Skip to main content

Full text of "An introduction to philosophy"

See other formats



Translated by JOSEPH McCABE 


First published in English 

31 76 

(/I// r;^/i/s reserved] 


THE Introduction to Philosophy which I here offer to 
the public gives a general view of philosophical problems 
and explains the tendencies of the various attempts to 
solve them. It seeks to provoke the reader to think 
over the great problems of life. It is in no sense an 
introduction to a special philosophical system, but it 
makes a very wide survey of all the possibilities in the 
way of solutions. Naturally, it is based upon the author's 
personal view, as the student of philosophy will easily 
perceive ; but this will not be pressed, or suffered to 
influence the author's judgment in appraising other 
systems of thought. 

In view of the aim of the work I have not found it 
necessary to burden it with literary references to the 
historic systems to which reference is made in its pages. 


February 1914. 



Work and Travels. By Him- 

SOCIALISM : An Analysis. By 
Rudolf Eucken. 






Aim of the Introduction Craving for a philosophy of 
life Difficulty of philosophy Presuppositions of philo- 
sophic thinking The problems and the solutions of 
them The history of philosophy Antinomianism His- 
torical, systematic, and critical methods Literature 
Knowledge and values Distribution of the problems. 


Knowledge) 33 


"True and apparent reality Metaphysical and empirical, 
absolute and relative reality Objective and subjective 
appearance Positivism Metaphysics and religion Meta- 
physics as a hypostasis of ideals Philosophic methods 
"-The unconditioned The transcendental appearance. 


v 2. SUBSTANCE 47 

The category of inherence The thing and its properties 
The identity of the thing Essential and unessential 
properties Identity of mass, form, and development 
Elements Absolute qualities : ideas Atoms, entelechies, 
and monads Universalism and Individualism Attributes 
and modi The ego Coherence of the properties. 


Number and magnitude Simplification of the world in 
thought Henism and Singularism Monotheism Pan- 
theism, Deism, Theism Immanence and transcendence 
Oneness, infinity, indefiniteness Acosmism Pluralism 
Monadology Measurement Finitism and Infinitism 
Space and time Recurrence of all things. 

* Original and derivative properties Primary and secondary 
qualities Quantitative outlook of men of science The 
material world and consciousness The soul as vital force 



and vehicle of consciousness Intellectualism, Voluntarism, 
and Emotionalism The Unconscious Psycho-physical 
parallelism Materialism and spiritualism (idealism) 
Theoretical and axiological duality Monism. 


5. THE EVENT 121 

Succession in time Continuity and discontinuity of events 
Immanent and transgredient events The necessity of 
succession in time Causal and teleological dependence. 


Four usual forms of causality Plurality of causes- 
Primary and incidental causes Postulate of the identity 
of the world Law of causality Conservation of energy 
New elements in the psychic life Causal equation In- 
comprehensibility of the causal relation Experience of 
action Universality of the time-succession Conformity 
of nature to law. 


Convertibility of natural laws The mechanical and the 
organic whole Originality of action Aim and purpose 
Sound and spurious teleology Unconscious teleology 
Teleology and vital capacity Development Causality in 
the service of teleology. 


Psychic and corporeal events Psycho-physical causality 
Psycho-physical parallelism Conservation of energy Con- 
sciousness as an epiphenomenon Reflex movements 
The brain as an asylum ignorantice Discontinuity of the 
psychic event Psycho-physical duality as appearance 
Panpsychism The unconscious. 


9. TRUTH 166 

Theories of knowledge Science and knowledge The 
judgment Transcendental, immanent, and formal truth 
Truth as value Pragmatism Opinion, belief, and know- 


Thinking and perceiving Rationalism and empiricism 
(sensualism) Hominism Apriorism and aposteriorism 


Psychological and logical validity Validity and being 
Consciousness in general Theory of knowledge as meta- 



physics Dogmatism : naiive realism The controversy 
about universals : Realism and Nominalism Scepticism 
Problematicism and Probabilism Phenomenalism Mathe- 
matical Phenomenalism Semeiotics Ontological Pheno- 
menalism Idealism Solipsism Spiritualism Absolute 
Phenomenalism : Agnosticism Conscientialism. 


Transcendental method Function and content of con- 
sciousness Being and consciousness Synthesis of the 
manifold Objectivity as real necessity Abstraction 
Selective synthesis Rational sciences : sciences of nature 
and culture The position of Psychology Knowledge 
without and with value Autonomy of the various sciences. 


Value) 208 

13. VALUE . . . . . 209 

Psychological axiology Valuation as feeling or will 
Primary feeling Primary will Reciprocity of values 
Conversion Morality Valuation of values Conscience 
Postulate of the normal consciousness Logic, ethics, and 



Imperativistic and descriptive morality Many meanings 
of the moral principle Universal moral law Teleological 
fundamental law Eudaemonism Egoism Hedonism 
Epicureanism Morality of soul-salvation Altruism 
Utilitarianism Morality of perfectibility Rational 
morality Definition of man Emotional morality 
Morality and legality The categorical imperative Moral 
order of the world Morality of personality. 

Empirical and rational morality Morality of feeling 
Intuitionalism Morality of authority God, the State, 
and custom as legislators Heteronomy and autonomy. 

Reward and punishment Altruistic impulses Sym- 
pathy and fellow-feeling The beautiful soul Strata of 

The freedom of the will Freedom of action and choice 
Determinism and indeterminism Responsibility Meta- 
physical freedom as causelessness Practical responsibility. 


Individual and common will Voluntary and pre-existing 
unions Natural and historical unions The family, nation, 
economic community, State, and Church Custom, morals, 
and law End of voluntary communities Civilization 



Sociology Natural law and jurisprudence The definition 
of law Legal duty, legal claims, legal rights Law as the 
ethical minimum Purpose of the State and law Liberal- 
ism and Socialism The national State Object of the 
State Real rationality of the legal order. 

1 6. HISTORY 277 

The philosophy of higher research What happens in 
and around man Individuality and personality Self-con- 
sciousness Emancipation of the personality History of 
language Collectivist and individualist history Super- 
personality of values Unity of the human race Concept 
and idea of humanity Historical unification Moral order 
of the world Progress in history Indefinite perfectibility 
Intellectual, moral, and hedonistic progress Old age 
and death of humanity Life as the greatest good 
Reality with and without time. 



History of the word " aesthetics " Disinterested pleasure 
Freedom of wish and will Toward a system of values 
Beauty in nature and art Esthetics from above and 


Differences of taste Criticism of the idea of equal diffusion 
Majority and authority Play of the intellectual forces 
Formalistic aesthetics Play of the feelings and moods 
Emotional sympathy Importance The sensuous and 
suprasensuous The beautiful as a symbol of the good 
The sublime Freedom in the appearance Illusion The 
aesthetic object Sensuous appearance of the idea. 

19. ART 316 

Imitation Entertainment, education, improvement Play 
and the impulse to play Aimless self-presentation 
Genius The unconscious-conscious in art. 


20. THB SACRF.D . 3 2 4 

The sacred not a special province of values Conscience 
as an otherworldly phenomenon The superempirical 
union of persons God as a suprasensuous reality 
Ejection of the mythical from religious philosophy 
Relation of religion to the other provinces of culture 
The classification of religions Pious sentiment and its 
influence on ideas Two meanings of the suprasensuous. 



Faith and knowledge Natural religion and rational 
religion The immortality of the soul The transmigration 
of souls The substance of souls The postulate of freedom 
Posthumous justice The Faust-like impulse to live on 
Personalistic pluralism Soul and spirit The philosophical 
idea of God Proofs of the existence of God The onto- 
logical proof and Pantheism The cosmological proof and 
Deism The teleological proof and Theism. 


Subjective and objective Antinomianism Optimism and 
pessimism The problems of theodicy Physical evil 
Moral evil Dualism of value and unity of the world 
The will as the principle of the temporal. 

INDEX 361 



Aim of the Introduction Craving for a philosophy of life Difficulty 
of philosophy Presuppositions of philosophic thinking The 
problems and the solutions of them The history of philosophy 
Antinomianism Historical, systematic, and critical methods 
Literature Knowledge and values Distribution of the problems. 

WE to-day find the words " Introduction to Philosophy ' 
as the title of a book more frequently than we used to 
do. This assuredly means that there is a growing demand 
for philosophy, and we see this reflected more and more 
distinctly in our whole literature, in the experience of 
booksellers, and in our academic life. The demand 
plainly implies a craving for a philosophy of life. This 
feeling, which Schopenhauer has, with his customary 
felicity, called " the metaphysical craving," lives inex- 
tinguishably in human nature, though it assumes different 
forms in different ages, according to their spiritual 
character. There are ages in which it almost entirely 
fades from view : ages which seem to be almost absorbed 
in the definite tasks set them by their own pressing 
problems, either of the politico-social, the artistic, the 
religious, or the scientific life. These are times which 
vigorously pursue such special aims, work unswervingly 
for their accomplishment, and find a complete satis- 
faction in their task. They may be entitled " positive 
ages." Such a period, certainly, was the second half 
of the nineteenth century, which has been characterised 
with equal justice as the scientific or the technical or the 
political age. 

It is evident that a change has taken place. Our life 
to-day is assailed by a multitude of tasks that go right 
down to its roots. Our people betray something of a 
desire to get beyond themselves, to strain out toward 



the undefined and unknown. We live in a ferment of 
forces that is, like all periods of deep human emotion, 
permeated with religious elements. We see the fact in 
literature and art, where there is, though unhealthy 
excesses mingle with sound impulses, a seeking and 
groping of vigorous originality and compelling pressure. 
We feel that we live in an age of transition, and the poet 
has devised a formula for it in his " transvaluation of 
all values." It is not so much as it was in the time of 
Romanticism, for we have more hope. It is more like 
the period of the Renaissance. We find the same craving 
as there then was for a philosophy of life in which a new 
creative power may strike root. In Germany there is 
for the younger generation the additional incentive, 
which gradually forces itself into recognition, that it is 
time to reconsider the spiritual foundations of our national 
life, the appreciation of which threatens to disappear 
in the intoxication of material success or under the hard 
pressure of secular labours. 

Hence it is that people turn to philosophy for a new 
creed of life. It is true that each brings with him such 
a creed already made. No one approaches such a task 
with an entirely open mind ; for every man needs, and has 
in some form, an expansion of his knowledge which 
amounts to a view of the world as a whole, and generally 
of the place which man occupies, or ought to occupy, 
in it. Thus there is a metaphysic of the nursery and 
the fairy-tale, a metaphysic of practical life, a philosophy 
of religious doctrine, a conception of life which we enjoy 
in the work of the poet or artist and seek to assimilate. 
All these varieties of a creed of life have grown up and 
hardened more or less involuntarily. Each of them has 
its natural, personal, historical assumptions, and its 
usefulness is accordingly limited. It is the task of ph 
sophy to determine whether there is in them anythin 
of absolute value, which may be held intellectually, and 
need not merely be an object of desire, affection, or 
faith. In accordance with the demand which has always 
been made of philosophy, and is made to-day with greater 
emphasis than ever, it must always be a metaphysic or 


at least a criticism of metaphysics. Will the philosophy 
of our time meet this imperious demand ? It, at all 
events, endeavours to meet it. The resignation which 
covered itself with the name of Kant, the narrow con- 
ception of its task which we inherited from preceding 
generations, have given place to a new resolution. The 
courage of truth, which Hegel preached when he mounted 
his chair at Heidelberg, is once more awake. 

Many wish to know something about this work, and 
they ask for a special introduction to it : an introduction 
more lengthy than is customary in the other sciences 
and of a different character. Philosophy has long had 
the reputation of being a particularly difficult study, an 
abstract and abstruse science for which one needs a special 
equipment. This is certainly true in regard to the great 
creative achievements of philosophers ; and it is more true 
than in the case of other sciences. For here there is 
question, not merely of severe mental operations, but of 
artistic originality in the conception of the whole. Yet 
such equipment is not needed by the man who asks only 
to understand and assimilate these achievements. As 
Kant said of Newton, there is in the highest productions 
of the scientific spirit nothing that any man cannot under- 
stand and make his own. 

The truth is that it is not so much the difficulty of 
philosophy as the poor literary standard of philosophical 
writers which perplexes the student. They cannot liber- 
ate themselves from academic formulae and attain a free 
and living contact with the thought of their time. Their 
obscurity is, it is true, not without excuse, in a certain 
sense. They have made use often an excessive use 
of a right which is in itself quite justified. It is certainly 
necessary in some circumstances to adopt a special ter- 
minology to express scientific ideas and keep them dis- 
tinct from the vague phrases of daily life and popular 
speech, and so protect them from confusion and abuse ; 
and, as experience teaches and psychology can easily 
explain, words taken from the dead languages, which 
stand out as something independent and fixed from the 
current of modern speech, are the best for this purpose. 


We allow the chemist, the anatomist, or the biologist 
to coin such terms habitually, yet would forbid the 
philosopher to do the same, and we express annoyance 
when he makes any extensive use of the right. That is 
inconvenient for philosophy, but it is, if you regard it 
properly, not unflattering. It seems to mean that the 
things with which the philosopher has to deal concern 
everybody, and ought therefore to be accessible to every- 
body and expressed in terms that can at once be under- 
stood by all. This is, however, not entirely true. Indeed, 
it is particularly incumbent on the philosopher, precisely 
because he deals with things of universal interest, to 
rid his ideas of the common crudity and looseness and give 
them scientific form and expression ; and it is accordingly 
both his duty and his right to stamp his name upon the 
results of his work. This lays upon any Introduction to 
philosophy the task of initiating the student to this difficult 
and inevitable terminology. 

Yet the finer quality of the artistic expression can 
only be mastered by entering intimately into the problems 
from the study of which the leading ideas have arisen. 
We have, therefore, to deal here especially with the sympa- 
thetic approach to the problems and the scientific treat- 
ment of them. The student does not, however, need 
any special equipment for this. He needs only a strict 
discipline, earnest and conscientious thought, and, above 
all, the avoidance of prejudices. The man who asks, 
or even expects, of philosophy that it shall tell him 
something of which he was already convinced had better 
not waste his time over it. The man who has a creed of 
life already formed, and is determined to retain it in 
any circumstances, has no need whatever of philosophy. 
For him it would mean merely the luxury of finding 
proof that his beliefs were true. This applies not only 
to religious ideas, which are usually regarded in this 
connection, but even more particularly to the attitude 
of those who trust to find in philosophy a confirmation 
of the views they form in the course of daily life. It is 
quite easy, but not very honourable, to win the kind of 
popularity which people express when they say : " The 


man is right ; that is what I always said." That is, as 
the poet says, a ware that always finds a large public. 
The man who wishes to make a serious study of philosophy 
must be prepared to find that in its light the world and 
life will present a different aspect from that which he 
saw previously ; to sacrifice, if it prove necessary, the 
preconceived ideas with which he approached it. 

It is quite possible, perhaps inevitable, that the results 
of philosophy will diverge considerably from the con- 
clusions that one had in advance, but the things which 
philosophy discusses are not remote and obscure objects 
that need some skill to discover them. On the contrary, 
they are precisely the things which life itself and the 
work of the various sciences force upon a man's attention. 
It is the very essence of philosophy to examine thoroughly 
what lies at hand and all round us. In the whole of our 
intellectual life there are uncriticised assumptions and 
ideas lightly borrowed from life and science. The prac- 
tical life of man is pervaded and dominated by pre-scien- 
tific ideas, naively developed, which usage has incorporated 
in our speech. These ideas, it is true, are modified and 
clarified in the special sciences as far as it is necessary 
for their particular purpose of arranging and controlling 
their material ; but they still demand consideration in 
connection with the problems and inquiries of philosophy. 
Just as life affords material to the scientific worker in its 
pre-scientific ideas, so life and the sciences together 
provide, in their pre-scientific and pre-philosophic ideas, 
material for the operations of the philosopher. Hence it 
is that the frontier between the special sciences and 
philosophy is not a definite line, but depends in each 
age on the state of knowledge. In common life we con- 
ceive a body as a thing that occupies space and is endowed 
with all sorts of properties. Out of this pre-scientific 
notion physics and chemistry form their ideas of atoms, 
molecules, and elements. They were first formed in the 
general impulse to acquire knowledge which the Greeks 
called " philosophy." To-day these scientific ideas are 
pre-philosophic concepts, and they suggest to us so many 
problems of philosophy. 



These assumptions which have not been thoroughly 
examined have a legitimate use in the field for which 
they are intended. Practical life manages very well 
with its pre-scientific ideas of bodies ; and the pre-philo- 
sophical ideas of atoms, etc., are just as satisfactory for 
the special needs of physics and chemistry. While, 
however, they are thus suited to the demands of empirical 
theory, it may be that they will present serious problems 
in the more general aspects in which philosophy has to 
consider them. The idea of natural law is an indispensable 
requirement both for practical life and for scientific 
research, which has to discover the several laws of nature. 
But what a natural law is, and what is the nature of the 
dependence of our various concrete experiences upon 
this general idea, are difficult problems which must be 
approached, not by empirical investigation, but by 
philosophical reflection. 

In the special sciences and in common life, therefore, 
these fundamental assumptions are justified by success ; 
but the moment they are considered more deeply, the 
moment a man asks himself whether these things which 
are naively taken for granted are really sound, philosophy 
is born. It is, as Aristotle says, the Qav^d^Lv, the hour 
in which the mind is puzzled and turns upon itself. It 
is the eeTaeti>, the demand of proof, with which 
Socrates disturbed the illusory self-complacency of .himself 
and his fellow-citizens. It is 'complete honesty of the 
intellect with itself. We can never reflect on things 
without assumptions which must be taken for granted ; 
but we must not leave them indefinitely without inves- 
tigation, and we must be prepared to abandon them if 
they are found to be wrong. This testing of one's assump- 
tions is philosophy. 

Every great philosopher has passed through this phase 
of examining what had been taken for granted, and it 
is the same impulse which directs a man to the study 
of philosophy. In the life of every thoughtful man there 
comes a time when everything that had been assumed, 
and on which we had confidently built, collapses like a 
house of cards, and, as during an earthquake, even the 


most solid-looking structure totters. Descartes has very 
vividly described this, with the most exquisite simplicity 
and fineness, in his first Meditation. He experiences, as 
Socrates did, the real mission of scepticism ; which is, 
both in history and in the very nature of human thought, 
to lead us onward to a final security through the dis- 
solution of our unreflecting assumptions. Herbart has 
the same idea when, in his Introduction to Philosophy, 
he, in his usual dry way, discusses the nature of 

Our Introduction to philosophy has, therefore, to 
formulate the fundamental problems which emerge from 
this disturbance of the nai've assumptions of daily life 
and of the sciences. It begins with current and appar- 
ently quite intelligible phrases. In these things we, 
taught by the lessons of history, find the starting-point 
of our problems ; and we have to show how necessarily 
they arise out of the vigorous and dispassionate examina- 
tion of the assumptions of our mental life. When that is 
understood, we see clearly from moment to moment the 
nature of the connection between the leading ideas whose 
relation to each other constitutes our problem, and we 
understand the divergences of the attempts which have 
been made to solve each problem. We may thus hope 
that, as we realise the inevitability of the problems, we 
shall understand and appreciate the lines along which 
efforts have been made, and can and must be made, to 
solve them. 

Once we have conceived the task of philosophy from 
this point of view, we find the best answer to a number 
of criticisms which are commonly urged against it. 
These prejudices arise not unnaturally from the impression 
which a history of philosophy makes upon an outsider. 
But and this should arouse one's suspicions they tend 
to take two quite contradictory forms. The history of 
philosophy does, in fact, present a totally different aspect 
from the history of any of the other sciences. The latter 
have a more or less clearly defined subject, and the history 
of each of them represents a gradual mastery of it. Take, 
for instance, the history of physics or of Greek philology. 


In each such case we see a gradual expansion of the 
knowledge acquired and a clearer understanding of the 
subject ; extensively and intensively there is an unmis- 
takable, if not a continuous, progress. A history of this 
kind is able to describe achievements which are recog- 
nised as permanent, and it can regard even errors as partial 
truths. It is otherwise in philosophy. The moment you 
attempt to define its subject-matter, you find the philo- 
sophers themselves failing you. There is no such thing 
as a generally received definition of philosophy, and it 
would be useless to reproduce here the innumerable 
attempts that have been made to provide one. The 
outsider, therefore, gets the impression that in philosophy 
there is question de omnibus rebus et de quibusdam aliis. 
Each philosopher seems to work as if no others had 
existed before him, and this is particularly noticeable 
in the case of the most distinguished. Hence it is that 
the history of philosophy gives one an impression of 
something disconnected, something that is constantly 
changing, something wanton and moody. Nothing in it 
seems to be beyond dispute. There seems to be nothing 
that one can point to as definitely established. There is 
no science of philosophy in the sense that there is a science 
of mathematics or law, and so on. It looks therefore 
as if people are right when they see in this fruitless series 
of mental efforts only a history of human weakness or 
human folly. 

On the other hand, however, one gets the impression, 
especially when one compares the great figures of the 
history of philosophy critically with each other, that, in 
spite of all the changes of view, it is always the same thing. 
The same questions, the same " tormenting riddles of 
existence," recur in each age. They merely change the 
garment of their verbal expression, the outer aspect of 
their features, from one age to another. The substantial 
content is always the same unanswered question. And 
even the attempts to answer it have something stereo- 
typed about them. Certain antithetic views about the 
world and life recur over and over again, and they attack 
and destroy each other with their mutual dialectic. Here 


again, therefore, though for quite other reasons, one gets 
the impression that something is attempted with inade- 
quate resources, an impression of sterility and senseless 

This is not the place to show how this not unnatural 
impression may be disarmed, and how, in spite of all, 
an extremely valuable meaning may be read in the history 
of philosophy. But we may draw attention to one point 
in connection with these criticisms. This undeniable 
vacillation from one side to another clearly shows that 
the problems of philosophy, in their entirety and their 
connections, are not so plainly indicated as problems 
are in the other sciences ; that the totality and the system 
of the problems themselves have first to be discovered, 
and that this may perhaps be the last and highest problem 
of philosophy. However, the discontinuity in the emer- 
gence of the questions is best understood when we reflect 
that the various elements of those assumptions about 
life and science, to the disturbance of which we trace 
the birth of philosophy, are only called into question 
and awake reflection successively in the course of time, 
from various historical circumstances that are due partly 
to the features of personal, and partly to the character- 
istics of general, intellectual life. Hence the problems 
of philosophy are brought forward from different points 
of view at different times, and the energy with which 
now one question and now another forces itself upon our 
attention is not so much determined by the systematic 
connections as by the historical constellations of the 
fundamental ideas. 

And if, in the end, it is always the same problems 
and the same general lines of solution that we find, we may 
see in this precisely the best title of philosophy to recog- 
nition. The fact proves that its problems are inevitable ; 
that they are real and unescapable problems which no 
thoughtful intellect, once it is awakened, can succeed 
in ignoring. The perpetual recurrence of the same 
solutions of problems, which seemed at first sight to be 
a reproach, really shows that there are certain inevitable 
relations of thought to the subject-matter, and that, 


in spite of the constant change of the historical stimu- 
lation, they are bound to return. To explain these essen- 
tial elements in the questions and answers is the chief 
task of an Introduction to philosophy. It has to show 
that philosophy is no idle play of the imagination, no 
hopeless tangle of arbitrarily conceived difficulties; but 
that it concerns itself with very real things and very 
serious questions, and explains this intrinsic pressure of 
its irrepressible subject. 

Thus both the problems and the solutions of them 
become intelligible as a necessary correlation of the mind 
and the objects it desires to know. This relation itself 
is, it is true, one of those assumptions we have described ; 
a pre-philosophic way of looking at things which certainly 
must not pass without scrutiny, but from which the 
introductory consideration is bound to start. And in 
regard to this relation between the intellect and its object 
we must at once put a point of view which cannot be 
justified, but merely stated, here, because the entire 
contents of this book, as a whole and in detail, go to prove 
it. It is the point of view which we call Antinomianism. 

All our knowledge is an interpretation of facts by 
reflection ; and for reflection we need an intellect of a 
certain character. It is of the innermost essence of this 
intellect to have certain assumptions which we usually 
call, in the scientific sense of the word, " prejudices," or 
pre-judgments ; that is to say, judgments which form 
the foundation and starting-point of all reflection. In 
so far as these serve us as norms we call them axioms ; 
but in so far as they are supposed to hold also for objects, 
and we expect that these will conform to them, we name 
them postulates. In virtue of this relation we may, to 
use a modern way of looking at things, regard the intel- 
lectual process as an adaptation of our assumptions to 
the facts and of the facts to the assumptions. In the 
choice and schematisation of the facts, which we accom- 
plish by means of our axioms and postulates, we always 
get this double process of adaptation. But it is clear 
that, besides the substantial conformity of the two 
elements, there is also a certain unconformity. The 


conformity is, as Kant and Lotze have pointed out, the 
fortunate fact which makes it possible for us to receive 
the material which we experience into the forms of our 
reflection, its comparative and relating activities. The 
partial unconformity, on the other hand, which we find 
between the two elements affords a starting-point for 
that revision of our assumptions which is the essence of 

The result of this revision may either lead to a recon- 
ciliation and removal of the differences, or at least indi- 
cate ways in which the work may be pursued with some 
prospect of success, or it may end in a recognition that 
the problems are insoluble. Which of these lines the 
inquiry will take cannot, of course, be determined in 
advance ; we must, in fact, stress from the first the fact 
that we cannot expect the inquiry to have the same 
success in regard to all problems. It is, on the contrary, 
not only quite possible, but even probable, that many 
of the problems will be found to have been already solved, 
or at least proved to be clearly soluble, while in the case 
of others, perhaps, we may see that all efforts to solve 
them are hopeless. For if there are in fact definite limits 
to the possibilities of scientific knowledge, we must 
suppose that, while many of the questions with which 
the metaphysical craving assails philosophy lie beyond 
those limits, yet at least a certain number which are 
capable of a satisfactory answer will be found within them. 
In any case, our task is to take this element of adaptation 
and understand the necessity with which the various 
attempts at solution, together with the problem itself 
and the antithesis of mental attitudes, arise therefrom. 
In doing so we must not overlook the fact that the actual 
form in which these solutions appear in history is due 
to the personal work of distinguished individuals. This 
element must be fully appreciated ; and it is especially 
in the complication of various problems, which makes 
their solution more difficult, that the historical and per- 
sonal element comes chiefly into consideration. The 
difficulties, however, are chiefly due to the relations them- 
selves, and we shall direct our attention mainly to these, 


in order to understand and appreciate both the problems 
and the attempts to solve them. In sum, our task is 
to expound, establish, and comment on the chief problems 
of philosophy, and the lines on which the solution is to 
be sought, with a full account of their historical appear- 
ance. In this way an Introduction to philosophy becomes 
a critical inquiry into the possible forms of a philosophic 
view of life. 

In meeting such a task we may adopt either a pre- 
dominantly historical or a predominantly systematic 
method. The former would, in view of what we have 
already said, be open to the objection that the philosophers 
themselves, at least in their purely historical succession, 
seem to be a confusing and conflicting group, in the study 
of which one is apt to lose the real thread or to miss the 
most important points. The danger is least if one begins 
with Greek philosophy, especially in its earliest develop- 
ments. It is of a highly instructive character, because 
of the splendid simplicity and resolute onesidedness with 
which these gifted founders of science, not yet distracted 
by an abundance of material, conceived their intellectual 
work and naively accomplished it. Great as is this 
didactic value, however, the grandiose and primitive 
schemes of these pioneers do not meet the more com- 
plicated problems of modern times. Their simple, strong 
lines cannot provide an expression of the finer structure 
of modern thought, which goes deep into the multiplicity 
of the individual. 

The systematic method of solution has appealed chiefly 
to philosophers because it could be used as an introduction 
to their philosophies. Fichte conceived his two Intro- 
ductions to the Theory of Knowledge rather in this sense. 
For him the theory of knowledge is what is generally 
called philosophy, and of his two Introductions, one is 
intended to teach those who know nothing about 
philosophy, and the other to educate those who have a 
philosophy, from Fichte's point of view. Herbart also, 
the only one of the more eminent philosophers to write 
an Introduction to Philosophy under precisely that title, 


was chiefly concerned to introduce his readers to his own 
philosophy, to the obscurities of his ontology. 

Treatment of this kind is more to the taste of the 
author than of the reader, for the reader, as a rule, desires 
an introduction to philosophy in general, not to a par- 
ticular system. It is true that any man who makes the 
attempt will find it difficult to exclude his own views 
in constructing his work and in dealing with the various 
sections of it. We do not anticipate any objection to 
the following sketch on that ground. One cannot speak 
about these things, which stir the thoughtful mind to its 
depths, without betraying one's own point of view. But 
that must not be our goal, and it shall not be our chief 

An Introduction to philosophy must be neither a mere 
historical survey nor an apology for some special system. 
It must rather introduce the reader to the science of 
philosophising, to the living work of reflection, to the 
direct understanding of its themes, its intellectual stresses, 
and the various attempts to relieve them. It is only in 
this sense that it must take up a position in regard to the 
systematic development of that inner necessity which 
is at the root of the problems, in the historical forms of 
philosophy ; which often, indeed, contain a clue to their 
solution, if not the solution itself. The Introduction, 
therefore, proceeds from the standpoint of immanent 
criticism in face of the systematic and historical material, 
and in this way it must, in the forms of modern thought, 
accomplish what Hegel once attempted in his Pheno- 
menology of the Mind. It must point out the necessity 
by which human thought is driven, from the standpoint 
of philosophy, from its naive ideas of the world and life 
on account of the contradictions which they involve. 

We should not, it is true, imitate to-day the way in 
which Hegel pursued his task. Neither his confusion of 
the logical, psychological, historical, and philosophical 
movements, nor the mysterious explanations by which 
he covers the change of his point of view, would be 
tolerated to-day ; the less so as the broad historical know- 
ledge which such a method implies, both in author and 


reader, is no longer possible. Moreover, we can no longer 
share the confidence with which Hegel, at least in prin- 
ciple, believed, in his historical optimism, in the identity 
of the historical and the logical necessity of progress. 
We must rather admit, as has been said previously, that 
the order in which history unfolds the problems of 
philosophy is immaterial to their systematic connected- 
ness f and that therefore this systematic connection of 
the problems cannot be deduced from history, but is, 
on the contrary, the last and highest problem of philosophy. 
Yet it is the imperishable merit of Hegel that he recog- 
nised the organon of philosophy in the history of concepts. 
To him we owe the perception that the shaping of the 
problems and concepts, as the evolution of the human 
mind in history has brought it about, is for us the only 
satisfactory form in which we can arrange the tasks 
of philosophy for systematic treatment. This historical 
equipment alone will save us from discovering afresh 
truths which were known long ago or from attempting 
the impossible. It alone is fitted to orientate us securely 
and fully as to the problem-content of philosophic 
thought. For man cannot deduce out of his own self, 
but must learn from the interpretation of his nature 
by history, the proper attitude to take up in regard to 
the necessary contents of rational consciousness in general, 
which is the ultimate object of philosophy. 

The literature which might be quoted for the purpose 
of an Introduction to philosophy in this sense is very 
extensive when one considers that, in substance, the 
whole literature of philosophy is relevant to it ; but it is 
extraordinarily scanty if we confine ourselves to special 
treatments of this theme. Hardly one of the older 
encyclopaedic works which call themselves Introductions 
to philosophy need be rescued from its oblivion. Of the 
works actually in circulation which bear the title, the 
least fortunate is that of Wilhelm Wundt. The distin- 
guished psychologist obviously intended in this work to 
expound his not very profound views on the history of 
philosophy, and he has added to these only a few schematic 
observations, which are surprisingly inadequate, on general 


philosophical tendencies. The most attractive of such 
works is that of Friedrich Paulsen. He confines himself, 
on the whole, to the theoretical problems, and completes 
his work by a study of ethics ; and both his volumes 
are written in an easy and graceful style which makes 
them suitable for any man of average education. By 
far the most scientific and instructive work is that 
of Oswald Kiilpe ; but this also is rather valuable for 
its distribution of the various philosophical disciplines 
than as an organic development from the standpoint 
of a formative fundamental principle. Less important 
attempts, such as that of Cornelius, which is mainly 
concerned with the theory of knowledge, and the purely 
psychological work of Jerusalem, need only be mentioned. 
On the whole, one finds this scantiness of material 
for our purpose quite intelligible. The more profound 
the subject is, the less are pioneers in teaching and writing 
disposed to venture to deal with it ; for the task demands 
not only a most extensive knowledge of the historical 
forms of philosophy, but also a great deal of work of 
one's own in elaborating the whole material and formu- 
lating afresh the problems and their solutions in a living 
philosophy. In this sense we may recommend, rather 
than any of the books already mentioned, several works 
which are really Introductions to philosophy without 
bearing that title. To this class I especially assign Otto 
Liebmann's Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit (4th ed., 
Strassburg, 1911) and its continuation, Gedanken und 
Tatsachen (2 vols., Strassburg, 1904), and the Esquisse 
d'une classification systematique des doctrines philo- 
sophiques (Paris, 1885) of Charles Renouvier. 

As the science of a creed of life philosophy has to meet 
two needs. Men expect of it a comprehensive, securely 
based, and, as far as possible, complete structure of all 
knowledge, and at the same time a definite conviction 
which will prove a support in life. This indicates the 
theoretical and the practical importance of philosophy. 
It must be both wisdom about the world and wisdom 
about life, and any form of philosophy which confines 


itself to only one of these tasks would now seem to us 
one-sided and undesirable. The union of the two elements 
is so characteristic of philosophy that the division of its 
historical details into really distinct periods can best be 
derived from the changes of the relations between the two. 
We see what we call philosophy arise in Greece from a 
purely theoretical interest and gradually come under the 
power of a practical need ; and we follow the triumph 
of the latter through the long centuries during which 
philosophy is essentially a doctrine about the salvation 
of man. With the Renaissance a predominantly theo- 
retical interest again gets the upper hand, and its results 
are used by the Aufkldrung in the service of its practical 
aims ; until at last the intimate connection between the 
two aspects of philosophy is clearly impressed upon the 
mind by the works of Kant. 

This relation is, as we now clearly see, based really 
upon the nature of man. He is not only a perceptive, 
but a willing and acting, being ; he is an organism moved 
by judgments, not merely a machine moved by impulses. 
The judgment itself, in which all knowledge is found, 
is an act in which presentation and will are both active. 
All our views pass spontaneously into conceptions of 
value and motives ; and, on the other hand, our will 
requires views or impressions as its basis of action. 
Knowing and willing are not two powers casually bound 
up together in us, but they are inseparably connected 
aspects of one and the same indivisible being and life, 
which can only be distinguished in psychological reflection. 
Hence all knowledge tends to become a power in the 
life of the will, to affect our appreciation of things, to 
alter, create, satisfy, or repel our cravings. Hence, on 
the other hand, the tendency of the will to determine 
the goal or direction of our knowledge. It is true that 
in some men we find extreme developments of one or the 
other, according as thought or will predominates. The 
solitary thinker, who is content with the bliss of deojpia, 
is estranged from the mass of men, who lead practical 
lives. The separation is right, as it is only an application 
of the principle of division of labour, in accordance with 


which really fruitful knowledge comes only to the entirely 
disinterested inquirer. But in the general life of man 
the two elements, the theoretical and the practical, are 
interwoven. The results of knowledge are at once con- 
verted into appreciations of value, and the need to appraise 
things furnishes the objects of inquiry. 

And not only the objects. The general lines of the 
solution of problems and the answers to questions are 
for the most part determined by ideas of value. We 
may deplore and criticise this, or we may approve and 
confirm it to that we return later but it is a fact which 
we must note here, and a fact which will be explained 
and critically considered throughout this work. If the 
views of the individual, the direction of his attention, 
the sphere of his intellectual interests, the choice and 
connection of subjects and the appreciation of them, 
are determined by the special needs of his profession or 
his position in a word, by the personal will can it be 
otherwise with the whole human race in its historical 
development ? Are these motives of the will likely to 
be entirely eliminated in the mutual adjustment of the 
individual's ideas, or is it not more likely that the more 
closely related of such motives will strengthen each other 
and thus increase their control of the judgment ? We 
cannot keep the will clear of our thoughts. Indeed, from 
the psychological point of view the whole energy of 
thought depends upon such values. It is a source of 
error ; it is also the powei of truth. 

This relation between thinking and willing, between 
intellect and character, is plainly seen even in the case 
of the greatest philosophers. It is, in a sense, peculiarly 
characteristic of philosophy ; for, as we shall see in a 
later section, in philosophy knowledge without value and 
knowledge with value have a quite special relation to each 
other. Philosophy is science ; it is, like other sciences, 
a process of thought, the arrangement of the data of 
experience in concepts. But it is also distinguished by 
an impulse to turn back from the abstract and conceptual 
to life, to views and actions. It needs to work up its 
material into a comprehensive view of reality, which is 


equivalent to an inspiring conviction. Philosophy can 
never be mere knowledge ; it must also be artistic and 
ethical life. Philosophical systems have been called 
conceptual poems. They are ; though not in the cap- 
tious sense that the conceptual construction is charac- 
terised by unreality, but in the higher sense ihat genuine 
poetry always is moulded and moulding life. The aesthetic- 
ethical element in philosophy is at the same time the 
personal, j It determines the importance and the active 
influence of the great personalities in its history. 

This intimate unity of the theoretical and the practical 
had especially to be stressed here because the distinction 
between the two will be the basis of the following work 
on problems and theories. The division of philosophy 
into theoretical and practical, which Aristotle initiated, 
has proved up to the present time the most permanent, 
and we will therefore find it best to divide the subjects 
with which we have to deal into problems of knowledge 
and problems of life, questions of being and questions of 
value, theoretical and practical or, as is now said, 
axiological problems. 

But it is only the problems, the subjects, the questions 
which may be thus divided. In our attempts to find a 
solution we shall always discover that, in the actual, 
historical work of thinking, the results of which will be 
critically reviewed in this book, the division has not been 
sustained. That is apparent on both sides. The practical 
or axiological problems, under which head we include 
all ethical, aesthetic, and religious questions or questions 
about value generally cannot be scientifically solved 
without regard to theoretical views. The solution cannot, 
of course, and ought not to, be determined by any purely 
rational knowledge of reality ; in the end there is always 
a stat pro rations voluntas. Yet the solution cannot, 
on the other hand, be reached without a scientific know- 
ledge of the data. No knowledge of duty can be put 
into action without a knowledge of being. Hence our 
theoretical judgments become motives, if not the exclusive 
motives, in the practical problems of philosophy. But, 
on the other hand, our practical interest constantly 


invades our purely theoretical reflection for the purpose 
of decision. We need only recall the many historical 
deviations which the purely intellectual process of thought 
has suffered, as Lotze points out in the Introduction to 
his Microcosm, from the pressure of the heart. There is in 
philosophy a special and frequent case of this : the case in 
which the practical postulate gives the decision when there 
is theoretical uncertainty, in which theoretically equal pos- 
sibilities in opinion leave the decision dependent upon 
the purpose, so that once more stat pro rations voluntas. 
We have a conspicuous illustration of this in the case 
of Kant. It constitutes the most intimate connecting- 
link, even the decisive and characteristic point of his 
teaching ; and he has given us an explicit treatment of 
it, in which his teaching is justified by an interest of 
the reason. 

We must therefore be prepared to find these amal- 
gamations of theoretical and practical elements in the 
solution of problems of both sorts. They are, in fact, a 
special incentive to inquiry. And precisely on that account 
this unfailing relation points to a final connection of the 
two groups. It positively requires a binding link between 
questions of being and questions of value. This must be 
expressed in the sense that the highest of all philosophical 
problems concern the relation of being to values, and of 
value to being. Hence, as we shall see more fully at a 
later stage, we get religious problems as the last of the 
axiological group. 

*o ;: 





WE may make a preliminary survey of the range of 
questions of being by reflecting upon the ideas we use 
in daily life. In our experience we believe that we 
perceive things between which something happens, and 
thus, to use the brief form of a catechism, we may reduce 
the theoretical problems to the three questions : What 
is that ? How does that happen ? How do we know 
that ? We have therefore to deal with being, happening, 
and the possibility of a knowledge of the world ; and 
the questions take the form of three 'sorts of problems, 
which we may, without doing violence to their inter- 
connections, distinguish as ontic, genetic, and noetic 

But before we approach them in detail, we must make 
an inquiry which is common to them all. These elemen- 
tary questions, as we have stated them, already imply 
a disturbance of those common ideas which we derive 
from simple perception and the views which spontaneously 
develop therefrom. Without such an unsettlement our 
common experience would never become a problem to us. 
We have these ideas of things and of the processes which 
take place between them, and this is supposed to be our 
knowledge of them. The questions, therefore, mean that 
it has occurred to us to doubt if things and events are 
really such as we naively represented them ; behind the 
questions is a suspicion that we may be wrong, and that 
our supposed knowledge may have to be replaced by 
something better. This feeling of misgiving opens out 

3 33 


the possibility that behind what we first thought we had 
perceived as reality there may be another reality which 
we have yet to discover. This problem we describe as 
the conceptual relation of being and appearance. 


Reality and Appearance. True and apparent reality Metaphysical 
and empirical, absolute and relative reality Objective and sub- 
jective appearance Positivism Metaphysics and religion Meta- 
physics as a hypostasis of ideals Philosophic methods The 
unconditioned The transcendental appearance. 

The distinction which is indicated in these categories 
is the fundamental assumption of all scientific and there- 
fore of all philosophic thought : the most general form 
in which it finds expression. It means that a man is not 
satisfied with his prima facie view of the world and life ; 
that he may be able to get behind it and learn what it 
really stands for. There is in it a vague idea, a sceptical 
surmise, that reality may be something quite different 
from what man imagines in his naive perceptions and 
opinions. Possibly reality is not what it appears to be. 
The superficial ideas formed from our daily experience 
have " merely " the value of appearance. Things seem so. 

This fundamental consideration pervades all philosophic 
thinking. All our research may be characterised in the 
words which Mephistopheles applies to Faust : 

Far removed from all that seems, 
Into being's depths he peers. 

It is customary to call this the' search for " the thing- 
in^itself"] but this phrase, which has been used since 
the time of Wolff and Kant, indicates something that 
has been known for ages. The thing-in-itself has had at 
least sixteen ancestors. With the ancient~Ionians, the 
Eleatics, and Plato it meant the innermost essence of 
the world. When the Milclians seek the essence "of" the 
world, the o.pxn, and find it in matter, in the arreLpov ; 
when the seeming reality of the~senses~ is replaced by 


the " elements " of Empedocles and Anaxagoras, the 
numbers of the Pythagoreans, the atoms of Leucippus 
and Democritus, the ideas of Plato, or the entelechies of 
Aristotle what is all this but a search for the reality 
behin9~appearances ? The mind is ever seeking to con- 
ceive the genuinely real, as Democritus said (the trefj 6V), 
or the truly real, as Plato called it (the oVroj? 6V). 

This antithesis of true and apparent reality implies a 
differentiation of value in the concept of reality itself. 
The apparent multiplicity of things must not be regarded 
as non-existent, as a mere seeming. Appearance must 
be considered a secondary reality, a reality of the second 
class, or even a " merely apparent ' reality. Modern 
men of science, for instance, tell us that the real nature 
of things, the primary reality, is in the atoms, and that 
what seems to our simple perception the real thing is only 
a phenomenon or appearance it presents to us. 

For the truly real in this sense Plato has given us the 
term ovaia, which corresponds to the concept of 
" essence." In the Latin terminology of the Middle 
Ages it is called the essentia, and is opposed to existentia. 
Wolff and Kant change these terms into " thing-in-itself ' 
and appearance, while Hegel draws the distinction between 
being and existence. We shall learn the various shades 
of meaning of these expressions more fully at a later 
stage. The commonelfirnp.nt_oj[jthem_is the divisioiL of 
reality irjtp" a. tme"""self -existent realty nnrl an inferior. 
apparent^ reality on^ Qrig-jpa.T a^rifl gpnnjrjp, the other 
dexivecl jind only ja^half^rgjil reality. The latter expression 
is occasionally to be taken quite literally in philosophers, 
when they, as Plato does to some extent, regard appear- 
ance as a mixture of being and non-being. As opposed 
to this the genuine reality is called " pure 1! being. 

From the first, thinkers were aware that this distinction 
is due to a psychological difference ; that the appearance 
is in perception and the opinions formed therefrom by 
the spontaneous play of the imagination, whilst the essencs. 
reveals itself only to .jieliberate conceptual reflection. 

^^^*^ *^ijt~^ X _ 

Thus the antithesis of essence and appearance corresponds 
to the antithesis of thinking and perceiving. The essences 


are the voov^va. conceived by reason ; the appearances 
are the (^aivo^eva given in perception. In accordance 
with this, the general aim of philosophy is, by means of 
thought, to get behind the appearances which are pre- 
sented in perception to real being. In this we find the 
genuine meaning of the word "metaphysics." It arose, 
as is known, accidentally and from an extrinsic reason, 
through Aristotle calling his work " the books after the 
Physics ' TO. /zero. TO. (f>vau<a. j3t/3At'a. The inquiry into 
the ultimate principles of being and thought, which is 
undertaken under various aspects in these books, does 
in reality go behind the sensible presentation, or pera 
TO. (f)v^.Ka. We therefore give the name " metaphysics ' 
to the philosophic science of genuine reality ; and we 
call the effort to reach a conceptual view of life ' the 
metaphysical craving." 

In this sense we also, when there is a question of essence 
and appearance, speak of metaphysical reality, which 
belongs to the essence, as compared with the inferior, 
derivative reality which suffices for the appearances; 
and in the same connection the latter is described as 
empirical reality that is to say, the reality or half-reality 
of existence which is given in experience and perception. 
In this terminology, which opposes the metaphysical 
and empirical to each other in the same sense as essence 
and appearance, there is, it is true, a certain noetic tinge 
of a fundamental assumption which we will examine 
more fully later. For the present we have to deal with 
another form of the same categories, which describes 
them as absolute and relative reality. The primary, 
genuine, seji-ejd&ting_reah'ty. true being, theessence, or 
metaphysical reality, is called the absolutely real, or even 
t.hft^AbsohitQ ; the secondary, dejpj^njiejiLxealLty, ejdslence, 
or empirical reality-, is only relative that is to say, a 
reality wlTtcnrnerely owes its form of being to a relation 
of the genuinely real. This relation may be conceived in 
two different ways. The appearances, beyond which we 
must penetrate to the truly real, are either themselves 
real experiences and events of the originally real, though 
of a derivative and secondary class, or they are simply 


the ideas with which the mind conceives the true reality 
in accordance with its own nature. We cannot very 
well express this distinction except by the use of the 
words " objective " and " subjective," though the abuses 
which have crept into the use of these terms would make 
it advisable to avoid then.' In the present case they 
can, however, scarcely giw T ise to a misunderstanding. 
The antithesis which they convey is easily explained by 
a reference to metaphysical theories which are widely 
known. In Spinoza's system the r^al being is the Deity 
or Nature as the one jjubstance ; relative being, or modi, 
are objective _nppp.axajices thereof. In Schopenhauer's 
system the real being is the_\Vill.; relative being is the 
empirical world_as a subjective appearance in conscious- 
ires3~slTapetHiccording to space, time, and causality. This 
double relativity, in which the appearance is conceived 
either objectively, as an outcome, a real self-expression 
exprimcre, Spinoza says of the primary and essential 
real, or subjectively, as a mental presentation of the 
genuinely real, prepares us for the division of ontic 
problems questions concerning real being into genetic 
and noetic ; that is to say, questions as to the possibility 
of events and questions as to the possibility of knowledge. 

The very multiplicity of the terms in which the anti- 
thesis of being and appearance is expressed, in spite of 
the various shades of meaning of each, apprises us that 
it is one of the permanent aims of philosophy to seek a 
true reality behind apparent reality. What is the founda- 
tion of this persistent effort ? What sort of unsettlement 
of our ideas leads to it ? 

It certainly does not pass unchallenged. There is a 
strain of thought which regards it as the highest principle 
of wisdom to be content with what we perceive. To-day 
we call this the positive point of view. We use the word 
in the same sense as when we call it " positive " to regard 
a thing as settled without criticism. Positive religion, 
for instance, is a given religion which, without challenge, 
is recognised, or claims to be recognised, as dominant. 
We speak of positive law as existing law in contradistinc- 
tion to an ideally and critically desirable law. Again, by 


positive theology and jurisprudence we mean disciplines 
which are simply expository and remain within the sphere 
of the actually existing ; and in them we recognise as 
positive tendencies those which in principle put forward 
the actual as legitimate. In a general way, in fact, we 
call positive sciences those which have no other aim or 
desire than to establish facts. In fine, we give the name 
of positive philosophy, or Positivism, to a system which 
is based upon a combination of the positive sciences, 
and holds that all thought and knowledge can and ought 
to have as their object only the facts we perceive ; and that 
it is therefore illusory and morbid to try to get beyond 
these to a " truly real." 

Positivism bases its claim upon the conviction that there 
is no such being behind appearances. It is a fiction, 
a phantom. In this we have, as will be more fully ex- 
plained later, when we come to deal with noetical ques- 
tions, the radical difference between the critical or agnostic 
school and the positivistic. The former equally denies 
that we can know the thing-in-itself, the Absolute, but 
only to affirm more emphatically its real existence beyond 
appearances ; the latter declares that the Unknowable is 
an illusion. As its chief representative says : " Tout est 
relatif, voila le seul principe absolu." There is nothing 
behind appearances ; not only nothing for us, but nothing 
there at all. This view, of which we seem to find traces 
in antiquity, and certainly find in modern times before 
Auguste Comte, is in our days also upheld by what is called 
the immanent philosophy. It has had this name since 
Avenarius, and it purports, as Berkeley did in his way, 
to bring us back to the simplest and most natural theory 
of reality. To it, therefore, all forms of metaphysics 
are vain struggles, condemned in advance, of artificial 
and transcendental thinking to discover another and more 
genuine nature behind the facts. The positive or imma- 
nent school thus challenge our right to describe the 
facts as appearances in the sense of our category ; for this 
at once implies a relation to a being that appears in them, 
a trr'ng-in-itself. 1 

1 Jacobi, for instance, contended against Kant, though not in the 


Immanent Positivism of this kind is, in the light of 
all that we have said, nothing less than a denial of the 
possibility of philosophy, for it rejects our essential 
stimulus to research. As history shows, our irrepressible 
impulse is to seek the metaphysical reality, and in this 
sense philosophy is necessarily a process of transcendental 
thinking. If it were true that this is only a continual 
aberration, a self-deception of tfie scientific mind, philo- 
sophy is impossible, and we might as well give up the 
name with the reality. If there is no absolutely real, 
there is no such thing as philosophy, which is supposed 
to deal with it. In that case we should have only the 
various empirical sciences ; and philos< > ,y ought to be 
too proud to give its name to a synthesi? n which we might 
gather together the most important facts of these sciences. 

When Positivism, which on that account calls itself 
" scientific ' philosophy, disowns the search after a real 
essence of things, it appeals with some success to the 
fact that the motives which have induced the mind to 
strive to pass beyond the facts are not of a theoretical 
character. On the lines of the doctrine which Turgot 
and Comte developed as the law of the three stages, it 
stresses the fact that the human mind, as it gradually 
advances, passes from the theological and the meta- 
physical to the positive stage, and that it was detained 
in the earlier stages by the persistent force of transcen- 
dental impulses. That is certainly true. We cannot 
more correctly describe +he fundamental religious senti- 
ment than by tracing it . as we trace the metaphysical 
craving, to the dissatL .tio.n of the mind with facts, 
with the things of the world. We recognize in it, as in 
metaphysics, the fundamental impulse toward the higher 
and deeper, the supramundane. Religion is a mood of 
discontent with the world, a search for something purer, 
better, more lasting, for things above space and time. 
This affinity between religion and metaphysics is clear 
and unmistakable. As an instance we need only quote 

Positivist sense, that it is a petitio pvincipil to call the contents of 
experience "appearance," and to conclude from this that there must 
be a corresponding " thing-in-itself." 


the deepest elements of Plato's philosophy, and we at 
once find that the vigour with which he proves the reality 
of the suprasensible world is certainly due to a religious 
feeling. The mood of discontent with the given facts 
inspires the assumption that there is another and a 
higher world, which lies mysteriously behind the world 
of sense. Plato calls this religious-metaphysical impulse 
the epcos, the yearning of the soul for a better home. 
And many other metaphysical systems are just as deeply 
rooted in religious feeling and familiarity with religious 
ideas as is that of Plato. We need only recall how 
Descartes, in his Meditations, even when he is building 
up his purely theoretical doctrine, without any intrinsic 
religious interest, reconciles himself with the current 
implications of the idea of God. But we may go further. 
What powerful elements of metaphysical thought there 
are in the aesthetic impulse to conceive the world as 
a harmonious whole, a living organism, a single work 
of art ! The philosophy of the Renaissance and that of 
German idealism afford instances in every phase. How 
clearly we see imagination helping to round out the facts 
as fragments of the whole, to think things out from 
beginning to end, to soar above the confines of the empirical 
and the unsatisfactory into the broad realm of infinite 
and true reality ! 

But why need we heap up instances ? This religious, 
ethical, aesthetic woof in the tissue of philosophical systems 
is the most conspicuous of facts. Philosophy is never 
detached from ideas of value ; it is always strongly and 
consciously influenced by them. It has never restricted 
itself to what is supposed to be established in what we 
call the exact sciences. It has always taken its elements 
from the entire province of culture, from life and the 
appeals of the religious, moral, political, and artistic 
consciousness and aspiration. It has always claimed the 
right to conceive the world in such fashion that beyond 
all the unsatisfactoriness of its phenomena, in its deepest 
depths, the appreciations of value are the living reality 
of the mind. Metaphysics is the hypostatisation of 


Possibly the philosopher himself is often unaware of 
this. It may be that the course of his critical search 
will show to what extent his convictions, his judgments 
of value, have influenced him in the enlargement and 
completion of his knowledge. This correlation of elements 
was very clearly brought out by Kant. He found that 
theoretical reason threatened to call into question, not 
only the knowableness, but even the thinkableness that 
is to say, the metaphysical reality of the suprasensible, 
or at least to make it entirely problematical ; then his 
practical reason " realises " the suprasensible, and inspires 
a conviction of the higher world of ethical-religious meta- 
physics lurking behind the appearances. 

Thus practical elements are seen to be at work even 
in the general statement of our problems, and these deter- 
mine the search for " genuine ' reality. The right to 
seek this may be affirmed with Kant or denied with the 
Positivists. We have not to decide that here, as it is 
clearly a noetic problem of the first importance. We will 
be content here to grant the fact that this transcendence 
beyond the facts has really often been inspired and 
influenced by practical impulses of this kind. But we deny 
that Positivism has the right to say that these elements, 
which it regards as scientifically unjustified, are the only 
ones at the basis of metaphysical thought. We cannot 
concede that this fact vitiates the impulse in its root. 
We must rather ask whether there are not purely 
theoretical reasons indisputable and unassailable reasons 
for this search for a truly real. 

This question must be answered emphatically in the 
affirmative. There is, in the first place, a strong his- 
torical presumption in favour of it. It is the ancient 
lonians, the founders of philosophy, who point the way for 
us ; and they are certainly above all suspicion of emotional 
prejudice. Victorious assailants of religious fancy on the 
intellectual side, coldly indifferent to men's ideas of values, 
they are the true types of pure theoreticism. Undis- 
turbed by religious, ethical, or aesthetic interests, they 
follow only the impulse to acquire knowledge. That is 
their boast and their strength the strength of their 


narrowness. They oppose all dogmatic tendencies ; they 
have no ethic ; they ask nothing about beauty. Yet these 
ancient lonians are pronounced metaphysicians seekers 
of the real being behind appearances. What else was it 
when Thales said that all the variety of nature meant 
changes of the one Proteus water ? Or when his friend 
Anaximander said that water could not be the real 
essence, the original thing, since it is finite and would 
be exhausted in the combinations, and we must therefore 
imagine an eternal, infinite matter (TO aneipov), which 
produces temporary things out of itself by ever new 
creations ? There you have, literally, an advance of 
thought juera ra tfrvaiKa, beyond things physical ; yet it 
was due to purely theoretical reasons. What was the 
reason ? Because the facts given in appearances do not 
satisfy the scientific demands of conceptual reflection, 
and therefore something has to be "thought out," con- 
ceptually constructed, which may be regarded as the 
genuine and true reality. It was thq jiypostatisation of a 
logical ideal7\ and it is entirely wrong to call these hypo- 
theses " fictions." Philosophers consider that in these 
things they have a knowledge of true reality. Hence 
metaphysical thought shows in its very origin that it is 
logically compelled to assume something that will satisfy 
the claim of the interpretative reflection, and it is not 
afraid, when the actual world of perception furnishes 
nothing of this kind, to set forth the conceptual postulate 
as the true reality behind it. Much the same was done 
by the Eleatics with their concept of being. They insist 
and here again the impulse is purely logical : there is 
no ethical or aesthetic or other axiological impulse that 
there must be in existence some being (ecm yap elvai) 
that is enduring, and not merely relative ; while what 
seems to be in the world of facts does not exist in this 
sense. There was a time when it was not, and a time 
will come when it will be no more ; it is therefore only 
apparent, only a deception of the senses. Thought re- 
quires something more the one true absolute being 
though it cannot go further and discover what it is. 
In this first dialectic, though so hampered by poorness 


of language, the concept (of being) is so strong that it 
is affirmed, while the entire perceptual world opposed 
to it is denied. Thought is braced to such a degree of 
self-consciousness as to regard itself as real knowledge 
in opposition to perception. In these experiences of the 
thinker we see the origin of the belief that knowledge 
of the imperceptible true being must be a quite distinct 
activity of thought, and so we need a special method 
in philosophy, which shall be quite different from the 
method of the empirical sciences. Plato himself regards 
his dialectic as the method of philosophic knowledge 
(emcm^ny) as distinct from opinion based upon expe- 
rience (Sofa) ; and from that time to Herbart's elaboration 
of concepts by the method of relations and Hegel's dia- 
lectical method we get all sorts of attempts to accomplish 
this, with a more or less enduring success. 

In this we may distinguish two main tendencies, which 
correspond to the double relation of being and experience. 
On the one side, being is assumed to be something other 
than the appearances ; and any man who places decisive 
emphasis on this, ami therefore brings out most strongly 
the dualism of true and apparent reality, will always be 
disposed to seek in pure thought the means of knowing 
being, and will use some sort of constructive method 
for that purpose. On the other side, however, it is held 
that the essence is precisely that which appears in 
appearances ; and any man who bears in mind this positive 
aspect of the relation, who says with Herbart, " So much 
appearance, so much indication of being," will have to 
strive to get beyond the appearance, in the ways which 
are used in the special sciences or ways analogous to 
those, to real being ; much as Democritus formulated 
the principle of conceiving true being in such a way that 
the appearances remain (Stao-c6eii> ra ^awo/iem) . The 
one school is in some danger, in reaching the essence, 
with which it alone is concerned, of losing sight of the 
explanation of the appearances, on account of which it 
is really necessary to conceive the essence. The other 
school, devoting its attention mainly to the appearances, 
is exposed to the opposite danger of not getting beyond 


the appearances themselves and the ideas of the special 

In any case we must insist that metaphysics is a hypo- 
statisation of ideals, and, in the purer cases, of logical 
ideals. Pure and true being is, either in virtue of appre- 
ciations of value or the postulates of conceptual thought, 
what ought to be, yet is no part of empirical reality, and 
therefore is, and must be, conceived as the metaphysical 
reality behind it. Amongst these elements of the theo- 
retical postulates we must lay special emphasis on one, 
because, recurring as it does in various forms, it is well 
calculated to show at once the irrepressibility and the 
insolubility of the problems. This fundamental meta- 
physical element is the infinity which we find in all aspects 
of the given facts. Every experience we have is limited, 
and it points to something beyond with which it is con- 
nected, and with which it forms some sort of unity. This 
is due to the fundamental synthetic character of the 
mind itself, as it always gives some sort of unity to any 
multiplicity which it embraces ; and in this sense all 
knowledge is directed only to think such conceptual 
interconnections as are based upon the actual coherences 
of the contents of presentation. But each of these forms 
points most pressingly in its applications toward infinity. 
We see this clearly in the conception of space. Every 
shape which we perceptually experience is limited, and, 
with whatever limits it, forms an overlapping unity in 
the space which is common to them and their surround- 
ings. We come to no limit. Beyond every limit which 
we try to assign there are always wider and more com- 
prehensive unities. In the same way every thing that we 
try to conceive as a separate reality is related to others, 
and these again to others, and so on to infinity. Every 
event, in the same way, points back to another, of which 
it is the continuation and modification, and onward to 
another in which it will be continued and modified ; and 
these lines in turn lead in both directions to infinite time. 
This infinity of the finite, of what cannot be defined and 
conditioned except as finite, does not allow the intellect, 
which would completely embrace this definiteness and 


conditionedness, to come to any rest within the world 
of appearances, as far as it can measure this even with 
the aid of imagination. It does not rest until it has 
reached the idea of an infinite, which is something different 
from the individual conditioned thing or even the sum 
total of all individual conditioned appearances. Thus the 
one infinite space is something quite different from the 
totality of all that we experience, or even of all the infinite 
spaces imagined in connection with experience. It is 
not an object of perception. It is unknown to the naive 
consciousness ; it is an outcome of metaphysical thought. 
It is the same with the concepts of the absolute thing, 
absolute causality, and so on. In every case the logical 
postulate passes beyond the facts to the construction of 
absolute reality. 

Thus precisely in this intractability of the illimitable 
facts we get the Antinomianism which entails that the 
demands of the intellect, since they cannot be realised 
in experience, shall lead to the construction of a supra- 
empirical, metaphysical reality. Kant showed this in 
his criticism of metaphysics ; which was at the same time 
a proof of the necessity of metaphysics. In the Intro- 
duction to his transcendental dialectic he pointed out 
this relation and called it " transcendental appearance." 
The phenomenal world of sense points to endless chains 
of the conditioned, and the understanding, with its craving 
for definiteness, demands for the totality of the conditions 
a limit of these series which we can never find in the 
sensory perception of appearances. It has, therefore, to 
think out such a limit ; but it can never know it, just 
because neither a single one of the experiences nor the 
sum total of them provides such a knowledge. Hence 
the unconditioned is never given in experience, though 
it is ' conceded ' of real necessity. The problems of 
metaphysics are unavoidable, but ever insoluble, tasks 
of reason. So we have in Kant's Criticism of Puye Reason 
the new concept of " the idea " and " the transcendental 
appearance," which at once explains the actuality of meta- 
physics and is fatal to its claims, due to a confusion by 
which the necessity which compels the formation of the 


idea and the definition of the task is retained for the 
accomplishment of the task and for acquiring knowledge 
of an object the true reality. Kant's conception of 
transcendental appearance is, in fact, the key to an 
understanding of the history of metaphysics. It implies 
the undeniable fact that our thought is on all sides pressed 
irresistibly beyond our actual experience of empirical 
reality ; yet as regards the possibility of solving the 
problems ... At all events, we need no further proof 
that in the work of philosophy we have no cobwebs of 
the brain, but very real and solidly grounded tasks. 


THE path to being leads philosophic thought from pre- 
scientific and pre-philosophical ideas, beyond appear- 
ances, to metaphysics : from the plain man's ideas of 
the world, through the special sciences which have the 
first task of modifying and correcting them, to the 
problems which they leave untouched. 

What we conceive as being are things that are vari- 
ously conditioned in time and space, and are distinguished 
from each other by different properties. Every thing is 
something somewhere some when. In our conception 
of it this multiplicity of properties and relations is brought 
into some sort of unity, and this unity we call a thing. 
But in practice this idea of a thing is subject to much 
change. We find that the things which are empirically 
perceived or supposed are superficial ideas, with which 
' the matter does not end/' and so the question of seeking 
the real things arises. We speak of this as the concept 
of substance. 


Substance. The category of inherence The thing and its properties 
The identity of the thing Essential and unessential properties 
Identity of mass, form, and development Elements Absolute 
qualities: ideas Atoms, entelechies, and monads Universalism 
and Individualism Attributes and modi The ego Coherence 
of the properties. 

The form of thought which lies at the root of the 
formation of concepts of things, and therefore of the 
search for substances as the real things, is in logic called 
the category of inherence. It is the first of all the 



categories in the sense that it is the fundamental con- 
stituent form of our whole view of reality. It is this 
which first and above all others objectifies, projects, or 
externalises that is to say, gives the form of an existing 
reality to the content of presentation. For a long 
time, under the influence of Schopenhauer's teaching, to 
which the physiologists subscribed under the lead of 
Helmholtz, this primary function of objectivisation was 
attributed to the other fundamental constituent category, 
causality. That is, however, a mistake, due to the fact 
that the idea easily occurs to the inquiring mind when 
a doubt has been started. It is only when we reflect 
what right we have to regard our states of conscious- 
ness as a knowledge, or at all events the elements of 
a knowledge, of a world that exists independently of 
us that we perceive that the cause of these states is not 
in ourselves, but must be sought in the objects. Such 
a reflection is very far removed from the unthinking 
mind. Without the aid of such a thought it converts 
the impression, which is at first (as Lotze says) nothing 
but a sort of feeling, into the idea of a thing in the simplest 
of all ways, as speech enables us to see. I have a sensa- 
tion of green, and I say : " I perceive something green " 
that is to say, a green thing, or something of which 
green is a property. Lotze has pointed out in the begin- 
ning of his Logic that this is the first logical work of the 
intellect. The words themselves show this, as the adjec- 
tive is converted into a substantive. The substantive 
is the verbal expression for the conceptual form of the 
thing, the substance. But once we have thus elaborated 
our experience into the object, we ask further what sort 
of properties green has : where it is, how large, what shape, 
whether smooth or rough, hard or soft, and so on. We 
only attain a complete idea of the thing by a synthesis 
of many properties, which in the long run we receive 
through different senses ; but this union of the various 
conditions into the unity of the idea of the thing already 
includes the logical assumption that all these different 
elements belong to one and the same thing, and that 
they together represent a coherent unity. 


All reality given in experience consists of such things. 
Each of them signifies a number of conditions linked 
together in a unity, and these conditions belong to it 
and are called its properties. We can only think of or 
define a thing by its properties ; we can only distinguish 
things from each other by their different properties. 
From this it seems at once to follow that we can only 
speak of a thing as the same at different times as long as 
it has the same properties ; and, on the other hand, that 
we have to do with different things when we find different 
properties and combinations of properties. 

But this assumption is not consonant with empirical 
reality. On the one hand, we do not find it surprising 
that one and the same thing changes ; that is to say, 
has different properties at different times. On the other 
hand, it does not trouble us to imagine two different 
things with precisely the same properties. We find 
such things, perhaps, not so much in nature as in the 
products of human industry (for instance, two steel pens 
or needles of the same pattern from the same works), 
and we find it in its most pronounced form in the con- 
ceptions of scientific theory, as in the case of atoms. 
This shows that the metaphysical " identity " of the 
thing with itself is not the same as the permanent identity 
of its properties. We must neither infer at once an 
identity of things from a similarity of two impressions 
nor make a mistake as to identity because of different 
impressions. Two different billiard balls may seem 
perfectly alike to us, and the same ball seems to us 
different when it is dusty from when it is clean. What 
we really perceive is only the similarity or dissimilarity 
of impressions. An inference from this to metaphysical 
identity is justified only by arguments which are based 
upon general assumptions and habits and often very 
intricate and far-reaching considerations. If I find my 
writing-desk in the morning just as I left it the night 
before, I assume that it is the same, provided I have 
only one and there was no possibility of an entirely 
similar desk being substituted for it during the night. 
In thus assuming identity on the ground of similarity 



of impressions we are, notoriously, very liable to make 
mistakes. We need only recall the part played in 
Goethe's Elective Affinities, in the case of Edward, 
by the superstitious delight in the treasured glass with 
interlaced names on it. Toward the close of the tragedy 
it appears that the old glass had been broken long before 
and secretly replaced by a new one. It shows how diffi- 
cult it is to affirm the identity of things which are not 
continuously within our perception, such as lost or stolen 
things. All that we can swear to with complete con- 
fidence is the similarity of the impression. Identity 
is a deceptive assumption, though in certain circum- 
stances it may be fully sustained. If I lose my watch, 
and some one puts before me another that is not only 
just like it, but has the numbers engraved in precisely 
the same place as they had been in my watch, it is 
extremely probable that I have here, not merely a watch 
from the same factory, but my own watch. But what 
justifies me in assuming this is not the sameness of the 
impression ; it is a series of considerations which are 
based upon a knowledge of the entire circumstances. 

This belief in the existence of things which are identical 
with themselves we may contrast with the change of 
either like or unlike impressions. It is an assumption 
by means of which we interpret the facts of experience ; 
a conceptual postulate which we think into the facts. 
Let us try how far we can do that, and whether there 
really are identical things of this kind amongst the ap- 
parent things of our perceptual experience. I have here 
a stone, a piece of chalk, a thing having a number of 
properties which distinguish it from all other things. 
I break it up, and now I have two or more things, each 
differing from the others in its properties, at least in shape 
and size. The same reality presented itself first to me 
as one thing, then as a number of things. Where, then, 
is the thing identical with itself which I look for and 
assume in this same reality ? On the other hand, I take 
several lead pencils, clearly different things. I throw 
them into the fire, and they become one thing of a definite 
shape and size. Further, the wood which seemed to 


me from a distance a unity plainly marked off from 
the rest of the landscape becomes, on closer inspection, 
a collective mass consisting of a number of trees. Each 
tree, in turn, seems to me a single thing until a woodman 
cuts it down, and then trunk, branches, twigs, and leaves 
lie before me as so many different things. Was the 
tree, like the forest, a collectivity ? Now I take one 
of these things, say a piece of wood, and throw it into 
the fire. It turns into ashes : to my eye a number of 
minute things which have not the least resemblance to 
the piece of wood. If I, in fine, see a chemist analysing 
something into two substances which are far removed 
from each other and from the object analysed, I find 
it quite impossible to say where the reality identical 
with itself is in all these changes. 

It follows, at all events, that our empirical notions 
of things are for the most part superficial, and do not 
hold good, either in the empirical reality or in my 
thought, with the postulate of identity. The question 
arises, therefore, whether there are at all fixed and 
unchanging concepts of things, and whether by means 
of these we know things which really are and remain 
identical with themselves. It seems quite possible that 
we might have here only a constitutional necessity 
of our mental processes. The category of inherence 
is, as we saw, the highest form of the intellect which 
works up our impressions. With its co-operation the 
sensory elements of our perception are arranged in thing- 
unities ; and we should therefore be compelled to 
think of the world in things even if it did not consist 
of them. It is also undeniable that we often use the 
concept of thing quite wrongly. We should certainly 
not go so far as to say that, whenever we use a substantive, 
we wish to indicate a thing, yet it is incontestable that 
this form of speech disposes us to ascribe a certain sort 
of thing-like reality to such expressions, such as ' ' free- 
dom ' and " evil." And does not the Platonic theory 
of ideas seek to give a higher reality to all generic con- 
cepts ? Or do not both language and psychology tend 
to assign a thing-like reality as parts of the same to such 


concepts as will, understanding, and so on ? If critical 
consideration compels us to regard these expressions 
as superficial, with no serious claim to be things in the 
proper sense of the word, does this apply also to other 
ideas of things which the ordinary mind takes for granted ? 
Is it possible that all our ideas of things are merely super- 
ficial forms, a scaffolding put together at one moment 
and after a longer or shorter period taken down again, 
by means of which we try to reach the structure of reality 
from without ? In any case, we cannot be content 
with this arbitrary use of the category of inherence. 
We must look for criteria which will enable us to attain 
stable and permanent concepts of things. And if this 
cannot be done in the world of experience, there is 
nothing for it but to seek the reality of such things behind 
experience. If it cannot be done physically, it must 
.be done metaphysically. In both cases we call these 
real things, as distinct from the apparent, substances. 

All the paths which lead thought to this goal start 
with the familiar fact that, even in the case of apparent 
things, the properties are not all of the same value. They 
differ from each other, really and logically, in value, 
as far as the identity of the thing is concerned. Even 
when we do not use the words, we are all accustomed 
to distinguish essential and unessential properties in 
our things : that is to say, those which may change 
or disappear without destroying the identity of the 
thing and those which cannot be removed without 
destroying or casting doubt upon the identity. Essential 
properties are those which belong to the true, absolute 
being ; unessential, those which belong to the appear- 
ance, the relative reality, the existence of a thing. In 
concepts of things we also call these essential and acci- 
dental features. Clearly, when we thus distinguish 
between the essential and unessential in a thing, we, even 
if not always consciously, make a selection amongst 
the variety of elements which, under the category of 
inherence, are bound together in the unity of the con- 
cept of thing. On such a selection not only the notions 
of things in common experience, but even all concepts 


of substance in science and philosophy, are based. From 
this we see that scientific and even philosophic thought 
moves more and more critically along the line marked 
out by pre-scientific thought. The concepts of sub- 
stance arise from a progressive selection of the essential 
conditions, and at every step which knowledge makes 
we have to consider the reasons and the justification 
of this selection. 

In order to test this, let us first see how we make this 
selection in daily life : that is to say, what we consider 
accidental and what indispensable in things, in con- 
nection with their empirical identity. The first thing 
we may take is the place in which the thing is the 
" where." A rolling billiard ball is the same wherever 
it is and no matter how it moves. This indication of 
space in our impression is, it is true, bound up with the 
whole of our perception ; but in most cases the position 
is immaterial as regards the object itself. It is the same 
wherever it is. It is, however, not always immaterial. 
In an aesthetic sense, for instance, it may be very 
material what position a thing has in a landscape or 
a picture. In the same way there are things, such as 
organisms, for which it is a most important matter where 
they may be : the plant, for instance, in relation to 
the soil, and the animal in relation to its whole environ- 
ment. These things, however, concern only the rela- 
tions, the activities, or the means of development. As 
regards that which the thing essentially is, place seems 
to be a matter of indifference. 

This, as we saw, makes clear a great difficulty of 
Atomism. Each atom is supposed to differ from others 
as a primordial and self-identical reality. But atoms 
of the same element and, according to hypothesis, of 
the fundamental matter are entirely alike in everything 
that can be used in defining them. They differ from each 
other only in difference of position. Yet this position 
is immaterial to each ; each remains the same atom 
no matter how much it moves. An atom of oxygen 
remains the same whether it rushes along in a brook 
or is in a stagnant pond ; whether it rises in vapour and 


is carried through the air, or is taken in with the breath 
and enters the blood. In each of these positions, which 
are quite immaterial to its nature, it could be replaced 
by an entirely similar atom. Yet we regard the two 
as two different realities. As a matter of fact, if we 
apply to Atomism what Leibnitz called the principium 
identitatis indisccrnibilium, we find that we can dis- 
tinguish the atoms only by their position, and that this 
is not at all part of their essence. Atomism distinguishes 
between its substances only on the ground of their most 
accidental features. 

But let us leave atoms and come back to apparent 
things. The least essential thing is position. The ball 
is just the same in each stage of its movement. The 
shape, colour, elasticity, etc., constitute the thing. Let 
us suppose, then, that a white ball is painted red. Is 
it still the same thing ? At first we answer this ques- 
tion unreflectingly in the affirmative. In that case, there- 
fore, the colour is not material to the identity of the 
thing, however much we may like or dislike it, or how- 
ever important it may be in a game of billiards. The 
essential qualities of the thing, which remain, must be 
mass and shape. It would no longer be a billiard ball 
if it were cut into a die, and it would not be the same 
if it were replaced by another, even one made out of 
the same piece of ivory. In this case form and mass 
are equally essential. 

Well, let us take a ball made of wax, or of compressed 
breadcrumbs. We can mould this into an oval or cubical 
shape, or any other form. It remains the same piece 
of wax and therefore, in this respect, the same thing. 
It is clear that the form is now immaterial to the identity 
of the thing, and all that remains is the mass. 

