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Full text of "The New Idealism"

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OSMANIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

Call No. 1<f1/S6lft Accession No, 14055 

Authoi Sinclair, M ay 

r 

Title Fe\v idealism 

This book should he returned on or odbre the date last marked below. 



THE NEW IDEALISM 



BY 
MAY SINCLAIR 



THE BELFRY 

MARY OLIVIER 

THE ROMANTIC 

THE THREE SISTERS 

THE TREE OF HEAVEN 

A DEFENCE OF IDEALISM 

MR. WADDINQTON OF WYCK 

THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL 

JOURNAL OF IMPRESSIONS IN BELGIUM 

LIFE AND DEATH OF HARRIET FREAN 



THE NEW IDEALISM 



BT 

MAY SINCLAIB 



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED 

ST. MARTIN'S STREET LONDON 

1922 



COPYRIGHT, 1922, 
BY MAY SINCLAIR. 



Set up and printed. Published April, 1922. 



THIS BOOK 

is DEDICATED TO 

WILLIAM PEPPERELL MONTAGUE 

WHO WILL NOT AGREE 
WITH A WORD OF IT 



INTRODUCTION 

The aim of this book is twofold: to examine the 
foundations of realism more critically, and to outline 
a reconstruction of idealism more closely than was 
possible five years ago. The latest developments of 
philosophy demand a revision of the whole problem, 
from a shifted standpoint. Since 1917 realism has 
gained in solidity and a certain intricate precision. 
The Critical Realists l have discovered a flaw in its 
theory of perception and tried to mend it (not, I think, 
with conspicuous success) ; Professor Whitehead 2 has 
laid down its first principles once for all; and Pro- 
fessor Alexander 8 has built it up into a system among 
systems. 

Realism is ten times more formidable than it was 
in 1917. 

And since 1917 the issue has been narrowed down 
to the field of Space and Time, and it is there that the 
battle between realism and idealism must be fought. 

That issue is very clear. For, however realists may 
differ among themselves, whether they say with Pro- 
fessor Alexander that Space-Time is the ultimate 
reality, or with Professor Whitehead that the ultimate 
entities are events, they are all agreed that mind is 
not the ultimate entity and must be kept out of the 
problem. "Nature," Professor Whitehead says, "is 
closed to mind." Mind, on any realist scheme, is only 

1 Essays in Critical Realism: 1920. 

a Enquiry Concerninff the Principles of Natural Knowledge: 1919. 
The Concept of Nature: 1920. 
9 Space, Time and Deity: 1920. 

vii 



viii INTRODUCTION 

one more entity, one more change in a sequence of 
changes; the last thing, not the first, though highest, 
if you like, in the scale of values. 

The problem of the realist, then, is how to account 
for mind as part of a system in which mind was not 
present from the beginning. I have tried to show that 
this attempt to get mind out of the mindless lands us 
in endless difficulties and contradictions, contradic- 
tions which are only removed from one level of the 
enquiry to crop up again on the next ; that it is easier 
to obtain an uncontradictious space-time continuum 
from ultimate consciousness than to produce conscious- 
ness from an ultimate space-time. 

Take this affair of the continuum. Professor White- 
head tells us that it is secured by the covering which 
one event gives to another and to its own " event- 
particles. " You can divide an event into an infinite 
number of event-particles, but the whole event extends 
over them in unbroken duration. This is true. It is 
also true that if once you start splitting up events into 
event-particles you are saddled with all the inconven- 
iences of discontinuity. The event as a whole, as a 
covering continuum, exists only for consciousness 
which holds together all the moments of its duration. 
For the idealist, consciousness is the covering event. 

I have tried to show both that consciousness is ulti- 
mate and that there is consciousness and conscious- 
ness, and that the realist attack bears hard, not on 
primary consciousness which perceives, feels, wills, 
remembers, conceives and imagines, but on conscious- 
ness which returns on itself, on that secondary, super- 
vening consciousness which reflects, judges, infers and 
reasons. Professor Whitehead is right when he says 
that it is no explanation of anything to say that " there 
is a mind knowing it," if he means that things are not 



INTRODUCTION ix 

made or modified by the play of mind on them. But 
this play is the act, not of primary but of secondary 
consciousness. 

I have not seized on this distinction because it is an 
easy way out of the difficulty, but because it seems to 
me to be a simple fact of experience. I should be 
ashamed of treating so plain a platitude as if it were 
a discovery were it not that it is continually over- 
looked. The main assumption of realism that in 
knowing we know that things exist in themselves apart 
from any knowing rests on the confusion. 

I have tried to show that this assumption is not 
justified; that primary consciousness knows nothing 
about things outsidg and apart from itself and makes 
no affirmation of their independent existence ; that this 
again is the work of secondary consciousness, and that 
we have only to examine our primary consciousness 
in its innocence and purity to see that it is so. The 
affirmations of secondary consciousness (which are 
what realism goes on) come too late. It does indeed 
report a distinction between itself and what it knows ; 
but what it knows is nothing more nor less than that 
primary block of consciousness in which there is no 
distinction between knowing and things known. 

I am not going to apologise too much for this book ; 
for it is not a defence of my "Defence of Idealism. " 
On the contrary, it is an attempt, successful or unsuc- 
cessful, to remedy the many shortcomings of that light- 
hearted essay. 

The worst of these were its failure to realise the 
supreme importance of Space-Time in the problem 
of consciousness, and the bearing of Values on the 
moral problem. 

I am still in the curious position of admiring beyond 
everything the work of the realists with whose con- 



x INTRODUCTION 

elusions I am not able to agree. I have no longer any 
prejudice against realism, and would even be glad if 
somebody would convert me to it, so that I might enjoy 
the advantages of the position ; for example, its freedom 
from metaphysical care. About all the arguments for 
idealism there is an air of melancholy compulsion, 
while for sheer intellectual delight, give me realism. 
It has turns of surpassing fascination and surprise. 
Such is Professor Laird's idea that when you remem- 
ber Mont Blanc you are really and truly back in the 
past, beholding the mountain. Such Professor White- 
head's theory of Time, and Professor Alexander's cor- 
relations of Space-Time and his vision of Deity. These 
things come on you like the first burst, long ago, of 
Plato and Spinoza, of Kant and Hegel, on your excited 
youth. I know no other philosophy that provides a 
comparable thrill. 

As it was not possible, while still struggling with 
my opponents, to convey any sense of my profound in- 
debtedness, I record it here, lest in the agitation of 
controversy I should seem to have forgotten what it 
would ill become me to forget. 

If I betray ignorance of many contemporary idealists, 
it is because for years I was satisfied with Kant and 
Hegel relieved by Schopenhauer and Mr. Bradley, and 
because, lately, my chief interest has been in seeing 
what can be said against idealism. It is the realists 
who have made me look to its defences and who have 
most helped to show me the possible lines of reconstruc- 
tion. I could have done nothing without Professor 
Alexander's work on Space-Time. Much as idealism 
owes to idealists, its larger debt must be to the first 
realist who taught them to "take Space and Time 
seriously." So, after years of devotion to Mr. Brad- 
ley's Absolute, I wanted to see what would happen if 



INTRODUCTION xi 

I simply followed the trail which, thanks to Professor 
Alexander, I saw before me. If it happens to have 
struck across somebody else's trail, so that I seem to 
have borrowed without acknowledgment, I apologise. 

The part of the present essay I feel most nervous 
about is that in the second section of Chapter III, 
where I have ventured to criticise Professor White- 
head's work. The idealist who has no expert math- 
ematical knowledge must always be haunted by a 
ghastly fear. For all he knows, the mathematician 
may come out any moment and slay him with a set of 
equations, and he will not even have the benefit of 
knowing how dead he is. 

Again, I am afraid that in my chapter on The 
Antinomies of Space and Time, I have done less than 
justice to Professor Boodin who has written three bril- 
liant philosophic works : Time and Reality; Truth and 
Reality and A Realistic Universe; besides his essay on 
Cosmic Evolution. 1 He has succeeded in making even 
Pragmatism fascinating. But it seemed a pity that so 
fine a thinker should have taken up with such a lament- 
able view of space and time. The more so, as his 
pragmatic realist intentions have not blinded him to 
certain aspects of the case that make for idealism, and 
he has shown very clearly that he sees where the root 
of the matter lies. Thus in Time and Reality: 

"We can never prove . . . that what appears as continuous 
is not objectively discrete. Thus the surface of the water and the 
pictures of the vitoscope appear as continuous, though objectively 
we know that they are discrete. The continuity here is in the per- 
ceiving subject, not in the perceived object. . . . The only way then 
to be sure we have a continuum is intellectually to construct one. If 
you ask, then, how we know that there is such a continuum, whether 
it is not merely an ideal construction, we answer that this is irrele- 
vant to our purpose; but if there is objective continuity at all it 
must be thus constructed." 

1 Published in The Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Vol. XXI. 



xii INTRODUCTION 

The uninstructed student should be warned that 
realism is more formidable than it can be made to 
look. Also that when the critics of Professor White- 
head and Professor Alexander have done their worst, 
Space, Time cmd Deity, the Enquiry Concerning the 
Principles of Natural Knowledge and The Concept of 
Nature are likely to stand with the greatest philosophic 
works of the twentieth century. 

I do not imagine for one moment that my own 
idealism is watertight, or that no doubt will ever trou- 
ble me as to the truth of its assumptions. All meta- 
physics are highly problematic, and the idealist is not 
more bound than other people to furnish a watertight 
system. Enough if his theory does not leak too much ; 
he cannot prove anything any more than other people. 
His assumptions need not even be a better description, 
provided they give a more adequate and consistent ex- 
planation of the facts. 

But they must be adequate, they must be consistent, 
and they must explain. 

I can hardly hope that mine fulfil these requirements 
at all points. It must be admitted that idealists before 
now have spoiled their case by injudicious statements. 
I have tried to avoid injudicious statements, but it is 
more than likely that I have not been so successful as 
I think. The worst, or the best, that can happen to me 
is to be found out. I shall not care if some idealist 
comes along and says, "This isn't new idealism. So 
and So has said it already ten times over;" for then 
I shall have So and So's support. Or if another ideal- 
ist says, ' ' This will never do. This isn't the way to re- 
construct idealism. I can show you a much better one," 
I shall not care, provided he does show me. 

And I hope I shall not mind very much if a realist 
comes and smashes the whole thing to smithereens, 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

provided he convinces me of some truth I have not 
seen. I can only say, ' 4 This is the truth about idealism 
as I see it now. ' ' 

I submit myself to the judgment of those who know 
how hard it is, in this adventure, to escape disaster. 

MAY SINCLAIB. 
London, July 29th, 1921. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION vii-xiii 

BOOK ONE: THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 

H AFTER 

I THE OLD IDEALISM 1 

i The Position 1 

ii Epistemology 3 

iii Future of Idealism 13 

II THE NEW REALISM 15 

i The Realist Position 15 

ii The Realist Theory of Memory '22 

iii The Realist Theory of Relation and Knowledge . 29 

iv The Strength of Realism 36 

v Objections 37 

III SOME REALIST THEORIES OF PERCEPTION 39 

i Professor Broad and the Real Counterpart ... 39 

ii Professor Whitehead and the Concept of Nature . 81 

iii The Critical Realists 114 

IV ANTINOMIES OF SPACE AND TIME 139 

i The Antinomies 139 

ii Some Modern Solutions 142 

iii The Compact Series Considered 158 

V "SPACE, TIME AND DEITY" 162 

i Space-Time 162 

ii The Categories 179 

iii Quality 191 

iv Consciousness 195 

v Deity 209 



BOOK TWO : RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 217 

VI SPACE, TIME AND CONSCIOUSNESS 219 

i The Problem 219 

ii Consciousness and Space-Time . .... 224 

iii Consciousness and the Categories ..... 232 

iv Relativity 243 

xv 



xvi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER 

VII SPACE, TIME AND OTHER CONSCIOUSNESSES .... 246 

i Forms of Consciousness 246 

ii Reversible Time Series 247 

iii The Fourth Dimension 249 

iv Dream Space-Time 251 

v Personal Perspectives 252 

VIII DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS 260 

i The Challenge 260 

ii The Crux 261 

iii Being and Being-known 267 

IX PRIMARY CONSCIOUSNESS 274 

i The Distinction 274 

ii The Naif Confusion 283 

iii The Unperceived Reality and the Crucial Relation . 284 

X SECONDARY CONSCIOUSNESS 290 

i The Work of Mind 290 

ii Relation of Primary and Secondary Consciousness 291 

iii Realism and Idealism 293 

XI ULTIMATE CONSCIOUSNESS 295 

i Necessity of Ultimate Consciousness 295 

ii Problems of God's Knowing 299 

iii The Moral Problem 303 

iv Free-Will 305 

v Relation of Finite and Ultimate Consciousness . 307 

XII SUMMARY 311 

i The Unsolved Problems . 311 

ii Primary and Secondary Consciousness .... 313 

iii God 314 

APPENDIX 315-319 



BOOK ONE 
THE CEITICAL PREPARATIONS 



THE NEW IDEALISM 

I 

THE OLD IDEALISM 



What is the exact position of Idealism at the present 
day? What is likely to be its position in the future? The 
How is it going to emerge, if it emerges at all, from its Positi011 
encounter with the New Realism? There is no denying 
that the New Realism has made a prodigious disturb- 
ance in philosophic thought, a disturbance so vital and 
far-reaching that philosophic thought will never look 
the same again. 

The idealist is fatuously sanguine if he expects his 
own pet system to come up out of the turmoil looking 
just the same. Never before has there been such a 
ruthless exposure of the weak points in his position. 
At the present moment it seems fairly safe to say that 
the Old Idealism, I mean the Idealism of the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries, of Berkeley, of Kant and 
Hegel, of the new-Kantians and new-Hegelians, all the 
old logic and epistemology (horrible word) will have 
to go and give place to an idealism which will take 
serious account of the world of space and time. 

The Old Idealism owes its present rather dubious 
position not only to its more recent excesses, but to 
the shadiness of its transactions in the past. Consider 
its origins. It started with the crime of question- 

i 



2 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

begging. Descartes 9 s "I think, therefore I am" was 
really a very glaring instance. Since then Idealism 
has never ceased to mix up the ratio essendi with the 
ratio cognoscendi and to glory in the confusion. 

Still one aspect of Idealism should not be lost sight 
of. Hitherto it has always been a reaction against 
some foregoing dogmatism. It started critical. Even 
with Descartes it started critical. It may even be said 
that the most valuable part of the Cartesian philosophy 
is its criticism, its scepticism, its method. 

And modern idealism, properly speaking, starts with 
Kant, following Hume. Even realists will admit that, 
as Hume's philosophy, like Berkeley's, was a justifi- 
able reaction against the dualistic realism of Locke, 
Kant's philosophy was a justifiable reaction against 
the dogmatic realism of Wolf. Every great philosophic 
system is a reaction or a development from its prede- 
cessor; in either case it must be critical, since develop- 
ment also involves selection and rejection. Idealism, 
then, is primarily a criticism. Whatever construction 
or reconstruction it may end with, it begins empirically 
with an examination of experience. In Kant's hands 
it became a system that any realist can in his heart 
respect, even when he has danced on Kant's Anti- 
nomies and his Unity of Apperception, and his Trans- 
cendental Ego. 

We know that the Critical Philosophy ended in a 
formidable scepticism, a drastic doubt of appearances, 
a thoroughgoing system of relativity. Even the 
schemata of space and time, even the categories, con- 
stitutive of experience though they may be, apply only 
to appearances, not to things-in-themselves. By a 
beautiful irony of logic, Kantian idealism ends in dual- 
ism, too. There is a gulf fixed between thought and 
the Thing-in-Itself. Kant's schemata fall apart from 
his categories. The august categories, after all, are not 



i THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 3 

constitutive of reality, they are barely constitutive of 
phenomenal appearance, though they receive its taint. 
They are ready-made intellectual forms, salvage from 
an exploded logic, clapped on to the given stuff or con- 
tent of sensation, frames into which sense-data, like 
so many window panes, somehow amazingly contrive 
to fit. Constitutive or not, thought partakes of the 
phenomenal, the ultimately unreal character of its sen- 
suous content. Knowledge is cheated of Being, if the 
Thing-in-Itself remains unknown and unknowable. 

At the same time this dualism between appearances 
and reality was simpler than the dualism of Descartes 
and Spinoza, simpler than any preceding realism. And 
the next step in simplification was obvious. Hegel 
took it. He knocked the bottom out of dualism with 
one immense simplifying phrase: "Thought is the 
Thing-in-Itself "; why go out of your way to assume 
any other? The Ding-an-sich does not skulk and dodge 
unknown behind phenomena ; it is part, the most essen- 
tial and permanent part, of the entire show. An ulti- 
mate, unknown, skulking and dodging Ding-Mi-sich is 
an unwarrantable and superfluous duplication of the 
real ; he called it a dead-head. Wherever you pick him 
up he is concerned with the process of self -determin- 
ing, self-realising thought ; with the posing and oppos- 
ing and reconciling of its differences; with the world 
of Becoming, of passing away and with the passing 
away of the passing. And the Thing-in-Itself emerges 
again and again in higher and higher forms, as it 
swings itself upwards, eternal and selfsame through 
all the intricate movements of the Triple Dialectic. 
Nothing could be more complicated, yet nothing could 
be simpler. It seems almost childishly simple when 
you catch the trick of it. The world is neither more 
nor less than a system of thought-relations. A trans- 
parent system. The net in which Hegel snares the un- 



4 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

wary world is "a net of diamond. " Sense itself, the 
crux of Hegelianism, what is it but one of two terms 
in a "thought relation "? This cosmos of perceived 
relations is through and through "objective' 7 for us, 
for finite and relative consciousness ; but the subject- 
object relation itself falls into the net of Absolute 
thought. Its being is to be known. Pure unqualified 
Being is the thinnest and poorest of the categories, but 
Absolute Knowledge is Being in its totality. 

It doesn't greatly matter whether this is or is not a 
true account of Absolute Idealism. It is the account 
that passes for it with most of Hegel's followers and 
all of his opponents. I do not think it distorts Hegel 
more than he distorted himself in his Logic. Anyhow 
it is what we mean when we talk about Absolute Ideal- 
ism ; and it has secured a firm and independent footing 
under that name. That the grand totality of thought 
is itself only a moment in the process of Absolute 
Spirit; that spirit should be regarded as a neutral 
"Third," the underlying, unifying reality of "matter" 
and "consciousness"; that in Hegel's system, properly 
understood, the logical aspect is ultimately trans- 
cended ; all this may be urged with equal passion and 
reason by the devotees of Hegel ; in spite of them, in 
spite of his own reiterated protests, his Logic stands 
as the most thoroughpaced system of epistemology 
(that horrible word again!) ever known. Thought is 
the Thing-in-Itself ; it is ultimate Reality; it is the 
Whole; so comprehensive is it that it renders Spirit 
or any other metaphysical entity superfluous. We are 
forced to the preposterous conclusion not only that all 
Knowing is being, but that all being is knowing, which 
appears, to say the least of it, improbable. 

Observe that in each system of Idealism some funda- 
mental element of reality escapes the net. Thus Berke- 
ley takes little account of thought, Hegel is not serious 



i THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 5 

with sense; Kant fails to correlate them: all three 
neglect the metaphysical and creative will. 



11 



Now if it fails to establish an Absolute Consciousness 
carrying and covering the totality of things, Idealism 
is done for. Its reductio ad absurdum is Solipsism. m ogy 
Of the world before consciousness we shall be obliged 
to say either that it never existed, or that it only exists 
now, from moment to moment, in consciousness that 
provides it with a past time and a behaviour deducible 
(in consciousness) from its behaviour here and now. 
We shall have to say of the solar system, of the pie- 
siosaurus flopping on his mesozoic beach, of the club 
mosses and tree ferns of the carboniferous age that 
they have only this problematical existence. They 
never really were ; they are constructions in conscious- 
ness of what they would have been had there been any 
consciousness to perceive them. When I go out of the 
room, the room and everything in it ceases to exist; 
I give birth to the hall and stair passages instead as I 
go along them. I may carry all space and all time 
about with me, but within them the vast cosmos lives 
and dies according to whether I am conscious of it or 
not. When I am unconscious space and time also die. 

To return to sanity, the vital problem for the episte- 
mological idealist is the problem of the synthetic judg- 
ment; the judgment by which we enlarge our experi- 
ence. At first sight it looks as if such judgments could 
only be empirical, as if it were truer to speak of experi- 
ences by which we enlarge our judgment; as if there 
could be no such thing as synthetic judgments a priori. 

All judgments concerned with a priori material, all 
judgments of pure space-time, all judgments of pure 
mathematics, even the simplest, so long as they ad- 
vance from a lower to a higher power from the point 



6 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

to the line, from the line to the plane, from the plane 
to the solid are synthetic and are a priori in the sense 
that they are true independently of actual concrete 
experience. 

But mark what follows. According to the Old Ideal- 
ism the mind is the origin and home of all the a priori 
stuff there is. You would therefore suppose that in 
any judgment a priori the mind is not travelling along 
the field of experience and arriving at fresh know- 
ledge; it is merely unloading the thought-stuff which, 
previous to all experience, it carries about with itself 
as a matter of course. Consequently no a priori judg- 
ment can be synthetic in the sense of giving it some- 
thing that it hasn't got. It is in the field of space and 
time that the self adds to its knowledge and that syn- 
thetic judgments become possible. 

If Kant is right and space and time are forms of 
sensible experience alone, not only will pure mathe- 
matical knowledge be independent of space and time, 
but there will be no such thing as synthetic mathe- 
matical knowledge a priori. No advance, no discovery 
in the higher mathematics. When Bolyai found that 
two parallel lines can be drawn through one point, con- 
trary to Euclid's axiom (contrary, you may say, to all 
previous experience of parallel lines), you would have 
thought that if ever there was a synthetic judgment 
it was that. The whole business is purely synthetic, 
neither contained in the notion of parallel lines nor 
provided for by their definition; and it is purely a 
priori, since no possible concrete experience would give 
you the behaviour of Bolyai 's parallel lines. 

And so far from denying all this Kant declares, very 
emphatically and in leaded type, that all mathematical 
judgments (even some apparently analytic ones) are 
synthetic. And yet, if he is right and the mind sup- 
plies the a priori elements of the cosmos, he has no 



i THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 7 

business to talk about a priori synthesis at all. Bolyai 
will not have discovered new properties of parallel 
lines. The pure mathematician cannot discover new 
properties of anything; he does nothing but cart old 
properties about with him in his a priori portmanteau 
and take them out and look at them as he goes along. 

The Old Idealism is in a dilemma. If Kant is right 
and space and time are schemata of sensible perception 
only, they may provide for the synthesis, but they do 
away with all the a prioriness. If Hegel is right and 
they are forms of a priori thinking, where is the syn- 
thesis ? On either theory it is clear that you can't have 
both. 

This affair of the synthetic judgment is crucial for 
Idealism. The epistemological idealist has got to ac- 
count for the unearned increment of mathematical 
knowledge, for the mathematician's advance from the 
known a priori to the previously unknown, when on his 
hypothesis the a priori unknown is a contradiction in 
terms. 

But an a priori truth becomes an empirical truth as 
soon as it is known, that is to say, is taken up into the 
general body of experience. On the other hand no pos- 
sible manipulation will convert an empirical truth into 
an a priori one. So that, properly speaking, there are 
no immediate empirical truths, only empirical facts, 
from which truths are derived by a process of general- 
isation. It is a fact that I see a brickbat fall to the 
ground, but it is not a truth, though my judgment may 
be true or false according as it agrees or not with the 
fact. It is a truth that " action and reaction are equal 
and opposite," but it is also an empirical fact. 

It is obvious that though Newton arrived at his third 
law of motion by a process of thought, it is not a law 
of thought that he arrived at but a law of motion. 

So when the idealist (I mean the epistemological 



8 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

i idealist) says that the universe is "the work of 
thought/' what does he precisely mean? 

Presumably he does not mean that it is the work of 
an ingenious Creator manufacturing a cosmos after a 
pattern of ideas in his head. He means that thought 
is more intimately connected, more deeply interfused 
with the universe than that. He means that thought 
is the stuff of it, and that so far it is downright con- 
crete and objective. He does not mean merely that the 
universe is of such a sort that it may be understood, 
that by taking thought we can find out all about it. He 
means nothing more nor less than that thought builds 
up a solid barracks of a cosmos with the bricks of sense- 
data and the mortar of the categories. If he is a post- 
Kantian idealist he will of course reduce space and 
time to thought relations and settle them down com- 
fortably among the categories, too. And he will tell 
you all about the categories, but of the sense-data he 
will not be able to give any coherent account at all. 
Even the nature of the correlation will be left obscure. 
Enough that somehow or other we can and do apply 
(changing the metaphor) the neatly cut pattern of our 
thoughts to the unreasonable and shapeless stuff of 
sense. 

And all the time there is no state of consciousness, 
no real process of thinking, that in the least resembles 
this process except that after-thought which recog- 
nises the presence of the categories in any given sec- 
tion of experience. True that, cut it where you will, 
experience will yield to thought at least the categories 
of space and time, of relativity, of quality or quantity 
or both. And equally, the data of sense will play, so 
to speak, into their hands; they will not on the first 
casual encounter show themselves hard and recalci- 
trant to thought. That is a later development. Up 



I THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 9 

to a certain point they will submit placably to thought- 
relations. 

So far so good. But the epistemological idealist 
takes little or no account of cosmic processes which are 
in no sense processes of thought. He can make nothing 
of cosmic relations, the terms of which are not terms 
of thought but such things as matter and motion, 
energies, inertias, velocities ; chemical actions and re- 
actions ; life, growth and reproduction. The sequences 
in which he builds up his universe are ludicrously un- 
like the sequences in which the universe would appear 
to have built itself up before thought, before conscious- 
ness came into it. 

The epistemological idealist declares that the being 
of the external universe is to be known. And though 
you may say of any given section of experience that 
in the perception of its quality you join the category 
of quality on to its sense-data, that the finding of the 
cause of any given effect involves the application of 
the category of causality, and so on through the whole 
list, still, this is not the method by which experience 
is increased section by section. The external world 
becomes known by processes of synthesis and analysis : 
not by such synthesis as the dabbing of categories on 
to sense-data, nor by such analysis as disentangling 
them again from the result; but by thought's patient, 
subservient following of processes the majority of 
which are inherently irrational, irreducible to any 
thought. 

The idealist may be able to face without a qualm 
the idea of the plesiosaurus disporting himself on his 
mesozoic beach when there isn't anybody to look at 
him, the idea of primordial matter in motion, of worlds, 
indubitably real, whirling away in space millions of 
years before the appearance of consciousness on this 



10 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

planet. His Absolute ensures him against loss. His 
cosmos is perfectly safe, floating about in the vast con- 
sciousness of the Absolute. The plesiosaurus is not 
playing to an empty house, for he has the all-appre- 
ciating eye of the Absolute upon him. So far the ideal- 
ist has nothing to worry about. 

But what he ought to worry about and doesn't is the 
idea of a cosmos claimed to be the "work of thought" 
and the very process of reason, which yet contains so 
many things that are not reasonable, so may processes 
that are not processes of thought at all. When we con- 
sider what reason is and what it does and what it 
doesn't do, have we any reason to suppose that in the 
Absolute consciousness an irrational relation becomes 
a rational one, or that matter in motion, say, is known 
as spirit at rest? 

It may be. The pattern of the cosmos as a whole 
may be a purely static affair. Within the absolutely 
resting Whole matter in motion may turn out to be a 
mode of the manifestation of spirit; but, if it does, it 
will not be by virtue of its epistemological qualities; 
and at the present stage of proceedings we have no 
business to assume its spirituality. 

For it is the thorough-going irrationality of the uni- 
verse that is dangerous to our idealist. The bosom of 
the Absolute is not the comfortable home he thinks it 
is. It is too comprehensive, too hospitable to those 
irrational elements. 

Look at some of them. Who can measure the pro- 
portion of reason and non-reason in the universe? 
There is reason in certain complexes, in all adaptations 
of means to ends ; in all laws derived from laws, in all 
generalisations from generalisations, in all measures 
and proportions. There is reason in a physical equa- 
tion, in a resultant whose factors are known, in all 
mathematical processes apart from their ultimate 



i THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 11 

terms ; in every calculation of causes whose effects are 
known or of effects whose causes are known; in every 
calculation whose terms are known; in every relation 
whose terms are known ; in every quantity-quality cor- 
relation when the original connection between quantity 
and quality is known. 

But there may be no reason in the original connec- 
tion ; for example, between vibrations of a certain wave 
length and the quality red. No reason in the connec- 
tion between molecular nerve change and stimulus, and 
between nerve change and the sensum red, or between 
an act of will and muscular contraction. No reason in 
chemical action and reaction, in magnetic attraction; 
in gravitation; in the transformation of heat into 
energy and energy into heat, or in any other physical 
permutation, no reason in certain fundamental axioms 
of mathematics, in any irreducible, indefinable term, 
in any ultimate entity. We shall presently see that 
there is no reason in pure space and pure time. No 
reason, it would seem, in the very elements from which 
the cosmos is built up. 

And besides his confusion of being with knowing, 
and his neglect of those ultimate, irreducible things, 
the idealist ignores the Will. Will is chief among ulti- 
mate, irreducible things. If Will is to be treated merely 
as a department of human psychology, why not 
thought? In what respect is a " category " (which, 
after all, has got to be put there by somebody or some- 
thing) more commendable than an act of will? Epis- 1 
temology is always shirking this fundamental problem 
of the will. 

What are we to say then? Is the realist right in re- 
garding all knowledge as, primarily, discovery? 

The idealist is faced with the glaring fact that there 
is discovery, not only in the physical sciences, but in 
his own a priori realm. If he stopped to consider se- 



12 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

riously what he means when he talks about " experi- 
ence " he would see that he is juggling with the double 
meaning of the term. Even when he is honest and 
calls the thing consciousness all the time, he is landed 
in queer places. It is not that my private and personal 
adventure, the process by which I enlarge my know- 
ledge, is made to figure as an ontology. The idealist 
distinguishes between the empirical experience of the 
ego in space and time and the ontological function of 
the categories. He can insist that knowledge is only 
discovery for u,s, for finite consciousnesses progress- 
ing in space and time. Experiencing is not experience. 
But this doesn't help him very much. The trouble is 
that the actual process of the cosmos bears no earthly 
resemblance to the means by which he affirms it to have 
arisen in consciousness. 

It looks as if he would have to surrender to the first 
realist who comes along and confronts him with the 
difference. 

But no. It is at this point that he makes his bolt for 
the Absolute. 

Now supposing the idealist is not thinking of con- 
sciousness as we know it at all; that he has made a 
successful bolt and found his refuge in the Absolute. 
It is not possible that thought alone should be this Ab- 
solute. Whatever else it does, the Absolute must 
cover, must somehow provide for all those recalcitrant, 
irrational, unclarified elements that make up half the 
fabric of the universe. He can only arrive at his Ab- 
solute by exposing the relativity of the ultimate cate- 
gories of thought and filtering them away. The Ab- 
solute is nothing if it is not a higher, more comprehen- 
sive term than thought, higher and more compre- 
hensive even than consciousness. After all, being is 
not knowing, and knowing is not being; so that epis- 
temological idealism is broken on its own wheel. 



i THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 13 

iii 

For this generation, anyhow, epistemological ideal- 
ism is dead ; and I confess I do not see how there can Future 
be any resurrection for it. With its one-sidedness, its 
blindness to the actual pattern of the universe, its fan- 
tastic logic, its failure to correlate the forms and pro- 
cesses of thought with the forms and processes of 
things, it was bound to provoke a formidable reaction. 

I think it must be admitted that new realists are 
right in contending that there are things in the uni- 
verse which forever escape the snare of thought; that 
you might as well put salt on its tail as try to catch the 
universe that way. By no conceivable process can it 
be reduced to terms of mere knowing. To conscious- 
ness as we know it the universe presents an obstinately 
objective front. 

Now it is against all precedent that any philosophic 
system should appear again in the precise form in 
which it originated. If idealism is to survive, if a New 
Idealism is to spring up by way of reaction from the 
New Realism, it will be a system as far removed from 
logics and epistemologies as the idealisms of Kant and 
Hegel, of Green and Bosanquet and Bradley are re- 
moved from the sensational idealism of Berkeley and 
of Hume. 

If it is to survive 

It is unthinkable that Idealism should remain unaf- 
fected by the profound change that has come into phi- 
losophy with the appearance of the New Realism. 
Clearly it has got to move on or go under. These essays 
are an attempt slight, I am aware, and imperfect, as 
such tentative efforts must be to estimate the effect 
of the New Realism, to map out the first lines of pos- 
sible movement. One thing is obvious : that no advance 
is possible without definite revisions and surrenders. 
Idealism must not underrate the enemy's forces, and 



14 THE NEW IDEALISM i 

it must be prepared to cede certain territory. It must 
leave behind it certain nobly built redoubts, certain 
cherished positions no longer tenable. It must give up 
its unnatural logics, scrap its obsolete apparatus of 
thought-relations. 

And it must change its methods. It must once more 
be empirical, critical, reactive. And that is no simple 
affair of surrenders and concessions. Idealism must 
effect an entire change of front. It must come out into 
the open and external universe of things. It must 
somehow contrive to reconcile the universe of things 
with the universe of thought, without doing violence to 
its palpable objectivity. It must cease to make non- 
sense of the plain principles of physical science, and 
of the plain man's progress in the world of so-called 
physical realities; and it must be proof against all 
attacks based on the behaviour of that world. 

First of all, then, the New Idealism has to do as Pro- 
fessor Alexander tells us, "Take space and time 
seriously." 



n 

THE NEW REALISM 



The New Realism was bound to come. Other phi- 
losophies anticipated its insurgence against the per- 
sistent tyranny of the Absolute and the One. I think 
it was William James who first pointed out that the 
appetite for unity is not a universal one. It seemed 
to him a perverted appetite, or at best an acquired 
taste, a psychological eccentricity which, as it has no 
bearing upon conduct, the pragmatist need not take 
into account. 

But Humanism, Pragmatism and Vitalism did little 
but revolt; they were incapable of accomplishing a 
revolution. None of the three had anything that could 
be called a logic or an ontology. Still, by setting up 
irrelevant standards they succeeded in side-tracking 
philosophy for quite a number of years; Humanism 
defending the honest man's claim for possession of a 
world of real things uncontaminated by subjective 
processes; Pragmatism turning its back on the quest 
for "ultimate" reality and substituting its scale of 
" working " values for the logical criteria of truth; both 
boosting the "Many" at the expense of the One; Vital- 
ism presenting its elan vital as the ultimate reality, and 
reconstructing the perceived cosmos with reference to 
our action and our action only, going from one contra- 
diction and confusion to another in its attempt to re- 
concile realism and idealism, physical science and meta- 
physics. They have nothing in common with the new 

15 



16 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

realism but their respect for " external " reality and 
their distaste for the Absolute of idealist monism. 
They need not detain us here. 1 

Eealism then starts with a criticism of the idealist 
theory of knowledge and being. Its method is strictly 
empirical. It takes the cosmos provisionally at its face 
value and asks: Why assume that this is a universe 
rather than a pluriverse? Why assume that it is a 
world of appearances rather than of real things ? Why 
assume that its being is only to be known ? If you are 
going by appearances, which is all that on your own 
showing you have to go on, then the cosmos presents 
every appearance of plurality, every appearance of in- 
dependent reality utterly outside consciousness. But 
this independence and outsideness is more than a mere 
matter of appearance ; it follows from the nature both 
of reality and of knowing. If a thing is known, ipso 
facto it is something more than the act, or state (which- 
ever it may be) of knowing. Idealism assumes that 
this act or state is simpler than it really is. Knowing 
involves at least two terms and a relation, whether you 
take the subject and object as your terms and con- 
sciousness as your relation, or consciousness and the 
object of consciousness, when your relation will be an 
unknown x. In either case the object will stand on its 
own feet as a separate and independent entity, which 
is all that realism wants. 

Now the realist complains with every show of reason 
that the idealist mistakes the nature of the terms and 
the relation, and confuses the ratio essendi with the 
ratio cognoscendi. When the two theories are tried 
out pluralistic realism shows itself more scientific, and 
would seem to conform better to the actual, known 
processes of the cosmos. The new realist revolution- 
ises philosophic thought by abandoning the ego-centric 

*See A Defence of Idealism, pp. 51-74. 



ii THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 17 

position. The ego-centric position is to him what the 
Ptolemaic system was to Copernicus, a whole stellar 
cosmos turning round a comparatively insignificant 
earth. This looks as if the new realist ignored every 
form of idealism but solipsism. But if you grant his 
premises, objective and absolute idealism are equally 
vulnerable to his attack. No act of mere knowing, even 
if it were absolute and knowing is purely relative to 
the known and to the knower no act of knowing could 
confer reality upon its object. Things are not there 
because we know them ; we know them because they are 
there. And the Absolute, even if it existed, could not 
know, for knowing would at once involve it in relations. 
So that outside finite and relative consciousness there 
is no knowing to sustain the universe, and no finite and 
relative consciousness is equal to the job. Besides, we 
have no experience of any finite and relative conscious- 
ness but our own; and it is obviously absurd to sup- 
pose that our own consciousness confers being on a 
cosmos known to have existed ages before we did, 
Even now that we are here, by far the greater part of 
the cosmos continues to exist outside the bounds of 
our awareness and according to laws which are very 
far from being the laws of our thought. Obsessed with 
the idea of knowledge as being, the idealist ignores its 
essential nature as discovery. Obsessed with the unity 
of the Whole he forgets that discovery is partial and 
incomplete. What trifling unity there may be in a 
pluralistic universe is a real unity independent of the 
alleged unity of consciousness. 

But though the new realist cannot abide unity in any 
sense of totality, and excludes it from his pluriverse, 
he swears by continuity: that continuity of time and 
space which ensures the reality of both, and with it the 
reality of all objects and movements and relations in 
the world of space and time. In a cosmos said to be 



18 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

real, absolutely real, you cannot have insoluble contra^ 
dictions of time and space. To the realist the real is 
absolute, though the Absolute is not the real. Mr. 
Bertrand Eussell, for one, would probably object to 
my saying that he bases the reality of the perceived 
external world on the findings of pure mathematics. He 
would contend that the realist theory of perception 
can very well afford to stand on its own feet. All the 
same it is clear that he regards the mathematical con- 
tinuum of the compact series as destructive to any 
idealist theory based on the antinomies of space and 
time. 1 The last thing that the idealist desires is their 
solution, and it is precisely this solution that the realist 
confronts him with. Between any two points in space 
or any two instants in time there is an infinite number 
of points or instants. There are, that is to say, no gaps 
and no nextness of point to point or instant to instant, 
nothing anywhere that is not pure space and pure time, 
an indisputable continuum. 

It will be seen at once that this theory links up the 
space and time of pure mathematics with the actual 
space and time of physics in one system of reality; 
so that, unless the idealist can succeed in picking a hole 
in the mathematician's continuum he cannot throw any 
metaphysical doubt on the reality of motion. Achilles 
even if we conceive him moving in pure space and 
pure time Achilles with a given velocity would cover 
any given stretch of space in any given time and would 
infallibly overtake the tortoise. And the new realism 
claims to have done away for ever with the Kantian 
antinomies of space and time. 

Thus, given the absolute external reality of space, 
time and motion, the absolute external reality of mat- 
ter follows unconditionally; and in approaching the 
problem of perception from the periphery the realist 

1 Our Knowledge of the External World. 



ii THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 19 

succeeds in bringing his philosophy into line with 
physics and mathematics. In no sense are things there 
because we perceive them; we perceive them because 
they are there and they owe nothing to our perceiving. 

This is true, even of such apparently subjective af- 
fairs as pain or anger. Pain, according to the new real- 
ist, is not a subjective affection, it is a thing, as ob- 
jective and external as a tree in a field. Pain is where 
it professes to be and where I perceive it, in my big 
toe and not in my consciousness. It follows that we 
perceive things as they are and that they are what they 
appear to be. Properly speaking, in a realistic uni- 
verse there can be no appearances, for every appear- 
ance is itself a reality. We shall have to return to this 
question when we are considering the nature of reality; 
but for the present we may take it that in the universe 
as an existence there is no deception, and things are 
what they appear at the moment of their appearing, 
and every aspect of reality is real. The straight stick 
appears bent in the water, the cube is convex one min- 
ute and concave the next, as you shift your eyes, but 
the stick's crookedness in water is as real to the eye 
as its straightness is real to the touch; both are real 
aspects of the stick, but in different contexts. The 
same holds good of the convex and concave cube. In 
mistaking appearances for reality we are not dealing 
with appearance at all, we are simply referring reality 
to the wrong context. In the case of the stick we say 
that touch " corrects" the finding of the eye, that it is 
i ' truer "; but this only means that it affirms a more 
constant relation. The eye also sees truly what is there 
the visual and temporary aspect of the stick in water. 

But there are eyes and eyes. My friend is blind to 
red. To him all heather is blue and all poppies are 
yellow. It may be said that his eye sets up a private 
scene in contradistinction to mine. So it does. But 



20 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

his scene is just as real, just as external to his per- 
ceiving as mine ; in the matter of objectivity there isn't 
a pin to choose between them. 

At the same time it is now evident that the sensible 
properties of this "spectacular universe" depend on 
something private to the spectator. In what sense, 
then, do we see the same things? It is clear that we 
do not see the same forms, for we each approach them 
from a separate angle and see them in a different per- 
spective. Only when I have changed places with my 
neighbour can we be said to see the same thing, but our 
seeing is now in another time. Our times and our 
spaces can never by any possibility coincide ; therefore 
we are perceiving different universes and there will be 
as many universes of sensible qualities as there are 
spectators, and each one of them will have the same 
absolute reality independent of our perceiving. And 
all these universes will arise from the play of the ulti- 
mate, unperceived constituents of matter in motion 
within a system which is one and the same for all of 
us. It is our bodies, each with its complex of nerve 
cells, sense-organs and brain cortex, that multiply the 
sensibles of this universe into so many sensa and break 
up its one space into innumerable perspectives. First 
we have certain converging lines of matter in motion 
communicating their vibrations along our afferent 
nerves to our various sense-organs, which pass on the 
shock of the encounter to the cerebral cortex. If we 
say that the "sensum blue" is a " f ulguration " l (to 
use Professor Alexander's word), arising from this 
contact we shall have as many different sensa as there 
are shocks. It follows that in the absence of bodies 
with their sense-organs and cerebral cortices no sensa 

1 The Basis of Realism, pp. 16-17. Fulguration ' ' is Professor Alex- 
ander 's word, but he would repudiate the context. He denies that the 
sensum is relative to the sense-organ. See Space, Time and Deity, Vol. 
II, p. 141. Also below: pp. 203-204. 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 21 

will be "there" ; only sensibles, permanent possibilities 
of sensa. When we all leave the room, the room as a 
constellation of " f ulgurations, " a complex of sensa, 
ceases to exist, not because our minds have moved on, 
but because we have removed our bodies. Thus all our 
movements will affect the universe profoundly. Our 
approaches will mark the swift or gradual increase in 
the vividness and complexity of the "f ulgurations," 
our departures their swift or gradual diminishing, fad- 
ing and extinction ; one coruscation arising, swiftly or 
gradually, as another vanishes, with a continuous over- 
lapping of edges. Our cosmos will only "stay put" 
when we stand still. We shall have to consider the 
full implications of this theory later on; meanwhile, 
observe that it gives to space and time and their cor- 
relations an importance which they can never here- 
after lose, of which any future metaphysics will have 
to take account. It may be said that the new realism 
is literally the first philosophic system in which space 
and time have been taken seriously. This is especially 
owing to the brilliant work of Mr. Bertrand Russell, 
Professor Whitehead and Professor Alexander. 

Now, as on some realists ' own showing, 1 every spec- 
tator carries about with him his own system of fulgura- 
tions and his own private perspective, since we are 
not conscious of the same sensa, in what sense can we 
be said to inhabit the same world? This is a question, 
not of ontology, of the nature of reality, nor of episte- 
mology, of the nature of knowing, nor yet of psychol- 
ogy, but of physics and mathematics. We do not per- 
ceive the same sensa, but we perceive the effects of 
the same sensibles. We inhabit the same world of 
space and time, of matter in motion, of geometrical 
construction and proportion, of quantity and num- 

1 Mr. Bertrand Russell and Professor Broad are mainly responsible. 
See below: pp. 79-81 and 252-259. 



22 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

ber. There may be two or two million blues for 
every two or two million spectators, there is only one 
space and one time, one matter, one set of energies and 
motions, only one set of laws of motion, one set of geo- 
metrical axioms and problems, one set of each system 
of co-ordinates, one algebra and one arithmetic ; in two 
words, one science. This uniformity, it should be 
noted, only holds good within a given system; when 
we come to examine the metaphysical validity of the 
statement we shall find that we have to accept it with 
certain reservations. 1 

The important thing for realism is that within our 
cosmic system we have only one physical space and 
one time, and that, as all spaces are parts of one space, 
and all parts of space are spaces and all parts of time 
are times, and all correlations of space-time are spatio- 
temporal, it is possible to correlate all private perspec- 
tives with what Mr. Bertrand Russell calls public 
space. 2 The same will hold good of times and there- 
fore of events. 

ii 

Now if the subject is the mere spectator of its per- 
cepts, what happens when we remember, imagine and 
anticipate? Hitherto even materialists have surrend- 
Memory ered memory and imagination to the subjective side, 
denying their external reality on that account. Hith- 
erto, as regards the memory image and the image of 
imagination is only a memory image torn from its 
original context and placed in another setting the 
idealist could always claim that this incontestably sub- 
jective thing bears every mark of its " objective " 
prototype, except scale weight, organic behaviour and 
practical utility. The horse of my memory is chest- 

1 On the Einstein Kelativity theory there will be many time-systems 
and no real motion. See below: pp. 243-245. 
*Qur Knowledge of the External World: pp. 87-92. 



ii THE CEITICAL PREPARATIONS 23 

nut, lie has the colour, the shape, and all the points 
of the real horse, he may even be said to have motion 
over a certain limited field of remembered space ; but 
he cannot be weighed, he isn't alive, and I, except in 
memory, cannot ride him. A certain vague memory of 
weight may seem to attach to the image of objects once 
held or carried; but this, obviously, must be counted 
as memory of muscular sensations associated with the 
image rather than a property of the image itself. Still, 
as far as it goes, the memory image presents the same 
sensory appearances as the perceived thing. When 
I am carrying on a train of thought in words, the words 
are memory echoes, but they have the sound of words 
spoken ; if I visualise them as printed, typed or written, 
they will have the look of "real" print, type or writ- 
ing; and the idealist has a right to say: If memory 
images are "mental" in the sense of existing in con- 
sciousness and nowhere else ; if they present the same 
qualities of extended colour, of shape, sound and 
so on as the original, perceived objects, what grounds 
have you for denying that those original, perceived 
objects may be mental, may exist only in conscious- 
ness, too? 

The materialist can do nothing but reply that the 
memory image, though not a real outside object in a 
real, outside space world, does not owe its existence 
to consciousness any more than the perceived object 
does, but is a mere sensory revival arising from in- 
ternal stimulation of the sense-organs through the cere- 
bral cortex. And the idealist may still retort that he 
knows all that ; that we have nothing here but the same 
psycho-physical correspondence he is already familiar 
with in the mechanism of perception ; and on his theory 
the entire system of correspondence falls inside con- 
sciousness, since his body and the space-time it moves 
in are already inside. 



24 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

This argument, from the common qualities of ob- 
jects perceived and remembered, is met by the new 
realist in a very drastic fashion. What earthly reason 
have you for supposing, he says, that the memory 
image is an image at all? Or that it is mental? If 
the object perceived and the object remembered are 
both real outside things in a real outside world, that 
would account for the sameness of their qualities. It 
would be possible on a realistic theory to regard mem- 
ory images as sensa revived by internal stimulation of 
the cortex, having their place, not in the great world 
of public space, but in a circumscribed area some- 
where inside your head. But this is to do less than 
justice to their wide spatial character, their distances 
and perspectives. The image theory, therefore, in- 
volves phantasmal reduplication of space. 

But new realists are scrapping all this clumsy ap- 
paratus of the memory image. Professor Laird, for 
one, does not hesitate. He declares roundly that the 
object remembered is the same thing as the object 
perceived. 

"Recollection seems to be direct acquaintance with the past." 1 

To the new realist things are what they seem. 

. . . "things perceived and remembered are independent of the mind 
and directly apprehended by it. Our grounds for this conclusion, 
were, briefly, that they seem to be so, that the best reason for their 
seeming so is that they really are so, and that all arguments which 
purport to prove that they are not so are inconclusive." ' 

Thus: 

"According to the usual theory, Smith's recollections of his ascent 
of the Matterhorn are a series of representative images in his 
specious present. These images are what is in his mind when he 
relates his adventures at his own fireside, and in that case there 
is no room for direct recollection of the ascent itself. Smith's mem- 
ory is not split in two. He does not see these images and also the 

1 A Study in Realism, p. 52. 
The same, p. 64. 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 25 

Matterhorn. . . . There is only one thing before his mind as he 
tells his modest story, and our problem is what that thing is. 

He remembers, I think, the very thing that he perceived . . . 
for in both cases he is aware of the Matterhorn." l 

This, because, if he did not, if a series of images 
interposed between him and the object of his recollec- 
tion he could never be sure that what he was remember- 
ing was the Matterhorn. To remember the Matterhorn 
is to have it immediately before consciousness. On 
the image theory what is immediately before conscious- 
ness is an image. 

Memory is, in fact, perception, not of the object as 
it exists now (for the object may be changed or dead) 
but as it was perceived. We perceive it for ever as 
we perceived it then. 

"Smith's memory is limited to the past Matterhorn just as his, 
perception was limited to the Matterhorn at the time he perceived ' 
it ... Smith, therefore, remembers the mountain in the state in 
which he formerly perceived it. ... Memory does not mean the 
existence of present representatives of past things. It is the mind's 
awareness of past things themselves."' 

In every case of remembering, then, we perceive, and 
it is only by its time element that we distinguish be- 
tween memory and perception. 

Objects that have changed their context we in mem- 
ory perceive in their original context; those that are 
changing, that go on changing their contexts, as in 
continuous motion, we perceive in all their successive 
contexts, each with its own date. And objects may ex- 
change contexts. 

Observe, on this theory, the importance of the role 
of time. These objects, outside as they are and real, 
would be occupying each other's spaces if it were not 
for time that divides up their spaces and gives to each 
one its proper "place" in the past. 

1 A Study in Realism, p. 55. 
1 The same, p. 56. 



26 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

And it is the same with the imagined object, Pro- 
fessor Laird's " stuff of fancy. " The imagined object 
is essentially "stuff," a real thing, a memory object 
serving in a context which again is itself made up of 
memory contexts in which the object need not and com- 
monly has not originally figured. I do not know how far 
Professor Laird would allow that this shifting of com- 
plexes, this transplanting and rearranging of memory 
objects in different space and time contexts is the work 
of the subject. But on any realist theory the subject 
cannot create; it is not even making something "up" 
out of ideas in its head; it is using old material all 
the time, real outside material. 

"Images are the mimics of percepts." * 

But, 

"These mimics of sense which we call images must have the same 
status as percepts. If the latter are objects the former are too. If 
one is a mental event so is the other. The imaged St. Sofia is domed 
and minaretted and shapely just as the perceived St. Sofia is, so 
that if the perceived St. Sofia cannot be mental (on the ground, 
say, that the mind itself cannot be coloured or extended) the imaged 
St. Sofia cannot be mental either (for precisely the same reason)." 1 

. . . "images have the same status as perceived and remembered 
things. They are apprehended things confronting the mind and 
not varieties of mental operations. They are given to the mind, like 
anything else that it discovers. 8 

But they are not identical with perceived things. 
With things remembered probably. I think Profes- 
sor Laird takes the image to be a memory object torn 
from its context in memory. He regards its " ele- 
ments " as having been once perceived, 

"and in that case there is nothing to hinder us from supposing 
that the elements imaged at any time are literally the same elements 
as those formerly perceived." 4 

1 A Study in Recdtem, p. 62. 
'The same, pp. 63, 64. 
The same, p. 64. 
4 The same, p. 69. 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 27 

So that when Keats wrote about 

"Magic casements opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas in fairylands forlorn," 

he was merely rearranging his old percepts of open 
casements and foam and seas, and his concepts of 
peril and forlornness, in a new and charming juxta- 
position with other old percepts picked up God knows 
where and labelled "magic" and "fairyland." 

And the objects of anticipation ought to be every 
bit as real and outside as the objects of memory; but I 
gather from Professor Laird that they are not quite. 
They refer to the future and not to the past, and even a 
new realist cannot say that the future is perceived. 
To be sure, so far as an anticipated event is really a 
present or past event projected into the future, it has 
outside reality. It has not the directness of the re- 
membered object. 

. . . "Expectation is always a present fact representing the fu- 
ture. . . . Our anticipations represent the future, and yet we can 
never be directly acquainted with the future. . . . The future is 
never observed." 1 

Whereas our memories do not represent the past, 
they present it. 

Here I think Professor Laird is not getting all the 
advantage he might out of his realism. In a sense 
anticipation is literally a looking forward as memory 
is a looking back. And the ' ' stuff ' ' of anticipation, like 
the "stuff of fancy," is taken from present or past out- 
side experience, only set in a firmer context. And in- 
sofar as future events have a way of differing pro- 
foundly from past and present ones, our anticipations 
are apt to be wrong. The true anticipation is a lucky 
hit, a projectile that coincides with its target. 

Eational prediction is another matter, inasmuch as 

1 A Study in Realism, pp. 52, 53. 



28 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

it is firmly grounded in the present and the past: it 
is not a hit, but an extension of the real, outside uni- 
formity of nature. It is this grounding in the real that 
enables us in some sort to share each other's memories 
and anticipations, so that even in remembering and 
anticipating we inhabit the same world. 

Professor Alexander's theory leads directly to the 
same conclusions. But in this connection I have pre- 
ferred to quote Professor Laird's A Study in Realism 
rather than Space, Time and Deity, because he has 
given an unusually important place to memory and 
imagining, whereas in the larger work they are more 
or less subordinate to Professor Alexander's general 
view of space-time. 

There is yet another very vital sense in which we 
inhabit the same world. There will be as many per- 
cepts or complexes of percepts as there are sensa or 
complexes of sensa, and there will be as many sensa 
as there are acts of sensing, even when we are dealing 
with one subject only; but to many acts of conceiving 
by many subjects there will be only one concept or com- 
plex of concepts. Concepts in the realistic universe 
are not the work of thought ; they are independent ex- 
ternal realities. According to Mr. Bertrand Eussell 
they subsist out of space and out of time. According 
to Professor Alexander they are deducible from space- 
time. In either case the mind is passive and not active 
in conceiving; it adds nothing. We are merely spec- 
tators of our concepts as we are spectators of our per- 
cepts ; with this difference, that we are all looking on 
at the same thing. If it were not so there would be no 
truth, only private opinions. And so far, again, the 
new realism would seem to satisfy the requirements of 
the world as we know it. 



ii THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 29 


111 

The position of the categories on this scheme is par- 
ticularly interesting. As outside entities, independent of the 
of consciousness, categories are objects among other Cat *- 
objects planted out in the universe. Thus they will be Relation 
constitutive of the universe in a very definite and real ^ owl . 
way, a way that, so far from implying that the universe edge 
is the work of thought, sets thought altogether on one 
side as a casual looker-on. Casual because it is indif- 
ferent to the reality of the universe whether it is looked 
on at or not. Thought is not the builder and the mover, 
it is the discoverer of reality. Thought moves, so far as 
it can be said to move at all, always in the path of dis- 
covery; it corrects experience by experience, finding 
complexity in the given simple, simplifying relations in 
the given complex ; it has the power, a power that any 
critical on-looker might have, of adjusting old experi- 
ence to new ; and though it would seem to have an al- 
together independent power of selection and rejection, 
its choice is really determined for it by the require- 
ments of the given and external context. " Power " is 
not a word that should be used in this connection. 
Thought in the sense of thinking always finds rela- 
tions and does not make them. Therefore in no sense 
can thinking be said to relate. Like the sensum, like 
the percept, each thought-category will be a little ab- 
solute on its own account. 

Hitherto we have been dealing with terms of rela- 
tions only; on the new realist theory every one of 
these is a hard and fast reality. But the relations 
themselves have a still more peculiar position; for 
each relation is also an independent entity, external 
not only to consciousness but to its own terms. That is 
to say relations are absolute. Where relations are 
themselves related they do not lose this character, be- 



30 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

cause this relation will be external to its terms, too, 
and absolute. At least this follows from the theory 
of external relations. It is only fair to add that not 
every realist is committed to it without reservation. 

Mr. Bertrand Russell will not allow that any rela- 
tion is "grounded in the nature of its terms, " because, 
in the case of the whole and part and subject and predi- 
cate relations you would get no real, neat distinction, 
between the terms, nothing but a common mush of 
unity. If, that is to say, you have got your relation 
tucked into your terms already concealed in their 
" nature " their entering into that relation will make 
no difference. If it is not tucked in, if it does make 
a difference, it is an external relation. 

But Dr. Moore is rather more precise. He distin- 
guishes between relations and "relational properties, 11 
and admits that while some relations are external in 
the sense that it makes no difference to the numerical 
identity (he might just as well have said the substance, 
or existence) of the term whether it has the relational 
property in question or not, others may be said to be 
internal in the sense that without some particular re- 
lational property the term would not be what it is. Its 
"nature" is not indifferent to the relation. 

I take it that Dr. Moore's subtle distinctions and 
reservations amount to that. 

Thus to the complete individual King Edward it is 
indifferent whether he is the father of George or not, 
and to the father of George whether he is or is not the 
father of more children. But it will not be indifferent 
to him whether he has or has not certain relational 
properties, characteristics of his personality, without 
which he could not be King Edward. There is a still 
more precise sense in which Dr. Moore admits that a 
relational property, as distinct from a relation, "is 
grounded in the nature of any term which possesses it." 



ii THE CRITICAL PEEPARATIONS 31 

"Namely that, in the case of every such property, the term in 
question has some quality without which it could not have had the 
property. In other words that the relational property entails some 
quality in the term though no quality in the term entails the rela- 
tional property." 1 

The stickler for external relations might reply that 
you have no business to consider the general nature 
of the terms outside the particular relation, King Ed- 
ward as he exists, say, outside his fatherhood, if his 
fatherhood is the question. Within a given relation 
the relational property may be something added to 
the terms of the relation and thus remain outside them 
as much as the relation itself. 

What is to be said, then, of logical processes? Of 
thought's functions? The new realist will not allow 
that thought relates. Even in its logical functions it 
does not relate. The judgment in each premise is a 
statement of reality, a case of mere reporting. All 
processes of deduction are the unravelling of implica- 
tions of the given real; all processes of induction are 
discoveries of given reals, or of relations that obtain 
between reals. The relation of a conclusion to its 
premises is an external relation of external conceptual 
entities, particular or universal. "To be," is not, as 
Lotze affirmed, "to be in relations "; relation is simply 
a special example of being, as definite and irreducible 
as its terms. 

Thus new realism begins in atomistic ontology and 
ends in logical atomism. 

It will be seen that, on any realistic scheme of the 
relation between knowing and the thing known, the 
role of consciousness and the subject is considerably re- 
duced. Consciousness, as mere knowing or aware- 
ness, has no content. You must no longer talk about 
states of consciousness. Consciousness, properly 

1 External and Internal Eelations: (Proceedings of the Aristotelian 
Society.) Vol. XIX, p. 40 et seq. 



32 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

talked about, has no states. It is a pure, featureless 
transparency let down between subject and object, and 
dividing them, if it can be said to divide what was never 
joined and never could be joined. All the colour and 
richness and movement and tumult are on the other 
side. No states of consciousness. If consciousness 
can be said to be itself a state of the subject, it is a 
state without quality or identification mark. All the 
identification marks are on the other side. 

To be sure you can, and do, distinguish between 
sensing, perceiving, remembering, imagining, reflect- 
ing, judging, reasoning believing and opining, but only 
(since consciousness has no content) because their ob- 
jects are different. Of course we can, and do, reflect, 
judge, reason, have beliefs and opinions about one and 
the same thing, or about one and the same thing in 
different relations ; but whether in any given instance 
we reflect, judge, reason or have an opinion or a belief 
will depend on the character of the thing and its re- 
lations, of the whole block before consciousness, and, 
above all, on the sufficiency or insufficiency of our ex- 
perience at the time. There will, of course, be dif- 
ferences of value in these several acts, both as be- 
tween different subjects and different states of the same 
subject at different times. Thus some people judge 
better and reason better than other people, and bet- 
ter at some times than other times ; but these differ- 
ences in value can hardly be said to touch the essence 
of these affairs, or to give consciousness a content. 
And even when you have admitted that there is a 
distinct difference of type between reflecting, judging, 
reasoning, believing and opining, and between the vari- 
ous forms of judgment and reasoning, and that they 
all have same content since they all consist of proposi- 
tions, still in itself this content is featureless and col- 
ourless. And if you contend that, on the contrary, 



ii THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 33 

propositions have subjects and that these subjects have 
colour and feature, still that colour and feature are 
derived from the objects of thinking which are outside 
thought. All the time it is objects making a difference 
to consciousness, not consciousness making a difference 
to itself. 

Once for all, whatever it happens to be doing, the 
relation of consciousness to its object is purely, to use 
Professor Alexander's word, a relation of "eompres- 
ence." And the essence of the act if it is an act 
itself is " contemplation " and it is nothing more. And 
contemplation, by itself, is very thin. 

Only in doubting, believing, expecting, do we seem 
to catch an authentic gesture of the self, an attitude. 
But here our judgment of knowing is in suspension 
and that suspension is due to the uncertain appear- 
ances of the object, or the insufficiency of our experi- 
ence, or both. 

And there are willing, hoping and fearing, desiring 
and undesiring, trusting and distrusting, loving and 
hating. There are repugnance and disgust. These are 
all indubitable acts or states of the self, but they are not 
knowings. Their content, their comparative thickness, 
is conferred on them solely by their grip on the world 
said to be external to consciousness. They all have 
their feeling tone, if they are not all pure feelings; 
even willing, which is obviously not feeling, has its 
feeling tone. And that is a physical affair. It be- 
longs, palpably, to the external world of the body. 

Loving, at first sight, would seem to be a unique 
affection of the self, with a strong objective reference 
either to the perceived or to the remembered object 
(and for new realists these two are one). But even 
when you have recognised that passion need not be 
entirely or even mainly sexual, there is such a thing 
as a passion for pure truth, yet qua passion it remains 



34 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

very much a matter of physical vibrations and excite- 
ments ; indeed, even in its most immaterial manifesta- 
tions, in its purity, its devotion, its abnegation, its 
transcendence of its own delight, its utter selflessness, 
love, on any strict realistic theory falls to the world 
outside consciousness. Non-conscious reality bags the 
lot. My experience of passion is my compresence with 
feeling-objects; my fulfilment of passion is my com- 
presence with certain objective events; my renuncia- 
tion of passion is my withdrawal from events of one 
order in favour of events conceived to be of a higher 
order. On the realist theory both concept and higher 
event are part of the external and objective world. 
Once you have begun drawing the line between con- 
sciousness and the objects of consciousness I do not 
see where you are to stop. So that the margin of con- 
sciousness and of the self is the narrowest conceivable. 
Some realists surrender to it very handsomely the 
whole world of art and the a&sthetic emotions, 1 but I 
do not think that a thorough-going, consistent realism 
allows of this concession. The aesthetic emotions are 
not on a more subjective plane than other emotions 
(their plane is if anything less so) ; and strict realism 
is bound to regard all emotion as objective. The fin- 
ished product of art, the poem, the picture, the statue, 
the opera, is eminently objective, a real outside thing 
in a real outside world. If anything could make it more 
objective than other objects it is that character of in- 
evitableness and universality that art has at its high- 
est ; you can almost think of one art-form as more real 
than another and of the highest art as the most real 
thing there is. 

1 Mr. Ralph Barton Perry : ' ' A Realistic Theory of Independence ' ' : 
The New Realism, p. 141. Mr. Perry also concedes "selection," "com- 
bination" and "value." He holds that "Parts of consciousness, as 
such, are dependent on the whole of consciousness" and "reciprocally 
dependent within the system." (This "only in a limited sense.") 



ii THE CEITICAL PBEPAKATIONS 35 

You have of course, to allow for the work of the 
artist, for his creative will. But that is another story. 
We have seen how the new realism deals with creative 
imagination. We have yet to see how the creative will 
fits into the new realist scheme. 

Consciousness then is contentless. It neither gives 
nor receives. It is what Professor Alexander calls a 
' ' compresence. ' ' To quote Professor Alexander again, 
it "contemplates" and it " enjoys "; but enjoyment 
would seem to be only another word for mere aware- 
ness, it doesn't amount to realisation; let alone that, 
applied to consciousness, " realisation " is a double- 
edged term very dangerous to realism. Enough that 
consciousness has no content. It is the only relation 
that is not immediately an object, though it may be- 
come one when we think about it. In either case it is 
a pure, blank transparency. 

At least this extreme conclusion seems to me to fol- 
low from a consistent realism. Again, it is only fair 
to add that it is not allowed even by so devout a realist 
as Professor Whitehead. 

"Our perception of natural events and natural objects is a per- 
ception within nature, and is not an awareness contemplating all 
nature impartially from without." " . . . natural knowledge is a 
knowledge from within nature, a knowledge 'here within nature' and 
'now within nature', and is an awareness of the natural relations 
of one element in nature (namely, the percipient event) to the 
rest of nature." 

"The conception of knowledge as passive contemplation is too 
inadequate to meet the facts. Nature is ever originating its own 
development and the sense of action is the direct knowledge of the 
percipient event as having its very being in the formation of its 
natural relations . . . perception is always at the utmost point 
of creation." J 

Knowledge then goes on inside nature; it is one of 
nature's events among others; it is nature appre- 
hending its own events, recognising its own objects. 

