive experience and 

of analytic power . . . . . .315 

Experience itself the sole criterion of the worth of the notions 

by which it is interpreted . . . . .316 





EVERY teacher to whom is entrusted some special branch 
of University work must feel a deep sense of responsibility 
as regards the relation he holds both to his subject and 
to those whose studies in it he is to direct. It de 
volves upon him, by his own activity as a teacher and as 
a learner, to maintain as a vital influence in the microcosm 
of letters the branch of human culture entrusted to him. 
It is his privilege, a privilege riot without its heavy 
burdens, to share in giving to others what Plato wisely 
calls "the first and fairest thing that the best of men can 
ever have," education of the soul. 

In the latter respect, in the relation in which he stands 
to his students, he who undertakes, I will not say to teach 
philosophy but to aid in drawing forth and stimulating 
the power of thinking philosophically, seems to me to 
have very special responsibilities. No other subject in the 
academical curriculum touches so many of the deepest 
interests of humanity, or touches them so intimately; no 
other subject is adapted to produce so fundamental a 
change in the culture of the individual mind. It may be 
deemed by us a pious exaggeration of the good Bishop 

1 [On entering upon the professorship of Logic and Rhetoric, 21st October 


Berkeley when he declared that " whatever the world 
thinks, he who hath not much meditated upon God, the 
human mind, and the summum bonum, may possibly make 
a thriving earth-worm, but will most indubitably make a 
sorry patriot and a sorry statesman " ; but the more temperate 
conclusion can hardly be avoided that the difficulties and 
perplexities with which reflexion on human life in any 
of its aspects is confronted, lead back when thoroughly 
followed to questions of the ultimate kind we call phil 
osophical, and that so, for good or for evil, he who has 
once breathed the free, if rarefied, atmosphere of specula 
tion must have his views on all the permanent interests 
of humanity profoundly affected. 

While, then, I feel keenly the responsibility resting on 
me, I take comfort in two reflexions. The one, of minor 
and merely personal significance, that the auditors in whose 
company I shall have to wade through the ocean of 
words constituting the medium of philosophical analysis 
will assuredly extend their cordial sympathy to a single- 
minded effort to reach the truth, and so far as possible to 
express it. The other, that he who has the privilege of 
lecturing on philosophy in a Scottish University may 
reckon upon the lively interest in the subject and the 
predisposition to prosecute inquiries in it which seem to 
be the natural heritage of the Scottish mind. 

With these considerations in mind, I have thought not 
only that I might venture, but that it was in a measure 
incumbent upon me to devote this opening lecture of the 
course to a general treatment such as might indicate, broadly, 
the method and principles by which the main topics of theor 
etical philosophy may be fruitfully handled. A. general treat 
ment of the kind has its own difficulties and dangers, and 
it is with great diffidence that I venture to connect it with 
a survey of the present position of philosophical questions. 


It has often been, and it is likely still to be, a reproach 
to philosophy that its problems exhibit in the course of 
history a suspicious uniformity. The modern thinker seems 
still to be placing before himself the same ultimate ques 
tions that pressed upon the earliest adventurers on the 
ocean of being. Nor do the advantages of the modern 
thinker s later position seem to bear fruit in a propor 
tionate completeness of the solutions reached. A final 
philosophy, by which I suppose is meant a connected body 
of answers to all the issues involved in the general ques 
tions raised by reflective thinking, seems as far off as ever. 
If point be wanted for the reproach, it is added by reference 
to the history of philosophy as the record of never-ending 
strife among rival views. 

Now, it is no doubt possible to say, and there is a 
certain truth in saying, that the apparent sameness of the 
philosophical problem depends mainly on the arbitrary 
insistence that it shall be at all times conceived and ex 
pressed in all its width and generality, no regard being 
paid to the considerations that a generality has significance 
only in the concrete details it sums up, and that the 
stringent rule applied to philosophy might have much the 
same consequence if applied to spheres of research in 
which admittedly change and advance have taken place. 
Even the developed and detailed researches of the special 
ised natural sciences show a tendency to return to the 
larger cosmical inquiries from which they took their start, 
and their special problems might, without undue straining, 
be brought within the limits of the vague and broad ques 
tions which first suggested themselves to the keen per 
ceptions of the Greek mind. 

With such an answer, however, no one is and no one 
ought to be contented. There is beyond doubt a sense in 
which the philosophic problem is and must be the same, a 


sense moreover, in which sameness is so far from identical 
with uniformity, with want of change, that it demands 
variation as its very condition. Philosophy has always 
taken as the goal at which it aimed, to find the principle 
of ultimate intelligibility, the principle by which and 
through which the manifold of experience can be under 
stood ; and, in respect to such aim, its distinction from the 
special sciences has consisted in the more general, more 
comprehensive character of the principle it sought. This 
is not a point of view, as I shall try to show, with which 
we can altogether rest content, although it fairly expresses 
the historic character of speculative philosophy. But, even 
from this point of view, it follows of necessity that 
philosophy as realised at any time, as expressed by any 
thinker, must depend on the nature of that manifold of 
experience for which explanatory principle was sought, on 
the vividness and completeness with which the individual 
thinker was able to place before himself the discordant 
elements of experience which serve as primary occasions 
for speculative effort to reconcile them, on the conception 
which the thinker had formed of the ultimate character of 
intelligibility, and, lastly, on the measure of success 
attending his effort to pursue that roundabout path 
through all things, rrjv Sia Trdvrwv SiegoSov, whereby the 
adequacy of a principle is tested. 

The apparently uniform fashion in which the most general 
problem of philosophy comes forward is mainly due to the 
obvious fact that the ultimate lines of division in experience 
as a whole, from reflexion on which arises the first sense of 
a difficulty to be overcome, the division, separation, even 
opposition between the subjective life of self-conscious 
mind on the one hand, and what we call relatively the 
objective world of nature on the other, appear to remain 
in a certain abstract sense the same. But this identity 


in the abstract is the least important feature of the 
division, and is fatally apt to mislead us. Much of the 
perplexity we feel in our effort to understand things springs 
directly from the ease with which we identify our abstract 
and lifeless representations of them with the fulness of the 
concrete reality. Nothing is gained for thought by dropping 
the particularising features which form too often the essence 
rather than the accidents of the reality we are striving to 
understand. A philosophic principle which seeks to render 
intelligible the conjunction in real experience of such ap 
parently antithetical factors as mind and nature, self- 
consciousness and the world of objective fact and event, 
will have small success if it remains satisfied with the 
abstract representations of these opposites, such as are 
familiar to ordinary thinking. From that point of view, 
as the history of speculation, particularly of modern 
speculation, abundantly shows, some barren solution will 
be sought, either by referring the conjunction of the two, 
allowed to remain in all their abstract difference, to some 
equally abstract third, which may be called God or what 
we please, or by arbitrary expression of one in terms of the 
other, or by equally arbitrary submersion of both in some 
inconceivable third. It is only by retaining the full 
particularity of the concrete facts that we can hope to reach 
some mode of expressing their union which shall satisfy us, 
and which shall prove itself adequate to the task of following 
out the details of experience. In truth, it would not be 
quite a paradox to say that philosophy has not so much to 
find a uniting principle as to make clear to us in what the 
reconciliation we seek consists. 

Psychology, Hegel used to complain, was too shy of the 
facts of mind, by which he meant, I take it, whatever may 
have been the justice of his reproach, that psychology was 
too much inclined to busy itself with wholly abstract 


thoughts about mind and its ways (if, indeed, the attenu 
ated pictures with which psychology has often been delighted 
deserve to be called thoughts), and that in so doing it lost 
sight of the real character of the experience to which these 
pointed. The unity, substantiality, immateriality of mind, 
its various powers and capacities, these are terms which 
have a meaning only through pictorial representations, 
imperfect abstractions that are more likely to mislead than 
to refer us to the full life of mind from which they have 
been derived. What Hegel said of Psychology may be said, 
and with as much justice, of Philosophy at large. It has 
too often been shy of the facts of experience and inclined to 
wheel in endless circles round the imperfect pictures which 
the dividing faculty of thought readily supplies. The 
perplexities in which we thus involve ourselves are most 
often of our own creation. We make a dust, and then 
complain we cannot see. I do not say that we can dispense 
with these pictorial representations, these half-thoughts; 
they are necessary material, the first stage of reflexion, 
and more often than not a heritage from the past. But 
there is great need that we should not take them for more 
than they are worth. It was not an injudicious prayer of the 
philosopher, to be delivered from the evil one and from 

Philosophy, then, must keep close to experience and draw 
its sustenance therefrom. Just as the philosophy of an 
individual, if he have one, is the condensed expression of the 
way in which he views the elements of his experience as put 
together, so philosophy in general is at any time the abstract 
mode of expressing what is vaguely described as the culture 
of the age, the thoughts and feelings of humanity at large, so 
far as these have a definite character, regarding its surround 
ings in nature and in practical life. When philosophy is so 
regarded, change or advance in it is readily seen to resemble 


in general fashion the change and advance that come about in 
the individual mind with increase of experience and increased 
faculty of reflectively handling it. Experience, whether in 
the way of new knowledge or in the way of new forms of 
activity, does not merely accumulate isolated materials in the 
individual mind. Each new item modifies what has gone 
before, and is itself received into a contexture of acquired 
notions that powerfully affects it, The first partial views 
are modified and expanded, and an increased power is gained 
of dealing with what is still to be added to the stock. So, in 
the history of philosophy at large, the wider and more exact 
knowledge of nature and man which constitutes increase of 
experience, compels a modification of the general conceptions 
in which reflexion had embodied itself, while the new 
thoughts do not lie in simple isolation or in antagonism to 
their antecedents. Mainly by the aid of these antecedents is 
thought able to supply what in them is wanting, to correct 
their one-sidedness or imperfection, and to carry out through 
the richer detail of new experience the fuller conception at 
which it has arrived. 

I do not desire to press the analogy further. Perhaps if 
one cared to pursue the fancy, one might maintain that in 
the genesis of a philosophical conception there is something 
resembling what has been called recapitulation in the 
realm of organic life. In working out a new conception, our 
thought will be found to be passing through, in modified 
stages, no doubt, the forms of earlier philosophical ideas, 
which in the larger page of history stand, each with an in 
dependence of its own, as so many past systems. The final 
ideas of the earlier doctrines find a place, and a necessary 
place, in the larger apprehension of reality, through which, 
moreover, their essential meaning is more fully and ade 
quately expressed. 

Now, when one turns to the special case to which these 


general reflexions are intended to apply, to the present 
position in which philosophy stands, one can hardly fail to 
discern the signs of a condition such as one commonly and 
fairly enough describes by the term transition. The apolo 
getic attitude which is often and necessarily adopted by the 
exponent of philosophy seems at present peculiarly appropri 
ate. Of confidence in the constructive work of philosophy, 
of conviction that thought is in a position to work out a 
satisfactory solution of the problems it must set before itself, 
there cannot be said to be at present much. Such a con 
dition of things indicates now, as it has indicated in the past, 
that the leading ideas with the aid of which we are seeking 
to master and make intelligible the experience before us are 
felt to be inadequate to their task. 

Moreover, it is not difficult to define in a general fashion 
the unreconciled factors which have determined the present 
somewhat unsatisfactory position of philosophy. I have no 
hesitation in regarding these as, on the one hand, the 
fundamental conceptions which animated the great idealist 
systems of the early part of the century, and, on the 
other hand, the accumulation of detailed particular know 
ledge both of nature and of the history of man which 
has specially characterised the last fifty years. I by no 
means intend to say that these factors are in simple 
antagonism to one another; for that, it would be requisite 
that the latter of them should satisfactorily express itself 
in the form of a principle, which it has not yet done and 
is not likely to do. Nor do I suppose that reconciliation 
is to be effected by simple substitution of the one for the 
other. But it does appear to me that the idealist systems 
were wrought out with the help of concrete representations 
of reality which increased experience has shown to be in 
sufficient, that the new knowledge specialised research has 
given us of man, his development and surroundings, forces 


upon us a considerable modification of the idealist conception, 
and that the idealist conception itself, in the elaboration of it 
by its main exponents in the great philosophic movement 
initiated by Kant, encountered obstacles such as in themselves 
indicate the need for a revision of its principle and method. 

I make no attempt in this general treatment to embrace in 
any summary description the rich material furnished by the 
systems of idealist philosophy that connect themselves his 
torically with Kant. The precise character of the perplexity 
in which I conceive these systems found themselves, the kind 
of new light thrown upon it by our extended experience, and 
the resulting modification of principle and method, will be 
much more easily understood looked at in the more simple 
fashion in which it presents itself in the Kantian system. 

There is a reason other than that of mere convenience for 
selecting the Kantian position as typical. In reviewing the 
Kantian doctrine, one has the rare satisfaction of being able 
to define precisely the concrete representation of natural fact 
which served as background to his speculative discussions. 
It is to be regretted, but it is not from the circumstances of 
the time unnatural, that we are not able to define with equal 
precision the picture of human life and progress which doubt 
less was there too and operative, but which was certainly for 
Kant relatively vague and incomplete. These backgrounds, 
as one calls them for brevity s sake, are truly the most im 
portant factors in determining the philosophic conception 
that appears at first sight quite distinct from them. Much 
of our difficulty in understanding a past philosophy rests on 
the fact that we know not the background, or at all events are 
unable to realise it with sufficient fulness. 

Now, on the other hand, in the case of the idealist systems 
that sprang directly from the Kantian, and in particular in 
the case of the most imposing of them, that of Hegel, one has 


not the same satisfaction. I do not envy the task of any one 
who tries to reconstruct the picture of natural fact which 
plays its part in the formation of the Hegelian system. I 
must myself confess that I am wholly unable to understand 
the place assigned to Nature in Hegel s constructive phil 
osophy, and that I regard his philosophy of nature as being 
in the mass and in detail a needless excrescence and a blunder. 
It would carry me beyond the question I design to put before 
you to refer to the not less interesting side of that system 
where the picture of man s practical life has the same im 
portant place for ethics as that of nature has for theoretical 
philosophy. But I may be permitted to say that I doubt 
whether on this side either one s satisfaction can be complete. 
I am not myself able to regard the constitutional system of 
Germany as the ideal in which the practical life of man has 
reached its consummation. 

Those who are familiar with the main currents of the 
philosophic movement during this century may probably 
wonder why in this connexion I do not refer more specially 
to the work of Lotze. Lotze s historical position, in rela 
tion both to the earlier idealist philosophy and to the later 
specialised researches in nature and history, seems to render 
him peculiarly significant as illustrating the struggle I have 
referred to. But though it would be impossible to estimate 
too highly the value of much of Lotze s work in detail, 
though the ingenuity, subtlety, and tenacity of his genius 
will always secure him the highest rank as a thinker, I 
cannot say of his philosophical views as a whole other than 
what a distinguished critic has said of Malebranche, that his 
is after all only a half-philosophy. Lotze was undoubtedly 
keenly alive to the discrepancy between the large concep 
tions of the idealist systems and the detail of experience 
which special science had to bring forward, and undoubtedly 
strove to effect some modification and reconciliation. But 


the net result of his long-continued labours was, so far as I 
can understand, a kind of half-hearted admission that re 
conciliation was impossible. For that cannot be called a 
reconciliation which is effected only by passing beyond the 
limits of knowledge. 

It is, then, I believe, with good reason that, in order to 
make discussion of our present position in speculative in 
quiries at once clear and precise, we revert to the Kantian 
doctrine and to that germinal principle in it from which the 
more systematic philosophies sprang. In connexion with 
that principle we shall see most definitely what effect has 
been wrought upon our general conceptions by the increased 
knowledge we have to utilise. 

Of the Kantian doctrine as a whole, the foundation was the 
analysis of knowledge, and of that analysis of knowledge the 
central idea was the function assigned to the unity of mind. 
Experience as Kant conceived it, experience so far as 
theoretical cognition was concerned, came about only in 
and through the correlation of passively received impressions 
with the uniting activity of mind. A finite subject, a mind, 
could le only in so far as it was self-conscious, aware of its 
own unity. The conditions under which it becomes aware 
of its own unity cannot be given in the merely contingent 
whirl of sense-impression ; they spring from and express the 
nature of the uniting consciousness of self whereby experience 
is thus constituted. Through these forms of unity in ap 
plication to given sense-material the subject knows himself 
as opposed to and yet in most intimate conjunction with a 
world of determinately related objects, the mechanism of 
things in space and time. 

It would be a long task to trace out the historic factors 
which determined the general character of the view here 
briefly summarised, and though in this way it would be 
possible and it would be right to explain much that is 


peculiar to it, I do not purpose making the attempt. More 
over, if in dealing so briefly with a great conception I seem 
unsympathetic and even unfair, I must plead the exigencies 
of the special occasion, and protect myself by saying that 
elaborate statements of the Kantian doctrine exist in abund 
ance, and that in this University in particular we hold in 
well-deserved honour an exposition which in its sympathetic 
appreciation does full justice to what is of permanent worth 
in Kant s conception while measuring out justice likewise to 
its obvious defects. 

That the central idea in Kant s view of knowledge was in 
some way at fault became obtrusively manifest even in his 
own attempt to apply it within the compass of cognitive 
experience. The pieces of the mechanism of knowledge as 
conceived by him had a suspicious tendency to fall asunder, 
and were only patched together by a variety of ingenious but 
artificial devices. It was, in the first place, impossible for 
Kant to bring directly within the scope of his main idea the 
equally important part of his general doctrine, that only in 
the forms of space and time were the perceived contents of 
knowledge possible material of cognition. Only in the scat 
tered utterances of his posthumous work somewhat melan 
choly reading do we come in sight of an attempt on his 
part to fill up this hiatus in his view. 

It was further impossible for Kant to offer from the basis 
of his central conception any reasonable explanation of the 
altogether remarkable doctrine that only in and through the 
representation of sensuous experience ordered according to 
universal laws, only in and through the apprehension of the 
mechanism of external nature, did mind become aware of its 
own unity and continued identity. In truth, the notion of 
unity of mind was far too thin and unsubstantial to stand 
the weight imposed upon it by Kant. 

And, finally, the whole exposition deepened the impression 


which is made by Kant s general mode of approaching the 
problem of knowledge, that the orderly system of appre 
hended facts constituting knowledge stands in some mys 
terious fashion mid-way between two incognisables, two 
unknowable realities, the pure self or ultimate core of mind 
and the realm of things in themselves. I doubt if it is at all 
possible to free the Kantian doctrine, as it stands in his 
work, from the subjectivism which certainly he seems anxious 
to repudiate. 

I do not think it necessary to add to this summary view 
the criticism which one would have to pass if one tried to 
follow out the Kantian doctrine on two of its most interesting 
lines of development: the one bearing on the functions of 
Eeason, in which we should find a new but equally unsatis 
factory meaning attached to the ambiguous term Unity ; the 
other connected with Kant s peculiar view of the province 
and method of empirical psychology, wherein our doubts as 
to the justification for the distinction between the pure and 
the empirical self, to which his central doctrine led, would 
be strengthened and enlightened. It is sufficient to have 
enumerated the more obvious defects in order to make clear 
where the fundamental error lies. The unity of mind is put 
in an altogether false relation to experience. From Kant s 
mode of approaching the question and stating the solution, 
the conclusion is inevitable that it is because of the unity of 
mind that subjective facts of sense-impression are organised 
into the orderly form of determined knowledge. But in 
truth, as it appears to me, the emphasis might, with more 
justice, be laid on the other side of the antithesis. It is in 
and through the organisation of experience in the form of 
knowledge of objective fact that mind becomes self-conscious, 
aware of its own unity; nor has its unity any significance 
other than what it obtains in and through the contrast with 
objective fact which is given in knowledge. 


The conditions of the possibility of experience are not 
forms imposed by the activity of mind upon the chaotic 
material with which it is furnished from without, but the 
general characters of the experience wherein and whereby 
mind becomes possible at all. In the synthesis of mind and 
its objects, the determining factor is not the activity of mind 
standing, so to speak, equipped with its armoury of weapons 
for mastering given fact ; rather we are bound to conceive of 
the two correlative sides, subjective life of the self-conscious 
mind and objective fact apprehended, as developing side by 

It has long been seen how hard it is to reconcile Kant s 
mode of stating his doctrine with the admitted and patent 
facts which we sum up under the title development of know 
ledge. Many of the hard-and-fast distinctions in which he 
delighted, the antitheses between sense and understanding, 
between a priori and a posteriori, between necessary and 
contingent, lose their point when looked at in the light of 
development of knowledge. The difficulty of reconciling 
amounts, in my judgment, to impossibility, and indicates 
not merely an imperfection in the fundamental idea but a 
radical error. 

It is no unimportant feature of the Kantian doctrine that 
is thus to be considered. It constitutes not only the key 
stone of his structure, so far as that is a systematic repre 
sentation of knowledge, but the point from which to a large 
extent the immediately following idealist philosophies took 
their start, I am convinced that it is doing these systems no 
substantial injustice to say that, following out the central 
conception of Kant s doctrine of knowledge, they represented 
the principle of experience in the form of a connected content 
of abstract thoughts, and regarded the method of philosophy 
as essentially the following out of the inner relations, the self- 
development of these thoughts. There is much that may be 


said in explanation of their procedure, much that seems at 
times to be an explaining away of what is most peculiar to it, 
but I do not think it affects greatly the general impression 
left upon the mind of an unprejudiced critic. 

Now the view pressed upon one by the failure of Kant s 
method, the view that the emphasis is wrongly placed on 
mind, is precisely that which is pressed upon us by the 
accumulated mass of increased knowledge of man s relations 
to nature and of his slow historic development. 

Specialised research into nature has not only deepened and 
strengthened our ideas as to the systematic interconnected- 
ness and interdependence of all parts of reality, but in 
particular, by extension to what comes closest to the life of 
man, has enforced a conclusion one would feel inclined to 
advance from purely philosophical grounds, that the antithesis 
we make between the abstract mechanism of nature and the 
subjective life of mind is falsely conceived when taken to 
mean absolute severance in concrete existence. That the 
antithesis, the opposition, is a necessary condition in con 
sciousness for the very being of consciousness, that mind, in 
other words, only realises itself in the form of that which is 
contrasted with nature, ought not to lead us to confer a 
wholly fictitious and unwarranted independence upon the 
opposites themselves. It is true that self-consciousness 
implies a contradistinction from nature, that mind only 
knows itself in knowing a nature that is distinct from itself. 
But the very implication of this truth is that neither mind 
nor nature as thus contrasted in consciousness is possessed 
of independent being, that mind knows nature only in so far 
as it is a part of nature, and that its knowledge of nature, its 
apprehension of fact other than itself, is the living link 
which binds it to nature and to the sum-total of reality. 
Ideas, as one may put it, are not so much in mind as of 




mind ; they are the actual modes of our participation in that 
reality of which external nature is a part. 

NOT is the lesson thus enforced less readily learned from 
the researches which have already opened to us much of the 
long process whereby man s mind has expressed itself in 
varying institutions and beliefs. Not only does what we 
thus positively know or reasonably conjecture compel the 
thought of mind in its entirety as gradually developing, but 
it constrains us to interpret the conditions of our experience 
in such a fashion as not to exclude the humblest manifesta 
tions of mental life. Our imagination here readily misleads 
us. We talk of mind expressing itself in various ways, of 
the mind of man forming in gradual succession more and 
more elaborated representations, for example, of the divine, 
of supernatural powers. We forget that mind is not an 
abstraction, that it lives only in and through its concrete 
expression, and that what we thus represent as the pro 
duct of mind might just as fairly be said to be the very 
making of mind. 

On the whole, then, as it appears to me, the recognised 
inadequacy of the central thought on which the earlier 
idealist systems were based, and the lesson of concrete 
experience, combine to compel an important transition in 
the point of view from which the philosophical question 
must be contemplated. Short titles are always misleading, 
and I doubt not that it would give rise to some misappre 
hension if I described the change as that from idealism 
to realism, from rationalism to empiricism or naturalism. 
The designation is of much less importance than the thing 
itself, which means, in brief, that in our attempt to unfold 
the nature of knowledge and the general connecting links of 
what is known, we must turn rather to the concrete experi 
ence of mind than to the abstract conceptions into which 
that experience is condensed. There is no royal road to 


philosophic truth ; the only route that can be followed is the 
long and difficult path of facts. 

1 may be permitted a remark or two on certain aspects of 
the change which I have briefly indicated. 

1. When the opposition is denned, as has just been done, 
when the contrast is drawn between the principle of the 
idealist systems and what I have called Naturalism, it 
appears as though mind were relegated to a- secondary 
position, were made dependent upon and a product of 
nature. On this it must be said, in the first place, that 
our imagination, representing real existence in the ambiguous 
form of a series in time, will always deceive us somewhat, 
We are impelled by the easily recognised deficiencies of that 
mode of representation to conceive of real existence as enjoy 
ing a kind of timeless mode of being, in contrast with which 
that which comes into being in time is relatively inferior. 
The contrast is valueless. The tiinelessness of real being is 
in no way exclusive of change, and indicates no more than 
the mode in which the law of change must be represented 
in consciousness. Timelessness in no way intensifies exist 
ence. It is a vulgar error to think that truth or goodness or 
beauty are enhanced in value by having the predicate of 
eternal affixed to them, or that they are thus qualitatively 
distinguished from the temporal. A real interconnected 
system, which undergoes change, has in it no other relation 
of superior and inferior among its parts than depends on the 
actual character of these parts. If we possess a standard 
whereby to measure such a relation, a point on which 1 
express no opinion, we should certainly find that it applied 
without regard to temporal order or dependence. 

2. Moreover, it would be to misconceive all I have said to 
regard nature, in the sense of the external mechanism of 
objects in space and time, as equivalent to the sum-total of 


reality. On the contrary, I have desired to insist on the view 
that the life of mind is an integral part of that reality. I 
am aware of the perplexities attaching to the term part of 
reality. They are too numerous to be adequately handled 
in a sentence. I shall only say that, according to the view 
I take, reality is the interconnected system of which the cor 
relatives, mind and the apprehended world of fact, are the 
partial manifestations. In this sense, mind is not less neces 
sary to the completeness of the whole than nature, and to 
neither can be accorded the absolute independence which our 
imagination demands. 

To say of mind, then, that it comes into being settles in no 
way its place in the scheme of things, as a secondary and 
inferior fact. As Lotze puts it, in reference to a somewhat 
similar problem, "Man esteems himself according to what he 
is, and not according to whence he arose. It is enough for us 
to feel now that we are not apes. It is of no consequence 
to us that our remote and unremembered ancestors should 
have belonged to this inferior grade of life. The only pain 
ful thought would be that we were destined to turn into apes 
again, and that it was likely to happen soon." 

3. The last remark I make concerns the most notable 
feature in recent work within the range of philosophy, the 
vast increase of interest in psychology. Hegel used to say 
that it was only in a period of decline in philosophy that 
there came an outburst of empirical psychology; and I be 
lieve there are many observers of the course of modern 
philosophical work disposed to apply his remark to the 
present condition of things. I think there is another side 
to the matter. Even the empirical psychology which Hegel 
had in view, abstract and unsatisfactory as it was, had at 
least the merit that it strove to get near to the actual life of 
mind. Psychology, as it is conceived at present, has certainly 
lost the abstractness of its earlier form, and though no 


doubt pursued by many minds with great diversity of in 
terest, may claim a genuinely philosophical character. To 
trace out the history of the mental life, to determine the 
natural conditions on which it depends, and to follow the 
several stages of its development from the lowest to the 
highest, keeping ever before us the concrete character of 
the whole, is impossible except as part of and in the light of 
a general philosophical view. The problem which Psychology 
has before it cannot be arbitrarily severed from the general 
questions of philosophy, and it cannot be satisfactorily solved 
except as part of the more general treatment which by long 
tradition and common consent is called philosophical. It is 
with the nature of knowledge that theoretical philosophy 
has to deal; and its three main branches Logic, the 
description of the form of knowledge, Psychology, the ac 
count of the mode in which knowledge is realised in mind, 
and Metaphysics, the systematic statement of the thoughts 
which express the nature of reality and the relation of mind 
thereto are so interdependent that the problems of any 
one lead on inevitably to the problems of the others. 

I cannot but fear that in attempting to indicate what 
appears to me the character of the important change pass 
ing over the spirit and method of philosophy, I may have 
fallen into the very error I have been condemning. An 
abstract conception or a general description has little sig 
nificance when divested of the detail of concrete illustration. 
A new methodical principle in philosophy can only be under 
stood, as it can only be tested, by the resolute endeavour to 
apply it to the whole round of questions which have long 
exercised human reason. So to think out a philosophical 
idea is no easy matter ; not like the spinning of an oyster- 
shell, but a revolution of the whole soul. " The eye," says 
Berkeley, " by long use comes to see even in the darkest cavern: 


and there is no subject so obscure but we may discern some 
glimpse of truth by long poring on it. Truth is the cry of 
all, but the game of a few. Certainly when it is the chief 
passion, it doth not give way to vulgar cares and views ; nor 
is it contented with a little ardour in the early time of life ; 
active, perhaps, to pursue, but not so fit to weigh and revise. 
He that would make a real progress in knowledge must ded 
icate his age as well as youth, the later growth as well as 
the first fruits, at the altar of Truth." 



GIORDANO BRUNO, " a man of impure and abandoned life : a 
double renegade, a heretic formally condemned, whose ob 
stinacy against the Church endured unbroken even to his 
last breath. He possessed no remarkable scientific know 
ledge, for his own writings condemn him of pantheism and 
of a degraded materialism, and show that he was entangled 
in commonplace errors and not unfrequently utterly incon 
sistent. He had no splendid adornments of virtue, for as 
evidence against his moral character there stand those ex 
travagances of wickedness and corruption into which all 
men are driven by passions unrestrained. He was the hero 
of no famous exploits, and did no signal service to the State ; 
his familiar accomplishments were insincerity, lying and 
perfect selfishness, intolerance of all who disagreed with 
him, abject meanness, and perverted ingenuity in adulation." 
This testimonial to character comes from no vigorous 
polemic of Bruno s time, an age yet unskilled in the deli 
cate art of vituperation. It is an extract from an allocu 
tion addressed by the Pope in 1889 to the Sacred College 
in Consistory, and ordered by the Sacred Congregation of 
Bishops and Regulars to be read in the various Roman 
Catholic Churches. The spirit in which it is conceived has 

i [Read 4th February 1895, at the Owens College, Manchester, as one of a 
series of popular evening lectures.] 


for long proved successful in surrounding the life-history 
and the ideas of Bruno with a veil of obscurity through 
which only very recent researches have penetrated, and which 
even yet is not wholly removed. But the more enlightened 
historic conscience of our generation, aided perhaps by a 
certain fondness for rehabilitating damaged reputations, has 
worked to good purpose in Bruno s case. His writings, 
formerly hard to procure and evidently little known or ap 
preciated, have been collected in handsome and fairly com 
plete form, and are thus at least accessible. All the new 
data for a narrative of his career, so far as they have yet 
been obtained, are collected in the life of Bruno by his 
countryman, Domenico Berti. From the sources thus opened 
up, and under the impulse given by the erection of a statue 
to Bruno in Eome, quite a little flood of larger treatises and 
smaller pamphlets has been poured forth. 

Prior to the discovery of the new materials relating to 
the life of Bruno, a discovery initiated by the researches 
of Foncard into the archives of the Savii sopra 1 Eresia in 
\ r enice, there existed only one foundation for a sketch of 
Bruno s career. That foundation, however, is in itself re 
markable and interesting. It is in the form of a letter by 
an eyewitness of the burning of Bruno at Eome in February 
1600. The letter seems first to have appeared in print in 
1620 or 1621, and was again printed, apparently from 
another MS. copy, in 1701. On the authenticity of the 
document, and consequently on the historic credibility of the 
event it narrates, quite unnecessary doubts have more than 
once been cast. Mr Chancellor Christie, on the occasion of 
a recent revival of these doubts, brought to bear upon the 
matter his great and minute knowledge of the contemporary 
literature, and had no difficulty in showing that there was 
satisfactory independent evidence for the event narrated, and 
that there was as strong evidence as can reasonably be de- 


manded for the authenticity of the document. 1 The writer 
of the letter, a certain Gaspar Schoppe or Scioppius, a highly 
ambiguous character who played an ambiguous part in the 
learned warfare of the time, was in Rome and in intimate 
relations with the authorities of the Church and Inquisition. 
It pleased him then to be a devoted convert to Roman 
Catholicism, and it is not unfair to conjecture that he was 
being used, with his own eager consent, to whiten the face 
of the Holy Church before the recalcitrant Protestants. 
Schoppe s letter is the last of a series despatched by him 
to his correspondent, Conrad Rittershusius, rector of the 
University of Altdorf. As it furnishes at once an interest 
ing commentary on the allocution already referred to and 
a statement of the long-current story of Bruno s life, I 
extract the relevant portion of it, before proceeding to the 
more detailed narrative. 2 

you must know, my dear Eittershusius, that the Italians 
here are quite incapable of drawing distinctions among heresies. 
They call any heretic a Lutheran. I pray God that they may 
retain this simplicity of judgment and never come to know how 
one heresy differs from another. I fear that the power of dis 
crimination may cost them dear. But I am most anxious that 
you should learn this from me, and I do assure you, on my honour, 
that no Lutheran or Calvinist, unless he be a pervert or the 
cause of public scandal, runs any risk at Kome, least of all the 
risk of punishment by death. It is the earnest desire of our most 
Holy Father that Lutherans should be free to come to Home, and 
that they should be treated by cardinal and prelate with every 
mark of courtesy and kindness. Would to heaven that you were 
here ! I am perfectly certain that you would give the lie to their 
false calumnies. Why, only last month there was a Saxon gentle- 

1 [Macmillan s Magazine, October 2 [The Latin text of the letter of 

1885 ; reprinted in Selected Essays Scioppius is printed in full in the 

and Papers of R. C. Christie (1902), Appendix to Frith s Life of Bruno, 

p. 161 ff.] 1887.] 


man here who had come from a year s residence in the house of 
Beza. Many Catholics had acquaintance with him : among others 
even Cardinal Baronius, the Pope s confessor, who treated him witli 
the utmost politeness and never so much as referred to his religion, 
except occasionally to exhort him to seek out the truth. More 
over, he expressly said to this gentleman that he had nothing to 
fear so long as he caused no public scandal. Beyond a doubt he 
would have remained here longer if he had not been terrified 
by a rumour that some Englishmen had been arrested and taken 
to the palace of the Inquisition. But these English were not at all 
such as are called here Lutherans; they were Puritans. They 
were suspected of that brutal insult to the Holy Sacrament which 
is an English custom. 

Now, I too should perhaps have shared the common opinion 
that Bruno was burned on account of his Lutheranism, had I not 
been present at the Holy Office when the sentence of death was pro 
nounced on him. Thus I came to know exactly the heresy of 
which he was guilty. This Bruno was a native of Nola, in the 
kingdom of Naples, and had been a Dominican monk. When he 
was eighteen years old, he began to have doubts about the 
doctrine of transubstantiation (a doctrine, as your Chrysostom 
says, very repugnant to reason). Soon his doubts grew to denial. 
As at the same time he dared to call in question the virginity of 
the Blessed Virgin (who, as the same Chrysostom says, surpasses 
in purity cherub or seraph), he fled to Geneva, where he remained 
two years. Not being able to accommodate himself entirely to 
Calvinism, he was expelled from Geneva, and went first to Lyons, 
then to Toulouse, and lastly to Paris. There he was Professor, 
but extra-ordinariue, for he knew that ordinary professors had to 
take part in the service of the Mass. In London, whither he 
soon after went, he published a work called The Triumphant 
Beast that is, the Pope, to whom you Lutherans are in the habit 
of giving the title Beast, honoris causa. Thence to "Wittenberg, 
where, if I am not wrong, he taught as professor for two years. 
At Prague, where he was next found, he published the books de 
Immense et Infinite, and de Innumerabilibus (if I remember the 
titles rightly : I saw the books themselves at Prague) ; also a book 
de Umbris et de Ideis. In these writings he teaches the most 


horrible and absurd doctrines for example, that there are innum 
erable worlds ; that the soul can pass from one body into another, 
nay, even into another world ; that one soul may be in two bodies ; 
that magic is a good thing and perfectly legitimate ; that the Holy 
Ghost is nothing but the anima mundi, and that that is the 
meaning of the words used by Moses, " the spirit of God brooded 
upon the waters " ; that the world is eternal ; that Moses worked 
his miracles by magic, in which he was a greater adept than the 
other Egyptians ; that Moses invented the laws he gave ; that the 
sacred Scriptures are just a dream; that the devils will be saved; 
that only the Jews are descended from Adam and Eve, all others 
being descended from a pair created by God the day before ; that 
Christ was not God, but a great magician who deluded men and 
was therefore justly punished, by hanging, not crucifixion ; that 
the prophets and apostles were worthless men, wonder-working 
magicians, and that the most of them were hanged. But I really 
should never come to an end if I tried to detail to you all the 
monstrosities he has uttered, in his writings or viva roce. In one 
word, there is not an error of pagan philosopher or of heretic, 
ancient or modern, that he has not maintained. 

From Prague he went to Brunswick and Helmstiidt, and is there 
said to have taught for some time. Afterwards he was at Frank 
fort, publishing a book, and at last came into the hands of the 
Inquisition at Venice. There he was for some considerable time 
(d-iu satis), and was then sent to Rome. At Rome, being re 
peatedly examined by the Holy Office and refuted by the fore 
most theologians, he at first obtained a respite of forty days for 
deliberation ; then he promised to retract, but presently betook 
himself again to his foolish defences and procured a further delay 
of forty days. But his only object was to play with the Pope 
and the Inquisition; wherefore, after he had been some two 
years in the custody of the Holy Office, he was brought on 
the 9th of this month, February, to the palace of the Grand 
Inquisitor. There, in presence of the most illustrious cardinals 
of the Holy Office (men who surpass all others of the time in 
gravity of years, experience of affairs, and knowledge of theology 
and law), in presence of professional theologians, amid curia>, 
and in presence of the secular magistrate, the governor of the city, 


Bruno was brought forward, and on his knees had sentence pro 
nounced upon him. The sentence recounted his life, his studies, 
his opinions ; pointed out the patient zeal and brotherly kindness 
with which the Inquisition had striven to convert him ; and dwelt 
on the stubborn impiety with which he had resisted exhortation ; 
then proceeded to degrade him (as the term is), to excommunicate 
him, and to hand him over to the secular power for punishment, 
requesting that he should be punished quam dementissime et 
sine sanguinis profusione. To this he only responded with a 
threatening air, " Perchance you give your sentence on me with 
more fear than I receive it." The guards of the city governor 
then took him to prison, where a period of eight days was 
allowed him as a last opportunity for abjuration of his errors. 
But all in vain. To-day, then, he was taken to the stake, and 
there, when on the point of death, the image of the crucified 
Saviour was shown to him, and he turned from it with a scowl 
of disdain. Thus was he burned and miserably perished, and 
I daresay he has gone to tell in those other worlds of which 
he dreamed how impious blasphemers are handled by Eomans. 
There, my dear Eittershusius, you see the way we deal with 
men, or rather monsters, of this kind. N"ow, I should very much 
like to know whether you approve this mode of dealing, or prefer 
that every one should be free to believe and say exactly what he 
pleases. For my own part, I cannot think you would not approve. 
But, perhaps you will say, Lutherans do not teach or believe any 
thing of such a kind, and therefore ought not to be treated in such 
a manner. I grant it you ; and you see we don t burn Lutherans. 
We should perhaps have acted differently in the case of that 
prophet of yours, Luther. What would you say if I undertook to 
prove to you that Luther, not indeed teaching the same as Bruno, 
has nevertheless uttered even more horrible absurdities, not, I mean, 
in his Table-talk, but in books published during his lifetime, and 
that he maintained these absurdities as though they were dogmas 
and oracles ? You have only to say the word, and if you do not 
already know this fellow who, on your behalf, has revived truth 
buried for so many centuries, I will show you the exact places in 
which you may find the juice of this fifth gospel. If Luther, 
then, is no better than Bruno, what fate do you think should 


be his 1 You will allow that he should be handed over to 
the limping-footed god and to his fatal flames. Aye, and what 
would you like done with those who take him for an evangelist, a 
prophet, a third Elias 1 I leave you to answer, and desire only 
that you will believe me when I say that the Romans do not act 
towards heretics with the severity ascribed to them ; perhaps not 
Avith the severity that is the due of those who perish only because 
they wish to perish. 

This letter, sufficiently interesting in a general respect, has 
special importance for the biography of Bruno. It conveys a 
vivid idea of the last, the crowning event in his somewhat 
stormy career. It may be accepted as containing the account 
which it was sought to make public of the grounds for the 
severe penalty inflicted on him. In his statement of the 
various horrid heresies of which Bruno was accused, 
Scioppius was no doubt as accurate as his essentially un 
truthful nature allowed. Most, if not all, of the articles of 
accusation could readily support themselves on passages in 
known works of Bruno. Others may have had for them the 
evidence of hearsay, of reported conversation, for Bruno had 
a fatal facility of expression. Indeed, one s wonder is that 
the lynx eyes of the Inquisition did not discover more 
heinous matter in the Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, 
and the Cabala of Pegasus, than is laid out in the accusation. 
He must have been gifted with more than normal simplicity 
who could misinterpret Bruno s wild jests on the enigmatical 
nature of the Centaur. 

Apart from the articles of accusation, however, Scioppius 
narrative has only approximate accuracy. He was evidently 
under the belief, doubtless from the information conveyed to 
him, that Bruno had passed only two years in the cells of 
the Inquisition at Eome. He appears to have been possessed 
only of a summary, not of a detailed account, of the ex 
amination of Bruno at Venice ; and he certainly shared the 


ignorance of his contemporaries and successors regarding 
that curious book of Bruno s which he refers to as the 
Triumphant Beast, In the detailed account of the investi 
gations at Venice, which we now possess, Bruno, in response 
to certain interrogations, gives a full narrative of his life up 
to that time, and a list of his writings, both published and 
unpublished. The narrative has some inaccuracies in it, 
naturally enough, with regard to the length of time spent in 
the various towns to which his wandering career led him. 
These, for the most part, we are able to correct, and so to 
construct a history, fairly accurate and, up to a certain point, 
complete, of his life. 

Filippo Bruno, for such was his baptismal name, was born 
in the month of May 1548 at Nola, in Campania, not far 
from Naples. The pleasant and fertile country, to which 
Bruno often refers in his Latin poems, was said even then to 
retain among its inhabitants more than usual traces of the 
earlier Greek colonists of southern Italy; and Nola itself, 
though no longer what it had been, was still not without 
fame in the annals of Italian literature. The family of 
Bruno, not of high rank, seems to have been in comfortable 
circumstances. His mother, it has been conjectured, from her 
peculiar, un-Italian name, Fraulissa, was of German descent : 
the constant wars render very explicable such wanderings of 
offshoots from a foreign stock. The boy, after some training 
in the ordinary staple of education, grammar and dialectics, 
entered at the age of fourteen or fifteen the Dominican order, 
and took then the name Giordano. He proceeded through 
the usual stages to the priesthood in 1572, spending his time 
mainly in the monastery of St Dominic at Naples, famous as 
the scene of the labours of Thomas Aquinas. 

There is nothing surprising in this selection of a career. 
The time had not yet come when it was possible to lead, 
without special protection, the life of a scholar or man of 


learning. The Church afforded the readiest means to one 
whose inclinations led him in that direction, and within the 
Church the exercise of some little reticence and prudence 
sufficed to secure no small measure of peaceful liberty. Of 
such reticence and prudence Bruno was wholly incapable. 
There is no mistaking the evidence of his disposition, which 
his later writings and all the events of his career afford. He 
was superabundantly endowed with the Southern vivacity of 
nature : quick, ardent, impetuous, and passionate. Devoted 
to the things of mind, he had a singularly unselfish disregard 
for what ordinary humanity takes to be the solid interests of 
life. With the eye of a poet or dramatist for the peculiar 
ities, the foibles of character, he displayed throughout his 
dealings with men a sanguine naivete of belief in their 
honesty and good feeling which brought him many a mis 
hap. While he combined, as perhaps only a philosopher 
can do, a genuine philanthropy, love of humanity, with pro 
found contempt for the mass of mankind with their petty 
aims, their stupidity, and enormous capacity for accepting 
the inane, he seems always to have acted under the convic 
tion that his own simplicity of nature would meet as simple 
and hearty a response. No better illustration of this can be 
given than the first act in his literary career. He wrote a 
little work entitled the Ark of Xoah, which he either sent, 
or designed to present, to the Pope, Pius Y. The work is 
lost, and its contents are only known by a general reference 
in a later writing. It was an allegory, based on the idea of 
a contest among the animals in the ark for precedence. The 
animal most perturbed in mind and excited at the thought of 
not securing the first place, the seat in the poop of the ark, 
was the Ass. Now the poop of the ark was a common 
expression then for the seat of Reason in the Soul, and 
the Ass, as we know from Bruno s later works, possessed 
peculiar attractions for him as the symbol of human 


stupidity and pedantry. He hymns the ass in prose and verse, 
and reserves for it a most notable place in his new celestial 
hierarchy, as the companion and coadjutor of wisdom. It 
is altogether significant of the man that he should have 
selected such a peace-offering for the Head of the Church. 

During the relatively undisturbed years of his cloister 
career, Bruno must have laid the foundations of the exten 
sive knowledge his later writings display of earlier philosophy 
and literature. In particular he seems to have drunk deep 
from the well-spring of human culture then recently opened 
up, the Platonic and Neo-platonic philosophies. It is to this 
time, too, that we must refer his acquaintance with the new 
movement in science which was destined to affect his life so 
profoundly. The great work of Copernicus had appeared in 
1543, and though it is impossible to date precisely Bruno s 
knowledge of it, there is no reason to doubt that it goes back 
to his cloister years. The Copernican system has long since 
traversed the stages of relation to theological belief through 

o o o 

which each great scientific conception seems destined to pass. 
The new thought is first attacked as wholly irreconcilable 
with the faith, then coldly accepted as at least compatible 
with the faith, and last, eagerly championed as the very 
foundation of the faith. Copernicanism in Bruno s time 
had barely entered on its first stage, and its further advance 
was in no small measure due to the impetus which Bruno 
communicated to it. In his mind the new scientific concep 
tion of the heavenly system formed the natural complement 
to a wider philosophical idea ; and both scientific conception 
and philosophical idea brought him into sharp conflict with 
views which unfortunately the Church had so incorporated 
with its theological dogmas as to make inseparable from 
them. Not indeed that Bruno troubled himself much about 
the theological dogmas. There is no feature of his mind 
more remarkable than its entire freedom from genuine in- 


terest in theological questions. His language is saturated, as 
is natural, with Scriptural phraseology ; he knows much of 
Church fathers and the like ; but that wonderful picture of 
the scheme of things which forms the very essence of theology 
as then understood, possessed no vital significance for him. 
It was an interesting fact for him that men did so believe, 
a fact for which he inclines at times to attempt, very inade 
quately, a kind of historical explanation, but his mental atti 
tude towards the whole is that expressed in a characterisation 
of him by a worthy Protestant rector who knew him later : 
a man of great capacity, with infinite knowledge, but not a 
trace of religion. 

It is not impossible that in this period of his life Bruno 
also began to exercise his literary gift. The comedy II 
Candelajo, the candle-bearer, which was published later, in 
1582, at Paris, was in all probability sketched or partly 
written at Naples. It is a somewhat wild work, in which 
as he elsewhere puts it, everything is called by its own name ; 
good of its kind, though the kind is not particularly good ; 
and containing one typical character, the Pedant, which is 
certainly suggestive of, if not historically connected with, 
the Holofernes of Love s Labour s Lost. Bruno throughout 
is as much the poet as the philosopher. His best philos 
ophical works are written in the freer form of the dialogue, 
and are interspersed with sonnets, on the poetical merits of 
which, it must be added, not the most favourable verdict is 
pronounced by Italian literary critics. Perhaps there is 
justice in the double judgment of the philosophers, that 
his philosophy is written in too poetic a style ; of the 
men of letters, that his poetry is too much of philosophy 
in verse. The combination has nevertheless u certain human 

The cloister years were not altogether undisturbed. First 
one and then another process was directed against him. The 



first, a trumpery affair, originated in a rumour that he had 
objected to all images, and had stripped his cell of every 
thing but the crucifix. To this it was added that he had 
dissuaded a fellow-novice from reading the Seven Joys of 
the Madonna, saying that he had better read something of 
the Church Fathers. The second, much more serious, arose 
out of doubts he had early begun to express about the 
fundamental dogmas of the Church, the Trinity, and the 
divine personality of Christ. No fewer than 130 heads of 
indictment were prepared against him by the Provincial 
of the Order ; and Bruno, dreading so formidable an array, 
fled from Naples to Eome in 1575 or iti the beginning 
of 1576. In Eome he had hoped to find protection still 
within the Order, but the news followed him that the process 
begun at Naples was to be carried on in Eome, and that the 
gravity of the accusation had been increased by his luckless 
error of leaving behind him in his cell certain works of 
Hieronymus and Chrysostom with scholia by Erasmus. 
Eesolving no longer to submit himself to a tyranny that 
would, as he said, reduce his reason to a slave, he put off 
his monk s gown (retaining, however, the scapulary), re- 
assumed his name Filippo, and, leaving Eome, began the 
wandering life which was to lead him back, after many 
years and many changes of fortune, to the cells of the In 
quisition and to the last fatal scene in the Campo di Fiore. 

Of many details of his knight-errant wanderings there is 
but an imperfect record. Some three years passed among 
the cities of Northern Italy, the staff of life being gained by 
varied teaching, of the sphere, of grammar, and the like. In 
1579 we find traces of him in Geneva. With what object he 
selected the stronghold of Calvinism as a place of refuge is 
still matter of doubt. Perhaps the inducement was the 
presence there of a considerable Italian section of the 


Reformed Church, driven beyond the Alps by the vigour 
of the Catholic rulers of Lucca. Assuredly Bruno had no 
ground for expecting great toleration there. Protestantism, 
the noble daughter of a still more noble mother, has often 
shown herself a most ungrateful child, and never more than 
when in Calvinist disguise. Calvin, says a contemporary, 
could not endure that there should be in his city one individual 
who dissented from him in matters of faith. Nor was Cal 
vinism more enlightened in matters of philosophy and science. 
"The Genevese have decreed," says Beza, "once and for ever 
that they will never, either in logic or in any other branch 
of learning, desert the teaching of Aristotle." 

Little chance of peace for Bruno in such surroundings, 
even had he been of a placable and prudent turn of mind. 
As it was, he had not been there many months before there 
happened the little event which we find chronicled in the 
proceedings of the consistory of 1579. 

Gth Aug. Philippe Jordan, called Brunus, an Italian, detained 
for having caused to be printed certain replies and invectives 
against M. de la Faye, counting up 20 errors in one of his 
lectures. Resolved that he shall be examined before the learned 
Council and Mr Secretary Chevalier. 10th Aug. Philippe Brunet, 
an Italian, having responded in person respecting the calumnies 
which lie caused to be printed against M. Antoine de la Faye, 
having acknowledged his fault, resolved that he must ask pardon 
of God, of the law, and of the said de la Faye, and that he shall 
be again sent to acknowledge his fault before the consistory, and 
he shall, moreover, be sentenced to tear the said defamatory libel 
to pieces. 

\?>th Aug. Philippe Erun appeared before the consistory to 
acknowledge his fault, inasmuch as he had erred in the doctrine 
and had called the ministers of the Church of Geneva,, pedagogues, 
alleging that in that matter he would neither excuse himself nor 
would he plead guilty, for the truth was not told of him, since he 
was of opinion that the story was had on the report of one M. de 


la Faye. Asked whom he called pedagogues, he answered, with 
many excuses and allegations, that he was persecuted, bringing 
forward several random opinions with sundry other accusations ; 
nevertheless, he confessed that he came to own his fault, which he 
committed when he made sundry and divers reflexions upon the 
ministers. Was admonished to follow the true doctrine. Said 
he is prepared to submit to the censure. 

At the same examination the de la Faye matter was 
brought up, and Bruno was prohibited the sacrament, though 
the prohibition was removed on the 27th August, a fact which 
shows that he had in some form enrolled himself in the 
Eeformed Church. 

It is small wonder, then, that Bruno soon found it advis 
able to leave Geneva, and that he should have retained an 
evil memory of his short stay there. Nor is there any 
religious sect towards which he shows genuine animosity 
save the Calvinist. This, from the Spaccio della Bestia, 
breathes personal feeling and experience: 

There is a dastardly race of pedants, who, doing no good thing 
either by the divine law or the law of nature, esteem themselves, 
and desire to be esteemed, religious and pleasing to the gods, saying 
that though it is well to do good and evil to do wrong, we can 
only become acceptable to the gods, not by reason of the good we 
do or the evil we leave undone, but by hoping and believing in 
strict accordance with the catechism. Those fellows, who declare 
that all their desire is fixed upon things invisible (which indeed 
neither they nor others rightly comprehend), insist that to attain 
their end nothing is needed beyond the eternally decreed act of 
grace producing certain inward affections and imagination ; at all 
of which the gods are hugely amused. . . . Such fellows are pests, 
and deserve no more mercy than wolves, bears, and serpents. To 
cleanse the world of them is an honourable and meritorious 

With the dust of Geneva shaken from his shoes, Bruno 
passed by Lyons to Toulouse, where for nearly two years he 


lectured chiefly on Aristotle s Physics and de Auima, leaving, 
as he says, by reason of the disturbed state of the country, 
but more probably on account of objections to his teaching. 
Travelling through France, whose distracted inhabitants 
seem to have found difficulty in carrying out their king s in 
junction on pain of death to love one another, he reached 
Paris towards the close of the year 1581, and at once began to 
lecture in the Sorbonne. His active mind was at this time 
much occupied with a quaint art of logic devised by a very 
remarkable personality of the thirteenth century, Eaymond 
Lully. Lully, after a very stormy youth, suddenly saw light, 
renounced the world and his wife, and devoted himself to the 
conversion of the infidel. He was under the belief that he 
had discovered a new method whereby the reason of the 
infidel might be forced to admit the truth of the Christian 
religion. Of this method, the Great Art as it was called, I 
believe one must be of Bacon s opinion, who called it a 
method of imposture, and described Lully s work as like a 
broker s or fripper s shop, where there are fragments of all 
sorts but nothing of any value. To Bruno it may perhaps 
have seemed of some philosophical importance, but its prac 
tical service as a kind of mcmoria technics, an art of memory, 
is foremost in his treatment of it ; and he attracted consider 
able attention by his exposition of it. Henry III. did him 
the honour to question him whether his art of memory was 
based on natural means or on magic, and being pleased with 
his responses, recommended him for an extraordinary pro 
fessorship, and likewise gave him a valuable introduction to 
Michel de Castelnau, ambassador to the English Court, in 
whose train he passed into England in the spring of 1583, 
and with whom he returned in September or October 1585. 

The two years in England were among the happiest they 
were certainly the most productive in Bruno s career. The 


works by which he will be remembered, The Ash-Wednesday 
Supper ; The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast ; On the 
Cause, the Principle, and the One ; On the Infinite, the 
Universe, and the Worlds ; The Cabala, that is, the intricate 
allegory of the horse Pegasus and his appendage the Cyl- 
lenian Ass ; The Intellectual Enthusiasms : are fruits ripened 
under the sun of temporary prosperity. Not that he found 
England altogether to his taste. The climate disgusted him ; 
he disliked the language, of which he would not learn a 
word ; but he thought the women charming, the custom of 
kissing adorable, and the queen a very goddess. Moreover, 
he found much and intelligent interest in Italian letters, and 
made some noble friends. With Philip Sidney and Fulke 
Greville he was on intimate terms, and lived much in their 
company, meeting and knowing their literary associates. To 
Sidney are dedicated the curious allegory, the Spaccio della 
Bestia, and Degli Eroici Furori, the writings in which he 
expresses his views on morals. In Fulke Greville s house 
was held the conversation embodied in the Ash -Wednesday 
Supper, an exposition for the most part of Bruno s extended 

Conjecture has naturally been busy with this portion of 
Bruno s life. It would be interesting to know more in detail 
with whom he was thrown in contact, how he impressed 
them, and what effect, if any, his forcibly uttered ideas 
produced. We are left, unfortunately, entirely to conjecture. 
Francis Bacon might have known him personally, but makes 
no direct reference to him. Fulke Greville, with whom, in 
deed, he had some slight difference, of what nature we know 
not, mentions him nowhere, not even in his life of Sidney. 
Shakespeare could not have known him, and there is no 
direct evidence that he knew his works. At the same time, 
while certain coincidences of phrase and sentiment between 
Shakespeare and Bruno have had undue weight attached to 


them, and while the foolish expectation of finding somewhere 
incorporated in Shakespeare the astronomical and metaphys 
ical ideas of Bruno has met its deserved fate, there seems 
reasonable ground for assuming that some fragments of 
knowledge relating to Bruno, some of his characteristic say 
ings, reached Shakespeare. There is no difficulty in under 
standing how that should be possible. Florio was intimate 
with Bruno, and through him alone something may have 
been transmitted. I have already hinted at a somewhat more 
direct connexion in the case of Bruno s drama and Love s 
Labour s Lost, But beyond a doubt, Bruno s philosophically 
conceived dialogues cannot be said to have exercised a living 
influence on the English mind either then or in the succeed 
ing generations. Were a proof of that desired, it would be 
found in the curious fact that a certain rather elaborate 
masque, the Coclum Britannicum, by a tolerably well-known 
Jacobean poet, Thomas Carew, was represented before their 
Majesties in 1G33, and that neither then nor afterwards was 
it recognised to have borrowed not merely its general idea 
but its whole structure and detail from the Expulsion of the 
Triumphant Beast. 1 

Bruno s English experience was not unruffled by the aca 
demic storms which his impetuosity generally excited. The 
University of Oxford made high festival (10th-13th June 
1583) on the occasion of a visit from the Polish magnate, 
Albert a Lasco. Thither went Bruno. He had already 
announced himself in an address which exhibits the weaker 

1 [The fact is mentioned in the New York and London, 1899) and the 
short article on Thomas Carew in the writer of the article on Carew in the 
ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Dictionary of National Biography be- 
Britannica (1876). but seems to have tray no knowledge of his indebtedness 
remained otherwise unnoticed until to Bruno. Dr Sutherland Black has 
drawn attention to by a writer in the been good enough to verify the present 
Quarterly Review for October 1902 (p. editor s conjecture that the Britannica 
507). The recent editors of Carew s article on Carew was written by Pro- 
Poems and Masque (London, 1893; fessor Adamson.] 


side of his nature, but is too characteristic to be omitted. 
Thus it runs : 

Philotheus Jordanus Brunus, the Nolan, Doctor of a more per 
fect theology, Professor of a purer and more blameless philosophy, 
a philosopher known, recognised, and honoured in the foremost 
academies of Europe, nowhere a foreigner save to the barbarian 
and the vulgar, an awakener of sleeping souls, a tamer of pre 
sumptuous and refractory ignorance, who in all his acts displays 
love to all men, to the Italian not more than to the Briton, to the 
man not more than to the woman, to the wearer of mitre and the 
wearer of crown, to the toga and to the sword, to the frocked and 
the unfrocked, but above all to him whose ways are peaceful, 
enlightened, true, and fruitful ; who looks not to the anointed 
head or consecrated brow, but there where man s true countenance 
is to be seen, the heart and cultivated mind, he whom the preachers 
of foolishness and the hypocrites abhor, whom the upright and sin 
cere love, whom noble souls receive with acclamation; To the 
noble and honoured Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, 
and to his Fellows, Greeting. 

With some of the select spirits so greeted Bruno held a 
lively disputation on the Copernican system ; fifteen times 
confuted, as he tells us, his pig of an antagonist ; gained a 
complete victory and an absolute prohibition against further 
lectures at the University of Oxford. The Ash- Wednesday 
Supper, a continuation of this disputation, contains many a 
sally at the expense of the Oxonian pedants. 

The stay in England was all too brief. The return to 
Paris, signalised by a disputation judged to offend indirectly 
against the Catholic faith, was followed by a rapid journey 
through Mainz, Wiesbaden, and by Marburg (where a longer 
halt was prevented by a fierce skirmish with the rector of 
the university) to Wittenberg. Here another respite of two 
years was gained, closed only by the gradual swing of the 
pendulum from Lutheran to Calvinist domination. A six 


months residence, with some recognition at Prague, was 
succeeded by eighteen months at the young University of 
Helmstadt, from which again the unfortunate philosopher 
was driven with a sentence of excommunication by the 
triumphant Calvinist party. At Frankfort, where he next 
took refuge, he was refused residence within the city, and 
barely permitted to put up beyond the walls at the house of 
his publisher, with whom he was preparing for the press his 
longer, more elaborate Latin works. Here Bruno, who seems 
to have been fascinated by the fatal idea of a reconciliation 
to the Church with freedom from the bondage of his Order, 
received an invitation to Venice, and in an evil hour accepted 
it. The invitation came from one Giovanni Mocenigo, scion 
of a distinguished family in Venice, who had purchased a 
book of Bruno s, made inquiries about the writer, and wrote 
to offer him maintenance in exchange for his instruction. 
Bruno, after a brief visit to Zurich, reached Venice in 
September or October 1591. What he came to think of his 
pupil we may readily guess. Mocenigo was a narrow super 
stitious soul, with a timorous belief in magic and a conviction 
that from Bruno he might learn some magic art. When his 
expectations were disappointed he broke into threats against 
Bruno, and, having already pressed at the open door of his 
confessor s conscience by asking whether he ought not to 
denounce so irreligious a character, he forcibly detained his 
friend, when he proposed to leave Venice for Frankfort, 
and handed him over to the Inquisition with a series of 
denunciatory letters. 

On the 23rd May the luckless philosopher was lodged in 
the cells of the Inquisition at Venice, and for nearly a year 
the protracted examination of the accused himself, his 
accusers, his books, his booksellers, all his acquaintances 
in Venice, went on. Bruno had spoken with characteristic 
incaution to Mocenigo, whose letters of denunciation supplied 


ample material for beginning an investigation which gradually 
worked backwards over the whole career of the accused. 
Perhaps we shall never make quite clear to ourselves the 
conditions of a trial so far off and under such strange 
conditions. It appears evident that Bruno at first and 
for long endeavoured to shelter himself under the broad 
shield which had but recently served to protect Pomponazzi, 
Cremonini and many another against whom the Church had 
moved the shield of the distinction between the twofold 
kinds of truth, the one of natural reason, the other of faith. 
But, unluckily for him, he had thrown himself into the power 
of his adversaries at a time and under conditions when he had 
but the worst to expect. The Eoman Church was then pass 
ing through a period of renovation and reformation. The 
most potent of her ecclesiastic directors was the severe 
Cardinal Sanseverina, who had given a foretaste of his 
quality in Spain; the foremost of her theologians was the 
ardent polemic, Eobert Bellarmin. Little grace was there 
for a heretic, least of all for a renegade from his Order. 
Although Bruno, then, under the pressure of the inquiry at 
Venice, made in words a more ample retractation than one 
would have wished to think possible, expressing himself 
indeed in terms that are not reconcilable with his real 
opinions, no final judgment was given at Venice. The 
articles of process were sent to Borne, and speedily a papal 
nuncio requested his extradition. Such requests had often 
before been made to the Venetian State, and as often proudly 
refused ; on this occasion the circumstances made acquiescence 
desirable, and the procurator of the republic soon found a 
legal reason for assenting to the demand of the Holy Office. 
The process, he said, was, rightly considered, but the con 
tinuation of that long ago begun and yet unfinished at 
Borne; the accused was not a Venetian, and had besides 
declared his desire to go before Ciesar. To Csesar let him 



go. On the 27th February 1593 he was lodged in the cells 
of the Inquisition at Eome. 