We might, however, take it in the reverse way. Who 
does not at once think of the illustration of a river, which 
Heraclitus used so effectively ? The river is, in our 
impression, a permanent figure of an identical being, 
a permanent thing ; yet we know that the form alone 
is permanent, while the volume of water changes 
unceasingly. By means of this comparison of the 


mutually contradictory processes, this eVaimorpom'a, the 
sage of Ephesus explained the illusion by which we see a 
permanent thing in what is constantly changing. Per- 
manence of form in certain circumstances suffices for us 
to constitute the identity of the thing. A man has, 
perhaps, had a new handle put on an old walking-stick, 
renewed the ferrule many times, and possibly at some 
time broken the wood and had it replaced. It remains 
the same dear old stick, though not an atom of the 
original material remains. The ancients used to illustrate 
this by the " vessel of Theseus," which was for centuries 
sent by the Athenians to the annual festival at Delos. 
Although its masts, decks, oars, etc., had been successively 
replaced, it was still the same ancient and sacred ship. 
It seems, perhaps, trivial to quote such an instance in 
this connection, but have we not an illustration of a 
much more subtle and gradual transformation in the 
case of our own body ? Does not physiology teach 
that the organism is perpetually renewed, giving off as 
much of its structure as it receives in the form of 
nourishment ? Even the solid frame of the bones, grow- 
ing constantly from within, is renewed in its material, 
and after a number of years it does not matter to us 
in this connection what the number is not a single atom 
is left in our members of the stuff which once composed 
them, apart from atrophied deposits which are not vital. 
Hence this thing, the organised body, has its identity, 
not in its mass as such, but in the permanent form in 
which this is moulded. 

But even constancy of form is not essential to identity. 
The organic being, at least as far as immediate and external 
observation goes, undergoes in certain circumstances 
a number of material changes of size and shape. The 
plant is one and the same, the same thing, from the acorn 
to the oak. It may be possible to speak of an identity 
of form throughout the whole development in a micro- 
scopic, scientific sense, but certainly not in the sense 
of ordinary observation. Further, the organism cer- 
tainly remains identical when it has lost several mem- 
bers. The amputation of a finger, an arm, or a leg does 


not destroy it. We say at once that the identity is at 
an end when the head is cut off, but is it not as if the 
organism were the same as before when an experimental 
biologist cuts off the head of a frog ? Where is the limit 
in this case ? What change of form is immaterial to 
the identity of the organism ? What type of form is 
indispensable ? If we cared to put this in the abstract, 
we should say : W r hen what remains as a connected 
whole after the loss of various parts can go on living 
as such, it is the same individual as before. If this is 
so, it is neither form nor mass, but continuity of life, 
continuous sameness of function, in which we must find 
the identity of the living thing. When this remains, 
the matter and form may change without leading us 
into any error as regards the identity of the thing. We 
see the same in other connections, where verbal expres- 
sion would, perhaps, not use the word " thing " as readily 
as in the preceding illustrations. Even in the case of 
man's psychic life we speak of the identity of the per- 
sonality as a thing complete in itself, and we are not 
intimidated by the fact that such a being, in the course 
of life, changes its ideas, feelings, views, and convictions 
to a very great extent. These changes may be quite 
radical transformations religious claims such as that of 
' new birth " show how possible this is and even quite 
apart from pathological cases, the gradual replacement 
of the psychic contents in the course of life may be so 
great that here again we have only the continuity of 
life on which we may base an affirmation of identity. 
W 7 e have another conspicuous instance when we speak 
of the people or State as one being. Here again we 
have a constant coming and going of the individuals 
which compose the people or masses, so that at the 
end of a century hardly a single one of the earlier 
component parts survives. Besides this succession of 
generations, the identity of the people is not affected 
by the historical events by which some sections are 
detached from it and new sections are added to it. We 
take the continuity of language in this case as a criterion. 
It is the same in historical culture as regards the meaning 


of the State. A State, as an historical unity, undergoes 
considerable changes. It has its growth; it may con- 
tract, and then expand again ; and it survives the change 
of its inner life-form, its constitution. Yet in spite of 
all these profound alterations we still in such cases speak 
of the same people or State ; and this is not merely a 
retention of the name because the changes only occur 
gradually in our experience, but we are really thinking, 
though not strictly in the category of inherence, of an 
identical reality throughout all the changes. 

When we regard all these different attempts of our 
ordinary thinking to determine the essential, which 
constitutes the identity, it seems that this essential is 
always selected from the non-essential and accidental 
from a definite point of view. And what may be essential 
from one point of view need not be essential from 
another. The elements which in each case lead to the 
determination of the identity, which is never perceived 
as such, differ according to our way of looking at them. 
The principle of the selection which enables us to dis- 
tinguish between the essential and the accidental changes 
with the point of view of each science. This has been 
shown by the illustrations we have taken from ordinary 
life, as well as from the scientific procedure of physicists, 
chemists, biologists, psychologists, and historians, and 
we have found that three things are chiefly used in deter- 
mining the essential : mass, form, and development. 
They explain that which directed us in forming the con- 
cept of substance namely, the unchanging being which 
persists throughout the changes of experience. This 
temporal element, the relation of the unchanging to 
the changing, was the first criterion of even pre- 
scientific thought for fixing its concepts of things. In 
the various sciences, however, this reflection on the per- 
manent takes the deeper form of conceptual relations, 
and in this we find, in the main, two routes adopted. 
One of them runs on the line of the reflective category 
of the general in relation to the particular ; the other 
proceeds on the constitutive relation of causality. 
Upon these logical forms rests the general validity which 


the scientific concepts of substance seem to possess, 
and which as a matter of fact gives them their pre- 
philosophical significance. 

According to the first form the constant general ele- 
ment in the contents of experience is the truly real, of 
which the various appearances are merely fleeting 
secondary realities. This procedure of thought follows 
the actual connections which are constantly repeated 
in our experience and seem to be the permanent element 
amidst the changes. The earliest Greek thinkers occu- 
pied themselves in many ways with the problem of 
qualitative change (oAAotcoms), which seems to present 
to us the real from moment to moment, and sought to 
show that in this we should see only a fleeting appear- 
ance and disappearance of unchangeable elements of the 
true reality. More than one of these ancient thinkers 
pointed out to his fellows that they were wrong in speak- 
ing of origin and end in the case of apparent things. It 
was, they said, only a combination and division, a 
mingling or separation, of the truly real, and that the 
latter is an unchangeable reality, without beginning 
or end. If one sought in this sense the immutable 
elements, out of which we see that empirical things 
were composed when they dissolve, one discovered the 
important difference between unequal and equal con- 
stituents. When one seemed, in the case of the latter, 
to have reached the limit of qualitative divisibility, one 
must suppose that one had come to something of the 
permanent nature of reality, some aspect of real being. 
In this way the chemical idea of ' elements ' was 
discovered, especially by Anaxagoras, and also the ideas 
of homoomeria, which we seem to owe to Aristotle. The 
genuinely real things are those which, when one is able 
to divide them at all, divide always into like parts. The 
qualitative general concepts which constitute substances 
of the nature of the chemical elements according to this 
view, clearly depend upon the means of division which 
are at the disposal of the student of science, and we 
cannot therefore be surprised that to Anaxagoras the 
number of elements seemed to be infinite. When modern 


chemistry tells us that there are more than seventy such 
elements, it makes it clear that this enumeration is 
temporary and determined by the limits of our means 
of subdividing them, and it keeps in mind all the time 
the idea of an ultimate and entirely simple primitive 

But what physical division cannot do may be attempted 
with more prospect of success in the way of logical 
analysis. The Greeks very soon saw the analogy between 
chemical structure in the material world and the gram- 
matical structure of language. Just as the multi- 
plicity of apparent things may be reduced to a limited 
number of elements, so the whole immense variety of 
our language may be reduced to the comparatively small 
number of its constituents, the letters of the alphabet. 
As early as Plato we find the same word (aroix^ov] 
used for the elements of the material world and the letters 
of the alphabet, and it seems that even in the Latin 
language elementum meant at first the letters with which 
the alphabet was learned in school. Plato, in fact, elabo- 
rated this analogy, and extended the comparison to the 
unchanging elements of thought. The moment we reflect 
on this we notice that every word we utter has a general 
signification. When I say " this green thing," it is not 
merely the something " green ' which might be said 
of many other things, but the demonstrative pronoun 
itself, which is supposed to refer directly to an individual 
thing, may also be applied to countless other things. 
It is so with all qualities of things without exception. 
Each of them has a generic significance, and may be 
verified in the case of many individuals. These " abso- 
lute qualities," as Herbart called them, seem to represent 
the generally and immutably real, of which the indi- 
viduals of appearance are compacted in much the same 
way as, from the chemical point of view, material indi- 
viduals arise from the cohesion of general elements and 
disappear when they are separated. Herbart rightly 
pointed out that this analogy is one of the foundations 
of the Platonic theory of ideals. According to Plato, a 
thing is beautiful because the idea of beauty is incorporated 


in it. A body becomes warm when the idea of warmth 
is added to it, and it becomes cold when this idea departs 
and gives place to its contrary. In exactly the same 
way that Plato (in the Phcedo] speaks of the coming and 
going of ideas as the true meaning of changes of pro- 
perties, Anaxagoras also contended that each individual 
thing owes its properties to the elements which are in 
it ; that it acquires a new property when the corre- 
sponding element is added to it, and loses a property when 
this is removed. We find the same idea, in a subtler 
form, in the modern theory of the constitution of 
molecules. If from a certain molecule I extract an 
atom of bromine and replace it with an atom of iodine, 
I get a different substance with correspondingly different 

In all these theories of elements, in spite of their 
differences from each other, there is the common idea 
that the truly real, the substantial, consists in the general 
and homogeneously permanent, and that the apparent 
reality which we perceive in individuals owes its pro- 
perties to its participation in the general. From this 
arises the system of Universalism, according to which 
the individual exists only in so far as the general 
momentarily unites with it. 

These general substances, however, whether matter 
or ideas, are really only denaturalised concepts of things : 
gold or radium or oxygen is not strictly what we call a 
thing according to the original structure of the category. 
The danger of this use of the word is particularly clear 
in the case of the generic ideas with which we describe 
the fundamental forms or states of the psychic life. When 
we speak of the intelligence or the will, the substantive 
expression easily disposes us to conceive them as things, 
whereas critical consideration does not find this justi- 
fied. This view of the psychic generalised ideas as real 
' faculties " must be extruded from scientific psychology 
as quite mythological, though it remains useful in popular 
thought and speech. 

In addition to this, the process of abstraction on which 
these generic concepts depend inevitably urges us to 


form higher and higher analogies and contrasts, and comes 
to rest only in the ultimate and simplest general reality. 
Thus we find chemistry, when what were thought to 
be elements prove, on closer examination, to be com- 
pound, leaning to the hypothesis of one fundamental 
element ; and for a time it was believed that this was 
found in hydrogen. It is true that this turned out to 
be erroneous, yet such facts as the series of atomic weights 
compel us to continue to search for some absolutely 
simple element as the truly existent. The simpler these 
generic ideas become, however, the more they diverge 
from the original meaning of the category of things, 
which, as inherence, always implies the arrangement 
of the manifold in a unity. Thus the Cartesian ideas 
of extended and conscious substance, and to some extent 
Herbart's " reals," which are supposed to have only one 
simple quality, are in the end denaturalised concepts 
of things. And the same applies to such generalised 
ideas as matter or spirit or even " nature." It is sheer 
Universalism when we find Goethe in his well-known 
hymn to nature speaking of it bringing forth individuals 
prodigally yet being quite indifferent to their fate. It 
makes nothing for itself out of individuals ; it reabsorbs 
them in itself and creates others. It gives them only 
a secondary reality. This Universalistic way of thinking 
is quite familiar even in scientific work when it regards 
matter, with its general forces, elements, and laws, as 
the true and enduring reality, and the individual as a 
temporary phenomenon. 

There is a certain religious attitude that coincides 
with this metaphysical way of looking at things, namely, 
the attitude of those who regard the individual as sinful 
and unworthy of existence, and think the absorption 
of the individual in the whole the proper goal of all aspi- 
ration. The mystic idea of deification, or the merging 
of the individual in the divine whole, is the religious 
form of Universalism ; and this played a great part in 
medieval Realism. But, on the other hand, it is ideas 
of value which oppose this conception : ideas of value 
by which the personality, conscious of its freedom and 


responsibility, asserts its own feeling of reality and 
originality, its proud sense of " aseity " or self-contained- 
ness. Even apart from these feelings, however, there 
are grave theoretical objections to Universalism. It 
cannot solve the problem of individuality ; it cannot 
intelligibly explain how individual things proceed from 
the general reality, or why the elements unite to form 
the individual thing precisely at this spot, at this time, 
or in this particular way. If things are supposed to 
be products of change in the substances, why the change ? 
It has no foundation in the nature of substances. In 
seeking an explanation we rather find ourselves driven 
to other and earlier individual things, and thus get a 
regressus in infinitum. The only thing for us to do seems 
to be to assume that the true substances are originally 
existing individual things. Individualism of this kind 
may take various forms, according to the different ways 
in which it conceives the individual things. There is, 
in the first place, the Atomism of Democritus, which 
was much more Individualistic than the modern atomic 
theory. The latter recognises only chemically differ- 
entiated elements, and, owing to the disintegration 
of the atoms by cathode rays and their dissolution into 
electrons, is well on the way to complete Universalism. 
Democritus, on the contrary, conceived the atoms as 
all qualitatively alike, but individually quite different 
from each other in size and shape. He spoke of the 
occupation of space or impenetrability, as we now say, 
as the one general quality of all reality, and then described 
individual realities as differing in " shape." He, for 
instance, spoke of hook-shaped and sickle-shaped atoms, 
and he required such shapes in order to be able to explain 
the interlocking of the atoms. Each atom had not only 
its particular shape, but 'also its own original movement, 
of a definite direction and velocity. In the corpuscular 
theory of the Renaissance this view was for a time revived, 
but it is not retained in modern physics and chemistry. 
Our modern sciences have quite abandoned Individualism. 
The form of Individualism introduced by Aristotle, 
the biological form, has held its ground much more 


effectively. In his idea of Entelechy Aristotle has con- 
ceived the individual life-unity of the organism as the 
true ovala ; as the entity which realises its form 
in association with matter. The material elements used 
for this purpose are no more than general possibilities ; 
they only attain to living reality in the individual exist- 
ence. That is a conception of thing which keeps very 
close to the original category of thingness, and has there- 
fore proved historically one of the best ideas for the 
interpretation of phenomena. Hence our common use 
of the words individual and " individuality ' to-day 
has lost the original sense, in which it meant the arojuov, 
the indivisible particle of matter, and usually implies 
the organic individual, if not the spiritual individual 
or personality. It is no longer the mass, but the form 
and function, which is indivisible, as the members cannot 
continue to live apart from the whole. 

We thus understand a third form of metaphysical 
Individualism, which occurs in the case of Leibnitz's 
Monadology. According to this the universe consists 
of spiritual individual elements, monads, all of which have 
the same life-content, but each develops it in a different 
way. Individuality here consists in the degree of 
intensity of the clearness and explicitness with which 
the monad becomes a mirror of the world The chief 
objection to this is seen when we ask the question, what 
it is that is to be differently mirrored in all these 
monads. If each of them reflects only itself and all 
the others, we have no absolute content in the whole 
system of mutual mirroring. That is, in a certain sense, 
a concentration of all the dialectical difficulties which 
arise between Universalism and Individualism precisely 
when the conflict takes its highest form in the case of 
spiritual reality. 

These difficulties recall to us that it is, as a fact, im- 
possible to form a quite definite idea of individuality. 
All the properties which we use for this purpose are in 
their turn generic ideas : that is to say, definitions which 
will apply to other individuals as well. The unique 
and special thing about the individual is its combination 


of the manifold. But what this constitutes cannot 
properly be expressed in words which, on account of 
their general significance, will always apply to some- 
thing else. Individnum est ineffabile. Individuality 
cannot be described ; it is felt. This is true of great 
historical personalities like Napoleon and Shakespeare, 
Goethe and Bismarck. It is true also of the inner nature 
of great characters in literature such as Hamlet or Faust. 
The more a personality can be described or defined, the 
less is its individuality and originality. Each quality 
and achievement even of the greatest man can be ex- 
pressed in words ; but the prepondering element has 
to be experienced. Hence the intimate nature of a 
personality is missed by those who try to express it in 
analogies and comparisons ; as that prince of dilettanti, 
Houston S. Chamberlain, tries to do with Kant. Indi- 
viduals and individual qualities can never be intellectually 
conceived ; the reader must be made to experience them 
aesthetically, the description of their lives in each phase 
being so shaped that it will present to the mind a unity 
such as we have in the living reality. 

These are matters of importance which it is for the 
methodology of the higher sciences to explain. But 
even as regards the metaphysical formulation of problems 
we have here very serious questions, and they imply 
very marked limits of possible intellectual knowledge 
in an individualistic metaphysics. We can conceive, 
genetically understand, and axiologically interpret the 
various elements of individual natures by means of the 
historical definiteness of all their phenomena. All that 
pertains to this historical appearance of theirs is rational. 
But in the end their substantial individuality consists 
in that inexpressible unity which can never be an object 
of thought and knowledge, but only a postulate of com- 
prehension, only irrationally felt by intuition. Hence 
Individualism frequently assumes a mystical form, and 
from this arise questions which we will discuss later 
when we come to deal with problems of value. We 
notice them here only in order to characterise the ex- 
tremes of Universalism and Individualism in this aspect 


also. The contrast between them is just as important 
to a philosophy of life as to the theory and practice of 
historical research. Fichte's saying, that the sort of 
philosophy a man chooses depends upon the sort of man 
he is, is verified here in the fact that whoever is content 
to be an outcome of general states and conditions, 
and is guided by these in his conduct of life, differs 
fundamentally from the man who is convinced that 
his feeling of personality is something special, and is 
determined to stamp this personality upon circum- 
stances. Thus we have in historical science the theory 
of the milieu, which regards general movements as the 
essential thing and the activity of the individual as 
merely a secondary phenomenon in the total process, 
opposed to the older idea that it is the great personalities 
which make history and represent its meaning. The 
theory of the milieu is therefore close akin to Rationalism, 
whilst individualistic history neither can deny, nor 
wishes to deny, that it contains irrationalistic elements. 

Considered from the purely logical point of view, the 
antithesis of Universalism and Individualism is directly 
due to the structure of the concept of things. The thing 
that we would definitely conceive consists of properties 
all of which have universal significance, and this par- 
ticular thing differs from all others only in virtue of 
a special association of these properties. Universalism 
seeks the true substantial realities in the general pro- 
perties which are necessary in order to give shape and 
secondary reality to apparent things by some special 
combination of them. Individualism, on the contrary, 
regards the synthesis itself as the substantial in a sense 
of value, and the properties therein associated only as 
mutable elements of a secondary reality of the possible. 
Thus, in respect of the question of substance, Uni- 
versalism coincides with the chemical-mechanical, and 
Individualism with the organic, view of life. They 
differ in their selection of the elements combined in the 
empirical conception of the thing. 

We have similar antitheses of views when we follow 
up the difference between the enduringly essential and 



the changeably unessential in the relation of the original 
and the derivative. A real inequality of this kind 
amongst properties is often expressed by the antithesis 
of constitutive and derivative characters. Certain pro- 
perties, it is said, belong to the thing only in so far as, 
and because, it has certain other and original properties. 
The latter are supposed to be the permanent and essen- 
tial as opposed to the mutable and unessential. A 
tree develops leaves and flowers and fruit, and then 
sheds its leaves. None of these states, which give it 
very varied properties, belongs to its real and enduring 
nature. The latter consists rather in its morphological 
structure and physiological functions. From these arise 
the phenomenal derivative properties, as states con- 
ditioned by the changing relations of the environment 
the seasons, climate, etc. To the same difference 
we may trace the scholastic distinction between attri- 
butes and modi. The attributes constitute the nature 
of the thing ; the modi are the conditions of its appear- 
ance which arise from the attributes or are made possible 
by them. Thus Descartes, for instance, defined bodies 
by the attribute of extension. All their other properties 
were supposed to be derived from this as modi. He 
gave thought, [cogitatio] as the attribute of the soul, and 
the various modifications of this are the psychic activities 
and states of the mind, feeling, and will. The modi, 
however, derive from the attributes only in virtue of 
certain relations or under certain conditions. They 
are therefore relative in regard to the nature of the thing, 
while the attributes represent the absolute properties 
which constitute the thing in itself. We constantly 
think and speak in the sense of these categories. The 
constitutive nature of things is distinguished from the 
changing modi and states which it assumes in virtue of 
certain relations to its surroundings. Thus the chemical 
nature of a body consists in the fundamental properties 
of the substances which constitute it, whereas such 
properties as colour, odour, and taste are modi, which 
are due to a relation to particular organs of sense, and so 
on. In the same way we speak of a man's character 


as his real nature, and, in opposition to these enduring 
qualities, we call his several activities and states deri- 
vative and phenomenal things modi of his real being. 
It is evident that this distinction is fully justified as 
long as it keeps within the limits of empirical knowledge 
and the various divisions of it. It is based upon real 
views of causal dependence, or at least (much the same 
as with a man's character) on views and assumptions 
about it. We are therefore dealing, not with matters 
of formal logic, but with real relations which are indis- 
putably based upon experience. They, however, have 
no more than a practical utility in this field for distin- 
guishing between the essential and the unessential. If 
they are extended beyond it, they lead to insoluble meta- 
physical difficulties. The attributes are supposed to 
represent the essential nucleus in the plurality of per- 
ceived properties, and to indicate something permanent 
which meets the postulate of identity ; and this nucleus 
is supposed to hold together in unity the whole cloud 
of its transitory modifications. We speak thus of the 
nature of a man as contrasted with his various states 
and activities. Not only in speech, however, but in 
thought also we distinguish even these permanent 
and constitutive properties, the attributes, from the 
thing itself, and we conceive this as what has the 
properties, essential as well as unessential, attributes 
as well as modi. The verbal expression in the predi- 
cative judgment ' A is b ' by no means implies an 
identity of subject and predicate, as was thought by 
Herbart, who derived the whole artificial construction 
of his theory of reality from this fundamental error. 
We have no idea of saying that sugar is identical with 
white or with sweet. The copula, which may express 
very different categories as forms of combination of 
subject and predicate, and may in some cases, as in 
mathematical propositions, imply identity, has in this 
case the meaning of the category of inherence ; the words 
might just as well run, " sugar has sweet " namely, 
as a property. To give a logical explanation of these 
aspects of the copula would be a more worthy object 


of the zeal of the inventors of Esperanto,' Ido, and 
similar artificial languages. And the thing is no more 
identical with the sum of its qualities than with any one 
in particular. There remains always something that 
possesses these qualities, and is therefore distinct from 
them, and may be distinguished from them. It would, 
of course, be quite impossible to describe the thing apart 
from all its properties. Every qualification would be 
itself a property, even if we take such a fundamental 
property as extension or thought : a property which the 
thing as such must have, and from which it must be 
distinguished. The thing therefore remains as an unde- 
finable substratum of properties, incapable of repre- 
sentation by any quality, TO vTTOKei^vov, the " thing in 
itself" ; in which we state a problem, but do not imply 
that it is insoluble. In this sense Locke speaks of sub- 
stance as the unknown bearer of the properties, of which 
we can only say that it is, not what it is. 

Have we then any sound reason to conceive this un- 
knowable ? It has been denied ; indeed, this denial 
is not only the chief historical element, but a permanent 
source of strength, in Positivism. It began with the 
English idealist Berkeley. In the development of the 
problem of substance after Descartes the concept of thing 
had been more and more deprived of its contents. The 
things equipped with one single attribute, the res 
cogitantes and res extensa, had been taken over by Locke 
as cogitative and non-cogitative substances, but he had 
gone on to the idea of unknowable substratum. When 
we strip a thing of all its properties there is nothing left, 
and so Berkeley concluded that there was nothing ; that 
the being of the thing is not to be distinguished from 
the sum of its properties, and that it is a mere fiction 
of the schools, a phantom. If being coincides with per- 
ception (if esse = percipi), substance is something we 
have not perceived, but merely imagined from habit. 
It is not real. If from a cherry I abstract all that I can 
see, touch, taste and smell, there is nothing left. In 
this way Berkeley abolished material substances. For 
him they were merely complexes of sensations, bundles 


of ideas, as was then said ; and for that reason his theory 
has been called Idealism. But he regarded these ideas 
as states or activities of spirit. He allowed the res 
cogitantes to remain. Then came his great successor 
Hume. He showed that what was true of the cherry 
was true of the self. It is a bundle of sensations. Hume 
expounded this in the work of genius of his youth, the 
Treatise, and then abandoned it in his later work, the 
Inquiry, apparently because it gave great scandal to 
his countrymen to find their beloved selves argued out 
of existence. In his first work he showed that the as- 
sumption of identity or substance can be explained, 
on the lines of the association of ideas, by our being 
accustomed to constant connections of ideas. The sub- 
stance is not perceived, but merely gathered from 
the repeated connectedness of similar elements of 

This development of thought may be made clear 
in the following way. Accustomed to distinguish, in 
the changing qualities of the empirical thing, between 
i nucleus of essential, permanent, and original qualities 
md the unessential, we fall into the error of supposing 
that we can make the same distinction in regard to the 
essential properties, and here also discover a nucleus 
within the nucleus. This illusion is the transcendental 
ippearance which leads thought pera TO. <f>vaui, to the 
problematic concept of the thing-in-itself. So far the 
Positivist claim seems to be justified in this case. But 
sve ask ourselves whether we can rest content here. 
Let us, for example, look more closely at the idea of 
the self. It is quite true that we cannot define it, and 
that in this sense the individual is certainly ineffabile. 
What can a man say when he is asked, or asks himself : 
' Who art thou ? ' He may give us his name ; and, if 
ive ask what that means, he may refer us to his bodily 
frame, his physical individuality. But this is not the 
self ; it belongs to it. Even quite apart from the 
question of immortality or the transmigration of souls, 
^very unprejudiced mind distinguishes itself from the 
body which it possesses. In answer to further questions 


a man gives his social position, his profession, and so 
on, as what constitutes his self. But he must soon per- 
ceive that all these things are shells round the nucleus, 
relative determinations of the nature of the self. We 
then seek this in the psychic contents. But these also 
belong to the self as its presentations and ideas, feel- 
ings and volitions ; and if in the end we say that the 
nucleus of our being is in our views and convictions, 
it is clear that these do not constitute an absolutely 
identical self from childhood to old age. We speak 
of an identity of personality even in conditions of mental 
disturbance in which it seems to be entirely replaced 
by another. Religious ideas and claims, such as that 
of being born again, certainly imply the possibility of 
a complete change of one's inmost being, yet assume 
an ultimate identity of the self throughout. We need 
not inquire here how ideas of this kind in Schopenhauer, 
for instance can be reconciled with the indestructi- 
bility of man's nature in itself ; but it is at all events 
clear how we always distinguish the self from all 
tendencies and contents of the mind and will. It is not 
these things, but has them. It is, in fine, precisely this 
fact which gives birth to so impracticable an idea as 
the liberum arbitrium indiffer entice, in which it is as- 
sumed that the self decides, according to its mysterious 
nature, between its own motives, gives an unintelligible 
verdict when they are equal, and even victoriously over- 
comes them. What there really is in this so-called 
' free will ' no one can tell, because an act of will is 
always characterised by its object. The individual will 
must therefore always be determined by a definite object 
or group of objects, and so must, as regards its content, 
be empirically conceived as something else ; and this, 
again, is not the intelligible character, but has it. 

We thus cannot really say what the self is as 
distinguished from all its properties and states. Yet 
our feeling of personality strongly opposes the bundle- 
theory and postulates that we have a real unity, even 
if it can never be expressed. And there is a theoretical 
element in addition to the emotional. The unity of 


the phenomena, which is supposed to indicate the thing 
or the substance, cannot be merely an accidental juxta- 
position, but is conceived as the reason for the inter- 
connection of the manifold. This nucleus within the 
nucleus is the containing or binding element, and we 
may apply to all concepts of things and substances what 
Lotze said of the meaning of the categories ; it has to 
feel as a connected whole what comes together in con- 
sciousness. The thing is, therefore, always the con- 
nectedness of its properties, a synthetic unity, in virtue 
of which they are not merely found together, but are 
necessarily interwoven. Thus we define chemical sub- 
stances as the molecular unity of atoms which do not 
casually co-exist, but belong to this unity. The atom 
itself is a unity of functions which are usually denned 
as forces ; a force-centre, much in the sense in which 
the Energetic school of physics gives a dynamic inter- 
pretation of matter. This applies also to the entelechies, 
the unities of the manifold in the living individual, 
except that here the necessity of the interconnection, 
or the connectedness of the elements, is conceived teleo- 
logically, as in Kant's theory of the organism, not 

In science, therefore, the thing or substance as the 
conceptual fundamental form for the interpretation of 
experience has the sense of establishing intellectually 
the associations of the manifold into a permanent being. 
All ideas of things or substances are outcomes or products 
of judgments about the enduring connectedness of 
original elements of experience. It is only in philosophy 
that the further question arises, What is the real nature 
of this coherence ? Popular, and to some extent even 
scientific, thought treats it as an independent reality, 
which possesses all the properties. It must, with Locke, 
Berkeley, and Hume, be convinced that in such case 
it can affirm no property whatever in other words, 
nothing about the thing itself. We then have only 
two alternatives. Either the synthesis of properties 
in the thing is a merely psychological fact, a habit of 
experiencing such coherences, and therefore a merely 


psychic (" subjective ") transformation of connected 
experiences into connected reality the hypostatisation 
of a synthetic form of thought, the category of inherence 
or we must be clear that this form of thought is of the 
nature of knowledge only when it has a real significance, 
when the connectedness presented in the category 
holds good for the object. That is precisely Kant's 
case against Hume. In either case, however, we must 
give up the idea that we can speak of the thing as a 
reality distinct from this interconnected complex of 
its properties. The synthetic unity is, even in respect 
of its formal nature, not really definable ; nor is it to 
be conceived as something really separable from the 
complex of the manifold associated in accordance with 
it. For the practical work of acquiring knowledge, 
therefore, our business is to disengage from the connec- 
tions given in experience the concepts of substances 
which, with their essential properties, lie at the root 
of the preliminary ideas of things in experience. In 
this search for the essential elements of being we have 
to distinguish between qualities and quantities, the 
intrinsic properties and the form-conditions of number 
and size. In this way we get further ontic problems, 
and these also belong to the category of substance. 


The Quantity Of Being. Number and magnitude Simplification of 
the world in thought Henism and Singularism Monotheism 
Pantheism, Deism, Theism Immanence and transcendence 
Oneness, infinity, indefiniteness Acosmism Pluralism Monad- 
ology Measurement Finitism and Infinitism Space and time 
Recurrence of all things. 

Quantity as a category represents a coherence of the 
most elementary sort, and in two different ways. In 
either case there is always question of a coherence of 
the manifold into the unity of the particular conscious- 
ness ; and for the determination of quantity we have 
the correlative processes of distinguishing and com- 


paring. When we count, we have always to deal with 
a plurality of contents, and these must in some sense 
be like each other or capable of being brought under 
the same generic idea ; they must be different from each 
other, yet conceived together as a unity. We see this 
quite plainly in the case of the striking of a clock, where 
we unite the strokes in a definite number. The things 
counted make a whole, of which each element in the 
count forms a part. But this quantitative relation 
of the whole to its parts has, in addition to the arith- 
metical form, a purely intellectual form of immediate 
application, or certain special forms in our appreciation 
of magnitudes of space and time ; so that number and 
size are the two relations with which we have now 
to deal. 

If we turn first to the numerical definition of reality, 
apparent reality presents itself to our experience as an 
uncountable plurality. For the limitation of the mind, 
which can only embrace a part, and indeed a very small 
part, of the whole, contrasts with the endless manifold- 
ness of what we perceive. The selection which we thus 
make depends not only on the limited nature of our 
experience, but also on apperception, which even amongst 
our experiences admits ^only aTlimited part according to 
what already exists in our memory. Even in the un- 
controlled play of the psychic mechanism this linking 
of the new to the old leads to general ideas, and the 
deliberate direction of our thought tends always to 
simplify the world for us by omitting what is strange. 
The simplification in thought must always have the 
form of a generic idea, which scientific men use for this 
purpose ; but it may also consist in a general view, a 
means adopted in the mental sciences. In either case 
we drop the unessential, and the conceptual simplification 
is brought about by a selection, the principles of which 
have to be determined by methodology for the various 
sciences according to the diversities of their objects and 
aims. In the case of philosophy this tendency aims at 
achieving a simplification of the whole. It is guided 
by the assumption that there is one world, to which 


the entire immeasurable variety belongs. In the last 
resort we think of all being and all happening as unity. 
We thus speak of the physical universe and the historical 

In regard to being, this search for the unity of the 
world in the numerical aspect, and in connection with 
the concept of substance, discloses itself as an attempt, 
in face of the plurality of the ordinary ideas of things 
of prescientific thought, and also in face of the plurality 
of the concepts of substance in pre-philosophic scientific 
thought, to postulate the oneness of the real substance. 
At one time this was called Monism, or a Monistic ten- 
dency of thought, but these names have become repug- 
nant in our time, as in recent literature a timid sort of 
Materialism, which we will consider later, has covered 
itself with them. So we will choose the equivalent terms, 
Henism or Singularism. In the Henistic sense the one 
true being, the original reality, the all-embracing exist- 
ence, is also called God by philosophers. Anaximander 
himself gave the name of the Divine (TO delov) to 
the Infinite, in which he sought the ultimate principle 
of all things, and in recent philosophy we need only 
quote Spinoza, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schleiermacher, 
etc., as examples of this use of the word ; a use which, 
we must admit, has led to much misunderstanding on 
account of its confusion with the popular religious idea 
of God. In justification of this custom of philosophers 
we might plead that the prescientific mythical ideas of 
God, and the pre-philosophical dogmatic ideas, differed 
considerably from each other in content, and in part were 
flagrantly opposed to each other. Positively speaking, 
however, this right is based upon the transcendental 
identity of religious and metaphysical thought, to which 
we referred in the first section of this work. In virtue 
of this affinity, religious Monotheism, which recognises 
only one God, is an essential element and support of 
metaphysical Henism ; though we must add that this 
Monotheism is itself a product of intellectual culture. 
It is a sure mark of a civilised religion. Just as primi- 
tive thought does not yet conceive the idea of world- 


unity, so the primitive religious imagination is thoroughly 
pluralistic in its myths. It admits a multitude of divine, 
supra-mundane Powers. It is Polytheism and Poly- 
demonism. Even the great religions, though in theory 
thoroughly Monotheistic, in practice made considerable 
polytheistic concessions amongst the mass of the people ; 
and even in religious metaphysics the monotheistic 
theory finds itself compelled at times, in the interest 
of the freedom and responsibility of personalities, to 
admit an amount of metaphysical originality which 
cannot very well be reconciled with the strict idea of 

We will not discuss these secondary motives here, 
but will follow the purely theoretical arguments for the 
Henism of the theory of substances. All are based upon 
the fact that the numerous things of experience do not 
simply occur together in mutual exclusiveness, but, just 
as they have real affinities which enable us to unite them 
in thought, so they are involved in a common flux of 
things, they pass into each other in movement, they 
mingle and blend with each other. In the last resort 
everything that we experience or can imagine is, directly 
or indirectly, related to everything else in these ways. 
Mechanics formulates this fact in the mutual attraction 
of all molecules. Kant found this commercium sub- 
stantiarum most important for the development of his 
ideas, and finely elucidated it, in his third Analogy of 
Experience, by means of the light which plays between 
us and material things. Even the Stoics used to speak 
of av^nvoLa Trdvra ; and, though according to this a 
thing is where it works, in the end everything is in 
everything, as in the words of Anaxagoras (o^ov iravra) 
or the common phrase of the Renaissance, omnia 
ubique. According to this view all things really form 
a single unity. In whatever direction the thinker looks 
(as Timon said in ancient times about Xenophanes), 
all things seem to him to blend into the unity of 
nature, JLUCX <j)vms. This alone therefore merits the 
name of the true thing or the substance. Apparent 
things are not true substances. They lack permanence ; 


they change, and come into and pass out of existence ; 
they are merely states or modi of the true substance, 
the Deity. The Deity is one, and as the modi all belong 
to him, is also everything : eV Kai TTO.V. This form of 
Monotheism is known as Pantheism, and it is found 
in its purest form in Spinozism, the simplest and most 
instructive type of Pantheism. It is a theory of God- 
Nature, in which plurality gives the appearance and unity 
the reality ; and the conceptual relation between the 
unity and plurality is simply that of inherence. God 
as the primal reality has his attributes, and in these 
as limitations we have the individual things of experi- 
ence, his modi ; much as we may say that a piece of 
wax has an extended mass as an attribute, while the 
various shapes it assumes are its modi, or as, in common 
speech, the human soul has will as an attribute and the 
various acts of will as special modi. Applied to the uni- 
verse, this means that all the special things of experience 
are in their nature and essence one and the same, or 
merely existing modi of it. The substance, the God- 
Nature, is, as the poet has well said, the thing of all things; 
The secondary reality of experience consists, on this 
theory, of modi of the one true thing. 

But this is only one form in which we may conceive 
the real unity of the apparent many. Besides the 
category of inherence we have the second, and equally 
important, category of causality. When we apply this, 
the unity is the cause, the plurality represents its effects. 
This relation will, naturally, call for closer consideration 
when we come to deal with genetic problems. Here 
we need only observe that, in applying this category, 
God, as the productive being, is substance in a different 
sense from the things produced by him which constitute 
the world. In this sense some have spoken of the one 
original substance and the many derivative substances. 
Thus some amount of substantiality is left to the things 
of appearance ; though this, as the Occasionalist move- 
ment in the Cartesian school showed, is extraordinarily 
difficult to understand. On the other hand, full sub- 
stantiality, metaphysical originality, the aseity of the 


causa sui, is reserved for the one, the divine, substance. 
This is Monotheism in the Deistic or the Theistic form 
two shades of expression which cannot very well be dis- 
tinguished historically, and must be understood from 
an axiological point of view. Individual things have, 
on this theory, only a lesser, derivative, debilitated sub- 
stantiality. They are, in a sense, degraded substances. 
In this way we get two relations between the one 
primary being and the plurality of individual things : 
the Pantheistic according to the category of inherence, 
the Deistic according to that of causality. In the one 
case God is the original thing : in the other case the 
original cause. For these two positions we use the words 
immanence and transcendence. According to the first 
the individual things of "experience have no being of 
their own, and no other essence than the divine, of which 
they are the modi. From the second point of view indi- 
vidual things have a sort of being of their own ; not of 
themselves, however, but from the Deity, yet in such 
a way that they retain their substantiality, especially 
in relation to each other. According to the first theory, 
therefore, God and the world are not distinct from each 
other ; God is immanent in all appearances as their 
essence. According to the second, the things which make 
up the world have a being of their own, though it is not 
original, and in virtue of this they are distinct from God, 
who transcends all as their cause. It is clear that from 
the point of view of the problem of substantiality, and 
exclusively from that point of view, Pantheism affords 
the simplest and most successful solution. The difficulty 
was that the apparent things do not meet the postulate 
of identity, which holds good for true things, substances ; 
and they are therefore, according to Pantheism, not sub- 
stances, but modi of the one true substance. Deistic 
transcendence, on the other hand, would save a certain 
amount of substantiality for individual things, but 
without being able to say satisfactorily in what it con- 
sists. Hence in the controversies of the Cartesian school, 
which arose out of these problems, it frequently came 
to such a point that the antithesis seemed to be a mere 


verbal quarrel as to what ought to be called " substance," 
or whether we should say res or substantice. There are, 
of course, axiological as well as genetic elements at work 
in this antithesis of immanence and transcendence, and 
we will consider them later. 

Here we are concerned only with the common element, 
that both theories lay equal stress on the uniqueness 
of the primal being. On this account they have a second 
point in common in their characterisation of this primary 
being. The many apparent things, as definite contents 
of our experience, limit each other : they are finite. 
But the primary being, whether we regard it as primal 
thing or primal cause, cannot be subject to such defini- 
tions and limitations : it is infinite. Thus infinity is 
closely connected with uniqueness, as Spinoza showed 
with classic lucidity in the early part of his Ethics. The 
one substance of Pantheism is infinite ; the modi are 
its finite appearances. The one world-cause of Deism 
is the infinite divine substance ; the individual things 
of the world, bodies and souls, are expressly opposed 
to it as finite substances. In the end these lines of 
thought always lead to the conclusion that the real unity 
of apparent things, in whatever way we conceive it, is 
one single infinite substance. 

We are led almost to the same conclusion by the 
different line of thought which starts from the affinities 
which we detect amongst the things of experience. We 
refer to the logically Universalistic line of thought 
which led to the conception of elements, forces, ideas 
in a word, to generic concepts. It was a conceptual 
process which constantly abstracted from differences 
and concentrated on what was common. In this, how- 
ever, we discovered that the process is always forced 
to go beyond itself. Chemical substances postulate in 
the end an ultimate simple fundamental substance ; 
physical forces involve one fundamental force the 
' energy," as is now said, which may change into many 
forms (kinetic, potential, etc.) ; and the idea of psychic 
powers points to a single consciousness as their simple 
common element. This simplification of the world in 


thought, which, the further it carries its process of 
selection the more it abandons the special contents of 
experience, clearly follows the law of formal logic that, 
the more general concepts are, the richer they are in ex- 
tension but the poorer in content. If we seek the true 
substance in this way, we end in the most general and 
most empty concepts, in which the extension <x> corre- 
sponds to the content o. The Eleatics, who reached 
the goal at one stride, were the first to find this. They 
arrived at their idea of being (emu) partly on dialec- 
tical lines, concluding that "to be " as a copula meant 
the same in all propositions. In their ev, therefore, 
the concept of uniqueness is identical with that of 
simplicity. The primary being excludes all multiplicity 
as well as all change. But this simple primary being 
is then inexpressible, because none of the predicates 
of the reality we experience can be applied to it. Thus 
we have in the writings of Plotinus, the father of Neo- 
Platonism and of the whole of medieval mysticism, this 
inexpressible One, raised above all differences, as the 
simple primal being of unknown character. And the 
same line of thought has, in what is called ' negative 
theology," taken the form of saying of God that, because 
he is all things, he is nothing in particular, and no name 
is applicable to him ; he is the deos 0.77010$. Thus 
the primary being is raised above all the antitheses by 
means of which our thought discriminates between the 
various contents of our experience ; it is, as Nicholas 
of Cusa and Giordano Bruno said, the coincidentia oppo- 
sitorum. On the other hand, Spinoza's substantia sive 
deus (this empty category of inherence, which has an 
infinite number of attributes, but is itself nothing) is 
an illustration of how all individuals disappear in the 
thought of the One. On that account the All-One is, 
not merely to our mind, but in itself, " the Indefinite " 
(aopurrov) , and this is the same thing as ' the Infinite." 
We see here how in the ideas offered to us the two 
characters of the Infinite and the Indefinite are com- 
bined, as seems to have been the case in the teaching 
of Anaximander. In any case when there is question 


to-day of an infinite God, as contrasted with the world 
as the conceptual whole of finite things, this implies 
God's illimitability, a quantitative predicate, on the 
one hand, and his inexpressibility, a qualitative pre- 
dicate, on the other ; if one can give that name to the 
denial of all qualitative predicates. This conception 
of the infinite Deity is found developed with special 
strength in all mystical doctrines as the sufficient object 
of religious emotion, to which this empty indefmiteness 
is particularly suited. Thus Schleiermacher, for instance, 
relates the pietist's simple feeling of dependence with 
the Spinozistic All-One. 

Nevertheless, however congenial that may be to the 
emotions, it is very unsatisfactory to the cravings of 
the intelligence. Its emptiness makes this idea of the 
world-substance useless for the purposes of thought. 
Its oneness makes it unsuitable to explain the plurality, 
its simplicity renders it unfit to explain the variety, of 
experience. The Eleatics pointed this out with extreme 
plainness and almost grotesque indifference to the con- 
sequences. They deny the plurality and variety. They 
deny even that change and movement exist. The One 
cannot produce them. They are only an illusion 
though in the Eleatic doctrine there is not a trace of 
an explanation where and how this illusion is possible. 
This is what we call Acosmism : the world of experience 
vanishes in and before the truly real. It is the tragedy 
of this way of thinking that it denies what it ought to 
explain. Less explicitly, though it is not less difficult, 
the insoluble question, how the primary being stands 
in regard to the varying plurality of its appearances 
or its creations, lurks behind the other and later forms 
of Henism. How can Spinoza explain why his infinite 
substance presents itself in these finite modi ? Can 
theology tell why the transcendental world-cause has 
created precisely this multitude and variety of finite 
things ? It constantly tries to evade the difficulty by 
talking about some inscrutable design of the divine will, 
some motiveless arbitrary act. But a problem is not 
solved by putting it out of sight with the word 


" freedom." When Fichte described the self-limitation 
of the All-One Self to the endless fullness of the contents 
of experience as an arbitrary free act, he knew well that 
this meant that he abandoned the idea of explaining 
it. All the methods that philosophers have conceived 
in order to explain by logical operations, in which, of 
course, negation as the one pure formal kind of disjunction 
must play a leading part, this evolution of the one into 
the many whether it be the Neo-Platonist or the 
Hegelian dialectic have quite failed to accomplish their 
purpose of deriving the finite from the infinite, the 
definite from the indefinite. 

That is the limit of Henism, and at the same time 
the starting-point of its opposite, Pluralism. Most 
instructive in this respect is the contrast between 
Herbart's ontology and the philosophy of identity. 
Herbart reminds us that, the moment we assume a single 
and simple entity as principle, we cannot derive plurality 
and events from it. Plurality cannot be got from unity ; 
diversity cannot be got from simplicity. On the con- 
trary, even in empirical relations all apparent variety 
is based upon the plurality of the relations of each thing 
to many others. All properties of things are relative 
in the sense that they always imply a relation of one 
thing to other things, and never mean something which 
pertains to the thing alone. Physical properties, such 
as colour, assume a relation to certain conditions, such 
as light and illumination ; psychic properties mean 
tendencies of the mind and the will to certain definite 
contents, and so on. The event also is quite unin- 
telligible if it is to happen to one thing alone. There 
would be no beginning, no direction, no object of activity 
to assign, unless we think of relations to other things 
Every action is conceivable only as reaction. The world, 
with its varied things and their actions and reactions, 
is a network of relations between countless individuals. 

This opposition of Herbart to the philosophy of 
identity is clearly inspired by the idea of evolution, which 
the scientific theories of the first Greek investigators 
derived from the metaphysic of the Eleatics. The latter 



excluded movement and plurality from their simple 
reality, but they were undeniable facts, and could not 
be banished from the world by logic. Hence it seemed 
to men like Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Leucippus 
that one could only retain the idea of identical being, 
with its qualities of eternity and immutability, by multi- 
plying it. They gave up the numerical unity, the one- 
ness, in order to be able to leave the simplicity to each 
individual being, and to explain phenomenal things 
with their changes as varying combinations of a plurality 
of substances. 

This led to the various shades of scientifically-minded 
Pluralism. It was possible to speak of the elements, 
the homoomeria, or the atoms, as really existing things, 
and these scientific ideas were for a long time satisfactory 
in science, even though they were not philosophically 
worked out to the end. Thus earlier chemistry was 
content with the idea of matter as a body that could be 
divided into equal parts. Physics, especially mechanics, 
was content with the idea of an atom that had the 
sole properties of occupying space, impenetrability, and 
inertia, and perhaps attraction and repulsion. These 
things were satisfactory as long as physics wanted to 
study only those processes and relations of bodies which 
were independent of chemical constitution. Fechner 
himself, however, pointed out in his work on the 
physical and philosophic theory of the atom that these 
various ideas of the atom were not satisfactory. Since 
then the problems of physical chemistry and the ques- 
tions raised by electrical research have made their ap- 
pearance, and to-day we cannot find any conception 
of the atom which is equally applicable in physical and 
chemical problems. Considered from the most general 
point of view, the constitution of matter cannot be in- 
terpreted by different theories. This is an illustration 
of the relation of scientific hypotheses and research to 
the problems of philosophy. Special research does not 
need to wait for the settlement of these ultimate ques- 
tions. The man who is working on benzol-derivatives 
or hydrostatic laws is not bound to take up a position 


on the question how we must conceive the primary atom. 
It is a problem that arises in philosophy. 

The philosophic theory of substances has, however, 
to meet other points of view than those of chemistry 
and physics. It therefore produces other pluralistic 
systems, though they are fewer in number and less im- 
pressive than the singularistic, which pay more attention 
to the scientific impulse to simplify the world in thought. 
But even in the field of psychic experience it is possible 
to sum up the world-reality, not under a single head, 
but in a few co-ordinated powers. Indeed, the theory 
of the originality of the intellectual characters or that 
of the independence of individual ideas at times leads 
in metaphysical theories to a preponderance of the 
pluralistic tendency, and this seems to be reconcilable 
with a vague Henistic background, just as the history 
of religions often shows us polytheistic systems with 
an infusion of Henism. That applies, for instance, to 
Schopenhauer's metaphysic, and still more to many 
of his followers, such as Bahnsen. 

We see the fundamental type of pluralism best in 
Herbart's theory of the real. It considers the diversity 
and changes of experience to be intelligible only if the 
things-in-themselves, which are simple and unchange- 
able, furnish some reason for them. These unknowable 
realities have therefore to be conceived in relations by 
means of which we may understand the variety of their 
apparent properties and their changes. This implies 
a " coming and going" of the substances, as Anaxagoras 
said more or less clearly of his elements and Plato of 
his ideas. In the case of Herbart, however, these rela- 
tions are raised to the emptiest degree of abstraction, 
and precisely on that account this most tortuous and 
unsuccessful and almost forgotten system of metaphysics 
shows us most plainly of all the inevitable difficulty of 
all pluralistic systems. For this " coming and going " 
of substances, which is supposed to be the real event, 
we have to find a reason in " intelligible space." What 
Herbart meant, or could mean, by that whether in the 
end the relating mind alone remains as the intelligible 


space in which realities are to attain their relations to 
each other, which otherwise remain accidental we do 
not attempt to say. In any case the idea is constructed 
on the analogy of the empirical space of appearance, 
which makes possible the combinations and separations 
of physical things such as the elements or atoms. We 
thus see that every pluralistic idea, precisely because 
it is invented for the explanation of the variety and 
changes of the data of experience, presupposes a com- 
prehensive unity in which these conditions take place 
and change. In the case of physical substances this 
part is played by empty space, and therefore the atomists 
found themselves compelled to ascribe reality to empty 
space (the ^ ov of the Eleatics) as well as to being ; 
to the empty (KCVOV) as well as to the full (TrAeov). From 
which we begin to perceive that the fact of something 
happening, the fact that things are related to each 
other or, as Lotze said, take notice of each other, shows 
that they all belong to a single whole. Atoms which 
whirled about in different spaces could not have any- 
thing to do with each other. This is one of the chief 
arguments against pure Pluralism and in favour of 

These objections have given rise to a system which 
combines Singularism and Pluralism ; a system which 
undertakes to reconcile the cognate elements of Uni- 
versalism and Pluralism, and which we have in its most 
perfect form in Leibnitz's Monadology. The funda- 
mental idea, it is true, goes back as far as Nicholas of 
Cusa and Giordano Bruno. It is an idea of impressive 
simplicity. Abstract unity cannot engender the mani- 
fold. There is no parthenogenesis of plurality out of 
unity. But a scattered and dissociated diversity is 
equally unable to bring forth a unity. The two unity 
and plurality are reconciled only if they are both 
original. We must conceive the world as essentially a 
unity in diversity. 

Of the many meanings of the word unity TO eV 
which were perilous to the Eleatic dialectic, and have 
haunted metaphysics ever since, we now get another. 


In addition to "oneness" and "simplicity," we now 
have the idea of " unifiedness," which means that we 
must conceive the world as a unity in plurality, neither 
the unity engendering the plurality, nor vice versa. This 
condition corresponds best, indeed corresponds entirely, 
to the nature of our own intellect. Every state of con- 
sciousness, whether the apparently simplest perception 
or the most abstract thought, contains a plurality and, 
as it has different elements, a diversity of content ; and 
this is combined by a form into a real and indivisible 
unity. Kant described the nature of this synthesis, 
in which neither form produces content, nor content 
form. Indeed, this unification of the content by the 
form is the typical structure of consciousness. If we 
conceive the world as unity of the manifold according 
to this model of the synthesis in our own consciousness, 
as the Leibnitzian Monadology requires, we see the real 
and profound affinity of Leibnitz and Kant. It is the 
root of the influence of the Nouveaux Essais upon 
criticism which begins with the Inaugural Dissertation 
and extends over the Critique of Pure Reason. 

In the metaphysical development of this in Monad- 
ology we get the relation of the part to the whole and 
the principle of the equality of the part to the whole. 
The universe is unity in plurality in the sense that-each 
of its parts is equal to the whole and therefore to all 
the others. But equality does not mean identity. We 
get identity rather (as we saw above) in modern 
Atomism, since all the primary substances are quali- 
tatively equal and indistinguishable, and differ only in 
position, which is quite immaterial and unessential to 
them. Monadology, on the contrary, represents that 
each substantial being they are called monads pre- 
cisely in this sense is a peculiar form, not capable of 
repetition, of unification of the same for all equal con- 
tents of the world. This takes equally into account 
the universalistic and the individualistic element on 
the one hand, and the henistic and pluralistic on the 
other. The same life-content of the universe is sup- 
posed to be bound up in each of its parts in a peculiar 


and original combination into a special unity. Hence 
all these parts are equal to the whole and to each other ; 
and each has its own being. The equality and unity 
are in the content ; the variety and multiplicity are in 
the form of combination. Each part is therefore a mirror 
of the world of special character and shade ; each indi- 
vidual is the universe in little, a microcosm. It is 
characteristic that the one amongst modern thinkers 
who is nearest to Leibnitz, Lotze, gave this title, The 
Microcosm, to the most significant of his works. 

Leibnitz calls this system " Pre-established Harmony," 
and it assumes that everything is present or " repre- 
sented " everywhere in everything. But how can a sub- 
stance be in, or represented in, others ? There is only 
one way of imagining this by means of an element of 
our experience ; one substance is represented in another 
when this " presents " it. The double meaning of repre- 
senter and representation, which Leibnitz fully recog- 
nises, has a quite sound foundation. The world, the 
sum-total of the other monads, is contained and repre- 
sented in each in the sense that it mirrors the world. 
Hence the monads must be conceived as psychic beings. 
The content of their presentation is everywhere the 
same the universe ; they differ in the intensity of pre- 
sentation, on which depends the measure in which this 
content is in each case associated in a conscious unity. 

We will not consider here the difficulties which beset 
this able and ingenious theory. We need only point 
out an element of our experience which is calculated 
to give us a concrete example of this abstract view. We 
often speak of the mind of the people, or the spirit of 
the times, or the civilised consciousness. What spiritual 
reality do we mean by this ? On reflection we do not 
mean that this " spirit of the nation," etc., is a substantial 
reality, a being outside of and above the individuals. 
We mean a unified life-content which is common to a 
mass of thinking and willing individuals. This common 
thing, however, is felt and understood by each only in 
his own way. He experiences it in his consciousness 
according as his profession, age, position, development, 


etc., but especially his personal disposition, enables 
him to do so. Much of this general content is quite 
unknown to one individual, while another endeavours 
hali-consciously to get at the heart of it. Few have 
a full consciousness of it, and even amongst these few 
some have more and some less. The whole is not com- 
pletely represented in its full extent and strength in 
any one individual. Even great individuals, like Goethe 
and Bismarck, who represent their times in nuce, are 
only distinguished by the fact that what constitutes 
the really valuable common element of life comes to 
full consciousness or conscious activity in them. Yet 
all these individuals, whose minds represent restricted 
and separate segments of the common life-content, lead 
a common and unified life, which, in its continuous 
gradation and the interlacing of its various parts, forms 
a connected whole. That is a unity in plurality known 
to us all, in which we constantly experience the meaning 
of Monadology. 

Monadology leads us to conceive substances as per- 
ceptive beings, and thus helps us to understand the 
qualitative relations of being which we have to consider 
later. But before we do so, we have to deal with the 
other aspect of quantitative problems of being, the ques- 
tion of the size of the real. Appreciation of the sizes 
of things in the phenomenal world is, firstly, a matter of 
impressions in which we always make a comparison of 
experiences. The fact that we are restricted to making 
comparisons is the most important element, both really 
and methodically. We pass confident judgments on large- 
ness and smallness, and are quite able to say whether 
the differences in size are comparatively great or slight. 
But in order to have a quite definite and useful estimate 
of sizes we need measurement, an act of enumeration, 
which expresses how often a certain unity of mass is 
contained as a part in a whole. Such a numerical deter- 
mination of size has only one possible form : comparison 
of spans of space. In all measuring it is, directly or 
indirectly, laid down how many times the mass which 


is selected for each special form of measuring is con- 
tained in a given whole. Thus we measure magni- 
tudes of space, and even of time, by the motion of 
uniformly moving bodies ; and, in the third place, we 
measure magnitudes of intensity forces, etc. by the 
spans of space over which their action is distributed, 
heat by the expansion of bodies, and so on. How we do 
this, and how it is justified, is an important subject of 
methodological consideration in the various sciences. 
In general one has to bear in mind that all this depends 
on definite and already acquired knowledge ; that our 
assumptions run more or less in a circle ; and that the 
unity of mass is in all cases arbitrary and conventional. 
We have to know the expansion of bodies by heat in 
order to measure heat by them. We have to know 
Ohm's law of electro-magnetic resistance in order to 
measure the magnetic-electric force by the movements 
on the dial. For the numerical determination of magni- 
tudes of time we need bodies in uniform motion, and we 
cannot know that a body is in uniform motion except 
by comparison with another of which it holds good, and 
so on. Nothing but a complete uniformity of movement 
of all such bodies (and we may notice incidentally that 
our clocks go more uniformly than cosmic bodies, for 
instance, the earth round the sun) could guarantee the 
truth of these assumptions. Even in measurement of 
space the unit is arbitrary ; a foot or a yard, or some 
scientific convention like the metre, which is the ten- 
millionth part of a quadrant of the earth between the 
Equator and the North Pole. For the measurement of 
intensive magnitudes, such as heat, light, sound, etc., 
the units have always to be determined on the strength 
of previous knowledge. 

We see that there are really many small or large 
problems in this apparently simple matter of measuring, 
but we note especially that in the case of magnitudes 
the action of which cannot be represented by comparative 
stretches of space, no measurement no numerical ex- 
pression of the magnitude is possible. This is true, 
in spite of all the work of the psycho-physicists, of 


psychic magnitudes. The intensity of feelings and 
volitions is so far from measurable, even indirectly, that 
it has no intelligible or useful meaning to use an 
analogical expression (as we do in daily life) and say, 
for instance, that a particular pain, say a toothache, is 
twice, three times, or ten times as great as another. It 
further follows that even in corporeal things there are 
no absolute determinations of size ; that all measure- 
ments are relative, since they are related to an arbitrarily 
chosen standard. In recent natural philosophy the 
most desperate efforts are made to justify the unprovable 
assumptions which are made in determining the con- 
stancy of the speed of light and its position in regard 
to the relativity of all measurements of movements. 

Hence when we speak of the magnitude of the genuinely 
real, we refer, not to a numerical and comparative 
determination that we reach by measurement, but to 
the question, to be solved intellectually, whether the 
real, the magnitude of which plainly transcends all our 
ability to measure and count, is in its totality finite or 
infinite. In this respect human thought has, during 
the comparatively short time in which we can review 
its historical development, experienced a very inter- 
esting change, a reversal ; and axiological elements 
have had just as much to do as theoretical with this 
change. That the primary reality, the substantial being 
of the world, must be infinite was very early seen by 
purely theoretical thought. Thales was driven by the 
metaphysical impulse eV aTrdpova TTOVTOV to the infinite 
sea. The chief point which urged him to seek the primary 
matter in water was the thought, which coloured also his 
imagination, of the life-element of his people and race, the 
sea with its ceaseless movement, with its unlimited possi- 
bilities of change, upheaving and swallowing up the land, 
creating and destroying it. Anaximenes at a later date 
similarly looked to the infinite ocean of air, which plays 
about everything, for the primary matter. Between the 
two Anaximander gave intellectual expression to the fact 
that the world-stuff, the One, that must be all, must 
be conceived as infinite, as otherwise it would be ex- 


haustcd in the infinite transformations and generations. 
That this Infinitism (as we call the theory of the infinity 
of the world) is necessarily connected with Singularism 
was recognised by one of the later Eleatics, Melissos, 
when he said that any limitation that is supposed to 
exist in the One would have to be due to a second being. 
A limited being cannot be the sole being. Melissos 
was in this more consistent than the founders of the 
Eleatic School, Xenophanes or Parmenides. When these 
represented being as the rounded globe of the universe, 
they were expressing a thoroughly Greek idea. All that 
is real has form and shape, so even the highest reality, 
the most perfect and true reality, must have a shape. 
Only something definite and complete in this way is real ; 
the infinite, the unfinished or undefined, is never real. 
The infinite is not only inconceivable to us, undetachable 
to the mind's eye, but it is so in itself ; and an incom- 
plete thing of this kind ought not to be called reality, 
least of all the true and highest reality. Hence for 
the Eleatics and their followers infinite space was non- 
entity. The infinite in this sense is merely the possible, 
the unfinished ; yet this indefinite possibility is the con- 
dition of the phenomenal world. Thus the Pythago- 
reans conceived the universe as the drawing in or 
pouring out of empty space by the world-force ; and 
the Atomists represented infinite space as that in which 
things moved. The real itself always has an outline, 
whether t'Se'cu or ax^ara, forms or shapes. Hence the 
unlimited coincides once more with the indefinite, and 
we understand how the Greek word opos could mean both 
limit and conceptual feature. Qualitative indefiniteness 
also belongs to unlimited space ; it means the dark, the 
empty, nothing. Thus Plato says of this non-entity, 
empty space, that it can be neither perceived nor thought, 
and is totally unimaginable, yet it must serve all things 
as the possibility of shaping (eV^ayetoi/), the receiver 
(Se^a^eV??) ; because they, in their secondary reality, 
are a mixture of the unlimited and limitation. For 
Aristotle, also, matter, as pure possibility, is the un- 
limited and indefinite, whereas the truly real is to be 


sought in the pure form, in God, and in the entelechies 
as individual definite and limited beings. All these 
theories, which have rightly been regarded as a con- 
necting link between Greek science and Greek art, are 
undoubtedly due to the form-loving character of the 
Greek mind. The Greek is a creature of eye. He lives 
with the eye. All his knowledge is vision, the perception 
of a figure. His arts are those of the eye ; arts that 
delight in form, or in which the finite things of reality 
lead the life of the blessed. 

Ancient thought thus regards the limited as the 
genuinely real, and ascribes to the infinite only a secondary 
existence of imperfect, incomplete reality. Since the 
Alexandrian age all this has been changed. Religious 
motives had a good deal to do with this. The Greek 
gods were compact, luminous shapes. As time went 
orr, the Deity retreated further and further. What 
lay beyond the world of experience became more and 
more remote, strange, mysterious, shapeless, and inex- 
pressible, until at last the God of " negative theology," 
without properties, the unbounded and indefinite One, 
was reached. In addition to this, in the mystical school 
deep religious interest came to regard the will, both in 
man and God, as the highest and last reality. The 
intellect is the limited and definite : the will the un- 
limited and indefinite. Hence absolute will was con- 
ceived as the omnipotence of God, and man ascribed 
a certain measure of it to himself ; he had a feeling that 
his will was unrestricted. A man can will or wish any- 
thing whatever. That is what Descartes means when 
he says that the will, in its indefiniteness and un- 
limitedness, is the God-like force, the Divine, in man. 
When in this standard form of modern metaphysics 
infinite substance is opposed to finite substances, the 
finiteness consists in the limitation of extension or 
consciousness ; but in their unbounded will spiritual 
substances have a reflex of the divine infinity. We 
have thus become entirely familiar with thinking and 
speaking of infinity as the essential thing in God, the 
absolute reality, and of phenomenal things as the finite. 


Yet even in the time when the contrast of God and 
the world was most emphatic, it was possible to regard 
the totality of finite things as something infinite. The 
transcendental theory of Deism favoured this view. Even 
in Aristotle, who first expressly formulated the trans- 
mundane character of the Deity, the world, it is true, 
was supposed to be a limited sphere in point of space ; 
but he admitted no limit of time. It was in the dog- 
matic theories of a later age of monotheistic religion, 
in the form of ideas of a beginning and end of the world, 
creation and last judgment, that finiteness of time played 
a great part. The Pantheistic reaction of Neo-Platonism, 
on the other hand, emphasised the point, since the 
Renaissance, that if the All is infinite and God is identical 
with the universe, even this form of his appearance, 
representation, or expression must also be infinite. 
Nicholas of Cusa, however, had already deduced from 
this that, if we pay attention to value in the distinction 
between essence and existence, being and appearance, 
the infinity of the universe must be different from, and 
inferior to, that of the Deity. He therefore distinguished 
between the Infinitum and the Interminatum, as others 
have since distinguished between positive and negative, 
or good and bad (Hegel), infinity. The infinity of God 
implies that he is raised above time and space, or at 
least outside of time and space, or that no space and 
time predicates can be applied to him ; but the infinity 
of the world means boundlessness in space and time, 
In this sense the divine predicate of timelessness and 
spacelessness, or eternity, must be carefully distinguished 
from the idea of a duration in time without beginning 
or end. Ordinary phraseology, when it contrasts time 
and eternity, almost always means the wrong infinity, 
boundless duration ; the idea of eternity in the sense 
of real infinity is very rarely understood. 

In the singularistic idea of God the postulates of 
infinity have so far come to be taken for granted that 
we hardly see any problem in them at all. When, there- 
fore, we speak of the antitheses of Finitism and Infi- 
nitism, we raise the question what we are to make oi 


the limits of the world as the totality of finite things 
in time and space. As is well known, these antitheses 
have been discussed by Kant in the Antinomies of Pure 
Reason from the point of view that the question is 
wrongly put, or it is at least represented as lying beyond 
man's capacity, since the two contradictory answers 
of Finitism and Infinitism are equally demonstrable 
and equally refutable. We must emphasise the fact 
that the problem here refers to the reality of time and 
space, and that the infinity of time and space is assumed 
without contention. 

This infinity of time and space is not a fact of direct 
experience, but it is a natural presupposition of all the 
experiences by means of which we believe that we know 
something of phenomenal reality. What we perceive 
in detail is always a limited portion of space. The 
infinity of space is not experienced, even in the vast 
distances of astronomy. The latter are immeasurably 
and inexpressibly large phenomena, yet they are always 
relative, and we can always imagine vaster spaces beyond 
them. The infinity of space itself, which we do not 
directly experience, goes with its unity or oneness, which 
is also an assumption developed in the mind on the 
strength of separate perceptions. In this Singularism 
and Infinitism coincide. 

The connectedness of all our fleeting perceptions of 
portions of space in one and the same field of vision, 
or the location of various perceptions of touch in one 
and the same space-sphere of touch, is our first step 
toward the formation of the idea of the oneness and 
unity of space. The co-operation of vision and touch, 
which are the two constitutive senses for the idea of space, 
leads us to identify the space of vision with the space 
of touch. The ordinary man regards this coincidence 
as an outcome of the experiences which he had in the 
earliest and most instructive years of his life, when he 
discovered the identity of surrounding objects and his 
own limbs which he touched with the same objects and 
limbs as he saw them. That no such identification 
arises spontaneously is seen in the case of those born 


blind, who have to learn it. Then we locate all our 
successive experiences of space here and there, yester- 
day and to-day in one and the same general space ; 
everything in the nature of space that we perceive is 
a part of this. And in ordinary life we identify also 
the various experiences of space that different indivi- 
duals have ; and in this identification of all as the same 
one infinite space, it loses the central point which each 
individual space had in the perceiving personality, and 
thus becomes infinite. Whatever experience of space 
anybody ever has belongs to the same one infinite space. 
But this oneness and identity are not directly perceived. 
They are postulated ; though many men are never con- 
scious of the postulate, and it is only perceived when 
one remembers that every attempt to find a position 
or direction in space has at the base of it the assumption 
of relations to the whole. That is precisely what Kant 
meant when he spoke of the apriority of the idea of space. 
It does not mean a kind of psychological apriority, as 
if we brought into the world with us an idea of some 
unbounded giant box into which everything in the world 
was packed. It means this fact, that, when we speak 
of contiguity, or of a limited span of space, or even of 
a limit which separates an enclosed space from what 
encloses it, we must always assume that these mutually 
limiting things, or the enclosed and the enclosing, are 
parts of one and the same infinite space. Thus this 
assumption of one infinite space always includes the 
metaphysical postulate that the world is a unity. 

These observations apply also in part to time. The 
oneness and infinity of time is not a matter of direct 
perception, but a genuine assumption that lies at the 
root of our perceptions, and is due to the idea that all 
being and happening really belong to a single world. 
What the individual directly experiences is always a 
detached number of finite time-magnitudes and relations. 
For each person his individual (" subjective ") time 
consists in the sum-total of his states of consciousness, 
which differ from each other in their contents. These 
separate elements join on to each other ; for instance, 


the moment of awakening and the moment of going 
to sleep. It is only by daily life and conversation that 
we learn that between the several elements of our ex- 
perience there was other time, and in some cases con- 
siderable intervals of time. Here again we have a 
synthesis of the various directly experienced portions 
of time into one infinite time, of which all time-mag- 
nitudes and relations perceived by all persons are parts. 
It is only because bodily movements, which are funda- 
mentally determined by passage through continuous 
stretches of space, also belong to what is arranged in 
this common objective time, that the element of con- 
tinuity is superimposed upon the discontinuous idea 
of time which we got from our original experience. It 
is most important to understand clearly that there is 
here an essential difference between the idea of space 
and the idea of time. The unity of space is in itself 
one of continuous progress, but the experience of time 
is one of separate acts of consciousness, the combination 
of which into the familiar course of time only assumes 
a character of continuity which is analogous to that of 
space. Hence we understand how in recent times 
Bergson (though partly for an opposite reason) found 
in the space-like conception of time the fundamental 
error of all naturalistic psychology and metaphysics. 
In any case we can now recognise that the completely 
parallel, twin-like treatment which time and space have 
had in philosophy since Leibnitz and Kant must not 
be regarded as beyond question. 

A further element of distinction between the two 
is the difference of their relation to the idea of 
the empty. Of empty space we all have a long-stand- 
ing idea, and with this we picture to ourselves the 
changes of position of things in space. This assumption, 
however, is not indispensable. Not only the scientific 
successors of the Eleatics, but Descartes and his school 
also, and especially certain theories of the latest natural 
philosophy, have rejected empty space, and have there- 
fore to conceive each individual movement as a frag- 
ment of a total movement. But when Kant says (in 


the proofs of his transcendental aesthetics) that we can 
think of everything out of time and space, but cannot 
think away time and space themselves, this " necessity " 
is true for space, but not for time. An entirely empty 
time is absolutely unthinkable. If we fill up the intervals 
between the separate elements of our individual time 
with the events given in the objective world by the 
motion of bodies if our estimate of time-lengths or 
of the speed of any movements, or of the shortness or 
length of a period of time, is always based upon com- 
parisons of the changes experienced in ourselves and 
in other things, we have the idea of absolute time as it 
was defined by Newton tempus est quod cequabiliter 
fluit united with the assumption that certain uniform 
movements occur in it. If this movement and all 
happening were to cease, time would not be empty ; 
it would disappear. We cannot speak literally of empty 
time, but only, on the analogy of empty space, of time 
which we do not know to be filled with movements or 
other processes, but for which we tacitly assume some 
such processes. 

For ordinary purposes, however, space and time are, 
in an analogous way, presuppositions for existence ; 
and, as all reality occurs to us as full space or full time, 
and empty space and time are at the base of it as pos- 
sibilities, the one infinite is, as ever, the prerequisite 
for the manifold finite. Empty space and time are a 
great nothing which is nevertheless required as a basis 
for all ; two great nothings without which we cannot 
conceive any reality. Quite apart from the naive ideas 
of space and time as two vast boxes which are partly 
filled with the individual and finite, we often find this 
nothing not only turned into a reality, but even into 
a real power. In the mechanical theory it is the size 
of the empty space between two atoms which deter- 
mines the measure of their mutual attraction or repul- 
sion ; and in this we have the motives for all the 
attempts to conceive this empty space as filled with 
ether or something of the kind. It is popularly sup- 
posed that time slows down the motion of a body, 


whereas this is due to friction or something similar. We 
also speak of the destructive action of time, or the 
" healing hand of time," and so on, whereas it is reality 
alone which brings about these results in the course of 
time. The hand of time belongs really to the things 
which are in time. 

These reflections naturally lead to the question 
whether space and time as such that is to say, empty 
space and time as something to be rilled with beings 
and events have a metaphysical reality of their own. 
Opposed to the naive idea which finds expression in this 
question we find in scientific discussion in Aristotle, 
for instance a disposition to treat space and time as 
relations or aspects of the real, the existing, or the event. 
But that always leads to a feeling of scepticism about 
our postulate of the unity and identity of the world, 
which are expressed in the idea of one infinite empty 
space and one infinite empty time. 

Hence Leibnitz and Kant saw no alternative but the 
philosophic theory that both are forms of perception, 
not metaphysical realities in the naive sense. In favour 
of this to touch lightly on these noetic problems at this 
stage is the fact that the problems of continuity and 
emptiness seem to be antitheses of perception and its 
needs, not realities, and that infinity in particular, con- 
ceived in the nature of a function, seems to require no 
longer the idea of an unfinished or incomplete reality. 
On the other hand, however, one may well ask whether 
the problems have not been evaded rather than solved 
by relegating them to the subjective field. For indi- 
vidual magnitudes of space and time are certainly given 
as phenomenal reality, and indeed as different apparent 
realities. If we now assume that as such they have, 
not a metaphysical, but only a phenomenal reality, we 
have to ascribe to them in the true reality just so many 
and diverse relations ; and if we grant that we have 
no knowledge of such real relations, it follows that, as 
in every system of quantities, this unknowable multi- 
plicity of true relations also involves the problems of 
continuity and discontinuity, as well as the problems 



of finiteness and infinity. Hence by this duplication 
of the principles that are involved we gain in the sense 
that we can conceive analogous features in true reality 
to the phenomenal magnitudes of space and time, but 
we gain nothing in regard to the problems which prompted 
this phenomenological evasion. The problems are, in 
other words, not solved, but put back into the 

Anothei line of thought amidst the mass of difficulties 
that arise in this field must be considered. The pheno- 
menal nature of space has been affirmed at various 
periods in the history of philosophy, and it has suited 
the spiritualist systems of metaphysics which we will 
see in discussing qualitative problems. On the other 
hand, the phenomenal nature of time has rarety been 
affirmed and is much more difficult to sustain. It 
at once encounters the objection that the interconnection 
of the psychic states and activities has, though no spatial 
aspect, yet certainly a time-relation. It has then to 
meet the graver difficulty that all the changes, in part 
changes into the opposite of the properties of things, 
which now seem to us natural enough when distributed 
over different periods of time, become explicit con- 
tradictions if we are to attribute them as properties 
to the same substance with no discontinuity of time. 
The coincidcntia oppositorum may suit a mystic view 
of the unity of the world, but it will not do for the intel- 
lectual conception of the multiplicity of real existence. 
In fine, the metaphysical reality of time seems to lack 
any proper relation to the will. Since all action and 
willing is directed to the future, it seems to become 
illusory the moment the time-change is struck out of 
the nature of things. A world without time would be 
one in which there would be nothing more to do ; a 
world from which the will, with all its effort, with its 
satisfaction just as much as its restless unsatisf action, 
would be excluded as quite meaningless. 

On the other hand, this attempt to conceive the meta- 
physical reality of time brings out, precisely in connec- 
tion with the will, the whole difficulty of the antithesis 


of Finitism and Irifinitism. The idea of Finitism implies 
an end of time, and therefore an end of happening, 
change, and volition. Infmitism, on the contrary, 
opens out a view of an infinite series of events in infinite 
time, and therefore implies that the will can never come 
to rest. These ideas will be, respectively, congenial 
to different men according to temperament. But if 
we look closely at them, we find it difficult to say which 
idea is the more intolerable : that of an absolute rest 
or that of a never-ending restlessness of the will. Both 
elements have their emotional value in relation to the 
finite time-aspects of empirical reality arid our varying 
experience of it. At one time rest is welcome after long 
unrest ; though it is tolerable only if it does not last too 
long. By others the struggle, even if it does not attain 
its end, is gladly welcomed ; yet if such a state of things 
is conceived absolutely, it threatens to make the will 
itself illusory. Thus we see that the things which are 
certainly real in the finite world of experience become 
impossibilities the moment they are converted into 
absolute realities by metaphysical thought. 