1 Enquiry Concerning The Principles of Natural Knowledge, pp. 13, 14* 



36 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

"Objects enter into experience by recognition, and without recog- 
nition experience would divulge no objects. Objects convey the 
permanences recognised in events and are recognised as self -identi- 
cal amid different circumstances." 1 

This is not to be interpreted idealistically. The 
being of the object is not to be recognised, is not to be 
perceived ; neither recognition nor perception does any- 
thing for it or to it ; the object is simply a given ele- 
ment, the permanent element in "the flux of events. " 
Neither must we take "recognition" in a Platonic 
sense. It is not d^d/x^crts ; it is certainly not the mind's 
recognition of its own content. But the object, if it 
is to count as an object, must be recognised, known 
again, through all its recurrences, for what it is. By 
its recurrences, its comparative permanence amid the 
passing of events it lends itself to recognition rather 
than to apprehension. Contemplation will thus be a 
protracted recognition. Nature, recognising, makes a 
perpetual return upon herself. 

Seen from nature's side, consciousness enriches the 
cosmic process of which it is a part; but seen from its 
own side, distinguished from objects and events, for 
all the intimacy and warmth of its includedness, it 
remains a blank transparency. And realists have every 
reason for insisting that it must and can be and is so 
distinguished. Do away with the distinction and you 
do away with realism. Press realism home, and noth- 
ing is left to consciousness but its "compresence," its 
detached and limited capacity for looking on. 

iv 

The great merit of realism is that it does distinguish, 
OH, that it respects the integrity of being and puts knowl- 
Steanstfr edge in its place, that it makes a dangerous and f ero- 
Beaiism cious stand against vagueness and loose thinking; that 

1 Enquiry, p. 64. 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 37 

it recalls us to seriousness. Realists are all for hard 
clearness ; they never use a term they have not previ- 
ously defined. They revel in distinctions. They have 
tidied up with a thoroughness unknown before in phi- 
losophy. Thanks to the work of Mr. Bertrand Russell 
and Professor Whitehead, formal logic has become an 
instrument of almost perfect precision. New realism 
has done what Vitalism set out to do ; it has reconciled 
philosophy with science. By turning the stuff of con- 
sciousness out of doors and taking things at their face 
value as outside reality, for the moment it simplifies 
its problem. New realists have apparently steered 
clear of contradictions and dilemmas ; at any rate they 
have avoided, as far as possible, certain well-known 
occasions for contradiction and dilemma. Thus they 
have made things uncommonly hard for any idealist 
who attempts to come after them. They have set phi- 
losophy in a clean place; and whatever else it does, 
idealism really cannot be allowed to mess it all up 
again. It will have to adopt some, at least, of the real- 
ists' distinctions or perish. 

The idealist's only hope is to go further on this 
happy path and distinguish between distinctions. 



For, after all, the new realism has a suicidal subtlety. 
If it is taken literally and you cannot imagine that its tions 
intention is to be taken otherwise it ends by disin- 
tegrating the world in thought. 

Thought, that realism will not allow to build up even 
its own universe, has this power to dismember and 
pull down. Taken literally, realism is committed to 
the doctrine of external relations. And external rela- 
tions, taken literally, do not really relate. They are 
cut off from all possibility of relating, not only by an 



38 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

endless regress, fatal to their reality, but by their hard 
and cruel indifference to their terms at the start. They 
are only contemplated as relating. And if realities are 
contemplated as doing what they do not really do, then, 
contrary to the first principles of realism, they appear 
as they are not and we do not know them as they are. 

Nor is contradiction altogether avoided. If the new 
realist takes exception to the absolute idealist's Ab- 
solute on the grounds that it is related, the idealist can 
object to the realist's relative on the grounds that it is 
absolute ; the terms of his relations and his relations 
themselves are, in the hard recalcitrance of their re- 
ality, so many little absolutes. 

Take, for example, the subject and its predicates. 
The new realist has a special spite against this innocent 
relation. You would have thought that if ever there 
was a dear case of an internal relation, securely 
' ' grounded in the nature of its terms," it was this. 
But no; the same predicates are related to different 
subjects and the same subjects to different predicates, 
and if we were once to admit that all these relations 
were internal and securely attached to their terms we 
should have that unity in difference which is so ab- 
horrent to the realist with his pluralism. 

The pluralistic realist, if he is to be consistent, can- 
not really affirm that the rose "is" red or that it "is" 
coloured, only that it has a red colour; for, if terms 
have reality apart from their relations, then the red 
of the rose and the red of the pillar box will be the 
same detached reality, and he will be affirming that 
both the rose and the pillar box are it, that they are, 
so far, the same thing. He can only save himself by 
greater precision, by saying that the rose is damask 
red and the pillar box scarlet; in this case the predi- 
cates have turned out to be different, after all, but his 



ii THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 39 

trouble is only postponed till the moment when he 
comes across two subjects with the same predicate. 1 
And this will hold good of all the qualities of a thing. 

To be sure, even supposing their red to be the same 
red, the rose and the pillar box will have other predi- 
cates that you might think would distinguish them suffi- 
ciently ; the rose has a smell that the pillar box hasn't; 
they have different shapes, and the pillar box is a use- 
ful public servant in government employ, which the 
rose is not; l#it these differences will not avail them 
anything, for |hey are all the predicates of other sub- 
jects, too. Ttfe pillar box in Russell Square is not the 
only public servant in government employ; it is not 
even the only pillar box, and my sealing wax has its col- 
our and my studio stove its shape ; and again, the differ- 
ences between my stove and the pillar box are the 
predicates of other subjects. The attachment of predi- 
cates to subjects is the only thing in the realists' world 
that would appear not to be absolute. 

But mark what follows if the relation between the 
thing and its qualities be not grounded in the nature of 
its terms. We cannot in this case break the thing up 
into its qualities, we cannot take it as the sum of them, 
or as the relation itself, for the relation is outside the 
thing and the qualities; therefore the thing and its 
qualities fall apart, and we have the thing-in-itself all 
over again, that thing-in-itself whose existence new 
realism strenuously denies. Whatever else relations 
may do, they do not relate. The universe is a collec- 
tion, an assemblage of entities hard and recalcitrant 
as atoms. It is not even a collection or an assemblage 
since that implies a relation that relates. These en- 
tities are not even just "one damned thing after an- 
other, " as their sequence would constitute a relation 

1 Of course they never will have the numerically same "real" quality, 
but neither will they on the idealist hypothesis. 



40 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

that relates. They are, in their ultimate analysis, irre- 
ducible atoms, repugnant to all relations. But as the 
universe certainly presents the semblance of related- 
ness, the new realist is landed in the very last place 
where he would wish to be, in a world of appearances, 
supported or apparently supported by a vast number 
of things-in-themselves distinguished only by those 
positions in space and time which constitute their nu- 
merical identity. 

I do not see how, on any thorough-going theory of 
external relations, he can avoid this catastrophe. 

And when you come to the subject-object relation 
the consequences are tremendous. Here if anywhere, 
the relation must be strictly external if realism is to 
stand. That is to say, if you take the subject and ob- 
ject as your terms and knowing as your relation, know- 
ing will not be grounded in the nature of either subject 
or object; subject and object alike will make no differ- 
ence to knowing; though, if we take Dr. Moore's reser- 
vation into account, 1 knowing may make a difference to 
the terms. It may make a difference to the object, then, 
as well as to the subject. But this is just what cannot 
happen on a realist hypothesis; so that Dr. Moore's 
reservation, which rested on the distinction between 
relations and relational properties, cannot in this case 
apply. Subject, object and the relation of knowing will 
be three hard, distinct, mutually repellent entities, and 
it is hard to see how, on the new realist theory, they 
ever could have contrived to come together. Nor are 
you a bit better off if you take the form of this relation 
to be: the subject's knowing-of-the-object, or (re- 
duced to the simplest possible terms) contemplation- 
of -object, when, whatever mysterious relation "of" 
may be it is equally indifferent to "contemplation" or 
to "object." 

a See above: pp. 29-31. 



ii THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 41 

On the other hand, once recognise that terms are 
sympathetic to their relations, once admit that it does 
make a difference to the object to be known and to the 
subject to know, and you have let in the thin end of the 
idealist's wedge. If knowing is not grounded in the 
" nature " of the object, it will at least be grounded 
in a " relational property " of the object. And this 
can only mean that there is something in the object 
by reason of which it is known ; it has a side by which 
knowing takes it. But this relational property, so far 
from being the only property of the object which is 
known, is precisely that property which is not known, 
since it is impossible to mark down the property in 
question and say it is this rather than that. And sup- 
posing all the properties of the object to be known 
except this one property which makes it known, each 
of those properties will have its own relational prop- 
erty which makes it known, so that we cannot think of 
this particular relational property as being one prop- 
erty of the object among others, but as something 
pertaining to or inherent in the object as a whole and 
in each one of its properties, and that is as good as 
saying we cannot think of it as a property at all, 
but as a relation grounded in the nature of its terms, 
which brings us straight to the idealist position that 
the nature of known things is to be known; in other 
words that being known makes a difference to things. 
Or you may knock out the term "nature," as intro- 
ducing an unnecessary complication, and say simply: 
the relation is grounded in the object, and the being 
of objects is to be known. 

But modify the position in the interests of realism 
and say : Things are, and are such that they are known, 
draw a hard and fast line between the "are" and 
the "are such," and you are landed, again, with an 
unknown thing-in-itself. Carry on the process with 



42 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

each of the are-suchnesses, and distinguish between 
their being and their suchness, and yon are only mul- 
tiplying things-in-themselves within things. 

You can only avoid the conclusion by regarding con- 
sciousness as an empty transparency; and you are 
then faced with a difficulty. If consciousness is an 
empty transparency that makes no difference to its 
objects, its objects, presumably, must make a difference 
to it. But it is hard to see how anything can make 
a difference to an empty transparency. Either objects 
are the content of consciousness or they are not. If 
they are they cannot be said to be either outside or in- 
dependent of consciousness. If they are not, conscious- 
ness remains an empty, meaningless transparency. 
Meaningless, because if it had meaning, its meaning 
must profoundly modify its objects. And if you con- 
tend that objects themselves have meaning you must 
either distinguish between the meaning and the ob- 
jects or not distinguish. If you do not distinguish you 
have no business to talk about meaning at all. (If 
meaning is to have any meaning it must be distinguish- 
able.) 

If you then say, distinguishing, that objects have 
meaning for consciousness which they have not apart 
from it, you are again admitting that consciousness 
makes a difference to objects; consciousness will in- 
vade them at all points of meaning. If you simply say 
that consciousness adds its own meaning to the object 
you are again carrying consciousness over into the ob- 
jective world. 

But the crucial discrepancies are those which involve 
space and time. Even Mr. Bertrand Russell admits a 
difficulty here. 

"It is said, not wholly without plausibility, that these different 
shapes and different colours cannot co-exist simultaneously in the 
same place, and cannot therefore both be constituents of the physical 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 43 

world. This argument I must confess appeared to me until re- 
cently to be irrefutable/' * 

He gets over it by referring the discrepant appear- 
ances to different spaces. Not that they have a per- 
manent and independent existence there. 

"Sense-data . . . probably never persist unchanged after ceasing 
to be sense-data."' 

That is to say, after ceasing to be perceived. Their 
dependence, however, is not on the mind. The sub- 
jectivity they suggest is " physiological subjectivity, 
i. e. causal dependence on the sense-organs, nerves or 
brain. " 

But physiological subjectivity, though compatible 
with pious realism, is no better than any other. Com- 
bined with the theory of "real" private spaces, it has 
difficulties of its own. 

For example: You and I are sitting in two op- 
posite chairs. Naively, one would suppose that the part 
of space from which you see me is the part of space at 
which I see you. On Mr. EusselPs theory they belong 
to different and private spaces which are not "mental." 
What really happens when we exchange chairs? 
Naively, one would suppose that our bodies, on which 
the appearances in each private space depend, have 
transferred themselves to each other's private spaces, 
which is absurd. Clearly, each body has changed its 
place within its own private space. But the chairs have 
not changed places. Clearly, then, we do not see the 
same chairs. The chair that you are now sitting on is 
not the same chair I was sitting on a moment ago. 
There will be as many chairs and as many rooms as 
there are inhabitants of a room. 

Now the idealist is equally committed to this multi- 
tude of chairs and rooms, though not of physiological 

1 Sense-Data and Physios (Logic and Mysticism), p. 153. 
1 The same, p. 151. 



44 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

chairs and rooms. He is, therefore, not entitled to 
complain of the multiplicity. But he is entitled to ask : 
If the chairs are private because physiological, how 
about the private spaces? Space cannot be physio- 
logical. Yet if space is private it must be subjective 
in another sense ; it must be somehow personal. There- 
fore it cannot be physical. And if it isn't physiological 
it must be mental. 

The idealist can object with reason to the physio- 
logical relation. It is a subversion of the real rela- 
tion of dependence. For private space is part of one 
all-embracing perspective space. The place my body 
occupies at any given time is part of my private space. 
How, then, can the change in my body account for the 
existence of the whole spatial show of my private world 
on which its existence is dependent? It is one complex 
of my sense-data, how can it account for the whole sys- 
tem of my sense-data which contains it? My body 
occupies space which, however private, is still a part 
of perspective space, in a relation such that if there 
were no perspective space there would be no private 
spaces. How can it account for sense-data conditioned 
by the space it pre-supposes? It is itself such a sense- 
datum. 

Further, its changes pre-suppose and depend on the 
whole system of physics, which in its turn pre-sup- 
poses and is determined by the whole system of the one 
all-embracing space and the one all-embracing time, 
in the sense that all objects of physics are objects in 
space and time. Mr. Eussell says that if my body were 
not there the whole show perceived in my private space 
would not be there: whereas, clearly, if my private 
space were not there my body would not be there 
either. 

The idealist avoids this awkwardness by packing 
my body and my private space into my mind and re- 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 45 

f erring all the causality there is in the affair to an ulti- 
mate consciousness which contains all space and all 
time. 

If, on the contrary, you say that meaning, distin- 
guished and yet inseparable from the objects that 
"have" it, is part of the outside pattern of the uni- 
verse, then, once more, consciousness is a meaningless 
transparency, with all the awkwardnesses that attach 
to a meaningless transparency. 

I shall not insist on the difficulty of discriminating 
between subjective and objective sensory affections, 
for the simple reason that new realism does not admit 
the distinction. Since the new realist regards sound 
and colour, heat and cold, pain and fatigue as outside 
objects, equally independent of sensation, it is useless 
to call his attention 1 to their habit of merging into each 
other, as if this made any difference to their status. 
I will only point out that new realism leaves no room 
on the hair-line margin of consciousness for any sub- 
jective affections at all, as long as you profess to 
distinguish between affection and consciousness of af- 
fection. The whole world of the self, beyond its blank 
on-looking, has been hauled over to the outside. 

It should not be forgotten that the main charge 
brought by realism against idealism is that in its sub- 
jective form it annihilates the cosmos known to have 
existed before consciousness, while its absolute form 
is equally fatal to the appearances of that cosmos, its 
sounds, colours, smells and densities; appearances 
which realism affirms to be realities. 2 

But on the realist theory appearances are equally 
bound to disappear, not because of the absence of sen- 

1 See A Defence of Idealism, pp. 248-250. 

"Not every realist affirms it. I am a little doubtful as to Professor 
Broad's position, for example. At one point in his argument he takes 
all the secondary and some primary qualities to be ' ' appearances. ' ' But 
if I understand him aright, he reinstates them as realities through their 
correlations with touch. (See III, pp. 71-78.) 



46 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

sation, but because of the absence of sense-organs. The 
"fulgurating" sensa are the result of change in the 
cerebral cortex set up by the contact of matter in mo- 
tion with the appropriate sense-organs which pass on 
their shock. No sense-organs, no figurations. No 
heat of sun, no cold of glaciers; no thunder of surf 
on palaeozoic beaches ; no green of grass and leaves in 
palaeozoic forests. No wet, no dry. No light, no dark- 
ness. No distinction between sea and land or night and 
day. The "sensibles" simply go trying to pass on 
their shocks, without anybody there to be shocked. 

Of course if it was so, it was so; it can't be helped, 
and if we don't like it we must stand it; but the new 
realist should be the last to raise a cry against the 
idealist on behalf of the solar system and palaeozoic 
earth. There is only one hope for them, and that is 
the idealist's assumption of an enduring, super-cosmic 
spirit in whose consciousness they have still endured. 

For, consider the nature of the transaction. We are 
to suppose that neural change in my private and per- 
sonal body is the spark that fires the fulguration of 
the sensa, that makes the cosmos with its system of 
sensibles burst forth in colour and sound and touch and 
taste and smell. The visible, audible, palpable and 
smellable properties of the world are thus the offspring 
of changes in my body which is itself the offspring of 
that world ; that is to say, we have changes in the sub- 
sequently existing part, an organism narrowly limited 
in space and time, giving rise to extended aspects of 
the previously existing whole. Inconceivable when we 
consider that the neural motions involved are them- 
selves continuations of the motions of the larger world. 
Inconceivable if we assume the absolute, outside reality 
of the body and its world. And whether "contempla- 
tion" occur inside or outside nature inconceivable 



n THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 47 

reality's final leap from the unconscious to conscious- 
ness. 

Not inconceivable if the whole system of events oc- 
curs through and in a consciousness presumed to be 
adequate to the display. The hypothesis may not be 
capable of downright a posteriori proof. But at any 
rate physiological subjectivism raises more problems 
than idealism leaves unsolved. 

And to be serious with the new realist theory of mem- 
ory and imagination is to be landed in difficulties even 
less remote. 

For, consider once more Professor Laird's Mr. 
Smith and his Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is an ab- 
solute, outside, independent reality in an absolute, 
outside, independent space and time: independent in 
the sense that they have nothing to do with either an 
absolute consciousness or with Smith and his con- 
sciousness, except in so far as Smith contemplates the 
Matterhorn and his ascent of it. Consider that, though 
Smith may not remember every detail of the Matter- 
horn and his ascent, yet as much as he does remember 
is literally so much of the Matterhorn and of his ascent. 
In memory Smith is contemplating the Matterhorn 
itself as it existed when he climbed it. He is, then, con- 
templating an existence which has a real, definite, un- 
alterable position in space and time, an existence 
immensely far removed from Smith and his present 
moment, and the smoke-room at Surbiton where he does 
his remembering. But we are asked to believe that 
Smith sees the real Matterhorn, the Matterhorn itself, 
in a space somewhere between his arm-chair and the 
smoke-room door, where, in fact, Smith's bureau is 
standing. Ten to one that is where Smith, seated in 
his armchair, will locate his Matterhorn. He may, per- 
haps, remembering his geography, give his mind's eye 
a south-eastward turn ; but that only brings the Matter- 



48 THE NEW IDEALISM n 

horn across the top pane of Smith's bow window; at 
the farthest stretch Smith will see it hovering about 
outside on his lawn above the pampas grass. 

Useless to say that time divides these spaces. Time 
only makes the queer business queerer. Besides the 
marvel of this immensely distant u real" mountain 
disporting itself within a few feet of Smith's armchair, 
you have its past telescoping into Smith's present. Im- 
possible to believe that the Matterhorn Smith remem- 
bers is the Matterhorn itself when it is behaving so un- 
like itself. And Smith can play tricks with the Matter- 
horn of his memory that he could never play with the 
Matterhorn of his perception. He can tear it from its 
base in Switzerland and plump it down in Venice in the 
middle of the Grand Canal ; he can plant St. Sofia on 
the top of it. That he can only do these things with 
the visible Matterhorn does not since he is dealing 
with the Matterhorn itself make his performance 
essentially less remarkable. And though you may say 
that it is Smith's imagination and not his memory that 
is now at work, it is Smith's memory that provides his 
imagination with its material, which is, again, the 
Matterhorn itself. 

There is, I believe, a way in which Smith can do all 
these things, a way in which he can both remember and 
imagine the Matterhorn itself, without the intervention 
of a single " image;" but it is not the way of realism 
which supposes the Matterhorn to exist in absolute 
space and time outside and independent, not only of 
Smith's contemplating mind, but of all the conscious- 
ness in the universe. 



in 

SOME REALIST THEORIES OF PERCEPTION 



When realists like Professor Laird say they believe 
that realism is true because it looks as if it were, it 
isn't very easy to refute them; you can only invite fessor 
them to prove that realism is what it looks. When they SuMJie 

add that all the bad arguments are on the other side, J* 31 

Counter- 
that is a definite challenge which the idealist should part 

not be afraid to accept. 

Some realists, like Mr. Edwin Holt, make statements 
as against idealists which no idealist would think of 
disputing ; as, for example, that dreams and hallucina- 
tions in their own context have a reality of their own 
as cogent as any other. And the realist who asserts 
that dreams and hallucinations and memories and con- 
cepts and secondary qualities and primary qualities 
are all equally real, is difficult to refute. He is a dog- 
matist disguised as an empiricist; nearly all of the 
American "Symposium of Six," with the exception 
of Professor W. P. Montague, are camouflaged dog- 
matists and difficult to refute. And if any realist has 
the wild consistency to maintain that every single ob- 
ject of consciousness exists independently of conscious- 
ness he will be harder to refute than any of them. With 
each added extravagance the realist's position becomes 
more inaccessible to direct attack. You can only chal- 
lenge him to produce his proofs. 

Therefore it is refreshing to find a realist like Pro- 
fessor Broad who has some caution and an inkling of 

49 



50 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

the hardships and dangers of his position. If his the- 
ory proves, after all, to be vulnerable this is partly be- 
cause it is so highly correlated, has so many approaches 
and attachments, and partly because, out of sheer hon- 
esty, he concedes so many points to his opponent. 
Unlike some of his fellow realists he is very far from 
regarding realism as self-evident, or even as the handi- 
est theory there is. He is intensely aware of its diffi- 
culties, and with a sincerity no less brilliant than his 
amazing perspicacity he does not hesitate to state them. 
His argument is one long experiment in arguments; 
and he seems to be always engaged either in setting up 
some revised form of a theory he has just knocked 
down, knocking down some provisional theory he has 
just set up, or reinstating it with suitable modifica- 
tions. Owing to the swiftness and dexterity of his 
movements it isn't always easy for anybody less 
nimble-witted to keep up with him ; he seems to be per- 
petually doubling and turning on his own argument; 
but in the end it is clear that he is only pushing it back 
and back to the apparently impregnable position where 
it makes its final stand. This sounds as if Professor 
Broad were the enemy of his own argument; it only 
means that his is a strategic retreat that brings him by 
the safest way to his impregnable position. 

Still, for reasons which I shall try to make clear, I 
think this final position is not really so impregnable 
as it looks. I have no doubt that they are obvious 
reasons which will occur to every careful reader of 
Professor Broad's book; but they are so vital to my 
own argument that I cannot afford to leave them out 
just because somebody has probably thought of them 
before, and, no less probably, expressed them better. 
; We shall presently see that it is on the character of 
tactual perception that he makes his stand. It would be 
taking a most unfair advantage of his various very 



ra THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 51 

handsome admissions to say that the entire system of 
realism stands or falls by it; but it is clear that he 
regards the sense of touch as of the first importance in 
the realistic theory of perception, and it is by its theory 
of perception that realism stands or falls. 

He criticises in turn the non-causal arguments for 
naif realism; the arguments for Phenomenalism; for 
the "Instrumental," the "Causal," and the "Scien- 
tific" theories of perception. He finds that there is 
much to be said for naif realism "... none of these 
arguments which are so confidently repeated by phi- 
losophers really give conclusive reasons for dropping 
even the crudest kind of realism." (He, however, de- 
velops other reasons for dropping it with which no 
idealist would quarrel.) He rejects Phenomenalism 
on the ground that its conclusions defeat its own pre- 
mises, and ends by adopting the "instrumental" theory 
of perception for one set of perceptions, namely touch, 
while rejecting it for others on the grounds that (a) 
it multiplies reals, (&) it conflicts with the causal and 
scientific theories. 

There remain the causal and scientific theories, to 
both of which with certain reservations Professor 
Broad inclines. 

He starts the long series of arguments with assum- 
ing "the distinction between a perception and its ob- 
ject which idealists so frequently ignore," while he 
admits that not "all arguments for Idealism rest on 
this confusion." And he defines the object of percep- 
tion comprehensively and non-controversially as "any- 
thing that may be perceived regardless of the question 
whether it can exist if it be not perceived." l So far, 
so good. 

With Dr. Moore he insists on "the truism that when 
you perceive you perceive something, and that what 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 7. 



52 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

you perceive cannot be the same as the perception of 
it." 1 

Now "cannot" is a highly controversial word. If 
we are simply taking perception in its innocency as 
the primary block of consciousness before superaware- 
ness, judgment and reflection have got to work on it, 
"cannot" is the whole subject in dispute ; it is what the 
realist has got to prove; and we shall find that even 
on Professor Broad's own showing, "need not" is the 
most that can be asserted as probable. If, on the other 
hand, by perception we are to understand, not what 
I have called the primary block of consciousness, but 
that secondary and supervening state in which we per- 
ceive that we are perceiving, then every idealist would 
admit that perception in this sense and the content of 
primary perception are not the same thing, and as far 
as he is concerned the question falls. 

But even if realists would consent to recognise the 
distinction as vital to the problem at all, they would 
not allow that it is perception in this sense which is 
under discussion; and I submit that they have yet to 
prove that perception in their sense and what they call 
the object of perception (and I should call the content 
of the primary block of consciousness) "cannot" be 
the same thing in the sense that the object (or the 
content) can exist when it is not perceived. We must 
not assume all these exciting matters at the start. 2 

But let that pass. We shall see that Professor Broad 
is not extravagant ; and that in the long run he offers 
us, not proof, which in the nature of the case cannot be, 
but a high degree of probability. 

To begin with, he examines the various objections 
to naif realism under the heads of "Synthetic Incom- 
patibility" in the evidence of the senses, either of one 

1 Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 5. 

*0f course, by "perception in their sense M I mean what I should 
call primary, and not secondary awareness. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 53 

person or of different persons ; relativity to the organs 
of perception and to states and positions of the organ- 
ism; the arguments from dreams and hallucinations 
and from the confusion of sense perceptions with feel- 
ings. He contends that the celebrated tests which its 
opponents apply to naif realism either do not apply 
or prove nothing against it when they do. 

There are, as we all know, the temperature test, and 
the colour test. You put one hand in hot water and one 
in cold, and afterwards both in lukewarm water which 
will then feel hot to the cooled hand and cold to the 
heated one. The colour test supposes that, say, a red 
and a blue surface are in contact, and that at the points 
of contact red and blue will co-exist in the sense that 
they will both occupy the same points. Professor 
Broad dismisses the temperature test on the grounds 
that (a) it does not disprove the existence of some tem- 
perature, and (fe) that the two temperatures need not 
be thought of as occupying the same points. The colour 
test goes, too, because, either contact does not really 
exist, in which case the colours will remain distinct, 
or, if it exists the colours will modify each other and 
there will still be some colour, just as there was some 
temperature. 

Now the trouble with these tests is that we really 
cannot be sure, in the case of the water, that the two 
temperatures are not co-existing at the same points 
when the two hands displace so considerable a volume 
of water, and in the case of the coloured surfaces that 
different coloured bodies are not occupying the same 
space, contrary to all that we know of the behaviour 
of bodies. And in any case the two tests do not run 
on all fours. A test more analogous to the water ex- 
periment would be that of the modification of one col- 
our by another that the eyes have been looking at a 
long time. A "real" independent body cannot be one 



54 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

colour one instant and another the next in the absence 
of any change in the actual pigments, owing to light or 
chemical action or any other external cause. As for 
the common sense view that "it is no matter that differ- 
ent colours should co-exist at the same point of space, 
so long as they are the colours of different bodies, " it is 
obvious that it makes a bad business worse. This is 
also the view of naif realism which will swallow any 
trifling difficulty of this sort rather than admit that 
colours and temperatures may not be ' ' real. ' ' Needless 
to say Professor Broad does not adopt it even in the 
interests of nai'f realism. 

In dealing with "synthetic incompatibility " of the 
deliverances of two senses in one person, that is to say, 
of sight and touch, he dismisses provisionally the typi- 
cal test of the painted cube in perspective on the 
grounds that, "as far as perception goes," the object 
visually perceived and the object t actually perceived 
are numerically different. Between two different ob- 
jects there can be no synthetic incompatibility. The 
problem is, however, complicated by the spatial rela- 
tions of these objects. Professor Broad is 

"not at all confident that the extension and figure and relations 
analysed from objects of tactual extension can at once be identified 
with those that are analysed from visually perceived objects. What 
seems to be more true is that in visual extension we can analyse 
out elements and relations which form a spatial order of the same 
type as that which we find on reflection to be constituted by the 
relations and elements that we can analyse out of the objects of 
visual perception. We do not perceive an elaborate spatial order, 
but when we come to analyse and reflect upon what we perceive 
by sight and by touch we are led to construct spatial orders of the 
same type" . . . "there are not two similar orders left stand- 
ing side by side but one which is supposed to include both. It 
must be noted that when I talk of 'constructing' a spatial order 
I do not hold, as so many people seem to do, that this implies that 
the order so reached cannot be that of the real world." * 

On the contrary we shall find that it is just from our 
ability to construct this common spatial order that 

* Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 29, 



m THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 55 

realism argues to the reality of the real world; and we 
shall have to enquire how far and in what sense its 
argument is sound. 
At the same time Professor Broad admits that 

"the evidence of two senses does not add the least certainty 
to the existence and qualities of an object so long as that object 
continues to be perceived; for this certainty, as we have already 
seen, is the highest we can have, therefore no evidence can hope to 
increase it." * 

So that we cannot use the evidence of two or more 
senses by itself to prove the reality of an object. The 
evidence of two senses is no more support to naif re- 
alism than the evidence of one. 

So far we have only been considering the senses of 
one stationary subject. When it comes to several sub- 
jects and several positions of one subject more serious 
complications arise ; so serious that in the face of them 
we shall see that naif realism can no longer be sup- 
ported. 2 

The whole ground of the problem at its present stage 
would seem to be covered by one dilemma. 

"Either what A and B perceive is the same or different. If it 
be the same there is no problem ; if different then, since the qualities 
of their perceptions are the qualities of different objects, what 
matters it if they are incompatible? Why should not both objects 
exist quite comfortably unperceived either by A or B." * 

So that, so far, nai'f realism would seem to have 
scored. 

But the problem here is not quite so simple. For it 
involves the complicated geometrical properties of the 
objects. A by himself will only see a circle in the flat 
as circular from one position only. B, or A himself, 
occupying another position, will see it as some sort of 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 35. 

a . . . "This consideration of what is meant by two persons 'per- 
ceiving the same object' and one person ' perceiving the same object 
from different positions' is a serious stumbling-block to naif realism." 
The same, p. 49. 

The same, p. 38. 



56 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

ellipse. Touch will not help them here, if the circle 
is in the flat. But if you have a sphere the case is 
worse ; for touch will testify to one sphere which can- 
not be seen, while sight will testify to as many ellipsoids 
as there are spectators and possible positions of spec- 
tators, and none of these ellipsoids will be tangible. 
Faced with the ellipsoids Professor Broad throws up 
the case for naif realism, not on account of ' ' synthetic 
incompatibility " but of "the terrible complications in- 
volved. ' ' Incompatibility there will be none as long as 
the- objects are held to be different. But there will be 
more real ellipsoids than even realism can stand. So 
that 

"one is almost forced to the theory of a common cause of the 
perceptions of each person and to the degradation of most if not 
all of these perceptions to the level of appearances." l 

The question as to the "communicability" of sense 
perceptions also leaves the issue doubtful for nai'f 
realism. We can never be sure that when two people 
are talking about colours they mean the same thing, 
still less that when they are looking at colours they 
are looking at the same thing. In fact it is sometimes 
quite evident that they mean and are looking at differ- 
ent colours. Bather more evident than appears in Pro- 
fessor Broad's statement of the case. 

When my partially colour-blind friend and I have 
a poppy field on our right and a vivid patch of heather 
on our left, and he assures me that the colour of poppies 
is the colour of very pale daffodils, and the colour of 
heather the colour of delphiniums, I am pretty cer- 
tain that what he cannot see is red, and that he cannot 
see it either by itself or in combination; and though 
I cannot be quite so certain that he really sees daffodils 
as yellow, I conclude that he does see some blue, since, 
in the combination, purple, blue is what is left when you 

1 Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 49. 



m THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 57 

have abstracted the red. But I shall never know 
whether he and I see precisely the same blue. And I 
can see very delicate rose and blue and green and ame- 
thyst and orange in a sheet of ice where another friend, 
not colour-blind, can only see a watery grey. But this 
is a different case. I can imagine that if my friend 
had trained her sense of sight she would have seen 
those delicate colours too. But, again, I should never 
know whether she and I would ever see the same col- 
ours. On the other hand I should never know it if we 
didn't. So that I think the argument from mere in- 
communicability alone proves nothing either way, while 
in certain cases where communicability is established, 
in the sense that I know what colours other people don't 
see, the discrepancy involved is disastrous to naif 
realism. 

The problem of dreams and hallucinations need not 
detain us here, as it cuts both ways for idealism and 
realism, and idealists would agree that the distinction 
between illusory objects and "real" ones lies in their 
context and not their character. Dreams are true while 
they last. And I shall not consider the argument from 
perceptions that merge into feelings, since I am not 
pressing it here. 1 

Hitherto we have proceeded on the assumption that 
causality has been left out of the reckoning. But by 
now it is very clear that the deliverances of the senses 
involve relativity to an organ ; which brings us straight 
to the "instrumental" and the "causal" theories of 
perception. It is also clear that the distinction between 
appearance and the real arises at this stage, and this 
brings us to the theory of Phenomenalism which must 
be disposed of first. Professor Broad disposes of it 
very neatly. 

1 Professor Broad's theory of pleasures and pains is rather more 
relevant to the issue. See Appendix I, p. 315. 



58 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

PhenomenalisDi maintains that nothing exists except 
perceptions, strings and assemblages of perceptions, 
to which no objects or relations of objects correspond. 
As perceptions have no real permanent cause, there will 
be no causal laws, 1 only laws of the mysterious se- 
quence and association of perceptions. Professor 
Broad points out that phenomenalism has thus no right 
to call its perceptions appearances, since it admits noth- 
ing to which they appear and no reality to distinguish 
them from, or of which they can be said to be the ap- 
pearances. 

All the same I confess I cannot see what else it could 
call them. Anyhow it is clear that what phenomenalism 
means is that perceptions have no reality in the re- 
alist's sense. 

Phenomenalism bases its argument on the relativity 
of perceptions to sense-organs. Professor Broad says 
that it has no right to this base, because it would deny 
that sense-organs have "a permanent structure." But 
phenomenalism never said anything about relativity to 
permanent structures. All that relativity means to it 
is relativity to certain impermanent structures which 
are also mere appearances. Professor Broad says that 
the phenomenalist has no right to talk about seeing 
things, as his eye will itself be relative to other people's 
sense-organs and cannot exist when nobody is looking 
at it. But surely even a phenomenalist may be allowed 
to make inferences like other people, provided they do 
not land him inconsistently in the realism he denies. If 
he says that the seeing of red is relative to the struc- 
ture of his eyes, he is entitled to infer the presence 
of his eyes whenever he sees red, whether anybody sees 
his eyes or not. If you ask him how he then knows 
that his seeing is relative to his eyes he can say that it 
appears to be so ; that he infers the relation from the 

a See Perception, Physics and Reality, Chap. II, "On Causation/ 1 



m THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 59 

association of his appearing eyes with his apparent see- 
ing. For though his eyes can never appear to his own 
eyesight they can and do appear to his general sense 
and his sense of muscular movement. He can at least 
open and shut his eyes. And he can make inferences, 
like other people, from what happens then. That is 
to say, there is always enough association between 
his eyes and his seeing to warrant his inferring rela- 
tivity even if no eye has ever presented to him the 
appearances it presents to the anatomist with his 
scalpel and microscope, who associates seeing with 
delicate internal structures invisible to the naked sight. 

But it must be admitted that when it comes to objects 
beyond the reach of microscopes and eyes, to the unper- 
ceived and imperceptible particles of matter in motion, 
which are to science the real causes of perception, the 
phenomenalist is in a very awkward case. He is logi- 
cally bound to deny the existence of these objects and 
their relations, and with them the existence of the im- 
perceptible matter-in-motion of the sense-organ. Thus 
the relativity of perceptions to a sense-organ, perma- 
nent or impermanent, goes by the board. 

The idealist who is not a phenomenalist will not 
quarrel with this statement of the position, but I think 
he will hardly admit the superior happiness of the 
realist's case that " boldly assumes real causes of our 
perceptions rather like their objects. " l 

Professor Broad approaches his problem of phe- 
nomenalism with two questions (bristling with contro- 
versy). 

"(a) Why should it be held to be a priori more probable that 
that which is real is perceptions than that it is something like the 
objects of our perceptions!" * 

"(6) Whether laws entirely in terms of perception will explain" 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 167. 
1 The same, p. 168. 



60 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

[the facts] "better than laws in terms of realities whose general 
nature is like that of the objects of our perception." l 

The answer to the first question is that it is a priori 
more probable that perception is its own reality be- 
cause no other reality is directly given in perception. 
(This is not denying that a posteriori it may be less 
probable.) 

To the second it may be said in the first place that it 
is not the idealist who distinguishes between primary 
perception and the object of primary perception, while 
he does distinguish, or rather, he should distinguish 
between primary and secondary perception; so that 
to him laws in terms of primary perception will be the 
same as laws in terms of objects of perception, and laws 
in terms of secondary perception will be different. 
His is the advantage of not having to decide the 
question (bristling again!) of likeness or unlikeness. 

In the second place, assuming the real to be some- 
thing distinct from the perception of it, the question 
arises whether it is something that depends on a rela- 
tion to the organ of perception for example, the sen- 
sum blue ; or something existing unperceived apart 
from it for example, light waves or matter in motion 
which provides the stimulus which gives rise to the 
sensum blue. Clearly in both cases the sensum is the 
object of perception, since the other factors are un- 
perceived ; and clearly there is no resemblance between 
the sensum blue and the width of a light wave or the 
movements of matter in motion. Even more clearly, 
in the former case, there is no resemblance between the 
sensum and that relation to a sense-organ on which it 
depends. And the same will hold good of all sensa. 
Therefore the sense elements in perception are as un- 
like the real as they would be unlike the bare act of 
perceiving, supposing primary perception can be dis- 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 178. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 61 

tinguished from its content; and I think it is not easy 
to show that it can. 

But the concrete object is never a pure senswm or 
complex of sensa; it has spatial and geometrical qual- 
ities and relations which, again, are not in the least 
"like" light-waves or matter in motion. It has also 
' ' categoriaP ' and relational characters which, as they 
will owe nothing to anything that happens to sense- 
organs, might perhaps fairly be real. But why "like" 
the real, unless you are taking the object twice over? 

It will be seen that in the case of tactual perception 
and (unless I mistake him) in all other cases involving 
spatial relations, Professor Broad does take the object 
twice over, once as object of perception and once as 
causal u counterpart. " And why take it twice over 
when by the very assumption "it," and not some ap- 
pearance of "it," is what is perceived? 

Finally he concludes that the laws 

"of the real causes of our perceptions are most probably those 
which science finds it necessary to assume in order to account for 
what is perceived. Now those laws are not in the least like those 
which perceptions obey among themselves; although they are of 
course connected with the latter. They are, in fact, laws about the 
kind of changes that we can perceive in the object of a single con- 
tinuous perception; and the only common characteristic of the 
objects of our perceptions and the perceptions themselves is that 
both have temporal relations and can enter into causal laws." l 

And he fairly challenges idealism: 

"Hence, until anyone can make up a theory in terms of laws like 
those which hold between perceptions which will explain our per- 
ceptions better than the theory of science, we shall be justified 
in holding that if there be a real world at all it probably resembles 
the objects of our perceptions." * 

Observe in passing that the one thing science does 
not account for, the one thing that fairly howls to be 
accounted for on any realistic theory, is "our per- 

1 Perception, Physics and Eedlity. p. 185. 
The same, p. 187. 



62 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

ceptions," is perception itself. Science may or may 
not account for the alleged real and independent exis- 
tence of the objects of perception (I think it only ac- 
counts for their behaviour after they have come into 
existence), leaving perception to account for itself as 
best it may. 

The challenge then for the idealist is to frame his 
theory so that its terms will be at once a better descrip- 
tion and a better explanation of the facts. Of this 
later. x 

Meanwhile Professor Broad examines the Causal 
theory of perception. 

To avoid misunderstanding let me say at once that I, 
for one, do not agree with those people who hold "that 
relativity to an organ is fatal to the reality of sense 
qualities/' Relativity in itself can only be fatal to the 
assumption of absolute, unconditioned, independent 
reality. It is discrepancy in the evidence of the sense- 
organs that is disastrous, unless you are content to 
multiply reals. Personally, if I were a realist I would 
ten times rather put up with the multiplication than 
assume a "real counterpart " characterised as "like" 
the multiplied appearances. It is hard to see how a 
real sphere can be like those multiplied ellipsoids, 
though all the multiplied ellipsoids may very well be 
quite real though relative aspects of the sphere. 

To return to Professor Broad : 

"The fact that what I perceive has a certain relation to an 
organ of perception cannot possibly be by itself any reason for 
supposing that it does not exist when it is not perceived. For 
the relation to the organ, whatever it may be, is not the relation 
of being perceived, since that is a relation to the mind and not 
to the body." 

(Idealists will agree to this with positive enthusi- 
asm, glad that the "mind" should have a look in at 
last.) 

1 See below, pp. 260 et seq. 



ni THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 63 

"To prove the phenomenalist conclusion we need a premise to 
the effect that the relation B to the organ of sense, whatever it 
may be, implies also the relation of being perceived." l 

We are reminded that besides phenomenalism there 
are two alternatives: 

"(i) that the object continues to exist in the same relation to 
our organs even when we cease to perceive it, or (ii) whilst it 
cannot be perceived when it ceases to stand in this relation to an 
organ, yet it does not cease to exist when it ceases to stand in this 
relation." ' 

We shall find that the latter alternative, sufficient 
for some realists, is not sufficient for Professor Broad. 
Existence uniquely in relation to an organ or organs, 
entailing as it does a monstrous multiplication of reals, 
is no satisfying substitute for the "real counterpart " 
to the object of perception. His provisional conclusion 
is that 

" . . . the relativity argument has proved powerless by itself 
to show that the objects of our perceptions are appearances rather 
than that the structure of our organs is the necessary condition of 
our perceiving certain special qualities and characteristics of re- 
ality." ' 

To which it may be objected that, even if the relation 
of the object to an organ is the condition of our per- 
ceiving certain qualities and characteristics, we have 
no reason for assuming that these are necessarily the 
qualities and characteristics of reality, since reality 
is taken to be that which exists unperceived. And at 
certain stages of his argument Professor Broad ap- 
pears to admit that the objection holds. We have to 
distinguish between two interpretations of the facts: 

"The Instrumental one which holds that our organs and their 
detailed structure are instruments by which the mind perceives 
real things and their real qualities and characteristics; and the 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 189. 
The same, p. 189. 
The same, p. 197. 



64 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

Causal one which holds that our organs and their internal structure 
are conditions of the perception by the mind of objects and dis- 
tinctions in them, both of which for aught we can tell are mere 



appearances." a 



Professor Broad goes on to test the instrumental 
view by analogy with a mechanical instrument, a type- 
writer. You start with a typist (a), a typewriter (fc), 
a blank sheet of paper (c), and an effect (d). The ex- 
ample proves fatal to the analogy with our sense in- 
struments, because in typing the mind of the typist (a) 
produces an effect (d), on matter (c), (the paper), 
by means of the instrument (fo) ; whereas in perception 
the real object (c) produces the effect (d) on the mind 
(a) by means of the instrument (&). In the one se- 
quence we begin with mind in the other we end with it. 2 

The instrumental theory breaks down when we have 
to distinguish between appearances and realities. It is 
as if the instrumental view had waked Professor Broad 
with a shock to the fact that after all there are such 
things as appearances. There is the instrument of the 
insect's eye, so different in structure from our own that 
it is impossible to believe that objects appear the same 
to it as they appear to our eyes. Unless we assume 
that all these differences are appearances caused by one 
real object we have the trouble that we had in the case 
of the ellipsoids all over again. Too many realities for 
realism to put up with. But, with one exception, the 
instruments that cause us to perceive all these objects 
so differently afford no criterion for distinguishing 
between appearance and reality. 

Thus we are driven to the Causal theory, which, how- 
ever gives us no assurance of the real. 

According to the causal theory (I must again quote 
Professor Broad's own words, for the ground here 
is dangerous and I do not want to attribute to him 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 197. 
'The same, pp. 202-204. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 65 

recognitions and admissions which are not his), ac- 
cording to the causal theory, 

"Something X acts on the organ, the organ and the mind to- 
gether produce a perception as a whole, i. e., something from which 
indeed an object can be analysed out, though there is no reason 
to think that it can exist out of that whole called a perception. 
Such an object is an appearance in our sense of the word." * 

As against the instrumental theory which assumed 
that the sense-organs give true knowledge about real- 
ity, the causal theory is not very encouraging to 
thoroughgoing realism. 

Let us look at it a little closer. To a certain extent 
common sense takes the causal view. Their combined 
assumptions amount to this (to quote Professor Broad 
again) : 

"(a) Certain objects of perception have events in them which are 
causes of those objects being perceived; and (&) All objects that are 
real and are perceived have the perception of themselves caused by 
events in them." 1 

How can we prove that either of these propositions 
is true? The analysis shows that it cannot be done by 
direct observation. We can only start with the object 
of perception at the moment of perception, and there 
is no way of observing the causal event, which on the 
hypothesis must either have preceded the perception, 
or, if simultaneous with it, is not to be distinguished 
in the result. Let us assume, then, as science assumes, 
hypothetical events in hypothetical objects and hypo- 
thetical parts of the alleged object. But these are 
imperceptible. Moreover science has already given 
up the reality of, secondary qualities and on this foot- 
ing will deal only with primary. These, or rather, some 
of these in certain geometrical relations, are all that 
it allows perception to tell us of the real. 

1 Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 204. 
* The same, p. 211. 



66 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

And all the time the real, causal real remains unper- 
ceived. 

In other words, the scientific theory takes what it 
wants of the instrumental and causal views and comes 
to the conclusion that some not all primary qualities 
are real, and that all secondary ones are mere appear- 
ances because not discernible in the external cause. 
Anyhow, we are left with a lot of these appearances on 
our hands. 

"The crux of the whole question then really is whether we can 
keep the instrumental view for the perception of primaries. If 
so, we can keep the scientific theory as in essence true about a large 
part of reality." * 

The trouble is that science gives up so many prim- 
aries. It 

"is perfectly convinced that most of the shapes and sizes that 
we perceive are not real, but are appearances more or less like 
the reality."* 

Why "like"! And how can science tell whether 
"like"? And we may ask whether primary qualities 
are not in the same case with secondary qualities in 
being indiscernible in the real cause. How do I know 
that an object said to be a sphere really is a sphere 
when all that I perceive of it is ellipsoidal? I can go 
round and round it and correlate my ellipsoids so that 
together they form a sphere; but never at any one 
moment do I perceive the sphere. Never the sphere 
and the time and the ellipsoids all together. I can 
only construct the sphere intellectually so that either 
I judge its "real" (which is just as much its "ideal") 
character to be spherical, or I can judge all its relative 
appearances to be "real"; but as far as perception 
goes I appear to be dealing all the time with appear- 
ances. Am I? 

1 Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 230. 
The same, p. 230. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 67 

Now before Professor Broad arrived at the causal 
theory he decided that the testimony of two senses adds 
nothing to the reality of an object when its reality has 
already been testified to by one. A thing cannot be 
more real than real. He now enquires whether the 
' ' instrumental " view (which asserts the reality of all 
objects perceived through the medium of sense-organs) 
adds anything to what was said before, whether, that 
is to say, it brings in considerations which make the 
assumption of their reality more plausible. Now the 
only additional consideration it brings (if we admit the 
possibility) is that of a direct relation through the 
instrumentality of our sense-organs between our minds 
and events occurring in objects. When our sense-or- 
gans assure us that an object is presenting itself both 
as a circle and as an ellipse they are introducing us to 
appearances and not to realities. 

"If we decide, then, (a) that most of the visually perceived 
objects are to be counted as appearances, so as to prevent the in- 
finite multiplication of reals, (b) that all the visual objects and 
also the tactual objects are connected with a single reality and (c) 
that under suitable circumstances this common reality can be an 
object of both sight and touch, we shall have to conclude that the 
reality is circular and not elliptical." 1 

That is to say, on the grounds that the instrumental 
view has made a difference to the question, he now 
decides that, after all, two senses are better than one 
for determining reality; this, after counting most of 
the visually perceived objects as appearances for an 
excellent reason. 

It is hard to see how one sense can be said to sup- 
port the evidence of another when that other is found 
to be untrustworthy. It is also hard to see how the 
introduction of an " instrument " which on the theory 's 
own showing only serves to complicate matters, should 
make more plausible what was not plausible without it. 

* Perception, Physics <md Eeality, p. 237. 



68 THE NfiW IDEALISM m 

Now, does the fact that we can and do correlate the 
appearance with the reality, the unreal ellipse with 
the real circle, make most for the unreality of the circle 
or the reality of the ellipse? It seems to me that once 
you have admitted the possibility of unreality either 
in your secondary qualities or your primary ones, the 
game of realism is up. The correlation corrupts the 
primary qualities said to be real more than it rehabili- 
tates the incurably unreal ones. Science in making 
use of the instrumental theory is forced to "the con- 
clusion that we never see solid bodies as they really 
are." And Professor Broad asks : 

"Can we give any reasonable account of what we mean by the 
instrument being wrongly adjusted or out of order; and will not 
the account of this be so general that it will replace the old instru- 
mental theory altogether?" 1 

The appearance and the reality have this in com- 
mon that (in the case of the circle and the ellipse) they 
are both shapes. What is more, the ellipse, as Pro- 
fessor Broad points out, is very like a circle. You can 
go further and say that it has such geometrical rela- 
tions to the circle that it would be the height of rash- 
ness to deny that they belong to the same world. 

To the same world, then, of objects perceived? Or 
of objects that exist in the absence of perception? 

Professor Broad states the argument for idealism 
with exceeding fairness on page two hundred and forty- 
one. On page two hundred and forty-two he is less 
admirable. He says that the present position is ana- 
lysable into 

"states of brain caused by states of organs, caused by states of 
something else. The states of brain, however caused, produce the 
same perception whose object is of course an appearance; but in 
some cases the object perceived resembles a reality, states in which 
are a remote cause of those in the organ." * 

1 Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 239. 
8 The same, p. 241. 



m THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 69 

Professor Broad admits that while there is a cor- 
respondence in our sense-organs with the general qual- 
ities of objects perceived by means of them, we cannot 
trace any such correspondence with the particular char- 
acteristics of those organs; but he concludes that the 
particular correspondence must exist because the gen- 
eral correspondence can be traced. But correspondence 
or no correspondence, realism cannot well be content 
with a theory that obliges it to regard so many qualities 
of objects as mere appearances, while at the same time 
it maintains that some of these appearances, where 
primary, are a guide to the qualities of their remote 
objects. So far, realism is arguing from an admitted 
appearance to a reality, assuming that resemblance 
holds, whereas the most that science can assert is that 
the remote cause of perceptions is common to the per- 
ceptions of different perceivers, not that it is like the 
objects of their perception. And here, with the pos- 
sible failure of the scientific theory before his eyes, Pro- 
fessor Broad once more challenges idealism. 

"Any alternative hypothesis about the real will have to rest its 
probability entirely on its ability to explain the perceived." x 

It is confidently expected that idealism will not be 
able to bear the strain. 

To this it may be said that the scientific theory, so 
far, has not explained the perceived in its relation to 
perception. But let that pass for the moment. Does 
the probability of the alternative theory rest entirely 
on its ability to explain, that is to say, on its ability 
to explain entirely? Supposing the alternative isn't 
quite so drastic? Supposing science explains up to a 
certain point, up to the point of psychophysical cor- 
respondence, and confesses its inability to bridge, not 
only the gap between the loose end of the physical chain 
and the psychic fact of perception, but the gap between 

1 Perception, Physics and Reality, p. 247. 



70 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

the real and the merely appearing qualities of the ob- 
ject? Isn't it enough if the idealist's theory, while 
leaving the links of the physical chain intact in their 
order, does away with all the gaps by denying the dis- 
tinction between the real and the appearing, and by 
linking up the chain with consciousness at each loose 
end? It must, of course, be a probable linking up, a 
linking up that does no violence to the alleged real. 
But hasn't the idealist just as much right to argue 
from the fact of consciousness at the near end to the 
probability of consciousness at the far end, and to say 
that the real there is "like" the real here, as the realist 
has to argue from the qualities of the perceived ob- 
ject to the qualities of its unperceived real cause and 
say that appearance here is like reality there ? He has, 
if anything, more right, because, in the first place, he 
is not starting with the distinction between appear- 
ance and reality here ; in the second, he is not leaving 
perception itself on one side. Let alone that science 
altogether fails to account for the sensuous particulars 
in perception. 

Professor Broad sees all this as clearly as the ideal- 
ist; but after exposing the difficulties of the theory of 
science he still concludes that, after all, there is no al- 
ternative theory that so well explains the facts. And 
the idealist may ask him: Does idealism disturb the 
facts? And does the scientific theory allow for all the 
facts? The one fact that idealism allows for and the 
scientific theory does not, is, as I have just said, the 
not unimportant fact of perception itself. The scien- 
tific theory, therefore, is very far from explaining all 
the facts. It begins by divorcing the objects of per- 
ception from perception itself, analysing them from 
that isolated standpoint, and ends by leaving percep- 
tion wholly unexplained. It does not cover perception 
as a whole covers its parts. And it cannot solve the 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPARATIONS 71 

hopeless contradictions between appearance and reality 
within its system. 

And as a matter of fact we find Professor Broad con- 
fessing that 

"the scientific theory would gain in probability by not having to 
make such definite and complicated assumptions about reality." 1 

He admits all the awkwardness of regarding colour 
and sound as qualities like the real. 

But when he comes to touch his difficulties vanish. 
Here, he argues, we have the indubitable real, the per- 
ceived quality that is like the quality of its unperceived 
cause. He adopts again the "instrumental" view of 
touch that he was obliged to abandon in the case of 
sight. And before we quarrel with his apparent incon- 
sistency we must remember that in the case of sight he 
was put off the instrumental theory because of the 
terrible multiplicity of reals involved all those ellip- 
soids. But the troubles of realism are not ended. The 
instrumental theory of touch has, indeed, the advantage 
that it does not involve you in anything of the sort on 
its own account ; but by the backing that it gives to the 
deliverances of sight it at once brings all those realities 
down about your ears again. Or else you must say that 
while touch witnesses to reality sight does not, a state- 
ment not very intelligible in view of the fact that its de- 
liverances can be correlated with those of touch in our 
geometrical system. 

Or, say that sight only witnesses truly when it is 
corroborated by touch, and that for the rest it leaves 
us with all those unreal ellipsoids on our hands. That 
is saying that the most highly specialised, the subtlest, 
the most intellectual of our senses, the one most con- 
cerned in our geometrical judgments, is the most un- 
trustworthy, and needs the backing of the most gen- 

1 Perception* Plvysica and Eeality, p. 249. 



72 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

eralised, the most slap-dash and hap-hazard of our 
senses next to taste and smell. It would of course be 
irrelevant to point out that sight and sound have been 
throughout the ages the most valuable of human senses, 
from the most primitive and savage life of action up 
to the latest and highest life of civilization and of art. 
For they might very well be all this and yet very far 
from assuring us of reality beyond perception, and 
in any case these considerations are not on the present 
level of the enquiry. The real trouble is that sight 
does not invariably consent, as it ought on the realist 
theory, to follow the superior leading of touch. 

Professor Broad comes to the conclusion that the 
circle is real while all these ellipses are not. But of 
a circle or of any other figure in the flat touch cannot 
tell us anything at all. It does no corroborating here. 
It tells us that the sphere is spherical l but its testi- 
mony stands alone, for it is just here that sight ob- 
stinately refuses to follow it. 

And when it comes to what we know or rather what 
science assumes to be the nature of the unperceived 
real, it cannot be said that touch is in any better case 
than sight, or than sound for that matter, because wti- 
perceived matter is intangible. Even perceived mat- 
ter that touch perceives to be dense science demon- 
strates to be permeable ; a surface that touch perceives 
as even or unbroken science declares to be rough and to 
have no cohesion; bodies that touch perceives as at 
rest in all their parts science knows to be agitated by 
violent molecular and atomic movement. In judging 
temperatures touch and the thermometer do not agree 
with any accuracy. 

And in the one role left it as a truthful witness, its 
discernment of three dimensional figures, can we be 
perfectly sure that it is touch and touch alone that is 

1 Even this must be admitted with reservations. See pp. 74-76. 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 73 

witnessing immediately anjd! to reality? When we 
see colour in mass as extended we may be fairly certain 
that we are seeing extended colour or coloured exten- 
sion (whatever that may mean) ; when we draw our 
hand over an extended surface we may be fairly certain 
that we are feeling smoothness and hardness ; when we 
see a circle in the flat we may be equally sure that while 
we remain in the position that gives that particular 
view we are seeing a circle ; but it may be questioned 
whether the up and down, right and left, backwards and 
forwards of the movements are perceived by any one 
sense alone. It is hard to tell what is precisely the 
naked role of feeling in so highly educated a sense as 
touch all our senses are more or less sophisticated 
by judgment but it is quite clear that we are dealing 
here with a complex the full account of which cannot 
be given in terms of mere contact. The sense of direc- 
tion (which enters into all our tactual perceptions of 
figures), so far as it can be said to be a sense and not 
a judgment, is a complicated affair involving corre- 
lated perceptions both of muscular movements and of 
sight. So far from touch correcting sight here, sight 
has to be called in to supplement touch. 

Nor can you leave movement altogether out of the 
visual relation. In fact, visual and tactual percep- 
tions would seem to be very much alike in this respect. 
I can see that a sphere is a sphere, not all at once, 
but bit by bit, by going all round it, that is to say, by 
moving my eyes round it and correlating my percepts. 
Similarly I feel that it is a sphere, not all at once, but 
bit by bit, by moving my hands or my fingers round 
it and correlating my percepts. Or, if it is small 
enough, I can turn it in my hands, thus bringing it into 
the same relation to my eyes as if my eyes were turning 
round it. Again, as my sense of touch is general 
throughout my body, I can feel surfaces with any part 



74 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

of it; but if that part is stationary I shall not feel 
shapes. If my hands were as limited in their move- 
ments as my eyes I should not feel shapes any better 
than I see them ; and if I carried my eyes not inside 
my head but on an elevated ring, like a candelabrum, 
outside it, I should see every part of any sphere that 
came within its circumference all at once, and as well 
as if I had felt it. 

Now in tactual perception of three dimensional 
shapes, if your sphere is small enough to be grasped 
in one hand (say, a marble or a ball) it may be said 
roughly that we perceive it by touch as round ; but the 
more accurate account of the matter would be, surely, 
that we judge it be round by correlating feelings of 
contact with feelings of muscular contraction, the grip 
and set of the hand, the position of the fingers. 1 So 
that even here we cannot get touch in the required 
perfection of its innocence. Or if we say that the 
sphere is perceived by turning it in the hands or by 
moving a finger-tip round it in successive circles, then, 
equally, correlations, judgments or perceptions of 
movement and direction have come in. Increase and 
go on increasing the size of your sphere and the role 
of judgment is increased out of all proportion to the 
role of touch, till, if your sphere be big enough all that 
touch can testify to will be a flat surface. 

Or take the tactual perception of a triangular cube. 
We indeed perceive by touch alone the sharp edge of 
the sides, the points of the angles, the smoothness of 
the surfaces ; correlated with muscular movements of 
the hand or fingers touch may be said to yield even 
shape and size; though, here again, and wherever there 
is such correlation, judgment probably steps in, and it 

1 Possibly the truth may be that what we once, in our exploring 
infancy, judged, slowly and laboriously, to be round we now do actually 
perceive to be round by an instantaneous correlation of percepts: but 
this is psychology and irrelevant here. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATION^ 75 

is doubtful whether by touch alone we ever perceive 
shape as a whole or size as a whole. In fact on Pro- 
fessor Broad's own showing or indeed on anybody's 
it can never be said with any certainty that touch, in 
its first innocence and purity, conveys anything to per- 
ception but those secondary qualities which he has de- 
cided to regard as mere appearances. There is little 
doubt that we associate these secondary qualities with 
our judgments (or perceptions) of shapes, and sizes 
and geometrical properties generally ; but in this case 
we have done it so inveterately and so long that it is 
difficult now, if not impossible, to disentangle them 
from the result, though at first sight it may seem ob- 
vious that we ought to be able to. As it is you have 
only to extend the scale and complicate the system of 
your figures for the element of judgment to emerge 
unmistakably. I am inclined to think that so far from 
one sense correcting or corroborating another, this 
must always be an affair of judgment rapid and un- 
conscious, of course, but judgment. If we could ever 
catch a sensum in its first freshness it would tell us 
nothing of reality, though, on a realist hypothesis, it 
might be it. 

So that, if we pay no regard to motion, the sense of 
touch is no more faithful witness to reality than sight. 
Yet it is to this sense that Professor Broad takes his 
flight from the intolerable multiplicity of ellipsoids. 
And we have still to ask how, when, with sight and touch 
and movement all correctly correlated, we have suc- 
ceeded in combining our many ellipsoids into one 
sphere how do we know that that sphere is a reality 
that exists when we do not perceive it? It must, I 
think, be agreed that we do not directly perceive it as 
a reality any more than we perceive it as one or a 
sphere. And I think it must be equally clear that we 
have just as much and no more reason to suppose it is 



76 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

a reality as we have to suppose it is one and a sphere ; 
and our reasons have precisely the same grounds : that 
is to say, that at whatever time we observe it we find 
that it is separated in space from other bodies, and that 
both its boundaries and its parts have certain geomet- 
rical, spatial relations to each other such that at what- 
ever time we observe them we find them always the 
same. Also, as we know from observation that, though 
the relation of each part to our bodies and their sense- 
organs will vary with the movements and positions of 
these bodies and these organs, their relation to their 
own whole is constant ; therefore we infer that that re- 
lation exists apart from the movement and position of 
our bodies ; in other words that in relation to that move- 
ment and position it is an independent real. 

But this is not saying that the whole is a real, and in- 
dependent of our combined perceptions. And we are 
faced with this dilemma: If we deny its independence 
we shall have to admit between the whole and its parts 
a temporal cleavage fatal to their spatial integrity; 
that is to say, the parts for example, each ellipsoid 
will exist in dependence on our partial perception at a 
time previous to the existence of the combination, the 
whole. 

And this is a simple dilemma. 1 

If, on the other hand, we assert the independence of 
the whole on our perceptions, partial or combined, the 
dilemma is considerably more complicated. We shall 
then have set up a multiplicity of spatially incom- 
patible reals (for each ellipsoid was real while it 
lasted) within the whole, and introduced a spatial in- 
tegrity of these reals, impossible in itself and fatal 
to their separation in time. For in the whole the parts, 
all temporally incompatible in partial perception, in- 
asmuch as they must necessarily fall in separate times, 

1 For its solution see pp. 264-267. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 77 

and many spatially incompatible (where their boun- 
daries overlap) all these incompatibles, say, will be 
co-existing at the same time. 

And supposing we adopt Professor Broad's assump- 
tion of the independent real " counterpart " which is 
"like" the object of our tactual perception and related 
to it in a point to point correspondence ? I am not quite 
clear as to whether he does allow this entity to be also 
the counterpart of the object of our visual perception, 
with its tactual and visual qualities correlated analo- 
gously to the qualities of the object perceived; but I 
think he must, for otherwise the totality of perceived 
visual qualities will lose all relation to the real, and we 
shall be saddled with three entities (a) the perceived 
visual object, unreal, but mysteriously related to (b) ; 
the real perceived tactual object; and (c) the counter- 
part of the tactual object, correlated with it at all points 
but cut off from all direct relation to the visual object. 
Moreover, if the object of tactual perception and the ob- 
ject of visual perception are different objects, one with 
a counterpart and one without, there is no possible 
sense in which we can be said either to see the same ob- 
ject as other people or the same object that we ourselves 
feel. And the one real and common counterpart will 
not be the cause of both these objects but of one. It 
will not really be common. 

(And yet I am puzzled ; for Professor Broad does dis- 
tinctly say that the visual and tactual objects of percep- 
tion are not one but two.) 

But supposing this counterpart entity contains the 
counterparts of all the qualities of the perceived object, 
except the secondary ones, which the consistent realist 
would count as real but which Professor Broad and 
science will not have at any price, supposing that every- 
where these prodigious counterparts exist, you have 
then a duplication, and I think a very unnecessary and 



78 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

complicated duplication which, if thorough enough, can 
only repeat, boundary for boundary and point for point, 
those incompatibles it was called in to reconcile and 
explain. And if not thorough, on what principle do we 
pick and choose? What incompatibles are we to ab- 
stract from the counterpart if it is to remain a counter- 
part? 

But this theory provides more entanglements than 
we have realised yet. Not only is it 

"possible to reason from a visually perceived object of a given 
shap'e to the real counterpart of a tactual figure of definite shape, 
events in which do cause the visual perceptions which we have, and 
which, if we performed the proper actions, would give us a cor- 
responding tactual perception, 

but 

". . . such a statement as 'I cannot perceive an atom but I believe 
that atoms are shaped like dumb-bells' means that I believe that 
there exist in the real counterpart realities qualitatively like those, 
events in which cause visual perception of dumb-bell shaped figures, 
but the real quantity which corresponds to the sizes and volumes and 
surfaces in perceived objects is so small that no perception is 
actually produced." 

As we shall see, this is a jolly good thing for the real 
counterpart if it is to remain real. 

Remember, the unperceived figure with its shape and 
distance, all its geometrical qualities, the figure that 
exists when we do not perceive it, is never the figure 
we perceive but always its counterpart. Never the fig- 
ure we perceive, never a figure we have perceived, never 
an object of possible perception, and yet we are asked 
to believe that there would correspond to it "a tactually 
perceived figure with the geometrical qualities in ques- 
tion, if as a matter of fact we did have such a percep- 
tion. " 

Now what on earth is to prevent the idealist from 
refusing point-blank to accept this preposterous coun- 
terpart, throwing the whole assumption overboard and 
confronting the realist with what is left the objects 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 79 

of his perception which he has just shown to be more 
unreal than idealism could wish? Unreal, because 
perceived. 