From this time to the beginning of the trial which 
Scioppius describes to us, in the early part of 1599, there 
is an absolute blank in our information. Scioppius believed, 
and was probably given to understand, that the imprison 
ment, terminating in the auto da ft of February 17, 1600, 
had lasted only about two years. It is but recently that the 
record has been discovered which discloses to us that it 
lasted for seven years. Why there was so unusual a delay 
and what took place during it are matters for conjecture, 
and empty conjecture. Not impossibly the delay was due 
to the keen desire to avoid the scandal of disclosing to 
the world such grave heresies as professed by one who 
had been in the Order of St Dominic ; perhaps there was 
hope of even more than such a retractation as had been 
uttered at Venice. Failure of negotiations seems fairly 
inferrible from the rather dogged character of the response 
which is ascribed to Bruno in the scanty original records 
of the Koman trial. "He declared that he should not 
retract, that he would not retract, that he had no reason 
to retract, and that he knew of nothing which he had to 
retract." Of the trial itself, its incidents, and its melancholy 
termination, a sufficiently vivid impression is conveyed by 
the well-informed letter of Scioppius. 

The tragic fate of Bruno may have been in part deter 
mined by special circumstances, but the conflict leading to 
it was the inevitable result of the opposition between quite 
<?eneral forces. I have made no endeavour to present even 


an outline of the philosophical and scientific views which 
Bruno expounds in eloquent prose and enthusiastic verse ; 
there attaches to the details of them too much of the earlier 
forms of thought to make them readily accessible to the 


modern reader. But there is no difficulty in understanding 
at once the general idea of which Bruno was the impassioned 
representative and the way in which that idea conflicted 
with the then accepted interpretation of human life and its 
surroundings. On the whole, the idea may be most aptly 
designated by the modern term Naturalism ; and it has, as its 
negative mark, rejection of any such distinction as is in 
dicated by the title supernatural, while, positively, it regards 
the consummation of knowledge as being the intellectual 
contemplation of one systematically connected world of 
reality, and the full perfection of action as the purification 
and elevation of the life of man in this one world of his 
experience. No conception could run more violently counter 
to the very essence and soul of the beliefs embodied in 
popular theology, beliefs which the erudite or learned 
theology of the time not only accepted but presented in 
rationalised form as at once a system of dogma, a philosophy 
of existence, and an ultimate standard of conduct. Pre 
sented in this fashion, these beliefs formed an absolute barrier 
to the free movement of the human mind ; and it is the 
struggle of human reason to emancipate itself that gives its 
special colour and its perennial interest to the close of the 
sixteenth century. Nowhere did that effort of reason find 
a more eloquent, forcible, and enthusiastic exponent than in 
Bruno. The impressive statue which now marks his death- 
scene in the Campo di Fiore is a recognition by his country 
men at once of the merits of one of their foremost thinkers 
and of their sense of the important contribution which Italy 
made through him to the cause of the development of truth. 




IT is an often-quoted remark of Kant s, " that the sciences 
are not promoted but confused when their boundaries are 
allowed to run into one another." The maxim has its utility 
and at the same time its dangers. When it has been possible 
to determine from a comprehensive point of view the re 
lations which certain groups of problems or certain methods 
of inquiry bear to one another, then the maxim is applicable 
but hardly requires application. When, on the other hand, 
the special sciences, as they may be called, have grown up 
in a kind of vague independence only of one another, when 
they have severally acquired a unity that is little more than 
accidental, then the attempt prematurely to refer problems 
exclusively to one or the other may stifle legitimate inquiry 
and confuse rather than facilitate thinking. If the maxim 
be applied to philosophy in particular, then, by reason of 
the intimate relation in which all its questions stand to one 
another, a further danger is incurred, that of isolating and 
giving a quite fictitious independence to what has meaning 
only in connexion with the whole. 

Kant s general remark was no doubt determined, as is the 


case with most general remarks, by reference to a particular 
case to the distinction running through all his work between 
the critical theory of the conditions of experience and the 

1 [Read to the Glasgow University Philosophical Society, 7th March 1894.] 


special investigation of any one group of facts of experience. 
In the light of this distinction, it served for him and for 
his followers as a methodical precept, justifying the total 
separation of the critical or transcendental theory of know 
ledge and action from the special treatment of concrete fact, 
whether in the natural sciences or in psychology or in what 
may be called moral anthropology. With some (at times 
with a fundamental) change of significance, the same distinc 
tion has been drawn between the general inquiry into the 
validity of knowledge and the more special researches into 
the nature and laws of connexion of the facts of mind. The 
contrasted doctrines of Episternology and Psychology need 
not be denned as Kant defined them, but the general concep 
tion of a distinction in kind between them comes directly from 
the Kantian system. 

Apart from the special form of the distinction between 
these doctrines, which is an essential feature of the Critical 
Philosophy, and to which I purpose returning, there is no 
difficulty in finding general grounds for a contrast between 
the problems and methods of Epistemology and Psychology. 
The broadly marked difference between the existence in an 
individual mind of the state or act of knowing and the 
significance or import of what is contained therein the 
difference between knowing as a psychical fact and know 
ledge as the represented relations obtaining in the material 
known presses itself upon our attention, and perhaps at 
no time in the history of thinking has failed to receive 
some recognition, however inadequate. The existence of 
an idea as a mental fact, and its meaning as an item 
of cognition, seem wholly distinct and even antithetic. 
Whatever portion of knowledge we select, whether per 
ceiving or thinking, we seem able in regard to it to 
put two wholly distinct questions. We may ask how it 
comes about in the individual mind, of what simpler facts 


it is composed, if it should be deemed complex, and how, 
in that case, the combination has been brought about, 
and under what conditions its various appearances are 
presented. We may ask, on the other hand, what validity 
its content possesses as an apprehension, which it pro 
fesses to be, of some object or objective relation, and how it 
is possible that the content of a subjective act or state of 
mind should inform us in regard to what, ex liypothesi, is 
distinct both from the act and from the mind itself. On the 
one hand seems to stand the inner life, with its successive 
states or processes, of which we are in some way aware, but 
whose nature as known to us is emphatically arid simply 
that of existing fact. On the other hand, in and through 
this mental life, we seem to become aware both of the inner 
states themselves and of much that is essentially different 
from it, No distinction can well appear more sharp and 
precise ; and it costs us little to dwell so on it that the anti 
thesis shall appear absolute, and, somewhat to our astonish 
ment, we may find reappearing from a new quarter and with 
a new force of meaning the familiar formula of the Kantian 
work, How is knowledge at all possible ? 

Fact, even if qualified as psychical, and import or mean 
ing ; existence and validity ; individual mind and apprehen 
sion of general truth extending to what is not-mind : these 
come forward in such opposition that we are readily induced 
to sharpen the distinction to the utmost verge. The inner 
life appears as concentrated in itself, as an exclusive unity, a 
monad without windows, as Leibniz would say. What is 
known, on the other hand, appears as distinct from mind 
and in an altogether indeterminable relation thereto. If the 
inner life, the life of mind, be called subjective, that which is 
known must be called, at least in its most important part 
if not wholly, trans-subjective. It is by no means unnatural 
that, in presence of this sharp distinction, the question should 


arise, In what possible relation to one another are the two 
contrasted aspects of knowledge, the two contrasted inquiries 
or sciences ? As a distinguished American writer expressed 
it some years ago in Mind, " How can the consciousness 
which in its primary aspect exists in time as a series of 
psychical events or states be the consciousness for which a 
permanent world of spatially related objects, in which all 
sentient beings participate, exists ? " l 

The series of somewhat easy reflexions which have just 
been referred to may be expressed in a variety of ways ; but 
it rests in the long run on recognition of the total difference 
between knowing as a fact forming part of the complex we 
call a mind and knowledge as the apprehension of objective 
fact. It leads to the establishment of a complete distinction 
between the problem and method of Psychology and Epis- 
temology. There may be differences, particularly in regard 
to the latter doctrine, in the way of formulating the problems 
and methods of the two distinct doctrines ; but in general the 
one is conceived of after the fashion of a natural science, 
having for its aim the complete account, descriptive, genetic 
or what not, of the facts of mind, and pursuing the ordinary 
scientific method ; the other, in a somewhat unique fashion, 
as having for its aim the determination of the validity of the 
information seemingly given in and through the facts of 
mind, and for its method something of whose nature I can 
form no clear idea. 

It is impossible that these reflexions should contain noth 
ing of real significance. The contrast from the recognition 
of which they take their rise is, in some form, real; and one 
can trace the recognition of it, or, perhaps, even the unrecog 
nised presence of it, far back in the history of philosophic 
thought. That it affected the speculations of Plato and of 
Aristotle might easily be made out ; that it made its appear- 

1 [J. Dewey, Mind, xi. (1886) 13.] 


ance as of quite decisive importance in the Stoic theory of 
knowledge is one of the results we owe to recent researches 
in that unduly neglected quarter of the history of phil 
osophy. The greater scholastic writers abound in fine dis 
tinctions, some of which might with advantage be utilised by 
us, all of them due to a more or less obscure appreciation of 
the distinction. Some of the most interesting discussions of 
modern pre-Kantian philosophy for example, that which 
I would cite as specially relevant, between Malebranche 
and Arnauld turn upon the distinction; and it has been the 
consistent reproach of the later Kantian writers to Locke, 
that he habitually ignores the broad difference between mere 
factual existence of knowing and the import or content of 

But, however real the distinction may be in some sense, 
it is in itself so ultimate and so penetrating that one may 
fairly expect to find no small difficulty in formulating it and 
in basing on it a satisfactory account of the relation be 
tween the two contrasted doctrines, epistemology and psycho 
logy. When one attempts to express in definite terms a 
distinction of great generality and of far-reaching import 
ance, one is apt to be misled by the influence of side- 
thoughts, of glances towards well-worn problems known to be 
affected by our decision, which accompany all our reflexions 
and too often determine their direction and scope. A single 
question, like that which has presented itself as the epis- 
temological, the question of the validity of that pronounce 
ment in respect to objective fact which knowledge, whether 
in the form of perceiving or of thinking, seems to contain, 
comes to us weighted with the memories of many a past con 
troversy ; and it is under the influence of these memories, 
exercised consciously or unconsciously, that we proceed afresh 
to the task of formulating the problem. To this it may be 
added, that ultimate distinctions are like edged tools : they 



are apt to cut the fingers of the user. It may happen, as I 
have already hinted, that the distinction here dwelt upon 
between psychical fact and import of the fact, between know 
ledge as subjective activity or state and knowledge as appre 
hension of the trans-subjective, is expressed in such a way 
as to render the problems of both psychology and epistem- 
ology insoluble, if not inconceivable, and the doctrines 
(sciences) themselves incapable of further development. 

At first sight, indeed, nothing seems simpler than the 
general line of distinction between the psychological and the 
epistemological points of view. It seems to find application 
in so many special cases, that its general nature might even 
be abstracted without difficulty. For example, we may ask 
in regard to the total act called perception of space, what is 
its nature as a process occurring in the inner life ? If it be 
deemed simple and irreducible, in what relation does it stand 
to those concomitants which serve at least as occasions for 
calling forth its exercise ? If it be deemed complex, out of 
what simpler facts of mind is it formed, and how are these 
combined into the strict unity of the apparently simple act ? 
In trying to answer such queries, we should be occupying 
what is generally described as the psychological point of 
view ; our analysis would be psychological. On the other 
hand, starting from the same .basis of fact, the supposed per 
ception of space, and to all appearance without needing 
to refer to the kind of answer given by the psychological 
analysis of the fact, we might raise a very peculiar question 
in regard to the nature of that representation of objective 
reality which seems to be contained in our perception. The 
real is represented as having a special relation among its 
parts, a relation so general and simple that we are perhaps 
able to define its nature only by terms that suggest the 
several aspects of the whole without exhausting its meaning. 


We are entitled to ask, how far is such a representation of the 
nature of the real to be accepted as valid, what does such a 
relation of the real signify, and how does it harmonise with 
such other qualifications as we think ourselves entitled to 
assert of it ? And here I must point out that inevitably, and 
almost involuntarily, there has come forward a curious am 
biguity in the form of our question. The validity, worth, 
significance of the representation of the real may mean one 
of two things. It may mean, how far are we entitled to 
regard as a characteristic of the real what is, after all, only 
the content of our subjective act of apprehension ? How do 
we effect what may be metaphorically called the transition 
from the content of our perception to the nature of the real ? 
Or it may mean, as was expressed above, how far is it possible 
to interpret the character represented as belonging to per 
ceived reality in harmony with such other qualifications as 
we deem ourselves on similar grounds entitled to attach to 
it? I am inclined to think that only the former of these 
alternative modes of putting the question would be described 
as epistemological by those who have insisted most strenu 
ously on the basis of distinction between fact of mind and 
reference to trans-subjective reality, and that, if any designa 
tion be allowed for the latter mode of putting the question, 
it would be described as metaphysical. And it appears to 
me desirable to separate the two, for not impossibly it may 
be thought after further consideration that the former ques 
tion, if expressed, as is usually done, in all its generality, 
implies a mode of looking at knowledge which would render 
any answer to it impossible. 

On the basis, then, of this general distinction between 
the fact of mind and its value as a representation of trans- 
subjective reality, there is rested the broad distinction be 
tween psychology as a treatment of the facts of mind and 
epistemology, the consideration of the relation between the 


contents of these facts of mind and the characteristics of 
ulterior reality which they seem to represent. In scope and 
in method the two seem distinct from one another, and, if I 
understand rightly the attempts that have recently been 
made to secure a definite place for epistemology, that doctrine 
is held to be independent of psychology, and indeed devoid 
of any presupposition. Even if it be necessary in the episte- 
mological investigation to take for granted the fact of knowing 
as it presents itself in the inner life, the inquiry does not 
proceed on or by the help of the features of knowing which 
psychological analysis may disclose. In its general nature, 
if not in its special method, the epistemological investigation 
resembles that aspect of the Kantian treatment of knowledge 
which is most often described by means of an antithesis 
between it and the psychological analysis of mind. 

I am convinced that no further advance is to be gained in 
clearing up our ideas regarding the distinction here expressed 
in its broadest fashion, so long as we content ourselves with 
the abstract difference between the notions fact of mind 
and validity, trans-subjective reference, or whatever else 
we may call it. If the distinction be real and important, 
capable of serving us in laying out the general problem of 
philosophy, it must be expressed in terms of a more rigorous 
determination of the elements opposed to one another in it. 
It seems to me far from satisfactory to work with the vague 
and ill-defined term facts of mind. Psychology may cer 
tainly be denned, in a rough-and-ready fashion, as the science 
of the facts of mind ; but in so denning it we are apt, on the 
one hand, to forget what is implied by the qualification of 
these facts as facts of mind, and, on the other, to take much 
for granted that calls imperatively for consideration. I 
question whether we can ever come to an understanding in 
regard to the real character and value of the distinction 


which no doubt obtains in some way between the psycho- 


logical and the epistemological points of view, unless we 
undertake the somewhat ungrateful task of defining what 
we mean by facts of mind. 

Now on this point, and keeping in view the special 
problem before us, there seem to rne to be two main con 
ceptions running through our ordinary modes of expression, 
each of which, fortunately, has had an exponent in the past 
history of philosophy. According to one of these views, facts 
of mind, taken in the mass, are objects of knowledge, appre 
hended by processes essentially the same in kind as those 
applied to the knowledge of so-called external things, and 
forming, therefore, the material of a science which holds to 
mind the same position as physics, in the widest sense, holds 
to external nature. According to the other, facts of mind and 
external things stand by no means on the same level in 
respect to experience or knowledge. Facts of mind are 
taken to be at once the instruments of knowing and the only 
objects directly known. Of what is mental fact we are 
directly aware, and we are directly aware of no other fact. 
The first of these views I shall call the Kantian, for a 
very precise statement of it is to be found in Kant, and, on 
the whole, I think it expresses the essential feature in his 
conception of psychology ; the other I shall call the Cartesian, 
for though Descartes himself can hardly be said to have 
formulated it with great defmiteness, it is implied in his 
general position, is a leading idea among his immediate fol 
lowers, and is naturally adopted by any who approach the 
general philosophical question in the Cartesian fashion. 

Now, in regard to the first of these, it is fortunately quite 
unnecessary that I should try to unravel the tangled skein 
of questions that has gathered round the critical method. 
How far it is the case that the critical analysis of experience 
is dependent on psychological assumptions, and that the 


results are expressed in terms of psychology, need not at 
present concern us. What is certain, and of sufficient 
interest to repay separate consideration, is that Kant im 
agined himself to have drawn a sharp distinction between 
the psychological and the transcendental analyses of experi 
ence, and that, in accordance with this, he thought it possible 
to contrast the two doctrines, psychology and theory of 
knowledge. It is quite possible that we may come to the 
conclusion that his distinction was erroneous, and that the 
assumption of it lies at the root of much of the ambiguity 
always attaching to his epistemology. But we cannot refuse 
to admit the existence of the distinction for him, and, con 
sequently, that he intended the two lines of inquiry to be 
thoroughly independent. Moreover, this view of psychology, 
even if freed from the peculiarities of the Kantian doctrine 
of knowledge, is one that naturally presents itself, and that 
finds abundant statement in the literature of the subject. 
The sole superiority of the Kantian statement, that which 
renders it available for my purpose, is that it does not rest 
content with the bare generality. It condescends to par 
ticulars, and enables us to appreciate the doctrine in its 

Psychology, in the Kantian view, is the portion of experi 
ence constituted by knowledge of the facts of the inner life. 
Such knowledge, so far as it is given, has the form of know 
ledge in general. The material is presented to the receptive 
faculty of inner sense, is apprehended as event in time, and 
ought, in order to be fully known, to be systematically con 
nected by these pure forms of thought, the categories. I 
hardly require to say that in regard to this last point Kant 
wavered in his view, and exhibited so much indecision and 
hesitation as to show how great was the difficulty involved 
in his conception of psychology. I think that the hesitation 
increased upon him, and that, though it would be foolish to 


try to extract much from the extraordinary medley of jottings 
contained in his posthumous work, yet without much trouble 
one might find there many expressions throwing light on the 
line into which his reflexions were leading him. I am 
particularly struck by the fact that in it the expression 
making of myself the object is invariably used, not as it 
would be in the Critique, to indicate the empirical apprehen 
sion of inner states through the inner sense, but to indicate 
the process of perceiving, intuiting the object in space. 

Without, however, pursuing this, which has only historical 
interest, I return to the general conception of facts of mind 
as the isolated objects of inner sense, apprehended as events 
in time, and making up that empirical self which Kant so 
strenuously contrasts with the so-called Pure Ego. There is 
not a point in that conception which is not the cause of end 
less trouble to Kant ; the whole conception is irreconcilable 
with his theory of knowledge, and is in itself untenable. 
The notion of an inner sense drives him into the difficulty 
of allowing to knowledge itself a kind of twofold existence. 
The thought of time as the form of the inner sense, and of 


the inner sense only, brings him within measurable distance 
of the crudest form of subjective idealism ; and the idea of an 
empirical ego which has no inner connexion, but only the 
purely external relation of sequence of its states in time, is 
in fact a contradiction. The very antithesis which is made 
between the empirical and the pure ego gives to the latter 
that ambiguous place in the Kantian system from which, 
even if we admit that our natural interpretations exaggerate 
the perplexity, no ingenuity can altogether rescue it. I do 
not myself believe that in the term pure ego we have more 
than Kant s peculiar and unhappy way of naming the funda 
mental characteristic of experience, that it is expressible only 
in terms of consciousness, of mind ; but undoubtedly the way 
of naming it conveys the impression that the pure ego is in 


some kind of external relation to experience, and exercises 
upon it the function of uniting what would otherwise be 
incoherent multiplicity. 

But I by no means rest the case against the description of 
psychology as the knowledge of facts presented to the inner 
sense and having the characteristic of events in time on the 
difficulty of reconciling that with Kant s general doctrine of 
knowledge. I wholly doubt its truth, and incline to think 
that our general conception of psychology can never be satis 
factory until we have once for all got rid of it. 

It is not merely that on reflexion I find no evidence of the 
presence anywhere in experience of the process which is 
called the inner sense (and, if one had no further grounds for 
doubting the existence of such an organ of knowledge, one 
might find reasons enough in the absolute want of agreement 
among psychologists as to its nature and conditions), but that 
1 cannot convince myself that mental facts as such could 
ever be presented in the fashion of objects to any sense or 
perception, even if it be of the peculiar kind called inner. 
To me it seems as if their very nature prevented the pos 
sibility of such presentation, and that just what is specifically 
characteristic of them must needs evade presentation in the 
fashion of object, known or perceived. If it be urged that 
psychical states are surely facts and can be known as facts, 
the reply seems obvious that they are, at all events, facts of 
mind, and that this qualification is exactly what prevents 
their appearance as objects. 

What seems to me to lie at the foundation of all the con 
fusion on this point is the peculiar character which belongs to 
each and every so-called fact of mind, and which emphatically 
distinguishes it from fact of any other kind. Wherever 
there is a fact of mind, as we shall call it for the moment, 
there is a mode of what, for want of a better expression, I 
term being for self. There is implied, therefore, a duality 


of nature, which is not, however, to be conceived as a com 
bination of two isolated or independent existences. The 
simplest phase of inner life, the first dim obscure stirrings of 
feeling, are ways in which there is apprehension, awareness 
of a certain content. The content may be as indefinite as 
one pleases, it is probably (almost certainly) never simple, 
but it is there as defining the phase of mind or fact of 
consciousness. And the general character of facts of mind 
remains the same, however complicated or developed they 
may be. It is a totally false abstraction, based on the 
analogy of our conception of external things, to give to 
the contents of these modes of apprehension a fictitious 
independence, and to identify the act of apprehending which 
makes them with a kind of inner vision directed upon 

I am aware that in taking this view of what is peculiar to 
psychical fact I run counter to much accepted psychology, 
and in particular to the opinions of one for whose work in 
psychology I entertain the deepest respect. Dr James Ward 
has consistently urged the necessity of severing the act or 
mode of apprehension, the act of being aware or conscious of, 
from that which is apprehended, that of which we are aware 
or conscious ; and he appears to identify the counter- view 
with the conception of facts of mind as independent objects. 
Prcsentationism, as he describes this counter-view, he regards 
as erring in method just by reason of ignoring the relation to 
self inseparable from any fact of mind. If I understand him 
rightly, and the matter is so subtle that it is easy to mis 
understand, he regards as the only alternative to his own 
conception that which gives to the contents apprehended 
independent existence, and seeks to show how mind as a 
whole is built up by their coming together. But this is by 
no means the only alternative, and, so far as it is concerned, 
I am heartily in agreement with Dr Ward in regarding it as 


a wholly inadequate conception. It is possible, and I think 
it is necessary, to insist that there shall be no distinction of 
existence drawn between the act, state, or mode of being 
conscious and the content of which we are conscious. I am 
quite aware of the difficulties attaching to this mode of con 
ceiving of mental facts, and in particular I recognise the 
awkwardness of the question which will doubtless be pressed 
upon it, What, then, is this self for whom the mental fact 
is ? Our natural tendency is to interpret in accordance with 
the distinctions of that matured experience to which the 
inner life has reached, and it is only by analogies based on 
such matured self-consciousness that even a partial answer 
can be given. But I am prepared to say, on the one hand, 
that the matured self-consciousness would be impossible if 
the primitive and simple facts of mind had not as part of 
their very nature this obscure self -reference, and, on the 
other hand, that neither the primitive nor the matured self- 
consciousness indicates a factor distinct from the inner states 
themselves. It is, to my thinking, the fundamental error in 
the Kantian doctrine of experience that it appears to give a 
kind of abstracted being to the pure ego or self, and yet 
there is much in that very doctrine to cause us to hesitate 
in ascribing so impracticable a view to Kant. Even the 
pure ego is not without its content, a content that it attains 
to, and does not, in some incomprehensible way, possess from 
the first. 

Facts of mind, psychical states, so conceived can never be 
directly presented as objects. Just as little can they be appre 
hended as merely events in time. Time is, after all, a relation 
in what is apprehended, a relation in the content of which we 
are aware ; and reflexion will convince us that in the complex 
state of mind we commonly describe as the remembrance of 
our past mental states, the presence of a conception of the 
external world of objects is an integral element, and that we 


are in truth reproducing or reviving contents that have the 
time-relation in them. 

When we describe the facts of mind as a series of events 
in time, we are vainly trying to regard them from the point 
of view of an outside observer. We are not describing them 
as they are for the consciousness they compose. There they 
are not objects of which the subject is aware, but ways in 
which he is aware. And nothing whatsoever is gained by 
introducing the perfectly empty conception of the subject as 
distinct from these and as affording a bond of union among 
them. It seems to me more true to say that the subject is 
his mental states than that he has them. The unity which 
attaches to the conceived subject depends upon the content 
of his consciousness rather than constitutes its form. 

From this point of view there is no real difficulty in 
replying to the question which was quoted from Professor 
Dewey, and which re-echoes much that has been made 
familiar in recent English writing through T. H. Green : 
How can consciousness, which in its primary aspect is a 
series of psychical events, be the consciousness for which a 
permanent world of objects exists? The content of con 
sciousness by no means remains for ever in the crude 
condition of its earliest stage. That which is apprehended 
need not and cannot retain for ever the rich but confused 
detail of immediate perception. Why should the content 
apprehended not have the mark of permanence ? It has it, 
in every case of thought as contrasted with intuition, and I 
see no reason for supposing that in thought we have more 
than a higher development of the same psychical functions 
of apprehending that are exemplified in crude intuition. 
The Kantian distinction of sense and understanding was 
probably in its original conception connected with a differ 
ence in kind between the psychical acts supposed to be 
involved, but it needs only a reference to all recent work on 


Kant to assure us that what is of importance and significance 
in the distinction depends in no way on the psychological 
basis given it by Kant. 

If, now, there be resigned as imperfect the mode of viewing 
psychical facts as so many objects to be known, and with it 
the conception of psychology as a kind of natural science, 
there must likewise be resigned the distinction which Kant 
seemed to draw between psychology and epistemology. It is 
quite true that Kant did not assign to epistemology the 
problem which springs naturally from the Cartesian mode 
of treating facts of mind. He did not think that it was the 
business of epistemology to determine whether it was at all 
possible by subjective process of knowing to reach cognition 
of objective or trans-subjective fact. It is to his credit, I 
think, that when he is expressing himself most carefully in 
regard to knowledge he does not intrude ideas as mediating 
between the conscious self and objects. But, on the other 
hand, it seems to me impossible to follow out consistently 
the general method which he applied to knowledge, or to 
accept as fairly expressing the philosophical problem his 
well-worn question, How is experience possible ? However 
successful his analysis is in laying out the connective links 
of an experience in which the subject is conscious of himself 
as confronted by a world of objective fact, there is not to be 
altogether excluded from it the intrusive and baffling con 
ception of this as a result due to the formative action of 
mind on what is supplied to it. From this conception the 
critical account of knowledge is not to be freed. It goes 
along with too many of the occasioning causes of the 
whole Kantian work to be regarded as merely accidental. 
Distinctions of form and matter, of a priori and a posteriori, 
of necessary and contingent, presented themselves to Kant as 
absolute, as distinctions of kind calling for explanation by 
reference to heterogeneous sources, and compelling thus the 


analysis of knowledge to assume the more familiar aspect of 
an account of the way in which knowing comes about. 

It is from what I have ventured to call the Cartesian 
position in regard to facts of mind that a certain mode of 
formulating the episternological question comes forward most 
readily, and in most precise fashion. Fortunately the Car 
tesian position is relatively simple in its statement. Accord 
ing to it facts of mind are known directly, and direct know 
ledge is confined to such facts of mind. The human mind 
has its own states of consciousness, has knowledge of them, 
and directly, immediately, knows nothing except them. 
From this point of view the process of knowing arid what 
is known are primarily subjective. If, then, all that is other 
than the inner facts of the subject s consciousness (and indeed 
in strictness, perhaps, all that lies beyond the momentary act 
of knowing) be termed trans-subjective, it is not possible to 
affirm without qualification that the trans-subjective is known. 
It obviously is not in consciousness, and only in regard to 
what is there can there be immediate certainty, self-evidenc 
ing conviction. Apprehension of the trans-subjective must 
be mediate, and in whatever process we conceive it to consist, 
however far we may think it extends, it must suggest the 
problem, How is it possible that what is not in the subject, 
in consciousness, should nevertheless be apprehended by what 
is, and is directly known as, a fact in consciousness ? 

Although the position is capable of a tolerably simple 
statement, it is not always clear how far we may proceed in 
interpretation of the metaphors with which it abounds. In 
and out of consciousness, for example, are phrases in use 
habitually, without much appreciation of the very curious 
implications they involve. The boundaries of what is 
immediately certain are not always drawn with the same 
strictness ; and while I admit that I think the rigour of the 


argument would compel the restriction of the immediately 
cognised to the momentary, atomic, unconnected psychical 
state, if state it can be called, I do not think it necessary to 
thrust this interpretation on the view as a whole. Nor can 
I attach any great importance to certain qualifications with 
which the statement of it is sometimes accompanied. Volkelt, 
whose exposition of it in his important work Erfahrung und 
Denken seems to me the most complete and developed, 
after saying that for philosophy no opposition is so funda 
mental as that between process of consciousness and the 
trans-subjective, remarks, " The opposition, it is true, is not 
metaphysical but epistemological. It determines nothing in 
respect to difference in the mode of existence of the two ; it 
concerns only the relation in which the two stand severally 
to the attempt to have knowledge of them." l That is to say, 
what lies beyond my consciousness may be in its existential 
nature either corporeal or spiritual, either matter or another 
conscious life with my own ; in any case it presents the same 
problem for knowledge ; it is not in mind ; it is not itself a 
process of consciousness, and cannot be cognised with simple 
indefeasible certainty. It has the stamp of the trans-sub 
jective. But this qualification has importance only if the 
position be granted, only if we maintain that there are 
really two questions involved : one, how it is possible to 
know the trans-subjective at all ; the other, how we are able 
to determine the nature of that which is in any case appre 
hended as trans-subjective. For my own part, I am unable to 
attach significance to the first of these suggested questions, 
and the latter hardly seems to me to require the special 
designation metaphysical. 

I have never been able to divest myself of the conviction 
that the general argument just presented rests on a confusion 
of thought, and screens the true order of development of the 

1 [Erfahrung und Denken (1886), p. 103.] 


inner process of knowledge. No doubt it is not easy to 
ensure that, when one discusses the simple rudiments of ex 
perience, the terms employed shall have a significance on 
which we are in agreement. Still, allowing for the danger 
so arising, it seems possible to disentangle the confusion into 
which we seem to me to be led by this absolute antithesis 
between subjective process of consciousness and the trans- 
subjective. An isolated act of mind is evidently the hypoth 
esis from which the argument starts ; and it is maintained 
that such an act of mind, say, for example, a state of sense- 
apprehension, may be, and must be known as mine, as subjec 
tive. As I have already said, the rigour of the argument would 
cast doubt upon this term mine, the meaning of which can 
hardly be supposed to be given in the sense which would 
make it identical with subjective in the isolated process. But 
apart from that, I am prepared to say that I see no evidence 
for the assertion that the act of mind is originally appre 
hended as a process of rny consciousness, and further, that 
any meaning the designation subjective comes to possess, it 
acquires as part of the larger complex notion of the inner 
life as distinct from the space-extended not-self. If we are 
attempting to trace the development in us of the recognised 
distinction between subjective and trans -subjective, we do 
wrong, it seems to me, in extending too rapidly the scope of 
the latter term. It appears to me obvious that the type of 
trans-subjective indicated by the term other conscious minds 
is dependent and derivative. I am far from saying that the 
only meaning of subjective is what it gains in and through 
the opposition between the act of perceiving and the space- 
extended that is perceived ; and, above all things, I do not 
imply that the recognition of this opposition is a simple 
primitive fact of mind. But I feel inclined to say that all 
further determination the subjective receives in the course of 
the development of experience depends upon this initial dis- 


tinction, and that it is only when that distinction is appre 
hended, dimly or clearly, that there comes to be possible any 
signifiance at all in the designation subjective. 

There is no doubt that to some extent this mode of view 
ing the question returns to the lines of a well - known 
portion of the Kantian work; but it approaches it from a 
wholly different standpoint, and is free from certain dangers 
which Kant s statement did not succeed in evading. The 
general idea of the correlation of inner and outer experience, 
which underlies the Kantian position, seems to me true and 
fruitful, capable of application far beyond the limits of the 
use to which, in this special case, it was put by Kant. 

The Cartesian method, as I said, seems to me to reverse 
the true order of development of experience. It assumes 
that we begin with the knowledge of subjective states, and 
then, by some mode of reflexion on or about them, are led 
to the conception of a trans-subjective, to which must always 
cling something problematical. Perhaps reversal is too strong 
a term to apply to this account, for I do not think that the 
initial step in the development of knowledge is the position 
of the trans-subjective or objective. Perhaps we deceive 
ourselves here a little by using too freely the term know 
ledge, which can hardly fail to carry with it the counter- 
implication subjective existence of the act of knowing, trans- 
subjective existence of that which is known. In this sense 
of the term knowledge, it cannot be maintained for a moment 
that with it our experience begins ; and I cannot see more 
than an equivoque in that most astonishing opinion with 
which Mr Herbert Spencer must have startled the student 
of his Psychology, " I see no alternative but to affirm that the 
thing primarily known is not that a sensation has been experi 
enced, but that there exists an outer object." l I am perfectly 

1 [Principles of Psychology, 404, vol. ii. p. 369.] 


aware that Mr Spencer does not regard this act of knowing 
as itself primary, but I am not able to reconcile the two 
points of view from which he evidently regards the question. 
For my own part, I am content with the simpler and, as it 
appears to me, more correct view, that the discrimination of 
subjective and trans-subjective is one act or process, however 
complicated, that it comes about in consciousness, and that 
neither element is given without the other. 




MANY lines of investigation, historical and critical, converge 
in the general question of the relation of the main Kantian 
doctrine to psychology. It is of some importance to be able 
to trace the obligations of Kant to preceding writers on 
psychology, and to determine the extent to which, in the 
formulation of his own views, he seems to have been affected 
by what he borrowed from current psychology. 2 Again, 
from the earliest of the long series of discussions on and 
about the Kantian doctrine, there has manifested itself a 
deep-going difference of view as to the foundation and aim 
of the whole doctrine, a difference of view aptly enough 
designated as that between the psychological and the critical 
or epistemological. The penetrating influence of the opposed 
views so designated is to be discovered in some quarter or 
another in wellnigh all the interpretations that have been 
offered of the Kantian system. Finally, the powerful change 
in the general character and direction of philosophy, due to 
Kant, did not leave psychology itself unaffected. A new, or, 
at all events, a highly peculiar and definite conception of its 

1 [This paper is probably earlier in haps in connexion with the author s 

date than any of the preceding. Al- projected History of Psychology.] 

though only a fragment, it appears 2 An excellent summary of much 

(unlike the other contents of these bearing on this matter is given in 

volumes) to have been originally writ- Hegler, Die Psychologic in Kant s 

ten with a view to publication, per- Ethik, 1891. 


scope and method was one of the results of Kant s analysis 
of knowledge, and has since exercised an influence on all 
psychological work. 

These general lines of inquiry lead off into innumerable 
side issues. Nor is it possible, as tolerably uniform experi 
ence has shown, to deal with any one portion of the Kantian 
doctrine without bein - drawn into the discussion of some or 


all of them. The praiseworthy Commentary of Vaihinger 
has only to be consulted to make us aware, not only how 
multifarious are the detailed questions that surround each 
step of Kant s analysis of knowledge, but also how continu 
ously there present themselves discussions unmistakably 
psychological in character. It was, and it is, inevitable that 
the statement of any view regarding the nature and validity 
of knowledge should be made in terms that have a certain 
vague fixity of meaning as parts of the nomenclature of 
psychology. The significance assigned to such terms in the 
course of the inquiry into knowledge is often either obscured 
by an interpretation of them in accordance with their current 
psychological use, or may be thought to be illegitimately 
reached as a consequence from the unfounded assumptions 
generally latent in the accepted nomenclature. The term 
Bcgriff as employed by Kant will furnish ample illustration 
of both alternatives suggested. 

The general character of Kant s own conception of Psych 
ology is not hard to state in his own terms, though the more 
closely the conception is investigated the more serious are 
the perplexities raised by it. Psychology has for its object 
the phenomena of the inner life, just as Physics, natural 
science in the widest sense, has for its object the phenomena 
of external nature. Inner phenomenon, like outer, involves 
given, presented matter, and for its cognition requires that 
such matter should be apprehended under the general condi 
tions whereby a definite known object is possible. Such 


conditions are (1) the general rule of all presentation as 
object to a subject, tbat the matter be in time ; (2) the 
general rules of apprehension as object known, the pure 
forms of understanding. The matter presented is every 
modification of mind : perception, thought, feeling, desire. 
Such matter is presented to the inner sense ; and just as 
outer sense has its form space and is affected by the com 
bining act of thought in the cognition of a determined object 
in space, so the inner sense has its form time and is affected 
by the combining act of thought in the knowledge of the 
coexisting and successive phenomena of the inner life. 
Whereas, however, the outer sense-material, by reason of its 
form space, affords ground for the objectively valid use of the 
pure combining forms of understanding and yields a com 
prehensive conception a priori of the structure and relations 
of the unity of external phenomena as nature, inner sense- 
material, subject to the sole condition of time, exhibits no 
general a priori law of its structure and relations other than 
the formale of time itself that it is a continuous stream and 
yields no body of a priori determinations. Nor does inner 
sense-material lend itself even to the less complete theoretical 
form of natural science ; its phenomena are non-mathematical 
in character ; there is possible in respect to them only the 
descriptive treatment of classificatory science, hardly even 
the analytic processes of chemistry. Psychology, which is 
empirical only (for of the impossibility of all Rational 
Psychology one may be convinced by the reflexion that 
the inner sense contains only the given material of inner 
phenomena, not the substance of the soul as the unity of 
which these are the states), is nothing but a descriptive 
account of the series of facts, modes of his own existence in 
time, of which the subject becomes aware through inner 
sense. If such psychology be distinguished at all from 
anthropology, it is so, Kant appears to say, because in it 


there is taken for granted that the capacity for feeling 
and thinking, mind in the empirical sense, is something 
peculiar in man an indwelling substance in him. 1 

To this brief statement, divested so far as possible of such 
technicality as does not seem essential, it has to be added, 
first, that the empirically known contents of the inner sense 
are apprehended as the self, that is, as at once identical with 
and diverse from the pure ego ; and secondly, as is here im 
plied, that a sharp distinction is to be drawn between the 
empirical self of inner intuition and the pure ego. Kant 
notes quietly that to some the view taken of inner sense 
seemed to have the difficulty that it involved the conception 
of a duality of self in one and the same person ; and, indeed, 
were there taken rigorously one of the most tortuous of his 
many tortuous expressions, 2 Ihe difficulty might be presented 
in an exaggerated fashionx He does not, however, offer any 
further comment, and contents himself with reiterating 
that only through presence in consciousness of a determinate 
intuition can the bare self-consciousness of the pure ego, 
the correlate of all experience, be realised. How far this 
extends, or how far it is compatible with his general analysis 
of knowledge, are questions for the moment deferred. 

That the empirical self is not to be confused with the 
pure ego, that the inner sense is not pure apperception, are 
such cardinal and familiar doctrines of the Critique that a 
mere reference to them will suffice. However true it may be 
that the simple form of all thought, the I think, is depend 
ent for occurrence, for existence at all, on the concrete of 
sense, it is not in its nature a determinable fact of intuition ; 
it is not even a determinate notion. That which is the uni 
form and indispensable condition of all knowing cannot itself 
be an object known. 

1 Werke. K. vii. 2. 51, 55 ; H. vii. 473-4. 

- Kritik. B, 155-6 ; H. 129 ; M, 95 ; Miiller. i. 452. 


The general statement of the field for psychology, taken 
without special reference to the peculiar Kantian terms in it, 
commends itself at first sight as containing the basis for a 
scientific treatment of mind, and, interpreted as it was none 
too closely, it for a time powerfully influenced psychological 
research. There was something symmetrical and attractive in 
the conception of the field of experience as divisible into the two 
broadly distinct types of phenomena those of external and 
those of inner sense of empirical science as either Physics or 
Psychology. A certain community of method and aim between 
the two types of science, giving added harmony to concep 
tions of the sum-total of phenomena, seemed likewise to be 
implied. If for the inner life there was no such funda 
mental doctrine as abstract mechanics extends to natural 
science, the cause was to be found in the peculiar character 
of inner phenomena, their wonderful complexity, the weakness 
of the inner sense, and the common confusion of ideas as to 
its real nature. 1 

Psychology regarded from this -point of view could evi 
dently be distinguished sharply from the research into the 
conditions of possible experience constituting the critical 
theory of knowledge. Nothing could be more dissimilar 
than the problems of the two inquiries ; nothing less possible 
than to apply the leading thoughts and methods of the one 
within the other. Psychology is at best a descriptive account 
of a determinate portion of experience ; theory of knowledge 
an investigation of the conditions under which experience at 
all is possible. The first has to do with a determinate group 
of facts, objects presented in experience ; the other takes for 
consideration the conditions under which the object as such 
can be presented at all. To the psychologist mind is but a 
collective term for the series of inner states, coexistent and 
sequent, of which the subject is aware through inner sense ; 

J See, e.y., Jakob s Erfahrungs-seelenlehre, 157 ff. 


to the critical investigator into the conditions of knowledge, 
mind names no fact or group of facts, but the necessary 
implicate in all facts. 

But, though these distinctions may possess a certain super 
ficial value, they are too dependent on the special determina 
tion given of the field of psychology to be decisive. They 
ignore the real difficulties, which are only hidden under, not 
solved by, the conception of the nature of inner sense and 
the way in which the subject presents to himself his inner 
life. They are powerless to meet the objections urged against 
the critical view of knowledge, that it is only the laying out 
with much detail of an arbitrary psychological theory, that 
is, a theory of the nature of mind ; and that in its own pro 
cedure it is at every step conditioned by assumptions 
psychological in character, that is, concerning the relations 
to one another of facts of the inner life. For there may 
certainly be urged as an objection to the critical theory of 
knowledge what has often been regarded as a sufficient 
representation of its outcome, that it rests on the hypothesis 
of a specially organised structure of mind, the thinking and 
perceiving principle in man, and offers as a final account of 
the nature and validity of knowledge nothing but the vague 
unsatisfactory conception of a mind which must arrange, 
co-ordinate, reduce to form in accordance with its own 
special structure, whatsoever impressions are made on it 
from without. It is from this point of view, one probably 
wholly foreign to Kant but for which his language gives 
ample warrant, that many of the current general objections 
to his theory of knowledge are directed. It is argued that 
the conception of mind, so organised as to impose form in 
general on the contents supplied to it from without, in 
consistently places mind in the position of one real fact in 
relation of reciprocal action with others, and at the same 
time renders it impossible to explain how such form in 


general is realised in particular modifications. The a priori 
forms of intuition or of thought are just as far removed 
from and as incapable of explaining the concrete particular 
as the Platonic idea was remote from and helpless to explain 
the world of generation. 

Returning now to the general statement, we find that 
it suggests two somewhat distinct inquiries : first, how far 
does it offer a conception of psychology possible in itself 
and consistent with the Kantian theory of experience ? 
and secondly, what light does it throw on the relation 
between the psychological and the transcendental methods ? 
As regards the former question, it is tolerably evident 
that the statement, taken in its generality, has but super 
ficial clearness ; that it cannot simply be interpreted as 
an expression of the view familiar in the writings of the 
Scottish school, that, as our notions of mind and matter 
are alike relative, the proper object of investigation, for 
psychology as for physics, is phenomena only ; but that it 
contains, in an involved confused fashion, a multiplicity of 
thoughts which require to be analysed before the full import 
of the general statement can be determined. As regards the 
second question, however clear it may be that, on Kant s 
own conception of the province of psychology and of the 
problem of theory of knowledge, no two methods could be 
more distinct than the psychological and the transcendental, 
it is possible to ask, and it may be useful to consider, how 
far he is successful in freeing the critical investigation into 
the nature of experience from presuppositions essentially 
psychological in kind, and in particular how far the per 
plexities which we shall probably discover in his treatment 
of psychology affect at the same time his central thought 
of the unity of self-consciousness. The two inquiries run 
into one another, but there is a certain convenience in 
keeping them for a time apart. 


The field of psychology is a certain portion of experi 
ence, of knowledge therefore. It is to be defined more ex 
plicitly in terms of the general conditions of experience, of 
knowledge at all. What is known must, in the first instance, 
be given as matter of intuition, in order that it may be a 
somewhat at all, and morever must be given in or subject to 
such form as renders it possible material for apprehension. 
It must, in the second instance, be determined as an object, 
that is, thought as object for the apprehending perceiving 
subject. Such thought has a twofold aspect. It is, on the 
one hand, the consciousness on the part of the thinking self 
of its own unity as opposed to the given material of intuition ; 
on the other hand, it is the reference of the given material of 
intuition, in itself a haphazard of contingent appearance, to 
the conceived unity of the object, the recognition of the 
universal of law in the manifold particular. These two 
aspects may be distinguished in our abstracting reflexion 
on experience ; they are in essence one. The object to which 
the material of intuition is referred is nothing but the con 
ception, the thought, of a determinate order, and that in turn 
is nothing but the consciousness of its own unity on the part 
of the thinking subject. Difficulty may be felt in consequence 
of the way in which we state, and must state, the act of know 
ing, as the reference of Vorstellungen, given intuitions, to the 
object. We inevitably tend to think of the object as distinct 
from and in existential relation to the given material. But 
the object of such reference is, in general, nothing but the 
conception of unity of itself on the part of the subject, and 
in particular, such varied conceptions of its unity as are 
possible for a percnving subject, a subject whose unity is 
determined in relation to given forms of intuited material. 
Within the domain of particular science there is nothing to 
prevent us from employing the dual mode of expression in 
respect to objects known ; and if we choose to designate the 


empirically given material as phenomenon and refer it to the 
conceived object as that of which it is the phenomenon, no 
greater inconvenience would follow from the reflexion that 
the object so conceived is itself the phenomenon than the 
necessity of using the awkward phrase phenomenon of 
phenomenon, a mode of expression which makes its appear 
ance in the fragments of Kant s posthumous work. 1 

With these generalities in view, we ask what is the material 
of intuition for the apprehension of self as an object ? and to 
this simple question we presently discover that there is no 
very direct answer forthcoming. Kant himself, and the 
Kantian psychologists who professedly proceed on his prin 
ciples, are led by the use of a term still to be considered- 
inner sense to refer generally to the material as the con 
tents of the inner life, perceptions, imaginations, thoughts, 
feelings, desires. But in a tolerably official passage in the 
Critique, 2 it is expressly said that the contents of inner sense 
are just the contents of outer sense a statement which 
has sometimes been connected, though without sufficient 
ground, with the familiar Kantian doctrine that feeling is 
generically distinct from knowing or from the objective 
presentative element in the cognitum. Whatever be the 
merits of this doctrine (and in the vague fashion in which 
it is here referred to it is useless to consider them) acceptance 
of it here would conflict strangely with its own implication 
that feeling is the specifically subjective element in experi 
ence ; for it would be not a little remarkable were the sub- 

1 See Altpr. Monatssch., 1882, pp. the pure and the empirical ego, and 

289, 292, 295, 296, 300. This posthu- which I find hard to reconcile with 

mous work is sufficiently hard to un- the passages quoted. I do not know 

derstand ; but on the particular point on what ground Vaihinger proceeds 

referred to I am not able to agree with in asserting that the terms direct 

Vaihinger s interpretation (Strass- and iiwlirect have got transposed on 

burger Abh., pp. 156, 157), which p. 300. 

seems to imply a more definite dis- 2 Transc. ^Esth., 8. ii. ; B, 67 ; 

tinction than I can discover between M, 40. 


jective factor to play no part in the subject s apprehension of 
his own existence, to form no part of what the subject ap 
prehends as his own mode of existing. 

There is obviously some ground for Kant s fluctuation 
of view on this important point, and we shall presently 
discover what that ground is. Meantime, keeping still 
to the generalities, we go on to ask, In what way is this 
material for the empirical knowledge of self received ? 
To this the consistent Kantian answer is, By the inner 
sense, and subject to the condition of the inner sense, 
time. The notion of inner sense has an evil history, 
and nowhere has it been more unfortunate than in the 
Kantian theory. As there denned, it may fairly be re 
garded as a product of combined abstraction and analogy. 
The broad experience from which we start is vaguely ex 
pressed in the phrase that we are aware of our own temporally 
changing existence as contrasted with the existence of outer 
things. Perceptions of these outer things are themselves 
temporally determinable changes of our own existence. As 
changes in the particular of experience, they must be ap 
prehended through a sense; they are given. As contrasted 
with apprehended outer things, the objects of outer sense, 
they must be received through an inner sense, which stands 
in the same relation to them that outer sense stands to the 
perceived outer objects. 

It is perhaps not to be urged as a special difficulty in this 
mode of viewing the apprehended material of self-perception 
that it just fails to include the characteristic feature the 
identification of the perceived with the percipient self for 
Kant consistently declares that any explanation of this 
feature is impossible ; but it is evident that it throws the 
whole burden on the peculiar nature assigned to the inner 
sense, towards elucidation of which there is singularly little 
in the Critique. It is only by following out the further 


steps in analysis of the whole process of self-perception 
that we get additional light. 

The form of inner sense is time, and time is form of the 
inner sense only. The percepta of outer sense are determin- 
able as in time, only because the material element in the 
process of outer sense is and must be also material of inner 
sense. Nothing can be more explicit than Kant s repeated 
declarations on this perhaps the most perplexing point in his 
whole analysis of perceptive experience. It lies at the root 
of the doctrine of schematism, and it comes to the front in 
the discussion of the real character of the external perceived 
object. The first and obvious inference from it would be, 
not merely that, as he frequently seems to say, outer and 
inner sense are equally primordial, inexplicable in their 
characteristic features, and just side by side, but that a 
certain priority belongs to inner sense. Such an inference 
as is well known, is completely at variance with Kant s 
views; and it seems probable that insight into the hazard 
ous character of the conception of inner sense came about 
from consideration of the third element in the process of 
self-perception. It is by an act of understanding that the 
given material of inner sense is determined as an object in 
experience, is cognised. Such determination concerns only 
the time-relations of the given matter ; but for the determina 
tion of time-relations a feature of the given is required that 
is not furnished in the matter of inner sense. There is not 
possible in the field of inner experience the reference of 
given materials to the unity of an object as determining the 
order of their appearance such as we find in the case of outer 
experience. It is only in correlation with and dependence 
on outer perception that we become able to determine the 
empirical sequence of states of the inner life as changes in 
the object known. But this is to say, in other words, as has 
been often pointed out, that we do not cognise self or its 


changes as object at all. Whatever other account we may 
offer of the way in which self-perception comes about, or, 
indeed, of the meaning of that process, we must give up the 
attempted parallelism of inner and outer experience, and 
with it the basis for that kind of psychology which Kant, 
or his immediate followers at least, seemed to contemplate. 
A peculiar danger, indeed, attaches to any attempt, how 
ever carefully guarded, to conceive of Vorstellungen, the 
apprehended contents, as objects. Language, which has much 
to account for in popular psychology, plays its own hurtful 
part in reference to this fundamental point ; and ho\vever 
fairly it may be recognised that we are dealing only with 
an abstract, an aspect of a concrete whole, it is almost im 
possible to escape from the implications of the substantival 
terms used. For Kant the difficulty is aggravated by the 
pronouncedly subjective colouring of his expressions a 
colouring deepened in the posthumous work in the confused 
treatment of the central idea of his system. The moment we 
allow ourselves, as Kant does, to speak of Vorstellungen as 
the matter known, and to identify such Vorstellungen with 
the assumed objective states of the empirical self an identi 
fication which he resists but which is inevitable on his view 
we are thrown back into the weakest form of the subjective 
idealism, from which the Kantian theory of perception seemed 
at first to save itself. Such a result, no doubt, arises from a 
confusion between the psychological and the transcendental 
points of view ; and there is much in Kant which shows he 
was well aware of the need of holding these apart, but it 
can hardly be maintained that in his exposition the con 
fusion is only one of language. It seems to go deeper than 




IT is not my intention, in these rather desultory remarks, to 
attempt any historical account of the ways in which philos 
ophy, in the official recognised sense, has actually connected 
itself with the general problems of social life. Such con 
nexion has, indeed, never been wanting, though it has had 
many degrees of intimacy. From Plato to Hegel and Comte 
and Spencer, the great speculative thinkers have always en 
deavoured to include within their scheme some explanation 
of what are the distinctive features of social life, the economic 
arrangements, the code of laws or body of customs, and the 
form of State constitution. Even more important than such 
an obvious surface connexion between philosophy and social 
inquiries is that which turns upon the influence of general 
conceptions, conceptions therefore on the whole philosophical, 
on reflexion upon any concrete problems. Such influence 
is very often unconscious, even in the case of the trained 
thinker who is proceeding methodically to his work. He 
has already formed a general picture or representation of 
things, and his mind operates constantly under its direction 
and within its scope. What is true of the trained thinker is 
still more true of the ordinary uncritical mind. And in the 
latter case, as a consequence mainly of inability to lay out in 
even partial outlines what the general picture is, there is the 

1 [Address to the Civic Society of Glasgow, 14th April 1898.] 


strongest inclination to deny its influence, and to assert the sim 
plicity and freedom from prejudice of the plain practical mind. 
It would be far more instructive to follow out the in 
fluence of these general ideas on sociological thought than 
to describe the various social philosophies which have formed 
part of the work of the systematic philosophers. But it is a 
more difficult task, and it is hardly possible yet to attempt it 
on the full scale it requires. Isolated branches have been 
taken up, as, for example, in Mr Bonar s excellent study on 
the relation between Philosophy and Political Economy, a 
work which shows how deep is the influence exercised on 
economic speculations by general ideas, often vague and un 
tested, regarding the true end of human life and therefore 
by implication the natural, true, or best form of social 
structure. Any economical theory, be it Adam Smith s, or 
J. S. Mill s, or Karl Marx s, will be found on close scrutiny to 
rest on certain assumptions, postulates, or ultimate prin 
ciples, which the economist, if he be a shrewd and practised 
disputant, will assert to be outside the scope of his science, 
and to be defended or attacked on other than economic 
grounds. In like manner, any practical discussion on some 
economical proposal, for example, the increase of the death 
duties, the relief of local rates, employers liability, or the 
like, will be found to terminate in the long run in some 
ultimate differences of view or feeling with regard to what is 
deemed the right, the fairest, or the best arrangement of 
human life. I do not wish to be understood as objecting to 
the employment of such general ideas in thinking upon 
social questions. Far from it : the only method known to 
humanity by which it can hope to overcome a difficulty is to 
reason it out, to endeavour thoroughly to understand and 
explain it ; and all explanation involves the application of 
general ideas. But it is necessary to test and examine the 
general ideas thus applied ; for they are often picked up in a 


haphazard way; they are frequently vague and incomplete; 
they are always based on the experience already had, which 
likewise may be incomplete and imperfectly known. Even 
when the general ideas are very abstract, and of the kind the 
philosopher calls formal, the same precautions are requisite 
in regard to them. Let me take a couple of examples to 
illustrate what I mean. 

(1) It required some time, much advance in civilisation, 
before the life of society, even in the limited type of a par 
ticular nation, people, state, or city, could be selected as a 
single object of consideration, and the inquiry raised as to 
the causes which gave it a certain coherence and unity, and 
furnished explanation of its distinctive features and of the 
changes which occurred in it. When such isolation was 
effected, when sociological speculation took its start, explana 
tion was naturally given first and most directly by assimil 
ating the object of research to something relatively familiar. 
Primitive explanations are always of the same type, and turn 
upon analogies, many of which tend to become unintelligible 
in later times and in the light of fuller knowledge. The 
analogy which first pressed upon the imagination of the 
early sociologists was that between the society or state and 
the living being. That a society was in its inner or generic 
character an organism is one of the earliest, and has proved 
itself one of the most persistent, of sociological conceptions. 
In the body politic, as in the naturally organised individual, 
there seemed to be a unity embracing and depending on a 
multiplicity, a singleness of aim which is effected by the 
co-operation of subordinate parts, and a reciprocal depend 
ence of part on part which gives to each part a special and a 
common character. Moreover, experience seemed to confirm 
the analogy, for it seemed to show in the continuing life of 
the body politic the same stages of growth or development 
as those apparent in the organised body. 


It took further time to expand the idea, to apply 
it beyond the limits of the single body politic, and to 
represent humanity as the identical unity which persists 
throughout varied transformations, different states as the 
subordinate parts working towards an end which embraces 
all, international relations as consequences of the inter 
dependence of the parts of a whole, and the rise and fall 
of nations as the stages of the growth or development 
of humanity. Such an expansion involves difficulties so 
great that no early sociologists faced them, so formidable 
indeed that they seem to indicate a limit to the application 
of the conception, supposing the conception itself to be of 
value and valid. 

Undoubtedly no conception has more commended itself to 
our ordinary thinking. It was among the earliest, it is 
among the latest, of the general ideas brought to bear on the 
social life. If it has not generated, it has connected itself 
with, a great number of the cujiomata media of sociology, as, 
for example, that constitutions are not made but grow, that 
there is a natural order of opulence, or economic growth, or 
social development. Yet, I venture to say that the employ 
ment of the notion is always a sign of an unscientific stage 
of sociological thinking. No one would deny the historical 
value of the idea. It has served to mark out, compendiously, 
differences of real moment, and it may even be said to have 
had the same methodical importance that is claimed for the 
notion of final end in physiology : it has drawn attention to 
connexions which might otherwise have escaped notice. But 
it has to be borne in mind that the differences between the 
social life and that of an organised living being are far more 
important and go far deeper than the resemblances, which at 
best are but superficial, that the value of the explanation, so 
far as it can go, is seriously affected by the consideration 
that our knowledge of the exact differentia of organic life is 

VOL. n. F 


very imperfect, that we have no justification for assuming 
as the explanation leads us to do, that organic life is, so to 
speak, an ultimate fact, and finally, that the description, for 
it is no more, of social life as organic constitutes no explana 
tion whatsoever of it, and gives us no insight into really 
causal connexions among its parts. I will go further, and 
say that nothing can be more fatal to sociological thought 
than the consequence easily and too often drawn from the 
analogy, that there is an end, a purpose, a final idea to be 
realised by the whole which, so far at least, is distinct from 
the end, purpose, or idea of the parts. 

(2) As a second example I take the general conception of 
Progress or Development, likewise an early conception (for 
the facts which it brings together lie on the surface, and 
could hardly escape the glance of the first sociologists), but 
undoubtedly a far more difficult idea than that of organic 
life, apprehended therefore at first in an excessively vague 
fashion, more dependent on secret underlying thoughts for 
the meaning given to it, and presenting greater differences 
between the earlier and later modes in which it has been 
regarded. The analogy which I think pressed most upon 
the minds of those who first formulated the conception 
was that between the changes of an individual mind in 
its growth and the history of human culture as exemplified 
in arts and sciences and in constitutions. When the first 
Greek thinkers considered the broad difference between 
nature and culture, as exemplified in the contrast between 
barbarian and Greek, between the less and more advanced 
specimens of the Hellenic stock, between their past and 
present states in arts science and civic life, they explained 
it by appealing to the analogous differences in the natural 
growth of the individual mind, from its first crude em 
bryonic condition of vague sense -perception and instinct 
up to reason and reflective moral conduct. The analogy 


is harmless enough, but these thinkers imported into it 
an element which has been veritably a damnosa hereditas 
for their successors. The growth of the individual they 
regarded as the realisation in the concrete of the idea, of 
the eternal exemplar or type ; and consequently they were 
naturally led to interpret social growth or development as 
in like manner the unfolding in time of an eternal prede 
termined plan. Strange and far away from us now are the 
surrounding thoughts in which this conception of human 
history as the realisation of an idea, the unfolding of a plan, 
was first placed ; but the conception itself is deeply implanted 
in our minds, it affects at every point our thoughts about 
sociological questions, and it colours the whole terminology 
we employ for discussion of them., A very Proteus, it 
presents itself in infinitely varied and bafflingly indeterminate 
forms : now as the Platonic conception of a world of ideal 
perfection, now as the medieval thought of the decrees of 
God, now as the eighteenth century personified nature, now 
as the eternal not ourselves that works for righteousness, 
now as the Hegelian absolute or the modern naturalist s 
cosmic order. 

Every one will allow that a notion which has the power 
of incorporating itself with so many thoughts of profound 
human interest is not to be lightly dealt with ; and indeed, 
were it not in so many ways operative in sociology, one 
would be glad to leave its consideration to the philosopher 
whose business it is to test and try all such abstractions. 
But unfortunately the notion, either in itself or in some of 
its numerous implications, constantly presents itself in the 
discussion of concrete social questions ; and the \vay in which 
it is held certainly affects very deeply the different view s 
taken of such questions. For it is quite impossible for any 
human mind to entertain the thought that the varied scene 
of human event is the partially seen development of a plan, 


and not to fashion for itself some more or less detailed con 
crete image of what the plan is ; equally impossible to avoid 
the conclusion that what constitutes the plan is, or deserves 
to be, accepted as the end determining conduct, the standard 
by which to judge the actual fact of social life or any pros 
pective change therein. 

Such being the case, it becomes necessary to say, and to 
say with emphasis, that whatever claims the conception of 
human history as the unfolding of a plan may have, it is an 
intruder, and a uselessly disturbing intruder, in sociological 
inquiries. No one is denied the liberty of adding to what he 
has gathered from experience and reflexion of the actual 
conditions of social life, and of the real causes by which 
social events are brought about, the further consideration 
that in these conditions and causes he sees the mechanism 
by which a plan is being evolved. Nay more, he may, if he 
pleases, add to the desire he entertains for producing or 
seeing produced an alteration in the actual, the additional 
interpretation that he is thus co-operating with the scheme of 
things/ is assisting to carry out the plan preordained. But 
he is bound to remember that the plan, if plan there be, is 
only known through experience and reflexion on the actual ; 
that whatever ideal he forms is based upon the actual, is 
the ideal of a relatively better than the present, not of the 
absolutely best; and that his desire for the better is the 
cause of any change he may seek to bring about in the 
temporal order of social events : the inclusion of such change 
in the eternal scheme or plan is not the cause. It is 
of the utmost importance to expel from the region of socio 
logical inquiry the notion of the absolute best, a notion 
which is worthless when it remains in its abstract gener 
ality and dangerous when expressed in concrete special 
forms. I design to quarrel, on the one hand, with those 
modern exponents of primitive Christianity who delineate 


their absolute best in the form of a list of virtues or 
excellences of character, without regard to the medium of 
social life within which such virtues can be nurtured and 
attain strength, and, on the other hand, with those hasty 
socialists who dash off a new structure of society without 
the slightest regard to historic conditions or the essential 
correlation between character and circumstance. 