Another form of the antithesis of Finitism and 
Infinitism relates to the mass or the number of reality 
in the world, whether we think of atoms, elements, 
entelechies, monads, real entities, and so on. Here 
again the immeasurability and uncountability are facts, 
and the problem can therefore only be solved by theories 
or dialectical arguments. The ancients generally leaned 
toward Finitism in this matter. In modern times, for 
the reasons we have given above, Infinitism is predo- 
minant ; though there are theories, such as Diihring's 
metaphysics or Renouvier's Neocriticism, which run 
on the lines of Finitism. 

The arguments oppose each other much as in the case 
of space and time, and here again we perceive the great 
mathematical difficulties which arise from the idea of 
definite infinity or of infinities differing from each other. 
The layman can understand it by a simple illustration. 
If we imagine a line a b prolonged beyond b to infinity, 
this infinite line is longer in one direction than in the 


other. In pure thought that seems to be an insoluble 
contradiction, yet it is quite inevitable. 

In this case succession in events is most important. 
Infinitism grants that it is possible for the series of causes 
to have a starting-point, though this is by no means 
necessary ; on the contrary, it seems to be improbable. 
Finitism, on the other hand, is compelled by the mathe- 
matical principles of probability to say that the group 
of elements of reality which is regarded as the initial 
stage must, after an indefinitely great but always finite 
period of time, be repeated. Hence the Finitist systems 
of antiquity taught " universal restoration," or the 
return of every state of things ; and the poet Nietzsche 
gave an ethical turn to a reminiscence of this in his last 
years. Whether the impressive enforcement of responsi- 
bility which is involved in this attains its end must, 
when we examine the matter closely, be pronounced 
very improbable. For if the state of the will is to be 
repeated an infinite number of times, it must have already 
occurred an infinite number of times, and it thus assumes 
a fatalistic character, the dread of repetition being 
neutralised by the paralysing feeling of inevitability. 

Antinomies of this kind appear if, in this case, we 
conceive the number of the masses as finite and the 
time as infinite ; and we get other antinomies according 
to the various ways in which we may apply finiteness 
and infinity to space, time, and number of realities. 
Instead of going on with these, we will pass to another 
general consideration. In order to clear up these anti- 
nomies we may, as Kant did, point to the mutual 
antagonism of our means of knowledge, the senses and 
the understanding. The difficulty is that this may 
be done with quite the opposite effect. On the one side 
it is pointed out that everything perceived by the senses 
represents, in its vast diversity, something indefinite, 
stretching out beyond itself on every side ; while the 
understanding is the principle of conceptual deter- 
mination, of a mind arranged and limited in itself 
according to the categories as the forms of its synthesis. 
On the other side it may be affirmed that the know- 


ledge we get from the presentations of sense always gives 
us a finite arid definite shape, and that it is only the 
reflection of the intelligence upon this that, in its inde- 
pendence and spontaneity, has no limits. However 
that may be, we see that the ontic problems lead us 
on to the genetic on the one hand and to the noetic on 
the other. 


The Qualitative Determinations of Reality. Original and derivative 
properties Primary and secondary qualities Quantitative out- 
look of men of science The material world and consciousness 
The soul as vital force and vehicle of consciousness Intellectual- 
ism, Voluntarism, and Emotionalism The Unconscious Psycho- 
physical parallelism Materialism and spiritualism (idealism) 
Theoretical and axiological duality Monism. 

Apparent reality exhibits an infinite variety of pro- 
perties by means of which things differ from each other, 
and which even in the same things are constantly 
changing. It is just this latter fact, that one and 
the same thing presents itself with one property at one 
time and another property at another, this fact of 
dAAotcuCTis-, which gives rise to the question about the 
genuine and true qualities of the real. If we first con- 
sider the matter within the limits of experience, we have 
already frequently seen how our mind is accustomed 
to distinguish the persistent properties of things as 
the original from the variable properties as derivative. 
The chemical correction of the naive idea of a thing, the 
discovery of the elements, was guided by this aim. 
Things which arise by the mixture or combination of 
elements have quite different properties from those 
of their constituents. We know that water is composed 
of oxygen and hydrogen in a certain proportion, yet 
we find in water entirely different physical and chemical 
properties from those of the gases which compose it. 
In this we assume, and probably have a right to assume, 
that the properties of the compound bodies arise from 


those of their constituents, and that the proportions 
in which they are combined are of importance. But, 
however confident we are of this dependence in principle, 
it is extraordinarily difficult to grasp and explain in 
concrete. No one can say why combination gives us 
a body of this particular colour, taste, or smell. We 
can only establish the fact ; and this inability of the in- 
telligence or of deduction applies also to such proper- 
ties as crystallisation, atomic weight, melting-point, 
electrical behaviour, etc. Even our modern theories 
of atomic structure do not make these things clear, 
and we are, in principle, no further advanced than 
Empedocles was when he said that each single thing 
receives its properties from a combination of the four 
elements fire, air, water, and earth and that the 
blood, for instance, has the advantage of being the finest 
and most perfect of such mixtures ; yet Empedocles 
was quite unable to show how certain combinations led 
to certain sets of properties. 

It is important, however, to have this reference to 
the quantitative conditions of the combination. From 
this we get the constant effort of men of science to reduce 
even the qualitative differences of the properties of 
things to quantitative. The tendency has even led to an 
attempt to explain the reality of the material properties 
of things by relating them to the variety of our organs 
of perception, our senses. To each sense is allotted 
a certain group of qualities, which belong exclusively 
to it and to which it is restricted. Thus colours belong 
to the eye in so far as no other sense can experience them, 
and, on the other hand, the sensation which is peculiar 
to the eye is called colour. The ear has the same relation 
to sounds, the nose to odours, and so on. This relation 
has been called the specific energy of the sense-organs, 
and modern physiology partly explains it, on evolutionary 
lines, by the adaptation of the peripheral endings of 
the sensory nerves to receive and conduct certain move- 
ments which provide the proper stimulation for those 
organs light-waves for the eye, sound-waves for the 
ear, and so on. Even ancient thinkers drew a distinction 


between these specific qualities of the various senses and 
the perceptions of spatial form, position, and corporeal 
movement, which are common to all. It is true that they 
belong primarily to sight and touch, but in a secondary way 
they are connected also with the work of the other senses. 
Hence it was assumed that there was a " common sense ' 
(KOIVOV alaQrirripiov , sensus comnmnis), and to this was 
attributed a higher value than to the qualities of the 
special senses. In regard to the latter it was early per- 
ceived that they represented, not properties inherent 
in the things themselves, but their action upon the 
perceiving mind. It was therefore necessary to correct 
popular language, which describes even pleasantness 
and unpleasantness as properties of things, whereas in 
this case it is clear that they are merely effects of things 
upon beings that can perceive and feel. The Pythago- 
reans seem to have been the first to see that it is the 
same with musical notes ; but since Protagoras, Demo- 
critus, and Plato the subjectivity of all specific sense- 
qualities has been generally recognised ; and, although 
in the Middle Ages it was put aside in favour of Aris- 
totle's contrary view, it was restored at the beginning 
of modern times by the leaders of science, Kepler, 
Galilei, Descartes, and Hobbes, and was formulated 
by Locke and Robert Boyle as the distinction between 
primary and secondary qualities. 

This theory is confirmed by our increasing ac- 
quaintance with the regular correlation between the 
movements that serve as stimuli and the sensations 
they provoke. The best known instance is the con- 
nection between musical notes and the period of 
vibration of the strings, or the waves in the air We 
must admit that these connections can only be estab- 
lished as facts; they cannot be understood. The 
dependence of the quality on the quantity is a synthetic, 
not an analytic, matter. No one can tell why the sensa- 
tion of red is produced by 450 billion ether-vibrations 
per second, or the sensation of blue by 640 billion per 
second. This actual co-ordination is, however, the basis 
of the scientific theory that only quantitative deter- 


ruinations belong absolutely and primarily to the nature 
of reality, while the qualitative belong, being relative 
and secondary, to its appearance in consciousness. 
Objectively, for instance, the reality is a chord vibrating 
at a certain rate ; subjectively I can see, hear, and in 
a sense, with the finger-tip, feel the vibration. A 
colour is a real property of a body only in the sense 
that it indicates a certain configuration of the body's 
surface, in virtue of which it reflects predominantly a 
particular kind of light-waves. According to this " night- 
theory ' (as Fechner called it) the physical world is in 
itself colourless and soundless, merely an empty move- 
ment of atoms in space ; all the varied vitality, with 
which it speaks to us, means merely a phenomenon 
developing in the perceptive consciousness. 

If we seek the motives on which, especially in recent 
times, this choice between equal elements of perception 
and this difference in appreciating the qualitative arid 
quantitative are based, we find the chief in the require- 
ments of mathematical theory, which needs measurable 
magnitudes and therefore regards that as real which 
is capable of being expressed in quantitative formulae. 
Kepler, Leonardo, and Galilei have expressly said this; 
and Descartes (in his sixth Meditation) has laid it down 
that, in the case of bodies, that is true which a man can 
conceive intellectually dare et distincte not in vague 
imagination obscure et confuse. 

Thus the right to make the choice sends us back to 
scientific theory, and we understand that it will not 
be recognised by men who have not an exclusive 
interest in this, or may not have any interest at all. 
Hence the above "night-theory" was opposed by Kant 
and Goethe, though for different reasons. Kant 
regarded space and time determinations only as modes 
of perception of the human mind, and therefore as 
mere phenomena. Goethe, in his theory of colour, 
pitted life against theory, attributing a? much reality 
to these qualities as to the quantitative properties which 
we learn by abstraction. The typical contrast is seen 
in his detestation of Newton, and it may be traced in 


the favour which his theory of colour found with such 
antipodal thinkers as Hegel and Schopenhauer, and 
even with natural philosophers of the Schelling school 
such as Fechner. 

The whole controversy, however, presupposes on 
every side that, for there to be any appearance, there 
must not only be something that appears, but someone 
to whom it appears. Thus the reality of consciousness, 
the inner side of reality, is the completion of the various 
views as to what is being and what is appearance in 
physical properties. In this it is assumed that in con- 
sciousness there is a totally different qualification, and 
therefore a totally different reality, than in the material 
world ; and from this fact we get the chief questions 
and antitheses in the philosophic theories of the quality 
of the real. 

In a realistic and literally substantive view of the 
matter consciousness is called the soul, and the inquiry 
is consequently directed to a study of the relations of 
soul and body. We find the origin of the idea of soul 
in the riddle of life. The distinction between the living 
and non-living is certainly, as one notices in the case 
of quite young children, original and extraordinarily 
vivid. It is based upon the fact that a thing seems 
to us to be alive when it moves, without this movement 
appearing to be a continuation of some other move- 
ment. The non-living and the dead move only when 
the movement is imparted by another. The living 
thing, on the contrary, has the power of self-movement, 
and the principle of this spontaneous movement is called 
the soul. Even in Plato's arguments in the Phcedro 
or the Laws, we plainly see this primitive connection. 
On them is based, amongst all peoples, the idea that 
the vital force may, as sleep and death indicate, leave 
the body, return to it, or definitely abandon it ; that it 
is therefore something quite distinct from the body, 
which is merely its temporary residence. 

But when this principle of life leaves the body, it takes 
with it, apparently, its capacity for all such functions 
as presentation, feeling, desire in a word, all mental 


opeiations. The sleeping, and especially the dead, body 
shows no further trace of the phenomena which we are 
accustomed to regard as the expression or the conse- 
quence of states of consciousness. Hence the idea of 
the soul contains from the start the two characters of 
vital force and basis of consciousness ; two features which 
are closely related as capacities for sense-directed, pur- 
posive action. These two elements, however, which 
were originally combined in the thought of primitive 
peoples, have diverged more and more from each other 
in the course of scientific research. Aristotle's three- 
fold division of the vegetative, animal, and human soul 
cuts off the vital force as a lower level from the rnind, 
and the Neo-Platonists expressly distinguished between 
two souls, one (also called (f>vais) related to the physical 
world, the other, the soul proper, related to the hyper- 
physical world. In the Middle Ages this dualism, 
which regards the vital force as entirely belonging to 
the body and the true soul as pertaining to the supra- 
sensible world, was held especially by the mystics of 
St. Victor ; and it later became a fixed custom in speech 
to represent the soul (mens, spiraculum, the " spark ") 
only as the possessor of consciousness, while the vital 
force, or rather vital forces (spiritus animates), stood 
for purely corporeal things or forces. This is familiar 
also in the philosophy of Descartes. 

But the vital force became in the course of time less 
and less necessary for the purposes of scientific research. 
Many of the apparently spontaneous movements turned 
out to be due to outside influence. This destruction 
of the primitive " Animism," the exclusion of the soul 
from nature by science, has often been complained of 
by poets : 

Where now, our wiser modern men relate, 
Revolves a ball of flame without a soul, 
Once Helios in tranquil pomp of state 
Drove o'er the sky his chariot of gold. 

So Schiller said in his Gods of Greece. The substitution 
of physical and chemical forces for souls has, in fact, 


made continuous progress even in the science of the 
organic world. The more it succeeds, the more con- 
fidently it is assumed that even in organic movements 
we have no other forces and laws than those which we 
find in the inorganic world. Although, however, there 
has been no lack of attempts to prove this as a general 
truth, it has never been accomplished, and we are not 
surprised that the vital force continues to haunt even 
serious science. It is all very well to talk about ions 
and electrons, dominants and determinants, but vital- 
istic theories are always returning to the old feeling 
that some peculiar principle accounts for the unity of 
the living organism. The general tendency of science, 
however, is to put the vital force more and more out 
of the field. At times, in fact, it has looked as if 
the same fate, a sentence of superfluousness, must fall 
upon the soul even in its second character, as bearer 
of consciousness. But even if it came to this we shall 
return to the point later we should have to admit that 
this psychic life of consciousness had a reality of its own, 
different from material reality. 

Here we have the second province of reality, and it 
exhibits just as innumerable a variety of qualities as the 
physical world does. Whatever the thing or substance, 
the " soul," may be, it certainly has countless proper- 
ties ; and in this case they are rather in the nature of 
functions, or present themselves to us as capacities, 
powers, forces, activities, etc. In face of this variety 
we again find attempts to distinguish between essential 
and unessential, original and derivative properties, and 
to separate the substantiality of the soul from its 
relative and temporary expressions and effects. It is, 
as in the case of the outer world, a sort of simplification 
of the world in thought. In this connection we have 
first the antithesis of intellectualist and voluntarist psy- 
chology. The old controversy of the Scholastics utra 
potentia major sit, intellectus an voluntas ? is always 
with us, and each side has a large number of arguments. 
When one reflects that each activity of consciousness 
is directed to a content, which has to be presented, even 


if it is an object of feeling or will, we see that the pre- 
sentations are fundamental functions, and the activities 
of feeling and will only strains or relations between the 
presentations and therefore dependent on them. That 
is the main idea of intellectualist psychology, which 
Herbart introduced from the eighteenth century to the 
nineteenth. If, on the other hand, the fact is empha- 
sised that consciousness, as activity, differs from cor- 
poreal movement in being willed, we get the will as the 
fundamental function and presentation as the incidental 
method by which it objectifies itself. Voluntarist psy- 
chology of this kind was involved in the entire scheme 
of thought which developed in the German philosophy 
founded by Kant, and it found its typical expression 
in Schopenhauer's system. In fine, we have an attempt 
to reconcile these opposing theories in modern Emo- 
tionalism, which takes feeling to be the primary pheno- 
menon and tries to show that will and presentation are 
equally implicit in this, and develop from it in continual 
relation to each other. That is pretty much the idea 
of Herbert Spencer ; and it, perhaps, comes nearest 
to the truth if it is meant in the sense that the three 
fundamental functions are not isolated activities or 
strata of action, but different aspects of one and the 
same living being and activity. 

Without this supposition the anti-intellectualist 
theories of modern psychology lead to a peculiar dia- 
lectic and to the self-destruction of their fundamental 
idea. If, for instance, presentation is regarded as the 
outcome of a fundamental function of the will or of 
feeling, this fundamental function itself must be some- 
thing unconscious. Now this theory of unconscious 
psychic states or activities, to which many other ele- 
ments of psychological science have pointed for more 
than a century, and which is now so strong that to-day 
the unconscious is often taken to be the very basis 
of psychic life and the region of consciousness is regarded 
as merely a superstructure on this foundation, is in plain 
opposition with the results of historical development, 
which always regarded consciousness (cogitatio) as the 


essential, if not the only essential, thing in the definition 
of the soul. If we are to fiame a new definition of the 
soul, we must bear in mind that the unconscious is, 
from the nature of the case, never experienced, never 
given in thought, but merely assumed hypothetically 
for the explanation of processes and states of con- 
sciousness which seem otherwise quite incomprehensible. 
This hypothesis, therefore, ought to be used only when 
it is altogether impossible to assume psychic realities 
as the conditions of those conscious states which are 
supposed to be explained by unconscious. In this 
there are methodical and real difficulties, if not impos- 
sibilities, which are mainly responsible for the imper- 
fect condition of psychological science. They have also 
a metaphysical bearing in the sense that in the last resort 
they impel us to set up a third province, the region of 
the unconscious, beside those of the physical and the 
psychical ; a region which would coincide with neither 
of the others, but have a separate reality, although it, 
being from the nature of the case not given in conscious- 
ness, can only be assumed, in regard to its contents, 
on the analogy of one of the other provinces, the psychical. 
Apart from these difficulties, which have as yet little 
to do with general ideas and have received very scant 
attention from empirical psychologists, consciousness 
(cogitatio) is by the overwhelming majority of people 
regarded as the attribute of psychic activity ; not 
" thought," in the one-sided intellectualist sense which 
is often given to it by inaccurate translation, but in the 
sense in which Descartes and Spinoza sufficiently indi- 
cated it, by enumeration and reflection, as the inde- 
finable, ultimate, common element in all such activities 
as sensation, judgment, deduction, feeling, choice, desire, 
etc. And this is something quite different from bodies 
with their quantitative properties. Hence the Cartesian 
distinction, based upon the na'ive idea of individual 
substances, between res extensce and res cogitantes, bodies 
and souls or minds, is in complete agreement with the 
general belief, and there is no difficulty in thinking with 
Spinoza that extension and consciousness, or with Neo- 


Spinozism that matter and spirit, are entirely separate 
attributes of the Deity. They represent the ultimate 
general concepts of abstraction working logically upon 
the multiplicity of qualities ; beyond them abstraction 
comes only to an empty ' something," the indefinite 
substance, the mere form of the category. In our 
knowledge of the world, however, the dualism remains, 
whether we put it as an antithesis of body and spirit, 
sensible and suprasensible, or material and imma- 
terial. These things mean two really different and 
distinct provinces of perceptible reality ; and in con- 
formity with them we have, in general usage, dis- 
tinguished two formally different kinds of perception 
and perceptive knowledge, the outer and the inner sense. 
Under the names of " sensation ' and " reflection ' 
Locke thought that he had reduced the metaphysical 
dualism of the Cartesian theory of substances to an 
innocent psychological dualism, presumably based upon 
the nature of knowledge. He calls the objects of know- 
ledge of the inner and outer sense the ' cogitative " 
and " non-cogitative " substances. 

Now, what is the relation to each other of these two 
kinds of qualitatively defined reality ? Can the mind 
rest content with the dualism ? For the prescientific 
mind this dualism is a matter of course ; but in scientific 
thought, and still more in philosophy, one of the funda- 
mental ideas is, as we have seen, that of the unity of 
the world, the unifying impulse. It has, naturally, to 
be brought to bear upon this question, and this means 
that we must try to reduce the two kinds of reality 
to some sort of unity. This may be done either by re- 
garding one of them as original and essential and the 
other as a phenomenon of it, or by tracing both to a 
third, even if this has to remain unknown, unknow- 
able, and inexpressible. The first alternative again 
divides into two : either the spiritual reality may be 
regarded as a phenomenon of the corporeal, which is 
then supposed to be the genuine and original reality, 
or vice versa. We thus get the familiar antithesis of 
Materialism and Spiritualism. 


We may take two of the chief arguments of Material- 
ism. One is the metaphysical argument, and it holds 
that all reality is identical on account of its existence 
in space. To be real is, for the ordinary man, the same 
thing as to be somewhere in space. That holds good 
for the psychic activities and states. They are some- 
where in this particular man, in his brain, his nervous 
system, and so on. Even if the soul is regarded as im- 
material and separable from the body, it is assumed 
that in the after-life it lives somewhere above in the 
stars. The spirits which are conjured by mediums have 
to be summoned from their distant abodes, and have 
to manifest themselves in material form at some point 
in space, where they may be photographed by certain 
especially gifted people. The religious imagination, in 
fact, does not take even the supra-spatial nature of God 
so seriously as to be prevented from fancying him as 
occupying the whole of space. Any man who seriously 
works out these ideas will see that, as Kant well pointed 
out in his Dreams of a Seer, anything which is in space 
fills it, and so is a body. For this reason the ancient 
Atomists were Materialists. So also were the Stoics, 
who expressly held that reality and materiality were 
the same thing. From them even the Church-Fathers 
Tertullian and Arnobius adopted Materialism, without 
it doing any prejudice to their religious dogmas. In 
recent times this Stoic Materialism has been represented 
chiefly by Hobbes, who indicated space as the pheno- 
menal form of true substance (phantasma rei existcntis), 
and therefore regarded all philosophy as a science of 
bodies, including artificial bodies like the State, which 
have reality because they are in space. 

The second chief argument is anthropological. It 
is based upon the dependence of the "soul" upon the 
body, which we are supposed to find in all its functions, 
normal and abnormal. All psychic states are, both per- 
manently and temporarily, determined by age, sex, 
health or illness, and degree of bodily development. 
We need no special soul as a distinct principle from 
the body to explain the activities, even the purposive 


activities, of the organism. This view has been par- 
ticularly strengthened since the seventeenth century 
by the study of reflex movements. These show in a 
very high degree the marks, not merely of purpose, but 
of adaptation and improvability. The influence of these 
phenomena upon Descartes and his school was so great 
that they regarded the organic movements in the animal 
body as entirely reflex movements. But if we can do 
this, without any " immortal soul," in the case of the 
animal, why not in the case of man ? That was the 
question put in ironic reference to Descartes by 
Lamettrie in his L'homme machine, and worked out in 
favour of Materialism. He was followed in this by all 
later Materialists by the author of the Systeme de la 
Nature, the materialistic physicians of Fiance in the 
nineteenth century, Cabanis and Broussais, and by Vogt 
and Moleschott in Germany. Incidentally they replaced 
the mechanical vibrations of the nerves, of which the 
earlier physiologists had spoken, by chemical ideas, and 
put the psychic activities on the same footing as other 
secretions of the organs. 

About the middle of the nineteenth century these 
metaphysical and anthropological arguments were com- 
bined in Feuerbach's dialectical Materialism, which turns 
inside out Hegel's theory that nature is the mind in its 
other being and its self-alienation, and represents the 
mind as nature alienated from itself. From this source 
came the whole stream of Materialistic literature which 
flooded the second half of the nineteenth century. 
Typical instances of it are Biichner's Force and Matter 
on one side, and Diihring's works on the other ; and 
the system assumed its finest and ablest form in David 
Friedrich Strauss's Old and New Faith. 

It is precisely these finer presentations of Materialism 
which make it clear that in the " so-called ' psychic 
activity we are supposed to have at least a special sort 
of matter or of its functions ; as when Strauss uses the 
genuinely Hegelian expression, that in these spiritual 
activities " nature reaches beyond itself." Democritus 
Jong ago found the psychical in the atoms of fire, which 


were distinguished for their fineness and mobility. The 
Systeme de la Nature explained that what the ordinary 
man calls activities of the soul consist in subtle, invis- 
ible movements of atoms ; and in recent times Ostwald 
maintains that consciousness is a special form of energy, 
like heat, motion, electricity, etc. Every such state- 
ment, however, that consciousness or psychic activity 
is merely some superior sort of material existence or 
movement, is a quite arbitrary pronouncement, and 
tries to give unusual meanings to the words. In face of 
our direct experience, which continually teaches us that 
physical and psychic reality are fundamentally differ- 
ent, the Materialistic position remains a paradox. One 
might just as well say : Apples are a sort of pears, or, 
A dog is a sort of cat. There cannot be any reasonable 
question of identity of the psychic and the physical. 
But it is just as impossible to derive one from the other : 
to conceive psychic states as the outcome of material, 
or deduce them from some sort of subtle combination 
of material elements. Movement and consciousness are 
in their nature heterogeneous. No matter how much 
one seeks to bring them together by refining the one 
and simplifying the other, one always fails to bridge 
over the gap which, in principle, separates them. This 
has been recognised by some of the most distinguished 
men of science, such as Du Bois-Reymond in his 
" Ignorabimus Speech." The saying about " secretions ' 
is nothing but a crude analogy, and cannot be taken 
seriously. All that empirical research can establish 
in regard to the correlation of the stimulus and the 
sensation, or the perception and the purposive move- 
ment, is at the most, according to our way of thinking 
and speaking, a causal relation in which certain states 
in one region are clearly co-ordinated to states in the 
other. If we proceed carefully, we shall scarcely venture 
even to speak of causality, and shall confine ourselves 
to registering certain constant correlations. In no case 
can we say that states of consciousness are themselves 
states of corporeal movement. There is no question 
whatever of identity, but merely of some connection 



which is probably of a causal nature. But this causal 
connection is merely established in empirical research; 
it is not capable of logical analysis. No one can ex- 
plain how it happens that a certain physico-chemical 
stimulation gives rise to a certain sensation of colour. 

In contesting Materialism we have to rely on these 
difficulties and impossibilities, and in point of fact 
they put an end several decades ago to the domination 
of Materialistic thought. It is quite foolish to attack 
Materialism as a theory with evil consequences. This, 
it is true, has often enough been done, and, unfortu- 
nately, the practice was started by Plato himself. But 
men like Democritus, and even Epicurus, have suffi- 
ciently proved that theoretical Materialism is consistent 
with a high and pure moral culture ; and English 
thought of the eighteenth, and partly of the nineteenth, 
century shows us, in the typical personality of Priestley, 
for instance, a union of Materialism and religious 

However, this purely theoretical criticism, which shows 
that Materialism cannot sustain its thesis of the identity 
of consciousness and material states, has a counterpart, 
mutatis mutandis, in the insuperable difficulties of the 
theory at the opposite extreme, Spiritualism. By this 
we mean the theory which regards the material world 
as an appearance on or in a spiritual substance. It used 
to be called, and is still called, Idealism, but this expres- 
sion is so ambiguous that it is better to avoid it as far 
as possible. The term Idealism is, in the first place, used 
in the anti-Materialistic sense that bodies are merely 
presentations or, as was said in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, ' ideas ' of spirits. This was the 
meaning of Berkeley and Malebranche, and there is no 
objection to this use of the word. But the word " idea ' 
had formerly a different meaning, and it has a different 
meaning again in modern times. Plato's Idealism is 
a metaphysical theory of the higher reality of pure forms, 
which are conceived as immaterial, but not as conscious 
states or activities. Kant's Idealism, and in part that 
of his followers, is the theory that the meaning of the 


world must be sought in those ' ideas ' which are not 
given as objects of knowledge, but postulated as values 
and aims of life. If, in fine, we take the secondary 
meaning of the " ideal " as a mental attitude which 
looks to the suprasensible, we have Idealism opposed 
to Positivism as a mental attitude which restricts itself 
to facts. This multiplicity and variety of shades of 
meaning, mostly of an axiological character, which make 
the word Idealism so ambiguous, compel us to avoid 
the word as far as possible in severe intellectual work, 
and we must seek a more accurate and less equivocal 

In the first simple sense of the word, Berkeley's 
" Idealism " contended that the being of the material 
world meant no more than that it was perceived (esse = 
percipi). The unknown substantial basis of properties, 
which Locke had suffered to remain as the thing-in- 
itself, was supposed to be an academic fiction. The 
cherry was merely the sum of its properties. These 
properties, these " ideas," are states or activities of the 
res cogitantes, the spirits. These then the infinite 
divine spirit and the finite spirits, amongst which, on 
the ground of experience, we include the human are 
the sole substantial realit} 7 . Hence it is better in meta- 
physics to call this theory Spiritualism. Other forms 
of Spiritualism, apart from certain forms of theo- 
logical dogmatism, are the Monadological Spiritualism 
of Leibnitz, the transcendental-philosophical of Fichte, 
and the dialectical-metaphysical of Hegel. They differ 
especially on the question of the spiritual substance 
whether it is to be sought in individual spiritual beings, 
in " consciousness generally," in the universal Self, or 
in the world-spirit. To these Spiritualists, moreover, 
we must add the Voluntarist metaphysicians, who 
regard the will as the genuine reality and the material 
world merely as its phenomenon, as Schopenhauer, 
Maine de Biran, etc., do. 

The chief argument of all these forms of Spiritualism 
was formulated by Augustine and Descartes : namely, 
that while all our knowledge of external things is un- 


certain and changeable, we have an absolute and certain 
knowledge of our own existence as spiritual beings. It 
does not matter whether we are supposed to have this 
primary experience of our spiritual being in the intellect 
or the will ; it does not matter whether we use the 
formula, " Je pense, done je suis," or the words, " Je 
veux, done je suis." In either case our experience of 
the psychic reality is held to be primary, and therefore 
for metaphysical theory it means the genuine and true 

Nevertheless all these forms of Spiritualism are ex- 
posed to an objection analogous to, though the con- 
verse of, that we found in the case of Materialism. We 
come always to the unanswerable question : How do 
the spirits get these "ideas" of a totally different kind 
of reality, the material world ? The more, for instance, 
the Cartesian theory emphasises that the self-conscious 
substance has no trace of the attribute of extension in 
it, and therefore none of its possible modi, the more 
insoluble the problem becomes. No one can give an 
intelligible account of the origin of the idea of matter 
in a spiritual mind. Certainly not Berkeley, who thinks 
that finite spirits get these ideas from the Infinite, but 
has no rational answer to the question why the purely 
spiritual Deity should have such ideas of bodies. 
Neither can Leibnitz, for whom the lowest stages of 
consciousness of the Monads are physical states, just 
as the Materialist converts the subtlest movements into 
sensations ; in both cases the neTafiams els aAAo yeVo? 
is quite arbitrary. Neither can Fichte, who treats the 
sense-elements of experience as motiveless free self- 
limitations of the Self, and thus merely acknowledges 
that the Self finds them in itself as an unintelligible 
something else : a non-Self. Neither can Hegel, whose 
dialectical pulses of the mind in its otherness are quite 
unable to explain the appearance of nature in its various 

Thus the physical can neither be regarded as a form 
of the psychical nor derived from it in any way. 
Materialism and Spiritualism are open to precisely the 


same objection, differently applied, and the only alter- 
native is to recognise that the material and the spiritual 
are both primary contents of reality. As a matter 
of fact, that is the general way of looking at the matter, 
and it is usually called Dualism. But how, we must ask, 
is such a Dualism conceivable without injury to the 
unity of reality which is an inalienable element of 
thought ? Clearly Dualism is the most prominent and 
most definite form of Pluralism, and it is open to all 
the general objections which have been urged against 
this in an earlier page. This Dualism, however, is con- 
firmed when we go closely into the antitheses in the 
world and the theoretical relation of soul and body. We 
see struggle and strife everywhere in the world. War 
was hailed by Heraclitus as the father of all things, 
and he taught us to regard the world as a divided unity. 
Thus Dualism is reinforced by an axiological experience, 
which is expressed in the ethico-religious duality of 
values. Good and evil, lawabidingness and lawless- 
ness, are found in every stratum of human life ; and 
even in nature we find everywhere the senseless and 
aimless irrational beside the purposeful rational. The 
simple candour of Greek thought never attempted to 
explain away these antagonisms by dogmatic theories. 
If we are correctly informed by Aristotle, Empedocles 
made the theoretical duality of world-forces, which 
he needed for his mixtures and separations of the 
elements, correspond to an axiological duality, accord- 
ing to which love was the cause of the good and 
hatred the cause of evil. Everybody knows the classic 
saying of Plato, that, since God as the good can only 
be the cause of good, he cannot be the cause of all 
things, and we must assume another cause, imper- 
fectness or badness a good and a bad world-soul 
Aristotle in the same way distinguished between form 
and matter as the principles, respectively, of pur- 
posiveness and unconscious necessity. So the process 
continues in ancient thought until it culminates in the 
dualistic religions, especially Manicheanism. Primitive 
mythologies, in which heaven and earth, light and 


darkness, are thus pitted against each other, are con- 
firmed by the fact that scientific research (amongst 
the Pythagoreans and in Anaxagoras) found unity and 
order, beauty and perfection, only in the heavens, while 
the life of man was full of strife and wickedness. 

These antitheses of values were, in the develop- 
ment of religious ideas during the Alexandrian period, 
identified with the highest theoretical dualism of meta- 
physical thought. It is one of the most important com- 
binations of thought in human history that spirit and 
matter as good and evil, as the rational and the irra- 
tional, were thus brought into antithesis. It was an 
outcome of the ascetic mood, which began to frown upon 
the flesh as sinful, to despise, abstain from, and repress 
the material, and to seek happiness in dread of and flight 
from nature, in a hatred of the material world. This 
blending of theoretical and axiological Dualism, just 
as dangerous as it is psychologically intelligible, was 
in principle dissolved and conquered by the Renaissance 
with its sound and comprehensive life, its art and science ; 
but it crops up occasionally and unpleasantly in our 
time, and we have to bear in mind constantly that the 
two dualities are not identical. In the spirit, the soul, 
we have both good and bad ; and how close they are 
to each other ! In nature there is assuredly much that 
is irrational and aimless, but how much also that is 
rational, that is true and beautiful in the rational sense ! 

From the purely theoretical point of view, which we 
have here to disengage from axiological considerations, 
the two kinds or spheres of reality, the material and 
the spiritual worlds, remain distinct. To reduce them 
to a unity, or to derive them from a unity, is quite im- 
possible. They remain an undeniable dualistic fact, 
even if we attempt to conceive the constant association, 
the inseparable connection, of the two aspects as a third 
thing which we cannot further define. Such an attempt 
we have in Spinozism and, with certain modifications, 
in the Neo-Spinozism of German philosophy. In recent 
times it has assumed a specific form and adopted the 
name of Monism. 


It is certainly true that the Cartesian attempt to 
ascribe the primary qualities of consciousness and 
materiality to two different kinds of substances went 
too far in some respects. There are neither formal nor 
real d priori reasons which forbid us to ascribe both 
attributes to one and the same thing. Why should 
not a conscious being have extension ? Why should 
not a material being think ? The rule of formal logic 
which declares the compredicability of disparate and 
heterogeneous features affirms that they may be united 
in one and the same concept is rather in favour of than 
against this supposition. The disjunction, ' either con- 
scious or extended," which since the time of Descartes 
has been regarded as self-evident, is not contradic- 
tory ; the incompatibility has yet to be proved. In 
Spinozism the totality of reality, the one Nature or sub- 
stance, has the two attributes simultaneously. Recent 
thought has proceeded on much the same lines with 
its theory of the Unconscious, which, not given in ex- 
perience itself, is assumed to be the third thing between 
the physical and the psychic. Hartmann's Philosophy 
of the Unconscious runs on these lines ; it is a Monism 
of the Unconscious. 

If this is true of God or the universe, it may very well 
be true of the several individual constituents of reality. 
Bacon said that atoms had perceptions, and in recent 
natural philosophy since Fechner the idea that all reality 
is at once material and spiritual has been very prominent. 
If we take Monism from this metaphysical point of view, 
there is nothing to be said against its tendency ; which, 
indeed, we find based in more than one respect upon 
the nature of our intellect. But the difficulties of this 
duplication of the real are not removed by this mere 
postulate of the unifying impulse of the mind. Some 
effort is made to meet them by saying that the duality 
belongs to the phenomenal world, and supposing that 
the one reality of things merely assumes in the human 
intellect this division into external and internal experi- 
ence. Those who do this overlook the fact that this 
duality of the intellect then becomes a problem, and 


that we have merely put back the metaphysical 

The serious objections to modern Monism begin when 
the duality in which the primary being and all its original 
constituents express themselves is declared to be real. 
The difficulty then is, not so much in the association 
of the two attributes, as in understanding what happens 
when the attributes develop into modi. If the develop- 
ment of the two attributes is supposed to proceed at 
equal pace, the simplest way to represent it is to assume 
that one series is a by-product, an epiphenomenon, of 
the other. Modern Monism is therefore disposed to 
regard the physical series as the original, and the 
psychical series as dependent thereon. Then, however, 
whether it admits the fact or no, it is sheer Materialism. 
We shall therefore have to return to these questions 
when we come to genetic problems ; and we thus see 
again that on tic problems always lead us either to genetic 
or noetic problems. 


IN ontic questions the thing or substance is the central 
point ; in genetic questions it is the category which is 
best called " the event." This is the general expression 
for the Greek yiyveaQaa. This antithesis of the thing and 
the event is better than the earlier antithesis of being 
and becoming; for "becoming' is only one aspect of 
the process of happening, which means, not only that 
something appears which was not there previously, but 
also that something which was there previously ceases 
to exist. This opposite process to becoming was called 
by the older mystics by a word which we have no longer 
(entwerderi) and must replace by "ceasing" or perish- 
ing. In the event, therefore, something becomes different 
from what it was before, and hence genetic problems 
may be resumed (as was done by Herbart) under the 
heading of change, the Greek /xerajSoA^, which may be 
either a change of place, a movement (nepi^opd or 
Kivqcris} , or a change of properties (aAAoiojat?) . The word 
" change," however, points clearly to the thing which 
changes, and thus we mean a thing which experiences 
various states in succession, yet persists in its own 
reality. In this we are either referred back to the 
problems of thingness or to the universe as the one 
subject of all changes. 


The Event. Succession in time Continuity and discontinuity of 
events Immanent and transgredient events The necessity of 
succession in time Causal and teleological dependence. 

Amongst the general elements of all events we at once 
fix our attention upon two which are fundamental and 



equally essential : (i) the clear determination in time of a 
series of states (of which, therefore, there must be at least 
two), one of which must succeed another, and (2) a con- 
nection between these successive states, in virtue of which 
their plurality can be reduced to the unity to which we 
give the name of "event." 

In the category of the event, therefore, we have first 
of all the feature of a definite succession in time. There 
was no such feature in the category of inherence. The 
coexistence of properties in the thing is in itself apart 
from time ; it is only by a methodological relation that 
we seek to recognise, within our experience, substantial 
inherence by the clue of permanent simultaneity. In- 
herence, as we may take this opportunity to observe, 
does not necessarily presuppose a spatial relation. It is 
true that we find this as the form of coexistence in our 
first conceptions of material things, but such conceptions 
as those of psychic or divine substance entirely exclude 
the element of space. The event, on the contrary, abso- 
lutely implies this element of time, that one is real after 
the other and that the series is not interchangeable. This 
circumstance gives us, in our experience, for instance, the 
criterion by which we may decide whether a multiplicity 
successively perceived in consciousness is a real succession 
or a coexistence. 

Without this time-element the event is unthinkable, 
and therefore a reality without time would also be a reality 
without events. When we regard the world sub specie 
ceterni, nothing happens in it. In this, clearly, there is a 
grave difficulty for the theory of the phenomenality of 
time. In a thing-in-itself which is raised above time 
nothing can happen. Religious ideas like that of being 
born again or of a total change in a man's intelligible 
character or innermost nature are irreconcilable with 
theoretical Phenomenalism, whether in the case of Kant 
or of Schopenhauer. Thus also in the case of Herbart, 
when, in order to explain the apparent event, he declares 
that " the coming and going of substances in intelligible 
space " is the real event, we see that our mind, when it 
deals with the event, cannot divest itself of the time- 


element. In addition, our will requires that we conceive 
the world as a sphere in which something is to be other- 
wise ; in other words, that something may happen. For 
all these reasons it is clear that if we strike the time- 
element out of the event, there is nothing left that 
could be called a real event. We see therefore that if 
we would remove the time-element from the causal rela- 
tion, which from the first overshadows every consideration 
of the event, the residual dependence means, not the 
real relation of cause and effect, but merely a logical 
relation of antecedent and consequent ; just as, in the 
case of Spinoza, consequi is a mathematical relation, but 
is as little a real relation as the equivalence of the 
angles of a plane triangle with two right-angles is an 
effect of the triangle. 

However, the time-element in the event takes very 
different forms in the two provinces of reality, with the 
distinction between which we closed our survey of ontic 
problems : the external world and the inner world. Every 
event in space is movement, or change of position of bodies 
in space. This is the ultimate type of all happening in 
the chemical and even the organic world. To get from 
the point A to the point B, moreover, the body must tra- 
verse the entire continuity of the intermediate space, and 
therefore the spatial event is also continuous in time. On 
the other hand, we noted previously that there never is a 
continuity of this kind in the psychic event, which gives 
us our experience of subjective time ; that the successive 
acts of consciousness, of which the individual experience 
consists, are discrete or discontinuous elements. We 
cannot therefore speak of a gradual transition in asso- 
ciative imagination, logical deduction, or emotional trans- 
port. As we pass from image to image, thought to thought, 
motive to motive, in our inner experience, these various 
elements are definitely separated from each other, and 
there is nothing between them that has to be traversed 
from moment to moment. Still more pronouncedly 
discontinuous is the psychological time-life of perception. 
The hearing of one noise after another, the seeing of 
moving pictures, the alternation of hearing and seeing, 


seeing and touching, etc., takes places without any con- 
ceivable transition from one to the other. There are no 
such intervals covered as when a ball rolls from A to B. 
Experienced time is therefore discontinuous. It is only 
objective time that is assumed to be continuous, because 
it is taken from bodily movements which we measure at 
different points of space. Here again, therefore, the con- 
tinuity is in space. In projecting time into space we make 
the continuum quod cequabiliter fluit out of the discon- 
tinuous experience. It follows from this that we shall 
find the ideas of the event differentiated in time, accord- 
ing as they relate to the inner or the outer event in its 
typical form. 

Yet a definite succession in time is not enough for the 
definition of the event. A word spoken in the house, 
followed by the whistle of a passing locomotive, does not 
make an " event," no matter how objectively the succession 
is determined. They lack any real connection, and there- 
fore, in spite of the succession, they do not constitute 
that unity of the manifold which we call an event. If 
we ask in what this unity consists, we get various answers 
which partly depend upon relations to the category of sub- 
stance. One case is where the event occurs in one thing. 
In one and the same thing A appear the states a^ and a 2 
in a definite succession. The thing, in other words, passes 
from one of its states to another. We will call this variety 
the immanent event. In our experience it is found chiefly 
in the psychic life, in which one presentation or emotion 
follows another in definite succession in one and the same 
subject of consciousness. This immanent change of 
state may, however, occur in a body : in one, for instance, 
which continues to move in a given direction at a certain 
speed in virtue of inertia. As a rule the material event 
is of the other type : it occurs between several different 
things. With state a of the thing A state b of the thing 
B is connected in a clear and invariable sequence. If 
we call this the transgredient event, because it passes from 
one thing to another, we must admit that we have no 
experience of such direct happening between different 
souls. If an event is to pass from one soul to another, 


it must be done by the mediation of bodies ; and we thus 
get two sorts of transgredient events the physical, 
between two bodies, and the psychological, between 
soul and body or body and soul. In such cases, where 
is the unity of the event, which in the immanent event 
is based upon the identity of the thing ? What in the 
case of transgredient events holds together the different 
states of different things in a unity ? We conceive this 
unity in the sense that the sequence is not merely a fact 
(like the word and the whistle in our preceding example), 
but that the states, which together make up the event, 
are necessarily connected in this sequence. The event 
therefore implies the necessity of a clear and invariable 
succession of states. In this we assume that the one state 
is not real without the other which is correlative with it 
in the sequence, or, as Kant said in his Analogies of 
Experience, that the one determines the existence of the 
other in time. That is the real dependence, the temporal 
as distinguished from the ideal or logical, which is in itself 

This real dependence constitutes the problem of the 
event, since it holds also of the immanent event. The 
invariable sequence of states of one and the same thing 
is conceived either in the sense that one of these states 
necessarily determines the existence in time of the other, 
as happens in the succession of reflections, deductions, 
and conclusions, or in the sense that, as in the sequence 
of our perceptions, the varying states of one and the same 
conscious being become necessary through a transgredient 
event that is to say, through changes of relations to 
other things. 

To these general remarks on the event and the problems 
connected therewith we have to add one more. This 
plain, invariable and necessary sequence of states which 
constitutes the event is, from the nature of time, divisible 
into two different and opposite classes. The linear or 
one-dimensional character of time allows us, from any 
given point, to measure time only backwards and for- 
wards. From every present we may proceed in either 
direction, toward the past or the future. Thus the neces- 


sity of the sequence is to be conceived either in the sense 
that the antecedent element determines the existence in 
time of the following or, conversely, that the antecedent 
is determined by the following. In the former case we 
say : If A is, B must follow. In the latter case : In order 
for B to exist, A must precede. In the one case A is the 
cause and B its effect ; in the other case B is the end and 
A the means. The necessity therefore that exists between 
the elements of one and the same event is either conse- 
quence or indispensability ; and the dependence is either 
causal or ideological. We shall have occasion later to 
go more closely into this distinction and protect ourselves 
against misunderstanding. Here we formally notify it 
as part of the nature of the event, and we will keep in mind 
in the following observations the various possibilities which 
it suggests. There can be no question but that to the 
more or less scientific mind the first of these forms of real 
dependence, consequence, is much the more familiar, 
and so from it we first develop the problems of the event. 


Causality. Four usual forms of causality Plurality of causes 
Primary and incidental causes Postulate of the identity of the 
world Law of causality Conservation of energy New elements 
in the psychic life Causal equation Incomprehensibility of the 
causal relation Experience of action Universality of the time- 
succession Conformity of nature to law. 

The categorical relation of cause and effect is one of 
the most familiar, but most ambiguous, in our thought 
and speech, and is precisely on that account a mass of 
misunderstandings. It is the source of many difficult 
and very important, and also of many fictitious, problems. 
Almost everything is regarded as cause and effect in 
popular usage. The application of the category is especi- 
ally complicated in part by its relation to the superficial 
ideas of things in experience, and above all by the circum- 
stance that perception never gives us simple elements, 
but always complexes of them, which for the most part 
have already been formed and set in contrasted groups 


by the category of inherence. Hence all sorts of ambigui- 
ties in the application of the causal relation on the one 
hand to the complexes, and on the other hand to the 
several elements of which they consist. If we try to make 
our way through this confusion under the lead of the 
ideas which are commonly used for such orientation, we 
have to take as our guide the very category of inherence 
which is chiefly responsible for the confusion. On this 
basis we distinguish, to begin with, between four types 
of causal relation. 

i. One thing is the cause, and another thing is the 
effect. That is the original form of the use of the causal 
relation, and it is chiefly found in organic life. The flower 
comes from the plant, the fruit from the tree, the ovum 
or the young from the mother. In such expressions as 
springing from, growing from, coming from, etc., in using 
the preposition " from " for the causal relation, language 
bears witness to trie impression which contained this first 
form of causality. But if we interrogate science it 
assures us that this relation holds only for phenomenal 
things, for the momentary inherence-complexes of per- 
ception. The true things, the substances, neither come 
into existence nor pass out of it. " The Greeks say 
falsely," said Anaxagoras, " that things come into and go 
out of existence ; in reality there are only mixture and 
separation of incomplete and transitory elements." This 
idea has become such a truism in science, in much the same 
form as Kant formulated it as the law of the persistence 
of substance, the quantity of which can neither be in- 
creased nor lessened, that a man would now be regarded 
in scientific circles as negligible if he talked about a sub- 
stance originating or being produced by another. It is 
only in religious metaphysics that the old idea has held 
its ground, in the search (as we saw above) for the ulti- 
mate cause or Creator of all things. We find this Deistic 
form of causality in Descartes's theory of an infinite 
substance which has created the finite, or in Leibnitz's 
idea of the Central Monad which created all the other 
monads and originally communicated to them their 
reflection of the universe. 


2. The thing is regarded as the cause of its states and 
its activities. We thus speak to some extent of man as 
the cause of his actions, of the soul as the common cause 
of its various functions, of the body especially the organic 
body as the cause of its movements. In developing 
these ideas we interpose, between the one thing and the 
multiplicity of its effects, the forces by means of which 
the substance exercises its causality. By this we under- 
stand certain general properties, capacities, or powers ; 
and in this sense the attributes are at times called the cause 
of the modi. In the inner world the will is supposed to 
be the cause of volitions, the intelligence the cause of 
opinions, and so on. In the external world we find gravity, 
inertia, and vital forces filling the gap. Force is expressly 
defined as the cause of movement, and is thus regarded 
as a property of the thing, the substratum, the matter, 
the substance. From the logical point of view all these 
forces are general concepts, assumed as the causes of the 
various functions. We easily see that this general thing, 
the force, is never the exclusive cause of the activity in 
question. In order to pass into such a special function, 
it always needs some occasion of action. We therefore 
distinguish between efficient and occasional causes : causa 
efficiens and causa occasionalis. It is clear that the two 
together make up the entire "cause"; just as in the 
analogous case of a syllogism the full ground for the con- 
clusion is in the combination of the two premisses, the 
" major " and the " minor." This also is a very familiar 
way of looking at things, and there are many variations 
of it ; but it shows us from the start how uncertain it is 
which is the real cause, the efficient or the occasional or 
both together. 

3. The converse of the preceding : states and activities 
are the causes of things. It is often said, for instance, 
that the wind (which is a state or mode of motion) causes 
clouds. Many people say that insects are produced by 
the rain, which we regard as essentially a process, without 
inquiring into the thing that is moved. A house is put 
together by a number of activities ; who exercises them 
is immaterial, as the functions are the immediate causes 


of the house. If in this way we come to treat the functions, 
detached from the things which discharge them, as inde- 
pendent causes of other things, we come in the end to the 
theory of the complete detachment of forces and functions. 
The dynamic view of nature, which Kant and Schelling 
held, falls into this class. Attraction and repulsion are 
forces of the primary reality, and matter is merely pro- 
duced by them. The system is developed in a much more 
complicated form in Schelling's philosophy of nature, 

Dynamism of this kind seems to the ordinary mind 
thoroughly paradoxical. It demands things of which 
the forces shall be functions. These functions suspended 
in the air, which are supposed to produce things, have no 
meaning for the ordinary mind, however much philo- 
sophers might like to see the contrary, in order to teach 
people to think philosophically. No one desired this more 
strongly than Fichte and his followers, for whom action 
was the first thing, and reality the product of action. 
And in Fichte's case it is particularly clear how he came 
to this view from his experience of the inner event. If 
in the province of the inner world there is to be any real 
meaning in talk about a psychic substance, the Self is 
not from the start a persistent and rigidly self-identical 
thing, like an atom, but an organic and interconnected 
complex of ideas, feelings, and volitions, which function 
in the processes of apperception that is to say, in the 
reception of everything new that enters this psychic 
organism. Every element of it has, however, been pre- 
cipitated by an activity, as the content of this remains 
persistent and alive, active and capable of assimilation. 
The Self is identical with its history. In this case we must 
admit that substance comes into existence, and it is formed 
by states and activities for which we can prove no original 
basis that can be given in experience. The relation of 
substance and function is therefore fundamentally different 
in the internal and the external event. What is physically 
unthinkable is a fact in the internal world : substance 
originates, and from functions as its causes. The dynamic 
view of nature extends this causal scheme of internal 
experience to the external world. We find this in modern 



Energetics, which means that the atoms are dissolved 
into movements without there being question of anything 
behind which moves itself or is moved. These things 
are clearly seen in Heinrich Hertz's Principles of 

4. The causal relation is between states : one is the 
cause and the other the effect. This situation holds for 
the immanent as well as the transgredient event. In the 
hrst case it is psychic, as when we say that perception 
causes memory (by association), or the willing of the end 
is the cause of the willing of the means (resolution), or 
the knowledge of the reason is the psychic cause of the 
knowledge of the conclusion (deduction). But even in 
the case of the physical immanent event we have this 
form of causality, especially in such complex structures as 
organisms. The digestion, for instance, is understood to 
be the cause of the formation of blood, or the peripheral 
stimulation of the nerves the cause of the central process 
in the brain. From the purely physical point of view, 
it is true, processes of this kind are resolved into trans- 
gredient events from member to member, and ultimately 
from atom to atom. It is in these mechanical trans- 
gredient events that we find this fourth form of causality 
in its simplest shape : the movement of the impelling body 
is the cause and the movement of the impelled body is 
the effect. We may say that since Galilei this form of 
causality has been recognised as the only form of use in 
science. Since the substance is now, as it neither comes 
into nor goes out of existence, so far removed from the 
process of happening that this takes place independently 
in substance or substances, we have, in regard to events 
in the material world, only to deal with the question : 
What modes of motion are the causes of what other modes 
of motion ? The answers to this question constitute 
what we call the laws of nature. They give us the rhythm 
of all events, since they determine the sequence of states 
in the changes of substances, either transgredient for 
physical events or immanent for psychological. 

When we look back upon these four very different 
forms of application of the causal relation in our ordinary 


mental life, we see how different the matter is according 
as the relation is between things and states ; and if we 
further assume that our common experience has always 
to do with complexes, either of things or of changing 
states, we perceive that the causal aspect of the same 
fact may be very different according to differences in 
our direction and selection. When we clearly understand 
this, we see the solution of all sorts of controversies in 
regard to the problem of causality, which have occasioned 
a good deal of superfluous trouble. There is, for instance, 
the question, at one time much discussed, of the time- 
element : whether the cause ceases when the effect begins, 
or whether it persists in the effect. It goes without say- 
ing that if (on our fourth type) the causes are conceived 
as states which condition other states, the time-element 
is merely the moment of their mutual contact ; the 
motion of the moving body ceases when that of the 
moved body begins. If, on the other hand (on our second 
type), the cause is sought in a force, it is clear that this 
force remains as a general capacity after a particular 
event has been produced by it. 

This is true also of the plurality of causes, which, in- 
evitable as it is in the complexity of our experience, 
raises serious difficulties in modern methodology. In 
our ordinary way of thinking and speaking we select 
various elements out of the complex features in order to 
confine our attention to them, and it may be that, as 
this selection is at times influenced by quite other motives 
than the theoretical interest of causal explanation, we 
can no longer clearly trace in these incomplete parts the 
causal relation which in reality holds good for the whole 
or for the correlated parts. The difficulty is especially 
great when we can consider an event simultaneously 
according to the second and the fourth form. The 
entire cause is always merely the force together with 
the occasion for its action. But, just as Plato distin- 
guished between the alnov and the ^wainov, the latter 
being the condition of the real cause, we now speak of 
principal and subsidiary causes. In this distinction, 
however, it is by no means always certain what we shall 


regard as principal cause and what as incidental ; the 
matter is often determined by arbitrary interests of the 
dissecting intelligence, and the uncertainty is especially 
great when the cause is to be held responsible. In an 
explosion we have the powder, the material with the force 
and capacity to produce it, and the spark which lets loose 
this formidable force. Which of these is the principal, 
which the subsidiary, cause ? And is the man respon- 
sible who put the powder there, or the man who caused 
the spark ? Clearly, the answer may be given very differ- 
ently in different circumstances. Take an inundation as 
an illustration. Someone has broken the dam, or left 
open the sluices which were committed to his charge. 
He is the responsible cause of the damage which the water 
does. We thus take the two forms of causality together 
in one phrase, but we cannot ignore the fact that from 
the physical point of view the water is the principal 
cause and the release of it at a given point is a subsidiary 
cause ; but that from the legal point of view, which has 
to do with human acts, it is the breaking of the dam or 
neglect of the sluice which is the responsible and principal 
cause. On the same lines run the historical controversies 
in regard to great events : as Thucydides, in the intro- 
duction to his History of the Peloponnesian War, raised 
the question what was the cause of it and what the 
occasion. To this day we still dispute in the same way 
about Bismarck's Ems telegram. 

It is the same with the magnitude-relation of cause 
and effect. Descartes naively adopted the scholastic 
formula, that there must be at least as much reality in 
the cause as in the effect ; and in mechanics the principle 
of the equivalence of the two (causa cequat effectum) 
has been accepted since the time of Galilei. Yet in 
ordinary life we often hear people speak of " small causes 
of great events," or we regard a large apparatus of forces 
and activities as producing a very small effect nascetur 
ridiculus mus. These differences in appreciation of size 
depend upon what, in any given case, we call the cause 
and what the effect. These are merely superficial 
applications of the category of causality. The real 


scientific conception of the event is to be sought behind 

The most important step in this direction is assuredly 
the separation of being or substance from the process 
of happening, which we first attain in our knowledge of 
the external world. Modern science thinks it meaning- 
less to ask about the origin of reality. Yet how difficult 
it is to rid ourselves of the old ideas, by which we imagine 
things as effects, may be realised from the attempts of 
the Scholastics to do so. When aseity is ascribed to sub- 
stance, and it is called causa sui, this is merely a form of 
words in which the idea of causedness is applied to some- 
thing to which it is not applicable. Substance has no 
cause. We say this in other words when we say that it 
is " of itself ' and is its own cause. We have other 
examples when the original, which is not necessary through 
another, is described as adventitious. 

The really necessary we see in the event, in so far as 
it is conditioned by another event. This feature is very 
plainly seen in the transgredient event, in which the causing 
and the caused movement seem to be directly connected 
with each other. What combines them into a unity seems 
to the ordinary observer to be the apparently visible 
transmission of movement from one body to another. 
The striking body gives up its movement to the body 
that is struck. When this view is followed, as Descartes 
follows it in his mechanics, the movement is supposed 
to be something independent, which belongs to none of 
the three bodies, but is borrowed by one and passed on 
to another. Thus two movements of different bodies 
make up an event, when and because they are identical. 
The ultimate ground of this idea is, therefore, the assump- 
tion of the identity of the world with itself which we en- 
countered in our analysis of the definition of substance. 
In spite of all changes of appearances the world remains 
the same ; not only in its substances, which do not really 
come into and pass out of existence, but also in movement, 
which constitutes the event within the province of appear- 
ance. The new movement, which we call an effect, is 
really the old movement, the cause. This assumption 


of identity is rooted in our craving for causality and in 
the general principle of causality, in which we assert 
the validity of the former : every event has a cause. 
This assumption of identity applies, as far as time is 
concerned, both backwards and forwards. When we 
experience something new, we ask : Whence comes it ? 
We thus betray a belief that it must have been some- 
where, in some form, previously. When something 
goes out of experience, we ask : Where has it gone ? 
What has become of it ? Again we seem to think that 
it cannot have perished. In this sense we may even 
so far modify the idea of mechanical causality as to say : 
The cause is the form of reality which the effect had 
previously ; the effect is that which the cause now assumes. 
If then both things and their movement persist, if we have 
to add to the principle of the persistence of substance 
(Kant) that of the persistence of movement (Descartes), 
and thus get the principle of the conservation of energy 
in its modern form, the real meaning of the principle 
of causality is seen to be that there is nothing new in 
the world, or that the apparently new is always really 
the old. When the Leibnitz- Wolff philosophy derived the 
principle of the reason from the principle of identity, it 
was no mere feat of formal dialectics, but in its real 
meaning a typical expression of all scientific metaphysics. 
Hence there is nil novi in natura ! But do we not in 
this way take all rational meaning out of an event ? If 
nothing new appears in all these changes, if the timeless 
primary reality remains always the same, why does 
anything happen at all ? Why does not the matter end 
with this timeless identical being ? Why does this being 
have in itself an event which changes nothing in it ? Or 
is the timeless incomplete ? Has it to become complete 
in time-events ? These hypercritical questions seem to 
be of a purely theoretical character, but when we remem- 
ber that the reality of time seemed to us necessary in 
order to make possible the event which our will seeks, 
we recognise once more the axiological influence at work 
in these ultimate and insoluble problems of being and 


Returning from these to purely theoretical considera- 
tions, the meaning of the event from this point of view 
consists in the change of combination of something that 
remains identical in itself. We now ask further : Whence 
the change, and what is the connection between the old 
and the new form ? These questions, which lie behind 
mechanical causality, are the more important because 
we human beings are much more interested in these 
combinations and their changes than in the ultimate 
and always identical quantum of being and happening 
behind them. Our own psychic experience depends 
essentially on new elements. We might, in fact, say that 
it is here we have to seek the great and decisive differ- 
ence between the internal and external event. In our 
simplest sensation something new comes into reality : 
something that did not exist previously, and can only 
mean a transformation of something previous. The 
psychic event is one in which something really new 
appears ; and this character of it culminates in what we 
feel as freedom, though it means no more than the idea of 
a psychic event which was not already present in another 
form. Thus one of the most important antitheses in our 
philosophy of life, the antithesis of mechanism or freedom, 
determinism and indeterminism, arises from the nature 
of these fundamentally different types of the physical 
and the psychic event, and therefore we come to a parallel 
antithesis in genetic problems to that we found in ontic 

This assumption of the identity of cause and effect is, 
however, a postulate which is expressly opposed to what 
we know of the nature of our intellect. When we assume 
causal relations in ordinary life or in any special branch 
of knowledge, or when we speak of various causal laws in 
science, the states which are synthetically combined as 
events, the beginning and end of the process, seem to be 
very little like each other. They are most like each other 
in that purely mechanical event, the passage of movement 
from one body to another. They are very different in 
chemical changes or other processes, as when lightning 
seems to be the cause of thunder. Electric friction and 


the dancing of little balls, sunshine and the melting of 
ice or the opening of a flower, a shot and the cry and 
defensive movement of any animal, the lifting of a stick 
and the running away of a dog these are cases of cause 
and effect in which we find an increasing dissimilarity 
between the two. But the greater the dissimilarity, 
the more incomprehensible we find the relation between 
them. This incomprehensibility, of which so much is 
made in works on the problem of causality, consists 
essentially in the fact that no logical analysis w:ll enable 
us to excogitate or construct the effect out of the cause 
or the cause out of the effect. Where, on the other hand, 
the two are similar, as push and counter-push, pressure 
and counter-pressure, the change from one to the other 
seems to offer no difficulty, and we therefore find the matter 
comprehensible. In this sense we have a complicated 
process, of which the beginning and end lie far apart, 
made more intelligible by resolving it into separate pro- 
cesses which, on account of the comparative similarity of 
cause and effect, seem to offer no particular difficulty ; like 
the transmission of movement from the wheels and 
cylinders of a machine to other parts of it. The causality 
of the dissimilar is more intelligible if it can be resolved 
into causalities of the similar. Hence science has an 
inevitable tendency to explain in mechanical terms every- 
thing that happens in the material world, or to reduce 
everything to the transmission of movement from atom 
to atom. Heat is supposed to be understood when it 
is interpreted as molecular movement : light and elec- 
tricity when they are reduced to vibrations of ether, 
and so on. The craving to understand is the postulate of 
identity, and the phenomena of nature are intelligible 
to the extent to which they can be resolved into these 
simple forms of causal similarity. The whole problem 
of the mechanical interpretation of life or of organisms 
may be brought under this formula. 

It is the same with the psychic processes in relation to 
each other. How complex presentations combine the 
contents of their constituent elements seems so simple 
as to offer no problem at all. But as soon as we compare 


the beginning with the end in a long sequence of reflections 
or a complicated process of motivation, they seem so 
different that we are compelled to ask how the issue was 
brought about. If, however, we set out in detail the 
various stages of the process, we cease to be surprised. 
Every " psychological " poem, novel, etc., poses the prob- 
lem how the hero passed from the ordinary human 
conditions of experience to the exceptional intellectual 
or emotional position which holds the interest of the 
reader and the author. Thus we treat all causal pro- 
cesses of a complicated nature as intelligible if they can 
be reduced to familiar elementary functions of causal 

That is why complete causal similarity is in principle 
unintelligible ; and that was the problem of the Cartesian 
school. It did not call into question the comprehensi- 
bility of the physical or of the psychical event, but it 
emphasised all the more the incomprehensibility of the 
psycho-physical event that is to say, the reciprocal 
causality between states of the body and states of the 
soul. From this point onward the problem became more 
serious, and it was Arnold Guelincx who further developed 
the incomprehensibility of the causal relation. This in- 
comprehensibility means, in the logical relation of cause 
and effect, that the content of the one is not present in 
the other. But this analytic incomprehensibility holds 
also of movements transmitted from one body to another. 
It is not logically intelligible why one state must neces- 
sarily be followed by another which is really distinct 
from it, no matter how similar it may be. This is just 
as true of the immanent as of the transgredient event. 
The causal relation is in every case of a synthetic character, 
and therefore incomprehensible. It cannot be rationally 
established or analytically proved, but only synthetic- 
ally experienced. Only where in some way empirically 
known causal relations combine together can we foresee 
and construct a priori an entirely new effect ; and even 
here only because and in so far as we know all the elements 
in advance. In the end, therefore, causality is analytically 
not comprehensible ; the identity which we assume in 


it as the link between cause and effect is not rationally 

From this point we survey the various positions which 
modern thinkers have taken up in regard to the problem 
of causality. When we take away the rational element 
which is always thought into the actual experience, 
nothing remains but the time-relation, which we really 
experience. What we perceive is the post hoc, and the 
right to turn it into a propter hoc is questionable. We 
no more perceive the necessity of any issue from the 
sequence than we perceive the thing as a link that holds 
the properties together. Hence causality is not to be 
known either rationally or empirically, and from this 
it seems to follow that it cannot be known at all. Those 
are the arguments we find in David Hume. Strict Posi- 
tivism also holds that the determination of the sequence 
in time is all that we can legitimately do. Even our 
knowledge that such sequences in time are regularly 
repeated is confined to the synthetic relation. For if in 
individual cases the time-sequence alone tells us nothing 
about its necessity, it cannot tell us anything, no matter 
how often it is repeated. Hence for strict Positivism 
the only thing that has any claim to scientific recognition 
is the registration of the detailed facts of the sequence 
and of the " general facts " of regularly repeated sequences. 

Yet it is beyond question that we can distinguish 
amongst sequences in time some which claim to be causal 
in character and ascribe to them alone the feature of 
necessity. We may adjust ourselves to this fact in 
various ways, and thus give a different emphasis to different 
elements of our idea of cause. One of these lines was 
followed by Hume when he sought the origin of the idea 
of cause, which is given neither in reason nor experience, 
comprehensible neither analytically nor sensuously, in 
the internal experience which arises from a repetition of 
similar sequences. The habit of passing in presentation 
from A to B makes it easier for the associative imagina- 
tion to pass from A to B, so that when the impression of 
A is renewed we feel a sort of compulsion to pass on to 
the idea of B. This feeling of compulsion is the source 


of the idea of the necessity which we assume in the causal 
relation, not now between the presentations of A and B, 
but between A and B themselves. What we really experi- 
ence is that one of our presentations necessarily brings 
the other into consciousness. We thus experience inter- 
nally the action by means of which the cause determines 
the existence in time of the effect. This experience 
of action pointed out by Hume is later pushed aside by 
other experiences. A man seeks something in his memory, 
and what he seeks comes into being. Here my will is 
the cause of an idea ; I do not know how it can accom- 
plish this, but I experience it as a fact. Further, I wish 
to raise my arm and I do so ; again I do not know how 
I do it, but I experience it the action is a fact. In 
other cases my will meets resistance, partly in my own 
body and partly in other objects. What the other cause 
of this resistance is I know not, but I experience it ; it 
is a fact. In both cases I have in this experience of action 
an internal feeling of the necessity with which the cause 
produces the effect. This is, as a matter of fact, the 
real origin of the idea of force, and if we try to define it, 
in its significance for our knowledge of the external world, 
as the cause of movement, we have a real interpretation 
of external experience by means of internal. The external 
experience, taken strictly, gives us only sequences in 
time, some of which are repeated with more or less fre- 
quency ; and the Positivistic mechanics, as represented 
in Germany by Kirchhoff and Mach, would confine itself 
to the description of these individual or general facts 
of succession in time. It would exclude the ideas of force 
and work from the science of the material world. 

In opposition to this the necessity asserts itself as the 
decisive element in the relation of cause and effect ; for 
it alone combines the various elements into the unity 
of the event, and by it alone we select from the immense 
mass of time-sequences the particular connections which 
we describe as causal. This necessity is, as we saw, 
primarily given psychologically in the feeling of work. 
But it has also a logical aspect, and this consists in the 
universality of the time-sequence. When I say that A 


necessarily follows B, this implies a real and unambiguous 
connection between these two elements ; and this involves 
the consequence that, wherever and however A may 
appear, B must appear as an effect of it. In this sense 
of the causal necessity it is quite immaterial whether 
A is active only once or several times, and whether the 
sequence AB is or is not repeated. It is therefore no 
use objecting that the logical aspect of the causal relation 
would not be verified in cases where the processes cannot 
be repeated. The causal necessity always involves the 
assumption that, if A is repeated, B must inevitably follow. 
Causal relations are, therefore, those time-sequences 
which are special cases of general time-sequences. The 
methodological character of our knowledge justifies this 
logical sense of the causal relation. Intuitive perception 
often enables us to convert a single experience of a suc- 
cession directly into a causal relation. That happens, in 
part, with a sort of instinctive correctness ; but, on the 
other hand, it is exposed to many illusions and mistakes. 
To avoid these we have, in the last resort, no means 
except observing the repetition. The more frequently 
the same post hoc appears, the more confidently we may 
claim it as a propter hoc. Yet, we must repeat, we get 
from this repetition no sort of analytic proof of the causal 
relation. The regular repetition gives us an occasion 
and a right to assume a causal relation only because it 
is itself a fact for which, according to the general law of 
causality, a cause must be assumed. This may consist 
in the causal relation between the two phenomena which 
always appear in succession ; but it may have to be sought 
in more remote causal connections which are an indirect 
source of the combination in time. Hence the constant 
succession of two events (a familiar example is day and 
night) is not eo ipso of a causal character, but merely one 
of the methodological reasons for assuming it ; and, on 
the other side, it is not indispensable in cases in which 
we feel ourselves justified in gathering a causal relation 
inductively from a single observation. The chemist, 
for instance, unhesitatingly expects to find the same 
behaviour in the substances with which he is experiment- 


ing in cases of repetition. Hence the element of necessity 
in a single experience seems to us justified by a general 
principle, a rule of succession ; and it is in this sense 
that Kant defined the causal relation as such that " one 
determines the existence in time of another according to 
a general rule." In this general principle we have the 
link which holds together the two elements of cause and 
effect in the unity of the event. 

A rule of this kind is called a law ; and therefore this 
special causal thesis points to a causal law, according to 
which certain states have other states connected with 
them as their consequences. In virtue of this con- 
nection the principle of causality, according to which 
every event must have a cause, takes the form of a 
principle of the uniformity of nature, or the conformity 
of nature to laws. For modern scientific thought this 
connection has in the course of time become so evident 
that the axioms of causality and uniformity are quite 
interchangeable. In itself that is not necessary ; it 
depends on how we formulate the category of causality. 
In the sense of work, for instance, the causal relation is 
chiefly applicable to isolated cases which do not admit 
repetition, and which therefore entirely ignore or even 
deny the uniformity of nature. In such ideas as creation 
and miracle causality is not denied, as is generally said 
in scientific circles. They expressly involve a cause of 
the origin of the world or of some extraordinary process. 
All that is denied is that in the particular event there was 
conformity to law. In the same way the isolated events 
of the course of history are not calculated in their totality 
to bring out this causal relation to uniformity. The 
unrepeatable individual structure of any such event in 
the world-process makes the idea that the world is ruled 
by law seem meaningless for the whole of these isolated 
cases. We do not find regular repetitions and similari- 
ties between the complex states which we experience as 
a whole, but only between the elements of which the com- 
plexes are composed ; these exhibit comparable repeti- 
tions and similarities. Just in the same way as all the 
presentable properties of a thing are of a general character, 


and the individual always consists of a unique and un- 
repeated combination of a certain number of these 
generalities, so the event, in its experienced totality, is 
composed of various connections which may be repeated 
in other and very different complexes, and therefore 
have the significance of laws. As the individual properties 
have a permanent being as generic concepts or Platonic 
ideas, which we have to extract from the variety of pheno- 
menal things, so the causal rules which, as general prin- 
ciples, express the necessity of the time-sequence between 
different states have to be elicited by abstract knowledge 
from the rich variety of the individual complexes of the 
real event. It is only in such knowledge that the law in 
its generality contains the reason why the individual 
event is accomplished. But this assumption is at the 
root of all our predictions of future phenomena, all our 
inductive thought, investigation, and proof. To this 
extent the postulate of causality coincides with that 
of uniformity. The necessity which makes a causal 
relation of the sequence in time consists mainly in the 
capacity for constant repetition, the uniformity. 

The dependence of the particular on the general, as it 
is conceived in the idea of law, is the logical shape of the 
principle of causality, and this must take the place of that 
analytic connection of cause and effect which we sought 
in vain. General synthesis is the essence of the necessity 
which must bind the elements of the event. Thus we 
find in the category of causality two elements which are 
inseparably united : the individual experience of work 
and the logical assumption of a dependence of the par- 
ticular on the general. It is the stronger or one-sided 
emphasis of one or the other of these elements that 
gives us the different ideas of cause in ordinary life and 
in the various sciences. 



Mechanism and Teleology. Convertibility of natural laws The 
mechanical and the organic whole Originality of action Aim 
and purpose Sound and spurious teleology Unconscious teleology 
Teleology and vital capacity Development Causality in the 
service of teleology. 

The more carefully we consider the scientific applica- 
tion of the category of causality, the more emphatically 
we must abandon the superficial ideas which look upon 
these things as direct and self-evident data of experience. 
In particular we must rid ourselves of the assumption 
that there must be between cause and effect such simple 
relations as equivalence or similarity. One of the most 
important witnesses to the inexpressible multiplicity of 
reality is precisely the inexhaustible variety of the causal 
relation. Hence the more carefully we apply this causal 
relation, the more convinced we are that we find in the 
outer world all the forms of ordered and purposive activity 
which we seem to experience constantly in our own 
rational life. The conception of the material world as 
the theatre of purposive forces is one of the oldest and 
most widespread of human ideas. The phenomena of 
life, of the organic world, with their evolution and build- 
ing of frames, seem especially to the plain mind to be a 
field of purposive events. As to its relation, however, 
to the purposeless causality of movements, reflective 
thought has taken many different lines, some of which 
have been obscured by verbal misunderstandings. We 
have already, in considering the general features of the 
event, pointed out a fundamental difference in this 
respect ; though it by no means coincides with the 
popular idea of the distinction between mechanism and 

The unambiguous succession in time which is essential 
to every event left us free to choose two alternatives 
in the specification of work : the beginning might deter- 
mine the end, or the end might determine the beginning. 
The necessity, we said, is either consequence or indis- 
pensability. In the first case we mean that, given A, 


B is bound to follow ; in the second case that, in order to 
produce B, A must precede. That is not always the same 
thing, because B might follow upon C or D. Motion 
may be caused by pushing, pressure, heat, magnetism, 
or design. It is the same with real dependence as with 
logical : given the ground of it, the result always follows, 
but the ground is not always correlated with the result, 
as the same result may follow from various grounds. 
We might pursue this as far as the interesting problem 
of the convertibility of natural laws. We have clearly 
every reason to assume that the same causes will always 
produce the same effects. But it is quite different with 
the question whether the same effects must always have 
the same causes. Yet this is assumed as an integral 
part of the principle of the uniformity of nature, which 
is the fundamental presupposition of all inductive thought 
and reasoning. This clearly applies in the highest degree 
to the most general forms of the event and the most 
intricate complexes of our experience. Hence this reci- 
procity has become most familiar in our ordinary life and 
in scientific research. In the provinces of physics and 
chemistry we naturally express ourselves in mechanical 
terms : in the province of biology in teleological language. 
When oxygen and hydrogen combine in the proportion 
i : 2 we get water ; but we may just as well say, if there 
is to be water, oxygen and hydrogen must, etc. On the 
other hand, we say that if an organism is to have differen- 
tiated sensations of light, it must have a peripheral struc- 
ture like the eye ; and in this case a converse mechanistic 
expression would not suit our purpose, at least unless 
we express the invertibility of the causal relation by adding 
the word " only." Thus we may say : Only at a moderate 
temperature are organisms produced, and therefore, if 
organisms are to be produced, a moderate temperature is 
needed. This form of expression is most frequently 
found in connection with the complex isolated events of 
history. Only where we have a spiritual atmosphere 
like that of Germany in the eighteenth century and a 
genius like Goethe is a Faust possible ; in order to 
have a Faust we need, etc. 