And on the top of all this excitement Professor Broad 
introduces the dumb-bell shaped atom, so that the ideal- 
ist 's happy cup is now full. Up till now you might have 
supposed that the real counterpart, though to our per- 
ception unsized and imperceptible, would, in the sheer 
contradiction of its nature, be a sizeable thing (since it 
was a tactual counterpart) composed of atoms; and 
now it turns out that it may be an atom itself that would 
be perceived in the form of a dumb-bell were it tran- 
scendently magnified. And this question of magnitude 
is exceedingly important. It means that if there were 
intelligences with suitable sense-organs of nth magni- 
fying power the imperceptible reality would cease to be 
imperceptible ; and, as Professor Broad will have it that 
nothing that is perceptible is real, it would cease to be 
real. The real on this view is the potentially unreal. 

And when it comes to shape and size yet another 
question arises : Where do you start and where do you 
stop? What is your unit object of perception? Are 
there counterparts shaped like Paris hats and Empire 
sofas and Buckingham Palace? And how about dis- 
tance? When I am close up against Buckingham Palace 
I can only see a portion of the immense fagade. If I 
stand a little way off I see the whole of it. And I know 
the Palace has a back and wings that I cannot see. Will 
there be counterparts of all these aspects and of all in- 
termediate aspects? Will there be, not one Bucking- 
ham Palace but many Buckingham Palaces? 

And consider the Empire sofa and the Paris hat, and 
say that your unit of perception is a room which con- 
tains both and many other things besides. There will be 
counterparts both of these things taken singly, when 
they are taken singly, and of all together when they are 



80 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

taken together. But perceptions do not possess this 
departmental character, they cannot be blocked off 
from each other. They move. They suggest at every 
turn the old image of the cinema. Is there a separate 
counterpart for each flicker of the motion? I move and 
I take in more details as I go along. Is there a counter- 
part of each phase of the object as it composes? 

And supposing the unit of perception is as much as 
I can see of the sky on a starry night? Will the coun- 
terparts correspond to the real or the apparent size of 
the heavenly bodies? 

Talk of terrible complications ! As the unit of per- 
ception is incessantly varying with distance there will 
be as many units as there are possible distances and 
as many counterparts as there are units, and as there 
are atoms in each unit. Nobody has a right to object 
if this really is so. But what I cannot understand is 
Professor Broad's throwing over the comparatively 
innocent instrumental theory because of a few poor 
little ellipsoids more or less, and cheerfully entertain- 
ing all that multitude of counterparts. If he says I am 
hopelessly wrong, and that it is the object of tactual 
perception only that is the unit I must then ask : What 
is the unit of tactual perception? Surely it will vary 
with the size of objects; and, as I have pointed out, 
large sizes are not given to it all at once but bit by bit, 
and there should be as many counterparts as there are 
bits ; in which case there will still be a considerable as- 
semblage of counterparts. And isn't it really rather 
odd that if visual and tactual perceptions are truly cor- 
related one should give you absolute size and the other 
size that is purely relative to distance? It looks as if 
there were two alternatives, both unpleasant for the 
realist: either that the two perceptions are not truly 
correlated at all, or that neither of them is, in the real- 
ist's sense, real. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 81 

And when Professor Broad repeats that " in all prob- 
ability nothing that is perceptible is real" I can only 
wonder again why, if this be so, he is at such pains to 
make his unperceived real the counterpart of the per- 
ceived. 

And I cannot see that his theory of the continuum 
solves any of these problems. It seems to me in one 
vital respect to be a hindrance to him rather than a 
help, inasmuch as it bridges the distance between the 
imperceptible and the perceived, thus bringing the real 
elements of the cosmos into the category of the unreal. 

I see no tolerable alternative between that extreme 
but consistent realism which accepts hospitably the im- 
mense multiplicity of " given" reals, and idealism with 
its sweeping simplifications along the whole line. We 
shall see later on whether idealism can be so restated 
as to avoid these difficulties and dilemmas. If it can it 
will have provided, if not a better description, a rather 
more credible explanation of the facts. 

ii 

So far we have been dealing with the simple relation 
of perceiving to an object perceived, in which the ob- 
ject, or rather, its " counterpart " is the ultimate real- 
ity. And, so far, it has been assumed for the purposes 
of theory that what is perceived is always an object, 
obligingly present in space and time ; in other words of 
that the object stands still to be stared at. This theory 
presupposes, or should presuppose, a ready-made space 
and time for the object to stand still in, which therefore 
will be more ultimate than it. This, on a realist theory, 
without prejudice to the objective reality of space and 

time. 

Further, any realist theory which assumes this static 
character of perception and the object perceived so far 
implies a dualism between perception and the cosmos. 



Nature 



82 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

Perception will not be an event within nature ; it will 
stand outside it. 

Professor Whitehead 1 is not concerned with the 
problem of knowing but with the ultimate elements of 
the thing known, of ' ' nature at a moment. ' ' But nature 
in its ultimate elements does not stand still to be stared 
at. " There is no holding nature still and looking at 
it." The ultimate elements are not objects but events. 

It is its obstinate traditional habit of taking objects 
first and events after as something happening to ob- 
jects in time and space which has landed philosophy in 
everlasting difficulties with space and time. Philosophy, 
intent on objects, catching its object first, before any 
event can get to work on it, is necessarily saddled with 
an absolute space and an absolute time independent of 
objects and events and independent of each other; a 
timeless space in which objects stand or move, a space- 
less time through which they move as they move 
through space; a space and time whose accounts can 
never hope to balance, inasmuch as all space stands still 
at any one instant, while no one instant ever stands 
still. So that, not only must all space occur all over 
again with every instant, but you can whittle away time 
till there is no instant left for space to occur in, and you 
can whittle away space till there isn't a point left for 
time to cover. It is clear that with such a time and such 
a space any real point-instant correspondence is im- 
possible, and where it is arbitrarily assumed you have 
all the antinomies that have rejoiced idealists from 
Zeno's time till now. 

But Professor Whitehead, like Professor Alexander, 
denies the existence in nature of this kind of space and 

time, while unlike Professor Alexander, he denies the 

% 
ultimate and independent existence of space and time 

1 Enquiry Concerning Principles of Human Knowledge. The Concept 
of Nature. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 83 

at all. Space and time have no existence apart from 
what happens in nature, that is to say, from events. 
They have no existence apart from each other. Space- 
less time and timeless space are abstractions from the 
fundamental unity of events. 

"Primarily we must not conceive of events in a given Time or 
given Space, and consisting of changes in a given persistent ma- 
terial. Time, Space and Material are adjuncts of events. On the 
old theory of relativity they are relations between the materials, 
on our theory they are relations between events." * 

"Events are the relata of the fundamental homogeneous rela- 
tion of extension ..." 

"The externality of nature is the outcome of this relation of 
extension. Two events are mutually external or 'separate' if there 
is no event which is part of both. Time and space both spring from 
the relation of extension." 

"Time and space express relations between events. Other natural 
elements which are not events are only in time and space derivatively 
by reason of their relation to events." 

"Events (in a sense) are space and time, namely, space and time 
are abstractions from events." ' 

And the old traditional conception of matter as the 
ultimate physical reality must give way to this superior 
ultimacy of events. Science persists in regarding mat- 
ter as planted securely in pre-existing space and time. 
Its assumption is 

"the outcome of uncritical acceptance of space and time as ex- 
ternal conditions for natural existence . . . first philosophy illegiti- 
mately transformed the bare entity, which is simply an abstraction 
necessary for the method of thought, into the metaphysical sub- 
stratum of these factors in nature which in various senses are as- 
signed to entities as their attributes." 

And next, following philosophy's bad example, 

"scientists . . . presupposed this substratum, qua substratum 
for attributes, as nevertheless in time and space. 

This is surely a muddle. The whole being of substance is as a 
substratum for attributes. Thus time and space should be at- 
tributes of the substance. This they palpably are not, since it is 
impossible to express spatio-temporal truths without having recourse 
to relations involving relata other than bits of matter." 

1 Enquiry, p. 26. 

* The same, pp. 61, 62, 63. 



84 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

Again : 

"It is not the substance which is in space, but the attributes. 
What we find in space are the red of the rose and the smell of the 
jasmine and the noise of the cannon. We have all told our dentists 
where our toothache is. Thus space is not a relation between sub- 
stances but between attributes. . . ."* 

"The true relata are events." f 

No definition could well be plainer. 

Thus on this theory space and time are nothing but 
relations; and, so far from being presuppositions of 
experience they presuppose the events they relate. 
Strictly speaking, we are not dealing here with presup- 
positions, but with experience, in the objective sense, 
itself, with the ultimate entities of nature. Professor 
Whitehead gives you a list of them. 

"i) Events, ii) percipient objects iii) sense-objects iv) perceptual 
objects v) scientific objects." * 

It is clear that perception will be primarily concerned 
with events and not with objects and that objects are 
to be carefully distinguished from events. Thus : 

"Objects convey the permanence recognised in events and are 
recognised as self -identical amid different circumstances; that is 
to say, the same object is recognised as related to diverse events. 
Thus the self-identical object maintains itself amid the flux of 
events: it is there and then, it is here and now, and the 4t* which 
has its being there and here, then and now, is without equivoca- 
tion the same subject for thought in the various judgments which 
are made upon it." * 

"The object is permanent because (strictly speaking) it is with- 
out time and space; and its change is merely the variety of its 
relations to various events which are passing in space and time." 
. . . "objects are only derivatively in space and time by means of 
their relation to events."' 

"The chief confusion between objects and events is conveyed in 
the prejudice that an object can only be in one place at a time. 
That is a fundamental property of events." 6 

1 The Concept of Nature, pp. 20, 21. 
'The same, p. 24. 
1 Enquiry, p. 61. 

The same, pp. 62-63. 

The same, p. 63. 

The same, p. 65. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 85 

It is equally clear from its place in the list that per- 
ception, so far from standing outside nature is con- 
tained within it as one event among others. 

"The essential existence of the event here present is the reason 
why percipience is from within nature and is not an external sur- 
vey." l 

"The percipient event is discerned as the locus of a recognisable 
permanence which is the percipient object." " 

And this is as near as Professor Whitehead will allow 
us to get to a subject, a mind. The " percipient object " 
is indeed much more akin to a body, to "the natural 
life associated with one consciousness, " and therefore 
definitely within nature which is "closed to mind." 

In the percipient event recognised sense-object and 
apprehended event are correlative and inseparable. 

"There is no apprehension of external events apart from recog- 
nition of sense-objects as related to them, and there is no recognition 
of sense-objects except as in relation to external events." * 

The percipient event, then, is in nature. But yet 

"Percipience in itself is taken for granted. . . . We leave to meta- 
physics the synthesis between the knower and the known." 4 

So that, though the percipient event is in nature, per- 
cipience itself is something beyond nature, with which 
a philosophy of nature is not concerned. All the same, 
in making some statements about percipience and per- 
cipient events this philosophy is going beyond its book, 
the book of nature. Nature does not tell us whether 
the percipient event is inside or outside it; and, as we 
shall presently see when we come to consider the intel- 
lectual constructions of space and time, thought goes 
far outside nature's book. And as in the end these in- 
tellectual constructions have to be called on to help out 
the four-dimensional geometry of events, any philos- 

1 Enquiry, p. 70. 

a The same, p. 83. 

8 The same, p. 83. 

4 The Concept of Nature, p. 28. 



86 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

ophy of nature which has sworn off metaphysics is in 
an awkward case. 

But these adventures of thought in the realm beyond 
nature are another story. Professor Whitehead 5 s prob- 
lem is definitely not a metaphysical one. What he is 
chiefly concerned with avoiding is just this everlasting 
problem of knowing and the knower. We may object 
that he is making things too easy for himself by leaving 
it out ; but he is perfectly within his rights. We cannot 
be reminded too often that 

"No perplexity concerning the object of knowledge can be solved 
by saying that there is a mind knowing it." * 

Though who in their senses ever said it could? Ideal- 
ists may protest against this rude summary of their 
position; they have no business to object to anybody's 
isolating the "object of knowledge" for examination, 
so long as they are convinced that the more strictly you 
isolate and the more thoroughly you examine nature, 
the more surely will you discover nature 's inadequacy, 
her failure even to provide the data for a philosophy 
of nature. "Nature," Professor Whitehead says, "is 
closed to mind," though not to the percipient event; 
so closed, you may add, that thought has to go beyond 
nature to make nature intelligible. 

And yet Professor Whitehead protests against the 
"bifurcation theory" which divides nature up into 
"two systems of reality," 2 nature known and condi- 
tioned by "the by-play of the mind," and nature un- 
known, the mysterious cause of knowing, with the con- 
sequent split between primary and secondary qualities, 
between appearance and reality. He refuses 

"to countenance any theory of psychic additions to the object 
known in perception. . . . 

"This dragging in of mind as making additions of its own to the 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 28. 
1 The same, pp. 30, 31 et seq. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 87 

thing posited for knowledge by sense-awareness is merely a way of 
shirking the problem of natural philosophy." * 

And this cutting out of mind as a possible contributor 
to the perceived result is merely a way of shirking the 
problem of knowledge. And observe that Professor 
Whitehead has no sort of anxiety about the incompati- 
bilities that shake na'if realism, and the doubtful status 
of secondary qualities. On his theory and on the 
idealist's there isn't a pin to choose between primary 
and secondary qualities. 

"We may not pick and choose. For us the red glow of the sunset 
should be as much a part of nature as are the molecules and electric 
waves by which men of science would explain the phenomenon." * 

"As far as reality is concerned all our sense-perceptions are in 
the same boat." 1 

But here idealism and Professor Whitehead are at 
issue the boat is nature's boat not mind's. Primary 
and secondary qualities are one, not because they are 
all one to the mind that perceives but because 

"there is but one nature, namely, the nature which is before us 
in perceptual knowledge." 4 

Still Professor Whitehead admits that some sort of 
case can be made out for the bifurcation theory so far 
as it is based on the assumption of absolute time : 

"In the first place time extends beyond nature. Our thoughts 
are in time. Accordingly it seems impossible to derive time merely 
from relations between elements in nature." . . . "In the second 
place it is difficult to derive the true serial character of time from the 
relative theory. Each instant is irrevocable." B 

And when it comes to the "scientific objects, " the 
light-waves and the electrons and the agitated mole- 
cules he cannot but see that there really is a difficulty 
in relating these with colours (for example) in "the 

1 The Concept of Nature, pp. 29, 30. 
1 The same, p. 29. 
1 The same, p. 44. 
4 The same, p. 40. 
The same, p. 34. 



88 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

same system of entities. " l It cannot be done " Unless 
we produce the all-embracing relations, ' ' 2 which by the 
way, rightly or wrongly, is what idealism has always 
claimed to have done. But for the moment the claims 
of idealism can wait. 

These all-embracing relations Professor Whitehead 
finds in Time and Space. 

"The perceived redness of the fire and the warmth are definitely 
related in time and in space to the molecules of the fire and the 
molecules of the body." ' 

He admits, further, that, on the assumption of abso- 
lute space and time the bifurcation theory has the merit 
of all-embracingness. Absolute space and time bridge 
the gulf between appearances and causal realities by 
bringing both into the same double system of relations, 
and thus link up what would otherwise fall apart. But 
his objections to the theory cut deeper than time and 
space. They are in short, three : 

"In the first place it seeks for the cause of knowledge of the 
thing known instead of seeking for the character of the thing 
known: secondly it assumes a knowledge of time in itself apart 
from events related in time : thirdly it assumes a knowledge of space 
in itself apart from events related in space." * 

If we take bifurcation seriously it will split up time 
and space themselves into the real and the apparent. 
Why, if we make this great division, why stop at space 
and time? 

"Why on this theory should the cause which influences the mind 
to perception have any characteristics in common with the effluent 
apparent nature? In particular, why should it be in space? Why 
should it be in time? ... 

"The transcendence of time beyond nature gives some slight rea- 
son for presuming that causal nature should occupy time." 5 



1 The Concept of Nature, p. 44. 
1 The same, p. 32. 
The same, p. 40. 
4 The same, p. 39. 
8 The same, pp. 39-40. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 89 

For the mind occupies time. But the mind does not 
occupy space. So why, if you bifurcate, should causal 
nature occupy space? This difficulty, we are reminded, 
does not exist for science which seeks only "the char- 
acter of the thing known. ' ' Science is cutting mind out 
altogether. 

Now if you cut mind out altogether it is clear that 
you have indeed got rid of the tiresome responsibility 
of adjusting the relations of mental appearances to the 
relations of causal nature. In seeing red if you cut 
mind out, you have only to account for the emergence 
of red in the field of vision and are only concerned with 
the chain of physical causation which leads up to red 
and not beyond it to perception. 

"Science is not discussing the causes of knowledge but the co- 
herence of knowledge/' * 

And according to realism the coherence of knowledge 
is to be found not in mind but in nature which is closed 
to mind. 

We have seen that the main support of the bifurca- 
tion theory was the assumption of absolute time and 
absolute space, and Professor Whitehead's argument 
suggests that bifurcation suicidally cuts away the 
ground from under its own feet. (And again, idealists 
for opposite reasons will agree.) It fares still worse 
if, on the other hand, you take time and space as rela- 
tive. And this, on the first blush of it, looks bad for 
idealism, which has hitherto assumed that its worst 
enemies were absolute space and absolute time, as be- 
stowing their own reality on objects and events occur- 
ring in them. It has been supposed to thrive on their 
relativity. But it will not thrive on the relativity Pro- 
fessor Whitehead offers it. Relativity is fatal to any 
idealism which clings to any form of the bifurcation 
theory. It destroys the space and time which were 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 41. 



90 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

common to causal unperceived nature and the appear- 
ing nature of perception. Time and space will depend 
on the relations between appearances, they will be re- 
lations between appearances ; and you will have to as- 
sume another space and another time relative to the 
events in causal nature. Idealism can only afford to 
say Why not? if it can show these events themselves 
to be elements in some supreme, all-embracing system 
of consciousness. 

Now the single crux for idealism is precisely this as- 
sumed existence of unperceived causal realities; for 
idealism can make nothing of reality unperceived. 

But the character of the unperceived object is, as we 
have seen l a crux for realism too. And here again, on 
the event theory, after all its elaborate definitions and 
correlations which build up the concept of the geomet- 
rical continuum, our first contact with matter intro- 
duces the incurable discreteness which met us on the 
traditional theory of space and time. 

The material object appears to perception as contin- 
uous in space and time, and according to science is 
really made up of discrete particles. But the realist 
theory of perception stands on the axiom that objects 
are what they appear or are perceived to be. How does 
Professor Whitehead, having named this difficulty, get 
over it? 

He gets over it by his theory of the ultimate character 
of events. In the case of a material object we have a 
complex consisting of the appearance of the object, its 
" situation" and its " causal character. " The appear- 
ance is thus conceived as an event within an event. 
Obviously, this theory avoids any contradiction between 
appearance and reality within the object, while allow- 
ing for this distinction within the continuous unity of 
the event complex. The object, that is to say, is con- 

1 Above : i, pp. 52 et seq. 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 91 

ceived as real and permanent in the stream and as 
shifting the responsibility for its character as a mere 
appearance on to the shoulders of the event which is 
its situation. As nature is never standing still the ob- 
ject will always be in some situation, there will always 
be some obliging event ready to hold itself responsible 
for the apparent duplicity. A drop of water, say, is 
found guilty of a breach of continuity. Professor 
Whitehead says we must distinguish between the drop 
of water as it appears, the event which is its situation, 
and ' ' the character of the event which causes the event 
to present that appearance. ' ' l 

At this point the idealist begins to suspect, and I 
think to suspect rightly, that objects of perception with 
their inherent contradictions are being camouflaged as 
events, and he is not without hope that their eventual 
character will presently disclose contradictions of its 
own. 

We shall have to consider the single crux of idealism 
later. 2 Meanwhile it is clear that for realism the crux 
is triple. On the one hand the incompatibility between 
the primary and the secondary qualities, and this 
whether they are in the same boat of reality or not; 
and on the other hand the absence of any intelligible 
correspondence between the perceptual objects and the 
scientific objects, the electrons, the light waves, the 
molecules ; and again, between all these and conscious- 
ness. These difficulties, Professor Broad and Professor 
Whitehead would remind us, do not exist for science 
which has no use for secondary qualities and ignores 
perception. But it is where the difficulties of science 
end that the difficulties of philosophy begin ; and if is 
at this point that you wonder whether even a philos- 
ophy of nature is justified in simplifying its problem 
by leaving out all the troublesome factors. Professor 

1 Enquiry, p. 183. * Below, pp. 261-267. 



92 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

Whitehead denies that they are factors, and if the way 
of omission and denial is the first step to arriving at 
the clear and definite concept of nature, it is above criti- 
cism. So I will not at this point, raise the irritating 
and irrelevant question of consciousness, of the syn- 
thesis between perception and the object perceived, let 
alone the synthesis between both and the perceiver. I 
will merely ask whether the concept of nature we have 
so far arrived at is really adequate, and whether it is 
self -consistent. 

The whole problem turns, first of all, upon this ques- 
tion of adequacy. 

Professor Whitehead has given us a concept of na- 
ture, built up by means of an elaborate and perfect 
system of definitions, so clear and precise in its main 
lines that there is no excuse for any failure to follow 
them. 

The concept, as we see it now, sweeps all things in 
nature, all events, all objects, real and apparent or 
frankly delusive, into the essentially derivative yet 
practically all embracing net of time and space. It 
presents nature as an endless process of passing events 
in which objects alone maintain stability and perma- 
nence. It regards events as the most ultimate of all 
realities. There is no getting behind events. It trans- 
lates all the philosophy of nature into the language of 
events and of relations between events. Time and 
space, the all-embracing, are so far from ultimate that 
they exist only in relation to events. Events create 
time and space as they go along. Objects are only in 
time and space as it were on sufferance by reason of 
their connection with events. In the language of events 
the redness of a red object is "colour in a situation/' 
the situation being determined by events and itself de- 
termining the character of the object. Thus, a "real" 
object is distinguished from a delusive object by the 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 93 

coincidence of its " situation " with its cause, a fact that 
we express when we say that the object is really out 
there where it is seen. The ambiguous and the delusive 
object have their situations out there and their causes 
somewhere else: for example, the image I see in the 
looking-glass has its situation there, in the looking- 
glass and its cause in some object behind or beside me 
in the room ; the hallucination I see in the room has its 
situation there and its cause in some kink in my optic 
nerve or cerebral cortex. 

As the time order and system is nothing but the order 
and system of events, it is clear that there will be as 
many time orders and time systems as there are orders 
and systems of events. And as pure time is a baseless 
abstraction apart from space, and pure space a baseless 
abstraction apart from time, and both are baseless ab- 
stractions apart from events, time conceived as dura- 
tion, or united space-time, will have the thickness of 
space. Time is to be thought of, not as a linear series 
of instants, but as layers, layers formed by the system 
of events enclosing and enclosed. This extension, this 
snug covering that time arid space acquire through their 
relation to each other and to events, ensures their con- 
tinuity. It forms a four-dimensional stratified contin- 
uum, in which time is the fourth dimension. 

It is easy to see that this concept does away at one 
stroke with all incompatibilities, disjunctions and an- 
tinomies. It has an immediate appeal to the appetite 
for philosophic unity, the appeal of all vast and sweep- 
ing simplifications. It is at first sight so satisfying 
that you can hardly believe it possible to find a flaw in 
it. You say to yourself, Why not be content with this 
concept? It is so all-embracing in its relativity as to 
appease even the lovers of the Absolute. Why not lie 
down in this comfortable, uncontradictious philosophy 
and be at peace ? There is nothing damaging to honour 



94 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

in this repose ; it is not like taking the brutal assaults 
of realism lying down. Professor Whitehead is not as- 
saulting anybody ; there is nothing polemic or metaphy- 
sical about him ; on the contrary, he is avoiding the bit- 
terness of controversy by refusing to drag in mind. 
Almost you could agree with him. Why, after all, worry 
about perception? Why not call it the percipient event 
and have done with it? Something has to be taken for 
granted, and you can't, on any theory, account for con- 
sciousness any more than you can account for nature. 
It just is, and nature just is, and by far the most com- 
prehensive thing you can say about them is that they 
are both events. 

And the most comprehensive thing you can say about 
events is that they are in space and time 

But it is when you get here that the real trouble be- 
gins. Inveterately you conceive events as in space and 
time. If space and time are to be adequate, if they are 
to do their work as the required all-embracing relations 
all that linking up and unifying business you must 
so think of events, and events must be as so thought of. 
But in so thinking you are doing what Professor White- 
head over and over again insists that you are not to do. 
You have ceased to think in terms of events and are 
thinking back again in the old tiresome terms of space 
and time which have landed philosophy in all its diffi- 
culties. 

But observe what happens if you obey Professor 
Whitehead and think, conscientiously and rigorously, in 
terms of events. Time and space which were to have 
been the all-embracing relations, cease to embrace. 
They cannot, on the theory, embrace events, since only 
by and in events do they themselves come into being. 
That is to say, they fail to embrace the better part of 
nature, the most ultimate realities in nature. And they 



m THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 95 

cannot, they most certainly cannot embrace objects, 
since objects are not in space and time, or are only de- 
rivatively in space and time through their "situation" 
in events. Therefore they fail to embrace any part of 
nature. And if I may, in passing, drag mind in, they 
cannot embrace thought, because thought goes beyond 
nature, goes beyond space and time. Therefore they 
cannot embrace anything at all. They are phantoms, 
shadows cast by events in their passing. 

So that the concept of nature is not adequate to pro- 
vide those all-embracing spatial and temporal relations 
it promised us, and we are left with events embracing 
each other and themselves, and objects sitting, perma- 
nent and cold, outside this intimacy. 

We have no business at any stage to demand that any 
philosophy should account for mind, account for con- 
sciousness or so much as render their existence plaus- 
ible, but a philosophy which goes beyond nature (and I 
cannot see how a complete philosophy can well stop 
there), a metaphysical philosophy must demand an ac- 
count of mind, of consciousness, and I think it can 
hardly be contested that this cannot be given by simply 
calling consciousness an event and leaving it at that. 
The concept of nature is singularly inadequate here. 
And we have not yet even sighted the problem of ethics. 
But again I am reminded that we have no business to 
press the concept of nature beyond nature. Enough if 
we have seen it to be inadequate in its own realm. 

And how about its consistency? The consistency of 
the apparently perfect definitions on which it takes its 
stand? 

Take the distinction between objects and events. Ob- 
jects are not truly, only derivatively in space and time, 
yet spatial and temporal relations were brought for- 
ward as linking up all objects, whether of sense-percep- 



96 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

tion or of science, whether delusive or non-delusive, in 
a unity. 

Objects are defined as permanent structures amid 
the flux of events; yet objects are the only things in 
nature that are subject to change. The object of sense- 
awareness and perception is at rest. The same object, 
to the eye of science, is the centre of profound and 
secret agitation. 

The traditional view also lifts up the object out of 
the stream of events and regards it as an eternal per- 
manent thing, fixed in the block of consciousness, which 
will for ever stand still to be looked at, while it con- 
ceives events as streaming away from the object on 
every side. But it puts the object first and the events 
after, on the grounds that events are what happens to 
objects and that an object must be there first for them 
to happen to. And I think it must be said that if objects 
have this permanence and are real apart from percep- 
tion we are forced to regard them as ultimate, more 
ultimate than events. Their reality confers on them 
this ultimacy ; an ultimacy that they lose if we say with 
idealism that perception (in which I include memory) 
confers on them their reality. 

But perception also takes stock of the events. Things 
are happening to the object. Something changes. The 
lump of sugar is dissolving rapidly in my tea-cup. 
Under my microscope the chrysalis, in its golden lat- 
ticed shell, that was once a smooth, greenish, oval body, 
began to put out buds the other day. To-day it has 
burst its shell and come out, a slender black insect with 
iridescent wings. Something changes. It is not the 
event. 

"Events never change. Nature develops in the sense that an event 
e becomes part of an event 6 which includes (i. e. extends over e 
and also extends into the futurity beyond e. . . . Thus we say 
that events pass but do not change. The passage of an event is its 
passing into some other event which is not it. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 97 

The terms past, present and future refer to events. The irrevoc- 
ableness of the past is the unchangeability of events." * 

Then what changes must be either the object per- 
ceived or the perceiver or his body. Clearly, in the 
cases of the lump sugar and the chrysalis, it is not 
the perceiver. Therefore it is the object. The object 
then has this twofold contradictory character that it is 
the one permanent thing in the flux of events and that 
events change it while they do not change. As far as 
permanence goes events and objects seem to have ex- 
changed places. 

And there is trouble about the parts of objects. It 
seems that a leg of a chair is not really part of the chair. 

"Now the object during ten seconds is not part of the object dur- 
ing one of those seconds. The object is always wholly itself during 
ten seconds or during one second. It is this train of thought which 
led to the introduction of the durationless instant of time as a 
fundamental fact, thus fatally confusing the whole philosophy of 



science." a 



But if you discriminate between the object and its situa- 
tion you dissociate it from its time. This is one of the 
senses in which Professor Whitehead assumes the ob- 
ject to be not in time. And time and space go together. 

"The derivation of space and time by the method of extensive 
Analysis exhibits the essential identity of extension in time and ex- 
tension in space. Thus the reasons for denying temporal parts of an 
object are also reasons for denying it spatial parts. Again, it is true 
that the leg of the chair occupies part of the space which is occu- 
pied by the chair. But in appealing to space we are appealing 
to relations between events. What we are saying is that the situa- 
tion of the leg of the chair is part of the situation of the chair." * 

But it is not part of the chair. This is the* sense in 
which Professor Whitehead denies that objects occupy 
space. Thus the leg of the chair is only part of the 
chair as it were on sufferance, by right of its place in 
the " situation. " We are at liberty to regard the leg 
as one object and the chair as another object. 

1 Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, p. 62. 
The same, p. 91. 
8 The same, p. 92. 



98 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

And thus the unity of the object disappears, for there 
will be as many objects as there are parts of the situa- 
tion. It disappears in the multitude of its parts and at 
the same time it is said to have no parts. It is not even 
a self -consistent object. 

To be sure what you lose on the objects you gain on 
the events. So let us turn to the events. 

To begin with there is trouble about the relations of 
objects to events. 

"The ultimate natural entities are events." 

As we have seen, it is hard to accept this concept if 
objects are the permanent element in events; if they 
constitute the material of events. Surely it is to be 
understood that to ' ' convey the permanences recognised 
in events" is equivalent to being an " element in" or 
the "material of" events. But apparently we are not 
to understand this ; for it is distinctly stated that the 
two types, objects and events, are radically distinct and 
that the term " element" refers only to products within 
' ' any one mode of diversification of nature ' J ; therefore 
one type or mode will not and cannot be an element of 
any other type or mode. So how are we to understand 
this essential internal relation of objects and events? 

Again, Professor Whitehead allows objects to be re- 
garded as "qualities" of events. So that they cannot 
be the permanent material of events; and even if we 
could agree that events must needs be more funda- 
mental and ultimate than the qualities they have, the 
question is whether we can regard objects as of this 
secondary importance. Mark that this is more than 
a mere question of precedent and prestige ; it involves 
the very essence of these entities. For Professor White- 
head says that the six questions Which? What? How? 
When? Where? Whither? "reveal that what is ulti- 
mate in nature is a set of determinate things, each with 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 99 

its own relations to other things of the set," where 
among " things" objects are clearly included. So that 
we start not knowing which really is ultimate in nature. 
Now it is the events, now it is the objects, and again, 
and over and over again, it is the events. But the very 
fact that the six questions ' ' can be construed as refer- 
ring to events or to objects" surely points to a com- 
munity in six relations between object and event. How 
then can they be so radically distinct? But if objects, 
through their situations, may be said to take part in 
events and surely they may? then there is a sense in 
which they are elements in events, and if they are ele- 
ments community would follow as a matter of course. 
Professor Whitehead's contention, I think, is (at any 
rate it follows from his theory) that this depends on 
the events and not on the objects. It is the events that 
let the objects in for the community. How then can 
objects be said to be qualities of events? Events have 
no substance or matter to support qualities, and in any 
case, on the theory, substance or matter has gone by 
the board ; in which case nothing but the qualities are 
left, and the theory will not admit of our identifying 
events with their qualities, the objects. So I do not see 
how and in what sense this relation is to be established. 

And how can an object not in space and time have 
any real community, even derivatively, with events 
which are in space and time? How can events extend 
beyond their time and space to rope in these essentially 
spaceless and timeless entities? 

Or take causal relations. Take, scientific objects ; for 
example, electrons. They are said to " express the 
causal character of events." (Observe that it is never 
the object in itself which is causal, only the situation 
of the object, the events which, so to speak, stream 
through its permanence.) 



100 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

"At the present epoch the ultimate scientific objects are electrons. 
. . . Events related to a definite electron are called the field of 
that object. The relations of the object to different parts of the field 
are interconnected, and when the relationship of the object to cer- 
tain parts of the field is known its relationship to the remaining 
parts can be calculated. 

As here defined the field of an electron extends through all time 
and all space, each event bearing a certain character expressed 
by its relation to the electron. As in the case of other objects the 
electron is an atomic unity only mediating in space and time by 
reason of its specific relation to events." * 

Now how can an object, an ultimate object, " express 
the causal character of events !" The object in itself 
is never causal. It must wait upon events before ever 
it can have or be in a ' i situation. " How does the ulti- 
mate object, the atom or the electron, get a move on so 
as to express a causal character? More fundamental 
than the object is the event. But the event, I take it, 
has not yet begun, it has to wait, so to speak, on the 
electron. 

"The field is divisible into two parts, namely, the 'occupied' 
events and the 'unoccupied' events. The occupied events correspond 
to the situation of the physical object." a 

We have therefore in all space and all time, which 
is the field of the electron, an infinite number of empty 
events, of possible situations, waiting for their physical 
objects to come along and occupy them. Observe that 
"unoccupied event" is the translation of empty space- 
time into the language of events by which we seem to 
avoid this difficulty of object before and event after; 
and we must allow the theory the full advantage of this 
rendering. 

"The unoccupied events possess a definite character expressive 
of the reign of law in the creative advance of nature, i. e., in the 
passage of events. This type of character of events unoccupied 
by the electron is also shared by the occupied events. It expresses the 
role of the electron as an agency in the passage of events. In fact 
the electron is nothing else than the expression of certain recog- 
nisable features in this creative advance." 1 

1 Enquiry, p. 95. 
The same, p. 96. 
1 The same, p. 96. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 101 

I take it that we are to understand by this that the 
"unoccupied events" are those events in which the elec- 
tron has not yet played its part, but which are strictly 
determined by the ascertained part it has played, in 
accordance with the laws of nature. Again, this is a 
translation of the concept of the uniform behaviour of 
electrons in terms of events. 

In terms of events, observe, to avoid the traditional 
concepts of space, time and matter. We must stick to 
the translation, for we shall miss all the implications 
of Professor Whitehead's theory if we revert to the 
original corrupt text. But observe, also, the double part 
played by the electron. It is expressly stated to be an 
"agency in the passage of events. " Thus its causal 
character is declared at the same time that its char- 
acter as object ("the expression of certain permanent 
recognisable features ") is insisted on. No doubt once 
an electron always an electron; but how can an object 
be at once a cause and not a cause? 

And this affair of the electron is more complicated 
still. Hitherto we have been considering one electron, 
and events as occupied or unoccupied by it. But an 
event not occupied by one electron will be occupied by 
another electron and the translation will be continued 
thus: 

"The character of event e which it receives from electron A, 
which does not occupy it, is one of the influences which govern the 
change of electron B which does occupy e into the occupation of 
other events succeeding e. The complete formula of change for B 
can be expressed in terms of the complete character which e receives 
from its relations to all the electrons in the universe." 

Here we have the translation of electrons passing 
through space and time in terms, not of space and time 
and matter, but of pure events. It must be admitted 
that the translation has the immense advantage of sim- 
plification and comprehensiveness. Translated back 
into the old terms of space and time and matter, you 



102 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

would have physical objects hurtling through pre-exist- 
ing space in fore-ordained time and in such a manner 
that if space and time be taken as absolute, at any in- 
stant the object will be stationary in space, thus part- 
ing with the event character of its motion. On the other 
hand, if space and time be taken as relative, matter it- 
self will be infected with that relativity and lose its 
alleged character as the causal ultimate. 

The question is whether precisely the same thing has 
not happened to the events, whether the formula in 
terms of events does not involve contradictions every 
bit as bad as any that the traditional view was landed 
in. * 

Take events themselves. Events do not change, they 
pass. They are and are not. "An event is what it is, 
when it is and where it is." Definite demarcation, all 
or nothingness, is the essential character of events. 
Thus events take on that hard quality of exclusiveness 
which characterised the points of absolute space, the 
instants of absolute time. Their demarcation seems in- 
compatible with their continuity. If events are as self- 
contained as all that, it is hard to see how one event 
can extend over another, or how any duration which is 
the time of events can enclose or be enclosed by another, 
or how one event can cause, condition or influence an- 
other. If an event which has passed has passed utterly, 
if neither it nor any particle of it is to be thought of as 
somehow continuing in the event it has influenced, con- 
ditioned or caused, the old antinomies of space and time 
have broken out again transferred to events. We are 
faced with endless breaches in the continuity of events. 

The theory of duration is presented here as saving 
the continuum. 

"The continuity of nature arises from extension. Every event 
extends over other events, and every event is extended over by other 



in THE CEITICAL PREPARATIONS 103 

events. Thus . . . every duration is part of other durations; and 
every duration has other durations which are parts of it." l 

We must think of time in vertical, not linear exten- 
sion, in stratified durations, because it is space-time, in 
other words, event-time we are dealing with. Dura- 
tions are stratified thus : 

"A pair of durations both of which are part of the same duration 
are called parallel, and also a pair of moments such that there are 
durations in which both inhere are called parallel." 3 

Again : 

"A complete time-system is formed by any one family of parallel 
durations. Two durations are parallel if either (i) one includes 
the other, or (ii) they overlap so as to include a third duration 
common to both, or (iii) are entirely separate. The excluded case 
is that of two durations overlapping so as to include in common 
an aggregate of finite events, but including in common no com- 
plete duration."* 

If you think of this in terms of time only it is mean- 
ingless. If you think of it in terms of linear extension 
it is meaningless. You must think of it in terms of 
events, events piled one on the top of the other. It 
means that events do not follow one another in a single 
linear, past, present, future series with point-instant 
correspondence in a procession that has hut one start- 
ing point ; but that they form a system or systems, and 
there will be as many parallel layers as there are events 
contained in one duration. 

But in spite of the extreme precision of these defini- 
tions it is not easy to see within a given duration what 
actual durations would be parallel and what would not. 
Take, for example, the duration of my day. The dura- 
tion of my working times (10 a. m. to 1.30 p. m., and 
5.30 p. m. to 7.30 p. m.), and the durations of my meal 
times (8.30 to 9 a. m., 1.30 p. m. to 2 p. m., 5 to 5.15 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 59. 
* Enquiry, p. 113. 

8 The Concept of Nature, p. 190. The same rules apply to families of 
durations, p. 59. 



104 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

p. m. and 8 to 8.45 p. m.) are " parts of the same dura- 
tion M which is my day; yet so far from being parallel 
they are successive ; they fit into alternate places in the 
completed order of my day ; and I cannot conceive of 
their spatial character, the fact that one order of events 
goes on in my dining-room and the other in my study, 
as altering this character of successiveness. It is clear 
that such orders of events within a duration are not the 
parallels we should be thinking of. Nor do they seem 
to belong to the excluded case (iv). 

For " two moments which are not parallel necessarily 
intersect." And there is no moment of my working 
times that anywhere intersects or is intersected by any 
moment of my meal times so long as I do not work 
when I am eating therefore it would seem that my 
working and my eating times must belong to dif- 
ferent time systems. Yet they are all covered by the 
duration of the event which is my day. I am puzzled 
by this double character of successiveness and enclo- 
sure. And I am driven to conclude that these parallels 
are only to be found in any two orders of events going 
clean through any two durations within the same dura- 
tion, and of an equality such that their starting points 
and their end points respectively will be covered by 
the same moment. The selection of starting point and 
end point will be purely arbitrary for any two orders 
of events in any given slice of observation; but what 
is a starting point or an end point for one mjist be a 
starting point or end point for the other 

I think this must be so, because otherwise we should 
have no hold on events, we shall be dealing with serial 
event orders which may outrun the limits of our cover- 
ing duration at either end, and we shall have to stretch 
this duration so as to cover their unequal starting and 
end points, which may again extend beyond the in- 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 105 

creased duration, and with this game of event-durations 
we shall never have done. 

On the other hand, if we insist on the one starting- 
point for all pairs of parallels within the one time- 
system we are back again in the old tradition of the 
point-instant correspondence and ' ' all nature at an in- 
stant' '; and though all nature at an instant is never 
given in sense-awareness, we know very well that be- 
yond our sense-awareness all nature at an instant is 
there. 

And I do not see that the difficulties are avoided by 
substituting events which are space and time, events 
which are durations, for spaceless times and timeless 
spaces, and event-particles for point-instants, however 
fitly the distinction expresses the timefulness of space 
and the spacefulness of time. For the essential char- 
acter of an event is that it is a definite thing marked 
off from all other events ; and this differentiation can- 
not be purely qualitative as it is in the case of spaceless 
and timeless objects; for events do not change, they 
pass, one moment they are and the next moment they 
are not, and they are to be distinguished from objects 
by precisely this property and by the fact that one event 
cannot occupy two spaces at the same time. Indeed an 
event never can occupy two spaces at any two times, for 
the moment it occupies another space at another time 
it is no longer the same event but another. " Events 
are what they are, when they are, where they are." 
True, the actual presence of the event will extend over 
some duration; but this must surely be in such sort 
that the event ends with its duration and is succeeded 
by another event in another duration. And what ap- 
plies to durations and events will apply to moments and 
event-particles. 

So that we are faced again with the old problem of 



106 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

"nextness" and succession. All that has happened is 
that we are dealing with events and durations, that is 
to say with extensions instead of points and instants ; 
but as between event and event, or one event-particle 
and another, there will be breaches of continuity. 
Breaches that you cannot hope to fill by means of the 
Cantor-Dedekind compact series ; for I think you cannot 
say that between any two events or event-particles 
there is an infinite number of events or event-particles. 
An event and every part of an event is essentially finite 
and qualitative, and as such will not admit of infinite 
stuffing, though durations may. 

Nor can I see that the covering of one duration by 
another, the extension of one event over another, really 
ensures continuity, as long as you assume, and you 
certainly have to assume, differentiation between events 
and durations. 1 

The symbol of this continuity is the "Chinese toy," 
the set of smaller and smaller boxes packed one inside 
the other, except that in the event-continuum there is 
no smallest box. Its diagram is a system of enclosed 
and enclosing squares converging to a central point, and 
the packing is indeed so tight and the layers enclosing 
the ultimate point so thick that for a moment you are 
juggled into believing that you have here an indubitable 
continuum. It is only when you translate the hiero- 
glyphics of the diagram back again into the original 
language of events that you perceive that continuity 
there can be none. For one thing, events have to be 
taken, so to speak, in the rough ; they are not entirely 
surrounded; they do not really converge to a point. 
The point is an ideal limit. 

"It is evident that an abstractive set as we pass along it con- 
verges to the ideal of all nature with no temporal extension, of all 

1 Professor Whitehead calls this assumption "an arbitrary postulate 
of thought." I cannot think why "arbitrary." If ever there was a 
necessary postulate 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 107 

nature at an instant But this ideal is in fact the ideal of a non- 
entity/' * 

But the point at the narrow end is not more ideal 
than the limit, the square at the other end of the scale, 
the all-enclosing, unenclosed event. When you consider 
seriously these two ends open to the infinite and the 
ideal, where space and time must either cease or con- 
tain and be contained for ever, you begin to wonder 
whether the whole construction is not ideal without any 
application to actual events. It can only apply, so far 
as it applies at all, to all nature at an instant which is 
never given in sense awareness, and was dismissed as 
an intellectual abstraction. For nature is enlarging 
her temporal borders moment by moment ; the two ends 
of the system of squares are open to the past and to 
the future. In vain you build up your system of 
squares; nature outruns your building. In vain you 
dovetail time into space and space into time. Nature 
forges ahead, putting out more and more events into 
the ever appearing present which was once her future, 
throwing back more and more events into her past. 

To be sure, in a mathematician's head and in a dia- 
gram on paper, a continuum is achieved in the sense 
that serial time is vanquished for a moment. Between 
the squares that contain and the squares that are con- 
tained there is no such solution of continuity as would 
exist were all the squares unpacked and ranged in a 
row side by side. They are all, as William James would 
have said, "snug in their own skins. " That is to say 
they would be if this containing process left them any 
skins to be snug in. Events have to be well skjnned 
to fit into the system. For if you admit the skin you 
admit the boundary line, and between boundary line 
and boundary line is as bad as between point and point. 
And since you are dealing with actual finite and par- 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 61. 



108 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

tially qualitative events and event-particles you have 
not the resource of introducing infinities. If, on the 
other hand, you delete the boundaries you have one un- 
bounding and unbounded event which is the very defi- 
ance and negation of the principle at stake. 

And all the time nature is rolling on and on in a past, 
present and future process that fairly cries out for 
serial time. 

It is only when any section of the process is past 
that the mathematician, wantonly abstracting from it 
all that was passing and successive, can telescope the 
events in it one inside the other and in fancy see them 
as containing and contained. I do not mean to suggest 
that his procedure is not perfectly legitimate in its way, 
nor do I want to deny that nature presents to sense- 
awareness a rough and ready appearance of continuity ; 
that is to say, sense-awareness cannot find a break. I 
do not mean that there is any better way of regarding 
nature at any given moment of awareness, but I do in- 
sist that there is no way of conjuring continuity out of 
a series, even a vertical or stratified series, of events, 
and that Professor Whitehead's way only succeeds be- 
cause of the surreptitious introduction of the very last 
factor he would desire to admit the factor of con- 
sciousness. 

This is what comes of taking events for ultimate 
realities and flying to them for a continuum. Why, 
even the comparatively despised perceptual object does 
more for the mathematician than that. It at least does 
stand still to be stared at. If we did not know its secret 
life of infinite change and agitation, its apparent per- 
manence might suggest a kind of continuity in space 
and time. But here again, if the object does not exist 
in space and time its continuity will not help the prob- 
lem where it is now. 

We have seen that the event-duration theory ends by 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 109 

throwing us back on "the ideal of a non-entity. " It 
would, therefore, seem that the concept of nature con- 
tains a fundamental contradiction somewhere. I do not 
know whether Professor Whitehead would deny the 
contradiction on the grounds that nature is one thing 
and its concept another, or on what grounds he would 
deny it. The fact remains that a contradiction between 
nature and its concept is a contradiction within the 
whole of reality which is nature and thought taken to- 
gether. I cannot see that realists have any business to 
say that there isn't any such whole of reality, seeing 
that it is implied in any discussion of ultimate concepts. 

We must then have either a complete dualism be- 
tween nature and thought, or a dualism between nature 
and the concept of nature within the whole of reality ; 
and if reality is to be a whole this is regrettable. 

And in the long run Professor Whitehead agrees that 
"the concept of the properties of nature at an instant 
... is fundamental in the expression of physical sci- 
ence " ; so that once more we have the deliverances of 
sense-awareness contradicting the deliverances of sci- 
ence, which once more is an awkward position for 
realism. 

But we have not yet done with serial time. 

Serial time is stated to be the result of "an intellec- 
tual process of abstraction." (We may wonder how 
the intellect contrives to abstract from events what was 
not in them already.) It has been said previously that 
"each element of the series exhibits an instantaneous 
state of nature, " but 

"This serial time is not the very passage of nature itself. The 
state of nature 'at a moment' has evidently lost this ultimate 
quality of passage." * 

So that between a state of nature and nature's pass- 
ing we have a temporal contradiction. And again, ' ' the 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 65. 



110 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

lapse of time is a measurable serial quantity. 9 ' We can- 
not juggle away the serial quality of time by calling it 
an intellectual abstraction. These difficulties, however, 
are not created by Professor Whitehead who gets over 
them by denying the priority and independence of time, 
and distinguishing between the event-time of nature 's 
passing and the passing of abstract serial time. 

"We have first to make up our minds whether time is to be 
found in nature or nature is to be found in time. The difficulty of 
the latter alternative namely of making time prior to nature 
is that thus time becomes a metaphysical enigma." * 

(The idealist would say that that is precisely what 
time is.) 

"The dissociation of time discloses to our immediate perception 
that the attempt to set up time as an independent terminus for 
knowledge is like the effort to find substance in a shadow. There 
is time because there are happenings and apart from happenings 
there is nothing." a 

The trouble is that in the long-run we have to recog- 
nise that 

"there is a passage of sense-awareness and a passage of thought. 
Thus the reign of the quality of passage extends beyond nature." 

And we have to distinguish here between " passage " 
which is "fundamental" and "the temporal series 
which is a logical abstraction. * ' And so it turns out that 

"... time in the sense of a measurable temporal series is a char- 
acter of nature only and does not extend to processes of thought 
and of sense-awareness except by the correlation of these processes 
with the temporal series implicated in their procedures." * 

I am not quarrelling with the facts, but we may as 
well notice that measurable serial time, which a while 
back was said to be "not the passage, the very pass- 
age of nature itself," is now declared to be "a char- 
acter of nature only. ' ' Yet the character of nature is 
passage. 

1 The Concept of Nature, pp. 65-66. 
The same, p. 66. 
8 The same. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 111 

Moreover the time in which thought passes extends, 
as thought extends, beyond nature, so that all time can- 
not be swept into nature's flux of events or nature's 
durations ; and thus time is not an intellectual abstrac- 
tion. The consideration of memory complicates the 
question further. 

. . . "the mere fact of memory is an escape from transience. In 
memory the past is present. . . . Accordingly memory is a dis- 
engagement of mind from the mere passage of nature; for what 
has passed for nature has not passed for mind." 4< 

We have now seen the inadequacy and the inconsist- 
ency of the concept of nature that refuses to drag in 
mind. And we have reached the point where mind re- 
fuses to be left out any longer, where it obtrudes itself 
in spite of all the well-guarded defences of realism. We 
have, after all, to include in the philosophy of nature as 
an ultimate entity the time of mind which extends be- 
yond nature, and to deny any place beyond nature to 
measurable serial time, for all it was said to be an 
intellectual abstraction, since the processes of nature 
are measurable and calculable in time. And yet the 
time we measure and calculate by cannot be the space- 
time which events are, for Nature cannot measure her- 
self. It is a mind-time which events conform to, and 
so far as they conform, and so far as this time is a 
"character of nature/ 7 nature is not "closed to mind." 

What is more, it has become increasingly noticeable 
that the very definitions of the "percipient event" pre- 
suppose a certain psychical limit. We are dealing al- 
ways with nature as observed and there are limits to 
our observation. And a psychical limit, I submit, is 
every bit as bad as a "psychical addition" for a philos- 
ophy of nature which is rigorously excluding mind. 
Take for example the psychical standard of duration : 

"Our observational 'present' is what I call a duration." . . . "The 
duration as a whole is signified by that quality of relatedness (in 
1 The Concept of Nature, p. 68. 



112 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

respect of extension) possessed by the part which is immediately 
under observation; namely, by the fact that there is essentially a 
beyond to whatever is observed. I mean by this that every event 
is known as being related to other events which it does not include 
. . . exclusion is as positive a quality as inclusion." * 

Note that exclusion is of space all the things in na- 
ture which we don't have under observation and of 
time, all the things in nature which have not happened 
for us ; all the things which both for us and for nature 
haven 't happened yet. 

Now if percipience is an event in nature, that is to 
say, in the nature of the realist which is independent of 
percipience, anticipation of the future is impossible and 
meaningless. Memory is both impossible and meaning- 
less. For both memory and anticipation are forms of 
perception with a change of tense, and perception can- 
not jump outside nature to perceive the things which 
for nature have passed and for nature have not yet 
begun. 

Again, if perception is in nature it can never tran- 
scend nature at any moment ; it can never transcend the 
stretch of nature which it has under observation at any 
moment ; yet in order to grasp that stretch, above all, 
in order to make that distinction between perception, 
or if Professor Whitehead prefers it, between " percip- 
ient event" and object perceived, that distinction which 
is vital to realism, it must transcend nature from mo- 
ment to moment. If this distinction is not given in per- 
ception, for realism it is never given. 

"We observe nature as extended in an immediate present which 
is simultaneous but not instantaneous, and therefore the whole which 
is immediately discerned or signified as an inter-related system 
forms a stratification of nature which is a physical fact." 

We have already seen what happens between strati- 
fications. We have seen that by knocking out point- 
instants we have not got rid of discontinuity ; it crops 

1 The Concept of Nature, p. 186. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 113 

up again between durations. And here it is at last im- 
possible to exclude consciousness from the problem. 
Consciousness emerges as the controller of these strati- 
fications. That is to say, the " percipient event" is the 
measure of the " observational present " which is na- 
ture 's " here-now. ' > Nature in any ' ' here-now ' ' can be 
no less and no more than what perception can take in 
at one bite. It is events with their rhythm, their vibra- 
tion that bring discontinuity in, while consciousness 
covers the events, consciousness slides from duration 
to duration without a break. It and it alone provides 
the continuity discerned in nature. It, or rather the 
enduring self behind it, is the continuum. Beside the 
steady stare of consciousness events quiver, you can 
almost hear the tick-tick of their passing. 

May not the truth be that events as distinguished 
from objects, space as distinguished from time, and 
both as distinguished from events, reality as distin- 
guished from appearance, and nature as distinguished 
from thought are all abstractions from the continuous 
unity of some all-embracing self? Even finite selves 
confer unity and continuity on nature as far as they 
go, though their consciousness is closed to the greater 
part of reality. 

And there were those contradictions. We have seen 
the twofold contradictory character of objects on the 
realist event theory. I do not see how we are to believe 
that a real object, independent of perception, of the 
form of consciousness, could have this twofold contra- 
dictory character. Let us look at it again. If the per- 
manent object and its change or changes are not one 
object but two or more objects, the object hasn't 
changed, and each successive state of the object will 
constitute a literally different object. But we can't say 
this, for this is what holds good of events. And events 
are the very stuff of our experience. 



114 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

"Events are lived through; they extend around us. They are 
the medium within which our physical experience develops." 1 

I hope I am not confusing the question by an ambigu- 
ous use of the word ' ' experience ' ' ; what I mean is that 
to part, at any rate, of our perceptions the object is pre- 
sented, not clean and separate, but immersed in events. 
Even when we, so to speak, take it up to look at, it still 
drips with the stream. There will be a stage of percep- 
tion when it will be both isolated and yet dripping. And 
I repeat, we cannot think of a real object, there on its 
own account, as thus permanent and separate and at 
the same time undergoing change and dripping. 

But suppose with idealism that the object only exists 
when and as it is perceived or recognised? Suppose 
that, as regards this particular contradiction, the du- 
plicity is in our consciousness, and that the changing, 
eventful object is the object perceived and remembered, 
and the permanent, unchanged object is the object rec- 
ognised and conceived? We shall not have accounted 
for change or for passing, we shall not have solved all 
the contradictions in the concepts of space-time and of 
objects and events, but at least we shall have pointed 
the way towards a possible solution. 

iii 

Eealism in its later stages has become self-critical. 
Tlie It has learned that its postulates are hard to reconcile 
critical with the fact that our senses give us conflicting evi- 
dence, that physical objects are not perceived as they 
really are, and that their ultimate nature, as disclosed 
by science, affords no explanation of their appearances. 
Critical Realism is aware that these are downright 
serious matters very much in the way of a realistic 
theory of perception. 
Unlike new realism, it is not extremist. It does not 

1 Enquiry, p. 63. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 115 

turn the whole content of consciousness out of doors. 
On the contrary, it draws a curious and very interesting 
distinction between the content and the object. The 
content, the ' ' datum, ' ' what is immediately before con- 
sciousness, is, the critical realists say, never the ob- 
ject itself, but always an " image/' the logical essence" 
by means of which the object is perceived. 1 Thus there 
is no direct perception of objects such as both naif 
and new realism assume. The essence is the mediator 
between the god-like inaccessibility of the object and 
the perceiving mind. It is as much the instrument of 
perception as the bodily organism, and is as little to be 
confused with the perceptual object itself. 

The essence is expressly stated to be not an existent, 
either in the sense in which the object is existent out 
there in space, or in any other sense. It is to be care- 
fully discriminated from the "mental state " which is 
its "vehicle." The mental state has the status of an 
existent like any object, except that I suppose it would 
be said to be "here" in consciousness and not "out 
there" in space. The pure sense-elements of percep- 
tion are existents and not essences; they are mental 
states, contributions of the mind, "secondary" qual- 
ities with which it "clothes" the objects of perception. 

There are some distinctions that simplify the prob- 
lem of knowledge, and there are some that obscure and 
complicate it. It cannot be said that the distinctions of 
critical realism are of the simplifying and clarifying 
kind. We shall see that on this theory, though some 
bad difficulties are avoided, the whole business of per- 
ception becomes extremely queer. We are no longer 
troubled with contradictory witnesses to reality, since 
the sole "data" of perception are the essences, quality 

1 Essays in Critical Realism, by Durant Drake, Arthur C. Lovejoy, 
James Bissett Pratt, Arthur K. Rogers, George Santayana, Roy Wood 
Sellars, C. A. Strong. 



116 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

groups which have their own inalienable character, are 
not existents and therefore do not challenge the ob- 
jects on that ground; since the objects do not come into 
consciousness at all and since we may suppose that the 
sense-elements do not "witness" to anything. Thus 
compared with the objects the essences are frankly in- 
door, subjective affairs. Their status is as safe from 
irrelevant comparison as on any idealistic scheme. We 
have no incompatible existents. Incompatibilities only 
arise as between existences in space and time, and the 
essences have no such existence. 

Not that critical realists are agreed as to their pre- 
cise status. Professors Drake, Santayana, Rogers and 
Strong maintain that the datum, which is always to be 
discriminated from "the mental state which is the 
vehicle of its givenness," is not an existent "represent- 
ing the object," 

"it is ... simply the essence or character (the what) of the 
object known." 

And always the mental states are existents. They 
may "give" mental traits, feeling traits to the char- 
acter-complex of the datum. While to Professors Sel- 
lars, Love joy and Pratt the datum is 

"in toto the character of the mental state of the moment, and so 
is an existent, though its existence is not 'given'." 1 

But these differences need not concern us. 

Professor Drake 2 trains all the old arguments from 
incompatibility on naif and new realism alike with 
deadly effect. The position of critical realism is that 

"the existent at a given point of space at a given time never 
has more than one set of compatible qualities." 1 

Then what about the alleged incompatibles f Profes- 
sor Drake will not admit that they arise from differ- 

1 Essays in Critical Eealism, The Approach to Critical Realism, pp. 4, 
20, 21. 

1 The same, p. 4. 
1 The same, p. 16. 



HI THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 117 

ences in relations. Each supposed incompatible is a 
downright quality. It is what it appears to be. But 
these qualities do not compete with one another on the 
same plane. That is to say, of two alleged incompat- 
ibles one may be a mere feeling or sensation, which is 
part of the " mental state " of the perceiver, therefore 
a subjective existent ; the other may be part of the qual- 
ity group, the logical essence, which is really what the 
object is. It is clear that on this theory we are not 
dealing with two incompatible existents, both qualities 
of the object. Professor Drake is not so admirably 
precise on this point as he is everywhere else; but I 
think all this may be gathered from his theory as a 
whole. 

So far, so good. It is when we come to consider the 
relation of the essences, the not-existent data of per- 
ception to the existing object that we realise that we 
are not much safer than we were before. The data 

"are character complexes ( essences) irresistibly taken, in the 
moment of perception, to be the character of existing outer objects." * 

When we ask what guarantee we have that they are 
the character of objects, since they are all we've got, 
we are told that 

"There never is a guaranty in the moment of perception that 
they really are the characters of any outer existent." 

The guarantee is a purely pragmatic one. 

"Our instantaneous (and practically inevitable) belief in the 
existence of the physical world about us is pragmatically justifiable. 
. . . This little realm of Appearance (i. e. what appears, what is 
'given') might conceivably be merely the vision of a mind in an 
empty world. But we instinctively feel these appearances to be the 
characters of real objects. We react to them as if they had an ex- 
istence of their own. . . . Everything is as if realism were true." " 

This is meant to show that we are not the victims 
of a series of subjective hallucinations. As we have 

1 The Approach to Critical Eealism, pp. 5-6. 
The same, p. 20. 



118 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

seen, the essences are not to be confounded with my 
mental states. The states are existents and the data 
are not. (As we shall see presently, Professor Strong 
counts secondary and tertiary qualities, sensations and 
feelings, as might be spots of blue and fits of temper, as 
states equally mental, thus introducing a further com- 
plication. And I gather that all critical realists agree 
with him.) The mental existents "make possible the 
appearance of the essence/' If we go and call the data 
existents we shall be bestowing existence on our hal- 
lucinations, for there are hallucinatory data. Delusion 
consists in imagining that these exist "out there. " 

Here again, in this matter of hallucination, I find 
critical realism disappointing. For the real datum, 
the "character complex " is on the same footing of not 
existing out there. 

What is the critical realist going to do about it? 

He flies to "imagination." The character-complex 
of the hallucinatory object is imagined as out there, 
and we falsely imagine it as existent out there. The 
character complex of a really existent object is imag- 
inary too, only in this instance we rightly attribute it 
to a real existent. 

"These imagined character-complexes are our data. Usually some 
of the traits of the character-complex are real, some are merely 
imaginary. But whether really true or not they are never found 
there by a sort of telepathic vision, but are imagined there by a 
mind." 1 

And you gather that it depends merely on the quality 
of the imagination (plus our possible reactions) 
whether they shall count as genuine data or no. Thus 
perception is 

"a sort of imagination vivid, controlled, involuntary imagina- 
tion, which is to some extent veridical." a 

But veridical to what extent and in what instances 

1 The Approach to Critical Realism, p. 23. 
' The same. 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPARATIONS 119 

we have no exact means of knowing. And, really, on 
the theory, we have no means of knowing at all. Imag- 
ination is at once the suspect, the witness and the judge ; 
we have no other. 

Critical realism distinguishes, much as Locke and the 
old tradition distinguished, between primary and sec- 
ondary qualities. It accepts ' i the general verdict which 
hold that only the primary perceptual qualities are lit- 
eral characters of objects," and it maintains that 

"in so far as perception gives us accurate knowledge, it does so 
by causing the actual characteristics of objects to appear to us. The 
objects themselves, those bits of existence, do not get within our 
consciousness. Their existence is their own affair, private and in- 
communicable." * 

This is all very well; but as most primary qualities, 
shape, size, extension and motion, are specially dis- 
tinguished by their spatial and temporal relations, it 
is hard to see what their characteristics can have in 
common with logical essences expressly stated to be 
not existent, to have no relations in space and time. 
A queer sort of literalness, this. 

Again, Professor Drake says: 

"Identical essences can be 'given' by means of very varying 
mental states. A vivid sensation, a faint sensation, a memory, 
a conceptual state can be vehicles, at different times, by which one 
and the same essence can be 'given'." a 

Now, how, on the theory, can you possibly tell that it 
is one and the same? How can you make your leap 
from existent state, to not-existent essence? And how 
can essences be "given" by qualities which do not 
belong to them? There is no sense in which the sec- 
ondary qualities of the mental states can be said to 
belong; since the essence is the group of primary qual- 
ities from which secondary qualities have been ex- 
cluded. 

1 The Approach to Critical Eealism, pp. 23-24. 
a The same, pp. 27-28. 



120 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

This theory of essence compels us to take our com- 
plex data as part existent and part not-existent, part 
mental and part non-mental, which is what Professor 
Drake said (rightly, I think,) we were not to do. That 
was on page twelve. On page thirty he says: 

"we live in the presence of ... hybrid objects existences really 
there, but clothed, in our mind's eye, with the qualities which our 
mental states put into them. Our data are characters which may be 
said to be projected. . . . Not actually projected . . . but simply 
supposed to be out there, 'imagined' out there . . . common sense 
takes it for granted that they are out there and has never grappled 
with the difficulty of how they are revealed if they are there, or 
what their status is if they aren't there." * 

And again it is hard to see how you " grapple " with 
the difficulty by saying the projection is imagined and 
by presenting the content of knowledge as the means 
to it. You might as well identify our percepts with the 
physical apparatus of perception. If the content of 
consciousness is the content what more do we want? 
If it isn't, if it is only the means to knowledge, what 
knowledge have we got ? Only the mental state remains 
indubitably existent and indubitably known. What 
could subjective idealism wish for more? 

Professor Pratt 's theory does not differ essentially 
from Professor Drake's. He evidently thinks that 
the main objections to it are that it involves transcend- 
ence and that it makes perception indirect. 

Idealists will not quarrel with it on the score of trans- 
cendence. The real trouble is that it offers as a substi- 
tute for the perceptual object a logical essence, which 
according to Professors Drake, Santayana, Rogers and 
Strong is non-mental and not-existent, and according 
to Professors Pratt, Lovejoy and Sellars is the total 
character of an existent mental state ; a substitute which 
is not really projected but imagined as out there where 
the object is. Thus we have absolutely no criterion 

1 The Approach to Critical Bealism, pp. 27-28. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 121 

for judging that our imaginations correspond with re- 
ality, and no grounds, other than pragmatic, for sup- 
posing the existence of any object at all. And, really, 
those pragmatic grounds How can the mere fact that 
we find it convenient, that, in the consecrated phrase 
of pragmatism, it "works" to assume reality, justify 
us in assuming a reality unperceived, unproved and 
otherwise unwarranted? A working hypothesis in 
the field of experience is one thing, and a pragmatic 
hypothesis carried into the field beyond experience is 
another. For the pragmatic test, the fitness, the con- 
venience of working, are all part of my experience, 
my perceptual content, and have no application to the 
beyond. My reactions prove nothing. When I see my 
53 'bus coming along to Piccadilly Circus and adapt 
my movements to its decreasing rate of movement and 
to its final position of rest, with reference to the curb, 
when, in other words I catch my 'bus, the 'bus and its 
movements and the curb and the Circus and my body 
and its movements are all part of the content of my con- 
sciousness at the moment, and afford in themselves, no 
possible grounds for the assumption of a "real" 'bus 
and a "real" Circus outside consciousness. The reac- 
tions of my fellow passengers, do, I admit, appear to 
give grounds ; this is a difficulty for idealism which I 
hope to dispose of in its proper place, 1 merely remark- 
ing that these manifestations of other people are also 
part of the content of my consciousness as, indeed, my 
manifestations are of theirs. But this is not a prag- 
matic relation. In the logic of pragmatism the a 
posteriori cart draws the a priori ontological horse. 