The notions just commented on may serve to show how 
impossible it is that philosophy, which deals with ult 
imate questions and always with the human reference, 
should be without influence on our thinking about social 
problems. Philosophy has always endeavoured to reduce 
the whole of our experience to systematic intelligible order, 
so that it may be possible to understand human life in all its 
conditions. It is the treatment of experience by thought, 
and in the interests of thought, with a view to making the 
position and relations of the thinking mind intelligible. The 
ideas in which it sums up its efforts are therefore always 
ultimate, general, systematic, and conditioned by their 
central reference to man and his destinies. Nor are there 
any other features by which to characterise the philosophic 
method as distinguished from the scientific or artistic. But 
if so, then it must be observed that philosophic ideas, like 
our whole thinking, depend upon the experience they are 
employed to interpret, reflect the fulness or poverty of that 
experience, and undergo change in accordance with the 
gradual increase of our mastery over experience. Just as 
scientific ideas, while on the one hand they guide re 
search into nature, are on the other hand modified by the 
opening up of new aspects of nature and the accumulation 
of new knowledge, so philosophical reflexion on social 
questions, while it sums up from time to time our acquired 
knowledge of social facts, is in its turn dependent on the 


new forms of social life which are opened up or on the 
increased clearness of insight obtained into the character 
and conditions of what already exists. 

The social problem in its widest extent is the explanation 
of the actual forces in human nature and the conditions of the 
surroundings under which a society grows up, is held to 
gether, and changes, and under which the members of that 
society are enabled to lead a common or conjoint life, to 
share in certain rights, to discharge certain obligations, and 
to enjoy in various proportion the fruits of human activity 
and culture. Doubtless the term the social problem is 
often interpreted in a more limited sense, is taken to mean 
the inquiry into the possibility of altering conditions of 
social life under which a result our reflexion disapproves 
seems to come about. But any treatment of the narrower 
question is fruitless except when based upon the discussion 
of the larger. Zeal without knowledge is proverbially 
dangerous, and never more so than when exercised upon 
the excessively complicated facts of the social life. Though 
in reflecting upon the character of social events we inevit 
ably occupy for the moment a position as it were external 
to them, yet in reality the feelings with which we view 
these events, the standard by which we criticise them, are 
themselves social facts, belonging to the main current, and 
forming, indeed, no inconsiderable element therein. If, then, 
in bringing together two such large generalities as Philosophy 
and the Social Problem, I have seemed to take the view that 
philosophy has somehow an independent contribution to 
make towards the solution of the problem, that philosophy 
is what Socrates used to complain his interlocutors took him 
to be, a bag of arguments from which one might be drawn 
appropriate to any given question, I desire to remove that 
impression. Philosophy can do no more than think out as 
completely as may be the experience of social life which we 


possess, and it has perhaps gained more from the considera 
tion of the concrete facts of social life than it has contributed 
to their elucidation. Largely through the increasing pressure 
of the social problem, philosophy has been driven to abandon 
certain lonely heights on which it was too prone to dwell and 
to give a much needed concreteness to its very abstract 
notions. Its special function in relation to the social prob 
lem is but that which it discharges in respect to any part of 
experience, to insist on keeping together and in their natural 
connexions all the elements or conditions entering into the 
facts, and on viewing these in relation to the interests of 
human thinking. 

It is true that the conditions here referred to are so numer 
ous, so complex are social facts, that the philosophic treat 
ment of them must always remain very general, very remote 
from immediate practice, and that, therefore, what philosophy 
can offer in regard to social problems is more of the nature of 
a corrective to misleading and incomplete ideas than of the 
nature of guidance for action. It can hardly be denied, how 
ever, that a clear insight into the intricacy of the questions 
involved, even if it be gained from a very general analysis of 
them, is an aid to such thinking as ought to precede action. 

Now,thereare two features of social phenomena,constituting 
in large part their complexity, which seem to me to exercise 
an often unsuspected influence, and therefore to deserve 
particular attention. In the first place, social facts exhibit 
a very intimate combination of two distinguishable sets of 
conditions, the natural and the artificial, as they may be 
called ; and, in the second place, social phenomena are only 
to be understood when viewed as parts of a continuously 
changing stream : they are essentially mobile, historical. 

Certainly, as regards the first of these features, I must 
admit that it is not easy to draw a sharp line of severance 


between the natural and the artificial, and must add that 
the line will be drawn at a different place in different stages 
of social progress. I think there falls to be included under 
the natural not only what depends directly on external 
physical nature, but also all that enters into the acquired 
habits and customary ways of action, the second nature 
of the human being. By the artificial is meant all that is 
explicable only by reference to the determinate, purposeful 
action of individuals singly or conjointly, as, for example, 
all forms of legislation on whatever topic. I suppose we 
should be entitled to say that, historically, the second of 
these, the artificial, grows out of the first ; at all events, it is 
quite clear that the definite character of the second is always 
determined by the first, and this is indeed the element of 
truth in the view before referred to, which interprets social 
development as organic growth. More difficulty will per 
haps be felt in the proposition, which I think true, that 
with every advance in social evolution the share taken by 
the second factor, the direct interference with conditions 
of social life, becomes larger and more significant. 

Of course social facts exhibit the combination of these 
elements in very varied proportions; and the difference in 
this respect entails important differences in the character of 
the result, and, on the whole, determines the ease or difficulty 
of finding a general explanation of them. As, for example, 
to take an instance from the sphere of economics, the social 
facts indicated by the terms Kent of Land and Method of 
Taxation stand almost at extremities of the scale of differ 
ence. But whatever the difference, it is imperative to recog 
nise the truth that the character and interconnexion of 
social phenomena are largely dependent on the deliberate 
purposive interference of the society, by one instrument or 
another, with the so-called natural conditions of its life. I 
have no wish to quarrel needlessly with the political econ- 


omists ; but it seems to me that in the interests of scientific 
method they have unduly thrown out of account this factor, 
and have ignored the real and indissoluble connexion between 
the economic structure of a society and that system of laws, 
positive or customary, under which possession and enjoy 
ment of property, of civic and municipal rights, belong to 
the members of the society. They have tended, therefore, 
to regard the artificial factor as an extraneous incident to 
be reckoned with quite independently. 

The second feature of social facts to which I drew atten 
tion may be called briefly their historical character ; they 
are events in a process; not to be understood, therefore, 
without regard to what has preceded, and not to be regarded 
as final. I will not labour this matter further ; it has be 
come a commonplace to insist on the necessity for applying 
to social phenomena the historical method ; and it is perhaps 
equally a commonplace, or the conclusion one has to draw, 
that it is not possible to point to any one form of social 
structure which is absolutely indispensable to the welfare of 
society: that, for example, as there have been economic 
arrangements very different from the present, so there may 
be changes of equal magnitude, provided that the ideas and 
feelings of the society have undergone a corresponding modi 
fication and find satisfaction in the new structure. All this 
has become familiar. 

But I desire to note that the changing character of 
social facts holds good with respect both to the natural 
and to the artificial. The thoughts and feelings about 
social facts, the aspirations of humanity as they are 
sometimes called, as they are continuously affected by and 
moulded on the changing reality, undergo modification in 
their very aspect as leading to new change in the stream of 
social progress. I note this because it appears to me that 


a remarkable oversight or underestimate of it is to be 
detected in the most important general conceptions of social 
progress which have dominated sociological speculation in 
the eighteenth and in the nineteenth century. 

In this sphere, as perhaps generally, the thinking of the 
eighteenth century has received, by reason no doubt of its 
apparently negative character, much harsher criticism than 
it deserves. There is no negative that is only negation ; the 
eighteenth-century thinkers had a sufficiently positive back 
ground for their numerous negations ; and they did yeomen s 
service in insisting upon clearness of ideas. At the same 
time, it is to be admitted that the eighteenth-century thinkers, 
in their idea of social progress, misconceived somewhat the 
relation of the two elements they distinguished. Nature and 
culture they so contrasted on the one side that, when it 
became necessary on the other to exhibit their union and 
interdependence in the actual life of humanity, the ideas 
they had to apply were of an imperfect and mechanical 
kind. It was an age rich enough in historians with at 
least one representative of the historical method and yet 
fairly enough to be held as wanting in genuine historical 
imagination. The natural man, like the social contract, is 
the figment of an essentially unhistorical way of looking at 
the past. It was a consequence of the contrast, that emphasis 
should have been laid almost exclusively on the need for 
removing inequalities. Inequalities, according to Condorcet s 
striking examination of them, were found () among nations, 
(&) among individuals in (1) wealth (2) social status (3) 
instruction, and (c)in the application of knowledge to human 
conditions. Were all such inequalities removed, then it was 
thought there must follow from the free expansion of human 
nature the steadily perfecting system of social relations. 
But, from the way in which nature and civilisation had been 
pitted against one another, it was inevitable that the new 


more humane culture should appear as something to be 
mechanically induced upon the fundamental unit, man; and 
thus to secure consistency of thought the new order came to 
be conceived of as the re-establishment of that natural system 
prescribed by and conformable to the constitution of the 
same elementary unit, Man was taken too readily as a given 
quantity, whose nature had just to be known, and there 
forthwith would appear the system of social relations involved 
in it, and insight would be gained into the measures required 
to establish them as fact. Thus, by a somewhat curious turn 
of thinking, the eighteenth-century sociologists tended to lay 
exclusive stress on knowledge, on ideas, as the condition of 
social progress, and on direct legislative action as the method 
of effecting it. They were great at the construction of consti 
tutions, even while stoutly maintaining that the constitution 
framed was but the natural inherent expression of man, and 
only required freedom from restraint in order to come into 

If the eighteenth-century thinkers tended to give too ex 
clusive a place to reason as the guide to progress, and to 
legislative action as the instrument, there has been an equally 
marked tendency in much sociological thinking of the 
nineteenth century to underestimate the function of reason 
and to minimise the scope of legislative action. Those who 
have utilised most freely the conceptions of biology have 
been led into an almost hopeless conflict of ideas by dwelling 
on the contrast between the natural or cosmic order and 
the ethical order. For it seems to be implied in such a 
contrast that, while the cosmic order, including in it the 
conditions of animal life, the struggle for existence, can be 
matter of generalised knowledge, can be rationalised, the 
ethical order, involving excellences of character wholly op 
posed to the qualities required for the cosmic struggle, can 


only be regarded as the product of some irrational feeling. 
From this point of view there ought to follow complete dis 
trust of legislative action as an instrument of social progress ; 
I will not say that the conclusion has always been drawn 
with express reference to the premisses on which it rests. 
The contrast on which the whole rests is entirely unsatis 
factory, and leads us altogether away from concrete facts 
into the region of abstractions. There is no ground what 
ever for supposing that there is an antithesis between the 
qualities useful in the struggle for existence and the virtues 
which find their scope in the moral order. Is courage, 
for example, exclusively the property of the animal or 
savage ? Is it not the case that such qualities form the 
natural basis on which the moralising influences of social 
progress operate, so that they undergo an essential transforma 
tion and appear as the active principles in a life based on 
and inextricably connected with the natural, different from 
it, but not to be represented as an independent entity ? Is 
there any abstract faculty of reason which we may pit 
against an equally abstract feeling ? Or does not reason 
mean always a highly concrete group of ideas united in a 
special form, and varying with the whole character, sur 
roundings, and stage of development of the rational being, 
influenced therefore by feeling and influencing feeling, based 
upon natural instincts, but transcending them and able now 
to control and direct them ? 

A complete account of social phenomena, that is to say, a 
philosophy of the social problem, must, then, involve two 
somewhat distinct inquiries. The one is mainly matter of 
fact or scientific, the actual knowledge obtained from reason 
and experience of the conditions under which a given social 
structure has come into existence and is maintained in 
existence. The other is mainly ethical or speculative, a 


treatment of the grounds for the criticism we pass upon the 
whole or any part of that structure as satisfying or failing 
to satisfy the conceptions we form of what is in the interests 
of social life. I do not think it possible to avoid recognition 
of the equal necessity of these two inquiries ; the difficulties 
which attach to both suffice to convince us that a complete 
sociology is at present far beyond our reach. But exclusive 
insistence on either constitutes the gravest obstruction to the 
advance of sound sociological thinking. To deal, as political 
economy has too often done, with the actual facts of the 
economic structure without reference to the ultimate ques 
tion as to how far such arrangements are in harmony with 
our ideas and feelings respecting the advance of human life, 
is to mistake abstractions for realities. It is an equal mistake 
to indulge in fancy pictures of an ideal state of human per 
fection without consideration of the actual constituents of 
human life and the necessary correlation between character 
and circumstance. 

It would obviously be impossible to present in the brief 
compass of an address even the most abridged statement of 
the general conditions of a social life ; equally impossible to 
do justice to the complicated ethical question which runs 
alongside of all our thoughts about society. But, without 
dogmatising about the ultimate ground of the distinction 
between good and bad, I think one might fairly assume it 
has been the purport of all the preceding remarks to justify 
the assumption that if it be possible at all to distinguish 
in the changing events of social life a better from a good, 
then, even if we cannot frame a detailed picture of the 
absolute best, and for a developing creature that seems 
impossible, we are yet able and entitled to criticise the 
existing arrangements of society from the point of view 
of a better that seems attainable ; and our knowledge of the 
real conditions of change in the social life will enable us to 


judge to some extent by what method such better state may 
be attained. To the extreme theorist, I know, such a view 
will appear meagre, timid, unsatisfactory. He will call it 
opportunism, a name I should not object to, for after all it 
only means in the sphere of the practical that we take 
enlightened experience as our guide, not any a priori 
scheme of things. 

Of all such a priori schemes I entertain profound distrust. 
They assume a knowledge of human nature which I do not 
think any one possesses, and. generally, in what they assert 
about human nature, I think they are wrong. If I look, for 
example, to Tolstoi s ideal of human life, I find it to consist 
in the possession by human beings of all the Christian virtues, 
with entire removal of all that civilisation has succeeded in 
rearing upon the merely natural basis of human life. I doubt 
whether the virtues could flourish in such impoverished soil ; 
I altogether refuse to admit that humanity has ever seriously 
desired the state of angelic barbarism. If I look to any one 
of the socialist schemes which is sufficiently definite to have 
even its outlines discerned, I find postulated a transformation 
of human character which I think very little probable, and 
not certain to be produced by the economic change suggested. 
I doubt whether the history of the past supplies evidence to 
convince one that in such a scheme humanity does find its 
fullest aspirations realised. Both ideals seem to me vague 
and illusory. 

It is a long and treacherous path that lies between theory 
and practice ; and I am painfully conscious how little one 
may dare to offer practical suggestions from the theoretical 
point of view. Yet the social problem presents aspects so 
closely connected with the general tenor of the theoretical 
view I have been expressing, that I am tempted to remark 
on one or two of them. 


It is desirable for that purpose to express, in somewhat 
sharper terms than I have yet ventured to do, the general 
character of the idea with which, as the result of reflexion on 
what has worked best in the past history of society, what has 
contributed most potently to its development, we may ap 
proach the question of changes to be effected. Our aim, it 
appears to me, may be defined as the establishment of such a 
state of social relations that each shall have full opportunity for 
development, for the kind of life that gives the amplest scope 
to his capacities and powers, and that each shall have the 
fullest opportunity possible for enjoying that improvement in 
social conditions which is our heritage from the past. 

Now, undoubtedly, the existing social structure in any state 
is far from corresponding even to such a humble aim. The 
earlier, less enlightened, types of civilisation have all of them 
left their traces on human character and on human institu 
tions. The strong sense of the indebtedness of the individual 
to society, and admission therefore of the obligation to accept 
such rules as may be deemed best for the common weal, are 
products of modern civilisation ; and it is the clearness of 
perception of these ideas, the strength of feeling accompany 
ing them, not any deterioration in the condition of some 
classes of the community, that have given such prominence 
in modern times to social questions. But it would be a great 
error to suppose that the solution of such questions is to be 
had by a violent transformation of the social structure. The 
true solution is the utilising of the means possessed by the 
community in such a way as to secure, on the one hand, that 
the obligations which each bears to the whole obligations 
generally measured by the advantage his position yields 
him shall be recognised and discharged ; and that, on the 
other hand, the resources of the community shall be employed 
so as to render possible for all the kind of life we accept as 


Let me take rapidly one or two examples of what I mean. 
Inequality has long been recognised as the condition at 
the root of many of the most acute social questions. It is 
perfectly certain that no known mechanism can remove in 
equality, just as certain that it is not desirable to attempt 
to remove all inequalities. Inequalities of natural ability, 
acquired skill, social status, are irremovable. Inequalities 
of position or of advantage are equally irremovable. But 
it does not follow because these are irremovable that there 
fore we should, without modification, accept the results 
now following from them. I see no reason whatsoever why 
the benefits which are thus derived from working in the 
favourable medium of the community should not be made to 
bear their proportionate share in supplying the means for 
any well devised scheme of social amelioration. In principle, 
a graduated tax on the returns to industry (or on incomes 
generally) seems to me thoroughly defensible. 

Health and education are equally necessary conditions for 
a vigorous, prosperous, and moral community. We have 
already accepted, with some limitations, the principle that 
under existing circumstances it is necessary that education, 
which might not attract by its inherent advantages, shall be, 
for the elementary stages, the concern of the community, and 
shall be compulsory. Not only should I desire to go further 
on that line, but I feel strongly that the same principle 
should be applied in the case of our hospitals. I do not 
think that these should be dependent on the contingency 
of private charity. It is, in the long run, for the common 
welfare that the conditions of health, so far as these can be 
secured by the maintenance of hospitals, should be satisfied, 
and I do not think there are insuperable difficulties in the 
way of carrying out such a principle. 




THE basis or principle of morality is certainly no new 
problem. It has been a theme of discussion since reflexion 
first turned upon the facts of experience in the hope and 
with the intention of reducing them to some kind of intel 
ligible system. Such reflexion, the source of science and 
of philosophy, is obviously, as its very name implies, no 
primitive direct exercise of thought. There is always pre 
supposed in it a certain material, such detailed knowledge of 
facts as has been acquired, and a certain formal element, 
those uniting ideas in which thought has found satisfaction 
for its attempt at explanation. The two factors which we thus 
distinguish are not independent of one another. With every 
increase in the one, nay, even with the change in our views 
of the one consequent on the explanations we attempt of it, 
there is given the possibility of an alteration in the other ; 
and so intimately do the two work into one another that 
after a certain time it becomes an almost hopeless task to 
disentangle the facts from our theories about them, or to 
secure that our theories are, so to speak, disinterested, that 
is, are not infected by certain concrete prejudices of our 
own. The degree to which any portion of our reflexion 
attains such disinterestedness is perhaps measurable roughly 

1 [Read to the London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy, 28th Jan 
uary 1900.] 



by the distance of the facts involved from our practical in 
terests, that is, by the extent to which, in treating them, ab 
straction can be made of the very complex factor, human life 
and thinking. Mathematics, for example, is and has long 
been free from such intrusion. Its facts can be defined ; 
its explanations spring directly from the nature of these 
facts, and can be seen to express no more than the unities 
which bind them together. On the other hand, a theory of 
morality is most of all exposed to the confusion that arises 
from real indeterminateness of the facts themselves, and from 
the foreign character of the explanatory ideas brought to 
bear upon them. It is of all difficulties the hardest to keep 
the facts and the hypothetical explanations of morality apart 
from one another ; and yet, without clearness in this respect, 
no scientific determination of the principle of morality can 
ever be achieved. 

The difficulty referred to is of course that which has always 
presented itself in efforts at constructive philosophy. Kound 
the vaguely known facts which constitute the material there 
grows up such a thicket of fanciful interpretations that any 
clear vision of the actual things becomes impossible. From 
time to time there comes forward some resolute thinker who, 
impatient of the obstacles, prepares to attain clear insight 
by sweeping away every intervening theory and getting 
straight to the facts. A new method is characteristic of every 
great advance in philosophical thinking, and the new method 
requires the dismissal of all prejudices that perturb the view 
of real fact. Such clearings-out have generally had but little 
success, so far at least as they have concerned the concrete 
and complex region of human life. The reforming thinker 
is too ready to suppose that his zealous cutting down gives 
him the power of seeing the facts and no more, too ready to 
forget that he least of all comes to their treatment with no 
bias of acquired ideas. 


The history of such philosophical endeavours is itself a 
problem which we may seek to explain, and no one can 
take into consideration even the relatively simplest of its 
stages, say the development of early Greek speculation, 
without discovering how largely the general theoretical 
conceptions which these first thinkers employed are but 
the abstract expression of concrete pictorial representations 
drawn from sources altogether foreign to the facts they 
were applied to explain. It is much more in such concrete 
pictures, oftentimes so vague that they hardly deserve to 
be called more than feelings, than in the abstractions based 
upon them that we find the true inwardness of the philos 
ophical view. The abstractions, indeed, may fatally deceive 
us, for their attenuated generality may show no points of 
obvious difference from the corresponding thoughts employed 
by us, and we may therefore expound a Plato or an Aristotle 
in such fashion as to give his speculations all the air of a 
modern view, ignoring the real and profound difference of 
spirit that makes him a Greek of two thousand years ago. 
It is not necessary, in order to do justice to the continuity of 
thought, that one should neglect the element of difference ; 
on the contrary, only by giving full weight to it does the 
continuity become real. 

These general remarks I put forward only by way of a 
defence in liniine for the slenderness of such contribution as 
I feel able to make towards the discussion of so complicated 
a problem as that of the basis or principle of morality. I am 
far more deeply convinced of the difficulty of seeing exactly 
what we want as principle or basis than of any power of 
throwing light upon it, not to say of reaching a satisfactory 
answer to it. At the same time, something may be done for 
the substance of the question by a treatment which concerns 
rather the form and method of reaching a principle than the 
principle itself. For I incline to think there is consider- 


x able confusion in one s mind regarding the relation between 
morality, taken generally as the sum of accepted customs of 
right conduct plus aspirations after a better state, and the 
principle on which morality may be rested. It is easy to 
entertain an erroneous view, and equally easy to fall into 
discouragements, when the principle or basis assumed seems 
to lack vital power, to yield no ready solution to the many 
problems of detail we bring before it. 

Perhaps at the present time, if I may indulge in con 
jectural interpretations of rather vague phenomena, one 
might think it possible to trace certain evidences of dis 
couragement at the apparently small success in application 
to moral questions of leading ideas that have approved 
their worth in other fields of speculation. A certain re 
actionary tendency in many departments of thought one can 
hardly fail to recognise in this last quarter of a century. 
It is doubtless no more than superficial, but among its 
causes I incline to place the sense of disappointment at 
the small significance for practical morality of general specu 
lations on its principle and basis. Such disappointment may 
be in whole or in part unreasonable ; it implies a special con 
ception of the relation between morality and its basis, which 
may be false or inadequate, but which at all events deserves 
to be scrutinised and estimated. It seems to me, therefore, 
that the problem I purpose considering, though it covers but 
a small portion of a wide field, has some practical importance. 
One further preliminary remark may be allowed. The term 
scientific, when used in reference to the basis of morality, has 
only methodical significance. It implies only that the prin 
ciple or explanatory ground of morality is to be viewed 
simply and strictly as that which finds expression in the 
facts of morality, and if discerned, enables them to be 
grouped into an intelligible whole. One might apply to 
it Newton s maxim that no hypotheses are to be entertained 


which are not deducible from the phenomena. There is not 
implied in it that explanation of morality is to be sought in 
the results of any other scientific treatment of other facts, 
save in so far as indirectly all knowledge of the surround 
ings of morality, of the conditions determining the course of 
human conduct, must be of service towards understanding 
morality itself. Considerable harm has been done by the 
rash introduction into the treatment of one order of facts of 
the general notions serviceable in explanation of another. It 
is tolerably certain that a general notion has meaning only 
in and through its particular matter, though it is very easy 
to extend its application unduly. The extension may direct 
our thinking on sound and fruitful lines, but is just as likely 
to induce us to rest content with half-understanding. One 
is rather thankful to note an increasing tendency towards 
caution in the use of such notions as life and organism 
when they are taken out of their appropriate department. 
They are suggestive when taken as analogies, treacherous 
when conceived as explanations. 

It will readily be allowed that an answer to the general 
question as to the basis or principle of morality is hardly 
likely to be reached by a direct attack. A certain amount 
of manoeuvring is admissible, even necessary, in order to gain 
a position from which an approach may be made. There is 
doubtless risk in such movements, for the case is much the 
same in thinking as in conduct. The accomplished fact, the 
step taken, has its inevitable consequences, and if it be ill- 
judged, the result may be fatal. I purpose asking, in the 
first instance, what kind of answer one may reasonably expect 
to get to our question, in the hope that consideration of that 
side issue may bring us some light on the more subtle 
problem, What kind of relation is there between the principle 
or basis and morality itself ? 


Now, there seem to be two main ways in which such an 

answer as we may desire has been defined : either by formu- 

\ lation of a supreme law of human action or by statement of 

N an absolute end, an ideal towards which conduct in its moral 
aspect is directed. It is hard to say which of these, in some 
one or other of the less perfect enumerations of it, has been 
the earlier in point of time. In the history of philosophical 
ethics, the second has received systematic statement both 
earlier and later than the other ; for end, the final good, is 
the dominating conception in the first ethical theories, those 
of the Greek thinkers, and also in the most recent doctrines, 

- whether naturalist or idealist. The first has received its 
most explicit statement and its strongest defence, in modern 
times, in the Kantian philosophy, though in cruder fashion 
it presents itself in all varieties of theological ethics. There 
are easy links of connexion between the two conceptions ; 
we may pass readily from one to the other ; but they repre 
sent, nevertheless, different ways of looking at the general 
problem of morality. 

Either conception may be regarded as a hypothesis, put 
forward as explaining or enabling us to understand what is 
peculiar in morality, and to be tested, therefore, by the 
ordinary process of thinking, bringing into relation the hypo 
thesis and the facts. In either case, it hardly requires say 
ing, the conception must be understood not as an absolute 
law which may somewhere or somehow hold good as an 
absolute end, which is, so to speak, for the universe as a 
whole, but as forming a part of human conscious experience. 
The law must be represented or thought by us ; the end 
must be capable of statement in terms of human experience : 
otherwise it is impossible to see how, for us at least, either 
can make intelligible what is certainly matter of experience, 
namely, morality. 

Let it be assumed that this actual representation of ab- 


solute law or absolute eud is possible (I shall reserve for 
the moment the doubt as to the possibility of such rep 
resentation), then there arises the next question, In what 
way does the hypothesis work ? how does either conception 
render morality intelligible to us ? There are two rather 
obvious analogies, or metaphorical images they might more 
appropriately be called, which have always found applica 
tion in the answers to this question. The one is the image 
of a logical or even a legal system, the other is that 
an organism, a living being and its activities. The one is 
naturally employed in working out the conception of an 
absolute law ; the other, in the case of a supposed absolute 
end. In the first case, the relation is conceived as that of 
general to special ; morality presents itself as the specifica 
tion in definite directions of an all-comprehensive rule of 
conduct. In the other case, the relation is less easily im 
aged ; the end is related to the special functions as the 
active living principle which works itself out under varying 
conditions ; concrete morality is therefore represented as the 
definite ways in which organisation of conduct is brought 
about by the constant effort to realise the absolute end. 

It cannot be said that in either of these images we have 
what logicians term an impossible notion. But it may 
very well happen that neither of them is the notion of a 
possible thing. Hesitation in regard to them, doubt as to 
whether by either of them the concrete stuff of morality is 
made intelligible, must inevitably arise if we give to either 
an interpretation which seems natural, though I am aware 
that it has been vehemently repudiated. Are we to under 
stand that morality the accepted modes of common life, our 
iudo-ments and feelings about them, the institutions in which 

J O 

these judgments and feelings are partially embodied did in 
fact come into existence by bringing to bear upon the detail 
of practice the representation of a universal law ? Has the 


ethical spirit of humanity worked only as a supreme casuist, 
debating and settling questions of classification, referring 
this or that point of practice to its appropriate wording in an 
all-embracing law ? Or, looking to the other conception, the 
more fluid and more subtle, can we regard the slow changes of 
moral practice as just marking the imperfect struggles of the 
human mind to bring its conduct into harmony with an end 
which must represent the completed state it seeks to attain ? 
I conceive that the answer must be an unhesitating negative, 
whether we take the process in the more concrete way, as 
historical formation, or in the more abstract way, of system 
atic deduction. There is no evidence for, and abundant 
evidence against, the hypothesis that the transitory codes 
of human morals have been formed by applying to de 
tails of practice the conception of an absolute law. The 
evidence is all in favour of the view that our notion of a 
final good has been developed from the changes of actual 
morality, not inversely, as the hypothesis seems to require. 
I freely admit the difficulty of drawing inferences from the 
imperfect and obscure materials for a history of the forma 
tion of morality. I admit that when the human mind first 
began to treat reflectively its code of morality, the ex 
planation that most readily commended itself was the refer 
ence to some gods or wise lawgivers, and I allow that such a 
primitive type of explanation is still the most common in 
human thinking. But what is so admitted seems only to 
strengthen the inference made. The moral code was estab 
lished prior to reflexion on it, and cannot be supposed to 
have come into existence through the thoughts afterwards 
used to explain it. Perhaps the same simple facts may serve 
to disabuse our minds of the ambiguity attaching to the term 
absolute when used in reference to the supposed law. What 
ever the contents are, however little they may define for 
human conduct, the law is regarded as absolute. 


In precisely the same way we must conclude that the 
gradual organisation of human conduct, the crystallising of 
fluid customs into established methods of action and institu 
tions of life, did not come about in actual fact through 
the pressure of any represented absolute end. From the 
systematic point of view there may be urged considerations 
bearing on the necessary subordination of minor ends to some 
one supreme purpose, but the notion of end is far too simple 
practically to require such logical symmetry as a condition 
of existence ; and one cannot doubt that the conception of a 
supreme end, empty or filled with definite contents, is the 
later, not the earlier formation. It is a travesty of history 
to view the relation in any other way. 

But, it may be argued, the intention of either theory is 
misconceived if the connexion it asserts between principle 
and details be regarded as a statement of actual historical 
causation; the true relation is of the kind we may call 
logical : it is a relation of dependence. If so, the dependence 
must be either that of particulars on a universal or of sub 
ordinated ends, that is means, on a final end. Neither seems 
to find justification in the case with which we are dealing. 
Whether we represent the absolute law with some kind of 
definite content, as in theological ethics, or more wisely, with 
Kant, insist that an absolute law must from its nature be 
formal only, we shall find, with other difficulties, the im 
possibility of deriving from it the detailed particulars of 
morality. I doubt if we could deduce anything at all from 
it ; I have not the smallest doubt that we cannot deduce the 
actual code of morality anywhere or at any time accepted. 
The impossibility rests on such obvious grounds, and is, in 
deed, so generally admitted, that I do not labour the point. 
But I urge that the admission constitutes a strong ground for 


hesitating as to the justification for the conception of an 
absolute law at all. The Kantian doctrine has here, I think, 


worked more harm than good. Its critics are ready to point 
out how barren a purely formal prescript must be ; they insist 
on a more concrete handling of the principle, and they reject 
the curious supplements which Kaut makes in the way of 
bringing his abstraction into closer relation with facts ; but 
they do not see that by so doing they remove all the grounds 
for what they desire to retain of the Kantian doctrine. 

More success, it may be thought, will attend the attempt to 
exhibit the facts of morality as the necessary mechanism by 
which an absolute end is to be attained. The abstract rela 
tion with which we work is so easy and familiar that we are 
apt to be deceived, and to imagine that we have stepped into 
the region of the concrete and actual while in truth we have 
never got beyond our abstractions. Our procedure is very 
much that still to be found exemplified in those wonderful 
constructions of human fancy, theories of the state or 
political philosophies. The end is defined in terms ab 
solute enough, and then specification of means follows with 
logical necessity, while the reader remains in a state of 
painful bewilderment, not knowing whether the state and 
state institutions described have ever existed, do now exist, 
or may be rationally expected to exist. The method is bad 
enough even when applied to a limited sphere of practice ; 
but what can one say of a thinker who believes himself able 
to see that the variegated texture of morality, throughout 
the long course of time, is perfectly intelligible as the 
system of means by which an end distinct from them is 
wrought out ? Admiration is his meed, but I think it is all 
one can give him ; and his method will only strengthen doubt 
as to the possibility of forming a representation of any 
general end except by reflexion on the details which it is 
assumed to explain. Define the end as we may (and I shall 
not even insist on the rigorous interpretation of its qualifica 
tion as absolute), it appears to me that we cannot explain 


therefrom the actual concrete fashion of morality, and that 
the attempt to do so rests upon an inversion of the true 
relation between principle and detail of moral practice. 

In truth, careful scrutiny of such definitions of the 
final end as have ever been attempted shows that their 
function in regard to actual conduct is much the same 
as can be claimed for and allowed to the representa 
tion of a supreme absolute law. It is a negative func 
tion, indispensable and more or less valuable according 
as the principle formulated is more or less concrete. The 
utilitarian conception, for example, is less abstract than 
the Kantian formal law ; but a prudent utilitarian would 
neither claim that in fact moral practice has organised itself 
under the recognition of the end he proposes, nor insist that 
such practice can only be explained as means towards that 
end. It seems obvious, indeed, that the conception of the 
greatest happiness of the greatest number, apart from any 
other difficulties that may beset the concrete representation 
of it, is in essence relative and derivative. Probably that 
conception in its positive aspect has never been thought 
applicable save in reference to a limited sphere of actual 
fact, from which indeed it has been drawn. Such value as 
it has, and I think the value great, is again of the negative 
kind, consisting not in what it enjoins but in the practical 
criterion it supplies : that no course of action should be 
approved which sacrifices the interests of one section of the 
community to another. The most enthusiastic utilitarian has 
never maintained that the actual code of moral practice at any 
time conforms to or could be thought deducible from thi- 
negative or restrictive rule. 

The feature so clearly exhibited in the utilitarian conception, 
the combination of indeterminate and varying positive contents 
with definite negative force, suggests inevitably the final con 
sideration regarding these theories of absolute law or absolute 


end. If they do not furnish historical explanation of moral 
ity, if they do not constitute premisses from which the de 
tails of morality may become intelligible as conclusions, have 
they any claim at all to a place in moral reflexion ? I 
think it, as I said, quite unnecessary to question whether the 
conception of absolute law or of absolute end is possible as 
a mere thought, as a complex of features that can be har 
monised, though I do not say that doubt of such possibility 
may not be entertained. I ask, only, whether such concep 
tions represent what could enter into the content of our 
experience, whether what they relate to can form part of our 
thinking about moral facts. I shall make the inquiry with 
respect only to the conception of an absolute end. The 
notion of an absolute law, as by admission formal only, need 
not concern us further. Probably it indicates nothing more 
than the qualitatively peculiar character involved in any 
judgment as to morality. Such a judgment always asserts 
absolutely, without reference to the relation of means to end, 
a fact worth considering by those who are inclined to pos 
tulate an end in some mystic fashion outside moral practice 
itself. (In fact, for example, our direct judgment as to the 
rightfulness of truth in speech and action is far more un 
hesitating than a reflective judgment turning on the subor 
dination of truthfulness to perfection or any other end we 
may select.) The tendency of modern ethics to treat its 
problem from the point of view of end rather than of law 
has been so pronounced as to make it reasonable to select 
for special treatment the question, paradoxical it may be 
thought, whether the notion of an absolute end corresponds 
to anything that can by any possibility find a place in our 
real thinking experience. 

Notions of an absolute end have been advanced from two 
distinct sides from that of naturalism, and from that of 


idealism. The exponents of the former type seem hardly 
to have been aware of the difficulties involved in their 
view. The utilitarian conception, for example, has often 
been stated as if the greatest happiness of the greatest 
number were veritably a representation with positive and 
well-defined components ; but this, as we have seen, is a 
mere mistake. Perfect adaptation of human action to its 
environment, another mode of expression, is obviously so 
derivative a notion that it can have surprised no one but its 
author that it yielded less information regarding concrete 
detailed practice than was predicted for it. Both are 
purely formal notions, and may be said, without qualifica 
tion, to mean something other than they directly name, 
while what they directly name constitutes no definite con 
tent of our experience. 

Of the idealist conception, what shall I say ? I have a 
friendly and companionable feeling towards it. With much 
in the way of its construction I have no quarrel, though I 
must add that ofttimes in the expression given to it I seem 
to detect the accents of an alien and even an unintelligible 
tongue. That " morality is possible at all only if the world 
is the expression of the divine mind " is a cryptic saying that 
leaves me gasping in a vain attempt to put its parts together. 
There seems to me neither historical nor philosophical justifi 
cation for it. The workings of the principle of infinite self- 
consciousness in the texture of the world s morality suggests 
to me only the uneasy memory of that finger of providence 
which the theologian and the theologically minded historian 
so readily detect. Self-realisation has always impressed 
me as a conundrum rather than as its solution. But it is 
with entire satisfaction that I hail the generally admitted 
doctrine to which Green has given the most pointed ex 
pression, that the ideal, the representation of an absolute end, 
cannot be translated into any definite conceptions, except 


such as are derived from existing usage and law ; and I do 
not believe I put any unjust strain upon the admission 
when I draw from it the conclusion that it is not from any 
representation of an ideal supreme end in human conscious 
ness that we can make intelligible the concrete fact, morality. 
It is quite a different proposition to maintain that only for a 
consciousness that is capable of forming ideals is morality 
possible. This is merely to say, what every one would allow, 
that morality is possible only for a thinking, self-conscious 
being a position doubtless important and rich in conse 
quences, but never capable of supporting an inference to 
something which is, from its assumed nature, not a content of 
consciousness at all. 

Philosophy has sometimes been blamed for its habitual 
method of proceeding by negative criticism, and it must be 
allowed that the business of a philosopher has seemed too 
often that of rending his predecessors. Yet a general defence 
might fairly be rested on the ground that such is the method 
of thought, which always advances by distinctions and lim 
itations, and that such is the process of all organic growth 
and development. A negation never merely expunges. It 
defines, and at least points the way towards a positive. The 
negations, then, in which I have been freely indulging, may 
enable a more rapid advance than would otherwise have been 
possible towards some positive though general interpretation 
of the principle of morality. 

There are two salient features of morality, as here concerned, 
which are, so to speak, light-giving the one, the peculiar 
characteristic indicated by the term obligation ; the other, the 
constant variation of its contents. To the moral customs and 
institutions at any moment accepted the individual stands in 
the special relation that he regards his personal determina 
tion and activity as bound by a rule. It cannot be doubted 


that the total body of morality varies from age to age, from 
community to community, from individual to individual, even 
from one stage to another of the individual s development, 

On the feature called obligation, I remark, in the first place, 
that the relation involved in it is of a very general character. 
I stand individually in much the same relation towards 
all that is, or is taken to be, objective. Perhaps it might 
seem to strain the analogy were I to say that I assent, but 
with reluctance and as constrained, to the proposition that 
two and two makes four ; but I should have less hesitation 
if my assent were extorted to a conclusion which is shown 
to be necessitated by admissions I have made. Historically, 
too, it appears certain that even the peculiar feeling of moral 
obligation connected itself, and does indeed still connect itself, 
with much that lies outside the definite sphere of moral 
action. It deserves consideration also, that, in theoretical 
explanations of morality, such as those of the earlier Greek 
thinkers, resting on a highly developed structure of social 
life, the feature so prominent in modern ethics is almost 
conspicuous by its absence. I conclude, then, that the 
feature of obligatoriness does not find explanation, as Kant 
seems to have thought, in the formal relation between a 
will and a rule, but that its special colouring, what consti 
tutes its differentia as moral, depends on and arises from 
the concrete character of the elements related. It would be a 
complete mistake to suppose that by thus interpreting the 
origin of the feeling and allied judgment of obligation we 
deprive it of its rightful place in the moral life. A feeling 
which arises from or expresses a complex situation or atti 
tude of mind does not lose its concrete character or its 
efficiency because we are able to enumerate the components 
of that complex state and show how they have come to 
gether. The mental life is at any moment a living whole, 
riot an aggregate of independent units. 


In the second place, I remark that there is a distinct 
advantage for the general treatment of morality in assigning 
to the factor, obligation, a secondary, and, so to speak, de 
rivative position. To treat morality from the point of view 
of obligation inevitably tends to accentuate the implication 
of external law which lurks in the conception of duty, and 
to give to virtue the character of resigned submission, of 
sacrifice, which is its least valuable aspect. On the other 
hand, to emphasise the fact that the determining element is 
the concrete end which morality has to realise, gives its due 
place to the all-important consideration that in morality we 
have the expression of what the human mind most earnestly 
and strenuously is desirous of seeing established as the or 
ganisation of life. I will add that I regard as the most 
important contribution made by that fair-minded thinker, 
T. H. Green, to the science of ethics, his recognition of the 
fact that in the order of development of morality, the specific 
ally moral element, that in which moral obligation is involved, 
presupposes and rests upon an organisation of conduct in 
which the distinctions of natural good and evil are already 
involved. I do not accept his peculiar interpretation of the 
moral element (I think he drew inferences from it that were 
not justifiable), but his general statement as to the relation 
between natural and moral good seems to me true and of 
fundamental significance. Green seems inclined to regard 
the difference as of kind, and therefore as calling for some 
non-natural or extra-natural explanation ; but this is quite 
unnecessary, and even makes the process unintelligible. The 
import and inner character of a mental fact, above all the 
part it plays in the practical life, are not at all dependent on 
theories as to its origin. In the same way, I may remark, it 
need not be doubted that the element of moral obligation, 
the complex of feeling with the judgment of approval or dis 
approval, is intimately related to^elf^conscicmsjiess ; but self- 


consciousness is not a form, nor an unchanging factor. It 
also depends on and varies with the concrete in human ex 
perience, and it is wholly impossible to explain the moral 
element by referring it to the abstract nature of self-con 
sciousness. Perhaps it is only in this way that we can fully 
understand what I may call, borrowing a word from Herbart, 
the wanderings of the notion of obligation. For it has 
attached itself, and does attach itself, to much that cannot 
justify itself when brought to the test of reason. 

Only the changing requires explanation ; only the changing 
gives the clue that is necessary to render explanation possible. 
It is only from reflective treatment of the actual development 
of morality that we can gain precision and defmiteness for 
our ethical notions, or can determine the ways in which any 
moral institution affects character and conduct. Doubtless 
the image we employ to describe such change development 
will always tend to an interpretation that is doubly mis 
leading : to the view that the change is comprehensible only 
as the working out of a final end and absolute best, and that 
the representation of this end has been the motive force pro 
ducing the change. We have already seen that we cannot 
employ the conception of an absolute end. We are not in 
possession of any representation of completed morality, nor 
is it easy to avoid the conclusion that any such representa 
tion is self -contradictory. But it does not, therefore, follow 
that we are without the means of distinguishing degrees of 
excellence, of recognising a better. Still less that we must 
exclude from the motive forces of moral progress the power 
of forming ideals that carry us beyond what has actually 
been achieved. 

The formation of ideals is by no means special to the moral 
consciousness. Kather, one would say, it is the common 
characteristic of all exercise of reason, theoretical or practical ; 

VOL. n. H 


and doubtless, if one sought to determine its psychology, 
one would have to turn to those elementary experiences 
which enable the content of a thought or perception to be 
severed from the temporary conditions of its actual occur 
rence, experiences which truly constitute a human mind as 
compared with the animal. We can think only in and by 
the formation of ideals ; but on the practical side, perhaps 
more directly than elsewhere, we become aware of the 
weakness and uselessness of ideals that are not filled from 
the concrete wealth of actual life. All our ethical notions, 
the conceptions we form of special duties or excellences 
of character, have necessarily a certain ideality : they are 
isolated from the circumstances of current experience. 
But we can give them definiteness, and so understand 
their worth, only by following out the functions they 
severally represent in the whole complex texture of actual 
life. Such a realisation of them is hardly to be based on 
individual reflexion. It is not by psychological analysis 
that we can weigh and measure their significance. Two 
ways only are possible : the one, that of ideal concretion, 
as I may call it, the method of the imaginative creative 
writer, who brings into relief a moral problem or a moral 
duty by displaying its working in a fictitious setting ; the 
other, less attractive it may be, the method of historical 
and sociological research, in the absence of which our 
moral conceptions are not only ideal, but mere abstractions. 
Preference for one of these methods is matter of individual 
temperament. For myself, if I wished to understand the 
moral condition of a people at a given time, I think I 
should trust rather to the statute-book, and such pictures 
as I could obtain of the day-to-day life of the ordinary man, 
than to the more subtle evidence of creative literature. Yet 
no one would urge the exclusive value of the more realistic 
method, for it may well be said that the existence of minds 


which do adopt the idealising form of expression is itself 
a fact of no small interest to the sociologist. 

As against the view which I am rather hinting at than 
working out in, a way adequate to the problem, it would 
doubtless be urged that, after all, morality is not and 
cannot be merely the residuum from the past ; that we 
cannot accept, and do not accept, the decisions of the past 
except on grounds of reason. True, but not to the point. 
The past is never merely received, passively taken in. 
We who receive it are constituted as our predecessors were, 
and actively remould what is passed on to us. Not the 
most impersonal of the heritages of the past, not language 
itself, is merely taken in. And reason, which we drag into 
the argument, is not other than historical : that is to say, 
the term reason indicates no abstract power or process 
remaining always the same, but a living function which 
grows and develops in and by the material provided for it. 

A theory of morality, however constructed, must always 
give occasion to a certain feeling of despondency ; not 
because human practice falls so often short of its own ideals, 
but because of the insuperable difficulty we experience in 
determining the real laws of interdependence among the facts 
of conduct. A single action, a general rule of conduct, a per 
manent institution of the moral life, what moral philosopher 
will assume that he knows completely how in each case they 
have affected the agents directly or indirectly concerned, how 
far the consequences are such as further or impede what he 
has gathered from experience and reflexion as constituting 
progress in morality ? It is in this field that there lie the 
true problems of ethics, problems only to be solved by 
methods which, when we think over them, almost bring 
us back to an old position of Greek speculation, that evil 
is ignorance, and that the secret of all excellence of 
practice and of character is knowledge. 


Morality, then, as I conceive it, is a product or a mani 
festation of human nature, exhibiting in its history, like every 
other such product or manifestation, traces of the constant 
interaction between individual minds and the forms in which 
it may have been embodied. There is no method of explain 
ing it save that which is applicable in all similar cases : 
knowledge of its history and of the structure which re 
presents its stationary condition at any moment. We can 
not explain it from without. Just as little can we work out 
a theory of it from above downwards. Our constructive 
explanations must advance from below upwards. 




THE disasters of the year 1806 made the leading statesmen 
of Prussia, however they might differ in other respects, agree 
that comprehensive reforms in the State were necessary. 

1 [The following pages contain the 
second and third of a series of three 
lectures delivered to popular audiences 
at the Owens College, Manchester, 
in the Lent Term of 1891. The 
series had been preceded by one, 
given by a colleague, on the decline 
of Prussia after Frederick the Great ; 
and Professor Adamson s first lecture, 
which is not printed here, began 
with a summary account, connecting 
the two series, of the dissolution of 
the Holy Roman Empire, and of the 
collapse, in the terrible year 1806, of 
the Prussian military power. The 
lecturer proceeded to point out how 
<: the two events, though closely enough 
connected for the determining con 
ditions of both were woven together 
in the same web of circumstance 
may yet be regarded separately, for 
they exercised no direct influence on 
one another. Each, moreover, may 
well be contemplated from a twofold 
point of view. Each has an external 
aspect and history and an internal. 
The external, as in all other cases, is 

the more directly perceptible ; it 
presents to the imagination a picture 
more easily grasped and apparently 
more complete in itself, and it tends 
to keep in the background its less 
obtrusive, less demonstrative counter 
part. Yet, without desiring to rob 
the pomp and circumstance of out 
ward political history of its immense 
significance, for it is in outer act that 
the character of man is exhibited, one 
would insist that only in the slower, 
more secret movements of the life 
of a people is its history to be truly 
read. A State as it exists at any 
moment may be a noble product of 
human effort, potent for good in in 
numerable ways, but never is it to 
be regarded as final, as an end in 
itself, as other than a way in which 
the general spirit of humanity has 
expressed itself under particular con 
ditions. And the changes of a State 
or system of States seem to me to 
have significance only when regarded 
in relation to the movements of 
human thinking and feeling from 


The dramatic interest of the events that had forced on 
them this conviction is reflected in their plans, which were 
conceived and received in an enthusiastic spirit that perhaps 
hardly corresponded to any widespread change in the general 
habit of thought. At the same time, it was quite inevitable 
that many distinct trains of thought, many distinct purposes 
and aspirations, should come together in the most varied 
proportions and impress their shifting character on the 
schemes projected. Hence there is a certain difficulty, a 
certain risk of misrepresentation, in any over-definite state 
ment of these inchoate plans, just as there is such in any 
description of a historic event, which must perforce isolate 
it from its natural surroundings and give a fictitious stability 
to what is in itself but a momentary appearance in the 

In order, then, to arrive at a tolerably fair idea of these 
reforms in the public life of Germany, such as will enable 
us to judge their character and relative importance, it is 
necessary to follow them for a brief space from the first 
airy stage of conceived idea through the conflict with sur 
rounding realities, into which they were inevitably thrown, 
down to the relatively final appearance of institution. Only 
so can we determine the measure of vital energy which 
each possessed, the contribution which each succeeded in 
making to the total end contemplated. For it is in the 
life of a State as in the life of the individual. Many a 
one steps forth from the abstract period of youth, con 
fronting the future witli long thoughts and high ideals, 
looking forward with joyous confidence to rich and fruitful 
realisation, and learns soon, consciously or unconsciously, 

which they spring and to which in forms in the Prussian State achieved 

turn they communicate impulse and after what had seemed its catastrophe, 

direction." the defects which they were designed 

The remainder of the lecture was to remedy, and the purposes which 

devoted to sketching the great re- they were intended to fulfil.] 


the bitter lesson of experience. The details of practice, 
each in itself apparently the weakest of ties, have a com 
bined force sufficient to bind the strongest will. Rigorous 
counsels of perfection yield little by little under the constant 
pressure of the innumerable complaisances which common 
life seems to render necessary. The high purpose of youth 
becomes the conventional morality of middle age, with which 
one sleepily rests content, or which, alas, may be accompanied 
by memories that are a ceaseless source of pain rather than 
of satisfaction. 

The shock of disaster had opened the eyes of Prussia s 
statesmen to the inner discord in the Prussian State. 
The collapse of the material power of the older govern 
mental system seemed to demonstrate the need for such a 
change as should enlist in the active life of the State the 
best energies of all her members. How this should be 
achieved floated vaguely enough before the minds of many ; 
in one mind, that of Stein, it took clear, definite, and systematic 
form. His ultimate aim was to create anew in Germany those 
invisible links of common political feeling and life through 
which alone a mere collection of individuals is formed into a 
State or nation, and which had dimly and imperfectly entered 
in the past into the old idea of the empire. Thoroughly 
familiar, by training and experience, with the actual con 
ditions of the German States, and particularly of Prussia, he 
was able to lay his finger witli unerring precision on the 
circumstances which had prevented the realisation of that 
idea. It was on this account mainly, only in a secondary 
way from reference to what may be called international con 
siderations, that he urged the unification of Germany, a 
conception which, arrived at from a wholly different point 
of view, was finding eloquent expression in Fichte s patriotic 
addresses. Small States, with government based on absolute 
sovereignty, seemed to him a mechanism simply designed to 


perpetuate the evils that had been laid bare in the recent 
history of Germany. 

On this ground, too, was based his energetic demand for an 
alteration in the administrative system of the Prussian 
Government. Stein was no republican. I do not think it 
ever entered into his scheme of things to deprive the 
personal ruler of the large, nay, the overwhelming measure 
of power which the traditions of the Prussian State accorded 
to him. He evidently considered that the dangers incident 
to such a polity, dangers of which he was not oblivious, 
would be practically obviated if the sovereign were really 
in a position to rule through a well-organised well-defined 
ministerial system, itself in constant and vital relations with 
the people through their general and local representative 
institutions. Much of the evil in the immediate past he 
ascribed to the thoroughly vicious method which had slowly 
crept in, whereby the ruling sovereign was often little more 
than a puppet whose strings were pulled by a few personal 
friends or courtiers or cabinet secretaries, and any unity of 
plan among the ministerial departments was completely 

Not the less strenuously, however, did he believe that the 
reform of the administration would effect but little if it were 
not accompanied by a removal of all that prevented the free 
exercise of political and civic functions on the part of 
members of the State and the development of the material 
resources of the country. The motive power for animating 
and giving practical effect to the new system in the com 
munity itself he, with others, hoped to find in a new form of 
education which should quicken both the intellectual and the 
moral and religious life. 

The whole scheme, then, aimed at securing the basis for a 
free constitutional government in Germany, or in Prussia in 
particular; and the means fall into the two groups: (1) 


Measures of political and economical reform ; (2) Reform 
of education in the widest sense. 

1. Beyond a doubt, the ultimate and possibly far-distant 
aim was closely connected, in the minds of Stein and others, 
with the more immediate and pressing necessity, the libera 
tion of Prussia and Germany from foreign domination. 
As is well known, the means for the more distant end, 
necessarily slow in coming into operation, were not the 
means whereby the liberation of Germany was directly 
achieved. The spirit which found expression in the one, 
which permitted some part of it to tind realisation, and 
which left as an imperishable legacy the idea of what 
remained, was indeed a potent auxiliary in the other. It is 
with justifiable pride that the historians of Prussia can point 
to the rapid growth during the years of foreign oppression 
(1807-1813) of a strenuous spirit of patriotic devotion, to the 
enthusiasm of self-sacrifice with which the call to action was 
hailed, and to the brilliancy of achievement in which the 
nation recovered its position. The course of events depended 
on that spirit, or was determined by it in but a small degree ; 
and the German Government afterwards all too easily forgot 
the warmth of enthusiastic feeling in which for a moment 
kings and peoples had worked in unison, in order to fall back 
under the sway of traditional policy, and to look with dis 
trust and alarm on the quickening of popular life. Of such a 
relapse signs had appeared even before the laborious business 
of settling the deranged affairs of Europe, and of Germany in 
particular, was gone through at the Congress of Vienna, 
and the succeeding years furnish an instructive though 
melancholy commentary on the stubbornness with which 
existing conditions and prejudice can withstand a new idea. 
I instance but a few of the many events that stand out 
as indications of the conflicting forces. 


To begin with, Stein did not again become a Prussian 
official. At the Congress, the smaller German kingdoms 
retained their sovereign rights. A representative constitu 
tion was promised, but against the protests of the King 
of Bavaria that his rights were indefeasible, and that he 
would not renounce the exercise of any one of them ; while 
the King of Wiirtemberg protested against the mention 
of any rights of subjects. In 1815 Schmalz (brother-in- 
law of Scharnhorst), who had been the first rector of the 
University of Berlin, in a pamphlet which called forth 
many refutations, denounced the revolutionary tendencies 
and the supposed secret societies of the age. In 1822 
Fichte s Reden were brought before an inquisitorial com 
mission sitting at Mainz and narrowly escaped condemna 
tion for Jacobinism and republicanism. In 1824, at Berlin, 
the reprinting of the same work was forbidden. 

But the same process of political degeneration was appa 
rent on a larger scale. The disturbances at Jena at the 
Wartburg festival, when Kotzebue s German History was 
burned by the enthusiastic students, and the murder of 
Kotzebue at Mannheim (23rd March 1819), were not the 
causes of the retrograde action, but merely served to mark 
its development. 

From 6th to 31st August of 1819 there sat at Karlsbad a 
quasi-private conference of Ministers of ten German Govern 
ments, whose resolutions, either as approved when handed by 
it to the Bundestag or as adopted by the individual States, 
breathed nothing but distrust of the universities, the press, 
and revolutionary public opinion. The old and well-known 
mechanism of the censorship, the supervision of the univer 
sities, and the Central Commission for investigating dis 
affection against the Government were revived; while in the 
Vienna Final Act of 15th May 1820, originating in the same 
way from a conference of Ministers and approved by the 


Bundestag (June 8, 1820) a mode was found for evading 
the seemingly solemn promise of a constitutional government 
contained in the Act of the Confederation and, among others, 
in the proclamation of Frederick William III. to Prussia. 
Article 57 of the Vienna Act asserts that "as the German 
Confederation, with the exception of the Free Towns, consists 
of sovereign princes, it follows from the principle here laid 
down that the entire authority of the Government must 
reside intact in the Head of the State, and that by a con 
stitution on the principle of estates the sovereign can only be 
bound to the co-operation of the estates in the exercise of 
particular defined rights." And indeed only Provincial 
Estates were called into existence at all ; in the general law 
for their reg;ulation it is said, " When it will be advisable to 


summon the General Estates, and how they should be de 
veloped out of the Provincial Estates, are matters on which 
we reserve to our paternal care for the interests of the 
country to decide further." 

It is hardly to be wondered at that Stein should have 
expressed his disgust at politics and resolved to devote 
the remains of his energy to German history, and that AV. 
von Humboldt, a man of equal liberality of mind, though 
not of equal strenuousness and vigour of character, should 
in 1819 have quitted the Prussian service and thrown him 
self on literature and philology. What was precisely the 
part played in all this by Hardenberg, who since 1810 had as 
Chancellor wielded almost dictatorial power in the German 
State, seems still to be undetermined by historians. That 
he was on the whole liberal in tendency, one would not 
doubt; but he was entirely devoid of Stein s firmness of 
principle, and was, perhaps, incapable of originating a liberal 
idea for himself, though not incapable of taking it up if 
offered, and working it faithfully so long as its development 
in no way endangered his own tenure of power. Clever and 


ingenious as a diplomatist, he never shone as an adminis 
trator. His first essays at realising his own and Stein s plan 
of local government were miscalculated and unsuccessful, 
and it will give his biographers trouble to bring his repu 
tation as one of the reformers of the German State unsullied 
through the history of his closing years. 

Thus it came about that no immediate result followed 
the efforts from which much had been hoped. The awakened 
political consciousness of the German people was still left 
without the external means by which it could maintain itself 
in health and vigour. It was not with the help of political 
institutions, the happy heritage of a moment of intense 
national feeling, that she was to work towards the high place 
she occupies among European nations. Nor can one think 
that the political constitution she now possesses calls for un 
questioning admiration or adequately represents the high 
measure of her intellectual and moral advancement. 

2. Much more satisfactory is the result when we turn to 
the second of the two great means which it was then thought 
would serve to purify and strengthen the national life of 
Germany. Far more unmistakable is the genealogical con 
nexion between the after state of culture in Germany and 
the reform then undertaken of her educational system. 
Perhaps the simple reason for this is at the same time the 
truest and deepest: the reform of education had relatively 
less hostile forces to encounter; it started from a relatively 
better basis than the political. 

It is not easy to obtain a fair general idea of the state of 
education in Germany during the preceding century. The 
differences among the several States reflected themselves in 
the diverse arrangements for schools, and I think it advis 
able to restrict attention to the matter as it presents 
itself in North Germany. There, so far as elementary and 


popular education is concerned, it, beyond all doubt, pre 
sented a striking contrast to what it has become. There 
was at this stage no general or national system of educa 
tion. Old custom and tradition still left it mainly in 
the hands of the Churches. Something had indeed been 
achieved, for the most part by those who shared the views 
of the significant religious revival about the beginning of 
the century, of which the varied phenomena are summed 
up in the term Pietism. August H. Fran eke at Halle 
laid the foundations of an elaborate system of elementary 
schools, orphanages, and burgher schools ; and his influence 
worked powerfully on the development of elementary educa 
tion in Prussia. Francke s pupil, J. J. Hecker, was the 
trusted adviser of Frederick William I., and more especi 
ally of Frederick the Great, among whose merits not the 
least is that he devoted energy and insight to the promo 
tion of general and sound education in his State. It was 
under Hecker s advice that the main educational acts of 
Frederick the Great s reign were drawn up, and through 
Hecker that a demand for the training of teachers for 
their profession began to be made. (The first Seminar 
was founded under Frederick William I.) In all direc 
tions, indeed, Frederick the Great did his best to encour 
age the work of education. He fostered and regulated, by 
a liberal and wisely expressed edict, the higher education in 
the gymnasia ; he pressed on the foundation of the real- 
schulen ; and he allowed his like - minded minister, Baron 
K. A. von Zecllitz, the fullest authority in dealing with the 
highest institutions of culture, the universities. 

Other influences in the latter part of the eighteenth century 
contributed towards an improvement of educational practice 
arid to the spread of a general belief in the necessity and 
utility of education at large. Piousseau s appeal to nature as 
the sole arbitress of method found acceptance with the phil- 


anthropists, Basedow and Bahrdt, who, with a grievously 
thin conception of nature, endeavoured to promote the general 

The gymnasia were gradually in this century developing 
out of the Latin schools that had been bequeathed by the 
Reformation. Neither in general arrangements and equip 
ment nor in popularity can they stand comparison with their 
successors at the present time. For the most part the 
teachers in these gymnasia were candidati theologies, or those 
who had relinquished the hope of attaining some Church 
position. The Latin schools were conspicuous by their 
inefficiency. The staple of instruction was the Latin 
grammar ; other subjects were included or excluded accord 
ing to the predilection of the teacher. Greek was rarely 
taught ; if taught at all, there was merely Greek Testament 
for not more than two hours weekly. Instruction was 
given in history, from the Creation to Charlemagne; in 
geography, the globe and the four quarters. " Nullam 
esse, si a sacra scriptura descesseris, in historia gentium 
primaeva exploratam veritatem," declared the rector of the 
Joachimsthal Gymnasium in 1742. 

I note, as of special interest, that even in the gymnasia 
little or no interest was taken in Greek till towards the close 
of the century. This coincides with the parallel history of 
classical studies in the universities, for it would not be incor 
rect to say that the characteristic note of intellectual life in 
the second half of the eighteenth century in Germany was a 
revival of classical, particularly Greek, learning, comparable 
only to that of the earlier Renascence. There were merito 
rious classical scholars of the earlier generation : Fabricius 
(1688-1736), Gesner, Ernesti, Christ, Reiske, Reiz, Sehweig- 
hiiuser, are honourable names in the history of ancient 
letters in Germany. But it is only in the generation inspired 
by Winckelmanu, Heyne, and, above all, F. A. Wolf, that 


one finds the genuine enthusiasm for classical culture which 
makes of it a real living influence. Wolf, who had entered 
himself at Gottingen in 1777 as studiosus philologies-, had 
from 1783 to 1807 been the glory of the old and distin 
guished University of Halle. His enlarged conception of 
philology as the complete knowledge of antique life was the 
first to give consistency and definiteness to classical studies ; 
his unbounded activity had found scope for exercise in the 
philological seminary (1787), from which the best equipped 
classical teachers in Germany issued ; and his daring as a 
scholar had been evidenced in the stimulating Prolegomena 
to Homer (1795), with which he began the discussion of 
the since well-worn Homeric question. Wolf s influence 
extended beyond the sphere of scholars by profession. It 
was through him that the cultivated and accomplished W. 
von Humboldt was brought to unite in his person the two 
powerful forces of intellectual life, scholarship and philos 
ophy ; and through him mainly that there was conveyed 
to the contemporary literature so strong a colouring of the 
classical form. 