When we inquire into the correctness of these expres- 
sions, we must first make their meaning quite clear. Let 
us take the classical illustration of the organism. Its 
vital activity and its development are made possible 
only by these definite organs and their no less definite 
functions. But these definite organs and functions are, 
in turn, only possible in this organism. Hence the whole, 
which causes the effect, determines the parts which are 
required for it. They are only in it ; and it is possible 
only through them. In this reciprocal dependence of 
the whole and the parts Kant has given us the classic 
definition of an organism. A watch is a whole that may 
be put together out of pre-existing wheels, etc. But 
the organism must itself produce the parts of which it 
is to consist. From this we get two fundamental types 
of the construction of a whole : the mechanical and the 
organic. In the one the parts precede the whole and 
produce it by being put together. In the organic whole, 
on the other hand, the parts themselves are conditioned 
by the whole and are only possible in it. In the organic 
whole, therefore, the end, which is to come out of it, 
determines the beginning. 

This latter formulation is at first sight too much for 
our ordinary views of causation. The determination of 
the beginning by the end seems paradoxical and impos- 
sible. That the pre-existing should determine the present 
seems natural enough, though it is not quite so self-evident 
as it seems at first sight ; but how can the future, which 
does not yet exist, do anything ? How can it itself deter- 
mine the process of an event to which alone it will owe 
its existence ? It seems to be, not merely incomprehen- 
sible, but impossible. We may, however, at once weaken 
the force of these objections by a few general considera- 
tions. In the first place, it has already been shown that 
causal determination by something pre-existing is, though 
a very common idea, yet one that proves logically in- 
comprehensible when it is closely studied. Then there 
is another thing. If we, for instance, regard the time- 
relation as phenomenal, we see that pre-existence or 
post-existence is merely a thought-form of our restricted 



intellect, which ought not to make so much of the paradox 
of teleological dependence ; the less so, as this way of 
looking at things is found to be impossible for certain 
groups in the phenomenal world. Both Aristotle and 
Schelling laid stress on this principle of indispensability, 
and Fichte, when he so clearly grasped that what ought 
to be is the reason of all being, pointed out the source of 
the prejudice against teleology : it is based upon the con- 
cept of substance and the assumption, connected there- 
with, that something must exist if anything is to come 
into being. The opposite conception, which regards 
original action as directed toward its achievement and 
therefore determined by it, is the true, genuine, and pure 
teleology of the organic view of the world. 

But the whole problem has been perverted by a 
/LterajSaori? els aAAo yevos. The problem of the future 
reality which is to have some effect on the pre-existing 
seems to be thrust aside when it is not the future reality 
itself which acts and determines, but the idea of it when 
the effective thing is not the end, but the design. When 
the idea of the future, together with the corresponding 
act of will, determines the existence in time of its content, 
this seems to be the kind of action of the future which we 
know in our own experience ; in so far, that is to say, 
as it is preconceived and willed. It can then act because 
it is already there namely, as an idea and volition. But 
this design precedes the effect ; it is therefore a kind of 
cause, and so this sort of teleology merely means a form 
of causality the causality of the design. 

We must, in the interest of clearness, distinguish these 
things very carefully. The genuine and true teleology 
is that of the end ; and it affirms that this end, as the 
future reality, itself determines the means which precede 
its realisation and are necessary thereto. The false and 
perverse teleology is that of the design ; and it affirms 
nothing more than that amongst the causes which precede 
their effects there are some which consist in the idea of 
the future reality and acts of will directed thereto. How 
difficult it is to keep these things apart, and how easily 
they run together, is best seen in Kant's position in the 


Critique of Judgment. His philosophy recognises only 
one kind of scientific explanation of events that of 
mechanical causation. Now it has to be made clear 
that, not only in view of the actual implements of human 
knowledge, but as a matter of principle and from the 
nature of the case, the purposiveness of organic life 
cannot be understood on the lines of this mechanical 
causation. In this case, as a matter of fact, the future 
form, which it is to produce, conditions the apparatus 
which is to produce it the end conditions the means of 
its realisation. The only way to understand this causally 
would be to assume, on the analogy of man's technical 
activity, the existence of forces working with a purpose : 
a form of causation which is familiar enough in human 
life. But nature, even organic nature, is the kingdom 
of the unconscious ; it has no designs. All the causes 
which we know and can understand in it are mechanical. 
If, therefore, we are forbidden to assume the existence 
in nature of technical forces working with a purpose, 
we have no alternative, in face of its purposive structures, 
but to give up the idea of knowledge and simply 
" regard them as if " nature worked according to design 
in them. Kant found himself driven to this transcen- 
dental view only because he could not fit into his system 
of categories the genuine teleology, the real determination 
of the pre-existing by the future ; because his system was 
based upon the philosophical substructure of the New- 
tonian theory of mechanics. 

Now if one is not prepared to recognise the teleological 
in the proper sense, as Aristotle and Schelling formulated 
it, yet is not satisfied with the problematic "as if" of 
Kant's system, the only alternative is, as we see in modern 
Vitalism, to assume unconscious purposive activities in 
organic nature. We are thus driven once more into the 
intermediate realm of the unconscious, which is supposed 
to be neither physical nor psychic, neither experienced 
nor perceived, but merely hypothetically introduced in 
order to explain our experience. Whether the uncon- 
scious is brought in as a psychological or a metaphysical 
hypothesis, according to the various shades of meaning 


we find in Leibnitz, Fichte, and Hartmann, it always 
means that the explanation of processes given in experi- 
ence requires us to suppose that they are not conscious, 
yet cannot be regarded as physical. We are not lightly 
to suppose that everything that is not in consciousness 
is unconscious. For some time the physiology of sense- 
perceptions worked fairly well, with the assumption of 
unconscious reasoning and similar phrases, which meant 
no more than that men were content with words. From 
the point of view of psychology I can see only two lines 
on which it seems necessary to assume the unconscious. 
On the one hand it is the condition of the mental contents 
that may be recalled to mind ; they are not conscious 
and cannot be nothing, yet cannot be conceived as a 
physical something in the brain which would explain 
the reproduction of impressions. On the other hand 
we have volitions and states of feeling without conscious 
motive, in the case of which we are very largely exposed 
to self-deception as to our own feelings and views. Hence, 
since there is a psychological basis for the assumption 
of an intermediate realm of the unconscious, it may be, 
with proper caution, extended to the provinces of natural 
philosophy and metaphysics. If organic purposiveness 
compels us to assume conditions which we cannot satis- 
factorily regard as physical, yet they are not, as far as 
our knowledge goes, conscious processes, we seem to be 
justified in supposing that they are unconscious purposive 
powers, whether we call them vital forces, entelechies, 
dominants, or anything else. But we must be quite clear 
that in either case the unconscious is only a name for 
something that is assumed on the analogy of the psychic, 
without anybody being able to say, apart from this 
analogous feature, what it really is in fact, only a name 
for an unsolved problem. The causal-mechanical thought 
of science must always endeavour to find a way out of 
this difficulty, and it therefore rejects the vital force and 
all such hypotheses. 

With Kant we may formulate the problem of teleology 
in a different way. The purposive is always one amongst 
many possible combinations of atoms. That there is 


such a combination at work is logically immaterial, and 
it can therefore be regarded as necessary only in the 
teleological sense of being indispensable. In this respect 
it had often been pointed out before Kant, and has often 
been pointed out since, that according to the principles 
of probability (particularly on the lines of Finitism) the 
purposive combination must arise at some time like all 
other combinations. Thus we have been referred to the 
purposive regularity of the stellar world, and Empedocles 
long ago pointed it out in the organic world. We have, 
further, Fechner's theory of the tendency of nature, and 
especially of the organic, toward stability ; and, in fine, 
that is the meaning of the Darwinian theory of the survival 
of the fittest. To many it seems that in this way the 
teleological problem has been solved, or explained away, 
mechanically. It is a question, however, if this is not 
merely playing with words. What is the purposive in 
this connection ? In astronomy purposiveness means 
merely a regularity which leads to the stability of its 
contents ; in the biological theory of evolution the pur- 
posive is only that by means of which the organism 
preserves itself and its species fitness. It is not over- 
whelmingly astonishing that the fittest survive. These 
theories mean nothing but the survival of the fittest. 
The illusion of supposing that they give us some further 
synthetic knowledge is due to the fact that another mean- 
ing is put upon the word " purposive." It is an idea of 
value, and means the realisation of something that, 
without respect to vital fitness, corresponds to an idea, 
an object, an ideal. It is now said that the discovery 
of the survival of the fittest has also proved that every- 
thing purposive in the wider sense of the word is an 
outcome of mechanical evolution and means a selection 
of the fittest. That is really not the case ; the purposive 
as an idea of value is not the same thing as the purposive 
as the biological principle of vital fitness. The processes 
of biological necessity very often lead to the survival of 
structures which must be described as purposive as 
fitted for the purposes of life in this sense, yet have no 
positive relation to purposiveness in the sense of value. 


The predominant elements in modern biological theories 
of evolution, and partly in the philosophical theories 
which depend upon them, seem to represent a surviving 
fragment of the naturalistic optimism which regarded 
a natural event as eo ipso purposive and of value. 

In this respect a good deal of mischief is done with 
ambiguous terms. By evolution (apart from the mathe- 
matical idea of evolution, such as that of a fraction or 
of a sinus in a series) we understand chiefly two closely 
related types of event which must be clearly distinguished 
from each other. In the first place we call evolution 
the process by which all the possibilities in a given complex 
are realised in their several forms : a process the purely 
causal nature of which is entirely independent of any 
ideas of value. In this sense the original gaseous sphere 
evolves into a manifold planetary system ; and in this 
we have merely the distinction between the simple and 
the complex. But in our ordinary way of looking at 
these things we have a tendency to regard the more 
complex state as the higher, that is to say, of higher 
value, and thus to conceive the process of evolution as 
an advance from the simpler and lower to the more com- 
plex and higher. That is, in effect, the whole artificial 
structure of Herbert Spencer's theory of evolution. As 
a matter of fact, if the unfolding of possibilities is thus to 
be regarded as a progressive " evolution," an idea of value 
must in some way be introduced to provide a standard. 
If, for instance, we say that the organic is something 
higher than the inorganic, and if, within the organic world, 
we distinguish between lower and higher forms of life, 
we have a pronounced idea of value in this theory of 
evolution in the gradual approximation to psychic life 
and to the human standard. If evolution is to be a pro- 
cess toward an end instead of a merely physical develop- 
ment, we are regarding the event from the point of view 
of a judgment of values. Causal changes are only 
advances, and in this sense evolution, when they are 
successfully adapted to the end which provides a standard 
for judging them. That holds good in politics, literature, 
or agriculture just as much as in botany and zoology. 


The only thing needed is that one shall understand clearly 
what is to be regarded as end and standard of judg- 
ment. Not every change that means development is an 
advance ; Auguste Comte reached the acme of phraseo- 
logical vagueness when he indicated "progress' as the 
" aim " of the historical life of society. 

The realisation of such an era of evolution is always 
accomplished by causal processes, and this opens out a 
final consideration which we must now analyse. We 
invert the causal relation teleologically when we say that, 
if B is to occur, A must precede it ; and in this we imply 
that A is the sole possible cause of B. In order therefore 
to express a teleological relation of this kind, we must 
know, or at least think we know, the reciprocal causal 
relation. All reflections on the means with which we would 
attain our ends work with known causal ideas. We 
assign A as the means for B because we know or assume 
that A is the cause of B : is in general, and will be in 
any particular case. All purposive teleology therefore 
implies conscious and willed causality. 

We thus place causality in the service of teleology ; 
and in practice machines are the familiar type of this 
state of things. Their functions are purposive because 
we are in a position to control with perfect confidence 
the causal connectedness of their activities. This, as is 
well known, seemed to the great naturalists of the seven- 
teenth century, such as Boyle and Newton, to be the solu- 
tion of the teleological problem of metaphysics ; the 
teleology of divine action was confused with the real and 
true teleology which we defined above. Amongst the 
philosophers Leibnitz, and in recent times Lotze, adopted 
this idea, in order to reconcile a universal mechanism 
with an equally universal teleology. The decisive element 
in this is the contrast between the theory of nature which 
ascribes to it an indifferent causality, entirely devoid of 
value, as essential and the purposiveness of nature which 
we perceive, or think we perceive. It is true that this 
purposiveness of the natural order must not be assumed 
without good reason. To an impartial observer it must 
always seem to be restricted ; and hence the dysteleologi- 


cal facts of reality conflict, as we shall see later, with the 
development of the problems of theodicy. We are brought 
back to the dualism to which we referred on an earlier 
page ; in this case it is the antithesis of purposiveness 
and determinism. The candour of the older thinkers 
led them in this matter to be content to say that the 
world is good within the limits of the possible (Kara TO 
Swarov) ; and we have an echo of this dualism in all 
those ideas of religious metaphysics which lay special 
stress on the need of amelioration by means of miracles. 
The world, it is true, is regarded as the most perfect of 
all machines ; but even the best machine is more or less 
thrown out of order at times and needs the hand of the 
divine artificer. 


The Psycho-physical Event. Psychic and corporeal events Psycho- 
physical causality Psycho-physical parallelism Conservation of 
energy Consciousness as an epiphenomenon Reflex movements 
The brain as an asylum ignorantics Discontinuity of the psychic 
event Psycho-physical duality as appearance Panpsychism 
The unconscious. 

Amongst the dualistic elements of thought which are 
thus constantly recurring the most important, even in 
connection with problems of the event, is the antithesis 
of body and soul. There are, in point of fact, such pro- 
found differences between corporeal and psychic events 
that their union and their interaction form one of the 
most difficult problems that ever confronted, and will 
continue to confront, the philosophic mind. 

In recapitulating the more important of these differences 
we think first of all of that which relates to continuity. 
The material event as movement is always continuous, 
since it is a change of place in space. To pass from A 
to B a body must cover every part of the intermediate 
space. There is no such continuity of transition, 
apparently, in the psychic event. The successive acts 
of consciousness are discrete events, between which there 
is no gradual transition : it has no meaning for them. 


We hear one sound after another. Each is distinct in 
itself and not connected with the other, as is the case 
with the positions of a ball that rolls from right to left. 
Hence the time we personally experience is a sum of dis- 
crete points, and our idea of objective, continuously 
flowing time arises only from our need to understand 
the events which we are compelled by our external experi- 
ence to interpolate between the elements of our personally 
experienced time. Hence our way of looking at these 
things : time does not stand still, nor do bodies in space, 
but our consciousness stands still, for a longer or shorter 
time. On this are based all our ordinary estimates of time, 
in which we compare the proportion experienced by our- 
selves with that of continuous objective events. An hour 
is short if we experience a good deal in it : long if we 
experience little or nothing in it. 

A second main distinction is that the movement of 
spatial substances whether we speak of visible bodies 
or atoms is external and passes from them the moment 
it is over, whereas the content of the psychic event 
persists, whatever kind of experience we had. There is 
a certain medium between these extremes when we find 
in such material complexes as organisms something analo- 
gous to the psychic life a trace or a habit of the function 
remaining after the event. It has been called the memory 
of matter. The real material substance, however, the 
atom, has nothing happening to it ; it remains the same 
whatever its movement is, and when it leaves the complex 
to which it belonged for a time it is just the same as 
before, as if it had experienced no movement whatever. 
Hence the immutability, the persistency, of material 
reality, whereas what we call the substantial content of 
ideas, the spiritual existence, the apperception-masses of 
feelings, and volitions, only come into being gradually in 
the course of our psychic experience. In the individual, 
and not less in the entirety of cultural development, 
there is a permanent deposit from the event. Hence 
souls, as we have seen several times, are not substances 
in the same sense as bodies, and, if we press the category 
of inherence explicitly in its physical application, psycho- 


logy has to be "without soul." For the external world 
we are bound to assume something in the nature of a thing, 
if we would have a clear idea of a function, an event. 
For the psychic life the fact is that the event is the primary 
experience, and the substantial reality is to be regarded 
as an outcome of it. This is very clear in the case of the 
socio-psychological process, which in recent times has 
again received the infelicitous name of " folk-psychology." 
For the life of the individual soul ordinary thought easily 
finds a substratum in the physical organism. For those 
general states and movements which we attribute to the 
spirit of the nation or of the times we do not, in these 
terms, indicate any substances that can be proved to 
exist or even be intellectually defined. In those cases 
it is notorious that the substantive expressions have 
only the value of functions. 

A further distinction between material and psychic 
events is found in the way in which we define progress. 
From the material point of view it depends entirely on 
the spatial features of position and movement. Chemi- 
cally and physically, and in the end even organically, 
position and motion are the decisive factors whether 
there shall next be rest or movement, persistence or 
change. In psychic events, on the other hand, the 
consequent is determined by the antecedent according 
to rational relations which have, in principle, nothing to 
do with spatial conditions. In the association of the 
dream the predominant elements are similarities and 
contrasts ; in judgment and reasoning, real connections 
between the contents of the mind ; in conviction and 
will, the relation of means to end, and so on. These 
differences in the progress of the event enable us to under- 
stand how it is that from common points of departure, 
such as we have in sense-perception, the two series of 
events, the physical and the psychic, follow quite different 
and very divergent directions. 

In fine, one of the greatest differences is the manner 
in which the variety of simple or elementary impulses 
are connected in a complex event in the two cases. In 
the physical world we have the scheme which is expressed 


in the parallelogram of forces. The components fade out 
of recognition in the resultant. From the diagonal, which 
may be the same for any number of pairs of cathetes, 
we can never tell what their components will be in 
any given case. In consciousness, on the contrary, the 
elements which enter as parts into a complex idea remain 
unchanged, and they are only bound up in a new unity 
by some form of relation. This closely agrees with the 
feature of the psychic event in virtue of which all its ele- 
ments persist as such, so that, if they enter into a further 
event, they do not lose their identity, but remain un- 
changed. This is, perhaps, the most important and most 
radical difference between the two kinds of event. 

As we saw above, the causality of similar things is sup- 
posed by ordinary people to be intelligible and self-evident, 
and each of the two series of events, that of movements 
and that of states of consciousness, seems to offer no diffi- 
culty as long as each series is complete in itself. It is 
only when they cross each other, or disturb and interpene- 
trate each other, that we get the great problem of the 
psycho-physical connection as, in the strict sense, an 
incomprehensible causality of dissimilar things. We must 
observe, first, that in point of fact we experience this 
psycho-physical causality just as much as we do the 
others, the psychic and the physical. We experience 
them in the same degree as facts which we understand 
in the same degree that is to say, they are no more 
capable of analysis. The change of stimuli in perceptions 
or of designs in purposive movements is just as certain 
to our perception as the transition from one form of 
material movement to another or the advance from one 
psychic state to another ; but the real nature of the 
connection of cause and effect is incomprehensible in 
each case. 

We experience psycho-physical causality mainly in 
ourselves, and it is primarily an anthropological problem. 
So it seemed to Descartes and his immediate pupils, the 
Occasionalists. It seemed to them an exception to the 
general separation of the two worlds, that of consciousness 
and that of extension. It was soon found, however, 



that this relaxation of the exclusiveness of the two worlds 
was really a metaphysical problem of the first magnitude. 
On the one side, by means of psycho-physical causality 
there enter into consciousness states of presentation, 
feeling, and will which would never arise simply from the 
nature of consciousness itself. Descartes thinks it im- 
portant to trace all that is obscure and confused, erroneous 
and sinful in the soul, to this disturbance of its pure 
intellectuality by influences of the material world. On 
the other hand, the purposive acts with which man reacts 
on the influences of the external world lead to these 
changes, which they could not do by the mechanism of 
their own movements alone. Would the elements unite, 
without the intervention of mind, to form houses and cities, 
bridges and ships, sewing-machines and airships ? The 
world is changed wherever mind deals with it, just as the 
mind is changed whenever it takes the world into it. 
These facts are undeniable, and therefore we have to 
adjust ourselves to the causality of dissimilar things, how- 
ever incomprehensible or even impossible it may seem. 

Recent science has found a way out of the difficulty 
in a theory which was started by Guelincx and Spinoza, 
and was introduced by Fechner into modern psychology 
and metaphysics. It is the hypothesis that, as a matter 
of fact, each of these worlds, the psychic and the physical, 
is complete in itself, and there is no influence from one 
to the other, but that events in the two worlds proceed 
step by step in complete agreement with each other, 
since the same primary reality evolves, expresses itself, 
and appears in each series. This we call psycho-physical 
parallelism. Perhaps it would have been better to call 
it psycho-physical correspondence. Many of our modern 
men of science cautiously regard it as merely a working 
hypothesis, useful in investigating the facts of the psycho- 
physical connection and not implying anything further, 
but it naturally, in the course of research, becomes a 
metaphysical theory which makes the same claim to 
interpret the world as Spinozism once did. This theory 
is that each of the two worlds, that of cogitatiu and that of 
extensio, the psychic and the corporeal, passes through 


various stages, in accordance with its general laws, with- 
out being influenced by the other ; in other words, that it 
would develop just the same as it does even if the other 
world did not exist at all. The appearance of psycho- 
physical causality, therefore, is merely due to the fact 
that each modus of one world is exactly correlated to a 
modus of the other. This is supposed to be true of the 
relation of soul and body from the point of view of reality, 
and the relation of consciousness and movement from the 
point of view of function. 

From the extensive discussions of this theory which 
have taken place during the last few decades so extensive 
that it is impossible to suggest any new philosophical 
consideration it will suffice here to quote the main 
argument that has been used in favour of the metaphysical 
soundness of psycho-physical parallelism. It at the same 
time introduces us to the most general correlations, and 
leads from the anthropological impulses which lay, and 
lie, at the root of the problem to the ultimate metaphysical 
consequences on which it is to be decided whether the 
hypothesis is to be accepted or rejected. It is a question 
of its relation to that supreme postulate of modern science 
which goes by the name of the Conservation of Energy ; 
though its special scientific meaning is not always correctly 
understood. From the point of view of this principle the 
theory of ps3^cho-physical parallelism seems to be quite 
impossible. For if, according to the principle of the 
conservation of energy in the physical world as a self- 
contained whole of material reality, the distribution of 
kinetic and potential energy is plainly determined from 
moment to moment according to the direction and inten- 
sity of movements, and is regulated by mechanical laws, 
it is certainly unthinkable that these physical movements 
should have other causes than physical movements, 
or that they could be caused by psychic states. And if 
the processes of organic life, in which, on the theory of 
psycho-physical causality, there seems to be a reciprocal 
change of designs into movements and movements into 
sensations, constitute an infinitesimal part in proportion 
to the enormous mass of inorganic events, we should have 


here, if we admit psycho-physical causality, a transgres- 
sion of the principle of the conservation of energy which 
deprives it of its axiomatic validity. Hence theoretical 
physicists naturally have a strong bias for parallelism. 

We do not get rid of these difficulties by pretending 
that there is no danger to the conservation of the quantum 
of energy as long as we confine psycho-physical causality 
to its distribution. The sensory processes and the inner 
processes of the nervous system have, it is argued, stored 
a sum of energy in the brain, and this is converted by 
the motor processes into purposive movements. We must 
bear in mind that the psychic states which we call pur- 
poses, and which consist of ideas of the future and functions 
of the will directed thereto, decide in what direction this 
potential energy is guided in order to be converted into 
motor functions and therefore definite actions ; and, 
on the other hand, that the vital force which is released 
by the stimuli in the sensory nervous system is directed 
by psychic elements along the paths by which it accumu- 
lates in central nervous states. The principle of the con- 
servation of energy is not called into question if the 
distribution which they experience in the brain is 
ascribed to psychic causes. But this is certainly not the 
case. In its mathematical-physical sense the principle 
of the conservation of energy applies plainly and inexor- 
abty to its distribution, its division into potential and 
kinetic energy, from moment to moment, arid it there- 
fore leaves no room for any other principle. It is only 
the vague popular idea or formulation of the principle 
that makes possible dilettante arguments of this sort. 
The exact mathematical-physical definition absolutely 
excludes them. 

Still more childish is the attempt at evasion cnce made 
by Robinet and repeated by many in recent times : the 
mind is supposed to play the part of a special form of 
energy. Just as movement is converted into heat and 
heat into movement, so the energy of the stimulation of 
the sensory nerves is supposed to pass into consciousness, 
and, as psychic energy, to undergo all sorts of changes 
until at last it is, in the final form of a purpose, recon- 


verted into movement. The organism is thus supposed 
to be really a grave of physical energy and a cradle of its 
rebirth. The various types of organisms are distinguished 
from each other in the greater or less quantity of energy 
which undergoes this occasional conversion from the 
physical form to the psychic ; but in the last resort the 
loss and gain are always equal, so that the integrity of 
the principle of the conservation of energy is preserved. 
We need, however, little penetration to see that in argu- 
ments of this sort we have, once mere, a metaphysical 
dilettantism playing with the various meanings of the 
word " energy." Psychic reality can never be described 
as substance or function in the same sense as physical 
reality in our formulation of the principle of the conserva- 
tion of energy. 

The strict definition of the great physical principle 
forbids dialectical performances of this sort, and it is no 
less irreconcilable with the idea that consciousness is a 
by-product of the physical process, an epiphenomenon, 
as is said. By this is meant that the conversion of the 
sensory energy into motor, which is the chief performance 
of the organism, and especially of its nervous system, 
may very well take place in accordance with the principle 
of the conservation of energy ; that the peculiarity of 
the organic world is merely that these movements in the 
brain have, besides their physical causal relations, states 
of consciousness, from sensation and perception to purpose 
and volition, as accessory phenomena. But from the 
point of view of the conservation of energy even this 
means an unthinkable and impossible release of force ; 
and this weak compromise is not more fitted to meet the 
need of a recognition of the psychic activity. An accom- 
panying consciousness of this sort, not itself a cause, 
but merely a continuous mirror of an active arid inde- 
pendent causal series of bodily states, is one of the most 
superfluous and tedious things in the world. It would 
be condemned to be a sinecure, in flat contradiction to 
the most valuable witness to the physical in our experi- 
ence ; for the psychic is to us the active, the very principle 
of movement in the world wens agitat molem. What 


is called Monism, which often tries to make capital out of 
this epiphenomenal idea of consciousness, is merely 
concealing with it its Materialistic tendency. 

None of these subterfuges helps us. We must grant 
that, if the principle of the conservation of energy is 
affirmed as a metaphysical principle of reality, if it is 
regarded as really valid for the world of material reality, 
psycho-physical causality is inconsistent with it, and there- 
fore psycho-physical parallelism is the simplest and best 
substitute for it. But, on the other hand, what mon- 
strosities arise when one attempts to take this theory 
seriously and think it out in detail ! In the first place, 
the course of physical events, all the movements that 
occur in the body, must be regarded as entirely inde- 
pendent of any psychic cause, and the course of the psychic 
life must be equally independent of any causes in the 
material world ; and their complete and invariable 
correspondence, in spite of their utter heterogeneity, has 
then to be explained in some way or other. 

In regard to the corporeal processes it is sought to 
make this view plausible and attractive by referring us 
to reflex movements, which are well known as functions 
of all organisms, especially the human organism, and 
which occur, with fine shades of transition, either without 
consciousness or with that " epiphenomenon." To an 
astonishing, and sometimes alarming, extent we have 
the experience of processes, which properly and originally 
had the character of conscious, voluntary movements, 
and were therefore ascribed by the plain mind to psycho- 
physical causes, so changing in certain circumstances 
that they are no longer accompanied by consciousness, 
and could not possibly be attributed to psycho-physical 
causality. Purposive movements like writing, shooting, 
piano-playing, etc., which have been learned and prac- 
tised, are accomplished in such a way that consciousness 
needs only to give the initial impulse and does nothing 
more ; in some cases, indeed, it seems to be absolutely 
excluded as the cause. We know quite well that we can 
at times make quite coherent and satisfactory speeches 
while our mind is taken up with something quite different. 


To many questions we give, as we say, purely mechanical 
answers, the contents of which, however relevant to 
the question, do not seem to be in the least dictated by 
consciousness. Facts of this sort may be interpreted in 
the sense of the general possibility that the physiological 
process which takes place between the states of stimula- 
tion of the sensory and motor nerves takes the same 
course, in the same sense and with the same results, 
as the psychic process which simultaneously goes on 
in the mind. But that process does not help us out 
of the difficulty. On the one hand, we cannot 
confidently show to what extent half-conscious, to 
say nothing of unconscious, psychic processes, which 
determine these physiological processes, may accom- 
pany those which are in the foreground of conscious- 
ness and seem to occupy it exclusively. It is, on the 
contrary, a fact that different ideas may be at work in 
different strata of consciousness at the same time, without 
interfering with each other. We can simultaneously 
dictate and read a letter, play the piano and listen to a 
conversation. It is not necessary to assume that we have 
here a jumping backward and forward of the mind from 
one activity to another ; each train of thought goes its 
own way, uninterrupted by the others. That may hold 
good for unconscious processes as well as conscious, and 
in the above cases it is always possible that we have the 
psycho-physical causality of conscious or half-conscious 
functions. Moreover, in all these instances there is 
question of acquired movements which owe their appear- 
ance of reflection to laborious practice, and every such 
act of practice had to involve a conscious relation of 
stimulus and reaction. Hence these automatic pro- 
cesses presuppose an initial performance in which there 
is no room for the theory of the accompanying action of 
consciousness, and it is repeated in virtue of an idea of 
which we are conscious as a psychic act. All these argu- 
ments, therefore, do not get over the fact that in these 
purposive bodily movements we have physical processes 
which, if not at the time they are performed, at all events 
in their remoter causes, compel us to assume conscious 



functions amongst their causal elements. Wherever in 
the material world organic beings, especially human beings, 
are at work, the purely mechanical-physical process is 
interrupted by psychic functions. 

It is all very well to urge against us the inexpressible 
fineness and the unimaginable intricacy of the structures 
which the organic elements exhibit, particularly in the 
brain, and say that these seem to make an explanation 
of purposive movements as reflex actions not impossible. 
In this we are simply once more taking the intricate 
structure of the brain as an asylum ignoranticB to which 
we can always retreat and bury ourselves under sugges- 
tions of possibilities which no man can get to the bottom 
of. It remains, however, extremely probable that the 
bodily mechanism, in the sense-stimulations which need 
a psychic interpretation, accomplishes the purposively 
adapted movements only in virtue of its reflex habits, 
its associative connections, and its differentiated reactions. 
All these intricate arrangements of the nervous system 
itself are best understood as an outcome of psycho- 
physical causes. When, in the " telegram ' argument 
which was first advanced by Albert Lange, the purposive 
reaction to the reading of the words is supposed to be 
explained in the sense that this releases all the connections 
in the brain which are, in their corresponding psychic 
forms, meanings, recollections, considerations, and resolu- 
tions, it is unintelligible how all these states of the brain 
themselves could come into being without the action 
of the psychic states, merely by spatial storing and in 
accordance with physico-chemical laws. But however 
improbable the Materialistic interpretation may be, we 
have to admit that in view of the unlimited possibilities 
of the cerebral structure it can never be proved to be 
wholly impossible. 

Much more grotesque are the demands on our credulity 
of the hypothesis of parallelism if we start from the con- 
sideration of the internal life and psychic causality. 
This internal life seems to proceed in its own inevitable- 
ness as if it were not accompanied by or dependent upon 
any bodily process. Our imagination, our thinking, 


our practical reflections, go on with a certain continuity 
of purely psychic causality. In this it is to be noted 
that the psychic elements which are found in such a move- 
ment are, as to their origin, only intelligible as a reaction 
upon the external world. Apart from this, however, we 
have the difficult question : When these processes are 
suddenly interrupted by a pain, for instance, which the 
plain mind traces to a knock or a blow as its cause, what 
is the psychic cause of the pain and the interruption ? 
The discontinuity which characterises the psychic event 
as distinguished from the spatial, the intermittence and 
recommencement of the course of the psychic life, is never 
intelligible in itself ; it needs always to be explained by 
influences from the external world that is to say, by 
psycho-physical causes. This is at all events true of the 
inner life-process in the individual consciousness, and it 
is true of this especially in view of those influences which 
it experiences from the mental life of other persons. These 
are always brought about by psycho-physical processes. 
Of any direct causal relation between different persons 
without corporeal mediation, of a psychic causality that 
works purely internally and without a physical medium 
between soul and soul, of any telepathic possibilities of 
this kind, we may hear from poets and visionaries, but 
we learn nothing whatever from experience. This shows 
us that all the recommencements of which we are indi- 
vidually conscious are connected with influences of the 
physical world. If, in spite of this, we regard the psychic 
process as purely immanent and self-contained, we have, 
in the case of those interruptions which naive thought 
attributes to psycho-physical causality, to assume un- 
conscious psychic causes corresponding to the bodily 
processes which psycho-physical causality regards as the 
cause of the discontinuity. 

The hypothesis of parallelism, therefore, would have to 
be developed, not merely as a psychological or anthropo- 
logical theory, but, as in its original Spinozistic form, as 
a metaphysical philosophy, universal Panpsychism. It 
must be assumed that to the entire system and course of 
spatial-corporeal states there corresponds an equally 


continuous system and an equally uninterrupted series 
of psychic states of which our consciousness knows 
nothing whatever ! That is making a very large demand 
on our credulity. A psychic causality of meanings, 
values, and purposes, and parallel with it a physical 
causality of position and direction, with their various 
forms of motion ; and the two supposed to correspond 
at every step ! That is the strangest adventure we were 
ever asked to believe ; indeed, to believe it would be an 
act of despair. Hence it is the lesser evil, the smaller 
miracle, to admit the common causality of the dissimilar 
in the action of body on soul and soul on body. 

The Monistic defenders of Parallelism cannot concede 
that for them the physical and psychic systems are two 
separate realities, in some inexplicable correspondence 
to each other. They say that the two systems are merely 
parallel phenomena of the primary reality, arid in this 
we are supposed to find precisely the reason for their 
invariable correspondence. In opposition to this we may 
observe, first, that we by no means get rid of the para- 
dox of the hypothesis by removing it from the realm of 
primary reality to derivative reality, from the essence to 
the appearance. On the contrary, we are now confronted 
with the very serious question why the one reality develops 
in two entirely different modes of appearance. This 
question is for parallelistic Monism just as prejudicial and 
insoluble whether we take the idea of " appearance ' 
in an objective or a subjective sense. If the two realms 
are conceived as two sorts of derived reality proceeding 
from the one primary reality which is then incompre- 
hensible all the difficulties return which we saw pre- 
viously in the discussion of ontic problems ; and if the 
appearance of the psycho-physical duality is restricted 
to human consciousness it is not one whit more intel- 
ligible, as we also saw previously. 

The most important point in these problems, however, 
is that here again we find ourselves compelled to assume 
unconscious states which are not physical, yet are not 
in the proper sense of the word of a psychic character 
in the sense in which the idea of the soul has come to be 


identified with that of consciousness. In modern thought 
this has had the peculiar result of interpolating a third 
realm, the realm of the unconscious, between the realms 
of cogitatio and extensio, into which the Cartesian school 
distributed reality. However, the fact that all the argu- 
ments in favour of this intermediate realm are derived 
from psychology and its attempts to explain conscious 
phenomena necessarily implies that this unconscious 
must be more closely related to the psychic world than 
to the physical. The hypothesis of psycho-physical 
parallelism therefore combines the unconscious and the 
conscious in a unity which is independent of the physical 
world. All these problems, in fine, are metaphysical 
problems, and the difficulties which were experienced by 
the hypothesis of parallelism that was based upon the 
older metaphysics merely show that the ultimate solution 
depends upon the question how far human knowledge 
can be confident of passing beyond the two kinds of 
experience, the external and the internal, and attaining 
to the nature of reality. 


THE obvious postulate for all ontic and genetic problems, 
from the simple assumptions of the untrained mind to 
the mature theories of science, is that our ideas must 
be knowledge, and at the same time true knowledge. 
This postulate is so obvious that it does not always, 
especially in the beginning, come into consciousness at 
all, yet it is the driving force in the progress of thought. 
For the element of dissatisfaction in our first impressions, 
which is always the stimulus to the formulation of prob- 
lems, is the feeling, or even the fear, that these immediate 
ideas, which we regard as knowledge, may not be true. 
From this we understand how it is that we have at first 
very inadequate and in part untenable ideas as to the 
meaning of that feeling, the meaning of the value of 
truth. Yet these ideas are amongst the last to be un- 
settled and called into question. Rational reflection turns 
last of all upon itself. The Greeks called this rational 
reflection voelv, and we therefore call these problems, 
which arise from the direction of knowledge to its own 
task and the means of fulfilling this task, noetic. 


Truth. Theories of knowledge Science and knowledge The judg- 
ment Transcendental, immanent, and formal truth Truth as 
value Pragmatism Opinion, belief, and knowledge. 

The first of these problems is the definition of truth 
itself. Unsettlement on this point occurs only in a 
mature stage of mental life, and the questions which it 


TRUTH 167 

suggests are therefore the latest in historical development. 
At first we are content with the simple confidence, the 
" courage of truth," which accompanies our mental 
operations : we simply think, ask, inquire, investigate. 
In the course of time the inevitable antitheses and failures 
baffle our mind, and we ask whether we can accomplish 
the task of attaining real knowledge. As soon as this 
stage is reached, our intellectual conscience feels that 
it must settle the question of the possibility of know- 
ledge before acquiring anything further. It is as well 
that the sciences have generally accomplished, and 
to-day accomplish, their work before asking this prelim- 
inary question, as it is these sciences themselves which 
must provide the material for answering it. As a subse- 
quent question, however, the noetic problem is quite 

The necessity of it is so obviously based upon the nature 
of things that it is quite independent of the question 
what position is assigned in the system of sciences to the 
solution of these noetic problems. As a special and 
coherent inquiry it is now often called " the theory of 
knowledge " or Epistemology (or, sometimes, Noetics), 
and it is assuredly the final science in the sense that it 
presupposes all the others. There must be knowledge 
before it can be the object of a theory. Thus, in the 
history of philosophy noetic questions were first raised 
by the Sophists, and then by Socrates and Plato, and 
they had been preceded by a long and fruitful develop- 
ment of scientific knowledge which had at length turned 
upon itself. This beginning led to the Aristotelic logic, 
which is the culmination of the self-consciousness of 
Greek science. 

The starting-point was the Platonic distinction between 
knowledge and opinion, eTrtonjfwj and So|a. It contains 
a first glimpse of the various kinds of verification ; and 
the more proudly knowledge opposed itself to opinion 
in this distinction, the more confident science became 
as to its own nature and procedure. From that time 
onward there has been included in the inventory of every 
complete philosophical theory a discussion of the nature 


of knowledge, its vindication, range, and limitations ; 
and in most cases the views on this subject were the 
final result, in a certain sense even the crowning test, 
of the whole philosophical system. The renewal of the 
conflict of metaphysical systems in modern times has 
thrust the question of the theory of knowledge into the 
foreground. Locke demanded that, before any discussion 
of the difficult problems of metaphysics, the range of 
the instrument with which we hoped to solve them 
should be investigated that is to say, the human faculty 
of knowledge. Then Kant claimed that this inquiry 
into the possibility of knowledge should precede all 
knowledge, at least metaphysical knowledge, and therefore 
be the first science. 

We will not go further into the question whether the 
theory of knowledge should be the test or the foundation 
of all metaphysics, but will select from the discussion 
of this matter a point which is of very great importance 
for the understanding of these things. Kant's claim, 
that an assurance of the possibility of knowledge ought 
to precede actual knowledge, seems at first sight extremely 
plausible, yet it is open to the objection that it involves 
a vicious circle : an objection that no less a person than 
Hegel urged against Kant. The theory of knowledge, it 
is said, is knowledge, and so it assumes the proof of that 
very possibility which it sets out to prove. To attempt 
it is much the same as the case of the man who wants 
to learn to swim before he goes into the water. This 
objection would be justified if the theory of knowledge 
wanted to make a tabula rasa of the mind and begin to 
think ab ovo, from an entirely new starting-point. That 
is impossible, because every thought is permeated with 
relations to others. Hence the theory of knowledge 
cannot be isolated from the contents of the sciences, 
which were acquired without it. The formal suspension 
which Kant required for the solution of the critical ques- 
tion referred only to metaphysics. The results of the 
other sciences have to be used by the theory of knowledge 
as the only available arguments for the solution of its 

TRUTH 169 

We can explain the situation best by examining an 
unsound defence which was put forward, against Hegel, 
on behalf of Kant's claim. It was said that knowledge 
is a fact ; and if science is to explain all facts, it must 
explain this fact also, if not before any others. The 
theory of knowledge has the same relation to science as 
physiology has to life. We will not inquire here whether 
that was Kant's view. It is, at all events, a bad defence 
of his position, because there is no room for an inquiry 
into the possibility of knowledge if you postulate in 
advance that it is a fact. Whatever exists is possible ; 
the only question, then, is how it is possible. If the 
theory of knowledge, moreover, were something like a 
physiology of knowledge, it would be neither psychology 
nor metaphysics, and would therefore be not the begin- 
ning, but the end, of knowledge. But the question 
^precisely is whether there is such a thing as knowledge. 
The fact from which the theory starts is not the fact that 
we have knowledge, but that in our science we claim to 
have it ; and the task of the theory is to investigate 
whether the claim is sound. Theory, therefore, in this 
sense means, not an explanation of a given fact, but 
philosophical theory, a critical inquiry into the soundness 
of the claim. It means something quite different from 
the explanatory theories which have to show the possi- 
bility of a reality. Physiology never raises a question 
about the justification of life. 

The situation of the theory of knowledge is therefore 
this : for a number of ideas which in science represent 
facts we make the claim that they are knowledge, and 
the question is whether this science of man is really 
knowledge. Formulated thus, the question presupposes 
that we define knowledge differently from science. Science 
is something that we actually have : knowledge is a task 
which this actual science has to fulfil. Thus in noetic 
problems we have the fundamental antithesis of reality 
and value, the relation between being and the norm of 
judgment upon it, in a very pronounced form ; and on 
that account they are a transition from theoretical to 
axiological problems. Science is in this connection the 


historically given content of ideas to which, as distin- 
guished from the opinions of individuals, we ascribe a 
general validity and normative necessity ; and the 
philosophical question which we here approach is merely 
whether this claim, which we implicitly grant, not only 
in ordinary life but in the course of scientific research, 
is justified. The claim is, in sum, that these scientific 
ideas have the value of truth. Thus truth is the central 
idea round which all noetic problems turn. 

The distinction between truth and falseness in our 
ideas is so familiar and taken for granted in our intellectual 
life that the great majority of men never reflect what 
they really mean by it. It is certain it is beyond ques- 
tion on all sides that the predicate " true " is a predicate 
of value which we grant to certain ideas in preference 
to others. But when we look closely into it, both the 
meaning of the valuation and the form of the ideas to 
which it is to be applied are very difficult to define. We 
shall come to an agreement first, perhaps, as to the form 
which the ideas must have in the strict sense for us to 
receive them as true or reject them as untrue. The un- 
trained mind, it is true, speaks of the truth or falseness 
of particular ideas and concepts, as when we ask whether 
the concept of the atom is true or not ; but we see, on 
looking more closely, that this use of the word is deriva- 
tive. Originally the predicate of truth as Descartes 
developed it for modern philosophy applies only to 
the connections of ideas which we verbally express in 
propositions and logically call judgments. As a psycho- 
logical process, however, judgment is a highly character- 
istic structure, in which we have, perhaps, the clearest 
and most complete expression of the whole spiritual 
being with its two typical features, the theoretical and 
the practical. To judge means not merely to connect 
ideas with each other, but to affirm this connection as 
valid and true ; or, in negative judgments, to reject it 
as false. We have therefore in this dgicDpa, as the 
Stoics very well called it, not only the intellectual element 
of bringing various contents together in a certain relation, 
but also the voluntarist element of affirming or denying 

TRUTH 171 

this relation. The act of will which in judgment is 
associated with the action of the mind was called by 
the Stoics ' assent ' (awyKardadeais) , and we now ask 
what this assent means. Naturally the untrained mind 
approaches this question by taking for granted the 
meaning of assent namely, the sense of truth must 
always be the same and capable of definitive deter- 

That is not the case, however, and it needs very little 
consideration to show that truth is taken in very different 
senses. The truth of a mathematical proposition, the 
truth of an historical hypothesis, the truth of a natural 
law can we describe these things in the same way ? 
We shaD, perhaps, find this question answered by the 
untrained mind in the affirmative ; we shall be told that 
in every case truth is the correspondence of an idea with 
reality. But it is easy to see that this is scarcely the 
case even in the three examples we have just given. 
For an historical hypothesis we might be able to use this 
criterion of correspondence with reality, but if we want 
to apply it to mathematical propositions, or such intel- 
lectual constructions as laws of nature, we shall have to 
use very strained methods. As a matter of fact, this 
superficial meaning of truth is derived from ordinary 
empirical thought, and from this it has been extended 
to the idea of things and their activities. This definition 
of truth implies a relation of pictorial correspondence 
between man's idea and the reality which it regards as 
its object. In this we probably have the most complete 
expression of the naive view of things, which supposes 
a perceptive mind in the midst of a surrounding world 
that is somehow reproduced in it. All the sensory images 
with which we verbally express the process of knowledge 
to reproduce, mirror, embrace, grasp, etc. and which 
are taken from the action of the various senses, show 
only the many ways in which the reproduction may be 

Now the theory of sensitive perception has completely 
destroyed this supposition that external reality is repro- 
duced internally, and the transcendental truth as this 


first and naive conception of truth may be called 
cannot be sustained in its original sense. Moreover, 
every attempt to prove seriously the correspondence of 
experience and reality shows only the agreement of 
presentations of different origin, and never shows the 
correspondence of the presentation with the thing. We 
can compare presentations in our immediate experience 
with memories or with imaginative pictures, and refer 
them both to the same object ; but we can never compare 
a presentation with the object itself. However, the 
main idea of transcendental truth, as a relation of the 
thought to a reality which is supposed to be reproduced 
in it, is found in a more or less attenuated form in other 
ideas of truth, and it can never be wholly suppressed. 

When, for instance, we find offered to us an immanent 
definition of truth, which affirms only the agreement of 
presentations with each other, this hope of finding them 
in agreement is always based upon the expectation that 
they will therefore be related to the same object. We 
have, in fact, the subtle influence of the feeling that the 
two magnitudes are equal to each other because they 
are equal to an unknown third, or at least " correspond ' 
to it. If the ideas which we form in scientific theory are 
to agree with those we gain in experience, the real reason 
for our seeking this is the thought, lurking in the back- 
ground, that in both the same reality is presenting itself 
to the mind. Thus the " picture theory ' is the most 
primitive and the most persistently active form in which 
truth is represented as a relation between the presentation 
and the object which it signifies. 

This, however, by no means exhausts the realm of 
truths. There are some in which there can be no ques- 
tion whatever of an object in this original sense of the 
word the sense of a reality which is supposed to be repro- 
duced in thought. To this class belong all mathematical, 
logical, ethical, and aesthetic truths. The only criterion 
of truth in those cases is the necessity and universal 
validity with which they present themselves in conscious- 
ness, and which in the case of the other truths seemed 
to be due to the relation to the object. We must, however, 

TRUTH 173 

very carefully define the two characters of this formal 
conception of truth, if we are to avoid misunderstanding. 
Universal validity, in the first place, which is related to 
the plurality of the knowing subjects, cannot be conceived 
as an actual fact ; it is quite impossible that concordant 
recognition of any statement could be empirically attained 
and proved even for all members of the species Homo 
sapiens. On the contrary, the actual validity of all 
truths must be very restricted, or they surfer the fate 
of being born as paradoxes and ending as trivialities. 
Moreover, universal validity, as far as it can be approxi- 
mately attained empirically, does not guarantee a truth, 
because it is notoriously often attained in the case of 
errors a fact so well known that we need not trouble 
to heap up historical instances. Hence the universal 
validity of which there is question in the definition of 
formal truth is merely one that is desired : one which 
ought to be found, in virtue of the necessity, in all normal 
thinking subjects. This necessity in turn, however, is 
not the same thing as the necessity of a law of nature. 
The processes of presentation which lead to error are 
subject to the same necessities of the psychic laws as 
those which lead to a knowledge of truth. The necessity 
of thought, therefore, of which we speak in logic, is not 
psychological, but is rather the immanent and actual 
necessity of the contents of presentation. And in this 
element of actuality the conception of formal truth also 
returns to the relation to the object, even if it no longer 
conceives this relation in the crude form of an assumption 
of a reality outside the mind, but modified in a way 
which we shall consider later. 

Thus the purely theoretical relation of knowledge to 
its object is by no means free from ambiguity. Even if 
we consider only the three forms of truth given here, we 
understand why it is that the later ancient philosophy 
had such an extensive and fruitless contest about ' ' the 
criterion of truth." The difficulties which were then 
brought to light will always reappear if it is sought to 
give one single and quite universal definition of truth 
which shall be applicable in all cases. The only thing 


we can do is to say that truth is in all cases that which 
ought to be affirmed. From this it will be understood 
that in modern logic the theory of truth is treated as a 
part of the theories of value or duty. This, however, 
leads to new difficulties. It is at least doubtful, and 
probably a matter of temperament and character rather 
than of intellectual decision, whether this theoretical 
' ought," which constitutes truth, is absolute. The duty 
to affirm the truth is not recognised by everybody as 
of complete universal validity. The logical imperative is 
hypothetical, not categorical. I can only expect a man 
to recognise the truth on the condition that he knows it, 
or ought to know it. And since knowledge means thought 
deliberately directed to truth, we find ourselves once 
more in a vicious circle. 

An attempt is made to meet this by assigning to know- 
ledge a different aim, so that the truth seems to be only 
a means for the attainment of this aim. Hence axio- 
logical theories of truth have in recent times shown the 
tendency which goes by the name of Pragmatism. The 
chief idea on which it is based is that thought, to become 
knowledge, is exercised by man for the sake of action 
(77pay/Lta), for which he needs the lead of presentations. 
It is true that originally a man thinks only in order to 
act, and that the psychological process which leads to 
judgment, to affirmation or denial, is entirely of an 
emotional character that is to say, is permeated with 
processes of feeling and volition. The element of assent, 
the voluntary element in judgment, requires motives for 
the affirmation or denial ; and these motives, for the 
individual as for the masses, are feelings of desire and 
aversion, hope and fear, and also the volitions which are 
at the root of these feelings. But we have hitherto given 
the name of opinions to this natural process of finding 
a sanction in feelings and needs ; and, even in regard to 
opinion and its mode of origin, we have considered that 
its validity was merely relative and restricted to the 
individual. Even when these emotional motives of assent 
arise from the persistent and consciously fixed tendencies 
of feeling and will which we call character, and when we 

TRUTH 175 

therefore speak of the opinions as convictions a kind 
of assent which is usually called belief they are still 
valid in the sphere of emotional verification. It is the 
remarkable feature, and at the same time the moral 
significance, of scientific knowledge that it will acknow- 
ledge no other means of verification than the reasons 
which are contained in the object of presentation and 
the laws of thought. Such an attitude, to desire truth 
for its own sake and not for the advantages it may secure 
in the struggle for life, is an outcome of psychological 
processes of transference which have developed in the 
course of human history, but have obtained influence as 
yet over relatively few individuals. Pure motivation of 
assent of this kind we call evidence, and for this a theory 
of truth like the Pragmatist is wholly unsuitable and 
inapplicable. For, however clearly it may be shown 
that men are actually influenced in verifying then- opinions 
by their needs, and hold that to be true of which they 
can make some use, even here the utility is not identical 
with the truth, but merely a feature which determines 
the appreciation of truth. From the logical point of 
view Pragmatism is a grotesque confusion of means and 
end. From the historical point of view it is an entirely 
different matter, as it represents a victory of noetic indi- 
vidualism which, in the decay of our intellectual culture, 
would release the elementary force of the will and let 
it pour itself over the realm of pure thought. It calls 
into question one of the greatest achievements of civilisa- 
tion, the purity of the will to truth. 

Under the lead of the definition of truth the theory 
of knowledge has to understand human knowledge in 
its development and in regard to what it has done for 
the value of truth. It has therefore first to deal with 
the actual origin, and then with the validity and objective 
relation, of knowledge. 



The Origin of Knowledge. Thinking and perceiving Rationalism 
and empiricism (sensualism) Hominism Apriorism and apos- 
teriorism Psychologism. 

The antithesis of knowledge and opinion has developed 
out of the self-consciousness of great intellectual person- 
alities who opposed the results of their own reflections 
to the traditional views of the majority. Even when 
they diverged so widely from each other as did Heraclitus 
and Parmenides, they were always conscious that their 
scientific thought was due to some other source than 
the direct experience which they shared with the despised 
majority. Hence in the earliest days of science the 
Greeks opposed reason (vovs) and rational thought 
(voelv] to perception (audhjcns} ; and, however much this 
antithesis was weakened by psychological and meta- 
physical theories, and in the end destroyed, it remained 
unchallenged in methodology and the theory of know- 
ledge. It reached its culmination in Plato's theory of 
knowledge as memory (avdfjivrjaLs) . In this the vision of 
ideals is, it is true, represented as a perception of the 
true incorporeal reality, but a perception raised above 
terrestrial and fundamentally different from corporeal 
experience. In their psychological theory the Greeks 
always regarded the intellect as passivity, or as a receptive 
activity, and to them the reception or mirroring of 
reality in the soul, not mingled with any disturbing or 
distorting activity of one's own, was so peculiarly know- 
ledge that this unresisting reception would find its religious 
completion in the vision of the mystic. 

This psychogenetic view of knowledge corresponds 
entirely to the picture-theory which is contained in the 
naive transcendental idea of truth. But it was partly 
corrected by the very nature of perception. However we 
may imagine this as an impression which the soul, like 
a wax tablet, receives from the environing world, never- 
theless such expressions as " grasping " and " conceiving ' 
show that even in this sphere of sensory 


knowledge of truth a certain activity of consciousness is 
not to be ignored. Indeed, quite early, in the Sophistic 
teaching, we find the theory that all perception arises 
from a double movement, of the object on the subject 
and the subject on the object. We further clearly see 
that in sensory perception we have rather an effect of 
the object and a subsequent reaction of the soul, whereas 
in thought the nature of the soul itself is active, and from 
the object it receives only the stimulus to concern itself 
with it. Hence the ancient and ever-new question, which 
Goethe thought the nucleus of Kant's criticism, whether 
our knowledge comes more from without, from things, 
or from ourselves, from the ordered nature of the soul. 

The answers to this question are radical if they insist 
on the Either Or. On the one side we have Empiricism, 
which leans to the formula that all knowledge comes 
from experience ; on the other side Rationalism, which 
finds all knowledge based upon rational thought. The 
earlier centuries of modern philosophy, the movements 
from Bacon and Descartes to about the end of the 
eighteenth century, were characterised by this contrast 
of Empiricism and Rationalism, and were filled with the 
struggle about " innate ideas." In the refined termin- 
ology of the later Scholastics the word " idea ' had 
become so vague in meaning as to be applicable to all 
sorts of presentations, and thus the noetic problem came 
to a point in the question whether there were ideas which 
did not come directly from experience, but belonged to 
the nature of the soul. Empiricism denies this, and it 
has therefore to explain all knowledge as originating in 
perceptions. The classic form in which this is done is 
Locke's theory. It assigned two sources of empirical know- 
ledge, internal and external experience, the soul's know- 
ledge from its own activities and, on the other hand, 
from the impressions which it receives through the body 
from the environing world in space. This is the theory 
of knowledge of the plain mind cleverly grafted on the 
dualistic metaphysic of the distinction between conscious- 
ness and extension, spirit and matter. Moreover, there 
were two main arguments in this rejection of innate 



knowledge. On the one hand, if there was such knowledge 
given in the very nature of the soul, it ought to be common 
to all men ; which is certainly not true as regards the 
conscious life of the majority. On the other hand, we 
could not speak of an unconscious presence of these ideas 
as long as we regarded the idea of the soul as identical 
with that of consciousness (cogitatio). Even Empiricism, 
however, must take account of some elaboration of the 
data of perception in knowledge, and Locke had therefore 
to fall back upon the capacities, faculties, and forces of 
the soul, which develop in connection with the contents 
of the presentations and are supposed to reach conscious- 
ness in the inner perception. In this way he thought 
that he had taken sufficient account of the rational ele- 
ment of knowledge ; but some of his followers pointed 
out that even this development of inner perception 
always presupposes the external perception, so that in 
the end the latter alone provides the contents of know- 
ledge. If it is meant that in these contents we have all 
the elements which Locke traced to functions of the soul, 
Empiricism becomes Sensualism, or the theory that all 
knowledge conies from corporeal, sensory, external per- 
ception. Sensualism would derive from the mere combina- 
tion of the elements in consciousness all those relations 
between them that we find in knowledge. It has to hold 
that it always depends on these contents themselves 
what relation between them can or ought to exist. But, 
however true this may be, we must urge against Sensualism 
that these relations for instance, the elementary relations 
of comparison and distinction are not given in any 
single datum, and therefore not in the sum of them ; 
but that they are something new and additional to these 

We then have the contrary position of Rationalism, 
which derives these relations, which combine and work 
up the contents of experience, from an act of the soul, 
and therefore thinks that we have aboriginal knowledge 
and innate ideas in these forms of combination. The 
Neo-Platonists of the Renaissance, following the example 
of the Stoics, had regarded this aboriginal knowledge, as 


belonging to the soul from its very nature and in virtue 
of its divine origin ; and Descartes and his school had 
adopted the view, although in the main body of the 
Cartesian philosophy innate ideas had passed as, not 
properly psychological, but logical, as self-evident truths. 
Now if these ideas were to be described, especially in the 
case of Descartes's followers, as psychogenetic, it was 
clear that they could not be given actually as conscious 
ideas, but functionally or virtually, as unconscious capaci- 
ties, as Leibnitz afterwards fully developed in his Monad- 
ology and the criterion of knowledge in his Nouveaux 
Essais. In this, however, Empiricism and Rationalism 
had come so close to each other that the conflict between 
them had become almost meaningless. Empiricism must 
grant that the data of perception only become experience 
through a rational elaboration which is not contained 
in themselves ; and Rationalism cannot ignore the fact 
that the relating forms in the reason need a content 
that must be given in perception. The classic form 
given to this situation is when Leibnitz, taking the 
Scholastic thesis which the Empiricists repeated, " Nihil 
est in intellects quod non fuerit in sensu," added, " nisi 
intellectus ipse." 

In a sense we might say that this settles the psychological 
question of the origin of knowledge, as far as the answer 
to it concerns the theoty of knowledge. But we must 
not omit to notice a modern variation of this ancient 
controversy. Empiricism cannot deny that in an advanced 
stage of civilisation there is for each civilised adult direct 
evidence of rational truths which can never be based 
upon his own experience ; for instance, in the confidence 
with which, in accordance with the principle of causality, 
we assume a cause for every event. In this case the 
Empirical theory now calls in the aid of the evolutionary 
interpretation of this virtually innate knowledge. These 
truths, which have not been acquired by the individual, 
must have been acquired by the race in the course of its 
evolution, and implanted in the individual by heredity 
and custom, imitation and language. This is the more 
likely as, according to the Pragmatist principle, these 


habits of thought which have in time assumed a character 
of self-evidence have a use for man's knowledge and 
conduct, and they thus owe their validity to a survival 
of the useful. Any person who adopts this interpretation 
divests rational truth of its real nature, and represents 
it as a useful intellectual habit of the empirical man ; 
and it is only in this sense that Pragmatism is also called 
Humanism though, in order to avoid confusion with 
an older and better use of the term, it would be advisable 
to say Hominism. According to this all " truth ' is 
based upon human needs, and is merely a human value. 
Clearly this modern form of Relativism does not go 
beyond the saying which the ancient Sophist formulated 
much more clearly and forcibly : Man is the measure 
of all things. 

The psychological antithesis of Empiricism and Ration- 
alism is raised to a higher level when one bears in mind 
the logical meaning which is at the root of the contra- 
dictory positions. Experience, as the sum of presentations, 
consists in the long run of particular acts of knowledge, 
whereas the rational view, which pre-exists for the work 
of elaborating these, always contains more or less general 
propositions. Empiricism therefore formulates the state- 
ment that in the last resort all knowledge originates 
from particular experiences, whereas Rationalism seeks 
the final ground of all knowledge in aboriginally evident 
general principles. But it is clear that these extreme 
statements are at the most restricted in their value to 
a very small sphere. There is very little in our knowledge 
which indicates merely a particular experience ; and, 
on the other hand, there is just as little in the nature of 
a general principle not based upon experience. In the 
totality of human knowledge we always have the two 
together ; the particular and the general are not found 
singly. In this logical respect we speak of the anti- 
thesis as that of Apriorism and Aposteriorism. These 
expressions are due to the changes which the Aristotelic 
terminology underwent amongst the Schoolmen. Greek 
logic distinguished between general being, the earlier 
in reality and later in knowledge, and the particular 


appearances, which were later in reality and earlier in 
knowledge. But in Scholastic language the inductive 
course of thought, which rises from the particular to the 
general, was d posteriori, and the deductive process, 
from the general to the particular, d priori. Even in 
modern methodology we thus distinguish between d 
posteriori empirical reasoning and d priori rational reason- 
ing. Empiricism may, however, concede a relative 
d priori, while denying the absolute. For when we have 
once attained general principles by inductive methods, 
particular knowledge may be derived from them d priori. 
Rationalism, on the other hand, cannot dispense with 
empirical elements ; it needs them indispensably in order 
to get from general to special knowledge. 

In this modification of the ancient antithesis we realise 
the uselessness of the psychogenetic point of view for 
the solution of noetic problems. It is clear that the 
way in which a man actually arrives at a judgment, or 
at the assent which is the essence of the judgment, is 
quite irrelevant to the justification of the judgment or 
assent. Most of the statements which men make are 
imitative and due to authority though they are often 
quite the opposite, and purely personal. Hence it is that 
the actual judgment is, as we have seen in other connec- 
tions, generally emotional and based on feeling and 
volition ; and all these natural processes which result 
in judgment by no means justify it. We give the name 
of Psychologism to the artless notion that would deter- 
mine by their origin the value, in either a logical or 
aesthetic or ethical sense, of psychic states. It was the 
main idea of the philosophy of the eighteenth century, 
and was typically expressed b}' Locke, the leader of this 
philosophy. In sj^stematic elaboration it seemed essen- 
tial in the theoretical field as an evolution of the " ideas ' 
from their sensory beginnings to their subtlest and highest 
developments, and therefore the narrowing of philosophy 
in virtue of this method in France was called Ideology 
a word which led to calling philosophers Ideologists, 
though it ought to have been confined to its original 
meaning. To-day Psychologism still lingers in a sort of 


dilettante form, but it has not been taken seriously in 

philosophical circles since the time of Kant. In the 

theory of knowledge there is question, not of the causes, 

but of the justification, of judgment. The former is a 

matter of fact which proceeds according to psychological 

laws ; the latter a matter of value, subject to logical 

norms. It was the essence of the Kantist development 

to advance from the psychogenetic (or, as he said, physio- 

logical) treatment of the problem of knowledge with 

increasing confidence to the logical (or, as he said, 

transcendental) treatment. The essential connecting link 

between the beginning and the end of the development 

was the influence of the Nouveaux Essais of Leibnitz, 

in which the conversion of the psychological antithesis 

of Empiricism and Rationalism into the logical antithesis 

of Aposteriorism and Apriorism was accomplished. Hence 

in the mature form of the critical philosophy the familiar 

phrase a priori never has the psychological, but always the 

logical, meaning. All wrong versions of Kant's teaching 

are due to a confusion of logical apriority with psycho- 

logical apriority. The noetic question was definitively 

transferred by the critical philosophy from the field of 

psychological struggle to that of logical inquiry. It is 

no longer a problem of the origin of knowledge, but of 

its validity. 

The Validity of Knowledge. Psychological and logical validity 
Validity and being Consciousness in general Theory of know- 
ledge as metaphysics Dogmatism : naive realism The con- 
troversy about universals : Realism and Nominalism Scepticism 

Problematicism and Probabilism Phenomenalism Mathe- 
matical Phenomenalism Semeiotics Ontological Phenomenalism 

Idealism Solipsism Spiritualism Absolute Phenomenalism : 
Agnosticism Conscien tialism. 

The word ' to be valid ' [gclteri], which occurs in 
ordinar}' language but received at the hands of Lotze a 
special meaning, has become of great importance in 
recent logic. We must not, however, suppose that by 
merely using this convenient word we can escape all 
the difficulties which it covers, We must, on the contrary, 


distinguish all the more carefully between the psycho- 
logical and the logical meaning of the word. In the 
former sense to be valid means a recognition of a fact ; 
as when, for instance, we speak of a valid or existing 
law as distinguished from a desirable or conceivable 
law. In this sense it is always related to a particular 
mind for which it is valid ; as, psychologically, all values 
are related to a mind for which they are values. But 
the meaning of truth demands a validity in itself, without 
relation to a consciousness, or at least to a particular 
empirical consciousness. For the postulate of general 
recognition is so surely at the root of the logical meaning 
of validity that it is based upon the actual condition 
of the content of consciousness. Thus mathematical 
principles are valid, and compel general recognition, 
because they necessarily follow from the nature of mathe- 
matical conceptions. Hence this philosophical idea of 
validity always points beyond the process of knowledge 
in empirical subjects. The validity of truth is independent 
of all behaviour of fallible and evolving subjects. A 
mathematical truth was valid long before anybody con- 
ceived it, and it is valid even if an individual errone- 
ously refuses his assent to it. For this reason the meaning 
of validity-in-itself has become one of the main problems 
of modern logic. In this there is especially a question of 
the relation of validity to being. The more we think 
of being as empirical or sensible reality, the more pro- 
nounced is the contrast between being and validity. 
Even a psychic reality does not suffice for the claim of 
the logical idea of validity. On the other hand, the 
independence of validit}' of all the psychic processes 
in which it is recognised is a measure of its own character, 
and for this there is no better word than highest reality. 
Hence it is paradoxical to speak of the valid as unreal, 
and that is why such inquiries can scarcely avoid regarding 
validity-in-itself as validity for an absolute consciousness, 
a ""Consciousness in general," and therefore interpreting 
it metaphysically. This, then, becomes the chief 
problem. What separate problems may be implied in it 
we shall see later. We have first to consider the various 


methods by which it is sought to make clear the validity 
of knowledge. 

The most original of these forms is the picture-theory 
involved in the transcendental idea of truth. On closer " 
consideration, however, it proves to be only one of the 
possibilities which we find in the chief principle which 
is assumed for the purpose. We may, for instance, in 
virtue of what we have already seen, formulate as follows 
the task of the theory of knowledge. The sciences offer 
us in the sum of their results an objective picture of 
the world which we expect, and ought to expect, every 
normal thoughtful person to recognise ; and we find it 
recognised wherever there are not antagonistic influences 
of other views and convictions. The theory of know- 
ledge, which does not in the least enfeeble the actual 
validity of the sciences, which adds nothing and sub- 
tracts nothing from them, has no other task than to 
investigate the relation of this world-picture to the absolute 
reality which it is supposed to signify ; that is to say, 
its problem is to find out what is the relation of the objec- 
tive in our consciousness to the real. In other words, 
it is the relation of consciousness to being that constitutes 
this last problem of all scientific thought. The value 
of truth consists in some sort of relation of consciousness 
to being, and in the theory of knowledge we have to 
discover this relation. From this it follows that we cannot 
deal with knowledge without at the same time dealing 
with being ; and, if the science of the absolute reality 
is called metaphysics, the theory of knowledge neither 
precedes nor follows it is neither the presupposition 
nor the criterion of metaphysics, but is metaphysics 
itself. That is the consequence which Fichte's Theory of 
Knowledge and Hegel's Logic deduced from Kant's Cri- 
tique of Pure Reason. 

There are therefore as many tendencies in the theory 
of knowledge, as many answers to the question of the 
relation of consciousness and being, as there are conceptual 
relations, or categories, that are applicable to it, and we 
may deduce the various points of view from the system 
of categories. The fundamental category, which is up 


to a certain point decisive for all the others, is identity ; 
and this in the present case gives us the transcendental 
idea of truth. Consciousness and being are opposed to 
each other, according to it, yet declared to be identical 
in their contents. A true idea is supposed to be one 
the content of which is real extra mentem. We see at 
once the difficulty that is involved in this apparently 
plausible theory. Consciousness, presentation, judgment, 
and knowledge are themselves real, and this naive idea 
of truth supposes that something is repeated in conscious- 
ness that happens in another being. This other being 
is conceived in the naive view as originally the corporeal 
reality which surrounds the knowing mind ; and from 
this it follows that such an idea of truth becomes useless 
as soon as knowledge extends to other than physical 

Undisturbed by these considerations the naive mind 
clings to its idea of truth, and, in view^ of its persistency, 
we may, with Kant, speak of a Dogmatist theory of 
knowledge, which without further criticism affirms the 
validity of its ideas as a grasping or picturing of reality. 
We thus have in the first place the Dogmatism of sense- 
perception, which yields the world-theory of ' naive 
Realism." The world is as I perceive it. The various 
illusions of sense-perception ought not to lead us to make 
a mistake about this view, because these illusions are 
themselves corrected by other perceptions. More serious 
for naive Realism are the objections which we had to 
notice in connection with ontic problems : the considera- 
tions which led us to see that all the content-determinations 
which in perception we ascribe to things belong, not to 
them, but to the perceiving consciousness. All these 
considerations, however, which seemed to justify us in 
running counter to the impression of our own experience, 
were based on the fact that we relied upon our conceptual 
reflection, on which scientific knowledge depends, rather 
than upon our naive perception. In this we have the 
Dogmatism of conceptual thought which dominates our 
whole world-view in the axiomatic belief that the world 
is such as we necessarily think it. 


This conceptual Dogmatism finds its most important 
development in the classical controversy as to the validity 
of general concepts, the struggle over Universals. The 
antithesis of thought and perception, to which the atten- 
tion of the earliest Greek science was directed, came to 
a head in Plato's theory of ideas. In this the things of 
external perception were granted only the same fleeting 
and imperfect reality as the perceptions with which we 
reach them. On the other hand, the enduring and self- 
contained results of conceptual thought were granted 
the validity of a higher and absolute reality. It is well 
not to be misled by ingenious modern misinterpretations 
into thinking that Plato did not wish to ascribe to the 
ideas as he and his school called the contents of the 
general concepts of scientific thought a validity in 
the sense of material reality, or that he taught anything 
about any other kind of validity. It is only in this way 
that we can understand that his theory brought out the 
critical inquiry how these contents of concepts can be 
real and indeed condition all other reality. From this, 
in antiquity and also in the Scholastic movement, there 
developed the antithesis of the two points of view on 
the theory of knowledge which we call Realism and 
Nominalism. Realism (universalia sunt realia) affirms. 
in the terms of Plato, that, as our knowledge consists 
of concepts and must be a knowledge of reality, the 
contents of the concepts must be regarded as copies 
of being. This Realism is maintained wherever our 
views recognise in reality a dependence of the particular 
on the general. Hence the knowledge of laws of nature 
is the chief form of Realism in this sense of the word. 
But from the time of Plato onward the serious difficulties 
of Realism arise from the fact that it is impossible to 
form a satisfactory conception of the sort of reality that 
ideas can have, or of the way in which they condition the 
other reality, that of the particular and corporeal. These 
difficulties have driven thought in the opposite direction, 
into the arms of Nominalism, which regards the concepts 
as intermediate and auxiliary constructions in the reflecting 
mind, not as copies of something independent of the 


mind and existing in itself. Their importance is still 
further reduced if they are supposed merely to be common 
names of similar objects (universalia sunt nomina}. 
Nominalism will freely grant that the particular elements 
of our perceptive knowledge have a direct relation (either 
as copies or in some other way) to reality, but it declares 
it inconceivable that the results of conceptual reflection, 
which is a purely internal process of the mind, should 
have an analogous truth-value. It must, however, con- 
cede that this purely internal reflection is actually deter- 
mined by the contents which it combines in its entire 
movement and its outcome, and that, on the other hand, 
the process of thought with its concepts leads in turn 
to particular ideas which prove to be in agreement with 
perception. It therefore finds itself confronting the 
problem, how the forms of thought are related to those 
of reality : whether they, as belonging to the same total 
system of reality, point to each other and are in the end 
identical, or whether, since they belong to different worlds, 
nothing can be settled as to their identity or any other 
relation. We thus see that in the last resort it is meta- 
physical motives which must pronounce in the contro- 
versy about universals. All the forms of world-view 
which we describe as Henistic or Singularistic are from 
the logical point of view Realistic ; whilst all forms ot 
Individualism must have a Nominalistic complexion. 

The two forms of Dogmatism differ generally in the 
sense that that of perception naive Realism belongs 
rather to the prescientific mind, while that of conceptual 
thought is found in science. Both have to be disturbed 
and called into question in some way before the noetic 
problems arise. We speak of this disturbance as " doubt," 
and therefore the inquiry which issues from the doubt is 
the first and essential phase of the theory of knowledge. 
We give it the Greek name Skepsis, and we call Scepticism 
the attempt to remain at this point of view of doubting 
inquiry and to hold that it is not possible to get beyond 
it to any permanent results of knowledge. Scepticism 
of this nature is revealed even in prescientific thought 
by the numerous complaints about the narrowness of 


human nature and the limitations of our knowledge. 
These limitations are first conceived in the quantitative 
sense ; they are the limits in space and time which confine 
our knowledge, in so far as it depends upon experience, 
within a very narrow circle. A simple scepticism of this 
kind is, it is true, quite reconcilable with a claim to em- 
pirical knowledge. But it is quite otherwise when, after 
we have attained scientific knowledge, the question is 
raised whether this really fulfils its aim, and when the 
outcome of this query is a negative answer. Even in 
this case men of science usually mean that they have 
complete confidence in their knowledge, and merely regard 
every effort to pass beyond positive knowledge and solve 
final problems as futile. As a systematic conviction, 
therefore, Scepticism always refers to questions of general 
views in the philosophical aspect to metaphysics ; and 
in ordinary life the sceptic is first and foremost the man 
who will not accept at once the metaphysic of religious 
belief. The phrases in which ancient Scepticism, with 
its doctrinaire tendency and its rhetorical habit, asserted 
that there is no knowledge whatever that man cannot 
attain any real knowledge either by means of perception 
or of thought or, least of all, by using both, and that 
his mind and reality may be two completely separated 
worlds may not, in their general sense, have been meant 
seriously ; for, if they are scientific statements, and not 
mere rhetorical phrases, they must profess to have some 
foundation and must therefore contain some sort of 
knowledge. On that account, as we saw above in formu- 
lating the task of the theory of knowledge, the positive 
contents of the various sciences do not fall within the 
province of the sceptic's plaint, which is directed rather 
to problems transcending the positive, such as are given, 
partly in science, but chiefly in philosophy. This philo- 
sophical Scepticism is not only the necessary transition 
from Dogmatism to any general view of things which has 
any scientific or extra-scientific confidence in itself, but 
it may in cases cease to be merely temporary and become 
an established conviction. More than once in our dis- 
cussion of ontic and genetic problems and the solution 


of them we came to a point where different, and eventu- 
ally contradictory, solutions, with arguments and counter- 
arguments, could be advanced. If we draw from this 
the antinomian inference that no conclusion is possible 
in such cases, we have Problematic Scepticism, or Prob- 
lematicism; a position which one has a perfect right to 

From this point of view there are again many shades 
reaching to the various forms of prudent and inconclu- 
sive statement. Naturally, where argument and counter- 
argument are equal (laoaOeveia TO>V Aoywv), there can 
from the purely theoretical point of view be no assent, 
and therefore no assertion, and judgment must be sus- 
pended (the 77-0x77 of the ancient Sceptics), but the 
will, in the shape of needs, wishes, and tendencies, may 
throw its weight into one of the scales. We have here a 
guarantee by interest, and the interest may be of many 
different kinds ; it may be a need of the individual or of 
an empirical community, or it may be an interest of the 
reason. For the purely theoretical judgment all these 
practical considerations have no justification whatever, 
and all are open to the same severe censure. They do 
indeed relieve the intellect from the discomfort of doubt, 
but they do this at the risk of leading it into error. This 
risk, however, has to be faced in commerce, which often 
requires a decision, and in many respects in practical 
life a man has to do it because it is the lesser of two evils ; 
but we must not infer from this that these substitutes are 
real knowledge, or behave as if they were. 