To return to Professor Pratt. After showing very 
clearly that the percept is all the datum we've got, 
and that the percept is not the object, he goes on to 
say that we do not "see" the percept, but the object, 

1 See below, Space, Time and Other Consciousnesses, pp. 245-259. 



122 THE NEW IDEALISM m 

and that we see it by means of the percept : * i the object 
of perception is the object of perception. " In seeing 
my friend, 

"He is the object of my sight. I do not see my percept of him; 
I see him, and I do so by means of my percept." * 

That is to say the object is never directly perceived, 
since it is an outside existent, and the percept is never 
perceived since it is the means of perceiving, yet the 
percept is the datum, the given content of perception, 
and yet by means of this unperceived content I per- 
ceive ! It may be so, but if I have nothing to go on but 
this* imaginary content I shall never know it. I am 
shut up with my apparatus of essences and have no 
grounds for assuming an object outside them. There 
is no sense in which I can be said to see or be in any 
way conscious of that object. And if I am not allowed 
to perceive my own percepts it is hard to say what I 
do perceive. 

Percepts, Professor Pratt says, 

"are simply my means of perceiving and thoughts my means of 
thinking, just as the voice is my means of speaking; to insist that 
I cannot perceive a red house because I have to perceive it by means 
of my percept is like insisting that I cannot hear the organ because 
I can only hear the sound, or that I cannot say 'Boo' because I 
have to say it with my voice." a 

It seems to me that there is some confusion here. I 
do not perceive by means of my percept in the same 
sense that I speak by means of my voice. In speaking 
by means of my voice I am not affirming the objective 
existence of voices, I am simply making noises which 
are the recognised symbols of existents other than 
voices, and in every respect unlike them. But in per- 
ceiving by means of my percept I am supposed, on the 
theory, to be affirming the existence of objects in all 
respects so similar to or correspondent with my per- 

1 The Possibility of Knowledge (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 103. 
The same, p. 104. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 123 

cepts that I am said to perceive the very objects them- 
selves. And I contend that from the character of the 
data at my disposal I have no business to affirm any- 
thing of the sort. 

Again, ' ' to insist that I cannot perceive a red house 
because I have to perceive it by means of my percept " 
is not at all on all fours with "insisting that I cannot 
hear the organ because I hear only its sound. " For 
in the case of the percept we have nothing "given" 
corresponding to organ, while in the case of the organ 
we have all its other perceptual qualities associated 
with its sound. 

Professor Pratt admits the fallibility of knowledge 
obtained by means of the apparatus of images. 

("The ultimate nature of reality in itself may be very difficult, or 
even impossible to discover") ; 

and he pleads that our actual knowledge is precisely 
in this case. But all that critical realism has done, 
so far, is to complicate this problem of knowledge fur- 
ther by duplicating it with the old, clumsy machinery 
of "images"; the only justification for this proceed- 
ing being the guarantee of a corresponding reality a 
guarantee which is admitted to be impossible. There 
is no sort of use, on any realistic theory, for all this 
imaginary scenery rigged up between consciousness 
and reality. 

Nor does Professor Santayana, in his Three Proofs 
of Realism carry us much further. He holds the bal- 
ance between two extremes, the "minimum" and 
"maximum" of realism, the mere innocent "presump- 
tion that there is such a thing as knowledge" and 

"the assurance that everything ever perceived or thought of 
existed apart from apprehension and exactly in the form in which it 
is believed to exist." * 

The problems for critical realism are two : one of the 

1 Three Proofs of Realism (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 163. 



124 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

independent and separate existence of the object; one 
of the "literalness and adequacy " of knowledge. The 
problem of existence is concerned with appearance and 
that underlying reality to which Professor Santayana 
boldly restores its old name of " substance. " This 
involves relations; so that the problem of existence 
splits off into two problems : one concerning the ' l exis- 
tence " and "conditions" of substance and appearance; 
the other concerning the degree of "similarity" be- 
tween them ; to which the answer of the realist tends to 
be that ' ' their existence is quite distinct and their con- 
ditipns entirely different," 
and that 

"the similarity is great and may even rise to identity of es- 



sence." * 



As we have seen, the critical realist complicates 
his problem gravely by the introduction of essences. 
He has in the long-run to admit that some appearances 
at any rate are not similar to, much less identical with, 
the underlying reality (if you go back as far as "the 
scientific object," a colour is not similar to a light-wave 
nor a sound to an aerial vibration), so that he is further 
saddled with the old distinction between primary and 
secondary or tertiary qualities. Even if you take the 
primary qualities only to be essences (the secondary 
and tertiary being "mental states"), you cannot say 
that they resemble the ultimate physical realities. 

Centreing round substance and appearances, then, 
there will be two "perfectly consistent and truly com- 
plementary" tendencies in critical realism: 

"the one tends to separate appearance from substance only in 
existence ; the other tends to identify them only in essence" ; 

The truth, according to Professor Santayana, being 
that they are strictly correspondent and mutually de- 
pendent : 

1 Three Proofs of Realism (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 165. 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPARATIONS 125 

"they hang together and reflect one another like a poet and his 
works. Only if arrested and isolated would the material world and 
the bodily life of animals seem not to involve sensation and thought 
and not to be involved in them. . . ."* 

And once more we ask : what criterion have we, what 
guarantee that the appearances of sensation and of 
thought, if separate from substance in existence, are 
identical with it in essence? Even if the unperceived 
"material world and the bodily life of animals " may 
be taken as equivalent to substance (which I doubt) 
we are faced with our old difficulty which was that of 
identifying the qualities given in sensation and per- 
ception with the ultimate elements of matter and their 
behaviour ; for we can hardly imagine anything more 
totally dissimilar. It is not as if we knew absolutely 
nothing about those ultimate elements; science has at 
last reduced them to hypothetical electrons, to atoms 
and molecules and their movements and vibrations. 
If you say that these ultimate elements are substance 
you h^ve the dissimilarity on your hands ; if you say 
that they are not substance but the appearances of a 
reality still more ultimate, you have a set of appear- 
ances which do not appear, you are further off from 
substance than ever, and again you have no evidence 
to show for your alleged identity of essence. 

Critical realism, then, unites two assumptions : 

"first, that knowledge is transitive, so that self-existing things may 
become the chosen objects of a mind that identifies and indicates 
them ; second, that knowledge is relevant, so that the thing indicated 
may have at least some of the qualities that the mind attributes 
to it." ' 

Professor Santayana says that these assumptions are 
"instinctive and necessary to the validity of know- 
ledge," whereas the truth is that the transitiveness, the 
passage from the external self-existing object to the 

1 Three Proofs of Bealism, (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 167. 
3 The same, p. 168. 



126 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

mind is a necessity created solely by the realistic as- 
sumption of separation and externality; and the rele- 
vance is, again, the question in dispute. On this the- 
ory I repeat you can never be certain that your 
assumption is correct. 

If on the other hand you identify substance with some 
underlying mind or self, and appearances with the con- 
tent of its consciousness, parts or aspects of which 
content are transmitted to the consciousness of finite 
selves, you have all the transitiveness your instinct can 
require (if it did require it) and an indisputable rele- 
vance (I will admit that our instinct demands rele- 
vance.) You have, in fact, a direct relevance of con- 
sciousness to consciousness without the interpolation 
of any images or essences, which only serve to make 
this complicated affair more complicated still. 

Professor Santayana's three proofs of realism 
amount to this: (1) Man as a biological organism 
adapts his behaviour to the assumption that objects 
are outside him, that is to say, outside his organism. 
(2) Even the idealist's psychological behaviour im- 
plies the independent reality of time, of other minds, 
and of his own transcendental logic. (3) Knowledge 
involves the external reality of logical essences, 
changeless amid the flux of existence. 1 

The biological proof merely proves that we are con- 
scious of the existence of objects outside our bodies, 
a fact which no idealist would or could deny. The 
psychological proof is valid only as against solipsism; 
the logical proof only as against sensational idealism. 
For the idealist would, or should, admit the reality of 
logical essences, not external to all consciousness but 
constitutive of the universe within it, the "means," if 
critical realism likes to put it that way, by which the 

1 Three Proofs of Bealism (Essays in Critical Realism), pp. 169-184. 



in THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 127 

mind recognises objects already perceived in what I 
call the primary block of consciousness. 

Professor Sellars in " Knowledge and its Gate- 
go ries M enters more precisely into the question of 
separation of existence and identity of essence. He in- 
sists that 

"Mere identification does not meet essential difficulties. It must 
be remembered that, in the act of knowledge, the idea which gives 
the content of knowledge (the esse intentionale of the scholastics) 
is other than the object of knowledge." l 

Yet identity there is. It is a logical identity in the 
sense that the data " possess cognitive value. " 

Professor Sellars, like Professor Drake and Pro- 
fessor Pratt is keenly alive to the difficulty of estab- 
lishing the relations of passage from and fitness of 
knowledge to the object. It is not done in the moment 
of perception. 

"Only as reflection proceeds is the givenness of content dis- 
tinguished from knowledge and regarded as the instrument of know- 
ledge." 3 

We might even say that this happens only in the 
reflections of critical realists. 

"The physical realm is one we can never intuit as common sense 
tends to suppose; the only realm we can intuit is the realm of 
data." 1 

Thus, to begin with, we must distinguish between 
knowledge and intuition, and, further, the critical real- 
ist holds 

"that we do not infer a realm of existents co-real with ourselves 
but, instead, affirm it through the very pressure and suggestion of 
our experience." 4 

And so, always at the critical moment when the 
critical realist is asked to give grounds for his as- 

1 Knowledge and its Categories (Essays in Critical Eealism), p. 190. 
1 The same, pp. 193, 194. 
8 The same, p. 195. 
4 The same. 



128 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

sertion that his ideas and reality tally, he puts you 
off with his dogmatic affirmation that it is so; and 
this after having coolly told you that the "givenness 
of content, " as not knowledge but "an instrument of 
knowledge, " is reached by a process of reflection ; when 
the idealist's obvious repartee is that his processes 
of reflection reveal nothing of the sort. We may in- 
deed intuit the content of knowledge, but if we do not 
intuit the physical realm along with it neither do we 
intuit their logical identity ; and I submit that a bare 
"affirmation 7 ' has no ground of justification when it 
rests neither on intuition nor on inference. These 
delicate distinctions between content and object, be- 
tween identity of existence and identity of essence are 
all very well, but how on earth are you to get from one 
to the other if you may neither intuit nor infer? 

Professor Sellars's method of solving this problem 
is to add yet another unproved and improvable affirma- 
tion to the rest: the affirmation of "thinghood." You 
add the category of thinghood and your perception 
is complete. On page a hundred and ninety-seven 
he admits that 

"reflection has discovered that the content with which we auto- 
matically clothe these acknowledged realities is subjective." 

Professor Drake admits it. All the critical realists 
admit it. None of them suggest that the discoveries 
of reflection are invalid, or that any after reflection 
impugns the subjectivity of this automatic clothing. 
Yet on the very next page Professor Sellars gravely 
states that "the object must be known in terms of the 
content which is given to the knowing self." 

What could idealism wish for more? 

Remember, it was stated on page one hundred and 
ninety-five that we do not infer a realm of existents co- 
real with ourselves, we affirm it. Apparently, having 
affirmed it, we go on, after reflection, to infer that it 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 129 

must be known in terms of the content. But the whole 
process of inference rests on the original baseless 
affirmation. And then, again, after being told that we 
do not intuit the "physical realm," the realm of ob- 
jects, we are thrown back on intuition. Knowledge, 
Professor Sellars says, 

"is just the insight into the nature of the object which is made 
possible by contents which reflect it in consciousness." 

And he repeats his statement that the object is known 
in terms of the content presented to the knowing self. 

A while back we had the content "clothing" the ob- 
ject "automatically," now we have the object "reflect- 
ed" in the content. I do not want to descend to mere 
verbal quibbling, but it seems to me that we have here 
a confusion between two fundamentally different rela- 
tions, of objects reflecting themselves into contents, and 
contents putting their own clothes on objects, of objects 
taking the initiative and contents taking the initiative, 
and that this confusion expresses a fundamental ambig- 
uity in the relation, which critical realism has not 
helped to make clear. And we may ask if the con- 
tent, after all, has to be presented, why distinguish 
between it and the object? What presents it? Not 
the object, for then it would be the content of the ob- 
ject and not a mere instrument of knowing. 

"The content has cognitive value." 

And this is "a way of saying" that it is 

"relevant to the object, that it has a sort of revelatory identity 
with the object, that it contains its structure, position, and changes." * 

It is implied that there are characteristics which it 
does not contain and that those it does contain are not 
perfectly identical; it has only "a sort of" revelatory 
identity. Critical realism is very careful not to commit 
itself too deeply on this question of identity, anyhow 

1 Knowledge and its Categories (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 200. 



130 THE NEW IDEALISM in 

we are evidently back again in the old dualism between 
primary and secondary qualities. 

"One flower is white and small, another is blue and large, etc. 
These differences are rightly taken by all to point to differences 
in the physical object." 1 

But when we ask "what is the exact nature of this 
agreement" we are referred to "the total psychologi- 
cal situation. J ' 

Now the total psychological situation may tell us 
pretty plainly that there is correspondence of a sort, 
that there is even a direct connection between the mov- 
ing molecules of the causal object and the moving mole- 
cules of the physical organism, but it does not and can- 
not tell us of any sort of identity or even of similarity 
between content and object. Even if we were to grant 
that primary and secondary qualities are not in the 
same boat, the utmost possible agreement would be 
that the structure and position of objects moving or at 
rest may be supposed really to occupy the same geo- 
metrical points of space that they appear to occupy at 
a given time. Only, even so, the image (or essence) 
theory saddles us with the insuperable difficulty of ob- 
jects there in space, and essences (or images) here in 
consciousness. 

And on page two hundred and six we are told, in 
italics, that 

"the critical realist holds that knowledge is a function of the 
known rather than a peculiar, real relation between the knower and 
the known." 

That is to say, the peculiar real relation between ob- 
ject and content presupposes no sort of relation be- 
tween either and the knower. And yet it was the 
knower who "clothed" the object with the subjective 
qualities of the content, who was related to it as " the 
poet to his work." 

1 Knowledge and its Categories (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 202. 



in THE CRITICAL PKEPARATIONS 131 

The fact is the critical realist is sailing very peril- 
ously between realism and idealism. He is trying to 
get all the advantages of epistemology without its dis- 
astrous effects on realism. Critical realism, to do it 
justice, is only too keenly aware of the danger. Thus 
Professor Sellars, faced with the obvious dissimilarity 
between content and object, says 

"But we who have given up the sensible physical thing realize 
that the belief in appearance as a manifestation like the physical 
thing is misleading." 1 

So that, after all, we are no nearer knowing where 
we are. One moment we are told that the essence of 
content and object is identical, that the subject clothes 
the object with the qualities of the data and that in see- 
ing by means of our apparatus of percepts we are real- 
ly seeing objects (though apparently we may not per- 
ceive them) ; and the next that to talk of mere likeness 
between object and appearance is misleading. 

And again, when it comes to asking plumply and 
plainly, Are the data mental or non-mental? 

"The critical realist agrees with the idealist that the content is 
mental, but strikes his counter-blow by asserting that knowledge is a 
claim to know an object in terms of this content. The object is 
known but not intuited ; the content is intuited but not known." a 

I confess I cannot see how the idealist is hit by this 
blow, seeing that it is precisely what he asserts himself. 

As far as memory is concerned, while the critical 
realist would, I think, agree with the idealist criticism 
of the new-realist theory, he is in a curious position. 
He contends that "the object of memory no longer ex- 
ists but that the claim and content are elements of the 
present act." 3 

So that he is left with a content without an object. 

1 Knowledge and its Categories (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 210. 
'The same, p. 2f2. 
The same, p. 216. 



132 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

When it comes to The Nature of the Datum, Profes- 
sor Strong is up to his neck in the familiar incompati- 
bilities* Almost passionately he reiterates that the 
datum is not the physical thing. Therefore the physi- 
cal thing 

"can only be either an intellectual construction made on the basis 
of data or a real existence brought before us by data." * 

He objects to the word datum, used so freely by the 
other critical realists, because "it suggests that the 
givenness is given along with the thing," in other 
words, that we intuit givenness, which involves a rela- 
tion to the self. He wants his datum clean, cut clear 
from all the fringes of the self, therefore he prefers 
the word essence alone. There is a purity about es- 
sence, it carries no psychological implications. In fact 
the persistence with which Professor Strong clears 
away the psychological fringes seems strangely at 
variance with the conception of the content as "men- 
tal,' 7 and of the mind as clothing the object with its 
qualities. To Professor Strong, in the case of a physi- 
cal object, say, a face, the content is physical in essence 
but not in existence. 2 Pain and a fit of temper are not, 
for example, on the same footing as a face. They are 
frankly psychological. But the content, face, is nei- 
ther psychological nor physical (except in essence) but 
logical. 3 

By this time it is clear that this subtle distinction 
would fairly rule the subject out, if critical realism 
could make up its mind to this drastic action. At first 
sight it isn't easy to see how it can deny that the con- 
tent is psychological and yet assert that it is mental, 
nor how, if the content is mental in existence, it can 

*0n the Nature of the Datum (Essays in Critical Eealism), pp. 

227, 228. 

'The same, pp. 228, 229. 

228, 229. 

8 The same. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 133 

prove that the object is physical in existence, nor yet 
how, still distinguishing between essence and existence, 
it can prove that the content is physical in essence, 
since the real nature of the physical object is unknown. 
Critical realism draws a distinction between what is 
subjective in the psychological sense and what is sub- 
jective in the logical sense. In this latter sense, then, 
the content is downright subjective. 

We may appreciate the dangers which have driven 
critical realism to its conclusions, but our appreciation 
cannot blind us to the difficulties they give rise to. 

I do not say that the logical essence of a blue jug or 
of a smell of fried potatoes is a more staggering con- 
ception in itself than the logical essence of deity ; and 
I am not denying the reality of logical essences in their 
proper place, but I do not think that their proper place 
is where the jug and the smell are, in the world of 
space and time. On any theory of knowledge or of 
reality I do not think that logical essences belong in 
any sense to space and time. I gather that critical 
realists do not either, and I also gather that Profes- 
sor Strong does not regard a pain or a fit of temper as 
a logical essence, and while I can perfectly well see 
that a pain or a fit of temper may have a logical essence 
out of space and out of time by virtue of which they 
figure in logical propositions, I cannot see that a blue 
jug or a smell of fried potatoes can be a logical es- 
sence, seeing that they are in space and time. 

Professor Strong gets over this difficulty by denying 
that sense-data are in space and time, and affirming 
that only the physical things which the sense-data 
bring before us are in space and time ; and I want to 
know how he knows this about physical things since 
his only guarantee is the evidence of data not in space 
and time? I do not think you could well have any two 



134 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

classes of entities more hopelessly divided in exist- 
ence a/nd in essence, more hopelessly uncorresponding 
and unrepresentative of each other than entities in 
space and time and entities timeless and spaceless. 
His denial is also in plain contradiction with the evi- 
dence of our percepts, which (whatever they may not 
do) do at least present themselves as in space and do 
most certainly occur in time. Sense-data may be in 
flagrant contradiction with each other, they may not 
agree with any concept of physical nature which sci- 
ence gives us, they may for all we know be sheer hallu- 
cinations, yet they do indubitably appear as visibly or 
tactually extended, or audibly located in space, and as 
spatially related to each other, and the dates of their 
appearing and the order of their appearing are indu- 
bitably in time, and they are temporally related to each 
other. And if they were not they would be pretty poor 
data for realism's affirmation of external reality. 
Even a pain may be " located," and a fit of temper oc- 
curs in time in a definite relation to other events. I 
simply do not know what Professor Strong means by 
his assertion that visual data have no spatial relations 
to each other. Here it is in full : 

"the visual data as such are neither here nor there. They have 
no spatial relations to other possible visual data, but only spatial re- 
lations among their own parts none, in short, that are not at this 
moment given." * 

If he means that they are not perceived as visibly 
related in space to other data not perceived at the 
moment when they are given, this is not saying that 
they are not so related to other visual data which are 
perceived at the same time. My bookcase is to the 
right of the fireplace and to the left of the door. All 
the visual content, of various data, which I have before 
me at this moment appears to me as spatially and tern- 

1 The Nature of the Datum (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 232. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 135 

porally related. Professor Strong says that these 
data are not so related among themselves as wholes, 
but only their parts, and I ask him Why not the wholes, 
where separate wholes can be discerned in one block 
of consciousness ? And I cannot see how he can deny 
to the whole what he grants to the parts, how a whole 
whose parts are temporally and spatially related can 
avoid being itself spatially and temporally related. 
By far the safer line for him to take would be that 
logical essences have no parts. 

He also denies that they are existences. This fol- 
lows from denying that they are related in space and 
time; and the idealist can have no possible objection; 
in fact, by taking this particular line critical realism 
is playing very obligingly into his hands. 

In order that we may the better realise that a datum 
is not an existence and remember, the idealist is not 
quarrelling with him on this score Professor Strong 
insists on the distinction between the datum and "the 
psychic state which is its vehicle. " By the psychic 
state he means, not the mere psychic fact that we are 
sensing, but the sense-element, the sensation which we 
should have supposed to be an element of the sense- 
datum, but which now appears as a tertium quid which 
is "in time and perhaps space when the data aren't." 
But as he identifies it with the psychic state it is hard 
to see how, on his theory, it can be spatial. In fact 
this appearance of the sense element as a separate 
psychic entity from the sense-datum, though it clears 
the character of the logical essences, does not serve to 
clarify their relations. He argues in effect, that the 
psychic state "which we have always with us whether 
we merely feel or whether we perceive " is an existent 
in its own way, but affords no grounds for our assum- 
ing the existence of the essence ; otherwise 



136 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

"we should have three existences concerned in sense-perception 
the physical thing, the state of our sensibility and the essence" 

This, again, to avoid multiplication and incompati- 
bility of existents. 

The example he gives as showing "most clearly the 
difference between the perceptual essence and the sen- 
sation " 

"is that of the after-image of the sun projected successively on 
the thumb-nail, on the wall of the room and on a mountain side." l 

Because he finds that the after-image itself "retains 
the same sensible size," he argues that the variation 
in the size of the objects 

"must be something which the after-image has as a symbol but 
not as a sensible fact. 9 ' J 

I am afraid I cannot see the necessity. In the first 
place I think it may fairly be objected that the after- 
image "has "n't these sizes, either as symbols or as 
facts, at all, any more than it "has" the projections 
on the thumb-nail, the wall and the mountain side. The 
sizes belong clearly to the projections, and not to the 
after-image ; they and it are on precisely the same foot- 
ing, and they are in no more peculiar case than the re- 
flection of the sun itself on any distorting, or diminish- 
ing medium. We have here in fact some rather special 
instances of the relativity of size, three sense-data in 
three different contexts. (Clearly Professor Strong 
regards the projections as data, since he refers to their 
"meaning"); and so far from the facts being "diffi- 
cult to construe on an idealistic hypothesis" I should 
say they were absolutely damning to Professor 
Strong's theory fhat sense-data are not related in space 
and time. If ever there was a glaring instance of 
spatial and temporal relations it is the relations of 

1 The Nature of the Datum, (Essays in Critical Realism), pp. 234-235. 
* The same. 



in THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 137 

that after-image and its projections. New realism, 
taking them all to be realities in real time and real 
space, is in a still more awkward predicament, but this 
does not make the position a bed of roses for its critics. 
I do not think the objections to his examples, which 
Professor Strong brings forward in order to refute 
them, are very serious objections, but I do think his 
examples are very serious objections to his theory. 

It must be admitted at once that the arguments 
against critical realism 's view of perception do not ap- 
ply with equal force to its theory of memory. To be- 
gin with, space and time are not implicated in the same 
way. We are dealing with "images" which the theory 
rightly or wrongly assumes to be spaceless and time- 
less. This assumption is clean contrary to that of Pro- 
fessor Laird and the new realists who regard a memory 
as tantamount to a perception with its date in the past. 
The memory of the critical realists is the old memory- 
image of tradition reinstated, with a complication ow- 
ing to the assumption that it is the image of an image, 
the idea of an idea. 

Professor Strong considers that the "idea" which 
we have before our minds when we remember is 

"distinct from the mental image, visual, auditory or other, by 
means of which we conceive it; that this mental image alone is a 
present fact, an existence, and that the idea is the mere character 
which we conceive the past fact to have, without its existence in 
short, an essence." 1 

The idealist has nothing to say against this except 
that his own alternative theory is not lumbered up with 
the old machinery of duplicate images. He can take 
the new realist's view that in memory we indeed per- 
ceive the past thing itself in present time. The ideal- 
ist can do this without telescoping the various "real" 
times and "real" spaces together in an impossible 

1 The Nature of the Datum (Essays in Critical Realism), p. 238. 



138 THE NEW IDEALISM ra 

spatio-temporal perspective, because lie assumes that 
his consciousness carries past, present and to some 
extent future times and spaces with it. Consciousness 
is itself existent in the form of space and time. 

It is precisely in its treatment of space and time 
that critical realism is most unsatisfactory; while, in 
its view of primary and secondary qualities it is drag- 
ging philosophy back to where Locke left it, and play- 
ing, as Locke played, into the hands of the idealism 
that must come after. It should be given full credit 
for its dexterity and skill in dodging the traditional 
incompatibilities, though, as we have seen, its sub- 
tlety lands it in troubles of its own. 

Its assumptions, in short, are reducible to this ab- 
surdity: We know the reality we can't know by means 
of knowledge that we haven't got. 

NOTE: I am not sure that I understand Professor Whitehead'a. 
" Method of Extensive Abstraction.' 7 I see, of course, how the system 
of enclosing squares generates the point-instant by converging to- 
wards an ideal limit, but not how it generates the series of point-instants. 
You start with a duration and end with point-instants. To obtain the 
next point-instant you must, I imagine, slice through the next event 
and develop another system of Chinese boxes, whose squares will over- 
lap those of the system you started with. But durations are made up 
of point-instants; therefore each "box" will cover an infinitely greater 
number of point-instants than it converges to. 



IV 

THE ANTINOMIES OF SPACE AND TIME 



In the theory we have just considered the antinomies 
of Space and Time are supposed to be ruled out and 
continuity secured intact by a four-dimensional sys- 
tern of space-times or events. These, as we have seen, 
are symbolized as packed one inside each other, square 
within square, diminishing, converging- to the point, 
or instant, an ideal minimum or limit which is never 
reached, and can never be common to all the including 
durations. That is to say, it will always fall outside 
the ultimate square. Its perpetual extension beyond 
the enclosing square of any one duration gives rise to 
the infinite linear series of instants. Thus serial time 
is an abstraction from the system of enclosures. 

This linear series with its point-instant correspond- 
ence has been held responsible for the antinomies. It 
is supposed that within each case, the spatial and the 
temporal respectively, the vicious contradiction of dis- 
creteness in continuity is due to time's character of 
successiveness imported into space, and the passage 
from next point to next point. The antinomies of Zeno 
Achilles and the Tortoise; the Arrow; and the three 
Processions are based on this iiextness. Achilles can- 
not overtake the tortoise because, going from next 
point-instant to next, he cannot possibly cover more 
than one point at one instant, and the tortoise cannot 
very well do less. The arrow cannot fly, because going 
from next point-instant to next, it is stationary at each 

139 



140 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

point at each instant. The processions involve a fright- 
ful time dilemma. Two of them are moving towards 
each other past a third procession which is standing 
still. They can only go from next point-instant to 
next. There will be a moment when all three will be 
lined up evenly with each other; but in approaching 
this position half of each moving procession will be 
lined up with half the standing procession in the half 
time of the total movement. Yet in getting there each 
member of the two moving processions will have moved 
forward one point-instant, thus covering successively 
each point-instant of the whole time, so that the half 
time will be equal to the whole. There will be more 
time left over than can be accounted for by the posi- 
tions in space. On the other hand, let the moving pro- 
cessions be in line with the standing procession at the 
start and let them depart in opposite directions. At 
the first instant the first and last members of the mov- 
ing processions will be in line with each other. At the 
second instant they will be in line with the third mem- 
ber, or next point but one, of the original order. They 
will each have had to pass the intermediate member or 
point; but there will be no intermediate instant in 
which they can have done this. There is not enough 
time to go round. 

The antinomies of Kant turn on the discreteness in 
continuity, the divisibility and indivisibility of space, 
time and matter, and on their finiteness and infinity. 
Thus: 

The world has a beginning in time and limits in 
space, because, if it hadn't, an eternity of moments and 
an infinite series of events must have elapsed up to 
any given moment or event ; the beginning of the world 
would be such a moment or event, but on the theory of 
an infinite series it could never happen, since such a 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 141 

series is never closed. The same thing will hold good 
of the infinite synthesis of points in space. Therefore 
the world must have a beginning in time or space. 

But the world cannot have a beginning in time and 
space, because if it had, it would be preceded by an 
empty time and an empty space, and in empty time it is 
not possible for anything to happen, since no part of 
such time would have any determining quality of ex- 
istence. And the world consists of objects standing in 
spatial relations to each other, but in such a space it 
would have no correlate and thus it could not be. There- 
fore the world has no beginning in space and time. 

Again, every concrete substance consists of simple 
parts, because, if it didn't, supposing you could think 
away the synthesis, nothing at all would be left; and 
supposing you can't think away the synthesis, you can't 
think away the parts which are put together. There- 
fore every concrete substance consists of simple, in- 
divisible parts. 

But no concrete substance can consist of simple in- 
divisible parts, because, if it did, it must consist of as 
many parts as there are parts of space, and space 
doesn't consist of simple parts but of spaces. That is 
to say, if space is infinitely divisible, matter is. There- 
fore no substance can consist of simple, indivisible 
parts. 

The absolute necessity is laid on us, therefore, of 
qualifying space, time, and matter by contradictory 
characteristics in one and the same relation and at 
one and the same moment. It is not open to us to say 
that space, time and matter are finite, divisible and dis- 
crete at one moment and in one relation, and infinite, 
indivisible and continuous at another moment or in an- 
other relation; for the character of space and time is 
that all spaces are alike at all times and all times alike 



142 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

in all spaces ; l all parts of space being spaces and all 
parts of time being times, and the relation in question 
is the relation of those parts and their wholes. There- 
fore these contradictions are inherent in the very con- 
cept of space, time and matter. 

ii 

Now Hegel, like Professor Whitehead and Professor 
Some Alexander, contended that the antinomies arise from 
deplorable habit of abstracting space and time 
from their context in the cosmic process ; only, unlike 
Professor Alexander and Professor Whitehead, he 
conceived the cosmic process as the movement of 
thought in the Triple Dialectic. Thus discreteness and 
continuity are taken up in the higher concept of Quan- 
tity. But as discreteness breaks out again violently in 
the Quantum, the antinomy can hardly be said to be 
disposed of. All that the Hegelian dialectic does is to 
bring its warring elements a stage nearer to the ulti- 
mate, all-reconciling peace of consciousness. 

And this is a bit too late for physics and for mathe- 
matics which have to deal with space and time and mat- 
ter now. It is too late for realism. To realism the 
antinomies are peculiarly disastrous. If motion is to 
be real in a real space and real time, it must not at any 
stage involve self-contradiction. Therefore modern 
realists fly to the solution said to be provided by the 
Cantor-Dedekind definition of the compact series. 
Nextness, it is supposed, is the sole ground of the con- 
tradiction; do away with nextness, define continuity 
in terms which exclude nextness, and the antinomies 
are solved. The Cantor-Dedekind definition of the 
compact series does away, it is said, with nextness. 

1 This would not be so according to the Principle of Relativity. But 
that principle does not touch the antinomies of continuity. So far from 
solving any of them, it introduces further complications of its own. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 143 

Between any two points, or instants, there is an in- 
finity of points or instants. 

And I gather that Profesor Whitehead's series of 
event-particles is similarly compact compacter, since 
he stratifies them in four dimensions. 

The struggles of various philosophers to get rid of 
the antinomies are both amusing and instructive. It 
can only be done by denying flatly the serial character 
of time, or by distinguishing between real time which 
is qualitative and continuous, and unreal time which is 
quantitative and discrete, in which past, present and 
future are measured off by the falling of the sand in 
the hour-glass, by the movement of the shadow on the 
dial, of the hands on the face of the clock. This is M. 
Bergson's way. Meanwhile serial time, past, present 
and future, he calls spurious time, a bastard time which 
is really spatial. Real time, immeasurable time, is 
duree and it is purely qualitative and non-successive. 
When we come to Professor Alexander's Space-Time 
we shall see that it is precisely the time which is spa- 
tial which is real, and that pure, non-spatial time is an 
abstraction and a contradiction; time and space taken 
apart being discrete, and taken together continuous. 
But he agrees with Professor Bergson in regarding 
time as stuffing for the interstices of space, and in de- 
nouncing serial time. 

Altogether serial time has a bad time of it among 
vitalists, pragmatists and realists. Professor Mon- 
tague, one of the least dogmatic of new-realists, will 
have none of it. Professor Boodin, a pragmatist on a 
cosmic scale transcending mere human behaviour, will 
have none of it. 

Here is Professor Montague. 

He rejects utterly all solutions of the antinomies but 
two: the " relational " theory and the "punctiform" 
theory, and in these he finds serious defects. Those 



144 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

who swear by the relational theory deny that time and 
space can be thus divided into instants with no dura- 
tion and points with no extension. They say that these 
are intellectual abstractions with no real existence, and 
therefore no grip on real objects given with their mo- 
tions in perception. Space and time are relations be- 
tween events. So far Professor Montague is at one 
with the upholders of the event theory, but he objects 
to their depreciatory view of points and instants as 
unreal. 

What he calls the punctiform theory is that theory 
of .the compact series which we have been considering, 
as developed by Mr. Bertrand Russell. According to 
Professor Montague's view of Mr. Bertrand Russell's 
view 

"The arrow never does move from one position to the next. It is at 
one position at one instant and it is at the 'next' position at the 
'next' instant and that is all there is to its motion." J 

(I think Mr. Bertrand Russell would say it never is 
at any "next" position at any "next" instant, be- 
cause in a compact series there is no "nextness," but 
that it flies along the stretch of the infinite number of 
points in an infinite number of instants). 

Professor Montague does not deny the reality of 
the points and instants nor their serial character, but 
he demands, rightly, I think, "a thread to hold them 
together." And he has hit upon the brilliant idea of 
a composite theory, the " Double-Aspect" theory, 
which shall combine the merits of the relational and 
punctiform views without their defects. And he de- 
velops his theory with brilliance. We must have the 
points ; but there is no reason why we should not have 
the relations too. 

1 Professor W. P. Montague, The Antinomy and Its Implications for 
Logical Theory, (Studies in the History of Ideas). Columbia University 
Press, 1918. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 145 

"A spatial line truly contains an actual infinity of points, but 
by themselves those points could never compose the line ... all 
points in the series, if they are to constitute a line, must stand to 
each other in the relation of 'besideness* or 'to-the-right-and-left-of. 
. . . Without the points the line could not exist; without the rela- 
tions between the points they could never constitute a line." l 

And the same holds good of time. 

"Just as the points of space must be related by being beside 
one another, so the instants of time must be before and after one 
another. Relations of succession are as truly elements as the 
instants themselves." * 

We have, then, the relation of besideness for space 
and of succession for time, and their correlation for 
motion. 

"A moving body, besides involving a series of point-instant cor- 
relations, involves equally a series of beside-succession correla- 
tions. The first correlations exhibit motion as a series of occupancies 
of points through a continuum of instants. The second correlation 
exhibits motion, as a series, not of occupancies but of slips (or 
from-to relations of transition) which together constitude an unin- 
terrupted and unitary slide." 2 

The occupancy answers to our conception of space- 
time, and the slide to what is given in perception ; and 
we are supposed to have thus made the best of both 
worlds. 

But have we ? If we are to give to Caesar the things 
that are Caesar's, the " occupancy" to conceptual 
space-time, and the ' i slide ' ' to the space of perception, 
we are no better off than we were before when we still 
knew that bodies in actual experience do apparently 
move in "an uninterrupted and unitary slide, M and 
are not perceived as occupying successive points. To 
satisfy the requirements of the double aspect theory we 
ought also to be able to say both that bodies are per- 
ceived as occupying in succession the points of the line 
they move along and are conceived as moving from 

1 The Antinomy, p. 245. 
3 The same, p. 246. 
8 The same. 



146 THE NEW IDEALISM nr 

point to point at instant to instant in a slide. So long 
as points and instants remain discrete and Professor 
Montague sees very clearly that the compact series 
does not do away with their discreteness you cannot 
get a continuum out of the relation of besideness and 
the relation of succession, or the relations of besideness 
and succession taken together. In either case the rela- 
tion is only another expression of the discreteness. 

This is shown very glaringly in the case of time, and 
in Professor Montague's answer to the question: 

" 'If a body at each instant of the time of its motion is in one 
and only one position in space, when can it move from one position 
to another V 

"'The body can move from one position to another when one 
instant succeeds to another'." l 

Observe that it is the relation of succession which is 
supposed to have done the trick. To the obvious ob- 
jection, that "when" is itself an affair of instants, 
Professor Montague replies that 

"the time when one instant succeeds to another is a perfectly 
real time, though it is not itself any instant, just as the 'space where' 
one point is beside another is a perfectly real space, though it is 
not itself any point." a 

It seems to me that there are two bad fallacies here. 
You cannot draw a distinction between the time when 
a thing succeeds and a time with instants. If it is a 
"perfectly real time" it will have instants, and if a 
perfectly real space points, and the antinomy will have 
broken out again. And how can an object move in the 
relation of besideness, or the relation of succession? 
I doubt if even "common sense" would be absurd 
enough to maintain that "time is made up both of in- 
stants that succeed each other and of the succeeding of 
those instants"; for time is not the succeeding, though 

1 The Antinomy, p. 247. 
51 The same. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 147 

the succeeding is in time. You cannot treat the rela- 
tions of space and time as if they were times and 
spaces. Professor Montague says himself that they 
are not. 

"No more is a relation between two brothers itself a brother. 
Not even an infmitesimally small brother." x 

And he does not strengthen his case when he adds 
that it is u as real a constituent of brotherhood as are 
the brothers related:" for, in the first place, the rela- 
tion is not a constituent of brotherhood ; it is brother- 
hood, just as succession and besideness are simply suc- 
cession and besideness ; and, in the second place, it is 
not the reality of succession that is in dispute but the 
reality of motion through purely serial or successive 
time. A body moves, if it moves at all, in space and 
time and not in the relations of besideness and succes- 
sion. Moreover a body in the relation of besideness is 
a stationary body. 

Professor Boodin's philosophy is based on a kind of 
inspired physics in which energies and "energy pat- 
terns " are the ultimate realities. There are hierar- 
chies among these entities such that the universe may 
be conceived as a stratified system of energies working 
on higher and higher levels. The lower strata are not 
so strictly closed but that, when on any level the spe- 
cial energy of that level has done its work, new energy 
streams down into it from the next higher level. On 
this theory the process of evolution is not a simple 
unfolding from within outward, but a combined move- 
ment of impulse downward and inward and of expan- 
sion upward and outward. The flooding in of higher 
energy on to lower levels checks the tendency to degra- 
dation of energy on each, and gives the cosmos that 
series of forward and upward shoves which keeps it 
going. Thus life enters the inorganic world and con- 

1 Tint Antinomy, p. 247. 



148 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

sciousness the world of life just in time to save them, 
respectively, from the degradation and ultimate dis- 
appearance of their forms. 1 

In so far as Professor Boodin's pragmatism is on 
the grand cosmic scale it is fairly safe from the re- 
proach of parochialism. But the high purpose and 
wide sweep, the brilliance and fascination of his per- 
formance must not be allowed to blind us to the inher- 
ent inadequacy of pragmatism as a solution of ulti- 
mate problems, nor yet to certain defects in his special 
theory of Time. And it is his theory of Time that 
more immediately concerns us here. 

That theory is so curious and in many respects so 
original that it should not be overlooked in any survey 
of the philosophy of Space and Time. 2 

First of all Professor Boodin states the following 
antinomy of serial time. 

"If you assume your time series to be real, then you have the 
coexistence of an indefinite number of real exclusive moments claim- 
ing the same space, for each moment of time claims the whole of 
concrete perception with its dimensions. But reality cannot be both 
one and many in the same respect, hence reality becomes impossible." 

"But if the time series is regarded as ideal, then we have an 
indefinite number of descriptions of judgments each exclusive of the 
other, and each referring to the same reality at the same time. 
Hence our descriptions or judgments, claiming to be diverse and 
yet of one reality, in the same respect, are contradictory and truth 
becomes impossible." 

His solution is 

"to regard time as non-serial or prior to series, and to regard 
series as a derivative construction." 8 

There are, I think, several objections to this theory. 
To begin with, the solution itself involves the contra- 
diction of regarding non-serial time as prior to any- 
thing. And if time is not serial in the sense of succes- 

1 Cosmic Evolution (Keprinted from the Proceedings of the Aris- 
totelian Society), Vol. XXI. 
1 Time and Reality, A Realistic Universe. 
9 Time and Reality. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 149 

sive, then all Time is one time, one now, and the uni- 
verse stands still. Motion in space will be impossible, 
because there will be no time for its successions to go 
into. 
Again, Professor Boodin says that 

"Space, eternity, the simul system of significance, must be con- 
sidered as derivative in relation to the time process, which ever 
looks upon itself anew under the same formal limitations." * 

You may ask how a spatial system is to be derived 
from constellations of objects which presuppose space? 
Or how it can be derivative "in relation to the time 
process " when, "so far from space and time being 
identical in meaning they are antithetical." If "in re- 
lation to " means "in contradistinction from," how can 
the spatial system be derivative in contradistinction 
from the time process which was said to be derivative 
too? And how can a time-process be non-serial, non- 
successive? And a "process which ever looks upon 
itself anew under the same formal limitations" sounds 
uncommonly like succession somehow "creeping in." 

Again, 

"time is the negative property which makes all systems un- 
stable." ' 

This because it reduces them to the past and future, 
to the ideal constructions of memory and anticipation. 
But Professor Boodin would not be driven to this view 
of the instability of all events save the present, if, like 
a good realist, he regarded memory and anticipation 
as a perceiving of real objects in a real time, or if, like 
a good idealist, he brought time with all its events into 
the one comfortable fold of conscious experience. On 
either theory both systems are relatively stable ; while 
on a theory of non-serial time the present which he re- 
lies on will exist at the expense of the past and future, 

1 Time and Eeality. 
*The same. 



150 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

and the past and future at the expense of the present, 
in an impossible and suicidal now. 

Professor Boodin 's correlations of Space-Time are 
the exact opposite of Professor Alexander's, 1 While 
Professor Alexander sees time breaking up and divid- 
ing space, and space giving its own continuity to time, 
filling up the gaps in time, Professor Boodin sees space 
as 

"a system of co-existent series, whereas time is non-serial." 

Consequently, the function of time is to give con- 
tinuity (of motion) to space. 

" . . . without the negation, or passing of time, space would fall 
asunder into discrete positions. . . . Time is bound up with the 
fluent or continuity aspect of our world, whereas space is bound 
up with the diversity or habit aspect, the serial aspect." * 

If we choose to admit the necessity of Professor 
Boodin's view, and the equal necessity of Professor 
Alexander's, there will be a very neat little antinomy 
here, too. But I am inclined to think that Profes- 
sor Alexander has it, and that Professor Boodin's 
view of time is comparatively private and perverse. 

He maintains further that whereas time 

"conditions the arising of spatial series, is involved in the ratio 
fiendi of space, space, as a system of relations on the other hand 
conditions the knowing of time, is the ratio cognoscenti of time." * 

This sounds like a contradiction, but only if we per- 
sist in regarding time as serial. If you ask how non- 
serial time can account for spatial series, the answer 
is that spatial series are not successive but co-existent. 
Professor Boodin takes a static view of series; but 
combined with his view of time as non-successive, it 
makes motion more impossible than ever. 

We shall see how his solving concept of non-serial 

1 See below, pp. 162-213. 
* Time and Eeality. 
The same. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 151 

time works if we examine his theory of time as caus- 
ality. 

As he started with the antinomies of serial time, he 
now starts with the antinomies of causality. Cause 
and effect cannot be the same or nothing would hap- 
pen, you would have one unchanging fact. Cause and 
effect cannot be different because then they would be 
two facts, and causality would lie outside them. 

Mechanics reduces cause and effect to "static equa- 
tions of mass and position"; there is no process and 
therefore no time factor: logic reduces causality to a 
"sort of static position within the whole." In reci- 
procity nothing passes, but cause and effect, so to 
speak, take in each other's washing. We have to as- 
sume in causality a mysterious something over and 
above that somehow does the trick, and which is not 
cancelled out in the equation. 1 

Professor Boodin asks : "Can time be so completely 
excluded?" ... He "cannot agree with Kant that 
some time sequences are not causal." Does he mean 
that time is this something over and above? That it 
"creeps in," dividing cause from effect? Then he is 
thrown back on his first antinomy. 

Again : 

"Time is that element in reality which makes all our descriptions 
relative; and that is precisely what we mean in the last analysis by 
chance." * 

It may be questioned whether this is precisely what 
we mean by relativity. Meanwhile it is clear that Pro- 
fessor Boodin regards time as equivalent to chance. 

Time, then, is chance. But 

"The concept of causality involves the idea of connection." 

it 

"implies the concept of habit as well as that of chance or time 

1 Time and Eeality, pp. 48-53. 
a The same, p. 54. 



152 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

. . . such habit or uniformity on the part of nature as realises ex- 
pectancy." 

And behold a new and devastating antinomy: 

"Make uniformity or law absolute and the time element vanishes. 
Causality becomes lost in mechanical reciprocity or ideal system." 

Incidentally such uniformity 

"makes consciousness . . . impossible. If again you emphasize 
the chance or time aspect you make any uniformity of law or neces- 
sary connection impossible." 

His conclusion is not exactly a solution. It is, of 
course pragmatic, and when did pragmatism solve any 
ultimate problem? Causality is a relative and approx- 
imate affair. 

It is good intentioned. 

"Causality, to the end, means to deal with real process, but it 
never does." 

it 

"marks the struggle of the self to synthesize or unify the process 
of experience." 

Thus you have a subjective attempt at unity relating 
to an objective " process. " But why process, and how 
a unity when time disintegrates the elements of all se- 
quences? And I do not know what Professor Boodin 
means by that ambiguous word "marks." He says 
"It" (the self, presumably) 

"succeeds in this attempt at unification only at the expense of 
ignoring the very process aspect of existence which it means to 
explain. Causality thus ceases to be real causality and becomes 
a timeless category." * 

This antinomy bursts out again as freedom and ne- 
cessity, when causality appears in the form of con- 
sciousness, of will. And again Professor Boodin 
throws the weight of his argument into the scale of 
chance. He identifies freedom with chance and chance 
with time, because 

1 Time and Reality, pp. 53-55. 



IT THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 153 

"Wherever there is real process, where events happen, there we 
have chance. Time and chance, used in this ultimate sense, are 
identical/ 1 

He goes on: 

"Is it true, then, that chance is objective and necessity sub- 
jective or vice versa? Neither is true. Both are subjective mean- 
ings." 

Then is causality a subjective meaning that we give 
to time? How can this be if wherever there is "real" 
process there we have chance? Or is chance a subjec- 
tive meaning that we tack on to real process? If so, 
how about time? If time is chance there is no real 
time. And, observe, this sense is "ultimate"; we can- 
not get back of it to something that will restore reality 
to time. It seems to me that this, to say the least of 
it, is a very compromising position for a realist. And 
I don't see how Professor Boodin is to explain it. 

In the end there turns out to be a sort of social or 
pragmatic necessity for necessity (and for chance). 
Necessity so that the course of nature and of social 
nature may be predictable. Chance so that experience 
may not become stereotyped by habit, but that new 
adjustments may arise, 

"Causality thus affords a synthesis of chance and necessity." 

This is all very well, but if experience be once tainted 
with subjectivity at its source, I do not see how any 
pragmatic explanation can save it for realism. Take 
uniformity alone. Uniformity is uniformity of se- 
quence and sequence is of events in time. But time is 
chance and chance is subjective. The new, unexpected 
events Professor Boodin has already handed over to 
chance which is time, so where does real process come 
in? 

Again : 

"Real process and real futurity lie alike outside the field of 
scientific description," 



154 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

so that, so far as necessity and chance relate to future 
needs and pragmatic readjustments they cannot be sci- 
entifically described. We can only say: Present ex- 
perience being what is is, past events were so made as 
to be capable of adjustment to this present which was 
once their future. And at this rate, in spite of uni- 
formity, nothing would be really predictable. We 
could only prophesy after the event. 

All these direful results follow from Professor Boo- 
din's pragmatic inability to make up his mind be- 
tween realism and idealism. They show what might 
have been expected the insufficiency of pragmatism 
in dealing with any ultimate category such as time. 

The case is worse if we fall back upon Professor 
Boodin's conclusion that "Time is prior to serial con- 
struction "; that "our serial positions are a posteriori 
abstractions, ideal constructions," and that "Process 
is prior to ideal construction. " 

How can process be prior to serial positions? How 
can process proceed without serial positions? If time 
is not a succeeding, if time is also duration, yet all suc- 
cession is in time and of time. If time were all one, all 
pure duration, with no serial positions, no instants be- 
fore and after, events would happen just at any old 
time, and one time would be as good as another; the 
same event might be happening all the time, or all 
events might be happening in any one time ; in fact no 
events would be happening in any sense of sequence 
which is process. Supposing them to happen at all, no- 
body would know they would happen, or whether they 
had happened ; events would be unrecognisable and un- 
predictable. It is not serial time that destroys the uni- 
formity of nature, but time credited with an unnatural 
duration. 

I cannot but think that in identifying time with 
chance Professor Boodin fails to distinguish between 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 155 

time and events in time, and that the same confusion 
underlies his treatment of the antinomy of co-existent 
simultaneity and succession. He seems to me to be 
further mixing up one kind of order in space, which is 
purely simultaneous and static, with the order of 
events in time and the double order of events in time 
and space the occupation of successive positions 
which are not only purely successive but owe their suc- 
cessiveness to their time character. The sense in which 
Professor Boodin holds that all series are static is not, 
as he thinks, a real but an ideal sense. It is conscious- 
ness that keeps the members of a series together, hold- 
ing down each one in its place, so that all are known 
as members of a series. A series taking place, whether 
in consciousness or outside it, is essentially an affair 
of before and after and in its temporal aspect irreversi- 
ble; it is Professor Boodin 's " process in the making. " 

Certainly " series and order themselves involve ideal 
construction and presuppose time as a datum/' if by 
series and order you mean the series and order of 
events in time. Even the series and order of instants 
in time presuppose the time of which they are instants, 
just as the series and order of objects in space presup- 
pose the series and order of their positions. These, 
again presuppose the space in which they are posi- 
tions ; space-time or point-instants being just as ideal 
or as real as you choose to take them. 

And Professor Boodin 's perverse and peculiar the- 
ory of time lands him in a still more perverse and pe- 
culiar theory of number. He says : 

"It is not true that each moment in history includes the signifi- 
cance of the preceding moments in the way each step in the num- 
ber series includes the previous. Old age does not include childhood 
and youth in the way that 3 includes 1 or 2. This is due to the fact 
that the number series is constructed in conformity to voluntary 
purpose, expresses a formal law of the activity of the self, whereas 
the concrete historic series involves involuntary elements, must 
conform to certain objective data. This involuntary and uncertain 



156 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

aspect of history is due partly to the creeping in of time and partly 
to the pluralistic character of the world." * 

You would have thought that if ever there were a 
construction that bore no earthly relation to voluntary 
purpose, that was a thing apart, and on any realistic 
theory utterly apart, from the activity of the self and 
beyond its control, it was a number series, and that 
"the way that 3 includes 1 and 2" was a way of iron 
necessity. You would have thought that, so far from 
time " creeping in" to upset our calculations, all our 
calculations (even number itself) were based on the 
order of instants in time. You would have thought 
that if there was a series in which voluntary action 
tended to make most things exciting and uncertain it 
was the historic series ; and that if anything tended to 
subdue this excitement and correct this uncertainty it 
was the creeping in of time. I do not know the whence 
and whither of my existence ; but I do know that within 
its mortal time limit the indubitable certainties are 
dates ; all past and present and some future dates. I 
do not know whether I shall make this book three hun- 
dred or three hundred and fifty pages long, nor 
whether anybody will be rash enough to publish it, but 
I do know that if my present time rate and time length 
of writing continue I shall finish it in time for publica- 
tion in the autumn. I know how much time will elapse 
between certain events, for example, my departure 
from King's Cross and my arrival at Edinburgh. I 
know that, short of unforeseen catastrophe, I shall 
breakfast at nine o'clock tomorrow, and that, even if 
unforeseen catastrophe arises, time will have no more 
to do with it than to fix its date and thus render its 
uncertainty certain. You may even say it is just this 
element of temporal succession, of ruthless before and 
after, that in time reveals the necessity of events. I 

1 Time and Eeality, p. 34. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 157 

can go forwards and backwards in time, and my mem- 
ories and anticipations will be precise and certain, very 
much according to the precision and certainty of th<~ 
time element in them. Thus time confers fully as much 
certainty on experience as space. 

True, an unknown future event will have to happen, 
if it happens at all, at some moment in time uncerti- 
fied; but it will also probably have to happen in un- 
certified space too, so that space will, so far, be every 
bit as chancey. (Chancier ; for not all events that hap- 
pen need happen in space, though they must happen 
in time. And this spatial consideration makes it clear 
that chance refers to events and existences themselves 
and not to time.) True, the screen of time separates 
and conceals from us the face of future events; true, 
the unforeseen comes out of time like a bolt from the 
blue ; but it is not time but some other unseen complex 
of events that shoots the bolt. Chance is not in any 
sense causal, it is a name for our ignorance of connec- 
tions and sequences, just as necessity is a name for our 
ignorance of conditions. Though temporary, it is no 
more temporal than a bishop's blasphemy or any other 
unlooked-for happening in time. I do not think that 
any antinomy is solved by denying the serial character 
of time taken in itself, or by calling time " chance " and 
" absolute, dynamic non-being." This view leads ulti- 
mately to the denial of all truth and to the pragmatic 
criterion. 

"This absolute non-being is forced upon us, we have seen, by 
the instability of our universe, including- the universe of truth; 
it is invented to account for passing away and novelty ... we need 
a negative property, as well as a positive property to make change 
possible." 

I think it is Professor Boodin who has forced on him- 
self and invented the absolute non-being of time, 
through his refusal to admit consciousness as the con- 



158 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

tinuum of time. Rather than face the dismal conse- 
quences he is driven to his pragmatic theory of truth : 

"its dependence upon the larger demands for life, and its sub- 
ordination, if need be, to this demand." 

We shall see that another deduction can be drawn 
from the analysis of space-time: whatever else truth 
may be, it is truth and independent of life and our 
demand. 

iii 

Professor Boodin's theory, so far from affording a 
solution, leaves us with the antinomies in all their nak- 

compact edness on our hands. We are still haunted by the 

consid- ghost of serial time. 

ered That ghost, Mr. Bertrand Russell says, has been laid 

by the Cantor-Dedekind definition of the compact 
series, the infinite continuum. 

Let us look again at this definition, undeterred b TT 
its mathematical prestige, and see whether it really 
does provide an unbroken continuum, such as would 
solve the Kantian antinomies and enable Zeno's pro- 
cessions to meet, his arrow to fly, and his Achilles to 
overtake the tortoise. 

Between any two points in space or any two instants 
in time there is an infinite number of points or instants. 
The "catch" of the antinomies, we remember, lay 
in the relation of "nextness" in the point-instant cor- 
respondence. No possible increase of velocity will 
take you farther than the next point at one instant, or 
quicker than one instant to the next point; so that 
there can be no movement, swift or slow, only a dis- 
connected series of stations at points. There cannot 
even be successive occupations of points in the series, 
since the disconnection is such that between points 
there is no space, and between instants no time ; there 
is nothing to bridge the gaps. 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 159 

Now the Cantor-Dedekind definition does away with 
nextness. If between points A and B there is an infi- 
nite number of points, if between instants A' and B' 
there is an infinite number of instants, B and A and 
A' and B' will not respectively be next each other; and 
if you say the same of any two points, no two points 
will ever be next each other. You have bridged the 
gap between the finites with infinity. You can do the 
same with event-particles and so ensure, on Professor 
Whitehead's theory, the continuity of events. 

At first sight I admit it looks as if the compact series 
had done the trick, and as if the definition excluded 
contradiction. Certainly you will never get anything 
closer than space and time packed with all those infini- 
ties of points and instants. And so long as you fix 
your attention on the points and instants, without con- 
sidering their relations and conditions, you cannot 
escape this conclusion. 

As a matter of fact you have only exchanged the 
relation of nextness for the relation of betweenness (if 
indeed you have got rid of it at all), and a definite 
condition, the existence of A and B, or A' and B', for 
an indefinite one, any two points or any two instants. 

If there is no betweenness you cannot shovel in your 
infinities ; betweenness constitutes as definite a gap as 
nextness, and for every two points or instants or event- 
particles you will have an infinity of betweennesses ; 
that is to say, you have not avoided discreteness, you 
have still just as much discreteness as continuity. 

Nor will you really have avoided nextness. To be 
sure, a definite A and B, or P and Q, or V and W will 
no longer be next each other, but some indefinite point- 
instant x will still be next some indefinite point-instant 
y, and by raising their number to infinity you have 
only multiplied nextness and discreteness. And there 
is another fatal property of the compact series. It 



160 THE NEW IDEALISM iv 

excludes infinitesimals. You cannot therefore say that 
you are approaching any point by distances infinitely 
small ; the idea of quantitative, measurable distance is 
ruled out, and with it the idea of any approximate 
continuity. Between any two points or instants you 
have all those infinities of points or instants. 

So mark what happens. In the case of Achilles, 
instead of a simple contradiction you have a dilemma. 
Achilles will still be unable to overtake the tortoise 
because of nextness camouflaged as betweenness; 
neither will he be able to get from point A to B in 
instants A' and B' at all, because A is divided from 
B by an infinite number of points and A' and B' by 
an infinite number of instants. To say that he can 
do it in an infinite number of instants means that he 
can never actually do it. Neither can the tortoise, so 
that, once start them moving, Achilles and the tortoise 
can never, never stop. 

But here is the dilemma neither can they start; 
for an infinite number of points removes their indefi- 
nite starting point x from that indefinite point y which 
would be the first step in their progress if progress 
there could be. And as their starting point x is simi- 
larly removed from any preceding point w they never 
can have moved at all, but must have existed and must 
continue to exist on x throughout all eternity, and 
goodness only knows how they got there. 

The same things will apply to the movements of the 
arrow and the processions, and to the event-particles 
of Professor Whitehead's world. And the Kantian 
antinomies will remain unsolved, though they must be 
stated in a slightly different form. 

Thus : The world has a beginning in space and time, 
because if it hadn't it would be separated from any 
point-instant here and now by an infinite number of 



iv THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 161 

spaces and of times and could have no existence at any 
one point-instant. 

The world has neither beginning nor end in space 
and time because, if it had, at any point-instant here 
and now it would be separated from its end and its 
beginning by an infinite number of spaces and an 
infinite number of times. 

By far the nearest approach to a solution is pro- 
vided by Professor Alexander 's correlations of Space- 
Time. But Professor Alexander's theory requires a 
long chapter to itself. 

NOTE: Professor Boodin's theory of Time is only a small part 
of his brilliant contributions to evolutionary realism. It should be 
clearly understood that his general theory does not stand or fall by it, 
and cannot be touched by any criticisms of this point alone. 



V 
SPACE, TIME AND DEITY 



I do not see why the devout idealist should not con- 
space- ceive an admiration for Professor Boodin's theory 
111116 of evolution, nor admit the momentary temptation to 
surrender to Professor Whitehead and wallow in the 
comfort of his concept of nature. Elsewhere I have 
spoken of the irresistible fascination of Mr. Bertrand 
Russell's pluralistic realism and confessed to some- 
thing like remorse for certain inevitable disagreements 
with Professor Bergson and William James. I am 
increasingly aware of the risks which attend this ad- 
venture of attacking new realism. Even now I cannot 
get over my fear that Professor Whitehead 's mathe- 
matics may yet do something to me that I shouldn't 
like. 

I do not feel, in precisely the same way, that Pro- 
fessor Alexander may be concealing himself in the 
Fourth Dimension with a deadly battery of equations ; 
and yet, the idealist who sets out to refute him stands 
in even greater danger of being converted to realism. 
At moments, for example, when he is exhibiting the 
correlations of Space-Time or the stupendous unfold- 
ing of his Deity, you are almost overwhelmed by the 
temptation to forsake all and follow him. Not because 
of any comfort that he gives you. The encounter with 
Space, Time and Deity is the most thoroughly uncom- 
fortable, the most upsetting and dislocating experience 
that the devotee of idealism could well undergo. There 

162 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 163 

has been nothing like it since the outbreak of Kant's 
Critique of Pure Reason, nothing to compare with Pro- 
fessor Alexander's work but the work of the greatest 
system-makers. Of Spinoza. Of Kant. Of Hegel. 

For this is the first time in the history of philosophy 
that realism has got itself built into a system. Mr. 
Bertrand Russell has given us brilliant essays in 
realism. So have Dr. Moore and Professor Broad. 
We owe it to Professor Whitehead that the Prolegom- 
ena to any future metaphysics have been settled with 
scientific authority and precision. These four have 
done more to set realism going than any living philos- 
opher beside Professor Alexander; but they have not 
aimed at building realism up into a great system. And 
Professor Alexander's is a great and very perfect 
system, close-linked, creating an almost perfect illu- 
sion of inevitableness, and, as a sheer piece of philo- 
sophic architecture, exquisite in its proportions. It 
is all one ; solid block on solid block ; no untidy excres- 
cences that refuse to fall into line. When you have got 
over the incredible surprise of it, the psychological 
effect is one of almost complete intellectual satisfac- 
tion. Professor Alexander knows how to convey the 
passion of its metaphysical adventure. He has pas- 
sages that fairly vibrate. And it is hard even for the 
devotee of idealism to resist his appeal. Space, Time 
and Deity is a new and beautiful thing in philosophy ; 
hence the absorbing interest and the excitement. 

It is, unlike other realisms, a philosophy of evolu- 
tion, while it agrees with all of them in keeping mind 
out of the essential process. Professor Alexander 
denies that mind is in any way an ultimate or a unique 
reality. Half the interest and excitement come from 
wondering how on earth he is going to get along with- 
out it. For, again unlike many realists, Professor 
Alexander does more than merely affirm that the world 



164 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

exists independently of mind and, up to the actual 
appearance of consciousness, has been evolved without 
it. He is not content with the affirmation, the assur- 
ance that it is so, nor with the irresistible feeling that 
it must be so, nor yet with the pragmatic belief that 
it is right for life and conduct that it should be so. 
Most realists fight very shy of explaining in detail how 
it actually came to be so. Even Professor Whitehead's 
constructions begin and end with four-dimensional 
geometry. But Professor Alexander shows us the 
process as it may be supposed to have actually hap- 
pened. He builds his universe, or rather, he records 
its building, from the simplest elements up to the 
moment of mind's emergence on the scene and after. 
For, henceforth, mind is not to be kept out ; it takes its 
part as one, though only one bit of the whole complex. 
The simplest, ultimate elements are Space and Time. 
To these all things, life and mind included, are re- 
ducible " without residue. " Not to Space and Time 
as separate entities, but to Space and Time taken 
together. For Space and Time are not really two 
entities, but two aspects of one entity. Space and Time 
by themselves are unreal abstractions from the one 
indivisible reality which is Space-Time. Space-Time 
is the a priori stuff from which all things are made, 
the universal " matrix " in which matter " crystallises " 
and from which, when it has reached a certain appro- 
priate complexity, the empirical qualities emerge; to 
be followed in their turn, when they too are suitably 
compounded, first by life, then by consciousness. 
Within the one reality of Space-Time, Time is the 
"restless element" which drives Space to generation. 
"The world is begotten by Time out of Space." Mat- 
ter is Space crystallised, and Time is its motion, and 
its motion, again, is generation. It is the "restless- 
ness of Time" which causes new things, empirical 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 165 

quality, and life, and mind or spirit to emerge. And 
the process does not end here. Time's restlessness, 
which is infinite, sweeps mind and spirit onward till 
their new complexity breaks out in the form of Deity, 
which is a new thing, not mind or spirit or conscious- 
ness, but higher than they; it causes Deity itself to 
flower in forms of higher and higher perfection. In 
this process Deity is evermore ahead, and the world, 
with its accomplished forms, evermore behind. So that 
Deity is and remains a "nisus," a perpetual straining 
for perfection, an everlastingly unrealised ideal. 

Now at first sight it looks as if the theory provided 
at least three opportunities for the idealist to put his 
foot down and protest that such things cannot be. You 
cannot, except by some miracle, conjure quality out of 
"unqualitied" matter, nor life out of non-living mat- 
ter, nor consciousness out of unconsciousness, to say 
nothing of non-spiritual Deity out of spirit. But I 
think if you have once given in to the initial assumption 
of the crystallisation of matter from pure immaterial 
Space-Time, you need hardly cavil at the rest. Once 
grant that initial assumption and the rest of the system 
is a matter of such careful dovetailing that the idealist 
will find it hard to get his knife in anywhere and prize 
it open. I do think that the alleged emergence of 
quality or life or mind is miraculous, but I do not think 
it is more miraculous than the emergence of matter 
from pure Space-Time. The whole system is founded 
on the correlations of Time and Space so that there 
is no way of upsetting it unless you can first of 
all show that if you assume nothing but Space-Time 
these correlations are impossible. You have, in short, 
to restore the antinomies, if you can. And I think you 
can. I do not say that the theory cannot be refuted 
on the higher levels, but this will not be the shortest 
or the surest way. That its vulnerable points lie round 



166 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

about the alleged continuity is shown by the care Pro- 
fessor Alexander has taken to safeguard this issue. 