Education had during the eighteenth century been but 
slowly escaping from the direct control of the Churches, 
but slowly succeeding in making itself recognised as a 
matter of national importance. Like all other forms of 
intellectual life, it had at times to submit to the cramping 
influence of ignorance and bigotry, whether ecclesiastical or 
political. Throughout the century are observable various 
waves of increasing and diminishing pressure, according as in 
tellectual interests were more or less under the control of the 
narrow-minded, for which the institution of the censorship 
of the Press throughout provided such ample opportunities. 
The expulsion of C. W. Wolff from Halle in 1723 was a 
despotic act, directly due to the hasty misconceptions of 
Frederick William I. ; but it was in all probability only the 


king s death which left to his successor the credit of revoking 
this outrage. Unhappily, before the close of the century in 
Prussia, the notions of Frederick William II. and the evil 
influence of Wb llner, which was fully established by 1788, 
the year of the publication of the notorious Keligious Edict, 
had done as much as was possible to reverse the wise and 
enlightened policy of Frederick the Great. Rampant re 
ligiosity had taken the place of a sincere desire to further, in 
such measure as seemed adapted to the conditions, the original 
powers of the individual. The Regulation for schoolmasters 
in the country and lower town schools lays down that 
religious teaching is the staple of instruction in the lower 
schools in town and country: such religious instruction to 
consist in adequate exercise in Luther s Shorter Catechism, 
which the children must learn by heart, acquaintance 
with the main propositions of the theory of belief and 
morals, and sufficient knowledge of the Bible. Ability 
to read, some dexterity in writing and ciphering, some 
exercise in the calculations most used in domestic affairs, 
were subsidiary requirements. More must not be taught. 
Least of all is it permitted to the teacher to set aside these 
and to introduce matters of natural history, geography, &c. 
Wollner s control was not less adverse to academical freedom 
in the universities. At Halle, in 1795, there were only 844 
students against 1070 in 1785. In 1794, when King Fred 
erick William II. applied a sharp personal stimulus to his 
Minister s activity, the following declaration was imposed 
on university teachers : " I undertake in particular, that 
neither in nor out of my lecture hours, neither in writing 
nor in speech, neither directly nor indirectly, will I advance 
anything against the Holy Scripture, or the Christian 
Religion, or against the rules of the supreme authority in 
respect to affairs of religion and the Church; rather that 
in all points I shall regulate my conduct according to the 


precepts of the Religious Edict of 1788." Action taken 
against Kant in this connexion did more than anything 
else to inflame the general feeling against Wollner and 
his administration. 

A much more healthy tone was introduced by Frederick 
William III., who had a genuine interest in the promotion of 
education, subsidised liberally the struggling universities in 
his kingdom, and entertained enlightened views regarding 
the general or national organisation of instruction. By 
sympathy and experience he was well prepared to look with 
favour on the attempt by a new and comprehensive reform 
of education to rekindle the life of Prussia and to strengthen 
her for her future trial. Stein repeatedly expressed himself 
in the same spirit in private communications and in public 
documents. "Most is to be expected," he wrote in 1808, 
" from the education and instruction of youth. If by a 
method based on the nature of the mind every power of 
the soul be unfolded and every crude principle of life be 
stirred up and nourished, if all one-sided culture be avoided, 
and if the impulses on which the strength and worth of man 
rest be carefully attended to, then we may hope to see a race 
physically and morally more powerful grow up, and a better 
future dawn upon us." 

These thoughts found outward expression in the events of 
the year 1807. In the winter of that year, while Berlin was 
still in French hands, Fichte delivered on successive Sundays 
his Addresses to the German Nation. On the 10th August 
of the same year a deputation from the ancient and famous 
university of Halle, recently suppressed by Napoleon, ex 
pressed to the king their hope that within the Prussian 
dominions a place would be found where the intellectual 
force expelled from Halle might find scope for working 
towards the great end of reanimating the fallen people. 

From this recpuest sprang the conception, which had indeed 

VOL. II. 1 


already been entertained, of the foundation of a new univer 
sity in Berlin. It seems to me certain that the lively interest 
then taken in educational reform would not have sustained 
itself and yielded so much solid result had it not from well- 
nigh the outset been connected with the concrete business of 
this new foundation. Most fortunately for Prussia, too, there 
was ready to hand, in W. von Humboldt, a statesman 
possessed of all the qualifications for successfully carrying 
through a plan which, however enthusiastically conceived 
and patriotically approved in general, had yet to encounter 
all the hazards of a particular scheme launched amidst 
conflicting private interests. 

On no thinking mind in Germany had the fall of Prussia 
produced a deeper impression than it had on Fichte. To 
him the events that had led to it seemed but the fatal 
comment of history on what the eye of reason had long 
discerned as the element of falsehood in modern life. The 
want of correspondence between the actualities of social 
existence on the one hand, and on the other the demands 
of the highest ethics and those admitting of the clearest 
apprehension, argued, as he thought, the slavish subjection 
of uncultured natures to the selfish, unsocial, and corrupt 
impulses of philistine morality. With truly Platonic fervour 
he delineated the ineradicable difference between a life in 
the idea, a life animated by the contemplation and love of 
the divine invisible order of truth, and a life buried in the 
transitory, shifting, and perishable things of sense, carried 
hither and thither by the impulses of sense, selfishness, and 
individual vanity. And the entirely noble, disinterested, 
and impetuous character of the thinker who expressed such 
seemingly antiquated distinctions, gave to his exhortations 
a weight and significance they assuredly would not otherwise 
have secured. His career and action presented, even in their 
failures, the liveliest image of the ideas which in abstract 


terms he strove to implant in the minds of his hearers. 
Already he had given ample proof of that single-hearted 
devotion to the cause of truth in which he placed the funda 
mental excellence of man. His earliest writings, senii- 
political in character, and not of a style that secured for 
them much general attention, had thrown a species of 
shadow on his name which was often to prove hurtful to 
him. He was marked out as a Jacobin, a revolutionary, and 
at every critical period of his career he had had to encounter 
the dull hostility of those in whose turbid minds such titles 
in themselves rendered candid judgment impossible. At 
Jena, where his high character and great abilities had shed 
lustre on the university and raised it to an unparalleled place 
among the universities of Germany, he had suffered the 
extreme consequence of the ill-omened policy which deemed 
it necessary to defend the cause of religion by fettering the 
activity of thought. The accusation of atheism, so familiar 
in the history of philosophers that a philosopher ought surely 
to reckon on it as a certainty if he dares to think at all, 
might perhaps with a less strenuous and more politic man 
than Fichte, have passed without harmful consequence nay, 
even without outward damage to his reputation. For outward 
fame, however, Fichte cared not at all. It was impossible 
for him to be untrue to himself. 

In "Berlin, then, where he settled, he had already in various 
lectures expressed his view on the state of contemporary 
culture, on its failures and weaknesses, and on the source 
from which healing might be drawn. The lectures On the 
Nature of the Scholar, On the Characteristics of the Present 
Age, and On the Way towards a Blessed Life, express in 
varied form the general view of life that underlies the 
Addresses to the German Nation. 

In these Addresses, however, the deepest note is due to 
the recent events that had thrown all merely speculative 


interests into the shade. A people, great in the historic 
achievements of its past, great by its proved devotion to the 
cause of religious freedom, great through the wealth of its 
intellectual culture, had fallen ; nor could it be disguised 
from any one that this fall was no mere chance play of un 
fortunate contingencies. The causes of Germany s disaster 
were deep-seated in the history of her past and in the moral 
life of her present. She had proved herself unfaithful to 
the tradition of the part she was called upon to play in the 
great society of nations, and with that unfaithfulness, partly 
as its effect, partly as its cause, had come the shameful weak 
ness of the individual moral character. To restore her to 
herself, it was necessary to revive and reanimate the memory 
of the part which as a nation she had formerly played and 
which she was manifestly destined to play, and by giving 
a new and more stimulating direction to the cultivation of 
individual character, to supply her with the needful energy 
for working out her high vocation. 

Thus it is that the Keden unite, in somewhat unequal pro 
portions, the two themes, a reform of educational method, 
and an appeal to the principle of German nationality. Let 
me indicate briefly what Fichte had to say on the latter. 
As to the former, after defining the ultimate aim of educa 
tion as consisting of the devotion of the individual to duty, 
and of the formation of character in accordance with this 
purpose, he pointed out that such education must be national 
and uniform. The method which he had in view to this end 
was Pestalozzi s, to whose writings he at this time devoted 
much study. 

In making his appeal to the national principle, it was 
characteristic of the man and of his method that he should 
have carefully laid out his questions : (1) whether it is true 
or not that there is a German nation ; (2) whether it is worth 
while or not to preserve the German nation; (3) whether 


there are any means of doing so ; and that in his answers he 
should have developed higher conceptions of nationality and 
of the essence of patriotism than had yet found expression in 
German or perhaps in any other writers. I will not say that 
his idea of a nation is very practical, easily exemplified in 
actual fact; I will not say that the principle which he ex 
pressed in abstract terms, and which was then and after 
wards to come forward in a remarkable way as a historic 
force in modern Europe, can bear all the weight that he 
imposed on it ; but it expresses a great truth, and the 
eloquent enforcement of it contributed in no small measure 
to animate the flagging spirits of those who were to work 
under its stimulating influence for the liberation of Prussia. 

The project of a university in the metropolis had for some 
years formed a subject of discussion in Prussia. Long 
before, in the middle of the seventeenth century, the idea 
had been started ; but not till the beginning of the nineteenth 
was it again taken up in a more practical fashion. From 
1802 onwards, in a desultory fashion, it was contemplated by 
the Cabinet Minister Bey me, to whose credit, not otherwise 
excessively high, it may well be put that he constantly took 
a warm and unselfish interest in it. The closing of the uni 
versity of Halle in 1807, the most famous of the universities 
of Prussia, and its re-opening, in 1808, as one of the uni 
versities of the new kingdom of Westphalia, gave the stimulus 
that was needed to call the mere conception into life. Berlin 
seemed specially marked out as a great seat of learning. It 
already possessed in the Academy of Sciences the earliest 
foundation of the kind, dating from 1700 (with Leibniz as 
its first president), which would, together with the university 
proper, form an organically complete institution of the higher 
learning. The idea once started was further advanced by the 
preparation of general schemes for the constitution of the 


new university ; and for some time before a definite consti 
tutional form was obtained, a foretaste of the work was given 
by lectures delivered in Berlin, among others by Fichte and 
Schleiermacher. I do not purpose saying anything of the 
complicated tangle of difficult circumstances in which the 
project found itself involved in its initial stages monetary, 
local, professional. It is possible they might not have been 
overcome at all ; it is certain they would not have been over 
come so rapidly and satisfactorily as was the case had not 
the conduct of the affair fallen into the hands of a states 
man pre-eminently qualified by his character and experience 
to bring it to a successful and fruitful issue. 

In the spring of the year 1809 W. von Humboldt was 
placed at the head of the Section of Cultus and Public In 
struction ; within a few months he had matured and carried 
out the scheme of the new university, secured a sufficient 
endowment from the State, adequate buildings, and an un 
usually complete and brilliant equipment of teachers. The 
university was formally opened in the Michaelmas term of 
1810, some months after Humboldt s retirement from office. 

Among the many strong and varied personalities which 
the pressure of trial brought then to the front in Germany, 
there is none that gives so marked an impression of com 
pleteness and harmony as that of W. von Humboldt. "A 
statesman of Periclean elevation of mind," he was called by 
Bockh in an eloquent epitaphial address ; and the expression 
has more justification and pertinency than is usual in such 
panegyrics. For in him were united, in a measure rarely 
equalled in modern life, high intellectual capacity and attain 
ments, intense devotion to the things of mind, practical 
ability, loftiness and purity of personal character. In him, 
too, is observable the combination of the most powerful in 
tellectual influences that had for some generations been 
quietly and invisibly moulding the general mind of Ger- 


many, and which in no other individual reached such ful 
ness and amplitude of expression, literature and art, the 
humanist revival of Greek learning, and philosophy. From 
these rich sources he drew, and it was into no empty recep 
tacle that they poured their treasures. 

His earlier career had amply equipped him for playing a 
noteworthy part in the arena of public affairs. The first 
groundwork of intellectual life, a reflex of the better type of 
the Aufklarung, while it left always its own valuable legacy 
a tendency to insist on clearness of thought and vision had 
been enriched and supplemented by intercourse with the 
representatives of a wider, deeper, and more vigorous tone 
in the treatment of the problems of human interest. From 
the cultivated society of Berlin, from Jacobi, from Forster, 
the eager democrats, and from the experiences of the first 
stage of the French Revolution, he derived much that pro 
foundly influenced his mode of thought, yet left him still 
an independent thinker. The remarkable essay, an attempt 
to determine the limits of the activity of the State, written 
in 1792, but unpublished during his life, has been hailed in 
later times as the most complete and temperate statement 
of the individualist theory in politics. So to regard it, how 
ever, is to do violence to its historic conditions and injustice 
to the views of Humboldt himself. From the general pos 
ition on which that essay proceeds he never swerved : that it 
is a false, injurious, and demoralising view to assign to the 
rulers the care of the welfare of the subjects. With even 
greater width and generality than Stein, with whom on most 
points of practical policy he was later in agreement, he urged 
the counter- view, that the subjects must themselves, and 
actively, participate in the control of public affairs. But 
he did not think, either at the date of his early essay or 
later, that the right of individuality as such was supreme 
against the general control for objects of general moment. 


The rather abstract character of Humboldt s turn of mind, 
in this first period of his intellectual development, received 
an important supplement or correction, through his inter 
course, first, with F. A. Wolf, and then with Schiller and 
Goethe. If ever a man can be said to have fallen in love 
with Greek literature, that may be said of Humboldt. He 
buried himself in it, and resolved that " antiquity, and pre 
eminently Greek, should thenceforth be the occupation of his 
life." His omnivorous intellectual appetite, however, left him 
abundant opportunities for benefiting by the friendship he 
formed with the coryphsei of German classical literature, 
Schiller and Goethe. He enjoyed, criticised well, and 
attempted, without much success, to produce. 

So equipped, and with the additional intellectual fruits of 
a prolonged sojourn in Eome, he began his career of public 
activity in 1809, and by his conduct of the Ministry of 
Public Instruction left an ineffaceable mark on the educa 
tional policy of Prussia. I say nothing now of the eminent 
service which he rendered in other capacities to the Prussian 
State. He was a worthy coadjutor of Stein, and in general 
views of politics perhaps even endowed with a greater breadth 
of vision and a more far-seeing prudence, if inferior in prac 
tical sagacity and force of individual character. Nor can I 
spare time for more than mentioning the fruits of his years of 
retirement. Whatever may be the objective value of his own 
contributions to the science of language, an honourable place 
must always be assigned to him in the history of comparative 
philology. It is not by reason of his own intellectual achieve 
ments not even on account of the exceptional richness of 
his intellectual acquirements and endowment that so high 
a place must always be reserved for him in the history of 
Prussia, but because of the stimulus he gave to the educa 
tional reform then undertaken, and the breadth and liberality 
of the views which he conveyed to those who took up the 


work after his retirement. The University of Berlin is the 
one definite product of his brief period of administration ; but 
in the plan of its organisation, and in the high ideal it was 
designed to realise, principles of wider, of national scope, found 
their concentrated expression. The enthusiasm for intellectual 
life which animated Humboldt s whole career found the most 
appropriate field for its display in calling into existence a 
supreme institution destined to gather, as it were, into one 
focus the finest intellectual powers of the Prussian people ; 
but that institution was itself only part of the far wider 
scheme by which it was hoped to stimulate and develop the 
moral and intellectual life of every individual in the nation. 
The spirit and principles of such a national system of educa 
tion, a system formally begun in the Education Acts of 1818 
and since developed with almost continuity of aim, such was 
the legacy of Wilhelm von Hmnboldt to Prussia. 


We have seen how large a part was taken in encouraging 
the hopes of patriotic Germans, and in stimulating their re 
forming efforts, by the proud consciousness of the contribution 
made by the German mind to the intellectual culture of the 
world. Among the many elements that go to form the feel 
ing of nationality, not the least important is the sense of 
common right of inheritance in the fruits of intellectual 
achievement. History has certainly shown that such par 
ticipation is not by itself an adequate foundation on which 
an energetic national life can be based ; and a cautious ob 
server of European affairs at the beginning of this century 
might well have doubted whether the result hoped for could 
possibly have been secured by the means adopted : whether, 
indeed, in the absence of other conditions, the stimulus to be 


applied to the national consciousness by recalling and im 
pressing the memories of devotion to intellectual interests 
and the capacity for furthering them could have continued 
to produce the anticipated effect. Hypothetical history, 
however, on a large or on a small scale, is a profitless waste 
of ingenuity. Actual experience is always sufficiently rich 
and instructive to dispense with the dubious aid of so shadowy 
and fanciful a supplement. The fresh remembrance of the 
distinguished place which the German mind had asserted for 
itself in the varied provinces of intellectual culture served 
beyond all question to inspire and encourage her most 
thoughtful statesmen and patriots, and to nerve them for 
the struggle by means of which Germany was to emerge 
from her temporary period of eclipse. 

It was not, then, without warrant that Germany was 
called upon to remember and be faithful to her high intel 
lectual tradition. No depreciation of the merits of other 
nations is involved in the assertion that, in the mighty 
stirring of humanity with which the transition to a new 
epoch was being effected, Germany had assured to herself 
a place of decisive significance. The impulses which still 
continue to affect the later generations had found in the 
literature of Germany their largest, their most ample ex 
pression. A new ideal of life, bearing the freshly written 
promise of an abundant, an inexhaustible future, had re 
ceived a rich and varied embodiment in the more spon 
taneous productions of her poets, and was being reduced to 
abstract and systematic form in the more reflective work of 
her philosophers. But seldom in the world s history have 
there been presented in so close a connexion and mutual 
action, and on a scale of such magnitude, those two great 
literary forces the artistic creations of poetry, the reflective 
speculations of philosophy. 

I do not suppose that we shall ever be able to detect 


all the ways in which the atmosphere surrounding his 
spiritual life affects the individual, perhaps not even the 
ways in which such accompaniments affect the tone of a gen 
eration. The secret influence of the inborn disposition, the 
pressures and hazards of the personal career, the varied modes 
of social observance, the accepted fashion of civil or political 
institutions, the tenor of religious beliefs, combine in such 
distracting variety to determine not only immediate action 
but the more general views of life which sum up the prin 
ciples of action, that he would be rash who should attempt 
to assign to each its weight, and to forecast the effects of 
some particular character in any one of them. Yet it is 
hard to refrain from assigning to a peculiar circumstance in 
the German life of the time a certain determining influence 
both on the more concrete representations of the new ideal 
in her poetry and on the abstract conceptions of her philos 
ophy. Public life and culture had long been, and were then, 
widely separated from one another. The world of letters lay 
apart from the world of activity, and it was only by accident 
that any individual could hope to realise what Humboldt 
called the Greek ideal, the perfection of personal character 
through participation in general political ends. 

The literary guilds and associations of former ages had 
led their harmless existences apart from the great currents 
of national interests, though one or another of them may, 
perhaps, especially in some of the Free Towns, have formed 
a department of a self-contained little municipal world. 
The universities had, by the very circumstances of the 
foundation of the large majority of them, remained in 
timately attached to the dynastic traditions of particular 
States, or had identified themselves with particular schools 
of theological opinion belonging to particular Churches. Men 
of letters had lived their lives as the dependents of Courts, 
or as university teachers, or in some sphere of professional 


dependence, unprepared and unaccustomed to cultivate or 
express broad and aspiring national ideas and sentiments. 

Gustav Freytag has dwelt on the practical indifference 
exhibited by so large a proportion of the educated class 
in Germany towards the national aspect of the great events 
which succeeded one another in the theatre of European 
history. He recalls how, while storm and thunder roared so 
appallingly in France, and blew the foam of the approach 
ing tide every year more wildly over the German land, the 
educated class hung with eye and heart on a small prin 
cipality in the middle of Germany, where the great poets 
thought and sang as if in the profoundest peace, driving 
away dark presentiments with verse and prose. The guillo 
tining of the king and queen of France was followed by the 
publication of Eeineke Fuchs ; the Eeign of Terror synchron 
ised with that of the Letters on the ^Esthetical Education of 
Man ; the battles of Lodi and Arcola with the completion 
of Wilhelm Meister, the Horen, the Xenieu ; the annexation 
of Belgium with the appearance of Hermann and Dorothea ; 
that of Switzerland and the States of the Church with the 
Wallenstein trilogy ; that of the left bank of Ehine with The 
Natural Daughter and The Maid of Orleans ; the occupation 
of Hanover with the Bride of Messina ; the coronation of 
Napoleon as Emperor with the stage production of Wilhelm 
Tell. Nor can there be any doubt concerning the indifference 
maintained as a matter of theory, both towards the interest 
ing changes of which their age was full and to the actual 
political condition to which Germany was reduced, by his 
torians such as Johannes von Miiller, by philosophers and 
thinkers such as Hegel and the writers on Natur-recht, and 
by the comprehensive genius of Goethe himself. 

Goethe s attitude, however, as might be easily shown, was 
very far removed from the sickly cosmopolitanism which so 
widely prevailed at this time in certain classes of German 


society. The greater natures among the poets and artists 
of the country might remain uninjured by it; for the 
weaker, the contrast between the enchanted palace of 
their imaginings and the hard realities of private life was 
too strong. The organic filaments binding together the 
elements of society, as fantastically pictured by them, were 
too airy and unsubstantial to resist the rude pressure of 
individual passion, at no time more formidable than when it 
can succeed in clothing itself in the guise of an angel of light 
(or enlightenment). 

It is not, I believe, solely the prejudice of the insular and 
practical mind if one seems to find in even the best products 
of the German intellect at this its period of highest activity, 
whether literary or philosophical, a deficiency in the sense of 
reality, an incapacity to hold the balance between abstract 
reflexion and concrete fact, which, like every other omis 
sion in one s scheme of things, takes ample vengeance for 

I will not refer in detail to the historic circumstances 
which had given rise to the peculiar isolation of purely 
literary activity in Germany from the national life. There 
are, however, certain accessory effects of the same circum 
stances which deserve a special word of mention ; for they 
serve to explain in part the unique character presented by 
the great change in philosophical views marking the general 
current of thought in Germany at the beginning of the 

1. It would seem as though, on the whole, a country re 
quired a period of rest and recuperation, after a period of 
disturbance, before it can gather energy for the work of pure 
literature. Tranquillity and the time for accumulating and 
assimilating are pre-requisites for the disinterested activity 
of artistic creation. Germany was no exception to this rule. 
For wellnigh two-thirds of the eighteenth century she may 


be described as only recovering, and during that time pure 
literature is almost wholly wanting. When it begins to show 
itself, the wealth of new thoughts for neither in Germany 
itself, nor, much less, in other countries, had the human mind 
stood still which struggled to find expression gave to the 
new literature the appearance of being in almost no relation 
of continuity with its historic antecedents. 

2. The part which Germany in particular, North Ger 
many had taken in the great struggle of the Reformation 
left an ineffaceable mark on the German mind. Whatever 
else the Eeformation might have done, it gave to the ques 
tions of religion round which it had centred a predominating 
place in human interests ; and the principle which had ap 
parently been involved in the whole movement howsoever 
one expresses it, whether negatively as a rejection of the 
mechanical intervention of Church or other external autho 
rity between the individual soul and the realities of its faith, 
or positively as insistence on the free and active participation 
of the individual soul in the appropriation of saving truth, 
had come to impose a general direction on the current 
of reflexion on religious problems. The Reformation is a 
great and many-sided fact, on which one does well not to 
dogmatise ; and its principle may be expressed to one s own 
satisfaction in a manner that will satisfy no one else. Here, 
however, I am concerned, not with the vain attempt to crush 
into a formula what utterly refuses to submit to such a 
process, but with something much simpler the way in 
which the wave caused by the Reformation affected the 
flow of thought in Germany in the first half of the eigh 
teenth century. 

Modern Philosophy, says an able exponent of its history, 
is Protestantism in the sphere of speculation ; and the remark 
is true and weighty if it be not interpreted as conveying 
what it may be all too easily understood to mean. Modern 


Philosophy is no offshoot from Protestantism, but a mani 
festation of the same deep-seated invincible effort of human 
reason which finds partial, and at times inadequate, expres 
sion in the various historical forms of the Protestant Eefor- 
mation the effort to attain complete comprehension of itself, 
to form such a conception of itself and of the realities to 
which it is related as shall yield permanent, enduring satis 
faction. We may name that impulse as we please, and it 
has borne many names according to the concrete shapes in 
which it has found expression for itself, according to the 
infinite diversity of historic conditions under which it makes 
itself apparent, according to the character of the nutriment 
from which it has drawn its vital energy. But in essence it 
is the same, and its proper name is old and familiar : it is 
the impulse of philosophy. 

To insist on this, however, is by no means to oppose to the 
essential character of the impulse of reason the historic forms 
in which it has clothed itself as if they were merely acci 
dental. There are no accidents in history or in nature, nor 
is philosophy a uniform and indifferent instrument which 
may be applied with varied skill and success to this or that 
material. The element of difference, which seems to render 
it vain to speak of philosophy as one in kind, is the necessary 
condition of its vitality ; and the broad characteristics of any 
one period of human thought, which might hastily be ascribed 
to chance surroundings, mark only the necessary conditions 
of its development, 

It is no hard task to determine the form which theological 


thinking assumed at the beginning of the eighteenth century 
in Germany, nor the special features which its internal his 
tory brought to the front. The regular accepted orthodox 
Church doctrines found themselves flanked by two rather 
opposite methods of carrying further the principles the 
Church itself represented. These were, on the one hand, the 


Rationalist, drawing upon such abstract philosophy as was 
then within reach ; on the other hand, the Pietist, empha 
sising the fundamental ideas of the Reformation itself, the 
independence of the individual conscience, and the supreme 
value of individual conviction. Reason is an honourable 
title, and one would not willingly speak evil of what claims 
recognition as reason. But after all, it is but a formal title ; 
and any right to respect is derived not from the empty 
vehicle of the name but from the content with which it is 
filled. And with that as our criterion, what can one say of 
the rationalism which in various stages of decline played 
its part in German intellectual history in the eighteenth 
century ? It is a merit to have insisted on the need of clear 
and distinct conceptions, an insistence common both to the 
earlier Leibnizian. rationalism and to the later stage which 
has had the special title of Enlightenment assigned to it, 
but the degree of merit depends on what the conceptions 
were that seemed clear and distinct. I take it that, what 
ever credit one allows to the speculations which in unsys 
tematic form Leibniz left as a legacy to his successors, one 
can find no ground for satisfaction in the effort they made 
to accommodate with them the relatively large amount of 
theological dogma they were willing to retain, nor in their 
attempts at philosophical interpretation of these dogmas. 
Gradually and inevitably the abstract and most unhistorical 
method of the Leibnizian school tended to degenerate into 
the caput mortuum of a Natural Theology, from which the 
transition was almost insensible to the thin Deism of the 

The Enlightenment, which for the moment I consider only 
in its reference to speculation and theology, has its own 
merits, and was indeed historically, as it is for each indi 
vidual character, a necessary stage of transition. No one 
will understand the significance of life until he has looked 


at it and its surroundings from the homely bourgeois point 
of view of the Enlightenment, until it has become possible 
for him to realise the inner imperfection of that view arid 
trace wherein it fails of its own aim. For one must not 
understand the Enlightenment in Germany as purely neg 
ative, as consisting in a mere refusal on the part of what 
called itself common - sense to acknowledge any general 
standard, any ground of principle other than the individual 
judgment. Whether the Enlightenment, if trenchantly 
handled, might not have been reduced to such pure nega 
tion is one question ; whether the Enlightenment accepted 
such a position is another ; and the answers may be en 
tirely different. The representatives of the Enlightenment, 
such, for example, as Nicolai, had a very positive scheme 
and a certain enthusiasm for it. No doubt it was some 
what narrow in character. They reasoned about the uni 
verse as if it were or ought to be an enlarged Berlin, with 
a Deity as its constitutional monarch ; they had a passion 
for nature which they reduced to its animal basis, and 
talked much of the education and amelioration of that bundle 
of selfish desires, man. Declining to accord acceptance to 
any Symbolic books, refusing their assent to such doctrines 
as those of eternity of punishment and of original sin, they 
adhered steadfastly to the belief in the Immortality of the 

I have called the Rationalism of the Leibnizian school 
abstract and unhistorical ; and I desire for a moment to lay 
stress upon the latter term as marking a special feature in 
the philosophy of the eighteenth century, though a feature 
that was undergoing a gradual and steady change. To have 
been unhistorical is not altogether a peculiarity of eighteenth- 
century thought, which inherited that characteristic from its 
predecessor. It is perhaps difficult for us who have accus 
tomed ourselves to the historical method, without in all 



cases realising its full significance, to form a fair idea of the 
enormous differences to which the absence of that method 
gives rise ; but any comparison of the constructive philosophies 
of the earlier epoch with those we call more specially modern 
forces upon us the sense of its supreme importance. Some 
portion of the abstractness which thence results will be found 
to cling even to the philosophy that was effectually to destroy 
the earlier by taking its place, the philosophy of Kant ; and 
it cannot be thought that the earliest attempts, towards the 
close of the century, to bring the historical into living re 
lation with the speculative were more than preliminary 
to a true conception. Those of Lessing, Kant, and Herder 
range between the years 1780-87. To any such conception 
the dogmatic method in theology was naturally and rightly 
antagonistic. Even such dim anticipations of it, in a half- 
defined fashion, which we can detect among the records of 
heresy, excited the bitterest animosity. 

It was into such surroundings that the most significant 
work of the eighteenth century was introduced. We may 
perchance think it no more than national prejudice to regard 
the French Revolution and the Critical Philosophy as the two 
most important historic forces in modern culture. Yet we 
may well pause before thus dismissing the estimate of their 
work. Assuredly neither contains in itself, not even im 
plicitly, all to which it has given rise; but to one or the 
other, in the sense of its having effected a fundamental 
change in general conceptions, we must refer as explaining 
the character of all subsequent political and philosophical 
views. And I know not to which one should accord the 
palm of historic importance. To the significance of the 
one ungrudging justice has been done by history, nor can 
the place it fills in the memory of the past be ever lost. 
What it has achieved has lain in the full light of general 
recognition. The other has not fallen under general ob- 


servation, and has produced little visible effect. It has 
operated in the secret and retired way of modifying those 
seemingly abstract conceptions in which we sum up our 
reflexions on human life and its meaning;. Yet in the Ion" 

c? o 

run, if we must believe that the definite organisation of 
human life depends upon and comes to correspond with the 
conceptions man forms of his end, that which affects most 
deeply the structure of human thought is historically the 
greater power. 

Of the way in which the seminal ideas of the new 
philosophy thrown into the surroundings of German life at 
the time bore fruit, and therewith of the general nature of the 
total contribution to intellectual culture which it brought, it 

O * 

seems to me that a fair notion may be obtained if we endeavour 
to follow them out in the career of an individual thinker, 
whose claims to recognition are not more based on the 
positive value of his own share in the development of the 
movement than on the peculiarly representative character of 
his life and work. Had we to select the body of views which 
in most complete fashion expresses the whole tendency of the 
reforming movement in German culture, the Hegelian system 
would necessarily have been our choice ; but in Schleier- 
macher we have, I think, a less concentrated and therefore 
more easily accessible result of very much the same set of 
influences. In personal character, in the events of his 
career, and in his defined views, Schleiermacher offers an 
unusually complete representation of the forces of culture 
appertaining to his time. The less perfected, less final 
quality of the results he reached is even an additional 
reason why in him more than in Hegel we can appreciate 
the character of the new movement. 

It has been said that a man s philosophy is little more 
than the attempt to justify by reason in later years the 
views adopted in youth. Even if we should not feel inclined 


to do so much honour to youth as this implies, we must 
acknowledge the importance of the part played by early 
intellectual impressions in affecting the tendency of more 
matured thinking. In the life of no philosopher is this 
effect more unambiguously evident than in that of Schleier- 
macher. The father of modern Protestant theology, as he has 
been called by his admirers, received from his early surround 
ings and from his family traditions an overwhelming impetus 
in the direction of the studies to which with gradually 
increasing exclusiveness he gave his life. 

Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher was born on Nov 
ember 21, 1768, in Breslau, where his father was then 
chaplain in the Reformed Church. His mother was a sister 
of Professor Habenrauch, who held a chair of theology at 
Halle, and who was on intimate terms with the magnates 
of the Eeformed Church, Spalding and Sark. The family 
traditions were markedly of the Pietist type in all its curious 
variations. The grandfather, who had settled as pastor of 
the large reformed community at Elberfeld, and enjoyed 
high repute as a preacher, resigned his connexion with the 
Church to throw in his fate with a worthless religious 
enthusiast, Elias Eller, who at that time, in a clumsy 
manner, and with faults all his own, played a part like 
Edward Irving. When undeceived Schleiermacher found 
himself an object of deadly enmity on the part of Eller, 
who by dint of bribery contrived that in 1749 an action 
for witchcraft and magic was brought against the pastor 
in the Court of the Elector Palatine at Mannheim, and 
even that a charge of Use majestt was entertained, and 
troops were sent to arrest him. The father, who had been 
brought up and at nineteen made preacher in the New 
Jerusalem community, and who was evidently a man of 
no common force of character, exhibits another curious 


phase of the Pietist movement. The almost exclusive stress 
then laid on the spiritual and independent character of 
religious truths, the possibility, for example, of severing 
them entirely from either philosophical or historical bases, 
inclined many to a kind of scepticism, with which they 
combined the theory of accommodation. Among these was 
Gottlieb Schleiermacher, who later told his son that for 
almost a dozen years he had preached as a total unbeliever. 

Schleiermacher s education, whether at home or at school, 
was calculated only to deepen the impression of these sur 
roundings. His earliest feelings, he records, were religious, 
and were carefully fostered by his father. Before the age of 
fourteen he had begun to torture himself with the perplex 
ities of eternal punishment. In the spring of 1783 he began 
his more systematic education in the Moravian school at 
Niesky, a couple of miles north of Gorlitz. The Moravian 
community of the Herrenhuter carried out the principles of 
Pietism in the organisation of the Church, and emphasised 
to a degree almost past belief the tenets of original sin and 
redemption by divine grace. The education, however, at 
Niesky was not bad ; and Schleiermacher made progress there 
in the classical studies he bad formerly begun under a tutor 
who had been a student of Ernesti s. Not so, however, when 
in 1785 he was promoted to the seminary intended for the 
instruction of future pastors of the community. The Her- 
renhuters on principle depreciated theological or other learn 
ing, and since the formerly Pietist university of Halle had 
fallen increasingly under the rationalist influence of C. W. 
Wolff, long represented by Semler, they had instituted a 
seminary of their own, a mile or two from Halle, at Barby. 
Here Schleiermacher felt, in full measure, the intolerable 
pressure of their narrowing discipline, and with fear and 
trembling, but with firm resolution, he opened his mind to 
his father, laid before him his theological doubts (concern- 


ing the divinity of Christ and His function as Redeemer), 
and sought his permission and aid to carry on studies for a 
time at Halle. Grudgingly, and with the bitterest recrim 
ination of his outcast son, the father gave permission, and 
the entry at Halle ensued in the autumn of that year. 

Halle did not then enjoy its old renown, and had not yet 
begun the fresh life that again raised her to the first rank 
among Prussian universities. The young candidatus theologice, 
in narrowest circumstances, with a shy, sensitive disposition, 
gained but little of what a university is so often able to offer. 
He made few friendships, and carried on his studies mainly 
by himself. F. A. Wolf strengthened his interest in Greek, 
particularly in Plato, and, like others at the time, he came 
under the powerful influence of the Kantian philosophy, 
which was then beginning to transform the whole intellectual 
life of Germany. The res angustcu compelled him prematurely 
to leave the university. A couple of years were spent at 
Drossen as assistant to his uncle, and for three years, 1790-93, 
he acted as tutor in the family of Count Dohna-Schlobitten. 
1794-96 were occupied with pastoral duties at Landsberg-on- 
the-Warthe, a small retired town nearFrankfort-on-the-Oder, 
but somewhat celebrated at the time for its cultivation and 
luxury. Here, in addition to composing his own, he trans 
lated Blair s Sermons. In 1796 he received through Sack s 
influence the post of chaplain to the Hospital of the Charite 
at Berlin, and entered on a wholly new world of interests. 

In these years of retirement the intellectual character of 
the man had been gradually forming ; and from the abundant 
letters through which we learn to know him, and from the 
records published long after his death of his progressive 
studies, we are able to gather with unusual clearness its main 
features, the nature of the influences that had affected it, and 
the prevailing tendency impressed upon it. 

On Schleiermacher, as I need not say, very diverse and op- 


posed judgments have been pronounced. The more strenuous 
followers of philosophy have deemed him too much of a theo 
logian ; the religious world has looked askance upon his 
philosophy. His earnest and eloquently expressed doctrine 
of pious feeling as the essential factor in all religion has 
commended itself to some as the truly conservative basis on 
which may be built a cultus, a system of religious observance, 
adequate to the needs of man and independent of all varia 
tions of dogmatic creed. To others he has seemed but a 
" man in a mask," whose ambiguous, vague, and emotional 
terminology secured success only because its nebulous ob 
scurity allowed it to be employed indifferently either by the 
rigid adherent of the most antiquated dogma or by one to 
whom all dogmas meant the same. 

Apart from all else, there is ground for this diversity of 
judgment in the remarkable combination of apparently con 
tradictory features that entered into Schleiermacher s char 
acter. He united many - sided susceptibility with strongly 
pronounced individuality, deep and easily excited feeling for 
all the interests of humanity with penetrating force and 
analytical tendency of intellect, the capacity of eager enthu 
siastic absorption with cool reflective self - consciousness, 
quick restless activity with the quiet solid repose of a firm 
will. These personal features, rooted in the original disposi 
tion, were strengthened and brought into varied prominence 
by the circumstances of his career. 

The early strain of Pietist feeling he never lost, and with 
it he retained the sense of its essential value as contrasted 
with the defined conceptions in which it might seek expres 
sion or support for itself. Even in his later years he called 
himself a Herrenhuter of a higher order, nor did he ever 
throughout his career cease to think of his primary function 
in life as that of the theologian and preacher. What he 
drew from the literary and philosophical influences with 


which he came successively into contact, with classical 
antiquity, with Spinozism, with the Kantian system, or what 
he gained by critical meditation on these, appeared to him 
to stand in no opposition to the essential content of that 
pious feeling in which consisted true religious theology. 
Sedulously, and with genuine good faith (and, it must be 
added, with no small measure of success), he strove to unite 
into one consistent body of principles the requirements of 
purified and elevated religious feeling, the realities of human 
religious history, and an intellectual scheme of things which 
seemed at the first glance to remove all those deep -going 
distinctions round which religion has ever revolved. 

It would be impossible to develop in detail the mode in 
which these varied elements worked together in the forma 
tion of the intellectual character with which Schleiermacher 
entered on his public career. I note only as of special 
significance the attitude which then and later his views 
assumed towards the all-important Kantian philosophy. For 
in that philosophy was laid the ground-work of a new 
and comprehensive conception of man, which, while it 
negatively destroyed the barren rationalism of the En 
lightenment, left on its positive side much to be done in 
the way of clearing up, systematising, and overcoming its 
own imperfections. The significance of any post-Kantian 
work is to be estimated according to the clearness with 
which it apprehends the general position of the Kantian 
doctrine, the particular difficulties inherent in it, and the 
extent to which it succeeds in overcoming these. 

With much in the critical philosophy Schleiermacher had 
little or no sympathy. He was ready enough to accept the 
fundamental view that knowledge regarded as process is a 
combination of sense-perception and understanding, the one 
supplying the matter, the other the form, and that know 
ledge, regarded from the point of view of its content, is 


limited to the orderly necessitated realm of sense-phen 
omena, which we call nature. On the whole, too, he was 
contented with the second main theorem that what the 
ideas of Reason contain, God, Freedom, and the Soul, are 
not objects of knowledge, but have significance only as 
characteristic and necessary forms of the spiritual life, the 
life of reflective self -consciousness. But he could neither 
remain satisfied, as many of the immediate followers of 
Kant did, with these two theorems left in that barren juxta 
position, nor with the further steps whereby Kant himself 
endeavoured to secure for them a more organic connexion 
with one another and with the ultimate fact, the character 
of Reason as consciousness of self in man. It appeared to 
him, and I think so far rightly, that, in these further efforts 
to bring the severed parts of this doctrine into vital unity, 
Kant only rendered more pronounced their abstract and 
irreconcilable character; and his objections addressed them 
selves to the ethical position in which Kant found fullest 
satisfaction. Influenced, perhaps, by his leanings towards 
Spinoza, Schleiermacher insisted on the wholly contradictory 
result that followed from the Kantian doctrine of Freedom. 
In the badly expressed notion of Freedom of Will, Kant, it 
is known, placed the very essence of self-consciousness, and 
with it of morality ; but in so doing he had to oppose to one 
another with such marked antithesis the original and 
intelligible fact of freedom and the concrete realities of 
human conduct, that they seemed to lie in two wholly 
distinct realms of existence. The excessive formalism of 
his view, moreover, ran counter to another of Schleier- 
macher s most cherished thoughts a thought which to him 
appeared not only reconcilable with the unity of things, but 
demanded by it the inestimable significance of individuality. 
For in the Kantian analysis of action and the Good the 
individualising features had necessarily been referred to 


the contingent external matter, and it was hard to assign 
to the requirements of the moral law any definite, any 
particular content. With this Schleiermacher could not be 
satisfied. To him the Good was generally the expression 
of the formative operation of the spiritual on the natural, 
and the highest good the completed result of that in the 
individual character a result not to be attained in isolation, 
but embracing as an essential condition devotion to the 
common welfare. 

In Berlin, Schleiermacher found wholly new conditions of 
life, adapted certainly to call forth and develop much in his 
many-sided character, calculated also to give undue promin 
ence to what in it was of least objective worth. Berlin had 
long been the focus of the Enlightenment ; but though it held 
aloof from the stirring efforts of the new classical school of 
poets, though even Goethe was but coldly regarded there, the 
new generation in the last decade of the century was break 
ing loose from the old bonds. In particular the younger 
members of the cultivated and wealthy social circles of the 
Jews, who had long sat at the feet of Mendelssohn and 
hailed him as their intellectual prophet, were now inspired 
by the ideas of a culture for which the Enlightenment had no 
formulae. It was in these circles that Schleiermacher found 
his most sympathetic welcome ; there he found the com 
prehension of his nature which he missed elsewhere ; there 
he formed his friendship with Friedrich Schlegel, and gave 
himself up for a time to the restless turbulent activity of the 
Romantic school. The strain of sentiment in his character 
made it possible for him to judge all too favourably of such 
principle as there was in the wonderful compound called 
Romanticism, to find a perfect character in F. Schlegel, and 
to ignore the danger to which the want of objective basis 
exposes the life of impetuous feeling. It was a rude shock 
when the unhappy relations of Dorothea Veit to F. Schlegel 



came to the inevitable termination ; but, true to an exagger 
ated friendship, and expressing likewise his large share of 
sympathy with the romantic view, he endangered his reputa 
tion by the Confidential Letters on Luciude. It is to be said, 
however, that much as Schleiermacher leaned towards the 
sickly sentimentalism current in the society in which he 
moved, there were always in him elements antithetic to it. 
And in his personal career these led to increasing divergence 
and final separation from his quondam friend. It was with 
pain, depression, and a sense of broken energies that he 
left Berlin in 1802 for a country parsonage at Stolpe, in 

His literary activity meanwhile had begun to yield fruit. 
The Addresses on Keligiou appeared in 1799; the Mono 
logues in the following year ; an elaborate criticism of ethical 
systems in 1803 ; and from 1804 onwards he was occupied 
witli the great translation of Plato, a work which more than 
any other stimulated the interest of the modern world in 
ancient philosophy. 

I pass rapidly over the few salient events of his after-life. 
In 1804 he was called to Halle as Professor of Theology. 
Returning to Berlin in 1807, he occupied himself busily in 
lecturing, preaching, and co-operating in the foundation of 
the new university, wherein he was the first Professor of 
Theology. With no personal liking for Fichte, he shared the 
warmth of his patriotism, was eager in the institution of the 
Tugendbund, and during the years of depression seems to have 
been much engaged on secret political embassies. From 1814 
onwards to his death in 1834, as Professor and Secretary of 
the Academy of Sciences, he exercised a constant and multi 
form activity. The only work he published was his Christian 
Belief, 1821-22, which, as supplementary to the Eeden, 
gives a complete view of his philosophical and theological 


It was impossible for Schleiermacher to accept the position 
in which theology seemed to have been left by the critical 
philosophy, as identical with or an ambiguous appendage to 
morality. Such a conception of it seemed to him not only to 
rest on a narrow philosophical basis, but to do no justice to 
the all-important character of the essential fact in all forms 
of religion, the religious feelings of man. This religious 
consciousness had the peculiarity that it connected itself 
with no one province of facts rather than another : it was 
all-embracing, and affected every part of human nature. A 
system which failed to do justice to this fundamental feature, 
or which found its ultimate conceptions out of harmony with 
it, thereby demonstrated its own incomplete and fragmentary 
character. Eeligion itself is no system of rationalised ideas ; 
nor has it merely the function of aiding the moral impulse in 
man. It is separable from and independent of the philosophy 
which endeavours in pseudo-scientific fashion to embrace in 
the network of its notions the sum of reality : it is not to be 
deduced from or explained by any conceptions of the law of 
conduct. Its foundation lies neither in Eeason nor in Will, 
but in Feeling, the most immediate, direct, simple experience 
of the human soul, that mode in which it becomes first and 
best aware of itself. Here lies the inner unity of life, the 
ultimate core of personality, the mirror in which the in 
dividual reflects the universe of which he is a part. 

The primitive, absolute feeling of dependence, the expres 
sion of the finiteness of the individual, is more particularly 
the mark of the religious consciousness, which connects itself 
therefore with no one particular of experience, but with the 
universal life in things. Whoever feels the intimate union 
of his soul with the universal ground of things has the 
essence of Religion, with whatsoever notions he may clothe 
the reality to which he feels himself in relation. 

The religious consciousness is at once the mode of appre- 


hension of the divine in man and the direct operation of the 
divine nature in the finite soul. In every one there lies 
implicitly the capacity for such consciousness ; in each it 
may be developed, and in the exchange of individual ex 
periences, in the community of believers or Church, consists 
the objective organisation by which the religious life is 
strengthened and furthered. 

Religions, as they have historically manifested themselves, 
stand in the relation to one another not of true and false, 
but of more or less complete. The term truth, indeed, has no 
application within the sphere of religion proper. It belongs 
to the rationalised system of ideas wherein the religious 
feeling may clothe itself, but which stands in no essential 
relation to it. 

Although, according to Schleiermacher, Reason is not the 
organ of religion, and a man s religious feelings may be 
wholly independent of his speculative views ; yet to complete 
the view of his theology it is requisite to add what follows 
from his criticism of the Kantian doctrine in respect to the 
nature of this universe of reality with which religious feeling 
is connected. The real ground of things he names, with 
Spinoza, God ; and with Spinoza he identifies God with the 
infinite variety of His manifestations making up the world. 
It was the strength of conviction with which he held this 
conception of the unity of things that compelled him to reject 
the Kantian opposition of nature arid freedom, and to insist 
on the unbroken continuity of connexion throughout the 
whole universe. With this Spinozism he combines the Leib- 
nizian thought of an infinite scale of varied perfection in the 
forms of finite manifestation, a thought which in like manner 
helps to overcome the deep-rooted dualism in Kant s scheme 
of things. 

It is easy to see where the weak point of Schleiermacher s 
exposition lies. With all admiration for the resolute way 


in which he tries to work out his doctrine of Religion, it is 
impossible to remain satisfied either with its basis or with 
the method by which progress is effected from it. Feeling is, 
and will always remain, the obscure and ambiguous element 
in the inner life ; and for satisfaction of the problems that 
experience forces on us we need, not the exercises that are 
to stimulate pious feeling, but the patient labour of reason 
that will clear up and systematise our notions. 

Schleiermacher saw clearly enough the ultimate question 
that had come forward in the Kantian philosophy. He saw 
that what was needed was a more comprehensive view of 
human experience, such as should at once do justice to the 
results of the analysis of knowledge and to the permanent 
interest man takes in religion and morality. If we are to 
determine what these thoughts signify on which the human 
mind has always turned the thoughts of God, and Immor 
tality, and the Good and to determine them in a way that 
shall be in harmony with our scientific knowledge of nature, 
some organic connexion must be established between the 
parts of our nature, which the Kantian system had seemed 
to tear asunder. Such organic connexion can never be given 
by feeling, which stands itself in need of interpretation, and 
lends itself with dangerous ease to all forms of explanation. 





THE difficulties of psychology begin at the very outset in the 
attempt to define accurately the province or scope of the 
whole study. Naturally the first suggestion of a definition, 
that psychology is the science of mind or of the soul, must 
be dismissed as merely verbal. So general a definition does 
not suffice to distinguish psychology from other cognate 
studies, any one of which might claim in a sense to be 
the science of mind, for example, the critical theory of 
knowledge, Epistemology. Moreover, the important term 
mind, when taken in the substantive fashion, tends rather 
to introduce from the first into the treatment of psychology 
a special theory, the justification for which can be given 
only by psychology itself. 

Even if we amend this preliminary definition, and, in 
accordance with more modern practice, describe psychology 
as the theory or science of the facts of the inner life or 
phenomena of consciousness, we have still to face the ques 
tion, What is involved in and what is excluded from the 



matter so selected for psychology, and what is the method 
of treating it which is specifically psychological ? For it is 
evident that a fact of the inner life or a phenomenon of con 
sciousness may be interpreted in a variety of ways, may be 
taken to signify more or less : for example, it is character 
istic of one important line of reflexion in modern psycho 
logical theory that it insists on regarding each fact of the 
inner life or each phenomenon of consciousness as involving 
the antithesis between subject and object, and as involving 
that antithesis so intimately that in the absence of it the 
psychical fact or conscious phenomenon is held to be un 

Again, it is obvious that a psychological fact or phen 
omenon of consciousness may be regarded in a variety of 
ways, may be treated from more than one point of view. 
There is a familiar distinction that between the psycho 
logical and the logical which rests upon the difference re 
ferred to. It is possible, perhaps necessary, to regard the 
psychical fact as part of a larger natural process which comes 
about under natural conditions, and which may therefore be 
approached from the same objective point of view that is 
occupied in any scientific treatment of natural facts. On 
the other hand, the same phenomenon of consciousness may 
be regarded from the point of view of its content, and con 
sidered with respect to the kind of insight thereby derived 
concerning real processes conceived to be distinct from itself. 
Possibly this distinction may apply to some only of the 
phenomena of consciousness. Obviously it applies to those 
which constitute cognition or knowledge. Even if it does 
not hold good with respect to feeling and will, it requires to 
be taken into account in determining the general nature of 
the treatment which is specifically psychological. 

At the same time, the term phenomenon of consciousness 
seems to indicate a terminus in the process towards defining 


or marking-off the field of psychology. It is impossible to 
get further, in the sense of expressing what is conveyed by 
the term consciousness, or to reduce consciousness to some 
thing different from and simpler than itself. It may be 
possible to refer the appearance of what is called conscious 
ness to conditions in the absence of which it is not found ; 
and undoubtedly whatsoever is achieved in that direction 
must take its place as part, and a very important part, of any 
general account or science of the phenomena of conscious 
ness. That is to say, even though we may acknowledge that 
the specih c character of those facts with which psychology 
has to deal is an ultimate, we are not bound to the further 
assertion that the limits of psychological theory are con 
terminous with those of consciousness. It is perhaps a pre 
judice on our part that we should invariably strive to abolish 
so far as possible qualitative distinctions, and should feel 
that our theoretical explanation is incomplete if we are not 
able to see analytically how a qualitative characteristic 
comes about from some combination of what is simpler, less 
qualitatively marked, than itself. 

The term consciousness, then, is that to which we have 
first to give our attention, trying to describe what is in 
volved in it, with the exclusion, so far as possible, of hypo 
thetical elements. 

Now, undoubtedly, the simplest sense of the term con 
sciousness is that which identifies it with the total moment 
ary state of the subject. All of which he is aware at any 
given moment is in one sense his consciousness ; and .we are 
certainly entitled to extend this definition of the term so as 
to include the total series of such momentary states. At the 
same time, it is evident that the very expressions we have 
employed raise the difficulties already referred to. In that 
description the terms have been employed the subject, 
and all of which he is aware. Now, undoubtedly, from 


the point of view of the developed mind, the latter term 
would include much that can in no sense be supposed to 
constitute part of the inner life of the individual subject 
himself. Any one describing that of which he is aware 
would and must employ terms of wholly objective signifi 
cance. His perceptions, for example, would be described by 
him as ways of being aware of the existence and qualities of 
things ; and, from one point of view, he would rightly say 
that the things perceived are that of which he is aware. It 
is obviously necessary, therefore, to make a distinction, and 
a distinction, moreover, of a twofold kind. On the one hand 
(and this is the popular mode of expressing it) a distinction 
must be drawn between the objective facts and that modifica 
tion or change in the mode of existence of the subject which 
constitutes his perception of them the distinction familiarly 
expressed as that between outer and inner. On the other 
hand, the same distinction must be expressed in a more 
subtle, but more satisfactory, fashion as holding good for the 
subject himself ; for obviously the distinction between inner 
and outer is one for the subject, or in consciousness itself. 
The distinction, then, is that between the state of conscious 
ness, the perception, for example, as a way in which the 
subject is immediately affected or modified, and the reference 
to something other than itself which is involved in that 
mode of consciousness. 

Now such a distinction, undoubtedly familiar in the mat 
ured consciousness, can hardly be described in definite terms 
without suggesting the further question, whether the refer 
ence involved in it, and in the form in which it is there 
involved, is a primary or a derivative part of the total mental 
state. If we entertain any doubt with regard to the primari- 
ness of the implication, if we think there are grounds for 
asserting that the primitive condition of perceiving does not 
contain such reference, or at least not in that form, we may 


obtain therefrom a hint as to the peculiarity of the psycho 
logical treatment of facts ; for to that would belong (1) the 
consideration of phenomena of consciousness as primary or 
immediate experiences, and (2) the consideration of the way 
in which there comes to be added to the immediate experi 
ences this secondary or mediate element of reference. 

If it be legitimate to question the primariness of the refer 
ence to the outer world, which now appears to form part of 
that of which we are aware, it follows that it is equally 
possible to question the simplicity and primariness of that 
other implication introduced into the statement namely, the 
subject. Undoubtedly the question is legitimate, if the 
subject be taken in the fashion in which it appears as a 
component of the developed phenomenon perceiving, for 
example. It is quite impossible that the subject should be 
involved in a direct immediate experience which we cannot 
suppose to contain in it a reference to the outer object, in 
the same fashion as that in which it appears in mature 
experience. But it is possible perhaps it is necessary 
that even in the primary immediate experiences there should 
be contained that which serves as the basis for the later 
developed reference, on the one hand to the subject, on the 
other hand to the outer object. 

From these immediate experiences, then, we seem to be 
entitled to exclude the antithesis of subject and object, at all 
events in the sense familiar to us, that which is for conscious 
ness the counterpart of the popular distinction between inner 
and outer; whence again it would follow that psychology 
has for its material (1) the immediate experiences, and (2) 
the process by which, from their characteristics, there is 
developed the distinction between subject and object. 

Now, all questions of the critical or epistemological kind 
proceed on the basis of this developed distinction between 
subject and object. They are all questions which concern 


the supposed objective worth of connexions which are prim 
arily in thought, or subjective. There is, therefore, a distinc- 
ti6n of the most obvious kind between the psychological and 
the epistemological mode of treating the facts of conscious 
ness. The one contemplates these facts as immediate experi 
ences, in and through which there is developed that antithesis 
of subject and object, from the jecognition of which the 
epistemological problem takes its start. In one sense, then, 
it might be said that neither in material nor in point of view 
are psychology and theory of knowledge identical. 

On the whole, then, psychology has for its object the 
description and explanation of those immediate experiences 
whereby an individual self-conscious existence, and therewith 
reference to an outer objective world, become actual. 




THE first main problem in psychology is concerned with the 
general analysis of the inner life. In regard to this question 
there have been three important conceptions. The first 
regards the inner life, the field of consciousness, as the 
expression or manifestation of a number of distinct faculties 
or powers with which the subject is endowed. The second 
conception is represented, so far, by two very distinct treat 
ments of the material, that of Herbart in Germany, and that 
of the Association School in England. It regards the whole 
of consciousness as the result of the varied combinations 
which come about among ultimate simple elements, of which 
elements naturally the typical example is to be found in the 
simple irreducible sensation. Carried to its full extent, this 
conception might fairly be called that of psychical atomism ; 
for, on the whole, in its two fundamental features it presents 
a strong resemblance to the physical doctrine of atoms : in 
the first place, the elements are simple, and retain through 
out their original character ; and, in the second place, the com 
bination which occurs among them is represented as being of 
the general nature called mechanical. A third main concep 
tion represents the life of consciousness as, taken generally, 
a continuous development, the varying forms of which are to 
be represented as the stages of the development itself. Of 
course, within this large conception there is room for great 


difference of view as regards the nature of that which, de 
velops, and, more particularly, as regards the implications of 
the notion of development itself. 

Of these three views, the first can hardly be said to possess 
significance for modern psychology. At its best it merely 
served to lay out, in a descriptive classificatory fashion, such 
knowledge of mind as is for the most part condensed in the 
ordinary terminology by which mental operations are desig 
nated. Even in its strictest fashion, that is, even if we 
accepted the general metaphysical position, that whatever 
actually occurs indicates the presence of a power which is 
called into exercise, it is evident that nothing is gained for 
explanation of the inner life by the assumption of faculties. 
The precondition for working out the hypothesis would evid 
ently be the completion of just such an analysis and history 
of the mental life as constitute psychology itself. 

The second conception may be connected with very different 
views, both of the ultimate elements themselves and of the 
conditions under which they come into existence. The first 
important treatment of the inner life from this point of view, 
that of Herbart, was undoubtedly hampered by the meta 
physical presuppositions on which it was in large part based. 1 
On metaphysical grounds Herbart chose to represent the 
soul as a simple nature, which, as real, had very much the 
characteristics of the old Eleatic notion of Being. The real, 
like that Greek representation of the existent, was simple, 
indestructible, and receptive of nothing into itself : it under 
went, therefore, in one sense, no change. Yet, since ap 
parent change required some explanation, it was necessary 
for Herbart to assume that, as a consequence of the variable 
relations in which each real the soul, for example stood to 

1 [Lehrbuch zur Psychologic, 1816 ; gegriindet auf Erfahrung, Metaphysik 
Psychologic als Wissenschaft, neu und Mathematik, 1824-25.] 


other reals, something did happen ; and this something he 
chose to express as the self-maintenance of the real. 1 The 
soul then being (let us say, with less strictness of language) 
acted on, reacted; and its reactions were the ways in which 
it preserved its own inherent nature. 

With this rather obscure metaphysic Herbart united an 
other position redolent of the earlier Eleatic metaphysic : 
what has once occurred never ceases to exist. The reaction 
of the soul, its assertion or maintenance of itself, remains. 

Now, with an appeal to experience which is only in part 
disguised, Herbart proceeded to treat the whole process of the 
mental life as the result of the way in which the soul reacts, 
and of the various ways in which the reactions, whether now 
occurring or due to the past, combine together. Conscious 
ness is a total state resulting from and expressing a certain 
degree of intensity of any one of these reactions ; and the total 
field of consciousness at any moment is determined in its 
character by the relations of degree of intensity obtaining 
among the simple elementary reactions possessed by the soul. 
It is easy to understand why, from this point of view, Herbart 
should lay the greatest stress on what are commonly called 
the Laws of Association. For, according to the ways in which 
the simple elements presentations, he called them resemble 
one another or differ from one another, according to the time- 
relations in which they have been given or received, pres 
entations tend either to increase or to lower the degree of 
intensity of other presentations, and to aid or impede one 
another in preserving their original degree of intensity. This 
change of degree of intensity may be called, metaphorically, 
movement into or out of consciousness ; and the general 
psychological problem is, therefore, to determine according to 
what laws the elements so combine in consciousness that their 
movements in or out thereof yield the concrete results directly 

1 [See above, vol. i. p. 302 ft .] 


known to us. It is implied, then, in Herbart s view that all 
those more involved states of inner experience (judging, for 
example) in which there appear as components the self, 
its own ideas, and an object distinct therefrom to which the 
ideas refer that all such states are to be explained as the 
result of the way in which the simple presentations have 
moved and are moving. 

Again, in this treatment the simplest elements are naturally 
those in which most obviously there is implied what for the 
moment we shall call action upon the real, that is, the soul ; 
and such, certainly, are the sense-presentations. Each distinct 
sense-presentation is an ultimate way in which the soul reacts 
or maintains itself. Herbart did not, therefore, place on the 
same level of priority with the sense-presentations those 
other factors which generally have been regarded as equally 
primitive. Feeling, for example, he explained as a secondary 
reaction depending on, and indicating, a certain state of 
conflict or harmony arising from the presence together in 
consciousness of the ultimate simple elements. In this it 
is implied that what are called bodily pains and pleasures 
must be regarded as sensations, and be distinguished from 
the feelings. It should also be noted, that, though feeling is 
in one sense described as secondary, it is nevertheless accepted 
as an ultimate factor ; it is not a combination of presenta 
tions, but a new reaction. 

In addition to these sense-presentations and feelings Her 
bart admits no original elements in consciousness. All the 
higher processes of intellect are deduced from the presenta 
tions, while willing tinds an explanation by reference to a 
characteristic assigned to the sense-presentations, and, so to 
speak, inherent in them that each strives to maintain itself 
in consciousness as well and as long as it can. Such striving 
is not indeed will, but is the ultimate fact which determines 
the development in the line of willing. 


The Association psychology, as it has been called, proceeds 
on much the same lines as the Herbartian, but without its 
metaphysical basis and complications. It is peculiar to botli 
that the higher products, the more concrete forms of mental 
life, should be regarded as mechanically resulting from the 
grouping together of elementary parts. Wherever the As 
sociation psychology acknowledges that, in these more con 
crete forms, there is more than, or something different from, 
a grouping of the elements, it departs from its own principle 
and makes appeal to some mode of explanation probably 
quite inconsistent with its own basis. That some such 
further appeal has always been found necessary is evident 
if we consider two typical problems : one belonging rather to 
the side of cognition, the apprehension of relations ; the 
other belonging to the side of feeling, the special character 

O O ^ -i. 

of the emotions. In the latter case, indeed, the admission 
that some further explanation is needed has been openly 
made by the exponents of the Association view themselves. 
An emotion, fear or anger, for instance, may indeed be seen 
to involve the simpler factors sensations, feelings, and ideas ; 
but its peculiar character, its unity, is wholly inexplicable 
by a reference to the conjoint presence of these elementary 
parts. It is admitted that the combination of the element 
ary parts results in a whole, the character of which is totally 
distinct from that of its parts a result which, as in the 
case of Herbart s view of the relation between sense- 
presentations and feelings, indicates that the mechanical 
mode of explanation has proved inadequate. Nor is any 
thing really gained by using, as J. S. Mill does, 1 the term 
mental chemistry to indicate the formation of a product 
which has a unique quality, and in which for the subject 
himself, or introspectively, it is impossible to discover the 

1 [System of Logic, B. V. c. iv. 3, 10th ed., vol. i. p. 441.] 