A certain measure of a theoretically sound means of 
dulling the edge of Scepticism may be found where the 
relation of arguments and counter-arguments is of such 
a nature that the one group is in its entirety decisively 
stronger than the other. In these cases one proceeds, as 
all knowledge (even philosophical) does, by way of prob- 
ability. We give the name of Probabilism to the view 
which abandons the idea of attaining a full and complete 
solution of philosophical problems, but regards it as pos- 
sible to come to probable conclusions. In ancient times 
what was called the Middle Academy, the Platonist 


school of the third and second centuries B.C., gave this 
Probabilistic turn to Scepticism ; and this is the character 
of the men-of-the-world philosophising adopted by the 
Romans through Cicero, and in the Renaissance taken 
up as " Academic Scepticism " by such a general thinker 
as Montaigne. It combines the positive knowledge of 
the special sciences with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders 
at the ultimate problems. It is the chief preparation for 
Positivism, as we find it in David Hume. 

Problematicism as a general theory culminates in the 
thesis that we can tell nothing about the relation of know- 
ledge to reality, and that, in particular, we cannot say 
whether it is a relation of likeness. But it easily passes 
on to another position, which it dare not strictly appro- 
priate, yet which seems to most people to be very like it, 
namely the statement that the relation is one of unlikeness. 
For if this unlikeness cannot be proved for the same reasons 
and in the same measure as likeness, the doubt about 
the likeness easily passes not with a logical, but with 
a psychological, necessity into a belief in unlikeness. 
Moreover, there is in favour of unlikeness, in regard to 
one's general view of things, the assumption of a difference 
between consciousness and the remainder of being, and 
we thus reach the attitude which is known as Pheno- 
menalism ; the theory, namely, that human knowledge 
is indeed related to a reality independent of it, but it is 
not a copy of this, and must not be cited to serve as such. 
In this, however, the ordinary idea of truth is left so far 
behind that such an attitude seems always to be tinged 
with a certain resignation. The statement that our 
knowledge reaches appearance " only," that it is " merely ' 
presentation, easily carries the secondary meaning that 
it ought properly to grasp and contain reality, and that 
it is regrettable that man's faculty of knowing is unable 
to do this. 

But the basis of the Phenomenalistic theory of know- 
ledge varies considerably according to the extension 
which it claims to have. Partial Phenomenalism contains 
an appreciation of the value of the different strata of 
human knowledge, claiming the transcendental truth of 


agreement with reality for one and assigning the character 
of p>henomenality to the other. In view of our earlier 
distinction between percepts and concepts we may 
recognise two forms of Phenomenalism. The first is the 
' sensualistic, according to which the contents of sensory 
perception are real, while the concepts are regarded as 
mere ideas or names at all events, as something the 
validity of which is restricted to consciousness. This 
is a view that comes very close to the popular attitude 
of naive Realism, but it also belongs to medieval 
Nominalism, and it is repeated in many echoes of this 
in recent philosophy. As an example we need quote 
only Materialism in the form in which it was expounded 
by Feuerbach. Opposed to this sensualistic Pheno- 
menalism we have the rationalistic, which, on the contrary, 
regards all sensory presentations as only appearances 
of reality in consciousness, and finds reality in the con- 
cepts, the contents of thought (voov^va). This form 
may have either a mathematical or an ontological com- 
plexion. Its mathematical form is the view of scientific 
theory, which takes all the sensory qualities of things 
to be appearances or phenomena, and grants real validity o t\ 
only to the quantitative relations which are amenable 
to mathematical treatment. We have fully expounded 
it, and considered it in its various aspects, in an earlier 
chapter. In this the category of causality has gradually 
displaced that of likeness as the relation between con- 
sciousness and being. Presentations are supposed to 
be effects of things on consciousness, and physico-physio- 
logical theory shows the strict and graduated correlation 
that exists between the real arid the perceived, being 
and consciousness. As far as the theory of knowledge 
is concerned, the centre of gravity of this view of the 
relation of consciousness and reality is in the fact that, 
according to it, the presentative forms in consciousness 
are not reflections of reality, but represent it, as a drawing 
represents the thing drawn. Hence this form of Pheno- 
menalism has been called the " Drawing Theory," or 
Semeiotics. In ancient times it was held chiefly by the 
Epicureans ; in the Middle Ages by Occam and the 


terministic logic ; and in modern times by Locke and 
Condillac. It forms the groundwork of the philoso- 
phising of modern men of science, such, as Helmholtz. 

The other form of rationalistic Phenomenalism, the 
ontological form, is the attitude of conceptual meta- 
physics, as it was founded in Plato's theory of ideas and 
re-echoed in Leibnitz's Monadology or Herbart's theory 
of reality. According to this the entire world of the senses, 
in its quantitative as well as its qualitative relations, 
and therefore including also its mathematical determina- 
tions in time and space, is merely an appearance of an 
incorporeal or supra-corporeal reality. A special impor- 
tance attaches in this shade of Phenomenalism to the 
determinations, given in experience, of inwardness, the 
qualities of consciousness. The two forms of experience, 
external and internal, are clearly not open in the same 
way to the Phenomenalist argument. This is best seen 
in the history of the word Idealism, which, as we saw, 
leads to so much misunderstanding. The sensory pro- 
perties which perception shows us in things are supposed 
not to be realities, but " merely " presentations or " ideas." 
Hence Idealism originally meant this theory which reduces 
the external reality to presentations. But the ideas as 
such are something real real activities, real contents 
in real spirits ; and this metaphysical aspect of the matter, 
which really ought to have been called spiritualistic, 
has been called Idealism. That is the chief reason for 
the change of Phenomenalism, which we so often encounter 
in history, into spiritualistic metaphysics. For if anything 
is to appear, there must not only be a reality that appears, 
but something to which it appears ; and that is con- 
sciousness. Thus of the two forms of experience the 
internal is constantly predominating over the external. 
External perception, which is supposed to be merely a 
knowledge of the states into which the perceptive being 
is thrown by the action of the external world, thus appears 
to be only a province within the entire domain of internal 
perception. The originally and indubitably certain thing 
is the reality of consciousness and its various states, 
while, on this theory, the reality of the external world 


is supposed to be believed only on the ground of various 
more or less unsafe deductions. On this chain of thought 
depend all the philosophic systems which regard any 
fundamental qualities of consciousness whether intellect 
or will as the true nature of things, and the entire 
external world as merely a phenomenon of this. The 
preponderance of the internal sense is a remarkable fact 
in the whole of modern metaphysics and theory of know- 
ledge. In this the fact is expressed that the quality of 
truth as a copy of reality is refused to our knowledge of 
the external world on the lines of Phenomenalism or 
Serneiotics, but this quality is only affirmed the more 
emphatically in regard to the mind's knowledge of itself 
and its states of consciousness. In point of fact, the 
self-knowledge of the soul is, if we do not interpolate 
into it some metaphysical transcendence with the aid 
of the concept of substance, the only knowledge in which 
we can be convinced beyond doubt of the likeness between 
knowledge and its object. All psychological knowledge 
is based upon this self-perception, which in the long run 
means a knowledge by means of memory, and in this 
we confidently assume that in this memory of self-know- 
ledge the psychic experience is perceived precisely as it 
is in reality. 

We have thus come to what Kant called a " scandal ' 
in the history of human knowledge : that we could seri- 
ously call into question the reality of the external world 
as contrasted with that of consciousness and then re- 
affirm it without any indubitable reasons. The pre- 
dominance which the internal life has thus, for purposes 
of theory, gained over corporeal reality led to the set- 
ting up of another category, that of inherence, between 
consciousness and that which, as a corporeal reality 
distinguished therefrom, was called ' being." In this 
Phenomenalistic (or, as was wrongly said, Idealistic) 
metaphysic consciousness played the part of substance, 
and its states and activities were supposed to be the ideas, 
the presentations, to which the reality of the outer world 
was reduced. The fantastic form which this theory 
assumed is theoretical Egoism, or Solipsism, which would 



retain only the individual philosophising subject as sub- 
stance. Certainly this was hardly ever seriously affirmed ; 
it was rather used as a piece of intimidation in the con- 
flicting arguments about consequences. To affirm it 
strictly is merely a ' monologue," which refutes itself 
by the very fact that it seeks to prove its position to other 
knowing subjects. Far more plausible was this Pheno- 
menalism when it disguised itself in the Berkeleyian form 
or in Leibnitz's Monadology. But we. have already clearly 
shown how even in this form it is quite unable to deduce 
a foreign content like the external world from the nature 
of consciousness. A last form of Phenomenalism is that 
which seeks reality in a super-individual consciousness, 
or " consciousness in general," as has been attempted 
in the metaphysical elaborations of Kant's teaching. 
These, however, no longer keep to the original and purely 
logical sense in which Kant himself constructed " con- 
sciousness in general ' ' as the correlative of the validit v- 
in-itself which he claimed for knowledge attained by 

All these views are based upon the old idea of the anti- 
thesis of the spiritual and material ; they regard the 
latter as appearance and the former as the reality which 
appears therein. This position can only be evaded by 
regarding both, the psychic and the corporeal, as appear- 
ance ; and then we have behind them only an entirely 
unknowable (because inexpressible) being, the thing-in- 
itself. This Absolute Phenomenalism, which later re- 
ceived the name of Agnosticism, is partly found in Kant's 
theory of knowledge. It is, in fact, one of its character- 
istic features that the soul, as the substance of the pheno 
mena of the internal sense, must be just as unknowable 
as bodies, as the substance of the phenomena of the ex- 
ternal sense. But this holds only in so far as this theory 
of knowledge is directed polemically against metaphysics, 
and particularly against its spiritualistic forms (Berkeley 
and Leibnitz). In this respect it is quite true that in 
Kant even the mind's empirical knowledge of its own 
states, its presentations, feelings, and volitions, does not 
grasp their absolute nature, but their phenomenal nature, 


their self-appearance in consciousness. With this develop- 
ment, however, if it is left incomplete, Phenomenalism 
dulls its own edge and digs its own grave. For since 
everything we can present belongs in its content either 
to trie world of the external sense or the province of the 
inner sense, the thing-in-itself remains a postulated nothing, 
to which no real definition and no formal relation can be 
applied. It is then an assumption of no use whatever 
to thought ; not the slightest explanation can be given 
of it. From the unknowable thing-in-itself we get no 
meaning either of the appearances of the external world 
or of those of the internal world ; the very division of 
appearing reality into the two profoundly separated, 
yet constantly related, realms of matter and spirit cannot 
be in the least understood from the unknowable thing-in- 
itself. This agnosticistic thing-in-itself is merely a dark 
chamber into which people cast their unsolved problems 
without obtaining any light whatever upon them. Hence 
in the metaphysical respect Kant has rounded his theory 
of knowledge by distinguishing between the theoretical 
insight of knowledge, which is supposed to be restricted 
to phenomena, and the " guarantee by an interest of 
reason," for which the theoretically unknowable is now 
supposed to present itself as the suprasensible world of 
the good and holy. He converted an absolute and 
agnostic Phenomenalism, of which the main lines were 
given in his criticism of knowledge, into a spiritualistic 

This, it is true, by no means exhausts the significance 
of the Kantist theory of knowledge, but merely shows 
its relation to metaphysical problems. We shall deal 
later with other features of it. We have here still to 
point out a new ramification of absolute Phenomenalism 
in recent times. The ground of it is the uselessness of 
the idea of thing-in-itself. When Kant declares that it 
could not be known, but must necessarily be thought, 
our perception of its uselessness raises the question whether 
we really have to think this unknowable, or even whether 
we can think it. When this question was answered in 
the negative, it followed that the relation of reality and 


appearance could not in principle be applied to the relation 
of being and consciousness ; and as all the other main 
categories likeness, causality, inherence were inapplic- 
able, there remained only identity as the fundamental 
relation of consciousness and being, or the theory that all 
being must somehow represent a consciousness, and all con- 
sciousness must somehow represent a being. In the further 
evolution of the theories of " consciousness in general," 
which we mentioned amongst the forms of Phenomenalism, 
this theory of identity was developed as the standpoint 
of Conscientialism, which gives itself the name of the 
"immanent' philosophy, and which has in recent times 
been decked out afresh and proclaimed as " the new 
philosophy of reality." In its rejection of the idea of a 
thing-in-itself, its refusal to seek behind appearances 
any sort of being distinct from them, it is of a thoroughly 
Positivistic character ; but it incurs the very serious 
difficulty that an identification of consciousness and being 
makes it absolutely impossible for us to understand 
discriminations of value between knowledge and object- 
less presentation, between the true and the false. For 
the variations in actual recognition, the quantitative 
graduations of assent, to which alone we could look on 
this theory, do not suffice to give us a firm definition of 
truth, and therefore for the solution of the noetic problem. 
Hence the solution must be sought in another direction, 
and that is the direction which Kant took in his new 
conception of the object of knowledge. 


The Object of Knowledge. Transcendental method Function and con- 
tent of consciousness Being and consciousness Synthesis of the 
manifold Objectivity as real necessity Abstraction Selective 
synthesis Rational sciences : sciences of nature and culture 
The position of Psychology Knowledge without and with value 
Autonomy of the various sciences. 

All the various conceptions of the theory of knowledge 
which we have as yet considered depend on the naive 


assumption of the transcendental definition of truth, 
according to which the knowing mind stands opposed to 
a reality which is its object. Whether this object is taken 
into consciousness, whether it is mirrored in it or repre- 
sented by a drawing, are merely different shades of the 
same fundamental idea; and all the theories derived 
therefrom, no matter what category they seek to apply 
to the relation of consciousness and being, are doomed 
by the impossibility of restoring the connection between 
thought and its content once they have been metaphysi- 
cally torn apart. Phenomenalism tries to disguise this 
unsolved fundamental problem under vague phrases 
such as " relating ' and " corresponding," but it always 
returns the moment we look closely into the words. To 
have delivered noetics from these assumptions and put 
it on its own basis is the merit of the critical or tran- 
scendental method which Kant opposed to the psycho- 
logical and the metaphysical ; though he himself only 
gradually discovered it, and developed it out of earlier 
methods. Thus he found the formula for the problem 
of the theory of knowledge in the well-known question : 
" What is the basis of the relation to the object of what 
we call in ourselves presentation ? ' Without adhering 
too closely to the academic forms of Kant's system, we 
can best explain its nature by a consideration which starts 
first from consciousness alone. 

In all consciousness we encounter the fundamental 
antithesis of the function, the activity or state, and the 
content, in which this function is discharged. In the ex- 
perience of consciousness the two are inseparably con- 
nected ; function is impossible without content, and 
content is equally impossible without function. But 
psychological experience shows in the facts of memory 
that it is possible for the content of consciousness occa- 
sionally to have a reality without the function of conscious- 
ness entering into activity ; and on the other hand, the 
distinction between true and false proves that many 
a content of consciousness has no other reality than that 
of being presented in the mind. A simple analysis, 
however, of what we mean by this shows us that we can 


only speak of any particular content as real in the sense 
that we relate it to some sort of consciousness as its con- 
tent. From the empirical consciousness of the individual 
we rise to the collective consciousness of any historical 
group of human beings, and beyond this to an ideal or 
normative culture-consciousness in the end, metaphysi- 
cally, to an absolute world-consciousness. The final limit 
of this series is a reality which needs no sort of conscious- 
ness for its reality. This being is reality in the sense of 
naive Realism, and ultimately also in the sense of the 
philosophical idea of the thing-in-itself ; and that is what 
we mean when we speak of the object to which knowledge 
is supposed to be related. From this point of view we 
then distinguish between those objects to which it is 
essential that they be contents of consciousness, and those 
for which entering into consciousness is something new. 
Psychic reality is one in which being and consciousness 
eo ipso coincide ; but to the extramental reality, we say, 
it is immaterial whether it be taken into consciousness, 
since it exists without any activity of consciousness. 
As a matter of fact, a reality of this sort without conscious- 
ness can never be thoroughly thought out, because when 
we attempt to do so when it is to be known at all it 
becomes a content of consciousness. It follows that in 
the long run we cannot conceive the objects of knowledge 
otherwise than as contents of a consciousness. It is very 
interesting to test this idea by the question in what con- 
sists the truth of our knowledge in regard to the past 
or the future. At first sight the past seems to be no longer 
a reality ; and if all knowledge is to mean an agreement 
of the idea with the reality, this criterion of truth in the 
ordinary sense of the word is inapplicable to all our his- 
torical knowledge. Yet something must be assumed 
that constitutes the " object " even of this kind of know- 
ledge and decides as to its soundness or unsoundness. 
A past that forms no content in any way of any conscious- 
ness could never become an object of knowledge. And 
that holds, mutatis mutandis, for our knowledge of the 
future. Indeed, it may be extended to all that is assumed 
to be real in space without being perceived anywhere 


or being perceptible. In fact, that which would pass as 
real in such conditions, which would exclude all relation 
to a perceiving or knowing mind, would have to be con- 
sidered as not real at all for consciousness. It could 
neither be thought nor spoken of. 

We must therefore define an object otherwise than is 
usually done on the lines of na'ive Realism, and this was 
first done in the Critique of Pure Reason. In conscious- 
ness itself we always find, as soon as we ask what is given 
in and with it, a multiplicity of content bound up in a 
unity. In this synthesis consists what we call the object 
of consciousness ; for the multiplicity of elements thus 
gathered into a unity becomes in this way something 
independent, in which the movement of the presentations 
may further develop. These elements, however, which 
are gathered into a unity, never arise from the unity 
itself ; they are parts of the great whole of the real. They 
only become objects of the mind when they are brought 
into a unity. Hence the object is not real as such outside 
the mind, but merely in virtue of the form in which the 
mind brings together the various parts of its content 
in a unity ; and the whole question is, in the long run, 
under what conditions this synthetic unity of the manifold 
has the value of knowledge. Here we must notice that 
in our inquiry it is a question of human knowledge ; we 
are dealing with the question under what conditions 
the objects which arise out of the synthetic unity in the 
empirical consciousness have a significance that goes 
beyond the play of presentations in the individual and in 
the species. Clearly they can have this only if the form 
of combination is really based upon the elements and 
is to be regarded as the norm for each individual form of 
the accomplishment of the synthesis. It is only when 
we think the elements in a connection which really belongs 
to them that the concept which a man has is a knowledge 
of an object. Objectivity of thought is therefore real 
necessity. But in what elements this will be done depends 
always on the empirical movement of thought. It is 
only in the latter sense that Kant meant that it is " we " 
ourselves who produce the objects of knowledge. 


All the groups which the elements of the real form in 
the empirical consciousness, excluding the empirical 
self-consciousness of the individual himself, are sections 
of the whole immeasurable domain of the real. Whether 
they are ideas of things or of events, they are always only 
a very restricted selection out of the total reality, and all 
the thousandfold relations, in which everything that can 
be an object of consciousness and knowledge finds itself, 
can never be presented together in an empirical conscious- 
ness. Even the mature mind of civilised man, in which 
the work of many generations is condensed into a unity, 
or the scientific conception, in which many potential 
pieces of knowledge are packed with all the economy 
of thought even these highest products of the theoretical 
mind can never embrace the totality of the real. The 
synthesis of the manifold is in the human mind, and there- 
fore for human knowledge, inexorably limited. In per- 
ception itself there is always only a selection out of the 
possible sensations even of the empirical consciousness, 
and every advance from perceptions to concepts, and from 
concepts to higher concepts, is won only by abandoning 
differences and concentrating upon common features. 
Logic calls this process abstraction. All the results that 
are based on it have the value of a selection from the 
immeasurable fullness of reality. This simplification of 
the world in the concept is, in fact, the one means by which 
a limited mind like that of man can become master of 
its own world of presentations. 

In this sense it is generally true that the mind produces 
its own objects, and creates its own world out of the 
elements of the real which it finds in itself as its contents. 
For the ethical and the aesthetic mind this fundamental 
feature is, as we shall see later, so obvious that it almost 
goes without saying. Its significance for the theoretical 
mind could only be discovered from the fact that, under 
the influence of the untrained mind, the idea arose that it 
is the aim of knowledge to picture a reality independent 
of itself. But the more clearly we realise that this know- 
ledge is itself a part of reality, and indeed one of the 
most valuable parts, the more we see that the knowledge 


itself is nothing but a synthesis of the elements, which 
reveals itself in their selection and arrangement. At 
first this selection and arrangement take place involun- 
tarily, as in the case of perception, and the entire shaping 
of our objective presentation issues in the production of 
our world as a section of reality. What we call object, 
even in simple perception, is never real as such ; the 
elements which enter into our object as constituents 
have innumerable other relations which do not come 
within the narrow limits of our consciousness. To that 
extent we ourselves make the objects. But they are 
not on that account something other than the reality 
not the appearance, known to us, of an unknown thing- 
in-itself. They are just as much a part of reality : a part 
that is real as such, though it can never stand for the whole 
of reality. Not only its constituents, but also the forms 
in which these combine to form objects, have their roots 
in the reality itself. In this, and in this alone, consists 
the truth of our knowledge, that in it we produce objects 
which, as regards their content and form, do actually 
belong to reality, yet as regards their selectiveness and 
arrangement arise from it as new structures. Hence 
the production of these objects in knowledge itself is one 
of the valuable structures of reality, and if the formation 
and shaping of these objects in the process of human 
knowledge is to be called " appearance " (but an appear- 
ance which in this case is quantitative, not qualitative, 
since it cannot represent reality, but only a selection 
from it), we may quote the saying of Lotze that, if our 
knowledge is supposed to contain only appearance, the 
efflorescence of this appearance in consciousness must be 
regarded as one of the most valuable things that can happen 
between the constituents of reality generally. 

If we thus conceive the essence of knowledge as a 
selective synthesis, which produces in the human mind 
a world of objects out of the immeasurable fullness of the 
universe, we shall be best able to orientate ourselves as 
regards the number of the ways in which this essence of 
knowledge is realised. The simplest thing to do is to 
distinguish first between prescientific and scientific know- 


ledge. The first, the simple and naive action of the impulse 
to~acquire knowledge, is an unscientific production of 
its world of objects. Not only in perception, but also 
in the opinions that are based thereon, the objects seem 
to take shape so much of themselves, so much without 
any action of our psychic powers, that they seem to be 
something foreign, introduced, seen, reproduced and 
pictured in the soul. It is only in scientific knowledge 
that the objects are consciously engendered, and there- 
fore deliberately shaped. But the way of doing this 
differs according as it starts from the forms or the contents 
of consciousness. We therefore distinguish (not in the 
psychogenetic, but in the logical sense) between rational 
and empirical sciences. The synthetic character of the 
knowledge, which engenders the objects, is plainer in 
the rational than in the empirical sciences. Hence 
amongst the rational sciences it is especially mathe- 
matics that has, since the time of Plato, been the 
guiding star of the theory of knowledge. In the case 
of mathematics it is quite clear that its objects are 
not as such taken over by consciousness, but are its 
own, and are engendered from within. That is true of 
numbers in the same way as of space-forms. However 
much experience gives the occasion of forming one or 
other arithmetical or geometrical idea, these ideas them- 
selves are never objects of experience. Hence even in 
the naive view of things the mathematical mind is not 
supposed to reproduce, embrace, or picture some existing 
reality in the ordinary sense of the word. Mathematical 
knowledge is entirely independent of the question whether 
there is or is not something corresponding to it in natura 
rerum. And precisely for that reason it reflects the real 
nature of knowledge. For once the object appears, 
whether it be produced from an empirical stimulation 
or by deliberate direction of the sensory imagination, 
such as a circle, a triangle, a logarithm, or an integral, 
all the knowledge that is derived from it is necessarily 
bound up with this self-engendered structure, and depends 
as to its soundness or unsoundness upon the objective 
nature of this. 


Apart from mathematics, the only rational science we 
now recognise is logic, which is related to the forms of 
thought just as mathematics is related to the forms of per- 
ception. Here again we find the peculiar relation between 
the self-production of objects and the dependence upon 
them which thought experiences. But the validity which 
we claim for the formal conceptions of mathematics and 
logic is not restricted to the fact that, once conceived 
and fixed in scientific definitions, they demand general 
and compulsory assent from every normal mind. They 
seem to us also to be conditioning powers in the totality 
of things. The regularity of numbers and spatial magni- 
tudes, the knowledge of arithmetic and geometry, is con- 
firmed in the texture of the material world, and is repro- 
duced in the natural laws in which science represents 
it. The validity of logical forms has such real significance 
for us that we cannot imagine the world otherwise than 
entirely conditioned by them. To this extent the two 
rational sciences are wholly parallel in their type of truth, 
and this analogy between them holds further in the sense 
that both sciences, being restricted to the forms of reality, 
cannot deduce therefrom for our knowledge the content- 
determinations of reality. In regard to logical forms 
there is an illusory idea that they yield an interpretation 
of the actual nature of reality. This gave rise to the 
Rationalistic Dogmatism of metaphysics, the untenability 
of which was proved for all time by the Critical philosophy. 
Since then we may regard the homogeneity of the two 
rational sciences as a firm foundation for the theory of 
knowledge. Both relate to the forms of reality ; and in 
this respect the mathematical forms hold good for reality 
just as much as the logical. But metaphysics is, precisely 
on that account, only conceivable as a theory of know- 
ledge : as, that is to say, a critical inquiry into the logical 
forms of the real, from which we cannot deduce its 
content -conditions. We halt at this distinction between 
the logical-mathematical form and the content of reality 
which depends on it as a final and insoluble dualism. We 
may hope and suspect that the two, which we always find 
in relation, have somewhere a common root in some ulti- 


mate unity. But this would have to be sought in the 
absolute totality of universal reality, from which we can 
never do more than build up a fragment as the work of 
our own scientific knowledge. All the real perceptions of 
science or of daily life are based upon experience. 

Yet the empirical sciences themselves reveal in their 
own way this selective character of human knowledge ; 
in them it is a deliberate, if not always fully self-conscious, 
selection from the immeasurable richness of reality. While 
we distinguish between rational and empirical sciences 
according to the difference in their starting-point, we divide 
the empirical sciences themselves according to the different 
purposes of the various branches. For some of the em- 
pirical sciences this purpose consists of a purely logical 
value, generalisation. The logical values of generalisa- 
tion are represented by generic ideas of things or events, 
types or laws ; and the real " validity " of these ideas 
in regard to all that is grouped under them is the funda- 
mental relation which we sum up in the word " nature," 
the totality of things and of whatever happens between 
them, the cosmos. All scientific investigation seeks in 
the long run to ascertain the forms of this cosmic uni- 
formity, in so far as they are amenable to our knowledge 
with its limitations of space and time. The absolute 
validity, transcending subjective recognition, of mathe- 
matical and logical forms, under which the contents of 
experience are combined in synthetic structures, and ulti- 
mately as the cosmos, proves to us that here we have to 
deal with an order which goes beyond the specifically 
human conditions of presentations and raises their objec- 
tive significance to the status of full reality. 

Opposed to this study of nature, as that form of empirical 
knowledge which has to build up the cosmos out of the 
chaos of our perceptions, are those scientific activities 
which have to establish and thoroughly study particular 
realities. But these particular things, since they lack 
the logical value of generalisation, can only be objects 
of knowledge when there is some other value inherent 
in them ; and all other values are known to us only in 
such structures as in their empirical appearance belong 


to the life of man, and relate to what man has elaborated 
from his experience of the surrounding world. These are 
the structures of civilised life, which, engendered and per- 
fected in the course of human history, we regard as the 
historical cosmos as distinguished from the natural. It 
is true that there is in this historical cosmos the same 
universal rule of law, and in it, as a single part of the uni- 
versal reality, we find the same broad feature, that the 
individual is subject to the general. But it is not on 
that account that historical events and institutions form 
the object of a special investigation, differing in principle 
and method from that of natural science. The real reason 
is that we would interpret the sequence of the historical 
life as the realisation of values which, in their turn, tran- 
scend in their validity the life of man, in whose mind they 
attain recognition. The study of civilisation, or the science 
of history as it used to be called, is an appreciation of 
values, whereas natural science has in mind only the 
logical value of generalisation, and otherwise regards 
itself as indifferent to values. However, the apprecia- 
tion of values in historical research does not consist in 
some feeble moralising over and evaluation of its objects, 
but in the fact that here again the objects only come 
into being in science by relating them to a standard of 
value. Certainly everything that happens is not his- 
torical. The object of historical science is always some- 
thing that stands out from accompanying events by reason 
of its relation to some high standard of value in life, and 
is thus converted into an historical object. Such an 
event is never real in this outstandingness ; it is only 
in science that it becomes a definite structure or institu- 
tion. Thus both the natural cosmos and the historical 
cosmos, as they are ultimately attained in empirical 
science, are new structures of scientific thought. Their 
truth does not consist in their agreement with something 
that is precisely such extra mentem, but in the fact that 
their contents belong to the immeasurable absolute 
reality ; not as the whole, but again as parts selected 
and elaborated by human knowledge. 

This division of scientific research according to its 


objects is not entirely the same as the usual distinction 
between natural and mental sciences, the best known 
and most established of the many attempts to classify 
the sciences. Such a distinction is based upon the meta- 
physical dualism of nature and spirit far more than on 
the psychological dualism of external and internal experi- 
ence, and it therefore does not regard the objects of scien- 
tific research in the critical sense of the modern theory of 
knowledge. Our theory is aware that from the same 
groups of the absolutely real we may elaborate either 
objects of natural knowledge, which aims at emphasising 
the uniformity of nature, or historical objects, the shaping 
of which is based upon a selection of elements according 
to value. But the distinction between the two branches 
is particularly important in regard to psychology. The 
relation of psychology to the two branches is not simple ; 
it is complicated by the fact that their aims, as formulated 
in modern times, range from the psycho-physical studies 
of individual psychology to the most intricate structures 
of social psychology, the analysis of which touches the 
frontiers of historical research. In the middle between 
these extremes we have the knowledge provided by the 
inner sense, the self-perception of consciousness, which 
is also the chief requisite in all auxiliary studies on the 
part of both extremes. Judged by its chief material 
and its essential character, psychology is natural research 
in the ordinary scientific sense. It passes into historical 
science only in so far as it seeks, as a sort of character- 
study, to interpret psychic individuals as such, whether 
in their individual occurrence or in their typical structure. 
On the other hand, if the sciences are divided into natural 
and mental, psychology has some difficulty in finding a 
place amongst the latter. We often speak as if it were 
the chief of the mental sciences, because all of them, 
and particularly the historical, deal with processes which 
we recognise as belonging to the human mind. But 
phrases such as these have nothing to do with the realities 
of research. The results of scientific psychology, which 
are summed up in the formulation of general laws, are of 
no consequence to the historian. The great historians 


had no need to wait for the experiments and research 
of our psycho-physicists. The psychology they used 
was that of daily life. It was the knowledge of men, the 
experience of life, of the common man, coupled with the 
insight of the genius and the poet. No one ever yet 
succeeded in making a science of this psychology of intui- 
tive understanding. 

However we may try to divide the sciences according to 
their objects, we shall always encounter the difficulty that 
these objects are not given simply as such, but are shaped 
by the scientific work of the concepts themselves. Hence 
it is impossible to make a clean division of sciences accord- 
ing to what we call their objects. It can only be done 
on the basis of the scientific procedure itself. In the prac- 
tical work of science we find the various branches marked 
off from each other, and then (very much as in the rest of 
academic life) reunited in groups ; but in each branch, 
whichever we choose, we find scientific trains of thought 
crossing each other, in which ideas, types, or laws are 
sought, with investigations of an historical nature, which 
have the value of the individual as the principle of their 
objectivity. Such elements are most finely interwoven 
everywhere in establishing the causal relations of the indi- 
vidual event of value. In this natural and historical research 
unite in seeking to determine the regular course of events 
in which the ultimate values of the world are realised. 

On the whole, however, we find that the theory of know- 
ledge cannot go too far in recognising the autonomy of 
the different sciences. In methodology the illusion of a 
universal method, which might hold good for all the 
sciences, was abandoned long ago. It was realised that 
the difference of objects demands a difference in scientific 
procedure. And while the theory of knowledge has 
grasped the fact that these objects themselves arise from 
a selective synthesis of scientific thought, we must not 
refuse to recognise that all the elements of the conception 
of truth are conditioned for each science by its own 
peculiarities, and that here again we cannot compress 
the richly varied vitality of human thought into an 
abstract formula. 




THE scientific form in which we most clearly conceive 
the meaning of the distinction between theoretical and 
axiological problems lies in the fact that the propositions 
which we enunciate, affirmatively and negatively, are 
either judgments or verdicts. In spite of an identity in 
grammatical form, the two have very different meanings. 
In the one case the relation of subject and predicate is 
said to be a relation of two contents which are theoreti- 
cally connected in the mind, the relation being either 
assigned to such contents or denied them. In the second 
case the predicate does not represent any theoretical 
content of consciousness, but a relation to a purpose or 
a value, which is granted or refused to the subject. It 
is only a quite untrained mind that treats such purposive 
relations as the pleasant or the beautiful as properties 
that inhere in the subject as other properties do. The 
slightest shade of reflection discovers that these predicates 
of value do not belong to the things themselves as pro- 
perties, but accrue to them by their being related to some 
standard in the mind. If, however, verdicts of this nature 
are to claim general validity like judgments, it can only be 
because they express or presuppose a relation to some 
standard that is generally valid. But it is one of the 
natural necessities of psychic life that each empirical 
mind regards its own standard of values as independent 
and valid for all, and that here again experience of 


VALUE 209 

must disturb this naive confidence before valuations 
can become problems, first of practical life and then of 
science. Hence the idea of value is now the centre of 
any further discussion of problems. 


Value. Psychological axiology Valuation as feeling or will Primary 
feeling Primary will Reciprocity of values Conversion 
Morality Valuation of values Conscience Postulate of the 
normal consciousness Logic, ethics, and esthetics. 

Axiology, or the science of values, has only been recog- 
nised in recent times as an independent and extensive 
science. The frequent appearance of the word " value ' 
in modern philosophical language began with Lotze, and 
it has grown because theories of philosophy and national 
economy have been based upon it. This, however, has 
led to many complications and misunderstandings, and 
we can only avoid these by endeavouring to understand 
how value or valuation may and did become a problem, 
and indeed a philosophical problem. 

Valuation appears first as a psychic process de- 
scribed by psychologists, and a proper study for 
psychologists. There is so little to be said against 
this that, as a matter of fact, axiology readily seeks a 
psychological basis. The Voluntarist and Emotionalist 
tendencies in recent philosophy lean toward a pre- 
dominantly psychological treatment of their problems. 
The contents of the theoretical consciousness, with their 
mainly objective features, only gradually and indirectly 
betray their relation to the psychic processes. They 
have at first an appearance of transcending and pointing 
beyond the human mind, and this seems to demand that 
they be treated purely as facts. The "practical " func- 
tions of the mind, on the contrary, always show a pre- 
dominant character of inwardness, of subjectivity. They 
are so intimately bound up with what is specifically 
human that they must necessarily be approached from 
the psychological side. That is true above all of the 



generic idea of these practical functions, value ; and our 
inquiry into it must start from the facts of valuation. 

We find the idea of value everywhere defined either 
so as to mean anything that satisfies a need or anything 
that evokes a feeling of pleasure. The latter, taken from 
the emotional side of consciousness, is the broader defini- 
tion. It includes the narrower, which looks to the life 
of the will. In view of this double relation, to the will 
and the feelings, the question arises whether one of these 
functions can claim to be original rather than the other. 
The two species of valuation are certainly intimately 
connected psychogenetically, so that it is often difficult 
to say confidently in a particular case which was prior, 
the will or the feelings. From this we understand the 
one-sided claims of the Voluntarist and the Emotionalist 
psychologists. They have even, as we saw above, occa- 
sionally given a tinge to spiritualist metaphysics. We 
must admit that it would be difficult to make out as good 
a case for feeling as is made out for the will as the essence 
of reality. This is the more remarkable as precisely in 
recent psychology we notice a tendency to see in feeling 
the fundamental psychic activity or psychic state, and 
regard thought and will as derivative functions. If, 
in spite of this, we scarcely ever find in metaphysical 
circles, which affect to take the typical contents of reality 
from the psychic life and inner experience, the idea of 
seeking the primary reality in feeling, it may be that this 
is because in feeling we have always, and quite unmis- 
takably, a reaction to something more fundamental. 

There are certainly very many emotional valuations 
which can be traced to the will or to needs. Hence 
pleasure is often defined as the satisfaction of the will, 
and displeasure as the dissatisfaction of the will. This 
is particularly clear when the volition is conscious. But 
even the unconscious volition, which we generally call 
an impulse or craving, is the origin of such feelings as 
hunger (as displeasure) or satiety (as pleasure). These 
observations have inspired the theory that all pleasure or 
displeasure presupposes a volition ; not necessarily in 
the shape of a deliberate purpose, but at least in that of 

VALUE 211 

cravings or impulses as forms of an unconscious will. 
Kant lent a certain sanction to this view when, in his 
Critique of Judgment, he expressed the opinion that pleasure 
and displeasure are related to the purposiveness or non- 
purposiveness of their objects. Purpose is determined 
by the will, whether conscious or unconscious, and is 
therefore always something willed. Hence all feeling 
must be preceded by a volition which, according as it is 
satisfied or no, gives rise to the reaction, pleasure or dis- 
pleasure. But against this Voluntarist theory of feeling 
we have, in the first place, the elementary sense-feelings, 
the sensations of colours, sounds, smells, tastes, etc. In 
their case there is often, not only no relation to any pur- 
pose of a conscious will, but none even to a craving or an 
unconscious impulse. The artificial hypotheses of physio- 
logical psychology about some normal state or middle 
state of excitation, which purport to explain sensory 
feelings as the realisation or non-realisation of a purpose, 
entirely fail ; they break down before the facts of anti- 
purposive pleasure, which is to them an insoluble problem. 
We are bound to grant that there are primary feelings of 
a totally unintelligible nature ; and, as the relation of 
the quality of sensations to the objective properties 
of the stimuli cannot possibly be deduced synthetically 
that is to say, logically so we can never understand 
from these qualities why they are partly characterised by 
feelings of pleasure and partly by feelings of displeasure. 
Hence the opposite theory, the Emotionalist interpre- 
tation of the volition. Here again it is notorious that 
frequently our desire or aversion arises from some past 
pleasure or displeasure, some experience of pleasantness 
or unpleasantness. Hence the old question : " How can 
a man will anything that he does not regard as good ? 
And how can he will this unless he has already experi- 
enced a feeling of pleasure in it ? " Generalising in this 
way leads to the Eudaemonistic or Utilitarian theory, 
that all volition springs from an experienced feeling of 
pleasure or displeasure. Here we have a decisive counter- 
instance in instincts, in which there is undoubtedly in 
the individual an original volition, without any knowledge 


of pleasure acquired by experience. There are even cases 
of bad disposition in which this primary volition, directed 
to acts and objects, seeks fulfilment in spite of all experi- 
ence of unpleasantness arising therefrom. There are 
some who think that they evade the difficulty by the usual 
appeal to the unconscious, and try to explain the intensity 
of the instinctive volition by unconscious expectations of 
some pleasure which the subject promises himself ; or 
by the evolutionary theory, regarding the experience of 
feeling, which the individual cannot possibly have had 
in this case, as an experience of the species, and speaking 
of an inherited reaction of the will. In neither way can 
we escape the fact that there is in the individual a primi- 
tive will to act without any conscious regard to pleasure 
or unpleasantness in the future. 

Thus in our psychic experience there is the fundamental 
fact of a reciprocity of the two kinds of valuation, that of 
feeling and that of will. For each there are original 
functions as well as functions which are conditioned by 
the other kind. In particular states we may observe 
that they are completely separable. Just as there are 
border-cases, states of the disinterested intellect in which 
the content of consciousness -is merely presented without 
being subjected to an}' valuation states of imagination 
which are in part ingredients of the aesthetic life so there 
are on the other hand border-cases of temperament (the 
melancholic, for instance), more or less permanent states 
in which our conscious experience of the environment 
is bound up with strong feelings of pleasure or displeasure, 
but no wishes or efforts to react voluntarily on these. 
In the average life, however, the valuations of feeling 
and will are always intermingled. In this there is no 
feeling which does not entail a desire of pleasure or a 
shrinking from disagreeableness, and no volition that 
does not become pleasure or displeasure according as it 
is or is not satisfied. In the psychogenetic development 
the chief part in this is played by the law that all that 
is firmly connected in any way with a thing of value in 
the mind passes under the same valuation in the course 
of time. 

VALUE 213 

This principle of transference is developed not only 
in the teleological relation of ends and means or the causal 
relation of causes and effects, but in every categorical 
connection of the contents of experience, particularly in 
the combinations of an association of contiguity. We need 
take as examples only two of the most familiar of these. 
On the one hand there is the psychogenetic explanation 
of greed or avarice by the fact that money, which in 
itself (as scraps of paper, for instance) has no value at 
all, becomes of value, and is highly esteemed, as the 
general means of securing valuable things and satisfying 
one's wants. On the other hand there is the well-known 
and basic fact of experience that things that are of no 
consequence in themselves are esteemed because of rewards 
attached to them or avoided because of penalties. Educa- 
tion can go so far, as everybody knows, as to completely 
invert the value of things, so that what was once esteemed 
is regarded with disgust, and what was hated may become 
desirable. From the same formal development we thus 
get, on the one hand, something so irrational and evil 
as unnatural passion, and on the other hand the creation 
of states of feeling and will to which we attach the greatest 
pleasure. From this it follows that for a theory of value 
which is to settle the question of the vindication or ration- 
ality of values the psychogenetic origin of any particular 
value is entirely irrelevant and can never afford a decisive 

To such a theory, transcending all psychological explana- 
tion, we are driven irresistibly by all the experiences 
which we have in the development of our appreciations 
of value. The simple confidence with which at first we 
ascribe to all others our own way of appreciating things, 
is very soon disturbed by our experience. We quickly 
notice that what is pleasant to us may be very unpleasant 
to others, and vice versa. We learn that what is good 
for us is injurious to others ; and we later, as we get on 
in life, realise that even what we regard as good or evil, 
beautiful or ugly, is not judged by others in the same 
way. At first we are reconciled with this great diversity 
in ideas of value because in the circles to which we look 


there is, in spite of these individual variations, a certain 
amount of a generally recognised standard of values, 
which we usually call morals. In many forms of inner 
and outer experience, of our own and others, we grant 
this code of morals a sovereignty over the personal feel- 
ings of the individual. The generally recognised standard 
is the correct standard ; the individual decision must be 
subject to and in agreement with it. In this we may see 
the psychological nature of conscience. It is the voice 
of the general consciousness in the individual, and from 
it we derive the law of the subjection of the individual 
to it. Here we already perceive the intricacy of the 
process of appreciating values. The primary processes 
of the individual cravings, feelings, and volitions, each of 
which contains its own appreciation of an object, are them- 
selves subject to a higher and more deliberate type of 
appreciation, which approves one valuation as sound 
and condemns another as unsound. The norms according 
to which this secondary appreciation is conducted will 
be considered later. We see at once, however, in what 
direction this consideration and the question of the validity 
of value take us. In the sphere of the pleasant and un- 
pleasant, and also of the useful and harmful, there is no 
such higher appreciation. Here the question of the justi- 
fication of our valuations has no meaning. In this case 
all the phenomena of valuation take place with the same 
psychological necessity ; even the great diversity of indi- 
viduals and individual states and conditions leaves no 
room for wonder whether what appears to one pleasant 
and desirable may be unpleasant and undesirable to 
another. Hence there is no philosophical hedonism as 
an inquiry into the validity of our ideas of pleasantness 
or usefulness. On the other hand, the two provinces 
of life which we find described in the predicates good or 
evil, and beautiful or ugly, are of such a nature that the 
validity of the primary valuations of will and feeling is 
called into question by the general consciousness and its 
claim to set up a universal standard of value. Thus the 
philosophical problem here is to studj' and establish the 
value of values. It cannot simply be satisfied with this 

VALUE 215 

judgment of the individual appreciations by the general 
moral consciousness. Morality itself is, in the long run, 
a fact, and the privilege which it claims in its validity 
over the individual feelings and volitions is not an obvious 
right. We know, in fact, that morality itself is just as 
liable to err in its verdicts as the individual. Hence 
conscience, in this first form of a relation between the 
actual individual mind and the actual general mind, is 
not something final. We have first to settle difficult 
questions about the soundness of our most treasured 

This is the commencement of the real problems of philo- 
sophical axiology. At first every value meant something 
which satisfies a need or excites a feeling of pleasiire. 
It follows from this that valuableness (naturally, both 
in the negative and the positive aspect) is never found 
in the object itself as a property. It consists in a relation 
to an appreciating mind, which satisfies the desires of 
its will or reacts in feelings of pleasure upon the stimula- 
tions of the environment. Take away will and feeling, 
and there is no such thing as value. Now morality is a 
standard of appreciation of the general mind set over the 
individual appreciation, and from this arose new values 
beyond the original appreciations. These also, never- 
theless, when they are examined by the historian and 
ethnographer, show just as great diversities as individual 
appreciation did. Ethical and aesthetic judgments dis- 
play, in the mind of any unprejudiced observer, an 
extremely great diversity when one surveys the various 
peoples of the earth in succession. Here again, however, 
we try to set up a final standard of values ; we speak of 
higher and lower stages of morality or of taste in different 
peoples and different ages. Where do we get the standard 
for this judgment ? And where is the mind for which 
these ultimate criteria are the values ? If it is quite 
inevitable to rise above the relativity in individual appre- 
ciations and the morals of various peoples to some standard 
of absolute values, it seems necessary to pass beyond 
the historical manifestations of the entire human mind 
to some normal consciousness, for which these values are 


values. There is just the same compulsion as we found 
in connection with the theory of knowledge. As there 
are objects only for a presenting and knowing mind, 
the object which is to form the standard of truth points 
to a " consciousness in general " as to that for which it 
must be the object. It is just the same with value-in- 
itself as with the thing-in-itself. We have to seek it in 
order to get beyond the relativity of actual appreciations ; 
and, since there is value only in relation to a valuing 
consciousness, the value-in-itself points to the same normal 
consciousness which haunts the theory of knowledge as 
the correlate of the object-in-itself. In both cases this 
implication is at the most a postulate, not a thing meta- 
physically known. 

This analogy has a far-reaching significance. This 
normal consciousness to which the theory of knowledge 
leads us means, at the bottom, only that the truth of our 
knowledge and the guarantee that in our knowledge we 
perceive reality are based upon the fact that therein we 
see the emergence of an actual order which transcends 
in its validity the specifically human order. In the same 
way our conviction that for human valuation there are 
absolute norms, beyond the empirical occasions of their 
appearance, is based upon the assumption that here also 
we have the sovereignty of a transcendent rational order. 
As long as we would conceive these orders as contents 
of an actual higher mind, on the analogy of the relation 
we experience of consciousness to its objects and values, 
they have to be considered contents of an absolute reason 
that is to say, God. These relations are in the long 
run based upon the fact that noetic problems themselves 
have something of the nature of the axiological in them, 
and they thus afford a transition from theoretical to 
practical problems. For in the theory of knowledge 
we deal with the truth-value of ideas, with its definition, 
with the question how it becomes psychically a value, 
and therefore, how, in what sense, and by what method, 
it is attained. In the affirmative and the negative 
judgment there are the same alternative elements as in 
the affirmations and denials of the ethical and aesthetic 

VALUE 217 

judgment, and thus to a certain extent logical, ethical, 
and aesthetic appreciations are co-ordinated, and we get 
the three great philosophical sciences logic, ethics, and 
aesthetics. That is the division of universal values which 
Kant made the basis of the distribution of his critical 
philosophy. It proves, moreover, to be also a psycho- 
logical guide, as it starts from the division of psychic states 
into presentation, volition, and feeling. This guarantees 
the completeness of the division, and the few attempts 
that have been made to replace it by some other systematic 
distribution always come to the same thing in the end. 
However, the relation of the theoretical world-order 
to the practical demands a final synthesis. It consists 
in the question how the two orders are related to each 
other in the entire frame of things : that is to say, how 
the world of things, which exist and are recognised as 
existing, is related to the world of values, which ought to 
be, and must be, valid for the things as well as for us. 
This is the question of the supreme unity of the world ; 
and if we find the solution in the idea of God, we get a 
final group of problems those of the philosophy of 
religion. Our second part must therefore be divided 
into three sections, and these will successively deal with 
ethical, aesthetic, and religious problems. 


OF the two types of psychological attitude toward the 
idea of value we start first with the Voluntarist, when 
we approach the domain of moral philosophy or, as we 
just as commonly say, ethics. In this province value 
appears essentially as end, the reAo?, the principle of 
conduct. The philosophical inquiry we make into it 
is not a science of the ends toward which the human will 
is actually directed that is the work of psychology and 
history but a theory as to how the human will ought 
to be directed. In accordance with the terminology 
invented by Aristotle we call this branch of philosophy 
ethics, because it has to show how human life, as a result of 
man's own activity, is to be shaped in virtue of the natural 
and customary ideas of morality. It is the science of what 
man can and ought to make of himself and his world : 
the science of the values which he owes to the activity 
of his own reason (TO TTPCLKTOV dyadov). The ancient 
philosophers distributed these considerations in three 
parts. In so far as values are the ends which must be 
attained by the activity of the human will, they are called 
good. The determination of the dispositions, actions, 
and rules needed for this gives us what we call a man's 
duties. And the qualities which guarantee the fulfilment 
of duty and attainment of the good are called virtues 
(aper-q, virtus). We thus get the threefold division into 
the theory of the good, the theory of duties, and the 
theory of virtues. It is not entirely a good division, as 
it really implies only three different methods of treating 
the same material. To-day much more importance is 
attached to a division according to the subject of the 



moral action. The entire problem of ethics, which has 
on that account been called practical philosophy, is man 
in so far as he acts voluntarily ; and it is in this sense 
that Aristotle occasionally calls it the science which 
has especially to deal with human affairs (77 Trepi rav9pa>7nva 
7rpa.yna.Teia). At all events no other branch of philosophy 
is so intimately concerned with the sphere of man's life 
as ethics, and therefore the chief danger in treating it 
is that it may not be able to find the way from this sphere 
to the transcendent validities of the rational order. In 
human life, moreover, the subject of moral conduct is 
partly the individual, partly the social community, and 
partly the species in its historical evolution. Hence we 
get the three sections of practical philosophy which we 
may distinguish as morality, social science, and the 
philosophy of history. 


The Principle of Morality. Imperativistic and descriptive morality 
Many meanings of the moral principle Universal moral law 
Teleological fundamental law Eudasmonism Egoism Hedon- 
ism Epicureanism Morality of soul-salvation Altruism Utili- 
tarianism Morality of perfectibility Rational morality Defini- 
tion of man Emotional morality Morality and legality The 
categorical imperative Moral order of the world Morality of 

Empirical and rational morality Morality of feeling Intui- 
tionalism Morality of authority God, the State, and custom as 
legislators Heteronomy and autonomy. 

Reward and punishment Altruistic impulses Sympathy and 
fellow-feeling The beautiful soul Strata of morality. 

The freedom of the will Freedom of action and choice 
Determinism and indeterminism Responsibility Metaphysical 
freedom as causelessness Practical responsibility. 

The psychological assumption of the ethical problem, 
and one that runs counter to all parallelistic hypotheses, 
is that there are voluntary acts : that is to say, purposive 
movements of the human body which are caused by will 
and are meant to produce something in the environment 
which the will pursues as a value or end. To this we must 
add a second, specifically ethical, assumption : the basic 


fact that some of these actions are liked by us, either 
because of their content, their causes, or their results, and 
some are not liked. The former are considered " good," 
the latter " bad." This valuation, however, means no 
more than that they respond or do not respond to the 
expectations of the acting subject. Hence as a norm 
of ethical judgment one thing is desired, another for- 
bidden, and a third is indifferent. In any case, even 
in ordinary life, we set up a command for every actual 
event, in so far as it represents human conduct, which 
it has to fulfil, and on the fulfilment or non-fulfilment 
of which its moral value depends. Wherever there is 
ethical judgment amongst men, the validity of such a 
command is assumed, even if its content is not quite 
clearly realised or one is far from clear as to the legal 
basis of the command. This command we call duty or 
the moral law. In view of the very various situations, 
however, in which men may be called upon to act, there 
are clearly numbers of such duties and moral laws, and 
the question may be raised whether they can all be re- 
duced to a fundamental type which we may then call 
the moral law. 

From this we get a broad divergence in the treatment 
of ethical problems ; in the question, namely, whether 
the moral law and its various ramifications were established 
by the scientific research of ethics and appointed over 
man's actual voluntary movements, or whether this 
moral law was merely discovered as the actual norm 
which determines the decisions of moral life. In the 
former case we may speak of an imperativist ethic ; in 
the latter it is, in the long run, merely of a descriptive 
nature. But, however sharp this antithesis may appear, 
it is increasingly lessened in the development of ethical 
theory. We rarely get the extremes. Very rarely has 
the ethicist set out to pose as the moral legislator, or to 
represent himself as the founder of a new moral law in 
face of the existing moral life. In modern times we find 
this claim of being a legislator in its most pronounced 
form in Nietzsche ; who, however, was quite conscious 
that in this he was discharging a personal mission and 


rendering what he believed to be a service to civilisation 
rather than expounding a scientific theory. There is 
something of an imperativist ethics, rightly or wrongly, 
in the work of all reformers. And precisely on that 
account it is anything but scientific. Where ethics is 
found as a science in the imperativist form, as, particularly, 
in the case of Kant, it does not lose sight of life. It 
remains conscious that it has not to create the moral 
law, but to discover it and formulate it as the most 
intimate principle of actual morality. Hence Kant 
himself was most careful in formulating his moral law 
to keep in sympathy with the ideas of the ordinary man. 
To that extent even the imperativist ethic has a descriptive 
character, since it establishes the laws of moral conduct 
and judgment. It seeks to develop the principles which 
constitute the real moral consciousness. On the other 
hand, a descriptive ethic will never be satisfied with merely 
establishing descriptively that amongst all the possible 
modes of human conduct and judgment there are some 
which we call moral. It seeks to test the interrelation 
and foundation of these modes of action, and it cannot 
avoid, while it justifies and reconciles them, making 
into a compact system what in reality comes from a 
number of different sources and is not always in perfect 
harmony. It is much the same as the process known to 
the jurist in his science ; it has not to create a new law, 
but to describe and codify the existing law, and in doing 
this has to work up the law into a compact structure. 
But whether we lean more in ethical inquiry toward 
the imperativist or the descriptive side, it is the same 
basic problems which occupy the science with their com- 
plications. It must be regarded as a considerable merit 
of the great moral philosophers of England in the eighteenth 
century that the structure of moral problems was clearly 
put together and the way prepared for their distribution. 
We may, for instance, speak of the moral principle in 
four different senses. First we have to define what we 
really understand by moral ; what it is that appeals to 
us as good, and what we avoid as evil. In view of the 
great variety of duties and moral laws it may be asked 


whether they are all to be brought under one formula, 
under a general moral law : whether there is any criterion 
by which in every case, under any conditions, we can 
decide what is morally prescribed. In this sense the 
moral law is the substance of the principle of morality. 
In the next case, we may ask on what our know- 
ledge of the moral law in general and its application 
to particular cases is based ; what sort of knowledge 
constitutes what we usually call " conscience." In this 
sense the principle of morality is the source of our knowledge 
of the moral law. Thirdly, when we oppose this law as 
a command and demand to the natural impulses and 
movements of the human will, we have to ask what right 
we have to do this ; where in the world we must look for 
the basis of such a claim. In this sense the principle of 
morality becomes the sanction of the moral law. Fourthly, 
in fine, the more closely we consider the antagonism 
between the natural will of man and the claims of the 
moral law, and the more secure we find its foundations, 
the more we are bound to make it clear how it is that 
a man is brought to will or to do, in obedience to the 
moral law, something that his will does not of itself desire. 
This question is all the more urgent in proportion as the 
demand of conscience is opposed to a man's natural 
inclination. If a man regards this as in itself morally 
indifferent, or as really immoral, we have to show how 
he is induced to carry out the command he experiences. 
In this sense the principle becomes the motive of morality. 
The first and greatest difficulties are connected with 
the contents of the principle of morals. Here it is a 
question of the material definition of the moral ; the 
formal definition is found by reflection on the fact that 
amongst the great mass of human dispositions and acts 
some are approved as good, and others condemned as 
evil, with a claim of general validity for this secondary 
valuation. What is affirmatively recognised in this 
what is laid down as a rule or duty, and must be con- 
tained in a general way in the material definition we 
call the moral. In German there are two expressions, 
Sittliche and Moralische, and Hegel endeavoured to dis- 


tinguish between the two, restricting the latter to the 
province of motives of the personal life and claiming 
the higher value of the former for the realisation of the 
practical reason in the entire life of the State. There 
was good reason to maintain this distinction, but it has 
not been maintained and is not likely to be renewed. On 
the other hand, it is to be regretted that the practice 
has grown up in recent years of confining the meaning 
of the word " moral " to sexual matters. It is not merely 
in journalistic language that we find sexual conditions 
and crimes alone meant when there is a reference to 
moral conditions and transgressions. That is a perversion 
of the word which ought not to be encouraged. 1 

The material definition of morality touches one of the 
most difficult points at which the contradictions of life 
are converted into philosophical problems. Every man 
finds in time his untrained moral judgment called into 
question by the experience that the moral principles 
are not the same in various circles even of ordinary life. 
In different strata and classes and professions amongst 
the same people there is considerable difference as to 
what is forbidden and what is allowed. Certain general 
rules may seem to be independent of these variations, 
but even these have different shades in different circles. 
And our scepticism about the general validity of the 
standard we have adopted is enlarged and strengthened 
when we pass over our limits in time and space and survey 
the whole life of humanity. Different races and peoples 
have unquestionably their different codes of morality. 
Historical development, again, shows further variations. 
We need not here enter into a consideration of them. On 
one side we have the view that in all this we trace an 
advancing development, and that modern man is superior 
in his morals to primitive man. But on another side we 
find complaints that civilisation deprives man of his 

1 We may add that there may be a different sort of ambiguity in 
the word "moral." In French and English "moral" sometimes means 
psychic or spiritual as opposed to material. This has led to many 
misunderstandings in translations. The same erroneous use of the 
word crept into German literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries, as when writers spoke of " moral victories." 


primitive simplicity and purity, and that the complexity 
of the conditions of life is prejudicial to morals. However 
that may be, we can no more ignore the diversity of 
moral principles in history than we can in ethnography. 
We may try to find a number of general elements which 
may serve in all cases as criteria of moral judgment, 
and draw up certain propositions which are recognised 
everywhere, such as the ten commandments of the Hebrew 
tradition. But even in the case of these, and supposing 
that we have actually proved the universal recognition 
of them, we find a multiplicity which leaves us very un- 
certain as to their real number. We thus see that we 
cannot by inductive research draw up any general moral 
law from the existing individual laws. In this we dis- 
regard the fact that an induction of this kind would have 
reference only to the actual validity of moral rules in 
the great groups of historical humanity. Of an absolutely 
universal validity in all individuals there can be no question 
whatever because immoral men contest the validity in 
practice at least, and partly in theory of the rules which 
they transgress. 

We have next to consider that all the various duties 
and rules from which an inductive inquiry into the moral 
law could start are related to the endlessly diverse con- 
ditions of human life and are conditioned in their contents 
by this. But we cannot conceive anything that is, in 
respect of moral disposition and action, prescribed for 
every single occasion in life. Hence the moral law cannot 
be related to the various duties as a generic idea is to 
its species ; indeed, if there were such a relation of all 
moral precepts to a supreme principle, we should have 
to determine it, not by a logical, but by a teleological 
subordination a subordination of means to the common 
end. Thus in our first excursion into the province of 
practical problems we are confronted with the fundamental 
teleological law. It seemed to have only a doubtful 
and restricted application in our theoretical interpre- 
tation of the world, and here we find it in the proper 
sphere of its supremacy. In the province of values the 
chief relation is that of means and end ; and therefore 


the highest value, or the highest good, as the older 
philosophers said, can only be the final end to which all 
the elements in the various duties and rules are subordinated 
as means, and to which they all owe their value. 

In the psychological introduction to axiology we have 
referred to the teleological series which are evoked by 
the reciprocity in the origin of feelings and volitions, in 
such wise that one is always appreciated for the sake of 
another. We now ask if these chains have anywhere 
a last link, a value of all values, a value for the sake of 
which all other values are values. If there is in the 
necessary process of the life of value such a link, which 
we might with equal justice call the last link or the first 
link, the determination and maintenance of this would 
make the contents of the moral law, and all particular 
duties would be only means of its realisation suited to 
various conditions of life. 

Hence the next point in ethical theory must be to 
see that in the psychological mechanism this ultimate 
end of all volition has a recognised validity. There is a 
very widespread belief that happiness has this significance. 
This psychological theory of morals is known as Eudaemon- 
ism. It seems to suit the general feeling, and it therefore 
dominated the ancient mind to a great extent. Its prin- 
ciple is expressed in the well-known Socratic-Platonist 
saying that nobody willingly does injustice. It means 
that every man of his own nature seeks happiness, and 
only at times makes a mistake as to the means of attaining 
the end. Hence the theory of virtue which was much 
disputed in Platonist circles, and interpreted in many 
different ways, became the first principle of Eudaemonism. 
Morality may be taught, since it has only to point out 
the correct means for the attainment of an end which 
every man spontaneously and entirely aims at. The 
Eudsemonistic principle is at the root of all ordinary 
moralising from ancient times until our own ; in domestic 
education, in the school, the pulpit, or literature. It 
is always an appeal to the desire of happiness, a recom- 
mendation of the right means to attain it, a warning 
against wrong means that might be adopted. Who 



does not know Xenophon's superficial allegory of the 
Prodicos who represents Heracles at the crossways, 
equally beset by virtue and vice, each of which promises 
an abundance of happiness ! From this point of view 
morality is, as Kant said, a system of prudence, the 
business of which it is to tell us how to attain happiness 
in the best and safest way. No one will underrate the 
human significance and the social value of these well- 
meant disquisitions. Man is, when we reflect on the 
thousands of millions who pass over this planet in the 
course of ages, really a pitiable creature, and none will 
resent it if in the short span of existence he seeks whatever 
satisfaction of his desires he can attain. Whoever shows 
him the best way to do this is a benefactor of the race ; 
as is the man who warns him against the many errors 
in regard to this search for happiness with which nature 
and life are beset. The effort to refute Eudaemonism 
in many theories of morality is not very successful. We 
must remember that in practical philosophy we have to 
deal with the living man, who cannot be imagined without 
pleasure and pain ; and that no moral principle is con- 
ceivable that would forbid men to be happy. It would, 
moreover, be a contradictory state of things if the happiness 
of the individual were a value that all others had to 
respect, yet he himself were forbidden to cultivate it. 
Happiness has therefore an indisputable right to a place 
in the discussion of the values of which ethics treats. 
But it is another question whether it can take the 
dominating position of the highest and final end which 
Eudaemonism claims for it. 

There are many objections to this. In the first place 
the psychological assumption, which seems so plausible, 
is really wrong. Pleasure as the feeling of the satisfaction 
of a desire is undoubtedly always the result of a fulfilled 
wish. But, as Aristotle rightly said, it by no means 
follows from this that the desire of the pleasure should 
be the general motive of willing. Happiness is the out- 
come of satisfaction of the will, but certainly not either 
its motive or its object. We have already seen that there 
are, not only in the primary but even in the more complex 


states of the will, purely actual forms by which it is 
directed immediately to its object without any presentation 
or any regard to expectation of pleasure or unpleasantness. 
To this extent it is impossible to say that happiness is 
the final end, for the realisation of which all other volition 
is only a means. We are the less entitled to do this as, 
if we wish to speak with psychological accuracy, no one 
really wills happiness in the generic or abstract form. 
Every volition is related to some definite willed object 
in which a particular happiness will be found. From 
the desire of happiness we could never deduce how it 
is to be attained. 

Further, the psychological assumption in virtue of 
which happiness is set up as the principle of duty really 
shows of itself that this is impossible. On that view 
happiness would be the natural and general termination 
of all teleological series and would be obvious in all actual 
volition. But there would be no meaning in seeking 
an obvious thing of this nature and setting it up as a 
duty. According to the Eudsemonistic view it is quite 
unnecessary to demand of a man that he shall seek 
happiness. The only thing we can do is tell him the best 
means of attaining it But even this appeal to his prudence 
gives us no test of value for the contents of the individual 
volition. Since every volition, no matter to what content 
it be directed, brings pleasure or happiness as soon as it 
is fulfilled, all objects of the will are in this respect of 
equal value. If one man prefers wine and oysters, and 
another devotes himself to social questions, each of them 
will be happy when he has attained his object Differences 
in value in objects of the will are, on this theory, not 
qualitative, but at the most quantitative. They consist 
in the intensity, the duration, and the attainability of 
the pleasure. In regard to intensity and duration the 
moral competence or virtue consists in an art of weighing 
one thing against another (^rprjms) , which the great 
Sophist Protagoras made the central point of his 
system of morality ; and the further development of 
this theory leads to some such quantitative morality as 
Bentham sketches in his table of the good. On the 


other hand, the test of attainability long ago led to the 
interesting result that the logical consequence of Eudae- 
monism is the morality of having no desires. As things 
go in the world, a man can only expect the realisation 
of his wishes when they are confined to the most necessary 
and simplest things. The more a man wants, the more 
probable it is that he will be rendered unhappy by the 
non-fulfilment of his wishes. A man finds the surest 
way to happiness in asking as little as possible of the 
world and of life. In ancient times Antisthenes deduced 
this consequence from Socratic Eudasmonism. It led 
to the safest, but to the poorest and most pitiful of all 
moralities, the sour-grapes morality of cowardice, which 
does nothing from fear of failure and disillusion. On the 
contrary, the natural impulse is to regard that life as of 
more value which is directed to great and important 
aims, even when it cannot attain them. 

The question next arises whoso happiness is at stake, 
and the first answer we get is that the willing and acting 
individual must regard his own happiness as the supreme 
end of his efforts. When this side is particularly stressed, 
we have the development of Individualistic ethics ; part 
of which is the ancient ideal of the wise man the mature 
man who knows how to control his will and conduct in 
such wise that he will attain perfect happiness. It is a 
thoroughly Egoist ethic : the morality of enlightened 
interest, by which a man turns to his own profit all the 
conditions of life and all his relations to his fellows, so 
that everything contributes to his own happiness. It 
is the morality of actual life : the theory that the great 
majority of men have held in all ages, and will continue 
to hold. The only difference we find is in the degree 
of candour with which the fact is acknowledged and 
defended. This candour does not often rise to the height 
of coolness which it reaches in the " Selfish System " of 
Hobbes in the early days of modern philosophy, which 
has rightly been rejected by all schools. 

Egoistic Eudsemonism has various shades, according 
to the nature of the object in which the individual seeks 
his happiness. In its simplest form, it is sensuous en- 


joyment or bodily pleasure that is raised to the position 

of the highest good. This is the theory of Hedonism, 

the chief exponent of which in ancient times was Aristippus. 

In cases where the theory was revived in modern times, 

as it was by Lamettrie, it lost the character of healthy 

naturalness, and was elaborated into an insipid coquetry 

which could only be tolerated as a reaction against the 

equally unnatural ascetic theory. By the side of, or in 

place of, pleasure of the senses later and riper forms of 

the theory put mental enjoyment the enjoyment of 

science, art, friendship, and all the finer things of life. 

That is the ethical tendency which acknowledges 

Epicurus as its leader. In his own case, and in the 

school which was called after him in antiquity, the two 

elements sensuous and intellectual enjoyment are 

combined, perhaps with a certain predominance of the 

latter. In the eighteenth century there was a pronounced 

^Esthetic Epicureanism, founded by Shaftesbury, in 

which the ideal was the artistic cultivation of personality. 

In the case of Shaftesbury himself it, in virtue of the 

metaphysical background which he gave to it, approaches 

the morality of perfection, which we shall consider later. 

When the ideal was adopted in German poetry, it again 

assumed a psychological form, and eventually it was 

used by the Romanticists for the full development of their 

aristocratic and exclusive theory. The self-enjoyment 

of the spiritually developed personality is the finest and 

highest form that the moral life has taken, or can take, 

on the lines of the Eudsemonistic theory. 

The individualistic form of Eudaemonist ethics goes 
beyond both forms of enjoyment, sensuous and mental, 
when it takes on a religious complexion, and regards 
the salvation of the soul as the ultimate object of moral 
precepts. Sometimes it is now said that " felicity " is 
the aim rather than happiness, and this ethic of soul- 
salvation sometimes assails the other forms of enjoyment 
very vigorously. In its extreme forms (of which Plato 
gives some indication in the opening part of his Phcsdo) 
it not only despises pleasure of the senses, but it sees even 
in the enjoyment of the intellectual and aesthetic life 


grave obstacles to the attainment of the highest good. 
In this case, especially as these ideas are generally con- 
nected with the belief in immortality and the hope of 
'eternal life," we may call it otherworldly or transcen- 
dental Eudaemonism, or even Egoism in so far as duties 
toward other men and things are at times forgotten or 
thrust aside in the zeal for one's own salvation. To 
this theory corresponds practical asceticism ; though in 
general nature has taken care that these interests of 
another life do not unduly preponderate. The extreme 
form in which transcendental morality is often preached 
on the theological side has always tended to cause the 
other forms of Eudaemonism to emphasise more strongly 
the this-worldliness of their ethic. This is particularly 
true of Materialism and Socialism. We need quote only 
Saint-Simon, Diihring, and Feuerbach, and even Guyau 
and Nietzsche, as examples. 

The egoistic forms of Eudaemonism only include a 
concern for the happiness of one's fellows amongst the 
duties of the individual in so far as he actually needs the 
others. Hence in regard to its main principle this theory 
of morals is sharply opposed to the system which regards 
the community, not the individual, as entitled to the 
happiness which it is a duty to create. We give to this 
system the name Altruism, which was invented a century 
ago. It regards as " good " all intentions and acts which 
aim at promoting the happiness of one's fellows. As far 
as the principle is concerned, it is immaterial whether 
the Altruism is based psychologically, as regards motives, 
on egoistic foundations or on the assumption that there 
are original social impulses. It is also immaterial whether 
it seeks the sanction of the altruistic command in the 
divine will or in the political and social order. For, since 
men become happy only by the satisfaction of their needs 
and desires, whatever be the burden of those desires, 
Altruism must, to be consistent, and unless it brings in 
other standards of value, come to the conclusion that 
every man is to be satisfied by the fulfilment of his wishes ; 
and in cases of conflict, which necessarily arise, there is 
nothing left but the majority principle. The conclusion 


in this case is that that intention or action is moral and 
acceptable which results in the greatest amount of pleasure 
for the largest number of one's fellows. In this formula, 
which was evolved in the course of the eighteenth century, 
altruistic Eudsemonism assumes the form of Utilitarianism. 
This also seems to the untrained mind a very plausible 
system of morals, and there is no doubt that its principle 
is quite justified in every application in which there is 
question of the good of the majority. The most impressive 
form of this Utilitarianism, indeed, that given us by 
Bentham, sprang from a legislator's modes of thought. 
Here again, however, the uselessness of the principle as 
a basis of ethics is made clear by a few comparatively 
simple questions. We have no need to ask to whom the 
sum-total of happiness really falls, or who feels the general 
felicity, which, while made up by the addition of individual 
happinesses, cannot be perceived by any other mind than 
that of the individuals. The Utilitarian is reduced to 
silence by the pupil who objects that, if there is question 
only of a sum-total of felicity, and it is immaterial how it 
is distributed amongst the individuals, he thinks it best 
to begin with himself, since in that case he knows best 
what is to be done. It is a much more serious objection 
that Utilitarianism, precisely because it lays such stress 
on the quantity of happiness, must inevitably accommodate 
itself to the lower cravings of the masses, and so confine 
its moral interests to their good in the sense of the further- 
ance of pleasure and avoidance of the unpleasant. It 
purchases its democratic character by the abandonment 
of the higher advantages which lie beyond the vicissi- 
tudes of the pleasant and unpleasant, the useful and 
injurious in Plato's words, beyond the entire com- 
mercial business of pleasures and desires and represent 
a higher region of life. 

So much for the exposition and criticism of Eudsemonistic 
morality. Related to it in some ways, yet differing in 
principle from it, is the morality of perfection. This 
purports to have a metaphysical, not a psychological 
basis. It regards improvement or increasing perfection 
as the ultimate standard which determines the various 


moral precepts. By perfection is generally meant the 
full development, on teleological lines, of the resources of 
nature ; and thus, corresponding to Egoism and Altruism, 
the morality of perfection has a singularist and a univer- 
salist form, since it may regard the perfection either of 
the individual or of the species. Psychologically this form 
of ethic is connected with Eudaemonism in that it main- 
tains that what improves us gives us pleasure, and what 
restricts us gives us displeasure. So said Spinoza, Shaftes- 
bury, and Christian Wolff. This is generally true, apart 
from abnormal cases of injurious pleasure or useful un- 
pleasantness. But when this side of the system is stressed, 
there is no need for any imperativist complexion of the 
ethic. Since it is obvious in the case of man, as in the 
case of all beings, that he seeks what promotes his develop- 
ment and avoids what restricts it, there is no need to 
impose this on him as a special task. Spinoza saw this 
most clearly. He is on that account the most pronounced 
representative of a purely descriptive ethic, and he has 
given the classic form to its method, that it must speak 
of human feelings and actions just as if it had to deal with 
lines, surfaces, and bodies. Its business in relation to the 
actual moral life is to understand it, not to detest or smile 
at it (nee detestari nee ridere, scd intellegere). 

In the main, however, the principle of the perfection- 
morality is a teleological theory, which assumes that there 
is in man a certain disposition for it that is realised through 
his moral life. Since the realisation of this disposition 
leads to happiness, the theory approaches Eudaemonism, 
even when it expressly rejects the psychology of Eudae- 
monism. This was so in the case of Aristotle, who re- 
garded reason and rational conduct as man's disposition, 
and contended that in realising this disposition he would 
become as happy as it was possible for any activity of 
his own to make him. Shaftesbury also places morality 
in the full development of human nature with all its im- 
pulses and resources. However varied these may be 
egoistic and altruistic moods, bodily and spiritual cravings, 
sensuous and suprasensuous forces the moral task is 
to bring them all into perfect harmony. The fully de- 


veloped personality must also develop its relations to 
the universe, in which again there is an infinite harmony 
of contrasts. The perfection-morality assumes a rather 
different form in Leibnitz's Monadology. Here the human 
soul is a being that pursues an end which it has to 
develop, from a primitive obscurity and unconsciousness, 
to a clear and conscious form. The monad is conceived as 
essentially a presentative force, and its perfection is there- 
fore intellectualistic, consisting in the evolution of a 
clear and lucid vision, from which rational conduct will 
inevitably ensue. In the case of Leibnitz's successor, 
Christian Wolff, who abandoned this metaphysical back- 
ground, the perfection-morality sinks on that account 
into an intellectual Eudsemonism, which, since it 
intimately connects utility with the perfection of 
the intelligence, returns to the original psychological 

German Idealism has more profoundly developed the 
idea of a disposition on the part of man. Fichte and 
Schleiermacher, in their different ways, gave us the same 
formula, that man has to fulfil his disposition, and they 
found this disposition in the incorporation of the individual 
in a total structure of peoples, ages, and humanity gener- 
ally. Here again, it is true, the perfection-morality 
(though more pronounced in these metaphysical types) 
sometimes loses the imperativist form. In many of these 
systems the moral life is supposed to be the spontaneously 
developing completion of the natural disposition of man ; 
the moral law seems to be, as Schleiermacher expressly 
said, the completion of the natural law something that in 
the main is self-evident. If this is so, it is very difficult 
to understand the antithesis of the " ought " and the 
natural " must." Moreover, this idealist theory, with 
the disposition that it ascribes to individuals as well as 
to the whole race, dissolves into metaphysical and, in part, 
religious speculations which are matters of conviction 
and faith, not intellectual knowledge. The total life of 
mankind is for scientific knowledge a final synthesis, 
beyond which conceptual thought can prove nothing 
which might serve as a principle of morality. Hence, 


although in this form of ethical speculation we have a 
special effort to represent the moral order as a world- 
order, in which man and humanity are a necessary link, 
nevertheless the special forms in which this situation 
must be conceived are no longer of such a nature that 
they can lay claim to the general and necessary validity 
of scientific knowledge. How easy it is for such ideas 
to take a fantastic turn is best seen in the work of C. F. 
Krause, who in his ethical philosophy of humanity tries 
to connect terrestrial humanity with a humanity on the 
sun, and all in a general community of spirits as a part 
of the world-order. 