Observe that the whole process, which ends, or rath- 
er, never does end, in Deity, begins with pure Space- 
Time. 1 We start on a level where even matter and 
motion are not yet. Obviously, if Space and Time 
contain insoluble contradictions it will be impossible to 
evolve out of them a real universe. So, first of all, 
Professor Alexander has to solve the antinomies of 
Space and Time. 

They arise, he maintains, only if we take Space and 
Time separately, and are solved if we take them, as 
they are in experience, together. We have to realise 

"that Space is in its very nature temporal and Time spatial." a 

" . . . Now if Time existed in complete independence and of its 
own right there could be no continuity in it. ... If it were noth- 
ing more than bare Time it would consist of perishing instants. 
Instead of a continuous Time, there would be nothing more than an 
instant, a now, which was perpetually being renewed. But Time 
would then be for itself and for an observer a mere now, and would 
contain neither earlier nor later." * 

You would have thought that whatever it might be 
for itself, for an observer with all his faculties Time 
would not be a mere now, but that (assuming the pos- 
sibility of an observer of pure Time) earlier and later, 
past and present, would be held together in his memory 
and the future with them in his anticipation. But no ; 
Professor Alexander says that memory will not help 
us here. 

"For memory cannot tell us that events were connected which have 
never been together." 4 

To be sure, in actual experience the observer always 

1 ' * Now in order to examine empirically what Space and Time are, it is 
necessary to consider them by themselves in abstraction from the bodies 
and events that occupy them, . . . " Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, 
p. 37. 

'The same, p. 44. 

1 The same, p. 45. 

*The same. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 167 

has a background of Space to mark Time off against, 
as it were ; but, since a mere background may be con- 
ceived as existing independently of Time, I take it that 
Professor Alexander means considerably more than 
that if Time is to be spatial. And he is in fact assum- 
ing the possibility of a pure Time without any observer. 
We shall see whether taking Space as Time without 
consciousness or memory removes these difficulties. 
Meanwhile, observe that Time and Space are at any 
rate together in perception and are only divided by an 
intellectual process of abstraction. 
Again, 

"If, therefore, the past instant is not to be lost as it otherwise 
would be, or rather since this is not the case in fact, there must needs 
be some continuum other than Time which can secure and sustain the 
togetherness of past and present, of earlier and later. . . . This 
other form of being is Space." x 

The same thing holds good of Space. Space without 
Time would be a mere blank. In such a Space there 
would be no distinction of parts, no distinct bodies and 
no motion of bodies. 

"For Space taken by itself in its distinctive character of a whole of 
co-existence has no distinction of parts. As Time in so far as it 
was temporal became a mere 'now/ so Space so far as merely 
spatial becomes a blank. . . . There must therefore be some form 
of existence, some entity not itself spatial, which distinguishes and 
separates the parts of Space. This other form of existence is 
Time." ' 

As it was Space that, enduring throughout all the 
instants of Time, united them in a continuum of time, 
so Time, that cuts across this blankness of Space, 
divides it up into spaces. It is Time that drives Space 
on to connect with other spaces in a continuity, yet it 
is also Time which breaks up Space and makes it infi- 
nitely divisible. We are to understand that Space 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 46. 
a The same, p. 47. 



168 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

" holds down 77 the moments of Time as they pass, and 
keeps the past and future together with the present. 1 

But does it? For all its spaciousness Space cannot 
hold down more instants than one at a time. The past 
has gone from it, its grip on the future has not yet 
begun. 

Nor should we give in too readily to the statement 
that Space as pure coexistence has no distinction of 
parts. Coexistence is juxtaposition of points, and I 
cannot see how its points are to be conjured away from 
Space in the mere absence of Time. Only when you 
begin to move about among them can you talk of Time 
discriminating the points of Space, which after all only 
means that it takes time to get from one point to 
another. But getting from one point to another is the 
very opposite of coexisting, inasmuch as a point can 
only occupy one position at a time. 

Let us go back to Space-Time. 

"Without Space there would be no connection in Time. Without 
Time there would be no points to connect." J 

Not only no discrimination of points, you see, but no 
points to discriminate. So much for coexistence in 
Space. 

"It follows that there is no instant of time without a position 
in Space and no point of Space without an instant of Time. I 
shall say that a point occurs at an instant and that an instant oc- 
cupies a point. There are only point-instants or pure events. In 
like manner there is no mere Space or mere Time, but only Space- 
Time or Time-Space/' 1 

But this conception is purely provisional. If there 
were nothing but this one-to-one, point-instant corre- 
spondence, both Time and Space would be broken up 
and be neither successive nor continuous. There would 
be nothing but a point now, and a point now, and a 

x Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 258. 
a The same, p. 48. 
* The same. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 169 

point now, without relation or connection, both perish- 
ing as they were born. 

"If the point corresponded uniquely to the instant it would share 
the character of the instant and Space would cease to be the Space 
we know." * 

For, on Professor Alexander's view it is the perma- 
nence of the point, its " repetition " throughout many 
instants which secures it from "perishing" utterly. 
Its self -identical presence at this moment is the witness 
to the moment which has passed. 

This is evident ; but I do not find it quite so easy to 
follow Professor Alexander when he goes on to argue 
that if the instant corresponded uniquely to the point, 
if it never occupied more than one point, 

"Time would share the character of Space, be infected with bare 
blank extendedness, would in fact be mere extension and cease 
to be the Time we know, which is duration in succession. In order 
that it should be in its own nature successive and so be able to dis- 
criminate points in Space, the instant of Time must be repeated in 
or occupy more points than one." * 

Surely it is the other way about. It is just this 
occupying by one instant of more points than one which 
gives extension or spaciousness to Time, and in this 
spaciousness its successiveness or time character is 
lost ; for every one instant will cover many points, in 
fact every one instant will cover all the space there is. 
And if we could really tie up pure Time with pure 
Space there would be no successiveness of Time. 
Either Time must have an instant to instant movement 
of its own which is not conferred on it by Space, or 
it must exist purely in relation to events ; for example, 
to the movements of bodies from point to point in 
Space. 

(It must be noted that in dealing with the more 
complex spatio-temporal relations, for example, the 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 49. 
a The same, p. 50. 



170 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

relations of the dimensions of Space, Professor Alex- 
ander has shown triumphantly the mutual interdepend- 
ence of Space and Time. The whole of this exposition 
is masterly and should not be missed.) 1 

But there are further and more exciting implications. 

"Space must be regarded as generated in Time, or, if the ex- 
pression be preferred, by Time. For Time is the source of movement. 
Space may then be imaged as the trail of Time, so long as it is 
remembered that there could be no Time without a Space in which 
its trail is left." ' 

Now, how can Time generate Space if Space is es- 
sential to and coexistent with it? In this case there 
cannot be Time first and then Space. And indeed 
Professor Alexander presently abandons this notion of 
generation. 

"To suppose that Time generates new Space is to neglect the 
infinity of Time (and indeed of Space)." 8 

And to suppose that Time has generated old Space 
is to suppose a previously existing Time. To avoid 
this difficulty Professor Alexander flies to the theory 
of displacement and re-distribution in Space-Time. 
Thus: 

"In a line of advance c b a we have the displacement of the pres- 
ent from c through b to a. . . . This is the meaning of motion. 
Points do not of course move in the system of points, but they 
change their time coefficient. What we ordinarily call motion of a 
body is the occupation by that body of points which successively be- 
come present, so that at each stage the points traversed have dif- 
ferent time values when the line of motion is taken as a whole. . . ."* 

"In this way we conceive of growth in Time or the history of 
the Universe as a whole, or any part of it, as a continuous redis- 
tribution of instants of Time among points of Space. There is no 
new Space to be generated as Time goes on, but within the whole 
of Space or the part of it the instants of Time are differently ar- 
ranged, so that points become different point instants, and instants 
also become different point-instants."* 

1 See Appendix II, pp. 315-317. 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 61. 

The same, p. 62. 

4 The same, p. 61. 

'The same, p. 63. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 171 

Now we see how it is that Time gives its values to 
the points of Space, how it discriminates and intro- 
duces diversity into that blankness. It does not do 
this of itself, as Professor Alexander's theory assumes, 
but only through a body in motion. It is to the body 
in motion that points successively become present; 
and surely it is the body in motion that by its succes- 
sive occupation of points, by the fact that it is now 
here, now there, its inability to occupy more than one 
point at one instant surely it is this behaviour and 
this character of bodies that confers their time value 
on the points? 

Points do not move in the system of points. Left 
to themselves, they are all present at every successive 
instant ; when a body occupies a new position it leaves 
its old position behind it, and we have that existence 
of "all Space at an instant " which Professor Alex- 
ander denies. 

And as a matter of fact, when it comes to total 
Space-Time, which is divided up, not in perspectives, 
that is to say, in times which stretch over other times 
and spaces which stretch over other spaces, but in 
sections which take a clean cut through Time and 
Space, we indeed arrive at all Space at an instant, 
or all Time at a point. 

Professor Alexander denies that these sections 

"represent what the world of Space-Time is historically or at 
any one moment. For at any moment of its real history Space is 
not all of one date and Time is not all at one point." * 

He says that all Space at an instant and all Time 
at a point are got by "arbitrary selection from the 
infinite rearrangements of instants among points. " 

I do not understand this. I can of course see why 
the clean cut at any one instant should represent all 
Space at an instant, and the clean cut at any one point 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 81. 



172 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

should represent all Time at a point, and that neither 
should represent all Space-Time, since all Space is not 
at one point nor all Time at one instant ; but it seems 
to me that for the instant, at the instant all Space and 
all events occurring at the instant will be truly and 
"historically" represented. That is to say, the history 
of the instant will be the history of all events occurring 
"then," the events will be truly and historically 
"there." True, this language is misleading so far as 
"history" implies a past as well as a present; in this 
sense we must not say that history is represented. 
But the total fact, the whole coexistent complex of in- 
stantaneous events is represented, and this is all we 
mean by all Space at an instant or through any given 
duration. 

Similarly the one point will be truly and historically 
one event enduring throughout all Time, and I cannot 
conceive why a section should be a more "arbitrary" 
selection than a perspective. On the contrary, when 
we are "within the region of Space-Time pure and 
simple, before qualitied events like the fall of a tree 
or the birth of a flower, or the existence of complex 
percipients like plants or ourselves," the section is 
the only selection we are justified in making, or for the 
matter of that, which can well be made. The perspec- 
tive, on the contrary, must needs be an affair of 
"qualitied events," of events perceived from different 
standpoints in the process of becoming, events distin- 
guished as earlier or later, events, that is to say, 
selected from the context of experience. All our per- 
ceptual experience is on this level and of this nature, 
but the ultimate analysis of Space-Time is not on the 
level of our perceptual experience. And our choice of 
any particular section will only be arbitrary in the 
sense that one section will be as good for our purpose 
as another. The purely spatial and temporal differ- 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 173 

ence between a section and a perspective is that a 
perspective involves a finite stretch of Space, an 
extension, correlated with a finite stretch of Time, a 
duration. This correlation will of course not itself be 
arbitrary, inasmuch as the place of events in time 
through any given perspective will be determined 
strictly by the places and times of preceding or simul- 
taneous events constituting the irreversible process of 
nature. But the same thing will hold good of the 
order of pure point-instants. And our choice of any 
particular perspective, or correlated chunk of Space- 
Time, will be every bit as arbitrary as our choice of 
a section. 

And you will not have ruled out the existence of all 
Space at an instant, or of all Time at a point. You 
can only say that all qualitied events cannot happen 
at an instant, nor can any one qualitied event continue 
in the same quality through all instants of time. You 
will not have solved the antinomies of Space and Time 
nor altered their essential character; you will only have 
introduced the characters of other entities beside 
Space and Time. On the lowest level of qualitied 
events matter and motion will themselves be " in- 
fected " with their contradictions. 

We have already considered the antinomies of 
Space and Time taken separately. But Space-Time 
itself gives rise to an antinomy. And the antinomy of 
Space-Time is this: 

One instant of Time covers all the points of Space. 
That is to say, all the points of Space will be repeated, 
will occur all over again at each successive instant of 
Time. Thus Time, so far from receiving continuity 
from Space will poison all Space with the successive- 
ness of repetition. In the same way, any one point 
covered by all instants will be indistinguishable in its 
time character from any other point equally covered 



174 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

by all instants, and any instant will be indistinguishable 
in its space character from any other instant, since all 
instants cover all Space; so that, so far from Time 
discriminating between points, it only interferes to con- 
fuse them and will be itself corrupted with the indeter- 
minateness of Space. 

Introduce motion into your complex of point- 
instants, and you set up the old point-instant corre- 
spondence with its antinomies of discontinuity. 

Take the total of Space-Time, Space-Time that was 
and is and is to be, and you will indeed have all Space 
covering all Time, and all Time covering all Space; 
but, if this mutual covering is to be conceived as a 
complete fit, Time must lose its time character of suc- 
cession, it will be what Space is, an eternal "now"; 
and Space must lose its space character of eternal 
presence and become what Time is, succession for ever 
and ever. And within this total, at any point or any 
one instant, there will be an infinite number of points 
at one instant and an infinite number of instants at one 
point. That is to say, at any one point or any one 
instant you will have parts unequal to each other which 
yet in the whole of Space-Time are equal to each other 
and to the whole. To every other relation of whole 
and part the time factor is indifferent, but here it 
figures as itself a term in the relation, an amphibious 
term which stands now for a whole covering all Space 
and now as a part in the whole of Space-Time. And 
Space will be equally amphibious. 

Professor Alexander tries, very dexterously, to 
dodge these antinomies by avoiding the complete fit 
and setting up within his system of Space-Time a 
system of unequal dates. He has got to show that 
all Space and all Time are not contemporaneous within 
the total, and that one instant is not and cannot be 
contemporary with all points, nor one point with all 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 175 

instants. In order to do this, however, he has to for- 
sake pure Space-Time, and introduce, as it were sur- 
reptitiously, "qualitied events/' of the kind that inter- 
sect and overlap, events which in one Space-Time will 
be of different dates ; for example, the rings of a tree 
which mark in space its successive ages in time, its past 
thus overlapping into its present and causing a redis- 
tribution of instants in space. Similarly, the move- 
ment of bodies through space will cause a correspond- 
ing redistribution of points in time. For the body 
which when stationary will occupy but one point in 
successive times will now be occupying many points in 
succession. Moreover, events have the accommodating 
property of occupying each other's time, though no 
two of them can occupy each other's space. This dove- 
tailing of events is taken as constituting a continuity 
or packing in Space-Time. 

But does it constitute a continuity? Will even the 
carefully chosen overlapping of events in Time con- 
stitute a continuity in Space-Time? 

Take two series of unequal and overlapping dates. 
Let a series of passing events A, C, E, Gr, cover the 
instants 1, 3, 5, 7, respectively ; and a series of passing 
events, B, D, F, cover the intermediate instants 2, 4, 6, 
respectively. Each instant will be duly and properly 
covered by an event. 

Now, if event A is not to be succeeded by event C 
until instant 3, it will have had to overlap, that is to 
say, to endure throughout B's instant, 2. And if B 
is not to be succeeded by D until instant 4, it will have 
to overlap C's instant, 3. And the same will hold 
good of the other events and instants. And at first 
sight it looks as if this ensured continuity. 

But, though A has endured throughout instants 1 
and 2, and B throughout instants 2 and 3, and C 
throughout instants 3 and 4, D throughout instants 



176 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

4 and 5, E throughout instants 5 and 6, and F through- 
out instants 6 and 7, yet each event ends with its second 
instant and is succeeded by another event which ends 
with its second instant. Besides, if the instants are 
to have a definite end and a definite beginning and 
they must have if definite dates are to be assigned to 
definite events, if events are to be calculable then 
there will be a repetition or re-birth of A at instant 2. 
(You can only avoid it by running the instants to- 
gether, which in perceptual experience is precisely 
what you do do.) And if the instants divide events 
into event-particles, the same will hold good of the 
event-particles. 

Again, Professor Alexander gets his continuity by 
regarding Time as essentially Space, and Space as 
essentially Time. Space-Time is a more profound and 
intimate affair than mere relation; it is an affair of 
identity. But does the unity manifestly conferred on 
them by their relations amount to identity of being? 
Can it be truly said that Space and Time are one in 
this sense? 

When we say that any instant covers all space, this 
does not mean that the instant is really stretched out 
into Space, that it has the same spatial extension as 
space and that " while " has the meaning of "where," 
only that all points of Space are present at an instant. 
All Space has this instantaneous character. So far 
from Time giving continuity to Space, Time, as we 
have seen, brings into Space its own successiveness and 
discontinuity. As it is all Space that is repeated in 
Time, there will be no space between repetitions, that 
is to say, between instants. Or take Space filled with 
matter in motion; here again Time splits up Space- 
Time into point-instants. Professor Alexander calls 
this "discriminating" the points in Space, as if with- 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 177 

out Time, or without motion from point to point, they 
would not discriminate each other. But quite apart 
from Time, Space is pure juxtaposition; that is to say, 
points are already discriminated by their positions 
they are positions without the aid of Time. 

And from Professor Alexander's theory of change 
as an empirical quality and not a category I think it 
follows that Space-Time is not directly implicated in 
change. I mean that change, if qualitative, can only 
take place at a higher level than that of pure Space- 
Time; it comes, with the qualitied events of varying 
ages, too late to help us. 

Therefore, I repeat, I cannot see how we are to get 
over the difficulty of those successive re-births of 
Space at each successive instant by this simple device 
of redistributing points among different dates. True, 
redistribution is an empirical fact. The all-Space of 
the present instant has not the same configuration or 
filling as the all-Space of the past or of the future 
instant, seeing that new spatial events are arising all 
the time from instant to instant. There has been 
movement, growth, appearance, disappearance, reap- 
pearance of forms, in a word, change. But we must 
not think of change as the movement of Space-Time 
itself. There is properly no movement of Space-Time 
beyond the succession of its instants. The redistribu- 
tion, therefore, is not a redistribution of point-instants, 
but a redistribution of events, or bodies in motion, 
occupying various points at various dates, or of qual- 
ities exemplifying various ages of the same substance 
(the rings on Professor Alexander's tree). But these 
changes or redistributions of quality will have pre- 
cisely that empirical character which Space-Time itself 
has not. There is no use calling in an empirical quality 
to help an a priori reality in distress. 



178 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

Redistribution of events (or qualities), then, comes 
too late to save all Space from the successiveness of 
its repetitions in Time. 

You may perhaps say that to ensure continuity all 
Time, past, present and future, must be taken together 
with all Space, so that there may be no spaceless out- 
standing Time, no timeless outstanding Space. But 
on the theory this is impossible. It is only in the 
mind, in mind's memory and anticipation that past and 
future can be taken together, and on the theory Space- 
Time is outside and independent of mind; it is what 
it is in and by itself, without any gratuitous mental 
contributions. And, apart from the anticipating mind, 
future time has not happened yet, and past time has 
happened and has passed. You may say that past 
time at any rate has happened, and it has left the trail 
of its events on all events here and now; but in the 
nature of the case future time cannot affect the present 
otherwise than through the mind. Let alone that if it 
were not for memory, for recognition, there would be 
no trail of the past for our perception, but every ele- 
ment of every present event would be strangely new. 
But memory, so important for perception, does not 
touch the Space-Time problem as anticipation does. On 
the theory, the past has happened, memory or no mem- 
ory ; equally, on the theory, the future, as such, does not 
exist, and as providing for all Space-Time, never will. 
In this respect Time is at a disadvantage compared 
with Space which can be all at an instant; so great a 
disadvantage that on the face of it it is hard to see 
how Time and Space can be taken together as identical. 
There is nothing in Space which corresponds with this 
non-present existence of future Time. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 179 

ii 

Further difficulties present themselves when we 
consider the categories as arising from Space-Time 
only. 

The categories are: 

Identity, Diversity and Existence, 

Universal, Particular and Individual, 

Relation, 

Order, 

Substance, Causality, Reciprocity, 

Quantity and Intensity, 

Whole and Parts, Number, and 

Motion. 

You will observe one glaring omission. It is not a 
printer's error. Quality has been left out on purpose. 
Quality, Professor Alexander says, is not a category. 
And we shall presently see the reasons for this singular 
exclusion. 

All the categories are said to be ultimately reducible 
to terms of Space-Time. 

. . . "the categories prove upon examination to be fundamental 
properties or determinations of Space-Time itself, not taken as a 
whole, but in every portion of it. They belong to all existents be- 
cause, if our hypothesis is sound, existents are in the end, and in 
their simplest terms, differentiations of Space-Time, the complexes 
of events generated within that matrix." 

. . . "The categories are, as it were, begotten by Time on Space." * 

Identity, Diversity and Existence come first, and at 
first sight they are plainly reducible. 

"Self-identity of anything is its occupation of a space-time. 
Diversity is the occupation of another space-time." * 

"Bare being is ... simple occupancy of a space-time," 
and 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 189. 
The same, p. 194. 



180 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

. . . "occupancy of a space-time is ipso facto exclusion of other 
space-times." * 

This is all very well but, obviously, it can only be 
true of the being of things in Space-Time. However, 
it is no use pressing this point in this connection, as 
Professor Alexander does not admit that there are any 
things not in Space-Time. 

But he goes on. He takes a big jump clean out of 
the category and lands in qualitied existence. 

"Not-white is the character which excludes or is different from 
white." 

But not-white excludes white, not as occupying an- 
other space-time but as occupying another class. It 
may be empirically true that a not-white thing cannot 
occupy the same space-time as a white thing (or as any 
other spatio-temporal existent), but this is not the 
ground of the exclusion. The exclusion is from the 
class of whites and not from their space-times. But 
we must not anticipate the discussion of quality. 

Let us pass to the Universal and Particular. 

The problem of every theory of universals is how 
to secure to individuals their individuality, their em- 
bodiment of the universal, here and now. Professor 
Alexander maintains that it is provided by his doctrine 
of the universal as a spatio-temporal constitutive plan 
or habit which persists in the individual as such. The 
individual repeats the plan and all repetition is of 
Space-Time. Universals 

"are habits of Space-Time, and empirical universals like dog or 
tree or justice are possible because Space-Time is uniform and 
behaves therefore on plans which are undistorted by differences of 
place and time." " 

"They may be called patterns of configuration or, to use the old 
Greek word, 'forms' of Space-Time/' * 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 199. 

2 The same, p. 213. 
The same, pp. 214-215. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 181 

There will be no highest universal, because there is 
nothing higher than Space-Time, and Space-Time is 
not a universal, it is not even a category; it is the stuff 
from which universal and categories are made. 

"Universality is therefore a category or determination of Space- 
Time. Every finite possesses universality or identity of kind in 
so far as it admits without distortion of repetition in Space-Time, 
that is, can itself undergo change of place or time or both without 
alteration, or can be replaced by some other finite." 1 

In other words, universality is a determination of 
Space-Time because it is absolutely indifferent to 
Space-Time and Space-Time to it. 

"Universality is ... begotten like the other categories by Time 
on Space." ' 

This because of its bare repetition, and all the repe- 
tition in the world will not in itself give universality. 
The universal implies the quality of sameness. It is, 
indeed, above all and before all, purely qualitative. 
Even if the universal could find itself in Space-Time 
(and this is disputable), it would not therefore be con- 
stituted by it or derivable from it or reducible to it. 
To say this is to confuse it with the succession of 
particulars, to make it many ; whereas the universal is 
the one in the many. 

Professor Alexander sees very clearly the difficulty 
of conceiving the relation of the universal to its par- 
ticulars. He says: 

^Half the difficulty, or perhaps all of it disappears when once 
it is admitted that particulars are complexes of Space-Time and 
belong therefore to the same order and are of the same stuff as the 
universals which are plans of "Space-Time." * 

You would have said that this was precisely where 
the difficulty would begin. Let alone that all universals 
are not plans of Space-Time for beauty, truth, justice 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 214. 
The same, p. 217. 
The same, pp. 220, 221. 



182 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

and whiteness are not plans of space-time ; and though 
a white Angora rabbit is an object in Space-Time, the 
universal of a white Angora rabbit is not an object in 
Space-Time or a plan let alone these glaring excep- 
tions, the natural effect of Space-Time on the universal 
is rather to divide, break it up into particulars, than 
bring particulars into its unity. They can, I think, 
only be brought together as elements in some conscious- 
ness which displays universals and particulars as of 
the same mind stuff. A stuff that unites instead of 
separating. 

Professor Alexander's view is inconsistent with the 
doctrine of the " concrete universal" which he criti- 
cises severely. The concrete universal makes for an 
ultimate individual or universe, 

"related to its particulars as a thing to its predicates." . . . "It 
is not a law but a system." . . . "If universals (on the discovery 
of which all science turns) are really universes and not merely laws, 
there is in the end only one individual or universe which is self- 
existent; the minor universes are shadows." 1 

He calls this absolute universal 

"the devouring maw which swallows all empirical things." 

Swallows, that is to say, their individuality as if 
the individuality of empirical things would thus be put 
off and off, until the ultimate universal was reached, 
as if individuality were never attained here and now. 

But if the idealist is right even the ultimate uni- 
versal is attained here and now. If Professor Alex- 
ander is right, and universals are "merely laws/' they 
will be regulative, not constitutive of things. They will 
not have come doVn into the world of things to saturate 
them with quality. They will not "have hands and 
feet." And, as we have seen, if the "plan" be purely 
spatio-temporal it will not account for those universals 
of qualities which are not of Space-Time although cor- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 236. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 183 

related with it, what Professor Alexander calls "dis- 
guises of qualities higher than mere motion." 

These embarrassments thicken when we come to the 
category of Relation. 

"All existents are in relation because events or groups of them 
are connected within Space-Time." 1 

Space-Time is then the Mother-Father of all rela- 
tions, and all relations follow the type of relations in 
Space-Time. 

"All relation is reducible to spatio-temporal terms." 2 

Now, since it has been already laid down that all 
relations of space and time are spaces and times, it 
follows that all relations of entities, however "qual- 
itied," will be spaces and times. There is a certain 
frightful bleakness about this statement as it stands, 
and I gather that Professor Alexander shrinks from 
the extreme consequences of his theory. 

"Not all relations of existents are in their immediate character 
or quality spatio-temporal; but if our hypothesis is sound they are 
always spatio-temporal in their simplest expression." 1 

They are, that is to say, reducible. 

"Since qualities are, we assume, correlated with spatio-temporal 
processes, the relations, however otherwise represented summarily or 
compendiously by their qualities, are in the end spatio-temporal. . . . 
Tkey are at least reducibly without residue to such relations, which 
are themselves configurations of Space-Time." 4 

Let us try this operation of "reducing" on existents 
which inconsiderately present themselves as "dis- 
guises" very far from spatio-temporal. We shall have 
to abstract from them all those qualities of their ob- 
stinate complexity which are not reducible. From an 
individual man we must abstract more than the colour 
and texture of his skin, hair and eyes and the sound of 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 238. 
a The same. 

3 The same. 

4 The same, p. 246. 



184 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

his voice. You may say that these qualities are re- 
ducible since they can be correlated with characters of 
space-time, since colour may be said to be extended in 
space-time and sound to fill space-time, and travel 
through it. But even when we have admitted them 
to be spatio-temporal in a vicarious and derivative way, 
they are only partially reducible; there is still a 
' * residue, ' J that definite something which we call qual- 
ity which distinguishes blue eyes from black, and brown 
hair from red, and a voice of one pitch and accent from 
a voice of another pitch and accent. These distinctions 
have their spatio-temporal correlates: wave-lengths 
and rates of vibration ; but wave-lengths and rates of 
vibration are not black or blue, loud, or soft and insinu- 
ating. And we have further to abstract qualities which 
have no spatial character at all, and no temporal char- 
acter but that of bare existence or continuation in time. 
All the invisible, intangible things: psychic disposi- 
tions, ways of feeling and of thinking ; play of motives, 
acts of will, the whole fabric of a man's consciousness 
have got to go. You must abstract them all from their 
spatio-temporal correlates; and, though the associa- 
tion may be constant, there is no sense in which you 
can derive consciousness from or reduce it to these. 
Correlating is not reducing. 

If the result of this experiment is not sufficiently 
convincing, try it on Deity. 

Observe that, if Professor Alexander's theory were 
sound, what gives character and distinction, say, to a 
fit of temper would be the space-time in which it 
happens to occur. 

Again : 

"the relation of particulars to one another under or by their 
universal is that one particular may be substituted for another." 
. . . "Things of the same sort are in the first place numerically dif- 
ferent and exclude each other in space-time." 1 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 247. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 185 

The exclusions of numerical identity are thus purely 
quantitative. The space-time relation does not account 
for or describe the qualitative difference in things 
where they are different. 

And what is to be said of the relation of " likeness"? 
This is purely qualitative. It is not altogether an 
affair of imperfect substitution. The exclusion of like 
things from the same Space-Time is not by virtue of 
their likeness, nor is their likeness (or unlikeness), as 
such, reducible to any spatio-temporal relation or 
quality. 

And again we have the doctrine of external relations.. 

"... relation from the nature of the case, as being the situation 
which unites things, is outside them spatially (or rather spatio-tem- 
porally)." 1 

Surely only if the relation is a purely and directly 
spatio-temporal one? 

And here there emerges a very flourishing contra- 
diction. 

Eelations in space and time are themselves spaces 
and times. Then space and time can be relations. But 
they are expressly stated not to be relations between 
bodies, that is to say, between events, as on Professor 
Whitehead's theory, but only between spaces and 
times. How then are bodies related in space and time? 
For they have spatial and temporal relations. Bodies 
are said to be bits of Space-Time, crystals in the 
matrix; Time is their motion. The terms of spatial 
and temporal relations, then, are spaces and times; 
and the relations are spaces and times, too. How then 
do we distinguish between the terms and the relations? 
As between categorial and non-categorial entities? 

Now, relations are categorial, and Space-Time, Pro- 
fessor Alexander says, is not; it is the source of the 
categories. But the relations are what the terms are, 

1 Space, Time and Deity, p. 250. 



186 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

spaces and times ; and the terms are what the relations 
are, bits of Space-Time. Therefore both terms and 
relations will be categorial and non-categorial, which 
is a fine contradiction. 

You may perhaps say they are distinguished by their 
empirical qualities. But empirical quality ' ' emerges ' ' 
from Space-Time and its relations; it is both tem- 
porally and logically speaking outside the purely 
spatio-temporal relations we are discussing; it is a 
later birth, and its birth comes too late to help us to 
the distinction we require. 

. Practically, in perception we do distinguish events 
both by their relations and their qualities. The point 
of the present objection is that, if we stand by Profes- 
sor Alexander's definitions, we shall have no logical 
grounds for distinguishing between relations in space- 
time and their terms. The point has no practical or 
scientific value; still, it is worth considering. There 
should be no logical lapses in a sound metaphysical 
view of Space-Time. 

There is no great hardship in admitting that Order 

"depends ultimately in every case on spatio-temporal between- 
ness." 

Thus even the moral order, so far as it depends on 
betweenness, degrees of goodness, badness and so on, 
is derived from Space-Time. But this is not saying 
that moral qualities are so derived. 

The category of Substance is rather more important. 
It is extremely important. On the theory, substance, 
like the rest, can only be a configuration of Space-Time, 
simple or complex. Unity of qualities 

"is supplied by the Space (that is the space-time) within which 
the qualities are disposed. Each quality inheres in the substance 
because it is included in the space and unifies the substance." x 

Substantial identity is that which endures through- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 274. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 187 

out Space-Time. Since, then, " Personal identity is a 
special instance of substantial identity/' the person or 
mind must be regarded as extended in space as well 
as in time. If we insist that the mind is only in time 
and not in space we divide time and space and are 
back again in the antinomies of their division. 

And (because the motions which correspond to qual- 
ities do not interpenetrate) : "The qualities of a sub- 
stance do not interpenetrate. " 

Thus they will be broken up into parts corresponding 
with their motions. Even if you say that their motions 
are continuous, because Space-Time is continuous, you 
will still have the special discreteness of compounds on 
your hands. Professor Alexander says they do not 
matter. 

"We need take no account of the purely empirical fact that within 
a substance which is compound there may be empty spaces or pores 
not included in the substance itself." 1 

The idea seems to be that if you have once called a 
thing a purely empirical fact it will cease to worry you. 
But surely it is glaringly evident that, from the point 
of view of continuity, the discreteness of substance 
matters very much indeed. At this rate the theory of 
Quanta will not matter. But it is supposed that the 
peculiar continuity of pure Space-Time is sufficient to 
tide the compounds over the gaps in their substance, 
because Space-Time is Substance. 

Causality is easily defined as 

"the spatio-temporal continuity of one substance with another." 
... "A cause is the motion of a substance, or a substance in re- 
spect of its motion." , . . "Causation is ... the continuity of 
existents within continuous Space-Time as subsisting between sub- 
stances, which are themselves motions or groups of motions." * 

It will at once be admitted that Causality is pre- 
eminently a category where, if anywhere, the spatio- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 277. 
The same, pp. 281, 284. 



188 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

temporal theory might be expected to justify itself. 
Even with such a reservation as denying that Time can 
in any strict sense be said to be a cause, we may wel- 
come its immense simplifications. It rules out for ever 
"the notion of power and necessity/' But for those 
who obstinately deny the continuity of Space-Time, 
causality, if merely spatio-temporal, will be "infected 
with time's taint of relative unreality. " 
"There is," 

Professor Alexander says further, 

"no causal relation between the infinite whole and any one of its 
parts. There is only such relation between one part and another. 
The whole system of things does not descend into the arena and con- 
tend with one of its creatures." * 

In this case causality will be very powerfully tainted, 
broken up for ever into the sequences of event-particles. 
We are driven inevitably from this notion of cause to 
that higher concept of the ground which Professor 
Alexander repudiates. This concept does not, I think, 
mean that the whole system of things breaks loose like 
a lunatic and ' ' descends into the arena to contend with 
one of its creatures. " Nothing could well be farther 
from it than this image of descending and contending. 
It means, not that the whole universe has a being apart 
from its creatures, but that each creature is united 
with every other creature in the universe as their com- 
mon ground. This can well be if in the whole universe 
there is but one stuff of all creatures. It could have 
well been on the assumption that Space-Time is that 
stuff, if Space-Time really provided the necessary con- 
tinuity, and was really pregnant from the first with 
life, mind and Deity. 

Causality brings us to Reciprocity. And reciprocity 
implies simultaneity. But on Professor Alexander's 
view 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 288. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 189 

"simultaneity is ... an outcome of the successive character of 
Space-Time. ... A Space-Time which is occupied by Time at 
various stages of the intrinsic succession of Time allows both for the 
persistence of Space and for its complete occupation at any one 
moment." * 

And again it must be urged that Space at an instant 
would be completely occupied by all events present at 
that instant, and Space at the next instant by all the 
events then present, though they would not all be the 
same events. But at any instant, whatever the events 
may be, it is still all Space at an instant. 

Quantity and Intensity are reducible without diffi- 
culty to Space-Time. 

"Extensive quantity is the occupation of any space by its time 
... or ... the occupation of any time by its space. Space as so 
occupied is an extension. Time as so occupied is a duration." . . . 
"Quantity is thus equivalent to the bare fact that Space is swept 
out in Time, or that Time is occupation of Space. 

"Intensity or intensive quantity, on the other hand, is the occur- 
rence of various spaces in the same time, or ... the occupation of 
the same space by different times. The simplest case is the velocity 
of a simple motion . . . intensive quantity is the fact that Time 
may be filled by Space and Space by Time unequally." * 

Intensities of sensation, on the theory, will be only 
particular instances of these spatio-temporal relations. 

The derivation of Whole and Parts follows inevit- 
ably. 

"Time disintegrates Space directly by distinguishing it into suc- 
cessive spaces; Space disintegrates Time indirectly by making it 
a whole of times, without which whole there would be no separate 
times either." 

. . . "There would be no aggregate wholes composed of individuals 
were it not for the connecting Space-Time." . . . "The intrinsic 
resolution of Space-Time through the internal relation of Space and 
Time is the basis of all distinction of parts, no matter how loosely 
the whole is united of them." ' 

The only objection that the idealist can make here 
is that logical wholes are not spatio-temporal. 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 302. 

1 The same, p. 306. 

8 The same, pp. 312, 313. 



190 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

Motion, the last and greatest category for Space- 
Time, is obviously spatio-temporal. What is not so 
obvious is that motion is a category, since motion is 
Space-Time and Space-Time is not a category. It 
seems to bear an amphibious character, half categorial, 
half empirical. 

"But in fact, though every empirical existent is some sort of 
motion or other, it is the sort of motion that it is that makes it 
empirical. . . . That it is a motion or a space or a time i& a priori 
or non-empirical; and in fact the category of motion is but an- 
other expression of the fact that every existent is a piece of Space- 
Time/' 1 

."Motion is thus the border-line between the categorial and the 
empirical region."* 

". . .in motion the full tale of the fundamental determination 
of Space-Time is told and motion is consequently the totality of 
what can be affirmed of every Space-Time." * 

And point-instants also have this amphibious char- 
acter. 

"They are empirical, like the infinites, for each point-instant has 
its own individual character, is a 'this'. Yet since they are the ele- 
ments of Space-Time which is the source of all categories, they 
illustrate that intimate connection of the non-empirical and the em- 
pirical which. . . . But they cannot be treated as finites, regarded 
as having a separate existence like ordinary finites. . . . Point- 
instants are real but their separation is conceptual." 

And here Professor Alexander makes a tremendous 
admission. 

"Real they are, but if the apparent contradiction may be par- 
doned, they are ideal realities." 4 

That is to say, the very elements of Space-Time are 
ideal, the matrix from which matter crystallises is 
ideal. The ideal is the ultimate reality. 

Professor Alexander is aware that the admission is 
tremendous. "I do not attempt, " he says, "to mini- 
mise the difficulties of this statement/' It is enough 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 320. 

2 The same, p. 322. 
The same, p. 323. 
*The same, p. 325. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 191 

for him that these ideal entities can be swept into the 
universal Space-Time. We cannot expect him to adopt 
the conclusion, inevitable for idealism, that if the very 
elements of Space-Time are ideal, Space-Time is itself 
an ideal construction and must be swept into the uni- 
versal consciousness. For ideas, on the realist hypo- 
thesis, are non-mental. And when we come to mental 
Space-Time it cannot be said to give a handle to 
idealism either. 

iii 

Meanwhile the consideration of motion has raised 
again the more acute problem of quality. Quality 

"There is a motion-quality as there is redness or sweetness. . . . 
But while all other, empirical, qualities are correlated with mo- 
tions, the 'quality' motion is purely spatio-temporal, that of being 
a space-time." * 

And presently we come to a hard saying. ' ' Quality 
is not a category." It is not a category because it is 
not pervasive as the categories are ; and it is not uni- 
versal, it is not a plan. 

"It may be answered that everything possesses some quality or 
other, and therefore quality is categorial; everything is a complex 
of Space- Time and to complexity corresponds quality, upon our 
own showing." 

But no. 

"Complexity in Space-Time makes everything a complex, but not 
a quality. . . . The quality of the colour varies with the wave-length 
of the vibration. Now every colour has some wave-length or other. 
. . . But length of wave is a quantity and not a quality . . . length 
of wave as such has no colour as such. . . . " * 

Could there be a plainer statement of the inability of 
Space-Time to account for quality? A franker con- 
fession of the break-down of the Space-Time theory 
here? The murder is out. Quality is not reducible 
without residue to spatio-temporal terms and relations. 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 321. 
The same, p. 327. 



192 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

It is not quantitative. Its correlations with quantity 
are themselves mysterious and irreducible. The most 
you can say is that quality belongs to things which are 
in Space-Time. It is miraculously and magically 
" there." But on Professor Alexander's own showing 
it will not fit into his spatio-temporal scheme. 

And that is why it is denied its age-long status as a 
category. If it were a category it would make its 
occult and alien presence felt pervasively. This trou- 
ble Professor Alexander hopes to avoid by calling 
quality "empirical." This camouflages in a sense its 
obstinate recalcitrance. It is only empirical, poor 
thing, and knows no better. And still the problem 
remains of accounting for its queerness in a purely 
spatio-temporal universe. Quality is an eccentricity; 
or rather, since there is no universal quality, qualities 
are eccentricities, strange new crystallisations in the 
matrix. They belong but they are not reducible to 
Space-Time nor derivable from it. They have, all of 
them, just mysteriously and miraculously "emerged." 

The problem becomes still more acute when we get 
to Change. Here the only happy line for Professor 
Alexander to take would have been to say that all 
change is motion and have done with it. But he can- 
not do this. For though all motion is change, all 
change is not motion. 

"Primarily change is change of quality and quality is always 
empirical." * 

And yet it is motion. 

"Remembering that all existences, no matter what qualities they 
possess, are in the end complexes of motion, we may describe change 
as a species of motion which replaces one set of motions by an- 
other; it is grounded in motion and may be described as a motion 
from one motion to another. The nature of the transitional motion 
may be different in different cases. Thus one thought may lead on 
to another and the motion is experienced as a direct transition be- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 328. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 193 

tween the two thoughts. ... In every case we have not a mere 
difference but a motion which ends in the substitution of one em- 
pirical condition for another. 

Change is then not categorial but empirical." x 

Thus the qualitative character of change breaks 
through. Something changes ; and its change is some- 
thing more indirect and more complex than its move- 
ment. So that where change is movement, within the 
movement itself you have this mysterious and irre- 
ducible thing, quality. 

We have yet to learn all the things which Space-Time 
is not. 

Clearly it is not an existent. " Existence belongs to 
that which occupies a Space-Time "; and there is no 
Space-Time outside Space-Time which it could occupy. 

When we ask if Space-Time is not a whole, and a one 
that includes many, and a substance, the answer is No. 

" Space-Time is not a whole of parts. " Superfici- 
ally, this again is a hard saying, for Space-Time was 
distinctly stated to be the totality of all existents. It 
looks then as if existents within Space-Time were not 
its parts. But I think this is not Professor Alexander's 
meaning. Space-Time has parts. The parts of Space 
are spaces and the parts of Time are times ; but Space- 
Time is not the whole of them. For this reason : 

"Space-Time breaks up into parts and wholes of them as it lives 
and moves. ... If Space-Time were such a whole it would be 
given all at once. But being Time, (or indeed Space for that mat- 
ter) it is not . . . given altogether. To suppose so is to ignore the 
reality of Time, to fail to take Time seriously." ' 

Time drives Space-Time forward for ever to the re- 
distribution of point-instants. 

"For in the redistribution of dates among places, new existents 
are generated within the one Space-Time."* 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, pp. 328, 329. 
3 The same, p. 339. 
1 The same. 



194 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

I think an objection may be made to this argument. 
The point-instants are the parts of Space-Time. All 
that Time does is to redistribute them ; it does not add 
more point-instants to the sum total. There is no sum 
total of point-instants if their number is infinite. Thus 
it is because its parts are infinite, and not because Time 
redistributes them that Space-Time is not a whole. 

Again, to come to greater clarities, it is evident that 
Space-Time is not a substance, in spite of the previous 
definition of substance as Space-Time. 

"For substance is an existent configuration of space in so far 
as it is the theatre of Time; it is a space with definite contour oc- 
cupied by time, that is, a space enduring in time. But infinite Space 
has no contour and is thus no substance." * 

And so of unity : 

"In like manner Space-Time is in no case a unity of many things ; 
it is not a one." 

To be a unity, Professor Alexander says, would im- 
ply that it ' ' can descend into the field of number, and 
be merely an individual, and be compared as one with 
two or three." But this is not what we mean by a 
unity. Truly, 

"The universe is neither one in this sense nor many ... it can 
only be described not as one and still less as one, but as the one 
. . . it is not so much an individual or a singular as the one and 
only matrix of generation, to which no rival is possible because all 
rivalry is fashioned within the same matrix." l 

And surely this is precisely what we mean by a 
unity? 

And the question is : Can Space-Time, with its anti- 
nomies, with its inimical attitude to quality, with the 
marks of Time's " restlessness " upon it, be truly said 
to be such a unity? 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, pp. 339, 340. 
"The same, p. 339. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 195 

iv 

Professor Alexander finds the "clue" to the perplex- 
ing problem of quality in mind. Not in the sense that Con- 
mind is in any way the creator of quality, that it brings ae88 
quality into the outside world. In fact, it is not easy 
to see, on Professor Alexander's view of the relation 
of mind to its object, how, beyond the quality of not 
being an object, there can be any distinctive quality in 
mind. 

For the relation of mind to its object is one of pure 
"compresence." It is together with its object as two 
finites in Space-Time. Its consciousness of its object 
Professor Alexander calls "contemplation"; its con- 
sciousness of itself he calls "enjoyment." Mind does 
not contemplate itself, it cannot be an object to itself; 
and it is a little difficult to understand precisely what 
mental act or state Professor Alexander means by "en- 
joyment." It is evidently some state of awareness; 
perhaps "realisation" comes nearest to it. We can say 
that the mind realises itself and its togetherness with 
its object. Enjoyment is its realisation of its corn- 
presence. It would seem to be a unique relation. 

But compresence, we are to understand, is not a 
unique relation. Any two finites connected together 
in Space-Time are said to be compresent with one 
another. 

"Let A be a mind and B another finite distinct from that mind 
and of a lower order. Then A's compresenee with B means that A 
is conscious of B. Cognition, then, instead of being a unique rela- 
tion, is nothing but an instance of the simplest and most universal 
of all relations." 1 

"Now such a relation as exists in sensing a sensum is strictly 
comparable with the relation of two compresent physical finites, 
like the floor and the table, which are in causal relation." * 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 82. 
'The same, p. 83. 



196 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

"Thus the relation of the mind to its object b the table is pre- 
cisely of the same order as that between the floor and the table. 
Only/' 1 

Professor Alexander adds naively, "the floor is not 
conscious/ 7 
To be sure lie gives a sort of awareness to the floor. 

"The material floor is assured of the materiality of the table." 

But, if we were to take this view of consciousness 
seriously, the mind would have no more consciousness 
than the floor. And Professor Alexander tells us that 
to a higher order of intelligence, as might be an 
" angel " or "an infinite God/' 

"there would be no doubt that the relation of mind to its object 
is only an example of the relation of any other finite to a second 
finite."' 

Only as Professor Alexander himself is not an angel 
nor an infinite God, but only perhaps the first of living 
philosophers, you can but wonder how he knows it. 

Self consistency cannot be expected of such a theory. 
Mind is said to be "a new thing" that emerges when 
conditions are favourable. But to call the relation of 
consciousness to its object compresence is to take from 
mind all its newness, and from consciousness all that 
distinguishes it from non-consciousness. There is no 
difference at this rate between a mind and a table or 
a chair. You would have thought that consciousness 
was what made the difference, and that the difference 
could not be defined as mere compresence. Perhaps it 
cannot be defined at all. If this is so, why not say 
plainly that it is a unique and indefinable relation? 

But Professor Alexander will not have it so ; and we 
are very far from discovering the distinctive quality 
of mind. 

Yet when he is faced with Mr. E. B. Holt's "concept 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 103. 
"The same, p. 105. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 197 

of consciousness, " that beautifully innocent and simple 
concept of neural responses which are not acts of con- 
sciousness, a concept which turns consciousness itself 
out of doors among its objects, he finds something lack- 
ing in it, and no wonder. 

"The doctrine fails to account for a vital feature in the cognitive 
situation, as we experience it, namely, that in being aware of the 
fire, the fire is before me, or it is I who see it, or it is in a sense wy 
fire." a 

Professor Alexander points out that, on Mr. Holt's 
theory, 

"Consciousness then becomes the name of any field of objects to 
which anything whatever corresponds specifically. It becomes a 
mere name for compresence." * 

Which is what Professor Alexander said it was ! If 
we are to introduce self-consciousness into the situa- 
tion, we shall be nearer the truth of it, but we can 
no longer say that consciousness is not a unique 
relation. 

But I am anticipating. 

Professor Alexander sets out by identifying mind 
with its neural basis. 

"That which as experienced from the inside or enjoyed is a 
conscious process, is as experienced from the outside or contemplated 
a neural one." * 

"A neural process of a certain level of development possesses the 
quality of consciousness and is thereby a mental process, and alter- 
nately a mental process is also a vital one of a certain order." 4 

"But while mental process is also neural, it is not merely neural, 
and therefore also not merely vital." " 

. . . "What determines the difference of the psychical from the 
merely physiological process is its locality in the nervous system." 

. . . "We may safely regard locality of the mental process as what 
chiefly makes it mental as distinct from merely neural, or what dis- 
tinguishes the different mental processes from one another. . . . 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 111. 
The same, p. 113. 
The same, p. 5. 
* The same, pp. 5, 6. 
The same, p. 6. 



198 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

There is not, or not necessarily, to each neurosis a corresponding 
psychosis. The equivalent proposition is that while all psychoses 
are neuroses, the psychoses imply the emergence of a new feature, 
that of mind. It would follow that mental process may be ex- 
pressible completely in physiological terms but is not merely physio- 
logical but also mental." 1 

And yet 

. . . "there are not two processes, one neural, the other mental, but 
one." 1 

Again : 

. . . "once we recognise that mental processes have no character, 
beyond the quality of being mental, other than such as all processes 
present, intensity or locality or velocity or the like, that is to say, 
empirical forms of categorial character, all reason is removed for 
supposing the mental process to be a different existent from the 
neural one." 1 

And yet 

"Mental process is therefore something new, a fresh creation." 4 

We may ask how and if mental process is " com- 
pletely expressible in physiological terms" it is not 
"merely physiological but also mental "; and how 
mind, if it is identical with neural process, can be a 
new creation? Professor Alexander seems to be 
wobbling here between his enforced acknowledgment 
that mind is something new, something more than, that 
is to say, something different from neural process, and 
his desire to identify it with neural process in order 
that he may localize it and thus bring it under Space- 
Time. If he fails to do this it is all up with his theory 
of Space-Time as the matrix and the stuff of all 
existents. 

We may ask, for example, whether meaning is com- 
pletely expressible in physiological terms? Professor 
Alexander has described meaning as "the whole com- 
plex that a thing stands for"; which takes it out of the 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, pp. 6, 7. 
'The same, p. 9. 
The same, p. 11. 
4 The same, p. 7. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 199 

region of mind. He then raises the question of its 
mental status. 

"Now what is there in meaning as described which prevents us 
from believing that the conscious meaning corresponds to, is as I 
should say, identical with a certain neural process." 1 

He finds this identity in patterns which the neural 
processes trace. He may be using identity in some 
special sense which is not apparent. It is at any rate 
impossible, with the utmost good-will, to see how there 
can be identity of quality between conscious meaning 
and any neural pattern. The neural patterns may and 
probably do stand for conscious meanings, much as the 
type patterns on this page stand for words which stand 
for conscious meanings; with this difference that the 
print patterns can be read and the neural patterns can- 
not. The words mediate between the print patterns 
and the conscious meaning, but there are no mediators 
between it and the neural patterns. It seems to me 
that Professor Alexander ignores this question of 
quality. He says 

"The mental processes are identical with their equivalent neural 
processes and are those processes as enjoyed." * 

Now you never do enjoy (nor contemplate) your 
neural processes. The neural processes are not in 
consciousness at all. They are completely hidden from 
it. What is in consciousness is what the idealist calls 
its content and the realist calls its object ; and accord- 
ing to Professor Alexander this is contemplated and 
not enjoyed. He has used the word enjoyment ex- 
pressly to show that the neural process is not contem- 
plated; but if it is enjoyed it must be an element of 
self -consciousness, of the awareness of the awareness. 
But can we say that it is that either? 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 16. 
3 The same, p. 38. Note. 



200 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

At one point of his enquiry Professor Alexander 
raises the hopes of idealism high. He says 

"Time is the mind of Space and Space the body of time." l 

". . . even on the lowest level of existence, any motion has its soul, 
which is time." 2 

In the order of processes the next higher process is 
always the mind or soul of the next lower. Let L be 
a certain level, then 

"A complex of processes on a level L with the distinctive prop- 
erty I becomes endowed within the whole L-thing or body, with 
a quality Z' and the whole thing characterised by this quality rises 
to the level L'. The processes with the emergent quality 1' constitute 
the soul or mind of a thing or body which is on the level L . . ." 

"Thus the soul of each level is the soul of a body which is the 
stuff of which it may be called the form." * 

". . .so that the course of Time issues in the growth of ever new 
types of soul, and in this way all nature is linked in a chain of 
affinity, and there is nothing which does not in virtue of its con- 
stitution respond to ourselves ... so that there is nothing dead, 
or senseless in the universe, Space-Time being itself animated." * 

"... bare Time is the soul of its Space and performs towards it 
the office of soul to its equivalent body or brain." 5 

Each phrase bursts like a flash-light over the dark- 
ness of Space-Time, and we think that we have come 
to the very heart of the matter. We think: Here at 
last is something to clothe the pure nakedness of 
Space-Time. If soul or mind is already in Space-Time 
we are absolved from the impossible problem of get- 
ting out of it what was never there. 

But as this stupendous meaning strikes him Profes- 
sor Alexander is visibly perturbed by his own state- 
ment and takes it all back. He didn't really mean it. 
All he meant was that Time performs on Space an 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 38. 
1 The same, p. 67. 
The same, p. 68. 
4 The same, p. 69. 
The same, p. 346. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 201 

operation something like the transactions of mind with 
body. These, he assures us over and over again, are 
purely spatio-temporal . . . "my mind is also a living 
material spatio-temporal thing. " Why, rather than 
that we should believe anything so monstrous of his 
pure Space-Time he would put it that, so far from Time 
being the mind of anything, the mind itself is nothing 
but time. 

"Rather than hold that Time is a form of mind, we must say that 
mind is a form of Time." * 

Again : 

"Time is an element in the stuff of which the universe and all its 
parts is made, and has no special relation to mind, which is but the 
last complexity of Time which is known to us in finite existence." ' 

And in this vehement repudiation the realist betrays 
his awareness of mind as the disturber of his intellec- 
tual peace. Mind is the crux of Space-Time realism. 
It is the recalcitrant element which will not fit in with 
the theory. Somehow or other it must be made to fit. 
So Professor Alexander docks it of every character 
which is extra-spatial and extra-temporal and identi- 
fies it with neural process. 

"Each new type of existence when it emerges is expressible com- 
pletely or without residue in terms of the lower stage, and therefore 
indirectly in terms of all lower stages ; mind in terms of living pro- 



cess. . . ."* 



And Professor Alexander's theory of Space-Time 
compels him not only to regard mind as extended in its 
neural basis but to bestow consciousness on neural 
tracts as spatial : 

"in an extended sense of 'awareness' each point (to confine our- 
selves to Space) might be said to be aware of every other in the 
way in which minds are aware of one another." 4 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 44. 
The same, p. 345. 
The same, p. 67. 
4 The same, p. 144. 



202 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

Thus: 

"For clearness sake let us take a particular case and suppose 
a line of colour ab which we see. It excites through our eyes a 
certain spatial tract in the visual region . . . and that neural ex- 
citement of the centres is the consciousness of colour. Call the 
neural tract A B. The points or other parts of it are, as merely 
spatial, aware of ab. Moreover, they are aware, in the same ex- 
tended sense of 'awareness', of the points in ab as being the origin 
of the whole transaction of light-movements which connect those 
points with the corresponding neural centres." 8 

All this is exceedingly difficult to follow. We have 
to account for the mind's consciousness of the place 
in space of ab. It is not an easy thing to account for 
on any theory, but even if we granted that the points 
of the neural tract A B can be aware (in Professor 
Alexander's extended sense of awareness which seems 
to be pretty extensive) of the points of ab, it is credit- 
ing the neural tract with supernatural intelligence to 
suppose that it refers the local excitement of its 
points to the " transaction of light-movements " along 
a line of colour which is outside it and far away. What- 
ever else it may be, the neural tract is not the place of 
the object, or the observer of the place of the object. 

Professor Alexander says : 

"Now if there were no consciousness belonging to the excite- 
ment of A B our minds would know nothing of the places of ab." 

I cannot see how A B's excitement and consciousness 
of its excitement, if it were conscious, could help the 
mind which is not conscious of A B's excitement and 
consciousness, or of the existence of A B at all ; espe- 
cially as there is no sense in which A B can be con- 
scious of ab as an object. Supposing that the special 
nature of A B's excitement, the pattern of the neural 
tract, corresponds with the qualities and the place and 
distance of objects, and causes the mind to be appro- 
priately conscious, it can only do this by, as it were, 
giving the mind a jog in the right direction ; but since 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 145. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 203 

this neural jog is a material jog and not a mental jog, 
and a jog of which the mind remains totally unaware, 
it is not easy to see how mind responds to it, especially 
if consciousness is nothing but compresence. The 
neural jog cannot be said to make consciousness more 
compresent than it was before. This is of course the 
reason why Professor Alexander bestows awareness 
(in the extended sense) on the neural tract. And this 
is equivalent to an admission, by which idealism 
profits, that if you don't put it in you will certainly 
never get it out. 

But, on the theory, whatever the neural processes 
and the sense-organ have to do with consciousness, they 
have no conscious business with the object. 

In this connection it should be noted that Professor 
Alexander rejects the theory of Psychophysical Paral- 
lelism on excellent grounds. 

". . . the reason for it disappears so soon as it is recognised that 
what corresponds to the mental is not merely physiological but 
the bearer of a new quality." l 

And yet it is this new quality that he reduces "with- 
out residue" to neural process. And on page fourteen 
of Volume Two he talks about "substantive processes 
of mind like perceptions or images . . . corresponding 
to things in the object world." If this is to be taken 
seriously it implies a substantive content of mind such 
as he repudiated on page eleven. 

He further denies that sensory qualities depend on 
sense-organs. But his objections to physiological sub- 
jectivity apply with equal force to Space-Time realism. 
The "fundamental difficulty" of relativity to a sense- 
organ lies in supposing that 

. . . "out of physico-chemical substances, the external thing and the 
bodily organ, life can create a new quality of colour which is not 
itself physico-chemical." * 

1 Space, Time <md Deity, Vol. II, pp. 9, 10. 
1 The same, p. 141. 



204 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

How then are we to suppose that out of spatio- 
temporal elements, pure point-instants, or out of 
motions, Space-Time can create a new quality of colour 
which, as such, is not spatio-temporal? 

This brings us to the consideration of Appearances. 

It is admitted that in certain cases objects can be 
affected by the " intrusion of the mind." 1 

This sets up illusory appearances or illusions. For 
example, " colours seen by contrast, or the plane pic- 
ture of a box seen solid/' 

Professor Alexander distinguishes further between 
"real" appearances of the thing, which belong to it 
though they may vary relatively to the distance and 
position of the perceiver, and "mere" appearances, 
which do not belong to the thing but arise from its 
connection with other things. These are all non- 
mental. 

You might say that if anything was mental it was 
illusory appearances which are "introduced by the 
mind." But on Professor Alexander's theory illusory 
appearances are non-mental too. 

"For they are prima facie on the same level as other physical 
appearances. ... An illusory appearance is illusory only in so 
far as it is supposed . .' . to belong to the real thing of which it 
seems to be the appearance. In so far as it is illusory it is not a 
revelation of that thing but of something else. The illusion consists 
in the erroneous reference of it to where it does not in fact belong." f 

I do not think there is anything in this statement to 
hit idealism hard. To begin with, the idealist will 
agree with the realist that the illusion, the mental error, 
lies in the judgment, the false attribution of the appear- 
ance to another reality not its own. But it is mental 
exactly in so far as it is not in the object and is created 
or "introduced by" the mind. That "prima facie il- 
lusions are on the same level as other physical appear- 

1 Space, Tme and Deity, Vol. II, p. 184. 
1 The same, pp. 185-186. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 205 

ances" only shows that physical appearances can be 
mental. Professor Alexander admits that illusions are 
mental when he says that "it is the mind itself which 
produces the distortion/' On a strictly realist view, 
above all on Professor Alexander's own view of cogni- 
tion as mere "compresence," the mind ought not to 
be able to do anything of the sort. It should have no 
grip whatever on the object. Illusions admitted to be 
mental are the thin end of the idealist's chisel, more 
fragile, if you like, than the assumption that secondary 
qualities, ideas or "memory images" are mental, but 
still strong enough to prize open the realist's cosmos 
and let mind in. 

Professor Alexander says that what the mind does 
is not to create illusory appearances but "to choose 
them from the world of reality. ' ' 

"The illusory object is as much non-mental as the real appear- 
ance. . . . The grey paper is seen green by contrast on the red 
ground. The paper itself is not green. But there is green in the 
world. . . ."' 

. . . "My mental act brings me face to face with the green in the 
world." ' 

Now green may be in the world, but it is not in my 
bit of the world at my instant ; no explanation will al- 
ter the fact that the green I see on the grey paper is 
not "there." Professor Alexander says: 

"We combine elements not really combined, but both the ele- 
ments and their form of combination are features of the real world 
when that world is taken large enough." * 

But those features are in another space-time, an- 
other context; not in the space-time of the "real" 
grey. We are not at the moment "taking" that larger 
world at all. 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 214. 
'The same, p. 215. 
* The same. 



206 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

What happens in illusion Professor Alexander says 
is that 

"The mind squints at things and one thing is seen with the char- 
acters of something else." 1 

But, again, there was no green within my range of 
vision to squint at. 

In the case of "real" appearance Professor Alex- 
ander admits from a realist the statement amounts 
to an admission that the mind "selects" special ap- 
pearances relative to distance and position from among 
the real qualities of the thing. Take the hotness of the 
fire which diminishes or increases as we recede from 
or approach it. The hotness of the fire, Professor Al- 
exander says, is in the fire itself. I gather that he 
ascribes to the fire a certain "real" standard hotness 
dependent on the "real motion" of the "fiery matter," 
hotness which can be calculated by means of "instru- 
ments of measurement which are relatively independ- 
ent of our senses and certainly independent of our sen- 
sations of heat." Our sensations of heat, then, are 
what vary with our distance and Professor Alexander 
accounts for these differences by the "selection" of 
the mind. 2 Selection is a rather ambiguous term in 
this context, but I think we must understand by it that 
the mind, disregarding all other degrees of heat con- 
tained in the standard hotness, pays attention only to 
the exact degrees appropriate to its distance and posi- 
tion with regard to the fire. 

This, I take it, because, on the theory, the empirical 
quality of hotness must be identified with the categorial 
spatio-temporal motions of the fire itself, which do not 
vary with the distance and position of the perceiver; 
and because the realist will not admit that the second- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 216. 
a The same, p. 187. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 207 

ary quality of hotness can be mental. The action of 
the mind, discerned as somehow responsible for the 
variation, is camouflaged as selection. 

But let alone that a mind which selects, and selects 
in such a fashion as to affect the appearances of ob- 
jects, is something more than merely compresent with 
its object, mere selection by the mind will not account 
for the thorough-going relativity of the appearances 
to the mind's distance and position. The mind's dis- 
tance and position, observe, since Professor Alexander 
regards the mind as extended where its body is in 
space-time. At first it would appear that in giving 
this extension to mind he was making the world safe 
for new realism. But, when he comes to deal with ap- 
pearances, sudden and horrible danger arises from this 
introduction of inind into space-time. Things in space- 
time can now become relative to mind; they can, con- 
trary to the hypothesis, be affected by mind. Almost 
you could imagine that Professor Alexander was sorry 
that he had let mind into space-time like a body. But 
on the theory there was no other place for it to be in, 
and Professor Alexander has to make the best of it. 
This he does by introducing this non-committal (if 
surreptitious) idea of selection. The mind doesn't 
"do" anything to the fire; it only chooses from the 
standard hotness, the hotness you can measure with 
appropriate and incorruptible instruments, those de- 
grees of hotness already contained in it which are 
(miraculously) relative to its distance and position. 

Professor Alexander will not admit that the body 
and its sense-organs intervene between perception and 
its object. For this reason: 

. . . "The action of the sense-organ is part of the process of sensing 
the sensum, not its object. The sense-organ cannot be treated as 
merely a thing which modifies the real thing in the way that motion 
added to a whistle modifies the pitch of its note or as spectacles, 
themselves coloured, discolour the world around us. The distort- 



208 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

ing or qualifying thing must be either observed or observable in the 
sensible object. In truth all appearances are prima facie real ones, 
and later are sorted out." 1 

Now it is hard enough in all conscience to say in what 
way a sense-organ modifies a sense-perception or its 
object. But we may be pretty sure it is not "the way 
that motion added to a whistle modifies the pitch of 
its note, or as coloured spectacles stain the visible 
world. It is not because our sense-organs move that 
we perceive motion, or because they are green that we 
perceive green, and not at all because they are objects 
to us (they are only objects to the physiologist) that 
they affect our perceptions of objects. The relativist 
does not contend, any more than Professor Alexander, 
that neural processes are part of the object, of the 
sensum. 

It may or it may not be true that the distorting or 
qualifying thing must be "either observed or observ- 
able in the sensible object ;" the idealist will agree that 
"in truth all appearances are prima fade real ones, 
and later are sorted out." But it is just possible that 
the sense-organs and the neural processes do some of 
the sorting. The idealist distinguishes between ap- 
pearances and reality precisely as the realist distin- 
guishes between them: by their behaviour and their 
context. The idealist admits that appearances are 
"real" in their own context; and the realist displays a 
certain perversity when he calls the world of idealism 
a world of hallucination. It is precisely the same world 
as his own, with no detail omitted, altered or distorted 
all the correlations of Space-Time intact (indeed in- 
tacter). All that the idealist does is to recognise its 
ultimate quality as mind-stuff, and through its char- 
acter as mind-stuff its dependence on mind. 

Professor Alexander regrets that we cannot take the 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, pp. 191-192. 



v THE CRITICAL PEEPAEATIONS 209 

way of idealism; it is so much easier. "The way of 
sin is always easy and that of virtue difficult. " (We 
have seen some of the difficulties of virtue.) The easy 
way of idealism leads to destruction, the destruction 
of our faith in the veracity of the universe. 

Now you can only test the veracity of the universe 
by the behaviour of the universe itself. There is no 
reality outside it to which we may appeal. Idealist 
and realist are in the same boat here. But the realist 
complicates his problem by separating consciousness 
from its object and then raising all sorts of questions 
about its veracity. And we are left with the contradic- 
tory problem of mind which is now said to be a new 
thing, and now reducible without residue to elements 
of Space-Time. 

If this is not an "overwhelming difficulty" I don't 
know what is. 