The term selected by Herbart for the simple components 
of mind, which we translate by presentation, may be used 
as the basis for a general description of the whole theory. 
Dr Ward proposes to call the general conception Presenta- 
tionism ; l and he has written a criticism of the theory which 
is mainly designed to show that, from the point of view of 
Presentationism, no explanation is possible of what is most 
characteristic of mind the antithesis between subject and 

His treatment of this subject may with advantage be con 
nected with the short analysis which, in his own Psychology, 2 
he offers of the ultimate components of mind. Conscious 
experience is there regarded as generically involving " a 
subject (1) non-voluntarily attending to changes in the 
sensory continuum ; (2) being in consequence either pleased 
or displeased ; (3) by voluntary attention or inuervation 
producing changes in the motor continuum." The presenta 
tion of sensory objects and the presentation of motor objects 
correspond respectively to the first and third members of the 
division. There is no object and no presentation correspond 
ing to the second. 

The fundamental fact in this scheme is the antithesis 
between subject and object, which, in more definitely psycho 
logical terms, seems to imply an operation of some kind on 
the part of the subject, an operation directed upon what is 
either given to or produced by the subject, while that which 
is given or produced is called a presentation. 

To this operation there appears to be assigned the title 
Attention : so that the whole scheme falls into the two 
sections the subject, on the one hand, with its primary 
function of attention and with its secondary capacity of 
feeling; and, on the other hand, the object, which is 

1 [Modern Psychology, Mind, N.S., 2 [Encyclopedia BritannZca, 9th 
vol. ii. p. 54 ff.] ed., vol. xx. p. 44o.] 


identified with presentation. In his article Modern Psy 
chology, Dr Ward seems mainly engaged in pointing out 
that Presentationism pure and simple makes the mistake of 
ignoring completely the primary function and position of the v 
subject, and, further, that it must find itself entangled in 
almost hopeless difficulty as regards the secondary capacity 
of feeling : for feeling, according to the scheme, is not pre 
sented ; a feeling is not a presentation ; it is never an object ; 
and, consequently, if mind be represented as composed 
wholly of presentations, as arising in and through the inter 
action or combination of presentations, no explanation is 
possible of that kind of self-apprehension which is involved 
iu the consciousness of feeling. 


Obviously, the divergence of view here must be connected 
with the special sense attached to the term presentation ; 
and, for my part, I cannot help thinking that nothing but 
confusion will arise from identifying presentation with 
object. It is impossible to avoid the consequence that 
follows from that identification. The presentation conceived 
as object at once acquires a quasi-substantive existence. No 
doubt no psychologist would care to describe sense-presenta 
tions as things ; but, if he calls them objects/ it will be 
difficult to avoid attaching to them the same characteristics 
by which we describe to ourselves the mode of existence of 
things ; and, if we separate, as Dr Ward does, the primary 
function of the subject his attention from the presenta 
tions, it will be equally difficult to avoid assigning independ 
ent existence to each of these components. The presentation 
will tend to be conceived literally as given with all its 
characteristics to the function or faculty of attention, which, 
in its turn, must be represented as a wholly independent 

Is there, then, justification for the assumption that, in the 
primitive stage of consciousness, the qualitatively distinct 


contents are apprehended as objects ? Is it not possible 
that the characteristics which constitute the meaning of the 
term object come to be assigned to these qualitatively 
distinct contents as a result of the developed knowledge in 
which an independent world of things is distinguished from 
and contrasted with the apprehending subject ? If, indeed, 
we continue to represent these primitive contents of con 
sciousness, as the Association psychology generally did, as 
individualised sense-presentations a colour, a sound, and so 
on we may feel ourselves compelled to attach to them 
something of objective significance. But, in that case, what 
shall we make of the equally simple directly given relations 
coexistence and succession, for example in and through 
which these presentations are given in consciousness ? The 
Association psychology, in its strictest form, has always 
N/ found the explanation of these relational elements a hopeless 
problem. Indeed, criticism of it has generally consisted in 
drawing attention to these ; and the counter-theory has too 
often been rapidly developed by finding an explanation of 
them in some non-sensuous relating synthetic activity of the 
mind or ego or self. 

These relations, if taken in the form in which they are 
originally presented, have at all events little or none of that 
claim to substantive existence which the sense-presentations 
appear to have ; and I can conceive of no reason why they 
should be called specifically objects. If, then, we admit 
that presentations are erroneously conceived as forming in 
their isolation one side of the primitive sensory conscious 
ness, if, on the contrary, we insist that the primitive sensory 
consciousness, in order to exist at all, implies a related 
manifold of distinct contents, we may take the further step 
and infer that the objective character we commonly assign 
to sense-presentations is an after-growth. 

From the same point of view, the question may be asked : 


Is it legitimate to assume that the distinction, obvious enough 
in the mature consciousness, between sensory and motor 
objects on the one hand, and feelings on the other, obtains in 
the same fashion in the more primitive form of consciousness? 
in other words, Are we justified in denying to feelings the 
title presentations ? 

Whoever maintains that feelings are not presented, that 
there is a distinction of kind between feeling and presen 
tation, must of course, as Herbart did, distinguish between 

* o 

bodily pleasure or pain and pleasure or pain which results 
from some combination of presentations. Bodily pleasure 
and pain, it can hardly be doubted, may be presented. But, 
if bodily pleasures and pains are admitted as presentations, 
then, on the one hand, it must be acknowledged that the 
significance of the term object as applied to presentations 
must be made most extensive : for unquestionably we do not 
give to the sensations of bodily pleasure or pain any shadow 
of that substantive existence which we undoubtedly give in 
varied degree to the ordinary sense-presentations, such as 
colour, sound, and the like ; and, on the other hand, it 
becomes almost impossible to maintain a distinction in the 
way of knowing between these pleasures and pains and those 
which may be supposed to arise in consequence of changes 
among the presentations themselves. Certainly, the burden 
of proof that feelings cannot be presented rests on those 
who maintain that, owing to the way in which pleasures and 
pains are generated, they can never be presented, never be 
the objects of direct immediate experience. Not impossibly 
we shall find the clue to a solution of this question by con 
sidering the relation between consciousness and knowledge. 

In Dr Ward s view that which specially characterises mind 
is the antithesis between subject and object. The fundamental 
term presentation is defined by reference to this antithesis. 
" A presentation," he says, " has a twofold relation ; first, 


directly to the subject, and secondly, to other presentations. 
By the first is meant the fact that the presentation is attended 
to, that the subject is more or less conscious of it : it is in 
his mind or presented. As presented to a subject a presen 
tation might with advantage be called an object, or perhaps 
a psychical object. . . . Ideas are objects ; and the relation 
of objects to subjects that whereby the one is object and 
the other subject is presentation. . . . On the side of the 
subject [this] implies what, for want of a better word, may 
be called attention, extending the denotation of this term so 
as to include even what we ordinarily call inattention. . . . 
The inter-objective relations of presentations are those on 
which their second characteristic, that of revivability and 
associability, depends." l 

Presentations then, briefly, are objects on which is exer 
cised some form of mental activity, a certain quantum of 
which is necessary. Presentations, moreover, can be revived 
and associated. Within the region of mind they constitute 
the objective factor ; and from them must be distinguished 
as heterogeneous whatsoever attaches only to the subject and 
his attitude towards presentations. Of this subjective factor 
there are at least two varieties, if, indeed, a third has not to be 
included : first, the activity of attending ; secondly, the state 
or affection of being pleased or pained. To these possibly 
might have to be added something that is involved in that 
change of attitude of the subject prominent in voluntary 
movement or voluntary control of thought. 

From this point of view, then, it becomes intelligible why 
Dr Ward should insist so resolutely on the difference of kind 
between feelings and presentations. They are indeed so de 
fined by him as to be generically distinct. It is therefore 
implied in his view of their opposed nature that the features 
most generally characteristic of presentations that they can 

1 [Art. Psychology, E. B., vol. xx. pp. 41a-42a.] 


be attended to, revived, and associated must be absent from 

In order to test the view we shall ask : first, whether it is 
legitimate to refuse to feeling these general characteristics ; 
and, secondly, whether the actual facts of inner experience 
justify the defined antithesis between presentations on the 
one hand and what is referred to the subject attention and 
feeling on the other. 

(1) As regards the former point, the question is, no doubt, 
a subtle one. But, if the feeling of being pleased or pained 
is not presented to the subject, in what way is the subject 
aware of it ? It cannot seriously be contended that it is 
only by inference from the effects which follow such change 
of affective state as constitutes feeling, that the subject is 
aware of feeling. If it must be admitted that in some way 
the subject is aware of feeling, how shall we define this par 
ticular attitude of l>einy aware ? Has it no content at all ? 
Even if with Dr Ward, who recognises fully the force of this 
objection, we go the length of rejecting what is implied in 
the familiar term feelings, even if with him we could hold 
that the facts are better expressed by saying, not that the 
subject has different feelings, but that he feels differently, 
nevertheless we could not exclude the simple ultimate differ 
ence of pleasurable and painful ; and this is qualitative 
enough to render it necessary to admit that feeling has a 

I am not even sure that we ought to speak so confidently 
of never having pleasure and pain as possible objects. 
Already the case of bodily pleasures and pains has sug 
gested an exception ; for even though these come to be con 
nected with other sense-presentations, to be localised, yet it 
is legitimate to suppose that they had not originally such 
objective predicates, and it is tolerably certain that even now 
our attitude towards them exhibits a curious conflict or 



struggle between the objective and the subjective refer 
ence. There are also other phenomena which seem to sug 
gest an exception. Is it the fact that we never objectify 
pleasures and pains ? Do we always remain true to this absol 
ute distinction ? Does not the primitive mind, whether in the 
savage or the child, assign feelings to external objects with 
out hesitation, represent them to itself as pleased or pained ? 
If so, it will be hard to reconcile this fact with the rigorous 
character of the distinction drawn. For, even if it be said 
that the explanation is that the primitive mind personifies 
the objects, makes them subjects, it is making them subjects 
for its own contemplation ; they are objects to it, and it cer 
tainly imagines itself to be representing their inner states of 
pleasure and pain. 

Again, are we justified in refusing to pleasure and pain 
that secondary characteristic revivability and associability 
which we allow to presentations ? On what grounds is it 
to be said that we cannot remember a pleasure or pain ? If 
it be insisted that, while we can revive a presentation, we 
cannot revive a feeling, that what simulates the revived feel 
ing is the new state of feeling into which we are thrown by 
the revived presentation, it must be said that this view either 
confers an objectionable and dubious mode of independent 
existence on the presentation, or ignores what, without such 
theory, must be supposed to be the condition of revival. As 
regards the former alternative it will hardly be contended 
that, in literal fact, the presentation, as an object distinct 
from our having it, attending to it, or being aware of it, is 
recalled into existence. 

But, if we exclude this wholly fanciful interpretation of 
revival, then it will be found hard to express the condition 
whereby what is called revival of the presentation comes about 
in any way which shall render impossible a similar revival of 
the feeling. There will always be differences in the form of 


such revival according to the differences in the original char 
acters of what is revived. But there seems no ground for 
supposing a difference of kind between that re-stimulation of 
the disposition left by a first experience, which constitutes 
the revival of the presentation, and a corresponding re- 
stimulation of the disposition, which we must suppose to 
have been in like manner due to the original pleasure-pain 

It does not seem to me decisive to say that pleasures and 
pains are revived only in conjunction with what are called 
presentations. Were we to apply the principle involved in 
such an argument we should find that it cut at the root of 
revival even of presentations. ISTo presentation is revived in 
isolation. Interdependence, therefore, constitutes no argu 
ment against the possibility of reviving feeling. No doubt 
there is a difficulty, but one, I think, mainly imaginary, in 
the term idea of a feeling. It is imaginary, because it 
appears to result mainly from our habitual tendency to think 
in images, and to insist on a pictorial representation of what 
we are representing. But there seems no good ground for 
refusing to describe my representation of the pleasures and 
pains which another subject may experience under certain 
conditions, by the name idea of feeling. If we do not, 
in this quasi-objective fashion, represent to ourselves the 
pleasures and pains of others, it is hard to understand 
how these experiences could signify anything for us at 
all. Even if we had first to realise the feelings in our 
selves, we should have in the second place to transfer 
them to what is certainly objective to us the inner life 
of the other subject. 

(2) It is not uncommon to group or arrange the facts 
of mind in accordance with the principle implied in Dr 
Ward s view, that is, to make the distinction depend upon 
the different ways in which reference to the object is made. 


On this ground Brentano bases his distinction of presentation 
from judgment with" belief, and from feeling with wish or 
striving: 1 for in each the mode of reference to the object 
seems to be characteristic. I imagine that historically the 
whole view comes directly from the Kantian system, where 
the principle of varied reference to the object determines the 
threefold classification into cognition, feeling, and volition. 
It is a cardinal point in Kant s treatment that feeling is the 
subjective element ; and his reason for this is, that by means 
of feeling we determine nothing as regards the constitution 
of the object. 2 

According to Kant the decisive criterion of the subjective is 
that it cannot form the basis of a predicate which we can 
regard as forming part of the object of cognition. Only by 
insisting on this criterion is it possible for Kant to make any 
such distinction as that which he draws between a sensation, 
such as sweetness, and feeling ; and, obviously, the criterion 
depends on a very special and highly developed conception 
of what is meant by object. The object is invariably that 
which is represented by the subject as independent of his 
own mode of being, as possessing characteristics which can 
not be ascribed to the subject himself. Clearly any such 
conception lies wholly outside the_domain of psychological 
analysis. It is not in that fashion that what the psychol- 
[ ogist calls "presentations" can be defined as objects; and 
yet, without such definition, it is quite impossible to retain 
the absoluteness of the distinction between sense-presenta 
tions and feelings. We are entitled, I think, to insist that 
real injustice is done in psychological analysis by introducing 
as primitive and simple so highly developed and derivative 
a conception as that of object. 

1 [Psychologic vom empirischen 2 Kritik der Urtheilskraft, in trod. 
Standpunkte (1874), B. II. c. vi. 7 ; [tr. Bernard, pp. 29-30]. 
2, 3.] 


To introduce it involves as a consequence the representa 
tion of consciousness after a fashion familiar enough to us 
from our ordinary practical conception of the process of 
knowledge. We are compelled, that is, to depict the primi 
tive simple condition of being conscious after the model sup 
plied by our ordinary practical experience, that of a cognising 
subject, inner eye, or inner vision, which is directed upon 
objects wholly independent of it. It is doing Dr Ward s 
exposition no injustice to say that this representation is in 
separable from his view of Attention. Attention plays with 
him the part which the inner organ of vision played in the 
earlier psychology of Locke and his school ; and, if we give 
to attention the latitude of significance which Dr Ward s 
use of the term demands, we must allow that its operations 
become wholly unintelligible. It is apprehended only through 
its effects. All that is otherwise in consciousness is distin 
guished from it ; and its variations of intensity and direction 
become altogether unaccountable. When its meaning is 
extended so as to cover, in Dr Ward s own words, every 
shade of inattention/ it is wholly indistinguishable from 
consciousness, and we have nothing to which to appeal when 
explanation is sought for the obvious difference between in,- 
attention and that concentration which is ordinarily called 
attention. There can be no doubt that, under any circum 
stances, that ultimate nature which we, perhaps imper 
fectly, designate by the term being conscious is never itself 
and in isolation a content of consciousness ; it is never an 
object, because, rightly construed, it is never itself a separate 
existent. But attention, on the other hand, is a term which 
indicates a certain modification of contents of consciousness ; 
and it may become an object of knowledge just in so far as 
the changes it implies are represented in connexion with the 
conditions under which they come about. 

Attention and feeling are not by any means the only 


portions of the inner life which, in the course of its develop 
ment, are assigned to the subjective side. We must allow 
that, as matter of fact, every process of mind is thus assigned 
by the subject to himself, and takes its place, therefore, on 
the subjective side. If it be maintained that these processes 
are nothing but variations of attention, and that what occurs 
is merely a case of the reference of attention to the subject 
himself, the obvious reply is that we cannot sever the abstract 
modification of attention from what gives it concreteness and 
definiteness, namely, the varieties of content with which it is 
connected. In other words, as a matter of fact, what in this 
view are declared to be originally objects, do in the course of 
development find a place on the subjective side. My per 
ception is just as definitely contrasted by me with the 
perceived thing, and assigned to the subjective side, as my 
attention can be. Evidently, therefore, it must be allowed 
that if there be the original distinction assumed between 
subjective and objective, it gets overlaid and modified by a 
later distinction which also claims for itself the designation 
of a distinction between subjective and objective. It is a 
fair inference, and the inference I should draw, that the 
assumed primitive distinction is really an illegitimate trans 
ference to the supposed original condition of the inner life 
of a distinction which has definite meaning only in its 
later form. 

It may be urged that, if we thus reject or modify the sup 
posed primitive distinction between attentiou-to-object and 
feeling, we incur the risk of ascribing to feeling, as many 
psychological theories have done, a certain cognitive signifi 
cance. No doubt there is, and will always be, much am 
biguity attaching to the term cognition ; and certainly 
many attempts to express in generalised terms the primitive 
all-embracing feature of consciousness have erred by giving 
exclusive prominence to the cognitive function. 


But the objection would only have force on the assumption, 
which it is the very purpose of my criticism to reject, that 
arnoii the facts of consciousness there are from the outset 


those which exhibit the essential features of cognition, pre 
eminently the antithesis between subject and object. If a 
presentation were supposed from the very outset to be a 
typical example of cognition, involving in its nature the 
fundamental distinction which characterises cognition, then 
it would be fair to urge as against any, I do not say, identi 
fication of presentation and feeling, but approximation of the 
two, that feeling would thereby have assigned to it a character 
inconsistent with its nature, that it would be treated as a 
cognition. But the argument is to the effect that cognition, 
in the sense defined, is not a primitive fact of consciousness, 
and that in so far as the general feature awareness, con 
sciousness, of a definite content is concerned, there is no 
absolute difference between a sense-presentation and a sense- 
feeling. Neither the one nor the other is a cognition ; and 
this may fairly be held in conjunction with the other position, 
that it is by reason of differences in the two, and in the con 
ditions under which they appear in consciousness, that in the 
development of mind one becomes pre-eminently the objective 
factor, the other pre-eminently the subjective. 

On the whole, then, the second main point of view, that 
the phenomena of mind are to be regarded as so many 
isolated contents which are grouped together, and by their 
grouping give rise to the more concrete operations familiar 
to us and designated in ordinary language by the name of 
the faculties, must be rejected. We cannot explain the 
development of mind on the hypothesis of these isolated 
contents. Nor is any help given by bringing in, as an 
additional factor, the subject assumed as present from the 
outset. In both cases the kind of mechanical combination 


which is the only legitimate result is quite out of harmony 
with the actual facts of the development of mind. 

We have to turn then to the third type of view, that 
which, with many variations, attempts to represent the 
mental life as a development, and its familiar forms, its 
concrete operations, as stages in that development. 




THE third main point of view regards psychology as the 
attempt to trace the development of mind. The several types 
of mental process or state are in it regarded as constituting 
stages of the development of mind as a whole. It is impos 
sible to deny that this general conception may be interpreted 
in fundamentally distinct ways; arid it can be seen that the 
diversity of interpretation depends upon the difference of 
signification of the fundamental idea development. Thus, 
the psychology which forms part of Hegel s philosophy is 
rightly described as a history of the development of spirit or 
mind; but, at the same time, such development is domin 
ated by the conception that the course and end of the evolu 
tion are in some way fixed from the outset, that we can form 
a comprehensive idea of the final end, and that therefore our 
assignment to each psychical form of its special position or 
grade in the development is determined by the estimate we 
are able to form of the extent to which it contributes towards 
the realisation of the final end. 

In such a view, moreover, it seems inevitable that what we 
may call the spring of advance should be interpreted vaguely 
enough no doubt as the tendency on the part of what is un 
developed to attain its full realisation. Taken on the whole, 
then, one cannot fail to recognise the fundamental identity be 
tween this conception of development in mind and that which 



finds expression in the earlier Aristotelian doctrine. Nor can 
it be regarded as a merely accidental and unimportant opinion 
of Hegel, who may be taken to represent the idea of specu 
lative development, that, in regard to all organic products of 
nature, development must never be understood to mean the 
real transformation of one simpler type into a more complex 
or higher. The scale of natural organisms is fixed and 
absolute. That is to say, the development contemplated 
applies solely to the individual specimen of each type, whose 
concrete history may be regarded, therefore, in thoroughly 
Aristotelian fashion, as the realisation of the idea of the type 
or genus. 

Quite in accordance with this is the general maxim current 
among writers more or less of the Hegelian school, that the 
essential character of development is that nothing arises in it 
de novo which is not in some way preformed and anticipated 
from the beginning. If pressed for an explanation of what 
is to be understood by this term preformed or anticipated, 
the adherents of the view respond, so far as I can make 
out, with only the equally general and difficult terms 
implicit and explicit. Development in their view would 
be expressed most briefly as making explicit what is already 

The application in this fashion of the notion of develop 
ment to mind is evidently dependent on a wider view con 
cerning the real significance of the notion of End or purpose 
in nature ; nor is it possible to avoid the discussion of this 
general idea if the conception of development is to be 
employed in the analysis of mind. 

Now there seem possible only two views with respect to 
the validity of the notion of End in nature. One of these 
a view which, with many modifications, finds expression 
throughout the whole history of human thinking may fairly 
be called the transcendental : it insists on the absolute 


validity of the notion of End, and it regards the concrete 
manifestations, as we call them, of purpose in nature as 
being veritably due to and produced by an operative efficient 
idea. Over against that there stands the view which to - 
some extent finds expression in Kant, and which might be 
called the critical or empirical. According to it the phenomena 
which give rise in our reflexion on them to the conception of 
End have indeed their own peculiarities, may, indeed, be of so 
special a nature that our reflexion on them can only express 
itself through the notion of end or purpose ; but at the same 
time, since it is possible not only to determine the exact 
nature of this notion of end, but also to see that thereby no 
explanation of the concrete phenomena is given, the notion 
itself remains merely of subjective validity : that is to say, 
is of service only for the generalising power, and only from 
the point of view, of the reflecting subject. Kant, however, 
wavers somewhat in respect to the nature of the idea of End, 
and seems at times inclined to allow it objective validity, if 
not in respect to the concrete of sense-experience, at least to 
the abstraction of the supersensible. 

With regard to the first of these two views, the considera 
tion of it does not at all depend on the solution of all possible 
cpuestions that may be put with regard to the process of 
organic growth. It may be that we are unable to explain in 
what way the combination of special processes that consti 
tutes the life of an organism comes about now, or has come 
about in the past. But it is always necessary to insist on 
that minimum demand which every hypothesis ought to 
satisfy, namely, that it should explain something ; and to ex 
plain is certainly not to repeat as ground what is actually 
presented as effect or consequent. 

If we press this demand upon any of the hypotheses in 
which the explanation of organic growth as realisation of an 
idea is expressed, we shall find that one and all fail to satisfy 


it. Not only are such hypotheses devoid of all independent 
basis, not only are they obviously called forth merely to fill 
a gap in our explanations, but they do not really con- 
\ stitute an explanation : they merely repeat with much cir- 
; cumlocution the fact to be explained ; and we are bound to 
ask, therefore, it is a reasonable question What is the 
origin of the idea which plays the fundamental part in the 
hypothesis ? that is to say, Why is it that we should represent 
I to ourselves as a possible explanation the manifestation in 
concrete form of a purpose or end ? There seems little doubt 
as to the region of experience within which that conception 
takes its origin. It is our own practical experience. The 
notion of end has no other origin than the familiar experi 
ence of our own action, and pre-eminently, of our voluntary 
action. It is possible that, in like manner, the conception of 
end has no consistent application except within the limits of 
the said practical experience. 

But if we adopt this, which is on the whole the empirical 
view of the conception of end or purpose, we must at the 
same time allow that what suggests the application of it 
beyond the limits within which it properly applies, must 
needs be found in certain peculiarities of the changes which 
there occur. It is these peculiarities which really form the 
most important element in the notion of development; for 
, it is them that we seek to explain by the help of the notion 
of end or purpose. Now, these peculiarities appear to be the 
following : 

(1) The series of changes in which development sejems 
to be presented are all connected with a common unity or 
subject. They are not differences which are merely pre 
sented to the outside observer; they are differences which 
constitute the unity, the individuality, of that which is 


(2) Such changes exhibit a certain common form or law. 
In the first place, each subsequent change is conditioned, 
and its very character is modified, by what has preceded ; and 
in the second place, the several changes as they proceed 
seem to constitute, to make real, a more complete, more 
highly differentiated, structure of the individual, the unity to 
which they belong. 

(3) The whole course of the changes, while by no means 
unaffected by outside conditions, and, indeed, essentially de 
pendent on them, is never explicable solely by reference to 
them. With respect to the subject developing we inevitably 
draw the distinction between external conditions and internal 
nature an internal nature which expresses itself in the law 
already referred to, that each change remains as constituting 
a factor in all subsequent changes, 

Now, these Laws of Change are merely descriptive laws. 
They imply nothing with regard to real causation, with 
regard to the conditions which render it possible that they 
should be manifested. What kind of nature it is in which 
there can be retained the effect of a change whereby new 
modifications are affected, what in the long run determines 
the original stock of determined tendency with which the 
subject starts on these points the descriptive laws say 
nothing. In all probability, indeed, it is because we are able 
only to describe the general features of development without 
determining the mechanism of the whole process, that we 
are so irresistibly inclined not only to apply to development 
the notion of end, but to imagine that thereby we are giving 
a final explanation. 

In these descriptive laws, it will be observed, there is not 
included what received recognition in the transcendental 
view of end or purpose, namely, the doctrine that the final 
stage of realisation, the ultimate end, is known beforehand. 
This is not only unnecessary, but perhaps in all cases impos- 


sible. Certainly, in the case of the human mind, it must be 
regarded as wholly beyond our compass. Not even the most 
daring of moral philosophers, I think, has ever ventured to 
do more than indicate in most abstract terms the general form 
of the final end. 

If we apply this to the psychological problem we shall cer 
tainly be entitled to say that the mental life may be regarded 
as a development ; for there assuredly, in more abundance 
than elsewhere, do we find the general features which are 
described in what we have called the Laws of Change in a 
developing subject. It may indeed be that any clearness of 
( insight we possess into these general characters is based on 
I our knowledge of mind rather than on our knowledge of the 
processes of life. Just as, in primitive experience, life was 
interpreted from the point of view of the conscious subject, 
and was taken to be identical with what that subject appre 
hended in himself, so, at a much later stage, the more 
elaborate idea of development may be applied by us to life 
and its processes only because we seem to discover there 
something analogous to what we are more directly and more 
copiously aware of in psychological observation. To apply 
the notion of development, therefore, to the mental life will 
not require us to assume that the notion of end or purpose 
has any objective validity. It will merely sum up for us 
the characteristic experience of a conscious and practical sub 
ject ; and the notion of development will be employed 
without the assumption that we are in possession of the 
final idea, and consequently regard the inner life as devel 
oping only because we can trace in it approximations more 
or less marked to the final end. 

And, finally, we shall by no means find it necessary to 

allow that the course of development is so predetermined 

I that what are called relatively the external conditions play 

I the part only of stimulating occasions calling forth into ex- 


plicitness what is implicit. The external and the internal 
conditions are equally necessary, and may therefore be called 
equally important. That a new product shows traces of being 
modified by what is past ought not to be interpreted as signi 
fying that the new fact is merely explicit manifestation of 
what is implicit. Perhaps in no region is the notion of implicit 
existence really justifiable : it is just the Aristotelian potenti 
ality re-expressed. It is least of all justifiable in the region 
of consciousness, where, so to speak, everything is just as it 

The consideration of development in general lias been 
directed to free that notion from entanglement with the 
thought of End or purpose, which has sometimes been 
identified with it, more often regarded as implied in it. 
No one would deny that, in point of fact, we do use the 
thought of end or purpose as a convenient key to explain the 
phenomena of development ; but cautious thinkers, who have 
investigated more profoundly the idea of end in this appli 
cation of it to the concrete, have always found themselves 
compelled to introduce a distinction which in fact trans 
forms the notion the distinction technically expressed 
as that between an external end and an immanent end. 
Where end or purpose is proximately exhibited in the action 
of a conscious being, in the relation between an ideal repre 
sentation of something to be effected and the realisation of 
that idea, the end as related to the action whereby it is 
carried out may be said to be external. Now no such rela 
tion of externality can be assumed in those cases to which 
the thought of purpose is applied and which lie outside the 
region of conscious action. Not only must we resign in 
respect to living organisms the thought of external adapta 
tion, but, even in respect to the vital processes themselves, 
it becomes impossible to interpret them according to the 
scheme furnished by practical activity. There are no grounds 


for assuming that the sequence of changes in such processes 
is preceded by a representation on the part of the subject 
himself of the changes to come about. There is no possi 
bility of understanding how, even if such representation were 
assumed, it should operate as a determining factor. 

Accordingly, if the notion of end be still retained in appli 
cation to the vital processes, it must be represented, in some 
way hard to determine, as not distinct from the process 
itself. The realisation and the end to be realised flow 
together. We can just name the total result as realised 
end without introducing into our representation any thought 
of an antecedence of the end to its execution, or indeed of any 
difference between the two. But, when this modification is 
introduced, it appears to me that we have removed all that is 
specific to the category of end, and that, in taking the con 
crete fact, to the exclusion of the separation of its elements 
which is involved in the category of end, we have returned 
to the true point of view, and are summing up a characteris 
tically distinct combination of empirical features. 

If we apply to the mental life the thought of development, 
freed from its implication of an end or purpose which is there 
realised, we undoubtedly find within conscious experience 
itself abundant material for justifying the application to it 
of this general thought development. Beyond doubt there is 
there a certain central unity which is modified through the 
various experiences which constitute the matter of its con 
sciousness. The general character of the changes which take 
place in consciousness is certainly that of increasing definite- 
ness of the central fact, the unity, through increasing variety 
of differences in it. Nor is it impossible to name definitely, 
though in general terms, the result which is reached through 
such development : it is the consciousness on the part of the 
individual subject of himself as in relation to the world of 
objects, of himself as an agent capable of carrying out in the 


world of objects what is prefigured in his own representations 
of it. 

Such consciousness, moreover, is undoubtedly exhibited to 
us in various stages of completeness. Even within the narrow 
range of our own personal experience we have the means 
of distinguishing more and less developed grades of it ; 
and if, hypothetically, we extend the consideration of such 
development beyond the range of personal consciousness, we 
can find much, though indirect, material to supplement our 
representation of the developing unity and to substantiate 
the general representation we make of its nature. 

In this life of consciousness the several distinct forms or 
modes are, moreover, dependent on one another in a regular 
order in such fashion, indeed, that we are entitled to treat 
them as representing the successive stages of a determined 
development. It is not to be supposed that this general 
representation implies that each succeeding grade of con 
sciousness abolishes what has preceded. The unity of the 
subject is sufficient to hold together (and, perhaps, without 
holding them together its development would be impossible) 
the elements that belong to several distinct stages of its 

Moreover, the development is not to be regarded as, so to 
speak, the calling forth of new powers, new forms of opera 
tion. There is nothing in the most advanced, the most 
developed stage which is not generically the same as that 
which enters into the simplest form a fact which, again, is 
probably intimately related to the foundation for the thought 
of development, that it is one and the same subject which is 
being modified. 

Now this implies that what are called the higher opera 
tions of consciousness are not, in technical language, formally 
distinct from the lower, that the difference is one dependent 
on the material. And this consideration, again, enforces the 



general aspect of development, as being a consequence of the 
effect produced by what is retained of past experience on 
what is newly given. For example, we are doubtless right in 
regarding the stage of perceptive consciousness in which the 
given sense-presentations of the moment are symbolic of 
generalised thoughts concerning an orderly connected system 
of external things, as being higher, more developed, than that 
in which the given sense-content summons up by association, 
as it is said, the definite images of some particular previous 
experience. In the former case there is undoubtedly no 
representation of definite particular facts, just as a word by 
no means suggests definite objects of past experience. Yet 
the two are generically identical. It is fundamentally the 
same process that is at work in both ; and the former, the 
higher, only becomes possible by an advance from the lower, 
by the supply of additional materials assimilated and pre 
senting a somewhat novel appearance as a consequence of 
such assimilation. 

In the same way we are justified in regarding consciously 
voluntary action as a higher form of practical activity than 
impulse, that is, action under the immediate pressure of idea 
and feeling. Yet the two are generically alike. The higher 
does not involve the introduction of a new factor: in the 
lower there is involved what renders possible, by increase of 
such acts, the advance to the relatively higher. There are 
given in it the conditions which render possible the recogni 
tion of a distinction between the inner motive the idea and 
feeling as subjective, and the change, the activity, as an 
operation upon the objective. The highest form of voluntary 
determination is no more than a developed form of the 
simpler type, arising as a consequence of the enriched 
consciousness of self and the clearer discrimination between 
the orders of inner and outer experience. 




I. General character of the content. If we take, then, as our 
working conception of the business of psychology, the notion 
of the development of the inner life, we are naturally and 
inevitably confronted with the first of the main problems of 
psychological science : What is the irreducible minimum of 
material constituting consciousness ? Our conscious experi 
ence contains a multiplicity which we find it hard to name, 
and about which, indeed, we are always in some confusion, 
owing to the vagueness of the general terms by which we 
name its parts. If, as we assume, these highly differentiated 
processes or states of our inner experience are rightly regarded 
as developments from what is simpler but identical in kind, 
it would appear as though the method of approaching a 
solution of our first problem were necessarily the 

Now analysis on the whole assumes that that which we 
propose to resolve into its elements is made up by the juxta 
position, the putting together, of the elements we distinguish. 
Such an interpretation, if rigorously insisted on, would be 
found to lead to a view of mind which we have already 
considered the view which regards the composition of 
mind as but the putting together in certain general ways 
of elements definite from the first, and retaining through 
out their definite nature. Such a conception is wholly 


unworkable,; it may be doubted whether it is without 
qualification applicable even in the region of mechanism, 
where it seems most appropriate. One might hazard the 
conjecture that it is altogether an offshoot of our abstract 
mode of representing space-relations ; and even there, as 
past history has shown, the conception is not without its 

The problem defined above is substantially that which has 
always appeared in the treatment of mind as the classification 
or arrangement of the elementary forms of the psychical life. 
Naturally any attempt to describe these elementary forms is 
largely determined by the nature of the general conception 
we are applying to the mental life as a whole. If we proceed 
with the help of a notion familiar enough in the history of 
psychology that the contents of the inner life are brought 
before us by some process of inner perception we shall 
hardly escape the implications of the term : we shall tend to 
represent the inner life after the model of the world of 
objects which we suppose ourselves to apprehend through 
outer perception. On the whole such a tendency results in 
giving a quite illusory independence to the facts of mind, 
and throws into the background the really important feature 
the mode of connexion among the facts thus isolated. 

On the other hand, if we regard the content of mind, as 
that of or in which we are immediately aware as immediate 
experience of our own, and apply to it the general conception 
of development, we shall tend rather to define the distinguish 
able parts of the inner life as connected processes, events 
which occur, and the occurrence of which together and in 
succession constitutes the inner life. We shall thus, at the 
same time, and in consistency with what has already been 
attained, avoid the introduction into the description of con 
sciousness of a supposed Self distinct from the processes, and 
having these processes for objects of its contemplation. 


The difficulty which has always been pressed as regards 
this view that it is impossible to represent the series of 
states of consciousness either as making up a self or as exist 
ing without a self seems to me to arise altogether from the 


false objecti fi cation of what are called the states of mind. If 
we represent them as objects, doubtless they seem to require 
a bond of connexion external to themselves. But, by so 
describing them, we ignore altogether their characteristic 
nature: we employ an external mark of their existence 
instead of being content to accept their inner nature, that 
which makes them what they are. 

"We may certainly assign a unity to the contents of con 
sciousness without referring it to anything external to these 
contents themselves. Undoubtedly we have to admit as a 
general feature of what we are calling the processes of mind 
that, at any one moment of consciousness, the contents 
defining it, giving it a special character, are manifold. A ; 
plurality of related contents constitutes the unit of the 
concrete life of consciousness. If, then, we desire to deter 
mine in general terms what are the differences which we 
must suppose to be involved in what is genetically the 
primary state of consciousness, we have to proceed by 
analysing the more direct and involved experience which 
we possess, and by singling out such features of the total 
content as seem irreducible. 

It is hopeless to attempt to avoid all that cannot be said to 
fall fairly within the scope of a description from within. Were 
it possible, it would be logically more consistent to ignore 
altogether what concerns the dependence of the mental life 
on conditions lying outside itself. That is to say, were we to 
select as topic of analysis sentient consciousness, it would be 
logically consistent to ignore all that we may otherwise 
imagine we know respecting the way in which the contents 
of that consciousness are determined by external conditions. 


Making the attempt for the moment, and taking as our 
field for analysis immediate experience experience in which 
the fundamental distinction of self and not self, inner and 
outer, with all its consequences, is not involved we may 
endeavour to name the distinguishable features which seem 
to be necessarily implied in a consciousness that is at once 
one and many, a single moment with varied content. 

In the first place, then, there seems to be involved in 
the content qualitative distinctness, differences of quality. 
On general grounds we can go no further than the quite 
general term qualitative differences. What kind of quali 
tative differences may be presented we can only discover 
from special experience. A total state of consciousness 
in which qualitative difference is presented so much at 
least we may assert to be the primitive condition of mind. 
But in this description it is implied that in some form at 
least, however indeterminate, what we name by the abstract 
term relations is also involved. Certainly a single moment 
of consciousness does not correspond to the representation we 
make of the inner life. It is in one respect at least a 
continuous process. Such discontinuity as it seems to 
present is always reckoned from the point of view of an 
outer observer, and, whether rightly or wrongly ascribed to 
the mental life, is perfectly compatible with the continuity 
of the psychical process from within. This continuity from 
within implies, and is only possible through, the retention 
and revival into subsequent moments of consciousness of 
the contents of previous states. Such perpetuation is 
indeed the fundamental condition of any transformation 
of the contents of mind or any development thereof. 

Can we then name from special experience the qualitatively 
distinct contents which appear in consciousness ? and are they 
in any way affected by the consideration that consciousness 
is not, so to speak, a stationary theatre within which they 


are presented, but is itself in constant movement and 
change ? 

It is only by inference from what is in our mature experi 
ence that we can hypothetically name the various qualita 
tively distinct contents, and our names invariably bear traces 
of the more matured experience to which they primarily refer. 
Thus when we include sensations, as they are called, among 
such qualitatively distinct contents, and place feelings along 
side of them as equally primitive, though perhaps not 
equally independent, we almost inevitably introduce into 
our description something of the general distinction between 
objective and subjective which attaches to sensation and 
feeling in mature experience. 

At the outset we are undoubtedly bound to include no more 
in our description than can be supposed to be present in the 
content as it is directly given. With just as much right, 
therefore, as we exclude from the content of a sensation- 
element all that may attach thereto by association, we 
should exclude from it all that concerns the more general 
connexion it may have with knowledge of the objective. 
Sensations and feelings cannot be primarily distinguished as 
relatively objective and subjective. Both have in common 
qualitative distinctness and variation of intensity. If, there 
fore, we are to enumerate the primitive contents, we must 
do so in the light of such qualitative differences as we can 
hypothetically determine. 

For such a problem of special experience we have no other-, 
foundation to go upon than our matured knowledge of 
sensations, in accordance with which we proceed to enum 
erate a variety of types of content, making distinctions 
wherever it seems impossible to recognise specific elements 
of identity of character. It is, indeed, a question far from 
easy to answer, What constitutes the specific element of 
identity in each of these types of sense-experience say, 


in colour ? It is, perhaps, even a harder problem which 
is raised when we ask whether there may not be a certain 
generic element of identity in all sense-contents. 

It is a fair hypothesis, though not one which requires to 
be introduced into our psychological analysis, that such 
qualitative distinctions as we now find, and which appear 
irreducible, may be regarded as themselves products ; and 
that therefore primitive consciousness, when that term is 
extended beyond the limits of the individual human mind, 
may present many fewer qualitative differences than we 
are now bound to enumerate as elementary components of 
the human mind. Some qualitative differences we must 
always include; but everything points in the direction of 
the hypothesis that the extremely marked differences we 
now discover in even the first stage of human consciousness 
are results. - 

Accordingly, an enumeration of kinds of qualitatively dis 
tinct contents, which we call sensations not from any 
feature which they present, but because we connect their 
origin with stimulation of some part of the body consti 
tutes the first part of a description of primary consciousness. 
I say we call them sensations because we connect their origin 
with stimulation of some part of the organism. Evidently 
this criterion is wholly insufficient. There is not the smallest 
ground for supposing that other contents of mind, which we 
do not enumerate among sensations, are not connected with 
stimulation of the organism. In fact it is not this criterion 
which in practice we employ. We enumerate on the basis of 
a much less definite principle that of the function which 
the contents have in the after-development of mind. We call 
those contents sensations which, as we discover from con- 
\ sideration of their later development, discharge the function 
of informing us of the qualities of what we call the objective 
world. No doubt, at first, the two principles were regarded 


as having at least the same scope : the outer world meant the 
extra-organic world ; and sensations were therefore described 
as those changes of consciousness which came about through 
stimulations that were extra-organic in their origin. 

When we include among sensations those which arise from 
mtra-organic stimulations, we are compelled to drop the one 
principle the affection of the organism and employ the 
other that of giving data for the apprehension of the 
objective. The first principle would not allow us to dis 
tinguish between what is called an internal sensation and 
an idea or emotion. We make the distinction on the ground 
that the one kind of content serves to inform us of the 
existence and qualities of that which is objective the body 
while the other does not. 

It follows, therefore, that our enumeration of the sense- 
contents must not be regarded as resting upon any clear 
well-defined feature of their own content a consideration 
which will be found of some importance when we proceed 
to deal with another content of consciousness which is ap 
parently primitive, namely, feeling. 

II. Feeling. From the point of view of the inner observer 
the components of primary consciousness can only be char 
acterised by differences among the features or combination 
of features which they possess as directly given there. For 
this reason it seems impossible to regard as primitive and 
fundamental the distinction between what are ordinarily 
called sense-presentations and feelings, as though the first 
involved from the outset the mark of being apprehensions of 
objects, while the second were from the outset marked as 
states of the subject. Such a difference we must regard as 
derivative dependent, therefore, on the features, or some 
combination of the features, which all the contents of con 
sciousness offer in their primary appearance. 


We should undoubtedly be entitled to accept as among 
these features any relation of dependence, if such be dis 
coverable any such relation, for example, as is implied in 
Herbart s view of feeling as a state arising out of and 
having reference to some conflict or harmony among given 
presentations. Now there does appear to be, in our devel 
oped experience, some kind of relation of this sort between 
feelings and the other components of consciousness. Ex 
tending this relation from the developed state to the 
primary consciousness, it has been supposed that feeling 
may be regarded as a secondary fact, conditioned by and 
(one might conjecture) dependent on the presence of other 
components in consciousness. 

Against this undoubtedly there stands the fact of ex 
perience that bodily pain, if not bodily pleasure, seems quite 
primary in character, that its occurrence may indeed depend 
upon a physiological change, but does not seem to depend on 
the previous occurrence in consciousness of a definite sense- 
presentation. Whatever be the relation between bodily pain 
and pleasure and the more ideal forms of feeling, we are 
bound, from the psychological point of view, to regard them 
as varieties of the same kind ; and if, therefore, at any one 
point of the series of feeling-experience, we can detect in 
dependence, we must, in opposition to the other theory, 
accept such independence as the fundamental mark, and 
consider the dependence, which undoubtedly is observable, 
as affecting the intensity and direction of the feeling-ex 
perience, which nevertheless possesses its own roots. 

There can indeed be no doubt that even the dependence 
which we do observe is very far from being a simple rela 
tion. Wundt, whose theory of feeling is most obscure, seems 
at times to include, as one of the integral features of sense, 
the feeling-tone of the presentation, assigning to it, there 
fore, a place similar to that of quality, intensity, and 


duration. But it is obvious that there is no simple rela 
tion between the content of a sense-presentation and the 
accompanying feeling. Normal or average relations there 
may be, and such relations are fairly intelligible ; but it 
seems evident that the feeling-tone is not simply deter 
mined by any one feature, or by any special combination 
of the features, of the sense-presentation. Under different 
conditions the same presentation will yield the most diverse 
feeling-tones. The feelings, then, and by those at present 
we mean the pleasure-pain experiences, seem to be of inde 
pendent nature ; and, however intimate their connexion with 
the other components of consciousness, they seem capable of 
explanation only by reference to some independent process 
of an organic kind. 

The question next arises, do the characteristics of pleasure- 
pain exhaust the qualitative distinctions we discover in feel 
ing ? To this question Wundt for two reasons seems to 
offer a negative answer. On the one hand he seems to 
think that the feeling-tone accompanying any content of 
consciousness that has itself distinctness must also be re 
garded as qualitatively distinct. The feeling -tone of a 
simple note, for example, he would insist, is qualitatively 
distinct from the feeling-tone of a harmony. But he has 
to admit in respect to this that we have no means of de 
scribing this qualitative difference ; and a qualitative differ 
ence which is devoid of all definable character seems hardly 
worth retaining. The truth is probably that in describing 
these experiences we underestimate their complexity, and 
that more distinct factors are involved than are satisfactorily 
named in our generalised terms the sense-presentation and 
the accompanying pleasure-pain. It is exceedingly improb 
able that any sense-presentation occurs without giving rise 
to a general alteration in the organic processes, which, yield- 
in" in its turn elements of sense and feeling, colours the 


total result. In the realm of sense what occurs is probably 
very similar to what we find in the more developed region 
of ideas, where the total effect of any idea in its passage 
through consciousness is dependent largely on the vague ill- 
discriminated suggestions to which it gives occasion. 

A second ground which Wundt advances for recognising 
more than pleasure-pain, concerns, I think, not so much the 
immediate experience ordinarily called feeling, as certain 
total effects due to the manner in which sensations and 
V feelings pass through consciousness. "Every feeling," says 
Wundt, " in this passage through consciousness has a three 
fold significance. First, it indicates a definite modification 
of the immediately present state ; this, on the whole, coin 
cides with the fundamental difference between pleasurable 
and painful. Secondly, it exercises a definite influence on 
the immediately subsequent condition ; and this may be dis 
tinguished, according to its main directions, as stimulating 
or repressing. In the third place, it is in its own character 
determined by the immediately preceding condition; and 
this effect makes itself manifest, in the given feeling, in the 
forms of tension and relaxation." l 

I cannot admit that these second and third points indicate 
simple primary experiences which we are entitled to place 
on the same level with pleasure and pain. The descriptive 
terms applied to them are very general, and indicate not 
necessarily simple direct experiences, but the results of 
mediate comparison relative to, and conditioned by, direct 
sense-experiences. For example, there is no reason to doubt 
that, owing to the intimate correlation of the organic pro 
cesses, an experience which is either pleasurable or painful 
may indirectly exercise an effect of the kind which we ex 
press by the generalised terms stimulative or repressive on 

1 Wundt, Grundriss der Psychologic, 7, par. 9 ; [tr. Judd, Outlines of 
Psychology (1897), pp. 84-5.] 


the processes which are called into action at the next moment 
of our conscious experience. In the developed stage, what 
corresponds to this is the change that takes place in what is 
called attention to an object when it gives rise to pleasure. 
The effect is indirectly produced, and constitutes no new 
primitive experience requiring to be classed among the com 
ponents of mind. 

Pleasure and pain, then, stand out as the only distinguish 
able qualitative differences characterising the primary ex 
perience we call Feeling. Is it possible now, recognising 
these as primary, to indicate their source, and to give what 
may be called a scientific determination of their place in 
mind, comparable to what is given in the case of sense- 
presentations by reference to the stimulation of particular 
parts of the nervous system ? 

Theories of feeling have been of two types mainly. Of 
the first type the most important representative is the 
teleological, where on the whole the theory consists in a 
generalised statement of the conditions under which in our 
experience the difference in quality of pleasurable or painful 
makes its appearance. The second type of theory attempts 
to connect feeling in its characteristic difference with certain 
processes of the nervous system distinct from, though, it may 
be, closely related to, those underlying sense-presentation. 

The teleological theory, in many of its forms, involves a 
reference to what lies outside of the immediately given facts 
of consciousness. According to this view, which has many 
modifications of statement, pleasure is the indication of the 
healthful working of the organism, pain of the reverse. A\ r e 
may reinforce such a general conception by connecting it 
with other general views respecting the development of 
organic life, as is done, for example, by Mr Herbert Spencer, 
who, insisting on the identification of a pleasurable feeling 


with one we seek to bring into consciousness and retain 
there, and a painful feeling with the opposite, supports his 
doctrine by the consideration that an organism could not 
possibly live and develop if it consistently preferred the 
hurtful and avoided the beneficial. 

However suggestive the phenomena of pleasure and pain 
may be of some kind of teleological connexion, they are not 
explained thereby. And it does not seem possible for us at 
present to determine so accurately the end of conscious 
existence, and the range of the two opposed terms, the 
beneficial and the hurtful, as to connect therewith in any 
general way the phenomena of pleasurable and painful feel 
ing. IVTany psychologists have insisted that, though the 
reference to what lies outside of conscious experience, the 
beneficial or hurtful, should be avoided as unpsychological, 
yet that, within the range of consciousness, a generalisation 
somewhat similar in kind is attainable. In all cases, how 
ever, in which this generalisation has been attempted, there 
seems the same fundamental defect. What pleasure and 
pain are connected with can only be named in general terms 
which indicate relations. Thus, for example, according to 
Wundt, 1 feeling expresses as a whole the reaction of apper 
ception on consciousness : apperception being that process 
whereby attention is directed upon the content offered. 
According as this apperceptive act is freely performed or 
impeded we have pleasure or pain. According to Dr Stout, 2 
pleasure and pain are to be connected with the counter 
possibilities of psychical activity, the characteristic of which 
is always that it is directed towards an end. If the end is 
attained there is pleasure. If the activity is frustrated or 
impeded there is pain. According to another theory, to 
which Mr Bradley 3 gives a qualified approval, pleasure 

1 [Cf. Gruiulziige der physiolo- 2 [Analytic Psychology, ii. 270.] 
gischen Psychologic, i. 588, 4th ed.] 3 [Mind, vol. xiii. (1888), p. 6 f.] 


is to be connected with recognised expansion of the self, 
pain with recognised contraction or repression of the self. 

In regard to all these theories the remark made by Dr 
Stout seems to me to hold good : " It must be admitted that 
our psychological theory of pleasure and pain is not so easily 
applicable to the pleasures and pains of sense as to those 
which involve ideal activity. It may even be said that it 
breaks down at this point; and that we have merely masked 
the failure by substituting physiology for psychology. The 
truth is that any purely psychological theory must, from the 
nature of the case, to a certain extent break down when it 
comes to deal with sense-pleasures and pains, because it 
cannot find here sufficient data for its verification. At the 
higher levels of mental life the psychical conditions of 
pleasure and pain are definitely ascertainable." l 

A more precise form of the theory which attempts to 
explain feeling from some general attitude of the workings 
of mind may be considered. This form of the theory con 
nects pleasure with the unimpeded exercise of attention, 
and pain with any restriction, obstacle, or impediment 
to attention. Even if we could bring the whole mass of 
the more ideal feelings, feelings connected with complex 
representations, under this general rule and to do so 
would require, I think, some straining it must be ad 
mitted that the pleasure - pain feelings of the simpler 
sensuous order do not lend themselves at all to such in 
terpretation. It is only in a very forced way that we can 
represent to ourselves a physical pain as being essentially 
nothing more than a felt impediment to our attention. 
Even if we distinguished, as some psychologists have 
done, between the physical pain as a sensation and the 
unpleasantness which follows from its presence in con 
sciousness, we should still, I think, be left in doubt whether 

1 [Analytic Psychology, ii. 303.] 


the latter can be resolved simply into the situation of 
impeded or frustrated attention. 

Similarly, we find a difficulty in connecting pleasure and 
pain with expansion and repression of the self. There is, in 
all probability, an element of truth in this generalisation. As 
a matter of fact it is observable in the more definite complexes 
of feeling the emotions. Where the element of pleasure has 
the upper hand, in the joyous emotions, there is an accom 
paniment of a purely physical kind which might serve as 
foundation for a later, rather confused representation of ex 
pansion of self. As a fact such emotions heighten the vital 
activity, and actually produce what may be called an increase 
of bulk. 

On the whole it can hardly be thought that any one of 
these expressions for the general relation between feeling 
and some position, attitude, or set of the mental life is suc 
cessful : either as bringing all the phenomena into line under 
one hypothesis, or as pointing to the real conditions on which 
the variation of feeling may be thought to depend. 

We can hardly avoid the inference that in feeling we have a 
primary phenomenon of consciousness a phenomenon, there 
fore, in all probability as directly connected with some specific 
physiological processes as sense-presentations are connected 
with stimulation of the sensory nerves. It would be unjust 
to dismiss any hypothesis of this kind on the ground that it 
was illegitimately attempting to reduce feeling to the level of 
sensation. I have already pointed to the ambiguity of the 
word sensation. x All that is implied in the hypothesis 
is that the feelings, under whatever occasions they may 
be called forth, are directly dependent on organic changes, 
organic processes. 

It must certainly be admitted that we do not find in the 
structure of the organism any apparatus so differentiated as 

1 [See above, p. 199 ff.] 


the sensory nerves, to which we could look as the seat of the 
changes which underlie feeling. Even from the subjective 
side, when we consider the excessively diffused character of 
feeling, its poverty in qualitative differences, we might be 
ready to conjecture that the changes we are in search of are 
in like manner diffused and general in kind. 

Now some peculiar features of physical pain hold out a 
certain clue for our research. Upon the occasions which 
give rise to the sensation of bodily pain, and varying with 
the intensity of that sensation, there are certain changes in 
the mechanism of circulation which are to a certain extent 
independent of the sensation itself. They are independent 
because, while under appropriate conditions (for instance, 
under anaesthetics), the sensation of pain may cease to appear, 
these physical effects still continue to manifest themselves. 
They are indicated by the changes of the pulse, and are 
undoubtedly, therefore, connected with alterations in the 
circulation of the blood. In all probability the action of 
the anaesthetic consists in, so to speak, inhibiting such 
changes of circulation, preventing them from being extended 
to the regions of the nervous system where stimulation gives 
rise to a change in consciousness. 

It is therefore a fair conjecture that pain generally is con 
nected with a certain change in the state of nutrition of the 
organs directly connected with sensation. There is no ground 
at all why we should suppose that such changes of nutrition 
can have no representation in consciousness. The thing is 
just as easy or as difficult to understand as that changes of a 
kind wholly unknown to us in the sensory nerves and con 
nected central organs should be represented by sense- 
presentations and ideas. But it is certainly to be admitted 
that the hypothesis is one of extreme generality, and that 
it does little more than offer a feasible explanation of the 
broad differences in the total life of feeling. 



It must also be confessed that the hypothesis in no way 
enables us to understand why it is that variation in one 
direction should have the qualitative effect of pleasurable 
feeling, and in the other, of painful feeling. But in this 
respect it stands on just the same level as the hypothesis 
we accept without question in respect to sensation : that 
one form of stimulation has as its response colour-presenta 
tions, another, sound-presentations, and so on. 

The hypothesis would not of itself necessitate the con 
clusion that the only varieties of feeling-experience should 
be the pleasurable and painful. For it must be remembered 
that, in respect to these feeling-experiences, there is nothing 
but an analogy (if even an analogy) between their difference 
and the difference which we may describe as one of direction 
(of increase or decrease, for example, or of positive or nega 
tive) in the physical process. There is no ground for describ 
ing pain as a negative pleasure. It is only on grounds of 
inner experience that we can decide the question of fact : 
whether there are phenomena, otherwise resembling the 
pleasure -pain experience, which are nevertheless not dis- 
tinguishably either pleasurable or painful. 

The feelings, then, are to be regarded as primitive facts of 
the inner life, connected in the most varied way with every 
change that occurs in that inner life ; and, beyond a doubt, 
this connexion may extend to the formal relations among 
these changes as well as to their relatively more material 
contents : that is, the differences which the flow or sequence 
of processes of sensation and idea may manifest may them 
selves give rise to modifications of feeling. If, then, we 
attempted to classify feelings a difficult, almost an im 
possible, task we should have to allow room for a group of 
feelings dependent on and conditioned by variations in the 
flow of processes, vital, sensuous, ideal. These might be 


called the formal feelings : they appear as of considerable 
importance through their connexion with one variety of 
changing or sequent experiences, that of movement. They 
seem to play a part of considerable importance in the 
development of the aesthetic sentiments. They have from 
the outset a freedom from the material content of sensations 
and ideas which gives them readily the general and impersonal 
character peculiar to the aesthetic sentiments. 

The feelings are undoubtedly in very intimate relation to 
action : so much so indeed that Wundt has insisted that 
feeling is only conceivable as a mental state of a being en 
dowed with will. More than once in the history of psychology 
it has been attempted to represent the feelings of pleasure 
and pain as arising only in the process of desiring or striving. 
Pleasure is said to be the result of the attainment of its end 
by an appetite or desire ; pain, of failure : whence necessarily 
it follows that the striving appetite or desire must be repre 
sented as preceding the state of feeling. 

oSTot only does such a theory fail to account for many of 
the most important varieties of feeling ; but, taken as a 
whole, it unquestionably reverses the true relation of feeling 
and striving in the inner life. I do not mean that, as a matter 
of fact, in the history of each individual mind, a definite form 
of striving is always built up by degrees through the com 
bination of feeling with action and sensation of some kind. 
We have every reason to allow that, in the formed individual 
mind as it now presents itself, there are established from the 
outset connexions between feeling and action of an articulated 
or organised kind : that is to say, in the formed mind a 
single experience combining sense and feeling may now 
initiate a co-ordinated series of movements, the arrangement 
of which is not due to experiences of the individual mind 
itself. But, on the other hand, the initial step is always the 
presence of some kind of feeling; and the active pheno- 


mena of the type of striving or appetite have nothing in 
them to contradict our hypothesis that feelings are primary 
elements in consciousness. 

Consequently, however intimate may be the connexion 
between feeling and activity, it is not one in which feeling 
can be either identified with activity or regarded as produced 
by it. If the relation be of the simple kind which these 
terms indicate, one would rather assign to feeling the 

i generating function. Feeling calls forth, just as it controls 
and regulates, action. So far indeed as our experience goes, 
if we could suppose a consciousness in which there were no 
other elements than those distinguished from feeling as sensa 
tions, action would not make its appearance. For it must be 
remembered that the experience in later life in which an idea 
seems to initiate and control action, is complicated by the fact 

| that the idea is itself the representation of an action, that it 
presupposes, therefore, the previous reality of action, and 
in this way only, in all probability, acquires its power of 
initiation and control. 

TIL Willing. The whole notion of action, as a feature of 
our conscious experience, is obscure and confused. "The 
notion of activity," says Wundt, "contains two factors. In 
the first place, activity implies a process or change in the 
given condition of an object, and, secondly, the reference of 
this change to some subject as its immediate cause. The 
subject may be proximately defined as the willing subject or 
self that wills ; but this self that wills is in the concrete a 
particular idea with its own characteristic tone of feeling 
attaching to it. The feeling has from the outset as part of 
its own nature the tendency to pass into action. The 
essential elements of a voluntary action are therefore, in the 
first place, a feeling in which the tendency of the will is 
manifested; secondly, a change in presentations or ideas; 


and, thirdly, the general idea of the dependence of this 
change upon the whole trend of consciousness. This last 
finds its principal expression in a feeling which partly pre 
cedes the decision of will, partly accompanies it." l 

In this passage, Wundt substitutes for what is the first it 
may he, the superficial analysis of activity, which intro 
duces the conception of the subject as that to which the 
change is referred, the more psychological description con 
tained in the terms dependence of the change upon the 
wliole.., trend of consciousness. The motive obviously is the 
recognised impossibility of finding an explanation of any 
concrete psychical fact in the abstract subject. The subject, 
in order to have significance in the inner life, must possess 
some concrete character, some content ; and this Wundt 
proposes to define by help of the term the whole trend of 

Even if the explanation in this form be on the right lines, 
as I think it is, the expression whole trend of consciousness 
is far too vague and indeterminate to serve our purpose. For 
a more minute analysis we may turn to what is offered in 
the same author s Outlines of Psychology ; and there, on the 
whole, though the exposition is somewhat perturbed by relics 
of an older form of the doctrine, in which in some mysterious 
way a unique and ultimate activity of apperception was 
introduced, there is to be found the more acceptable interpre 
tation psychologically of willing as a process. A process 
involves a number of factors ; and, even if the way in which 
they are combined which is the determining feature may 
justly be called fundamental, it would nevertheless follow 
that we had no ground for regarding will as the name of a 
simple primary component of the mental life. Moreover, 
even if it were legitimate, by reason of the part which this 

1 [Vorlesungen iiber die Menschen- und Thier-seele, lect. xv. ; tr. Creighton 
and Titchener, pp. 230-4 (condensed).] 


combination of psychical elements plays in every manifesta 
tion and development of mind in the life of knowing, of 
sentiment, of movement it must be regarded as a rather 
misleading expression when on that account the will is de- 
j scribed in Wundt s terms as " the fundamental fact in which 
all other processes of mind have their root." To take a 
corresponding case, it might be legitimate to regard the 
complex constituting willing as the most decisive factor in 
the whole network of processes by which self is gradually 
defined in consciousness; and yet it would be a misleading 
expression to describe willing as the fundamental fact from 
which self-consciousness proceeds. 

What, then, are the components of this process which is 
regarded as making up will ? Feeling, undoubtedly, in the 
first place, connected with the entrance of new elements of 
presentative experience into consciousness. In the next 
place, somehow involved in the feelings which accompany 
and which in more developed consciousness may often 
precede the entrance of a new presentative fact, a certain 
movement or (when there is no external effect) a certain 
striving, the end of which, in the simplest form of will, 
is the reversal of the initiating state of feeling or its 
reinforcement. 1 

In this analysis, the more easy of the two processes to 
follow out further is certainly that in which external move 
ment finds a place. It is difficult to determine what is 
Wundt s final view with respect to the relation between 
this and the more refined form. As he expresses himself 
here, the external is regarded as the more original : the 
inner action of will, that which involves nothing beyond 
ideas and feelings, appears as the product of a more com- 

1 By adopting this analysis Wundt in feelings of pain which liberate 
is driven to the probably unnecessary motor reactions from which the con- 
hypothesis that the origin of the trasted pleasure-feeling may result, 
simplest form of will is to be sought 


plete intellectual development. l On the other hand, a certain 
loophole for a reversal of this view of the relation is un 
doubtedly left by the kind of answer given to another 
and almost equally difficult question, How are we to explain 
the origin of the corporeal processes, the movements whereby 
the contrasted feeling is attained? If, for example, the 
answer to this question were of the kind which Wundt 
appears to give, 2 namely, that all movements, including those 
called automatic and reflex, must be regarded as having 
had originally, even if they do not now obviously possess, 
psychical antecedents, it might still be possible to maintain 
that the inner process of willing is the more fundamental. 

Now, it must be observed in regard to this further ques 
tion that our decision of it does not necessarily involve, as 
Wundt appears to think, the antithesis of a psychological and 
a physiological way of looking at mind and mental processes. 
Under either theory there fall to be considered, from the 
point of view of the psychologist, only those representations 
of movement effected which come into consciousness, But 
the former theory undoubtedly implies that the motor-sen 
sations, presentations and representations, the memory of 
which forms a necessary link in all voluntary movement, are 
the consequences of motions which occur from whatsoever 
antecedent circumstances. Even were we driven to the 
supposition that the simplest of these movements required 
and had as its antecedent something psychical in nature, 
that antecedent must, in its own concrete character, be 
wholly distinct from the motor - sensations, presentations 
and representations, to which its consequences give rise. 