All the answers we have hitherto considered to the ques- 
tion of the substantial principle of morality agree in 
seeking it in the consequences of moral conduct ; whether 
these consequences be the happiness or the perfection of 
the individual or of the race. And precisely on that 
account they are incompetent to discover ai^ simple 
and general content for the principle. Even the per- 
fection-morality gives us only the formal definition of 
fulfilment of a disposition, without giving us the least 
definite idea of the nature of this disposition, which ought 
to be the guide of will and conduct. This is clear first 
in the case of Aristotle, who found in " reason " the prin- 
ciple for that reconciliation of extremes which constitutes 
the nature of virtue. It is from the lack of this that we 
understand the two features which distinguish Kant's 
ethic from all others. The first is that he relates the ethical 
judgment and the moral precept only to the disposition 
which lies at the root of the action ; the second is that 
he abandons the attempt to define the content of the 
moral law, and he can therefore give only a formal defini- 
tion of it. In the first respect Kant very vigorously 
pointed out that the moral verdict, which even in ordinary 
conduct only bears upon actions in so far as they proceed 
from intentions, ought in the proper sense to be restricted 
to the intentions. " Nothing in the world is good except 
the good will." This intention-morality stresses the dis- 
tinction between morality and legality. It points out that 
there are actions which are entirely in conformity with 


the moral law in their form and their consequences, 
although their motive is not the fulfilment of the moral 
law. Actions of this kind may be very useful and agree- 
able in the course of life and in view of their effects. They 
may in this sense have anthropological value ; but, since 
they did not issue from an intention in conformity to the 
moral law, they are morally indifferent, and they can 
merely claim the value of legality. From the nature of 
the case Kant, in discussing this antithesis, was disposed 
to exclude this legality from the ethical sphere and depre- 
ciate its value ; although there was no reason in his philo- 
sophy to reject its significance entirely. It was left to 
his successors, especially Schiller, to mitigate the sharp 
contrast by the reflection that legality itself has a large 
moral significance as an important helpful element, not 
only in the education of the individual and the race, but 
also in moulding the entire circumstances of common 
life. Even if many, perhaps most, of these actions by 
which the moral law is fulfilled are not done for their own 
sake out of regard for the moral law, as Kant says 
but from other motives, in view of which they are merely 
chosen as the best means, there is precisely in this fact 
some recognition of the moral law, preparing the way for 
and securing its sovereignty in life. The individual 
becomes accustomed to seeing his will obey the rational 
command, and this may be converted into a good dis- 
position ; the external features of the life of the community 
become more and more conformable to the claims of 

From the methodical point of view there is much more 
importance in the other special feature of the Kantian 
ethic, which we find in its formalist character. It is 
based upon the idea, to which we have already referred, 
that, in view of the infinite complexity of the relations 
in which man's will and conduct are involved, it is impos- 
sible to find any common content that could be definitely 
indicated as the necessary object of the will. There is 
no generic concept of the content of duty. Ethical re- 
flection, however, finds significance in the fact that there 
is no moral life without a consciousness of duty, no matter 


how much the content of the duty in each particular 
case differs from all others. In this sense the conformity 
of the will to duty is the general and supreme duty. As 
is well known, it takes the form in the Critical philosophy 
of the categorical imperative. The significance of this 
is its express opposition to every other system of morals. 
These presuppose a will for the precepts and demands 
which are expressed in the various duties, and they merely 
teach what is to be done in order to attain the end of 
this will. Thus all moralising, as we have said, appeals 
to the desire of happiness, which is assumed by Eudse- 
monistic ethics as the basis of its prudential theory. Thus, 
again, the perfection-morality deduces from the natural 
craving for self-development the various means that are 
necessary for its realisation. Hence all the imperatives 
which they lay down are hypothetical. They depend 
upon the condition that this will or desire is consciously 
or unconsciously present, and they lose all meaning if 
this is not the case. In their dependence upon given 
relations they are, Kant says, heteronomous. But it is 
the peculiarity and dignity of the moral law that its claims 
upon man are quite irrespective of his wishes. The moral 
precept demands obedience in all circumstances. It 
creates an entirely new volition, independent of any 
existing empirical volition. It is in this sense autonomous. 
This is the categorical imperative : a precept, independent 
of any circumstances, in which Kant finds the meaning 
of the moral law. 

Since this formal moral principle is not conditioned 
by any given content, but of itself, it amounts to a prin- 
ciple of the imperativeness of precepts without deter- 
mining the contents of the precepts themselves. The 
most remarkable and significant thing about the Kantist 
ethics is that this purely formal definition has to be com- 
pleted by reference to a rational order that far transcends 
the empirical human world. Kant discovered the cate- 
gorical imperative as the general definition of the conscience 
which teaches each individual to submit his will to a law, 
a command, and tells him that this command is entirely 
independent of whatever tendencies and objects the indi- 


vidual finds already present in his will. It was therefore 
necessary to conceive this law as valid quite independently 
of all the variations of individual will and therefore 
equally valid for all individuals. This independence of 
the categorical imperative of every empirically existing 
will gave it a universal validity for all rational beings. 
And although the Critical ethic sought the source of its 
knowledge in the disposition and its sanction in the self- 
determination of the individual, nevertheless every duty 
thus learned and based had to be considered a constituent 
of a moral world-order which was equally binding for all. 
The world-law of morality had to be discovered in the 
individual mind without any empirical intermediaries. 
In Kant this was a direct relation of individual and uni- 
verse, soul and world, which was characteristic of the whole 
period of the Aufkldrung. The fact that the individual 
gives himself the moral law, which is to be valid for all 
others, shows that he bears in his own personality the 
dignity of the moral law. 

In this enhancement of personality we have a common 
bond between the Kantian ethic and the earlier perfection- 
morality. Whilst, however, Eudaemonism, whether in 
Shaftesbury's or Leibnitz's form, regarded personality 
as that which had to be developed out of the natural 
and given individuality, Kant puts personality in the 
sovereignty of the general law of reason over all individual 
volition. For the former of these theories of personality 
it was difficult to pass from empirical individuality to a 
generic legality, and they incurred the danger, as the 
Romanticists did to some extent, of regarding the survival 
of the natural individuality as the ultimate and supreme 
moral value. In the Critical theory of personality, on 
the contrary, individuality seemed to be in effect 
obliterated, and the moral essence of personality seemed 
to mean only that in its will there ruled certain precepts 
which ruled equally in the lives of all others. It was in 
the end the task of the morality of personality to fill the 
gap between the natural disposition of the individual and 
the universal moral law by connecting the personality 
with the general texture of historical life, which has to 


realise the moral law in the phenomenal world. The 
Idealist moral philosophy of Fichte, Schleiermacher, and 
Hegel attempted to achieve this object, and it is only 
along these lines that ethics can hope to connect the 
empirical elements which arise from the real nature of 
man with the tasks which emerge from a transcendent 
rational order. Eudaemonist morality, with its interests 
of pleasure and pain, weal and woe, remains at the confines 
of the empirical life of man. Perfection-morality would 
build upon a metaphysical knowledge of man's nature, 
whether it be formulated in philosophical or theological 
terms. Critical morality derives the consciousness of the 
moral world-order from the conscience of the individual 
or, as Kant says, from practical reason. The Idealist 
morality of the historical theory tries to understand how 
the contents of the categorical imperative emerge from the 
historical institutions of civilisation, collaboration in the 
construction of which constitutes the good disposition of 
the individual. 

The conception of the principle of morality according 
to the source of our knowledge of it has a good deal to 
do with these differences. The question how we know 
what really is to be considered good and to serve as a 
norm of judgment may find an answer either in experi- 
ence or in a direct pronouncement of the reason ; and 
in this sense we may speak of empirical and rational or 
apriorist morality. These antitheses themselves, however, 
are not sharply defined. If the ethical empiricist wishes 
merely to decide what in point of fact is moral, he has 
to sift and compare the facts in order to get as near as 
he can to a general standard. If the ethical rationalist 
wishes to lay down the imperatives which are to hold, 
he has to confine himself essentially to the actual moral 
consciousness of humanity ; otherwise he adopts the 
arbitrary position of the superman, who announces new 
values, yet has to wait and see if the rest of men will 
agree. Moral theories are, therefore, once more only 
predominantly either empirical or rational. Empiricism 
has either a psychological or an historical complexion, 


and in either case, if it confines itself to a mere registra- 
tion of the facts, leads to Relativism. In the former 
respect we saw this happen to all forms of Eudaemonism. 
In the second form the Empirical ethic tries to evade 
Historism by a method of consequences, pointing out how 
the principles of moral precepts have been made clearer 
and stronger in the course of historical development. 
Hence in ancient times the Stoic theory of the consensus 
gentium. In modern times the same result is reached 
on the lines of biology ; it is sought to show, as was 
attempted by Spencer, that what appears in the indi- 
vidual as a directly perceived and self-evident standard 
has been produced and established as a purposive habit 
in the evolution of the race by heredity and adaptation. 
On none of these lines, however, does one reach the absolute 
validity of the norms which the claims of the moral con- 
sciousness set up. If, on the other hand, a man chooses 
to start, rationalistically, from the general rational order 
itself, we see precisely from the example of Kant that one 
is thus restricted to the formal law, and can only get by 
devious ways from that to substantial imperatives by 
the idea of the dignity of personality in the progressive 
application to the empirical conditions of life. 

Far more important than this question of the method 
of scientific ethics is the actual problem, whence in daily 
life the plain conscience of man derives the knowledge of 
his duties as the norms of his judgment. Here it is clear 
in the first place that we do not in the practical reality 
of moral life consciously use that supreme principle which 
moral theory seeks ; otherwise the search would not be 
so difficult, as we saw above. In actual consciousness 
of duties, and especially in our continual verdicts upon 
each other's conduct, we apply the rules from case to case, 
generally without being conscious of any definition. In 
this sense it is true that the source of knowledge of the 
various precepts or moral principles of ordinary life is 
in feeling far more than in any sort of explicit knowledge. 
It is certainly one of the most important distinctions 
between men, considered in this respect, whether they 
have predominantly in their morality the rational element 


of intellectual control or the irrational force of instinctive 
and emotional decision. On the whole, we shall not go 
astray if we ascribe the far greater predominance to the 
emotional element. We thus understand how the English 
moralists, with Shaftesbury and Hutcheson at their head, 
treat feeling as the essence of conscience and the source 
of all moral consciousness, and leave to moral philosophy 
only the task of enlightening these feelings as to their 
own content and meaning. As a matter of fact, it is, 
as David Hume and Adam Smith pointed out, only in 
complex situations of life that the intelligence is called 
upon to clear up the difficult}^. Even in those cases, 
however, the rational conviction must wait for the right 
moral feeling in judgment or decision. We are quite 
aware that moral preaching is useless unless it can appeal 
to feelings that already exist, in however rudimentary 
a form ; otherwise it would be easy to make men moral 
simply by giving them ideas. 

The theory that the principle of morality is to be sought 
in feeling, as far as our knowledge of it is concerned, 
is very closely connected with the assumption that in 
man's nature, whether in a rudimentary form or as a 
more or less conscious power, there is a knowledge of rules 
ready to rise directly into consciousness on every occasion 
that the varied circumstances of life produce. Our know- 
ledge of the moral law is in this sense of an intuitive 
character, and not based upon either theoretical considera- 
tions or any sort of external influence. But if the moral 
feeling is thus ranged amongst our empirical states of 
feeling generally, as the psychological ethic used to range 
it, we end once more in the relativity of all that is empiri- 
cal. On that account Kant lifted the moral feeling into 
the region of the rational and universal by seeing in it 
the " fact of the purely practical reason." He was of 
opinion that in this directness of the moral consciousness, 
which shows itself in every man independently of the 
measure of his intellectual cultivation and capacity, 
we have the emergence of a higher world-order. In- 
tuitionism in this form leads to an emphasising of the 
direct emotional evidence with which the norms of con- 


science enforce themselves upon the mind on every occa- 
sion. It was this main line of practical philosophy which 
induced Herbart to treat ethics as a part of general 
aesthetics. He started from the fact that all judgments 
may in the long run, when they are relieved of any intel- 
lectual accessions, be reduced to the original pleasantness 
of different situations. This original pleasantness, which 
is found in feeling, could not be grasped by or based upon 
any theoretical speculations. It is, he said, in each case 
a primary fact which makes itself felt as a reality in the 
mind as soon as the mind turns to such a relation as its 
content. Herbart was especially of opinion that psycho- 
genetic speculations could not form a basis of this direct 
evidence. He thus came to his theory of the five moral 
ideas as the directly illuminative forms for the judgment 
of acts of the will ; and it must be added that he was 
unable to furnish any systematic justification of this 
plurality of ultimate principles. 

Thus theories of the source of our knowledge of morality 
lean to its emotional side, but the voluntary side becomes 
prominent as soon as we speak about the sanction of the 
principle of morals. It is in any case clear that conscience 
is not merely, retrospectively, a judgment of actual dis- 
positions and acts, but, prospectively, a demand on the 
existing decision of the will ; and this demand asserts 
itself over against the will as a precept. We ask there- 
fore what is the basis of this right to command ; what 
in the world has power to impose a command on our 
will which is different from its own natural contents. 
Naturally, a sanction of this sort is only requisite in so 
far as the moral law is opposed to the natural will. We 
need no sanction when the duty is regarded as the self- 
evident outcome of our own nature. Hence Eudaemonism 
properly speaking needs no sanction, for the impulse 
to happiness itself sanctions all its phenomenal forms, 
and the intelligence legitimises the moral precepts before 
the tribunal of this impulse to happiness as prudent and 
nicely calculated ways of realising it. The perfection- 
morality also needs no sanction, since the process of 



amelioration is natural and rational ; or, as Wolff said, 
it is the natural disposition and self-evident bias in the 
structure of man, who has merely to be instructed as to 
the correct development of this impulse. 

On the other hand, the more alien ethics makes the 
moral law to the natural will, the more urgently morality 
needs a principle of sanction. On what ground is some- 
thing demanded of me that I do not myself want ? The 
origin of such a demand on my will can only be sought 
in another will. We call this alien will, which imposes 
duties, authority ; and so we give the name of authorita- 
tive ethics to the theory which seeks the sanction of the 
moral law in a will which is higher than and authoritative 
over the will of man. Of this authoritative ethics we 
may say that it also corresponds to a deep craving of 
human nature. Man, as he is, has a feeling of weakness 
from his constant experience of erring, and casts himself 
into the arms of a more powerful will in order to receive 
from that the direction which he cannot find in himself. 
On that is based the power, and in part the right, of 
authority for all time. Surrendering oneself to authority 
is the best resource for the masses, perhaps for the over- 
whelming majority of men ; and we find it adopted 
precisely by those who either remain sceptical in the 
failure of their efforts to come to decisions, or have allowed 
themselves to be driven by clearness of thought into some 
mystic vagueness. We thus understand the craving for 
authority by a sense of weakness of intelligence and 
will, and we understand still better the profound im- 
morality which results from the abuse of authority. 

Authoritative morality may, as Locke showed, assume 
three different forms, according as the legislative power 
is discovered in a divine command, in the claims of the 
State, or in the prescriptions of custom. Theological 
ethics, the first type, has often assumed very exaggerated 
forms, making an arbitrary command on the part of the 
Deity the foundation of the force of moral rules. The 
spiritual Franciscans of the Middle Ages, such as Duns 
Scotus and Occam, taught that nothing is good or bad 
of itself ; it is only made so by a divine command. God 


could, they said, if he had so willed, have enacted entirely 
the opposite in moral acts. This naturally led to a belief 
that there could be no rational morality, no intelligent 
basis of its contents, and that the sole source of our know- 
ledge of morality is the divine revelation. And as for 
these men the divine revelation only came through the 
Church, it followed in practice that we could not know 
by personal conscience, but only from the teaching of 
the Church, what was good or bad, allowed or forbidden. 

Other ethical systems replaced ecclesiastical authority 
by the State, and derived the sanction of morality from 
this. The Egoistic ethic of enlightened interest granted 
that, on its theory, the individual could of himself recog- 
nise no other distinctions of value in his actions than 
such as were Eudaemonistic that is to say, such as were 
related to his own comfort or discomfort. A different 
kind of valuation could only arise from the circumstance 
that the acts of individuals might, through their conse- 
quences, have a significance for the weal or woe of others, 
of the whole community. Hence the sanction of the moral 
precept derives from the social authority, either in the 
definite form of a State-prescription or in the more or less 
indefinite form of a custom. With such a basis we lose 
the distinction between morality and legality ; for in 
such cases we are concerned with the action and its con- 
sequences for the general welfare and the disposition or 
character only indirectly and in so far as they have to 
bow and, in the course of time, adapt themselves to these 
claims which are imposed upon them from without. 

In all these types of authoritative morality there is a 
pronounced element of heteronomy : that is to say, the 
conditioning of the will by a law enforced upon it from 
without. In opposition to this Kant stressed the autono- 
mous character of conscience as a self-conditioning of the 
rational will. But Kant also, in seeking the content and 
the various precepts of this self-conditioning in a moral 
world-order, equally valid for all rational beings, did not 
really require any special sanction of this self-lawgiving. 
The most that one can say, in a certain sense, is that for 
the Critical ethic the dignity of the personality, which 


identifies itself with the moral law, is the true sanction ; 
or, rather, that it makes superfluous any other and external 
sanction. But this autonomy of the personality must 
not be quoted, as was done by some of the Romanticists, 
as a sanction of the arbitrariness of a superman. It should 
never be forgotten that according to Kant the autonomous 
sovereignty of conscience only holds as long as the indi- 
vidual gives himself a law which is suitable for becoming 
a universal precept. 

The theory of the motives of moral conduct also 
depends upon the extent to which the demands of the 
moral law are opposed to man's natural feelings and im- 
pulses. The psychology which is at the root of the 
Egoistic ethic, and professes that man can never in any 
circumstances desire anything but his own happiness or 
the avoidance of unhappiness, separates man so pro- 
foundly from nature that it must find it very difficult to 
understand how he ever comes to behave properly. It 
has often been observed that an alien spirit coming 
upon our planet and studying the impulses of men would 
be greatly astonished to see that they so often do things 
which are no use to them, even things which are contrary 
to their own interests. Anybody who says this betrays 
that he regards man, in the main, as a fool ; and he has 
to speculate what the egoistic motives can be which induce 
a man to desire something other than his own interest as 
an individual requires. When we seek the motive or 
motives of moral conduct in this sense, the ethic of 
enlightened interest is quite ready with the answer that 
an action conformable to moral law can be based only 
upon either fear or hope. Authoritative morality adds 
that the subjection to an alien will is because this will 
has the power to reward and punish. It is the familiar 
practice of moralising theologians to point to the penalties 
which God fixed for transgression of his commandments, 
and make a parade of the rewards that await the obedient. 
In the other forms of authoritative ethics the same part 
is played by the penal power of the State and the social 
influence of custom. The function of the State is restricted 
to palpable advantages and disadvantages of the external 


life, and authoritative ethics has in its appeal to the social 
force of custom a means of dealing with subtler and very 
interesting aspects of the internal life. The collective life 
gives rise psychologically to the very considerable values 
of public opinion, the psychological meaning of which 
was studied by the English moralists in their theory of 
the emotions of reflection. The praise and blame which 
our actions incur from other men do not merely mean 
that they influence the conduct of others toward us, 
and that they may thus lead to very positive advantages 
and disadvantages in our external lives ; by a sort of 
transference praise and blame, even when we merely 
conceive them as possible, become independent values or 
depreciations. They thus represent one of the values 
on which is based, psychogenetically, the self-judgment 
which is part of the nature of conscience. In this re- 
ciprocal play of judgment and self- judgment ambition 
becomes a very powerful motive, and is much considered 
in the social forms of authoritative morality. In the 
eighteenth century the French moralists of this school, 
such as Lamettrie, Montesquieu, and Helvetius fully 
discussed the significance of ambition. 

It is quite clear that actions which are conformable 
to the moral law will, if they are based on such motives 
as these, never have a moral value ; they have merely 
the value of legality. Hence in the proper sense of the 
word they have no moral significance, though, as we said 
above, they may have in many respects an anthropo- 
logical and social value. We may be confident that what 
seems to be morality in the case of the great majority 
of men is no more than legality based on fear and hope 
with respect to various authorities. But it would be quite 
a mistake to say that the whole moral life of mankind 
may be understood in that sense. On the contrary, it 
cannot be doubted that this one-sided psychology of the 
' Selfish System ' ' must be corrected by the facts, which 
show that in the natural disposition of men there are 
social impulses just as deeply implanted and as effective 
as the egoistic impulses. They are direct motives of moral 
conduct, and do not need to be induced by psychological 


considerations. Amongst the states of the will which 
influence with original force an action that presupposes 
as its motive no personal experience of pleasure or pain 
we must count, in the first place, these social or benevolent 
impulses ; and they are in point of fact the motives 
which inspire a very large part of our moral actions. 
Biology explains the gradual development of these motives 
in the race. But it is, as far as we can historically survey 
the evolution of humanity, very doubtful if the social 
impulse has arisen in this way ; indeed, it might be pos- 
sible to defend the view that it began earlier. On the 
other hand, it is equally impossible to derive this altruistic 
disposition from egoistic motives on the lines of individual 
psychology. Even Hume's theory of sympathy pre- 
supposes the existence of the general capacity for sym- 
pathy as a necessity of social life. In this case it is not 
suffering and joy, but the sharing of suffering and joy 
(sympathy), that is the motive of moral conduct. 
Whether it is participation in suffering or in joy that 
takes the foremost place is a psychological issue that 
partly depends on differences of temperament, and is 
expressed theoretically in the antithesis of optimistic and 
pessimistic views of life. Schopenhauer regarded sym- 
pathy in the sense of sharing suffering as the principle 
of morals as far as motive is concerned : Feuerbach said 
that it was sympathy in sharing joy. Schopenhauer 
sought a metaphysical foundation and sanction for the 
motive in the supremacy of will : Feuerbach, the anti- 
metaphysician, was content with the social-psychological 
significance of sympathy. 

However, even this motivation of moral conduct by 
a natural social disposition was not secure against being 
claimed as leading to mere legality. No less a person 
than Kant wanted to regard it as a perhaps pleasant 
feature of nature, but devoid of any moral merit in the 
proper sense of the word. The more intensely he sought 
morality in the disposition alone, the more it seemed 
to him to be opposed to any natural impulses ; and if 
at times the motives of natural social feeling, such as sym_ 
pathy, issue in acts such as are demanded by the moraj 


law, it seemed to him that these acts had no moral value 
whatever in the strict sense. He saw a danger to moral- 
ity itself in the satisfaction of any natural craving, even 
when its end coincided with that of a moral precept. He 
feared that in such cases Eudaemonistic motives would 
insinuate themselves amongst the causes of the volition. 
In point of fact, in the actual life of men the fine threads 
by which the natural craving for happiness is connected 
with the consciousness of duty are very numerous, and 
they leave all sorts of ways open to the sophistry of the 
human heart. We must admit that the close connection 
between the thirst for happiness and morality which has 
been brought about by the customary moralising, with 
its promises of mountains of gold to virtue, is responsible 
for man's disposition, even when he has done his duty 
quite honourably and unselfishly, to stretch out his hand 
involuntarily and wonder if there is not some sort of 
reward for him. This " morality of tips ' finds expres- 
sion in the feeling which demands that goodness shall be 
rewarded with happiness and evil shall be punished : a 
demand that Kant himself did not hesitate to use as an 
argument in deducing his postulate of immortality. 

The rigorism which would convert natural social feel- 
ing from morality into legality must regard as the sole 
spring of moral conduct " respect for the moral law ' 
and "a feeling for the dignity of personality." In this it 
incurs the risk of pride in virtue which appeared promi- 
nently enough in the Stoic morality. At the same time 
its self-satisfaction of the moral act has in it something 
of that very reward against which it most energetically 
protests. Hence it is that Schiller attacked this rigorism 
in his Ernst und Scherz ; though in Kant's ethic it is per- 
haps more in the strength of the language than a real 
rigorism. In opposition to it the poet-philosopher set 
up the ideal of the beautiful soul, which has got so far 
in moral development that it can trust its own feelings 
without any risk of being brought into conflict with moral 
law. In all cases of conflict between duty and inclination 
this secures the domination of the moral maxims. The 
higher perfection consists in the fact that a man has 


learned to think so nobly that he does not need to brace 
his will. 

In view of all this we may distinguish various strata 
of motivation in the moral life. The most primitive 
is that of natural social feeling, in which the adjustment 
of the individual will to the general will follows as a matter 
of course. Next above this is the stratum of legality, 
which is quite conscious of a contrast between the claims 
of the general will and the individual will, and finds its 
motives in the latter for its subjection to the former 
Above this is the most complex stratum psychologically, 
in which the command is recognised by the individual on 
its own merits and is adopted in his own will with the 
effect of overcoming its opposition the stratum of, in 
the strict sense, the morality of merit. Finally there is 
the stage in which experience of life has brought about 
an identification of the individual will with the general 
will the stratum of morality pure and simple. 

Amongst the questions which are much discussed in 
this connection there is a problem which in the course 
of human thought has led to an extraordinary amount 
of confusion, misunderstanding, and unfortunate blunder- 
ing. This is the problem of the freedom of the will. The 
needless difficulties that have been created in this field 
are due to the complication of psychological questions 
by questions of moral, legal, and religious responsibility ; 
and this confusion can only be avoided by stating clearly 
the different meanings of the word and the various prob- 
lems to which they give rise. 

In the first place, there is no problem of the freedom 
of the will in cases where it means freedom of action, or 
the capacity to translate the decision of the will into a 
corresponding purposive movement of the body. Freedom 
of this sort is a fact, a universal condition of human nature, 
a power that can merely be restricted or destroyed in 
certain circumstances by disturbances in the bodily 
organism or by social or other external compulsion. 

The difficulties are more serious when we consider 
freedom of choice ; yet it is comparatively easy to get 


over them as long as we confine ourselves to the province 
of psychology. Choice means that, while there are different 
and conflicting desires in consciousness, the action may 
be exclusively determined by one or other of them. In 
a conflict of motives, however, we have to consider, not 
only the stimulations of the moment and the desires they 
evoke, but also the constant tendencies of an individual's 
will which are due to his entire development. If we 
call this a conflict between the momentary provocations 
and the character, all are agreed in the psychological 
theory that the issue of the choice is determined by both 
together according to the respective strength of each. 
If we pay attention to the fact that it depends on diversi- 
ties of character to what extent the stimulations of the 
moment will influence the will, and if we speak of these 
stimulations only as the motives, we come to the idea 
that a man as a character is, in the process of choice, 
independent in his decision of the motives he is free. 
This is usually called Indeterminism. If, on the other 
hand, we emphasise the necessity with which the volition, 
according to psychological theory, results from the col- 
lated totality of elements, and we call them all motives 
without distinction, including the constant volitions 
which really constitute character,- we come to the con- 
clusion that the will is inevitably determined by the 
motives. This view is known as Determinism. In the 
end, therefore, Indeterminism and Determinism are 
psychologically at one ; they differ only in the extension 
which they give to the meaning of the word " motive." 
Hence there would be no occasion whatever for the heat 
with which the controversy has been conducted if the 
parties had not brought against each other the charge of 
destroying responsibility. 

In order to explain this we must first clearly understand 
what we mean by responsibility. Any man who reflects 
dispassionately on the matter will easily perceive that it 
is a question of psycho-physical causal relations taken 
from the ordinary ideas of daily life. We must premise 
that there is no meaning in making something else respon- 
sible, such as a cause for its effect. There are certain 


foolish and irrational ways of attributing responsibility, 
as when one who brings us bad news is held responsible 
for the unhappy event which he announces, but certainly 
did not cause. Rationally a man can only be held respon- 
sible for his action in the sense that he that is to say, 
his nature as a more or less settled character is the cause 
of his actions. But, on the other hand, there is the prac- 
tical meaning of responsibility that in some way the un- 
pleasant consequences of an action are visited upon the 
agent by making him suffer. Whether we see the practical 
meaning of responsibility in the punishment alone, or in 
intimidation, or in improvement, it always means that the 
doer of evil deeds is to have counter-motives implanted 
in him in the shape of unpleasant feelings, the aim of 
which is to restore the due position of normal conscious- 
ness in the offender. The whole process is clear and simple 
in itself, yet it is the source of the whole complicated 
problem of the freedom of the will. It is generally put 
that responsibility assumes that it is possible to act 
otherwise ; and this conditional power is then described 
as freedom in the sense that the acts for which a man is 
to be made responsible cannot be " necessary." Hence 
the unfortunate idea of freedom as causelessness, the 
metaphysical difficulties of which then combine with 
the psychological difficulties and form an almost 
inextricable confusion. 

That a man might have acted differently from what 
he actually did obviously means, supposing that he were a 
different person. In the end it comes down to the ques- 
tion whether a man can be held responsible for his own 
nature. If we begin with a consideration of causes, 
which is one aspect of responsibility, we have three alter- 
natives. We may regard as the author of the man's nature 
either, on the lines of theological metaphysics, a divine 
creator or, on sociological lines, the social fabric ; or we 
may, again in a metaphysical sense, regard the man's 
individuality as one of the primary positions, the ultimate 
elements, of reality, in which case there is no longer any 
question about its cause. In the first case any impartial 
person will ascribe the responsibility to the Deity, and it 


is quite impossible to evade this conclusion by talking 
about permission, etc. In the second alternative the 
responsibility falls upon the community, upon its conditions 
and institutions ; and in the modern theory of penal 
legislation this idea is very familiar. It is only in the 
third case that there remains any metaphysical originality 
and personal responsibility ; but no one will question 
that a theory of this kind opens the door to unthinkable 
metaphysical vagaries which could not be reconciled 
with any form of metaphysical or theological Henism. 

Thus the theoretical study of the question whether there 
is a freedom of the original volition in the sense that it is 
uncaused comes to an end when one follows the causal 
series of the volition beyond the individual into a field of 
insoluble metaphysical difficulties. The identification of 
causality with uniformity, which we saw in its main 
features in dealing with theoretical problems, led to ideas 
such as we express in statements like, " There is nothing 
new in the world " to the view that every event is neces- 
sarily based upon some preceding event. On the con- 
trary, the postulate of causal uniqueness is a need of 
human nature. A man is conscious that in his responsible 
activity he introduces into his surroundings something 
new which would not be possible without that activity. 
From this it seems to follow that human conduct must 
be in a position to inaugurate new causal series and in- 
corporate them in the subsisting general causal process. 
It is interesting that this postulate was first expressed in 
history in a metaphysical form, being used to explain 
the origin of individual structures in the uniform 
mechanism of the world. It was Epicurus who put 
forward this typical conception of the freedom of the will 
as the arbitrary and uncaused initiation of causal series. 
He explained the origin of different worlds from the 
uniform fall of atoms by the occasional deviation, however 
slight, of some atoms from the general direction, and he 
expressly drew a parallel between these deviations and 
the arbitrary acts of men. The point of comparison 
between the two is the causal uniqueness of an uncaused 
event. The capacity for this in the psychic world is called 


the libcrum arbitrium indiffer entice, and it is supposed to 
cover motiveless acts of will which are believed to be 
experienced as facts in the process of choice between 
apparently " indifferent " alternatives. This idea of free- 
dom as a volition which has no antecedent cause, but 
has endless consequences in later events, is the real diffi- 
culty which no amount of theorising seems able to solve. 
Kant showed this most clearly of all. In his system 
freedom is theoretically quite unintelligible, but absolutely 
indispensable in practice from the consciousness of 

As a matter of fact, the practical aspect of the problem 
of responsibility can only be dealt with from the practical 
standpoint. Here there is question, on the one hand, 
of the share which falls to the individual in the division 
of labour of social life, and which the interest of the whole 
requires that he shall fulfil ; and, on the other hand, of 
the observance of the rules which the conditions of com- 
munity life demand. And in this sense holding a man 
responsible merely means that the proper motives will 
be strengthened in his mind by setting up rewards and 
punishments. These are psycho-physical causal pro- 
cesses that have their root in social life and their sanction 
in its collective interests. For if the individual were to 
turn upon this responsibility with the claim that he must 
act in his own way according to universal law, the answer 
would be that according to the same universal law the 
community is required to react in its own way. The appeal 
to mere causal necessities does not extricate us from the 
difficulty. We must treat the matter as a practical pro- 
cess which we cannot in any way trace to general theoreti- 
cal considerations of a metaphysical nature. This is true 
also of the refined and intimate form of responsibility in 
which a man makes himself responsible to his own moral 
or religious consciousness. In so far as this intimate 
responsibility does not belong to the province of advan- 
tages and disadvantages, the sphere of weal and woe, as 
social and legal responsibility does, it has the significance 
of a self-education in virtue of its analogous inspiration 
of counter-motives or its confirmation of positive elements. 


All this, however, as something justified in itself and 
ethically necessary, is entirely independent of the meta- 
physical problems of the causelessness of the volition 
with which theory has unnecessarily complicated a com- 
paratively simple situation. 


Communal Will. Individual and common will Voluntary and pre- 
existing unions Natural and historical unions The family, 
nation, economic community, State, and Church Custom, morals, 
and law Era of voluntary communities Civilisation Sociology 
Natural law and jurisprudence The definition of law Legal 
duty, legal claims, legal rights Law as the ethical minimum 
Purpose of the State and law Liberalism and Socialism The 
national State Object of the State Real rationality of the legal 

In all forms of morality, although it has to be valid 
for the dispositions and actions of the individual, yet 
has to find a basis in his conscience, there is question 
in the long run of some relation between the individual 
and the general community. This community is opposed 
to the individual as a complex of willing, and harmoniously 
willing, other individuals, hence the centre of gravity of 
all ethical problems is in this relation of the individual to 
a community, or of the individual will to a universal will. 
Even where the personality appears in its most intimate 
independence in conscience it shows its dependence 
upon a regard for the general will. On the other hand, 
where the life-forms of the community develop in their 
historical shapes as institutions, their significance is, in 
some measure at least, restricted to the value which they 
have or acquire for individuals. These are the poles 
in all voluntary life ; it is always a question how far the 
will of the individual and that of the community coincide 
or diverge, and in the end the chief question is, what is 
the nature of this whole that has the right to act as a 
counterpart to the natural will of the individual. Even 
in the most extreme cases to which this antagonism 
leads, the individual must not ignore the collective will, 


nor the general will entirely sacrifice the individual. 
This fundamental relation is based upon the incomparable 
position which man assumes in virtue of his remarkable 
combination of individuality and sociality, We know 
man only as a social being, and it is in view of this that 
Aristotle has described the whole of practical philosophy 
as ' political science." But it is not this which speci- 
fically distinguishes man. There are many animals which 
not only have a social life, but a social life much more 
complex and perfect than that of man from the corals 
to the bees and ants. In the case of these the height of 
their sociality consists in the unqualified and complete 
absorption of the individual in the collective life, so that 
we may question the very existence of an individual 
will differing from or opposed to the general will. In the 
case of man, on the contrary, a difference between the 
two is customary, and this power of the individual to 
oppose his will to that of the community is a character- 
istic feature of our species. It is on this selfishness of 
individuals that the specifically human thing, history, 
is based. It does not consist merely in the cumulative 
change brought about by the addition of individual 
variations, which we find as a general biological fact in 
the case of all animals, but in spasmodic changes due to 
the strong wills of personalities. It has been well said 
that man comes into the world as the most helpless of 
creatures and is the most adapted for social life. That 
is certainly true ; yet, on the other hand, he is even 
better fitted, as a unique and incomparable reality, to 
attain an inner independence and from this standpoint 
to react upon the whole. The entire historical process 
is an accentuation of this strain between the individual 
and the whole, and therefore it is a misconception of the 
elementary features of history to conceive its end as a 
return to the animal sociality which may have suited the 
lowest prehistoric condition of our race. 

The super-individual whole in which man finds himself 
incorporated is a voluntary community, directed to 
purposes of the will. Hence the principle of ethics requires 
something more than the purely formal conception of 


an incorporation in the hierarchy of the organic structure, 
at which we glanced in dealing with the problems of 
teleology. It is a question of a whole that is full of life- 
values, and therefore of value as a whole ; and this is 
found only in a compact totality of wills. We may 
speak of a common will, but we must say of this what 
we occasionally said of a common consciousness when 
we dealt with theoretical questions. An attempt has 
been made to ascribe some substantial reality beyond the 
individual minds to this common spirit we hear of the 
spirit of the nation, the time-spirit, the spirit of commerce, 
etc. but in social psychology even more than in indi- 
vidual psychology it holds that the synthetic unity of 
consciousness is, as far as empirical knowledge goes, of 
a functional, not a substantive, character. In the case 
of the collective mind we lack the defmiteness of a bodily 
organ, which is certainly the empirical foundation of the 
individual mind. In the case of the spirit of the people 
or the time-spirit we have no such thing in a specific form. 
We have to have recourse to Fechner's idea of the spirit 
of a planet in order to find anything of the kind. Apart 
from metaphysical vagaries of this kind, and looking 
more closely into the relation of the collective spirit and 
the individual spirit, we have to admit that the collective 
mind has no other physical basis than the individuals, 
and that it merely indicates psychic processes which occur 
in the individuals, and occur in them because they live 
a common life. The measure of this biological connection 
determines in particular cases whether more influence 
comes from the totality or from the individuals which 
grow out of and in it. In any case the development is 

I that the individual mind filled itself first and foremost 
with those contents which are common to it and its entire 
social environment, and that the peculiarities with which 
it at times opposes itself to the whole arise from this. 
We all know that our ideas, our whole theory of the world 
and of life, develop spontaneously as the theory of our 
living environment, and that only out of this in the course 
of time, when the circumstances are favourable, do we 
get individual thought and judgment that may differ 


from and conflict with the traditional. Psychogenetically, 
we should never forget, the collective mind precedes 
the individual ; it is the womb in which the latter is 

From this standpoint, in order to state clearly the 
ethical problems which arise in this connection, we will 
first consider the various types of voluntary communities 
which are within our actual knowledge. They have been 
called societies or federations, though these are super- 
ficial terms with a not very clearly defined significance. 
Perhaps the best term is that used chiefly by Giercke, 
associations. We distinguish between them genetically in 
virtue of their relation to the individuals. Either the 
individuals pre-exist and form the associations, or the 
association comes first and determines the will of the 
individual. The association may be, as far as the indi- 
vidual is concerned, voluntary or involuntary. We 
may therefore speak of constructed or of pre-existing 
voluntary communities. Compare, for instance, a league 
with a nation. I belong to the league, having been 
invited to do so, by a declaration of my pleasure ; but I 
belong to the nation without being invited and whether 
I will it or no. The league has as a whole no other element 
of will than that which its members give to it ; the nation 
has a will as a whole and expresses it in all the individuals 
who belong to it. The distinction, is best understood 
on the analogy of the difference between mechanical 
and organic development. In the one case the parts 
precede the whole and constitute it ; in the other case 
the whole precedes the parts and produces them by its 
vital action. We quite understand why we speak of 
an organic theory of the State when this association is 
regarded as a totality antecedent to the individuals ; 
whereas the " contract theory," which would attribute 
the State to an agreement of individuals, treated it as 
an association like any other. In reality all theories of 
the nature of voluntary communities take one of two 
directions : the universalistic-organic or the individualistic- 

From these genetic differences between associations 


we get at once important differences with regard to the 
position of individuals to them. To a league belongs 
only so much of my will as is needed for the purpose of 
the union. I have no further obligation toward it. The 
individual member may will whatever he likes outside 
of it. He may belong to other leagues provided that 
does not affect the aim of the first league. The main 
point is that my belonging to the league depends on my 
own will. When it no longer suits me, I leave it. But 
I cannot leave my nation. It embraces and determines 
my will from youth onward. I belong entirely to it, 
and my connection with it is up to a certain point indis- 
soluble. It is a totally different kind of membership ; 
there is more of " must " than of " will " in it. In earlier 
ages the bond was almost absolute, especially where 
State and nation were the same thing. Even in foreign 
lands a man did not cease to belong to his nation. And 
internally that is in a sense still the case. The individual 
may oppose or alienate himself from his nation ; but in 
his nature and character he cannot obliterate the main 
features of his nationality, and often does not wish to 
dd so. If in this example of so general an association 
as is that of a nation we see something vague about the 
relation between the individual and the whole, it is clear 
where our problems lie. The one extreme, that of arti- 
ficial and voluntary associations, is realised entirely in 
the league ; the other is not found in absolute purity 
in empirical conditions. In this respect one might 
reduce the ethical problem to the formula : Is there a 
voluntary community which a man cannot leave, and 
which therefore still has a claim upon the will even when 
the will is disposed to reject it ? In his " Community 
of Rational Beings generally " Kant has, in his formula- 
tion of the categorical imperative, given us the idea 
of such an ideal voluntary community which a man 
cannot leave. For the claim of the moral law is positive 
and independent of any pre-existing will of an individual. 
This community of rational beings is, however, a postu- 
late of the moral consciousness, and not an actually 
existing association. Amongst actual associations, leagues 



and all sorts of societies with a definite practical purpose 
have various degrees of value within the limits of the 
interest of our ordinary life. They must be appreciated 
according to the values which they are framed to pro- 
mote. They are only means in the mechanism of motives, 
and they therefore do not constitute an ethical problem. 
It is quite otherwise with pre-existing associations. 
In regard to these the individual raises the question of 
the sanction of the claim which the common will, which 
he had no share in producing, makes upon him ; whereas 
in the case of a league he supplies the sanction himself 
by becoming a member. Involuntary communities may 
be either natural or historical associations. This appa- 
rently sharp antithesis, however, proves to be anything 
but sharp when we consider the facts. We may take 
first the family as a purely natural association. On 
looking closely into the matter, we must grant that the 
ethical community which we respect under the name, 
and regard as the very type of voluntary associations 
and the germ of civilisation, is in the last resort a 
product of history. The connection between mother 
and children, in the first place, is older than mankind ; 
and what we learn from sociologists as to the matriarch- 
ate and the associations of men dependent thereon shows 
quite clearly, however much one may contest details of 
the theory, that the family in the modern sense is an out- 
come of the time when the human herd ceased to be 
nomadic. When we consider also the innumerable forms 
of polygamy of which we read in history, we see that 
the monogamous family, with which ethics is concerned, 
is really an evolutionary product of civilisation. We 
owe it to the Caucasic race, while other races have remained 
nearer to the natural condition of polygynous associa- 
tions. This origin of the monogamous family does not 
prevent us from regarding it as the first and most sacred 
of voluntary communities and, in spite of its imperfec- 
tions and occasional evils, the absolute type of the 
ethical life, adumbrating all social relations in a simple 
and admirable form. One may say, indeed, that in this 
first construction of a totality all those relations of 


subordination and co-ordination, which are indispensable 
to a voluntary community, have their finest and firmest 
expression, and we therefore know what to think of the 
reactionary movements in which modern individualism 
endeavours to destroy this great achievement of history. 
On the families is based the community of the people, 
in which we find the same relations between natural 
and historical origin on a larger scale. We may recognise 
that, as is expressed in the meaning of the natio as the 
totality of the cognati, community of descent is one of 
the conditions of the unity of the people ; but this can 
never be taken absolutely. It cannot be controlled, and 
our modern peoples, who have passed through countless 
wars and are in constant commcrcium and connubium 
with each other, have ended with an indistinguishable 
confusion of blood in their veins. It is only in lower 
races without any history that we may find a unity or 
purity of race, though even in these cases it is diluted 
at the frontiers. All peoples in the course of their develop- 
ment take into their midst other peoples whom they 
have brought under their yoke, and, on the other hand, 
various sections are detached from their own body. 
Hence a people is never merely a physical community. 
It is psychic, produced in historical movement, a 
community of mind, heart, and will. Even the country, 
in spite of its importance in the popular mind as the home 
of the nation, is no indispensable element of a community ; 
as we see in the case of nomadic peoples or those which 
maintain their community independently of any particular 
country. The decisive external expression of this psychic 
union is the language ; just as the Greeks distinguished 
themselves from all other peoples on the ground that 
these were " barbarians," or stammerers. In the language 
the spiritual community is expressed as the elaboration 
of a definite historical life-content, the finest shape of 
which is found in its literature. Thus language and 
literature form the essential characteristic and, at the 
same time, the highest possession of a people : the 
outcome of its spiritual activity and the measure of its 
contribution to civilisation. Whoever deprives a people 


of this possession, or destroys its love of it, is its real 
and most dangerous enemy. 

While the association of the people, being a half 
natural and half historical phenomenon, has not quite 
definite outlines, this is even more true of the forms of 
the economic community, to which it was long customary 
to give the name ' society ' in a specific sense. It is 
the loosest and least organised of all. Whatever shape 
it has, it owes partly to the unions which individuals 
form for definite purposes and partly to the co-operation 
of State-forces. It is itself, it is true, not bound up with 
any of these special unions, or with any particular people 
or State. In it we have an expression of the common 
will by means of usages, customs, and traditions which 
can only partly attain an organised form. It contains 
the mechanism of economic life, to meet and initiate 
fresh paths for which is the task partly of individuals 
and their various combinations, and partly of the State 
or States. We need not inquire here how much is to 
be expected or desired from one side or the other. That 
is a matter of life and, as far as science is in harmony 
with it, of the national economy. But it is clear that 
this also, together with the establishment of aims, which 
must be assumed for economic communities, has its roots 
in the general principles of ethics. 

The State has quite a different position amongst the 
types of voluntary communities, in so far as they repre- 
sent pre-existing life-unities. For the individual it pre- 
exists, and is only in a very slight degree natural ; its 
nature is, indeed, historically determined, since it is not 
the same thing as the people. The German people does 
not live entirely in the German Empire, but in Switzer- 
land and Austria also ; and these States in turn include 
others besides Germans. For the State the external 
condition is the country, its territory, hence it has a 
precision of frontiers which a people never has. Yet a 
State is not merely a community confined within a definite 
country ; its characteristic feature and its inner condition 
is a predominating will, which holds the physical and 
psychic power. When there is no such psychic power, 


the State is in a condition of decay ; it merely lives on 
the relics of its physical power, which, moreover, is 
always based upon psychic power, upon authority. How 
this power came into existence, whether by usurpation 
or contract, by force or by law in what persons it is 
embodied what is the purpose of its exercise these 
are all qualitative differences between States which may 
be very considerable. There are similar differences in 
their quantitative aspects, the extent of a State varying 
from the ancient City-State to a structure like the United 
States of North America. What is essential to the nature 
of a State is the domination of will, which extends to 
every external function of the life of the subjects. 
Hence the State is a visible organisation by means of 
which a common will presses into its service the activity 
of individuals. Out of this organised nature of the State 
we get law, as the form in which it expresses and formu- 
lates its will. It is, in respect of its tendency, the common 
will developed from its primitive haziness to a definite 
form, and is therefore the highest shape in which such 
a common will can develop. 

The Church occupies a special position amongst the 
pre-existing communities into which a man is born. We 
must distinguish it from the more general idea of a 
common religious will, which embraces many other forms. 
These differ in virtue of the differences of religions, which 
may be either evolved or founded religions. In the case 
of evolved religions the religious community coincides 
in the main with the people, as we see in the classical 
instance of Judaism. Membership of the people means 
also membership of the cult : communion with the great 
ancestors, heroes, and gods. Here again large associa- 
tions do not exclude smaller ones. Thus there were 
cults for the two sexes within the common cult, or cults 
of particular City-States along with the aesthetic national 
religion, in ancient Greece. Vague intermediate forms 
also arise in the shape of mysteries, and to some extent 
these assume the character of unions or founded associa- 
tions (OiaaoC). They are fraternities for the purpose of 
salvation with all the features of leagues ; they leave it 
to the individual will to enter or leave them. 


Of the founded religions Mohammedanism arises as 
a tribal religion, and combines with a conquering and 
subjugating political power, so that, for a time at least, 
the community of religion coincides with the community 
of the State. It was otherwise with Christianity. At 
first it was one amongst many religious associations in 
the Roman Empire : a founded association, which the 
individual was free to enter or leave, as is the case with 
recent sects such as the Quakers, Methodists, Memnonites, 
Mormons, Salvation Army, etc. But what are now called 
Churches are quite different. They are very far from 
calling themselves mere unions or associations. As they 
have historically developed, they are now for the individual 
pre-existing associations, almost in the same sense as is 
the State. A man belongs to them from birth, without 
being invited, and the declaration of membership which 
one makes in childhood, at confirmation, is as a rule 
anything but an act of free will. In theory membership 
of the Church is as indissoluble as membership of the 
State. In certain historical periods, such as the Middle 
Ages, this indissolubility was asserted in practice ; no 
one was free to leave, or could leave except by way of 
expulsion. In modern times it is possible to break one's 
connection with either Church or State, but it is [in Ger- 
many] rarely done, and it is made difficult by social 
usages and legal regulations. The result is that many 
are counted as members of both Church and State who 
in their own hearts and convictions do not belong to them. 
The Roman Church insists on the principle that membership 
cannot be surrendered, or regards the ' apostate ' as 
still belonging to it. 

All this shows marked analogies between Church and 
State ; and as a matter of fact, although the Church has 
the aim of giving reality to the religious life on earth, it 
has one essential feature in common with the State- 
domination. The organised will of the ecclesiastical 
regiment, assuming different shapes (monarchic or demo- 
cratic) in different organisations, always means power 
over subjects, and sometimes it assumes the character 
of an entirely worldly rule. The analogy with the State 


is further seen in the fact that the Churches create their 
own law, which ought to be the prerogative of the State. 
They frame a constitutional law, penal law, and even, 
to some extent, parts of the civil law a marriage law, 
for instance and for the purpose of seeing it carried out 
they have organised officials, institutions, and property. 
This is just the same as in the State ; yet the Churches 
are not, and do not wish to be, States. The power of the 
State is both physical and psychic : that of the Church 
is of itself psychic only. It becomes physical only when 
the State lends the Church its power. It is very difficult 
to assign the limits between the two in this respect, for 
the State's physical power rests ultimately on psychic 
power on its authority over subjects, on their convic- 
tions, confidence, obedience, subjection, and, where 
necessary, on fear. In the case of the Church the charac- 
teristic thing is that its physical power depends always 
on the State. It is made up of concessions by the State, 
and is not really sovereign, but delegated. There is no 
valid Church-law except in the case of " recognised 
religious associations," or Churches, as is commonly 
said. If a sect wished to lay down rules for its members 
which conflicted with the law of the State take the 
case of the Mormons they would be just as ineffective 
as the rules of any other society would be. This is the 
situation as far as the facts go. Ecclesiastical theory, 
it is true, bases the power of the Church on a divine 
institution ; but this naturally holds only for the members 
of the Church. It is from this character of the Church 
as a semi-State that it becomes involved in difficulties 
with the State. At times it appears as a political power 
like any State ; at times it emphasises the fact that its 
aim is different from the State, since it lies beyond this 
world. But this is not the place to discuss arguments 
of this nature and subject them to the test of history 
and fact. 

This survey of the known types of associations, especially 
of the differences between voluntary communities which 
the individual finds pre-existing, was necessary if we 
are to understand the way in which they become ethical 


problems. Each of us at first finds these associations, 
which precede our existence, set before us as something 
of self-evident validity ; indeed, in the strict sense they 
are not set before us or above us, but we experience 
them as elements of our conscious will in common 
with our fellows. Of the ground of their validity we 
have a very vague idea, in fact scarcely a conscious idea 
at all. They rule us by custom, the involuntary observ- 
ance of inherited and traditional usages. They are a 
mode of feeling, willing, and acting in which we find 
ourselves involved, and with which we co-operate, without 
asking any questions about their basis, perhaps not even 
about their meaning. The main source of custom is in 
natural associations, even when these have only attained 
their full significance in the course of time in the family, 
the people, and the social community. Hence custom is, 
in its involuntariness and its vague influence, the primitive 
form of the spiritual community ; not only in feeling and 
will, but also in ideas and views. It does not rely for 
protection and sanction on any visible authority, but on 
public opinion or the general mind, which assumes a 
dominating position in each individual mind. 

This primitive state of custom, however, undergoes 
an historical development, and every people that passes 
into the historical phase inherits the process which we 
find with grandiose simplicity in the period of the Greek 
cultural advance the emancipation of the individual. 
It is partly based upon the energy with which the will 
of the individual resists the pressure of prevailing custom, 
but partly on a perception of the contradictions in which 
custom becomes involved owing to the fact that the 
individual belongs to many different associations with 
different aims. When the claims of the family, the 
State, and the people differ from each other, or are even 
antagonistic to each other, the individual has to decide 
for himself, and he thus becomes partly freed from the 
semi-conscious tyranny of custom which had at first 
ruled him. By this process custom is divided into two 
parts. On one side, the intimate side, custom becomes 
personal morality ; on the other hand, the external 


side or external life, it takes the form of State-regulations 
in the shape of law. The more morality and law take 
over the work of custom, in their different ways, the more 
custom falls into decay. It becomes to some extent 
superfluous, and is confined to what is of no consequence 
from the moral or the legal point of view. The relation 
between these three ethical powers custom, morals, 
and law determines the far-reaching variations of social 
life. How much law leaves to custom, and how much 
law and custom leave to individual morality, is character- 
istic in the highest degree of a people or an age. There 
is no rule by which this is determined. It has to be 
studied historically in each case. The broader the rule 
of custom, the poorer personal morality is and the cruder 
and more external the law. The broader, more subtle, 
and more intimate the law is, the more zealously individual 
morality, which grows stronger in opposition to it, guards 
its province against law and custom. In the end the 
two great developments of custom stand face to face 
with each other, and give us the main problem of civilisa- 
tion : What is the frontier between the province of moral 
personality and that of legal government ? 

In such a situation the mind recalls the difference in 
value of the many voluntary communities into which the 
individual is born, and the inevitable question arises, 
whether there is a standard, by which we may appreciate 
these differences of value, that may claim universal and 
necessary validity. In the personal decision of the indi- 
vidual it is always his interests, partly his convictions, 
which influence him in each case of conflict. But the 
distressing doubts into which he may or must be driven 
impel him to look for some such ultimate standard of 
judgment. It can be found only when a man bears 
clearly in mind the function which these communities 
have to discharge. In the case of deliberate associations, 
leagues or unions, the function may be any of the very 
varied purposes of daily life, amongst which the Eudae- 
monistic or Utilitarian feature is a common element. 
When this is met, the tasks of these various pre-existing 
communities go further, and their claims on the individual 


are sanctioned by the duties they have to discharge. 
These duties, however, differ considerably in character, 
and it may be asked whether we can bring them all 
under one common formula. 

An attempt is made to do this by indicating the welfare 
or advancement of the individuals as the aim and task 
of these associations. In doing this, however, we put 
them on the level of leagues, and there is no justification 
for their assuming a dominion over the individual to 
which he does not consent. On the other hand, the 
attempt may be made to seek the aim of these pre-existing 
communities, beyond the social fabric, in the higher 
nature of man. The solution which was obvious in the 
case of the Church seems to some to apply also to the 
State, and even to the people and the family. But the 
principles involved in that solution lay beyond the limits 
of scientific knowledge, in the ideas and claims of faith. 
The only alternative, if in explaining this task we may 
neither sink to individual utility nor rise to metaphysical 
hypotheses, is to seek in the nature of these communities 
themselves some immanent indication of their function ; 
and for this purpose we find some assistance in the 
evolution of custom into morals and law. This shows 
us that at the base of every existing community there is 
a psychic collective life, especially a collective will, in a 
form that is obscure, vague, and unconscious of its own 
grounds. This collective element must be fully under- 
stood and must have an external shape. This elaboration 
of the vital order for the purpose of collective activities 
and for the construction of visible institutions in which 
they are expressed is what we call civilisation. As 
opposed to nature and natural powers, it means that 
which man makes with conscious power out of his environ- 
ment. In the work of these vital tasks the individual 
as such, and in his independence as regards traditional 
customs, takes a part, and strives to bring on the common 
life, in which he arises, to a conscious improvement and 
external form. Thus the task of voluntary communities, 
and therefore of individuals, is the creation of these vital 
orders and therefore the production of civilised institu- 


tions ; for the work of each individual is to co-operate 
in the realisation of the task in the position assigned to 
him by all the elements and particular features which 
constitute individuality. 

We must leave it to special discussions of ' practical 
philosophy ' to deduce from this the consequences for 
ethical theory and the philosophic science of society. 
All that we had to do here was to indicate the philosophical 
point of view from which alone these voluntary commu- 
nities must be treated. Those who are not clear on the 
matter remain in the sphere of social psychology and 
its genetic explanations. Since the name Sociology 
a good name in itself was introduced by Auguste Comte, 
it has generally been applied to inquiries which are of 
a social-psychological, or, as is sometimes said (just 
as infelicitously), folk-psychological character ; inquiries 
which borrow all sorts of facts from ethnography, pre- 
history, and history. That is in itself a very worthy 
subject of scientific research, but for philosophy it provides 
only the data from which the problems arise. We can 
speak of a philosophical sociology only in the sense of 
a research into the value of the various types and strata 
of voluntary communities and the functions on the dis- 
charge of which such value may depend. 

The contrasts of scientific attitude toward the problems 
presented by associations are most clearly seen in the 
treatment of the most advanced of vital orders : namely, 
in dealing with theories of law. A philosophy of law is 
greatly distrusted even by jurists ; and that is easily 
understood, because they fear that there is question of 
some other law than theirs, a law that holds nowhere, 
a Utopian law the so-called " law of nature." Let us 
see first how the idea of a law of nature arose, and what 
sound and unsound elements there are in it. Antiquity 
did not expressly attempt to set up a philosophic or 
normal law, or, as has been said, a just law in face of 
the existing or positive law ; though there are approaches 
to this in the Sophistic distinction between what is valid 
by nature and what is valid by promulgation (tfrvaei TJ 


Even the Roman jurists, in spite of their relations 
to the Stoics, took little notice of this distinction. Where 
they speak of a jus naturale, a lex naturae, a detiora 
naturalis, they mean either the positive consciousness 
and feeling of law or the logical consistency in the series 
of legal propositions. For them the jus naturale is one 
of the sources of law or one of the motives of the positive 
law with which they deal. The antithesis of natural 
and existing law comes later ; to some extent in medieval 
philosophy, but particularly during the Renaissance. 
Modern philosophy, which mainly took its conceptual 
apparatus from science, derived its knowledge from 
general conceptions and judgments with their timeless 
validity. It therefore believed that it could deduce 
law philosophically from general nature, or at least human 
nature, by a purely rational process, whilst historical 
knowledge was restricted to the various phenomena of 
positive law. In this way there emerged the idea of a 
general rational law which was, and ought to be, naturally 
valid, as distinguished from positive law with its actual 
validity within certain time-limits. Hence the difference 
in value which determined that in a case of disagreement 
the higher validity should belong to the rational or 
natural law. The general concept becomes the judge 
of the individual phenomenon ; the natural becomes the 
standard for judging the historical ; the idea becomes 
an ideal. A distinction is drawn between the law that 
is and the law that ought to be. The science of actual 
law is jurisprudence : the science of ideal law is the 
natural law. 

This antithesis is not convenient for the jurist. The 
law with which he deals is a fact, a tangible reality. The 
other, which does not exist, seems to him a creature of 
fancy or of wish. It is law as the professors, perhaps, 
would like to see it. If that were true, all philosophy 
of law would be in a sorry plight, and therefore we must 
at once remove this misunderstanding. It is not an 
ideal and artificially constructed law that is the subject 
of a philosophy of law, but actually existing law, the law 
with which jurisprudence deals. It is just the same as 


in all other sections of philosophy. Natural philosophy 
does not speak about an ideal nature which it itself creates, 
but of the same nature with which physics and chemistry, 
physiology and psychology, are concerned. Logic is 
not expected to bring science into existence ; it investi- 
gates knowledge and science which come into being and 
work quite independently of logic. Moral philosophy is 
not imperativist in the sense that the philosopher under- 
takes to create new values ; he deals with the actual 
moral life. /Esthetics has not to invent a new art ; it 
discusses existing art. Above all, the philosophy of 
religion has no intention of thinking out a philosophic 
religion ; it has to deal with religion as we all experience 
it. It is not the object, but the mode of treatment, 
which distinguishes philosophical theory from that of 
the other sciences. When this distinction is forgotten, 
when philosophy attempts to encroach upon the genetic 
theories of the other sciences, it becomes superfluous and 

In this way the philosophy of law has to recognise 
jurisprudence in its entirety. It is the business of juris- 
prudence to state the actual law and show its logical 
connectedness. That is its dogmatic function. It has 
to study the origin and development of law. That is 
its historical function. It has to work out the system of 
its application to particular cases. That is its prac- 
tical function. Thus the interpretation, history, and 
technique of law always presuppose an existing law in 
its various historical manifestations. Philosophy does 
the same, but it regards the subject from an entirely 
different point of view ; and this is the sound element 
in the old idea of natural law. It is an undoubted fact 
that we study the actually existing law. Do we not 
speak at times of an unjust law ? Every advance in 
law, every change in legislation, is based upon some such 
censure, which in some way recognises the unsatisfac- 
toriness of the positive law. In practice these censures 
are very individual, very variable, and inspired by very 
different motives. In face of this we see in the principle 
of a natural law a desire to make these censures objective 


and universal, to give them a scientific basis. Hence 
here again the philosophic standpoint is that of an appre- 
ciation of values of universal validity. We have not to 
enlarge our knowledge of reality and its causal relations, 
but to discover how it is possible to determine values. 
This was the aim of natural law, but it was carried out 
in quite a wrong way, as an ideal law which was valid 
without restriction of time was set up, and the value of 
every positive law was measured according to the measure 
of its agreement therewith. Instead of this ideal we 
must conceive our task as one for the fulfilment of which 
the law already exists, and for the sake of which it has 
been produced. Once we define our task and aim, the 
means of realising it cannot be deduced logically this 
was the error of the old natural law but the aim can 
merely be used as a standard to apply in considering 
actual laws. Here again, however, we must guard against 
a certain confusion. We may consider whether the 
law is, having regard to its purpose, fitted to carry out 
the intention of the legislator. This consideration of 
the technical satisfactoriness of legislation is in every 
case the business of jurisprudence. Hence there is no 
question of empirical work of this kind when the 
philosophy of law discusses the aim of law ; for opinions 
on this subject may be sound or unsound, and even contra- 
dictory. We might say that in certain circumstances 
even an abuse of law may technical!}' be admirable. 
From these opinions we appeal to what opinion ought 
to be to the ethical end of law. 

In general we may understand by law a system of 
rules which an organised voluntary community has laid 
down for its subjects as the indispensable minimum of 
the claims it makes upon them for the realisation of its 
cultural function ; and it has laid these down in the 
sense that an official executive will see that they are 
enforced, will punish transgressions, and will decide in 
case of dispute about them. Amongst the characteristics 
which we include in this definition there are two which 
may be differently interpreted according to certain 
individual or general tendencies. The value of legal 


clauses as norms is based upon the fact that the duties 
of the individual are settled by the whole the State 
and it follows from this that the claim upon law is merely 
the correlative of the duty to law. My claim upon law 
consists of the duties that my fellows have toward me 
in virtue of the law. In this it seems to individualistic 
thought that the originality of the claims which indi- 
viduals have upon the State is not sufficiently recognised. 
We may, however, meet this objection by observing that 
the ethical claim of the personality, which we may call 
a moral right, does not arise from the law itself, but is 
one of the antecedent sources of the law, whilst the claim 
upon law can only be something that arises from the 
law itself. The same arguments will suffice to settle the 
controversy whether law is to be denned as the limitation 
of an original right. A right in this original sense means 
the sphere of those functions which are not regulated by 
law, and the free discharge of which is therefore protected 
by law ; though on the condition that they do not disturb 
the legal order. In all these matters the Kantist principle 
holds that law represents the sum of the conditions in 
which the freedom of the individual can be adjusted to 
the freedom of his fellows under a general rational law. 
If law determines by means of a general enactment what 
I have to do or to omit, it eo ipso determines what the 
others have to do or to omit in regard to me. My legal 
claims are laid down at the same time as my legal duties. 
However, this mutual limitation of the life-spheres of 
individuals extends only to those interests which fall 
within the province of law of State regulation. These 
are always only a part of the entire activity of the will. 
And the settlement of the matter depends upon what 
one regards as the end of the State, and therefore of its 
legal regulation. In our definition of law we have given 
this element a general formal expression which results 
from what we said previously about the evolution of 
custom, morals, and law. We saw that custom is quanti- 
tatively, and morality qualitatively, greater than law. 
The fulfilment of his legal duties is the least that life 
asks of a man : custom and morality demand far more. 


If one does not comply with their demands, he is not 
held legally responsible, but he is all the more visited with 
the penalties of social life and the moral censure of his 
fellows and his own conscience. On the other hand, 
there are cases in which the law makes demands which 
conflict with custom, or even with mature personal 
morality, but it never demands more than they. A man 
may be a scoundrel, yet legally unassailable ; the con- 
verse case, in which one might be in the grip of the law, 
yet morally right, is an exceptional happening in certain 
tragic conflicts. The claim of law, therefore, extends 
only to the indispensable minimum which the State must 
have from everybody. Hence Jellinek's definition : the 
law is the ethical minimum. 

This minimum, moreover, is not definitely fixed in 
relation to the whole of man's interests. The limits are 
subject to considerable variations. The minimum, in 
fact, has its own maximum and minimum. The content 
of the legal regulation depends, both in theory and prac- 
tice, on what one conceives to be the end of the State. 
The extreme limit in this respect was the theory that the 
legal order of the State has nothing to do beyond protecting 
the lives and property of individuals. That was the 
sentiment of modern individualistic Liberalism, which 
started from the originality and self-mastery of the 
individual, and regarded the State as a technical product 
of the common consent of the individuals. This is the 
tendency of what is called the contract-theory, which, 
if it meant more than an explanation of the origin of 
the State, got into the vicious circle of maintaining that, 
while a valid contract is not possible until the State is 
formed, there was at least a regulative idea in the sense 
that the State had the right only to lay down things to 
which its subjects would agree if they were asked if they 
cared to be members of it. It follows plainly from this 
that the individual concedes to the legal order only as 
much as it finds absolutely necessary ; and that ought 
to be the protection, as far as external conditions are 
concerned, of the independent activity of the individuals. 
The historical weight of this theory comes of its connec- 


tion with the Protestant conscience and the agitation 
for tolerance. The idea of religion as a private affair 
of the individual rose in rebellion against the State- 
organisation of religious life in the Church, and the first 
sphere of life which claimed freedom from the State was 
that of personal religion. Other spheres, such as trade 
and commerce, science and art, which are equally based 
upon the free activity of the individual, wished to be 
free from the State, yet protected by it. On these lines 
the State is in itself a matter of indifference to the indi- 
vidual. All the main interests of personality, its external 
and internal possessions, lie outside it. It is a necessary 
evil which a man keeps at a distance as far as possible 
the " scavenger-State." When this extreme is devel- 
oped, law and State have no positive roots in the indi- 
vidual ; there is no State-sentiment. From the theoretical 
point of view it appears that even the discharge of this 
function of the State is a technical matter, and it may 
be essentially the same everywhere. That is a funda- 
mental element of the old law of nature. In this the 
function of being a genuine inner voluntary community 
and an external ordering of life based thereon is most 
imperfectly realised. It is, as Schiller and Fichte said, 
the State for necessities only. All cultural resources 
were to be sought in the individual with his self-expression 
in religion, art, science, industry, trade, etc. in a word, 
all that we call civilisation. 

Now, ought the State and the law to be cut off from 
these and have no ethical inwardness ? Here we have 
the other extreme, which claims that they must have all 
these things as the essential elements of their aim. This 
is the "organic" conception of the civilised State. It 
must be based upon a complete community of will, and 
this must be realised in the full extent of public life. In 
the long run this becomes the Socialist ideal. The prac- 
ticable elements of this are suited only for small associa- 
tions like the City-States of ancient Greece. It is true 
that even these were very far in their real features from 
the ideal form which Plato gave to their principle in 
his Politeia. In developing the idea of a complete commu- 



nity of will the philosopher found himself compelled, on 
the one hand, to underrate and reject the family, and, 
on the other hand, to restrict government to the aristo- 
cratic section of ancient society, which was to leave the 
inferior and necessary work of daily life to an army of 
slaves much more numerous than itself. Far different 
are the civilised States of our time, which have the basis 
of their community of will in the historical evolution of 
peoples, and are therefore National States. In their case 
the adjustment of the interests of the whole to those of 
individuals has in principle succeeded so well that the 
individual can enter even with his most valuable work 
into the activity of the State without any prejudice to 
his inner independence. In all these various forms the 
State and its legal order have become the vehicles of 
civilisation to such an extent that the State-institutions 
sustain the progress of the collective spiritual work. The 
most important of these institutions is, as Plato perceived, 
education, by means of which the State ensures the 
continuity of the common will throughout the succession 
of generations. The moment the State relinquishes 
education it ceases to be a civilised State, and sinks to 
the position of a State merely endowed with power and 
looking after the welfare of citizens. 

When we compare the two extremes, we see that they 
agree in placing the end of the legal order of the State 
somewhere in the field of cultural activities, and merely 
differ as to the means. Individualism would restrict the 
legal order to securing to the individual the possibility 
of exerting his cultural activity. Universalism demands 
that the legal order shall directly contribute thereto by 
an organisation of the common life. A way has been 
sought out of this formal contradiction, without going 
into their many ramifications, by the purely formal 
theory that the legal order must be regarded as an autono- 
mous end, not as a means ; as if it were necessary that 
State and law must exist somehow, no matter in what 
form. Certainly the legal order has its ethical value, 
but it always derives this from the content which it has 
to realise. Hence the theory of the State and law as an 


autonomous end, which is really a relic of the old law 
of nature, is unsatisfactory ; though it contains an element 
that is always worthy of consideration in connection 
with the question of the validity-in-itself which has to 
be claimed for the types of voluntary communities. 

As a matter of fact this question is one of the chief 
points in the philosophy of law, and, neglecting a number 
of special problems such as that of the sanction of the 
right to punish, which we touched in connection with 
responsibility, we turn to consider it. All these vital 
orders, and particularly law, are the work of men. 
Behind them is the living man with his interests, feelings, 
and desires, even his affections and passions. No one 
denies that. But in view of the emphasis which is 
sometimes put on it, we may ask whether these orders 
are really only the work of man ; whether, from the very 
fact that man develops the necessary activity from his 
interests, transcendental orders are not involuntarily 
realised ; whether here again there is not something of 
what Hegel called " the cunning of the idea " namely, 
that higher contents emerge unsought from the play of 
the movements of earthly life, and develop in them of 
their own inner necessity. That certainly happens in 
other fields. Knowledge also is the work of man, born 
of human needs ; but it does not end there. In it the 
transcendental comes into consciousness : realities of 
a higher order. That is the validity-principle of actual 
necessity, which is the real nucleus of the transcendental 
philosophy. We cannot think without combining valid 
contents in valid forms, and it is only a question of our 
becoming fully conscious of it. 

It is the same with the various orders of community 
of will. Wherever there is a voluntary communit}', and 
whatever its purpose, it is bound to have certain forms 
and rules, however scanty and loose they may be, as 
they are in the case of leagues, unions, etc. This element 
of indispensability, which is in the nature of things and 
is essential in every form of voluntary community, was 
certainly part of what people aimed at in the law of 
nature. It corresponds, on the highest stage of abstrac- 


tion, to the element which is pursued by rational theories 
of jurisprudence, in part, as opposed to the historical 
schools. In both cases there is a conviction that in this 
we have the rule of necessities which are independent of 
the arbitrariness of individuals or the chance of circum- 
stances, and are rooted in the reality itself in the reason 
of things. From another side the comparative science 
of law is on the track of these necessities in an empirical 
way, as it attempts to discover by a collection of the 
facts what the general element is what law in general is. 
If in these ways we find that some community of will 
given by nature and history as an obscure rudiment seeks 
distinctness, conscious self-comprehension, and firm 
external shape in the legal order, the aim is still very 
imperfectly realised. All realisation of law in legislation, 
government, and executive is limited by the individuals 
whose business it is to take part therein. Even the 
meaning of the collective will of the State is a problem 
that constitutional law can never clearly solve, and that 
is, perhaps, best expressed, with Rousseau, in the 
formula, how the volonte generale is related to the volonte 
dc toiis. For the " general will ' can never be simply 
the will of all, otherwise all injustice ceases. The general 
will, therefore, is not a natural fact, but an historical 
task ; and it is a superstition that the modern method 
of securing it by adequate majorities has solved the 
problem. If we further consider the men employed in 
carrying out the law, how there must always be weak, 
fallible, and blundering officials in the government and 
executive, we see how little one can speak of a complete 
realisation of the collective will by any single historical 
legal order. But even if we flattered ourselves that we 
had overcome these difficulties, even if in some fortunate 
case the restrictions which a people experiences in the 
development of its legal order, partly on account of 
inimical relations to other peoples and partly by the 
division of parties at home, were removed, even then, 
in the case of this most perfect phenomenal form of the 
realm of morality (to speak with Hegel), the vital order 
would still be bound up with the special historical features 


of a single people or State. None of these historical 
special phenomena fully realises humanity as a community 
of will. Yet the life of peoples, States, and even of 
individuals has no other meaning than this, to realise in 
the collective life and in outer form what is implanted 
in the nature of man as an unconscious and obscure 
collective will. That is the very meaning of the word 
"civilisation" in its modern sense. We understand by 
it, not merely a cultivation of the mind, but the 
self-realisation of the rational germ, the conscious 
comprehension and elaboration of what a man finds 
given in himself. The living man makes himself in the 
course of time what he is according to the outline laid 
down in him. " Become what thou art " is the supreme 
law of the individual. It is the law also of peoples, 
which are summoned to realise their inmost being in 
the creation of their State and its legal order. But 
humanity as a whole is not realised in any single people 
or State. Its realisation is history. 


History. The philosophy of higher research What happens in and around 
man Individuality and personality Self-consciousness Emanci- 
pation of the personality History of language Collectivist and 
individualist history Superpersonality of values Unity of the 
human race Concept and idea of humanity Historical unifica- 
tion Moral order of the world Progress in history Indefinite 
perfectibility Intellectual, moral, and hedonistic progress Old 
age and death of humanity Life as the greatest good Reality 
with and without time. 

The philosophy of history has, like the philosophy of 
law, to reckon with the special science which deals with 
the same subject, and it has to see that it incurs no risk 
or suspicion of encroaching upon it. For historical 
research as a whole has to investigate and arrange the 
historical cosmos as thoroughly as natural science does 
with the natural cosmos. What philosophical stand- 
point is there, apart from this, from which this broad 
province of knowledge can and ought to be further con- 


sidered ? Let us first lay down a negative qualification 
and limitation. The philosophy of history has often 
been conceived, especially in its beginnings, as we find 
more or less in Herder, and is still often conceived, as if 
its business was to sum up the results of research in 
a survey of universal history. But a universal history 
of this kind is and remains an historical science, and 
philosophy must not attempt anything new in this line. 
Either it would have to be identical with the empirical 
science in which case it would be superfluous or it would 
have to teach something different from the historian 
about these ultimate truths of history and in that case 
it would be false. This, therefore, is not the task of 
the philosophy of history ; nor, on the other hand, is 
it restricted to being a mere theory of knowledge for 
the historical sciences. It would not, indeed, be wrong 
for it to seek the achievement of its aim by a kind of 
investigation that has frequently been attempted in 
modern times. Just as natural philosophy in its first 
stages may be construed as a philosophy of the sciences 
that is to say, a theory of knowledge for scientific 
research so one might make the philosophy of history 
a philosophy of historical science that is to say, a theory 
of knowledge for historical science. But just as natural 
philosophy has, after this preparatory work, to enter 
upon its proper problems in its own way, so the philosophy 
of history also may and must, from its special point 
of view, go on to a conceptual treatment of the actual 
problems of the evolution of civilisation. 