And when we come to the emergence of Deity the 
overwhelming is indeed upon us. Deity 

Deity also is begotten by Time on Space-Time. This 
is the supreme instance of the causal character of Time. 
Time is not subject to Deity; Deity is subject to Time. 
Deity does not exist till Time calls it forth at its hour. 
In order to emerge it requires a special complexity of 
Space-Time in the form of mind or consciousness. But 
Deity is not mind or consciousness any more than mind 
or consciousness was life or life was inorganic mat- 
ter. It is a new empirical thing. 

"Deity in its turn is a quality of that which attends upon, or 
more strictly speaking, is equivalent to, previous or lower existences 
of the order of mind which itself rests on a still lower basis of qual- 
ities, and emerges when certain complexities and refinements of ar- 
rangement have been reached." 1 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 347. 



210 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

"The highest of these empirical qualities known to us is mind or 
consciousness. Deity is the next higher empirical quality to the high- 
est we know ; and ... at any level of existence there is a next higher 
empirical quality which stands towards the lower quality as deity 
stands towards mind." 1 

"There is a nisus in Space-Time which, as it has borne its crea- 
tures forward through matter and life to mind, will bear them for- 
ward to some higher level of existence. . . . Time itself compels 
us to think of this later birth of Time." ' 

"Deity is thus the next higher empirical quality to mind. That 
the universe is pregnant with such a quality we are speculatively 
assured. What that quality is we cannot know; for we can neither 
enjoy nor still less contemplate it. Our human altars still are raised 
to the unknown God." * 

Deity, as the next higher, 

. . . "is therefore a variable quality, and as the world grows in 
time, deity changes with it. ... On each level of finite creatures 
deity is for them some 'unknown' (though not 'unexperienced') 
quality in front, the real nature of which is enjoyed by the crea- 
tures on the next level." 4 

"We cannot tell what is the nature of deity, of our deity, but 
we can be certain that it is not mind ... or any quality of the 
order of mind, deity is not spirit, but something different from it 
in kind. God, as the being which possesses deity must be also spirit, 
for . . . deity presupposes spirit. . . . But ... his deity is not 
spirit." 5 

Unfortunately you can never have your deity here 
and now. At whatever level you are on, deity is al- 
ways about to emerge on the next level. If it were not 
for this, Professor Alexander's concept of deity would 
be the sublimest that has yet come into philosophy. 
Perhaps, in spite of this, it is. And it should be said at 
once that it makes many things conceivable that were 
not conceivable on the older theory of the Absolute. 
God can be immanent in the universe in a clearly in- 
telligible way, without compromising his deity. 

1 /Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 345. 

3 The same, p. 346. 
*The same, p. 347. 

4 The same, p. 348. 
8 The same, p. 349. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 211 

For it is the only concept of Deity that completely 
solves the problem of evil. If Deity has not happened 
yet, it is clearly not responsible for anything that has 
happened up till now. And since it has only come into 
the world subsequent to all regrettable incidents, it 
cannot be said to have had any knowledge of them. 
We have not got to reconcile God's fore-knowledge 
and our freedom, or his power and his goodness. He 
is completely absolved from all complicity as regards 
this sad, bad world, which he has not produced, which 
he had no intention of producing, which, on the con- 
trary, has produced him. 

And if the problem of evil were the only problem, it 
would be worth while closing with Professor Alexan- 
der's offer of his Deity. His Deity is, or rather will 
be, real and great beyond all the dreams of metaphysi- 
cal imagination. We are not shut up with a God al- 
leged to be all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing, who 
has yet turned out a universe which would be very 
creditable coming from a Deity who was something 
less than all that, but is, to say the least of it, some- 
what disappointing as the achievement of all-knowl- 
edge and all-goodness, and all-power. Who can con- 
template the world as it is and not say that an all- 
knowing, all-good and all-powerful Deity ought, with 
infinite time at his disposal, to have done a little bet- 
ter than that? 

Still, there was one thing to be said for him. The 
existence of this God might be a perfect scandal, but 
he was supposed to exist. He was, at least, good for 
that. But Professor Alexander's Deity does not exist, 
and is not meant to exist. There are, as we shall see, 
grave metaphysical obstacles to his existence. 

To begin with, there is a sense in which Professor 
Alexander's Deity is not immanent. Because of his 
theory of Space-Time, and of deity as an empirical 



212 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

birth of Time, Professor Alexander is unable to speak 
of God as immanent and at the same time transcendent. 
Deity is "located in a portion only of the universe/ 7 

"Thus, empirical as deity is, the infinity of his distinctive char- 
acter separates him from all finites." * 

This, because if God were everywhere and every- 
when, immanent in the whole universe here and now, 
he would, contrary to the "plan" of him, be existing 
here and now actually, and not as the assumed nisus or 
next higher empirical quality. 

And Deity is not transcendent as regards Time since 
it is the birth of Time, and as the birth of Time it has 
all Space-Time behind and outside it. 

And yet there is a sense in which this God is imma- 
nent and transcendent, too. As the bearer of a new 
quality he may be said to be transcendent as regards 
all lower qualities; and as the nisus in Space-Time 
driving on to the emergence of Deity God is immanent 
in Space-Time. As each lower level plays body to the 
"soul" of the next higher, so mind or spirit, and we 
ourselves as minds or spirits are the body of God. 

"For him, therefore, . . . the distinction of organic and special 
sensa disappears. Our minds, therefore, and everything else in the 
world are 'organic sensa' of God. All we are the hunger and thirst, 
the heart-beats and the sweat of God." * 

No criticism should overlook or fail to do justice to 
the metaphysical grandeur of this idea. The concept 
of Deity as the nisus is almost the answer to half the 
difficulties we have raised. 

But it means that Deity is never realised here and 
now. "God, as the possessor of Deity ... is a quali- 
tied infinite. " If he realised himself, he would instant- 
ly become finite ; the succession of realisations would 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 358. 
1 The same, p. 357. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 213 

produce, not infinite Deity, but a succession of finite 
deities. 

"The qualitied infinite, if the quality could be actually realised, 
would present overwhelming difficulties, when we ask if it is subject 
to the categories. ... It is ... not an individual, for an individual 
is the union of particular and universal. And realised deity is not 
universal, since, representing as it does the whole, it admits of 
no repetition. . . . Neither is it a substance ... it admits of no 
relation to other substances, but is the whole of Space-Time on a 
reduced scale. In this break-down of the attempt to apply to it 
the categories ... it betrays its merely ideal character of a pic- 
ture and nothing more. The picture is not the less eminently worth 
drawing. Only nothing actual corresponds to it. ... Deity is a 
nisus and not an accomplishment." 1 

If after these flat statements we still ask 
"Does infinite deity exist?" 

The answer is that 

"the world in its infinity tends toward infinite deity, or is preg- 
nant with it, but that infinite deity does not exist; ... if it did, 
God the actual world possessing deity would cease to be infinite 
God and break up into a multiplicity of finite gods, which would be 
merely a higher race of creatures than ourselves with a God be- 
yond . . ." 

. . . "the attainment of deity makes deity finite" . . . 

"God as an actual existent is always becoming deity but never 
attains it. He is the ideal God in embryo."* 

Thus even that temporary and progressive realisa- 
tion of Deity cannot be ; because it would make Deity 
finite. We all have to give up something of our God. 
The absolutist cheerfully gives up God's morality to 
save his absoluteness. The pragmatist gives up his 
absoluteness to save his morality. It remained for 
Professor Alexander to make the supreme renuncia- 
tion. He sacrifices God himself to save God's infinity. 

Now Deity was only introduced into Space-Time as 
a concession to the religious consciousness. Profes- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 364. 
lf The same, p. 365. 



214 THE NEW IDEALISM v 

sor Alexander considers that the appetite for Deity 
should be satisfied. 

But does this concept of Deity satisfy it? This un- 
realised ideal which is jam tomorrow, and better jam 
the day after tomorrow, but never jam today? 

. . . "it is this distinctive religious appetite . . . which, though it 
does not make its object discovers it." * 

How, since its object never is? 

"... religious sentiment ... is the feeling of our going out to 
something not ourselves and greater and higher than ourselves, 
with which we are in communion." * 

With which we are certainly not in communion, since 
Deity hasn't happened yet. With which we never shall 
be in communion since, if it were to happen, it would 
always be a stage ahead of us. With which we need not 
hope to be in communion, since it never can happen. 

Professor Alexander says of his non-existent Deity, 

"If man wants God and depends on him, God wants man and 
is so far dependent" . . . "not only does he matter to us but we 
matter to him."* 

This is admirable, but how can it happen, if God 
hasn't happened? The nisus on our level is just our- 
selves, straining forward to the Deity which is not yet, 
and never will be. How can this Deity help us, or we 
it? 

Two final criticisms may be made here. This con- 
cept of Deity is open to the objections which Professor 
Alexander brings against the Fourth Dimension as a 
purely intellectual construction. It is a construction 
on precisely the same lines of formal analogy. Also, if 
the analogy were strictly held to, since the next higher 
levels to life and mind respectively are not life and 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 37*. 
'The same, p. 373. 
The same, pp. 386-388. 



v THE CRITICAL PREPARATIONS 215 

mind, the next higher level to Deity cannot be Deity. 
And this is to make Deity finite with a vengeance. 

Once more, the religious consciousness is in a hor- 
rible position if it can only save God's perfection at 
the price of his existence, or his existence at the price 
of his perfection. The problem for the new idealism 
is to find, if it can, a way out of this dilemma ; if pos- 
sible to show Deity as in a living process of self-reali- 
sation, and yet keep the immensity of Professor Alex- 
ander's vision. 

END OF BOOK ONE 



BOOK TWO 
RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 



VI 

SPACE, TIME AND CONSCIOUSNESS 



We can no longer doubt (if indeed it was ever doubt- 
ful) that the worst problems in philosophy arise from 
our fatal habit of abstracting. Hegel spent most of 
his time trying to prove that abstraction was the vice 
of all systems except his own ; and his own failed chief- 
ly owing to its inevitable divorce of thought from the 
sense-world of nature. 

But it is on the problems of Space and Time that 
this and all other abstractions have borne most heavily. 
In the revulsion against this abuse of thought it has 
been assumed, as we have seen, that the antinomies 
of Space and Time were entirely due to our arbitrary 
tampering with their integrity and with the integrity 
of the cosmos as a whole. We have not only taken 
Space and Time as abstractions from the context of 
events, but we have taken them as abstractions from 
each other; and we have wondered at the contradic- 
tions which ensued. For all our conception of their 
unity, it is as if a man should turn his trousers inside 
out and marvel at the miracle of their still fitting him, 
or divide them back from front and either declare tri- 
umphantly that he has now two trousers, or else com- 
plain of the solution of continuity. 

Most certainly solution of continuity did follow from 
the division of Space from Time, and by now it has 
become pretty evident that they must be taken to- 
gether. Professor Alexander has shown most convinc- 

219 



220 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

ingly that Time enters into the very structure of Space, 
and that the unfolding of Space in three dimensions 
would be impossible without Time. 1 The whole trend 
of modern philosophy is in the direction of the synthe- 
sis of Time and Space since this conception first ap- 
peared in M. Bergson's system. It is the secret of 
Professor Whitehead's four-dimensional geometry 
and the foundation of his concept of nature. It under- 
lies the equations of modern physics in which Space 
and Time appear as interchangeable terms. It is the 
principle of the Principle of Relativity. And, as we 
have just seen, the first great system of Realism, Pro- 
fessor Alexander's, is based on the essential unity of 
Time and Space. 

All these theories differ very decidedly from each 
other as to the nature and the relations of Space and 
Time. Professor Whitehead regards both Time and 
Space as empirical relations of events, these being the 
ultimate realities. To Professor Alexander they are 
not relations ; they are the ultimate terms to which all 
things are reducible ; they are absolute and august and 
pure in their a pnonness. To Professor Einstein they 
are purely relative to bodies of reference and to each 
other. To M. Bergson serial time is a spurious sort 
of time which is really space ; this spatial time is un- 
real time; to Professor Alexander Space-Time, or 
Time-Space is the reality, and there is no other sort 
of time or space. But they one and all agree that 
Space and Time must be taken together. One and all 
they insist (except Professor Einstein who doesn't 
worry about it) that if only, only you will take them 
together every contradiction will vanish from Space 
and Time. If you take them together Time will stop 
all the gaps in Space ; Space will fill up the interstices 
of Time; events will step in, overlapping, and cover 

*See Appendix II, pp. 315-317. 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 221 

all the cuts of serial Time ; Space will stretch Time out 
into duration, and Time will sweep Space out before it 
into extension. 

Divide them and they at once fall apart into their 
point-instants. 

But it has been made clear (at least I hope it has) 
that in the very systems that undertook to safeguard 
us from this catastrophe, the antinomies have burst 
loose again. The continuity of the compact series 
broke down under analysis. The continuity of Profes- 
sor Whitehead's system of events and event-particles 
broke down. It left us with all nature at a moment 
still on our hands. Even in Professor Alexander's sys- 
tem, which certainly held out the greatest promise of 
security, which almost compelled us to believe in its 
solution, the antinomies burst loose, and Space-Time 
itself betrayed contradictions of its own. 1 

Now the one striking thing about all the solutions 
which were offered is that they are themselves abstrac- 
tions. In all the theories we have considered conscious- 
ness has been left out. It has been left out on purpose, 
in accordance with the demands of realism. It has not 
been allowed to enter the tests lest it should pervert 
the conditions, and confuse the problem at the very 
start. And on the whole it has been a good thing for 
idealism that this experiment of keeping mind out 
should have been made. Mind ought not to be taken 
for granted ; it ought not to be allowed to confuse the 
problem ; it ought not to be brought in at all until other 
solutions have been tried and found wanting. Ideal- 
ists should be grateful to realism for this drastic ex- 
periment ; because the only chance for idealism was to 
leave mind out just for once and see what would hap- 
pen. 

We have been present at this experiment and we 

^ee above: "Space, Time and Deity," pp. 162-213. 



222 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

have seen what has happened. We have seen the ob- 
stinate resurgence of those contradictions which, mak- 
ing the reality of time and space and motion unthink- 
able, seemed to strike at the very foundations of mathe- 
matical and physical science. If mathematics and 
physics have survived the shock, it is because they 
have held themselves above the battle; they have re- 
fused to be involved in the contentions of philosophy. 
It is indifferent to mathematics and to physics whether 
mind is dragged in or left out. It is even more indiffer- 
ent to them what view philosophy takes of their own 
particular assumptions and constructions. The be- 
haviour and the relations of numbers and geometrical 
figures and bodies in motion will be the same whether 
realism or idealism is right as to the ultimate nature 
of space and time and matter. This is the sense in 
which what Professor Whitehead says is true, that 
"No perplexity concerning the object of knowledge can 
be solved by saying there is a mind knowing it." But 
I do not think that perplexities concerning the behav- 
iour of objects and their relations among themselves 
are of the kind that metaphysics should be required to 
solve. That is what science is there for. What is re- 
quired of metaphysics is rather the solution of pre- 
cisely such problems as the antinomies of Space and 
Time, the origin of the categories and the relation of 
mind to nature, of consciousness to its object. And as 
you will certainly never solve the problem of conscious- 
ness by leaving finite consciousness out, so I think you 
will not solve the contradictions of Space and Time, or 
simplify the affairs of the categories, by leaving out 
ultimate mind. At any rate the experiment has been 
tried, and I think it has failed. 

It is idealism's turn now. The idealist may have 
even worse luck his is in all conscience a dangerous 
adventure but the experiment is worth trying. 



vi EECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 223 

Some unkind person is sure to say that it has been 
tried before, and that if Kant and Hegel didn't succeed 
at it The inference is distressing. And, arrogance 
apart, it isn't enough simply to go on assuming that 
Space and Time are ultimate forms of consciousness 
and see what happens. We have seen. Kant assumed 
it, and Hegel roped Space and Time in among the logi- 
cal categories, and neither the Critique nor the Logic, 
nor Mr. Bosanquet and Mr. Bradley prevented New 
Realism from happening. 

But Kant more or less left the matter there. He 
gave Space and Time a doubtful status somewhere 
between thought and sense. The schemata are am- 
phibious organisms, hovering between two realms, and 
unfitted to survive. Kant did not go down into the 
thick of Space and Time and show that the presence 
or absence of consciousness made a difference. On 
the contrary, it was notoriously Kant who saddled 
idealism with his antinomies, and insisted on thought's 
powerlessness to solve them. As for Hegel, he con- 
tented himself with proving that Space and Time were 
as good categories as any other; and though in his 
system their contradictions follow all other contradic- 
tions to sublimation in the Absolute, the Absolute can- 
not be said to have extinguished them here and now. 

Space and Time are in the melting pot. 

And it is precisely because New Realism has hap- 
pened that experiment is still possible. 

If, as I believe, idealism, which has lost itself in 
Space and Time torn apart, is to find its way out 
through Space and Time taken together, that will be 
owing less to its own efforts in the past than to Pro- 
fessor Alexander, who has shown us how to "take 
Space and Time seriously"; shown that Space with 
Time cannot just be shoved away among the cate- 
gories and left there, and that, when criticism has done 



224 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

its worst, their status remains only one step removed 
from that of ultimate and supreme reality. 

If they are not, as he holds, ultimates, they are at 
least penultimates, the simplest forms of conscious- 
ness. 

ii 

Let us begin, then, with the simplest things, pure 
Con- point-instants in Space-Time. 

new" 1 " We k ave seen h w Time, taken with Space, breaks 
and if up, and inflicts on it rupture in Time, the re-births 
of repetition. All Space, over and over again, instant 
after instant. For pure Space-Time there is no bridge 
from point to point ; Time makes none ; it only serves, 
in the form of motion, to pick out point from point, and 
thus draw attention to the discontinuity. The one in- 
stant that covers all points does not penetrate the gaps 
between them to join them up into a continuum; Time 
penetrates Space only to disintegrate it further. Time 
taken by itself, is utterly attenuated ; so far from cov- 
ering Space, it falls like a thin thread of rain, drop 
by drop, across that immensity and for ever. This is 
the old imperfect view of Time. But Time taken as 
Space tells off the universe, immensity after immens- 
ity, for ever. 

And, likewise, for pure, mindless Time-Space there 
is no lien between its instants. Space only holds down 
one instant at that instant and lets go to hold down 
the next. Time can never hope to recover its own past 
or to grasp its own future. It knows nothing but the 
present, and the present is a vanishing point between 
a not-yet-existing future and a no-longer-existing past. 
In the same way the body in motion lets go the past 
point-instant and has no grip of the future as such. It 
is at a point at an instant ; at another point at another 
instant, and as far as the elements of time, space and 



vi RECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 225 

matter are concerned that is all that can be said about 
its motion. The change of point-instants which is the 
essence of the affair remains a miracle. You may as 
well say that the moving body is at rest and that its 
movement is due to the passage of Space-Time. And 
a body at rest is in no better case ; the instant gone is 
gone for it utterly. In a sense, so far from being at 
rest, it would appear in its abstraction to be travelling 
with inconceivable velocity through time. 

In all this we have had no body of reference, or 
rather, no mind of reference. We have been dealing 
with unreal abstractions, purely physical events hap- 
pening impossibly "outside" mind. 

And as a matter of fact, in our perceptual experi- 
ence things do not happen so. There is an apparent 
continuity of point-instants; bodies do move through 
unmoving space in moving time ; they do stand still in 
a moving time and unmoving space; and their move- 
ment is apparently continuous; it is Professor Mon- 
tague's " uninterrupted and unitary slide. " 

And the fact that this does actually happen in our 
perceptual experience should give us pause. Is it a 
naif idealism that wonders whether, after all, percep- 
tion may not have something to do with it? Not more 
naif, I think, than the realism which assumes that you 
can subtract perception and everything will go on as 
before, or add it and it will make no difference. 

Only in unminded Space-Time, powerless to retain 
its own past and future, is there incurable disintegra- 
tion. Introduce consciousness that joins instant to in- 
stant and holds past, present and future together in 
one duration; that joins point to point and holds 
length, breadth and thickness together in one exten- 
sion; that links point with instant and point-instant 
with point-instant in one Space-Time ; see Space-Time 
once for all as existing, not in and by and for itself, 



226 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

but as the simplest and most universal form of con- 
sciousness, so that all events happening in Space-Time 
are, ipso facto happening in consciousness, and con- 
tradiction disappears. Consciousness secures to 
events their range in Space, their hold on Time, their 
past, their present and their future, in a word, their 
continuity. 

In minded Space-Time motion becomes once more 
thinkable; bodies can and do move (relatively, if you 
prefer it to each other and the observer) in the finite 
S'pace-Time of perception, without let or hindrance 
from infinity. Zeno's Achilles will really overtake the 
tortoise, his arrow will fly, his approaching processions 
will really be in line, since consciousness keeps their 
positions for them, his diverging processions will cover 
their full sum of instants, because consciousness holds 
them in their past time. The world may have a be- 
ginning and an end in Space-Time, since conscious- 
ness began it and may end it; while consciousness, 
which the world is, will have no beginning and no end. 
Substance, or matter, will be discrete for abstract 
analytic thought, but continuous for concrete synthetic 
perception. 

Consider change, the passing of events, without con- 
sciousness and with consciousness. Unminded change 
will have all the discontinuity of the Space-Time whose 
point-instants it in vain redistributes. And this, 
whether you take it as the pure passing of events, or 
as change of states in an object, of qualities in a sub- 
stance. The unminded event when gone is gone, and 
might as well never have been ; its trail in the present 
and the future is effaced so soon as made. Events do 
not of themselves recur. An event dies in space-time 
and is succeeded by another event, a miraculous new 
birth unrelated to its predecessor. Unrelated, because 
its point-instants themselves have perished, and Space- 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 227 

Time in itself has no means of relating, of holding 
events together. The same thing applies to change of 
qualities in a substance. The substance in itself has 
no grip on its qualities ; its past states are past for it ; 
so far as it is its qualities, it is all impermanence. Its 
qualities co-exist in space ; but only for an instant; they 
and it with them share the impermanence of time. 

But minded change has not this utterly disintegrat- 
ing character. In consciousness, which has both past 
and present in its hold and at least an outlook on the 
future, in consciousness the passing event is not dead, 
is not wholly past ; it lives on in its successor. In the 
same way the object whose past states are held in con- 
sciousness endures as an object and is not lost with 
its changing states. And in the same way, again, the 
enduring state endures throughout its times, through 
consciousness that keeps all its times. For in con- 
sciousness and consciousness alone is there continuity; 
and only so far as Space-Time is consciousness has it 
duration. 

I do not think you can exaggerate the importance of 
memory and anticipation as ensuring continuity. Only 
the bad habit of abstraction has made it possible to re- 
gard events and objects as existing on their own ac- 
count in a real outside Space-Time existing on its own 
account. But a relentless analysis of this concept re- 
veals its inherent contradiction. 

Again, consider the perspectives of Space-Time ; and 
take them with perceptual consciousness left out. We 
have then to conceive, as best we may, an infinite num- 
ber of incompatible perspectives co-existing in the 
same Space-Time ; that is to say, the outlines of figures 
overlapping and interpenetrating each other, and ob- 
jects literally occupying each other's space-times in a 
way that does not happen in perceptual experience, and 
by all the known laws of mathematics and physics can- 



228 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

not happen. Yet on the theory all these impossible 
things must be happening, for the simple reason that 
strict realism allows no other Space-Time but the one 
real one for things to happen in. 

But admit that different perspectives may be the 
perspectives of different finite consciousnesses, each 
carrying its own finite space-time, 1 and the relevance 
of these problems disappears. 

And there are certain facts of consciousness that on 
this view acquire a significance they would not have on 
any other. 

We can be vividly aware of many percepts at the 
same time; but only of one distinct concept at one 
time. That is because our percepts are spread out all 
at once in our space; whereas our thoughts succeed 
each other in time. And this, whether we are perceiv- 
ing objects in present time, or remembering, which is 
a way of perceiving objects in past time, or anticipat- 
ing, which is a way of perceiving objects in future 
time. The number of objects that we can perceive at 
one time is limited only by our perceptual range and 
our capacity to attend to the content of consciousness. 
This capacity may cover all our world of sensation. 
For example, I am aware at this moment of a white 
page of paper with faint blue lines, of the table it is 
laid on, of vague mutilated pieces of furniture and 
curtain and window-pane on the outer ring of vision, 
of my hands and the sleeves of my gown, of my right 
hand with its pen moving over the paper, of the pas- 
sage of an omnibus and the hooting of a taxi in the 
road outside. I am also aware of the contact of my 
fingers with the pen and of my hand and wrist with 
the paper and the table. And if there were a smell in 
the room I should be aware of that too. All these 

*For the correlation of these perspectives, see below, "Space, Time 
and Other Consciousnesses," pp. 245-259. 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 229 

things are instantaneously together in the field of my 
awareness. And if, instead of being shut up in a small 
room with my head bent down, I stood out of doors 
looking at a wide landscape, I should see an immense 
number of things at any appreciable instant. But to 
set them all down in writing takes many instants. 1 
can only write one word at a time, and I can only think 
one distinct thought at a time. I can only hold one 
concept (which may be a simple or a complex one) be- 
fore me for contemplation at a time. If I lay out my 
complex concept into its elements, translating, say, 
' ' procrastination ' J into ' ' putting-off-till-to-morrow, ' ' 
or more precisely, u pushing-away-from-iiow-till-the- 
day-af ter-to-day, M I cannot do this all at once, each 
element demands its instant. 

It is true that by visualising my concepts in the form 
of symbols, which may be either words or concrete 
images of the things they stand for, I can be aware of 
several at a time; for then I plant them out in space. 
This is the case with our geometrical concepts which 
we visualise as figures in space. But when we are, as 
it were, looking on at our concepts we are not using 
them, we are not thinking. The primary stuff of think- 
ing is fluid. But the solid stratification of sensible ex- 
perience is like a chord held down, while the play of 
thought, like a melody, runs on and over it with a vary- 
ing tempo. As space takes the leading part in percep- 
tual experience, so time takes the leading part in con- 
ceptual thinking. The passage of thought is the very 
passage of time itself. 

Now on the realist theory it is of course clear why 
we should be able to perceive so many things at once, 
since our percepts are already laid out before us in the 
form of independent objects with which consciousness 
is merely compresent. But since, on the theory, we are 
equally compresent with our concepts and contemplate 



230 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

them with the same detachment, it is not at all clear 
why we should be thus limited to one concept at a time. 
On the realist theory we look on at our concepts; so 
why, when perception is of things co-existent, should 
conception be only of things succeeding? Since con- 
cepts are out there, not in space, but in some region 
specified as non-mental, anyhow outside in the unmind- 
ed world of reality, why should we not conceive co-ex- 
istence? 

And at first sight, if idealism is true and time is the 
form of thought, it seems a safe guess that this may be 
why our thinking should take time, and why, moving, it 
should only grasp one concept at a time. 

But the matter is not so simple as all that. In the 
first place, time is not more the form of thought than 
space is, since at least our geometrical concepts are 
concepts of pure space. And space is not the only 
form of perception, since our extended percepts occupy 
time, and in each case we have to take time and space 
together. Nor is it entirely a question of more or less, 
more percept to space in less time, for we cannot, con- 
versely, speak of less concept to time in more space, 
for the simple reason that our concepts need not be 
concerned with space at all and there will be no equa- 
tion. 

And, properly speaking, concepts in themselves are 
timeless and spaceless. Their stuff is pure thought 
and their habitation is the mind. Thus they will be as 
much part of the content of consciousness as our per- 
cepts are; only, unlike our percepts, they belong to 
that region of mind which is not included in space- 
time, and therefore we are not aware of them as ex- 
tended in space. 

But, though we cannot conceive more than one con- 
cept (whether complex or simple) at a time, this is 
only true of primary conception, the direct presenta- 



vi EECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 231 

tion of its concepts to the mind. We must distinguish 
between concepts .conceived and concepts made use of. 
In a train of thought, a process of reasoning, an in- 
ference, a judgment involving many terms, the con- 
cepts do not constitute a one to one instant series, but 
there is a synthesis such that each concept of the series 
is caught up with the succeeding one and all with the 
whole. All consecutive thinking is of this type. As 
the separate notes are built up into the musical phrase, 
and the phrase into the tune, so the meaning of each 
separate word is caught up with the meaning of the 
next, they and all successive meanings rolling cumula- 
tively into the total meaning of the sentence. Thus the 
movement of thought has thickness, it is three-dimen- 
sional in time, involving memory and anticipation, 
past, present and future; it is a perpetual return on 
itself to hold the meaning which is past, a perpetual 
reaching beyond itself to the meaning just ahead. 

But this is not .primary consciousness ; it is not even 
pure conception; it is secondary consciousness, the 
play of the mind over and round about the solid pri- 
mary block. Our entire consciousness, from moment 
to moment, goes, not on feet, but with a snake-like 
heaving of its whole body, dragging all its content, pri- 
mary and secondary, along with it. 

Now if consciousness were what the realist says it 
is, mere compresence with objects in the world outside 
it, we could hardly account for this cumulative move- 
ment of the whole block. It is more than the mere 
unminded movement of time in space. We found that 
time was in itself powerless to arrest time, and that 
unminded space performed this function most inade- 
quately. Even if we could talk about simultaneous 
compresence with past and future objects, this synthe- 
sis of past, present and future goes beyond the state 
of compresence. It is consciousness doing something, 



232 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

and doing something to the object, since the object is 
lifted up bodily out of its past into the present and car- 
ried on into the future. 

If realism were true and compresence were the whole 
tale of consciousness, our consciousness would be very 
different from what it is. 

iii 

Now realists may admit that this play of thought is 
con- mental, while they insist that it is a playing with non- 
sdwis- men t a i entities, that the ultimate elements of thought, 
and the the categories, are non-mental. 

gories But even supposing that mental play with non-men- 
tal entities were possible are they? Can we really 
think of the ultimate elements of thought, the cate- 
gories, as non-mental? Even if we agreed that they 
were ultimately reducible to Space-Time, we should 
not on that account regard them as non-mental when 
we had reason to suppose that Space 7 Time itself is not 
non-mental. It wouldn't matter to idealism if every- 
thing in the universe were reduced to Space-Time, so 
long as Space-Time remained the ultimate form of 
consciousness. 

But as we said, many of the categories: Identity, 
Diversity and Existence ; Relation ; Universal and Par- 
ticular; Causality, Change; Number, the Whole; the 
One and the Many were not reducible to Space-Time. 
Above all, Quality was not reducible. That leaves 
nothing for Space-Time but Order, Quantity, Intensity, 
Motion, and such identity and diversity, such relation, 
such change and such qualities as are clearly spatio- 
temporal. 

Are the categories, then, in themselves, apart from 
the mental character of Space-Time, reducible to terms 
of mind or consciousness? Not to such terms as are 
implied by simply saying that we "know" them 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 233 

realism has the most perfect right to protest against 
these definitions but to terms of mind which will 
truly define their nature ? I believe so. 

To begin with Identity, Diversity and Existence. 
These categories are, I think, obviously deducible from 
or reducible to the concept of selfhood, which has 
nothing to do with occupying or not occupying one 
point-instant in Space-Time. 

Each thing is itself, and other things are themselves 
as well as "other." This intrinsic, irreducible self- 
hood is beneath and behind all consciousness, and 
without it consciousness could not be, and without con- 
sciousness it would be unintelligible. If we say with 
Professor Alexander that things are identical, or the 
same, because they occupy the same space at the same 
time, and different if they occupy different spaces at 
the same time, we have yet to say what "the same" 
time and "the same" space are, as well as to provide 
for those things which continue in the same spaces at 
different times, or are in different spaces at different 
times. And we shall have to say what "different" 
spaces and "different" times are. So that we are 
thrown back on a sameness and a difference which are 
not definable in terms of Space-Time and are definable 
in terms of consciousness, being of the stuff of con- 
sciousness itself. Selfhood is the fundamental fact of 
consciousness. True, that in the dawn of our experi- 
ence, we begin by identifying ourselves with our bodies 
which later we distinguish from surrounding objects ; 
thus, for infants in arms identity, diversity and exist- 
ence will have a purely spatio-temporal reference ; and 
if philosophers choose to adopt the metaphysical views 
of an infant in arms there is nothing to prevent them. 
The older baby knows perfectly well that it is not its 
feeding bottle or its mother or its nurse. As conscious- 
ness advances the self is clearly distinguished from its 



234 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

body and conscious states from bodily states, and this 
self-reference, this assertion of selfhood is the true 
metaphysical ground of identity, diversity and exist- 
ence. 

Existence is the union of identity and diversity. 
Everything that exists is self same and different from 
others. 

And Universality is strictly deducible from Self- 
hood. The Universal is that which is one and the same 
in each of its particulars. Thus it is repeated in Space- 
Time ; but this mere fact of repetition does not make it 
spatio-temporal and quantitative. The very essence 
of universality is quality. A thing has such and such 
qualities that together constitute its kind. And qual- 
ity we found to be irreducible to Space-Time. Things 
which have the same qualities and correlations of qual- 
ities are of the same kind ; and the essence of sameness 
we found to be selfhood. 

And again, the thing essential to the universal is not 
repetition but recognition; its relation, not to Space- 
Time but to consciousness. It is the presence of the 
universal in the particular which makes knowledge, 
even in the lowest form of perceptual experience, pos- 
sible. 

The universal is thought itself incarnate in things, 
the chief witness to their mental character. 

Now we cannot draw a hard and fast line between 
the universal and particular. Universal and particu- 
lar are in the same boat. If the particulars are non- 
mental so are the universals, if one is mental both are 
mental. If we have reason to suppose that universals 
are supremely mental, particulars must be mental too. 
And, obviously, the individual will share their char- 
acter. 

I said a little while back that the highest universal 
is consciousness itself. But if the deduction of the 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 235 

categories from consciousness is sound, the highest 
universal will be the univeral consciousness, the abso- 
lute Self. 

So far, our idealist's career among the categories 
has been a fairly easy one. And according to the older 
tradition of idealism he should have no trouble at all 
with the category of Relation. The older idealism re- 
garded all relations as thought-relations and left it at 
that. Now, clearly, they are not sensa, you can't see 
or touch or smell a relation as such ; and this peculiar 
impalpability of relations seemed to set them apart as 
holy and dedicated to idealism. To be, is, as Lotze 
said, to be in relations; and since all relations were 
supplied by consciousness, clearly to be in relation was 
to be in consciousness. To be was to be related, and to 
be related was, ipso facto, to be known. 

To the older idealism, the universe appeared as a 
collection of patches of colour, scattered sounds, wan- 
dering smells, of hard nubbly things tied together by 
invisible, intangible strings. The tighter you tied it to 
its terms the more impalpable and elusive the relation 
became, until for sheer subtlety it vanished into 
nothingness. 

And if one thing seemed more certain than another 
it was that relations were not real in the realist's sense, 
but that they were "the work of thought." The older, 
logical idealism blinded itself to all other possibilities 
by concentrating on relations which were indubitably 
thought-relations : the subject-object relation, the sub- 
ject-predicate relation, relations between categories 
and concepts, and relations between relations them- 
selves, not anticipating the moment when all relations 
should be declared reducible without residue to Space- 
Time. Thus, by ignoring such humbler forms as " be- 
side," "between," "to right and left of," "north-east 
by east of," "husband and wife," it gave an impres- 



236 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

sion of having snared the entire universe in a net of 
logic. It was left for the realists of the twentieth cen- 
tury, notably for Mr. Bertrand Russell, to insist on 
the importance of these entities, so palpably independ- 
ent of thought, and ask the idealist what he was going 
to do about it. 

Now so long as the idealist confines himself to logic, 
so long as he regards Space and Time as mere cate- 
gories, forms of thought like any other, there is 
nothing that he can do. Almost any relation he hap- 
pens to hit on, the relation of his luncheon to his din- 
ner, of his stud to his shirt front, of his cat and her 
kittens, of himself to his deceased wife's sister, will, 
if he lets himself dwell on it, be a crux to him. His 
system does not allow for those irrational sense ele- 
ments which are the terms of half the relations there 
are. Simply saying that the terms are things of sense 
and the relations things of thought will not help him 
with the relation of his stud to his shirt-front. It is 
a relation of fastening, and you cannot say that fasten- 
ing is a thought-relation. And an enormous propor- 
tion, perhaps the greater proportion, of relations are 
of this transitive and practical nature. They have to 
do with action and behaviour. If he is going to hang 
on to his epistemology like grim death, his only chance 
is either to draw a distinction between fastening and 
the relation of fastening, or to deny that fastening is 
a relation. And I think he will have difficulty in mak- 
ing a sound case either way. 

Therefore the only safe course for the idealist is to 
abandon the epistemological account of experience as 
an exhaustive statement, and take his stand by the 
primary block of consciousness, which will be very 
largely a complex of sense-data in space and time, in 
which relations may be impalpable concepts, but are 
more likely than not to share the perceptual character 



vi EECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 237 

of their terms. The very worst that realism can do to 
him is to confront him with relations which are purely 
spatio-temporal; but this will not hurt him, since he 
has already settled his account with Space and Time. 

This brings us to the contentious question of exter- 
nal versus internal relations : whether relations are or 
are not "grounded in the nature of their terms." Mr. 
Bradley has sufficiently exposed the dilemmas of rela- 
tions. 1 If a relation is outside its terms it will have to 
be related to each of them, and this relation will be re- 
lated, and will be external to its terms, and related to 
each of them in an infinite outside regress. If it is in- 
side the nature of its terms, there must be a relation of 
the terms to their nature, which itself will depend upon 
the nature of its terms and set up a relation which will 
depend upon the nature and so on in an infinite inside 
regress. I am not concerned at the moment with Mr. 
Bradley 's dilemma. 2 There is only one theory of rela- 
tion which idealism is compelled to dismiss as unsound, 
the realist theory of external relations. If the rela- 
tion is an out and out external one, a non-mental reality 
detached from its terms, so far from relating them to 
each oiner it will have first to be related to each of 
them, thus setting up the infinite regress for which Mr. 
Bertrand Russell has blamed internal relations. 

Now it is not the absolute idealist who is hit by the 
infinite regress. He positively thrives, like Mr. Brad- 
ley, on the dilemma. But the infinite regress is fatal 
to the realist. If his relation is to be a real relation of 
real terms it must relate, and it must do it at once. 
And that, because of its infinite regress, a purely ex- 
ternal relation cannot do. 

Equally, for any idealism which believes in the real- 

1 Appearance and Reality, pp. 25-34. 

a See A Defence of Idealism, pp. 183, 184, 223, 238. 



238 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

ity of its world, relations must relate. It must there- 
fore find such a definition of the relation of relation to 
its terms as will exclude the infinite inside regress. By 
hook or by crook the relation must be made to relate. 
And this is not to be done by calling each and every 
relation the work of thought. The work of thought 
on terms which are not thoughts and have no connec- 
tions in the world of thought will be an outside rela- 
tion with a vengeance. If relation is to relate it must 
be immediate. It must get in first before the infinite 
regress has had time to start. "The work of thought" 
is not a wide enough description of relation. "The 
work of consciousness" is too wide. That is to say, 
every relation is not directly the "work" even of pri- 
mary consciousness, and if it is to be real, if it is really 
to relate, it must in no case be the work of secondary 
consciousness. It must not be the mere play of con- 
sciousness on pre-existing stuff. The relation that re- 
lates must be of the stuff of consciousness itself; since 
all things are of that stuff. 

The terms will, on the theory, be of that stuff, and 
you must look for the relations where the terms are: 
if in space and time, then in space and time ; if in the 
world of thought, then in the world of thought ; if in a 
mixed world, then in that world as it is mixed. 

The relation can then be grounded securely in the 
nature of its terms, in the sense that the terms will 
"make a difference to" the relation ; they will make the 
relation what it is. Thus the stud and shirt make their 
fastening what it is. Other terms, a button and button 
hole, a pair of apron strings, a railway coupling, make 
other relations of fastening what they are. The fact 
that there are other "fastenings" does not mean, as 
the realist will have it, that the relation of fastening 
is external to the stud and shirt. We are only con- 
sidering that particular kind of fastening. 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 239 

A relation may of course be so slender and partial 
that it will touch its terms on the most trivial side of 
their nature : all casual, temporary relations are of this 
sort. The realist makes out that all these are external 
relations, only because he is confusing the total com- 
plex of the persons or the things concerned with those 
parts of them which enter into the relation. The parts, 
however slender, are all that can be justifiably called 
the terms ; and the relation, while and as it lasts, will' 
be grounded in their nature. 

In all experience of relations and by experience 1 
do not mean external knowledge; for example, the 
knowledge a physicist has when dealing with the rela- 
tions of his subject matter; so let us say in all events 
into which primary consciousness enters, conscious- 
ness pins down the relation to its terms before the in- 
finite regress can set in. The infinite regress is always 
an affair of secondary consciousness. So long as we 
take relation as an abstraction from the content of pri- 
mary consciousness, the dilemmas of relation will arise. 
They are solved, as the dilemmas of Space and Time 
were solved, by taking relation and consciousness to- 
gether. 

Order we have already admitted to be spatio-tem- 
poral, at least in origin. But it is not on that account 
non-mental. 

Quantity also, but not all quantity, and not all in- 
tensity; for intensities of sensation are not in them- 
selves reducible to Space-Time : even if degrees of heat 
can be measured by points on the thermometer. 

And quantity in the form of Number is not, I think, 
reducible at all. Neither are relations of number. For 
example, the relation of a square to its root is not 
spatio-temporal; nor are the purely numerical rela- 
tions of measure, which would seem to rule number it- 
self out of space and time. We can only dream of in- 



240 THE NEW IDEALISM yi 

eluding it if we confuse between real and psychological 
derivations (the ways in which we learn to count may 
be purely spatio-temporal), or between the behaviour 
of numbers themselves and the application we make 
of them, as in measuring. 

Number is pure thought; all numerical, all mathe- 
matical laws and operations are laws and operations 
of pure thought ; all geometrical constructions are con- 
structions of pure thought. The fact that they are ap- 
plicable to things of sense in Space-Time, that things 
in Space-Time are measurable and calculable, would 
in itself be sufficient indication that nature is not 
" closed to mind," but that thought saturates it 
through and through. 

We found that Substance taken as Space-Time broke 
up into its parts and was lost, giving rise to Kant's 
antinomy. Unminded substance could neither support 
its parts, nor hold them together, nor maintain itself. 
But substance taken together with consciousness 
merges in the concept of Selfhood. The Self is not lost 
in its states of mind or states of will ; it stands under 
them, holds them up and together, and gives them con- 
tinuity. 

Unminded Causality, in giving rise to unminded 
change, suffers, like change itself, from all the disin- 
tegrations of Space-Time. It can only preserve its 
continuity, its power to pass into its effect, as part of 
the movement of some ultimate primary consciousness. 
Taken together with consciousness, the concept of caus- 
ality as the "total configuration of the universe " be- 
comes intelligible. Space-Time could not give it this 
configuration, for Space-Time is not in itself the 
Whole ; it has no grip of its own past and future. It 
may be objected that the concept of causality is not 
exhausted by the definition of total configuration. It 
cannot be less than that, but it is something more ; it 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 241 

is that which from moment to moment makes a differ- 
ence to the Whole. Thus causality is process. But 
process as such disappears, like power and necessity, 
in the total configuration of the universe. And this 
is the contradiction of causality. 

Now, if we had nothing but unminded causality in 
an unminded universe, we should have to choose be- 
tween configuration and process, or put up with the 
contradiction. 

The clue to the problem, I think, lies in the double 
aspect of mind. Mind is consciousness, and it is also 
will. In its more perfect forms it is conscious of its 
will. In its form of highest perfection, it wills its con- 
sciousness which is the universe. Will is pure causal- 
ity; it is pure process; it is the universe of conscious- 
ness in the making. It is not subject to Space-Time, 
for Space-Time is a form of the consciousness it has 
created. It moves in the world freely among its own 
forms. Freely, because its own forms are its condi- 
tions. In this sense the cause is the sum of the condi- 
tions. It is its conditions, for it is subject to none that 
it has not itself imposed. And in this sense causality 
which is process, may be said without contradiction to 
be also the total configuration of the universe. For the 
total configuration of the universe is nothing but mind, 
the mainspring of whose unfolding consciousness is 
will. Mind is the only entity capable of literally con- 
taining its own process ; of being at once process and 
total configuration. 

A moment's reflection will show the possibility of 
this apparent paradox. It is more or less to be found 
in the experience of any finite consciousness that not 
only anticipates but has power, within limits, to shape 
its own future, that, in remembering, from moment to 
moment rolls up its past into its present and perpetu- 
ally covers the process of its will. 



242 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

And what applied to causality applies to Reciprocity, 
too. 

We have seen already that the Whole as Space-Time 
fell asunder, like Substance, into its parts. Here again, 
ultimate consciousness is the only Whole that can main- 
tain itself in unity with all its parts. It will not be a 
logical Whole, as the older idealism had it ; for will and 
all sense elements stand outside that Whole. But it 
makes possible (and Space-Time does not) the exist- 
ence of logical wholes as subordinate entities within 
itself. 

The same consideration applies to the absolute One 
which is and contains the Many. Conscious Spirit is 
the only conceivable absolute One. If the many forms 
of the universe are not forms of the consciousness of 
absolute Spirit, they must fall apart into the endless 
plurality and absolute difference of their kinds; in 
which case the "kinds" themselves, and all subordinate 
unities which actually obtain, become unthinkable. 

Motion has been already considered. It was seen to 
be only possible when "minded" by some conscious- 
ness. 1 

We have done with all the categories said to be re- 
ducible to Space-Time. There are three others : Con- 
tingency; Modality and Necessity. None of them are 
strictly spatio-temporal, and they are doubtful cate- 
gories. Contingency falls under the head of Causality 
as Condition. Modality is a compound of particularity 
and quality. Necessity, dubious in itself, is another 
name for the uniformity of nature, which if it is not a 
law of consciousness, is simply an empirical fact, carry- 
ing with it no necessity. 

Quality only remains ; and it remains so persistently 
outside Space-Time that Professor Alexander will not 

1 See above, pp. 224-226. 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 243 

allow it to be a category. It seems a rather high-mind- 
ed proceeding thus to strip it of its ancient prestige. 
Surely Quality is a good enough category for anybody, 
seeing that, except bare Being, we cannot think of any- 
thing that has no quality at all. Even pure quantity, 
though it isn't quality, may have quality. There is a 
certain difference of flavour about finite and infinite 
numbers, or about square roots and cube-roots. Qual- 
ity saturates all the things of consciousness. It is the 
name for all the charming unreasonableness of nature, 
for all that is rich and mysterious in thought. It is 
essentially primary. 

Its mental character will be more apparent when we 
come to consider primary consciousness. 



111 

Another problem of Space-Time has arisen with the 
appearance of Professor Einstein's theory of Special 
and General Relativity. ^ 

How does that theory affect the assumptions and 
conclusions of idealism? Does it make for idealism or 
against it? 

It would only make against it if idealism assumed an 
absolute Space-Time which is the same for all observ- 
ers, that is to say, for all consciousnesses under all pos- 
sible conditions ; or an absolute Time which is the same 
under all spatial conditions. 

The foregoing chapters were written before I had 
read Professor "Wildon Carr's The General Principle 
of Relativity, and I am glad to have the support of his 
authority for the view disgusting to realists which 
I have taken of consciousness as the continuum; and I 
wish that he had developed it more in detail. (It is 
not enough to state that consciousness is the continuum 
unless you show precisely how it is the continuum and 



244 THE NEW IDEALISM vi 

why.) I cannot, however, agree with Professor Carr 
that Eelativity makes directly for idealism. So far as 
I understand Professor Einstein's theory and Pro- 
fessor Einstein's equations are, I regret to say, a bar 
to perfect understanding all that it undertakes to 
prove is that Time (and motion with Time) is relative 
strictly to position in Space. And that the size and 
shape of objects, so far as they depend on motion, and 
mass so far as it depends on motion will be relative too. 
I gather also that the age of an object, its duration in 
space-time, will depend on its velocity, the pace at 
which it goes through Space-Time, and be relative to 
the ages of other objects which have not gone the pace. 
Space-Time and motion through Space and in Time 
will not be independent entities ; that is to say, they can 
only exist in relation to a "body of reference," and in 
the absence of a fixed body of reference real, absolute 
time, and real, absolute space there will be none. 

Thus we hear a great deal about time-systems and 
bodies of reference. But Professor Einstein doesn't 
say a word about minds of reference ; and if a realist 
chooses to insist that there is nothing here but the ec- 
centricities of unminded Space-Time it would be hard 
to refute him out of Professor Einstein's mouth alone. 
Professor Einstein is concerned, not with space-time 
systems as occupying his observer's consciousness, but 
with his observer's body as occupying certain posi- 
tions in a space-time system. 

All the same, there is nothing in his theory which can 
be used as a refutation of idealism. For idealism each 
"observer" will carry with him his own space-time sys- 
tem based on his personal perspective ; his body of ref- 
erence will itself be part and parcel of his conscious- 
ness ; and his consciousness will only not appear in the 
equation because it already contains the equation and 
its terms. 



vi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 245 

I think there is nothing in the Relativity theory that 
upsets this view. And incidentally this view supports 
the Relativity theory which involves a plurality of 
space-time systems. For according to idealism there 
will be as many space-time systems as there are con- 
sciousnesses, as many forms of space-time as there are 
forms of consciousness. 



VII 

SPACE, TIME AND OTHER CONSCIOUSNESSES 



We can at least conceive the possibility of other 
Forms forms of consciousness : 1. Forms in which both mem- 
Or 7 and anticipation are complete here and now, all 
space being known at an instant and all time at a point. 
2. Forms in which memory is more extensive than our 
own ; 3. in which memory completes itself by going back 
over the whole past of the universe. 4. Forms in which 
anticipation is more extensive than our own; 5. in 
which it will complete itself by going forward over the 
whole future of the universe. 6. Forms in which the 
same event will be happening for different observers 
at different times. 7. Forms in which the time series 
is reversible. 8. Many dimensional forms. 9. Forms 
in which points in space are reached without passing 
through intermediate space, 10. or in which bodies can 
occupy each other's space. 11. Or in which one time 
system is contained in another. 12. Forms correlated 
with other space-time systems. 13. Forms in which 
all space-time systems are correlated with each other. 

The first and last forms, consciousness of all space 
at an instant and all time at a point, and consciousness 
embracing and correlating all space-time systems, are, 
if they exist at all, forms of the ultimate consciousness 
which is God. 

Memory itself helps us to the second and third con- 
ceptions. The phenomena of premonition and second 
sight suggest the fourth and fifth. 

246 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 247 

A typical instance of the sixth form would be Pro- 
fessor Alexander's " event in Sirius" l which has actu- 
ally occurred nine years before the inhabitants of the 
earth are aware of it. You can of course say that a 
light ray starting from Sirius is not the same event as 
the same light ray reaching the earth, that we have 
here two events separated by nine years. But this is 
unfair to the integrity of the ray and to its course 
through heaven, which is already broken into as many 
event-particles as there are point instants on its track. 
And supposing the star to have gone out any time with- 
in the last nine years, for a perception that responded 
to light faster than light can travel Sirius would be no 
longer seen, while he would still be twinkling away for 
other people. And we can imagine a form of con- 
sciousness entirely concerned with such events. 

ii 

The seventh case, the reversible time series, is no 
more than an interesting speculation. 2 It is thinkable Eevers- 
orily if we take time, either in stratified blocks of dura- 
tion, or in its literal sense of successiveness as a simple 
cardinal series of instants. That is to say the series 
5,4,3,2,1, is as thinkable as the series 1,2,3,4,5; but even 
here, where we are dealing with instants which have all 
a similar content, the figures have not the same value, 
and we have more than a simple reversal of order. 
That is to say, 5 with 4,3,2, and 1 in front of it is a dif- 
ferent complex from 1 with 2,3,4, and 5 in front of it. 
And when we come to complex qualities and events, 
their series, if taken in point-instants or event-par- 
ticles, ceases to be reversible at all. I can take up one 
event in a solid block and place it in time before another 

*See Appendix III, p. 317. 

2 See Is the Time Series Irreversible, by Dean Tnge. "Proceedings of 
the Aristotelian Society, > > Vol. XX. 



248 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

solid block of event that comes after it ; but I cannot 
transpose their event-particles and at the same time 
preserve the integrity of the events. 

That is to say, I cannot reverse the order of move- 
ments within events without changing their complex 
and their character. 

For example, I cross my room from the fireplace to 
the writing-table, passing on my right three book- 
cases, a door, and a chair. Strictly speaking, to re- 
verse the order of this series I should have to walk 
backwards, so that I may pass these objects in the 
reverse right hand order of chair, door, and bookcase, 
and keeping the fireplace behind me ; for the fireplace, 
since I turned my back on it at starting, does not be- 
long to the visual series. I cannot separate my move- 
ments from my surroundings in time and space, and 
if I turn round and walk forwards I shall face the fire- 
place, and have the chair, the door, and the bookcase 
on my left. But even so, I have not got a complete 
reversal, that is to say, the same movements in a 
different order ; for walking backwards is not walking 
forwards. 

I can, however, take my events in solid blocks and 
reverse their order. I can go to bed at eight o'clock 
in the morning, dine at one o'clock, lunch at eight in 
the evening, and breakfast at ten. But if I reverse the 
order of event-particles, the order of my knife and 
fork work, and of my throat movements, whatever I 
may be doing, I shall not be dining. So that, whether 
we can or can not make the pure time series stand on 
its head, the complete order of events in time is ir- 
reversible. It is strictly determined by the correla- 
tions of time with space. 

The same is to be said of memory and anticipation. 
Every time we remember or foresee we are reversing 
some order of events ; we are putting a past event, or 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 249 

train of events, after the events which have followed it, 
or a future event, or train of events, before the events 
which should precede it. But we do not remember or 
foresee event-particles or the train of events in their 
reverse orders. The remembered or foreseen events 
have their own irreversible past, present and future. 
And the time we foresee or remember them in is our 
present. 

. 
in 

The eighth form, of many dimensional consciousness, 
is conceivable so far as the construction of the Fourth The 

Dimension is conceivable. We cannot form any com- 

JJUH611- 

plete spatial image of four dimensional figures ; but, sion 
even without helping ourselves to Time for the fourth 
dimension, we can make a pretty fair intellectual shot 
at it, by analogy with our constructions of the second 
dimension from the first, and of the third from the 
second. 1 

Thus: The line, turned on its end-points at right 
angles to itself, forms the plane surface square whose 
boundaries are lines. The plane square, turned on its 
bounding lines at right angles to its four sides, forms 
the cube whose boundaries are plane surfaces. By 
analogy the cube, turned on its bounding surfaces at 
right angles to its six sides, will form the fourth 
dimensional figure, or tessaract, whose boundaries are 
cubes. 

The time factor is important, if we are to realise the 
possibility of this construction. Thus: 

Suppose a creature whose perceptions were limited 
to one dimension. If a line were superimposed on his 
space he would see nothing. The points of the new 
line would have no duration in his space. But a red 

1 See The Fourth Dimension, by C. H. Hinton. Also Flatland, by Dr. 
E. A. Abbott. 



250 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

line a foot long, moving in the second dimension across 
his space at the rate of one second per foot, would be 
seen as a red point that lasted one second. The dura- 
tion of the red point would be the queer part of it, a 
sign that it had come into his space from a higher 
dimension, an unknown and inconceivable direction. 

Again, suppose a two-dimensional creature with per- 
ceptions limited to plane surfaces. If an uncoloured 
plane square were laid down in his space, its boun- 
daries and parts would have no duration in any point 
they covered. The two surfaces, having no thickness, 
would be perceived as one ; there would be no pattern 
on his carpet. And suppose a red vertical plane set 
up at right angles to his horizon and moving across 
it, he would see a succession of instantaneous red 
points (each the end-point of the base line of the ver- 
tical plane) popping up, one after another, on his 
horizon line, but without duration. 

But if a red cube a foot square rose in the third 
dimension like a sun above his horizon, at the rate of 
one second per foot, he would see a red line a foot long 
that lasted exactly one second. Its lasting would seem 
to him most uncanny, and if he were clever enough he 
would infer a third dimension. 

Similarly, a tessaract, passing at the same rate 
through three-dimensional space, would be seen by 
three dimensional creatures as a square surface last- 
ing, uncannily, just so many seconds longer than the 
plane surface of a passing cube as the tessaract has 
more sides than a cube. Or rather, all its three-dimen- 
sional parts would be seen moving, while the fourth 
dimensional side would be stationary so many seconds. 
A phenomenon that would certainly attract atten- 
tion. 1 

1 See Appendix IV, p. 318. 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 251 

iv 

With forms nine, ten and eleven we are already in 
some degree acquainted. Dream 

In our Dream Space we go from point to distant 
point without traversing intermediate space. Our 
bodies pass through other bodies or occupy their 
spaces. Our Dream Time has a system of its own. 

I have seen no adequate explanation of the fact that 
a train of dream events, which may take any dream 
time from nth hours to one minute, will happen in a 
few seconds by clock time. You are not explaining 
when you say that dream events and dream time are 
illusory, or that the sense of dream time is a false 
memory palmed off by waking consciousness upon the 
dream. For illusory events, like real events, take time. 
Everybody knows the dream of dressing for a party, 
of opening endless cupboards and endless drawers, 
turning over innumerable garments, rejected for some 
dream reason, and finally setting out, clothed in noth- 
ing but a simple handkerchief. In the dream it has 
taken endless time to find that handkerchief. And 
time taken is time taken. 

As for false memory, how can you possibly remem- 
ber a dream you haven't had? At that rate all our 
dreams would have to be invented in the first moment 
after waking, whereas we are very well aware that 
waking came last in the series of events. If we re- 
member the dream then we have had the dream. More 
often than not we forget the dream events and yet 
remember that they took time. 

The question is: What time did they take? 

To say that the dream series is rattled off with an 
intense velocity may possibly help to fit the dream 
hours into the clock seconds; but the velocity itself 
would constitute a unique and independent dream 



252 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

tempo. And the velocity theory is not borne out by 
the time sense of the dreamer, which stretches out the 
pace of events to normal. The only short cuts of the 
dream are the movements of the dream body in dream 
space; and these are not to be accounted for by any 
waking experience. They are independent and unique. 
So that the conclusion would seem to be that the space- 
time of dreams is not the space-time of waking life, 
but a unique and independent system, and that the 
time that dreams take is their own time. 



The twelfth case occurs in everyday experience when 
Personal other people's personal perspectives are recognised 
and correlated with our own. 

But if we have given up the external non-mental 
object, if we each carry about with us our own private 
Space-Time, in what sense can we be said to see the 
same objects and to inhabit the same world as other 
people? What sense that will not do violence to our 
experience ? 

Well, in the first place, our grounds for giving up 
non-mental space and time were that their non-mental- 
ity itself did violence. And it will be remembered that 
we gave up the non-mental objects because of the in- 
compatibility of their many appearances. If all those 
appearances are to be outside realities their incom- 
patibility becomes a downright serious thing. So does 
their multiplicity. We saw that their multiplicity was 
too much in 1913 for even so devout a realist as 
Professor Broad. If they are relative to our sense- 
organs that is serious too ; and if we adopt the ' ' Gen- 
eral Principle of Relativity" there will be no standard 
size, shape, mass, movement or position of any object. 
Discrepancies will be infinite. On the other hand, if 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 253 

you say that they are not relative, that they are abso- 
lute, discrepancy becomes more serious still ; and any 
correlation of discrepancies impossible. Experience 
is done violence to either way. 

But it may be objected if it is all a matter of dif- 
ferent sense-organs and different perspectives, why do 
we not see different objects in different worlds? 

Or, if my space-time is my private affair and I am 
confined to my personal perspectives, how can I be 
assured of other people's perspectives, or of the exist- 
ence of other people at all? If my neighbour's body 
is a phantom wandering about in my space-time, what 
guarantee have I of his reality, of anybody's reality 
except my own, or of my own reality, if it comes to 
that? For there will not be any reality for me outside 
my consciousness. And isn't this simply "subjective 
idealism," that easy prey of realists, the lunatic theory 
of Myself Alone? 

Now, it is chiefly because my consciousness has the 
form of space-time that the reality of other conscious- 
nesses is brought home to me. The behaviour of other 
people in space-time convinces me that their existence 
is as real, as self-contained and well-authenticated as 
my own. Most of their movements in my space-time 
are unforeseen by me, all are independent of me, and 
yet so strikingly like my own movements that I am 
convinced that I am dealing with selves as free and 
separate from my self as my self is from theirs. Their 
speech further persuades me that they are conscious 
as I am conscious, yet that their thoughts are not of 
my thinking; that each has a secret incommunicable 
self that does not come into my consciousness, yet 
whose reality I cannot doubt. 

It would still be open to me to question these signs 
and regard other people and their speech and their 
behaviour as illusions of my solitary dream. But they 



254 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

have every appearance of carrying about with them 
a Space-Time perspective which is not mine. And be- 
cause it is not mine, because they have this indubitable 
air of being fellow spectators of the universe and of 
looking at the universe from a different angle, seeing 
a world that runs out with all its lines from a different 
centre from mine ; because their hypothetical perspec- 
tives can be correlated with the only perspective I can 
be certain of, therefore I conclude that other people 
are entities as real as I am in a world as real as my 
own. 

And I have reason to believe that I am known to 
them precisely as they are known to me, and that my 
body is a phantom wandering about in their space- 
time as theirs wanders in mine. 

And that their space-time is not mine I also know 
because my body cannot stand where their bodies are 
standing at the same moment. I can only see the 
world as they have seen it if I stand where they have 
been standing. We shall never see the same world 
at the same time. 

But in what sense consistent with idealism can I be 
said to stand where they have been standing, since, on 
the theory, they can only stand in their own space and 
I can only stand in mine? And in what sense is the 
world they saw the same world that I see, since our 
seeing is in different times as well as different spaces? 

It is the same world, no less and no more and in the 
same sense that the house I see a mile off is the same 
house I see near, or the house I see cornerways the 
same house that I see frontways. No less the same 
and no more. For the house I see a mile off is a very 
small house, and the house I see near, which I call "the 
same house, " is a large one. And the house seen 
frontways is a square cube and seen cornerways is a 
triangular cube ; and I have to correlate my own per- 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 255 

spectives with each other very much as I correlate 
other people's with my own. 

How is this possible? 

It is done in all perceptual experience in ways of 
which optics give the correct scientific statement. But 
they do not profess to define the metaphysical grounds 
of the process or the ultimate character of its data. 
We have still to ask how is the correlation of perspec- 
tives thinkable? 

To begin with we have to think of our personal 
space-times and the personal space-times of other 
people as "real" (or ideal) parts of a "real" (or 
ideal) space-time, which, if it is to hang together, must 
be the Space-Time of some ultimate consciousness. 
How are these parts to be fitted in? 

The house I see a mile off grows larger and larger 
as I approach it. I can regard all my views of the 
house as strung like so many concentric rings on my 
line of vision which passes like an axis through their 
common centre ; the smaller views telescoping into the 
larger as the line shortens. Besides shortening, this 
axis will swing with me as I move from right to left 
of the object; it will therefore be a variable, but its 
end-point in the common centre of the telescoping 
views will be a geometrical constant which determines 
the place of the house in real space-time, the space- 
time of which my own personal perspectives are parts. 

In the same way the line of the projecting angle of 
the house will be common both to the front view and 
the corner view. It is a real (or ideal) line, a geo- 
metrical constant of the two perspectives, and fixes the 
place of the house in the real (or ideal) space-time of 
the ultimate consciousness. 

And in the same way my neighbour's perspectives 
can be correlated with mine. 

If he is standing close beside me I know that our 



256 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

separate axes of vision will meet at an acute angle in 
the centre of his object, and if we are further apart, 
at an obtuser angle. If he takes my place I know that 
his axis of vision will swing to the position mine occu- 
pied, that it will lie in the same track and that its end- 
point will fix his object's position in real or ideal space. 
His " standing beside me" and "taking my place " 
mean that his position and mine are marked in real 
(or ideal) space, and that we are beside each other, or 
interchangeably, there. These relations will hold good 
also in our private spaces because these are parts of 
real (or ideal) space. 

Similarly, if he takes the corner of the house while 
I take the square, the line of the projecting angle will 
be common to our two perspectives in real (or ideal) 
space. 

The same thing will hold good for our times. What 
is a time for his space will be the same time for my 
space, so long as our spaces are correlated. For 
idealism this means that all personal space times 
are embraced in the Space-Time of the ultimate con- 
sciousness. 

I have taken the simplest example of the correlation 
of personal perspectives, the simplest of geometrical 
constants. In reality pure Space in which "God 
geometrizes eternally " is filled with the pure geo- 
metrical figures of all objects of all possible perspec- 
tives. They are outlines which the individual con- 
sciousness fills with the hardness or softness, the 
roughness or smoothness, the colour and richness of 
its own sensa. 

If this were all there would be nothing to distinguish 
them from Kant's schema, the motionless, ready-made 
framework into which the things of sense fit in a man- 
ner suggesting that they are already provided with 
shape, size and position. The Kantian schema was 



vii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 257 

only applicable to static objects ; it had no hold on them 
as the nuclei of events in time. Thus through the 
changeless crowding of the Kantian perspectives in 
one time, there would be overlapping and intersecting 
such that material objects would be infallibly obliged 
to occupy each other's spaces. It had all the awkward- 
ness of the realist's multiplied real incompatibles. But 
the schema we are contemplating is not of Space but 
of Space-Time. Consciousness in its form of Time 
divides the objects within these personal perspectives 
so that one is never inconvenienced by the other. 

And Kant's schema was a form of sensible percep- 
tion; and it is clear that sensible perspectives cannot 
have any points or lines in common, because these 
points and lines are the points and lines of bodies 
which cannot occupy each other's space. But the geo- 
metrical patterns of the geometrizing God are pure 
intellectual forms that know nothing of the jealous 
exclusions and mutual bustlings of the things of sense. 
They are one and the same for all personal perspec- 
tives by whomsoever perspected. 

At the same time they must not be thought of as 
marking out in real-ideal space any standard shape or 
size; for there will be outlines of all figures of all 
possible perspectives. Only what I have called the 
geometrical constants will be common to any two or 
more perspectives ; and what is a constant for any two 
or three perspectives may be a variable for a fourth. 
For example, the long, steep line common to the corner 
and square views of the house, will be shortened in the 
perspective of an observer posted high above the roof. 