The external movement involves, then, a factor which 
lies, to some extent, outside of the process of willing 
itself. The whole process, as it is initiated by a feeling, 

1 Grundriss, 14, par. 1 ; tr. p. 2 Grundriss, 14, par. 10 ; tr. p. 
184. 193-4. 


is accompanied and terminated by feeling. Most of these 

( "feelings are described in a way hard to justify. They are 

) called feelings of decision and conclusion, of doubt, of the 

resolution of doubt; but in addition to these there is also 

introduced the specific feeling of activity, which in external 

volition has its sense-substratum in " the internal sensations 

of touch accompanying the movement." 1 

The will can only be represented as a process involving a 
number of distinct factors. In the more obvious case, where 
willing has a manifestation in movement, there may accom 
pany the whole process the series of sensations initiated by 
the movement. But it appears quite unnecessary to include 
among such sensations any that require to be described by 
the special term activity or effort ; for, as we have seen, 
the meaning of that term can never find expression in any 
single type of sensation. Activity must be regarded, if we 
use the technical term, as the object of a concept. It is, 
therefore, always the content of an experience which involves 
comparison. The direct sensation which we may legitimately 
assume, and which from its peculiar quality is no doubt 
easily translated into terms of activity, is that of tension 
a purely muscular sensation. These sensations of tension, 
no doubt, are never experienced in isolation ; they always 
form part of the connected series involved in movement, and 
more particularly in overcoming resistance. It is natural, 
therefore, almost inevitable, that in our developed experience 
the character of the whole process in which they are in 
gredients should be taken to constitute the content of a 
single sense-presentation. 

But now, in the second place, whatever may be the nature 
of the detailed sensations which accompany the movement, 
it cannot be supposed that the primitive movements, those 

1 Grundriss, 14, par. 7 ; tr. p. 189. 


which correspond to the first germs of the voluntary process, 
are in any way prefigured: that in the impulse a mere 
name for a feeling and sensation looked at as the first term 
of a process the movement, whether on the one side as 
objective change or on the other side as a series of specific 
sensations, should be represented. Whatever theory we may 
entertain on the ultimate question as to the relation between 
movement and sensation in the organism, whether or not we 
assume that every movement there must be initiated by a 
sensation with its feeling, we must at all events allow that 
the movement in neither of its aspects is prefigured in the 
antecedent sense-impulse. It is only experience that can 
weld together in consciousness those familiar series of con 
nected sense-impulse and movement which form the founda 
tion for any acquisition of control over the movements of 
the body. 

In the third place, we require to bear in mind, as one of 
the factors undoubtedly operative in the development of will, 
that, independently of anything that maybe called move 
ment of consciousness, the changes in our experience pro 
ceed in such a fashion as to fall into tolerably regular series. 
Our mental life is a continuous process : new sense-presenta 
tions are constantly making their way in ; and, owing to the 
fundamental attribute which is manifested in revivability, 
these new elements are constantly connected with representa 
tions that are revived. A constant formation of groups and 
series, of presentations and representations, is the mech 
anical side of the mental life the psychical mechanism. 

In this mechanism a determining influence is exercised by 
the inner motives the feelings which arise in conjunction 
with the given sense-presentations and their ideas. We must 
accept as an empirical fact the qualitative difference of the 
pleasurable and painful, and, equally so, the character of the 
effect which these severally produce on the stream of the 


conscious life. There may be a kind of teleological explana 
tion of these effects ; but such explanation lies outside the 
bounds of psychological treatment. There the connexion 
between feeling and the changes it produces on the flow 
of consciousness must be accepted as ultimate empirical 

The kind of effects can only be determined from ex 
perience itself, although there may be probably there is 
a very definite correspondence between the effects and 
the organic processes that underlie them. Such effects, 
moreover, are primarily, and probably one ought to say 
ultimately, internal : that is to say, they concern directly 
the flow of conscious experience ; and it is only thereby 
that the results produced, the definite lines of connexion, 
become of significance for the development of the mind as 
a whole. In this sense it would undoubtedly be true to say, 
as Wuiidt used to say, 1 that the inner process of will is the 
fundamental. The error is in describing by the term 
will this kind of connexion which, after all, only forms 
a part, though an indispensable part, of the more complex 
fact to which alone the name will is at all applicable. 

Such inner effects are more familiar to us in the case 
of the process of attention than elsewhere. The presence 
of the pleasurable feeling intensifies what is connected 
therewith, gives it, therefore, a greater suggestive power, 
and tends to bring into consciousness the ideas of all ex 
periences that have been conjoined with it. On the other 
hand, the feeling of pain, while undoubtedly as a first 
effect it gives prominence to the occasioning cause, tends 
to excite the ideas of the objects which are capable of pro 
ducing the opposite kind of feeling, or at all events of re 
moving that which is now present. In the primitive stage, 
no doubt, such suggested ideas are always the represen- 

1 [Cf. Grundziige der physiologischen Psychologic, 3rd ed., ii. 468.] 


tations of the movements whereby, in the past, relief 
from the pain, or attainment of a neutralising pleasure, was 

The association with those representations that are sug 
gestive of movements is doubtless of the same mechanical 
kind as appears in every case where a sense-impulse is fol 
lowed by a movement. But, in so far as the movements are 
now connected with a definite series of representations rep 
resentations which are to a large extent the ideas of the 
sensations accompanying the movements they begin to 
acquire greater definiteness and regularity, and also a more 
definite connexion with the impulse, the initiating sensation 
and feeling. Movements lose their original character, which 
is chaotic and unregulated, and begin to fall into regular 
groups and series. Of course in this development a large 
place and a place that differs immensely in different or 
ganisms mast be allowed to the purely mechanical pro 
cesses which go on in the growth of the animal body. We 
must, for example, reckon as one of our data the fact that 
each organism as we know it comes into existence with a kind 
of predetermined plan of its growth. The external influences, 
important as they are, do not explain the regular arrange 
ment of this growth ; they only render it possible ; they 
may impede or facilitate it. In this growth, then, types of 
movement, that is to say, connected processes in the body 
itself, are involved ; and these furnish for the psychical life 
closely connected series of sensations, which have not been 
put together artificially, so to speak, in the experience of the 
individual himself. Our voluntary control over movements 
is undoubtedly acquired, but it is acquired only up to a 
certain point. The execution of the movements which we 
control depends on a connexion of the bodily processes of 
which the subject has no knowledge, and with which, it 
may be said, he does not interfere. 


The process of willing, or rather the process out of which 
willing emerges, is thus to be conceived as of gradual growth. 
We cannot assume that in its history there is anything cor 
responding to the meaning of the term will until it is pos 
sible to connect the initiating circumstances the feelin^ 

O O 

and sense-presentation as subjective with the change pro 
duced : this change being regarded either as one which may 
be brought about by objective conditions, or as itself be 
longing to the objective world. The latter is undoubtedly 
the simpler case ; for the objective world is at first defined 
in close relation to and dependence on our experience 
of movement. It is therefore in the process where the 
sense-impulse is followed by movement that the distinc 
tion between the impulse as subjective and the movement 
as an objective result becomes apparent : and this is the 
simplest type of willing. The total consciousness, the total 
state of mind which corresponds to the term willing, is 
itself a complex : it is the representation of this objective 
change as following from a subjective motive. In the more 
subtle case the change produced lies completely within the 
inner life; but, within that inner life itself, there can be 
no doubt that we draw the same distinction between what 
is objective and what is subjective. A new sense-presenta 
tion, for example, is undoubtedly part of the inner life ; but 
its occurrence there is at once accounted for by reference to 
objective conditions. The series of ideas in consciousness is 
part of the inner life ; but, when the case is one of suggestion 
or association only, we always explain the sequence in thor 
oughly objective fashion : the psychical mechanism is in one 
way objective. 

Inner process of will is that in which a subjective motive 
brings about a change in the flow of consciousness identical 
in kind with that which is produced by the psychical 
mechanism, that is, by independent or objective conditions. 


What Wundt calls the feeling of activity in such a case is 
not, I take it, a feeling at all, but the complex consciousness 
which embraces the terms of the process the subjective 
motive and the effect of an objective kind produced ; and it 
may be that, in the inner life, there is something strictly cor 
responding to the overcoming of resistance which intensifies 
the muscular sensations in outer movement. 




I PURPOSE first clearing the ground by considering the view 
of the nature of thought which seems to follow naturally 
from the logical treatment of its characteristic forms the 
notion, judgment, and reasoning. And here there are two 
varieties of interpretation which it is worth while following 
out separately : (1) that which commonly takes expression 
in the doctrine of faculties, familiar in the Scottish phil 
osophy, and (2) a more refined expression of the same view, 
of which Lotze s doctrine may be taken as representative. 

According to the former of these two interpretations, 
thought coexists with other activities of mind, having a 
separate function and a certain independence of action. 
No doubt this psychological proposition is connected with, 
and perhaps determined by, the obvious difference that dis 
tinguishes the products of thought, such as the notion and 
judgment, from the simpler materials of our knowledge 
perceptions, ideas, and the combinations of these in what 
are called associations. The percept and the general notion 


are broadly contrasted : they are the concrete exemplifica 
tions of the important difference between the particular and 
the universal. An association of ideas and a judgment are 
no less distinct from one another, and seem to represent the 
equally important difference between casual concomitance 
and objective connexion. 

But, while contrasted, thought and these other activities 
or processes of mind are in a special relation to one another. 
The concept appears as a higher product resting on per 
cepts, which constitute the material for its formation ; the 
judgment, though obviously distinct from an association of 
ideas, is yet, as a natural occurrence, in some way dependent 
on associations: for, unless the ideas connected in a special 
way in the judgment rose into consciousness together, the act 
of judgment would be impossible. 

It is easy to proceed from this point to the perfectly 
definite view which receives official expression in the doc 
trine of Faculties, but which in fact seems to run through all 
our customary modes of reference to the structure of know 
ledge. Thinking or thought is used as a comprehensive 
term for a special activity of mind, which operates upon the 
materials furnished in isolated perceptions and ideas, and 
whose several products are the results of the several ways 
in which it thus operates on the matter submitted to it. 

Some such view finds representation in most of the pyscho- 
logical doctrine of the Scottish school of philosophy, though 
in its latest exponent, Sir William Hamilton, it is curiously 
crossed by a view altogether incompatible with it. In his 
Logic, and in his definite classification of what he calls the 
intellectual powers, Hamilton is to be found adopting the 
familiar position that, perceptions being given, thought 
operates on them in the way of comparison, evolving in a 
graduated series (1) concepts, (2) judgments, (3) reasonings. 
Taken as a whole, moreover, his special doctrines in logic 


rest on and imply this familiar psychological position. The 
same is true with respect to the best exposition of logic from 
Hamilton s point of view, that of Mansel. 

In Mansel, however, as in Hamilton, though with some 
what different phraseology, we find a recognition of a certain 
function of mind so closely connected with thought as to 
require inclusion under the general term thinking, although 
its nature is not identical with the procedure assigned ex 
pressly to thought. In dealing with the judgment Mansel 
proceeds on the ground that the terms of the judgment are 
concepts, and therefore general. But this statement is im 
mediately confronted with the fact that there are thereby 
excluded certain types of predication which must be recog 
nised as judgments, but in which, nevertheless, one of the 
elements at least is not a concept. The assertion, for ex 
ample, of my own existence, an assertion which, for other 
reasons, both Mansel and Hamilton were inclined to regard 
as primitive or fundamental in the life of mind, cannot be 
resolved into a relation between two concepts. Mansel, 
therefore, was driven to distinguish between what he called 
the logical and the psychological judgment. 1 

In a similar fashion Hamilton, who, in his Lectures on 
Logic and in his classification of the powers of mind, ex 
pounds thought as a process of elaboration operative on 
materials supplied to it, is to be found asserting in his 
Lectures on Metaphysics that, " so far from comparison or 

1 [" Every operation of thought is contains two concepts, and hence must 

a judgment in the psychological sense be regarded as logically and chrouo- 

of the term : but the psychological logically posterior to the conception, 

judgment must not be confounded -which requires one only. The psycho- 

with the logical. The former is the logical judgment is coeval with the 

judgment of a relation between the first act of consciousness, and is 

conscious subject and the immediate implied in every mental process, 

object of consciousness : the latter is whether of intuition or of thought." 

the judgment of a relation which two Mansel, Prolegomena Logica (1851), 

objects of thought bear to each other, pp. 54, 55.] 
. . . The logical judgment necessarily 


judgment being a process always subsequent to the acquisi 
tion of knowledge through perception and self-consciousness, 
it is involved as a condition of the acquisitive process itself." 
Hamilton, therefore, goes on to maintain, " in opposition to 
the views hitherto promulgated in regard to comparison," 
" that this faculty is at work in every, the simplest, act of 
mind, and that from the primary affirmation of existence in 
an original act of consciousness to the judgment contained 
in the conclusion of an act of reasoning, every operation 
is only an evolution of the same elementary process, that 
there is a difference in the complexity only, none in the 
nature, of the act." 1 

Unfortunately, it cannot be maintained that Hamilton 
really carries out in his doctrine the highly important general 
view contained in these extracts ; for Hamilton selects Com 
parison as indicating the nature of the fundamental act 
which is thus supposed to be involved in even the simplest 
process of knowing. " Comparison," he says, " is supposed 
in every, the simplest, act of knowledge " ; and all the higher 
products, " our factitiously simple, our factitiously complex, 
our abstract, and our generalised notions," as also our judg 
ments and reasonings, are all products of comparison. 2 But 
Comparison seems an altogether inappropriate term to ex 
press what Hamilton takes to be the simplest act of know 
ledge the judgment, the primary affirmation of existence, 
which is either that of the non-ego or that of the ego. Even 
were we to grant that in the simplest act of knowledge there 
is the affirmation of existence of the non-ego or es-o, it would 

O O 

be found difficult or impossible to accommodate that act to 
any definition of comparison. If, therefore, comparison name 
sufficiently well the process when exemplified in the more 
developed products the notion, judgment, and reasoning 
it must be said that we are not able with satisfaction to 

1 Metaphysics, ii. 278-9. 2 Metaphysics, ii. 279. 



carry back the definition of comparison there arrived at to 
the more simple, more primitive acts of mind, which also 
Hamilton calls judgments. In fact, some such recognition 
of the difficulty or impossibility of identifying the two 
meanings of comparison seems to be involved in Hansel s 
distinction of logical and psychological judgments. 

Comparison, then, if regarded as the general nature of what 
is exemplified in the familiar products notion, judgment, 
and reasoning cannot at the same time and in the same 
fashion constitute the peculiarity of the primitive operations, 
which are supposed to be more elementary and yet to be 
serially connected with these logical forms. Nor can it be 
thought that Hamilton is more successful in exhibiting the 
connexion which he assumes between these primitive acts of 
comparison and the logical products the notion, judgment, 
and reasoning. He nowhere shows any recognition of the im 
portant psychological difficulties involved in the apparently 
simple process of classifying seizing on common qualities, 
and taking these to represent a multiplicity of individual 
cases. He contents himself with the commonplace re 
mark that classification is "determined by the necessities 
of the thinking subject." 1 Subjects being finite, and objects 
being relatively thereto infinite, it becomes necessary to 
effect a simplification ; and this is rendered possihle by the 
objective fact that things, though infinite in number, are not 
infinite in variety. Evidently at this stage the exposition is 
ready to slide into the familiar channel of the logical treat 
ment of the products of thought, and has no vital relation to 
the view of a certain common process running through all 
the acts of knowledge. 

This well-worn view itself deserves some special considera 
tion. It is by no means peculiar to the psychological theory 

1 [Metaphysics, ii. 281.] 


of faculties. It appears in systems which either reject or, 
at all events, do not proceed on the hypothesis of faculties, 
for example, in Leibniz and in Condillac. In Leibniz, or, 
rather, in the systematic philosophy which based itself on 
that of Leibniz, thought was regarded as having specifically 
the function of analysis. Some such statement is doubtless 
to be found in Leibniz himself. It is the natural conse 
quence of the general position in his theory of knowledge 
that progress is the gradual clearing-up of what is obscure 
and indistinct. The earlier forms of knowledge contain 
latent all that may be evolved from them ; and the relation 
between the less and more developed is simply that between 
the obscure and indistinct and the clear and distinct. It 
is not certain that Leibniz would have been contented to 
accept analysis as a term adequate to describe the func 
tion of thinking. There are indications in him of a much 
more profound conception. But his followers undoubtedly 
proceeded on the view that the higher products in the de 
velopment of knowledge were gained by making clear what 
is obscure in the lower, and that the process of clearing- 
up was analysis. Analysis might be aided by objective 
circumstances, as by repetition of the same amid 
diversity of surroundings ; but the process, however aided, 
was regarded by the Leibnizian school as in its nature the 
breaking-up of what was originally given in such closeness 
of combination that understanding of it was rendered diffi 
cult or impossible. The concept, therefore, was selected as 
the typical product of thought, of which the judgment and 
reasoning were only more complex varieties; while the concept 
or notion itself was obviously for them only the percept, the 
obscurely apprehended individual, defined and distinguished, 
its parts held asunder, the original combination resolved or 
analysed. Just as in the lower forms of mind the separate 
perceptions seemed to have a kind of independence, so the 


notion seemed naturally to follow from the analysis, the 
decomposition, of the relatively obscure and indistinct per 
ception, and the judgment and reasoning appeared to rest on 
the notion as their foundation. 

A very similar view, though proceeding from a very 
different fundamental position, and using different instru 
ments for working out a general theory of thought, is to be 
found in the distinguished French follower of Locke Con- 
dillac. Condillac accepts the general principle of Locke s 
theory of knowledge, according to which the materials of 
experience are the sense-ideas supplied to mind ; and, like 
Locke, he, without further criticism, identifies each such 
given sense-impression with an act of knowledge. To have 
a sensation and to apprehend a sense-quality are for him as 
for Locke equivalent expressions. It was therefore but a 
consistent development of Locke s view regarding the opera 
tions of mind when Condillac proceeded to say, All thinking, 
all the so-called higher activities, are only transformations 
of sensation. 1 After all, though Locke encumbers his state 
ment with the superfluous apparatus of distinct powers of 
mind, he says in effect precisely what Condillac said later : 
for the powers of rnind bring about only a transformation 
of the original data by compounding, separating, and com 
paring them. 

Condillac thus evades the difficulties undoubtedly imposed 
on Locke by his needless assumption of distinct powers of 
mind ; and, though he does not set forth his view very ex 
plicitly, he may be looked on as one of the first to regard 
the higher powers as results following from modifications 
of the lower fundamental process. The faculties, as he put 
it, are themselves acquired. 

Now, in general character, the transformation of sensa 
tion is analysis ; and Condillac shows some interest in de- 

1 [Trait<5 des sensations (1754), introd., (Euvres, iii. 14, 50.] 


termining the psychological nature of this general process of 
analysis. Although his theory compels him to reject all 
activity of mind, yet in his own way, he recognises attention 
as the characteristic feature of analysis. Attention as con 
ceived by him is a passively determined result synonymous 
really with the varying intensity of interest of the objects 

In both cases, whether in the view of Leibniz or in that 
of Condillac, it will be observed that no reference is made 
explicitly to the consideration that the simple datum, that 
upon which analysis is supposed to operate, is assumed to be 
of the nature of apprehension of an object. Thus Leibniz is 
ready to insist that what are called feelings, states of pleasure 
and pain, are in themselves confused apprehensions of those 
objective qualities which give rise to the states of feeling in 
us. Leibniz is so far carried away by his general theory that 
he actually maintains that our sense -apprehension of the 
colour green is a confused sense-apprehension of the two 
colours blue and vellow. and almost sroes the length of sayinf 

*j o o (/ o 

that we do not properly perceive green until we apprehend 
the blue and yellow which are its components. 

Accordingly, this fundamental aspect of the original datum 
being taken for granted, the question did not arise as speci 
ally requiring an answer, Wlience do the logical products 
the notion, judgment, reasoning acquire their highly char 
acteristic objective reference ? It is not at all impossible 
that the complete answer to this problem will carry us to 
the conclusion that a determination of objective though, 
no doubt, in a very incomplete and primitive sense pre 
cedes the specially logical forms of thinking. Such an 
answer is. however, very different from the assumption that 
the initial sense-impressions are in themselves apprehensions 
of the objective. Yet it is quite clear that, without justifica 
tion for this assumption, the whole theory of thought as 


arising from perceptions by mere analysis is without founda 
tion. Of course we are entitled to say that mere analysis 
may possibly increase the clearness and distinctness of the 
apprehension with which we begin ; but it cannot give that 
apprehension a reference which it did not originally possess. 
We must therefore assume either that the initial percepts 
had this reference to objects in themselves, or that the func 
tion of thought is by no means purely analytic but essentially 
consists in giving to our apprehensions the characteristic 
reference to the objective. 

Now this is in brief the modification of Leibniz s theory 
upon which Kant insisted. The first thing, as he insists, 
which thought does for sense-intuitions is not to make them 
clear and distinct, but to give them the all-important, indis 
pensable, reference to an object. Without such reference 
sense-impressions do not constitute knowledge at all ; and 
the reference itself can only be given to sense-impressions. 
By this is meant that thinking, in the Kantian view, is not 
creative of its contents, and that, although it does more than 
analyse what is given, it makes no addition to the given 
except what is involved in the reference to the object. 




LOTZE S doctrine may be regarded as an intermediate form 
between that of the Faculty-psychology and that of Kant. 
According to his view thinking is a specific activity of the 
soul, called forth not as sensations are, by immediate impres 
sion from without, but, possibly in a similar fashion, stimu 
lated by the existence of such sensations in the mind. 
Thinking would thus represent the second, or perhaps the 
third, ra<le of reaction. External impressions call forth 
sensations ; these call forth in their turn that characteristic 
activity of the soul whereby there is conferred upon the 
contents of sense the form of space; and, again, percepts 
serve as stimulations calling forth the still higher activity of 
thinking. Moreover, Lotze seems to incline to the view that, 
if the whole function of thinking be taken into account its 
relating and comparing aspects, and likewise that reference 
to the objective which is fundamental to it and given by it- 
it will be found unnecessary to distinguish as Kant did 
between understanding and reason. 

While the general aspect of Lotze s doctrine 1 seems thus 
fairly clear, he does not make equally distinct his view of the 
specific functions of thinking. So far as these specific func 
tions are concerned, they seem to be : (1) the reference to the 

1 Cf. Mikrokosmus, 4th eel., i. 259 f. ; tr. Hamilton and Jones, i. 231 f. 


objective ; and this function, as is made plain by Lotze, 1 is 
exhibited at a stage of thinking which is even prior to the 
notion proper; (2) thinking especially as exemplified in the 
logical products ; and this seems to have assigned to it the 
function of imposing on the given material a form which is 
derived not from the material but apparently from thinking 
itself. 2 Of these functions further consideration is required. 

Lotze distinguishes the activity of thinking from the 
lower processes concerned in the development of knowledge, 
and interprets the distinction as indicating a fundamental 
difference of origin in the soul itself. Selecting the process 
of relating as illustrative of the peculiar activity of thought, 
he contrasts sharply the simultaneous or successive presence 
in consciousness of impressions or ideas with the conscious 
ness of relations among these isolated facts. This contrast 
he interprets as signifying that, in the act of relating, a 
wholly new function of the soul is called into exercise. 
Just as the stimulations of the senses, and of the mechanism 
of the brain connected with the senses, serve to call forth 
that elementary function of the soul which yields sensations 
and their copies or representations, so sensations and ideas, 
by being present in consciousness, serve to stimulate or call 
into exercise a distinct function, that of thought. 

Lotze offers us also a more general description of thought 
in its contrast with the stream of impressions and ideas, 
which is not at first sight identical with the function of 
relating; and the difference compels him to give a rather 
more detailed and more suggestive account of the mode in 
which thinking makes its appearance in consciousness. In 
the introduction to his Logic, the feature of thinking which 
serves to differentiate it from the stream of impressions and 
ideas is, briefly, that which appears in the contrast between 

1 Of. Logic, B. I. c. i. 1-19. 

2 Cf. Mikrokosmus, i. 261-4 ; tr. i. 233-5. 



reason and fact. Impressions and ideas are given, given in 
combinations groups or series, which have for us simply the 
value of facts. Accompanying this mechanical nexus of given 
fact there is in knowledge the continuous exercise of the 
critical activity of thinking, the function of which is to seek 
for "rounds or reasons. 


Apparently Lotze is influenced by the broad distinction 
which the ancients fixed by the terms opinion and 
science. Knowledge strictly so-called implies a reference 
of what is immediately given to an order of connexion which, 
as contrasted with the given, may be called internal. Think- 
ino- therefore, in all its modifications, is animated by the 


general idea of ground or reason an idea the significance 

o o 

of which cannot be expressed in terms of merely given fact. 
Thus, for example, we discover the indication of thought in 
the Concept or notion when we contrast the represented rule, 
according to which the general type of the object is conceived, 
with the merely given character of the combination of marks 
in the isolated perceived case. A concept or notion is not 
merely the given perception analysed, with its parts made 
more distinct, or even with some of its parts omitted. A 
concept is a more complex fact of mind the representation 
of the universal or rule determining the conjunction of marks 
which constitutes the essential character in the several in 
dividuals. Similarly in the Judgment, its peculiar form 
the reference of the predicate to the subject as a quality to 
the thing possessing it, or the relation of dependence of 
events expressed in the hypothetical proposition is that 
which differentiates the judgment as an act of thought from 
the mere complex idea of a number of marks or of a sequence. 
The same holds of the Syllogism : the mechanism of association 
and memory may produce in us expectations ; but, as con 
trasted with these, reasonings contain always as their cardinal 
feature the thought of a ground which renders necessary the 


consequence to which, doubtless with the aid of the mechanism 
of association, we proceed. 

Two points in this account deserve special attention. In 
the first place, it is evidently assumed that the highly peculiar 
fundamental idea involved in thought that of logical or inner 
ground, reason as contrasted with fact requires for its ex 
planation the special hypothesis of a distinct independent 
power of mind. In the second place, the consideration of 
the co-operation (and the gradually modified co-operation) 
of thinking and the mechanism of sense and association, 
renders necessary a more detailed account of the way in 
which the logical function of thinking asserts itself in the 
human soul. Lotze is fully alive to the fact that, if the 
contrasts are defined too sharply, it will be found impossible 
to explain their union in the total operation of knowing. 
It becomes necessary for him, therefore, to introduce some 
intermediaries between the merely given material of sense- 
association and the critical activity of thinking. 

Perhaps it is in this way though he is not very explicit on 
the point that he would seek to unite the two rather diver 
gent representations of thought : that which dwells exclusively 
on the notion of ground or reason, and that which identifies 
thinking with the act of relating. As I understand his ex 
position in the Microcosrnus, 1 no fewer than three inter 
mediate grades are introduced between the mechanism of 
impression and idea and the stage of thought. In each 
of these intermediate grades the essential factor is the 
unity of consciousness or of the conscious subject. 

The first and lowest of these grades is called by him the 
mere identity of the perceiving subject, in which are gathered 
together impressions from different parts of the external world 
and from different times. This he says is the first necessary 

1 [Mikrokosmus, i. 257 ; tr. i. 229.] 



condition for that act of relating which becomes possible 
later, but it is not the sufficient condition for the origination 
of that act. 

1 hail this with satisfaction. It is a recognition of what is 
fundamental in the development of the soul: namely, that a. 
merely mechanical or vital identity of the subject, a union of 
its different experiences in one whole, necessarily precedes 
any mode of the more reflective unity to which alone the 
name self-consciousness is appropriate. On what this first 
vital identity of the subject depends Lotze does not further 
consider. Probably it is intimately connected with the 
bodily activities of the subject: that is to say, so far as 
its inner aspect is concerned, with the experiences of sense 
and feeling which are dependent on the exercise of such 
activities. It presupposes obviously a certain grade of mere 
mechanical reproduction or revival of past experiences. 
There seems nothing to contradict the assumption that 
such rudimentary unity of self is present in the experience 
of the lower animals. 

A second form of the same unity of the subject Lotze 
recognises as connected not specially with the impressions 
of sense but with association and reproduction. Many facts 
would lead us to conjecture that the conditions for such a 
unity in the case of animal experience are very varied. It is 
possible that the degree of ability to retain together in con 
sciousness a number of distinct ideas is the expression of tins 
difference in the conditions referred to. 

In the third form of this unity, Lotze, in a way peculiar 
to himself, recognises a fundamentally distinct process as 
concerned in the translation of sense-impressions into in 
tuitions of space and time. He holds that, in order to 
account for the characteristic of extendedness which attaches 
to our sense -impressions, we must go beyond the impres 
sions themselves. They are merely non-spatial, and almost 


in a sense non-temporal, re-actions of the soul. The special 
form induced on them is therefore alien to their own char 
acter, and must be accounted for by some special function of 
the soul. The exercise of this function constitutes at the 
same time a new form of the unity of self. It is .now the 
unity of a subject perceiving the extended and the temporal. 

I do not think that Lotze anywhere manages to distinguish, 
with sufficient accuracy, the characteristics of this all-import 
ant space-and-time element in our apprehension. There are 
many features of the said element which we must regard as 
relatively reflective in character, as indicating, therefore, a 
development in the conscious subject that goes beyond the 
mere formation in perceptive experience of intuitions as 
contrasted with impressions. There is no reason for doubt 
ing, for example, that the characteristic differences of position 
and time are involved in the perceptions of animals. There 
is no reason to suppose that, in the same animal experience, 
there is anything corresponding to the reflective or logical 
predicates which we attach to space and time. Nay, it is 
doubtful whether, in the animal consciousness, there can 
be supposed to be anything corresponding to the com 
prehensive picture which we form of an indefinitely ex 
tended space, an indefinitely enduring time. These variously 
graded characteristics of space and time ought not to be 
ignored : they cannot be explained satisfactorily by a simple 
reference to a fundamental independent activity of the soul. 

Only with the help of this graduated unity of consciousness 
which Lotze describes in his own way, but which we might 
fairly -call the gradual development of self-consciousness, 
does he allow that thinking, in the full sense of the term, 
becomes possible ; and even there, he proceeds to point out, 
the characteristic critical activity of thought again mani 
fests itself only as the final step in a series of which the 
first members are very much simpler in nature. 


Thought in general has been characterised by Lotze by 
reference to the specifically logical feature of ground or 
reason. Even the concept or notion, which less obviously 
than the other products of thought involves reference to 
ground or reason, is regarded by him as containing such a 
reference in the peculiar significance of the universal, which 
forms its distinctive feature. The concept, if we express it 
in somewhat lax psychological terms, is. according to Lotze, 
the representation of the universal law of interconnexion of 
the marks which determines the appearance of the manifold 
particulars likewise represented in the concept. 

Evidently, then, the total act of thought which consists in 
having a concept or notion is psychologically a complex ; and 
it would seem impossible to represent so complex a fact 
otherwise than as a gradually attained result. The peculiar 
significance of a universal law, the relation of the uniformly 
combined marks to the concrete individuals in which, so to 
speak, the law is manifested these, psychologically, indicate 
a stage of human reflexion which cannot possibly be regarded 
as primitive. Concepts or notions so described must be held 
to become possible for the human mind only on the basis of 
some preliminary processes, only at a stage in which the 
unity of consciousness has acquired definiteness and specific 

Possibly it was through recognition of this evidently 
complex character of the concept which, in opposition to 
many logicians, he continued to regard as the first, the 
simplest, of the logical forms that Lotze was led to at 
tempt a descriptive or genetic account of certain pre-logical 
processes, essential for the formation of the concept, and 
explicitly stated to be manifestations of the activity of 
thinking. As manifestations of thinking, their nature cannot 
be explained through the conditions of the mechanism of 
sense-presentation and association. Lotze is certainly far 


from clear as to the place these pre-logical processes of 
thinking occupy relatively to those other intermediate 
stages of development which, as we said, lie inclines to 
introduce between the mere receptivity of perception and 
the first utterances of thought. We shall probably be 
doing no injustice to the theory if we regard them as 
subsequent to the last of these, the peculiar indefinable 
activity of the soul whereby sense-impressions are formed 
into intuitions with space-a-nd-time characteristics. 

The pre-logical processes of thinking, according to Lotze, 
fall into two grades, of which the second is itself a mani 
fold : though the distinct processes named as belonging to it 
are so intimately conjoined that, for logical purposes, it is 
hardly necessary to separate them. It is difficult to make 
quite clear all that Lotze means in his description. 

The general function of these pre-logical processes may be 
said to be to prepare the contents of given experience 
impressions and associated ideas for the later manipulation 
of the logical activity of thinking. Their h rst grade is said 
to consist in the formation of impressions into ideas, or, 
otherwise, the objectification of the subject, 1 Objectifica- 
tion is certainly a term requiring further explanation, for 
object has a variety of meanings in the analysis of know 
ledge. Some part of Lotze s meaning evidently depends on 
the contrast implied to the subjective. A given impression, 
or its relic in consciousness, is primarily a subjective change 
in the individual consciousness. In so far as it retains this 
character it is, Lotze seems to say, wholly inappropriate as 
material for thinking. One might illustrate by contrastincr 

*f O 

the possibilities for thinking of two types of such subjective 
change on the one hand what is called a sense-presentation, 
and on the other hand a sensuous feeling. But, evidently, 
such an illustration might be rejected by Lotze on the ground 
1 [Logic, B. I. c. i. 1-8.] 


that in respect to their given character and in respect to the 
necessity of some transformation before either can be made 
material for thought, they stand on the same level. 

Apparently, then, Lotze desires to say that some alteration 
must take place whereby the purely subjective character of 
such presentations is removed, before there can come into 
operation any of the higher activities of thinking. The 
change consists in conferring upon the content of what, in 
itself, is a mere subjective individual change of consciousness, 
a fixity, a universality, which renders it, so to speak, an 

The precise significance of this is a little cleared up by the 
statement that in fact such alteration of the subjective coin 
cides with, perhaps consists in, the naming of the content 
experienced. The parts of speech indicate, he thinks, the 
very operation which consists in conferring on the merely 
subjective the all-important character of being an object. 
On this account, therefore, it will be seen that Lotze thinks 
himself justified in assigning to the term object the very 
general significance which would hold good whether the object 
be a so-called real thing or quality or relation of things, or 
a state of mind, or (as becomes possible in developed in 
telligences) a complex of circumstances, conditions, or events. 
When the contents of our experience, which at first come into 
consciousness as merely subjective changes, are named, there 
is at once conferred on them an aspect of generality which 
renders possible in their regard the further operations of the 
logical activity of thinking. 

o i/ O 

Objectivity is thus in a way made, if not identical with, 
at all events akin to universality a position for which there 
is much to be said. But universality is never a characteristic 
which is self-explaining. Moreover, the universal has such 
a variety of meanings, that whoever employs the term as 
characterising an aspect of experience is bound to specify in 


what precisely its meaning consists. If we ask, In what 
consists the universality conferred by naming a content of 
experience ? we should naturally be referred in the first 
instance, I imagine, to common consent. It can hardly be 
supposed that the individual mind effects the transformation 
of the originally fleeting subjective particular for its own 
ends. We, looking back on the results for the development 
of knowledge which follow from the application of names to 
the contents of experience, may express ourselves as though 
names came into existence for that purpose ; but, in so doing, 
we fall into the common error of all such teleological ex 
planations. The employment of names, then, cannot be 
regarded as coming about for the purpose of objectifying. 
Still less can it be supposed that such process of naming is 
due to the individual mind itself. But, if this be true, we 
are bound to say that the separation between the originally 
subjective fleeting particular change of individual conscious 
ness and the objectivity given by names is a far wider 
separation than Lotze allows for, and must have been 
bridged over by many intermediaries of which he takes 
no account. 

For the moment the expression has been allowed to pass 
that the original contents of experience are subjective fleet 
ing individual changes in the consciousness of the individual 
subject; but I do not think that this truly expresses the 
character such contents would possess in the primitive 
mind. It is only from our reflective point of view that we 
discriminate between the subjective character of the changes 
in consciousness, and the objectivity of what is generally 
recognised and indicated by a common name. The primitive 
contents of experience may be fleeting and imperfect, service 
able only as stimulating to equally fleeting and imperfect 
acts ; but, for the, individual mind, they are not subjective 
in the sense required for Lotze s contrast. Following this 


out, the question must be asked, Is it possible that the ap 
plication of names, whereby doubtless fixity is obtained for 
the contents of experience, should precede and be independent 
of modifications in the stream of consciousness wherein are 
given the fundamental distinctions between self and the 
external real world ? I can hardly suppose that Lotze 
would insist on the absolutely primitive character of this 
process of objectifying by names; for, apparently, he is will 
ing to regard this pre-logical process as at all events posterior 
to the arrangement of the contents of experience in the form 
of intuitions of space and time. But contents of experience 
which have already undergone this transformation into space- 
and-time facts are no longer subjective in the sense of Lotze s 
contrast; and, further, such transformation into the picture 
of a space-and-time qualified world is possible only on the 
basis of the distinction between self and the external 

It is possible, therefore, that we shall have to regard the 
universality, which comes about through or in conjunction 
with the employment of words, as resting and dependent on 
the prior and more elementary distinctions in conscious 
ness, whereby, first of all, the objective begins to be defined 
in the narrower, more special, sense of the real external not- 
self. Further, it would appear to be indicated that, in the 
process of objectifying by the employment of names, we have 
not the manifestation of a simple unique power or activity ; 
but that the achievement is to be regarded rather as the 
final result of a complex which is capable of more detailed 
psychological analysis. On such a view, nothing whatever 
would be altered with regard to the importance, the signifi 
cance, of the achievement in all the higher developments of 
the mental life. From the psychological point of view, it 
must be regarded as the gravest error to suppose that the 
fundamental value of a result is dependent on the primitive 



simple unique character of the process, act, or function of 
mind from which the result is supposed to follow. The re 
sults in the human mind which, taken collectively, constitute 
thinking are of no less significance for the total character of 
the human mind and its experience, if they are regarded as 
the complex products of more simple processes, than if they 
are supposed to be the manifestation of some original simple 

Of the two pre-logical processes recognised by Lotze, the 
first that already examined is named Objectification. The 
second is itself a manifold. He does not seek to define too 
closely the chronological relation of the two. But he selects, 
as distinguishing them, and at the same time exhibiting their 
close connexion, the familiar antithesis between spontaneous 
activity and passively determined reception. The first pro 
cess, he says, is one in which spontaneity is manifested : 
though a little reflexion convinces us that the exercise of 
such spontaneity is not absolutely without restriction. There 
is always something in the character of what is presented that 
determines the specific form of the active process exercised on 
it. The second process l is at least relatively passive and re 
ceptive. The whole process is further analysed into position, 
distinction, and comparison. Position is a term indicating 
undoubtedly a very simple factor in thought, which we can 
illustrate best, perhaps, by saying that a given content of 
sense-perception can only be thought about in so far as it 
is attended to in such a way as to make it stand out 
from its surroundings. Obviously, such positing, giving a 
position or place in consciousness to a content, implies a 
differentiation of it, a discrimination of it, from what is also 
present, whether in the shape of immediate sense-impression 
or idea. 

1 [Logic, B. I. c. i. 9-19.] 


Lotze is desirous to insist both on the connexion between 
the two processes, positing and distinguishing, and on their 
essential difference. He is anxious to avoid the view which 
exaggerates the indispensable function of discrimination to 
the extent of assigning no significance at all to the positive 
elements in given experience. 

Before proceeding to the third of the connected operations, 
we may ask at once whether there is any sufficient ground 
for distinguishing, as Lotze s exposition undoubtedly does, 
between these operations of positing and distinguishing and 
the material of experience given in the form of sense- 
impressions and ideas. Is there a fundamental opposition 
between these processes and what Lotze rails the mechanism 
of the soul ? Are they processes which are requisite only 
for thinking, that is, for the admittedly higher type of con 
scious experience, or are they in some form implied even in 
what is designated the lower type of conscious experience 
the mechanism of sense and idea ? The only ground for 
assuming that they are so confined to thinking is that which 
seems to be involved in the very general proposition from 
which Lotze makes the transition to the third process, that 
of comparison. Lotze there, in order to justify a peculiar 
feature of his view of comparison, emphasises the general 
position that the world of directly presented experience, that 
is, the universe of sense-impression and idea, might without 
self-contradiction be conceived of as altogether destitute of 
grounds of comparison. It might, that is, consist of an 
aggregate of units each of which is different from every 

This general position is sufficiently difficult to maintain in 
itself : for, certainly, it must be regarded as doubtful whether 
any conception can be formed of an aggregate in which the 
units are wholly unrelated. And it proceeds on an antithesis 
which we have no reason to accept as valid. It is meaning- 


less unless we accept as fundamental the distinction between 
sense-impressions and ideas on the one hand and thinking 
on the other, or (which is the same antithesis expressed in 
more objective terms) unless we accept as radical the differ 
ence between experience and the mind itself. But such an 
antithesis can be accepted in neither form. To oppose mind 
to its experience is to isolate mind from the world of fact, 
to give it an external position from which all our ingenuity 
will never extricate it successfully. It is to ignore the con 
sideration that we are not entitled, in philosophy generally, 
or in psychology in particular, to start with the conception 
of mind as a given, completed, self-existent fact. The con 
trary position is the truer one, that mind only comes into 
being in and through its experiences, that the experience 
which, as we say, it has, might quite as legitimately be 
said to constitute the mind. And if we take the antithesis 
in its more subjective fashion, we cannot regard as possible 
experience a mental life which should veritably be an aggre 
gate of wholly isolated units of sense-impression and idea. 
Nowhere in the actual living experience of mind do we come 
upon such units. The conception of them is evidently an 
abstraction. They emerge from our analysis of mind ; but 
even that analysis ought not to be made responsible for 
the fictitious independence which our expressions confer on 

For my part, then, I see no reason to admit the sharp 
antithesis between positing and distinguishing on the one 
hand and the mechanism of sense and idea on the other. 
The only concrete fact in our experience, in even the prim 
itive stage of the mental life, is the sense-apprehension which 
is in its own nature the being aware of a content, and which, 
therefore, involves in itself what are here distinguished as 
three apparently independent facts : position, discrimination, 
and the given of sense or idea. It is only our analysis 


which distinguishes these three aspects. It is misleading to 
describe the fact of sense-apprehension as a union of them. 

The most important of the three connected processes in 
Lotze s view is the third Comparison. Such comparison, 
although the term indicates rather specially an activity, is, 
however, so far at least as the pre-logical operation is con 
cerned, to be regarded as mainly determined by the nature 
of the given material. Lotze is, at all events, perfectly clear 
in regard to this often-debated point. Thinking, in his view, 
does not create the relations which lie at the foundation of 
all developed knowledge of given fact, The elementary 
relations of degree, number, and extent are accepted by 
thought, not produced by it. In particular the relation, 
varying in degree, of identity and difference, as in fact given, 
makes itself manifest in the first generalities of our thinking 
experience ; and the contrast between what Lotze here calls 
the first universal and the concept serves to define the 
distinction between comparison in its pre-logical stage and 
the same function when concerned in the formation of the 

The Concept is a highly complex product of active thinking. 
Looked at as formed, the concept involves the representation 
of a general law of connexion among the determining char 
acters of a number of individuals, and also the representation 
of individuals manifesting or exhibiting this uniform con 
nexion with considerable variety of detail or of accompany 
ing circumstance. Looked at in its formation, the concept 
presupposes the representation in a quite generalised form 
of these determining marks, presupposes also the distinction 
of thing and quality, and may be said always to depend on 
an active reflective treatment of concrete individuals in 
whom, amid variety of circumstance, the same kind of con 
nexion of determining marks is to be discerned. 

On the other hand, the primitive or first universal ex- 


hibits to us the generality of one represented quality, one 
characteristic which is, so to speak, the type of the many 
isolated cases in which it may be presented. Over against 
it the individual instances are not represented as concrete 
units. The distinction of thing from quality is wholly want 
ing. As regards its formation, the first universal cannot 
possibly arise by reflexion on individual cases and ab 
straction of the common element. Such first universals, 
of which the sense - qualities are the best examples, are 
presupposed in the more developed act of thinking by 
which the concept is formed. They are rather received 
than produced. Thinking in their regard is passive rather 
than active. 

The name Comparison, it must be said, is not well chosen, 
for it implies just that which is regarded as wanting in the 
process here a certain activity exercised by the subject on 
material supplied to it. It is true that Lotze has more than 
once expressed himself regarding this process of Comparison, 
even in this its pre-logical form, as though it did imply an 
active exercise on the part of the subject. In his Out 
lines of Psychology, when he is contrasting the presence of 
impressions and ideas in consciousness with the apprehen 
sion of relations among them, he says explicitly that such 
apprehension of relations implies an activity that passes from 
one to the other of the related ideas, and becomes aware of 
the change which it undergoes in the transition. 1 It can 
hardly be held that this explicit statement is more than a 
metaphor used to emphasise the distinction between think- 
in-T and the isolated contents which form the mechanism of 


sense-impression and idea. The account given in the larger 
Logic qualifies that metaphorical description in a very 
important respect, though it still leaves very obscure the 
relation in which the isolated impressions and ideas stand 

1 [Grundziige der Psychologic (1881), pt. i. c. 3, 1.] 


to the basis of comparison on which thought is supposed to 
turn. LoUe here throws the emphasis rather on the given 
character of these relations, interprets them not so much 
as products of an activity exercised, but rather as implicit 
connexions of which the mind somehow becomes aware on 
occasion of the occurrence together of sense-impressions and 
ideas in certain specific ways. Even with that qualification 
it seems to me doubtful whether we can accept his view of 
the nature of the process. 

Consider, for example, the manifestation of it involved in 
the formation of what he calls the primitive or first uni- 
versals. There, as we saw, a certain result is reached in 
consequence of our (we must call it) perception of a certain 
resemblance in quality among sense-impressions and their 
ideas. It is stated expressly that this first universal (which 
resembles, if it is not identical with, what psychologists call 
the generic image) is not reached by the processes of com 
paring individual cases, making abstraction of the points of 
difference, and retaining with greater distinctness and clear 
ness the common factors. In what way, then, does it arise? 
Obviously there must be presupposed a certain number of 
what, relatively, are to be called individual or particular 
cases, even though it be also maintained that these are not 
apprehended as individuals or particulars in all their detail 
of special circumstance. They are not individualised, so to 
speak. Such individualisation, indeed, is evidently regarded 
as the result of a subsequent process. The individual rather 
emerges from the first universal than precedes it. In what, 
then, does the process of forming the first universal consist ? 
Is it to be regarded as a process supervening upon the given 
impressions ? Is it not rather the merely natural develop 
ment, the intensification under quite empirical conditions, of 
the very process through which the materials the impres 
sions and ideas themselves are given in consciousness? 


It is no doubt hard for us to represent the primitive 
operations of mind except in the form which is familiar in 
our developed experience, hard, therefore, to represent to 
ourselves either a succession or a coexistence of partially 
identical impressions which are divested of the discrimin 
ating marks so abundantly supplied in the more developed 
consciousness. The developed mind has the means, through 
its experience of space-and-time relations, of separating suc 
cessive or coexisting impressions and of conferring on each 
of them an individuality. But, where the space-and-time re 
lations are in the same condition of vagueness and indistinct 
ness, such separation is by no means possible. We have 
rather to represent successive impressions of what, from the 
later point of view, we call one and the same type as coming 
about in the primitive consciousness in a form which is not 
quite that of a series of isolated units. 

The vague whole of the contents of such primitive con 
sciousness has at first but small differentiation by qualita 
tively distinct features ; nor is there fully developed in it 
the very rudimentary distinction between impression and 
idea. The revived impression or idea, when first revived 
in the primitive consciousness, is by no means contrasted 
with, set over against, the impression which reproduces it. 
Accordingly, just as we must assume, for the mere presence 
at all of qualitative distinction in the primitive sense-con 
sciousness, the function of discrimination, so we must allow 
that what happens, through repetition of sense-impressions 
belonging, as we say, to one type, is but the intensification 
of the very same function of discrimination involved in what 
is called the single impression. The repetition affords the 
means for a more easy and effective apprehension of what 
we incline to say has been implicit in the first impression. 
The first impression, by repetition of that which contains 
identical features, is, so to speak, analysed a process, in- 


deed, which we are entitled to call quite mechanical, in 
so far at least as the word implies only absence of any 
directed control from the side of the subject. This analysis, 
moreover, does two things : it strengthens the content, which 
embraces only the features of identity ; and, at the same 
time it gives a certain additional prominence to the features 
of difference, enabling them, if farther circumstances render 
a more complete individualising possible, to become the 
distinguishing marks of particular cases. 1 

The process does not seem to me fundamentally different 
when the material provided for the formation of this first 
universal is coexistent. Only in that case the process has 
at once the additional aid towards the kind of analysis 
required that is furnished by the local marks of differ 
ence. It is a matter hard to determine, to what extent the 
primitive consciousness is capable of holding together as 
parts of the total complex, which always forms the content 
at any moment, a numerical variety of cases of one and the 
same general type. We are so accustomed to regard numer 
ical plurality as in itself constituting a basis of discrimina 
tion that we overlook the highly complex conditions which, 
in the developed mind, give detiniteness to that numerical 
variety. In the undeveloped consciousness plurality of co 
existing similars is probably a possible apprehension only 
when the qualitative differences are sufficiently strong. 

The first universal does not, on the whole, appear to in 
dicate a new process which can be regarded as quite distinct 
from what is involved in the having sense-impressions and 
ideas as parts of a whole of apprehension. But, although 
Lotze does not extend the scope of these first universals 
directly beyond quality, it seems to me perfectly obvious 

1 It will depend altogether on whether the individualising of the 

material conditions partly relating separate cases comes about .swiftly or 

to the kind of olrject apprehended, slowly or not at all. 
partly conditions of space and time 


that they present themselves in just the same fashion in the 
case of the fundamental non-qualitative relations, those of 
number and extent. We cannot represent to ourselves the 
condition of the primitive consciousness, the first grade of 
apprehension, unless we introduce into the content appre 
hended those features of difference which lie at the founda 
tion of all our developed notions of number and magnitude 
or extent. No doubt the first relations which are thus 
vaguely apprehended those of plurality and its correlate 
the unit, those of coexistence and of the occupation of the 
field of consciousness in varied amount are devoid of all 
the specific marks whereby they afterwards become of im 
portance for scientific purposes. But this is true for the 
same reason that rendered the first universal of quality a 
mere generic image and not a concept or notion. There is 
no ground at all, therefore, for refusing to regard the de 
veloped relations of our later experience as resting upon first 
universals,. themselves the vague apprehensions of elementary 
relations, which relations, again, are not superinduced upon 
the materials of consciousness but are involved in the most 
rudimentary fact of apprehension. 

Hence, with regard in particular to the three connected 
operations which Lotze singles out position, distinction, 
comparison it seems to be the case that the isolation of 
them from the mechanism of sense-impression and idea is 
without due foundation : that such separation, in fact, is but 
a repetition of the old and wholly misleading abstraction of 
the form of apprehension from its matter. It is quite im 
possible to represent sense-impressions and ideas as forming 
facts of mind except in so far as there are also present just 
those very features of distinction and relation which Lotze 
seems to assign to a special, a higher, form of mental 




THE somewhat elaborate statement of Lotze s view renders 
unnecessary more than a passing reference to what is peculiar 
to the Kantian doctrine. Kant s doctrine is in the main un- 
psychological. Expressed in its sharpest fashion, it is that 
the function of thought is the reference of our perceptions 
and ideas to the object. In so formulating it, Kant had 
partly in view the previous interpretation of thought in the 
school of Leibniz, according to which the function of thought 
is the analysis of what is given in perceptions and ideas. 
In opposition to that view he throws exclusive emphasis on 
the function of thought not there recognised the creation 
of the conception of an object at all. In this perhaps con 
sists the only valuable contribution that his view makes to 
the psychology of thinking. Tor, if we exclude any refer 
ence to problems belonging to the theory of knowledge, we 
must understand Kant to say that it is through the activity 
of thought that there is established in our apprehension the 
all-important distinction between subjective and objective. 
Whether, then, we accept or reject the general philosophical 
implications of this view, we may at least approach it from 
the psychological side by asking whether it necessarily im 
plies that the establishment of such a distinction is, so to 
speak, the utterance of a single, simple, unique activity m 
mind the spontaneity of thought, 


There is no doubt that Kant expresses himself as if that 
were so. No one contrasts more absolutely than Kant the 
passive determined character of sense-impressions and the 
active determining function of thought. But on this two 
things may be said : first, that so far as its philosophical 
consequences in the theory of knowledge are concerned, the 
peculiarly Kantian doctrine is quite independent of any 
psychological theory as to the nature of thinking and its 
relation to sense and ideas ; and, in the second place, that no 
ingenuity can accommodate the interpretation of Kant s view, 
which he himself encourages, that thinking is a spontan 
eous active unique operation, with the facts of experience, 
and above all with the development of mind through its 
several stages from the primitive consciousness, in which the 
conception of object is almost wholly wanting, to the highest 
reach of scientific reflexion, where the object is really what 
is represented in the highly abstract conception of a real 
world of interconnected parts regulated by general laws. It 
is always hard to determine what Kant means by object. 
The very obscurity is sufficient to show that the objectifica- 
tion of the perception arid idea cannot possibly be the utter 
ance of a single simple unique faculty or power in mind. 

There are two points in Kant s view of thought which 
deserve particular attention. According to his view thought 
has the most intimate relation (1) to object or the objective 
order, and (2) to self-consciousness. Indeed, although we 
separate those two references for convenience, in Kant s 
view they are one and the same. 

(1) As regards the former, it is in and through the 
function of thought that there comes about in our experi 
ence the all-important reference of representations sense- 
perceptions or ideas to the object. On this account Kant 
definitely opposes Leibniz s view of the relation between 
sense and understanding. What thinking does, he main- 


tains, is not to clear up our more confused apprehensions 
of objects, but to give to our representation the reference 
to object at all. Thinking makes objects possible ; and 
in respect, therefore, to what may be called its operation 
on the crude materials of representation, it is in nature 
not analytic but synthetic : it imposes on the materials a 
form of combination of a quite special kind, that which 
we express through the notion of the object. 

It is true that, in this statement, it appears to be implied 
that sense per se, that is, the mere presence of sense- 
perceptions in consciousness, constitutes some kind of appre 
hension or knowledge. As Kant definitely rejects this 
implication, his opposition to Leibniz might of course be 
otherwise expressed, by saying that so far from sense being 
the confused apprehension of what is cleared up in under 
standing, it is not apprehension at all. In a similar fashion, 
when Kant so definitely rejects Leibniz s view that sense 
confusedly represents the purely logical relations which 
are clearly apprehended by understanding, insisting that 
sense, so to speak, has its own absolute character that the 
relations of space and time there reached are final, not to be 
regarded as shadowy confused imitations of the purely logical 
the same implication might be thought to exist: it might 
be thought that sense, according to Kant, constituted one 
kind of apprehension, whereas, according to him, sense per se 
is not apprehension at all. 

We may admit the justice, so far, of Kant s criticism of 
Leibniz s view ; in particular, we may accept the opinion that 
what is apprehended in sense-perception is in its own way 
final. But, nevertheless, it seems difficult, without an 
important qualification, to accept the Kantian view that 
the function of thinking is the introduction of this peculiar 
factor the reference to the object. It is difficult, partly 
because one would hesitate to accept this function as an 


ultimate, partly because there is no such simplicity about 
the notion of object as to render it at all probable that 
its introduction is the expression of a simple unique 
function of mind. Beyond a doubt, when the notion of 
object is taken as Kant himself takes it, our hesitation 
here rapidly changes to certainty. It is impossible to 
suppose that the highly developed representation which can 
be expressed only in the variety of forms unfolded in the 
categories, is the simple, psychologically first, utterance 
of an elementary function of mind. What Kant offers as 
the explicit notion of object may be a description of what 
thought achieves, and may have even special importance 
as a description of a necessary stage in the development 
of experience; it cannot be accepted as indicating the 
immediate proximate addition to the first incoherent move 
ments of sense-perception. It may not have been Kant s 
intention that his critical analysis of the components of 
knowledge should be interpreted as giving at the same 
time a psychological history of the way in which know 
ledge comes about. But it is not possible to separate the 
two inquiries in the way in which he seems to have pro 
ceeded. No one can suppose that the first, the simplest, 
form in which the antithesis arises in consciousness be 
tween the subjective contents of mind and an object is 
that developed systematised representation which appears 
in Kant s analysis as the correlate and expression of 

There is, therefore, as a result of the Kantian analysis of 
the developed representation of object, a further problem of 
the first significance psychologically. If that developed 
representation be not the first and simplest form in which 
the objective reference makes its appearance, in what relation 
does it stand to the simpler modes, and what consequences 
follow with respect to the supposed function of thought ? It 


is to be observed, as of considerable importance from the 
psychological point of view, that in Kant s exposition there 
is a connexion indicated, but not worked out, between object 
or objective order and generality. The objective order is 
the common standard over against which the transitory 
accidental representations of the individual mind are judged 
to be subjective. In fact Kant repeatedly, though without 
sufficiently detailed treatment of the problem implied, 
identifies objective with necessary and universal ; and 
certainly, whatever else necessary and universal may 
signify, they imply generality. It lias been already pointed 
out that one of the difficulties in the comprehension of Kant s 
work is his identification of the function or process of under 
standing in its two lines of application. The categories are 
called by him notions, and put on the same level with the 
logical concept. The analytical function of thinking is 
viewed as having some identity of character with the far 
more important synthetic function. 

Perhaps we shall find, in the more minute analysis of the 
simple manifestations of thinking, a clue to the connexion 
here indicated by Kant between the notions of objective 
and universal or general. It is possible at the same 
time that the result of our analysis will be an important 
modification of the notion objective as employed by Kant. 

(2) In regard to the second point self-consciousness 
beyond a doubt Kant is naming correctly one important 
feature of thinking in our experience. Without that kind 
of combination or connexion in the contents of our experi 
ence which we summarily designate by the term thought, 
self-consciousness would have no existence ; but it is im 
possible to accept the notion self-consciousness as either 
simple or primitive. From the psychological point of 
view, at all events, we are compelled to recognise a con 
tinuous gradation in the consciousness of self ; and we 


cannot regard that highly developed form of it, in which 
it is the correlate of the orderly systematic representation 
of a world of things in space and time, as being the first 
form in which it comes forward in our experience. It 
may be true that what we call thinking a process which, 
as we may assume provisionally, presents itself in very 
different grades of development is just the operation in 
and through which self-consciousness develops. But we are 
not justified in deriving the operation of thought from self- 
consciousness, still less from a form of self-consciousness 
which we cannot suppose to be present from the outset 
in the development of mind. 

These remarks on the Kantian view illustrate what is 
really the greatest difficulty in the psychological analysis of 
thinking. The experience in which the manifestations of 
thinking are to be discovered is so various, that we can 
hardly suppose that a complete thoroughgoing insight into the 
nature of thought can be extracted from any one section of 
it. Moreover, the gradations of the experience from which 
we have to get our insight into thinking are not all of them, 
are not even many of them, within reach of psychological 
analysis. The regressive work which we have to undertake 
carries us inevitably to regions of the inner life which we 
have no direct means of inspecting. Much of it, therefore, 
is inferential, and we have no direct tests to apply to the 
inferences we make. 




WITH this precaution as regards the method to be followed, 
we have now to ask what light is thrown on our problem by 
a survey of the developed functions of thinking. Such 
developed functions are manifested in certain distinctions 
which run through our mature experience, and in certain 
special products which form parts of that experience. Both 
require to be handled with care ; for neither, according to our 
methodical principle, can be at once accepted as ultimate. 
They are to be utilised only as pointing to the earlier, more 
elementary, processes, from which they may have developed, 
and to which we may be able to trace them. 

Of the distinctions, the most obvious is doubtless that 
which appeared in Lotze s treatment as the opposition be 
tween the psychical mechanism and the activity of thinking. 
Our ordinary experience seems abundantly to confirm some 
such contrast. We set on the one side the appearance in 
consciousness of sense-presentations coming from the ob 
jective world, and, in their coming, under no control, or, at 
best, a very indirect control, by us ; likewise the haphazard 
unregulated flow of ideas, regulated no doubt by principles 
and explicable by reference to causes, but standing, so far, 
beyond our control, not dominated by reference to any end 
proposed by the subject himself. Over against these, we 
place the exercise of some activity of our own : the expres- 



sion of ourselves or our own purposes wherein the train of 
ideas is dominated by some end, theoretical or practical, which 
was proposed by the subject himself, and in which the com 
bining or separating of the materials appears as a process 
carried out upon them by the subject. Taken in the mass, 
our thinking appears (1) as a subjective activity, (2) as the 
expression of some purpose, and therefore as self-conscious, 
(3) as relating together the materials supplied by presentation 
and representation. 

It cannot be supposed that, in this distinction, we are 
really naming fundamental and original oppositions of 
mental function. The smallest consideration suffices to 
convince us not only that the distinction is far from being 
so absolute as it appears in expression, but that, as it occurs 
iu our experience, it is in itself fluctuating and variable. 
No one of the members of the oppositions it sums up is capable 
of being taken as simple and ultimate. (1) Subjective 
and objective, which we contrast with one another, evid 
ently present themselves at different stages of experience in 
different aspects. (2) The purposes or ends which we seek 
to realise, and which give to our thinking its self-conscious 
aspect, are also variable, dependent on accidental circum 
stances. (3) The relating or combining and separating 
operation of thinking is evidently only possible if the 
material be adapted thereto ; and the material, therefore, 
cannot be regarded as quite foreign, distinct in origin, 
and wholly opposed psychologically, to thinking itself. 

In the same way, if we take into account the characteristic 
products of the activity of thinking notion, judgment, 
reasoning we shall be compelled to allow that the sharp 
differences which mark them off from one another, and from 
the other contents of mind in our mature experience, must 
needs be regarded as results, not as primitive conditions : that 
the variety in the range of each of them indicates that the 


fully formed product is the last term of a development, and 
that its characteristics are not primitive, and can be taken 
only as indicating the original features from which the 
development started. 

In reasoning, judgment, and notion there have long been 
recognised the special forms of mental process in which the 
activity of thinking is displayed. But the logical analysis of 
these products of thought, which generally determines the 
view we take of their natures, contemplates almost inevitably 
the most matured stage of their existence. Too little atten 
tion has been given to two points significant even for logic, 
namely : (1) the variety of graduated forms in which these 
products appear, and (2) the common basis which constitutes 
each of them a product of thinking. The tendency of 
logical treatment is on the whole to consider exclusively the 
most developed types, and to regard the three products as 
either independent of one another or as only in a kind of 
mechanical relation to one another. 

There are thus two lines of consideration to be followed ; 
and these converge towards a common result. In the first 
place we may seek to connect the developed with the primary 
stages in these several products of thinking; and secondly, 
by a consideration of the points they have in common, we 
may hope to discover what are either fundamental character 
istics of thinking or the determining peculiarities which, in 
the mental life, give a definite impetus in one direction 
the direction which we call summarily the development 
of thought. We take, then, in the first place, the attempt 
to analyse the more complex forms of the products of 
thought, and to connect them with their primary stages. 