As far as the theory of knowledge for historical research 
is concerned, the essential points have been considered 
when we discussed noetical problems. We saw that the 
principle of selection and synthesis in the science is always 
a relation of value. An event becomes historical when, 
in virtue of its individual significance, it is directly or 
indirectly related to values. Thus the empirical science 
of history creates its objects, since it gives prominence 
amongst the immense variety of events to those which 
may be of interest on account of their relations to value, 
and it then combines the separate elements in constructions 


which in turn are related to values. But this relation 
to value we must constantly emphasise this in order 
to avoid very unfortunate and frequent misunderstandings 
is by no means a judgment of value. Moralising valua- 
tions have no more to do with historical than with 
natural science. Both are scientific presentations, without 
regard to value, of what is what ought to be or has 
been. Hence when it is said that the theory of knowledge 
of historical science must be sought in ethics, we do not 
mean ethics as the theory of individual duty, but ethics 
as practical philosophy in its entirety, in which sense it 
includes the philosophy of history. This relation to 
value is found in every individual fable or story, and in 
the traditions of the family, the tribe, or the people, 
owing to the interests of the narrator. The tale is told 
and repeated ; not about the trivial things that occur 
daily, but about something that has occurred once and 
awakened an interest that may prove permanent. That 
these tales shall be true that they shall describe the 
event as it really happened is claimed by historical 
science as distinguished from fiction, which may merely 
tell how it might have been (ofa av ylvono, says Aris- 
totle). Yet we must bear in mind that what any memory, 
and therefore the historical in the form of historical 
research, may contain as a real event, was never a 
solitary reality ; in its actual form it was entangled in 
and overgrown by a mass of trivial and familiar things 
from which it was extricated by historical selection and 
synthesis and made into a self-contained whole, that is 
to say, an historical object. And if the pre-scientific 
elements of history, ordinary memory and tradition, are 
conditioned by the interests of the narrator and related 
to his particular valuation, it is clearly the duty of man's 
scientific memory that the selection and synthesis in it 
be conditioned by values of a universal character. The 
determination of these values is precisely the aim of 
ethics, and in this sense, and this alone, we attempt to 
find in ethics the principles of the theory of knowledge 
of historical science. 

Now these values of historical science are always 


human values, and therefore man is at the very centre 
of historical research. It deals with the human event, 
the event in and about man. Physical processes are 
introduced into the historical selection and combination 
only in so far as they may be brought into relation in 
some way to the human life of values. Hence the empirical 
foundations of historical research are values in so far 
as these are psychic facts I ; and the philosophy of history 
goes so far in its character as theory of knowledge as 
to understand and determine the actual procedure of 
historical science. Ethical valuation, however, is not 
content, as we have repeatedly seen, with a determina- 
tion of the empirical validity of values. It further asks 
to what extent the actual valuations are well grounded 
in the case of the higher orders which transcend the 
empirical course of human life. It works out this postu- 
late first in personal morality, then in the philosophy of 
voluntary communities, and lastly in the philosophy of 
history. It seeks to determine whether the orders in 
which the civilised activity of the human race is embodied 
are similarly based upon higher orders of reason ; just 
as one regards as general necessities of reason the uni- 
formities which are attained in the theoretical knowledge 
of nature. In other words, the ultimate question is 
whether the logos, the world-reason, rules in the historical 
cosmos as it does in the natural cosmos. 

This proper task of the philosophy of history demands 
above all things a conceptual analysis of what is character- 
istic and distinctive in the historical process. Auguste 

1 But we must again emphasise that it by no means follows from this 
that, as has often been said and still more often thoughtlessly repeated, 
psychology is the foundational science of all historical culture. This is 
not at all true of scientific psychology, which as to its method belongs to the 
natural sciences, and in its content is an inquiry, apart from value, into 
the uniform movements of the psychic elements. Its theories are no 
nearer to the interest of historical research than those of other sciences 
are. The psychology which the historian uses is a very different thing. 
It is the psychology of daily life : the practical psychology of a know- 
ledge and understanding of men, the psychology of the poet and the great 
statesman the psychology that cannot be taught and learned, but is a 
gift of intuitive intelligence, and in its highest form a genius for judging 
contemporary life and posterity. This sort of psychology is an art, not a 


Comte called it sociological statistics. This leads us to 
the strain between individual and whole, to which we 
referred above. For the first basic principle here is that 
individuality is far greater in the human race than amongst 
animals, and greater in civilised man than in savages. 
We may say, in the naturalistic sense, that each organic 
being is an unrepeated individuality, both in its physical 
and its psychic features. One wether is fatter than the 
others ; one dog cleverer than others. Even midges 
certainly have differences of form as we do, but they do 
not interest us, and so we take no notice of them. If 
our attention is drawn to them, we perceive them. The 
shepherd knows each member of his flock. In a foreign 
people, where at first all seem to us alike, we soon learn 
to distinguish one individual from another. This natural 
individuality, however, which we share with all organic 
beings, is as such only an objective individuality : a 
peculiarity for another, for the comparative judgment of 
another, not for itself. Thus plants and animals may 
become individualities to us in virtue of the special 
value which we ascribe to their particular features ; even, 
in fact, a house, a chair, a stone, or a mountain. All 
these, however, are not individualities for themselves. 
It is only man who acquires this sort of individuality, 
and we then call him a person. Personality is, therefore, 
individuality which has become objective to itself : indi- 
viduality for itself. Hence all men are individuals, but 
not all are persons. We speak of people becoming and 
being persons, of the child and of the incurable lunatic. 
Personality again has various degrees. The great majority, 
who seem to be there merely for the propagation of the 
race, have only a potential personality. We respect 
them legally and morally, but in them we see only the 
beginning of the transition from individuality to person- 
ality. This transition is brought about by consciousness, 
though this is certainly not identical with personality. 
They, however, have the same gradations. 

Self-consciousness is the greatest marvel in psychology. 
We can establish the fact, but we cannot comprehend 
it. We can analyse the conditions and prerequisites 


for its appearance. They consist, from the point of 
view of individual psychology, in apperceptions in which 
memory and character are precipitated as constant 
ideas and appreciations ; from the point of view of social 
psychology, in language, which treats even organic beings 
as substantives and brings out the reflection of the self 
in the mutual play of the Thou and I. This eventual 
result is, however, not to be considered a product of the 
psychic mechanism. There is between self-consciousness 
and the other contents of consciousness no analytical, 
but only a synthetic, relation, just as between nervous 
movement and consciousness, or between inorganic and 
organised matter. Psychological theories of self-conscious- 
ness leave it an entirely obscure problem in philosophy. 
And just as obscure is the content of the self, which 
distinguishes itself from every content that it can 
present as that which has this content, and precisely 
on that account is not it. Thus this synthetic func- 
tion appears as something self-producing : something 
that is not there until it creates itself. The self is, as 
Fichte taught with great energy, not first there before 
it comes into consciousness ; it becomes through its 
own function. It is a new thing in the world of sub- 
stances. We learned when discussing theories of causality 
to recognise it as something that resists every attempt 
to clothe it in the doctrine of the conservation of energy. 
This inexpressible element of personality, as individu- 
ality for itself, is freedom ; and that is the only sense 
in which ethics can adopt this much-abused word. This 
originality of persons must not, it is true, be taken in the 
sense of a metaphysical power. On the contrary, the 
Henism of metaphysical thought, as well as of the religious 
mind (as we saw in dealing with problems of substance), 
inexorably removes the aseity of individuals. Yet the 
feeling of moral responsibility and historical thought 
just as inexorably require it ; for this synthetic freedom 
alone introduces new elements into history. 

This significance is only attained by personality by 
self-consciousness in the individual becoming self-criticism 
and creating the free position which the personality adopts 


over against itself. As logical conscience it determines 
the value of one's own ideas, and as moral disposition 
it determines the value of one's own valuations. Man 
was once subtly denned as the being who deceives As a 
matter of fact, deception is only possible as an act of a 
mind that is able to weigh its own value in free judg- 
ment against those of others. But the self-criticism that 
is found even in this presupposes in every case a division 
in the consciousness and in the self-consciousness of the 
personality. If in an animal or a child, as a becoming 
personality, and in the lower classes of every nation and 
age some recollection of an injury suffered or a pleasure 
enjoyed is the motive of action or counter-motive, this 
is only the psycho-mechanical preparatory stage to the 
self-consciousness and self-orientation of a conscious 
personality. In its self-criticism this divides itself into 
the determining and the determined part ; and Fichte 
has profoundly explained this by supposing that in 
every personality there is a vital stratum of clear con- 
sciousness which is contrasted with a stratum of obscure 
feeling a situation that is found in its most perfect form 
in the genius. The stratum of obscure feeling is the 
background of the general mind, and the stratum of 
lucid consciousness is the sum of all contents in which 
the personality has comprehended its own peculiar nature. 
Whenever it asserts this against the domination of the 
general mind and manifests itself in an external act, 
it enters into that antagonism to the whole on which 
the historical process is based. The essence of personality 
is, therefore, that the individual must be more than a 
mere specimen of the species. In this sense Kant has 
said that the Fall was probably the beginning of human 
history. This is not only an interpretation of the Hebrew 
legend, but an allegorical description of the fact that 
the emancipation of individuals is the essence of human 
history as so many repetitions of the Fall not as an 
hereditary sin, but as ever-new acts of personalities. 
Every advance in knowledge, in morals, in the life of the 
State, in art, or in religion is a fall from the previous state 
of things : a fall which, through struggle and sacrifice, 


alters the mind and the collective life. This is the ulti- 
mate meaning of the fact that it is only by the initiative 
of personalities that the general mind evolves from its 
obscure, stupid, and subconscious rudiments to a clear 
and free spiritual form. And that is, in the last resort, 
the entire meaning of human history. As a natural 
species man, Homo sapiens, shows an infinite variety of 
possibilities of spiritual life and a high degree of sociality, 
which in the earliest and lowest stages of life is almost 
equal to what we find amongst such invertebrates as the 
bees and ants. But in the course of human history there 
is a rebellion against this sociality in the sense that the 
work of personalities has to give form and clearness to 
the common content of life. Of history as an objective 
process, therefore, we may speak wherever individual 
functions of personalities bring about permanent changes 
in the general condition of the common life. 

We see this best in the development of the chief 
natural function of human sociality, speech. Its changes 
and in this we find all developments of man as the 
speaking animal are based as a natural process partly 
on phonetic necessities, and they proceed on physiological 
laws like those of the permutation of consonants ; though 
from these alone no one could deduce the history of 
literature or the entire history of language. Individual 
variations and personal acts have a part in it. It is not 
the people as a whole that speaks, but the individuals. 
Every innovation was first uttered somewhere, then 
repeated and established. That is true in detail and as 
a whole. The significant personality grows into the 
prevailing speech ; has received everything from it, and 
shapes it afresh for new generations. That is what 
we find, for instance, in the case of Luther and Goethe 
in the history of the German language. Then we have 
the accumulation of small changes, all of which can be 
traced to an individual origin and have been shaped by 
adaptation in the course of time. Thus we see the his- 
torical change in the easy and gradual flow of accumu- 
lating small alterations and, at the same time, in the 
abrupt action of new creations. The common substratum 


of the entire movement is, however, the mutual under- 
standing of all individuals that have the same language, 
and this is, perhaps, the most remarkable and obscure 
phenomenon in the whole of collective life. For speech 
is very far from expressing the full meaning of people 
when they speak. It conveys a good deal more meaning 
in its forms, in the secondary meanings of words, in tone 
and emphasis ; in this, in fact, we not only express most 
of our meaning, but the most important part of it. That 
we understand each other in this that what is not said 
is fully appreciated is the great mystery that we can 
only regard as possible in view of the half-conscious 
collective psychic life which forms the substratum for 
the development of the complexes of the individual mind 
and the conscious activity of personalities. 

All these features of linguistic life are typical of every 
other form of the historical development of humanity, 
and we thus understand what is sound and unsound in 
the onesided views which we call the collectivist and 
individualist conceptions of history. Collectivism rightly 
emphasises the fact that all history is a collective 
movement, and that its meaning is to be sought in the 
changes of the collective life. It affects to treat person- 
alities, however, as mere transitory phenomena in which 
the collective process incorporates itself and in time dis- 
solves again. It admits the significance of the influences 
which proceed from these concentration-points of the 
common life, not only because the energies of this are 
particularly incorporated in them, but also because they 
are thus combined for the realisation of a new and peculiar 
impulse. Collectivism treats personalities as if they 
were merely individualities. Individualism, on the other 
hand, rightly emphasises the creative elements which 
issue from the activity of the individual, especially the 
great individual, the " hero." But it runs some risk of 
overlooking the fact that in these influences the collective 
forces have a share, and that the extent and permanence 
of the influence of the deeds of heroes can only be under- 
stood on that account. Both conceptions, however, miss 
the most significant thing in human history the ever- 


changing strains between personalities and the collective 
life and they therefore fail to perceive the essential 
point in the construction of the vital orders which give 
us the meaning of historical development. 

For the relation of the emancipation of personalities to 
the whole varies in an extraordinary degree. Often 
enough it assumes the character of a " Fall," in the sense 
that it is a sort of running off the rails which depends 
upon individual variation or motives related only to the 
individual. In this case it may, it is true, have for a time 
a far-reaching influence on the general life, but viewed 
in relation to the whole it is never more, in such circum- 
stances, than a temporary change. The influence can 
only be permanent and real in the historical sense when 
the elements which slumber in the general mind and are 
unconscious of their power awaken to clear consciousness 
in this insurgence of the individual. All great actions of 
historical personalities as Hegel has excellently said 
are based upon the fact that the passionate energy of 
their will is directed to precisely the same ends as the 
driving energies in the ferment of the collective life which 
have not yet become fully conscious. In the case of 
heroes the most valuable element of the collective life is 
at work, apparently in contradiction to itself. The solu- 
tion of the great historical problems and conflicts is that 
this situation breaks out and determines the decisive 
form of things. The end, it is true, is never fully attained, 
and there are all sorts of obstacles and difficulties provided 
on the way. It follows, nevertheless, that in the personal 
element of historical development it is not really a question 
of the arbitrariness of individuals and their particular 
qualities, but of that part of them in which the most 
valuable element of the collective life takes clear shape. 
It is not obscure singularities which make up the histori- 
cally significant ; it is the achievements of personalities 
through which the general mind presses on to its fulfilment 
and realisation. Hence the more the personality attains 
to conscious clearness, the more it destroys in itself the 
merely individual element in which its natural endowment 
consisted. Thus the whole of this strain between the 


personality and the entirety comes to the dialectical 
issue that all that is highest and most valuable that the 
individual can attain has in it something impersonal 
and superpersonal. If the outbreak of a new truth in the 
mind of the individual seems at first a fall from the 
current condition of thought, nevertheless the energy of 
its influence consists in this, that in its own nature it 
shall be valid for all, and shall be completely independent 
of the accidental features of the mind of its discoverer. 
This superpersonality belongs to all great deeds of heroes 
in every department of life, and thus the personality 
attains its historical significance from the fact that it is 
more than itself. What constitutes the power of the 
significant personality is that it develops superpersonal 
values in itself and externalises them. The independence 
of these values of the individual features of the man who 
bears them may also be expressed by saying that they 
are independent of the accidents of time they have an 
eternal validity. We may therefore say that eternal 
values emerge from every historical strain between the 
whole and the individual that is due to the action of 
personalities. In the conflict of the general in time and 
the personal the real necessity of the vital orders enforces 
its validity, and thus logical and ethical uniformities 
realise themselves as eternal values in the temporal 
struggle of the historical life. For the personality, there- 
fore, the highest aim is, " To sacrifice oneself is good." 
For the whole the ultimate gain is that its vital orders 
approach more and more maturely and perfectly to the 
rational orders which they are expected to realise in 

When, from this point of view, we speak of the history 
of the human race (which is often wrongly spoken of as 
the history of the world) as a self-contained whole, we 
have in our minds an idea of the unity of the species, 
the meaning and justice of which we have now to examine. 
It involves the assumption that humanity as a natural 
entity is an organic unity. But this biological conception 
of mankind is by no means sufficient for a critical inquiry 
into the nature of history. Whether mankind really is 


such an organic unity is a question that cannot be stated 
or answered either from the point of view of history or 
of the philosophy of history. It is not historical, since 
it cannot be decided by traditions which, in this case, 
cannot contain the matter itself, but merely myths and 
legends about it. Neither is it the business of pre-history 
or ethnography to decide it. The controversy about the 
origin of races and unity of the species belongs to natural 
philosophy, and can at the most be decided by scientific 
research. On the one hand the unity of the race is affirmed 
as probable on the ground that crossings between different 
races are fertile. Also, there seems to be some indication 
of such an original unity in the philological evidence of 
relationship in space and time of different peoples, so 
that at one time an ideal primitive people was imagined. 
On the other side, however, philolog}' shows that its 
material gives us no clue whatever to an original language. 
We have great intellectual diversities (which need not be 
diversities of value) between races, but we have also an 
extraordinary diversity of gradations between them in 
all their physical and psychic qualities, reaching from the 
heights of civilisation down to the depths of an almost 
animal existence. We may say that the lowest human 
tribes, everything considered, are nearer to animals than 
to civilised peoples, so that here again we have an argu- 
ment against the unity of the species Homo sapiens. 

However that may be, the question of the natural and 
genetic unity of the human race is irrelevant in history. 
At the beginning of our history, as far as tradition takes 
us, we find the human race as a scattered group of tribes 
and peoples who knew nothing, and could know nothing, 
about their unity. These hordes and tribes fell fiercely 
upon each other, and upon the stranger they turned as 
if he were a wild beast. They killed and ate him. It 
does not matter whether an originally homogeneous race 
was scattered over the earth as a consequence of some 
" Fall" and its results, and so its members were estranged 
from each other, or whether, having had several different 
origins, its division is natural ; the beginnings of history 
know nothing of a unity of the human race. We cannot 


say that it ever existed as a natural state. All that 
history teaches us is dispersion, conflict, struggle. The 
modern idea of a unity, solidarity, and common evolution 
of the human race is rather itself a product of history ; 
and indeed so essential a product that we may see in 
it the chief meaning of the historical development. We 
might almost formulate it : history proceeds from the 
conception of humanity to the idea of humanity. This 
idea is not something given and pre-existing, but some- 
thing worked out in toil and misery. We can understand 
it best on the analogy of personality. This also is not 
given by nature and pre-existing. Only its elements are 
given in the scattered achievements and movements of 
the nervous system and the psycho-physical vitality. 
The personality makes itself out of them. Thus humanity 
also finds itself scattered over the planet in peoples and 
races, and out of these it makes itself as a self-conscious 
unity. That is its history. Hence even if there had been 
a biological unity of descent of the human race (as to 
which biology and ethnography must decide on scientific 
grounds), it was lost in the wanderings of the species 
which form the content of prehistoric development, and 
history has created it as something new. That is its 
deepest meaning. 

This is not the place to trace this process of unification. 
We need only recall the extensive minglings between 
conquering and conquered peoples, which, in the struggle 
for food, women, luxuries, domination, and freedom, have 
repeatedly combined in new forms and obliterated older 
tribal differences. If the various peoples or races are 
not autochthonous, but derived from a single stem, this 
was a prehistoric process that is reversed in history, since 
it brings before us the physical mingling of races. The 
more important element in this is, however, the spiritual 
adjustment : the mingling of the spirits of peoples to 
form a common civilisation. This gives us the great 
culture-groups of the course of history in the three main 
centres : Central America, the Chino- Japanese Sea, and 
the Mediterranean. If we care to glance at the future, 
we are confident that the Mediterranean civilisation will 



ultimately prevail, because its chief offshoot is the culture 
of North America, and this gives promise of a great 
Atlantic civilisation in the future. The most valuable 
and decisive centre of crystallisation in this story of the 
unification of the human race has been the Mediterranean 
civilisation, which is based upon a fusion of Aryan and 
Semitic elements, and which seems destined, in its blend 
of Greek art and science with the political and legal 
organisation of the Roman Empire and Semitic religion, 
to provide a foundation for the civilisation of the future. 
Here the unity of the species does not merely consist 
in the vast fusion of nations which migrations have brought 
about as physical and psychic facts ; it reaches conscious- 
ness for the first time. The self-consciousness of humanity 
appears first in Greek science. Under its influence the 
antagonism of Hellenes and barbarians, of masters and 
slaves, disappeared. Thus the idea of humanity was 
revealed in the Stoic plan of a world-State of the wise, 
and it sought its realisation afterwards in the conception 
of the Church as the one salvation of the human race. 
All that we have to do here is to indicate the way in which 
mankind attains self-consciousness in the form of scientific 
conceptions and dogmatic theories. It is for universal 
history to expound in detail the varied fortunes of this 
idea in the course of its realisation. We would add only 
that the lines of this realisation, which point toward the 
infinite, never point toward any abstract unity or singu- 
larity. The age of world-empires is over ; and no world- 
religion can ever again attain supreme rule. The domina- 
tion of any ultimate political or religious unity becomes 
less and less probable in historical movements, as far 
as we can survey them. Everything points rather to a 
system of equilibrium of differentiated orders as the only 
possible form of unity. A community of interests and 
of the normal consciousness ought ultimately to be 
created above the spirits of peoples and spirits of the 
times as the idea of an absolute collective mind of 
humanity, to which, as their highest good and final aim, 
all the special vital orders of the nations ought to be 
referred in their details as well as in their most compre- 


hensive features. This idea of humanity is realised in 

all who, scattered over the whole planet, entertain it 

and work for its fulfilment in the collective life ; and it 

is further realised in all institutions which give expression 

to the community of the tasks of civilisation. In the 

last resort we ought to say that individual peoples have 

the same relation to this idea of a single mind of humanity 

as personalities have to the various forms of the collective 

spirit which are found in nations, States, and religious 

communities. We thus get a picture of the construction 

of vital orders which we find realised by some inner 

necessity in the historical process, and in which we have 

to see the phenomenal appearance of what, with ideal 

insight into the spiritual cosmos, we call the moral order 

of the world. The growth of this construction of vital 

orders in the various systems of civilisation is one of 

the subjects that are on the frontier between the 

research of universal history and the philosophy of history. 

For the ideal of a life-unity of humanity extends to all 

its rational activities. In the province of intellect arises 

science, in the province of feeling art, in that of will 

morality, and in that of action the organisation of State 

and society. In all these forms of civilisation the various 

peoples and ages create their special systems, all of which 

point beyond themselves to the general human, the 

realisation of humanity. It is precisely the mission of 

personalities constantly to renovate this relation in the 

mind, and thus to improve and strengthen it. Thus 

between the people and humanity, between the restricted 

and merely temporary form of the collective mind and 

the idea of the unity of the human race, there interposes 

a new and important function of the personality, the 

position of which in the vital order of the whole can 

only be fully understood from this point of view. 

Hence the self-forming of humanity is for us the ulti- 
mate meaning of historical progress ; and, if this self- 
forming means also self-determination, we may adopt 
Hegel's formula that the history of progress is in the 
consciousness of freedom. In this idea we have the end 
without which it is impossible to speak of progress. The 


more we talk about progress in dealing with historical 
questions, either particular or general questions, the 
more necessary it is to be quite clear as to the standards 
by which we measure the amount of progress or reaction 
in the changes which present themselves to a knowledge 
which is devoid of values. These standards naturally 
depend in detail upon the needs and views which hold 
sway in the historical conditions and forces themselves, 
and at times seek to realise themselves through a struggle. 
Success or failure decides whether we are to speak of 
progress or reaction in the case of any particular movement. 
If we apply this to the whole of history it can only mean 
that in some way the idea of a task which the historical 
process had to fulfil has won ; or that at least we have 
in mind a number of such tasks in relation to which the 
various movements are to be judged successes or failures. 
Of progress in itself, without indicating any goal to which 
it tends, we cannot reasonably speak at all, as we saw 
above in dealing with the biological conception of evolu- 
tion. Then we have to consider the variety of the interests 
in which the historical life is involved. There is, therefore, 
no such thing as a simple progress of humanity. History 
reveals rather a very tortuous movement backward and 
forward. Most of the opinions about the matter are 
falsified by assumptions as to what ought to be ; they 
differ according to the individual tendency. On the one 
hand we have enthusiastic theories of an indefinite perfec- 
tibility of man, such as were inspired about the time of 
the French Revolution by the feeling that some new 
politico-social era was dawning. On the other side we 
have the depressing idea, as in the preaching of Schopen- 
hauer, of an eternal monotony of history, in which the 
same tragi-comedy of human misery is played over and 
over again with new costumes and scenery. The truth 
is in the middle between these extremes, and the question 
of progress in history cannot receive a uniform ans\ver 
in all cases, but must be considered according to the 
different directions in which development necessarily 

These different lines of the historical movement are 


dependent upon each other in various ways, and the 
question may be raised whether one of them has a decisive 
significance for the others, and therefore for progress in 
general. The philosophy of history of the Aujklarung 
and the French Revolution give this position to the 
development of " ideas," the development of knowledge, 
especially knowledge of nature ; and this ideological and 
expressly intellectualist conception tried to show that 
the historical movement on all other lines depended upon 
changes of theories and convictions. In extreme contrast 
with this we have now what is called the Materialistic 
philosophy of history, which finds in the change of 
economic conditions the fundamental process which 
determines all other changes in the social, political, moral, 
religious, scientific, and artistic life. In face of these 
conflicting views we may recognise that there are ages 
in which one or the other interest stands out prominently 
in the foreground and determines the development of the 
others, but in general we must say that the various 
threads of the evolution of civilisation are interwoven 
in a net of reciprocal relations, and yet at times are in 
many respects quite independent of each other. 

It is sometimes assumed that we cannot question 
intellectual progress in history, but we have to draw a 
distinction. That in the course of time, and with tradi- 
tion accumulating experiences and the results of research, 
we- have gained a considerable sum of knowledge with 
which we orientate ourselves in the world, and in turn 
react upon it in our various spheres of life, is clearly a 
fact that no one can dispute. It will also be granted by 
everyone that in virtue of the same tradition the child 
of to-day easily acquires, by speech, custom, and education, 
the outcome of the thoughts of its ancestors. These, 
certainly, are advances. But in part they relate only 
to a very thin upper stratum of social life, and it is not so 
easy to decide whether in general there is a greater capa- 
city for knowledge, a higher power of thinking, or, especially, 
a better average judgment. The great decisions of human 
history do not favour the ideological dreams of the 
philosophers of history. They show the insignificance 


of the intellectual culture of our thin upper stratum as 
compared with the elementary passions of the masses. 
In regard to scientific knowledge we are accustomed to 
say that, by means of our inductive methods of natural 
research and the critical methods of history, there has 
been a marked advance ; but even this is true only of 
the very slight percentage of scientifically minded men. 
In the majority there is the same hasty generalisation 
and blind confidence in whatever is said and handed down 
(particularly in the shape of a respect for print) as formerly. 
On the whole, perhaps, the human view of things has 
experienced some elaboration through the imagination 
as a certain self-consciousness of judgment ; but from 
the eighteenth century onward it has been usual to follow 
reactionary movements in which man, stung by his own 
uncertainty, falls back into the mists of mysticism and 
fantasy or into the arms of authority. Right in the 
heart of civilised nations we see, as in the primitive days 
of the race, the spiritual flocks the}' are now called 
' parties " following authority more blindly than ever 

The situation in regard to the moral progress of the 
race is peculiar. In this connection a fact of great im- 
portance is the circumstance that the idealising of the 
natural condition of man could give rise to an idea of 
his original goodness and of the degeneration he has 
suffered in his historical development. Such a statement 
as that man is naturally good is in this crude form as 
erroneous as the opposite opinion, that he is naturally 
bad. Good and bad are predicates which one can ascribe 
to particular actions and intentions, and to the predominant 
tendencies in the value-life of individuals. But no man 
is entirely good or entirely bad. One must be devoid 
of all psychological insight to be able to divide men into 
"wise and fools' or "sheep and goats," as is done in 
the interest of moralising or theological theories. As a 
matter of fact, good and bad are mixed in an extraordinary 
degree both in the natural disposition and the develop- 
ment of men ; and it is very difficult to say whether in 
the course of time the preponderance is on the one side 


or on the other. We may grant that the establishment 
of a political and legal order has promoted conduct in 
conformity with the moral law, and that therefore legality 
has been to some extent furthered in the course of time. 
But we have to realise on the other hand that the naive 
sociality which forms the natural disposition of man 
has been more or less enfeebled during the historical 
process. As opposed to these two forms of legality, it 
is true that in respect of inner morality a higher personal 
life has been developed, and this means higher stages of 
morals which go far beyond the primitive condition of 
the race ; but here again there is question of an extremely 
small minority. The moral character of the average 
human, with his strong tincture of legality, is very much 
the same in all ages. We must, indeed, admit that the 
refinement and complication of the conditions of life 
have led to a refinement and interiorisation of crime 
which at times express themselves in deeds that make 
us shudder. 

The question of the hedonistic progress of the race, 
which was for a time strongly affirmed, is in a very am- 
biguous position. Many take it for granted that men are 
better off because of civilisation and its technical achieve- 
ments. We may, as a matter of fact, call this into question. 
It is true that in the course of time the general level of 
life has been raised and improved, but our needs have 
increased at least in the same proportion, and thus per- 
sonal satisfaction is by no means greater. One might 
say, on the contrary, that the contentment of the individual 
is much better provided for in simple and primitive 
conditions of life than in the complex struggle to which 
civilisation has led, and will increasingly lead. The 
gain to individual comfort of our mastery of nature is, 
on the whole, very doubtful. Aristotle once said that 
if the weavers' shuttles would go of themselves, there 
would be no need for slaves. They almost go of them- 
selves to-day ; but are our workers better off for it ? 
Their legal and moral position has been greatly improved 
by the abolition of slavery, and they have won human 
dignity ; but their feeling of contentment, their personal 


comfort, have not been improved. It is only the condition 
of the whole that has been raised and ennobled. In 
the vital order, the aim and dignity of man have been 
recognised and have won supremacy. But this has 
been purchased in part at the cost of the simple content- 
ment which accompanied the state of nature. Kant 
has emphasised precisely this fact as a decisive refutation 
of the Eudaemonistic theory of morals. If pleasure and 
the satisfaction of one's desires were the meaning of 
human life, the aim would be much better realised by 
Rousseau's state of nature than by the whole of the 
work of history ; and from this it follows that the vital 
orders which represent the achievement of history must 
be in themselves higher things than happiness, which 
history has not increased. 

Considerations of this kind, which might be extended 
in other directions for instance, in respect of the develop- 
ment of art and religion must make us sceptical about 
the claim of indefinite progress and distrustful of the 
belief in an illimitable perfectibility of man. The theory, 
no doubt, has its advantage, but it is rather a judgment 
of value than a piece of theoretical knowledge. We 
might, indeed, say that all analogy is against it. Peoples 
grow old and die, just as individuals do. New blood may 
circulate, and the future seem to hold infinite possibilities, 
but it is certain that the planet, and man along with it, 
grow older. Is there to be no old age, no period beyond 
the bloom, for man before he dies ? We certainly cannot 
say whether we may not now be in the ripest period, or 
may even have passed it. There is no longer any room 
for doubt that our civilisation in many respects shows 
signs of age, as the Roman once did. Who knows whether 
it has still the strength to strike new roots in peoples that 
are not yet used up ? And will not the supply of fresh 
peoples at length be exhausted ? In many respects it 
may be suspected that we have already passed our highest 
point. We need not think pessimistically about the 
possibility of new forms of art in order to realise that 
certain types of artistic achievement reached heights 
in the history of the past which, from the nature of 


the case, can never be overtopped. Such creations as the 
Homeric poems, the sculptures of the Parthenon, the 
dialogues of Plato, the madonna of Raphael, Goethe's 
Faust or Beethoven's music, will never be surpassed, 
or even equalled. At the most they may be replaced 
by something different. If, on the other hand, we turn 
our attention to public life, we see everywhere, and to 
an increasing extent, the overwhelming need of associative 
forms which in their cumulative effect destroy individuality 
and lead to the death of personality. There is not much 
said in our time about personality. People speak more 
about what they want, and have not got. Everybody 
complains that originality is dead or in decadence. Every- 
thing is aiming at bigness, but it is mere bigness in quantity. 
This depreciation of personality is, from the point of 
view of what constitutes the essential thing in history, 
the most dangerous of all reactions. It threatens to 
thrust us back into the primitive condition of sociality 
without personality. That is in part the effect of the 
all-round democratisation of life. It restricts more 
and more the influence of the essential factor in history, 
the personal element. Any man who studies the move- 
ments of our time from this point of view must be appre- 
hensive about the future ; unless he consoles himself 
with the hope of unknown possibilities of which we have 
at present no conception. In this respect we may find 
some relief in the fact that the historical cosmos is the 
world of new and unexpected things. 

In the end we have always the painful fact that the 
entire rich world of forms is destined to pass into the 
night of the infinite. We cannot get beyond this torment- 
ing idea of the death of mankind except by seeking in 
the temporal achievements of man's history the traces 
of eternal values which, independently of all time and 
duration, have a validity in themselves and therefore 
need not be regarded as final products of the historical 
process ; or by seeing in life itself, apart from its contents, 
and in its constant affirmation the highest of all values. 
This is another way of formally defining the highest good 
by placing it in life itself. It amounts to an idea 


that the way itself is the goal of the way ; that the end 
and value of life are to be sought, not in the realisation 
of eternal contents, but in the restless affirmation of 
life and of will. This is an axiological tendency that 
has in it, perhaps, an element of decadence and exhaustion 
and ennui, and arises from these very features of our life 
by a sort of contrast. When life froths and flowers, it 
has contents which determine its value. It is only when 
these are languid, or lose their significance, that life in 
itself is regarded as a value, even the greatest of all values. 
It is not therefore surprising that our age, on various 
sides, imagines that it has discovered the ethical principle 
in life itself, for the sake of life and will. The modern 
mind leans to this view in the form in which it was expressed 
by Nietzsche, who is supposed to have transcended all 
the content-values of history and placed the new valu- 
ation of the superman in the supreme affirmation of 
the great personality, the unfolding of the power of 
the will, and the self-development of life. Even in the 
biological forms of modern ethics, as in that of Herbert 
Spencer, the quantitative principle of valuation is adopted, 
and the chief criterion of progress and improvement is 
the extent of the affirmation of life together with the 
complexity of vital functions. Much more finely and 
delicately than Nietzsche, and with more ability than 
is usual on the biological side, Guyau has developed 
his enthusiastic optimism, which places the meaning 
of life in the extensive and intensive advancement of it ; 
a doctrine which he preaches with glowing zeal. In 
contrast to all these theories we may quote the ethic of 
Schopenhauer, which, on metaphysical grounds, finds 
its principle in the will to live that is to say, the will 
of will, and the life of life and then perceives that this 
life itself has no meaning or value, precisely because it 
is not directed to any content of value in itself. The 
formal definition of this will for will's sake in Schopenhauer 
might be traced to the teaching of Fichte, in whose 
metaphysic action for action's sake takes the highest 
rank, but we 'must not forget that in this conception 
Fichte refers to the Kantian autonomy, the self-legislation 


of reason, and thus sets up as the content of the self- 
contained will a world-law of the moral order and the 
timeless values of morality. 

Thus the ultimate problems of ethics bring us back 
to the metaphysical problems in which it is discussed 
what meaning the temporal course of the event has in 
relation to the timeless reality as the genuine being. 
It remains an unsolved problem why this timeless reality 
needs realisation in the temporal course of the event, 
or why it tolerates in itself an event in the temporal 
course of which there is something that differs from its 
own nature. We do not understand why that which is 
nevertheless has to happen ; and still less why something 
different happens from that which is in itself without 
time. This is the case in metaphysics, and ethics reveals 
the same unintelligibility in its special questions of the 
human will and conduct. If timeless values of higher 
orders of life are realised in them, how is it that they are 
not at once and absolutely real in their timelessness ? 
And, on the other hand, if in all the restless pressure of 
our will throughout history we have only the temporal 
interests of a race that is doomed to extinction, how can 
we speak of values manifesting themselves therein with 
timeless validity ? No metaphysical theory helps us 
in regard to this fundamental antithesis of the temporal 
and the timeless ; nor does any ethical postulate. It is 
the basic feature of the insoluble problems of the religious 


HOWEVER true it may be that in the moral life and in 
ethical theories we may catch a glimpse of higher orders 
of life and timeless pronouncements of reason, nevertheless 
the moral life as a whole is always related to needs which 
shape our conduct through our will. No matter whether 
we seek the end of life in happiness or in welfare or in 
co-operation in the cultural self-formation of the time- 
spirit, we always keep within the limits of human needs. 
It is of the very essence of will and conduct that they 
presuppose some craving, some state of incompleteness 
and dissatisfaction from which we strive to emerge. 
Hence there is always something anthropological, some 
earthly residue of the human, in ethical values, even when 
they rise to a rational world-order. The power of desire 
rules in the entire realm of the " practical." Even 
when there is no sensuous desire on the part of the indi- 
vidual, and no quest of use or advantage, there is always 
a straining after something that is to happen. We there- 
fore ask finally whether valuation is to be confined to 
this region of the will, or whether there are kinds of 
values that may be free from all desire and expectation. 
The new and higher province of axiology which is thus 
demanded must be a life of values that is not based upon 
the needs of the will. Pleasure and displeasure must 
now be complete in themselves, and must not point beyond 
to the province of desire. It must be a pleasure that 
satisfies the mind with its own contents, and the mind 
must neither wish nor expect anything from these contents. 
To this province belong the noblest of all values all 
that Schiller meant when he spoke of ' the noble in 



the moral world ' the objects of love without desires : 
persons, things, and relations the value of which does 
not depend upon what they do, but on what they are and 
mean. The saying of Goethe, " I know that they are 
eternal because they are," is true of these. Here at 
last we reach values in themselves, and therefore valuation 
is now raised above the region of specifically human needs 
and interests into the higher realm of the universally valid. 


Concept of the Esthetic. History of the word " aesthetics " 
Disinterested pleasure Freedom of wish and will Toward a 
system of values Beauty in nature and art /Esthetics from 
above and below. 

The values without desire which, having no wish for 
their motive and engendering no wish as their effect, 
constitute this realm detached from needs, go by the 
name of the aesthetic life. Etymologically the meaning 
of the name is not obvious. The Greek word involved in 
it originally meant something else, and it is the vicissitudes 
of theory that have, in devious ways, given it the new 
meaning. The preoccupation of the mind with questions 
about the nature of the beautiful and art has in the course 
of time been occasioned, sometimes by metaphysical 
interests, at other times by elements of the artistic life, 
and at others by psychological considerations; but for 
some time now it has been embodied in a special branch 
of science or philosophy. Its development into a special 
discipline has, curiously, been due to the arid interests 
of scientific systematisation, which has scarcely anything 
to do with the subject in itself. About the middle of 
the eighteenth century a pupil of Christian Wolff, Alexander 
Baumgarten, found a gap in the well-arranged system 
of the sciences that was then current. The whole group 
of the rational sciences was preceded by an inquiry into 
the right use of the intelligence in scientific knowledge. 
This was called " logic." But besides the superior 
faculty of knowledge, which was known as the intelligence, 


man had a lower faculty, sensory perception, which 
provided the facts for another group of sciences, the 
empirical sciences. Ought not these also to be preceded 
by a theory of the faculty of knowledge, of the com- 
pleteness of sensory knowledge ? Being a theory of 
sense-perception (cua&rjais), it would have to be called 
" aesthetics." And while Baumgarten undertook to 
bring into the world and develop this younger sister of 
logic (as Lotze has called it), he was guided in regard 
to its contents and subject by a theory of Leibnitz. For 
Leibnitz beauty was the perfection of sensory presentation 
just as truth was the perfection of rational thought. 
In his mind this means that in the beautiful there is a 
sensory preliminary stage of the true or the sensory sub- 
stitute for truth : an idea to which we will return later. 
In accordance with this theory Baumgarten converted 
his aesthetics, which ought to have been a sort of method- 
ology of sensory perception, into a theory of the beauti- 
ful, of the enjoyment and production of beauty. Hence 
the word " aesthetics" came to have the meaning which 
is now always attached to it ; and in the history of the 
reception of the term an interesting and decisive part 
was played by Kant, who at first hesitated and then 
accepted it. 

Moreover, the framing of the problem, with which we 
have introduced aesthetic questions, was determined by 
Kant's aesthetics. In this as everyone will acknow- 
ledge, no matter how far he dissents from the theory 
in detail we have the decisive element, which makes 
aesthetics a special province of the realm of axiology, 
traced with all the confidence of genius. In order to 
distinguish clearly between the beautiful and the agreeable, 
between the aesthetic faculty and the hedonistic or the 
ethical, Kant formulated the criterion of disinterested 
pleasure. This does not say anything about the content 
of the aesthetic object, but it very plainly indicates the 
formal element which enables us to mark off this province 
from its neighbours. Kant's expression, " disinterested," 
was, perhaps, not as fortunate and as free from misunder- 
standing as he supposed. Schiller, and then Schopenhauer, 


discovered a better expression which indicates the really 
significant element as the freedom of the valuation from 
wish and will. They succeeded in getting this definition 
so firmly established in general usage that Herbart's 
attempt to take the word "aesthetics" in a more general 
sense and apply it to the whole of axiology, and make 
this enlarged aesthetics a second part after theoretical 
philosophy, was unsuccessful. The attitude which began 
with Baumgarten remained in such general favour that 
we now use the name even for the objects of the new science, 
and we speak in this sense of the aesthetic life, aesthetic 
temperament, aesthetic enjoyment, aesthetic production, 
and so on. There is only one respect in which this has 
given rise to differences and difficulties: Schopenhauer 
and perhaps Schiller had foreshadowed this put truth 
as well as beauty in the province of aesthetic valuation 
as will-less pleasure, and he therefore included science 
as well as art under the heading of the redemptive cultural 
functions of desirelessness. 

Here we touch an essential problem of the theory of 
values generally. As a matter of fact, truth and beauty, 
as forms of valuation which are independent of the needs 
of the empirical consciousness, and are in virtue of their 
peculiar and original nature far from all will and conduct 
all that is practical differ considerably not only from 
hedonistic, but also from ethical, values, which in the 
long run are always related to weal and woe. Hence 
truth and beauty prove to be the higher values, which 
transcend the specifically human in a pronounced and 
obvious manner, whereas, though these higher manifesta- 
tions are not entirely lacking in the province of ethics, 
they have to be detected as the ultimate foundation. 
The general mind in which the absolute validity of morality 
has its roots is the mind of the human race ; but truth 
and beauty presuppose a higher and more important 
relation. In the scheme of Hegel's philosophy this is 
expressed by treating morality, society, the State, and 
history as phenomena of the objective spirit, and art, 
science, and religion as forms of the absolute spirit. In 
recent times theories of judgment, which emphasise 


the axiological element in it, have led to the recognition 
that logical values form, with ethical and aesthetic values, 
a considerable problem, which plays, and must play, a 
part in these questions about the system of values which 
we seek. We must be content here merely to indicate 
these subtle questions of axiological systematics. They 
do not so much arise from the simple considerations of 
the prescientinc mind as from the ultimate needs of 
philosophical systematics. When we turn from these 
to the questions of aesthetic valuation which arise from 
life itself and artistic activity, we see that here, differently 
from in the case of ethical problems, which cover the 
whole of human life in all its heights and depths, we 
have to deal with a smaller sphere, which cannot claim 
the same general interest and understanding. Moreover, 
what we call the specifically aesthetic in the historical 
reality is never pure, but always embedded in a multi- 
tude of other interests. In the living aesthetic judgment 
there are always hedonistic and ethical elements at work. 
They give the aesthetic object the stimulation that we 
cannot avoid, the significance that holds us. Whether 
there is any specifically aesthetic effect depends upon 
properties of the particular object, which may not appear 
altogether. Nevertheless, however narrow the circle may 
be in which this specific element comes to conscious 
realisation, the beautiful as a whole is, though rarely 
found in a pure form, yet distributed wherever the eye 
of man can reach ; and there are effects of art, such 
as great religious ceremonies, which fill all men, without 
distinction of social or intellectual condition, with elemen- 
tary transports. Nay, one may say in this regard that, 
whilst the appreciation of the good is very general, the 
appreciation of the beautiful for its own sake is even more 
widely spread than that of truth ; and how exclusive 
truth is in its innermost nature is best seen by the prag- 
matical imitation of it. 

We call the object of the aesthetic attitude the realm 
of the beautiful. In this an unmistakabty distinct province 
is that of art. We distinguish between beauty in nature 
and beauty in art, the latter being produced by man. 


Hence aesthetics develops along two different lines. 
Either it starts from natural beauty, and goes on to 
understand artistic beauty, or it gathers its definition 
from an analysis of the beautiful in art and passes on 
from this to beauty in nature. In the one section we deal 
rather with the enjoyment, in the other with the pro- 
duction, of the beautiful, since the enjoyment of artistic 
beauty is in principle not different from that of natural 
beauty. We sometimes find it said that these two lines 
lead to different theories. Perhaps it is best for the 
philosopher to start from the enjoyment he derives from 
artistic beauty. He is himself no artist. Personal union 
between art and philosophy, such as we find in the case 
of Plato, is very rare ; and artists generally ignore aesthetics 
altogether. We then find that the enjoyment of artistic 
beauty can only be understood on the analogy of its 
production, and the principle may be extended to the 
enjoyment of the beautiful in general. If, however, 
aesthetic thought starts from artistic beauty, it will be 
tinged by the predominant interest which the philosopher 
takes in one or other branch of art. We can show 
historically how the classical theory of aesthetics since 
Winckelmann was influenced by a dominating regard 
for plastic art ; how its further development in the idealist 
philosophers, especially Schelling and Hegel, was influenced 
by regard for poetry ; and how, finally, certain tendencies 
of the Romanticist aesthetic were determined by the 
predominance of musical interests. 

These differences are traversed by a second, which has 
been mainly characterised by Fechner's description of an 
aesthetics from above and an aesthetics from below. By 
the latter Fechner meant the purely empirical registration 
of the pleasure felt in the several elements of aesthetic 
enjoyment, and he thus initiated the kind of treatment 
which has gradually developed into the quantitative 
research of modern empirical psychology. As distin- 
guished from this, the aesthetic from above is a conceptual 
inquiry. Such an inquiry might be of a metaphysical 
character, as was that of Schelling and Hegel, which 
Fechner rejected. But it may also be analytic-psycholo- 



gical, when it seeks merely to determine clearly by means 
of reflection on our experience in aesthetic enjoyment 
what the characters of this are. This psychological 
establishment of the actual features is far more important 
for philosophical aesthetics than the facts of quantitative 
research. Even this analysis, however, does not suffice 
to meet the demands of a philosophical aesthetics, the 
conceptual task of which it is to understand, with the aid 
of this material, the conditions under which a disinterested 
pleasure can be general. It is only in this sense that the 
aesthetic inquiry becomes part of the philosophical theory 
of values. 


The Beautiful. Differences of taste Criticism of the idea of equal 
diffusion Majority and authority Play of the intellectual forces 
Formalistic aesthetics Play of the feelings and moods Emotional 
sympathy Importance The sensuous and suprasensuous The 
beautiful as a symbol of the good The sublime Freedom in 
the appearance Illusion The aesthetic object Sensuous appear- 
ance of the idea. 

By the beautiful in the broader sense we understand 
the aesthetic object generally. If we attempt to draw 
up a definition of it by comparing everything that comes 
under the head of " beautiful " anywhere, our inductive 
procedure will not be as fruitful as in the case of goodness. 
Not only different nations and ages, but even different 
individuals in the same environment, vary so much in 
aesthetic judgment that no consistent principle can be 
discovered in their ideas. The only result we can reach 
in this way has been justly formulated in the trivial 
phrase that a thing is beautiful if it pleases anybody 
the bankruptcy of aesthetic investigation. 

We now frequently speak of the aesthetic faculty as 
" taste," and differences of taste are so proverbial that 
we say there is no disputing about such a matter. It 
is not a question of such deep feeling as in differences 
of moral judgment. In that case it is a question of 
weal or woe, a question of vital interest ; but questions 


of taste refer precisely to things in which no interest is 
involved, and they are irrelevant to the great issues of 
life. We take contradictions on such matters with com- 
paratively greater tranquillity. Yet we do not like them, 
and we try to impose our taste on others; and in doing 
this we distinguish the beautiful from the agreeable 
and useful. There are, however, no firm limits in this 
respect. Even a difference of "taste' in the original 
sensuous meaning of the word excites in the untrained 
mind a surprise that only gradually disappears with 
experience. In the aesthetic field we seek to claim, as 
far as possible, general validity for our taste. When, 
however, there is a quarrel about it, we cannot appeal 
to definitions, norms, maxims, or principles. We oppose 
impression to impression, feeling to feeling. We can 
give no proof or definition of aesthetic universal validity. 
That is the logical difficulty of the aesthetic problem. 
We find particular judgments, which are valid only for 
the individual thing and person as emotional impressions ; 
yet the question arises where there is in this something 
that transcends the individual and his validity. In any 
case there is the consequence that Kant drew : aesthetics is 
not a normative doctrine. There is no aesthetic imperative, 
as there is a moral or logical imperative ; and we can work 
out a critique of the aesthetic attitude only in the sense 
that we can draw up the possibilities and conditions of 
the general diffusibility of the aesthetic judgment. These, 
then, are the Limits of our science ; it has no rules. For 
the various arts there are technical rules, and an observ- 
ance of these is an indispensable condition of artistic 
achievement. But for aesthetic creation generally there 
are no more rules than there are for aesthetic enjoyment. 
The proportion of universal validity in this field is there- 
fore of the scantiest, and on that account it is the chief 
department of life for personal activity. 

From all this it is intelligible why in this province 
psychology looms so large and there is so little left for 
philosophy. Hence aesthetics is much nearer than the 
other two philosophical disciplines, logic and ethics, 
to the frontier between philosophy and psychology, 


and it must on that account pay all the more attention 
to this frontier. We must not suppose that we can pass 
from a registration of the facts of pleasantness to a norma- 
tive science. At the most we may reach a relatively 
normal a standard that is actually valid within the 
limits of a period or a nation or some even narrower 
range, and almost as changeable as fashion. From the 
empirical point of view there are only two ways of doing 
this : the way of majority and the way of authority. 
The rule of the masses is, however, more brutal and 
deadening in this field than in any other. In the masses, 
one may say, there is almost no specifically aesthetic element ; 
it is there only in so far as it assists the expression of 
some other content of value, and this may just as well 
be common pleasure as religious or ethical conviction. 
It is better on the side of authority. The sestheticist 
must credit himself with good taste, and assume it on 
the part of those whom he addresses. We do not speak 
necessarily of what are called connoisseurs, who go ways 
of their own and follow certain tendencies (especially 
in technical matters) in the province of plastic art or of 
music. We are thinking rather of consulting men of 
considerable intellectual cultivation who have experienced 
this enjoyment without desire and found in it a new life ; 
though their judgments are in the first instance only 
psychological facts, and they are therefore part of the 
broadest and most extensive field of material to which 
the critical mind addresses itself. 

The task of this critical mind is to discover in aesthetic 
pleasure the special element which has a super-individual, 
super-anthropological, super-empirical value. It is from 
the start clear that beauty as a predicate of value does 
not mean a property in a thing or state or relation which 
is to be described in theoretical knowledge, but it is 
something that arises in the judgment of an emotional 
subject. That, however, does not prevent us from asking 
what properties must be present in the theoretically 
determinable object in order that it shall excite the aesthetic 
judgment of value in a receptive mind. Kant did this, 
for instance, in the case of the sublime, but in his analysis 


of the beautiful he tried to confine himself almost entirely 
to the subjective world. 

Kant found the super-individual element in the play 
of the two faculties of knowledge, sensitiveness and 
intelligence. This was an effect of the analogy with 
logic out of which aesthetics historically arose, and it 
laid the foundation of an intellectual development of 
aesthetics. It is a question mainly of the type of pre- 
sentation, and this, Kant said, was conditioned by the 
forms of knowledge. All content, he thought, was 
related to interest, whether hedonist or moral, and there- 
fore disinterested pleasure pertained to the form. The 
important point in this relation of the aesthetic attitude 
to the mere presentation and its form is its indifference 
as regards the empirical reality of the object. It acts 
only in virtue of the way in which it is presented. We 
must not, however, suppose that it is necessary for the 
object to be unreal in the ordinary sense of the word ; 
otherwise there could be no beauty in nature as such. 
What is meant in this respect is merely that we do not 
get as far as the empirical reality. In popular psychology 
we might express it in the sense that the aesthetic object 
is realised, not by perception, but by the imagination, 
and that in such case there is question of a purposive 
co-operation of the sensory perception and the intellectual 
comprehension of its contents. But purposiveness of 
this nature can only be found if these two elements, 
presentation and imagination, balance each other, or, as 
Kant said, are in harmony. Thus vitality and diversity 
of the sensory material and lightness and transparency 
of its arrangement would be equally necessary in all 
beautiful things. 

Another consequence of Kant's theory was the tendency 
toward a formal and formalistic aesthetics. From this 
point of view Herbart denned the aim of this general 
aesthetics to be a theory of the original pleasure in relations 
and situations. These in turn may certainly be divorced 
in presentation from the realities in which they are found, 
and so here again the aesthetic pleasure is not necessarily 
related to the reality of the object. The application of 


this general principle to the special questions which we 
call aesthetic in the usual sense of the word was made, 
according to Herbart, by his pupil Zimmermann, and 
to music in general literature by Hanslick. The latter 
point brings us to a burning question in the development 
of modern music : namely, whether the play of the airs 
has its aesthetic value solely in itself, or whether it acquires 
this, or increases it, by its relation to what it means. 
In Kant's theory the weakness in regard to its formal 
application was the meaninglessness which he had to 
ascribe to the real object of aesthetic pleasure on account 
of the immateriality of the content ; and in this respect 
Herder's polemic was not altogether without justification. 
Kant had found himself compelled to distinguish between 
free and dependent beauty, and to see free or pure beauty 
only in flowers, arabesques, and similar meaningless struc- 
tures in nature and art. How far this meaninglessness 
applies to the various arts music, for instance we 
need not determine here, but will be content to mention 
it as an important problem of modern aesthetics. For- 
malistic aesthetics can only be impugned when it claims 
this meaninglessness in principle for all beauty and in 
all art. It will then encounter the difficulty, that Kant 
himself was compelled to exclude from the province of 
free beauty, and relegate to the category of dependent 
beauty, precisely the beauty which is to us the most 
valuable of all, and particularly all that is connected with 
the life of man. This shows that the aesthetic object in 
the vast majority of cases acts, not only as such, but 
by its content-elements, and these are in some way 
dependent upon the relation to reality. 

In this respect we can understand why we do not 
seek the super-individual element of the aesthetic effect 
on the intellectual side, but find the element of signi- 
ficance precisely in the connection of values. But from 
this field volitions are excluded because of the peculiar 
nature of the aesthetic state, and there remained only 
the province to which Kant had already relegated the 
aesthetic problem in his systematics : the province of 
feeling. For the play of the faculties of knowledge. 


therefore, must be substituted a play of feelings and 
dispositions. That would, in fact, be the decisive direction, 
corresponding to the systematic position of aesthetics 
in regard to feeling as the third psychic function, after 
presentation and will. Kant had misplaced it because, in 
view of the rationalistic character of his teaching, he 
could not regard the irrational as the essential element 
in a rational function. But it is precisely this which 
recent psychological aesthetics aims at wherever it speaks 
of in-feeling. The object, we are told, becomes aesthetic 
as soon as we read into it or out of it a certain movement 
of our feelings and disposition. Its theoretically deter- 
minable properties must in some way be of such a character 
that they can excite in us these feelings and moods and 
their varying movements. Psychological theory dis- 
tinguished between after-feeling and feeling at the time, 
but these are two elements which, though they may be 
in different proportions in the various aesthetic effects, 
must nevertheless both be present. There must be 
something in the object that excites after-feeling in us, 
although we have to trace this mood as feeling at the 
time to the object as the aesthetically significant thing. 
Hence the principle of in-feeling is fully justified as the 
psychological expression for the element of significance 
in the aesthetic object ; and in this psychological form 
we find an answer to the question which feelings and 
moods it is that are generally shareable, and therefore 
may be valuable in the aesthetic sense. The philosophy 
of art of Christiansen has recently attempted to answer 
this on the lines of the Critical method, but it meets a 
check in the relation between man's sensuous and supra- 
sensuous systems of impulses and the moods and feelings 
that arise therefrom. From this four strata of the aesthetic 
life develop in a very interesting way : the hedonistic, 
the comic, the beautiful, and the sublime. But in this 
construction the aesthetic disposition is always related 
to the antagonism between two impulses, which we may 
call the vital and the moral, the sensuous and the supra- 
sensuous. Hence, though in the aesthetic life there 
must be question of the play of feelings and moods, yet 


this theory is voluntaristic on its psychological side, and 
it is foreshadowed to some extent in Schopenhauer's 
aesthetics of music, which purports to have explained 
music as the pure perception of the life of the will and 
therefore as the genuinely metaphysical art. Even 
this attempt, however, leads to the opposition of the 
sensuous and suprasensuous elements in man's nature ; 
as it was for Kant the basis of the antithesis of sense 
and intelligence, the harmony of which is the beautiful 
and the clash of which is the sublime. Both these theories 
rest upon the strain between the two natures in man. 
The aesthetic relation presupposes a being that reaches 
from sensuous existence up to a transcendent world of 
reason. In the case of Kant, however, the suprasensuous 
is essentially the moral ; as it is the same in this latest 
attempt at a philosophy of art. It ends, as did Kant's 
theory, in the conception of the beautiful as a symbol 
of the good, and finds therein the guarantee of a super- 
individual universal validity in the play of feelings and 

In this reduction of the aesthetic to the ethical the 
sublime is conceived as a special type of aesthetic 
relation, not subordinate to, but co-ordinate with, the 
beautiful. Psychologically the way was prepared by 
Edmund Burke, and Kant followed on the lines of the 
Critical method. If the sublime is explained by the 
triumph of the ethical-suprasensuous in man's being 
over his sensuous nature, it seems no longer to be a 
purely aesthetic relation, but an ethical-aesthetic com- 
bination ; or it is at least one of the most important 
types of dependent beauty. For if this is to depend, 
as Kant thinks, upon the presentation of an "idea," 
we have in the sublime the highest of ideas, the 
moral law. 

We find a moralising tendency also in the chief pupil 
of Kant in this field, Schiller. In his Kalliasbriefen he 
sought an objective standard of beauty, and tried to 
raise it above all that is specifically human ; whereas 
at other times he proclaimed that, if not beauty in general, 
at least art was the characteristic property of man as 


contrasted with higher as well as lower beings. In his 
objective theory, however, he again took the Kantian 
dualism of freedom and appearance as his starting-point. 
The autonomy or self-orientation which constitutes the 
essence of the moral super-world is never found as real 
in the appearance ; but there arises a semblance of 
" freedom in the appearance ' whenever the sensuous 
shape presents itself to us as so complete and self-con- 
tained that it seems to need nothing further for its reality. 
So it is with the aesthetic object ; it is determined in itself, 
and it looks as if all its categorical relations to its environ- 
ment were broken off. Hence Schopenhauer also, for 
whom, as is well known, causality was the only category 
of importance, characterised the aesthetic life as observa- 
tion free from causality, and found the difference between 
art and science in the fact that science was observation 
from the point of view of causality. Self-sufficiency 
is the essential feature of the beautiful. Here the idea 
of an analogy to ethical self-determination departs from 
Schiller's formula of freedom in the appearance. The 
aesthetic autonomy is no longer voluntarist or moral ; 
it is rather intellectual. This self-sufficiency, however, 
is not real as such ; it is enjoyed in the appearance, and 
thus we have again an emphasis of the unreality of the 
aesthetic object. In the art-product the detachment 
from the rest of reality is particularly instructive ; in 
natural beauty the detachment is not real, but exists 
merely for the " beautiful semblance." 

This element of unreality has become very prominent 
in the modern theory of illusion. It is quoted most 
profitably for the explanation of the enjoyment of artistic 
beauty, particularly in regard to the plastic arts and the 
drama. Here, in fact, a conscious self-deception and a 
vacillation between deception and the consciousness of 
deception play a great part ; and it must be particularly 
noted that in all these cases the coarse as well as the 
refined imitation which gives a substitute for reality 
rather enfeebles or destroys than enhances the aesthetic 
effect. " Art shall never attain to reality": that applies 
particularly to certain excesses of the modern theatrical 


world. There are therefore fields in which illusion is 
of the very essence of aesthetic enjoyment and can never 
be entirely excluded. But it is very questionable if 
this feature is indispensable to all beauty, or even for 
all art. In architecture, for instance, illusion seems to 
have hardly any significance ; and when we admire 
a fine tree or a noble cliff in nature, there is no question 
whatever of vacillation between deception and the con- 
sciousness of deception. For beauty in general the only 
consequence of the independence of reality of the object 
is that it arises, not so much in direct perception as in 
the imagination, as by the latter it is freed from all the 
associations which it would otherwise have for our know- 
ledge and will. In this detachment the aesthetic object is, 
in fact, something new, something not real as such alone. 
It is just the same as with the object of scientific know- 
ledge, the elements of which belong to reality, as we saw, 
though in its selection and new construction it must be 
taken as something independent. The only difference 
between the noetic and the aesthetic object is that what 
in the former is done by conceptions is done in the latter 
by the imagination. The reasons for this detachment 
of the aesthetic object from the great mass of experiences 
are often given by the elements of personal presentation. 
If they are to have general validity if the aesthetic object 
is to become an independent value -that which detaches 
the object from all others must be determined by the 
nature of the matter. Here again the transcendental 
element of necessity and universal validity is given only 
in conformity to reality. The process of the aesthetic 
construction and enjoyment passes from the casual 
phenomenon to the true nature of the object and endeav- 
ours to grasp this with luminous clearness. If this 
sounds like an intellectualist version, as if aesthetic con- 
templation were in the long run an act of knowledge, 
we must remember that in this we merely indicate a condi- 
tion of the universal validity of the aesthetic object ; 
and this can be reconciled with the fact that the aesthetic 
state itself is based upon a play of feelings and moods 
which may arise in connection with such contemplation. 


And in the second place we must emphasise the fact 
that the penetration into the nature of things which is 
achieved in the aesthetic contemplation is never a con- 
ceptual vision, but always an intuitive experience. 

If, however, we seek the decisive mark of the beauti- 
ful in a vision of the essence of things, we pass beyond 
experience into the realm of the metaphysical. There 
is already a tendency of this sort, to some extent, in 
Schiller's formula. Freedom is in the Kantist sense the 
suprasensuous, and the beautiful is the appearance of 
the suprasensuous in the sensuous. That was implied in 
the metaphysical theory of the beautiful which modern 
philosophy has borrowed from antiquity. It was merely 
indicated by Plato, and developed with great energy by 
Plotinus : the beautiful is the sensuous appearance of 
the idea. This translucence of the suprasensuous in the 
sensible object was so strongly held by the Neo-Platonists 
of the Renaissance and by Shaftesbury that it persisted, 
enriched by the Kantist critique, in German idealists 
such as Schelling, Hegel, Solger, Weisse, Vischer, etc. We 
find this metaphysical aesthetics in its most characteristic 
form in Schelling, for whom art thus becomes the organon 
of philosophy. Science, he shows, in its ceaseless progress 
seeks the idea in the appearance without ever attaining 
to it ; the moral life in its similar ceaseless advance forms 
the idea in the appearance without ever bringing it to full 
realisation. It is only in the vision of the beautiful 
that the idea is entirely present in its sensory appear- 
ance. Here the infinite has passed wholly into the finite, 
and the finite is wholly filled with the infinite. Thus 
every work of art exhibits what is otherwise given only 
in the totality of the real : namely, the realisation of the 
infinite idea in finite appearances. Hence for Schelling 
the universe is God's work of art, the incorporation of his 
idea in the sensory appearance ; and beauty in nature 
is the art fashioned by God. And if the fact is empha- 
sised that in all man's creations the infinite idea must 
struggle with the inadequacy of the sensory finite in 
which it has to manifest itself, this is the basis of Solger's 
theory of tragic and romantic irony. In all these specula- 


tions, especially in Schelling and Hegel, the metaphysical 
theory of the beautiful was directed to art, particularly 
to poetry as the art in which the manifestation of the 
idea can be most visibly accomplished. In these circum- 
stances, however, aesthetic enjoyment can only be under- 
stood by an analogy with artistic constructions : the 
origin of the aesthetic object in the imagination of the man 
who enjoys it must proceed in the same way as the creation 
of a work of art. When, in order to enjoy a landscape, we 
look for a point from which it is best seen, we compose 
lines and colours just as the artist does in painting a 
picture of the landscape. There is the same selection, 
the same new-forming synthesis, in both cases. We can 
only enjoy the beautiful as such in so far as there is some- 
thing of the artist in us. 


Art. Imitation Entertainment, education, improvement Play and 
the impulse to play Aimless self-presentation Genius The 
unconscious-conscious in art. 

Art, as we discuss it here, is generally distinguished 
as fine art from the other arts which have useful functions. 
Here again the essential feature is the absence of pur- 
pose. Every artistic activity creates ; but fine art does 
not, like the others, create objects for use in daily life. 
There are, however, intermediate developments in which 
the frontiers disappear : as when we compare ordinary 
house-building and architecture, or a political or forensic 
speech with an aesthetic oration. Every manual work 
of art, in particular, is near these frontiers. Art in respect 
of its quality of not being needed is, like science, the off- 
spring of leisure. Aristotle finely described this cultural 
value of leisure. Free from the pressure of daily needs, 
man creates for himself the new world of the beautiful 
and true. And precisely on that account the work of 
the artist has no value for the needs of daily life ; which 
marks off the fine arts in general clearly from all other 
artistic activity and its products. It is remarkable that 

ART 317 

scientific thought seems to have found the essential 
feature of creation (TO TTOL-^TIKOV) in a higher degree in the 
useful arts than in the arts of leisure. It could not resist 
the impression of inventiveness in face of the technical 
production of useful objects, and it regarded fine art 
chiefly as imitative art. It is, in fact, astounding that 
the Greek theory of art never got beyond this point of 
view, and that it never learned to appreciate the creative 
element which was just as abundant in the plastic art 
of the Greeks as in their poetry and music. It is more 
surprising than that Greek philosophy missed the creative 
or, as Kant says, spontaneous element in the object of 
knowledge, in which it is more difficult to detect. The 
peculiar subjection of the mind to what is presented, 
which the Greeks show in their theory of knowledge, is 
seen also in their conception of art as imitation. It was 
with this that Plato forged his weapons against the artists 
and formed his depreciatory judgment on art ; it was 
supposed to imitate objects which are themselves mere 
imitations of higher types, the ideas. What we know 
of Aristotle's theory of art, from the surviving fragment 
of his Poetics, shows that he also held the theory that art 
is imitation. The whole of the critique and theory of 
art in modern times followed this path at first, and the 
final result of it was the Positivist conception of art for- 
mulated by Diderot. This naturalist theory expects of 
art, as of science, only a " true " description in harmony 
with reality, and it thus obliterates the frontiers between 
art and science. 

As a matter of fact, imitation is indispensable to fine 
art. Even what is called the productive power of imagina- 
tion is productive only in the sense of giving new com- 
binations, but reproductive in regard to the elements of 
the inner and outer life, which as such cannot be created 
by the imagination, but must be experienced. To that 
extent, therefore, there is imitation in all art. On the 
other hand we must not forget that all imitation means 
itself a selection and re-combination, and that this is 
precisely the essential aesthetic element in it. The material 
is imitated, but the aesthetic shaping of it is never mere 


imitation. Moreover, imitation is a natural impulse and 
is one of the fundamental features of all animal sociality, 
as modern mass-psychology has shown ; but the carrying 
out of this impulse excites only a feeling of pleasure like 
the satisfaction of any other impulse. In that, therefore, 
we have not the specifically aesthetic element. Joy in 
the capacity for imitation and its purely technical and 
often very difficult use means something in which the feel- 
ing of pleasure is neither more nor less than in the case 
of any other capacity. To paint cherries so well that 
the sparrows will peck at them to carve marble so well 
that the spectator will try to take the lace from the lady's 
shoulders or feel the velvet of her dress to compose music 
so that one seems to hear the blood drip from the head 
which has been cut off all this may very well be an 
object of technical ambition, but it is rather a piece of 
art than art. 

In no case is imitation a value of universal validity 
in itself. If therefore art were merely imitation, its value 
could not be in itself, but in what it does with the imita- 
tion. As a matter of fact, that is the idea of the theories 
of imitation. First entertainment is taken as a fitting 
occupation of one's leisure ; and for many men this is 
still the whole meaning and value of their interest in art. 
What people seek and find in the theatre and concert, 
in picture-galleries and exhibitions, or in reading novels, 
is much more a pleasant way of passing the time than an 
enjoyment of art as such. Somewhat higher aims have 
been assigned to imitative art in education and moral 
improvement. The idea of the Aufklarung was that art 
and the aesthetic life generally should be pressed into the 
service of intellectual or moral improvement, and aims 
and rules of a pedantic educational nature and a moralising 
tendency were to be assigned to it. To this corresponded 
the psychological theory of the aesthetic life generally, 
which regarded it as a happy transition from a state of 
sensuous impulses to one of rational activity. The enjoy- 
ment of the beautiful tames the savagery of the sensual 
man. It teaches him to observe without desires, and 
thus makes him free for the higher values of truth and 

ART 319 

morality. It agrees with this that art and the aesthetic 
life generally appeal only to the two higher senses, the 
senses concerned with things at a distance, vision and 
hearing, which remove the stimulation from one's own 
body and are far from a sensuous enjoyment of the object. 
In this is correctly indicated the aesthetic distance by 
which, in every case, the enjoyment of the beautiful 
shall be removed from its object. In the imitative 
theories this was considered only a negative and prepara- 
tory element. The positive value of art was supposed 
to consist in what it did for morality and knowledge. 
It had therefore no intrinsic value. 

Schiller, taking his stand on the Critical philosophy and 
going beyond these theories, sought the proper value of 
the aesthetic in the adjustment of the two natures of man, 
and this he found in play. It is true that he meant this 
in a sense which seemed to give great prominence to the 
anthropological element. Schiller took the sensuous and 
the moral impulses to be an original antagonism in man's 
nature, as Kant did, and thought that he found in the 
impulse to play that which brought about a reconciliation 
of our dual nature. Hence art was supposed to be specifi- 
cally human, and peculiar to man : 

In industry the bees surpass thee, 
A worm could feats of skill to thee impart, 
Exalted spirits in thy science share 
But thou alone, O man, hast art. 

That is based upon the metaphysical assumption that 
these exalted spirits are devoid of sense ; that they have 
not the sensory experience of the inner life. It follows 
that it is in man alone that the great antitheses of reality 
are combined. 

Apart from this, Schiller's theory of the impulse to play 
has been entirely confirmed and much developed in modern 
biology and psychology. In the play of children, animals, 
and primitive peoples we see the evolutionary preparatory 
stage of art. Dancing, singing, and adornment are the 
rudiments of it ; and in unconscious co-operation therewith 


we have, as important elements in its development, the 
erotic play of courtship on the one hand, and on the other 
the social forms of play which, especially in the shape of 
rhythm, ennoble daily toil and relieve what is otherwise 
tedious and joyless. The impulse of play has also been 
called the function-impulse, to the satisfaction of which 
there is attached a pure pleasure, even when it seems 
to have no aim and no serious meaning. In the proper 
sense, however, there is no aesthetic significance in play 
of this description, and we may ask what must be the 
nature of its content to give any aesthetic value to play. 
All play is a copy of something serious. It imitates a 
vital activity which is seriously concerned with real things 
and purposes. Hence it is that play so easily turns into 
earnest, as one sees in the case of children. As long as 
it remains pure play, we are at some distance from the 
serious life which it imitates, and we thus freely enjoy the 
proper content of life at a distance. Hence play is higher 
according to the value of the life-content which is repre- 
sented in it, detached from the seriousness of real willing. 
Esthetic play is, therefore, when the deepest and highest 
reality of life is copied in it. Hence all art, as aesthetic 
production, is self-presentation and self-forming in play. 
The inner content expresses itself, where it claims the 
seriousness of life, desire and conduct, by means of action 
and enjoyment. Where there is neither of these things, 
the inwardness breaks out in a sensuous shape which gives 
pure joy. Hence art is, as Benedetto Croce says, expression 
endowed with intuition itself, and life passes into appear- 
ance more purely and perfectly in this purposeless ex- 
pression than when it develops in serious work and the 
restriction of this to the casual and particular by action 
and enjoyment. In this sense art is, Guyau says, the 
most intensive enhancement of life that we know. Here, 
then, is the real meaning of what we found called the 
unreality of the aesthetic object : all idealising and style 
aim in the long run at giving a pure and perfect expression 
of one's own life in the sensory appearance. 

The capacity to do this is the power of aesthetic pro- 
duction, or what we call genius. This idea again has 

ART 321 

changed a good deal in the course of time. It was denned 
ex eventu when it was said that genius is a model and 
standard for posterity and critics. One goes a little deeper 
in pointing out that the genius does not create according 
to rules, but produces the new and beautiful out of itself ; 
and Kant saw deepest of all into the nature of the aesthetic 
life, from which he was so remote, when he said that genius 
is an intelligence which acts as nature does. In this 
much-quoted phrase both the inward necessity and the 
undesigning purposiveness of the formative power of the 
aesthetic personality are expressed. The inward necessity 
means the impulse and force of the undesigning self- 
presentation. The impulse and the force : both together 
make the genius, but it does not follow that they are 
both given together. Rather, there is, perhaps, nothing in 
the world more difficult to endure, nothing that is more 
disturbing, than the unhappy condition of the half-genius, 
in whom the impulse is found without the power to carry 
it out. That is a misfortune of the artistic life that even 
the greatest experiences at the limits of his productive 
power. It is a deep shadow cast from the heights of 
human life. These limits cannot be passed by any toil 
and exertion, because the creative power of art is rooted 
in the unconscious. That is why the artist is usually 
averse from theory and philosophising. It does not 
help him ; indeed, it threatens to disturb him. It is 
we others who need to understand his nature and activity 
and determine its place in the general fabric of civilised 
values. And in attempting to do so we stumble against 
the irrational in the creative work of the artist. 

Hence Schelling gave a happy turn to Kant's definition 
when he defined genius as " the unconscious-conscious." 
The artistic activity exhibits a mutual play of conscious 
and unconscious processes which can never be rationally 
explained. The artist must create because of an impulse 
to self-realisation of which he is not the master. From 
this unconscious depth there emerge into his consciousness 
the images of what is to be. How he embodies them, 
what particular shape he gives them, is again determined 
by something in the unconscious depths. The creation 



is accompanied by conscious criticism, but the positive 
element of achievement is not a matter of cunning and 
calculation ; it comes as a fortunate chance from the 
unconscious depths of life. This is what the Greeks 
felt when they spoke of some divine madness, the ^avla of 
the poet. The affinity of genius to madness refers only 
to this mingling of conscious and unconscious functions, 
which evades all control of analytic thought ; it by no 
means contains the pathological element that has at times, 
on the strength of this analogy, been wrongly ascribed 
to the nature of the genius. On the contrary, the self- 
realising of the genius is, precisely because in it the conscious 
reaches into the sub- or super-conscious, the personal into 
the super-individual, the human into the metaphysical, 
the redemptive power which men have always felt and 
prized as the divine in art. This significance, however, 
pertains to the genius only in the highest stages of his 
creativeness, and the artist himself is, like all his activity, 
in the general affairs of life hampered by all the failings 
of humanity, from which a transcendent value emerges 
only in his most perfect achievements. He must con- 
stantly wrest this value from reluctant reality, and he 
finds himself oppressed by it in his self-realisation : 

The noblest thing that spirit e'er conceived 
Is with some foreign stuff adulterate. 