So far we have been considering the correlations of 
perspectives in the Space-Time of ultimate conscious- 
ness as conceived by a finite consciousness limited to 
its own personal perspective. If we ask how any ob- 
ject in Space-Time appears to the consciousness which 



258 THE NEW IDEALISM vn 

embraces all Space-Time, we ignore the very conditions 
of the problem. The ultimate consciousness is neither 
in the garden nor posted high above the roof. It pre- 
sumably will not be limited by relativity to a sense- 
organ or by position of a body in space. My sensum is 
for all I know my private affair, and I have no business 
to attribute it to Deity if Deity hasn't any sense-organ 
to correspond. 

On the other hand, we do not know the part actually 
played by a sense-organ. On the idealist theory the 
sensum blue is not generated by contact of a sense- 
organ with light waves of a certain length and rate of 
vibration. It is the response of the self to the stimulus 
of some consciousness "at the other end," semaphor- 
ing by means of molecules in motion. The sense-or- 
gans may be simply sorters out, and transmitters of 
the movements of molecules ; not generators, but canal- 
isers (as M. Bergson says) of sensation, distributing 
God's sema, holding within bounds the otherwise in- 
tolerable inrush of divine experience. 1 

But supposing that an object in finite space-time 
appears to ultimate consciousness at all as it appears 
to finite consciousness, we may presume that the very 
least that ultimate consciousness can do will be to see 
it, not from any one perspective but from all possible 
perspectives except that of motion. It will be able 
to see it all round, and above and below, and outside 
and inside at the same time. 

And as we could trace the beginning of the con- 
sciousness of all space at a moment in our own memory 
and anticipation, so in "visualising," when we are 
more or less free from the limitations of position, we 
do actually see all round an object and inside it at 
once. This depends upon the object. Thus there is 
difficulty in imagining the complete spherical aspect of 

1 See William James, On Immortality. 



vii RECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 259 

a monotonously coloured Association football. But let 
the object be large and let its four sides have each 
some vivid distinguishing mark, and the thing can be 
done easily enough. In imagination I can look at the 
front and the back of my house at once and through 
all the rooms that intervene. Suppose this sort of 
vision carried to the nth power! 

If the universe exists solely through the will and in 
the mind of God, his consciousness of the universe will 
be perfect and whole, embracing all space-time systems. 
But, it is possible that he is not really conscious of the 
universe in any way even remotely like our own. 

In the last chapter but one we shall consider what, 
on the theory, his way must be, what it may be, and 
what it cannot be. 



V1U 
DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS 



I said Idealism must be proof against all attacks 
The based on the behaviour of the world of "physical" 
things. 

The challenge to the idealist, if you remember, was 
to frame his theory so that its terms will be at once 
a better description and a better explanation of the 
facts; better that is to say, than realism's account of 
them. To quote Professor Broad again: 

"Any alternative hypothesis about the real will have to rest its 
probability entirely on its ability to explain the perceived." 

The implication being that you cannot do this in 
terms of perception. 

The idealist's contention is that you cannot do this 
by leaving perception out. We have seen what difficul- 
ties and contradictions arise from the realist theory 
of unminded Space-Time, unminded categories, un- 
minded objects and events, and from the theory of the 
"real counterpart." We found that the facts could 
be so re-stated in terms of consciousness as to avoid 
these difficulties and contradictions, and that, so far, 
idealism offered a better description and explanation. 

Yet it must have remained apparent that idealism 
has at least two sides open to attack : one, its alleged 
fundamental assumption that being and being known 
are the same; and again, the relation of mind to its 
body, the plain fact that consciousness appears to be 
dependent on nerves and cerebral cortex. 

260 



vin RECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 261 

The first line of attack is based on the self -evidence 
of the contrary. Being and being known are not the 
same. The processes of the cosmos are not the pro- 
cesses of thought, and you have not explained anything 
when you have said that somebody knows it. Not even 
when you have said that God knows it. 

I shall take up this objection last, for the defence 
will rest mainly on the distinction between primary and 
secondary consciousness which will be dealt with in the 
two following chapters. Meanwhile it must be admitted 
that the crux for idealism is the relation between mind 

and body. 

. 

11 

Idealism assumes that all objects of perception, to- 
gether with their spaces and their times, are the con- 
tent of consciousness and dependent on it. 

Now the body is an object of consciousness. To 
idealism it is a content of consciousness and dependent 
on it. But in actual experience consciousness appears 
as dependent on the body. No sense-organ, no sensum. 
No cerebral cortex, no thought. In recent experiments 
made by Dr. Head, the correspondence has been found 
to be so close that certain discriminations between 
sensa, between degrees in the same kind of sensum, 
heat, cold, pain, intensities of colour and sound, taste 
and smell, certain rejections and selections, which we 
might suppose to be the work of consciousness, are in 
reality performed very efficiently by the sensory nerves 
themselves. 1 They have picked out their sensa even 
before their junction at the synapses. Similarly, the 
synthesis of sensations has been completed at the syn- 
apses before there is any question of the cerebral cor- 
tex and perception. For all these operations the help 
of consciousness is not needed. The appropriate nerv- 
ous apparatus, with its up and down lines and its June- 

1 Studies in Neurology: Sensation and the Cerebral Cortex. 



262 THE NEW IDEALISM vm 

tions, is at once a transport system, a sorting house and 
clearing station of sensations, before ever the ter- 
minus of the cortex has been reached. The work of 
consciousness has been done for it; everything has 
been accounted for except consciousness itself. It 
has nothing to do but take a back seat and look on at 
the spectacle provided for it by the sense-organs. 1 

At first sight there is something very staggering in 
this discovery of Dr. Head's. And yet it is no more 
than might be expected once you have recognised that 
there is correspondence between our sensations and 
the neural processes in our bodies. The correspondence 
was once thought to be general. It is found to be par- 
ticular, to hold good of the minutest differences, that 
is all. There is no more difficulty for idealism in ad- 
mitting a special neural process for a special intensity 
of heat or pain, than in admitting different neural 
processes for sound and colour. The trouble is having 
to admit a correspondence at all, if that correspondence 
is to be interpreted as causal connection. If conscious- 
ness of things is caused by neural process then con- 
sciousness is dependent on neural process, and 
"things" cannot be dependent on consciousness. And 
if consciousness simply looks on at an outside spec- 
tacle, it will not matter to it a rap whether that spec- 
tacle is provided by neural processes, by the direct 
behaviour of the things, or by the behaviour of the 
things and neural processes combined. So that at 
first sight the realist seems safe and the idealist very 
badly hit. 

But if the objection is to hurt, it must assume, not 
only that the correspondence is a causal one, but that 
the idealist supposes the dependence of content upon 
consciousness to be a causal dependence too, when the 
idealist position will be this : Consciousness is an effect 

1 Studies in Neurology : Sensation and the Cerebral Cortex. 



vin RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 263 

whose cause is change in a body whose cause is con- 
sciousness. Thus we have a vicious circle. Mind is 
both the cause and the effect of its own body. 

Now the consciousness we are considering as linked 
up with bodily processes is a purely finite conscious- 
ness, a consciousness limited to a certain kind and order 
of experience in which bodily states play an exceedingly 
important part. That experience, therefore, will in- 
clude bodily states as part of the content of conscious- 
ness. Idealism regards this role of the body as played 
within mind in the mind's own theatre of space and 
time. It may even regard the body as being built up, 
cell by cell, by the psyche, for its own purposes, ac- 
cording to its need. But, in the first place, it does not 
regard the finite self as the ultimate cause of its own 
consciousness. To idealism the body is nothing but a 
complex of sensa like other sensa in finite conscious- 
ness; but finite consciousness itself is not the cause 
of its appearance there. And if there is no causal de- 
pendence of the body on finite consciousness there is 
no vicious circle. 

But neither is the body the cause of consciousness. 
On any theory it is not possible to show any causal 
connection between the sensa and the motions of ex- 
ternal molecules; or between neural processes inside 
the body and the sensum or percept outside it ; or be- 
tween percept and perceiving subject. Much less be- 
tween molecules and mind. Dr. Head's experiments 
still leave it clear, as he tells us, plainly that the act 
of sensing is not neural but psychic. 1 What is more, 
neither external molecular motion, nor neural pro- 
cesses and these are all the physical factors which can 
conceivably be concerned in the result are ever in 
consciousness at all. So that even if a causal connec- 
tion existed one way or other, finite consciousness is 

1 See Appendix V, p. 319. 



264 THE NEW IDEALISM vin 

not being invited to swallow up its own origin, or serve 
both as the cause and the effect of itself. 

And the crux of idealism reduces itself to this : The 
sense-organs and their neural processes are "in" the 
body which is "in" space-time which is "in" conscious- 
ness, yet their presence or their absence makes such a 
difference to consciousness that without them con- 
sciousness, as we know it, cannot be. 

Can idealism describe or explain this relation in 
terms which will not do violence either to itself or to 
the facts? 

The problem is still difficult enough in all conscience, 
even if much of the difficulty disappears when it is 
agreed that the relation is not causal. The theory of 
psycho-physical parallelism expressly states that the 
relation is not causal, that there is no bridge from 
one parallel line to the other. It leaves its parallels 
running till the death of the neural processes ends the 
parallelism for good and all. 

If we do not adopt parallelism, and there are grave 
metaphysical objections (and some psycho-physical 
ones) to that course, we must look for the cause of the 
correspondence elsewhere than in the mind alone or the 
body alone. And if we call in causality we are com- 
mitted to that "total configuration of the universe," 
the system of all-embracing relations, for which we 
found ultimate consciousness to be the only adequate 
expression. 

The position of idealism then is, that all objects 
and events that do not exist in finite consciousness exist 
in ultimate consciousness of which finite consciousness 
is a part. Spatio-temporal objects and events, which 
are not known in the space-time of finite consciousness, 
are known in the Space-Time of ultimate conscious- 
ness. 

Molecular motions and neural processes are such 



vin RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 265 

events. Therefore when the idealist agrees that mole- 
cular motions and neural processes make a difference 
to the content of a finite consciousness such that with- 
out them there would not be any finite consciousness at 
all, what he means is that the content of ultimate con- 
sciousness makes a difference to the content of finite 
consciousness, or even to finite consciousness itself. 

Finite mind has not complete control over its own 
consciousness. If it is to be conscious of its body, its 
body must be "in" its consciousness like any other con- 
tent. But its consciousness and its body are also "in" 
ultimate consciousness, as parts within the whole and 
ultimate consciousness has control over its parts, so 
that they exist in a relation of dependence on the whole. 
And this is the solution of the dilemma we encountered 
in Chapter III, in considering the status of the "real 
object" of perception. 

If we deny its independence we shall have to admit 
between the whole and its parts a temporal cleavage 
fatal to their spatial integrity ; that is to say, the parts 
for example, each ellipsoid will exist in dependence 
on a partial perception at a time previous to the ex- 
istence of the combination, the whole. 1 

That is, supposing the whole to exist in our con- 
sciousness only after we have combined the parts. But 
if the whole exists already combined in the ultimate 
consciousness which idealism assumes, this particular 
dilemma will not arise. 

We talk about the dependence of mind on body ; but 
we now see what the real relation of dependence is. 
It is one that, without doing violence to a single fact, 
leaves idealism fairly in possession of the field. This is 
not saying that ultimate consciousness exists ; only that 
if it did exist it would provide a reasonble solution of 
an otherwise hopeless problem. 

1 Above : Some Realist Theories of Perception, pp. 76, 77. 



266 THE NEW IDEALISM vm 

For the problem is hopeless for realism too. 

There has been and will be so much unavoidable re- 
iteration in this argument that I will not repeat what I 
have already said on this score. 1 

Professor Alexander is no doubt right when he says 

"If colour were, as it is alleged to be, the work of mind, we 
should have the unintelligible result that a set of vibrations is seen 
not as a set of vibrations but as colour." a 

But supposing a set of vibrations to mean the move- 
ment of bodies in the Space-Time of ultimate conscious- 
ness, it will be itself the work of mind ; and the mental 
result, colour, will not be unintelligible. If it is, I do 
not see what realism is to make of its own non-mental 
vibrations, and non-mental colour. And I do not see 
how molecular motions, inside the body, can set up a 
sensum in space outside it ; nor yet, supposing the sen- 
sum to be there, already, full-blown and independent, 
how they can cause the mind to be conscious of it. And 
if, as Professor Alexander says, the mind is the neural 
process, then it is inside the body, and I cannot see 
how it can be conscious of the sensum outside, when the 
sensum is not the molecular motions and the mind is 
not conscious of them anyhow. 

You may say the sensory nerve-endings are not in- 
side the body; they are at the periphery, in direct 
contact with the outside molecules; they receive the 
messages of the sensa. But if the neural processes are 
the messages, or the continuation of the messages in 
neural terms, and the mind is the neural process, how 
on earth is it to know what they stand for, what it 
stands for itself? If they stand for anything they stand 
for it. The mind is conscious, and the neural processes 
are not its consciousness ; they are molecular motions, 

1 Above: Some Realist Theories of Perception, pp. 76, 77. 
3 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. II, p. 244. 



vin RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 267 

the very thing that consciousness is not and that the 
sensa are not. 

The realist may say that the same thing applies to the 
idealist assumption. If consciousness and its content 
are identical, if the mind is the sensa, how can it know 
what they stand for? The obvious answer to that is: 
They needn't stand for anything but what they are, 
the content of consciousness. What may be behind 
them, what they conceivably may stand for in ultimate 
consciousness, is precisely what the mind does riot and 
cannot know. 

Again: If the inside neural molecular motions are 
continuations of the outside molecular motions, why is 
the mind not continued outside? And if they are not 
continuations where is the continuity of the process 
which begins in matter and ends in mind ? 



111 

But the realist's most frequent reproach against 
idealism is that it confuses "being" and ''being Being 
known." He is never tired of showing up the absurd- "Jj^ 
ities of this position. He insists rightly that to be and Known 
to be known are two very different things and do not 
come into each other's categories at all; that it doesn't 
make a ha'porth of difference to being whether it is 
known or not; that quite obviously we cannot know 
things unless they exist; and that they do not exist 
because we know them but we know them because they 
exist. He points out triumphantly that by far the 
greater part of the universe is made up of things which 
are even now not known, to say nothing of the vast 
ages of geologic time before consciousness was born on 
this planet. 

But as every word he uses in this connection makes 
clear that he is thinking of our consciousness alone, his 



268 THE NEW IDEALISM vm 

triumph is no more than the cheap triumph of common 
sense over the lunacy of solipsism. And as nobody 
takes solipsism a bit more seriously than he does, all 
his dancing and trumpet-blowing and flag-waving is 
performed upon a corpse. His argument may even be 
turned against himself. The universe cannot exist in 
our consciousness because we are not conscious of the 
greater part of it. Then, supposing we were conscious 
of the whole universe, supposing there is a conscious- 
ness that knows everything, everything may exist in 
that consciousness. 

But the realist goes further. He maintains that, even 
if there were such a consciousness, the universe would 
not exist because it knew it. His assumption is that 
to be conscious of a thing is to assert its independent 
existence, to be conscious of the difference between it 
and consciousness. Knowing is an external relation 
between the knower and the thing known. Here are 
three distinct statements which the idealist may very 
well challenge the realist to prove. As yet the realist 
has not brought forward any proof. The three state- 
ments are supposed to be self-evident, or to rest upon 
a "feeling," an "intuition," an "assurance" given by 
consciousness itself. We have the word of conscious- 
ness for it. I shall return to these assumptions of re- 
alism later on. 1 

Eealism, again, is within its rights when it contends 
that cosmic processes and processes of thought are 
radically different. There are irrational elements, 
sensa and the relations between sensa, which cannot 
be swept into the net of thought* As we have seen, by 
far the greater part of the universe is of this nature. 
Evolution does not proceed by a series of jumping 
syllogisms. The cause is not implied in the effect by 

1 Below: Chapter IX, Primary Consciousness, pp. 274 et seq. 



vin RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 269 

way of judgment. The laws of motion are not the laws 
of thought. When we enlarge our knowledge by experi- 
ment and inductive reasoning we are not creating the 
content of our knowledge. The great generalisations 
of science are discoveries and not creations. In de- 
ductive reasoning we only enlarge our knowledge to 
the extent that we discover a thing to be a particular 
instance of a universal law ; or we lay out our general 
knowledge into its elements which, again, we have not 
created but discovered. Idealism assumes that there 
are such things as synthetic judgments a priori; but 
if idealism is right and the judgment is really a priori 
it will be contained in the mind already and there will 
be no synthesis ; if it is synthetic it will add something 
that was not there before, which consequently will not 
be a priori. We can only enlarge our experience em- 
pirically, and empirical knowledge is not creation but 
discovery. 

Not one of these processes bears the remotest re- 
semblance to any process of nature. 

And here again realism scores a partial victory. But 
it is a victory over epistemological idealism only. And 
it is only a partial one. 

To begin with, it either ignores all that idealism 
assumes, or it implies that ultimate consciousness 
"works" in the same way as finite consciousness, that 
it, too, acquires knowledge empirically ; that it reasons, 
judges and infers ; that it is limited in space and time ; 
that it discovers and does not create ; it does not know 
the whole universe completely; it is not an all-em- 
bracing consciousness. It is not absolute; it is not 
ultimate : it is not any one of the things which idealism 
supposes it to be. 

We cannot blame realism for this. Idealism itself 
betrayed ultimate consciousness when it bestowed on 



270 THE NEW IDEALISM vm 

it tte logical forms of the only consciousness we know. 
We have to admit that logical idealism is in a dilemma. 
It cannot stand on both legs. 

But even logical idealism had at least one leg to stand 
on. For though thought is not constitutive of the whole 
universe it is constitutive of a large part of it. You 
cannot conjure away the categories. Nor, to do realism 
justice, does it attempt to conjure them away, or to 
deny their a priori character. But it does not regard 
these elements as a priori for us. The real, a priori ele- 
ments, space, time and the categories, are not created 
by the mind but discovered. We have examined the 
difficulties which are involved in this view. We saw 
that you cannot take Space-Time, you cannot take the 
categories apart from mind, even from mind as we 
know it, and preserve their character. The contradic- 
tions which arose from the experiment were solved by 
restoring mind to its place in the problem. We need 
not go back over this ground. 1 

There is yet another difficulty. The devout idealist, 
in criticising Professor Whitehead's Concept of Na- 
ture, somewhat confidently stated that it contained a 
fundamental contradiction somewhere, and that a con- 
tradiction between nature and its concept is a contradic- 
tion within the whole of reality which is nature and 
thought taken together. 2 And it may be objected that 
this applies equally to the contradictions of finite con- 
sciousness which are contradictions within the whole. 
But this is the old problem of the finite perspectives, 
and we found that it was solved by correlating them 
with the "real" geometry of ultimate consciousness. 

But since the logical dilemmas of idealism cannot be 
solved in this way, I see no course for idealism but 
to drop its logics and fall back on the distinction be- 

1 Above: Chapter VI, Space, Time and Consciousness, pp. 219, 245. 
* Above: Chapter III, Some Eealist Theories of Perception, pp. 
109-111. 



viii RECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 271 

tween what I have called the Primary block of Con- 
sciousness and Secondary Consciousness. If it can 
be shown that this distinction is compatible with a true 
description of the facts, objections which are only dam- 
aging to epistemological idealism will not apply. 

There remains the gravest charge of all against ideal- 
ism : that it mixes up the ratio essendi with the ratio 
cognoscendi; that it thinks things are because they are 
known. Or rather that it pretends to think so; for 
realists will not admit that you could really think any- 
thing so preposterous. 

This is a formidable criticism; and it is one that 
idealists have laid themselves open to by many an ill- 
considered statement of their position. 

If I say that things are moving in space-time because 
I perceive them moving, I am taking the ratio cogno- 
scendi for the ratio essendi, and I am not giving any 
account of things moving. 

On the other hand, if I say with the realist that I 
perceive them moving because they are moving, I am 
taking the ratio essendi for the ratio cognoscendi, and 
I am not giving any account of perception. 

But if I say, as I have said, unminded motion is as 
unthinkable as any other unminded category, because 
of its discontinuity; if I say that consciousness, in 
gathering up all past and present positions and carry- 
ing them on into the future, preserves the continuity 
of space-time, and saves motion from perishing with 
its perishing point-instants, I am not substituting a 
law of thought for a law of motion, or declaring my 
consciousness to be the cause of which motion is the 
effect, I am stating the ratio essendi of the continuum, 
and I am giving an account of the total complex: mo- 
tion and consciousness. Consciousness is the continu- 
um because without it motion will not conceivably hold 
together, but it is not the continuum because I know it. 



272 THE NEW IDEALISM vm 

The consciousness that "knows" in this sense is sec- 
ondary consciousness. 

Or, again, if I state the ratio cognoscendi thus: J 
perceive things moving because things moving are in 
my consciousness ; I am offering a perfectly plausible 
reason for my perceiving them. My statement is only 
tautological if I refuse, as the realist refuses, to recog- 
nise the distinction between primary and secondary 
consciousness, between having a thing in consciousness, 
being aware of it, and being aware of the awareness. 
For by the time that I have begun to talk about my rea- 
sons for perceiving things I am aware that I perceive 
them, and this awareness belongs, not to the conscious- 
ness that contains but to the consciousness that con- 
templates. 

In this little matter of the ratio, realism is only scor- 
ing one of its easy victories over solipsism (again!) 
this time. It is clear to the very humblest intelligence 
that the reason why things exist is not because I per- 
ceive them existing, and that I couldn't perceive them 
if they didn't exist. 

But it is a little matter that should be cleared up 
once for all, if realists and idealists are not to go on 
arguing forever at cross-purposes. Once for all, then, 
the sane idealist is not assigning his perception as a 
reason for the existence of things, or even his existence 
as a reason ; though he may allege his belief in his ex- 
istence as a reason for his belief in the existence of 
things. 

And when the argument is carried into the region 
where it is relevant, the region of ultimate conscious- 
ness, even there the realist does not imagine that the 
universe exists because God knows it. He supposes it 
to exist because the consciousness of God is not merely 
contemplative but creative and includes his Will, and 
the universe is the content and the outcome of that 



vin RECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 273 

creative consciousness; it is a mode of God's existence 
as well as of his knowledge. 

The case of idealism is not summed up in the simple 
statement : The being of things is to be known. That 
isn't allowing for the causality of God's Will. 

The being of things is to be willed and their appear- 
ance is to be known. 



IX 
PRIMARY CONSCIOUSNESS 



Bealists, with their admirable passion for precision, 
are always asking us to distinguish ; above all, to dis- 
tion . tinguish between consciousness and the object of con- 
sciousness. 

In turn I invite them to distinguish between primary 
and secondary consciousness; to carry their passion 
still further, and distinguish between distinctions, be- 
tween the distinctions they are really making and the 
distinctions they think they are making; between the 
distinctions they can and cannot make. 

Now the idealist position will be, I think, secure when 
once the distinction between primary and secondary 
consciousness is made. It will then be seen that the 
more formidable statements of realism apply to sec- 
ondary consciousness and to secondary consciousness 
alone, and that the idealist can make his statements 
good so long as he confines them to primary conscious- 
ness and gives realism its due. Until these two forms 
of consciousness are discriminated, realists and ideal- 
ists will be arguing eternally about one when they mean, 
the other. 

I am convinced, not only that it is possible to make 
this distinction, but that it is the distinction the realist 
is really making when he thinks he is distinguishing 
between consciousness and its object. Primary con- 
sciousness is concerned with all the objects and events 
and relations and conditions which are immediately 

274 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 275 

present in it, whether perceived or conceived, remem- 
bered, anticipated or willed. It thus includes space and 
time, motion and all the other categories, all the em- 
pirical qualities of matter, all empirical quantities and 
intensities, all sensa, all percepts and concepts, all acts 
of will, all feelings, passions and emotions, when and 
as experienced, and all the raw material of judgment 
and reasoning. Primary consciousness is the whole 
block immediately present in consciousness, before re- 
flection, or judgment, or any sort of secondary aware- 
ness has got to work on it. 

The realist will, of course, quarrel with the definition. 
He will say that the block is not present in conscious- 
ness but to consciousness. He will say this because he 
has already made the distinction between this immedi- 
ate stuff or content of consciousness and the awareness 
of consciousness which supervenes on it. And because 
this secondary awareness is of consciousness (md its 
content (primary consciousness being indistinguishable 
from content), and because it is distinguishable from 
primary consciousness, it seems to the realist, who is 
confusing the two consciousnesses, that consciousness 
can be distinguished from its content. Ask the first 
realist you meet if he can distinguish between his pri- 
mary and his secondary consciousness. If he says he 
can not, it will be clear that he has never attended to 
what happens when he is conscious. His secondary 
consciousness has been so busy philosophizing that it 
does not know what its primary consciousness is doing. 
Yet until the secondary act of reflection has taken place 
it is impossible to shave off the thinnest slice of pure 
consciousness from the primary block, so entirely is it 
one with its object. Object and consciousness are given 
whole in one indivisible act or state. This is true even 
of casual and comparatively shallow perceptions ; but 
when consciousness is most intense, when its content is 



276 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

most vivid, when consciousness has reached saturation 
point, its identity with its object is absolute. It is then 
impossible to divide what consciousness has joined. Yet 
it is at this point that primary consciousness is the in- 
tensest affirmation of the object's existence. 

There is no reason why this should be so if realism is 
true. It holds good, not only of very near and diffused 
objects, such as tastes and smells, but of objects in per- 
spective, and of sounds. These are facts which anybody 
can verify for himself by simply concentrating his at- 
tention on some object. Think, first of all, of some 
overpowering sensation or perception. When you see 
a flash of lightning, or hear the firing of two batteries, 
or feel the stab of toothache, how clearly do you dis- 
tinguish between consciousness and its object? And 
in what terms are you going to describe the difference? 
You can refer the flash to its course in the sky, the fir- 
ing to the French and German positions, and your pain 
to your tooth; but the sky and the positions and your 
tooth are all parts of the field of primary conscious- 
ness; and when once you start deliberately referring, 
secondary consciousness has set in. Where, in the over- 
powering moment, is your distinction between con- 
sciousness, and the flash, the shell fire, or the pain? 

If realism were true, you would expect the very op- 
posite results. The more intense, the more vivid, the 
more stupendous the object, the easier it ought to be 
to distinguish it from your consciousness of it, if real- 
ism were true. 

Or consider the profound contemplation of some 
beautiful thing, or of some enthralling idea; or take 
ordinary, everyday perception, or ordinary, everyday 
thinking in its first innocence ; at whatever stage dis- 
crimination comes, it comes too late to separate this 
pure, primary consciousness from its object. The razor 
blade of analytic thought can only get in between it 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 277 

and the secondary act. It can, that is to say, only dis- 
tinguish between consciousness and consciousness. 

Because this distinction can be made, realists have 
jumped to the conclusion that the distinction between 
consciousness and its object can be made. Because the 
distinction is complete, and secondary consciousness, as 
mere awareness of awareness, is a very narrow margin, 
and a blank transparency at that, it has seemed possible 
to them to regard consciousness itself as a very narrow 
margin, and to describe it in terms which imply that it 
is nothing but a blank transparency. And because the 
relation of consciousness to consciousness is a relation 
of mere assenting compresence without content, it has 
seemed possible to Professor Alexander to define the 
relation of consciousness to its object as a relation of 
compresence of precisely the same kind that obtains 
between the table and the floor. The sameness is very 
far from perfect, seeing that the table and the floor 
have each a character, while the consciousness of real- 
ism has none. 

Let us look more closely at these relations. Take the 
simple case of seeing a tree. 

Professor Alexander says, 

"I am aware of my awareness as I strike a stroke or wave a 
farewell. My awareness and my being aware of it are identical. 
I experience the tree as I strike a man or wave a flag." * 

If he admits that my awareness and my being aware 
of it are identical (which they are not), he admits that 
consciousness and the object of it can be, so far, iden- 
tical. 

My experience of a tree is my awareness of the tree. 
Quite obviously, mere awareness is awareness and it is 
not a tree. Awareness of awareness has no content but 
awareness ; and in this logical sense the two are iden- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 12. 



278 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

tical. They are, that is to say, identical in essence but 
not in existence ; for the two awarenesses are numer- 
ically distinct. 

Again, tree has a different logical essence from mere 
awareness, awareness that can serve in different con- 
texts. 

The question is, has it a numerically distinct exist- 
ence from awareness-of-tree? The realist's argument 
requires not only that the object should have this exist- 
ence numerically distinct from awareness, but that 
awareness and awareness of awareness should be iden- 
tical existences, which they are not. Professor Alex- 
ander says that they are identical, presumably because 
their logical content is identical; and he says that 
awareness-of-tree is different from tree presumably be- 
cause their logical essence is different. It seems to me 
that he is thus confusing between essence and existence. 

The idealist takes the two-fold opposite view of these 
relations. Unlike Professor Alexander, he distin- 
guishes between awareness and awareness of aware- 
ness, on the grounds that you are here dealing with 
two numerically distinct states or acts of consciousness, 
with what I call primary consciousness on the one hand 
and secondary consciousness on the other. And he re- 
fuses to distinguish between tree and awareness-of- 
tree on the grounds that you have here one act 
and one content, which together are one existent, one 
indivisible state of consciousness. That is to say he 
treats the conjunction "of," which realists make such 
a fuss about, not as disjunctive, separating conscious- 
ness from its content, but as descriptive, qualifying con- 
sciousness as consciousness of tree. ' ' Consciousness of 
tree" expresses the relation from the knowing side ; the 
real or ontological relation would be expressed by "tree 
of consciousness," a term which, so far as I know, no 
idealist has yet had the courage to adopt. 



ix BECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 279 

The trouble is that it is not easy to define conscious- 
ness without begging either the idealist or the realist 
position. Professor Alexander says it is 

. . . "another general name for acts of mind, which in their rela- 
tion to other existences, are said to be conscious of them as their 
objects." * 

This definition is viciously circular, besides begging 
the question of the nature of consciousness. Conscious- 
ness may be a state and not an act. I might define it 
as the presence of any content within the mind, leaving 
unstated the nature of the content and the possible ex- 
istence of any corresponding object "outside." This 
definition is open to the objection that it leaves out the 
distinctive character of consciousness. Yet if I define 
it as awareness of presence, or awareness of content, I 
am defining it by itself with the subtle suggestion of 
discrimination thrown in. Whereas, clearly, the pres- 
ence or absence of consciousness is precisely the pres- 
ence or absence of content, whether "content" (or its 
corresponding "object") is or is not present in the 
absence of consciousness. 

And there is trouble with the very terms themselves. 
I have been using the term "consciousness" as inter- 
changeable with ' ' awareness. ' ' And I notice that real- 
ists are fond of saying "awareness" when they mean 
consciousness, where idealists say consciousness and 
mean it. It seems to me that this gives them a slightly 
unfair advantage in their argument, so far as aware- 
ness implies that supervening stage of discrimination, 
which, I believe, is not to be found in primary conscious- 
ness taken in its innocence. That is to say, by sub- 
stituting awareness for consciousness, when we are 
talking about consciousness pure and simple, the realist 
is helping himself to the very discrimination which is 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 12. 



280 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

in dispute. Therefore I prefer the less controversial 
term, and if the realist chooses to say I am taking ref- 
uge in vagueness, he may. I do not think I am taking 
refuge, and I am perfectly willing to talk about per- 
ceiving, feeling, sensing, or, if he likes, sense-aware- 
ness, while contending stiffly that, where these states 
can be said to be distinguishable from their content we 
are dealing with secondary and not primary conscious- 
ness. 

Professor Alexander considers that the idealist posi- 
tion is based on a false inference from the fact that the 
mind can select the objects of its special attention. 

"This selectiveness of the mind induces the belief that objects of 
mind are made by it, so that they would not be except for the mind." * 

Is this really the basis of idealism? The belief is 
surely due to the fact, not that the mind selects (for it 
only selects from among objects already "in" con- 
sciousness), but that it does not and cannot distinguish 
between object and consciousness in the primary block. 
Professor Alexander says that his experience "declares 
the distinct existence of the object as something non- 
mental. " If by "experience" he means his primary 
consciousness, it declares nothing of the sort; it de- 
clares only the existence of the object. Even secondary 
consciousness, intervening, declares no distinction be- 
tween primary consciousness and its content, neither 
does it commit itself to any statement as to the charac- 
ter of the object as non-mental. That is an assumption 
of speculative philosophers; a kind of tertiary con- 
sciousness. If common sense also assumes it, this does 
not mean that common sense does or can distinguish 
between primary consciousness and its object, but that 
it can and does distinguish between secondary (or ter- 

1 Space, Time <md Deity, Vol I, p. 15. 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 281 

tiary) and primary consciousness, and between objects 
with a definite position in space and time, and the self 
incarnate in a definite organism with a definite position 
in space and time. Common sense, if it thinks at all, 
thinks that it distinguishes between consciousness and 
its content in the primary block, because it falsely re- 
fers to the primary block the only distinctions it can 
and does make. 

So when Professor Alexander says the distinct exist- 
ence of my object from my mind is attested by experi- 
ence itself, we can only ask him, by what experience? 
Or by experience at what stage? He says it is "a 
truth which a man need only open his eyes to see," 
whereas it seems to me rather an assumption, true or 
false, which a man is more likely to make with his eyes 
shut. When I open my eyes I see a field of yellow char- 
lock, very bright in the sunshine, and beyond it a line 
of trees, and beyond the trees a steep range of many- 
coloured fields, and beyond the fields a very pale blue 
sky with shreds of white cloud drifting across it. It is 
not until there is a definite click in my consciousness 
and I am conscious of my consciousness, that I can dis- 
tinguish between it and these things. And this, I main- 
tain, is a distinction between consciousness and con- 
sciousness, and not as the realist assumes, between con- 
sciousness and things. That distinction is never given 
along with my perceptions in the primary block. I can 
only make it on reflection, by deliberately inserting the 
analytic blade between this superconsciousness and the 
original block; but the consciousness I thus separate 
off is a blank without form or quality or quantity ; it is 
as near being a non-entity as anything can be which is 
the subject of intelligible propositions. The distinction 
is made within consciousness, and I am conscious of it 
as made and not given. The realist's error, as I take it, 



282 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

arises from his assumption that objective content can 
only be given to consciousness by objects existing apart 
from it in an external field. 

Professor Alexander's distinction between conscious- 
ness and objects of consciousness appears again as the 
distinction between what he calls " enjoyment " and 
what he calls " contemplation. " "The mind enjoys it- 
self and contemplates its objects." It is never an ob- 
ject of contemplation to itself. And he says that if you 
fail 

. . ."to find in your experiencing the act of experiencing the enjoy- 
ment, but find only the object and nothing else ... the reason 
is that you are seeking for the enjoyed as if it were the object 
contemplated." * 

To "assure yourself of the compresence of the non- 
mental object with the enjoyed mind" you must 

"seek for the enjoyment as something which you mind or live 
through, and which you are, and beginning with the acts highest in 
the scale like willing or desiring, where the enjoyed act is palpable, 
descend in the scale through constructive imagination to remembering, 
perceiving and at last to bare sensing of a sensum, where the en- 
joying act is least distinct." . . , a 

Where, in other words, the distinction between con- 
sciousness and its object is least perceptible. So that 
this affair of distinguishing is by no means the simple, 
self-evident and immediate thing it was assumed to be ; 
let alone that it reveals the fact (which should be dis- 
concerting to the realist) that in willing and desiring 
at any rate, * ' the enjoyed act is palpable. ' ' You might 
as well say at once it is contemplated as much as the 
sensum is, so that mind can become on occasion its own 
object. 

Further, on this view the relation of knower to thing 
known is a relation of "compresence"; the self -enjoy- 

1 Space, Time and Deity, Vol. I, p. 20. 

2 The same. 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 283 

ing mind and the contemplated object are together. 
How is this relation experienced? Professor Alexander 
says this question is put ' ' from the point of view of the 
being which has the experiencing, that is, the mind," 
and that therefore the relation is enjoyed, not contem- 
plated; it is a subjective relation, a relation without 
reality in the external world; therefore, on the realist 
hypothesis, we have no guarantee that the assumption 
of this relation is a true one and it is the assumption 
on which realism rests. It seems to me that this is se- 
rious for the realist. 

ii 

If Professor Alexander's definition of the relation of 
consciousness to its object is peculiar, it is none the less 
the necessary and logical outcome of his theory of 
Space-Time. Space and Time have more to do with sion 
realism than even appears in Professor Alexander's 
philosophy; more than realists would care to admit 
when it is fairly put to them. If you tell a realist that 
when he thinks he is distinguishing between his mind 
and its object he is really distinguishing between the 
object and his body, he will probably ask you what on 
earth you mean, and protest that he is doing nothing of 
the sort. Yet it was precisely on this confusion that 
Professor Santay ana's biological proof of realism was 
based. 1 

And it is partly on this confusion that the plain man's 
naif realism is based. The plain man will have to get 
out of his skin before he can see that the distance be- 
tween his body and the church steeple is not a distance 
between the steeple and his mind. All the actions and 
reactions of his body in relation to things external to 
it confirm him in this confusion. He may have just 

1 Essays in Critical Realism, pp. 169-173. 



264 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

sufficient discrimination to know that when, if ever, he 
says to himself "I am conscious that I am conscious of 
that tree/' the tree has nothing to do with this secon- 
dary consciousness ; but since, like a realist philosopher, 
he has already mistaken his primary for his secondary 
consciousness, it is no wonder if he thinks it has nothing 
to do with the tree. 



m 

But realism, naif or new, critical or spatio-temporal, 
is only partly based on these confusions and misplaced 
ceived discriminations. The plain man and the philosopher 
a^dFtSe' can both point to one indubitable fact that apparently 
Crucial supports them. Objects exist when we are not conscious 
on of them. But to prove that they must exist without 
some consciousness we should have to perform an oper- 
ation on the universe, extract all the consciousness in 
it, down to the last spark of ultimate consciousness, and 
see how many objects would be left. The indubitable 
fact is only damaging to a theory which assumes that 
there is no consciousness in the universe but our own. 
There are realities, then, which are not objects of 
perception or any primary consciousness. But of these 
realities which are not objects of perception some may 
be objects of scientific knowledge, and some may be ob- 
jects of metaphysical speculation. There may be other 
realities which are neither objects of perception nor 
objects of scientific knowledge, nor objects of meta- 
physical speculation, and of these nothing can be said. 
The questions which concern us here are two : (1) What 
is the status of the reality which is not an object of 
perception but an object of science? (2) What is the 
status of scientific knowledge ? Is it primary or secon- 
dary? Both questions belong properly to the following 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 285 

chapter on Secondary Consciousness. But as the un- 
perceived reality has bearings on the objects of primary 
consciousness it had better be considered here. It is 
impossible to separate primary from secondary con- 
sciousness altogether, or both from ultimate conscious- 
ness ; though I am afraid the double treatment will en- 
tail much tiresome overlapping and repetition. 

What is the status of the reality which is not an ob- 
ject of perception ? To use Professor Broad 's example, 
a light-wave or an electron? l 

Neither is an object of possible perception, nor yet 
of primary conception or of any direct awareness, but 
each is an object of scientific contemplation, an object, 
that is to say, of consciousness in a sense, since it is 
before consciousness. It is, if you like, a purely hypo- 
thetical entity called in to account for a certain ascer- 
tainable behaviour of light or the motions of molecules. 
As regards reality it is in a very different position from 
the mere subject of a proposition. But it does not be- 
long to that primary block of consciousness which is 
all that idealism dare affirm to be indistinguishable 
from its object. It is clear that we can distinguish be- 
tween the object of scientific observation and the kind 
of consciousness concerned with it. And it may cer- 
tainly be said to exist unperceived and to be real in this 
sense (which is Professor Broad's sense) of reality. 
Perhaps it never can exist as an object of any possible 
perception. It is even possible that it may not exist at 
all, and that some other entity is responsible for the 
behaviour it was called in to account for. It stands or 
falls as a reality by its ability to account for perceived 
events. Thus it is impossible to separate it altogether 
from the context of perceived events. It only exists in 

1 " All appearances are objects, but it does not follow that all realities 
are objects. For we might have grounds for believing in the existence 
of realities which we could never directly perceive. Such realities would 
be a light-wave or an electron. ' ' Perception, Physics and Eeality, p. 8. 



286 THE NEW IDEALISM ix 

a certain definite relation to objects perceived, objects 
that we have agreed, on the idealist's theory, to have 
no existence when they are not perceived. 
The crucial questions then are: 

(1) Is that relation such as to compel us to revise 
our theory and to refer our perceived objects to the 
category of objects that exist unperceived? 

(2) Or is it such as to preserve their seat in the pri- 
mary block of consciousness intact? 

(3) Is it such as to admit of our referring the whole 
system of unperceived realities themselves to a possible 
larger system of consciousness? 

To fulfil the requirements of (1) it is not enough that 
the relations of the unperceived to the perceived object 
should be such that without them there would be no 
perception and no object perceived. For it might very 
well be that the behaviour of the unperceived entities is 
merely the spark that fires the train of perception; the 
perceived objects springing up in one indivisible gene- 
rative mental act. It might be that the primary block 
of consciousness is the subject's response to the ex- 
ternal stimulus. The perceived object must be shown 
arising directly from the stimulus without the collab- 
oration of the mind. 

And this cannot be shown. It is not possible to show 
any direct causal connection between, for example, 
light-waves of a certain length and rate of vibration 
and the sensum blue. Between the movements of light 
waves and neural molecular movement, if you like ; but 
what are you to say of the leap from vibrations to blue? 
What relation have we here? 

Well, idealism is bound to admit that we have a rela- 
tion such that without it there would be no perceived 
object. No perceived object if the path of the vibra- 
tion is blocked. No sensum blue if either cortex or optic 
nerve is destroyed or injured. There is an invariable 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 287 

sequence between change in the cortex and the emerg- 
ence of blue. How do we know that the sequence is a 
causal one, in the sense that it is a one \ine sequence 
going straight from stimulus to cortex, and from cortex 
to sensum, without the reaction of the subject? That 
the relation is such as to land the sensum outside not 
inside consciousness? We have no reason to suppose 
that what we have here is nothing but sequence, a sim- 
ple linear relation or nerve-change to sensum, and not 
correlation of nerve-change-relation-to-subject with 
subject-change-relation-to-sewswm. As long as the role 
of the subject remains uncancelled we are under no 
compulsion to hand over our perceived objects to the 
system of molecular motions. 

(2) If these objects are to be ousted from their seat 
in the primary block of consciousness, we must be able 
to conceive motion not only as continuous throughout 
the system of extended matter, but as continuous 
throughout the sensum blue, in such a way that blue can 
be shown to be nothing but a mode or equivalent of 
motion. 

Now, at first sight, so close is the correspondence be- 
tween colours and rates of molecular motion, that it 
looks as if this transformation really could be shown ; 
a certain equivalence is undeniably there. But can it 
be said that blue is nothing but a mode or an equiv- 
alent? Can we make the jump from rates of vibration 
which are purely quantitative to the unique, pure qual- 
ity of blue? 

Must we not rather say that rates of vibration act 
only within the closed system of the nerves and cere- 
bral cortex, that they determine the route to be trav- 
elled by molecular discharges, but are powerless in 
themselves to determine what happens beyond the 
neural terminus, to create that incomparable, serenely 
static, and irreducible blueness of blue? If we are to 



288 THE NEW IDEALISM re 

distinguish, let us begin by discriminating between 
quantities and qualities, between events which are mo- 
tions and objects which are not. 

Apparently the sensum is sustained in the field of 
consciousness by continual fresh impulses of matter in 
motion in the field outside it. At the same time, as far 
as we know, each successive impact ceases with the en- 
trance of the sensa on the field of consciousness, and 
we are in the presence of a new order of events. Some- 
thing has happened here which is not quite transparent. 
What has become of the original molecular motion? 
Of all those molecular motions which, mind you, are 
being incessantly renewed? Supposing the organism 
to be in a state of rest, and consciousness engaged 
peacefully in sustained contemplation of its sensa, are 
we to understand that the motions are discharging into 
consciousness in the form of sensa? This seems incon- 
ceivable, since neither consciousness nor its sensa are 
modes or any physical equivalent of motion. If we are 
to say that they are modes of energy, of which motion 
is itself a mode, we have, I think, got a fairly intelligible 
concept; but it is one which compels us to revise our 
concept of energy and regard it as anything but a phys- 
ical thing. It is, I submit, inconceivable that energy 
on the physical level of molecular motion should thus 
transform itself into perceptions and objects perceived. 

Still there is correspondence, and the idealist may 
very fairly be asked what he is going to do about it. 
There is that awkward matter of the cerebral cortex, 
which if it does not rule the subject out, does at any 
rate involve its action in a relation of apparent depend- 
ence upon stimulus? What does idealism make of the 
relation? 

(3) Is the relation such as to admit of our refer- 
ring the whole system of unperceived objects to a pos- 
sible larger system of consciousness? Is the whole sys- 



ix RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 289 

tern of matter in motion a closed system outside all 
consciousness ? Or does it call for more and more con- 
sciousness to sustain it? 

I think these questions were answered, as far as 
idealism can answer them, in the foregoing chapters 
on Space-Time, on the categories, and on the correla- 
tions of perspectives. According to the conclusions we 
have already reached, consciousness with all its sensa 
is responding, not to matter in motion, but to conscious- 
ness on some higher level acting through matter in 
motion. Matter in motion is strictly an affair of 
minded Space-Time ; and Space-Time is nothing but the 
creative form of higher consciousness. 



X 

SECONDAEY CONSCIOUSNESS 


1 

As primary consciousness is the whole block of ex- 
perience, as it stands from moment to moment, before 
of the mind has got to work on it, so secondary conscious- 

Mind ness is that work of the mind. It is the first act which 
discriminates consciousness from consciousness ; but it 
is not responsible for the original synthesis or the orig- 
inal discrimination of objects in the block. Neither is 
it that act of concentrated attention in which the exist- 
ence of the object is intensely realised. That act we 
found to be purely primary and inexplicable on the 
realist view. For it is at that point of indissoluble 
union that consciousness most plainly asserts the ex- 
istence of its object. But it, unlike secondary conscious- 
ness, cannot assert that existence as independent of 
itself. 

It must be distinctly understood that secondary 
consciousness, in declaring its object independent of 
itself, is not declaring it independent of the primary 
consciousness in which it is found embedded. Once 
more, the distinction which secondary consciousness 
draws is not a distinction between consciousness and 
its object, but between consciousness and consciousness. 
Secondary consciousness is always the work of the 
mind on the primary content, the play of the mind 
round about its object. It has its own concentration 
on its object in the form of secondary attention. It is 
comprehensive. It includes observation, reflection and 

290 



x RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 291 

cneditation ; judgment, inference, and every form of rea- 
soning, syllogistic or empirical ; believing, disbelieving 
and opining; imagining; but not remembering, antici- 
pating, dreaming, or day-dreaming, which are primary. 
Its object may be primary consciousness itself with all 
its content, percepts or concepts. 

The percept or concept directly contemplated is the 
internal object of primary consciousness ; the percept 
or concept used is the external object of secondary con- 
sciousness. 

Or secondary consciousness may be its own object. 
It may turn on itself and analyse its own work. 

At its highest it is knowing, as distinguished from 
simply being conscious. It is all logic and all scientific 
knowledge ; and as such its objects may be realities un- 
perceived. The whole region of discovery, of objects 
found and not created, belongs to secondary conscious- 
ness. 

Primary consciousness never lies, because it never 
judges. Secondary consciousness is the source of all 
error. It bears the burden of all our falsehoods and 
our blunders. But, combined with primary conscious- 
ness, which is experience, it is the source of all truth, 
the mother of all science and all philosophy, so far as 
philosophy is truth. 



11 

Its relation to primary consciousness will thus be a 
real relation of consciousness to its object, and its dis- Eeiatioi 
tinction from primary consciousness will rest, not only 
on its own unsupported assurance, but on the evidence and 

/ - , T Secon- 

Of its work. flaxy 

It does what primary consciousness cannot do. G~ 

By acts of secondary attention it can, within limits, ness 
select or reject, arrange and rearrange the content of 



292 THE NEW IDEALISM x 



the primary block. It can, working together with the 
will, arrest or inhibit its own attention. 

It finds and dflbs not make the objects of memory; 
but it has a certain limited power over remembrance. 
It is secondary consciousness that drags up from the 
depths of memory certain past things for primary con- 
sciousness to contemplate. It works, here too, together 
with the will; but it has no control over involuntary 
memory or involuntary attention. 

As regards Space-Time, it is not responsible for per- 
sonal perspectives and their correlations; but it is 
Aware of them as personal, and primary consciousness 
is not. Here again, it can fix attention on one perspec- 
tive to the exclusion of another; within very strict 
limits, it can select, reject, inhibit, working hand in 
hand with the will. 

The will, therefore, falls within secondary conscious- 
ness or primary according to whether its acts are pre- 
meditated or unpremeditated, deliberate or instantly 
decisive. Our experience of voluntary and involuntary 
acts, of acts instantaneous or deliberate, are sometimes 
so inextricably mixed that it is hard to disentangle 
primary from secondary consciousness here. But the 
act accomplished is always part of the content of pri- 
mary consciousness, though the deliberations that led 
up to it may be secondary. 

Again, all perception is involuntary ; and all the ob- 
jects of imagination, or at least their elements, have at 
one time or other been perceived ; but the work of imag- 
ination on them is secondary. And when the work is 
accomplished the result may become a content of pri- 
mary consciousness. 

On the other hand, the objects of primary perception 
or conception may become the objects of secondary 
judgment, inference or reasoning. 

Conversely, the objects of scientific discovery which 



x RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 293 

is secondary, when found, become objects of primary 
consciousness, conceptual or otherwise. The electron 
as a scientific object exists unperceived; as a concept 
it may be contemplated primarily. Radium before it is 
discovered exists as a secondary concept, a hypothesis, 
discovered it becomes a primary percept. 

And primary and secondary consciousness work to- 
gether in all creative art ; but the finished work of art, 
the creation, becomes the object of primary conscious- 
ness. 

Thus the two play into each other's hands ; but there 
is no actual point in the game at which they resist 
separation. 

... 
111 

The advantage of this separation is that it enables 
us to admit the truth of realism's most important state- Reallam 
ments in their proper place. Applied to secondary and 
consciousness every objection that realism brings 
against consciousness itself holds good. 

Secondary consciousness is precisely that conscious- 
ness which can be distinguished from its object, that 
knowing which is not being, that work or play of the 
mind which Professor Whitehead will not allow to in- 
terfere with the concept of nature, that side of mind 
which it is so irrelevant to drag in. It is all those pro- 
cesses of thought which are not cosmic processes, which 
visibly do nothing to sustain the universe. It is thought 
as realism would have it, separated from things. 

And it is as clearly dependent on primary conscious- 
ness as realism says consciousness should be on its 
object. It plays into realism's hands in attesting the 
existence of realities unperceived. 

All idealistic logics and epistemologies belong to it. 
It is idealism's scapegoat that bears the burden of its 
sins, the brunt of realism's attack. 



294 THE NEW IDEALISM x 

Against this attack primary consciousness is secure, 
and every statement that new idealism makes about 
consciousness will be true of it. 

It is nothing but the cosmos of all experience as it 
exists from moment to moment, rolling on. For one 
primary block is not separable from the next, they are 
continuous, with the peculiar continuity which con- 
sciousness confers. It is all Space-Time as experienced 
from moment to moment. In it all matter in motion 
and all life have their own behaviour and their own 
laws, existing in perfect independence on secondary 
Consciousness which can discover them but not create. 
Both inside the block and outside it the universe goes 
on its own way as if neither idealism nor realism had 
ever been. 

Once admit that primary and secondary conscious- 
ness are, and are separable, two distinct though related 
acts of the undivided self, and you can afford to let 
both consciousness and the cosmos rip. Holding fast 
by the distinction, you can have all the idealism and all 
the realism you want. 



XI 

ULTIMATE CONSCIOUSNESS 



As secondary consciousness is dependent on primary 
consciousness, so both are dependent on ultimate con- 
sciousness. 

Some way back, in considering Professor White- Con 
head's Concept of Nature, we were faced with the prob- 
lem of object and events. We found that the object had 
this two-fold contradictory character that it is the one 
permanent thing in the flux of events, which change it 
while they do not change. We asked whether the truth 
might not be that events as distinguished from objects, 
space as distinguished from time, reality as distin- 
guished from appearance, and nature as distinguished 
from thought, are all abstractions from the unity of an 
all-embracing Self. 

Considerations of Space-Time forced us to the same 
conclusion. We found that physical space-time and 
mental space-time are one and the same. (Indeed Pro- 
fessor Alexander says they are the same.) If so, by 
what right do you separate the act of knowing from the 
object known? The primal stuff of nature is the primal 
mind-stuff. All evolution is an unfolding and elabora- 
tion of the primal Space-Time stuff, therefore of the 
primal mind-stuff. 

The realist really cannot make good his assumption 
of the extended nature of mind; and if he could it 
wouldn't help him; for on his own showing mind might 
know extension without being it. But once admit that 
mind-processes and mind-stuff are spatio-temporal and 

295 



296 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

you have done away with the distinction between mind 
and nature. There is then no reason why you should 
deny that mind contributes to its own experience, or 
that the whole of experience, the whole known universe, 
is mind-product, mind-stuff and mind-process. In the 
subject-object relation, instead of an unintelligible com- 
munion of incompatibles, you will have a mind to mind 
contact generating the universe ; the universe will be 
just as much Subject-Object as it is Space-Time. In 
fact, this will be the more fundamental relation of the 
two. Space and Time will be what Kant said they 
were : the a priori form of consciousness ; its universal 
and fundamental form. 

All the same, we cannot think of the subject-object 
relation as preceding Space-Time, for this precedence 
would have to be in time, and it would presuppose an 
object existing out of space. We have to think of Space- 
Time as subsisting in and through the subject-object 
relation. Objections are only valid if we are in a posi- 
tion to deny that there is any Self in the universe higher 
than ourselves and more comprehensive than Space- 
Time. 

This is, of course, the flight to God ; but I do not see 
how it is to be avoided. Eealists talk as if the idealist 
flew to God to stop a gap in a bad argument ; whereas 
the proper use of a God is to stop the gaps between 
consciousness and nature and between nature and Him- 
self, much as M. Bergson uses time to stop space with. 
What are we to do, unless we either fling up the prob- 
lem as insoluble, or agree with Professor Alexander 
that the entire universe, and Deity with it, can be 
evolved out of the correlations of pure Space-Time? 
We saw the breakdown of the attempt to establish all- 
embracing relations within the bare concept of nature. 
One by one, all our mindless categories betrayed us. 
And as we can conceive no superior continuous unity 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 297 

but that of conscious selfhood, we can but place reality 
under the highest category we know. Even the finite 
selves give continuous unity as far as they go, though 
their consciousness is closed to the greater part of 
reality. 

Realism says this dragging in of God is entirely un- 
justifiable. We are not to help ourselves to anything 
that is not on the table. But in the end it has to help 
itself to Deity. Why not in the beginning, then, when 
Deity would do it some good? Because, Professor 
Alexander says, you can think away everything but 
Space-Time. So he thinks away everything and starts 
with bare Space-Time well, not bare, packed with 
point-instants. If you ask him, What next? What can 
you get out of that? he says, Everything in time, if you 
give it time enough, and in Space, if you give it space 
enough. Everything happens ; and he is not obliged to 
account for its happening; he is not concerned with the 
implications of its happening. 

This attitude is entirely cynical. 

If it comes to thinking, can you think away thought? 
And can you think the universe out of nothing but 
Space-Time? Space-Time holds everything together. 
But what holds Space-Time together? Can they be mu- 
tually assuming and supporting? By thinking of Time 
as pure succession can you deduce Space as its contin- 
uity? By thinking of Space as co-existence, can you 
deduce Time as its division? How does Professor Alex- 
ander arrive at his masterly correlations ? By taking 
Space and Time together, as we find them in conscious 
experience, one instant of Time covering many points 
in Space, one point in Space enduring through many 
times. So that Space is the witness to past Time and 
the guarantee of the future. Every concrete event is 
made up of such endurance and such continuity. But 
the two do not logically assume and support one an- 



298 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

other ; they have not their ground in one another ; you 
cannot pass from one to the other; and you can very 
easily think away their correlation. And, since they 
are only experienced in correlation, that is as good as 
thinking away Space and Time. If they are mutually 
supporting, in the sense that they prop each other up 
against otherwise inevitable collapse, are they trust- 
worthy elements on which to build up the fabric of the 
world? Once more, What holds them together? The 
nature of the universe that springs from them? Or the 
nature of the mind that thinks them that way? Their 
synthesis is their correlation. 

It is said that all relations of Space-Time are times 
and spaces. But this supreme correlation of objects 
and events in Space-Time is not spatial or temporal ; it 
is qualitative ; it is out of Space and Time. It is only 
to be conceived sub specie aeternitatis. It can only sub- 
sist in the unity of a spiritual Being which is neither 
Time nor Space. 

Space-Time, empty of everything but point-instants, 
can generate nothing but more and more empty Space- 
Time ; not even that without some creative energy be- 
hind it. If you say that energy presupposes Space- 
Time, you can only mean that it requires Space-Time 
to deploy in and cannot be thought of without it. If all 
energy is physical energy, then Space-Time will cer- 
tainly have to exist before it can energise. You will 
have to conceive of Space-Time as generating energy, 
bursting into energy by a sort of spontaneous combus- 
tion, moving before there are bodies to move, generat- 
ing matter in motion ; Space-Time packed with all the 
properties and behaviour of matter in motion, and flow- 
ering into life, into consciousness, into Deity. Deity 
that never is but always is to be, in his perpetual effort 
to overtake himself. 

Such a Deity we have seen to be neither immanent 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 299 

nor transcendent. Not immanent, because he is not yet, 
and you can never say that at any moment he is. Not 
transcendent, because, belonging to the future, that is 
to say, to a non-existent present, he is perpetually 
transcended. 

If Space-Time can thus evolve a universe, why drag 
in God? And, instead of dragging him in at the end, 
since dragged in he must be, "to satisfy the religious 
consciousness, M why not drag him in at the beginning, 
assume that energy is essentially spiritual and that God 
is the spiritual being of Space-Time, and satisfy the 
metaphysical consciousness as well? Surely, this as- 
sumption is at least as legitimate as the other, and it 
gives immanent Deity a chance to emerge in life, in 
consciousness, in more and more perfect manifestations 
of itself, while preserving its inscrutable transcendence, 
out of Space, out of Time. 

If I may adopt Professor Alexander's splendid 
phrases: The universe is begotten by Spirit out of 
Space-Time. Spirit spreads out the universe in its 
form of Space. In its form of Time it sweeps all things 
forward to change and generation. 

Spirit is the unity of Mind and Will. Space, as pure 
co-existence, expresses its Mind; Time, as conscious- 
ness, its Will. Therefore Mind and Will are as in- 
divisible as their manifestation in Space-Time, and like 
Space-Time, they are infinite in their being. The di- 
vided things, the divided selves, are finite, and this is 
their appearance, their existence. Their reality, their 
being, is the infinite and ultimate Self, which is God. 

. . 
11 

In short, idealism gets on very happily with its God 
so long as it only thinks of him as sustaining those 
parts of the universe which are unperceived by us. Its 
troubles begin when it comes to correlate God's con- Knowing 



300 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

sciousness with ours and ours with his, assuming that 
our consciousness and our will do make a difference to 
the universe. 

There is first the problem of knowledge, and there is 
the moral problem. 

Professor Broad has published somewhere a very in- 
genious theory of consciousness : the theory of the neu- 
tral third which is neither mind nor matter. He sug- 
gests that mind, or consciousness, may be the result of 
the contact of matter with this unknown neutral X and 
that X may survive the dissolution of the body and 
be stirred to fresh consciousness by fresh contacts 
with matter. And there is no reason why this process 
should not be continued indefinitely, so that X may be 
said to be immortal. 

Substitute an infinite Self, the ultimate spiritual sub- 
stratum of matter for Professor Broad's physical mat- 
ter, and a finite self, a spiritual entity, for his X, and 
let consciousness, the experienced universe, be the re- 
sult of their contact. The body will be, not only that 
part of the experienced universe through which the pas- 
sage from infinite to finite is made, through which con- 
tact is transmitted; it will be an insulator, inhibiting 
the total discharge of infinite on finite, ensuring that 
not all the sound, not all the light and colour, not all 
the impact of the universe shall beat on us at once, but 
only so much as a finite spirit can bear. Our growth 
will be in proportion to our ability to take on more and 
more of the infinite content of spirit, to perceive more 
and more, to create again within ourselves, increas- 
ingly, the relations and correlations of the universe. 
Our progress in science will be this creation of the uni- 
verse again within us. 

Realism is right in denying the human subjectivity 
of experience, wrong in denying the spiritual nature 
of reality. 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 301 

This form of idealism at least gets over the diffi- 
culty of accounting in terms of our consciousness for 
the events of pre-human or pre-conscious time. The 
plesiosaurus will have disported himself on his meso- 
zoic beach in God's sight, though God had not the hap- 
py idea of evolving human minds to enjoy the spectacle 
of him. Before life was, the earth will have whirled, 
burned, cooled, upheaved and subsided in the Space- 
Time of God's consciousness. If you ask what relation 
there can be between God's consciousness and all that 
whirling, burning, cooling, heaving and subsiding, the 
answer is: Considerably more than in the subject-ob- 
ject relation, or in all the correlations of knowing and 
the known. The universe moves and pulses and has its 
being in the energies which are forms of God's Will. It 
is the essence of all will that it creates. Even finite 
wills create new arrangements of given stuff, they bring 
new complexes into the world. My act in writing this 
sentence (even if the ideas are old) is a new act that 
has not occurred before and would not have occurred 
without me. 

What idealism has always needed is some dynamic 
concept corresponding with the actual behaviour and 
relations of things. 

Now the blank, contentless ego of realism, the form 
of potential knowledge, cannot be conceived as in re- 
lation with anything, much less as correlated with the 
universe. There is nothing for it to do. Its acts 
of knowing are not acts but passive states. They are 
not even states. You can no longer talk about states 
of consciousness. 

But assume that I have states of consciousness. So 
far as they depend upon my will my states of conscious- 
ness are perpetually bringing new and very strange 
things into the universe. It is all very well to say that 
my consciousness is part of God's consciousness, and 



302 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

that I see all things in God. If my consciousness is a 
part of his there must be a sense in which God sees 
my things in me. 

In what way is my consciousness related to God's? 

There are at least four possible ways. You may say 
that my consciousness is God's consciousness, that he 
is conscious in me, and that is all there is in it. Or you 
may take my experience twice over, once as mine and 
once as God's. Then either God knows all the things 
that I know as and when I know them ; or he knows them 
all, but knows them in a different way. 

Or he does not know them at all. 

If our consciousness is God's as it stands, once for 
all, and is not to be taken twice over, we have all the 
difficulties of thorough-going pantheism. All our bad- 
ness and our error, our obscenities and stupidities and 
madnesses, flourish as such in God's consciousness and 
his will. In us he will be incessantly doing bad things, 
and telling the most awful lies as well as knowing about 
them. 

And suppose you take the same consciousness twice 
over, once in us and once in God. Suppose we see blue 
as God sees it and because he sees it ; he creating what 
he sees and creating it again in us, infinite and finite 
seeing together in two coincident acts. Every finite 
consciousness would see all it sees in God as God sees 
it, each bringing his own perspective ; and we should all 
see tjie same thing because it is God's thing, his con- 
sciousness being the ground of the identity of things. 
This is all right for us, but how about God? Equally 
he will see everything as we see it. He will still not only 
know and fore-know evil ; he will be burdened with all 
our futilities and sillinesses and boredoms, the spec- 
tator of all scenes made by millions and millions of us 
to say nothing of the animals ; the listener to millions 
and millions of idiotic conversations. What a life for a 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 303 

God ! It is preposterous that he should know all these 
things. It is even unlikely that he knows, say, all the 
European languages as well as he apparently knows 
mathematics. 

But, if he does not know them, then I know something 
God doesn't know. I also will things he doesn't will; 
and so far I have the advantage of him. 

Or you may say he knows our things, but knows them 
in a very different way from ours. How about appear- 
ances? Suppose we know nothing else? Suppose all 
our knowledge is relative to us, so that we never know 
reality, never anything as it exists in God's mind? It 
is possible that the finite mind may be creative in the 
sense that it limits, qualifies, alters or distorts reality. 
Possible that when we perceive the sensum blue it is 
blue to us and an unknown and unimaginable something 
else to God. And so on through all the primary and 
secondary qualities. We shall have then two separate 
universes of knowledge. 

So I think we must reject that theory ; for at this rate 
all the sensuous splendour of the universe will belong 
only to the finite selves. If ultimate consciousness ex- 
ists, it must be aware of its own play; it must know 
what it is doing to the finite selves ; if it does not see 
blue, it must know somehow that blue is seen. It must 
sustain blue in the universe. And there will be no need 
to assume a divine, unblue counterpart of blue. But 
what the real relation of ultimate consciousness to the 
sensa is we cannot tell. 

And these are only the problems of God's knowing. 



111 



Philosophers have created strange Absolutes. They 
have seen God as the parish beadle, as the President mie 
of the Ethical Society, as a mathematician geometriz- Moral 
ing eternally, as a company of snow-white categories. Ptoblem 



304 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

Sir Isaac Newton thoughtfully provided him with the 
comfort of a sensorium all space much as he pro- 
vided a big hole in the door for his cat and a little one 
for her kitten. Other philosophers have left God very 
poorly off in this respect. 

But the last thing they will allow him to have is im- 
agination. 

Professor Alexander's Deity would be by far the 
most convincing, if only he could contrive to exist. 
But, on the whole, philosophers have refused to see 
God as he is : the wild poetic genius of eternity. Hence 
their utter inability to account for sense-data, or any 
other irrational elements of the cosmos. Hence if 
they ^re not idealists their impatience with the non- 
moralities, the contradictions and dilemmas, the happy 
little turns and surprises by which he has relieved the 
bare monotony of Space-Time. After all, the universe 
is not a set of equations. It has all the appearances of 
a romantic adventure. 

The best of Pantheism is that it does give back to God 
his dithyrambic and adventurous character, his un- 
dying wildness. 

Unfortunately, pantheism lands us in the most hor- 
rible moral mess. The identification of God with all 
the foolishness and badness in his universe. 