BEASONIXO, the most involved of the three types of thought, 
is itself presented as exhibiting a variety of different forms. 
Logical analysis recognises not only the broad division be 
tween deductive and inductive reasoning, but also, within 
the scope of the former, a subdivision which for the moment 
we shall accept in the Kantian fashion as into categorical, 
hypothetical, and disjunctive reasoning. These are generally 
formulated in a way which corresponds to the highest range 
of thinking, with its definite discrimination of the universal 
or general from the special particular or individual. 

In the Disjunctive Syllogism the fundamental proposition 
expresses an exhaustive enumeration of alternative possibil 
ities. It rests therefore on an insight into the determining 
conditions of the subject, which can only be expressed in the 
most general fashion. Now, it is evident that, even if the 
insight here referred to constitutes a ground for recognising 
one specific type of reasoning, it ought not to be for 
gotten that such insight must itself be a derivative fact, 
reached gradually in mind by means of a series of ap 
proximations. If we can trace these approximations, they 
may give us a more complete knowledge of what is involved 
in the result. It may be perfectly true that, under the con 
ditions of knowledge, the disjunctive proposition represents 
one fundamentally distinct form of our way of representing 


real fact. That it should have a history, that it should 
gradually develop in our experience, stands in no contradic 
tion to such recognition of its fundamental value. It is a 
complete mistake to suppose that the significance of a form 
of thinking in our experience, the importance of the part it 
plays in enabling us fully to represent reality, is dependent 
on the manner in which it comes to exist in our concrete 

Evidently, the highest form of the disjunctive proposition 
will be found where most complete abstraction is made of all 
the material conditions which enter into the special subject 
to which it refers. But that this should be so indicates at 
once the nature of the antecedent and less developed forms 
of the same proposition. They may exhibit the same general 
characteristic as is displayed in the developed form, that is, 
they may proceed on the basis of enumeration of alterna 
tives ; but the alternatives enumerated will be determined by 
material conditions, and the exhaustiveness of the enumera 
tion which is required will have a wider or narrower scope 
according to the kind of alternatives that are included. In 
this way, the developed disjunctive proposition does not seem 
to differ in kind from the much more elementary recognition 
of alternatives which is limited in scope by the conditions of 
immediate perception, and which contemplates little more 
than the alternations of Here and There, of Now and Then. 
If this is so, it is also reasonable to assume that the uni 
versality of the developed form is dependent on the possibility 
of making more and more abstraction of accompanying con 
ditions ; and that in turn is dependent on two correlative 
facts : first, increase of material experience, and secondly, 
greater ability to hold together and manipulate masses of 
ideas in consciousness. 

Further, even in its least developed form, the dis 
junctive judgment must be recognised by us as some- 


what complex. It involves the fundamental distinction, 
whether logical or psychological, of subject and predicate ; 
it postulates the ability to relate a given perceived sub 
ject to what is represented in idea ; it involves, there 
fore, a certain recognition of the fundamental distinction 
between order of ideas and order of fact, a recognition, 
moreover, of that distinction which cannot itself be called 
primitive. The conception of alternatives indicates unmis 
takably a certain advance from the primary stage of dis 
tinguishing between idea and fact. Again, there is obviously 
involved in the alternatives, however simple they may be, 
the element of generalisation. An alternative, however 
limited its scope, is representable only in a generalised 
fashion: the alternatives cannot themselves have the deh nite- 
ness of the individual subject. 

Take next the Hypothetical Judgment. Recent logicians 
have tended towards the discrimination of two forms of the 
hypothetical proposition, the basis of the hypothetical reason 
ing. They recognise, first, the more abstract type, that in 
which the members connected, antecedent and consequent, 
have not separate independence, do not constitute in isola 
tion complete predications, where, therefore, the entire 
thought expressed in the hypothetical judgment is not so 
much a combination as a chemical mixture of antecedent 
and consequent. A second and less abstract type admits 
of a certain independence of antecedent and consequent. 
The assertion made is more of the nature of a statement 
respecting the conditions under which a certain fact or 
event comes about. 

Even if the distinction here drawn were admitted, we 
should find that the more abstract type involved a complex 
representation of a connected interdependent whole, which in 
its nature so closely resembles the less developed thoughts of 


less abstract connexions, that we could not overlook the 
fundamental identity of character between them. This con 
nexion in idea between antecedent and consequent is not 
absolutely, but only relatively, distinct from the more con 
crete representation which we frame to ourselves of con 
nexions dependence of events in time, or relation of objects 
in space. Logicians have been in the habit of excluding 
from the range of the hypothetical proposition those forms of 
statement in which a connexion is asserted of a temporal 
kind as whenever A is then B is on the ground that 
logical connexion is independent of temporal qualification. 
But the independence so claimed is only relative. Even 
in the judgment which involves the temporal qualifica 
tion there are present and operative the same functions of 
thinking which, carried to a higher range of abstraction, find 
expression in the purely logical judgment. Our view of what 
is involved in the hypothetical judgment becomes far more 
sound and fruitful when we take these less developed types 
into account than when, we confine attention to the highly 
abstract variety called the logical. 

In these lower types there is implied the representation 
of an orderly connexion, a uniformity of relation, both as 
regards time and as regards space. But this representation 
evidently implies that the subject thinking has reached the 
stage of being able to distinguish the transient momentary 
event from the relatively permanent order of nature, and this 
again indicates recognition, and a somewhat developed recog 
nition, of the difference between order of subjective experi 
ence and order of objective fact. Moreover, as before, the 
element of generality is involved. The order of connected 
fact is never represented, can never be represented, in strictly 
individualised fashion. 

The hypothetical judgment suggests, as can readily be seen, 
the rather interesting question, whether the undoubted com- 


plexity it involves entitles us to regard it as, properly speaking, 
a type of judgment. Logicians more than once have raised 
the question as to the right of the hypothetical to be called a 
judgment. Consider the connexion asserted in it. It is im 
possible to suppose that the consequent is merely an applica 
tion of analysis to the antecedent. There is always, therefore, 
the reference to a factor lying, one may say, outside of anteced 
ent and consequent, and enabling the connexion to be asserted. 
But this is the characteristic of reasoning. The hypothetical 
judgment must therefore raise the further question, whether 
it is not in itself a simple type of the reasoning process, 
whether the act of asserting a connexion, such as is expressed 
in the hypothetical judgment, is not in its nature reasoning. 
No doubt there is implied in this question an assumption not 
yet justified, that judgment in its simplest form contains only 
the factors Subject and Predicate. 

No distinction in regard to the Categorical Judgment is 
more familiar in logic than that between universal and par 
ticular. For our purpose the contrast would perhaps be 
better stated as that between universal and individual. 
Logically, these are placed side by side ; and, for certain pur 
poses, such treatment is adequate. From the psychological 
point of view, however, it is indispensable that we should 
recognise, and endeavour to account for, the all-important 
difference between the universal and individual judgments. 
We should not allow without discussion as the logical 
treatment seems to allow that the universal judgment is 
just an immediate expression of some power which we pos 
sess. At various points, indeed, even in the logical treatment 
of thought, the necessity for some such discussion becomes 
apparent. The theory of syllogism, for example, cannot be 
discussed without consideration of what is actually and in 
detail the representation which finds expression in the uni- 


versal judgment. It is imperative there to inquire what it is 
that we think in the universal proposition, and perhaps 
hardly less necessary to raise the further, more metaphysical, 
question, With what justification do we represent what 
seems to be contained in the universal judgment ? 

The psychological treatment does not, in the first instance 
at least, necessitate the treatment of this second question. 
For its purpose, it is sufficient to describe fully what is the 
total attitude of mind involved in the universal judgment. It 
may be taken for granted that the total representation im 
plied in formulating a universal judgment is complex. What 
ever the judgment may be, it seems beyond question that our 
representation, which gives it body and substance, extends 
far beyond the limits of what can be immediately presented, 
and implies a combination of elements such as could not 
possibly be given in direct immediate fashion. It would no 
doubt be prejudging the metaphysical question to say, 
Therefore the universal judgment is always of the nature of 
an inference. Without going so far as this, it is sufficient 
and it seems necessary from the psychological point of 
view, to say, The universal judgment, however got, is always 
a complex product. It is impossible to suppose that, in 
human consciousness, immediate experience at once calls 
forth universal judgments. If this were applied directly to 
the logical treatment of judgment, it would carry with it 
the rather important consequence which the ordinary logical 
analysis overlooks, that what is called the quantity of judg 
ment is not a primitive inherent mark but a derivative 

Of course it is here taken for granted that universal 
bears the definite meaning of holding good in all possible 
cases. It is therefore implied that some distinction obtains 
between the universal which is expressed in such judgments, 
and such mere generality as may very well accompany prim- 


itive judgments in which the element of distinction is at the 
minimum. The same difference, in fact, is implied here, as 
logicians have seen right to insist on, between the concept or 
developed logical notion and the general or generic repre 
sentation. The logical notion always involves the relatively 
distinct representation of individual cases in which a common 
structure, element, law, or order is realised. Psychologically, 
then, in respect to the categorical judgment, as in respect to 
the others, we must contemplate a gradation in which there 
may be certain common elements, though possibly even the 
simplest form which we may succeed in disentangling will 
exhibit itself as being psychically a complex fact. The line 
of search which we at present pursue that relating to 
quantity would certainly seem to indicate, when followed 
out, that the simplest type of judgment will be that in which 
quantitative distinction is wholly wanting, such, for example, 
as the impersonal judgment in developed speech. 

But another line of inquiry will carry us more directly to 
the heart of the problem. In the universal, beyond question, 
there is the conscious reference of our representation to real 
objective fact. Such objective order may be of one kind 
or another. It may be the order of external nature, or that 
of the inner life, or even a fictitious order based, however, on 
the experiences of the others, and inconceivable except in 
reference to them. This objective order is always recognis 
able as playing a part in whatsoever judgment we form. 
Further, it is to be noted that, when reference to objective 
order is spoken of, the whole process is one of thought: it 
is a representation of objective order; nnd obviously the 
function of judging and the exercise of that function are 
wholly independent of any question as to the adequacy of 
this, that, or any representation of the objective order. Ob 
jective order is our represented objective order, nothing 


111 such judgments, then, there is always some kind of 
combination, synthesis, or relation between representations 
of a more special character, and the representation of ob 
jective fact; and, commonly enough, the combination is 
expressed by means of the abstract term, reference of ideas 
to objective fact. The special problem to which I allude 
concerns the nature of this reference. I approach this prob 
lem first by calling attention to the commonly accepted 
distinction between what is called an Idea and a Judg 
ment. The distinction goes back to Aristotle, who points 
out that in the judgment there is always a combination 
or separation of terms signifying combination or separation 
in fact, and that the terms in isolation do not involve such 
reference to fact. The single representation or idea is thus 
distinguished from the same representation or idea when it 
is embodied in a judgment or assertion. Xo doubt we may 
readily accept some such distinction. Every one must admit 
a difference between the idea of an object simplicitcr and the 
assertion that such an object exists, or even between the idea 
simpliciter and the idea when it forms the subject of an 

Although the difference is clear enough in our mature 
experience, it does not therefore follow that it should with 
equal distinctness hold good at all stages of our mental 
development. Indeed it may be held that the separation of 
the idea the abstraction which has been made in order to 
render it possible to contemplate it simplicitcr is the result 
of thinking, and that we are not therefore entitled to suppose 
that we start with such simple ideas, and then, whether by 
some addition to them or by manipulation of them, proceed 
to the judgment. It seems psychologically certain that the 
implicit reference to the objective order in the idea of an 
object is itself in need of explanation. We have no right 
to assume that our ideas are originally given to us as ideas of 


objects, and then maintain that they are quite distinct from 
assertions with regard to objective fact. 

In what, then, is it supposed that the distinction between 
such simple elements of the judgment and the judgment 
itself consists ? Here the very thorough and excellent dis 
cussion of the question in Brentano s Psychology 1 may be 
taken as the basis for our consideration. Brentano holds 
that the difference between the simple idea representation or 
presentation and the judgment is fundamental and primor 
dial. It is not explicable by reference to any difference in the 
content, nor by any qualitative difference in the apprehension 
of the idea concerned. The assertion (he argues) cannot be 
explained as a clearer or more distinct recognition of what is 
in the idea. It must then be explained as resting on a 
fundamental difference in the attitude of consciousness 
towards the content apprehended a difference comparable 
to that between an idea and an idea which excites desire or 
aversion. In this latter case every one allows that a new 
fundamental and original element is added to the idea. 
Nothing in the intellectual characteristics of the idea ex 
plains the addition of desire or aversion. So in the case of 
judgment. A given content A is asserted : A is ; the addi 
tion is not to be regarded as a new feature of A, which 
remains the same throughout, nor is it a clearer or more 
distinct apprehension of A ; it must consist, then, in some 
distinctness of attitude of the thinking subject towards A ; it 
is the expression of a unique, simple, primitive function of 
mind. Accordingly, from his point of view, Brentano recog 
nises judging as one of the fundamental primitive compon 
ents of consciousness. Presentations are given and are 
judged; and all judgment, moreover, as he regards it, is 
assertion of the existence or non-existence of what is given 
in presentation or idea. 

1 [Psychologic, B. II. c. vii. ; cf. above, p. 180.] 


According to this view the function of judging is wholly 
and exclusively the addition to a given content of the refer 
ence to objective reality. The doubt one would entertain 
with respect to such an explanation concerns the justification 
for assuming, as it assumes, that objective reality in any 
fashion can be taken as a primitive element in the experience 
of the thinking subject. Evidently if it be primitive, it can 
not be in form a detailed representation. The existence of 
A cannot consist in the position of A in any, however un 
developed, system of reality. We may find ourselves led to 
regard this function of judging, if primitive, as being of the 
inexplicable character of a feeling. And, indeed, not a few 
psychologists Hume, 1 for example have been found main 
taining that the difference between an idea and an asserted 
reality is constituted by the presence of a peculiar feeling ; 
some for example, J. S. Mill, 2 as well as Hume have named 
the inexplicable element Belief. 

Brentano represents a long tradition in maintaining that 
the essential fact in thinking is the peculiar function of 
judgment, which is regarded as primitive simple and an 
addition made to perceptions or ideas. No one would doubt 
the difference between the simple presentation or idea and 
the judgment. But it is not equally clear that we are en 
titled to assume that such difference as now presents itself 
is in its own nature primitive and simple. It is equally 
doubtful whether, considering the nature of the supposed act 
of judging or asserting, we are entitled to regard it as a 
simple and primitive function of mind. It must certainly 
be regarded as surprising that, if the function of judging be 
simple and primordial, its exercise should vary with the 
conditions presented. For it can hardly be supposed that 
every perception or idea these being assumed to be inde 
pendent of the judging function shall, simply as such, call 

1 [See above, vol. i. p. 144.] 2 [See below, p. 272 n.] 


forth the activity of that function. And, if the exercise of 
the function be in any way dependent on conditions, these 
can only lie in some characteristics of the perceptions or 
ideas judged about, and the process becomes a complex in 
stead of a simple one. 

Moreover, there is some ground for doubt regarding the 
description of the primitive judgment to which all others 
are on this view reduced. The existential judgment is not 
in itself so clear arid unambiguous that we can without hesi 
tation accept it as requiring no further explanation ; for it 
is quite evident that the existence which enters into our 
various judgments is not always of the same kind. Exist 
ence, then, cannot be regarded as a simple unambiguous 
predicate. It demands a closer analysis to determine what 
is contained in the supposed assertion of existence. In all 
probability the ground for insisting on the primitive irre 
ducible character of this asserted existence is the absolute 
distinction drawn between the contents of the judgment and 
the reference to objective fact which seems to stand along 
side of them. For, if this distinction be made absolute 
perhaps I ought to say, be misinterpreted it is natural to 
conclude that any specification of the kind of existence 
must needs be in terms of some content or other which 
would therefore lie altogether outside of the assertion of 

It will be observed that this view to which we seem re 
duced is the fundamental conception at the root of all forms 
of Subjective Idealism. It is not necessary to adopt Sub 
jective Idealism by accepting that foundation, for we may 
add to it, as is done in the theory here considered, the 
postulate that alongside of the contents there is given a 
simple irreducible assertion which carries us straightway to 
the objective. But, the more complete we make the dis 
tinction, the more startling and doubtful do we make the 


postulate of this simple irreducible assertion of objective 

Besides, if we draw the distinction in this way, we are 
compelled to raise the further question, Whether we are 
justified in assuming that the analysis we can so readily 
make of our developed complex judgments wherein, as we 
say, there are ideas connected plus some factor of belief or 
assertion is an expression of the primitive components of 
the mental life within which judging and thinking manifest 

We have as much reason for doubt with regard to this 
as with regard to the cognate distinction in language be 
tween the parts of speech and the sentence. In formed 
speech we make the analysis readily enough, and are all too 
prone to assume that in fact the sentence, which is the type 
of connected speech, is built up out of those components into 
which we now resolve it. But this is not so. No lan<niae 

O O 

is constructed out of original elements precisely correspond 
ing to the separate words into which we may now analyse it. 
If any result of philological inquiry can be trusted, we are 
justified in assuming that, in the primitive components of 
speech, the familiar distinctions, by means of which we 
break up the developed sentence into its parts, were not 
present ; that the unit of speech resembled far more closely 
the sentence than the part of the sentence, though in truth 
it was identical with neither. In a similar fashion we may 
insist, on psychological grounds, that the sharp distinction 
we make between the terms of a judgment and the asser 
tion of objective reality is a derivative fact, and does not 
represent the primitive condition of the simpler mental 

There is a great deal of abstraction involved in this ap 
parently simple discrimination. It may be quite true that 
the distinction between a sensation and an idea is irre- 


ducible, primordial, as Mill, for example, contends ; l and, to 
all appearance, Brentano s theory was a development from 
that observation. But, undoubtedly, the distinction does 
not consist in this, that with the same content there is 
present in the one and wanting in the other, a simple in 
explicable utterance of the function of judgment an asser 
tion of objective existence. If we do make the abstraction 
required in order to contemplate isolated sensations and 
ideas as facts of mind (and such abstraction may really give 
a very imperfect picture of the actual mental process), we 
may fairly recognise differences of a quite ultimate or 
primordial kind without describing them in terms of a really 
complex act. 

To all appearance, then, our discussion now thrusts us 
back to what may certainly be regarded as a tolerably simple 
and early stage of consciousness the apprehension of the 
objective. It seems to me impossible to form any psycho 
logical theory of the judgment except by regarding its several 
forms as based on the simplest consciousness of the objective 
in our experience, and as expressing, in their gradual de 
velopment, the increasing width and richness of the total 
representation of objective fact which we find in that ex 
perience. I assume some such gradation in the range of our 

1 See J. S. Mill s edition of James aspect of the same difference." [P. 

Mill s Analysis of the Phenomena of 423 : " I cannot help thinking, there- 

the Human Mind, vol. i. pp. 412-3 : fore, that there is in the remembrance 

" What, in short, is the difference to of a real fact, as distinguished from 

our minds between thinking of a that of a thought, an element which 

reality, and representing to ourselves does not consist, as the author sup- 

an imaginary picture. I confess that poses, in a difference between the 

I can perceive no escape from the mere ideas which are present to the 

opinion that the distinction is ulti- mind in the two cases. This element, 

mate and primordial. There is no howsoever we define it, constitutes 

more difficulty in holding it to be so, Belief, and is the difference between 

than in holding the difference be- Memory and Imagination. From 

tween a sensation and an idea to be whatever direction we approach, this 

primordial. It seems almost another difference seems to close our path."] 


representation of reality, and I think it probable that we 
shall be able to make out a connexion between the more 
concrete forms of that representation and the more abstract 
a connexion which will explain to us the ultimate relation, 
the tendency almost to flow into one another, of the two 
conceptions reality and truth. 

I assume also what I think would readily be granted, that 
the whole development of this representation of reality is 
correlated with, and dependent on, the growth in the con 
scious subject of those experiences sensations, ideas, and 
their combinations wherein his mental life consists. It is 
to this side that the psychological analysis of thinking has 
to turn ; and its first problem is to determine what combina 
tion of experiences in the inner life is required in order 
to give, in its primitive form, the distinction between sub 
jective and objective. In the absence of such distinction no 
judgment can possibly have a place in consciousness ; for the 
judgment, whatever else it may involve, has as its character 
istic the reference to the objective. We have already seen 
that such reference is not to be taken as a simple unchange 
able part of the judgment. The objective referred to is a 
variable quantity ; and we cannot and ought not to suppose 
that what we vaguely call the reference remains entirely 
unaffected by this alteration in what it concerns. 

Xo thinking then, so far at least as that is expressed in 
the recognised products of thought, is possible except on the 
basis of the fundamental discrimination in consciousness be 
tween the subjective and the objective. Now there can be 
no doubt that, so far as our human experience is concerned, 
the simplest form of that discrimination concerns solely the 
difference between sensuous perception and idea a differ 
ence which is itself capable of resolution into a number of 
connected factors. "Were we limited in our experiences to 
what are commonly called intellectual processes, it is doubtful 



whether this distinction could ever make its appearance. 
Only because every change in our consciousness is accom 
panied by a varying amount of sensuous feeling and of 
impulse which is very different in the two contrasted cases 
(that of actual stimulation of the organs of sense and that 
of revived idea), is it possible for a first crude imperfect 
distinction to establish itself in mind between subjective 
and objective. 1 

The objective order, in such primitive sensuous conscious 
ness, does not extend beyond the occasions of actual sense- 
perception. A certain unity of the subjective consciousness 
is undoubtedly implied in the merely natural conditions 
which render possible even the simplest form of this dis 
tinction : for, at all events, there must be a coexistence in 
one and the same state of a number of distinct modifications 
of consciousness. We may conjecture rather than confidently 
name the conditions on which the establishment of a higher 
form of that primitive unity of mind depends. Apparently 
it depends much on the two circumstances : (1) the range of 
discriminated sense-perceptions, (2) the possibility of accurate 
and complete revival of these in idea. A consciousness pos 
sessing but few elements of sense-perception, and these but 
vaguely discriminated, reviving few of its original impres 
sions, and that in an imperfect form, can hardly arrive, I do 
not say at a representation of continuity in time, but even at 
the basis for such a representation the ability to hold to 
gether in one state of consciousness present perceptions and 
a number of revived ideas with their distinguishing circum 
stance. A unity of mind which involves a certain repre 
sentation of continuous existence implies likewise, with 

1 Although, strictly speaking, our mented by what is said elsewhere 
conception of mind hardly extends regarding the function of the space- 
beyond the form in which such dis- element in the formation of the dis 
tinction is involved. [The statement tinctiou between subjective and ob- 
in the text here should be supple- jective. See vol. i. pp. 238, 291 f.J 


respect to the object, recognition therein of the primitive 
time-relation and also representation of the object as pos 
sessing continuity and unity of existence. Our sense - 
perceptions and ideas taken in isolation are ways in which 
we apprehend, directly or indirectly, this continuous per 
manent objective existence. 

On the basis of even the simple distinction between the 
reality of what is apprehended immediately in sense-percep 
tion and the representative character of what is given in an 
idea, there would no doubt be possible a certain rudimentary 
form of judgment. Such rudimentary form is perhaps in 
dicated wherever a portion of sentient experience is inter 
preted as a sign ; for the interpretation of any given content 
as a sign implies (1) a certain power of holding, side by side 
and apart from one another, ideas and actual facts, and (2) 
a certain (I think one must call it) sense of continuity. No 
doubt it is hard, from our point of view, to express these 
implications without introducing into them the reflective 
elements which are now always present in our interpretation 
of a sign ; but the admission of the implications seems to me 
inevitable. It is quite certain that, even where the mental 
development does not extend beyond the perceptive stage, as 
in the animal, it is possible for interpretation of signs to 
come about. In our human experience, however, another 
factor is introduced which modifies in a very important way 
the meaning of symbols or signs and the method of interpret 
ing them. 

The objective world, even with the restriction of its sig 
nificance to that which is immediately presented to sense, 
is not for us merely the antithesis to our own individual 
inner life. Nay, perhaps the correlative term here intro 
duced the individual inner life would never acquire a 
definite meaning except in and through that further factor 
to which I refer. The real world of perception is the com- 


mon point of reference for the experiences of a number of 
similar percipient subjects. 

It will always be a difficult, perhaps an impossible, problem 
for special psychology, to determine accurately the history of 
the steps whereby this all-important extension of meaning is 
given to the objective sense-perceived reality. In all prob 
ability such an addition depends on a number of distinct 
psychical processes, of some of which we have a tolerably 
clear conception. Even within the limits of the individual 
mind we can discover what the conditions are which render 
it possible to contrast the immediate sense-perception itself 
with the reality which is apprehended thereby. Evidently, 
for such a distinction, there is required a considerable coher 
ence on the side of that complex of mental facts which makes 
up the unity of the percipient subject ; and correlatively it 
is quite certain that there must coincide with these facts, 
perhaps as rendering them possible, a certain regularity of 
occurrence of the sense-presentations which are given to the 

But, even admitting these implications, we must acknow 
ledge that there is much that is obscure, and perhaps hardly 
capable of completely satisfactory explanation, in the history 
of the process whereby the individual subject recognises a 
kind of existence generically identical with his own, ascribes 
to it the same kind of unity and identity as he finds in 
himself, and thereby places it in the same relation to per 
ceived reality as that which is expressed in his own experi 
ence. The process once completed, a wholly new aspect of 
the perceived reality is disclosed, and what is called interpre 
tation of signs acquires a new and larger significance. It is 
here, among these primitive acts of the forming intelligence, 
that we at the same time come upon that which has long 
been (and is probably destined long to be) a puzzle for 
human reflexion the origin of speech or language. 


We have no direct means of determining in what way the 
two processes so closely linked together worked into one 
another. Neither must be regarded as, so to speak, an in 
stantaneous act. Even the simpler of them, the generation 
of the common consciousness of reality a process which 
results in the highly important distinction in the inner life 
between the individual aspect of the subject s experiences 
and their general validity must be conceived of by us, 
despite our present prejudices, as coming about gradually. 
Once established, and supported as it is throughout by the 
product of the other process, the formation of a common 
stock of signs with objective significance, the continuity 
of human social existence renders it altogether unnec 
essary, and even impossible, for the individual subject 
again to pass through in a recognisable fashion the series of 
steps by which the result was first reached. There is now, 
as it were, forced on the growing consciousness of each in 
dividual subject the very distinction which had slowly and 
painfully to be evolved in the earliest stages of the develop 
ment of human consciousness. 

The origin of speech or language no doubt constitutes a 
problem which can only be approached indirectly; and, un 
fortunately, there are few or no materials for testing the 
inferences by which alone we can offer an account of the 
process of that origination. At best, perhaps, the facts at 
our disposal enable us only to indicate what general types of 
conditions are involved in the first conscious use of signs as 
having objective significance. I here refer to the problem 
only because the consideration of it brings forcibly before us 
the inseparable connexion between objective and general. 
It has long been a commonplace that language, or the system 
of signs constituting a language, is general in significance. 
It is equally true to say that such signs have always ob- 


jective significance ; and, historically, it seems tolerably 
clear that objective first signified the more limited range of 
what was immediately given in sense - perception. Now, 
such immediate data by no means involved at first the clear 
sharply-drawn distinctions which we make between outer 
and inner, between nature and mind. The primitive distinc 
tion, in and through which consciousness first arises, might 
very well be drawn in the absence of any such precise 
description of the contrasted facts as is now familiar to us. 
Accordingly, it ought not to surprise us that all the records 
of language tend to confirm the view that at first the descrip 
tion of objective facts, of what is offered in sense-perception, 
is given largely in terms which express the composite ex 
perience of the subject in his relation to the outer world. 
Again, researches into the origin of language make toler 
ably clear to us the kind of generality which first attached 
to the signs or symbols. At first, the meaning of the sign 
was naturally determined on the basis of such direct experi 
ence as was possessed ; that is to say, it was such features of 
what had to be symbolised as attracted attention, that were 
able to be assimilated, apprehended, by the primitive intelli 
gence. Such hasty abstractions from the given, from what 
is presented in experience, doubtless based also on but a 
scanty survey of instances, have certainly a kind of gener 
ality ; but it is the generality which comes from indetermin- 
ateness and want of precision. It is therefore compatible 
with two features which we can discover even among the 
terms of a developed language : on the one hand the same 
significance is thought to be apprehended in a great variety of 
really distinct facts of experience ; and, on the other hand, 
what is really the same feature or character of given ex 
perience may present a variety of aspects each of which 
suggests, so to speak, another significance marked or sym 
bolised by a sign. Thus we might suppose that the first 


rudimentary signs in primitive language would have a 
fluctuating character in two ways : one and the same sign 
would stand for a great variety of experiences connected, it 
may be, by the loosest links of analogy ; and one and the 
same fact, as we call it now, would be symbolised by a great 
variety of signs. This is exactly what, so far, the researches 
into the history of language make plain to us. 

Taken roughly, these researches have yielded one psycho 
logically all-important result. They show that, with respect 
to given types of language, it is possible to reduce their 
immense developed structure and composition to a certain 
number of significant signs which cannot be further explained. 
The development of a language is regarded as the history of 
the progress from a certain number of roots. Thus the dis 
cussion of the more primitive grades of the formation of 
a language concentrates on the question of the way in which 
these roots are to be understood and accounted for. It was 
not unnatural in the light of such a result that, with respect 
to roots, there should be revived in modern times most of the 
old theories respecting the origin of language ; and, in par 
ticular, that these roots should have been taken to constitute 
the simple irreducible primitive stock of signs employed by 
the human mind under particular conditions for social in 
tercourse, communication of thought, signification of the 
objective. Equally natural was the assumption that in 
each root was somehow imbedded a definite significance, 
seeing that it was possible to find an explanation for the 
variety which the formed language displayed in its develop 
ment from the root. 

But it ought not to have escaped notice that any such 
assumption is wholly incompatible with the natural history 
of language : that nothing could be more unlikely, judging 
even from the records of development from the roots, than 
that these roots themselves should have had from the outset 


a definite precise significance. Evidently the same circum 
stances, which in their after-history serve to explain the varia 
tions of meaning, cannot be supposed inoperative previously 
except on the violent assumption that the roots somehow 
sprang into existence with just that definite significance 
which we now think ourselves justified in assigning to them. 

If, proceeding from these facts regarding language, we apply 
them to elucidate the psychological conditions under which 
the use of verbal signs may have originated, we are compelled, 
I think, to this general conclusion : The word first makes its 
appearance as a sign for a highly complex inner experience, 
a total attitude of the subject to the matters presented to him 
in perception. We must regard the word as having its locus 
in that grade of developing intelligence in which there becomes 
clear and distinct for the first time the objective meaning of 
perceived experience as the common field of action for a 
number of percipient subjects. Thus, not only is a consider 
able development of mind implied as precondition for the use 
of signs ; but that development carries in it the distinction 
between the objective order of fact and the relatively sub 
jective character of sense-perceptions and ideas. Moreover, 
it is a natural conclusion (and it is as fully confirmed as one 
can expect by the records of primitive language) that the 
first signs should be prevailingly significant of the complex 
fact the relation of the human subject to the objects of his 
experience. It need not surprise us, therefore, to discover 
that what may be called the fundamental grammatical 
categories are, in their first form, indicative of the practical 
relations of the agent to his surroundings. Primitive lan 
guage is just as prevailingly anthropomorphic as human 
thinking in general, or in any of its specific developments 
mythology, for example, in which the same tendency is 
perhaps more easily seen. 

The word or sign, then, carried with it from the outset 


objective significance. It had from the outset that very 
reference to an order distinct from the inner process of ideas 
and impressions which we have been regarding as pre 
eminently the characteristic of thought. Moreover, even 
though words gradually come to have their significance 
more sharply determined, so that they name this or that 
portion of experience, and the putting them together in 
intelligent speech seems to be a process extraneous to them, 
yet in truth, in their first appearance, they are significant of 
a complex fact such as would find expression later by the 
developed instrument of the proposition or judgment. From 
all this it would appear that what we have been assuming 
as specially requiring consideration in respect to thought 
its objective reference is not in any way peculiar to think 
ing ; that, therefore, the theory which finds most definite 
expression in the Kantian doctrine of knowledge that 
through thought only is the object possible is either 
erroneous or only a partial truth. 

It is certainly to be admitted that the developed repre 
sentation of an objective world, a structure regulated by 
general laws, and a common standard for the individual 
perceptions of all perceiving subjects that this is possible 
only through and in the process of thinking. But it is 
not created by that process : it is in truth but one aspect, 
which we erroneously abstract, of the whole complex de 
velopment whereby our experience is constituted, which 
itself rests on and starts from perception, and which is 
itself dependent on the material features of what is given 
to us in perception. When, therefore, Kant tells us that 
the understanding makes nature, at least in its formal 
aspect, that it is only through understanding and by its 
operation that the complex of our perceptive experience 
comes to have systematic connexion, we must regard him 
as so exaggerating a half-truth as to turn it into a philos- 


ophical error. It is undoubtedly true that our thinking 
in its developed form involves the representation of a scheme 
of universal laws in the concrete of perceptive experience. 
But it is, on the one hand, wholly impossible to effect the 
separation which Kant s view implies, between the formal 
and material elements of nature ; and, on the other hand, we 
are bound to recognise that no shadow of this representation 
of nature as a systematic whole would appear in our con 
sciousness except by gradual development from the simple 
primitive distinction between the sentient subject and an 
order of fact distinct from his perceiving and feeling, though 
devoid of the element of universal or general law. One may 
say, of course, that in that primitive distinction there is 
implicit what presents itself later in the clear outline of our 
thought of self and nature. But the development of what is 
implicit, even if we admit for the moment that ambiguous 
notion, is by no means to be regarded as dependent solely on 
the activity of some inner process : it is equally conditioned 
by the character of the matter presented in our perceptive 

Thus, in very general terms, we should regard Thinking as 
a name for either a set of processes of the inner life or a set 
of modifications of the content apprehended through that 
inner life, based upon the simpler facts of perception, and 
constituting, therefore, not an isolated faculty or power in 
mind but a higher grade of what is given in simpler fashion 
in the primitive distinction between self and not-self. If 
we call the thinking apprehension of things a form which 
our experience assumes, we must bear in mind that the form 
is not independent of the matter, that it is not even a form 
which is presented in all its completeness at a stroke: it is 
dependent on the matter of our experience, and comes for 
ward in consciousness in a series of gradations whose progress 
we can trace to a certain extent. 




ON the basis of this very general view it seems possible to 
obtain a fairly sufficient answer to some of the main 
problems connected with the theory of thinking. 

I. Interrelation of the Products of Thinking. Let us take 
first the question regarding the relation to one another of the 
products of thought the notion, judgment, and reasoning. 
Even when we recognise that notions form a series whose 
first members can by no means possess the complexity and 
abstractness of the more developed, it is apparent that even 
the first forms of what are called notions cannot be regarded 
as isolated facts of the inner life. A notion, it is true, like 
the word which expresses it, always embodies the reference 
to objective fact, Lotze is undoubtedly correct in laying 
stress on this function which words discharge : they are 
symbols, riot of a content iu the individual s mind, but of 
what he takes himself to apprehend of objective fact in that 
content. A notion or word, therefore, is always, in its 
psychological application, indicative of a complete complex 
act on the part of the subject employing it. One way of ex 
pressing the meaning of a word, or of laying out the content 
of a notion, tends to disguise this, and to make us represent 
the notion or word as significant of something abstracted 
from its position in the complex of experience. Words no 
doubt do acquire this abstractness; but, at the outset, as 


has been pointed out, they seem to be employed, not 
as names of things or qualities or relations, but as indi 
cations of the total complex fact the attitude of the 
subject towards an object or event in his experience. Ac 
cordingly the view is correct that the notion, as it is re 
garded from the logical point of view, is an abstraction 
from the judgment ; and perhaps one might say with equal 
truth that what, in logic, is described as the judgment is, 
in like fashion, an abstraction from the more complex fact 
which lies at the root of all employment of signs or words 
as indicating objective fact. What is here involved is a 
complex process which as much resembles reasoning as 
judgment; for in it there is implied the reference from 
a represented content to an objective order distinct from 
it, which is the very essence of reasoning. 

We ought then, in strictness, to regard the so-called 
products of thought not as falling into a series of increasing 
complexity, the notion being the simple factor, the judgment 
and reasoning successively more complex combinations 
thereof, but as three developments from a common root, 
retaining throughout so much of similarity that it ought 
not to be surprising that in practice it is hard, almost 
impossible, to distinguish the one from the other. As 
we have seen, there are types of so-called judgments which, 
on closer inspection of the thought expressed in them, 
cannot be distinguished from reasonings. There are 
reasonings so simple, where the data so immediately 
combine to yield what is called the conclusion, that it is 
hard, sometimes almost impossible, to distinguish them 
from judgments. The characteristics of each product in 
dicate the special conditions under which the general 
development is carried out. 

IT. Objectivity and Universality. We have already noted 


in Kant s view of thinking the analogy which he emphasised 
between the conception of object and the representation of 
a universal rule. According to his view, the object appre 
hended was, in its own nature, that which determined in a 
general or universal way the combination of presentations 
or sense-intuitions constituting the matter apprehended. 

Now, though it does not seem possible to accept in its 
entirety the Kantian view of thought, yet there is much 
to be said in favour of the intimate relation here implied 
between objectivity and universality in our thought. 
Evidently whatever is universalised must have, in one 
sense, the aspect of objectivity. It is represented as at 
all events independent of the individual act of thinking, 
as common for all intelligences, as in some way, there 
fore, related to intelligence as such. 

Equally evident is it that this highly abstract form of 
objectivity cannot in that way be involved in the simple 
recognition of the objective in perception. Nevertheless 
it points to the presence of a corresponding factor in 
perception. The object there, however concretely repre 
sented, has the two aspects (1) of being independent 
of and determining the immediate act of perceiving, and 
(2) of being common to all percipient minds. Generality, 
then, and, as we might call it, independence of the 
particular act of apprehending, these two features are 
presented, in the first instance crudely no doubt, in per 
ceptive consciousness. And their combination suggests the 
reflexion that there is not an opposition but only a 
difference of degree between the objectivity of fact, which 
we are in the habit of confining to perception, and the 
objectivity of truth, which we are in the habit of assigning 
specifically to thought. To relate these two in such a 
way as to regard them as so far identical in nature does 
not in any way imply that we are entitled to transfer 


what is found to hold good of the one forthwith to the 
other. Any such transference must depend not on the 
formal identity of significance between the two, but on 
the material character or content which is apprehended 
in either case. Nevertheless the result to which we 
are led seems to be that, in the long run, in ultimate 
analysis, fact and truth coincide ; and that, therefore, 
what we call the necessity of thought will be found 
ultimately not to differ from but to be of like kind with 
the necessity of fact. 

Still we have to consider more particularly what is 
involved in the undoubted divergence of our thinking 
activity from perception, a divergence which is commonly, 
though inaccurately, expressed in the opposition between 
individual and universal. We can never disentangle this 
perplexing problem so long as we retain the imperfect 
representation of our mental life as consisting of isolated 
facts or atoms. If we represent to ourselves perceptions 
or sensations as individuals, we are necessarily led to 
represent the thought which relates to these, and is 
their generalisation, as though it resulted from some pro 
cess performed upon the given units, a process expressible 
only in metaphorical and wholly inappropriate terms. 

But if we recognise that, in concrete reality, the inner 
life is always a complex process from which these units 
are pure abstractions of our own, then we may be able 
to see that the transition from the stage of perception 
to that of thinking consists in a re-arrangement of what 
is at first given, a re-arrangement that may involve even 
an increase of complexity. Thus the isolated perception, 
as we call it, is really in consciousness only as one part of 
a complex whole, involving relations as well as the related 
parts, and involving not merely the immediate impressions 
of sense but also revived ideas. 


Moreover, that primary distinction which renders possible 
any furthur progress in mind, the distinction between self 
and not-self, implies an increased complexity of the total 
state of mind at any moment. The true unit, if we will 
employ that term, is always the entire sum of consciousness 
at any given moment, a sum of which we are able to say 
in general that, as mind develops, it becomes increasingly 
more complex ; and we are equally entitled to say that, 
in the development of mind, as in development generally, 
this complexity involves a relatively greater independence 
of the parts which are originally fused with one another. 
Thus, while primitive consciousness involves but little dis 
crimination between the parts related and the relations, 
it is the characteristic of developed mind that these should 
be clearly held apart from one another, and that thereby 
each should acquire a more definite form. The severing 
of the relations from the related parts by no means implies 
that we know each separately, and that each retains the 
form in which it was first presented : rather, it implies that, 
while each of these is apprehended more distinctly, the 
content of each is affected by every distinction that has 
enabled the separation to come about. 

Now, we describe this process in general terms as though 
it came about by itself : actually, it comes about only in 
and through the supply of fresh material in consciousness ; 
and it depends therefore on quite natural conditions. For 
example, little or no advance would be possible in any direc 
tion in a mental life in which little or no provision was 
made for the retention and revival of those presentations 
which have already occurred in consciousness. Putting the 
matter roughly, one may say that the grade of mind is 
expressed by the range, the span or compass, of conscious 
ness at any moment. A mind which can hold but little 
together at any one moment is altogether incapable of 


drawing the distinctions, and becoming aware of the relations, 
which make its experience a connected systematic whole. 

In the case before us perceptive consciousness presents 
us with the rudimentary form of certain relations which 
are at first not distinguished, or distinguished but little, 
from the content of the given presentations. On the one 
hand we have the relations of space and time, on the 
other hand, the relations of identity and difference, unity 
and plurality ; but these are not at first involved in the 
way naturally suggested by the abstract terms used. Now, 
thinking first makes its appearance in and through the 
separation of these relations from the related contents ; 
and thus the first products of thought, themselves complex 
facts in mind, are the generalised representations of space- 
and-time relations and of such identities as are forced 
on attention in the given material of presentation. 

Our thinking, then, is, in and through the recognition 
of these relations, a universalising or generalising of what 
is immediately given. There is, therefore, a certain con 
tinuous advance from the simple form of perception to 
the more developed structure of thought. This advance is, 
at each stage, dependent on the supply of concrete material ; 
and it results, not only in the establishment of a connected 
system of thoughts, but in the transformation of perceptive 
consciousness. The generalising work of thought does not 
leave perception unaffected : the distinctions which enter 
into it become themselves generalised. Again, therefore, 
one must hesitate to accept as final the opposition commonly 
supposed to obtain between perceiving and thinking. 

One aspect of that commonly accepted opposition may 
be considered for a moment. The content of thought, at 
all events in its developed fashion, is the representation 
of an order which is, so to speak, independent of time. 
Time indeed may be represented in the content : my thought, 


for example, may be the representation of the uniform way 
in which events succeed one another ; but, taken in itself 
as universal, the content seems independent of time. On 
the other hand, it is urged, perception is always dependent 
on time. But one might fairly ask. Is there not some 
confusion here ? are we not comparing two totally different 
aspects of perception and thought ? It is perfectly true 
that perception is dependent on the given sense-impression 
of the moment; equally true that it is the apprehension 
of what exists now : that is to say, the determination of 
present time is part of the total content apprehended in 
perception. But the act of thinking at any moment is 
just as obviously dependent on temporal conditions : the 
human mind at all events thinks at one time and 
not at another ; and there may perfectly well be a temporal 
determination in the content that is apprehended in thought. 
If we compare the first feature (that perceiving is de 
pendent on momentary conditions) with the second 
feature (that the content of thought may be the repre 
sentation of a constant order), no doubt there appears 
to be a difference of kind. But such an opposition is quite 
inappropriate : the contrast is wrongly made ; and, in truth, 
so far as apprehension is concerned, both perceiving and 
thinking present the aspect of being independent of time. 
There is, therefore, it appears to me, no fundamental 
opposition in respect to the element of time between 
perceiving and thinking. 

III. Thinkiny and Self -consciousness. "With the develop 
ment of thinking there goes naturally, inevitably, the 
development of other elements in the mental life. In 
particular we may notice the connexion which seems to 
hold between the development of thought and the develop 
ment of self-consciousness. Any development of thought 



the gradual formation of an apprehended content which 
is related to, but different from, the momentarily given 
perceptions depends on the possibility within conscious 
ness of distinguishing sharply from one another the stream 
of ideas and the series of sense-perceptions. Nay, more, 
the same development depends on the possibility of unifying 
each opposed stream : the flow of ideas must have a certain 
unity as constituting, in part at least, the life of the subject ; 
the order of perceptions must have a certain unity as the 
appearance, the manifestation, of the object. But this very 
development is both part of the process of thinking and 
indispensable to its further growth. Without such unifica 
tion of the subject and of the object it would be impossible 
to discriminate with any clearness and distinctness the re 
lations whereby the parts of our experience are connected 
together. A thinking mind, therefore, is a mind which is 
at the same time conscious of itself; and the activity of 
thinking comes to be pre-eminently a subjective process, 
the process whereby the mind lays hold of and interprets 
in its own terms what is given to it in experience. 

Thus, while thinking retains throughout, as regards its 
content, the impress of objectivity (that which is thought 
is no product of the mind itself), it is, in its own exercise 
as a process, pre-eminently subjective ; and, as it is applic 
able indifferently either to the given material of external 
perception or to the series of changes in the subject s 
own existence, it comes to acquire a position almost of 
opposition to the mechanism of sense-perception and asso 
ciation. It is a process conditioned by its own laws ; and 
these again, as we shall see, are laws not capable of ex 
pression in terms of the natural occurrence of facts: they 
are not laws such as those of the sequence of mental 
states, but are dependent on the character of the content 
which is apprehended in thinking. 


The term self-consciousness will always have a certain 
ambiguity ; and perhaps it must also be said that it is hardly 
possible for us to extend our consideration from the matured 
reflective form of self-consciousness to its primitive stages 
with complete satisfaction. It is only by indirect procedure 
that we can establish the general conclusion that the reflective 
form is developed from the more primitive, that the concep 
tion of self as distinct even from the stream of the inner life, 
is not given in, but rests upon, a more simple unity that 
which we find first in the perceptive subject. Doubtless the 
ultimate basis of any unity of the self, and therefore of any 
reflective consciousness of self, is to be found in those con 
ditions which render consciousness at all possible : especially 
the presence of distinct contents in one and the same state of 
apprehension. So far as we can judge from indirect evidence, 
beings capable of consciousness differ widely in respect of the 
possibility of such simultaneous apprehension of a manifold ; 
and, undoubtedly, the further development towards a reflect 
ive consciousness of self depends mainly on the possibility 
of increasing the complex of distinct parts which may be 
brought together in one and the same state of consciousness. 
A conscious existence which retained in the form of idea but 
little of what had preceded in perception, which was depend 
ent mainly or wholly on the momentary impression, and 
which re-acted to such impression with little more than a 
single confused content, would obviously involve little unity 
of the conscious subject, just as it would distinguish little 
between the single object and its variable conditions. 

On the whole, therefore, from indirect considerations, one 
would infer that the reflective form of self-consciousness 
requires, as its natural basis, a considerable development of 
the more immediate distinction between the single con 
tinuous self of perceptive experience and its varying states 
a distinction which corresponds to, and is correlated with, 


that between the world of real objects and its varying 

If this be so, then evidently the possibility of abstracting 
the relations which connect together the parts of our conscious 
experience indicates at the same time a higher and more 
definite form of the unity of the Self, and, in like manner, 
implies a higher, more subtle, conception of that objective 
world with which self is correlated. It is, indeed, because 
no fresh distinction can be introduced into self -consciousness 
without there being simultaneously developed a change in 
our representation of the object, that it becomes so difficult 
almost impossible to contrast thinking and perceiving, or 
even to regard them as stages, the latter of which must 
precede the former. The very conditions which render 
possible the emergence of the more abstract activity con 
stitute a modification of what has preceded. To the subject 
who has a reflective consciousness of himself the object no 
longer is, or can be, what it was for him in the stage of merely 
perceptive experience. 

IV. The Categories. Thus we should readily enough accord 
recognition to Kant s analysis of the abstract conception of 
the object as being in itself a statement of the conditions 
under which reflective consciousness of self is possible. 
But, at the same time, we should altogether dispute the 
justification for assuming that this analysis gives the simple 
ultimate conditions of experience in the largest sense. More 
over, the tendency of our method of treating thought and 
self-consciousness is towards a rejection of that exhaustive- 
ness, finality, which Kant seemed to accord to his list of 
categories or conditions of experience. 

It follows, moreover, from this mode of regarding the 
function of thinking, not only that there is exaggeration in 
the familiar Kantian expression that thinking constitutes the 


object, but also that we should not establish, so definitely as 
Kant was inclined to do, the distinction between category and 
Idea, that therefore we should not accept, with such complete 
satisfaction as he did, the ultimate distinction of kind between 
constitutive and regulative principles of judgment. Differ 
ence enough there may be ; but it will be of a kind to be 
determined by consideration of the part which each is 
capable of playing in the gradual development of our know 
ledge. It will not be expressed in the Kantian fashion as a 
difference between that which enters into the very structure 
of the object and that which indicates only a point of view 
from which the subject reflects upon the knowledge he 
obtains of the object. Probably, we shall not find it possible 
to amend the distinction by accepting, as the later Idealist 
speculation seems to have done, the equally objective char 
acter of the regulative principles. It is probably impossible, 
in any legitimate sense of the term object, to regard these 
principles as constituting part of the very structure of the 
objective world. But the ground for denying the absolute 
ness of the distinction will be found in a modification of 
Kant s view as to the function of the constitutive principles. 
If we regard these, not as giving a final exhaustive statement 
of the structure of the object, but as indicating in abstract 
outline one grade of the experience of a thinking intelligence, 
then, without confusion of the provinces of what are in 
essence distinct, we may recognise in the regulative principles 
simply a higher development of what is already in the 

Thought, even when regarded in this imperfect manner 
from the psychological side, exhibits itself as pre-eminently 
the activity in which the subject is conscious of himself 
a reflective consciousness. This reflective character is of 
course exhibited most clearly in the most developed form 
of the activity of thinking, that in which we contrast with 


one another the whole current of perceptive or immediate 
experience and the abstract general representation of a 
system, all the parts of which are connected, and which 
yet exhibits none of that contingency, that dependence on 
the empirical condition of time, which is peculiar to the 
current of perception. Such a representation of reality is 
certainly not the first product of thinking. But the ab 
straction which gets fullest expression in it the abstraction 
from the condition of time is to be detected in the very 
simplest acts of the thinking function. 

It is natural and inevitable to contrast perception and 
thought as the concrete and abstract. But we must note 
what it is that at first constitutes the abstraction that is 
made : it is the abstraction of the immediate temporal 
conditions under which the perceived experience is given. 
Such abstraction might be said to begin, or at all events to 
have its natural basis, in the capacity for reviving in idea 
what has been immediately presented. No revived content 
ever brings with it the complete detail of temporal circum 
stance of the original occurrence. Of course, later, the 
abstraction here referred to is consciously made, made 
with distinct recognition of the opposition between the 
content that is severed from its temporal conditions and 
the actual occurrence in which such conditions are always 
involved; but the reflective abstraction depends on and 
becomes possible through the previous and unreflective 

This freedom from the condition of time is in itself depend 
ent on, and is facilitated by, the given character of the 
immediately perceived facts. It is obvious enough that, 
for perceptive consciousness, for any recognition of a self 
as contrasted with the not-self, there are necessary (1) 
certain uniformities or constancies of occurrence among the 
given facts of experience, and (2) a certain identity of 


character among the distinct parts of experience. In the 
absence of these, our conscious life, could it exist at all, 
would be limited to the immediate contents of each passing 
phase of experience. With them, it becomes possible to bring 
together the parts of our experience as related among them 
selves and to the common centre, the apprehending subject. 

Moreover, such conditions facilitate the abstracting work 
of thought. The identity of character in the distinct parts 
of our perceptive experience, merely by attracting attention 
to itself, gives to the identical content a freedom from the 
conditions of its isolated appearances, which is the lirst grade 
of universality or generality. 

In such an operation there are evidently displayed those 
correlated aspects of thought which have always been singled 
out. Thinking is at once analytic and synthetic : analytic, 
for it breaks up the mass of presented fact ; and synthetic, 
for it brings together what is presented in isolation, in 
numerical difference. But the analytic work would be 
quite misconceived if it were represented, as is too often the 
case in logical expositions, as consisting in dropping off 
certain qualities from the complex whole of the object; and 
the synthetic function would be quite misconceived if it 
were represented, as is too often the case in expositions from 
the Kantian point of view, as the imposition on the given 
material of a form which is due to the inner activity itself. 
What is given at first is not a complex whole of distinct 
qualities, but the vague and indeterminate in respect to 
which identity of character is more the result of inability to 
discriminate than the final stage of accurate distinction. 
And the synthesis does no more than raise the given 
material into that higher form of consciousness, which is 
so far independent of the temporal conditions of the given 
experience. It is not a new form which is imposed on 
the given material. 


Kant dwells repeatedly on the difference between the 
abstract category of causality and the more concrete prin 
ciple, that of the adaptation of nature the material of 
experience to the human mind. 1 This concrete principle 
we may legitimately translate into language perhaps more 
familiar to us, as the principle of the existence of definite 
uniformities in the material of perception. As regards the 
one, the abstract principle, his view is that it constitutes a 
necessary condition of experience for a self-conscious subject ; 
with regard to the other, it is but a regulative principle : 
what it contains is contingent, even though in the elaboration 
of our knowledge we must proceed in its light. 

Is this separation quite justifiable? Certainly, on the 
general ground that there is no sufficient justification for 
any such absolute distinction as Kant habitually draws 
between formal and material, we might call it in question : 
for it is certainly but one case of this more general distinction. 

Again, our doubts might be excited by the difficulties 
that have been experienced, and the criticisms arising from 
them, in regard to Kant s attempted proof of the a priori 
character of the category of causality. Most critics have 
been disturbed by the apparent appeal made in that proof 
to empirical constancies of connexion in the perceived 
matter ; and some indeed, no less competent a judge than 
Dr Hutchison Stirling 2 have maintained that, throughout 
the proof of the constitutive principles of judgment, Kant 
makes an appeal, illegitimate from his point of view, to given 
uniformities of character in the perceived material. Dr 
Stirling insists on the necessity that empirical matter 
should present what renders possible the application thereto, 
or the imposition thereon, of the pure form of intelligible 
conjunction the category. He therefore maintains that, 

1 [See above, vol. i. p. 225 ff.] 

2 [Text-book to Kant, pp. 99 ff., 488 ff. ; Mind, ix. 531 ff., x. 45 ff.] 


with respect to causality in particular, Kant s answer to 
Hume is but in appearance successful, that it succeeds by 
tacitly assuming exactly that which Hume s criticism called 
in question. 

Further, we might certainly entertain doubt with regard 
to the soundness of the distinction on the ground already 
familiar to us, that the abstract representation of the causal 
nexus as Kant conceives it, the representation of a serial 
determination of occurrences in time, is no primitive fact 
in human intelligence. All that we can gather with respect 
to the actual development of our thinking must be dis 
missed as of no significance if we are to accept, as lying at 
the foundation of any apprehension of objective order in 
time, the abstract representation of determined sequence. 
It is only to pay oneself with words to say that such 
abstract representation is implicit in even the simplest 
apprehension of objective order in time. No other term 
so often proves an obstacle to clear thinking as this term 
implicit. But its only legitimate meaning in the develop 
ment of thought is that, under due conditions, the first less 
elaborated view of what is given may be supplanted by a 
more complete, which would have been impossible without 
the first, and which is therefore naturally dependent on 
and conditioned by the first. 

On all these grounds, then, we should be disposed to call 
in question the absolute distinction drawn between the 
abstract notion of causal nexus and the concrete representa 
tion of definite uniformities of conjunction among phenomena. 

From the point of view which we occupy that of de 
veloped intelligence it certainly seems at first sight to be 
true that the uniformities of nature are in some respect 
contingent : most certainly they are not known by us before 
hand, and, in so far, have unquestionably an aspect of con 
tingency. But the mere consideration that what these 


uniformities are is only gradually determined, suggests the 
further reflexion, that uniformity of nature is a general 
notion which may have a very varied content, and that 
therefore, even if it be the case that, in one aspect of it, 
such uniformity has and must have a contingency relatively 
to our understanding, it may very well be that, in another 
aspect, uniformity in the concrete material of perceptive 
experience is a condition constitutive of our intelligence, in 
volved in its genesis, and therefore, in some fashion, assumed 
at every stage in the development of that intelligence. 

As an illustration of what is pointed to here as the 
variable content of the conception of uniformity, we may 
refer to the difficulties into which logical theory has always 
been drawn when it seeks to determine the justification 
for the procedure which constitutes reasoning. Criticism 
of the accepted syllogistic form leads at once to the ad 
mission that the general premisses on which the syllogism 
proceeds must themselves be substantiated; and, when 
recourse is had to another process called induction as 
that whereby such proof is given, it is again found neces 
sary to make an assumption corresponding in some way to 
that which raised difficulty in the case of the syllogism. 
Throughout, we seem confronted with the perplexity that 
proof involves general principles, and yet that such general 
principles cannot be accepted as prior data but require 
some account which will justify their acceptance. It is 
precisely the difficulty which finds a kind of partial solution, 
in the Aristotelian theory of knowledge, by the antithesis 
between the order of truth in itself and the order of our 
apprehension of truth. The ultimate basis, the first principles, 
are the intelligible essences, the determining notions; and 
perfectly satisfactory demonstration is possible only when 
thinking proceeds from these. But in actual fact, in the 
progress of our knowledge, we do not begin with these 


intelligible essences, but make our way slowly towards 

I call this a partial solution. For Aristotle does not manage 
to make distinct the procedure by which, in the relatively 
incomplete stage of insight, we effect an advance. Strictly 
interpreted, his view would signify that the advance did not 
take place by reasoning, but that, somehow, inspection of 
a sufficient number of particulars collected together enabled 
the ultimate truth, the determining notion, the uniformity, 
to make itself manifest. 

There is a line of consideration which we are bound to 
follow in respect to this general problem. Analysis of per 
ceptive consciousness, consideration of the simplest conditions 
under which, as we say, there is developed in mind 1 recog 
nition of the distinction between subject and object, shows 
us that among these conditions is constancy of connexion 
among parts of the empirical material there furnished. It is 
not sufficient to say, Were the parts of experience given in 
perfectly chaotic fashion so that no constancy of recurrence 
could be discerned, it would be impossible to think. We 
must go farther and say, Were such the nature of the 
given material of experience, there would be no subject of 
any such activities as enter into the mental life, neither a 
perceptive subject nor a thinking subject. It is not our 
thinking merely that would be discomfited if, in point of 
fact, perceptive material were wholly incoherent : perception 
itself would never spring into existence; there would never 
be the primary stage of the differentiation of subject from 

If this be so, it ought in no way to surprise us that the 
constant in experience, uniformity as contrasted with variety, 
is never susceptible of perfect mediated or discursive proof : 
it is involved in the structure of our intelligence ; and it 

1 More correctly expressed, the development is of mind not in mind. 


appears at every stage in our thinking though with very 
varied aspect and very variously elaborated as that on 
which our thinking proceeds. It is in this sense, and in 
this sense only, that one would accept so far what Kant has 
to say in respect to these abstract categories of thought : 
that they render experience possible, and are therefore pre 
supposed in every concrete or special fact of experience. 
But, from our point of view, these ultimate conditions are 
not abstract, but characteristics of the concrete material of 
experience, and are therefore capable of undergoing a trans 
formation by increase of experience itself : a transformation 
in which the opposition is established, and becomes distinct 
for thought, between the abstract, the form of experience, 
and its matter. 1 

V. Thought and Reality. From the point of view here 
taken the problem often raised with respect to the relation 
of Thought to Eeality must appear as of quite subordinate 
interest. It cannot for a moment be supposed that any view 
proceeding on such principles could identify thinking with the 
structure of reality. Kather, our view makes us regard think 
ing as one form in which reality is manifested a form, 
moreover, limited to one special type of real existence, that 
of minds capable of becoming conscious of themselves, 
capable, therefore, of a certain development. 

There is, however, another significance of this question 
respecting the relation of thought to reality which may 
seem still to retain its importance. The characteristic of 
the content of thought is no doubt generality or univer 
sality ; and, it may be asked, To what extent is the structure 
of reality adequately apprehended ? or, putting the question 
otherwise, Is there in reality, in the nature of the real, sorne- 

1 This is a derivative distinction. Form and matter are not, as Kant thinks, 
originally distinct. 


thing which must always evade thought ? In the Aristotelian 
metaphysic, for instance, there appears throughout a factor 
of this kind in the world of generation namely, matter, 
the indeterminate substratum, that which is at least the 
condition without which plurality of individual forms is 
impossible. It must be noted, in respect to this feature of 
the Aristotelian doctrine, that it is an erroneous, though 
very common, exaggeration of what is there said, to repre 
sent the element of matter as that which constitutes the 
individual in opposition to the universal. Aristotle does 
not mean by individual the numerical unit : he means 
that which is so completely determined that it constitutes 
a fact for knowledge or experience, a completely definite 
type of that which exists in the world of generation. Such 
a type is presented in the form of an unending series of 
numerically distinct units ; but its individuality is not 
identical with numerical unity. It must therefore be said 
that Aristotle did not regard the presence of the material 
factor as constituting an absolute barrier to complete com 
prehension. It is indeed the burden of his continued criticism 
of the Platonic view that there the universal as such was 
taken to be the only intelligible, whereas from his point of 
view the intelligible is the universal individualised in con 
crete fashion. Whoever, indeed, retains, as Aristotle attempts 
to do, the genetic connexion between perceiving and intellect 
or understanding, cannot regard the universal aspect of 
thought as lying apart from the concrete, or hold that the 
latter is beyond the range of thought and unintelligible. 

On this account, then, one cannot regard as constituting a 
ground for limiting the function of thought as the interpreter 
of reality, that distinction which presents itself throughout 
the actual procedure of thinking, the distinction which in 
Mr Bradley s Logic l is fixed in the terms That and What. 

1 [Principles of Logic, pp. 4, 64.] 


That our thinking is always the determination of something 
presented, that it takes, therefore, the discursive form in 
which the predicates are distinct from the subject, cannot 
be regarded as the indication of a final divorce between the 
subject and that which is apprehended as its nature in and 
by thought. It is just as necessary to recognise the unifica 
tion involved in the process of thinking as to recognise the 
discrimination which is perhaps its more obvious external 

Wherefore it must be concluded that not by reason of any 
thing either in the character of the process or in the general 
nature of its content does thought fall short of expressing the 
constitution of reality. If such falling-short is to be recog 
nised, it must be on other grounds : not by reason of the 
formal character of thought, but in consequence of the con 
crete nature of what is apprehended in thought as expressing 
reality. Indeed, there is a contradiction in supposing that 
thought which is but the methodised fashion of reaching 
self-consciousness, of defining, therefore, in their relation to 
one another the parts of reality within our experience, that 
is to say, ourselves and our surroundings should by its own 
nature be incapable of solving problems which it must put to 
itself: even although, as a continuous process, it has still 
much to achieve. 

Is it then to be understood that the development of 
thought, which is here referred to, enables us to express 
in a complete fashion the whole structure of reality ? 
This question brings before us again, in another way, the 
fundamental difference in interpreting this difficult notion 
of Development. 

VI. The Notion of Development. 1 In Hegel s view, as in 
that of Aristotle, development is but the unfolding of what 
1 [Cf. above, p. 185 ff.] 


is already contained. Thus the system, the connected series 
of the notions which present themselves as developing from 
one another, must be regarded as already in some way con 
tained in the absolute idea, and that again as being in some 
way contained in the Absolute Spirit which is the final and 
all-comprehensive reality. 