LOGICAL, ethical, and aesthetic values make up the entire 
range, for philosophical inquiry, of the human value- 
activity which, as distinct from the amenities and utili- 
ties of ordinary life, can lay claim to general recognition 
and the necessity of actual unconditionedness. In them 
we have traversed the three provinces of the psychic 
life presentation, will, and feeling and in each of these 
provinces we have explained how the valuation of the 
empirical mind has a significance that transcends the mind 
itself. The normative general consciousness which is thus 
indicated is in its empirical form the collective conscious- 
ness of any particular historical structure in the human 
chronicle : in its ideal form the cultural unity of the whole 
race : in its metaphysical significance a rational com- 
munity of spiritual primary reality that transcends all 
experience. There can be, as regards content, no further 
universal values beyond these three, because in these the 
entire province of psychic activity is exhausted ; and we 
cannot, in point of fact, name any value that does not 
belong to one of these provinces. When, in spite of 
this, we speak of a realm of religious values, which may 
be comprised under the title of the sacred, we mean that all 
these values may assume religious forms. We know a 
religious guarantee of truth, religious motives of conduct, 
and religious feelings of many kinds. Even sensuous 
enjoyment may in some circumstances, as in the case of 
orgiastic conditions, assume a religious form and become 
sacred. From this we get that universal significance of 
religion in virtue of which it embraces the whole life of 
man ; and from this also we understand why the treat- 



ment of religious philosophy must always be one-sided 
if it is subordinated to or incorporated in one of the special 
philosophic disciplines logic, ethics, or aesthetics as a 
derivative part. Religion was for a time treated philoso- 
phically, from the point of view of theoretical reason 
that is to say, as knowledge. Its centre of gravity was 
then put in the province of practical reason, and it was 
converted into a species of ethic. Lastly, its home has 
been sought in the province of the aesthetic reason, and 
it has been represented as mainly a mode of feeling. 
But the comprehensive content of religion cannot be under- 
stood in any one of these ways, without consciously or 
unconsciously using the others at the same time. 

If we seek the common feature in all the valuations 
which can thus assume a religious complexion, we find that 
it is always the relation of the values to a supramundane, 
superempirical, suprasensuous reality. This element of 
otherworldliness is so characteristic of the essence of 
religion that, when it is excluded, we get some such 
caricature as the Positivist Religion of Humanity. This 
is not the place to resume the various elements which lead 
to this enhancement of the essential valuations. That 
is the business of the history and psychology of religion, 
and they have a broad and far from exhausted field for 
their investigations. Philosophy is concerned only with 
the question where we must, in all circumstances, seek the 
reason for this change of the sensuous into the supra- 
sensuous. We shall not find it in the contents of par- 
ticular values, but in the character of universal validity 
of these values. 


The Sacred. The sacred not a special province of values Conscience 
as an otherworldly phenomenon The superempirical union of 
persons God as a suprasensuous reality Ejection of the mythical 
from religious philosophy Relation of religion to the other pro- 
vinces of culture The classification of religions Pious sentiment 
and its influence on ideas Two meanings of the suprasensuous. 

By the sacred we do not mean any special class of 
universally valid values, such as those which constitute 


the true, the good and the beautiful, but all these values 
together in so far as they are related to a suprasensuous 
reality. We seem to be justified in assuming such a rela- 
tion by the experiences which our consciousness sustains 
from the exercise of its own activity and from the aspira- 
tion, based thereon, after ultimate and absolute princi- 
ples of valuation. In our mental life we cannot be satisfied 
with the empirical forms of the general mind to which 
we are conducted by an inquiry into logical, ethical, and 
aesthetical values. The division within itself which con- 
science means, since it opposes the judged subject to the 
judging, suffices up to a certain point for the sociological 
explanation of the actual and approximative universal 
validity of the valuation. That is supposed to be true 
which corresponds with general opinion : that false 
which contradicts it. Thus also every violation of custom 
is bad, and every feeling that runs counter to tradition is 
perverse. In this way it might seem as if the division in 
conscience were reduced to an opposition between the 
normative general mind and the special functions of the 
individual whom the general mind finds to be part of 
itself. But this is only apparent. It might be true if 
this general mind were, as an actually general mode of 
presentation, will, and feeling, something fixed and absolute. 
That it is not. It not only varies in the different his- 
torical phenomenal forms of society, but it is gradually 
changed by each of them. Progress in the evolution of 
the general mind consists, as we saw, in an original sin on 
the part of the individual, who rebels against the current 
valuation. In this, however, the individual does not 
rely upon his arbitrary will. He appeals to a higher 
court. He ascends from the temporal to the eternal 
and divine law, and is the champion of this against a 
world of contradiction. The investigator or the thinker 
defends his new result, the reformer his ideal, the artist 
his new form ; and in them conscience transcends the 
social phenomenal form of the general mind and reaches 
transcendental and metaphysical reality. There are, of 
course, innumerable illusions in this. But, however much 
false prophets may err, the undeniable right of appeal to 


the highest court remains. We usually recognise this 
situation in the province of knowledge, and why should 
it not hold also for conflicts of the ethical and aesthetic 
life ? If it does, it provides a proof of a vital connection 
of personalities which transcends experience. Just as 
conscience as a social phenomenon is possible only through 
the reality of the common social life, so conscience as a 
consciousness of value beyond all the chances of space 
and time is possible only in virtue of a still deeper connec- 
tion. There is revealed in it a spiritual depth of life 
which presupposes, not merely the collective social mind, 
but a supramundane court. And since this social mind 
forms the ultimate and highest synthesis empirically, 
this absolute reason of conscience must be sought beyond 
experience. Augustine claimed that the distinction 
between true and false, which makes judgment possible in 
us, implies the reality of the highest truth as the prin- 
ciples on which this judgment rests. Descartes similarly 
said that our appreciation of different degrees of perfec- 
tion in all finite things and in ourselves can only be based 
upon the reality of the most perfect being. Even in 
Plato's theory that all higher knowledge is recollection 
we have this belief in the reality of value, and of the norm 
of the idea and the ideal, which transcends life in time. 
It is the Socratic feeling that truth is not our discovery 
or our illusion, but a value that is rooted in the ultimate 
depths of reality ; that in it we experience something 
that goes beyond the empirical existence, not only of the 
individual, but also of the race. 

In this sense the life of values demands a metaphysical 
anchorage, and, if we give the name God to this super- 
empirical vital connection of personalities, we may say 
that his reality is given in the reality of conscience itself. 
God is just as real as conscience. The life of values 
which is conscious of these connections may be called 
the life of man in God, or religion. It is, of course, clear 
that this chain of thought is not a proof in the sense of 
empirical thought ; but it contains a postulate that is 
rigorously involved in the nature of valuation the moment 
it would rise above individual and historical relativity. 


Hence this metaphysical anchorage of valuation is more 
than a feeling of conviction or a belief, which might be 
merely an opinion or an illusion. Kant's theory, that this 
superempirical connection of life is not a matter of know- 
ledge that is restricted to the world of the senses, but of 
a rationally necessitated belief, has been conceived in 
the sense that this postulate of the belief contains an 
ideal that holds only as a guarantee in the interest of 
reason, and that it might therefore very well be merely 
an illusion or fiction for a practical purpose. Albert 
Lange weakened the force of Kant's idea in this way, and 
the recent " Philosophy of the as-if " followed him. 
In point of fact, however, this relation to a supersensuous 
reality is found in the content of conscience, which is just 
as real an experience as any other that we use in con- 
structing our knowledge of the world. Even if all the 
ideas we form of it are figurative and inept, even if they 
are illusions or fictions, the relation itself is unquestion- 
able ; it is, as Kant said, the fact of pure reason. And 
on this we rely when we would be certain that the 
religious problem is real, and not a fictitious problem 
of philosophy. 

What we have here tried to make clear indicates the 
way in which philosophic thought is led from its own 
highest problems to the problem of religion. Prescien- 
tific thought approaches the problem in quite other and 
very different ways, and it raises questions so many 
of which are scientifically unanswerable by philosophy 
that we must seek some principle which will enable us 
to exclude from consideration those constituents of reli- 
gious thought that are alien to philosophy. The mythical 
faculty, without which there can be no religion, is pro- 
vided by the pressure of imagination and of empirical 
wishes with an abundance of contents which, though 
they may here and there offer possibilities of interpreta- 
tion in detail, are quite beyond scientific explanation. 
These imaginative elements of the religious life, which 
have not, and cannot claim, any general validity as facts 
or, still less, as norms, must be studied by the history and 
psychology of religion. The philosophy of religion can 


only take them into account as side-issues, when it considers 
religion as a sociological fact and interprets it, on critical 
lines, as an historical phenomenon, showing how its con- 
ceptual nature is realised in the empirical vital forms of 
society. The core and proper sphere of the inquiries of 
the philosopher of religion are the questions which con- 
sider how far this superempirical connection of personali- 
ties is related with a rational realm of values. 

We reach the same result when we start with a concep- 
tion of the task of philosophy as a philosophy of civilisa- 
tion. We are accustomed to count religion as one of 
the great cultural forms together with science, art, morality, 
law, and the State, but the consideration we have just 
given teaches us in principle that there can be no ques- 
tion of the complete co-ordination of religion with the 
other forms. These others have each their peculiar kind 
of value in the content which they realise in the life of 
humanity, but religion has no such special province of 
values. It consists in the metaphysical tincture and 
relation which all these values may assume. Religion 
would be deprived of its universal significance if the 
sacred were marked off from the other cultural provinces 
as a special section of the life of values. Wherever this 
is attempted in practice, religion becomes rigid and sap- 
less. When it is done in theory, it prevents an insight 
into the essential relations between religion and secular 
life. The course of history is in its general features in 
harmony with this. We now know all four cultural 
forms as differentiated departments, often overlapping 
with religion, but clearly distinct from it in their nature. 
But this was not always the case. The further we go 
back into the past, the more we find a religious com- 
plexion even in the secular aspects of life. All science has 
developed from myths and dogmas, all artistic creation 
from practices of worship, all morality from the religious 
obligation of conscience, all State organisation from the 
religious bonds of society. From these differentiated 
and secularised institutions religious reactions and new 
growths are quite distinct. They take the secularised 
forms of civilisation back into the religious unity, and 


the process of differentiation has to begin over again. 
European evolution shows this feature of the history 
of civilisation in all its phases. Greece and Rome develop 
the outer forms of culture out of the religious matrix in 
the clearest fashion. With the science of the Ionics know- 
ledge is detached from the mythical imagination : in 
Greek comedy and plastic art the secularisation of the 
aesthetic life is completed : the ethic of Epicurus brings 
about a conception of life entirely free from religion : and 
the secular political organisation of Rome, even where 
it retains some external remnant of its religious origin, 
stands clear of the whole group of religions which wage 
war on each other within its frontiers. Afterwards, at 
the time of the great migrations of peoples, the reli- 
gious reconstruction begins. It opens with the clash of 
religions, which ends in the triumph of Christianity, and 
Christianity takes back science, art, morality, and poli- 
tical life into its religious form. Thus it was in the 
Middle Ages. But from the thirteenth century to the 
eighteenth we see the other institutions of civilisation 
gradually awaken to a sense of independence and assume 
an increasingly secular form, which remains a luminous 
standard for all future time. At the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, however, a new reaction seems to 
set in, and all the signs of the times seem to promise a 
fresh period of religious integration. A new wave of 
strong religiosity sweeps over old Europe. The eccle- 
siastical forces, especially the Roman, work cleverly to 
direct it into their bed. They have to struggle against 
the multitude of sects, the rich growth of which affords 
the best proof of the religious pressure of the time. Far 
less dangerous for them is the mystical tendency which 
has infected the thought of our time in the sense that a 
philosophy to-day seems to be able to count upon a stretch 
of reality when it takes these elements into consideration. 
The mystical intuition, which forswears a conceptual 
knowledge of its subject, abounds in picturesque language 
and glowing imagination, but it yields no firm and dis- 
tinct results. It is a thing of moods ; and, as history 
repeatedly teaches us, it merely loosens the soil for 


ecclesiastical dogmatism to sow its seed and reap the 
fruits in its own domination. 

The religions which owe their own origin to an advanced 
stage of civilisation, such as Buddhism, Christianity, and 
Islam, adopt the valuations of the other departments of 
culture as parts of their own life, and give them a new 
complexion. In the case of other religions, which have 
developed out of primitive conditions with the peoples 
who hold them, and suffered State and morality, art 
and science, to grow out of them as independent struc- 
tures, all these values are from the start included in the 
religious unity. Thus these relations to the other depart- 
ments of culture are common to all religions, and they 
have been rightly characterised and classified, according 
to the predominance of one or other element, as aesthetic, 
theoretical, ethical, and ritualistic religions. This shows, 
however, that the value is to be sought always in the other 
fields, and that the specific religious element must be 
sought only in the relation of these to a transmundane 
validity. This is, therefore, the essential thing in religion 
that offers itself to philosophic inquiry. All the special 
forms which this otherworldliness assumes in the imagina- 
tion, feeling, and conduct of the religious man must remain 
the subject of empirical investigation. 

The connection with a higher world of values is first 
felt in the empirical consciousness, and Schleiermacher 
has justly described the devout feeling of " simple depen- 
dence " as the foundational fact of the religious life. This 
feeling, however, in its na'ive and simple primitiveness, 
knows nothing about the object to which it is related. 
Psychologically considered, it is one of the indefinite 
feelings, and even Schleiermacher connects it first only 
with a world-unity in the Pantheistic sense of Spinoza. 
To embrace and explain the totality of the psychic life 
this feeling must be given in presentation. Only then 
can it develop in the external life as a motive of will and 
conduct and organise itself as a specific religious com- 
munity in a Church. But this definition of devout feeling 
in presentation is not possible as knowledge ; and in that 
we have the fundamental problem of religious existence. 


For knowledge, which in the last resort must be capable 
of scientific proof, comprehends only the world of experi- 
ence, and in this instance there is question of the relation 
of this world of experience to what is beyond experience. 
Of this relation our knowledge can attain only one element ; 
the other we know only by postulating the relation itself, 
and out of these two elements we cannot construct that 
which is beyond experience. Instead of knowledge, 
therefore, we get a presentation which claims another 
sort of validity. This is the mythos, in the general sense 
of the word ; much as Hegel described religion as the form 
of presentation of the Absolute in consciousness. Here we 
have the same relation as that which Kant, in his " tran- 
scendental dialectic," described in regard to the attempts 
to create a philosophic-dogmatic metaphysics. It is a 
question of something that is not experienced, but must 
necessarily be thought, yet cannot be known solely by its 
relation to experience. Hence the constantly recurring 
attempt to attain the impossible, and the failure of every 
such attempt. Just in the same way all the historical 
religions attempt to give some sort of form in presentation 
to the object of pious feeling. They do not attain any 
knowledge that can be proved, but merely the self-shaping 
of their inner life in the " presentational ' mind. This 
significance must be conceded to the mythos in every form ; 
but this is all it can claim. It is only in this way that it 
is protected from the criticism of scientific thought, which 
otherwise would have to bring to bear upon it its logical 
principles, its principles of contradiction and sufficient 
reason. This criticism is disarmed in respect of the mythos 
when it purports to be no more than a presentational expres- 
sion of the religious feeling ; for the latter, being a relation 
between the knowable and the unknowable, inevitably 
has in it a character of irrationality. The truth that the 
mythical presentation can lay claim to is, therefore, 
Pragmatist. It is, in fact, the most important field for 
the application of the Pragmatist conception of truth. 
For it means the mental satisfaction of the religious 
craving beyond the limits of any possible knowledge. 
Hence in the course of philosophic thought we cannot 


deal with any of the questions which the mythical pre- 
sentations, or the dogmatic teachings in which they are 
elaborated by the actual religions, involve. They are, 
it is true, the occasion for most men of the birth of doubt 
in regard to their nai've ideas, and therefore they lead to 
philosophy. In ordinary life we mean chiefly by " sceptic " 
the man who has begun to question the traditional 
religious teaching. There are many questions with 
which the mind of youth, especially, torments itself 
under the pressure of traditional dogmas, and which, 
nevertheless, can never be problems of philosophy, because 
they presuppose purely mythical views. Doubts of this 
kind cannot in detail be solved by philosophic thought. 
It can only consider in a general way what elements of 
the religious reality are accessible to the scientific mind. 
The essential thing is to inquire to what extent man belongs 
to this suprasensuous vital order which forms the essence 
of every religious affirmation. In that sense alone can 
the truth of religion be considered from the point of view 
of philosophy. 

Before we go into this, it is advisable to point out the 
ambiguity of the idea of the suprasensuous world in the 
ordinary way of thinking and speaking, which leads to 
a good deal of misunderstanding. We find the word used 
by Kant himself in two different ways ; by which he got 
out of many difficulties, but created greater difficulties. 
If by "sensory" we understand, according to the direct 
meaning of the word, what is accessible to the bodily 
senses and knowable through them, it is the same thing 
as corporeal or material. On these lines the non-sensory or 
suprasensual is the incorporeal or immaterial : that is to 
say, everything without exception that is not body or 
bodily movement. The soul with all its states and activi- 
ties belongs to this incorporeal or suprasensuous world, 
according to general opinion as well as all philosophic 
theories except the Materialistic. But that is not what 
is meant when we speak of the suprasensuous in the sense 
of religious metaphysics. Here there is question of the 
relation of the mundane to the transmundane, and there- 
fore the entire psychic life, as far as it can be experienced, 


belongs to the mundane. When we thus bring the psychic 
into relation with the world of sense, we may express it 
by speaking of the " inner sense " as the form or faculty 
of knowledge in which we have experience of the psychic 
functions and come to know them. The difficulty of the 
ambiguity is, therefore, that in one sense the sensory 
excludes the psychic life, and in the other includes it ; 
to put it the other way about, the psychic life is part of 
the suprasensuous on one view, and not part of it on the 
other. The difficulty was felt by Plato, in whose teaching 
the soul belongs to the world of appearances, but is related 
to the world of suprasensuous forms, and is able to perceive 
them. He solved the difficulty by regarding the soul as 
the highest and best thing in the corporeal world. The 
ambiguity of sensuous and suprasensuous is still more 
marked in Kant's philosophy. As long as we remain 
in the field of theoretical reason the sensory world, 
which we can know, is conceived in the sense of the 
world of experience, to which the objects of the inner 
sense, the psychic states, belong just as strictly as do 
the objects of the outer senses, bodies. The supra- 
sensuous here is the realm of what lies beyond experience, 
of the unknowable, which we have to think, though we 
cannot attribute to it any content of our experience. 
But the moment we pass to the field of practical philo- 
sophy, the moral life becomes part of the suprasensuous, 
and is opposed to the life of sensuous impulses. The 
suprasensuous fills itself with experiences of the moral 
consciousness, and is opposed to all that is defined 
and conditioned by a relation to the bodily life, and 
by man's belonging to the world of sense or matter. 
Out of this vacillation in the use of the word arises the 
fundamental religious problem, how in man the psychic 
life reaches from the sensuous world to the suprasensuous. 



The Truth of Religion. Faith and knowledge Natural religion and 
rational religion The immortality of the soul The transmigration 
of souls The substance of souls The postulate of freedom 
Posthumous justice The Faust-like impulse to live on Per- 
sonalistic pluralism Soul and spirit The philosophical idea of 
God Proofs of the existence of God The ontological proof and 
Pantheism The cosmological proof and Deism The teleological 
proof and Theism. 

The first contact between knowledge and faith, 
between philosophy and religion, was inimical. The 
thinkers of the school of Miletus, in whom the scientific 
thought of the Greeks begins, put their physical and 
metaphysical hypotheses in the place of the ideas which 
they found in popular beliefs, in the aesthetic national 
mythos, and in cosmogonical poetry ; and out of their 
teaching the poet-philosopher Xenophanes forged his 
weapons in his struggle with the anthropomorphism 
which was common to all these forms of faith. Thus 
science created a new conception of God, having little 
but the name in common with the traditional view, and 
this new creation encountered the movement toward 
Monotheism that was taking place in general thought. 
In the great vitality and subtle differentiation which dis- 
tinguished the religious life amongst the Greeks it was 
inevitable that the various deities should blend with 
each other, and this was in harmony with the Heno- 
theistic feature which was present in Greek mythology 
from the start, since it expressed the idea of fate or 
of the preponderance of a single deity such as Zeus. 
Science co-operated very powerfully in the victorious 
development of Monotheism, and since that time all 
its positive relations to religion have been restricted 
to Monotheism. The relics of polytheistic and poly- 
dsmonistic myths, which even the great civilised 
religions partly retained and partly reabsorbed in the 
course of time, lie entirely beyond the range of philo- 
sophical inquiry. The evolution of Monotheism, on 
the other hand, coincides with the change which we 
regard as the transition to moral religion, an essential 


feature of which is that the Deity shall be endowed with 
ethical predicates. Amongst the Greeks this change 
occurs in the very period in which scientific criticism 
of religion was born. The gnomic poetry represents 
Zeus as the supporter of the moral order, whilst the 
ridicule which Xenophanes poured upon the popular 
belief had reference not only to the imagining of the 
gods in physical human shape, but particularly to the 
fact that human experiences such as birth and death, 
human sins like murder and adultery and lying, were 
imputed to them. The new conception of Deity, 
which philosophy helped to elaborate, combines the 
metaphysical idea of a single world-principle with the 
idea of a supreme court of the moral life. Hence there 
arose an antagonism between the religion of science 
and the religion of the people. With the conceptual 
forms of the Sophists the Cynics and the Stoics taught 
that there was only one God according to nature and 
truth, but there were many according to human belief 
and the changes of opinion. In the course of time the 
conflict of religions in the Middle Ages, in the period 
of the Arabian philosophers, and then the struggle of 
sects in the West led to a distinction between positive 
religions, which are based upon history, and a natural 
religion based upon reason. The eighteenth century 
in particular sought this unsectarian religion : a religion 
that could be understood and proved, and which 
should represent the essential and significant things 
in all religion. 

Opposed to a natural religion of this character are 
all the arguments we quoted previously in dealing with 
natural law. And there is a special difficulty in the 
case of religion. If there were such a natural religion, 
its teaching could be established in the same way as a 
mathematical theorem, and there would then be only 
one religion. But it would no longer be a religion, 
because it is part of the fundamental pious feeling that 
its object is vague and undefined. This forms the 
mystery of it, and without mystery there is no religion. 
Hence science is ill advised to attempt to construct a 


religion out of its knowledge. Wherever this has been 
attempted, the result has been an anaemic structure 
which secured no community, and was unsuited to 
secure one. Indeed, even positive religion is equally 
ill advised when it attempts to convert itself into a 
demonstrable doctrine. It then exposes itself to all 
the dangers which arise for the irrational content of 
life from clash with rational thought, and it divests 
itself of the mystery which is of its very essence. 
' Christianity without mysteries ' ' was an unhappy idea 
of the eighteenth century. Hence, however necessary 
the construction of dogmas may be in the ecclesiastical 
organisation and for the purposes of its external life 
as Plato very clearly shows in his ideal State, which has 
a deeply religious complexion yet the intellectualising 
of the devout feeling is a great menace to its specifically 
religious energy. It has been said of Church-law that 
religion ends where it begins ; and the same might be 
said of dogma, for they are parallel forms in the 
secularisation of religion. 

In spite of these objections to the attempt to found 
a rational religion, it must be recognised that such 
attempts have brought out the two problems with 
which we have to deal in any philosophical discussion 
of the theoretical truth of religion. The poverty and 
anaemia of natural religion are due to the fact that it 
retains only two elements out of the whole apparatus 
of the religious mind : the belief in the existence of a 
just and good God as creator and ruler of the world and 
the belief in the immortality of the human soul. It 
is easy to see that there are remnants of anthropo- 
morphism even in these formulae of eighteenth-century 
thought. To the Deity, for instance, they do not, it 
is true, attribute any physical or morally reprehensible 
features, but they do ascribe a moralising tendency 
of a human sort. They are midway between the 
mythical ideas above which they would rise and the 
conceptual description of the transmundane with which 
philosophical inquiry is concerned. And this character 
shows in what direction we must look for the philoso- 


phical elements which are the ultimate justification for 
the whole mass of religious ideas. 

In the idea of immortality we have a combination 
of a number of elements derived from human needs ; 
and these are in part of a worldly origin and content, 
and they therefore chiefly determine the various forms 
in which the life of the soul after death is pictorically 
represented. We need not go into these different shapes 
which the imagination has given to the intellectual 
demand which is common to them all. It is our place 
rather to point out that this common element of them 
all is the metaphysical craving to secure for the human 
personality some significance that transcends the world 
of sense. We have found this craving fully justified 
in every form of the life of values : in the knowledge 
of science, in the unconditionedness of the moral judg- 
ment, and in the task of art. We need therefore give 
no special proof here. But religious thought has con- 
verted this into a temporal conception. If there were 
question only of the philosophical postulate in virtue 
of which the highest forms of valuation which we dis- 
charge as our own bring into the world of appearance 
a transcendental order of reason, the problem would 
assuredly have to be solved in an affirmative sense by 
a critique of the logical, ethical, and aesthetic activity. 
But ordinary religious thought demands the pro- 
longation in time of the existence of the human indi- 
vidual beyond its earthly life, and it thus takes the 
problem into quite a different field. In this sense the 
belief in the immortality of the human soul first arose 
in the Dionysian religion of souls. In this the soul was 
regarded as a dcemon which, on account of some sin, 
was banished from the suprasensuous world to which 
it originally belonged, and put into an earthly body to 
expiate its sin and merit a return to its divine home. 
Hence in the original sense, as we see very clearly in the 
writings of Plato, immortality meant the transmigration 
of souls. It teaches pre-existence just as emphatically 
as post-existence. Indeed, in the case of Plato, it 
seems from the first argument for immortality in the 



Pluedo as if he particularly emphasised the pre-exis- 
tence, and only inferred post-existence by analogy. 
The whole philosophy of life of the Dionysian religion 
is concentrated in this idea of transmigration of souls, 
according to which the dcemons, limited in number, 
wander restlessly through the world of living things, 
feeling all the misery of sin and repentance and at last 
finding rest with the gods who, in a state of eternal 
felicity, are raised above the whole of this turmoil. 
Later redemptive religions more or less vigorously 
rejected the idea of pre-existence, and confined their 
theory of immortality to post-existence. They see no 
difficulty in representing the soul as beginning to exist 
at a definite point in time and then continuing to exist 
for ever. Since then the task of apologetic thought 
has been to find a secure foundation for this perpetual 
post-existence of the human soul after its life on earth 
is over. 

The theoretical arguments which may be used for 
this purpose are centred mainly about the conception 
of the substance of the soul. They lay stress upon the 
feature of indestructibility which, since the Eleatic 
metaphysics, has been inseparably connected with sub- 
stantiality ; and we need hardly point out that this 
applies also to the claim that the soul never began, as 
in the original idea of the transmigration of souls. 
Since it has been the custom in ecclesiastical metaphysics 
to count the soul amongst the finite substances created 
by God, and at the same time award it the character 
of indestructibility, the proof of immortality has been 
sought particularly along the line of proving the soul's 
substantiality. The earlier arguments, which were drawn 
from the idea of the soul as the ultimate cause of all 
movement and the principle of life, clearly prove too 
much. As far as they can be regarded as sound, they 
apply to all sorts of " souls," not merely the human 
soul ; and they are generally connected with the 
primitive idea of the soul as a vital force which, as we 
have previously shown, has been more and more dis- 
carded in the progress of scientific thought, and replaced 


by the idea of a bearer or vehicle of the functions of the 
mind. Now, if the soul in this sense were a simple sub- 
stance as it was in Descartes's metaphysic it could 
neither be destroyed nor dissolved into simple con- 
stituents. This was the direction taken by Plato in 
his arguments in the Phcedo, where he emphasised the 
inner unity and independence of the soul as contrasted 
with the composite character of the body. The chief 
stress in this was laid upon the antithesis of physical 
and psychic, and the " suprasensuous " nature of the 
soul was essentially found in its conscious functions. 
But we saw in the course of our analysis of the ontic 
problems of substance and causality the weakness of 
applying the category of substance to the facts of inner 
experience, and that modern psychology speaks rather 
of a functional than of a substantial unity of the indi- 
vidual psychic life. In any case, it is impossible to 
deduce from the categorical form of thought and speech 
the actual endless duration of that to which the form 
is applied. It is rather the other way about : verbal 
usage must be justified by actual proof of this particular 
feature of " surviving all the changes of time." And 
from the nature of the case this empirical proof must 
remain within the bounds of experience. Such sur- 
vival might be conceived, perhaps, on the dualistic lines 
of psycho-physical causality, whereby, on the analogy 
of the nature of memory, one might speak of an inde- 
finite persistence of the psychic contents beyond their 
temporal and bodily occasions. But, on the other hand, 
on the lines of psycho-physical parallelism it is difficult to 
think that the soul has not to share the fate of its body. 
Considerations of this nature are merely an appli- 
cation, in harmony with modern empirical thought, 
of the criticism which Kant made in his Paralogisms 
of Pure Reason of the arguments which were current 
in the rational psychology of his time for the substan- 
tiality and immortality of the soul. He showed that 
these arguments are based upon a confusion of the 
logical subject with the real substratum. But he went 
on to show that the negative position, the denial of im- 


mortality, is just as incapable of proof as the affirmative, 
and that here again we have one of the cases in which 
science ends in an insoluble antithesis, and so it is per- 
mitted to decide between the alternatives on the ground 
of an interest of practical reason. Hence his theoretical 
criticism kept open the possibility of an ethical meta- 
physic, in which the soul returned, not now under the 
name of substance, but as "intelligible character" and 
a reality of the suprasensuous world. 

This brings us to what are called the moral arguments 
for the suprasensuousness of human nature. In the 
course of his ethics Kant finds this argument in the self- 
determination of the will without any other motive than 
the moral law that is to say, in freedom. Since this 
is impossible in the world of sense, which is subject to 
the law of causality, the reality of freedom, without which 
there can be no morality, must be sought in the supra- 
sensuous world ; indeed, it is only by freedom that we 
learn its reality. In so far as a man belongs to this 
world of freedom he is a person and intelligible character, 
and is raised above time, which is merely the form of 
the phenomenal world. This is not the place to examine 
Kant's argument in detail : to ask whether the practical 
conception of freedom as self-determination by law is 
quite identical with the theoretical (transcendental) 
conception of freedom as the capacity to cause without 
being caused. We are rather concerned with the fact 
that we have precisely in this train of thought the 
decisive reason for lifting man as a moral being into 
a super-terrestrial world. But Kant was not content 
with this. He went on from this height to the tradi- 
tional idea of immortality as an infinite persistence of 
the earthly life of man, and he afterwards sought to 
justify this postulate by the feeling of validity and the 
demand of justice beyond the grave. In this he ex- 
pressed a common mode of feeling and thinking, which 
plays an important part in the positive religions and 
their treatment of moral questions. Kant's formulation 
starts from the idea of the highest good as the identity 
of virtue and happiness. He means that it is incon- 


ceivable that virtue should alone be worthy of happi- 
ness, yet not destined to share it. And since this identity 
is not secured during earthly life, but very disputable, 
the realisation of the highest good must be sought in 
the life beyond. It is a fact that this feeling really 
exists. We would like the good man to be happy ; and 
it is painful for us to see the wicked man enjoy the good 
things of earth, perhaps in precise proportion to the 
unscrupulousness with which he uses means which the 
moral law forbids others to use. The general feeling 
is not satisfied with the assurance that, in spite of all 
his sacrifices, the good man bears real happiness within 
him, and the other, in spite of all his enjoyments, has 
only a fallacious happiness. No : the fact is that in the 
course of earthly life the distribution of happiness and 
unhappiness proceeds on lines of ethical indifference. 
Let us not deceive ourselves as to this fact. But when 
we regard this as unjust, and trust that the injustice 
will be remedied beyond the grave, is this really a 
moral or morally justified sentiment ? Is it, especially, 
so necessary a claim of the moral consciousness that 
the postulate of immortality may be securely based 
upon it, as Kant attempted to do ? We may seriously 
doubt it. A strict rigorism might discard it, and find 
that virtue and happiness are two things that have, 
and ought to have, nothing to do with each other. The 
man who would say this might justly expect the approval 
of so strong an opponent of Eudasmonism as the founder 
of the categorical imperative. On the whole, however 
consoling the argument may be, and however many 
it may help through the painful riddle of life on earth, 
it is certainly not proof. Besides all other objections 
there is in the end the question : Who is going to 
guarantee that what we think ethically necessary will 
be realised ? It is quite clear that the broad application 
of this argument in its popular forms is not free from 
objection. The idea of justice beyond the grave cer- 
tainly does much to promote legality, and this element 
could not very well be spared in the actual condition 
of social life. But it also contains a danger to pure and 


autonomous morality, since it is apt to make a decisive 
motive of the idea of reward and punishment in the 
next life. And there is another danger in the frequent 
use of this type of argument. The more closely the 
moral precept is, in theological moralising, brought into 
relation with the appeal to immortality and justice after 
death, the greater is the likelihood of scepticism arising 
as to moral conduct itself when the belief in the survival 
of the soul after death is enfeebled. 

The moral proof of immortality is purer in the form 
in which Goethe, in his eightieth year, formulated the 
postulate. " My belief in our continuance after death," 
he said, " arises from my conception of activity. If 
I work right to the end, nature is bound to provide me 
with another form of existence if the present can no 
longer sustain my spirit." Goethe goes on to say that 
he will have nothing to do with eternal happiness 
unless it means new tasks and new difficulties to over- 
come. From this he deduces that immortality depends 
upon the value of one's activity, and is not given to all. 
In the same way some of the Stoics claimed that only 
the wise were immortal. In both cases the idea is based 
upon a belief in the justice of the world-order. 

Thus does the belief in immortality extend from one 
extreme to the other. On the one hand we have the 
desire for rest after the unrest of life : on the other hand 
a desire of unbounded activity : between the two all 
the desires which in one way or other postulate a con- 
tinuance of earthly life and a remedy of its defects. In 
all of them there is something of the Faust -impulse to 
experience more than earthly reality can supply. The 
finite spirit is not content with the narrow circle of space 
and time in which it finds itself exiled. The spatial 
limitation of existence might, perhaps, be tolerated, 
especially if we could continue the familiar experiences 
of life. But our limitation in time is a more serious 
matter. Men are not much troubled about the past, 
and are not afflicted because there were so many things 
at which they were not present ; but it is hard to reflect 
that we shall not see the future, not see the further 


development of those tasks in which our inmost feelings 
were involved. Hence the Faust-impulse casts itself 
upon the unbounded future. In a sense the limits of 
time might be removed, and the limits of space remain ; 
and so imagination, working upon the idea of im- 
mortality, has pictured us in the future life wandering 
from star to star, and has thus got back to the original 
idea of the transmigration of souls. 

We need not speak here about the very definite 
pictures of the future life which have thus been 
imagined, but will add a few considerations as to the 
metaphysical and metapsychical tendencies of these 
things. In the first respect we have the idea that per- 
sonalities are amongst the timeless primary constituents 
of things, and that they do not represent results in the 
temporal course of the empirical which arise and pass 
away. In this sense Kant and Schopenhauer speak 
of the " intelligible character " of man. Later writers 
speak of primary positions, henads, and so on. We 
have noticed this question, when dealing with ontic 
problems, in connection with the antithesis of the singu- 
laristic and the pluralistic view of things. Personalistic 
Pluralism has very often been held in connection with 
the problems of freedom and responsibility ; but we 
cannot fail to see that it is opposed to Monotheistic meta- 
physics in a way which cannot be concealed by any 
ingenuity of argument. Lotze, perhaps, made the best 
attempt to get over the difficulty by representing that 
individual personalities may be conceived as merely 
partial appearances of the primary divine substance, 
in which case they must share its eternity and inde- 
structibility. Fechner at the same time contended that 
he found room for the belief in immortality in his Pan- 
psychic philosophy of life ; but in this case it is scarcely 
consistent with Fechner's own theory of psycho-physical 

In relation to metaphysics the ideas of immortality 
are connected with the attempts to find a stratified 
structure in the psychic life, the mortal parts being 
separable from the immortal. This was done by Plato 


with explicit reference to differences of value ; by 
Aristotle rather on theoretical lines. Plato in his later 
period regarded the psychic activities which are bound 
up with the body and its needs as the lower and mortal, 
overshadowing the higher and immortal part to some 
extent during its life on earth ; in which case it is not 
easy to see in what can have consisted the sin of this 
pure immortal soul, for which it was condemned to exile 
in the body. Hence in Plato's Timceus the migration 
of souls looks more like a law of fate than a moral dis- 
pensation. In Aristotle the vegetative and the animal 
soul are put in a position of inferiority to the higher 
and specifically human soul or reason, the vovs; which, 
as it is supposed to have come from without into the 
organic world, may also survive as the immortal part. 
Thus, at all events, Aristotle has been understood by 
all his scientific commentators. The combination of 
these theories gave rise to the Neo-Platonist theory, 
which has persisted, with various modifications of expres- 
sion, from the time of Plotinus to modern philosophy, 
and survives in the speech of our time. Besides 
the psychic life that is bound up with the world of 
sense, and perishes with it, there is supposed to be a 
spiritual life which rises into the suprasensuous world. 
The " soul ' is of this world ; the " spirit ' belongs 
beyond this world. The one is empirical, the other 
metaphysical. That is to some extent the language 
of our own time. These theories, however, are in their 
assumptions in some measure at variance with the idea 
of immortality. For what we may call the reason or 
the spirit, as distinguished from the soul, is altogether 
impersonal or superpersonal. The commentators on Aris- 
totle were not agreed whether there is question in his 
theory of personal immortality ; and historically those 
were right who contended the vovs is in the Aristotelic 
system not personal, but merely the generic reason or 
even the world-reason. Even in Plato there is the same 
impersonality of the immortal part of ttje soul, since 
he at times gives it the same name, reason. These ideas 
are, up to a certain point, easily harmonised with 


modern theories of the general mind. Just as the indi- 
vidual arises from an empirical general mind, in which 
he constantly shares by the whole of his own activity, 
so there is in this general mind, as an ultimate and 
innermost stratum, a province of rational validity, and 
the individual mind shares also in this. But this share 
in its actual content and its eternal validity is inde- 
pendent of the extent to which it enters into the system 
of an historical general mind, and through this into the 
province of an individual mind. To that extent we 
have here also a distinction of the mortal and the im- 
mortal in the psychic life, and precisely in the thought 
that we can make this eternal element our own in our 
empirical psychic activity we find compensation for the 
mortality of all that merely enters consciousness from 
the bodily conditions of the life of the individual soul. 
Any person, however, who consoles himself with this 
thought, that whatever has the value of eternity lives 
and works on in our nature and work, must realise that 
this is not the individual and personal immortality of 
religious teaching. 

The moral proofs of immortality always find their 
completion in the idea of a moral order of the supra- 
sensuous world, an ordo ordinans, as Fichte called it 
as a counterpart to natura naturans. If man, as a 
metaphysical being, is to rise to a higher world, this 
itself must be conceived as a self-contained whole ; and 
if the category of substance is applied to it, it takes the 
name " God." In Kant's formula the postulate of im- 
mortality is completed by the existence of God. The 
realisation of the highest good is by no means guaranteed 
by the natural order even in the endless duration of 
the life beyond. It is only guaranteed if there is a final 
unity of the natural and moral order in the Deity. In 
the main this was the chief point in the moral religion 
of the eighteenth century, in the case of such men as 
Shaftesbury and Voltaire. 

When philosophy thus approaches the problem of 
the reality of God, we must bear in mind that this con- 


ception has an important feature in common with the 
idea of God in current religion, but is by no means 
identical with it. The distinction is of importance in 
connection with all the theoretical proofs which philo- 
sophy urges of the existence of God. They hold first 
of all for the constructive religion which attempts to 
put conceptual clearness into the traditional ideas of 
the mythos. We must remember that from the earliest 
period of science philosophers have been accustomed to 
give the name "God" to the ultimate principle of reality, 
no matter how they conceived the content of the term. 
Anaximander of Miletus calls the infinite the divine : 
Xenophanes calls the one, which for him is identical 
with the all, <9eos-. So it goes on as far as Spinoza's Deus 
sive natura and Fichte's God as the moral order of 
the world. Positive religion will not recognise this 
use of the terms. It declares that these doctrines are 
atheism they deny ^s God. Nor need philosophers 
be surprised at this, since they see the different religions 
bringing against each other the charge of atheism, 
because one conceives the Deity differently from 
another. Everybody who does not believe as we do 
is an " unbeliever." Philosophy has, of course, nothing 
to do with these controversies. But this very ambiguity 
of the word is fatal to the popular proof of the existence 
of God ex consensu gentium. For what different peoples 
and ages meant by " God ' were very different things. 
We may disentangle some vague surmise as the common 
element in all this rich diversity, but we must remember 
that a vague general belief of this kind need not be a 
general truth. 

The philosophic problem of Deity, which emerges 
from axiology, is concerned only with our principle of 
a totality of the suprasensuous world. The ordinary 
proofs of the existence of God, of which we noticed the 
theoretical significance in dealing with ontic problems, 
especially the problem of substance, were divided by 
Kant into the ontological, cosmological, and teleo- 
logical or physico-theological. The ontological argu- 
ment is that which starts from the conception of being. 


By being is meant the content of all reality, and there 
is then no difficulty in proving that it exists. If we 
call God the ens realissimum et perfectissimum, our idea 
includes reality and wants no proof. But we may ask 
whether we are compelled to think the ens realissimum 
at all; and, since the drift of Kant's criticism is that 
reality does not follow from any conception that may 
be thought, it is not even enough to show that this con- 
ception must necessarily be thought. In this respect 
Kant made the problem all the deeper when he asked 
for proof, not of the existence of God, but of the neces- 
sity of the existence of God. When we rid this idea 
of its scholastic formulae, we find ourselves at the ex- 
treme limit of human inquiry. We are face to face with 
the question why anything must exist at all. Why is 
there not nothing ? There is no answer to that question. 
For, if we are not to move in a vicious circle, this neces- 
sity must always be sought in something else, and from 
that to another, and so on ad infinitum. This holds 
good even if we seek the reason of all being, as Fichte 
and Weisse did, in the " ought " or in the possible. For 
we again ask, whence the " ought ' or the possibility, 
and we must seek the reason in some other being. 
Hence being reveals its necessity by the fact that it is. 
In this direction lay the " one possible ' proof, which 
Kant, after his criticism of the ontological argument, 
first himself devised, and then silently abandoned. And 
in the same direction lay the rehabilitation of the 
ontological proof which Hegel attempted. It is quite 
another question whether absolute being can be, in 
respect of its contents, something different from all 
special beings. On the strength of the premises of the 
ontological proof that must be denied, and hence arises 
its affinity to the Pantheism of the Eleatics, the 
medieval Realists, Spinoza, and so on. Hence also 
the intimate relation of this argument and of Pantheism 
to the original indefiniteness of the religious feeling. 
With this Pantheistic feature are connected also the 
superlative predicates which play a great part in the 
dialectic of this argument : the greatest, most real, best, 


most perfect, etc. Whatever is possible in the world 
of appearance and beyond it must be contained in the 
principle itself. Even if it only makes its appearance 
in the sensory world in the course of time, and had, per- 
haps, never appeared before, it must be timelessly real 
in the absolute being like all conceivable perfections. 
Here the suprasensuous is regarded in a thoroughly 
Spinozistic sense and sub specie ceterni, and therefore 
the question discussed in the earliest metaphysical con- 
troversies, whether perfection means the beginning or 
the end, is irrelevant from this point of view. Emana- 
tion and evolution relate only to the appearance. The 
divine world-essence has neither beginning nor end. It 
is alike beginning and end, the Alpha and the Omega. 
The cosmological proof comes a little nearer to ordi- 
nary religious thought since it seeks a cause of the innu- 
merable individual things poured out in space and time : 
a cause that shall be different from them in its nature 
and its mode of reality. In the Scholastic formulation 
this argument is helped out by ideas of chance and 
necessity, or of relative and absolute, conditioned or 
unconditioned, necessity, of the contingency of the finite 
and the necessity of the Infinite. In the very compli- 
cated dialectical play of these conceptions, which we 
find most thoroughly drawn out in Hegel's Vorlesungen 
uber die Gottesbeweise, we see the need of reducing the 
force of this argument to the ontological, as Kant showed. 
The cosmological argument in its simpler historical form, 
as we find it in Aristotle, depends on the category of 
causality in the same way as the ontological argument 
depends upon the category of substantiality. It seeks 
a final link in the chain of causes, the " prime mover," 
TO 7rpo)Tov KIVOVV. From this was developed later, partly 
by introducing into it the element of time, the theory 
of the transmundane creator of the world, the idea of 
the Deists. In this causal form the argument is ex- 
posed to the well-known objections derived from the 
theory of knowledge. Causality, in so far as it is a cate- 
gory, is a relation between given empirical elements, 
and from it arises the need and the right to seek a second 


link in connection with one that is given, but only within 
the sphere of experience. But this does not justify the 
/iCTa/tacTi? els aAAo yevos which would occur if one were to 
pass in search of the cause from the physical to the meta- 
physical, from the finite to the infinite, from the con- 
tingent to the necessary. It follows, however, that it 
would be just as illogical to deny this physico-metaphy- 
sical causal relation as to affirm it : that is to say, 
Atheism is no more capable of scientific truth than 
Deism. But even if we were to ignore these objections 
and grant a demonstrative force to the cosmological 
argument, it would give us no knowledge of the nature 
and content of the cause which we thus inferred from 
the effect. For the causal relation does not determine 
anything about the likeness or unlikeness of cause and 
effect. Hence at the most the cosmological proof merely 
leads us once more to a quite vague idea of a First Cause, 
without saying anything as to its nature. It therefore 
gives us no ground to think of God as a spiritual being, 
a personality. 

If we are to do this, we need to go on to certain ele- 
ments which will enable us to determine the contents 
of the cosmic cause. This is supposed to be done by 
the teleological proof, which is on that account, as Kant 
pointed out, the most impressive of all, and is the most 
esteemed by religious people. It infers a spiritual agency 
from the purposiveness and harmony, the beauty and 
perfection of the world. From the perfection of the 
machine it deduces that it originated in the mind of a 
supreme engineer. Hence this proof finds favour with 
men of science who wish to reconcile the mechanical 
trend of scientific investigation with religious belief. 
The argument from analogy, which is thus made the 
basis of the metaphysical position of Theism, has a good 
deal of rhetorical force, but it is not strictly a proof. 
Indeed, the analogy does not hold altogether when the 
argument is supposed to lead us to the conception of 
an all-wise, all-good, and all-powerful Creator. For 
the human engineer finds his material at hand, and 
there is thus a limit to his power ; whereas the Deity 


has to create the material. This distinction was indi- 
cated by Kant when he said that the teleological proof 
leads only (as was the case with the older thinkers) to 
the conception of a governor and architect of the world. 
In order to go on to God we have to use also the cos- 
mological (and in the end the ontological) argument. 
But even with this restriction the teleological argument 
is open to still further objections. That the purposive 
can only be due to design cannot be proved ; from the 
properties of the effect nothing can, strictly, be deduced 
as to the properties of the cause. Hume himself 
pointed out that it was possible that, on the principles 
of probability, in an infinite course of time there might 
arise a constellation of masses which would admit only 
a minimum of disturbance and therefore persist for a 
considerable time ; and when modern biology purported 
to be able to give a mechanical explanation of the vital 
capacity which, as we previously saw, means purpo- 
siveness in them of organisms, physico-theological specu- 
lation received a serious check and found itself in a 
problematical situation. 

An examination of the soundness of its premises is 
even more menacing to the psychological impressive- 
ness of this argument. Is the world really as purposive, 
as harmonious, beautiful, and perfect as it ought to be 
in order to sustain the burden of the teleological argu- 
ment ? Kant took these premises for granted, but 
others have made a detailed elaboration of them. 
Astronomical and, especially, biological teleology has 
figured conspicuously in the literature of the subject. 
With the petulance which, unfortunately, is always 
imported into any discussion in regard to religious ques- 
tions it is said that only bad will can close a man's eyes 
to the purposiveness and beauty of the world ; that 
it is ungrateful not to search for the author of it. As 
a matter of fact, no one actually resists this impression, 
but it is not the only possible impression. Any man 
who observes reality impartially sees a good deal that 
is not purposive and not harmonious, a good deal that 
is ugly and imperfect, in the world. Both, the pur- 


posive and purposeless, are found everywhere. There 
is a good deal of each, and it would be difficult to say 
which is the more abundant. Religion itself in its 
highest form, redemptive religion, emphatically asserts 
that this world, which in its purposiveness bears the 
stamp of its divine Creator, is nevertheless full of im- 
perfection, misery, and sin. How are we to reconcile 
this ? What is the relation of the divine being who 
sustains a suprasensuous world of values to a world of 
sense in which these values, while realised to some 
extent, are in large part flagrantly denied ? What is 
the relation of what ought to be to what is ? Of the 
world of timelessly valid values to the world of things 
and temporal events ? That is the final problem. 


Reality and Value. Subjective and objective Antinomianism Optimism 
and pessimism -The problems of theodicy Physical evil Moral 
evil Dualism of value and unity of the world The will as the 
principle of the temporal. 

Our inquiry began with the unsatisfactoriness of 
knowledge: it ends with the unsatisfactoriness of life. 
The former stimulated the reflective thought which 
finds itself urged from the unsettled ideas of daily life, 
through scientific conceptions, to the problems of 
philosophy ; and these have pressed upon us more and 
more as we passed from questions of knowledge to ques- 
tions of valuation. All theoretical problems arose from 
the fact that the assumptions and postulates latent in 
the forms of knowledge of reality, especially the assump- 
tion of the identity of the world with itself, can never 
be fully realised in the contents given in experience. 
The whole life of values reveals an unrealised, or even 
unrealisable, mass of demands that are made, not only 
of our ideas of the real, but of the reality itself ; and 
these unfulfilled demands concern not only human 
states and activities, but also the things and situations 
to which they relate. Indeed, it is of the very essence 


of valuation that the norm which guides it is not ful- 
filled of itself, and not fulfilled always. "Ought' and 
" is," value and reality, must be different. If norm 
and reality were identical, there would be an end of 
valuation, since its alternative character affirmation 
or denial presupposes this difference. There would be 
no logical appreciation of true and false if there were 
a natural necessity guiding the mind only to sound con- 
clusions : no ethical appreciation of good and bad if 
the natural process of motivation fulfilled the moral 
law in all volition and conduct : no aesthetic appre- 
ciation of beautiful and ugly if in every construction 
of nature and art we had a perfect expression of the 
significant content ; and even all hedonistic appre- 
ciation would cease if the whole of life were pleasant 
or useful. The laws of " ought " and those of " must ' 
cannot be entirely different, yet cannot be identical. 
Thus from the subjective antinomianism which reveals 
itself in all philosophic treatment of problems we came 
to an objective antinomianism, which puts the dualism 
even in reality, and makes the subjective dualism intel- 
ligible by showing that it is only a special case of this. 
The fact of valuation necessarily implies a dualism of 
the valuable and valueless in reality. 

This subtle truth, which is easily overlooked, may 
be traced in the meaning of the two attitudes which 
we find opposing each other under the names of opti- 
mism and pessimism. Even optimism does not deny 
that there is evil in the world. The superlative expres- 
sion in the name means only that the world is the best 
of possible worlds. That is its meaning in the scientific 
form which Leibnitz gave it. It by no means implies 
that the world is free from evil, but that it is a world 
in which evil is restricted to the smallest possible pro- 
portions. It is the best in the sense that it contains 
the least evil. Pessimism, on the other hand, has no 
idea of denying that there is any good in the world. Its 
most eloquent champion, Schopenhauer, admits that 
even in this evil world there is much that is purposive, 
successful, beautiful, and consoling. Hence neither view 


calls into question the dualism of value in the real. All 
that they pretend to prove is the preponderance of one 
or the other element, and in this they have a good deal 
of appeal to the emotional reaction of people upon life. 
There are optimism and pessimism in the sentiments 
of the individual, or even of whole groups of individuals 
peoples and ages which are urged by temperament 
or experience in one or the other direction. These are 
effects of emotional apperception which we quite 
understand psychologically. If at some time the accu- 
mulation of similar experiences leads to one of these 
definite attitudes, it is generally confirmed and 
strengthened by selection and assimilation. But the 
result is a mood or disposition, and moods can neither 
be proved nor disproved. 

Hence we cannot objectively prove any preponderance 
either of the valuable or the valueless in the world in 
the sense of optimism and pessimism. It is impossible 
to estimate or appreciate the proportion with any con- 
fidence even within the narrow limits of humanity, to 
say nothing of the whole realm of life or the entire uni- 
verse. Moreover, in judging that anything is good 
or bad we pass beyond the limits of man's faculty of 
knowledge in the sense that in doing so we must flatter 
ourselves that we know something about the end of 
the world. This is particularly true of the lowest and 
most widespread form of optimism and pessimism, the 
Hedonist form, which seeks to determine whether pleasure 
or pain predominates in the totality of reality. In this 
respect explicit theories are generally pessimistic. In 
ancient times, as a consequence of the Hedonism which 
found the end and meaning of life in pleasure, there 
arose a feeling of despair of attaining this end and a de- 
preciation of life, to which a Hedonist named Hegesias 
gave expression by preaching suicide. In modern times 
Schopenhauer chiefly advocated pessimism ; his meta- 
physic of the will and his ethic based upon compassion 
culminated in his doctrine of the misery of existence. 
Here were the germs of the scientific pessimism which 
was afterwards established by Edward von Hartmann. 



The very nature of the will, he said, involved a prepon- 
derance of pain ; since in every effort there is the pain 
of the unsatisfied will. This is replaced by pleasure 
only when the will is fulfilled, but the pain returns 
and is intensified when it is again disappointed. Hence 
even if the chances of satisfaction and disappointment 
were equal, there would be a preponderance of pain, 
which must in any case precede in the will. This is 
merely a scientific description of the pessimistic mood 
itself, and the argument of it may be countered by 
pointing out that the effort, whether it be successful 
or no, is a pleasure, a pleasant feeling of life and self- 
assertion ; though this again is only a description of 
the optimistic tendency. Thus optimism and pessi- 
mism in the Hedonist form are based upon claims which 
the impulse to happiness makes upon knowledge, and 
with which knowledge is unable to comply. Even if 
we could statistically and scientifically prove a pre- 
dominance of pleasure or pain in the whole scheme of 
things, it would give us no right whatever to qualify 
the universe as good or bad. There would always 
remain the counter-question, whether the world is there 
for the purpose of producing pleasure : a question that 
many answer in the affirmative in practice, but that 
no one has ever answered theoretically. Hedonist opti- 
mism and pessimism are therefore moods at which we 
need not cavil as long as they do not claim the general 
force of demonstrable theories. 

On a higher ethical level we have an optimism and 
pessimism which see in the fulfilment of the moral law 
the end and aim of the world and of human life. Here 
we get a difference due to the theory that man's natural 
and original disposition was good, and that it has 
changed and degenerated in the course of his historical 
development. Those who, with Rousseau, hold that 
man is naturally good, must consider, when they con- 
template the present state of things, that up to the 
present, at all events, history has led to his degeneration. 
On the other hand, those who regard man's primitive 
disposition as bad, as the Egoistic ethic or the theolo- 


gical doctrine of original sin or Kant's theory of radical 
evil does, will have to show that social or religious 
influences have greatly improved him. These again 
are antithetic views that are often due to individual 
disposition or experience, and which are incapable of 
convincing proof. As regards man's natural endow- 
ment, we have already seen that a sharp division of men 
into good and bad, such as the Stoics claimed, argues 
a superficial psychology. As a matter of fact the motives 
of men are so mixed in real life that it is impossible to 
divide them in this way. As to historical development, 
our consideration of the philosophy of history has shown 
us how difficult it is to form scientific ideas about the 
moral changes of the human race in the past or the 
future. It is always open to hold that the moral nature 
of man generally has remained unchanged, or is even 
unchangeable ; and that would be an ethical pessimism 
that is not confined to Schopenhauer. Again it is 
possible to combine a pessimistic view of man's original, 
and even of his present, condition with an optimistic 
view of his future. Thus Feuerbach and Diihring, in 
spite of their severe censure of actual moral and social 
conditions, were not shaken in their belief in the per- 
fectibility of man and the certainty of progress and im- 
provement. The finest combination of optimism and 
pessimism is in Hartmann, who believes in a develop- 
ment of civilisation which will lead to redemption from 
the misery of existence by the growth of the intellectual 
and the ethical life. Leibnitz, he thinks, was right in 
holding that this world, considered in its entire evolu- 
tion, is the best of all possible worlds ; but Schopenhauer 
also was right when he said that the world is bad and 
miserable enough. Hence it was a mistake of the un- 
conscious essence of the world to produce a world at 
all, and the best possible world is this, in which the mis- 
take will eventually be made good by knowledge and 
the denial of will, and the Deity may be redeemed by 
his own world. 

In this fantastic way the optimistic and pessimistic 
moods are built up into philosophical systems. The 


only sound element of knowledge in them is the dualism 
of value in reality. It is the task of philosophy to get 
beyond optimism and pessimism, and understand this 
dualism ; to overcome it is a problem on which it has 
expended much fruitless labour. Ancient philosophy 
took the wrong way to do this under the pressure of 
the prevailing religious beliefs. It attempted to make 
the dualism of value equivalent to the theoretical 
dualism in which all metaphysical consideration ends : 
the dualism of the spatial and the mental, of body and 
soul, of matter and spirit. From various motives and 
in many different ways it contended that the world of 
sense is the world of the imperfect and bad, as opposed 
to the good world of the spirit, the suprasensuous world ; 
and that in man the body was the evil, the soul or spirit 
the good. We have dealt previously with this identi- 
fication and have pointed out the defects in its theo- 
retical basis. In its effects, however, it goes far beyond 
scientific thought ; in which, indeed, it did not originate, 
and to which it is by no means confined. Both in theory 
and practice (from which it sprang) it involved a depre- 
ciation of the life of the senses. Man was taught to be 
ashamed of his own body, of the sensuous-suprasensuous 
dualism of his nature. For two thousand years this 
has lain like a disordered dream upon European humanity, 
and we return slowly, very slowly, to the clear Greek 
view of life. 

Apart from this error and aberration, the fact of the 
dualism of value in the whole of life remains in undi- 
minished obscurity, and from it sprang the four problems 
of theodicy which we have considered. The funda- 
mental question, formulated in religious terms, is, 
Why did God create a world of which evil is a necessary 
constituent ? These problems again present themselves 
first to the ordinary mind in a Hedonist form. The 
idea that the creation of the world was due to the wisdom, 
goodness, and omnipotence of God seems to be sharply 
contradicted by the dysteleological facts of life on earth : 
the cruelty of animal life and the worse evils of human 
life pain, want, and misery of every sort. This im- 


pression is increased when we consider the distribution 
of happiness and unhappiness, which seems to our sense 
of value unjust. Even apart from all this, the bare 
reality of physical evil is a powerful instance against 
the belief in a divine creation and government of the 
world. The question of Epicurus, whether God could 
not or would not keep evil out of the world, or both, 
has never been satisfactorily answered. The rhetorical 
arguments which have been used repeatedly since the 
time of the Stoics and their opponents depend entirely 
on more or less pronounced anthropomorphisms. When 
people speak of the educational value of evil, of the 
unavoidable incidental effects of things good in them- 
selves, of the use of apparently contradictory means 
for the eventual fulfilment of the divine plan, one can 
always retort by asking whether a benevolent omni- 
potence could not have found less painful means for 
carrying out its designs ; and the appeal, made long 
ago by the Stoics, to the impenetrability of the ways 
of Providence is supposed to be valid only for the believer, 
not for the sceptic. 

These reflections may suffice to lessen the force of 
the problem of physical evil for some people, but they 
do not touch the heart of the question the reality of 
moral evil, the quantity of wickedness in the world. It 
is no use attempting to argue away this as is done with 
physical evil, by saying, as the Stoics did, that pain is 
not really an evil, especially for the wise, but is merely 
considered such by the immature man ; or by saying, 
as the Neo-Platonists did in their metaphysical opti- 
mism, that everything real is good and perfect, and that 
the evil and imperfect is merely a defect of being. 
Rhetoric of this kind, as that evil is merely the absence 
of good, is of no value. The religious mind itself can 
never get over the fact of sin, which is for it the most 
certain of all facts, and as such is the origin of all the 
fervour of the craving for redemption. This is the point 
at which the desire of a unified understanding of the 
world breaks down before an insoluble problem. The 
world of values and the world of realities, the provinces 


of ' ought " and " must," are not foreign to each other. 
They are in mutual relation everywhere. But they 
are certainly not the same thing. There is a rent in 
the fabric of reality. Besides the values which are 
realised in it there is a dark power of something indifferent 
to or opposed to value. If we mean by God a single 
principle in which all that can be experienced has a 
common being and common origin, we can never under- 
stand how it divides into a duality that contradicts 
itself. Ancient philosophy on that account stopped 
short at the antithesis of God and matter, or form and 
matter. At a later date theosophic and theogonic specu- 
lations, such as those of Jacob Boehme, tried to do away 
with this ' division ' or " otherness " ; but they had 
to be content with obscure figures of speech and assump- 
tions that were little more than aspirations. We cannot 
get over the contradiction. The dualism is the most 
certain of all facts, yet Henism is the most solid of all 
the assumptions of our philosophy of reality. For the 
dialectic which would try to evade the difficulty the 
only logical means seemed to be the contradictory dis- 
junction, and the only metaphysical escape the recog- 
nition of negativity ; and it has therefore, from Proclus 
to Hegel, attempted the impossible with its thesis, anti- 
thesis, and synthesis. But when it thus attempts to 
show how, in the words of Heraclitus, the one divides 
itself into two and then returns to itself, it merely suc- 
ceeds with the dialectical process in defining and 
describing, but never in understanding and explaining. 
From the very nature of the case this final problem 
is insoluble. It is the sacred mystery, marking the 
limits of our nature and our knowledge. We must be 
content to remain there and to recognise that here, at 
this inmost point of life, our knowledge and under- 
standing can reach no further than the other side of our 
being, the will. For the will the duality of value of 
reality is the indispensable condition of its activity. 
If value and reality were identical, there would be no 
will and no event. All would remain motionless in a 
state of eternal completion. The innermost meaning 


of time is the inalienable difference between what is 
and what ought to be ; and because this difference, 
which reveals itself in our will, constitutes the funda- 
mental condition of human life, our knowledge can 
never get beyond it to a comprehension of its origin. 
Hence we human beings find a dispassionate joy, not 
in the unrest of the will, which drags us into the tran- 
sitory turmoil of the world of appearances, but in the 
tranquil province of pure thought and contemplation 
in which the values of eternity are revealed : 77 
TO "rjSiarov Koi apiarov. 


Absolute reality, 36, 45 

Acosmism, 80 

^Esthetic Epicureanism, 229 

.(Esthetics, 300-16 

After-feeling, 311 

Agnosticism, 194 

Altruism, 230 

Anaxagoras, 35, 58, 60, 75, 83, 


Anaximander, 42, 74, 79, 89, 346 
Anaximenes, 89 
Animism, 106 
Antinomianism, 45 
Antisthenes, 228 
Aposteriorism, 180-1 
Appearance and reality, 34-46, 201 
Apperception, 73 
Apriorism, 108-1 
Architecture, 314 
Aristippus, 229 
Aristotle, 18, 30, 35, 62, 92, 106, 

317. 344. 34 S 
Arnobius, 1 1 1 
Art, 316-24 
Aseity, 62, 76 
Associations, 256 
Assumptions, 18-20 
Atomism, 53, 62, 82 
Attributes, 66 
Aufkldrung, the, 28, 318 
Augustine, 115 

Authority and morality, 241-4 
Automatic actions, 161 
Avenarius, 38 
Axioms, 22 

Bacon, 177 
Bahnsen, 83 
Baumgarten, A., 301 
Beauty, nature of, 304-16 

and existence, 35 

true and apparent, 44 
Belief, 175 
Bentham, 227, 231 

Bergson, 95 

Berkeley, 38, 68, 114, 115, 194 

Boehme, Jacob, 358 

Brain, obscurity of the, 162 

Broussais, 112 

Bruno, Giordano, 79, 84 

Biichner, 112 

Burke, Edmund, 312 

Cabanis, 112 

Categorical Imperative, the, 236 


of inherence, the, 47, 51 

of quantity, the, 72 
Causality, 48, 126-42, 348 
Causes, classes of, 128-9 
Chamberlain, H. S., 64 
Chemical combination, 102, 155 
Christianity, 262, 329 
Christiansen, 311 
Church, the, 261 
Cicero, 190 

Civilisation, the philosophy of, 328 
Collectivism, 285 
Colour, sensations of, 103 
Common sense, the, 103 
Communities, voluntary and in- 
voluntary, 253-67 
Comte, Auguste, 38, 39, 150, 267, 


Condillac, 192 
Conscience, 220-40 
Conscientialism, 196 
Consciousness, contents of, 196- 


Conservation of energy, 157 
Constitutive characters, 66 
Convertibility of natural laws, 144 
Copula, the, 67 
Cornelius, 27 

Cosmological argument, the, 349 
Creation, 127, 349 
Criterion of truth, 173 
Croce, Benedetto, 320 
Custom, 264 




Darwinism, 149 

Deism, 77 

Democritus, 35, 43, 62, 112 

Derivative characters, 66 

Descartes, 18, 40, 66, 68, 91, 95, 

104, 109, in, 115, 133, 156, 

Design, 146 
Determinism, 249 
Diderot, 317 
Dogmatism, 185-8 
Dualism, no, 116-20 
Du Bois-Reymond, 113 
Diihring, 99, 112, 355 
Duty, 123-5 
Dynamism, 129 

Efficient causes, 128 
Egoism, 193 

ethical, 228 
Eleatics, the, 34, 42, 79, 81 90, 

336, 347 
Elements, 59 

Emotionalism, 108, 209, 211 
Empedocles, 35, 117, 149 
Empirical reality, 36, 49 
Empiricism, 177-82 
End, the, 146 
Energetics, 71 
Energy, 79 
Entelechies, 63 
Epicurus, 114, 191, 229, 251, 329, 


Epiphenomena, 160 

Epistemology, 167 

Essence, 35, 52-5 

Essential and accidental, 52-8 

Eternity, 99 

Ethic, the Kantist, 234-8, 243 

empirical and rationalist, 238 
imperativist and descriptive, 220 
intuitive, 240 

Eudaemonism, 211, 225-31 

Event, the, 122-6 

Evidence, 175 

Evolution, 150 

Existence, 35 

Experience, contents of, 49, 180 

Extension, 66, 68 

Faculties, unreality of, 60 

Fall, the, 283 

Family, the, 258 

Fechner, 104, 105, 119, 149, 156, 

255. 35, 343 

Feuerbach, 112, 191, 246, 355 
Fichte, 24, 81, 115, 116, 129, 184, 
233, 283, 298, 345, 347 

Finitism, 92-3, 99 

First Cause, the, 349 

Folk-psychology, 154 

Forces, 128 

Free will, the illusion of, 70, 135, 

French Revolution, the, 292, 293 

Genius, 320-2 

Giercke, 256 

God, 76-80, 91-3, 216, 326, 336, 


proofs of the existence of, 345-50 
Goethe, 50, 61, 104, 177, 301, 342 
Greek philosophy, 24, 34, 42, 58, 

59, 90, 91, 121, 167, 176, 290, 

317. 329, 334. 35 6 
Guelincx, 137, 156 

Guyau, 298, 320 

Hanslick, 310 

Happiness and morals, 226-31 

Hartmann, E. von, 353 

Hedonism, 229, 353 

Hegel, 15, 25, 35, 43, 116, 168, 222, 

303, 33L 347. 348 
Hegesias, 353 
Helmholtz, 48 
Henism, 74, Si, 358 
Heraclitus, 117, 176, 358 
Herbart, 19, 24, 43, 59, 61, 81, 83, 

122, 241, 303, 309 
Hero, the, 285-6 
Hertz, H., 130 

philosophy of, 277-99 

truth in, 205-7 

value in, 279 
Hobbes, in 
Hominism, 180 
Homoomeria, 58, 82 
Humanism, 180 

end of, 297 

unity of, 288-92 
Hume, 69, 72, 138, 190, 240, 246, 

Hutcheson, 240 

Idealism, 68-9, 114, 192 
Identity, 49-56 
Ideology, 181 
Illusion in art, 313 
Imitation in art, 317-18 
Immanence, 77 
Immanent event, the, 124 
Immanent Positivism, 39 
Immortality, 337-45 
Indeterminism, 249 



Individual, the, and society, 26.\-6, 

271, 283-4, 286 
Individualism, 62-5 
Individuality, 63-5, 69 
Infinity, 44, 78-9, 89, 93, 99 
Inherence, category of, 47, 51 
Innate ideas, 177 
Inner sense, the, no 
Intellectualism, 107 
Intelligible Space, 83 
lonians, the, 41 
Irony, 315 

Jacobi, 38 

Jellinek, 272 

Jerusalem, 27 

Judgment, nature of, 28, 208 

Jurisprudence, 269 

Kant, 15, 31, 41, 45, 75, 85, 93, 94, 
104, in, 114, 147, 168, 195, 
221, 234-8, 302, 307, 312, 331, 

339-41, 347 
Kirchhoff, 139 

limits of, 23 

nature of, 28, 167-73 

object of, 196-207 

origin of, 176-82 

validity of, 182-96 
Krause, C. F., 234 
Kiilpe, O., 27 

Lamettrie, 112 
Lange, A., 162, 327 

philosophy of, 267-77 
of nature, 268 
Laws, natural, 130, 141 
Legality and morality, 245 
Leibnitz, 54, 63, 84, 116, 151, 179, 

233, 302 
Liberum arbitrium indifferentise^o, 


Liebmann, O., 27 
Locke, 68, no, 168, 177, 181, 242 
Logical truth, 203 
Lotze, 31, 48, 84, 86, 151, 201, 209, 


Mach, 139 

Madness and genius, 322 

Malebranche, 114 

Manicheanism, 117 

Materialism, 111-14, 160, 230 

Materialistic conception of history, 


Mathematical truth, 202 
Measurement, 87 

Mechanism, 143-4, 151 

.Mediterranean race, the, 290 

Melissos, 90 

Memory, Plato's theory of, 176 

Metaphysical craving, the, 13 

Metaphysical reality, 36 

Metaphysics, meaning of, 36, 40 

Middle Ages, the, 329 

.Milieu, theory of the, 65 

Modi, 66, 76/128 

Mohammedanism, 262 

Molecules, 60 

Moleschott, 112 

Monadology, 63, 84, 85, 127 

Monism, 74, 118-20, 160, 164 

Monotheism, 74, 334 

Moral order of the Universe, 345 

nature of, 19-41 
sanction of, 241-53 

Movement in causation, 133, 152 

Mysteries, the Greek, 261 

Mysticism, 329 

Mythos, the, 331 

Naive realism, 185, 199 

National States, 274 

Natural law, 268 

Natural religion, 336 

Nature, 61 

Neo-Platonism, 79, 92, 106, 178, 

315. 344- 357 
Newton, 104, 151 
Nicholas of Casa, 79, 84, 92 
Nietzsche, 100, 298 
Night-theory, 104 
Noetics, 167 
Nominalism, 1867 
Noumena, 36 
Number, 73 

Objective, the, 37 

Occam, 191, 242 

Occasional causes, 128 

Occasionalism, 76 

Ontological argument, the, 346-7 

Opinion, 167, 174 

Optimism, 352 

Organism, identity of the, 56 

Outer sense, the, no 

Pantheism, 76-8, 92, 330, 347 
Parmenides, 176 
Paulsen, 27 
People, the, 259 
Perfection, morality of, 232-3 
Personality, 70, 281-4, 2 ^7 
Pessimism, 352 
Phenomena, 36, 43 



Phenomenalism, 190-4 

criticisms of, 19-20 

demand for, 13 

difficulty of, 14 

need of, 21 

origin of, 18 

task of, 17, 19, 27, 29 

terminology of, 10 
Plato, 34, 35, 40, 43, 59, 90, 105, 
114, 167, 176, 186, 273, 315, 

317. 336. 337- 344 
Play, impulse to, 319-20 
Pleasure and morals, 226-7 
Plotinus, 79, 315, 344 
Pluralism, 87, 343 
Polydemonism, 75 
Polytheism, 75 
Positivism, 37-8, 41, 138 
Postulates, 22 
Powers, 128 

Pragmatism, 174, 179, 331 
Pre-established harmony, 86 
Pre-existence, 337 
Prejudices, 22 
Priestley, 114 
Probabilism, 189 
Problematicism, 189 
Proclus, 358 

Progress, philosophy of, 293-7, 3 2 5 
Properties, 49~54 
Protagoras, 227 
Psychogenetic theory of knowledge, 


Psycho-physical causality, 155-65 
Psycho-physical parallelism, 157- 


Psychologism, 181 


and science, 206 

theories of modern, 107-8 
Purposiveness, 146-8 
Pythagoras, 90, nS 

Quantity, 72-101 

Rationalism, 177-82 

Realism, 185, 199 


and appearance, 34-46 
relative and absolute, 36 
true and apparent, 35, 43 

Relativity, 89 

Religion and philosophy, 39, 324-51 

Renaissance, the, 28, 40, 178, 315 

Renouvier, 27, 99 

Responsibility, 249-53 

Robinet, 158 

Romanticists, the, 229, 245 

Rome, cultural evolution in, 329 
Rousseau, 276, 354 

Sacred, the, 324-33 
Scepticism, 187-8, 332 
Schelling, 129, 146, 305, 315, 321 
Schiller, 106, 235, 247, 303, 312, 

313. 319 

Schleiermacher, 80, 233, 330 
Scholastics, the, 107, 177, 180, 242 
Schopenhauer, 13, 37, 48, 108, 

115, 246, 292, 298, 303, 312, 

313. 352, 353 
Science, truth in, 204 
Scotus, Duns, 242 
Secondary qualities, 103 
Self, meaning of the, 69-70, 129 
Self-consciousness, 281-3 
Selfish System, the, 228, 245 
Semeiotics, 191 
Senses, the, 102-4 
Sensualism, 177 
Sex and morality, 223 
Shaftesbury, 229, 232, 240, 315 
Singularism, 74, 93 
Size, 73, 87 
Smith, Adam, 240 
Socialism, 230 
Society, 260 
Sociology, 267 
Socrates, 18 
Solger, 315 
Solipsism, 193 
Soul, idea of the/l 105-7, 332-3, 


Sound, sensations of, 104 
Space, 83-4, 90, 93-7 
Speech, 284-5 
Spencer, Herbert, 107, 150, 239, 

Spinoza, 37, 78, So, 109, 119, 156, 

232, 346 

Spirit of the age, 86 
Spiritualism, in, 114-16 
State, the, 57, 260, 271 
Stoics, the, in, 170, 239, 335, 

34 2 . 355. 357 
Strauss, D. F., 112 
Subjective, the, 37 
Sublime, the, 312 
Substance, 47-72 
and cause, 133 

Taste, 306 

Teleology, 146-52, 350 

Tertullian, in 

Thales, 42 

Theism, 77, 349 

Theory of knowledge, 167-73 



Thing-in-itself, the, 34, 68, 195 
Things, 48-55. 67-8 
Time, nature of, 94-9, 122 
Transcendence, 77 
Transcendental appearance, 45, 69 
Transcendental truth, 171, 184 
Transgredient event, 124 
Transvaluation of values, 14 
Truth, nature of, 166-75, 184-5 
Turgot, 39 

Unconscious states, 108, 148 
Uniformity of nature, 141 
Unity of the human race, 288 
Unity of substance, 74-84 
Universal restoration, too 
Universalism, 60-5 
Universals, controversy about, 186 
Utilitarianism, 211, 231 

Validity, 182-3 

Value, meaning of, 209-17, 351-2 

Vitalism, 106-7, 147 

Vogt, 112 

Volition, nature of, 210-11 

Voluntarism, 107, 115, 209 

Weisse, 347 

freedom of the, 70, 135, 248-53 
relation of to knowledge, 28-9, 

Winckelmann, 305 

Woltf, 233, 301 

World-empires, 290 

Wundt, 26 

Xenophanes, 334, 335, 346 
Xenophon, 226 

Zimmermann, 310 

MAR 1 6 1987