This God is not by any means the worst God of all, 
since he is also identified with goodness ; and the bad- 
ness and the goodness may be conceived as cancelling 
out somehow in the Absolute. And they have no ab- 
solute reality. The worst God of all is the God of the 
older Christian theology : God the Father, the creator 
of evil, who in his all-power and all-knowledge delib- 
erately plans a cruel universe bristling with traps for 
his creatures. The older theology thought of God as 
spending every moment of his eternity in eaves-drop- 
ping and spying on immoral man, haunting every bed- 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 305 

room, listening to every obscene story, and equally ob- 
servant of the murderer with his bloody chopper and 
the child with its fingers in the jam. Absolute Ideal- 
ism knows nothing of this intolerable God. 

But the God of pantheism is not much better. So 
that any philosophy which can do without God is happy 
inasmuch as it evades the moral problem. So long as 
we are only bits of Space-Time, our backslidings will 
not so much matter. A bit of Space-Time bashing in its 
wife 's head with the kitchen poker in a two-pair back ; 
a bit of Space-Time coming drunk out of the Bald- 
Faced Stag; a bit of Space-Time telling an improper 
story at its club is not so shocking to the religious con- 
sciousness as a bit of God doing all or any of these 
things. Somehow a bit of God telling that story seems 
the most incomprehensible phenomenon of all. 

There is, however, a fifth possibility. God may be 
able to know these things, but he may not choose to 
know them. 



IV 

First of all, then, we shall have to revise our ideas 
of omniscience and omnipotence. Omnipotence will be Free 
simply the power to create, or to be, or to know every- wm 
thing. It need not be exercised. If God were bound to 
create everything he could create, to be everything he 
could be, to know everything he could know, he would 
be under the necessity of his omnipotence. He would 
not be free. Omnipotence, then, is omnipotentiality, 
not omniactuality. 

But he is what is actual. He is the finite selves and 
the universe of the finite selves. They are parts of 
God, 1 their consciousness is part of his consciousness, 
their bodies are parts of God's body which is the uni- 

1 Sec Appendix VI, p. 319. 



306 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

verse. He is everything that is. But he is not bound 
to be anything but what he is. 

This is sufficient for pantheism. 

And the same thing will apply to God's knowledge 
and foreknowledge. God could know everything; but 
he only knows what he wills to know. He need not 
listen to all those conversations. 

It is at least possible that man's crimes and imbecil- 
ities and falsehoods are precisely what God doesn't 
know. And what he doesn't know he can't foreknow 
and so prevent. And if he hasn't foreseen evil, then 
he is not responsible for it. He doesn't foresee, not, 
because, like Professor Alexander's Deity, he doesn't 
exist, but because he happens to exist in a different 
way. We cannot have it both ways, an infinite God and 
a finite God. It is no good giving God one set of at- 
tributes and then bestowing on him another set utterly 
incompatible with the first. For, if idealism is true, 
God's consciousness is wholly concerned with reality, 
reality being what exists in God's consciousness; and 
badness and error are essentially finite and essentially 
unreal. The man in error and the bad man are hallucin- 
ated. And by a bad man I mean a really bad man, a 
man who takes badness for granted and looks for it 
in the constitution of the universe and not in his own 
hallucinated will. 

You may say that human conditions are such that 
he hasn't a chance. But human conditions are the crea- 
tions of human free will. And free will is free will. 
Man would not be a bit of God, he would not be a spir- 
itual entity, if his will were not to some extent free. 
Here again, you cannot have it both ways, you cannot 
give man first one set of attributes and then another 
utterly incompatible set. If he is free in a finite world 
he is free to be as bad as he chooses. It is probably 
better for man to fight his way towards perfection 



xi EECONSTEUCTION OF IDEALISM 307 

through blood and sweat and tears, in freedom, than 
to be tied to perfection with no will of his own; bet- 
ter to be free to make a brute-beast and devil of him- 
self than to be the will-less slave of a Deity the sum of 
all perfections. 

Not that we are bound to exclude from God's know- 
ledge and foreknowledge all the voluntary works and 
thoughts of man. God's knowledge is of reality and of 
reality alone. It is absolute and perfect. But man is, 
after all, a spiritual being, born, like Professor Alex- 
ander's Deity, with a nisus towards perfection. There 
are, as we shall see, points few and far between, or 
close and many where his will and thought and pas- 
sion touch reality. Let us say that whenever this hap- 
pens God is conscious of them. 

This is enough for Absolute Idealism. 



So that there is yet a sixth alternative and a seventh. 
God may know some of our things and not others. Or Relation 
he may know some things in our way and some things 



in his own. Ultimate 

Con- 
Say that the things God only knows are realities, and scious- 

the things we only know, things relative to us, are ap- ness " 
pearances; then, if we only know our own things we 
shall never know realities. 

But we found that in our experience of the world 
of Space and Time our personal perspectives could bo 
correlated with real perspectives, so that we have a 
certain real knowledge of things in Space-Time. This 
knowledge may not be absolute ; if Professor Einstein 
is right it will be purely relative, but it will be real as 
far as it goes, though its reality will not be ultimate. 
Where our knowledge is of reality on whatever level, 
we have literally communion with God. 



308 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

And this is enough for the religious consciousness. 

Is there any sense, satisfying to the religious con- 
sciousness, in which God may have communion with us? 

We have to distinguish further between immanent 
God and transcendent Godhead. It is only God in his 
immanence who is the finite selves and whose body is 
his universe. Only this God is the sun and moon, the 
stone and the tree, the snake and the rabbit, the tiger 
and the deer; the murderer and the murdered, the sin- 
ner and his sin, the drunkard and the teller of the tale. 
He is they, because without him they would not be. 
But in his universe mere existence is the least impor- 
tant thing. There is a scale of values, and there are 
higher and lower intensities of Being. Not ethical 
values only any rejoicing on the part of Philistines 
or Puritans is premature not ethical values only, but 
every degree of perfection of every kind. Creatures 
low on the scale of one order may be high on the scale 
of another order. The lowest qualities in all orders, 
the creatures lowest in all qualities, exist on the ex- 
treme outside fringe of Being, yet sustained by its 
farthest, thinnest pulsation. The highest, the perfect 
qualities and creatures are those nearest to the heart of 
God. In between there will be entities living God's life 
in rising measures of intensity, as his being throbs 
through them with a stronger beat. 

In this hierarchy of values the higher things will 
be the more real, because Reality itself lives in them 
in greater fullness and richness and intensity, because 
they are more highly charged. 

Now the intolerable thing that pantheism forced on 
us was the destruction of all values within the being 
of God ; the identification of God with the least valuable 
things in his universe. There was a hideous absurdity 
in the idea that God is vividly aware of our criminal 



xi RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 309 

lunacies and idiocies. But suppose he is not vividly 
aware? Suppose these things exist on a level which 
is far below the height of God's transcendent conscious- 
ness, and that in this sense they are comparatively un- 
real? Suppose the universe to be literally the body 
of God, and that it contains our bodies as its parts, 
much as our bodies contain their cells and the life of 
the cells. Suppose God's mind to contain our con- 
sciousness much as our minds contain the memories 
and instincts of the cells. Suppose the life of persons 
lowest in the scale of values to correspond in God's 
consciousness with this organic cell life which we are 
hardly conscious of ; we can then imagine that God is 
not more conscious of that pullulating cell life that we 
make for him within his vast organism. Our unspir- 
itual states will be merely subconscious states of God. 

On the other hand our spiritual states will be literally 
part of God's living consciousness. Our hate escapes 
him, but our love burns in him, flame for flame. Our 
spiritual suffering pierces to the very heart of God. 
He is joined with us consciously every time that we 
know reality, or create beauty, or will the good. 

If this be so, our spiritual memories will endure in 
God's consciousness; all that is immortal in us will 
be remembered there. God will be literally our keeper. 
If this be so, there will be a divine, unending process, 
the advance of God's immanent life to higher and 
higher forms, in which the perfection of his transcend- 
ent Godhead is manifested in Time. Transcendent 
Godhead is what immanent God will be. 

What is real for God is ideal for us. What for God 
is foreknowledge is destiny for us. What for God is an 
eternal state for us is process. We, ourselves, spirit- 
ual beings in a spiritual universe, are part of it. The 
spiritual movement of every individual, group, society, 



310 THE NEW IDEALISM xi 

State, or nation, is part of it. The religious sense dis- 
cerns it as the more and more conscious coming to- 
gether of God and man. The beginning is when we 
know ourselves and all things in God; its end when 
God knows himself in us. 



xu 

SUMMARY 



The foregoing argument is based on the distinction 
between Primary and Secondary Consciousness. There- The 
f ore I might have been more in order if I had put Chap- 
ters IX and X first. But realism was so formidable an lems 
opponent that it seemed the safer course to show from 
the very beginning that its positions are not so impreg- 
nable as they look. And as realism has taught us the 
fundamental seriousness of Space and Time, it was nec- 
essary to examine the claims of unminded Space-Time 
before considering mind itself. 

We found certain glaring defects in the logics of the 
older idealism, and chiefly in their attempt to sum up 
the universe as a system of thought-relations. 

New realism presented insurmountable difficulties in 
its absolutism; its theory of external relations; of con- 
sciousness without content; of memory, its identifica- 
tion of the thing remembered with the thing perceived. 

The most important realist theories of perception, 
Professor Broad 's real counterpart and Professor 
Whitehead's concept of nature, raised as many prob- 
lems as they solved. Critical realism betrayed the 
first symptoms of an uneasy consciousness, the first 
doubt as to the soundness of the position; but the in- 
genious amendments of Professors Drake, Lovejoy, 
Pratt, Eogers, Santayana, Sellars and Strong, with 
their apparatus of " images, " " logical essences, " and 

311 



312 THE NEW IDEALISM xii 

"mental states, " added worse complications of their 
own. So far, realism proved powerless to guarantee 
the truth of its assumptions and assurances. 

And the traditional antinomies of unminded Space 
and Time remained as insoluble as ever. 

Like Professor Whitehead's event theory, Professor 
Alexander's theory of Space-Time failed to fulfil its 
brilliant promise of a solution. We found it impos- 
sible to reduce quality and all the categories to mind- 
less Space-Time, or consciousness to compresence, or 
mind to its neural basis ; impossible to conjure life and 
consciousness and Deity out of the lifeless and the 
unconscious. 


11 

Still, the main objection of realism to idealism held. 
Being and being known are not the same. A line must 

Secon- be drawn somewhere. The question is, Where are you 

j going to draw it! 

scious- The older idealism drew no line between conscious- 

ness ness and the object of consciousness, between knowing 
and the thing known. Its reductio ad absurdum is 
Solipsism. New realism draws the line stark between 
the knowing self and the whole cosmos of its knowl- 
edge, its experience ; only excepting its acts (knowing, 
feeling, willing and so on). Thus we have a contra- 
diction between the self as passive and the self as 
active. Consciousness will have objects but no content. 
Self -consciousness will have neither object nor content, 
it will be a pure blank. 

The new idealism must draw the line somewhere else. 
Between consciousness and consciousness. Between 
primary consciousness and secondary consciousness. 
And not only between consciousness and consciousness, 
but between the processes and states of consciousness 
and the processes and states of things. Between things 



xii RECONSTRUCTION OF IDEALISM 313 

before and after they "come into" consciousness. 
There is an order of cosmic happening, an order of cos- 
mic evolution, which is not the order of our experience, 
of our consciousness and its evolution ; not the order of 
our logical thinking, though when it is known our think- 
ing must conform to it. All this is really " objective " 
to us. It has a previous existence, and is independent 
of our consciousness until the moment when it "comes 
into" it. 

It is not entirely conditioned by our consciousness, 
by the mere formal act of knowing, as the older idealism 
supposed. Our consciousness is in a sense conditioned 
by it, from moment to moment, inasmuch as it carries a 
context which extends beyond our range in every con- 
ceivable direction. In another sense it is conditioned 
by our consciousness. All of it that ' ' comes in " is part 
of the cosmos as perceived under the forms of a finite 
consciousness and from a given perspective in space 
and time. 

So far from it being true that in this contact of per- 
ception with the thing perceived the two terms of the 
relation are preserved in consciousness, it is precisely 
in this contact that they are indissolubly fused. Sepa- 
ration comes later in the supervening act of secondary 
consciousness ; and it comes too late. 

In all this Space and Time are essential, more es- 
sential than the older idealism allowed. Time and 
space that seem to divide the self from its object really 
unite them. The correlation of its personal perspective 
with the "real" Space-Time of God's consciousness 
joins up the finite self with the universe and with God. 

. 
m 

With God, because there is no sanity in the idealism 
that conceives the world as arising in finite and ter- a<>d 
restrial consciousness. At this rate the great saurians 



314 THE NEW IDEALISM xn 

would be the sustainers of the universe of their time. 

We are driven to assume an ultimate consciousness 
to sustain the universe in the absence of any other; 
to hold Time and Space together and resolve their con- 
tradictions; to unite the personal perspectives of the 
finite selves. Here again the realist objection held. 
We found that it is not enough for God to know the 
universe ; he has to will it before it can be. It is only 
for God, the Self immanent in the universe and tran- 
scending it, that being and knowing are the same, and 
this only because God's willing is itself part of his 
1m owing. 

Pantheism raised intolerable moral problems. It laid 
on God the burden of complicity with our guilt and 
communion with our imbecility. A possible solution 
was suggested in assuming the free will of the finite 
selves, the distinction between immanent God and tran- 
scendent Godhead, and the existence of a scale of values 
marking the ascending stages of God's manifestation. 

This solution satisfies the religious consciousness. 
For human progress may be conceived as part of the 
manifestation. And ultimate reality is not something 
far off and outside us. Nothing can separate our selves 
from God's self, our being from his being. Only our 
minds and wills are not always there with us. Yet even 
they have not got to wait for some state of impossible 
perfection. Every finding of new truth, every creation 
of new beauty ; every victory of goodness, every flash 
of spiritual insight and thrill of spiritual passion, is, 
while it lasts, a communion, here and now, with God. 



APPENDIX 
I 

Page 57. 

With regard to the tertiary qualities of pleasure and pain, 
Professor Broad maintains that the criterion of their reality 
is their relation to the will which seeks to remove pain and 
continue pleasure. 

"I suspect that when a man says that he is immediately certain 
that an unfelt bodily pain cannot exist, what he means is that he is 
certain that this relation to the will would not exist unless he were 
aware of the sensible quality." (Perception, Physics and Reality: 
p. 69.) 

"This does not seem to me to imply that the sensible quality that 
is located in the tooth when we do feel toothache cannot exist unper- 
ceived. It would only then not affect the will and so not be a pain." 
(The same: p. 70.) 

Anything rather than allow that a sensible quality should 
depend on perception. 

II 

Pages 170 and 220. 

Time is one-dimensional, successive, irreversible (asym- 
metrical), transitive, in the relations of its instants. (If A 
is before B and B before C, A is before C. If D is between 
B and E, and B and E between A and F, D is between A 
and F.) 

Space is three-dimensional, reversible, symmetrical; its di- 
mensions are independent, in the sense that position or direc- 
tion in the one need not involve position or direction in the 
other; in fact, movement or direction uniquely in one will 
exclude movement or direction uniquely in the other, though 
movements and directions may be compounded. (A body may 
move diagonally in length and breadth, or in length, breadth 
and height together.) 

But the three characters of time are also independent. That 
is to say, successiveness in itself is not irreversible; neither 

315 



316 APPENDIX 

II Continued 

are transitiveness and betweenness in themselves. If it de- 
pended on relations of irreversibility, succession, or between- 
ness alone, time by itself might conceivably move backwards 
and forwards and between, and the total movement be irre- 
versible though containing different (i. e. reversible) direc- 
tions. 

So that we may say that the three characters of Time and 
the three characters (dimensions) of Space, taking Time and 
Space by themselves, are both independent. 

But between these independents there is a relation of inter- 
dependence such that ' ' each new feature in Time is rendered 
possible by a new dimension of Space and conversely renders 
it possible. " (Space, Time and Deity: p. 51). 

Thus: "a one-dimensional Space would not suffice to se- 
cure" irreversibility of one-dimensional Time. For you will 
only have two one-dimensionals, each in the same boat. Let 
aA and 6B be two point-instants. Their correspondence, 
though it may fix them as distinguishable entities, says noth- 
ing about their order and position. "So far as the points 
are concerned A might be before or after B in time." And 
as far as the instants are concerned & might be before or after 
a in space. 

If you arrange your points one-dimensionally on a line 

A B 



a a 1 a 2 a 3 & & 1 & 2 6 s 

the as and the 6s might occupy any position on the space line, 
and the instants A and B any position on the time line. 
There will be nothing to distinguish a point a from a point 
a 1 , both covered by the instant A, both, that is to say, endur- 
ing in the same time A ; but, for all that the line ensures to 
the contrary, a 1 might be on the other side of 6 from a, and 
thus A might be before or after B. 

"Hence, since the order is irreversible it follows that A 
cannot be repeated in the one-dimensional line ab." 

Fig. I Fig. II 

ABA A B 

a 2 a ft a 1 




APPENDIX 317 

Fig. I. A cannot cover (be repeated in) a? or a 1 because 
B may come between, throwing a 2 and a 1 at different dates. 
They would be both before and after B, which is impossible. 

Fig. II. But if you take A down into a second dimension 
it may very well cover both a and a 1 , because in the second 
dimension a 1 is neither before nor after B ; and B can come 
on in its irreversible place. 

This is only the relation of besideness, or of before and 
after. The betweenness of Time involves a still further di- 
mension of Space. 

With two dimensions only we might have the partially 
reversible pendulum movement of Time. But with C (the 
third time-term that ensures betweenness) planted outside the 
plane a b c, B will fall irreversibly between A and C. 

Similarly, the third dimension secures uniformity of di- 
rection. Time can move forward in one line because the 
points it covers are removed out of its way, so to speak, into 
other dimensions. 

Ill 

Page 247. 

I may see an event in Sirius which, from my point of 
reference, may have happened nine years ago. And an event 
in Sirius may be occurring which from another point of ref- 
erence is nine years later than the event I am aware of. 
There is a point of reference, therefore, from which two events 
will be contemporary, though, for observers on Sirius, they 
will be divided by eighteen years. 

Professor Alexander argues that it is not the events in 
Sirius themselves which have become contemporary, only 
that the points at which they occur are differently dated in 
different perspectives. 

"In other words, the points of Space are filled with different 
instants owing to that re-distribution of instants among points which 
makes the history of Space-Time." (Space, Time and Deity : p. 78.) 

But surely, if the events occupy the points in question they 
will be affected by the redistribution. They cannot, without 
forsaking their points, remain outside it, so that they, too, 
will be relatively contemporary, or relatively earlier or later, 
according to the perspective. 



338 APPENDIX 

IV 

Pages 249-250. 

Visualized in three-dimensional space the cubes which are 
the sides of the tessaract would pass through each other, press- 
ing into the space occupied by the original centre cube. 

Similarly, visualized in two-dimensional space only, the 
rising plane squares which are the sides of the cube would 
pass on to each other, shifted forward into the space occupied 
by the original square; and for the same reason, because, 
confined to a lower dimension, we could not imagine a higher 
visible space for them to occupy. 

We can now make certain deductions: 

1. (As we have just seen) the movements of the eight 
cubes in turning at right angles to the directions of their 
six plane sides will be through each other in three-dimen- 
sional space. That means, in terms of three-dimensional 
space, that every four-dimensional boundary will fill the space 
bounds, and every part of eveiy four-dimensional figure will 
displace every other part. We must therefore postulate an 
unknown direction (the fourth dimension) for the construc- 
tion to deploy in. 

2. Every four-dimensional figure will include figures of 
the third second and first and zero dimensions as its parts. 

Consequently any four-dimensional figure invading three- 
dimensional space would be perceived as three-dimensional. 

3. And as every three-dimensional figure in three-dimen- 
sional space is seen by the eye as two-dimensional only (in 
the flat on a Mercator's projection), so by analogy, every 
four-dimensional figure will be seen by the four-dimensional 
eye as three-dimensional, in the round. 

4. As we have seen that the boundaries of all four-dimen- 
sional figures will be cubes corresponding with the three- 
dimensional planes, so the four-dimensional plane will corre- 
spond with the three-dimensional line, and the four-dimen- 
sional line with the three-dimensional zero point, and the 
four-dimensional point with an unknown position below 
zero. 

That is to say, in the fourth dimension all three-dimensional 
powers will be raised one degree. 

5. And as the zero point is the unit of three-dimensional 
space, an unknown position below zero will be the unit of 
four-dimensional space. 



APPENDIX 319 

6. Thus, if we let analogy rip we are landed in sub-zero 
dimensional space the units of which will be the boundaries 
of points. 

7. It is clear that the matter cannot end here. We are 
driven to a fifth dimension and to fifth dimensional figures 
whose boundaries will be tessaracts, with sub-sub-zero space 
at the other end of the scale. 

And so on for ever and ever. 



Page 263. 

"The arrangement of the peripheral nervous system de- 
pends on structural and development conditions ; that of the 
intramedullary level is essentially functional or physiologi- 
cal, whilst the final processes which underlie sensation are 
grouped according to categories that can be discovered by 
introspection. " 

Dr. Head (Sensation and the Cerebral Cortex) : 

"That is to say, when we reach the higher levels the pro- 
cesses cease to be physiological and become psychological. 

"From the point of view of sensation anatomical repre- 
sentation ceases as soon as the first synaptic junction is 
passed" . . . "Sensation is a psychical act." (The same:) 



VI 

Page 305. 

When we talk about the relation of the finite selves to 
the infinite Self we are at the mercy of finite categories which 
do not strictly apply. If we say that the finite selves are 
"parts" of God we are using a finite concept to symbolize 
an otherwise inconceivable relation. The relation of finite 
parts to a finite whole is such that if you remove them there 
won't be any whole at all. But if all the finite selves were 
removed, the Self in which they endured will still exist in 
itself, though not as a whole of finite selves. The finite parts 
are necessary to the finite whole. The infinite Self is neces- 
sary to the finite selves, but they are not necessary to it in 
the sense that without them it could not exist. In this rela- 
tion the Whole transcends its parts. It is not only more than 
the sum of them, but it exists in complete independence be- 
yond them. 



INDEX 



ABSOLUTE: 10, 12, 15, 17, 223, 300, 
304. 

Idealism: 4, 307. 

not Thought only: 12. 

Self: 235. 

as the Whole : 242. 

ESTHETIC emotions: 34 and Foot- 
note. 

AFTER-IMAGE: 136, 137. 

ALEXANDER : Professor, Introduc- 
tion, ix, xii-xiv, 21, 28, 33, 
35, 142, 143. 

150, 162 et seq. 219, 221, 223, 

234, 243, 266. 

277-288, 295, 297, 299, 312. 

Appendix II., pp. 315-317. 

's solution of antinomies of 

Space and Time, 166. 

's Space, Time and Deity: 

162-215. 

's view of Deity: 209-215, 

298, 299. Objections to: 
210-215. Deity not exist- 
ent: 299. Not immanent: 
298, 299. Not transcend- 
ent: 299. 

ANTICIPATION: 27, 28, 112, 246, 
248, 249, 291. 

: Object of, 27, 28. 

ANTINOMIES of causality : 151, 152. 

of Compact Series: 158 et 

seq. 

: Double-aspect theory of, 146, 

147. 

of Events: 102. 

: Kant's, 2, 18, 140, 141; un- 
solved: 160, 161. 

ANTINOMIES of serial time: 148. 

: Solution of, Alexander 's, 

142-166. 

: Solution of, Boodin's, 147- 

158. 

: Solution of, Bergson's, 143. 

: Solution of, Bertrand Bus- 
sell's, 18, 144. 

: Solution of, Cantor-Dede- 

kind, 106, 107, 142, 144. 



ANTINOMIES: Solution of, Hegel's, 

142. 
: Solution of, Montague 's, 143- 

147. 
: Solution of, Pragmatic, 152, 

153. 
: Solution of , Whitehead 's, 143 

of Space and Time: 139-161. 

of Space-Time: 165, 166, 
172, 173, 221. 

: Zeno's, 139, 140. 

Antinomy: The, Professor W. P. 

Montague's, 143-147. 
APPEARANCE : APPEARANCES : 16, 

19, 42-44, 203, 206. 

: Illusory, 205, 208. 

: Real, 204, 205, 206, 209. 

: Reality of, 19, 272. 

: and Reality, 64-68, 90, 91, 

208, 209. 

APPEARANCES: Unreality of, 
67, 68. 

See SUBSTANCE. 
ART: Creative, 293. 

: Objective, 34. 

ATOMISM: Logical, 31. 
ATTENTION: 276, 290, 292. 

: Secondary, 290, 292. 

ATTRIBUTES: 84. See SUBSTANCE. 
AWARENESS: 277, 279. 

of awareness: 277. 

" contents: 279. 

BEING: Absolute, 3, 312. 

and being Known: 260, 261, 

267-273. 

and Will: 272, 273. 

BERGSON: 143, 162, 220, 296. 
BERKELEY: 2, 4. 
BESIDENESS: 145, 146. 
BETWEENNESS: 159, 160. 

: Dilemma of, 160. 

BIFURCATION Theory: 86-89. 
BIOLOGICAL Proof of Realism: 126. 
BODY and Mind: 260, 261. 
and Mind: Relation of, 265- 

267. 



321 



322 



INDEX 



BODY and Mind: Relation of, to 
Spirit, 300. 

and Mind: Relation of, to 

Ultimate Consciousness, 267. 

BOODIN: Professor J. E., Introduc- 
tion, xiii, 143, 161 (Foot- 
note), 162. 

BOODIN 's Theory of Space-Time: 
150. 

's Theory of Time: 147-158. 

's Theory of Time: Objec- 
tions to, 154-158. 

BOSANQUET: Professor, 13, 223. 

BRADLEY: Professor, Introduction, 
xii, 13, 223, 237. 

BROAD: Professor, C. E., 21 (Foot- 
note), 49-81, 162, 252, 260, 
284, 300, 311. Appendix I, 
p. 315. 

Professor, C. E., and the Real 

Counterpart: 49-81. 



CANTOR-DEDEKIND : 106, 142, 143, 

158. 

CARR: Professor Willdon, 243, 244. 
's The General Principle of 

Eelativity: 244. 
's Theory of Consciousness as 

the Continuum: 243, 244. 
CATEGORIES: 2, 8, 28, 29, 179- 

194. 
's Consciousness and the, 232- 

243. 
: Logical, a priori, 220. 

not non-mental: 232. 

not reducible to Space-Time : 

233. 

reducible to consciousness: 

233-243. 

reducible to Space-Time: 

179 et seq. 

: Unminded, 270. 

Categories: Knowledge and its, 

127-131. 
CAUSAL Theory of Perception: 61, 

62, 64, 65, 67. 
CAUSALITY: 151-153, 187, 240. 

: Antinomy of, 151, 152. 

: Minded, 240. 

: Time as, 151, 152. 

as Total Configuration of 

the Universe, 240, 241. 

: Unminded, 240. 

CEREBRAL CORTEX: 20, 24, 261, 

262, 287, 288. Appendix 

IV, p. 319. 
CHANCE: Time as, 151-155. 



CHANGE: 96, 97, 177, 192. 

as motion: 192. 

: Minded, 226, 227. 

of quality: 192, 193. 

: Unminded, 226, 227. 

: Events do not, 96, 97. 

COLOUR-BLINDNESS: 56, 57. 
COMPACT SERIES: 18, 106, 142-144, 

146, 158, 159. 

: Definition of, 143, 158. 

: Discreteness in, 146, 

158, 159. 

: Nextness in, 158, 159. 

: Space and Time in, 142, 

143. 

<: Objections to/ Theory 

of, 158 et seq. 

COMPRESENCE : See CONSCIOUSNESS. 
CONCEPT: 228, 229. 
Concept of Nature: 81-114. 
CONCEPT of Nature: 81-84, 91-95, 

96, 109, 111, 311. 
of Nature: Contradiction in, 

109. 
of Nature: Inadequacy of, 

95, 96, 111. 
of Nature: Inconsistency of, 

95, 96, 111. 
CONCEPTION: 28. 
CONCEPTS, Primary: 230, 231. 
: Reality of, 28. 

Timeless and spaceless: 230. 

: Vizualized, 229. 

CONDITION: 342. 

CONSCIOUSNESS: 16, 17, 31-34, 

195-209, 279. 

a blank Transparency: 36, 

42, 45. 

and the Categories: 233-243. 

as Compresence: 34-37, 195, 

197, 207, 231. 

as Compresence: 232, 277, 

282, 283. 

as Compresence purely spa- 
tio-temporal: 195. 

as Compresence not a unique 

relation: 195. 

: Content of, 31-33, 275, 

279. 

: Content of, in Critical Real- 
ism: 132, 13.3. 

contentless: 35. 

as Continuity: 227. 

as the Continuum: 113, 114, 

243, 244, 271. 

: Forms of, 246-252. 

: E. B. Holt's concept of, 196, 

197. 



INDEX 



323 



CONSCIOUSNESS and its object: 16, 

34, 280, 282. 

and its object, not distin- 
guished in Primary Con- 
sciousness: 280-283. 

and its object, distinction 

between an unproved as- 
sumption : 280-283 ; falls 
within consciousness : 281 ; 
is between consciousness and 
consciousness, not between 
consciousness and content : 
281. 

-.PRIMARY, 52, 236-239, 243, 

274-283, 311. 

, and its content: 274, 

275. 

, confused with Second- 
ary: 280, 283, 284. 

, distinguished from 

Secondary: 52,274-276, 
290, 291. 

indistinguishable from 
content: 274-275. 
-, intensity of, 275, 276. 
- invulnerable to realist 

attack: 294. 
-, Percept and concept 

in, 291. 

-, Relation of, to Sec- 
ondary: 291, 293. 
-, Will in, 292. 

-: SECONDARY, 52, 231, 232, 
238, 239, 275-277, 290- 
294, 311. 

- , , distinguished from 

Primary: 52, 274-276, 
290, 291. 

- , , distinguished from its 

object: 293. 

- , , its object Primary 

Consciousness: 293. 

- , , dependent on Primary 

Consciousness: 293. 
- , , relation of, to Pri- 
mary Consciousness, 
291-293. 

-, synthesis of with Pri- 
mary Consciousness, 
232. 



-, Will in, 292. 



-: Eelation of to object of, 33, 

195, 196, 278, 280. ^ 
-: Beligious, not satisfied by 

unrealised Deity, 213, 

214. 

-: Rdle of in Nature, 113. 
-: Space, Time and, 219-239. 



CONSCIOUSNESS: Space and Time 

simplest forms of, 224. 
: Space-Time ultimate form 

of, 222, 223. 

: States of, 31, 32, 33. 

: Ultimate, 258, 259, 264-267, 

272 

: Ultimate, 295-310, 314. 

: Ultimate, Relation of body 

and mind to, 265-267. 
: Ultimate, Relation to finite 

consciousness: 303-305, 307- 

310. 

: Unity of, 17. 

CONSCIOUSNESS: Space, Time and 

Other, 245-259. 

CONTEMPLATION: 35, 195, 282. 
CONTINGENCY: 242. 
CONTINUITY: 17-18, 102-107, 142, 

143, 175, 176, 178. 
: Consciousness as, 227. 

in correlated Space-Time: 

166, 167. 

of events: 93, 102-107. 

" minded Space-Time: 225, 

226. 

of Space-Time: 219, 220. 

" Substance: 187. 

" Time: 167, 168; objec- 
tions: 168, 169. 

: Finite selves give, 298. 

Continuum: The, 18, 102-107, 243, 
244, 271, 272. 

: The, Professor Broad's the- 
ory of, 80. 

: The, Eatio cognoscenti* of, 

271. 

: The, Eatio essendi of, 272. 

CORRELATION of besideness and 
succession: 145-147. 

of personal perspectives: 

254, 259. 

of sight and touch : 71, 72. 

space-dimensions with time: 

169, 170. Appendix II, pp. 
315-317. 

of Space-Time: 150, 165- 

170, 297, 298. 

COSMIC evolution: 312, 313. 
Cosmic Evolution: Professor Boo- 

din's, 147. 

COSMIC processes: 9, 268. 
COUNTERPART: The real, 61, 76, 77, 

79, 80, 81, 311. 
: The real, Professor Broad 

and, 49-81. 

CRITICAL Philosophy: The, 2. 
REALISM: 114-138, 311. 



324 



INDEX 



CRITICAL REALISM : Affirmation of, 

127, 128. 

: Assumptions of, 125. 

. Object and content in, 

129-131. 

: Objections to, 137, 138. 

Critical Eealism : The Approach to, 

115-119. 

: Essays in, 114-138. 

an d the Possibility of 

Knowledge: 122, 123. 
CRITICAL realists: Introduction, ix. 

DATA: Visual, not spatially re- 
lated, 134. 
DATUM: 115, 116, 132, 133, 134. 

and the image: 115, 116. 

: Nature of the, 132-138. 

and the object: 133. 

not the object: 115-116. 

Datum: The Nature of the, 132- 

138. 
DEITY: 165, 209-215, 295-299. 

begotten by Time on Space- 
Time: 209. 

: Concept of, solves moral 

problem, 211. 
: Infinite, 213. 

next highest to conscious- 
ness: 210. 

the nisus: 165, 210, 212, 213. 

not existent: 210, 213. 

not immanent: 211, 212. 

not infinite: 212, 213. 

unknown: 210. 

unrealised: 213. See GOD. 

DESCARTES: 2, 3. 

DILEMMA of compact series: 159, 

160. 
of consciousness as blank 

Transparency: 42, 45. 

of logical idealism: 270. 

" realism: 76, 77. 

" of relations: 237-239. 

DIMENSION: The Fourth, 246, 249- 

250. Appendix III, p. 318. 
DIMENSIONS of Space: 169, 170. 

Appendix II, pp. 315-317. 
DIRECTION: Sense of, in tactual 

perception, 73. 
DISCOVERY: 11, 17, 31, 269. 
DISCONTINUITY: 112, 113, 140, 

146, 158, 159. 

of event-particles: 105, 106. 

" Space-Time: 176. 

" Substance: 187, 188. 

" unminded Space-Time: 224. 

DISCREPANCIES: 62, 252, 253. 



DISCREPANCIES of appearances in 
space: 42, 43. 

: Spatial and temporal, 42, 43. 

DIVERSITY : 176. 

not reducible to Space-Time: 

176. 

reducible to terms of con- 
sciousness: 233, 234. 

DIVISIBILITY of Space, Time and 
matter: 140, 141. 

of space: 167. 

DOUBLE-ASPECT Theory of space 
and time: 145-147. 

Theory of mind: 241. 

DRAKE: Professor, 116-120. 

's Professor, Approach to 

Critical Eealism: 116-120. 

DREAMS: 52, 251, 252. 

Space: 251, 252. 

Time: 251, 252. 

DUALISM: 2, 3. 

DURATION: 102, 103. 

s: Parallel, 103-105. 

Duree: 143. 

EGO: 16, 17. 

EGO-CENTRIC position: 16, 17. 
EINSTEIN: 22, 220, 240-245. 
Elan vital: 15. 
EMPIRICAL facts: 7. 

knowledge: 269. 

truths: 7. 

ENERGY: 147, 298. 
: concept of, 288. 

patterns: 147. 

"ENJOYMENT": 35, 195, 282, 283. 
Enquiry Concerning the Principles 

of Natural Knowledge: 35, 

82 et seq. 
EPISTEMOLOGICAL Idealism: 236. 

See IDEALISM. 
EPISTEMOLOGY: 2, 5, 12. 
ESSENCES: Logical, 115, 116, 125, 

128-134. 

Logical, the data: 115, 

116. 

Logical, distinction between, 

and existence in cognitive 
relation: 278. 

Logical, distinction between, 

and existence: 116. 

Logical, distinction between, 

and mental states: 116. 

Logical, imagined, not pro- 
jected: 120. 

: Logical, inadequacy of, 117. 

, Logical, not existents: 115- 

116. 



INDEX 



325 



ESSENCES, Logical, not in space 
and time: 115-116, 132-134. 

: Logical, Objections to theory 

of, 117, 119-121. 

and reality: 121-123. No 

guarantee of correspondence 
between, 120, 121-123. 

, relation of to object: 117. 

-: Status of, 116. 



EVENT-PARTICLES: 105, 106. 

: Discontinuity of, 105, 

106. 
EVENTS: 35, 36, 82-114, 90, 91, 93, 

96, 97. 

: Causal character of, 90, 91. 

: Contradictory character of, 

101, 102. 
: Covering, 106, 107. 

of different dates: 177, 178. 

: Differentiation between, 105- 

107. 

and objects: 84, 93, 94, 97, 

98, 99. 

: Objects qualities of, 98, 99. 

: Qualitied, 172, 173, 175, 

178. 

: Kedistribution of, does not 

solve antinomy of Space- 
Time, 177, 178. 

, Eelata of Space and Time: 

83. 

: Situation of, 90, 91. 

: Space and Time relations be- 
tween, 83. 

: Space and Time abstractions 
from, 83. 

the ultimate elements: 82, 

98. 

: Unoccupied, 100, 101. 

EVENT-THEORY: 35,82-114. 

: Contradictions in, 113, 

114. 

: Objections to, 94-114. 

EVIL: Problem of, 303-305. 

: God's foreknowledge not of, 

306, 307, 309. 
EXISTENCE: 180. 

not reducible to Space-Time: 

180. 

reducible to consciousness: 

234. 

: distinction between, and es- 
sence in cognitive relation, 
278. 

EXISTENTS: 115, 116 et seq. 

EXPERIENCE: 12. 

: Perceptual, 44. 

: Spatial, 44, 45. 



EXTENSION: 106, 107. 
EXTENSIVE ABSTRACTION: Method 
of, 106, 107, 138 (Note). 

FEELING: 34. 

FINITE consciousness: 309, 310. 

perspectives: 270. 

selves: 297, 299, 306, 314. 

, parts of God: 306. Ap- 
pendix V, p. 319. 

their appearance: 299. 

their reality: 299. 

their being: 299. 
FOREKNOWLEDGE: 303, 306, 307. 
FREE-WILL: 305, 307. 

GEOMETRICAL CONSTANTS : 255-257. 
GOD: 212, 213, 295-300, 312-314. 

: Communion with, 307, 314. 

's consciousness: 303-305, 309, 

310. 

and finite selves: 306, 314. 

Unity of, 314. 

>s foreknowledge : 303, 306, 

307. 

's free-will: 305. 

's knowing: 299-303, 306, 307. 

immanent: 308. 

: minds, organic sensa of, 212, 

213. 

of pantheism: 303, 304-306, 
308, 313, 314. See DEITY 
and ULTIMATE CONSCIOUS- 
NESS. 

GREEN: Professor T. H., 13. 

GROUND: 188. 

HALLUCINATIONS: 57, 117, 118. 

HEAD: Dr. Henry, 261, 262, 263. 
Appendix IV, p. 318. 

's Studies in Neurology (Sen- 
sation and the Cerebral Cor- 
tex), 261-263. 

HEGEL: Introduction, xii, 3, 4, 13, 
142, 223. 

' 8 Logic: 3. 

HOLT: Edwin B., 49, 196, 197. 

HUMANISM: 15. 

HUME: 2. 

IDEALISM : 1 et seq., 293, 294. 

: Challenge to, 62, 260 et seq. 

: Crux for, 90, 236, 261-267. 

: Difficulties and objections: 

260 et seq. 
: Epistemological, 2, 5, 13, 269, 

270, 271. 
: Future of, 13 et seq. 



326 



INDEX 



IDEALISM: The New, 1 et seq., 13, 
219-314. 

: The Old, 1 et seq. 

: Problem of, 62, 69, 70. 

: Reconstruction of, 219-314. 

and Relativity: 244, 245. 

IDEALIST solution of problem of 

spatial perception: 44, 45. 

solution of problem of world 

before consciousness: 47. 

theory of knowledge: 138. 

theory of memory: 22, 23, 48. 

theory of perception: 70, 71. 

theory of perceptual experi- 
ence: 44, 45. See PERSONAL 
PERSPECTIVES, SPACE, TIME 
AND CONSCIOUSNESS, and 
SPACE, TIME AND OTHER CON- 
SCIOUSNESSES. 

IDENTITY: 179. 

not reducible to Space-Time: 

179, 180. 

reducible to consciousness : 

233, 234. 

of Space and Time: 178. 

IMAGE: The, 115, 116. 

in Critical Realism: 123 and 
loc. cit. 

: The, and the datum: 115, 

116. 

: Memory, 22, 23. 

IMAGINATION: 26, 27, 118, 119, 291, 
292. 

source of character com- 
plex: 118. 

: How veridical?: 118, 119. 

no criterion of correspond- 
ence with reality: 118. 

: real object of, 26, 27. 

INCOMPATABILITY : 76, 116, 117, 

119. 
of geometrical properties : 55, 

56. 
of perceptions in one subject: 

53, 54. 

- of perceptions in several sub- 
jects: 55, 56. 
of primary and secondary 

qualities with logical essences: 

119. 
of sensations in one subject: 

53, 54. 

of sight and touch : 72, 73. 
of tactual perception and real 

object: 72, 73. 
INFERENCE: 291. 
INFINITE: The, 212, 213. 
regress: 237, 239. 



INSTANT: All Space at an, 171-174, 

176, 189, 246. 
: See COMPACT SERIES and 

POINT-INSTANT. 
INSTRUMENTAL theory: 63, 64, 67, 

68, 71. 
INTENSITY: 179, 189, 239. 

of Primary Consciousness: 

275, 276. 

reducible to Space-Time: 

189. 

, how far reducible to Space- 
Time: 239. 

INTUITION: 127, 128. 

IRRATIONAL elements, 10, 11, 268, 
269. 

JAMES: William, 162. 

JUDGMENT: 31, 73-75, 291. 

involved in tactual percep- 
tion: 73-75. 

: Mathematical, 6, 7. 

s: synthetic a priori, 5, 6, 

269. 

KANT: 2, 13, 140, 141, 160, 161, 

222, 223. 
's antinomies: 2, 140, 141, 160, 

161. 
's schemata: 2, 222, 223, 256, 

257. 
Knowing: 16, 291. 

and Being: 267-273. 

: God's, problems of, 299-303, 

306, 307. 

an external relation: 268. 

: relation of, 16, 31, 268. 

KNOWLEDGE: 28 et seq. 

in Critical Realism: 120-123, 

127-131. 

: God's, 306-310. Not of evil: 

309. 

and intuition, distinction be- 
tween in Critical Realism: 
127, 128. 

: man's, of reality, 307. 

Knowledge and its Categories: 

127-131. 

Knowledge: Critical Realism and 
the Possibility of, 120, 123. 

LAIRD: Professor, 24-28, 47-49, 

137. 

'*A Study in Eealism: 24-28. 

-^-'s Theory of memory: 24-28, 

47-49, 137. 
LIKENESS: 185. 
of appearance to reality, 66. 



INDEX 



327 



LIKENESS of object to percept: 59, 

60, 62. 
of sensum to real object: 60, 

61. 

LOCKE: 2, 138. 
LOGIC: 291. 
Logic: See Hegel. 
Logic and Mysticism: 42, 43. 
LOGICAL Proof of Bealism: 126. 
processes: 31. 
LOTZB: 31, 235. 
LOVEJOY: Professor, 116, 311. 

MANY: The, 15, 242. 
MATHEMATICAL judgments: 6, 7. 

space and time: 18. 

MATTER: 164, 300. 

crystallisation of space : 164. 

MEANING: 42, 45, 198, 199. 

as neural process: 198, 199. 

Objections to theory: 198, 199. 
MEDITATION: 291. 
MEMORY: 22-28, 47, 48, 111, 112, 
246. 

image: 22, 23, 173. 

not mental: 24. 

as perception of external ob- 
ject: 24, 25, 47, 48. Objec- 
tions to theory: 47, 48. 

and Space-Time: 166, 167. 

: idealist theory of, 23, 48, 

137, 138. 

Professor Laird's theory of, 

24-28, 47. 

materialist theory of, 22, 23. 

realist theory of, 24, 47, 48. 

and Time-series: 248, 249. 

MENTAL states: 115, 116. 

states: Distinction between 

and essences, 116. 

states existents: 116. 

states the sense-elements in 

perception: 115. 
states, Logical essence given 

by means of, how?, 119. 
MIND: 85, 86, 87, 89, 95, 111, 112, 

164, 195-209, 299. 
: Double aspect of, 241. 

as change: 226, 227. 

the form of Time: 201. 

a fresh creation: 198. 

extended: 201, 202, 207, 295. 

Objections: 202, 203. 

identified with neural basis: 

197, 198, 201. 

material and spatio-tem- 
poral: 201. 

: Nature closed to, 85, 86, 89. 



MIND : Nature not closed to, 111, 

112. 

: Neural basis of, 197, 198. 
: Place of, in problem of 

metaphysics, 221, 222. 

reducible to Space-Time, 262. 

: Relation of, to body, 260 et 

seq., 265-267. 

Relation of, to its object, 

195 ; the same as the relation 
of any two finites in Space- 
Time, 195-196. Objections, 
196, 197. 

: Relation of, to sense-organ, 

207, 208. 
: Relation of, to Space-Time, 

178. 
: Space-Time independent of, 

178. 

as Total Configuration of the 

universe: 241. 

as Will: 241. 

MiND-process: 295, 296. 
-+ -stuff: 295, 296. 

Time: 111. 

MINDED Change: 226, 227. 

Space-Time: 225, 226. 

MINDLESS motion: 271. 

Space-Time: 224, 225. 

MINDS "organic sensa of God": 

212, 213. 
MODALITY: 242. 
MONTAGUE: Professor W. P., 49, 

143-147. 

MOORE: Dr. A., 30, 31, 51, 163. 
> MORAL problem: The, 303-305, 309. 
MOTION : 18, 164, 177, 190, 271. 

: Molecular, 287, 288. 

: Reality of, 18. 

: Relativity of, 243-245. 

: Spatio-temporal character of, 

190. 

: Time as, 164. 

MOVEMENT in visual and tactual 

perception: 73, 74. 
MULTIPLICITY of reals: 62, 67, 68. 
of real counterparts: 79, 80, 

81. 

NAIF confusion : The, 284. 
- realism: See REALISM. 
NATURE: 81-114. 

: All, at an instant, 105, 107. 

: The Concept of, 81-114. 

Nature: The Concept of, 81-114. 
NATURE closed to mind: 85, 86, 89. 

not closed to mind: 111, 112. 

: Passage of, 109, 110. 



328 



INDEX 



NATURE : Perception in non-mental, 
111-113. 

: Ultimate entities of, 84. 

NECESSITY: 151-153, 242. 

and free-will: 151-153. 

NEURAL basis of mind: 197, 198. 

process: 201, 261, 262, 263, 

264-266, 287. 

process : Correspondence be- 
tween, and sensa, 266, 267. 

process : Correspondence be- 
tween, and sensation, 262, 263. 
Not causal: 263. 

NEUROLOGY: Studies in, 261-263. 
Appendix IV, p. 318. 

NEXTNESS: 106, 158, 159. 

Nisus: The, 210, 213. 

NUMBER: 155, 156, 239, 240. 

: Prof essor Boodin's theory 

of, 155, 156. 

OBJECT of anticipation: 27, 28. 

: Consciousness and its, 274- 

276, 278, 282, 283. Not dis- 
tinguished in Primary Con- 
sciousness, 280, 282, 283. 

and content: 132, 133. 

: Contradictory character of, 

96, 97, 113, 114. 

: Distinction between, and 

consciousness of object, 274- 
276. Made within con- 
sciousness, 281. 

of knowledge: 16. 

of imagination: 26, 27. 

: Independent reality of, 63. 

not the datum: 115, 116. 

not distinguished in Primary 

Consciousness, 280, 282, 283. 

not mental: 252. 

not in Space and Time: 84, 

87, 98. 

: Parts of, 97, 98. 

perceived from different 

positions: 55, 56. 

of perception, 52, 121, 122. 

Independent existence of, 52. 

permanent: 84. 

of Primary Consciousness: 

293. 

of Primary perception : 60. 

: Real, 60, 96, 265. Not in- 
dependent of mind, 265. 

if real more ultimate than 

events: 96. 

: Relation of, to events, 98,99. 

: Relation of, to mind, 195, 

196. 



OBJECT: Scientific, 51. 

: Scientific causal character of, 

99 et seq. 

: Scientific unperceived, 284. 

: Unperceived, status of, 284, 

285. 
: Unperceived, relation of to 

object perceived, 285, 286. 

of Secondary Consciousness: 

293. 

of Secondary perception: 60. 

: Situation of, 91, 92, 93. 

and subject: 40, 45. 

OBJECTIONS to Professor Alexan- 
der 's concept of Deity: 210- 
215. 

to Professor Whitehead 's con- 
cept of Nature: 94, 111-114. 

to Critical Realism: 117-120, 

121-123, 125-128, 134, 135, 
137, 138. 

to Double-Aspect theory of 
space and time: 146, 147. 

of realism apply to the con- 
sciousness of Logical Ideal- 
ism: 293. Not to Primary 
Consciousness: 294. 

to Realism: 37-48, 76, 80, 266, 

267. 

to scientific theory of percep- 
tion: 69-71. 

to theory of categories as re- 
ducible to Space-Time : 179, ' 
189. 

to theory of compact series: 

158 et seq. 

to theory of consciousness as 

compresence: 196, 197. 

to theory of external rela- 
tions: 237-239, 267. 

to theory of mind identified 

with neural basis: 198, 199. 

to theory of mind as extend- 
ed: 202, 203. 

to theory of mind reducible to, 

Space-Time: 202. 

to theory of physiological sub- 
jectivity: 44, 45. 

to theory of real counterpart : 

77, 79. 

to theory of Space-Time con- 
tinuity: 168-178. 

to theory of Time as non- 
serial, as chance and causal- 
ity: 154-158. 

OMNIPOTENCE: 305, 306. 

OMNIPOTENTIALITY: 305, 306. 

OMNISCIENCE: 306. 



INDEX 



329 



ONE: The, 15, 194, 242. 

: The, as conscious Spirit, 242. 

: The, as Space-Time, 194. 

OPINING: 291. 

ORDER: 186, 239. How far reduci- 
ble to Space-Time: 186. 
: moral, 186. 

PAIN: 19. Not subjective: 19. 

Appendix I, p. 315. 
PANTHEISM: 303-306, 308, 313, 

314. 

: moral problem of, 303-305. 

PARTICULAR: 182, 184, 234. See 

UNIVERSAL. 

PARTS : See the WHOLE. 
PASSAGE of Nature: 109, 110. 
PERCEPT: 122, 123, 228-230. 

laid out in space: 228. 

not perceived: 122, 123. Ob- 
jections to theory of, 122, 

123. 
in Primary Consciousness, 

contemplated: 291. 
in Secondary Consciousness, 

used: 291. 
PERCEPTION: 19, 42, 43, 85, 111- 

113, 115, 116. 

of external world: 20. 

: Incompatibilities of, 53-56. 

And object perceived: 68, 

252, 253. 
: Likeness of, to object, 59, 

60, 62. 

: as memory: 24, 25. 

within nature: 35, 85. 

: Object of, 64, 65, 121, 122. 

Not perceived: 122. 
: Primary, 60. See PRIMARY 

CONSCIOUSNESS. 

of same things: 20-22, 28, 

254-259. 

: Secondary, 60. See SECOND- 
ARY CONSCIOUSNESS. 

: Tactual, 54-61, 71, 75. 

: Tactual, Inadequacy of, 

74. 

: Tactual, Incompatibilities of , 

72, 73. 

: Tactual and scientific object: 

72, 73, 74. 

: Tactual of three-dimensional 

shapes, 74. 

: Tactual Untrustworthiness 

of, 73, 75. 

Perception, Physics and Reality : 
49-81. 

PERCEPTUAL experience : 225, 226. 



PERCIPIENCE: 85. 

PERCIPIENT event: 85, 111, 113. 

- object: 85. 

PERRY: Ealph Barton, 34. 

's Ralph Barton, Eealistio 

Theory of Independence, 34. 
PERSPECTIVES: 21, 22. 

: Finite, 252-259. 

: Other people's, 253, 254. 

: Personal, 252-259, 292. 

: Personal, Correlation of, 

254-259. 
: Private, 21, 22, 252. 

of Space-Time: 172, 173, 

227, 228, 252. 

of Space-Time: Conscious- 
ness and, 227, 228. 

PHENOMENALISM: 51, 58, 59. 
PHYSIOLOGICAL subjectivity: 42-45, 

47, 203, 204. 

sub j ec tivity : Idealist objec- 
tion to, 44, 45. 
PLEASURE: 19. 
PLURALISM: 16, 17. 
POINT the ideal limit: 106, 107. 

: All Time at a, 172-174, 246. 

POINTS: Immovability of, 170, 

171. 

POINT-INSTANT: 105, 139, 140, 143, 
144, 177, 298. 

correspondence : 168, 

169. 

correspondence : diffi- 
culty of, 169. 

: Ideal character of, 

190, 191. 

POINT-INSTANTS : Redistribution of, 
170, 171, 174, 175, 
193, 194. 

, : Redistribution of, con- 
sidered, 177, 178. 
PRATT: Professor, 120-123. 

'a Critical Realism and the 

Possibility of Knowledge, 
120-123. 
PRAGMATISM: 15, 120, 121, 157, 

158. 
PRAGMATIC criterion : 120, 121, 157, 

158. 

PREMONITION: 246. 
PRIMARY CONSCIOUSNESS: 274-283. 

See CONSCIOUSNESS. 
PRIMARY and Secondary Qualities: 
119. 

and Secondary Qualities: 

Equal status of, 87. 

and Secondary Qualities mere 

appearances: 66. 



330 



INDEX 



PRIMARY and Secondary Qualities 

not perceived in real cause: 

66. 
and Secondary Qualities some 

real: 66. 
and Secondary Qualities: 

unreality of, 67, 68. 
PRIVATE space: 252. 
PROBLEM : The moral, 303-305, 308, 

309. 
PROCESS: 241. 

and Total Configuration of 

the universe: 241. 

: Real, 153-158. 

: Real, prior to serial position, 

154. 

PROCESSES of thought: 9, 269. 
PSYCHIC state: 135. See MENTAL 

state. 
PYSCHOLOGICAL Proof of Realism: 

126. 
PSYCHO-PHYSICAL Parallelism : 203, 

204, 264. 
PUNCTIFORM theory: 143, 144. 

QUALITY: 176, 182-184, 191-195, 

242, 243. 

as motion : 193. 

not a category: 176, 191, 192. 

not reducible to Space-Time: 

191, 192. 
QUANTITY: 189. 

reducible to Space-Time: 189, 

239. 

Eatio cognoscendi and ratio es- 
sendi: 2, 16, 271, 272. 

cognoscendi and ratio es- 

sendi : Confusion between, 
271. 

REAL counterpart: 49-81. 

object: 265. 

space: 44. 

REALISM 1-215. 

: Assumptions of, 269. 

: Critical, 114-138. 

Eealism: Approach to Critical, 116- 
120. 

: Essays in, 114-138. 

REALISM : Crux for, 90, 266, 267. 

: Dilemma of, 76, 77. 

and distinction between 

Primary and Secondary Con- 
sciousness: 293, 294. 

and Idealism: 293, 294. 

: Naif, 51, 55-57, 283, 284. 

: Naif, confuses mind with 

body, 283. 



REALISM: The New, 1-215, 13, 15, 
16, 17, 212. 

Eealism, The New, 34 (Foot-note). 

REALISM: Objections to, 37, 38. 
See OBJECTIONS. 

: Strength of, 36, 37. 

Eealism: A Study in, 24-28. 

: Three Proofs of, 123-126. 

REALIST theory of external reality 
of Categories: 29, 179-194. 

theory of memory: 24-28, 47, 

48. 

theory of perception: 49-138, 

312. 

theory of relations : 29 et seq., 

40, 42. 

theory of world before con- 
sciousness: 45-47. 

Eealistic Universe: A, 148 et seq. 

REALITY: 15, 18, 19, 307. 

of external world: 17, 18. 

: God >s knowledge of, 307. 

: Man's knowledge of, 307. 

Not directly perceived: 75, 

76. 

of relations: 29. 

: Relation of, to consciousness, 

288, 289. 
: Relation of, to its whole, 76. 

of space and time: 18, 84, 

88. See SPACE-TIME. SPACE 
and Time. 

: Spiritual nature of, 300. 

: Ultimate, 314. 

: Unperceived, 63, 89, 90, 284- 

289. 

and Values: 308. 

REASONING: 291. 
RECIPROCITY: 188, 189, 242. 
RECOGNITION: 35, 36. 
REFLECTION: 290. 

REGRESS: The infinite, 237-239. 

RELATION: 182-184. 

of besideness: 145, 146. 

" Knowing to known: 16, 31. 

' ' mind to sense-organ : 207, 

208. 

not reducible to Space-Time: 

183, 184, 186. 

of Primary to Secondary con- 
sciousness: 291-293. 

of subject and object: 40, 

235, 296. 

of subject and predicate: 30, 

38, 39, 235. 

of succession: 145, 146. 

of ultimate to finite conscious- 
ness: 303, 307, 310. 



INDEX 



331 



KELATION of universal and partic- 
ular: 184. 
EELATIONS : Causal, 99 et seq. 

: external, 185, 186, 237-239. 

: external, do not relate, 37-40. 

: external and internal, 30, 31. 

: external reality of, 29. 

not work of consciousness: 

238. 

not work of thought: 29. 

: Thought, 4, 8. 

RELATIONAL theory of space and 

time: 143, 144, 220, 

properties: 30, 40, 41. 

RELATIVITY: 22 (Foot-note), 252, 

253. 
Eelativity: General Principle of, 

243, 244. 
RELATIVITY: Principle of, 141. 

Note, 220, 243-245. 
to sense-organ : 58, 59, 62, 63, 

68, 69. 

of space and time : 84, 88-90. 

ROGERS: Professor, 116, 120, 311. 
RUSSELL: Bertrand, 17, 18, 21, 22, 

28, 37, 42, 43, 44, 143, 144, 

158 et seq., 162, 163, 236, 237- 

239. 

SANTA YANA: Professor, 116, 120, 

123-126, 311. 
SCIENTIFIC object: 72, 73, 87, 88, 

99 et seq., 284-286, 292, 293. 

Theory: 51, 68-71. 

SECOND-sight: 246. 

SECONDARY CONSCIOUSNESS: 290- 

294. See CONSCIOUSNESS. 
SELECTION: 20,5, 206, 207. 
of objects by mind, not basis 

of idealism: 280. 
SELF: 233-235, 240. 

the highest category, 297. 

the highest universal: 235. 

: The Infinite, 300. 

SELFHOOD: 233, 234, 240. 
SELLARS: Professor, 120, 127-131, 

311. 
SELVES: finite, 297, 299, 305, 306, 

309, 310. 
SENSA: 20, 21, 22, 46, 58, 59-63, 

68, 69, 261, 262, 266-269, 287- 

289. 
SENSATION: 52, 53, 56, 57, 287-289. 

: Communicability of, 56, 57. 

: Correspondence between, and 

neural process, 261-263, 287, 

288. 

and cerebral cortex, 261, 262. 



SENSATIONS: Incompatible, 55, 56. 

SENSE-data: 42, 43, 133-136. 

data not in space and time : 
133, 134; yet appearing in 
space and time: 134; and 
spatially and temporally re- 
lated: 134. 

Sense-Data and Physics: 42, 43. 

SENSE-organ: 20, 21, 46, 58, 59-62, 
63, 68, 69, 203, 204, 207, 208, 
258. 

organ: Dependence of sensa 

on, 20, 21, 46, 58, 59, 63, 68, 
69. 

organ: Relation of mind to, 

207, 208. 

organ: Role of, in conscious- 
ness, 258. 

SENSIBLES : 20, 22, 46. 

SENSORY affections: 45. 

SENSUM: 60, 61, 261, 266, 287, 288. 

: Relation of, to molecular mo- 
tion, 287. 

SERIAL time: See TIME. 

SERIES: See COMPACT. 

SIMULTANEITY: 188, 189. 

SIRIUS: Event in, 247. 

SITUATION: 90-93. 

SOLIPSISM: 5, 16, 17, 253, 268, 272, 
312 

SPACE: 162-213. 

Private, 252. 

Public, 22. 

Real, difficulty of perceptual 

experience in, 44. 

a system of co-existent 

series: 150. 

temporal: 166, 167. 

SPACE and Time: 6, 7, 14, 18, 21, 

22, 82-84, 88-90, 312, 313. 
and Time abstractions from. 

events: 83. 
and Time abstractions from 

Space-Time: 164. 
and Time all-embracing rela- 
tions: 88. 
and Time: Antinomies of, 

139-161. See ANTINOMIES. 
and Time a priori forms of 

consciousness: 296. 
and Time: Correlations of, 

165-167. 
and Time: Identity of, 176, 

178. 
and Time not all-embracing: 

94, 95. 
and Time relations between 

events: 83, 220. 



332 



INDEX 



SPACE and Time the ultimate ele- 
ments: 164, 220. 
and Time ultimate forms of 

consciousness : 222-224. 
and Time : Unity of, 166, 167, 

176, 219, 220. 

SPACE-TIME: 162-213, 295-298. 
the a priori stuff, the 

matrix: 164. 
and consciousness : 

253. 
: Correlations of, 166, 

167. 
creative form of 

higher consciousness : 
289. 
minded and unminded : 

224-226, 312. 

not an existent : 193. 

not mental : 252. 

not self - subsistent : 

298. 

not substance : 194. 

not a unity : 194. 

no t a whole: 193. 

as the One : 194. 

: Perspectives of, 227, 

228. 
: Physical and mental, 

the same, 295. 

: Pure, 165. 

: Redistribution of, 170 

et seq. 

and Spirit: 299. 

: Stratified, 103, 104. 

subsists in and through 

subject-object relation, 

296. 
: Supreme correlation 

of, 298. 

: Synthesis of, 298. 

systems: 245. 

ultimate form of con- 
sciousness: 232. 
SPACE, Time and Consciousness: 

219-239. 

, Time and Other Conscious- 
ness: 245-259. 
SPACE, TIME and DEITY: 28, 

162-213. See TIME. 
SpATio-Temporal relations: 236. 
SPINOZA: Introduction, xii, 2. 
SPIRIT: 299. 
: Relation of body to, 300. 

unity of mind and will: 299. 

the whole: 5. 

STRONG: Professor, 116, 120, 132- 
138, 311. 



SUBJECT-OBJECT: 40, 45, 235, 296. 

and predicate. See RELATION. 

SUBSTANCE: 83, 124, 125, 186, 187. 

and appearances : 124-126 ; 

separate in existence and iden- 
tical in essence: 124, 125; no 
guarantee of this: 125. 

and attributes : 84. 

minded and unminded: 240. 

not in space: 84. 

and its parts: 140, 141, 187. 

SUCCESSION: 106. 

: Relation of, 145-147. 

SYNTHETIC judgment a priori: 5, 
6. 

TACTUAL Perception: 54-61, 71-75, 
80. 

Perception: Real counterpart 

of, 79, 80. 

TESSARACT: The, 249, 250. Ap- 
pendix IV, pp. 317, 318. 

THING and its Qualities: 39. 

TmNG-in-Itself : 2, 3. 

THiNGS-in-Themselves : 40. 

THOUGHT : 4, 5, 10, 12, 29, 30, 235. 

: Laws of, 269. 

: Process of, 269. 

Relations: 4, 8, 29, 30, 235. 

TIME: 87, 88, 89, 139, 140-194, 160, 
161, 173, 174. 

: Absolute, 87, 88. 

: All at a point, 172-174, 246. 

as causality: 151-153. 

as chance: 151-158. 

: Dream-, 251, 252. 

the "mind of Space ": 200, 

201. 

as motion: 164. 

a negative property: 149. 

: Non-serial, 93, 148, 149; 

gives continuity to space; 
150. 
:Real, 143. 

and reality: 147-158. 



Time mid Reality: 
TIME: Serial, an 



147-158. 
intellectual 



ab- 



straction, 108-110, 143, 147 
et seq. 

-Series: Reversible, 246-249. 

and Space antithetical : 149. 

spatial: 166, 167. 

systems : Multiplicity of, 93. 

unreal : 143, 220. See SPACE, 

SPACE-TIME, SPACE and Time. 

TOTAL configuration of the uni- 
verse: 240, 241; versus proc- 
ess: 241. 



INDEX 



333 



TOUCH : See TACTUAL perception. 
TRIPLE Dialectic: 3, 142. 

ULTIMATE Consciousness: 272, 295- 

314. 
Consciousness : Necessity of, 

295-299. 
UNIFORMITY of knowledge: 22. 

of nature: 2, 242. 

UNITY of consciousness: 17. 
of God and finite selves: 306, 

314. 
of Space and Time: 166, 167, 

176, 219, 220. 

UNIVERSAL: 180-182, 184, 185. 
: The concrete, 182. 

as determination of Spac^- 

Time: 180, 181. 

: The highest, 182, 235. 

Not reducible to Space- 
Time: 181-182. 

and particular: 184. 

UNIVERSE: 295, 296. 

begotten by Spirit outj of 

Space-Time: 299. 

and Subject-Object: 296. 

in Ultimate Consciousness : 

301. See TOTAL configuration. 

VALUES: 308, 314. And Reality: 

308. 
VITALISM: 15, 37. 

WHJTEHEAD: Professor A. N., In- 
troduction, ix, x, xii-xiv, 21, 
35, 37, 81-114, 142, 162-164, 
220, 221, 295, 311. 

: Professor A. N., and the con- 
cept of Nature, 81-114. 



WHITEHEAD: Professor A. N.'s 
Concept of Nature: 81- 
114. 

: Professor A. N. 's Enquiry 

Concerning Principles of 
Natural Knowledge, 81 et 
scq. 

: Professor A. N. 's solution of 

antinomies of Space and 
Time: 143 et ante. 

WHOLE: The, 76, 240, 241. 

: The, independent of percep- 
tion, 76. 

: The, not a reality, 76. 

: The, and the parts, 76, 189, 

242, 265. 

: The, as Ultimate Conscious- 
ness: 242. 

WHOLES: Logical, 242. 

WILL: The, 5, 11, 241, 272, 292, 
299. 

: The, in Primary Conscious- 
ness: 292. 

: The, as pure causality: 241. 

: The, in Secondary Conscious- 
ness: 292. 

The, above Space-Time, 241. 

: Free, 305, 307. 

WILLING: 34. 

and Being: 272. 

WOLF: 2. 

WORLD before Consciousness: 45, 
46, 47, 267, 301, 313, 314. 

before Consciousness: Diffi- 
culty in realist theory of, 47. 

before Consciousness : Idealist 

theory of, 46, 47. 

ZENO: 139, 140.