In such a representation of development it is implied, 
negatively, that nothing new makes its appearance ; and 
Hegel takes occasion, when referring to certain anticipations 
of the scientific theory of Evolution, to express himself 
definitely as opposed to any representation of natural types 
as being evolved, the higher from the lower. " All explana 
tion of the higher by the lower, such as the naturalist 
theories attempt, is philosophically a varepov Trporepov, a 
precise inversion of the true account. Development or pro 
gress is riot the making of something out of nothing, but the 
unfolding or manifestation of that which in another aspect 
eternally is. When that which is being developed is itself 
a self-conscious subject, the end of its becoming must really 
exist not merely for, but in or as, a self-conscious subject." 

Evidently so large a conception as that of development 
must apply not merely to the theoretical but to the practical 
side of human experience, must therefore be extended not 
only so as to include the theoretical views or generalised 
notions, whereby w r e make nature intelligible to ourselves, 
but also so as to take in all that falls within the practical 
culture of human nature. And yet the difficulties which 
the notion undoubtedly involves become insuperable when 
such extension of its application is made. It is perhaps 
only within the practical sphere that the notion of End 
has in truth any justification. At all events in that sphere 
it is the most significant, the fundamental, notion. Is it, 
then, possible to represent the gradual development in human 
consciousness of conceptions of an end as the manifestation 


of what already is realised not only for, but in or as, a 
self-conscious subject ? , What is the realisation of an end 
in human practical experience ? Is it anything other than a 
form of self-conscious activity, what Aristotle called evepyeta 
tyvxfjs ? and in what sense can it be supposed that this, 
which, as realisation, only exists in process, can exist as 
already realised ? 

No doubt we may be beguiled by the analogy of theoretical 
notions, and represent to ourselves the idea of the end 
which is to be realised as somehow existing ; but that, we 
must note, is in no way the realisation of the end. Within 
the practical sphere realisation has but one meaning : it is 
an actual form of life, a mode of the concrete existence of 
a reflective subject. To use quite inadequate metaphors, it 
is not a state, a condition of rest, but a process, and cannot 
be conceived except as a process. 

On the practical side, then, there undoubtedly presents 
itself to us a hopeless contradiction as emerging from this 
interpretation of development. Whatever significance the 
actual facts of the moral consciousness may have, however 
difficult it may be to understand that direction of effort 
towards the attainment of a result which is yet only in idea, 
the interpretation we give must not imply that in any sense 
or aspect the realisation already exists. 

But, although the difficulty is more obvious on the prac 
tical side, it is not less involved in the theoretical. Our 
theoretical activities very closely resemble the practical : in 
them, too, the general feature is the effort to work out a 
complete representation, which itself changes its character 
with each step in our advance. If we try to represent to 
ourselves the content of that changing ideal as being already 
realised in a consciousness, we shall find the same difficulty 
of reconciling therewith the real character of our apprehen 
sion of truth : we shall find in fact that we are erroneously 


taking as a characteristic of the apprehension of truth what 
is undoubtedly the characteristic of. the non-existent con 
tent apprehended. For that content apprehended, not in 
its ideal completeness but in every grade, is non-temporal, 
merely because it is not itself an existent fact. We transfer 
this special characteristic of all apprehended content to truth 
conceived of as though it had objective existence, whether 
in the form of a thinking spirit or of that about which such 
spirit thinks. 

The notion of development undoubtedly presents a special 
difficulty by reason of the fusion therein of the two opposites, 
Identity and Difference. But it is of no avail to attempt to 
regard the notion of development as constituted by the union 
of those two abstract categories. It is not identity and 
difference in general that constitute the determining features 
of the notion of development. Such combination is pre 
sented not solely in that which develops but in everything. 
When therefore we refer, in handling the notion of develop 
ment, to the identical subject which in some way maintains 
its selfhood throughout the differences, our reference is really 
to a highly concrete and specialised form of the identical and 
different. The moment we realise this, and understand that 
the notion of development first presents itself in our reflexion 
from a consideration of highly concrete facts, we begin to 
understand one cause of the immense difficulty it presents. 
The concrete facts are but imperfectly known. The general 
type of arrangement among them, which we generalise into 
the notion of development, is presented in a great variety of 
concrete modes ; and, as a matter of fact, we find consider 
able difficulty a difficulty which, one may perhaps say, is 
yet unsolved in determining the limits within which there 
is to be recognised substantial agreement in the peculiar type 
of arrangement we call development. At the one end of the 
scale stands humanity with all that we call its culture ; at 

VOL. ir. u 


the other end the lowest forms of organic life, forms in re 
gard to which the boundary line between organic and in 
organic is certainly not yet definitely drawn. 

It is from the appearances presented in the arrangement of 
such concrete forms of existence that we derive our notion 
of development ; and it is not at all certain that we are not 
attempting an undue simplification in applying one and the 
same notion to all of them. The living individual, and per 
haps specially the conscious subject, are the concrete forms 
which most clearly display that peculiar combination : inter 
dependence of parts with a continued identity throughout 
changes, and with a constant reference from each developing 
individual to a similarly constituted antecedent form. It is 
these in particular which suggest to us the general marks 
constituting our notion of development. From them in 
particular is derived that curious and baffling conception of 
a pre-existing plan which is being slowly realised in each 
individual form. When we extend our survey, and take in 
the higher grades of concrete fact to which also we apply 
the notion of development, we soon find reason to doubt 
whether there is more than analogy between this case of 
development and that of the individual living organism or of 
the conscious subject. "When, for instance, we apply the 
notion of development to this or that type of human culture, 
it may occur to us that it is not easy to find for this develop 
ment the substantive basis of an individual subject such as 
is presented in the living being and in the individual mind ; 
and, assuredly, when we reflect on the development of any 
such form of culture, we must find it difficult to apply there 
the complicated idea which we think ourselves justified in 
applying to the individual of a natural species : namely, 
that what happens is only the unfolding of an idea or plan 
which is somehow impressed on, and operative in the very 
structure of, that which develops. 


Probably the doubt one might entertain in respect to these 
manifestations of development might be extended to the cases 
where the notion appears to have more substantive founda 
tion. Yet, when we turn to the phenomena of organic life and 
of the life of mind, we must undoubtedly give full recognition 
to the very important fact that what we call the development 
is in all cases conditioned by and dependent on circumstances 
which must be taken to be external to the plan itself. Even 
if we assume that in the living being there is a pre-formed 
plan, and that therefore the course of the changes through 
which it passes is rightly described as the unfolding of that 
plan, we must acknowledge that the unfolding, if real, is 
dependent on external material, conditions which may or 
may not be furnished, and the supply of which can hardly be 
regarded as dependent on and contained in the plan itself. 

No one would deny that, in those concrete arrangements 
which first impress on us the notion of development, there 
is something other than the mere laws of co-existence and 
sequence. But it is by no means necessary, nor is it indeed 
possible, to resort for explanation of them to a type of 
agency which finds no place in the mechanism of nature. 
We ought to remember that our statement of laws of co 
existence and sequence is an abstraction, that the involved 
specialised arrangements constitute nature really, and that, 
when we sever from one another the abstract statement 
of physical laws and the generalised description of the 
special forms of organic life, the severance does not imply 
the co-existence of two realms of fact : physical nature, and 
organic life. The only real existence is the concrete whole 

O v 

of which what we call living beings are special forms. 

VII. The Positivist View of Thought. Perhaps it is 
at this point that one sees most clearly the deficiencies 
of the view which stands most definitely in opposition to 


the idealist interpretation of nature Positivism. As 
that view was expounded by Comte, exclusive stress was 
laid upon co-existence and sequence. 1 Knowledge, it was 
declared, was not only limited to phenomena a perfectly 
void and empty statement but, more particularly, it was 
limited to the enunciation of sequences and co-existences 
among phenomena. In this indeed Comte found what seemed 
to him the radical distinction between genuine, scientific, 
positive knowledge, and the pseudo, unscientific, metaphysical 
speculation about things. In his view human thinking in its 
progress naturally passed through the stage of metaphysical 
speculation, in which explanation was sought of the given, 
that is, the co-existent and sequent phenomena, by reference 
to abstract entities or powers not within the range of obser 
vation and experiment ; and, after passing through this, it 
reached the positive stage, in which it rests content with the 
statement in generalised form of laws of co- existence and 

Putting aside all that elsewhere might require to be said 
regarding this supposed advance in knowledge, notice must 
be drawn to Comte s insistence on co-existences and sequences. 
There are two things which compel us to reflect further upon 
the type of knowledge supposed thus to be exhaustively 
given. In the first place, the type of knowledge is extremely 
abstract ; and, in the second place, it has of necessity more 
special, if not exclusive, application to what is presented in 
external perception : it does not seem to apply as readily to 
the highly important set of phenomena the inner life and 
all the manifestation of human culture. 

It is abstract. It is indeed peculiar to Comte s exposition 
of Positivism that he should have drawn from the first a very 

1 [" Seeing how vain is any research them by the natural relations of suc- 

into causes, . . . our real business is cession and resemblance." Positive 

to analyse accurately the circum- Philosophy, tr. Martineau, i. 5 ; cf. 

stances of phenomena, and to connect ii. 515..] 


sharp distinction between abstract and concrete. His classi 
fication of the sciences, 1 in which they are arranged in an 
order corresponding to the gradation of increasing complexity 
from Mathematics to Sociology, is a classification of the 
abstract sciences. Nowhere in his general treatment of 
scientific method does he accord sufficient recognition to the 
peculiarity of the concrete forms ; and, particularly in his first 
treatment, he is emphatic as regards the unity and identity 
of method throughout the scale of the abstract sciences. 

Now, it is never sufficient for knowledge, for real under 
standing, to be in possession only of the abstract laws of 
co-existence and sequence. Such laws form an indispensable 
part of explanation ; but they can never dispense with the 
recognition of the highly special forms in which concrete 
fact displays to us what is expressed in these abstract laws. 
As Dr Chalmers used to put it, " There are in nature not only 
laws but collocations," 2 and by the latter he meant the con 
crete forms. 

Now in his later work, and owing, it is clear, to reflexion 
on the second point I mentioned the less obvious applica 
tion of his conception of general laws to the facts of human 
life mind and culture Comte was led to a highly important 
distinction, and, in enunciating that, he introduced a very 
curious and interesting modification of the meaning of the 
word metaphysical. 

When he approached the treatment of Sociology he dis 
tinguished two methods by which the facts of human 
practical life may be considered the one abstracting, 
isolating, individualising ; the other concrete, synthetic, and 
organic. 3 The individual man, however completely we may 
state the co-existent and sequent phenomena of his nature, is 

1 [Cf. Positive Philosophy, i. 25 ff.] 3 [System of Positive Polity, E. T., 

2 [Cf. Natural Theology, B. II. cc. 1875, i. 343 ff.] 
i., iii.] 


not thereby completely explained. There must be taken into 
account that curious additional aspect of his life in which 
he forms part of a larger whole : part, moreover, in a way 
that cannot be expressed through the quantitative relations 
applicable to external facts. And what applies to man thus 
regarded as practical applies in the same way to the whole 
facts of the inner life. Thus it is that in Comte s later work 
the Positive Politics he offers an amended classification 
of the sciences, in which the grouping is broadly into (1) the 
Cosmological and (2) the Sociological, while Biology is given 
a fluctuating position between Cosmology and Sociology. 1 

VIII. Form and Matter. The general position which I 
have assumed throughout might be expressed in the technical 
language of philosophy as the impossibility of severing form 
and matter. So general a statement, no doubt, is applicable 
to many other subjects than thinking. In special reference 
to thought, however, it implies that, even in \vhat we are able 
reflectively to distinguish as the general structure of think 
ing, contrasting it thereby with the particular applications of 
thought, it is not possible to understand its definite character 
except by taking into account the material of experience. 

Such a general position is indeed one of the deductions 
that may be drawn from the Kantian work in philosophy. 
For, though Kant allows too much of the opposition between 
form and matter to remain in his system, though such 
residuum constitutes really the ambiguous, the baffling, 
element in his treatment of experience, yet in what he called 
Transcendental Logic, as opposed to purely Formal Logic, we 
have the first recognition that thought has a significance 
other than the purely formal. No doubt Kant did try in a 
half-hearted way to keep the categories of real knowledge in 
exclusive connexion with the thinking subject, and thereby 
1 [Cf. System of Positive Polity, i. 463, 473.] 


to oppose them to the foreign matter which somehow fell 
into correlation with them. But, when we consider the 
actual character of these categories their content the 
impossibility of deducing them from a mere abstract self- 
consciousness becomes apparent. And, though Kant ac 
knowledges only in his own peculiar fashion that the 
self - consciousness he is dealing with is concrete, though 
he prefers to describe its consciousness of unity and identity 
in time as rather an accident thrust upon it by the material 
of experience than essential in the pure notion of self-con 
sciousness, yet it certainly appears that these categories 
however general, however abstract, they may be have 
meaning only as expressing the ways in which a real con 
crete subject attains consciousness of itself in the sensuous 
experience with its conditions of space and time. There is 
no ultimate justification for that constant antithesis which 
Kant brings forward between the pure generality of thought 
and the indeterminate particular of perception an antithesis 
which, as we have seen, gives to his theory of knowledge its 
rather mechanical character. 

Now, the general position from which thinking has been 
here regarded is no more than the legitimate development of 
what is contained in the Kantian work. Thinking in its 
developed structure is throughout determined by the concrete 
material of experience within which it makes its appear 
ance. It follows from this that there cannot be, in the 
structure and generalised products of thought, that difference 
in kind which Kant establishes as between categories and 
Ideas. The difference, which may no doubt exist, among 
the thoughts which form the connected structure of our 
consciousness can express no more than a difference of 
content. It cannot be that in the one we find what is 
perfectly adapted to experience, \vhile in the other we 
find that to which experience can never conform. 




IN conclusion, I purpose pointing out one special application 
of this general mode of regarding the nature of thought. 
The character of what we call a notion is not to be deter 
mined by a mere reference to that generality which it obtains 
through the natural conditions rendering abstraction pos 
sible. Generality of this crude kind is neither the exclusive 
mark of thought nor what gives notions their main value as 
ways of organising experience. A notion embodies the ap 
prehended features of what is in the concrete presented in 
perceptive experience, inner and outer. As such perceptive 
experience is at first given in all its complication of detail, 
as the human mind is able only gradually to bring to bear on 
it notions by which it may be analysed and interpreted, so it 
is natural to assume that our first primary notions will 
contain but an inadequate representation of what truly 
determines the constant character of perceptive experience. 
Our first notions undoubtedly will be moulded upon the 
prominent, but not therefore the most important, features 
of perceptive experience. Among such first primary notions 
a type of fundamental importance is the practical. The rela 
tion between the concrete individual, as a source of changes 
in his surroundings, and the consequences which follow 
from his action, is so constant in our experience that it 
cannot be without effect in determining the thinking con- 

CHAP, vii.] CONCLUSION. 313 

sideration of things, the general representation we form of 

Primitive thinking naturally represents concrete objects as 
having the same complex structure as the subject himself, and 
as giving rise to changes in the same way as the subject is 
aware of acting. Undoubtedly the primitive representation 
of a causal connexion is always anthropomorphic : the agency 
is conceived of as the action of some subject. 

Moreover, in the action of such a subject it is easy to dis 
tinguish what may fairly be called the mechanical side from 
the relatively more subjective, that in which purpose or 
intention is prevailingly manifested. The mechanical side 
connects itself most closely with bodily effort; and the 
change produced is vaguely represented as the overcoming 
of resistance by muscular energy. The type of all action 
is for the primitive mind the initiation of movement by 
muscular effort ; and even our most developed notions of 
action continue to carry with them much of this primitive 

On the other hand, distinct from that and more complex 
in character, is the representation of means and end, on the 
use of which experience soon imposes a limitation. Xot 
indeed that, even in developed thinking, we are very clearly 
aware of the precise scope of such a representation ; for we 
still continue to interpret to ourselves at least some processes 
of the external world by the help of the representation of 
purpose, of final end; and the all-embracing scope of this 
notion in our own personal practical life finds its counter 
part in the continual tendency to represent after the same 
fashion the whole content of experience. 

Xow, in this set of primitive notions there is implied a 
representation of individual facts individual, despite the 
multiplicity they involve wholly distinct from that refined 
analytical conception of the isolated unit of event or fact 


which is the product of a wide knowledge and of repeated 
experience. These individuals, living conscious beings, are 
taken as individual, and form indeed the final standard by 
which in developed thinking we test the claims of any part 
of experience to recognition as an individual. It is only by 
degrees that we come to admit as having a certain right to 
individuality what is merely distinguished from its sur 
roundings by some qualitative peculiarity, or even by mere 
numerical difference. 

Thus the natural history of our thinking pursues an order 
just the reverse of that which we would now put forward in 
the light of our developed experience. We now tend to 
think of the .ultimate units of our experience, that which 
can be presented, let us say, in the indivisible moment of 
perception, as the individual; and it causes us some per 
plexity to understand the grounds on which we claim, and 
insist on, individuality for what is in itself or in one aspect 
a multiplicity, a combination of such units. But, in the 
natural order of thinking, it is the complex individual with 
which we start ; and it is not therefore surprising that, in the 
earliest analysis of thinking the Greek, and pre-eminently 
Aristotle s the individual should mean the numerically 
distinct member of a natural class : a natural class mean 
ing always a highly complex concrete order of perceived 

The subjects in such natural order of thought are at first 
the more concrete ; nor does our thinking consideration of 
things ever lose the impress which is exhibited with such 
clearness in its earlier stages. We still represent the con 
crete combinations by thoughts or notions, which are in 
themselves of a more definite, more organised, content than 
our representations of the isolated units presented in space 
and time. Even when, using the results of our developed 
knowledge, we explain to ourselves these concrete forms 

CHAP, vii.] CONCLUSION. 315 

as being in their own nature the complex result of what 
is expressed in the very abstract laws of the simpler com 
ponents, we have still to recognise as the determining feature 
the special combination there presented. There is -no real 
antithesis, no incompatibility, between the two ways in 
which we thus represent the concrete facts of experience. 
Their character as combinations plays so important a part in 
real experience that, even if we accept in its entirety the 
view that each portion of this concrete whole is capable of 
explanation by reference to the general laws of its simple 
components, we do not remove the necessity which the facts 
impose on us, of continuing to represent them iu their 
coiicreteness. 1 

The primitive notions are undoubtedly applied at first in 
directions where the content which we afterwards assign to 
them has no real application. It is only the abstractness, 
the lack of discrimination, which attaches to our primitive 
notions that enables us to overlook the discrepancies which 
increased knowledge forces on our attention. Thus, for ex 
ample, the practical thought of causal agency as the pro 
duction of change by a personal agent must be conceived 
only in the vaguest way, when it is applied to all the 
changes which enter into perceptive experience. Xo sooner 
do we become able to reflect on what is implied in such 
a notion than we find that a modification of it must be in 
troduced if it is to apply to the orderly uniform succession 
of events in outer fact. But the notion itself, it must be 
remembered, has its general significance only as enabling the 
subject to put together his experience, to retain it in a co 
herent form in his consciousness. The extension or modi- 

1 Obviously, this consideration be- portant as determining the series of 

comes of special importance when the events that follow from the subject, 

concrete subject is the self-conscious that it cannot possibly be dismissed 

individual. The combination has as imperfect and transitional, 
there a form so characteristic, so irn- 


fication it undergoes does not in any way alter this implicit 
function of the notion ; and, in respect to the category of 
Cause, the extension and modification it receives still con 
tinue to exhibit the same function : we represent the causal 
connexion as that order of change in outer events which 
enables each alteration to be regarded as the outcome of 
what has preceded. Fundamentally it is the same thought. 
And, if we gradually become able to advance further, and to 
say, with respect to the alteration in outer fact, that it con 
sists in a certain quantitative amount of a special kind of 
change, and if thereby we determine as the explanatory cause 
a preceding quantitative amount of like kind of change, we 
are still proceeding in the light of the general function of 
every notion : that it enables us to keep together the parts of 
our experience as a coherent connected whole. The primitive 
mind and advanced scientific thought represent the same 
function, and with equal satisfaction to themselves. 

Put in more technical form, this would signify that these 
primitive categories of practice gradually altered in content 
in and through the increase of perceptive experience and the 
power of analysing it into its more simple components. The 
development in the categories or general thoughts, and the 
alteration in the total representation of perceptive experience, 
go hand-in-hand. If our representations of the concrete and 
of its relations space and time are vague and indeter 
minate, equally vague will be the content of the generalised 
thoughts or categories which we apply. 

Thus, then, it must be said that, in a sense, there is no 
ultimate criterion to which we can appeal as testing the 
worth of the general notions by the help of which we in 
terpret our experience. Experience alone is the criterion. 
And, if it be allowed that in all our reasoning we proceed by 
applying general principles, we must remember that the pro 
cess is by no means that of deducing from such general 



principles what is already contained in them, leather it is a 
constant process of testing, modifying, and, it may be, enriching 
the principles themselves. In this general conclusion it is 
implied that we cannot reconcile with the actual course of 
human thinking and experience that representation, which 
Aristotle was the first to give, of demonstration or reasoning 
as resting upon a definite set of first principles. Aristotle s 
conception of a number of principles, from which there 
could be completely deduced the properties of concrete 
things, represents, as it rests upon, a wholly erroneous 
conception of the real nature of development. It is 
applicable only to that conception of development which 
assumes that the nature of what develops precedes as a 
completed fact the attainment of its own end a view 
which is characteristic not of Aristotle only, but of the 
Idealist philosophy in general. 



Animals, the Cartesian view of, as 
automata, 32. 

Aristotle, affinity of the systems of 
Hegel and, 274 ; his partial 
solution of the antithesis between 
the order of truth and of our 
apprehension of truth, ii. 298 ; 
his view of development, 302 ; 
his doctrine of the individual, 
303 ; his erroneous conception of 
development, 317. 

Arithmetic, its peculiar position in 
Hume s system, 139. 

Arnauld, Antoine, his criticisms of 
Malebraiiche, 55, 56 ; Leibniz s 
correspondence with, and its im 
portance, 77 ft seq. ; the distinc 
tion between psychology and 
epistemology, ii. 49. 

Association psychology, inadequate- 
ness of the doctrine, ii. 171, 174. 

Attention, its function in the doc 
trine of presentationism, ii. 172; 
criticism of I)r Ward s view, 181. 

Attribute, difficulties attending the 
meaning of, in Spinoza s system, 
61, 62. 

Belief, Hume s theory of, 135, 144. 

Berkeley, his position regarding 
Locke, 124 ; the correlation of 
mind and ideas, 125 ; presenta 
tions and representations, 126 ; 
analysis of perception, 128 ; ap 
prehension of the external world, 
129 ; apprehension of general 
laws of nature, 130 ; theory of 

reasoning, ib. ; obscurity of his 
theory of knowledge, 131 ; the 
aim of knowledge practical, 132 ; 
comparison of his theological 
idealism with the Kantian theory, 
250 ; relation of Lotze s and the 
Berkeleian theory, 325 ; his de 
scription of philosophy, ii. 4, 21. 

Berlin, the foundation of the Uni 
versity of, ii. 133, 134. 

Berti, Domenico, life of Bruno by, 
ii. 24. 

Bohme, Jacob, his influence on 
Schelling, 269. 

Bonar, Mr James, Philosophy and 
Political Economy by, ii. 79. 

Bradley, Mr F. H. , reference to 
Appearance and Reality by, 353 ; 
his theory of feeling, ii. 206 ; 
criticism of his view regarding 
the intelligibility of reality, 301. 

Brentano, Prof. F. , his distinction of 
presentation from judgment and 
feeling, ii. 180 ; on the distinction 
between idea and judgment, 268. 

Bruno, Giordano, supposed influ 
ence on Spinoza, i. 58 ; unflatter 
ing account by Pope Leo XIII., 
ii. 23 ; obscurity till recently 
surrounding him, 24 ; (Caspar 
Schoppe s remarkable letter, ib. 
et seq. ; the auto da ft, 28, 43 ; 
early life, 30 ; his learning, 32 ; 
II Candelajo and its probable 
connexion with Love s Labour s 
Lost, 33, 38, 39 ; his wanderings, 
34 ; clerical proceedings against 



him, 35 ; his opinion of Calvinism, 
36 ; the influence of Raymond 
Lully, 37 ; his visit to England, 
ib. et seq. ; friendship with Sir 
Philip Sidney and Fulke Greville, 
38 ; intimacy with Florio, 39 ; 
Carew s indebtedness to Bruno, 
ib. ; his manifesto to the Uni 
versity of Oxford, 40 ; his be 
trayal by a pupil, 41 ; seven years 
imprisonment, 43 ; his philosophy 
a form of Naturalism, 44. 

Caird, Dr Edward, ii. 14. 

Carew, Thomas, his Coelum Britan- 
nicum, borrowed from Bruno s 
Triumphant Beast, ii. 39. 

Castelnau, Michel de, Bruno s con 
nexion with, ii. 37. 

Categories, nature and deduction of 
the Kantian, 183 el seq. ; criti 
cism of the Kantian categories, 
ii. 292 et seq. 

Causation, Hume s analysis of, 141 ; 
the Kantian doctrine, 317 ; funda 
mental representation of causation, 
ib. ; change and generalisation, 
318 ; intelligibility of nature a 
relative conception, 319; the 
empirical doctrine, 320 ; criticism 
of Hume s view, 321 ; Lotze s 
analysis, ib. et seq. ; Lotze s and 
Berkeley s theories, 325 ; Kant 
and Hume on causal connexion, 
326 ; space and time components 
of the content apprehended as 
causally connected, 328 ; meaning 
of unity of the objective world, 
329 ; causal connexion as con 
stant order or type of process, 
332 ; criticism of the Kantian 
view, ib. et seq. ; the identity 
of cause and effect, 335 ; the 
generalisation expressed in force, 
336 ; causal connexion one of 
fact not of reason, 357. 

Chalmers, Dr Thomas, on the dis 
tinction between abstract and 
concrete, ii. 309. 

Change, the foundation of any rep 
resentation of time, 301 ; does 
the nature of reality exclude 

change ? 302 ; Herbart s view, 
ib., 303; the Kantian doctrine, 
305 ; the illegitimate distinction 
this theory involves, 308 ; no 
contradiction in the completed 
notion of change, 309 ; Lotze s 
account of the supposed contra 
diction, 310. 

Christie, Mr R. C., opinion of, on 
the authenticity of Schoppe s 
letter on Bruno, ii. 24. 

Clauberg, his view that the soul can 
direct movement, 42. 

Comte, Auguste, his limitation of 
knowledge to coexistences and 
sequences, ii. 308 ; his distinction 
between abstract and concrete, 
ib. ; his classification of the 
sciences, 309 ; his method of 
approaching sociology, ib. 

Condillac, his theory of psychology, 
ii. 228. 

Condorcet, his analysis of social 
inequalities, ii. 90. 

Consciousness, the method of deter 
mining the content of, ii. 195 ct 
seq. ; distinguishable features in 
immediate experience, 198 et seq.; 
qualitative differences in this con 
tent, ib. ; two criteria employed 
in distinguishing sensations, 200 ; 
distinction between sense - pres 
entations and feelings derivative, 
201 ; feelings, as pleasure-pain ex 
periences, of independent nature, 
203 ; Wundt s theory of feeling, 
ib. ; teleological theory of feeling, 
205 ; theory connecting pleasure 
and pain with physiological pro 
cesses, 208 ; formal feelings, 211 ; 
feeling and activity, ib. , 212; 
Wundt s analysis of voluntary 
action, ib. et seq. ; the factors 
involved in willing, 216 ; sensa 
tions involved in movement, ib. ; 
movement not prefigured in the 
antecedent sense - impulse, 217; 
the regular series in the changes 
of experience, ib. ; gradual growth 
of the process of willing, 220 ; 
the feeling of activity, 221. 

Cordemoy, as an originator of Oc 
casionalism, 42. 



Descartes, his chief writings, 7 ; 
insistence on the excellence of 
mathematical demonstration, 8 ; 
characteristics of his method, 9 ; 
cogito ergo sum, 11, 15; the 
lumen naturale and its axioms, 
13 ; importance of the fifth axiom 
connecting idea and reality, 14 ; 
absolute and relative ideas, 15 ; 
the ontological argument for the 
existence of God, 16 ; the anthro 
pological argument, 17 ; the ver 
acity of God, 19; the origin of 
error, 20 ; Understanding and 
Will as passive and active, 21; 
the priority of Will, 23 ; God 
the only Absolute, 25 ; conscious 
ness and extension, 27 ; the four 
divisions of philosophy, ib. ; the 
Cartesian Physics, 28 et *6q. ; 
extension and extended substance, 
29 ; his view of conservation, ib. 
theory of space, 30 ; mechanical 
conception of nature, 32 ; animals 
as automata, ib. ; the antinomy 
of the Cartesian Physics, 33 ; the 
Cartesian Psychology and Psycho- 
physics, il>. et seq^ ; antithesis of 
_id.ea_aud sensation, 34; their mode 
of operation in apprehension, 35 ; 
sensation and image, 36; 
consciousness and corporeality 
not causally connected, 37 ; class 
ification of ideas forming Under 
standing, ib. ; explanation of ideas 
as innate, 38 ; the process of 
sense-perception, 39 ; approxima 
tion to the doctrine of Occasional 
ism, ib. ; theory of the pineal 
gland, 42 ; lines of development 
of the Cartesian doctrine, 43 ; 
Leibniz s and Spinoza s ground of 
dissatisfaction with his system, 
68 ; Leibniz s criticism of the 
Cartesian Physics, 75 ; Leibniz s 
view of the Cartesian theory of 
knowledge, 96 ; the Cartesian 
view of facts of mind, ii. 53, 61. 

Determinism, Leibniz s view of, 
107 ; difficulty caused by, in 
Spinoza s system, ib. 

Development, psychology considered 
as the tracing of mental develop- 


ment, ii. 185 et seq. ; the trans 
cendental view of End, 186 ; the 
empirical conception of end, 188 ; 
the laws of development merely 
descriptive, 189; they exclude 
the notion of ultimate end, ib. ; 
notion of implicit existence un 
justifiable in region of conscious 
ness, 191 ; the notion of develop 
ment free from implication of end 
or purpose, 192; the Hegelian 
and Aristotelian conception of 
development as the unfolding of 
a content, 302 ; contradictoriness 
of this view both on the practical 
and theoretical side, 304 ; special 
difficulty in the notion of devel 
opment due to the fusion of 
identity and difference, 305 ; 
different notions of development 
probably necessary for different 
forms of existence, 306 ; the 
mechanism of nature itself ade 
quate for the notion of develop 
ment, 307 ; misconception of the 
nature of development in Idealist 
philosophy, 317. 

Dewey, Professor, on the distinction 
between psychology and epistem- 
ology, ii. 48, 59. 

Enlightenment, a degenerate form 
of Leibnizian rationalism, ii. 144 ; 
character of the doctrine, 145. 

Epistemology, its distinction from 
psychology, ii. 46 et seq. ; recog 
nition of this distinction in the 
Stoic and pre-Kantian theories, 
4 9 ; ignoring of it by Locke, ib. ; 
inadequacy of Kant s account of 
the distinction, 60 ; account of 
the Cartesian view, 61, 62; sub 
jective and trans-subjective one 
act or process, 65. 

Evolution, Hegel s view of, ii. 303. 

Faculties, the doctrine of, without 
significance in modern psychology, 
ii. 168 ; Hamilton s and Mansel s 
theories of psychology, 223 ct xeq. 

Feeling, distinction of feeling and 
sense - presentation a derivative 
one, ii. 201 ; feelings, as pleasure- 



pain experiences, independent in 
nature, 203 ; Wundt s theory, ib. ; 
the teleological theory of feeling, 
205 ; Dr Stout s view of pleasure 
and pain, 206 ; Mr Bradley s, ib. ; 
pleasure and pain as connected 
with the expansion and repression 
of self, 207 ; pleasure and pain 
as connected with physiological 
processes, 208 ; formal feelings, 
211 ; feeling and activity, ib., 

Fichte, his insight into the want of 
unity in the Kantian system, 255 ; 
unity of consciousness the central 
fact in experience, 256 ; difference 
an absolute condition of self- 
consciousness, 257 ; cause of ap 
parent artificiality of his system, 
ib. ; the evolution of self-con 
sciousness a development from 
within, 259 ; thesis, antithesis, 
and synthesis, ib., 260 ; the ab 
solute ego and the personal self, 
260 ; speculation and life, ib. ; 
the reality of the Non-Ego, 261 ; 
difficulty of reconciling finite self 
and the absolute, 263 ; relation 
to Schelling, 264, 265; his 
enthusiasm for the unification of 
Germany, ii. 119; suppression of 
his Reden, 122 ; significance of 
his Reden, 129, 131, 132; his 
single-hearted devotion to truth, 

Fischer, Kuno, his interpretation 
of Spinoza s notion of attribute, 

Florio, John, Bruno s intimacy with, 
ii. 39. 

Francke, August, influence on 
education in Germany, ii. 125. 

Frederick the Great, his interest 
in educational reform, ii. 125. 

Frederick William I., his interest iu 
educational reforms in Germany, 
ii. 125. 

Frederick William II., his reversal 
of the policy of Frederick the 
Great, ii. 128. 

Frederick William III., his patron 
age of the Prussian Universities, 
ii. 129. 

French Revolution, its significance 
in modern political history, ii. 

Freytag, Gustav, on the political 
indifference accompanying the 
literary renascence in Germany, 
ii. 140. 

Frith, Miss I., Life of Bruno by, 
ii. 25. 

Galileo, importance of, in modern 
philosophy, 5, 29. 

Germany, the starting-point of the 
regeneration of Germany, ii. 119 ; 
Stein s conception for unification 
of the separate States, ib. ; 
political and economical reform, 
121 ; rise of a spirit of patriotism, 
ib. ; efforts at political reform 
frustrated, 124; state of educa 
tion in North Germany in the 
eighteenth century, 125 ; educa 
tion and clerical opposition, 127 ; 
the policy of Frederick William 
III., 129; Fichte s Reden, and 
their significance, 131, 132 ; the 
founding of the University of 
Berlin, 134 ; W. von Humboldt s 
place in the history of Prussia, 
136, 137 ; influence of her in 
tellectual tradition on the modern 
history of Germany, 138 ; liter 
ary enthusiasm and political in 
difference, 140 ; effect of the 
Reformation in Germany, 142 ; 
Leibnizian rationalism and the 
Enlightenment, 144. 

Geulincx, Arnold, extension of 
Descartes doctrine by, 42. 

Goethe, his indifference to current 
political events, ii. 140. 

Green, Mr T. H., on the distinction 
between the act and the content 
of apprehension, ii. 59 ; on the 
absolute moral end, 109 ; on 
moral obligation, 112. 

Greville, Fulke, Bruno s friendship 
with, ii. 38. 

Hamilton, Sir W., his psychological 

theory, ii. 223 et seq. 
Hardenberg, Karl, his part in the 

regeneration of Germany, ii. 123. 



Harmony, Pre-established, Leibniz s 
theory of a, 92. 

Hecker, J. J. , his educational re 
forms in Germany, ii. 125. 

Hegel, his criticism of Schelling s 
absolute ground, 269 ; his in 
sistence on the historical character 
of mind, 273 ; absolute think 
ing, ib. ; his system the most 
perfect expression of idealism, 
274 ; its affinity to that of 
Aristotle, ib. ; system of abstract 
thoughts an organic whole, 275 ; 
nature of understanding, ib. ; the 
Dialectic, 276 ; understanding 
subordinate to speculation, 277 ; 
his relation to Kant, 278 ; the 
dialectic and the principle of 
Contradiction, 279; selt - con 
sciousness the highest form of 
reality, 280 ; nature and mind, 
ib. ; three divisions of the specu 
lative view of reality, 281; im 
portance of the notion of develop 
ment, ib. ; his explanation of the 
transition from essence to notion, 
340 ; criticism of his philosophy 
of nature, ii. 12 ; his indifference 
to current political events, 140 ; 
his view of development, 302 ; of 
evolution, 303. 

Herbart, criticism of his theory of 
change, 302 et seq. ; the meta 
physical basis of his psychology, 
ii. 168 ; his explanation of mental 
process, 169 ; Dr Ward s criti 
cism of Presentationism, 172. 

Herder, his recognition of historical 
development, 272, 273. 

Hospitals, their maintenance by the 
State, ii. 96. 

Humboldt, Wilhelm von, his with 
drawal from politics, ii. 123 ; 
share in founding Berlin Univer 
sity, 130, 134; his character and 
genius, ib. ; his earlier career, 
135 ; his intercourse with Wolf, 
Schiller, and C4oethe, 136 ; his 
place in Prussian history, ib. et 

Hume, his position regarding Leib 
niz and Kant, 105 ; connexion 
with Locke, 133 ; difficulty at 

tending the dual significance of 
idea, 134, 146; impressions jmd 
ideas, 134 ; modes of having and 
of grouping ideas, 135 ; the ele 
ment of belief, ib.; isolation of 
ideas, 136 ; treatment of mathe 
matical propositions, 137 ; theory 
irreconcilable with His funda 
mental principles, 138 ; view-ae- 
to arithmetic, 139; memory ajjil 
reasoning, 140 ; causation (real 
dependence) and reasoning, 14J_; 

analysis Of najnpatirm, } /^ariji lysis 

of reasoning, 142 ; nature of an 
inference, 143"; no synthetic func 
tion in mind, ib. ; necessity only 
subjective, 144 ; analysis of be 
lief, ib. ; reality only clusters of 
perceptions, 145 ; difficulty of the 
principle as applying to personal 
identity, 146 ; criticism of his 
theory of causation, 321 ; com 
parison of above with Kant s, 
326 ; belief as the difference 
between idea and judgment, ii. 
269 ; Kant s inadequate answer 
to Hume regarding causality, 297. 

Idea, the Cartesian antithesis be 
tween idea and sensation, 34 ; 
Descartes classification of ideas 
as forming Understanding, 37 ; 
his view as to innate ideas, 38 ; 
significance of the term in the 
philosophy of Malebranche, 50, 
53 ; Leibniz s position with regard 
to innate ideas, 96 ; conflicting 
senses of idea in Locke s Essay, 
113; in Hume, 134. 

Idealism, Subjective, criticism of 
the theory of, 233 et sfiq. ; 
its fundamental principle, 283 ; 
Kant s relation to, ib. et xeq. ; 
main cause of its perplexities, 

Innate ideas, Descartes conception 
of, 38 ; Leibniz s criticism of 
Locke, 96. 

Judgment, the disjunctive judg 
ment, ii. 260 et eq. ; the hypo 
thetical judgment, 262 ; the 
categorical judgment, 264 ; uni- 



versal and individual judgments, 
ib. ; distinction between idea 
and judgment, 268 ; Brentano s 
view, ib. ; judgment based on the 
simplest consciousness of the ob 
jective, 272 ; this consciousness 
derived from the distinction be 
tween sensuous perceptions and 
ideas, 273 ; nature of the rudi 
mentary judgment thence made 
possible, 275. 

Kant, relation to Locke, 112, 123; 
relation to preceding systems, 
147 ; the fundamental note of his 
system, 148 ; his view of the 
Leibnizian theory of space, 149 
et aeq. ; incongruent counter 
parts, 151 ; mathematical pro 
cedure not purely analytic, 153 ; 
Dissertation on the Form and 
Principles of the Sensible and 
Intelligible World marking a 
transition stage in his thinking, 
155 ; comparison of this work 
with the Critique, 156 et seg. ; 
phenomenon and noumenon, 157, 
210 ; the a priori character of 
Space determined relatively to 
the Leibnizian theory, 158 ; re 
jection of Newton s theory, 159 ; 
definition of Critical Method, 165 ; 
confusion in his application of 
the method, 167; how are syn 
thetic a priori propositions pos 
sible ? a needlessly limited ques 
tion, 170 ; his failure to harmonise 
mind and reality, 172; the char 
acteristics of a priori propositions, 
173; transcendental knowledge, 
174 ; threefold division of trans 
cendental doctrine, ib. ; the forms 
of sense, 176 ; their metaphysical 
exposition, ib. space and time 
as forms of intuition, 178 ; their 
transcendental exposition, 179; 
definition of synthesis, ib. ; real 
and ideal as applied to space 
and time, 180, 181 ; the Cate 
gories, 183 ; their justification, 
185 et *eq. ; the function of 
understanding, 190 ; the Trans 
cendental Schema, 192; the 

Principles of Pure Understanding, 
193, 194 ; axioms of intuition, 
?6. ; anticipations of perception, 
195; analogies of experience, 
196 ; objective permanence, 198 ; 
objective succession and causality, 

199 ; simultaneity or coexistence, 

200 ; reciprocity, 201 ; postulates 
of empirical thought, 202 ; the 
function of reason, 206 ; ideas of 
reason, 208 ; the Paralogisms of 
Pure Reason, 211 ; the Antin 
omies, 213 ; the ideas of pure 
reason, 217; the ontological 
argument for the existence of 
God, 219 ; the regulative func 
tion of ideas of reason, 222 ; 
things-in-themselves, 223 et seq. ; 
three ways of determining the 
realm of things-in-themselves, 226 
et *eq. ; critical analysis of the 
notion, thing-in-itself, 230 et seq.; 
Subjective Idealism, 233 et .seg.; 
critical analysis of the doctrine 
of Inner Sense, 240 et seq. ; a 
fundamental error in Kant s 
analysis, 242 ; the meaning of 
a priori, 244 et *eq. ; the anti 
thesis between mechanism and 
freedom, 247 et *eq.; the final 
conception compared with Berke 
ley s idealism, 250 ; Hegel s rela 
tion to Kant, 278 ; his partial 
acceptance of Subjective Idealism, 
283 et seq.; his inversion of the 
order of experience, 288 ; criti 
cism of his theory of space, 292 
et seq. ; criticism of his theory of 
time, 305 ft seq. ; his doctrine of 
causation, 317 ; his causal theory 
compared with Hume s, 326 ; the 
Subjective Idealism in his system, 
348 ; general criticism of Kant s 
system, ii. 13 et seq. , the dis 
tinction between psychology and 
epistemology, 46 ; meaning of 
facts of mind, 53 ; his conception 
of psychology and its difficulties, 
54 et Heq. ; inadequacy of his dis 
tinction between psychology and 
epistemology, 60 ; his influence 
on psychology, 66 ; his general 
conception of it, 67 ; empirical 


character of psychology, 68 ; 
criticism of the Kantian psycho 
logy, 72 et -teg.; the notion of 
inner sense, 75 ; subjective colour 
ing of Kant s terminology, 77 ; 
his criticism of Leibniz s theory 
of space, 99 ; the Kantian view 
of morality and absolute law, 102 
et w/. ; his relation to Leibniz 
and Hume, 105 ; general histori 
cal significance of the Critical 
Philosophy, 146 ; his doctrine in 
the main unpsychological, 251 ; 
his view of the function of 
thought, if>. ; the distinction be 
tween subjective and objective 
due to the spontaneity of 
thought, ib. ; reasons against this 
view, 252 ; the objective refer 
ence of thought, ib. tt seq. ; his 
criticism of Leibniz, 253 ; defects 
of this criticism, 254 ; relation 
of thought and self-consciousness, 
255 ; criticism of the Kantian 
Categories, 292 et xeq. ; the dis 
tinction between causality and 
uniformity, 296 ; the recognition 
in the Transcendental Logic that 
thought has other than a formal 
significance, 310. 
Kotzebue, August, murder of, ii. 122. 

Language, the origin of, ii. 277; 
psychological bearing of philo 
logical inquiry, 279. 

Latta, Professor, The Monadology 
of Leibniz, edited by, 88. 

Leibniz, salient facts in his life, 
67 ; interest in mathematics, 
ib. ; his dissatisfaction with Car- 
tesianism, 68 ; his meeting with 
Spinoza and its influence, ib. ct 
seq. ; the influence of Plato, 69 ; 
his varied activity, 70 ; methods 
of approaching his philosophy, ib. ; 
the problem of individuation, 71, 
72 ; the theory of numbers, 73 ; 
truths of reason and of experience, 
ib. ; real and nominal definitions, 
74 ; his criticism of the Cartesian 
Physics, 75, 76 ; his correspond 
ence with Arnauld, 77 6t *eq. ; 
evolution of his central idea of a 

single substance, 79 ; the con 
comitance of substances, 80 ; 
Arnauld s criticism of the doctrine, 

81 ; the theory of expression, 

82 ; biological arguments, 86 ; 
general view of existence, 87 ; 
the Monadology, 88 ; extended- 
ness a derivative aspect, 89 ; 
justification of describing his 
general view as Intellectualism, 
90 ; unity and activity the char 
acteristics of reality, ib. ; two 
incoherent conceptions in his 
philosophy, 91 ; the Pre-estab 
lished Harmony, 92 ; the principle 
of development and the unity of 
the monad, 93 ; the psychical 
nature of the monad, 95 ; the 
origin of knowledge, 96 ; his 
position relative to Descartes and 
Locke, ib. ; identification of the 
grades of apprehension, 97 ; 
qualitative nature of monads, 98 ; 
nature of space and time, 99 ; 
criticism of this theory, ib. ; its 
influence on Kant, ib. ; his theory 
of matter compared with Mill s 
definition, 100 ; criticism of the 
principle Choice of the Best, 
101, 104 ; the initial argument 
of the Monadology a verbal 
triviality, 102 ; an irresolvable 
problem in his system, ib. et seq. ; 
truths of reason and of fact, 103 ; 
essence and existence, 104 ; 
prima possibilia, 105; philoso 
phical relation of Leibniz, Kant, 
and Hume, ib. ; the doctrine of 
Creation, 106 ; view of deter 
minism, 107 ; his theory of 
optimism and its difficulties, ib. ; 
the three kinds of evil, 108 ; 
general estimate of his system, 
109; criticism of Locke, 113; 
general result of his philosophy, 
147, 148 ; Kant s attitude to the 
Leibnizian treatment of Space, 
149 et fseq. ; his connexion with 
the deism of the Enlightenment, 
ii. 144; the Leibnizian theory and 
psychology, 227. 

Leo XIII., his unflattering account 
of Giordano Bruno, ii. 23. 



Leasing, his recognition of historical 
development, 272. 

Locke, Leibniz s view of innate 
ideas, 96 ; analogy between the 
Essay and the Critical Philosophy, 
111; the problem of the Essay ; 
112; Leibniz s criticism, 113; 
inconsistent meanings of idea, 
ib. ; the two sources of ideas, 
114; meaning of sensation and 
reflection, 115; the operation of 
mind or ideas, 116; a novel in 
terpretation of his theory, 117; 
conflict in the treatment of simple 
ideas, ib. ; dual significance of 
idea in his theory of knowledge, 
118; ideal and real propositions, 
119; account of reasoning, 121; 
relations between ideal contents 
apprehended without reference 
to reality, 122; Berkeley s con 
nexion with Locke, 124 ; incon 
sistent treatment of mathematics, 
137 ; general result of his philo 
sophy, 147, 148; his ignoring the 
distinction between psychology 
and epistemology, ii. 49. 

Lotze, his explanation of apparent 
contradiction in the conception 
of time, 310 ; his analysis of 
causation, 321 et seq. ; criticism 
of above, 324 ; his relation to 
Berkeley, 325 ; general estimate, 
ii. 12 ; general aspect of his 
psychological doctrine, 231 ; the 
specific functions of thinking, ib. 
et seq. ; thinking distinguished 
from lower mental processes, 232 ; 
three intermediaries necessary 
between material of sense- asso 
ciation and thought, 234 ; ( 1 ) 
identity of the perceiving subject, 
ib. ; (2) unity of the subject in 
association and reproduction, 235 ; 
(3) unity of the subject perceiving 
the extended and temporal, 236 ; 
his view of the concept, 237 ; the 
pre-logical processes of thinking, 
238 ; the objectification of the 
subject, ib. ; manifold character 
of the second pre-logical process, 
analysed into positing, distin 
guishing, and comparing, 242 et 

seq. the pre-logical processes a 
misleading abstraction, 250. 

Love s Labour s Lost, possible in 
debtedness of, to Bruno s II 
Candelajo/ii. 33, 38, 39. 

Lully, Raymond, Bruno s obligation 
to, ii. 37. 

Malebranche, his position as an 
exponent of Cartesianism, 43 ; 
classification of the modes of 
knowledge, 44 ; the idea of the 
infinite as underlying knowledge, 
45 ; the apprehension of soul a 
product of feeling, not of idea, 
46 ; all things known in God, 
and only through God, 47 ; in 
telligible extension, 48 ; God 
neither res extensa nor res 
cogitans, 49 ; the four modes of 
apprehension, ib. ; his conception 
of idea, 50; imagination de 
pendent on sense-perception, 51 ; 
his interpretation of sense-percep 
tion akin to Occasionalism, ib. ; 
external nature an article only of 
faith, 52 ; ideas as distinguished 
from consciousness of modalities, 
53 ; antithesis of essence and ex 
istence, 54 ; criticisms of Arnauld, 
55, 56 ; the distinction between 
psychology and epistemology, ii. 

Mansel, Dean, his psychological 
theory, ii. 224. 

Mathematics, importance of, in 
seventeenth century philosophy, 
4 ; the Cartesian view of mathe 
matical demonstration, 8 ; Leib 
niz s interest in, 67; unsatisfac 
tory treatment of, by Locke and 
Hume, 137. 

Mill, J. S., his definition of matter 
compared with Leibniz s, 100 ; 
his use of the term mental 
chemistry, ii. 171; belief as 
constituting the difference be 
tween idea and judgment, 269. 

Morality, difficulty in separating 
facts and hypotheses, ii. 98, 99 ; 
practical and speculative morality, 
100 ; use of the term scientific 
applied to the basis of morality, 



ib.; the relation between morality 
and its basis, 101 et seq.; the 
Greek and the Kantian method 
of defining this, 102 ; absolute 
law and absolute end criticised, 
103 et seq. , negative value of 
the utilitarian end, 107 ; modern 
ethical preference for absolute 
end, 108 ; formal character of end 
in naturalism, 109 ; the idealist 
view of end, ib. ; self-realisation, 
ib.; the feature of obligation in 
morality, 1 1 1 et *eq. ; the forma 
tion of ideals, 113 ; difficulty of 
constructing a theory of morality, 
115 ; the only method of explain 
ing morality, 116. 

Naturalism, misconceptions in its 
view of mind and nature, ii. 19 ; 
Bruno as a pioneer of, 44. 

Newton, his theory of Absolute 
Space compared with that of 
Descartes, 31 ; his theory of 
space compared with Leibniz s 
and Kant s, 99 ; Kant s view of 
his theory of space, 158. 

Nicolai, Friedrich, a representative 
of the Enlightenment, ii. 145. 

Occasionalism, approximation to, in 

the Cartesian philosophy, 39, 40 ; 

Psycho-physical Parallelism and, 

346, 353. 
Oxford, Giordano Bruno s visit to, 

ii. 40. 

Philosophy, its academical import 
ance, ii. 3 ; Plato s description of, 
ib.; Bishop Berkeley s, 4; the 
uniformity of its problems, 5 ; its 
relation to experience, 8 ; its 
present transitional state, 10 ; 
knowledge of its historical back 
ground necessary for the under 
standing of any system, 11 ; 
recent increase of interest in 
psychology, 20 ; the intimate 
relation of its branches, 45 ; con 
nexion of philosophy with the 
general problem of social life, 
78 et seq.; dangers of false analogy 
illustrated from sociology, 80 et 

seq. ; the value of negative criti 
cism, 110 ; the psychological doc 
trine of the Scottish Philosophy, 
222 et seq. 

Physics, the Cartesian system of, 
28 et seq. ; Leibniz s criticism of, 

Pineal gland, the Cartesian view 
of the, 42. 

Plato, his description of philosophy, 
ii. 3. 

Positivism, exclusive stress laid by 
Comte on coexistences and se 
quences, ii. 308 ; Comte s dis 
tinction between abstract and 
concrete, ib. 

Presentationism, Dr Ward s criti 
cism of, ii. 172 ; the identification 
of presentation and object, 173 ; 
presentations and feelings, 175, 
176 ; Brentano s distinction of 
presentation from judgment and 
feeling, 180; general criticism of 
the theory, 183. 

Psychology, the Cartesian system 
of, 33 et seq. ; recent increase of 
interest in, ii. 20 ; its distinction 
from epistemology, 46 et seq. ; 
recognition of this distinction in 
the Stoic and pre-Kantian phil 
osophy, 49 ; ignoring of it by 
Locke, ib. ; psychology as the 
science of facts of mind, 52 ; 
the Kantian and Cartesian views 
of facts of mind, 53; Kant s 
conception of psychology, 54 ; 
criticism of it, 55, 56 ; Dr Ward s 
view of presentationism, 57 ; in 
adequacy of Kant s distinction 
between psychology and epistem 
ology, 60 ; the Cartesian theory 
of the distinction, 61, 62; criti 
cism of this view, ib. et *cq.; sub 
jective and trans-subjective one 
act or process, 65 ; Kant s in 
fluence on psychology, 66 ; his 
general conception of it, 67 et seq. ; 
his rejection of a rational psycho 
logy, 68 ; criticism of the Kantian 
psychology, 72 et seq. ; the notion 
of inner sense, 75 ; subjective 
colouring of Kant s terminology, 
77 ; difficulties attending its defi- 



nition, 161 et f>eq. ; analysis of 
the term phenomenon of con 
sciousness, 163 ; twofold refer 
ence of the distinction between 
outer and inner, 164; the 
material of psychology, 165, 166 ; 
the doctrine of faculties without 
significance in modern psychology, 
168 ; the doctrine of Herbart, ib. 
et seq. ; the association psychology, 
171 ; Dr Ward s criticism of 
presentationism, 172 et seq. ; 
presentation distinguished from 
attention and feeling, 177 ; dis 
tinguished from judgment and 
feeling, ISO ; general criticism of 
psychical atomism, 183 ; psy 
chology as the tracing of the 
development of mind, 185 et 
seq. ; difficulties attending the 
determination of the content of 
consciousness, 195 et seq. ; analy 
sis of immediate experience, 198 
et seq. ; qualitative differences in 
this content, ib. ; feeling (q.v. ), 
201 etseq. ; willing (q.v.), 212 et 
seq. ; the psychological doctrine of 
the Scottish Philosophy, 223 et 
seq. ; Sir Wflliam Hamilton s 
theory, ib. ; Mansel s theory, 224 ; 
Leibnizian view, 227 ; Condillac s 
theory, 228 ; Lotze s doctrine of 
thinking, 231 et seq.; the Kantian 
doctrine, 251 et seq.; the various 
forms of reasoning, 260 ; the dis 
junctive judgment, ib. etseq.; the 
hypothetical judgment, 262 ; the 
categorical judgment, 264 ; dis 
tinction of universal and in 
dividual judgments, ib. ; distinc 
tion between idea and judgment, 
268 ; Brentano s view, ib. ; any 
theory of judgment based on the 
simplest consciousness of the ob 
jective, 272 ; this consciousness 
is based on the distinction be 
tween sensuous perceptions and 
ideas, 273 ; nature of the rudi- 
mentaryjudgment thence possible, 
275 ; the objective world con 
ceived as standing in the same 
relation to other percipient sub 
jects, ib., 276 ; the origin of 

language, 277 ; psychological 
bearing of this problem, 279 ; 
objectivity not the product of 
thought, 281 ; the inter-relation 
of the products of thought, 283 ; 
objectivity and universality, 284 
et *eq.; the transition from per 
ception to thinking, 286, 288 ; 
thinking and self-consciousness, 
289 ; thinking objective in con 
tent, subjective in process, 290 ; 
criticism of the Kantian cate 
gories, 292 ; thought both anal 
ytic and synthetic, 295 ; Kant s 
distinction between causality and 
uniformity of nature criticised, 
296 ; the relation of thought and 
reality, 300 ; the notion of de 
velopment, 302 et seq. ; criticism 
of Positivism, 307 et seq. ; form 
and matter, 310 et seq. ; primi 
tive and developed thinking not 
antithetical, 315. 

Reality, Hegel s transition from the 
sphere of essence to the sphere of 
notion, 340 ; thought and, the 
relation of the mechanical to the 
psychical, 343 ; Lotze and the 
unity of self-consciousness, 344 ; 
the Occasionalist theory, 345 
et seq. ; Psycho-physical Paral 
lelism, 346 ; Dr Stout s view, ib. ; 
Kant and Subjective Idealism, 
348 ; meaning of reality as a 
whole, 350 ; mind and body 
qualitatively distinct parts of one 
system, ib. ; Occasionalism, Par 
allelism, and the popular view 
regarding the relation of mind 
and body, 353 ; the assumption 
of the independence of mind, 
ib., 354 ; experience of the 
mechanical the genuine character 
of inner life, 355 ; the distinction 
of content and reality involved 
in the simplest act of apprehen 
sion, 358 ; scientific research 
confirms the philosophical con 
ception of the unity of existence, 
ii. 17 ; thinking as one form in 
which reality is manifested, 300 ; 
the complete intelligibility of 



reality, 301 ; Aristotle s doctrine 
of the individual, ib. 

Schelling, his attitude to Fichte, 
264, 265 ; independence of nature 
in the sum-total of reality, 265 ; 
analysis of the development of 
the philosophy of nature, 266 ; 
transcendental philosophy, ib. ; 
theoretical, practical, and a?s- 
thetic consciousness, ib. ; nature 
as a kingdom of ends, 267 ; the 
philosophy of identity, ib. ; the 
identical basis of all differences, 
268 ; Spinoza s influence, ib. ; 
Hegel s criticisms, ib. ; influence 
of Bohme, 269 ; positive and 
negative philosophy, ib. ; his 
recognition of historical develop 
ment, 271. 

Schlegel, Friedrich, his relations 
with Schleiermacher, ii. 154. 

Schleiermacher, representative of 
the culture of his time, ii. 147 ; 
early career, 148; his education, 
149 ; diversity of opinion regard 
ing him, 151 ; his relation to 
Kant, 152; friendship with F. 
Schlegel, 154 ; professor at 
Berlin, 155 ; his philosophy of 
religion, 156 et seq.; the weak 
ness in his exposition, 157. 

Schopenhauer, view of external 
perception. 285. 

Schoppe, Caspar, his remarkable 
letter respecting Bruno, ii. 24 
et seq. 

Scottish Philosophy, the psycholog 
ical doctrine in the, ii. 222 et 

Sensation, criticism of the theory 
that it contains in itself the 
trans-subjective reference, 289. 

Shakespeare, possible indebtedness 
of, to Bruno s II Candelajo, 
ii. 33, 38, 3!). 

Sidney, Sir Philip, Bruno s friend 
ship with, ii. 38. 

Smith, Mr N. D., Studies in the 

Cartesian Philosophy by, 42. 
Sociology, the dangers of applying 
to it analogies drawn from or 
ganic life, ii. 80 et seq. ; of anal- 


ogies drawn from the notion of 
individual development, 82 et 
seq. ; meaning and scope of the 
social problem, 86; the nature 
and artificial aspects of social 
phenomena, 87 et seq.; general 
underestimation of social facts 
as historical, 90 ; Condorcet s 
analysis of social inequalities, ib. ; 
modern false antithesis of cosmic 
and ethical order, 91 ; the two 
inquiries for sociology, 92 ; c 
priori schemes to be distrusted, 
94 ; suggested maintenance of 
hospitals by the State, 96 ; 
Comte s method of approaching 
sociology, 309, 310. 
Space, Descartes and Newton s 
theories, 30, 31 ; Leibniz s 
theory, compared with Kant s 
and Newton s, 99 ; inadequate 
treatment by Locke and Hume, 
137 ; Kant s attitude to the 
Leibnizian theory. 149 ft seq.; 
to the Newtonian theory, 158 ; 
Kant s analysis, 177 et seq. ; con 
sidered as the source of the 
distinction between subjective 
and objective, 291 ; the universal 
form of the objective, 293 ; crit 
icism of the Kantian view, ib. 
et seq. ; the perceptual and con 
ceptual aspects of space, 296 ; 
apparent contradictions in our 
representations of space, 299. 
Spencer, Mr Herbert, his Prin 
ciples of Psychology cited, 289 ; 
ii. 64 ; his theory of feeling, 

Spinoza, disputed sources of his 
system, 58 ; relation of ground 
and consequent the basis of his 
system. 59 ; distinction between 
understanding and imagination, 
60 ; Ood as the supreme ground, 
ib.; the notion of Attribute, 61 ; 
difficulties attending this notion, 

62 ; finite and infinite modes, 

63 ; soul and body one and the 
same reality, 64 ; criticism of 
the incompleteness and incon 
sistency of Spinoza s fundamental 
notion of unity, 65, 66 ; his 



meeting with Leibniz and its 
influence on the latter, 68, 69 ; 
difficulty in his system regarding 
determinism, 107 ; his influence 
on Schilling, 268. 

Stein, Heinrich, his conception of 
the unification of Germany, ii. 
119; his belief in educational 
reform, 129. 

Stein, Prof. L., on the genesis of 
Occasionalism, 42. 

Stirling, Dr Hutchison, criticism of 
Kant s category of causality,, ii. 

Stoics, recognition in their theory 
of the distinction between psy 
chology and epistemology, ii. 

Stout, Mr G. F., Manual of Psy 
chology by, quoted, 346, 347 ; 
his theory of feeling, ii. 206. 

Subjective Idealism, criticism of the 
theory of, 233 et seq.; Kant s 
relation to, 283 et seq. ; its under 
lying principle, ib. ; main cause 
of its perplexities, 288. 

Subjective and objective, critical 
analysis of the distinction, 283 
et seq.; recognition of the sub 
jective not prior to external 
perception, 287 ; space as the 
primitive source of the distinc 
tion, 291. 

Thought and reality, .see under 

Time, any representation of time 
based on the notion of change, 
301 ; the Kantian doctrine, 305 
et seq. ; criticism of the foregoing, 
306 et seq. ; differences in mean 
ing of time-representation, 311 ; 
space elements in such represent 

ation, 312 ; not possible as a 
single perception, 313; the time- 
lessness of reality, 314, 315. 

Vaihinger, Prof. H. , Commentary 
on Kant by, ii. 67, 74. 

Volkelt, Prof. J. ; on the opposition 
of process of consciousness and 
the trans-subjective, ii. 62. 

Ward, Dr James, his view of pres- 
entationism, ii. 57 ; general criti 
cism of the theory, 172 et seq. 

Webb, T. E., The Intellectualism 
of Locke by, 117. 

Weismann, August, anticipations of 
his biological theories in Leibniz, 

Willing, Wundt s analysis of volun 
tary action, ii. 212 et seq.; the 
three factors involved in willing, 
216 ; sensations accompanying 
movement, ib. ; movement not 
prefigured in the antecedent 
sense-impulse, 217 ; the regular 
series exhibited in our changes 
of experience, ib. ; willing a grad 
ual growth, 220 ; the feeling of 
activity, 221. 

Wolf, F. A., his influence on Ger 
man education, ii. 127. 

Wolff, C. W., his expulsion from 
Halle, ii. 127. 

Wbllner, J. C. , his opposition to edu 
cational reform in Germany, ii. 

Wundt, Prof. W., his analysis of 
voluntary action, ii. 202 et seq.; 
his theory of feeling, 203. 

Zedlitz, Baron von, his interest in 
educational reforms in Germany, 
ii. 125. 



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